Monday, July 27, 2015

Running Quiz #halfbyhalf

My Jawbone Up band died. I am quite vexed. I faithfully wore my band and built my team, even tracked my water intake and my diet for about a year. Until the day I lost my proprietary dongle.

Proprietary dongles are the WORST kinds of dongles.

I went into withdrawl of not constantly checking my movement, sleep patterns and cheering on my friends. But then—yes!—dongle recovered. I charged up and got tracking again.

But then... I had really fallen out of the habit. Didn't track my food. Forgot to click into sleep mode or awake mode. And then I just took it off for a few days. I made sure to stash my dongle in a safe place (which, spoiler alert, I quickly forgot about but then found it again) and then I fell off the fitness wagon and when when I was finally—finally—excited about getting back on board, I charged up my band and got moving again.

I had forgotten what a rush it could be. I was quickly hooked again on getting way beyond 10,000 steps (and not just by shaking my arm a lot, but by actually moving).

And then the damn thing broke. It won't hold a charge and seriously, after a month of not using it, I didn't anticipate this result. The skin of it is sort of loose and when I try to push the button at the end, it just makes the skin of the band slip. The little lights don't come on at all. 'Tis not just resting—'tis truly dead.

So now, I have to learn all over again how to move without the promise of the digital cookies that prove I'm worthy.

Then, today, my friend showed me the way that the health app on my phone tracks activity the same way. I may have breathed a huge sigh of relief. Game on!

1st 5K—the Redbud Classic
So, recently, my girl Marie posted a running quiz on her blog. It was fun and I loved it and there was a challenge to answer the questions. So I bookmarked it and walked away from it.

I needed to let it percolate for a while so I could get back into the running groove again. About a year ago, I was a right regular runner, marking 3 miles or more at a crack, and getting out on the regular. Then life things happened (as life things are wont to do) and I got off track. Like way off track. Like, literally, off the track out of the streets and onto the couch, which ironically, is where I am right now, as I write this.

But I digress.

I sat on this quiz for a bit so I could get my runners feet back under me. I've been tentatively hitting the streets again, after making a commitment to run a half-marathon in five years. I'm not running as far as I have, but I do have faith that I'll regain my distance.

Until then, a little distraction:
Trail run! 2013

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?
Being as how I've never run on a beach or a mountain, but knowing that I do prefer my runs to be accomplished on relatively flat terrain, I'd have to say beach path. Plus, the wonderful breezes from the water would be lovely. I've done a trail run in the hilly woods, though, and I liked that, too. So, yeah... I guess both? 
2.  If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?
I don't drink Gatorade unless I'm belly-sick, so the idea of it makes me feel a little queasy if I'm not sick already. I would like some coconut water, though. [Update: today I tried a low-calorie raspberry lemonade Gatorade & it was awesome!]
3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?
Shorts. I have a hard time finding the perfect pair of running shorts. I like a drawstring and pockets. Not too short and tight, not too long and wide-legged. 
4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?
I seem to rebel if I give myself too strict of a plan, so I have to be sneaky about it and convince myself that I'm not following a plan but running by the seat of my ill-fitting running pants.
5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?
I would rather start on the uphill. When I'm digging for that last bit of resolve, I know I'm not going to find it by running uphill to the finish line. The Redbud 5K I ran started with an uphill run. It was unpleasant but doable. The Susan G. Komen I ran ended with a downhill and it was ever-so-lovely. 
The Susan G. Komen run. I ran it for Diana (shown here),
who walked it. She's since lost her battle with breast cancer.
 6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?
I love kickboxing and yoga. I want to like weightlifting more than I do but I just don't.
7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?
Earlywine Dash 5K.
I prefer a loop—one, big loop that marks the course. That way I can't try to talk myself out of finishing by doing more than one loop. Out and back is also not bad but I prefer that for daily runs and not necessarily a race—for that I prefer loops. Not sure what a point-to-point run is.
8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be —>
Yurbuds headphones that are not noise cancelling, so you can hear ambient noises when running outside (so important), but stay stuck in your ears, so they don't fall out.
9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs? 
Not usually. I've seen some stray dogs, but those don't count. I've seen birds and rose rocks and things like that, but not really wildlife.
10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?
Thankfully no! Though I did lose the trail a bit on the trail run I did. And I got bit to hell by chiggers on that run. Oh, hey! Those are wild animals, right?  
11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?
I crave healthy food and tend to run in the morning, so I say a bowl of plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries, slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey (that someone else has prepared for me!) and a big glass of iced coffee.
That one time, when I ran the race wearing
Wonder Woman pajamas. As one does.
12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?
Shorts when it's warm, capris when it's chilly. So right now, shorts.
13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?
This is something I've always struggled with. Running is not a normal thing for me, and though I crave the movement once I get back in the routine, it's very rare that I break through into that sweet spot. I guess once I'm back to a schedule of regular running, it takes about that first half mile to break through.
I do look forward to someday getting to the point where I can make it beyond 4 miles, which has been the point at which I sort of hit the wall that is filled with pain and exhaustion.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?
I prefer not having to carry my key, but when I do, I carry it on a little clip, attached to my waistband or in my pocket. I prefer shorts with a pocket, ideally. I also have a LEGO Wonder Woman keychain on my housekey ring, and she helps me to stay motivated.
15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?
I've not run a lot of races, just 3 or 4. I signed up for a race a few years back and was unable to run it because I was sick. I would like to redo that one and actually participate.
16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?
When it's hot out. I can't deal with the heat.
17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?
To get healthy. And because running is such great stress relief for me, it's like multi-tasking in the best way possible.
18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?
Both—sometimes I like to run the streets and can get a good distance right outside my door, but sometimes I prefer to have a loop and will drive across town to a 1.5 mile track. I don't have a gym membership anymore, but when I did, I would sometimes go and hit the dreadmill if the weather was too iffy. That's not my favorite.
19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?
I prefer sunglasses but it's not a make-or-break accessory. Headphones and music are a requirement, though. I'm not an "alone with my thoughts" runner, I need the bass bumpin' or a good audiobook to fall into. There's a certain stretch of road where I still hear Hazel (from The Fault in Our Stars) talking to me.

Here are 10 songs that I'm grooving to now:
  1. Bang Bang (Ariana Grande)
  2. Berzerk (Eminem)
  3. Bitter Rivals (Sleigh Bells)
  4. Burn it Down (AWOLNATION)
  5. Do You Love Me (KISS)
  6. Get Ur Freak On (Missy Elliott)
  7. Hey Ya! (Outkast)
  8. I Won't Run No More (Social Distortion)
  9. Renegades of Funk (Rage Against the Machine)
  10. Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?
Knowing that some day, maybe not that long from now, I won't be able to do this anymore. I don't want to give up this feeling. There is a specific freedom you feel when you run in certain environments. I'll be sad when I no longer am able to access that emotion. 
So what do you do when your expensive, out-of-warranty fitness tracker band breaks? Well, if you're like me, you try to fix it. So, if you didn't know? Here's what's going on inside your band:

I call this one "Jawbone Up band: deconstructed."

As for the dongle? I'm holding onto that bad boy.

Thanks, Marie, for posting this fun quiz!


  1. Contact Jawbone. A similar thing happened to my friend Lauren and they replaced hers!

    1. Well, considering I've stripped that bad boy down might preclude them from sending me a new one!