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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Whatever it Takes

Today is the last day of April.  Last night we had an event at my husband's school and I was working it as a part of my job and to support him.  I got home a little after 7 PM and could not believe when I saw my blinking clock at 4:20 AM today.  I know they were just numbers but I swear they flashed between 4:20AM and 80 mile challenge.  So back at the end of March when I was feeling pretty good, a Dailymile friend sent me a challenge invite.  Run 80 miles in April.  Well since I had been successfully kicking up my mileage and easily running 100 or on good month more than 100 miles I thought "no big deal."  Plus who tracks that stuff?  It is really just a motivational tool, right?

Well I will tell you who tracks those things: anal, overly competitive, perfectionist, control freaks, otherwise known as yours truly.  Well this should have been a done deal and I should have been able to roll over and lie to myself saying "I will run tonight after work."  Right, because I am so successful at running after a long day at work.  Anyway, I missed the first week of April because I was too sick to run and then I had to build back up and deal with my lingering bronchitis.  So most people, insert normal people, would just say "oh well stuff happens."  Or you could take the road less traveled, like I often do, and see the monthly miles that are far below your challenge goal taunting you for your failure to follow through with a simple commitment.    Hey this approach may not be for everyone: potato / potahto.

The last few weeks I have been back at my normal mileage and the challenge goal has seemed almost possible.  Since last Saturday when I was able to get my 6 miles in, when I expected to be stopped by rain, I saw that my goal was attainable.  I had done the math and figured out that if planned just right I could run my final three miles this AM.  So that blinking clock might have said 4:20 AM.  My head may have said you just got home from work 9 hours ago.  But my heart said "what a wuss you challenged yourself to 80 miles and all that is standing between you and that goal is the front door."  So, bye bye bed and hello Skechers Go Run shoes.  It wasn't the best run ever.  I was tired, I was slow, but I was out there.

Tomorrow I begin to face a far more daunting challenge.  I will be meeting my husband after work to run the track.  We are running a 3K around a track next Tuesday as part of the Atlanta Track Club Season.  For any girl who has ever been the slowest miler in school you can understand this.  I am terrified.  As many races as I do, the idea of people watching me run around a track just brings back all those memories and I am in high school all over again.  Well time to dig deep and not because the course is physically demanding.  This is a mental hurdle I need to clear.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gratitude and Goals

The rain finally came so today was a three miler on my treadmill.  As I was running and listening to one of my favorite running mixes I had time to think.  Not about what I usually think about how much I hate the treadmill or what is the likelihood that I won't be paying attention I will make a wrong move and get slung across the room like a contestant on America's funniest home videos.  Do you ever watch that and think why are you filming this instead of helping them?  Well I digress.

Today I chose to focus on how lucky I am that, as the rain is pelting down, I am running on a treadmill in my den.  Not everyone has the luxury of not even having to go outside in weather like today and still get their run in, and go over to their exercise equipment and get in some strength training and core work.  Some folks don't have the equipment and some don't have the physical ability so what am I complaining about?

Today I focused on gratitude and setting goals for the week.

I am grateful for:
My husband
My health
Healthy kitties, warm and dry inside
My treadmill
A home that keeps me warm and dry
A job that makes my hobby possible
My family
My friends
A weekend spent running, eating good food, and watching movies with my best friend and life partner.

Goals for this week:
Run everyday. ( I have to travel at the end of the week for work so this may be a challenge)
Get my work presentations for the next few weeks written
Complete at least 4 blog posts
Cook healthy dinners when I am home this week
Not gossip or judge people
Do at least 2 strength training/core sessions even short ones.

I thought I would start the week in a positive direction with positive goals.  Even if I don't achieve all of them, I am certain to have a better week with positive intentions than with negative expectations.  Hope everyone has a great week.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surprise Run

Today I was dreading the beginning of a rainy weekend. Instead I had a windy, sunny morning and I went out for a run. I usually like to do a longer run but I was not expecting to get almost 6 miles in today. Hubby is nursing a groin injury so I went out alone.

While running today I ran through a popular local park. As I was running I heard a woman, that was running with her partner, say "I wish I could run like her." I was so excited because I remember starting 2 years ago, my husband and I would go out to run. I would be slogging through 1 mile thinking I was going to die. I watched my husband run off. All I could think was "I want to run like him."

Today I was running and I was feeling great. It is amazing how much better a run feels when you think you aren't going to get to run. When I heard my times I thought I should feel tired but instead I was smiling and felt great enjoying the day.

It was so exciting to hear someone who saw me run and wanted that feeling. I know how they felt because I used to feel like that. Now I feel great and others can see it. That is a great feeling and today was an awesome run. I now wear this necklace everyday. It reminds me whatever I am doing. I am a runner. For me I still can't believe it. So when I see or touch the necklace I remember I can do anything.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rainy Weekend On Tap

I am hoping that is what happens to me this weekend.  Lucky me!  I live in the Sunny South and today was a perfect day.  This weekend it is supposed to rain all day, everyday.  I usually do my weekly long run on the weekend, because in the morning I have limited time.  I am not a wuss, don't get me wrong.  Unless the rain is really bad I will try and get out and run in the rain.  My long run is probably not going to happen.  Stormy weather is too unpredictable here.  I can't run out 5 miles and have a tornado roll in, there is only one way back and I am pretty sure I am no match for a tornado or lightning for that matter. My allergies have been really bad this season so I should be looking forward to rain washing away some pollen so I can run in the morning without looking like I have been sobbing at home or feeling like my lung collapsed.   I used to look at a rainy weekend and think, this is great.   A weekend to stay inside and watch movies.  What a difference, today I was frustrated all day at work.  I pouted about why it was not raining today...when I had to work all day instead of this weekend.  

Oh well, I expect to get my runs in either between rain drops or on the TM in our extra room.  I know you are asking yourself why not just do your long run on the TM.  I admire all of my runner friends who post in Dailymile; just did 10 miles on the TM.  I can't even imagine.  I have to cover up the display and listen to my music as loud as possible to bust through my regular three miles.  I know I need to learn to adapt better.  Maybe this is the Universe's way of saying "why don't you get off your lazy butt and do more strength training.  You have two rainy days and probably won't run more than 1/2 hour.  I think you can find the time."   It is my intention that writing this here will hold me accountable and help me to just knuckle down this weekend and run either in the rain or on the TM and also add in some strength training.  

It has been a pretty rainy spring.  I am torn about that.  As a water resource manager who has been through several severe droughts in the last decade I am happy we start irrigation season with high streamflows and full reservoirs.  As a runner I am not looking forward to a continually wet spring with unpredictable running weather.  I never thought my work and my favorite past time would be diametrically opposed.  Boy! I am never happy.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and better weather than we are expecting!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Peaceful Easy Feeling

So the last week has made many of us in the running community think about running.  I know it has made many of my friends and family who just don't get it, ask more questions.  All the many ways they ask about it is really trying to get at the one thing we really can't answer for anyone else.  What is it about running?  It has to be your own personal experience, your own relationship with running. You can't make someone else, especially someone who has never run, understand your relationship with running.

If I got asked today I would say it was a run like today's run.  Finally feeling a little lighter spiritually as Boston passes the 1 week mark and those responsible appear to have been and are being dealt with.  I have completed memorial, contemplative runs to pay homage to those affected by the tragedy.

Why today's run?  Like the other things you can't explain to non-runners, sometimes you go out fully expecting to have your regular run, but something happens.  Everything comes together and the run is more than it set out to be.  I run pre-dawn most week days, today was no different.  What is a little different is it was kind of cool this morning, not winter run cold, just crisp like fall.  The moon was bright and right in the phase before it is full.  The sky was cloudless and the stars were bright.  A bonus of running at this time of day is lots of times you are the only one out.  It was like that today.  Then the last component, I felt good.  As runners you know "I felt good," meant none of those little cramps, aches, or twinges that we accept as feeling fine, because it is just a part of the sport.  I mean good; I had none of that.  Just felt strong and the run felt effortless.  Runs like that start my day with a peace and zen that makes the rest of the day easy. Runs like that happen often enough to help us keep going and get  us hooked on running.  It must be contagious too, because hubby came home with a big smile on his face today after his evening run.  I asked him why he was smiling so much and he said just my runner's high.

I hope you get to enjoy one of those days too.  Remember they are something only a runner experiences or understands.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Big Milestones

Okay so I have had lots of contemplative posts following Boston and I did participate in the Boston Strong Memorial Run today, by running this AM.  As I hope you did, I observed the moment of silence at my desk at 2:50 and hubby wore his running shoes to work.  So we are fully engaged as members of the running community and continue to hold those in Boston in our hearts.  But I have decided to post a normal, for me anyway, post about today.

So for my birthday on April 1st one of my best friends gave me a gift card and today, after denying for too long the reality that all of my clothes are too big, I decided it was time.  My husband often accuses me of addressing things in my blog that are too specific to women.  Well since this blog is the random thoughts of a woman, that is just going to happen sometimes.  Over the last year, as I have ramped up my training and my running, I  have dropped about 20 pounds. I wasn't really trying; it just sort of happened.  As that happened I have been noticing that all of my clothes are pretty big.  Now mind you I was never the girl that lost 100 pounds and changed my life.

Most of my life I have been a size 6, the last year before I started running I was a size 8, the biggest I have ever been and I was pretty uncomfortable about it.  Now I know that sounds like no big deal, but I am only 5'2" so that kind of thing makes a difference.  Oh yeah that, and my sister.  You know how you look at magazines and see these 5'9" size 0 girls and say they don't exist except in magazines.  That  is true; except they only exist in magazines and my house growing up.  So I always felt like my dad, bless his heart described us.  I can still hear him with such pride.  "This is my daughter Kim, she is the pretty one, and this is Kathleen, the smart one."  Now I am fine with being smart, but tell me at 16 you would not have traded the highest SAT scores to be the pretty one.  Anyway on to why this is relevant.  So though size 8 sounds like no big deal, to me it was a big deal.  Since becoming an adult I have never been anything smaller than a size 6.

As I started running and I went to try on clothes; I have been slowly dipping my pool in the size 4.  First it was only buying size small tops and shorts, because that was my size, medium was just too big now.  Then came the internal dialogue, well small is what "4-6." So of course it fits.  Then I took a step further I bought dresses in size 4.  I remember the first time.  I was shopping with my friend Becky at Ann Klein and the sales girl, who adopts you the moment you walk in and it is clear you plan to actually purchase something, saw me holding a grey dress.  "Honey you need the size 4, the extra small."  I was looking around wondering who she was talking too because I was still debating small vs. medium.  As I walked to the dressing room she stopped me.  "Honey, you need that in an extra small, the size 4."  I assured her I did not.  Her protestation continued through fitting room door and when I emerged both she and Becky assured me that the dress was far too big and I needed the extra small.  If you have ever been self conscious about your body, you will understand that at first you think, "no way am I going to be everyone's entertainment by trying to squeeze into this extra small."  As I was pulling the shoulders back up because they had slipped down and I saw the dress hanging on me, I realized maybe they were right.  "Okay bring me the extra small."  Inside that dressing room as I slipped the dress on you could hear choirs singing, well I could.  Was I really an extra small.  That was when I embraced the fact that in dresses I was size 4, but not in anything else.

Today I attempted the Holy Grail of true sizing.  I have been belting and pulling up my only pair of jeans every casual Friday.  Today, alone and under the cover of my lunch hour, I went to try on jeans.  I brought 4 pair into the dressing room.  Two boot cut size 4 and 6 and two skinny jeans size 4 and 6.  I tried on the boot cut 6 first.  Me and a small child could have worn those jeans together.  Feeling bolstered I tried on the size 4 boot cut.  They slid on easily, buttoned easily.  I looked at them.  "Respectable," I thought.  I could walk out a size 4 and that would be done.  I always wear boot cut to balance what I always think of as my wide hip and ample posterior.  Laying over on the bench were the skinny jeans.  I held up the 6 and saw right away they weren't going to fit.  I never had a pair or skinny jeans.  These were something my sister would wear.  They certainly weren't for the "smart one."  What do I have to lose.  I slipped them on.  To my surprise easily, and I looked at myself.  Really looked at myself.  All that work, all those runs, and here I was in size 4 skinny jeans and I have to say my posterior and hips just looked strong, not big.  My Dad has been gone for years but I felt like the "pretty one."  I walked out and the attendant looked at me and asked "any of those work out?"  I smiled and laid down the other three and said just the size 4 skinny jeans.

My husband will say this is a post for chicks, and maybe it is.  I have definitely seen him standing in the mirror scrutinizing his abs, and some might say of the two if us he is the more vain. And I know exactly when we had to go out and get him new pants because he was now a 31" waist.  The kind of insecurity and pride we all feel is universal.  The dreaded time in the dressing room and the special precipice feeling we get from purchasing jeans may be uniquely feminine. I am grateful to running for all it does for me.  Today it helped me cross a new milestone and it turns out, once again, to be mostly a mental one.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reminders of What Really Matters

Today is Saturday and my husband and I went for our weekend long run.  Just a 6 mile run on Silver Comet Trail.  I am trying to rebuild my mileage after being sick.  The weather was unusually cool for late April in Atlanta.  It was sunny and we were just enjoying the day and the run.  Enjoying being together and being able to run.  Among all the chaos, mourning and pain of the week, there has been what always arises out of things like this: a very important reminder that helps you instantly prioritize what in your life matters most.  It is amazing how asked the same questions last week we would have weighed the current condition of our careers, the likelihood of purchasing a new home or car.  We would have thought about all the things we hope to accomplish and crafted a well thought out answer.  Then Monday came.

All of sudden there was no thinking.  You knew the moment you saw the first story about the bombing or got the first text letting you know what had happened.  Your gut told you right away.  I wanted to see my husband, and I wanted to pet our furry little family members and I remember, even though my run was done for the day, I wanted to run.  I wanted to run, because this particular heinous thing that happened hit close to home for the running community.  Even, if like me, you never plan to run more than a 1/2 marathon, you still know what Boston means.  You can appreciate that experience and how iconic it is and how hard fellow runners worked to get there.  Viscerally you know what it feels likes to cross a finish line into the arms of loved ones.  Every runners line maybe different, but the shared experience is common.  We could all feel the pain.  Time and normalcy assuage mourning and sorrow. Knowing those responsible are now captured or dead, helps those in Boston feel safer and brings some level of closures to the many affected.  The running community has been pulled together and I have had a quiet week of gratitude filled runs.

It is amazing how one day can crystallize what really matters.  It replaces impatience with patience; apathy with compassion, and for those in Boston an act of cowardice was overshadowed by the everyday heroism of those who ran into the chaos, for no other reason than to help.  What helps me is to remember only two angry, misdirected cowards drop bags with bombs and ran, but hundreds of people ran in to help the injured and dying.  To me that is the true essence of our Country.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Taking Back What's Ours

So I was out of town yesterday for work, and frankly I did not know what to write about Monday's events.  Tuesday, before I left for work I did what so many runners did on Tuesday, and maybe today.  I did my own little memorial run for Boston.  For me that meant a 4:30 AM 5K through my neighborhood without music.  The only sound really just the rhythm of my footfalls.  As I ran I thought about the people injured, traumatized, and killed.  I thought about how many weekends my husband and I set out to do just the same thing those folks did.  To run a race.  To feel the strength and endurance of our bodies, experience the camaraderie, and the payoff for hard work.  I thought about my half marathon and when things were tough around mile 10 after 3 miles of hills, how I thought in 2 miles my husband is at mile 12 waiting for me.  He is going to run me to the finish line.  I thought about how great it was to see him and how crossing that finish line was so much better because I could see him waiting to hug me.  Then I thought of 8 year old Martin Richard who was waiting to do that same thing for his Dad.  Probably doubly excited because dad was going to cross the finish line, but also because, as we all do, Dad had probably said "just let me finish training for Boston and I will have a break without so many long runs.  We can go see the Sox play."  Martin never got to give that hug or go to that game.  Because he and his Dad went to do what we all do.  We run. We run for the finish line.
This Monday someone, for some reason, and that reason will never nor should ever matter, tried to take that away from those runners and families in Boston and by extension all of us.  We don't have to accept that.  Runners won't accept it.  The finish line is iconic for runners.
The finish line is where we prove ourselves.  Where we meet goals and loved ones, where we prove we are stronger than we thought.  Sometimes they are the beacon calling us home after a long battle waged against physical and mental anguish.  It is a a finish line, even if it is your front door or your car after a training run.  It is a proving ground and a milestone maker.  It is where our loved ones wait, either because they don't run or they runner faster.  It is where we reunite and recharge.  It is ours.  It is not like it is being depicted now.
How sad to Google finish line photos and have the page populate with photos like this.  They will give way to pictures of runners who cross their own finish lines, whether it is running their first 5K or getting their BQ to run Boston next year, because whoever the coward is who did this, they did not end a tradition of 117 years.  They did not take our finish lines away.  They did not take the meaning found there, the magic kick you can find when it comes in view when you thought you had nothing left. The way in a tough race you say to yourself "where is the finish line."  We have control of that.  And everyday you get out and run, and every race you complete; you reclaim the finish line for what we know it to be.

Monday, April 15, 2013

For Boston

So Sad. Peace and healing to all affected. Nothing else to say.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

ATC's Spring has Sprung 8K

So today was the Spring has Sprung 8K with our track club, The Atlanta Track Club.  I ran this race last year and remember it was hilly.  This year they altered the course to address that, apparently they got a lot of complaints that it wasn't hilly enough.  Problem solved!  My husband joked later he was going to write on their Facebook Wall "thanks for the flat easy course at Spring has Sprung...said no one ever."

So quite a challenge, since it was my first race since getting sick, the longest I have run in three weeks, I still have bronchitis, and apparently parts of Downtown Atlanta resemble parts of Denver, CO in elevation gain, who knew?

As with any race there was the good and the bad.  The good was of course the race was well organized and there were some great volunteers and the Atlanta Police Department out in force.  I did this race last year and despite the lack of breath of support and nagging cough, still managed to shave a couple minutes off last year's time.  While a bunch of runners were walking hills I was still running.  Best of all; knowing this was a tough race for me, hubby stayed with me at 9:10/mile pace even though he can run much faster.  Some days your best pace is just what you can manage that day.  With this course and bronchitis that was my personal best effort.  Next race will be a different opportunity.

What about the bad?  Did I mention there were a couple of hills?  Also there is something about running Atlanta's torn up, potholed streets that elevates any run into an obstacle course. Also I can't emphasize enough how much being able to breathe facilitates the running process.  Of course even though I gave it all I had today, I know I can run better than this when I am on my game.

Still the weather was great, my best friend and partner were there right beside me.  We had Dunkin Donut Bagel and coffee after the race.  A good time was had by all!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

All Those Other Things

So running consistently, I get it, and I have embraced it as a part of my life.  Those of you who have been running for a while, know it isn't just the running.  There is this other stuff.  Like eating right.  I have always been one to tend toward healthier foods.  I don't really like sugar and I am not really a fan of grease.  I could definitely tell a difference when I was cooking at home less and we were eating out more.  Sometimes you just get busy.  It is worth the effort.  I like to take traditional comfort foods, things my husband really likes, and just try to make them healthier.  I did much better this week.  Of course not feeling like death freed up a lot of my time for cooking.  I definitely felt better.  We started the week with a veggie lasagna on Sunday and we were able to have it left over for lunch several days.  Last night I made one of my husband's favorites Homemade Chicken Fried Rice.  The key is nothing is really fried and I use both one whole egg and egg whites.  I also load up on veggies and cut the chicken back.  It tastes great, and we both love it.  What's so amazing is I can really tell that I feel better when I eat better.  No big surprise, but a nice reminder, when I am thinking easier to get the pizza.  Don't get me wrong, there will still be "get the pizza" nights, but I will recommit to trying to cook more. 

Where I really fall down is strength training.  I used to love strength training and hate cardio.  Apparently I can only commit fully to one form of exercise.  I know that strength training will make me a stronger runner, prevent injury, and is generally beneficial especially with a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Osteoporosis.  Oh yeah, I come from a family of health nuts, in case you could not tell.  I don't make it a priority.  I used to think I needed to set aside like a concentrated 30 minutes to do a full circuit.  Now I am trying something new.  I am trying to just do a few moves in the afternoon after work while I watch TV.  Just a couple days a week.  Mostly using my own body as resistance.  I do push ups, sit ups, planks, squats, one leg dead lifts, lower ab exercises.  I realized that I could not regularly make the mental commitment for that structured half hour circuit so I would do nothing.  I can say "hey commercial break get off your butt and give me twenty."  I will see how this works.  I know my runs are always better when I do strength training, so maybe this will be a good compromise.  I know it is all about the attitude.  It was good to have a week that showed that the effort to do these things is worth it. 

I have the ATC Spring has Sprung 8K Race tomorrow.  It should be fun.  It is my first race in a month, since the Women's 5K was called due to weather.  I don't know how ready I am to really race, since I am still recovering from Bronchitis, but just being out with everyone will be fun.  Plus running somewhere else is always a refreshing change of pace.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What do You Love about Running?

So for some running is a love / hate relationship.  It probably started out like that for me, but now minus the occasional run where I wonder what happened to that girl who was able to run?  I am pretty sure I saw her yesterday.  How did she get replaced by this uncoordinated slug?  Fortunately, those are few and far between.  Usually by the next run, the spark is reignited.  What in particular do I love about running?  Several of my friends who have known me for a while, and know the bookworm who would never have run in her life,  even if the building was on fire, ask what is it about running?  So here are a few things for me.  For everyone else it will be different.

1) It really adds to my marriage.  Since I am a science geek and hubby is an artist it would be easy to have less and less in common over the last 20 years.  Running has a dual benefit: it gives us a common love and hobby and it gives us uninterrupted time together,
2) I used to workout, hard, and never looked or felt like this.  I could never get as lean as I got when I started running.
3) The focus.  I actually feel like I am more mentally focused.
4) Less afraid.  I honestly thought I could never run.  Now that I know I can it makes me less scared to try other things.
5) Layering, stay with me.  I always admired those girls who could wear layers and not look like the Michelin Man or the Pillsbury Dough boy, but look cute, quirky, and comfortable.  After 2 years of running and losing around 20 lbs. I now can sport layers without being self conscious or feeling like I need to stop random strangers to let them know I am not heavy these are layers.  I was even able to wear trendy scarves this year.
6) Health.  Ironic, I know, since for the last two weeks all I have done is whine about how sick I have been.  But here is the reality, in the past, when I got something like this from my husband whose job as an elementary school teacher basically makes him a walking Petri dish.  I would have been knocked out for a month or more.  This time, though not easy, I was back running after just 7 days. Today I felt pretty much like my old self. A record recovery for me.
7) Strength.  Running makes me feel stronger.  It makes me feel like I can handle more, partly because it really helps to mitigate stress.
8) Races.  I genuinely like races.  Not because I am ultra-competitive, which I might be a little.  But because to me they are like big energetic group runs.
9) Sightseeing.  There is no better way to see a new place, or even places you might unconsciously drive by, then by running a neighborhood.
10) Running clothes and shoes.  Ladies an excuse to shop!  I now live in running clothes and my retired running shoes.  What can be more comfortable?  See number 2; I worked hard for this body and running clothes show it off.

There are lots of reasons to love running.  For everyone it is different.  What is it for you? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do You Know When You Need to Rest?

So for the last week and a half I have been suffering from and then recovering from the Flu, Bronchitis, and Tonsillitis.  I started back running on Friday, if you can call it that I was on the treadmill and pretty slow.  By the weekend I was running closer to my easy pace and then Monday and Tuesday a pretty normal early run.  Normal that is, if after running  a half hour coughing fit trying to catch your breath is normal?  Of course for someone who has has asthma and is prone to bronchitis after any illness, this is not that unusual. So I was running and enjoying being back out there.  Yesterday afternoon I just felt exhausted.  I guess what I felt was the fact that my body hasn't fully recovered and may not be ready for 7 days a week of running.  It is frustrating when yo are willing but you feel like your body isn't capable. 

So I decided to listen to my body and sleep in this morning to the indulgent 5:15 AM, and forgo my run today.  Tonight I feel less tired, and more like myself.  It might just be wishful thinking but my voice and cough seem to be a little better today.  The miracle of a little break.  I am looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow.  I had already scheduled Thursday and Friday off to spend a few days with hubby on his Spring Break from school.  I was feeling a little guilty, since I was barely at work last week, and certainly not conscience while I was there.  After some consideration, I actually think it might help me out.   Hopefully I will get some nice runs in this weekend.  We have the ATC Spring has Sprung 8K on Saturday.  I am hoping to feel 100% ready to go when I get back to work next week.  Do you always listen to your body if it tells you "take a break"?  I can't say that I do, but sometimes if you have been sick or injured enough you are more cautious.  Can you always tell when you need a rest day?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Free Running

Today hubby was at the drug store and found the Runner's World Magazine's Compilation Running Book, that has all kinds of information on running.   It has some great info on training and starting out, getting better, eating right injury prevention, etc.  We can totally get into this as big geeks who like to obsess over our favorite shared hobby.  There are also personal interest funny anecdotal stuff.  One of them was entitled the 49 best things about running.  I can't remember the number, but it was like 5 or 6 said running is free.  Now this is not the first time I have heard this.  In fact our local paper last summer did a whole piece on how running grows during economic hard times because it is free. 

Now I know in theory, everyone has a pair of tennis shoes in their closet and they can throw on some old gm shorts and t-shirt and out the door to run they go, probably soon to be joined by some of their closest friends (plantar fasciitis, runner's knee, shin splints, blisters, chafing, IBT injury).  Yes running is free, but running safely and having the right equipment is not exactly a $0.00 entry into the sport.  Certainly some things are not necessary.  No one running for fitness and fun needs a GPS watch.  You can probably plan a run sufficiently around public water fountains that negate the need for a fuel belt.  You don't have to have reflective gear, or sport sunglasses.  Peanut Butter on bread is probably just as good for fueling as gels.  I would say when we say running is free we might give the impression that their is no financial component to running.  My bank, wallet, running store, and family know that is not true. 

If you are a woman and you are going to run you need a good sports bra, maybe not a drawer full of them where you can match the color to your outfit (that is a topic for another day), but a good one that supports the girls and prevents you from having back pain.  You absolutely need running shoes.  No, Converse basketball shoes aren't an adequate substitution.  If you are going to put your body through what it goes through running you also need to give it what it needs to succeed and carry you through with minimal risk of injury.  Of course everyone is going to think different things are essential.  I for one think once the temp is above 70 degrees, Body Glide is not a $7.00 expense I can afford to forgo.  Whatever is and isn't essential, have you ever had a talk about running, visited a site about running, or read a blog that did not mention some kind of gear?  Maybe there are occasionally aspirational articles about the zen of running, but they usually achieve that in their new running shoes, listening to their Ipod, through their bluetooth headset, and they note they were on pace at 8:55/mile according to their Garmin, which they checked with their headlamp, since it was too dark to see, but that was okay because they had their reflecting vest, so everything was cool.  Running may not be as expensive as say football equipment...but is it really free?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Man of my Dreams

So finally among the land of the living, and I have gotten in some running this weekend.  Though admittedly it has been a little slow and I can definitely feel the need to reestablish my breath support after being sick.  I was with my husband and it was 70 degrees out in our neighborhood.  There were tons of folks out enjoying the day, including that guy.  You know him ladies.  Guys this may not be an issue for you, because I can't remember ever driving in my car and seeing a guy running down the street and thinking, "hey.  You know what I think I'll do?  I will roll down my window and yell out 'eewwweee, looking good, come on over here, little man.'"  I know for a fact there are men who can't say the same thing.  I mean really?  What is the point?  What goes through the toothless redneck's mind.  Hey if I lean out just right, and show her I have on the good overalls, and yell just the right totally insulting "compliment", she will stop in her tracks and realize Prince Charming has finally arrived.  Forget a white horse ladies; he is in a 1978 Chevy Truck with No Fat Chicks mud Flaps.
I mean honestly I am out running with my husband.  What is the objective?  What if just one time, one of us actually stopped?  We started waving the truck over and was like "did you call me Little Lady? Do you really think I am little?  I have been waiting my whole life for some anonymous lunatic out of Deliverance to yell 'Com'ere little lady' out of the back of a pick up.  I am all yours."  I bet they would not know what to do with themselves.  On the off chance they would; that is a very dangerous idea.  Do not do that. 
But seriously as women we learned that a long time ago.  Especially when you are twenty.  That is when just the act of walking down the street invites comments from any guy that thinks they have the cover of anonymity and a creative turn of phrase.  It happens less, the further we get away from 20.  If your 20, and reading this, and thinking what is it about being 20?  You are 20, and in a demonstration of the universe's love of irony, you will never appreciate the power imbued in being 20 until you are 40.  Mind you I take care of myself, I run, eat right, take care of my skin.  I don't think I necessarily look my age.  Of course this weekend I am also that post-flu weight.  (Half a cup of soup and a piece of dry toast a day for a week is an amazing diet, unless you actually need to have enough energy to walk, bathe, or talk on the phone.)  You know that look, the one that makes you look like Angelina Jolie may need to adopt you.  In the many things in life that make the world different for a woman than a man, we are openly propositioned from moving vehicles, by men who probably have wives and baby's mamas waiting eagerly for their return from today's possum hunt.  Hope you enjoyed your weekend run. 
Ever have anyone yell random come ons to you while you are just trying to get your run in?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Too Sick to Run

After feeling only slightly better than death since Thursday I spent my birthday at the Dr. yesterday.  That is fun, I will write about that some time when I am not so busy contemplating the many ways I could kill myself and put me out of this misery.  The doctor tells me  I have the flu, bronchitis and tonsillitis.  I don't even know how you have all of those things at the same time, but suffice to say, it results in enough meds that not only do you feel like crap you are also stoned. 
So according to my doctor, who apparently knows everything, I have about 10% of my lung capacity currently, so there will be no running for me probably until the weekend.  Suffice to say there is only so much time you can spend lying in bed and on the couch watching ridiculous TV shows and remembering when walking to the kitchen did not leave you winded and in need of a nap.  Since I am barely coherent and I am sure somewhere in TV land someone is sleeping with someone's sister who also happens to be their cousin's baby's mama I should probably close.  I will be back writing when I rejoin the living.  Hopefully soon.  Next a call to my boss to let her know I won't be in tomorrow either.  Enjoy a run for me.  In perfect irony, I have been running in horrendous weather and get the plague just as spring has sprung in Atlanta.