Running Buddha

Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
A funny thing happened yesterday. While searching for the image to accompany my blog, I suddenly felt "some kind of way." I'm not sure what that phrase really means (ha), but I felt excitement and a sort of recognition, seeking and finding yet another runner. Not just runners... I've been seeking and finding elite track athletes. Women who spend hours a week training their bodies to be efficient and fast. Side note: they're all fine, too.  Yassss! [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="218"] Mikele Barber[/caption] The feeling surprised me because although I was sprinter in high school, I didn't really enjoy the work that went into it. As a kid, I loved racing classmates and neighbors. Sprinting felt like flying, and I could count on being first or really close. But running varsity track wasn't exactly fun. It…
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7, 8, 9…

Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
In 2014, I began a running plan via my RunKeeper app. It's a fat burning plan, and alternates intervals with steady runs to increase your fitness level. The app features several such plans for goals like run a 5k (3.1 miles), run a 5k in less than 30 minutes, and so on. Although I don't enter races, I run 5ks and a rare 10k (6.2 miles), as part of a regular exercise regimen. While perusing the plans back then, I noticed a 7-mile training run included to build endurance for a 5k. At that point I was a consistent 4-mile runner and 7 miles seemed daunting. It was a little too far outside my comfort zone, and after all, I was just a casual runner. The goal and the fear intrigued me, though. I filed it in the back of my…
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Setbacks and setups

Zaimu Challenge
A wise person once said, A setback is just a setup for a comeback. Now, I didn't really have a setback, and I'm not looking to come back from (or to) anything. But I heard this phrase in my head as I got myself in gear late this evening. Today was sort of a bust as far as productivity goes. Because of my work schedule, my Mondays are usually pretty streamlined and predictable. But because I didn't set myself up for success last night, I paid for it in lost opportunities. I'm up later than I'd like to be, but I am syncing my Garmin to be ready for my run tomorrow. After that, I'll mix my endurance formula and lay out my running gear. There are a couple more…
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One step. 10k.

Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
Today I began a 10k training program. I started on Day 3, as I'd already completed the equivalent of the first two days on my regular regimen. I ran my standard distance – 4 miles – so it was an easy entry. My distance running has been primarily self-taught/self-guided until now. I've been comfortable, and now that I'm fully settled into my new life, I'm ready to break boundaries. I want to prove to myself that I can set and accomplish goals with consistency and commitment. These ingredients are sometimes lacking in my creative endeavors, and the combination of structure, challenge and discipline will reap benefits in the weeks and months to come. Today's run was to be conversation pace, defined on this plan as 11:15-11:30 minutes per mile. I nailed it…
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In progress

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="224"] Ajee' Wilson[/caption] Today I ran another 4 miler. I don't generally run two days in a row, but rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I had to get it in. I had modest goals – namely maintaining yesterday's performance with the addition of a slightly faster warm up mile. To my surprise and delight, I crushed it. I pushed the warm up mile and was progressively faster on all miles thereafter. I even dropped my average pace by 30 seconds.  That's pretty shocking, and in truth, I hit my target. As in, what I expected to be doing after a couple of weeks of effort. Next steps? Keeping this up long term, and not just as a quick trick a couple of days here and there. I'm still taking…
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Beyond the usual

Running Buddha, Temple Building, Zaimu Challenge
My usual run is four miles at a steady pace. Sometimes I do a faster three, or a slower five or six, but on a typical day, it's four – two out and back. I strive for negative splits, each mile faster than the last. But I haven't focused on overall pace in ages. In the past couple of months, I've added some interval training. So some days I do my steady four and others it's sprint work, or longer faster bouts, with periods of low intensity to recover. I selected a fat burning plan, rather than one for speed building. That said, it's reasonable to expect speed gains when you put your newly optimized lungs and legs to the test. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="318"] Monica Hargrove being badass.[/caption] I haven't done that. On my four-milers, I take…
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Keep on keepin’ on

Running Buddha, Zaimu Challenge
Today I woke up on time, then promptly fell asleep. I strive to wiggle out of bed around 4:45, but this morning's rain gave me permission to push that back. Since I couldn't run as I intended, I slept instead. Despite the extra sleep and snuggling with my boo, I was still sleepy throughout the day. I blame the rain and subsequent clouds. I perked up later on when the sun won out. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="315"] Allyson Felix[/caption] Reminding myself of yesterday's victories, I scheduled and scored some today by eating a frog early and then making my way through some easier, yet still dreaded, tasks. I also planned my approach to an ongoing project so I can stop making excuses and gain momentum. There are still a couple of things left to do…
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Good morning, blue bird

Zaimu Challenge
This morning Blue and I hit the greenway for a run date. Today's plan was 4 miles or 40 minutes, whichever came second. At the two-mile turn around, we were greeted with a surprise: an indigo bunting! These cute birds usually hang out farther up the trail. In fact, I can't recall ever seeing one on this stretch. There he was, bouncing and flying alongside, making us laugh. No videos or pictures today; we only have the memories of the moment. It was a cheerful start to a long day.
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Indigo Stretch

Zaimu Challenge
My running trail is an enchanted forest. Trees and grasses in various stages of bloom flank the whole path. Today I experienced the first honeysuckle this season. Nose candy. Micro climates and mini ecosystems pulse in the enchanted forest. A chorus of birds on this stretch. A pond of frogs and cicadas on the next. More birds with new songs here. A deer crossing there. A snack bar for bunnies and so on. You experience this all within the first 1.5 miles of the trail. If you're open to the sounds, scents and scenery, you're never bored along the way. [caption id="attachment_3431" align="alignright" width="300"] Indigo Bunting by Dan Vickers[/caption] Months I spent running that stretch, turning around at 2 miles and heading back in. But there's a stretch farther in the distance. I make…
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Winter Run: A Moving Meditation

Personal Narrative, Temple Building
January 5, 2016 | 7:10 am. I pull up to the trailhead, pleased it's not crowded. Understatement. Only one other car is here. It's cold this morning, so I get it. It's been unseasonably warm and the past couple of days Winter took over, as is her right to do. But it's damn cold. My weather app says 27º. Windchill 19º. I ran yesterday, similarly dressed in thermals and such. I had to ignore the cold to start. Colder now, but I really want these miles, so here I am. Me and one other brave soul. It's daybreak. Sunrise is 30 minutes away. The sky is clear. I see stars and a lovely crescent moon. I try to snap a picture, but the camera on my phone hasn't cooperated in weeks, and the shots are…
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