Thursday, December 31, 2009

100 miles. :)

So I finished my first 100 miles.

My shoes are a little bit upset about it, because each mile that goes by is one less mile that these shoes are going to be around. Well, actually, I think that I'm a little bit sadder about that than the shoes are, but that's just me. It'll just be weird to have to get different shoes, because I love these ones. They're my first actual pair of running shoes that I got just for running.

So I had a bad morning- my grad school applications are due on the first and today was NOT going to be a bunch of rushing around, because I was going to get everything done yesterday. Yeah, that didn't work out. I did a ton of rushing around, had a fight with my roommate's printer, and got a parking ticket when I went on campus for five minutes to get my transcripts sent. Parking Services must have just been sitting there waiting for me. How ridiculous. Then I came home and somehow my entire glass of water got knocked onto the ground, so I stepped right into a puddle on the CARPET... and it was just frustrating. Blargh. (I may or may not be subconsciously blaming my roommate's cat for my water being on the floor.)

So I almost didn't go running. Actually, I didn't even want to. Time was running short and I was getting frustrated. I have a race tomorrow morning in Indy and I'm going to have to get to bed early in order to get up early enough to make it. (Actually.... maybe I'll take a nap after work and then stay up until midnight, then go back to sleep. That's an idea.) I knew that I would not go running after work and I really did not want to put it off until later, because then I just wouldn't do it... which is what happened yesterday. So I went.

My mind feels a lot more clear now. I'm much less frustrated, though I still know that there are too many things going on in my life right now. I guess that I released a good amount of endorphins today. I feel a lot better about things. Part of it is probably the fact that I know that I got (mostly) everything done and turned in today and now it's all just a waiting game... or will be as soon as I win the fight against my roommate's printer and put one more thing in the mail. Then, tomorrow is a new year, which means all sorts of new things for me.

So my first 100 miles. Technically, I should have surpassed my first 100 several weeks ago, but being a little behind isn't really THAT bad, I guess. Before I know it, I'll be up to 200 miles... But, we'll just stick with the first 100 for now. They were tough... It has been difficult to stay on top of it and really work at getting my miles under control. My timing has been off and I got really behind very quickly. However, I'm going to do much better. I'be done better this week and I'm not going to just give up, though it would be so easy to quit the project already and spend more time laying around. I'm really looking forward to running in some great road races this year. Then, in a little over a year, is the big full marathon that I'm going to complete. That's the goal.

I'm going to have to be honest with you and tell you that my camera batteries are still in the charger. They're definitely fully charged, but I haven't taken the pictures yet. I'm going to try to do it tonight and maybe make a post tomorrow or the next day that includes the photos. :)

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 100.07 miles/53 days
To go: 899.93 miles/312 days

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

some thoughts.

So I've made some observations for my first 50 days of my project. Well, really, my first 51 days... lol. So I was thinking about the way that some of my thought processes have changed in the last several weeks. It's difficult to believe that it has already been almost two entire months since I started all of this, but some things in my process have definitely changed.

I don't run with my iPod anymore. I've always been really attached to my music, but that isn't really that case as much anymore. I've had trouble doing homework in silence, exercising in silence, cleaning in silence... but now I've become more comfortable with it. I've read a lot that runners have said about really enjoying the sounds of running... and I have found that I do enjoy it, too. It's just a little odd for me to realize how I've changed so much in that way. I am able to think more clearly now. I wonder if one reason that I've listened to music so much is that I was able to really just not consciously think, I guess. I was able to just sit there and go through my day without thinking too deeply. Now I'm much more aware of my thinking. Running is a way to really get my thoughts on the table and consider all of the aspects of my life. I guess I really think better when I run. I also encourage myself, too. If I'm having a hard time, I just talk to myself a little bit, which might sound a little strange, but I do. I tell myself that it's just a little further, or to run a little more quickly and I'll be done faster, or that it will be worth it in the end. I think that I would not be as able to encourage myself if it weren't for leaving my music out of my ears. Now, don't get me wrong, I still listen to my music. I wouldn't have spent all of that time and money on having a fancy mp3 player with expensive music on it if it weren't something that I was going to use and make worth the money. That's for certain... I've just been leaving the iPod at home when I've been running.

I have been concentrating more on the length of my run too. I think that has a lot to do with the project that I'm working on, which is based on mileage rather than time or calories. A year ago, when I first began to work out, my main concern was weight loss. I concentrated seriously on calories burned and time that I spent working out. I obsessively counted that hours that I spent working out. Now it's more about the mileage. Sure, I still lift some weights, but I don't mentally consider how many weights I am going to lift and for how long. I don't encode it in my mind, either. I just lift and that's that. I do, however, think about my mileage and consider how much time I have for how many miles. I think about how fast I'm going to have to run to get my miles in within the time period that I have allotted. It seems that everything in my mind has shifted toward getting the miles that I want in order to complete my big goal. I think that it is interesting how my thoughts have changed.

My reading habits have changed too. Yes, I'm a nerd. Sure, I read a lot. However, I'm accumulating a significant amount of reading material on running. I've read about things to eat to help build certain muscles or things that can help build muscles. I've read inspirational books on runnings, I've read articles about running. I've read about road races or just running for exercise. I'm really trying to immerse myself in the topic, because I think that it is important to become as educated as possible if I'm going to make this such a huge part of my life.

Never before have I asked for so much sports equipment for gifts. Most of my Christmas presents were running things. (which I still have not taken pictures of. I've been concentrating on graduate school applications.) I mean, sure, I used to get some softball things, I've played tennis, soccer, and golf. Swimming was my sport for a while. Actually, I think that I have gotten the most swimming things of any sports equipment until this year. This year, I recieved a lot of things that will be very useful as I continue to run. I'm really excited about it, actually. People in my family seem to be genuinely interested in how much I am running and how important it is to me. I'm really excited about it, actually.

I've been doing really well with my running this week. Maybe in a few weeks, I'll be all caught up in my project and I won't have to whine so much about being so far behind. Haha. We'll see. :)

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 95.35 miles/51 days
To go: 904.65 miles/314 days

Monday, December 28, 2009

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's pain- and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems that all you hear is 'don't overdo it' and 'don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." -Bob Clarke (Philadelphia Flyers general manager)

I think that Bob Clarke's philosophy really seems to fit to my regime, both with individual runs and with my entire project. When I run, sometimes I push myself really hard, sometimes harder than it seems like I should. However, I feel like it is good for me to push myself to the limit, because if I don't push myself, how will I improve? I really want to get to a certain point in my running and I think that the only way to really get myself there is to push myself.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 90.77 miles/50 days
To go: 909.23 miles/315 days

Saturday, December 26, 2009

running in the snow.

So I'm not a winter person. I don't like it. In fact, I look forward to moving away from winter at my first opportunity. I read in Amby Burfoot's book that I read- that one of his favorite things is running on freshly fallen snow. I found that to be ...disturbing, to put it lightly. I could not figure out how I would enjoy running OUTSIDE in the cold. However, I decided to go running outside tonight, using some of the new running gear that I got from my family for Christmas. :)

(expect a post with pictures of my running stuff as soon as I can charge my camera battery.)

So yes, I went running today in the snow. First, I went out and ran from my mom's front door, down the driveway to the next door neighbor's driveway, sliding the entire way. I thought it didn't look too slippery when I looked out the window, but it was. Instead of being too cautious and taking small steps, I decided to get out my brand new spike-things that I got for Christmas. So exciting. I only slipped five or so times during my (almost) six miles that I ran today, while when I ran without them, I slipped ten times in .000001 miles. I am really impressed with the way that I accomplished my run today while it was snowing and really slippery on the roads and the sidewalks. It was wonderful.

There was one point in which I ALMOST fell. Both of my feet started to skid along the road and I was sure that I was going to fall right on my face. My balace was off and my feet were not in my control for an entire... five seconds or something, but somehow I caught myself. I'm really glad that I did not fall. I just am surprised that I did not loose my footing on the road, beacuse I really thought that I was going to. Other than that, I only slid a few times.

I need to get my mileage back up. I do work a LOT and go to school... and am applying to grad programs all at once. It's probably not the most ideal time to be doing this project, but it's NEVER a convenient time to start an exercise program when there are other things going on in someone's life. This is something that I need to work harder to get into my schedule, no matter how hard it is.

Something that is getting me closer to being able to call myself a runner- I definitely have callousses on my big toes. I used to have them on my fingers from the guitar, but I have them on my toes right now. My first half marathon in Sept., I hadn't trained very well, and I had terrible blisters on my toes, but now they have turned into callousses. I know that doesn't sound very appealing, but I am somewhat proud of them, in some kind of a demented manner of thinking. It makes me feel like I am more of a runner, I guess.

Anyhow, so expect a picture post with some of my wonderful Christmas gifts.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 86.66 miles/49 days
To go: 913.34 miles/316 days

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I feel like it is hard to become motivated for something. I actually took a psychology class on motivation, but I still don't know how to fix my motivation problems. I'm going to try making a list of my excuses so that I can, maybe, think more seriously about them while I'm trying to think of an excuse. I'm not going to list any solutions, because I don't think that I should excuse my excuses at this point.

-being tired.
-too much homework
-grad school stuff
-the weather
-wanting someone to run with
-something good is on tv
-"I will in a little bit"
-waiting until too late, when I'm really, honestly, exhausted.

Those are the most common excuses. I think there are more, but I'm kind of stuck right now. I might add to this list later.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 80.68 miles/43 days
To go: 919.32 miles/322 days

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

muscle soreness?

Ah. Yesterday, I said I didn't push myself too hard, yet today, I felt like I was near collapse. I tacked on an extra ten minutes and more than another mile, so I kept my pace about the same, but pushed myself harder to run further. I really just wanted to get out there and get myself to work toward my goal. Yeah, I definitely accomplished that, so that's good news, I suppose.

I was thinking about shoes today. I've only run a little over a hundred on the ones that I have now, maybe 150, at most, and I got them for my birthday, I month before this project officially began. However, I'm going to be sad when they are too worn out to run in. Yes, I had shoes that I ran in before this, but these shoes were my first REAL pair of running shoes... that I only run in. I love them... and they are extremely supportive and don't make my feet or ankles hurt at all. I mean, after my half in November, I felt like I could still run some. While others around me complained that their feet hurt, mine really didn't hurt at all. That was definitely because of my wonderful shoes. I don't want to pre-mourn the loss of my first pair of running shoes, but I am definitely going to be sad when they aren't usable anymore. I still have a few hundred miles before that happens, though, so I guess that I should not be worrying about that.

I feel like my muscles get sore differently than other people's muscles do. Sure, I can feel a little bit of something in my legs after I've done a long run... and it makes me very tired. However, it's weird, because the majority of the pain/soreness comes from my butt. This really began when I was working as a hostess and had to squat down and vacuum under each booth- in each corner, which I'm not going to elaborate on. (it was awful)... and I would come home and would be in such overwhelming pain that I could hardly move. Now that I weight 20+ pounds less than I did at the point when I quit that job, I don't feel the same intensity of pain. I am more in shape and my body is more accustomed to the exercise. However, most of my muscle soreness comes from my butt. I don't know if anybody else has problems like that, but it may just be me. I'm not entirely sure. I really wish that I just hard normal soreness like most other people... but no, not me. I have to be different than everybody else...

Sigh. I definitely am going to feel my run from today all day tomorrow. I pushed myself pretty hard. I'm still dreaming of the day that I (hopefully) get my things for my shoes for running on the ice that I asked my grandma to get me for Christmas. I look forward to using them... as much as a person can possibly look forward to running in frigid, icy weather. I think that it will be fun... at least for one or two times. ha.

I'm so obsessed with reading about running. I really want to get to know other individual's experiences with running and how they became runners. I bought a copy of Runner's World yesterday and am going to read it before bed tonight. I think that running may be some sort of a social mechanism, a way to get to know other people and bond with others. It's definitely something to discuss with others. Maybe I can meet some really cool people... as soon as I start classifying myself as a runner, which may be sooner than we expect.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 79.06/38 days
To go: 920.94 miles/328 days

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh man. I know that I keep talking about how I am getting off track, but last week, I really had to focus on school. I turned in a 24 page paper on Tuesday, a small paper every day during the week, a video/commercial on Thursday, a HUGE final project portfolio pamphlet paper thing on Wednesday, and took a final on Friday. It was absolutely exhausting... in so many ways. (plus I worked and did some grad school things, so it was just like any other week, except I took out running and added projects.) So yeah, very disappointed in myself for my behavior last week. I didn't even do my regular Sunday post-work run, because I picked up an extra shift and didn't have the time... then after THAT, I came home and ended up taking a very much needed nap. I was a little whiny about the weather being subzero for a while, but today put me in the mood for a nice run. :)

Tonight, I didn't push myself as hard as I usually do. I relaxed quite a bit, but still had decent times, I suppose. I ran 4.57 miles, precisely in a little over 45 minutes... so slightly under ten minute miles. I ran under nine minute miles the first two miles, slowed a little the third mile, and really slowed for my last mile.

I definitely realized that running in a huge, way too large t-shirt that may not have even fit me in my obese days... is not neccessarily a good thing. (I don't even think I wore this shirt two years ago when I was given it.) I felt like I was swimming in my shirt during my entire run. It was uncomfortable and irritating, not to mention... extremely distracting most of the time. I just did not want to dig through all of my shirts before I went out, because I need to do some laundry... So I grabbed what was in my reach and went out. I guess I learned from my mistake, however. haha. From now on, I will definitely just wear a shirt that is a little bit smaller.

I'm really looking forward to getting my on-ice, over the shoe, running apparatuses, because, though winter SUCKS, it'll at least be fun to run in those things once or twice, just to get the feel of them. I hope that they work really well. Actually, I really hope that my grandma understood how much I want them when I asked for them for Christmas... because, if I don't get them, I will be veeeeeerry sad and probably will commence whining.

mmmmm... That is all. I think that I'm going to figure out some weekly goals for this Christmas Break in order to get me back on track and keep me better motivated. I definitely have a problem with motivation. :(

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 73.46 miles/37 days
To go: 926.54 miles/328 days

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2x in one day!

Today was not the first time that I ran twice in one day... though I think that it has been less than five times in my life, but that's beside the point. However, today was the first time that I ran twice in one day this semester and definitely during this project thus far. I decided to take a homework break, since I worked on homework from like... 4:00 until 11:00 and still have a lot to do, so I went on a little run.

I didn't push myself too hard and my mileage wasn't too long, considering my 6+ miles from this morning and my nearly 6 miles from last night. I ran 3.36 miles, which brings my total for today to a little bit more than 9 and a half miles, which, I supppose is pretty decent.. lol.

In the next few weeks, I'd like to build up my endurance a little more and definitely work on my speed. Distance is great and I admit that completely, but I'd like to be able to run more quickly without feeling like I might pass out afterward. I'm going to do some research on that (wow, I'm outting myself as an English/Psych major, I think) and find out what kinds of things I can do to up my speed while still getting decent distance, while doing eight million other things in life.

Ending thought for the night: Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to do nothing but run and sleep? ...and eat and the neccessities.
...and swim, too.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 68.89 miles/29 days
To go: 931.11 miles/336 days


I have come to the conclusion that running in the cold may not be so bad, as long as I have enough layers on. Though now that I am inside, I'm a little cold, earlier, it was not so bad. I even got a little warm and had to take off my hat. I did wear several layers though and it isn't subzero yet, so it's not neccessary that I get all excited about it quite yet. I really should wait until January to see what the weather is like. I think that it'll just take some getting used to and it'll be fine. I know that I was definitely worried about running in the cold this year, but I knew that I would have to do it. We'll see as it gets colder and actually starts to snow. (Though, I would definitely prefer it not to snow. at all. ever. but that's just personal preference, I guess.)

One thing that I love about Sunday runs is that I have so much time to relax and I usually go out and run at my own pace- which is typically a little slower than normal and I really don't push myself too hard. I usually run my longest distance for the week, but my time is the longest on Sundays. I guess that Sunday is my relaxing day. Then I come home and do a ton of homework, but that's not the point. I really enjoy doing my Sunday runs, though.

I am thinking about running a few more miles tonight... probably just two or three, depending on how much stuff I get done for the rest of the day.

Interestingly, today when I ran past one of the soccer fields, I saw a bunch of people who were playing a game that looked like soccer from the distance. However, my running partner said something about them playing with broomsticks. Yes, I ran by a game of Quidditch. I thought that was really interesting. I mean, I don't think that I would participate in a game of Quidditch, but it was fun to see that people were out there and participating in activities, particularly activities that aren't neccessarily so popular among society members.

Goal: 1000 mi/365 days
So far: 65.53 mi/29 days
To go: 934.47 mi/336 days
Today, I woke up early and was definitely going to go running early in the morning and start off my day right- I haven't gone on an early morning run since before school started. However, I woke with a bad stomachache and decided to wait a half hour for the sun to rise. As I was on the computer getting some work done, I fell back asleep for an hour and then I had to kind of rush around. I'm always just in a big hurry. Anyways, so I woke up again and decided I would end up running tonight with my roommate anyways, instead of running in the morning. One of these days, I'm going to run as I wake up. I think that would be fun. Honestly, keep your eyes open for a morning-run post. ;)

There's just something about running while the sun has just risen. It's much different than running in the nighttime. I feel like, when I'm running in the morning, I'm taking a part in something with a community feel, especially if I am running in my mom's neighborhood. When I'm running at my mom's house, someone is always outside saying hello or waving at me. (or chasing their dogs who are running after me. ha) When I am running at night, it's just more solitary. I think that both have their ups and downs. Running during the daytime just feels more social to me. Sometimes, I am definitely in the mood for some solitary time and running at night is perfect for that. However, it's just so sweet to feel like I'm a part of a community and people talking with me as I run by is a lot of fun, I think. It always makes me smile.

Running on campus is a completely different atmosphere. Sure, some people smile or say hello, but not as many people talk. There are usually thousands of people out on the street or hardly any people at all- there really isn't much in between. Running on campus is really sort of isolated, at least in my experience. That's not neccessarily a negative thing: it's just something different. I guess that running IS a solitary sport, but I also think that it doesn't have to be. I mean, everyone runs at their own paces, everybody does things at their own time, but it can be wonderful to have someone to run with and talk to. I've also read that having someone to talk to while you are running is a good way to keep pace, because if you are able to talk, you're running at a good, steady pace, whereas if you are so out of breath that you can't find the energy to form words, you need to slow down and catch your breath. That's something that I keep in mind, but don't always stick to.

There is a biking/running path around here that I haven't tried yet. I was going to ride my bike on it, but I probably won't be biking for a while- running in the cold is going to be enough of a struggle for me for now. However, I really want to check it out. Someone that I work with apparently runs on it often. I think that I would like to try it out. I've never really run on a path, per se. Sidewalks, yes, roads, yes, running path... never tried it. I think that could be interesting though. I may give it a try over this semester break coming up. (Wow, I guess I have lots of winter break plans. I should probably write them all down!)

Alright. I need to get out of my sweaty, cold clothes, take a shower, and get to bed. The morning always comes too quickly!

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 59.37/28 days
To go: 940.63 miles/337 days

(still behind, but i will catch up within the next two weeks. that's my current short term goal.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


So I guess I don't have to be disappointed in myself this time. I clearly completely beat my hour time- I ran further than I ran last time in less than an hour. Actually, I ran so hard and so fast that I was near collapse by the end of my run. I think that I might have a problem with perfectionism, which isn't so good, considering that I'm behind in this 1000 miles big goal that I'm working on right now, because I've been focusing so much on school work and applying for graduate schools- not to mention working more than usual lately.

My professor really enjoys talking to me about running. He is excited about a new gym that is being built on campus, because he enjoys doing his running on the track inside. He says that he doesn't think of himself as a runner as much as he did when he was in graduate school and remembers a time when he would run with his classmates several miles every day. He said that, at the end of their route, they would run up a huge, steep hill. I think that might be insane. I would like to get there though. For a professor, he seems to really admire me for my running, but, honestly, I really think that it's awesome that he still runs. Granted, he doesn't run as often as he once did and he doesn't think of himself as a runner anymore. I kind of have some admiration for the fact that he still gets out there and puts in the effort, because I know how hard it is for me sometimes. Anyways, yeah. So he was asking me about my two majors today and how it is to write for my various classes & whatnot. I told him that it can be exhausting... and he said "like a 13 mile run?" haha. I guess it was funny, but it made me think.

I feel like my most exhausting runs have been in my training and not in my races. Is that insane? I guess I don't really know. I feel like when I run the races, I'm able to get myself prepared and I'm not really nervous. Then, when I'm training, it's more about timing and endurance whether than getting everything done. It's weird. I mean, in my two halfs that I have run so far, the hardest part has been the first few miles... especially the one that I ran in November. My first mile was the most tough. Other than that, I feel like my pacing was decent and that I did a pretty good job keeping everything under control. However, when I'm training, I push myself so hard that I feel like I might fall over by the time I get back into my apartment. There's no way that can be exactly healthy, but I can't stop myself. It's some sort of a perfectionism problem. This perfectionism isn't just about running, it leaks into other parts of my life, but I can feel it trying to get into my running habits, too, and I don't think that is a great idea. I'm going to have to try to make a change or something... somehow, someway.

Okay, my run today: it went okay. I ran 4.31 miles in 44 minutes. I ran under ten minute miles for the first three miles... then I ran an 11 minute mile. I beat my personal best three mile time- three miles in 29 minutes and 6 seconds. That's pretty impressive, for me, I guess. I really feel like I need to step it up and do better, run faster. It's difficult for me to feel comfortable with my running habits, because it always feels like it isn't enough. I need to figure out a way to be comfortable with my improvements, because I know they exist. Sometimes, it just does not feel like I am improving quickly enough. However, I do realize that I am improving and no matter how slow-moving it is: an improvement is an improvement. There's something about my cognitive process that I should work on in that regard.

When I finished running today, I literally could hardly move. I squatted down and prayed for a minute, which helped me clear my thoughts and my body calmed down some before I headed up the stairs to my apartment. I was going to lift weights today, but there were two guys lifting in the gym when I was ready and our apartment complex's gym isn't very big. I felt like maybe I should just lift tomorrow. I think that I will.

I guess that's all I have to say. I did pretty well.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 53.79 miles/27 days
To go: 946.21 miles/338 days