New best running distance!

New best running distance!

Since the temperatures started to climb into the high 40’s, I went to my favorite place with a goal in mind.

A running goal . . .

Yesterday was my off day from running, so my legs felt good as my feet initially met the pavement. I was ready to set some new personal records today.

Jason’s playlist started streaming into my ears, setting the mood. As soon as I hit play the rest of the world vanished. It was just me, my thoughts and the path ahead of me.

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It’s been awfully cold this past week with temperatures dipping into the teens and 20’s. With the wind, it felt even colder. One day the newscast said the wind chill had the possibility of reaching -15. Yep, running conditions I wasn’t too fond of, which meant quite a few days off. There is still a little Florida left in me.

I ran one day last week when the temperatures were in the 20’s, with wind. More than half of the time the wind was to my face. I was not a fan. It was challenging to keep going, but somehow my legs carried me on to put some more miles on my shoes. My body was warm that day due to the numerous layers. My hands were toasty, thanks to my gloves, and so was my head because of my beanie hat. My face, on the other hand, never warmed.

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The photo above is of Reedy Creek, which runs alongside the Kingsport Greenbelt. Just a glimpse of how cold it really was that day. I was pretty proud of myself for heading out for a run, even though it was cold.

Today, however, there were smaller clusters of ice attached to tree trunks alongside the creek, and inside the creek.

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I ran to my normal stopping point before heading back in the direction where I started today. The difference, however, was how far I ran in the other direction. My legs felt good and my body was warm, so I kept going.

After reaching another typical turning point, I kept going. I was thrilled.

I finally turned around and kept running towards my starting point. Once I hit that point, I gave myself another stopping point. This is where I finally called it quits for the day.

I knew I had run further, but didn’t know how far until I took my phone out of my running belt.

4.52 miles!

Wow!

My previous running distance was 4.03 miles.

I found my passion. That passion, lacing up my running shoes and seeing what my body is capable of achieving.

4.52 miles . . . that, I have to say was incredible therapy!

I’m happy to say I signed up for my next 5K race at the end of February in Downtown Kingsport. I am beyond excited for this race. Now that I know I can run more than 3.1 miles, it’s now all about how much I can beat my last running time.wpid-img_20150111_154632.jpg

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Achieved a new distance

Achieved a new distance

I no longer look outside and hope for clear skies and warm weather . . . now I just put layer upon layer on and go for a run.

Today we were blessed with clear skies and temperatures climbing to 46 degrees. Half way through our run I had to take my sweatshirt off and tie it around my waist. It’s crazy how my body is finally getting accustomed to the cooler temperatures. I was worried that the colder winter weather would keep me indoors this year. But, so far I have been pretty fortunate.

I’m so glad because last year I really experienced cabin fever. I’m determined not to feel that way again this year. Our runs have definitely helped so far.

It’s been kind of neat. I’ve experienced the summer, fall and winter months on the Greenbelt so far. There are far less people on the Greenbelt during the winter months, which I won’t lie is kind of nice.

Saturday morning I ran for the first time in 20 degree weather and surprisingly it wasn’t too bad. I left Lucy home for this run.

I’m so thankful we invested in some new running gear. It has truly been a lifesaver since my race Thanksgiving morning. Yesterday I bought some gloves, the only thing I found to be missing during that crisp run. My body warmed after 2 miles, but my fingers were still a little cold.

After a productive morning of writing, interviewing people and turning two articles in, Lucy and I took advantage of the beautiful day. We of course headed to our favorite place, the Kingsport Greenbelt.

Although Jason’s wonderful mix of music kept us moving today, my thoughts drifted to eight years ago when I walked across the stage at Arizona State University. I cannot believe it’s already been eight years since I graduated, since I finished that chapter in my life.

The career I choose, journalism, has been the perfect fit for me. I’ve worked with some great editors over the years, some of which have taught me a ton about my profession.

It’s exciting to think where my career can still take me.

That chapter, although was a rollercoaster more times than not, was an experience that helped me grow as a person and as a writer. I am beyond grateful that my mom was always a phone call away. Even with more than 2,200 miles separating us, I honestly could not have done it without her amazing support. She was definitely my rock during school and after when the true job searching began.

As those thoughts consumed me, we achieved our longest distance to-date. We ran 4.03 miles with an average speed of 4.5 mph and a maximum speed of 9.2 mph.

WOW.

WOW.

My legs carried me to a new personal best.

I used to think two miles was a great achievement.

Now I’m shooting for 4.5 miles . . . .

We passed our starting point, continued past our typical stopping point at the foot of a bridge and kept going. We kept going until the path curved on the Greenbelt and we slowed our pace to a walk.

This was Lucy’s opportunity to explore. She’s becoming a little more adventurous, making her way closer and closer to the water. I of course took advantage and took some photographs.

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As soon as we finished our run and I saw our distance, I instantly became excited about the next time we make it to the Greenbelt. It’s true, whatever you put your mind to you can achieve.

 

 

12.09!!

20140920_102518 I am happy to report that Lucy and I finished the week off with 12.09 miles, surpassing our last record of a total of 10.1 miles for a week.

We ran five days this week:

Sunday for 2.22 miles with an average speed of 4.0 mph

Monday for 2.30 miles with an average speed of 3.1 mph

Thursday for 2.14 miles with an average speed of 3.6 mph

Friday for 2.54 miles with an average speed of 3.2 mph

Saturday (today) for 2.89 miles with an average speed of 3.6 mph

I’m not quite sure what happened to us on Thursday, especially after taking two days off in a row, but that was our shortest distance of the week.

I love keeping record of what we accomplished. It gives me an idea of our progress.

Yesterday and today we ran a new route and it seems to be helping our distance. Maybe we were getting tired of the same scenery. Maybe we just need a path less traveled. When we head in the other direction there seems to be a ton of dogs, some of which shouldn’t be out on the path at all if you ask me. Yesterday and today we only ran past three dogs.

20140920_102628Today we ran further, quite a bit further, than yesterday. Every time I looked down Lucy was focused ahead, so we kept going until she slowed way down. Unfortunately when we hit this stretch of the path, it opens up quite a bit with no coverage from the trees. So, I listened to Lucy and we took a short break on a bench where we spotted beautiful flowers.

I’m excited to see what we will accomplish next week with our running distance.

I will sign off for now with a few of my favorite pictures from our cool down walk, which ended with us stopping so Lucy could watch the ducks playing in the water.

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