Pumped up kicks? You Better Run

So as we all know (since I talk about it at least every other week), I’ve taken up running.

For a while I had been listening to the Alternative Endurance Training station on Pandora. There is a lot of great music on there that I enjoy. However, I made the mistake several months ago of giving the thumbs up to a few songs that weren’t really in that style of music and now I have a bunch of Beatles and some really great but very slow indie folks songs that come on the station. This is all fine and dandy when you’re on the treadmill and can balance the phone to skip the song but not so much when you’re outside running.

I decided to switch to audio books so that I could focus on the story. I downloaded The Magician’s Nephew from The Chronicles of Narnia from the library onto my phone’s app. Even though I’ve read/listened to the story a bunch of times, it’s one of my favorites and I was due for a reread anyways. Unfortunately I discovered that even though audiobooks work great for me during car rides, I’m not really a big fan of them during running. My running apps will talk over the narration causing me to miss things. Plus I found myself not really listening because I was paying too much attention to my feet, breathing, or watching the road.

I finally decided to just make my own playlist. Someone on Reddit had mentioned that if you don’t want to keep constantly looking at your clock to see how much time you have left, you can still use songs to keep track of time. If you know you’ve reached the halfway mark at 15 minutes, if your playlist consists of songs that are about 4 minutes each, then you know that you have 4 songs (or less) and then you’re done. Much easier to make time go by faster.

So I present to you my current running playlist.

Yes it’s a bit of a mix. I have alternative, punk, EDM, classic rock, and pop on there. Yes there is a One Direction song on there. I like the song ok? And no I will no put any Josh Groban on here. He is too slow. Sacrifices. I know.

There are all these fancy playlists with certain BPMs (beats per music) that you can listen to so you can make yourself go faster. But really though, I’ve created a really great mix for ME. Music is always something I know that I can lose myself in and helps me to do things better. And these are songs that I actually know and like. A lot of the songs are good for me because they may have some slow parts but then the music gets faster and faster. You feel like you suddenly get a burst of energy and realize that you CAN keep going even though your legs feel like death. Since I use the free Spotify app, the playlist HAS to shuffle but that’s actually good because I never know what song is going to come up next. I will say I do like it when “Livin’ On a Prayer” happens to come on especially when I’m halfway through my run for obvious reasons.

I haven’t gotten bored with this mix yet. It’s long enough that I haven’t had any repeats yet during my runs but I’m sure whenever the day comes that I can outrun it, I’ll add more music. For now, I think these songs will help me when I run my first 5k this weekend.

So with that in mind, anyone have any suggestions for other songs to add to my list? Or what’s on your playlist? What do you listen to when you run? Music? Audio books? Podcasts? The sound of your own breathing?


We Come Running

Hopefully by the time you read this I will either have completed Week 3 Day 2 of Couch to 5k or I will be about to start it. I swear all my posts aren’t going to talk about running but because that’s what I’m doing a lot lately, it’s been on my mind. I don’t post my runs or my workouts on my Facebook though I will occasionally talk about it on Twitter. Otherwise I’ve actually been pretty good about keeping it on the down low. Why?

Because I feel like everyone else can do it better than me. Even though I’m pleased with myself that I can currently run for 3 minutes at a time without stopping seems like it would be uber lame to everyone else. Especially to all my friends who run all the time. (You can run 3 minutes? I ran 3 HOURS) Also multiple posts on any subject that seems like humble brags get annoying because it seems like people are just begging for applause and approval.

Yes yes I know. I’m supposed to be doing this for myself and not for anyone else. I know that the fact that I’ve gotten up and have been running for four weeks now is loads better than all the other people who keep saying they are going to run but don’t.

And I am quite pleased at my progress. Currently I alternate between running outside and on a treadmill. I listen to music while I run mainly because that gets me going more so than an audiobook would. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE audiobooks but I when I listen to them I need to concentrate fully and I can’t do that while running. My mind wonders and the beat of the music is good background noise and keeps me from hearing my own breathing.

I just have a feeling of being late to the game and that everyone else is doing it better than me. I’ve been reading message boards and Reddit on other people doing Couch to 5k and it’s both been encouraging and discouraging at the same time.It’s great to know that other people are out there just like me and finding themselves being able to do things that they thought they couldn’t do. It’s super motivational and I find myself getting pumped up for my next run.

But then at the same time, I feel like I’m still doing it wrong. Like for example, people talk about the number one reason why they prefer to run outside vs the treadmill is because they get bored on it. Call me weird but I don’t find it boring at all. Maybe it’s because of my weird overactive imagination but I enjoy using the treadmill. I know that running outside is better for you but sometimes I can’t do it everyday. I’m not comfortable running during rainy weather and sometimes the heat is too much for me. That being said if I get the chance, I DO run outside but some days I’d just rather head to the gym and treadmill it up.

Or the fact that I feel like I’m running too slow. Yes, I know I’m only week 3 so I still have a long ways to go before I’ll be able to do a 5k in the 30 minute range. It’s just a bit discouraging to read other people’s experience where they are running faster and still in the same time frame as I am.

I know that it’s ok to be different. I know that not everyone has the same experiences that I do and as long as I keep it up, I’m doing a lot better than I was even just a few weeks earlier. I know I need to stop comparing myself to others. I guess it’s just the feeling of everyone else knows what they’re doing, they’ve been doing it forever, and I’m behind.

Interestingly my devotional for today touched on a lot of the very things I’ve been struggling with lately regarding running and my faith. Sometimes I feel like everyone else is so grounded in their faith and they seem to not feel shaken even when bad things happen. I feel left behind because I still struggle and even though I’m doing everything I can to strengthen my faith, I still feel left behind. Even though I’m not giving up on my faith by any means lately it’s been easy to feel discouraged.

But I know I need to keep at it. I’m not about to stop just because of what everyone is doing or how they act. My faith (just like my running) is my own experience and I need to keep at it at my own pace. This devotional focusing on Hebrews 12 sums it up better than I ever could.

Just keep running. Keep persevering. Don’t give up.


Here’s what’s been happening since last time

So let’s update on things that have been happening in the last few weeks.

Running – I’m on my 3rd week of running! I’m using the Couch to 5k app from C2KFree and it’s been really helpful. I made myself go over week 1 twice so that I could do a whole week’s worth of workouts without stopping so technically I’m on week 2’s workouts right now. The first day was awful. Even though I work out, I’m not used to running and I basically felt like I was going to die. But I didn’t give up! I’ve been running outside and on the treadmill. I’m not going to be the fastest runner but by George I’m going to keep at it.

Soccer – World Cup is over but I got to go to my first MLS game thanks to one of my friends. We saw DC United take on Toronto FC. Our seats was in the supporters section and those fans are intense! Be prepared to get drenched in beer if DC scores which meant I got covered in beer three times. Michael Bradley from the USMNT was playing for Toronto so that was super exciting.


D&D – We started our campaign and I had a blast! Since we’re playing with a starter set, the story was preset though our DM tells stories very well and can ad lib on the spot. Our adventures went a little crazy because our wizard decided to go off on his own while the rest of us was battling wolves and goblins. Because of his decision we ended up getting attacked by everything in a cave with most of us basically dying before the day was over. I also now have a reputation of being a wolf slayer. There was a room with three wolves on leashes. The wizard put one of the wolves in an enchanted sleep. To save another member of our party, I shot and killed one of the wolves with my bow and arrow. And then I beheaded the sleeping wolf with my sword. Apparently it was pointless and I didn’t need to do it and I killed a defenseless animal. Sigh. I still had a lot of fun and our next session is at the end of month. We also indulged in a bacon wrapped Oreo each.


Wedding – My friends (“Lizzie & Darcy”) got married and it was lovely! I’m so glad to have been a part of it and I cried watching two of my best friends make their love for each other official. I also missed the bouquet toss and most of the dancing but not on purpose. I got roped into helping decorate the cars and it took a lot longer than we expected. I also really liked how the hair dresser did my hair. I asked for a fauxhawk and that’s what I got!


 Via Beyond Studio

Concerts – I’m going to see Josh Groban next week. NEXT WEEK. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. There will probably be another update on that later. Since I’m going two nights in a row, I was told I should bring a sign saying “Josh! I’ll be here tomorrow too!”. I countered that I have a feeling there will be plenty of older ladies doing the same thing as well. Then I was told to add to the sign “And I’m not old either!”

And finally, my recaps on The Musketeers on Entertainment Weekly is still going strong. My latest recap was featured on the main EW.com home page!


So that’s what’s been going on with me. How have you been?



Run Deborah RUN!

Because I’m publicly stating this on the internet, I therefore hold the internet responsible for holding me accountable to my word.

I’m going to start running.

Yes, yes. I know there’s a TON of you who do this already. Some of you are super religious about it. The USPS has nothing on you. Neither rain or snow or ANYTHING will stop you. I remember during Snowmegeddon back in 2010 when there was a white out and you could barely make out the reporter standing outside in at least 5 feet of snow. They were telling people to NOT go outside at all under any circumstances but sure enough in the background there were people outside running because they ABSOLUTELY HAD TO.

There are many benefits to running. I don’t need to go into any of them because I’m sure you’re all aware.

I’m planning on using a Couch to 5k program. While I go to the gym every now and then, it’s not enough that I feel like I could sprint a mile immediately on my first day. I’ve been asked by my friends to sign up for a 5k in September so that can be m goal but we’ll see.

Running 5ks is super trendy these days. There are so many different themes and groups that you can support while running. I’m not even going to list those because there are just SO FREAKIN MANY.

Why is it so hard to start? I can just give you a couple of excuses I’ve pulled on people. It’s hot outside. I don’t have time. I’m tired. It’s going to hurt. It’s dangerous. Blah blah blah. I could come up with excuses until I’m blue in the face. But I’m not anymore.

Because I actually want to do this. I want to be healthier and feel good about myself. And also be able to accomplish something that will benefit me in the long run.

Plus if I start training to run now, if/when the zombie apocalypse takes place, I’ll be able to at least outrun them. I mean, I can’t shoot them with a bow and arrow yet. (YET) But I’ll be able to run away from them.

So pending world disaster tomorrow, I’ll be starting my couch to 5k tomorrow. Feel free to email, tweet, Facebook, leave comments….encourage me if you want. I’ll most likely need them.