For those who follow along with my weekly workouts posts, it will come as no surprise that I’ve been having some hip flexor pain lately. What you may not know is that I had a similar injury two summers ago, in my other hip, and I’ve been thinking about that experience a lot lately as I try to figure out how to rest, recover, prevent further or future damage, and also get back on track with marathon training.
Another month gone and suddenly we’re halfway through 2016. The first six months of this year were a whirlwind of activity, and things are only set to get busier from here on out. You can take a look at January, February, March, April, and May, and then read on for my June monthly recap!
As the temperatures climb and the sun continues to shine, it feels like summer is finally here. It’s felt that way for a few weeks, actually, but there was a moment in May when I doubted it was coming. Now that it has, and I’m at the start of my first summer in a full time job, I’ve been thinking about what it is, other than free time or vacation or a summer internship, that makes the season special. What I realized is that to me, summer is a verb. It’s a state of mind and a way of living, and no matter what I’m doing day to day, I’ll be happy to be summering.
My blog is a wonderful outlet for sharing my running journey and new recipes, but can’t totally reflect my reality. I love running, and I am so excited to be kicking off my five months of training for the New York City Marathon in November. I enjoy creating new allergy free recipes, and only hope that I have time this summer to spend some time experimenting in the kitchen. Yet running and cooking together take only a couple of hours out of my day, and as for the rest of what I’m doing, I’m doing it as Alyssa, not as Renaissance Runner Girl. So where does that leave me and my blog? Right now, it has me thinking about where I personally leave off and the blogger begins, where the two overlap, and what I want the focus of this blog to be.
There are many reasons why I love a Maine vacation. Getting to run along the Atlantic. Goofing off by the Bean Boot. Eating all the delicious food, the burgers and baked goods, special meals out, and ice cream galore. But I think the best part is the feeling of being totally at peace, a feeling I had on our day in Kennebunkport and have had in the past in this place. To me, taking a vacation means truly getting away from everything that weighs you down in daily life, and for some reason, I was able to spend more moments doing just that in Maine than I have been anywhere else.
As I mentioned in my April monthly recap, one of the things I was looking forward to most this May was a trip to Maine. If I’m lucky, you’ll be reading these thoughts on taking a vacation when I’m already en route to my Maine getaway – or maybe even at our destination! I’ve decided that I’m actually going to take a short blogging break while I’m away, because I’d like to use the opportunity to unwind and disconnect not just from work (aka my day job as a lawyer) but also the other “work” that I do in my daily life.
Ever since I finished my 9+1 last November and received my guaranteed entry to the New York City Marathon for this year, I’ve had people asking me how I was going to approach my training. It’s no secret that I’ve never followed a training plan before. I’m not particularly fond of doing things just because someone else is telling me to (“because I said so” is probably my least favorite response to “why”?) and even though I considered trying to stick to something for my first half, when I was able to do it after figuring it out for myself I simply carried on that way. Yet the marathon is different. To successfully cross the finish line I need to get advice from those who have been there before and use a training plan so that I stay on track. I think I’ve now settled on my first marathon training plan, but getting there was definitely a process.
This Sunday, after my runger finally stopped raging and I had not been the nicest person to be around for a few hours in the afternoon, I got to thinking about my relationship to food a year ago, or two or five or ten, as compared to what it currently is. There’s a huge difference between now and then, and I’m grateful for it, but change didn’t happen overnight. It was gradual over time, so that sometimes I’m still surprised when I realize how far I’ve come.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about running and racing for fun. As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, when I first started running, I made a promise to myself that I would not ever let it become just another competitive activity. I took every activity I tried very seriously when I was a kid, and running was going to be something I did just for me, to have fun, get outside in the fresh air, and get away from the craziness of life in law school. And then, about six months after I started running, I entered my first 10K race.
I’ve been thinking about what a PR means to me for the last few days, since I set a personal record for the half marathon at the New York City Half Marathon last Sunday. It isn’t about being faster than other runners. It’s not even about being faster than I’ve been before, as the term suggests. It’s about achieving more than I thought was possible, not just in this race but with running in general, and beginning to believe I really have it in me to run a marathon.