Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And The Planning Begins... For Scary Movie Month!

After much deliberation, ordering and re-ordering of the Netflix Queue, creating categories and voting within each category, here is our short list for Scary Movie Month (we'll be lucky if we even get through half of these):
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • Attack the Block
  • Dead Alive
  • Black Swan
  • CJ7
  • Cowboys & Aliens
  • Trollhunter
  • The Birds
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • The Brother from Another Planet
  • Fright Night
  • Shutter Island
  • Spirited Away
  • Forbidden Planet
  • The Wolfman
  • American Scary
  • In the Mouth of Madness
  • Piranha
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • The Village
  • The Illusionist
  • War of the Worlds
  • Alligator
  • Plan 9 From Outerspace
  • The Ring
  • My Name Is Bruce
  • Red: Werewolf Hunter
  • Seven
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Enemy Mine
  • Hellraiser
  • Vertigo
  • Amityville Horror
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  • Halloween II
  • The Game
  • 9
  • Dreamscape
  • Pumpkinhead
Now to come up with some tasty but low-calorie treats to consume while viewing; the days of mini candy bars throughout the month are over.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Speedy I Am Not... Scared I Am

I went to the gym for a speed workout this morning, two 1-mile repeats with warmup, cooldown, etc., for a total of 5 miles. My first mile was in 8:57 and the second was in 9:05. I would have liked to have gotten that second mile under 9:00 and maybe if I'd realized it wasn't going to be I could have pushed harder, but that's okay. Originally my plan called for 9:10 miles and I just this morning decided I could go faster, so I'll content myself with what I did.

I am still trying to hit an 8:30 mile so I may have to start doing some shorter faster intervals in my speed sessions, just to get my body used to the quicker turnover. I feel like I've done a bunch of 9-minute miles now and if I want to go faster I'm going to have to practice going faster. I mean, I can run faster than 9:00 pace, heck, I can run faster than an 8:30 pace, but right now I don't know just how long I can go at that speed.

I have friends who routinely run sub-8:00 miles and I'm confounded. Never mind the elite runners, even finishing a 5k in 25 minutes seems amazingly fast to me. I think until I see myself going faster (even for shorter distances) I won't really believe it's possible for me.

Another nice treat at the gym today is that I continue to lose weight (I only weigh myself there and only about every ten days or so). I'm almost back to where I was before Champ/Goober* was born. I'm looking to lose another 10-15 pounds and/or get more muscle... I don't know if I'll end up losing that much but at the very least I want to no longer be "overweight" by the health charts. Yes, I'm vain that way. Plus, I own some t-shirts that are just a wee bit too tight still (thanks to "M" not meaning the same thing everywhere you go), and I'd like to be able to wear them with more confidence.

So, the scared part. I met yesterday with the admissions director for a program I am thinking about enrolling in. We didn't talk about me, it was just an opportunity for me to get some questions answered before I move ahead. It would mean a complete change of career and take a lot of work just to get into. It's very exciting... and right now I'm scared witless. But then I think about doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life, or even a variant of it, and that scares me even more.

In some ways this new career would be a circling round to what I grew up thinking I would be doing, not quite but kind of a parallel path, so the George Eliot quote keeps coming into my head, "It's never too late to be who you might have been." I should get that tattooed on my forehead maybe.

Oh, between the fast miles and the fast thoughts, my tummy is in turmoil. Sigh.

*Despite our best efforts, "Goober" seems to be sticking as a nickname. From his brother's calling him "Goo", as in the sound he thinks a baby makes. Not that Goober ever actually says "goo". 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Elvis Is Alive 2012 5k

Second year running the Elvis Is Alive 5k last week, and I had a great time. Went with Erin from work - it's an evening run so we changed at work, hopped on the bus, and wandered our way down to the lakefront. I meant to run slow (and had to for the first mile - I'm not a night runner and had terrible abdominal cramps starting off), but then I warmed up and couldn't help trying to go fast! First mile 11:03, second 9:53, last 1.1 miles at 9:03 pace, for a total time of 30:54. Next time I'll warm up first!

Before the run, of course.
And then afterwards peanut butter & banana sandwiches, 312 Goose Island Ale, and Elvis tribute band. And lots and lots of people dressed up as Elvis, either in full-blown jumpsuits or just with fake sideburns. Before the run I was jealous of all the folks who dressed up and was thinking I might do so next year - then I realized there was no way I'd want to be wearing a jumpsuit while running. Maybe a cape, though... or at least sequins in some way. I need to start thinking about this.

I really really really want The Dude to do this with me at some point, I'd love to have the whole family there, but since we don't have a double running stroller I'm not sure how right now. In time, perhaps.

And now on to preparing for my half.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Next?

It took me a while after the Women's Half in June to figure out what my next training goals were going to be. I had already decided not to run a marathon this year, despite my intense longing to do so. I played with the idea of doing a trail half but figuring out how to get to one seemed like too much work (I don't drive my husband's stick shift so am limited in getting out of the city). I liked the idea of another speed challenge but there weren't any 10ks that attracted me. I knew I wanted to work on the following three things: 1) losing weight, 2) increasing the length of my "average" run, and 3) improving my "average" speed. I knew that trying to train for another longer distance (half or full marathon) wouldn't actually be the best way to go about those goals.

(Plus it's HARD to work in long slow runs into my family schedule these days... I may not be able to do that on a regular basis until the kids are old enough to fend for themselves in the morning.)

So I decided on a tried but true race, the Hot Chocolate 15k in November. The last time I ran this I swore I wouldn't do it again until they improved the course (they did), and even then I wasn't sure... It felt unique and fun the first couple of years and since then has felt just very corporate and slick. But it's the only Chicago race of that type of distance at that time of year, and it's the right distance for my goals. Plus the last time I ran it was right after the marathon in 2010, when I was at my best running, so my progress towards reaching (or besting!) that time could give me a good view into where I am overall.

And then since my training for it has been going well... I decided to throw another half into the mix, just for fun, just because I can. (And so that I get some long runs back into the equation since I've been having the aforementioned difficulty in doing them... there's nothing like having a half on the calendar in a month's time to give long runs a little more urgency.) So Chicago Half, September 9, here I come!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Trying Again

The other reason I haven't been writing much this summer is that I got seduced into using DailyMile to track my workouts. I say seduced because in the end it hasn't worked out the way I hoped it might, while it has prevented me from doing something I really love (that is, posting on this blog). It's been very easy to track some things I wouldn't otherwise, since I'm a pen and paper kind of gal usually, but it also makes it very easy to write about my workouts there... so I don't here. And, in the end, I haven't found it that great a tool for connecting with other people, which was the main reason to start using it.

I have found one great venue for connecting with other people about running, a running/weight-loss group on Facebook. In doing both DailyMile and this Facebook group over the same period of time I've found that I don't always care to see the details of other people's workouts - or if I do, I'll read about it on their blogs - but I love hearing about how people's decisions about their workouts, or their food, or any other health-related activity, makes them feel. And we've somehow created a real little group in the ether. So adios, DailyMile! I'll be ordering an old-fashioned training log soon.

(And to all my pals on the Sub-30 Losers Group - you're the best!)