Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Wonderland?

UGH!!!!! I am sick of running in the snowy, icy, slushy winter! On Tuesday, I slipped and fell. Fortunately, I roll/fell onto my back and didn't cause any damage to myself, just my ego. My pace is hindered by all of the ice and slush. Four miles takes me 40 minutes right now! Yesterday, Jacob and I went out on a run and it ended up just being frustrating. It wasn't too cold out, thankfully, but the conditions were so poor. We did a long run, time wise, but we probably only covered six miles. And much of the route we planned had to be abandoned because the streets were so bad. It's like the city of Asheville is still in the 1940's and doesn't know how to scrape and clear the streets. We had to run in the middle of the road and compete with cars (they always win!). It has the unfortunate effect of taking away the stress relief aspect of exercise. I feel like we got a good run, but I was more irritated when it ended. So, today I stayed in the neighborhood, again. And while I have the streets that are okay for running down, it is boring and it is hard to go much more than four miles without having to make laps. And I hate laps. The cemetery ends up being the easiest place to run, oddly enough. And I don't think my last two days are going to be any better. Perhaps by Friday (which is supposed to be in the 50's) the roads and sidewalks will be clear enough for me to do a good run that I can enjoy all around! And then I will have to think long and hard about running outside in the "winter wonderland" in the future. Damn, it is amazing how quickly a year can pass.... it's almost crazy!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Running in Nashville, TN yesterday on Christmas, puts my total number of states up to six! And today, makes day 360. And it was a doozie! After driving back from Nashville, we arrived to 24 degree weather with 6 inches of snow on the ground, or maybe even 8! In Asheville, as I've discussed before, no one shovels their walkways. The streets were icy and hard to navigate. The wind kept gusting and throwing sharp snow flakes in my face, in short a VERY unpleasant run. And I expect tomorrow will be no better. But Tuesday, the sun should come out and the weather warm, so maybe Tuesday will be easier to run more than 4 miles. Today, it was so hard to run, I only did three and only almost busted my ass about five times. It looks like it might be another winter like the last one... which stinks... but I think I can handle it. And I think I'm just going to keep running after the New Year starts. I might just keep going to see how many consecutive days I can run. It's not the same goal as I have/had for this past year, but I might just continue and see where it gets me... day 380? 400? I don't know, I guess I'll just try and see what I get.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Let the sunshine in!

Thank God for a bit of sunshine! It has been pretty gray and crappy for the last few days, and it wears on me. Today was sunny and a touch warmer (almost 45!) and Mauri and I ran up Sunset. It's such a fun challenging run. And Mauri, who is recently divorced, has entertaining dating stories to regale me with as we run, so time passes quickly. The weather should hold for the next few days and then maybe some more rain/snow... yuck, but who doesn't love a White Christmas, eh?

I've been trying to think of some ceremonious way to wrap up the year and haven't really come up with anything yet. Someone suggested I make t-shirts, or get a massage (which I plan on doing tomorrow and then again at the turn of the year). But I think I might like to do a big group run on that final day with as many people as I can get to go with me. Get all the folks who ran with me some this year or those who were supportive and Friday, December 31st, go out for a fun 5 maybe 6 mile run. That would be cool. We'll have to see if I can get it together or not or how many people will be around and can make it... 2010 is coming to a close... crazy how time flies...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

day 350, 14 days to go

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.... it has been 11 days since my last confession... I mean, blog. Oh, yeah, I'm not Catholic. But I feel guilty nonetheless. When I set out to do this challenge for the year, I intended on blogging on a daily, if not more regular, basis. And, well... I have really fallen off on that aspect. I allotted myself time to run each day, but I never quite got it down to either blog directly after or first thing in the morning or something that would have helped me blog daily. And, so I feel guilty. Like I have let you down, my six faithful readers (assuming you are even there anymore...I know one is...). As I round the corner on this final two weeks of the year, I do wish I had been more disciplined in the writing about my progress. It's very like me to somewhat half-ass my way through. At least I have run everyday! And I did do four races this year also. I don't think I maintained one long run each week, but pretty close.

For the last eleven days, my running has been pretty decent. I ran in CT with my friends brother and he is 6'3" so he has a fast pace that I was able to keep without much problem. We did 5.5 miles the first day and then, in torrential rain, we ran 4.5 miles. I really didn't think Connecticut would be hilly, but it was! There were some really tough long ones, as a matter of fact. Then I got in one more run in Central Park. It was only three miles long since my boys were chomping at the bit to get their "tourist" on. But Central Park is still a great place to run. On the return from our trip, Asheville was a balmy 18 degrees, felt like 2. It was bitter and painful. But Jacob got me some new gear... a new "Ninja Suit". So that was nice. It was so cold that I felt like I was hyperventilating while running. I had on lots of layers, but it was still cold. Mother Nature is not going to let me off easy here at the end of the year! Then Jacob and I did a little shy of 5 miles yesterday when it was a little warmer... 24 degrees. Oddly enough those 5-6 degrees did make a difference. The problem was that the sidewalks are all covered in ice. I remember complaining about that at the beginning of this year. Apparently shoveling your sidewalk is optional in Asheville. Today, though, I must say did feel downright warm! It was 44 degrees when I went out running. The rain and warmer weather melted most of the ice off the sidewalks and it was fortunately not raining. I could really benefit from seeing the sun, however. But, I have zero control over that, so I might as well make the most of it... somehow. And in two weeks, if it's 20 degrees outside, I can make the choice not to run outside or not to run at all. I might look into some Bikram yoga, or a spin class or something else for the duration of the winter. I doubt I will give up running outside entirely...but you never can tell!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

chapped hide

I am seriously grumpy about this bleeping cold weather! My face is chapped, my lips are chapped, my hands are dry... and it isn't even technically winter yet. I haven't quite got my mind around dressing appropriately for the weather either. I just don't want to have to put on the ninja suit already. I'm just not willing to accept it!!!! I had a good run on Friday due to the weather not being to bitter and partially sunny, but otherwise it has been miserable, miserable, miserable. I am particularly grumpy today because of sleet and rain and gray, gray, gray. Yuck. On a more positive note, I ran with my friend's 14 year old daughter in her first foot race. It was really sweet. She did awesome. We ran 8 minute miles, even up the hills, and she kept up really well the entire run. In fact, if she were to do just a little training, I think she will be quite a runner and certainly faster than me. It was a lot of fun getting to experience something like that with a first timer. Her parents were there to cheer her on... and then we were done and the sleet started... which is better than starting before the run. Tomorrow I am supposed to run up Sunset with Mauri and it is supposed to snow. SNOW DAMMIT!!! We are going to run it anyway. At day 339, why the F not?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The inevitable has happened

Cold has returned to Asheville. Not just cold, but cold and rainy. Yuck. I have been very spoiled in the early and late part of the fall, and now I have to face mean, harsh reality. Actually, Saturday wasn't too bad. It was cold, but it was partly sunny and only a little windy. I went running with the boys, to try and encourage them to exercise as well. Dallas ran a mile and Atticus rode his bike two. It was pretty cute and eye opening. Those boys definitely need to be running around a little bit more! Then after they were done with their part, Jacob and I did a quick 3.5 mile run since work and life were starting to call. Sunday, again not so bad, cool and partly cloudy but lots of wind. I only did four miles and was feeling pretty lack luster. I realize that when I am menstruating my muscles are less full of life and my energy level lags. I'll chalk it up to another day down. Monday was gray all day and cold and windy and just generally yucky. I went out for my five mile run as soon as I got done with work. One really good thing I have gained from this year is to go out and run AS SOON AS an opportunity presents itself. If I wait until later, it may be less convenient, the weather could be worse, my children might be requiring something, etc. It was cold and rainy and pleasantly quiet on the streets. People tend to stay in when the weather is bad, so it was peaceful, traffic was moving slowly. I won't say it was nice, but it definitely improved my mood and I was happy to take a hot shower when I was done. Today, however, was just down right blah. I again grabbed my opportunity right after pilates. It was raining pretty hard and was cold. My shoes got soaked, as did I, and then my feet were cold and so were my hands. I only did four miles since after pilates my legs are frequently sore and tired.... oh, yes and the weather was terribly unpleasant. Any other year I would not go running on a day like today, but not this year. And I actually think it is better for me to be out in the muck for lifting my spirits and helping me acclimate to the season. Because like it or not, winter is on it's way!

Friday, November 26, 2010

35 days to go!

I have had a pretty good run of runs the last few days. On Sunday, I ran up Sunset, which was beautiful. It is an 8.5 mile run, up hill for the first 3 miles, and I absolutely kicked it's ass! I was really surprised with how not tired and sore I felt for the rest of the day. It wasn't like I'd even worked that hard. Normally after running up Sunset, I am totally beat. But not now... Monday I kicked Melissa's ass on a run. She was doing pretty well for the first 2 miles, but the second two she got pretty far behind me and I kept having to circle back and meet up with her. It was still fun to run with a friend. Then Tuesday, after pilates, I did my five mile route as quickly as I could to get an idea how fast I could run the gallop and gorge on Thanksgiving day. I forgot to bring a watch and forgot to check the time before I left, so it was difficult to tell, but I was able to push myself pretty hard the whole run and felt good at the end. Wednesday, just did a light and easy four miles. Stayed up late partying with my cousins, being a little overconfident in my abilities to run, and so I was tired on Thursday morning. The race started at 8 am, which seems silly to me to start so early on Thanksgiving. I mean why not start at 9 or 10, right? I was tired and not really looking forward to running 7 minute miles. Jacob and I were going to try and finish it in 35 minutes, that was the plan. Needless to say, I let Jacob follow through with that plan and I ran with my cousins at 8 minute miles, which is really pretty good considering I normally run 9 to 9.15 minute miles. I finished in 40 minutes, and was really glad it was over and on to the "gorging" part of the day. Again, we stayed up late partying with my aunts and uncles and cousins and the mayor. We had to leave Chapel Hill at 6:30 this morning to get to work and the bed we sleep on is not very comfortable, so I'm a little cranky today. When I got home this afternoon after work, it was cold and gray, and as I've mentioned before I don't always like running on Friday afternoons... all this to say it took A LOT of motivation to get me out the door! Fortunately, the boys wanted me to drop them off at the theater and I knew that was the best chance to go... and so, I did.... really, really wishing I could take a day off! But, I can't... yet. I ran a really slow, pretty lame 5k in the 'hood. It wasn't exactly fun, but it is over now. Tomorrow I'll be more rested and it will be easier to run, I think. Either way 35 days left to go!