Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why are your running shoes in the sink?

Four days into the new year, and I may have landed on some goals. 

Weight Training:  TRX once a week has shown some great progress, time to step up the game a little bit.  Plus with this pending cruise and the *shudder* possibility of being in a *shudder* bathing suit some serious measures must be taken.  I avoid, like the plague, any public venue with bathing suits as the attire.  A cruise is going to be difficult, I fear, and I may have to join the status quo *shudder*.  A little weight training will help make me feel less like an albino Shamoo.  There is nothing to be done about the permanent runners tan on my legs, once the Irish/Eastern European skin catches a few burning rays those marks stay for eternity.  I'll continue with  TRX and add in a weekly weight or boot camp class at the gym. Should be fun!  The weight part not the bathing suit part (blargh).

Speed Work:  I'm not exactly sure how this will play out in the long run.  My current training plan has three back to back days Tue/Wed/Thur during the week with a longest of the week day runs on Wednesday.  There are hills around campus so my plan is to run hills once a week. My understanding is this will improve my speed.   I'm opting for Wednesday as that is generally a slower work day and I'm in NY on Tue or Thur.  I'm going to pick the set of hills in the projects across from campus, there is a nice block with hills, run to them, run down one, run a block over, run up,  run a block over, run down, and so on and so forth.  Once I'm done with the last up I can run back to campus.  On the day before hill day I'll incorporate "The Bitch" on my way back to campus and see if I'm seeing any improvement over the course of time.  Should be fun!

Committing: One of the things that really got me down last year was over committing and ending up not enjoying quite a few experiences I should have enjoyed.  I'm making it a point to not do that.  Today there was a race, a part of a series, so I hemmed and hawed last night taking down the Christmas tree.  The discussion with Dave went something like this:

Me:  "I need to talk something through, will you participate?"
Dave: "Huh?"
Me:  "Tomorrow I have lunch with Nicole and Connie in Narragansett at 12:30. I have 6 miles on my training plan for tomorrow.  And that trail race in Wakefield at 10.  I could probably run the race be home from Wakefield by 11:30, quick jump in the shower and head out to Narragansett at 11:50."
Dave: "That really doesn't leave you a lot of time.  Can you reschedule lunch?"
Me:  "No, that is a set time and place.  I really need to stick to my training plan.  I could  swap the Sat 6 and the Sun 4 and be even at the end of my run on Sunday"
Dave: "It is supposed to rain on Sunday."
Me: "Ah."
Dave:  "Well what do you really want to do?"
Me:  "My Saturday miles and lunch."
Dave:  "So what is there to discuss?"
Me: "I'm not really sure, anymore."

So I ran my 6 miles this morning (more on that later) had a great lunch and am happy. 

Last year I would have attempted to do EVERYTHING would have not been happy at the end of the day.   Not happy with my running in the race, rushing home, rushing to and through lunch, rushing home to get in the last 3 miles, and at the end of the day not actually have enjoyed any of it.   That truly is sad, why be disappointed with an entire day of my life, our time is so limited. 

This is going to be an on going internal battle for me. 

Anyhoodles, I should SMARTen these goals up a bit?  Not quite Gazelle style, but here goes:

Specific - yep they seem specific enough  (add in a weight class, run hills, think before I commit)
Measurable - feh, not absolutely measurable, although each one should help me attain a bit more speed and stamina and feel less stressed as the year progresses.
Actionable - yep either I did it or I didn't
Realistic - yep I think so
Time bound - yepish we will see how the next 12 months go...

Wednesday: Mohegan Striders New Years Day Run and Plunge, met up with Ro, Mark, Don, Steve, and Steve's son in the Esker Point parking lot.   Several other people joined in with our run and by the time we got to Mystic we were a dozen people.  The plan was to run to Mystic meet up with all the plungers and run back to Esker Point and not partake in the plunge part.  Don said it was 4 miles, so we met at 11, to have an easy run to Mystic and not have much standing around time before the heard took off to Esker Point.   The first hill did me in a little bit and by the second I dropped back.  Steve was kind enough to run with me, made some comment about being a lazy runner too...  oh, wow, yeah...  that stung a little, it wasn't meant to. We jibber jabbered as we ran along, not letting the gap widen too much between us and the rest of the group.  The last couple hills I could tell were going to be a struggle for me. Completely out of character I said "This hill is tough, have any tips."  Steve simply said "Don't look up."  Then he thought a minute and said "Look at the runners feet in front of you. That will pull you forward.  Eventually your feet will start running their pace and you will catch up."  I did it and holy shit, by the top of the next hill we were back with the group!!

The run back to the beach was slow,  about every 3/4 mile we stopped until everyone was all caught up.  Very cool! 

When we got to the beach I was surprised at the number of people jumping in...  brrrrrr.  I'll pass on the plunge part.  It was a cold and beautiful sunny day!

Esker Point plungers and non-plungers
Why won't I plunge?  Beside the obvious there is this memory:  One hot early April day I remember getting off the school bus and the three of us harassing our mother with pleas to let us go swimming, it was hot, we were hot, can't we go swimming.  Eventually she finally threw up her hands and said "Fine, but you have to jump off the dock."

That water was cold.  I'll never forget that extreme shock of being plunged in cold water and the feeling of breathlessness.  

One would think after the icing incident a few years earlier we would have listened when our mother continually said no to our pleas to do something.  She got us good both times!  

Thursday:  Back to work!  Ok so I wasn't really exclamation point excited about going back to work... 

Nothing much had changed since I was last at work (the 30th of December, for all of 4 hours), although it was nice to see people I hadn't seen in nearly two weeks and get back to the work schedule.  

There was a threat of snow, and it was a little snowy in the early a.m. and looked more and more like this epic storm of 2014 was going to be a bust.  I managed to get out for almost 4 miles during work.  It was a little cold, had I turned left and not right and possibly running down by the water, it may have been a little less cold.   That wind is wicked.

The gym was incredibly busy for a Thursday and really not a lot of people on campus.  Oh, yeah, it is January 2nd, it will be like this for a while.  I waved at the regulars I know and went out for my run.  

I hope that a few of the newbies stick around and make good on their resolution to get fit and healthy. 

Took Ro's spin class in the afternoon, ahem, Don, the clock reset on the 1st, there is still time to catch up!

Wanting to get on this one weight training class at the gym a week, I joined Chris's TRX torture session after Spin.  Learned some new exercises and did 5 pull ups, yeah I rock. 

Friday:  Snow day! Rest day!  I did take each dog out for a mile or so walk on the snow covered roads, they enjoyed getting out and about. 

Saturday:  We slept late, surprisingly late, 9 a.m.  Dave said "It looks like summer with the sun streaming in the front windows."  It did.  Oh glorious sun, spraying your lovely rainbow through the water prism hanging in the big window in the front hall.  Even the dogs slept in.  Huh... well it was a whopping 0F outside, so yeah, no one was much into moving to early.  Dave wasn't riding until it warmed up.  I had 6 miles on the schedule, and off I went.  8F outside, practically a heatwave!  Again I should have gone left not right.  People just don't shovel and I spent a lot of time running through snow until I got to the top of the hill and could get back in my neighborhood on partially shoveled walks and not heavily traveled roads.

I ended up running the hills in my hood for about 3 miles that became wickedly boring. I lamented not wearing my Yaktrax, but knew if I ran the few blocks home to put them on, it would be difficult to get back out the door.  From the minute I woke up, I lacked motivation to get out of bed, it was all warm and comfy and snuggly.  Of course the rainbow dancing on the wall was pretty.  It was the thought of Jax attempting to scratch off my left eyelid (the scratch on my right eyelid is slowly healing) while wrestling finally got me up and moving.

So up and down the hills I went, in some sort of pattern and finally ended up near the bottom.  A man was out shoveling his walk and I stopped and thanked him and ran along his lovely shoveled walkway.  Hey, I appreciated his efforts.  He said I should be commended for my dedication or committed, I'm not really sure!!  I ran around town and back home, a little more inspired to get the last few miles over and done.  Less than stellar speed, hey I did it and I feel better for it.

There are some people who are shoes in the house people and some who are not, I am a not.  They come off the minute I get in the door.  Not sure what to do with my snow covered and packed shoes I plopped them in the kitchen sink as I wandered around the house trying to warm up!  

Lunch with Nicole and Connie was awesome.  So odd seeing people in real clothing, versus running clothes!  Very enjoyable to talk about things other than running too!!

Looks like the Old Mountain Field 5K was fun!   Great job guys and gals!

Beth, sighting up some goals and happy she didn't over commit today! 


  1. Hills very definitely will improve your speed and I think you're wise to incorporate them once a week. Be careful on them though, that's where I really seem to struggle with leg pain if/when I have any. Hills really beat my legs up. Make sure you really stretch your hamstrings afterwards. Looks like a great plan!

  2. Missed ya at the OMF race, but I totally understand why! Shira and a few other people were asking about you, but you'll see them at the Resolution race next weekend (maybe we can talk miss RWM into that one?). Glad you didn't over commit yesterday, very smart decision. See you next week!

    1. Thanks Crutch! I haven't looked at the results from OMF yet, the pictures from Jana and Scott were beautiful. It certianly was a great day to be in the woods, for sure! Resolution should work for me. 18 in the woods on Saturday so I'll be kinda beat up and looking for sympathy! HA!! Good luck with Ms RWM, she hasn't enjoyed any trailish race yet. I think she'd like the beach part what I remember of the trail it gets a skitch tricky and tight in places...

    2. I am not ready to race just yet, especially on trails which I am really not used to. I am planning to run the Super 5k as long as I have a sitter. It's my birthday and I would love to kick the day off with a race.

      Beth, good goals. Stick to them, don't over do it and just say NO when I ask you to join me in a race that is not part of your plan. I need to do the same thing. I know which races I want to do, but I am sure I won't be able to do all of them.

      We don't wear shoes in the house either. However we really don't ask guest to take them off. Kids usually but not adults. Putting them in the sink did crack me up though.

    3. Nicole - I didn't figure you'd be up for that, no worries!! Super 5K that is the same day as that thing the men run around on the green field with white stripes chasing an oval ball, right?

    4. Ha yes, the same day but much earlier in the day. Not registered, going to see how I feel and find a sitter for Abby.

  3. Ooooh a cruise! Where to?

    Last year I did the full bathingsuit that had a cute little skirt. It didn't hide that I'm wicked white, but it did make me look slimmer than I really am, so I call it a win.

    Good luck!

    1. Oh Sheila - Bahamas... I'll send you a note...

  4. SMART goals - i remember those - nice cartoons

  5. You definitely missed a good time at OMF; hope you'll come to Resolution. We are a no-shoes-in-the-house family (exception for adult guests but not children guests - is that weird?); thought it was an Asian thing I inherited at first (no one ever wore shoes in any houses I ever visited in Asia), but I really got used to it and prefer. Anyhow, I digress ... my Yak-trax and everyone's snowy shoes, boots, etc end up in the mudroom. In our last house where we didn't have a mudroom, they all ended up in a corner of the kitchen until dried out.

    1. It looked like it!! Choices can be tough. I'll be hurting on Sunday and still have miles to put in. I think I'll make it out. I missed that one last year because I didn't check the time...

      Shoes - my BIL lives in China (Shanghai) and the have a no shoes in the house rule, as it was explained to me the streets are dirty and filthy and people spit. Ok, I was good with that. I hate shoes in the house. My other half, on the other hand, puts them on when he gets up and takes them off when he goes to bed. When we go to visit Dave's brother, this is the hardest thing for Dave to remember, even after he trips over all of us taking off our shoes!

      Our mud room and vestibule are both unheated, so yeah, the kitchen sink it is for messy shoes till I can deal with them.