Here and There

Gosh, it is hard (and exciting!) to believe that January is already over! I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind fast forwarding through February and straight into March.

I hope those of you runners out there have continued to play it safe. I was pleasantly surprised with the great feedback I got from that post–it is so important for all of us to look out for ourselves.

That being said, it dawned on my yesterday that I haven’t mentioned much of my training as I did when I was training for Tulsa. Maybe because my first marathon was a big deal (as it should be) or the fact that this month has been overwhelmingly, awesomely busy and active, but no worries, training has been happening.

Um sorry, but if I’m going to pay money to run 26.2 miles, I’m going to make it worth it and have some dignity crossing the finish line.

Look! I can run with my eyes closed and nostrils flared! 

I have been tracking my workouts for this training cycle on DailyMile, not necessarily the time spent running or whatever, but mostly just the distance because the numbers make me feel better about myself?

I was comparing my recent numbers to my old weekly mileage and was wondering why it seemed like I wasn’t running as much…because I’m not, duh. I forgot that halfway through training last fall I was hating my life and not having time for anything but running, so I scaled my training back to three days a week and started enjoying life again, as it should be enjoyed!

For the most part, my long runs are still on Thursdays, with 5-10 miles on the other two days I run. I really just run however far I feel like, except on my long runs. Because I would be lying if I ever said I ‘felt’ like running anything more than 16 miles. Last week I moved my 18-miler to Saturday which was a nice change of pace, it was also nice not being on the dreadmill for a long run. I still haven’t been wearing a watch while I run, and still have been a baby when it comes to the cold, windy weather.

I will say though that I kept a rough estimate of how long it took me to run the 18 on Saturday and I will credit my speed to either: 1) wanting to be out of the cold so I ran 18 miles at my half marathon pace (read: 1:30 per mile average faster than my marathon pace…) or 2) running on the treadmill has helped make me faster because I run at a faster pace on that machine than I do when left to my own on the road.

This means I’m definitely hoping to set a PR in Little Rock in 30 days.

Oh and another reason I’m looking forward to March? I bought tickets last week to see this sexy man on St. Patrick’s Day…eeeeep!

Source

Yes, please, thank you and amen.

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Run Safe

Last week I got my butt kicked by a gross cold bug that was going around, but I was determined to not let it deter my mood/training/life…because I’m stubborn. Winter also decided to show up last week and since I am a baby, I didn’t run outside. Being sick + cold + wind = dreadmill. I did 5, 8 and 16 mile runs on the old pal. I’ve been spending enough time on that booger that I almost tricked myself into possibly liking treadmill running.

Almost.

There is just something about being able to listen to Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and LMFAO while catching glimpses of ESPN and hot guys working out while running for three hours that makes the long run a little less…blah. I like people, I like human interaction, I like laughing at the guy that kisses himself in the mirror at the gym. So sue me.

Hahaha

Also, I had some gut feelings. I’m not a person to worry or fret, but there was just something, you know that gut feeling? I listened to mine.

One thing that people, women especially, need to be aware of while running is being safe. Here are some points that I thought of while on my long run that I always abide by and are worth taking a look at, especially if you are newer to running and wanting to maybe venture out a little, or if you are just into being safe.

  • Make sure people know where you are going/what your route is, tell them when you are leaving and what time to expect you back. I always make sure someone (usually Aleeza) knows what time to expect to hear from me after a long run, and if I don’t get in contact with her in a certain time frame, she knows something is up
  • Don’t run outside with an iPod/headphones. For the love of all things that are good, this is my biggest pet peeve with people running outdoors, especially women. Your sense of awareness is greatly diminished when you’ve got Kanye blaring in your ears and make yourself a vulnerable target. If you absolutely must run with music, have it turned down low and be VERY aware of your surroundings.
  • Pepper spray is not always safe to carry. Many people suggest carrying mace/small weapon (yes I’m serious, pocketknife, etc.) while out running alone, but just because you have it doesn’t mean that it will help you. There are instances where the victim’s weapons will be used against them by the attacker, putting them in a worse position than to begin with.
  • Say hello and make eye contact with every person you pass/see. Even if they don’t respond, make your presence known. Saying hello lets the other person know that you are aware of their presence, and strong eye contact is a sign of confidence.
  • Remember people. I make it a point on every run to remember every person I see, their clothing, distinct features, where I saw them, and what direction they were going. If for any reason I needed a description, it is good to have.
  • Change up your routine. Don’t run a regular route on the same day at the same time on a weekly basis; people pick up on patterns even if you don’t realize it. Still run in areas that you are comfortable/familiar with, but don’t become a target.
  • Run with people. This is a hard one for me, because sometimes I prefer running alone. There are power in numbers though, I have had friends join me for 4-5 mile legs of long runs, and other times I have taken my dog out for a jaunt, dropped her off and finished my distance. Do what works for you.
  • Brush up on your judo. Ok maybe not judo, but know some basic self defense moves. Before I started running, I was seriously into boxing and kickboxing, and thankfully still know all of the basic moves of self defense. If you don’t know them, that’s what Google is for. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on some mechanisms.
  • Listen to your gut instinct. If you feel like an area is unsafe, don’t run there. If you have a weird feeling about a certain route, change it. If you feel like something is behind you, turn around. We are given those instincts for a reason and don’t be afraid to use them
  • Don’t wear your hair in a pony tail, braid or pigtails. I know this one sounds stupid, but when your hair is like this, especially if alone, you’re giving a potential attacker something to grab onto. This is seriously the reason why I wear my hair in a hot mess bun every time I go running, solely for safety reasons. It’s harder for someone to grab you from behind when your hair isn’t flailing around behind your head.

This is an uncomfortable subject to discuss because no one wants to think about the ‘what if’s’ and the bad things that could potentially happen while doing something you love. It’s not about constantly worrying, but being self aware.

Protect yourself, know what is surrounding you, be proactive, be powerful!

Welcome to My Blog

You think your Google searches are weird?

One thing that I get a kick out of are the searches that lead people to my blog–here are some of the strangest ones I’ve seen, along with my responses.

  1. Fitness woman– I will take this as a compliment, thank you.
  2. Chubby Chinese baby– They are adorable and no I don’t have any
  3. My pants are already unbuckled– Um, unbuckled for what, might I ask?
  4. Sinless cake batter– Does this exist? When you find it please call me.
  5. Treadmill hogs at the gym– Yes those people are rude. Especially the ones who run 20 miles on them or whatever. Just plain rude.
  6. Ate tacobell woke up with aching abdomen– Don’t eat Taco Bell, I think that’s what you get. I am sorry.
  7. Sexy girl running hot– HA! You are at the wrong blog for that.
  8. Runner poops while running-This has not happened to me yet, but if it ever does, the blog will be the first place I share it. I have no shame.
  9. Slacking in bed images– Interpret this as you will. I don’t know what you’re speaking of.
  10. Riding up shows my nutsboxer shorts blog– I am genuinely sorry for you. This would be a good time for a possible revaluation of your undergarments.

Marathon Training Un-plan

As I promised (like you care), it’s time to serve an update of my life on marathon training.

I am almost positive that I was bit pretty hard by the marathon bug before I even ran my first one back in November. This being said, I had been eyeing other races in September and October for this upcoming year, and came across an advertisement for the Little Rock Marathon in March. My friend Drew ran it last year and he always has good things to say about the races he does, so I figured, “Why not?” Of course, the purple and silver disco themed promo material didn’t hurt in peaking my interest…show me glitter and pretty colors and I’m in.

I mean, how could you say no to these people trying to get you to sign up for a race??

I knew that the Little Rock Marathon was having a booth at the Route 66 expo and sure enough (for a discounted rate), I signed up for my second marathon before I ever ran my first. After Route 66 came and went, I knew that I needed a break from a training plan. I had invested over four months and more than 450 miles (running) into the my first marathon and for my body, sanity, and life…I needed a break.

December was deemed a ‘maintenance’ month–which meant that I didn’t live at the local fro-yo shop and let myself become lazy, though it sounded so appealing. December was spent doing workouts that I fully enjoyed, be it Zumba (yes please!) three times a week, cross training, and pumping some iron to attempt to get buff. There were also a few runs sprinkled in every week because I found that I actually missed running! Yet no run exceeded 8 miles, because that’s what I wanted.

I also worked on my insides in my ‘maintenance’ month. With a couple of small exceptions (ahem, Christmas) I cleaned up my diet, completely cut out caffeine and focused on getting my body back where I wanted it. I weighed more at the race in Tulsa than I was happy with and knew that by losing weight it would only help me…mission accomplished! I’m back to a weight where I am comfortable and my jeans are no longer too snug.

Now it’s January…and I am nearly done with week two of training. This training is pretty un-planned and these are the reasons why:

  • I am only spending 8 weeks on training this time around, a far cry (hallelujah) from the 16 weeks I put in for my first marathon
  • The only weekly distances I actually have planned out are my long runs–I know how much I need to run and I know what my weekly mileage needs to be at, it is just my responsibility to make it happen

So that’s basically it. An accelerated training plan and I feel like I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants on this one which I am perfectly happy with. I still have my ‘run less run faster’ idea of training as I did last time because I know it works for me. I run on Monday, Thursday and Saturdays and ensure one long run, one tempo run, and one recovery run.

I also have to be flexible with this training, winter finally showed up yesterday and brought some snow, 40mph wind gusts and wind chills dipping below zero. It was long run Thursday and I was not going to subject myself to that torture, so I saddled up on the dreadmill and turned in 14 miles while watching Warrior (on my iPhone).

Mmmm…please keep me company on a long run any time

 Also, if I fall running when the conditions are absolutely perfect, I was pretty sure I would greatly increase my chances of taking a mad fall on the snice (snow and ice combo) and wasn’t going to risk it. Which I’m sure Tom Hardy would find absolutely adorable.

So that’s how it’s going so far. It’s not something I really think about, I just do it. These past weeks have been nuts and I always feel so mentally cleared and relieved after my runs lately–which has made me realize how much I love and dare I say…need running? I’m a happier person because of running, I’m healthier, and better to be around for everyone in my life. It’s about six weeks out from the race and I don’t even know if this one will hit me until I’m actually running it, much like Tulsa. I was having people pinch me even at the expo the day BEFORE the race because I couldn’t really believe it.

Running marathons is still incredibly surreal. I guess this means my dreams really are coming true, because they’re too good to believe. Maybe I’ll believe it when I get this awesome medal around my neck on March 4th…ohhh yeah!

I feel like I’m going to need a glitter outfit for this one.

My Life on Crack

Do you ever have those days where you couldn’t tell anyone a single detail of what happened that day because so much was going on that it all was kind of a blur? That’s about how my past several days have been. These days haven’t been wasted that’s for sure, but looking back, I’m kind of like, “Wait, what happened again?”

Getting into the swing of things this year has been a change, there’s no doubt about that. Extra busy-ness at work, trying to make the most of time and marathon training again has left me in a whirlwind. I can’t complain though; it’s in these times that I thrive and am most productive it seems.

I also am fully enjoying the incredibly mild winter we have been having….seriously, we have had average highs in the 50’s since December with NO SNOW! I’m pretty sure my prayers have been answered. But for long run Thursday this week, the high is supposed to be 26. What gives?

Last Thursday for my 12-miler I started off my in standard running skirt, Nike tank, arm warmers, ear warmers and gloves and about 4 miles in I had stripped off everything but my tank and skirt. I sweat a lot and I think the temperature was well into the 50’s at this point, then an old couple who thought they were funny said to me as I passed by, “Don’t you think you’re jumping the gun on spring? Ha-ha-ha.” Not funny, old people, not funny. If you were running and not sitting on a bench by the stream you would probably be a little warmer.

Want to know something else that’s funny? I’m clumsy, very clumsy…it’s in my genes. Thanks, Mom. Yesterday I was out for a 5-mile run and it was cold, so naturally, I ran faster than I normally do. This was the first time I’ve ran with a watch in a LONG time and I was happily surprised to see I was consistently holding a 9:00-9:30 pace the whole time (yes that is fast for me…I am slow. I know this). As I was turning into my neighborhood, I don’t know if I was just tired or what but as I slowed down, I tripped over a raised crack in the ground. I ended up in the street with a skinned left knee, scraped and bruised right thigh, a skinned right elbow, and my gloves both ripped to shreds. I sat up in the street and thought, “OUCH,” but got up immediately because I didn’t want anyone to see or think there was actually something wrong with me, and I continued the jog home and couldn’t help but thinking, “Kelsey, did that seriously just happen??” I haven’t skinned my knees or elbows since I was a kid and felt like a huge dork. Running is a simple motion, putting one foot in front of the other and I still manage to get hurt and make myself look like a goof.

For the record, I have now tripped while running, gotten pooped on by a bird while running, and had an altercation with a vehicle while running. Good track record I have going on here. If you want to know my secrets of being awesome at running I will be happy to divulge details so that you too, can reach my level of awesome.

I need help.

Also, since I don’t really do the whole multiple posts in one day kind of thing (lately it hasn’t even been multiple posts in one week which I HATE and will be changing as soon as I get my crap together…aka now), I will be writing a follow up to this post entitled, Marathon Training on Crack. No, I’m not on drugs. I just want to get in the habit of posting about my training at least once a week like I did for my first marathon. Training is on crack because I’m running a marathon in 53 days. Yessssss.

Keep it real, friends. Happy Tuesday!

 

Hello 2012!

Here we are four days into the new year and I am finally able to sit and write a post! If this week is any indicator to how my year will be…I think I might love it! 2011 was a great year and so much happened, but I (almost) always welcome change with open arms.

Of course with the new year comes resolutions to last an average of 23 days.

Last year I didn’t make a single resolution, goal, ambition, anything. I detested 2010 and was happy to see it gone forever, and knew anything 2011 had in store would be better. Much to my surprise, 2011 rocked my world…it really was a year that changed my life.

I think that I developed a quality last year that I haven’t had since I was younger, the desire to want more. To be better, stronger, faster, and greater than whatever I had done prior. This has become applicable to all areas of my life, I want to volunteer more, run more, and grow more and so on. This leads me to my goals for this year, it’s time to grow and make some great stuff happen!

Goals for 2012

1. Run 4 marathons in 4 different states
I have a long term goal of running a marathon in all 50 states by the time I am thirty which scares me because it’s something I could potentially fail at, but am going for it anyways. In March I will be running the Little Rock Marathon in Arkansas and in April I will be running the Oz Marathon here in my hometown in Kansas. Later this year I possibly like to run the Omaha Marathon (Nebraska) in September and the Dallas White Rock Marathon (Texas) in December. The later races are ones I have tentatively planned, and I would love to find a fifth state to knock out this year as well. 2.

2. Run a 50k or other ultramarathon
Last August, the North Face Endurance Challenge presented Kansas City with a 50k (32 mile) road race and I am hoping and praying it comes back this year. If not, I want to find another ultra to run by the year’s end.
3. Become a certified personal trainer 
It’s obvious that I have a passion for health, fitness and nutrition and want to begin to see what other opportunities can become available through that. This month I am purchasing materials for either the ACE or NASM programs and would like to be certified by the end of the summer. I would eventually love to become a running coach or have my own business.
4. Run a marathon to raise money for a great cause
I am hoping that this will happen at the Oz Marathon in April–the main reason why I am planning on doing that race is in hopes to raise money to benefit someone/a cause. There are so many people that I would love to run in honor of and organizations that I know I can raise money for, it’s just that I need to pick one and get on it. Please keep a lookout for something regarding me raising money for _____? If you don’t see anything, hunt me down and kick my butt. Full permission is granted.
5. Be more financially responsible
This is the least fun, but possibly one of the most important goals. Last year I did okay financially, with budgeting and saving but I know I can do MUCH better, more notably with being organized in my finances. This goal is entirely personal, just something I need to hold myself accountable for and get done.
Of course I have smaller goals that I will incorporate into these major ones, but these are the goals I am looking to achieve in the next 361 days. Some of them scare me and I don’t know how they will all happen, but you know what they say…
“If your dreams don’t scare you then you’re not dreaming big enough.”
What are your goals for 2012? Please share!!!