Sunday, January 31, 2010

One Month Down!

Day 31: I finished a whole month! I didn't want to run. I had to work unexpectedly and I was feeling a little tired and sluggish and grumpy (a common theme in the winter...). But I put on my running gear and stepped out the door. It was sunny and 38 degrees. The roads were pretty slushy and soggy, but I just ran in the middle of the road again. I did about 3 and 3/4 miles in the 'hood. My legs felt alright. My pace was decent. But mostly, it brightened my mood immensely. I forget every once in a while why I started running in the first place. There is no drug or other substance that can lift the spirits quite like a good, or even just decent, run. I'm glad I went. I'm glad that I am making myself run everyday. Otherwise, on a day like today, I probably would've skipped running and gotten grumpier and gloomier and meaner. So, my children should be happy too. They're just glad they get to play the computer when I go out running. I could be lighting my hair on fire, naked, in the middle of the yard and they wouldn't care a bit if they were in front of the computer. I suppose I should be happy they aren't ADD. I keep threatening to make them get on their bikes and go with me. I guess I will have to do just that. And now, I am ready to take on February!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crazy person

Day 30: I ran outside. Yep. Snow, slush, ice everywhere. I ran in the middle of the road and it was still pretty treacherous. I had to run pretty slowly so that I didn't slip or twist my ankle. I am almost one month down in my year and I am NOT going to twist anything! I ran for three loops around Pearson/Montford which comes out to three miles. It was cool. And, now I am officially one of those crazy people who goes out running in any weather! Tomorrow should be interesting. It should be icy, maybe icier than today. But, I'll be out there. I just hope this snow doesn't hang around for too long. I think I have had my fill! Winter can move on... too bad it's only January.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tomorrow is another day

Day 29: Today was another day, thankfully. Asheville has an impending snowstorm. So in regular reactionary fashion, schools closed before one flake had fallen from the sky. I left work early because not a thing was happening there. I decided to get out on my run before the deluge began. It was a good run. I ran my five mile pace in the opposite, more hilly, direction. I felt good and strong and my legs were raring to go. It was really needed after yesterday. I didn't want to give words to it yesterday, but I was really feeling like my decision to do this was stupid. I've given myself something else to feel like I have to do. I was having a hard time seeing the wisdom in this yesterday. Today, however, I decided to be more optimistic. Everything will be o.k.! Even if this snowstorm kills our business over a weekend... we'll figure it out. It'll all be fine. So, a new day definitely does dawn. And, now I am going to get more inclement weather to run outside so I can feel tough. Yeah, it's gonna be great!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

There's always tomorrow

Day 28: The end of four official weeks of running outside only! I really didn't want to run today. I wasn't feeling it at all. I went out, at a good pace, and sort of fell off. My legs started hurting; I was getting grumpy and frustrated. I shaved a little off the end and let myself walk the last 1/4 mile. I can always look to a better day tomorrow. It looks like a snowstorm is supposed to hit tomorrow, so running in the snow should be a fun change...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tasers, yeah, I need to get me one of those!

Day 26: It was a pretty sunny day and was nice to go out running. I did my old route that I wanted; it was comfortable like an old pair of jeans. I ran, my mind wondered, I got home. All in all pretty good. I did decide I would like to have a taser to misuse. I wonder how I could get one of those. I would love to taze one of those dumb ass males that slow down and stare at me. It would sure bring me great joy to stop and taze their stupid butts. I mean what prostitute wears running gear? Oh, right... in Asheville they are prone to wearing sweat pants. Maybe that's why those "Johns" are confused. I mean most prostitutes usually travel at a pretty brisque pace, ignoring most passersby. It's a reverse psychology tactic. So, if only I had a tazer... that and for those occasional out-of-it dog owners who don't pay attention and let their dog lunge and nip at me. I would taze them to (the people, not the dogs. It's not the dogs fault afterall). Really a tazer would come in very handy in my running experiences. Occasionally, I might just have to taze someone just for the hell of it. I mean why not? It sure would be entertaining to watch people twitch. But mostly just creepy, nasty guys.

Day 27: I haven't run yet today. I am getting ready to go right now. And then we have dinner plans, so I won't be able to blog. I am going to do my neighborhood 4.3 mile loop and call it a day. So, hopefully it goes well... and I won't need a taser. But god pity the fools if I get my hands on one!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Day 25: I was a little more tired today and slow. Everyone around me is getting sick, whether it's a stomach bug or a hefty cold, I've been around some serious germ action. So, I listened to my body and took it slow. I ran 3.5 miles in 33 minutes. It didn't feel as strong; I didn't feel as strong. But I was out; I was present. Now, I wish I could throw the covers up over my head and make it all go away. But, I can't. And so, tomorrow... I'll get up, go to work, smile at people and try to be pleasant. And then I'll go running. I would like to do my favorite five mile route that always makes me feel stationary, in control. Because I know it... like the back of my hand... and even in winter, when it's just bare branches and gray and musty and dank... I know it. I feel it. It's winter. It's a long, long, hard winter. And so, I run.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do they make a pill for that?

Day 24: I went out running today in torrential rain. It was pretty interesting. The trees branches were poetically lovely with droplets of rain on their ends. But eventually my glasses got so wet I couldn't see. So, I took them off and I could only see large shapes and colors. It was mildly entertaining. When I don't wear my glasses and try to function in the outside world, it feels like I am inebriated. My equilibrium is off and everything is fuzzy. It makes for a bizarre run. I didn't notice the soreness of my legs until running today. They weren't terribly sore, but just a little tight and tender. I ran just under 4.3 miles in about 38 minutes. I didn't want to take my watch since it is not waterproof. I was surprised that I was keeping the pace I was and that I didn't feel too winded at the end. My legs were just ready to stretch and be done. And I was starting to get hungry. I assumed if I was running everyday that my appetite would increase, but I haven't really noticed a change. The only thing I have noticed is that I seem to get sleepier earlier in the evening, but that's about it. And I think my calf muscles might be bigger, which I would rather NOT have happen, being as I have the Hill balloon calf muscles as it is. They really do not need to get any balloonier. It's supposed to rain a good portion of this week, so I guess I'll get used to the woozy feeling of running without my glasses. The temperature has been holding pretty steady, so that is one thing in my favor. It's funny though, with the weather being temperate, I feel like it's not nearly as tough to run outside everyday. Hurumpf.... I just can't ever be satisfied... maybe they make a pill for that....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Race day

Day 23: Today was the 10K. I went out this morning not quite as raring to go as I was hoping for, but ready nonetheless. There is nothing quite like standing in a crowd of 800 runners ready to get rolling. It's pretty cool. I ran the first mile in just under 9 minutes, so I sped up a little and got the second mile down in 8.5 minutes. I kept that pace up for most of the run. I think I could have pushed harder and run a little faster, but I was afraid of losing steam at the end if I pushed too hard. When we rounded the corner and started heading back on the loop is when I decided I was going to catch every girl in front of me. I was passing folks in the last mile and feeling great, and then that final hill came and I slowed down more than I wanted to and really had to pea, so I was struggling a little bit. One of the girls I had passed, passed me... but only one! And I was hoping to run in under 55 minutes, and I just barely made it at 54.48. So, overall I am pleased. My legs aren't too sore and I feel pretty good. And now, I have a time to beat. I may start picking one of my runs through the week to do sprints to help build some speed. Because next time, not even that one girl is going to pass me at the end!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Day 22: Today was nice and easy. Just like I planned. I am gearing up for the race tomorrow. Jacob thinks he is the runner I am gunning after, but he's not. I don't think I could keep up with Jacob. He runs 7.30 minute miles or so. I am hoping for a good race pace of 8.45. We shall see. I will have to start out easy and increase about two miles in just so I can make sure to have a strong finish. And I do have that person of interest who, with any luck, will be looking at the back of my head most of the run! It's good to have goals. Now, if only I can meet this one....Oh, yeah and I am in week 49!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Days 19, 20, and 21: I have run everyday. The writing part is proving to be more challenging. I am doing everything I can to stay positive and not let the current upheaval of life weigh me down. Today, was just a whopper. The last three days have been very hectic. Jacob and I are trying to get a handle on our work schedules and juggling life and children. Last year it happened like this as well. As soon as business started to get scary, all this other shit hit the fan. It is like every aspect of my life is in some sort of disarray or having some sort of issue. A neighbor's tree knocked power out to the coffee shop and we lost more than half a days sales, and at a very critical time. The Historic Resource Commission decided today they need to make sure we are in compliance with our awning, and oh, by the way, we need to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness for our "OPEN" sign. The Tax man figures he ought to take a look at my other business as well, just to make sure everything is all clear there too. He said it as if it would be somehow beneficial to me. And now I have to get all those records in order. I accidentally overpaid someone who no longer works for me and have to try and recover the money. My eldest son's school appears to be doing nothing in terms of teaching and he appears to be doing nothing in terms of working and we have to have a conference about that. Jacob and I are trying to clean up the mess of allowing someone else to have some control in our business and catching shit for not doing something sooner. I have a pile of laundry bigger than my car that needs to be folded and no one willing to help me fold them (ahem, children...) I have hardly had time to go out for runs, but I have made myself. I have run in the dark now for the first time and then in the dark, in the rain. Before this project started, I would see people running in the dark and think they were crazy, especially if they were women (because of the whole safety angle). But it's actually quite peaceful. There is less activity in the neighborhood, cars and people and there is a stillness, animals and other creatures put to bed, it is almost serene. I couldn't see very well towards the end of my run today, but it didn't really bother me. In fact, over the last three days, running is the only thing that I feel like I have control over. When I go out and run, it is just me and my feet and the road. There is nothing else. My legs are feeling really strong and I can keep up a great pace for 4 to 5 miles. Yesterday and today, I only did the 5k and tomorrow I will do 3 miles, just to store up some energy for the race on Saturday. I have a person I want to beat on Saturday, so I am hoping for a strong run. It is at least something I might be able to accomplish this week. Wah, wah... I know, enough. Enough whining. Time for a really hot shower and a beer!

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Oh, now I know why it's called Hill Street!"

Day 18: I was feeling a little puny at work today. I was afraid I might be getting sick. So, Melissa came to the rescue. She came to run with me this afternoon, which was perfect. I decided to do a route we had not done before. It required running down Courtland and then up, up, up, up and up Hill Street. I am not sure what possessed me to run up Hill Street, since I didn't really want to run. I thought for some reason that would be a good choice. And so, half way up Hill Street is when Melissa remarked, "OH! Now, I know why it's called Hill Street! Next time let's run on slope street or slide street!" Point taken. My calf muscles were burning by the time we were at the top and I had to stop and stretch for a minute. But as soon as we were up the hill, it was smooth sailing. Maybe that's why I picked it. After all the hard work, you just get to sail... or I am crazy and just wanted a new route. Either way, it was nice to have a friend to run with. I don't feel like I am getting sick, I may have just been fatigued. We ran about 4 miles in about 40 minutes, and then had a beer. It was pretty nice.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rainy days and heavy legs

Day 16: It was a pretty good day. I ran 6 miles in about 55 minutes, I think. I forgot to check the time when I got back because it was so nice outside I had to stretch and sit on the porch. About halfway through the run, my legs felt really tired and I wanted to stop, but I pushed through and recovered enough to finish the run and feel just fine.

Day 17: Today, however, was a little different. It was raining by the time I got it together to go and I was feeling unmotivated. So, I ran for 35 minutes around the neighborhood. I don't know my distance, I just ran aimlessly around. My lower calves were feeling pretty sore and I had to run slowly and remind myself to stay "light". I was glad when it was done. So, I stretched thoroughly and am sure tomorrow will be easier. It is funny that I don't even consider the idea of not running. It's like I know I have to go, so I try to go at the most convenient time. I have noticed that if I don't get out when I am first ready my momentum suffers. I have to set my intention and then go, not dawdle. Today there was a lot of dawdling, which was not all because of me. I do have that family that requires a good bit of my attention after all, and they are really good at helping me dawdle. The Hot Chocolate 10K is this weekend and I am trying to figure out how to prepare myself for that. Maybe just slow, easy runs up until the race will be enough like a break so that I am raring to go on Saturday morning. At least I'll be running with 800 other people. Should be fun!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blog, blog, ooooh la la, gaga ommama

Day 15: I have this love affair with Lady Gaga. Go figure. Well, anyway... today on my run... the entire run... I had "Bad Romance" in my head. I like the song, but not on repeat in my brain. I guess I should have brought an ipod, but I am waiting to break that out. I figure if I can run without musical aid for the first few months then it will be a fun change to add when I am feeling sick of running. But if the Lady Gaga on repeat keeps up, I may have to jump onto the ipod train sooner. So, today, which marks the start of week 50, I had to squeeze in the run. Work is not busy in the money making busy-ness sense, but busy in the we don't have enough money coming in to pay people to do any and everything we could possibly afford to do ourselves, kinda way. So, Thursdays and Fridays I just have to plan on really only being able to squeeze in 3 to 3.5 miles. Which is fine, Saturdays and Sundays are easier days for longer runs, so I'll just have to plan it that way. No big deal. I ran the 5k in 26 minutes. It was fast and furious. My left foot was oddly numb at the end, but I attribute that to stress... yeah, stress.... I am taking a hot bath in a few minutes and rubbing some muscle cream on my legs and I am sure they will be as good as new tomorrow. And with this spring like weather, I may be able to go on that seven mile run I've been thinking about.... Rah, rah, ommamma, rumbah, ahuhah.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Day 14: I'm grumpy. It took a lot to get my ass out the door today. I didn't want to go. I had to put on my running shoes and pull my body out the door. It wasn't much fun. I am trying to be proud of myself that I at least ran 4 miles, but mostly right now I am grumpy. So, I'm going to take a hot shower and see if I can't wash the grump off. Maybe there's a loofah for that....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13 days and a quickie

Day 13: The day, as days tend to do during the week, got away from me. I was starting to get anxious about going... so my cousin, Anna and I ran out the door and did a fast and furious 5k. It was perfect. It didn't feel like it took too much time out of my hectic day, and we ran at a great clip. So, a quick run and a quickie with my hubby makes for a good day, in the home realm anyway. The weather is supposed to be warmer for the next few days, so maybe I can have a relaxing run... here's to hope!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Running with friends and the Ninja suit

Day 11: I forgot to blog yesterday with all of the other things I had to do. I did not forget to run, however. My cousin, Anna and Melissa and I went running in the late afternoon. It was 36 degrees outside, and felt awesome. Running with friends really helps the miles fly by. We did five miles; I forgot to bring a watch but I think we ran it in just under 50 minutes (Having to run at the 5 foot 1 girl's pace). My legs felt great, my footfall was light and overall my 11th day in was enjoyable. Melissa did ask me a question I am getting a lot, which is "what will I do if I get sick?" Currently my answer is: I'm not going to get sick. Short of that, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. When I envisioned doing this, I didn't want to start out allowing myself "sick days" or off time, because, as I have stated before, I am good at justifying slacking off. I have no intention of causing myself harm, on the contrary, so far this is doing a world of good for my mental clarity and sense of resolve. So the plan is still to run for all 365 days. Hopefully, I don't have to find out what I do if I get sick...

Day 12: Cold again! Gotta love the cold.... all people have been talking about for the last week is the weather, so I am not going to say any more about it for a while... What I really don't get about men is how they can somehow find someone attractive in full winter running gear. I mean seriously... I look like a poor kid whose parents didn't buy him a costume and he decided to dress up as a ninja and it's cold outside so he has to bundle up and he can't find only black clothing so he has to borrow things from his dad and older brother and no one can really tell what he is. Definitely not attractive. I had a guy honk and wave and slow down to stare at me in this state. I am somewhat surprised he could tell I was male or female. Maybe he didn't care. I just find it baffling that that is a tactic used by the gruffer sex to attract someone. Does it ever work? And if so, on whom? Or do these guys honk at all moving targets and hope that one hits the mark? Either way, I don't get it. So yeah, I ran 4.4 miles in 39 minutes. My calf muscles felt a little tight today than yesterday and I think it may have to do with the temperature (15 degrees with wind chill, and no more about the weather... I promise). I am trying to do/take all things that help with muscle recovery, perhaps that will work... we shall see.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lazy days...

Day 10: Sunday. Rest day. Lazy Day. Hard to motivate one's self day. The hardest part about today was getting myself out the door. I slept late this morning, had a late brunch with a mimosa, took a nap... all in all a lazy day. I kept putting off going. I had excuses... my head kinda hurt... doesn't matter. My stomach doesn't feel so great... doesn't matter. I don't want to go... doesn't matter. Finally, I just made myself gear up and step out the door. Once I started going, it was no longer an issue. But I had several moments of wondering why in the hell I decided to do this to myself... and it is only day 10. Shit. But I went. I got myself out the door, with great effort, but I did it. I ran 4 miles in 36 minutes. It felt overall pretty good and the weather was decent. Tomorrow's high is 40 degrees and sunny. I am pretty excited about that. I think I will skip the mimosa and nap before running, and maybe it won't be so difficult to get my arse out the door... one can hope.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Taking it easy

Day 9: Prompted by my sister's concern for overuse of my legs, I took it very easy today. I ran slow and light. It was 27 degrees outside and the wind was pretty calm, overall a nice day for a run. I started out at a 10 minute/mile pace and just pushed myself to stay at that pace the whole run. That is not as easy as it sounds. For one, I usually start out slow, for a warm up, then gradually speed up. Secondly, on hills I like to get them out of the way and usually like to step it up. And last, but definitely not least, I do not like people to pass me. If I hear footfalls behind me, I instinctively speed up. Today, when I heard someone behind me, I had to remind myself to slow down and then I was silently grumbling when the guy passed me, because I know he thinks he is faster than me. Well, he is not! On any other day he would have had to fight to pass me.... but I suppose at least I know the truth! It was a recovery run day. And my legs feel great. I think I worked out some of the lactic acid or whatever it is that makes your muscles sore. I could've run more, I could've run faster, but I decided to make today as much of an "off" day as running can be. I am also going to take a hot bath with Epsom salt and rub my legs. My ability to complete my goal primarily hinges upon my legs ability withstand the effort, and I work on my legs to boot. I also discussed with my girlfriends last night at our relatively standard Friday night wine date, that I should probably get a foot and leg massage once every couple of months... sounds like a great idea to me! I'm sure I can figure out a way to fit that in. I ran 3 miles in 29.5 minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

51 weeks left to go...

Day 8: Cold again! The warmer weather of yesterday made today's cold seem even colder. And it was even colder! 15 degrees, but felt like 0 (according to the weather channel). It was brutal. My face now feels like leather. It was not a bad run when the wind wasn't blowing, but the wind really felt like blowing almost the whole run. I ran the neighborhood 5k and didn't time myself, I just went. I ate a light lunch (lesson learned from beef stew) but made the mistake of getting home from work and puttering around the house, which started to diminish my momentum. (Another lesson, just go as soon as getting home from work and it will be much easier to motivate) My legs were not as sore today, so that's good. Tomorrow is supposed to be equally as cold, so I may stick to just around 3.5 or 4 miles... but next week might be warmer (all the way into the 40's!). My son's think I am odd for doing this. My older son told me I was going to look like a man if I ran every day for the year and my younger son said I would be able to run a mile in "like two minutes" by the end of this year. I like the younger boys prediction. We'll see... maybe I'll never want to run again, who knows? Although I realized that if I count weeks, in addition to days, it might seem more like the goal is steadily being accomplished. So, 51 weeks left, woo hoo.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lucky number seven

Day 7: I cannot decide if I should just start counting down or keep counting up. Seven days seems so short (although it is definitely the most days I've run in a row) but saying I have 358 days left seems so long. For now, I'll just count up and then maybe around half way, I'll start counting down......
Today was 37 degrees outside, and just as I suspected, it felt really nice out. I ran with no gloves, fewer layers, no "ninja" head cover, it was awesome. I was feeling pretty good. I started out really strong and set the goal of 6 miles. About 4.5 miles in my legs started to feel like rubber. I knew that my legs would be tired, I just had no idea they would quite feel like this. I didn't have any issue continuing but I was surprised by how strange my legs felt. As I was rounding the bend about half a block from my house, I couldn't quite convince my legs to step up on the curb, or at least I didn't think I could, so I just stayed on the street. When I stopped running I felt so odd, like I couldn't stop moving or my legs might collapse. So I wandered around my house for about 15 minutes and then started stretching. What I have noticed thus far about this plan is that I can't seem to muster the energy to get frustrated about the house being messy (which may or may not be a good thing... seeing as no one else seems to be terribly bothered by the mess either....) or about my children being defiant. It all seems to roll of my shoulders... for now. I am sure eventually I will acclimate to this schedule and it will not have the same effect. But the best part about it is that the winter is not bothering me. When I came up with this idea it was because I was trying to think of something... anything... that would keep me from having the same long, stressful winter I had last year. The weather was yucky, our businesses were struggling (as were lots of people, yet some people tell me the recession is just an attitude... uh huh, one that too many people seem to be sharing...) and I was miserable. I had this constant stress ache in my stomach about money and resources and I didn't want to go outside or do anything. I knew this winter, business wise, was probably not going to be a vast improvement over last year, and we had already had some cold blasts in the fall that seemed to portend a hard winter ahead. I knew I had to do something. Why I chose to run outside only for 365 days, I am not sure, but no other feasible idea came along... so I am rolling with it. And thus far, it seems to be working. The cold weather is not nearly bothering me as much and I have something else to focus on besides the finances of my businesses (or lack there of). And even if the tax man wants to back charge me for purchases over the internet, at least he is mostly done with me...for now. Anyhow, back to running... the real point of this blog... tomorrow I think I may do three miles and call it good. My legs are pooped! Oh yeah, I ran 6 miles in 53 minutes, which is a great time for me! Go figure. So my total mileage thus far is 29.60 miles. I also signed up for the hot chocolate 10k on January 23, it should be fun. Oh, and I was sooooo excited to see I have five followers!!! Yay! That will help me on those days when I really don't want to run!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Day 6: Well today was a mental challenge. I don't think I have ever run 6 days in a row, except maybe when we lived in NYC and I had nothing better to do... but I don't think so....
I had planned on running right after work, but a school "snow day" (for no visible reason, seeing as there was the lightest dusting of snow on the ground that looked no different from the dusting on the ground yesterday and the day before....)put a slight wrench in my plans. When I got home my younger son was the only one here and he was waiting on a friend to pick him up. Well the friend must've forgotten or was running late or something... time was getting away. While he was waiting he threw his big 'ole head back and hit it right on the corner of the coffee table. WHAM! And he really does have a pretty good sized melon... he oughtta be more careful about throwing it around. So he had this quail egg sized lump and his head was bleeding. I wasn't really comfortable leaving him until he seemed steady and the bleeding stopped. By the time I got out, I was drowsy and unmotivated. I ran for 38 minutes; 4 miles. It was perhaps the ugliest four miles. The entire time I had to continually push myself and encourage myself not to stop. My heavy lunch (note for the future... don't eat beef stew before running)was like a lead brick in my stomach and my feet felt like useless heavy appendages. But even having one follower on my blog helped push me to run and to run the whole way. I didn't want to feel like I was giving up. I would've have liked it better if the run wasn't such drudgery, especially following such great days, but I guess I just have to accept that it will happen. I also realized my legs are tired partially because I have not been stretching enough. I made sure to stretch thoroughly after the run today and remind myself that tomorrow will probably be better. I hope it will be better, but if not... I'm going anyway.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Perhaps getting ahead of myself...

Day 5: It seems that running in the cold has gotten easier. In fact, I found today exceptionally, maybe deceptively, easy. Having a friend running with me was probably helpful. Melissa, who hasn't run with me for a while (at least 5 months)came out today. I was going to run 6 miles, but she didn't have time for that so we ran 4.7. I didn't have a watch on so I don't know the time, but I guess we ran slower than I usually do, so around 10 minute miles. It was 23 degrees when we went and honestly, it was noticeably warmer. If we get up to 35 degrees again, it is going to feel down right balmy! I could probably run in a t-shirt.... well, maybe not. I think there is something for my brain, at least right now, that setting this intention, setting this goal just makes it easier to get out and run. Everyday I have run in this year thus far I just go.... I don't balk or groan... I just decide what time I am going to go and then I go. I realize it is early in the game, very early (360 days left to go) but I feel pretty good about it... I think I can do it.... yeah!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cold and colder still

Day 4: Alright, no end to this cold spell in sight. I know most of the country is affected; even Florida is bloody cold. So, I won't whine too much about the temperature, but I recall running every other New Years day over the last four years in shorts... IN SHORTS! So, needless to say this is different. My day got away from me, due to an upcoming audit on one of the businesses, and I got a late start. I was relatively anxious to get going because I would prefer not to run in the dark, if at all possible. My husband let me borrow his wind proof socks, and those things are awesome. My ankles were not cold today. It was 22 degrees, it felt a lot warmer than the previous two days... at first. And then the wind decided to visit. My lips are soooooo dry and my nose too. I don't really feel like I can smile lest something crack and begin to bleed. For the first mile to mile and a half, I was feeling alright. I began to think about the fact that I was born, in the middle of August, in the middle of the desert. No wonder I don't like the cold. I am pretty sure that I spent the first four years of my life barely clothed. It wasn't until some old guy in our trailer park pointed out that "a girl my age" should probably wear a shirt, that I decided clothing was appropriate. So anyway... the run... it was pretty nice. I was so caught up with the cold that I wasn't really paying attention to how difficult or not the run was. It wasn't until the last mile, while running up my least favorite hill in Asheville, that my lower calf muscles were aching a bit. It could be the cold or the tightness with which I hold my body to brace against the wind... or four days in a row of running.... I don't know which. I have run four days in a row it just hasn't happened in what seems like a really long time. So, I guess we shall see.... I ran for 39 minutes, I think 4.2 miles, but again, I need to check. I realize I am going to have to get better at tracking my miles and my time. Four days down... somewhere around 16.2 miles this week... I have yet to do my run over five miles this week... perhaps tomorrow or Wednesday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the beginning

So I have decided that I must do something different for myself this year. I am going to be 35 and seem to be suffering from "the doldrums". I own two businesses, have two children, two dogs, a great husband, good friends.... in short, no good reason not to be just pleased as punch with my life. But somehow I manage to have this slight dissatisfaction, this sense that I am not doing enough with myself. So... one day this idea just popped into my head, what if I ran everyday for 365 days outside... in all weather... in all moods... what would that be like? Will my legs change? Will I be tired? How many pairs of running shoes will I go through? Will I begin to hate running? Will I get faster, better, stronger? What is it like to run in icy conditions or torrential rain? What about if I get a headache? These are just a few of the things that I thought about while trying to decide if I would really embark on this. I am already a runner. But I am an undisciplined runner and I am unfocused. I also am not very good at finishing projects after I start them. I'm pretty good at rationalizing backing out or slacking off; this is where the blog aspect comes in. Maybe if I make it known, my intention, make it public, that will help push me to stay with it, and better yet, to finish. Blogging about this goal(and hopefully having people respond and encourage) will hopefully make me stick with it to really push myself to accomplish it. I always perform better when external factors are in play. So... I guess we shall see...

Here are the parameters I have laid out for myself. I will run everyday for at least three miles or 30 minutes, whichever is more feasible that day. I will take one run a week over five miles, thereby logging well over 1000 miles in a year. Each quarter, I will run one race (5k and up). I will always run outside. I will keep track of my progress via this blog.

That's it. Sounds simple enough, right?
Well I am three days into this project, as I shall call it, and Mother Nature has decided an arctic blast will be a good way to begin. On January 1, it was chilly (about 32 degrees) but tolerable. I ran 4 miles in about 37 minutes. I forgot to bring my watch, so I am guessing about the time. There was some ice on the sidewalks from the snow we got the week before last and so it was a little slower than I was expecting, but overall pretty easy.

Day 2: 18 degrees, seriously cold! And I am notoriously wimpy about cold weather. In fact, I hate it. I moved to NC from Colorado to escape the cold. In Asheville, the average temperature in January is 40. 18 is ridiculous and with wind chill it felt more like 5. I bundled up and went. I ran for exactly 31 minutes, I will have to go clock the miles with my car because I am not sure how far I ran. I couldn't encourage myself to go anymore than that. My legs were cold and my nose hurt. I was so tired all evening afterward. I don't know if it was the cold or the previous two days of partying. Hard to tell...

Day 3: Again... ridiculously cold. I mean, seriously cold. The thermometer says 20 but it feels colder than yesterday. I bundled up again and planned on running for five miles. The first mile was the worst. My nose was so cold that I had to keep breathing into my shirt and trying to cover my nose. I wear glasses and they kept fogging up. It really was not pleasant. So the first mile was slower than my usual pace (somewhere between 9.15 and 9.30 a mile). After I got over the first mile, it didn't seem so bad. I had to tuck my hands, which were in gloves, into my jacket, but other than that it was pretty tolerable. If the wind kicked up, which it did occasionally, it bit at my cheeks and nose and slowed my pace a little. I think I ran with my shoulders hunched because they are pretty achy now. I ran the full five miles I intended and by the time I finished it didn't feel cold outside at all. I forgot a watch again, but by my cell phone, which I checked right before I left and when I returned, my time was 49 minutes, pretty slow. So... one more day down... 362 left to go....