Tag Archives: Running

Life, a Half Marathon, and Restoring Sanity

2 Nov

Just about a year after I decided to run my first half, I signed up for my next half. This May: Boston’s Run to Remember.

I have the running bug. Not that you’d know it, since I’ve really only run one mile since Chicago. Really? Really. This is my life right now. Last week there was only one day I was home before 9:30pm. This week and the next two weeks will basically be the same. I’m realizing that the chances of me doing any running before my Turkey Trot are slim to none. Oh well, it’s totally possible to PR a 5k after not running for a month, right? Don’t look at me with that tone of voice.

Once I have some semblance of free time back, I need to craft a good plan to improve my half time. That includes creating a better base over the winter: indoor track workouts, muscle classes, and cross training galore. I have until the end of February to kick myself back in gear. I can do it.

You might be thinking “Okay, so you’re busy during the week… but surely you have free time on weekends!” You would be right if you weren’t totally wrong. And don’t call me Shirley. With Cabaret opening next week, we have rehearsals all week long (no days off until *maybe* 11/15). And this past weekend? Well… I was at a little rally down in DC.

Yes, it was amazing. Yes, we drove 8+ hours each way to see it. Yes, the city was absolutely MOBBED with people. Yes, we attempted to go to an Italian restaurant for dinner, only to remember that the next morning was the Marine Corps Marathon when we were told there was a 7 hour wait for a table.

My life is crazy and I kinda love it. If I can ever find more time to write a detailed post and photos, I’ll do so. Magic 8 Ball says “ask again later.” Dammit, 8 Ball I don’t have time to ask later.

Run on, folks.

Lessons Learned While Running

25 Oct

Scenario:
I went out for my last run before Chicago (a mere two miles) after work. The early October sky was already darkening, but I figured I could finish before it got totally dark. Nope. After one lap around my neighborhood, it was dark. Streetlights only do so much in an area with many trees, so there were times I was running in shaded darkness. I may or may not have tripped (but steadied myself) on an upturned sidewalk edge.
Lesson Learned:
Headlamps may look kinda nerdy, but I value unharmed limbs over running appearance. Time to buy one.

Scenario:
After getting a new pair of leggings and wearing them around all day, I wanted to go out for a short run to get back into the post-marathon swing of things. I didn’t bother changing because hey, these leggings are activewear. 0.15 miles in, I’m pretty sure my buttcrack would be showing if it weren’t for my long shirt. I had to adjust every 0.1 miles or so. Yep, cut that run down to just a mile. I still love the leggings… I’ll just use them for anything but running.
Lesson Learned:
Activewear doesn’t always like being super active.

Scenario:
The first run I did post-Chicago was a mile and it was just 6 seconds slower than my mile PR from track workouts.
Lesson Learned:
When your pants are falling down, you tend to run faster just so you can get home.

Any amusing things you’ve learned or noticed while running or exercising?

Monday is halfway over! Enjoy the rest of it. And don’t forget to get ready for next week’s MBE :)

Monday Brain Exchange: Week 7

10 May

Guh. Hello from sinus hell. Exciting and annoying weekend things to talk about… tomorrow. For now, brain exchange time!

Question: Do you listen to music when you work out?  When you race?  What are you top ten favorite songs to get pumped up to?

I listen to music… sometimes. It depends on a) my motivation, b) my mood, and c) if I remember to grab my iPod before hitting the road. I’ve been a forgetful fanny when it comes to taking my stuff out on the road with me lately. It’s no big deal. Well, it isn’t a big deal until I’m two miles in to a 5K tempo at 5:30am and I really need that extra motivation. Then I run to the gentle sounds of me cursing myself. Overall, I’ve found that I don’t need it. I’m actually really bad at updating my playlists. It wasn’t until late last year that I finally trimmed down my music library, eliminating all the random crap I acquired during college. Even now, I find myself running to slightly stale playlists because I just don’t remember to buy new songs. Oh, and I typically run with just one earbud in so I can hear what’s up around me.

When I race, it depends. If I’m with someone and it’s a short distance, I won’t bring music. If it’s a long distance, I’ll bring music whether or not I’m with someone else. Conversation works for a while, but at some point you may have to tune out the rest of the world and focus. I ran my half in March with music, but pulled out an earbud now and then since there was so much entertainment on the Disney grounds.

Top ten songs… ooh, this is a toughy. My top songs change like, every week. For now I’ll go with:

  1. The State of Massachusetts – Dropkick Murphys
  2. Everlong – Foo Fighters
  3. God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash
  4. U + Ur Hand – P!nk
  5. Untouched – The Veronicas
  6. Quixote – Bond (it starts off slow, but after 30 seconds, this song is auditory crack)
  7. The Pretender – Foo Fighters
  8. Major Tom – Shiny Toy Guns
  9. Come Down – Toad the Wet Sprocket
  10. I’ll Make A Man Out Of You* – Mulan Soundtrack
*Okay story time on this one: the day before my half in March, we were browsing around a store in Downtown Disney. This song came on and, no lie, I had to hold back some tears. It’s not like I’m a huge fan of the movie (I think maybe I saw it once), something about the song just hit me and I realized “oh my god I’m about to run my first half marathon.” It was an overall very moving moment for me. I went back to my hotel that night and immediately bought the song and added it to my race playlist. It actually started playing at a crucial time; mile 12, when my pace had slowed drastically due to muscle cramps. I will probably associate that song with that race for the rest of my life. And I’m okay with that.

Weekend Wrapup

25 Apr

I hope you all had a splendid weekend!

FRIDAY

To compensate for my increased heart rate, I decided to do a run/walk on Friday afternoon. Using my Garmin’s interval training feature, I went out for a 2:1 10x for a 30 minute run. I ended up going 2.78 miles in 30 minutes… not too shabby since 10 of those minutes were walking! I walk quickly :)

SATURDAY

I met with the lulu run group again, and we set out for 4.5 miles… which turned in to 5 miles when we hit the 2.25 point of our out and back and thought “what’s another .25 miles this way?” Oof, my heart went crazy. Maybe it was the pollen, or the fact that my outfit was way too warm for the weather, but a 10+ minute pace was killing me. We made it 3 miles running, but did a 2:1 run/walk for the last two. Our run leader, Pete, was riding a bike since he was still recovering from an awesome Boston, and he decided to take some videos of us huffing and puffing. It’ll be here once he sends it over to me!

Of course, I negated all of that work later that afternoon when I headed over to the Boston Bacon and Beer Festival. Yes. A festival dedicated to local breweries and local restaurants featuring bacon-themed dishes. Vegetarians and vegans beware: I’m about to talk about the wonders of bacon. There were some straaaaange dishes, but I didn’t turn my head away from everything. I mean, they’re free samples… if I didn’t like anything, toss it out. And I could end up loving new things. I tried everything from bacon donuts to the most perfectly-rendered piece of porkbelly to cheddar/bacon biscuits to a chocolate and bacon milkshake! There were even chocolate, ale, and bacon cupcakes:

It was a seriously awesome time. And I felt much better about eating all that bacon since I ran 5 miles beforehand ;)

SUNDAY

…TODAY

I planned on getting in a few more miles, but I was pretty wiped from the whole weekend and decided to lay low and only take my evening yoga class. I picked up a Yogitoes skidless towel just before class since I have issues with sliding around. My muscle fatigue became evident near the end of the class when I started shaking in some of the positions. But, something wonderful happened…

…for a few seconds, my right heel was ON THE GROUND in downward dog! Um, hello happiness and goodbye tight hamstrings! I’ve only been taking this class for a few weeks and I already feel like I’ve improved so much.

It’s now 8pm aaaaaand I feel like I’m going to pass out. Dumb pollen!

Enjoy the rest of your nights!

Wrapping Up the Weekend

6 Apr

Yeah yeah yeah it’s Tuesday. But let’s ignore that fact for right now.

This past weekend was B-E-A-UTIFUL. My lululemon running group went out for 4 miles, which ended up being much tougher than I had anticipated. It’s probably because my body wasn’t ready for the warmer weather/deathly pollen, but my pace was yuck. Whatevs, I didn’t sweat it too much. 4 miles is 4 miles, right?

My parents and I finally bought our compost tumbler! We also picked up some raised-bed garden borders, which I’ll hopefully get set up this weekend. I’m still deciding on what to plant… I want to plant so many different things, but I don’t want to get overwhelmed in my first year doing this. I’m thinking lettuce, peppers, carrots, onions, leeks, celery and radishes. It’s getting late in the planting season, so I’ll probably have to buy seedlings instead of seeds. Bah.

On Sunday I didn’t get out for a run since I was busy cooking all morning for Easter. But I did go out for an awesome 8 mile bike ride followed by some OnDemand yoga (boooo gym being closed…). And as much as I wanted to run yesterday, I could feel how tired my body still was and I took a rest day. Not today, though. Gotta get out there.

Smile! Spring has arrived :)