Archive for December, 2009


December 27, 2009 1 comment

Recent factoid revealed to me (or maybe it was just confirmed): I get stressed and sad when I don’t play Ultimate or run enough. I know that since the Marathon, I haven’t played much Ultimate nor have I gone running enough, and walking has not satisfactorily replaced those activities (aka I have been slightly miserable throughout the past month). The problem with falling off the activities is that laziness and/or procrastination propagate themselves. The more I let myself push off running till tomorrow because of the weather, the more easy it is to not workout the next opportunity I feel too tired and hungry to go running. And Ultimate has been on hold between Fall and Winter League.

The weather and the holidays haven’t helped. Huge piles of snow are fun to walk through, but I don’t have snow sneakers. And while being at my parents house for three days was awesome, I take the train there and don’t want to carry running gear on top of my other clothes and accessorizes. Plus the holiday was full of preparations and family time. Not much room for going running alone.

For real for real, I am running tomorrow morning. Before work, because who knows what will happen after work. Possible frisbee pick-up, possible viewing of Sherlock Holmes.

I mean, how much of a wake up call do I need? When my boyfriend suggests that I should get a punching bag or look into all-season activities, that is a sign that my suspicions were true: The line was crossed between taking a healthy rest from exercise and not taking care of myself properly. Because apparently I need to workout to be happy.

The good news is that Winter Ultimate starts in January, and rain washed away the snow piles so I can’t use falling on ice as an excuse to not run. I may also try to find a weekly indoor activity like martial arts or swing dancing.

Categories: running, Ultimate

Minor Injuries

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Based on that love letter to my bag, you might guess that I’ve had some minor pain in my back. I think it primarily was caused by the bag (work chair also causes slouching and occasionally exacerbates the problem). Very unfortunate. But this week since switching to a small backpack for my day bag, I haven’t had any problems.

I have continued to have problems with my left knee. I’m pretty sure it was my left knee that I over-extended while playing Ultimate this summer. During the Philly marathon training, I hurt the knee again during an Art Museum stair workout with the Fairmount Running Club. Since then my knee has oscillated between feeling fine and feeling like the joint is misaligned and the back muscles are over stretched. Two days ago I went on a two-hour hike for work and felt fine until during lunch I climbed a set of stairs. My knee suddenly felt weird while bending. I was supposed to continue hiking for another hour, but fortunately the batteries of the GPS unit died and my knee was spared from further possible damage.

I’m also worried about the Shamrock Marathon I want to do. I’m mostly walking the miles I should run. Yesterday I felt wonderful about life, and was imagining the physical process of running another marathon (maybe it really does take a month to recover from a marathon). Today it’s snowing and I am not going running, I’m going sloshing through the snow. Still good, but the snow will be on the ground tomorrow, so what will I do about running? I have until the end of December to decide if I’m doing the Shamrock Marathon or the Half (then the cost goes up!), or maybe a Half in Delaware with Kate. Before then I probably should talk to someone about my knee, and I should actually start running instead of walking.

I am super excited about the snow, though, even though it may delay the running =)

Categories: marathon, running, training

Hal Higdon

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

If you are planning on using a Novice program from Hal’s website, I suggest using Novice 2. The week of the 20 mile run in Novice 1 is also the week with the most mileage (40 miles), whereas in Novice 2 the week with the most mileage is a week or two before the 20 mile run (highest week is 37 miles, 20 mile week is 35 miles). Novice 2 also has shorter midweek runs towards the end, which I appreciated. Novice 1 ramps up from a smaller weekly total, so if you need the shorter weekly miles in the beginning of the program, I would suggest switching to the Novice 2 program about halfway through.

Categories: marathon

The end of a relationship

December 12, 2009 1 comment

My Dearest large black Timbuk2 messenger bag,

I loved you from the start, when I gazed upon you in the REI store. You were a part of a Christmas present. Since then, I have relied on you daily as a work bag, shopping bag, Ultimate bag, and so much more. You’ve held my laptop safely. You’ve kept my stuff completed dry when it rains. This day is a day I didn’t want to arrive.

I cannot use you any more.

I am devastated to say that you are bad for my lower back. From this day forth, I will be using a backpack in all my activities. I will miss you. I hope you can move on to bigger and better things. Please don’t be angry. I hope we can still see each other as friends.

With love,

Categories: Uncategorized

Gecko shoes!

December 8, 2009 1 comment

It’s a fresh week, and I am off to a good start even though today didn’t agree with me. I was eating breakfast peacefully when I glanced at the clock (8:20am) and realized I was supposed to catch a ride to a division meeting five minutes ago downtown. Fortunately the meeting was at the Horticulture Center in West Park, so I biked there. Not a good foot to start the day on. Tonight I hung around after work for about an hour waiting to go to the Art Museum steps for a Fairmount Running Club workout… only to discover at 6:05pm that I didn’t have a sports bra with me. 0 for 2… However maybe these events were blessing in disguise; I had to carry some groceries home, so I took the trolley home and later ran back to work (3 miles) to pick up my bike. The goal of picking up my bike got me out the door, and I wore the Vibram Five Fingers!

I think I looked like a monster from the blue lagoon, though. I wore black leggings and my new black Philadelphia Marathon mock shirt with my grey LDS shorts and orange PADA shirt over for visibility, a CUltimate hat (harking back to college Ultimate) which has a pompom on the top, a waist bag holding extra pants to put on for the bike ride home, gloves, and my gecko shoes. The only bits of skin showing were my face and the tops of my feet. Fortunately I have mastered the ability to  confidently wear ridiculous looking workout clothes which keep me comfortable (although I have not mastered the ability to wear spandex without shorts over them… that might be something best left alone). And I don’t relish running in the cold.

It took 13 minutes for me to warm up. The gecko shoes were weird but not uncomfortable during the run. Do you ever misinterpret where the bottom of your shoes will go and end up scraping the ground? That happened way more than I expected considering the soles are very thin. I think this might happen because my feet were tricked by the tightness of the shoe. My shins and calves felt like they were absorbing extra force. When I got to my office to pick up my bike helmet I changed out of the gecko shoes and the soles of my feet were throbbing slightly. It was a combination of the feeling you get in your extremities when they warm up too fast and the prickling of running on concrete (feels a bit like the gravel in the concrete permanently indented your skin).

Tomorrow I will run in the sneakers. I’ll give the gecko shoes another go on Thursday.

Still sedantary

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s the last day of the week, and I only ran once. Today I am planning on upping the mileage so I get closer to what the total was supposed to be, but that still feels a bit like failure. Partially I am focusing on different short-term goals than training for the next marathon (knitting a blanket, finishing my side research project from October). However I also have avoided biking and walking to and/or from work. Can I blame the winter? It only got cold yesterday… so no. In the beginning of the summer training, I allowed myself to skip running if my days were too full, but those days tended to involve a lot of walking and biking, so I was still getting off my ass.

One of my goals I set during the summer when I started biking to work was to be active for two hours a day (some combination of walking, biking, Ultimate, running, intense cleaning, etc.). I recently read in the New York Times Online about Kindergartens that send the kids outside for three hours a day no matter the weather conditions; I think being outside for lengthy periods is another goal I want to add to my life list. I tend to eat lunch while working and do errands during my lunch time which gets me outside. It’s almost always a surprise how much better I feel after getting out in the wind. I haven’t hashed out any details of this new goal yet, but most of my two-hour-of-activity-activities involve being outside. Maybe this new idea is merely a clarification of the first goal, and I need to rephrase the goal to be “doing an activity outside for two hours a day”.

Damn, I need to get back on my bike. Biking to and from work takes 50-60 min, and it doesn’t take any longer than taking the trolley (just involves carrying less weight). I have avoided it because of the cold, and because I want to switch my morning route to avoid the Chestnut St bridge. When I thought of biking this week, I realized I didn’t know how long the Grays Ferry route would take, and I was already running late. Excuses, excuses!

Categories: biking, running

“Jumping” In

December 3, 2009 1 comment

I am going to follow one of Hal Higdon’s intermediate programs for the 3/21 Shamrock Marathon.  The intermediate programs add a day of running, 5 days instead of 4. I may be overestimating my ability to just get out and run. I was pretty flexible with myself while preparing for the Philadelphia Marathon. I tended to take two days in a row off instead of one, and shifted the schedule accordingly. This week, I didn’t really run until today (see next paragraph). I was feeling super unmotivated (and being addicted to Hulu…). I could blame this feeling on my body still getting over the Marathon, but I’m sure its more a combination of that, the darkness depressing me, the next goal is far away, and the Hulu habit. Also, I haven’t had fresh fruit since Sunday. Whatever the combination is, I ran 3.4 miles today and feel better, but I still will finish this week down in the miles. All I’m saying is maybe I should try and combine programs, and stick with running four days. If I run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, that’s four days. Alas, the intermediate schedule is already down in my planer. That means I gotta give it a whirl. We’ll see how often I get to 5 of 7.

Training goals for marathon #2:

Run 5 days a week (or substitute with Ultimate) meaning no cold nor darkness nor social call will stop me

Regularly start the day with body weight exercises (push ups, sit ups, etc)

Try out the gecko shoes*

*When I said I didn’t really run until today, I meant I went on a ten minute run yesterday with my new pair of Vibram FiveFinger Classics. I waited to run with them until they felt relatively comfortable while wandering around the house. While on the run, I was just warming up (it was the AM), but everything seemed normal. Ever since hearing about the research behind barefoot running I’ve been paying attention to my stride to make sure I’m not landing on my heel. My feet don’t hurt today, so maybe I will try them out for a whole three miles next. And I’m referring to them as my gecko shoes from now on. I ❤ geckos (used to own one), and the shoes do inspire me to wiggle my toes and imagine climbing up walls with sticky foot pads =)

Categories: training