Learning, Training, Changing.

For me running is a learning process. Ever since I decided to start running I learn more information each day on how to become a better runner. I don't think I will ever stop learning, but I can say I've been learning the greatest amount of information recently. 

i'm passionate about running...and learning about running...

Yes, I knew how to run - it's not a concept that is all that hard - one foot in front of the other, and remember to breathe. But there's so much more to that than meets the eye. Proper breathing technique, proper running form, proper shoes, fuel/fluid intake. I obviously haven't mastered this all, but I am learning. And most of the information is coming to me now, and I am become a better runner for it. For that I am thankful.

I can gladly say that I started learning the most information when I started running with this lovely group of people - the Suncoast Striders. David, who along with his sweet wife Karen, organizes the group had been messaging me back and forth on Facebook about some running stuff. I met him along the course at the water stop the Striders were manning at the Clearwater Marathon and eventually made in out to a group run. Everyone was so inviting that I started making it out more and more. David spent the first few runs along side me talking to me about breathing and running form. I use his breathing technique when I feel my heart rate go up and it seems to be working. It even helped me get up and over the Clearwater bridge during Iron Girl and I NEVER run the bridges. 

Leah, Me, Diego, Aaron, Joanna, Natalie - Team Yellow!! 

As time passed I made friendships that I am very thankful for. These friends of mine (Go Team Yellow) motivate me to get out of bed at 4:30am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings - something I don't quite think I would do on my own. I've also learned how to properly do an interval run. I never understood how this was done. I started "doing" them on Tuesdays, and then after a conversation after my Police Appreciation 10K it became more clear on what I was doing right and wrong and how to alter my run to be more efficient. I think I'm doing it better now (If you happen to read this Kim, Becky, and Rachel - thanks!)

First REAL interval run

In the past month I've PR'ed a 5k (with the help of Pacer Aaron) at 30:05. I've also run a sub30 5k during a training run at 29:11, and my fastest 5 miles ever during that same run - an impressive 9:32 min/mile average. I've properly done an interval run once, for 5 miles total - at an average pace of 10:17, which included some walk breaks. I'd say this is a significant improvement for me considering my average 5k was usually at a 10:30 pace and anything longer than that was around a 11:30 pace.

Fastest 5 miles!

I contribute my improvements not he knowledge given to me by my fellow runners, as well as their support and encouragement - as well as all the wackiness that comes along with us. You have to have fun with it too!

Now I have to work on the nutrition aspect. Running makes me hungry. Very hungry. I need to find a balance between eating healthy and properly and fueling my body with what I need to run efficiently. If anyone has had these troubles and has found things that work for them I'm all ears and will take any advice I can get!

Ha! That's Me.