HAPPY MARCH Y’ALL! My least favorite month of the year is finally officially over. March is certainly coming in like a lion here in east Texas with nothing but rain and cloudy skies (and ice – condolences to all those Cowtowners– that SUCKS man), so hopefully by the end of it it’s beautifully lamb-like and April in Texas is full of roses and bluebonnets.

This morning (okay technically it was past noon but I unexpectedly had the chance to sleep in, so… I did) I went to the gym for my “long” run.

Since 2015 started my workout routine has been all out of whack. Injury rehab easing in interrupted by various traveling, the big move, and generally trying to settle in. My apartment “gym” is a joke so I had to find an affordable gym in town. And every day at work has been different as I settle in. Plus, my job calls for some weekend commitment, and with the exception of two races, really the best I can do if I want to do an official race is drive almost 2 hours into Dallas.

So it’s been an adjustment.

But for two Sunday’s in a row, I’ve started my Sunday off with breakfast, coffee, and hopping into workout clothes and heading to the gym for a run.

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I was just on such a runner’s high 😀

With all the uncertainty of a new town, a new job, new people, new city ordinances, etc., just stepping inside a gym with a treadmill that is the same brand as the one my gym at home had is a sweet, sweet tiny little piece of familiarity. Gym rats are the same everywhere. Where the fashion between DC and rural east Texas is wildly different and I sometimes feel like a total emo hipster or dirty hippie gypsy next to the flannel and Wranglers, in the gym we’re all in the same Nike dri-fit tops and bottoms and Brooks or Asics shoes.

One of the two race exceptions I mentioned above is the FRESH15K — it’s the only race I’ve found besides the Tyler Rose Marathon in October that happens within a 45-minute radius, and not only that but the course literally runs us right past my apartment. I’ve never run a 15K race before but I love running between a 10K and 10 mile distance so normally I’d be pretty stoked to run a 15K – except that the grand total of mileage I racked up in the month of February was 16 miles. That’s right. 16 miles in a whole month.

So I was starting to get a little worried that my Texas road race debut was going to be a little rough. I went for a short run yesterday after not having run in a week to warm my legs up for what I knew needed to be a middle-distance run today.

My safe place - my new gym.
My safe place – my new gym. And yesterday’s run.

And today felt awesome. I won’t lie: I started out at a 10 min/mile pace with 1 minute walk breaks and definitely the lack of running in February caught up with me. Changing up the speed and interval lengths is how I keep from going insane on the treadmill, as well as a new RockMyRun mix for the first 30 minutes, then switching over to some of my tried and trusted running jams for the last 38 minutes.

That and professional bowling apparently. I don’t know, it was all that was on, and I guess hoping one of the teams got a strike was kind of a surge in heart rate? I would have preferred NCAA basketball but you take what you can get.

I would have loved to keep a sub-11 pace for the 10K but it also felt great to just run slow for some stretches. And reaching the 6.2 mile mark under 1:10 made me feel pretty confident for next weekend’s race. The only thing I’m a little worried about is some hilliness in this area – east Texas landscape is very different than west Texas – lots of hills.

So I may not be at all up to par with where I was last summer when I was running a 10 miler in 1:41, but my two upcoming half marathons, one upcoming 10-miler, and next weekend’s 15K are going to be just fine.

And I’ve been working on settling into a weekly routine as best I can with a somewhat crazy spring coming up at work.

image1Now that I’m settled in my apartment I want to really try to get back to the things I started the year out wanting to accomplish. I want to read more books this year than I did last year, and actually watch movies this year instead of binging on television shows. And of course, I wanted to attempt 1,000 miles for the year, and NOT injure myself on long runs so I can maybe run a full marathon again one day.

So my rough weekly plan for outside work is something like this:

Monday: Ab/core class at the gym, read
Tuesday: Short run, read
Wednesday: Rest day, catch up on TV, go to happy hours, blog, etc (hump day, y’all)
Thursday: Short run AM, social/networking events, “Scandal” (TGIT duh)
Friday: Yoga, open-ended depending on weekend plans
Saturday: Left open due to various work events, but try to get a cross-training mat workout in at home and make sure to read
Sunday: Long run/race day, travel/explore, read, church, “Walking Dead” duh

We’ll see how much I can stick to it depending on a number of variables, but for now I’m glad I have a recipe for sanity living in a new town.

Happy Sunday! I’m off to read until church and then watch “Walking Dead” 😉

Did you run today, or are Sundays your rest days?