Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Liked It Better When It Was Just Freezing

Today for my long run, I was treated to a light layer of slush over the packed snow (yuck - plus hard work to run on), and then wicked wind on the lakefront (also hard to run in).

I was close to cutting things short, and did end up cutting back off of the lake to the Lincoln Park / Gold Coast neighborhoods. But I made a pit stop, found clear sidewalks, and got away from the wind, thereby getting my second (or third, or fourth) wind, and so was able to finish out my full mileage.

And now I'm ravenous and about to take my second break to get more food. The first round was salt. This round will be sugar. Rawr.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Very Far and Very Cold

I ran to work this morning. Well, it's more accurate to say that I went for a run this morning, and then I ran to work. I'm not going to say how far I ran because
  1. It is kind of a ridiculous distance, that makes sense only in the context of marathon or ultra training;
  2. At some point, if you make a habit of running long, the distance becomes kind of meaningless. I don't think about "how many miles do I have left", I think about what part of the run am I on and what will I be doing next;
  3. A certain person I live with doesn't tremendously like that I run so long or that I run in the cold, and really doesn't like it when I combine the two. No need to provoke him with an actual number.
As for the cold... it was -1F when I left and 5F when I reached my destination. Not as windy as I'd feared, thank goodness. I was snug as a bug in my layers and had greased up my face to prevent windburn. The only issue I had with the cold was that my water bottles froze and towards the end I was reduced to just sucking on the ice. So I need to figure something out there. Oh, and frozen gels are gross. But I've pretty much moved away from gels anyway and have been sticking with "real" food - in my case dried fruit, pretzels, and jellybeans. The dried fruit and jellybeans get hard when it's that cold but a moment or so of chewing takes care of that.

And my reward (aside from the whole running bit) was in seeing, once I hit the lakefront, a quiet, snowy, icy world with almost no one else around. Listening to one of my favorite jazz pianists and just floating in white. Ahhh.

Blissfully,
Annie

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Watching Myself - With Love

I'll admit, it's been interesting to watch how I react to this withdrawing from some aspects of social media. If I do a long run, but don't put it up on DailyMile or write about it in one of my Facebook running groups, did it really happen? I notice I sometimes experience a certain anxiety about not sharing my workout information.

At the same time, I'm also experiencing a sense of freedom in my day. No more rushing to the computer right after a run to log it. If I don't announce a particular goal, then I am accountable only to myself about it, and can change it if I like. And never mind the sheer amount of time that's been freed up for me. I truly could never have realized just how much time I lost online until I made a deliberate attempt to curtail it.

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I do have some ideas about my training for the next months, and for the year. I'm not going to call them goals - I have concrete goals for myself this year but none of them are running-related. One is financial (to reduce my credit card debt by a third). One is practical (to get my drivers' license again). One is my ongoing effort to eat in a healthy, mindful, and joyful way. All are about increasing freedom in my life, so I can live in ways that better serve myself and those I love.

My initial training ideas are quite audacious, so I will wait to write about them until I have a better sense of whether I'll be able to fulfill them. I will say that so far, so good. And that I am enjoying both my running and my gym time.

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One article I wanted to share: Nutrition, from iRunFar. Here's the quote that best sums up the article, and nicely articulates what I've been thinking about recently (but only vaguely):
To me, the healthiest diet has nothing to do with never eating specific ‘bad’ foods, but instead with eating the foods that provide us with the most overall health in the given situation.
For me that includes taking "health" in the broadest possible context, to include my social and emotional health.

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It's been a bit of rough start to the year, between the weather and the challenge of my youngest moving into the "terrible twos". I love him dearly, but he is a frequent, ah, opportunity to practice personal growth. The good news is that we can see the fruit of our labor with him as he develops, so that is a blessing and encouragement in our efforts. The other good news is that, by him being the second child, I know from experience and in my bones that all things change, and that what may seem interminable in the moment is truly just a heartbeat of time. We are truly so blessed in both our children.

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And to brag on my oldest - he's currently in thrall to Harry Potter! (He's not reading on his own yet, The Dude reads it to him before bed. We're already on the second book.) This is several steps up in complexity from what we were reading to him before. I am amazed at his ability to visualize what he hears (I'm not very good at that) - the next day he draws out what we read about the night before. When he's not designing helicopters for a building unit at preschool, that is. Truly, my kids amaze me.

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With hope and gratitude -
Annie

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Still Working On It

I've gotten off of DailyMile (I'd rather post here about my workouts anyway, if they're spectacularly good or bad). I've cleared out my Blogger reader, so that I'm only getting updates on the ones I really love. And I've been clearing out my bookmarks on my various internet programs so that it will be harder to just surf.

Facebook... that's a whole hornet's nest. I really do enjoy it and am grateful for it in some ways, but it's way too easy for me to get sucked in and I was already trying to figure out how to limit my use. And then I had my accidental vacation from online material and found I was also quite happy to go without completely! So now I have extra motivation to use it less, but it's not that easy...

Distractedly.
Annie