The Bounce Back

One thing that people tell you about bad runs is that they are always followed by a good one.  After this emotional and defeating past weekend I got out there and pushed my self to run anyway. This week was great, I was able to get out there and work on my base miles. Monday I joined my work running group for a timed 1.5 mi (odd distance I know, its an Air Force thing). Everything was going ok, I was feeling good and then my headphones busted after the first 400 m… motivation was almost destroyed. How was I going run a 7 min mile pace with out my girl Beyoncé telling me who runs the world?

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I managed to pull of a 7:17 mile pace not quite what I was hoping for but it took some serious digging down deep so I was happy overall. I finished my 1.5mi in 10:55 so not to shabby and a heck of a lot better that the 12:30 I was running a couple months ago.

The great thing about this running group is that its focus is speed. It runs in 6 week cycles and each week it gets a little harder. Mondays are timed miles, Wednesdays are 400 and 800 repeats, and Thursdays are 30 min runs with a goal of going farther each run. When I  joined the group a month back it was great, a perfect way to break up the monotony of logging miles. But now, exhausted and breathing heavy after pushing it, the thought of the 6 miles I still needed to get in that day for my marathon plan was not a happy one.

After some much needed water and a walk to the store to pick up some cheap headphones, the exhaustion and daunting fear of yet another bad run started to wear off. I felt ready to tackle my 6. Even more so now because I would have Beyoncé cheering me on. The first mile was tough my legs and breathing were both heavy. I pushed through it and by mile 3 I was on cruise control. I ended up running mile 2-6 at a 9:05 mile pace. My first mile was a whole minute slower. I was happy with the run and not because of the time, but simply because I showed myself that I can come back and push through a bad run and my exhaustion.

Something that my better half/running partner constantly reminds me as I go through the ups and downs of my training is that I am so much stronger mentally and physically than I give myself credit for. Its runs like this one, where I bounce back and accomplish something that just days before I didn’t think I could do, that I see the strength I have and that running is giving me. Needless to say, it is an amazing feeling.

Burn Out

So I experienced my first burn out. It was awful. When I started running I heard a lot about “The Bad Runs”. It was not until this past weekend that I learned how truly emotionally devastating “The Bad Runs” could be. It started on Friday, I knew all day that I was going to have to tackle my 5 miles after work. For some reason I could not get excited about it, in fact I was dreading it, but I got out there any way. The run it self was supposed to be easy. I can knock out my 5 miles at an 8:30 pace. This run, however, was not easy. Putting one foot in front of the other was a struggle. My time… well lets say it was significantly slower, but how I felt was worse. There was no happy smile or rush of endorphins that I usually get after finishing a run. I was miserable. I was mad at my self for running so slow and for struggling to do a run I know I am very capable of doing. What was worse is that run made me not want to do my long run the next day.

Saturday morning came and that meant it was time for me to tackle my long run (only 8 miles this time). I put it off, it was raining and going to storm later, I will run it tomorrow. Sunday came and my usual wake up of 7 am didn’t happen I laid in bed just thinking about how much I didn’t want to run. Eventually I forced my self out of bed got dressed and headed to the park to do my run. I made it 2 miles before I stopped. I almost started crying. Nothing can truly prepare you for the emotional toll that the first bad run can take on a you. I felt defeated; I could not bring myself to finish. I knew I could physically do the run, but the thought of having to brought tears to my eyes. The worst was that I simply couldn’t understand why. I vented my emotions to my other half/running partner who got me into running. He listened as I shared my frustration and how upset I was at my self for not being able to bring myself to run. He then gave some great advice. He told me it was ok and the bad runs that really suck are more important than the good ones. That really got me thinking.

“The Bad Runs” are the ones we learn the most from, and when it comes to training for a marathon they can be the most crucial runs. The reason is that these runs give you the opportunity to learn about yourself and even more importantly learn how to overcome your own mental barriers. So even though in this particular case I caved and didn’t finish my run, that ok because I learned from it and the next time it happens I will be a little less caught off guard!

The Gift of Confidence

As of today I am 5 weeks into my marathon training. As a relatively new runner (who use to find distances more that 3 miles unfathomable) the most remarkable change I have experienced is a shift in focus. When I started the idea of running 5- 6 miles was just a little intimidating. Those first couple runs were all about finishing. I didn’t care how fast I ran as long as I finished. The long runs of 8, 9, and 10 miles came on the weekends and each time the task felt impossible, but then I finished. After my long runs, doing 5-6 didn’t seem at all intimidating. So now at week 5 my weekly mileage is up from 10 miles to 25 mile. Now when I look at running it isn’t about finishing. With every run I complete I am noticing a shift in my confidence. I am getting stronger, and I don’t just mean physically. In just 5 weeks my outlook on running has changed. It isn’t about finishing anymore, I know I am capable of completing my runs. Now it is about pushing my self to run faster.

It is amazing to me how easy it is for us to sell ourselves short. I know that for me I find my self underestimating what I am capable of. This marathon is a perfect example. When I decided to run a marathon the goal was to finish. That in it self was, to me, a huge accomplishment. As I started training and gaining confidence in my abilities I reassessed. Would just finishing a marathon be enough? I know I can do it, in just 5 weeks I have accomplished and run more that I ever believed possible. I have a long way to go before I am marathon ready, but now I have the confidence and belief in myself that I can do it. That in it self it an a amazing gift and a step in the right direction.

The First Post

Welcome to the Craft Runner!

My name is Allie and I am a running convert. I use to be an avid protestor to running until some influential amazing people came in to my life and showed me just how wonderful it can be. This blog is about running, craft beer, food, my life, my dogs, and basically anything else I deem worthy of sharing. Here are just a couple things about me!

Name: Allie 

Below is my face. You may be wondering what are those planes doing in the background, they look kinda cool. Well something different about me is I am in the Air Force. I’m not a pilot so don’t be expecting any super sweet pics of me flying around. I love my job and I am proud to serve.

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My Dog: Goose (AKA my everything)

This is Goose he is my German Shorthaired Pointer and he is just 1.5 years old. He is high maintenance, just like me, and he is over all just a goofy high energy dog. He is my frequent running partner and can kick my butt at it too! He will be a frequent topic on this blog, as will his sister Olive as they are my surrogate children and I love them both to death. Goose is the one looking dapper in his stunning bow tie and Olive is the one in the festive green boa.

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Running: I am a beginner runner.

I have no impressive marathon times to post or PRs. I simply have a growing love and appreciation for everything it takes to put one foot in front of the other rather quickly. I am happy to announce I am currently training for my first Marathon (I’m talking 26.1 miles) I will be running the Air Force Marathon on Sept 19 2015!

What I Like: Running Craft Beer and Food.

What is so perfect about these things is that they all just pair so nicely. When I run I can reward my self with an delicious ice cold craft beer on my porch (Plus its carbs right?). Running also makes me just hungry all the time which means I get to eat to make up all the calories burned. And what goes better with a meal that I nice flavorful craft beer. Its like my own perfect little circle of life.b67f80c2882b80831d419129d4126d47

What I Don’t Like: A dirty kitchen, grape flavored things, a bad nights sleep, and scary movies.

A Little Something Extra: I use to have an English accent. A real on from when I lived there.

My Weakness: Anything with Buffalo sauce.

 

So that’s a little bit about me! I wanted to share some thoughts about what it was like starting this blog

Starting a blog can be like attempting a craft you found on Pinterest. You see this super cool DIY and you say to your self “Hey I could totally do that”. The googling begins and there are all these posts about how easy it is and you say to your self again “Oh yeah I got this”. So if you are me, you pour a good beer, roll up your sleeves, and follow the steps. The end product… well lets just say your melted crayon art looks more like up-chuck than a masterpiece. First attempt at blogging can be pretty much the same. You read all these powerful, funny, beautiful, awesome blogs and you say to your self “Hey I could totally do that”.  You pick a site, pick a name, change your name about 5 times, pick a template, then another template, play with the colors, and then you start your first draft… the result… well lets just say its no tour de force. It can be pretty deflating feeling like your idea just doesn’t even compare to the amazing blogs you have read. This is was my experience when I first sat down to start this blog. I didn’t feel like what I had to say was ever going to live up to its counterparts. But then I had this crazy thought: maybe that ok. So I hung my up-chuck crayon art on the wall and pressed publish. Let the posting begin!