January…is DONE

Wow, where did time go? I guess time pass really fast when you’re having fun (or really busy). On the very last day of January, I looked over the workout spreadsheet that I’ve been keeping. I’m happy to report that I’ve ran 15 out of the 31 days!! And combined with yoga (and a couple other gym sessions), I’ve worked out a total of 22 days in January!! I think that’s the most active month I’ve ever had! Anyways, I’m really excited to make this change in my life 😀

As I head into February, things are gonna get hectic at work. But hopefully the good habits that I’ve built in January will help me push through the days when it seems easier to not workout (and take the wasy way out). Looking back, I think there are definitely health benefits of working out constantly and being active  — I’ve consumed less caffeine in the past month and I am less sluggish in general. I can hardly remember any days in January where I suffered from the mid-afternoon dip in energy (but this could also be attributed to me getting 8 hours of sleep almost every night…)! My productivity at work has gone up and I’m overall, a happier person!

I’m excited to see what February brings! Oh, and I’m running my first half-marathon of the year is less than a week! Wish me luck!!

 

Where did time go??!

How did I come to the 21st of Jan?? Wow, this year has been going by really fast. Ok, let’s recap a little. Last week was a painful one for me and I mean this literally. So on Monday (I think), I decided to go running in the morning but I didn’t really think about the time and ended up taking a route near the local highschool right before first bell. Needless to say, the traffic was absolutely nuts and while I tried to avoid being hit by cars, I didn’t look at where I was going and tripped very badly on the uneven pavement. It wasn’t pretty since I managed to take the skin off my left knee and allowed my phone to break my fall (ugh). And then I went home for the weekend…suffered from a bad bout of Ethiopian food, dehydration while I was on the Incline (see this explanation), and banged up my OTHER knee (no skin lost though) in the process. So, that definitely wasn’t the best week for me. But here’s what I learned from it:

1. Running without music can also be kind of nice. Since I had smashed my phone, I thought it would be a good idea to go without it for a short while. At one point last week, I took the usual ocean-side trail but sans headphones. I never knew how many sounds of nature I could enjoy! It was amazing to hear the ocean crashing, the call of seagulls, and the rustle of little creatures scurrying through the low vegetation on the bluffs. I might try to run without my phone more often when I’m on this trail. It was actually very relaxing.

2. When you fall, you get up and keep going. Believe it or not, I’ve never fallen while running before. I think the initial shock (and embarrassment) was more acute than the pain on my knee and other parts of me. I can still see the bruise, even a week later, but the swelling has gone down. It was very uncomfortable wearing pants last week though. But despite it all, I realized that I didn’t want to stop running…in fact, it made me want to run more; it made me want to go on my favorite trail and smell the salty sea air.

In other news, I signed up for a half that’s happening in three weeks!! Yeeep!! A friend and I have been talking about running together and we finally made plans! I know it’s kind of crazy and little unexpected (so once again, I’ll most likely be undertrained) but I’ve been working out pretty regularly again since mid-December so I think I could become prepared by the time the race rolls around. We shall see though. I care more about the journey anyways 🙂

Run and Friendships

We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this past weekend. Whenever I think about Dr. King and the inspiration he is to so many, I think about love, the choice of love, patience, and compassion over violence. My husband is once again away from home for work. He’s been very, very busy and stressed out for the past 2 months…and every night, I have to remind him to trust God and everything will turn out OK. So for this long weekend without him, I had planned to spend some time down in Phoenix with friends and run my first half-marathon.

Yup, you read right! I ran my first half this past weekend and it was such a fun, exhilarating, and empowering experience. I will admit that I’m somewhat of a lazy-bum so I am probably slightly undertrained for all my races. I am also the internally competitive type, meaning I usually only care about whether I reached my own goals (and not what others are doing or have done). I wasn’t too sure what to expect for my first half so I set the goal of 1) finishing under 3 hours (OK, like I said, I am not only lazy but also slow) and 2) running all of the 13.1 miles. It turns out I ran the race at 2:42 and I was running/shuffling the whole way! I even pulled out a short sprint at the last 50-100 feet! It was very exciting :D

The best part though, about the whole experience, was running and sharing my weekend with friends. One of the best things about living this Army life is the friends you make along the way. My friend S and I had been talking about doing a race together for a long time. We finally decided to meet up in Phoenix for my first half. We were talking and laughing the whole time during the race and I am so happy that we were able to catch up again. My friend K and her husband (who’s an old friend of my huband’s) were also at the race. I just saw K and Co. in November. It was lovely to hang out together again so soon. You see, these are Army friendships. I live in Colorado, S lives in Texas, and K lives in Arizona, so we usually don’t get to see each other. But this time, we were able to all meet up at one place to catch up and share our lives. More than anything, this is one of the gems that makes this transient-like Army life bearable; this is the stuff that keeps us going.

While the trip was awesome, it was a short one for me. I was home the same day as my run (and I could barely walk to my car because my feet were so sore)! After some TLC the next day (lots of sleep, hot baths/showers, a relaxation massage with a foot scrub), I am almost back to normal. I will probably go on a short run later this week but it’s mostly back to work (aka sitting at my desk), yoga, and walking for now. Nonetheless, I will hold the experiences and the joy I felt this weekend in me for a long time. In a larger sense, this weekend was a reminder that despite all my #firstworldproblems, I am more than blessed. I recognize the beauty that is a life with friends and I cherish it. I thank the universe for all the love.