Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wait It Out

So, three months later. . . I ran again. Apparently, I had to wait until I was ready?

Either way, on Friday I went out for a 2 mile run before heading out to work. I thought I stretched down well enough, but my have I been sore in places that I didn't know were possible! Like my groin muscles? And muscles in my back that hurt when I clear my throat? What the. . . ?

Funny how finally getting back out there and running will make you excited to get out and do it again. I have big plans for tomorrow morning.

Perhaps this means my "no love" dry spell is waning?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Recovery

First, my low back went out.
Then, I got a stupid cold that lasted for weeks.
Then, heavy period.
Now? I (think I) am in the throes of a full on Epstein-Barr attack.

But! I did yoga last night and it felt SO good. I've been feeling off center and have needed it. I want to do it every non-run day (except maybe Sundays).

The other day we drove by our new house. We are cautiously excited about it and try not to get ourselves to worked up over its better location and all its other good points that sold us on it.

But! I saw a runner coming up the canal bank and it was really really hard not to get excited about the fact that even though we'll be "in the city" we won't be so close to the city that I'll be breathing smog when I run. Oh, and, of course, the challenge of running on the canal banks nearby!

In the meantime, I'm fighting fatigue with activity. First, yoga. Next, running!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Love

I don’t know exactly how to say this, but, then again, there are only so many ways to slice a pie, you know? Here it is: I am SO not feelin’ the love part of this hate-love relationship I have with running! I missed it (almost) the entire time I was away, and now that I’m back, I just am not feeling it.

Back to my pie-slicing theory: excuses are excuses, whether they come in the form of being dog-tired from one-year old induced midnight wakings (as in several) or not going first thing in the morning (which was always my recipe for success last time) precisely because I am so tired and then ending up with a headache/shoulder ache/back ache/bad attitude that makes me not want to go later in the day. Like I said, any way you slice it, I’m just not feeling the love.

It feels more like work than anything. Like I have to run, instead of I want to run. Which, I do. Want to run, that is. I just don’t want to have to run. It feels like there are too many other things crowding my understanding (and my time!) right now and running is the thing that gets left at the bottom of the barrel (well, running and laundry are keeping each other company down there. . . )

Don’t get me wrong – I am still excited about doing the 8k in a few weeks. And I will be able to do it, I just don’t know how well. I cannot seem to get to running 3 times a week: last week it was only once and not a single time so far this week. I want to run because I want to, not because I have to. And that seems to be part of the battle I am waging with myself right now. As it is, my stubborn streak is winning out (I will not go and you can’t make me!) which is kind of disheartening to the part of me that is willing and wanting to make it work.

Mostly, though, I really am pretty tired lately. I am taking lots of naps. Which, who knows what that’s all about, but whatever. I still never have gotten up to 4 miles, but have big plans next week (yeah, you’ve heard that from me before). So, we’ll see.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Doing the Can-can: Week 4, Day 1

So much for "plans".

Did you guess by now that Saturdays are not my most successful running days?
Or that, try as I might, I can never make it up on a Sunday?
Did you know that my race is on a Sunday?
And I have no idea how that's going to work?

Is my training all over the place?
Do I routinely skip my third run?
Yesity yes yes.

Is all I have to say.

Started fresh off today! Planned for 3 miles, but started running late in the day. It was getting dark, my husband had a no-good, horrible, F-word inducing work day, and at the end of mile two I just felt I had better get home. I called M and said "Wohahu?" and he told me a tale of a cranky backseat baby who had drunk all his milk and was a very hungry boy.

So, good thing I was home.

Relieved as I was to be making some dinner for the boys, I still felt the tiniest bit cheated out of my run.

Is all I have to say.


I'm on track to run 4 on Wednesday. So. . . Week 4 here I come!

(Btw? Mile 1? Sucked. Mile 2? Infinitely better. Sad I had to stop. Glad I went, even though I tried talking myself out of it several times.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

I DID IT! (Week 3, Day 2)

I was tired. I had procrastinated. I had taken Excedrin. . .

But, I had also left early from work with the intention of going on a sunset run. And so I did.

That second mile is on an uphill grade, so it was a little tough. I was leery of a weirdo dude wearing jeans, sandals with socks, and a suit jacket and carrying all manner of boxy briefcase, plastic bags and cowboy boots. I wanted to say "wife kick you out?" but I didn't. I did, however, eye him suspiciously each time I passed him, which was three. (My point? Hmmm. Get back to you on that one.)

I ran. (I suppose that's my point.)

I also became more fully aware of just how much I'll miss non-smog air and mountain views when we move back into town. And how much my shins ache in the first 3 or so minutes of running. And how letting the mind lead, not the body is really good and practical advice in all sorts of scenarios, not just running.

Oh? And also? I run primarily for fitness, secondarily for weight loss/maintenance. Well into my second mile, I was all "wow! I feel really good doing this!" and then my brain recalled all the chocolate, butter cookies and Half Baked I have consumed over the last 2-3 days (more butter cookies than the other two, and the chocolate was darkity dark. . . but still . . . ) and I realized this was probably barely a break-even kind of run. Man! I must do better on the eating thing!

Here's the lovely thing that sometimes happens when running: I got into that third mile and my mind decided my body had quieted down enough such that I could run forever. Of course, my body quickly disagreed. They settled their negotiations on the original 5k. (Only the route I have always thought was 3.1 miles - 5k - was actually only 3 miles today - and probably every other day I ever ran it too. Bummer.) (Maybe this would have helped?) (No. It wouldn't have. It says the route is 2.9 miles, which I know it isn't because I have driven it in my car and odometered it, man. . . )

Either way, the hump distance of 2.5 was overcome today, triumphed by a full 3! I haven't done that in over 2 years!!

I ran non-stop, but added the twist of following my seester's idea of pushing it in the last stretch. I ramped up my speed just as some bicycling and scootering little kids meandered in my path then saw me running fast and said "whoa!"

I finished strongly at 31.15 minutes. 10.38 minute mile average. Not too shabby. But who are we kidding? It's no 9.3! (Mayhaps Wednesday's couple of spoonfuls of Half Baked followed with a massive butter cookie chaser, Thursday's mini chili dog and slider lunch, and today's dark chocolate squares and more spoonfuls of Half Baked had something to do with anchoring me down?) (Perhaps.)

Good news? I am excited to go again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week 3 Do-Over? Hated It!

Today was a hate-it kind of running day. After struggling last week with timing and energy and such, I decided to do Week 3 over.

Following a particularly slow and dawdling morning, I self-imposed a shortened lunch hour today, which meant I would be running at the gym or somewhere near work instead of traveling home to go on my favored route. I could not bear the gym, so I improvised a route (2.35 miles) and set out.

Only, I had forgotten the hills up and down that route. My shins immediately protested (which reminded me I must really get more serious about doing yoga), so I improvised an alternative route. Which only brought more inclines/mini-hills. In fact, that was the theme of today’s run, if you really want to know. They were everywhere I ran! But, upside? The weather was fabulous. Even so, I was sweating in the crease of my right elbow, which, truthfully, does not make me very excited about running into the summer months.

Nonetheless, I totally won the victories over each those mini-hills, and victories over my protesting shins, over my tired body, and over the dreaded why-on-earth-am-i-doing-this speed bump that sits at the very beginning of nearly every run lately.

So, party people, I am here to report that I continuously ran 2.49 miles in 23.19 minutes!! Even with the hills, Simon Says that’s a 9.3 minute mile! Woooo-freakin’-hooooooo!!!!!

Now, here’s the trouble I had last week that I am hoping to avoid this week: I again delayed my first run of the week til Tuesday. Logic says my next two runs should fall on Thursday and Saturday – except I’m home with my kid on Thursday, which means I will have to run two consecutive days.

I don’t know quite what my mental block about that is, since I ran consecutive days back when training for the half. . . but I will have to overcome it if I am going to be successful this week. Oh, and I’ve banned my husband from going fishing this Saturday, so that takes care of that!

So, look for me tomorrow. I’ll be attempting a back to back and doing a 5k (my first since. . . . well, since this one).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Week Three, Day: the First

If you are looking for Week 2, Day 3, it disappeared in the midst of a busy Saturday and is probably strewn somewhere along the 4.5 mile trail I hiked on Saturday afternoon. I did run a small portion of that trail, though, so you’ll probably find it there. You know. If you’re looking.

Monday should have been Week 3, Day 1. . . but I wasn’t feeling it. So, I didn’t bother. I did hold myself to it today, though. The thought of running more laps at the gym made me want to gouge my eyes out with a blunt kitchen gadget, so I opted to keep my eyes and run outside instead.

Do you know what I forgot about running outside? Well, the cold, for one. Hard blacktop roads, for another. And also uphill grades and wind resistance. I quickly recalculated my route in my head (thank goodness for various and sundry prior running routes!) and opted to get off the grade and out of the wind pushing against me and making my eyes water. But the spitting – oh the spitting! – was glorious! In fact, I spit extra and with dramatic effect just because I could!

As I ran, I thought about how while hiking on Saturday I had been trying to recall exactly when we were last on that trail and why I had been struggling. I told M how it couldn’t have been in 2008 because, a hint of fondness creeping into my words, “that was my running year”.

Perhaps 2011 will also be a running year. When I first thought about doing this 8k, I just wanted fake it as far as I could make it and then walk the rest. Now, I want to do more than that. I want to finish with my head held high.

Today, I broke the 2 mile barrier I had been struggling with on that blasted track! Man that first mile and a half was a doozy. I was tired and tight. Somewhere in the latter half of that second mile, things leveled out and, while still tired, I didn’t feel like I was going fall over – and I had stopped questioning my sanity over voluntarily choosing to be a runner.

I ran 2.2 miles in around 20 minutes. People! Runners of the World! Do you know what that means? That means I averaged just over a 9 minute mile!! Which (hallefreakin’lujah) means I am not as slow as that stupid track has me believing I was! (13+ minute mile? Psshhawww!) Mark my words, something is amiss with that stupid suspended rubber mini-track!! Besides, I hate re-runs! (Unless its Friends. I’m always up for watching re-runs of Friends!) What I am saying is that track running is really (really!) not for me.

Given the relative success of today, I am going full steam ahead into Week 3. Look for my first 3-miler report next time!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two and Two, But Not Quite Two

Training goal for today? 2 miles.

Actual miles run? 1.88 in 27:26 minutes. Non-stop. (Is that slower than Monday? I really don’t know on account of I can’t figure out exactly what I did to figure it out two days ago.)

Form goal for today? Shoulders down, shoulders back.

That scaled-down track and the counting lap sets is killing me! (No, seriously! The math is way too much. . . my brain starts trying to figure out how far I’ve run and I just don’t operate like that.) (True story: this one time in bootcamp at the gym, we were doing some abdominal thing and the instructor said “Only 99 more to go!” and I up and quit right there. Because I like things to be attainable. Yessiree!)

Here’s the thing about today: I was sore, but I did not die. I was slow, but I did not stop. I was tired, but I did not quit. (When I was tired, I would just ask myself “are my shoulders down? Are they pulled back?”) (I hunch when I’m tired.)

So, the run? Over. Done. Finito! And onward to Saturday. (Not a day too soon, either. Boy howdy do I want to start running outside!!!!! No laps!)

Also? I think my right foot might be working harder than my left at keeping the heel/toe strike going. Form goal for next week, perhaps?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

13.1 Redeux?

OK, so you all remember this, right?
(How I totally crashed and burned?)

Well, THIS might just be tempting enough to get me to try it again!
(Nothing like running your guts out at the Happiest Place on Earth, que no?)

In other words, I may or may not be registering to run with Mickey ears come June-ish!
(How freakin' fun would that be!?!?!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day One, Week Two = Death?

So. Today was Day One of Week One the Do-Over. (I know, I know, it was technically supposed to be Day One of Week Two by now, but remember? I was sick and stuff?)


I ran.

I fiddled with my iPod and got it to track laps for me. The track is miniature - scaled down to 1/16 of a mile rather than the typical (?) 1/4 - so while I stretched I did the math in my head:
1/16 of a mile times two miles means 32 laps.
My iPod stops tracking after 21.
OK. So, I'll log every two laps and then I'll only have to keep track of two.
But then how will I know how many sets of two I've done?
How many do I need to do?
32 divided by 2 is. . . 16.
OK. So 16. Won't the iPod tell me?
Well, I'll figure it out as I go, right?
I used to run an 11 minute mile, so I'll run for 23 or 24 minutes and call it good.

First, the music wasn't loud enough. That's when I was still trying to figure out the tracking and didn't want to mess it up.

But then, I was trying to keep track of how many sets of two I did and the whole thing made me blurry and fatigued. That's about when I looked at my watch and had only been running something in the neighborhood of 10 minutes.

That's about the time I thought "Oh holy dying!!" My alter running ego said "A holy death? Righteous!!" "Death by running in the middle of this suspended air track?" I pondered . . . "Not so righteous."

And so we continued.

And then?

I cranked the music.

And then?

Drugs, glorious drugs. In waves. In concert with my music.
(How do people run without music?)
Drugs! At least 3 times!
(Does anyone else air drum while running, by the way?)

I ran 23.45 minutes without stopping.

Turns out that was only 14.5 sets of two.
Math, please?
1.81 miles.
Technically, I walked two cool down laps, so . . . .

Nope, doesn't count. I short changed it.
My 11 minute mile has become a 13.4 minute mile.
Though I do suspect foul iPod play, truth be told.

Only Week Two, Day Two will tell, right?

(pssst! Either way, I'm not doing Week One over. I'm going to hop along to Week Two and see whether the 3 miler this week kills me. If I'm not back by Monday. . . well, come looking for me.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

8k Training: Week 1

So? Week one was a weak one!

As in, my throat was still sore. If it was only the nasal and chest congestion, I would have hocked and spit to my heart's content.

BUT, stupid throat was sore until Thursday.

So, starting fresh on Monday.

And so very very excited!