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Running with Books on Tape (or iPod)

For the first time in what feels like years I ran without any music today. It was a weird feeling actually being able to hear the natural sounds around me, and not having to take ear buds out when my runningmates (Megan and Kristin).

While we are trying to do as many long runs together as possible, I know that there will be times that it just won’t work out. Those days are when I am afraid my mileage mental block may takeover. 

Since I bought my Kindle a year or so ago, I have been powering through books. I think I have read more in the last year than the two previous put together. So I am intrigued by the idea of listening to books while on my long runs.

I’m concerned of either getting too distracted and not paying enough attention to where I am going, or just hearing nonsense in my head because I can’t follow the story. I’ve also heard that podcasts are a good option too, though I don’t really know which ones I would want.

Anyone have a favorite podcast? Thoughts on running while listening to a book? Do you do a new one or a classic?

P.S. I saw a ton of recaps from Color Runs this weekend, and I am REALLY excited to do that this fall with Megan and Kristin. I think we need to start thinking of our outfit strategy…


Breaking Up With Your Trainer

On Monday, Fitsugar posted tips for breaking up with your personal trainer. From personal experience I can tell you it is probably just as hard as ending a friendship. Since I started working out with trainers a four years ago, I have had four different trainers. Two of which I “broke up with.”

The first one wasn’t that difficult. I had been thinking about testing out using a trainer for some time and was paired up with Bruce through the gym. He was a great starter trainer and helped me figure out what I wanted and didn’t want (we did 30 minute sessions twice a week and I felt like he talked a lot and didn’t have me do things that I couldn’t do on my own). So when my first set of sessions were complete, I said thank you and moved on without him.

Then came the wedding, and I wanted to start training again. Heyward was a trainer I had seen around the gym regularly. He always said hello and his clients seemed incredibly satisfied. So, I signed up and it was probably love at first training. Not only did he do morning sessions, but he also did hour-long sessions. After my first session with him (I went in thinking it was 30 minutes), I thought how can I be THIS out of shape. Over the next 8 months Heyward introduced me to TRX, kettlebells, and some serious weight lifting. I loved every minute of it and when I had to move from NYC to DC, I actually begged him to come with me. (He didn’t, but he sent me every routine he had created for me via email so that I could continue my training.)

Joining a new gym in the height of wedding training was nerve wracking. Based on my training style I was introduced to Scott. He trained me hard for the wedding and I was incredibly happy with how I turned out. A few months after the wedding, I decided to go back to training, and for some reason it just wasn’t working. This was the hardest break-up ever. I wrestled with it for a few weeks. Had a private meeting with a trainer friend, and then finally took a deep breath and spoke with the person in charge of trainers–I couldn’t even speak to him about it. It was really hard, I practically avoided the gym thinking Scott would be there…but it had to happen.

Now, I am with Leslie Ann (my trainer friend) and it has re-energized my love of training, because I can actually see results. Leslie Ann really seems to understand what my body needs; a combination of strength & agility training…alternating body weight with heavy weights. I’ve dropped 2.5% percentage points in body fat and feel better physically.

The thing I have learned about working with trainers is that you have to speak up, and let them know what you want. You shell out significant money for them and they have to work hard to give you the EXACT results you want (well you have to work hard together).

Running at 8000 FT

I thought having marathon training start while on vacation would be perfect. I’d get used to having to work in the specific mileage without having too much interfere.

While it is true that there is little coming in between me and my runs, I am getting much more than I bargained for at 8,000 feet above sea level. The first sign of trouble came as I climbed the stairs to the kitchen. My “easy 2 miler” suddenly seemed a little bit more daunting.

My dad and hubby joined me on the first route at a walking pace. My legs had no problem pushing me up the mountain, my lungs on the other hand were begging for a break. I ended up doing a 3.5 miler walking the last 1.5.

It was a good adjustment to the altitude and made me reconsider my planned 8 miler and 4 miler. I decided instead to make it a goal to run the 3.5 and then see how I feel after about adding in more.

The view of the lake once I hit the ridge was pretty ridiculous.

Triple D Stop: Burger Me, Truckee

Even though we are on the Nevada side of Tahoe this year we still made a trip over to Truckee for the day. Since we are “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” fans our first stop was Burger Me.

It was the perfect place too, since it can cater to everyone in our party (vegetarians, kosher observant, non-red meat eaters, carnivores). I was immediately drawn to the BBQ Bison Burger, but wasn’t ready to make that commitment yet (Josh got it and loved it). It had the right amount of spice and the meat was cooked well. Although he said the sauce may have made the meat go cold.

I had the Dirty Bird. The combination of chipotle mayo and pico was perfect. Although it was smothered in melted pepper jack, it wasn’t too heavy.

My sister had the Gyro Burger and said the feta hit the spot immediately. Her boyfriend had a melt with onions and a burger on rye bread.

The highlight were the garlic fries. When the waitress brought them out to us the entire area smelled of garlic.

Everyone walked away satisfied, which is hard to accomplish in a big group.

Official Day One of Marathon Training

I woke up yesterday morning still a little congested from this cold I am fighting and a little anxious about what lay ahead.

It was just 4 miles I kept telling myself. But while it was JUST a short run that I have been doing at least 2-3 times a week it was a significant start to a long four months of training.

Here Goes Nothing

I did one of my favorite routes–over the Key Bridge and back–and thank the heavens it wasn’t 100 degrees outside.  I strapped on my water bottle and laced up my shoes knowing this wasn’t going to be my best run ever. I surprised myself on the first 2 miles of the run…I had a good pace and wasn’t having that “its so hard to breath” agony. The second half was a little bit slower and a little bit harder, but I chalk that up to going up Roslyn Hill.  So of course, as predicted it wasn’t my best run, but hoping Thursday’s will be better.

This week’s long run is 8 miles and it will be done in Tahoe at a completely different elevation. So we will see how that goes.

Fitsugar also recently posted common beginner marathon training mistakes, which reminded me that I really need to get my swim schedule figured out and that I can’t avoid the 100 degree, rainy weather :(.


Being Underweight WORSE Than Being Obese

Study after study tells us that being overweight or obese leads to countless health risks including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Now a recent study from the University of California Davis School of Medicine says its MORE  (I repeat more) dangerous to your health to be underweight than obese.

In the six-year study following almost 51,000 Americans of all ages, researchers discovered that those with an extremely low BMI (under 18.5) had a risk of death that was twice as high as those with a normal BMI (18.5 to 24.9). Oddly enough, participants with BMIs that classified them as severely obese (30 or higher) were only 1.26 times as likely to die as those with normal BMIs, which means being obese is considered better than being underweight.

This doesn’t mean you should go out and eat everything in sight, but it is a reminder that you should be aiming for a healthy BMI.