Huffin’ & Puffin’

As a whole, I think I’ve actually been enjoying “running.” I don’t think I’ll ever be able to not use quotes around that word. Maybe when running a measly 3 miles doesn’t feel so darn long and take fooooooreverrrrrrr.

Anyways, when the stars actually align (read: when I can’t come up with any excuses; I’m a professional procrastinator, you know.) and my feet hit the pavement I really enjoy myself. As long as my trusty iPhone entertains me enough to distract me from the (ugh, this hurts, oh man it’s hot out, ow cramp, ow cramp, neeeeed water now) thoughts that go through my head. The other day I was all ready to head out the door and noticed the battery on my phone was only charged a quarter of the way. Oh no no, that will simply not do. I charged the phone for 45 minutes to make sure it was fully charged then headed out. Can you say, addict?

My last run was a little exploratory. The Seneca Creek Greenway Trail is less than a mile from our house so I decided to explore it. I knew my limit was 3 miles so I made myself turn around after 1.5 miles but the first half flew by. I think I was so distracted by the fact that it was a new trail and I was unsure about the rough terrain.

Frankly, I was trying my hardest not to twist my ankle since those that know me are aware that I’m not exactly the picture of grace and coordination. Additionally, although it was broad daylight, my job makes me painfully aware of the creeps that are out there and I felt like a target with my music blaring, so I turned it down a bit. Luckily, I didn’t see anything during my brief run in the woods; human, animal or otherwise. So peaceful!

My music app of choice is Pandora since I’m too cheap lazy to create my own playlist. Pandora has been around forever and is undoubtedly old news but I never realized there were pre-set workout stations to choose from.

I’m very intrigued by the 80’s Cardio station but I personally like the Pop and Hip Hop station since the tempo is fast and gets me motivated to run faster. Plus, the exposure to what the kids are listening to these days helps me keep my street cred. Like that Pitbull song where he talks about tacos? I dunno, I could be wrong since my spanish is terrible and I was probably thinking about how I wanted a taco at the time.

The other app I’ve grown to love is Map My Run. It logs your distance, pace and route and saves your info for the next time. The app interrupts your music after you’ve run each mile to tell you your pace. I think it even takes hills into consideration because my trail run felt like it was uphill both ways!

Lastly, in the last couple days I’ve become hooked to My Fitness Pal. It’s one of about a million food tracking/calorie counting apps out there but I find it really user friendly. You can enter foods by doing a search or simply scanning the barcode with your phone. It saves your food from previous days so you don’t have to search for the same granola bar or greek yogurt every day. It’s still a pain to enter foods that don’t come with a barcode, like my fruit smoothies I make for lunch. You can also enter any types of exercise you complete and it’ll add calories to your daily allowance.

My goal isn’t to lose weight necessarily (although who wouldn’t want that?) but to learn more about portion control and how many calories are actually in the things I eat. It’s easy to update during the week, but this weekend will be the true test if I can keep it up.

Here’s a question for any runners out there… should I aim to run three miles without stopping (I’m almost there!) or continue adding distance even though I have to break for walks? Or should I try to run the same distance but faster and faster? My only goal thus far has been to run without stopping so I don’t really care that my pace is not fast (like 11 min/mile) and to just feel better about running in general. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

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I'm a working mom of three fantastic boys: Caleb, Wyatt and Parker. My husband, Shane, and I live in the Washington DC suburbs where we enjoy playgrounds, pools and never getting to sleep in. This blog is a journal of our day-to-day lives as well as a chronicle of Caleb's progress after a recent spinal surgery to alleviate the effects of his cerebral palsy.

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4 comments on “Huffin’ & Puffin’
  1. Here’s what I do so running does not become monotonous…mix it up every day. I always go day by day on how I feel. Somedays I run long at a nice easy pace, other days mid distance at a up tempo pace. I joined a running club and in Tuesdays we have track practice. As much as I don’t enjoy it, it’s different from any running workout I do. It’s an intense, but quick…about 30-45 min at the track. Once in a while the track workout is hills. Oddly, I love that one. So…here’s my advice. Vary your running day to day. Somedays do your regular 3 miles and work on speed. Other days work on distance and do more of a walk/jog. Next thing you know you’ll be running 5-6 miles nonstop, no prob. You should do the Cherry Blossom 10 miler next yr. I’m actually thinking about doing it. You’d have plenty of time to train ; )

    • I think I would really benefit from a running club! I’m sure there are tons in this area. It’s hard since I work in shifts and can’t run at a consistent time each week. I would love to do the Cherry Blossom 10-miler! That would be such a scenic run!

  2. Danielle Skordas says:

    I love trail running! It distracts me enough to zone out and not think about everything u just described. Same deal, concentrating on not tripping on an oversize twig or being attacked by Bambi or creeper in the woods, or just being in nature and getting shade helps me out. Except I have limited trails here… Can I come live with you?!! Running buddy?! Need to get back into it more. Wish I could run with you!!!

    • I totally agree about the shade! I was used to running at mid-day when the sun was beating down on me! The shade was a welcome change. Although what I gained in shade I lost in any sort of breeze. It was just stagnant air in the woods but I was running so fast I didn’t even notice… hahah right.

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