Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Here's the link.

I mean, way to create anticipation, right? I'm going with Chris's explanation and claiming I did it on purpose :)

Monday, March 2, 2009


So here's the deal. I'm a little tired of blogger, for a number of reasons. But I feel sort of emotionally attached to it. This happens a lot--I tend to develop emotional attachments to things, even if I am sort of ambivalent toward them. I also tend to attribute emotions to inanimate things, which is probably related. Example: I don't like throwing food away (like, after it has gone bad) because I feel like it makes the food feel bad. Like no one wanted it. Sad, I know (or maybe you were thinking, 'Pathetic, Emilie.' Well, tchah to you, I say!)

At any rate, back to the point. I'm sort of tired of blogger, and I kind of like the increased freedom of wordpress, so I've started a blog over there and imported most of this one. You can find it here. I'm not sure I'll choose that one over this one, so both will remain semi-active while I make up my mind. I guess it's like dating two guys at the same time while trying to decide which one is the one. Or, you know, nothing like that, since I shouldn't be assigning human emotions to inanimate objects. Not like I would do that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Toil and Trouble

Some of you may know that I have a defective stomach. I mean, that's not medically sound at all, and since I've never actually been to a doctor about the various stomach problems I have, I'm not entirely sure what goes on in there. All I know for sure is that it ain't right. I highly doubt that most people with functional GI systems stock up on nausea medication on a regular basis and tend to go through bottles of Pepto bismol at the rate most people go through a quart of milk!

I kid, I kid. Slightly. My stomach has problems. I need to see a doctor. It has prevented me from running for the past two days. I've had to limit my food intake to BRAT-diet type foods (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, tea--innocuous, bland, low fiber foods). Anything else I eat makes me unhappy.

Life has been a bit out of order since I decided to not run the National marathon. I really appreciated reading your training ideas and tips. I think I am partially going through a period of adjustment to not having anything to train for, partially still adjusting to my work schedule, and partially just getting a bit depressed from the other partials in my life (see first and second items). The result is that last week I made it to the gym once, and the week before I don't think I made it at all. I've been once this week, and would really like to run tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. I just don't feel like myself anymore these days. I feel so bad about how inconsistent I have been with everything, and feeling this bad just makes it harder for me to get back into a rhythm. I tend to end up thinking, "If I can't run 25-30 miles this week then I shouldn't bother running at all." Productive, right? Because that's when I end up letting the week go by without a single trip to the gym.

What I am going to try instead is to just get up and move for 20-30 minutes a day, whether it is going for a run, lifting weights, or just going for a walk. I just need some sort of movement to pull me out of this slump and get me moving again. My guess is that, most of the time, this 20-30 minutes will turn into 45-60. If it doesn't, though, that's alright.

Who knows? Maybe the stomach problems will go away when I start feeling better about other stuff. One can but hope.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

See you later, National Marathon

Well, I've pretty much decided that the National Marathon will have to wait for another year. And when I say I've decided, what I mean is that I am halfheartedly accepting the fact that I am neither wholeheartedly into nor wholeheartedly over the idea of this marathon. I guess the fact that I am not wholeheartedly into it is probably the feeling I should be paying attention to, because it is going to be damn hard later on down the line to run 18 and 20 miles when I'm not into it. So I'm saying adios, National Marathon, as much as my heart is aching as I type those words. Seriously.

Having made this decision (and an entire week of not running), I'm realizing that things need some reevaluating. For one thing, I haven't really done much running recently without a marathon in mind. For the last year and a half or so, my daily run has been determined by what's on the training schedule. Which means this: what the hell do I do without a training schedule? I feel like I was dependent on someone for a long time, and now that person is gone and I'm realizing the autonomy I once had (before that person came into my life) is gone, too.

I'd like for my running to keep me in good enough shape to run a half marathon if I feel like signing up for one (I had, actually, signed up for one that took place this morning. Needless to say, I did not run it). I'd also like to start doing yoga again, and continue weight training. I found this article this morning and was thinking about trying to base a routine around it. It would be kind of cool to get to a point where I'm training pretty normally at 35-40 miles per week. Then again, maybe it would be better to not structure things too much, and just run to enjoy it. I'm not really sure. See? I've forgotten how to do this.

So--! Here's my question to you, dear reader: what do you do when you aren't training for a race? Do you just do whatever you feel like doing for that day, or do you try to stick to a plan you have made for yourself?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Feeling discouraged

This is the first week of classes here at Columbia, which mean that work has gone from 0 to about 150 or so almost overnight. I mean, last week I was just dealing with stuff concerning one half of my job, this week I am dealing with that stuff and teaching two classes back to back every day.


I haven't run at all this week. I'm so tired I want to cry. My body just feels like it can't handle any more. I haven't been sleeping all that well, and I haven't had time to do much grocery shopping so I haven't been eating all that well, either.

I still don't know what to decide about the marathon. I guess at this point it's probably out of the question. I got in 10 miles last week and I haven't managed a long run in two weeks now.

More than anything, I think my body is in endorphin withdrawal. This sucks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Yikes, have I really not posted anything since the 10th? Apparently, I haven't. I guess the days just got away from me. I can't even claim being busy as an excuse because I haven't been particularly busy. I have, however, been lifting weights consistently! And working my abs consistently, too! Of course, as soon as a couple pieces of the puzzle fall into place, another piece seems to get pushed out. You'd think they would all fit together nicely, since that is what puzzles do. Apparently I have cut my pieces wrong, though, and I'm still working on filing them down to make it all work.

Basically, what I mean is that I ran a total of about ten miles last week, which is pretty pathetic. I also skipped another long run this past weekend. I am supposed to be training for this marathon right now, but I'm sort of not into it. I'm not really sure what to do either, because I have moments when I think, 'Okay, not a big deal. I've run two marathons, there will be more marathons in the future, not running this one isn't a big deal and it's important that I don't push myself to do it if I'm not into it'. And then I feel sort of good for a while, because I've made a decision. Then that wears off, and I start to regret the decision and reconsider. I'm signed up for this marathon, I had been looking forward to it for a long time, and maybe I just need to be a little more dedicated and get a routine going. Then all the pieces will fit, and things will be great. Right?

Blergh. I don't know.

There is something really appealing right now about just running for the fun of it, and focusing more on shorter distances, and running a few half-marathons, and picking out a fun fall marathon, and having the freedom to skip a run or two, or do some yoga instead of running, and not feel guilty about it. But then it's like...26.2 miles!

Every week I tell myself I will get back on track with training and things will work out, and maybe after getting through the full week, I can see how I feel about it. Maybe my hesitation about whether or not to run has something to do with feeling like I won't be ready, and if I can get through a week of training I'll realize that I don't need to worry about that and feel better. So maybe that's what I should do--just go through the week and not really worry too much about the marathon. Make it a goal to do the week of training, and see how I feel. I had an emotionally draining weekend so today will probably just be a rest day instead of the crosstraining day it should be, but that's alright. Maybe this should just become an exercise in forgiving myself.

Has anyone else ever grappled with this sort of thing? I can't put my finger on what the appeal of the marathon is, and I think that's part of what makes this so difficult. What would you do in this situation?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snowstorms and shoes

Gah. We are supposed to have this ridiculous snowstorm today here in New York. Personally, I veto that idea. It really interferes with my plans for a 6-mile run and a 10-12 mile run. It should be said that in my position, a fair number of runners would have planned their run around the anticipated start time of the snow. When I went to bed last night, the forecast said the snow would start around 9 a.m. and although I am capable of getting up in the morning, I *never* feel good when I get up in the morning to *run*. And the longer the run, the less good I feel. The exception to this, of course, is a race, for which I have generally had time to prepare myself mentally and physically. But as I got into bed last night, I have to say I just didn't really like the idea of getting up in time to fit in 90-120 minutes of running before 9 a.m. or thereabouts. So I scrapped that idea. It turns out, though, that now the snow isn't supposed to start until around 3, which means I actually have plenty of time to do either six miles or twelve, depending on what I feel like doing. The smart thing would be to do the twelve miles and get them out of the way so I can do the six tomorrow at the gym just in case the weather won't allow a run outside. We'll see if intelligence prevails over lazy. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing long runs on Saturdays, no matter what would be more commonsensical.

This brings me, in a roundabout and entirely unconnected way, to shoes. I returned to my apartment yesterday after a run (in my running shoes, obvs) and changed into my most-recently-discarded pair of running shoes to do some at-home weight training. It then occurred to me--do other people have this weird mania about what shoes they wear? Or, more specifically, about when they wear their running shoes? I checked my closet last night and realized I had three old pairs of running shoes just sitting there, doing absolutely nothing other than collecting dust. But I hold on to them anyway because at some point, I may want to engage in some sort of activity that could (potentially!) necessitate old running shoes. Or running shoes that I would no longer wear to run in because they are sufficiently used up as to be damaging to my feet, ankles, knees, hips, etc. And clearly I would never use my current pair of shoes for that sort of thing. That would wear them prematurely!

Essentially, the instant my running shoes hit their somewhat arbitrarily determined mileage limit (which is contingent upon any number of things, including, first and foremost, how many miles I have logged in them, the amount of money in my bank account, foot [arch, especially] pain that has come out of nowhere and can probably be remedied by new shoes, joint pain that is the same as the aforementioned foot pain, etc.) I deem them no longer acceptable to be worn during a run. BUT! they are perfectly fair game for any other sort of activity. When I stop to think about it, this seems pretty silly. If the shoes are no longer good to run in because they won't provide the support, stability, cushionining, etc. that I need during a run, what is it that makes them acceptable for other activities? Activities they were never designed to take me through in the first place, I should add. My retired running shoes go from miles of pavement to careers in weight training, walking, and cardio machines.

Could this be a reflection of my particular snobism toward running, maybe? Related to the fact that I have always felt, deep down (and not to say that this is correct because my own personal research has shown that it is not necessarily the case), that running is vastly superior to any other activity and, therefore, anything that is no longer good enough for running is still sufficiently superior to any piece of equipment required for anything else that it can do any other job better than something that may actually be designed to do that job? Or is it just the fact that I don't care enough to go out and buy "crosstraining" shoes, or whatever? I mean, they can't possibly be that different from any other shoes, right? How can one shoe be so multi-purpose?

I'm interested to hear how other people treat their shoes. Does anyone recycle them? I feel like this is what I really ought to be doing with those pairs that are taking up valuable real estate in my Manhattan-sized apartment (and by that I don't mean it's the size of Manhattan...you know?) Does anyone else have the same cooky attitude toward them that I do? Inquiring minds (and by that I mean mine) want to know.