Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Dawn

I call this The Dawn because my dad used to tell me "It's always darkest before the dawn". Last week was really hard for me emotionally. I seemed to be sick all week long and even when I felt better I didn't feel quite right. But 'not quite right' didn't seem like a reasonable excuse to skip running altogether so I eeked out a puny four miles. Then Monday came around and I felt great! There was a complete difference between 'not quite right' and healthy. I spent last week feeling guilty that I should be running more if I felt better not realizing that I was probably still tired and weak. Not to mention I dropped five pounds. I like to mention that because of course I'm happy about that, but I also think it is was not good for my body. I'm sure it was because everything I ate (which was not much) was coming out at about the same speed and I was slightly dehydrated. I'll probably gain some back but that is good because I need my strength more that I need to lose weight.

Last night's run then, was four miles and I felt good. Monday night I had gone to a dance aerobics class so I was a little sore from that but nothing a warm-up mile wouldn't loosen up. I did decide to switch to a novice 1/2 training plan instead of the one I published earlier. That one was aggressive, which I know I could have done, but weather and physical wellness put me behind and I know I don't have room to fall behind there. This new plan builds to 10 miles and the next week is the 1/2. I still expect to finish well and happy.

Side note: My boyfriend is sick with this now. The tally now rests at 5 cousins, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, me and a boyfriend who have gotten this. Maybe you should go wash your hands after reading this entry lest you fall victim to the same fate!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Running: An Emotional Rollercoster

Remember the “I’m back baby!” That was short lived. I was back, then my tailbone busted off, then my knee hurt, then it was too cold to go outside, then I got sick, then I had a busy week, then Fidel Castro resigned, then I hit menopause, then excuse, excuse, excuse. Legitimate as some of them are, because I believe you should listen to your body, this whole ½ marathon idea seems like an uphill battle. The bottom line is I don’t doubt that I’ll run it in April, I’m just not sure how ready I’ll be. I guess it’s a little early to push the panic button yet. I still have 8.5 solid weeks of training. Sometimes things don’t work out for runners. If I don’t feel like this was my race, if I’m not satisfied with the training and outcome, I’ll get the next one. I’m still working for this one mind you….my brain and body haven’t quit yet. The positive spin is that even if all 10 weeks of training are the hardest of my life, when I cross that finish line, even if I walk ½ of it, I can say I survived. And therein lies the achievement.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chomping at the bit

Last Tuesday I skipped my snowboard lesson to give my tailbone one more week to heal. It's still noticably sore, but I am so ready go out again!!! It's actually driving me nuts that there is all this beautiful snow and I feel like I am on the verge of a breakthrough with my abilities and I don't have the time and haven't been able to go.

I wish I felt the same way about running. Week one was competed with six miles Saturday. I had to get all bundled up, bob and weave around snow patches and quick jump in the shower to warm up. Running in the winter is such a hassle. I do know it could be much much worse, but it's tough for me. Oh well it's done and it can only get warmer.....right? (remember the wise uncle who said "Never challange worse"?) I may need to rethink my goal pace. That goal was made from my fastest 5k time which was done when I was at a peak. Not so peak-ish at the moment. The goal pace will stand and we'll see how I do.

The weekend was wrapped up with learning to cross country ski on Sunday. I was so excited to learn another (low risk) winter sport. Foolishly, like so many other things (one would think I would learn) I thought, "How hard can it be?" I knew it was a workout, but I'd at least set eyes on a nordic track and it didn't look that challanging. A little coordination at first sure, but soon I would be gliding in a rythym. Or so I thought. What I didn't expect was that I was going to have to learn how to ski. I can't learn to ski. I chose snowboarding instead and it was (is) a challange. I cannot put my body and mind through another physical challange like that, not at this age. It just seems to risky. Like pushing my luck.

After a brief overview from my boyfriend and him telling me that I would have to snow plow to slow down hills I remembered the South Park episode. Seems I learned everything I would need to know from that show. Pizza, french fry...yeah, yeah, I got it. I didn't have it. As I went careening down a hill followed by a turn that I didn't take I heard my boyfriend yelling "Snow plow, honey! SNOW PLOW". Crash. Which didn't hurt as bad as I thought, but I was shaken up. Ok - so I needed a little more practice on the snow plow. After I listened better to the advice he was giving and practiced at every slight hill, I was able to go down the hills with some bit of confidence. The gliding part got easier too, it just feels awkward still. I suppose I'll get better at it. I was tired. I was also frustrated at some points when I didn't do as well as I thought I should be doing. I somehow have it in my mind that I am athletic and will be able to pick up anything relatively quickly. The only thing athleticism gives me is the physical stamina to keep trying. And you know what? That ain't bad.

After two hours, my shoulder (from a snowboarding fall a year ago) ached, my knee hurt (from my Saturday run) and my butt was starting to hurt again maybe from over use?? I don't know. I was tired and I started to this what old is starting to feel like? Well, I suppose so, but that doesn't mean I'm about to give up any of this!

Warning: This will probably make you vomit

You know what I love? Valentine’s Day. Because I have a Valentine. And we are all lovey-dovey. It’s not like when we first started dating and I could ignore a double fudge brownie sundae on the table in front of me as I stared into his loving eyes, but we can manage a those moments together still at times. They just don’t last as long. But that too is ok because other parts of our relationship are better than they were back then.

You know what I hated? And I’ll freely admit this; Valentine’s Day when I was single. Each year didn’t always hate, hate it, but it wasn’t great. Yes, I’m one of those. Poo-poo the idea and shrug it off as if you don’t care but that’s only because really secretly you do care.

It’s nice to be in love. I really enjoyed my single years too. Had all kinds of fun with the girls that I will remember for a lifetime. Now I’m just in a different place. And it’s all good!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Smurf

I don't run to think. I don't workout to pull my thoughts together. I run to erase and I workout to clear the clutter. Today was a difficult day. The organization of my life seemed overwhelming and it didn't help that work was not so fun either. But after a fairly strenuous weight class and then a run my mind was blank and I felt good. Much more relaxed and myself.

Side note - I want this:

Grumpy Smurf

ARG! I'm cranky today. I seem to always get that way on days when I have one particular task to do at work. I try to avoid being wrong and I'm not so keen on asking questions or for help in certain instances, but on these days at work since it's not something I do regularly or should know everything about I make mistakes and have to ask for help. It is reasonable to expect that this should happen? Yes, because as I said, it's not my job to know the intricacies of this task, but it's like my ego is getting beat up all day long!!!! And I HATE it. Like it means if I have to ask questions about something I know nothing about it's some sort of weakness. Ridiculous, I know, but it really burns my biscuits! Needless to say, today isn't so great.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I should write for Shape magazine

You know how in fitness magazines they always have tips and new ways to workout that make workouts fun and better than ever? Well this is something I recently discovered, though not on my own. So this is my Shape debut. If I wrote for Shape.

Now that the weather has turned colder in most regions, people are flocking to the gym like seagulls. If you're anything like me, an "easy 3" on the treadmill turns into 3 minutes not three miles. What's a girl to do when she finds herself needing to log the miles for an upcoming event yet no where to run? There is a clear need to spice the treadmill up, stay on track and put in the miles all at the same time. When the need is there, I say grab a friend and get running. Here is a trick my friend and I have done a few times and it really makes running on the treadmill more bearable. You will need to buy a earphone splitter ($7.99 at RadioShack) and each of you should start working on your most motivational playlists. One run you bring the playlist and the next time your friend brings it. To really change things up you can split the playlists during runs. For example if you are both running for 4 miles, one has a playlist for 3 miles and then the other is responsible for the stretch. We have found that it makes running more of a companionship. It feels more like when you are side by side outside going through the same experience. You can almost feel the energy between you as a great new song that you both love begins. That's when you turn look at each other and nod in silent agreement that, yes in fact, we are rocking this run. Sharing the same music lets you enjoy music you may not typically listen to, it makes the time go faster wondering what is going to be next; it keeps things interesting on an otherwise droning run.

I probably won't quit my day job in pursuit of a journalism career, but this is my fitness tip of the week. If ever anyone tries it, I hope it brightens your fluorescent lighted, closed caption reading, seems to take forever run.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Tuesday night was my snowboarding lesson. I was having fun, I liked the kid instructor (he was about 17...maybe 16) l; it was going great. Then with about a 1/2 hour left in the session, faster than I could think, I caught the edge of my board and went down hard on my butt. Hard. Something cracked. I was sure it was the pointy part of my spine breaking completely off. Yowza!! The pain was so intense. It took me a few minutes to regain my composure and make it down the hill. I went back up one more time to see if I could continue or not. Not. I kept thinking that if I fell one more time I would probably shoot to the moon in pain. The thing is, I was really in pain, but didn't want to quit. How can I explain to people that this is serious? I hurt. Then I thought, heck with it. I hurt. I don't care what anyone thinks. I made sure to let them know I would be back next week though.

The lady from the nurses hotline was very comforting. She told me to keep an eye on it (who knows how that is supposed to work), try sitting on some frozen peas (but probably don't want to eat them later) and maybe I should take up swimming. I decided to spare her the details about how after I run a 1/2 marathon in April I fully intended to take up swimming while training for a triathlon in July. I think that this is usually gratuitous information that people besides myself don't really care about. Shocking as it may sound, not everyone cares that I can run. Secretly, I think that some people don't even think it's that cool. Of course I don't know these people, but I suspect they are out there.

Two days later, and I'm not much better. Nothing I can do really; just cope with the pain. Running is on hold, sit-ups are on hold, snowboarding is certainly on hold. I really don't want to miss a session because it's been so fun so I might try this new strategy I thought of. It's simple, it only has one thing to remember; it's called "Don't Fall". If I don't fall, it won't hurt. Yeah. This sounds completely doable.

Plan for the weekend is to take it easy, jog/run as much as I can depending how I feel. When Monday rolls around I want to be healthy and pain free to start this training thing officially!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Back in the saddle

What a fan-tab-ulous run last night! Four miles turned out to be no trouble at all. My friend and I ran together, talked a little, and the time flew right by. Did I mention that this was done on a treadmill! I feel like I have broken through the wall of boredom with the treadmill. Plus the run felt pretty good too. And just like that, I'm back baby! Concerns about the lack of miles I have been putting in and the amount of work that lay ahead are all but a fleeting memory. I can't believe everyone doubted me. Oh wait, nobody did, it was just me. Oh me of little faith; when will I learn? Tenacity will always pay off.