Monday, January 30, 2012

Confessions of a Running Sinner

"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the Saints… The sinners are much more fun…" 
- Billy Joel

Or maybe you needed to stretch a bit? Nah…! 
I am here to confess.

I am a running sinner. I'm hoping to repent and start afresh and remedy some of these sins.

I'll admit it, if I could get away with sinning, I would. But I do believe in karma of all sorts -- and sooner or later - it catches up to you.

So today I speak my sins out loud and look to you to help me see the light. I know some of you are sinners too so feel free to confess if you feel the need to… If you are a saint, then go a head and brag about it - you've certainly earned it.

Sin #1 - The warm-up.
Hardy-har-har-har. Warm-up? Does the 30 seconds of fast walking at the beginning of my run as I get my Nike+ set and pick my music count as a warm-up? I kinda try to run my "slowest" mile for the first one but it can hardly be called the true warm-up that Runners World recommends:
"Always warm up, Always! After a 5 minute walk, walk and jog for 5 minutes, then jog for five minutes more so you're basically warming up for the very slow first mile of your run."
Um. I've never done this. NEVER. Does anyone do this walk/jog walk thing for a mile? I can't think I'm alone here…

But the mortal sin is on race days. Especially a 5K - I show up, shuffle around a bit, maybe fake a stretch and then bolt. BAD, BAD, BAD.

EXCUSE? Usually, limited time. If I have 3 miles of training, for example, I don't have time to futz around with a light jog and walking nonsense for a mile… also, (admittedly this is dumb) but I want credit for that first warm-up mile and I don't want that first mile to bring down my "running pace average" too much, so I run faster than I probably should. SOOOO dumb. But it's the truth.

REPENT: I'm going to try to slow my roll a little more for the first mile (or at least half a mile). I can't promise I'm going to walk/jog but at least jog/run the first 5-8 minutes. On 5K race days, I'm going to try to get a little five minute, shake-out, pre-jog in to get a little warmed up, rather than just break into full on racing.

Sin #2 - Rest Days.
Over the course of my running journey, a funny thing has happened. A BIG shift in my attitude about rest days. I once LIVED for my rest days, "YAY! I don't have to run today!" Now, it's like, "Rest day? Nah, I'll just do a 2-3 miler. I don't need no stinkin' rest day." I have grown to crave/value/need my run. No matter how short/long/fast or slow I love my running. So much so, that I've even actually gone on running streaks without realizing I was on a streak. Generally speaking, (with no judgement on streakers - if done correctly, I'm sure this works for some) runners NEED rest days. Our bodies and minds need to repair, recover and rebuild. I hate my rest days - but especially now that I'm increasing mileage, I'm going to (gulp) take them.

EXCUSE? Addicted to running, fear of not burning off extra calories, fear of a rest day leading to a loss of motivation and an eventual not running at all (yes I'm insane), and a need for "me" time.

REPENT: I can't promise to be perfect but I'm going to try to honor my rest days. I will cross train/walk/bike/do some weights/dance around the living room or something else if I really feel the need to move.

Sin #3 - Stretching.
I don't ever stretch. It's bad. I've never been flexible to begin with and I never feel like I'm doing it right. I've read that you shouldn't stretch before running, I've read that you should. I've read that you should stretch after a run, but over-stretching on tired muscles could injure you. I'm way confused and I hate stretching so I just don't. Not sure if this a sin or what - but I'm confessing anyway.

EXCUSE? Lazy/ignorant/confused.

REPENT: I don't know? I guess I'll start doing more research and incorporate it if necessary.

Other sins I commit and you might too? Running on old sneakers/the wrong sneakers, upping mileage and speed too quickly, improper fueling/hydrating, not allowing enough time to heal after an injury, trying new stuff on race day,  and so much more.

The problem with these sins are you can only commit the crime for so long before you have to do the time… And unfortunately, "the time" is usually being side-lined by injuries raging from torn hamstrings to shin-splits and a "fun-filled" range of "good times" in between.

So what are some sins you've committed? What is your saintly advice for my sins and some of the others mentioned?

Do you warm up with a walk/jog for a mile?

Do you stretch?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off Race Recap and my new Saucony Loot!

I'm NUMBER 1! Oh. So is everyone. 

There was no freezing for my "Freeze Your Thorns Off Race." It was a lovely 48 degrees - which is lovely running weather for this time of year. I felt pretty good out there and was very proud of my split from about mile 3 - 10:
Happy that I was able to really pick up that last mile - and on
the way back I was running in a pretty good head-wind...
Uphill. on one leg 
So yay. Another virtual race under my belt and a good run to boot.

In other news…

My Saucony prize package came this week.  In case you hadn't heard, here's something to be super jealous of, I won a $500 GRAND PRIZE from Saucony's "Find Your Strong" Facebook Sweepstake! Right!? Best win eva!

Anyway - so the loot came and this is what I got: 

squeal… 3 pairs of new running sneaks!

And I also got arm sleeves, a mask/neck thingy for when it's super cold out, a warm headband thing, compression socks and running pants.

Loving all my stuff! Thanks Saucony! :)

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday hodge podge and Team Gab race recap

Last Sunday I posted about this virtual race:

There is still plenty of time to sign up and all proceeds go to raising money for kids with cancer. I signed up for the 10K - helping a fellow blogger? Taking on Cancer? Taking on Cancer that goes after kids? No brainer.

So I went off to run my very first official 10K. I've done 5K and halfs but never a 10K.

I had to do it on the treadmill because it's was still icy out and I don't "roll" like that.

Anyway.  It was a good run. Of-course at around 5.6 miles in, i went to activate my "power song" on my Nike + app and it instead "ended" my workout. I really ran more than a 10K because I didn't have time to figure out what was left and just an until I'd covered the minimum distance.  So my report miles were in two parts:
so- yeah. whatever the math on 5.88 and .67 is… = Jen's 10k
I was losing steam in the middle of the run but I kept thinking of that sweet face and it kept me going!
And in other news...
Tomorrow I'm doing another Virtual race too: The Boring Runner's, second annual: 
luckily it's gonna be unseasonably nice no freezing my, uh, Thorns off
Report on this one to follow. I'm thinking of trying to get a 10 miler in.

And finally, Jennifer at Moms Running It tagged me in her own 11 random things post so I figured I'd go ahead and answer her questions below… 

BTW, it you don't follow this woman - go check out her blog NOW - it's great and I can stare at her killer abs all day…

1. What are you afraid of?  Losing someone I love. Terrified. On a less deep level, horror movies always creep me out and then I can't sleep.
2. Where would you most like to visit? Greece 
3. What can you not live without running wise? I guess a good pair of sneakers…. but if those are a given, my iPod
4. What is a dream of yours that few people know about? Hmmm most of those cats are out of the bag.  People know that I dream of doing 70.3 ironman but I guess the big dream is doing Kona someday.
5. What is a guilty pleasure? Dirty martini's and reality television
6. What is something that irritates you? People texting / talking on the cell while driving
7. What makes you giggle? The Boring Runner's blog. (Two Shout outs in this blog about Adam - I better hit this guy up for a kick back.)
8. How did you meet your husband/boyfriend? I was a salesgirl at The Chess King in 1990 and his friend worked there - so he'd come in and hang around.
9. Do you have a bad habit? Just one? I'm a lazy housekeeper… 
10. Favorite food? Hmmm that's like picking a favorite child! But I really love Greek, Italian and Chinese… a rotation between those as my fav. will have to do. I just can't commit. 
11. What did you do before running? Before running today? I did a little work - in life, a lot of things but fitness wasn't much a priority, I daydreamed about becoming the active person I am today.  :)

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

11 Random Things

Jen at Miles, Muscles and Mommyhood tagged me in this post - AND Emz from 'You've Freaking. Got. This.' also tagged me! I feel so loved...

So here we go…

The rules:

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people! 

Eleven random things about me:

Ah. to be 20 something - I'm Miss White Pants right next to Slash

1. GO MAURY: Some of you may know that I have a small film and TV company that I've been working at launching with partners called Media Meld Studios - you may also know that I worked for Montel Williams for 15+ years building a career in entertainment - but did you know I got my start as an intern with The Maury Povich Show - long before he was declaring, "You are NOT the father…"

2. VEGGIE TALES: My favorite vegetable is Kale my least favorite is bell peppers but at 39 years old, they are finally starting to grow on me.

3. LOFTY GOALS: As a little kid the first thing I wanted to be when "I grow up" was a nurse. Specifically, "Nurse Miller" because I thought all nurses took on a nurse name.  The second thing I wanted to be was, "a dedicated tennis player" because it wasn't enough to merely be a tennis player. I never played a game of tennis in my life at that point… in fact it was probably another 15 years before I finally took a lesson. So much for dedication.

4. NAME DROPPING: I've had a few cool celebrity moments in the day thanks to my TV jobs thru the years: Shots with Mathew McConahay, teaching Slash how to play tournament-style poker, chatting up Judd Nelson at an Oscan party, doing wardrobe for Joan Rivers, crashing a Ben Affleck movie premiere party and getting to meet him and his mother -- just to name a few.

5. PARLE VOUS FRANCAIS? French was my favorite class in high school - I was even named the president of the french honor society for my school.  My second favorite class was English Lit. I sucked, sucked, sucked at math.

6. FIST PUMP IT! I am third-generation Jersey girl. Garden-state (haha) thru and thru. Which means I don't pump my own gas, get great pizza and hear endless jokes about "New Joisey," "The Sopranos," and "Snookie."

7. J-E-T-S. Yes. I'm an unfortunate fan. It's not easy being green.

8. VICES. I used to drink a lot, gamble a lot and smoke a lot of cigarettes. Not gonna lie, I still would love to do all three, however I'm trying to not be a broke/alcoholic with lung cancer, therefore I refrain 99% of the time from 99% of my former vices. A pack a day habit probably wouldn't be supportive of my running goals either lol. ;) (Quit smoking in 2001)

9. U2. My first concert was when I was a freshman in High School - I went to see U2's Joshua Tree tour. LOVED it.

10. IRONMAN 70.3 dreams.  I don't know why but I really want to do one someday. I haven't swum a lap in years and haven't been on a bike since I was 12. That doesn't scare me. I signed up for my first half marathon before I had ever run for a second in my life. If I had the money to upgrade to a gym with a pool (the only one in our area is 3 times more expensive than my current membership) and could make all the other financial and time commitments i would already be training for one. Don't be surprised when I figure out how to start training for one, one of these days.  

11. LAST NAME. When I got married - 17 years ago! (OMG) I never changed my last name. I kept my maiden name. No hyphen, nothing. No one did that then, but I did because it felt weird taking on a new one. I always hated my last name but when faced with giving up, I didn't want to. It's never been a big deal although when people call my husband by my last name accidentally - it irks him a bit. Interestingly, my twin sister made the same decision to keep her maiden name too. 

11 Questions from Jen:

You are stranded on a deserted island.  Tell me

1. What are the 5 foods you would pick to have with you? Pizza, dark chocolate, leafy greens, oatmeal, pineapple
2. What 2 things would you pick to drink? fresh water chocolate milk and red wine
3. What book would you want to have? Picture album of my loved ones
4. You are visited by ONE person for 24 hours only, who is it? I would have to flip a shell to determine whether that would be my identical twin sister or son or hubby… jeeze. HARD ONE -- probably have to be my son - though he's a rowdy four year old… A deserted island might be nice for a few days.
5. You can have ONE skill that you do not currently posses? What is it? If I'm still on the island, I would say making fire. If I'm off the island maybe singing? Maybe being a 'dedicated' tennis playing-Ironman?"

You just won 5 million dollars! Tell me

1. What is the first thing you do? Scream 'holy sh!t'! 
2. What is the first thing you buy? A new car 
3. Who is the first person you share your winnings with? hubby
4. Would you relocate? Where? Maybe. Would definitely get a new house. Either someplace in Jersey or head back out to Southern Cali.
5. Would you donate to charity? YES 
6. You must buy me a gift, what do you get me?? 10 training sessions with Chrissy Wellington at fantasy Ironman training camp.

EMZ's 11 questions:

1. Do you love or hate the treadmill and why? Love. I prefer outside but I love having the option and for all these reasons too.
2. Describe yourself in three words. Loyal, funny, creative
3. Describe your best friend. loyal, passionate, funny, awesome, partner in crime
4. Text or call? text 
5. Favorite place to eat? Ruth Chris 
6. Where did you first see your wife/husband/significant other? I was working as a sales girl at Chess King in 1990!
7. Do you buy lottery tickets? Occasionally
8. The first thing you do in the morning. pee while already thinking about my first cup of coffee
9. Favorite recovery drink. Chocolate Honeymilk 
10. If you could have any car in the world, which would you buy? BMW SUV 
11. What do you collect? hmm. I don't think I collect anything. Though I seem to hoard everything.

Here are my 11 questions for those I tag:

1.  What was your first job?
2.  If you could only hear one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
3.  Favorite quote or saying?
4.  Disney World, Vegas or a cruise?
5.  Your favorite "kid" movie?
6.  Celebrity crush?
7.  Dream race?
8.  Favorite blog? (Bonus points if it's mine… just kidding. not really.) :)
9.  Italian food, Greek Food or Asian?
10. Favorite sports team?
11. What was your first concert?

AND I'm tagging you folks…

Lesley - Racing It off
Michel - Baby Weight My Fat Ass
Fricken' Fabulous at 40
Sara at Words To Run By
Nicole at The Scenik Route
Courtney at A so-called runner
Caroline at Canadian runner in Exile
Erica at Life as a Running Mom
Jeff at Detroit Runner
Amanda at Miss Zippy
Lisa at Turtle Lisa

WHEW. Longest blog ever. If you read this all… Thank you. If you didn't - I don't blame you! ;)


Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear new runner: An open letter

Dear new runner:

My very first 5K stuff
Congratulations on your decision to go on this uncomplicated yet complex journey of running. Lace up your sneakers and charge up your iPod, you're in for an exciting and challenging road ahead.

This is the letter that the runner I've become would've written to the "running hater" I once was.

Listen, I know it's hard at first.  That's why you rock. It's hard but you're gonna do it anyway. Others talk about it, but you're doing it. This already makes you a winner. You might have to walk/run, keep your distance short, take it slow and experiment with running on a treadmill/track or outside. In fact please concentrate on not over-doing it in the early days. The worst thing you can do is injure and burn yourself out. When in doubt, it couldn't hurt to 'under-do' it even. I'd rather you come back from a five minute run feeling energized, accomplished and excited to do it again than do a 25 minute run feeling miserable and defeated.

Go sign up for a race. Seriously. Don't let it freak you out. Pick a 5K for 3 months from now (sooner or later based on your fitness level) plunk down your money and sign up. Right now. Go. I will still be here. Don't think about it - just do it.

Found one? Good. Now tell everyone about it. Go post it on Facebook, Tweet it. This is your "official" start to your running life. Congrats. Start your "5K" training program. There are several out there.  You see, there's something about setting a definite goal that makes your running moving forward and it helps keeps you motivated, "I have to run today, I'm training." To this day, I need to have a race on the schedule to help keep me progressing.

As a beginner, you might feel a little soreness in your back, your muscles or even your knees and ankles. I did. A little soreness (especially if you're carrying excess weight) isn't unusual. Do not confuse soreness with injury.  Follow the R.I.C.E method and if you suspect injury, see a doc.

You should go to a running store as soon as you can and get proper running shoes. Please believe me that this is not the place to cheap out. I literally tried to run in Payless "running sneakers" and learned very quickly that this was a BAD IDEA. If you don't live near a running store - you can learn here how to figure out a good running sneaker for you.

Please don't compare yourself to other runners. I started by running at a 4.0 on the treadmill and would eye people that were flying at unfathomable speeds. This is your training. It will be your race. Your journey. You'll always be slower than someone else and right now you are faster than the guy on the couch on his second bag of Doritos!

Running can support your weight loss journey but running does not give you a license to eat. Focus on fueling yourself with healthy foods, don't over-do extra calories or you won't see a loss if that's what you are looking for.

The running community is AWESOME. Support is EVERYWHERE. Go online and look for running bloggers, follow runners on twitter, Join running communities at places like DailyMile and Runners World. Connect, ask questions and join the club.

You are a real runner! Whether it takes you 15 minutes to run that mile or 6 minutes - you are a runner. Don't "weight" to get out there - who cares if you're not the fastest in the pack. Don't think you have to wait to be 20 pounds less to run. You can do it.  Here's a very inspirational story of someone who started at 349 pounds - a guest post on "Runs For Cookies." (Slim Katie has a pretty inspiring story herself.)

As John Bingham says, Whether you are the first or last across a finish line, it's the same finish line!!  Get out there and be proud of you! You have to be your own biggest cheerleader. You are a rockstar. Believe it.

Finally, you might not love it today. You might not love it tomorrow but someday you're going to wake up and crave running. Your life will be changed. You will find fitness, what 'runners high' is all about, confidence and passion. You will find out that you can go further than you thought. You will learn that you're tougher than you ever gave yourself credit for. Your world's of "I cant's will change to I cans."

You will find the indescribable joy of setting goals and accomplishing them. The thrill of the finish line.

I'm so happy for you. Enjoy your journey and see you out there.
"Everyone is an athlete. But some of us are training, and some of us are not." -Dr. George Sheehan


Friday, January 20, 2012

7 reasons to stop hating the treadmill

at least I can watch the muscle heads at my gym
Ah, The good 'ol dreadmill treadmill.

Many of us have a hate-hate relationship with it.

Some more than others.  I myself have grown to tolerate the treadmill. I will admit that it's easier to deal with it when runs are 6 miles and under but I've used it to run up to 14.

Not everyone hates the treadmill. I mean powerhouse runners and bloggers like EMZ runs on one and even did her own 24 hour treadmill fundraiser on one!  Lesley from Racing It Off also often turns to tread work without mention of dread.  She clocks some serious miles on it too!

Today I woke up with a groan at the thought of hopping on the treadmill… So on the heels of yesterday's post about being positive I started to talk to myself about all the good things about the good 'ol tread.

So in honor of national treadmill day… (never heard of national  treadmill day? Well that's because I made it up…)

I'm listing ten seven (I couldn't come up with ten) reasons why we should stop hating the treadmill:

  1. Climate control. No ice, no rain, no snow, no heat wave, no cold weather gear, no coming home and waiting for your thighs to defrost or cursing the sunscreen that's sweated into your eyes… Just go time.
  2. Reality television. It's so much harder to watch an episode of the Jersey Shore running thru a park… well. unless your park is in the middle of Jersey (like mine) where you might sight a Snookie or two… 
  3. A handy dandy dash board.  No figuring out where to carry your Gu, hydration, music, towel, iPhone, uh. remote control for reason number 2 - treads have all kinds of cup holders to stash your crap.  And talking about crap...
  4. Potty perfect.  Gu hit your tummy hard? Too much pre-run hydrating? Running so hard you feel like puking? Never fear, a potty is near!
  5. No dogs, children or sidewalk cracks to trip you up.  On my run the other day thru the hood, I made the mistake of running by a middle school just as the tweens were getting out. Oh the horror. Weaving in and out of walls of kids with heads buried in their cool smart phones was a great time if you like running a 15 minute mile. Also, I'm good for catching every little bump in the road just at the right spot to trip. 
  6. Mindless Miles.  It's not to say they aren't worthy or important miles. Sometimes it's just a relief to run without thinking of anything. I can blast my music and truly tune out. When I'm running outside I'm on heightened alert for above mentioned dogs and sidewalk cracks, plus cars, bikers, predators and other things that can harm ya.  I like that I can completely zone out.
  7. Hill and speed control. Wanna run up hill - no need to go out and find one! That's so old school. Incline it up, baby!  Want to know what it feels like to run a 5 min. mile? - Set it to 12.0 and have at it. Good luck. Modern technology! I do like challenging myself to running faster and faster on the tread.
So what's your thoughts on our poor, often hated friend the treadmill? Love him or hate him? 

What's your favorite thing about the tread? Your least favorite?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Talking to yourself: Not just for crazy people

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." - Henry Ford

Ugh. I mean, hills make me strong

I am a great believer of self-talk. In fact I live or die by it. I used to be filled with self-doubt and negative self-talk and I didn't even realize it! I would wake up in the morning already groaning internally about the weather, the traffic, the 'tough' day ahead.  I had to consciously change that thought behavior and I work every day at it by using positive self talk.

I love the Ford quote above because it's so friggen true. When I was 236 pounds I could've said to myself, "I'll never lose weight, run a block, be healthy… I'm a failure." And I could make that all true. Or I could've said to myself, "I'm going to stick to my health goals, run what I can at any given moment in my weight loss journey and become healthy."

Luckily, I chose the second statement and I chose to repeat it, repeat it and repeat it. Most of those times even "faking it til, I made it" in those earlier days.

In addition to positive self-talk, I find mantras, words, phrases to be very helpful during runs - or even in tricky food situations. They say that thoughts become words and words become action. I don't know the science of it all but I know that it works for me.

It seems I'm not Polyanna perky by nature. My first thoughts usually go negative, "this sucks" or "this is hard" when it comes to certain situations like long runs or hills. I have to be very aware of my tendency to do that and squash it quick!

I've started repeating things like, "I love long runs because_________" and I fill in the blank with 5 - 10 things. I have to. Or my brain just wants to say, "it sucks."  Ironically, I do like long runs but that mental game of 'finding the time' and just doing it can often get thwarted by my evil, negative brain trying to talk myself out of it.

During a workout where I'm feeling drained and like cutting it short I might think or say:
  • You are strong
  • There will be a day you cannot do this, today is not that day
  • Suck it up buttercup
  • You don't have to do this - you GET to do this - it's a privilege, enjoy it
  • Pain is temporary, Pride forever (got thru my first half marathon with this one)
  • This is joy
  • I love this run
  • Hills make me strong
  • This might be tough, but I'm tougher
  • This is the part that counts, so don't back down now
  • I'm a warrior
  • If this was easy, everyone would do it
  • I'm an athlete
  • This is your time
Most recently, blogger Maria Simone at Running A Life, quoted triathlon & running coach Bobby McGee with this: 

"Be the kind of person who does the types of things to have the results you want." I know that my friend Jason from Cook, Train, Eat, Race has been living by these words.

Words are powerful.

When I first started running, I called it the voices in my head that were like a bunch of mean girls… always telling me reasons why I can't… At least for the most part now-a-days - the mean girls have been hushed by a chorus of "you can's."

As you can see, I'm doing a lot of talking to myself. And sometimes I'm sure I look crazy. That's OK…  I'd rather be crazy than lazy! ;)

Do you talk to yourself during your runs?
Do you have a favorite go-to mantra?
Do you have a favorite running quote?


Monday, January 16, 2012

DNF and the success of "failure"


For those of you who are newer to running DNF = Did not finish. As in I tried to run this marathon but broke a leg at mile 16 and got a DNF.

DNF is a big scary fear I've had and I would venture to say a fear for many of my fellow runners. Why?  Because in my mind (and possibly others) DNF somehow = failure.

The fear of DNF is what motivates us to train, get out there in sub zero weather and plug away at the miles but DNF has an evil side as well. The fear of DNF prevents many of us from even trying.

And DNF isn't just for runners or running. How many things in our lives do we limit ourselves in because of some sort of looming and scary threat of DNF.

For the New Year it struck me that many people are so fearful of "DNF" that they don't even bother to set goals or resolutions at all. More than once I heard, "I don't set goals because then I don't set myself up for disappointment."

There was something profoundly bothersome to me about that type of statement.

I'm not trying to judge, here. Believe me I was once that person as well.

What I've learned is, we have to get over our fear of DNF. DNF fear holds us back. When we aren't willing to fail we limit ourselves and we wind up living lives less of what we are capable of.

Words To Run By
My friend Sara from Words To Run By, didn't let DNF scare her from signing up for the GOOFY challenge in Disney World.  The Goofy challenge is a two day ultra marathon. One day running a half marathon followed by a full the very next day both taking place thru Disney theme parks. This challenge is not for the faint of heart.

Sara trained, she tried and she gave it her all. You need to read her journey of it, it's amazing.  Talk about strength, fearlessness, perseverance, pride, passion.  She completed her first 13.1 on Saturday and started her day two full marathon in pain, with a blister the size of Wisconsin and very little sleep - but she went into it with open arms.  She was an absolute warrior and stotan thru more than 22 miles until her body gave up and the volunteers made the call to take her off the course. She left it all out there. But is Sara sad that she only (ha) completed 35 out of 39 miles? UM no. Nor should she.

35 miles out of 39 - failure?  I think not. Anyone would consider that a triumph and an incredible accomplishment.  A roaring success in my book.

She fearlessly ran with a DNF hanging over her head.  She didn't reach the physical finish line but shit. She had the courage to try.  DNF shouldn't mean did not finish - it should mean - did not fail. We are never failures if we are trying and dreaming big and going for it with gusto. Failure is placing limitations on ourselves.  If Sara decided to "shoot" for a 5K, 10K, or just the half she would've been "successful" in reaching the finish line… but Sara and her "did not fail" got so much more from not being afraid to dream big.

Someone commented on Sara's Facebook page, DNF is better than DNS (did not start) and that is something that will stick with me forever. I will gladly take a DNF over a DNS any day of the week.

Stop being afraid to fail. If you never fail, you're not aiming high enough.

Along the same theme - I saw this amazing video yesterday:


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sh*t runners NEVER say

As I was writing yesterday's post "Sh*t runners say" I realized that there are even more things us runners would NEVER say.

Sh*t runners never say:

  1. 25.2 already? Damn, only one more mile.
  2. No, no. I don't want the medal - running was its own reward.
  3. I'm not hungry.
  4. I like being the slowest in the group.
  5. I really hope I don't PR this time.
  6. What does BQ mean? 
  7. I decided to race without my Garmin.
  8. One pair of sneakers are plenty.
  9. How many miles is this marathon?
  10. I'd rather be walking.
  11. This sport would be so much easier if it was all uphill.
  12. Can you pass me my jean jacket - going for a run.
  13. Nothing sucks more than crossing a finish line.
  14. I hope there are a bunch of dogs off their leashes at the park today!
  15. Oh, how fun. An ice storm.
  16. I'm so glad I had the burrito and hot wings before this 16 miler. Great call.
  17. I hope I "pants my poop" this time ;)
  18. Awesome! I'm injured - now I get to rest for a few weeks!
  19. Thank God for the wall of walkers in front of me, now I can slow down.
  20. Woot! I just ran thru a pile of dog poop - It's my lucky day.
Now I'm sure I'm missing at least 20 more so bring on your own 'sh*t us runners would NEVER say' in the comments below!

Have a great day!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Sh*t Runners Say...

more funny chickens found here
I've seen all of these videos popping up on FB - "sh*t white girls say, black girls say, club people say, etc, etc…"

So it got me to thinking…

What is some sh*t runners say?

Hmmm.  How about…

Big news!
  1. I'm gonna just do an 'easy' six miles today.
  2. I was supposed to do a long run but only got 10 in.
  3. I wonder if I should just pee on myself and try to PR this race?
  4. I know I just ran 26.2 miles but I am disappointed.  I only shaved 1 minute off my last time.
  5. Don't forget to DVR the Olympic Trials.
  6. Fartleks.
  7. Yippee! GU now has a peanut butter flavor!
  8. Hell no I won't get chicked.
  9. Hell. I just got chicked.
  10. Yes! Negative splits!
  11. All I want for Christmas is a new Garmin. And maybe some cold weather gear. Oh OK and a copy of "Spirit of The Marathon."
  12. Woo hoo / boo hoo - hill work.
  13. Lost another toe nail. Oh well.
  14. "Please don't pants my poop."
  15. I totally bonked after hitting the wall so today I'm just going for a recovery run.
  16. Ugh. Taper sucks. I just want to get out there and run.
What am I missing?

What would you add to the list?

Happy Friday all…


Thursday, January 12, 2012

California Dreamin' - Racing on the west coast

Signing up for races is addictive!

I made a decision to spend a few days in LA to convene with my Cali business partners, get some meetings done and yadda, yadda, ya so I figured I'd do that in conjunction with a race.

My business partner, Angela, who was the one who introduced me to running to begin with runs Surf City ever year. She kept inviting me to run it with her and I was hemming and hawing… I mean it's Super Bowl Sunday and as a big football fan, I had to take that into consideration! Well with my crappy team safely out of any chance to make the big game, I had nothing standing in my way.

me and Ang after Jersey Shore half 2010
Yesterday, I decided to make the commitment to run Surf City on February 5th - it's supposed to be a beautiful run along the ocean - and it's flat and fast (with typically ideal weather) so I hope to use this one to PR.  I'm so excited.  And I'm very excited to run with Angela again. She ran my very first half with me in Jersey. She was waaaay faster than me but she paced me the whole time and made my first experience awesome.

Then, today I decided to pull the trigger and sign up for The Hollywood Half.  I mean, that race just has my name all over it.

The race is on April 7th. It starts at Universal Studios and you run parts of Hollywood Blvd and Sunset and look at how cute the bling is:

Hoooray for Hollywood!
So my first two races will both be on the West Coast - which is cool because I can always justify the trips there with work related stuff in addition to the fun of the run! Plus a trip in February and another in April breaks up the winter very nicely.

I'm also planning on running the New Jersey half marathon in Long Branch again. In fact, my hubby says he's gonna run it too! (Woo!) He just started running again and training. That would be awesome.

I've decided not to run a full this spring though, I'm loosely following a marathon training program. I've been doing the weekday 'assigned' runs and then slightly modifying the long runs (like 8 miles instead of 10 and 10 miles instead of 13) but still overall increasing my weekly mileage.

My grand plan is to continue my lucky/winning streak and get into the NYC marathon in the fall and if for some reason (perish the thought) I don't get in, I'll find an alternate fall race.

Hope you are all doing well!

What races do you have coming up? 

Did you apply to the NYC lottery?


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Surf City, here we come… (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

Soooooo excited - First race is ON THE BOOKS…

sure beats Jersey in February!!

Hello super cute medal!!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A year in miles, Saucony rocks and other things to be grateful for

I've been feeling really great lately. Running has been on point even with my little trip from the other day. Luckily my ankle has been fine. I have a wee bit of soreness in the arch of my foot and knee but it doesn't really hurt to walk or run so I don't think it's much concern.

I've been feeling super grateful lately. I am a lucky girl in so many ways and for so many reasons.

Tonight I ran pretty speedy (ahem… trying not to say it…for me) and it felt great. 2 miles in 19:20 which is 9:39 average. When I first started running my average was 12:30 - 12:40 with impossible DREAMS of a 11:30 or less.

And what made it even more satisfying is it didn't feel like I was 'racing.' Yes, it felt harder than my long run pace but it was only slightly - medium harder than a comfortable pace. Does that make sense? I still felt I had more in me if I wanted to crank it up or were racing. It's just awesome to be able to look back and track the progress.

Also I really do love daily mile. I love that when Nike craps out (like tonight) I can manually keep track of my miles and pace. Here's my yearly report - not bad.

Finished the year strong!!
And what else do I have to be thankful for?  Never mind a running streak - I'm on a winning streak!! This week I got an Email from Saucony, which I assumed to be the standard Email of thanks for entering our contest blah, blah, blah or advertisement… No what I found out was:

Hello Jennifer,
Thank you for participating in the Saucony Find Your Strong in 2012 Giveaway on our Facebook page and referring friends! I'm reaching out to you because since you referred two or more friends you were eligible for the Grand Prize and were selected as a winner! The Grand Prize is $500 of Saucony Gear!!
Congratulations on being the grand prize winner in the Giveaway and I look forward to hearing from you!

WHAT! GET OUT OF TOWN!!  You know I love Saucony - I mean how many times have I posted my own Saucony sneakers:

Saucony: My very first pair of 'real' running sneakers
And I loved them so much, I bought them again.

And then I got these.

Saucony carried me for my first full marathon

And most recently I got these - current sneakers...
So, needless to say, I am one happy Saucony wearin' winner!! :)

I'm the luckiest and so grateful. $500 smacker-roonies.  I'm going to pick out a great pair of running sneakers, treat myself to a good pair (or two!) compression socks, and then get some other gear.

Want to see some of what I might pick out? Visit Saucony.

And see my name in "lights" on the Saucony Facebook page.

And on a sad note -

I'm also grateful that I've been safe and sound after all of my runs. I'm heartsick and praying for missing runner Sherry Arnold who went out for a run on Saturday morning and is still missing.  SUAR is closely related to her - read more about it here.  It's a reminder that we are vulnerable out there.  Be safe my friends.