Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let the Music Lead You Home

I am and iPod runner.  I need to have my music when I run.  It draws my attention away from the physical exertion and I run harder and further.  That said, what's the best music to run to?  I've found that it doesn't really matter what you listen to as long as you feel something from it.  The stuff I listen to makes me feel either energized, inspired, or just bad a**.  All emotions have a place in my run.  I've shared my playlist before, but I've added some more tunes since then.  If you listen to the first 6 or 7 songs playing on the blog via my playlist tagged on the bottom of the page, you'll hear my newest acquistions. 

"Test Drive" by John Powell:  Recognize this one?  If you've seen "How to Train Your Dragon" you just might.  I like to finish my runs with this song.  It's an epic tune and if you don't feel epic while running to it, then there's something wrong with your psyche.  Wait until the very end to sprint.  It's very obvious the part I'm speaking of. 

"Breakin' Dishes" by Rhianna:  You won't hear this song on the blog as I couldn't find it.  I heard it at a Zumba class and immediately thought to add it to my playlist.  Good strong beat and it's just fun to listen to.

"Blow" by Ke$ha:  Not something I listen to unless I'm at Zumba or am running.  I like the beat and the high intensity of it.

"Stronger"  by Kelly Clarkson:  This is not my first Kelly Clarkson song to make the cut and when I heard this one, I immediately wanted to add it.  It talks about what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so it's quite obvious to see why it might lend some inspiration to me as I make my ascent up Lincoln hill.

"Mr. Know-it-all" by Kelly Clarkson:  This one is good for the way it helps my pace and the lyrics are cool as well.

"Too Close" by Alex Clare:  I heard this one on a commercial once and loved it.  It's got this cool deep techno beat to it that I think is awesome.

"In the Sea" by Ingrid Michaelson:  This one is not fast or high energy at all, but it's got these heavy handed beats that work well when you're trying to focus on a steady pace.  Couldn't find this one as well to add to my blog's playlist, but it's easily found on iTunes.  It's from her latest album.

"Allow Me to Introduce Myself...Mr. Right" by White Tie Affair:  I don't remember how I found this one, but it's got a quick beat and it's rather run to listen to.  I use this to help me quicken my pace.

"The Middle"  by Jimmy Eat World:  This one has been in my collection since time in memorial, but I've never added it to the playlist, until now that is.

And those are my new additions.  I'd love to hear what everyone else listens to and why.  Share in the comments section!

Happy Running!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Plan

The obvious plan is to run and to keep running.  Just like last year and the year before that.  But I did something different last year and I really liked what it did to my fitness level.  Each week I'd have at least one short run, one fast run, and one long run.  I felt like my body never had a chance to plateau because I was constantly changing it up.  On days I didn't run, I'd do yard work or go biking.  I think it was one of my most successful summers and I was able to shave 10 minutes off my 5k time.  This year, I think I'll keep doing that, but because of the kind of race I'll be doing in June, my long run will ALWAYS include lots of hills.  That is what I did on Saturday.  I ended up doing a 6.5 mile run and almost all of it was on hills.  I didn't know how far I was going, I just kept going and kept exploring the hills.  I was wicked tired by the time I got home.  6.5 miles on flat ground is REALLY different from 6.5 on hills.  My legs felt rather beat by the end, but it felt good as well.  Previous to Saturday's run, I had a good short run of about 3 miles and then I did another 3.2 miles but at a faster pace.

Another part of the plan is not to think too much.  This has always been a part of my plan.  If I wake up in the morning and start the mental debate of whether to run or not, I usually don't go.  So I decided a long time ago that when it comes to running, I don't think, I just do.  Never fails. 

And the last part of my plan: I now run with pepper spray.  This is mostly because of the mountain lion we had around here last year, but it's a good idea in general to have some protection when you go out and run.  Especially if you run in places where you might be vulnerable.

So that's the plan. I like having a plan. It means that I know what I'm meant to do each day to stay ahead of my body. 

Here's to a summer full of being outdoor either running or doing something else fun and exciting. 

Come back soon to check out my race schedule for the summer. 

Happy Running!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reaching the This-Is-When-My-Body-Starts-To-Fall-Apart Age

Yup I turned 30.  About two days ago in fact.  Most of my twenties, I was told that 30 is right about when your body declares mutiny and things start going haywire.  I've heard that your metabolism drastically changes.  That your skin looses it's elasticity at an accelerated rate.  That you're at higher risk for pretty much any known and unknown aliment.  30, apparently, is like this giant bomb that goes off in your body and you have to hope you'll survive the proverbial nuclear winter that results.

30 may be this magical number in the eternites that marks the beginning of the end, but 30 has never met me before.  My body may start to act completely different then just two days ago, but I'll be danged (yes, I'm a molly mormon) if I'm going to let it get me down.  I think more and more these days, what with everyone being more aware of how to be healthy, that no one age gets to really define when all heck breaks loose.  Some say that 40 is the new 30 or that 50 is the new 30.  Meaning that the horrible effects of turning 30 aren't showing up until later.  I say, why should they show up at all?!

I may have been more energetic 10 or 15 years ago and had a metabolism that let me eat fast food everyday and actually lose weight, but nowadays, I'm more motivated to stay in shape and be healthy then I ever was back in high school or even college.  With age, does come a tidbit of wisdom and, hopefully, some maturity.  Those two things, I think, make me a better athlete and that, my friends, is what I'm counting on to help me sail through as many ages at the universe wants to throw at me.

My grandfather is in his mid-eighties.  The guy is an animal.  Only recently has his doctor pleaded with him to stop running his five miles a day so that he doesn't run his joints into the ground.  I'm not sure whether grandpa is obeying him or not.  If he has stopped running, he'll keep cycling and he'll keep eating that oh-so-crazy healthy diet he's concocted.  I'll think if the world ended and all that was left were berries and nuts, he wouldn't notice a change in the status-quo at all.  That's who I want to be.  I don't want to give up on my body simply because I'm getting older.  I can't control the fact that with every passing minute, I'm gaining in age, but I can control how I treat those years. 

I'd like to think that my best years are still to come.  I also like to think that if I can keep my committment to maintain my runner status, that I'll get to enjoy all the good stuff that's coming.  My husband works with a gal whose pushing 60.  Wanna know what she's up to right now?  She's training for the Boston Marathon.  That's the good stuff that's coming.

30 is young.  40 is young.  Heck, when should "young" ever stop?    I feel better right now then I did ten years ago. So how do you measure what "young" is?  My plan is just to keep running.  Let the years pile up, that's okay.    I think I'll probably start to feel old someday, maybe when my doctor tells me to stop running.  But maybe as long as I can move and be active, that day will never come. 

Here's to 30 and every age I'll meet in the years to come!