Thursday, December 16, 2010

12/16/10--Lose Yourself in the Music

Today's run: 4.1 miles
Week to date: 10.15 miles
Month to date: 33.43 miles

It's another "warm" day in the Copper Country.
25? 25! I'll tell you what, that actually does feel a bit on the warm side, especially considering it was below zero when I woke up yesterday.
4 miles today. I wanted to do a tempo run today, but I wound up failing on that. First of all, the shoulders were so slushy, footing was tricky. Then, my knees decided today would be a fun day to start hurting. :( I tried to keep a steady-ish pace, but I know I wound up finishing MUCH slower than I started.

So, I have never been one to run with an iPod or any kind of music playing device. I've always been wary of it, really. My reasons have been everything from wanting to be as aware of my surroundings as possible, to thinking "Gosh, can't you just disconnect for a little while?"
Well, lately, I've had a hard time going without it! It started last week during my stint in Marquette. I needed the music because I find the treadmill to be mind-numbingly boring, so I used it. As I went, I noticed how much it was helping me. I was using the playlist I made to get myself fired up before my half this fall--
Yes, this may be simultaneously the most nerdy and random playlist ever, but it works for me!
And, yes, you read that right: I have both the NMU fight song and the NMU Drumline Full Cadence on there. It takes me back to my band geek days and gets me so fired up! (To those who have never been in marching band, a drum cadence is a series of drumming patterns used to keep a beat for the rest of the band while they march.) And, come on, how can this not get you fired up? It works for me, anyway!
(Never mind the smug satisfaction I get from hearing this play here in "enemy territory";) )
Out of all that, I've found that "Lose Yourself" is really the song that does the best job of getting me moving and keeping me motivated. There are some lines in there that I just love:
"Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment Would you capture it or just let it slip?"
~ "You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, You own it, you better never let it go, You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo"
~"So here I go is my shot. Feet fail me not cause maybe the only opportunity that I got"

It just helps remind me that every day I get to run is a new opportunity, every race I get to run is my only opportunity for THAT race, and not to let those moments slip away. I love it.

Is there a song that fires you up or keeps you going?

OK, time to clean up. Tonight is a bit of a celebration--today is my boyfriend's last day of undergrad, and he is officially a college graduate! (He'll be walking in May--it was easier to coordinate travel for his family). I'm so happy for and proud of him, he has worked so hard. :)
Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12/15/10--everyone won

Today's run: 6.05 miles
Week to date: 6.05 miles
Month to date: 29.33 miles

OK, truth: I never got to the workout yesterday. :(
But, I did make it out today! Today is a much nicer day. In fact, it is down right warm compared to the past few days.
I decided a long run would be a good idea. I only have a few days to make up the mileage I need for the week, so I figured I'd kick it off with a bang.
The run itself was OK. I followed the M-26 from South Range nearly in to Houghton. The shoulders were relatively clear, which was nice. I was just glad it wasn't as absurdly cold, nor was it snowing sideways! (This was another reason why I opted for a longer run today.)

Keeping this short today--I'm not feeling too chatty, and I really would rather go cuddle up on the couch with the Boyfriend. I will leave you with this, though:
I missed most of the Biggest Loser finale last night, so I looked it up on Wikipedia to see how people did. I saw this, and it warmed my heart, because it's true!

I'm sure it has been fixed by now, but it is true--hopefully these people have had the big jumpstart they needed, and their lives have already been impacted so much that even if they didn't walk away with a car or money, they have all won.

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12/14/10--What a bum!

So I've been a complete bum the last few days.
Sunday was just my usual day of rest, even though I took a "rest day" on Friday, too.
Yesterday, it was brutally cold. The windchill didn't break 0 until late afternoon. I was griping to Coach Mom about how bad I felt skipping a run, but she reminded me that sometimes being safer is smarter than trying to prove toughness.
I really did mean to do some Yoga and Bob videos, but I never did. :( Now that, I can feel a bit of shame for, am I right?
Anyway... It's another snowtacular morning in the Copper Country.
 Our poor cars! (One is mine, the other is Brandon's.)
 This is the view out of the back window.
This is out in front of our building--beautiful, bustling, busy South Range. -_- I really enjoy how the snowbanks along the sidewalk here are nearly to my waist.
And, while I don't have to shovel much snow (unless cleaning off my beastly car counts...), I could still appreciate this thought from Hal Higdon this morning:
I leave you with this:
I was very sad this fall when I couldn't carve pumpkins for Halloween. I was also feeling kind of lonely because Brandon was always either working or at school, so one afternoon I decided I was going to find a way to have cute pumpkins, no matter what.
This was the end result:

He thought it was kind of funny in that "Wow, you're kinda strange" way.
So, last night, he asks me if I've done any artwork lately. I was really confused, so he clarified--drawings, like the pumpkins. I told him I hadn't, because I actually had a Christmas tree, though if he really wanted me to draw one, I would.
So, this morning, I produced this masterpiece, which I may or may not have posted to his Facebook wall...
I think our actual tree is cuter, though. I mean, it has a squirrel for a topper!

OK, that's enough foolishness. I promise, I'll have a workout update later.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A love letter

So, I have spent a lot of the last few weeks complaining about the UP, mostly its weather and how challenging it is making my life as a runner.
Sometimes, it just takes something as simple as a music video to remind me why I stayed and how much I love it here.

This was filmed at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, MI, 3 hours from where I live now, 1 hour from where I went to college, and where I spent nearly every vacation from when I was 9 until I was 19. Seeing this just reminded me that I live somewhere beautiful, special, and unique. I can't stay here forever, but a piece of my heart will.

So, Dear UP. I forgive you for the snowstorms and bad running, because you have given me these:

Love always, 

12/11/10--In 3 Acts

Today's run: 3.05 miles
Week to date: 15.1 miles
Month to date: 23.28 miles

Act 1: Return to WiiFit
Wednesday, I wanted to do an alternative activity day. I couldn't get my Yoga Podcasts to work on my iPod Touch, so I used my friend's WiiFit. This spring, I used my old roommate's then-fiance's WiiFit regularly and loved it, so I was excited to get back to it.
Sadly, it was not nearly as much fun as I remembered. :( I did a body test (that I failed miserably. I'm 25 going on 37, apparently...) This was followed by boxing, a few Yoga poses, and some Ski jumping balance games. It was all right, but no where near as fun or challenging as I remembered.

Act 2: Negative Split 4 Miler
Thursday, I went back to the fitness center to use the treadmill again. I wanted to see if I could run a negative split 4 miler. I was doing great until the last mile (I had it set at an 8:56 min/mi pace for this one). 1/4 mile in, and I started gagging. I hopped off long enough to take care of business, and finished my run. It was really discouraging. I mean, my miles were 9:46, 9:30, 9:15, and then 8:56 (I think, I forgot to write these down, but those seem close enough), and THAT led me to the point where I was getting sick? We're not exactly talking speed demon here. Clearly, I have a lot of work to do if I want to get to the point I'd like to be by May.

Act 3: Pre-Snowpocolypse run
Look what we have today up here!

Fortunately, it hadn't started by the time I could peel my eyes open this morning, because this was what my weather app said:
So I suited up...
...and headed out.
(For the record, all of my top layers are pink. What can I say, I was feeling girly today, in many ways...)
I'd like to say I made the best of not feeling 100% and running in what I have now adjusted to as normal weather for SR, but I can't do that honestly. Half the time, I was mentally whining about something, either being cold, being tired, how icky I was feeling, the street conditions, any number of things. The other half, I was picturing the map I made on MapMyFitness, telling myself how much further I had left and trying to be self-encouraging.
But, for 2 weeks in a row, I hit my target mileage. And, now I can say that I have run during a winter storm warning twice! (The first time was back in May.) Does this earn me some kind of runner or Yooper merit badge? No? Aw, OK.

OK, it is time for a sandwich and to get caught up on blogs from the last few days. My advance apologies for the comment onslaught, ladies. Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12/7/10 pt 2--100th post!

Today's run: 5 miles
Week to date: 8.05 miles
Month to date: 16.23 miles

Hello, all!

My lovely friend, Christy has allowed me use of her computer while I am saying at her apartment, so here I am!

I went and used the treadmill at their fitness center, just as I said I would. I used this as a chance to do some intervals, because it's much easier for me to track my distance and pace on a treadmill.
I was feeling crazy, so I did 1 mile warm up (10:00min/mi), then 4x800 at just below what my dream pace would be (8:41min/mi). I did 800 at the 10:00min/mi pace between intervals, then another 800 to cool down (along with some walking around afterward, I got off the treadmill because I felt bad taking up one of the two they have in there.) Honestly, I felt really great. It was one of those hard, butt-kicking, but awesome days. :)

OK, that's all I've got. Have a great evening, all! :)

12/7/10, pt 1: Baby It's Cold Outside!

So, I am heading back to Marquette one more time to pick up some subbing. :) With how little I am getting up here in the CCISD, it's nice that "my old school" still calls me when they need the help. I student taught, long term subbed, and on-call subbed at that school for 3 years, I know them well, I love the staff, I adore the students, and I'm so sad that there probably won't be a position for me any time soon. :(

But, now I get the added fun of wintery travel! I'm heading out this afternoon because I want to make the 100 mile trip in as much daylight as possible. I know that drive like the back of my hand because I used to make it at least twice a month while Brandon and I were long distance. I spent most of my coffee/e-mail/social media time trying to mentally nail down a timeline for fitting in a long run, packing, lunch with the boyfriend, and then the actual travel.
Then I checked the weather:

I love how they don't agree at all. But, look at that! Feels like -1? I like to think I'm tough, but there's just something about negative numbers that makes me want to cry and wrap up in as many blankets as I can find.

Furthermore, it is actually not snowing for a moment, here:

But it did overnight. Oh, my poor car:

*I'll let you guess which one is mine.

Weelll... how about running this afternoon when I get to Marquette?
What? You mean it's WORSE there??

Then, I remembered this:

My friends' townhome complex has a gym! Perfect! While I hate treadmills, I think it would be my safer and certainly warmer option. And, it'll get me out of her hair while she wraps up final projects for her classes.
I know, all of that just to tell you I'm not running until this afternoon. Oh well. 
Also, I don't know how much I will be blogging while I'm there. I have a blogwriter app on my iPod, but I'm not really much of a fan of it. I will be back in all my screen-capping, Photoboothing, boyfriend's-camera-stealing glory on Friday, though. :)
Have a great day, all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/6/10--More Snow and More Dogs

Today's run: 3.05 miles
Week to date: 3.05 miles
Month to date: 11.23 miles

So, remember yesterday, when I said that the cold and snowy day made it perfect for an off-day?
Well, welcome to today:

18. Feels like 6.  I don't know, maybe they were wrong about that, too, because they sure were wrong about the only being cloudy thing! Still, it was definitely cold!

So, I bundled up
and I went for it.

It was just as cold, windy, and snowy as I expected. I especially loved all the looks I was getting from the township workers out plowing. I also got to meet the two lovable dogs of a husband and wife pair out clearing their driveway. I'm not sure what kind they were, but they were big! And, once they realized I wasn't going to hurt anybody, I was their new BFF and they almost weren't going to let me leave! Their owners got them corralled back in to the garage, and I slipped out of sight before my new doggie BFFs could follow me on my snowy insanity.

Speaking of lovable dogs and snow...

Meet my "nephew", Assistant Coach Little Sister's Shih-Tzu, Dave. He's 8 months old, and he's having his first adventures with snow. Word from back home is that the little guy loves it. I've never been one for little dogs, but Davey stole my heart right away. I know he likes me, too--I had a little brown and white shadow while I was home for Thanksgiving, and he was trying really hard to come with me when I headed back up here!
OK, time to get warm! Have a great day, everyone!! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

12/5/10--Day of Rest

If there was ever a day to give in to the Winter Hibernation instinct, I think today would be a top candidate.

We're getting some wonderful lake effect snow today. Oh, the joys of living near the Great Lakes!
I think today was a perfect day to just take it off, curl up in a blanket, and read while listening to football.
I feel a little guilty about taking a day off, but I've had a good running week, and I had 2 yoga/strength training days. So, I really shouldn't feel too bad.

I've had kind of a sore throat all day, but I'm somewhat sure it's from cheering at hockey games this weekend and not impending illness.
Of course, I was listening to my team's games while at the boyfriend's team's games. Never question devotion, (despite what I might be wearing in this photo--I was cold, and I try to play nice while at the games.)
This wasn't my first experience with following my team while at another game.

Brandon and I went to the WCHA conference finals this past spring. While at their championship game, I was watching NMU play in the CCHA conference championship game on the pressbox TV above us. We lost a heartbreaker to Michigan. :( (And my friends played a nasty prank on me, but that's another story for another time).

Time to start dinner--hope you had a fantastic Sunday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Happy Saturday!

I woke up this morning with the initial intention of going for another run, possibly even a long run after I saw that the shoulders of the highway were clear again. But, as I went through my morning routine of coffee, e-mail, and social media, I changed my mind. Mostly, it was because I had already ran 4 days and hit my mileage goal for the week of 15 miles. 15 is a really good number for me--I've been averaging maybe 10-12 on a good week lately, and I remember from my training this summer that I felt awesome on 15 mile weeks. I was also starting to feel little bits of soreness here and there, so I decided that today was going to be an indoor workout day.

Yesterday was not a good day for me (and thanks Janae and Tina for your kind words!). I spent most of the day in a grouchy, anxious, stomachaching ball. So, it just seemed all too fitting that this morning, an "Yoga for Anxiety" podcast came up on my Yogamazing podcast feed. And, you know what? It was exactly what I needed. It was challenging enough to remind me I was exercising, but still very soothing and relaxing. Plus, the stretching felt AMAZING on my tight muscles--I didn't even realize I was that tight!

And, because an inside day just isn't truly complete without a little Bob:

Today's My Trainer Bob challenge. It wasn't too bad, actually, except for the last part when I fell over twice trying to hold the plank. Whoops!

I also decided to bring back the Butt Burns challenge, too. Remember the last time I did this, when I decided to balance on 2 Harry Potter books? Well, today, I decided to search the bookshelf for better options.

Shelf #3= Brandon's Engineering textbooks.


They were much more stable than Harry Potter.

And now, on to lunch!

Leftover pizza and a nice green salad. Yes, I used BBQ sauce for dressing, don't judge.
Have a great Saturday, all!! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today's run: 3.16 miles
Week to date: 15.3 miles
Month to date: 8.18 miles

I didn't get a what I wore shot today, but this probably a more accurate image of me right now:

I didn't start off the day in a bad mood, but it quickly became that way. Contributing factors:
~My neighbors forgetting that this is an apartment building and not their own private house, and carrying on a very loud conversation in the hallway starting at about 7:30.
~Finding out that according to this site, my measurements and body fat percentage mean I'm borderline obese. What? Yeah, that's what I said, but I checked the numbers twice, and I'm on the highest end of "acceptable".
~My moment of irritation spilling over and leading to me saying something to the boyfriend that I instantly regretted.
~Getting a stomachache pretty much as soon as I started running, and feeling progressively worse as I went.
~Getting home from my run to find that the boyfriend had left for the day with no note, no goodbye, no nothing, thus making me feel worse for what I said earlier.

So, I guess it goes without saying that with a nasty stomachache and a rotten mood, my run wasn't that great. I basically redid the first part of my zig-zaggy route yesterday, and instead of repeating it coming back I just headed straight down a side street, and it worked out to be just over a 5K. There were several points when I just wanted to come back, either to make things right with the boyfriend or to do something about my stomach, but I knew I couldn't stop (and the whole "hey, you're not as fit and healthy as you think, should you really not finish your workout?" train of thought was in play, too.)

OK, it's time to clean up, make some hot tea, and do something to cheer myself up. I hope you all are having a better day than I am.
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