Flapping in the wind

I feel so refreshed and rejuvenated today! A day of rest was just what the doctor ordered. I all but leaped out of bed when my alarm went off this morning and went for a long run since I going out early in the a.m. was my only chance of avoiding heat stroke (it's 102 degrees outside right now!). The air was already stuffy, but I got through my 6 miles with little difficulty. I always run slower in the morning, especially when I'm doing hills, but it felt good ... and I'll take that over speed any day!

I must admit that I'm definitely feeling the effects of running 200s with Mandy and the BARA crew on Tuesday night at IU's track. Before I met up with everyone, I was nervous about working out alongside the area's elite runners and I definitely felt like the new kid on the first day of school. Everyone was really nice and accommodating (you can work out with BARA for free once, but then you have to pay for a membership) and the atmosphere is so relaxed, it didn't matter that some of the faster people were totally lapping me. It was a small grout that night, with about 10 runners, and everyone's speed and skill level varied so much that I was neither the fastest or the slowest. I blended in, and that's all I wanted.

Tuesday night's workout was 200 meter sprints followed by 100 meters of jogging and 100 meters of walking. We ran that cycle 8 times and by the time we were finished, we logged 1 mile of full-speed sprinting. My mile pace was 5:31 min/mile and that sounds incredibly awesome until you factor in that I took breaks in between each sprint.

And I hate sprinting. As I've said countless times on this blog, I'm less of a sports car and more of a 4-door sedan. I'm built for comfort, not speed. Sprinting is very much outside of my comfort zone and the entire time I'm doing it, all I can think about it how badly I want to stop. While I'm running full speed down the track, my mind is capable of one thought and one thought only: "Are we there yet?" (Well that and, "Did I just fart?")

I haven't run on a track since seventh grade and as dorky as it to admit, running on IU's Outdoor track kind of made me feel like a big deal. It was pretty cool to run under the giant score board and down the middle of a straight-away lined with rows and rows of bleachers that are undoubtedly packed with fans during regular season track events.Sometimes I feel like such a fool for giving up volleyball and softball my senior yearbeing a collegiate athlete would have been amazing.

The only thing I could have done without (besides the whole "sprinting" aspect of the sprinting) was how badly my cheeks jiggled while I dashed down the track. (And for the record, I mean my face cheeks, not my butt cheeks. What my butt does when I run is another blog post entirely.) I've run fartleks on several occasions and I don't recall my lips ever blowing back and my cheeks rattling. Maybe I was moving faster than normal or maybe that's just the nature of a rubber synthetic running surface or maybe there's just something wonky with the aerodynamics of the track. I don't know. But what I do know for sure is that I am incredibly thankful there weren't any cameras around to document that ... Hugh Jackman.


In addition to getting an incredible workout and what I hope to be some extra "umph!" for my upcoming 5k, I met some really cool people who share more in common with me than just running. I met Jessica, an adorable fitness instructor and barista who teaches a spinning class at a new cycling studio in town. We got to chatting about the class and I mentioned that I've always wanted to try spinning and well, one thing led to another and I am signed up for my first class next Tuesday morning (and yes, you can expect a full recap on that!)

I am so, so SO excited for upcoming posts on this blog! (I really need to pull out my pocket thesaurus; I'm grossly bored with my overuse of the words "excited", "awesome", and "amazing". You're a writer, Courtney, get it TOGETHER.) I have plans to blog about a DIY chalkboard menu board for my kitchen, a review of a super cool app a co-worker introduced me to, triathlon training, my first spinning class, and much more.

Stay cool today!