Thursday, July 29, 2010

Not a good tech day

My phone has died.

And to make what-should-not-be-a-long-story-but-sadly-is short, I am phoneless until at the earliest tomorrow, or whenever I can track down the FedEx man. Ah the joys of living in a door-man-less apartment in Manhattan.

This really has nothing to do with running.

I'm not sure what it has to do with anything aside from some issues of mine that it brings up:

I am not prepared for unanticipated expenses. Ever.

I hate not feeling prepared.

I felt a little swindled by the guys at the Verizon Store, and I felt like they weren't doing a very good job of treating me like a valued customer (um, hello, isn't everyone on AT&T now because of the stupid iPhone, and I have stayed loyal since 2000! A girl should get some respect). Even thinking about it now, I'm getting mad. I hate feeling like I've been taken advantage of.

So I'm a little crabby. And I may have cried a little in the store. But I'm trying to deal with it.

6 mile run tomorrow, 11 miles on Saturday, then the beach with the DBF. It should be a good weekend...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who knew?

That if I go on a run when it's 87 degrees and the humidity is relatively low, that you won't die?!

AND that most of the Onassis Reservoir Bridle Path in Central Park is shaded? This is very good news, people, because it means I don't have to totally ignore running past 8am.

So I went on a run, a little over 6 miles, from 5pm-6pm. I purposefully went really slowly, and also stopped three times for water. I was trying really hard to make sure that I didn't get over heated, or pass out. And I knew I was way under-hydrated, so I knew taking it easy was the way to go.

And well, kids, here's the thing--speed work (or in my case, heart rate training which I do through speed work) totally works! I ran 6.5 miles at a 9:14 pace, which is WAY faster than I've ever run a "long" run. I can't really say for sure how fast it was, since I know my Nike+ is a little off. But I was way impressed with myself. It was a good run.

I'm glad that I enjoyed my run. I'm glad running in the afternoon is sometimes an option. I love it. I love running.

I love this new version of me. On my run today I had a flashback to last summer... I was in a much different place, and certainly never thought I'd be running around Central Park for 6 miles in 87 degree heat. I love my life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tea in Bed

I think if I could spend every morning crawling back into bed with a cup of tea and waiting patiently for the desire to really get my day started, those would all be good days.

On the suggestion of the DBF I decided to take today off. It means I'm still a little off track for my week of workouts, but it also means I've had a day off in the past 6, which is necessary. I think instead of trying to makeup today's 3 mile run, I'm just going to skip it and head straight to tomorrow's 6 mile run. That way I'll be back on track and right on schedule.

I worked out twice at the gym this weekend, which is almost a new record. Not sure why I despise it so much, since I used to really enjoy going to my gym in Minnesota. Granted that was a nicer gym, but a treadmill is a treadmill, for the most part. I enjoyed doing my heart rate training. Susan asked more specifically what this is, and basically I use the results from a Metabolic Assessment Profile, which tells me how I burn calories at each heart rate level, to start from my 1st Heart Rate Zone and then travel up to my Anaerobic Threshold. I need to have the test redone, because I'm sure my body is more efficient than it was when I tested almost 3 years ago now, but it's probably still roughly the same. It is basically speed work as a runner, but it also happens to train my heart rate at the same time. Your goal is to get your heart rate to respond to the energy you put out. Instead of just staying high after you've worked hard to exert yourself and not dropping. I'm proud to say that now my heart rate does drop. Not immediately, but I can tell a huge difference since when I first started working out with my heart rate monitor, and even when I first started running.

Saturdays workout was great, and Sundays was a little bit slower. All the more reason I think I need a day off. I woke up at 6am without my alarm, and fell back asleep until about 6:30... and I'm just taking my time. Mr. Sloane (the kitty) thinks that now is a great time to snuggle. And I may have to concur.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sleeping In

I am overdue for a run today, but I decided to sleep in.

Flashing back to earlier this week when I skipped Monday and Tuesday runs, I thought perhaps I'd just squeeze all my runs in the latter half of the week. Which was fine in theory.

Saturdays I teach, but I currently don't have a 9:30 class. I still get to work at 9:30, but that's a half hour later than my regular arrival time, and once I get there I can leisurely take an hour to get ready for class. This is great because Saturday is generally a long run day for me, and I can really enjoy it by not having to wake up incredibly early. I can sleep in.

This week, because I pushed back training a little, my day called for a 5 mile run, which is an easily achieved run, under an hour. So put that with being able to sleep in at least a half hour later, and the beauty of a Saturday when nothing else is on the docket, and I was ecstatic when I went to bed last night. When I set my alarm on my phone it tells me "Your alarm is set from __ hours and __ minutes from now". Which is sometimes really depressing, because more often than not it isn't as much time as I'd like. But last night it said 7 hours and 52 minutes, and I did a little happy dance in my head.

However. I woke up this morning and hit the snooze button. Once. Then twice. Then thrice. (!) And after the third time I thought "You know, this might not be happening today)... So i turned off the alarm and decided to just let my body sleep what it needed to sleep. Considering I haven't had a rest from running in three days, I didn't want to push myself when my body is tired. My biggest fear in training is injury, because I hate being forced to wait when I want to go. And I know most injuries happen when you're tired or your body is overtaxed.

Which leads me to the most interesting development in my project of self realization:

I am listening to my self.

I wrote that purposefully, my self. Because I think this has many levels. I am listening to my self when my body says "I need to sleep more". I am listening to my body again when I say "I need to take a nap". The DBF once said, in a very loving way, "You know, you're kinda like a baby sometimes. If you're hungry or tired you just can't focus on anything else, and if you lose it, you can't get it back". Sometimes when I start getting crabby the first thing he'll ask is "When was the last time you ate?"

I heard once that Type A, over-achiever perfectionists like me tend to forget to do the most basic things. Like eat or sleep. Because everything else is more important than doing the most simple things. And so when I choose to take a nap it's sending a message to my body that says "Hey, don't worry--I got this. You can rest. All is cool. I'm listening." Or when I eat properly at the right times.

So I'm listening to my body. But I'm also listening to my Self. My Me. Who is a voice that has been quiet for a while. Without exposing too much detail, as my two loyal blog readers know, this past year of my life has been really difficult, and I've had a hard time staying above water (on many levels, financially, emotionally, socially...). The DBF, who is the dearest of the DBFs, has stayed by my side through all of this, in spite of what he once said was a year long pattern of a "meltdown a week". And as much as it pained me to hear that, he was right. It didn't take much for me to fall to pieces. Any little crack would make me crumble into a mess of tears, anger, feelings of worthlessness. It didn't effect others in my life as often as it was taken out on the DBF. And he is a saint among men for patiently waiting it out, and doing his best to help me try to get past it.

And in the recent weeks that has changed. In fact I can report that we are almost two weeks without a meltdown. (I feel like I should have a big sign like at big plants that say "14 days since our last injury!") That feels good.

Why this is changing, I'm not 100% sure and I think waiting around to figure it out is kind of a waste of time. If I can venture a guess, it's because I have been listening to my body, as well as listening to my Self. And speaking my mind. Telling people how I feel. Asking for help. Talking to friends more. Writing more. And also forgiving myself more.

This is a big shift, people.

(I hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing in a public place about my near 2 weeks sans meltdown...)

So there's some dust that is clearing and settling and I'm starting to look at this project more clearly. I'm ready for another step, and that means another Negative Tape.

And this one's a doozy.

I am a failure with money.
I am a complete and utter moron and will never be financially secure or intelligent.

How this one is going to work itself out through my running is a good question, especially since I need to replace the special moisture whicking/hot weather tank I ruined in the wash somehow... but $10 at Target does not make a financial failure, me thinks. But what does?

I'm going to ruminate for a while on how to start tackling this NT. I am planning on a 5 mile run/heart rate training on the treadmill this afternoon at the air conditioned gym, and perhaps I'll get some brilliant idea there. Let's see what comes up!

Here's to the next step. Whatever that is.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I decided this morning on my run to count the number of people I ran by.

I did a 5 mile run through my usual Central Park route, and I was curious how many people I pass.

This quickly became a really hard task, as there are many paths in the park. I soon realized I wouldn't be able to count everyone, so I decided to only count those who ran by me (the opposite direction) and those I passed (which was I think a grand total of 4, but hey, that's okay!) I later decided I maybe should just count runners, or people who were obviously working out.

On a less than 60 minute run I passed 186 people.

It is pretty amazing to think that many people are out at 6:30-7:30 working out in Central Park. I don't know what I would have guessed if I had thought about it earlier, but the number still kind of astounds me.

I actually enjoyed my run today, and I realized it has been quite some time since I enjoyed a run. Not that I hated my other runs, it's just been a while since I had FUN. And this run was fun. I think I like 5 or 6 miles as a daily, no real worries run. It's a little less than an hour, I can keep up a good pace. No need to carry any Gu gels or anything fancy. Just get out and run.

So I had a great time, counting people, and maybe it was that distraction that made the run so good, or maybe it was that it was just the slightest bit cooler than usual this morning. Whatever it was, I am grateful for a good day.

I was exhausted by later this afternoon, however, and went back to my nap routine (I've taken a few days off!). But I am really happy to tell you that I am now an EXCELLENT napper!

It's the little things.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coming back

Well, I've fallen off the power grid for a while.

Can I complain more about how tired I've been?

It's the heat, it's the heat, it's the heat. And there is really no end in sight. The DBF and I have been spending as much time as possible at the beach, but it seems this weekend we will have to cede the space to his sister and boyfriend. So we'll be navigating the hot cement city. Big sigh.

I did finally get my butt out of bed and out on a run today. 3 miles, nothing big. Nothing remarkable. But still good to get this butt moving.

I don't know what it is that makes getting up early so hard. For a while I craved getting up and running.

Again, I blame the heat.

But there has been this loss of... need?

And perhaps that's a good thing. There is no "I need to focus/cry/rage/distract/get angry, I'll go on a run". Running is obviously exhausting, though the more I do it it's become less of an exhausting experience. I also have really fallen in love with long runs. It's a form of meditation. You start running and maybe for the first 15 minutes your mind wanders, but after a while you realize "I'm gonna be doing this for a heck of a long time", and you let your brain let go... and there's just running. And Central Park, or the street, or a little woman with a walker. So your mind wanders, but not really about you, your problems, your day, your wishes and dreams... just about whatever is. You can't think about much else. And of course there's the real experience to draw you back. Like a side cramp to make you have to focus really only on breathing.

And that's why I love running. So why am I having such a hard time getting my butt out there to do it?

Again. Heat.

Or something else?

At this point I don't know. So let's let this one ruminate for a while, and we'll see what else pops up... And I promise to be better about blogging... At least I hope so!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An ode to the nap

I have never been a good napper. I didn't sleep particularly well as a child, in fact I think I was almost into my teenage years before I started sleeping consistently through the week without a major interruption, normally very vivid and creative nightmares. And even as an adult I have had problems napping. If I want to take a "nap", a short nap always turns into at least an hour if not two.

So I've decided this week I need to master the art of the Power Nap. Here is why:
1. waking up early for training is great, but I get so sleepy early in the day. So a 20-30 minute recharge to get me through the day would be great.

2. I get quite crabby when I'm tired. Crabby = not good.

3. The DBF has a very wonderful job he loves working sometimes very long hours. In fact, a "normal" day has him finishing work at 8pm, and it's more likely he works until 9pm. Yesterday we even had a long discussion about how for the next month or so he may try to work at least two or three times in the week until 11. Though I feel as if I may have just become a "Lawyer Widow" for a few weeks, I told him last night that if indeed I master this Power Nap, I should be able to meet for a late night dinner with no problem.

4. Also, I think it's just a smart idea. Even if I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, I rarely feel rested. But counter-intuitively, I can't really sleep in too late once the sun has come up. The Mediterranean cultures actively adopt a Siesta. So this Scandinavian princess is going to take one on too.

So after realizing that I had a somewhat innocuous Negative Tape that said:

I am not a good napper.

I decided I should change that. So this week my "project" has been napping. My first attempt resulted in a two hour nap and throwing me off for most of the day, but yesterday I took a 20-30 minute nap around 4:30-5ish and it was pretty great. I think ideally I'd like to get my nap done before that late in the afternoon, as I was worried I'd have problems sleeping, but I fell asleep just fine.

Sleep is important.

In fact, right now, in my two hour down time that I have between classes on Wednesdays, I am craving my power nap! Hooray!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Checking In

I have not done a good job with blogging over the weekend. But let it be said that I followed all of my training to the T! (Well, aside from skipping out of my cross training on Sunday in lieu of sleeping in, brunch and lots of World Cup fun.) But all the running I accomplished and did well.

I do owe my two loyal readers a better blog very soon, but today I just wanted to say "I have not forgotten you!"

More to come.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gym. Blerg.

I went to the gym.

Why does the treadmill feel harder than running outside?

I only ran for about 25 minutes.

Supposedly it was barely 2 miles. I doubt that.

When will it not be so hot?

Gotta suck it up.

So I didn’t go on a run this morning either. Woops. It hit over 102 degrees yesterday in NYC and today is going to be another hot and humid one. Yesterday I thought “oh, I’ll go to the gym”, but of course I didn’t. It was just way too hot to bother leaving the house. So today I must. I can’t just skip two days of Week 1. And I eventually have to give up my fear of the Dreadmill.

I just hate the idea of running in place. It makes me bored just thinking about it. I keep trying to remind myself that I don’t actually have to run for very long. Today should have been a 5 mile run, so less than 50 minutes. I can do that? Right. Right. I think so.

I have eaten like crap for the past few days. Is it the laziness that the heat inspires that then makes you want to just eat and eat and eat? I need to go grocery shopping to make sure I have good food in the house, but also because I can’t be bothered to do anything that required heat to cook! I don’t want to turn on the stove, oven, anything. I suppose the microwave might be okay, but I felt so lazy yesterday even the idea of microwaving seemed like a waste of energy.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back to the grind

Today was the first official day of real Marathon Training.

I took a week off from working out post Half-Marathon. Partially because I know it's smart to give yourself a rest. Partially because it was really, really hot. And also because once I started really looking into what program I wanted to do for Marathon Training, I realized my desired program had 18 weeks, and if I started this week, it would be exactly 18 weeks until the ING Marathon.

I have decided upon Hal Higdon's Marathon training, as his was what I did for the Half Marathon and found no problems with it (though, in all transparency, I did not do a single lick of cross or strength training... woops.) Where the questions came in though was what level to do. I did the Novice training for the Half and I found it to be a little lacking. Yes, I did fail to do the cross training, but I found it a bit redundant for me to do a 2 mile run some days. Or even 3. I know myself and know I need a good 45-60 minutes of cardio workout almost every day to burn the calories and achieve a fitness goal. And I know myself well enough to know that, if I go out for a 2 mile run that I will finish in under 17 minutes, I'm not getting home and doing another 40 minutes of workout in my apartment... so that day had no real workout, aside from the 2 miles. I also found the long runs on weekends to be completely realistic. It was intimidating, but mostly because of time, not because of execution.

So I decided to train to Intermediate Level 1. Since the DBF is a guru and master of all things sport, I threw out this idea to him and his response was:

"Babe, you're definitely not a novice runner. I know you haven't been doing it consistently for a long time, but you're naturally gifted and good at it." And we decided that there was no harm in starting at the Intermediate Level 1, especially since it's more on par with what I had been doing in the last weeks before the Half Marathon, and if it gets to hard, I can always go back down to Novice 1 or 2. I may end up not doing as much of the pace and speed work, but this way I get the mileage in that I'm aiming for, as well as the workout time totals I want to see at the end of the week.

And I promise to cross train. I also like this program better because it's only one day of cross training, as opposed to 2 or 3. And I like running. So I don't want to go do the Elliptical Machine for 45 minutes at the gym more than I have to. Speaking of, anyone know where I can get a cheapish pass to a pool in NYC? I'd love to swim once a week...

So today was Week 1, Day 1, which was a simple 3 miler. The DBF and I were out at his family's beach house in Breezy Point, NY for the weekend, and I woke up around 8:30 and decided I needed to get out and get my 3 miles in before it got too hot. It almost reached 100 degrees in the great NYC area today, but fortunately the temperature on the water is a good 10-15 degrees cooler. I walked a bit to warm up, then ran down the boardwalk and on to the beach, heading for the packed sand right on the water's edge. It was a great run, with a nice wind coming off the ocean and the sand was just firm enough to run on but great for my knees and the first day back. I forgot to pack my Nike+, but after the miscalculation realization of the half marathon, I decided perhaps it'll be better to run for time instead of distance. If I can run 13.1 miles under 10 minutes average, then I can only assume I can run 3 miles under 30 minutes. So I ran for 30 minutes, and then headed back to the house.

I started 100 Pushups Week 3 again, for something like the billionth time. But this week I'm committed to passing it! I did take a brief break on my second set of 12 pushups, I did 6, then took a 3 second pause on my knees, then finished with the second half of 6. Not too shabby, I think.

It was truly a beautiful weekend. I think I may never be happier than when we're out at Breezy. Today and yesterday was spent almost entirely on the beach itself, which the DBF and I rarely do, but the temperature is so much cooler up at the water! Plus, whenever you got overheated, you could run in the water and cool off, then sit under the umbrella... I found at times I had to move into the sun because it was too cold under the shade with the breeze! Oh summer.

Here's an interesting realization I had on the beach this weekend:

I have a hot body.

Talk about a new Positive Tape! I saw a woman walk by and I automatically thought "she has a great body" but then I started looking more closely and realized, "she looks a lot like me", and then I started to realize, "I have way more muscle definition than she does... and better curves!" It was a huge wake up call. I'm starting to see my body and myself as powerful, as a force to be reckoned with, and I'm appreciative and loving of the body that I see. Which I think I see clearly now.

And that is a beautiful thing.