Monthly Archives: May 2011

Today’s Reason: The Feast

In true Memorial Day style, we had a BBQ, ate tons of food, and drank lots and lots of adult beverages.  I certainly paid for those adult beverages with a whopper of a hangover the following day, but drank down 2 nuun waters, popped a couple ibuprofen, and went out for a run!  I immediately felt better!  Strange how that works…

I’m not too proud to say that food quite often motivates me to run.  If I know I am going to go out to a nice dinner or a party, I make sure to work in a run beforehand in order to have “earned” it.  Granted, I would probably need to run triple the distance to truly off-set those calories but the run itself helps me feel confident and accomplished, making any party or dinner out more of a celebration than a task.  I admit, I tend to celebrate a tad too much with all those adult beverages and that hangover makes me feel like a 2 ton elephant when I run but, hey, I’m learning… Continue reading

Today’s Reason: Clarity

4.5 miles on the treadmill this morning and I’ve got my day completely planned, a grocery list for this weekend’s BBQ, and all the world’s problems solved by 7am.  You’re welcome!

Yesterday I was in a funky funk.  I missed my boot camp class due to a faulty alarm, went out for a run and it started raining, so I came home, dejected, and was depressed for the rest of the day.  (Yes, missing a planned work out will do that to me.)  With a great run today, everything is right back in perspective!

Usually, when I get on the treadmill (aka dreadmill) for a run, my thought process goes a little something like this:  ”Geesh, here we go again, I sure hate the treadmill… okay, not so bad, I can handle this… don’t look at the clock, don’t look at the clock, don’t look at the clock… what? only .75 so far?  aw, frick, why did you look at the clock???… ow, blister on my foot, ow, ow, ow… 1.25 ONLY?  are you kidding? damn that clock… the faster you run, the sooner this will be done…!” Continue reading

Post-Run, Re-Fuel

4 mile run at 6am this morning, time to eat!  Pulled this out of the fridge-  low fat, healthy, filling, and delicious! Don’t let the size fool  you, it seems big but there’s egg whites in ‘dem ‘dere omlette!

CARAMELIZED ONIONS & GOAT CHEESE OMELETTE

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup sliced onions

1 egg

1/2 cup egg whites

1 teaspoon low fat milk

1 ounce goat cheese

1 cup baby spinach

Continue reading

Today’s Reason: My Husband

I don’t run for my husband,  I run because of him.

As a stay at home mom, I rely so much on my husband in terms of my health and fitness- I get up at ridiculous:30am 5 days a week while he stays behind, gets up with the kids, feeds them, dresses them, and gets them ready for school.  I am constantly impressed with how much he encourages me to do my best and get stronger, I would not be able to do any of this without him.  (And for all that, he “gets” to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays, as late as he wants- a good trade off, I think!)

When I started working out 5 years ago, he watched with great interest.  And then when I started running & racing 2 years ago, he applauded my efforts and encouraged me to push the distance, push the speed, push myself.  Then I started training for a half marathon and weekend runs became longer and longer, he was still there, saying, “Wow, I can’t believe you just ran 10 miles!  Great job, honey!  You’re going to smash that half!”  Not a runner himself, he was still there listening, trying to relate, and always encouraging me to run, run, run.  He even got me a Garmin 405 for Christmas- now that’s support!

Then, things took a turn.  Much to my surprise, he started running!  My efforts actually became an inspiration to my husband and he began hoofing it on the treadmill during breaks at work, even venturing outdoors to hit the pavement several times a week.  Last Thanksgiving, he did a turkey trot 5K and my role, that day, changed from participant to spectator.  That was weird.   I was jealous.  I coveted his race shirt.  Told him he couldn’t hang his medal anywhere near ALL of mine.  But then it struck me, as the kids and I waited anxiously for him to cross that finish line, “We’re helping each other be better runners!  We can do this together!  We can share this with each other and impart the importance of health and fitness to our children!  Wow, we ROCK!”

After the turkey trot, my husband was not interested in doing another race the following month to beat his time.  I was baffled.  He explained that he is content to just run, not to improve or get faster or go longer.  I still can’t really relate to that line of thinking but he has stated that the turkey trot is HIS race and is planning on doing it again this November.  It may only be once a year that I get to return the favor and be his cheerleader for a change, but I am completely ecstatic to do so.  (He still has to find another place for his medals though!)

Go Hubby Go!!!

Music to Move to

Just prepping the LauraPod for tomorrow’s run and wanted to share the jams that are currently making my feet happy…

What’s your favorite song for maximum speed?

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“Next Best Thing”, Niki & Rich (great jam to cross the start with!)

“Brother Lee”, Citizen Cope (a good, steady beat to find your pace with, good story too)

“Raise Your Glass”, Pink (time to shake it and step it up!)

“Born This Way”, Lady Gaga (you’ve heard it, you know you love it)

“Maneater”, Nelly Furtado (“make you work hard, make you sweat hard”- be it)

“Waterslide”, The Bonedaddys (I LOOOOOOVE this song! Truly makes me move!)

“Because I’m Awesome”, The Dollyrots (exactly.)

“My Body”, Young the Giant (the next Nike commercial, I’m sure)

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”, New Politics (heard this on MTV, yeah, they do actually still play music videos now and then!)

“Party All Night (Sleep all Day)”, Sean Kingston (if only!)

“Save Me San Francisco”, Train (best for those with mad pride for the Bay, like me! perfect finish line song)

The Kick Off

Inspired.  Motivated.  Driven.  Hopeful.  Optimistic.

That is how I feel after attending the Team in Training summer season kick off today.  I joined Team in Training to raise $1800 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and will be completing the Nike Women’s Half Marathon this October.  I met my mentor, a lot of the other women on our Oakland team, and listened to many stories of courageousness and triumph.  I feel proud to be a part of an organization that is doing so much to help patients- children as young as a few months old to adults of all ages-  live better lives.

I was awestruck by the story of Louie Bonpua who, diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) at the age of 32, trained for, entered and completed 9 triathlons during his battle with leukemia.  In 2002, he was asked to carry the Olympic torch and although his health had deteriorated, he was allowed to leave his hospital bed to do so.  He arrived in an ambulance, carried the torch 0.2 miles, returned to the hospital, fell into a coma, and passed away 2 days later.  Louie, a true hero, reminds me that I can conquer my own personal challenges and milestones, I am lucky to be able to do this, and I have the strength to get through anything.  13.1 miles in nothing compared to having and living with cancer.

If you are reading this and would like to help Team in Training find a cure, please visit my fundraising page and donate any amount- you will be contributing to something that really matters and makes a difference in so many people’s lives.

GO TEAM!!!  

Suffering & Motivation

“The explicit goal of training is discomfort.”

I happened upon an article in Runner’s World a few months ago about running & motivation and within it, the author was asking the 64 million dollar question: how does one motivate to run harder, faster, longer? If only there was a simple answer to that one!

Truth is, in order to protect your body, your brain will never allow you to go at a full 100% effort, so motivation then is truly perception and as the above quote implies, you must push yourself to an uncomfortable place if you want to improve your stride. But how do we get ourselves there? As runners, we tend to adopt just one type of suffering as we train- adding distance *or* speed. Now that begs the question (one that I have been wrestling with for the past few weeks)- do you really want to do what it takes, feel as uncomfortable as possible, to achieve improvement? Can one really endure the leg-burning-lung-searing effort it takes to get faster? Can you add on those miles and still feel good about it?

For me, the answer is usually, “Yes!” and on some days, “No!” and then even on some race days, “HELL NO!”

So given that perspective, I have been thinking a lot about my personal goals and asking myself if I can truly do the work, really push myself to the uncomfortable place, in order to be a better runner? And, you know, I just don’t know! But now I DO know that therein lies improvement so if my 9:00 mile stays there, I know exactly why. Now, will I be happy with my performance as 9:00/mile runner forever? Hmmmmm… well, if I don’t do the work then I guess I have to be, right?

What do you think about this notion of suffering & improvement? How do you mentally prepare for discomfort of speed and/or distance? What are your personal goals and how do you motivate yourself to get there?

I've got the suffering part down!