Posts tagged ‘work out’

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Sooo, whatcha been up to?

Writing.  And lots of it.

I first heard about National Novel Writing Month in 2008; November of 2008 to be exact.  It was somewhere around the second week of November when I stumbled upon the NaNoWriMo website and immediately fell in love with the idea.  The task is to write 50,000 words in a month.  No, we’re not writing quality novels here but while getting yourself to write 50,000 words of a story is a good move towards writing a novel, it’s more about the experience.

I jumped in feet first in 2008 and even though I began a week late, I made the 50,000 word deadline by the skin of my teeth on the final day.  I learned so much about myself during that month.  I learned about my overuse of “that” and “was” and realized the voice I use inside my head is really no good for book writing.

And you know something?  I’m totally ok with it.

For various reasons, last year’s NaNoWriMo project never really got off the ground and before I knew it, most of November had disappeared beneath a sea of new and seemingly insurmountable (then anyway) tasks such as calorie counting, exercising daily, watching what I eat and whatnot.  It just didn’t happen for me.

This year, however, my NaNoWriMo story has been brewing inside me for a long time just dying to come out.  So I’ve been making time for my little project.  It takes 1667 words per day to keep on track.  If you can imagine, it’s not always an easy task.

So please forgive the mess around here.  I’m spending 200% of my writing time (notice how I’m spending more time writing than I really have?) on my little project.  I promise I will return to near normal once November is over and the mad rush of typing comes to a halt.

And perhaps maybe next year some of you will join me in the craziness of NaNoWriMo!

Hot Chocolate Run: The Bad

I’ve calmed down a lot.

Had I written this bit a couple of days ago, it would be… well.. more angry.  Instead the anger has cooled to disappointment.

Allow me to just state the awful bits in sections….

The course: Picture it… you’re running down two lanes of road and it’s crowded because there happen to be 15,000 people running with you.  It’s workable although annoying as those who choose to walk are walking anywhere they feel like it… at times coming to a halt right in front of you sending you careening sideways to avoid them.  Now, imagine this two lane road suddenly turning into a sidewalk… a sidewalk lined with tables full of water/gatorade.

And that, my friends, is when your pace hits 47 minutes/mile.  Yes, really.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t get through the people.  I kept thinking it would get better after the water station but the water station marked the start of where the race went from road to the lake front path.  It didn’t get wider again until the final 1/3 mile.

The People: This sorta goes with the above.  Too many people on the course means I was constantly breathing down someone’s neck, weaving in and out of people, dodging people who suddenly stopped in front of me, looking for ways to become UNTRAPPED by slower moving people.

I didn’t run with my Zune and honestly, I didn’t miss it.  I had to focus so hard on where I was going and how the hell I’d get there that I didn’t have the focus to listen to anything else.

The Scenery: They say it was pretty.  All I saw were shoes, butts, and backs.  You know, because if I were to have looked at the scenery, I’d have run someone over.

The lack of concern for safety: This may sound harsh but yes I really do mean it.  We bottlenecked through the water station and onto the path.  The path which was right up against the water which was I don’t even KNOW how much of a drop off….. no railing.  So  not only were we suddenly running in a much smaller area, we were doing so on a path with a drop off on one side and a landscaping wall on the other.  Really?

People were running up on the lawn in an attempt to pass.. only to realize there’d be a sidewalk and they’d have to jump down a 3 foot bit of landscaping wall and jump up on the other side of the sidewalk… or as one woman I watched tried to do… leap over the sidewalk and land on her face on the wall.

Needless to say, not many people were passing on this part of the path.

In General: It just wasn’t fun.  It could have been mostly my attitude as I realize I was disappointed going into it because I couldn’t run the 15k.. but honestly, they need half the people running that course… if that.  I didn’t have fun.  I didn’t come away with a feel-good feeling.  I definitely won’t be back.

Hot Chocolate Run: The Good

As promised, I will attempt to stick to the good bits for today’s post.

I’m trying to give myself a bit of time to cool down before I write about the bad.

I have to admit to being eerily calm on race day.  I think it has more to do with suddenly being responsible for 6 fewer miles and knowing I can do 3.1 in my sleep than anything to do with having “nerves of steel.”  The temperature happened to be below freezing,  in fact, just across the lake they were having some snow.  Yikes!

Luckily I’d been planning my race-day attire for ages and I had run in enough cold weather to know my vest, hat, and long-sleeved tee would do me just fine once I got moving.  Before running well… yeah, I froze my butt off.

As I lined up in the corral I couldn’t believe how many people there were or how many of us were squeezing together.  I also couldn’t believe how calm I felt.  Seriously, situations like this usually freak me out and – given the fact of this being my second event ever – I swear I’m just in shock at how calm I felt.

So anyway, the race started and I spent the next seven minutes or so walking to the starting line.  As we hit the start line I hit the start button on my garmin and we were off!

I ran at what felt like a moderate pace.  Ha!  When I looked down to see how slow I’d been going while I waited for the people to thin out so I could really get moving I seriously stared at my garmin in shock.  I was running a bit over a 1o minute mile.

Yeah, you know, that elusive pace I just can’t seem to maintain for long?  I was doing it.

Without getting too far into the bad bits, I’ll just say I ran hard when I could run.  I even had a burst of speed trying to get by some folks which my garmin clocked at a pace of 4:45/mile.  Ha!  Who knew I had it in me?  Adrenaline, my friends, is good stuff!

I finished with an official time of 36:03.  Given my first 5k time of 41:58 I’ll take the improvement!  I’m fairly certain this is one of very few times in my life when I’ll be able to say I shaved that much time off my 5k time…. then again, who knows?

Why is my time 36 when I ran most of it at a pace much faster?  Well, that is a subject for tomorrow.

The goodie bag consisted of a zip up technical jacket.  I’d been worried about this jacket since registration.  Any time it’s exercise-related, they seem to like to make things skin tight which just isn’t flattering on me.  And so, when I removed the jacket from the bag and held it up, my heart sank.  The jacket looked TINY.  As in so tiny I’d likely have to lose another 20 lbs to fit into the damn thing.


Yes, the cat runs the household.


I decided to try it on anyway and then….. it fit.  It totally fit.  It zipped and everything.  It didn’t even look bad on me.

So you know what I did next?  I took it off and made sure it still looked as tiny as it had when I first put it on. And you know something?  It hadn’t magically gotten larger.

Go figure!

So that, my friends, was a pretty cool moment.


Ignore the cat hair.


And here’s a shot of the back.  The cat, naturally, laid on the jacket the moment I laid it on the bed.  We came to a compromise where he would move and I would snap the picture as quickly as possible as he was just gonna lay on it again anyway.

So there you go.  The good.

Hot Chocolate Run: The good, bad and ugly

I wish I were coming off my week-long absence with some kick-ass story to tell you.

Sadly, this is not the case.  Heck, I don’t even have cool pictures.

I can’t even muster up the desire to hook you up with some photos.

After all my hard work, after weeks of training and re-arranging my schedule to make my training fit in… After running 8 miles in brutal winds just to ensure I could run the 15k today when I wanted to…

I was only registered for the 5k.

Yep.  Despite the email I showed you guys dating the 21st of September where the girl said I could trade up and she’d send me an email when it happened… Despite having six weeks to get it done… I showed up to pick up my stuff on Friday and I had a 5k bib.

It’s a cool bib and all, it even has my name on it.  Fine.  Great.  Super.  But could someone write a one in front of that five please?

Because seriously?  I cried.  All that effort and determination.  All that work.  All my hopes… poof… gone in an instant.  And boy oh boy did that instant HURT.

It’s silly, really…. but yeah, it hurt and yeah I’m still bummed.  So I just thought I’d give you the UGLY first.  Tomorrow I’ll focus on the good and then after that I’ll give you the bad.

Stay tuned folks, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Time vs. Distance

As I thought about my run for Monday night I had two thoughts:  Will I seriously be ready to run again after my brutal 8 miler?  And…Mannn do I hate running for a specified amount of time.

To be honest, I fully expected to still be feeling the effects of my Saturday run on Monday evening.  I mean, seriously, Saturday hurt and Sunday found me all stiff and tired.  However, Monday morning found me feeling “normal” and it lasted the entire day.

So there I am, thinking about my run and staring at my training schedule wondering how much I should run and how much I really hate my timed runs.  Why is it so much easier for me to go put in an “easy 4 miles” than it is for me to run for 50 minutes?  Why is the mindset so different?

So what is a girl to do?

Well this one doesn’t load up a program into her garmin.  Instead I just decided to wing it, run a bit over 3 miles and see where the time hit.

And here you go….

I can honestly say I’m pleasantly pleased with my pace.  I did NOT feel like putting a lot of effort into this run and for the most part I felt as though I was taking it easy… niiiice!

As the Hot Chocolate Run looms closer I’m frustrated that I haven’t heard back from them with confirmation that I’ve been bumped up to the 15k.  I mean, she said she’d send me an email confirmation but….

At this point I’m pretty sure I’ll find out when I pick up my bib.  It would be nice to know ahead of time but I’ve got a pretty good attitude about the whole thing.

On one hand, the 15k would be an epic thing for me to accomplish when just a couple of months ago I couldn’t run 3 miles regularly.  On the other hand, I’m sure I could blow my first 5k time out of the water.

Wasted training?  Not at all!  I’ve come so far and believe in myself so much more now than I used to!  My long drawn out plan for running involved 5k’s this year, 10k’s next summer, a half the summer after that and then maybe the year after that a marathon.

At this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a half marathon next year.

Un-freaking-believable…. and in the very best way!

Whew! (Part 2)

So that brings us to Wednesday, which was fairly uneventful… sorta.

By this time I’m incredibly sleep deprived.  So much so that while the massage therapist at my chiropractor’s office was working some nasty, painful knots out of my shoulders, I actually fell asleep.  I have no idea how that was possible.

I spent a lot of time at work writing out lesson plans as Thursday I would be out at a conference.  I’m not one of those teachers who leaves nothing for the sub to do.  Some of them love me for this and some of them just ignore my plans if it seems like too much work.  Luckily I have fantastic students so I usually tell them ahead of time what they’re going to be doing and they usually get it done whether the sub tells them to or not.  (I know, I’m lucky… again, I have fantastic students.)

Thursday found me leaving the house at 5 am to drive 2 hours to my conference.  It’s a pain in the butt to get there and I hate this drive.  I’ve made this drive three years in a row now and trust me, if this conference for AP Biology teachers wasn’t so incredibly helpful, I certainly would throw a celebratory party in honor of not going.  However, it’s always so helpful I cannot fathom not going (especially now when the budget is so bad I don’t know if they can afford to send me next year).

So let’s see… that’s 2 hours of driving there and 2 hours of driving back, plus 8 hours of sitting around.  I got home around 5:30 pm.  I had to run.  I wasn’t sure how it would go.

And in the end, I felt really great during my run.  I wasn’t sure I would.  I did a lot of sitting around Thursday and I’d made up my mind just to take it easy and go at my long run pace if I had to.  I’m pleased with my pace.  Usually I end up below 5 mph by the end of my week day runs and I really kept it very steady Thursday which was totally cool.

Another strange thing?  Running at that time of day.  I set out with my sunglasses on as usual, feeling just a bit chilly as I did my warm up walk.  As I ran the sun started getting lower in the sky and I thought “naw, there’s plenty of time.”

Well, it seems I’d forgotten how fast the sun sets this time of year.  As I ran I eventually had to take off my sunglasses and carry them and I started to get worried about getting caught in the dark.  I was running in the park so I wasn’t exactly afraid of traffic, just being caught so far away from people while a bunch of weirdos kept watching me run…. Creeeeepy.

I finished right before it got darkish.

Felt great.

A pick-me-up I really desperately needed.  It made me feel as though I was ready for this 8 miler (which I will hopefully be running on Sunday).

And now, I’m off to prep for my second Girl’s Night In.  I suddenly have extra time and energy to do all the preparations!