Sunday, May 19, 2013

9 Miles the Easy Way

I'm feeling myself slowly coming out of the food funk I've been in.  Some neat things are happening with my career and that's encouraging me to get my butt in gear across the board.  Friday was a gym day but I had plans after for a hike in Point Reyes.  I considered skipping the gym in light of the hike but in the end I knew the hike wouldn't be enough soooo, I hit the gym.  I did a 3 mile treadmill run followed by legs/shoulder/core for strength training.

After work I headed west for what I hoped would be a pleasant, peaceful, beautiful hike along the ocean.  And I wasn't disappointed.  To give you an idea...

The view out toward Tomales Point
The weather was gorgeous.  There was wind of course, there almost always is when you're this close to the ocean, but it wasn't too bad and there was plenty of sunshine to balance it out.  And the wildflowers were AMAZING!  At one point I was wading through shoulder height flowers and felt like I was in a movie. The hike was everything I was looking for - mostly some time away from the hustle and bustle of life and a beautiful view.  Tomales Point Trail did not disappoint.  And the Tomales Bay Elk only added to the drama of it all. But it was hard on my legs toward the end, the upper back part of my calves were tightening up and I worried about my planned run the next day.  Maybe a treadmill run, weight lifting focused on my legs and a hike were a bit much for one day.

So I told myself that if I only wanted to run 3-4 miles instead of my planned 9, well, that's well within my rights.  I woke up this morning and my calves were so tight I was limping a bit.  But I hoped running used a different part of my leg muscles than hiking and that the tight calves wouldn't be a problem.  I had some breakfast and coffee and sat around for a bit before hitting the road.  I wore my Garmin so I didn't need a set route.  The weather was lovely, a tad warm in the sun but with enough of a breeze now and then to make it okay.

I ran down a road that eventually put me at the entrance to Indian Valley preserve so I decided to run down the fire road because on the other side there was a water fountain.  It was fairly warm outside and water sounded good.  I got to the water fountain a bit before the 3 mile mark.  I'd checked my Garmin and saw I was running around 10:30+ minute miles, "perfect," I said to myself.  I'd decided that whatever pace I was running was the perfect pace that I should be running.  After last week's rough 8 miles I just wanted to relax and enjoy my run.  Plus I had a lot of thinking to do so I didn't want to be distracted by suffering. 

Around mile 6.5 I started to feel myself dragging.  Time for some ShotBloks.  I've been backing way off the energy gels to see if that helps with the cramping and it has.  I think my stomach can't process all that stuff.  So I had two and within 20 minutes I felt the boost of quick energy.  I finished up my last mile in 9:48, partially motivated by my buddy Kristy pointing out that I always finish strong.

Mainly I was proud of myself for running the whole 9, especially that I'd given myself full permission to bag it at 3-4 miles if I felt the need.  But running slow was just the ticket to keep me moving the entire time.  If I'd pounded out 9:30 or even 10 minute miles I never would have lasted.  Slow and steady was the key today.

Food has also been slowly improving.  I'm getting there, and just like my run, slow and steady progress will always get me there in the end.


  1. Awesome job. And that picture is gorgeous. I am so jealous.

  2. You are doing great, I admire your determination to continue doing exercise. It takes a lot of willpower and discipline to do that. The picture is so beautiful (and very similar to the coast in this part of the world).
    Keep the good work , you are amazing

  3. Great run! It's so great to have a spot partner or someone to boost you "always finish strong" or "one more rep, you have it in ya". I like to run 'my' run. It may not be the fastest time, I do take water breaks or a bite of banana but at the end I feel good because I put my best effort into it. Oh the picture is amazing, I wish I lived near a large body of water, warm breeze ahhhh :)

  4. Wow, that's impressive! And congrats on making the list! You deserve the recognition. Top 100 Most Influential Weight Loss Bloggers of 2013

    1. Wow, thanks!! Such an awesome group of bloggers to be amongst.

  5. You've just inspired me to get my Garmin out again. I've been walking what I know is a 5M route for the past year and I'm ready to start running (maybe jogging) again. I'd forgotten how great it is to see the numbers that tell you how you are doing. Great effort on the 9M!


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