So, that happened #100milemarch

As you can probably tell (spoiler alert) I ran 100 miles in March.

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I want to preface this by acknowledging that so many of you readers run much further than this on a monthly basis, and after hitting triple digits I bow down to you. Because while I somehow, magically, made it to 100 miles in a month without my knees or shins offing themselves (or losing a single toenail!), it was a close call. As I hobbled into bed last night, I marveled at what I have just put my body through – and I marveled even more at what is POSSIBLE.

How did I accomplish this safely?

Like I said, it was a close call. This past week was especially tough and I don’t think I could have done another day. My last run of the month was 7.6 of the longest, hardest miles I’ve ever done. But I do think that I handled this challenge in a safe way. As someone who literally went from 0 to 100, I knew it was a pretty crazy goal. But I have some tips that I think helped keep my knees and shins safe.

  • Take It Slow – Build Up Mileage
    • Week 1 – 15.28 miles
    • Week 2 – 25.46 miles
    • Week 3 – 20.62 miles
    • Week 4 – 38.72 miles
    • When I first started running again, a long run for me was five miles without stopping. So for my first week, I ran five miles, three times. Simple as that. I slowly started adding in longer and longer runs, until my last week when I repeatedly ran anywhere from 7-9.5 miles like it was chump change. But it happened slowly over the course of the month. I knew I wasn’t Superwoman and the last thing I wanted to do was not achieve my goal because I got greedy.
  • YOGA
    • Obvious, maybe, but yoga became my best friend, especially during the last week. I averaged going once per week (apparently I was a slacker during week two because I skipped yoga AND had my smallest number of miles). The last week, when my mileage was higher than it’s ever been, I attended two hour-long classes and even did some of the moves at home. I view yoga as forced stretching (I’m terrible at doing it on my own) and the last week I’m positive that going to two yoga classes on back-to-back days was one of the reasons I was able to finish strong.unnamed (48)
  • FUEL
    • I stopped apologizing to myself about how much I needed to fuel. There were a few days in the middle of the month when I had a lot of guilt for how much I was eating. For the majority of the second half of the month I needed a solid four meals to keep up. And for awhile I wasn’t allowing that to happen, which just ended up with me snacking a lot, taking in more calories than I would have if I had just allowed myself another meal. All my food restriction thoughts came flooding back – “I can have 20 Triscuits, three slices of Swiss cheese and a spoonful of peanut butter because that’s a “snack”, but I can’t have a turkey sandwich, because that’s a “meal”, and I’ve already had my three meals for the day.” Stuff like that. Luckily the last week I pretty much forced myself to snap out of it because I was so hungry. Like, all the time. So I started to eat whenever I was hungry. I didn’t always make the healthiest choices, but letting go of “the rules” really helped me maintain that mileage.unnamed (45)
  • Post-run care
    • Stretching
      • Lots of calf stretches on the stairs
    • Ice
      • Always post-run for at least 10 minutes – frozen veggies still hold my heart!
    • Compression socks
      • I slept most nights wearing mineunnamed (46)
    • Foam Rolling
      • 5 minutes per leg up and down the IT band, plus an additional 5 minutes rolling my quads
    • Tiger Tail
      • Intermittent use on my calves while watching TV

And, the outcome?

I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt more accomplished. The minute I crossed the 100-mile marker I immediately sent mass texts to my parents, my friends, my development leaders at work…I felt like a kid on Christmas morning who just opened the best gift. Except this time I gave the gift to myself. I didn’t depend on anyone else for my happiness. I told myself I was going to do something, and I did it.

In other news, I feel stronger and healthier, as you can imagine. I am always in the best shape when running is a major part of my life, and I can feel my body shifting back into the crazy-athletic physique that it is capable of. The only difference this time around is that I don’t have an obsession with being “thin” via running. I love the monster calves that I get when I run. And, on the side, I’ve continued working on my upper body, so I feel stronger than ever.

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Another thing that sometimes gets brushed past is the positive effect exercise can have on anxiety. Since I started running on a regular basis I have had zero panic attacks. That’s not to say that exercise will be enough forever, but from personal experience it has helped. Lacing up my shoes and pounding the pavement at the end of the day is my happy place. It isn’t silent meditation and introspection, but I get more thinking done running than I do when I try to force it. But it isn’t the “dwelling” kind of thinking. When I’m physically moving, my mind moves forward as well. So even when a worry or anxiety-provoking thought pops into my mind, it is usually gone as quickly as it came, because you keep moving forward – physically, mentally, emotionally.

What did I learn?

I learned about the power of possibility.

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Do you have those voices in your head? The hesitations? The “shoulds” and “should nots”? The limits you set for yourself? Yeah, I have those too. They trap you in your past possibilities. Can you imagine how many doors would open for you if you just eliminated certain words from your vocabulary? Should, try, maybe, I Wish?

No way did I think I’d be able to run 100 miles in one month. For heaven’s sake I ran maybe 30 miles total between the months of December and March. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around the possibility. But instead of dwelling on that, I set a goal and just went for it. I stepped outside of my mind and let my feet do the talking (so to speak). I did it for myself. No one pushed me to do it, no one else held me accountable (although I did have a great support system at work checking in on my progress). It was all for me. And now I can sit here and revel in the idea that those “past possibilities” don’t exist, in any form of my life. In my personal life, in my work life, in my fitness journey. I can do anything I set my mind to. We all can.

It’s time to explore the world of possibility. It’s time to leave the slow zone. Why? Because it’s now, and that’s a perfectly acceptable time to start. In fact, it’s the best time to start. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for all of you.

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Now, for the fun part – how should I reward myself?? The top contenders are as follows (and I’m open to suggestions!):

  • Donuts: one long john and two donuts so it spells out “100”
  • Massage
  • A new Garmin charger (since mine broke….oh…fifteen months ago…and apparently I’m a runner now)
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58 comments

  1. How about an immediate trip to Australia to help me back and I’ll return with you 😉

    Congrats!!! This is so awesome and I’m so glad you’ve stuck it out- I’m slowly learning to embrace running and you may have motivated me to bite the bullet! Although I don’t even want to convert 100 miles to kms…ever.

  2. I would be torn between the massage and garmin charger! I think you should reward yourself with all 3 things:) That is an awesome accomplishment! Exercise can really do wonders for our mental health, especially when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and accomplish something we never thought we could do. Congrats!!

    1. Haha yeah a Garmin charger would be a good commitment – it’s gonna happen sooner or later, but donuts can happen now! 🙂 I’m mad I missed the free donut day yesterday at Glazed and Infused. If you asked for the “Zero calorie donut” you got one free haha what a good April Fool’s Day thing

  3. Girl, I am SO proud of you. Seriously, what an awesome, awesome accomplishment. And this is such a great post! I love how much you learned about yourself on this journey and that you shared it all with us. Way to go, lady!! You are a rockstar 🙂

    1. Thanks Bethany! It really was eye-opening, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I wanted to make sure I touched on all that. Some people just don’t realize how wonderful exercise can be for all parts of your life!

  4. I always go for running gear (or new shoes in general 😉 It’s always better to reward yourself with something that will last…I know three donuts won’t last longer than a few minutes with me haha. Congratulations on completing 100 miles! That’s amazing!

  5. i really love how honest you were about some of the struggles you faced. good work!! now treat yourself to a massage and/or pedicure and/or lulu gear(now that you’re so athletic and all 🙂

  6. Awesome job with your 100 miles! Most of all, I’m glad it was such a good experience for you. You really can do anything you put your mind to 🙂
    As for your celebration reward: the third one (Garmin charger) you obviously need so it doesn’t count (get it anyway!), and of the first two… I can’t decide, do both!

  7. So basically, YOU’RE AWESOME. 100 miles in a month is a great accomplishment! WAY TO GO! And I love how you did yoga too, even though you consider it forced stretching haha I’ve been getting one of my very fit, but pretty inflexible friends to come to yoga with me. I think she’s been enjoying it, even though I look over at her and it looks like she’s in pain and not very happy about it!

  8. I think you should get ALL the rewards for being so awesome! I’ve been focusing on walking more since I am totally not a runner, so I have mad respect for you.

  9. WOW!! So impressive!! Congrats girl!! 🙂 Seriously, this is great! I’m glad that you were able to let go of the food restrictions and listen to your body! Sounds like it was a great month for you! Props my friend!

  10. amazing job, my love! so happy for you. love how accomplished and thrilled this made you feel. running def does that to me, too. you’ve inspired me to try to hit some sort of a “goal” as well — so much fun to push yourself to work toward something and then see it unfold!! so so proud of you.

    1. Thank you!! Goal-crushing is one of the most uplifting feelings I’ve had in awhile. The goal can be big or small — but whatever it is, make it lofty, make it challenging, and stick to it. The end result is wonderful.

  11. Congratulations! Hitting 100 miles in a month is a HUGE accomplishment and you are right to feel like you did something big! Thanks for sharing your tips for how you got there–I’m sure they will help a lot of your readers! I am a huge fan of yoga for runners–not only does it help you stretch, but it also helps strengthen stabilizer muscles which can help you keep from getting injured. So much awesomeness. And you should definitely get a massage, I’m sure your muscles need it! Enjoy your celebration doughnuts!

    1. Thanks! I’m happy to share my journey, which was basically (like I said) 0 to 100 haha. I’m happy you enjoyed it 🙂 Yoga is a definite for me at least once a week. If not for the physically benefits, but the mental ones. It is so good to calm down and be present in that space.

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