Early spring in Lehigh Parkway
Lehigh Parkway is a true runner’s haven. Gorgeous scenery, crushed gravel trails, and six+ miles of peace and quiet. On the weekends the trails are littered with runners, it’s a true social scene in all senses of the phrase. I took this photo (above) on Friday during my run of one of my favorite spots along the bridle path. I have always wanted to climb out on that tree hanging over the creek and soak everything in. I’m not sure why I have never actually done so.
Friday’s run was exactly what I needed. I’d planned to run 3.5 miles but was feeling so good I ended up going a little longer, finishing just shy of 5 miles. I headed out again this morning for a 3.5 mile loop. My goal over the next month is to run three times per week and work out to the X3 videos four times per week.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in the years of my marathon training is that when something isn’t working you need to switch things up. When you hit a plateau it’s best to make some changes to your routine. In fact, generally speaking, I think it is a wise move to vary your workouts and activities. This is the plan … for now.
After falling several times on the trail during a run two months ago I have not been back to my beloved mountain trails. I wanted to wait until the leaves had all dropped and along the way I became lazy and busy, not necessarily in that order. Instead, I’ve been hitting the pavement near home for short runs a few times a week. When faced with rain and snow and ice it’s so easy to shrug my shoulders and put the run off for another day but is sure does feel good to get out there despite my slower pace these days.
The only problem is that my distance is short and the runs are inconsistent, proving to be a failure at any attempt to lose weight. If I can ever climb back to a decent distance within the 5-6 miles range four times a week I may have a shot at ridding myself of these disgusting fat cells. Not wanting to be a New Year Resolutionist who shows up at the gym for the first two weeks of January and then suddenly forgets the resolution they made, I have been trying to hit the gym a couple times a week since early November. I’m not going to lie, it’s painfully difficult. I would rather sit at home and bang on my guitar or meet up with a friend for an afternoon coffee. But this self-hate of my body is not going to end if I don’t act.
Now that the holidays are over it’s time to get back into a regular routine, including a regular exercise routine. I kick off each new year by participating in the local running club’s New Year Run. For the past couple of years I have not been able to do the hellacious 5-mile hill run so instead, I join the crowd and document it by taking photos and helping out at the champagne stop at the top of the mountain. After the run everyone heads over to the fire hall where the club hosts a luncheon. It’s such a great day and perfect way to reconnect with the running crowd. It also helps light the fire for me.
With a snowstorm on the way I decided to get out and run before I lost the desire. Right now I’m at the point where each run is tough but I know that if I can get over this hump they will get better. It’s amazing how much better I feel once the run is over.
I have been rocking the SMP trails lately. I am slowly whittling away the amount of time it takes me to complete my loop, which is another way of saying my pace is picking up. I have runner’s high for hours after my runs lately. I’m struggling less and enjoying it more.
Months ago my daughter and I signed up for The Color Run which takes place tomorrow. This is definitely not an event I would ever willingly participate in if it weren’t for my little girl. (Little? She’s almost 10!) I’m not shy to say that I am a racing purist and I poo poo mud runs, color runs and any other run of that style. Now I’m not arguing that they shouldn’t exist because yes, they do get people out and moving and it’s better to participate in an event of this kind instead of wasting your time on the couch in front of a television. But, personally, I would rather spend my time running a race where I can compete against myself and others instead of wasting my time at an event of this nature. Who am I kidding? I’d rather spend my time sitting on the couch in front of a television than running a color run, mud run, etc.
That said, the only reason I am running The Color Run is for some quality mother-daughter bonding time. She loves to run and has been asking to run a 5K for months. This seemed like something unique enough to make a good memory for her. Now, on the eve of the run I’m having second, third and fourth thoughts about doing it. Yuck! So I have to get splashed with color and be a total rainbow mess? I am not looking forward to that part one bit! I’m sure we’ll laugh and have fun, us and 4,000 other runners which alone will be absolutely craziness for a 3.1-mile distance. Guess you’ll have to check back in for a “race” report after tomorrow, won’t you?