Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Endorphin Glow

An older picture from the end of a half marathon earlier this year.  But a good one that reflects the joyful endorphin glow that comes from running long, pushing myself more, and being uninjured.  

The Endorphin Glow is officially ON again.  It's like I've returned to myself after being just a little "off" for the past few weeks.  Since my July 4th marathon, I've taken time off and pretty much kept my running to easy running and low mileage with just a few faster workouts gradually put into the mix recently.  My 5k on Sunday was my first green light to bring racing back into the picture and start training a bit harder.  Lucky for me, I have a smart coach in my life that has taught me the importance of rest, recovery even when I THINK that I don't need it, and being patient.  Thanks to him (and me for listening), I'm feeling stronger than I've felt in a long time and I'm excited to get back into some harder training.

Today's workout was the first workout that I've been really excited about since before the marathon.  I've enjoyed my down time.  I've loved the past few weeks of not having much of an agenda other than to run easy and enjoy my summer.  The last month has involved lots of fun...seeing friends, traveling, staying up late, enjoying good beer and wine, date nights, pool time...just like I like my summers. And I've enjoyed the added curves to my body that comes with lower calorie burning...not much but just enough that I notice and actually LOVE the tiny bit of extra padding. Yes, it has been fun and I've been enjoying the present moments without getting antsy for the "What's NEXT?!".   But when I saw that I had a good solid workout on the agenda today, I almost couldn't sleep because I was so excited to get up and get it done!  It is such a good feeling to have new goals and to WANT to train hard.  Such key ingredients to achieving goals:  Desire and Motivation.

Today's workout:
30 min 7 min pace
2 miles easy
30 min 7 min pace

Bummer for me that I had to do this workout on the treadmill but I'm not complaining.  At least I have a  treadmill.  And it faces out to the culdesac where the kids can play and I can still yell   talk to them.  I only had to be interrupted (briefly) a few times to break up a fight, plug a bloody nose, pull the tent out of the sprinkler and fasten a helmet.  Overall, it was a success.

Oh, and I'd consider it a benefit to training that I'm able to shout at/manage my kids verbally while running faster...this has to be good for something right?

Did I nail it?  Pretty darn close.   I actually nailed it more than if I would have done it exactly as written because I didn't let pride get in the way of Listening to my body.  For the faster parts, I kept my speed right around 8.7 (6:59 pace) and 8.6 (7:04 pace) while playing with the elevation a bit to see what felt best for my leg.   I felt a slight pull in my right hammy at the start (don't think I warmed up enough) and then it went away until the second set of 30 min.  I ended up pulling back a bit after 18-19 min into the second 30 minutes and just finishing it off with an 8-8:34 pace until 10 miles.  I still ended up with a 10 mile run in 7:36 avg that has resulted in a happy...

                                 Amanda Endorphin Glow...

....that makes me feel like my fullest self again.  Not that I was far away from that...I've just been a few notches away.

So thankful for endorphins!  There is nothing quite like them.  This bigger than lately endorphin dose just reminds me (not that I need reminded) just what a gift running is for my life.  I just feel BETTER.  My head is clearer, I'm more patient with my kids, inspiration flows more fully, I can FOCUS on things....I'm just a better me.

Thank you endorphins,

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  1. yay for good runs! It's amazing how they can change your perspective on running.

  2. Good for you!! Great job. Love to see you upbeat. Yes, those endorphins are pretty crazy powerful! Take care of that hammy:)

  3. Nothing like the glow of RUNNING FAST to get everything right in the world!

    How funny that your TM faces the culdesac so that your kids can play- Brilliant. :)

    And yes- WHAT a gift of a coach you have. Very special person indeed.

  4. I wonder if a break or recovery week is what I need. I'm feeling exhausted, emotional, and, like you said, just off. Today was really the first day, this afternoon anyway, that I felt focused and motivated. But I ran 3 miles this morning in the dark on the track. I could so benefit from having a coach! Dale keeps telling me to rest, but my mind says, if I'm not putting in the hard work how do I get better. I don't put many miles in as it is. I'd say only around 10 a week when others are putting in so much more. Anyway, I want to feel that high again and get back to myself too.

  5. It's so interesting that this rest was so restorative for you Amanda! A good coach knows us better than we know ourselves sometimes - listen and you will do well. Amazing paces Amanda - I love how you're so blisteringly fast! And you can "manage" the children as well at that pace!

  6. I am so happy for you Amanda!!! Keep it up- you are amazing and I need to live vicariously through you right now. :-)

  7. Bare minerals has nothing on endorphins.

  8. You are the master multi-tasker. Running 7 min mile pace for an
    hour while breaking up fights, doing a little nursing and accident prevention takes a fair degree of skill.

  9. Great run plus all the other activities, well done! Nothing can beat that awesome feeling post run. I'm addicted and happy to be.

  10. What a great feeling that must be, to be in such a *good* place, running-wise. So happy for you!
    That workout sounds simple (not a lot of components) but just challenging enough. And, yes, the multi-tasking where you have to do mom stuff *while* running fast? Adds a whole new level to your training...;)

  11. Wow, good job!!!