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November 2007

A highlight of my week

Remember the little video I put together for Tom before the Chicago Marathon to give him advice on running the marathon?

Pretty cool thing happened - Runners' World has linked to it from their home page for a few days.   So look fast before it disappears.   It is cool to see my kids and nieces and nephews on a "prime time" running site. 

Gifts for Runners

53117612christmasshopping If you've ever been labeled "hard to buy for", it's frustrating.  My kids sometimes describe me that way, but if they look at my interests around running, there are an abundance of gift ideas. 

Amy and I would love to give everyone their very own Runners' Lounge gift card, except we don't sell anything here.  So we have been out shoplifting—a combination of shopping + lifting URLs—to make it easier for everyone.

We found this site with unique running gifts (running bag, boxers, ties, socks, t-shirts).

Some favorites of mine—you gotta love the site names—are Gifts For Runners and Get Fit Gifts.  They really have great ideas so you might just end up shopping there yourself.

Jesus_2 I wonder is there an equivalent for runners of the Hockey Jesus gift?  For marathoners needing help fleshing out a holiday wish list, you might be interested in Top 3 gifts from marathon rookie

Some items are just awkward to ask for.  So be careful that others don't read too much into what you've been up to if you're asking for NipGuards, or what you have in mind if you ask for The Stick. 

Looking at others' gift lists can generate ideas too.  If you want to peek at other runners' letters to Santa, Runners' World has a recent list as well as last year's list.

It's rare when you find that perfect gift for a runner, but Marcy and Bill might enjoy checking out these

Trisanta_milkcookie_card_md_2 Amy, you might want to check out these Santa Milk & Cookie cards.

One of the best ways to drum up ideas is to talk with other runners—see what they're asking for or hoping for.  Check out the Holiday Weight Loss Challenge for ideas of what runners will give themselves.

Actually I think runners don't really expect a lot from others.  We're more givers and truly appreciate the joys of non-material gifts such as health, friendships, and personal accomplishments.

Now would all of you please make sure I get one of everything...


Running TShirts for That Special Someone

Let's keeping going with this theme of holiday gifts for runners - it's fun!

Runners love Tshirts!  We run insane distances in crazy conditions just to get one.  If you check a runners' laundy anytime during the year, the bulk of what they are fluffing and folding is bound to be their Tshirts - followed closely by shorts and socks.  I bet almost all runners have a shelf or drawer just for their race shirts.  So it only makes sense that we sRunumotherhould think about giving or making a special Tshirt for our favorite running friend.

At the top of my list this year, is the little gem on the right - Run U Mother.  Created by three moms,  Nancy, TJ, and Christy who "share a sense of humor and desire to be fit", it is an "irreverent nod to mothers who run".   

And of course, the Life is Good site has some great options too.  There are a couple options for runners and bikers for Tshirts, socks and hats.

And don't forget about It's Gonna Happen and their shirts and hats too.

If you would like to make a custom Tshirt, you don't have a shortage of online options, including:

And if your mind just went blank when I said you could create your own, check out these forum and post to get some get ideas for a Tshirt.   Among my favorites in their lists are:

  • I'm the fast girl your mother warned you about.
  • Running is a mental sport and we're all insane.
  • I'm just trying to get to the post run snacks before they're all gone
  • This is more fun than it looks
  • HA HA, I'm beating YOU
  • Pardon me, but did you just fartlek?!

Running_tshirt_page Happy Tshirt shopping!  I guarantee you will find at least one that you must have (for a friend, of course) in the lists.  I added all these great resources to the Running Resources list under the Clothing & Accessories category. 

Help the shopping/gift giving challenges of your fellow runners and add your favorites to this list or to the Running Resources list.  You did such an awesome job yesterday passing along the books you love!

Ahhh, the Gift of a Book About Running

I’m a running book junkie. 

Dozens of volumes on my shelves have enriched my running.   So when Amy started talking Holiday Wish Lists for runners, I thought I’d throw out some titles that would be great literary partners for anyone to more fully enjoy and improve their running.
The Competitive Runner’s Handbook.
  Like a colossal how-to reference a plumber would keep in his truck, this is a true users manual.  It covers everything for the beginner to the advanced, every distance, including great training programs, racing techniques, injuries, nutrition—it’s got it all.  If you want to better talk about running, this one is a must.

How Running Changed My Life.  Hand me a tissue.  We'd expect and love to hear these stories on Oprah. Powerful short stories by ordinary runners that speak from their hearts about how running has and continues to transform them.  It's regularly on my night stand.

Running_within_2 Running Within: A Guide to Mastering the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection For Ultimate Training and Racing.   The Joy of Sex of running.  A great guide to the stuff not found in most running books—relaxing, being courageous, dealing with fatigue, dealing with your mental game.

Run Right Now: What a Half-Century on the Run has Taught.   If you don't have a running mentor, at least own this book. Compiled with wisdom that will save you from making unnecessary mistakes.  You’ll want to try several dozen new approaches to increase your enjoyment and success with your running.

The Cutting-Edge Runner.   Iran could probably build a nuclear bomb—or a better one—with this book.   Written with some of the latest science in mind for improving running performance by one of the best running writers.  I don’t want my competitors reading this book.

Complete Book of Beginning Running.  Remember the Betty Crocker Cookbook your mom had in her kitchen?  This is it for running.  Not just for beginners. Either you already know everything in this book or you better own it.  Thorough, inspirational, and will help you get the most out of running.  You would want your beginning running friends to own this.

Daniel’s Running Formula
Like a money guru who will help you take $1,000 and predictably invest it to earn $100,000.   Contains arguably the best explanations of the principles of training, types of workouts, a systematic guide to training at the right intensity, and how to put together your own training plans.  I wouldn't attempt a serious running goal or start a new competitive season without it.

Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running.
  Yup. I do own this book, although it's always out on loan.

What other titles do you suggest Amy and I add to our Wish Lists?

Decorating Your Blog For The Holidays

The holiday spirit has washed over me like a tidal wave.  The carols, cold weather and snow was just the push I needed to start decorating for the holidays.  After the house was in its holiday finest, I turned back to my online world and realized it looked a little ordinary.  It too needed a few decorations to make it feel festive.  In my decorating frenzy, I found a bunch of cool widgets for your blog or your profile on Runners' Lounge.  Check them out:

  • Countdown to Christmas - there are more than I could list!  A couple you may want to check out are the many, many options at www.fancygens.com, or a nativity backdrop, the classic look, or the Santa look.
  • Christmas shows - If you still take time to watch one of the classic Christmas shows each year like Snoopy, Frosty, Rudolph, then you really need this widget that displays them and gives you glimpse at your favorite scenes from the shows.
  • Need gift ideas - Then check out widgets with the most popular gifts for 2007 and this handy tool from across the pond.  Not practical to purchase the items, but it does have some cool ideas.
  • Holiday every day - If you like to celebrate a holiday everyday, then you need this widget which tells you a holiday to celebrate everyday.
  • Gift tagging/wish list sites - join www.boxedup.com or www.wishspot.com or through Amazon.com for great and easy ways to tag what you want as you browse the internet and it compiles it for you (and your gift giving friends) to review.
  • And if you want more widgets - check them out on www.widgetbox.com or www.pyzam.com.Holiday_widget_page

I added a few of these widgets to my Runners' Lounge Profile under the My Widgets tab and  then added them to the Running Resource List (under Books, Music, Media) tagged in the widget category so I wouldn't lose them again.

My_wish_page And preparing for the holidays wouldn't be the same without making a wish list.  In My Notebook, I have started my wish list of running stuff.  Some of it I hope to find the way into my husband's hands (sneaky, eh?) and some of it is rewards for myself when I hit some of my running and weight loss goals.   As you work on your Favorites in Your Notebook, let me know what running stuff you are hoping for this holiday season or if you know where to find the things on my wish list.

As you get in the holiday spirit, don't forget to dress up your blog or RL profile.   

Go ahead - Make an Elf of Yourself

For no reason in particular - I really need to share this with you.   I have made a total Elf of myself and my family.  And it cracks me up everytime.  My big sis sent me a version for her family and it was so funny I had to do it my'elf'.  haha

Give it a whirl - you are gonna' laugh!


Gee ... and I wonder why my portion of the blog was rated at the elementary school level....

A Few Random Facts About Me

Happy Holiday Weekend! 

I think I have offiicially eaten more holiday food, pie and consumed more festive spirits than a person should be allowed.  I am moving a little slower, just hangin' out with the kids and trying to get in a few runs in the snow, along with the sledding.  Let's hope it is off the trails for my 8 mile run tomorrow.   Today feels like a great time to catch up on some long overdue responses to a couple tags.  In the last few weeks, Ovens2Betsy and Doug tagged with me with 5 random facts.  Here they are:

1.  I cater to kids on this blog.  No need to be more than 7 to read our blog!  Did this little test on our blog's readability level - and guess what...

cash advance

Get a Cash Advance

You are so welcome!  Consider this blog a little brain candy treat in your daily allowance of otherwise useful information.

2.  I am really an introvert.  The fact I choose Human Resources as a career or start a blog or community of runners is actually contrary to my personality at times.   Don't get me wrong - I really love people, but sometimes I really enjoy just sitting, thinking and dreaming.

3.  I think in grids, boxes and charts.  Drives the people I work with nuts!  If there is a problem to be solved, I tend to think about it a two or three dimensional chart and just start filling in boxes.   And a bonus related fact - my son was born with the same affliction.  At the age of three he asked for a clipboard and started drawing charts and lists to plan his birthday party.

4.  I am still holding out that Santa may be real.   Watching all these Santa and Christmas shows with my kids and I cheering right along side them.  They always ask me if Santa is real and there is a part of me that always says yes...'cause you just don't know.   Man, wouldn't it be great if Santa was real?!?

5.  I love small towns and small town ways.  I grew up in town of 125, my graduating class had 28 kids, I didn't have my first pizza delivered until I was in college and I didn't have cable TV until I was 21.   And all that works for me.

At the risk of breaking a chain - I am not going to officially tag anyone.  I would hate to be the person that added to your already packed "to do" list.   BUUTTTT....if you haven't had a chance to share some random facts about yourself - please do and let us know.   

Shift Your Perspective...

Health...        Faith...        Family... 

Friendship...        Time...        Shelter...

Food...        Water...         Freedom...

Challenges...     Opportunities...

Enough said.

Treat yourself to the gift of a few moments to reflect on gratefulness.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I Am So Thankful

Last week I covered all the running stuff so I could save some room for the most important Dscn2136 things in life I am thankful for.    There is a really long list - but I have another Thanksgiving dinner to cook/host - so I will give you the highlights.  In a nutshell, Dscn2119I am head over heals in love with my family.   And just as deeply thankful!

Special thanks to my handsome, incredibly smart, always sensitive and undescribably imaginative & curious son.  You keep me thinking and dreaming - both of which are good for me. 

And to my dDscn2366aughter.  God love 'ya!  Thanks for continuing to teach me patience in a way and to a level I never thought I could ever know.  But also for your absolute joy over the smallest delights and neverending energy.  Especially the first snow of the season that we got yesterday!

And my hubby - thanks for just being you.  Being supportive and tolerant - especially of all those little annoying habits that I know I must have. 

Thank you family.  Thank you friends. Thanks for your help.  Thanks for your support.  Thanks for just being you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Intervals - A solution to treadmill running and weight loss

It's time to get serious.  The Pieces of Me Holiday Weight Loss Challenge is definitely a big challenge for me.  We are three weeks into it and I have yet to lose a pound, in fact I am up by one.   UGH!

Which isn't a good thing because we are at the front of the season that brews the Perfect Fat_lane Storm that leads to crappy running and inevitable weight gain.  All the elements of the storm are swirling around me: 

  • The everpresent darkness in winter time - which makes it hard to get outside and run safely and usually forces me onto the dreadmill, 
  • A lack of time - it is hard to find more than 20-30 minutes at one time to run due to all the holiday, work, family things that need to be done,
  • The fattening effects all those yummy Christmas cookies and holiday meals and
  • All the while juggling my healed yet lingering quasi injury which is still causing me to temper my workouts and "manage my risks".   

I have been noodling over this issue the last few weeks, trying to be proactive in finding a solution before my thighs and butt need their own zip code.   And good news - the solution found me.  I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting on my son's doctor, leafing through an old Oprah magazine (Sept 2007) and there was a fantastic article of the benefits of interval training.  I couldn't find it online - but I found one that provided a similar list of the benefits.  When I came home and leafed through the recent Runners World magazine and then RW.com, I found yet even more reminders how good it is for us. The basic Speedy_chick benefits are that you lose more fat, faster, and with shorter workouts.  These little buggars burn fat AFTER the work out!  The added cherry on top for me is it makes the treadmill seem less boring and torturous - as long as I don't fall off.

Before I have to succomb to the dreadmill due to our first snowstorm, I hit the trails yesterday to give it a go.  Since I don't have a watch - remember I am a very low tech runner - I used the telephone poles as a guide.  I did intervals of flat out for 2 poles and slow run for 2 poles between my warm up and cool down.  Not as scientific as the article suggested, but it was a good way to start out and get the feel.  My legs loved the change - it was nice to run "fast" - and I was done in 30 minutes.   Change is always good (remember: It is one of the natural laws of running) - as this article reminded me of all the types of running workouts that can break up the 'yawn' of winter dreadmill running.

This just may work...

Photo of Fat Lane by Nat C

Photo of Speedy Chick by Roadsidenut

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