More Running-ness

Okay I think I now understand why I run.

It’s not solely for exercise. It’s cause I love it. I realized this last night when after an exhausting hour of swimming and day, in general, I went for a run. I wanted too. I was tired and sore from swimming. But I had to go. So I ran four miles. They were by far, the slowest I have run in a long, long time. The last time I ran an 8:30 mile was in March. But whatever. I’m actually just proud that I even ran four miles. So, at this point I don’t really care about the time (I was running 8:20’s) cause I’m just proud that I ran at all. I know. I’m such a Β tough coach. πŸ˜‰

Anyways, after my run of awesomeness, John lent me his compression socks. I’m not the athlete who has like all that fancy post-run stuff like a foam roller or those stretchy things (yeah, I don’t even know what they’re called) or compression socks. Although, compression socks are for when youΒ areΒ running. Well, all through my run and when I got home (and actually all Β day), my calves were killing me, so I saw James wearing compression socks and I thought maybe that would help my calves, so I asked John if I could borrow his. I was quite the sight last night in my short shorts and long socks. I thought of taking a picture but decided that would not be the wisest decision!! πŸ˜‰ But today, my calves were fine! They weren’t sore at all! Now the rest of me is sore. My shoulders, my arms, my back, my hip. I’m falling apart. But it’s okay. Cause once I get used to swimming, I should be okay.

Okay I want to tell you all about my race on Saturday. Thanks for the many well-wishers, both online and in real life! πŸ™‚ That, in itself, made it fantastic! πŸ™‚ It was hot. I was slow. But that’s okay. I ran a minute faster than last year at that race. I had to walk for like 10 seconds (that was all I allowed myself) and I thought I would die. But in the end, it was three miles, and I run that all the time. I was a little disappointed by the results but I hadn’t exactly trained for it. Actually, I hadn’t trained for it at all. It was just fun to actually run in the race! And I started out with two of my friends. They both finished before me, but it was nice to start out with people that I knew and have them there for me at the finish line! πŸ™‚

Who's that half-dead girl about to cross the finish line? ;)

Who’s that half-dead girl about to cross the finish line?? πŸ˜‰


Haha. I love how I look like I’m dying. Or about to cry. Or something.

I love races. They are so fun. I am planning on doing at least one more this summer. I think I am going to start training for another half marathon. But not now. I have started training for a half marathon like ten times this past year. I’m going to wait until…august? September, maybe. I’m a wimp and I hate running far when it’s super hot out. When I am training for something and I have a schedule and the schedule is like:

-~-Saturday- run 10 miles.

And then it’s Saturday and it’s 80 degrees out and humid. What idiot would run 10 miles in 80- degree weather? Well actually I can think of plenty of people that would do that but I WOULD NOT. So then I get off track and it’s all annoying and messed-up.

Of course, I’ve decided that now that I am a “veteran-half-marathoner” (wow, that’s a mouthful), I no longer need a schedule. But still. I have one in my head. So I’m waiting until it gets cooler before I start. But I’m going to try to at least get my mileage up to six miles over the summer. Six is a good distance.




My Very Own Slap-happy Running Post!

For those of you who don’t know: today is National Running Day. And this morning, I was quite upset because I was reading all these slap-happy blog posts from slap-happy runners who actually GOT TO RUN TODAY.Β I never really realized how big a part of my life running really is! If I’m bored, I’ll run. If I’m upset, I’ll run. But also it’s just part of my schedule. My feet have been itching to get out there!!!Β I was complaining to my mom about how I couldn’t WAIT until swimming started in the mornings so that I could run in the afternoons. I was like, “MOM TODAY IS NATIONAL RUNNING DAY AND I CAN’T RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Her very comforting response was, “Oh! I should go for a run today!” Wow. Thanks Mom! πŸ˜‰ Anyways, so all day, I will admit, I was in a bit of a funk, because I couldn’t go on a run. But then I got this brilliant idea! I could just go after swimming!!!!


Today. I got to run!

It was awesome. I ran fast. And short. I only ran 2.2 miles. But I don’t really care because I also swam for an hour!

I feel so fit. πŸ˜‰

How I know that I am getting more exercise than Β usual:

1) I am always tired. I went to bed at 10:30 last night and got up at 9:00 today and I have been half-asleep all day! Okay, not half-asleep, just a little dazed.And, it’s not that I’m not used to being tired but I got 10.5 hours of sleep last night! After a sleep like that I should NOT be tired!! πŸ™‚ Unless I’m burning more calories . Or growing! Growing would be nice also. But I’m pretty sure it’s just the extra hour of exercise everyday! πŸ˜‰

2) I am incredibly sore. All the time. Right now, my arms feel like they are going to fall off. Β And my legs are sore. Actually, basically everything that could be sore, is right now, sore. I’m not really complaining though because soreness means:

3)I am gaining muscle. Noticeable muscle. I have always had this kind of weird obsession with being muscular. My mom says it’s not ladylike but…I don’t care cause I think it’s awesome. Anyways, I now have muscles! πŸ™‚ Not like amazing muscles but muscles enough and they will get stronger! πŸ™‚

The End.


Swimmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmming and running! ;)

So far we have had four days of swim practice. We would have had more, but due to cold-ish weather, we missed two days. But so far I am loving it! I come home from every practice hungry and exhausted. I enjoy that: having a reason to eat so much food!! πŸ˜‰ But I really do love it. I can feel myself getting stronger. And sorer.

Last night, I was so tired. I went to bed at 10:30 which is early for me and then I woke up at 8:30. A good ten hours of sleep and the only thing I wanted to do all day was go back to sleep! I’m used to being tired cause of school but this is a different kind of tired! And when I do sleep it is so peaceful! πŸ™‚ I love it.

Another great thing about swimming is the sun! πŸ™‚ Right now our practice is from 4:45-6:00 so I am fully enjoying that late afternoon sun for a full hour!!! πŸ˜‰

Our coach is awesome. He really likes swimming. He’s strong. He’s funny. He’s friendly. I like him! πŸ™‚

So yeah. Swimming swimming swimming. I love to swim.


So I am going to tell you all something! I have a race on Saturday! I’m not the least bit nervous cause that’s really on the back burner right now but I do wish that I had more time to TRAIN FOR IT! I really wanted to make this my best race ever and blow last year’s race time out of the ring… but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I know I can run a 22:30 which is technically “blowing last year’s time out of the ring” but in my mind it’s not good enough. I ran a 20-minute 5k once. See, I know I can do that well. But I’m thinking that with my infrequent training and my recent slowing of pace (what is up with that?!) that a 20-minuteΒ 5k is NOT gonna happen. Sadly. But truthfully. Too bad. Cause if I ran 20 minutes I would totally place in my age group and that would be awesome.

Anyways, so that is my recap/heads up of my sports endeavors!!! πŸ˜‰

What are your recent sports endeavors?

Me and my exercising!!! ;)

So, today was a Wednesday.

Which is usually a running day.


“Why?”,Β do you ask?

Because today swimming started!

I am doing a summer swim team with my awesome friend Mary! Today was (as I already said…) our first practice and I was super excited all day. Okay, actually I have been excited about swim team starting since I signed up for it like three months ago! See, when I was younger I was on swim team with Abby and I was actually pretty good. Of course that was like three+ years ago but IΒ wasΒ good, so I was excited/nervous to see how my swimming skills are/will improve.

I am OUT of shape.

But that’s okay.

I’m super competitive so being on a team is good for me! I refused to let anyone pass me and I actually passed about half of the team so by the end of the 75-minute practice I had established myself as, at the least, a fighter. πŸ˜‰

We did a bunch of drills for freestyle and it was so hard. By the end of it, I was SO sore. But, it was the good kind of sore. Β The “I-just-kicked-butt” kind of sore. πŸ˜‰ (sorry Mom…) Running is a really good workout but swimming? Swimming is by far the best sport in the world. If you want to get in shape, swim. Okay?

I LOVEEE to swim. I do! And it’s only been the first practice. And I already remember why I loved it. Well, I never really forgot.

Don’t worry. I’m not ditching running!! I was itching to get out there all day, but Mary had warned me that the first day is always a big workout (mostly cause you are out of shape ;P) so I decided to conserve my energy and just chill out at home.

Chill out: to eat food and tan. And go on walks with your little brothers.

That’s what I did. All day. It was fun. I was feeling lazy. Obviously. πŸ˜‰ I was also coming down off of my high from last night’s party. No. Not a real high. Just an excitement, I-love-people high. πŸ™‚ Just clearing that up. MY POINT IS, I am very glad that I conserved my energy cause I definitely needed all of it!

Have I mentioned that I love to exercise? I feel like I have….

Person: You want to go on Β a 20-mile bike ride?



Person: You want to go on a 7-mile run?

Me: I’m game!!


Person: You want to go practice with Michael Phelps for five hours?

Me: Duh!!!


Person: You want to go work out at the gym?

Me: Can you get me in?


Person: You want to play a game of 1-on-1 street ball??

Me: (How can you answer NO to that question!?!? πŸ˜‰ )


Okaaay. You get the picture? Yes? Good?




I’m a runner AND a coach!! :)

WARNING: I am in an insanely happy mood, so if you’re grumpy then you might not want to read this post! πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, I ran 6.2 miles. That is the farthest I have gone in a long long time! πŸ™‚ I think the best part of that is that I ran sub-8 minute miles the entire time! I came home, drenched in sweat and smiling! And limping. But I stretched so all is good! πŸ™‚ Anyways, it was a beautiful hot day and my iPod played awesome music! Have I ever told you how I sing along to the songs on my iPod as I’m running? I think I have. It’s quite a sight. I ran on the trail and it hurt my ankles a little but I’m hoping to strengthen my ankles and shins so that they are strong enough to run on trails.

This would be the victorious “I just finished 6.2 miles” look!

I’m planning on signing up for a 5K today or tomorrow and I am hoping to dominate!! πŸ™‚ If any of you have checked out my “Me, Running” page, the race I want to sign up for is the first one on that list! I ran it last year but I have gotten TONS faster since then! Anyways, that’s in two weeks. But the reason I’m bringing that up is because James, my younger brother, is already signed up for it! He’s going to run it too!! Remember when I took the ACT? Well, that same day there was a 5K across the street from my house that the elementary school was holding. James ran that race and that was when he got into running. So, he trained for awhile and he got money from all our relatives and some friends so that he could enter this race. I was insanely jealous of that because….races ARE expensive. πŸ™‚ Anyways, so for awhile, he’d run with my mom and they were all training and he got his money and signed up, etc. But then, he kind of lost interest. The race was still like a month away and he just found other things to do. Now, we have about two weeks before the race and Mom goes, “James!! Aren’t you signed up for the race?! You need to train!”

So, guess who got volunteered to help him train.

If you guessed me, you win!

Apparently, since I’m the runner of the family, I’m also the coach!

I really don’t mind. It’s insanely fun for me. For him? Not so much. But for me, it rocks! I ride on my bike behind him, listening to my iPod and singing the songs so James will be “entertained”. Today, I got a couple of weird looks from people which made me laugh.

Self-portraits ftw!!!

Please enjoy the picture because it’s really scary to take a picture of yourself, when you are riding a bike with NO functioning brakes with one hand, behind a little boy who keeps STOPPING.

Which brings me to the second reason it’s so fun! I get to scream, “RUN JAMES!!!! KEEP GOING! DON’T STOP!” And eventually, “JAMES I AM NOT KIDDING! KEEP RUNNING! GOOOOOO!” I think the next time, I’m going to need to roller-blade or something cause it’s really hard to get him to run when I’m on a bike. Like at one point I had to get off my bike and run with him (holding his shirt) so that he’d start running again. Then I ran back and got back on my bike.

Maybe I am taking this whole training thing a LITTLE too seriously, but I feel like if he’s going to run, then he should RUN!!!! He comes home and he goes, “She only let me take ONE break!” I was like, “James. If you want to run, then you RUN, you don’t take breaks!” Well actually, he didn’t want to run, but I made him. Whatever. He’s always happy with the results though. When we got home, I mapped it out and he’d run approximately 2.3 miles and he was so proud of himself! πŸ™‚ And I was proud of him. The little whiner. πŸ™‚

Here he is!

He’s a cutie. And at the race, he’ll run the whole thing without stopping, thanks to my hard-core training!! πŸ˜‰


Today’s Run

I am sorry to say to you all that I didn’t run four miles today as the majority polled.

But I have an explanation!!! I always do! πŸ˜‰

All day, the results for the poll were three miles at 50 percent and 5 miles at 50 percent. I was REALLY hoping that if anyone else voted it would NOT be for five miles!! πŸ™‚ Before I went on my run I couldn’t find my piano music for my recital tonight. And I freaked out. So, I was searching all over. Eventually I found it but by then I was so upset that I just left and went on my run. Without checking the poll one last time.

So I just ran three miles. When I set out on that run, I wasn’t planning on running five miles. Here’s why: my legs are really tight. Sometimes this happens. And I’m pretty sure this just means I need to stretch more…but right about now I am REALLY wishing I had a foam roller.

I ran three miles. In 22:28. Which means that I sped up yesterday’s pace by 10 seconds. Of course I also only ran three miles and I am pretty sure that there wasn’t a fourth one inside of me! πŸ™‚

Tonight is my piano recital! Please be praying that all will go well! I will post a picture later alright?

Well I’d like to show you all something! πŸ™‚

There are the results from yesterday’s poll! πŸ™‚ I was really excited that people ACTUALLY voted!! Now I am pretty sure that the poll didn’t show up for everyone. I’m not really sure why…but if it doesn’t show up for you than you can refresh the page. πŸ™‚ Now, one of my readers suggested that I “run as long as you can, as fast as you can, that way you can’t let yourself down and it will give you a good work out each time” and I have to admit that this is a VERY good idea but…I need serious motivation some days and you guys are really good motivation! πŸ™‚

Here are my splits of the day! πŸ™‚ Four miles. Just like I promised!! I am so seriously glad that four won out over five by one vote because I was DYING by the end of today’s run!

I just went over to the track with a couple friends after my class! It was really fun. They did one of Abby’s many workouts and I ran. And ran. And ran.

I have to say I am not super pleased with my pace but like I said yesterday I’m just going to try to not complain because I can’t expect to be super fast after this past weekend…

But I really hope my pace starts increasing again…or decreasing….GETTING FASTER. πŸ™‚

Do you guys have favorite pump-up songs? I’d love to add some to my running playlist!! Make sure to leave a comment below with you personal favorite pump-up song! πŸ™‚

I ran today.

But it wasn’t my usual afternoon run.

It was an evening, after-dinner run.

It was amazing.

Just what I needed.

I told myself that because of my sickness I would just take it slow and run three miles, four if I felt up to it.

I know: I am such a tough trainer.

Anyways, it was slightly humid but over all beautiful. I could feel the rain coming on as the air got wetter and wetter but I didn’t care. The sun was setting. The clouds were all different colors. It smelled amazing. People were coming home from work. It was such a different atmosphere from what I’m used to at 2:00.

As soon as I set out, I knew that I was going to run four miles. I had already mapped out the whole run in my head before even changing into my running clothes. Go down our street, turn onto the next street, then onto the trail. Down and then back.

I passed other runners on the trail, but I was mostly by myself. Just me and my iPod.

It was darker than usual due to the time and the clouds, but I didn’t mind. It wasn’t reallyΒ that dark so I wasn’t scared or anything.

I got tired pretty quickly and my throat got all dry because I am kinda sick. But I kept going. I just kept thinking, “If you stop now, you will be mad at yourself!” and “Come on, Claire! You’ve already made it this far! Why not just finish the stretch?!”

So I did.

I ran my four miles.

And I ran it in 31:37 which is a 7:42 minute mile. I was pretty surprised actually. It felt like I was going a lot slower. Especially around the middle, when I was the most tired. Usually when I run, I start out strong, then in the middle I burn out a bit, and then somewhere inside of me, I find a little bit of energy left and I can pick up my pace by the end of the run. But today, I just felt like I was going slow.

In fact, when the run was over, I didn’t even think to check my average mile so when I saw it just now, I was like, “WOW!”

I am pretty excited about our road trip tomorrow! I will hopefully get to run while I am on the trip so I should be able to AT least fit in the last mile to meet my weekly quota, if not more!! (*fingers crossed*) And at the hotel I will get to swim too I am hoping.

Anyways, I will not be posting until at least Monday which is when I am getting back. So everyone, enjoy the rest of your week! Feel free to leave comments below telling me about your running pursuits, or the weather where you live, or what fun things you are doing this weekend (“nothing” is actually included in “fun” because “doing nothing” doesn’t really happen that much this time of year!)!

And I will be back on Monday to tell you about my magnificent weekend (sans photos because I STILL can’t find my camera. Grr)!


It’s a Windy Day

Remember how in this postΒ I was talking about how I make these grand plans at 11 at night and then the next day I have no motivation to run.

Well, last night, I decided I was going to run five to seven miles. Totally do-able.

Except for one tiny little fact, the wind.

Actually it was a huge fact.

It’s always easier to run when it’s not windy out. Obviously. But in most states, the wind is fairly mild (unless you’re in Kansas during tornado season or whatever). Unfortunately, in Chicago in the spring, we get these INCREDIBLY strong winds.

For a couple of days, it has been super windy and stormy.

Today I decided that I’d run down to the track and just do my run there so I’d be close to home in case a spring storm sprung.

It didn’t rain but the wind was very strong.

I read in a running magazine that when you run into the wind you burn like 10 percent as many calories or something, so I can’t complain there . But the wind was dragging me around. I could feel it whipping at my feet as I ran the curves of the track and then in one direction the wind pushed me and in the other direction I pushed against the wind. That’s why I only ran 3.5 miles. It wasn’t five miles and it most definitely wasn’t seven miles but I’m still okay with it. It was REALLY windy and I also played basketball and roller-bladed with my little brothers so I think that I got my exercise in, even if it wasn’t through running! πŸ™‚

But, tomorrow I might make up for my lack of mileage today… just cause… πŸ™‚

How’s your training going? On second thought, how’s the weather?

So, today I ran six miles.

It was a really pretty day for running!! πŸ™‚ The sun was out, it was cool. The wind was a LITTLE strong but… I didn’t really mind! Not nearly as bad as it had been on Monday.

I told myself to just go slow because I wanted to run at least six, maybe seven, miles. Apparently, slow is no longer in my running vocabulary.

Okay that sounds REALLY stuck-up. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have a certain amount of energy pent up inside of me and I just have to run my heart out until it’s gone. I have no pace meter whatsoever.

Anyways, so I ran my six mile run and… PR’d. Again.

I do realize that I am coming across as kind of bragg-y. But here’s why I am so thrilled about this. See, there are those runners who are always improving. And they are like amazing runners who run fast for long distances. Yea.

I’m not those runners.

At all.

I kinda hope that someday I will be. I mean, even though I’m improving, I’m not AMAZING.

Anyways, so then after my half-marathon (obviously a BIG improvement over my start where 1.5 miles may as well have been a half-marathon), I declined. Rapidly. So, I realized in January that this spring was going to be “catching-up” time to the rest of the running world. I mean, this past winter was an improvement for ME cause I didn’t run at all two winters ago.

So, my point in all this is that I wasn’t expecting to be fast. Or to be able to run far. I do realize that it’s April now. So technically I’ve had enough time to train for a half. I mean I COULD be farther along. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I am just so psyched by how much better I have gotten, BETTER than I ever imagined I would be. Β And I gush about it on here! πŸ™‚

So, just to clear things up, I’m not trying to be boastful (well, maybe just a little!! I mean, I need SOMEONE to appreciate my awesome ness!!! πŸ˜‰ Just kidding…) or condescending. I am just… “alerting you all” to the facts of my running career. YEAH!! πŸ™‚ That’s what I’m doing!

How’s your running going?