April 2009


Last year when I was training for that half marathon and got injured, I posted about how much I disliked cross training. Mostly this had to do with not feeling like I was getting as much of a workout from cycling/swimming as I do from running, but since my injury I’ve been forced to take on other forms of exercise (either that or gain twenty pounds). What I’ve found is that the more I do those other types of exercise, the more I like them.

I’ve been doing spin class at the gym, which finally taught me that I can sweat just as much (if not more!) by cycling as I can with running. I’ve also finally added in weight training three times a week and a swim or two here and there, along with rock climbing and tennis at least once a week. As I’ve said, my running has been toned down to about three short, easy runs per week because I’m so afraid of getting those shin splints back. So far, I’ve been in good shape on the shin splints. Luckily, I haven’t really had any reoccurences of shin splints and I think that’s due to having so many cross training activities mixed into my week.

But what really made me a believer was the 5K I did last week. My pace has really been increasing lately, despite my running less and less each week. I thought this was just because I was doing shorter runs (usually 2 miles), but when I ran that 5K on Thursday I beat my best 5K time by almost 2 full minutes – down to 30:20 from 32:01. My pace has never been consistently below 10:30, but lately I’m typically running at about 9:45. I truly believe this is because of the cross training. Last summer I couldn’t figure out why my times weren’t getting much better each run. Now, I think the reason was that I was running every day and not giving my legs a break in between. My legs were still doing the work, but I think they were too tired to try their hardest. When I get to run these days, my legs are pushing harder and harder each time because they’re rested and ready to work. It was seriously a great feeling to get so close to that 30-minute 5K time. It’s something I’ve been wanting for awhile but never thought I’d get. Now, I’m so close, and I definitely think it’s thanks to my cross training. I am seriously one of the biggest fans of cross training now that I’ve actually tried it.

What about you? Has cross training helped you in your running?

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I’ve been bogged down with not-so-fun reading lately, but I’m still the biggest author groupie ever. I went to see Richard Price speak last month and saw Heather Armstrong last night. I didn’t write about the Richard Price event because I actually slept through almost the entire thing. Some author’s just aren’t great at reading their own books aloud. His books are amazing though, so I highly recommend them. I’m reading Clockers right now by him.

But last night I got to meet Heather Armstrong, which was awesome. If you’ve never heard of Heather Armstrong, I highly recommend you check out her blog. I’ve been following her on Twitter for about six months and have been reading her blog for about a year. I love her voice and her point of view on so many things. Plus, she’s pretty hilarious (in my book anyway). The best thing about going to see her though was that a bunch of my girlfriends actually wanted to come along. Most of the time they have no idea who the authors are that I go to see so they’re not interested, but this time they were actually the ones who asked me to go to a book signing. As always, it was a treat to meet an author and Dooce was great at reading her own stuff. She’s just as funny in person, but way taller than I expected. Seeing her come out was a bit of a shock to me, especially considering I’m only 5’1″. I’m always shocked by tall people.

Anyway, Dooce’s book, It Sucked and then I Cried, is out now. It’s a story about her first pregnancy and the postpartum depression that followed. One of my friends has read quite a bit of the book already and says she’s enjoying it so far. I’m going to be borrowing hers when she’s finished so it may be awhile before you get a real review of it from me. Until then, feel free to check it out on Amazon.

Oh, also, my friends and I could not get over this sign posted at Books Inc., where the book signing was. Apparently they have a huge problem with cults in Mountain View (aka Yuppieville), Calif.

More book reviews to come soon, I promise!