Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year

For the foreseeable future, I will be shying away from any sort of daily log input or running update here. I'll keep using dailymile for a simplistic running log as I like how easily I can access it on my phone, but I'll be taking the majority of my running-based exploits off the digital grid.

I'm attempting to break the cycle of running/hurt/less running/no running/running/hurt and I feel that when the slightest thing goes off, feels fairly shameful to write about it, even to a non-existent audience.

More so, I'm at a point that if I do get hurt, there isn't much I can do about it. If I get to a point in 2013 where I'm staying healthy and getting fit enough to partake in races, I'll start writing here again. 'Til then.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3.51 Miles

3.51 Miles
Watch Location Still Unknown

If anything can be determined from my piss poor training over the summertime, it is that I deeply dislike warm weather running. I've never been good in it, seeing as I never seem to adjust to the humidity even at my most consistant running efforts. When every run feels so lumpy and heavy physically and mentally, athletic morale takes a beating and goals/plans get derailed.

That being said, today was awesome. Stepping out the door, said it felt like 19 degrees. Yup. I am a lover of layering, very happy for that real cold stuff that I will gripe about in non-running terms (my feet will not regain a normal temperature until about...May).

There is something wonderful about that first time during the colder months when you can really feel the chill in your lungs, coating internal things with each inhalation. I got that today, in tights and dryfit things that need to be a bit more dusted off after emerging from clothing hibernation.

I almost feel settled. Well, as much as possible. Still boxes everywhere, but hopefully with a purpose (is there a specific grace period for when its no longer acceptable to have such about after moving in?). Looking forward to the first snow run and by virtue of having a fireplace (this is exciting), sitting by it after a cold effort outdoors. And as I type that, the weekend forecast is back in the 50s. Of course.

Monday, November 19, 2012

3.38 Miles

3.38 Miles
Watch Location Unknown

Bought a pair of 3/4 length tights on sale this weekend and decided to break them in. Worked well for pants without a drawstring at the waist. It didn't end up drizzling (as it had in the 15 minutes prior to me heading out) as I thought it may so I was a bit overdressed, oh well.

It's odd, seeing as I used to run the same route a few years back when I was renting a place a mere few blocks from my abode. Felt new and different, especially as the views said fall but the air and the smell of a mini rain said spring.

My lungs hurt. Days of particleboard fibers and paint mist horrendously coating things within must be horrible. Everything else felt pretty good; even the back of my heels stayed happy for the most part.

Things are a bit more settled, hopefully even more so in the coming weeks. I'd like to regain fitness, so I shall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

3.5 Miles

3.5 Miles - Watch Left Behind

We have this way about us in the Midwest in regards to our weather. It amazes us to no end, does it not? One of the few things we refrain from being polite about, too.

Bragging about the snowstorms that make us tougher, the blustery spring that never quite starts when its supposed to...complain about the warm weather, but then on a day like today we welcome such with open arms and try and hang on to something we know is fleeting.

There are lows in the 30s this weekend but it is currently 78 degrees outside. How could I not enjoy what may be one of those last warm days of the year? Would have benefited from some nicer, more cheerful passers-by, but oh well. I enjoyed myself.

I followed through with a move of intelligence and wore a different pair of shoes that are a bit looser in the heel (my mizunos have a more defined heel cup which I really liked last year when I got them) and lo, didn't feel any pain back there at all. Nice feeling. I have self-diagnosed myself with some sort of bursitis and am trying to keep my ever-delicate feet as happy as possible.

I felt a nice spring to my step for the first 1 1/2 or so, then felt a bit heavier in my legs. I'm working on my mental approach to my daily outings and while it still isnt easy getting out the door, every little aspect helps.

An early morning tomorrow followed by some days of heavier moving will put things in jeopardy the rest of the weekend. But I'm still aiming for two more runs for the week. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

4 Miles

4 Miles, Watch Left Behind

Between the very slow process of moving, redoing a kitchen and general day-to-day things traipsing in my way, I haven't been very motivated to run in the last few weeks. Today felt like an exception, seeing as the weather was practically begging for a quick jaunt. It's the end of October and its in the mid 70s while raining. Does that really happen? Yesterday I noticed a slight chance of snow leering off at the edge of the 10 day forecast, so I knew I had to take advantage of short + shirt weather while I could. 

I really love the way leaves look on the ground while wet, slightly glossy before they start to get torn apart (especially on sidewalks) and brown. The jarring juxtaposition of color and shape all around kinda gets to you, especially when it seemed like everything started to change color a bit later this year. 

The odd, boney bump of the back of my right foot is bothering me again. Im going to take a stab at an older pair of shoes and dig out what little padding remains, akin to what people do with bunions to see if that helps. 

I keep wanting each week to be the start of my base, but something always arrises. If I can get two more short runs in this week, I'll consider that a start. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

4 Miles

4 Miles: 38:31 (9:38 Pace)
Out   19:30 (9:45)
Back 19:01 (9:30)

Between a general lousy feeling, no breakfast in my gut and the oddity that was me running yesterday, I didn't really do much on my first half. Was actually set on the notion that hey, if things are not feeling well at 1.5m, you can just turn around....better than nothing sort of mentality. Felt good, weather was a bit nicer today than yesterday (knee tights and a shirt) and I'm enjoying the smell of fall.

Knee was a bit tight (wasn't yesterday) but no headache. I'll consider it a victory.

Not sure what the remainder of the week will bring with some travel and a brief stay in Oxford, but I'd like to get one lil run in whilst there. It's "fall break" (i.e. no Friday classes but no one really went to Thursday classes so whatever) so hopefully students are at a minimum. At least that was the plan when scheduling this mini vacation.

Speaking of vacation, I'm looking forward to a long weekend in San Francisco in January. I'm hoping to be in a bit better of shape so I could try a run or two whilst there...I hear there are hills. Oh Chicago, why don't you have anything resembling a hill?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3 Miles

3 Miles, 28:54 (9:38 pace)

Oh yeah, its fall. I like fall. Felt nice to start off a little chilled and loosen up after a mile or so. Could have benefitted from a knit hat instead of a baseball cap, but my ears will de-thaw in good time.

Been a few weeks since my last outing (I got sick, I got sick...again, I have been in the process of building a kitchen, etc.) but was surprisingly greeted by a pressure headache at about a mile and a half in...decided to just make it a 3 mile day instead of my plan of 4. I'm not a fan of such returning, seeing as it has been a good long while since such has graced my noggin during exercise, so I'll keep track of that in the mean time. Everything else felt fine.

I know what I want to accomplish, so I've decided to take the necessary steps to get there. That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

4 Miles

4 Miles, 38:53 (9:43 pace)
Out 19:14 (9:37)
Back 19:39 (9:49)

I felt overheated, heavy and extremely tight on my right Achilles and big toe, so I somewhat shut it down on the way back. Stopped for water right as I turned around and about a mile later, momentarily pausing to watch a high school girls tennis match at a park. When there is no noticeable difference between bad high school and bad college tennis, I think that tells you something.

I've been toying with the notion of tying this blog into my own website and creating essentially an all-me network, complete with actually utilizing my wordpress creative blog and utilizing this for all things running. Not sure though, but it would be nice to keep things a bit more cohesive. Oh well, something to ponder.

Monday, September 10, 2012

3.55 Miles, 2x Circut

3.55 Miles, 33:50 (9:30 pace)
Out 16:59 (9:32)
Back 16:50 (9:27)

Stretched, then closed out the morning with 2 sets of a delightful circuit. 

Just crossed out my third DNS race of 2012. Dissatisfied is the only way to put it.

So today I am trying from scratch, even if my feet/lower body/self hurts (without forcing it).
I mean really from scratch; it is hard to turn my brain and memory off, but I think I have to give it a try for the sake of future running me.

Slow milage buildup progression, here we go....

After some time away (Mike can attest to the gross size and shape of the side of my knee if he so chooses though I doubt he will...he was freaking out more than I was), I laced up my shoes and took to the streets of Oak Park. Time over on this end of the Oak Park/River Forest/Forest Park collective grows short before moving into our home, and it was far too beautiful out to remain in my sun room rowing or bounding about to the dulcet tones of Shawn T. I shall Insanitize tomorrow, promise.

I declared today to be the first real day of fall due to wearing pants yesterday (which, I was deeply saddened by) and really took note of the leaves on the parkways. I went out a bit later than normal only so as to avoid the comings and goings of schoolchildren and their crazed/crappy driving parents. Nice and quiet out on the western half of Oak Park, I wouldn't yet say it is cool out but it felt so much nicer out (yup, 2 hours later has humidity at a delightful 39%. I will TAKE IT!) and was easier on my piddly lungs.

Ran back nine seconds faster than on the way out. Shrug, it's a start.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dusty Blog

3.2 Miles, 30:32 (9:38 pace)

First and foremost, this is what happens when one neglects a blog for far too long. You can't see it, but the format on the back end of things has changed and I greatly dislike that which I am unfamiliar with! Curses, digital progress!

Secondly, I have decided to shake off the cobwebs forming around my sense of fitness and wellbeing and have begun working out regularly, with today marking my first run Since May. I ran once in May, so DailyMile tells me. I feel like maybe I took a jog in June, but shrug. Wasn't worth remembering, I guess.

Today was easy, a bit over three miles there and back. Watched an Escalade completely ignore a cop car speeding towards the intersection and slammed on its breaks to avoid a spectacularly unnecessary collision.

But back to me, I suppose. Easy effort did feel easy, utilized my core a good amount and felt a nice pep in the steps (especially for such a hiatus + admittedly carrying more weight on my frame than I'm used to). Followed it up with the plyometric cardio workout with my dear DVD buddy, Shaun T. Started up Insanity again from the beginning, so I think at this point, I'll be doing just simple, SIMPLE efforts and get my legs and lungs back while slowly building up milage for something worth doing in late fall (Oct/Nov).  In a rather short amount of time, its amazing to feel progress...and seeing the work that remains to be done.

I will need to be amending my sidebar 2012 races with two crossed off non-efforts, as I did not start either the Illinois Half or the Soldier Field 10 miler. Reason why may be addressed at a later time, but I think it would be counter productive to get into such now.  At this point, I say "Hi!" to my blog, enter in my run, and now I collapse in bed.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Adjusting the Approach

A mere 14 weeks before the first race on my 2012 docket, the Illinois Half. I’m excited for a few reasons: good people from my running circle will be taking the journey down to Chambana (that would be the combination of Champaign and Urbana, for those unaware), a change of racing scenery is always a good thing and hell, 14 is my lucky number.

I’ve been using the past few (and a few more weeks) to lay down an itty-bitty base for myself and it went…meh. I had a handful of solid, committed to putting in the miles weeks followed by a lone run or two the week after. A nice few excuses come to mind, only one (a five day stretch of a cold) is considerably legit. Maybe a stretch using the overwhelming nerves from a handful of interviews preventing me from running. But here I am, 14 weeks out. And I don’t want the same problems from last year (and beyond, sigh) joining me to the starting line. I'm sick of no preparation and feeling disappointed when I finish any given race, after the wheels fall off with a few miles left.

I make really nice calendars on graph paper.  The problem is that I think I can fill them in on a weekly basis, using how I feel to dictate and guide my training…but the problem with no structure is that its really, REALLY easy to just keep it blank. No accountability laid out makes me feel little to no guilt when the day comes and goes and I have nothing to show for it.

Come on, Kind. You are better than that. I have goals this year and have started making the effort needed to keep me on task.

First, I joined the Oak Park Runners Club. I missed the first meeting but am totally looking forward to getting to meet up with other runners out here, have a more personal group to volunteer with and eventually run with once my schedule lines up a bit better. And I wont lie…the idea of getting a singlet and representing something has been deeply missed. Something that was really important when I presided over the club handball team in college was getting a wearable jersey so all playing (especially at nationals) were recognizable. Didn’t have that before and I don’t know if it was continued on to be honest, but at least that was something I made happen.

Secondly, in regards to time-based goals, I really feel like it comes down to committing to my fitness and not getting in my own way too much. A sub 1:40 half and 5ks near 7min pace are what I want to get to so as to feel like I’m moving forward. I’m not that far removed from faster efforts and I firmly believe in the notion that ability never fades.

Finally, and this goes along with the over arching need of regaining some confidence, but I'd like to tackle an honest to goodness track race sometime in the summer. I know they are out there

So I’m going to re-tool the way I train and get a much better handle on laying out my schedule, starting today. Cross Training is going to be key, utilizing my rower as well as Insanity, the slightly silly workout series. I did the majority of it in September-October and it really gave me confidence on my feet and a great sense of strength in my core, so I’d like to give it another go.

These 14 weeks are going to fly by, I know it. Now to get going.

Friday, January 6, 2012

An entry where I remember removing my pants.

I refuse to have to choose betwix two entities now that I've started another blog. I think that is for the best, freeing up this space for conversations on running and running only.

I'll keep today short though. I'm mainly just in total awe of this day. This wonderful 50 degree Chicago day....

...on January 6? Yup, future self reading back on this from a presumed dystopian universe.
 I'm currently sitting in my sun room with a window open, taking over a chair that has been fully claimed by a cat (the amount of hair is startling). Said cat is sitting by...said window. Everyone is happy.

In a way, it's magical. We've "already gotten snow" (though I feel nothing of consequence) and there have been a number of days below freezing. Yet, it still remains to feel winterless. Yesterday was in the mid 40s with a slight breeze and today is even better.
It very much DOES feel like 53 out. Went on a seven (fine, fine! I can't take the guilt of lying. It was 6.91...a train was approaching and I didn't want to get trapped on the other side of the tracks and have to improvise my route. Lame, but whatever. I need the consistency.) mile run with shorts and a long sleeve shirt (though I would have been fine in short sleeves all the same).

Ah, my gams still got it...and are, sigh...dreadfully white. I refrained from turning an overhead light on so as to avoid brightening the ghoulish color even further. 

As nice as today is, days like these make me think back to the first few days of January 2000. 

Context: We survived that Y2K nonsense (hooray!) and as a silly sophomore, I was on a weekend run on my own, prior to practice starting back up again during winter break in high school. It was like this out, maybe warmer in the 60s, perhaps. But the only reason it comes to mind is that I recall de-pantsing (with shorts on underneath! Of course I was wearing shorts! ) at the corner across from my high school, about a mile or so into my run. Pants were then tied around the waist and I continued on. 

Back in those days, shame wasn't part of the vernacular and if there was any chance to run in shorts, the opportunity was taken. But perhaps the locale in which I chose was poor, as I recall being honked and receiving my very first cat call as I took of a pair of hunter green GAP swishy pants from very tiny (even pastier legs) at the corner of Dunham and 63rd Street. A magical moment.

Easy to dwell on that day now from afar and ruminate on the presence of innocence, in not really being bright enough to understand one's surroundings at 15. But I remember the weather and getting that blush of warmth from the sun that we often forget about once it starts setting around 4pm. Sitting here right now, I faintly feel it now. 

...But I'm a pessimist and just KNOW snow is coming. At least I hope it does. And when we finally get the real first snowfall of the winter, I'll run in that, too. 


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Greetings, 2012

I’ve had this square, blue magnet forever, featuring the following quote: It’s never too late to be what you might have been. 

It looks like this. Did you know you could purchase magnets online? The things we learn…

It’s attributed to George Eliot, the pen name of a female Victorian-era author. I don’t think I’ve ever read Silas Marner, but it’s the lone work I can attribute to her, er—him.

Some days, I totally buy in. It’s a great mantra.  Other days, I think the message mocks me as I fetch milk from the fridge, and I tend to the rest of my day sluggishly. But with some needed calcium, at least.

I’m not one to maintain and hold firm on new years resolutions; can’t deny that. But I’m looking to build a sense of consistency in regards to running. What does that entail? What might I be?

A few things need to take place, I think. First, I’m spending the next few weeks merely “just running”. I’m not thinking about plotting out mileage or pace or time. I just go out and base my day's efforts on feel.   I need to embed it back into my being, make it the habit I want it to be. Secondly, brighten up this site, both visually and content wise, as it was previously mirroring the dark scheme. I'm pleased at this point.

I delved back into this blog with running gusto last spring at what would turn out to be the worst possible timing I could think of. It kind of lost its way over the past few months, poor attempts at forcing updates and entries or even worse—me not feeling like I could openly post the words I wanted to say, needed to say, really. I'll be better at that. Like for example, instead of dwelling on the crapfest that was '11, I'm very much looking forward to the next 365 days and what I can bring to the table. So there, pbbbt.

The oafishness and sheer idiocy of the holiday week betwixt Christmas and New Years undid things a bit, but the two weeks prior I was good, I swear! 22 and 19 miles, respectively, felt solid. There was a few freak nights featuring runs in shorts as well as some weird slight issue with the presence of pain that I couldn’t pinpoint on the back of my heel. But all the same, I managed. More importantly, I enjoyed it.

Despite feeling slightly effected by, uh, New Year’s festivities, I held myself accountable to what I want to accomplish in 2012 and went for a 4 ½ mile outing this evening. It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, but then again, I like tangling with the elements. I ran with the wind biting me in the face for the majority of my time in the great suburban outdoors, but I enjoyed it all the same.

I have goals and desires to reach this year when it comes to running, and I’ll get there. Now is not the time to dwell on such. First things first, is just run, baby. Just run…