Saturday, February 28, 2009

Music setting the mood

Today and practically this whole week was a tough one, workout-wise. I actually ran farther than usual today, but that's because I chose a different route that took me to More South Provo by the train tracks. When I'm vehicle-less in those kind of sketchy areas, even in the middle of the day, I tend to run faster just so all the rapists don't think I'll be an easy target.

Just kidding mom and dad; there are no such thing as rapists in Provo.

Anywho, another reason I was able to run fast was because of good playlist choice. Which brings me to another tip.

Tip 3: Good Vibrations

The professional runner will tell you to pick something so upbeat and crazy 80's-ish, like the Theme from Rocky (which is actually 1976) or Huey Lewis and the News' That's the Power of Love (which is absotively posolutely, purely 80's). At least, if I was a professional runner, that's what I'd recommend. Those musics would work the slacker out of anyone.

However, the reluctant runner, such is my current self, will tell you to pick a playlist that is approximately .5-2 mood levels above your current mood level. Meaning, when you just wake up in the morning, do not pick Enya to work out to unless it's something scary like Tempus Vernum, if fear is the type of thing that gets you going. But, as a rule, I steer clear of Enya while working out: it's counter-productive.

But if you are super reluctant, try only half a mood level up like Sir Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I find this a good song if I'd rather be doing anything than running. This song helps me imagine a more perfect world where I'd be skipping down the lane of Munchkinland or through a field of poppies. I call this the "Hippy-brain Effect".

You can get a similar effect from listening to Bob Marley: the man who makes white people wish they were black. My personal favorite is No Woman, No Cry. And may I strongly request you only listen to the live version. If you don't, you will not enjoy it. But because reggae is a little way too different from Elton John to be put in the same category, listening to Bob Marley puts your brain in a sub-category of hippy-brain. Since the songs were the background for a movement of people and are slightly depressing (at least for me, because I'm not black), I have termed these as "Martyr Hippy-brain effect" songs.

Half a mood level is pretty easy, but one or two mood levels above your current mood level is a bit of a cloudy area, especially since I made up the whole mood level thing on the spot. One would be Hotel California by the Eagles, and I guess two mood levels would be around Ob-la-di Ob-la-da by the Beatles.

And within these mood levels are varying exercise mood spheres: such as angry, sad, or cabin fever. It would be super prepared to have lists of songs handy for the the varying levels and spheres within each level, (like AC/DC or Guns N Roses for an angry run) but that would also be a little crazy. Please be safe while creating these "reluctant worker-outer" playlists.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Here's a good book

If you're into exercising without leaving the comfort of your bedroom, I totally recommend this book. At first look, you think it's an ordinary exercising book full of hopes and dreams only to be shattered by sheer lack of will power. But it is so much more than that. This book makes you feel very guilty, because it is so easy, doesn't necessarily require shoes, and has the ability to mix it up so often, you shouldn't ever be bored with it.

It promises the loyal reader will sculpt their body in 6 weeks. Well, not that I really know, seeing as I haven't stuck with it til the end, but that is not true. What it does is sculpt "problem areas" in 6 weeks: stomach and waist, legs and lower body, 'tox and hips, and arms and upper body. It has warm-up, cardio, muscular, and cool-down workouts for each week and each area. It goes from semi-intense workouts:

To super-ultra-oober intense workouts:

Some of the first workouts make one feel a little silly, like balancing on one leg for instance. One might laugh to themselves, "Ha, easiest workout ever. So dumb." But then one feels the burn.

This leads me to tip #2!

Tip 2: Call a Muscle Day

I actually did run this morning, but it was shorter than usual because I didn't have a route picked out, and I got too indecisive. So I went home. Instead of going into a relapse of non-exercise, because now my readers depend on my exercise (sort of), I called a Muscle Day, which means you do crunches, leg lifts, yoga, or even just think working-out thoughts, if that's an improvement.

Personally, I use this book because it ensures that I don't have to think, except counting. And, if I call muscle days regularly, I will improve and become sculpted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It Snew

The weather was bad, but I went anyway! This blog is working already. Although, I didn't run a lot today. My OB was all for me running, in fact he strongly encouraged me, but I still feel like taking it super easy for a few weeks by doing a walk/run. Which brings me to my first tip for non-runners:

Tip 1: Be okay with walking

Jenn, my sister, is the person who first inspired me to run. She said she liked running and was training for a marathon, and I thought she was crazy. But it was too late; as soon as she said those few words, it was on. This is because I have a very competitive streak that I'm pretty good at ignoring unless I'm playing board games or, in this case, a sibling unconsciously challenges me.

We made up a running schedule, and of course, I couldn't keep up with it. Going from 0-26 miles is a little hard, believe it or not. I lost interest, and didn't run unless I was super bored or something.

Then, last summer, I discovered that the pressure and expectations I was holding myself to were not working for me. So, I lowered them. I told myself, as long as you get outside and are moving, you're good. You can run if you'd like, but no pressure. Just move. And that worked for me, I started wanting to run.

Furthermore, if you like walking better, ladies, it's actually better for your knees and other joints. Take advantage of that. However, if you're a guy, you should feel guilty. Only kidding.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You're at the right place

I changed things around a bit, as you can see. In fact, this blog is no longer just about me, which is boring, but about one aspect of me. I ran a lot last summer quite begrudgingly. I hated it, but I really, desperately wanted to like it, because I thought it would make me cool. After weeks of pretending and tricking myself into running, I started to like it. Then I started to crave it. Then I quit, because I was really too busy. I swear.

But I think it was all part of the plan, because when I found out I was pregnant during the winter I missed it: that's huge for me. Now, I have started again, and it's like visiting an old friend.

For those who don't think running is cool, don't lose interest! I promise I'll be talking about a variety of subjects that cross my mind after my morning run, as my mind tends to wander. But running seems to put my thoughts in context, so keep reading!

PS, legs in the picture? Yeah, those aren't mine.