When the going gets tough, the tough get Weezy

First let me just say, I am writing this from the most beautiful spot. The weather has finally cooled off enough that I’m only minorly concerned that I’ll spontaneously burst into flames, and I’m in the shade of a lovely tree with an absolutely stunning view.

Good times indeed.

Mind Games. I’m not talking psychological warfare; although maybe I will teach you my tricks one day. I’m talking mental toughness and running today. GOAR.

It’s been a while since I’ve run on my own. Running with a buddy is pretty wonderful. Having someone alongside you is distracting and motivating, but it’s not always possible. I ran by myself today, and it was tough. It’s been a sleepless weekend, and the weather is just brutal.

I knew I wanted to run, so getting out the door wasn’t too much of a fight, but I didn’t have a plan in mind when I left, so staying out was a bit harder. As I ran, I reached into the recesses of my mind to pull out some tried and true mental tricks for staying motivated. I ended up running 7 miles in 90+ heat, so I used a lot of these tricks today and thought it’d be interesting to share what motivates me to keep going.

  • First, like the title implies, Weezy. I realize that may require some explanation. One of my first tricks on a tough run is music. Now, this isn’t exactly ground breaking advice, so I’ll be more specific. I like listening to really cocky artists/songs. Seriously, the cockier the better. Lil Wayne fits the bill perfectly. Kanye is good too. Really, it’s whoever you prefer, as long as they’re really sure of themselves. Here’s my thinking. If you’ve got, “snitch I’m the bomb like tick, tick” in your ears, there’s no way you won’t feel badass. Like, when Got Money comes on (and I realize that’s not the lyric, but this is a family blog) I think, “I am the bomb! I can totally do this run!” and I do

(source)

  • Sing it loud, sing it proud. I actually sing these badass lyrics out loud. If there’s tons of people around, I’ll just mouth them, but actually forming the worlds with my own lips makes me feel even more badass. You can’t sing “I’m a beast, I’m an animal, I’m that monster in the mirror” while feeling pathetic. You just can’t. As an added bonus, when people pass you in their car, they’ll be like, “Wow! I would think running on a day like today would be miserable, but look at that girl! She’s having so much fun she’s singing!” Then they’ll go home and run, and you just created a new runner. Or they’ll be like, “That girl is cray.” And they’ll think all runners are crazy and never run, and you’ll have more trails to yourself. Boom.
  • Get competitive with yourself. My run today felt a lot like that old Nike commercial where the runner is running through the city dashing from shady spot to shady spot. Now, there is no shade in Liberty State park, but when I would see a little patch, I’d race to it. Focusing on the next shady spot rather than the miles to go kept me distracted and gave me a little boost.
  • Get competitive with others. Speaking of commercials. There was an old T. Rowe Price commercial that advertised how their slow and steady funds always “beat their Lipper Average” while other, less focused funds started strong then petered out. In the ad, they showed an older runner getting passed by a younger guy. The older guy keeps his pace, catches up to and passes the young guy who is donezo. Now, I have no idea what a Lipper Average is (so sorry Rutgers Economics, I’m a bad example of your teachings), but rather than get ultra competitive when runners pass me, I just think “Lipper Average” and 9 times out of 10, I pass them long after they’ve stopped running. Some people call it “chicking” when a girl passes a guy, and that’s fun too.
  • Go off roading. When I’m in a park, I like to switch it up between grass, gravel and pavement. First, it’s good for your legs to take a break on softer surfaces every now and again, and second it makes you more attentive and wakes you up. When you switch from running on solid, level pavement to uneven surfaces, it forces you to be more conscious of your steps, which can take your mind off other things, like how ridiculously hot it is.
  • Use those nasty comparisons to your advantage. Now, everyone knows we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other runners, but we all do it. If I’m trudging along on a miserable run, and I feel like the slowest person out there, I tell myself “Sure, it’s easy for all these silly 6-7 minute milers to get out here and do this. They’ll be done in twenty minutes! But for my 10-12 minute mile behind to be out here plugging away takes guts. I might be the slowest person out here, but that’s probably because all the other slowpokes decided to stay home today. Go me.”
  • Stay present. Sometimes it helps to think about an icy cold beer shower or all the delicious foods I’ll eat when I get home, but other times that makes me even more miserable about being out and running rather than home and eating. Those times, I try to be really present. I’ll look around and try to guess what other people are talking about, how they know each other, where they’re from etc. I’ll try to notice one new thing about my running path that I haven’t seen before. Sometimes being where you are makes you grateful and keeps you moving.
  • Switch it up. I’m a creature of habit, so I like running the same paths again and again, but if possible, if I know it’s going to be a challenging run, I’ll run the route in reverse. Finishing my run where I usually start it floods my brain with happy starting memories and causes me to forget just how tired I am.
  • Focus on your body. When I’m really struggling physically, I’ll try and isolate exactly what it is that’s giving me so much grief and think about the actual biological processes occurring. If I’m winded I’ll picture my heart pumping extra hard and little oxygen molecules traveling to my lungs. I’ll picture my lungs expanding and contracting to take in all that good air. If my stomach hurts, I’ll picture a big old bucket of acid sloshing around. If I’m hungry, I’ll think about my body burning up glucose for energy. I’ll picture my muscles contracting. It sounds a little odd, but when I think about what’s actually going on, I realize that my body is doing exactly what it was made to do, so I’m probably not going to die, and if I’m not going to die, then continuing my run will only make me stronger. What doesn’t kill you, right?
  • Have fun. I’d estimate that I spend an average of 50 hours a week doing stuff I don’t want to do. Between work and other obligations, I’m often in a place because I have to be and not because I want to be. Running should not be like that. Running is my life’s blood, but it is also just a hobby. I do it because I want to do it, so I make sure to have some fun when I’m out there. I take pictures and pick up funny things. I don’t beat myself up about running too slowly or not going far enough. I force myself to stop making mental to do lists and quit rehashing the week’s problems. I have enough stress in my life. The day running feels like a chore is the day I need to seriously reevaluate.

  • Do a proxy run. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think remembering that you are lucky to be out running is a wonderful motivator. When I’m feeling like I just can’t go on anymore, I think about all the people who would be running with me if they could, and I imagine that I’m running for them. So, I force myself to run like them. I keep specific people in mind depending on what issue I’m facing. If it’s my stomach, I think of my mama who’s suffered from terrible stomach pain her whole life, and I think “What I’m feeling now is probably a regular day for her. Keep running.” If it’s my legs, I think of my beautiful sister and tell myself, “Walking around town is difficult for her, but she never complains. I won’t either.” If it’s more a matter of the heart, I think of the man who’s got a hold on mine. Chris began running for the first time in his life with me after I finished the fastest half marathon I’ve ever run. I was at the top of my game, and he ran with me, struggling to build up a base while it seemed super easy for me. He could have looked at the situation and thought, “Screw this. I’ll never get the hang of this. I quit.” But he never did, so when I think about quitting, I think about him, and I don’t.

So, there you have it. This post was longer than I expected, but I seriously love all these tips and tricks, and I wanted to share them with you. I’m sure there are so many more, so, please, tell me what are your tips for continuing to put one foot in front of the other when you’re just not feeling it?

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Base Building Week 6

What’s that you did not say? You’d like to catch up on how base building has been going so far? Well, here you go!

And now, we wrap it up with Week 6

  • estimated: 25 miles
  • Mondayeasy 18 minutes for 1.7 miles. Chris caught a rotten cold (over a week on the road will do that to you), but, being the trouper he is, decided he still wanted to get the lead out after a long day of travel (we got back from Orlando on Monday afternoon). We hit the road aiming for 2 miles, but decided to cut our run short in order to hit the market for some dinner supplies. After several days of intense Florida heat and humidity, our perfect, breezy 70 degree run felt amazing.
  • Tuesday- rest day. I woke up Tuesday morning eager to hold on the relaxed vacation feeling just a little longer. Of course, the day got to me. By the time I got home from work and a two store grocery trip, I was frazzled and tired. It was already 7, so I made the executive decision to skip my run, take my time making dinner, drink some white wine and watch old 30 Rock’s on Netflix all night. It was glorious. I held on to that wonderful vacation glow for one more perfect day.
  • Wednesday- 30 minutes for 2.7 miles.  Sad day. I set out to run for 45 minutes, and was actually feeling pretty good despite the fact that I was on the treadmill because Jersey City is an oven. I hit my stride right away, and got totally lost in the zone. Then, right around minute 27, a nagging annoying if not terribly painful sensation appeared in my right knee. It had been coming and going the whole run, but now it seemed intent on staying. I so badly wanted to power through and finish my run because I was feeling so good, but I decided to be so smart and call it a quits. I’m not training for anything. It would be so dumb to get injured now. It was the right call, but I was grouchy about it.
  • Thursday- rest day. Happy Hour for two good work friends who are leaving for other jobs and other states. It was a bit too happy for me. I guess my driver’s license isn’t wrong. I really am getting older, and now the late nights feel that much later.
  • Friday- rested. Not a planned rest day, but a giant storm came in to break our 3 day heat wave, and we opted to listen to the rain and watch movies all night rather than brave the treadmills.
  • Saturday- 21.75 mile bike ride all over the dang place.
  • Sunday- 70 minutes for 6 heartbreaking miles. Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but this was a brutal run. Even though we tried to hit the road early, the sun was beating down on us. It was hot. I’m not sure whether it the heat, lack of consistency, or some unknown x factor, but I had a lot of trouble hitting my stride. About 3/4 through the run, my chest felt really heavy and tight, and I stopped. It took me a long scary minute to catch my breath, and that was enough to leave me a little shaken. We ran/walked back home and hit an average pace of 11:31, but it was really hard and a bit scary, and it left me more than a little sad.
  • actual: 10.4 miles

I’m struggling to find a way to neatly wrap up this 6 week base building saga. Ultimately, I’m glad I did it. I liked the structure of having a schedule, and I feel like I ran more than I would have otherwise. I definitely didn’t complete all the runs I set out to though, and that leave s me feeling a little defeated, which is not the way I wanted to head into half marathon training. I got a lot of rest, both mentally and physically, and I know that was important, but I’m worried that I may not be prepared for upcoming 20-25 mile training weeks. I’ve never trained for two half marathons in one year before, so I’ve never had this sort of limited down time in between. Basically, I have nothing to compare this too, so it’s hard to evaluate it fully. I think, in the future, I would set more realistic goals for myself (like running 3 times a week instead of 4 and committing to a long run of 60 minutes without increasing every week), so I could feel both challenged and accomplished.
We still haven’t decided on a fall half marathon, but we’re trending towards late September/early October, which still gives us like 14 weeks at this point. We really only need 12 weeks to train, so I may just take this next two weeks to clear my head and use what I know about myself and running to get back into my comfort zone. I know I can’t really run more than 2 days in a row without needing a rest day. I know that more than 4 runs a week puts me in my injury zone. I’m going to try to remember those things and just run the runs that feel good.
THE END!

Base Building Week 5

I’m sorry  I didn’t get my wrap up of Base Building Week 5  up sooner (better late than never). It’s been a crazy week. I had my family come and stay with my Tuesday through Friday, and Friday through Sunday I was in Orlando with Chris! There will be more on that soon, but for now, let’s talk about running. In case you want to catch up on the entire base building plan here are Weeks 1 & 2, Week 3, and Week 4

Week 5

  • estimated: 22 miles
  • Monday- easy 55 for 5.3 miles. After being hot and humid all day, a storm started brewing right as I was heading out for my run. The temperature dropped (to like 60!), the clouds came out and the wind picked up just a bit. It was the perfect weather to hit the road, so I did. I aimed for negative splits and I got them. I was quite pleased with this run even though I was feeling some soreness in my left… everything. Seriously, left IT band, left calf and left foot all hurt. I came home, foam rolled everything, and am happy to report that I woke up with lingering pain only in my foot. Two out of three pains vanquished ain’t bad.
  • Tuesday- rest day. Family came to town. We enjoyed ourselves.
  • Wednesday- easy 45 for 4 miles. Oh my. It has been a seriously long time since I’ve done a very early morning run. I was up by 5 and out the door by 5:20 (not sure what takes me so long in the morning), and I was DRAGGING. It was brutal. I probably looked like I was dying. I was half asleep. My stomach was not cooperating, and the humidity was hitting me hard. Still, I was finished by 6:05, and I’m so glad I ran.
  • Thursday- rest day. I took this day off to relax and spend time with my family before heading to Orlando.
  • Friday- 40 minutes speed work for 3.7 miles. 10 minute warm up followed by 4 repetitions of an interval that looked like this: 3 minutes at a 9:30 pace, 2 minutes of recovery. 10 minute cool down. This was a tough session. Chris was exhausted from a week of intense sessions at his conference. I was beat and stressed from my day of travel. It was pretty hot in Florida around 3:30 (go figure!), so we hit the hotel treadmills and just sort of zoned out. It was a good start to our vacation though. I think it helped burn off any residual stress from our week apart and got us ready to relax and enjoy the weekend.
  • Saturdayrest day. We made the last minute decision to visit Universal Studios on Saturday and were a little unsure about how we’d manage all that walking after a run, so we skipped it, and it was the absolute right decision. We must have walked like 10 miles, and we came back exhausted (in a good way) and sore. That helped us decide that we wouldn’t run Sunday either.
  • Sunday rest day. Following Saturday’s example, we skipped the run knowing we’d be walking all over Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Again, it felt like we walked 10 miles.
  • actual: 13 miles plus probably 20 miles of walking.

I had to shuffle this week around a bit to accommodate my mom and sisters coming to town in the beginning of the week and me heading out of town towards the end of the week. That meant a later than I would like run and an earlier than I would like run, but you gotta do what you gotta do I suppose. The distances were short enough that it was manageable if not totally pleasant.

As for the long run, it didn’t make the cut. Again, I know I’ll regret decisions like this come half marathon training time, but it was the right call this week. There was no time to do it before my family came to town, and I wasn’t about to take time away from them to run for an hour and a half. We thought about doing it on vacation, but I also didn’t want to take time out of our vacation to run that long. It was a mental health kind of call, and I don’t regret it.

We had a lot of rest days this week, but they were definitely active rest days. Walking those theme parks was no joke! My feet and legs are sore in totally new to me places, so I feel like I still got a couple very good workouts this weekend. Like I said last week, I want to build a solid base of running before heading into half marathon training, but I also don’t want to burn out before I even start. I’m really focused on relaxing and enjoying the summer, and believe me, after this trip (recap coming soon!) I really, really am.

Base Building Week 4

We’ve got weeks  1, 2 and week 3  in the bank, so now, let’s review week 4 of my summer base building plan.

We’re more than halfway through the plan, which means in just two more short weeks we’ll begin officially training for our fall half marathon, which probably means Chris should pick a fall half marathon *wink wink* The anticipation is killing me! Week 4 also means a rest week from building mileage as well as the addition of a hard run. This week called for the first tempo run in a while, and it was …

  • estimated mileage: 18
  • Monday- rest day. We flew back from Miami, and we’re so exhausted from the weekend, a run was not happening. We did manage to run both of the days we were there though, so I’m feeling pretty good about that.
  • Tuesday- ran 31 minutes for 3 miles. We were a bit pressed on time (watch closely, that’s the theme of this week), so we ran as much as we could before I had to turn around and head home for a doctor’s appointment. We talked the whole time, mostly recounting the wedding weekend and other stressors and the talking and venting must have propelled us forward because we maintained an average pace of something like 10:40, which is pretty speedy for an easy run for us. It felt good to get out there and stretch my legs while clearing my mind.
  • Wednesday-rest day. It was National Running Day, so I really wanted to run, but a super huge (and super necessary) grocery run involving 2 stores and 2 trips from car to apartment left me feeling exhausted when I finally got home around 7:30. I’d been feeling really run down all week, and Chris had a crazy long and stressful day at work, so I decided the best course of action would be to skip the run, get dinner going and just relax. Hey! Rest days are an essential part of running, so I kind of still celebrated.
  • Thursday- rest day. Still sick plus early dinner plans with a friend equals no run for Kate.
  • Friday- ran 42 minutes for 4 miles. I was itching for a run on Friday. Even though it’d only been two days off, it I was craving it. I’ve found myself missing my long runs lately, so I guess that means I’m ready for a training plan.
  • Saturday- DNR. Was supposed to run, but DNR. Was supposed to do a tempo run, but got caught up in all the weekend fun. Had a minor breakdown about not doing the run, but Chris reminded me that technically we’re not training right now. He’s right, we’re not. That made me feel better. I’m glad that we’re building a solid base before our fall half marathon training, but I promised myself at the end of the last training plan that I’d enjoy May and June before jumping back into another plan, and I am!
  • Sunday- 40 minute tempo run; 3.75 miles.
  • actual mileage: 10.75

Obviously, I fell short of the mileage. I know I skipped a run in there, but that run would’ve probably been only 4 miles, so I’m not sure where I got my 18 mile estimate from. I wouldn’t have hit that even with the extra run, so I think I must have just copied the mileage from week 2 forgetting that I wouldn’t be taking a long run this week.

There was more non-running than running this week for sure, but I’m ok with that. The theme of this week, as I said, was “we are pressed for time!!!” We came back from Miami on Monday, and my family comes to town this week, so we basically spent the first half of the week recovering/unpacking and the second half preparing/planning. June is going to be a busy one, but it’s filled with good stuff. And I’m blessed not to have a half marathon right around the corner, so I’m hoping that by going easy on myself now, I’ll be more mentally prepared to push myself during “Super Official Training.” Physcially? Welp. That’s another thing entirely.

Week 5 Plan:

  • Monday- Easy 55
  • Tuesday- Off
  • Wednesday- Speed 40
  • Thursday- Easy 45
  • Friday- Off
  • Saturday- Long 90
  • Sunday- Off

Happy Trails!

 

Base Building Week 3

My Miami vacation is over, and I’m coming home today. It’s ok though. It was a nice little break from reality, but it was a busy weekend, and I’m looking forward to coming home to my jerk faced cat and regular life. I’ll post pictures of the weekend and the wedding soon, but I’m currently computer less, so for now, let’s talk about running, k?

Sunday marked the end of week 3 of my base building schedule.

Week 3

  • estimated mileage: 22
  • Monday- easy 45 minutes for 4 miles. This was actual a race, the timing just worked out very well
  • Tuesday- easy 15 for 1.3 miles. I wasn’t supposed to run today, but I was feeling all ragey and needed to do something to calm myself down, so I ran. My left knee felt really wonky and considering I had already run Sunday and Monday, I decided to play it smart and move over to the elliptical to continue to get my rage out
  • Wednesday- easy 35 for 3.5 miles. This was a glorious run! I wasn’t sure how my knee would feel, so I started off slow and steady and took it easy for the first half. I was feeling pretty good at the turnaround point, so I set my sights on negative splits and kept my pace under 10 minutes for the entire second half. I finished the last half mile under 9, which I haven’t seen in months. I was flying high.
  • Thursday- long 75 for 7 miles. My goal here was to run for 90 minutes, but I hadn’t really taken a break since Sunday, and I was feeling it. Unfortunately, my body can really only handle 2 days of running in a row before it needs a break, and I pushed it a little too far. My left knee was feeling wonky at the start of the run, and both knees were achey towards the end. So, I cut it short at 75 minutes and came home to foam roll and stretch, and I feel good about that choice.
  • Friday- Rest Dayoriginally I wasn’t sure whether I’d run today or not. I was thinking I might participate in the Runner’s World summer run streak where you run at least a mile a day everyday from Memorial Day through The Fourth of July. I was going strong, but I remembered that my body does not do well running everyday. I get achey and creaky, and my body starts to fall apart. I could be upset about this, but I’m choosing instead to be thankful for what my body can do rather than regret what it can’t. So, I rested and woke up feeling great again.
  • Saturday- 1 easy mile we ran in the Miami heat and rain. Combine that with the fact that we were short on time before some pre wedding activities started, and you get us stopping at the Starbuck’s a mile down the road and walking back to our hotel, iced coffees in hand 🙂
  • Sunday- 3.25 hot and dirty miles.
  • actual mileage- 20.05 miles

Even though i came up short on mileage, this week was much better than the previous two. Honestly, being on vacation, I’m surprised I ran as much as I did. I finally feel like I’m in a groove and hitting my stride. My body just feels better when I run these days. I don’t really know why. It could be the fact that I’m sticking to a schedule. It could be that I’m finally adjusting to the heat and humidity. It could be that I had a few emotional runs (it’s been a stressful and emotionally charged week, and I’ve been working through it on runs) where I’ve really thrown my whole heart into my runs, so maybe that makes a difference? I don’t know really. I always tell new runners that some runs are great and some are terrible with little rhyme or reason, so I guess I’ll just take my own advice on this one and be incredibly thankful that the running gods blessed me with a perfect week of runs.

GOAR: Oh you fancy, huh? (aka the gear)

So, in my first GOAR, I talked about how you really don’t need a lot of stuff to get started running. Basically, invest in good shoes and socks. The fact that you don’t need a lot of gear is truly one of my favorite things about running, but once you’ve been running for a while, investing in some cute stuff is pretty fun. I’m kind of a minimalist when it comes to running, but I thought it’d be fun to put together some of my favorites and give you an idea of what a typical running outfit looks like for me.

top– Target Sleepwear Tee

I save most of my fancy tech tees (mostly ones I’ve gotten from running races plus one my grandpa got customized with “10k Katie”- they’re the cutest) and tank tops for races or long runs. If I’m just going out on a regular run, I prefer a light cotton top. I snatched (paid for) these at Target because they have all the things I look for. They’re v-neck (I hate regular collars touching my neck when I run), they’re super light weight, they’re long enough to cover my running-shorts-muffin-top and they’re colorful. They are, however, technically sleepwear, but I really don’t care, so I bought one in 4 different colors.

support– Champion for Target Sports Bra

I like cheap workout stuff, but I don’t like to go too cheap on sports bras because they fall apart and lose their support after about one wash, and that’s not cool with me. These bras from Champion via Target are my favorite. I like the thin straps better than the thick ones, but I’m sure that’s a preference thing. I’d say I can get a good year of running and washing out of these babies before they need to be replaced, and at $17 a pop, that’s a good deal. Just make sure you wash them separately the first few times as the color bleeds a lot. And air dry them only. That actually goes for most stretchy athletic gear; the elastic breaks down in the dryer, shortening their life.

warm weather bottoms– Nike Tempo Shorts

These are the only real (brand name) workout clothes I own. I’ve yet to find a non-big-name running short that I liked, but Old Navy comes really close. The problem with the ON ones are that the bottoms roll when you run and it ends up looking like you’re wearing a bikini bottom. Not cute. The Nike Tempos are perfect and classic for a reason. The waistline and cut really flatter, and you forget you’re wearing them (the best sign of good workout gear).

or

colder weather bottoms– Nike Pro Combat Tights

My favorite running tights ever are the Nike Pro Combat full length tights. I’m having a lot of trouble finding them right now and am sort of freaking out. The capris above are the exact brand, but, oddly, while I’ll wear capris to bike, I never, ever wear them to run. It’s not that you can’t, I just don’t. Hopefully, the long ones have just gone away for the summer.

Champion also makes some decent tights for Target, but they’re not my fave. UnderArmour makes tights that I hate because I find myself hitching them up the whole run. Basically, I spend the winter wearing one pair of tights and hoping for shorts weather to get here sooner.

undies- The only pictures I could find of the undies I wear are on a model, and this ain’t that type of show, so I’ll just tell you I go with Victoria’s Secret Yoga Thongs because they are discreet and stay put. If you wanna go commando, that’s cool too, but I generally like an extra layer.

socks- Surprisingly, I’m very picky about socks. I like them low cut, but with a high enough heel tab to avoid rubbing. I like a little cushion, but I want them super thin. They cannot be cotton, and I like them to stay dry my whole run. I can’t find the exact kind I buy, but I get them from Target too, and really, this is a personal, trial and error type thing.

the kicks– Mizuno Wave Riders

The loves of my life. My running shoes are, hands-down, the most expensive pair of shoes I own. They are most likely the single most expensive thing in my closet, and they are worth every cent. I’ve pretty much always worn Mizunos, but I did a brief stint with Brooks. I’m open to trying new brands, but once I find a shoe I like, I generally just buy the newest edition year after year. This year’s Wave Rider’s take the cake though. That red. I die.

bling– Garmin 305

Chirs got me this, and I love it. It’s a giant computer on your wrist, and it feels like that too, but you get used to it, and now it’s an invaluable tool for outdoor runs (if it ever finds a signal- it’s not so great in my area) and seriously helps for more complicated speed workouts. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as the Interwebs seem too, but I do, and I find myself checking my wrist even when I’m not wearing it. Chris actually originally got me the 405, but it malfunctioned after one use, so we sent it back. I actually opted to exchange it for the 305 rather than a working 405 because I found the touch bezel controls on the 405 really finicky and hard to get used to. I like real buttons much better.

safety

This Road ID was another gift from Chris (see how color coordinated he is!), and I always wear it when I run solo. It gives me, and him (and my mama), peace of mind.

tune-age

I rarely run with this anymore as I usually run with Chris, and don’t feel safe listening to music (or having my phone out of my hand) when I run alone, but when I race alone, I usually stuff my phone into this to either have with me to call up my homies post race or listen to music during the race. It keeps my phone (plus the cash/cards I usually stuff in there) nice and dry and has never given me any sort of arm irritation.

I pretty sure that’s it. If it’s cold out, I wear a black Champion fleece that I also got at Target and sometimes an earwarmer and gloves. I always wear Chapstick and a headband when I run, but you probably all know what Chapstick looks like. If you don’t email me, and I’ll send you a picture 🙂

Friday Check In and GOAR: 30-20-10?

FRIDAY! I didn’t mean to alarm you by yelling. I’m just really happy it’s finally here. It’s been a fun week, but I’m tired and ready for some weekend relaxation. I did a little lifting twice this week, and now my whole body is sore. I think I probably need to take an actual weights-based class because I’m pretty sure my form is garbage as I always seem to end up much more sore than I should be. I don’t have a gym membership though, so the trick will be finding individual classes. We’ll see how that goes.

Tuesday was supposed to be bootcamp here in Liberty State Park, but we got rained out. I have to admit I was pretty excited because I’ve been itching to run more than anything lately, so I gladly jumped on the chance to get out and stretch my legs with Chris. We followed the base building plan I set up and ran for 35 minutes, and it felt good to get out and run without worrying about pacing for the first time in a while.

Wednesday I met a friend for dinner in Montclair. We decided on Raymond’s because I’d heard very good things. The food was just ok. I got the Greek Vegetable Platter which sounded promising, but all the flavors were just sort of off. In reality, I picked this place because it’s right across the street from Red Mango, so I chased my ok dinner with froyo the size of my face.

I can never decide between pure sugar and fruit sugar when it comes to froyo, so I went with both. I got half original tart yogurt and topped that with strawberries and pineapple and half vanilla yogurt topped with cookie crumbles and sprinkles. So good.

Yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn (actually, the crack of dawn is getting earlier and earlier these days, so I think it beat me) and running again, this time for 45 minutes. It felt so good to fill my lungs with the crisp morning air as I took in the views and woke up with my wonderful neighborhood. I thought of where I was in life this time last year and found myself, once again, so grateful for where I am (mentally, physically, emotionally) right now. If you had told me that this would be my life a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. I feel so incredibly blessed, and I truly have more than I could ever ask for. It hit me hard yesterday morning, and I took the time to just be extremely grateful. Running will do that sometimes.

The weather just kept getting more and more beautiful as the day went on yesterday, so the coworkers and I decided to hit up a rooftop bar in Hoboken for buckets of beer in the sunshine.

Chris joined us and we partied hard (2 beers!!) for a while before heading home. This weekend is supposed to be quite lovely, so I can’t wait for it to hurry up and get here!

In the meantime, I’ve got something some of you runners might be interested in.

Hi runners.

I just read another interesting article over at my favorite place in the whole wide Interwebs, Runner’s World. It was about a new workout plan dubbed 30-20-10 that’s being praised for it’s ease, and I can see why. This is what it entails.

  1. Warm up for a mile
  2. Jog for 30 seconds, run at normal training pace for 20 secs, sprint for 10 secs and repeat 4 times
  3. Jog for 2 minutes then repeat step two 2-3 more times
  4. Cool down for a mile

That’s it. I love the simplicity of it. The article mentions that it takes away the need for any Garmins or other “tracking devices.” You really just need a watch and the road. You’re supposed to do this 3 times a week, and, I won’t go into the specifics of the study (you should read the article!), but they said runner’s who followed this plan for 7 weeks improved their 5k times by 4%.

I think this could be a really good plan for someone looking to get started with running because it’s simple, requires less mileage as well as less runs per week than most other plans I’ve seen, and I can see how varying the speed would keep you engaged. I think this is also a good plan for someone who’s looking to improve her speed without a lot of training or maybe someone who gets injured easily after too many miles per week.

I just don’t really think I could get down with this plan. Why? You did not ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Personally, one of my favorite parts of running is zoning out. I can appreciate a weekly tempo or speedwork session, but I live and die for my easy and long runs. The tempos make me feel like a supreme badass (and hot, sweaty mess), but the long loping runs leave me feeling peaceful and centered. Also, as it stands now, my weekly schedule usually involves a couple easy runs, a “working” tempo or speedwork run, and a long run, and I really like that variety. I think it would be hard for me to find motivation in the same workout day after day.

I could see myself incorporating this into my running week maybe in place of a tempo run. I’d love to try it out because I think it sounds like fun, and those results don’t lie, but I just don’t see it taking the place of my regular running routine.

What about you? Could you get down with 30-20-10?