Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hampster Wheel

I'm not yet used to these shorter days. I prefer to run in the evenings, when busy families are shuffling kids to and from various practices, cooking dinner and running around with other errands.

I like changing out of my work clothes, lacing up my shoes and using the miles to get away the stress of everyday life and out of work-mode.

But lately I can't seem to keep up with the diminishing daylight. I can no longer take my time when I get home from work.

Yesterday was no exception.

Sometimes when I know I'll lose the daylight battle, I just decide to skip the run. But with the Maine Half Marathon next weekend, I thought I should try to get some miles in.

So I headed to the gym. Unfortunately.

Don't get me wrong... I really like the gym. I like the cross training. I like trying my hand at weights. I love people-watching.

But a gym run is not a relaxing run for me. With 17 television screens flickering in front of me, the whir of the cardio marchines and the chit-chat of gym buddies around me, I can't just lose myself in the run ... can't let my mind go and get into a rhythm where the miles pass easily.

In an attempt to drown out the gym sounds, I cranked my iPod last night and started out slowly on the treadmill. I couldn't believe when I looked down at the display screen and it had only been a little more than a mile.

I felt like I'd been running forever. And I was sweating like crazy.

I missed the smell of the fresh air, the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, the changing scenery and even the challenge of dodging cars driven by distracted drivers.

In the end, I got my four miles in -- and noticed that gym runners don't run as long as outside runners -- and felt good about not skipping that run.

I just hope not to have too many Hampster Wheel nights in my future.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I took the step yesterday (no pun intended) and changed the name of this blog. I even tried my hand at a fancy new header, which I think turned out alright. (No, that's not my actual footprint, although I did just have a foot scan the other day.)

The name change was something I'd been considering for a while. My 'jog blog,' as a co-worker called it, seemed to have become much more than just a blog about running.

Disney 13.1 seems like something from another lifetime.

What started out as a way to chronicle my progress toward running my first half marathon seems to have gone in a new direction and touched on the ways that my life has changed since joining Team In Training.

I don't attribute all of the changes to taking up running, but I do think that running has helped me focus on me and the solitary hours on the road have really given me time to think about where I want to be in life, eventually.

I'm surely not saying I'm even close to having the answers, but step by step I'm getting closer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Better Than Running In The Rain

Congrats to Kate and Colleen for raising $800 at their party this weekend by raffling off a case of wine. (I didn't win, darn it.)

Joining them at the party was more enjoyable than that morning's run -- when we questioned our sanity after waking up in the early morning hours to drive an hour for the team run in the remnants of Hurricane Gustav.

Already cold and wet, we ended up getting splashed by a passing car, which is probably when Kate changed from saying that I 'inspired' her to I 'dragged' her into the program.

On the bright side, at least the car wasn't driving through the overflowing sewage that filled the street near the start of the downtown loop.

Here's a pic of Kate and Co
lleen looking a little drier and awarding the winner the case of wine. Clean up nicely, don't they? (They don't smile that much while running.)

And here's a pic of me with a couple of people I don't really know...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The New Team

The new team started two weeks ago, training for the Seacoast Half Marathon and the Disney Full and Half Marathons. Thanks to Ken (who turns out to be my former neighbor) for taking this pic.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Turn Where?

Shawnna and Jack remind us to "turn after the lions" in the downtown loop. These photos were taken during Jack's birthday party at the Red Hook Brewery last week.