Monthly Archives: January 2012

Why I REALLY Run

A while back, I posted this reflection on why I like running. While it still holds true, I realized last week that there is another reason why I REALLY run:

I am about as coordinated as Elaine from Seinfeld:

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I used to dance and was a cheerleader in high school, but apparently the past 7 years of sitting behind a desk/computer/in a classroom has really put a damper on any dancing skills I used to have.

I learned this last week when taking a Zumba class with Tiff and our friend Jen. This pretty much sums it up:

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In my defense, I do believe I may have burned even more calories through my spastic arm-flailing and attempts to avoid bumping into people, than if I had just done the moves correctly. And somehow, miraculously, I have been convinced to return to the class tonight. I guess I didn’t embarrass Tiff and Jen too much.

The class definitely made me realize that my love for running may be largely due to the fact that it requires limited coordination. Put one foot in front of the other and try not to trip. Easy breezy. Unless you are this guy:

[source]

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Filed under Running, Workouts

Team So Much Cooler Online Loves Aspaeris Pivot Shorts

Ready for some exciting Ragnar news that everyone can benefit from?

Aspaeris is sponsoring Team So Much Cooler Online by providing all of us with a pair of their incredible Pivot Shorts to wear during the relay. I am so excited about this for many reasons, with the biggest one being injury prevention.

From the site:

Aspaeris Pivot Shorts™ are actually two pairs of shorts bonded together. The Outer Short is a high performance compression short designed to support your muscles. The Inner Short features our breakthrough, Dual Sensory Compression Bands™.

These cross-knit bands guide your muscles into the proper position, thereby improving your pivot performance, which helps prevent ACL and hip injuries.

The Aspaeris Pivot Short™ is not an ordinary compression short. Athletes who try the APS™ report feeling more confident in their ‘pivot moves’ and almost all feel more in control without being restricted.

If you’re interested in your own pair of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, just click here and use the code “cooleronline” for a whopping 50% off your shorts! Seriously, you are losing money by not scooping up this deal.

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Filed under Ragnar Relay SoCal

The Secret to Treadmill Running & My Embarrassing Secret

Ran 2 miles in 20 minutes today and Monday. 4 miles in 40 minutes on Saturday.

I’ve been slacking on the blogging again! Forgive me. I think it’s the cold weather that’s finally made it’s way to So Cal. All I want to do when I get home at night is take a hot shower and crawl under the covers.

Today, I finally discovered the secret to prevent me from hating the treadmill. It turns out, my embarrassing secret is, in fact, the secret to treadmill running.

I LOVE bad movies.

Especially bad disaster movies. If the world is ending or volcanoes are wiping out L,  then I’ve probably seen it and loved it.

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I don’t know what it is about these kind of movies, but I can watch them over and over and never get tired of them.

Today, I was not feeling the gym at all. I was tired, cranky and really didn’t feel like changing into my freezing cold running clothes after work. I decided to switch things up and make today an easy 2-mile run and move my 5-mile tempo run to Friday (I’m following my Smartcoach plan to a T, other than switching up the actual days I do the runs).

I got to the gym and realized that most people must have been feeling the same way today because the gym was empty and I easily snagged a treadmill right away. Imagine my surprise when I looked up at the TV in front of me and instead of the usual snoozefest:

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I found myself watching this:

My 20-minute run flew by so fast I ended up going a little over and not even paying attention to the time. I was so enthralled in the movie I didn’t want to end my run.

I’ve tried watching movies or TV during my treadmill runs before, but nothing usually holds my attention for long enough. It’s too easy to let my mind wander while watching Top Chef or Real Housewives, and my usual favorite shows like NCIS and any other crime drama require way too much focus to read the subtitles so I usually end up almost falling off the treadmill.

[source]

OK, let’s be honest. It might not be the subtitles making me fall off the treadmill.

Anyway…

Disaster movies are the perfect combination of action-packed stunts and explosions and minimal dialogue that really isn’t important to the plot anyways. Love that.

Now I just need to download the rest of 2012 to my ipod touch for Friday’s 5-mile tempo run.

Do you watch TV, read or listen to music while working out? I get motion sickness if I read in the car or on cardio equipment! I can only manage to read when I’m on the stationary bikes.

Any other disaster movie lovers? What’s your favorite movie? I have to go with Independence Day.

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Filed under Running

Ask and You Shall Receive

Do you ever have those moments that are so coincidental it’s scary? A couple months ago, I remember thinking that I really wished I had a nice DSLR to take some better pictures on vacations and for my blog. I had an issue last year where Barnes and Noble (die B&N, die!) advertised 50% off the Canon Rebel XS for Black Friday so I jumped on the deal, ordered the camera, my credit card was charged, and two days later they sent me (and tons of other people who ordered the same camera) an email saying they made a mistake in the price and had to cancel my order. No apology, no coupon for future purchases, no discount off the full price of the camera, nothing. It left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Luckily, right around Black Friday 2011, I was reliving that bitter memory when Woot came to rescue. Same camera. Same price. $5 shipping. No sales tax. I love you Woot! Now I just need to learn how to use it properly.

My "Artsy" Photo

Then, just a couple of days after my camera arrived I remember thinking about the old treadmill we used to have at my house and wishing we still had it. Our insane wind was back and making it very difficult to get in a long run before my race. The next day, Woot had a treadmill for sale! Unfortunately, I didn’t have an extra $500 lying around, or a place to put the treadmill, but it was a weird coincidence.

The point of my long, drawn out story is that I really believe that sometimes if you really really want something and think about it hard enough, an opportunity can just kind of appear.

One thing that I have had on my mind quite a lot lately is my next race in March. I made it public knowledge that I want to run a sub-2:10. I really had no clue how to actually go about achieving this. I mean, it’s simple right? Just run faster. 

At first I thought I would just hit the treadmill and not allow myself to run anything slower than a 9:50 pace at all times. Well, usually about a mile into that I remember how much I hate the treadmill.

Luckily, as I sat down at my computer this morning ready to search for training plans that help knock off minutes on my half marathon time, I saw PBF’s new post for the day:

So You Want to Run a Half Marathon

Where she linked back to some of her older posts, leading me to discover this:

After inputting my previous half marathon time of 2:18, selecting the day of the week I wish to do my long runs (Saturday), and the intensity at which I want to train (I originally did moderate then switched to hard to get closer to my goal time), and date of the anticipated race, I had my own personalized training plan that will lead me to an estimated finishing time of 2:11. Now, I know that’s a minute more than my goal, but the training plan it gave me actually has be running my long runs at an 11:54 pace (???) so I know I can increase the speed on those.

Get your own plan here!

What I really like about this plan is it incorporates more speed training, which is something I’ve never done before and really want to test out. If I can run a sub-2:10 half marathon with the help of my SmartCoach plan, I will seriously be so stinking happy I might be delusional enough to consider running the LA Marathon next year. Maybe.

It was just such a coincidence that PBF’s post lead me to find exactly the kind of training plan I need to accomplish this goal. I also love that it has me running 3-4 days a week instead of 5 like a lot of other training plans. Physically, I’m sure I could run 5 times a week if I was training properly, but half the time it is so hard for me to find the time. I’m not a morning person, and if I try to run at night after work I spend the whole run imagining things chasing me in the dark. And I hate running on the treadmill most days. Again – so boring.

So now I promise to try to post a little more frequently since I’ll be testing out and reviewing this training plan.

Also, I recently joined DailyMile and rarely remember to update it, but if you’re on it please come find me (Danica V)! Maybe if I have more DM friends I’ll update it more too 🙂

Has anyone used the Runner’s World SmartCoach to train for a race? Did it help you reach your goal?

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Filed under Goals, Half Marathons

I’m so motivated I’m scaring myself

I just did something so out of character for me I’m still in shock. It’s only the second day of January and I’ve already paid all my student loan, car payment, and credit card bills. I usually wait until the day they are due to scramble home and pay them on time, but miraculously, I paid almost 2 weeks early this month.

Things are getting crazy!

I also signed up for my next half marathon on March 24:

I’ll be running in the Pacific Half Marathon and I’m really hoping to run it in 2:10 or less.

In an effort to help prepare for this race and work on getting a bit faster, I just placed an order for these beauties:

Runner’s World Complete Book or Women’s Running

Runner’s World The Runner’s Diet

I’m not a natural athlete or a particularly fast runner, but considering that much of my training for my first half marathon consisted of the trial and error method and some skipped long runs, I think I can definitely step it up with a little guidance from these books. A sub-2:10 half would feel like an incredible accomplishment for me and might be the next step to (possibly) attempting a full marathon in the future.

Other Productive Things I’ve Done in 2012\

– I haven’t bitten my nails since I sucked it up and got a gel manicure on 12/30. 3 days and going strong!

– I painted my toenails dark purple so that my two black toenails are no longer visible. Lovely right?

– I picked up a pair of $15 Nike Hero Shorts (one of my faves) at Sports Authority today. They were in my size. I left without buying them. Truly a New Year miracle.

– My NYE dress is sitting on my bed and I am absolutely planning on hanging it up before I go to sleep instead of tossing it onto the floor.

Has anyone read any good or motivating running books? 

What is your favorite book ever? J and I just finally finished the whole Harry Potter series and they are the best books I have ever read. I think the last one was my favorite. I bawled my way through the final 100 pages and now I’m dying to finally watch the last movies.

 

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Filed under Goals, Half Marathons, What I'm Reading

A Great Start to 2012

Happy New Year!!

Last night I decided that my New Year’s Resolution is to practice my walk so I can become Ultimate Grand Supreme and finally beat that beyatch Mackenzie.

vs.

We had a great night playing games and enjoying appetizers at Jodi and Casey’s before heading out to Cafe Firenze.

I had about 2 sips of my martini (the small one on the left) before I gave it to the boys and switched to almond champagne. I couldn’t hang.

If you work in advertising or just really like commercials, check out The Logo Board Game. It’s so fun we played it the last two nights in a row!

The Girls

Our handsome boys

Dinner was amazing! I had a strawberry basalmic martini and butternut squash ravioli that was HEAVEN on a plate. And we totally met Fabio! The restaurant even did a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, even though Jason and I had counted down and celebrated East Coast New Year three hours earlier:

It turned out that we had a great reason to celebrate East Coast New Year! Just a couple minutes after this picture was taken in 80* California, this was happening over in New York right in front of the Statue of Liberty:

Jason’s twin sister (and one of my BFFs) Tiffany GOT ENGAGED! I’m SO excited for Tiff and Aaron and I am super impatient and when them to get back now so I can finally start putting my Pinterest Wedding Board to good use (JK Jas I don’t have a wedding board… maybe). UMM and PS. Check out that bling! I can’t wait to hear all of the proposal details and celebrate with them!

How did you ring in 2012?

Any big plans or wishes for the New Year? I just signed up for another Half Marathon! More on that soon, but my big plan is to break 2:10 🙂

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Filed under Holidays