The past year has felt like one step forward and two steps back with my running fitness. I know that’s not entirely true because I have been able to maintain an awesome run streak but I sometimes feel really discouraged about my decrease in mileage. It really seems like every time I start climbing out of the hole something comes by and knocks me back into the hole again. Regardless, I’m climbing back out of the hole again. For the past week, I’ve been able to run 2 miles every other day and I’ve gotten back to my pull-ups, dips, and a flip routine as well. It feels good to get back to those activities that I consider basic for my overall fitness. It has been ridiculously hot out so I have tried to either run in the morning or right around sunset. Several evenings have still been into the 90s with the heat index. It’s been rather sweaty. I’m hoping for another week of 2 mile runs alternated with one mile runs before I bump a few runs up to 3 miles. Fingers crossed!
This past week has certainly been a whirlwind. The final results are in though and our family has one less house in our possession and one additional high school graduate! Both of my older boys set a goal for themselves to graduate from high school a year early. They have both had mental health struggles this year that threatened to derail their goals. We received word today that both boys passed all of their classes this semester, which means one of them will graduate Saturday and the other will graduate after completing a credit recovery program this summer! It looks like he should be done around June 11 so he won’t be far behind his brother in graduating. It’s a huge relief for all of us that their hard work has paid off for them. Also, our closing on our old house was finalized yesterday. We had to move the last of our items out of the house over the weekend and I was super sore for a couple of days afterward. We had left a few large items in the basement that were heavy and awkward to get up the stairs. I was thankful to still be able to run a mile each day despite the exhaustion and soreness. Today was the first day in quite awhile where I felt like I had the time to run as far as I wanted. I ran almost 2.5 miles to check out a nearby neighborhood with a couple of houses for sale. I also did some pull-ups, dips, and a flip on my way out. It was a great run. The only other day this week where I was able to run more than a mile was Monday evening. I ran just under 2 miles that day but it was broke up by a visit to a park with my youngest. Those are some of my favorite runs. I’m certainly ready to settle into a slower pace for summer and to have time to lengthen my runs when the mood strikes!
This past week has been busier than I would prefer. My twins are trying to graduate from high school a year early so they have challenging course loads and it’s getting to the time of year where the pressure is really on them. Typically, they don’t like to have me help them with homework. They have finally agreed to accept help to achieve their goal of graduating. I have to dust off my algebra 2 knowledge but I’m happy to be able to help. In other news, my cold is mostly gone. I have some minor congestion remaining, which becomes gross when I run, but can be cleared out with a little effort. I finally got back to my new 2 mile loop yesterday. I ran past the local elementary school for some pull-ups, dips, and a flip and then up and around one of the neighborhood lakes. It was a beautiful day. It felt great to get back to my favorite workout. I ran that loop on Monday morning as well after dropping off my youngest at school but I physically felt much better running it yesterday. I ran single miles the rest of the week. Tuesday, I ran around the neighborhood after work while my youngest rode his bike. Wednesday, I ran after dropping him off at school in the morning. On Thursday, I ran after work around the neighborhood. And on Friday, I ran after work but I ran to the trail from my work building and I love having the chance to do that. I would have liked to run farther but I didn’t have time. Another day. The best part about this week was certainly the weather. The temps have been perfect for running and the sun has been shining. Flowers have been blooming, the grass is getting greener, and trees have started getting their leaves. It really is a great time of year to be a runner.
I had to go back and read my blog to remember when I last posted. That is the sign of a busy week. It was seriously exhausting. On Wednesday, I had an appointment before work so I ran a quick mile before leaving for the day. I ran around the lake in the neighborhood north of our house. Garmin tells me that it was sunny and 34 degrees with 22 mile per hour winds. I do feel like this week had some impressive winds. However, I don’t specifically remember the details of this run. I have still been running to and from the parking lot at work in addition to my daily runs. It has helped me pull ahead in 3rd place in the workout challenge at my gym and I’m even inching up on 2nd place. The challenge ends on February 15th and I’ve been debating in my mind about whether or not the daily run to and from work will continue. Time will tell I guess. I imagine there will be days that the running happens because I’m honestly running late to work more often than I would like. On Thursday, I had a relaxing morning before work and I enjoyed every minute of the slower pace. I had intended to run between 3-5 miles that morning but took my time so much that I only had time for 2 miles. I wouldn’t change anything about my relaxing morning though. Yesterday, I woke up early to run before heading into work early. I normally start work at 10am when the college students are on campus but I start work at 8am on Fridays because there aren’t any late labs scheduled on Fridays. I had to be at work even earlier yesterday because I had to leave early for an appointment for one of my boys. I woke up at 5, went to the gym to run 2 miles on the treadmill, went to work, took my son to his appointment, and then drove to get my daughter from her dad’s. It was a tiring end to a long week. Today, I wanted to take the time to run farther but I just didn’t have the energy. I ran a little over 2 miles and did my pull-ups, dips, and a flip at the local elementary school. It was a good workout but I’m glad I didn’t push the run. I feel so drained from this week. I hope tomorrow feels more rejuvenating.
The weather this weekend was fantastic for winter in Illinois. I ran 5 miles today to take full advantage of the reprieve from winter. I even had short sleeves on for awhile. The best part was the sun. I love the sun. It made the winter brown seem slightly more alive. I stopped by the local elementary school on the way out and the way back for some pull-ups, dips, and a flip. It was a fabulous run. I will tuck this weekend into my memory to pull out when needed as I try to patiently wait for the real spring.
On Monday, I went to the gym right after work to run a quick mile before going to an appointment for my older son. It felt super rushed but I wouldn’t have wanted to go back out after dinner so it was the best option. Yesterday, I had a little more time so I ran around the neighborhood after work. It was colder out than I had expected and my sweat froze on my shirt. I did get a chance to do 2 sets of pull-ups, dips, and flips. I ran about 3 miles and it was a great workout. Today was more stressful all around and I needed to run after dinner. I’m naturally more of a morning person so sometimes late night runs feel more stressful to me. The gym felt too bright, too busy, and too loud. I managed to run 1.5 miles before calling it a night. Next week, I return to my later start for my work day so I will have more opportunities to run in the morning. I’m looking forward to that shift.
On Friday, I considered trying to sneak in a run during the work day but decided against it and thought I would try to squeeze in a run between the end of work and driving our borrowed trailer back to our old town. However, an unexpected fire alarm changed everything. I work in the chemical storage room at a bigger university. We don’t take fire alarms lightly. Many explode-y chemicals make their homes in our workspace. I was quite happy to stay outside until the firefighters were certain we were ok to go back inside. It just happened to push back my departure from work. We had to leave town quickly and then pick up my daughter. Everything took longer than expected and we all still needed dinner. I really didn’t want to run in the dark/snow/below zero temps so my family agreed to wait to eat until after they dropped me off at the gym, which was really kind of them. It was 9:35pm and we usually eat dinner around 6. The gym closes at 10 though so my window was closing quickly. I was able to jog 1.5 miles while they drove through a fast food place to get dinner. Moving creates all sorts of opportunities for compromise. Food quality has sometimes been one of those compromises. On Saturday, the temps soared to a toasty 11 degrees so I decided to run outside. I took my usual route by the elementary school for some pull-ups, dips, and a flip but had to run through quite a bit of snow to get there. My layering helped keep the snow from getting to my ankles though and I had a really great 3 mile run. Today I went to the gym in the morning before the freezing rain started and ran 2 miles on the hamster wheel. I’m in 5th place in our local gym’s daily workout challenge, which has been fun. There are quite a few participants that have been working out multiple times a day but I’m happy with my daily running streak for now. It’s been good to have an added element of motivation to my streak though. If I had my treadmill at home still, I might throw a couple of split runs into the mix to up my workout total. I could still do that if the weather ever improves. Time will tell!