Why Do We Run?

I was going through my t shirts this morning when I came upon one of my high school cross country shirts with this written on the back:

“Pain Is Just Weakness Leaving The Body”

Really? Mannnnn…we were some aggressive 15 year old girls!
Of course, remember, this was during the late 90s, the glory days of the Backstreet Boys, Britney and two piece prom dresses. We had to get all that teenage angst out somehow! Lest we forget this glorious day in two-piece fashion that every late 90s parent loved, here is young Kelly Pickler in her prom dress!kelly-pickler-prom-dress_small

But I didn’t write this entry to talk about Kelly. I want to talk about MOTIVATION!
I personally struggle with motivation. Not the motivation to run – because I honestly love it 95% of the time. But I do struggle with the motivation to push myself and to get faster. I am also scared as all hellcats of running this marathon. Excited, but scared.

Soooo wonderful readers…what keeps you motivated? Why do you run?

I found some running quotes that I liked, and I thought it would be great for anyone needing motivation….or laughs…running style…
From Paula Radcliffe:

I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.

From Michael Johnson:

Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity.

On the lighter side:

Phidippides died after 26 miles. But he ran 140 miles twice just days before. Overtraining got him, not the marathon.

Annnnddd….finally the hilarious “I’m a runner” You Tube Video:

…Another want to be a runner!
Find him on LinkedIn ca.linkedin.com/in/jackiedinh

Resolutions 2013

I’ve heard that people are more likely to stick with their New Years Resolutions if they are quantitative, not qualitative. Which makes sense for me, given that the only resolution that I’ve ever stuck to is drinking 2 Diet Cokes a day at work, not 3.

If you’re horrified that I still drink two cans of Diet Coke a day, you are a healthier bear that I am.

Basically in 2012 things got derailed a bit in the second half of the year. There were a lot of changes that took place, and not only did my running take a hit, so did the rest of my life. Ie, less sleep, more stress, fewer hangouts with friends, crappier running, etc. And a crapload of time wasted doing nothing at all productive like hanging out on Facebook. So I’d like to feel more fulfilled this year and like I’m doing something great with my 30s. I’m going to wake up soon and be 75, so let’s make this shit count.

Plus we all want to feel like we are constantly improving, right?

1) No Social Media Before Noon: (Only exception is I can check it on my phone right when I wake up and weekends). I spend way too much time on Facebook and Twitter. It’s become a bit of a crutch for me. Bored? Check Facebook. Don’t want to write this work email? Check Twitter. Feeling Stressed? Hmmmm I wonder what’s up on Instagram. Anyways, I think this is my biggest goal. I’m tired of wasting so much time.

2) Bed by 11:15, sleep by 11:30: My shitty schedule is killing me. I go to bed late, get into work late, and then have to leave work late. So then I get home late and want to go to bed late again….this will help me to get the sleep I need to be more productive.

3) See a Friend Once a Week: Because there are lots of awesome people out here in Southern California and it’s time I kept up with them. I feel lonely a lot as well and this should help me to feel less lonely.

4) Some sort of “productive meeting” once every two weeks: Whether it’s networking for work, going to a group run, or going to a yoga class, this should help me feel more productive and make friends.

5) Cook something new once every two weeks: This should be pretty easy because I enjoy cooking. Time to learn to be a better cook!

6) Call a friend once every two weeks: Yeah. Actually picking up the phone to say hi. This didn’t seem so hard when I was a teenage girl!

7) No more than $100 a month on apparel (running or casual unless absolutely necessary): I work for an online retailer so it’s really easy to blow a lot of money on clothes. $100 still sounds like a lot as a max, but I gotta start somewhere. Bottom line, I would like to have more money and fewer problems. :)

More Qualitative Stuff:

Buy a keyboard. Play it at least once a week.
Read a book a month. Honestly, it’s sad but I’m not sure I can stick to this.
Get an LA county library card
Find a place to volunteer a few times. I’m not sure where, but it would be nice to feel like I was making a positive impact somewhere.
Improve my Greek. Ok this one I’m not sure I have the drive for either. I think if I’m doing good on the other resolutions mid-year, I’ll check back on this one.
Alright, here’s to 2013! While I am hoping a lot of great things happen this year and that I can look back and feel like I made the most of this time, my greatest hope is that nothing catastrophic happens. Ie, I hope those close to me (and me) remain alive, healthy, employed, and sane. So I think if that takes place, we can consider 2013 at least a minor success!

How liking fall and running tempos are alike

Unlike what appears to be the entire rest of the internet, I’ve never really liked fall. Changing leaves, crisp temperatures, sure (although truth be told both of those are questionable in both Houston and Southern California; the places I’ve spent my adult life).

But come on guys. You know what’s coming after those pretty red leaves…darker and darker days. Soon enough, you’re coming home from work and waking up and it’s pitch black both times. The holidays roll around and even if you love the holidays, it can’t be denied that it’s another awkward few days full of plane travel and awkward conversation. And then it’s January. JANUARY. It’s dark and cold and you’ve hit rock bottom in the processional of seasons. pumpkin

Am I being overly dramatic? Absolutely, but this sort of how my brain works. It’s always been terribly hard for me to turn my brain off and enjoy the moment. The “what’s next”, “you’re messing that up”, “how will that be in 10 miles or in 10 days” is a constant dialogue and I’m positive that spending so much time this way will be my biggest regret when I’m 80.

Fall is beautiful, just because it is, not because what’s coming next.

Which brings me to my beautiful segue into running! And tempos. And marathoning.

I haven’t signed up for Carlsbad yet, but I have started training for it (as of today) so I think it’s a pretty sure thing. I’ve flipped through the Hansons book and got a recommendation of Brad Hudson’s book as well for a marathon plan. (Please let me know what has worked for you).

At the same time though, I feel like it’s not about WHICH plan I do, it’s about actually training correctly for a marathon. Which includes stuff like doing long marathon pace tempos – something I have never been able to make myself do. Which is uh….probably why my marathon PR (3:32) is much slower relatively than other distances I’ve run. It’s kind of a no brainer.

The Hanson’s plan has you starting with some 6 mile marathon pace tempos near the start of the plan so I did one of those today. It was shockingly successful (well…I went too fast if I’m going to say my marathon goal pace is 3:25ish, but I didn’t feel like I’m pushing too hard. I’m not going to beat myself up over that. I’m sure I’ll slow it up when these things get up to 10 miles). The main success was that I actually completed the damn thing without straining, stopping, or hating myself. It was almost kind of fun! 10 laps around an elementary school / park, and I didn’t even run into any 2 year olds.

7:46, 7:36, 7:26, 7:32, 7:28: 7:19.

I almost feel like one of those real running bloggers posting those splits. You know, the ones that run long tempos and post pics of their garmins and inspire people and shit? Yeah…one day :).

(No, I did not complete this run before 4 AM. I roll up at work at like 9:45 AM so….)

Anyways, I guess the point of this post is that sitting back and enjoying the moment is key. Whether it’s being 1 mile into a tempo run, 1 week into a marathon training plan, or just enjoying October. Trying to avoid worrying about what will happen later or what’s happening next month is a good way for me to be a happier person and be ultimately more successful as well.

Now help me remember that the next time I’m freaking out.

Facebook deactivation. The Gang is Back together!

We’re back!!!

back-togetherBasically, Kristina and SarahOual doing Carlsbad too! Sarah is doing the half (marathon haters anon) and Kristina is doing the full. I am way excited to not be the only crazy person on board for a little mid-January fun in San Diego.

Kristina is the fastest person that you’d never know she was fast until you stalked her times on the internet, btw. Like a secret agent?

My training is going just fine. I finished last week with about 46 miles done which was funny because it felt like about 100 relative to my super low mileage weeks lately. I did a successful “longish” tempo on Tuesday with 7 miles at about 7:25 pace. Started at 7:38 and ended at 7:12 with more laps around the elementary school. It’s great because there are no stoplights. The cross guards who stand there and see me run around the school 15 times must think I am truly insane.

Facebook Experiment

Are you on Facebook? I’m guessing there’s a 99.9% chance the answer is yes because isn’t everyone these days?

I decided a couple weeks ago to deactivate my account (you can’t delete it, apparently that’s nearly impossible) in an effort to have more free time / real interactions with people. It was kind of embarrassing the amount of times I realized I was signing in every day. I am not allowed to go back on it for one more week and am kind of unsure if I will stay off it. Here are the emotional stages of grieving I’ve gone through so far.

1) Internet Twitches: For the first couple days, I kept accidentally going to the site to sign in and realizing I couldn’t. It was like those people who took Ambien and started eating in their sleep. I was probably trying to sign in in my sleep as well.

2) Posting Withdrawal: Something hilarious just happened to me! Was it still funny if I can’t exaggerate it and post it on Facebook for all to see and laugh at and hit the like button?

3) Stalking Stalking: Ok fine. This one has been the hardest. There are a few people on facebook who I LOVE to stalk. Not really for any reason beyond the fact that I got into the habit of stalking them and now I feel like I know all of their friends who I’ve never met too. I have a problem.

4) Relief: I am positive that people in our generation have been subjected to seeing more birthday parties, motivational phrases, Nike+ runs of 3.0919 miles, engagement rings, and drunken duck faces than all other generations since the beginning of time. It is a relief to not see that anymore.

5) Out of Contact: This is the only part that I kind of regret about being off the site. There are some people I actually like to keep up with for totally normal reasons. I’m sure I’m also missing birthdays. Maybe I’ll use a calendar like a normal person?

6) Connected to EVERYTHING: I can’t us my Spotify account any more! Everything is connected to facebook!!!! Ahhhhhh!

6) Smug Confusion: After about two weeks off Facebook, it’s safe to say I don’t really miss it anymore. And I love the idea of smugly telling people this. But it’s probably safe to say that eventually it’s sweet siren song will lure me back and I’ll be back to reading about babies, birthdays, and Aunt Mildred’s crazy political views.