Tag Archives: running

what i’ve been up to:

Today is the third and new years resolutions are being made left and right. I realized recently that I see my birthdays and beginnings of school years in the same way that people see New Years. And I have enough resolutions for now, I think. But I can’t discard that fresh, clean, brand new feeling that comes with a writing a new year by hand at the top of a journal entry.

     So in this new year, I hope to bring more beauty into my life.

I hope to be more organized and more conscious of where my thoughts wander to and what that wandering does for my sanity and happiness.

I’ve set a limit of 45 minutes a day for social networking (oh dear) and I predict my Self Control app will become my best friend and my worst enemy in the coming months. The limit is to keep myself from fixating too much on what other people are doing with their lives and wasting time scrolling blankly through my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest dashboards.

I’m thinking of training for another half marathon this summer. It seems to be the only way I can actually stay in shape.

I set a food and coffee budget for myself. No more impulse Two Story stops.

I will write down something I’m grateful for, every day.

I will learn something new each day, even if it is simply a new word from the dictionary.

I will organize my things every night!

I know, these sound an awful lot like resolutions, don’t they? Well, they’re actually stolen from this list, which my friend Amanda sent to me last summer. 100 days from my starting date will be April 11. Maybe I’ll improve my life a little at a time.

In Other News, Here Is A List Of What I Am Currently Up To

– Being ridiculously vain and playing with my chopped off hair every second my hands are free. And even when they aren’t. It’s amazing I didn’t dedicate an entire blog post to it.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

– It’s been on my kindle for a year now. It’s about time.

(That’s Ingrid Michaelson)

– I like how sweet she sounds, like all of her songs are the secret things all girls think while in their rooms strumming a guitar absentmindedly. She just makes it sound prettier. I particularly like The Chain. I like all the voices.

Run Happy.

– I’m missing that new shoe feel. I can’t consider training for another crazy half marathon without new running shoes! :)

There’s not a whole lot going on right now. I leave for Georgia in two days now and then the craziness will pick right up again.

Hopefully by then, I will only need one cup of coffee to get through my day.


how to be a runner.

1. Dress the part.

You thought that all you needed were your old tennis shoes? Think again. Brooks and ASICS are the only shoes a self-respecting runner would wear. If you aren’t spending at least seventy dollars on your trainers then you might as well head for the yoga studio.

2. Never, ever walk.

Don’t even think about walking. Instead, ridicule other runners who have to walk to fuel your own running. An inner dialogue like this should do the trick: “She thinks she’s a runner. HA. She’s a joke. Clearly she’s just out for a jog and she wants the football players to think she’s a real runner.

3. Stay aware of your surroundings.

Running is an exhibitionists’ sport and no one appreciates the difficulty of running like someone who can’t run. When passing a walker, facial expression is crucial. Look straight ahead and maintain an expression that is a perfect mix of unbearable pain and quiet smugness. You want it to say “Yes, I am doing the hardest thing of my life and you’re just eating an ice cream cone.” Or “When was the last time you sweat this much?” I guarantee you that the walker will feel worse about himself than he already does.

4. Talk about running all the time.

How else is everyone going to know how you spent forty five minutes on your Saturday morning? The thing is, no one knows exactly how often or how long you run, so the more you talk about it, the more they’ll infer on their own. And they’ll usually infer a lot more legitimacy on your behalf if you talk about it more. Case and point: If you talk about how you ran five miles last weekend to a friend, she will think “Man, Alex is the type of person who runs five miles like it’s nothing. She must be a real runner.”

Here are a couple of token phrases that are just generic enough that no one will ever ask any questions.

Before running: “Yeah, I’m thinking I need to take it easy today. Just a four miler after my mile warmup. I really don’t want to hit my peak too early in the season.”

After running: “You know, I just felt horrible today but I pushed through it. You know when you hit that wall of your pain threshold and it’s like, you gotta go through it or stay where you’re at. And I just pushed through it today and it was great.”

Honorable Mention

  • Be sure to shake out your arms every couple of miles. Runners do this when they realize they’ve been tensing their upper body muscles but no one knows if it actually makes any difference.
  • Take advantage of social media. A growing number of platforms are becoming available for you to loudly talk about what a great runner you are. Blog about your internal running dialogue, post screen caps of your route on google maps, and retweet Steve Prefontaine quotes.
  • Don’t forget to talk about your injuries. No real runner has a perfectly able set of legs and no one will respect you if they think you’re running on one. If you can’t manage to get injured, at least play up your asthma or run a day without socks and get a blister.

Run Until You Can’t Feel Yo’ Legs.

I heard of Nick Drake on the Third Coast podcast. I suppose there’s a time and a place for singer-songwriters. Sometimes they’re okay and sometimes they’re annoying. But I like acoustic guitar that has a pulsing beat, you know? Like this.

“Place to Be” by Nick Drake


I was on my way out to the gym earlier and the sun was shining so brightly, welcoming me outside, saying “Alex! Please let me love you!” So I just had to oblige :P So I went for a run outside of my apartment complex gym for the first time since November. The first half-mile was amazing. I was listening to “The Purple Bottle” by Animal Collective, which is just chaos–perfect for a wild and reckless run. There’s this huge hill down the road though, and by the time I got about halfway up, the song had ended and my ipod was playing a more mellow song and my lungs were burning. And I remembered, for the first time in a while, what it feels like to really run. When you’re really running, you’re pushing yourself farther than you believe your body can take you. It’s a constant war inside your head: I need to stop NOW, I can’t stop, I know I can keep going, but I want to stop, my chest is on FIRE, my body doesn’t want me to, SHUT UP. This goes on for miles until you reach that point of silence. Your mind just turns off and all you feel is the thud thud thud of your shoes making contact with the pavement and you’re breathing in and out but not thinking about anything at all and suddenly five miles have passed and you stop and you’re still flying.

Haha, I didn’t reach that today. I stopped when I got to the top of the hill and I walked around for a little bit to catch my breath. It’s hard. Running is hard. I forget how much strength it took, mentally and physically, to be on the cross country team and actually try. Your body feels so unstable; it’s fighting against you every moment. But I guess you just push through that. I don’t know how I did it back then, but I don’t plan on figuring it out any time soon. That’s so much unnecessary stress for me. I prefer just a nice run in the sun. Sweat a little, get some vitamin D, and go home and eat some chocolate. Sounds like a good day to me.

Queen of Hearts

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

-Lewis Carroll

When I used to run cross country, I would always run behind someone else. We would run in packs and the leader would set the pace and decide where we would go. I always found the leading position to be unsettling and I didn’t like the pressure; I just preferred to stare at the feet of the girl in front of me. It was easier that way. I figured I’d become the leader eventually, maybe when I was a senior. Then everyone would follow me.

But senior year came around and I was still following people. I even started following people who were younger than me. I would be running along, and somewhere around the third mile I would look up at the girl in front of me and think to myself this is not right. What happened to becoming the reincarnation of the senior who had inspired me three years before? I was ashamed at myself. And my running deteriorated. I “retired” early from my senior cross country season. And I couldn’t bring myself to run again for another two months.

My cross country career is similar to my personal life in that I would always wait and follow others. When I moved here (to Georgia) I met a group of girls who were a year older than me, and I admired them so much. I thought of them all as my big sisters and they were my role models. I ran cross country with them, I went to proms with them, and I even chose the college that they all go to now. And while yes, they are good friends and also worthy role models, I couldn’t help wondering if I chose to do the things I did because I wanted to, or because it just seemed like a routine course of action to follow them. This year they are all off to college, and for once I have been forced to stand on my own. Early in the school year, I would compare my progress with theirs; I used their senior years as a model for my own. But I hate the feeling of standing in someone’s shadow.

Slowly, I began to assert my independence. A little teenage rebellion, if you will. It’s been my own private form of rebellion though, because no one really knows about it. I have my own goals for my future. I have a specific plan. And while it does partially include them, I’ve made it my goal to view this upcoming year as a brand new adventure, disregarding the imaginary life of mine that I might have fabricated from Facebook photos of my friends.

You begin to crave that ache in your legs and the sweat running down your face. I’ve always imagined the sweat coming out of my pores to be filled with all the bad things in my body and mind that I need to purge myself of.

I’m running on my own now. Following no one. I like knowing that I am choosing to run just for myself.