The Big Questions

I guess I’ve grown to consider myself a “runner“. Still not really sold on telling that to new people when I meet them (you know, those guys I’m attempting to date…they’re knocking down my door. To play with my dog. Just joking, there are none.)

Hi! Meet my best friend

Anywho, I still even think I’m a tiny bit crazy for wanting to run 26.2 miles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited. I mean, I better be. The registration and coaching alone was my whole paycheck. I kid. Kind of. But still, when I got my first week of workouts I had a moment of panic. The “what the hell did you do” type of panic.

And then when I finally told other people to make it more real I had more panic. The type that sets in when everyone else starts asking “what the hell?” too.

Personally, I think that’s a rude response. And don’t worry not everyone said that. Actually no one said that. Not even that ex-boyfriend, who never wanted me to run a marathon. Ever. Now, instead he tells me I should try to find a charity and run Boston. Confusing, much?

One day my ex-boyfriend tidbits will gradually fade out and then we’ll know I’m doing just fine.

So, no one really asked me “what the hell are you doing?”, but a lot of people did ask me “why” and “if I was ready”.

So here are the answers:

1) Why do you want to run a marathon? Well for a lot of reasons. Ever since I started running, I was drawn toward races. I don’t know if it’s because I read blogs and I wanted to do what everyone was doing. But I know I wanted to experience the high. I wanted to see if I would catch the bug. It took me a while to sign up for my first race. I wasn’t huge into 5Ks (if I’m going to run one of those you better bet I’m doing it for time), and a 10K just didn’t seem like enough of a challenge. I knew I could do it. I wanted to push myself further. So I ran three half marathons. And I loved them. And ever since the first one I knew I needed to do the full. Even if it was just one time. I wanted to say I did it. I wanted to know I pushed my body in ways that most people never can or will. And then I ran my second and third half and I knew there had to be something beyond that. I knew I was capable. It was just a matter of pressing that register button.

2) But what’s the real reason? Hm. Well. The above would be my “real” reason. But that’s not to say there aren’t other motivating factors as well. Right now I have a ton of time on my hands. I work a really weird schedule thanks to the magic of 24-hour news stations. I don’t leave for work until 3. I have so much time to train. I could do long runs on the weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons. It’s probably the most flexible schedule I will ever have, so why not take advantage of it? And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t kindofsortofalittlebit about the breakup. I need something to focus on. Something me centric. And it’s not just because someone broke up with me. It’s about the fact that I’ve always wanted to do it and now I don’t need to worry about whether or not I’ll be supported because that person is kindofsortof no longer around. Depending on whether you think his texts and tweets mean “no longer around”.

Please refer to above about when I will stop talking about him.

3) Are you ready? Well according to my coach I am. I apparently have a great base and am ready for a new challenge. Do I feel truly ready? Yeah, I do. I guess I won’t really know until I get to those new-to-me distances. But I think it’s definitely possible. I actually think it’s possible for most people, but that’s another story. My biggest goal is to just feel prepared on race day. I don’t really need to feel prepared now. Cause, well, I’m not yet. But I will be.

And as a side note, I really wish Kelly Ripa would eat a meal. And then take me to Soul Cycle.

Happy Friday!

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My New Best Friend

Seriously, after today (well yesterday because that’s when I officially signed up), I am no longer spending money. Because I just made the best investment ever. Yes, ever. Running coach with personalized weekly workouts here I come.

Watching Ali’s marathon training with the amazing Coach Cane made me kind of jealous. Runner’s World never answered my questions. They never told me i was doing a good job or to step it up because today I sucked. They never helped me with my pacing issues that make me stop to walk 15 thousand times in a 3 mile run. They never said “it’s okay to avoid hills in the beginning” and they actually preferred that I run less. 3 days a week for a marathon? I don’t think so.

Within minutes of sitting down to talk to Sarah, I wanted to be her best friend. She answered all of my questions that I blurted out basically the second I walked in the door. She told me I had a great base. She understood why I stop to walk and she said we’d fix it! She’s going to give me personalized training each week. She wants me to email her all the time with comments, thoughts, and concerns. She’s even going to do my strength training for me. And make routes for me. Because let me tell you I can’t even manage to run 14 miles in this tiny little village that is Boston, let alone 20.

She wants me to run 4-5 days a week. She thinks runners are amazing. She called me an athlete that participates in a competitive sport.

I almost died.

That ex-boyfriend of mine used to tell me running was a “hobby” it couldn’t be a sport because it’s not an athletic event. Yeah, okay. I don’t see him running over 2 miles, no matter how many “sports” he plays.

So I did it. I splurged. I never spend money. I know where every penny I have is. But I worked on Monday and it was a holiday and I got holiday pay. So, clearly what better way to save for my future apartment on the East Side that is the size of a closet than to get a running coach?

It was actually a decent price and after talking to her for 45 minutes, I knew this was absolutely the best way to get through my training without going crazy and being healthy.

When I left she already had an assignment for me, keep my pace around 8:30 for the 2 mile run home and don’t stop. We realized a lot of my walking was due to the fact that I tend to run around a 7:20 and then get tired. Clearly. Because that is fast. Well, for me.

Anyway, I passed with flying colors. Can’t wait to get my weekly workouts!

You Drive Me Crazy

This morning I’m going for a free consultation with a running coach here in Boston. Ever since I decided to finally commit to marathon training, I’ve gone back and forth between training plans. I’ve looked at the usual suspects, Hal and Jeff, and I also had Runner’s World come up with a plan for me via Smart Coach.

As far as I know, all of the above are really great options. I’ve used Smart Coach for all of my half marathons and done just fine with them. But I also never, ever stuck to the plan. I was constantly running more, changing the tempo paces, not doing any speed work. I was only accountable to myself so, of course, that means I can take those miles and do as I please.

I felt comfortable with the 13.1 miles, so I felt I could do as I please. I knew in the end I was capable of running 13.1.

26.2 is a different story. I have at least 450 questions every time I look at a plan. I don’t know if I should bother with tempos and speed-work and hills when I’m just aiming to finish. I don’t even know what a good finish time is. I don’t know how acceptable walk breaks are (to me very), I don’t know how much of my training I can potentially do on the treadmill.

So instead of driving myself crazy, I decided what better than to pay someone to drive them crazy? From what I’ve read and heard, the coach I selected definitely knows her stuff.

I’m sure shortly she’ll be singing away those Britney Spears lyrics “you drive me crazy, I just can’t sleep”. But not in that “whoppee, I’m in love” way, more in a “thank GOD this girl is at least paying me otherwise we might have a criminal investigation on our hands” way.

On that note, it’s time to break a sweat.

That’s the Life

Yesterday I was on my way home from work at the early hour of 11PM when I saw someone from my high school on the “subway” with me. I should clarify, trolley. Boston doesn’t have subways. At this rate, Boston isn’t going to have public transportation any time soon…but that’s still to come. We chatted a bit about holiday breaks now that we’re no longer in college and how much more we crave our time home compared to when we were coming back to class.

I’ve always been a kind of home body. Don’t get me wrong, I love having an apartment outside of my parents house, but I love going home where my mom jumps at the chance to do my grocery shopping and thinks laundry when the kids are home is the equivalent of winning the lotto. But it’s funny to see now that we’re all in the “real world” how quickly everyone seems to get burnt out.

I have to say, even though I worked yesterday (yes a holiday), I’m pretty lucky to work in this field. Working in television is not easy by any stress of the imagination. Actually getting the news on the air never fails to amaze me. Every day, I sit there at around 4:58PM and just cross my fingers. Back to the point. Yesterday was one of those days when I absolutely didn’t need to be at work. I could have been at the gym with all the January joiners, or running on The Charles in the freezing, or playing with my puppy.

Instead I was sitting in my editing suite with no news to be seen due to whatever that hockey game was that was on. I read two magazines, finished The Hunger Games (sidenote: read immediately), watched The Bachelor and chit-chatted with my best friend about how I think I’m ready to go on a date again (big news people!). But as I was sitting there, I was just thinking…even though this city irritates me 67% of the time, and even though this isn’t my dream job…somehow I managed to get time and a half for basically catching up on my leisure time.

I guess that’s a pretty good life!

The Obligatory Post

January 2nd, 2012. Already made it through one day in 2012, so maybe the world isn’t ending after all! Thank God, because if my Dad spent all that money on my education only for the world to come to an end, I think he’d be pissed. But on that note if the world is going to end, I should really start spending this savings account I’ve been building up. Who needs money when you’re dead?

Anyway.

So the obligatory post. Which one is that? Of course the resolutions and goals for 2012. I figure since I want this blog to be more of a journal, it’s okay to write out my goals and then the world can hold me accountable. Because obviously, the whole entire world is reading this blog currently. If you want to know how I got such a readership after 2 days, shoot me an email, I only charge a small fee to divulge my secrets.

Onto those goals. For now, I really don’t have that many. I have things I know I want to do, but I haven’t really narrowed down a list of the things I’m uncertain about. I think goals and resolutions are really important to push yourself, but I’m way too type-A and I could never put something on this list if I wasn’t positive.

1) Run a marathon. I took the first step when I registered after far too many glasses on wine on Christmas weekend. It’s been in the back of my mind for a year and I know I can do it. It’s going to be hard and it’s definitely a commitment, but that’s why it’s number 1. And the best part is the marathon is the same weekend as my graduation so I’ll have a great cheering squad of my whole family.

2) Read more. I love to read. In the last year I’ve read a lot, but it’d usually be on breaks from school where I hoard books and sit in a corner and read for weeks. Now that I’m done with that whole college thing and I work really weird hours, I have my whole day free where everyone else is working or in class. Instead of just sitting on my couch after I work out or run, I could easily be breezing through books. I don’t want to set an amount to read, but I do want to make a trip to the library once a month.

3) Move on and let go. So that’s rather broad, huh? This past year I’d like to say I’ve grown up a lot. I think I know a lot more about myself and the kind of things that make me tick than before. Unfortunately, I’m also a control freak and it really irritates me when things are out of my control and I can’t change a situation to the way I saw it in my head. For instance, that whole break up thing. That wasn’t supposed to happen. My control-freak self would love to change it and make it work the way I want. Unfortunately, my logical self knows thats not how things work. So I’m going to try really, really hard to just relax and let things go. See what happens and try not to drive myself crazy in the process.

4) Enjoy the situation now. Another broad one, I know. Back to that whole control freak thing, I saw myself in a job in NYC by now living alone. I’ve wanted to live alone for years, but it just wasn’t monetarily realistic. Although I adore my roommate, I’ve discovered I’m not the type of person who should have a roommate. I’m the type of person who wants everything the exact way I left it when I come home, who doesn’t mind be alone when I’m home, who doesn’t want to clean up after others, and doesn’t want others cleaning up after me. Similarly, even though I saw myself in a job in NYC that’s not how things unfolded. I have a job in my field, with a paycheck, immediately upon graduating and that’s more than most people can say. Instead of constantly trying to change things and look at the negative, I think I really need to throw myself into the things that I do have going for me. A roommate whose my best friend and a great first job.

5) Keep reaching for my goals. So now just to contradict myself completely, I’m a planner. I make lists every day. I love crossing things off them, and I’m sad if I go to bed without everything done. I plan my future because, for me, I think that’s the only way to reach where I’m going. So while yes, I don’t want to plan every minute and I think I need to be a little more spontaneous, I also think having a big goal in mind or an end point is the only way I can really get where I want to go. So sure, maybe I need to live in the moment, but I don’t think that should ever mean discounting the big picture.

So that’s it. Those are my five goals for 2012. Only two of them are really tangible, the others are more psychological, I guess. But I think that’s good. It gives me time to work on myself. And I guess that’s what being single is about? I should really rename this: 2012 goals: not to be a crazy control freak. Period.

Oh, I should add, another goal is to find out where you find boys to date. Seriously, where? Send any eligible bachelors this way, please and thanks

Take Two

If you read that lengthy “About” page (and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you do), you’ll know I did this whole blogging extravaganza once before. Besides today, you’ll never hear about it again because it’s nothing I’m proud of. Before I started this blog I thought really hard about why I ever wanted to do it again if that last one was such a disaster. Okay, it probably wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t me.

My last blog was essentially me speaking through everyone else’s voice and mold. I don’t remember whose blog I stumbled across first a couple of years ago, but I loved them. There were so many people out there that I looked forward to seeing posts from every day. Since I’m a communications major, I thought “what the hell? I can do this! I love to write”. But I just did what everyone else did: pictures of food, rehashing my boring day, the occasional hot topic subject. It was a total bore. At the end of the day it was stale, there was no purpose.

Then I found a whole new group of blogs. Running blogs. Blogs where people were going to bed at 9 to wake up and run on a Saturday…exactly what I was doing! It was the strangest feeling but I felt like these people were some of the most truthful blogs I had read. The people who weren’t turning out post after post, but wrote really quality, humorous, open posts. For a long time, a lot of people in my real life would make fun of me for my training schedule, but these were people who were doing it too. Reading posts from people like Ali, Alyssa, and Lindsay made me feel normal.

So back to the point…why start a blog again if I failed so miserably at the first attempt? Because this is going to be more of a journal. I finally have done what’s been in the back of my mind for months: registered for my first marathon. I’m splurging on a running coach to get me through in one piece without over training. And I want to document the whole thing for myself. I have no intention of taking pictures of my food (if I ever take pictures at all). I have every intention of writing about whatever random lessons I learn along the way; about running, about dating again, about my job.

I hope to make good friends along the way that share my similar interests, but I have no intention of changing myself to fit a mold. Been there, done that, and let me tell you, whether it’s with people in your real life or an online community: just be yourself. If people don’t want to be there for you, changing yourself isn’t going to make you happier.

So welcome to my journal. I hope you stick around! And happy new year!