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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Listen to Your Body

I know that when it comes to listening to music while running people can have some strong opinions. So since I was so pro-music yesterday, I thought I would offer a counterbalance today.

These images come from The Complete Runner’s Day-by-Day Log 2012 Calendar by Andrews McMeel Publishing that my wonderful boyfriend was nice enough to buy for me for Christmas 2011.

I hope you enjoy them (even if I scanned them a little crooked):

I also thought I should be a little “pro no music” today since I will be running without music at the Diva Dash tomorrow because I’ll be running with friends! 🙂


Music as Motivation

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a huge fan when it comes to listening to music while working out. I really think it helps me to keep going and to shut down the negative voices in my head. And I discovered a website/app that I’d like to share with you in case you’re also a fan of running to music.! matches your desired pace with songs that have an appropriate beats per minute. What a fun way to find new motivational music! I hope you enjoy! It’s also available for your iPhone, but I’m not finding it on the Android platform (bummer!).

Plus, you may enjoy this study about increasing lung function and working out with music.

I also find it funny that the site reminds people:

The phrasing cracks me up, but that’s because I hear my mother’s voice from my childhood telling me not to run into traffic… However, I do agree with be careful where you choose to run with music. Personally, I run on the treadmill or on a running path in an urban environment (lots of people – so less of a chance of being attacked, I hope – and if a car is going to hit me, it’s going to have to first crash through a grocery store or an apartment building for the most part…) I think I’m pretty safe with my music, but please be safe with yours!

What do you think?

Where Do You Put It?

Hello wonderful readers! I need your help!

The Run to Home Base is this Sunday and I’m already starting to worry a bit. My first concern when I signed up for the run was that iPods aren’t allowed! I love listening to music while running: it keeps my pace up and my negative voices at bay. Luckily, the wife of one of T’s friends ran this race last year (and will be running it again this year) and she told me that actually tons of people run this with ear phones, they are just discrete about it. She told me to run with the headphone wires under my shirt and I should be fine. Yay!

Here’s a snag in that though, I always run with my iPod in my hand, it just makes sense to me to hold it. But, knowing that I can’t do that for this race, I experimented with placement during last night’s run. I run with a 4-year-old Nano (oh, yeah, I’m hip…) and it lives inside an Otterbox Armor case (because I’m desperately afraid of destroying the fragile iPod).

This is what the back of the case looks like

I started off by clipping it to my shorts pocket (with the iPod basically inside my pocket). That was crazy uncomfortable (and super unstable) and I was afraid it would fall out and smash on the ground. So I clipped it to my waistband. That worked really nicely… or so I thought. While it was stable, it also gave me a friction burn. This stupid burn is 3 inches long on my right hip and totally hurts! 😦

So I won’t be trying that again.

I also own an armband that a friend gave me. Unfortunately the arm band is 1) enormous and 2) made for an iPhone. I’ve used it before, but had to tuck tissues in around the nano so it wouldn’t bounce around. Because it doesn’t fit, it randomly changes songs (which drives me CRAZY!). So it’s an option, but not the ideal option…

When I showed T the burn this morning, he asked if I want to buy an iPod shuffle that I can just clip to my collar and go. It took me FOREVER to buy the nano (I am such a SLOW adopter of technology… and I work at a publishing company that produces tech magazines! I’m so lame). So it seems a little crazy to me that I should own 2 iPods…

What do you think? Where do you clip yours? Instead of working with what I have, should I buy a new arm band or a Shuffle? What do you recommend?

On a sidenote, I would like to thank Nicole M. for her donation! I’m guessing that she’s a reader because I don’t know her in real life. But she actually lives in a town where I run! (on longer runs, I technically run through 3 towns because I live on the border with 2 other towns) Small world! Nicole, who is a stranger as far as I know, made the largest single donation and suffers from my brand of crazy, so I’d like to thank her on two fronts! What’s the crazy, you ask? I had raised $795, she donated $105, thus rounding it up to an even $900! I’m like that as well, I love making things even numbers. So thank you, Nicole! I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did!

Finally Outside!

Normally, I live in the land of those loathing spring daylight savings. This year, I actually haven’t completely hated it. I went running outside last Wednesday and on Sunday! I’m loving it! It’s so exciting to see daylight when I get out of work.

Now, I was being optimistic on Wednesday. It was “nice out,” so I rushed home from work and went out for 30 minutes (as the sun was setting).

I put on some winter-ish running clothes (read: I put a fleece on over my t-shirt), popped on my headphones, and skipped out the door. As soon as Face Down by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus started playing on my iPod, I had a HUGE grin on my face and couldn’t stop. You might be thinking to yourself  “Isn’t that song about domestic abuse? Jen, you’re twisted!” And you’d be right on both accounts! Although I don’t support domestic abuse! Here’s the thing, I love listening to upbeat break-up songs, because I sing them to my “old, lazy self” or to the squishy parts around my middle that I’m trying to lose, or anything I think is holding me back at that moment. And Face Down is the first song on my running playlist. As soon as I heard it, I heard a little voice inside start shouting: “Woohoo! We’re running!” I mean, just listen to the opening and tell me that it doesn’t get your heart pumping (ok, you might hate it if you think it’s a little too heavy, but it psyches me up)!

Woohoo! Outdoor running!

And I was outside and it was fabulous! For about 10 minutes… then I realized that while it was “nice out” during the day, it was still freaking cold! It was only 40 degrees. I became a runner over the summer; if you ever want someone to run with in 80 degree weather with 90% humidity, I’m your girl! But I’ve been running inside (or skipping workouts) all winter long! I don’t DO cold! My hands were FROZEN! I didn’t even think to bring gloves.

I may have run with a hand (each one taking turns) on the small of my back, under my shirt, trying to warm up the entire time. It was so pitiful! I may have looked ridiculous. Plus, there wasn’t much light, so it was only a 2.5 mile run. It may have felt short and I may have felt out of shape again, but it was so great to be back on my trail!

And Sunday’s run was even better! (I’ll post about that tomorrow) It feels so good to be running outside again!

Felt My Age…

I have mentioned over and over (and over) that I’ve turned 30. For the first time in my life, I have an experience that made me “feel my age.”

I was in the gym in the basement of my office building (it’s just a little office gym, it’s not like I work above a Planet Fitness or anything), and after 6:30 pm I am almost always the only person there. Personally, I enjoy that because I can just do my own thing and not feel judged. So there I am, alone, having a terrible run and sweating up a storm. At 7 pm, in waltzes this (as Michael Jackson would put it:) “Pretty Young Thing.” She’s probably early 20s, blond (perfect hair!), and tan (in New England in November!). She’s fit and sporting a tank top that ends above her belly button and has “Everlast” written on her perky chest. It seemed like irony to me.

Can you hear my inner voice beating myself up? I often consider myself to be pretty accurately described by my hair color: mousy brown. So, I’m trudging along on my treadmill, with my Irish up (I’m bright red in the face) and my flabby, white knees are running next to her perfect knees. Seriously, the girl could have been a model except that she was only about 5’5”.

Here I am feeling bad about myself when I realize that she’s running the same (slow) pace as I am… in fact, I might have been going a bit faster. She ran 1 mile total and got off the treadmill, I hit my 5th mile. She hops down, does about 25 sit ups and lifts weights for about 5 minutes and then she saunters back out of the gym. She was maybe in there for a total of 30 minutes, maybe. I was still running when she left.

Reality check for me: she was young and looking good, but at least my workout was longer than hers and I was kicking my workout’s butt! (Even though I was tired and feeling weak.)

It made me feel a bit better about me.


And in case you want to groove out to PYT:

Racing with this Journey!

My first race ever is tomorrow! I’m getting jittery/nervous/excited. I read on another running blog/chat board that I should have made every effort to sleep well last night because I’ll probably be too excited to get much sleep tonight. I have a feeling that’s true. Unfortunately, I didn’t mention that to my lovely boyfriend, and he woke me up this morning to tell me he was going out golfing… and I couldn’t fall back asleep. Bummer. So life goes though.

I found this quote and I love it:

I’m really going to repeat this to myself a lot tomorrow. On that other blog, someone was suggesting not to compare yourself to anyone else running because you don’t know what their training schedule is like. When that 70-year-old woman passes you, don’t freak out, she may have been running since she was 13 and she could be in crazy shape. I’ve been running since June, it’s not a competition against her! Same goes for people who look overweight (I don’t know if they’ve recently lost 200 pounds thanks to running). Also, this is a run to benefit Newton Special Athletes. I can’t think I’m in better shape than anyone with any special needs!

I’m there for myself. Period! These are my goals in order:

  1. Finish
  2. Run the entire time (no walking!)
  3. Finish in less than 35 minutes

Notice – I’m not trying to beat ANYONE! The only person I’m trying to beat is my lazy self – as mentioned in that fun quote above.

I also created a new iTunes playlist for the race tomorrow. My typical list was starting to lose its motivational power, so I kept the songs that I’m still loving and put in a few new ones:

As you can see, I’m a huge fan of Journey. I really find their lyrics helpful for keeping me going. Here are some of the other things that I’ll be chanting to myself tomorrow (in addition to the quote above):

Be good to yourself when nobody else will!

I don’t mean to say that no one else in my life is good to me, but what I do mean is that no one else is going to treat my body right, no one else is going to go running for me. If I don’t get myself off the couch, no one else can stop me from turning to jelly – so I need to be good to myself!

Anyway you want it that’s the way you need it, any way you want it!

This song was the impetus for my running mantra and I always mentally chant it along to the song. If I’m in the gym alone, I chant it out loud, and if I’m struggling tomorrow, I’m going to start belting it out on the course, I don’t care! My mantra is this: I want to be thin, I want to be fit, and I want a healthy heart. If you see me running tomorrow, feel free to remind me of that if it looks like I’m struggling!

I also like that this song chants “Hold on, hooo-ooo-old on!

Don’t be jealous of my boogie!

Thanks to RuPaul, tomorrow I will be thinking along with that track that I hope someone IS jealous of my boogie! That song always gets me moving a little faster!

See you on the other side!

Workin’ It Out!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s only Thursday!

Monday’s class was INTENSE! It will be a lot of work, and I’m really going to have to focus hard all semester to keep up. But, I think it’s also the kind of class where I will learn a ton and other people will recognise the types of information one would learn there. I mean I won’t have to explain what the class was about after I graduate. I can say “dramaturgy” and people (in theater) will go “gotcha!” So that’s a major plus!

Tuesday was a week all by itself! I worked 11 hours on Tuesday… which was fun. It was already dark when I got out of work so instead of going on my typical run, I decided to use the gym in the basement of my building. It’s just an office gym, not a membership-requiring, chain gym. So there are only 3 treadmills down there (and I bunch of other stuff but I only care about the treadmill). The best part of going to an office gym at 8 o’clock at night is that I’m the only person there!

Unfortunately, there were a lot of things I didn’t like about using the gym instead of running down my tree-laden path. For starters, across from the treadmill was a full length, floor to ceiling mirror. The last time I had to watch myself in one of those, I was 15. I probably weighed about 98 pounds. I hated it then because I had to watch that I have no sense of rhythm. This time I hated it because I got to watch my flabby knees in action! It was very distracting.

Plus, when I used to work out at the gym, those treadmills showed hundreths of a mile and for some reason, I found that more motivating because it always showed some movement. This treadmill only showed tenths of a mile and it felt like I was stuck in a tenth of a mile FOREVER! Oh, and it showed a little image of a track on the screen and showed progression around that. It would also tell you how many laps around the track you’ve done. I know it’s insane, but it reminded me of high school when I joined the indoor track team. In order to run a mile, we had to go around the track something like 12 or 13 times because our gym was so small. Ugh, it was painful and tedious. I’m surprised I ever went back to running.

Finally (this has nothing to do with the treadmill or the gym, but my own insanity) I always want the treadmill screen to be about an inch in front of my body… that leads to tripping on the front of the machine… which would have been embarrassing if anyone else was there.

Although I sort of fall forward over the machine...

If I get too far back, I’m afraid I’ll fall off. It’s nutty, I know.

Even with my miriad of complaints, I still ran 3.5 miles and walked another .5 because I like even numbers. The benefit to running on the treadmill is that I learned my average speed is about 11:15 per mile. I know it’s slow, but I’m ok with it. It’s actually faster than I thought! I thought I was running a 15 minute mile. I’m not sure if I was running faster or slower on the machine vs outside though.

After the run, I walked outside and was greeted with a lovely breeze and the air smelled so sweet. It would have been so much nicer running outside.

Last night, I went out for the end-of-season softball party!

After being social for 3 hours, I had to drive into Boston to get my professor to sign some paperwork for my second class. Oh, it was a busy night! But on my drive home, the radio played this:

And I certainly felt better!

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