Happy Monday! Happy (Belated) St. Patrick’s Day! I am beginning the week in a fantastic mood. My running has finally started to feel like a fun ambition and less like a dreaded chore. This has much to do with my newfound running buddy, Jamie, whom I mentioned in my last post. Her enthusiasm for running is exciting and contagious, and the opportunity to encourage someone else (besides myself…) feels worthwhile and purposeful. She is similarly planning a wedding that’s only a few months away! The weather lately has also given me glimmers of hope that winter may soon be over! (I write this knowing full well that the weather report for Tuesday is massive amounts of snow…)
Last week I also mentioned my friend Maddy, who initially instilled in me the joys of running with friends and made long distances possible. She traveled from Middlebury (where she lives and teaches fifth grade) to run with Jamie and I in Fairfax on Saturday. Having my two running friends meet, and during a run at that, made for the best weekend! And I’m sure you can imagine the conversations that took place between three teachers (student body odor issues and other awkward situations, mostly)!
On a gloomier note, I have continued to have stomach trouble, but Christine (from Green Mountain Running Medicine Shop) did have some advice that has helped a bit; Gatorade is an acceptable “snack” for running as it has carbs, sugar, and all that necessary goodness. This has been much gentler on my stomach. I’m becoming increasingly more concerned that I’m headed in the gluten-free direction (I know it’s trendy right now, but I’m genuinely fearful that I’ve got some sort of gluten allergy going on and don’t really relish the thought of going without my favorite foods…!), and am wondering if there are any other runners with dietary restrictions? I have a couple of good friends with Celiac Disease (both of whom are active people), and both say that going without gluten has made them feel healthier and more energized, but I don’t know enough about it to know if it’s well suited for runners. I imagine it’s fine, but if you have personal experience and want to leave me a comment, please do!
I am now up to half-marathon distance. It’s amazing and pathetic how quickly I became out of shape! To think that a year or so ago I was capable of running this distance without even thinking about it, and how hard and painfully I’ve had to work to build this distance back up, is depressing. I let the stress of everything – running, work, grad school, wedding planning, life – really get to me at the beginning of last week. I have a really hard time accepting anything less than what I think is acceptable from myself, and juggling so many things at once and feeling like I wasn’t doing my absolute best at any of them felt really defeating and overwhelming. BUT! it gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate and recharge. I actually feel quite optimistic now, especially about the running, because I have the advantage of knowing that I can do this! I’ve done it before and will do it again, and this time I’ll push past that distance to go even further! I’m running much slower than my usual pace, though, so I’m thinking about trying to seek out a pace team during the marathon to see if that helps me at least be consistent with my time.
I just started three new units at school (read: three new novels), so I anticipate a month of little sleep nor extra time. It’s going to be especially important for me to manage my time effectively! I’m really super thankful I have Jamie to add some accountability to my running, and it will also be a nice social break from reading/planning/grading, etc. I’m sure. I just created some reading quizzes and discussion questions, so my brain’s feeling a little fuzzy… I’ll leave you until next week; I hope you all have productive and happy days ahead! Hopefully our reported snowstorm will be winter’s last hurrah and we’ll all have warm, pleasant running weather from now to May 26!