Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I hate spring

I know I'm probably going to get some flack about this, especially from those of you who are still experiencing winter weather.

This is the weather forecast for the next 5 days.  The high temp seems reasonable, it's the stupid wind every.single.day that has me frustrated.  It's not even considered windy unless the winds average over 20mph, but to me 15+mph winds most days combined with seasonal allergies =  no fun.

Since running after work hasn't been working out for me for one reason or another, I'm going to try running tomorrow morning before work.  It looks like the temp will be about ~40deg at that time which isn't too bad.

For what it's worth, my favorite season is fall.  I *love* fall.  But spring.  Blah.  Not a fan.  How about you?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wind, wind, go away...

Let me begin by saying that it was windy on Saturday.  REALY windy.  Something like 25-30 mph winds with 50-60 mph gusts. Blustery.  Very blustery.

The plan for the morning was to run 3 miles, then do a 5K fun run.  What actually happened is that we begrudgingly ran 3 miles, then talked about skipping the fun run.   

But the fun run was to celebrate a new running store opened by our running coach.  A dream come true for him.  How could we skip out on that?  So we decided to do the run anyway.  But with the cold wind, it really sucked, and we ended up bailing after 2.5 miles.  Because we could.  And because it was decidedly not fun with the wind.

And a side note.  My Garmin is trying to commit Garmin suicide.  I can't get the buttons to work, and couldn't get it to turn off the other day.  So I have no idea how fast we ran on Saturday, but I'm pretty sure it was on the slow side.

Fast forward to Sunday.  The plan was to run 6 miles.  But my running partner had to cancel leaving me with a decision. I didn't want to run 6 by myself, but didn't want to totally skip an opportunity to do SOMETHING, so decided to get out on my bike. 

Smiling - before the ride
I decided to go with the bike.  I knew I hadn't been on it for awhile, but I didn't realize how long it had been. I actually had to remove the race numbers from my bike from the triathlon back in August. 

Yikes! That was like 7 months ago!  Has it really been that long?!?!

Decided on a fairly short, but somewhat hilly route.  Compared to the blustery winds on Saturday, the 10-15 mph winds this afternoon seemed mildly breezy.  But the wind, combined with my lack of cycling, resulted in it being much more difficult than it really should have been.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I got out there, but it wasn't fun.

Where does that leave me?

Well, for someone who does all of this for fun, a not-fun run on Saturday and a not-fun ride on Sunday made for a not-so-awesome weekend. To be honest, I'm feeling discouraged. I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm not really succeeding at that right now. Sigh.

I'm supposed to run a 10K in a month.  I'm not feeling very confident about that.  I think I'm going to sign up for another 10K that is about 3 weeks after that (Zoo Run).  I'm thinking that maybe that's the one to target, and use the first one for practice.

[Updated to add:  It's a done deal.  I've signed up for the Run for the Zoo 10K.  I will also do the Albuquerque Half Marathon 10K, but that will be in prep for the Zoo run rather than treated as a race.  I think that's a good plan. Fingers crossed that it goes well!].

Friday, March 22, 2013

Where did the week go?!?

Ran this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday and had high expectations to run on both Tuesday and Thursday after work.

On Tuesday, my running partner cancelled.  I could have run by myself, but opted to walk my dogs instead.  We went on our "regular" 2 mile hill walk.  The dogs loved it.  I haven't been walking the hill very much recently, so I really felt it in my glutes.

The next afternoon, I started coming down with some weird ailment.  Chills and body ache like I had a fever, but no actual fever.  Worked from home on Thursday and sadly cancelled my run.  While I think it was the right thing to do, it's disappointing that it's now Friday and I haven't run at all since the weekend.  First week that I could fully take advantage of  DST and nada on the running front.

At this point, I'm planning on running solo today.  Then tomorrow we're probably going to run 3 miles before a 5K fun run, then the actual fun run.  Sounds like a good plan at the moment, I'm sure I'll be questioning my sanity during the fun run portion tomorrow though.  LOL.  The bottom line is that I need to be training for a 10K and a simple 5K run tomorrow won't get me there.

In other news:  Husband & I celebrated our "almost silver" anniversary on Monday. Things change as the years pass by, but life is good. Son (who goes to school in California) will be spending the summer in Seattle due to landing an intership there; we will likely go visit sometime in late June.  Daughter (who goes to school here in NM)  is spending this weekend in the Chicago area to visit her Navy boyfriend who graduates bootcamp today and has day liberty until he starts A school next week.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Transitioning to DST

Yes, I know the rest of you did the whole Daylight Savings thing a week ago, but we spent the week in AZ so I didn't end up transitioning to DST until we got back.

Saguaro - We don't have those at home
While we were gone, we ran a few times.  Husband asked if I noticed a difference running in AZ.  Did it feel easier?  It should have, we had plenty of oxygen at the lower altitude.  But I didn't have my Garmin and don't know how fast I was going.  It would be easier to tell a difference if I could say, for the same effort I was going faster or for the same speed it was so much easier.  I would probably really be able to tell a difference on hills, but we ran on a flat surface.  So, not really sure.

It was nice to run in shorts in the morning instead of tights; it was much warmer than at home in central New Mexico.  Actually it was quite pleasant during the first half of the week, but then it got freaking hot and I was ready to go home.

Back to the topic of DST.  Let me just tell you - the alarm seemed to go off REALLY early today. Generally speaking, I'm a fan of DST.  This week we'll have plenty of daylight after work to run!  But it is definitely tough in the morning.

What are your thoughts on DST?  Fan or Foe?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hi-Visibility Clothing

A few of my running friends have recently commented that they can always see me coming "from a mile away."  Hahahah.  I don't know if it's true that they can see me from that far away, but it means that I've been successful in my quest to be seen.  Being an invisible runner can be dangerous.  In contrast, being highly visible means less likely a car won't notice you.

Depending on the weather, here are my three go-to pieces for being highly visible

For warmish weather I have what I call my 'safety cone orange' shirt.  Sometimes worn with some pretty wild arm arm warmers.  But I couldn't find it.  So this will have to do.The black shorts, the skirt, even the arm warmers don't really stand out in this blurry camera phone photo.  But the safety cone orange shirt does!

For cooler weather I like my Brooks Night-life half-zip.  I'm told that the green color really glows in the sunlight. In this photo, I was standing in the shade, and it still stands out (which is good, I want to be seen in both good and poor lighting conditions)

When temps are frigid, I wear this jacket with the florescent yellow body.  Yellow in the front and back.  Black sleeves.  Even in the photo, you can see how the yellow stands out and the black just disappears into the background.  That's why I try to avoid running in black as an outer layer.

Your turn!  What are some of your favorite hi-visibility pieces?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Running and Stress Reduction

Ever have anyone ask you why you run?  More and more, I realize that I'm a very social runner.  I almost always run with someone else.  I have a hard time motivating myself to run alone.  I guess the social aspect must be one of the main reasons that I run.

But what I find even more interesting, is how I feel when I don't run as often as I want.  I don't really feel lonely. I don't necessarily miss my friends.  Despite it being a social activity, I don't necessarily miss the social part so much. However, I definitely notice an increase in my stress level. I also become more irritable and more easily agitated.  Clearly, running must be a large part of my coping strategy, a way to deal with stress even if I don't recognize that as one of the main reasons why I run.

I'm not sure if it's the running itself or the combination of running and talking that works so well for me.  Whatever it is, it works. So going with an analogy along the lines of the saying that running is cheaper than therapy*, perhaps my running partners are my therapists and the trail is my couch, or something like that.

Where am I going with this?

As it turns out, I haven't been able to run after work during the week since November due to lack of daylight.  Eek!  Not a recipe for a happy me.

Well, we finally have just enough daylight to make a 30 min run possible.  So I met up with two of my running friends after work yesterday, so we ran.  Afterwards, I felt terrific!  Not in the "this was a great run the way that people who normally measure runs" kind of way, but in a "wow, I forgot how effective running is at melting away my mid-week stress, especially right after work!"  I'd venture to guess that my co-workers will find me much more pleasant to be around today.

How about you?  Is running a big part of your coping strategy as well?  If so, do you find that running solo works for you?  Or are you a social running like me? 

* I'm not fully convinced that running actually *is* cheaper than therapy.  However, I am certain that it is more fun.  ;-)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Half the battle is in your mind...

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." - John Wooden

Not sure how (or if) I'm going to work that quote into my post today, but it seems like a good thought, especially for a Monday.

Over the course of the past 4 days, I managed to "run" (and I use the term loosely) a total of 16.9 miles.  May not seem like much to you, but given that I only ran 29.4 miles the entire month of February, this is a step up for me.

Here's the best part.  On Sunday afternoon, I was running with my running partner and we were both feeling really sluggish.  We had decided to run "to the gate" which essentially means until the path we were on dead ends.  We were maybe half a mile from the gate when I abruptly turned around and said "I just can't do this today."  But then I decided that was crazy talk.  I could in fact do this, I simply didn't want to.  And actually, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, I actually *did* want to.  So we turned around again, screamed "We can do this!" and in fact went all the way to the gate.  Huzzah!  Positive self-talk for the win!

I deserve a cookie or 12 for that, don't you think?  No?  Well how about something fitness-related then?  Better?  Yeah, I thought so too.  I am now the happy owner of a second pair of the new Merrell Mix Master Move Glide, this time in the greenish color scheme.  You can't really tell from the photo, but they are some BRIGHT shoes.  

Truth be told, I bought the shoes before my break-through positive self-talk moment.  But at least now I feel like I deserve them.  And as you may have guessed, this means that I have decided that I am happy with this particular style.  

Mondays are typically my rest day, but there is a part of me that is itching to get on my bike.  Looking at the weather, it probably won't happen today.  The forecast for the afternoon shows crazy wind (30mph-ish).  Ick. Okay, maybe tomorrow... 

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Feb Numbers and March Plans


  • 48.9 miles by feet (20.0 miles walking, 29.8 miles running)
  • 1 race (sweetheart 5K)
  • 2 visits to chiropractor (grrrr....stupid back)
  • 1 pair new running shoes (Merrell move glide)
  • 1 pair new glasses (and hey...I like them!)
  • 2 birthdays (mine and husband's)
  • 2nd t-shirt quilt (love it!)
  • 1 vacation planned
  • 1 year long "photo a day" project completed
  • February always seems to be a challenge for me.  And once again, not really the numbers I wanted to achieve.  But it is what it is.  No looking back.  Just looking forward.
  • The time change is just around the corner.  I expect my running to increase when the opportunity to run in daylight after work presents itself again.  
  • This weekend I'm planning to register for the 10K at the Albuquerque Half Marathon.  I need a goal to help me get serious about running again.