Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm going public!

I started running just before Thanksgiving, back then I could barely run 30 seconds, my breathing was out of control, it was a mess. But I have determination, I read up on the couch to 5k program and I pushed through. I re-did a few weeks due to my school exam schedules, a medical procedure I had, xmas, etc. But I have consistently been on the treadmill at least 3 days a week since then (mostly it has been 4 days a week). I have purchased hand weights and an exercise ball, I have been doing push ups, sit ups, and other muscle building activities. Before this, it had been YEARS since I had done any type of deliberate exercise. I mean who has time right? Ha what a lame excuse, but we have all used it at one time or another. I mean I had 3 kids, a full-time job, then became a full-time student, how did I possibly have time? But let's be realistic, we all have time. We need to make time, exercise needs to become a priority. Once you get in the habit of it, it becomes second nature, you begin to crave that work-out, that time away from your kids, from your job, from your life. You begin to realize that running feels good!

I have been in my basement on my treadmill, but lately it is becoming less enjoyable. My children decide that they need me as soon as I get on it, it never fails. I am feeling rushed, and stressed and even a bit angry. THIS IS MY TIME!

I have decided to start to run at the Superior Dome, which is the largest wooden dome in the world. The Dome stands 14 stories high and has 5.1 acres under it's roof. The Dome’s features include a retractable artificial turf carpet, the largest of its kind in the world. When extended, the turf has the ability to accommodate football, soccer, and field hockey. Underneath the carpet is a synthetic playing surface that features three basketball/volleyball courts, two tennis courts and a 200 meter track. Twelve computerized winches extend the carpet over a cushion of air. It is on NMU's campus (where I attend) so it will be convenient for me.



I can go there after class, and I will be able to get to run in peace without the demands of my children. HEAVEN. This also means that I am going public. I will be running somewhere other than in the comfort of my own basement. I think this will provide me with more motivation, and a bit more of a push to go farther and longer.

Of course I still will use the treadmill, but I think this will provide a nice change so that I don't grow bored or tired of staring at my basement walls. The winters are long here and it will be a long time before I venture outside!

Monday, December 29, 2008

You don't know til you know, you know?

First things first. Earlier tonight I was online searching for my husband's anniversary present (which shall remain nameless in case he stumbles across this post) and while looking at I discovered demand. Does anybody know about this? Has this been around forever and I am just lame? IT IS SUPER COOL. You can rent and buy movies to either be watched online, downloaded to your computer, or sent to your Tivo box to watch on your TV. HOW BRILLIANT IS THAT? Renting was $2.99 for 7 days, buying was $9.99. My on demand movie rentals on my DVR box are $4.99 FOR 24 HOURS!! So I gave demand a whirl. I rented Spirit of the Marathon and downloaded it to my computer for $2.99 for 7 days. EASY and it worked beautifully.

Now on to the movie. WONDERFUL, inspiring, beautiful, captivating, encouraging, heart wrenching, motivating...........I loved it. Who could not want to jump up and start training for a marathon after watching that? wow.

And now about the title of this post. You don't know til you know, you know? I mean you don't know what marathoners have to do, until you know. Whether it is via a friend telling you, watching it on TV, reading about it, watching it live. But really until you truly understand, you have NO IDEA. I apologize to all my runner friends, whether it be a marathon, a half, a 5k, hell 2 miles. I applaud all of you for your own triumphs, for sticking with it, for pushing yourself, for setting goals and sticking with them. I am sorry I wasn't more of a cheerleader, a chin holder upper, a shoulder, and a provider of a thumbs up and a pat on the back when needed. But honestly until you know what it takes, you just don't get it. For people that sit back on their couch and say "I could do that" please go out and try to run a few miles, but don't get discouraged when you can't, push yourself and train so that you can soon. Because we all can do something more than we are doing now. We have to push ourselves, and each other, to make those dreams a reality.

"Nothing's better than the wind to your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends beside you." AARON DOUGLAS TRIMBLE

Friday, December 26, 2008

So as many of you know, I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If you don't know, the truth is that we don't have a whole lot here besides trees and deer, oh and beer-lots and lots of beer.

The Upper Peninsula contains almost one-third of the land area of Michigan but just three percent of its total population. Residents are frequently called Yoopers (derived from "U.P.-ers") and have a strong regional identity. It includes the only counties in the United States where a plurality of residents claim Finnish ancestry. The peninsula's largest cities are Marquette, Escanaba, Sault Ste Marie, Menominee, and Iron Mountain.

The Upper Peninsula contains 16,452 square miles (42,610 km²), almost one-third of the land area of the state. The maximum east-west distance in the Upper Peninsula is about 320 miles (515 km), and the maximum north-south distance is about 125 miles (200 km). It is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by St. Mary's River, on the south by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the west by Wisconsin and (counting the water border on Lake Superior) by Minnesota. It has about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) of continuous shoreline with the Great Lakes. There are about 4,300 inland lakes, the largest of which is Lake Gogebic, and 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of streams.

Baraga, Marquette and Alger counties, where Lake Superior contributes to lake-effect snow.
Records of 390 inches (990 cm) of snow or more have been set in many communities in this area. The Keweenaw Peninsula averages more snowfall than almost anywhere in the United States—more than anywhere east of the
Mississippi River and the most of all non-mountainous regions of the continental United States. Because of the howling storms across Lake Superior, which cause dramatic amounts of precipitation, it has been said that the lake-effect snow makes the Keweenaw Peninsula the snowiest place east of the Rockies. Herman, Michigan, averages 236 inches (600 cm) of snow every year. Lake-effect snow can cause blinding whiteouts in just minutes, and some storms can last days.

The Upper Peninsula remains a predominantly rural region. As of the 2000 census, the region had a population of 317,258, and was predicted to have fallen to 312,153 according to the Census Bureau's July 1, 2006 estimate. According to the 2000 census, only 91,624 people live in the twelve towns of at least 4,000 people, covering 96.5 square miles (155.365 km²). Only 114,544 people live in the twenty-one cities and villages of at least 2,000 or more people, which cover 123.7 square miles (320.4 km²)—less than 1% of the peninsula's land area.

City: Marquette
Population: 19,661
Area (sq mi): 11.4

So what is the point of all these boring facts? Well as you know I am a virgin runner, I am getting there, slowly but surely! As a virgin, I have no gear. I have been running in yoga pants and a tank top on my treadmill. I am soooooooo hot! TOO HOT, today I took my shirt off and ran in my bra. So today I set out on a quest to find myself some running shorts or skirt, something that would be much cooler than what I had. NO SUCH LUCK. Now this is where the U.P. info comes in handy. You see we have hardly any options at all. In all of the 16,452 square miles that is the U.P. we have ONE Starbucks (well two if you count the one on NMU's campus) but for my point I will say one. So as you have guessed, if we only have one Starbucks in 16,452 square miles you can imagine that we have not much else. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a U.P. bashing post, the U.P. is quite lovely as has been my home for 31 years, it is a frustrating post about my search for running shorts. I went to Kohl's, MC Sports, JC Penney and Target without any luck. I did find a few pairs of cotton shorts that would do if they had to, however they were XL. sigh. This is the story of any Yoopers life though, I should be use to it. I know it is the dead of winter and we have already been hit by waaaaaaaay too much snow and shorts and running skirts aren't in hot demand, but come on, people go to the gym, people work out inside, where is the gear? I will have to order online and guess on sizing and pay shipping for both delivery and returns and by the time I have what I need it will be May and Target will have their items in stock. sigh sigh sigh.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

~Goals are dreams with deadlines~

This quote is perfect. Oh so simple, and oh so true, yet many of us do not set deadlines...we say someday. That someday will not come unless we make it. We must go after our dreams, no one can do that for us. I have learned that more often than not, in order to get there, we have to make sacrifices, we may struggle, we may sweat. But if we want it bad enough, and give it our all, we can get there.

I quit my secure job in August to attend nursing school fulltime. Something I had wanted to do for years, but never thought I could. I set my mind to it and now I will graduate in May!

I am training for my first 5k. I have always wanted to run, but never thought I could. I started training right before Thanksgiving and already I see so much progress. I can do it!