Run: 1/4 of a Marathon

I ran for an entire hour today. I ran 5.2 miles. That’s like, almost a fourth of a marathon. That’s almost a forth of a marathon!!!! I knew that if I just set my goals a little bit higher that I would be capable of accomplishing more. I feel like an awkward shy kid who finds out he’s funny in front of a group of cheerleaders and jocks. I can’t believe I ran that long! I’m impressed with myself!  It’s exhilarating, really. So to any of you make-believe readers who may be having trouble staying motivated—if me  (beer drinking, nacho eating lady who hadn’t ran for more than three minutes since P.E. my freshman year of high school) and my asthma can get this far, so can you.

I composed this list somewhere in between minutes 28-45 of my run:

Things I need if I’m going to continue running/blogging:
1. A new camera (so you can see what I see)
2, New socks (see yesterday)
3. New shoes
4. Bootylicious (and moisture wicking) stretchy running shorts
5. Three more sports bras
6. Other moisture-wicking clothing
7. An ipod (mine was stolen) and that holder thing that fits on your arm
8. Training and diet books
9. A subscription to Runner’s World
10. A writing/editing job (ok, not a necessity to running but a career would be nice)


Rate: I Wish I Were Kim Yu-na

 Kim Yu-na might secretly be a superhero, or possibly a distant relative of the Greek Gods. I just love her. Yu-na not only took the gold in figure skating last night, but also set an untouchable world record (breaking the former world record, achieved also by Yu-na). The 19-year old, South Korean wonder woman remained completely composed and focused, barely breaking a sweat until 150.06 appeared on the scoreboard. Then she appropriately let it all go. 

I've never really been a huge fan of figure skating, and honestly, I have barely watched the past winter and summer olympics until this one. But something about Miss Yu-na completely captivates me, in a non-creepy way. I find it incredible that she is such a major celebrity in South Korea. Teenagers and young adults flock to her performances with glow sticks and lighters, screaming at the top of their lungs like they are at a pop concert. She's followed by paparazzi and fans in a similar fashion as Angelina Jolie or Lady Gaga. But Yu-na is not a pop star- she's an athlete. I don't think even the most famous athletes in America have the same level of stardom that Yu-na has in South Korea. Not to mention the athletes that do gain megastardom status end up being far from role models (ahem Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant). Maybe I'm giving her too much credit, but to me, she seems to have a unique form of popularity from an even more unique sport.  

What I'm trying to say here is that I wish I were Kim Yu-na. But not in a creepy, stalker way. Okay,  I want to be any olympic athlete, but it wouldn't hurt to be treated as a pop star and look adorable all the time while doing it. Sadly, I'm picking up the  extremely popular sport of running at the age of 24. So since I'll probably never be an olympian (shoot, I don't even know if I'll ever win a race), I will shamelessly admit that I wish I were in Kim Yu-na's shoes... or skates. 

Today is my easy day. Run: 37 minutes, low intensity. Post-run: Stretching and massage. I became abnormally fatigued today during my run which I believe is due to a small breakfast, three hours before my work out.  It's really important to eat the right foods and the right time in order to have a good work out which means if I continue to run in the late mornings, I need to be eating a bigger breakfast, probably about 2 hours before my run.  Good news though: I didn't have to use my inhaler the entire time! Screw you asthma!! Bad news: I need to invest in some nice athletic socks. I only have one pair and when I don't wear them, the blisters form rapidly. 

Next week I'm going to bring up the intensity- possibly run 40 minutes rather than 30 minutes on my average days.  I mean, I've got a lot of work to do before the next olympics. 


Rate: Hey Giiiirl

There's nothing like a couple adolescent, wannabe gangsters politely hollering, chasing and rapping behind me as I run to really improve my pace.  What's more inspiring than "Hey giiiiirrrrl, you need me to run with you?" What I'm trying to say is I picked up the pace today, because I had to. Surprisingly it wasn't that difficult. I ended up really focusing on my stride and the ways in which I can move that produce a faster pace with little effort.

 I ended the work out with drills and strength training. Since I started running, I have based a lot of my training and work outs on the Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running. It's a great book for novice runners who want an overview of everything. The strength training work out that I did today was taken directly out of this (I added some resistance band work outs and abdominal exercises).  The drills and strength combined have defiantly made my legs increasingly more sore as the day progresses, but they felt really good. I've heard that both drills and strength training can really improve ones speed and power.

By the way, drills are embarrassing. Seriously, do people really do lunges, sidewinders, butt-kicks, and high-knees alone anywhere but on a soccer/baseball/football field? I run in my neighborhood and nearby paths and trails, so I did them in my back yard, and yet I still felt like a lunatic.

Work Out Summary:
Run: 30 minutes, moderate pace
Drills: ten minutes
Strength: 30 minutes


Rest: The Tucson Tour

I just love a good day trip, or a few-days trip. The boyfriend and I went to Tucson today to look at U of A's law school. I couldn't help but picture myself with long braided hair wearing a vintage nighty-esque dress with moccasins, all while picking up the harmonica and the art of incense making. Believe me, if I end up moving to Tucson, that actually might happen. Tucson is full of hippies, but I love it. While boyfriend and I were tossing out the pros and cons of residing in Tucson, I resolved that the most exciting pro would be that everything I could ever need would be in one square block: co-op, coffee, beer, pizza, health food, vintage shops, neighborhoods and possible places to run. That would be pretty dang cool if I didn't get too sick of it first.

Highlights of the day

1) Dread-locked man mystically playing  his flute while riding his bicycle through 4th Avenue.
2) The college-esque bars in Tucson seem to be wonderfully lacking in the abundance of testosterone and date rape drugs found in similar Tempe bars.
3) Tucsonans are extremely friendly.
4) A delightful bar called The Shanty has a self-servicing popcorn machine.
5) Differentiating real cowboys from fake cowboys. The boyfriend is a pro detector of cowboy farces.

The road trip accomplished it's goal and boyfriend and I were equally enamored with the town and law school. We were not-so equally troubled (as in I was the only one troubled) by how small the place is, as well as by the over-saturation of Wild West culture. It was extremely charming, but the odds of me finding a good job there are slim. Still, I can't help but hope I do find a job in Tucson so that I can indulge in my inner hippie, grow an enormous garden, write stories all day and shop at the co-op. Seriously, it's an extremely unique and alluring town that would have a promising effect on my soul.

Needless to say, I didn't run (although we did do a ton of walking).  It was an important day though so you cannot hold it against me.


Run: You Run How You Eat

If it hadn't been for the giant double mirrors in the trusty boyfriend's his/her bathroom, I might have gone weeks without realizing that my once-decent abs have gone into hiding under a happy, but fluffy, tummy.  It only took a few seconds of gazing into that glossy, self-degrading reflection for "Eye of the Tiger" to start playing in my head. Must have six-pack-- I am AMPED.

So, I began today's strength and run work out with trusty boyfriend's medicine ball. I did some basic core moves and a few varieties of squats and then head out to do laps around trusty boyfriend's gated community. It was like running a track, I imagine, because I was running in circles. I was expecting to have a decent work out due to plenty of rest and lots of energy, but it took about three strides for the stabbing pain to creep into my left side. Am I dehydrated? No. Do I have to pee? No. Oh right, for lunch I ate a bounding bowl of clam chowder, paired with a sandwich and oodles of fries. The sandwich wasn't too unhealthy, but I definitely over ate, and the fried food paired with heavy cream was overly indulgent. Only a few minutes into my run, I'm remembering: what you eat will directly affect how you run (I'm pretty sure I've read that somewhere...). I kept running in hopes that the cramping would go away, but it never did. I ended up running at about the same pace that my frigid legs were growing back my hair.

Wulp, lesson learned. Hopefully this will inspire a healthier diet (which wouldn't hurt the six-pack dreams, which, as I mentioned before I am feeling AMPED about).

To make up for the lazy 30 minute run, I marched inside, picked up the medicine ball and dedicated myself to doing as many crunches and drills as possible until my ab muscles start shaking and my stomach feels queezy. I didn't push myself quite that far, but it was nice to feel my ab muscles get tired for a change. It's been a while since I focused on abdominal stretches and strength.

For dinner, I'm sticking with a protein shake. I've got a big work out tomorrow and the last thing I need is lethargic legs and a bloated tummy.


Rest: Cross-walking

Today was supposed to be my cycling today. I was so excited about my new schedule that I even gathered the courage to ask some girl that I barely know, some girl who races her bike every weekend (Cat 5, but still...), some girl with a really cool bike, if she wanted to go on a ride with me today. I mean, I should get confidence props for that. But no, this fluke desert rain has ruined my day again. Technically, any cross training would do, but I'm a horrible swimmer, and I don't know any other options. 

But don't worry make-believe readers, my manager left work early today and took the parking pass with him. Being the poor and starving waitress that I am, I refused to pay the $12 to get out of the parking garage sans pass. So, in a brief break in the rain, I walked home. It was a 30 minute walk, and since this is technically a rest (or cross-training) day, I'll consider that my work out.

Now I'm eating tortilla chips dunked in nacho cheese sauce paired with a Czech Pilsner. I don't need to be worrying about my race weight yet. Right?


Rest: Rainy Sunday

Today is my first scheduled long run. The goal is to run for forty minutes today. But Kelsey, today is Sunday. Sunday is for resting and drinking and screeching "Sunday Funday!" at the most inappropriate, rude or obnoxious moments. Unfortunately my work schedule is off this week and I have to work tonight. There is no sense in taking a rest day when I have to spend five hours lifting chairs, carrying drinks and speed walking in drill-like motions. Serving tables is quite tiring, so I cannot take my rest day today. But do not fret because after today my week will look exactly as posted.

The day began similar to a rest day: I laid in bed two hours after officially waking, hoping that if I kept my eyes closed long enough I would wake up in a good mood. Surprisingly, this plan kind of worked. By the time 9:30 came around I actually wanted to get out of bed, and shockingly felt quite motivated to "seize the day," as I like to call the act of getting things done productively. However it's been raining again today, which has oddly been happening at least once a week for the last two months. This is the desert. We desert peoples do not like having to plan our days around the weather, unless the weather is 120 degrees Fahrenheit in which we then avoid all plans all together. So, since the time I crawled out of bed I've been wasting time on the internet, setting up a LinkedIn account and scoping for journalism jobs on every job posting imaginable.

"Oh shit moment:" I have to go buy some allergy medicine before I run today. I can't run without my allergy medicine or I turn into a puffy eyed, running nosed, sneezy mess that is not only annoying but I'd imagine incredibly gross to look at. I've been out of my prescription medicine for a week and it hasn't arrived yet. So as I wander out the door, into the rain and towards my car, LO AND BEHOLD: Clarinex in the mailbox!  As I fist pump with glee, I stroll into the house while opening that precious bag, open up the bottle, pop a pill and sit down to put on my running shoes. DOG COMES SPRINTING, leaps into my lap, knocking over the container of 100 tiny pills all over my linoleum floor.

Sunday Funday.

Emotions/Aches/conditions before run:

Skipped a birth control pill yesterday so my endometriosis is causing some major cramping. And after two cups of coffee and two puffs on my inhaler, I'm feeling abnormally shaky.  I do, however, feel very well-rested.

Post Run:

Well the endometriosis was a real problem today. I haven't had endo pain in a while, so I was not accustomed to dealing with it while I ran. I just kept telling myself it would go away and eventually it did. I've already written enough in the post to bore any potential reader so I'll just sum it up with this:

I ran for 42 minutes, which was about 3.65 miles. I felt like I could have ran for much longer, which means that maybe I should push myself a little harder on my next run. Speed, however, is the real enemy. I'm not sure when a person is in shape enough to be working on speed, but I don't feel like I'm there yet. But a 12 minute miles is pretty slow and if I want to run a 5k any time soon, I've got to bring my time down to at least a ten minute mile. Well, that's something to think about anyway.


Introductions: The Blond Bullet

So before I start rambling, you should know that the point of this entire blog is to get me to run a marathon... in a year. To some of you this may seem like a small feat, and to others, this probably sounds like an insane and completely unenjoyable goal. But to me, it's a terrifying, somewhat laughable and yet somewhat realistic, objective. 

Why is it a terrifying and laughable objective? 
First of all, because I have asthma. I've had asthma since I was about seven, and although, in my twenty somethings, I have gotten it under control, I still would consider it "severe" asthma. I use my inhaler almost every day. I'm on allergy and asthma preventatives, and I have asthma attacks easily. yada yada. yada. I also have Endometriosis, which (as most people don't know, and if you do, high five for you) basically means my uterus has malfunctioned. It sounds way scarier than it actually is though, and it rarely interferes with my daily life (never forces me to call in sick or anything). Basically it causes cramps once in a while, especially when I exercise.  I played softball in high school but since then I have merely attended the gym for three month increments every six months.

So the point of all this is that I am not a runner. I never have been, and the idea of running a marathon sounds impossible. But I want to do it. Which leads us to the next question: Why is this also a realistic objective?

I'm not severely out of shape or over weight. I am not boasting here at all. I maintain a weight that is barely within my BMI by biking around town and serving tables. A few months ago, I started jogging. The first week I couldn't even run half of a mile. Since then, I've maintained an extremely sporadic and inconsistent running schedule that has lead me, after threeish months, to be able to run a mile easily. Therefore I think this is a good time to set some long term goals. 

Running, however, is not my passion; writing is. But I also believe that disciplined fitness and health can promote overall well-being, which, contrary to popular belief, will contribute to my success as a writer. So this blog is a combination of my experiences training as a runner, my experiences in life, and my experiences as writer. Most importantly, this blog combines and connects all the experiences that make me thrive. This is a blog about running, but not only about running, and more about everything I think and get out of running, and some other things too.