Training for injury-free running, please.

Miscellaneous

Well, it has begun.

Real training season is among us. After taking an almost two month hiatus (I ran four times from Thanksgiving to January 20 – don’t judge me), I’m finally back and in it to win it. I was supposed to start my training last week, but my car was in the shop so I was sharing a car with the fiancé, and adding gym time into the mix would have been complicated. It’s an excuse I know, but that’s my reason – BUT this week is the real deal. No more hibernating at home and telling myself that I will start soon. I checked into the gym on Foursquare Monday morning and I was greeted by a message that said I hadn’t been to the gym in two months. I laughed out loud, but felt super terrible about myself. Naturally I decided to snap a picture of it for my own embarrassment. I also used my new Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch for the second time ever. Let me just tell you how awesome it is – it’s awesome.


This week makes 17 weeks to the Cleveland Half Marathon. I am aiming for running a 2:10 or faster. I ran the half distance during the full in 2:10 so I know it’s possible. Granted I was in fabulous shape in September, but I know now that my body is at least capable of it.

Monday I ran 3.5 at a sloooooww pace. Embarrassingly slow actually. I was dying. Holy out of shape! I kept wanting to turn to the people around me and scream “I know I’m pathetic right now, but I SWEAR I ran a full marathon a few months ago!” I was upset with my time and myself, but I keep trying to remind myself that it’s going to take a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. I didn’t work up to running 26.2 miles overnight, so returning won’t be the same either. I also have to remind myself that I suffered injuries last year, so this training and race season might not necessarily be the same. Running religiously and slowly building up miles is my best bet against injury this time around. I’ve got 17 weeks, which is a good time-frame for a training schedule. I know if I follow it and work hard I will be ready. It’s just hard to mentally handle not being able to run 4 miles when I’ve ran a marathon before, but that’s no one else’s fault but my own so I just have to suck it up.

Yesterday morning I woke up sore all over and with a bad foot/ankle pain. It’s weird that I didn’t feel the injury Monday during the day after the run. Regardless of the pain, I ran another 3.5 today and was careful to stretch the area first, although I’m not sure it helped. I also started feeling the “marathon knee pain” in my right knee towards the end of today’s run. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I had terrible knee pain during my first full last fall. This was the first time I had ever experienced ANY type of knee pain in my life (even after being a softball catcher for 10 years). My friend, Nicole, warned me “Once you run a marathon, your body is never the same.”

Around two miles today I decided I’d better take it easy. My knee was really bothering me and my foot/ankle injury was getting worse with each step. People always say “listen to your body” which I rarely ever do, but today I slowed down the treadmill and opted for an incline instead. It was much easier on my knee and ankle and I was actually proud of myself for acting like a responsible, smart runner. I can’t help but worry about my injuries though, especially after today’s run and that same familiar ache in my knee flaring up. I’m nervous about the way my joints are reacting to running again, considering this is run #2 out of about 75. I’m hoping that my body is just sore and thrown off and that in a week or two I’ll feel fine and will be starting to gain strength.

I used my Polar watch again today and loved it. It’s motivating to not only see the calories that you’ve burned adding up, but you see that you burn calories lifting weights too. My only question though, does it count past 1,000 calories? I’d really like to see that for long runs and I’ll be super bummed if it doesn’t.


I often look for good training schedules and modify a little as needed. I’m not sure where exactly I got this one from or what parts I’ve modified, but this is the schedule I followed for last year’s half and the one I’m currently following.

What training schedules do you guys follow and how many weeks do you train?

Half Marathon Training

Week 1
2-3, 2-3, 4

Week 2
2-3, 3-4, 5

Week 3
2-3, 3-4, 6

Week 4
3, 4-5, 7

Week 5
3-4, 4-5, 8

Week 6
4-5, 4-5, 9

Week 7
2-3, 4, 3-4, 10

Week 8
2,3, 5, 3-4, 11

Week 9
3, 5, 3-6 *tune up race Saturday or Sunday (like a 10K or 15K)

Week 10
3, 5, 4-5, 12

Week 11
3-4, 5, 4-5, 13

Week 12
4, 5, 4-5, 14

Week 13
4, 5, 6-10 *tune up race Saturday or Sunday (like a 10K or 15K)

Week 14
4, 5-6, 4-5, 15

Week 15
4, 5, 4-5, 12

Week 16
4, 4, 4, 8-9

Week 17
4, 4, 4, 6-7

Week 18
3, 3, RACE


Keep Running!

I smell… a dramatic diet comeback!

Miscellaneous

Everyone starts off their new diet or new healthy life style change with enthusiasm. We stock our shelves and fridges with fresh produce and whole wheat bread with all the ambition in the world that we will continue on this path. We set our alarm clocks and get up early to hit the gym or fit in a run and we feel empowered and proud when we accomplish the workout.

The trouble is that after some time has passed, things tend to “come up”. Motivation starts to fade little by little. Gym fees and sessions start to look more like torture. Long weekends, holidays and birthdays complete with cake happen to us all. We suddenly find ourselves feeling guilty as we reach our hand into the near empty chip bag. How did this happen when we were so sure of our new diet?

Toxic AKA sugar infested punch.

Toxic AKA sugar infested punch.

This past weekend I threw a Halloween costume party. I love party planning. It’s something I enjoy and I’m good at it. I guess it must be the PR side of me and all the event planning I’ve been involved with!

The party was, of course, adorable and full of Pinterest inspired crafts and food, however, it was basically hog heaven. There was beer (LOTS of Redd’s Apple Ale), chocolate, candy corn, cupcakes, bread, dips, pasta, cookies, sloppy joes, Jello shots with whip cream and bacon and cream cheese dishes galore. It was a fantastic feast with good friends and very much enjoyable. I gave myself a free diet pass and enjoyed whatever I wanted…sometimes life is just too short to waste a good time counting and cutting calories! Plus what’s the fun in planning the party if I didn’t get to enjoy all the treats I made for it?!

One of two dessert tables.

One of two dessert tables.

My free-for-all feast was fun and a nice break while it lasted…that is until Sunday morning suddenly rolled around and I felt like complete and total garbage. I wasn’t hung over because I only had about five beers in the span of six hours. It was more of an entire overall body bloat and crappy mental state. There’s a reason I try so hard to eat a clean diet and exercise five to six days a week, because if I don’t, I know how terrible I will feel afterwards. I may sound like a typical girl and my boyfriend would roll his eyes at me, but I feel so fat and bloated after a few days of eating junk or even after a larger than life cheat “day”. I hate that feeling and it makes me crabby. I ate a little better on Sunday during the day, but not by much and I went to bed that night feeling generally crappy.

Monday morning rolled around and I dragged myself to the gym at 5:30 a.m. to fit in my workout before the office. (As you can guess, I didn’t workout all weekend as I was busy preparing for the party by decorating, cooking and baking. As you can also probably guess, I kicked my little butt at the gym with 40 minutes of HIIT that morning.)

Now I’m in the midst of a dramatic diet comeback from the past week and a half free-for-all. When I make the decision to get back to my regular clean eating habits, there are a couple of key things that make a huge difference for me that I always try to include.

Four tips to help you get back on your diet:

My gallon today -- as I was writing this post actually!

My gallon today — as I was writing this post actually!

  • Drink Water Like It’s Your Job. I try to drink over a gallon of water each day at work and then about three or four water bottles before, after or during my workout. All of this water helps to remove toxins from the body. You should normally be drinking a gallon a day, but it’s especially important when you’ve slacked for a few days and ate lots of sugar or grease. Keep a gallon right next to you wherever you go. Make it a priority to drink a gallon for a minimum of five straight days in a row.
  • Meal Replacement Shakes. Some people may not agree with me on this, but this is what I’m recommending because it works for me and my body. I have a meal replacement shake for lunch everyday at work for about a week and a half when I’m getting back into the swing of things. If I head to the gym late one night, I’ll have some tuna before the workout and then another meal replacement shake after and use it as a protein recovery shake. (It’s important to take note of how your body responds to different components of your fitness journey. Some people I know can’t just eat a meal replacement bar or shake because they mentally can’t do it and find themselves distractedly hungry an hour after. Do what works for you and listen to your body. Although a healthy lifestyle requires a great deal of dedication and self-discipline, if you find that you are hallucinating from hunger pains an hour after you had a meal replacement shake, then maybe it’s not the best route for you — and there’s nothing wrong with that.)
  • Start On A Monday And Don’t Miss A Day All Week. Being in the gym is motivating. Finishing a run with a strong sprint makes you feel like a bad ass. Find that inner “pump” every single day to help build back up your motivation and inspiration. You’re not going to find inspiration by sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself for falling off course. At the gym you’re surrounded by people with the same attitude that you once had. Watch them, learn from them and then inherit that attitude again.

    Chillin' in the Sauna.

    Chillin’ in the Sauna.

  • Sauna It Up. I absolutely love the sauna at my gym. I love being hot and a deep sweat is a great way to flush toxins out of your system. The sauna is also super relaxing and a great place to go after a tough workout to reflect on how hard you just worked. Listen to music, close your eyes and try to stay in for about 40 minutes while taking short water breaks every 10 minutes.

Apart from eating lots of fruits and veggies, preparing your meals in advance and getting lots of sleep, these are my top tips for getting back into the swing of a clean eating healthy life style.

Here are a few very other quick tips that you can incorporate when you feel like you’re getting back into a good place:

  • Drink your coffee black or only add one Truvia packet.
  • Drink green tea instead of coffee or sip on it during the day. (Green tea can aide in weight loss.)
  • Don’t eat after 7 p.m. (Again, this tip goes with the whole “listen to your body” speech that I gave earlier. It you’re on the verge of passing out, but its 8:15 p.m. then screw the rule and eat something! Never starve yourself.)
  • To help with not eating after 7 p.m., brush your teeth and floss immediately after your dinner or last meal of the day, then put on mint flavored chap stick like Burt’s Bees. I find this helps with temptation.
  • Stay out of the kitchen! Every time I find myself starting to slip it’s usually because I’m staring blankly into the fridge and fighting a mental battle with myself. “It’s cold out, I can have all that left over pasta” or “I already worked out today, I can have some of that ice cream in the freezer… I’ll only have a couple scoops…” NO. Get what you need to get, eat it and then walk away.

What are some other tips that you guys have for getting back into the swing of your diet? Have you found or heard of something that worked for your body or someone you know?

Death by Lack of Motivation…and NE Ohio Winters.

Miscellaneous

Ugh. I have not been feeling running lately. Does anyone else ever get like this? I love running, usually. But these past two weeks I have been burnt out both mentally and physically when it comes to running.

I got to week 10 of 18 of my training schedule for my half marathon and suddenly hit a wall. I have not ran in TWO weeks to the day today. Eeeek. Of course I’ve continued cross training with spinning classes and elliptical sessions, even a few cross country skiing workouts, but for real…14 days since my last run?!

Cross Country Skiing Workout

Cross Country Skiing Workout

But the truth is that I just cannot get myself back out there to run. On week nine I ran 11 miles in 21 degree weather. It was awful by every definition. At one point during the 11 miles I think I started crying, but it could have been the sleeting snow whipping at my face for over two hours. The following weekend I set out to do 12 miles (it was about 40 degrees) and then my watch decided to stop working without me knowing, so I had no idea how far I actually ran. At that point I was so annoyed I kind of just threw in the towel right then and there. Then the following weekend was filled with non-stop St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the next weekend we got four inches of snow and ice in wonderful Chardon, Ohio. With my moral and spirits sinking, I didn’t even put up a fight to skipping my long weekend runs the past two weeks. Of course I felt guilty, but deep down I was kinda relieved.

Even today at 37 degrees, I wanted to get out there and go for a quick four miles, however here I am blogging and finding every other excuse on the planet not to go. Then I beat myself up over it when I don’t run and just settle for spinning instead. And at this point setting foot on a treadmill at the gym makes me want to die.

Hmm...not so much lately.

Hmm…not so much lately.

Is this battle going on with any other runners? What do you do when you’ve just lost it? I cannot even get myself to run four miles, let alone 13. I went strong for ten weeks and now I cannot find that same inspiration and motivation to save my life!

I think the snow and the cold weather have a lot to do with it. I’ve been hanging out at the gym since November and I’m starting to get cabin fever. I need fresh air, sun, pavement, shorts and any weather over 60 degrees would be fabulous.

What is everyone’s secret to keeping inspiration and motivation alive? How do you not give up on your dreams or goals even when you are burnt out and tired?

I’ll leave you with this picture. I seriously laughed out loud when I saw it on Pinterest yesterday.

Seriously LOL

Seriously LOL

“Dreadmill” Season

Miscellaneous
A little cold, but still braving the run!

A little cold, but still braving the run!

I’ve ran outside twice in the past week! Yes, twice In Chardon, Ohio – the snow belt of Northeast Ohio. This is AMAZING! I have been going crazy running on the treadmill lately, or as I like to call it, “The Dreadmill.”

I’m on week 3 of 18 of training for my half marathon in May. I’ve liked the shorter runs during the week (2, 3, 4 miles) and the longest run on Sundays. I know it will not stay this quick and easy for long though. I got week 1’s long run in outside (4 miles), but last week’s five miler was on the treadmill at the gym, and it was terrible. I was going crazy. I was so bored and restless. How do people run huge distances on treadmills? I had to put a towel over the distance number because I was driving myself crazy looking at it and hoping and praying my five miles was almost up. That’s not the way I want to run though. When I run outside I very rarely glance down at my watch to check the distance. A couple weeks ago I ran 6.5 miles outside easily because I was enjoying myself. I don’t enjoy myself AT ALL on the treadmill and I’m afraid that’s really going to hurt me later on down the road when there’s six inches of snow and ice outside and I’ll have no choice but to use the treadmill.

running puddlesBy the end of both runs outside this week my feet were cold and my shoes were heavy because they were so wet from all the melting snow. It was terribly uncomfortable. I just wish it was warm outside. It would make training so much easier and not seem so much like a chore  somedays. Oh and to make matters worse, the only time I can get some runs in during the week is by going to the gym after work around 6 p.m. It’s so packed it’s unreal, plus there’s about 800 people from high school I try to avoid there. I’ve even gone out the side exit to avoid seeing some people. (It’s OK, you can make fun of me for that, I laughed when I did it too and so did my best friend when I texted her right after “You won’t believe who I saw tonight…” I guess that’s a girl thing.)

Somedays it’s a nightmare and a struggle to get on that treadmill. It’s probably going to be like that for a while. It’s going to get harder too, but then again it’s going to get easier at some point too. I try to remind myself that I’ve wanted to do this for so long and when I am running that route on May 19, I’ll be able to enjoy it and I’ll be so proud of myself.

Does anyone have any tips for treadmill running? Is there a secret to not going crazy while running long distances indoors? Please share!

if you wait...

The other important thing about working out…eating.

Miscellaneous

“Abs are made in the kitchen.”


I don’t know who said that, but damn they were right. I have no problem with getting myself to the gym and making it through a two hour workout – it’s the afterwards that gets me every time. As I get get older, I am starting to realize I don’t have the metabolism of an 18-year-old anymore. Sure 23 isn’t old, but I’m well aware that even though I workout often, I’m not going to continue to be skinny if I am eating junk food all the time.

I’ve been reading a lot on nutrition. Not diets, because I don’t believe in diets. Diets don’t work. The word diet triggers every single person on this planet to become an angry, deprived stress monster. Diet’s don’t work. What does work is clean eating. We must learn to not give food an outrageous power over us. Instead we must understand that food is here to fuel our bodies.

Yes, food is delicious, and sometimes I love nothing more than pasta and pies and gummy bears (judge me.) But I’ve also been reading about the affects that food has on us. I try to remind myself about this when I am thinking of eating something bad. I feel guilty, terrible and bloated when I eat, say a cheeseburger, rather than a salad or sandwich on whole wheat bread. It hangs over you and the sugar makes you crave more sugar. There’s been studies out there that compare quitting junk food to quitting drug addiction.

Choosing to eat clean is an important step that I have been  focused on these past two weeks. I’ve tried incorporating it into my life little by little.

I’m also always on the go, so I’ve been researching green smoothies. I found a few recipes and combined the ones I liked into one of my own. Although my smoothie didn’t come out this bright green, pretty color, it still had all the same fruits and veggies in it, and it still tasted delicious. I made one every day this week.

Not-so-green smoothie

  • Two hand fulls of spinach
  • Two pieces of celery, chopped as little and thin as possible
  • One cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • One banana
  • Six strawberries
  • One orange
  • One apple
  • Hand full of black berries
  • A few slices of cucumber, chopped as little and thin as possible
  • Four or five ice cubes (demands how icy you like your drink)

Breakfast and lunch on Tuesday.
Monday
-Breakfast: smoothie
-Lunch: salad, lemon as dressing, apple
-Dinner: organic soup, mango
-Snacks: carrots, celery, pomegranate, Greek yogurt

Tuesday
-Breakfast: egg white omelet with veggies, avocado, smoothie
-Lunch: smoothie
-Dinner: organic soup, blackberries
-Snacks: orange, two cups of green tea, pistachios, carrots

Wednesday
-Breakfast: Greek yogurt
-Lunch: salad, lemon as dressing, smoothie
-Dinner: organic soup, hard-boiled organic egg, tomatoes
-Snacks: smoothie, pomegranate, blackberries, celery, green tea

Thursday
-Breakfast: whole wheat toast
-Post workout breakfast: egg white omelet with veggies, avocado, smoothie
-Lunch: smoothie
-Dinner: salmon (2 pieces), veggies, whole wheat rice, pistachios
-Snacks: two cups of green tea, apple, celery

Thursday big dinner (2.5 hour workout)

Thursday big dinner (2.5 hour workout)

Friday (today)
-Breakfast: smoothie
-Lunch: salad, small amount of dressing
-Dinner: egg while omelet with veggies, avocado, salsa
-Snacks: celery, carrots, Greek yogurt, orange, green tea

My goal is to modify by a little this weekend, since we’ll probably go out to dinner and have a few drinks with friends, but still keep the concept.

What are you guys doing to eat clean? What are your thoughts and ideas on how to make it work for you?

 

New year, first half. Literately.

Miscellaneous

January 1st is such a motivating day. I love the fresh start to a new year and the excited buzz around it. I’ve always been a sucker for New Year’s resolutions, too. I think I love the promise of trying to better yourself, making a change, doing something different. (This love for resolutions probably has something to do with the fact that I love Mondays too.) *Pause for astonishment here* I can’t help it, I just love a fresh new start and reinventing yourself.

For the past few weeks or so I’ve been thinking about my intentions for 2013. Now I’ve been working out about four days a week and I feel good. I feel strong both physically and mentally. I’ve always thrown around the idea in my head about the Cleveland Marathon. Now I’m no where near marathon ready, but they also offer a 5K, 10K and half.

I’ve ran five 5Ks, which are always a fun little workout, but in my book it’s just not that big of an accomplishment anymore. After a while I have begun to expect more out of myself. So I threw around the 10K idea. Hmm 6.2 seems legit. The most I’ve ever ran at one time was eight miles, which was during the peek of a really good summer of running two years ago. (I had also just broken up with a really terrible, very bad, no-good guy though, so that fueled a lot of my fire!) So to prove a point to myself, and to basically just be a smart ass, I ran almost 6.5 miles at the gym last week.

workout6Not so smart on my body, but it did a wonder on my head. I was so ecstatic and thrilled at the end of my workout that for a brief moment I had tears in my eyes. It was truly so, so, SO tough. But I wanted to prove to myself that if I could whip out a 10K distance out of no where, than it wouldn’t be that hard on race day….and so, I would HAVE to sign up for the half marathon if I wanted to challenge myself.

So with Christmas money burning a whole in my pocket, I signed up for my first half marathon on May 19th in downtown Cleveland.

regishalfI am a combination of terrified, excited, nervous, worried and thrilled. I have wanted to be a part of a marathon for as long as I can remember, and finally I am making this happen! No more “maybe someday” or “well I’ve always wanted to but…” excuses. My cool $70. 68 will also add as a little reminder that it’s a done deal! And what’s even more exciting, I’ve talked the boyfriend into running it with me! He still has yet to register, but he’s the kinda swell guy that would pretty much do anything I ask him to do. *Pause for eye roll*

I’ve been researching like crazy the past few days. Training schedules, tips, anything. I’ve decided on this 18-week schedule that I found on the marathon’s home page, which puts me for the week of January 13th to get this baby started.

So what do I need to know? What are the best half marathon/training tips? How do you guys stay motivated? What do you do to train/get ready for a half? Any and all advice is welcome!

Gym Disasters

Miscellaneous

I joined the local YMCA. Not a huge fan of gyms, but living in Northeast Ohio doesn’t really give me much of a choice if I want to continue to workout and run in the winter (about eight months of the year.)

Yesterday I had just hit mile four on my little treadmill at the Y. I was feeling great. Awesome music, no one was next to me, I was cruising. I also happened to be in the very front of the gym (all the workout machines face one direction.) I was listening to Pandora on my cell phone, which was hooked up to my headphones obviously. Instead of carrying my phone like I normally do when I run outside, I set it down on the side of the treadmill where you put your water bottle. Suddenly I swung my arm down a little too violently and my hand pulled the headphones connected to my phone. I saw my phone go flying past me and get spun back behind me as it hit the running treadmill. It made a horrific sound. I only heard the sound because the force had ripped my headphones in half and my music cut off. Of course being in the very front middle of the gym, I had an entire audience to watch me pathetically stop the treadmill and go pick up my chipped phone and broken headphones that were on the ground behind me.

Oops.

Oops.

I tried to keep running after my little incident, but after another mile I just wanted to get out of there. I ducked out of the gym and into the locker room without making eye contact with anyone.

Then today I went to a spinning class (and boot camp after that with one of my girlfriends….OUCH.) When I walked into the spinning class this morning, there was an open bike right up front next to an older guy. I quickly took the bike without thinking anything of it. I mean it was a prime spot for the class! I also wondered why no one else had snagged it before I did. Two minutes into the class I knew why. The older guy next to me sounded like a train/rocket taking off. His breathing was so ridiculous I was practically laughing out loud. (He also had on a fantastic 80’s windbreaker suit.) However, about twenty minutes into the class I was no longer laughing. This guy’s breathing was so annoying and just insanely unnecessary. How do you tell someone to stop breathing so loud and annoying? I mean I could barely hear the music, we’re talking THAT loud and ridiculous. I now understand why no one else had chosen the bike next to him. And next time I’ll leave it empty too!

Does anyone else have any funny or weird gym stories? Please share so I don’t feel like a compete gym goon!

You Just Gotta Keep Going.

Miscellaneous

I’ve been good about getting to the gym.

Last week I racked up 23 miles. The week before that I put 26.6 miles on my Nike’s.

I get on the treadmill around 6:15 a.m. and force myself to stay on until about five after seven. It’s terrible waking up at 5:50 a.m. but it makes a great start to my day, plus after a long day at the office and class there’s no way I’m going to the gym at night. (Please, I’d have to wait 45 minutes for a treadmill, then get kicked off 30 minutes later by some girl wearing a matching sweatsuit — who will then proceed to text on her phone the entire time she has the treadmill while walking on a .5 incline at 2.5 miles per hour.)

I’m convinced that the real athletes hit the gym in the early morning.

Everyone’s super serious and focused at 6 a.m. and I can run for 50 minutes and not be bothered or annoyed once. Plus there’s something tranquil about starting a run looking out at the dark world and slowly seeing the sun come up, casting orange and yellow rays of light through the giant gym windows. (This picturesque scene is happening as I’m dying and gasping for breathe on the treadmill while trying not to blow chunks in the garbage can.)

Regardless, today was a break-through day of running. (Don’t you love when that happens?) I found it easy to run 4.6 miles and was pleasantly surprised as I looked down at the treadmill screen and saw my PR time down by nearly six minutes. I have been aiming for anywhere in the four mile mark lately. Some days it has been really discouraging though. I’d like to be able to run six or seven miles comfortably everyday, so I get frustrated that I have to force myself to run just four some days. But today was a good run because A. It wasn’t painful and I wasn’t counting down every second and B. My time was down  — a small victory in my books.

Oh and it didn’t hurt that I burned 526 calories either. (You better believe I’m eating ice cream later, or cracking open that Corona that’s in my fridge…kidding. Well, kinda.)

I just want to keep getting faster and stronger. It can be really discouraging not being able to run as much and you want to, but when you have little break-through moments like today, it really makes the hard work worth it.

But I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me.

I’ve been throwing around the idea in my head about running the Cleveland half marathon on May 20. More on that race can be found here.

On days I want to die after my workout I think the 10K is more realistic. I want to run the half so bad, but when it’s a challenge to run 4 miles some days, that’s when I get frustrated. I tell myself I’ll get faster and stronger if I keep at the training schedule, but I just want to hurry up and be ready and able to run 13.1 miles right now!

Who knows what I’ll end up doing. I’m supposed to go to a wedding the same day of the race, but we’ll see how everything plans out.

For now, I just need to keep running.

P.S. I love this …

Runner’s Beat

Miscellaneous

“Crap.”

I was sitting in the locker room at the gym a few days ago when I reached into my bag to retrieve my iPod, and remembered it was sitting nicely on my desk all the way at my apartment. I was already laced up, ready to go and I knew it would be a stupid decision to try and go back for it.

iPod

iPod running

I convinced myself that running without music couldn’t be that bad, and I headed to go grab a treadmill. As I began to run, I could hear every little sound around me and I told myself to run for 15 minutes and I’d call it a day. I heard everything from the annoying fan blowing over my head, to the girl gasping for breathe next to me, to the familiar and annoying sound of the belt beneath my feet. There was no way I was doing my normal 33-minute run on the treadmill that day. (Don’t ask why it’s 33 minutes, for some reason I always push to that 33!)

After a few minutes of running to my own thoughts, I began to pay attention to my breathing and how soothing it almost was. I practiced the runner’s breathing technique of breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth and it made a big difference. At the end of my 33 minutes I felt great and pretty inspired because I felt like a real runner who didn’t need music!

On the way back home to my apartment, I began to think a lot about running with music and everything it offers. I always run with music because there’s no better feeling than cranking up the volume and just being out there by yourself. Music inspires and motivates me and I prefer to run with music, but there is something bittersweet about being out there with your own thoughts. Call me crazy, but I may “forget” my iPod a few times every now and again. I think it’s good for the runner’s soul to just be out there by yourself.

running with iPod - literally

running with iPod - literally

I have begun to think a lot about the types of running music and what other runners are listening to when they put some miles under their feet. What are you guys listening to when you work out or run? I know some people prefer hardcore rock music, others are more rap and I’ve even heard one guy who likes to work out to country. (I know that’s not my pick at all.)

This site is really motivational with running music, check it out and download some songs they suggest. Also another great music site is on Runner’s World.com because you can pick a playlist from some of the best runners in the world and see what they are listening to. Maybe it will push you those extra five minutes or up that gruesome hill.

I’ve put together a list of my favorite running songs, check them out and let me know what you guys think!

Personal Record’s Top Running Songs

  • Lady Gaga – Paper Gangsta
  • Nas – Hero
  • Akon – Keep You Much Longer
  • Eminem – The Real Slim Shady
  • Sam Adams – Comin’ Up
  • Kanye West – All Of The Lights

Make a separate playlist on your iPod just for a workout or for a run. That way when you are running, you’re not fumbling with the music. Name your playlist something fun like “Workin’ On My Fitness” or “Bikini Body.” Something that puts a smile on your face when you set out for that great run.