Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Things Friday: shuffling, losing, purple-ing, et al

1. Every year I'm NOT shuffling...
Yours truly has never run the famed and insanely popular Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago. I was finally going to end this non-Shuffle nonsense and go inaugurally Shuffling in 2014. I was really, really excited to finally find out what all the hype was about. But then... I looked at the race date.

Would you believe that for the gazillionth time, I will not be able to Shuffle next year?

I have to work one weekend per quarter, and Shamrock happens to fall on that particular weekend. Talk about bad timing. What a bummer!

So... maybe in 2015?

2. Speaking of not shuffling...
I definitely wanted to be more selective about the races that I run in 2014. I've made the mistake several times of registering for a race very far in advance to take advantage of an early-bird discount, only to regret it later. I told myself that it would be worth paying a little extra to have more flexibility.

So yeah, I am currently in the unfamiliar position of having exactly zero races on the calendar right now.

It's gotta be the shoes.
It's a little weird. But it is also kind of nice to have a completely blank calendar slate to work with.

3. Run-Streaking
I hit Day 20 of my Runners World Run Streak yesterday. Knock on wood, it has not been too challenging so far to maintain the streak and my body is feeling good. For the most part, I've been slugging out most of my streak days on the treadmill, often doing just the minimum 1-mile requirement.

Graphical depiction of my running log

One mile is pretty easy to do from a time standpoint, as well as both mentally and physically. I am really enjoying the consistency that this streak challenge is giving me in my running, too.

I can't say that I will for certain maintain this streak after the goal date of January 1, 2014. However, I do think I will be more likely to run more frequently in the future than my usual historical practice of 3 days a week (or less). That's a step in the right direction!

4. Less is more
I haven't talked about it on the blog, but a few months ago I had gotten to the point with my body where I basically couldn't stand myself any more. All of my clothes were tight, I had to loosen my belts a notch or two, and I had bulges in places I didn't bulge before. I was still working out and running, so it was tough for me to comprehend that I could have gained a lot of weight. But, I have a hearty appetite - and I wasn't holding myself back from indulging pretty much whenever I felt like it.

Over the past few months, I have put forth a concerted effort to improve the quality and quantity of my food intake. It has really paid off for me. I've lost some weight, my clothes are fitting much better, and overall I am feeling a lot healthier.

I can feel the difference in my running, too. It might be a combination of both training and the weight-loss, but running feels noticeably easier now than it used to. It makes me even more motivated to continue training consistently.

5. Turning Purple
Adam and I are headed to Maui for vacation later this month. I have been searching for some kind of a race that takes place while we are there. This is the only one that I've seen:

I am debating on whether or not to sign up. On one hand, it's just a fun run so it is not timed. Plus, it is a little bit of a distance from where we are staying. But on the other hand, it goes towards a good cause, and how many opportunities do you have to participate in any kind of running event in Maui?

Decisions, decisions...

Linking up with Running Bloggers Fitness Friday!!!


  1. Way to go on running and getting healthy! I say you should treat yourself to the Maui run. You'll end up seeing an area that you'd never travel through otherwise, and it will ensure at least one workout while you're vacationing. Have fun!! Can't wait to hear about it!

    1. Thanks very much, Shinianen! One could argue that you could just go to the course location and run it yourself for free, but there would be something to be said for the atmosphere of a Hawaiian group run, yes? Anything to stay motivated! =)

  2. Bummer that the Shuffle won't work out again this year! It's annoying that they keep moving the date around - if it were the same weekend as last year (April 7th I think), you probably wouldn't be working. But there's so many other races! I'm not registered for anything either, but I have some ideas for races I want to run next year.

    I used to do a mile run to warm-up for some of my fitness classes, and the cool thing about just running a mile is how FAST you can go! Glad you're staying injury-free in your streak!

    You should do that run in Maui! I loved running there by myself/with Bob, but I think it'd be so fun to run with local runners in a new/different place! Also, I bet it'll be the most beautiful fun run you ever do :) Sigh, I want to go back to Maui. Can I sneak in your suitcase?

    1. Oh my goodness, it is SO annoying that Shamrock is never the same weekend. =( And for me, it's become one of those situations now where just because I can't run Shamrock this year, I want to do it more than ever, LOL.

      I'd love to hear more about the races that you are targeting for next year! Have they announced the Ravenswood race date yet? I'm pretty sure I'm going to register for Illinois and I know you were considering it pending Ravenswood. =)

      YES! When you only have to do a mile, it feels AWESOME being able to zip through it so quickly! Pretty much right about the time that you start breaking a sweat, the mile is over. It's a nice way to get the blood pumping!!!

      Thanks for the thoughts on the Maui run! I need to go back and re-read your travel logs about your time there. Did you go to a luau when you were there, by the way? There are so many to choose from so I am looking for any personal recommendations (Adam and I are staying in Kihei).

    2. Well, hopefully it will work out one of these years! It's too bad you can't just sneak away from work for a couple hours for that, but I know how that goes.

      I asked Fleet Feet about the Ravenswood Run, and unofficially, it's the last weekend in April. Meaning I'll be doing Wisconsin instead of Illinois. But I'm planning on a lot of the same races I ran in the first half of this year, since they were all pretty fun :)

      Oooh we loved Kihei! Make sure you have breakfast at the Kihei Caffe at least once, they were so yummy. It's across the street from one of the many, many beach parks along whatever that main highway was. We did all of our runs there too, since we stayed at the Maui Coast Hotel. Unfortunately, we went to a luau on the Big Island, so I'm no help there. Here's my recap ( I'd totally recommend our snorkeling tour at Molokini (we went whale watching on the tour since it was the end of the season, you should be able to see them now too!) and the sunset dinner cruise we took out of Lahaina (I can get you info on those if you want), and the one thing we wanted to do but didn't have time for was taking the ride up to the top of Haleakala to see the sunrise, then biking down the mountain.

    3. Sigh, yes, I considered whether or not I could step away from the office for a few hours just to run the race. But you know that if I did something like that, that something super urgent would come up at that very moment. =(

      Yay for Wisconsin! I ran it last year and really enjoyed it. The course is GORGEOUS and the atmosphere is really laid back. If you love cheese, too, you'll love the race even more. I think you'll have a great time!

      Thank you SO MUCH for the tips on Maui, this is super, super helpful! I'm off to reread your travel blog posts right now...

  3. I've never shuffled either! I think we're the last 2 runners in this town who have not. I even had a free Verizon weekend pkg but was in NC last year. City races are a royal PIA for me to get to.
    Do the Maui run! I surprised the Caveman with a trip to Maui and registered him for the Maui Half for his 40th bday. It was fun!
    Great job on eating well and losing weight. Not easy this time of year especially.

    1. Oh my goodness, Marcia - I didn't know that you've never shuffled either! I completely agree that we are the only two runners in all of the Chicagoland area who haven't. What a bummer that you were out of town last year when you had that package available to you!

      And you surprised your husband with a trip to Maui and a half marathon!?!?!? WOW!!! SO COOL!!! You should win an award for most awesome wife of the year!

      Thank you for the kind words on the healthy lifestyle changes. Likewise, kudos to you for all the great changes that you've been making!!! And I really need to get back on track with your One Small Change linkup...!

    2. I would like that 40th birthday surprise. Someone please tell my husband, he's got 7 more years to plan!

    3. I would like that 40th bday surprise, too!!! Someone also tip my husband off - he also has several years to plan. =)

  4. Congrats on eating well and feeling better about yourself! That's the most important thing. I also find that I appreciate then that it makes me (a little) faster, and it's a big cycle! Enjoy Maui & I'd suggest doing the run! Good way to meet people and have more adventures!

    1. Thanks so much, Lauren! YES! The weight-loss and increased ease in running has definitely helped my tempo a little bit, which is super motivating.

      When you were in Hawaii recently, which island did you visit? Would love to hear more about your experiences there, too. Thanks for the thoughts on the Hawaii run, too!!!

  5. I would like to hear more about #4- what have you been eating? This is always intriguing to me because it's so different for everyone and the takeaway is usually pretty cool!

    1. Thanks, Katie! I've been focusing just on eating whole foods that are as minimally processed as possible (and it sounds like you've had a lot of success in doing the same thing). Instead of eating things like chips, crackers or a granola bar for a snack, now I try to eat carrot sticks, fresh fruit, etc. Instead of pasta or even bread, I try to eat quinoa or brown rice. In my experience, these little changes add up and make a big difference over time!

  6. Bummer about the Shamrock Shuffle! I will run it for you then.

    1. Yeah, I am really bummed, too. =( But do run it for me and have a GREAT time! And we need to find other races to run together!!! =)