Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a humbling morning

This morning I got passed like I was standing still. It wasn't pretty. I was out running my usual loop (where I don't EVER see any other runners). It was still a bit dark, and I was running along, listening to Beyonce, feeling pretty good about my pace (8:04/mile). All of a sudden, someone shoots past me like I wasn't even moving. A little bit of my competitiveness kicked in, and I felt myself pick my pace up to try to keep up. It was to no avail. This guy was already long gone, and I was left alone with Beyonce, enjoying her a little less than I had just one minute before.
The guy who passed me is fast. Really fast. I know of him from running group, and he is the type of guy who wins races. By all acounts, I shouldn't feel a bit bad that he passed me. Still, it is a bit humbling when you feel pretty good about where you're at, just to have someone blow your pace to smithereens.
It reminds me of something my Dad told me when I was a kid, and it has always kind of stuck with me. He told me that there will always be someone out there who is better, smarter, faster, or prettier than you.  I know on the surface that this sounds like a terrible thing to say to your young daughter, but it isn't. The point he was making wasn't that I was not any of those things; he was telling me about the importance of hard work. If you want to excel at anything in life, you have to put in the work. And, no matter how good you think you are, someone, somewhere is always just a little bit better than you are, so keep working. I think this lesson is what gave me my sense of determination, and it helps me do things like run marathons and launch companies. It is one of my favorite qualities, and I am so grateful to my Dad for teaching me that.
Now that I am a mother, I find myself having this conversation with my own kids. They don't really understand the message yet...but they will.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Skinny jean heaven

I am FINALLY  back to my training plan! Last week was such a horrible week for me work-wise, and I was full of anxiety about not running as much as I need to for Nike. This week, though, I am back in the saddle, and my morning runs have felt fantastic! The weather is even cooling off in the mornings,  so I am not fighting with the bugs and humidity like before. It just makes the rest of my day that much better.

I have also noticed that I can run faster when the humidity is lower. I feel like I run much more efficiently and breathe better, and I hardly feel my allergies. I am starting to feel optimistic about Nike, since it is in October and it will be cooler. Maybe I have a shot at rocking the Boston qualifying time, after all.

I received a pair of "it" skinny jeans as a gift this weekend. Have you tried "it" brand jeans? I absolutely LOVE them, since they have a higher rise but look very chic.  I hadn't tried the skinnies yet, so when I received them, naturally I was excited. You need a pair of these jeans. These things fit like a glove, they don't slouch (too much), and they keep their shape. I felt fantastic in them all day, and I literally want to wear them every day. They also have a fun zipper detail on the sides, reminiscent of the Guess jeans I had when I was a kid (dating myself, I know).  I also have a pair of 1927 skinny jeans, and while I love those, too...the "it" jeans take the cake. 

This weekend I am running an 18 miler, and I am considering heading back to Sioux Falls for that one again. The hills there are just so perfect for Nike training, and the last time I ran the miles just flew by.  Are you getting ready for any races this fall?

Friday, August 20, 2010

long time no blog

My life just took a turn for the wildly hectic. I can't believe how extremely busy I have been lately. I took on a consulting job for a startup business, and it has been a lot more hours than I first thought it would be.  I haven't run. I haven't eaten well. I haven't slept.  It's no good.

Having said that, things are going to get a lot better from here. I have a plan, I am getting organized, and I am implementing the plan with success.  Are you a planner? Another business lesson....plans are vital, and so is execution. I know, I know, it is very time consuming to sit down and research and brainstorm and think of every possible detail when formulating an operating plan. But it is vital. The plan is the framework upon which your entire building rests. Try building a house without a frame. Impossible. Plans help keep you organized. Plans keep you on track. Plans help you analyze what works and what doesn't.
Remember, though, that the plan is meaningless without execution. Why spend the time to make it if you aren't going to use it?
No running posts this week. No good food posts this week. Next week will be better. Promise.

Friday, August 13, 2010

knocking out a 5k

This weekend I am running a 5k race. I usually run my long runs on Saturdays, but I moved it to Sunday. The race I am running is a local race and fundraiser for the 4-H club. I am mostly running because the organizer is also the daycare provider for my kids, and I guess I just love giving her money. 
Actually, it is for a very good cause, and it will be fun to try to run a short race, since I have been focusing on so much distance lately. I am really going to try to run hard the whole time and finish somewhere in the 22 minute time again. The race is at 9am, though, which is pretty late in the morning. We have had some hot and humid weather lately, so I am anticipating that the race tomorrow will be steamy. That can slow my time down quite a bit. There is also a pretty tough hill on the course, so that will certainly be a factor, as well.
My husband won tickets to a Lifehouse concert tonight, so we are going on a date. It should be fun. At our wedding we played a Lifehouse song for our dance. Hubby likes the band much more than I do, but it will be great to spend the time together. The concert ends late, so that could also affect my performance tomorrow.
In fact, as I type this, it occurs to me that maybe running all out tomorrow is not a wise move. Maybe I will just push myself comfortably out of my comfort level, but not give it my all.  I bet it will make for a much better post-race feeling.

What are you doing for the weekend?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

too rich for my blood

Saturday I met the Sioux Falls running club for a ten mile run through the extremely hilly streets of SF. I have never run with them before, and so I emailed to ask what the pace was, at which time I was told that I would fit right in with my pace and they would love to have me.
That guy lied.
I get out of my car at 6am and see a bunch of men and two women. Normally men don't intimidate me, as I have passed many a man in races, but these guys looked pretty fit. What really got me, though, is the ladies. You could bounce a quarter off of any part of these gals. Goodness. So I introduce myself and ask what their pace was, to which I really didn't get a reply. I told them I run about 8:15-8:45, and they said maybe they started out at that pace but were probably a bit faster.
That lady lied.
Since we all realized that I would most likely be dusted, one of the ladies told me what the route was, which was probably the smartest thing to do, since I would have gotten horribly lost and turned around and sad. We all took off together, running a half mile uphill to get things going. I hung for the first mile but it was challenging, and then when I checked the pace and learned that we were running like 7:14 per mile, I decided it was best for me to back off.
Seriously. Those guys (and gals) are fast. Ridiculous fast. Ludicrous speed fast. To sustain a ten mile run at a 7 minute or less pace is insane. I wonder if I can ever get that fast? The route was fabulously challenging. I never realized how hilly Sioux Falls is. It is a great run for my nike training, and so I will definitely be going back to run behind the SF running club again soon.
Have you ever tried running with a new running group?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

a small work rant

This morning I decided to see what kind of marketing or advertising jobs are available in the region in which I live. It is a pretty rural area, so this was really a curiosity search. Upon entering the term "marketing jobs sioux falls", what resulted were about a dozen jobs that were labeled as marketing jobs, but were actually sales jobs in disguise.

Come on! I have found this to be the case quite a bit in different regions. Why do people automatically lump marketing and advertising with sales? I can assure you they are quite different. Both are extremely important aspects of a successful company; however, what separates the two is that marketing professionals create marketing plans based on sales goals, and salespeople sell the product/service. Marketers rely on research, trends, analysis to help do their job. Salespeople rely on their exceptional people skills and sales savvy. Advertisers are also different from salespeople. Advertisers help implement the marketing plan. They produce the design and copy, whether it be print, interactive, etc. that transmits the marketing message. Salespeople can capitalize on sales based on advertisements, and also based on the go to market strategy. Each is a cog in a very large wheel; they have to work together to make the wheel turn. They are all vital, but they are not the same.

I implore companies looking for salespeople to advertise those jobs as simply that; sales jobs. That, after all, is what you will want in that position, not an advertising person. Likewise, if you want someone to create copy and design, list the job as an advertising position. Same with marketing.

Are there any other jobs tha you can think of that are often confused?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

west nile running

This last week of training has been incredibly difficult. I live in a rather humid environment, and in the last week we have had over nine inches of rain. Yuck. Fields are flooded all over, basements are taking water all over town, and the worst of it...the mosquitoes are HORRIBLE. 

Saturday I ran for 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was extremely foggy because of all of the moisture in the air, so I decided to run in town (which I hate doing because it is tough to get a lot of miles out of my little college town).  Things were fine, until I tried to run on our bike trail, at which time I was nearly carried away by the mosquitoes. I sustained at least 30 bites on my back in a matter of minutes, and I had to finish my time running down and back the only street in town with no grass on it, which also happens to be the busiest street in town. Not the best run, to say the least.

Tuesday I was supposed to run sprints at the HS track. I showed up, ran one lap, and was chased away by swarms of mosquitoes, sustaining about another 30 bites or so, this time on my legs (I guess because my back probably didn't have room for more bites). I finished my sprints running down the middle of my street, and although it did help a bit, I managed to also swallow about 6 bugs while I ran.

These things are monsters. They are everywhere, and there is no respite from them. In fact, I am going to run today on the treadmill, and I hate the treadmill. But I hate being eaten alive more.

I understand that nine inches of rain is ridiculous, but it is still horrible. Between the heat, the bugs, and the flooding, I would much rather train in the winter, even though where I live that usually means running in twenty below temps.  It sure beats this last week!

I'm just continuing on with my training program until West Nile kicks in, and then I may take a few days off....