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Friday, May 31, 2013

Long Week Recap - Still Streaking

I don't understand how a 4 day week can seem so long, but it was.  Apparently that is one of those mysteries of life we aren't meant to understand.  Most likely it was that I had to drive to South GA 31/2 hours one way up and back to teach a class on Thursday.  It was fun, but exhausting.  I have to say I am glad I committed to the Runner's World 2013 Summer Challenge because that at least kept my running moving forward.

I owe hubby for yesterday.  When I got home at 6:30 PM after leaving home a little after 4 AM the last thing I wanted to do was run a mile.  Hubby volunteered right away to run with me, even though he was done.  Of course note he is out of school, and has some free time.  He said it is only a mile.  It really helps to have someone run with you on those days.  We got in a little over a mile and then I got up this morning to run like always.  I expected to feel terrible, but today's run was actually really enjoyable.  Maybe because it is Friday and I have the weekend off!  Hubby is out of school and now he can run in the middle of the day.  Which he will.  Of course as the south warms up I was joined on my run this AM by tons of folks.  I wonder where these folks are in the winter when I m running at 4:30.  I suspect they are far saner than me and are in bed waiting for a little warmth from the sun and daylight.

Hoping to get back to some regular strength training next week.  I think my Glute is completely healed finally. I haven't had any pain the last couple of days.  I will say the week ended on a positive note.  Today I had to go to the opening of a new sustainability demonstration project by Bosch and they gave us our swag bags as we were leaving.  I was like great another key chain and flashlight.  I brought my assistant so she could meet some folks and learn about new technology.  She was lamenting more freebies saying she will just give the stuff away.  I looked in the bag and they had given us brand new IPod Nanos and a cool reusable Green Coffee mugs.  Needless to say can't wait to try it on a run.  Oh and I made my assistant's day by bringing her!  So a busy but overall successful week.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One Tough Runner

I usually don't feature a certain runner or do a spotlight but today is different.  Remember the last time you woke up or came home from work and thought I don't feel like running?  All legitimate reasons I am sure: a scheduled rest day, an injury, just tired, or too much to do.  Well for my husband Dung (pronounced Yung) the last day he did that was 900 days ago.  Today is his 900th day on his running streak.

So he must be immune to all the things we experience: aches pains, real legitimate injuries, illness.  He is amazing.  Nope.  In reality I have seen him struggle with all of those things.  I have seen him barely able to get out of a car because of a groin injury and still he ran a mile that day.  Some people may think what about bad weather, cold, snow, rain, sleet, or heat.  He finds a way.  When he was out sick this year I begged him to take a rest day.  I asked him, as I have to confess, I have many times in the last 900 days "Are you going to run today?"  read with all appropriate wifely concern. He said, "that is like asking if I am going to eat today, or brush my teeth today."  In Dungese that meant "yes."  Some miles have been rough and slow.  But they have been consistent.

Runners measure themselves by lots of standards of toughness that make us a real runner.  Have you run a marathon?  Can you run a mile in 8 minutes?  Did you set a PR?  Are you training for a Tri?  Doing an ultra. My husband would tell you he does not want to run a half marathon, though I am still working on trying to convince him.  He does not enjoy long runs over 10K.   He does love running and he runs everyday.  Most days three miles, his favorite distance.  Sometimes 5 even the occassional 10, especially if he got lost.  When the running is the toughest just that one mile.  He always says "it's just 10 minutes.  You can do anything for 10 minutes."

He does not have to run an ultra to be the toughest runner I know.  He laces up everyday, regardless of pain, health, weather, or time. I have seen him run at 11:30 PM when we got in later than usual.  Even when the run may be less than ideal, his love and commitment to the sport never are.  He redefines tough runner for me everyday and you will never see him lined up for a marathon that lasts 26 miles; he is on one that has lasted 900 days!  Congratulations, you are one tough runner!  Thanks for the inspiration everyday!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hot Weather Running Prep

I am glad to put away the tights and jackets and I have been complaining about missing the traditional hot spring/summer weather in Atlanta.  Well I think it is safe to say Memorial Day Weekend has ushered in the hot season until at least October.  What I conveniently forget every year is that there is a whole different level of running preparation when the temp climbs.

First of all let's talk being a pale Irish Girl.  I am pale, like don't need reflective clothing, hubby has to wear shades when he runs alongside of me to avoid being blinded by the glare: PALE.  In fact today in the car on our way home from our run at the Big Creek Greenway we laughed when this song came on and I said,"hey, it's my theme song."  Don't get me wrong.  I am long past watching my much darker sister  fry herself like so much bacon and walk away looking like bronze goddess.  BTW if you are young and reading this that activity will catch up to you around 30, which coincidentally, is when I stopped envying her ability to tan and started comparing our skin. Never the less, protecting my skin and maintaining that recently released mental patient glow takes effort.  So I have sunscreen for my face Loreal Sublime Sun For Faces SPF 70, the great thing about this is it doesn't make me break out and when you sweat it doesn't sting if it gets in your eyes.  I have sunscreen I use for my arms, hands, shoulders, Australian Gold SPF 50.  Love the way it goes on not sticky and dries so you can't tell it is on.  Also smells great!  It is a little more expensive and application is labor intensive.  For my legs I use Coppertone Sport Spray SPF 70.  Application is fast and it is sweat and water proof.  It feels really sticky and so I can't stand using it everywhere.  Now assuming hubby hasn't gotten tired of waiting for me and already left to run, I still have to deal with body glide.

Then of course comes the complex decision of wearing a hat or my Adidas headband.  Always the decision of racer tank with built in bra or singlet or tech T with sports bra. That decision is going to have some Body Glide implications.  Who said it is just about putting on your running shoes and going?

In the end it is all worth it, because as hubby explained on our run today your muscles are much warmer and ready to go when the weather warms up.  Of course mine are...I have been rubbing them with every kind of sunscreen and anti-chafing product currently on the market.  Once I am American Cancer Society approved, it is out the door.  As simple as slathering on some body glide on my feet and sliding on my running shoes without socks, filling my handheld fuel belt water water bottle, strapping on my Nathan's belt, finding my ISmooth Run App, adjusting my all weather baseball cap, finding my running sunglasses and...hey is that my husband pulling out of the driveway?  Happy hot weather running.  Is running in the summer more complicated for you?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Going to Do This

I did the Runner's World Holiday Running Streak and it was great motivation to get out there and do it. I don't have a race until July 4th and I was looking for something so I think I will do the Runner's World Summer Challenge. The challenge is to run from Memorial Day until July 4th, at least one mile.  This will be a fun way to get ready for the Peachtree.

I have found that I am not iron woman and can't streak like hubby, who is at nearly 900 days, but I do informally do two or three weeks.  Before and after the Runner's World Holiday Running Streak I actually did about 10 weeks.  At some point my body, or my mind, or both just need a day break.  I have become a stronger runner so these streaks for 6 weeks become pretty doable.

I post it here so you can either join me or keep me accountable.  I link my DailyMile account so there is little room for me to say I ran when I did not.  So I have been running since Wednesday after I took Tuesday off to rest my glute.   I will just press on from there.  The weather is supposed to be great, finally and I hope a long run at the Big Creek Greenway with hubby is on tap.  I know some great Dim Sum at a new place my friend Amy found is on the books.  We have a three day weekend.  Hubby has 3 days left of post planning next week and then he's on summer vacay!  Finally today's run was better after pushing through all week.  Of course if my run had not been better I probably would not be posting about the 2013 Summer Running Streak Challenge!  Hope you have a great weekend and find the challenge that is right for you and keeps you motivated.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Not So Very Great Week...

So this week I have had some aches and pains and a mild lack of motivation.  Not really enough to keep from running.  I took a rest day Tuesday, because I thought both my glutes and my mind could use a break. I thought today I would be raring to go, but when it was time to get up I seriously thought "what would one more day matter."  Then I remembered hubby and I enjoyed our favorite spring/summer tradition in Smyrna, Food Truck Tuesday last night, and I knew I needed to run.

When I started my head wasn't in it but about 1 and 1/2 miles in I was there, but not really in my zone.  I just feel kind of off, a little sore, a little tired.  Maybe it is all the rain we keep having during the weekends.  Those runs are usually where I get a long run and get some sun.  I have been missing them, but the forecast looks promising for the long weekend.  I am looking forward to a three day weekend and some sun.  I am sure that will help me get more focused.  In the meantime, it is lay my clothes out and just power through.  I know the enthusiasm will return this is just a blip on the radar.

I was reading my Women's Running  today and I found this story about a woman who said that running helped her find balance at work.  As I read that story it really resonated with me.  I never put it exactly like that, but I can say the same.  She said, "when I discovered running I found something I loved to do as much or more than work.  I never had that before."  I find I am the same way.  I always loved my husband and my cats more than work, but I never had another activity that gave me the same since of satisfaction.  Running does that for me, and like her, I think it has made me easier to work with, so I guess I can push on through the week.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How Did I Do That?

So went out to run this morning and was joined by an aching Glute muscle.  I would think automatically, I overdid it this weekend, but another rainy weekend kept both mileage and effort down.  So this morning's aching muscle was a surprising running companion.  It is definitely tight and it is tolerable walking and even running, but forget the complexities of bending over to pick something up.  I think people at work today thought I was testing them when I dropped my pen in a meeting and left it there.  I decided better to let them think it was a psychological experiment then bend down to get it and blow my tough street cred by screaming and crying.

It does seem a little better tonight.  Trying to decide whether to run in the morning.  I think it is just a strained muscle from over stretching last night; I am not exactly known for my Gumby like flexibility.  I tried to research it on the interwebs, but if I adhere the advice I have found there I can either ice it and rest or amputate at the hip.  I was just confused and decided time to take out the stick and some stronger wine.  Hey, we all have our own medicinal traditions.  I also some how injured my shoulder.  Hubby says I am falling apart, time for a newer model.  The shoulder seems fine this AM.  It is just odd because, as discussed, I am not even actively training for anything; so I am unsure how I became so injury prone.  Though I probably won't exercise much discretion by forgoing running I have decided that my mysterious shoulder injury will definitely necessitate a break from strength training.

Ever wake up with an injury and be puzzeled where it came from?  It would be one thing if I was really pushing, but I have pretty much been running for fun.  Oh well, tomorrow is another day.  Now I really do need to use the stick before calling it an evening.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Long Break

Those that have seen the race schedule my husband and I usually do will understand that we like to go to races.  I am not saying we race everyone.  Some we go in saying this will be just a really energized group run, not trying for a PR.  Hubby will say "I am just going to run with you." The translation of that "I don't care where I finish, because compared to me you are slow, but I would rather have fun together."  We do find races fun and the truth is even when we're not trying to PR they end up faster than if we laced up to run our weekend run dates.

Because of the ridiculous weather we have been experiencing (fourth straight rainy weekend) some of the races we normally run have been cancelled.  To balance out the schedule our running club has eliminated other races.  Long story short our last race was the Track Classic 3K we ran a week and half ago.  We usually run the Father's Day 4 Miler in June.  It used to be a free a race with our membership.  Since they removed it from the competitive schedule, we now have to pay to run it.  Let me tell you running with your significant other is great for your relationship...not so great for your wallet.  Every race we want to do costs us twice as much.  Hubby and I decided to forego the Father's Day event.  This means we have no race until July 4th's Peachtree Road Race.  This is a long break for us.  I love running, so it is not that I lack motivation to get out and run, but the regular racing was like keeping your engine in peak shape.  You knew you would at least take the car out for a real test drive every couple of weeks.  Now I have to find that same competitive drive during some of my regular runs.  On the other hand it does mean a lot more Saturdays where I can sleep in.

Friday, May 17, 2013


What a long week!  This is one of those weeks where you have to put running on the schedule or  it falls by the way side.  Work has been crazy and on top of our scheduled and anticipated chaos, someone forgot to tell me it was "Angry, Unreasonable Customer Week."  We pleased no one this week and it feels like everyone of them ended up in my office.  I will say I have had weeks like this before I started running and after I started running.  There is definitely a difference.

I know when you are working late, stressed, and feeling really tired from work it seems like a crazy idea to get up at 4:20 in the morning to fit your run in.  I have to say doing that makes a huge difference.  I can tell I am calmer and being calmer helps you diffuse tense situations better, so no matter who is losing their mind, so far I have been able to hang on to mine, though just barely.  I do admit that around 11 AM and a stream of name calling customers I did walk out of my office and announce "I would just like to talk to one person who thanks us for providing clean drinking water and safe sanitation."  That was mostly blowing off steam.  The toll the week took on me was less than usual and I credit a commitment to sticking with my plan to run.  Confession time: strength training flew out the window and was hit by a bus this week.  Oh well reset and try again!  Hoping that the updated forecast predicting our 4th rainy weekend in a row is wrong.  I really want to do a long run with the hubby this weekend!  Fingers crossed for good weather and a calmer week.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rest Days: Love Them or Hate Them?

Lena doing what cats do.  I wonder if she is worried her mouse catching abilities are deteriorating?
Cats have no problem taking rest days, in fact about 20 hours of their day is spent resting up. So they can be fresh for the 4 hours around midnight-4 AM, when apparently the 6 of mine are filming a new video for Lionel Richie's hit "Dancing on the Ceiling."  Runners must be the official opposite of cats.  We worry about rest.  How long to rest? If we cross train does that count as rest?  How many rest days before you lose conditioning? In order to really improve, do you need to rest after an intense speed work out?  What defines resting and tapering? What injury requires total rest, as in sofa, slippers, and potato chips for a week, and which can you cross train through using  the magic elliptical to maintain cardio stamina? I don't know about you, but just talking about all the concerns with running and rest is exhausting.  Now I probably can't run tomorrow.

I have a very scientific approach to rest, as I do to most things running, which you will no doubt know if you have read my blog.  I set out to run everyday.  Now pay close attention because this is where the science kicks in. I run unless I hurt bad enough or feel so tired that I don't.  I know it is complex yet simple.  I have to admit that is my career specialty: making scientific complexity understandable.  I once had a local news anchor tell me "I like interviewing you because you make the 'sciency' stuff less 'sciency'."  See you read a blog about running, and learn a new scientific term.  I am an educator at heart.   What I really use to decide is a combo plate.

If I get up and I am not raring to go.  I go through a very brief process:
I ask myself "Why don't you feel great."
Then I wait.  Most of the time my body will answer.  If any of those answers are the return of a pain I felt at the end of yesterday's run and it seems worse, I err on a rest day.  The reasoning.  I would rather miss one day then run today, do something really stupid and be out a week. If the answer is I am tired and yesterday's run felt a lot like running through the ball pit at Chucky Cheese, I say rest day.  I know instantly if I do that I will have renewed energy tomorrow and the run will feel effortless.   I made the too tired to run call on Wednesday.  This week at work has been crazy and I was feeling the drain.  This morning I was excited to run, even if it was 4:30 AM.  The run felt great, negative splits, effortless run.  I knew immediately the rest day was worth it.  Looking forward to the first weekend without rain and going on a long run with the hubby.  Sometimes you just have to be like a cat, maybe that's why cheetahs are so fast?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review of Last Week and New Goals

Last week I did pretty well on my goals.  I consider my running week to be the same as my Dailymile running week so it runs Monday-Sunday.  Of course I waited until Sunday to get in my second strength training workout.  I am a last minute girl when I don't really want to do something.  I did eat better and ended up cooking most of our meals.  Of course Mother's Day with my family meant burgers and hot dogs and nary a vegetable in sight.  My family doesn't really share my passion for exercise or healthy eating.  This might coincide with the only dinner topic revolving around everyone's many ailments.  Oh yeah and my husband and I planning a trip to Columbus, GA for the Soldier Half Marathon in November.  Surprisingly no one in my family will be joining me.

I did not get in a  long run but I did take Wednesday off after the track classic and got in 5 1/2 miles.  I was productive at work and I consciously focused on being grateful and in the moment and had a more serene week than I have in a while. As for the #k it went better than expected and I ended up 3rd in my age group. I did run everyday most days at least 3 miles.  All in all pretty successful.

My goals for this week:

Add value to people I interact with.  I got to attend the Chick Fil-A Leadercast last Friday and one of the speakers said this and I thought, "what a great idea.  I wonder if I actually do this?"  This goal is twofold.  Find out if I am approaching things that way and be more cognizant and if not start doing that.

Run 6 days this week - I have a really long day tomorrow I am a little sore so I plan to take a rest day Wednesday, but we will see.

Be kind

Strength training twice a week. rUnladylike asked today on her Facebook what are one fitness goal for the week is.  Again this is mine.

Get two of the cats in for their check ups.  I only have one more for annuals this year than we can start getting their teeth cleaned apparently they all need kitty dentistry.

Have a great week!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

For The Runner Moms Out There

So first let me say Happy Mother's Day to any of my mom friends out there.  I give all of you runner moms special street cred.  Some people who know I run are always asking me how do I find the time.  I am like what are you talking about.  I have 1 job, a husband, six cats, and 1 home to take care of.  That's it.  It is nothing like some of you that have kids and all of that and still get out the door.  I mean if I did not do something productive with my time, like run, I might be the weirdo at work showing pics of her cats and husband wearing matching sweaters I knitted.  Though that is pretty unlikely considering in college I was moved from the costume shop to the scene shop because they said it was too dangerous for me to use a sewing machine and they preferred I work with the table saw so fewer people would get hurt.  You have to accept your shortcomings.

Back to my point...surprisingly I had one.  I was reading this book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.  In the book the author's premise is in every arena of life there is one pivotal thing that when done will make everything else come together.  It is an interesting premise, especially for a currently recovering multi-tasker like myself.  In discussing this issue he has a whole section on how will power is an outdated concept.  I am a lover of will power, in all of its iterations, probably not surprising if you have read any of my other posts.  Confession time! Most anal perfectionists, multi-taskers are also big fans of will power.  Well, Gary spends a good time dispelling this myth.  He actually says will power is a tool we use to convert a desire to establish something as a habit into a habit. It is a bridge and once we cross 69 days will power drops out of the picture and is replaced by a far more sustainable friend, habit.  I guess I can understand that.  He says if it truly were will power it would exhaust us because that takes so much energy.

Maybe all of that is true, for a slacker like me, with no children pulling at my leg or my time and the fact that I have never had to run while pushing a jogging stroller up the final hill at the end of my run.  BTW kudos to the Mom who passed me doing just that in a race last year.  Gary might be right about will power as a bridge to habit.  Maybe for me it is 69 days.  For the runner moms out there it may be a bridge to a habit but that bridge might also be 18 years long, because what I see from running mom bloggers and running mom friends is a consistent demonstration of commitment, dedication and a will power to get out the door, by any means necessary.  Gary may believe it is a habit, but unless he can outrun a mom pushing a jogging stroller I would not tell them that.  Enjoy your day ladies!  Make hubby watch the kids and enjoy a run!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Who was that Girl?

Last night as we pulled into Emory University and we walked to the track to check in for the ATC Track Classic 3K, all I wanted to do was get in the car and go back home.  It was everything I remember and hated about P.E. in school.  I was not that kid who waited anxiously in my seat, leg bouncing, could not wait to get to P.E.  I was the kid always trying to get a note that said I could not participate.  As much as I hated team sports like field hockey, and kickball that made up most of my phys ed. experience, nothing symbolized it more than the track.  This is where they lined you up for the timed mile and everyone in class suddenly knew who was and who wasn't athletic.  Get which side of the coin I was on?

Now I realize that I am 44, and far away from that gawky teenager who finished last and had to dress back and get a late pass from a disappointed gym teacher.  Or at least I thought so, until I stepped onto that track. My husband would say he has probably never seen me that nervous before a race.  Not even my first half in February.  It was late.  My heat went off at 8:25 hubby's at 10:30.  I was so happy to go first.  All I kept saying while we warmed up was "I just want to get this over with."

To make those of us unfamiliar with the track experience more comfortable, they had the Harbinger of Doom line us up.  This was his speech before a bunch of over 40 women, some in their sixties, took off for 71/2 laps around the track.  "Listen up ladies, you need to run in lane 1.  It does not matter how slow you are.  The fast ones will go on the outside to pass.  If you run outside of lane one the faster runners will hit you."

"Um, Excuse me? Yeah sure no problem, and I am much less stressed now."  I was next to my friend Kelly who is markedly faster than me, but always thinks I am a much better runner than I am.  So that was comforting.  The gun went off and I did not die of a heart attack, solid start and one fear down.  As we got into the race and I moved to lane 1, as I had been so gently instructed to do, something happened.  All the fear went away and I was just running.  Running like I do nearly everyday.  Running strong, feeling good.  An ATC regular, Melissa, was in front of me and I settled in behind her thinking this pace feels good I will just stay. Kelly streaked by, but did not lap me as I expected.  The two competitive runners in the field lapped all of us.

As I came by what would eventually, 7 laps later, be the finish line hubby was standing with my good friend Herb.  I had not seen Herb in over a year.  He retired from Cobb Water 5 years ago and works with a running store now.  Herb was laughing and cheering for me.  It gave me extra energy.  After a lap and a half I wondered what I was so stressed about.  In the final 200 meters I still had plenty left in the tank and could have out kicked Melissa.  Melissa had paced me the whole race, given me something to concentrate on, and I did not see the reason to kick past her.  I finished in 15 minutes. Got my first sub 8 average pace.  I placed 3rd in my age group.  None of that compared to the feeling that I was not the same girl that stepped on the track that night; I definitely liked the one that left more.  Also it was kind of a high.  If you were never a jock in high school, you never got to do anything "under the lights."  It was kind of cool to be out there under the lights running last night.

Monday, May 6, 2013

100th Post - Odds and Ends - Weekly Aspirations

Today is the 100th post since I started this blog.  I enjoy writing and I enjoy running.  So writing about my experiences and challenges has been fun.

The weather has been dismal and uncharacteristic here for the Sunny South in May.  Today was another gray, rainy, cold day.  Not sure what is up with that!  Oh well yesterday we had a little break in the rainy monotony and I had intended just to sneak in 3 miles.  I missed the sun, and when it appeared I had to take advantage so I stretched it out to 5 miles.

Hubby has been nursing a groin injury so it was a solo run for me.  It felt great.  Yesterday was International Barefoot Running Day so I returned home to the tripod set in the driveway and hubby waiting to pose a picture.  This is me after my 5 miler and hubby after 1 mile barefoot (he has to keep the streak going).  I haven't pulled the trigger on barefoot.  I run minimal mostly in zero drop, but haven't really thought about doing a barefoot run.  I don't rule it out; never say never.

Today was a test.  I have lamented before how hard afternoon or evening workouts are for me.  Tomorrow we have the ATC's  3,000 race and I run at 8 PM.  Hubby runs at 9:30 PM.  This will be a big test for me.  So today I slept in and packed my gym bag.  I had every intention of running at Silver Comet Trail after work.  Of course, in keeping with this Spring's Noah's Ark theme, it was pouring as I left work.  I had dressed out so I went home figuring I could kill two birds with one stone.  I could exercise after work, mostly a mental challenge and because I was home, could force myself to do strength training.  Happy to say, mission accomplished.  I did a short 15 minute, 1.5 mile run on the treadmill than did 15 minutes of various strength training.  Concentrated on core and upper body, but got in a few squats of both the one and two legged variety.  What's good for the glutes... I was happy.   Of course as I came in I had to get in the mental game so I was telling my cats "Mommy is not home.  This is the gym.  I just need to do this first."  Hey it worked.  Now hopefully I will be able to push through tomorrow, especially since it is also the track race I have been dreading.  Here is hoping race day adrenalin kicks in tomorrow around 7:55 PM.

Weekly Aspirations:  (I don't call them goals.  Another little mental trick)

Run everyday this week
2 Days strength training (1 down already)
Long run (weather Gods please cooperate!)
Do not embarrass myself tomorrow at the 3K
Practice being present
Be grateful for what I have
Be productive
Eat well

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Checking in

So this is the kind of spring we expect in the South and call us a little spoiled.  It is supposed to be the perk of living in the South.  As we celebrate the second rain soaked spring weekend in a row I thought I would check in with an update on goals and aspirations.

First on last week's goals.
Run  everyday.  I ran everyday but Friday.  I had a two and half hour drive Thursday and then had to get back in the car for the same drive Friday and the bad weather had moved in, so I did not persevere and run Friday.  I did make myself do an interval training run on the TM yesterday alternating between  hills and speed.

4 Blog posts. - Just made it by doing a post on my close encounter with a mystery man on my Thursday AM run.  I should have written yesterday but cuddly cats convinced me to lay around with them.

2 Strength training sessions.  Sorry to say this was an epic fail for me this week.  I have to get more in the mindset for that.

No gossip or judgement- Did pretty well with this.  Did find that I was more conscience of my inclination to do this because I had set that intention.

Cooking healthy when at home.  Since I wasn't home that much...I am not sure this counts as an achieved goal.  I did cook some healthy meals when I was at home.  Especially popular was my shrimp and rice with tomatoes, mushrooms and artichokes.  Yummy.

Not a perfect success record, but I do feel I did better than if I had no goals.

New Years Goals are a mixed bag.

Half Marathon goal achieved.  I am planning to run another one in October.  Don't plan to run a bunch of them because of the cost and time away from hubby during training, but hope to do around 2 a year.  I like the distance and I enjoy having to do longer runs to be ready.

Running 1500 miles and everyday - I think this intention gets me out the door far more often than if I did not have it and except for the week I was really sick I have been running at least 6 days a week and sometimes 7.  So not achieved, but has certainly helped me be more focused and consistent.

Strength Train twice a week - Oh the value of stretch goals.  Still fighting to get this done.  Definitely doing more than last year.

This blog has helped me to write more and consistently.

Still working on adding a variety of grains but I have added several new recipes and ingredients.

Do more together and experience more. - I think we could do better with this.  We are in our 40's, both work hard and run everyday or nearly everyday.  Sometimes we are just tired.

Read more - Sometimes I do better than others.

Cook more at home - I am doing better at that but not incorporating as much salad as I hoped.

We do donate to charities that mean something to us.

I have been trying to work hard at work and work hard at being present at home.  I probably still have a way to go, but getting there.

I am not someone who really says "no" to projects, I could do a lot better in this area.

I have been trying to tell people in my life that they matter.  I am not a really emotionally open person so this is still tough.

That is my beginning of May update.  Hoping Spring weather returns to Atlanta and this is a good reminder to buckle down and refocus.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Being Aware

Today I was running my normal route and I got to where I usually cross the street and turn around and I saw a guy in a big black coat, it was 60 degrees out this AM, by the way.  I had never seen him before.  I run before the sun is up.  He wasn't exercising and it didn't appear he was headed anywhere.  He was just standing in front of the row of shops there.  

Instantly I decided not to cross the street to my usual turn around.  I just smiled and turned around and carefully unhooked the pepper spray I always have on my belt and remembered what my husband always tells me "you should run as fast as you can."  Also grateful that my husband made me practice using my pepper spray. The guy never moved or attempted to cross the street.  He never did anything outwardly threatening.  He was just dressed inappropriately for the weather, standing on the sidewalk at 4:45 AM.  For me that was enough.  All my heightened, lone girl running instincts perked up.  My run ended up being an unexpected tempo run but I was safe and made it home. 

I run this route, because regardless of the time of day there is a constant stream of traffic.  Today was no different.  It was a good reminder to stay alert, not to forget my pepper spray, and to listen to my instinct.  This guy may just have been lost, might have been trying to find the bus, or any number of perfectly innocent things.  I got a bad vibe and I listened to it.  Extra caution is an important companion when women run alone. Stay safe everyone and listen to your gut.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Facing the Track

Today met hubby to run a test run for the upcoming ATC 3,000 Track Classic.  I have been dreading this race for 2 years.  I avoided it last year because I had an ankle injury that sidelined me for a month from  mid April to mid May.  Now I am feeling good and hubby really wants us both to get our Track Club's Bunny Award for running all of the Grand Prix Season.  This was the only race I missed last year.

I don't know exactly what it is about this race.  Maybe it is that it happens at night.   I am really a morning runner so I suspect I will be slower than usual, no big deal really I don't set out to run certain times.  I usually just want to run my best for that day.  I don't know if it is because it is just around around  the track and I hate running on the track.  The reality is I think it goes back to my past experiences on the track. Every time I go to the track I feel like that quiet bookworm from high school, the last to finish the President's Physical Fitness test mile run.  The joke of all the jocks.  Oh what an irony that I would, at 23, meet a jock that changed my opinion of brainless jocks,  and we would be together 20 years later.  That particular jock, unlike the others, always believed in me.  He saw an athlete where neither I nor anyone else I knew ever did.

In my head I know I am not that girl anymore, and that this won't be a recreation of running that mile in high school.  I told a good friend today running at the track in front of people is just one of my biggest fears.  She asked me why and I told her the President's Physical Fitness Test experience.  She said, "You are looking at this all wrong.  At least you finished.  Some of us were throwing up at the gate, you just never saw us."  I guess finishing is always the point.  I am sure when I suck it up and do this on Tuesday maybe I can finish with some of this history too.