August 7, 2014

Turning a corner

Leading up to my wedding and following my move to Providence, running took a back seat for a little while. I ran when I could, didn't worry about workouts, and just tried to stay in good enough shape to fit into my wedding dress!
June and July were a far cry from my high mileage, high intensity spring training. So when I arrived in Providence last month, I wasn't in great shape. Runs were a struggle (not to mention workouts!) and 6:00 pace was about as fast as I could go; add in heat, humidity, and hills to make a pretty rough combination. Each day, I procrastinated going running til the last possible hour, getting out the door at dusk and slogging through 8:00 pace in the dark. 
Struggle city post- hot and humid run
But slowly, I found my fitness again, among the hills of Providence's Blackstone Boulevard, during those solo nighttime runs, amid some sobering miles where I cursed myself for ever getting out of shape. Because getting back into shape again straight-up SUCKS! Twice a year, after my bi-annual break from running, I struggle for 2+ weeks to remind my body that going running isn't a punishment, and that it's not the worst thing I've ever asked of it.

Following these breaks, I'm reminded why many people hate running - it's not all that joyful when you're out of shape! I've consistently found that it takes me a solid 2 weeks (or a little longer, if I've taken more time off) to find my fitness and enjoy again.

For you new runners out there struggling to take up running and find the joy in it, you're not alone! Even the pros hate running sometimes! If while training for your first 5k you finding yourself cursing every mile and considering throwing in the towel, hang in there! Give your body at least 2 weeks of consistent training (and by consistent I mean at least 5 days a week) to get into running shape. Even if you're aerobically fit from other exercise (swimming, soccer, etc), it still takes 2 weeks to find your inner runner. After those 2 weeks have passed, reassess. My guess is that with a little regularity to your running, you'll now have a different opinion :)

Enjoying a Providence sunset from the East Bay Bike Path
I know I do, 2 weeks later (ok really 4 after this extended break). I've finally turned the corner in August and workouts are, thankfully, starting to click! With fast ladies to run with and an awesome husband who bikes with me during my long runs, my excitement for fall racing is building!

Next up for me is a hard tempo effort at the Falmouth Road Race as I race my way back into shape. I'm looking forward to what the next few months hold!

July 13, 2014

A new place to run joyfully

I began writing this blog almost 4 years ago (seriously, it's been that long?!) when I moved to San Francisco to pursue a dream of being one of the top distance runners in the US. In a little apartment steps from Golden Gate Park, I re-discovered how to run joyfully, and I ran pretty darn fast in the process.
After 2 years in San Francisco, many PRs, but unfortunately no Olympic Trials, I moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where my then-fiance was in medical school. Running in Cleveland wasn't always joyful, and the winters sure were challenging, but Cleveland is a wonderful place that will forever be near to my heart.
This summer I'm running joyfully in a new city -- Providence, Rhode Island, my new home! Though I haven't gotten to see much of Providence yet -- my excursions have been limited to Ikea, Home Depot, and Costco -- I'm eager to explore all that the city has to offer, for running and in general!
Our new place in Providence is close to Blackstone Boulevard and Brown Stadium, which will be great for training, and I've been lucky to already connect with some PVD runners. I've found an awesome yoga studio nearby, and more importantly an awesome bakery (good thing I'm running a lot to keep my inner fat kid at bay!). So far, so good, Providence!

Here's to many joyful runs in my new home!

June 15, 2014

A more important race to run

When Coach Dena and I originally mapped out my season, we planned to have me running a fast 5k today, hopefully finally breaking 16 and tuning up for a 10k at USA Outdoor Nationals later this month. As it turns out, I'm not in Portland right now, not toeing the line at the Portland Track Festival. Why not? Well, this month I had a more important race to run...
Last Saturday, I laced up my shoes for a very special race - my Wedding Day 5k! Friends, former teammates, family, and my soon-to-be-husband rose early on June 7 for some pre-wedding morning miles. 
Start of the race
We ran quite joyfully through the thin mountain air, donning race bibs plus a veil for me. It wasn't a fast race, I was far from breaking 16, but that didn't matter. It was perfect.
With my groom
Later that day, I donned another veil, and with my best friends by my side, surrounded by my favorite people, in a beautiful place, I said "I do" to the man I've loved for the past 8 years, vowing to run beside him for the rest of our lives.

So the next race I run, I'll be entered as Kaitlin Goodman! 

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like my next race will be the 10k at USA's - my 33:14 season best looks like it's going to come up just short of making the cut :-( But even if my time did get me in, it's probably better for me to be cheering from the stands than on the starting line. After a crazy 6 weeks of wedding planning, a work trip, moving out of a house and buying a new one, I'm flat-out exhausted. As much as I'd hoped to race in Sacramento in front of the hometown crowd, it just wasn't meant to be. I'll be there cheering, though!!

For now, I'm taking some time to relax and refresh before gearing up for some big races in the coming months. Look for Kaitlin Goodman on the roads this summer!