Crappy excuses I tell myself when I don’t want to run

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I’m still feeling plowed by events in America, and though I know a run usually helps my state of mind, it took every bit of will power to get my butt out the door.

It got me thinking about all of the crappy excuses I tell myself when I don’t want to run – and all of the things the devil’s advocate in me says back. (Do the rest of you have ongoing inner dialogues when it comes to exercise and responsibilities and to-do lists?)

Here’s a rundown (har har) of my most common running excuses …

Excuse: I’d rather stay snuggled up in bed with a book.
Counterargument: Vitamin D and fresh air will be invigorating!

I try to remind myself that this is the first winter in five years that I’ve been exposed to so many days of sunshine! Since I’m skipping Portland’s winter (and subsequent gray skies), I should take advantage of beautiful (mostly rain-free) winter runs in Barcelona.

run view

It was 59 degrees and sunny when I ran stairs today. This was my view.

Excuse: I feel too fat to run.
Counterargument: You’re not fat; you’re lazy. Also, discomfort is good for you.

I don’t own a scale so I don’t know what I’ve gained in Barcelona, but my body has changed a bit. I’ve indulged in more bread and wine than normal, and I’ve gotten a little soft. I don’t really mind all that much (we’ll see how I feel when summer rolls around), except I do mind when I’m running because I feel slower and out of shape. Of course, I’ll only improve the situation by getting in shape so I’m better off shutting up and getting moving.


Look! Last summer, I actually had, like, sculpted arms. No such reality now.

Excuse: I’d rather go to a café and eat pan con tomate.
Counterargument: You can eat bread after you run.

It’s probably not the best idea to bribe myself with bread (see aforementioned bread-indulgence-softness issue), but I totally do it. And it totally works.

where the bread goes

At the risk of embarrassing myself … There is actually a perk to over-indulging in bread: more junk in the trunk! I may be getting softer all over, but at least I’m also getting something of a butt.* (I give you license to make fun of me for saying that.)

Excuse: I don’t have enough time.
Counterargument: Are you fucking kidding me?

This is a really rich excuse because I only work 16 hours per week here, though that doesn’t factor in travel time to work and private classes (and lesson planning). In any case, I certainly have time to fit in a 40-minute run. It simply involves spending a little less time on Twitter, lingering over coffee for a bit less time, and, you know, setting an alarm so I actually wake up at a reasonable hour in the morning.

Excuse: My IT band feels tight.
Counterargument: Well, that’s unfortunate. But that’s not a reason not to run; that’s a reason to stretch more.

I’ve gotten really good at putting off runs when my legs feel wonky. But my legs feel wonky because I’m not doing any strength training or stretching. It might also be time to replace my New Balance Minimus shoes; though they don’t have a ton of mileage on them, they break down more quickly than cushioned shoes. But, really, I don’t think this is a shoe issue. I think my IT band is tight because I’m not taking time to stretch or protect my quads and glutes. New Year’s resolution #1: make time for lunges, squats and planks.

Excuse: Running is boring.
Counterargument: So, turn around and come back when you get bored.

I actually don’t think running is boring (unless we’re talking about really long runs); it’s just getting out the door that’s the most difficult for me. Once I’m moving and listening to music, I get in a groove. So when this excuse crops up, I promise myself that I can turn around and come back whenever I’d like, and this effectively gets me to run for at least 30 minutes, if not more.

Spill: What excuses do you tell yourself? And how do you convince yourself to get out the door (or to the gym)?


* I mean, I’ve still got a ways to go until I’ve got this kind of junk in the trunk, but I’m workin’ on it. (Don’t mistake my meaning here! I’m saying junk in the trunk is a *good* thing. Most of us ladies want some shape!)


this is a running blog, right?

After a couple days of catharsis, I’m back to blogging about running. Crazy, right?

It’s a wonder I actually got off my butt and laced up my running shoes yesterday. (For the first time since Monday.)

To be fair, I came down with a bad case of food poisoning on Monday night and spent the better part of the early morning hours hovering over the toilet. And then, all shaky and dehydrated on Tuesday, I forced myself to go to work. (It was a stark reminder of how easy I had it in Portland, when calling in sick was no biggie and meant I’d still get paid.) I really need the money (ya think? just how many times have I mentioned that here?), and I didn’t want to risk getting fired.

I still felt less than stellar on Wednesday, and though I was back to normal on Thursday, I didn’t make it out for a run.

So, yes, Friday. I ran. Slowly. As is the current state of affairs in Barcelona.

And not that far. (Again, typical.)

But at least I was out there. And I got to explore a new neighborhood! (After spending 5 weeks in L’Eixample, I’ve just moved to Gracía – pictures to come soon). It felt good and needed and just as cathartic as those over-dramatic blog posts.

I’m contemplating signing up for a race here because I need the motivation. Seems like my running sweet spot right now is 40 minutes, and I’d like to increase that to an hour or so, but I don’t see that happening unless I put some pressure on myself.

Also: strength training. Damn. That’s a foreign concept in my life right now. I miss it. I can tell I have less stamina, and my metabolism is slower. (And it’s not just because I’m eating chocolate croissants!) I need to find my way to an affordable weights class, or just start doing wall squats. Anything. (If you have a good, at-home strength training routine, please send it my way.)

Hopefully I’ll have some more exciting running-related posts to write soon. In the meantime, enjoy this picture from Costa Brava, where I’ve just spent the day in Tossa de Mar:

Costa Brava

the marathon that might have been

I ran for 40 minutes today … terribly slowly. It was lovely, but slow. My view looked something like this:

park by Arc de Triomphe

near the Arc de Triomphe, Barcelona. Pardon the poor composition – I was jogging & shooting.

In another life – you know, the one where I didn’t quit my job and sell all my stuff and move to Barcelona – I’d be running the Portland Marathon today.

It makes me shake my head because, well, I’m in no kind of marathon shape. In fact, I’m hardly in running shape. (Sigh.)

Back when I signed up for the marathon, I was super motivated. I’d just come off a fabulous half marathon experience, and I thought 2012 would be the year I’d become a Runner with a capital R.

I started out with good intentions to train for the marathon.

Well, hang on. Let’s back up.

I started out with moderately good intentions to train. But, even back during the days of my running highs, I wasn’t certain I’d be able to stick to the marathon training schedule.

Fast forward a few weeks when I set my sights on Spain, and my long runs started to fall by the wayside. Then, when I officially signed up for the TESOL course here, I knew I wouldn’t be in Portland on the 7th so my training all but stopped entirely.

Since then, I’m back to being a casual runner: heading out 3-4 times per week for 40 minutes each.

Speed work? No.

Hills? Barely.

Beer gut? Kind of.

IPA in Barcelona

The beer gut is pretty much worth it, though.

At the moment, running is strictly stress relief – and a way to get to know my new neighborhood (which I’ll be writing about soon). And that’s certainly not a bad thing.

But the little over-achiever in me feels like a bit of a failure. I want to be capable of running 26.2 miles today. I want to be feeling that rush of a PR. As much as my life is an adventure right now, I want to be at the Portland Marathon.

And … if I can’t be there, is it so much to ask to get my $150 registration fee back?! ;)

note to self: you are not 17 anymore

I’m in California at my parents’ place for a few days, and I ran a short, hilly route that I used to knock out easily in high school.

Oh my word, I struggled today. So, so much. Gasping for air, practically wheezing. And the most embarrassing runner problem of all: I had to walk. More than once.


Guess that 5-day trek in Peru didn’t do as many wonders for my lungs as I imagined. And guess I need to find some hills in Barcelona to kick my butt.

Speaking of, the Barcelona countdown is at 4 DAYS. (!!!)

And I just got an email with my apartment details for the 5 weeks of the program. Super stoked to be living 4 blocks from Sagrada Familia in the Eixample neighborhood, right off of a main tree-lined avenue. Here’s a little glimpse via Google Earth:


Can’t ya just see me jogging through those streets? ;)

back in the states (but not for long)!


I’m back in Portland after a crazy memorable 9-day trip to Peru. I’ll post some pics and thoughts on the trip soon, but in the meantime, I’m stealing this post idea from Shut Up + Run and sharing my answers to 10 running questions:

1. Best run ever: Think it has to be the Helvetia Half Marathon on June 9 of this year. It was the only half marathon I’ve done in the last five years, and I really committed myself to training. I was super pumped with the outcome, and loved every mile of the race. (It helped that it was perfect weather, too.)

Helvetia Half

My friends came out to cheer for me. That was pretty rad.

2. Three words that describe your running: Goal-oriented, inconsistent, moody.

3. Your go-to running outfit: Nike shorts, Pro Compression socks and a neon tank top.

4. Quirky habit while running: Audible breathing that likely drives runners around me crazy.

5. Morning, midday, evening: Morning to midday runner on the weekends, evening runner on weekdays. (I’d really like to be a consistent morning runner, though. I just love the snooze button too much.)

6. I won’t run outside when it’s: Dark. (Unless I’m doing an overnight relay.) I like to play it safe and run during daylight (or head to the gym and use a treadmill, if it’s after dark).

7. Worst injury & how you got over it: IT band syndrome, and I could have gotten over it much faster if I’d understood what it was at the time. Instead, I took a ton of time off running and switched up my workouts. Now, when I get IT band tightness, I know not to freak out and to instead spend a lot of time with ice, my foam roller and yoga mat.

8. I feel most like a badass mother runner when: I upload a run to Garmin Connect and see splits that surprise me. Also, when I set my eyes on a runner up ahead and pass them in  a race.

9. Next race is: Aw, shit, I don’t know. I’d meant to do the Portland Marathon, then scrapped that idea when I decided on the über awesome plan of relocating to Barcelona (in LESS THAN 10 DAYS). Once I get settled in, I’m going to try to find a race in Europe. Maybe another half marathon? With the teaching program I’ll be doing, I don’t know that I’ll have a lot of time to train for anything longer, at least not at first.

Park Guell

Think anyone jogs in Park Guell? | flickr photo by poeticaldistractions

10. Potential running goal for 2013: I’d like to run a race (any distance) at a sub-8:00 mile pace. I think it’s doable for a 5K, but wonder if I can make it happen for an 8K or 10K.

Plus 3 bonus questions:

1. Favorite pre-run snack: Banana and a big scoop of peanut butter

2. Favorite post-race meal: Guacomole and beer (or a chocolate milkshake!)

3. Favorite running soundtrack for long runs: Podcasts or books

Your turn: Pick some (or all) of these and answer them about your own sport or workout of choice.

getting back into shape (I hope)

After a summer full of parties, camping and many cocktail hours (and an upcoming very busy October), I’m looking forward to taking care of my body in September. Eating more consciously, making more room for running.

Perhaps I won’t get in super high mileages, but I do want to push myself.

I got back into the swing of things with a 6.8 mile run yesterday. It felt a little slow, but also pretty glorious.

I did a 7 mile hike the day before (at Larch Mountain), and I’ll be hiking again tomorrow. (Why, yes, it’s wonderful to not be going into the office. I’m pinching myself.)

With the extra free time I’ve got now and a trekking trip to Peru around the corner, I feel pretty freakin’ blessed.

And you’ll have to bear with me if my posts are short and sporadic these next few weeks; until I find my “permanent” home in Spain, I won’t have much dedicated online time, so I’ll be posting on an impromptu schedule.

I’ll make it up by sharing spectacular pictures, though. :) Like this one of Mt. Hood, as seen from Larch Mountain: