Posts Tagged ‘being a jock’

New Adventures: 9 of 30 – Run a 5K.

Monday, October 10th, 2011

So. Let’s talk running. If you’re a runner, you’ll probably experience runner’s high, or a rush of endorphins during and after workouts. You’ll lose some weight and you’ll probably drop some cash on proper footwear and/or running clothes. So, feelings of happiness & invincibility, weight-loss, and money-loss. And just putting this out there: There is a way easier, less painful way to get exactly the same results: a severe cocaine addiction. Probably not the healthiest way to achieve those goals though. For some reason, I’ve decided to take the more difficult route & take an interest in my cardiovascular health: I’ve become a runner.

It all began one day in July, when I decided that I was going to run a 5K. 2 months and 1 svelte body later, that became a reality for me. Total insanity, for many reasons that I started to explain in this blog post. My friend Alan, owner of do52new, came across my blog & mentioned that he was running in a 5k, (the Tavern to Tavern 5k in Cambridge, ma) and suggested that I give it a go with him & his friends. So i worked and trained really hard, and taught myself how to run. Well maybe I should call it jogging….. or shuffling? Whatever it’s called, it’s not particularly graceful, but it seems to get the job done. Being able to run for a mile kinda blew my mind, but gave me a great starting point for running a 5k, or 3.2 miles.

The Tavern to Tavern 5k was supposed to occur on August 28th, but got delayed for a week because Hurricane Irene came sweeping up through New England. While I was still game to run in a hurricane, it was probably a great thing that the race got postponed. It gave me an additional week to train, and I think it greatly improved my odds of finishing. Going from running 1 mile to 3.2 miles is no easy feat, and honestly, I was only able to run the whole distance one time before the actual race. My parents were actually planning on running too, but they couldn’t make the new date. Also, Alan, the dude who initially told me to run this race, wasn’t able to make the rain-date, so it ended up being just me & Devon, and 600 other wicked hardcore strangers. :)

Here I am closing in on the finish line with a bunch of dudes. (I’m the -only- chick on the right with the gray & pink short shorts)
Me running.
I didn’t know that people sprint at the end, so guys that I had been running next to for most of the race ended up finishing a bit ahead of me.. In fact, that kinda reminded me of this one time when I was 8 & was at a swim meet racing against a 14 year old boy & he beat me by a hair, and I was royally pissed. lol.

About to finish my 1st 5k
Well, kinda. Actually, I was just pretty much amazed & totally jacked up that I had actually finished & was able to run the entire race without stopping. That had been my main goal and I was totally in shock that I was able to do that. So cool! 33 minutes & 34 seconds of running straight up!

Here is Devon about to finish with a HUGE smile on his face:
Devon finishing his first 5K.
He was super happy that we didn’t have to continue training for a 5k for another couple months. :)

And here we are with our finishing metals!

Yeay! Pretty cool stuff. And I believe that this is going to be the beginning of doing something like this regularly. We’re planning on running 2 5K’s a year, one in the spring, one in the fall. So, its pretty awesome that one of my 30 by 30 has resulted in a bit of healthier living.

9 of 30 Completed!

New Adventures: 7 of 30 – Watch a sunset.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Watching a sunset on the East Coast is easier said than done. The sun sets in the west, however the ocean is generally to the east, so finding a good vantage point to check out the dwindling daylight is key. I thought that this would be one of those easy things to do during a boring week so I could check something off the list: Drive up some hill, watch sun set, go home. Nothing life changing, Easy peasy. Luckily this adventure was way more than that, unplanned, not well thought out and wonderful in its randomness and spontaneity.

So I have this friend who I hadn’t seen in 8 years, let’s call him Juice for the sake of some semblance of anonymity on the interwebs. I met Juice back in 2001 when we were both riding the Red Line from Braintree into Boston pretty late on a Sunday night. Normally I don’t strike up conversations with strangers on the T late at night (in fact, generally I advise against it), but he was carrying a surfboard and since there is no beach near the Braintree train station I was curious about what the deal was and what his story was. I struck up a conversation and the rest was history. Anyways. He moved to Californina around the time that I moved to Seattle and we kinda lost touch. Until recently that is.  I’ve been on the lookout for surfing buddies & his name popped into my mind, so I decided to see if his cell phone from 8 years ago still worked. Shockingly it actually did, and he was east coast bound again, and he was looking to reconnect with adventuresome folks like myself. Funny how stuff works out like that.

Fast forward a few months. After some misfires on hanging out, I gave Juice a ring last Tuesday morning & was like “Yo. The fun time waves of awesomeness are here. I wanna go surfing. Let’s do this.” And then he was like “I’m in, but it’s all about making a trip out of it and going down to the Cape. Screw a day trip to New Hampshire. You drive and I’ll provide stimulating conversation and knowledge of the Cape geography where it relates to surf spots and illegal camp grounds.”

It was relatively early in the day, so I figure we could make it down to the Cape’s National Seashore and into the water by 4pm, and hang out in the water for a while. But I had forgotten how time flows differently around Juice, and how stuff always seems to take forever. When I got to his place he was still working on packing & he was very meticulous about it. (Somewhat randomly, I was also thrown off my game by the huge fricking beard that he had grown since we last saw each other, but that’s neither here nor there.) I just wanted him to throw his gear in my car so we could get moving, but it didn’t quite work out like that…. Although looking back at it, that’s probably for the best, since we ended up camping under the stars, so all that random shit like blankets and bio-degradable hand soap totally came in handy. My board was very excited, because it was the first time that it got to spoon with another surfboard on top of my car….

Our surfboards spooning.

Anyways, so we finally get to the beach around 6.30pm, but then drive to 3 different beaches to find the best conditions. Finally, it’s about 7.20 and its starting to get dark, so we settle on the last beach, Nauset Light Beach in North Eastham. We throw on our wetsuits and carry our boards down the stairs to the beach, passing about 5 other surfers who are done for the day. There are only 2 other surfers in the water & then they too call it a day a couple waves after we get in the water.

It’s solidly dusk, and Juice and I are alone with our boards out in the water. (Well, alone if you don’t count the Gray Seals that were hanging out with us, swimming around us and popping up every now and then to see who we were and what we were doing in their ocean.) You can actually see the waves on the horizon way better when it starts to get dark, which is pretty cool. Looking towards the shore, the sun was setting over the sand dunes. It was a bit cloudy, and all of the fluffy white clouds had become neon shades of pinks, purples, oranges and reds. It was really magnificent. And then the lighthouse on the beach came on and added a whole different level of beauty to the setting. In fact, the sunset was so beautiful, that I had to keep forcing myself to turn around & keep an eye out for good waves to surf. It definitely wasn’t my best surf session because I was pretty distracted & in sensory overload. But, it was definitely the most beautiful view I’ve ever had while surfing. We ended up surfing till it was so dark that we could barely see the beach anymore & then we decided to call it a night & figure out the eating/drinking/camping situation. It was really a remarkable sunset. The view, the location, the vibe. I couldn’t have imagined a cooler situation to just sit & watch a sunset.

Me (Emma) & Juice

Thanks to Juice for taking so long to get ready that our surfing at sunset was a necessity, his senior surfing expertise & advice and also for the awesome company.

New Adventures: 5 of 30 – Run a Mile.

Monday, August 8th, 2011

I’m not your typical athletic person. Apathetic is more like it. I dislike competitions. I’m not big into dripping sweat or huffing & puffing like one of the 3 little pigs. Buying clothes for function over form makes me cringe. I got a bunch of curves that are built for admiring, not moving quickly. I’m the kind of person that attracts a strong hunter type to fend off the lion that wants to eat me, instead of me running away from the lion…..

Now granted I’ve had a few forays into athletic territory. I was on my high school’s swim team. But that team was kind of like a non-competitive sisterhood, where they never cut anyone from the team, and everyone cheered for everyone (even people like me, who finished a lap or 2 behind everyone else). As far as sporty stuff goes, I also love to surf, but that’s also very different. I like prancing around in a bikini while checking out other hot surfers and then splashing around in the water, catching waves and pretending to be an tall Amazonian version of Gidget. I’ve been doing it for a couple years, but I don’t get to go that often, so I’m not super awesome at it, and I think that because of my lack of madd skills, I don’t feel like I need to really kick ass at it & impress anyone.

I think my inherent distaste for exercise can be traced back to a super depressing exercise related moment  in 6th grade when we had to do the President’s Fitness Challenge, or test or whatever horrible thing they called it.  We were required to run for a 1/4 mile & then our results were posted for everyone to see. I couldn’t run most of it, and ended up finishing somewhere in the bottom 10 students, along with the kids that had broken legs and were on crutches and asthma sufferers.   Another failure in running was the time that I tried out for my high school’s volleyball team with my mindset being “I’m a foot taller that all these other girls. I’ll be doing the volleyball equivalent of dunking on these chicks… Oh, I soooo got this.” And then they made us run laps around the gym…..Or rather, one lap for me, and then I was done. It was all about the cardio & I had none.

And until a little while ago, I’ve had none. About a year ago, I started walking in the woods near my house as a cold season alternative to summer surfing. As I got better I started interspersing little sprints in my walks. And everyday I pushed myself a little bit more. Around that point, I decided to make this 30 by 30 list & was thinking, “Oh yeah, run a mile. Yeah it will suck, but that will be quick and easy…..”

Since I also want to do a 5k, I figured I could just find a running iPhone app, and along the way I’d end up running a mile in training for that…. So I ended up stumbling upon Couch to 5k. C25K is a really awesome app. It’s $3 and plays your own music & then will pop on to tell you to run or walk. Its like having a personal trainer who only does cardio. It pushes me slightly past where I’d normally stop running on my own. Also the schedule makes it so you only have to run 20-30 minutes every other day, which is super easy to find time for. If you can’t spare a half hour every other day, your life needs some serious re-adjusting. The workouts get harder and harder, so I’ve really felt like I’ve been accomplishing something with every session. Also, since it’s an iPhone app, the technology aspect totally sucked Devon into doing the challenge with me…. Now, THAT in itself is a miracle, because normally he’d probably rather wrestle poisonous water snakes than go running. (I’ll refer back to the 1st paragraph where I mentioned that I was built for attracting strong hunter types.)

I started the program on July 7th and it had me alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking. I thought I was going to pass out because it was so hard to catch my breath, and my leg muscles were burning. Over the last month, I’ve had great running days, and really horribly terrible days, including one where I almost puked. But today, just one day under a month after I started, I ran a mile for the first time in my life without stopping. Actually it was more than a mile, I just figured I’d keep going as long as I could.

But yeah, running a mile!!! It was hard to imagine being able to actually do that, especially only 1 month after I set my mind to it. I also don’t feel like I was pushing myself super hard. 3o minutes of not-fun, every other day really isn’t too bad. Also. It’s July and August. What idiot starts running in the middle of the super balmy and muggy summer in New England. This gal apparently. :) But if I can go from not running to running a mile in August, anyone can totally do it. And now I’m psyched for the 5k in 3 weeks. I’m going to be slow as hell, but it is definitely doable!

5 of 30 Completed.