Since the year is almost over, I thought I’d give you a special treat – a look back at the top 5 most read posts of the year. This is all about you, my loyal readers. I can’t make this stuff up. Only WordPress can. And apparently, you like what other people have to say (see Nos. 2 and 3 below), but I don’t really mind.
#5 – I am a marathoner and On the way to 100 push-ups
Technically my post from 2007 after the Richmond Marathon is the No. 5 most-read post this year. It’s not surprising since this has a link in my “About me” section, and I’ve linked to it several other times in other posts. It’s just kind of funny to me that a two-year-old post gets enough page views to be in the top 5.
As for my top 5 new posts this year, a post about my 100 push-ups journey takes this spot. A journey I have yet to complete for various reasons. Bring on 2010.
#4 – Stung in the eye
I would expect nothing less for this post to be here because people like to read about gross things. Three months later, I still cringe when I think about how it felt for a bug to get stuck in my eye. Next summer I will certainly be running more in sunglasses or clear lenses at night.
#3 – Are we really born to run? She says YES!
This was my first guest post of the year from one of my favorite bloggers out there. Go check out that post if you haven’t and click on a link to Michelle’s blog to read about her journey to 1,000 miles this year. It’s enough to make that a private goal for me next year. (Wait … I guess that might not be private now.)
#2 – But I did it anyway
More proof that you like other people, this was also from a guest blogger. Not that I mind – the few guest bloggers I’ve had have been great, and this one is from an ultra-runner who also coaches endurance athletes. Check it out for some inspiration.
#1 – A death near the finish line
This post is far and away the No. 1 post for the year, but it’s not a cause for celebration. This was about my experience as I neared the finish line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on Labor Day weekend. If you go back and reread that post, you’ll see that something is being planned to honor the runner who died that weekend.
Thanks to everyone who has visited this blog this year. Although I hinted at some changes a couple of weeks ago, I will be keeping this URL and name of the blog. While I want to make some changes in 2010, moving this blog isn’t something I need to do right now.
Today was a big running day in Richmond – an 8k, a half marathon and a marathon. The same and only marathon that I ran two years ago. I was going to run the 8k, but as soon as I got my job offer I knew that I didn’t want to squeeze it in with the moving that had to be done.
Instead of running a race this weekend, I spent last night getting a workout in by climbing up and down a ladder and carrying boxes out of my attic in about an hour’s time. Today I’m feeling it — my feet and hips are sore from that up and down mess on the ladder, my elbows are bruised from hitting the sides of the attic entry and my knee hurts because I missed a step coming down one time, resulting in me banging my knee against the ladder.
But that wasn’t a PR in an 8k or a 4-hour marathon. It was life’s work. While I’m excited about my move and completely happy with my new job, it was sad not participating in a big race today with thousands of other people. But the great thing about running is there’s always next year. It’s so cliché, yet completely true. I’m actually tempted to sign up for next year’s marathon this weekend while there’s a discount rate.
I’ll give it a day, though, just to make sure I’m not going with my emotions right now. My body and I need to talk about this …
When it comes to running, October 2009 stands out in my mind as the lowest of the low in my almost six years of running. My few injuries are an exception. I wasn’t injured in October. I was full of excuses. Sure, moving doesn’t make life easy, but in hindsight, why is my workout log completely blank from Oct. 7-12?
I also fell completely off the 100 push-ups wagon, but at the same time I’m reaping the rewards of the program. Moving boxes and furniture in the past few weeks have been much easier than a couple of years ago when I moved. But this is a program I want to finish — I just don’t know when. Tonight, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I dropped down and did 33. I guess I could say I’m 33 percent of the way there. Oddly enough, 33 is what I maxed at in week 4 (after 85 push-ups).
But what do I do? The 100 push-ups Web site actually recommends that I start on week 3 if I do more than 20 in my initial test. Although it wasn’t an “initial” test, I think going back to week 3 is a good idea. That might help me get past week 4 that I never got through after two attempts. But honestly, moving got in the way then and it may get in the way in the next few weeks, but no matter what this is making me a stronger person. I may take a lot longer than some people, but I’m determined to get to 100.
So as I get the 100 push-ups program jump started, I am also determined to get my running back in order too. Tonight I kicked the month off with a 3.6 mile run that included Bedford’s loop. My dog, who usually only runs for a couple of miles or so, joined me. I’m pretty sure it was his longest run ever. It was a nice, cold, full moon run, complete with street lights.
I need these runs and I need these runs to regain my consistency. I need these runs to do well in a couple of small races before the end of the year. I need these runs for next year. I’m starting over, somewhat. I don’t feel like I’m out of shape by any means, but like much of the way the rest of this year has been, I’m not where I want to be with anything — with speed, with weight, with just being happy with running.
It (re)starts now. I’m done with my excuses.
I knew that with taking a new job and getting ready to move that I would have very little time to post on here. Little did I realize that I wouldn’t have time to do anything else too. These past two weeks have been pretty intense. On top of my last two weeks of work being the busiest two weeks of the time I was there, home life was just crazy with getting things set up to sell my house. It wasn’t until yesterday around noon that we finally got to the point of being ready for that.
So, needless to say, it hasn’t been the best running or working out time lately. I’ve still managed to pull off some short runs and a couple of visits to the gym, but nothing like I had planned on doing this fall. That’s what happens when life gets in the way. This week, though, I have a little bit of down time. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.
I first want to take some time to just calm down. I’ve been going, going, going that I haven’t stopped long enough to get in a comfortable night’s sleep. But I also want to exercise and use that opportunity to get rid of the thoughts of my previous job and focus on the future. It started today with a nice 3.1 run around my neighborhood. Who turned on this massive AC on the East Coast anyway?
I’m not sure what the rest of the week will hold, but this is a nice start. The next few weeks will continue to be crazy as I start my new job and go to and from Richmond for a couple of weekends. Eventually I’ll get to a new “normal,” but it’ll take a while. I have to remember though how important running and working out is. As long as that happens a few times a week, my moving and the new normal will be much easier – both physically and mentally.
Why do we — “we” meaning humans — have so much stuff? With getting my house ready to sell, my workouts have taken a different meaning — carrying boxes of stuff to my storage building. Trip after trip. Up and down stairs. While I haven’t gotten in a good run in a week, my arms and legs are tired of carrying stuff. It’s almost stupid how much stuff I have. And now that I’m sitting in my house without that stuff, I question how bad I need some of it. We’ll see…
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So in my last post I mentioned that I’m “stuck” in week 4 of 100 push-ups. Well, I think with this gradual process of moving and various things I need to do, I think I’m going to stay stuck in this week by choice. My goal, until I’m ready to move forward, will be to do two days of push-ups a week. And since it’s been good so far, I think I’ll do week 4 days 1 and 2 over and over until the time is right to do day 3 and my exhaustion test.
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I’m not sure yet what my living situation will be in a few weeks, but it’s looking more and more like I’ll be in Bedford for a short time. With running, that will actually work out nice to run the 3-mile “loop” regularly. I’ve written about it before (click here) and would welcome with open arms the chance to run it a few times a week. No matter what happens, I’m really looking forward to tackling hills again. My Richmond neighborhood just hasn’t done it for me.
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Lastly, I have a new look for at least a little while. With the transition to a new job, I decided to not shave for a while. My last full shave was Oct. 2, the day of my interview. With the exception of a few attempts at a goatee, this is the longest I’ve ever gone without shaving.
The biggest challenge I am finding with the 100 push-ups program is the time to do it. And in the past two weeks I’ve hit a big conflict with day 3 of week 4. Last week was more of an excuse than anything, but if I did day 3, my exhaustion test would have been pushed into week 5 and then I would’ve been all thrown off.
So instead of pushing it, I decided to redo week 4. Besides, my first week 4 involved some “alternative” form push-ups and I wasn’t really happy with myself. My second attempt at week 4 went great on day 1 and day 2. Day 2 saw 118 total push-ups — all good form. But as you read in my last post, I’m moving and the last two days of this week have been all about packing and getting my house ready to sell. That includes moving furniture around to stage the house, packing boxes, lots of cleaning and lots of lifting. And thanks to the 100 push-ups challenge, all that is much easier than I remember it.
At the same time, it’s not easy. I’m wiped out tonight after 4 hours of shuffling around yesterday and a couple of hours of doing things tonight. My arms and the rest of my body do not have more than 100 push-ups in me today.
This isn’t really a bad thing — it shows that this program works. If I had to start moving a month or so ago, I’d be even more tired than I am now. I’ve lifted and moved furniture and boxes without thinking too much about it and without needing a long break. It’s nice. But at the same time I want to do 100 push-ups in a row. So next week I’ll redo week 4 again. I could do week 4 day 3 this weekend, but I’m already planning on some major furniture moving on Sunday, as well as some other finalizing of cleaning and getting the house fully ready to go on the market. That’s on top of heading to Lynchburg in the morning to look for a place to live.
It’s certainly some busy times, along with my last week of work in Richmond coming up, but I think I’ve built in some down time that’ll keep me focused on my fitness a little bit. It’s not easy, but it’s a good time of the year for this to happen. In my move two years ago, I was in the middle of marathon training … at least I don’t have something like that going on right now.
I think I have very few followers who have read this blog since day one, so this may mean very little to many of you. When I started this blog back in spring 2007, it was called “Running in Lynchburg.” I started the blog as a way to document my training for the Richmond Marathon, but my early posts focused on running in Lynchburg, Va.
But then I moved at the end of that summer and changed the name of the blog — I’ve been “Running … Because I Can” ever since, first on Blogger and now on WordPress. And in the two-plus years since the name change I have run in Lynchburg exactly zero times, with the exception of running in Bedford a few times when visiting family. It’s kind of weird actually because I LOVED running in that area. I loved the community races there; I loved the training groups I was a part of. I just haven’t gone back.
That’s all about to change though, as I am about to embark on a new adventure. Without getting into too much detail, I got a new job in Lynchburg. I pretty much avoid talking about work on here for many reasons, but it’s easy to say that Richmond hasn’t exactly been the best experience. I moved here for a job that didn’t work out, was unemployed for four months and have been in a job for a little more than a year that hasn’t really fit me well. With this next shift in my career, I will be working at a college (which is what I’ve always wanted to do) and will be doing what I love (editing).
So the next couple of months are going to be crazy, but in the long run this is going to be a good move. I am pretty sure this will be the last move from city to city too. I like Richmond a lot, but something about it just has never fit me right.
As far as running is concerned, I’m looking forward to Lynchburg’s hills again and the Blackwater Creek trail system. And I’m looking forward to doing the races again that got me hooked on running a few years ago.
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I wanted to give a quick update on the 100 push-ups challenge. Last week I hit a bit of a snafu as I never got in day 3 of week 4. Instead of pushing everything back a day or making excuses, I went ahead and started week 4 over today. My sets were 18, 22, 16, 16 and a max of 25 — all good-form push-ups this time. It was much better than my first attempt last week. I really think my arms needed a bit of a break to help set me up for the last portion of this.
Now that I’ll be moving, I’m really glad I did this program. Boxes and furniture, here I come!