Twelve for Tuesday: Getting ready for Autumn running - the what to wear edition!

Ran: 2.6 miles (treadmill) + 2.7 miles (road) / 10 km - 60 minutes - easy run

Weather is getting colder in Holland. This week will be OK for this time of year (at least, that's what the weather report says), but Autumn is definitely on its way. And therefore it's time to stock up on Autumn running gear! Yay! Shop 'till you drop, shop 'till you drop! Yeah, yeah, I know, you might be wondering if I don't already have enough running gear bursting out of my closet. Well, ofcourse I have some Autumn ready running gear, but, hey, with a minimum of 35 to 40 miles a week, I can't be wearing the same outfits on and on, can I? ;) See, I really have no choice but to treat myself to some new running gear! :) I haven't made my mind up yet on what to purchase, but just look at these twelve things I love!

1. I already have this cute pale yellow Nike long sleeve in black and the fit is just amazing! Wardrobe staple for autumn!

2. Love the colour and shape of this Adidas one.

3. I'm not really sure about the shiny fabric, but I like the colour and shape of this Nike jacket.

4. Love the colour of this Nike t-shirt!

5. They also have this Nike Long Sleeve in pale blue; I think I like that colour better. Boobieswise the colour is a bit weird on the pink one. But that's just me. ;)

6. Yep, I know, these are shorts. But I kind of like them for muddy autumn Canicross runs with my dogs. No risk of ripping the fabric when I trip and fall face down in the mud. Wouldn't want to ruin my precious runningskirts!

7. I'm in love with this one! This Nike Livestrong jacket is just 'groovy'! Makes me wonder how it fits. Doesn't look like a fitted running jacket.

8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. All from the new RunningSkirts.com fall/winter collection. Love it! Just love it! Does a girl ever have enough runningskirts? ;)

If you could pick just one item from the list of twelve above, which one would it be?


New York Marathon is just 10 weeks away, and it's long run time!

I'm going to be brutally honest with you. The New York City Marathon is just 10 weeks away and I'm a bit worried, at least. Well, more than a bit, actually. I'm just worried.

In the blogosphere I've read different blogposts on NYCM training (for example: Run Jen Run http://runjltrun.blogspot.com/ , Tracy http://www.gotracygo.com/ , Mrs. Duffy http://mrsduffysmarathonblog.blogspot.com/), and these posts were all about wrapping up the first 16 milers and 18 milers. Wow, girls, you go! But...Uhm....am I on a wrong schedule here? My first 16 miler is supposed to be THIS weekend, and the first 18 miler the weekend after that.
Seems like I have a long way to go before I can conquer this bridge:

To make these worries even worse, 'new york marathon training schedule' gives a lot of hits on Google (duh...), and most of the schedules say that you should do at least four 20 milers. Yep, FOUR! Uhm...I'm definitely doing something wrong here. My first 20 miler is scheduled in 3 1/2 weeks and the next one is scheduled two weeks later. That's just TWO 20 milers. One week after the second 20 miler I have a 22 miler scheduled. But that's it for the long runs.

And last but not least, and to top of my worries, at what pace should I run the long runs? My running group trainer told me to run them at LSD pace, being - for me - 9 to 9 1/2 minute miles. Based on my heart rate. That's the pace I did my long runs at for the Swiss Alpine Marathon training cycle, and it paid off. But...lately I've been reading blog posts and articles saying that you should run several long runs at marathon pace - to make sure you finish in your goal time. Uhm...that would mean 8 1/2 minute miles. That's a lot faster than my easy peasy long run pace. Let's just say that I'm confused...

I'm kind of thinking that I should stay on the safe side and stick to the long run pace my running group trainer adviced me on. However, on next week's 18 miler I will try to keep up with the 8 1/2 minute mile pace for a couple of miles, just to see what that does to my heart rate and how it feels. I guess that it would be a good way to figure out whether or not I can hold on to that pace for the full 26.2 miles. If I can't it's not too late to change my goal time. Hmmm...choices, choices.

Question: How many long runs do you have scheduled for marathon training? And do you run any of these long runs at your marathon pace?


Hello Mrs. Autumn, you're a bit early this year, aren't you?

Yesterday: Ran 11 miles / 17.5 km - 1 h 38 min - weekend long run

Today: Ran 7.5 miles / 12 km 1 h 5 min - tempo run with dogs

This truly was a weekend of wet, wet runs. And when I say wet, I mean wet; soaking wet! Apparently Autumn is early this year, and the rain kicked in this weekend; big time! Not to mention that it's a lot colder outside, than in the last couple of weeks. It's in the high 50's/ low 60's now (15/16 Celsius). A nice change from all the heat and humidity that we've had!

My schedule says that this week was supposed to be a rest week, and I'm fine with that. Promise, I'm a good girl now and I really do try to stick to the schedule and not add extra miles. So this weekend's long run was 'just' 9 miles. I got lost, so it turned into 11 miles. In the rain, that is. But it was fun anyway! :) Saw this lovely little church at about mile 6.

Do you see the roses in front of it? Pretty, huh?

And that's me at mile 6...wet, soaking wet...and yep, that's a long sleeve...in August. Do you understand now why the whole Flunning thing doesn't work for me? Look at that 'I'm on my long run' face... Not a pretty sight...
At mile 9, there was a horse. Even the horse was wearing a long sleeve.
Hello little horsie, says the Spinster...
As for today's run. I looked out of the window this morning, and this is what I saw.
It was raining...like crazy! So...I skipped the Canicross Running Group (rain rain rain + slippery trails = not the best of ideas), and decided to hit the trails later in the afternoon - with the dogs ofcourse. The rain was supposed (!) to be over by then. And it was...for the first mile of the run... Picked up runningbuddy A and we decided to hit the trails anyway. Heck, it was slippery! And wet! But woohooo, was it fun to 'dance' through the water and mud on the slippery trails! :) What can I say, I don't mind getting dirty. And neither did the dogs. The mud was literally on my back. So. Much. Fun!

And this is what Lordie's Snooki-updo looked like after the run:
And the best thing: The Hip sort of felt OK. (knock on wood!)


What I think about when I'm running - the 'I'm a nutcase'-post

Recently the Running Times had an article on what runners think about during their run (http://wpblogs.runningtimes.com/blogs/talktest/?p=696). This got me thinking about what I think about during my runs. So I tried to keep track of my thoughts on last night's run. And here you have it: the pathetic result of 55 minutes of marathon pace work...

I'm off! Woohoo! Let's get all the work thoughts out of my mind. Wonder if my new Mizuno's will leave me with ouchie knees again. Be good, shoes! Watch out, a car! Stupid driver, totally ignored a stop sign. Watch your core. Watch the ol' running form. That's it. Relax the shoulders. OK, I'm definitely not able to hold this pace for 55 minutes. This is my marathon pace, this is not a good thing. I should be able to hold this pace for 55 minutes. Heck, I should be able to hold it for 4 hours. I'm slow. I will not BQ...ever. I'm slow. I'm sloooooow. Boohooo. Hmmmm...cute guy. Wonder if he...hey! He's smiling at me. Try to smile at him without looking like you're in pain. Come on, you can do it! OK, that didn't work. Run smoothly and gracefully now. He might be looking. Oh, he's not. Probably because your smile would be perfect for Frankenstein's bride. Wooh, that lady has bad running form. Join a running group lady! Cute top, though! Oh, and she's fast. Bad running form = fast. Ouch, my legs are hurting. Is my shin splints hitting me by surprise again? No, no, I don't need another injury. I will never be able to run the New York Ma...Oh, shin splints is sort of OK now. Stride, stride, stride. Ouch, The Hip is hurting. Just wait and see if it goes away. Go away, please, go away! OK, the Hip feels better. Mind your breathing, you'll get all cramped up. Too late, I'm cramped up now. Breathe in...out....in....out.... That made it better. I'm fine now. How many miles have I run yet? Not even one? Blimey, this is going to be pure torture! Hey, I know her! Wave! Hello! You know me! Don't pretend that you don't! Wave! Oh, she's on the phone...that would make it OK not to say 'Hi'. I guess. Am I halfway there yet? Check the watch; I'm not. OK, enjoy the scenery a bit. It's pretty out here! Look at the cows! Hello, cowie! Hello, little cowie. OK, this is weird, I'm getting friendly with a cow. Am I really turning into a spinster? Or, even worse, a cat lady? Hmmm...I love Coldplay. Tadadadadada Tadadadadada Tadadadadada. OK, mind your step! Hole in the road! Tadadadadada Tadadadadada... OK, I'm enjoying this. I looooooove running. It's windy out here. Check the runningskirt. No butt showing? Nope,everything's covered. I hope. This pace isn't so bad, actually. Tadadadadada lalalalala! Ahhhhh, rain! Nice and cool. I don't mind the rain. Tadadadada Tadadadada! I like this. This is a good run. Ahhhhh! I'm almost there. OK, let's pick up the pace a bit. Woohooo! She shoots, she scores! Finished, done! OK, I deserve a margarita now.

Do you want to share your running thoughts?


Three Things Thursday: Is Flunning really the new way to a Runner's High?

1. A trail. A calm river. Sunny weather. Sunset. Birds singing.

He: *sees girl running in front of him. Ponytail following the rhytm of her pace. Short boy shorts and a tank top. Singing along with her Ipod*

He: *picks up his pace to catch up with her*

He: *running beside her now, at her pace*

He: Hi!

She: *smiles seductively, flashing her eyelashes, turns off her Ipod* Hi... *absolutely no drop of sweat on her*

He: Do you run here often?

She: Well, yeah, I do...I've got to stay in shape, right? *winks*

He: What a coincidence, I run here every week! And your shape...couldn't be better... *winks and smiles in a manly way, checking her out*

She: *flips her ponytail back and smiles seductively again* Really? Well, thank you... You're quite the looker yourself too... *winks*

He: *looks at her, dreamy eyes*

She: *looks at him in full admiration*

He: Would you...like to run with me? *a bit shy*

She: Yes, I would... *smiles*

The sun sets and the newbie couple runs off together...

2. Runner's World article on Flunning

Match made in heaven, right? ;)
Well, according to this month's Dutch Runner's World, this (see the runner's porn above) is what 'Flunning' should look like. For those of you that don't already know what Flunning is, it's a combination of 'flirting' and 'running'. And apparently, it's the next big thing in Running. I don't really get how you could flirt with anyone while out on a long run, but reading the Runner's World article I guess a lot of runners do manage to multitask on this one.

Let's talk numbers:
- 24% of all runners say that getting a date/flirting (and not to lose weight, get into shape, etc.) is the main reason for them to get out there for a run. That's right: 24%. That's 1 in 4 runners.
- 36% of all runners has had at least one flirty conversation while running. That's 1 in 3 runners.
- 10% of all male runners and 5% of all female runners think about sex while running. There are at least 10 guys in my running group, so that would mean that during practice at least one of them is thinking about... Well, you know what I mean. Enough said.

OK, I get it, flunning is hip, for the popular kids, something you must give a try. But is flunning something I would like to give a go?

Well, it sounds like fun and at least you already know that you have something in common. But then again...am I capable of flunning my ass off like I was born to do it? Taken into account that I have the romantic and dating skills of a 3-year old (the 3-year old would probably beat me at it), it might get embarrassing (and probably funny to look at).

3. Well, that said, let's see what that same flunning-date would look like with my silly little self as the female party.

A trail. A calm river. Sunny weather. Sunset. Birds singing.

He: *sees girl running in front of him. Ponytail following the rhytm of her pace. Runningskirt and tank top. Pumping her arms up in the air to the beat of her Ipod. Another girl, runningbuddy, running beside her. Laughing at moves of girl. Sweat dripping from girl's head.*

He: *picks up his pace to catch up with her*

He: *running beside her now, at her pace*

He: Hi!

She: *slightly disturbed look on her face, frowning* Hi...Can I help you with something? Are you lost? *starts singing along with her Ipod*

He: *looks confused* Well, no, I just wanted to say 'Hi'...Do you run here often? *smiles*

She: Huh? Yeah, I do. *burps, runningbuddy giggles* Sorry, that's the GU talking... *smiles*

He: Oh, that's alright. *clearly doesn't know what to think and it's clearly not alright* What a coincidence...I run here every...
She: Bye! We have to take a right here; happy running! *runs off chatting with runningbuddy*

He: *looks confused and shakes his head. Runs off alone*

Runningbuddy: That guy was flirting with you...didn't you notice that. He was trying to ask you out. You are strange...

She: What? No! Oh, sh*t........

OK, you can stop laughing at me now; this could really happen to me. No kidding. What can I say...when I'm running, I'm running. But, on my next run, I will give this flunning thing a go. Promise! Who knows what might happen? ;)

Question: Have you ever played flirty flirt with someone while out on a run? Or has someone tried to make a pass at you while running?
Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - 55 minutes - temporun with dogs


Lookie what I got!

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10K - intervals - 60 minutes (with cooling down, warming up, etc.) - Running Group practice

Last week I ordered a sweatshirt and a t-shirt through Spreadshirt.com with the name of my blog on it and the name of the gym I work out at.
The gym asked me if I needed some sponsoring (heck, yes!), so this was part of the deal. Medisch Bewegingscentrum Utrecht or MBU is the name of the gym, by the way.

Just got them in the mail. How cute are these? :)

Oh, and by sponsoring, they mean, I can work out there for free, the PT is for free and every once in a while (not that often) new running shoes and running clothing are paid for. Sweet deal! :) Ofcourse I have to mention their name about a zillion times a day, now. But, hey, I babble along enough as it is, so mentioning their name a couple of times is absolutely OK with me! :)


There we go again...

And so migraine Monday turned into migraine Tuesday. Not good. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Since today is not a rest day, I just jiggled around a bit with my schedule and I will do today's temporun on Sunday. Yeah, I know, you shouldn't mess with the schedule, but I guess this is an A. OK switch to Sunday. :)

I'll leave you with a picture again (computers and migraines just don't mix...). This time it's the elevation chart of the New York Marathon. Tracy from http://www.gotracygo.com/ pointed out to me that the New York Marathon course is pretty hilly. So I googled it...and wasn't happy with what I saw. BQ-ing will be a challenge for me on this one, if not impossible (I guess I'll go with impossible). See the hills in the end? Totally blaming them for my migraine (have to blame something, right? ;) ).


Migraine Monday

Since today literally turned into Migraine Monday (ouch!), I'm not really up for typing a long post today. Luckily, it's a rest day.

So, for today, I'll just leave you with this adorable picture of a pregnant Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe at this years New York mini 10K. How cute is Paula Radcliffe's little girl Isla? :)


Forgive me, Runninggods, for I have sinned...

...because this is what I decided to wear to my Canicross Running Group practice this morning:

Spare me the soccer jokes; only heard those 1 billion times today...

Yep, that's right, that's not a runningskirt. Guess I was in a boyish kind of running mood this morning. It was also the first time in about 6 months that I had running shorts on. What can I say, I'm a runningskirt kind of girl. :)
And since I decided to dress up like David Beckham, Lordie decided to dress up like GI Joe:
Well...the fairy version of GI Joe that is. You can tell he loves the look...

Today there are officially just 11 weeks left 'till the New York City Marathon. Yikes! That means the next 8 weeks are all about long long runs and marathon pace work outs! I couldn't be more excited! :)

I'll just have to figure out what pace to choose for these marathon pace work outs. BQ-pace or safe pace? With The Hip and all, safe pace might be the more sensible choice... Like running two marathons in your first year of running is the sensible thing to do. ;)

Would you play safe or just give that BQ a shot and see how close you can get?

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10K - 60 min - intervals with water stops for the dogs


Just simple math

Ran: 12.5 miles / 20 km - 1 h 50 min - weekend long run - marathon pace

My beloved GT-2150's

Coldplay playing on my Ipod

CEP compression socks, Peak Performance tanktop, Runningskirts.com strappy top and Runningskirts.com pink runningskirt

one GU vanilla bean
Hope you will all enjoy your weekend long run as much as I did! :)


Don't you just love getting your new runningskirt in the mail?

Love it!

And have you seen their new fall/winter collection preview yet? Too cute to handle! Have I gone to runningskirts heaven?
In case you haven't seen the preview yet; here's the link:

Why there are sprinkles all over my keyboard...

That's why! :)
One of my colleagues baked this for me and gave it to me this morning. So Sweet! What a way to start the day! :)
And in case you were wondering: it was Yummy!
What is the sweetest thing your colleagues ever did for you?


Three Things Thursday

Ran: 5.6 miles / 9 km - 50 minutes
1. I LOVE Nike's ad campaign for their Fall/Winter 2010 Running Collection. The pictures are amazing! A perfect example of what running advertising should look like!

Pictures by http://www.freshnessmag.com.

2. I'm officially addicted to the Poptarts S'mores flavour. I've been craving these things since the Swiss Alpine Marathon. Don't know why, but just last week I had about a whole box of this yumminess... Is this some post-marathon overcompensation of the marathon-weight loss? Is this normal post-marathon behaviour? Someone, please stop me!

3. Due to the recent events with The Hip and what the treadmill did to it: I do NOT (I repeat: do NOT) like treadmills...period. No changing my mind on this one...well, maybe for a box of Poptarts...

I am trying to teach my cats how to do this...I'm still working on it...


What could be wrong with The Hip?

The Hip, the good old Hip...Well, it seemed much better after this weekend's running. Not sore at all. All's good.

But apparently nothing's easy in my book, because last night, 30 minutes on my way on the treadmill (dreadmill, dreadmill, dreadmill, I blame the dreadmill!), it started hurting again. Running through it made it worse. Iced it at home, stretched it, but today, it's still sore. Cancelled tonight's running group practice (speedwork = not good for hip) and will hit the road for 40 minutes at easy pace instead (as scheduled by the way...I'm totally adding extra mileage and speedwork to my marathon schedule...bad girl, I know!).

What's bugging me is: I can't seem to figure out what's wrong with it. The pain is located at the side of my hip (the part that sticks out) and that part of the hip feels irritated. The PT says 'stretch it and stick to the schedule' (as in, not adding an extra 10 miles a week to it...). Well, haven't really tried the sticking to the schedule yet, and I am really going to do that starting now (promise!) and I also gave up the thought of having a go at BQ-ing in New York (and on my first road marathon, that is), but still. The PT thinks it's the old IT-band again (she might have said that it also could have something to do with me not taking any days off from running after the marathon...). But hearing stories about Bursitis and cortisone shots (and about not running for 2 (!!!) months or more!) makes me a bit (very!!!) nervous.

So, I Googled (I know, I'm self-diagnosing here...occupational hazard) the anatomy of the hip. Fascinating thing, the hip, I must say!

And then I stopped Googling, because the next pictures that came up were these (and these are the non-disgusting ones):

Still clueless. I'll try to stick to my schedule for the next couple of weeks, and then see what to do. Might it be an idea to ask my doctor for X-rays? I don't know.
This Hip-thing is just mentally really hard on me (I'm complaining, I know).
Thanks for listening! :)
Update: Ran 4.9 miles / 7.8 km - 42 minutes - with dogs and runningbuddy A
Do you have any thoughts or advice on this one?


Reasons why I run... Twelve for Tuesday

Ran: 5 miles / 8 km - 44 min - tried to take it easy because of The Hip

1. because I can, it's a true gift;

2. to burn off the S'mores Poptarts I added to my breakfast, lunch and dinner today (sorry Santa, I've been a bad girl);

3. to show off my new runningskirt;

4. because my dog loves to come with me, and when he's happy, I'm happy;

5. because I know my grandmother would have loved to see me race and I know she's with me every step of the way;

6. running makes it so much easier for me to handle work related stress and not go absolutely insane over it;

7. it makes my legs look toned;

8. I can eat like a pig on the day of my weekend long run, and my calorie intake for the day would still be negative;

9. because it makes my Mom proud (she's still bragging about me finishing the Swiss Alpine Marathon; makes me blush every single time, but I think it's so sweet!);

10. it takes me to the most beautiful places;

11. runners are great to be around. Since I picked up running I met so many great and positive minded people;

12. because I'm a Runner, and love being a Runner!

OK, I'm off for a date with the treadmill (will try to post pictures later). In case you didn't know yet: I do NOT like treadmills. It's a necessary evil, though...

Question: Why do you run?


Letter to my high heeled shoe collection: the 'Apparently high heels are bad for runners' post

Letter to my high heeled shoe collection

Dear Tod, Bally and Jimmy (and hopefully, in the nearby future, Coco and Manolo),

You've been good to me in the last couple of years. You brought every single one of my greyish/blackish office outfits to a new high. And I'm truly grateful for that!

You are not just plain dull high heels, no, you are fancy and a bit over the top! Red, shiny black, dotted, pink. For years I loved the feeling of stepping into you and trotting off, on my way to work/dinner/cocktails with the girls. The higher the heels, the better.

But lately, things have changed. I've been neglecting you a bit. Picked flats to wear with my outfits more often. I'm sorry. I truly feel bad. But I can explain this change. I really have a good excuse.

I picked up running. The more miles I run, the more uncomfortable high heels are to my feet. You guys don't fit my feet as you used to anymore. Also the running somehow changed the muscles in my calves, and I just can't walk in you in the light-footed way I used to. I just don't do you justice at the moment.

Dear, dear shoes, my sweet babies, you will be spending a lot more time on my shoe shelf, and a lot less time on my feet. I will display you on my shoe shelf, though, so I can look at you when I'm in bed at night. Our day will come again, you guys. It will. But not as long as I'm into this running thing...
Love, SillyGirl

Discovery News - recent studies say 'NO!'

Now don't get me wrong, I love (love love love) wearing high heels as much as the next girl. But in the last couple of months high heels just didn't feel the same on me anymore; a bit painful and uncomfortable. This has got to do with my running, I'm sure.

Also, this recent Discovery News article kind of changed my thoughts on wearing high heels and being a runner: (http://news.discovery.com/human/high-heels-legs-health.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1).

The article explains that a recent study found that wearing high heels puts extra pressure on woman's knee joints. It also found that wearing high heels changes your posture, makes your ankles to tilt inward and destabilizes them. Another study found that regularly wearing heels could make women less efficient at more flat-shoed activities, like running. OK, point taken!

So, for the time being, I'll save my high heeled babies for special occasions. The joy of running just means too much to me! :)

P.S.: If you're a. a runner, and b. still able to wear high heels, I'm very jealous. Very! ;)