this is me now

December 3, 2008

Workin the steps

Filed under: running,things that happen at the Hospital,workin outtt — by heatherdc @ 11:12 pm

After a weekend of traveling, followed by a week off, and more traveling, I’ve been prettyyy lazy lately. Which is just fine by me, but I do get pretty restless. Jack was a good sport and took a walk with me on the one day it was nice and sunny outside. But other than that, nothin.

It’s a fine line to mess with, there’s the phrase “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Which is way too true for running. I’ve definitely taken more than week off, with zero desire to run the last few days (browsing target is far more entertaining). My legs had something to say about this…

One of the things I love about workin around the hospital is just that. You’re always around the hospital. Not in an office all day, not just sitting alllll day. Usually I’m working in specific areas, so I’m focused on one or two floors for the week. Keeping it simple.

Now, I’m getting into “Staff Relief”, meaning I help out each of the Dietitians, taking a few of their patients for the day. So I’m alllll over. I see patients on every floor. I hate taking elevators, because if somebody is on it with you….ehhh,  awkward. Plus we usually have to wait so long before one opens up that I could’ve easily been up the stairs already.

Tuesday was my first day back, and I walked those crazy stairs more times than I can remember. And on Wednesday? My legs were sore. And I was like umm, seriously?! Wow.

Either I’m completely out of shape from two weeks away from the treadmill, or those stairs are doin some crazy things. Or both. But who can complain about a workout at work?? Not me. That’s more time to sit on my couch, computer in lap, reading what you people had to say all day!


November 12, 2008

A 5-mile debate

Filed under: decisions decisions,movin on,running — by heatherdc @ 11:52 pm

It was like she knew I had been recently wondering the same thing. I got the question today from a fellow intern who also ran the Baltimore Half in October….

“So, have you thought about actually doing a full marathon?”


Yes. And no. No and yes.

I don’t know! I want to do it. I know that eventually I’ll do it, because I know I’ll get bored running the ‘halfs’ for so long. Right? Um, right. It’s just a matter of when. I could sit here and make excuses for days, but I’d rather not. Because there are too many bloggers that I read (and admire) that run marathons like it’s a daily jog and have full-time jobs that are hard and stuff.

My answer to the above question was something along the lines of “Yahhhhh, I want to do one within the next year, it’s just…sort of….you know….”. Then I explained how I’m returning to Pittsburgh at the end of March, to run the same race I did last March. It was my first 13.1 miles, and I want to do it again as a veteran half-er. After which I made the mistake of vocalizing an internal debate I’ve been having …..

This particular race also offers a 30-K, which is ~18.64 mies. I realize that to some (aka marathon-ers), an extra 5 miles at a race doesn’t sound like a lot. To me, it sounds like a lot. But then I think, what a perfect stepping stone between the Half and Full distances. Right? Gah. I know.

Once I said this out loud, of course everybody is all like “Yah! Thats perfect! You should definitely do it. I mean, why not??” Which is exactly what I did Not want needed to hear. Because part of me just wants to do the half, for ‘tradition’ (yup, 2 years counts as tradition), and see if I can beat my time from last year. Then that other part of me is saying crazy things like–Why settle? Why not push yourself and go for the challenge?–and I’m still sitting here debating.

For now, I’m keeping the race website open on my browser to taunt myself into make into a decision.

Advice….would be much appreciated.

October 27, 2008

This is my treadmill theory

Filed under: learning,my theories,running — by heatherdc @ 8:43 pm

After two weeks of nothing but treadmill-running, I finally ventured outside again. Because it was absolutely gorgeous, and I have to take advantage of it while i can. Plus, I sweat like a crazy person in that gym, and it gets a little tiring.

Treadmills have their assets. You always know how far you’ve gone, even if it is just a little bit off. You know how long you’ve been running, and you can even make some hills if you want (which I never do, because thats too hard. but ya know, if you wanted to….). But the best part, you always know your pace. For interval training, I think this is awesome. There’s no doubt that you’ll keep that 7:23 minute/mile pace because if you don’t, well, you’ll fly off the machine. Which will probably hurt a lot more than the last lap of that fast mile. And that’s more than enough motivation for me.

But then there’s that whole running-inside thing. And when it’s still 60º and sunny, and the leaves are changing into their gorgeous oranges and yellows, and it’s just that perfect fall day…..there’s absolutely no reason to be inside. I’m ooout.

As soon as I got started I looked down to see Garmin reporting a “8:06 min/mile” pace. My thoughts: Uh whaaat? Sweet. I’ll take it.

I felt awesome, I knew I was going fast, but it was natural. I wasn’t pushing it, just goin’ with it. And I actually kept the pace between 8:00-8:25 for the entire run, which may have only been 4 miles. but thats a pretty quick 4 miles for me. I easily could’ve run 4 more. Except I was getting sweaty and the parents were picking me up for dinner in about half an hour. Must. Stop. and Shower.

I don’t know if it was the feeling of freedom; not being confined to that rotating belt and that number telling me how fast/slow I’m going. Or the 60º sunshine in late October (omg, please don’t go anywhere.). Or just the fact that for almost 3 weeks I’ve been running in a way that I’ve been forced to keep a pace, so that’s just where I’m at. I just don’t know, but I love it.

A treadmill might not give you the hills and turns and sunshine and scenery, but it definitely still gives you a workout. Along with a little threat to keep your pace. I like it.

October 22, 2008

Just goes to show

Filed under: about me,running,things I Looove — by heatherdc @ 11:12 pm

I’ve never really followed a training plan for running. I use them as guidelines, and I tear them out of Runner’s World to use when I’m getting really bored with a routine. But doing it run-for-run, and goin strong? Yah. Haven’t done that.

I usually go with a simple formula:
1 long run. 1 interval run. 2 ‘regular’ runs (easy). 1 tempo run.

Hmm, I dont’ even follow that every week. I go with what I feel like doing, and what I know won’t kill me. Some days are better than others; some days I can run a 7:30 mile for an interval, and some days I’m at  a 9 minute-mile pace and I feel like passing out in the grass and taking a nap.

You just never know.

Which is why I’ve never even tried a “plan”. I guess for ‘fear’ I’d get out of line? Not sure if that’s the right word, but it seems like you miss one workout, then maybe one more, and then you’re lost. And dependent on a plan that isn’t working. Is that what happens? Or do you just pick up where you left off? Does it work? Are there answers?!?! Gah.

So. Anyway. Runner’s has this amazing tool that makes a plan for you. All you have to type in is your last finish time (or maybe your “goal” time), what you’re training for, and how “hard” you want to train. I did this. And they came up with a pretty interesting little running calendar for me. In fact, I think I like it.

I figure now is the time to test things out. I’m between races, and I’m not trying to do anything crazy. I’ll see what works, and what doesn’t, without screwing anything up.  I put in an “average” finish time, since my 3 have been a little up and down. And my training level is “moderate”. Which could mean anything according to those crazy elite runners that are probably calculating my special workouts. And by crazy, I mean awesome. Obviously. I love them.

The formula is still somewhat similar: 1 long run, 1 ‘interval’ run (for 3 weeks, then 1 off), and 2-3 “easy” or “moderate” runs. Paces and distances all provided. But with all the specifics, it’s pretty different than what I’ve actually done (aside from the one Long). But it’s just for me. And that just goes to show, this running thing is completely. ALL. about you. Whats not to love about that?

October 5, 2008

They’ll stop the music

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,Music,running,training — by heatherdc @ 11:00 pm

Rihanna is probably upset. I am too.

Who was it that said “Silence is golden”?

That person has clearly never ran 13.1 miles without music. Or even 5, for that matter. Just sayin….

I received my Race Packet in the mail on Friday (thanks to “first class mail” and the Madre!), and found some info that would’ve been nice to have about 2 months ago. I knew there would be ~17,000 runners (whoa!!!), and can’t really prepare for that. Other than to show up knowing I’m not alone. Gotcha. I did not know about this little rule: No headphones. Of any kind. For any reason.

Which obviously means…..No iPod. My reaction……Uhh, WHAAAT?!????

In their defense, I have heard of this rule. More in the sense that races aren’t supposed to allow headphones/music devices/etc, but most of them do anyway. Up to this point, I’ve done what are considered “small” races (~1,000 runners). Now I’m in the big leagues. Baltimore: big city. Baltimore half-marathon: big race. I guess it’s the “big” ones that follow the rules. Whats that about?! Dangit.

So I maybe freaked out a little bit in my head, and thought “Wow, this won’t be very fun.” And realized that all I can really do is run without my music for this week. Because the race is on Saturday. Yup, doin’ some real preparation over here. Ehhh.

Without my music, I’m a little lost. I haven’t run without music since high school. I’ve never trained for a race without an iPod.  Today broke that streak. I did a whole 5 miles in complete silence. I felt weird even walking out the door without the arm-band on. Completely dragging my feet and not motivated.

Well…I survived. But it’s definitely a different kind of run. All I could hear was myself. My feet hitting the pavement and my breathing. And the occasional car that whipped by, with the occasional jackass that whistled ( I can’t decide if it will be better, or worse, when I’m completely surrounded by runners and their outside noise. But, I am pumped for the Live band at the starting line. Yesss, music! Please!

I want to be the girl in that really old iPod commercial (I think it was for iPods??). She was running and had somebody driving along next to her playing music really loudly out of the car. It was great. Not so much for the driver…..but um, anybody willing to run along the half-marathon course with a personal boom-box on Saturday….go ahead and let me knowww.  If nothing else, how awesome will you feel carrying a boom-box on your shoulder? Yah. Think about it.

In the meantime, I’ll be hiding my iPod and armband so as to avoid temptation. And I’ll be running in silence.

September 14, 2008

Gettin’ ready for numero tres

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,running,training — by heatherdc @ 10:45 pm

In less than 30 days I’ll be running my third half-marathon, in the Baltimore Running Festival. Luckily I found this one over the summer, because there’s already a wait-list. They’re capping the race at 15,000 runners. 15,000!!! Uh, what am I getting myself into???

This is the big leagues. The last two have been around 1,000 people, and I thought that was a lot. Wrong. Soooo wrong. When I registered I put in my “estimated finish time”. Which is really a guess at this point, since the first two were six minutes apart. How about an average? Yesss.

I’m not so pumped about running with 14,999 other people around me. But I am pumped because for the first time, I don’t have to travel!! It’s just a short 20 minute drive. Wonderful. Aaand, it starts at 9:45 a.m.. NOT 6 a.m. like the last one. Gah, that was rough.

Figuring out how to train for this one has definitely been the challenge. Obviously there have been some “learning” experiences while trying to figure out where I even can run around here. I’ve got an idea of which roads I’ll likely get run-over on, and which ones I’ll likely find myself doing improv kick-boxing to teach some punk kid a lesson. I’ve finally found some decent neighborhoods, and started using mapmyrun like it’s my job. Sometimes I have to write the directions on a notecard and stick that into my iPod holder. That’s been interesting… do what ya gotta do.

With 4 weeks to go I’ve definitely never been this prepared. Usually this marks my second “long” run. Instead, I’ve been doing the “long” ones since mid-August, coming off of the training from the last race. That was smart and really dumb at the same time. I learned a valuable lesson: Don’t start running again too soon (after a race). Let yourself heal! I realize that sounds like common sense, but ehhhh, sometimes us runners get carried away.

Anyway. I’m gettin’ there…..

August 26, 2008

Out of the Zooone

Filed under: learning,running — by heatherdc @ 10:41 pm

Since I still have no real idea of where I live (in relation to streets/neighborhoods/parks, not what state. I know what state I live in. I even know the suburb. Yah, how ’bout that.), I tested out a little tool that is available to us runner people. I’ve heard of it, thought it sounded pretty cool, but had never checked it out before. Check it out. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty sweeeeet.

Anyway. I logged on to check out the area from a birds eye view (aka GPS). Obviously I’ve picked up a few things from driving around, like the fact that on one side our complex is surrounded by a neighborhood. Usually a good sign. But on another side we have the raging highway known as I-95 (not tryin to hop on that via my feeet. scarryyyy), and on yet another side we have a 4-lane one-way street, that’s pretty damn busy. All the time.

Once I had a 4 mile run mapped out, it involved two streets that I knew would be pretty busy, two neighborhood streets, and the “Main” street where I’d be running by little shops and salons and restaurants. Gotta keep things interesting, right? Right. Off I go…..

I went via the neighborhood roads first, assuming that if I end up getting slammed by a car on the busy streets, it could at least be towards the last part of the run. Good logic, I know. I survived that mile just fine.Then I started approaching busy street numero uno. Sidewalk stopped. No bike lane. Traffic. Uh ooohh.

Once I turned onto the actual street the sidewalk was in and out, and when it was out, there was a bike lane but um, that’s scary. So I ran on the grass, and just hopped on and off when concrete was available. I made it to “Main” street, ran along a brick walk way and past a lot of people, and survived the next two miles. Here I’m thinking I may have actually found a good running route. Yessss. Go me!

Then I turn onto busy road numero Dos (that means #2). MapMyRun shouldn’t show you streets with no sidewalk and a “bike lane” thats only about 6 inches wide. That’s like a balance beam. Runners aren’t meant to be on balance beams. No no no. This was not good. I was definitely out of the Safety Zone. Wayyyy out. Cars are going by me at about 50 mph, and probably thinking “Wow, what a moron.” That’s probably what I would think too. I pretty much sprinted to the next turn so that I wasn’t killed, which worked out pretty well. And by “well” I mean that I wasn’t killed, and I luckily had enough energy to make it to the next street, even after a 1/2 mile sprint. Gahhhhhh.

I will be looking a little more closely at the roads for the next few days, trying to figure out which ones are death traps and which ones are feet-friendly. And in the meantime, somebody should work on figuring out how to design a GPS that detects sidewalks. That’d be greeeeat. Thanks.

August 14, 2008

Apparently it should also fan me and provide me with electrolytes

Filed under: family,running — by heatherdc @ 8:02 am

I mentioned that this watch was my birthday present from the parents. While i still don’t know how to use it to the max, because I’m avoiding the ‘User Guide’ for now (um, I hate reading those things), I loooove it. I’ve used it on every run since it’s arrival, and I’m not goin’ back.

My sis came home tonight for the weekend, and her friends were at the house within two hours. One of them ran his first half-marathon this summer, so naturally we started the running-talk. He wanted to see the watch, so I went to grab it.

We’ll call the runner, K, and the non-runner, G. Oh, and the sis, uhh….she’ll be S. And we’ll just say there was quite an interesting idea behind how they think the watch should function…..

G: So, what does this thing do again??
Me: It has a GPS system in it, so it maps how far you run, your pace, obviously your time.

G: Oh. I thought the thing was gonna like, squirt gatorade in your mouth or something.
(In my head: OMG that’d be aaawesome!)

S: Ha! Yah!! It should totally do that! And it should have like a fan that pops out too!
G: Definitely.

…….as K is messing with it and pressing buttons. He notices a screen where two people (well, like athletic looking stick-figures) appear like they’re running together. It says “You’re behind by” with a distance and a time. I explain this. Basically, you set the pace that your computer-competitor is running at, and then it will tell you how you’re doing in reference to that pace. So, essentially, that would be your “Goal Race Pace”. Yah, this thing is snazzy.

Well, to this, the sis responds….

S: Whooa. So does it like shock you or something if you start slowing down?! Like, HEY, SPEED UP!
((insert her imitation of being electrocuted. which apparently would make you speed up. right? right.))

Wow. I thought my watch was pretty useful just doin’ what it does. Apparently they think it should also fan me, and provide me with my electrolytes while I’m running. Oh, and use shock-therapy to make sure I’m bustin my ass. They’re so innovative.

August 7, 2008

Because I get distracted…and there were Kids

Filed under: being sporty,running — by heatherdc @ 7:23 am

Seriously, who knew that 8:30 p.m. is apparently ‘play time’ at the track? Did you know that?? I did Not know that.

I got off work late, but did promise my Dad we’d go running tonight. Lately the desert has been throwing us some serious early evening thunderstorms. I’m not just whining because I haven’t seen a real rain in months, this is for real. All lightning and thunder and pouring rain real (for like five minutes. but you neeeever know!). So it looked like we’d have to hit up the gym. Which is so not desirable because uughhh treadmills aren’t fun and it’s really humid in there. Not good.

The storm checked out early tonight (thank youuuu), and we ended up just going to the track. Which I’m also not crazy about for real runs. I either get bored, or quickly distracted. If I’m bored, the laps crawwwwl by at an unbearable pace and 2 miles feels like 6. If I’m distracted, I lose count and get all kinds of frustrated because for the life of me I can Not remember what lap I’m on. Ehhhh. To it’s credit, the track is great for intervals/timing/etc. And that’s about it. But, it’s working as far as helping the Padre run distances. We got there around 8:30, and ran into an unexpected crowd.

This is what I know:
-Show up at 8:30 in the morning, and share the track/field with the whole high school football team. Gah. Nothin’ like running in circles around 16 yr old boys.
-Show up at 10:00 in the morning because I decided to “sleep in” a little bit, and I’ll be the only idiot there braving the already 100 degree sun. On a black track surface. Omg Hootttt.
-Show up at 4:30 in the afternoon and it’s not only still 100 degrees, but the surface is about twice that hot from soakin up the rays allllll day. But at least I’m still one of about 3 or 4 people there. I can handle it.
Anywhere from 5-6 is totally temperature-do-able and even better towards the end because the bleachers have started to shade half of the lap. Gooood stuff.

This is what I learned:
-Show up at 8:30 and apparently have interupted ‘play time’ at the track. As we drove up I’m thinkin’ “Wow, there’s a Lot of people here. Weird”. As we get closer, we see strollers, kids running around the field, kids running around the track, and way too many people walking/running. Not that this is a problem necessarily, I’m fully aware that this is a public place and is going to be crowded now and then. But when you have to change three lanes just to avoid walkers about 3 times per lap, it does get a little frustrating.
And it’s kiiind of cute when a little one starts trying to run with you. But not so cute when he almost steps on your feet and cuts in front of you. And not so cute when they decide get out and push their own strollers, wandering between two lanes at a time, as you’re trying to figure out their wanderings as to avoid hitting them. Whoooa.

I think I’ll stick to my morning road runs and the more enjoyable just-me-and-the-road.

July 31, 2008

As of Monday

Filed under: running — by heatherdc @ 2:14 am

…my morning jogs will be a little bit different.

They’ll be mapped out by a mini-GPS system.

Clocked by a timer.

Compared with my previous runs (if I want them to be).

And monitoring my heart-rate. (well…..if I use the heart-rate-monitor. hmmm.)

Thanks to this little beauty….

It’s my birthday present from the parents. And I didn’t even know these things existed. It was all them. I gotta say, i was pretty impressed! And uhh, excited!

Anyone use this thing?? Wantsto share thoughts/reviews??…..I’m all ears!

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