Dear Body: Prepare to Run

Last spring, after a couple of years of sporadic jogging stints, I decided to take the plunge and run my first 10k. Training was a challenge at first, but by race day, I had really come to enjoy running. As summer turned to fall, the weather became, let’s just say, less jogging friendly, and I didn’t have the guts, really, to continue.

Now, the cherry blossoms are in bloom, and again, I’m getting the itch to hit the road. Today was my first run, and damn did it hurt! Legs, lungs, abs. Everything that could hurt, did. So, in an attempt to preempt these ailments next time and hopefully get back in to fighting shape sooner, here are some tips for half marathon training.

1. Build mental stamina…I’m only laughing because, even with a goal of more than 13 miles, this tip will probably be most challenging for me. This is advice on a lot of peoples’ lists, but music is key for me to keep pushing – I will publish my play list later this week.

2. Get on a schedule. This is one of the most important aspects of my success last year. Having mini goals to reach and time scheduled on my calender was key to me reaching my goal. Here’s the schedule I’m following this year from the same site that I used for the 10k. TIP: for those of you who are often over-scheduled, remember, even if happy hour followed by running seems like a good idea, it’s not. Trust me.

3. Get some good gear. (guy readers, feel free to skip to #4) workout clothes can be a great motivator to get you up and running – literally. Although I’m not usually a fan, Old Navy actually has some amazing running pants that are reasonably priced ($12 on sale!) and super comfortable. You’re going to be needing several pairs and although LuluLemon has some really cute ones, I’m not in love with spending $86 a pop. Good shoes are clearly essential – try a place like Portland Running Company instead of heading down to Nordstrom. Running stores have trained professionals to determine the best shoes for your foot shape and gait. Also, make sure to have a supportive sports bra  to protect the ladies.

Welcome back boys!

4. Take a break. Finally! A legit excuse to watch reruns of ANTM, sorry guys, I mean COPS, after work. Rest is key to recovery and rejuvenation. Without a day off between runs, you could put your body in a tough spot. So just do it.

5. Drink water. Pretty simple. If you’re tempted to try another libation in place of good ole’ H2O, just remember what happened to Tiger after one too many Gatorades… too much endurance. Really, you’ll avoid needless calories and sugar, if you just stick to the clear stuff.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. Keep an eye out for more posts about my adventures in half marathon training.

Got a tip about training I missed? Have a recommendation about great running trails or killer capris? Let me know!

Ps: sorry Tiger. I couldn’t resist.

March 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Life-in General. Leave a comment.

Halloween Costumes for the Recession-Savvy Gal

A lot has changed in the past two years: a college degree no longer guarantees you a job, birthday presents from your parents now consist of one more month of health insurance and a couple packets of Starbucks Via, and extravagant Halloween costumes purchased online are just a fond memory. 

So, what is the fabulous and frugal Halloween lover to do? Here are my tips for creative costumes straight from your closet.

StepfordStepford Wife: Combine a pastel cardigan, floral dress and nude heals. Add in some pearl jewelry, airbrushed makeup, perfectly quaffed hair and the apron your mom gave you for graduation (finally an excuse to wear it!) and TA DA! You’ve been transformed in to a trophy robot wife. Extra points for freshly baked cookies and a vacant expression. DWF15-470740

College Freshman: Find your shortest jean skirt, a cheap Forever 21 party top and pop on your ugg boots. Add a teased bump in your hair, fully line your eyes in black liner and gob on the mascara for the authentic look of a clueless 17 year old. Major kudos for carrying both a backpack and Coach purse.

MeghanMcCainMeghan McCain: In light of the recent buzz around her Twitter account, this costume is particularly timely. All you need for this one is a black low cut tank, Andy Worhol book, and the best damn push up bra you have. Pull back your bangs with a workout head-band, add a Vote McCain campaign pin and prepare for the media firestorm!

Happy Halloween!

October 16, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Entertainment, Life-in General. 3 comments.

Moving Out of Your Parent’s Pad (AGAIN!)

In case you haven’t been following the news, more than 60 percent of recent college graduates are moving home after graduation. There are so many of us moving back in with our parents that our generation has been unofficially renamed “The Boomerang Generation.”

You probably know how I feel about this rebranding. But regardless of what they’re calling us behind our backs and to our faces, the ultimate issue remains: the majority of us are living at home, and we need to get out of there!

Are You Ready to Move Out of Your Parent’s House? by Jody Morse asks the hard questions you should ponder before you move out (again).

1. Do you have a stable job? “Stable” job should also be interpreted as “real” job. You can’t expect to live off the online sale of your beanie babies or baseball cards, or by working 10 hours a week at your local coffee shop (unless they pay you $100 an hour to steam milk).

2. Can you pay your rent? If you’re entire pay check is going to rent, your living situation is unrealistic – either downsize (whatever you may think, you don’t need that second bedroom for your collection of commemorative shot glasses) or go back home to mom and dad.

3. Will you be able to afford other expenses? There’s much more to worry about than rent (like food, utilities, internet, cable, cell phone, credit card bills, furniture etc. etc. etc.)

4. Are you willing to make sacrifices? The bottom line is if you are living with your parents, you current job probably isn’t paying much anyway. Living on your own will only make that worse. So, think twice before that Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale shopping spree, the big screen TV purchase or the new car loan.

5. Should you consider a roommate? Clearly having someone with whom you can split expenses is a good idea, especially if you’re on a tight budget. So, the roommate that you found on Craigslist disappeared in the middle of the night? I’m sure he’ll be back in no time with all of your missing electronics.

6. Are you emotionally ready to leave home? It seems like a dumb question, but maybe moving back home wasn’t truly about your lack of funds. Perhaps your move home was a reaction to you not wanting to enter the real world, make necessary sacrifices and transition to adulthood. Think about it.

Whether you’re ready to move out or not, go right now and hug your parents. Ten bucks says they are as bummed as you that you’re living at home again. So, tell mom and dad thanks.

photo from peoplejam.com

July 30, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . graduation, Life-in General. 1 comment.

We’re the Boomerang Generation? You Must Be Mistaken.

There have been tons of articles reporting lately that about 60 percent of recent college graduates are moving back home with their parents. So, what? Right? Well, that’s a way higher percentage than any other generation before us. There are so many of us living high school-style with the rents that our generation has been renamed “The Boomerang Generation.” There’s even a Wikipedia page describing our failure and thus our rebranding.

I get the boomerang joke, i.e., we’re returning back like a boomerang. But I would prefer to be renamed for an object more age appropriate for us 20-somethings. We could, for example, be the Skip It generation. It’s the same concept, duh.

Or we could be the Stick-Ums generation. You know, that amazing Velcro toss game that you could play for hours, or until your dog got a hold of the tennis ball and either wouldn’t give it back or slobbered on it so thoroughly that it would no longer stick to the disk. Who doesn’t remember the trademark Velcro CCCRRRRUUUUCCCHHHHH sound that probably drove our parents crazy. Now that’s an appropriate name for our generation! After college, back at home, driving our parents crazy again, but this time with the ever-so cheerful sounds of Twiiter updates on the minute and an incessant stream of 30 second song clips from iTunes.

I am disappointed with the renaming attempt. But regardless of the new title, our generations’ situation is dire. Don’t fret if you’re living at home, though. You are not alone, and help is on the way. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts about successfully moving back in with Mom and Dad, and how to get the hell out of there as soon as possible.

Oh, and do me a favor? Anytime you hear someone refer to us as the boomerang generation, kindly and confidently remark that they must be mistaken. We’re the Stretch Armstrong generation. Clearly, we always return to our original…uh…home address.

July 22, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , . graduation, Life-in General. 3 comments.