Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Music for Running

Happy Wednesday!

The DC weather forecast for the rest of the week looks amazing – temperatures in the 80s and no humidity. Saturday will be a perfect day for an 8-mile run! I’ve already mapped out my route, and I’m looking forward to running it. Clue #938274 that I might actually be a crazy person.

Cooler temperatures will definitely make running more pleasant. Tuesday’s 3-miler was a bit uncomfortable because of the temperature. How it can be near 80 degrees with crazy humidity at 6 AM is beyond me. How it can still be that hot at night is also beyond me.

Oh well.

At least I know that training in DC’s heat will make the actual marathon a little easier – unless October is somehow hotter than it has been in DC for the last few days.

Now, onto the subject of this post:

I’m posting a portion of the songs on my newest running mix in response to a recent request. (Whoo comments!) I'm still working on the playlist, so suggestions are welcome!

I (cleverly) named the playlist “Hearts on Fire.” After all, nothing gets the adrenaline going like pretending you’re Rocky Balboa preparing to fight Ivan Drago in an epic training montage. And, everyone needs a montage.

My newest mix includes:

“Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga
“Blah Blah Blah (feat. 3OH!3)” – Ke$ha
“Bring the Noise 20xx” – Public Enemy featuring Zakk Wylde
“Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
“Enter the Sandman” – Metallica
“Everyone Nose” – N.E.R.D
“Foreplay/Longtime” – Boston
“Freebird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Green Grass and High Tides” – The Outlaws
“Hearts on Fire” – John Cafferty
“Livin’ on a Prayer” – Bon Jovi
“One Way or Another” -- Blondie
“Pull Up the People” M.I.A
“Ramalama (Bang Bang) – Roisin Murphy
"Rollin'" - Limp Bizkit
“Stronger” – Kanye West
“Through the Fire and Flames” – Dragon Force
“United State of Pop 2009 (Blame it on the Pop)” – DJ Earworm
“Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield
“War Pigs” – Faith No More
“You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi

So, tell me friends -- what are your favorite tracks for running or working-out?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting Ready

This entry comes to you from the comfort of the Bolt Bus from New York to DC after an amazing night in the city to celebrate Jenny’s 23rd birthday with its “No empty glasses” splendor. Seeing everyone, wearing a pretty dress, drinking champagne, enjoying a delicious meal, and singing “Don’t Stop Believing” in a bar made an excellent evening! (Side note: I realized last night that I'm still conditioned to wait for "Livin' on a Prayer" and start gathering my things after "Don't Stop Believing." Thank you, Toads!)

I spent most of the trip up desperately trying to stream the US-Ghana game. I had pretty consistent radio until we hit the middle of the New Jersey turnpike. (One more reason why New Jersey is a terrible, terrible place.) Then, I relied on ESPN Game Cast and the accompanying commentary for score updates. I was really counting on sweet, sweet revenge for Ghana’s triumph in ’06, but I’m looking forward to 2014.

I also created a training schedule on the way to the city: a colorful, week-by-week Excel spreadsheet with everything that I’ll need to do to be ready for this thing in October. I used my total mileage for the week of June 21 as my base week and will proceed from there. I ran two miles each day Monday through Thursday and topped off the week with six miles on Saturday for a total of 15 miles. Aside from dodging tourists near the Washington Monument and the White House, Saturday's run was amazing. Today is going to be a recovery day, and I have a hot date with a stationary bike once I get back to DC.

Week 1 will start easy: stationary bike on Monday, three miles on Tuesday, stationary bike on Wednesday, three miles on Thursday, and Friday off. Saturday will be my first challenge: eight miles. Sunday will be an (easy) three.

Total for the week: 17 miles.

I’ll be calling my physician later this week to schedule an appointment. It’s not time for my yearly, but I imagine chatting with her before I start running long distances is the responsible thing to do. Plus, I want to talk to her about nutrition during this process – you know, the right about of protein, carbohydrates, and all that jazz. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this right.

Now, onto making a kick-ass running playlist…

Friday, June 25, 2010

Reluctantly Crouched at the Starting Line

Welcome to the obligatory, tl;dr introductory post!

Somehow, you’ve stumbled upon this blog – either because you’re my friend and I told you about this or you’ve managed to surpass the number of necessary clicks on your Google search for running shoes. You may want to click that little “x” on your web browser.

No really…

Turn back now!




Still here, eh? Well, you asked for it.

A few weeks ago at French Night/Lady Pod (you’ll probably hear more about this later), a friend suggested running the Baltimore half-marathon in October. I’ve never run more than six miles so I figured a half-marathon would be a nice challenge. (What?) Then, I remembered something important – I’m an over-achiever. (Danger, Will Robinson!) Why run 13.1 miles when you can run 26.2?

Heh, heh, heh…Wait a minute!


And, I’ll be completely honest with you – I am no runner.

I started jogging for fitness and weight loss about a year ago when I moved to DC. It was hard not to run, especially when I saw the huge number of people who ran in the glorious northwest quadrant. So, like every other young professional, I grabbed my iPod, put on my running shoes, and went – usually with a clearly mapped route. The first few runs were terrible. I somehow let myself get so out of shape that I was winded after 1.5 miles at a pretty slow pace. But, I kept going and eventually got myself to running 3 miles every other day during the work week and completing longer runs (five or six miles) on weekends.

Needless to say, the results have been fantastic – since I moved to DC and started running and cross training like there is no tomorrow, I’ve lost about 20 pounds and am in the best shape that I’ve been in for a while. Diet helped as well, I’m sure. There’s something magical about abandoning the college diet of beer, pizza, late night snacks, and sugary coffee that does wonders for one’s health and body image.

I’ve almost reached my weight goal, but once I’m there, I know that I'm going to want to pursue a new goal. Enter the marathon.

So, that brings me here: the moment that I decided to blog about the road to race day. I’ve had blogs before. Most of my blogs aired on the side of Teen Angst in Space (my twenty-something self has since brought those blogs to a close). A tumblr that I keep is a place to drop silly links but there isn’t much substance. But, this is going to be a journey and something that I want to share with you, my readers. As a bonus, I can also promise you (hilarious) insights into my life outside of training because, honestly, there are only so many “OH GOD! WHY AM I DOING THIS!? THIS HURTS SO MUCH! I’M QUITTING. I MEAN IT THIS TIME. I'M QUITTING TOMORROW.” posts that I’m willing to write and fewer that you’re willing to read.

This weekend, my focus will be planning an 18-week training schedule that includes healthy doses of walking, cross training, strength training, and running farther than I’ve run in my life. Training will kick off on Monday, June 28. Race day is October 16.

I’m ready for the challenge.

Ladies and gents, I hope that you enjoy this crazy ride.