Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! My mom sent up an easter basket for me and as usual, my family outdid themselves! My easter basket was full of some wonderful goodies!

Yay for easter!
You know you're a runner when you're more excited to see socks and shot blocks in your basket than chocolate bunnies. (okay maybe equally excited...)

In addition to typical chocolatey goodness, mom sent up some shot blocks for our upcoming halves (that's right I'm doing one in exactly a week and another a few weeks after that!). She also got me some much-needed socks and a new fast drying tank. My favorite thing though, was this cute bracelet/necklace/anklet. It's on a long cord, so you can wrap it any way you like. 

In the packaging
The card says "I love me because.... I breathe in all of life" and the bracelet says "Breathe". The weather is gloomy out so it's hard to get a good pic, but trust me it is cute!

I was really struggling to get motivated the couple of few weeks. I don't know if it's the gloomy weather or the allergy season blues, but running just hasn't sounded fun. On top of that, I was pumped for the princess half because I knew each mile would be full of exciting things and memories to last a life time. I wanted the medal, but I also wanted to run down main street, to run through the castle, and to run past spaceship earth. This upcoming race will be very memorable for different reasons. The OKC memorial half is known for touching people emotionally. We will run past the memorial, see family members of those who were lost at aid stations cheering us on, and pass the names of those that passed in the tragedy on signs along the route. I want to do this race because I believe it is for an important cause for my state. However, as someone who easily gets caught up in the emotions of others ( and completely balled at the end of her first half for no apparent reason) I have the feeling this race will be very emotionally draining. For that reason, it has been hard for me to get moving.  

Recently I found a great trick that has really made me want to run more. I love to read, so I found a really addicting book, bought the audio book, and only allow myself to listen while I'm running. So, if I want to find out happens next, I've got to hit the treadmill. This trick has seriously made it hard to quit! Hope this trick works for you!

Do you have any tricks that keep you running when you don't feel like it?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

I love songs with inspirational lyrics, and one of my favorite songs that inspires me is "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrman. But there's one line in particular that really was the theme of my night last night: "Do one thing every day that scares you".
At the last minute I found out about a 5k race on campus. The Eco Club at OSU was hosting their first ever "Earth Day Midnight Run 5k" race, and money went to a local organic movement charity fund. I love races (who wouldn't rather run with people and water stops than a boring routine treadmill run or loop around the neighborhood?) so I decided to enter.  Registration started at 11:30 and then the idea was that at midnight we would bring in earth day with a race. Because this race was so last minute, I couldn't get anyone to come along and take pics with me, so I apologize in advance for the lack of scenery on this post.

When I arrived I was beyond nervous. I have never run a race alone, so this was a big deal to me. Then I realized that everyone there looked like serious runners. It didn't look like a slow person was in the bunch. I seriously sat in my car for 15 minutes trying to convince myself to go run, but I was terrified I'd make an idiot out of myself. I don't mind being slow, but at midnight finishing 10 minutes behind everyone else sounded awful. I finally decided I should at least get out of the car and pay the entry fee so that I at least wasn't gypping them out of a donation. 

I made it up to the crowd and my anxiety kept growing as I listened to them talk about their expected paces and many other events they've run. I don't think I've ever felt so nervous. I must have looked as terrified as I felt because a really nice group came up to me and said hello. I told them how nervous I was because I'm so slow, and once again I was reminded how great runners are. They all were very encouraging and said "Just showing up is huge. We're so glad you're here and we will cheer you on at the finish no matter what time you make it there." I felt more relieved, but still, I didn't think my ego could take making everyone wait an extra 10-15 minutes at the finish for me to come slogging in. Not to mention, I was a little afraid to be alone at night running. I was still a nervous wreck, but I decided that I'll never grow if I don't push myself to do things that scare me. 

Ready for a midnight run
After I decided I was definitely running, a little miracle happened. A woman showed up at registration that looked as nervous as me. I talked to her and we decided we should definitely run together. Her pace was slower than my usual, but I thought I'd rather stick to the buddy system and play it safe.
Before the race, we were given glow-sticks for safety and numbers were written on our hands in marker as a paperless replacement for bib numbers. 

Soon the race began with "Ready! Set! Happy Earth Day!" (All of my races seems to start with something out of the ordinary). The course wasn't easy to follow when the group was so far ahead of us and we made a few wrong turns, but we eventually made it back to the finish line.The course was an out and back one, so we got to see the faster runners before long. The runners were absolutely amazing. People with less than half of my time made the effort to tell me "good job!" when they ran past us. When we finished there was a small awards ceremony for the top 3 runners (trust me I was no where near that). Overall the race was a blast and I really learned how good it feels to push myself to do things that I've never done before and to be a little afraid sometimes. 

In other news I've got a new article for my wheezers on healthcentral about asthma triggers. Next week is pre-finals week, then the OKC half marathon, then finals, so I will be a very busy girl for a while! Try not to hate me for taking a long time posting. Summer is almost here and that means more free time! I'll also be running a bunch of races soon, so be ready for some reports!

For a laugh I thought I'd share one of the search terms someone used to find my blog this month: "i'm rackin the wheezies again".  Hmm..... haha

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wheezy, but still running

The last few days I have been really struggling with my asthma. It's that time of year when pollen counts are crazy high and the winds are averaging at about 15mph. NO BEUNO. I've been cooped up in bed coughing and avoiding nature at all costs, but I still tried to keep up with my running. It's definitely not fun, but I don't want to let myself call it quits. Allergy season comes every year, and I can't take a quarter of the year off just because it's not easy.

Enough with the sick talk. Here's a few things that have been going on lately while I've been cooped up (mostly unrelated to the running world):

  • Things have been wonderful with my new puppy. Mr. Perfect is great with Champ, and is a super hero for doing all the work the last two days while I've been sick. Champ is in training to run with me one day (ie we're trying to teach him how to walk without stopping every 5 seconds to smell) but until then he makes a great cuddle buddy and always keeps me smiling. One of his favorite treats is ice cubes. We put them in his bowl and he bobs for them. It's pretty entertaining to watch. I'll have to record it soon. 

  • One of my favorite bloggers is hosting an amazing giveaway and it's for a great cause! Go visit one crazy penguin, aka Tiina, at her blog and enter her giveaway because she rocks. 

  • I've been eating way too much of this and need to get back on the diet wagon. But eating junk is sooooo much more fun....
  • I went to a charity car wash with some of my sorority sisters last week. Basically, the more people you could get in one car, the more points you got (and thus the more money that went to charity). We fit 8 girls in my little mustang and 16 in an SUV! intense!

  • RunDisney is announcing a new race on tuesday and I'm excited! They spoiled me at princess so I'm ready for more Disney races. 

  • My dad got a new camera, so he gave me his amazing Nikon DSLR! I love to take pictures even though I'm terrible. My apartment is so not picture worthy and lately that's the only place I've been other than my gym or class and the occasional sorority event so I don't have any new exciting pics to show you. I'm working on it though I promise. 
PS: A new post on healthcentral is coming soon, but technical issues are getting in the way right now. It will be about asthma triggers and how to avoid them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A New Running Partner?!

Yesterday my boyfriend called me up and asked me to come over to his apartment. When I got there, I got a huge surprise. He bought us our first dog! Mr. Perfect had been volunteering all day at the humane society and decided he couldn't leave one of the puppies behind. 

I was totally surprised and a little panicked at first. We wanted to get a dog one day, but we're both very busy and on tight budgets, so now didn't seem like a practical time. But after meeting our new puppy Champ, I couldn't help but fall in love. He's a total sweetheart and I know he will be spoiled rotten by us!

Champ is 5 months old and a terrier/collie mix. He's taking a little getting used to because I've always had small dogs (my family dog is a pomeranian), but I think I'm starting to get the hang of things. Today we went on our first walk together at the park and Champ had a ball. I think he will be a great running buddy when he's older!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back on track! (Plus a review)

I'm back! After a week off of running I'm back and just in time for some beautiful weather! It's a little toasty, but I'll take it!

On this bright and sunny day, I decided I'd review a new favorite of mine: The SparkleTech Skirt from SparkleSkirts

I'll start by saying I used to think running skirts were just dumb. I felt like they were only flattering if you are a size zero, because you can't really wear them with my typical oversized men's tech tee. I've got too much to worry about while running, I don't want to add muffin top to the list. And I thought they were mainly for those really girly type of girls. I can be girly at times, but when I'm running (except of course at Disney) i'm all about the all black and tough as nails look, because if I can't run fast, I should at least look fast, right?! Then a chain of events led me to the wonders of running skirts. First, when my mileage increased, I was having chaffing issues in all of my shorts. I then tried out compression shorts, which worked, but make me feel a little naked and still aren't great. Then, at the princess expo, I ended up listening to the SparkleTech Skirt pep talk from one of the women running the booth. They sounded nice, but I still wasn't going to try on.However, my mom did and I thought, I might as well just so they won't keep bugging me to try it on. After I tried it on I was hooked.

The skirt has a pair of compression shorts underneath. They are nice and tight and keep my muffin top under control as an added bonus! They also have pockets on both sides that are great for smaller items like keys, cell phone, id, or fuel. At disney world I kept my phone in it all day and it didn't budge. One thing about the shorts that I will say is that they are a tad longer than the skirt, so they do show sometimes. I personally don't mind because it makes bending over to tie my shoes a little easier. On top of the shorts is a flowy skirt that's very figure flattering. Most running skirts I've seen are pretty straight, but this one is a little fuller, which I really like. There's also a zipper pocket at the top of the skirt that goes all the way around the waistband. If you wanted to, you could fit a lot of stuff in there and wouldn't need a running belt. I'd rather bring my iFitness belt just because I like to wear my shirt untucked, but it's really up to you. If you use it, it works, and if you don't want to use it, it doesn't get in your way at all. The skirt comes in a few colors, we saw more at the expo than are online, but mine is pure black. I'd definitely recommend these, especially if you aren't sure about running skirts or have had problems with chaffing.

Anyways, I wrote another post for about stress and asthma. Check it out, especially if you're a wheezer.

Do you like the running skirts? Have you ever tried sparkletech?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Exciting News and a Jinx?

Sorry I've been a little absent lately. As usual, homework has been taking over my life, but a few other exciting things happened!

A few days ago, contacted me via email. They found my blog, and thought I could provide a unique perspective on asthma as a new runner, so they asked me if I would like to become a contributor to their website! This is really exciting for me, because one of the main reasons I started blogging was to hear from and maybe help other asthmatics going through similar things I'm going through.  I will be posting there weekly and I'll provide links over here so the wheezers can have more to read! Here's my first introduction post: my "asthma story".

After writing my first post at HealthCentral, in which I mention I haven't had a severe attack since I began running, I of course had a severe attack. :( I'm allergic to grass and my campus had a field day on the lawn for greek week, so I broke out in hives which led to an attack. Needless to say I didn't run this week because I've been recovering. However, I'm officially signed up for the OKC Memorial Half Marathon on May 1st! I've only got a few weeks left to train!

Ah!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!