Friday, February 27, 2009

Keeping It In Perspective

For your reading pleasure, the latest installment of my "From the Editor" column for my running club's newsletter:

In the time-honored tradition of the women’s magazine questionnaire, a quiz of sorts:

Q: What is your motivation for running and/or training this year?
a) To lose those pesky 10 pounds you got for Christmas.

b) To FINALLY hit that race time you’ve been after for 10+ years.
c) To raise awareness for a charity or cause.

d) No one thing- you just love the feel of the wind on your face.

e) To keep your sanity for one more year.

Q: When training for a specific race or goal, you:

a) Do all of your workouts on a treadmill at the gym.

b) Strap on the latest in GPS and heart rate monitor technology.

c) Turn into a loner no one sees except on a training run.

d) Try a little too hard to recruit friends to train/run with you.

e) Keep telling yourself that all of this running keeps you sane.

Q: When discussing your training schedule with others:

a) They look at you like you’re bat-*!#$ crazy and roll their eyes.

b) You spend more time explaining running terms (fartleks, tempo runs, etc.).

c) They ask their doctor friends if what you’re doing is “normal” or “healthy.”

d) They desperately try to change the subject.

e) You justify your running with the phrase: “It keeps me sane!”

Q: You choose your races- marathons, half-marathons, trail runs, 5Ks- based on:

a) Proximity to where you live- no more than an hour from home.

b) Whether or not the course is known for being a fast “PR” course.

c) The size of the racing field- the bigger the better! Its a party!

d) Whether or not costumes are allowed & what the t-shirt looks like.

e) Logistics: Will training for and running this race make me insane?

Q: While reading through these questions:

a) You are proud of yourself and the goals you’ve set for this year.

b) You are really thinking of your next training run & if you have enough Gu.

c) You set the newsletter down because its messing with your mental energy.

d) You’re still thinking about costumes your running group can wear. Super heroes, anyone?
e) You look at your answers and think: People must think I’m insane!

What I really hope you’ve done is laugh at yourself and all of the running community. We tend to get a little caught up in how important we think we are, how special we think our sport is, how noble we think our causes are, and how our lives need to fit around our running rather than how our running can find a comfortable spot in our lives. Spring, more so than New Year’s Day, is the perfect time to reevaluate your life and make changes- new beginnings, you know? And for the record, I answered all of the questions “E!”

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

72 Days and Counting

Okay, so I've written before about my new Clean Living routine, right? Well a major part of this is training kinda hard for my next marathon. The training schedule I'm following is more intense than what I've done in the past, and this is the first race I've followed a plan for in the past year or so. Sure, I've printed out plans from Runner's World , but I've been pretty lax about following them, usually just picking and choosing workouts to fit around my schedule rather than be my schedule.

My fellow running sisters think I'm crazy, my husband thinks I'm going to kill myself this way, and my fellow running friends think my schedule is nothing out of the ordinary. I guess that just goes to show you that there's different levels of crazy that are acceptable. How crazy? Well, here's a sample week from my program- this week's schedule to be exact:

Monday- 3 mile recovery run
Tuesday- 8 mile run
Wednesday- 4 mile run
Thursday- 40 minute tempo run
Friday- rest day
Saturday- 8 mile run @ race pace
Sunday- 17 mile run

Weekly total = approximately 45 miles. The mileage just goes up from there, folks.

I need new shoes...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ohmmmm... today started with the 5:28 am phone call letting us know that school was cancelled (freezing rain + rural country roads= scary school bus ride). Daughters #1 and #2 both slept in, as did I (until about 7:45 or so). Mr. Fix had the coffee brewed and was already tuned in to The History Channel when I came downstairs. The morning was pretty uneventful- laundry, paying bills, swearing at the dog- and then Daughter #1 came downstairs and made pink banana pancakes for everyone. Dee-lish!

I managed to get in an 8 mile training run outside, too. The sun was out, the temp was around 42, I wore capris, and I had a new playlist on my iPod. The run, however, was a bit...sloppy. The snow has been melting, right? Well, some of it is still blocking the sewer grates, and there are VERY LARGE puddles at every corner. So my socks and shoes got soaked & I'm trying to dry out my shoes before I need them again tomorrow night.

I've been exercising 5-6 days per week lately; its all part of my Clean Living routine, along with breakfast every day, no processed foods, and as few Lofthouse Cookies as possible (that one's hard). I've also been trying to incorporate more volunteer work into my days. I started with mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters and am working with a really special kid named Peter. Last week we made Play-doh with Kool-Aid. This past weekend I volunteered at the high school's Solo & Ensemble Band competition. Boy, can those band geeks work themselves up into a nervous frenzy! Its all part of a county-wide initiative my department at work is part of called 100 Hours of Hope . Check it out and share your thoughts and ideas. We've also got a blog set up! Go HERE.

So now comes the explanation regarding the title of this post. A dear friend of ours, Buddha Bob, has been battling lymphoma, and thankfully is now in remission. Check out how he's been giving back not only to his community, but to other cancer survivors, too, by reading THIS.

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Renovation Update: The Countertop Edition

Okay, so now that my house is covered in a very fine, charcoal-colored dust, I will take refuge in my office and post pics from last weekend. Above is the construction of the countertop mold. It was built on a moveable frame so when it is ready to be installed, it can be rolled right up to the cabinets and slid on top. Below is the frame with the metal mesh and rebar in place. These will add strength to the finished product.

Below is Mr. Fix and his brother, the Other Mr. Fix, troweling the concrete into the mold.

And lastly, we see the mold filled to the top, all smooth, and beginning to cure.

So now we start the waiting game. A nine-foot length of concrete takes a while to cure, I'm told, and when it is finally installed (and the front room of the house is hosed down and all sparkly again), I will post more pics.

In the meantime, I'm off to run at the YMCA, even though its 41 degrees outside. I'd rather not run in the rain. One more cup of coffee...have a great weekend.