Thursday, January 24, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

Deena Kastor is officially my hero. Chad and I just got back from watching The Spirit of the Marathon - the first feature length film about the marathon. The film followed six different people as they trained for and competed in the 2005 Chicago Marathon. It was done exceptionally well - I highly recommend that if you weren't able to catch the showing tonight, that you catch the encore on February 21st. It was really pretty neat because this was a one night event - and the theater was packed with runners. It will be re-airing on February 21st at a select group of theaters across the country, and then I hope that there will be a DVD released.
My husband really enjoyed the film as well - and I think that it shed some light on him as to why I'm so into this thing called the marathon. He said he would like to make a guest post on my blog about his experience at the movie, so when he gets me that text I will post it.

Even after the 2007 heat wave/disaster, I still would love to run the Chicago Marathon someday. While we are living up here in the Midwest, I am going to make a sincere effort to run it. I'm thinking October 2009.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Training Updates

I apologize for the lack of posting around here - things have been very hectic lately. Work has been crazy, I've had small bouts with a stomach bug, and we had an unexpected death in my family. But...marathon training has been going really well - if only it would warm up a little bit! I ran an 8 miler yesterday with the local weatherman reporting a 4 degree wind was so cold! I cannot wait for the warm sunny days of April, May and beyond. Call me crazy, but I would much rather run in extreme heat over extreme cold.

In a recent episode of my favorite running podcast (Steve Runner's Phedippidations) - Steve encouraged his fellow runners to introduce at least one person to the sport of running in 2008. I talked to one of my friends about possibly running a half-marathon in the spring with me, and she said that she would. Then, I asked another friend if she would like to join us, and she did. And then she asked two friends if they would like to join us - and they did, and now we have a group of 5! It is so great to run with these girls and watch their confidence grow with each mile. Before beginning training for the half- marathon, I think the furthest any of them had run was about 3 miles. We do our long runs together on Saturdays and it is so much fun. I remember how much having a group to train with last Spring helped me out - and I am so happy that these girls have that as well. I'm convinced that it makes all the difference in new runners.

The half-marathon that we are all training for is one week before the full marathon (Cincinnati Flying Pig) that I am going to run with my sister. I do the half-marathon long runs on Saturday mornings with the group, and then my marathon long runs on Sunday mornings. This has actually worked out really well - I've been able to add some mileage to my weekly totals and the Saturday runs help me get stretched out and loosened up for my Sunday morning runs.

As for my diet - things have been going ok. I've been really trying to watch what I eat, but I totally fall off the wagon on the weekends. Hopefully I'll be able to keep a more consistent, disciplined approach with my eating habits. I am pretty sure that I am an emotional eater - so maybe that's why I've been eating everything in sight lately. Chad and I went to see Cloverfield (which I highly recommend!) this weekend with some friends and I found myself absolutely stuffing my face with popcorn. It is very suspenseful, terrifying, stressful, etc - and I pretty much ate everything within a 5 foot radius of me during the movie. I also discovered that Miller Chill can be both my best friend and my worst is so good! Almost too good. I rarely ever drink, but this beer is amazing and tastes like Sprite. I drank half of one last week with some amazing steak tacos and was practically three sheets to the wind.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Greetings from an Elf

Every December, "Santa" goes around my office building and delivers everyone's last paycheck of the calendar year. Well, this year I had the privilage of being the elf that accompanied him. I'm not exactly sure why I was nominated for this position - being 5'8" doesn't exactly put me at elf status - but it was a lot of fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Training Update

Training for the 2008 Flying Pig Marathon has gone exceptionally well thus far. I've been able to get my pace to 9:13 and hold it comfortably for four miles. I've really been watching what I eat, and I can tell a huge difference. I used to practically gorge myself after a hard run because I felt like I deserved it, but I've slowly moved away from that mindset. I heard an interview with Lance Armstrong after the 2007 New York Marathon and he said that he was seven pounds lighter than the previous year's marathon, and it made all the difference in the world for him.

After only a week of cutting my daily calorie intake practically in half, I already feel lighter on my toes. Here are some of my biggest vices:
  • McDonalds: double cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, vanilla ice cream cones
  • Taco Bell: Nachos Supreme, double decker tacos, 7-Layer burritos
  • Starbucks: triple grande non-fat caramel macchiatos
  • Red Robin: french fries, strawberry milkshakes
  • Mr. Gatti's: sausage and green olive pizza
  • Moes: "Joey Bag of Donuts" burrito, with chips and queso...and a cherry coke
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • Brownies with vanilla ice cream
This really could go on and on. In constructing this list, I realized just how often I've let myself eat these things over the past year. I mean some of these things have been staples of my diet! I've realized that if I let myself eat these things in moderation, then I'll enjoy them even more. I've also found that I don't crave these things anymore. I've been trying to incorporate more lean chicken, brown rice, black beans, etc into my meals and I've really cut back on portion sizes. It's amazing how much better I feel - but I also want to make sure I'm taking in enough calories so I don't get woozy during my training runs.

Anyone else have any guilty pleasures they are trying to cut back on in the new year?

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Gear for the New Year

Thanks to my great husband, wonderful parents and in-laws, and a very generous Santa - I was able to stock up on running gear for my marathon training. I have plenty of warm weather shorts and t-shirts to run in, but what I was really lacking was cold weather gear. It has been freezing in Kentucky the past few days (an average wind chill of 10 degrees...yikes!) and I needed some warm stuff to help me brave the roads on my Saturday morning long runs. (I do my weekday runs through the winter on a treadmill at a warm and toasty gym.) Without further ado, here is a list of some cold-weather running gear that I have really enjoyed, and highly recommend.

Brooks Burn Ped socks
These socks are great! A big step up from my now threadbare C9 Target socks.

Asics Thermopolis tights...they are very warm, and quite flattering if I do say so myself.

Brooks Pulse Light Gloves
These gloves are a really good base layer.

My parents bought me an Enduro Mini running watch. It is very easy to use and I've been able to log my long runs in the "stored runs" area.


New Balance Kaspian 1/2 Zip - this is going to be a great jacket for the Fall, Winter and Spring. It is lightweight, but very warm. The arms are cut a little longer and have loops in the sleeve to hook your thumb through. This is a great feature when you first start out and are freezing, and it is easy enough to roll up the sleeve slightly once you warm up. I feel like a real runner when I wear this!

To top it all off, I have a Dri-Fit wicking "beanie" from to keep body heat in.

  • A Runner's World subscription - my favorite is the gift that just keeps on giving!
  • Clif Shot gels and recovery drink packets
  • FuelBelt Sprint 10 oz Palm Holder
  • More Brooks running socks
  • Starbucks gift cards to warm up after early morning runs!