1,000 Miles

Milestones are always fun and I just passed a big one during my speedwork session last night. I have officially run more than 1,000 miles since the end of January when I started my training. ONE.THOUSAND. That’s a lot of miles. I’ve been running 3-4 times a week since the end of January and it has already paid off in more ways than I can count. (If you’d like a list, please let me know and I’ll dedicate an entire day to creating it for you!)

Sure, 1000 is pretty cool. I consider it a pretty big deal. But it takes a runner to look at that number and say “that number isn’t high enough. next year I will dominate my miles”. I’m sure a lot of you know what I’m talking about. Once you reach one milestone, you go voraciously after the next. You can call it the ‘running bug’ or an ‘addiction to running’ or whatever. But I think every runner that genuinely loves to run knows what I’m talking about. We will never stop. We can’t stop. Why would we stop? I look at some of those monthly mileage numbers and wonder why they aren’t higher. Yet, others make more sense. (November, for instance–after my first marathon and during a small bout of tendonitis.) Every runner is different and we all experience things differently.

I just know I’ll be running more mileage in 2012. My level of fitness between now and when I started my training in January is like night and day. I recall struggling to run a 6 mile tempo on the treadmill last February and how great it felt to have accomplished that. Six miles isn’t enough for me anymore (although there are days when 6 miles is necessary!). I’m excited to amp up my training in a couple of weeks to begin preparing for my spring half marathon schedule. My official goal is to run a sub-1:40 half marathon. I realize this is a lofty goal, but I feel like it’s well within my reach if I dedicate myself to serious training like I did most of 2011. My marathon pace was 8:07, but my half marathon PR pace is 7:55. I am totally capable of running the half at a quicker pace; I just know it!

Last Friday was my birthday and an extra special gift arrived from my Dailymile Secret Santa match! I got the book “Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run” by Kristin Armstrong. The book has been on my list for awhile and for whatever reason, I was reluctant to spend the money and buy it for myself. (Afterall, at a time when you should be shopping for others, it’s hard to stop shopping for yourself once you start!). I’ve only read 50 pages of it so far, but I love it already. It’s short-n-sweet tidbits about running camaraderie, struggle, excitement, joy, and love. I recommend every female runner out there go out and buy it. (I’m especially enjoying reading it before I go to bed. It’s my ‘running meditation’ before my morning miles the next day.)

 

I’m planning on running this weekend while home for Christmas and I’m oddly excited for the lack of snow. Typically I’d be disappointed that we wouldn’t be experiencing a White Christmas, but some rainy miles sound perfect to me right about now. I’m looking forward to fun miles, fun meals, and laughs with family. And it might just be my first run EVER on Christmas morning! (probably while everyone else is asleep and warm in their beds ha)

To bring an end to this rumination on miles and dedication, I’d like to leave you all with a gem of a music video. The title may be about “walking 500 miles”, but this year I RAN 1,000 FREAKIN’ MILES! :all smiles:

-J

Before A New Year Arrives

Two weeks left of the year?! When did that happen? Maybe it’s these unseasonably warm temperatures that Chicago has been enjoying, but I could have sworn it was just Thanksgiving the other day. (Mmmmm …turkey!) But before the next two weeks run away from me, I’ve made a list of things I’d like to accomplish:

  1. Finish a freakin’ book! I’ve been carrying The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen around in my purse for about 3 weeks now and the last time I read one page of it was probably two weeks ago. That’s what happens when your commute on the blue line is more like riding in a can of sardines than commuting comfortably in a seat. It took awhile for me to get into this book and now I’ll just be frustrated if I don’t finish it. (Afterall, I’m a few books away from completing my Goodreads goal of finishing 20 books this year. Eek!)
  2. Hang artwork and shelves in my apartment…finally! We took the time to paint…and stopped at that. I’m like a broken record ever since we moved into the new place in September. “This weekend we WILL hang our artwork/frames”….Ok, NEXT weekend we will hang our artwork/frames. I have an intense dislike of blank, white walls and right now I’m seeing more of this than I’d like. It will be done.
  3. Finish the year strong and go to Bikram yoga at least once per week. This is a very modest goal. Afterall, you’d think that I would be able to take the time to go to one (if not, two) classes a week. It’s become much more difficult in the past few weeks to do so and I don’t like deleting ‘Bikram’ from my google calendar each week when other things take over. Besides, it’s starting to get cold out and Bikram just feels good.
  4. Wake up early and actually enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning….because chugging it before rushing out the door just isn’t the same.
  5. This probably goes without saying, but I need to sit down and come up with my 2012 goals. Career goals, running/racing goals, personal goals, etc. It’s going to be a great year, I can just tell! But only if I stop to take the time and figure out how to make it all happen.

I found this list of “30 things to stop doing to yourself” the other day and I can’t stop thinking about it. Some apply more than others, but all of them are smart and inherently true. I suggest checking it out–great way to get an attitude check before January 1st, 2012.

AND, this spoke to me as well: The One Resolution to Make in 2012

If I say I will do something, I will do it. The end.

 

What do you have planned for the coming year? What do you want to accomplish by the end of this one?

-J

 

 

Seven Things

Life is a Run invited me to share 7 things about me that others may not know this week. I think it’s refreshing to read others’ blog posts that have absolutely nothing to do with running. While running may be what connects me with people I never would have interacted with otherwise, it’s nice to know more about them than what their 800 splits are, the pace of their last long run, or their half marathon PR.

So, my “7 things” are as follows:

  1. My name is Jenny, but my REAL name is Jennifer Holly. My twin sister’s name is Lindsey Noelle. And YES we were born in December, fairly close to Christmas. Apparently one of us was supposed to be named Julian (Jillian?), but my mom decided on Jennifer and Lindsey instead. I don’t really ever remember being called Jennifer and I’m not sure who decided that Jenny would be my more common name. Hmmm…questions to ask the family!
  2. I’ve lived in 4 different Chicago neighborhoods, despite only living here for 5 years. When I started college, I lived in Lincoln Park near campus. Then I moved around a bit to Wrigleyville and then Pilsen on the south side. Now I’m in Wicker Park and like it more than any of the others. I think I have a disease that requires me to move some place new, throw out possessions I don’t need, clean out my closet, and paint some new walls every 6-12 months. Hopefully this disease takes care of itself and allows me to remain in the same apartment for longer than that this time around!
  3. I always carry a book in my bag or purse, but usually take more than 3-4 weeks to finish it. I have a massive Goodreads list of books I need to read and have barely made a dent in it. The list is never-ending! Sometimes I think I dedicate more time to seeking out good books and adding them to my list than to actually reading them. 🙂 Woopsies!
  4. I reserve my Sunday evenings for catching up on my favorite TV shows. Lately these shows have been Dexter and Boardwalk Empire. I seriously can’t wait until Mad Men and Shameless make their return appearance in January. I already have the date saved on my calendar. 🙂 Without my comfy couch, a glass of wine/beer, a soft blanket, and my TV shows to watch on Sunday, I’m not sure how I’d stay sane. It’s my “me time”.
  5. I’m sure a lot of people have this problem, but I’m notorious for creating TO DO lists that are highly unrealistic. Sure, it’s good to be determined and focused, but my list is just silly. I even have multiple TO DO lists–because one is never enough. I use Wunderlist for groceries and other random items, WorkFlowy for lists that need to be outlined, and I always have a simple weekly planner on me that I cover in post-it notes that include more ‘to do’ lists. I should just choose one and stick to it, shouldn’t I?
  6. I HATE brussel sprouts. Yes, with an intense passion that rivals all other forms of hatred. I always have and I always will. My mom made a mistake this year for Thanksgiving dinner. She made brussel sprouts thinking that this would be THE year I’d try them out again. But she was sorely mistaken. I’m not budging. I’ll stick to other greens like asparagus (which happens to be my favorite vegetable ever).
  7. Confession: half the time I sit down to write my blog posts, I don’t know what I’m going to write about. I think I’m okay with that. I’m not trying to cater to anyone else or provide advice for other runners. Just sorting through some things in my own head and putting them on digital paper so that I can keep track of where I’ve been and where I could be going. I love seeing that people subscribe to the blog, don’t get me wrong! The little comments and notes are nice and it makes me realize how easily connected we all are, especially in the running community. So blog on, all, blog on!

Those are my ‘7 things’. What are yours?

-J