Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active.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!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Shred!

I just put Jillian Michael's "The Shred" on my Netflix queue and I'm very excited about its impending arrival! I've had the "Making the Cut" book for months, but if you've been reading for a while, you know I don't have an exactly stellar track record with strength training. I'm pretty sure my record is making it to Day 6 of the 30 day book.

So, how about another approach? I've heard about many others having success with "The Shred" so I'm thinking the video might be a little more structured than flipping back and forth through a book to look up exercises.

So we'll see!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Timed Tuesday

So, now that I'm running again, I'm actually having blogging ideas again. (Who knew that running could inspire ideas for a running blog?!) In fact, I have even been struck by alliteration!
In high school, I had a love/hate relationship with track workouts. I have a little bit of a competitive streak, so it's kind of fun to sprint around for some kind of goal, but...y'all, running fast is hard work.

So, I have never really been good about incorporating speedwork into my training. Even when I'm following a plan, I just kind of skim over the speed days and get in the mileage at a just-whatever pace. This approach is fine for building endurance and getting through races, but it doesn't make you any faster.

Now, I don't plan on becoming obsessed with any certain time or pace (Boston qualifier, I am not.), but it would nice to drop my PRs a little. With Tuesday already being the speed day on my plan (and I think on many others as well), I've decided to start, "Timed Tuesdays," in which I commit to reporting my speed progress.

This week, I'm just easing in to it and I got my speed workout in a very accidental way. My husband ran with me to visit with his grandma, but warned me he wanted to get back in time for the six o'clock news. (If you know him, you already know how big a deal The News is him.) Well, the grandma visit took a little longer than anticipated and when we left, we were pushing news time. I have never seen my husband run like that. I was really, really pushing to keep up with him. (In my defense, his legs are about a foot longer than mine.)

So, my speed work for today was an accelerated 1 and half miles keeping up with my husband's long legs racing to get home to watch the news!

What was your speed work or best time for this Timed Tuesday? You can claim a time from any day this week...Tuesday's just got that whole alliteration thing going on. : )

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Virtual Motivation via Virtual 10K

I was wandering around in blogland this afternoon, putting off my first "long run" of this training plan and I came across Casey's Virtual 10K, scheduled for today. It was obvious that this was the kick that I needed to get out the door and moving.

I've never participated in a virtual race before, but the general gist is just that you run the distance and then send in your time to the organizer. Casey has taken this even one step further and is offering knitted prizes! I don't think I'll be getting one of the fastest time prizes, but maybe I'll get one of the "random" finisher's knitted wrist warmers. I would be pretty jazzed about that.

Anyway, I had an amazing run! I have only run about 5 times since October and was a little concerned that it might be a stretch to run 6 miles.

Since this was a race, I had to locate my sports watch, which I haven't used in years. (You can tell I have a real dedication to speedwork, right? When I studied abroad in Spain, I forgot to pack my watch and was too cheap to buy a new one. So I ran for 3 months without one and learned to really love just listening to my body and gauging my own speed. I usually glance at a clock before and after a run to get a general time, but I get distracted looking at my time if I wear a watch and my run seems to take FOREVER. Same thing with the treadmill clock.) Even though I've moved approximately 7 times since I last wore this watch, because I remembered seeing it in a bag mentally labeled "Things I don't really know where to put" when I was looking for something else a few months ago of my extreme organization skills, I knew right where it was. Unfortunately, it was dead and even after several resuscitation attempts (I ended up taking apart the watch trying to change the battery...), I just gave up.

Luckily, I remembered the stopwatch feature on my Blackberry and just hit it on the way out, leaving it by the door. I just had a nice steady run around town and am just overjoyed that I can still pound out 6 miles without event. I really credit the Virtual 10K with my pace though...if I didn't have that motivation, I probably would have gotten lazy and walked some.As, it was, I was very pleased with my time and am starting to feel like a runner again!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ready to Run

For the first time in a long time, I got a real urge to run today! We had a teacher workday today and I was still piddling around in my classroom at 4:30 when I just got the feeling that I just had to get out there and run! I even left a pile of unsorted mess on the floor beside my desk and just flew out the door to get home and change before dark.

The weather is GORGEOUS right now and perfect for running. We had a streak for about a month where it was uncharacteristically cold for coastal North Carolina and I dreaded going outside for weeks. Against fashion advice, I had taken to wearing my ski jacket (rather than my lovely, long wool coat) everywhere I went.

So, it seemed ridiculous and wonderful to go for a jog in shorts and t-shirt today! I went on a route that I thought was 3 miles, but upon gmap-ing it...I fell short. Which is kinda pathetic. There are more runs to be completed this week though!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Next Half Marathon

So, after months of piddling around without a plan...looking at races, but not registering...thinking about training, but not running, but yesterday, I finally decided to make a commitment!

I registered for the inaugural Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon on March 21st and I'm very excited about a busy 9 weeks of training ahead!

It wasn't until after I already paid my non-refundable fee that I actually calculated and realized there are only 9 weeks until race day. That fact startled me for just a minute, but I immediately knew it was possible.

Before my first cross-country season in high school, 3 miles seemed like an impossible distance. Then I did it. I still got a little nervous about those 5Ks, until my first triathlon. Suddenly, 3 miles was not that big a deal. Those triathlons kinda stressed me out though, until my first 1/2 marathon. Then they were old hat.

Until last October though, 13.1 was my biggest feat. Training for each 1/2 marathon felt like a test of my limits and I went into each race fearful that I would not finish.

Now, even though I've only ran twice this month, even though I haven't done more than 5 miles in months, I can look that upcoming 1/2 marathon in the eye with no fear. I am a marathoner, gosh darnit, and I can handle anything less than 26.2 with confidence.*

(*Pending, of course, unforeseen illness or injury. I don't want to forget to knock on wood.)

So, if you're intimidated by that first mile, or race, or distance...just run it. If I can work my way up, so can you. Who knows? Maybe a few years and marathons down the road, maybe I can approach even 26.2 with a steady hand. We'll see. : )

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little Bit

Thanks for your facts on my 100th post! (I counted 52, which is over half of 100, which is good enough for me.) I have really enjoyed running around the internet "meeting" new people and getting my little daily dose of all of your lives.

So, as far as my new year goes, obviously, I've not been very good at keeping up with blogging, but that's a direct reflection of my (lack of) fitness plan right now. I know that should be really concerning to me, but I've been embarrassingly okay with being a total couch potato lately. Until the past few days, it has just been too cold for me to fathom running outside. (Which is kind of silly because I used to live in Boone and would run in the snow...it just seems REALLY cold out.)

In all other areas of my life, however, I'm doing really well with my "little bit" resolution. Everyday I'm doing the little things that are consistently keeping my home, classroom, and life clean and organized. I've always LOVED cleaning and organizing (Instead of playing, I used to sort the toys into bins at day care.) but I'm really bad about letting things pile up and then tackling them and then letting them pile up and then tackling over and over again.

Which kind of reminds me of my athletic life...training really hard for a race and then just letting those pounds pile back on and my endurance dissolve. Eventually, I'm going to learn how to take the "little bit" approach with running too, but, until then... I've got a new race in mind!

Tomorrow, (I can't just not blog for 2 weeks and then use up all my news in one post!) I'll let you know my next race and training plan. I'm excited!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

100th Post! And I don't have a 100 list...

I wanted to do something really cute and obvious for my 100th post like list 100 things I want to do or 100 random facts, or just 100 of something, but really, 100 is a lot. And I have papers-to-grade/laundry-to-fold/Biggest-Loser-to-watch/etc.

So, I'm going to pass the buck. To you. I want to learn 100 things about the web wanderers who have ended up here. So, if you would please, leave a comment with a few things about yourself. List as many as you like because I'd like to learn 100 new pieces of information and I don't anticipate 100 comments. Or even 10, so mathematically, you should consider posting at least 10 facts. But I would be tickled with even just one. : )

In other news...

I have been planning to finalize and post my 2010 resolutions. It's only January 5th, right?

I like big scale resolutions/goals. (365 runs? cough, cough) I think impracticalness is part of the charm for me. Impracticalness, however, does not charm my husband and he kind of has to live with me. And, (listen up, because I'll probably only say this once), maybe he's right. For right now, at least. Teaching two grade levels, taking grad school classes, and just acknowledging that there is life outside of school does not provide a great platform for additional crazy goals.

I don't see myself starting over my 365 this year. So, what are the goals for 2010? I've been thinking about this for a while now and I had a lot of big scale plans that I wanted to start January 1st.

Which I didn't.

At least, not all the way. Which has led me to my main resolution/theme of 2010: Small Steps. There are so many areas in which I want to make improvements, but what I really need to concentrate on is the daily small steps that will lead me where I want to go. I'm not going to morph overnight into the person I want to be: physically, emotionally, professionally, or domestically. But, every day, I can get do a little bit better.

Which reminds me of one of my past students. (Bear with me if you know me in real life, because you've definitely heard this story.) I moved down here last year and learned that one of the charming quirks of this region is an affinity for nicknames. So, on the first day of school, I asked one of my little fourth graders if he had a nickname. He was very excited to tell me, "Well, I gots two nicknames. My first one is "Hammer." That's what my friends call me. But, my real nickname, my special name, what my family calls me is "Little Bit." 'Cause when I was baby, every day I grew, a little bit."

It's really just nothing with the natural accent, timing, and gesturing of this child, but you have to trust me that it was one of the most precious and ridiculous things I've heard as a teacher. And I guess it was inspiring too because that's what'll I'll be working on this year: every day, I'll improve, a little bit.

I'll keep you updated!