Friday, September 18, 2009

Maybe I'm Crazy...

When I tell people that I'm training for a marathon, they often respond with a look of -why? Or, more often - you are outta yo mind fool.

Tonight as I got ready for 10pm on a friday night...applied a cup full of bengay to my left leg... following an hour with the foam roller... took advil to ease the pain... layed out bengay patches to adhere pre-run... set my alarm for 5am (on saturday morning)...looked in the mirror and said I can do 22 miles....frankly I started to see their point.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Milkshake....

Following a pretty miserable (more to come on that in another blog) 11 mile run this morning, I was pleased to discover (from my friend Melissa) that today is National Chocolate Milkshake Day. I'm not going to question why it exists.

If I was on the East Coast, I'd hit up Bruster's - my favorite chocolate milkshake, without question. Here on the west coast the solid choice was In-N-Out. Only complaint - just 1 size option which I like to call "not big enough."

P.S. If you want to celebrate Chocolate Milkshake Day but are watching your calorie intake, check out this recipe from Hungry Girl!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rhythm of the beat

There is a debate in the running community over music – ipod or not to ipod. My brother is firmly in the not to ipod camp. He has been running since he was 8, maybe younger. He started to run pre-ipod, pre-mp3, pre-discman, pre-walkman….sorry bro, not meaning to make you look old, technology has just progressed quite a bit. When I first started to run, Travis encouraged me to train without music. His number one argument – you begin to depend on it. Kicking the dirt. It’s a valid point. Wait a second. Here’s mine – I’m running for multiple hours! I’ve earned the right to rock-a-beat.

For those of you who stand with me on the pro-tunes side of the running trail, you understand that a good playlist is essential. I hate wasting $1 (well now, $1.29) on songs that I ultimately skip every run. After a year of running with the same playlist, I’ve recently divided my lists up to fit the mood, length or speed of my run. My brother just cringed. Not only do I have music, but I've custom fit it to my runs.

My taste in music is all over the place, so try and keep up!

Easy Run: This is typically used for my recovery run, or an early morning, girl-needs-to-clear-her-head run. Slow, easy, mellow. These are all tunes that put me in a happy place.

  • Go Ahead – Alicia Keyes
  • I Need You – Alicia Keyes
  • No One – Alicia Keyes
  • You Picked Me – A Fine Frenzy
  • Come On, Come Out – A Fine Frenzy
  • Love Song – Sara Bareilles
  • Lifesize – A Fine Frenzy
  • Past in Present – Fesit
  • 1234 – Feist
  • Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Heads Carolina, Tails California* – Jo Dee Messina *yes, it’s random with these others, but holds significant personal meaning!
  • Everybody’s Free (to feel good) – The Hit Crew
  • Beautiful Day – U2

Pick up the Pace: This is my most used playlist. It’s happy and light, yet motivating. I use it to start out a long run, or to do my mid-week mileage.

  • Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Love Song – Sara Bareilles
  • For the Actor – Mates of State
  • Dream Vacation – The Maybellines
  • Bad Education – Tilly and the Wall
  • On Top – The Killers
  • Change Your Mind – The Killers
  • Over My Head – The Fray
  • Inside Out – Eve 6
  • Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers
  • How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty
  • Just the Girl – The Click Five
  • I Just Wanna Live – Good Charlotte
  • Human – The Killers
  • Mr. Brightside – The Killers
  • Stay With You – The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Viva La Vida – Coldplay
  • Beautiful Day – U2
* a good portion of this mix is the work of DJ Master Mix of Indie Rock Lauren Gibson

Kick It: I go to this playlist when I need some extra motivation on an afternoon or evening run, or if I have to move my run indoors to a treadmill.

  • Family Affair – Mary J Blige
  • I Just Wanna Live – Good Charlotte
  • Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
  • Who Knew – P!nk
  • Hollywood – Collective Soul
  • Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna
  • American Boy – Estelle
  • Shake It – Metro Station
  • Y Yo Sigo Aqui - Paulina Rubio
  • One Step At a Time – Jordin Sparks – don’t judge me.
  • Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne -ibid.
  • Sugar, We’re Goin Down – Fall Out Boy
  • Don’t Funk With My Heart – Black Eyed Peas

Highlights from my Marathon Mix: some of my favorites from my Marathon Mix that aren’t listed above

  • Pony (It’s Ok) – Erin McCarley this was a free download of the week and I LOVE it!
  • Dirty Living – Brendan James
  • The One I’m Waiting For – Relient K
  • Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been – Relient K
  • Dare You To Move – Switchfoot
  • Open Skies – David Crowder Band

Purchase pending my next itunes gift card:

  • Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
  • I Gotta Feelin – Black Eyed Peas
  • Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon
  • Please Don’t Leave Me – P!nk
  • Don’t Stop Believin – Journey
  • Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas
  • Super Massive Black Hole – Muse
  • Love Story – Taylor Swift *I know. I just can’t help it.

If I am in a store, driving my car, wherever and I hear any of these songs, I feel compelled to run. What music moves you? What's on your playlist?

- thanks to Richelle for asking what was on my playlist!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hey 19, Kiss This!

After feeling so great about my 19 mile run, I decided to hit up a bakery that I've been following on twitter for a mouthwatering long time. Kiss My Bundt. She had me at her pun. Plus, the word bundt reminds me of my dear friend Jodie, and how whenever we say Bundt (which comes up more often than one would think) we STILL reenact the scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And still find it hilarious, every time!

I met up with my friend Melissa, who had run 9 miles that morning. I tasted a slice of the "Big Ol' Bundt" of the day, and Melissa had the Red Velvet mini-bundt. mmm.mmm. My slice was the most seriously moist cake that I believe I've ever had.

Clearly, it wasn't fair for me to leave Seth out. He'd run 19 miles too. I'm a giver, what can I say. And, I needed to justify seconds. So, I got a box of 4 mini-bundts to take home. Carrot Cake, Cookies & Cream, Lemon & Red Velvet. Our personal opinion... the red velvet and cookies and cream were the best of this foursome.

Craving some Red Velvet? The LA Times recently posted Kiss My Bundt's Red Velvet Recipe.

Tête-á-Tête on Nineteen

Saturday was a BIG day for me. Nineteen big ones were on my marathon training schedule. Longest mileage of my life. The legend that most first time marathoners hit their wall at 18 the first time through, was hanging heavily in my mind. At the same time, there were (and still are) fires in the Los Angeles area. I convinced myself that the air quality would be deemed too poor for such long mileage. However, as I made my way to training, I could clearly see blue skies. I arrived at my standard time, approximately 11 minutes late, and joined the group mid-stretch. I was just in time to hear that 19 miles was still up for the running. Oh….. Goody.

For the first 6 miles of my course, I looked, well sniffed, for any excuse to call it off. To my dismay, I mean, uh, excitement…. the park had the usual scent – cut grass, tilled dirt, fresh horse manure, and a slight whiff of skunk. Mmmm. Breathe that in deep. Not even a hint of smoke.

Six miles turned into 12, and a switch flipped in my brain. I became determined to finish before the winds changed, moving the smoke onto my route and cutting off my run. I was focused, and suddenly I wanted to run this entire 19 mile route. 4 hours and 8 minutes (I never said I was fast!) after I tried to find a reason to quit, I ran back to the cheers of my teammates, having completed my first 19 miles.

My friend Maricia has asked me, what do you think about when you are running for so long? Indeed. That is a lot of conversation with yourself. But, some good stuff comes out of it that tends to apply to more than just my running.

Take the labels off. 19 miles sounds long. But, it isn’t as scary when I think of it as – Hill Loop, Out and Back, Reverse Hill Loop, Water Stop and Back. If I take it in pieces, and take the label of “long” off, take the number off, it becomes attainable.

Mini-Goals are Less Scary. On our route there is a big hill. Bertha. The Beast. THE hill is a hefty and steep one. Early in my training my friend Lori told me to focus on the hydrants. There are fire hydrants, at a somewhat equal distance apart, all the way up the hill. I run to one, walk to the next, run to one, walk to the next. Focusing on mini-goals gets me to the top without injury, without feeling defeated, and without doubt.

Believe in yourself. Determination is a funny thing. It really moves you forward, but it also forces you to really believe in yourself. This week I did, and it made all the difference.

P.S. There is no such thing as too much bengay. And, never underestimate the power of ice.