Sunday, July 31, 2011

What I love the most about running

First – I’d like to thank all of you that commented on yesterday’s post about the cats! The shelter did a great job during feline fest! The final count of the weekend isn’t in yet, but we were very realistically hoping to reach 100 cat adoptions for the weekend! Smile
While I’m running, I have a tendency to think mostly about what I'm doing. On longer runs there is some soul searching, but mostly I’m trying to pay attention to my legs, stomach, core, and breathing. Or battling this constant stuffiness I seem to have – which is seriously impeding my ability to breath normally on runs. Annoying.
But, what I love most about running, even the not-so-great runs, is the way I feel after. The endorphins get flowing, I’ve rehydrated a bit, stretched, logged my run on daily mile. When I stand again …
I feel strong
I feel powerful
I feel healthy
I feel happy
I feel inspired
I feel worthwhile
I feel productive
I feel confident
I feel better than I would’ve if I slept through the morning
I feel better than I would’ve laying around hung over
I feel purged
I get in the shower and wash away the salt, the sweat, and any lingering negativity. I begin the day with a strong sense of self, a peace of mind, a calm sturdy poise.
THAT’s why I love running.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Evening Runs

I am generally a morning runner. It just works better for me. I don’t like running on a lot of food, and lots of random foods (not all of which I’ve figured out yet) bother my stomach. So the safest bet of not having random stomach pains, or worse, is to run in the morning. It also helps to get my mornings off to a good start. Endorphins ftw!!

However, I also really love sleep. And this week, my sleep has been WEIRD! Usually I have trouble sleeping – falling asleep, staying asleep etc. This week was the other end of the spectrum. I was sleeping like the dead! I fell asleep with the TV on one night – and slept straight through till the alarm. I didn’t even wake up due to an obnoxiously loud commercial! Anyway, this dead sleep caused me to sleep through some morning runs.

So I did them in the evening. Both after really long days. But, the runs went all right. The first night run (Thursday night) was a bit too late though. I started out at 845, I don’t really have any nighttime running clothes, and it was DARK.

Today’s run was at 6ish. I had a long day of volunteering at the animal shelter – it’s our annual feline fest. I had to be there at 8 (even earlier than when I go to work during the week!) So I didn’t make it out to run before.

I had really low expectations for the run this evening. I did not hydrate or fuel properly throughout the day. The staff at the shelter did not seem to share my work ethic (or really any) so I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to prep the floor to open at 10. And then once it did open, 12 cats were adopted within the first hour. Holy busy. And the day continued like that. So I didn’t take in the water I needed to, and the run was happening in a stiff 88 degree evening. ouch.

The plan called for 3 miles at goal pace (10:20 for me). I told myself that getting the miles in was the most important thing, so to just run them at a decently comfortable pace – I was expecting like 10:45 or worse. I started off up a hill, and got warmed up. And then, before I knew it, I was cruising along much faster than I’d planned. I thought about telling myself to pull back, but why? So I pushed, on trying to maintain the same effort. I was super happy to end with 3 miles at an average pace of 10:14. One of my best outdoor runs in a while!

this was a big confidence booster. As I looked back through my daily mile log this week and last, my posts seem pretty positive, and my times looked good. However, I’ve been left with a lingering feeling of pessimism. So tonight’s run was a nice bump!

Now I’ve got to plan tomorrow’s 6 miler, which I’ll probably be doing in the early morning.

Also, I never thought I’d say this,but after 8 hours of cat volunteering, I’m pretty sick of other cats. I’m cool with chilling just with my dinah for a little while. And for anyone wondering – 35 cats were adopted today! NICE!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Newbie Chronicles: Volume 2: Blogging

Why blog?

I started this blog some months ago to write, generally.  I didn’t have a whole lot of direction. Every other year or so I tell myself I’m going to write more. And I do, for like a day.

This “blog” floundered for a while. I wrote about um, nothing. And then I started running, and my running blog was born. It was something to write about that seemed worth recording. Plus, I’d been reading tons of other running blogs. So I had something to relate to.

Things I love about run-blogging.

  • Accountability. I have readers, or at least I maintain the delusion that I do; therefore, by saying something on the internet to my “readers” (hehe) I raise my level of accountability to do what I said I would, or at least try. So that helps.
  • Community. The run-blog community is awesome. There’s so much to learn from other bloggers, and their commenters, and their comments on my posts. Feed back is awesome, reassurance that you’re not the only one that sometimes finds running hard is seriously awesome, and encouragement is the bomb.
  • History. Blogging my journey gives me the opportunity to record it and review it. It helps to go back and recall that, yes, this was hard before, it didn’t all of the sudden become difficult today. It’s good to read back and recall great runs when it’s getting difficult, and to see how much I’ve progressed over time.

What my run-blog is not

  • Photos. Sorry photo lovers, but as you may’ve noticed pictures are few and far between on this blog. I have never been an obsessive picture-taker. Despite the fact my camera was in my purse for a month, I never took a single picture. whoops. Therefore, if you want to read my blog, you’re really going to have to read. Occasionally, I’ll throw some pictures in, but mostly, this is words.
  • Enduring positivity. Running and training are hard. Yes, it’s important to remain positive through out the journey. However, sometimes it sucks, and those are the times that blogging helps the most. It allows you to write out the problem and work through it. Again – accountability, community, history.
  • Money/Publicity. My goal in blogging is mostly personal. Record my journey, get some feed back, maybe make a few internet friends along the way. I’m not looking to massively increase my readership, or pass myself off as some sort of expert. Yes, I do post my links on twitter; however, my twitter is dominated by runners whom I don’t know at all – thus working toward my goal of feedback. Very few real-life friends know I even have a blog.

Running is exceptionally new to me. And the lifestyle change it’s forced, which I welcome wholeheartedly, does not match up with the person I’ve been, or have been perceived to have been, for most of my life/real life relationships. If 2011 was about anything, it was about recreating what it means to be ME. And so far it’s working out great.

As weird as it sounds, I’m very grateful to be able to document this transformation and share it with a bunch of strangers – and a select few real lifers. Thank you bloggy buddies!

My Apologies

Sorry dear readers, I've been MIA.

Between birthday festivities, other weekend obligations, the heat, and generally not feeling well, I barely even turned on a computer this weekend. So lack of blog posts resulted.

I think the ick was from heat/dehydration and mostly allergies. I didn't really have an issue with allergies until I was well into my 20s so I'm kind of baffled by them, and a huge baby. I think I am allergic to my cat :( but, you can bet your bottom dollar she's not going any where. Anyway, some generic brand allergy meds seem to be helping (along with clean sheets, mmmm). I did do some running this weekend, but it was crappy, and I don't want to talk about it.

So, I was back at it today, and thank goodness. A nice cool day for a run. Mid 60s, light breeze, mostly cloudy. Good running weather. I set out for an easy 3 miles. I like that "easy" pace for short runs is getting closer and closer to the pace i'd like to be able to run a half at. :)

Mile 1: 10:26
Mile 2: 10:25
Mile 3: 10:25

YO! I wasn't even on the treadmill!! I personally think there's a difference between running 3 miles @ 10:25 average pace with this sort of split as opposed to 3 miles @ 10:25 where your splits are 10:05, 10:25, 10:45. I don't know if it really means I'm a stronger or faster runner. But, I do think it means I'm getting better at being a runner. I'm becoming more in tune with my body, what a pace feels like, and keeping my pace consistent toward the end of the run when you're more likely to slow down and get a bit tired. And I'm totally cool with that kind of progress.

Honestly- I think running this morning with no music helped. I wonder what I thought about on my run? Sometimes, it's like dreaming. You just catch snippets of your thoughts later, without really remembering everything haha.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Three Thing Thursday!!!

Happy Thursday ya'll!

1. B.I.R.T.H.D.A.Y  wooo. My bday is on saturday! :) I kind of can't believe I'll be 29 - I certainly don't feel like I'm 29. Tomorrow I'm having drinks with friends after work to celebrate. I'm actually planning on keeping the weekend pretty low key, I am training after all ;)

2. Training - yesterday I did my first speed workout of the plan. 400s. I haven't done 400s in many many weeks. I ended up doing them on the TM in the afternoon because I'm ridiculous and drove around two 2 different tracks y'day AM and didn't know where to park/if i could really use them/how to get in with all the fences? So next speed workout, i'll cut the crap and just use UAlbany's track. I mean, I do work here, so I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to use it. Now i just need to find it.....

3. Natalie wanted me to do a post about her being in England. So - Natalie is in England, visiting the fam, being whisked off to London by her parents, kissing giant teddy bears, refusing to bring one back for me (rude), and generally continuing on her marathon training (right?!?!??!) and I've noticed my blog hits from the UK have gone up considerably since she moved her stalking-self across the pond. I'm sure she's drinking tons of tea, and eating crumpets or something. and by crumpets i mean Percy Pigs. She went to the cadbury factory outlet, I resisted, this time, having anything brought back for me. But dang, they make some good chocolate. And I will tell ya, the stuff that comes from there is way, way, way better than the cadbury chocolate you buy in rite aide.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Training Plan Started!!!

Yesterday! woo! Mondays are strength and stretch days according to my plan. I'm using an intermediate half marathon training program from Hal Higdon - I'll post more training plan related details at a later date. It adds in an extra day of running that what I usually do (up to 5 days/week from 4), so we'll see how that goes for a few weeks. If it's too much on the legs/ITband then I'll turn one of those days into xtraining.

I was a little irritated with myself yesterday because I'm a morning workout-er, and I slept through morning workout time. However, I redeemed myself by coming home in the afternoon and doing a pretty intense upper body and core workout at home. I'm sore today, so I did something right! :)

Today was the first run and dang oh dang was it humid. 92% humidity. 0 fun, 0 funny. I even added in a hill. That was torture. However, I kept telling myself, push through this now, and you will be so much stronger when the summer temps fade into fall. That worked :)

3 miles at 10:49 average pace. yes, slow - however, tuesday's are easy runs. Also this 10:50ish pace seems to be my normal "its super freaking humid out and i hate this" pace. Yes, still whining about the humidity. hahah.

I am really excited to get going on this plan. I bought a ridiculous amount of healthy groceries to aid in my getting speedy. However, this weekend will involve some indulgence- it's the last birthday I will ever have where I turn another age older. ;) I'll be 29 on saturday, and for the rest of my life.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Newbie Chronicles: Volume 1: Background

I think that providing a bit of background about myself will help to set the stage for my perspective on these reflections. So here’s some “about me.”

I am not now, nor never have I been, an athlete. I never played sports growing up. I took dance lessons for a few months. But I was like 4. It wasn’t my thing. I’ve always been a nerd. I’m cool with it. I read incessantly. I have played piano, viola, mallet percussion. I was in color guard. Don’t judge too harshly! We were a competitive field guard, running around doing tricks and throwing sabers and rifles in the air. My freshman year of high school we were the best in the North East! WOO! go ‘pool!

Anyway, I remember in high school thinking about wanting to join the track team. However, I never vocalized my desires and I was quite intimidated by the prospect of being on a team. Everyone else had been involved in sports since they were young, they were all in great shape, they all knew each other. I never got the guts to go for it.

Which brings me to my next point – a certain level of social anxiety (self-diagnosed, haha). I suppose you wouldn’t think it if you knew me, as I seem pretty out going. But, new situations and new people really make me nervous. For example, they moved all the weights around at my gym a week or two ago. I’ve yet to use them. I’m terrified of walking around looking like I don’t know what I’m doing! (side note: I’ve been going to this gym since 2006). Hopefully tomorrow I’ll put that fear to bed.

I am not competitive by nature. And, quite frankly, I don’t really get it. It’s just not who I am. When I see soccer players taking huge dives to stop a ball the first thing through my head is “why would you do that?! it hurts!” as opposed to “wow! great play” see – not competitive. Unless, of course, I’m trying to prove something to myself….

Why running? Well, anyone can do it. Right? Running doesn’t take a special skill. You don’t have to pay for classes. You need a pair of shoes and some determination. Also, I can do it by myself. That is very much a reason that I run. As I’ve learned more about the sport, I’ve set new challenges for myself. I enjoy running. I’ve even taken to ditching my music every now and again on outdoor runs. Sometimes it just annoys me. I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing.

I am no expert. I AM, however, pretty awesome at researching things. I have spent considerable time reading blogs, articles, books and chatting with people I know who are real life runners to find out what I can about the sport. It has led to some information overload (another post), but I’ve learned a LOT. A great deal of it has been exceptionally useful.

So now you know what I’m not. I’m not a social butterfly. I am not an athlete. I am not a competitor.

I am a runner. I will give myself that. I’ve adjusted my lifestyle, and am continuing to do so, to accommodate this recent love I’ve found for running. I look forward to it. I love it, I hate it, I want it, I need it. I crave the structure of training for an event. And I wonder how far this obsession will take me.  That, I feel, is enough to classify myself as a runner – even if I’m still just a newbie.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Running Relief

This morning it was 58* with nearly 0 humidity. Sunny, even a bit cool. PERFECT.

I woke up this morning with the intention of doing a tempo run on the treadmill (history shows I'm absolutely horrible at packing myself outside. I regularly run one mile :10-:20 slower/faster than the previous. Uh, that's a huge change in pace. Unless it's a long run, but still, my variation from mile to mile is extreme.)

I had a bit of trouble getting out of bed. Yesterday was long freaking day. And, Dinah has settled into a new sleeping pattern that makes her doubly cuddly (i didn't know that was even possible). I fished around blindly for my blackberry. Squinted my eyes, held it two inches from my face, and check my RW quote of the day email, and the weather (regular morning routine). As soon as I saw that the temp was still below 60, I ditched those treadmill plans. I needed to conquer this 3 mile loop that's been plaguing me the last 2 weeks.

I set out from my apartment. I give myself the first half mile to get warmed up before trying to push the pace. I felt like I was just plodding along, but I was, miraculously, holding a fairly steady 10:00ish pace. WHOA. It felt good. I kept at it. I kept looking down and seeing my garmin pace occasionally in the 9s. I love that. Honestly, I was pushing, smiling, flying. At mile two I stopped briefly, I burped, and it did not come up unaccompanied (likely from having eaten like crap y'day). I have never puked from working out (yet), and I really didn't want to start today. I chilled in the shade for like :30 to catch my breath and make sure my belly was ok, then I took off again. The traffic lights cooperated and I was able to cross the street and head towards my apt for that last .03 (I always end up having to run away from my apartment due to the annoying .03 miles shortness of the straightaway I finish on.).

Mile 1: 10:11 (H.O.L.L.A! huge smile!)

Mile 2: 10:12 (who is this girl, keeping pace?)

Mile 3: 10:17 - I didn't actually see this mile split till I was home because I pushed the stop button too fast, but I was really impressed with my consistency.

3mile average: 10:14!! YAY! My last two treadmill tempo runs have had average paces of 10:08 and 10:06. And that's on the treadmill, usually with only a .5 incline. (sometimes 0 incline. cheater, cheater). So, I think 10:14, outside, on that dang loop that's been crushing my soul for 2 weeks is freaking awesome.

Feeling much much better about running today :)

Keep your eyes peeled this weekend for Volume 1 of "The Newbie Chronicles"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This is a really crappy time to be frustrated with my running. My training plan starts on Monday, and I'd really like to go into things on a positive note.

I'm struggling lately. Managing hydration in hotter/more humid temps is one challenge. Dealing with hotter/more humid temps, in general, is another (not totally separate) challenge. Jess @ BlondePonytail did a really awesome post yesterday about running in the humidity. I found it quite informative, even though I already kind of knew that acclamation needed to occur, and running in the hot can make you slower/feel like you have to work 80billion times as hard. The review was nice, succinct, informative, and I like charts.

In addition to running being sucky in the humidity, so is my attitude. Which helps nothing - unless I'm trying to participate in a vicious cycle of miserableness. I don't really want to play that game anymore.

I'm trying to keep my emotions in check. You don't run one half marathon and then become Kara Goucher (if only). Progress takes time. However, my frustration has led to some reflection over the past few days (hence the scantily-clad blog this past week - I've been thinking, not writing).

The result is, over the next few weeks I'm going to do a series of posts on some reflections of what I've learned so far this year: catching the running bug, joining the blog community, what this blog is really about (get some direction, gurl), blog/fitness idols, fitness information overload, and how clueless I am in general about many running/fitness related things. I think the process should be quite helpful (at least to me) and perhaps to some other newbies out there.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

mediocre runner

How do you deal with not doing what you set out to do?

I was supposed to run 5-6 miles today. By "supposed to," I mean that's what I set out to do. Training plan still hasn't started, so I'm just trying to maintain some decent weekly mileage/workout frequency.

Six miles didn't happen, three did. Three kinda slow-ish miles. There's a lot of reasons. I know I didn't hydrate properly yesterday for any significant running. Last night, I was at a wedding, drinking beer, and dancing around in heels. (Heels and I are not friends. I'm not what you would call "graceful" and fall in them all the time. also, they really bug my hips.) I was slow to get going, but I did what I could to try to get off to a good start this AM.

I have not been running outside a lot lately due to my seriously serious hate of humidity. However, i've recently come to terms with the fact that it will be good for me in the long run (he he) to acclimate and deal. It will make me a stronger runner, right?

Anyway, all of these things are kind of excuses. The bottom line is, I just didn't push through it. I gave up. I got to mile 3, I was close to my house, I was breathing really hard, I was hot. I just stopped.

I'm not going to beat myself up about it terribly. But I am going to beat myself up about it a little bit. I could've pushed through. I could've run further. I could've finished the damn 6 miles. Some beating up has to occur here. Running isn't always all rainbows and cupcakes. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it sucks. But pushing through those times are what makes us a better runner, a better person.

Today, I was just average. I'm admitting it to the interwebz in the hopes that next time I feel like copping out for no good reason (aka, not about to die) that I push those wimpy thoughts to the side and act like the runner I want to be.

Quitters don't get sub 2hr half marathons.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gym Nakedness

Gym nakedness is something any of us more modest gym goers have to deal with at some point in time. There's a locker room, there are showers, people get naked. Fact of life. Fine, I get it.

I have only showered at the gym once. There was a leak in the water main at my apartment, in the middle of winter, and the city had to get involved because of how close the pipe ran to the side walk, or something. Long story short, department of general services decided it would be a stellar idea to leave the water main totally exposed all night long (the temperature hit 0*F that night). Water main broke, no water, shower at gym.

I brought a giant bag of clothes, towels, flip flops (duh), etc. I fumbled about getting dressed in the tiny shower area without letting anything get wet from the shower-y ground. Absolutely 0 people saw any nakedness from me. But, that's just how I roll. I don't like being naked around strangers. I don't even really "enjoy" nakedness by myself.

However, there are plenty of people out there who have no problem stripping down and changing in the locker room no matter how many people are around. I am not one of them; however, I respect these people's confidence and do not stare or make faces or rush by awkwardly. I set my eyes on the sink, and keep walking. I watch myself in the mirror as I wash hands and splash water on my face post-workout. Mind my own business. I deal.

Now, a few weeks ago I had a gym nakedness experience that really went to an extreme. I shared this with a few people - they agreed on my "extreme" classification. So here goes:

I made my way through the locker room to my post-workout hand washing routine. As I approached the sink area I noticed a woman standing at the first sink (there are only 3) sans pants... or underwear. I didn't think too much of it right away. I mean, yes, I did think it was weird that she was just standing in the middle of the sink area with no pants on, but hey, it's the locker room. You have the lockers/changing area... an open doorway, three sinks and a bunch of mirrors (and two scales, grr), another open doorway, leading you to a giant row of showers. So yea, a little weird she was just hanging out in the sinks with no pants.

I chose the furthest sink (why crowd someone?) and started in with the cold water. The pants-less-wonder started in with something different. She lifted her right leg, set it on the counter, and began washing her ladybits with a washcloth in the sink.


It was all I could do not to stare. AND THEN...

She lathered up with the foaming HAND soap, and scrubbed her ass down too. You may recall from a few inches upward that there is a GIANT ROW OF SHOWERS a mere 3 yards away.

I was totally flabbergasted. Why would you wash your va-jay in a sink, amongst strangers, with HAND SOAP?!?!?!

After my pretty sweet 4 mile tempo today (4mi @ 10:08 average pace - can I get below 10 by the end of the month? do it do it), I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, and pretend that it was from the splashy sink that I could wring out my shirt... sweaty.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw nakedness. It kept getting closer. no pants! no pants!! She took the sink RIGHT NEXT TO ME (apparently she doesn't appreciate the "don't crowd someone if you don't have to" mantra that I live by), FACED ME DIRECTLY and took her sports bra off and started flinging it about. I'm assuming she was trying to turn it back right side out  in the manner of a 4 year old.

I grabbed my shit and left. I wasn't sticking around for Act II.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Three Things Thursssssssssssday!

1. I have an extreme phobia of bugs. For example, a fly just landed on my boob - at work. I FREAKED THE HELL OUT. I ran, I whined, I almost cried. My co-worker didn't even kill it! Rude. She did run around my cube with her shoe in her hand for several minutes though. My boss then informed me that when flies land on you it's because they are vom'ing up their food to re-eat it. Guess what, that sucker didn't have time to re-eat anything. Therefore, there is now microscopic fly puke on my boob. GROSS.

2. I just found a cold stone gift card in my wallet. I checked, it only has $3 left on it. That won't buy you bumpkis at Cold Stone, but I'm going anyway! YES.

3. I had subway for lunch - turkey sub with veggies and AVOCADO. Awesome. I pretty much inhaled it - about an hour ago. Just now found a giant piece of bread in my bra. Keeping it class folks! (it musta been wedged in there pretty good to survived the fly incident).

You're welcome for the insight into my crazy. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about running again.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Anyone can run 20 miles, it's the last 6.2 that kill ya."

Well,  consensus seems to be if you're gonna train for a marathon, you might as well run one. Or, as my dad says: "Anyone can run 20 miles, it's the last 6.2 that kill ya." nice.

I think I should stop jumping the gun. I have "need-to-train" anxiety. Or, as Happiness One Mile at a Time calls it, an addiction, who knows. What I do know, is that my next training plan calls for an extra day of running as compared to my last (going from 4 days of running/week, to 5). Assuming this doesn't lead to any IT band problems, hopefully this will satiate my need for the challenge of higher mileage... for now.

I'm quite certain that soon enough I'll catch the marathon bug, and then we'll be on our next journey. But, I think I'm bug clear - at least as far as a 2011 marathon is concerned.

Let's talk summer time dehydration (hang on, I need to fill my water bottle...AGAIN)...

Seriously, the past few days have been rough on my body. I chalked Sunday's slow "long" run up to not having run more than 5 miles since the half. I told myself Monday's half-hearted cross training workout was due to really hard workouts the few days prior. I convinced myself it was ok to sleep in yesterday because... hmmm I can't really remember why now. But today's mile repeat attempt was a DISASTER.

My first mile was tough, as it should be. But as soon as I hit the end of the mile for my 'rest' interval, it hit - nausea. I was irritated and fought through it for another 3/4 mile of the next interval. Then the reflux happened and .... walking. I walked for .2 miles till my stomach calmed down and finished out a rough three mile run at 10:11 average pace (still pretty decent pace, for me).

The stomach issues. did. not. stop.

I was not even able to take a sip of water for an HOUR after the gym without feeling like it was coming back up. Some how I managed to force down some b'fast before work. I felt nasty all morning. Mid-morning, I ventured into the world of gotein shakes. (I won a giveaway on their facebook!) It helped! I felt a little better. But an hour or so after it was gone - more stomach nast, now accompanied by random hunger pangs.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich. It was good. But as soon as I stopped eating I felt horrible- for hours. Oh, hey, say the people I'd been complaining to, maybe you're dehydrated.


Our central air sucks, and the bedrooms in our apartment are SO WARM, even with the AC on. Accompanied with the facts that I've 1. woken up sweaty every day, 2. sweat like a psycho every time I workout  and 3. I have not upped my water in take since the weather got warmer.

uh, duh. Definitely dehydrated. I was able to take small sips of water, every few minutes, for an hour or so after the lunch grossness passed, and I'm feeling better. I need to get some electrolytes in me, I think, and a pot of rooibus tea should also help.

Lesson learned: drink more water! Take my advice, don't get hit with the stomach nast!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Training Junkie?

First, I am having major anxiety that my training plan hasn't started yet. Maybe I'll just start a week early - this coming monday - and just do the first week 2x? I feel like I'm just floundering around (in flip flops, or otherwise) when it comes to my workouts. Results? Crazy lots of upper body work this weekend. I mean, it hurts to lift my cuppa tea.

Second: Post-Lake Placid several people (Nat and my dad included) asked me if 26.2 was next up for me. I had toyed with the idea, mid-training, of doing a full this fall. As training continued on, and I hit some difficulties, I began to doubt if I could do a half at all, let alone a full.
Obviously, I can run a  half. And I'm super excited to do another.

I don't know if I have the marathon bug...yet.

I do, however, have a ridiculous desire to train for one. I want to put in the work, and fight the good fight, and face the challenge, and (mostly) put in the mileage. High mileage really appeals to me, for whatever reason. But, I'm not sure if I've got the will to really run the whole race.

Is this weird? Does anyone else experience this desire to just train?
I've never been very competitive, so maybe that's got something to do with it.

For the time being, I'll just keep on running, and thinking about what might be next ;)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Changing it Up

For quite sometime now I've been eating eggs for breakfast. 2 eggs scrambled (no milk - that's kind of the point of all this, be patient!) with maybe some cheese and veggies. Every.Day. It does not take that long to scramble and cook eggs for all those people wondering "how do you possibly workout, make eggs, AND get to work on time." I also have no children to take care of in the morning. The cat's pretty low maintenance...

I like cereal. Well, I like certain cereals. I like them a lot. But what I don't like is milk. I don't think I'm lactose intolerant because I eat more than my fair share of cheese and ice cream (hey, maybe I should cut that out...). But just plain old milk makes me feel GROSS. It doesn't last long, but its enough for me to not want it. Also, milk goes bad super fast. For a while I was only using it in cereal because drinking a glass of it just seemed revolting (unless there was chocolate in it? then I wanted it, but it still makes me queasy). So - icky stomach + milk going sour wicked fast = no thanks.
Then I started running. Now, there were all these people/sites/articles telling me to refuel after long runs with chocolate milk. HELLO! I love chocolate. I tried. I really did. It DID help with recovery; it did my belly no favors. Then one day as I was meandering through the grocery store I noticed SILK DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND MILK.


Of course I bought it. It was delish. I am hoping this has the same recovery benefits as regular milk - i can't imagine that it doesn't. AND it lasts "forever" as compared to traditional dairy milk. It has taken me approximately 3 months since the discovery of this dark chocolate almond milk to draw the connection that there is regular (not chocolate) almond milk, and I could put that in my cereal. (listen, sometimes i'm not so quick to the line, here. don't judge).

Yesterday I bought some delicious Special K Vanilla Almond, some fresh raspberries, and some plain old almond milk. Post-gym breakfast HEAVEN!!

The return of cereal to my breakfast menu.

And look! Dinah likes it too!!! jerk cat.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

“It’s not your job to like me–it’s mine.” ~ Byron Katie


I saw this quote at the bottom of this daily engineering e-newsletter I get at work. I’d never heard of Byron Katie, so I looked her up. I don’t generally buy in to the whole commercialized “self-help” movement, but I REALLY liked this quote.

This quote spoke to me particularly because this really is the reason I fell in love with running. I needed to make it MY job to like me and stop seeking approval elsewhere.

I have found that through running I’ve developed more confidence in myself, I have goals that are both short and long, and all are attainable. By creating goals in running, I’ve begun creating, or re-creating, goals in other parts of my life as well. New interests have budded, and I’ve taken them seriously. Old interests have re-emerged and I’ve embraced them. I’ve begun to incorporate my new goal-setting attitude. It’s quite exciting, and not nearly as intimidating as I may have thought it was at this time last year. …Though it was about this time last year, that I really realized how off track I’d become.

Don’t get your heads in a tizzy, dear readers, I wasn’t blowing lines or turning tricks Winking smile

I was; however, caught in a whirlwind of other people’s drama that I seriously wanted nothing to do with anymore. So, quite simply, I stopped. It was last 4th of July weekend when I just stopped. see ya, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be around this negativity, unhealthy lifestyles, warped thinking. No. I was done.

I didn’t like where my life had headed and a lot of it really had to do with the fact that I put too much emphasis on what other people were thinking. This is quite the opposite of my attitude earlier in life where I couldn’t have given a flying hoot who thought what about me.

When I started running “for realsies” last August I redeveloped my sense of self, my sense of purpose. It’s been a struggle, at times, to not just give in and revert to the old ways (and sometimes easier) of just not caring, or not doing, but I have persevered thus far.  My running is improving, I’m excited about new races, and long term goals, and seeing my pace get faster, and my body getting stronger. I feel … more alive, on a daily basis. The air is sweeter, the smiles are bigger, I am nicer, the cats are cuter (ok, yea right, the cats were always super cute – which reminds me, in 2 weeks it’s my one year anniversary of volunteering at the shelter)

When I began reading running blogs, which was well before I started writing about my own running, I read several posts from various bloggers about how running made them better people, how it improved their life overall. To be honest, I was extremely skeptical that “running” could do this for people. Well, I’m more than willing to admit that I’ve been proven wrong.

Through running, I’ve taken ownership of myself, and my attitude about myself. It’s important to me to get up at 530 every day and get a run in, or a workout that will make me a better runner. It’s important to me to wake up early (though not quite as early) on weekends and do long runs, and fuel properly. I’m not interested in hitting up bars filled with a bunch of (likely underage) idiots until 3am. no thanks. A deep restorative sleep so I can get up and prove to myself that I’m worthwhile sounds way more fun. It’s important to me that I like who I am, and I couldn’t give two kitten turds if “you” don’t.  (that’s the royal “you” and in no way referring to any of my darling reader).

I saw this quote on Thursday and I have been wanting to blog about it since then. But it wasn’t until I actually started writing this post that I realized that it was a year ago this weekend that I believed the essence of what Byron Katie is saying (even if I didn’t know at the time that she’d said it).

I hope that you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend. I still have no plans, and I don’t really know if I’ll make any. I think I might rather like celebrating my own personal victory with my own, much improved, self.