Archive for April, 2012

Location, location, location
April 23, 2012

Why I love running in the South in the Spring.

  1. Running in and out of intoxicating wafts created by the wild honeysuckle growing everywhere.  (It’s a surprise every single time and I love it!)
  2. Warmer, yet reasonable temperatures.  The weather has not quite reached meltingly infernal temperatures yet.
  3. So many pretty flowers and trees blooming that bring back vibrant color to the once drab winter landscapes.  See also, the wonderful smell of said flowers and trees!
  4. The start of more sunlight in the morning (along with less frozen temperatures) that signal the return of early morning runs, and getting the workout completed before starting your day.
  5. More sunlight in the evening for after work runs with friends, or an easy way to burn off steam from a long day.
  6. Critters!  Birds chirping. Bunnies hopping.  Deer with their fawns.  Even the occasional wild turkey.

What I dislike about running in the South in Spring.

Unpredictable and violent weather.  This is really the only issue I have, but it affects so many things.  It is impossible to pack clothes for a run with more than a couple hours of checking the weather.  The weather can change very drastically and quickly in the course of a day.  39º in the morning, 80º at midday, massive thunderstorm with hail in the evening, 60º at night.  This also makes it very difficult to plan for spring races.  You spend all winter training in the cold, then on race day it could be pleasant, it could be 88º with threat of heat exhaustion, or thunderstorm all day.  The storms can also come on quickly and be very violent.  It may look like just a pleasant sprinkling outside (I love running in a little bit of rain), but in 10 minutes it can turn into tornado conditions and that’s where seconds count in getting to a safe place.  You have to learn to be very flexible, pack a bigger bag for working out with a variety of clothes, and be prepared to scrap a run or hit the gym if the weather turns really nasty, and be safe.

 

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Counting laps
April 10, 2012

It has taken me a while, but I have finally come up with a system for counting my laps in the pool.  Once I started swimming more than just a couple laps at a time, I needed a way to keep track of the number of laps I did.  I quickly learned that just simply counting them with numbers didn’t work.  I would lose track of what number I was on, especially if I was also doing math in my head trying to keep track of how many more laps I need, or how many laps equal how many meters.  The fact that so many numbers were floating around, I couldn’t remember whether I had done 9 laps or I had 9 more laps to go.  Short of carrying an abacus with me to the pool (can you imagine what those lifeguards and swim teams would think of that?!), I had to come up with a new plan.

So, I use letters of the alphabet.  It’s another ordered system that’s so ingrained, and I can’t confuse it with the math I’m doing in my head.  So I first started out just using the actual letter; Lap E = Lap 5, and so on.  But I wanted another creative way to keep it straight in my head so I didn’t have to think so hard.  (Have I mentioned I have a terrible short term memory?)

Now, I use the letters of the alphabet, but for each lap I come up with something that starts with that letter, sticking with a theme.  For example, during one swim I will think of animals that start with the different letters, or unique last names, foods, or $10 SAT words (Remuneration anyone?).  It gets a little tougher when you get to some letters like J, Q, and X.  However, this is also a great way to keep my brain working as well while I’m swimming, and maybe working on that poor short-term memory with puzzles.  Here, if I get into the zone and forget what letter I’m on, I just have to think of what was the last animal name in my head, etc.

But a word to the wise, do not start thinking ahead of the next letter until you’re on that lap, you may think you’ve already done that lap.  Also, beware using the food theme.  We all know swimming can make you pretty hungry, then add in a session where you think of nothing but food names and you’ll be the NOSH MONSTER by the time you get out of the pool.

What do you use to keep track of laps?

Or am I the only one who has trouble with this?

Pick Me! For the Team nuun Hood To Coast team!
April 6, 2012

Just as I promised, I have finished my application for the nuun Hood To Coast relay team!  I think this gives you, and nuun, a really good introduction to me!

So, maybe I should introduce my readers to nuun first before you see the video.  What is nuun?  So glad you asked.  It’s an amazing way to hydrate and get all the electrolytes and other good stuff you need without getting all those sugars in regular sports drinks, but you still get some really great flavors.  Best part? It comes in a tablet that you just drop into your water.  So, you can travel with it.  It doesn’t take much space and no need to worry about liquids or spillage!  I’ve been using nuun for a few years now, when my friend Barbie first told me about it.  So if you’re a runner, or just need to stay hydrated, go check them out!

Now, on to the video.  One of my athletic bucket list items is to run the Hood to Coast Relay.  For those of you not in the know, Hood to Coast is a 200 mile relay race that takes place over 24 hours (give or take) with a relay team of 12 runners trading off various legs of the race.  It starts at Mt. Hood in Oregon and goes all the way to the Pacific coast (hence the name).  It seems like a fun and challenging event and definitely something every runner should do once.

As you know, I’ve done a lot of different kinds of races, but I still want to add that notch to my running shoes.  So, hopefully with the help of nuun, I’ll be on a nuun sponsored team of women running bloggers (hello, what an awesome group of people to be on a team!) in August ready to rock those 200 miles.  So, if you like my video below, let me know in the comments!  This is the biggest part of my application and I’m thrilled to share it with you!

P.S. How awesome is that song?

And many thanks to Downtown Brown who helped get the awesome video of me and gave me some very useful constructive criticism on editing the video!

Exciting reveal coming soon
April 4, 2012

In an effort to meet one of my Athletic Bucket List items, I’m making an exciting reveal very soon.  See, I’d really love to run the Hood To Coast relay race this year.  And one of my favorite ways to say hydrated, NUUN, is making that possible for a few lucky women runner bloggers.  So, I’ve been working hard on a video application the past couple weeks and I will post it here for your viewing hilarity enjoyment.  But not only is this a reveal of my video, but you’ll get to see video and photos of me running and hooping (not at the same time).  That’s right, I’m temporarily breaking my anonymity rule and you will actually see me in action!  If nothing else, it’s worth it just for the background music.

So stay tuned…