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First Long REAL Run of the Season – Geek Turned Athlete

First Long REAL Run of the Season

This Sunday, I went on my first long run of the season where I wasn’t walking the pups the whole time. My goal was to stay below 10 min/miles combined with the massive hills where I live. I also have to tell you that before Sunday, I hadn’t looked at the pace on my Garmin in quite a while. Usually, I forget it at home along with my ipod but the pups usually keeps me busy. The pups got left at home for this run, and he was not happy.


I was really excited to be running outside without cleats, without worrying about falling on some ice, without coming home with soaking wet shoes because of the slush. It was a warm 45 degrees. This is warm compared to our teen highs lately! It felt so good. I even wore crop pants! This was my first run in months outside where the sidewalks were clear!



The run, however, did not start off very well. Every step I took seemed to hurt a little. My muscles were tired from my new training plan that I started 2 weeks ago. I’m just a tad out of shape since last season putting it lightly. My goal was to zig zag down the streets in my neighborhood. It is uphill going south and going east. I guess it was a hill workout too. ย Then, I hit the park.

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I just couldn’t get comfortable. My shoulders were up to my ears and my gait seemed really off (more than usual). The hills killed me. I could taste metal in my mouth. That was two miles in. This was going to be a long run. My breathing was labored and I was sure that I sounded freight train trying to get up the hills. I started to freak out a little because when I looked at my garmin, my average pace was a 9:45. WTF?!!! Why am I hurting this bad when I ran a 7:58 min/mile for 10K after a 24 mile bike ride in a triathlon last season?

I’m sure that all those cookies, pies, etc. that you ate during the holidays are not doing you any good right now. haha (Yes, I laugh at myself)


Those cookies were worth it! But now, I was paying for them. My legs felt like bricks. ย My back hurt. Oh goodness, we are only 4 miles in?

Relax. Just focus on The Now. Did you think this was going to be easy? Getting back into racing shape?

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I felt my breathing calm down. My legs started increasing their turnover speed. I only wanted to focus on getting through this run and the beauty that surrounded me. I got lost in the music. My pace for the last two miles averaged a 9:15 min/mile, and they flew by.


I guess my legs are just a little rusty from keeping a good pace from last season. It will take a while for them to get back to where they used to be. But, I wasn’t as far behind as I thought that I was. ย ๐Ÿ˜‰



I guess I just have to be patient with myself especially for the next couple of months. I don’t regret taking it easy the past few months. My mind needed it. And so did my body. But it is time to get to work!!


Kai is excited for the better weather and longer training too. We still have a lot of leash training to work on if he is going to come along on all my runs…


How was your weekend? Any good training? Do you ever get yourself so worked up for a workout that you actually do worse? If I can relax my upper body during my runs and cycling, I do a lot better!

P.S. How do you like the new header? I spent all Friday and Saturday working on it! This was the old one:


The new one is up on the site already so you can compare. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And the new blog design? Savvy Blog Services has done a fabulous job so far. We still have some tweaking to do this week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy MLK Day!!

{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Sana January 17, 2011, 3:55 pm

    I am LOVING LOVING the new blog! You and Juile did an amazinggg job!

  • Erica January 17, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Hooray for clear sidewalks and warmer weather!! Sometimes getting back into the running groove is tough! I’m sure you’ll be back to your old self and pace super soon. Weekend was good. I think the new header looks AWESOME! Very professional.

    Thank you for the congrats :)

  • Anne P January 17, 2011, 4:03 pm

    I love the new header! :)

  • Jim January 17, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Love the new header too. Your doooogy looks happy!

    • Nicole January 17, 2011, 4:44 pm

      He is spoiled rotten!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sarah for Real January 17, 2011, 4:45 pm

    I love the new header! The photos are much better and I love the black and white!

    ps Kai is ginormous! He’s growing like a weed! I think you’re going to end up with a horse instead of a dog ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Nicole January 17, 2011, 7:22 pm

      Tell me about it! He eats soooo much!!

  • Linda January 17, 2011, 4:47 pm

    The new header is a big improvement!

  • Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes January 17, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Really like the new look!

    I’ve been remembering each and every holiday treat every moment of my runs :)

    • Nicole January 17, 2011, 7:24 pm

      haha. I swear, the slowness and heavy breathing is a reminder!

  • Lyn January 17, 2011, 5:06 pm

    I like the new header design, but the title is hard to find. The color doesn’t allow for it to pop.

    • Nicole January 17, 2011, 6:08 pm

      It was a lot worse when I first started designing it. I wanted the colors to match what I had on the blog layout. It probably could be better, but I couldn’t figure out a way to keep the colors and do that yet.

  • lindsay January 17, 2011, 5:32 pm

    its such a mental battle, isn’t it? Way to break through that. Now it will be easier, well kinda. haha.
    Love the new header.

  • Lisa January 17, 2011, 6:02 pm

    I love the new header!! It looks very classy.

  • Abby January 17, 2011, 6:15 pm

    Ugh. I hate runs like that. They usually happen to me on my shorter runs, though, thank goodness!

    LOVE the header!

  • Toronto Girl West January 17, 2011, 7:04 pm

    Don’t worry – I’m sure you’ll have your running legs back before you know it! :)

    As far as the header – it’s pretty baller!!!!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales January 17, 2011, 7:29 pm

    Hey! I’m new to the blogging world and just found your site– it’s so pretty i LOVE it!! Great job to you and Savvy Julie :)

    • Nicole January 17, 2011, 8:20 pm

      Welcome!!! Thanks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Shannon January 17, 2011, 7:53 pm

    LOVE the new header :) and sounds like a great day to get back out for a run!

  • Zoรซ January 17, 2011, 10:55 pm

    Even though it sounded like you had a tough run, you still put in the miles…AND got some gorgeous pictures! Kai puppy is too adorable. I want one!

  • Amy January 18, 2011, 3:24 am

    Hello! Not to be a nag and you probably already know this, but make sure Kai doesn’t run any distance with you until he’s 12-18 months old. They need to be fully grown so he doesn’t develop joint problems. Have fun training!

    • Nicole January 18, 2011, 9:10 am

      That is actually what I thought when my vet told me to not run with him. Until, I went back for another shot appointment and told him that I wasn’t running with him. I would insist on walking when my puppy wanted to run so badly. My vet said, “NO! That is not what I meant. He can run with you, but it has to be up to him how long to run. Dogs want to please, so make sure he is deciding when to walk and when to run. It is fine to run with him.” Words from the vet.

      So, he runs/walks with me from anywhere from 2-4 miles a day in the morning and sometimes another 1-2 miles in the evenings. He has so much energy it is a little crazy. If we don’t walk/run him, he starts chewing on everything in the house and digging up the backyard. In fact, he is still digging holes in the backyard with all that exercise. When I tweet about this, some peeps tweet back and say he isn’t getting enough exercise. Trust me, he is! haha This is also in addition to training and playing during the day. Weims are high energy super needy dogs.

      Most times, he will come with me during the first part of my runs, then I drop him off and finish my runs. This is proving to be bad for my training since I have been including it in my mileage despite the walk breaks and stopping the sniff everything. Trust me, he is fine. Thanks for your concern though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant January 18, 2011, 6:24 am

    Love the new header image – that pic of you swimming is out of this world – you look like a PRO!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun January 18, 2011, 6:26 am

    Cant wait to see all the changes! So far looks great. :)

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans January 18, 2011, 8:19 am

    I sometimes find that while mentally I am gung-ho for a run my body doesn’t always get the message. Either way you got out there and you did it and it will only get easier from here. (By the way your pace for that run is only 15 sec more than my goal pace for my spring race so you totally rock in my eyes either way!)

  • Heather January 18, 2011, 9:09 am

    The new header is beautiful – great job!
    And doesn’t it suck starting over again after a brief break? I swear getting back into it can be the worst (but also the most rewarding!). You’ll get there!

  • Melie January 18, 2011, 11:47 am

    The new banner looks beautiful! Well, 9:15 pace for a first run, does not sound too bad to me. It’s still faster than my trained one! :-) It needs some time, but you are going to be back in your regular physical condition soon!

  • Holly January 18, 2011, 1:22 pm

    the new header looks awesome! one thing: the purple blends in a bit to the black and white, which makes it a bit hard to read. other than that, LOVE it!!!!

  • Kelly January 18, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I really like your new header and I’m super impressed by people who run in snowy conditions. There’s barely any snow/ice left on our sidewalks and it still freaks me out a little.

    Btw – I just gave you a blogger award on my last post. :)

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence January 19, 2011, 4:49 pm

    i love the new header! it flows much better.


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