Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello! I wanted to share a link with anyone interested in starting running, for those living in/visiting Pittsburgh. We have some amazing rail trails that have been renovated cleaned up that run along all three of the rivers. There are a few different sections, and the one that I usually run on is along the Northshore and goes by both PNC Park and Heinz Field. I found a map that shows all of the trails:

They're so much fun to run or walk on and offer some amazing views of the city. It always makes my runs go by much quicker, and they're relatively flat so it's not too hard of a workout.

Also, yesterday for my birthday I got an amazing GPS watch made by Nike: which I'm VERY EXCITED to start using. I'll be able to track my miles, calories, average pace, and many other stats. I'll talk more about how I like it once I'm able to use it. It's been a very busy week so far, so I'm excited to go for my next run!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Step at a Time

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.

Today has been a very reflective week for me. It's my 21st birthday, and as I was running along the trails in Riverview Park last night, I thought back over the past year of how much I've changed. I would say that I definitely matured a lot through the past 365 days in multiple ways. I'm much more career-focused after completing my first internship. Last summer I was a technology intern at Progressive Insurance, and working for 12 weeks in the field helped me realize what life will be like after college. That helped me focus on the past year of school, giving me the two best semesters of college thus far. This summer, I'm interning at PNC Bank as a technology project manager, which has already allowed me to grow in so many ways, both professionally and technically. It helped me to narrow my vision and realize my potential in the work place.

Other big changes that I've gone through, as I've mentioned before, is re-discovering my passion for running. Last year, I'd be lucky if I'd go for a "run" once a week after work, which would turn into more of a half-hour of run/walking (most walking). Now, I get antsy and grumpy if I'm unable to run or workout 5 or 6 days out of the week. Yesterday I realized how much my body has changed with all of these life-style choices I've made. Running a half hour on the trails is so comfortable for me now, and I actually look forward to that time during the day.

The quote at the top is one that I first heard back when I was competitive in middle school, and really helped to motivate me during training and races. I realize more and more now how much that can apply to everything in my life. Everything in life must be done to the best of your ability at all times, and we must always strive to improve ourselves! This can't be done by living idle, get up, get going, and change your good into your BEST!

Pittsburgh Marathon: 313 days
Workout: 30 minutes/ 3.5 miles on trails

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Starting Line

A little background information to start out...

My name is Gretchen, and I'm a rising senior at Penn State University. From the time I was 9 years old until around 18, I was an extremely active and competitive runner. I ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track, and loved to do road races all over the city of Pittsburgh. When I was a junior in high school, I went through a few injuries, and basically quit caring about running (and fitness in general). I picked up the saxophone and joined my high school's marching band, and went on to be a part of the Penn State Marching Blue Band in college. This past year, I decided to sign up for the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon pretty much out of the blue to get myself to start running again. Although I didn't hit my target time of 2 hours, and finished around 2:08:00, I re-found my passion for running, and it's changed my life.

Now that we're all caught up, why am I writing a blog? I'm not a writer by any means (I'm in Information Technology) as it is probably evident; I'm hoping to share some of my training, maybe inspire some non-runners or old runners to pick up their sneakers and go for a jog, get some advice from people, document my training to help myself out, and actually hold myself accountable for my next goal: running the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6, 2012.

This next year is going to change my life in more ways than one. I'll be graduating college (hopefully...), starting a full time job (again, hopefully...) and getting into the best shape of my life (last time..HOPEFULLY!). Follow along, get inspired, help me stay inspired, comment, love it, hate it, just KEEP RUNNING!