Thursday, March 31, 2011

Running Journal Snapshot and Reflections of a Runner

Great news!  It isn't raining in Portland, Oregon today!  This is cause for serious celebration. Serious.  It wasn't raining last night either.  This meant that I got to do my repeat 1ks on the track OUTSIDE.  Unfortunately, I got pooped on by a bird but other than that, running outside was glorious! My repeats were not as good as I find myself doing on the treadmill though. The first 3 were right on at a 6:20 pace but then I got tired and found myself holding back a bit.  When I'm doing speed work at the gym I can just set the speed to what I want to run and then hold on.  And if I slow down then I'll fall off and make a total ass out myself right?  But when I'm on the track, it is so much easier for me to slow down.  On the other hand, I can see how it would make me a stronger runner to be able to push myself past these points without a treadmill to hold me to the pace.  I honestly think that the outside running and pushing myself to stay on pace will help me to be a stronger runner.  

Which brings me to some recent questions I'm reflecting on today.  I'm feeling tired this week and a big part of that is that I have not been getting enough sleep and feel like I'm getting a little sick.  But I've also just been tired with my running.  I'm hitting a lull with my "go get 'em" attitude and I'm starting to question where I'm at with running for fitness and fun vs. training for some big goals. Here are some questions I'm asking myself this week:

1.  Why am I training?  For fun, fitness, Personal Records, to push myself to entirely new levels of performance??  Why?  

2.  How serious do I want to be with running over the next few months, years?  Do I want to take it up a notch or two and try for some serious serious Personal records or do I want to just enjoy where I'm at and have fun with it?  

3.  Time for me to set some 1/2 or full marathon time goals!  It is kind of scary putting a time goal out there.  Always makes me feel vulnerable and like I have more to lose.  It is that fear of failure thing.  

I included these questions in my running journal today before I wrote this blog. I hope to have some answers for myself soon.  Here are a couple snapshots into my journal for today:

The Hippie Chick Half Marathon is my half marathon on May 8th!  Super excited about it!  Note Julie's (from Hot Legs Runner) running sticker! Thanks Julie.  I keep all my running stickers from all you awesome bloggers in my running journal.  Perfect place to be inspired by them.  

* So glad you all were amused by my messy house pictures and mad cleaning skillz video from my last post.  Your comments made me smile.  
*  Don't forget about my Hydration Belt Giveaway!  

What about you?  What are your answers to some of these questions I am reflecting on this week?  I'd love to hear how you would answer these for your own life!  

What are some time goals you have for running and what distances are your goals for?  



  1. That video of yours was hillarious. You are a spaz, so am I. When my husband cleans, he moves like a turtle. When I clean, I move like a fly! Ha! Although, I have to confess that he does a MUCH better job than me when it comes to cleaning.

    Those are all great questions, Amanda. It is important to ask them and to answer them for yourself, based on where your life is right now. For me, believe it or not, running is mostly about enjoyment. I love to train, I love reaching goals, I love learning about myself in the process. The time goals are there, and as the race approaches sometimes they become bigger than they should be, but ultimately it is not about the PR. Or so I think when there is no race on the horizon:)

  2. very interesting.
    ok for me...
    1. Why I am training? To be on the Canadian Olympic team for 2012 of no...I train because I need something that I can control and that is only FOR ME. Selfish? maybe but I am ok with that. I had lots of health problems and I am now "prisonner" of my diet and I had a hard time accepting that. Also after having my kids I kind of lost who I was as an individual. I was their mom, Bill's wife and that's it nothing for just ME. So this is too long sorry but these are my reason. I care about improving my time of course but I know my limits and I am ok with being an old turtle.

    3. Goals: I have goals. I think it is good to have some. I have for this year to break 30:00 for 5K (I did it in March), break 1:00 for 10k (This Saturday? maybe?) I am close. under 2:30 for Half.
    But those are just numbers. I enjoy racing because it keeps me motivated and also it shows a good example for my boys.

  3. Great questions Amanda!! Right now I am training for a mary PR--but I cannot wait until May 15th when i can run freely--though I do enjoy having a goal in mind--keeps me focused and also prevents me from trying to over do it!

    You continue to inspire me, so whether you run for fun or for the next level, I know you will be joyful in that path and touch lives along the way!

    Btw, you are already so naturally fast, that your "easy"/"fun" paces out do my all out!!

  4. I cannot believe I can see the sun today, either!!!

    You ask some very good questions, amanda. I have never done the "about me" part of my blog.....but I should do it. Doing it would answer that question.

    I think the simple asnwer is that running provides some balance in my life---but it can also cause life to get out of balance. That probably makes no sense...
    Balancing what we love with who we love is challenging sometimes. We are in a point of life where there are some big demands on us form very important people. Running relieves the stress of that, but can also cause it to be more stressful. The only solution is to become a professional runner..if one can get fast enough ;) (j/k)- or be willing to let it go sometimes. And that can be hard.

    Have a great weekend!!!

  5. I'm so antsy right now, I'm waiting to find out about my marathon for this fall. Once I know, I can plan my year better, AND my time goal : )

  6. Those are really good questions, I will never be a professional runner so does it really matter how fast I run? Most people don't even ask about your time, especially for longer races. Only other runners ask about times. I do want to get faster but now I am really going to have to ask myself why.

  7. I 100% agree w/ Caroline's comment- aside from potential injury, you have complete control over your workouts and then your performance. It provides a feeling of accomplishment knowing where you started and seeing how far you've come.

    The #1 thing that keeps me motivated is having something worth training for- i.e. RACES. I know that you have to share your time with your family so you have to choose your races wisely, but even doing a destination race that your family can tag along for bc you are putting your valuable time (w/ travel) and money into it that it naturally drives you to work harder to perform. (now you may be laughing at me thinking its not as easy as that bc i don't have kids and traveling is a burden... you're probably right hehe, but one can hope)

  8. geez, Amanda, we must be sharing a brain (i know we're not sharing a body...) because these exact ideas/feelings have been flying through my mind this week too. i've had the same problem with a nagging mini-cold and not going to bed early enough this week too!! blah! it's left me feeling very lackluster about running this week. i'm hoping tomorrow's run will be more "inspired".

    as far as running goals go...i've decided that i DO want to run a 1/2 this year. probably the KC 1/2 in October. i think Stacy might run it with me! ( : i'd been thinking that i could just keep running "for fun" and be fine with it, but i think i need something to shoot for. having that on my mental calendar will keep me on track. my goal is to finish in under 2 hours. that would be a HUGE HUGE HUGE improvement over my last "attempt". would also like to plan on some other fitness goals related to strength training. i don't wanna be gettin flabby...

    hooray for your sunshine!

  9. I am training for fun and fitness and also to look hot in my forties. What? That's a goal.
    I do want to kick it up a notch. I would like to place high enough so people don't say, "Nice try." when I tell them the results.
    Putting a time out there is hard. Even if I do achieve the goal my negative self just says I made the goal too easy.

  10. You're always so dang thought-provoking and deep! Sheesh...

    And we all LOVE it! :)

    I run because it is fun, it feels good, it's pretty cheap, I can do it anywhere... almost... I already did that sports thing to prove something. lol If it stops being fun, I take a break. That doesn't mean I don't work it hard when it's time to work it hard. But I am closing in on 50... oooo, scary! And I am not going set the world on fire with my running. No one is going to pay me to run. No one is going to pay to see me run. So I run for ME! How awesome is THAT? lol

    I do have some time goals. I may reach them. I may not. It will be fun to reach them... but the process has to be fun, too. I want to break 7 min miles for 5K again. My PR is 21:20... 1996... wow. I want to be faster than that :) I want to run my upcoming 7.46-mile race in an hour. That would be 8-min miles even. It is doubtful I will be that fast... this year :) I'd like to run a 10-miler in 72 minutes again. All of that was a lifetime ago. But I'd like to be there again :)

  11. Hey look at favorite: Amanda's running journal. You know my Marathon and 5k goal. Check this out. I went to the track last night and did 5 x 1000M. I could barely hold 6:28 pace for 1,000M. Me, sub 20 5k. No way.

    Amanda, please join twitter.

  12. A bird sh*t on you. One would think that would be bad luck but somehow you still smoked out some nice nice repeats!!! I'm relating to your treadmill vs. outside thoughts. I agree.

    Hope you're not getting sick but lack of sleep has a way of totally wearing you down. I've always been one of those who "doesn't want to miss anything!" It takes it's toll and I have a hard time winding down....Get some sleep girl!

    I ask myself so many of your questions continually. I'm floating in and out of a slight funk right now but I'm trying to remember that in every training cycle there are peaks and valleys. I think dreary March and April just bring out the valleys!! As far as running and goals, I don't often put mine out there. I have so many thoughts on this right now....I'll save it for later. Anyway, I'm committed to being serious through my fall marathon. Then, I'm just not sure. I can't say how I'll react to how I do in that race. A big PR may inspire me or it may leave me content to rest.....Without a doubt, I won't stop running. It's a part of me now. Whether I go back to running my ditches without a watch and just loving the calm and the crickets is yet to be determined:)

    I really am excited to see you knock off whatever goals you set! Dream BIG Amanda! At the very least through June!!! I'm positive that little Kelly Ripa rockstar bod can rock off a killer half in May and a big PR marathon in June!

    Once again an unproofed marathon comment....

  13. Not bird poop! I've been having a similar debate about outdoor vs. treadmill intervals. Since I can't run outside right now, I've been doing intervals inside for the first time. Like you said, I have to maintain my pace so that I don't fall off the treadmill, but there's some sort of "auto-pilot" that makes the intervals seem mentally easier on the treadmill.

    Those are great questions. Right now, I'm thinking about my half marathon time goals, too. I don't know what's "reasonable" right now, but I figure that setting them high is better than making them too easy. I get nervous about sharing my goals because I think I can more easily accept a "failure" if no one else knows that I've failed. I'm trying to work on that.

  14. A bunch of birds flew over me this morning and I was fearful of that very thing... but luckily came away unscathed.

    Those are great questions. Right now I just want to get through marathon training, then I think I want to go back to just training for fun again... in the light when I can enjoy my surroundings a bit more. Then I think I'd really like to look into getting a speedier 5K time and a half PR this fall.

    I enjoyed your menu at the athlete's plate. :)

  15. Your posts are always so thought provoking. Especially the first one. Why? There's so many different reasons and everyone's are so different. I think my main reason is to maintain my sanity. It's my alone time, time to think, time to zone out, time to listen to what music I want to, time to feel the sun shine in silence. I often question why I feel the need to do a marathon. Why can't I be happy with half's? All I can come up with is that it's the insanity that makes me sane. And I don't really know why else.

  16. I'm still wrestling with my actual goals for my first marathon. Initially, I set out with the goal to just finish. Then I decided that I wanted to finish in under 5 hours. Then I realized that I was actually faster than I thought, and that 5 hours was really selling myself short, so now my goal is sub-4:30, which is totally doable (and breakable!), given my long run stats. I'm hoping to come in right around 4:15.

    Giant "ew" on the bird poop. I swallowed a bug one of my first times out, and I thought that was bad enough.

  17. Why am I training? For health and fitness, to spend time with my group and to be able to eat more.
    I take it pretty seriously but don't have any time goals. Is that a contradiction?

  18. Short and sweet...I love your journal!!! such a great idea!

  19. I like thinking on my runs. And I have never thought about the answers to your questions. I think I know my topic for my next long run!

    Hippie Chick .... we HAVE to meet up!!

  20. thanks for the comment on my blog - ha you missed my previous "sadfeet" blog and that's good. thankfully my HappyFeet have returned. As for the racing part - I think a 10k is a PERFECT part of marathon training - go for it if you are feeling ok. also - yes, I have seen your burpee video, and an older push up video, and even your latest "clean sweep" video - uuhhh - you ARE superwoman!

    I totally believe the treadmill has value, but training outside is a much better challenge, IMO. maybe try NOT allowing yourself to "fall off the pace on the track"

    I share RunningandLiving's passion for running, training and racing. Also, for me, I hear my PR clock ticking LOUDLY so for the past few years, I have a STRONG drive to "do what I can do NOW." (I should say, I don't have children) I was worried last year when I ran Boston. I worried I would no longer have the same drive or passion for running. I will say it is a little different, but now it's a more carefree training and racing attitude. I like it! I hope I always have a passion for running and racing.

    Wish I had your talent to go with my drive!
    Follow your heart is short!

  21. email me at - I'll try to help with 10K stuff :)

  22. You already saw my post about why I run. Right now my goal is to finish my first half marathon. If it is under 3 hours, awesome, if not, I'll just be ecstatic that I ran 13.1 miles.

    I love your running journal! I should really try having an exciting paper training log. Now to get some stickers!

  23. btw, love your commentary on Chris K's blog! hahahahaha!

  24. I hope your race was FUN!!!!

  25. I actually miss the Oregon rain. I know that sounds crazy, but I do!! I love the rain and it doesnt’ rain much up here in Alaska.

    My dad sent me a ton of OSU clothes the other day- go beavs :)

  26. Your blog always inspires me!

    I am currently training to see what I am capable of and to set a PR in a marathon.
    I like to be in training cause it keeps me accountable for my workouts and I love pushing myself to see what goals I can accomplish.
    I would love to run a 4 hr marathon but putting those timed goals out there scares me a little.

  27. Some people have such problems bringing themselves to do a treadmill run. I think the treadmill is great and run on it every week.

    BTW, good job with all your story posts on Chris K's blog. Pretty creative, but plausible :-)

  28. I love how you reflect and focus on your goals. Great questions to ask yourself and to be aware of in general.

  29. Thank you for all your sweet comments these past few weeks and believe me, the appreciation is entirely mutual! As for goals - well I've just blogged on that - personally I'm with Ana Maria, putting it out there and facing your ears. But I do think that you have to be careful with time goals - they can be all-consuming and can destroy pleasure in training and racing.

    Surely pleasure is the priority?

  30. I love those stickers! Awesome!!

    I am currently training for a half marathon that is in less than one month. I would like to step up my training and train for a full in the fall. That is my tentative plan. I want to enjoy my running more and look at it as less of an obligation but something I "get" to do. I also want to continue doing yoga because I truly enjoy it.