Salsa and Being a “Real” Runner

Awk. First posts are so awkward – I don’t even really know how to get started! I’m thinking maybe if I just pretend it’s completely normal to blog away my normal day that it will be easier. Yesterday I made the best discovery – apparently a secret combination of ingredients I had never tried before. Eggs….and….SALSA.

I had just gone on my first run of the week and I was starving when I got home. I was too hungry to cook up a legit meal so I went to the comfort staple of Breakfast for Dinner (capitalized because it’s actually a THING, you know?) I took 2 eggs and 1 egg white, scrambled it up with a little pepper, and put hot salsa on the side. Delish. (I also had my granola mixture with the eggs. I cannot eat only three eggs for dinner. Sorry.) Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight? That’s right, eggs & salsa. I think I’m going to put it in a whole-wheat wrap with some shredded cheese. Don’t mind if I do.

I have been trying to do clean eating as much as I can. Though I reward myself a little bit here and there with normal junk food or “unclean” (ha) stuff, because otherwise – we all know I’d just end up at McDonald’s at 11:30pm on a Sunday, eating a large # 10 at a booth next to a homeless man.

Before my amazing discovery occurred, I went on a 4.24 mi (not obsessed with mapmyrun.com) on my usual Rock Creek route. I drive about 7 min to the edge of Rock Creek and park my car at a Park. Hee hee. Get it? Anyway, there is always a t-ball game going on, which I like because it makes it feel like Spring and reminds me of childhood since I played t-ball/baseball/softball growing up. I thought I was SO cool with my two braids.

I start running past the Meadows Something Something Summer Camp with stables and horsies and everything. I do down and back runs at the moment, since I am not running smart enough to map out real loops yet. I LOVE running past the stables when I’m starting my run and I smile and stare longingly at the riders galloping swiftly on their horsies. I always forget that when I run past them in my last .25 mi on my route back, I’m downwind. On my way back, I always seem to unintentionally glare at the stables while breathing in through my mouth and trying to hold in my dry heave. What, gagging while running isn’t sexy? The trail continues through the woods (I’ve seen deer three times!) and up around the Mormon temple, under the Beltway, and up Beach Drive.

In high school I was a sprinter and a pole vaulter – I loathed running distances and would actually cry if I had to run a 4 x 400 relay. 100m for me, please! I just started distance (distance for me) running around the end of February/beginning of March 2012. Running is not easy for me like it seems to be for some other people. Every stride is one that I have to fight for! As I’ve started running, eating better, and becoming more in shape, the miles get easier. Currently, my longest run has been a 5 miler – though I’m shooting to do 6 next week! Luckily, I had a finite goal to complete the Tough Mudder in September, which is a 12 mi long course. Supposedly I should be running 5+ mi several times a week by the time the event rolls around. Because I’m not a natural distance runner, I still run pretty slowly (10-11 min miles). For now, I’m OK with that. I know I’m trying my best and not everyone can immediately start running sub 7 min miles, especially if you’re running more than 1 of them! I’m hoping that speed will just naturally come with distance and repetition. I’m also trying to do shorter, speedier miles once a week or once every two weeks.

Yesterday I ran my 4.24 mi in 47:04 , at an 11:06 min pace. I have terrible hayfever/pollen allergies in the Spring, but since it has been raining this week, the pollen count has died down a little bit. I finally felt like I could BREATHE on my run yesterday! It was glorious. Another breakthrough I had yesterday included NOT STOPPING on my run. I’ve been running outside for about a month, and I secretly loved the little stops throughout the route. A stoplight? Woohoo! Tie one shoe tighter here, now gotta stop and stretch that hammie. I’m tired of stopping! Once I stop I feel defeated, like I’m not a “real” runner. What’s the point of even finishing strong? Yesterday I was determined only to take 2 little 30 second stops on my 47 min run – at the water fountain near the playground. It’s at about the 5 min marker and the 42 min marker on my down and back. Perf! (I don’t mind not running LONG distances yet, because I know I am going to have to carry some kind of spiffy water holder/belt and I hate carrying anything on a run. Wah.) And you know what? I DID IT. I was tired of stopping, so I didn’t stop. It was that easy. Knowing I wasn’t going to stop was almost easier mentally because I didn’t have to start running again. And I didn’t have to beat myself down about stopping, either. After my run yesterday I’m finally starting to feel like a “real” runner. Though I know, I’m still a beginner – don’t worry.

Do you ever stop on runs? If you do stop, do you feel guilty?

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