Monday, May 28, 2012

Day One

Today was the first day of Runners World's summer running streak and I'm happy to report I made it out the the reservoir for two loops. I could definitely feel a difference in my body due to spending the holiday weekend at my parents house on the lake. We had a wonderful time with family and friends but man did we eat way too much! Let's hope this running streak gets me going again!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday In NYC

My day started slowly with it taking much longer to get off the couch an out the door than I had Planned. When I finally stopped watching tv movies and got my sneakers on my feet it was already 11:15am! While generally this would stress me out and ruin my run,, the weather was so nice by mid day that I couldn't feel anything other than thrilled to be out in 50 degree temps!

I had 13 miles on my schedule but had taken a rest day on Friday instead of my scheduled 6 so as I headed out the door I said I'd like to get the 13 done today but I'd be just as happy to get in the missed 6 and hit 13 on Sunday. One lap of Central Park later and I was feeling awesome but ready to finish on a high instead of pushing my still temperamental legs. I'm still paying for that week off last week :(

This run was particularly enjoyable because everything just fell into place. I left my phone at home for the first time ever and ran without music. I was truly in the moment and really enjoyed taking in the sights and sounds around the park on this gorgeous March day.

My pace also felt just right. After the first mile I decided to run as slow as possible and continued to remind myself to not pass anyone. This was much harder than I expected. I'm a competitive person by nature so I usually try to stick with a fast runner or pick off the slower runners in front of me and pass them one by one. Today was all about going slow. I guessed that I must be running a 12 min mile because it felt like I was going no where! Glancing down at my farming I realized my impossibly turtle-like pace was actually 10:10 pace which is my general race pace. Isn't it amazing how your body surprises you when you least expect it! The concept of a slow/easy run had previously been lost on me. I went out with my garmin and tried to run as fast as I could for every run. This hasn't gotten me anywhere so after my Saturday success, I'm all about taking my easy runs when scheduled as well as working in hills and tempos...there might be something to all this training advice after all. If only I'd figured this out sooner.

My afternoon was a series of failures that put me in a pretty bad mood. Nothing was working out right so I decided that if all the fun was going to be sucked out of my Saturday then I'd might as well be productive. Off to Trader Joe's I went and I was so eased with everything I picked up. Frozen mixed peppers, Luna bars, Mac and cheese, and the most amazing fresh bread! This put me in a much better mood. Particularly the Luna bars. When I was hitting the gym before work in the fall, a peanut butter cookie Luna bar and a banana were breakfast every morning. I can't tell you how much I looked forward to those Luna bars! They are just the perfect balance of taste and nutrition and are perfect for tossing into a gym bag.

I'll leave you with a few pictures I took along Central Park West on my way home from Trader Joes.
Its totally normal to march around as revolutionary war soldiers. The New York Historical Society usually has a few costumed actors out front on the weekend but today was the largest group I'd seen yet.

The trees are starting to bloom!

The pattern of cobblestone is just beautiful!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Getting Back Into It

These past few months have been busy and I can't seem to make time to blog. Along the same lines, I can't seem to stick with my Country Music Marathon Training Schedule. I've missed at least one run a week and when I took my bf home to Maine, I didn't run for an entire week. Let's just say that has to change asap!

I jumped back into running this week and lets just say I can't certainly feel everyone of those missed miles. I need to do better if I'm going to make PR which might be out of reach at this point. We're 8 weeks away from race day and I haven't completed a long run of more than 15 miles...not great but ok. I still have time so I haven't thrown in the towel just yet.

I know I can get on top of my training and now have two ways to keep myself going. This past Wednesday I was finally able to talk my bf into joining my gym. He's been saying for months that he wants to get back into working out and I was able to twist his arm just enough to get him through the door. It was great to walk to and from the gym with him and compare notes on how our respective workouts went. The other motivating piece to the puzzle and what might have been the reason he joined is the trip we just booked to Vegas and Cali. We'll be hoping on a plane in 5 weeks and meeting his friends from home in Vegas for a long weekend before heading to his hometown in Cali for a few days. That means bathing suit season is starting early so I have to hit those workouts!

Today's run is scheduled as a 13 mile long run but if I'm up for it, I may take it slightly longer to see where I'm at.

My next 30 days will consist of sticking to my schedule and blogging regularly.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Welcome to 2012

I haven't written a post since before Christmastime and feel like so much has happened in the past few weeks. I spent my entire week of vacation in Florida trying to beat pneumonia. Let's just say I slept almost the entire week and only really saw the sun on our last day there when my family hit up Universal Studios Island of Adventure. My mom and sister really wanted to check out the new Harry Potter section so we spent the day walking around and riding rides. I spent the majority of the day sitting outside rides, taking pictures since I couldn't stand up for much more than 30 mins at a time. It's far to say that by the end of the day the 50, 90, 150 minute wait times were laughable for me. Even being sick, I had a really good time. I love theme parks and although Universal doesn't take the extra steps to create the illusions Disney does, I would still rather spend my day there than on the beach.

I flew back to nyc on New Year's Eve just in time to meet my bf for dinner and watch the fireworks at midnight. I barely made it to midnight as I was still pretty tired and think I fell asleep by 12:15, oops! We had dinner at Citrus and loved it! It's hard to believe that at the end of the month, he and I will have been together for a year. Time really does fly when you're having fun. It's about to get even more interesting since he'll be moving in with me right around our 1 year anniversary. Everyone keeps asking if I'm scared, nervous, or overwhelmed about the move but in all honestly, the only emotion I feel is excitement. I couldn't be happier that we're both ready to take the next step and see where our relationship takes us. It's a make it or break it move and I really think we'll make it.

This past week also marked 16 weeks until the Country Music Marathon in Nashville and I couldn't be happier to have a training plan again. I thrive on the structure of training plans and am motivated my having workouts to complete. Week one involved two 5 mile runs, a 3 mile, and a long run of 11. It was suppose to be 15 but it was far too cold out there. Luckily I have Monday off from work and think I'll tackle the full 15 if the weather cooperates.

After my run outside yesterday, I met a friend at the gym to catch up and get in 4 additional miles from the comfort of a treadmill. Technically I ran 15 yesterday but I would feel better if I'd done it all in one shot. I love meeting people at the gym instead of for coffee or drinks. Time flies when you're chatting and listening to gossip. I tend to hold back in terms of offering every detail of my life even with my closest friends but find that when I'm running, I just talk, talk, talk!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

T-Shirt Etiquette

Recently I accompanied a friend to her very first race. She has long been an "I run 3 miles every day at the gym for exercise" person who never wanted the pressure of a race or to actually have to leave her precious treadmill.
After years of slipping upcoming races into conversations, she finally agreed to run a 5k with me. The week before the race she had a million questions and the one questions that made me laugh was when she called and asked, "do I have to wear the t-shirt they gave us?" Not only did I tell her it's not required but then I told her that only newbies do this and that she'd be much better off in a tech tee instead of a cotton t-shirt.
This conversation popped into my head when I was reading Bad Ben's T-Shirt Etiquette post. Here are the first 16 tips from his list of do's and don'ts.

T-Shirt Etiquette Guidelines:
1. A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in the event. There is an exception, though: "significant others" and volunteers are exempt.

2. Any race tee, less than a marathon distance, shouldn’t be worn to an ultramarathon event. This goes double for the wearing of sprint-tri shirts to Ironman and Half-Ironman events. It simply doesn’t represent a high enough "cool factor " and sends a red flag regarding your rookiness. It's like taking a knife to a gunfight. It's probably best just to wear a generic name-brand athletic shirt, and go hide in a corner until race time.

3. When you are returning to a race in which you have previously finished, then wear the shirt from the first year you completed the race. Don’t short-change yourself by wearing the shirt from the year before. It doesn’t adequately display the feat of accomplishment or the consummate veteran status that you are due.

4. Never wear a race event shirt for the (same) race you are about to do. Only rookies do this. It displays a total lack of integrity and might put the bad-heebee-jeebee-mojo on you for the race. Wearing a T-shirt of the race, while currently running said race, is discouraged. It’s like being at work and constantly announcing "I’m at work". Besides, you wont have the correct post-race shirt then...unless you like to wear sweaty, pitted-out clothes on a regular basis. If you do, then go back to the swamp, Gomer.

5. Never wear a shirt from a run that you did not finish. To wear a race shirt is to say "I finished it". Exceptions: see guideline #1.

6. A DNF’er may wear a race shirt if... the letters DNF are boldly written on the shirt in question (using a fat Sharpie or a Marks-A-Lot).

7. During a race, the wearing of shirt from a previously completed year is acceptable. Wear the oldest T-shirt you have from that race (see guideline #3). This is probably a good practice because you now have no excuse to drop out since you’ve done it before.

8. If possible, runners should buy significant others T-shirts which can be worn without regard to running the race. (see guide #1). Keep in mind, they support your "running Jones" more than you think. They also have ways of punishing you that you can't even imagine. Or maybe you can.

9. Volunteers have full T-shirt rights and all privileges pertaining thereto. So there. Remember, you can always volunteer for a race and get a shirt. I encourage this as your civic duty to be a member of the running community. Races don't happen without volunteers, folks.

10. No souvenir shirts: therefore, friends or anyone else not associated with the race may not wear a race shirt. If your mom thinks that your Boston shirt is lovely, tell her to QUALIFY for Boston herself, & send in her application early for next year, so she can earn her own shirt. A downside to this: she still has plenty of time to write you out of her will between her training runs for the big race. Note that your mom CAN wear your finisher's shirt under one of these 4 conditions- 1) you still live with your mother; 2) she funded your trip to the race; 3) she recently bailed you out of the slammer; or 4) All of the above. There is an exception to this guideline: (refer to # 1...If you are a "non-traditional family," and your mom actually is your Significant Other).

11. Always wear the race shirt of your last race at the current race’s pre-race briefing. The more recent the race, the better. This is a good conversation starter. However, avoid the tendency to explain how that it was a training run for this, and this is just a training run for the next, etc. It just sounds like your rationalizing mediocre performances. Sometimes it’s best to live in the here and now.

12. Your t-shirt should be kept clean, but dried blood stains are okay, especially if it is a trail race or a particularly tough event. If you're an ultrarunner, you can even leave in mud and grass stains, (and porcupine quills). Not washing-out the skunk scent is pushing the macho thing a bit too far, though.

13. Never wear a T-shirt that vastly out-classes the event you're running. It’s like taking a gun to a knife fight. Or like unleashing an atomic bomb among aboriginal natives. You get the idea.

14. Also: never wear a blatantly prestigious T-shirt downtown or at the mall among non-running ilk. People will just think you have a big head, which you do. You'll also get stupid questions, like, "how long was that marathon?" If it's a shirt to a 50 or 100-miler, they'll think it's a shirt for a cycling event or just think you're totally nuts, which (of course), you probably are.

15. Never, ever, borrow a race finisher's shirt from another runner to wear to an event that you didn't run. If you do, remember that in Dante's Inferno, he wrote about a special Hell for characters such as you; right between Tax Collectors and Lawyers.

16. The Bad Ben Guideline: All children or grandchildren of mine can wear hand-me-down race finisher's shirts for races that I've run in. When they are asked, "did you run in that 100-mile trail race?" They can proudly respond, "no, but my daddy (or grandad) did." If your progeny has put-up with you being an ultrarunner, they have said rights too. If you have completed an Ironman, your kids also have the same rights. They've put up with a lot of crap (or outright neglect) over the years, and deserve to wear them.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today was my last day of work for 2011. I can't tell you how excited I am to be on vacation. Its been a crazy month so far and no having work tomorrow is a huge relief. I still have tons of Christmas shopping to do tomorrow before I pack up and head to Florida to spend the holidays with my parents, siblings, grandparents (all 4! I'm so lucky), cousins, aunt and uncle. I couldn't be happier to be heading south for a relaxing week.

It isn't going to be laying around or partying though. Running has been almost no existent this month and that is the one thing I'm looking forward to most this vacation. I got myself back to the gym last night and got in a quick 3.5 miles before my bf called from Cali. He's there with his family for the holidays so I ended my run 1.5 miles early to catch up with him.

Training for the Country Music Marathon was suppose to start a week and a half ago. Yeah, that definitely didn't happen. I've been feeling really guilty about not getting up at 5 to fit in my run but with all the holiday craziness, parties, jury duty, and being sick, I just knew sleep was more important. Last night's run gave me my confidence back. I'd been so afraid that I wouldn't be able to just hop on the treadmill and go. I thought for sure I'd have to cut back both my pace and distance. My world didn't fall apart and I was able to to do exactly the same run I did a month ago before my hiatus.

Tonight will be another interval run for me then I'm thinking a long run tomorrow, a mid distance before my flight Saturday morning, then just seeing how I fell while away. I'm not going to get number goals for my vacation runs but simply say that I want to run every day even if only for 3 miles.

Merry Christmas from the Funky Chicken

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Instead of saying tomorrow, I said today

With the cold, rainy weather we've been have here in new york, I've struggled to find the motivation to get to the gym. Yesterday I went so far as to put on my workout clothes only to decide that my sneakers would be soaked by the time I got to the gym and I didn't feel like wearing boots and carrying my sneakers. Talk about lazy!

That all changed tonight! There was an explosion of drama among my sorority sisters tonight. While I care deeply about the outcome and about each woman, I decide that instead of checking facebook everyone 30 seconds for updates or worse contributing to the drama by posting my frustrations, I'd take to the treadmill and pound it out. Let me tell you. I'm back on my couch and I can say I've totally cleared my head and now as I read facebook posts I can recognize that everyone is over reacting.

Now to my workout. I jogged the half mile to the gym and immediately hopped on the treadmill. I'm going to take effort levels instead of pace here so bare with me.
Ran 1.5 miles at an 8(hard but comfortable, my current 4 or 5 mile race pace)
Walked a recovery half mile
Ran another 1.5 miles at an 8
Walked a recovery half mile
Ran at a 9 for a mile (might have lasted another 1/4 or 1/2 mile)
Walked a recovery quarter mile
Ran at a 10 for half mile (ready to die at the end)
Walked a recovery quarter mile
Ran at a 10 for half mile 
Walked a recovery 1/3 mile
Jogged home 1/2 mile

Total: 5 mile run, 1.8 mile walk, 1 mile jog to and from

For years I've heard people say that working out your emotions helps you center yourself. I've experienced the runner's high before and felt like a rock star but I've never truly used running to take a step back from a frustrating situation. I've run to think things over and I've run because I'm sad and even to celebrate but tonight was different and I kind of liked it.

Wishing you wonderful miles!