Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tough road ahead

Ug. I ran two miles last night on the treadmill. I wanted to do 4. Then I was going to do 3.1. Then before I knew it I was cooling down after just 2. I’m still trying to increase my mileage per week, so I will run tonight again, at least a mile, maybe two. On a positive note, because this is the month of positive thinking, it was nice to get to the gym and sweat a little. I lifted weights afterwards and that always makes me feel stronger almost instantly. And I stretched really well afterwards. I can tell I am starting to get tight. Might be time to incorporate some yoga into my weekly routine just to keep things nice and rubbery.

Tenacity: Persistant Determination.

I just thought I would throw that in there because I was thinking how difficult it is going to be for me to get in shape to run 10 miles again. Lots. But that’s ok……..

Cuz she’s got TEN-ACITY,
walks with TEN-ACITY,
talks with TEN-ACITY…..

And that’s all of the song that I know (replace tenacity with personality). Maybe I’ll start singing that to myself along with the ever popular motivator “Just keep running, running, running, running…” (from Finding Nemo replace running with swimming) for running hills.

Snow Report:
I had such an awesome time snowboarding this weekend that it’s all I can think about. When can I do it some more?? My lessons start next week, once a week for three weeks. I hope that this will help me practice things outside my comfort zone. I’m finally to a point where I want to keep trying until I get good. Before it was an effort to talk myself into going down one more time. I think that it because it was mostly work to snowboard. Now it is turning into fun.

I’ve got to refer to my list and see what’s up for February. It’s almost time to pick a new focus. J

Friday, January 25, 2008

Admittance of Guilt

I feel guilty today. Here's why:
  1. I didn't run last night as I had planned. I could give you several good excuses, but that doesn't change the fact that I didn't run last night. I can't be skipping runs like this just because it's pre-training. It's going to matter later when I have to start logging some serious miles.
  2. I ended the evening at Old Chicago with a small plate of nachos and a 1/4 of a personal pan pizza AFTER a salad at Champps and two buffalo strips after work. I didn't need that late night snack. It was a social thing and it was just something to do rather than nourishment I needed. The positive is that I did have a salad earlier. But eh. Hardly seems like justification.
  3. This morning I started with a scone that I had about 1/4 of and didn't like then threw away. Then I had a bagel at work. I still wasn't really hungry enough to eat either of these items, but the worst part is that really twists the guilt knife is that Neither of these were what my body was craving. I don't know what my body was craving, it seemed to be apathetic like I wasn't hungry enough to care. But one think I do know is it wasn't craving carbs :( I've been trying to really focus on satisfying what I need rather than what I want and I knowingly blew it this morning.

The point of this is to remind myself that I don't like when I do the above things because then I feel guilty. I think the next step here is to say "OK - remember how you feel after doing 1, 2 or 3 and make a better choice next time." So here is the post to help me remember and now I am going to continue the day with a better attitude and let go of the guilty feelings I have been having because I will have many opportunities to make good choices and can feel good about them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Training Schedule

Since I began pre-training for a 1/2 marathon last week I thought I would post my training plan. That way there is something to refer to when I write about the miles.

Pre-Training goes from January 13th - February 9th with 3 runs a week:

Week 1: 2/2/3 Total=7
Week 2: 3/2/4 Total=8
Week 3: 4/4/5 Total=13
Week 4: 4/3/5 Total=12

Actual Training begins February 10th until race day on April 19th:

Week# Tuesday Wednesday Sat/Sun
1 4x400 3-mile tempo 6-mile long run
2 4x800 4-mile tempo 8-mile long run
3 3x1600 5-mile tempo 10-mile long run
4 6x400 6-mile tempo 6-mile long run
5 3x1600 4-mile tempo 10-mile long run
6 4x800 8-mile tempo 8-mile long run
7 6x400 6-mile tempo 10-mile long run
8 4x1600 8-mile tempo 12-mile long run
9 3x800 3-mile tempo 6-mile long run
10 4x400 2-mile tempo Half Marathon

Tuesday's are speedworks with 20 warm-up and cood-down which will be between 1-2 miles for me.
Wednesday's are tempo runs.
Saturday's are slow runs for distance.

I've already decided that I am going to inorporate walking into my race plan. Last summer on the days when I would walk 1 minute after every mile, my times were faster than when I ran the whole way. Plus my knee didn't hurt as back and recovery time seemed shorter. And lastly, my goals. I'm really not one for time goals, I just finish and look back and see that I had the experience I wanted. That could mean I worked as hard as I could or maybe I had fun or even just finished or sometimes I beat my last time. But I do like a bar to aim for which may change once I get into training. So here it is:

Goal Pace: 11:02
Goal Time: 2:22:34

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


After what seemed like 2 hours of dreaming that I had overslept and thinking of excuses why missing my workout was justified and tossing and turning, my alarm went off at 5:15. Ugh. As I prepared to get out of bed I had one thought “You will be glad you did this later.” Much, much later. Out of bed, I still didn’t feel good about it. Walking outside to my car when it was at least 5 below zero didn’t change my mind either but I kept waiting for the moment of gratitude. Wait for it. Any minute you’ll be glad you did this. Yeah right. I waited all morning. After 15 minutes straight minutes of ab work (and I mean straight – no breaks or pauses or nothin’!) I was tired. Then we just ran, then we did lunges and squats and then I had to drag some lady around the room with her pulling me back with a resistance band. Then we did circuit training. Of course I get paired up with Jillian Michaels’ twin. Try keeping up with that. It was a lot of work for that early in the morning and I was getting skeptical that I would ever be glad I did it. I’m at work and tired and I guess this is as good as it gonna get. I’m sorta glad I did it. I mean I’m not going to make a habit out of it. Actually, I didn’t really like it that much at all. But, if necessary, I guess I will reluctantly do it again. The accountability thing worked though. As I said, I was having nightmares about how to explain that I overslept. Anyway, maybe I’ll feel really really grateful over a beer and a dog tonight at the basketball game.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I can't believe I have to go to a class at 5:45 in the A.M. tomorrow. Why, oh why did I publish that???

Just kidding. I'll go. It's just once. Not like I'm making a habit out of it.


I would like the world (or the 4 people who read this) to know that I plan on going to a class at the gym at 5:45 in the A.M. tomorrow morning. There. Now I have to go or face utter humiliation and lifelong mockery.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Get Confidence Stupid!

This is the gist of Speech #3:

I am nervous for each speech I have to give at Toastmasters. Once when I was walking to my car on a day I had to give a speech I actually thought “What if I slip on the ice and sprain my ankle. Certainly that would be an acceptable reason for not showing up to give my speech today”. This completely absurd thought crossed my mind and for a split second did not seem crazy in the least. So far every time I have spoken at Toastmaster in any way, I was nervous to varying degrees. I may not seem nervous, but trust me. I am. Why then do I keep going back? How am I able to build confidence in myself on the road to becoming a better communicator? I’ll tell you. They are the same approaches I use whenever my mind is lacking confidence because I am fearful of a looming task. I want to share three tactics I use to build confidence and overcome fears.

Tool number one: Positive Affirmations. Last year I took up snowboarding. With a lot of practice I have come to enjoy going down the slopes. I hate going up in the chair lifts. It’s hands down the part about snowboarding that scares me the most. I think it’s because I have no control. Going down I can go as fast or as slow as I want, but when I’m on the chair lift I don’t get to decide when I’m ready. So many things can go wrong when getting off the lift which will result in my falling or tripping up another skier. Both of which I dread. If I want to enjoy the down I need to get a ride up. On the way up I try to remind myself I have done this 100 times before. I can do this. I try to visualize what the perfect exit looks like. I use positive affirmations to build my confidence. I don’t let negative thoughts get me down. It also helps to remind myself that if I do fall; so what? So what if they have to stop the lift or if I bump into someone? Is that the worst thing that could happen to me? Doesn’t seem so bad. Remember to believe in yourself. If you can’t keep the negative thoughts at bay, try just repeating the same positive thought and visualize the outcome you desire.

Visualizing a positive outcome ties into my next tool. I like to say “fake it til you feel it”. I like to wear my glasses whenever I want to feel smart. In college whenever I had a calculus test I made sure to wear glasses. I think that people who wear glasses look smart. They looked focused and confident in their abilities. If I could pretend I was that way on the outside it helped me feel that way on the inside. It sounds silly I know. In my mind I could visualize working through the test and knowing the answers and feeling smart in my glasses. But it really helps to ask your self "What if I already was successful at this; if I wasn’t afraid?” Same goes with public speaking. Professional speakers probably dress well and look prepared. They speak clearly and slowly and with confidence. I may be none of these things inside, but if I pretend that I am confident, pretend that I am not nervous, eventually I will feel on the inside what I am “faking” on the outside. The line between pretending and reality will blur with time and practice. I made it a point to always wear my glasses on days when I had calculus classes in college. Ask yourself “what would it be like if…”

Finally, to overcome fears Just Do It. As long as you have reasonably prepared, don’t give yourself a chance to talk yourself out of whatever it is you are trying to do. I don’t think about all the reasons that I don’t want to get on that chair lift. I get in line. I leave no room for fears or backing down. Once I’m in line, it’s too late to back out. When I’m nervous about talking in front of a group I ask to go first. If you want to learn Spanish but are worried you won’t have time, or you don’t like going to new places alone, sign up for the next class. When the day of the first class comes around, get in your car and go. No questions, no excuses, don’t think about it, just do it. I’m not saying that if you are afraid of heights you should go jump out of a plane. Clearly that is something that involves a fair amount of prep work and practice, but as long as you have done the prep work and it has come down to the last step, that’s when you just do it.

It can be extremely liberating to overcome fears. Building confidence is the foundation to doing that. By telling your self positive affirmations and faking it until you feel it, you can gain the confidence you need and just do it. Once you take the steps necessary to overcome your fears the thing you were so afraid of will be over quickly and you’ll be left with the satisfaction that you just did something you were certain you didn’t want to do. You’ll be amazed at your ability to succeed. I’m no longer nervous by the time I finish my speeches. I feel exhilarated knowing that I just finished something I woke up in the morning certain I didn't want to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Blanket thus far....

Alive and Well

Just a quick update that I am alive and well. My uncle called last night to ask if I was dead because I hadn't posted since January 1st. I've been too busy out living life man, rather than rehashing my comings and goings!! I didn't call him back yet, but he knows that no news is good news. That's funny - haha.

OK - Not true, maybe I just haven't been inspired. Today I signed up for the Earth Day ½ Marathon in April. I got brand new running shoes, I have completely forgotten what Gu and Shot Blocks taste like, not to mention how I nearly collapsed the first 10 mile run I did, I got new tunes and some new winter running clothing. All I can remember is how much it ROCKED running across the finish line in October. The first week of training won’t start until mid February and I will need to run 6 miles that weekend for the long run. Can I run 6 miles now? Judges are shaking their head in doubt. I’m gonna start waaaaaay back at going for two miles and build from there. Will I be able to run 13 miles in April? I’m nodding my head and smiling and 4 out of 5 judges are agreeing. But one mile at a time. First things first and that includes running 2-2 milers and 3 this weekend. I was hoping to go outside but since it is supposed to be 7 (degrees. literally) I think I might pass and try the treadmill for every run this week.

Another quick update is that the blanket for the cousin is starting to look like a real blanket. Now all I have to do is tie in 24 little triangles, 4 corners, about 20 rows in the middle and 4-5 rows around the whole thing. I already explained to her that her Christmas present would be a little late and she understood that I was putting a lot of effort into this and she would be getting something very special. Still, she probably expected it before her 18th birthday. I'll try to post a picture. I have been meaning to send one to Grandma anyway.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

January 1, 2008

What a great day. Woke up in the morning feeling refreshed after going to bed shortly after midnight and sleeping until 8. Put the Christmas decorations away. Cleaned up a little. Enjoyed a pot of coffee. Watched 1/2 of Little House on the Prairie and an episode of the Brady Bunch. Went snowboarding for an hour and a half. Finished it off with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant and some reading. An excellent start to the new year.

Now it is Day 2 : 2008 and work is going well. 4 hours into it and I still feel refreshed from vacation which is good. Looking forward to some serious snowboarding this month, more belly dancing classes, building strong muscles, pre-training to begin training for another race in April and all around positive attitude for everything throughout January.

Happy New Year!