Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sing in the rain or face the dreadmill? Such decisions

Even dorky me promises to leave the umbrella at home
OK, I've always been super lame about cold weather, rain and snow. I'm not a fan of the elements. Living in Southern California for the brief time I was there, suited me just fine. But, I've been back in Jersey for the last few years and now I'm a runner. And I'm a runner who is training for a marathon dammit.

I have decisions to make.

With winter on its way, I have already decided that I'm going to try to run outside as much as possible and try not to bitch, moan and cry like a baby truly embrace the experience.  Now that I've become accustomed to running outside, the thought of going on a treadmill sucks is just not tempting me. When I first started running, I'd say about 99% of my running was on the treadmill. I didn't run outside at all last year until the temp climbed above 60 - and then, when the temp turned hot - I took it back to the treadmill.

It was OK back then. I wasn't running that fast or long - "long runs" were 4 or 5 miles (sure they eventually built to 10 for long run day, but I only had to do 8 once and 10 once for 1/2 training) it wasn't that big a deal.

But now, the thought of doing 10 miles (2 hours) on a treadmill is giving me hives.

I've already begun to stock up on cold weather gear and have asked Santa for stuff like Under Armour for Christmas. (Really? I used to ask Santa for Gucci or a great new perfume... now I'm asking for Under Armour... yep. It's on the list right next to compression socks and sports bra. Yee haaaaa, how things change...)

Sorry for the digression.  Anyhoo...

Tomorrow I've gotta do six. It's supposed to pour.

Do I literally 'test' the waters and run in the cold rain or do I suck it up and visit my good ol' friends at the gym? I have kind of a crappy wind breaker and a nylon hat. I don't know. What does one even run in outside in the rain? Do I need special gear? Will my sneakers get ruined? My Nike + get waterlogged, my i-Pod explode (or die painlessly?) Inquiring minds...

Real runners run in rain... (I think, in any case say that ten times fast... ;)  What do you think?


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ten Freakin' miles! Yippee

OK, this is an exageration, but how the wind felt to me
Today I felt like one BAMF'er out there.

I'm recovering from some weird flu like thing (chills, aches, swollen glands) that ruined Turkey day and holed me up yesterday, but feeling 85% back, figured I'd give the long run a go.

With slightly less energy, wind howling in my face, chilly conditions, an annoyingly runny nose the whole time (and horrors - no tissues), I stared down my long run day of ten miles and took it on.  Pace was 11:56 and just under 2 hours but I felt super victorious. The last time I ran ten miles was for my half in September and I had hit an awful wall right before ten miles, so I had that mental thing to get past too.

And I did it. I did it strong. It was the very first time in my entire life that I'd ever run for that kind of distance without walking at all, that accomplishment makes me feel really happy.

Oh there's a lot of mental cheerleading and stuff going on in my head. Many mantra's. They got me thru.

So that's pretty awesome.

And in slightly more annoying news - I gained FIVE pounds at WW this week?  WTF!? Even without the long run on Friday I ran 12 miles and cross trained twice. I didn't eat Thanksgiving (no dessert, no alcohol) thanks to the flu... I'm baffled. I eat clean and lean and it just doesn't add up.  I always have a lot of points at the end of the week, I don't eat anywhere close to all the points I accumulate from all the exercise (HELLO, today I earned an extra 16 points for the long run - that's almost a whole day of food!)

I'm not upset, just confused. OK and a little annoyed because I was so happy about 81.8 pounds and I'm going backwards. And of-course there's always this guy in the meeting, "Well, I'm totally shocked but I lost 2 pounds this week and I ate everything not nailed down..." Good for you buddy.


I'm hoping being sick and drinking a lot of salty broth yesterday to soothe the throat is what's tripping up the scale this week, we'll see. I can only keep on eating right, training and doing the right thing. I have to think the good will catch up.

My saving grace is, I feel good in my skin, I feel strong, I feel accomplished, I have the knowledge that I'm doing a million good things for me...  so while I'm slightly annoyed I do not let the scale ruin my day anymore.



PS: After reading this post, my friend Jackie sent me this article about weight gain and exercise - I'm doing a lot more lately, so perhaps this is it? Make more sense and at very least, is very comforting! Thanks Jackie!  Gain Weight with exercise

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - Thanking the running Gods

As we gear up to gather with family and friends for another Thanksgiving holiday (my fav. holiday for the record) I, like many others, have taken some time to reflect on all of the things I'm truly thankful for. Topping the list are my husband, son, my twin sis and parents, the many friends in my life, the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, the food on my table. I am a lucky girl and my thanks for things could go on from now to next year.

In the interest of time and keeping a running theme going, I thought I'd do a top ten greatest things I'm grateful for in running.

Thank you running Gods for:

10. Having the good sense to make the Apple folks invent iPods & iTunes

9.  Running fuel like Gu and Sport Beans for long run days.

my park - I owned the place today!
8.Beautiful places to run, like the beach when I'm in Cali or the gorgeous and many, many miles of Saddle Brook Park in NJ just a few miles from home for me.

7.  The Internet, where in a wink of an eye, you can calculate routes, calories burned, gather information, browse blogs and order a new pair of running pants.

6.  Sneakers! Running in heels or flip flops would really suck.

5.  Fellow running bloggers like Jason, Lesley & Julie ----> make sure to check out my blog roll for others who rock. I find humor, advice, feedback and inspiration from my fellow writing runners.

4.  Thank you running Gods for making me thinner and healthier...

3.  ...for challenging me to be stronger and inspiring me to dig deeper.

2.  Race day excitement and runner's high.

1.  Thank you for finish lines where goals are reached, dreams achieved and new beginnings emerge.




Monday, November 22, 2010

Before & After Part 2 The Emotional

Jersey Shore half 2010
The post before this, I showed some of my physical transformation and while I still have some ways to go, I'm getting close to goal.

But more exciting than the physical transformation has been the emotional & mental "before and after" that I didn't expect to gain from running:

I can't run, I'm not athletic, running sucks.
I can run, I am strong, running doesn't suck that bad and sometimes I even like it.

I'll never lose weight, I have no follow thru.
I can commit to training, to believing in myself and had a whole winter of going from not being able to run for 13 seconds to running for 13 miles last May. I'm even capable of losing weight. There's nothing I can't do if I'm willing to work for it and take the steps to get there.

I have to accept things the way they are even if I'm unhappy.
I have the power to change things I don't like, I just have to give up excuses and find solutions. (Even if it's snowing out I can run around my kitchen table 2000 times and get my run in -- no that's not awesome but there's always a way.)

I have soooo much stress, life sucks, I have to drink or overeat to deal.
I have some stress but life is great - I just need to run it out and, think and regroup.

I felt like a loser through much of my life, often looking for the negative
I look for the positive - I'm a winner :)

Running has given me so many life tools - coping skills, confidence, goal setting ability, friends and health- I had no idea it would give me such a great "after" life.

What about you? What's your before and after story?


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Before and After Part 1 - The Physical

Well, my WW weigh in was a dud today at the scale, I actually gained weight. I'm not too freaked about it because I had a big loss last week and I really didn't do anything to warrant a gain. I actually had a great week - I ran 20 miles, had my best 5K time, and was called a role model.

I also ate healthfully, I didn't eat anything out of the norm and was within my weight watcher points... In fact I earned about 38 activity points and didn't touch any of them so I feel my weight gain might be from not eating enough if anything. Oh well. Who cares? At this point I'm striving to be the healthiest I can be, run well and continue losing until goal. In that order.

Anyway. I dug up these pictures sometime last week and have been toying with sharing this before or not. I finally decided I will. It's no secret that I was bigger at one point. My before picture was taken very shortly after the birth of my son.

I was embarrassed of this picture.  Ashamed at how I allowed myself to get that big but after really reflecting on it, I changed my mind. I'm no longer ashamed of that girl. That girl, in that body decided to make a change, she had the guts, the desire, the courage to start and the persistence to keep going. I'm proud of her.

So here it is:

Jen September 2007

Jen in the middle November 2010



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Running myth busters according to Jen

Today I had a rest day, which I actually kinda hate - I like getting my run on. But I did go to the Road Runner store to pick up some sports beans for my long runs... I found out last week that i really like them much better than Gu or gel. These are the ones I particularly like - I only needed to eat half the bag for my 8 miler and they seemed to really work:

Here was the cool thing, the guy who worked there was a real runner (like 10 marathons) when I went to pay he asked if they were for my long run and we talked run shop for a few minutes - we swapped stories of where we run, what races we're doing, he told me about some new energy gel that's coming out and I was on my way. I felt like such a real runner. Talking the talk, walking the walk, getting my beans. I don't know, can't explain how cool that was to me. There is no longer that dear and headlight daze I once got, walking into the running store. No confusion on what I'm doing. I really feel like I've crossed a bridge from wanna be into runner. It's a nice feeling.


This running journey has been an interesting ride. I've learned a ton about a million things but I've also learned that I was wrong about a whole buncha things too - myths if you will, that not only I used to believe but many people still believe and perpetuate. I was musing these things so thought I'd throw them out there...

Myth #1 - Running will allow you to eat whatever you want and lose weight.
Jen truth - maybe for you but not for me. I have to still carefully plan everything I eat and it's even a little more challenging now because I have to not only take in consideration that I'm trying to lose weight but I have to figure out the right amount of calories pre-run, during my long run and for recovery. I'm striving for healthy balance, I don't want to be stupid and not eat enough either...  This is a fine art and even with all the running, I have to WORK at the food.  Oy.

Myth #2 - Running is a cheap form of exercise.
Jen truth - Hardy, har, har, har. I write a shopping blog for a living and read a lot of articles about saving money. It seems that many "frugal" bloggers have this crazy notion that running is "a super cheap form of exercise." I thought that at first too. What's there to spend? Ya got feet? A pair of sneakers from the Payless and we're good to go. Um. Cough. Anyone who thinks running is cheap isn't a real runner. Sorry. Just the basics alone - a good pair of sneakers, the right clothing, race fees quickly add up. Never mind the rest of it - the compression socks, iPod, tracking gear, hydration belts, sports bras, gu, and that's just what's rolling off the top of my head - isn't cheap. Now don't get me wrong, it's all worth every penny but I'm busting this myth wide open.

Myth #3 - You must love running ("I could never run because it's not my fav. activity")
Jen truth - I can't tell you how many people say, well, I could never really run because I don't really like it much. Do you think I liked to run at the beginning? Hell no. This started out as a side show, a novelty act, something to get me writing and exercising. Every minute of running was pretty painful and annoying. Now I love it. I feel extremely grateful that I took that time to "acquire the taste" but it didn't happen overnight. It took me a looooooong time to appreciate it and then finally start to love it.  You don't get to 236 pounds loving running, you get to that weight by loving pizza, sitting on your ass and sleeping late. Luckily, I loved myself enough to make the changes necessary to get me right to this spot... gearing up for my 8 mile long run in the AM.

So my fellow run-loving friends, what myths are you ready to bust?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No turning back now - it's official, I'm registered for my first FULL marathon

So yeah, I'm in. Took the plunge, dove into the pool, plunked down my credit card and signed up for San Diego Rock and Roll Full marathon... all 26.2 miles of it.

I guess I should thank the blogging community for it all...

Without it, I wouldn't have publicly made the commitment (without the public expectation, I prob would've changed my mind already) and then to be named a "role model" well, what choice do I have really?

It'll be great. Gulp.

The words "Rock and Roll" in the title of the race makes everything cool - no?

It's only one mile 26.2 times or so... I could do that. I think.

Oh boy. Well there's no turning back now. I'm going to train and train hard. I know there'll be runs in the wind, and long runs on the "dread mill" in the middle of winter... I know it's going to be challenging but walk, run, skip or crawl - I'm gonna give it my all.

By the way, plenty of time for you to sign up and do it with me... here's a code to use at checkout and save a few bucks: sdsurvey10


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Role Models...

Wow. This was so nice and touching I can't believe it.

Jason Bahamundi
Recently, I became blogging buddies with Jason Bahamundi. Jason is a marathon coach based in Dallas (he's formerly from NY) and he'll take you from couch potato to marathon runner in 40 weeks. If you're considering joining me in San Diego or simply need help beginning your own journey, you can check out his programs here at Marathon Makeover. There are both online and in person training programs available based on where you live.

Jason is no joke, he's a true athlete - a triathlete, marathon runner, motivator, trainer and ironman competitor, so you could imagine my sincere surprise when I heard that Jason decided to write an article about role models and include me in there.

He spoke about my journey as well as the journey of his training coach, Claudia, a woman who just competed at the 70.3 Ironman Championship in Florida.  Claudia raced that Ironman with a BROKEN HAND and INJURED QUAD! 

In under five hours she swam for 1.2 miles, biked for 56 miles and finished the 13 mile 1/2 marathon run. Claudia is a ROCK STAR.  

In any case, I am humbled and flattered to be placed in the same article as Claudia - it makes me feel incredibly lucky and blessed that a true athlete like Jason who can teach me about 100,000 things about running, being an athlete, and crossing finish lines would put me in an article like that. 

If you want to read it, here it is:  Are You A Role Model?

Who are your role models?

My role models are all of you guys - the running community and group of friend's who have uplifted me, supported me, encouraged me, passed along tips, kicked me in the ass, ran along side, educated me and everything else. I really couldn't be a luckier girl. I would've never started running if it wasn't for me being totally impressed by Angela's run last February and Nicole's encouragement of aiming for my first 5K.

By the way, I take nothing for granted here. I will always struggle with my inner fat girl and dare not become cocky. I will always be in the fight and while I feel fairly confident that I'll never go back - I've taken the time to really develop life long habits, I know how easy it is to slip back... A cheeseburger here, a drunken night there, a blown off work out... I'm a hop, skip and a milkshake away from 81.8 pounds - I know this - but the power and option is mine to be a mile, marathon and finish line ahead of it at all times and that's what I intend to do.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

5K Race day -hooray!

Me and Nik getting ready to run our best times!
Doing the happy dance, I ran a 5K today... My oh my, how far we've come.

My first 5K in March, I ran in 40:57...

My second 5K in May, I ran in about 36:00...

Today I ran a PR (that's running speak for personal record ;) and did it in 32:00 flat!  I'm so excited! It works out to a 10:19 mile and is nearly nine minutes faster since the first time.

I'm not going to lie, I pushed myself, I came out of the box running as fast I could, I no longer have the goal to merely finish, I want to run the best I can. With the finish line in sight and an eye that I could do it in 32, I picked up the pace and ran like I was being chased by the boogie man, I ran and ran hard to that finish line - my heart was pounding I was breathing way too hard but i don't care - I was soooo happy to have that time that it was worth the potential to pass out. (which I didn't) I walked it off, grabbed a bottle of water and regained composure.

What's remarkable to me is how much my body is getting better about running.  I have virtually no hip pain anymore (knock on wood)... I remember having to ice down knees, hips, and ankles after my first 5K, none of that is necessary now. I didn't even feel sore after my 8 miles the other day. I'm not saying that to brag but because it's amazing on how far you can go if you really keep at it.

Today my goal was to do it in 33mins... I would've been happy with an 11min mile. It was cool running a race and not being passed by, by everyone and actually doing some of the "passing" by myself!

Yay, Jeff! WAY TO GO with your bad self!
Also very cool - I ran with friends Nicole and Jeff - Jeff placed 2nd place in his age division - HOW COOL!

And Nicole also set a PR (29 mins/30 secs?) Nik, if I'm wrong, let me know... She came in fourth in her division!!  So great :)



Saturday, November 13, 2010

81.8 pounds- my three year marathon

I am down 81.8 pounds.

I know this is shocking but I'm having trouble finding the words to express what this means to me. I have put in the work, changed the way I eat and run regularly now.

I am no longer that chain smokin, tequila swillin', depressed, "I can't do anything" type person. That girl is long gone.

Oh, I'm no saint - I still sometimes eat too much or have one too many glasses of wine or shots of tequila... I don't always run as far or as fast as I probably can but that's OK.  I've been learning how not to beat myself up.

I am not as afraid to fail anymore. I'm more afraid of not trying. (Though I try to make failing not an option as a rule.)

This weight loss journey can truly be compared to a marathon. A long one. It hasn't been easy, there's been many a mile that it seemed I'd never see a finish line. Many a time where the road was long and hard. Many a time I actually had to walk and catch my breath, heal a wound, reassess my approach.

But, I never wanted to quit. At this point with the finish line in sight, I finally have a true understanding of what it means to "enjoy the journey." Every mile has brought a sense of accomplishment and a new lesson learned, every mile I've found both struggle and joy - and I've been lucky to have many people supporting me to get here along the way.

As I ran my "long run" eight miles yesterday, I kept myself motivated by thanking the universe for everything. My feet, my heart, my lungs my legs, my iPod :) All the things that kept that running route attainable yesterday. I kept mentally high-fiving myself, mile by mile, emotional over seeing how far I've come - far enough to be able to run for 8 miles, comfortably, relatively pain free and gratefully.  Every day that I'm lucky enough to run is a good day indeed.

And every mile means something.

Today I thank the universe for the gift of this journey - I thank the universe for even giving me those damn 81.8 pounds because without them, I would've never discovered how strong I am, strong enough to be able to move every one of those pounds out of my way.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Running wish list

Well, whomever said running was a cheap sport, clearly never really trained for a marathon. I mean, yes, technically you can run with just your feet but in order to run safely, comfortably and correctly, running takes investment.

Even the race fees themselves quickly adds up. My hubby likes to say, "why pay someone to let you run 13 miles or even 26 - just map out the miles and run it." Clearly, he's not a runner and doesn't understand the thrill of race day :)

Some stuff is luxury I suppose and some stuff I'm still doing without rather than take the financial plunge (money is too tight.) But these are the things on my wish list, now that I'm training for a full I want this stuff at some point - if you know of any good deals on any of it out there, let me know.


Hydration belt - jeeeze, went to Road Runner today and the cheapest ones were $40! For now, I just picked up a little water bottle and will stick it in my pocket for long run day - but a belt will be nice someday. Found one on ebay that I'm bidding on - maybe I'll win it!

Gels / Gu - will eventually start buying these race day/long run necessities in bulk vs. the one or two at a time I do right now - which also requires a special trip to Road Runner.

Compression socks - keep hearing great things about these but the ones I've seen run around $60! My wedding shoes didn't cost that much! They are socks. I'm dying to try them because my calves tend to hurt during long runs but $60! That's an entire week of groceries for my household...

New Sports Bras - I've only found one I really like and I have to wash it a million times a week. It's a NIKE one and another $40 investment that I can't afford to make right now.

New running pants - I have one pair of running pants I like. The rest are too big (yay!) but I need one more pair - I just can't drop at least another $25 on sweats at this time - (I mean the really fancy running pants from Nike, etc go for up to $70 - I'd have to win the lottery.)

Winter gear - Going to have to bite the bullet and buy a winter running hat, gloves, and whatever else I might need fairly soon.

Nike + Sports kit - after all the damn drama of getting my wrist band, I now want to upgrade to the one for the iPod. I think I can get my hands on the right iPod, but I still have to drop $30 for the sports kit and make my wrist band (that I paid $57 for) pretty useless... ugh. Not to mention, I'll have to get one of those armband things for my iPod and that'll be another couple of bucks.

Sports Sunglasses - I know my Jackie-O type glasses are bulky and annoying to run in. I need to just get a light, sleek pair of shades to keep my eyes protected.

Road Runner ID bracelet - I used to run around without my ID - just grabbed my iPod and went. This is a bad idea. While no one wants the unthinkable to happen, you should be prepared in case of emergency. Right now I'll run with my drivers license but I really would like to get one of these things one of these days, especially now that I'm going to be having some really long runs.

iTunes gift card - definitely asking for this for Christmas - can never have enough music!

I think this about rounds up my wish list for now - though I'm probably missing a few things.

What's on your running wish list? What should I add to mine?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

26.2 miles... 194 days of training to go... Yep. It's on

So yesterday's blog about running a full marathon really started as a musing. Prior to sitting down and writing it, I had no plan of actually seriously running a full but I guess that's the thing about writing for me. It makes me really get in tune with my feelings and by the time I was done writing yesterday's entry, it was clear.

Like it or not, 26.2 miles is in my future.

I'm terrified, I'm already grumbling about the gigantic chunks of time the long run days steal away from me (hello - 8 miles on Saturday already!? WTF? Thought I would "ease" into it a bit more than that) but whatever. I could put it off forever, let life get in the way or make the time for it. So here we are. Can only do the best I can.

I'm leaning towards running the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon on June 5th. First of all, San Diego is beautiful, secondly, the weather is perfect that time of year, thirdly, it's the perfect amount of time for training (28 week program - brings me to May 21st - so a week or two of pad) and fourthly - I like running something with the words "Rock N Roll" in there... I mean, it's already making me happy. The only downside is my friend is sour on the Rock N Roll series, as they are $$$, inflexible and a little screwed up when it comes to packet pickup (no race day pick up.) But, it might make the most sense for me. There's one non rock n roll marathon in Minnesota the last week of May, but that just doesn't seem as groovy and San Diego.

So yesterday was my official day one of training, which was a 3 mile run. Today was day two and a 2 mile run - tomorrow I'll run 4 miles and Saturday 8...

And we're off!

So, who's in? There's a half and a full on June 5th - would love to see you there!!

I am hoping to fill one of these bad boys up someday:

How cute is it? It's to hold your medals! My friend Leslie, is raffling one of them away for free! Learn more at her blog for your chance to win or the link to buy one, there's a ton of cute styles.  :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

The Day after the NYC Marathon

I had very interesting emotions yesterday during the NYC marathon. I'm not sure why. I didn't catch any of it on television, I haven't really put serious thought into running a full yet. Maybe it's because I was offered the "opportunity" to have run this thing this year (though, by the time I found out it wouldn't have left me enough time to train & I would have to raise $5,000 for charity for the right to do so.) Or maybe its all the stories of overcoming obstacles I've read related to the race, such as the well known story of the Chilean miner.

I'm not sure- but what I do know, is that yesterday I felt a little sad and as I sit here and watch Al & Meredith brandishing their medals on the TODAY show and as I see the pictures from race day on the internet - I can't help but feel the twinge of "want." I want to challenge myself to take on the challenge of challenges, I want to see what it feels like to cross that gigantic finish line. 26.2 miles... I want to be in that club.

Yet, I am held back.

I remember the ache in my legs the last three miles of the last half and how I barely got there - how would I double the miles? I'm not afraid about stamina, they make gu, gatorade, and iPods for that - but can my legs hold up? Can I find the time to train as hard as I would have to... finding the time to give towards those "long run days" 10 miles, 13 miles, 15 miles, 17 miles, 20 miles... it even quite frankly worries me HOW to even run those long runs - I mean where? I can barely run 4 miles around these parts without running into a highway or crappy neighborhood. And running 17 miles on a treadmill could possibly be a form of torture not worthy of anyone.

But these are all just excuses. I mean, when I first decided to run, I was scared. I was more than 180 pounds and running wasn't in my vocabulary. I was such a newbie that I didn't even know what a 5k was and just jumped right into signing up for a half.

I started by walking fast for one minute and built from there. I didn't know if I could run 13 miles - in fact I didn't think I'd ever be able to run for 1 mile but took the leap of faith, learned what I could and trained. And trained. And trained.

Besides remembering the aches in my legs? I remember the sense of pride, accomplishment and confidence that comes with setting a goal and seeing it through, I remember feeling that by doing this, I could do anything. I remember the sense of community and love I got from friends, family, fellow runners and even strangers - all cheering me on my journey. The lump in my throat from overwhelming gratitude during the last steps of the race and seeing the finish line, calling my name, telling me, "you got this."

I wasn't the fastest (and still on the slow side) but I finished 13.1 twice which technically means that I could do 26.2 - at least spread out throughout a few months :)

I could find the time if I want to - find the neighborhood, even suck it up and run on the tortuous treadmill for the long runs... Hey, if you want something bad enough, no mountain is too big to move...

I want this
I guess I should start looking for a race in early spring. We can talk ourselves into or out of anything. As they say, "if you say you can or say you can't - you are right."



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Running cold

I'm not sure I'm quite this motivated but...
So after 5 1/2 excruciating weeks of waiting, finally, at long last, my NIKE+ arrived in the mail on Monday night. I was so excited I could barely wait to use it. I read the directions and spoke to a few NIKE+ friends and was told I'd have to calibrate the thing at a running track outside. (It doesn't calibrate properly on a treadmill.)  OK. No problem, I picked out my favorite running outfit and laid it out for the morning.

Morning came, I jumped out of bed, put on the coffee and threw on the news - let's get ready to run!

And then, floating in from another room, the ominous voice of Al Roker, "here's what's happening in your neck of the woods... 'Thank you Al, currently, it's a chilly 37 degrees..."

WHAT!? 37 degrees? And then I peeked at my car and it was covered in FROST!

I don't dig cold. Not at all. In fact I'm always in a fight with my husband about what temperature to keep the house and I overdo blankets on the bed. Cold sucks in my opinion.

But, suck as it might - I was dying to use my new toy so I dressed the best I could and headed to the track. At first, I was freezing, my breath was visible and my hands were ice but soon, I started to feel good. Then really good.

I got nice and warmed up and by the time I was ready to wrap it up, I was sweating. I enjoyed it so much yesterday, that I did it again today.

I found running in the cold to be actually quite awesome. It's a million times better than running when it's too hot out. I felt comfortable and refreshed the whole time I ran and not until I got back into my house and the sweat started to pour, did I realize how hard I had been pushing.

On another note - I'm still working out kinks with the NIKE+ it's giving me some growing pains I hope to remedy. One of which is that I think it's judging my pace too fast. I'm pretty slow. I'm trying to get faster. I would assume my pace is around 11:30 - 12:00 regularly.  This thing is telling me I'm running a 9:32 pace! I find that nearly impossible - though would be nice :) I am going to call the good people at NIKE and find out what I'm doing wrong...