Boathouse Race

After two months of contemplation, I decided to participate in a race. I looked online for short runs in the area, and I found the Boathouse run; it was a 5k run. I thought this could be a good start for me this year because I did not join any official race in almost a year. The 5k Boathouse race was on March 2nd, and the expected temperature was around 37 F on that date; for me it was chilly.

There was a big soccer game on that date, but it started one hour before the race time. I drove early to the race site and took my laptop with me. I used my phone hotspot to listen to the soccer game. The good thing was that I could watch the first half of soccer before the race would start. I arrived at the site and parked, while I kept watching the game, which ended 15 minutes before the run. I got out of the car and headed toward the table to pick up my bib and the race shirt. I got back to my car to pin the bib and started warming up right away.

I got to the start line and listed to the organizers to learn more about the rules; the race was a fundraising event for our homeless veterans. I appreciate anything toward our homeless populations.

The organizer whistled and the race started, and so did I. I had a good start and I was in the top 10, but I felt some heaviness in my chest and started coughing; I remembered that I had to use my inhaler when I exercise in the cold weather, but that did not stop me. Although my speed slowed down gradually, I kept running. The ground was muddy and small spots of swamps were along the path. I did not care and I jumped into these spots trying to test my newly purchased shoes.

Toward the end of the race, I pushed hard and increased my speed to pass one of the competitors and I succeeded. After the race, I had some water and a half piece of banana for recovery. I stayed waiting for the results and I came in first in my age group. I got a medal which was my first one this year. Yay!

New Year 2019

Another yet came to an end, and another one has just begun. My fitness journey was not as exciting as my personal life in 2018, but 2018 was a great year for me overall.

You can tell that I did not run a lot since my last post about “You VS the Year 2018” because I ran only 56 kilometers in 45 days, and this put in the top %18 of that annual challenge. Honestly, these numbers do not reflect who I am; I am competitive by nature.

The “You VS the Year 2019” is on, and I joined it yesterday. I started my new year by a short run of almost four miles. It helped me to burn some of the calories from the holidays and switch my mood from neutral to positive.

My goals for 2019 are more short runs. I am thinking of one short run per month, and one or two long runs, half or full-marathon. A new run tracking device may be nice to have for this year, but I have not decided yet. There are so many options out there, and I need to do some research.

Whatever your new year’s resolutions, I hope 2019 brings you fitness and speed!

Thanksgiving Run

Yesterday was a good day for me because I got the opportunity to burn some of the calories from the Thanksgiving holiday. My Thanksgiving holiday was merely about shopping, cooking, and eating some tasty foods, which I was fortunate for, although I had a long list to be thankful for. The reality hit me the day after Thanksgiving which pushed me to do something more healthful; I decided to go out for a run. I knew it was going to be a cold day, so I looked through the window to explore the parking lot, and I realize that it was raining heavily. I also noticed that non of the living objects were out, so I immediately made my mind to go for a run. If you knew me, you would tell that I would do things that not many people do, such as running when it is insanely cold. I put on my running gear: long-sleeve shirt, shorts, leggings, socks, shoes, running belt, and running jacket. I took my ID, a credit card, and one energy gel in my running belt, in case I would need them for emergencies. Once I left home, I started running with a goal to finish three miles which might not be enough to burn all the calories from Thanksgiving, but it was not too bad at all. Throughout my run, I saw four people on the street: two bikers and two runners. I did not feel cold at the beginning because I was not wet enough from the rain and my body did not lose its heat yet to the environment. Whatever the reason was, I was excited to run in this crazy weather.
With all the excitement I experienced, my legs took me to the end of a path where an international airport was located, and that was my finish line. At the finish line, I kept looking at the planes landing and taking off; something fascinating about these huge “birds.” It could be their size, sound, or the science behind flying. I stopped there for a few minutes and started recording some of the aircraft taking off. In less than a minute, a plane appeared from the fog and made its way up to the sky and disappeared above the clouds.
While I ran back home, I felt heavy not because of the weight I put from Thanksgiving but because I was soaked in water. This ran was my longest run in a while and hope to run further soon.

Annual Challenge

Under Armour has an annual challenge called “You VS the Year 2018”, which I have been participating in this competition for three years now. In 2016, I have only documented 45 runs, totaling 308 kilometers; with these stats, I was ranked in the top 28% of the participants. I liked the idea of being challenged throughout the year, so I decided to join the “You VS the Year 2017.” I was determined that I would better my numbers by diversifying my runs between road and trail, increasing distance, and improving speed. I was a ”little” crazy about my run last year.

At the end of the previous year, I recorded 95 workouts with a total distance of 902.4, and I came in the top 11% of the participants; that was two times more workouts and three times more mileage than 2016. I was even bragging about that to the people I knew.

Although this year is almost over, I feel that my numbers are not as good as I wanted them to be. Up to date, I ran 73 times with an accumulative distance of 533 kilometers, and I’m in the top 19%. Most of this year runs are of short distance for recovery purposes. Because of these short runs, I am not adding enough kilometers to hit the ultimate goal of this competition, which is 1018 kilometers.

I still have 45 days left of 2018; I will run more often with a goal of adding more kilometers to each run.

I am sure I will not be able to hit the goal of this challenge this year, but any additional workout will definitely boost my health.

I will keep you updated on how this challenge will end at the end of 2018!

P.S. for me, it is kind of weird to use kilometers instead of miles.

Shorter Days and Longer Nights!

Last night, the daylight saving ended, which means we get “shorter days” and “longer nights”. It took me a while to understand when we set the clock either backward or forward; it was easier than I thought.

This season and its time will affect my mood and running. My spirit is weather-sensitive; I feel down when it is dark, and I feel better when it is sunny whether it is winter or summer. Running has been my “mood fixer” during these dark seasons, but my running schedule will be different.

I usually run after work around 6:30 PM when the sun is still out, and I still have time to witness the sunset and capture some pictures to document my runs. Now, I need to change my schedule from after work schedule to early morning plan. It can be cold sometimes, and it may be dark, but morning runs has its advantages; it gives me the energy to go through the day even when I’m overwhelmed at work. I lose my appetite after morning runs, which can be a strategy for some weight loss. Morning run has its feel.

Another Run!

I am trying to get back to running gradually after my injury. Today, it is was chilly and windy; temperature was 59 F. Two hours after having my black bean burger, I have decided to burn some of the calories, so I put on my running gear with a jacket to keep me warm throughout the run; If I found my gloves, I would use them as well. Head out and start running with no warming up; I do not warm-up for short runs. It was refreshing to run in cold weather. No many runners were out there because it was cold. I do not do what other people can do, but I do what many people can not do, such as running when it is cold or rainy. I started my run slowly, and I increased my speed a little bit to avoid any further injury. The first mile was fun because it was slow, the second mile was freezing because I crossed the bridge when I was hit by a a cold breeze, the third mile was easy because it was flat, and the fourth mile was hard because it was uphill. I was excited to finish my short run with no injuries; I also had some cool pictures during my third mile.

Consistency is the key for successful running; speed and distance will come later.