I'm tired from a long weekend of long workouts. I have a million things I am trying to get done and procrastination has gotten the best of me. I work best in last minute situations with EVERYTHING. I decided to spend this time identifying what I have come to love through running/cycling/swimming. Here is what I love:
- Breathing - On many occasions I have found myself struggling to breath in the morning. I love camping and can recall various mornings when I have woken up in my tent with puffy eyes, a stuffy nose and a little wheezy. I always assumed this was because I was coming down with a cold that would always disappear a few days after returning from the woods. The true culprit? I'm allergic to trees. What trees you may ask? Basically all trees.
- Zyrtec - Zyrtec is quickly becoming my best friend. I might try Allegra one of these days since Zyrtec basically knocks me out, but still, Zyrtec makes breathing much more enjoyable in the morning. Now my friends don't have to listen to me whine (as much) about the fact that I can't breath while we are running.
- 4:30 am wake up times - To many of you, this may be a huge shocker. Now let me say this, I do NOT really like waking up at this time but I truly love the workout I get in the morning. Just three months ago I would have told you that you were crazy if you even suggested that I should try getting up that early for a workout. Now I do it four days a week. I will however say that I despise 5:30 am wake up calls on Saturday but I do it anyway.
- My camelbak - For some reason, I have been running with my hand held bottle this year even though it doesn't agree with me. Yesterday, I put on my camelbak for my eleven mile run and I started wondering why the heck I would have even considered using the hand held in the first place.
- My friends - And in the context of this blog, my athletic friends are especially inspiring, or at least obliging. For instance, I have one friend who has endured my daily phone calls for the past couple of weeks to make sure they stay on track and get out for their runs. Another friend wakes up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 to meet me for 5:30 runs two days a week. How kind is that! She also puts up with my text messages informing her of our next goal race. I'm probably the most annoying person in the world but my friends still love me (or at least that is what they tell me).
- Optimism - I am a very optimistic person, most of the time. We all can get into our doom and gloom from time to time, but once I get through the hard times I appreciate the good times so much more. I can typically weave my way through a very difficult situation on the trail by taking a moment to breath. For instance, yesterday I was starting to think I might not make it eleven miles because I was having the dreaded stomach issues. At mile 10, rather than throw in the towel and sit on the corner with the intention of begging my friend to come and pick me up, I regrouped, reminded myself I could do it and did just that.
- Sports beans - I much prefer eating whole food but I haven't quite figured out what whole food is best carried while on the trail for consumption during my run. One of my friends brought me sports beans just to try out during my run. I ate them, they fueled me and they were not the culprit of the stomach issues. I think that was self inflicted by ice cream the night before!
- Ice cream - Now I do love ice cream but it is necessary to recognize that love sometimes is not enough. For instance, although I do love ice cream it really isn't the best fuel. I do have a Graeter's date on the horizon with a friend but it will happen AFTER my big run for the week, not right before.
- Calf sleeves - These have basically saved my legs over the last year. It really isn't easy coming back from a stress fracture. The phantom pains, the shin splints, the over compensating... Calf sleeves have saved me from some of this discomfort. I'm not a particular fan of how they look but they really have helped me recover much more quickly from all my long runs.
- Now this one will surprise everyone. I honestly don't even want to admit it right here because I know I am going to get so much hell once the words are permanently etched on my blog but it is truth. I do love one of my running skirts. OK, so let me qualify this. I still stand by the fact that they are ugly especially on my body type. I also still shake my head at the skirts that look like glitter pens on the trail while I am simply trying to take in nature (and the exhaust fumes from the highway). I still think it is silly that people wear them in an effort to look cute on the trail, I mean, come on, we are running for crying out loud. We are supposed to sweat and look like we put all of our effort out on the trail when all is said and done and the running skirt takes away from all of that, from my perspective... However, I have come to love one of my running skirts. The likelihood of anyone seeing me in said running skirt is very slim. I tend to wear it during my early morning runs, and for now I will keep it that way.
- Sweat - It is so entertaining to me when people tell me they hate to sweat. I love to sweat! Sweat tells our story from a run. I honestly equate sweat to effort. Now this is not always the best basis for judging our effort since it is difficult to tell how much you sweat while swimming but I am so satisfied when it gets warm enough for me to sweat it out on the trail!
This is the most uninspired post I have written in a long time. The effort was worth it though! It is a good reminder that I gain a lot from my athleticism and should keep truckin'.