March 11, 2013

Music Monday: Madness by Muse

*Edited to remove a video for technical issues.

Madness. I just got home from SXSW in Austin (that's South by Southwest, or just "South by" if you're too cool for school). The only word I can think of to sum up my experience is madness. That also happens to be my latest favorite workout song, so it all works out.

I was at SXSW Thursday through late last night, and I can easily say I've never experienced anything quite like it. I took my first ride in a pedicab.

 Which was sponsored by Game of Thrones!

I spent some time in heaven, er...I mean, Whole Foods. I had never been to one before, and now I want to move to Austin and marry the flagship store.

I ate more food off trucks than I ever have in my life, and the kimchi fries from Chi'lantro were amazing -- a close runner-up to my all time favorite animal fries from In-N-Out Burger.

While I was trying to navigate the madness and massive crowds downtown near the Austin Convention Center, my favorite lunch spot was The Big Cheese, where I could quickly grab a gooey, hot grilled cheese on my way to my next session.

I only went for a run one time while I was there, unfortunately. I spent a lot of time walking though. I walked almost everywhere I went, and I loved experiencing the weirdness that is Austin, although this was one of the most exhausting trips I've ever taken.

I did get away from the madness one night to do some exploring on my own. I had a fantastic dinner at Annie's Cafe on Congress. I got there before it got too crowded and had some of the best food of the entire trip. And on the walk back to the hotel, I got to hear some amazing bluegrass that seemed to really annoy the poor pup who was trying to sleep on the bass case. 

Oh yeah, and I also learned a bunch of stuff and made a few new contacts. 

We attended the Interactive Festival, not Film. Oops.
Now that I'm back (and slept like the dead for 12 hours straight), I'm ready to get back to the business of training. The Bentonville Half is only a few weeks away! Madness by Muse is at the top of my playlist this week, and on constant repeat in between workouts. I can't get enough. What are you listening to this week? 

March 6, 2013

All by myself

Running is a pretty solitary sport. It's just you and the road and your thoughts (or your blaring iPod). Unless you're running a relay, you don't really depend on anyone else to get from start to finish. Or do you?

I've learned over the last couple of weeks that running alone is worlds apart from running with a partner. I've run by myself plenty of times, but only for a few miles at a time. The majority of my runs are with Trea. We run the same races, follow the same training plan, and especially for long runs, we stick together. We sometimes chat a little while we're out, but we're usually just trying to breathe. 

From our first 10K in 2011
But the last couple of weeks that he's been either busy with work or suffering with cold and flu season, I've been all on my own. And I was surprised at how much I missed running with someone...even if the only interaction we have is wordless pointing and laughing at fighting squirrels. Before this month, I think the farthest I've ever run by myself was 4 miles.

But this weekend, I ran 8! EIGHT whole miles all by myself! It was hard, but I was really proud of myself for doing it. I know everyone else runs by themselves all the time, but your first solo long run can be pretty intimidating. But I did it!

On Sunday, it was warmer than usual and sunny, which was beautiful before it became incredibly hot. I thought I had enough water...but I didn't. I thought I had eaten enough breakfast...but I didn't. I was underfueled, and after taking a week off because of a bad cold, I was undertrained. It was not a fun run. I stopped twice to sit down -- on a bench, like an old lady! But I pushed through and eventually made it a full 8 miles. It's my longest run since coming back from my injury, and my longest run ever by myself.

I hope that Trea will start training with me again, but I know that if he doesn't, I can make it on my own. I guess after you've run 26.2, a half marathon just isn't scary anymore.

High five!


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