That Day I Passed Someone…Running

Today I passed a woman running.  This is a BIG DEAL.  I never pass anyone.  I am a slowish running, usually doing 11 minute miles.  I did discover something pretty interesting lately:  a running podcast.  It features a long track of running music with specific beats per minute to encourage a faster running speed.  For my run today and my run Sunday, I listened to the 145 BPM (a 10:30 mile) podcast.  The podcast is Podrunner and it’s free to listen to.  They have a variety of BPM, so you can really pick your poison.

Pros:

It helped me run a little bit faster, especially right away.

It was easy to get lost in my own thoughts.  I plotted the next chapter of my book without distraction.

I never had to mess with skipping a song, like I do when I listen to my running mix and I’m not feeling a certain song.

I wasn’t mouthing the words to the songs I usually listen to, or run dancing and looking like an idiot.

Cons:

Going faster burned me out quicker.

After 20 minutes of the dance rave going on in my ears, I started to feel insane.  What are the lyrics?  Get to the beat? Go to the beat?  Get my beat?

Not a lot of variety was a little boring.  And sometimes run dancing is the best.

So, I think I will experiment with Podrunner for a few more runs and see what happens.  And now, some pictures from my little three miler around my hood:

Free little library.  They’re pretty much the best.

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Back of a McMansion.  Sometimes I feel bad that our rich neighbors have Kris and I living just around the corner.  Muahahaha.

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A boardwalk through a pretty but mosquito-y swamp:

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Love a path through the woods!  Always pretty.

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Facelift

We decided to give our house a facelift this weekend.  The aqua paint didn’t really bother me as much as the inside projects (wallpaper border…ick) so we tackled other interior projects before turning toward the exterior.

Here is a picture of the outside from the Shorewest listing:

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Aqua!  The paint color is dated and was faded and splotchy.  It had to go.  So, when Kris’ parents offered to come for a weekend and our neighbor offered up his extension ladder, we went to town.

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Nekkid house.  We found a ton of old wasps nests and one new wasp nest.

Some charcoal spray paint and some apple red paint, and hello new housey.

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So, those round pieces and the half moon piece are purely decorative, and aren’t real vents.  I was tempted to just take them off and leave them off, but they do add a little fancy.  Unfortunately, the old ones were nailed up instead of screwed, so they were difficult to take off.  This time around they screwed in.

I’ve always loved (Badger) red doors and knew I wanted one.

Red Door Significance (we are only 177 mortgage payments away from the last meaning, ha)

People Who Live Behind a Red Door  (hopefully this will apply to us!)

As we were finishing up, a neighborhood kid yelled “Good job getting rid of the ugly sea foam color!”  I guess not everyone was a fan.  Two other neighbors across the street said it looked nice, too, so maybe we are making progress.

Special thanks to Kris’ parents!

Love/Hate Hate Hate

I have a love/hate hate hate relationship with running.  I wish I were a runner that consistently got the rush of endorphins or sense of accomplishment with every run.  I wish I felt super jazzed every time I put on my running shoes.  That, unfortunately, is not the case. 

I’ve been a runner for the past four years.  I use that term loosely.  I’ve taken 6+ month breaks from running.  I’ve shuffled along my fair share of 12 minute miles.  In fact, I’ve never been a fast runner and I top out at 10:30 minute miles.  Am I still a runner?  I don’t know.  I’ve run in six races total, from a 5K to a half-marathon.  Some races went well, others went poorly. 

Me before the worst race, not knowing what terrible fate (lots of early hills) awaited me:

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My top three worst running experiences:

1.  When a bug flew up into my nose and I couldn’t get it out

2.  When my gum flew out of my mouth and it was delicious fresh gum I had just put in

3.  When I spit (gross, I don’t do it often, truly) and it flew into the wind and I ended up spitting on myself.

Kris and me before the Haunted Hustle half-marathon:

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I’ve run in the Haunted Hustle, held in Middleton and Halloween themed, every year since it started, which is something I’d like to keep doing.  I signed up for the 10K this year.  Having a fall race on the schedule is nice because I get outside way more than normal and enjoy the changing weather. 

Now that I’m training again, I finally got to break in my Vibrams that I bought last fall.

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My early impressions are that they kill my calves.  Never in all my running have I been so sore!  Traditional shoes must make it easier for my calves.  I definitely feel the pain of the Veebs.  So far, I’ve gotten a few blisters, and some are forming callouses.  I really, really like the light weight feel of these and I do think I’m a little faster than normal in them.  I have a wide toe box and most traditional shoes worn with socks result in blisters, even after breaking them in.  I hope the Veebs alleviate that problem.  So far, I’m not completely sold on them, but I’m going to continue using them for this race.

So why do I keep running? 

I like that it makes me feel stronger and in shape in a way that no other exercise can do.  If I’m running, I feel better overall.  That voice my brain that insists I’m fat and out of shape gets slightly quieter.  I get to explore the neighborhood.  I like running in my ‘hood and discovered a little wooded park with a paved path that fits perfectly into my usual three mile runs. There are all the other benefits of running that I’m sure I don’t acknowledge:  stress relief, clearing my head, getting out of the house…

Anyway, it’s enough to keep me going and signing up for another race, and even when I swear off running for good, I’m finding that I turn back to it.  Who would’ve thought the girl who hated running in gym would have ever run 13 consecutive miles?  Not me.  Just goes to show anything can happen.