Monday, January 18, 2010

Inspirational Music Monday

A lot of the blogs I follow have "theme days." I would like to think that by starting one here, it might encourage me (or force me, whichever) to post more. So ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Inspirational Music Monday. These are songs that encourage, push, and are just fun to listen to while you run, bike, or whatever you choose to do.

When I first started running, I chose to follow the C25K program. There are several podcasts designed to help you run/walk, but I wanted something a bit more inspirational. After Googling for a bit, I found a podcast of Christian Indie Artists (CIA) started by the front man of Buried Talents Band; he was looking to run the 5Ks he used to when he was younger. I downloaded the first four weeks and hit the pavement.

It was about half way through my first run that I heard my first song for Inspirational Music Monday. Something came over me when I heard it; I knew from then on I was running for something bigger than myself.* I look forward to hearing this song every time it comes up in the shuffle of my MP3 player.

This week's selection: Run, by After the Chase. Here is a sample of the song, along with the lyrics. Another sample can be found here.

I'm sorry that I am unable to find a full length sample on the interwebs; the song is much more powerful when you hear it from the beginning. However, I can certainly understand why I can't find one.

*Yes, most of the songs for Inspirational Music Monday will probably be religious in nature. These are the songs that inspire me and I wish to share them. If you find offense to the post, then just move along to another post more suited to your needs; and realize that you probably offend a little too easily.

Holy Crowded Gym!

Tis the season for new year's resolutions! I am stuck working out inside for a bit longer; we finally got above freezing here this week and the roads are still far too slick. All I want to do right now is get on my bike and go anywhere.

It's near impossible to find a parking spot at my gym right now. Thankfully, once you get inside its not so bad (they have a ton of machines and weights). I think the majority of people right now are going to classes instead of working out on their own. This is the time of year that everyone resolves to lose weight, get healthy, and become a better "you." I understand the frustration of those who go to the gym year-round who complain this time of year; the majority of those crowding the treadmills and free weights will be gone in six weeks. But at the same time I have to ask, "Do you remember your first time at a gym?"

I do; I signed up for a 24 Hour Fitness not too far from my work back in 2007. M and I had been married for less than a year, and I had put on the "newlywed nine" and then some. At this point I still cared about the number on the scale, so my goal was to lose 25 pounds (and I still haven't gotten down to that weight). I spent my lunch hours there, watching trashy soaps or Montel while speeding away on the elliptical or jamming out while going around the circuit. I remember feeling out of place and unwanted by those on the machines next to me. I felt like I had to work out harder and longer to prove I "belonged" there. Now that I am a little more "seasoned" in the language of the gym, I try really hard not to put on the same airs I met when I first starting going. Those people are simply trying to do what I did two years ago - feel better about themselves. If my biggest issue is that I have to look a bit longer for a place to park, then my day is going pretty well. Sadly, most of them will be gone in six weeks; discouraged by their lack of progress or motivation or any number of other reasons. But I choose to not be a reason for someone quitting. I encourage all others to do the same.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One of my biggest obstacles. . .

Is working out while I'm traveling. Whether I'm traveling for work or pleasure, as soon as I get out of my normal routine, everything goes out the window.

Why can't I be more disciplined?
- I know exercise makes me feel better.
- I know exercise makes me sleep better.
- I know exercise gives me a sense of accomplishment I can't find anywhere else.

My goal in 2010 is to get better about exercise while traveling. I hope to set up a series of strength training exercises I can do in my hotel room if all else fails.

Right now, I'm blogging to the world from the business center of the Hampton Inn - AFTER 3 miles on the elliptical. Woot!

So riddle me this Internet; how do you stay motivated to exercise when you're not in your "normal" routine?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A New Year, A New Goal

I spent the holidays doing some soul searching, trying to figure out what I wanted to get out of 2010 (race wise). I was incredibly inspired by my friend Jill who finished her second marathon in 2009. I'm sure that training with a toddler was a challenge! My sister-in-law Anne ran her first half marathon in October, and countless ladies on the Health & Fitness board I lurk on are meeting their race goals and feeling great. That's not to say I didn't feel an incredible sense of accomplishment with Highline and Glenwood last year; but I want to take it up a notch.

As a recommendation from several H&F ladies, I picked up "The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women" as a fun read this summer. When I brought it home, my husband's first response was, "you thinking of running a marathon now?," followed by his usual jolly chuckle. At the time, I had no plans to run that kind of distance, I just wanted a fun girl-trying-to-be-an-athlete read. But I have to admit, that remark has been gnawing at me for almost 6 months now. So, the question then becomes. . .

Why couldn't I?

Thumbing through the newest copy of Runner's World over Christmas, I noticed that the Rock n' Roll Marathon series was going to have its inaugural year in Denver. They don't have a set date yet (its listed for Fall 2010), but it looks like it will be in October and take over the slot of the ING Denver Marathon. I've heard from several people how fun the RnR series is; the date would give me plenty of time to train (and throw a 1/2 marathon in there somewhere).

So, while I'll still do a couple of tri's this year to try and better my time, I am going to try and focus my energy on running. 26.2 is quite a jaunt, but over the last year I've really enjoyed running and what if offers to me physically and psychologically.

Now, to convince my husband I'm not crazy. . .