Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Break with a Lot of Lily Allen

The bad news is that my knees have taken a turn for the worse. I can feel the joints and whatever else is in there awkwardly shifting and rearranging whenever I stand up after sitting for a while and they start hurting sometimes in the middle of walking, even. Argh.

So I'm going to take some time off, which one would think would drive me craaaaazy. And it does, somewhat. I'm worried about getting the pretty intense exercise I'm used to. I'm worried about losing endurance. I'm worried about not doing one of the things that really defines who I am.

But maybe it's time for a break? I've run about 20-25 miles a week for about a year now. My body is telling me to rest and I need to listen to it. So instead, I'll take up long walks and stationary biking and chilllll for a while.

I'm still going to post playlists, though, and keep the blog going! Check back soon and I'll come up with a plan for this little hiatus.

Meanwhile, Lily Allen's new album is as much fun as her old one. I have it on constant loop. Check it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

5.5 Down the Boardwalk

*Never Let You Go -- Third Eye Blind
Not Big -- Lily Allen
Ruby -- Kaiser Chiefs
Disturbance At The Heron House -- R.E.M.
Black Star -- Radiohead
Beer  -- Reel Big Fish
Please Don't Stop the Music -- Rihanna
Do You Really Want Me -- Salt n Pepa
Kryptonite -- 3 Doors Down
Not The Doctor -- Alanis Morissette
Know Your Enemy -- Green Day
Glamorous -- Fergie
Take Me Home Tonight -- Eddie Money
**Laughing Out Loud -- The Wallflowers
*Right Here -- SWV
Walk Away -- Kelly Clarkson
Behind These Hazel Eyes -- Kelly Clarkson

Again, with the heat! I had another stop n' start run on Sunday, but this time I'm not too down on myself because I was directly under the sun (at 11:30 a.m.) the whole time. Running down the boardwalk through Coney Island and all of its summer madness was a nice change. And this time,  I didn't trip on a loose board in front of the sunbathing crowds and skin my knees (they all told me to sue the city).

You know, for all of my bitching, I'm just never satisfied. When I run through city streets, with their twists and turns and stoplights and inclines and declines, I always wish I could just run straight, flat, and uninterrupted. But whenever I get that opportunity (the boardwalk is 2.5 miles long), I just get bored. Out-and-backs are dull.

*These were nice lil' beachy songs.

**This album brings me back to high school so fast and so hard that it makes me uncomfortable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Knees Good, Humidity Bad

*Friday Night -- Lily Allen
I Want You Back -- Jackson 5
I'm Shipping Up To Boston -- Dropkick Murphys
Lights And Music -- Cut Copy
Somebody to Shove -- Soul Asylum
Glamorous (Feat. Ludacris) -- Fergie
Trouble -- Pink
The Middle -- Jimmy Eat World
Stronger -- Kanye West
Heartless -- Kanye West
Dirrty -- Christina Aguilera
Annie Waits -- Ben Folds
Think -- Aretha Franklin
No Excuses -- Alice in Chains
Transistor -- 311
Feeling Good -- Muse
Pussy Control -- Prince

The good news is my knees were at about 95% yesterday.

But ugh, something is amiss with my running. Lately, my motivation has been even weaker than usual, I'm bored 5 minutes into a run... and yesterday I had to stop several times during my 6 mile run. I. Hate. Stopping. The zen, the flow, the rhythm, all done once I stop, and I know the rest of a run will be jerky and painful.

So somewhere around 4th Avenue and Sackett I got really discouraged -- I had a lot of trouble keeping it chugging in Boston, too. But then I realized that, oh yeah, the humidity has been out of control. Oh yeah, we haven't really had summer weather yet, and those rainy skies and cool breezes, although gifts from the running gods, were a fluke.

I'm blaming stifling humidity, chugging a lot more water from now on, and trying again on Saturday.

*My 2-years late obsession with Lily Allen is going great, thanks. Why is someone so young allowed to be so saucy and fabulous? No fair.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh no!!

*I'm Shipping Up to Boston -- Dropkick Murphys
Think -- Aretha Franklin
I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week -- Mandy Moore
The Middle -- Jimmy Eat World

My knees. My kneeeeeees!

They felt a little wonky during my run this weekend and a bit tender every time I stood up yesterday. A minute into my run last night, my right knee hurt. Like, I  could feel the joints and tendons moving with each step and it was very uncomfortable. I stopped for a minute, ran for 5 to see if it would wear off, stopped for another 2, ran for 5 more, and made the grownup decision to stop for good. Ugh. I don't want any long-term damage, so I really need to take a rest. Right? Ugh. I'll try again on Thursday.

Biking is so, so boring, holy crap.

*They blasted this at Fenway this weekend, which made me squeal and remember how effing great The Departed is. This is an awesome running song -- it makes you feel badass, and Irish, and Bostonian. I am none of those things.

Monday, July 13, 2009

6 Miles through Cambridge

Disturbia -- Rihanna
Crazy Little Thing Called Love -- Queen
So What -- Pink
Icky Thump -- The White Stripes
Aside -- The Weakerthans
No You Girls -- Franz Ferdinand
I Come from the Water -- Toadies
Wrong Way -- Sublime
*King of Pain -- The Police
Baby Got Back -- Sir Mix-a-Lot
Cold Hearted Snake -- Paula Abdul
To Be With You -- Mr. Big
Poker Face -- Lady Gaga
My Life Would Suck Without You -- Kelly Clarkson
Minority -- Green Day

There was no way I was going to Boston for a long weekend without getting a run in. I enjoyed a lovely Cambridge jog from Kendall Square, down Mass Ave. to Harvard Square, over to Memorial Drive, and then along the river until I hit the Longfellow Bridge and turned back to Kendall. To fill it out, I then ran to my beloved Kendall Square Cinemas and then back to the hotel.

Sorry, dear readers, that I could't get my act together enough to make a Boston-themed playlist. Had I planned better, you surely would have been treated to some great Bosstones running songs, maybe even a little Aerosmith, "Love in an Elevator," perhaps even "More Than a Feeling." Alas, all I have for you is random shuffle. But it was a great run and Boston is as lovely as ever.

*This has a fanTAStic running beat. I'm not depressed or anything, but I can see how if you are, this would make for a cathartic, if not also amusing, run.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 Early Morning Miles and a NEW #1

Open Up Your Eyes -- Tonic
Shame on You -- Indigo Girls
Home Sweet Home -- Carrie Underwood
Don't Drink the Water -- Dave Matthews Band
Glamorous -- Fergie
Father Figure -- George Michael
What You Wish For -- Guster
Poker Face -- Lady Gaga
*Always be My Baby -- Mariah Carey
**See You Again -- Miley Cyrus
Just Like a Pill -- Pink
Old Enough -- The Raconteurs

This morning's lesson: I need to stop being so crazy-psycho regimented when it comes to my running.

My goal is to run a minimum of 20 miles per week. I only like to go on three runs per week, if possible, for two reasons: 1, My legs tend to get beaten up so I'd like to minimize the number of days I pound them into the pavement and 2, If I I work out longer and harder, I can work out fewer days. That leaves free nights for baking and watching Barefoot Contessa.What could be better than that?

So my mindset always tends to be that if I can't go big (6 miles or more), then I shouldn't bother, because then I'll have to make up for it later in the week, and blah blah blah, STOP THINKING AND GO.

I set my alarm early this morning to run a 6-8 miler. At 6:15 I snoozed. At 6:25 I re-set my alarm for 7:30. And then at 7:30 I woke up annoyed at myself.

But then, I know, you could throw on some clothes and run for 45 minutes and still make it to work (kind of) on time...Do it. Do it. Go. Do it. It's so absolutely better than nothing, you idiot. Do it, moron. Go.

And I did! And I feel fab. And I ran an extra 5 minutes, anyway.

I'm aware this reads very silly, but runners are crazy beasts and we tend to get caught up in the rhythms of our heads and our thoughts. Here's to more shorter runs and happier mornings.

*Oh Mariah. I've missed you! Welcome back to my runs.

**WHOOP! New #1! Pop perfection.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A 12-Mile Shuffled Weekend

I had all intentions of planning ahead for this past weekend, creating playlists in advance, but time passed and before I knew it we were on a bus to Northampton. Visiting Lindsay and Rob is superawesome for many reasons, one of them being they love food as much as we do. We were treated to a home cooked four-course meal that included cocktails and wine, a trio of international bruschetta, the prettiest cheese plate you ever did see, smoked ribs with mashed potatoes, string beans, quinoa  stuffed zucchini, and a homemade cake that doubled as a work of art. Goodness, it was fantastic.

The next morning I set off on my yearly 6-mile Northampton run, sans playlist. In honor of my location, I played all of the Indigo Girls I had on my Nano, and then the Dar Williams, and then just shuffled:

Shame on You -- Indigo Girls
It's Alright -- Indigo Girls
Rock and Roll Heaven's Gate -- Indigo Girls
Fill It Up Again -- Indigo Girls
As Cool as I Am -- Dar Williams
Sober -- Tool
Avril Lavigne -- Sk8rboi
Hand on My Heart -- Dan Wilson
E-Pro -- Beck
Waking Up in Vegas -- Katy Perry
It's Gonna Be Me -- N*SYNC
Bohemian Like You -- The Dandy Warhols
Drain You -- Nirvana
Love Will Never Do (Without You) -- Janet Jackson

Then I went on a breezy 6-miler at 9:30 last night. Too lazy to go upstairs, I just shuffled again. So, you know, no master planning behind this one, either. But it turned out well.

The Choice is Yours -- Black Sheep
L.S.F. -- Kasabian
Message in a Bottle -- The Police
Closer -- Nine Inch Nails
Not Big -- Lily Allen
Waiting for You -- Seal
Fly on the Wall -- Miley Cyrus
Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts -- Wolf Parade
Holiday -- Weezer
Easy Silence -- Dan Wilson
Maria -- Green Day
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-Lot
What Are You Waiting For? -- Kathleen Edwards