And She’s Back!


I’ve been tired.

I’ve been busy.

It’s been one of those weeks. Or two of those weeks, I suppose. Also, I feel as though I don’t have much to write about at the moment, because I haven’t been running. Or I hadn’t been running. This week has been different.

Okay, firstly I ran three miles on Saturday with my brother. We were slow. But it was a good run that was definitely worth the time it took. When you don’t run for awhile, you want to run again, but you’re also kind of scared to go back. Once you run again though, your determination is renewed and you’re back in the game.

 

I ran with my brother and my friend this Tuesday. We ran four miles. They were slow. Slow, but glorious. Because running is glorious. After that run I had so much energy. I cleaned my room, I folded my clothes and I did school. I even made my bed which I never do, even when I have energy. =) I was so glad to have running partners though, because 1) they got me out there in the first place and 2) they kept me going at a pretty good pace.

 

 

Those splits were very encouraging because my average pace was about ten seconds faster than the previous run. Even though I killed myself to go that pace, it was so worth it.

Then there was today. I wasn’t planning on running. I was tired. I was bored. And, okay, I’d just eaten a bowl of chocolate frosting. I was wearing running clothes so I figured I might as well run.

 

I don’t even know what to say. When I looked at my Garmin during the first mile and saw that my time was a 7 minute mile, I wanted to leap for joy. I knew that I couldn’t hold that pace for the whole run, but getting at least one sub-8 minute mile under my belt was good. Getting two was even better! And before long, I will be back on track! Cross country, which starts in less than a month, will only get me faster!

On a rather sour side note, after today’s run, my lower right shin was killing me. I walked around and stretched it out. But it still really hurt. I stretched it more and took an ice cold shower. It’s okay now but I’m kind of dreading waking up tomorrow. This isn’t the first time that’s happened. It hurt after Tuesday’s run. And Saturday’s. I’m really hoping it’s just cause I haven’t stretched it out enough and that if I just keep stretching that it will go away. But do any runners out there have any suggestions as to stretches I could do or other remedies for my sore shin?

One last thing:

Due to my laziness and lack of interesting things to write about running, we missed a very important date! July 28, 2011: my first-ever blog post. Man, I have changed a lot since that day. Thank God. I like reading my old blog posts though. They are entertaining in a kind of embarrassing sort of way. I used to post more pictures though. I should start posting more. Now, where is my camera?

Any other ideas on how I can further improve my blog?

Pretty Predictable


Guess what!

I actually ran today.

Truth be told, I was more surprised it happened than you all probably are. You probably just thought, if you thought of me at all, something like, “Well yesterday she said she was going to run today, so she probably will!”  No, see I like to think that I am a resolved person. If I make up my mind to do something, then I will do it. And that is mostly true. But there is one exception. And that’s when I’m tired. I’m the worst tired person in the world. I’m crabby and lazy and emotional. It’s not fun to be around.

But you already know that from past tired posts…

I’m going to be honest: When I got back from my job I had no plans of running today. I figured I’d just do it tomorrow (famous last words). But something happened. I don’t really know what it is, just like this urge or craving to go run. So I did.

It was really hard. Like insanely hard. It was a beautiful day for running though. It’s about 80 degrees but really breezy and altogether beautiful. But still. I hadn’t run for almost a week. And I haven’t really been cross-training unless we’re counting freezing in a pool for 3 hours as some sort of exercise…which I suppose that is pretty good fat burn (nah, I’m just kidding about that last part… 😉 ). I was a little out of shape to say the least.

At first, I was all like, “I love this! I love running! Wow, look at that: I’m running a 7:30 mile even though I haven’t run for 6 days! Well, aren’t I just Little Miss Athletic!”

That’s the first mile.

The second mile, I was thinking, “Okay Claire you can do this. Just listen to your music and zone out. Oh wow, look at you still holding that 7:30 pace. Well well well, aren’t we impressed!! Yes, we are.”

The third mile, I’m like, “So I think I should run four miles. If I don’t run four miles, I’m going to be mad at myself. I’ve got to run four miles. I’m almost halfway through my third mile anyways! I should just do this. I can do this. I can. I totally can. I’ve run farther…

OH MY GOSH I’M GOING TO DIE!!!”

Fourth mile, “Almost there. Almost there. Breathe. Run. Just run. It doesn’t matter if you look like a grandma runner (no offense, people), just keep running. Gonna die. Wait half a mile left. Turn on my pump-up song (Pretty Girl Rock)! I can do this. Heyy and do the pretty girl rock… okay point-one-five of a mile to go.”

And then there’s this hill I have to run up at the end of my route. It is not steep. But at this point, it is a killer. I feel that burn of an empty stomach. Running running running.

And done.

And I can barely breathe but WHO CARES? Cause I just finished four miles! That’s one extra mile than required by my coach during every run.

And now, I feel fantastic. As I always do.

And I’m so glad I went. As I always am.

Pretty predictable.

WHO CARES?

😉

Tricks of the Trade (Part 2)


Generally when I do lists I at least get up to “ten” so you must be wondering what happened yesterday night. “Did she really only learn THAT measly amount of tricks from the TWO years she has been running?” you asked yourself (probably not really…)! The answer is no. I just got kicked off the computer and told to go to bed. So here’s Part 2.

1. Always run, at a minimum, the number of miles you set out to run. Otherwise the entire run was a waste of time because you won’t be content with the results.

2. Dress accordingly. To the weather outside. For example, just because it’s cold inside your house, doesn’t mean it’s going to be that same temperature outside of your house, in fact, it will most likely be the OPPOSITE. Likewise, if it’s at forty degrees or lower, wear gloves. If you get hot you can take them off, but it’s always nice to have them just in case. It’s a lot easier to have good results when your body is at a comfortable temperature relative to its surroundings. (less clothing when the temp is high and vice versa)

3. Run, even when you’re tired. Sometimes, the run will give you more energy from endorphins thus waking you up. And if that doesn’t happen, at least you will feel good about accomplishing something.

 

Tricks of the Trade: What I’ve Learned Since I Started


I’ve decided to write out a sort of “rules of the road” thing for beginner runners, so all you newbies can avoid making the same mistakes that I have made and learned from. Here goes:

1. Always, ALWAYS stretch.  Do not embark on your run until you feel sufficiently stretched. You will know when you have reached that point. Trust me, you can tell the minute you are completely loose and limber. Wow. Did I really just say that?

2. Don’t hold it until after your run. I have this weird little mentality where I try to get out on my run as fast as I can. More than once, I have rushed out the door without using the bathroom first. Usually it’s fine. But if you think you can hold it until you get back, you are wrong. When you run, everything’s jiggling around inside and it really only makes things worse. So, GO before you go.

3. Don’t assume that cars will stop for you. Even though technically they are supposed to. You cannot assume that they are looking through their windshield at you and not down at their phone in their lap. Just, be careful.

4. Always plan out your route ahead of time or at least a couple minutes in advance. This makes things so much easier so that when you get up to the fork in the road, you already know which way you are turning. Also, if you keep changing your mind and switching directions, you can get really mixed up and lose track of where you are. For more advanced runners, this is a lot easier because there’s only so many routes you can take from your house.
5. Memorize the mileage from all possible routes leading away from your starting point. For me, the “starting point” is my house. I can tell you exactly how far away we are from our house up to a 2 1/2 mile point in any direction. That is very convenient for planning out a route in your head while you are running.
6. Pick music with a fast beat. It sounds stupid but listening to music with a faster beat actually DOES help you run faster. When you’re tuned into your music, your feet get into the groove. If you’re listening to slow music, you will most likely run slower.
7. Stick to main roads if you aren’t sure how far you are going to be able to go. This is probably the best trick I have up my sleeve and here’s why: You run on the main road. You run however far out and then turn around and run back. But if you’re having a really good run, then you can branch off onto a little road, run for a block on the street parallel to the main road and then run back up to the main road. It adds easy distance and if you can figure it right you can add on miles to a normally short run. Magical.
8. Do NOT run right after eating. Unless you are looking for a laxative (see #2). Also, if not the first it will lead to painful cramps.
 That’s all for now, folks!

I’m Back on the Trail


I ran today!

For the first time in (I looked) TWO WEEKS!

I thought I would be horrendous.

Also, I couldn’t stretch very much before hand because I have all the blisters on the back of my feet from shoes. Like, what the HECK! I thought summer shoes were supposed to be comfortable?! Anyways.

I ran. A LOT faster than I had expected. AND! I didn’t even run only the required three miles! I ran four. It was fantastic. -Ly hot. But also just fantastic!

Today was a cool day. It was like 88 degrees or something when I went running and I kid you not, it felt cool! It’s crazy what a change ten degrees can make! We all kept saying, “Oh this weather is so nice! How relieving!” even though normally this would qualify as hhhotttt! So, despite the fact that generally I wouldn’t leave my nice air-conditioned room in this heat, I went for a run cause it felt cool! And I ran a sub-8 minute mile also!!! 7:49 minute mile, which I think is PRETTY good for my first day back after that looooong break!

So, needless to say, despite my sore muscles, I am in a VERY happy mood! And hopefully this “cool” weather will last so I can get some more runs in and get my abs back in shape! 😉

Have a good night you all!

Bare Feet


A couple of days ago I was all set to write a fantastic blog post. I had it all planned out in my head what I was going to say and it was gonna be just GREAT.

Unfortunately, it was also eleven at night. So, I just wrote down my idea and went to bed. Of course, the next day rushed by and I never ended up writing that blog post. So here I am.

Hello.

Anyways. The above-mentioned blog post was GOING TO BE about barefoot running. I never understood WHY there is such a big thing about it right now. I mean, half the reason I like to run is because I get to use all my fancy running merchandise. WHY would I want to run in my bare feet when I could run in my fancy hot pink Nikes? Why why why? Another reason this never appealed to me is because I have very high arched feet so I need lots of support when I’m running or else my feet hurt. And my ankles. And legs. It’s a mess. So, I’ve always preferred running withshoes. And I’d never tried it any other way either.

But.

It’s been very hot lately. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and it was 84 degrees. Seriously? Anyways, because of the heat and humidity and all that fun stuff, I have not been running. In fact, the last time I went on a legitimate 3-mile run (it’s not legit if it’s not three or more miles!) was a LONG time ago. I don’t really remember the exact date. And I don’t want to check on my Garmin cause I am pretty sure knowing how long it’s been since I last ran will make me cry.

A couple days ago, I was shooting hoops outside. By myself. That’s how I’ve spent the majority of my summer. But that’s NOT what this post is about. Anyways, so I’m outside in the driveway, in my bare feet (key words here) and I’m thinking about how much I miss running. So, I suddenly get this urge to just run. But I didn’t feel like going upstairs and changing into all my running stuff cause that would totally ruin the “impulsive-ness” of it all. So I just start off down the sidewalk. At first, I was like, “I’ll just go around the block.” But I got to the end of the block and I wanted to keep going. So I did. I probably ran no more than a mile, about five minutes. And I was drenched when I got back. And my feet were sore and a little shredded by various pebbles. (Nothing that can’t heal though!) It was awesome. And. I’d forgotten how nice it was to run without music pounding in my ears. So, I’m now a convert.

I’ve decided that running bare-footed is a great idea. My mom is not convinced. So I guess I’ll stick to shoes.

Most of the time… =)

Anyways. Because of this huge storm we had last Sunday, the pool has been closed all week, so we didn’t have any swimming. I have been a VERY inactive little girl. But I’m pretty sure today made up for that. It was our first day back at swimming and usually on Fridays we only practice for half an hour and then we play games. But today? We swam 8 200s and then 1 100. NOT FUN. And you basically get no rest between the sets so it really felt more like a 1600. NOT FUN. But it was good to exercise and truthfully, even though I was dying while I was actually swimming, once we finished I felt great. So, all’s good.

Today I’m going to the pool to babysit. I think I’m going to run there. Hey, 2 miles is something right?

Oh. By the way! Happy Fourth! 🙂

How are you staying cool this summer?

Much-needed Vacation


So. I actually got back from Door County on Thursday. I was going to post about it on Thursday night but decided to watch Men in Black instead! Then I was going to post on Friday, but I took my little brother to the pool and then ate cookies and watched Enchanted instead. I was going to post on Saturday but I went to a baseball game instead. I was going to post yesterday but the electricity was out and didn’t come back until early this morning. So, I decided that instead of waiting for tonight when most certainly another excuse would keep me from posting, that I might as well post now!

It was a fantastic trip! We all decided that it was by far, the best time! My grandma and aunt took Abby and I and we drove up to Door County and stayed at a bed and breakfast for three days.

Abby sitting out in the sun at the bed and breakfast. It is a beautiful place!

This is right outside of our rooms.

Okay so I know that I RARELY post pictures of myself.. So you really have no way of knowing when I got my hair cut. I got it cut on Monday. Yeah, it looks good. Yeah, I love it.

Yeah. We’re awesome!

I just love my hair. It’s so short now and flippy. I was so excited about it that I looked at myself in every single reflection. My aunt and grandma thought that was funny. Abby just thought I was being self-absorbed… heh heh.

We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the first night. It was good.

We also got cotton candy…

We also went to this really good pizza place in Fish Creek. I love pepperoni pizza.

This is Sturgeon Bay.

We went on a trolley tour.

Sadly, we didn’t visit any beaches.

Everything is so beautiful there.

You can rent kayaks and canoes and water skis and go out to these islands. I think this is one of the Strawberry Islands. It’s about a 45-minute kayak ride out there.

This is the third time we have been to Door County. Every time we go, we go to this restaurant. And every time we go to this restaurant we take a picture in this big chair.

We had a Dollar Tree shopping spree. Abby’s like, “Claire let’s put all of our stuff together so Nana can’t see who’s buying more!” She had 9. I had 5. Among our “treasures” we had fake nails, the plastic bracelets we are wearing in the picture (you can change what it says! O_o), and make up.

We watched Rock of Ages the second night and made rock signs and sang old rock songs for the rest of the trip! 😉

One of us was more into it than the other one… that one is generally the weirder one also. She’s also the one who thinks she should live in a Broadway musical because then when she breaks into song so will EVERYONE ELSE!!!! Oh wait. That she is me… 🙂

That she is awesome. But truthfully, Abby and I were discussing it and we decided that I need to live in a musical because then instead of getting awkward stares when I start singing, everyone will just start singing and dancing along with me! It’s a great idea. I wouldn’t mind living in Enchanted either. I mean they all go singing and dancing through Central Park. That is AWESOME! Why isn’t my life like that? Why isn’t my life like a movie? *sigh*

This is also Sturgeon Bay.

Back to the singing thing. I am notorious for singing in my family. Whenever we are in the car and listening to the radio, I can sing like every song. Every time a song starts to play I’m like, “OH! I love this song!” and then I start to sing it. If you don’t know that I’m like that, then we haven’t hung out enough. The other day we were at a baseball game and I could sing all the songs they played. Anyways, thanks to the movie, my new favorite song is Every Rose Has Its Thorn. But we have the Miley Cyrus version on iTunes so that’s what I listen to. I’m not a big fan of Miley Cyrus but she sounds really good in this song! 🙂

So, that’s my week! 🙂 What have you all been up to? What are your favorite songs? Do you want to live in a musical too? Or is that just something special about me…? (I’m thinking that’s a special Claire thing… oh well. )

 

Short and Sweet! :)


I know that I haven’t written in a long time and this is why:

This is a running blog. And I haven’t been running lately. Well, I hadn’t been running lately.

Today I went on a run and felt rejuvenated and energized. So I decided to post.

Of course, now I feel like I’m about to fall over dead cause I’m so tired. But I think that’s because I really haven’t had anything to eat yet today. Besides 6 ounces of a smoothie. So I’m starving.

I ran three miles. It was hard but nice. I kept my pace at eight minutes. I listened to my music. It’s windy and hot out today. But it’s the kind of hot where you don’t really notice it unless you’re in direct sunlight or you’re exercising. Of which I was both. So, by the end I was also very sweaty. But glad that I went on a run. Also, I’m not really sore apart from the usual post-exercise aches, so that’s really nice! No strained muscles or twisted ankles or disjointed hips. Sweet!

But the BEST part of the run (besides the whole “working off my weekend” fun) was that I got to run with my LRF or LRB or whatever I used to call her! 😉 LISA! She agreed to run with me after my three miles. Even though, we only ran 1/2 of a mile it was really awesome  that she came with and we walked after that so it still counts as “exercise”! 😉 She is awesome.

So, I am going to be gone on vacation from tomorrow until Thursday, but when I get back I will be relaxed and have MANY pictures to share with you all from Door County!!

On Sleep and Other Things


I have been tired.

Very tired.

And when I’m tired this is what I do:

Yeah, if you are wondering I just put in a google image. Which is weird. And totally blogger-ish. I’m fun like that.

And too lazy to take an actual picture of myself reading. Which would be weird, also.

Okay, HOW TO TELL WHEN CLAIRE IS TIRED.

1. I will either be completely depressed, super slap-happy, or nonchalant. When I am well-rested/ normal I am a CONTROL freak, so if I’m nonchalant, then I am tired. Or completely depressed. Okay, so nonchalant and depressed go hand-in-hand. Yesterday, I was depressed. Today, however, I was just nonchalant. And kind of….in a different sphere, altogether.

2. I will ramble. On and on and on and on and on and on and on. And on. About anything and everything. And if something can link to my current subject of discussion in ANY way, shape, or form I will hop onto that subject. Oh wait. I do that all the time. Okay, so I guess #2 should be more so, I say complete nonsense. Such as someone will ask me a question and I will reply with complete gibberish or a totally off-topic response which has more to do with what I’m thinking about in the back of my mind than the topic at hand.

3. I will do nothing. Or drag myself to do very simple things. Such as, I was starving all day but too tired to actually rouse myself to go make something to eat. Did I mention that for the past three days all I’ve really done besides exercise (and eat) is read.

4. I will only wear workout clothes. Which is fine actually. Especially in the summer when that’s basically all I wear anyways. Actually, my lack of formality might have more to do with summer than my lack of sleep because during the school year I was exhausted but I still dressed up.

5. I will forget VERY IMPORTANT FACTS. Such as picking up my little brother from basketball camp at 11:15.

Shoot. You should have seen how fast I biked over to the college. Very soon after 11:30, a very guilty older sister arrived at the college gym to pick up her long-suffering and very forgiving little brother. He even reassured me that I will be a fine mom and most likely NOT forget my children.

ON A TOTALLY RANDOM NOTE:

I ran five miles on Tuesday. It was 80 degrees outside. VERY HOT. I saw a new record of people I know on that run. Naturally it would be the run where my face was bright red from the heat and I was sweating a bucket a second.! 😉 It was a beautiful run though. And I ran FIVE MILES!!!! Which is great. And I, afterwards, took a long shower. Long COLD shower. My face was still red after it.

I thought about running today. I actually kind of wanted to. But opted for reading instead. Maybe tomorrow. Probably tomorrow. Even three miles would be good. Or four.

Good night! 🙂