A Fall Fitness and Running Update

About two years ago, I decided to take up running. I thought it would be something I could do to get in shape that wouldn’t cost too much money. After all, I had a driveway I could run on. No special equipment required.

I didn’t realize that I would fall in love with it! Running has helped my mind stay sharp and my emotions remain more in check. I think it is amazing. This is funny coming from someone who avoided running like the plague in high school.

This fall, my husband and I signed up for two 5Ks. I was hoping that my times would improve from last season, but to be honest, I hadn’t run very many fast miles. While I like running, I don’t particularly enjoy running fast!

And then we caught COVID in September. This really threw a wrench in my running schedule. It wasn’t a bad case, but I didn’t run much at all for a couple of weeks, and then didn’t feel as strong after I was better.

October rolled around, and I decided to try my very best at my first fall 2023 5K. I was really shooting for a time under 28 minutes. I had run a 26:00 5K in the spring, but that one was downhill. Literally running down a mountain will do wonders for your time, ha!

I was disappointed with my October time of 28:42 for just a little while, but then I remembered that I tried my best and that this was just for fun. I ended up placing second in my age category.

In November we ran another 5K, and two of my children ran a Junior Marathon at the same event. This time, I decided to not give it my all, and kept up a more comfortable pace. I ran it in 29:29, and placed third in my age category. I wasn’t expecting this at all and it was a pleasant surprise!

My husband ran it in 25:17. He is so close to breaking 25 minutes!

My girls had a fabulous time, too!

Next up is a half marathon in December. I decided I wanted to try to participate in one using the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method. I think this will be a great way for me to go longer distances without my knees giving me trouble. We shall see how it goes!

I would love to encourage you to find an exercise you love, and to get involved! I used to think that spending time exercising was selfish. Not anymore! I realize that it is much better for my children to have a healthy and fit mama than one who is sluggish. I feel so much better than I did two years ago in every way, physically speaking. I’m so glad I gave it a shot while encouraging my children to get involved, too.

My goal this fall and winter is to stay consistent and hopefully get in more of those fast miles that I don’t like too much. I also would love to add in some leg exercises to help with my knees. I had several knee injuries as a child/teen, and they catch up with me if I run too long.

I will try to let you know how the half marathon goes!

Thank you so much for stopping by today, friends. I hope your day is wonderful!

Fitness Update April 2023 | My First Downhill 5k

Hey friends, and welcome to the blog! I hope your day and week are filled with God’s blessings.

Yesterday was a big blessing to me. In order to get in better shape and to be a good steward of the body our Father has given me, I started running nearly two years ago. Believe me when I say it wasn’t pretty when I began. (It isn’t always pretty now, too!) But with time and consistency, I have improved. I love the way running makes me feel, and I run three to four days a week now.

I haven’t run a 5k since the fall, and I was excited to see how I have improved over the past five months or so. A hometown 5k was coming up, so I decided to sign up for it. The only caveat was that it was a downhill race for two of the miles. I wasn’t sure how my knees would hold up, but I decided to go for it.

I also was a little worried because I have hit a snag as far as my heart rate goes. Over the past couple of months I have been dealing with a personal issue that has caused immense grief in my life. Since mid-March my heart rate has been way higher than it was during previous work outs. It is amazing how our mind and body are related, and how stress takes a toll on your body. I am doing all I can to find peace at the moment, but it is definitely hard.

So normally going into a downhill race, I would hope to set a personal record. But given my heart rate, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t want to do any harm to myself! I decided to do my best, but to not stress about time. This was supposed to be fun!

The morning of the race was in the 40s, which was perfect. I was pretty excited when my husband and I drove into town. The sunrise over the mountains was beautiful!

Once we reached town, we boarded a bus to take us up the mountain. There was also a half marathon and 10k starting farther up. The state highway was closed for the race, and it is a beautiful road.

The first two miles were awesome. There was a definite downhill slope, but it wasn’t too severe. Once we reached the two mile mark, we started going up and down hills and bridges as we made our way into town. I started to not feel my best, but really pushed it to the finish line.

I finished in 26:00. I couldn’t believe it! My last personal record was 28:51.

I also placed first in my age category. My husband placed first in his category as well, with a time of 25:59.

Having him with me really helped. He was so encouraging during that last mile.

I am now looking forward to having some time to relax and hopefully allow my heart rate to regulate itself. I am thinking of signing up for a 10k in a couple of weeks, but strictly for fun. Running a 10k is one of my goals for the year, and it is heating up fast. After that, I don’t plan to run in a race again until the fall.

My ultimate goal is to one day be able to run a 5k in under 25 minutes without feeling like it’s going to kill me, ha! My plan is a lot of slow runs, with some sprints sprinkled in.

Anyhow, it was a good day with an unexpected outcome. I’m so thankful that I was able to experience it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!

Blessings, Nicole

Happenings at Our Home and Homestead | Early February

Hello friends, and welcome to our home! I hope you’ve had a great week. The weekend is almost here, and I’m excited for it!

I have really been enjoying this winter so far. It has been wet and warm. Quite unlike what I was expecting. But it has been lovely.

Homeschooling is going well. We are plugging right along, and are in a good rhythm. Violin lessons started back up at the end of January. While I don’t like the long car ride to get there, I know these lessons are really good for my children. I’m so grateful that they get to learn a musical instrument. This is a good skill for them to have that can be carried into adulthood.

I ordered three skyrocket junipers online recently, and I was so excited when they arrived. They are simply beautiful! There is a narrow grassy area on one side of our house, and I would like to begin landscaping it this spring. These three trees will be the anchoring elements. They have almost a blue hue to their needles, and I’m really glad that I found them online.

I planted six raised garden beds a couple of days ago with lettuce, swiss chard, kale, carrots, and leeks. I know it is early in the season, but I went ahead with it since the weather has been mild. I’m hoping everything grows well! I also pulled a good bit of weeds from last season while I was out there. There probably will be a couple more of these sessions before the garden looks like I’d like it to.

My husband and I have been training for a half marathon, and it has been going good. I’ve had a few sore days. I didn’t realize the tops of my feet could get sore, but apparently running ten miles will do it to me. We have a little more than a month to go before race day. We will be running through a beautiful college campus, and I’m just so excited about it! After a good jog today, I also signed us up for a local 5k in April that races down a mountain. Now, that should be fun!

My Bible study time has been going so good, too. The Lord has been so kind to teach me new things each day, and I’m so grateful for His faithfulness.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, friends. I hope your home life has been exceedingly blessed lately!