“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Who's Up for Another Challenge?

There have been a few requests to revive last year's RunHalfway December Challenge, so we're doing it again this year and we'd love to have you participate!

The guidelines are basically the same as last year:

  1. Pledge to run or walk at least one mile every day of December 2013.  (Yes, this must be running or walking - biking/swimming/other cardio or strength training do not count toward your daily mile for this challenge.)
  2. Share the Challenge badge on FBTwitter (follow @RunHalfway and use #RunHalfwayChallenge), or your blog.
  3. Run or walk at least one mile every day!  Yes, EVERY day!  No skipping or make-up days.  You can make time for a mile every day, and you'll be so proud of yourself when you're done!
  4. After you've logged your daily mile, check Facebook, Twitter, and this blog to record your mileage and get each day's badge to share.  (I will try to start a new post every day in the FB event for recording purposes - please post your mileage as a comment to that post, not as an individual post, thanks!  It'll help keep things organized.)

I'm looking forward to challenging myself and y'all again this year - can't wait to hear about everyone's great work!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What's Worse Than a Race-Morning?

I don't handle (most) race mornings very well (Disney races are a different story).  I get very quiet and go inside my head to freak out about every possible little thing that could go wrong during the race, including the dreaded DNF...  It's not a pretty thing to behold.

So what's the one thing that strikes more fear in my heart than a race morning?  Car shopping.  Ugh.  Is there anything worse?  My wonderful little 1997 CR-V and I have reached the point where we're going to part ways within the next 6 months or so - she's being replaced by a younger, sleeker model (yes, sadly, she's the "first-wife" of cars).

credit: http://autos.aol.com/article/used-cars-accident-history/

My stomach clenches and my palms get sweaty just thinking about dealing with salesmen and bankers.  I like living in my safe little world with no pressure and no car payments.

But, moving on - onward and upward - better things ahead - keep moving forward - it will be worth it in the end - etc.  Surely all those motivating running slogans can apply here, right?

Maybe there will even be beer at the finish, lol.

Friday, November 1, 2013

MCM Weekend - 5K & 10K - Picture Recap

I headed BACK to the mid-Atlantic last Friday (twice in two weeks) for some more fun with friends!!!

At the Expo w/ G on Friday
Pre-5K with J & G on Friday  
Outfit for the MCM Runner's bRUNch 5K on Friday  

Runner's bRUNch 5K bib and commemorative coin.

Pre-MCM 10K on Sunday morning. (Yup, that's the Capitol in the background!)

With the marine that gave me my 10K medal on Sunday!
Finisher pic after MCM 10K
MCM 10K bib and medal
ROTE group cheering on friends and strangers at the bottom of the 14th street bridge.
(approx. ~ Mile 21.5 of the full marathon)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Fun of Friendships

Last Saturday was the Baltimore Half Marathon.  Chip time 3:38:33.  Eh.  Not my worst time ever, but a far cry from my best.  The race itself was pretty unremarkable - it was mild but humid, hilly, and just not that great of a race for me   Except for one thing - the group of friends I was running with.  They are pretty darn amazing.

Whole group

This year my goal was to "find the fun" again.  I have not concentrated on time, speed, etc. much at all, I've just kept looking for the elusive joy that running used to bring.  I'm still searching for that magic that the running itself brings, but I have at least found the motivation to keep on moving on...my running friends.

My training group, my running friends, and my race partners - all of you are the reason I take that first step on every run and onto every race course.  And I can't thank you guys enough!!!  Huge HUGS from me to y'all!

There are, of course, as always, still the secondary benefits, which are pretty awesome, too:  Medals & Post-Race Food!

Post-race crabcake!
Hard cider distillery!
Group spoils from the Maryland wine trail

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/574420127442632882/


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/574420127442632882/

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/574420127442632882/

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

credit: losing-every-extra-pound.tumblr.com

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

credit: withoutmedicine.blogspot.com


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Change of Scenery

I was in Ohio this past weekend for a friend's wedding.  We're both runners, and we're both training for races, so I knew he'd be up for a long run with me.  I needed to get in 8 or 9 miles and he needed 20.  Seeing as how he's literally twice as fast as I am, that would work out pretty well - we'd finish at roughly the same time. 

I had visited him in Columbus before, and we'd run "together" (i.e. on the same path) that trip, so I had a pretty good idea of where we'd be running this time around - the Olentangy Trail.  And yup, I was right - same trail!  But we were starting further north this time, so I'd get to see a different section of the trail.

Because the wedding was Saturday, and I was getting in mid-day on Friday, we moved the run to Friday afternoon.  I figured that wasn't too big of a deal, weather-wise, because hey, Ohio's cooler than Texas, right?  Well, yes, it was cooler, but not nearly as much as I'd've liked.  I guess that's what we get for running in the early afternoon.  And yeah, it says "cloudy" but it was actually mostly sunny with a few clouds - thank goodness there was some good shade from the tall trees surrounding the trail.

Well, between the heat and the travel, that wasn't the best combination of circumstances for me.  Plus, I went out entirely too fast for the first couple of miles.  I tried to slow myself down in the 3rd, but knew that I'd basically screwed myself.  I turned around at about 2.8 and headed back to the trailhead, forcing myself into a 30:60 interval pattern just to make sure I made it - I was really feeling the heat and the earlier speed.

M passed me (he'd decided to do 10 first and see how he felt) with about 0.5 mile to go, and we met back up at the end.  He headed back out for 5 more for a total of 15, and I stopped at 5.5, dreaming of a cold shower back at my hotel.

Not a great run, statistics-wise, but it's always fun to see a new place, and it's never a bad thing to get in a run while on vacation!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'Thank You' to Those Early Women

Photo credit: Runners World

"40 Years Ago, Six Women Changed Racing Forever"

That was the headline of one of Monday's Runner's World articles.  I was intrigued, clicked on the Facebook link, and began reading.  I only know tiny snippets of the history of women's running - mainly from running documentaries and a few other articles here and there.  I honestly didn't know anything about that early NYC marathon written about in the article and had never seen the picture.  If you haven't read it yet, go read the article, and come back.

As an 80's baby, I grew up with the idea that women are equal to men.  I was born after the ERA.  My mother worked for a large oil company in an executive position throughout my childhood.  I learned of the struggles of the women seeking equality in history class.  At the time, I was pretty sure that I was smarter than a lot of the boys in that same history class - the notion that I would not be equal to them was not even considered.

The same ideals apply to when I started running.  There was no one telling me women shouldn't or couldn't run distances.  No reason to believe that I was unwelcome, as a woman, in any race I signed up for.  I started running just before the women racing running boom really took off in the late 2000's, and never looked back.

I'm not saying we live in a Utopian society.  There are still too many instances of gender inequality and we hear about actions taken and setbacks endured more often than anyone would like.  Life is not fair.  Though I like to think and hope that we are constantly striving to make it more so.

Seeing that picture and reading the story in the article, I am forever grateful to the women who went before me, both in "real life" and in running, that allow me to be the woman, and the runner, that I am today.  

Thank you to those early women.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo credit: http://mypursuitofhappinessandskinnyjeans.files.wordpress.com


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's More Fun With Friends

Life has been busy the past couple of weeks.  I've been slammed at work, keeping up with my normal running training schedule, and adding in the swimming lessons.

Knowing that I tend to let things drop when I get busy, I talked to my friend S about the two of us becoming RPs (Running Partners) for our weekday runs in August.  She liked the idea and we now have a standing meeting at 5:15am on running days for the next few weeks.  That way we both get out early to get our run done and we're able to beat the heat.

Other than the obvious safety factor of not running alone in the dark (which I refuse to do), it's just more fun to run with a friend.  The conversation flows easily and the miles fly by.  It's nice to have a morning RP again!

Q4U: Do you complete your weekday runs with friends or do you go solo?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Follow-Up: Deep Down I'm Still a 13-Yr Old Girl

source: www.spreadshirt.com
It worked!  My mix CD (see this post) was a big hit (well perhaps a kind of one-hit-wonder since I'm the only person that hears it).

It more than got the job done on Saturday morning.  In fact, I may need to tone down my in-car behavior a bit...there were, perhaps, a few too many body and hand movements going on to safely be operating a car at highway speeds.  Thankfully that early on a Saturday morning not many others were around to care, lol.

So, I've got my new pre-long-run tunes all set.  They get my blood pumping and rev my adrenaline.  They make me happy.  

Q4U:  Did anybody else try some new music pre-run this week?  Did it work the same way for you?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Deep Down I'm Still a 13-Yr Old Girl

This is it, the post where it finally becomes apparent that deep down inside I've never matured past being a 13 year old girl.  LOL.  Okay, okay, really that's only (mostly) true when it comes to my taste in music.

Before a long run I like to try to get myself into a happy frame of mind, and music is the best attitude adjuster that I know of.  The best things for me are upbeat songs with a great beat to get me bopping or with lyrics that have me singing along at the top of my lungs to help me get pumped for the journey ahead.  That just makes me happy.  Embarrassingly, the songs that "get me there" the fastest are the teenie-bopper pop hits popular with pre-teens and teens half my age!

Here's my dilemma.  We've started 5am (FIVE. A. M.) Saturday morning long runs to try to beat the heat here in Texas.  And since I've got about a 25 minute drive to where my group meets, that means leaving my house by 4:30.   I'm not super-picky in my music selections, so normally the local mix station more than meets my needs for the minimal amount of time I spend in my car during the week.  However, when the DJ decides to play a slow song that early in the morning - that just doesn't work for me.  Which means I need to create....you got it...a MIX TAPE!!!!  Ok, really it's a mix CD (yes, my car is so old it doesn't have an input jack for playing MP3's - don't judge).

I started wracking my brain for songs.  And I came up empty.  Part of the reason I'm perfectly happy listening to the radio is that I have no idea who sings what songs or what the song titles are...smh.  So what's a girl to do?  Enter Google.  Search for "most overplayed songs of 2013/2012/2011/2010/2009.  I played YouTube clips of songs to figure out what they were and if it was a song that fit the bill then it made the list.  I added a couple of random ones that I actually can identify without help and came up with this list.  Prepare to be amazed/amused/horrified:
  1. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepson
  2. Party in the U.S.A. - Miley Cyrus
  3. Firework - Katy Perry
  4. Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga
  5. Single Ladies - Beyonce
  6. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
  7. Raise Your Glass - Pink
  8. Dynamite - Taio Cruz
  9. California Girls - Katy Perry
  10. Smile - Uncle Cracker
  11. All The Small Things - Blink 182
  12. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
  13. I Want You to Want Me - Cheap Trick
So there it is.  Lots of these are songs you'll hear at races - for the same reason that they made my list.  I know, I know. some people are reaaaaaaaalllly tired of these.  But they're exactly what I'm looking for at 4:30 on a Saturday morning - trust me.  Whether my group will appreciate me having me just heard some of these when we start out will be another story... ;-)

Q4U:  Does music help you get revved up for a run?  Do you have any songs that are "must-hear" for you pre-run?  Do you have any suggestions you think I should add to my list?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Haven't Lost Anyone Yet!

This past Saturday was Week 10 of our Galloway Group training.  I can't believe it - seems like just last week I was writing this post, worrying about all the responsibilities of being a PGL, and most specifically worrying about losing someone while we were out on a run.

Of course, my fears were unfounded and we haven't lost anyone yet!  I am astounded by the size of our pace group - we are 14 members strong!  And though we are 14 very different people, we've bonded well.  There's always something interesting to talk about because of our diversity, and we're all very supportive of each other.  I couldn't be more pleased with our progress as an overall group.

So, while our group name may be "Lost In Pace," I'm very relieved we haven't lived up to that moniker!  ;-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sink or Swim, I'm Diving In!

Monday night was my first swimming lesson.  Yes, you read that right - I'm taking an adult beginner swimming class through our City's leisure learning programs.  No, I'm not planning on training for a triathlon any time soon!  I swear!

I've been wanting another option to add to my repertoire for cross-training, and as I was thumbing through the summer leisure catalog and saw the aquatic classes, the wheels suddenly started turning in my head...

I took swim lessons as a kid, I can keep myself from drowning, and I can tread water for what seems like forever, but I never really mastered any actual technical strokes beside breaststroke, so I decided to just dive on in (teehee) and signed up.  I'll admit it's more than a little outside my comfort zone - but most good things start out that way, right?

It's a twice-a-week, four-week class.  The first lesson went really well and the instructor commented on the improvement in my form and technique at the end of class (woot!).  I'm really looking forward to the rest of the lessons and hope to get comfortable enough with at least the basic strokes to add swimming in as a regular cross-training option!

Q4U:  Do you swim for cross-training?  If so, have you taken classes as an adult, or are your skills carried over from your youth?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

#12 in the Books!

At some point I hope to get a race report up, but I'm so far behind on recaps it's not even funny.  So for now a picture will have to be worth a thousand words!  This one was a little harder than even I anticipated - hilly and it warmed up quickly (surprising in Seattle!).  But I had a fun time running with a friend, and I always love new bling - especially bling that depicts the city I visited!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jeff Galloway's Coming to Dallas!

Last year Jeff Galloway visited Dallas for a free quick one hour meet-and-greet, which was awesome. This year, on June 30th, he's doing the same, but adding in a three hour Running School session.  The Running School does require a registration fee, but it also guarantees individual attention and personalized instruction.

I'm lucky that as a Galloway training group member we get a discount, so I'll be taking advantage of that when I sign up.

If you're interested in registering for the Dallas school, or would like more information about other sessions around the country, check out Jeff's website here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't Worry, They Took Out the Big Hill

The R'n'R Seattle Half is just around the corner - literally - it's this weekend!  Emails are flying around with last-minute race instructions from the race director, and frantic group planning of dinners/meet-ups/etc is going on.

So...maybe it's finally time to really study the course, right?  Now, I will freely admit that I'm not "racing" this one - I'm just there to have fun, enjoy the scenery, and bask in the cooler temperatures of the pacific northwest.  And I'd had a few friends tell me "don't worry - they changed the course and took out the big hill," so that seemed encouraging.  And then I saw this:

And then the math nerd in me took over and needed to crunch some numbers... According to the elevation profile above, that hill just before mile 9 looks like this:

8.69mi = 57ft el.
8.82mi = 270ft el.
213ft el. gain in 0.13mi  = 31% grade


Well, good thing I didn't have any big plans for the course, LOL!  And while that hill may be a bugger, I'm still really looking forward to this race.

As most of you know from reading previous posts, I've purposefully taken a more relaxed approach to racing this spring in order to "find the fun" again.  And I think it's working!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oh You're Not a Runner?...You Are Now!

After discussing with her my slight fear that we're going to get eaten by bears while hiking at Glacier National park, a good friend of mine was kind enough to share the following item:

Too funny!  Hopefully BFF and I won't need to put our running skills to the test out on the trails - after completing a half marathon a couple days before, I'm not sure we'd get very far!