Absent from the Blog (Present in Real Life!)

running shoes and wedding shoes
My running shoes outnumbered my wedding shoes. (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)

You may have noticed I took some time off from blogging. Okay, a lot of time off… I thought about apologizing, but honestly I’m not sorry. I’ve been focused on myself and my own daily goings-on, and I simply didn’t feel the need to document those activities here—mostly because they weren’t running related, but also because I was being, well, selfish. (Gasp—I know!)

Now I’m ready to share the love! Here’s why I’ve been absent lately:

Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt
Moments after saying, “I do!” (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)

1. Michael K. Farrell and I tied the knot! Last month, the 53 people who love us the most in this world squeezed into a small church in Virginia and witnessed the beginning of our marriage. Planning the wedding took over my life. Don’t believe what you hear, single ladies, even a small event pulls your attention away from the rest of your life. But in the end, I loved every minute of it. It was a day filled with love and laughter—and I still get all smiley thinking about it!

My matron of honor—six months pregnant, glowing and gorgeous! (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)
My matron of honor—six months pregnant, glowing and gorgeous! (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)

2. I became a pregnancy expert. I’ve never had the pleasure of bringing a life into the world. (Michael K. Farrell hopes to knock that off my bucket list later this year. Wink. Wink.) However, I took on a really awesome set of assignments for Parents.com and learned more about pregnancy weight gain, breast tenderness, and relationship changes than any non-mom needs to know. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to swollen ankles, but at least I’ll understand where all that fluid is coming from.

myfitnesspal snack packing tip
Meet my desk accessories at MyFtinessPal! (Photo Credit: Elle Penner)

3. I’m the new managing editor at MyFitnessPal! This month I started working with the phenomenal team at MyFitnessPal. The incredible health-tracking app that you know and love is beefing up its healthy living content, starting with its blog, Hello Healthy—and I’ll be steering the ship. Stay tuned for fun changes over there (and possibly some spillover here)!

Short Run, Long Story

The grass is a little greener on the west side

I took on a new full-time job a few weeks ago, and it’s been a huge shock to my system. No more sleeping until 8:45am and commuting from the bedroom to my computer in the kitchen. And I’ve had to say so long to my 3:00pm “coffee runs,” which involved me doing a loop in the park, finishing at Starbucks, and then walking home to check email again by 4:15pm. Yep, I’ve got a full on, 9-to-6 office gig with a traditional subway start and finish to call my very own these days.

I’ve managed to keep my training on track (got to be ready for The North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain Half Marathon!), but all of my runs are starting to feel the same. My easy days and my hard days have all morphed into tempo runs—comfortably hard efforts that I rely on to help me deal with my new work-related stress. But while all that speed is great for unwinding my head, it’s made a tight, whiny mess out of my left calf.

Which brings me to yesterday, the final Saturday of March 2012. I thought a nice gentle run on the flat path along the west side of Manhattan would be just the thing to loosen up my leg muscles. It wasn’t. I spent more time pulling over to stretch than I did running, and after 35 minutes of stop-and-go effort I got frustrated and decided to pack it in.

I know that short, easy runs are good for your body from time to time. But part of me still thinks they’re pointless. In the back of my mind I’ve always thought that if I’m not running for at least an hour, I shouldn’t bother tying my shoes.

Still, yesterday did more good than I gave it credit for in the moment. All that stretching loosened up the knots in my calf and I was able to have a mental-stress-busting run today. I ran 7 pain-free miles at a comfortable pace, with a few surges tossed in for fun.

The moral of this long story: I need balance and I need to listen to my body (always tough for me). Sticking to a couple of hard runs per week and doing easy ones on the other days will continue to keep my mind and my muscles stress free.

Do you have trouble keeping an easy pace when you’re stressed, too? Do you wait for sore muscles to remind you to slow down?