Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Running Tip Tuesday

It is Wednesday and I have not written a tip down yet.  Um, yeah, that is life.  In the last three weeks, I have run 150 miles.  And taper time has finally come.  I am sorry, my brain is blank.

So head on over to Runner's World and check out some cool motivational posters.  They made me laugh.  If the link does not work, then go to and look under the tag "motivation" or "posters".  I especially like numbers 6, 9, 11, and 12.

Happy Running!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A to Z

I get pretty pumped about these types of things. Just for fun:  (sorry, I don't know who started this)

A is for age26 Korean, 24 American
B is for breakfast today: Blueberry muffin from Costco (!!) and a bowl of granola, strawberries, and bananas.
C is for currently cravingcoffee...I am trying not to drink any between now and the marathon (that is not going to happen)
D is for dinner tonighthopefully Lasagna!
E is for favorite type of exerciserunning
F is for an irrational fearthe elevator doors closing while I am still trying to get in
G is for gross foodOctopus or squid (I am not a fan of the texture)
H is for hometown: Troy Grove, Illinois
I is for something importantJesus
J is for current favorite jamRed Raspberry
K is for kidsI am going to assume that my 500 Korean kiddos don't count for this one.
L is for current locationMy desk at work
M is for the most recent way you spent money:  We went out for the hubs' birthday this burger I have had in a llloonnngg time.
N is for something you needa vacuum
O is for occupation:  ESL Teacher
P is for pet peeve
an untidy house
Q is for a quote: G.K. Chesterton, "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."
R is for random fact about you: Um, I always pull out the, "I lived in a teepee for a summer"
S is for favorite healthy snack: banana + peanut butter
T is for favorite treatcinnamon rolls
U is for something that makes you unique: have you heard me laugh?  
V is for favorite vegetable:Sweet potatoes or green beans? I can't decide. Is rhubarb a vegetable? If it is, then rhubarb.
W is for today’s workoutI will run 5 miles after school
X is for X-rays you’ve hadteeth, I think I had my abdominal x-rayed in like 3rd grade... had some CT scans and MRI on my brain...I can't remember anything else at the moment.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight
: Eating out with the hubs: great food and even better company :)  (a second would be nailing my 20 miler)
Z is for your time zone: KST - Korean Standard Time  (fun fact: there is no Daylight Savings Time in Korea)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Only in Korea while running 20 miles...

So this morning was my last 20 mile run.  It went pretty well.  It definitely went better than my previous 20 miler.  Praise the Lord for that.

There were quite a few exciting parts to my 20 miler today: I got to run in shorts (!!!!!!!!!! - we have not had the early spring that the Midwest has been experiencing), I realized that I still have my "NO, GO HOME" voice to yell at dogs with (I never get chased by dogs in Korea, until today), and I found an impromptu running buddy!

Here is some background knowledge to help set the stage for my story:

  1. Korea is safer than America (in my opinion).  This means that sometimes when I am running, other people who are running (the average runner in Korea is a 60 year old man) will start following me.  I have paced other people for several miles.  They never talk or even act like they are pacing off of me, but I can hear their feet shuffling behind me and every so often I glance back and they are still there. 
  2. Some Koreans really (emphasis on really) like to practice their English.  I have been approached in the grocery store, the subway, and on my walk to school to practice English.
  3. Koreans think highly of Waygooks...we are kinda celebrities or something.  It is cool to have a waygooken friend.
So there I was running.  I had about 12.5 miles in and trying not to think that I still had another hour to run.  I noticed that there was a high school or college boy running in front of me.  (I was running near a park that had a lot of people out and about).  So I passed the boy and realized that poor kid was going to try to keep up with me.  I felt bad for him because he was decked out.  I had on shorts and a long sleeve.  He had pants, a sweater, a baseball hat, and a winter coat.  After a few moments, I was brought out of my reverie by someone trying to get my attention.  Yeah, it was winter coat kid.  I have never had one of the people following me actually talk to me.

And so I met PJ.  I think his Korean name is Pak Jae Hyeon, but my Korean is not the best when I am 13 miles into a run.  Just in case you are wondering, PJ is an university student who is 20 (Korean age, so maybe 18 or 19 US).  He is studying electronics and he enjoys boxing (he can box and run at the same time).  He does not have a girlfriend.  He thinks my name is Lisa and that I have a beautiful name.  He also learned that I am a teacher, 26 (Korean, at least), I like to run, I am training for a marathon, and that I am married.   And my husband is my friend.  We covered this information quite quickly.  It is always funny to me how many questions Koreans can fire at you.  Oh yeah - he also learned that I go to church.  He said a lot of other stuff in Korean, but he was panting, and I was focused on not getting hit by traffic, so I did not get a lot of that part of the conversation, except he complimented me on my Korean speaking abilities (which are about zero).

He likes to clap and say, "Bravo! Bravo!"  Anywho, eventually (after about 10 minutes) PJ said that he was going to turn right (we were on a bridge, so I assumed he meant turn around).  After being reassured that I do, in fact, like Korea, we went our separate ways.

I think I need to find a running buddy in America, because I actually enjoyed running with a random person, chatting about nothing.  It was really fun.  After I turned around (at 13.85 miles, no I don't 10 miles out and 10 miles back, it gets too boring and I don't know 10 miles of "out"...all my routes are like 6 - 7 miles out and then they end), I ran back towards the park.  I noticed someone in front of me walking...with a winter coat on.

My first thought was, "That is PJ, I hope he does not try to run all the way home with me".  Of course he saw me and starting yelling, "Lisa, Lee-sssuuhhh!  Bravo!  Bravo!  Picture!  Picture!"  So we took a picture on his cell phone.  I even said, "kimchi"  as he snapped  the photo.  (Koreans say, "kimchi" instead of "cheese" when taking pictures).

Then I thought, "I should blog about this"  so I said, "PJ, do you want me to take a picture on my phone?"  {This is my favorite part of the whole thing.}  He put his head back, looked towards the sky, and said, "THANK YOU GOD!"  (really loud, in case you could not tell from the capital letters).  I took that to mean, 'yes'.
My neck is super weird in the picture, let's blame it on the 14 miles run previous to taking the picture.

Then I said, "See you later PJ" and took off (a little bit faster than necessary).

And that is my story.  Seriously, only in Korea do random people just start running with you so that they can practice their English and because they are genuinely friendly and not creepers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My lame secret to getting out of bed for morning runs

26 days until the marathon!  Wa!  I am running my last "big" week before the taper.  And I am so ready to taper.

Before reading this, you need to know that Empathy is my number 31st strength.

I thought I would share with you the secret I have learned to getting up early for morning runs.  You know the ads you always see, "One secret to cutting your auto insurance in half..." or "One food that you should be eating to help you loose 5 pounds a day!"  I am just going to say now: it is lame.  You have been prepared.

Running Tip Tuesday: My lame secret to getting up early.
Go to bed early.  Yes, I know, this is a revolutionary thought.

Which is why the alarm goes off at 5:25 everyday
I found this on Pinterest...supposedly it came from here.

Here are some other revolutionary thoughts to help you get up early.
  • Even if you do not fall asleep immediately when you go to bed, still try to rest.  The days I get up at 4:30am to run are not preceded by nights that I am asleep at 8:30.  But I am in bed, with my eyes closed, not thinking about stressful things.
  • Accept that you may get made fun of for having the same sleep schedule as an 80 year old.  I have embraced it.  The people with sleep schedules of a 24 year old with a full time job are not going to be rocking marathons any time soon (but I will be).
  • Try to limit your amount of caffeine (or drink none at all).  This is really important for me.  If I drink a cup of coffee with my co-workers at 3pm, I am going to be awake at 1am.  
  • Find some way to turn on a light as soon as you wake up.  It helps me a lot to go in a different room than my sleeping spouse and turn on a light.  You will walk around squinting, but it helps.
  • Find some form of motivation.  When you wake up in the morning in your nice warm, snug bed and your body is screaming at you, "5 more minutes!", what is going to get you out of bed?  It better be a good reason :) Here are some of the reasons I use:
    • I have to pee.  And as long as I have gotten up, I might as well go run.  (You can splash some cold water on face will you are washing your hands.)
    • I have to wash my hair for work, so I might as well take a whole shower, and I might as well get sweaty before taking a shower.
    • I will not have to run at  ____ {whatever time you run after work}.
    • Early morning running is just too fun to pass up (just kidding, I have NEVER used this as motivation to get up).
  • Don't make excuses.  
This is what I saw at the end of my run this morning!
Happy {early morning} Running!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Running Tip Tuesday - My Tunes Part 1

Hey ya'll, I think I could write a lot today, but I am going to try to keep it short and sweet.  I never ran with music...until the past October.  Since becoming running-partner/friend-less, I have grown to love running while listening to music.

I am pretty specific about what music I listen to (for a variety of reasons).  If I am running I want the tempo to upbeat (basically if I would play the song at a dance party, then I can run to it!).  I also like to focus on Jesus while running (wootwoot for the Running Partner that never leaves you nor forsakes you!)  Confession: I made a playlist in October and I have not changed it since.  So besides my Christmas music running playlist, I have listened to the same 16 songs every time I go running.

I like routines.  What can I say?

Running Tip Tuesday: Good music contributes to a good run!

Here is the beginning of my running playlist: (I linked them to YouTube in case you are unfamiliar with the songs)
Sing, Sing, Sing :: Chris Tomlin
I Will Go :: Starfield  (Starfield was at Dare2Share a few years ago and I LOVED them!)
Forever and Ever :: David Crowder Band
The Invasion (Hero) :: Trip Lee (I think I could listen to this about 6 times in a row and be okay with it...not that I have done that during a hill workout before)
Don't Waste Your Life :: Lecrae (featuring some other people)
No One Like You :: David Crowder Band
Change :: Lecrae
Man, Whatcha Doin? :: FM Static
Forget and Not Slow Down :: Reliant K
Go Hard :: Lecrae

I would say that my top two favorite artists right now are JJ Heller and Sara Groves...but they do not really lend themselves to the running world all so well (believe me, I have tried).  If I had to pick just one artist to run to, it would definitely be Lecrae.

What is your favorite song or musician to run to?

Wiping off the Cobwebs

It is the first week of school here in Korea.  I was teaching a lesson to the 5th graders (when we moved to Korea they were in 3rd grade!  Bah - my babies all grown up!).  The title of the lesson was, "I'm from Brazil." (FORESHADOWING).

We were looking at a map of the world.  I asked the kiddos, "What country is this?"  (I was, of course, pointing at a country on the map.)  The first three answers were, "America"  "England" and "Ap-pree-ca" (that is Africa).

Um, no, try again.  I may nor may not have started smiling at this point.

I finally gave in and told them that it is Brazil!

In defense of the rest of the 5th grade kiddos, I only had 10 kids out of 125 guess incorrectly.  Yeah, we are trying to shake the cobwebs out this week!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Week in Review

Sometimes I have a crazy week (who doesn't?), but I want to remember this specific week in the future.  Thus, time to blog!

Some highlights from our week:
  • Sunday night - we live near a busy street and close to a hospital.  There are sirens going past our place all the time.  But Sunday night, they did not past us, they stopped on the side street.  Odd, I thought to myself.  I went out on the porch to look for the fire or accident or whatever would bring firetrucks near our apartment.  Then I realized I could smell smoke!  Ian and I decided on an impromptu walk around the block.  We were are not sure of the details, but a fire was started really close to our apartment where we put our trash.  We were so thankful that someone saw the fire, the fire station responded quickly, and that we were kept safe.  Enough excitement for the evening, though.
  • Monday - I had the pleasure of rolling out of bed at 4:32 to run 10 miles, but hanging out with friends that night and laughing hysterically made it worth it.
  • Monday and Wednesday - I had the last of my 1st grade classes of Spring Break.  I am not sure how much the kiddos actually learned, but they are just so precious.  The students made me cards on Wednesday and  My favorite one is from William, "Alissa-teacher, you are pretty."  How cute is that!  The following is a video of the "Phonics Song".  I will be able to sing this song in my sleep for the next 20 years.

  • Wednesday night - we had our first women's bible study of the semester.  It was great!  I have missed those ladies so much.  I also ran in shorts Wednesday afternoon for the first time since October.  It was amazing!
This is the old man in the scooter I saw on Wednesday.  Maybe he could be friend's with Sara's scooter lady
  • Thursday - School Holiday!  We were up early and then headed out to Busan for the day.  It was so fun to see our friends.  Yeah for friends and friend's bump!  
  • Thursday - ya'll I have caught baby fever.  For other people's babies.  Seriously.  If you need a babysitter or want to know my opinion of what you should add to your baby registry let me know.  The thought of sacrificing sleep every single night does not appeal to me in any sense, so I am quite happy to hand people's babies back to them and go to my own home :)
How cute is little Lucy?  So precious!
  • Friday - Another 4:30 wake up (three times in the same week!?!) another 10 miler, another great night with friends, laughing so hard.  It was the first day of school, too!  Happy New School Year.
  • Saturday - I ran 20 miles.  Not exactly fun {is it ever "fun" to run in 17 mph winds?} but I persevered.  It was multiple of 5s week for my running (All of my runs were 5, 10, 15, or 20 miles long).  I think I should have 55 miles in for the week.  Wootwoot!
And that wraps up the week!  What was the best part about your last week?