Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Non-Running Commentary: A Steakhouse for the Ladies

Word on the street is that STK, a female-oriented steakhouse, is coming to DC.  (Apparently, this is a thing in several other trendy cities.)

Where do I even begin with this?

The commercial? 

Because, let me tell you, when I go out for steak with my lady friends, we suggestively feed each other before cutting into a cut of meat with a chainsaw.  The only thing missing from this is someone spilling the vodka all over their dining companion's white blouse.

This quote from the CEO?
The idea behind STK, said Jonathan Segal, the CEO of the One Group, was to create a steakhouse for women. When he visited several area steakhouses, "the majority were full of men," said Mr. Segal. "If you cater to a female market, men will follow happily and empty their wallets into your tills."  
Oh right -- because we all know that women aren't the real money-making customers.

How about this one?
STK, then, became a place where women wouldn't find crab cakes but "crab salads," Mr. Segal said, and steaks came in small, medium and large cuts.
Women love salads, y'all!  (Also, why would you order a crab at a steakhouse?  Rookie mistake.)

I'm taking bets on how much pink will  be used to decorate this place...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Operation Sub-2 (Redux) - Weekly Round-Up (4)

Did you hear?  It's been cold.  In fact, on Wednesday, it was warmer in Anchorage than in DC.

I managed to get a few runs in, but I didn't run nearly as much as I had planned.  I was able to get in a few short runs during the week. Stef and I ran about eight miles yesterday (when we started, the temperature was around 25 degrees); it felt good, but I think staying out any longer than that would have been miserable.  

The temperatures this week are expected to be much warmer.  Here's the plan this week:

Sunday - X-Training and Strength
Monday - 5 miles
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wednesday - Speed work, 6 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Saturday - 13 miles

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quoted: Running Friendship

A good friend is a steady companion along the way, no matter what the pilgrimage brings. Elena and I have said many times to each other that we’d happily let go of some of the heartbreak and trials each of us has faced if the great puppeteer of the universe would see fit to pull a couple strings this way or that to make the path a little less bumpy.

Yet as long as we have the road, the ramblings and each other to look forward to, it’s all going to be all right. Bring it on, life — we’re laced up and ready.
-From Running Friendship via Runner's World

Monday, January 21, 2013

Operation Sub-2 (Redux) - Weekly Round-Up (3)

Last weekend's temperatures were perfect for running. I'm not looking forward to the cold snap that is on its way to the region -- unless, of course, it leads to snow.

Here's my plan for this week:

Sunday: X-Training and Strength
Monday: 4 miles (progression run)
Tuesday: 4 miles (easy)
Wednesday: 6 miles (tempo run)
Thursday: 3 miles (easy)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 miles

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Will Run for Chocolate

The February issue of Runner's World has a few nifty tips to satisfy chocolate cravings.  I'm a little skeptical about substituting black beans for butter in brownies, but I'm willing to give it a shot.  I went the easy route this afternoon and picked up a these at the pharmacy:

Also - the cashier looked at the bars and mentioned that everyone that came in today seemed to be buying treats.  I was very tempted to reference Treat Yo' Self Day.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Quoted: How to Savor Life

When you savor tea, or chocolate, or a handful of berries … you slow down. You pay close attention — the closer the attention, the more you’ll get out of the savoring. You don’t rush to the next thing, but stop and give some space to the activity. You aren’t worried about what you have to do later, you are fully enjoying the present. 
This is savoring, and it takes practice. You can do it right now, wherever you are: pause and look around you and savor this very moment. Even if it doesn’t seem to be special, because let’s face it you’ve done what you’re doing a thousand times, savor it. Fully appreciate the gift you’ve been given. 
This is a practice you can do several times a day — find a few rituals for savoring, like enjoying your morning tea or coffee (without sugar), or taking a bath, or reading to your child, or having a tea ritual in the mid-afternoon, or snuggling with a loved one. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.
From "How to Savor Life" via Zen Habits

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Operation Sub-2 (Redux) - Weekly Round-Up (2)

My SmartCoach plan is working well so far.  Last week, I ran all of my runs as intended (meaning I didn't quit because I was bored or tired, and I even managed to wake up at 6 AM to run before work).

I'm worried, though, about doing so many runs on the treadmill.  It's fine, but it's really not the same as running outside.  This week, I'm thankful that Stef and I are going to meet up after work to run hills.   I'm also curious about the logistics of running during my lunch break.  If I can run and shower in an hour, it might be the way to go during the winter months.

This is the plan for Week 3:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - 5 miles (easy)
Wednesday - Hill workout with Stef
Thursday - X-Training and Strength
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 5 miles
Saturday - 5 miles

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running Hazards

The next time I complain about running in DC, remind me that I don't have to worry about making friends with an alligator on my run.  (Unless, of course, one escapes from the zoo. ::crossing fingers that all reptiles are accounted for::)

For real: Ask Dr. Daily: Tripping Over Reptiles

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Measure in Love (& Miles)

I've been listening to the Rent soundtrack (the film version, if you're curious) on my walks to work.  So, how do you measure a year? 

This is my year-end training report from DailyMile for 2012:

(The report doesn't account for runs done on December 30th or the 31st, which will be applied to this year's total.) 

My mileage in June isn't surprising at all.  June was a very lazy month for me when it came to running.  I am, however, surprised that I ran as much as I did in December.

If I hope to reach 1,200 miles this year, I'm going to have to average 100 miles each month.  I can do it, especially if I'm smart about post-race recovery.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Operation Sub-2 (Redux) - Weekly Round-Up (1)

2013 is off to a rocky start.  Nothing truly terrible happened (and I'm thankful for that), but I just felt really down and very little seemed to go right.  Yesterday, my toilet decided that it hated me and flooded my bathroom. Twice.  The first time, I did the only thing a mature adult could do: I sat on my floor, cried, and called my dad.  (I also called maintenance.)  When the water finally drained and I dried my floor (and carpet), I thought I was in the clear.

Then, it happened again.  I doubted that maintenance would actually show, so I actually did the only thing a mature adult could do:  I dried my floor, ran to the hardware store, bought tools, and fixed my own damn toilet.  Then, I had a beer. 

Hopefully, next week is better.

I'm happy to report that training seems to be going well so far.  I went out for a 10-mile run with Stef earlier today.  Even though I ran intervals yesterday, I felt good.  After not having run anything farther than 6 miles in a few weeks, this is promising.

This week,  I'm going to adjust my Smart Coach plan to give myself a rest day after this weekend.

Monday  - Stretching, Foam Rolling
Tuesday -  4 miles (easy)
Wednesday - Tempo Run, 6 miles (4 @ 9:16)
Thursday - 3 miles (easy)
Saturday - 13 miles

Ten weeks to go...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Non-Running Commentary: Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite

I came across Paul Arden's Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite on Salty Lyon.  The book is 136 pages of pithy wisdom, teaching readers to alter their way of thinking and taking risks to live the life that you want.  A few statements at the start of the book resonated the most:
"I want means: if I want it bad enough I will get it.  Getting what you want means making the decisions you need to make to get what you want."
"Everything we do we choose.  So what is there to regret?  You are the person you chose to be."
"Dreaming and talking about it won't achieve anything.  There is only one person who can determine the shape of your life. You."
Believe me, I could not be happier with the way that things turned out for me -- I have a job that I love, a roof over my head, a loving family, and several very important people in my life.  But, sometimes, I do wonder what's out there and what experiences I'm missing out on because, let's say,  I'm too busy dreaming about how awesome a trip would be instead of booking airline tickets.

So, I'm going to try something different this year.

I want to try a little harder to get out of my comfort zone and work toward doing all of the wonderful things that I've wanted to do for a long time.  It won't be easy to get out of my comfort zone and make (scary) decisions, but it'll be more than worth it in the end.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Running Round-Up

On January 1, 2012, I set three goals for the year:
  • Run 1,200 miles
  • Run a sub-2:00 half-marathon 
  • Run a sub-4:30 marathon
Things didn't go exactly as expectedBy year's end, I logged 950 miles.  My attempt at a sub-2:00 half marathon started well but was crushed when I hit the finish line at the Rock 'n' Roll USA Half in 2:04:31, just barely a PR.  I ran two marathons this year, but Providence didn't go as well as I'd hoped and, although I ran a consistent race at the Marine Corps Marathon, it took me almost 20 more minutes to finish a marathon as it had in 2011When it came to shorter races, PRs were also hard to come byCompared to the progress that I made between the 2010 Baltimore Marathon and the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon, 2012 was the year of the running slump.

When it comes down to it, I don't think that I pushed myself nearly enoughIf I had put in the extra work, run on the days that "I didn't feel like it," pushed myself during speed workouts, and gave it my all on race day, I could have met my race goals.  I could have met my mileage goals. 

Failure can be very inspiring, though.  I didn't reach my goals last year, and it only makes me want to push myself harder to reach them this year.

So, again, my running goals for this year are to:
  • Run 1,200 miles
  • Run a sub-2:00 half-marathon 
  • Run a sub-4:30 marathon
It's hard to believe that 2012 is overIt was a good year, but I'm going to do everything in my power to make 2013 even better.

Happy new year, folks!