Just Keep Moving

Rating my run on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give today’s performance a “yes.” And my average pace was a “just keep moving.” But seriously, I really did keep moving today and I set some personal records. My app tells me that it was my farthest run (6.31 miles), my longest run (1:27:11) and my fastest 10K (1:25:01).

10K?! I did NOT see a 10K in my future when I started running last year! You can proba10K Record Smith Family Resourcesbly tell by my total time that I didn’t run the entire distance. I ran the first 5K and then did the best I could for the second half. So, for real, my average pace was 13’48″/mile. It swung between 10’01” to 15’09” and ended up somewhat respectable, but I would really like to get that closer to 12 some day.

In case this sounds like bragging, let me remind you that I have gone from not being able to walk one mile without pain to running/walking 10K with NO PAIN. I am amazed and thankful- and also exhausted!

Well, we’re moving on into the weekend, and if you haven’t already used your Father’s Day coupon code, I hope you’ll move on over to our online store! Use coupon code DAD2018 and save 10% on selected products for Dad. Father’s Day is June 17, and we’ll ship directly to any dad with a US address when you shop by Saturday, June 10.

Have a great weekend!

Today’s Run

I ran alone today, but I felt like I was in good company. I was thinking of all the people who have had a part in my running progress. I pictured them out there with me, some running ahead, some beside, and others cheering me on from the sidelines.

First, Eric. Eric and I ran together when we were dating. Or rather, I ran and he literally ran in circles around me so that we could stay together! He’s the first person to ever tell me how important it was to hydrate. I didn’t listen back then, but I recognize now how important that advice was. He’s been my biggest encourager since I started running again last year. We’re running together again and I think he’s as thankful as I am that my knees don’t hurt anymore!

Kristin, my friend, my fitness coach! Kristin helped me develop an exercise plan for bone health several years ago, and she’s never stopped encouraging me to exercise. We both thought running was out of the question back then, but she pushed me to do all that I could do. Two years ago, she and I participated in a race in which she finished a 10K before I finished a 5K! I’ll never catch up with you, Kristin, but it keeps me going to think of you running ahead.

Three years of exercise had strengthened me, but I didn’t notice any real improvement in my knees until I started meeting with a health coach last June. Rebecca Mills-Anderson taught me many things, but the first major lesson I learned from her was the importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Eating better led to feeling better and to running without pain. Thanks, Rebecca!

Heidi is not a runner, but she’s miles ahead of me when it comes to nutrition. I have so much to learn, and Heidi has been a willing sounding board for me as I’ve attempted to process my thoughts about food and nutrients and vitamins and health in general. Thanks for all the healthy meal plans and snack ideas, Heidi!

My newest run-encourager is Channing who will probably be surprised to find her name here! Channing is training for her first 5K and she texted this week that she’s currently running about IMG_E3977a 12-minute mile. Well, my pace has been in the 14-15’s lately, and Kristin has been encouraging me to aim for a faster pace. So as I ran this morning, I imagined Channing running with me. Hey, I thought! I can probably keep up with her! So, I gave it all I had and ran my first mile in 11 minutes and 54 seconds. Thanks, Channing!

And then there’s Jan. Jan quietly encourages and praises my efforts even when my finish times are laughable compared to hers! This past Saturday in the High Country 5K, she placed 1st in our age group with a time of 26:21. I placed 3rd with a time of 42:12. Picture Jan crossing the finish line and then waiting almost 16 minutes for me to make my appearance! IMG_3923.JPG

Running down the trail today, I pictured Kristin and Jan running in the distance with Channing just a few steps ahead. I thought of Eric running beside me, keeping me company, even though he’s still a faster runner than I am.  In my mind’s eye, Rebecca and Heidi were sitting on a bench nearby planning a nutritious recovery snack!

In addition to my imaginary cheerleaders, there were some awesome birds on the lake today: red-winged blackbirds, belted kingfishers, purple martins, Canada geese, and a great blue heron. Here’s a little video of the great blue heron. Be sure to turn the volume up for his funny squawk at the beginning of the clip.

Thanks for letting me share my run with you!

How do you feel?

After seven years of baby steps, I’ve finally started making leaps and bounds in the health department. I’m genuinely shocked at how much better I feel.

  • NO JOINT PAIN – I can now run 2 miles without stopping to stretch. A year ago, I couldn’t walk even half a mile without experiencing pain and swelling in my knees.
  • NO ABDOMINAL PAIN – I haven’t felt even a twinge of that perpetual right-side ache since I gave up the baby steps and started really working on improving my health.
  • BETTER SLEEP – I fall asleep within minutes and typically wake only once or twice during the night- and I go right back to sleep. THIS IS HUGE! I have never slept well, so I really do feel like a new woman! As in, is this really me??

So, how do you feel? If you want to talk about making your own leaps and bounds or even taking your first baby steps, I’d love to hear from you. Comment or email me. I would love to encourage you as you make your move toward feeling better. I’m not a health coach. But maybe I’m a health cheerleader!

Running

I did some running when I was in my 20’s. I wasn’t very fast, but I enjoyed it and it was good exercise.

I took a break from running when my children were young and then started again when they began running cross country. I found out some things had changed over that break, most notably, my knees. X-rays confirmed arthritis in both knees, and I was advised to give up running. I learned from a chiropractor that strengthening the muscles in my legs would help to support my knees, but I filed that information in the back of my mind and settled for occasional walks.

Fast forward to three years ago. Osteopenia finally woke me up to the need to exercise and I began a regimen of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Even though I had given up running, I walked in some 5K races in the area. My goal was twofold but simple: to finish in under an hour and not to be the last person to cross the finish line! My time was usually between 55 and 59 minutes, and I usually spent the rest of the day with legs elevated, icing my inflamed knees.

But every now and then, I dreamed that I was running. In my dreams, I had found a way to run without touching the ground! I described those dreams to a Trak Shak salesperson who recommended a Hoka running shoe for me.  Walking in Hokas has been the next best thing to running without touching the ground.

With three years of exercise behind me and Hoka shoes to support me, I started running again. In June, I walked/ran 3.1 miles (5K) in my neighborhood and finished in 47 minutes- not great, but almost nine minutes faster than my fastest walking 5K.

Is it possible that my recently improved diet could already be strengthening my muscles and joints? I’m able to run almost a mile without pain now, and my current 5K PR in the neighborhood is 44:33. I’m still slow compared to almost everyone else I encounter on the trail, but I have a new twofold goal now: to run as much as I can without causing injury and to run without concern about others being faster.

What about you? Do you run for exercise? What are your goals? Tell me what motivates you to keep moving. And tell me about your shoes!

Melissa and Morgan, Smith Family Resources
Morgan is my post-run encourager!