I wanna be a lot of things, and for now, it's a runner.
This is my story as I train for the 2010 Seattle Rock N' Roll marathon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Running Meditation

I've been out of commission for a few days because I got a cold. I could feel it coming on Friday night when my throat started to hurt. By the time I woke up on Saturday, it was full blown sickness. Not fun. Because of that I missed my long run of 7 miles this past weekend. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to do it, but I'm going to continue on with week 4 of my training.

I didn't go to work yesterday or today because I didn't want to spread my cold. Unfortunately I work in close quarters with 4 other people, so it seems like our colds are always being passed around. Being at home so much was fun at first, but now I'm starting to go stir crazy, and to top it off, it's been raining straight for the past 2 days.

Colds are a tricky illness because for the most part, they're all in your head. The congestion, itchy eyes, sore throat; it's all upstairs, leaving my body feeling mostly ok. I've been wandering around the apartment in search for something to do. I've finished a couple of magazines (one from June 2009!) and tried doing some weight training with my kettle bell, all to still end up restless. My inability to be still is even more apparent on days like today. I went over to my bookshelf to find a book to read, even though I'm currently reading like 6 at a time. What's interesting is that almost all of my books have little bookmarks in them at random places throughout, mostly at the beginning, because I very rarely ever finish a book that I've started in one sitting. I'll read it, put it back, and pick it back up again a few months later.

I think this inability to do one thing at a time is why running has been so challenging for me. When I'm out by myself, I have no choice but to continue the run. Even if I were to choose to stop running, I'd still have to get myself home...by running. Running forces me to focus on how I'm feeling during the run, focus on my thoughts, focus on my goals. Maybe I can turn this constant mind racing into some sort of running meditation.
It's a really nice change for me, and I hope that with my continued training, I can apply this approach to meditation during my other day to day activities.

Now if only the rain would ease up a bit so I could get out of this apartment!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Food Revolution

Tonight's post is dedicated to the new show, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I just finished the first episode and am getting ready to start the second one. I love it. Jamie is visiting different towns in the US and looking at the foods that our families are eating and what is being served to kids at school. What you eat that you think is chicken is probably not really chicken, or as the show points out, may not even really be mashed potatoes. Take a look at some of the ingredients in the food that you eat. The general rule of thumb is that if you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't consume it.

I've been fixated on nutrition and whole eating since I gave up meat almost 3 years ago. Ever since then I've read countless books on the effects of the standard American diet on our bodies. It's amazing to learn about what is in some of the foods that our FDA has approved and recommends. If you feel sick constantly or have chronic pain, take a look at your diet. Mine has improved quite a bit over the past few years, since cutting out all meat products and milk and replacing with whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts.

I'll get off my soap box now, but I suggest you check out the show. It comes on Fridays on ABC at 8. Here's a link to the website. Check it out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love hockey

I didn't do my 4 mile run yesterday because (there's always a good reason, right?) Ryan and I decided to get tickets to the NY Rangers hockey game. I just discovered hockey this year and I love it. I live in an overly sports saturated household. They are always on and I almost always never care to watch. But hockey...hockey is a whole other story.

Reason why I love hockey:
- It's super fast paced, which meshes well with my undiagnosed ADD. I'm unable to sit still and not do anything else. Even right now I'm watching a DVR'd episode of Survivor and typing this.

-There aren't many rules, and the rules they do have are pretty self explanatory. It's not like football where it takes like 8 hours to run a few feet. It's not constantly stop and go.

-The players are generally pretty hot. Have you seen Erik Christensen? Or Sean Avery?

- They fight. How crazy is that? At my first hockey game I was shocked that this was not only allowed, but encouraged. Crazy!

Since I didn't run last night, I did it tonight. Not too bad. I'm getting more comfortable with it. I'm going to have to try to fit in my 3 mile run tomorrow.

One last note- GO CATS!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Little Running Advice

Remember when your mom warned you not to swim until 30 minutes after you ate? Well that should apply to running too.
I thought an hour would be sufficient time to wait after enjoying leftover homemade vegetable enchiladas before running. I was grossly mistaken.
It all started well and good. I set my Nike app to a 5K and headed towards the park. About 2K into it (how far is that anyways?), the feeling hit. I won't go into detail about what the feeling was, but it wasn't a good one. I found myself on the far side of the park praying for a pedicab to pull up next to me and peddle me home. You know I had to feel bad to actually want a pedicab.
I had no choice but to start walking, so I did for about .5K. I started feeling a little better so I gave running a try again. Then pain. Then a little bit of running. Then lots of pain. I ended up walking almost the entire remaining 2 miles.
Lesson learned. Eat light or just don't do it.

Monday, March 22, 2010


This weekend was my 6 mile run. I'm still in week 2 of my training so that it finishes exactly in time with race day. I finally took the time to sync all of my music from my old iPhone to my new one. Not having to run to Lifehouse's depressing ballads anymore is a plus. I made what I think is a pretty kick-butt workout mix. I think I've always been pretty good at making awesome mixes like road trip mixes and spring break mixes. I think I even gave Ryan a mixed CD when we first started dating, which I'm pretty sure he loves. Here are some of the songs that I added:

-Womanizer- Britney Spears (actually any Britney will do)
-Just Dance- Lady Gaga (most Gaga will do too)
-Shake It- Metrostation
-Tik Tok- Kesha

The Nike app lets you choose a Powersong. This is a song that you push to play whenever you feel like death is imminent and nothing will get you going other than that one song. So what did I pick? The Glee anthem, Single Ladies by Beyonce. It's just so catchy. And every time that I hear it I think about that hilarious episode of Glee and the football players. So good.

Anyways, the Nike app also has this great feature where you can set a custom distance for your run, and then it will tell you at every mile interval how far you've gone and how much further you've got to go. Sure beats pulling the iPhone out every 5 minutes to check my distance!

Since my run was a little longer this weekend, I decided to try a new route. I ended up by the Reservoir in Central Park. It's so beautiful there, and about 5 degrees cooler since you're right on the water. The loop around has got to be like 8 miles or something and I wasn't about to attempt that this weekend, so I went for about 2 miles and then looped back out.

On a final note, I set my personal best pace at an 8:12 minute average mile. While out in the park, I was even passing people. I should mention that these people were walking, but that's not the point. The point is that I wasn't walking, so basically I rock.

Got any song suggestions to add to my playlist? Mine are getting a little tired, but since I don't listen to the radio, I don't ever hear new music.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


This is an early morning post. These will not happen often. I happen to be up this early and coherent already because I have a work thing in which I'm forced to go to earlier than my usual time. This makes me want to send a hate note to Daylight Savings Time. I had been doing better lately because the sun was actually up when my alarm ripped me from sleep. No such luck this morning. Do you know how much more difficult that made it for me to get up? Yeah, not a pretty picture. My mind has been taxed with all of the mental motivation I've been putting it through: C'mon mind, let's finish these miles, it'll be fun. Or, don't eat that extra bite of delicious chocolate, let's eat a carrot. See how exhausting that can be? Not much left to motivate me to get out of bed.

Yesterday I had 4 miles to run, in which I ran 3.75. I slacked off on the remaining 1/4 mile because I could feel something not so right in my ankle. Ugh. It's feeling better today. I'm going to look into some strength training exercises for it.

Basically what I think my lower body is continuing to tell me is that it's super weak. I guess I need to work on that.

I have 3 miles to run tonight and then woohoo, one day off until my long run Saturday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome Back Spring

Welcome back Spring. You have been very much missed. There were times when I thought I may never see you again. Hopefully the lion of March is gone and the lamb is here to stay.

It was very nice to have a warm, sunny day today following the hurricane-like weather over the weekend. I took advantage of it and went for a my 3 mile run in the park. It was a really clear night, so I snapped this picture of the city. If only my iPhone had zoom!

In order to add a little boost to my training, I created a training schedule and printed it out. I will plaster it to my cubicle wall, refrigerator, bathroom mirror, and anywhere else necessary as a constant reminder that laziness is not okay. Since I'm running 4 days a week, I've added in variations of strength training for the remaining 3 days: arms, legs, and abs. I've rotated these around so that it doesn't become monotonous. This way not only will I be running the marathon, but I will hopefully have some very fine arms, legs, and abs.

Back to my run in the park- I remembered to slow down my pace and managed to run the whole thing without stopping. Part of it might have been out of fear that Megan was going to run up behind me and start yelling. :) With my slow pace, I did get passed quite a bit tonight, but you know what? I'm not trying to be Meb. I'm just trying to finish the race without dying. (For those of you that don't know...Meb won the 2009 NY Marathon).

Happy running!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Worst. Run. Ever.

Today it rained. Actually, today the heavens opened up and released the motherload of all torrential downpours on the city. This wouldn't necessarily have mattered so much except that my friend Megan is in town. We had made plans to go for a run in Central Park, and apparently where she's from, rain doesn't seem to be a big deal to run in. I, on the other hand, did not agree. I don't have running clothes for rain. I have cotton, which for those of you that don't know, tends to absorb water. Oh, and it was cold, so I wore a tobogan, but not a really great running tobogan. No, it was a super water absorbant one.

Once dressed, we set out for the park. About 3 blocks into it I wanted to die/cry. That is when the yelling first began. I was instructed to run through the pain/tears/rain/wind and that it would get better once we got to the park. She was partially right. The wind wasn't quite so bad, but I still wasn't too pumped about the whole situation. I did learn something though. I guess when I've been training, I try to run at too fast a pace and then get tired and have to walk. Walking was not an option this time...at all, even after I pointed out that the Seattle marathon is a walk/run marathon. This is where the yelling continued. I was given a very motivating speech and I'd like to say that it kicked my butt into gear, but I'd be lying. While on the surface, everything that Megan was saying made sense, like, 'work through the pain',' you're mind is thinking too much', 'you're coming up with too many excuses', etc etc. However, I'm used to just running with me, myself, and I, and the 3 of us usually think that we can't do it, so it's kindof difficult to just change that mindset.

In the end, I was really glad that we did it. I was soaked and tired, but very proud of myself. Now I know where I stand with my training and I need to get my butt into gear if I want to survive across the finish line. I even went and bought some better running gear in case I find myself in a rain storm again.

(I did cut a deal with Megan that if I finished, I got to put her picture up, so in a way, I win!)
If you're reading this Megs, I love ya, and hopefully you won't get a chance to yell at me in June!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Road ID

I think companies should pay me money to endorse their products. I'd be the best endorser ever, like a race car driver with Tide plastered all over my car. Until then, I guess I'll just do it for free.

Here's a runner's product that I love and helps to keep me nice and safe on my runs. It's called a Road ID (www.roadID.com). It's a great bracelet thing that you engrave with your name, phone number, emergency contact and an optional motivation phrase. Mine says La Bella Vita = a beautiful life. I sometimes look down at the phrase during my runs to remind myself why I'm torturing myself. I suggest you come up with something really motivational like, You can do it! or Never give up! or something similarly as encouraging. It might even help to wear it all the time so that on days when you can't remove yourself from the couch you'll feel guilty every time you look at your wrist. See, great endorsement.

So rest assured mom, if anything were to happen to me, the cops would know who to call (just kidding).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Peas and Cupcakes

Look at this great ice pack that I found at CVS! It's called Peas and has little gel things inside of that are supposed to mimic a bag of peas. Great idea! It even has a velcro band on it so you can put it on your knee. I think I love it.

Now on to another topic. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but I'm a vegetarian and part-time vegan (I don't drink milk and try not to eat regular cheese often). Anyways, I have a dream of someday breaking away from corporate America and owning my own vegan cupcake bakery. I've been testing out some of my own new recipes, but I need new ideas for flavors. It can be anything, even something like peanut butter and jelly. I'm just looking for suggestions of new types that I could try.

Anyways, if you have any ideas, add them. I'd appreciate it! Who knows, maybe someday I'll be the next Martha Stewart...minus the jail time.

Have a great night and happy running.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Poor Knee

I'm sitting here with my foot propped up and a frozen bag of green beans on my knee as I write this. Apparently somewhere along the way yesterday during my run, I hurt my IT band. Coincidentally, Chapter 3 of my training book, The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer talks about the most common injuries. According to the book, this type of injury could be due to leg length discrepancies. The only leg discrepancy that I have is that my legs are super short!

I seem to hurt my knee a lot when I run...and my back. I'm pretty sure it's my body protesting. It would much rather be playing the obstacle course on Wii Fit Plus instead of out running. But that's crazy, because it's finally gorgeous out here! 60 degrees! I can't believe 2 weeks ago we had a record snowfall and now it's practically spring.

Tonight I will keep the beans on my knee but maybe sneak in a little bit of strength training for the upper body. I wore short sleeves today to work and my oh my did my arms look wimpy. Time for a few push ups!

I'm praying for another nice day/night tomorrow because this is perfect running weather!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Claustrophobic Clothes

It is such a gorgeous day here today. Finally! A perfect day to do my long run (6 miles) in the park.

I've been using my iPhone with the Nike + app lately instead of my iPod (it's SO much better), but I don't have an armband for it yet, so I have to wear tops with zipper pockets. When I went to get dressed for my run, I realized that all of my running fleeces were dirty. I dug through a pile of non-athletic jackets and found a black zip up fleece with pockets. I felt really frumpy in it, but Ryan assured me that I didn't look stupid, so I took his word for it.
I think there's a reason that some types of fleece are deemed 'athletic'. This one was not. After only a few minutes in it, I was already getting hot.

I got to the park, fleece and all, and started my run on the loop that is about 2 miles around the bottom portion of the park. There sure were a lot of interesting people out today. Nice weather does that. I actually got passed by what appeared to be an at least 80 year old man.
I really have my work cut out for me.

As a person who has lived in this crazy city for 2 years, nothing really surprises me. Until today. I saw 2 men, overweight, without their shirts on, running barefoot on the loop. How does that not hurt? And who sets out for a nice jog and thinks, today I will wear no shirt and no shoes? Gotta love this city.

Back to the fleece...I'm now a couple of miles into my run when I can't bear the heat anymore from the fleece and decide to take it off. I try to unzip it, but it's stuck. So I try to get it unstuck by zipping it up and then down. No go. Now it's just zipped up almost all the way, like a stupid turtleneck! I can't get the stupid thing off! I think I've mentioned in the past that I get claustrophobic easily. This applies to clothes too. I rarely ever wear jackets/coats that zip. I prefer buttons. Buttons don't get stuck. So here I am, running in the middle of all of these people, hot as hades in my non athletic fleece, feeling a panic attack coming on because I'm stuck. Ok, don't panic, I think. It's no big deal. It's just a fleece and it's not hurting you. You aren't going to die from being stuck in it. I'll just finish the loop and head home.

So I did, and as soon as I got into the apartment, I proceeded to try to pull the stupid fleece over my head. Nope. My head was too big for the opening. Panic was setting in.
I start yelling for Ryan to come help and bring a pair of scissors, begging him to cut me out of it. Luckily for me, Ryan is a more rational thinker and manages to get the zipper and me unstuck from the fleece.

After all of that unpleasant chaos, I only got 4 miles in. I will do my remaining 2 later...without that fleece on!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rave and Rant

I ran an extra 10 blocks today. Well, 11 if you count the one that I had to run back to the apartment. Never ask Ryan what the weather is like. He lies. He said it felt good, aka semi-warm for the winter, so I headed out with bare ears. Big mistake. It took me a half block out to realize that if I kept going I was risking an ear infection, so I ran back and grabbed my toboggan. For all of you Indiana people, a toboggan is a hat, not a sled :).

I have a rave and a rant for the night. My rave is that I feel like running at night in the city allows me to explore parts of it that I might not normally go. I ran a total of 62 blocks tonight uptown. I discovered lots of stores and restaurants that are outside of our 'neighborhood', but still close enough that we could/should walk to. Like another location of our favorite bagels, H&H. And another Barnes and Noble. I would live in Barnes and Noble if they'd let me and I always love finding new locations to browse through.

My rant has to do with people on bikes. More specifically, delivery men on bikes. Now I've definitely had my share of food delivered to me because I was too lazy to go out, so I appreciate what they do. However, I am finding it increasingly hard to not push them over when they ride on the sidewalk (which they aren't supposed to do) or almost run over me when I have a walk sign. During tonight's run, I think I almost go hit 5 different times. I don't know how it is in other big cities, but this is one of my biggest pet peeves here. Well, them and the annoying rickshaw guys. Try running in the park without being hit by one of them!

Ok, that's all for tonight. All in all, a good 4 mile run. Tomorrow's my running day off and then a long run on Saturday. It's going to be a busy weekend! Lots of wedding stuff to get done. Yay!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One Hit Wonder

I checked my Nike app on my phone and saw that the last time that I ran was on February 13th. I guess that explains why I felt so out of shape tonight on my run! Wow how 2 weeks off makes a big difference.
Last week was an interesting week. My mom came in to town to help plan more of the wedding, we were on Good Morning America (TV debut!), New York had a record snow fall (#10 biggest snow fall since the 1800's) and I was deathly ill for a couple of days. Top that off with a couple of never ending headaches and before you know it, it's been 2 weeks!

Even though the snow storm was a mere 6 days ago, most of it is gone and it's a pleasant 40 degrees out tonight, so it seemed like a good time for a run outside. Thank goodness too, because I'm getting so tired of treadmill runs. I got my new iPhone about a month ago, but still haven't transferred my music over, so I only had one song to listen to which happened to be a really slow song (Terrified, by Katherine McPhee). Not exactly a running motivator. I listened to it for about 15 blocks until I couldn't take it anymore. I had to stop for a minute and download a Kesha song to get pumped up. That's the beauty of technology. You can get new music right at your fingertips, even in the middle of your workout!