Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active. I'll be keeping up my 101 in 1001 list until its completion, but will not be writing new posts. You can read the post below if you want the long version. Thanks for the journey to all my friends in the blogosphere!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is there a pattern here?

I know I have fallen off the side of the earth lately, but don't be offended, it's not just blogging I've neglected but fitness/nutrition in general. It was Thanksgiving...I wasn't the only one off track, right?

I've always wanted to run a holiday morning race. I would feel like a member of a secret society: getting up while everyone else is sleeping in, sneaking out to meet with my fellow runners, getting in a good workout, and then being home and showered in time to cook and celebrate. Although the closest Thanksgiving race was a little too far away, for the past few years my mom and I have created our own little Thankgiving morning long run tradition. It makes you feel just a little teensy bit justified in that extra (or extra 4) sourdough roll when you put in a good 5 miler in the morning.

We stayed here with my husband's family this year, so I couldn't get in my run with my mom, butI did, however, get out for my own personal "Turkey Trot." It felt really good to get out, but it's amazing how slow and lazy I've become in a matter of a few weeks! Something about this particular run made me reflective though and I started thinking about past and new goals.

When I got home, I broke out my little "Workout Log" that I recieved for Christmas four years ago. I was in great shape then; I just got home from studying abroad in Spain and had been running to explore the town I lived in and joined a gym in one of many failed attempts to "immerse myself in the native language." (I learned a lot of really crucial aerobics and dance class lingo, like "squat" and "stomp your right foot," but I didn't have many other interactions with the Spanish women who were working out. Their approach to exercise is a little different and I never quite understood the appeal of working out in heels. I think most of them thought I was a little goofy, too, because I was the only one who ran to the gym.)

In my workout log, I was surprised to see that I'm not that far off from where I was then. I've got some more pounds and inches to lose, but not as many as I thought. Glancing through the "Goals" page, I recognize many of the same things I'm working on now: "less Diet Coke, more fruit and vegetables," "consistent strength training," faster 5K times.

(I found a race time in the log that I couldn't find when I posted my previous race results. I remembered this race because it was on Christmas Eve, but could not find my time anywhere. I have it now and it's actually a post-high school PR! It's only 3 seconds different from my 5K from a few months ago...further evidence that things don't change much!

Mooresville Fire Department 5K
December 24, 2009

I'm remembering now also that I ran 14 miles the day before that, stayed out late with my friends in Charlotte and then met my mom at that race early that morning...I wonder if I would have had a better PR with a little rest.)

There is one goal from that page, however, that I have achieved: Complete a Marathon. So, at least I've made a little progress. Between now and the end of the year, I want to tune up so I can set my sights on my goals for 2010. I've got some ideas, but none are set yet.

What about y'all? Am I the one that sets goals for the end of the year, in preparation for new goals for the new year?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Exercise, nice to meet you again!

Whether I wanted it or not, I think my body was just bound and determined to have a month off after the marathon...at least that's what I'm saying to make myself feel better about how lazy I've been the past three weeks.

I've been really surprised, that despite a plethora of poor fitness and nutritional decisions, I haven't gained back any weight since the marathon. That puts me in a scary place though because I've had this feeling before and it's always right before the weight sneaks back up and attacks me!

I got back on the Jillian Michaels/running train today. I need a race though. Both my old college roommates are planning marathons in 2010; one will run the Nashville marathon in April with her husband and the other is contemplating a June marathon in Minnesota with her mom. I need a plan, too, but I need some more local options.

Anybody know any can't-miss races (from 5Ks to marathon) in the Carolinas?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rained In

A few weeks ago, we were working on data analysis in my class. My third and four graders made circle graphs to show how they would use 24 hours in an ideal day. Many of their first drafts looked kind of like this:After some work on fractional pieces, time, daily needs (i.e. sleep, food, etc.), and keys, they were much improved, but many of them still had some pretty quirky days planned. One of my darling students scheduled 4 hours for "washing my hair", and 2 hours for "eating pie."

That was funny and all, until today, which put me in mind of that graph. Except I haven't washed my hair.

I had a very long list of things I wanted to accomplish on my Wednesday off today, but as per usual, I've only crossed off a few. It has been raining non-stop all day and I just decided I would be not going out into it. So I've stayed in and looking back it would make a pretty sad circle graph. I would need wedges for:
  • watching multiple documentaries on NetFlix on demand
  • cooking
  • grading papers
  • eating pie
  • eating other food of approximately the same nutritional value of pie
  • laundry
...and that's pretty much it. I've opened the door to let the cat in and out, but otherwise have not been into the world.

Maybe I should dust off the treadmill...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The advantage to living in a fitness-backward community is...

winning the one and only race of the year!

This weekend was our small town's big yearly festival and one of the annual events is a 5K/8K run. (I had thought it was a 10K before, but I was mistaken.) To my knowledge, this is the only 5K or 8K race in the county. All. year. long.

Are we a little fitness-backwards here? Anyway....

I was thrilled to come out and participate in this event and was very curious to see who else would be there. There are a few other people I know in town who run occasionally, but I wasn't sure who would come to race.

There were approximately three people milling about a half hour before the race started, including the woman taking registrations. When I filled out my form, I asked her how many people had signed up for the 8K and she said I was the thirteenth. As in there were only 13 people in the race, 30 minutes prior to start time.

I didn't know whether to be sad that there were so few participants for our town's singular running event or thrilled that I might have a chance at winning this thing. As the rest of the runners arrived over the next 20 minutes, I scoped them out to decide how fast they looked and which race they'd be in. There were two women who looked like they might be contenders, but I was pretty sure they were in the 5K. It was so bizarre to actually thinking about not just finishing a race, but possibly winning. And not just an age group, but the whole event! I tried to channel my little sister who at age 17, has won dozens of races, including a women's 5K of nearly 2000 participants. (We didn't exactly get the same running genes...) Everybody looked pretty casual, except two serious-runner men types with little belts for their race numbers. (I assumed they were from out of town.)

At 8:00, they herded our small group to the start line and very uncermoniously started a stop watch and told us to, "Go on." I went out fast and was only behind a few high schoolers (who I was pretty sure were only 5Kers) and one of the serious racing men. The other serious-runner caught up to me in just a moment. He and I talked briefly and it turned out he was local, too and lives near the school where I teach!

Of course, if you remember, he was a serious running type though, and while being very nice about it, left me in the dust very quickly. The course went through all the same little neighborhoods I normally run through and I was just by myself the rest of the race. They had little arrows at the corners where we were supposed to turn, but that was it. I could see the orange jersey of the serious runner ahead of me (looking back every so often to make sure I made the right turn), but didn't see anybody else until a little loop about mile 3. When I saw the next runner was a good bit behind me, but not completely out of distance, it gave me some motivation to keep up the pace!

I picked up the pace a little on the last mile and sprinted the last tenth where there were about 10 spectators cheering. People were smiling and the guy wrote down my time at the end, but I was instantly disappointed because I knew I must not have won. The high school girl must have run the 8K because surely they would have congratulated me on winning if I was first, I thought.

I thought I'd have a decent time if nothing else so I asked for my time and for what place I came in and honestly the stopwatch guy looked a little perplexed that I'd ask for either. He told me, "Oh it was somewhere around 44 minutes and you were second after that guy in the orange."

Well, that was good enough for me! I was so ridiculously excited and ran over and high-fived the orange jerseyed runner. It was the one and only race I will probably ever win! I thought it was pretty darn exciting! I think I'm supposed to even get a trophy.

So, bask in the glory, becuase this is only post I'll ever write about winning a race! Thanks, small town of non-runners! : )

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Okay, I've got to get this off my chest:

I have not run, not even once, since the marathon.

I've done two minute sprints in my Jillian Michaels plan, and I've almost ran (like when I went two blocks last week) a couple of times, but that's it.

And I have fallen off the Jillian Michaels wagon all week long. It has been a very long, not-get-home-until-well-after-dark week and it just hasn't happened.

I did receive my very first grant for my classroom today, though! I was ridiculously giddy when I opened the enevelope in the copy room and almost hugged the custodian who was innocently standing by. Then, I busted in on my principal while she was observing another teacher because I was too excited to wait to show her.

So, it's definitely been an exercise FAIL week, but at least it's not a complete FAIL. Tomorrow's the beginning of the weekend and fresh starts!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Really, half a year?

Since I haven't really been running at all for the past few weeks, I forgot about posting my October mileage. Putting it together now, I realized I've been blogging and keeping up with my running (mostly) for 6 months now...which seems to have flown by.

October 1

5 miles, Lowes and back, fartlek

October 4
13 miles, around town...sick of long runs loops by myself

October 7
2 miles, downtown
(Am I really running a marathon in less than 2 weeks?)

October 11
10 miles, Lowes and back, courthouse loop, McDonald's and back

October 15
2 miles, around UNC-W campus

October 16
2 miles, Grinnell, Iowa

October 18
26.2 miles!!!!! Des Moines Marathon

May Total: 43.5 miles

June Total: 50.5 miles

July Total: 76 miles

August Total: 49 miles

September Total: 75 miles

October Total: 60 miles

6 Month Total: 354 miles

Monday, November 2, 2009

(Relatively) Guilt Free Weekends

I've been through 2 weekends now since the big race and I'm pretty spoiled already. It feels like such a luxury to not worry about staying hyper-hydrated and rested! I woke up yesterday morning and for a moment felt a little twinge pre-long-run worry...How would I squeeze in a 2+ hour run?...would I be able to complete it?...what is the weather like?...and then I remembered: No long run today!

As much as I love running, it's been a relief to have to worry about where I am in a training schedule. I feel completely maxed out with work and school right now and it feels like one less thing to worry about right now.


I know this is a very bad complacent place for me to be. I took off for a short jog on Thursday and, literally, two blocks in, said, "Oh forget about it...I have too much else to do." I'm obviously not maintaining marathon endurance...or even 5K endurance, at this rate. I'm keeping up with my Jillian Michaels, but I need to get back out on the road, too.

I'm running a local 10K this weekend and then I think it might be time to set my sights on a new running goal, whether it be another race or something for me personally. It's not the right time to start over my 365, but I need something to tide me over until then.

Obviously, just a healthy routine of regular exercise would make sense and all, but I've found, for me, a goal is necessary.

What running/exercise/life goals are y'all working on? Am I the only one that needs a moving target?