Friday, October 31, 2014

Jess Goes Running: Finding Motivation and Getting Organized

Tomorrow is the start of a brand new month--November!  It's already been almost two months since the Chicago Half Marathon and I'm proud to say that within the last week, I've finally started getting back on track with training,  It feels good!  I needed a break more than I thought I did...  I was pretty emotionally and mentally and physically drained after the half, and while it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again, I needed a little bit of time to regroup.

So I am back on track!  I've started going to the gym for some cross training, and I've gone on a few runs.  On Thursday morning, I went on my first run with some of the ladies from the Best Foot Forward running group, out of Oak Park.  I'd had a hard time fitting it into my schedule, but now that I've finally gotten adjusted to not only my new work schedule and routine, as well as having different days off, I can finally make it logistically happen.  Another reason I really wanted to go is because I had a feeling I would get the motivation I've been needing, and it totally worked.

In a way, it's also a comfort zone thing; I have never run with a group before.  I was a little nervous about it and slightly worried I might not be able to keep up.  But I had a fantastic 3 miles with a great running buddy and I didn't even really mind the cold!  I'm definitely going to head out for the run again next Thursday, and hopefully I will be able to make it to the Tuesday run.  it's such a supportive and inspiring group to be apart of, and I can't wait to see how it helps me grow!

I've decided that throughout the winter, I am going to work on improving my 5K time.  I am also going to look for a race or two to participate in before the Chicago Spring Half Marathon (The Hot Chocolate 15K fell through, unfortunately, but there will be other races!)  T. was actually the one who made the suggestion and I thought it was a really good one!  I am still working on setting a goal as far as my time is concerned, but I am looking forward to working on both the quality and speed of my running!  Definitely going to try some outdoor running this winter, but having a challenge will also make treadmill season a little more bearable.

I will also be participating in a mileage challenge for the month of November, wherein I will attempt to run 40 miles over the next 30 days.  I found the challenge on BFF, and I am excited for it as it will provide me with yet another form of motivation to get faster, to get in better shape.

As a means of tracking my progress in these challenges and goals, I have created a few Google Spreadsheets to document my growth.  In the past, I've relied mostly on journal-esque style entries to keep track of how things were going.  I am actually really excited about trying out something new!  Plus, I think it will make it really easy for me to see exactly the progress I'm making.  I'm not sure why it took me so long, but I'm glad I finally figured it out!  I will continue to write about my running adventures here as well; it's nice to have that growth and progress documented in multiple places.

I feel like I had kind of fallen into a bit of a slump, but I'm coming out on the other side and I am more than ready to get back into training.  I am still planning on the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series over this next summer, but if the opportunity presents itself to run a marathon...  well, we'll see what happens!  In any case, I am pumped for the challenge.  Bring it on, November!

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