Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm adding a weekly request to the top of my wrap-up posts: if you know any bloggers based out of Eugene (Oregon), send 'em my way!

Thursday workout: 5 miles, easy, Pace Gloves
Friday workout: 3 miles, easy, Pace Gloves
Saturday workout: measly 40-minute hike, cut short by foggy views
Sunday workout: 4 miles, treadmill, socks

Weekly total: 24 miles

This week was kind of all over the place. I started strong with two 6-milers, one at tempo effort, and then sort of petered out. I'm feeling a bit lost, really. The concept of gradually easing back into running sounds simple enough, but it seems I'm not any good at it. I just want to be back where I was (basically, running 5-6 times and 40-ish miles per week). I was planning to be there a week from now. My body obviously has other plans. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I wasn't really ready to run the mileage I ran last week, which was both surprising and demoralizing. I mean, I took three weeks off running, not three months! Aren't I a beast? Shouldn't I be running marathon distances "totally by accident!" every day?

I also continue to struggle with this whole "listening to one's body" horseshit. I know I should be ohm-ing and kumbaya-ing and having serious conversations with my body about feelings or whatever, but we don't really do that. Typically I tell it what to do and it just does it. Now, however, it's apparently giving me the finger. "I'm tired of obeying your every wish. It's high time we focused on me, me, me. Here's some knee pain. It's probably nothing, but it could be something. I'm not telling you which it is. I'm going to go listen to Nirvana and be angsty."

I guess I'm no good at running for fun. To me, all running is fun, even when it's not. I just like it to be structured fun, usually of the Hanson variety. In other news, I've turned into an old man.

I spent the majority of the weekend library-ing, which was unfortunate because it's been stupid pretty here. Of course, the one time I ventured outside there weren't any views until just as I was leaving.

There are mountains back there.

Clearing up. Also, a few weeks ago I saw an idiot driving like a bat out of hell plunge into that thing. It was incredibly satisfying.

----

Today's kind of a momentous occasion. One year ago, I finally wised up and left New York City, a place I had lived and despised for two  whole years. I reflected a bit on my time in New York in this post, but since I was my only reader back then, I'm reposting my (slightly modified) lists of "things that sucked hard" and "things that sucked slightly less hard" about New York. Indulge me.

Things that sucked hard:
-SO F*$#ING HOT
-SO F#($ HUMID
-SO MANY F032ING PEOPLE
-related to SO MANY F%^@ING PEOPLE, NOT ENOUGH F^*@ING SLEEP
-trash
-everything about MTA
-not having enough money, time, or energy to actually do the interesting things New Yorkers are supposed to be doing every waking moment
-spending every minute of every day angry about one thing or another (see above)

on the other hand...

Things that sucked slightly less hard:
-easy access to other places (you rock, Lucky Star!)
-Royale burgers with bacon and blue cheese
-halal stands as far as the eye can see
-food delivery
-pizza (are you sensing a theme here?)
-feeling safe (I mean this sincerely)
-bars that don't seem to close
-Central Park. Although it's not "real wilderness" (no matter how many people try to tell you this, IT IS NOT TRUE. YOU CANNOT GO HIKING IN CENTRAL PARK), it is still pretty cool, as are the paths along the East/Hudson Rivers
-did I mention easy access to other places?

Wow, I was obviously still pretty ragey about the whole thing when I wrote those. I actually had plenty of really fun times while in New York, but it wasn't the city that facilitated those fun times. In fact, it often hindered it. I could have had the best time ever sealed in a cardboard box with my New York (who were really my college) friends.

I'm slightly less... psychotic? about New York a year out, but I definitely don't see myself going back for... another decade. You can thank me for not crowding its already-claustrophobic streets.

Questions:
  • Ever been ragey about a place?
  • Are you good at "listening to your body?" Teach me how.

Old Man Status

I'm adding a weekly request to the top of my wrap-up posts: if you know any bloggers based out of Eugene (Oregon), send 'em my way!

Thursday workout: 5 miles, easy, Pace Gloves
Friday workout: 3 miles, easy, Pace Gloves
Saturday workout: measly 40-minute hike, cut short by foggy views
Sunday workout: 4 miles, treadmill, socks

Weekly total: 24 miles

This week was kind of all over the place. I started strong with two 6-milers, one at tempo effort, and then sort of petered out. I'm feeling a bit lost, really. The concept of gradually easing back into running sounds simple enough, but it seems I'm not any good at it. I just want to be back where I was (basically, running 5-6 times and 40-ish miles per week). I was planning to be there a week from now. My body obviously has other plans. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I wasn't really ready to run the mileage I ran last week, which was both surprising and demoralizing. I mean, I took three weeks off running, not three months! Aren't I a beast? Shouldn't I be running marathon distances "totally by accident!" every day?

I also continue to struggle with this whole "listening to one's body" horseshit. I know I should be ohm-ing and kumbaya-ing and having serious conversations with my body about feelings or whatever, but we don't really do that. Typically I tell it what to do and it just does it. Now, however, it's apparently giving me the finger. "I'm tired of obeying your every wish. It's high time we focused on me, me, me. Here's some knee pain. It's probably nothing, but it could be something. I'm not telling you which it is. I'm going to go listen to Nirvana and be angsty."

I guess I'm no good at running for fun. To me, all running is fun, even when it's not. I just like it to be structured fun, usually of the Hanson variety. In other news, I've turned into an old man.

I spent the majority of the weekend library-ing, which was unfortunate because it's been stupid pretty here. Of course, the one time I ventured outside there weren't any views until just as I was leaving.

There are mountains back there.

Clearing up. Also, a few weeks ago I saw an idiot driving like a bat out of hell plunge into that thing. It was incredibly satisfying.

----

Today's kind of a momentous occasion. One year ago, I finally wised up and left New York City, a place I had lived and despised for two  whole years. I reflected a bit on my time in New York in this post, but since I was my only reader back then, I'm reposting my (slightly modified) lists of "things that sucked hard" and "things that sucked slightly less hard" about New York. Indulge me.

Things that sucked hard:
-SO F*$#ING HOT
-SO F#($ HUMID
-SO MANY F032ING PEOPLE
-related to SO MANY F%^@ING PEOPLE, NOT ENOUGH F^*@ING SLEEP
-trash
-everything about MTA
-not having enough money, time, or energy to actually do the interesting things New Yorkers are supposed to be doing every waking moment
-spending every minute of every day angry about one thing or another (see above)

on the other hand...

Things that sucked slightly less hard:
-easy access to other places (you rock, Lucky Star!)
-Royale burgers with bacon and blue cheese
-halal stands as far as the eye can see
-food delivery
-pizza (are you sensing a theme here?)
-feeling safe (I mean this sincerely)
-bars that don't seem to close
-Central Park. Although it's not "real wilderness" (no matter how many people try to tell you this, IT IS NOT TRUE. YOU CANNOT GO HIKING IN CENTRAL PARK), it is still pretty cool, as are the paths along the East/Hudson Rivers
-did I mention easy access to other places?

Wow, I was obviously still pretty ragey about the whole thing when I wrote those. I actually had plenty of really fun times while in New York, but it wasn't the city that facilitated those fun times. In fact, it often hindered it. I could have had the best time ever sealed in a cardboard box with my New York (who were really my college) friends.

I'm slightly less... psychotic? about New York a year out, but I definitely don't see myself going back for... another decade. You can thank me for not crowding its already-claustrophobic streets.

Questions:
  • Ever been ragey about a place?
  • Are you good at "listening to your body?" Teach me how.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuesday workout: rest
Wednesday workout: 6 miles with 4 tempo (9:30), Pace Gloves

This run was hard. Really hard. I haven't done any faster running since my marathon, and I was extremely close to walking during the third tempo mile, something I never, ever do. Also, Anchorage broke a heat record set in 1937 today, but that's all I'll say about that.

Things started off great. I looked down at my Garmin during my warm-up and saw that I was running a 10:00 pace with minimal effort. I figured 9:30 would be a piece of cake and had grand visions of running 9:00s. Whoops.

I had forgotten the mental fortitude required of a tempo. And what running fast feels like. I think I can confidently say based solely on this run that I greatly prefer distance to speed. I'd like to be faster, but I think I'd rather train for a 12-hour 50-miler than a 1:45 half.

Despite the run's difficulty, I was still happy to be out there. My calves, however, will not be happy tomorrow.

I ran here.

----

At work today, my coworker mentioned that two other people in the office are running the same half marathon I'm doing at the end of August. When I told her I'm also running it (see, I'm being more open about my running!), she exclaimed, "Awesome, you're going to kick their asses!" To which I died laughing.

There is literally no chance of me beating these guys. They are a million times faster than I am. If they don't DNF, they will beat me. Of this I am absolutely certain. I explained this to my coworker and she said, "No, you're definitely going to beat them. You ran a marathon!"

Oh. The marathon.

It's relatively common for people to overestimate my running abilities based on the fact that I ran a marathon. When I calmly explain that running a 9:55/mile marathon does NOT translate into a sub-8:00/mile half/10k/whatever, they laugh and tell me to stop being modest.

I'm not being modest. I'm being realistic. That's not to say I'll never be able to run that fast. But right now, f-ck no.

Our conversation reminded me of a blog post I saw on Facebook called, "Please stop telling me I'm going to pass the Bar." Particularly this paragraph:

"When I say to you, 'I am going to fail the bar,' I don't mean it the way a nerdy college sophomore proclaims 'omg! I am totally going to fail this chem exam.' I don't mean that I might get a C, or I might not be the smartest kid in the room. I mean that, come November, I. Might. Fail. The. Bar. In fact, there's a 50% likelihood that I will. When I tell you that I think I am going to fail, I'm not saying it because I need affirmation that I won't. I'm not kidding. I'm not over-reacting. When I say that, I'm trying to warn you of what might come."

Of course, running a half marathon isn't even remotely comparable to taking the Bar. But when I say I'm not going to beat my fast (male) coworkers, I'm not fishing for compliments about how fast I am; I really mean that I am not going to beat them. I am the turtle. They are the hare, except they win. That made sense in my head.

Question:
  • Does anyone ever overestimate your ability to do x, y, or z based on the fact that you've run ____ miles before?

When I Tell You I'm Not Going to Win...

Tuesday workout: rest
Wednesday workout: 6 miles with 4 tempo (9:30), Pace Gloves

This run was hard. Really hard. I haven't done any faster running since my marathon, and I was extremely close to walking during the third tempo mile, something I never, ever do. Also, Anchorage broke a heat record set in 1937 today, but that's all I'll say about that.

Things started off great. I looked down at my Garmin during my warm-up and saw that I was running a 10:00 pace with minimal effort. I figured 9:30 would be a piece of cake and had grand visions of running 9:00s. Whoops.

I had forgotten the mental fortitude required of a tempo. And what running fast feels like. I think I can confidently say based solely on this run that I greatly prefer distance to speed. I'd like to be faster, but I think I'd rather train for a 12-hour 50-miler than a 1:45 half.

Despite the run's difficulty, I was still happy to be out there. My calves, however, will not be happy tomorrow.

I ran here.

----

At work today, my coworker mentioned that two other people in the office are running the same half marathon I'm doing at the end of August. When I told her I'm also running it (see, I'm being more open about my running!), she exclaimed, "Awesome, you're going to kick their asses!" To which I died laughing.

There is literally no chance of me beating these guys. They are a million times faster than I am. If they don't DNF, they will beat me. Of this I am absolutely certain. I explained this to my coworker and she said, "No, you're definitely going to beat them. You ran a marathon!"

Oh. The marathon.

It's relatively common for people to overestimate my running abilities based on the fact that I ran a marathon. When I calmly explain that running a 9:55/mile marathon does NOT translate into a sub-8:00/mile half/10k/whatever, they laugh and tell me to stop being modest.

I'm not being modest. I'm being realistic. That's not to say I'll never be able to run that fast. But right now, f-ck no.

Our conversation reminded me of a blog post I saw on Facebook called, "Please stop telling me I'm going to pass the Bar." Particularly this paragraph:

"When I say to you, 'I am going to fail the bar,' I don't mean it the way a nerdy college sophomore proclaims 'omg! I am totally going to fail this chem exam.' I don't mean that I might get a C, or I might not be the smartest kid in the room. I mean that, come November, I. Might. Fail. The. Bar. In fact, there's a 50% likelihood that I will. When I tell you that I think I am going to fail, I'm not saying it because I need affirmation that I won't. I'm not kidding. I'm not over-reacting. When I say that, I'm trying to warn you of what might come."

Of course, running a half marathon isn't even remotely comparable to taking the Bar. But when I say I'm not going to beat my fast (male) coworkers, I'm not fishing for compliments about how fast I am; I really mean that I am not going to beat them. I am the turtle. They are the hare, except they win. That made sense in my head.

Question:
  • Does anyone ever overestimate your ability to do x, y, or z based on the fact that you've run ____ miles before?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Workout: 6 miles, 10:40 average, Connects

I'm glad you guys seemed to enjoy my recommendations yesterday (or, at least, didn't kick me off the interblogs). I realized I didn't actually provide any photos of the shorts I raved about, so here's my attempt to take a short selfie. This was surprisingly difficult. The sacrifices I make for you people!

YES I INSTAGRAMMED THIS. THE UPPED CONTRAST MADE THE DETAILING STAND OUT MORE! And if Instagram can't make a public bathroom look mildly interesting, nothing can. I guess nothing can.

 Butt sweat on my non-diaper butt.

A *gulp* non-Instagrammed Nike tempos photo for comparison. I hate how they puff out at the sides.

I can exclusively confirm that the blue shorts DO NOT hide butt sweat, so if you're a beast like I am and manage to sweat through the short liner it'll be obvious to all the hot joggers checking out your junk.

----

Let's cleanse our palettes with some more appetizing photos, shall we? Here's where I went yesterday:

That's looking at North Suicide (its companion, South Suicide, is kind of visible on the right). Had I walked all the way to the lake, I would have been at their base.


I honestly can't even remember what the lake I was heading towards is called. I wanted to go all the way (TWSS), but my silly dog rudely decided to get tired and slightly overheated (it was pretty toasty out). The prospect of backpacking my dog out of there wasn't the most appealing, so we turned around after an hour and a half. The trail was incredibly boring  the first hour so I may or may not go back some other time.


There's that tongue again.


(INSANELY RICH) PEOPLE LIVE THERE. This is a terrible photo, but I needed to show you these houses and their awesome mountain view.


Anchorage is down that valley.

----


Today I ran six miles after work. It was another hot day (it's still 74 degrees at 9:40 pm!), but I didn't feel it nearly as much as I normally do. I was aiming for 3-5 miles when I started, but I was feeling good so decided to extend it another mile. I continue to run only easy miles because of my wonky ankle. Fortunately, I'm not thinking about my (tentative) half in August so there's no pressure to amp up the intensity too soon. I'd like to try a short tempo on Wednesday if I'm feeling up to it, though.

I will say that I felt great during this run. Well, I felt like a bumbling fool in my Connects (I usually wear Pace Gloves), but I had a lot of spring in my step. Barring an ankle disaster, I think I'll be back to pre-marathon Jeano relatively soon.


----

You guys won't care about today's song recommendation because it's terrible for running, but it's too beautiful not to share. It's a short song called In the Morning by First Aid Kit, a Swedish duo I just discovered through Paul Krugman, of all people. I've discovered a surprising amount of music through him (ie. the Civil Wars, among others). There's a beautiful "buzzing" during particularly harmonious parts (:42-1:06, for example), a sensation anyone who's played chamber music is likely familiar with. Anyway, enjoy! Or don't. I'll understand.

Questions:

  • Is it still hot where you live?
  • Has anyone ever walked in on you taking a ridiculous picture of yourself? Because someone almost did when I took my shorts pictures. You're welcome.

Butt Sweat on My Non-Diaper Butt

Workout: 6 miles, 10:40 average, Connects

I'm glad you guys seemed to enjoy my recommendations yesterday (or, at least, didn't kick me off the interblogs). I realized I didn't actually provide any photos of the shorts I raved about, so here's my attempt to take a short selfie. This was surprisingly difficult. The sacrifices I make for you people!

YES I INSTAGRAMMED THIS. THE UPPED CONTRAST MADE THE DETAILING STAND OUT MORE! And if Instagram can't make a public bathroom look mildly interesting, nothing can. I guess nothing can.

 Butt sweat on my non-diaper butt.

A *gulp* non-Instagrammed Nike tempos photo for comparison. I hate how they puff out at the sides.

I can exclusively confirm that the blue shorts DO NOT hide butt sweat, so if you're a beast like I am and manage to sweat through the short liner it'll be obvious to all the hot joggers checking out your junk.

----

Let's cleanse our palettes with some more appetizing photos, shall we? Here's where I went yesterday:

That's looking at North Suicide (its companion, South Suicide, is kind of visible on the right). Had I walked all the way to the lake, I would have been at their base.


I honestly can't even remember what the lake I was heading towards is called. I wanted to go all the way (TWSS), but my silly dog rudely decided to get tired and slightly overheated (it was pretty toasty out). The prospect of backpacking my dog out of there wasn't the most appealing, so we turned around after an hour and a half. The trail was incredibly boring  the first hour so I may or may not go back some other time.


There's that tongue again.


(INSANELY RICH) PEOPLE LIVE THERE. This is a terrible photo, but I needed to show you these houses and their awesome mountain view.


Anchorage is down that valley.

----


Today I ran six miles after work. It was another hot day (it's still 74 degrees at 9:40 pm!), but I didn't feel it nearly as much as I normally do. I was aiming for 3-5 miles when I started, but I was feeling good so decided to extend it another mile. I continue to run only easy miles because of my wonky ankle. Fortunately, I'm not thinking about my (tentative) half in August so there's no pressure to amp up the intensity too soon. I'd like to try a short tempo on Wednesday if I'm feeling up to it, though.

I will say that I felt great during this run. Well, I felt like a bumbling fool in my Connects (I usually wear Pace Gloves), but I had a lot of spring in my step. Barring an ankle disaster, I think I'll be back to pre-marathon Jeano relatively soon.


----

You guys won't care about today's song recommendation because it's terrible for running, but it's too beautiful not to share. It's a short song called In the Morning by First Aid Kit, a Swedish duo I just discovered through Paul Krugman, of all people. I've discovered a surprising amount of music through him (ie. the Civil Wars, among others). There's a beautiful "buzzing" during particularly harmonious parts (:42-1:06, for example), a sensation anyone who's played chamber music is likely familiar with. Anyway, enjoy! Or don't. I'll understand.

Questions:

  • Is it still hot where you live?
  • Has anyone ever walked in on you taking a ridiculous picture of yourself? Because someone almost did when I took my shorts pictures. You're welcome.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saturday workout: 5 miles, 10:30 average, Pace Gloves
Sunday workout: TBD (probably a hike)
Weekly total: 15 miles

This week was all about easing back into running. Four short runs, all easy, just enough to get the legs moving again. It felt great to be back at it, although I was surprisingly sore. Just a month ago, 5 miles was the shortest run I had done in probably three months. This week, 5 miles was my longest run! It was humbling.

Come on, Anchorage, try to be uglier, would you?


That's the airport's air traffic control tower.


----

I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I seem to have acquired quite a few new running goodies recently. I think of myself as a pretty frugal person, but apparently this frugality is thrown right out the window when it comes to my hobby jogging. Whoops.

Since I have all this crap and I'm obviously a lifestyle guru, I thought I'd share some of it with you. This post could go one of two ways: mildly interesting and informative, or boring and preachy. I'm obviously aiming for the former but if it turns into more of the latter, put me in my place.

First up: Moving Comfort Momentum shorts

Of Mayor's Marathon fame.

These shorts are incredible. Or at least, relative to Nike tempos, which I've been wearing since the beginning of time, they are incredible. I bought these when I decided I'd had it with diaper butt and went to REI to buy something cool. I must have tried on ten pairs of shorts. Brooks, Marmot, Asics, Saucony... all the brands I'm supposed to love. I hated all of them. The fit just didn't work. I consider myself to have a pretty average body type, so maybe you have to be an Amazonian warrior princess to look good in those things.

I was just about to give up when I tried on the Momentum shorts. Moving Comfort's been (over-)promoted in blogland so I was reluctant to even try them on. I'm really happy I did, though, because they are actually amazing and I live in them now. In fact, yesterday I found myself near the Coastal Trail sans shorts on a perfect running day and instead of driving all the way home, I went to REI and bought another pair. What? Don't judge me! My new pair is actually a pretty ugly shade of blue, but they're comfortable enough that I don't care.

So what's so great about these shorts? Well, they're comfortable, obviously. And light. They've also got a zip pocket just large enough to fit an iPhone (although it bounces around too much when you run to actually store it there). For me, that was key. I usually put my keys in the tiny unsecured Nike tempo pocket and spend the whole run touching it to make sure it's still there. Too much anxiety.

And on an aesthetic level, these shorts are incredibly flattering. The waistband's a lot like Lululemon waistbands, if anyone's familiar with those (and possibly like those ubiquitous Rogas, although I've never tried them). They also hit a bit higher than most shorts, which for me means I don't have a little fat pouch when I wear tighter shirts. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is that they make my ass look normal. Five Jeanos up!


Next up: Hammer Nutrition Grapefruit-flavored Fizz Electrolyte Tabs

Let's not beat around the bush: I hate these. When I bought them, their success was practically guaranteed: I'm a big fan of both grapefruit and electrolyte tabs, plus ultra-runner Logan gave them her stamp of approval. But to me, they taste terrible. I wish I could compare it to something. Whatever it is, it's not grapefruit. I've tried different tab-to-water ratios and haven't found anything that comes anywhere close to acceptable. But because I'm an optimist (or just have a terrible memory), every few weeks I remember them and decide to give them another chance. Every few weeks I am horribly disappointed. I can't really say anything about their effectiveness, but they'd have to promise me, like, immortality before I'd use them regularly.

Next: FlipBelt

You guys may or may not know what these are. They're basically a tube you wear around your waist and can put things in. A slightly less offensive fanny pack. You have a totally clear picture of it from that description, I'm sure.

When it started getting hotter in Anchorage, I realized I wasn't going to have anywhere to put my stuff when I run. I knew I wanted my phone with me during my marathon, among other things, so kept my eyes peeled for a suitable device. I read about FlipBelts on a blog somewhere, and after extensive research (ie. reading the literally hundreds of overwhelmingly positive reviews) decided to buy one.

I was really excited when it showed up, but so far my opinion of it is completely average. It is an entirely adequate way to store your shit on the run. I don't have any real complaints about it, but I also haven't worn it in probably five weeks (opting instead to cram all of my stuff in my top for the marathon). When I'm excited about something, I use it constantly (see: Momentum shorts), so I'm obviously not that excited about this. But hey, it's better than a fanny pack!

Lastly: Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

Okay, this isn't running related but I HEARD about it from a running blog (Logan again! I swear I don't live my life solely by her recommendations) and the author is herself a blogger so it's sort of relevant.

This book. It is SO funny. Like, if I had any talent whatsoever, I would be her. Without the paralyzing social anxiety and other various disorders, of course. I was in a reading slump when I bought her book, starting many good books but not really being engaged enough to finish them. This changed that. I highly recommend it. Don't listen to the audiobook around young'uns.

----

Okay, that's enough of this.

What cool new running gadget/item/apparel have you been loving lately?

Recommendations From a Lifestyle Guru

Saturday workout: 5 miles, 10:30 average, Pace Gloves
Sunday workout: TBD (probably a hike)
Weekly total: 15 miles

This week was all about easing back into running. Four short runs, all easy, just enough to get the legs moving again. It felt great to be back at it, although I was surprisingly sore. Just a month ago, 5 miles was the shortest run I had done in probably three months. This week, 5 miles was my longest run! It was humbling.

Come on, Anchorage, try to be uglier, would you?


That's the airport's air traffic control tower.


----

I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I seem to have acquired quite a few new running goodies recently. I think of myself as a pretty frugal person, but apparently this frugality is thrown right out the window when it comes to my hobby jogging. Whoops.

Since I have all this crap and I'm obviously a lifestyle guru, I thought I'd share some of it with you. This post could go one of two ways: mildly interesting and informative, or boring and preachy. I'm obviously aiming for the former but if it turns into more of the latter, put me in my place.

First up: Moving Comfort Momentum shorts

Of Mayor's Marathon fame.

These shorts are incredible. Or at least, relative to Nike tempos, which I've been wearing since the beginning of time, they are incredible. I bought these when I decided I'd had it with diaper butt and went to REI to buy something cool. I must have tried on ten pairs of shorts. Brooks, Marmot, Asics, Saucony... all the brands I'm supposed to love. I hated all of them. The fit just didn't work. I consider myself to have a pretty average body type, so maybe you have to be an Amazonian warrior princess to look good in those things.

I was just about to give up when I tried on the Momentum shorts. Moving Comfort's been (over-)promoted in blogland so I was reluctant to even try them on. I'm really happy I did, though, because they are actually amazing and I live in them now. In fact, yesterday I found myself near the Coastal Trail sans shorts on a perfect running day and instead of driving all the way home, I went to REI and bought another pair. What? Don't judge me! My new pair is actually a pretty ugly shade of blue, but they're comfortable enough that I don't care.

So what's so great about these shorts? Well, they're comfortable, obviously. And light. They've also got a zip pocket just large enough to fit an iPhone (although it bounces around too much when you run to actually store it there). For me, that was key. I usually put my keys in the tiny unsecured Nike tempo pocket and spend the whole run touching it to make sure it's still there. Too much anxiety.

And on an aesthetic level, these shorts are incredibly flattering. The waistband's a lot like Lululemon waistbands, if anyone's familiar with those (and possibly like those ubiquitous Rogas, although I've never tried them). They also hit a bit higher than most shorts, which for me means I don't have a little fat pouch when I wear tighter shirts. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is that they make my ass look normal. Five Jeanos up!


Next up: Hammer Nutrition Grapefruit-flavored Fizz Electrolyte Tabs

Let's not beat around the bush: I hate these. When I bought them, their success was practically guaranteed: I'm a big fan of both grapefruit and electrolyte tabs, plus ultra-runner Logan gave them her stamp of approval. But to me, they taste terrible. I wish I could compare it to something. Whatever it is, it's not grapefruit. I've tried different tab-to-water ratios and haven't found anything that comes anywhere close to acceptable. But because I'm an optimist (or just have a terrible memory), every few weeks I remember them and decide to give them another chance. Every few weeks I am horribly disappointed. I can't really say anything about their effectiveness, but they'd have to promise me, like, immortality before I'd use them regularly.

Next: FlipBelt

You guys may or may not know what these are. They're basically a tube you wear around your waist and can put things in. A slightly less offensive fanny pack. You have a totally clear picture of it from that description, I'm sure.

When it started getting hotter in Anchorage, I realized I wasn't going to have anywhere to put my stuff when I run. I knew I wanted my phone with me during my marathon, among other things, so kept my eyes peeled for a suitable device. I read about FlipBelts on a blog somewhere, and after extensive research (ie. reading the literally hundreds of overwhelmingly positive reviews) decided to buy one.

I was really excited when it showed up, but so far my opinion of it is completely average. It is an entirely adequate way to store your shit on the run. I don't have any real complaints about it, but I also haven't worn it in probably five weeks (opting instead to cram all of my stuff in my top for the marathon). When I'm excited about something, I use it constantly (see: Momentum shorts), so I'm obviously not that excited about this. But hey, it's better than a fanny pack!

Lastly: Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

Okay, this isn't running related but I HEARD about it from a running blog (Logan again! I swear I don't live my life solely by her recommendations) and the author is herself a blogger so it's sort of relevant.

This book. It is SO funny. Like, if I had any talent whatsoever, I would be her. Without the paralyzing social anxiety and other various disorders, of course. I was in a reading slump when I bought her book, starting many good books but not really being engaged enough to finish them. This changed that. I highly recommend it. Don't listen to the audiobook around young'uns.

----

Okay, that's enough of this.

What cool new running gadget/item/apparel have you been loving lately?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Workout: 4 miles, 11:00 average, Pace Gloves

Warning to my blog friends: we're venturing into non-jogging territory today. Feel free to move right along if you're looking for my usual inane chatter (HansonsAlaska photostrashy music recommendations-speaking of which, Blood on the Leaves. Listen twelve times before judging too harshly. Also, Youtube's only got a higher-pitched version. Lame).

There was the mildest of smackdowns on the blog yesterday. I whined about the humidity and was promptly put in my place by Prof and Coach for my blatant hypocrisy. To which I say, "To err is human; to be annoying, Jeano." Or something like that. Does anyone even know the second half of that phrase?

Anyway, I don't tolerate weather whining from others (although I should qualify that statement by saying that I don't tolerate cold weather whining. If it's hot as hell where you are, whine on! Hot weather sucks), so it's silly of me to tolerate the same from myself. Smacked. Down. We're like the extremely tame and extremely inconsequential version of all the smackdowns that go on in the econ blogworld. What, you think I only read running blogs?

Speaking of econ blogs, one of my favorites is Noahpinion. That doesn't really matter for the purpose of this post, but if you're into that kind of thing, the blog's hilarious and a great read even for people with a limited knowledge of economics. Suggested reads include an amazing post on some of the freaks that troll the econ interblogs, and another on the definition of "derp." The post I really want to share with you, though, is about PhDs (title: "If you get a PhD, get an economics PhD").

[To the uninitiated, I'm heading to grad school this fall]

Now, as an economist, Noah is obviously biased. I don't know enough about the PhD business to make an informed decision. Regardless, his thoughts on lab science PhDs made me laugh:

"Lab science PhDs. These include biology, chemistry, neuroscience, electrical engineering, etc. These are PhDs you do because you're either a suicidal fool or an incomprehensible sociopath. They mainly involve utterly brutal hours slaving away in a laboratory on someone else's project for your entire late 20s, followed by years of postdoc hell for your early 30s, with a low percentage chance of a tenure-track position. To find out what these PhD programs are like, read this blog post. If you are considering getting a lab science PhD, please immediately hit yourself in the face with a brick. Now you know what it's like."

To be clear, he's not insulting lab scientists. Not at all. He's just saying that it's a soul-crushing field to go into.

Anyway, I know I've got a few smarty pants reading this blog (see: Prof & Coach) so I thought I'd share.

I'd be remiss not to mention running on this here running blog of mine. I ran today.

Oh, here's a picture:


Questions:
  • Lab scientists: is Noah right? The scientists at the place I used to work sure looked depressed.
  • Other grad schoolers: make a case for your field, if you'd like.
  • What non-running/fitness blogs do you read?

Smackdown

Workout: 4 miles, 11:00 average, Pace Gloves

Warning to my blog friends: we're venturing into non-jogging territory today. Feel free to move right along if you're looking for my usual inane chatter (HansonsAlaska photostrashy music recommendations-speaking of which, Blood on the Leaves. Listen twelve times before judging too harshly. Also, Youtube's only got a higher-pitched version. Lame).

There was the mildest of smackdowns on the blog yesterday. I whined about the humidity and was promptly put in my place by Prof and Coach for my blatant hypocrisy. To which I say, "To err is human; to be annoying, Jeano." Or something like that. Does anyone even know the second half of that phrase?

Anyway, I don't tolerate weather whining from others (although I should qualify that statement by saying that I don't tolerate cold weather whining. If it's hot as hell where you are, whine on! Hot weather sucks), so it's silly of me to tolerate the same from myself. Smacked. Down. We're like the extremely tame and extremely inconsequential version of all the smackdowns that go on in the econ blogworld. What, you think I only read running blogs?

Speaking of econ blogs, one of my favorites is Noahpinion. That doesn't really matter for the purpose of this post, but if you're into that kind of thing, the blog's hilarious and a great read even for people with a limited knowledge of economics. Suggested reads include an amazing post on some of the freaks that troll the econ interblogs, and another on the definition of "derp." The post I really want to share with you, though, is about PhDs (title: "If you get a PhD, get an economics PhD").

[To the uninitiated, I'm heading to grad school this fall]

Now, as an economist, Noah is obviously biased. I don't know enough about the PhD business to make an informed decision. Regardless, his thoughts on lab science PhDs made me laugh:

"Lab science PhDs. These include biology, chemistry, neuroscience, electrical engineering, etc. These are PhDs you do because you're either a suicidal fool or an incomprehensible sociopath. They mainly involve utterly brutal hours slaving away in a laboratory on someone else's project for your entire late 20s, followed by years of postdoc hell for your early 30s, with a low percentage chance of a tenure-track position. To find out what these PhD programs are like, read this blog post. If you are considering getting a lab science PhD, please immediately hit yourself in the face with a brick. Now you know what it's like."

To be clear, he's not insulting lab scientists. Not at all. He's just saying that it's a soul-crushing field to go into.

Anyway, I know I've got a few smarty pants reading this blog (see: Prof & Coach) so I thought I'd share.

I'd be remiss not to mention running on this here running blog of mine. I ran today.

Oh, here's a picture:


Questions:
  • Lab scientists: is Noah right? The scientists at the place I used to work sure looked depressed.
  • Other grad schoolers: make a case for your field, if you'd like.
  • What non-running/fitness blogs do you read?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday workout: rest
Wednesday workout: 3 miles, 10:15 average

Three surprising things about today's run, my second back post-marathon:

1) My calves were incredibly sore.

Landing on your forefoot uses more calf muscle than anything else. I thought I had Triplets of Belleville-like calfs, but apparently three weeks was enough to obliterate them. It's strange to feel sore again. With the exception of one memorable week of marathon training, I don't remember feeling sore under the Hansons' tutelage. I assume this will disappear soon. The Hansons tell me I lost about 5% of my fitness during my first two weeks off, so assuming a linear relationship between rest and fitness, I lost about 7.5%. Even if that's wrong, I can't imagine I lost more than 10%. That doesn't seem like a huge deal.

2) My arms were incredibly sore.

I harbor no illusions about my weakling arms. They are weak. Very weak. "Lose-an-arm-wrestling-contest-to-an-inanimate-object" weak. However, I don't really understand why they're sore. I mean, yes, you pump your arms while running, but really? I see some push-ups in my future.*

I guess I could have grouped those two into one, but I like to pretend my life is difficult.

3) The humidity made this run a lot harder than it otherwise would have been.

I'll pause for a minute while you collectively punch me in the face.

...

I KNOW. I'm a pansy. Everyone, everywhere is dealing with much worse. That doesn't change the fact that it affected my run. When it's humid, I have a really hard time taking deep breaths. This freaks me out (for obvious reasons), so I try to make each breath a really deep breath. I think it's largely mental, but it means I spent much of my run mildly hyperventilating, to the extent that's possible.

----

I took a summer picture to add to my fall/winter collection:

I totally got the angle wrong.



Well, I don't have anything else for you today so we'll stop while we're behind!

 *Note: "seeing" push-ups does not necessarily mean "doing" push-ups.

Questions:
  • Do you ever have difficulty breathing when it's humid out?
  • How long after a big race does it typically take you to feel "normal" on your runs?

Three Surprises

Tuesday workout: rest
Wednesday workout: 3 miles, 10:15 average

Three surprising things about today's run, my second back post-marathon:

1) My calves were incredibly sore.

Landing on your forefoot uses more calf muscle than anything else. I thought I had Triplets of Belleville-like calfs, but apparently three weeks was enough to obliterate them. It's strange to feel sore again. With the exception of one memorable week of marathon training, I don't remember feeling sore under the Hansons' tutelage. I assume this will disappear soon. The Hansons tell me I lost about 5% of my fitness during my first two weeks off, so assuming a linear relationship between rest and fitness, I lost about 7.5%. Even if that's wrong, I can't imagine I lost more than 10%. That doesn't seem like a huge deal.

2) My arms were incredibly sore.

I harbor no illusions about my weakling arms. They are weak. Very weak. "Lose-an-arm-wrestling-contest-to-an-inanimate-object" weak. However, I don't really understand why they're sore. I mean, yes, you pump your arms while running, but really? I see some push-ups in my future.*

I guess I could have grouped those two into one, but I like to pretend my life is difficult.

3) The humidity made this run a lot harder than it otherwise would have been.

I'll pause for a minute while you collectively punch me in the face.

...

I KNOW. I'm a pansy. Everyone, everywhere is dealing with much worse. That doesn't change the fact that it affected my run. When it's humid, I have a really hard time taking deep breaths. This freaks me out (for obvious reasons), so I try to make each breath a really deep breath. I think it's largely mental, but it means I spent much of my run mildly hyperventilating, to the extent that's possible.

----

I took a summer picture to add to my fall/winter collection:

I totally got the angle wrong.



Well, I don't have anything else for you today so we'll stop while we're behind!

 *Note: "seeing" push-ups does not necessarily mean "doing" push-ups.

Questions:
  • Do you ever have difficulty breathing when it's humid out?
  • How long after a big race does it typically take you to feel "normal" on your runs?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Workout: 3 easy miles, Pace Gloves

I've found a new injury-healing tool: whining to the interblogs. I'm 2 for 2 now. You should probably add this to your bag of injury tricks.

What I'm trying to say is, I ran today! And not only did I run, but I ran completely pain-free!

When I wrote my last post, I honestly thought I'd be out of the game for another week or two. It seems the internet healed me. It's science*.

The ankle felt great while hiking on Saturday and Sunday, and on Sunday I tried some trail jogging to test it out. No pain. I spent the rest of the day trying to make it hurt (I'm crazy like that), and finally I was forced to conclude that it was actually better. I would have liked to have given it a couple more days just to be extra sure, but my desire to run was too strong. I really hope I'm not unconsciously foreshadowing something terrible with that statement.

Before we get to my run, some pictures!

It was super foggy the first three-fourths of the way up Wolverine, but just as I was about to turn around it cleared up just long enough for me to summit! Looking down at Anchorage.

Bailey, scoping out another rock to chase. 

I like this picture because it looks like the fog is a wave crashing against that little hump.

The fog came back just as I was starting to descend.

Bailey, doing her stick-eating thing in the creek.

----

Now that I've built it up, I feel like I have to have an action-packed first-run-back story for you. I don't. I'll tell it anyway and we can pretend like it's the most interesting thing you've read this week.

After work, I suited up  sans Garmin (it seems I've forgotten how to pack for a run) and headed to the trail I was totally sick of before my marathon. I was as happy as a clam. Every tree, every bend in the path, even every mean biker was exciting.

That's the end of my story. Interesting, huh?

Fortunately, I didn't forget how to run over the past three weeks (which I totally did after my six-week hiatus from running last year), and I think I was moving along at a pretty good clip. I ran in one direction for fifteen minutes before turning around for another fifteen. I could well have been running 15-minute miles, but I think it was closer to 9:30s. I'm excited to inject a little speed into my runs! With ample easy, slow running, of course. Easy running is key.

I'm going to have very little time to speed up before the half marathon I'm doing in August, but who knows? A sub-2:00 may still be possible. If I get anything other than a 2:04 or 2:11, I'll be a happy camper.

Happy running!

*this is not science

Questions:

  • Any exciting run stories out there? Obviously not more exciting than mine, because that's not even possible, but give me your best.
  • What's your best injury prevention/healing trick?

Oh, What a Difference...

Workout: 3 easy miles, Pace Gloves

I've found a new injury-healing tool: whining to the interblogs. I'm 2 for 2 now. You should probably add this to your bag of injury tricks.

What I'm trying to say is, I ran today! And not only did I run, but I ran completely pain-free!

When I wrote my last post, I honestly thought I'd be out of the game for another week or two. It seems the internet healed me. It's science*.

The ankle felt great while hiking on Saturday and Sunday, and on Sunday I tried some trail jogging to test it out. No pain. I spent the rest of the day trying to make it hurt (I'm crazy like that), and finally I was forced to conclude that it was actually better. I would have liked to have given it a couple more days just to be extra sure, but my desire to run was too strong. I really hope I'm not unconsciously foreshadowing something terrible with that statement.

Before we get to my run, some pictures!

It was super foggy the first three-fourths of the way up Wolverine, but just as I was about to turn around it cleared up just long enough for me to summit! Looking down at Anchorage.

Bailey, scoping out another rock to chase. 

I like this picture because it looks like the fog is a wave crashing against that little hump.

The fog came back just as I was starting to descend.

Bailey, doing her stick-eating thing in the creek.

----

Now that I've built it up, I feel like I have to have an action-packed first-run-back story for you. I don't. I'll tell it anyway and we can pretend like it's the most interesting thing you've read this week.

After work, I suited up  sans Garmin (it seems I've forgotten how to pack for a run) and headed to the trail I was totally sick of before my marathon. I was as happy as a clam. Every tree, every bend in the path, even every mean biker was exciting.

That's the end of my story. Interesting, huh?

Fortunately, I didn't forget how to run over the past three weeks (which I totally did after my six-week hiatus from running last year), and I think I was moving along at a pretty good clip. I ran in one direction for fifteen minutes before turning around for another fifteen. I could well have been running 15-minute miles, but I think it was closer to 9:30s. I'm excited to inject a little speed into my runs! With ample easy, slow running, of course. Easy running is key.

I'm going to have very little time to speed up before the half marathon I'm doing in August, but who knows? A sub-2:00 may still be possible. If I get anything other than a 2:04 or 2:11, I'll be a happy camper.

Happy running!

*this is not science

Questions:

  • Any exciting run stories out there? Obviously not more exciting than mine, because that's not even possible, but give me your best.
  • What's your best injury prevention/healing trick?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

WorkoutFlattop

So, yeah, about my glorious return to running. It was a bit light on the "glory" and "running" and a bit heavy on the "realizing my ankle isn't healed enough to run on yet." In other words, a complete failure.

[Quick recap on the ankle situation for anyone who missed it: I tweaked it on the gravelly section of my marathon but didn't even realize it until a few days later when the soreness didn't disappear along with the rest of my post-marathon soreness. It seemed to return to normal, but then I re-tweaked it last week during a hike.]

I was totally pain-free on Sunday when I jogged on it for a bit, but when I woke up on Monday it was sore again. "Sore" sounds a bit strong, though. I didn't feel anything while walking, just when I rotated my ankle to either side. Still, it was disconcerting.

When I set out on my very first run back, I knew there was a possibility I'd have to cut it short, a suspicion that was confirmed roughly 5 steps in. I hoped against hope that it would stop hurting as I warmed up, but after a total of a mile (a glorious mile, might I add!), I yelled at myself for being an idiot and walked back to my car.

If you ever find yourself short on motivation to run, try injuring yourself. It's the best motivation ever. Now that I can't run, it's all I want to do. I'm filling the void with hiking (which, okay, maybe I shouldn't be doing, but it only hurts very slightly on uphills, plus there's NO WAY I'm staying away from my beloved mountains before I move to Oregon), which is great but just not a comparable workout. I spent much of today's hike out of breath, but as soon as I finished I didn't feel like I had done anything at all. As strange as it sounds, I miss being tired!

And no, as of right now I'm not planning to see a doctor. I have extreme doctor trust issues resulting from doctor fail ("Oh, you've got a 105.2 degree fever and you're here in the emergency room? It's just the flu, you don't need antibiotics, even though your fever's been over 104 degrees for four days straight. That'll be $1,200 for your IV fluids, please") after doctor fail ("You show all the symptoms of a stress fracture and no symptoms of plantar fasciitis but I'm going to go ahead and diagnose you with the latter for now") after doctor fail ("Your iron levels aren't low, you're just stressed out"). This could well be a dumb decision, but it's one I take full responsibility for. Deal with it.

Anyway, enough pouting. I think blogs about injuries are boring, and I also think that people don't really like reading about hikes (pretty though they may be), so I may or may not lay low until I'm up and running again.

Let's end this on a happy note and look at some photos from today and Tuesday.

Summer/winter comparison:



This idiot of a dog chased a rolling rock halfway down the wrong side of the mountain. She was so hot by the time she made it back up that I had to give her the rest of my water and sit for like 10 minutes while she recovered. She seemed rather pleased with herself.

 It's called Flattop for a reason.

From Tuesday.

Happy running!

Abort, Abort!

WorkoutFlattop

So, yeah, about my glorious return to running. It was a bit light on the "glory" and "running" and a bit heavy on the "realizing my ankle isn't healed enough to run on yet." In other words, a complete failure.

[Quick recap on the ankle situation for anyone who missed it: I tweaked it on the gravelly section of my marathon but didn't even realize it until a few days later when the soreness didn't disappear along with the rest of my post-marathon soreness. It seemed to return to normal, but then I re-tweaked it last week during a hike.]

I was totally pain-free on Sunday when I jogged on it for a bit, but when I woke up on Monday it was sore again. "Sore" sounds a bit strong, though. I didn't feel anything while walking, just when I rotated my ankle to either side. Still, it was disconcerting.

When I set out on my very first run back, I knew there was a possibility I'd have to cut it short, a suspicion that was confirmed roughly 5 steps in. I hoped against hope that it would stop hurting as I warmed up, but after a total of a mile (a glorious mile, might I add!), I yelled at myself for being an idiot and walked back to my car.

If you ever find yourself short on motivation to run, try injuring yourself. It's the best motivation ever. Now that I can't run, it's all I want to do. I'm filling the void with hiking (which, okay, maybe I shouldn't be doing, but it only hurts very slightly on uphills, plus there's NO WAY I'm staying away from my beloved mountains before I move to Oregon), which is great but just not a comparable workout. I spent much of today's hike out of breath, but as soon as I finished I didn't feel like I had done anything at all. As strange as it sounds, I miss being tired!

And no, as of right now I'm not planning to see a doctor. I have extreme doctor trust issues resulting from doctor fail ("Oh, you've got a 105.2 degree fever and you're here in the emergency room? It's just the flu, you don't need antibiotics, even though your fever's been over 104 degrees for four days straight. That'll be $1,200 for your IV fluids, please") after doctor fail ("You show all the symptoms of a stress fracture and no symptoms of plantar fasciitis but I'm going to go ahead and diagnose you with the latter for now") after doctor fail ("Your iron levels aren't low, you're just stressed out"). This could well be a dumb decision, but it's one I take full responsibility for. Deal with it.

Anyway, enough pouting. I think blogs about injuries are boring, and I also think that people don't really like reading about hikes (pretty though they may be), so I may or may not lay low until I'm up and running again.

Let's end this on a happy note and look at some photos from today and Tuesday.

Summer/winter comparison:



This idiot of a dog chased a rolling rock halfway down the wrong side of the mountain. She was so hot by the time she made it back up that I had to give her the rest of my water and sit for like 10 minutes while she recovered. She seemed rather pleased with herself.

 It's called Flattop for a reason.

From Tuesday.

Happy running!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Workout: linear algebra?

So I didn't run today. Obviously. Unless linear algebra is a strange running workout I've never heard of, which wouldn't surprise me. I mean, fartlek? Ladder? Yasso 800s? Running's weird.

But no, I didn't run. I spent last night doing terribly unhealthy things to my body, like trying to convince a stranger that yes, Prussia really was a thing (keep it classy, Alaska). That hurt my heart almost as much as the alcohol ravaged my poor liver.

I suppose I could have forced myself outside for a run, but I want my first run back to be fun, not vomit-inducing. Plus, my thighs are still crazy sore from yesterday's hike. Oh, what's that I hear? Is it you begging me for another picture, or is it just me telling myself I need to throw a picture somewhere in this post? Who cares?


I did manage to take Bailey outside for some fetch. And by "fetch" I mean "Jeano throws the ball once and spends the rest of fetch time trying to convince Bailey to drop it." While we were out there, I jogged a bit on the grass to see what was up with the ankle I re-tweaked during my hike. No pain! And finally, an extreme desire to run! I've been surprisingly relaxed about my extended break from running and was sort of wondering/worrying about whether I was going to ever feel like doing it again. It seems I just needed a small taste first! Tomorrow will be my official return to running, when I attempt to sprint the 7:30 mile Professor Amy tells me I need to run in order to break two hours in the half. Okay, not really; I'll probably just run an easy three miles.

----

When I posted my review of the Hanson Method a couple of weeks ago (has it been that long already?! How long can I keep telling people I "just ran a marathon?" Six months? A year? On second thought, don't tell me), I asked whether you guys had any questions about it. It's a hell of a lot easier to have someone else choose a post topic for you than to come up with it on your own, especially when your ideas consist solely of "this was my run today" and "look at my pretty views." So when Coach Holly threw in a few questions about the Hansons, my first thought was, "Yes! Something to talk about!" followed quickly by, "Shit, this is going to require some actual thought."

Well, I can't say that I thought about it too much, but I'll see what I can do:

What was the MOST challenging part for you?

This is a hard question to answer. I had such a positive experience with the Hanson Method that I seem to have conveniently forgotten all of the hard parts. 

One would assume my answer would be something along the lines of, "Running six days a week is a real time suck, not to mention incredibly tiring," but in reality, it actually wasn't that bad. I didn't really have any trouble getting out there every day, and although there was a short stretch towards the end when I whined about how tired I was, overall training for a marathon was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. There was a lot of  #######run#luv#lolhashtag#OMG##.

For me, the two biggest challenges were actually 1) doing most of my runs at a much slower pace than I was accustomed to, and 2) trusting that the Hansons know what they're talking about. As my training progressed and I started to see enormous gains, it definitely got easier to do both of these things.

What did you LOVE about it?

Almost everything! I loved the variety of the runs, I loved that I never felt completely wasted after my long runs, I loved the fact that I often finished Tuesday speed workouts ready for more (despite the fact that it was my sixth consecutive day of running), and most of all, I loved feeling like I was finally a "real" runner (an arbitrary distinction that existed only in my mind, but an important one nonetheless!).

What did you HATE about it?

Honestly, nothing. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's true! I can see some people hating its lack of flexibility, but that was rarely an issue for me.

What would you say to a friend embarking on their first Hanson's training cycle?

Prepare to be amazed! And, DO YOUR RUNS AT THE PRESCRIBED PACE. I'm sure there are hordes of people who have given up on this plan because they injure themselves/burn out from running too fast, which is totally their loss. Also, as with any training plan, consistency is key-try not to miss runs if at all possible.

Well, that's all I've got-happy Sunday!

Back to the Hansons!

Workout: linear algebra?

So I didn't run today. Obviously. Unless linear algebra is a strange running workout I've never heard of, which wouldn't surprise me. I mean, fartlek? Ladder? Yasso 800s? Running's weird.

But no, I didn't run. I spent last night doing terribly unhealthy things to my body, like trying to convince a stranger that yes, Prussia really was a thing (keep it classy, Alaska). That hurt my heart almost as much as the alcohol ravaged my poor liver.

I suppose I could have forced myself outside for a run, but I want my first run back to be fun, not vomit-inducing. Plus, my thighs are still crazy sore from yesterday's hike. Oh, what's that I hear? Is it you begging me for another picture, or is it just me telling myself I need to throw a picture somewhere in this post? Who cares?


I did manage to take Bailey outside for some fetch. And by "fetch" I mean "Jeano throws the ball once and spends the rest of fetch time trying to convince Bailey to drop it." While we were out there, I jogged a bit on the grass to see what was up with the ankle I re-tweaked during my hike. No pain! And finally, an extreme desire to run! I've been surprisingly relaxed about my extended break from running and was sort of wondering/worrying about whether I was going to ever feel like doing it again. It seems I just needed a small taste first! Tomorrow will be my official return to running, when I attempt to sprint the 7:30 mile Professor Amy tells me I need to run in order to break two hours in the half. Okay, not really; I'll probably just run an easy three miles.

----

When I posted my review of the Hanson Method a couple of weeks ago (has it been that long already?! How long can I keep telling people I "just ran a marathon?" Six months? A year? On second thought, don't tell me), I asked whether you guys had any questions about it. It's a hell of a lot easier to have someone else choose a post topic for you than to come up with it on your own, especially when your ideas consist solely of "this was my run today" and "look at my pretty views." So when Coach Holly threw in a few questions about the Hansons, my first thought was, "Yes! Something to talk about!" followed quickly by, "Shit, this is going to require some actual thought."

Well, I can't say that I thought about it too much, but I'll see what I can do:

What was the MOST challenging part for you?

This is a hard question to answer. I had such a positive experience with the Hanson Method that I seem to have conveniently forgotten all of the hard parts. 

One would assume my answer would be something along the lines of, "Running six days a week is a real time suck, not to mention incredibly tiring," but in reality, it actually wasn't that bad. I didn't really have any trouble getting out there every day, and although there was a short stretch towards the end when I whined about how tired I was, overall training for a marathon was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. There was a lot of  #######run#luv#lolhashtag#OMG##.

For me, the two biggest challenges were actually 1) doing most of my runs at a much slower pace than I was accustomed to, and 2) trusting that the Hansons know what they're talking about. As my training progressed and I started to see enormous gains, it definitely got easier to do both of these things.

What did you LOVE about it?

Almost everything! I loved the variety of the runs, I loved that I never felt completely wasted after my long runs, I loved the fact that I often finished Tuesday speed workouts ready for more (despite the fact that it was my sixth consecutive day of running), and most of all, I loved feeling like I was finally a "real" runner (an arbitrary distinction that existed only in my mind, but an important one nonetheless!).

What did you HATE about it?

Honestly, nothing. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's true! I can see some people hating its lack of flexibility, but that was rarely an issue for me.

What would you say to a friend embarking on their first Hanson's training cycle?

Prepare to be amazed! And, DO YOUR RUNS AT THE PRESCRIBED PACE. I'm sure there are hordes of people who have given up on this plan because they injure themselves/burn out from running too fast, which is totally their loss. Also, as with any training plan, consistency is key-try not to miss runs if at all possible.

Well, that's all I've got-happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The difference between my Fourth of July celebrations last year and this year is kind of amazing. Last year, I was on a rooftop in the East Village watching hooligans launch fireworks into a rival building (which was actually kind of hilarious). This year, I went camping! I was much happier this year. I don't have any photos, unfortunately, since the lack of cell signal drained my phone before I could snap any, but it wasn't the most stunning place anyway (think trees and a creek), so you're not missing out on much. Happy birthday, 'murica.

----

Long weekends are so nice. Like, I've already had an entire weekend, but it's only Saturday morning! What am I supposed to do with all this free time?

Go hiking!

Love this picture. 


My thighs are definitely feeling this. Marathon training does not a hill-climber make. 


HD: higher-quality but more prone to blurriness. Call it a deliberate aesthetic choice.

During this hike, I came up with a super awesome invention that may or may not exist and that may or may not be possible.

My big Nalgene is the only non-leaky water bottle I own. However, I didn't need nearly that much water, and the bottle is nearly as big as the pack I was planning to carry. I like having the option to carry an entire liter (pint? I don't know anything about liquid measurements), but oftentimes I don't need that much water.

Being the enterprising soul that I am, I decided it would be cool to have a water bottle that can hold a liter of water, but that can also be compartmentalized to allow excess space to be used for food or other storage. I'm an idea person, so I haven't thought at all about how to actually do this; it's obviously a really developed idea. Any investors?

----

Running may or may not start up again tomorrow. During my hike, a fellow hiker told me he had seen a black bear so I spent a lot of time scanning the area instead of looking at my footing. This resulted in me stepping on a shifty rock that re-tweaked my right ankle. Amateur hour! It doesn't hurt that much, but I'm a big believer in waiting until body parts are 110%, so I might have to give it a few more days.

Question:
  • Do water bottles like the one I described exist?

Tent > East Village

The difference between my Fourth of July celebrations last year and this year is kind of amazing. Last year, I was on a rooftop in the East Village watching hooligans launch fireworks into a rival building (which was actually kind of hilarious). This year, I went camping! I was much happier this year. I don't have any photos, unfortunately, since the lack of cell signal drained my phone before I could snap any, but it wasn't the most stunning place anyway (think trees and a creek), so you're not missing out on much. Happy birthday, 'murica.

----

Long weekends are so nice. Like, I've already had an entire weekend, but it's only Saturday morning! What am I supposed to do with all this free time?

Go hiking!

Love this picture. 


My thighs are definitely feeling this. Marathon training does not a hill-climber make. 


HD: higher-quality but more prone to blurriness. Call it a deliberate aesthetic choice.

During this hike, I came up with a super awesome invention that may or may not exist and that may or may not be possible.

My big Nalgene is the only non-leaky water bottle I own. However, I didn't need nearly that much water, and the bottle is nearly as big as the pack I was planning to carry. I like having the option to carry an entire liter (pint? I don't know anything about liquid measurements), but oftentimes I don't need that much water.

Being the enterprising soul that I am, I decided it would be cool to have a water bottle that can hold a liter of water, but that can also be compartmentalized to allow excess space to be used for food or other storage. I'm an idea person, so I haven't thought at all about how to actually do this; it's obviously a really developed idea. Any investors?

----

Running may or may not start up again tomorrow. During my hike, a fellow hiker told me he had seen a black bear so I spent a lot of time scanning the area instead of looking at my footing. This resulted in me stepping on a shifty rock that re-tweaked my right ankle. Amateur hour! It doesn't hurt that much, but I'm a big believer in waiting until body parts are 110%, so I might have to give it a few more days.

Question:
  • Do water bottles like the one I described exist?