Category Archives: Random

Am I The Weirdo?

I don’t really have many running pet peeves.

Runners tend to be some of the friendliest people, and I totally get that a lot of what we do in regard to running is totally personal.

But, and this is a big BUT, there is one running-related annoyance I can’t tend to shake. It’s really silly and ridiculous…considering it doesn’t even remotely affect me. But no matter how hard I try, the more I see it happen, the more frustrated I become.

I’m talking about the way in which people dress, namely the way people overdress, when they run.

I just don’t get it. I’m fairly certain that my internal temperature is no higher or more tolerant than your average person; in fact, I tend to be cold more often than not. So for the life of me, I don’t understand why— when I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt— there are other people not just wearing pants and long sleeves, but also hats and mittens.

This phenomenon is especially noticeable nowadays, as the weather is a little trickier to gauge than the typical “cold” of winter and “hot” of summer. This in-between mode adds a lot of variety to the attire you see out on a run, and while I understand people are going different speeds, different distances, etc…there are some lines that should be drawn, right?

My petty annoyance with overdressers came to a boiling point this past Saturday (in case you couldn’t tell 🙂 ). It was 52-ish degrees, sunny, without much wind. My interpretation of this is shorts and a short sleeve shirt, no question. Although I might have been chilly for the first mile or so, I knew I’d be perfectly happy in this getup in the end.

The wonderful thing about the sun being out is that it summons runners of all sorts. Sunny days in Seattle are flooded with runners and bikers and walkers and elliptic-goers galore, and Saturday was no exception.

With all this running company, I was able to do a thorough survey of what people were all wearing on this fine spring morning.

And, I kid you not, there were at least 20 people wearing black pants, black long-sleeve tops, and some form of cold-weather accessory.

I don’t understand!!!!

I get so warm when I run, as I’m sure most of us do, so why oh why would you want to weigh down your run with unnecessary clothing baggage???

obviously multiple punctuation marks are necessary in this discussion

But really… it’s not like the majority of these people have never run outside before. Most of them are people that I see out regularly, through all seasons, and some of whom are definitely doing long distances with quick paces. And yet, they’re dressed as if it’s below freezing with sideways sleet and 20 mph winds.

So, after the 30th or so overdressed person I judged witnessed on Saturday, I managed to suppress my unwarranted anger and asked myself the real question:

“Am I the weirdo?”

But seriously…am I?

It seems like the vast majority of people out running are, in my opinion, overdressed. And if this is my opinion, maybe I’m actually the minority and don’t follow the standard “what to wear while running” rules.

So I’m genuinely curious here…what are your temperature minimums/maximums for donning certain attire?

For reference (and so you can help justify if I am actually the freak), here is my own scale of what I’ll wear for varying temperatures.

<30°: capri tights, long sleeves, ear-warmer, and probably gloves

30°-35°: capri tights, long sleeves, possible ear-warmer

35°-40°: shorts, thicker long sleeve top

40°-45°: shorts, thin (tech tee) long sleeves

45°-50°: shorts and short sleeves, possibly a thin long sleeve if I’m going really slow

50°<: shorts and short sleeves, tank top if it’s over 65° or so.

So there’s my scale. I’m really hoping that I can either confirm that a) I’m the one that’s loony with my ensemble choices, b) you all agree with my scale and it’s everyone else that’s crazy, or c) eveyone’s a little different and I just happen to chronically see the people who overdress.

What do you wear for running in various temperatures? Do you think most people under-dress, overdress, or do you not care because really…who should care anyways? Any other unique running pet peeves?

Things I Love About Being a Runner (That Have Nothing To Do With Running)

We’ve heard/read/talked about all the 1,000,001 reasons why running is the best. Endorphins! Runners high! Strong legs! Low BMR!

And while all these things are indeed fantastic, recently I’ve been noticing that there are a lot of things about being a runner that I love…that don’t have anything to do with the actual act of running.

Naturally, my favorite parts of the sport revolve around the actual run itself—the feeling I get during an effortless long run, the satisfaction of a hard speed workout, and the joy of crossing a finish line.

There are, however, “bonuses”—if you will—to being a runner. And I’m not even talking about increased pasta allowance or toned legs. There are wonderful little things that you might not even realize…

Here are some of the things I’ve realized I love about being a runner that are simply fun free-bees that come with the sport, all existential ponderings aside.

Decreased care for sodium intake

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Bring on the salt! As someone who is at least mostly aware of all the “do not eat too much of _____” mantras that are preached, I’m always happy that I don’t even bat an eye at the thought that there’s too much salt in something. I’m a very salty sweater, and I can actually feel the difference for the better when I’ve consciously increased the salt in/on my food.

Sure, there are other reasons why you might need to stray away from excess sodium, like if you’re predisposed to high blood pressure, but I say if you’re a runner and you’re in the clear heart-wise, shake it on!

Assistance in commuting

McDreamy had a thing for ferry boats...which is why this photo is applicable. I'm also re-watching Grey's, therefore it is two-fold applicable.

McDreamy had a thing for ferry boats…which is why this photo is applicable. I’m also re-watching Grey’s, therefore it is two-fold applicable. BOOM.

At least once a week, often times more, I need to run to get to various forms of transportation on time. It’s a bad habit, and I don’t intend on it happening, but— because I’m a runner— I can get away with it.

I take the ferry to and from work, which is about a half mile away from my office building. Needless to say, figuring out my timing is crucial. Also, missing a ferry isn’t like missing a bus or a subway during rush hour when there’s typically another one coming right away. No, if you miss the ferry, you have to just sit at the dock for half an hour and wait for the next one. And yes, I know this from experience.

But, BUT! I have avoided this happening numerous times because of my running capabilities.

Exhibit A: The other day, I was bombarded by a chatty group of coworkers while trying to leave the building…delaying my perfectly-timed-out walk commute to the ferry. Needless to say, I was pushing it…and when I realized on my walk I had approximately 1 minute to get to the ferry and too much distance to cover, there was only one option.

Full on sprint. Computer bag, purse, ballet flats and all. But thanks to being a runner, not only was it not impossible to do, but I also made it in the nick of time.

Call it speed work. Running isn’t just for exercise, folks.

Fending off illness

MBEDz

This might be just me, and I apologize if it is and I’m just gloating, but being a runner has done wondrous things for my immune system. I hardly ever get sick, or even a cold for that matter, and if I do it seems to be gone within a day or two. I can’t remember the last time I had a fever, or anything worse than a sore throat. I think running has a lot to do with this…and it furthers the notion that exercise is really one of the best medicines.

I can also guarantee I will wake up tomorrow with pneumonia after writing that. Knock on wood, etc. etc.

Convenience

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Running is about 100x more convenient than other exercise. It doesn’t have business hours, it doesn’t close for holidays, it doesn’t require you to pay a membership fee. It’s really just all-around a great thing to have in your fitness repertoire.

Before I was a runner and I’d go on vacation, I knew I wouldn’t have access to a gym so I’d stress out and just condemn myself to a sweat-less couple of days. Running was too difficult an option at that time because I never regularly did it.

But now that I’m a runner, not only do I have the option to exercise on vacation, on holidays, etc…but I love to run in new places. It’s one of my favorite ways to see a new place, and I love the notion that no matter where you go, running is always an option.

Yoga feels so much better

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Seriously. If you’ve ever done pigeon pose after a heavy mileage week, you know what I’m talking about.

I do like yoga, and I kind of have spurts of going, but one thing’s for sure that my incentive to go is directly related to my current running patterns. The more running, the higher the chance I’ll be craving some warriors and forward-folds.

Disclosure time: My desire to go to yoga doesn’t actually have to do with the stretching/flexibility benefits. 

Yes, those things are nice, but I really want to go because it feels so stupid good after my muscles have been shortened and pounded by the pavement. Put my in pigeon while marathon training, and I’ll be giddy and drooling like Drew Brees in those Nyquil commercials.

….

Those are just some of the various bonuses to being a runner. I love that the benefits of this sport seem to be endless…both on and off the road.

Now I want to know: What are your favorite parts about being a runner that have nothing to do with running? Nothing about “mind-clearing” and “sole-cleansing”…let’s get specific here.

Happy Friday!

Don’t Worry, Be Maui

In case you haven’t yet heard, last week BF and I jetted off to beautiful Maui. It was all kinds of perfection—relaxing, fun, rejuvenating, essentially all the things you want out of a vacation. While there were a few select activities we did, most of our days consisted of lounging in the sand, swimming in the ocean, drinking lots of fancy drinks, repeat. So, there isn’t a whole ton to report…which is why I figured pictures would paint a better picture (and be more enjoyable):

We were both up at 7 am no problem the first day, and I think we were unrolling our beach towels by 9. Don’t waste that sunshine!

BF proving his inflexibility. Also, he's owned that swimsuit since EIGHTH GRADE. Isn't that impressive?

BF proving his inflexibility. Also, he’s owned that swimsuit since EIGHTH GRADE. Isn’t that impressive?

This is where I tell you there's no filter on this photo. But for real there isn't. Also, I've owned this swimsuit for one whole week. We balance each other out?

This is where I tell you there’s no filter on this photo. But for real there isn’t. Also, I’ve owned this swimsuit for one whole week. We balance each other out?

Our first day, we rented snorkel gear and managed to hit two different beaches, one of which was full of sea turtles!!! It was so exciting.

Fun fact: You can in fact get horribly sunburned before 10 am even if you’re skin is under the water. It took until that first night to discover that the bottom of my back was not only red, but verging on purple-ish. Such a rookie move. But if my biggest complaint is, “Ohhh noo I got sunburned in Hawaii,” then I really have no complaints. And yes, mom, I wore sunscreen the whole trip.

Mango and passion fruit and strawberry sugary syrup, oh my!

Mango and passion fruit and strawberry sugary syrup, oh my!

Obviously, food was a big theme of our trip. We were on a quest to try as many fish tacos as possible, and we somehow managed to have ice cream/gelato/shave ice every. single. night. It was the best. I’ve also decided that gelato > ice cream > froyo. Yea, I SAID IT blog world. Give me my full fat, real cream goodness.

The second day, we hiked down to the “blowhole” which is a naturally occuring geiser in which the waves push through a small opening in the rocks and shoot up super high—just like a whale blowhole. It was super cool, as was the hike down/around the area. Unfortunately, those pictures are on Mr. “I’ll totally upload these photos right away” ‘s camera…so they remain a mystery.

The rest of our days were littered with various activities, including a trip to the farmer’s market, running, walking on the beach, trips to Lahaina, and finding as much fresh pineapple as possible. Otherwise, this was pretty much our lives…

I spy mai tai.

I spy mai tai.

Wearing shorts over my sunburned bum. At least they're Rogas.

Wearing shorts over my sunburned bum. At least they’re Rogas.

 

We (I) probably ate the total of 3 whole pineapples while in Maui. MORE PLEASE.

We (I) probably ate the total of 3 whole pineapples while in Maui. MORE PLEASE.

Our hotel was in great proximity to good beaches and the main part of Lahaina, which is the real hub of Maui. We went there almost every day and it was so easy to find new things to see, eat, and explore.

Banyan Tree! Have you seen this tree? It's the coolest. I also swear I wasn't trying to flash everybody.

Banyan Tree! Have you seen this tree? It’s the coolest. I also swear I wasn’t trying to flash everybody.

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Okay I think we've had enough Banyan tree pictures.

Okay I think we’ve had enough Banyan tree pictures.

Second night I believe. Pre-Cheeseburger in Paradise meal. I think my skin was emanating a lot of heat at this point,

Second night, pre-Cheeseburger in Paradise meal. I think my skin was emanating a lot of heat at this point,

I managed also to work my way through two books while we were there, helping in the my book-a-month resolution. I finished the Night Circus and Gone Girl, both of which I loved and recommend. Gone Girl, especially, is an excellent beach read.

On our last night, we went to a luau—just to solidify our Hawaiian tourist status. Unfortunately, the luau wasn’t exceptionally fun. It was rainy and windy (the only rain we had the whole time—of course) and it wasn’t very well organized. (Tip: Go for the Old Lahaina Luau, not the Drums of the Pacific—if you’re ever there.) Oh well, we still ate our body weight in food in order to get our money’s worth. And there was an open bar…wait, why was I complaining again?

pho7to

Such good food. I'll give you one guess as to if there was another plate.

Such good food. I’ll give you one guess as to if there was another plate.

 

Cheesin' hard. Can't help it...it's the Maui effect.

Cheesin’ hard. Can’t help it…it’s the Maui effect.

And some more randoms, just so I can reminisce a bit longer…imag7eima5geimage (1)To recap: We layed on the beach a lot. We ate a lot of frozen desserts. We got a lot of sun. We drank a lot of tropical beverages at any and all hours of the day. We swam with huge turtles.

This was a near-perfect trip. BF and I had such a great time…and I think it’s safe to say that Maui hasn’t seen the last of us. There’s something so relaxing about the Hawaiian atmosphere and culture…no rushing, no stressing, just let it be. The mai tais help too. I can definitely say that I haven’t been this relaxed during a vacation in a very long time.

But now…it’s back to business. I’m in week one of two peak training weeks, and I’ve got some of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done coming up shortly. Never a dull moment.

Happy Wednesday!

Have you ever been to Hawaii? Maui? Do you prefer to spend vacations doing lots of things, or doing lots of nothing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Doing Stupid Shit

Yep, harsh title right there. But, that’s the phrase I’ve unfortunately been telling myself more often than not recently.

You see, I know we— as humans—have a hard-wired susceptibility to being distracted. Part of me blames nature, a larger part blames the internet, but no matter how you slice it, the ability to concentrate on one specific thing for a long period of time isn’t so easy.

I myself need a good heaping portion of deadline pressure, marginal stress, and a short time frame to crank out my best work. Frankly, it is amazing what I can do in the hours before something is due—I’m focused, precise, and fast. Not even the distraction of needing to pee can take me away from something if I’m in this kind of zone.

However, as you can probably guess—the majority of the time I don’t have this kind of pressure. Sure, there’s always work to be done, but with a time frame that exceeds a week or a deadline that’s far off, I manage to think of every single other thing in the world to do besides what I’m supposed to do.

I don’t have ADD, and in fact I consider myself a hard worker and driven person, so how in the world has stress managed to become a necessary element in making me productive?

It’s not just in my work life either. If I have a lot of errands that have to be done or chores that need taking care of, I will make it all happen. This is one of the reasons why I run in the mornings on days I know will be stressful; a run jump starts my interpretation of “a productive day.” And I don’t want to toot my own horn (because trust me the self-criticism will come later on), but sometimes I am shocked at just what I can accomplish when the productivity monster kicks me in the pants. (<— entertaining image right there)

BUT. Want to know why I am amazed at my own ability to “do things?” Because way too much of my time is, otherwise, spent doing stupid shit.

Again, I blame social media and the internet to an extent. As many of us remember from our college years of writing papers in the library, when Facebook was only a click away…our best intentions to be productive were always thrown out the window. Then came Twitter, which thankfully I didn’t become aware of until after I graduated, and now there’s Instagram, Tumblrs, blogs, PINTEREST, and lord knows however many other time-wasters that I haven’t heard of yet.

But here’s the thing…yes those things exist and yes smart phones exist and wah wah wah we are all a product of our society. BUT, we—on our own—make the decisions to use these things; we consciously decide to break up our real-life routines for the sake of our digital realities. And this, my friends, is 100% our own fault.

I might just be talking to myself here; maybe all of you are wizards at ignoring your phone and checking all your networks just a few times a day. If so, I applaud you. Thankfully, most social media  sites are blocked at my place of work…making that distraction much easier to avoid. Which is why blogs, especially of the running variety, are my default “mental break.” And that’s fine…sometimes. I like reading them, I learn a little something from a lot of them, and they help keep me inspired and motivated in my own running pursuits.

But when it’s 2 pm…and I’m randomly typing in URLs in hopes that someone, somewhere has posted something new…it’s a problem. It’s nothing more than boredom and the hope that for a few minutes, someone will distract me from continuing to do the things I actually ought to be focusing on. In other words, I’m actively searching out stupid shit to fill my time with.

And you know what? I am nearly 100% positive I’m not alone in this habit.

It’s a little depressing…but once I start trying to recognize the times when I’m just doing something to keep from doing something else, the list starts to pile up. All of a sudden, it’s not just the internet or my phone; it’s staring at my pores in the magnetized mirror for 8 solid minutes, or randomly choosing to pluck my eyebrows at 5 am when I should actually be leaving for my run.

All these little things aren’t harmful, but they—for the most part—don’t serve a purpose. All they’re doing is taking time away from the much more productive and constructive things I should be doing.

Thus, I’ve realized that all these time wasting activities are really just stupid shit—and none of it really adds to my life. Yes, I do need to pluck my eyebrows every so often and yes, as an active blogger, using Twitter is useful and informative. BUT, when I’m using those things in place of more time sensitive, important matters—they become inhibitors.

I’m not saying that I should never zone out on the couch watching reruns of Gossip Girl (yes, still on that one), and I’m definitely not saying I should quit social media. But those activities need to become more purposeful and less default-ish. Does that make sense? In other words, if I’m ever going to have a prayer of getting anything done (and be a productive member of society) I need to have intention in my actions rather than waiting for the stress of time running out to tap on my shoulder.

Deciding to tackle our to-do lists doesn’t take much effort—but they wind up having a huge time-saving and de-stressing effect. I love the feeling of getting something done I’ve been putting off for too long (um, hello buying new windshield wipers for a car driven in SEATTLE). It’s such a satisfying feeling—but what normally shocks me whenever this self-congratulations happens is just how easy it is to get things done.

Somehow, all the stupid shit we’ve managed to replace our productivity with makes all those TO-DOs so much more daunting. And sure, it’s easier to use your thumb to scroll through an infinite amount of tweets, photos, and gifs…but it’s also completely empty. I like to feel that when I do lay on the couch for hours and when I do read through Twitter, it’s because I genuinely do need a break from being busy…and not the other way around.

What’s the point of all this? Well, besides castrating myself for succumbing to the all-too-tempting shoulder-devils of the internet, I suppose I’m hoping that writing this will help hold me a little accountable. Admitting is the first step, as they say, and while I’ve always known that my iPhone was a portal to infinite opportunities for stupid shit— it’s time I reclaim a little bit of control.

I really love my real-life life. And I want to try and stop doing the stupid shit that keeps me away from it. Yes, I love you internet people as well—and I’m not planning on leaving you. But this world is much more interesting if there’s something left to the imagination—rather than being auto-refreshed every hour.

So consider this my pledge; to be the highly functioning person I know I’m capable of being—rather than just another street walker whose nose is pressed to a screen. Time to look up and look out.

And as Louis C.K says…

“‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say…you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say, ‘I’m bored.'”

Things I Don’t Like (That You Probably Love)

It’s Friday people, which means two things:

1) I have actively abandoned all good intentions to pack a breakfast or lunch and instead just buy something instead (it never fails…every. single. week.)

2) It’s time for a list!

do you see how my subject matter and form matched one another right there? I’m a visual rhetoric genius.

We’re going to do the opposite of Friday Favorites today and take a look at some of the things I do not like. And not just that…the things I don’t like that apparently every female seems to just love.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not trying to act like I’m exceptionally unique or different. Because I’m not. I’m a very stereotypical, boring girl—right down to my weakness for chocolate and my love of quoting Kristen Wiig. However, I have noticed that there are a lot of things that everyone is totally OMG OBSESSED with…and I’m like “meh.” And in fact, there are many popular female things that I actually really, really dislike.

*Warning: This post may offend. I’m merely stating my own opinion, and I realize that my views may very well be in the minority. Sue me.*

Without further ado…

1) Running skirts

I’m sorry. I just can’t do it.

I don’t get it, I don’t like it, and I have zero interest in ever partaking in this “running attire.” It’s not that I think they’re necessarily unflattering or ugly…most people look fine enough in them…I think it’s more the principal of the matter. To me, running is an athletic and very non-glamorous activity, and I prefer to dress the part—which does not, IMO, include wearing a skirt. Skirts and dresses are great—for after a run and after I’ve removed my sweaty shorts.

Sorry, but skirts to me are for cheerleaders (and with all due respect, I know you all need the leg room for splits and kicks and whatnot), but in the sport of running, your legs don’t need the same freedom.

And sorry, again, this definitely included sparkle skirts. And running dresses? Don’t even get me started.

2) Gu

Maybe this has something to do with the time I was force fed a chocolate Gu at the end of a marathon, or maybe it’s because I have a sensitive stomach, but frankly…I can think of few things less appetizing than these packs of flavored syrup.

Blech. Even thinking about them makes me queezy. I realize there aren’t a ton of fuel options available, hence why a lot of people use this stuff—but even regular Swedish fish probably do the same thing as a regular Gu. And would definitely taste much more delicious.

3) Neon shoes

You know how bright pink and orange and yellow shoes are all the rage this year?

Not into it. And apparently I’m the only one, because most people can’t get enough of them. It’s not that I dislike bright colors—although my bland wardrobe might suggest otherwise—but I just prefer for my running shoes to be very simple.

And yea yea…the Pure Connects I wear are relatively bright, however they are definitely the tamest of the options available. If it were up to me, every running shoe I buy would be white with a sprinkle of blue on them somewhere.

Alas…functionality trumps looks in the running shoe world, therefore I am sure before too long I’ll be wearing neon pink racing flats and you all can have the last laugh. For now, I’ll stick to my simple white and turquoise babies.

4) Fans in the gym

In every spin class I go to, I will actively seek a spot in the room that is shielded from the incessant, annoying fan that everyone seems to covet. I am one of the few people who opts for the instructor to not turn the fan on when they offer, and I grit my teeth whenever everyone whoops and cheers for it.

I don’t know what it is, but nothing bothers me more than simulated cold air blowing in my face while spinning. One of the best parts of spin class is all the SWEATING that happens, and I hate when that experience is hindered by a fan. Maybe I’m just a light sweater, and maybe I’m just a first-world-problem crybaby (truth), but I’ll maintain my fan-hate forever.

Big, sweaty, air-blocking men…you are my favorite spinners to sit behind.

5) Plain yogurt

I’ve tried so hard with this one. I know you can put plain yogurt in just about anything in the world—from smoothies to pancakes to baked goods that would probably taste much better with butter—but I just can’t stand the sour, bland taste of regular plain yogurt. Give me all the strawberry, blueberry, and pomegranete you’ve got…but keep that nothing-flavor goop for yourselves.

And “regular tart” froyo? Vom.

6) Coconut water

If you do anything even marginally athletic…from just occasionally going to the gym to running back-to-back marathons, this new trend has undoubtedly been pimped hard to you. Electrolytes! Healthy! Hydration! OMG SO REFRESHING!

Maybe my palate is really just that unrefined, but I think this stuff tastes like a dirty sock that was soaked in water for a few days and then refrigerated.

7) Fuel Belts

Again, I know this is a personal preference thing. But if there’s one thing I can’t stand while running, it’s the feeling that something is weighing me down or interfering. Sometimes even just my Garmin and iPod SHUFFLE feels like too much. I tried wearing a fuel belt that someone lent me ONCE, and it bothering me so much I had to take it off, hide it under a bush, and come back for it later.

I suppose I admire anyone who can pull off fast, efficient running with these things. To me, especially in a race with lots of fuel stations, they’re completely unnecessary. Keys and fuel in your shorts’ pocket, hand-held water bottle if necessary, all good.

……

I’m really not a big hater, in fact I’m much more of a cheerleader than anything else, but sometimes when you’re surrounded by all the bells and whistles of the most popular things of the time—you need to let loose some steam. And who knows, my opinions on these things could change. This time next year, I could be sitting in the front of a fan during spin while wearing a running skirt and fueling with Gu and coconut water. You have my permission to call out my hypocrisy.

But for now, I prefer to maintain my stance on these “all the rage” trends.

But now I’m really curious…

How do you feel about these things? Love? Hate? Want to start an anti-plain yogurt/froyo club with me? Want to throw rocks at me for hating on the running skirt? It’s okay…I’m bad at being a girl sometimes.

 

 

PSJJ

On News Year’s Day, in a state of post-celebrating delirium/hilarity, BF and I had a good ‘ole time talking about potential resolutions.

He and I have never been huge into resolving to change our lives at the start of the New Year, but it’s fun for us to invent crazy ideas of how we could spend the rest of the year.

And for better or for worse…this year, one of those ideas stuck.

It all started with BF trying to come up with some sort of fitness goals. Sometimes he’ll do this throughout the year, such as a number of miles to run in one month or something of that variety, but this time he dug a little deeper.

His idea was to do one push-up and one sit-up on January first, two push-ups and two sit-ups on January 2nd… and so on.

And just because he felt it was incomplete, he included a jumping-jack into the mix as well.

michelle

The things you learn when Google-image searching “funny jumping jack”. Also, this is true.

So on that day, January 1st, he started the first round. 1-1-1.

And because, you know, why not do one push-up, one sit-up, and one jumping jack… I decided to do it too. The next day, we went for our two of each.

I’m not really sure when I decided to join in on this venture, however we’ve just completed day 11 of Push-Up, Sit-Up, Jumping Jack…more fondly known as “PSJJ.”

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It was hilarious at first. Because seriously…who purposefully does only one or two of these? It’s still a little funny…but (and I think you can see where this is going) we’re beginning to realize that this idea is going to get really hard, really fast.

08Tu-Push-ups

I’m not even talking about day 365 when allegedly we’ll be doing 365 of each exercise  I’m talking about mid April when from then on, we’ll be doing 100+ of each per day.

Not so funny then.

However, this wasn’t so much of a resolution as a, “let’s see how long we can do this for” type of thing.

At this point, it’s both amusing and do-able. Howeve,r I’m a little afraid that it’s not too long until we’re going to curse this idea and dread every day a little more.

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However, for two reasonably athletic and outrageously competitive people, I don’t really see us quitting as soon as we hit some scarier numbers.

So we’ll see.

In the meantime, it’s still funny and still a little fun to think of actually carrying this whole thing out.

And in case you’re wondering, there are official rules:

1) Real push-ups. On toes, all the way down.

2) Real sit-ups. No crunches.

3) Exercises can be completed while in a class at the gym/during a gym workout. I.E: while not in the presence of the other participant…we’re all about honesty here.

4) Exercises can be spaced out throughout the day. This isn’t really an issue now…but I can’t get through more than 40 push-ups in one shot….let alone 41, 42, 43, 44, 45….365.

5) Off days. (BF, we still need to discuss). I think potentially we may need to come up with some sort of allotted “off-days” for the sake of deathly illness, injury, or…ahem, marathons. HOWEVER, I think those off-days need to be earned by adding those missed PSJJs on other days.

Clearly, our hangover-induced idea has turned into a much more official endeavour, but it’s kind of fun.

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Who knows, maybe this stupid crazy health-oriented idea will actually start to really supplement our strength.

So there you have it. PSJJ is now public, and open to anyone who wants to join on the bandwagon. There’s no spreadsheet, sign-up, or twitter handle…just honesty and sweat. If you did start now though, you’d need to go until January 11, 2014…just to get in the full year.

And just think, wouldn’t 1, 2, 3..11 PSJJs feel better after completing 365, 364, 363… right before? 🙂

And now you have a glimpse into the thrilling lives of BF and myself. It’s a little embarrassing.

And in case you were super curious…my “real” resolution is to read a book a month in order to get my ass off the interwebs all the time. I know this is ridiculously easy for a lot of you…but for me, well, let’s just say I have a little more faith in PSJJ.

Happy Friday!

Year in Running 2012

Here it is, the ever popular “My Year in Running” post that’s been strewn about the blogging world these past few weeks. Yes, it’s just as cliché as resolutions and pictures of oatmeal, but I figured I’d partake.

I pieced together my “categories” for the year from a variety of sources, please feel free to use.

2012 was an interesting one.

Not perfect. Not awful. Not necessarily everything I wanted.

But in many ways, I feel like I hit both ends of the running spectrum this year. And by that, I mean I barrelled head-first into both the lowest of lows and highest of highs in my running—all within the course of a single year.

Fortunately, the highs have been happening more frequently, and it seems as if I was able to take a little more from the low points that simply a battered body and bruised ego.

Let’s have a looksie back in time though:

Best Race

Chicago Marathon.

Perhaps my favorite race tee yet.

I actually had a hard time answering this question, which makes me smile. The tail end of this year has been full of some good racing in terms of PRs and experiences. However, at the end of it all, I think Chicago takes the “best race” cake for the year. Among an assortment of reasons I loved this race (the crowds, the course, the atmosphere, etc.) I truly felt that it was the best executed race I’ve ever run, considering the circumstances. I went in without expectations and without a goal time, but merely to run well, finish well, and have fun. All those goals were met, along with a new marathon PR and a feeling that I am capable of going back into battle with the marathon beast.

And speaking of that beast…

 

Worst Race:

Tacoma City Marathon.

Lies. All lies.

Lies. All lies.

I mean, there isn’t much explanation needed. If for some reason you’ve been spared the details of this race, go ahead and click the link above. Just a lot of misery around this one, I have a hard time keeping this on my marathon list. I learned a lot of lessons here, which I suppose is a good thing, and another good thing is that I will (hopefully) never hit this low of a low again during a marathon.

PSA: Don’t go for a big reach goal on a hard course. And if you do, don’t be stupid like me and refuse to slow down/stop if your body’s given up.

I still have a bit of resentment about this race, but the best thing about bad experiences is that sometimes they teach us more than the good ones.

 

Race Tallies:

5ks: 3

10ks: 0, unless you count the 4th of July Mimosa 10k 🙂

half-marathons: 2 (soon to be 3!)

marathons: 2

 

Biggest PR:

Seattle Half-Marathon

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In a very unexpected move, I beat my previous half-marathon time by over 5 minutes—which was both very surprising and very encouraging. I still have a hard time believing that this race actually happened and how in the world I was able to hold that a sub 8 pace for longer than I ever have before.

Now, I’m on the cusp of one final half before the year is out, and I’m wondering if I should hang my hat on my 1:40 finish, or dig a little deeper.

We’ll see.

 

Best Run:

I love a lot of my runs, and I don’t have a very keen memory for the specifics, however there was one run that comes to mind that was somewhat exceptional.

And ironically, it was in Tacoma, training for the aforementioned dreadful TCM.

I went down to Tacoma for a 20 miler to get a feel for the hills that would come into play on race day. While the run itself may not have exactly prepped me for what was the come, it was a perfect day of running. Challening, scenic, encouraging, and done at the tail end of knee bursitis—with not a pain to be felt the whole time.

I love the big 20 milers in marathon training, and this one was especially encouraging.

 

Highest Weekly Mileage:

57 miles, Chicago training week #8

 

Lowest Weekly Mileage:

0! Injuries suck.

 

Here is where I resurrect my goal from way back when to run 2012 miles this year. Admittedly, I got lazy, stopped keeping track, and it became too hard to recount. Also, I got hurt a few times which derailed my progress. If I were to guesstimate, I think I will probably finish off the year within the 1800 range or so. Maybe next year…I have started being better about my training log!

LESSONS

I learned a lot this year. About running, about racing, about resting. I do think I’m finally coming to terms with the balancing act of pushing my limits and reeling in the reigns.

I used to think that you were either one or the other– a champion or a slug. But I’ve come to realize that my running and my competitive spirit don’t make me any better or worse than any “normal” person out there. And the days where I’d rather stay in pajamas and alternate between napping and watching tv don’t make me any less of an athlete. The two can coexist…and in fact, they need each other in order to stay live.

The other most important thing I think I’ve learned, which is what I’ll be carrying big time into 2013, is that we are wholly and entirely in control of our capabilities. I used to think that there was a cap to success—a certain quota, if you will. Once that milestone or limitation was filled, that would be the end of it.

However, I’m realizing that there isn’t a finite number of success available. Just because those people have run BQs or have already mastered 50ks doesn’t mean that there’s any less potential available for anyone else who wants those things. An achievement isn’t any less significant or impressive if someone else has already completed it. Good for them, yea, but remember…good for YOU.

It’s all relative, and once we’re able to bat away comparison and take a look at our own playbook, we’ll realize that even the most wild of dreams can be ours.

And wild dreams I do have…starting with a very focused, disciplined BQ-or-Bust journey in the beginning of February.

Now it’s your turn! Best and Worst Races? Biggest PR? Proudest Accomplishment? How did your 2012 look?