Of changing routines & conquering hills

After so much pumpkin yesterday, I was a little pumpkin-ed out this morning.  Instead of the pumpkin oatmeal I had planned on, I decided on hot autumn apple oatmeal (my first oatmeal love).  Just what I needed this morning!  It was delicious and perfect for a cold fall morning!  I also snacked on a FiberOne bar about an hour before running, since I didn’t want to be bit by the hunger bug a mile into my run.

I am a creature of habit.  I don’t mind eating the same thing (I’ve been ordering the same lunch at my favorite spot on-campus for three years at this point).  I never really miss the variety.  Until now.  I’ve been trying to mix up my diet, my exercise, my life.  My thinking is that if I keep myself on my toes, I have less time to sweat the small stuff (Is that more chicken than usual?  Should I cut back on my portion?) and I’m more well-rounded.

Every week, I have the same exercise routine.  I run Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Saturday is my long run, conveniently situated after my day “off” (which is usually yoga).  A long run for me is somewhere in the six to eight mile range at the moment.  During the week, I run some between 3-6 miles, switching the distance up throughout the week.

This week was different.  I’m preparing to run two 5Ks on Saturday (the second one is a play-it-by-ear race).  What the really means for me is that I won’t be able to do my LR on Saturday.  Gasp!  So I decided to move it to today.  I was worried.  My legs weren’t as fresh.  Would I be able to make it through?  I doubted it, but I figured I’d give it a try.

SUCCESS!  I conquered every hill and excelled on every flat stretch!  Despite the less than ideal circumstances!  I felt great!  That said, when I want to shower after, my hands felt like ice cubes and it was extremely painful to find a water temperature that my body wanted and my hands could stand, but welcome to fall!

Hills have been killing me lately.  I’ve found myself giving up despite the fact that I’ve run the same hill without a problem in another run.  So I took to the web to find some tools to help me conquer the hill.  Today, two things really worked for me.

1)  “If you stop, you are stopping because you want to, not because you need to.  You aren’t tired, you’re lazy.”  (Harsh?  Maybe.  True?  Yes)  Hill #1 conquered.

2)  The last stretch of my run is uphill.  When I was a beginner runner last fall, I would always end my runs before this hill so I could walk it.  I did the same thing this year, still scared of that hill.  Until last Saturday, when I decided to go for it.  The hill was not nearly as long/hard/steep as I remember!  That said, I struggled with that uphill today.  I told myself, “20 more mailboxes and you can stop.”  I knew that there were maybe 10 mailboxes until the end of my run, but counting each mailbox gave me something to concentrate on.  It totally worked!  Hill #2 conquered!

Last lesson learned on my run today:  some routines shouldn’t be changed.  No drinking water less than an hour before running.  I had to stop at a McDonald’s to go to the bathroom around mile 2!  Luckily there was one on my way!!



About Katie

I'm a college student who is trying to find her feet in the world of cooking healthy and incorporating food healthfully into my world!
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