Sunday, December 13, 2009

Base Training: Week 2 Recap

Total Distance: 15 miles


Winter has been late to arrive this year, and I'm definitely not complaining. However, when the temperatures did finally start to drop last week, I was caught a little off guard. So when the winds picked up, I figured it was time to make a trip to MEC and stock up on some winter running gear. I got an insulated vest to wear as a midlayer on moderately cold days, and an insulated but thin hooded jacket to wear as a midlayer on very cold days. And I figured that on VERY very cold days I can wear them both together. (Or more likely, just run indoors.) I almost bought a balaclava too, but I figured that if it's -40 degrees, I will need more than the excitement of looking like a bank robber to get me outside.

New running clothes definitely give me a little motivational boost. Of course, this can become an expensive strategy if you use it too often, but I really was in need of some items to help extend my running season into the winter. Plus, there is something very satisfying about creating your own little microclimate to combat the cold weather.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What it's all about

I often have the urge to start a blog. Actually, I have followed through with this urge on several occasions. Once in my early twenties where I used my newfound internet voice to express my outrage at things like mesh trucker caps and ironic T-shirts. I kept this one up for quite a while. The well of my anti-hipster rage runs deep, apparently. More recently, a friend and I decided to start a blog that documents awkward situations. This one was a little more popular, but for one reason or another, we just stopped updating it. We still talk about resurrecting it, in fact, I’m thinking about it right now. (People keep asking about it, and it’s getting awkward.)

One thing I’ve learned from that experience is that I really do like writing and having a theme to adhere to did help me to be more disciplined about it. But having a theme can also be a little too rigid, especially when it comes to something that is essentially a hobby for me.

Since then I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a new blog with a different theme. (“This one will be different! I’ll choose a theme with endless possibilities. I’ll update frequently and keep it going, and achieve internet fame! I’ll get a book deal and finally be able to escape from my meager student lifestyle. I will drink fancy wines!”)

But, in all seriousness, my goal is not to become Internet Famous and get a book deal. My real motivation comes from the fact that I find writing to serve an important purpose for me – it helps me work through my thoughts and understand things better. I suppose I could get these benefits from a paper journal (and I do), but I also find that the internet can be a wonderful source of positive and inspiring people. I want to be more than a passive reader (and very occasional commenter) and become an active participant.

I’ve been gravitating towards two types of themed blogs lately: knitting/sewing/crafting blogs and running/healthy living blogs. I often get inspired and think “I want to be just like this person and knit beautiful things and then write about them in a sweet and endearing manner on my blog!” Or “I want to cook delicious and healthy meals and then share them with others!” However, I’ve come to realize that as much as I love knitting, I am not consistent enough to have an interesting knitting blog. And as much as I love running, I can’t see myself writing about it on a regular basis (at least not in a way that would be interesting to read).

All of this is a long-winded introduction to what I hope will be a unifying theme in this, my very latest and sincere attempt at having a blog. I will try to write about the following:
1. Things that make me happy/things I enjoy
2. Things I knit
3. Things I love about running
4. Things that help to keep me running
5. Things I learn along the way
6. Things I want to learn (projects!)
7. Things that don’t fit into the above categories

I’m hoping that this gives me enough structure to be disciplined about writing, but also enough flexibility so that I can keep it going.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Base Training: Week 1 Recap

Distance: 10 miles

Highlights: On Thursday I did my four miles in the rain. I actually really love running in the rain (within reason of course). During this run I was reminded of a nice thing that happened recently. I was in Boston for a conference and my roommate and I really wanted to run along the river at least once while we were there. The one morning we woke up to run, it was pouring. We decided to go out anyway. On the way back to our hotel, a passing car honked at us and the driver gave us a thumbs up. This little gesture actually made my day.

I don't drive often, but if I ever happen to be driving in the rain and see a runner, I'm going to do this. Sometimes a little "good for you" from a complete stranger is all the encouragement I need.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Not Yet New Year's Resolutions

I want to run a marathon in the fall of 2010. Here’s my plan:
1. Start base training and work up to 35 miles per week over the next 20
2. Maintain mileage (cycling between 20-30 miles per week).
3. Start Hal Higdon’s marathon training plan.
4. Post weekly training updates. I’ll try to find at least one thing I love about
running, or one strategy that helps me run each week.

I tend to fall into a routine and eat the same thing every day just because it is easy. Even if I choose the same healthy things every day, I think it’s safe to say that I could benefit from some increased variety. So, my plan:
1. Try at least two new recipes each month.
2. I’ll post recaps on the recipes I try (ideally with photos) and reviews of how I
like them.