Thursday, July 28, 2011

All Is Not Lost

Sal brought you a fantastic OK Go video a while back (with a side of an embarrassing story), and now I bring you the newest release from these Chicagoans - my current theme song and source of inspiration.

As I've been dealing with my knee issues...which have led to training plans not being followed to a T and missed runs...which have led to many moments of frustration and me wanting to throw in the towel and scream "All is lost! I can't do this." But then I stumble upon this video today. While this song (having been on repeat all afternoon) is inspiring me in many ways, it is also reminding me that just because my training is different that any plan set by any running expert, all is not lost. And I'm doing what I can when I can and when me knee tells me it's ready to.

To boot, not only is the video amazing, but it speaks directly to us (hint hint: look for the hidden message, click on the picture) and it speaks in FEET! [Techy note: you have to have Google Chrome for it to work, so if you're not currently sporting the Chrome, it's time to get with the 21st century and download it so you can view this gem]

You can create your own message too by clicky clicking here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summertime Wish List

This intense summer heat has forced me to cycle through my running gear a lot quicker than normal. It doesn't matter if I go for a 3-mile run or a 10-mile run, I come back completely drenched and smelling not-exactly-peachy. As a result, I've been sporting some of my less fashionable running gear - which I'm totally fine with - but I find myself longing for the functionality of lulu.

While lulu gear is without a doubt overpriced, they do such a fantastic job of sticking pockets and loop holes in all the right places so it's easy to tote around my running essentials. My old school soffees (yeesh) are majorly lacking in that department, which has been problematic since I try to run home from work and bring with me everything I'll need until the next day. 

My momma hooked me up with these two pieces while she was in lulu's place of birth, oh Canada!

The Run: Swiftly Racerback is oh so lightweight and super long, so I can trot along without worrying about exposing more than I'd like. And I'm kind of obsessed with lulu's chafe-resistant flat seams... that becomes especially important during long runs when it feels like just about everything is rubbed raw. 

The Run: Tempo Crop: II has all the perfect pockets, is surprisingly lightweight and the ruching on the sides is just too darn cute. I'm a huge fan of the "body mapping anti-stink circle mesh" that cuts down on my not-so-girly scent. 

And now on to my wish list...

I saw the Run: Split Short in the store the other day and they look perfectly airy and light. So many of my shorts ride up and bunch and flop around in all of the wrong places, and from what I can tell, these guys seem like they would flow with ease. Plus, the product description says they're "made for winning marathons" so this seems like a no-brainer, right??

I'm kind of questioning how supportive the Bliss Tank really is (those straps seem questionable to me); however, I LOVE how flowy and breezy this baby is. Plus, the loose fit could double as a sweat rag around mile 4 (or not...?)

And lulu's brand new weightless gear was love at first sight for me. It has a weird feel and texture to it, but it looks unbelievably lightweight... like, bordering on non-existent. Both the Run: Weightless Singlet and the Run: Weightless Split Short have breathable holes and are made of an ultra light swift fabric that wicks away moisture and dries super quick. 

Now all I need is a sugar daddy! Or a lululemon sponsorship... 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just a Jog.FM Musical Monday

Special thanks to running gal and college buddy Elena for the tip on Have any of you tried it yet? It's pretty much 'da bomb if you need a little extra pep in your step (or if you're sick in tired of EVERYTHING on your ipod like yours truly). 

Basically, you type in your mile time, and it finds the best music to match your pace (it works for cycling/spinning too). As puts it...

You know the feeling...
When that pump-up song comes on right as you're thinking of quitting.
Suddenly your second-wind kicks in.
When the song matches perfectly to your pace.
It almost feels like you're not even exercising. 
[Ha! Clearly I took this directly from the website and this is not my own description]
That's what is all about. 

Check it out and report back!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beat the Heat

It honestly feels like God left the broiler on this weekend. And with weather like this, it seems like just about everyone is walking around in their cranky pants, cursing the brutal heat under their breath (and sometimes quite openly and with much, unnecessary volume). I am, most certainly, included in this category. 

So for some calming therapy, I'm sharing this amaze balls video clip as a reminder of how cool our planet is... even when it's baking us to a toasty crisp.

Those stars are just breathtaking enough for me to forgive this major heat wave, Mama Earth. But let's wrap it up soon, K?

Stay cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Make It Stop!

This RIDICULOUS heat makes time feel slower than molasses. And yet, that EFFING countdown clock to the right just keeps on speeding up. I personally think it's broken because there is no friggin' way we could possibly be running a marathon in 100 days. Where's the DeLorean when you need it?

Outrunning Cancer: A Hometown Gal

Special thanks to Aunt Cindy for sending me this story (and apologies for the 4 weeks it took me to actually get it online). There are still a few days left to check out Runner's World's "Outrunning Cancer" series - the story of seven runners beating the odds with their oh so humbling stories of survival. We're especially proud of hometown gal Jennifer Andress, as featured below from The Birmingham News

HOMEWOOD, Alabama -- Since the July issue of Runner's World magazine hit newsstands, Homewood marathoner Jennifer Andress hasn't stopped hearing from her running buddies who've seen her smiling face all around the country.

Andress, a breast cancer survivor, is one of seven runners featured on the cover of a special issue of the magazine that is devoted to cancer survivors and their inspirational stories.

"One of my good friends that I run with was in New Orleans at the airport, and he took a picture (of the magazine cover)," Andress says. "I have friends just traveling through the country, and they would be at LaGuardia, in Baltimore, Dallas, and they would send pictures from the airport."

The 42-year-old Andress, who started running when she was 11, was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, when she was 24 weeks pregnant with her second son, Will.

She had a mastectomy and six lymph nodes removed, and after her son was born, she underwent five weeks of radiation, followed by a second mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery.

Within a couple of years, though, she was back on the running trail with a vengeance.
"I would still always run, but not nearly what I'm doing now, not with the intensity and not with the frequency," she says.

In 2010, Andress ran her first marathon in Birmingham's Mercedes Marathon, covering the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours and 43 minutes.

Her time was good enough to qualify her for the prestigious Boston Marathon this spring, where she ran a 3:46 and earned a return invitation to Boston in 2012.

"I'm running five days a week now, and I'm training with this incredible group," she says. "I'm back."

Runner's World produced eight different covers for its "Outrunning Cancer" issue. The seven that are available at newsstands feature each of the survivors on separate covers and an eighth that went to subscribers has a second shot of Olympic hopeful Serena Burla.

David Willey, the magazine's editor-in-chief, writes about Andress and three other survivors in his Editor's Letter column that appears in all copies of the July issue. The other survirors are featured in separate stories in the magazine.

For her cover shot, Andress wears a white T-shirt emblazoned with the pink logo for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.

Runner's World learned about Andress after she responded to a post on the magazine's Facebook page asking runners who were cancer survivors to share their stories.

The July issue should be available through the end of this month.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summertime Blues

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we're technically in week 6 of training for this bugger. Emphasis on "technically" because my body feels more like week never-have-run-before-in-my-life. 

If anyone ever asked me for my "expertise" (clearly I'm using some major air quotes here) on marathon training, my one and only morsel of knowledge would be, DO NOT choose a marathon in which the bulk of your training falls in the dead of summer!! And, I'm not just saying that because of the brutal heat, because let's get real here... we'd probably find a way to complain about the weather no matter what time of year it was. 

The reason summer training is the total PITS is because it is so friggin' busy. Weddings and vacations and parties, oh my! Life is truly tough right now. No really, it is. Just ask my weakening legs. 

But for reals, it's one thing that I haven't been able to run alongside my training buddies in ohhh... well, I can't even remember the last time. But I haven't even seen them at all! Zilch. Nil. Nada. Liv moved an entire 100 yards away from me within the office, so she might as well be in Southeast Asia. And I'm pretty sure Megs' and my calendar got together to conspire against us and ensure that neither one of us is ever in town at the same time.  (sigh). 

Anyway, we're all slowly trucking along with plenty of gripes and ailments to boot. We've all managed to talk ourselves out of this thing at one point or another, but thankfully, we're all still hanging in there. 

Holy smokes make that countdown clock stop!