Breathtaking fall afternooon run

Lucy and I have taken way too much time off from running these last few weeks, due to my parents coming into town (we went hiking instead) and Jason and I moving into our new home. Plus, it has been nonstop raining for the last I don’t know how many days making it difficult to go anywhere.

Today is the first day I can look out my office window and see Bays Mountain. I hope the sun stays for a little while!

With the blessing of the blue sky, I laced up my running shoes, hoping the path would not be flooded, and we headed to our favorite place, the Kingsport Greenbelt.

I felt myself calm down as we pulled into the parking lot. The stress of work got the best of me the last couple of days. I could feel myself needing to be outdoors and releasing some of that negative energy. Yes, running + being outdoors is the best therapy.

My sweet little Lucy was beyond excited when we arrived in her favorite parking lot. Of course, I could not get my stuff together fast enough for this little squirt. Eager was definitely an understatment. With all the rain, it’s been very hard getting her outside for any kind of exercise.

Our drive to this area of the Greenbelt is much further than where we used to live, but I love this stretch of the path.

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I will definitely have to do some research and see if there is a closer portion of the Greenbelt to where we live now. But until then, I have no problem making the drive.

20141013_123449Although the path was wet in some areas, it was not flooded at all. Last summer around the 4th of July Jason and I walked the path, which was completely under water in some sections.

As we ran our 2.32 miles, we moved to the music of leaves crunching. Lucy was not a fan of the extra noise, but I loved the crunching, as the wind brushed over our faces keeping us cool.

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We stopped mid-way, so I could give Lucy a little rest. Her pace was slowing tremendously and I didn’t want to over heat her since the temperatures were in the high 70s.

I of course didn’t mind the stop . . . it gave me a chance to take pictures of the scenery I was admiring as we ran the path.

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The current of the water was moving at a steady pace today and much higher than usual.

20141013_125508Last year, I spent this time of the year running on a treadmill at the gym. Wow, never again will I run indoors during the fall. The weather is perfect and the colors that surrounded us played a part with calming me down and encouraging me to enjoy every step we took.

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I think Lucy enjoyed the stop too. Every time the wind picked up, leaves of every shape, size and color started spinning to the ground at different speeds, which kept Lucy’s attention for quite some time.

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I hope the weather will allow us to run for the rest of the week. I know better, running has to be a part of my life. Without it I feel lost, without it, working from home becomes too much. I need that outlet to escape from my office for an hour or so.

Mood changer

Last night was a perfect ending to a frustrating day . . .

The perfect ending was because of this man who has my best interest at heart all the time. It’s truly a beautiful feeling, an overwhelming feeling, to know and feel how much someone cares and loves you.

Every day Jason shows me that he is the right man for me. He’s my present and future, he’s my everything. I look into our future and I see us growing old together in a beautiful life that we create for one another.

Yesterday when Jason got home from work he sensed there was something wrong, which started a conversation that allowed me to let out my frustrations. As the conversation continued I started to feel a little better.

This man is my rock, my sounding board, my clear skies when I see gray, my strength when I struggle with my own . . .  well he’s just the very best part of me.

When he told me to go for a run and let go of those frustrations, it once again showed how well he knows me.

I was determined to change my attitude. So, as I walked into the gym — by this hour it was too hot outside and I didn’t want to overheat both Lucy, my puppy, and I — my determination set in. I got onto the treadmill and turned on Pandora . . . I was ready.

It’s this time, this me time, that I was able to clarify my thoughts and put them back in order once again. I get discouraged when my thoughts get out of whack, when the frustration builds, because it puts me in funk. As I refocused, I started feeling better.

It’s true running is the best therapy for me. There’s something about exercising and pushing myself that lifts my mood and makes the worries go away. The best part about this run yesterday was I beat my run from the day before by 14 seconds. That felt incredible.

It seems when my frustration is at its peak, my performance is as well.

When I left the gym I felt like a new person. I walked through the door with a smile on my face because all my worries were left at the treadmill. This of course put Jason in a good mood because we feed off of each other’s energy. When he knows I’m feeling good, his smile is beautiful.

The laughter and good times filled our house once again and continued throughout the night. Even Lucy joined in on our fun as she played with Jason and went crazy running around the living room.

Our crazy little home is all I need . . . especially with Jason by my side.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is let things go and let them be. I struggle with this from time to time.

It’s truly a blessing that I have the opportunity to work out of my home and make my own hours while contributing my work to numerous newspaper and magazine publications. With that said, it’s a struggle to find the equal balance of time in and out of my office. I often find out that I need a break from writing after I reached my breaking point.

This morning started off a little rough, but with the right attitude . . .

I put on my running gear, ready to take Lucy and I to the Greenbelt for a morning run, but those plans drastically changed. I hope by the end of the day I can go for my run, hopefully that run will be with Lucy.

Back at it again

After taking some more time off, unwanted time at that, I finally decided to join a gym!

I researched some gyms in the area and decided to join Snap Fitness, a place right up the street from where we live in Kingsport. It’s a new gym, only been open for the past few months. It’s affordable, open 24-hours and has some nice features. I walked around and was sold – this will be my destination for the next year.

Tuesday morning was the day, the day I laced up my shoes and drove to the gym. I cannot begin to explain how good it felt to workout in an actual gym again, one with new equipment.

I’ve been using the gyms at the clubhouses in the complex we have lived at for the past year and a half. Why pay for a membership, when I can workout for free? Well yesterday answered my question, gyms have much better equipment and atmosphere.

The feeling too, the feeling of working out with others, even though we are all doing our own thing, only motivates me more during my workout. Everyone seems to always be happy while at a gym, which is kind of what I experienced today.

I left the gym with a huge smile on my face, and a little sore from some of the exercises I did yesterday.

This afternoon after I met all my deadlines I got ready for the gym again. All my frustrations of the day were left on the treadmill after my run, as well as the elliptical after an incredible workout. I felt completely refreshed. Yep, working out is supposed to be a part of my life. 

When I got home and climbed the stairs to take a shower I felt every muscle I worked out, walking back down the stairs was a little more intense … love the feeling of being sore, it means I did something.

I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

Back-to-back success

Positive thoughts were oozing out of me as I walked away from the clubhouse this morning.

I stepped onto that treadmill and was determined yet again. I decided to focus solely on my run, instead of mixing it up with other cardio.

It was another great decision.

I ran 2-miles, my old daily run. The last time I achieved this distance was Nov. 18, 2012. Yes, this was almost a year ago, but I took quite a bit of time off from running, something I wish I didn’t do.

Regardless, another goal was achievement today, another great workout. Since I started working out five days a week again back in August I have been determined. Once I beat my best mile runs continuously I knew it was time …

When I push my body I get results, sometimes results beyond what I hope for.

I know I’m capable of running the distance and I’m glad I toned my workout down, so I could reach that limit again.

So far slowing down my pace has increased my distance and decreased the overall impact on my shins. Towards the end of my run the pain started to return ever so slightly, so I listened to my body and stopped.

I have to admit the simple stretches I did once my cool down portion was completed, was the best part. My legs thanked me.

Hopefully tomorrow I can increase the distance again.

Little steps forward …

A mile and a half more

I’m feeling extra excited today, especially after my cardio workout this morning.

I finally decided to decrease my speed, since I have been beating my time, and increase my distance. This morning was a huge success! I ran a mile and a half, then decided to bike for five miles before running another mile. My usual mile, turned into 2.5 miles, yippy!

I cannot express how excited I was at the end of the workout.

My legs, for the first time in weeks, felt good. I’ve been battling shin splints lately, so I have only been running a mile at a time. Last week I only ran four days, instead of my typical five, which probably helped with my run this morning as well.

It always feels good to do more than what you set out to accomplish, way more than what I hoped for. I’m already setting goals in my head for tomorrow.

When we lived in Fort Myers, I always ran two miles a day. So, I of course, want to finally surpass that distance and put some good miles on these running shoes.

I’m glad I decided to start running all those years ago, although I haven’t been consistent throughout that time, I’m excited to be at it again now. There is just something about lacing up your running shoes, putting on some good music and letting everything else go. It’s almost as if I enter another world, one that is only focused on the now. My thoughts always become clearer while my heart beats a little faster. No matter what I am stressed out about that day, a run always cures those feelings, always pushes them aside and gives me a positive outlook on the situation at hand.

IMG_271809577749490The best part about all this is Jason has offered to run with me. After we move from our apartment next weekend, I won’t have access to the clubhouse’s gym. I’ve researched gyms around the area and am hesitant on joining any of them. Jason always encourages me to go for a run somewhere, which I should, but always find it easier to hit the gym and run on the treadmill. So in an effort to get me outdoors yet again, as well as save some money by not joining a gym, he offered to go running with me. This is huge! Although I always like running by myself, since it gives me that “me” time, I’m having second thoughts. It would just be another way for Jason and I to spend time together. I can only imagine what type of encouragement we would give each other . . . more new achievements would be made.

Today, I can feel it, is going to be another great day. How could it not be after a workout like that one?