Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It’s really freaking cold outside. Like slap you in the face, knock you over, why am I outside? cold.

But yes, I ran yesterday. And I’ll run today. No, it wasn’t the best run ever, thank you for asking. But I’m glad I got out there. And you will too. Need some motivation? Take your pick.

For the scientifically orientated:

The more  miles I log in the cold days of January,
the faster I run my spring marathon.
Yes, it’s an n of one. Yes, I’m specifically choosing to ignore other factors that may have influenced my marathon times. But there’s a graph, and it looks nice, doesn’t it? I got out the door, so can you.

For the visual learners:

For the Resolutioners:
As per the NY Times, if you can keep your resolution through the end of January (1/3 of people don’t!), you have a good chance of keeping it. This is the hardest month, stick with it!

For the competitive types:
A reality check that might help you get out the door any day: 

And relevance to today’s post: “Someone who is colder than you is running right now.” I really shouldn’t be complaining, because I live in DC, and anyone north or west of me can tell me I’m a wimp and to get over it. (Although this wimp used to live and run in Boston, where she swore 30-degree weather was warm enough for shorts. She doesn't think that anymore.) No matter where you are, there are probably people dealing with worse. If you follow runners on Twitter, you get a good sense that everyone else is braving the elements, and coming back to Instagram photos of themselves with icicle beards.

For the marathoners:
Days until LA: 53
Days until Boston: 81
Days until London: 87
Don’t waste them!

For the appearance driven:
I can’t give you a countdown until beach season officially starts, but I do know that stores have spring lines and bikinis out. Seriously.

For the Southern Hemisphere types:
Screw you. Let’s talk again in July.

Bundle up and get after it! (Safely of course, I’m not talking about running in ice storms here.)

Dream big and stay warm,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy New Season

More than two weeks into the New Year, how are the resolutions coming? I’m enjoying the extra people out running; it’s always a pleasant surprise I’m not the only crazy person running around in the cold. Hopefully the unseasonably warm weather here in D.C. has kept some people on track. I’d really love to see the Resolutioners still out in February, when it’s really miserable.

I’ll be honest—I don’t make New Year’s resolutions very often. What I do make often and repeatedly are New Season resolutions; when I start getting back into training, I’m optimistic and eager. This will be the season I strength-train/increase my mileage/eat better/sleep more! The success rates of these missions are modest; I have cranked up the mileage and gotten better about eating and sleeping right. But sorry, strength training, you’ve yet to make the cut.

I do appreciate the starting over. Last season was a bit of a mess. I was feeling great in August, getting in the rhythm of workouts with the team, doing strength stuff, looking forward to lots of fall races. But then in September, things fell apart. I was exhausted all the time, couldn’t hit paces in workouts or easy runs, and ran one of my most disappointing races to date. (Ok, Chicago 2010 was worse.) Afterwards, I didn’t really know what to do. I took some days off, moped around a bit, and finally realized I might have iron issues. But after that, I couldn’t get back in the groove, strength workouts slipped away again (they are elusive little buggers!), and my mileage never got back to where I wanted it. More often then I'd like, I abandoned my good diet and sleeping habits. October through December is a bit of a blur of more disappointing races. Honestly, looking back, I’d say I wasn’t giving my all. I was going through the motions, but it wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be. I was in a rut, and I couldn't get out.

So ever since the season wrapped up, I’ve been looking forward to hitting reset. New year, fresh slate, and back to the marathon—my true running love. There’s something satisfying about marathon training--being constantly a little hungry, a little exhausted, and yet completely fulfilled, knowing you're cranking out the miles and hitting the workouts. Now Boston is circled on the calendar, and Coach and I have come up with a plan to get me there, full of all the workouts I love and the ones I love to hate. I’ve got my diet back in check, I’m trying to sleep more, and once again, I’m attempting to sneak that strength training back in. (C’mon, I’ve got to get some wedding arms!) With it all planned out in front of me, it doesn’t look daunting, but like there’s a clear way to get to where I want to be. Just follow the steps. All the bad races and exhaustion are so last season—we’re starting over, with high hopes.

P.S. Happy late birthday to the blog! It’s been over a year, can you believe it?

Brother brought up a good question about race pace workouts. I talk about my favorite (although daunting) marathon workout here. If you ever have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at 

Dream big,