Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keepin' it Real

I don't know why, but I still can't quite call myself a "real" runner.  Yes, I've done a marathon, a couple halfs and braved all sorts of weather, but I'm pretty sure the term runner doesn't apply to me.  However, yesterday at work I got the best compliment I've had in a loooong time.  One of my fellow dietitians (who I see maybe once a month because she works at another facility) said, "Nicole, you look so fit.  I can tell you're a runner."  Really?  Me?  And yet another clue....I've been running without my iPod lately.  A year ago I would have said you're crazy to even contemplate running without an iPod blaring.  I've come to find that I rather enjoy the sound of my feet hitting the ground and my heartbeat racing.  Perhaps all insignificant occurances, but put them together and it gives me just the approval (so to speak) I need to keep up this obsession.  Another motivator - the sound of birds chirping and daylight at 7:00am.  Yes, I know there is 12+ inches of snow on the ground and it's hovering in the upper 20's, but it sure does feel good to see daylight coming earlier and earlier! I know soon enough I'll be complaining about the oppressive humidity or rainy spring season....but knowing that something good is just around the corner is just what I need to get me through these next few weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Help! I've fallen.....

And can't get my blog-endurance up!  Seeing as there is currently 12 inches of snow on the ground and temperatures in the 20's, you'd think I'd have all day to sit in front of my computer and catch up with my bloggy world.  Sadly, the cold weather has just made me apathetic and lazy when it comes to blogging.  Never fear training has been right on schedule!  This is officially week 4 of my "2 halfs in Spring 2010" training cycle.  I have my first double-digit run, since the marathon, this weekend.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a tad bit excited about this.  Unfortunately with said snow on the ground, my running routes have become limited.  Last weekend, for my 9-miler, I braved a winter storm at 5:30am, with about 6 inches of snow already on the ground.  Okay, so this wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done....but boy was it INVIGORATING!!  Between concentrating on staying IN the tire-track groove of the un-plowed areas, to avoiding eye contact with the blinding wind/snow, to just plain avoiding being hit by motorists appalled at the audacity of someone to be out running at a time like this....The run was a piece of cake - physically.  I could have floated for the full 9 miles.  I was so worried about my safety and just getting HOME, that the miles didn't even matter.  I wish I could have a day like that on race day!  Although the streets are now mostly cleared, the sidewalks are a disaster.  I also now need to start planning routes that include water/potty opportunities.  I've been running water/GU-less since the marathon (no need, really).  I could probably make it longer without water/GU, but I need to start training that part of my body, too!  You know I have issues....

On a bittersweet note....I did end up getting new shoes.  I was so, so excited to finally have my pillowy cushions called Brooks Trance 9's.  I wore them around the house for 2 hours after I bought them.  I loved them.  I announced to my Facebook friends that our next child would likely be named "Brooks".  And then I ran in them.  I put my arch support/insert into the shoe and suddenly all that pillowy-goodness was gone AND my toes were cramped.  Now, there is hope that since I've been wearing heavier socks that switching to my "regular" socks (the ones I used to try them on with at the store) will help .  I also decided to try running without the insert in.  Between the yaktrax and my toes getting squished together from the other direction ( you see I initially got the arch supports to help with my right toe neuroma - a self-diagnosis), my feet are a sad, hurting mess.  So $140 later, I'm sad and angry at myself.  I guess I will stick with my Mizuno Wave Nirvanas from now on..... It's not that they were bad or hurt me in any way...I just wanted to have more forefoot cushion.  And because I am cheap, I will likely continue running in my Trance 9's and just make due.  It's only a half-marathon, right?

As for my WW quest....I'm officially down 16.5 pounds from January 1st!  Technically I'm in "maintenance mode" for WW purposes, but for my own purposes, I'm still trying to lose.  I'd like to lose about 7-10 more pounds.  Gosh, these last few pounds are TOUGH and I'm always hungry.  I've only missed one DAY of a workout since January 1st.  Usually, by this point I'm burnt out, but I'm so determined this time.  I've added a few more videos to my workout arsenal, so that's been helping.  The saddest realization is that unless all 7-10 pounds come directly off my butt/thighs/belly...I still wouldn't look decent in a bikini (my initial goal).    I don't know...we'll see.  A girl can dream right?