I’m a butterfly!

Cold running!

Last week, I spent some time in my home town, Toledo, Ohio. I promised to run with my mom (who is training for the Glass City Half Marathon) and my friend Mark (who is training for the Glass City Marathon) while I was in town. It was cold though, so the idea did not sound like too much fun to me at first – but I was committed to keeping my “running commitments,” so, I asked my runner friends for some help.20 degree weather

Here’s what I learned:

My mom and me before our “cold” run

David said: “Wear very bright/reflective/contrasting colors. Drivers don’t pay much attention especially in cold weather. And when you start you should be chilly.”

Angela said: “Wicking base layer, an insulating mid layer and a wind resistant outer later-can also be insulating like fleece. Zippers are great to help regulate comfort level (vent if too hot; close it if too cold). Cover your hands head neck (and face if you want). Invest in warm running tights or pants if you haven’t already (fleece lined but wicking). You should feel on the chilly side when you start! If you are totally comfortable when you step outside, you’re overdressed for the run and will overheat for sure.”

Christopher said: “From a dancer not a runner….extra stretching before, since the cold will make a difference on your muscles. Keep your head and hands covered….everything else will get hot.”

Carena said: “Thin layers, gloves and a hat! You will warm up!”

Mark & me before our run.
Mark & me before our run.                             Yes, I’m wearing a Santa hat.                            It was Christmas Eve!

Beth said: “Make sure the 1st layer is wicking material. Hat, gloves, light jacket.”

Kristy said: “Wicking material! Sweat will make you colder. Clothes with vents you can open are great too as you warm up.”

Rachel said: “Be comforted by the thought that you WILL warm up after the first mile or so.”

Lydia said: “ I’d be wary of a scarf, as it could blow around and bother you. I’d go for a wicking turtleneck or mock-zip-type top instead.”

So I took the advice and ran not once, but three mornings in a row in the colder weather of Toledo. After my cold running, I really started thinking about how much I have enjoyed this year being a newbie runner and all. The way experienced runners have embraced me has made me feel so loved! Not to mention, every week in running is another milestone or something to celebrate for me. Will I be that easily motivated now that I have 7 months under my belt? I don’t want it to end! So, how long can someone cling to newbie runner status?

2012 Newbie Recap:

Although I did not log every workout, I did log 319 miles of running from June 9th – December 30, 2012. I guess it does not seem like a lot compared to more advanced runners, but to me – it represents a great deal, specifically my new, healthier, identity. To put 319 into “xahndra” perspective:

… It’s 319 more miles than I ran in 2011!
… I consumed 10x my mileage in cigarettes in 2011!
… In my FASTEST time of a 12 minute mile, 319 represents over 60 hours of running and 82 minutes of running per week (spread over the 28 weeks I ran).

With smoking and my first marathon behind me and with 2013 and my “DetermiNation” to stay healthy ahead; I have decided attack the months of 2013 aggressively. Inspired by one of my American Cancer Society volunteer coaches, I’ll be committing to 13 resolutions for 2013. Because publicly committing to quitting smoking worked so well for me, I am going to use social accountability once again to help me master every goal I have for next year. So, here they are:

13 Resolutions for 2013:

  1. I will double my mileage from 2012 aiming for 638 miles in 2013.
  2. I’ll participate in 10 races in 2013, 2 marathons and 2 half marathons, 6 races 10 miles or less
    I have already selected the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio on April 28th, 2013 and the ING NYC Marathon on November 3rd, 2013
    I have already selected the NYC Half Marathon on March 17th, 2013. Any suggestions for my other half? Feel free to comment some suggestions!
  3. I’ve been vegetarian “trending toward vegan” for a year and a half now. I will become vegan in 2013, gradually eliminating one food item at a time.
  4. I will lose 52 pounds in 2013, averaging 1 pound a week taking me to an ideal healthy weight.
  5. I will obtain my BA in Communications in 2013, thanks to the CUNY School of Professional Studies Online Baccalaureate program. I am just 24 credits away, which translates into four classes in the Spring and four classes in the Fall.
  6. I will take my daughter on an incredible (hopefully international) vacation in 2013 to celebrate her 21st birthday.
  7. I will read 4 books next year, for pleasure. I have gotten out of the habit of reading on the subway, playing stupid games on my phone. That’s changing in 2013! (Any book suggestions? Please comment!)
  8. I will dedicate time to a good cause; and in my case – I have been chosen (and have agreed) to serve as the Social Media chair for the American Cancer Society endurance team, DetermiNation. Feel free to hit me up for details on joining our team or getting involved!
    Infomercial: We still have spots available on our 2013 NYC Half Marathon team. A small fundraising minimum guarantees you a spot in this sought after race and excellent training with a team of passionate coaches.
  9. I will spend more time with my family. In the last 2 years, I have only been to Toledo twice. Next year, I will make plans to visit Toledo twice and Cincinnati at least once. Get ready for me family!
  10. I will diversify my exercise routines: translate, I will buy a road bicycle and take swim lessons.
  11. Pursuant to my bucket list wish to run in all 50 states, I will add run in 5 new states in 2013.
  12. I make strides in the effort to help animals. For example, it’s my dream that animal abusers not be allowed to adopt animals. Similar to a “sex offender” list, I believe there should be an animal abuser offender list that would black list animal abusers from adopting animals. So, I will make strides or effort for that cause somehow in the state of New York for 2013. I have to start somewhere!
  13. I will graduate from newbie runner status by helping another newbie runner. And in good fun, I’ll rename my blog once that’s happened! Perhaps my blog will be titled, “Confessions of a ‘once’ newbie runner” – okay, that’s dumb… instead I’ll take suggestions!

I’m a butterfly!

Thanks to everyone that nominated me for the 2012 #RunChat “Best New Running Blog” award. It was an honor and it really encouraged me to keep with my blog for 2013. Those of you who have supported me have really watched me transform from a smoker to a runner in such a short time. Now, I’m a butterfly and the sky is my limit! Accordingly, I look forward to transforming this blog from chronicling my experience as a newbie runner into a blog that helps newbie runners, like I once was.

Happy New Year!

3 thoughts on “I’m a butterfly!

  1. Louis Capone

    I quit smoking to run the 2010 marathon and then after foolishly restarting quit again in Jan 2012. I am running the NYC Half and NYC in November. Good luck with your running, oh and as far as a book “wherever I wind up” the RA Dickey story! Very inspirational!

    I am also a DetermiNation team member!

  2. Louis Capone

    BTW the Staten Island Half (October) and the Brooklyn Half (May) are good races. Ohh also if you like football I think they may be having the NY Giants run of Champions 5K which ends on the field. That was a pretty cool experience.

  3. Louis! So nice to meet you, virtually! I hope we run into each other (pun intended) next year during practices! Thanks for the book and race suggestions! I love the idea of the GIants run! Fun!!!

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