Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vote for my school!

I have a couple of running posts to catch up on, but for a brief aside, you should all vote for the school where I teach to win $500,000! I'm the music teacher, and right now we don't have any performance space -- for concerts, drama, assemblies, anything. Right now when kids all need to assemble, they have to squeeze onto the floor of the "cafe-gym-atorium" -- it's very uncomfortable, and they don't all fit. If we have to try to fit in parents as well, forget it! $500,000 would be invaluable.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Week 4: Day 1

Since the first two workouts of Week 3 had gone so well and I am a little behind in my training schedule (gah! vacation! heat wave!), I decided to skip the third workout and move on to Week 4. It was definitely a jump, but not overly hard. I would describe it best as a good challenge. My mom, with whom I worked out, was impressed. Of course, that's kind of her job, as my mother, but I still liked it. I went a total distance of 2.5 miles.

Also, week 4 is as far as I got last time, I believe.

The walking songs are in navy, the running ones are in aqua.
  • Like a Virgin / The Immaculate Collection - Madonna (3:11)
  • Vogue / The Immaculate Collection - Madonna (5:19)
  • Don't Ask Me Why / Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 - Billy Joel (2:57)
  • Steep / Billy Breathes - Phish (1:38)
  • Billy Jean / Number Ones - Michael Jackson (4:54)
  • Kiss The Girl / Classic Disney Vol. 1 - The Little Mermaid (2:43)
  • Killer Queen /Greatest Hits - Queen (3:01)
  • Sweet Sweet / Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins (1:39)
  • Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting / Greatest Hits - Elton John (4:55)
  • Like a Prayer / The Immaculate Collection - Madonna (5:52)
  • Cherish / The Immaculate Collection - Madonna (3:53)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 3: Workouts 1 and 2

So after my first aborted attempt at Week 3 that left me wheezing before the first 90 seconds of running was through, I decided to wait out this heat wave before attempting to run outdoors again. I think humidity was at around 98%, and it was in the 80s or even 90s for the entire past 2 weeks.

So I went running at the gym, where there is beautiful, beautiful air conditioning. I went with my mom both times, who walked quickly on the treadmill next to me. Even though she walked the whole time, I only ended up going about .2 miles further than she did in distance, so we are fighting (not really). TJ came along for the second work-out, although he did the elliptical instead of running.

I did find one dangerous thing about running on a treadmill while using the playlist below: being on a treadmill during the OK Go song makes it REALLY hard to resist the urge to try doing this:

The walking songs are in navy, the running ones are in aqua.
  • Earth Song/ Number Ones - Michael Jackson (5:01)
  • Coming Clean / Dookie - Green Day (1:35)
  • A Prayer of St. Patrick / Gloria - The Sacred Music of John Rutter -- City of London Sinfonia, Cambridge Singers (1:33)
  • You Can't Hurry Love / Serious Hits... Live! - Phil Collins (2:54)
  • Your Smiling Face / Greatest Hist (Live) - James Taylor (2:55)
  • Nut Rocker / Tessie EP - Dropkick Murphys (1:22)
  • Mass for Five Voices (William Byrd) / Best of the Renaissance - Tallis Scholars (1:27)
  • Here It Goes Again / Master the Treadmill with OK Go - OK Go (3:00)
  • Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2 / Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - The Flaming Lips (2:58)
  • You Are Not Alone / 1996 Grammy Nominees - Michael Jackson (5:48)

Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Feel Much Older, in Three Easy Steps

1. Start a running program. Although you have never run before, be surprised at how easy it is to follow this program.

2. Make it about 6 weeks into the program before having to stop to focus on your comprehensive exams for your masters degree.

3. Two years later, at approximately the same level of physical fitness as when you started last time, start the same running program over again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Week 2: Runs 3 & 4

So I've run a few more times, but haven't blogged it because I've been ON VACATION! Woo! TJ and I went to Boston, MA -- I'd been several times, but he'd never gone, so we did all kinds of fun tourist-y things like the Duck Boat Tour (not the one that was run over by a barge, thank God), and we even camped out on the Cambridge side of the Charles River for 6 hours on the Fourth of July to watch the most amazing fireworks display I've ever seen.

Anyway, Run 2:3 was the day before we left (Tuesday). TJ is taking a college course that doesn't get out until 8pm, so I dropped him off at 5, visited with my Dad, who lives close-ish to the college, and then picked TJ up to go running. It was too late at night to drive 40 minutes back to our normal running trail, so we went to Taconic High School to run on the track. It was kind of nice running on the track - there were a lot of people there of all kinds of fitness levels. And since we were going around in circles, TJ didn't feel the need to try to stay with me, so he could go at his own pace without having to turn around. It definitely felt better on my legs, but there's something I like about running in a more natural setting.

We had fully intended to run while we were in Boston. It's a great city for doing things like that, and we both brought enough running gear to take up silly amounts of room in our suitcases. We weren't counting on a heatwave - it was over 95 every day, with enough humidity that there was a rainbow without any rain. Which was gorgeous. But we didn't really feel that running in extreme weather when we weren't sure of our surroundings was the best idea.

So instead of moving right on to Week 3 upon resuming today, I did week 2 once more. Today we decided to go to the gym that I am a member of, and, let me tell you, I kind of enjoyed the experience. Air conditioning! And I think the fact that the treadmill is moving is helping me lengthen my stride, which is something I need to work on. I ran with no leg pain at all. Watching the TV while running was also fun. I switched back and forth between SportsCenter (which featured The Winking Lizard, where I used to work, on a story about how LeBron James' cold-hearted departure is going to effectively bankrupt Cleveland!) and the Food Network. And did I mention air conditioning?!?!

I've been using the same playlist the whole time :) Next run: week 3!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

An actual 5k!

TJ and I have targeted an actual 5k to run! We're actually going to do the run in memory of TJ's good friend James, who both had an incredible obsession with Yankee Candles, and died way, way too young of a heart condition. When I found a 5k at the Yankee Candle Flagship Store that benefited the American Heart Association and is going to be held exactly at the end of our training calendar, it seemed like fate.

So, James, get ready for August 14, because we'll be at the Disney World of Candles in Deerfield, MA, running in your honor!

Week 2, Run 2

Having counted the mile run as run #1 for week 2, TJ and I set out for the second run on Friday evening. This one hurt. A lot. I think my muscles were not recovered very well from field day, which was really about 7 hours of solid activity, starting with a run that I didn't stretch very well afterward (bad Erin, BAD!). And several sprints after a certain science teacher who was taunting me.

Anyway, even though I was in some serious pain, I pushed through -- I knew I couldn't pin it on the shoes anymore -- and did the run in its entirety. I will be sure to stretch before and after, quite thoroughly, each and every time. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Playlist! Lots of good ones this time. The beginning had kind of a punk rock theme, which I found to be a great vibe for running.

The walking songs are in navy, the running ones are in aqua.
  • Po' Lazarus / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - James Carter & The Prisoners (4:21)
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - Harry McClintock (2:18)
  • You Are My Sunshine / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - Norman Blake (4:28)
  • *Coming Clean/ Dookie - Green Day (1:35)
  • *Tonks Hunts a Leprechaun / Music Ed 420 Project - Erin Gardy (Milne) (2:08)
  • *Nut Rocker / Tessie EP - Dropkick Murphys (1:22)
  • *Deianara Crush / Sweden - The Mountain Goats (1:54)
  • *TROGDOR / Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits - Strong Bad (1:40)
  • *Ebudae / Paint the Sky with Stars - Enya (1:53)
  • Unreleased (3) / Burningn'n Tree - Squarepusher (1:28)
  • Hollow Hills / Celtic Solstice- Paul Winter (1:55)
  • Let's Get Together / Classic Disney Vol. 1 - Hayley Mills (1:32)
  • *Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch (1:58)
  • Bongo Contront / Return of the Candyman - Charlie Hunter & Pound for Pound (1:21)
  • Eleanor Rigby / 1 - The Beatles (2:07)
  • *Down By the River to Pray / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - Alison Krauss (2:56)
  • I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - Soggy Bottom Boys (3:10)
  • Hard Time Killing Floor Blues / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - Chris Thomas King (2:42)
  • *I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (Instrumental) / O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - John Hartford (4:29)

Mile Run at Field Day!

The school where I teach had its field day on Wednesday -- super fun! I made excellent shirts for all the kids in my advisory (as well as myself), there was a volleyball tournament, and the teachers whooped the students in a giant tug-of-war match.

There was also a mile run. Here I am!

See how quickly I am running? I was actually not running all that quickly -- I ended up doing the interval plan from Week 2 of Couch to 5K, and finished 22nd with a time of 13:55 (for 1.06 miles, actually). Out of 22 who finished, but about 35 who started the race. Mr. Griffin won overall, and students from my advisory were both the first boy and the first girl to finish. It was the power of the T-shirts. Overall, a pretty good experience! Hopefully at next year's field day, I can convince some slower people to enter have a faster time!

Monday, June 21, 2010

All Tonks' Children Got Shoes

After a brief hiatus to buy new running shoes, HOLY CRAP SHOES MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.

After two attempts at week 1, having to give up both times, I tried it again tonight with these new babies:

And, yes. Holy cow. I thought I was in the worse shape of my life the other two times I'd run. But tonight, not only did I blow through the Week 1 workout, I ran for an additional 3 straight minutes at the end.

Boo ya.

I re-used this playlist for the third time. It was still good, and this time I actually got to run to the Chip n' Dale theme song, which was exciting and kind of MacGyver-esque.

TJ came with me on the run, which was fun. He runs way faster than I do, his stride being about 50% longer than mine, but he doubles back for the walking part. The weather was gorgeous -- about 67 degrees by the time we went at 8pm. It was the solstice today, so we had just enough daylight for our 40-minute escapade.

We'll be graduating to Week 2 for our next workout. AND I now have enough confidence to enter the mile run for field day at school on Wednesday. I'll probably finish last. Oh, well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week 1, Second Run

I went running again today. I talked TJ into going with me this time. It was fun going with him, even though the plight of the short-legged runner meant tht he was going much faster than me even when I was taking 3 strides for every 2 of his.

My calves held up much better than last time, but this time it was my shins that were my demise. I think I need to get new shoes -- these are pretty old, and I don't remember having nearly thus much muscle soreness last time. Yay for an excuse to shop!

I used exactly the same playlist as last time, so no need to repeat it here. Enjoy the weekend, readers!