Hello!
It’s been a while.

The end of January and first half of February got pretty busy, starting with sending in my applications for grad school, one of which was due on 1 February, but I needed to get it turned in early so the people writing my recommendations would have a chance to get those in.

After that, it was an article on Eliza Potter, a Civil War Nurse that I needed to research & write to turn in to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine by the 1st to go into the next special edition journal on Clara Barton and her associates.

And since then, I’ve just been up to a lot of reading, running, and working.

But anyway, today I’m just going to post about #SundayRunDay:

My half-marathon training plan has Sundays for “long run” days, and so late this morning, I went out to go for a long run. I actually drove out to the neighborhood that I lived in as a kid, because the one I live in right now is pretty much just a half-mile loop and running in a circle for too long gets really boring.

The official instruction in the plan was:
Walk, brisk pace 10 minutes
Run, easy pace 40 minutes
Walk, brisk pace 5 minutes
Run, easy pace 40 minutes
Cool down, brisk walk 5 to 10 minutes
Stretch

And whenever it gives a range for walking time (usually they give 5-10 minutes for the walking intervals), I do the longer one, so I did walk 10, run 40, walk 5, run 40, walk 10. I also really like the symmetry in doing that. And I ran a total of 8.99 miles (I hit the button to confirm the end of my workout right as I realized that I could have kept it going for just a few more seconds to bring it up to 9, but I feel like the 8.99 was more authentic anyway)

Anyway, the total time was an hour and 45 minutes, which sounds really ridiculous, but I guess that’s why the long runs are planned for Sundays, because Sunday is a day that most people have off from work.

I’m slowly approaching the actual distance of a half marathon, which is what I’m training for, too, so that is good; and I’m only 5 weeks into my 16 week training plan.

 

But what I’m really here to talk about is how much I love running.
So, I started running in the summer of 2015, because my roommate and I decided to do one of those mud runs together in October of 2015 (okay, it was a zombie-themed mud run) and when school started that fall, we were also both taking “Basic Conditioning,” which is like the most hardcore P.E. class offered at the College we attended, with pretty intense workouts twice a week and an expected 3 more outside of class, and throughout the semester, we both got in pretty good shape (I know I was the most fit I’d ever been) and learned the importance of getting regular exercise.

And then the spring semester came.
Since we’d both taken basic conditioning, we couldn’t take it again (there are caps on how many times you can sign up for a particular P.E. class) and we opted for weight training instead. And weight training was all right, still twice a week, with expected out-of-class training to supplement, but the workouts were boring and not as intense and between those two things, it was easy to slack a bit more on our exercise (not to mention that the spring semester was super stressful, being our last semester & it was super cold because of winter happening).

So after graduation, I decided that I was going to start running again. I joined the local running club and signed up for a 5K training program that would culminate in the Women’s Distance Festival 5K in late August. The program was for women of all running backgrounds, and it was a perfect way to get back into running. That 5K was my first real race (because let’s be honest, when you’re running a zombie mud run, you’re not actually running most of the time because you’ve gotta save your energy to escape from the zombies when you’re passing through hordes of them).

Gradually, I built my endurance back up to the point where it had been prior to the zombie run, and I’ve run a few other races since then, including a St. Jude’s walk/run to end childhood cancer (they said 4 laps of the course was a 5k, and I think I did 7 or 8, but I lost count and didn’t have reliable GPS tracking to check with) and a 5.22 mile trail run. In December, I decided that I would make it one of my new year’s intentions to run a race each month in 2017, and signed up for a local 5k on January 1, called the First Day 5K (because what better way to start the new year?).

Throughout December, I wasn’t able to run as much because I got a cold on like the 3rd and then when I was almost better from that cold, I got another cold the weekend of the 17th, so I was basically sick the whole month, but I did what I could to at least walk a bit throughout the month to keep my body used to movement.

My second race was last weekend and it was the Sweetheart 8K, so it was obviously an 8K and valentine’s day themed (you could even sign up as a couple).

I’m thinking that I should try to sign up for, like, a St. Patrick’s Day themed 10K next month, but I have to find one that is near enough to me to make it a reasonable choice to sign up, and I need to do that quick.

Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed running the past few months, and I’m excited to continue running & getting stronger (because I also cross-train on a regular basis).
I may not make a marathon by the end of the year, but I think I’m definitely on track for a good year in terms of miles and health and I’m excited about it!

And it’s also been good for my mental health. I mean, there are studies that show that spending time outside & exercising are both good for mental health, but you really don’t know how good it really is until you actually do the thing.

xx,
Sienna
The Fierce Feminist

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