Getting Back to Basics, Walking & Running

It’s been approximately six days, since I  walked across the stage as I heard my name being called followed by a Magna Cum Laude, which means my GPA is thebomb.com. I can’t begin to explain how amazing of a feeling that is! All the long nights of studying and writing papers has finally paid off. I only have my internship left in the summer, and one media class where I’m preparing news videos on my own, creating my own stories and my own news packages, which is what I ‘ll be doing for a living; and I must say, I can’t wait to get started. After the summer, my bachelor’s will be fully completed and I will have my official Bachelor of Science degree in Converged Communications. To say that I am absolutely proud of myself is an understatement, I have kicked butt!

Is that enough self boasting? I think so. But in case it wasn’t… I’m pretty awesome.

“I’m cheesing, I know.”

Now to get a couple of these monkeys off my back, and take notice of the giant elephant in the room… I haven’t run in about a week and a half. I know, I know, running for me is probably going to suck, for a while.  That’s why I’m starting with baby steps. I’ll start by getting on the treadmill, or running outside, for a few minutes and then walking. I’ll increase my running time every week, until I get to the point where I’m running again! It sucks. And I’m sad to say this, but I’m a little upset at the fact that I wasn’t able to organize my time so that I could fit in working out (the way I wanted to) in my schedule.

But that’s okay. I’m dusting the shirt off of my shoulders and I’m getting back on that horse. (Weird expression, possibly not the right one.) I’m motivated and I’m excited to go hard at the gym and have fun while doing it!

Pointers for people who are just getting back into their regular fitness routine:

  • DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP: It’s been awhile, let your body get use to the new routine. Don’t jeopardize your health because you’re not where you use (or want) to be.

    Photo Credit: Tumblr @Super Fit

    Photo Credit: Tumblr @Super Fit

  • BABY STEPS/ BIG STEPS: Ease into it, and then once you have your groove back — go hard!
  • MOTIVATE YOURSELF: Do whatever you have to do. Follow people on Instagram, Read motivational blogs. Place a picture in your room of what you’re striving to achieve, and do what you need to do!

 

I am a natural runner at heart, and it may or may not take me long to get back to running my long distances; but it’s not because I’m a “natural runner,” it’s because I’m going to work my butt off. No lie. True story. It may take me some baby steps, or I might just easily be able to start running, but I tell you what… I will not quit.

Just like I worked hard to be able to walk across that stage, proudly as an honor student (oh yeah, your girl is smart) I will work hard to get my fitness up to par.

Just cause you look skinny, don’t mean you fit, and I need to be fit!

Photo Credit: Arizona Foot Hills Magazine

Photo Credit: Arizona Foot Hills Magazine

-Alba

Advertisements

Gate River Run- My first 15K

To be honest I was 100% completely not ready for this 15K race. The Gate River Run is the largest 15K in the nation and I had signed up the week before without any training and without even running since November 2013 when I ran my 1st 10k, which I didn’t prepare for much also. Why do I get myself in these situations? Because I get over ambitious! I love the thought of running in a race and being some hardcore fitness guru (which I’m most definitely not), crossing the finish line, and awarded that hard earned medal in the end. It all sounds great until you realized that you haven’t trained, haven’t run in months, and are still recovering from a crazy bachelorette cruise get away and returning home to birthday extravaganzas. The race was on March 15th and there I was signing up for The Gate River Run on March 12th only because I told my friends who were also participating that I would. I immediately began buying gallon jugs of water to start hydrating because I was afraid after all the partying I had endured that past couple of weeks, I figured that hydration was most definitely needed. On the day of the race I was nervous yet excited. I rode downtown with my friends Julia and Sarah and had already been in contact with Alba so we planned on meeting up at Wave 2. As we were waiting for the race to begin I started to think about who was I really there for? Was it really for my friends that I told I wouldn’t bail on? No, I was there for me. I knew that I was able to complete this race, I knew that I have surprised myself before when I had entered my 1st race which was a 10K and ran it straight in 1:07. I could do it! Before I knew it we were off! I suddenly felt really comfortable and decided earlier in the race that I was going to stay at my pace and do my best to keep up with my group just in case if they were a little ahead of me. After the 6th mile I felt so excited because that meant I was close to passing the 10K mark which was the farthest and longest I have ever ran and I was still trucking along so I gave myself a little pat on the back. My group stayed together the whole time, I don’t think I could have done this race without them. Whenever one of us started slowing down, we all synced our paces and whenever someone picked up the pace we pushed harder. By the 7th mile I started feeling as though I had reached my limit but with the awesome crowd that we had along the way I kept going. The crowd was great, they just made you feel so special and kept reminding you with signs to keep going. The signs that personally made me continue running was the ones that said, “don’t stop the camera is watching!” I automatically was like I don’t want to be “that person” walking! I am proud to say I ran about 7 ½ miles straight before I started power walking the climb towards the bridge. The Hart Bridge aka the Green Monster. That bridge was a killer but as soon as we made it past the hump and started descending, we all booked it knowing that it was all almost over! Our goal was to make it under 2hours and we proudly crossed that finish line at 1:57. Moral of my story is, remember to hydrate after you get back from vacation and to never underestimate yourself.

Happy running peeps!

Xoxo Jaz

Image

Image

Gate River Run… I Ran, I Conquered and Then I Needed Water

Jasmine (Right) and I prior to the start of the Gate River Run race.

Jasmine (Right) and I prior to the start of the Gate River Run race.

Saturday March 15, 2014 at around 8:30am I ran the 15k Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Fl and it went great — especially for not training for the run, at all. If you read my last post, you know that my friend and fellow blogger Jasmine convinced me to do it, and that day that she urged me to sign up I went out and ran 9 miles just to make sure I could run the race.  The feelings that you get prior to a race are quite particular, indeed. You’re nervous, excited, sometimes a little bit antsy and sometimes you have to poop! Whatever your feeling at the time, normally, all goes away once you cross that huge start line (that also indicates your timing chip to start). I felt such a rush, just like last year. As soon as the crowd started moving, I nearly left the group of girls I met up with and got into my running zone. It was absolutely amazing.  As I ran I focused on the music coming through my headphones and baby that “***Flawless” by Beyoncé had me pumped! No one could tell me anything, I felt like I was running as fast as Sonya Richards Ross, although she’s a sprinter and I was only running a 9 – 10 minute pace, but that’s besides the point!

As the race continued, I began to think about the Green Monster; the huge bridge that marks the end of the race.

Running up the "Green Monster"

Running up the “Green Monster”

 After crossing over the bridge, one normally feels kind of like a superhero, kind of like the guy that was dressed as Venom, the dark and bad version of Spiderman. I’m sure he really wanted to be Spiderman, but Venom looks just a little cooler.
The Black Spiderman aka "Venom"

The Black Spiderman aka “Venom”

As the race continued, I had too many things running through my mind (you get it?). I started thinking about water. Did I hydrate enough? My thighs. Why are my muscles aching? I need a massage. My pre-running rituals. Should I have ran those 6 miles on Wednesday? Which I probably shouldn’t have because I never run long distances the week of the run. It’s just one of my normal pre-race rituals. Still, At the end of the day, I conquered that Green Monster! Once I ran across the finish line, the only thing that sounded good was water, and a bath.  I felt so accomplished and proud and the fact that I was able to complete the run for a third year in a row is just bananas! My time was a bit slower than last years. Last year I ran it in 1hr and 32 min, while this year I ran it in 1hr 47min; but I’m not mad at all. The fact that I went out there, ran with a bunch of energized people, without having trained one bit, makes up for the time I accumulated. Besides, I already know what I’m capable of, so for that I pat myself on the back.

I will say this, I never thought a run could whoop my butt so bad and feel good at the same time! Look at how I exhausted I look.
Me, after the run. #tootired #exhausted #cansomeonegetmeanotherbottleofwaterplease

Me, after the run. #tootired #exhausted #cansomeonegetmeanotherbottleofwaterplease

To top it off, I couldn’t properly stretch because I was so tired and I needed carbs! At the end of the day, I ran those 9.3 miles like a BOSS and conquered that long bridge, to say I’m super proud is an UNDERSTATEMENT. 😉
-Alba

Because Running Automatically Makes You a Rockstar

Yesterday, I ran 9.15 miles. Why? Because the Gate River Run, in Jacksonville, Fl, a 15k (the largest 15k in America) is this Saturday and my friend, and fellow blogger Jasmine, who is also running in it, convinced me I should do it.

I wasn’t planning on running it this year because I haven’t been training. Let me set my current life situation:

I’m in the middle of moving this week, school has been completely hectic and I haven’t managed to find the time to really fit in my long runs like I’ve been doing for the past two years. So, I’ve managed to fit little workouts here and there, but not any endurance workouts which are a major staple in my training regime for long distance runs.

I figured this year, I wouldn’t be able to successfully complete the run. However, I spoke to Jasmine and she encouraged me to do it. She told me not to be so hard on myself and to go out there and enjoy it. Naturally, I am a competitive person and I like to challenge myself to new heights. I knew that if I did the run this year I wouldn’t beat my time from last year because I haven’t been training. Consequently, I didn’t feel like it would even be worth it. I felt like, “why should I even try?”  After getting off the phone with Jasmine, and going over her words of encouragement (especially after she told me she still planned on running even though she too had been busy and hadn’t trained) I wondered, what if, I could still run it? What if I could still run that 15k (9.3 miles) without stopping? I don’t have to be fast, but I could run a nice easy pace. I’d be fulfilling my new year’s resolution of completing it this year, surprising myself and I’d be pretty freaking awesome.

Me, after my run. I felt so good and, even better, accomplished.

So, I did it. I put my hair up. I put my running gear on. I stretched. I put my headphones in my ears, turned the music onto iTunes Radio Top Dance station and I ran the streets of Jacksonville, literally. It was amazing. I was waving at other runners, had a smile on my face and all I could think was; “If I complete this 9 mile run, even though I haven’t ran 9 miles in 4-5 months and I haven’t trained nor ran 6 miles in the last couple of months, I’m totally signing up for the race and I’m totally boasting about.” It’s one of the thoughts that fueled my run, and I knew that I would be too awesome after that. Actually, going out there and running automatically made me awesome. Fact.

Running, and exercising in general, releases good vibes, and I’m just absolutely elated that I know I can complete the race. As for my time, it wasn’t the best but I expected that and I’m not ashamed nor embarrassed at all. I’m still awesome! I ran a slow and steady pace. A solid 11 minutes per mile (I’m normally between 9 and 10) AND I didn’t stop. Can I get what what?

Me, after my run. I felt so good and even better, accomplished.

I feel like for not running that kind of distance in a while that makes me a rockstar, and you can best believe I had my bud light afterwards, even though I pretty much laid out on my apartment floor once I arrived home. My legs were extremely sore. Unfortunately, the pain that I avoided during mile 5 and 6, when my legs were screaming “You crazy lady! You haven’t ran this far in months! What are you doing!!!,” resurfaced. But that was a good pain, and a good burning of the legs.

Running can be so exhilarating at times, I take that back, all the time, and I’m glad that I listened to my friend and went out there to run last night. I was motivated and I found the courage to face my fear of not being able to complete a run because of my lack of training. It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. Cheesy, but absolutely true. It’s also amazing what you can push your body to do, and where your legs and feet can take you. I’d never thought that my lower half of my body would take me on trails and paths, I’ve never seen before — but they can and the do.

This Saturday, I am so ready for the Gate River Run. I can’t wait to see all the rockstars out there getting it, running and just having a great time. I plan on not stopping, having fun, running with friends and drinking beer afterwards. I can’t wait.

-Alba