June 29, 2012

A whirlwind week

This week is a whirlwind (rain, wind, a leaky roof, the scariest drive ever, major cleaning, hectic workweek, my dad visiting), so my thoughts are a whirlwind, too.
  • Debby has left the area, and I have left the craptastic gym. That place wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, thank goodness. 
  • I’m not really excited about the running part of this All-Star Game 5K run. I’ve decided 5Ks just really aren’t my thing. I get frustrated that I’m not faster (it doesn’t bother me as much in half marathons, but I get really irritated with myself with 5Ks). I guess I’ll just approach it with a “just have fun” attitude, not worry about time and take in all the baseball goodness.
  • I got sucked into the YouTube music vortex earlier this week, and now I can stop listening to this song and reliving the good rap days of the 1990s-early 2000s. Man, I miss good rap and good Busta Rhymes. Note: this is an uncensored version and contains foul language. Sorry.
  • I don’t have a potty mouth, and I rarely (if ever) utter a curse word. But, I’m completely OK with expletive-filled raps.

June 28, 2012

Things that Rock Thursday

Thursdays aren't my favorite, but I have to admit that this one is better than most. Why? It's my Friday. Why? My dad is coming to visit, and then we're hitting Kansas City for Major League Baseball All-Star festivities. So this Thursday is actually the start of something good (or the end of something bad ... what a week).  

Thursday rocks a little more this week, and these things do too. 
Vacation days (and holidays)

Not having to work and doing whatever you want rocks. Duh.
I've loved baseball my entire life. Earlier in life, I loved it more for the cotton candy it could provide. Now, I love the game and absolutely everything that comes with it (cotton candy included). My grandpa loved baseball and passed that love to my dad who then passed it to me. I can't think of a better way to spend the next six days than at six baseball games with my favorite baseball-going pal, Dad.
Go Rays!
I have a thing for mascots. I think they are so cute and awesome. Well, most are cute and awesome. Some are actually kind of scary.
But, most are super cute and cuddly like my favorite Major League Baseball mascot, Raymond. 
How cute is Raymond in his pajamas? The game
went extra innings, so it was past his bedtime.
(I, on the hand, do not look cute. I was so happy
I over-smiled. I need to control myself in any
future situations.)
Having guests allows me to do all the touristy things that I never do: like go to the cheesy beach shops and citrus stands. It just seems more acceptable if you have guests visiting from out of state.

June 26, 2012

Stuck at home and in the craptastic gym

Since pesky Debby is still hanging around (she didn't listen when I told her to go away), I worked at home today. I dread working at home. Dread it. I did it for three years with my last job, and that is the main reason I moved to my current job: to not work at home.

But, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Since yesterday's drive across Tampa Bay was the most horrifying driving experience of my life, I decided to sit the next day out. The conditions were still windy, rainy and tides were still higher than normal. I really didn't want a white-knuckle repeat of yesterday.

Working at home is still as dreadful as I remember, but it had to be better than that drive. And, it allowed me to do something I never do: run over lunch.

Of course, I had to do it in the craptastic gym, but it wasn't too bad. It was hot, but that's to be expected. I'm pretty happy I knocked out 3 miles in just over 33 minutes. I'm just not happy I couldn't run outside. Silly tropical storm. 

Although I did appreciate the rain on my walk back to the condo. Debby is good for something, I guess.

My coworker is not. Lazy girl did not do a thing all day. Well, unless you count sleeping and looking cute as a thing.

June 25, 2012

Debby: making my life craptastic

I'm getting a little sick of this pesky girl named Debby. 

She blew in on Sunday and has been wreaking havoc ever since.

Talk about havoc.
 It's rained and rained and rained. 

Chloe surveying the damage
The drive home today across Tampa Bay was intense. I got my arm workout keeping my car from blowing off the bridge. 

Officials later closed the bridge due to high winds and water coming over the edge. Smart decision, folks. I'm just glad you waited until I made it across ... or am I?

Maybe some of the worst news with this storm? Instead of just a craptastic gym day, it's a craptastic gym week.

June 21, 2012

Things that rock Thursday

Even with getting more sleep, Thursday still isn’t my favorite day. It’s better, but I’m still a proud member of the I Hate Thursdays Club.

So, what better way to counteract the negativity than with some positivity? In that spirit, here are this week’s things that rock even though Thursday doesn’t.

Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries and peaches

I buy the plain, nonfat variety of Greek yogurt. It tastes like sour cream. Unless you’re using it in place of sour cream (which I do on a regular basis and find it to rock), you gotta add something to it to make it palatable. Well, unless you enjoy eating mouthfuls of sour cream-tasting stuff. I don’t, so I’ve experimented with adding different types of fruits, and I’ve finally found my super-delicious combo: frozen blueberries and peaches. As an added bonus, the blueberries turn the yogurt almost purplish, and I love purple!

Going out on a weeknight

I went out on a Tuesday night! I had dinner! I’m a wild woman. I never go out to eat on a weeknight. But, a spur-of-the-moment decision had me eating dinner out with a friend, and I liked it. I even got all kinds of crazy by ordering a beer. I’m so used to the regular routine of going to work and coming home that I found it refreshing (and delicious).

Watching softball, not playing

I played softball for years. I liked my team. I liked playing, sort of. But, I found myself putting way too much pressure on myself. I wanted to hit better, field better and run the bases better. I wasn’t a bad player, but I just felt this intense pressure (to the point of making myself sick) to not make any mistakes. The source of the pressure: me and me alone. My teammates were great.

So, after years of playing and finally winning our league championship, I called it quits.

Best. Decision. Ever.

I’m not stressed out over something that is supposed to be fun. I can actually enjoy my Friday nights by … watching softball. I’m a pretty rockin’ cheerleader, so I’m at each game rooting for my old team (and going out with them after the game).

Watching the game with my cheerleader pal
I get asked frequently to play again, but I’ve resisted so far. I miss some aspects, but I really don’t miss being so stressed out about something that’s supposed to be fun.

June 20, 2012

Hot up in this joint

This getting more sleep thing is really pretty awesome.

My Monday rocked. Tuesday was pretty sweet, too. We’re now at the midpoint of the week, and I’m feelin’ fine! This is groundbreaking to someone who is continually sleep-deprived.

Even though today included rain, I didn’t let it get me down – even if it meant a trip to the craptastic gym. This sleeping-enough thing is powerful, powerful stuff, people!

It was just me in the craptastic gym this time (as it should be – surely I'm the only one stupid enough to keep using it), so I picked the non-stopping treadmill, acted like the fan hog and pointed the fan directly at me, and ran for 25 minutes. I was planning on running longer, but ... 

After my run, I became even more of a fan hog. 

I was trying to do speed work and longer distance runs during my “off-season,” but I’ve decided that’s what training season is all about. Now, I just want to maintain my fitness level and have the base to begin half marathon training in August.

I’m not fast by any means, but this is faster than when I began training last year. Yikes. Talk about super slow-mo.

So, if I can maintain this “speed” and up the mileage by August 14, I’ll be a happy turtle.

June 19, 2012

Why do I run?

After any craptacular run (like last night), I wonder why I run. I'm mad and irritated that I didn't run well ... at all. But, you know what? Even in a mad, irritated and disappointed state, I can come up with a long list of reasons why I run.

I run for a challenge. Running doesn’t come easy to me. I love the challenge of running farther and getting faster (someday …).

I run for competition. Being as slow as I am, I’m obviously not competing with anyone for the top spot. In fact, I’m not competing with anyone except myself. And, that’s enough. I still have the drive to do better each time.

Competed against myself and knocked
15 minutes off my half marathon time!
I run for my health. Running is good for you. It’s good for your bones, heart, lungs, muscles, joints and mind. Those are good enough reasons for me.

I run for exercise. We all need exercise, and this is my favorite form.

I run for enjoyment. I love the feeling of running and the sense of accomplishment when I’m done.

I run for excitement. It’s exciting to run races, run new distances and run new places.

My first and only 10K
I run for happiness. It makes me happy. That’s it.

I run for blowing off steam. If I have a frustrating day, running is the best way I know to get rid of the frustration and relax.

I run for alone time. I like time to myself. Running is great for thinking, planning and plotting.

I run for friend time. It’s a great way to spend time with friends with a similar interest.

I run for outside time. I love being outside. And, I’d just prefer to never run on a treadmill (although it does happen occasionally, unfortunately).

I run for self-esteem. When you’re feeling happy and accomplished, this follows.

I run for a runner’s high. The feeling of elation after running a farther distance, a faster speed or just finishing is amazing. No matter how bad the run was, I’m always glad I did it. The after feeling makes it worth it.

I run because I love it. I think this is kinda obvious because of all of the previous reasons (and the fact that I have a running blog), but I love it. I get so much joy, satisfaction and challenge out of running that I never see myself giving it up.

Why do you run?

June 18, 2012

Sleep: making Monday happy

Today was a good day. "Monday? A good day?" you ask. Yes, it was still a good day when my normally 25-minute drive to work turned into a 90-minute drive. "Are you nuts?" you ask. Yes, but that doesn’t have anything to do with this.
My view for one hour and 15 minutes. Look at the pretty water.
Do you know what does have to do with this? Sleep. Yes, something that simple keeps me happy.

I feel like I slept the weekend away. I slept a lot. Bunches. As in, more than 12 hours Friday night into Saturday. Yikes.

I keep telling myself that I need more sleep during the week. I keep not listening to myself. I keep sliding by, so I figure it’s OK.

But, sleeping that long on the weekend is an obvious sign I’m lacking in getting it during the week. And, I started thinking about how I’ve been feeling lately: irritable, out of it, making poor health decisions and tired (duh).

Not getting enough sleep is harmful for you in so many ways, it has to adversely affect your running performance too, right? Right.

In researching sleeping and running (thanks, Running Times), I found that:
  • People suffering from sleep deprivation often experience adverse changes in their diet (they eat more and often an unhealthy diet), make poor decisions, can't focus and become unmotivated. These things can wreak havoc on your training plans and not allow you to reach your workout goals.
  • A period of decreased sleep of only a few days can cause a disruption in glucose metabolism. Glucose metabolism is the process responsible for storing energy from the food we eat and why runners carbo-load before a big race or long run.
  • When a person is chronically sleep-deprived, their level of HGH decreases and cortisol increases. Too much cortisol can be dangerous because it can prohibit the body from recovering fully and it can also interfere with the repair and growth of soft tissue.
But, this wasn’t me today. I got enough sleep and I suddenly love all-things Monday. My run tonight was going to rock, right? Yeah, not right. So wrong.

I ran-walked-slopped my way through 4 miles. It was a terrible run; maybe ranking right up there with one of my worst ever.
Pooey on that run!
Before I started on an all-night bender, I realized that so many things play into whether you have good run (fuel, hydration, weather). Getting a few good nights of sleep isn’t going to create a miracle performance. But, it’s going to help more than hurt in the long run.

So, despite a craptacular run, I decided to keep making a conscious effort to get more sleep. Good night!

June 14, 2012

Things that rock Thursday

Thursday is by far my least favorite day of the workweek. My lack of sleep from earlier in the week catches up to me, so I’m miserably tired. And work-wise, it’s craziness. I guess it’s the rush before the weekend. We even started the I Hate Thursday club at work. It’s that bad.

I’ve tried thinking of it as Friday Eve. I’ve tried telling myself it’s close to the weekend. Nothing seems to work.

So, in another effort to make Thursdays more bearable, I decided to post about things that rock (even though Thursdays don’t). More positivity will cancel the negativity, right? Right?!? Please tell me I’m right.

I need this every week, so I think this is going to become a weekly feature.

Here are this week’s things that rock (even though Thursdays don’t):

You know that feeling that everyone else has tried something except for you and you’re left behind while everyone else raves about it. That happens to me a lot. You’d think I live in a cave. This happened again with Nuun. It seemed like everyone else tried it and loved it while Cavewoman Jina wondered what it was all about. But, thanks to a fabulous giveaway, I’m the proud owner of Nuun. Thanks, Bean, for pulling me out of my cave. 

Now I can jump on the Nuun train with everyone else and proclaim that this tasty, fizzy, 8-calorie electrolyte-loaded beverage is delicious and awesome. It’ll be a standard running hydration tool from now on. Take that, cave. 


Holy yum. I cannot get enough of this. I may need an intervention.

I even sacrificed and bought the seeded variety because the store was out
seedless. I hate dealing with seeds, but I hate living without watermelon more.

Die In Your Arms

Yes, I’m a 30-something woman that likes Justin Bieber. I used to be embarrassed, but not anymore. The kid is good. This song rocks my Thursday (and every other day of the week). Give me more sugary pop goodness, JB.

June 13, 2012

Wanted: longer length running shirts

This could just be me being an idiot (which happens frequently, unfortunately), but are there any longer length running shirts available? I’ve searched for them online, and I always come up with long sleeves. Not what this Florida girl needs. I want shirts with a long torso length.

I’ve found a limited few. This one from Target is a favorite, but it can creep up.
I overuse this photo, but it's because I like my shirt (and my awesome pose).
Most of the time, I end up buying the shirt one or two sizes bigger to get it long enough (I refuse to wear a crop top). Of course, this also usually means it fits like a tent. Not a good look.  
Long enough, but somewhat tent-like in
appearance (and see-though).
Also, check
out my jazz hand.
I’m tall (5’10”), so I’m used to this issue. But, I’m usually able to find clothes without too much of a problem. I mean, I’m not that tall.

Running shirts have me stumped, though. Do most people want crop tops to run in? Seriously, some barely cover my stomach.

It’d be nice to have a go-to brand or style that I can just buy off the rack without it being an ordeal.