Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jody v. Running

Well, here I am again. Back at the beginning.
Since I last blogged, running and I have been through a lot. We were separated by injury - a huge bummer. Then, I lost sight of running all together when the day job took over my life in May, resulting in lost sleep and major junk food intake. During the month of June, running and I were in a fight. Let's just say runners aren't the only ones heartbroken when high temps force a race to close early. We planners suffer right along with you.
Until just a few days ago, I was still giving running the silent treatment. Then, out of the blue, my husband suggested we go for a run. In order for you to understand how random this actually was, I have been with my husband for almost 10 years (married for 3) and we have never run together. Ever.
I whined and pouted but I couldn't turn down this opportunity to hang out with my hubby, so I laced up those (somewhat dusty) running shoes and we headed out. We ran and walked for what was probably about 3 miles and, though it was not anything like my formerly magical running experiences, I felt like maybe running and I were on the mend. I did not, however, expect to feel motivated to run again any time soon. Then, along came an absolutely gorgeous day and that long-quieted runner voice crept back into my head and pulled me toward the door. I was only out for about half an hour, but I started to remember why running and I were friends in the first place.
We're definitely taking it slow, but I think running and I will be together again some day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Positive vibes, everyone!

It's finally here! I am sure some of you are losing as much sleep as I am. Have a blast out there and stay safe. I'll see you all around the expo or at the finish line.
Fingers crossed for beautiful weather and fast feet,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Getting excited!

We're just 10 days out! I can't wait to see all of my plans come together and I know you can't wait for all that hard work to pay off.
Just because the Madison Marathon will be over in a week doesn't mean I'll stop blogging. I'm in this until I get to cross my finish line, so keep in touch and let me know how your run was!
Good luck, enjoy the run, and I'll see you at the finish line.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

She did it!

Just a shout out to my friend, Kari who finished the Green Bay Half Marathon today! I got text message updates on her progress and she got faster every time I got an update!
This extra-stressed, extra-sleepy event planner was so inspired by Kari's awesomeness that she crawled off the couch to go for a run today. Felt great!

Friday, May 14, 2010

THE weekend

Okay, I could not let this weekend pass without blogging. This is THE weekend. Sunday was to be my first half marathon and, instead, I will be tracking Kari from home wishing I could be out there with her. I'm a little sad, but what I'm feeling most is actually...inspired.
I cannot wait to get back out and start training again. Thinking about this weekend really makes me miss my running time, especially because I'm totally stressed out planning our Madison event right now. I could really use the distraction! Rest assured, I'll be back, just as soon as I can sleep again!
In the meantime, GOOD LUCK to Kari this weekend and to all my Madison runners, I cannot wait to see you all cross the finish!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wearing my runner cap

Okay, I've really tried to keep from writing about my day job in this blog. I really wanted it to be about running and not so much about planning a run, but I've found the two really blur - especially now.
About this time of year, I start waking up in the middle of the night and frantically scribbling down some random marathon detail that popped into my head. Of course, once I'm up, I'm up for several hours. This results in excessive caffeine intake to get me through the morning, after which I inevitably crash. I try to fight it once I get home, but often find myself napping for an hour or so, after which I usually pull out my laptop and do more marathon stuff. And the cycle repeats...
Did you notice there was no "go to gym" or "get outside" listed in that daily schedule? Bottom line, this time of year is a workout routine killer for me. I fall into deep sleep deprivation, start eating whatever junk is in reach of my desk, and skip the gym in favor of a nap.
I find myself slipping into this rut again right now and the runner in me (however long she's been hibernating) knows that no matter how exhausted, exercise will always make me feel better, sleep better, eat better, etc. I've been trying to keep my "runner cap" on as we get closer and closer to May 30th, but it just keeps slipping off! The result is that I am quickly morphing into zombie. We're talking crazy, buggy eyes, random groaning, pasty white skin, the whole works.
I imagine a lot of you come across major disruptions in your running/work out routines and my question to you is - how the heck to you pull yourself out of the sleepy, stress-laden haze?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's your story?

Hello followers!
Nothing new to report here, but I thought I'd make this week's blog about you. The Madison Marathon is just 4 weeks away and I want to hear how you're doing! Are you excited? Nervous? Both? Are you running a race for the first time or are you a pro? Will you run with friends or family? How's the training going?
Still benched, but I want to keep in touch. I am really looking forward to running again, but for now, I'm stress eating and losing sleep, so I hope you're all fairing better :)
Let's hear about it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest Blogger!

As I am sitting it out with these pesky shin splints, I asked my friend, Kari, to guest blog this week. Kari and I have known each other for three years now (Wow! I hadn't realized that until I just counted it out!) and she is the reason I started running, period. She talked me into my first 10K last winter and I've been hooked ever since. Kari is that runner who, no matter how tired she is, has a word of encouragement for every runner she meets on the course. She maintains hope for me even when I can't see that half marathon finish line. She is a mom with a full-time job who manages to work running into her life, which inspires me to no end. I could continue to gush, but you'll see what I mean. Without further ado, Kari's first blog post...

It would be an understatement if one were to say “Kari is not your proto-typical runner.” I, by no means, look or run like Suzy Favor Hamilton. I’m that runner out there that some may walk/run/bike by and wonder “is she gonna make it?” But you know what, I am out there! The day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my right calf muscle. Those of you out there with this horrible syndrome feel my pain, for those of you who do not, imagine running along, singing your song and then some ninja in the bushes throws a knife into the meat of your calf. I am not exaggerating the pain at all, not one iota.

Fast forward, when my beautiful daughter was just over a year old and I was still struggling to shed baby weight I started to walk. I walked the 2008 Crazylegs and thought – this is the worst ever – who walks!?! I used to be a runner! (And to all you walkers out there – big ups to you, I do not have the patience to walk right now in my life, maybe later, when my knees tell me I can not run any more, I will wholly embrace the walk.) By mid-June of ’08 I was on the treadmill at Prairie Athletic Club cursing the waif runner next to me who just jumped off the treadmill with a huge runner’s high, I stepped up my speed and RAN! I ran for about 1 mile before my calf started to fire a little and I backed off immediately. From June on I was hooked again, I increased my time and speed slow and steady, trying to ward off the return of my calf pain…. I have been running ever since! I am training for my first ½ marathon in Green Bay since 2004 (previously have run four) and I ran eight miles this past Sunday. I was really freaked before my run because I had not run that distance since my daughter was born, and I was kind of psyching myself out….then my husband told me something really simple but true, “you can do it.” I thought about him the whole run. The way we juggle schedules and time with our daughter, travel days, etc. to fit in my runs, because he and I both know that I am so much happier when I get my runs in. I’m usually the person telling my friends (i.e. Jody, your usual blogger) that she can kick this race’s butt, that she is strong and can do it, but it was my turn to be encouraged.

I found myself again this past Sunday, and worked through my fears with the help of my husband and daughter’s encouraging words. To quote one of my fav running songs “I run for hope, I run to feel, I run for the truth for all that is real… I run for life.” My life is better because I run, I am a better person because I run, and I seem to rediscover myself in every run. I run so I can truly live.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do whatever doesn't hurt...

...This sums up my first trip to Sports Medicine.
I was told I definitely have shin splints, but no one could say for sure whether or not I have a stress fracture. What does this mean for my half marathon? Not recommended.
I was given tons of stretches to do and was told to let pain be my guide in terms of exercise.
The whole situation is disappointing, but my doctor said something that actually made me feel a whole lot better.
"You've now experienced two of the most common injuries I see...welcome to the world of running!"
One thing this whole experience has shown me is how much I love getting outside for a run. If that is all I can take away from it for now (rather than a finishers medal), that's enough for me. I'll be back! Look out!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The verdict

It's been a while since I last wrote and I'm sorry to say: Outlook not so good.
I've been working away at the gym doing anything I can to stay in shape while I await my doctor's appointment Thursday, but I gotta say, whatever he says will not surprise me.
I had a Madison Marathon meeting yesterday with our medical team captain who is also a sports trainer. We were discussing injuries, so I mentioned mine. He asked me where I felt the pain, then pressed down on my ankle and asked if that hurt. "Ah! YES!" I said, surprised by the shot of pain. Was I surprised that he told me I would likely not be running a half marathon in 5 weeks? Not really. I, of course, need to go to a proper clinic (it's difficult to diagnose these things accurately over coffee at Panera), but it's looking like I'm going to have to sit this one out.
You know what, though? I'm totally okay with this. I was really disappointed at first, of course, as well as extremely frustrated, but I know this isn't the end. I've got the whole summer to recoup and have a go at a fall half marathon.
In the meantime, I'm going to be the best cheerleader you've ever seen! For all of you coming up on your first half or full marathon or for those of you working on your 50th, GOOD LUCK! I know I'll see some of you at our finish line in May (I'll be the one looking harried as I attempt to talk on a cell phone and on a walkie talkie) and I hope you enjoy the experience. I'll do my very best to make sure it's amazing and worthy of your efforts.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's diagnosis...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

If you can't say anything nice...

My friend Christine says my blog has been kind of a downer lately and I know it's true. I started this blog expecting to share more victories than defeats, but I've really struggled for the last few weeks. I don't want to sugar-coat my disappointment because this wouldn't be a real blog if I wasn't honest.
I got in my car tonight after an hour in the gym and felt totally defeated. Now more than ever I feel like this is not going to happen for least not in May. After 2 miles on the treadmill, I knew something was wrong with my ankle. I stopped to stretch some more, but the pain didn't go away. It felt like it was traveling up my leg into my shin. After about 10 minutes of stretching and rotating my ankle, I conceded and hopped on a bike. I think this is what the pain has been all along. I'm not sure it's shin splints at all.
I am scheduled to see the doc next week and we'll see what he says. Until then, I'll continue my biking and strength training, but with only 5 weeks to go, I may be out of the game.
I'm sorry if I sound like a Negative Nancy, but this is the true story of a wanna-be runner who is totally frustrated by the limits of her body.
No matter what happens, I know I'll get there some day and I won't give up on what has become the elusive half marathon. My honest-to-goodness best wishes to all of you who are in the home stretch of your training. I wish I could (and hope I still can) share in the victory with all of you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lost ground

I was really excited to get out on Saturday and run. Now that I knew my legs could take at least 2 miles, I decided to try for 3. My workout calendar says I should be at 6 by now, but I don't want to push it.
I headed out on a gorgeous day and took a deep breath, remembering what it was like to be outside again. It was a perfect day.
Throughout the run, I thought I must be going too fast. My breathing was heavy and my legs felt the same way. When I finished, I heard my iPod tell me I was actually running slower than I usually do. The magic of the Shamrock Shuffle is gone and I know it will be a slow climb back to that sweet spot, but I'm in this until the end. It was disappointing to finally feel the results of 3 weeks away from running, but I remember how it feels to be in the zone and I'll get there again!
What's important is that I'm out there doing it - no matter how fast (or not).
PS- I hope everyone had a great Easter! I ate way too much candy but that's half the fun, right?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Moving forward

After about 3 weeks off running (feels like 3 months), I decided to test the waters at the gym the other day. I was really scared. What if my leg still hurt and I found I was still side-lined? Even worse, what if my leg didn't hurt and I found out just how many miles I'd lost in the last few weeks? Only one way to find out - I hit the treadmill. Not my first choice, but I figured that if my leg gave out, I could just hop on the bike without having to call my husband to come pick me up somewhere! I was really cautious. I ran a mile, then stopped for a minute or two to stretch, then ran a second mile and stopped to stretch. I was really worried I'd push it too far too fast, so I finished the workout on a bike, but I felt like there was reason to hope!
I called my friend Kari as soon as I got home and she reminded me that moving forward is the most important thing. Maybe I won't be able to run the entire half, but as long as I don't stop, I'll know I didn't give up. This will be my first half, but not my last, no matter what!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Patience is a virtue...I don't posess

Okay, I'm working hard in the gym, but I'm getting antsy...again. Today is a 4-mile run day and I'm itching to get out and go for it. I know I need to put a toe in the water, but I want to jump in head-first.
I still pout a bit when I see my neighbors out on a run. It feels like ages since I was out and had a good was the Shamrock Shuffle, actually. It seems like Runner Jody has been gone for so long, I'm worried she won't be back in time for the race. I really do feel like a different person when I'm running, someone I really like! Patience has never been my thing, but hopefully I can hang onto it a little longer!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Okay, I couldn't let the week end this way. Not with "Struggle" as my last post. Since I last wrote, I've accepted the fact that this injury might take me out for a while - it won't go away in a week. I also noticed that, when left idle, my mind is totally consumed with my day job and I start to stress out big-time. So, I've been back in the gym with renewed energy, doing what I can to maintain my endurance. I've even pulled out what I'm ashamed to say is my dusty, old road bike so I can get outside with everyone else. I picked up some new insoles for my shoes and got some good suggestions on places to run where I can avoid concrete. I'll be back, and if I'm not...(deep breath)...the universe will not implode. It's all about the process, right? This will only make crossing the finish line (whenever that happens) that much sweeter!
Have a great weekend everyone - get out there and do!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


51 days to go...that's 7 weeks to my half marathon.
Yesterday I ran...
around the block. It was pathetic. Right out of the driveway I knew my injury wasn't healed. I came inside, yelled some expletives and proceeded to pout until my husband came home from work. I was upset, but I didn't realize how defeated I felt until I tried to explain to him what was wrong. My voice caught in my throat as I imagined sitting at the finish line watching my friend, Kari, finish the half without me. I don't think I realized how much this really meant to me until then.
My wonderful husband encouraged me not to give up, so I hit the gym and did 45 minutes on the bike. I felt really good afterward, but it wasn't anything like the brief elation I felt at being outside in my running shoes.
Calling all cheerleaders - I could use a boost right now.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wait...I have muscles that aren't in my legs?

I'd forgotten all about them! While forced to rest my shins, I've remembered all those other muscles that, until now have been neglected. Yesterday, I hit the bike at the gym, then lifted some weights...with my arms! Today was yoga day and, what d'ya know - I rediscovered my abs. I've heard all these other elusive muscle groups can aid in running and hopefully the rumors are true. For the last week, I've been in a workout rut. I couldn't escape the idea that, if I wasn't running, there was no point. Well, in the words of my friend Christine, I decided it was time to, "buck up, little camper!" and get with the program. Since then I've been doing anything I can to keep up my strength and endurance and I'm starting to feel like myself again.
Am hoping to test the waters a little bit this week. The weather is SO nice and I'm really tired of seeing zillions of runners everywhere. Ever notice that when you can't run, it seems like everyone else IS?

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It was 5pm on a Wednesday. The other shoppers looked on as she flew down the aisles, arms full of ice cream and candy, headed for the check-out. She was on a mission and no one would get in her way. As she stashed her goodies in her trunk and slid into her car, a little voice in the back of her mind said, "Don't do it! Don't do it!" But she ignored it and zoomed toward home, one goal in mind, the only thing that would do after a day like today, there was nothing for it.
She darted into the house, taking care not to look at the training calendar on the fridge, and dug into her shopping bags. In seconds she had a spoon and was on the couch with a tub of (shriek!) ice cream. After months without a major junk food binge, she was caught in a moment of weakness, stress eating to calm the nerves. Sometimes we just need a fix to get us through. Don't judge her too harshly, she's still a runner at heart!
Whew, I feel better mean, I'm sure the crazy ice cream lady (whoever she is) feels better :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


First of all, let me just say THANKS! You've all been awesome! I so appreciate your advice and encouragement. It's been wonderful. EVERY new runner should blog!
A little nervous today - I've got 3.5 miles on my training calendar but am afraid of aggravating the shin splints. I've done everything I'm supposed to: rest, ice, meds, and my shoes are already new. Hoping I can get out there and go pain-free. We'll to follow.
Oh, and I've already set my sights on the American Cancer Society's 10K in April! Bring it!

...a few hours later...

GRRRR! Shin splints strike again. This time, I made it about a mile. I am totally frustrated, but I know I have to take it easy. I am looking into swimming since the bike actually seems to irritate the injury. Trying to stay positive, but this is really killing my running buzz, man.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shamrock Shuffle Sunday!

It was awesome! I had so!? Really seems weird, but I did! Everyone was out in all their green glory and it was great to feel the excitement as we all gathered on State Street. The weather was wonderful - about 40-ish degrees and sunny. I did stick out my pouty lip a bit when the 10K was called to the start line, but in the end I'm glad I switched to the 5K. I even saw some of my Madison Marathon peeps working on the course.
I am pretty proud of myself for maintaining a steady pace throughout despite the monster that is Observatory Hill, which we all did twice. My legs held out pretty well and I didn't slow to a walk even once. I had been nervous all weekend that I'd end up having to walk the whole thing because of my shin splints, but they hardly bothered me. The best part was that, after crossing the finish line, I felt like I could have kept on going! 10K in April, people! It's gonna happen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

First packet pick up

Wow, I am such a geek. I went to pick up my Shamrock Shuffle race packet today and I was totally excited! It took all of 3 minutes, but I got my t-shirt and my bib and I got so jazzed for the race! I've seen hundreds of thousands of runners pick up their race packets, but now I get it. The race is getting close and it's exciting! I did end up dropping to the 5K out of concern for the shin splints, but I'll be back for a 10 in April. Looking forward to a fun time on Sunday! If you're shuffling, I'll see you out there - I'll be the one in green.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stranded with splints

It started last night on the treadmill but I didn't want to admit it. Today, it was undeniable. I was at mile two and suddenly stranded by shin splints. I hobbled home and here I sit, left leg propped and chilling on ice. Really inconvenient, since I'm supposed to shamrock shuffle on Sunday. Until then, I guess it's the stationary bike for me. Any advice on how to deal with a case of the splints?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Being THAT person

So I'm out for my Sunday run, chugging along, jammin' to my tunes and thinking about my pre-running days not so long ago. I used to drive down the street and see people running in my neighborhood and think, "Ugh! I hate those people! They make me feel so lazy!" I was so jealous of their determination to run in the rain, cold or heat. I thought I could never be one of THOSE people. But on Sunday, I was.
I gotta say, it felt awesome.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Perfect pace

I have found it at last! My perfect pace. After struggling through a few painful runs riddled with side-aches and near-exploding lungs, I enjoyed an amazing 3 1/2-miler the other day. Turns out, my perfect pace is kinda slow, but that's okay! It's all about crossing the finish line in the upright position.
It was so great to relax into my stride and really enjoy my run. Bonus: I didn't feel like I was going to die when I was done!
I am now looking forward to my tweener race: The Shamrock Shuffle here in Madison. Thanks to your recommendations, I'm going to give it a go. I'm a little concerned about doing Observatory Hill out AND back, but it's just a new challenge to conquer- bring it on!
Maybe I'll see some of you out there. Cheers and good luck!

Monday, March 1, 2010

This is getting serious, people

I am just back from my first shopping experience at what I would formerly have called a "snooty running store." I guess I'm a snoot because I totally loved it!
My running shoes are years old, so I thought it was time to pick up some new kicks for the big show in May. Wow, there is a lot more to picking out running shoes than the color, which is my usual criteria for shoe selection. My only requirement going in was that they be purple. Alas, it turns out the best shoe for me is yellow, which the salesperson said made my feet look fast :)
I also picked up a hydration belt. I cannot believe it. I occasionally see runners in my neighborhood with their fancy-pants hydration belts and think, "Geez, they must be serious." When I mentioned this to the salesperson, he said, "Yeah, but you ARE serious, right?" It's true. Though I still have difficulty feeling like I am a "real runner," here I am at the snooty running store buying hydration belts and sensible shoes. This is serious, people. I am becoming that which I have always feared and never totally understood.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

From Zippy to Zombie

I did it! I conquered the 6-mile long-run day! I didn't do it quickly or without pain (or without thinking I was going to quit a zillion times) but I got through. I was so happy I nearly skipped home after I finished. My elation lasted the rest of the day, but my batteries sure as heck did not!
Now, I am not a napper. I actually really hate taking naps because I always wake up feeling groggy and often more tired than when I started. But, here I am at 4pm barely able to keep my eyes open. My husband took me for a coffee, but even my caffeine jolt could not shake the absolute exhaustion I felt (feel, really) throughout my entire body. Must sleep.
Is this normal? Do any of you need to run, shower, eat and nap? After my 10K in December, that's exactly what I did. Is it just me?? Man, what will I do as the runs just get longer?? Should I expect to go into a brief coma after my half marathon?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Buckling down

Happy Friday! Hopefully some of you are in the area and enjoying the sunny (but cold) weather here in the Midwest. If any of you are on the east coast buried in snow, I hope you're hunkered down with some good movies!
Today's post is about my realization that I need to put good food in my body if I want to feel good, especially when I run. Shocking that it's taken me so long, I know, but I was convinced that all the running canceled out the extra calories. Somewhat true, but it turns out that greasy pizza and excessive sugar do not a great run make!
As much as it pained me to have to say goodbye to junk food, I've managed to do it and am feeling great! Now it's all about finding the right foods to replace the delicious (but horribly naughty) french fries, M&Ms (sigh), and white chocolate mochas (double sigh).
So, as I dig into my very first greek yogurt (thanks to Kari for that recommendation), I put it out to all of you:
What kind of foods do you like to eat when you're training? Suggestions that include some way to sneak chocolate into my diet are appreciated :)
As I said in the previous post, I'm not big on meat and so don't always get enough protein (hence the yogurt), so if anyone has some good ideas for ways to get some protein in as well, that would be awesome!
I'm on my way, people! Feelin' good and, bonus, starting to look a little more like a runner, too!
Next week's post: NEW RUNNING SHOES!!!
Until then, low-fat chocolate milk wishes and Clif Bar dreams!

Monday, February 22, 2010

We're all in this together

This weeks' training schedule said yesterday (Sunday) was a 6-mile day. I was a little freaked that morning and was dreading the very real possibility that this would be rough.
As I was driving home from the grocery store that morning, I saw a few brave souls already bundled and hitting the pavement. I was totally inspired.
I went home and slipped (or yanked) on my brand new running tights (an item, by the way, I was pretty sure I'd never be caught dead in due to their extremely unflattering cut), grabbed my kicks and I was out the door. It was a balmy 29 degrees, but I warmed up pretty quickly.
Was it a great run? Absolutely not. After about 4.5 miles, my body was done (side note - I think this could open a whole new discussion about nutrition as I am basically a vegetarian and have trouble getting enough protein, but that's another post for another day)
Was it a great experience? Absolutely. The reason? I couldn't believe how great it felt to be out among my fellows. Every time I passed another runner, there was a smile, a wave or even a "Hi!" between heavy breaths. I felt an instant bond with these strangers simply because we were all out there in the elements together. Even as I drive through my neighborhood and see runners working hard, I am suddenly compelled to roll down my window and yell, "Keep it up! You're doing great! Good for you!"
My only explanation for this is that I am suddenly (instantly, really) part of a community. Runners (even us newbies) know what it means to get out on a Sunday morning and get your feet moving. This blog has already made me feel like I belong (thanks to all of you), but nothing can compare to getting out there and seeing the support on the face of other runners.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The "Tweener" Race

My training calendar says I am just a few weeks from being half-way through my training -wow. Time to start thinking about an in-between (tweener) race. A 10K seems the obvious choice, but which one?
The last (and my only other) 10K wasn't so great. Snow-covered trails really tested my newbie muscles and completely wore me out by mile 4. I went home and slept all day only to wake up with an over-use injury. Hopefully I can get through this one unscathed.
I live in Madison and am looking for a good 10K some time in March. Do any of you have any recommendations??
Stay tuned for a review of tomorrow's long run: 6 miles. I'm doing it outside, people! Neither rain, nor sleet, nor really sloppy wet roads will stop me thanks to all of your excellent posts!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cabin Fever

I got back on the treadmill last night and decided: I am sick to death of the treadmill. No amount of quality TV can distract me from the (very) slowly changing numbers on the machine. Time drags by as I suck in the stale-seeming air and proceed to sweat my butt off (not literally of course, but that would be nice). Oh, and let's not forget the infamous "chatties" who seem to end up working out next to me. They don't seem to notice or care that I am wearing earphones, they simply chat my ear off as I huff and puff and barely respond.
I guess it's time to put aside my wimpy-ness and get outside again. I hope that little groundhog in Sun Prairie was right. Bring on the spring!
Until then, does anyone know any clubs/locations in Madison with indoor tracks open to the public?

Friday, February 12, 2010

How am I ever going to do this?

As I sit here at my desk, I keep looking over my shoulder at my half marathon registration confirmation posted on my bulletin board. (Sigh)
After a few days off for a vay-cay in New York, I got back on the treadmill yesterday. Three was rough. My knees are screaming at me today and I'm wondering how in the heck I will ever be able to add another 10 miles to what I did yesterday. If this process is a climb, I just got buried in an avalanche.
It all started a week ago...
I was at a local running store with my cousin who was shopping for new workout duds. I was chatting with a salesperson and said, OUT LOUD, "I'm training for a half marathon." It was freaky. I felt like speaking the words to a total stranger made the whole thing even more real. I felt like I was lumping myself in with this exclusive group (runners) and imagined the saleswoman was thinking, "Sure lady, whatever you say."
I started to doubt.
Then, I had a bad run the day before leaving town. It was freezing and I had a side cramp almost immediately. I struggled through the rest of my run, but I didn't feel the sense of accomplishment I usually feel.
I felt guilty for shunning my workouts during vacation, but told myself all the walking was just as good. Then, I came home to find that my body had gone on vacation as well as my brain.
Ugh! How do you dig yourself out of a mental hole? I know if I can just start thinking I can do this again, I'll be able to convince my feet (and my knees and my lungs...)!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I really did have the very best intentions. I dreamed of running in Riverside Park and reveling in the fact that I was in Manhattan...but it was like, really cold.
My one and only sister graduated from musical theater school in New York City this weekend. I was so excited for a mini-break, but totally intent on maintaining my running schedule. Yeah, that didn't so much happen. Though my running gear was all packed, my cold-weather gear in-tow, I simply wimped out. Rather than hitting the pavement, I spent the weekend shopping (um, that's cardio, right?) and eating. It was glorious!
BUT, I'm back now and it's time to jump back on that wagon. I just hope this hasn't side-tracked me and that I don't lose focus. Eye on the prize!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Non)Drinking Problem

It was the most horrible feeling a hangover and the stomach flu rolled into one...
Sunday night, with five miles of running ahead of me, I dragged myself to the gym expecting a not-so-stellar performance. I had been in the car all afternoon (driving back from Minnesota) and had fallen asleep - never a good thing. I was still feeling groggy and just wanted to get this over with, but all of a sudden, I hit my stride and I felt like I could have run forever! I even punched it up at the end and finished strong. I felt great!
After some stretching and a hot shower, I was in my pjs and ready to wind down. I had a bit to eat and settled in on the couch.
Suddenly, it all went wrong. It was like my batteries had died. I felt weak and ill and wobbly. Dehydration hit me like a truck. I was up until 1am downing water in small gulps attempting to fend off the nausea and cursing myself for being so negligent. I tossed my cookies (all of them) and collapsed in bed. I was so exhausted the next day, I stayed home from work and slept the entire day away. Ugh.
Today, I'm back at work where my water bottle will stay glued to my hand wherever I go. Lesson learned (so, don't worry, Mom!)...the really hard way.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hey! I Can Do That!

I'm a few weeks into my half marathon prep now and can't believe how far I've come already. Amazing! What was completely unimaginable a few months ago is completely do-able now! Last weekend, I ran four miles...that's a 5K! That means every 5K in town is completely attainable - today.
It's so great to feel my progress. Sometimes, I catch myself thinking about how far I still have to go (about 9 miles!), but I can feel the sought-after "euphoria" within my reach. I know my body is close to settling into my pace and I can't wait for that breakthrough when you feel your feet fall automatically and you relax into your run. I got close in December, but I can taste it now! Five miles on Sunday - look out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ode to a Cold, Rainy Day

We here in Wisconsin enjoyed a "toasty" 36-degree day yesterday, so my friend Kari convinced me to run with her outdoors. It's been a while (December) since I've run outside and I was feeling a little whiny about the rain-ish conditions, but it was great! Though we had to hurdle the occasional snow pile and dodge more than a few puddles, that fresh wintery air felt wonderfully refreshing.
I have always been an indoor girl. I would rather vacation at a resort with a shower and air conditioning than rough it in a tent - hands-down. (Anyone seen the movie, "Troop Beverly Hills?" That's my kinda girl scout troop!) Thus, I have spent much more time working out in the gym than I have ever spent sweating in the elements. In fact, when I joined my local gym last year, they asked what I wanted out of a workout facility. I said, "My own TV on my cardio machine."
BUT, since I've started running, I've found there's nothing better than being outside. The fresh air is great...and so is feeling like you're actually going somewhere! It took some prodding, but I'm so glad someone got me out of the house (and the gym) and back outside. Freezing-schmeezing!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fav's

It's Friday, people! I've decided to blog about something Friday-fun and interactive...running music!
I am a fan of the iPod and love to run while listening to some quality tunes. Here are a few that keep me going...

1. "It's Amazing" by Jem - the lyrics say it all. "It's amazing, all that you can do. It's amazing, makes my heart sing. Now it's up to you."

2. "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas - for when you feel like you don't have anything left.

3. "Shut Up and Let Me Go" by the Ting Tings - lots of energy and a little attitude!

4. "Make Yourself" by Incubus - this one is great for "angry running" and a real kick in the pants.

5. Anything Lady Gaga - makes me wanna dance and you can't help but sing along

Honorable mentions - "Ready to Run" by the Dixie Chicks (shout out to Kari for reminding me that this is obviously a perfect running song!) and "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay. Any opportunity to listen to Coldplay is a good one.

Which songs get YOU going? I'm always looking to expand my playlist!

(Sidenote: Running at night makes me a Nervous-Nelly, but be safe any time of day when you're running with earphones in! Keep the volume soft enough that you can hear cars and people around you.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Foodie for Thought

Thanks to all of you who have written in with comments - what great support! I'm counting on you to weigh (pun intended) in on today's topic as
I love to eat food, especially the kind I don't have to cook. I know very well what I should eat and what I shouldn't, but this whole running thing has changed my thinking a bit. Now, knowing I'll be running later in the day, I seem to be eating whatever the heck I want with no thoughts for the consequences. I'm really enjoying my bagels, mac n'cheese, and (I'm ashamed to say) deep-fried goodies, but I know this can't really be helping my running efforts.
I have a history of calorie-counting and I know it makes me absolutely crazy...and really crabby (think caffeine addict and not a drop of coffee in sight). I am loving the leeway running gives me, but I think I've gone a bit overboard. How do I give up all the bad carbs and sugar I so love without jumping back on the crazy calorie-counting wagon?
What do you do to balance your diet? Please tell me some of you are foodies, too?!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Plunge

Okay, I've JUST done it. I've just registered for my first half marathon. I still have a hand over my mouth and my eyes are still bugging out. I don't know whether I'm excited or freaked...maybe both. I've filled out tons of runner registrations for other people, but it was weird to see that familiar page and to fill it with my own information. It took all of 2 minutes and now I'm committed. In it for the long-haul. No turning back now. Definitely the scariest purchase I've ever made.
EEK! What have I gotten myself into?!
I guess I'll mull it over during a run :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

When to Commit??

After planning four Madison Marathons and working with countless runners to answer their questions, I now find myself in their running shoes...when do you commit to a race? I think I know which one I'd like to do - Green Bay seems a good choice based on it's proximity to Madison and to the Madison Marathon. I am counting on all this training distracting me from the major stressor that is planning a race. (I usually end up having a "Madison Marathon breakdown" at some point in the planning process, which typically involves me sitting in my car screaming and crying. It is my continuing goal to avoid this emotional flip-out.) Maybe running will help me approach race planning with a more zen attitude? But when to commit? What about injury? What if I'm not ready in time? I put it to you, my readers...when do you take the biggest step in the training process and commit yourself to a race?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Biggest Kick in the Pants

Okay, time for my pop-culture reference of the month -I am a huge Biggest Loser fan. I can't help it! I love to work out while I watch it and pretend the trainers are screaming at ME. If you've never watched (particularly while doing some cardio), I highly recommend giving it a go. I tip my hat to this excellent reminder that we all need to get our butts off the couch (though, oddly enough, most of us watch the show on our couches). It's a nice kick in the pants when I am all excuses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back in the Sneakers Again!

Happy New Year to you followers and fellow runners!
New year, indeed! After sitting out the holidays (and eating WAY too much junk food), I climbed onto my beloved treadmill yesterday. Yes, I was so desperate for real exercise that a treadmill seemed the most beautiful sight in the world. (Now I KNOW I'm on my way to addiction.) It was a brief run, just 2 miles, but it was a run nonetheless. What joy is mine!
Thanks to family and friends for making sure Santa knew I needed some new running duds. Can't wait to get out and play with my new iPod training sensor in my fancy new sweat-soaking, yet fashionable, headbands. What have I become? Last year it was all DVDs and Starbucks cards! I am starting to see how easy it is to get sucked in.
Cheers to 2010 and my greatest resolution yet!