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Seasons Traditions

December 25, 2010

First and foremost, Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you all had a great time celebrating with family and friends for the holiday.

I certainly did, though our family’s Christmas celebrations seem to vary year to year. We have some traditions, sure, but some years we’ve spent Christmas in CA, last year in Mexico, other years just home in NJ, and this year- at a new home in NJ. My mom has moved back to the town we used to live in till I was 10, so it feels a bit nostalgic calling Montclair home again, while feeling off that Basking Ridge is no longer home. We’re certainly starting new memories and traditions and while different, are good.

And with a new place to call “home” outside of my NYC apartment, comes new places to run! I never ran here since I was much too young. I had previously written a post about how one of the reasons I love running is that it affords the opportunity to really explore new places, and that rings true whether that new place is on a business trip in Maine, while studying abroad in London, or a new town in NJ!

I was a bit apprehensive at first since I’m a creature of habit. I already missed my routine loops around Central Park’s bridle path or my standard 7miler around Basking Ridge. I don’t want to run too astray, what if I get lost? But what if I don’t go far enough and end up repeating the same loop to add on repetitively?

So, I turned to my good friend http://www.mapmyrun.com and looked at loops others had shared online. It was a lifesaver! Yesterday, I had planned to try a longer route around a reservoir someone mapped out, but came across a trail system and decided to fearlessly see where they’d take me, since I LOVE TRAILS and needed to get off the road badly, if even for a mile

Another way I’ve been channeling my inner-runnerd lately is my new Garmin Forerunner 110. I got it for Christmas and have had a week and a half or so to play with it so far. I didn’t need any fancy heart-rate bells and whistles of higher-end models, and quite honestly didn’t want them. I had even posted before about how my Nike+ was perfect for me since I don’t care if I run 6 or 6.14 miles. Well, through training more seriously for the marathon by myself, I decided itd be nice to have a better judge of pace, particularly for tempo and long runs.

For example, I used to do a 5.1 mile tempo around CP’s lower loops-3 times around. I’d only figure my pace out after I went back and used a pace calculator online tool. There wasn’t a way to adjust it mid-run, I went more off feel. There is definitely a benefit to training of feel and not getting caught up inhibiting yourself with numbers, but I think it’ll help me as I further transition from having a college coach and training group dictate pace and effort level to controlling it all solo. I am extremely competitive internally, which probably explains why I’m driven to running, but I could use some help gauging my actual vs. perceived effort level. Some days I think I’m running 8 min pace, and I’m actually going 730, and other days I think I’m running 730 pace and I’m doing 815.

In any case, I am still working on building up a stronger base for the NYC Half-Marathon on March 20th (also my 24th birthday, shots at the finish line?) I hit 29.5 and 30.5 mpw my first two weeks and 34 this past week. Aiming for another 35 this upcoming week but I’m going skiing tuesday thru sunday so squeezing running amidst the fun, skiing, drinking and eating sounds pretty unlikely. But, enjoying the season and I am more than happy to skip a few days in lieu of fun with friends!

Well, that’s about all my random ramblings for now. I am working to make it a goal in 2011 to write more frequently, because I really do enjoy it.

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