Monday, March 31, 2008

When your run is more like a rough night out

The Prep
I like to get all dressed up when I go out. It’s a weekend; I have plenty of time to get dolled up. The outfit has to be just right. I’ve been thinking about what to wear since yesterday in anticipation. I grab the hydration pack, a Gu, my Shuffle and maybe a head warmer just in case. I’ve already polled my friends - Are you going out tomorrow? Where are you going? What are you wearing? Yes, I think it will be an early night too; I’m not going to drink that much. I'm going for distance not speed.

The party
I’m a little self conscious and shy at first; it’s going to be a long night – er day. The first few miles I run too fast. Very much similar to the way the drinks seem to flow faster in the first hour at the bar. You lose track of things because you are talking, having fun, whatever, and before you know it, you are ½ way through your night; or your run. This is the apex of your day/night. One of your friends yells “Let’s do a shot!” which always sounds like a good idea in the heat of the moment. You pull out your margarita flavored shot blocks and choke them down with a slight wince on your face as the aftertaste hits you. You grab a chaser of water and then get back to the dance. Things feel good although you are starting to slow down just a little; you notice you can now only make it to round two of “Get low, get low, get low”. You think you must be the best looking and fastest person around though. Your dance moves/stride up the hill are definitely turning heads! You may not look as good as when you left the house but none of that matters because you are a rock star and everybody can see that!

Three quarter of the way through things are getting a bit shaky. You think “Why didn’t I stop drinking when I felt better?” translated to “Why didn’t I run slower at the beginning?”. Your night is almost over and you are focused on a hot shower and bed. The harsh lights of the club come on and you see the finish line. You come to an abrupt halt grabbing onto trees or posts for stabilizers as you wait for the cab. The last hour seems like a blur. Your memory is spotty and all you can do is keep repeating the one line from the last song over and over again to keep your head clear.

The hangover
You go home a little dizzy and very tired. All you want is to eat pizza drink lots of water and sleep. You had all kinds of plans for the day but you quickly realize that plans have changed and they now include another nap, whatever movies you can find on TBS or Lifetime and a phone call for Chinese takeout. Why do I do this to myself? I feel like the whole day is wasted because I’m too spent to move. I’m never going to do that again. I’m getting too old for this; I don’t remember it feeling like this.

Remember when I could go out all night and whip out 6 miles like I was on a moving sidewalk?

Remember when I could crank out 10 miles and then dance the night away until 2AM?

I’d like to close with a quote from the song “All My Rowdy Friends” by Hank Williams Jr. The original goes: “And the hangovers hurt more than they used to and cornbread and ice tea took the place of pills and 90 proof.”

My version goes like this: “And the shin splints hurt more than they used to and ice packs and shot blocks took the place of pumps and jagger bombs.”

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I love dogs

I am dog sitting for my boyfriend while he is hitting jackpots in Vegas. (That's what I hope anyway) I love this dog. She's the closest thing to a pet I have since my dogs died. She's a good dog. NEVER goes to the bathroom anywhere other than her own backyard (nice for walks), she's beefy enough to be taken seriously, she loves going for car rides and she loooooves kids. Yup, she's great.

Last night I decided to let her out once more for the night; it was about 9:30. Only a few minutes after she went out she started to bark and howl. Did I mention another good thing about her is that she doesn't bark. Often. I went outside to yell at her. No response; she just kept barking. Ferociously. In the back corner of the yard. In a hunched "I'm going to attack" kind of stance. Fabulous. Did I mention she doesn't like other animals in the yard and has on occasion killed rabbits....maybe an opossum? Eeeew. I feel sorry for me just recounting this tale. Long story short, she wouldn't budge from her post, kept barking and was completely ignoring any attempt to get her to come. I couldn't just walk back and grab her. I think I heard the other animal let out a growl from the other side of the chain link! She wasn't going to get the animal but she wouldn't leave it either. ARG! I was so angry/scared at this point, all I could do was through the remaining snow that I could find at her. It wasn't even a ball so don't go calling the humane society or anything. A few handfuls of snow distracted her and finally, finally, when I called she came and I dragged her butt inside and gave her a good talking too! Kids! Er, I mean Dogs!

Then she threw-up this morning on the bed.

She's great I tell ya.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Flava o' the week

Scrapbooking is the new hobby de weekend! But what about the blanket that you are crocheting for your cousin (who you promised to have for by Christmas) you ask? Yeah, yeah. That's still going. I have a border, some triangles and the middle to do. It will practically finish itself! Actually, that makes me think I should work on it this weekend too. I will. There that's settled. But I'm really excited about scrapbooking. I like doing it. I love reviewing my pages when I am done. I have gobs of accessories to make fabulous pages. I just lack the time; or so I always complain. But this weekend, as part of a distraction from longing, I'm going to do two things: Run and Scrapbook. I'll post some pages. It'll be great!

And that's about all I have to say about that. I'm excited. Just so's you know.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Christmas Miracle!

3 inches of snow by 8:30 and no end in site. And just in time for the holiday too! Except it's EASTER and mamas gotta run 8 miles. I was just trying to keep myself hyped when I said that you just go out and run. No, you call it a day and do what you can at the gym. It's literally a blizzard out there! On a can't run related note, there is no way I could have run today anyway. I walked 3 miles yesterday in bad shoes. They didn't start out bad of course so I kept going. But I am now the proud recipient of 3 new and very painful blisters. I can't believe I did that. How dumb. Under the blisters is very raw skin so much that it hurts to even walk. Um....can you see the problem I have here? Hurts to walk.....maybe it will hurt less to run since my feet won't be touching the ground as much. Yeah. Sounds about right.

If it would have just been the weather I might have thought, you should be running indoors. If it was just my feet I would have thought, you should push through as much as you can. This whole training has been about taking the setbacks as they come and still trudging on; if I'm honest with myself, the setbacks really aren't that bad. But I did have less then optimal (in my world) conditions. So take the setbacks, but keep your eye on the prize. I'll log those miles yet! Never fear. I don't :)

I'm off to visit family for Easter. Run or no, it's going to be a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book Report: The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book by: Miguel Ruiz

This book begins by explaining that we are all living in a dream. A dream that was created by the rules set up by our parents and society as we grew up and then the agreements about truth that we make with ourselves as adults. Our minds are cluttered with these so called agreements that we have chosen to believe. If these agreements are negative we spread them to other humans and reflect some of that negativity back to ourselves. Likewise if we have positive agreements. Interesting theory.

The four agreements:
  1. Be impeccable with your word. This doesn't just mean what you say to others, but what you say to yourself.

  2. Don't take anything personally. I was surprised to read that this mean compliments as well as criticism. You have to be true to yourself regardless of what others think; good or bad.

  3. Don't make assumptions. Personally, this is difficult.

  4. Always do your best. Something new here was considering that my 'best' changes. Doing my best doesn't mean that every time I need to best myself.
I found this book very interesting. It is a perspective that I hadn't considered before. The four agreements seem quite reasonable to me as the type of person I would like to be. Like everything I think you can take what you want out of something and pass over the rest. Some concepts he wrote about were hard to grasp like us sending "black magic" to others when we are negative. I get what he means; we spread our pain to others and cause them pain. It's just the wording I had to get past. It's very non-secular also. Being a Christian I could interpret the book from how it fits in with God's plan for my life; whatever you believe it is easy to interpret from that point of view.

I liked this book. He has also written a few other books that I will check out in the near future.

A day off

Yesterday I planned to go to the gym for a run. It was almost 40 here but it was overcast and sudden darkness loomed around every minute. Truth be told, it still didn't get dark until 7:30ish but I felt like it was going to get dark and I would get stranded and feel scared. No biggie, I can do 4.5 on the treadmill. It wasn't so long ago I was doing 6. (OK - I did that once, but still) But then I got home about 6 and put in some laundry and had supper. And then I was feeling so good about cleaning up around the place that I didn't want to stop. I did more laundry and cleaned up my room and even read a little. It was a nice evening; a lot was accomplished and it makes me feel better about today that I did some things that I seem to never have time to do (or maybe it's that I don't want to...?) I almost did the dishes even! I piled them all up and then thought......what's one more day. Tomorrow. I mean a girl can only be expected to do so much!

Tonight I know it is going to be a nice night for a run. I knew I waited for a good reason.

Let's talk about Friday though for a minute. Notice that is says 36 and snow!? In my book when it's above 32 that's called rain. Looks like it will be an interesting run on Friday. I'm going to do 8 and it won't be on the treadmill that's for certain! If it does happen to be snowy and/or rainy what can I do? Nothing. If it's raining and you have got to get a run in, you don't stare out the window and hope it clears. You get out there and you do that *$@#&^* run! I stole this quote from Billy Madison and really it's about a dog. So why even worry about the weather.
On a side, side note:
It's important to know the difference between worry and concern. If you are truly concerned about a situation or someone then you can and should do something about it ease your concern. When you worry there is absolutely nothing you can do to alleviate the situation. Concern is being cautious and smart. Worry is futile and consuming. I think I have read one too many self help books.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Exciting Times

You know what I just realized? 2008 is going to be a big year for me. I'm going to run my first 1/2 marathon, I'm going to complete my 1st triathlon, I'll be turning 30 for the 1st time, I'm going to go on some kind of great vacation to somewhere at some point. Yes-sir-ee lots of 1st coming up in 2008. Suddenly I am very optimistic and pleased with the prospect of 2008. I can't believe I didn't see all the promising events on New Year's Eve.

I'm back into the part of training that pushes my limits. I love this part. Well I don't specifically love it when I'm actually doing the long runs on the weekend. I love it when they are done. I'm so excited to be running this race in April and I'm looking forward to the challenge because it's gonna be tough. I can imagine the last two miles are going to be rough. But I'll just keep running, running, running. It will be fun. Eventually.

I signed up for an official 1 mile race to test my rabbit like speed. This race is chip timed (weird for a mile I know) so I will know exactly how fast I can run. I picture 10,000 maniacs going all out, speeding down Nicollet Avenue like survival of the fittest and the slowest people get eaten. Plus, they randomly select 400 people to be automatically entered into the 10-mile race I did last October. I don't really want to run it, but I figure this way it's out of my control. If I get picked it was meant to be and I'll do it. If not, I'll volunteer.

Also, what a great week. I love Easter. It is my most favorite holiday. I should dye some eggs. I love everything about Easter except Peeps. I just don't get it. What's so great about Peeps? It should be noted that I also don't eat marshmellows out of the bag. That might explain some of my doubt. Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Miss me?

When I don't blog for a while it usually means I am in some kind of funk or on vacation and it usually ain't vacation. This past week or so was a funk. Too much in my life taking too much of my mental energy to keep up in writing with my comings and goings. Yesterday though, I started what I feel is my down-to-business running schedule. I ran 4.5, have another 4.5 on Friday and then 7 on the weekend. Starting this week I am going up and up to 10 miles before the 1/2. Looking forward to the challenge. Mostly because it was almost 50 degrees yesterday and the sun shone until after 7PM. That meant AWESOME running weather. My new favorite temperature to run in is 50-60 degrees and my new favorite season is spring; until about August when my new old favorite season will be winter again. Exercise: a great anti-depressant for those of us without chemical imbalances.

On days that I give blood I allow myself to eat cookies and juice and all the sugar I need to replenish my funds over the next 24 hour period. Today I had an M&M cookie, 4 oreos and juice at the donation site. Later at work I had 2.5 more oreos and 2 girl scout cookies. I'm going to write this because it made my friend laugh when I emailed her today - I think there has to be some kind of statute of limitations on cookies on "Give Blood" day. The fantastic news is that I didn't pass out from low blood sugar. OK, I've never passed out; a continued undefeated record!

I signed up for a triathlon this summer!! The training for that will start the week after the 1/2. I'm really excited because I'm going to be following a plan for runners. I expect the mileage to be lower than what I will have been running and I'm excited to be really good on my run days. Hopefully this will all help with speed. On my life list of things to do I have written 'run one 7-minute mile'. Do you have any idea how fast that is? Now that I actually run, I know that it's F-A-S-T. For me and my short legs, that's fast. Considering the top marathon runners run about 5-minute miles (for 26.2 miles!!!) this seems like an unlikely feat. I'm gonna add it to 'The List" to see what I'm working with sometime this spring. What is the fastest mile I can run. Stay tuned for the results!

I just did the math and that's 8.5 miles per hour. Once I ran 8.4mph on a treadmill for 25 seconds. I should have done some research before setting arbitrary goals for myself. I'm surprised I didn't list "Perform brain surgery".