Day 36 – My new sole mates

5 02 2010

Today I christened my new shoes. My stiff-from-boot-camp muscles did not want to run, and there were 85 other things on my to do list…but in the corner sat my new, bright white shoes begging to get muddy on the trail. Not to mention a bouncy black lab who brought me her tennis ball two dozen times before 9 a.m. desperately seeking my attention.

I pushed through for the team and laced up for the 5-mile break-in. Lottie joined me and my shoes for the first 1.3 lap, then we were on our own down the concrete path. Oh – that spongy feeling in new shoes really makes me feel faster with a new spring in my stride … even if my pace is the same.

The Buckeye Training Log, where I record my workouts, lets you track equipment. So I can enter “Red Brooks” on my runs to add up the mileage. My friend Jo-Anna found that this site also has challenges you can join. I signed up for “750 miles in 2010,” since I’m on track to run that distance any way. Hoping that goal keeps me going in November/December when I’m not training for anything specific and the weather won’t invite me to run!

So far, I’m right around the middle of the pack of 40-some challengers with 5 or 6 other people who are close to 70 miles. The logged miles range from 4 to 219. Mr. or Ms. 219 really shouldn’t be in this particular challenge to make the rest of us feel lame. But this is a cool tool to see how you are pacing compared with these other random runners across the country.

Not sure how I can be so excited about shoes that are exactly the same as my old ones and, frankly, not that cute. Brooks makes fantastic shoes for my feet and running style, but they are not leading in the style department. Red or aqua accents were the only choices on my bargain website, so red won. And on this version they tried to put a little floral pattern that just looks strange instead of feminine. They are cuter I suppose, than my old yellow ones (who wears yellow anything – especially shoes?)

Well, on to a weekend super-filled with kids’ activities and Super Bowls. It will hopefully end with another 6 miles on my beloved, ugly-but-new-and-springy shoes that promise to guide me every step of the way from 6 to 13.1 miles by May!


Day 35 – Beat from boot camp

4 02 2010

Aaaarrrgh – so tired from boot camp tonight after a long day. It’s good for me, it’s good for me…I repeated with every push up. The two best parts of my day were getting my new running shoes from the UPS man and wearing work pants! My shoes are so clean and springy – gotta love that new shoe smell! I will need to rally to break them in for my 5-mile run tomorrow.

And the good pants news… As a freelance writer, I only have face-to-face meetings 6 or 7 times a year. So I’m usually working at home in PJs, yoga pants or jeans with holes. I had a lunch meeting today – the first meeting this year – so I had to pull out a pair of black, presentable pants. I have owned most pants in my wardrobe for many many years (too many to admit), and they have seen me through many phases of fitness — pre- and post-babies included.

I was thrilled to find that instead of sucking in my breath to close the button, there was a droop at my waist! The reward for a month of exercise, when I don’t think I’ve shed many pounds, but I’ve clearly changed my post-holiday shape.

The Classical Stretch goddess Miranda talks about this a lot – slimming muscles and re-shaping even if you’re not trying to lose weight. I’m not quite jumping into a bikini, but it feels like progress — enough to get me to boot camp anyway. And maybe inspiration to finally spring for some new black pants!

Day 31 – The exercise treasure box

31 01 2010

My January prize

I wrote yesterday about not needing a star chart like my kids have had over the years for everything from using the potty, brushing teeth and cleaning their rooms… But then on today’s 6-mile run I thought — why not reward myself? If, like Zach’s kindergarten treasure box, there is a little incentive each month, doesn’t that just make it more fun to succeed? Maybe it will be a dinner out with my husband or a new skirt… For January — realizing how many miles I’ve put on my current running shoes — I let myself order a new pair of “go fasters” to see me through this half-marathon.

Shoes are supposed to last about 300 miles, and (according to my Buckeye Training log) I’ve run 62.1 in January on my trusted Brooks Adrenalines that have been with me since last spring. Time for a new pair before these are toast and I start feeling pain. I found my size on sale at Sierra Trading Post for almost half off too! Should have them by Tuesday…

So one month down – 11 more to go is a fantastic milestone. I am so glad to be heading out of January – the long, cold month with its short days and lack of fun holidays has never been my favorite. I’ve been lucky that we’ve had relatively warm weather with no real snow since December.

I have also taken advantage of slower work this month, and that needs to change. As a writer, I get paid by the hour for what I do. I’m lucky enough to make my own hours and have an extremely flexible schedule that allows me to run in the middle of the day and write at night if it suits me.

The last day of the month is always a bit of a scramble to squeeze in some more hours and wrap-up as many projects as possible. So today, running 6 miles sure sounded fun compared to writing a customer newsletter about manufacturing software tools. I will have to put in more work time the next few months, so we’ll see what that does to my exercise plan. The treasure box ante may need to be upped!

Day 3 – The holiday honeymoon is ending

3 01 2010

Tomorrow kids go back to school and my clients are back in their offices waiting for my work to appear in their inboxes…so today was the last day of  freedom to create my own schedule around a run.

I waited for the sun to pop out, took Lottie for a mile walk and then went for a slow-paced 2.6 miles run on the park trail to give my aching calves a break from the hard concrete. It felt like running on marshmallows, but was really just welcoming soft patches of snow. At the start the sun was shining brilliantly and then light snow began to fall to remind me this is winter. It was beautiful and felt good until the darker clouds rolled in by the end. We are in for a colder week, so I’ll be forced to confront my enemy: the gym. The only thing I hate more than being cold is going to the gym where the air is sweaty and people are all around. I intend to change this bad gym attitude!

I have done some research on two fronts 1) winter running gear 2) upcoming races. The gear is more fun! Decided I need some better shoes for cold and snow. The contenders are the trail version of my beloved Brooks Adrenalines or Saloman XT Wings, which are trail running versions of my hiking shoes. I may deserve a trip to Boulder Runner Company for further research.

Also decided I need a shorter-term goal to keep this going. (No one said it would be cheap!) Races have always motivated me with a deadline. I’m considering a few options that raise the bar on distance beyond the 9 miles I did in the Oct. marathon relay. But will wait to make sure I can get through a ice-cold weeks first…

On I found a training schedule that leads up to a more intense training plan. It has 3, 4 and 5 mile runs each day, with Mon and Fri off (preceding and following longer Sun runs). Plan to try Pilates on Fridays, so I just need a Monday plan — hmm — by tomorrow! Must be somewhat restful and with stretching or I will surely exhaust myself. Perhaps a longer than usual walk with Lottie on the soft trail? Will see what inspiration I have in the a.m.!