Minimalism and goal-setting

“I could write a blog. I have thoughts.”

In case no one has guessed yet, I’m (half) watching Julie & Julia on Netflix instant-queue. I find it really sad that the real Julie Powell cheated on her “sainted” husband sometime after the timeline of the film.

Anyway. Today was rainy and disgusting out. We porbably could have toughed it out, but Nerdy Boyfriend and I decided to go to my gym instead. After a brief freakout when I was told that, because i didn’t call my guest ahead, he’d have to pay a drop-in fee of $25, they dropped the drop-in fee this once since I didn’t know about the call-ahead deal. He did some lifting and I did a mini-brick workout: just under 7.5 miles on the bike (that expresso bike thing that’s kind of like a video game with paths and such, and much more entertaining than a regular stationary bike) and a short, easy one-mile run on the treadmill, just to work out the cobwebs. Felt pretty good. We then did some corework and headed to the Bagel Factory for breakfast, per our new tradition.

Since my next planned race is a long way off – the Pittsburgh half on May 15, 2011, besides whatever other races I randomly find and sign up for for kicks – I think some goal setting would be good.

Here’s one: I’m awful at hills. Terrible. There was once that i was really good at them, because I ran them religiously, doing speedwork on this half-mile hill of a decently tough grade. I kicked its ass, and it improved my speed, strength, efficiency and confidence overall. So I’m going to be doing leg workouts once a week, starting with 20-30 minutes on the bike, then a series of exercises: single-leg squats, walking lunges, calf raises, leg press, hip adduction and hip abduction. I’ve been doing this for a while, actually, but I’ll be kicking it up a notch, little by little.

My other goal-setting note will help my hill work: core work. My weekly pilates class has been doing wonders for my core, and core-work repertoire. Planks, side planks, forearm pushups, bird dogs, until my entire body shudders and collapses. it’s awesome.

And of course the best way to get strong at running hills: run hills. And I know it’ll have to be Negley hill. For non-Pittsburghers, you have to know, this is the most ridiculous hill. It’s long, first of all, and when you drive down it, you absolutely have to ride the break. I’ve tried just breaking a ton at the top and coasting down but thre’s really no other option. Beyond this, when you’re abotu three-quarters up, it lulls you into a false sense of security by leveling off a little, and then gets worse. And then finally, it stops. I’ll be doing hill repeats on it. Probably not the whole hill, because hill repeats are about speed. But I WILL run the whole thing when I do Negley-Wilkins circuits, an up and down route that’s about mile or two, which I will do until I just want to give up. Or something.

I was just chatting with my mom earlier, and one of her co-workers, whom I met at a race early last month, just got into minimalist shoes. Pretty sure he’s wearing vibrams, and is saying they’re helping with his bad knees. Really it’s about forefoot running being easier on the knees, IMO. I’m not a minimalist shoe kind of person. But it’s an interesting notion anyway.

Now I have some other writing to do (novel editing, really) and an early bedtime. How is tomorrow Monday again already?

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