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New Kicks

I’ve been pounding the pavement (well, really the treadmill, the track and the elliptical) for the last 2.5 years in my trusty Brooks.  I keep telling myself that they still look fine and work fine, so they’re still fine to use, but really it is time for new running shoes.  I think the guideline is something like 1 year/150 miles.  Well, we’re way beyond that.  Happily, I ordered a new pair of shoes yesterday!

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Mr. Beez says the 80s puked all over these, but I LOVE THEM!

I’ve had bad luck with running shoes giving me painful blisters, so I love that these come with a 15 day trial period. There’s nothing worse than picking out new running shoes, taking them out for a spin, realizing that they’re just not going to work, and not being able to return them.  That’s why I’ve never ordered running shoes online before (at least you minimize the risk by getting fitted at a specialty running store).  The trial period is an all around win for me!

And Baby Beez certainly has more shoes than she needs, but I just couldn’t help myself from sharing the bright-color fun with her too.

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Thursday things (self promotion, running, movies and events)

1. Hey, I know that Blogger

Queen in Heels kindly featured me in her Blogger Spotlight this week.  She shares my LOVE for shoes, and I’ve been loving her features of all the fashion week footwear!

2.  Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot

I am in week 6 of the Couch to 5k program, and although the running times are getting longer, running is getting easier.  Even when my feet feel like cement, I can manage to get through the running parts by running very slowly.  Although the longest stretch I’ve run lately is 20 minutes, I’m confident that in a few weeks I can work up to a 5k.  This is my second go-around with running (the first being about 8 years ago), with a long hiatus in between.  This time around I’m older, fatter, and busier so that can sometimes make running trickier. 

There are some very key differences between my running practices last time and this time:

Last time:

  • I ran on concrete sidewalks (a great way to get to know the city)
  • I did not stretch or warm up/cool down
  • Eventually I wound up with runner’s knee

This time:

  • I am running on the Schenley oval rubber track or on crushed limestone trails
  • There are warm ups/cool downs built into the Couch to 5k Program
  • I am actually stretching after my run
  • I have had no knee problems so far

My progress with time and distance has been slower this time, but I am at least taking better care of myself.  Instead of working toward a goal to run a specific race, I’m working toward the goal of integrating running into my life as healthy exercise. 

3. Little Cinephile in the making!

Mr. Beez and I took Baby Beez to her first movie in a real movie theater, and she LOVED it! This is not an event that was easily decided.  We weren’t specifically looking to take her to the movies, but since they are showing Finding Nemo in 3D, and since we watch Finding Nemo about twice a day, every Saturday and Sunday, we thought she’d have a lot a fun.  And she DID! She sat in my lap and quietly watched her beloved Nemo, and even kept her 3D glasses on almost the entire time.  This undertaking was significantly less stressful because we were literally the only people in the theater.  Monsters, Inc. is going to be re-released in 3D in December, and we will probably take her to that (again, Monsters, Inc. is in heavy rotation in our DVD collection), but the movie theater probably won’t be a regular occurrence until Baby Beez gets bigger.  That doesn’t change the fact that my little grinch heart grew 2 sizes bigger, seeing her love the movies as much as her mommy does!

4.  Pittsburgh Events

The next few days are full of awesome events around the ‘burgh.  If I had the night free tonight (which I do not, boo hoo), I would be heading over to the ToonSeum for the Hunger Action Happy Hour, benefiting Greater Pittsburgh Area Foodbank.  On Friday there is the vegan Healthy Eating Happy Planet event at the Environmental Charter School that looks pretty fun (The event website doesn’t seem to have much info, I’ve learned about the event from Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen’s Facebook page).

This Saturday, I’m SUPER excited to attend The PittsBurgher– Music and Burger festival at the Rivers Casino! Burger competition, YES PLEASE! (and tickets are available at a steep discount at LivingSocial). 

What fun things will you be doing over the next few days?

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The many things on my mind to-day

1. It feels like wonderful glorious fall

Hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick? Don’t mind if I do!

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2. I’m always impressed with the high quality of decadent food you can get at a reasonable price for brunch.

Park Bruges price fix brunch includes entree, side, and cocktail. Oh yum.

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Pork belly over roasted apples and potatoes, topped with two eggs, potato souffle on the side, and a mimosa.
Park Bruges on Urbanspoon

3. Farewell to Schenley Plaza Kids Days for the season.

Today we saw a puppet show, made a short stop at the library to run around the kids’ section, and rode the carousel FOUR times until Mommy got motion sick and said it was time to go.

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Baby Beez didn’t nap well and was tired herself. On the way back to the car, the following exchange ensued:

Baby Beez: MOM

Me: Yes, baby

Baby Beez: MOM

Me: What?

Baby Beez: COFFEE

Me: No. You’re a baby. Babies don’t drink coffee.

Baby Beez: Milk?

No exaggeration, this is what she literally said. Crazy kid.

4. I fear I’m going to be run out of Pixburg with flaming torches and pitchforks for admitting this, but…

I love going to Giant Eagle during the Steelers games. Sweet sweet silence.

5. Speaking of fall weather and da Stillerz…

I could use some chili and cornbread!

6. I’m in week 4 of the Couch to 5k program

In the past I had chickened out of C25k because keeping track of all the timing was too cumbersome. Then my friend Regina introduced me to the C-2-5k Free app, and I had NO excuse to not do it. I’m almost done with week 4 of this 8 week program, and I’m glad to say that joy of running is returning to me.

With all this jogging, it was high time to update my playlist. This is what’s currently on my running list, but I’m always looking for new tunes. PLEASE feel free to suggest your favorite workout songs!! I’m perpetually seeking new additions to this playlist.

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Be Running up that Road, Be Running up that Hill

Yes I did, I got out and went for a jog today.  I had some walking stints in there, but there was running too.  It’s been months since I hit the pavement.

Even on the weekends time is at a premium, so I decided to go out for a jog today instead of going to the gym.  Going to the gym would have taken twice as long with having to drive there and back, and battle the Squirrel Hill crowds for parking.

Like so many houses in Greenfield, when you step out of my house every direction is uphill. Every. Direction.  It’s not an excuse for never running, but knowing you’re going to have to battle hills is a demotivator.  I chose to run in the nearby cemetery.  Greenfield sidewalks are cracked and bad, and stop signs are apparently optional.  Running in the cemetery is safer, quieter, and the view is pretty.  I even saw Bob O’Connor’s grave.  I worry that running in a cemetery might be considered disrespectful, but the only other people in the cemetery were other runners.

Marathon and 1/2 Marathon entry statistics show that most people get hit with the running bug in their 30s.  I started a little early, and started running around age 20.  I was spending the summer abroad in Germany, and eating schnitzel and fluffy pastries nonstop.  There was no way I was going to cut back on those delicious treats, so I decided to pick up running.  My first goal was to run 2 blocks without running.  Then I worked up to 20 minutes of running.  Then I worked up to a 5k, then a 10k, then a marathon, then another marathon, and then I burned out.  I’ve hardly run at all since the summer of 2005.

Lookin' pretty good for mile 25 of the LA marathon.

When I talk about those races, I feel like Uncle Rico, refusing to give up the glory of his high school football days.  Those races were nearly eight years ago, do I still get to bask in the glory of those accomplishments?

It’s a great feeling to have finished a marathon, but I never want to do it again.  I don’t have a runner’s body.  Running doesn’t come easily to me.  In both races, I finished in about 5 and a quarter hours.  The fastest mile I’ve ever run in my life was 8 minutes, 30 seconds.  I’m not built for running, but even with my waddling, akward gait,  I loved to run– I loved how I got these excited bursts of energy out on a run, and how it made me feel fast and sleek, and that quick burning feeling in your lungs during the first few steps on a cold winter’s run.

Running is easy to do when you do it all the time, but it’s hard when you first start.  When I burned out in 2005, I “re-set,” and starting up with running again felt almost like I’d never run to begin with.   I’ve kept a small amount of the endurance– if I run at a very slow pace (we’re talking 15 min miles) and on level ground, I can run for 30 minutes plus.  I couldn’t do that when I first started…but that’s hardly an accomplishment next to “real” runners.

In those years of running, I developed a nasty case of Runners Knee in my right knee.  Instead of stretching and treating it, I tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away with “rest.” Sitting in a desk chair for 10+ hours a day certainly did not help it.  I’ve used it as an excuse to not get out and exercise more.  I have to address it directly if I ever want it to resolve, and ever want to resume running regularly.