Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hiatus

Yes, I realize it has been a few days - ok, more than a few days since I've made a new post. A lot has been happening. Unfortunately I haven't been running a whole lot but a cold front came through and I had already decided that I was done with running in cold weather. I live in Oklahoma! It is not supposed to be cold during this time of year!

Other than that, all I can say is that I will be back up and running again by tomorrow. I just needed to take a break and recoup a little.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday means awesome TV!

What am I doing right now? This very second?

Watching the Jersey Shore of course!!!!

I enjoy watching a number of trash tv shows and this happens to be one of them. It's what I look forward to every Thursday night because my life is that exciting. Usually B is sitting right next to me laughing along but tonight he's in the other room watching "the sweet sixteen" which I found out to be basketball related. Thank goodness we own multiple televisions!


Earlier today I made a grand attempt at being productive since it was my day off and I became domestic! I cleaned, cooked dinner, and ran - the triple threat.


I have this amazing cook book called Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health and from it I concocted this: 



I'll have to go back and look at what the actual name of this pasta, kale, lentil, tomato, carrot, and onion dish is called but I can tell you it was delicious! I served it over a bed of fresh greens that I bought from my local health food store and topped it off with some parmesan cheese. B and his little brother even liked it and the bonus is that there is a lot of leftovers.

My workout today consisted of a 5 mile run which was a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Runner's Knee

Since I had taken a long hiatus off of "official marathon training", we're talking somewhere around two years, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that all this mileage that I've been tracking is going to come back and haunt me. Sure enough, my knee is starting to bother me. Sure tell sign that I began doing too much too fast.

Not to worry, it isn't bad but I'm now having to ice it periodically after I run and throughout the day.

Monday, I didn't run since it was my rest day and instead I snuck into a nearby apartment complex's gym and did about 30 minutes of elliptical and some weights.

I wanted to make a new post yesterday but it was kind of a full day for me and also rather boring. First, I woke up early to get in a good run. Since my knee was still bothering me, I decided to take it easy and ran for about 45 minutes. Then I came home, juiced, and went to work.

Boring post, I know. I'll have some more interesting stuff up here shortly.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Long Run Sunday

I have no idea how far I went since I'm not fancy enough to have a gps watch, but I was running for time which ended up to be about 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

I was actually semi nervous this morning about heading out on a long run solo. I mean, what if I get lost? What if I run out of water? Or spontaneously pass out?

Well I'm here to tell you, my faithful readers (aka my mom and sister) that I successfully managed a 2 hour and 30 minute run all on my own. To all those hard core runners out there, this may not sound like much, but to me this is, like, celebration material.

First of all, I didn't spend $40 dollars on an entry fee just so that I could have those trusty water stations and strangers cheering me on. And second of all I feel way more independent. I'm free!

That little waist pack of mine is a real gem. It held my phone (in case I did get lost, dehydrated or injured), a packet of gu, and a full bottle of water spiked with Gatorade AND it didn't chafe by back or waist or annoy the hell out of me like I thought it would. Thank you running engineers, you really came through with this one.


Also, here are some lessons I learned / things I should have thought about but didn't from going on a long run solo:

1) Wake up early because the sun only gets hotter as time goes on. 
I really tried to wake up early. I set my alarm for 6:30 but hit the snooze until around 7:40. Finally, I dragged myself out of bed, threw the dogs outside with food and water and hit the road but when I finished I wished I had started at 6:30 because the sun really wears on you.
2) Avoid the psych ward 
You'd think this would be common sense but I actually didn't even think about it until a crazy man walking down the side walk in front of me started yelling at me and waving the boom box he was carrying. After I got over the shock of it all I realized where I was. Yup, right outside of Griffin Memorial Mental Hospital.
3) Wear sunblock
This actually pertains to running in general for long periods of time, not just by yourself, however when I'm alone I forget all of the simple necessities. Needless to say, I got a little pink on my face.
4) Pick a nice, scenic part of town to run through (not by a psych ward)
Unfortunately for me I picked the WORST part of Norman to run around. Did I mention I passed a psych ward? Not only a psych ward, a Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and a grungy neighborhood with a homeless woman walking around. To be fair, I previously lived in that neighborhood (as part of the broke, college experience) so the area was familiar to me and it's not like Norman really has anywhere nice to run around, but still. Next time I should take the time to drive out to the nice neighborhoods with houses I can gawk at.
5) Make sure you have enough songs on your playlist to listen to
This isn't really that important to me since after about an hour my head kind of goes numb and I forget I'm even listening to music but I wanted to have 5 points since 4 seems inadequate. Plus, it is kind of annoying to realize that you're listening to the same songs over and over again.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New running toys!!!

 Workout today: easy 6 miles in preparation for a long run tomorrow!

This morning I went to my local running store and spent all of my hard earned waitress money on some new running toys! I wonder if people would tip me more if I told them that it was going to such a good cause...

Here's what I bought:

An ultimate direction access waist pack 
which I will test out for my long run tomorrow. And yes, I did get a pink one.


A pink (to match my new waist pack) foam roller made by Pro-Tec that I have just tested out and love. Remember from a previous post that this was on my wish list of running gear?

Oh, and the guy that was helping me out said that this would be one of my best running gear purchases.
And lastly, an assortment of different Gu flavors so that I can test them all out and find out which one is my favorite.





I'm a little weary about the waist pack because I have never ran with one before so we'll see how it goes. Do any of you runners out there use them? I'm used to the old "hide your water in the bushes" tactic but I think its time to get with the new technology.



After my run I ate a PB&J sandwich with some chocolate milk and a banana. Oh and earlier I juiced...
Ingredients: cabbage, celery, spinach, carrots, apple
 Whoa, crazy girl on the loose with some veggie juice! 
 B (aka my boyfriend and photographer) is out of town so I awkwardly took pics of myself. I'm so cool. Especially without makeup.
I didn't even realize that I had my pinky up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patricks Day!

I'm a huge fan of holidays in general and especially ones where everyone dresses up in green and drinks Irish beer!

In order to prepare for yesterdays festivities I first went out for an early 9 mile run at an 8.53 pace. I really expected to run an easy 7 miles but then I remembered about all the beer I was about to consume and threw in 2 more.

Then I made green veggie juice! More like, I tried to make it green but at the last minute I threw in some carrots along with my green cabbage, celery, spinach, green apple which made it turn semi orange. Its the thought that counts though.

I also drank some green kombucha and discovered multi-green is not my favorite kind, I love gingerberry so much more!

Then came the fun stuff. B and I met up with some friends and enjoyed some nice cold beers while watching bag pipers play and wandered around looking at some of the crazy things people were wearing. Finally, because at the tender at of 23 I have the internal clock of a grandma I went home and got in to bed by about 10 pm falling asleep to my recorded episodes of Pretty Little Liars (PLL) and Glee.

Successful night.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How about another post just for fun

Some days my body is just not into running. Example, today. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have laid around all day falling in and out of sleeping and only getting out of bed to eat. Around 2:30 I finally got my lazy a** dressed and ready to run and fell into what I call running ADD. Here's what happened: 

I ran to a nearby park to warm up and thought about doing some 800s for my workout because there's a marked 400m path that circles a playground. Well, I knocked out one single 800 and felt like I was running in water. My mind kept saying "come on faster, faster" and my body just couldn't do it. It was very frustrating to say the least. To make it worse there were a bunch of small kids playing and the fear of me running into one and a momma coming after me was enough to make me change my mind about those 800s. 

So then I decided I'll just give myself a break and run easy for awhile. I ended up running easy for 18 min and found myself back in my front yard with the feeling of defeat. Sometimes you just have those days I guess. I had the elements against me (did I mention the horrible wind?) my body against me and my mind is against me. 

Lucky for me I have a family full of runners. My mom helped lift my spirits by making me a glass of fresh veggie juice made of celery, cabbage, and beets! Yum! 

This isn't the exact glass of veggie juice that I drank but it closely resembles it. I drank it before I could take a picture of it :/



And my amazing brother sensed my disappointment and offered to go on a 3 mile run with me. Back out into the wind I went but this time with his help I completed those 3 miles with hills and gusty winds and now I feel much more satisfied. In total I think I ran somewhere between 5-6 miles if you count my earlier warm up, 800, and jog home. 




No running tuesday

I had warned you yesterday that I was going to eat a ton of sushi and saki and that I did.

After B picked me up from my house we drove about 15 minutes to Allen, TX to this cute little shopping center jam packed with little restaurants and indulged in a bunch of different rolls with his mom and dad. We're pretty lucky that his parents usually take us out to dinner for sushi when we are in town since good sushi is so expensive and we can't exactly afford it on our own.

The night didn't end there, afterwards, we went to a pub called the Londoner and I got to drink my favorite mixed beer of hard apple cider and Harp (otherwise known as snakebite) and B ordered even more food because he wanted to try out the chips and curry, which I'm sure you can guess means a plate full of pub fries and curry sauce.

It's a good thing I did 40 min of cardio on the elliptical and some weights yesterday.

Now to today:

I have slept about 1/2 of the day already and it's not even because I went to bed late. In all actuality I went to bed extremely early (somewhere around 10:30-11ish). I'm going to blame it on little Sampson because he's been cuddling with me the whole time. It's hard to get up when you got that little fur ball resting on your tummy!

Now I'm going to go on what I'm hoping will be a 5 mile tempo run with a mile warm up and mile cool down. We'll see if thats what my body wants to do today.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lady Gaga!

Even though I'm no longer in school it doesn't mean I can't have a spring break, right?

Yesterday I woke up early (8:30AM early) and laid around the house until I drank enough coffee to get me moving and out the door for a 7 mile run.

It was freezing cold and windy (and I hate wind) but I still managed to finish in 58 minutes which was much better than I thought it would be. Surprisingly, I'm not even that sore from the 25k on Saturday! 

Then, B and I packed, showered and drove down to Dallas for me to see Lady Gaga with my mom and sister and for him to spend some quality time with his family. 
We started off the evening at Kenichi where my mom took her first ever tequila shot (sometimes I don't know how I am her daughter) and then we snacked on sushi and drank some more...much more. It was great. 

Lady Gaga was AMAZING! Even though we were up so high I had to squint to see her, I had a blast. 

Currently, it is around 3:30 and I've just had a bowl of peanut butter cup ice cream and am trying to will myself to go on an easy run. I don't even care how far I go, it could be just 3 miles, but I NEED to run. I'm going out to sushi tonight (again) with B and his parents and undoubtedly there will be saki and beer and so much food! Oh well, its my spring break. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why do I run?

Whenever I am feeling miserable during a race/run, this question tends to sneak its way into my head quite often. "Why am I doing this?!"
But then I think about it and here are just some of the reasons why I run:

I run because it reconnects me to the world around me.
I run because it calms me and releases all the negative energy and feelings that I may be hoarding inside.
I run because of the amazing feeling of accomplishment afterward.
I run because I love to eat food.
I run because no matter what I feel beautiful when I'm done.
I run because the world melts around me.
I run because I can't get enough of that runners high.
I run because it gets me out of the house and into the sun.
I run because it's my prozac.
and lastly,
I run because I can.

One phrase that I've always enjoyed goes something like, "your life is dictated by the choices you make." I've made more bad decisions than I can count and am continually learning to accept responsibility for my mistakes and take control of my emotions. At the same time I can take credit for my good decisions.

One of the best decisions I ever made was joining the girls cross country team in high school. Here's why:

I remember when I first joined cross country as a young whipper snapper. I was shy, insecure, and entering 9th grade. Now, I should tell you that at this time I was also on the 9th and 10th grade pom squad and was having a hard time of it because of the stereotypical cattiness that comes with it. There was gossip, cliques, glares, and the "divas" always had to be in the front and center of all the routines. In short, it was misery.

But then at my mom's urging I found the cross country team. It was a breath of fresh air. The older girls didn't shun me as a possible prospect of beating them, they took me under their wing. At practices, they would encourage me and we would run as a team even though it was the most individualized sport at the school. If one of us felt like they needed to slow down we wouldn't let them. Many times that was me and I would always get the "come on Erica, we're almost there!".

At one particular meet in Missouri we had five of us running right next to each other and as we passed a coach from another team he screamed out "Come on girls! Now that's a team!"

So I loved cross country for what it did to me. It helped me become comfortable in my own skin through the "awkward years" and gave me much needed confidence. I know this is such a sappy post but it's true and I think it gives some reflection to the running culture. Even though it is a very competitive sport it's full of the most encouraging people I've ever met.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today was a long and rough day. I'm glad it's almost over.

Yesterday, however was actually a pretty good day. I'll stick with talking about that. 

I woke up early and drove to Panera Jack Rector Beacon 25k with Brent who was also my photographer for the day. I finished with an official time of 2:17:11. I'm not very excited about it but I'm glad that I went and finished. It's nice to have gotten a 16 mile run under my belt. I haven't run that far in at least 2 years.

The run was basically out and back and I clocked in my first 8 miles at 1:06 and thought I had it until I had 5 miles left. Then I died and my pace went to what felt like a shuffle. 

I had some more pictures taken on my camera but I am missing the cord that allows me to upload them on my computer so hopefully I will find that soon and put some more up. Oh and it was also Brent's first ever experience at a road race. He did a fantastic job and supported me the whole way.

For lunch after the race I gorged myself on Indian food and later in the evening enjoyed a few good brews at a gastropub.

Then today happened.
The result of working a double at work and no running is a very unhappy girl. In order to placate my frustrations I ate about a gazillion calories and felt even worse afterward. Thankfully its a whole new day tomorrow.

Good night!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Outside it is BEAUTIFUL!

Finally, it's starting to warm up here. Oklahoma is not supposed to be cold (at least in my mind) and I'm ready to be playing around in some 70 degree weather.

I ended up running 6 miles yesterday because I was feeling good and thought an extra mile would only make me stronger. Today I'm going to rest since I'm planning on running a 25k tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll do a little yoga or elliptical. Who knows.

Green thumb? I wish.
Now that we're getting into spring with full force its time for me to start working on my garden. One thing about me is that I do NOT like to plan. I don't even like to say the word, really.

So last year I tried to plant a garden and it failed miserably. My tomatoes (which I found out are supposed to be caged in one of those wire things) spread out everywhere taking over my squashes and cucumbers and everything else just died because I got too lazy to water and weed it daily, or even weekly.

I also never put up a barrier around it so the dogs went traipsing around it crushing the last living bits. Complete and utter disaster.

I did have some survivors in the form of flowers and random potted peppers though. 


See? This is one of two of my little knockout rose bushes that are STILL alive just not blooming yet!!!











I also successfully grew a pot of little hot peppers but wasn't quite sure what to do with them because I had forgotten the actual type after I planted them. 








So this year is going to be different. I'm going to PLAN PLAN PLAN and make an awesome garden that will actually grow veggies that I will use!

One day my backyard will look like this:



And I will take a picture of me standing happily in front of it just like I  stood in front of the hydrangeas (my favorite flower) at the Arboretum in Dallas last summer.
On another more serious note, my thoughts and prayers go out to those suffering in Japan after the massive earthquake. I am chilled to my bones after watching this film taken from the NY Times website. I can not imagine what the victims must be going through and it breaks my heart.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rise and Shine

I woke up extra early this morning. Not on purpose, but because I nudged Sampson (my dog) to make sure he was still alive (I periodically do this in the middle of the night because I have a fear that I may crush him in my sleep) and he didn't move. So for a second I panicked and rolled him over and he woke up and looked at me very annoyed. 
This is actually a very old pic of me sleeping that an old roommate took as a joke, but thought it was still appropriate for this post.


I guess since I'm up and already have a cup of coffee flowing through my blood stream I should get out there and run my 5 miles. It is less windy.

It's apparently the international day for awesomeness

Maybe I'll have an awesome run? An awesome day today at work? 
Let's hope so.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today's Run

Today my workout consisted of a mile warm up, 3x1600 repeats with 2x800 jogs in between and a mile cool down.
1st mile: 7:17
2nd mile: 7:30 (struggled with this one)
3rd mile: 7:20 (redeemed myself)

Total miles: 6

Then, a nice walk with the dogs.

A little bit about my dogs:
(scroll down to see a little video)
What else do I love besides running, my family, and my boyfriend? My two little babies, Sampson and Jackson. Ok, they're not really babies and truly, only one of them is little, the other one is rather big.

Here's a little history about them:

Sampson a schnoodle (for those that don't know that's a schnauzer poodle mix) once lived on the harsh streets until he was jailed up in the pound. One day, I came in looking for a furry little friend to keep me company since, at the time, I lived by myself in an apartment and wanted some companionship. What had drawn me to my little Sampson was that he was the ugliest, dirtiest little doggie there. His hair was matted and he was covered in ticks and fleas so I adopted him (err as I like to say, bailed him outta dog prison), cleaned him up and give him a pretty awesome home. He is now groomed and tick and flea free after a long and difficult process of several deep cleaning baths.
He looks a little unhappy in this pic but one interesting thing about Sampson is that he always looks like he's upset because of the way his eyebrows are shaped. Kinda weird.
See? I'm not even holding him and he still looks unhappy.
My other dog, or rather my boyfriends dog that I claim as my own, is Jackson.
Jackson is a pretty awesome husky and has become best buds with Sampson.
Here they are snuggin. Pretty adorable if you ask me.
One thing about these two is that every time they see me put on my running shoes, they think I'm going to take them on a walk. If you're not familiar with huskies, they have a tendency to "talk" or howl which is pretty entertaining until it becomes annoying and Jackson uses it to his full advantage, roo-rooing around the living room until I give in to leashing him up and heading out the door. So now, no matter what, I have to walk these two after every run because even if I put them outside in the backyard they seem to use their dog sense to know when I'm lacing up the Asics and will cry and whine at the door. Relentlessly. No matter how tired I am.

I tried to get into the habit of walking them before I ran, but the ordeal of walking an ADD shnoodle that zig zags from side to side and a husky with a will to chase after and attempt to eat stray cats depletes my energy enough to expel any motivation that I may have had to run.

video
Here's a video from today of Jackson and his way of telling me that now that I'm done running, its his turn.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's a rest kind of day

Since I'm still following my Runners World training app I followed their instructions in taking today as a rest day. At around 6PM I wanted to get out there and run a few miles because it wasn't the best of all days today and I needed to let off some steam but held out. Rest days are just as important as training days, right?

So, now I'm debating on running a 25k this Saturday to help me out with my long run since, lets face it, running these are just harder to accomplish when you do it alone. I was hoping that I would find a half marathon but what's an extra 3 miles??? OK, maybe a lot after you've ran 13.

Oh and before I forget, I have never had a foam roller but feel like I should get one. I may have to purchase one sometime this week.

Happy running!

Morning Time

Yesterday: 5 mile (easy) run
Instead of doing 800m intervals yesterday like I had planned, I went with what my Runners World Training App on my phone advised, which was an easy 5 miles. Since I lost my watch a long time ago and am too lazy and too cheap to buy a new one, I've been using the timer on my IPOD Shuffle which is a little difficult to use for keeping an accurate time. So, I clocked in my time somewhere around 42 minutes which wasn't bad since I am very out of shape! 


I was probably the last runner to track my runs with my car...
Also, I discovered a great tool to track mileage on a website called runningmap.com where you can actually route your own runs and save them to pull up later as well as share it with other people around your community! This is WAY better than what I used to do, which was drive around in my car tracking the speedometer.

Blisters anyone?
A second recent discovery of mine that I thought I'd share is an amazing anti-chafe stick that I smother all over the arch in my right foot because I am prone to get the biggest and ugliest blisters there. I'm talking, every time I start to increase my mileage this nasty thing shows up, spreads throughout the majority of my arch and hurts enough to keep me from running for days because its just too painful - even after popping it! - gross. 

When I was visiting my mom, a wonderful lady at Run On recommended this as I was perusing the many different types of socks that are made to keep your feet in running form and I am so thankful she did because my blisters are finally starting to heal!

Speaking of socks, I'm not one to go out and buy all the latest, fanciest running equipment because, first of all, I'm too broke. Second of all, I am somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to my running. I mean, its nice and all to have a sleek looking dry fit tee and all the fun little running gadgets, but when I ran cross country in high school I was running in Soffe shorts, homemade t-shirts that read the classic running quotes, and NO music! Every once in awhile I try to run without the ol' IPOD to revisit days passed but its very rare. I can't resist having some good Lady GAGA and GirlTalk tunes blasting into my ear to keep my pace up.


A couple of running supplements that I've tried
I'll even tell you my funny story of the first time I tried Gu. 
  
yep, this stuff. 

I was running my first marathon and had never tried Gu, never even heard of it! I'm telling you, I'm a minimalist. When I got somewhere into mile 17 or 18 I came across a water station and was looking for a snack. They where handing this stuff out and so, while running, I ripped off the tops and squirted this bad boy into my mouth.... Oh no... I thought that maybe I had grabbed the wrong thing and just ate Vasoline! My mind went to thinking, "how horrible! I've come all this way to potentially be poisoned by Vasoline!" Turns out it was just a really icky flavor.  So moral of the story there is to maybe read the package before eating - or maybe not test out new things mid-race. 

It takes me awhile to learn from my mistakes though. During the half-marathon I did recently, my good friend and long distance running partner (her name is Virginia and she's in some of the running pics from my last post) had these fun little things:

She handed me a few to try out so I stuffed them into my little key pocket in my running shorts to "boost energy" throughout the run. Since I was out of shape for this half, I thought "I need all the energy boosts I can get!", so I waited until mile 5 and popped one in when I realized that it is very difficult to breathe and chew at the same time. The result was me choking while running and that's never fun. I guess the people at Gu and their idea to make it with a Vasoline-like consistency have something going there. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Photo Montage of Previous Races

Before I head outside to take on the Oklahoma winds for some 800m intervals, I thought that maybe I should post some pics from previous races.
 Here, I believe this is the Dallas White Rock Marathon from 2008 and I am looking oh so hardcore!
 This wonderful photo was taken with some good friends before the Tulsa Run in October. Since this race took place on Halloween day, we dressed up in our best 80s gear! That wonderful guy to the left is John, aka Richard Simmons, and we are his workout ladies.

Another pre-race photo before the Tulsa Post Oak Half Marathon, my most recent race from two weeks ago.

This was taken from the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon in 2008.

My mom (also a marathon runner, ultra marathon runner and Boston qualifier) consoling me after I finished with the family dog, Eisenhower.

Last photo of the day, my little brother, me and my step-dad after the Turkey Trot 8 mile race in Dallas.

First Post

I'll begin by explaining a little bit about myself. I am a 23 year old recent college grad who is, for the most part, undecided about what I want to do with my life. I majored in International Studies with a minor in Business and French and like most people that I tell this to, I'm struck with the question of, "what are you going to do now?". My answer is almost always "I have no f'n clue".

For now, I am a waitress until I begin my service with AmeriCorps in mid-April in hopes that I will survive off of their meager income (averaging about $5/hour) and gain experience so that I will be able to finally get one of those full timers with big fat paychecks... or most likely go back to selling my first born to finance more student loans so that I can go back to grad school.

Until this moment, I have wanted to keep a blog but figured that writing about my complaints in the restaurant industry, updates about my boyfriend, how my dog is doing, etc. is not exactly what I'd call good reading. But through a thorough self-assessment I discovered that I may have one topic that others may find interesting, at least others with the same interest, and that is RUNNING!

My Running History:

I first began running through the influence of my mom and step-dad who are, and continue, to be HUGE runners. I was one of those little kids you see racing my heart out to get through the 1 mile fun run at 5ks. When I was 8, my mom enrolled my older brother and I onto a club track team and I would run so hard on the 1500m race that I would cry every time I finished. I was never the fast kid, though, but I'll tell you one thing, I was still competitive and would fight hard for that 3rd place!

After my season on the kids track team, I went on a running hiatus until I finally agreed with my mom to go to one of the summer workouts with the high school cross country team right before my freshman year in exchange for a trip to the mall. It definitely took a lot of convincing because I wanted to be one of the "cool kids" and I didn't think being a cross country runner would get me there. But,  I went and I ran and thought I was going to die but kept going back. I ran cross country and track until I graduated four years later and continued to run (non-competitively) throughout college and here we are today!

While there have certainly been months where I have ran maybe as much as 3 miles, I somehow almost always come back and now I'm at it again to train for my 5th marathon.