Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's not about pace, it's about fun

I've discovered something on my last couple of runs. The less pressure I put on myself run a certain speed or finish in a certain time the better the run is. Saturday I ran about 15 miles. No pressure to finish in a certain time because I started super early and no pressure to run a certain pace. I just ran and listened to some podcast on my phone. I seem to like listening to podcast on my long runs lately. Maybe because it's similar to running with someone... It was a pretty awesome run!

This morning I did the same thing. I just ran. I didn't pay any attention to pace. I let my body decide what it wanted to do. It was awesome and I ended up averaging 8:57 per mile. Really awesome! I ran into my Team in Training mentor from my first event and her husband while shopping Sunday. They both said how glad they were that I was sticking with it (while also trying to talk me into triathlons. Lots of people have been trying to talk me into them....). My reply was that it's a lot easier to enjoy running when you're in good shape.  But it's more than that. All you have to do is listen. Listen to what your body is saying while you're running. You can have fun no mater what pace you're going. I have many friends who prove this over and over again. I'm starting to get excited about my race in February. I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing and just enjoy the run. Who knows what will happen. That's the exciting part. I'm actually looking forward to running 18 miles this weekend. I know I can do it. I've run further than that many times. And I'm going to have fun! Yeah, lots of fun, and listen to a several podcasts too :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cleaning out the old

I've gotten some new stuff for Christmas. My mom got me some awesome new slippers (it's the little things that make a difference when you run long distances) that the dogs are very interested in (they think my new slippers could be a stuffie), and I splurgered on a pretty dress from Anthropologie with my Christmas money. Oh, and I went shoe shopping today :). Which brings me to this evenings cleaning. I needed to find space for my new shoes, which got me to thinking about cleaning up the dresser and closet. I need more room for all of my running gear. It's multiplied greatly over the past couple of years. I have tons of old t-shirts that I don't wear that have some fond memories attached to them. Maybe I just need to find somewhere to store them. I don't think I'll ever wear them again. They are rather big now. It's hard to take them out. I keep thinking I might need some of these things again, but most of the clothes I'm thinking about taking out are too big.

Does anyone else have this problem? or is this just another weird thing about me?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Lights

Merry Christmas Everyone!!! one of my favorite things this time of year is to drive around to see all of the Christmas lights people have put up. Since I started playing for Christmas Eve services that's gotten more and more difficult (my family use to drive around after dinner Christmas Eve before church). So, I was super excited that people have been leaving lights on over night so that I get to see them while I'm out running. So, my trusty iPhone and I had a little fun on my 4 mile run this morning :)


View from the porch

This house decorates there mailbox for every holiday. It makes me laugh :)

close up

I liked the blow up snow globe

The dogs are never really sure what to do with this one. Are they fake, are they real animals? We're so confused :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My new friend

What do you think of my new friend? :) he needs a name, but I haven't thought of one yet....

I like to keep him on my dresser because he makes me smile. He has a very fun gift card to one of my favorite stores inside his mouth. Hope he doesn't eat it!

I'm really happy to have a little break from things over the next couple of weeks. It's nice to be out of some the of negative stuff I've been around recently. I was bouncing off the walls this morning, a clear sign that I'm both feeling better and a little lighter (people were suggesting decaf at Starbucks between the church services I played for this morning). I have a little art project planned for my mirror. I use it all the time to practice my violin. It's actually the reason I bought it in grad school. I want a place that can remind me of the good stuff.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trying to rise above

I spent a large part of yesterday afternoon feeling like I was an awful person. I shouldn't have let a conversation go where it went. I have learned from past experiences in this particular situation that every time I let this happen I leave feeling like a horrible person. Everything about me is wrong. Everything I've done is wrong. It makes me feel bad for days. This started earlier in the year. It's not constructive or healthy, but it's something that I currently cannot get out of. Add two not so great auditions into the mix and it's no wonder I left for vacation in a not so great mood. Add on top of that being questioned if I was taking us in the right direction, being told that I was wrong, that everything I was doing was awful. It didn't help me feel any better. This one situation is effecting everything else. Over the summer I made the decision to avoid the whole thing. To focus on what I was doing at work, at home, and just do the best I could. I started to attack my practicing like I was on a mission. A mission to get to where I want to go in terms of performing. Going to my lessons makes me happy. Running makes me happy. Trying to have fun with my students and laughing makes me happy. I like it when they tell me I'm silly.

So, how do we deal with things that bring us down? How do we let something roll off our backs when it continues to hurt over and over again? This morning I went running even though I've been fighting a cold for days. I over dressed for my 6 miles and ended up sweating a lot (my hair was soaked), and it felt soooo good! It was just what I needed. At least until the memory of everything from yesterday comes back. I have some ideas for getting out of this funk. Now I just need to start doing some of them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

trying to stay mentally tough

last weekend was a long weekend, which is odd because i don't have any performances. Instead, some of my students played at Phipps Plaza Saturday morning, one of my students was performing on a friend's recital Sunday and needed her violin tuned, and then I had my lesson Sunday evening. Playing has been challenging since the shoulder rest broke Friday afternoon.

My shoulder was soooo sore by the time the kids were done playing (I was playing duet parts). Needless to say practicing Saturday afternoon was challenging. I've pulled out my old sponges to use until my new shoulder rest gets here (which finally shipped this morning 3 days after I ordered it. I don't think USPS is 2nd day delivery like I requested. sigh). This of course can open a whole can of worms among violinist. Shoulder rest vs. sponge (or nothing)? I played for 4 years using a sponge. Believe me I get the arguement. However, I have an unusually long neck for a violinist. Hence the need for speedy delivery of the new shoulder rest. My shoulder, neck, and back all hurt. It's not a lot of fun. I couldn't even make it through a 60 minute lesson on Sunday. I'm trying to practice technique stuff and no solo stuff because I'm worried that I'll mess things up. I'm totally compensating because I cannot hold my violin the same at the moment.

The other problem is that I am once again sick :(. I slept for almost 12 hours Sunday and woke up feeling like a truck had hit me. After cranky knee throwing a wrench in training last week I'm a little nervous about training for my marathon in 8 weeks. I did do a lot of cross training last week, and I did a 20 minute yoga core workout this morning (love yogadownload.com). My legs feel strong. I'm just nervous about running 26.2 without enough training. I've done it before. My first marathon I only got a 15 mile run in as my longest before the race. It was miserable. I don't ever want to go into another race under trained. I feel like I can get away with under training for almost any distance other than a marathon. It's a different monster. Fingers are crossed that i can go running tomorrow. I'm spraying Lysol everywhere trying to kill the germs!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The death of a shoulder rest

My shoulder rest has been cracking for a while now in the most unusual place along the side. Yesterday evening there was a very loud crack while I was practicing across the middle of the shoulder rest. Another loud crack this afternoon, and then finally in the middle of our final rehearsal for our student's performance in the morning it gave one final loud crack and split in half :(. I'm going to try calling the store I bought it from to see if there is anything they can do. I only bought it 9 months ago. My last shoulder rest was purchased in 1997 and has never died...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Field Trip to the Big Peach

Do you smell that?

Take a deep breathe. Do you smell it now?

That my friends is the smell of new running shoes!!!!!! I haven't posted much on my runs this week because well... they kind of stunk. Not in terms of them being rotten runs, but because my knee has been bothering me a lot. So, this morning I crossed trained on the stationary bike (6.6 miles on a hill program) and then got in the car for a trip to my friendly Big Peach Running Co for some new shoes. If you live in Atlanta get yourself to the Big Peach ASAP!!!!!! I love everything about the store. I seriously think I could spend the whole day there and be as happy as a lark :). I have been fitted with the best shoes since I started shopping there 1 1/2 years ago. They have an awesome fit process where they do a digital picture of your arches (it also shows how you distribute your weight) and they video you running, then rewind and put it on slow motion so they can see exactly how you land on your feet. The first running store would just eyeball it. I had a lot of issues back then. Now I have a new running store :). And yes, a good pair of running shoes can be a little pricey, but think of it this way:

  • old shoes $120 divided by 339 miles = $0.35 per mile
  • if new shoes have same miles $90 divided by 339 = $0.27 per mile

Laura helped me pick out a new shoe, but the same brand (mizunos). As soon as I got my orthotics in them I just knew!! (they felt great & light!!! Imagine what I can do with lighter shoes?!!!) The runner ups were the same way. I got my orthotics in them and just knew they were not the ones for me. That's okay. They were still nice. Hopefully cranky knee and achey ankles will go away on my long run Friday.  I really want to strap the news shoes on now and go for a run (a very good sign), butt I just don't have the time. After putting my old ones back on I can definitely tell they are dead, dead, dead. Achey ankle is back. Now worries. I'll rock my new shoes on Friday :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Achey and Cranky

Darn my left knee. Why must you be cranky and sore?!! Is it the fact that I moved all of my runs up a day? or maybe you're not happy from the 14 mile run on Saturday? or perhaps you're trying to tell me it's time for new shoes?

Needless to say I'm not extremely happy. I planned my training schedule for Tallahassee very carefully before I signed up to make sure I would be able to get in all of the long runs I would need to be able to do a marathon in 10 weeks. In the back of my head I was worried that something might get achey from the quick ramp up in miles. The problem has almost always been my left knee. I've twisted it three times. Twice before my first marathon, and once last fall. Often the first place I start to notice I need new shoes in either my ankle or knee. Good news: I've finally gotten over 300 miles out of a pair of shoes! That's never happened before. I love, love, love my lynco orthotics. They have a higher arch support then my old superfeet orthotics, and they are saving me. Currently my shoes are at 339 miles. I think there will be a field trip to the Big Peach Running Company for some new shoes. In the mean time it's ice, stretching, and lots of massages with my massage roller...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You ran how far???

It's that time of year when people start reflecting on the year's events and making goals for the next. I realized something about this year that I thought was pretty amazing. I set a personal record in every race I entered in 2009. Yes, everyone of them. Now some replaced an earlier PR set during the year, but I think that's pretty impressive! So, I was curious. I got on Nike+ after this morning's run and set out to see how many miles I ran in 2008 vs. 2009.

  • 2008 I ran 695.15 with an average pace of 10:18
  • so far in 2009 I have run 856.51 miles with an average pace of 9:09
I think we have the answer. What are my PRs you ask:

  • 5k 27:33 (2009 Big Peach 5k)
  • 10k 59:19 (2009 Peachtree Road Race)
  • 1/2 marathon 2:11:33 (2009 Atlanta Half Marathon)
  • marathon 5:00:33 (2009 Nike Women's Marathon)

So log those training miles kids!!! You never know what might happen!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Running Intervals with Lance

This morning I went running with Lance Armstrong. Okay, not the real Lance Armstrong, but his Nike+ interval workout. It's been a while since the last time I did an interval run. April maybe? Honestly, I can't remember. All things considered it was a pretty good run, and it all started with an awesome dinner at Flipburger last night.

Yes, dinner last night! It made me happy :). I'm such a foodie want to be. Partly because I need to make a lot more money to be the foodie I want to be. The list of restaurants is ever growing. Flip is owned by Richard Blais one of Atlanta's past TopChef contestants. It's awesome! A super awesome bacon cheese burger (bacon was heavenly) and butternut squash tempurah was had followed by a pumpkin pie milkshake that I split with my mom. I was a happy girl last night. Plus I've been cutting off the electronics by 9:00pm this week. It made for a relaxing evening (despite constant barking & howling from the dogs).

Anyway, back to the run. I had legs of lead at the beginning, but I was going to do the intervals one way or another. I decided to try and go with my "sprint to the finish" pace and see what I could do. While it's a little hard to place them on my Nike+ graph here's an idea of how it went:

Total Mileage: 6.01 miles
Total Time: 53:45
Average Pace: 8:57 per mile
Interval 1: 8:00
Interval 2: 8:00
Interval 3: 7:03
Interval 4: 8:13 (only made it half way through this one)
-And just for kick I apparently ran the last mile at 7:03 (downhill). I guess that makes up for the 4th interval

Tomorrow's a rest day, and it's looking like Saturday morning might be rather chilly. There's even a chance of SNOW!!!! I miss snow!! I always liked walking around while it was snowing in Milwaukee (was there for 2 years for grad school). It's even better when I don't have to shovel it! Snow would be awesome. And yes, I'm totally going to be out there running in the snow if it happens (but not rain. If it's rain I'm staying inside! I might need to borrow someone's treadmill).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I love Lysol!!

Apparently spraying the house down with lysol really helped!! Now if I could just get my Dad to cover his mouth when he coughs... I have an overwhelming desire to run after him with the can of Lysol and spray after every cough. That's probably not a good thing to do right?

Between the Lysol, vitamins, and wheat grass (I ordered a whole container from Amazing Grass. I can't wait until it gets here!!) I feel pretty darn amazing this morning, so I went for a run in 33 degrees this morning. Brr! It was a little hard to get out of bed, but it felt amazing while I was running. As usual after recovering from germs I wasn't trying to do a tempo run. I just wanted to go on a nice comfortably paced run. HA!!! You would think I would have learned my lesson by now. So, here's tempo Tuesday:

Total Distance: 4.08 miles
Total Time: 36:34
Average Pace: 8:57
Mile 1: 8:13
Mile 2: 8:13
Mile 3: 8:13
Mile 4: 7:03 (got to love downhills!)

I saw on Twitter this morning that Bobby Bowden is suppose to announce his retirement today (I'm an FSU alum). I remember watching them win our last national championship while I was there. Is this a good thing? Fingers crossed!

Time for some yoga for runners!