Thursday, October 24, 2013

Facebook deactivation. The Gang is Back together!

We're back!!!

(I know my last name isn't a secret but for professional reasons I try to keep it off the blog.  I dunno?)
Basically, Kristina and SarahOual doing Carlsbad too!  Sarah is doing the half (marathon haters anon) and Kristina is doing the full.  I am way excited to not be the only crazy person on board for a little mid-January fun in San Diego.

Kristina is the fastest person that you'd never know she was fast until you stalked her times on the internet, btw.  Like a secret agent?

My training is going just fine.  I finished last week with about 46 miles done which was funny because it felt like about 100 relative to my super low mileage weeks lately.  I did a successful "longish" tempo on Tuesday with 7 miles at about 7:25 pace.  Started at 7:38 and ended at 7:12 with more laps around the elementary school.  It's great because there are no stoplights.  The cross guards who stand there and see me run around the school 15 times must think I am truly insane.

It looks kind of like this. 

Facebook Experiment

Are you on Facebook?  I'm guessing there's a 99.9% chance the answer is yes because isn't everyone these days?

I decided a couple weeks ago to deactivate my account (you can't delete it, apparently that's nearly impossible) in an effort to have more free time / real interactions with people.  It was kind of embarrassing the amount of times I realized I was signing in every day.  I am not allowed to go back on it for one more week and am kind of unsure if I will stay off it. Here are the emotional stages of grieving I've gone through so far.

1) Internet Twitches: For the first couple days, I kept accidentally going to the site to sign in and realizing I couldn't.  It was like those people who took Ambien and started eating in their sleep.  I was probably trying to sign in in my sleep as well.

2) Posting Withdrawal:  Something hilarious just happened to me!  Was it still funny if I can't exaggerate it and post it on Facebook for all to see and laugh at and hit the like button?

3)  Stalking Stalking:  Ok fine.  This one has been the hardest.  There are a few people on facebook who I LOVE to stalk.  Not really for any reason beyond the fact that I got into the habit of stalking them and now I feel like I know all of their friends who I've never met too.  I have a problem.

4) Relief:  I am positive that people in our generation have been subjected to seeing more birthday parties, motivational phrases, Nike+ runs of 3.0919 miles, engagement rings, and drunken duck faces than all other generations since the beginning of time.  It is a relief to not see that anymore.   

5) Out of Contact:  This is the only part that I kind of regret about being off the site.  There are some people I actually like to keep up with for totally normal reasons.  I'm sure I'm also missing birthdays.  Maybe I'll use a calendar like a normal person?

6) Connected to EVERYTHING:  I can't us my Spotify account any more!  Everything is connected to facebook!!!! Ahhhhhh!

6)  Smug Confusion:  After about two weeks off Facebook, it's safe to say I don't really miss it anymore.  And I love the idea of smugly telling people this.   But it's probably safe to say that eventually it's sweet siren song will lure me back and I'll be back to reading about babies, birthdays, and Aunt Mildred's crazy political views.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How liking fall and running tempos are alike

Unlike what appears to be the entire rest of the internets, I've never really liked fall.  Changing leaves, crisp temperatures, sure (although truth be told both of those are questionable in both Houston and Southern California; the places I've spent my adult life).

But come on guys.  You know what's coming after those pretty red leaves...darker and darker days.  Soon enough, you're coming home from work and waking up and it's pitch black both times.  The holidays roll around and even if you love the holidays, it can't be denied that it's another awkward few days full of plane travel and awkward conversation.  And then it's January.  JANUARY.  It's dark and cold and you've hit rock bottom in the processional of seasons.

Am I being overly dramatic?  Absolutely, but this sort of how my brain works.  It's always been terribly hard for me to turn my brain off and enjoy the moment.   The "what's next", "you're messing that up", "how will that be in 10 miles or in 10 days" is a constant dialogue and I'm positive that spending so much time this way will be my biggest regret when I'm 80.

Fall is beautiful, just because it is, not because what's coming next.

Which brings me to my beautiful segue into running!  And tempos.  And marathoning.

I haven't signed up for Carlsbad yet, but I have started training for it (as of today) so I think it's a pretty sure thing.  I've flipped through the Hansons book and got a recommendation of Brad Hudson's book as well for a marathon plan.  (Please let me know what has worked for you).

At the same time though, I feel like it's not about WHICH plan I do, it's about actually training correctly for a marathon.  Which includes stuff like doing long marathon pace tempos - something I have never been able to make myself do.  Which is uh....probably why my marathon PR (3:32) is much slower relatively than other distances I've run.   It's kind of a no brainer.

The Hanson's plan has you starting with some 6 mile marathon pace tempos near the start of the plan so I did one of those today.  It was shockingly successful (well...I went too fast if I'm going to say my marathon goal pace is 3:25ish, but I didn't feel like I'm pushing too hard. I'm not going to beat myself up over that.  I'm sure I'll slow it up when these things get up to 10 miles).  The main success was that I actually completed the damn thing without straining, stopping, or hating myself.   It was almost kind of fun!  10 laps around an elementary school / park, and I didn't even run into any 2 year olds.

7:46, 7:36, 7:26, 7:32, 7:28: 7:19.

I almost feel like one of those real running bloggers posting those splits.  You know, the ones that run long tempos and post pics of their garmins and inspire people and shit? day :).

(No, I did not complete this run before 4 AM.  I roll up at work at like 9:45 AM so....)

Anyways, I guess the point of this post is that sitting back and enjoying the moment is key.  Whether it's being 1 mile into a tempo run, 1 week into a marathon training plan, or just enjoying October.  Trying to avoid worrying about what will happen later or what's happening next month is a good way for me to be a happier person and be ultimately more successful as well.

Now help me remember that the next time I'm freaking out.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hey Hey, I'm Still Alive.

Hi there. 

I'm not sure if anyone still reads this blog but if you do HEY!  Sorry for the lack of updates! 

The reason I haven't updated in a while is that every time I thought about writing something I'd either think:
A) I stare at a computer all day.  The last thing I want to do is spend more time at one.
B)  I care about this issue and I'd like to write about it, but don't know anything about it and would need to research.   Sound like a lot of work.  Hmmm...say, I wonder if there's any cake left in the fridge? 
C) I wonder if there's any cake left in the fridge? 

So. Yeah.

Lately, I've been wondering what to do with my running.  For most of the summer (after the Mountains to Beach half marathon), I pretty much spent my days pretending I was 5k training.  I did speed workouts - mostly on the treadmill - and maybe a 10 miler on the weekends.  I did this because it appeals to my general laziness.  Also, it's hard to do a long run when you stayed up the night before until 4 AM drinking wine or something. 

As you may know, I have trouble living the monastic existence that is required of many successful distance runners and after my breakup / move in May and June I was in full on party mode for a bit! 

Now I'm a little more settled in and more happy and less angry.  (And spending less of my time signing people  who suck up for visits / mailers from The Church of Scientology / SPAM about cats.  I also started dating someone new if you were wondering, and I'm incredibly excited about it.  Cross your fingers!! )

I've started wondering if it's indeed time to find a running goal.  The cooler fall temperatures have even had me craving distance runs.  (Although not Pumpkin Spice Lattes, seriously guys, what is with the obsession with Pumpkin?  There's a reason it's not popular year-round. )

So I started looking at winter marathons.  And marathon training plans.  The obvious choice if I ran a winter marathon would be Carlsbad.  It's relatively close and has a good reputation.  It's not the easiest course in the world, but hills make the world go 'round, right?  Another choice would be Austin, but that's in late February which starts bleeding into the inevitable tortuous wedding season where I get to spend my money on kitchen appliances for other people that I will never have myself. 

One marathon plan that has been recommended to me many times is the Brooks-Hanson's one.  It never has a run longer than 16 miles, but has a pretty consistent mileage base during the week. 

That left column is the number of weeks no miles
The only thing is...this plan still does not look easy.  Granted this is the Advanced Training plan, so who knows.  I'm probably not advanced. 

All I know is that I need to find a training plan that allows me to stay up late drinking and eating amazing stuff on the weekends, be great at work, and still run a kickass marathon. 

Doesn't exist?  Maybe not, but if it does, mark my words, I'll find it.

If I do end up signing up for Carlsbad, I'll probably bring the blog back because I'll need the support of the running community on here.  If nothing else, taking a break from blogging has made me realize how much of a virtual team the running blog community is.  And that's pretty lovely.  Even if everyone does use too many hashtags on instagram.