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December 2007

Auld Lang Syne!

Dang! it's the end of the year already and I haven't done everything I set out to do.  I wonder if I'm alone.

I've been away from posting for a bit taking care of a family member but I want to just check in one last time this year.

Rather than review the year and posts, and races--I only ran three races--I want to just Thank_you_mug thank all of the wonderful BRFs I've met this year. Reading your posts and connecting directly and indirectly related to running has been one of the highlights of my running life. Running is so much more enjoyable when we can share details of runs and races, encourage each other, complain, and have some laughs. I've enjoyed getting to know hundreds of you and my reading list just keeps growing.

So if you'll permit me, I just want to shout out to some of my favorite people who just also happen to be runners and bloggers.  I'm intentionally not commenting on each of your blogs.  You know you're wonderful, funny, interesting, helpful, and friendly.  If I missed you, please grab Nancy's Club and hit me.

Allison 

Bestsy 

Bill 

Bob 

Brian 

Dan 

David   

Diva 

Doug 

Jamie 

Jason 

Joe

Kara 

Kate 

Kent

Laurie 

Lisa 

Marcy 

Nancy

Nat 

Nitmos 

Pat 

Penny 

POM  

Sandy

Suzanne 

The Laminator

Topher 

Vanilla 

I want to also thank a few others who don't blog, especially, Amy’s Mom and my biggest fan, Laura.  They are devoted readers and bedrocks of support

By the way, I didn't buy or bake anything for any of you, but I have a gift for each of you:  I hereby declare that nobody got older or heavier in 2007!

May all of you have a wonderful New Year's Eve, and let's make 2008 a great year together!

Finally, there is not a better blogging partner or friend than Amy. She embodies the true spirit of running--fitness, fun, and a deep sense of friendship.  I'm blessed and grateful to join her on this blog.

Natural Law: Overcoming Inertia

Inertia -  An object remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force. 

It is a powerful force.   You can't work against it - take it from some of the smartest guysLaw_of_nature  that ever live - Newton.  So powerful he named it the First Law of Motion.   

So it is only fitting that Newton's law would contribute to a Natural Law of Running.  Especially this time of year when inertia is a common topic among us runners and bloggers.   It starts so innocently.  One missed run to get in some shopping.  Then another because of the weather.  Then another one passes due to the flu or cold.  And then it is its a family gathering.  Before you know it you are staring down the barrel of one or two weeks without a step of a run.  You start to wonder if you will know how to run if you ever find time.    A few days after these thoughts you realize that the break is ok.  Maybe a few more days of hanging out in your baggy sweats with the holiday candy will be just fine.  You don't really feel like heading out there in the cold or getting up extra early to squeeze in a run you know you need.   BANG!  The natural law of inertia has inserted itself.  Forward momentum has been replaced by an object now at rest.

Natural Law:  The only cure for a long break in running is just getting back out there.

Getting going again can be tough.  You beat yourself up for the break, you remember only the hardest parts of the runs that you should be doing, and there are so many other things that seem important.   But, you know running is important - you just need a little nudge to get going again.  A bit of a push.   Here is a sampling of some "external forces" in case you are feeling of the effects of this law - (aka - a kick in the pants):

1.  Do anything for 10 minutes.   Walk, run, jog, hike, meander, skip...it really doesn't matter - just do something for 10 minutes.   97% of the time you will keep going.  For the 3% of the time you don't - don't worry - tomorrow will be another day.   I personally beckoned this technique today after dreading time on the treadmill.  My 10 minute walk turned into a 40 minute run.

2.  Put on your skinny clothes.  There is nothing more motivating to getting back at it and regaining you running body than being constricted by clothes that should fit.   

3.  Pick a new trail, new race, or new adventure.  Whether it is for that day or you set you sites on a new race for 2008 - pick one that is coming up in the next 8-12 weeks so you feel the need to get out there and go.   

4.  Think about how tough you are.   Especially if you live in the colder and rainy climates, get out there and brave the elements and think about the deposit you are making in your toughman bank, as a recent post on Cool Running suggests.    This will be appreciated later in the year in your races or as the runs getting longer, harder, or faster.

5.  Borrow some inspiration from other runners.  Maybe it is some of the runners you read about this year, like Brad Alsop who ran 131 marathons in as many days, or Paul Staso as he prepares to run across Montana, or Brad Niess who ran across Iowa in 2007 and is planning on doing it again in 2008.    Or maybe it is someone you know like Ovens2Betsy or Katie who have stayed true to their Disney Marathon training schedule and have been putting in their 20+ milers in the middle of this festive season.

6.  Or do it to be a role model - for your kids, your neighbors, friends or family.   Inspire others.  There is nothing quite as motivating as motivating others.   If you haven't seen this video clip  on Runners World of the 13 year old girl that ran the JFK 50 miler with her mom.  She was inspired to run by her mom.  I guarantee it will give you a spark of inspiration as well. Be her today - show others it's not that hard.

Now - just go!

And remember the other golden natural law of running. The first mile always sucks is hard.

When you get back from your run, let me know what force got you going today.

Photo of board by Fallacy 

Looking Back To Some of My Favorite Runs

Dscn1039_2 2007 was a really different running year for me.   This was my first year in my twelve years of running that I ran just for run.   It took a while to adjust to running without a cause - but after a year of it - I realize it was kinda' fun.  It was as my son described - I evolved.  Instead of an ironclad training schedule, I invented dessert runs.  These were sweet little (sorry for the bad pun) runs that were a little something different and a bunch of fun.   

My recipes for dessert runs includedRuns with Buddy (my dog) (if you look close at the pic on the left you will see what Buddy is staring at), Chasing the Sun, Running with my husband, and Running Errands.

Looking back over the year, even without as many races to call out I still had many really great runs.     I have tried to narrow it down to just one - but I couldn't - but here Dscn1188are my top runs.

My number one run was at the end of June was my sunset run. Not only were the sites and pictures phenomonial - but I can still feel the wonderous enjoyment of that run.  It was just the right amount of early summer warm, my legs and lungs felt perfect and the tunes provided the right accompaniment.   

My second most favorite run was one I labeled simply 27 minutes.   After months of dealing with an injury, this run was the one that I finally felt that I could go out there and enjoy a run without hurting myself again.

And my list wouldnDscn1953't be complete without mentioning this year's Living History Farms Run,  the fall run on my trail, or my winter hike/shuffle too.   

And while I didn't run the Des Moines Marathon, our experience there with the Lounge made it forever memorable.   So many great runners with an abundance of stories....wow - what a great year!

I am looking forward to making a new list of favorites for 2008...ok, if it ever, ever stops snowing.  Geesh...what is up with all this winter stuff! 

I would love to hear about your favorites, whether they are training runs, fun runs, or races.   And because it is fun to think about and a bit motivating to relive those moments, I am going to tag a few people to share theirs with all of us.   Nancy (you said you needed an intervention...), Bill, Marcy, Sandy, Doug, Bob and Bob.    There are about 35 other runners I would love to tag, so if you aren't in this list - please feel free to post and start a tag as well.  Share one, share ten...no real rules on this tag.  Just share and pass it along. 

Around the Lounge

This is a weekly update of what is going on in and around the Lounge.

The Lounge just keeps growing!  Even during the holidays when running priorities can sometimes dip to priorities below eating our body weight in pie and chasing down the perfect gift - new running friends joined the Lounge.   We even had some new Loungers join us on Christmas day - I can't think of a better present!  :}   The new Lounger is too long to introduce everyone - but here are a few you may want to get to know.  Stop by and say hi!

Say Hello to Some of the New Loungers

absamaz - An ultramarathoner from California

CaptTTime - An IL runner who runs for fun and has packed more in his About Me than I thought possible.

Christie - you know her from her blog and now she is part of the Lounge.  Her goal is simple - just keep running.

deeinthekeys - From FL, she runs to lose weight and feel better and would like to run a marathon

funefulla - From IA, she runs to feel good about herself and has a goal to run a marathon and then ultras

inthefastlane - A working mom of three from Indiana she runs for time for herself

jcmenke - a young runner from Iowa

mikesansone - one of my most favorite people!  His resolution is to start running in 2008. 

prefan1982 - a Chicago cubs fan from Georgia who is looking forward to his first marathon by the end of 2008

runangel - a MI mom who runs because "her daughter said so"  :}.  She was inspired watching her daughter run XC and now is hooked.

suade9 - an Iowa runner

vcteixeira - a female runner who runs because it "makes it feel like she is flying" and whose goal is to run forever

Lounge Group Chatter

We had a few Loungers stop by and spread some Holiday good cheer in the RL Virtual Holiday Party and the White Elephant gifts were distributed.

For those Loungers who like to hang out and talk about random things related and unrelated to running, there is a new Lounge Group - The Runners' Lounge Water Cooler.   Stop by and leave a thought, pick up a conversation about anything or nothing.  Or, in another thread talk about your goals and plans for 2008 (like Bill's sub 2:55 marathon plans for Feb).

Race Director Nancy announced plans for her next virtual race - 9 on the 9th (February).   Maybe a new Lounge Group to exchange plans again Nancy?

And our newest group - Clergy Who are Runners in a Secret life - while not for everyone - can you beat that title?      

Running Resources

Did you receive the best ever running Christmas gift (like Vanilla's/Ian's slap bracelets) - don't forget to share this new running treasure by adding it to the Running Resources list.  If it is already listed, then stop by and add your feedback or comments.

Best wished as you work through the last of the holiday leftovers and pie and lace up your shoes for your final runs of 2007.

Merry Christmas!

Sending you joy and happiness as you                          enjoy this season with your friends & family...

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy the nuns Hallejuh chorus...

A Holiday Greeting for all our Last Minute Shoppers

With a few days of shopping left until the big day, I thought this holiday greeting from our friend and Lounger Kirk61 was perfect.  Kirk shared this as part of his family's holiday card and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.    There are a lot of ways to experience the holidays, so if part of your shopping will include a last minute panic shopping to Walgreens - you will love this holiday poem.

Twas the night before Christmas, a reference point for this dream

Last minute shopping at Walgreens, a ritual it now seems

They are open 24 hours and have quite a selection

As long as those receiving my gifts aren’t demanding perfection

A host of cool gadgets seen on late night TV

And 50% off labels as far as the eye can see

In my dream I was focused and got right to work,

A dream you are now convinced, as focused doesn’t really describe Kirk

Five t-shirts for 10 dollars now that’s quite a deal

All "Larry The Cable Guy", does that change their appeal?

Now here’s a cool gadget someone may find handy

A dish that plays Christmas songs while you’re grabbing your candy

A rawhide dog bone, well all dogs like to chew,

$10.00 reading glasses, who needs help with their view?

Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Sweet sounds of the season as you sit by the fire

Is quality perfume really sold by the liter?

Maybe when it also can fuel a space heater?

I got all my gifts and much to my delight

As I approached the cash register no attendant was in sight

Though the electronic doors on my way home I was going

But what happened next I had no way of knowing

A jolly old man, white beard and red suit

Stuck out his foot and I tripped on his boot

He laughed as he said did you pay for your treasures?

Not a plus this guy said on my ethics scale measures

As my dream ended at the cash register paying

Now a holiday greeting to you I am saying

Happy Holidays to you and all you hold dear

May your troubles be little and loved ones all near

May each snow flake hold for you a new blessing

And next year I’ll leave the poetry to Hallmark I’m guessing?

Merry Christmas to all our last minute shoppers out there.  I hope you enjoy both the joy of the season and some real running that doesn't include errands.

Ready, Set...Open your Virtual Present

It's the day you have all been waiting for - the Virtual White Elephant Gift Exchange!

We had six Loungers do their shopping and posting and it's time to open presents.   I closed my eyes and pulled a present out of the bag for each person - completely randomly of course.  In real life, this exchange would be followed by lots and lots of swapping.  So feel free to swap with others or steal their present - there are no rules here! 

Here are the gift in the order of who joined the party first:

Portable_snotTo:  Topher

From:  Axrun262

From his description:  It's the perfect solution to keep your nose from being your "running" partner. Simply strap this comfortable, light-weight, hands-free, one-size-fits-all apparatus on your noggin and off you go. Say goodbye to using your sleeve as a tissue, and say hello to the Portable Snot Squelcher!

Full_body_condomTo:  Tom

From:  PiecesofMe
Her note: It's not REALLY running related, but it can be. You see, when you are running in a crowded race, you never know what might happen. At least it will protect you from other peoples sweat, spit and snot rockets that sometimes spray uncontrollably.   So there - Merry Christmas.

Charm To:  Database Diva

From:  Topher

A Golden Poop Charm - The character for "lucky" in Japan is very similar to the shortened form of the Japanese word for "poo." Hence the brilliant Japanese played with the pun and the Lucky Golden Poo was um..born.

ClockTo:  AxRun262

From:  Topher

His "loving" noteThis is a gft we really were given at our wedding. No, it didn't come from one of our smart-alek friends who thought it'd be funny. It was an actual gift from...a friend of my mother. Ieeww! It was a big hit the first time we unloaded it, so it should bring a smile to some lucky winner again. What time is it? It's time for some lovin'!

Calendar_2 To:  Pieces of Me

From:  Database Diva

2008 Calendar - Get in Touch with Your Inner Bitch - was a gift from her son. Diva's note says...It is a sincere attempt to help women overcome "toxic niceness", with tips on how to be more assertive. I realize that there are women out there who need to learn how to stand up for their rights, but alas, I am not one of them. My inner-bitch has been living in sin with my inner R. Lee Ermey for years, and let me assure you she is driving the jeep!

And we have two gifts left - an extra one Topher lent to the exchange and mine.   It didn't feel right as the hostess to be part of the exchange.  Especially since I opened all of them, played with them and then wrapped them back up last night.   So, for two special friends of the Lounge - here is a little holiday cheer!

White_elephant_gift To:  Nancy

From:  Amy

Everyone needs a blanket that holds their remote - or for you - your extra Chex Mix.  :}

ToJesus_2MarathonDudeBill

From: Tom

Although it's not a runner-oriented item, I've had a number of envious folks inquire about Hockey Jesus, so that is my gift for the party.  Jesus on ice and with a hockey stick is an image you don't see every day. Let's hope He doesn't get any black eyes or lose any teeth--and He stays out of the penalty box.

Enjoy your gifts!  Don't forget to recycle them again very soon!

Happy Holidays!   Drop by the Lounge and leave a holiday greeting for the other runners in your life.

Best wishes for a great holiday weekend!

The Best Things Happen While You’re Running…

Wcvc_2 Every family has their favorite holiday movie traditions, and both Amy’s and my family have a special place in our hearts for White Christmas.   Amy likes to bust out singing the song "Sisters." 

Me, I like the schmaltzy,  “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” only I replace the word “dancing” with “running."   Best things like fitness,  weight management, stress reduction, and enjoyment happen while you're running.  Try singing it and replace the words.  It works!

I’m amazed at the number of friends who like the song White Christmas, but haven’t ever watched this classic movie from beginning to end.  If you have even a shred of sensitivity, you can’t help but get choked up a bit in the final scene, but you also have to learn to fast forward through a few hokey dance scenes too.  If you're a fan of the movie, perhaps you'll enjoy this trivia quiz.

Please tell us Amy and I are not the last hold outs on earth who still enjoy this classic and the rest of the universe everyone hasn’t adopted Ralphie’s A Christmas Story as their holiday favorite.

Amy and I meet for lunch once a week or so and so we’ve been trading stories about times at home these past few weeks.  Our families are at different stages.  Her darling son and daughter are anxiously awaiting vacation from school, the arrival of Santa, making ginger bread cookies (imagine that—cookies baking at Amy’s house) and all the magic of Christmas. 

My wife and I have been waiting for our college students to arrive home, and to figure out the master schedule that goes with sharing cars, friends drifting in and out of the house, and our kids’ working at their jobs they whined about and left in the summer and now return to when they’re broke.   We have great kids, and at the holiday season, having older kids means a different set of challenges and joys. 

Finally, why is it that the closer we get to Christmas, the more things are speeding up, except for my running?

White Christmas playbill on Wikipedia

Running In A Winter Wonderland

You have come along on my trail runs in spring, summer and fall.   It's hard to believe that just 8 weeks ago I gave you this video of my trail in its fall splendor and now the colors have changed to glistening, glittering white of snow and ice.

While I couldn't run the trail, Buddy and I enjoyed a heck of a hike through the inches of snow.  I think that I will be adding in a few upper body workouts clearing the trail of trees and branches before any serious running on my trail in the spring.   

But for now, it again was breathtaking treat for the eyes and soul.

Happy winter running (or hiking, walking...)!

Around the Lounge

This is the first of a regular weekly update to give you a glimpse of what is happening in and around the Lounge. 

Just 11 weeks after launching the Lounge, we are pleased to have just shy of 300 Loungers hanging around and talking about running.   It seems like yesterday that this was just a crazy idea from me and Tom and now it is a pretty cool reality.   

Say Hello To Our New Loungers

We have over 20 Loungers joining us each week - here are a few to stop by and say hello:Living_history_farms_race_pic

bickel - Hailing from New Jersey - he has been running for 35 years

BlogMyRuns - The one and only Bob Gentile is in the house.   His reason for running all those miles he puts in:  "many reasons but one is it clears my head"   

burtoniv - Joining us from Iowa, his Why I run really caught my eye - "To explore what I'm fully capable of"

DFL - Braving it in North Dakota, he runs for "Fitness and Rebellion".  Stop by and see him or his blog.   He has started a group for North Dakota runners too!

dwmatteson  - From New York, he runs because "It's Fun!"

josh - From Iowa, he runs "to push myself"

kellyw10 - Also from Iowa, Kelly just finished Chicago marathon, said she would never do another marathon and now is in the process of planning her for Grandma's.   As her Why I Run says, "Why not?"

momofthree - A mom of three from Idaho, she is looking to run a 5K soon.

PaulJoachim - From Florida, he is looking forward to a 10K and an Olympic Triathlon in 2008

Rube76 - Joins us from New York

runnergirl - Coach RaeAnn from the RunnerGirl website, who hopes to have a PR in the half marathon and 5 mile distance in 2008.

shoreturtle - Charles joins us from New Jersey and brings his great blog too.

stevepp - Joining us from Canada, he already has 9 marathons under his belt, with the Vancouver coming up in May

Chat in Lo8_on_the_8thunge Group

Congratulations to a very successful virtual run last weekend with 8 on the 8th, directed by  Nancy.    Anyone ready to take the torch and find a motivating date, distance and virtual event to keep us running over the winter?

For all you mom's out there, stop by and join or chat in the Run U Mother Lounge Group, set  up by tjmagill and christine, who also dreamt up the Run U Mother shirt and accessories.   They know it isn't easy juggling kids and running.

Holiday greetings and cheer are being exchanged at the Virtual Holiday Party.  Talk about what ever you care about - bring some cheer and leave with some well wishes!

And if none of those speak to you, drop by and check out the other 28 Lounge Groups (and growing) that cover everything from Weight Loss, to specific races like Disney World Marathon, or general groups for marathoners.

ResourcesKnow_how_sample

Still looking for a good gift for a runner?  Check out the books or running resources - we have added all your suggestions to the list as well as a few of our own.

Enjoy your winter running!  If you have found a gadget, piece of clothing or have a piece of advice that will help all of us stay running and motivated - please drop it off in the Running Know How section.   One thing that we never get our fill is good advice!  So, don't be shy - share your best tip today.

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