Friday, September 28, 2012

Multiple Goals

Currently, I have a few running goals in mind when I go out for a run.  I am training for a half marathon, so distance is one goal. I am also trying to break 40:00 on my 5 mile run, so speed is my second goal.  Lastly, I want to lose another 10 pounds. 

Sometimes, it can feel like the goals are working against each other.  The longer the run I do, the slower I go since I am running a relaxed pace.  Also, since I am running without a watch on almost all of my runs, I do not have too many speed sessions. When I do run for time, I usually go a shorter distance.

However, in reality, the different goals are helping one another.  The last timed run I did on my 5 mile route was 44:33.  This was almost a minute faster than my previous timed runs.  This is also 11 minutes faster than the same run I did last summer.  While I have not reached my goal yet, I am moving in the right direction.  Now that I have extended some of my runs to 6 and 7 miles, and the 4 and 5 mile routes are getting even easier.  

The first two goals will help me to achieve the third goal.  The longer and faster I can run, the more calories I will burn and the faster my metabolism will work.  If I say on my healthy eating plan, the weight should come off in no time.  Lastly, when I do lose the 10 pounds, the additional weight loss will help to run farther and faster.  

Do you have multiple goals to achieve with your running?

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Coffee, how I love thee.  Runners always speak of carbohydrates and proteins, but coffee is up near the top of favorite foods.  I love coffee.  I drink around 4-5 cups a day.  I drink it black.  No cream or sugar.  My favorite blend is NescafĂ© taster’s choice instant coffee.  Just boil some water and you are ready to go.  When I would purchase it from a store, Dunkin Donuts was the way to go.  

I have quit coffee a few times in the past but I always find myself going back to it.  In fact, I am contemplating quitting again.  I realize though I need it for my job.  Nothing shows a smile through the phone like a nice hot cup of coffee.  Also, at our household, we sometimes have some early mornings.  The kids can be up around 5:00am most mornings.  

The one thing I have noticed with my coffee addiction is that it is similar to my food additions.  If I try to cut back and slip up, it can take a few days to recover from it.  Sometimes I am all or nothing.  I would like to cut back to 3 cups a day, but it is difficult.  Coffee is my only source of caffeine.  I stay away from soda and energy drinks. 

How much coffee to do you drink?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It Starts at Home

I just read 2 articles (found here and here) about students in Wisconsin who are upset about Michelle Obama’s new school menus.  To me, this is much ado about nothing.  The system is set up for school lunches to serve a meal with a certain amount of calories based on the grade the child is in.

Many of the people upset are doing a brown bag protest.  This is where they bring their own lunch rather than buy. One of the boys quoted told his mom, they may be packing his lunch for the rest of the year.  I say that is great.  You can have a healthier lunch if it is brought from home.  For lunch, pack a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with some carrots and an apple. Maybe throw in a handful of nuts if you’re a student athlete. This is much healthier than 1 cheese stick, a side of sauce, apples and some spinach. 

The reporter is actually supporting the kids based on the fact they don’t eat breakfast in the morning before school. 

We also know that many teens, like many of their parents, tend to skip breakfast during the morning rush. That makes a satisfactory lunch even more important.
This is a ridiculous statement.  How about teaching kids how important breakfast is.  How long does it take to eat a bowl of cereal and milk?  5 -10 minutes.  Eat a banana or a another piece of fruit.  

The obesity crisis is growing in the US and unless we make some changes it is only going to get worse. 
How do you feel about Michelle Obama’s plan?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Quirks of a Runner

Like many athletes, I have a few quirky habits that appear during my runs.  For example, I always cross in the middle of the crosswalk, I make sure that my feet touch the white and not the actual curb, and I absolutely have to finish at the same spot each time.  When I do finish, I take my last step onto an electrical box in the ground.  There are also a few other special squares that I have to touch completely during the run. 

During my short run, when I reach the turn-around spot, I must go around the sign post.  On the longer run when I am going to turn around, I need to cross over a certain color sidewalk marking. These habits are nothing new.  In fact, I remember when I first started running that I had to touch a certain square at the intersection before continuing. 
By sticking to these routines I know I am not taking any short cuts.  At the end of my run, I feel an awesome sense of accomplishment.

What kind of quirks do you have when you go out to run?

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Run to Remember

This past weekend, my sister and her husband came to visit for the very first time.  We haven’t seen each other for about a year and a half.  She moved away from the town we grew up in a few years before I did.  Since she also loves running, we would always go out for a run during her visits home.  The best was when my dad would also join us.  Running with my family is something I’ve really missed.  

I finally got to do it again this weekend!  On Friday night, we went out for a five miler.  Our goal was to complete four miles while enjoying a scenic tour of my city, but we were both feeling good and decided to extend it another mile.  Since my sister is still recovering from a minor injury, we took it easy and did a walk/run combination.  Although that’s not my usual style of running, it was pretty relaxing and enjoyable.  Most importantly, my sister didn’t experience any knee pain.

The next night we went out for a quick three miler.  Since they were catching a flight later that night, we wanted to get one more run in together before they had to leave.  She told me later at dinner that she thoroughly enjoyed seeing the views and exploring my city, but was a bit challenged by the abundance of steep hills.  She made it though, and I was really proud of her.  The best part of course, was catching up on each other’s lives while doing something we both love.  

These were a couple of runs to remember.