Tag Archives: running

A Long Standing Love Affair

It really began when I was young. I loved to run. I ran like a wild child in the fields near our home in Poland. When we were in the city I dashed up and down the busy streets of Łódź, much to the chagrin of my terrified mother. Even when I was in the house, I would run from room to as my mother would yell, “Zachowywać się jak panienka!” It seemed like I was a born runner and it was a trait I continued to hone as I grew up.

After I moved to the States, I began to actively run. Not only for my physical health, but my mental health as well. My run was the one time during the day that I was able to collect my thoughts, plan the rest of my day and be a little more introspective. As my feet hit the pavement, a jolt of excitement would course through me. On certain days, I felt like I could run forever. When I knew my run was coming to an end, I actually felt a little tinge of sadness. I enjoyed the ache, the adrenaline and the mental acuity so much, it made it difficult stop running. As soon as I finished, I felt refreshed and alive.

It wasn’t until high school that I really became obsessed with running. My freshman year, I joined the track and cross-country teams. I formed an immediate bond with my cross-country coach, since he was the only other person I had ever met who loved running as much as I did. As soon as class was over, I was the first one in the locker room. Long after we had packed up our equipment, I was still hanging around discussing my run with our coach. Cross country running was heaven for me. Every day, I looked forward to practice. The courses kept me in phenomenal shape and my self-confidence, which had been sorely lacking due to my recent move from Europe, grew in leaps and bounds. Being on the team allowed me to make friends who shared similar interests and I began to date one of my fellow teammates, which gained me even more access to the different groups in high school.

When I graduated from high school, I was too involved with my studies to take part in university athletics. Though it made me sad to see that chapter of my life come to a close, I realized that I could continue to run when I had downtime. Mornings were the best time for me to run and I would record my notes to listen to while I dodged downtown traffic. No matter the weather, my schedule or my physical status, I would try to fit a run into my day. After each run, while I was coming down from my “runners high,” I would feel so sexy! Even if I looked at myself in a mirror and saw that I was visibly flushed, sweaty and my hair was in shambles. It never ceased to amaze me how wonderful each run made me feel.

Though I have gotten older (not THAT much older mind you), I still try to run everyday. I keep track of my runs via Map My Run and aim for 50 miles a week. If I am not able to meet my 50 mile goal, I try to run further the following week to make up for it. I have a few favourite runs, particularly my 7.50 mile Strand run, which takes me along the beach. I run that route quite often and try to get others to go along so they can see how much fun it is. I don’t have very many running partners though!
One of the things I love about being able to track my runs is the statistical aspect of it. Breaking down my performance into pretty, logical numbers makes my heart skip a beat. To show you what I mean, here is a sexy breakdown of 2012 so far…

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So far this year I have run 1,923.4 miles. Which means that, if I was an enterprising lass, I could have run from Los Angeles, CA to Kansas City, MO to see family. If the weather in California held up, I could even enjoy the gorgeous scenery of my current state and run the length of the coast and back.

Based on the 244 hrs, 19 min and 52 secs I have now run, I could have flown around the world almost 5.5 times (if I didn’t have to refuel and based on the 550 mph avg of a commercial jet). I could have also completed a little over 80 transsphenoidal procedures for pituitary adenomas, barring complications.

The number of calories I have burned, would allow me to eat 53 plates of the #1 Worst Food in America or 276 servings of Haagen Dazs Creme Brulee Ice Cream (my favourite).

I wish I would have always tracked my runs. I can only imagine the amount of time I have spent running up to this point. I haven’t always averaged 50 miles per week, so I don’t have a consistent number to base anything on. This coming year, I plan to up my weekly goal to 60 or even try to make my monthly goal higher.

Question: What about my fellow runners, do you have any stories to tell? How far do you average a week? month? year?

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New Year, New Resolutions

It is finally that time of year. Time to set my goals for 2012 and then try to keep up with them until 2013. I am very excited about my 2012 goals, as the 2011 goals I set for myself were either met or exceeded. I had a lot of fun trying to meet the goals and I felt that I challenged myself continually throughout the year. This year, I have tried to choose a list of goals based on feedback from friends, family and my readers. I have also taken into account the amount of time each goal will take and the effort I will have to expend to complete it.

*drumroll*

My 2012 Goals 

Relationship goals:

Strengthen my personal relationships by spending more time with those I care about. 

This may not seem like that difficult of a goal, but you have to keep in mind that I only have one family member in California, relatively few friends because of the hours I work each week, and a very demanding job. I am hoping that by the end of 2012, I will have solidified my relationship to a certain significant other, made a few close friends, and have a small circle of acquaintances with whom I can have some fun.

Write more letters, thank you notes and emails.

This is one of those goals I always mean to make myself do. Ever since university, I have tried to write more thank you notes and letters, but I always seem to come up short. However, I have written a few emails this year and I plan to keep that up. My goal is to write an email (outside of work) each day. I would like to email my grandmother, mother, father, brothers and friends at least once a week. My family alone will be 6 days!

Take a real vacation with someone.

“Real vacation” does not include: going home to see family for a holiday, traveling for a family emergency, traveling for a work-related reason or medical conference. I will only consider it a vacation if I am traveling solely for relaxing and spending time with my travel companion.

Preferable Destinations: Seychelles,  Dominican Republic, Toronto, Spain, London, Belize

Personal Goals:

– Finish my novel

Just last year I started a novel (no I’m not going to post it on this blog 🙂 ). I wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo, but then I had to travel/get sick/deal with personal issues for most of November and was unable to write at all. I only got around to writing about 10, 000 out of 50,000 words. Will I finish my novel in 2012? Maybe not, but I will try to write for a bit each week.

Learn to sew

I have wanted to learn to sew for some time now. I always see these amazing dresses/skirts and when I ask where they got the dress I get the, “Oh, I made this!,” response. I need to buy a sewing machine and convert the “cats room” into a sewing room. I welcome suggestions on where to buy fabrics in LA/Hermosa, what sewing machine I need to buy and what the best way to learn is (online tutorials, sewing books, classes) .

Read 20 books in 2012

In 2011, I read 30 books. I thought about upping the ante to 40, but then I remembered I want to have a life outside of work. I have decided to keep the goal of reading a set number of books, but I want to read less. I would really like to read the Harry Potter series, but only if I can get them on my Nook.

Make a substantial blog post two (2) times a week or a small post three (3) times a week.

I am looking forward to blogging in the new year! I have some posts I am working on (mostly about my travels), but they are fairly time intensive. I will be posting more often, around 2-3 times a week and I would love suggestions! Anything that you would be interested in me blogging about, I am open to it! 

Goals to Continue

Take more cooking courses (Persian, Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish)

I enjoyed this goal immensely. I was able to sign up for a few cooking courses and it was a blast! I would like to cook through a few classic cookbooks for each type of cuisine, while also supplementing my cooking with some outside classes.

Run 50 miles a week following Runners World MPW Target Goals or 2700 miles for the year. Try for 3000 miles if possible!

Even though this goal was difficult to keep up with in 2011 (due to work, travel or illness), I loved the way I felt after completing the required 50 miles a week. This year I am shooting for 3000 miles, but hitting 2700 or 2600 would be acceptable. If I can squeeze a few races or marathons in, I will definitely try!

Complete 1-2 detox plans over the course of 2012

This goal was actually a lot of fun for me. I scheduled both of my detoxes after holidays, in hopes that I could rid my system of the toxins I built up eating all that holiday fare. This year, I plan on trying to get in two (2) detoxes, but one (1) detox over the summer will work!

I am very pleased with my 2012 goals. I have already started a few of my goals and will keep everyone updated as I complete or struggle with each one.

Question(s): Have you decided to set goals for yourself in 2012? If so, what are they? Do you have suggestions to help me complete any of the above goals? Would you like to challenge me to complete another goal (I am up for some challenging!)?

Happy New Year!