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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Yesterday I found my oomph again -- thank god. I ran the six planned miles and it felt really good. Amazing how once you break through the first couple, the rest come fairly easily. I was pretty tuckered out when I finished, but I was glad I got through it. I'm tentatively scheduling myself for a 10K in three weeks and it's nice to know I can do the distance.

This morning was Power Yoga -- not really all that powerful. I thought it might be more challenging than the regular yoga class the gym offers, but it really wasn't. Plus, the instructor was more blah than blah. Everything she said sounded as if Ben Stein was saying it in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off": Move into down dog; Feel the energy. There was no energy! Wish my gym offered more yoga variety, but I just may need to go to a yoga center for that, and that would mean more gym costs, and I just managed to create a budget for myself and it did not include extra yoga. Myabe I can find a good video that would help challenge me: Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Falling short

It's always weird how your body can feel so different on different days or weeks. Some days I feel like I have so much energy, and my run goes so easily. But other days, like yesterday, I struggle through and then don't even go as far as planned. Yesterday I wanted to run five miles (that's been my standard lately), yet after three, I was pooped, so I took the short route home (total of four miles) and walked the last one. Where does that "oomf" go? Does it dissipate and get lost in the universe? Did I wear myself out earlier in the day running around the dog park?

Today is a day for cross training and strength, and tomorrow is the long run -- my goal is six miles. We'll see how that goes. I hope I regain the "oomf" -- where for art thou?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Real Age

So, this morning I was playing around on the Internet and came across a test to see what my "real age" is on realage.com. They ask you a series of questions about lifestyle, exercise and eating habits, and genetic history to determine what your body's real age is. Chronologically I am 27.9 (I will be 28 in April), but according to this website, I am actually 23.3. Sounds good to me. I knew I couldn't yet be past 25.

Some of the things that helped me reduce my age were my marriage, my exercise habits (knew that had to have some benefit), my healthy weight, and my genetic history (free of most troubling things). Plus, I don't smoke (never have), I always wear my seatbelt (I had a terrible car crash when I was eighteen and learned my lesson there), and I now own a dog (supposed to reduce stress -- not sure if the constant chewing and potty training actually helps me relax).

But unfortunately, I also drink too much (the binge kind, not good), I eat too much red meat, not enough fish, and too few veggies. I also occassionally talk on the cell phone in the car, and I drive over the speed limit (but trust me, in South Florida it is dangerous to drive under the speed limit). All in all, the test made me feel kinda good about my health habits, and most of what made me older was stuff I already recognized. Sometimes it's enough work to do the things you're already doing right.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

To Rest or Not to Rest

What counts as a day of rest? Some training schedules require that you take one day a week and do absolutely nothing, but nothing? Not a walk, not yoga, not a ten minute ab video? It's hard to determin what constitutes rest. Is it just a day away from running, or is it a day of complete sloth?

Today is my planned day of rest, and in some ways my body needs it -- Sunday I ran 5 miles, Monday I did arms and yoga, and yesterday I ran five miles, so I'm a little stiff. Yet, a part of me finds it difficult to take a day off. I feel guilty for some reason, and feel completely unjustified eating that piece of cake. At least when I ate the cake yesterday I could say, "It's alright, I ran five miles this morning."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Last night I made it to yoga and did not fall asleep in the middle. That was only the second time I've been to a yoga class at my gym, but if you rewound my life a few years, yoga used to be my primary form of activity, and I used to go to all kinds of classes and practice Hatha, Ashtanga, and even "hot" yoga (they heat the room to about 95 degrees and because your muscles are warm you move through poses faster and deeper, but lord, do you sweat -- first time I went I had to step out halfway through because I thought I was going to barf). But I haven't really done much yoga in the past few years, and I don't know why because as I was in class last night, I was thinking about how much I enjoy it. Plus, I can see how it's good to pair some yoga with a running schedule.

For one thing, yoga emphasizes concentration and focus on the breath and the body, so that you are centered on what activity your body is engaged in. While running certainly engages the body and helps you to focus on the activity, as a sport, running doesn't necessarily lend itself to the same sort of practice, but it should. I have to be mindful of every movement in yoga and I should be mindful of my movement while I run. But typically, my mind wanders and I think about what it will feel like once I am done running instead of focusing on what it feels like to run, even when it feels uncomfortable or difficult. It's then, I suppose, I should be thinking about my breathing and not what I'll eat for breakfast when I am finished.

Breathing is a huge part of yoga, and most of the beginning portion of class and the end portion of class concentrates on only that -- connecting the breath first to the body and then, as you move through poses, connecting the breath to the movement. And breathing is something I struggle with while I run. I don't know if it's all in my head or what, but I sometimes weeze and gasp for air, and it isn't until I'm established in the distance that I can find a rhythm with my breathing. So, this morning when I ran I tried to apply the kind of calming breath that we practice in yoga -- it kinda worked, maybe it worked because I was actually thinking about how I breathed, and not just that I needed to breathe.

But lastly, I think yoga can help my running because it helps restore flexibility -- a runner's arch nemesis. Running, by its nature, tightens the muscles in the legs, back, abs, even the arms, but many runners can actually suffer by having such tight muscles. Some experience back pain, knee soreness, hip stiffness, and lower back aches, but with yoga, a runner can help relieve some of this pain and hopefully, make those problem areas resistant to such aches. Many of us who run either ignore stretching or rush through it, so taking the time to devote ourselves to full body stretching can be very beneficial and can help keep us free of injury (which means time away from running).

In fact, in the last RW, there was a special section on yoga and how it can be added to a running routine. I think I should start going back regularly; plus, I love the part at the end where the instructor guides you through relaxation -- so wonderful. It makes me feel like a kindergartener during nap time.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sleepy Monday

I wonder if there is a way to bottle the energy of a puppy, so that humans can enjoy the endless benefits. We wouldn't need caffeine -- just a "puppy pill." Because Scooter might get sleepy sometimes and he'll need to lay down for a short nap, but twenty or thirty minutes seems to revive him and he's back to running around the house, or chewing on the legs of my pants -- good thing denim is hardy.

Me, on the other hand, I need way more rest than the puppy. I know I said yesterday that I'm getting used to getting up early; well, I think I spoke too soon. I was so exhausted last night that I got home and went to bed at like 9:00. And truthfully, I'd been dozing since like 6:00. And you'd think that after all that sleep (despite the 2 am potty break) that I'd be revived at seven this morning, but no, I was not. After I fed Scooter, I just sat on the couch and looked blankly ahead for about a half an hour before I was able to motivate myself to get up and start doing stuff.

I suppose it takes more than a week to get used to completely rearranging your sleeping schedule, and when you're like me (who needs about 9-10 hours of sleep) that probably takes even longer. Thankfully I don't have to muster the energy for a run today, but I do plan on going to yoga this evening. But it won't get done until 8:30 -- wonder if I'll be able to stay awake through it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Morning

Now that I have the puppy, every morning is an early morning, and for a person who would normally still be sleeping, it's a rude change of pace. However, I am finding that I am getting used to it, and that it even has some advantages. Like this morning, for instance, I got up, let the dog out, fed him, etc and then went for a five mile run (went really well -- weather was perfect), showered (even shaved my legs) and have managed to get a few other things done (mostly email and reading the paper), and it's only 9:30! What a miracle.

Of course, rising early has its counter affect -- going to bed early. Last night I was laying in bed watching the Olympics (so disappointed in hyped Bode Miller) and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I told my husband I was going to bed because I was exhausted, and he asked me what time it was. I looked at the clock and was surprised to see it was only 10 pm. Oh well. I was out and it felt delicious. Nothing like a wild and crazy Saturday night.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Snack Attack

There are some times when I don't really crave any one kind of food over another. I can happily munch on cereal all day and if it fills me up, that's great, and that's all I really care about. But there are other days, or even full weeks, when I absolutely have to have a certain food. Sometimes it's a salt craving, and I love to chow down on fries or chips, and I feel like I could lick the salt off of each one (perhaps it would be best during those cravings to invest in a salt-lick). But more often that not, I crave sweets over salts, and the one sweet I can't get enough of? Chocolate.

Especially a certain chocolate that contains nuget, peanuts, and carmel? You know what I'm talking about, right? Snickers! I have always been a Snickers fan. When I first went away to college (and had unresticted access to vending machines), I used to head down to my dorm lobby and buy a Snickers nearly every night for dessert -- must be why I gained that freshman fifteen (that, and all the booze). After that year, I cut back some, but it was hard because college campuses' main source of food distribution is through vending machines, and they exist all over college campuses across the country (and in other countries too, I'm sure). Vending machines are popular because the food is cheap and fast, and many college students need that while cramming for a test or preparing for an in-class essay.

Perhaps if I had chosen a career where I left the collegiate world, I could leave behind a love for the vending machine snacks, but alas, I chose to teach at the college level and thus I am strapped to the ever-tantalizing call of the Snickers (few others goodies interest me). This week was espeically bad. I had two of them. Not in a row -- I ate them on separate days -- but to eat two candy bars in one week is like fornicating with a street-walker in terms of sin. Yet, I have rationalized that it's not really a big deal.

A. I don't usually eat two candy cars in a week. In fact, I rarely eat candy bars. (I do, however, regularly consume other sweetened products like ice cream treats.) So, I figure an indulgence every once in awhile doesn't hurt anyone, and unless those bars were laced with cyanide, I'm sure they won't kill me -- they'll just give me a fat ass.

B. As I said before on a previous post, Snickers are essentially equivilent in sugar, protein, and fiber as a Power Bar; they are just marketed differently. The difference is that you eat a Power Bar and you feel as though you ate something healthy, and if you eat a Snickers, you feel as though you might have to battle Satan for your soul. (But, I've pretty much accepted the idea that hell will be my final destination, and if they have Snickers there, I think that will suit me just fine.) So, it's about perception.

Yes, if you eat five candy bars a day, that will be dificult to run off, but one? That's two hundred calories (or two miles -- I think of most calories in terms of how many miles I have to run to shed those calories) and that's not too bad. Of course, that means I have to run. Crap.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Running and the Puppy

The past week has been a busy one, especially with the new puppy. Before we got the dog, I always scoffed at people who spoke of their dogs as if they were children, and I always believed that having a dog would be much the same as not having one -- just a few required changes. But having a dog, or at least a puppy, is challenging work, and I now see everyone who owns pets in a different light: It truly is an added responsibility.

Little did I know that owning Scooter would affect all areas of my life including time spent in the shower and even in the toilet, but I had no idea that owning a puppy might also affect my running. Because we've only had him a few days, and the three of us are adjusting to life with one another, my husband and I are trying to limit Scooter's alone time (the books say we need to "bond," which for Scooter means bonding by means of sharp teeth -- nothing can break free from those). And this mostly means that he stays home by himself when we are at work or running necessary errands, but it also means that he's alone when I'm at the gym or out on a run. And two days ago when I ran, I fretted the whole time about him: Would he be yipping and crying (we have neighbors who might be disturbed and upset by that noise)? Would he be pooping all over the floor? Chewing apart cords or getting stuck behind the refrigerator?

So I decided into the first mile of my run to go for only three instead of four, and I ran them in just over thirty minutes; I was motivated -- I needed to get home to the pup. And yesterday (my day for strength training), I decided that instead of going to the gym, I would lift (with my hand weights) at home. This proved to be more difficult than I originally imagined since a puppy assumes that you are on the floor for one reason: To play with him. He kept licking my face and biting at my feet and fingers (the biting thing is getting exhausting to deal with) while I did push-ups and he jumped and played with me as I tried to move through varying sets of curls and rows. He seemd to think that those weights were chewable toys I was trying to keep away from him.

Thankfully, a dog does mean plenty of walking, so this does provide a little extra exercise; however, a puppy means that those walks need to remain pretty short. He tuckers out easily (although there is always enough energy when we get home to tug at my jeans and wrestle with his stuffed toys), so we can't get too far. Plus, it's not a very vigorous walk because of frequent stops to pee, poo, and sniff out the territory. And, of course, once he's done, he's done. He'll plop down in the middle of the sidewalk and refuse to walk another step. He'll sit or lay and will endure dragging if need be in order to save his precious legs from exerting themselves one more inch. (I wonder what would happen if I just sat down in the middle of a run; I probably wouldn't want to get up either.) And lastly, sometimes he's not in the mood to walk, only in the mood to tear apart your pants and shoes.

Yesterday I was embarassed to find myself not twenty feet outside my door stalled by the dog running in circles at my feet and attacking them: It was a frenzy of biting, gnawing, jumping, and circle sprinting. We did not get far before turning back -- he was maniacal. When my husband got home from work, I turned that devil dog over to him, wished him luck, and headed out for my night class relieved to get time away from the chewer. Yet, it was great to return home and have him run to greet me (might be the best part of owning a pet).

Of course, after our initial affection was exchanged, he started chewing on my pants.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

No More Sniffles

Thank god, I can breathe today. The cold has subsided. I still have a bit of a stuffy nose, but the worst is over. I suppose this means I will have to run today. Strange how my muscles feel sore, but I haven't exerted myself in several days: They must miss the running. Could that be?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Snotty Nose

Yep, the slight cold I was developing yesterday turned into full-blown ickiness, and I felt like crap yesterday evening. My nose would not stop running, and there were times when I would be bent over and the snot would just flow on out. Once, I was coming in the back door with the new puppy and he was crazy and running around my feet and I kept sneezing and snot was everywhere, and I couldn't get his leash off, and well, snot got in my hair. I'll admit it; it was disgusting.

It was then that I handed puppy-care over to the husband, and then I went to bed and watched the Olympics all night. I felt a little better this morning and went to class, but I felt like poo -- and there's hardly anything worse than feeling like crap but standing in front of a full classroom and carrying on with the lesson on run-on sentences (everyone's favorite). Thankfully, no snot slipped out of my nose in class.

In short, today was another day off from running. I used to feel so guilty if I strayed from the schedule, even if I didn't feel well, but now I can see how overall health is more important than one day's run, and that if I didn't take care of myself now, I might end up feeling like crap for much longer, and that's not worth feeling as though I have soldiered through the pain. I am feeling better now, and I think that after another good night's sleep, I'll be much better.

Colds suck.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


So, I got a new puppy! Well, it's not just mine: It's my husband's as well. We saw him yesterday in the paper, and went to meet him in person, and brought him home. We have dubbed him Scooter.
Scooter's main past-time is chewing. He loves to chew, chew, chew. And his favorite chew toy? Me. And my pants. He loves to just latch onto my pants and hang there. This can be annoying (and a little painful) when trying to walk or sit or do any other activitity. But damn, he is cute, isn't he? Especially when he's just laying there all quiet and not chewing.

Scooter will probably not be a running partner, which is fine, I don't really like running with a dog, unless that dog can be off a leash -- only in dog parks around here. They always need to stop and sniff, and I like to keep running once I start. But he is fun to walk with, even though he likes to be in charge.

Anyway, I have a cold today. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and knew I was coming down with something, and today (when I got up at the ass-crack of dawn with the puppy) my nose was doing more running than I will today. I don't feel terrible (especially after some medication), but I don't feel like running. And even though I know that running can be fine if you're not running a fever, I still want to take it easy today: Play with my new puppy some, do some shopping, and relax.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Hair Issues

At first, I thought that hair issues were something specific to women, but then as I thought deeper (and looked around at some of the long-locked men at the gym), I realized that hair issues may also be something that men think about as well. Maybe no one else, of either gender, thinks about it, but I know I think about my hair nearly everytime I workout. Yes, it strikes me as silly to be thinking about hair when I should be focusing on my body, but sometimes hair can be downright distracting when you're working out.

Last spring when I started to run seriously, and began to build a program out of running, my hair was very short, but not short enough to leave alone -- long enough to need to be pulled back, but not long enough to actually be pulled back. So, at first I was keeping the hair in check with a series of clips, bands, and elastics -- my hair was chock full of gagetry. Thankfully, my hair has grown out over the past months, but it has been a long time growing and the graduation from many hair accesories to just one has been slow. However, just because the hair now fits into just one elastic doesn't mean my troubles are over. Far from it.

For one thing, I have these wisps of hair in the front of my face that haven't grown since I was two and they like to spring away from whatever is attempting to hold them back, and they fly into my mouth, my nose, and my eyes while I'm running, and I have to wait for my head to get sweaty enough to paste them back in that fashion (gross, I know, but you go with what works). Plus, it always seems that I have to reach back and do a hair adjustment part way through my run; usually it's just a tightening of the band, but sometimes I have to re-tie my ponytail in mid-run (not an easy task).

All this brought me to a brief blurb in the recent issue of RW that featured a new hair tie designed specifically for when you work out -- supposedly it will stay in place better than any previous designs. Sounds great, but I wonder if it will be like the promise of lipstick that will never wear off (the stuff that is so permanent you need to get paint thinner to remove it)? Will the hair tie become a permanent part of my head, will I be able to get it out once it's in, or will it be just like any other elastic -- strong and firm at first, but after months of use, wear out?

Perhaps it can also fix my wingy-y hair that I have out in front: Is there any cure for that?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Shower Temp

I always have a tough time determining the shower temp after I return from a run. On the one hand, I want something that is cool to soothe my very sweaty, very hot skin; however, I also don't like the shock of going from being very hot to being chilled by icy bullets of water. The logical middle ground would be a shower with lukewarm temps, but I often find myself fiddling with the tap in order to find the perfect temperature for my shower.

Ordinarily, I love a hot, steamy shower. The sort of hot that chafes the skin and fogs the mirrors in the bathroom. When I was growing up, my parents constantly monitored my shower time because, according to them, my long, hot showers were the source of their high energy bills (it turned out that I was also responsible for other high costs: phone bill, car insurance, etc). So I was often restricted to five minute showers. "Five minutes! Everything you need to wash can be washed in five minutes," my stepdad used to say. I'm sure it can be, but I don't like a long, fiery shower for washing, I like it for standing in. The heat relaxes me and the gentle pelting of the spray feels good. Plus, you have to let that conditioner sit for 2-3 minutes, and you can't shampoo, wash your face and your body, and shave in five minutes (though I'll admit that now I only shave once in awhile because of laziness and the fact that it's so damn time-consuming, much to my husband's dissatisfaction).

So now that I'm an adult and I'm the one who has to pay the electric bill, I like to luxruriate in the long, painfully hot showers; however, I don't take them very often since I primarily reserve showers for after I workout, and who wants to step into a hot shower after sweating? No one wants to sweat more.

Sometimes I settle for the ick of a lukewarm or even cold shower after a run in order to feel refreshed, but later in the evening I might run a hot bath and let myself boil in the skin-dehydrating heat (I also was renowed for taking baths so hot I made myself sick when I was growing up, but strange as it may sound, I still love taking a really hot bath -- I only sit in it for about ten minutes -- and then laying in front of a fan to cool off; it feels good, and makes me sleepy). I need to soak up that heat without some yelling "tick-tock" outside the bathroom door.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tomato Face

Yesterday I decided to run in the middle of the day, outside. This is Florida mind you, so midday means that it is the sunniest, warmest part of the day, but when I had stepped out in the morning I thought it felt pleasant, and there was a slight breeze, so I figured it wouldn't be too hot for me. I was wrong. I ran four miles, and for the most part, the run went well, and I felt good, but I did feel like my head might burst into flames at the end of my run.

I always get a sweaty face when I work out (I don't know if it's genetic or what, but I do not look pretty), but when I run with the sun shining, I get the "tomato face." I don't feel it so much as I run, but when I stop running, it literally feels as though all the blood in my body is gathering in my head, and I can here the thrumming of my heartbeat behind my eyeballs, and that's when I know I will have the incredibly flushed face.

After the race this last Saturday my husband commented, "Whoa, you have a red face." Thanks honey. And that day was cloudy and cool out. So this makes me wonder. If I ever do get to running long distances and I actually do run a marathon, will my head just pop off from the heat and exhaustion? I mean if I have a tomato face after three or four miles, what will happen after 26.2? Will my whole body be tomato body?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Smelling the Smell

I should have learned by now that the gym at 6 o'clock in the evening is a place I shouldn't wander into, but did I forget the last time I was there at that time? I must have. At first, there wasn't a single treadmill in sight (and I only really needed it to warm up on one because yesterday was a strength training day anyway), but after I'd made my first lap I spotted one that had just opened up. I trotted right over and snapped it up.

But while I was walking, I smelled a smell. Was it the fact that the gym was packed with sweaty people or was it the sweaty person right next to me? I'm not sure which, but it was the unmistakable smell of BO and it was stiffling. I only needed to walk for about fifteen minutes to get the blood pumping and the muscles ready for lifting action, so I was able to breathe through my mouth effectively until I could escape the stink. But lord, was it a stink.

The rest of the workout went fine, and my arms are sore today from yesterday's effort, but I am now reminded that week nights should be off limits, and I should know better than to pop up there. It's best to be able to exercise in a solitary area where you are trapped with only your own smell, and I smell like roses, so that's just pleasant.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Upcoming 10K

I have been planning and training for a 10K since December. In December, when I had looked at the race calendar, I could have sworn that there was a 10K/5K on February 25th, so that was the day I planned on running the race. However, after yesterday's race, I hopped online to register for the upcoming race and I find out it must be an imaginary race because it is not scheduled. There is a 5K that day, but no 10K.

After doing some scrolling through the calendar, I find that the next closest 10K in the area isn't until the middle of March. I suppose in some ways, this gives me more time to prepare, but I was set for the 25th of this month and this change throws me off. The calendar is filled with 5Ks in the next few months, but hardly anything longer than that. Perhaps I will have to open up my peripheral and search for some events further outside my short travel radius.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Rainy Day 5K

This morning, I wasn't sure if the race for today would be cancelled or not because of the rain, but apparently only wicked witches melt in the rain, and because I am a good witch, I was able to participate.

I was actually glad for the cloud cover as well as the rain because otherwise a 4:30 pm 5K in Ft Lauderdale would be too warm for me (I do melt in the heat). As it was, the weather fit perfectly into what was my best 5K so far. I finished in 31:48 -- my best time so far, which means I averaged 10:15 minute miles, and I beat my previous time on this course (I ran it a year ago and finished with 32:30).

As I ran, I faced many obstacles, chief of these obstacles were a child and an old lady, both of whom managed to stay just in front of me nearly the whole way. The kid was only knee high to a grasshopper, but he was weaving ahead of me just out of my grasp (if I could have grabbed his shirt collar, I could have flung him into the bushes). Every time I thought I had ground on him, he would kick it into high gear and zoom out in front of me. Finally, at mile two, the ankle biter lost his steam and I left him in the puddles. But I still had this old lady to contend with. She was one of those "hares"; you know, the ones who sprint, then walk, then sprint again (I hate those people, they piss me off). Anyway, her hare technique kept her well ahead of my tortoise approach, and I thought I might never pass her, but finally in the last quarter mile I was able to sustain a steady sprint; whereas, I can only assume her final steps across the finish line were walking steps.

I don't care that I placed 10th out of 13 in my age group: I beat that old lady and that kid, and that was invaluable.

My husband came with me to the race to cheer me on (since it was in the afternoon and he didn't have to bother himself with getting out of bed early) and he snapped these pictures for me. He took one of me coming across the finish line also, but by that time I was like a speeding bullet, and film couldn't accurately capture me (I suppose I'll need to invest in some slow motion technology), so I don't have any action shots for you here. The husband was impressed with the other runners, and by impressed I mean utterly annoyed. He said it was one of the strangest groups of people he'd ever encountered: I readily agreed, counting myself amongst the weirdness.
Another triumph for the Jess; now, I will have to retrain my focus toward a 10K (when that will be is a whole new post -- coming soon to a blog near you).

Thursday, February 02, 2006

To Vitamin or Not to Vitamin

Yesterday I swallowed my last vitamin in the container. Now I am faced with a dilema. Do I go buy more? Do I buy a different kind (I have been drawn in by the idea of gummy vitamins)? Do I quit taking them? What would happen if I didn't take a multi-vitamin anymore? Would I turn inside out?

I looked up some stuff on the Internet to see what the wise sage could tell me about vitamins and everything seemed to suggest that I needed a daily multi-vitamin to ensure the appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals. One website said the only way you don't need one is if your diet is very balanced and you get plenty of variety in fruit, grains, veggies, and meats. Their advice seemed to suggest that no one gets a completely balanced diet, and yes, dummy, you should take a multi-vitamin, especially if you exercise regularly.

I do try to eat healthy. Yesterday I had a spinach salad, some cantaloupe, cereal, some yogurt: all good things for me. Unfortunately, I don't always integrate that kind of good stuff into my everyday nuitrition. Some days I eat nothing but cheese and crackers, and others I subsist off Lean Cuisine (and I really only like one of their meals, so it's the same one all the time). I guess that means I need to just suck it up and purchase some more vitamins. Maybe I'll go for the gummy; I'm just nervous they will disappoint me. I suppose it's only a six dollar investment, and if I don't like them I can always go back to the horse pills. Geez, how neurotic am I? Everyone with real problems is probably laughing at my concern over whether or not to buy gummy vitamins.

Ho-hum, vitamins here I come!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Visualization is a key concept many coaches employ when trying to encourage their teams, and it's something most running guides offer as advice for runners everywhere: Visualize yourself succeeding, and most likely you will succeed. But when I run, I often employ a totally different method of visualization (some might substitute the words "day dream" for visualization). I like to picture myself at some point in the future encountering an ex-boyfriend and I want one of two things to happen: One, I look totally awesome and he's beating himself on the side of the head for letting me go, or Two, I want to beat him at a race.

This second one doesn't seem as plausible as the first, but it's actually one of my favorites. I like to imagine a 5 or 10K we're both running, and I let him have the lead most of the way, but the last mile I sneak up on him and then in the last 100 yards or so, I pass him by, and I'm so fast that he hardly knows it's me who whooshed past. And then he sees that I have beat him, and he is humiliated, and I am triumphant (maybe I even get a medal or a trophy or something). It's a nice little fantasy. No ex-boyfriends run, that I know of, and my chances of ever meeting up with one of them are slim, the chances get even slimmer to race against one, and I am living in a complete dream to believe I would be capable of beating one.

But still, it works well for motivational purposes. I have someone in particular I like to imaginary race. In real life, he would totally win. But in my "visualization," I totally smoke him.