Friday, February 24, 2012

Running less and enjoying it more

That title may seem like a no-brainer to many of you, runners and non-runners alike. I haven't officially committed to switching events, but if the feeling of relief and near-giddiness I had after posting my "Reality check" is any indication, I will be doing so soon. Last Saturday was the first time I've looked forward to a long run with our running group in months. I didn't dread the distance because I didn't really *have* a distance. After being sick all week I was simply hoping to complete a run without stopping to cough myself silly. I made it six miles, in high winds on rolling hills, and felt amazing about it.

This week we're bumming around downtown Chicago with The H. Weather and timing--I have to be done by 8:15am--have forced me to the treadmill for two of my three runs so far, and I've actually (shh...don't tell) enjoyed them. I play with the speed and incline to avoid boredom, and with my headphones up loud enough, I can't hear the drone of the belt. Three and four miles have flown by! I did get outside for a nice recovery run earlier in the week, and I intend to hit the Lakefront Trail again once the snow stops and I have more than 30 minutes to devote to it. For now, I'm enjoying exploring a new-to-us city with the little guy.
I kind of thought that once I admitted I was considering dropping my marathons, I'd suddenly get back on track and prove myself wrong, but taking it easy this week and having a great time doing so just reiterates that my gut feeling is right so far. Running has to fit into my life, not (always) define it. After noticing that my midsection is getting a bit softer than I'd like, I've also realized that I *may* have been using high-mileage weeks as an excuse to eat junk as "fuel."  Cutting my miles will no doubt help me refocus my eating habits and stop using running as a crutch to eat whatever I want. To that end... I brought the latest issue of Clean Eating Magazine with me, and whipped up this lemon chicken beauty in our room:
So that's where I'm at--drinking a green smoothie, watching snow bluster around the skyscrapers, planning our next sightseeing venture. Happy weekend to you all!

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