Monday, November 30, 2009

November. What happened?

For some reason or another I was a running failure in the month of November. Here I am, gearing up to run a freaking :: marathon :: in January and I am logging a measly 25 miles in 1 month. That is less that 1 mile per day. I was running more than that per month when I just started running after a full year off. fail.failure.failed. And don't tell me I am being too hard on myself. I am just trying to figure out what in the hell happened this month that kept me from doing any sort of 1 foot in front of the other. Sure, life happens but was I really that lazy to not run off stress and life? Ugh.

There is this awesome runner that I follow on Twitter (@runnersrambles) and I watch her blog and I think she is totally awesome. I don't know her or even know her name but she seems to know what she is talking about. But one thing she did for '09 was set some goals. So... I will do the same for 2010. But for now, how about some goals for December 2009? And here we go.
  1. 50 miles in December.
  2. 5k complete on December 19th. Finish it in 33 minute.
  3. Run at least 4 days a week in my scheduled running time 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  4. On the other 3 days - hit the elliptical 30-45 minutes each day.

Those are my goals. Now, I gotta stick to them. I need an incentive program. Like, I complete all 3 and I get to buy a new purse. Like the brown Marc Jacobs bag I am coveting from Bloomies. :o)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Running Etiquette

We all know that I have an odd fascination/love for twitter (shameless plug: Follow me @bamabarbie06). I don't quite know what it is all about, but I do like posting random thoughts and responding to people's statements. 2 days ago @cool_running asked the question "What are your running pet peeves" and as I got to reading the answers ... it got me laughing, agreeing, and thinking. It took me back to all my Stone Mountain runs and how I typically get so super annoyed because of the inconsiderate runners and walkers taking up the whole path talking about what little Timmy did last night or last week's episode of Glee. Yes, I am a "beginning runner" and I do take walk breaks still and I am slowly learning things but I feel some things that were mentioned as pet peeves just seemed like common knowledge if you were a courteous person in general.

some of my favorite answers: drivers not yielding to runners. people stopping to ask you for directions. competitive runners who finish the course and then run it backwards (okay, you're the hare, I'm the tortoise. Lets not remind me just how slow I am by you running past me in the wrong direction!). people walking side by side taking up the whole sidewalk/path or them walking in the smack middle. people blocking the sidewalk walking towards you who are barely moving, just gossiping. people who walk/run on the wrong side of the path and then don't get out of my way. idiots who yell from cars or honk (trust me boys, when I am running I am sweaty and normally I am also snotty and spitty. Not attractive at all. Don't let the bobbing ponytail fool you.) unruly dogs at local races.

It then got me thinking. What are the rules of the road for running? What are some common etiquette rules for us runners? So since I am still "newbie" and by no stretch of the imagination a pro (despite what my friends like to think), I paired up with my friend Google and did some research. Here are my findings.
  1. when running in the road: run against traffic (so that's on the left). run on the little white line, not in the lane of course. that way the cars can see you coming and both you and the driver can react appropriately. when running on paths/sidewalks: run on the right side. If you approach someone who is walking, slow down so you can pass them safely. It's also nice to announce yourself. Say something like "passing on the left (or right)".
  2. Group running is the best way to do long runs, it is the truth. But run in twos. Just like you're getting on Noah's big boat.
  3. When it comes to races. Runners are supposed to be on the left and in the middle. Walkers move to the right.
  4. Another race tidbit. When it comes to lining up for the start, line up according to ability and be honest. Nothing is worse than having to weave in and out of the walkers. And there is nothing wrong about walking - I do it. Just please move towards the back! ;)
  5. Give a friendly hello, head nod, or wave to fellow runners you pass. A little courtesy in this world is great. And the positive reinforcement really does go a long way.
  6. If you listen to music while running (I do) listen to it at a lower volume. That way you can be alert and aware of your surroundings. Nothing is worse than trying to pass someone who cannot hear you huffing and puffing, your feet, or even you saying your trying to pass. More importantly, so you can hear traffic.

Here is another list of okays and not okays. And most importantly, for whatever reason you chose to hit the pavement do it safely. That way it will be more fun for both you and all us other runners! =)

Have I forgotten anything? What are your peeves? What are some rules I have left out? As a "new" runner I don't want to look like a fool!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running in Northern VA.

First. A little background on me. I am not an Atlanta native. I was born and raised in Burke, VA - right outside of Washington DC in the beautiful Fairfax County. I go home 3 times a year and well... I am home now. I figured I would take my week off work to really focus on getting in the miles and the work in the final preparation for the Disney Marathon (which is in 46 freaking days). I don't know what it is about Northern VA but the runs are so much easier and the miles don't seem as long. Maybe it's running in the 'burbs ... the air is a different quality and you don't have to dodge cars or wait for the light to let you go. But I have had 2 great runs since being home and hope for at least 4 more.

I have never been so giddy about running (maybe giddy is the wrong word but you know what I mean). I get excited about all the different routes I can take since all the neighborhoods seem to snake together. The hills here are butt kickers and seem to be EVERYWHERE but evidently hills are your friend... blah blah blah. The weather is colder than I am used to so I have been dealing with burning lungs. But most importantly, I just have really enjoyed being able to vary my runs. I feel like in Atlanta I have to stick to Peachtree and the side roads off Peachtree and if I want to vary it I literally have to hop in the car. Not the story up here, just head down the driveway and go. Which is nice. And convenient. It's been great to just clear my head and think. Granted a lot of thinking has surrounded my marathon '10 race schedule and how I want to do it. Like which race I want to do with Team in Training and which ones I want to do solo. But it has been nice to have 1 hour of just me time.

It has also really got me thinking about how I am gonna fit running back into my life when I get back to Atlanta. I think I truly have found the like of running (not the love yet, but one step at a time my friend) but running is such a struggle and I know I am supposed to schedule it like an appointment and I do have it scheduled ... it is just soo hard to stick to the dang schedule. From 3pm-4pm everyday, M-F, but I just get into the work groove and it is so hard to just disconnect from it all. With that said: I need to just disconnect. I am thinking about doing 1 hr runs daily to just de-stress and clear my mind (while training for Disney) and then hit the elliptical for 30 minutes and the bike for 15 when I get home at night. I know I am not going to conquer Disney, but I do want to finish it in less than 6 hours! =) **when I finish Disney I will start on a real methodical marathon training plan, until then I will just put one foot in front of the other and GO!**

I have about 5 more days up here but my life is about to get crazy busy with seeing my boyfriend's family and with the holiday. However, I will get in some miles because there are at least 2 more "routes" I am dying to run - lots of hills of course. And I will more than likely hit the Gold's Gym in Burke 1 or 2 more times for cross training - FYI that gym is really nice.

In case I do not blog before hand - have a great and safe Thanksgiving. To everyone running Turkey Trots or the Atlanta half and full marathon - have fun and run like the wind! =)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

10 in 2010.

I was thinking about trying to do 10 in 2010 (10 races - combination of full and half marathons). I have started making a list of what races I want to do. So far I can only think of 6. So any suggestions on 4 others let me know - or I just may do 6 because hey we are in a recession and I would need to pay for travel, hotels, and race fees and lets be real ... my paycheck isn't anything you should be envious of.

So here is the list.
  • Disney Marathon - 1.10.2010
  • ING Atlanta Half - 3.21.2010
  • Country Music Marathon (Half) - 4.24.2010
  • Rock and Roll Seattle Half Marathon - 6.26.2010
  • Rock and Roll VA Beach Hal Marathon - 9.5.2010
  • Nike Women's Half Marathon - 10.2010 *exact date. TBD.*

I want to do Marine Corps - but it fell the weekend following Nike this year so I imagine it will do the same next year. So basically I need to make the decision of if I do or do not want to run Nike again or if it is worth not doing Marine Corps for the first time.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Run for Justice 5k. Personal Best.

This morning was the Atlanta Legal Aid's Run for Justice 5k. I work for a staffing company here in Atlanta and man do we want to work with the legal community so we thought why not sponsor a legal affiliated race and network a little bit?! My two co-workers (Julie and Rebecca) and I decided to represent TRC well and were up bright and early for a little run around beautiful Decatur.

The course really was pretty and it was a nice one. Honestly, the course wouldn't have been that challenging had I not taken about a week and a half of of training and running. The hills dominated and slowed me down but when you go up you have to go down so I was able to make up time on the downhills. The 1st hill at this race really reminded me of the 2nd hill from the Nike Women's half. I know the ING goes through part of Decatur so I will get some hill training in for that ... but for now ... I have to focus on Disney and racking up the mileage!

I changed up my pre-race normality's. I swapped the 2 pieces of toast for a Luna Bar and 1 piece of toast and got there extra early to do a little pre-5k running and super stretches. Needless to say, I felt GREAT post race. I just may adopt this tradition going foward. If anyone knows where to get mini Luna Bars let me know - they handed them out at Nike and I would love them for Disney!

Finish time: 35:50 <-- just a 4 second improvement from my last 5k *which makes it a personal best for me* ... but hey ... I will take it!! Super big congrats to mike (who was an honorary TRC staff member) who placed 2nd in his age group. Rock on!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Disclaimer: I am just venting a bit. So feel free to pass on reading this blog entry. Granted, if you have any insight please share with me. I feel as if I am going to blow.

As the world knows (or should know by now) it now gets lighter in the morning earlier and darker later. This is a battle for Barbie. I love my bed plus it is still kinda dark at 5:30am. I work too late every night. Many nights I cannot even disconnect from work and I am working from home until all hours of the night. So the question is raised - when the hell am I supposed to run? How the hell do I get in marathon training type training runs.

I was planning on doing midday runs - but that is only 1 hour of my day. I can get in about 5 miles, but today I was scheduled to run 7. Many days I cannot even get out of the office for 1 hour because there is so so so much going on. I feel like at this point any miles and staying in shape is really really important but I also want to be building the miles and a great base for when I have to knock out 26.2 in a few months!!!

I hate the treadmill, but I am going to have to learn to love it and really honestly commit to long runs on Saturdays. I just have to be in better shape for Disney than I was for Nike and with having an entourage of 4 going to Orlando plus friends who live in Orlando attending the event to cheer me on ... I have to impress. I was thinking about running Zooma but then I learned it was this weekend and I thought it was next... which means I cannot run it. And next weekend is a 5k with my office ... but I need to be logging more than 3.2 miles next Saturday so I will have to double up the runs.

I guess I am just flustered and overwhelmed and do not even know where to begin or start. I need a breather.