Posts from the ‘Running’ Category

I am proud to report

I am proud to report a quite successful week regarding the accomplishment of last Monday’s goal. I had been letting my exercise routine slack a bit lately, so I resolved to get back into it last week (and continue to keep it up, of course). So last Monday I did a solid three-mile run, and I went back to my usual fitness classes at the rec center last week. I’ve also been doing a little core work at home, and DH and I went on a bike ride on Saturday. I’ve already got a plan for this week, too, and I feel good about getting ramped up again. I do admit that I don’t always feel motivated to do something, but usually I can manage something at least. I certainly feel like I have to answer to you, dear readers, if I slack off on a goal I told you I’d do. 🙂

This week, DH is out of town for work, so it’s just the dog and me. Part of this week’s goal is just to keep up with the fitness routine. I think the other one will be trying to do some memorization that I keep putting off. DH teaches our Sunday School class, and he challenged our class to memorize a handful of short verses a few weeks ago. I keep thinking about it but haven’t done it yet, so this seems like a perfect thing to tackle in a week. Like just about everything, if I am not intentional about doing it, it’ll never get done!

For the record, while I was a bit tired from staying up too late with a book last night, this Monday was vastly, vastly better than the “three” that I had already had in July. Maybe I’ve had enough Monday to last me through the rest of the month…and, likewise, the last of my days at my job. And by the way, t’s halfway through July now…can you believe it?

Rainy days and Mondays

Evidently I’ve had three Mondays in eight days. That’s rough. I had a normal Monday today and a week ago, plus I had a “Monday” the day after Independence Day. Having one day off in the middle of the week was nice, but I had a difficult time getting going again, even with just two days until the weekend. Today has also been particularly tough since DH and I took a fast and furious weekend trip and only got back last night. It was really great, and more details will follow, but it’s been challenging getting back up to speed. Not having the weekend to keep up with routine tasks at home means I’m a little bit behind now. Plus it was rainy this morning with possibly more showers this afternoon. A rainy day and a Monday…bound to get me down I guess.

Since it is indeed Monday, it’s time for another Goal of the Week. I decided that I need to up the running again. I keep letting things get in the way of my normal exercise routine, but I shouldn’t. Given the Monday-ness of today, I know it might be hard to force myself to do it, but I’m going to, or else. I hope. :-/ But getting the blood pumping would probably help improve my Monday (and whole week) outlook. So I will do it or else. I hope.

I currently am courting two different job opportunities. Both have their appealing aspects, and they certainly  have their drawbacks as well. Things will undoubtedly progress as I continue to talk with both parties this week, and it’s quite possible I’ll have some significant decisions to make in the coming weeks. We’ll just have to see how it plays out. All the while I’m still keeping my eyes open for anything else that comes along. Just three weeks left in my current job…trying to stay motivated until the end. It’s hard when my experiment isn’t working as expected, but, after seven years of research, what else would I expect?

 

Mission Accomplished: Bolder Boulder 10k

This morning, I finally ran the 10k race that I have been training for. The Bolder Boulder is an annual Memorial Day event in which tens of thousands of participants run through downtown Boulder, finishing in a grand finale at the university stadium.

Yes, I did say tens of thousands of people…there were probably over 60,000 runners this year. They are all assigned to waves according to their approximate running time so you don’t have to trample slow people or get trampled by faster ones.  My friend and I were conservative in our choice of waves, since we didn’t want to over-commit ourselves on our first race; however, it seemed inevitable that you would be trampling or being trampled by so many folks regardless of your wave. Here’s our wave inching toward the starting line, waiting to start.

The course wound through the middle of town. Every few tenths of a mile, there were various bands and performers to entertain the runners. People also sat in their yards to spectate, sometimes providing such entertainment as slip-n-slides, belly dancers, music, cotton candy and marshmallows, beer bonging, and even a guy in a red, white, and blue speedo doing a pole dance (the low-point of spectator interaction, I’d say).

The whole course has a net uphill elevation gain with a summit of 5,381 ft, and I was a tiny bit concerned about it. However, the whole course was pretty reasonable with only a couple of notable uphill sections. The culmination of the race is up the hill going into the stadium. I was just sure I wouldn’t be able to tackle it, but when I got there, I actually made it, as it wasn’t as long a hill as I had previously heard. However, the turn into the stadium continued uphill, and I had to take it easy for a minute or two before entering the stadium so I could finish the final lap around the field with a final running surge.

I did completed the race in 74 minutes and some change, which I thought was not too bad, especially for my first race, and a longer one, too. So, in the month of May this year I have graduated with my PhD and run a 10k (both ending up in the same university stadium, too, coincidentally). That’s quite an eventful month. We’ll just have to see what June brings!

Ridiculous

It’s Monday again, and I’m hoping for a more optimistic week than I had last week.

I wasn’t as successful as I imagined I’d be with my goal-of-the-week last week, as I felt kind of sick, tired, and blah and didn’t feel like doing a lot for a few days. I know, excuses excuses, but you can’t help it sometimes. I’ll keep on this goal, though, to gradually increase the quality of my down time. For this coming week, I have a few things in mind to attempt.

My 10K race is a week from today. I’m not so nervous about the running as I am the crowds of people! There were over 55,000 people who ran this race last year, and sure to be more this year. I hope that it won’t be super crazy insane, and at least I’ll be running with a friend. Of course, “running” might be an optimistic term; we signed up for a walking/jogging wave so if anything besets us, like aches or pains or elevation changes, we can take it easy and still feel good about finishing. One goal for this week is to finally get up to 10 km/6.2 miles on a training run. I’m just under a mile away from the mark. I’m hoping to make it happen today, but we’ll see how it goes.

My other goal is to prepare my lunch the night before I go to work so I’m not throwing it together in the mornings. I eat quite simply, actually, but it still requires some assembly. Occasionally I do manage to do this, and I like the result, so I decided to be intentional about it this week, just because it’s the perfect scope for a GotW.

As we approach June, I should also consider another monthly challenge to pursue. That has been interesting and successful in the past, so I should come up with a good idea and a plan by next week. Did you realize that May is almost gone already? Ridiculous.

 

Goal of the week, unplugged

I feel like it’s time to start up Goal of the Week again, but focusing more on personal stuff with some work/career related things if appropriate. However, I feel a little bit silly blogging about my current goal of the week, but please forgive the irony. I’ve been thinking that in general I spend too much time goofing off on computer-related devices–laptop, phone, tablet, whatever. I don’t feel like it’s bad to spend time out on the world wide web or playing a few games on a cell phone, but I think I unconsciously use these as an excuse to not make effort to engage myself in other things, particularly in the evenings at home. This is just a small step from being lazy, isn’t it? And I don’t want to be lazy…I feel like I’m prone to be that way, and I don’t want to encourage it. Plus, if this blog has been about anything at all, it’s about being intentional about life, is it not?

So, my goal for this week is to scale back the gratuitous electronics usage. I should really have some rigorous criteria about usage, i.e. time spent or websites/apps visited, but I haven’t gotten that far. I think I know when I’m involved in meaningful electronic interaction versus when I’m just surfing for the sake of surfing, so I’m just going to try to be aware of what I’m doing. If I sit down to check my email, a few blogs, new forum posts, my fantasy baseball team, and Facebook for 15-30 minutes and then find myself randomly checking the weather or the news or playing solitaire for the sole purpose of avoiding getting up, then I know I’d better hop up straightaway and do something else.

Instead of mindlessly web surfing, I could do some reading or play a board game with DH. If we’re listening to a baseball game on the radio or watching a movie or TV show on Netflix, I could catch up on some knitting instead of being on the computer. I could spend a mere 15 minutes each evening on a household chore and constantly keep on top of everything instead of having marathon cleaning sessions on Saturdays. I can also do a little more exercise, too (gratuitous bragging–I ran 5.25 miles tonight…just less than a mile to squeeze in before my 10k in two weeks!).

So that’s my goal of the week. It’s not always a huge problem, but it was kind of bad over the weekend while my parents were in town and we were just sitting around in the evenings. Plus, if this is a habit I have developed, I don’t want to keep feeding it. Therefore, I thought it would be an excellent candidate for starting this challenge back up. Hopefully I can share some positive progress with you all next week!

Chautauqua

Given that we now have company at home, I decided to do my run from work today. I’ve only done this once before, so I haven’t thoroughly scoped out all possible routes radiating outward from my lab. However, one thing about our building is that we back directly up to the Boulder Flatirons, meaning that after only a few blocks of residential hiking you can pop right out into the middle of a an open plateau or a shady mountain forest. It’s certainly something I try not to take for granted while being here.

For today’s run, I quickly consulted Google Maps around my current location and noted that Chautauqua Park was only a mile or so away. I decided that this round trip sounded like a perfect candidate for a quick mid-day run, so I headed that direction.

The Chautauqua Movement of the late 1800s was a movement that brought cultural and educational experiences to small towns and cities all over the country. What began as a summer camp for educating Sunday school teachers in the northeast quickly exploded into a cross-country movement allowing working-class people with little opportunity for a formal college education to come together for lectures, concerts, the arts, and classes in their own cities and towns. Chautauqua halls were built in to house these events.

Today, the Colorado Chautauqua Auditorium still stands at the base of Boulder’s Foothills, preserved and still used after over one hundred years. And I make a public confession here that in my eight years of living here in Boulder, I have never actually been up there (hides from the torches, pitchforks, and rioting of disbelieving locals).

However, do give me a little credit that I made the one mile run up there this morning! And I do mean up…up and up and up. Lots of huffing and puffing and slowing to a walk to let my heart rate subside a bit. And I even had to abandon sidewalk for a mountainous trail to get up there. So, while this wasn’t my fastest run ever or my longest, it was definitely the most interesting. A couple of minutes into the trail, in my surprise I looked up to see the Chautauqua hall above me. I stopped to take a quick picture.

I kept on the trail a little bit further and veered off at the fork that I knew would take me up to the hall. It was quite interesting, though I was in the middle of a run and not really able to poke around the grounds very much. I did snap another quick picture of the view of Boulder from above. I told you it was “up!”

So, a mid-morning run from a national lab and up a mountain to a historic landmark, with blindingly blue skies and panoramic vistas. Just a typical day in Boulder, Colorado.