Sunday, January 27, 2013

Yes my ears are FINE!

I know that living in southern Indiana is nothing compared to say.... Wisconsin or Montana during the winter. I get that. But for us, a windchill of single digits is cold. And we become whiny. And as runners that means it's the time of year where we begin frantically digging through our closets looking for our warm stuff.

Now, lets talk about my head. It's gigantic. Maybe not in a cartoon way, but definitely in a I can't wear hats that don't stretch way. And my head also gets very hot when I run (insert hot head/angry girl joke here). I've never been able to wear a hat when I run for two reasons.

1) I get way too hot too fast
2) Most running hats are to small and either make me feel like my head is in a vice or they slowly creep up my head until they fall off.

So every year when the weather gets cold people get overly concerned about my ears.

Erin, I'm afraid your ears will fall off.
Erin, do you want to borrow my hat?
Erin, I'm worried about your ears freezing off.
Erin, aren't your ears cold?
Erin, you're a fool,cover your ears, what's wrong with you?

I eventually just ending up shouting about how fine my ears are sporadically to ease my friend's well meaning minds. And sometimes they are a bit cold, but I just couldn't find the magic piece of material to solve the problem.

Enter the magical Saucony headband!

I just got it and it is all the things I love! Big enough to fit my giant head, thin enough to not make me sweat to death, and light enough so that when I'm tired of it and pull it down to hang around my neck, I barely notice it's there!

So, now that I have it and love it, I'm sure that a warm front will come through southern Indiana and I won't need it. But when it is cold, don't worry about my ears, ok! They're covered!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Racing Smart and Saving Cash...

I smoked for over 10 years. And I tried to quit more than a few times. The last time it finally stuck. It was a miserable thing, quitting smoking. But I'm also a very "thrifty" gal. And by thrifty I mean OH MY GOD I HATE TO WASTE MONEY!!!!! I buy generic, used clothes, save up for almost 10 years to buy a car... I'm cheap. That would be an understatement. So, when quitting smoking finally started to stick I did the ol save the money you would have been spending on cigarettes trick. I didn't really SAVE the money, I just wrote down on a calender how much money I was saving. It was nice in theory, but numbers on a calender are just that.
When I trained for my first half marathon I paid myself a dollar for every mile I ran during training. My first half seemed almost undoable, so having some fun spending money at the end was a cool motivator. And this was not just numbers on a calender. This was cold hard cash in an envelope. I can still remember packing the money away and having a visible reminder of my miles on the road. By the time I paid myself the big 13 dollars for race I had a fun amount of money to spend on ME! The tightwad in my wanted to put the money right into a savings account. But, I had planned this as a way to reward myself, not just save more money. I bought a funny race picture and my first cold weather running gear. It was a big deal.
So here I am 5 years later and I made this plan for 2013 to consider what races I might run a little more seriously. Last year I got caught up in flurry of "everyone is running this race! DO IT" and "it's a great price. Buy NOW!" It was like I was caught in an infomercial for all races. And I bought EVERY product that was being sold! Some of it was awesome. Surprise races that I never thought I would do. Part of it was misery. Races I registered for, for all the wrong reasons. And I spent a fortune.
I'm trying to think a little more this year. Let the surprises still come, but don't always get caught up in the hoopla. And I know it's only late January... but I've already NOT signed up for two races! Would they be fun? I'm sure. Awesome? Maybe. But they aren't screaming at me to do them. I don't feel that gotta do it feeling. So I passed. And guess what! I've already saved $75.00!!! HOLY CRAP! I don't think I'll put the money in a little yellow envelope, but I feel like I made some good choices for me. The trick is to not let the crazy cheap girl in me run wild with this. I don't want to skip all races just to save money... but then again.... I saved $75.00! What to do, what to do...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Road Running Has it's Good Stuff too!

Sometimes I get so  caught up in my love of  trails that I start to poo poo my old friend the road. The roads are where I first learned to run. Where I slunk out in the predawn hours to stumble through an 18 minute mile walk/run, laugh at my minor victories that seemed major, and roads are where I realized that if I can't tell if I'm approaching a human or a trashcan and I don't want to wear my glasses, I should get contacts.... I gripe about roads because they make my feet hurt and my shins cry and cars are dangerous and blah blah blah.
But today I had plans at noon and I couldn't wait for ye old sunlight to break to get on the trails. So I talked two friends into meeting me a 7 for a little predawn running. Always a bit creepy and always a bit of adventure, but so much better with friends. We had a nice four miles and then EUREKA! I remembered something I love about road running.... RUNNING THROUGH SUNRISE!!! Beautiful sunrise that brought us to meet more friends for more running.
Then I remembered something that I love/hate about road running too.... You don't walk up every hill like trails... ok that's how I "run" trails, maybe it's not how everyone else does it.... I like to call it my "stop and smell the roses god these hills are giving me a butt cramp trail pace"...But here I was running up all the hills huffing and puffing and thinking, "I should slow down, this is too fast. Is this too fast?" It's not too fast, it's running on roads, I can just go faster on roads. DUH.
So I guess that road running has it's place. A lovely place that makes me push myself in a different way, see beautiful sunrises and feel fast (it's all relative). It's not a morning spent frolicking in the woods, but it's still some good stuff.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Frozen Turtle Run


This run definitely falls into the category of "this is either the best idea or the worst idea...ever". I still can't decide which it was. BUT! There were definitely some best ofs and worst ofs involved.

The run was organized by Indiana Trail Running. A group I've heard lovely things about and joined, but haven't had a chance to run with yet. There were some people there to run 10 miles, 20 miles, and a 50k out in the woods with beautiful snow. It was going to be amazing (in my head). And I'll admit that parts of it were. We tackled the three lakes trail which was 10 miles and that's all this gal was interested in doing. Things got going and I was feeling positive.

The scenery was beautiful but the trail went from easy tamped down snow, to powdery exhausting snow, to trampled melted and refrozen trail. I was exhausted. Flailing my arms around like a drunk due to constantly being off balance. My positive feelings, quickly changed to "how am I going to survive this"? Would I have been better off without a Garmin on this run? YES! If I hadn't had a constant reminder of how slow I was going and how MANY miles were left, I think I could have surrendered to the run a bit more.

Thankfully I had lovely company that pretended to be struggling as much as I was.We ran a little and walked a LOT. My feet were killing me due to my Yak Trax and plantar faciitis. But I wouldn't have wanted to attempt this run without them.

Despite the pain in my feet and the weariness of my body, I still laughed from my belly and had wild conversations about how it would be great if we could fly back to the cars on a dragon. And then when everyone asked why we were so slow we would tell them, "maybe if you weren't in such a hurry you wouldn't have missed this DRAGON!" Maybe you had to be there but it made perfect sense at the time.

We were greeted at the finish by warm smiles and a warm fire. As with most runs, I'm glad I did it. I got to meet some new people and spend a lovely morning on the trails. So what if I'm exhausted and my feet are killing me? It's good stuff.

Check out the Indiana Trail Runners! Good people with good snacks. It doesn't get any better than that!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Things I Learned in 2012... or like to think I did

Everyone is heavy into making New Year's resolutions. Lose weight, quit smoking, grow wings, become a unicorn, and on and on. I made a few goals last year and accomplished them all, which was kind of cool. BUT, the cooler stuff that happened last year was the stuff I hadn't planned. So this year I know I want to shoot for 1,000 miles run, because I just like that goal. But I think that my other goals for the year are to do my best to learn from some of the stuff I picked up on last year.

- Quit saying I'll NEVER do stuff. Saying that virtually guarantees I will do it, and love it.

- If something sounds terrifying and ridiculous... really look into possibly doing it.

- Don't sign up for every race I've ever heard of in January just because it's $5.00 cheaper and seems like it will fit into my calender. I signed up for some of the best races I ran last year late in the game. And some of the races I had no interest in by the time I got to the starting line were a "great deal" when I signed up for them in January.

- Don't sign up for a race just because all of my friends are. It's like every mom ever says...."if all your friends jumped off of a building, would you do it too?" I signed up for a few races that my heart wasn't in at all, just because my friends were. There's nothing wrong with tagging along to cheer. Or if we are continuing with the mom example... just go cheer for your friends jumping off the building! You don't have to jump too!

- If something hurts and won't stop hurting, go to a doctor.

- Along those same lines.... I don't ALWAYS have to run the longest distance available at any given race. If there's a 15k and 5k, I always feel like I have to run the longer distance. More bang for my buck or something macho like that. Sometimes a little less macho leads to a little more fun.

- Accept the runner that I am on any given day. That may not be the runner my schedule says I should be, or the runner I pictured I would be all day at work, or the runner I think I should be. Or it may be a super awesome runner that I didn't even know existed.

- Try to find something awesome in every run, even if it's only something stupid like my Garmin finding a satellite quickly.

- Don't eat ALL the cookies, but enjoy the ones I eat

I think I learned some other stuff, but I can't remember it right now.... Is that a bad sign?