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!