Wednesday, August 27, 2008

That's a Fact, Jack!!

(Post was started Sunday night and is referring to the run from that day)

You know, Emily, just when I think you couldn’t be any worse of a runner, you go out and have a run like that.

And totally REDEEM yourself!!!

After last weeks horrible debacle of a long run I thought this whole training thing up to the 10 mile was going to be uphill the whole way. Good for building endurance but very hard on the ego. My goal again for this run was to feel successful. In order for me to feel successful I wanted to feel good during the entire run. I always feel good for the first 2 minutes but after the first 1.5 miles it can be a major struggle. I feel out of breath, not able to catch up. My heart pounds or my legs are dead weight. Just couldn’t seem to find the right combination to feel comfortable. I would go out and just run what I feel and then end up giving up and feeling unsuccessful. Or I would try to go as fast as I could thinking I could pull it of for a short distance. Whatever would go wrong it was frustrating. The only thing not frustrating was that I was putting in the miles. But I wanted to enjoy it. Is that so wrong?

But this run, I was successful. I felt good the whole run. I ran 10 minutes and walked 1 the whole way and you know what. The first mile was my slowest. I got faster with each mile. That never happens to me! And at the end I felt so good. I wasn't completely spent. I was challenged; it's not like the entire run was a cake walk. I wanted to walk a bit more at the end but I kept going. It was just what I wanted and what I expect running to be. A bit of a test of will and spirit, but a good accomplished feeling at the end.

7 miles in the books.

4 Score

Emily - For one million dollars, here is your question:

How far are you going to run today?

A) Only as far as it is from the couch to the bathroom
B) The scheduled 4 miles
C) 1 furlong
D) A shortened 3 miles and I probably won't finish that

Ummmm. Uh. I'd like to use a lifeline and phone a friend.

I called just to complain at first but then she asked "Do you want me run with you?".

"No. (because then I have to run) OK fine. Yes."

On some level I must have known I had to run. I skipped having a beer at the company fun outing. I called her knowing full well that her response was likely and when we started running with the intent of at least 3 and we will see how we feel at 2 I said we have to do 4 because I have to get that done today. Another day won't work this week. The answer then, was B. We ran 4.

So thanks Allison. Couldn't have/Wouldn't have done it without you.

You know those runs where you don't want to go, but you put your shoes on. And you calculate how much you can cut back and still feel like you gave it a reasonable effort. But then you come around, pick up the pace and feel completely invigorated and bounding with energy when you are done. And you wonder how you could have considered skipping out on that feeling???

This was so NOT one of those runs. I felt tired and crabby when I started and the feeling continued until the last step and breath. And guess what today is like? More of the same. But I ran dang it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thankful for a good run

I'm feeling refreshed today. Last night I ran 4 miles on the treadmill. The plan was to run 3 minutes and walk 1. I finished with an average pace of 11:30; not far off what it would have been with no walking, but I felt really good about it. I wasn't beating myself up for not finishing or going faster. It felt good and it was an achievable goal I set for myself. Not going analyze this strategy or pace or ANYTHING about this treadmill run. I had a good run. Who knows what the next one will bring, but I want to focus on setting challenging yet achievable goals. In the event that I set a too challenging goal I can say at least I tried and then try again or restate my goal. All I know is it feels wonderful to feel successful and that has been missing from my running lately.

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach." Benjamin Mays

Monday, August 18, 2008

That’s not me

In an interview with Michael Phelps yesterday, or tomorrow or right now (who really knows in Beijing time) Bob Costas was asking him about the 200M butterfly where his goggles filled up with water and he couldn’t see but still swam an amazing race. Michael said that he was so mad after the race (feeling that he could have done better even though it was a WR!), that he couldn’t even see where he was in the pool because everything was so blurry. He said he had to resort to counting stokes for the last back and forth to get an idea of where he was in the pool. Costas said something to the effect that Tiger Woods could have had an excuse in the Master’s for doing poorly or losing (if he had); that Michael too, could have had an excuse. It was a justifiable out. Michael just said “That’s not me. I swim and I leave everything in the pool.” He goes on to say that’s just swimming, things happen and you still have to try to do your best and just deal with it. That’s why he’s a champion and an amazing person.

Oooh. Chilling. Recalling it now send chills up my spine.

I was thinking this a while ago and this just solidified my thoughts. Sometimes it’s hot and I have a bad run. Sometimes I’m hungry and I have a bad run. Sometimes the planets align and everything is perfect and I have a bad run. But all of those runs, good or bad, is how I run. Not how fast or how long I run defines me; what defines me as a runner is my willingness to persevere. It doesn’t matter what excuses you have or what the conditions were. What matters is your attitude and you tenacity and how you react to diversity. That’s what makes me the runner I am and the athlete I am. Yes, I said athlete. I went there.

I feel like I should put a disclaimer on this post. I complain. I make excuses. I sometimes have difficulty pushing myself. But I’m working on it. There are great role models in this world . Even my 15 year old cousin who doesn’t complain and always tries her best. And she mastered that attitude in half the time I did. There is something to learn from every athlete.

For my next trick, I will be running with the intent of pushing myself to discomfort. (Because trust me, in a 1/2 marathon - there is discomfort) It may only be a 3 mile run to build a foundation but it's just as important to my training as any other run, and so is the next one, and the next. Treat every step as if it were the most important. Because it is.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Putting the Slow in "Long Slow Distance"

Ok - I stole that from about 5 other bloggers, but seriously? One of top 5 worst runs EV-AR!

1. Torchlight 5K 2007 - Hot, hot, hot and humid
2. Riverfest 10K 2008 - the altitude killed me
3. Last two miles of the 1/2 marathon
4. 8/14 6 mile training run!!

Ug. I have to think that there is a point to the taper week. If this 6 miles was instead a 10K race I wouldn't have been lifting weights every morning at 6AM, I wouldn't have run much and the race would have been ok. So I think then, that the fact that my legs were spent from a workout on Tuesday and I was tired from working out this morning compounded to give me "The Worst Run Ever". BUT - I did it. That was want I wanted. I wanted to do it. No matter how I did it. I said in a previous blog post even if I had to walk 3 miles, I'd do it. I dang near did have to walk that much!

I walked for the better part of the 4th mile and then ran the entire 5th, but was finished after 5. I ended the last mile by doing 1 minute of walking and 1 minute of running. Then .10 of a mile running and 1 minute walking, then finally jogged (yes jogged) the last .30 miles. Phew! I think I should mention that I kept the average pace under 12 minutes even with all the walking.

I am right about at a good exhaustion level for my lasik. I should sleep like a baby when I get home! See ya'll better tomorrow! :)

And WHY did I not take two weeks off work to watch every minute of the Olympics??? I am watching them now waiting to go to the Dr.'s office and this is great!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grey Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

Put on a happy face
Wipe of the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face

Take of the gloomy mask of tragedy
It's not your style
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
That you decided to smile

Pick out a pleasant outlook
Stick out that noble chin
Wipe off that full-of-doubt look
Snap on a happy grin

Spread sunshine all over the place
And just put on a happy
Put on a happy face

~The Supremes

I can't take the pressure of trying to "catch up" on mileage, so I've decided to wipe the slate clean. I'm starting fresh with Training Week 3 as it was intended to be done. 3-3's and a 6. Except that with my lasik happening this week, I might need to rearrange, but I'm not worried. I'll get the running in. I might have a tough time going 6, but I think if I take it at a comfortable pace I'll make it. Well of course I'll make it. When I say 6 I mean 6. Even if I have to walk for a mile. I'll cross 6. It's got to be like that with every long run. You just gotta do it. One of my biggest fears is knowing my limits. I was thinking last night on my run that what's gotta happen, what you gotta do to safeguard against that is when you think you have reached your limit, when you don't think you have any left, that's when you go farther. Just a little. It's important to keep yourself pushing for more. But don't forget to recognize accomplishment!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

24 Usable Hours in Every Day

Ug. I feel horrible. And not because I am 30.

It's because I ran 4 miles last week. Not 4 for my long run. I mean 4 total. That's 10 short of what was scheduled. With the birthday party and all the preparation, there was NO TIME. And it really really bothered me all last week. I guess I am just going to have to carry on and do the best that I can with the time that I have. This weeks menu looks like this:

M - 5 miles
W - 3-4 with hill repeats
Th - Lasik surgery
6 miles??? When will I feel good enough to complete that?

This sucks. What can I do? How can I make myself feel like I am doing all that I can? I want to squeeze everything in, but I know myself too well. I don't do well physically or mentally with squeezing a bunch in. There is only so much squeezing I can handle.

I don't know. Maybe it's just Monday, and I'm complaining because it is hard to come back to real life after such a fabulous weekend. I hope I'm more optimistic after my 5 miles tonight.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!

It's my birthday tomorrow: 08-08-08 in case you didn't know.

How fun is that?

Monday, August 4, 2008

On my list

1. Learn Spanish (like comprehend and say sentences)
2. Learn to surf
3. Visit Ireland --DONE
4. Do a Triathlon --DONE
5. Run a 7 minute mile
6. Do ONE pull up
7. Lose 100 pounds
8. Buy and wear leather pants (I think I am over this one......)
9. Learn to snowboard --DONE
10. Read 30 books in one year
11. Volunteer --DONE
12. Change my own oil
13. Read the Bible
14. Get masters degree
15. Learn Latin (just some)
16. Get Married --DONE
18. Play ein Klein Nocht on the piano
19. Bench my weight
20. Leave a $100 tip for a waitperson
21. Go to the Kentucky Derby
22. Run the Burrito Union 10-Hour Triathlon

I think that is good for now. Most of these I would like to complete in the next 5-10 years so I will leave a few vacant slots for when I turn 40 and reassess the situation.

What happened to everyone!?!

It must have been a heck of a weekend because none of my bloggy peeps have updated anything since last Friday. :( I read blogs like most people read the news. I like to sip my coffee and catch up with everyone and everything.

(I can see the hypocracy here that I myself have no weekend update either. Let this be a lesson to us all how easy it is to point the perverbial finger. It just leaves 3 fingers pointing back at ourselves) -- That's supposed to be funny.

Friday, August 1, 2008

In the past 30 years

In the past 30 years I have accomplished a lot. Before I start making my list of the stuff I still want to do next I thought I should reflect on all my accomplishments thus far. Plus I'm turning 30 people! Time to reflect.

1. Lost 83 pounds
2. Ran a 10K
3. Visited 5 horse tracks

4. Took golf lessons
5. Walked in HS Graduation with a Green (a long time ago, but at one time was life or death)
6. Can play the piano (although exponentially losing skills)
7. Completed the calculus series
8. Became a volunteer
9. Ran a 10-Mile race
10. Took up snowboarding
11. Have a retirement fund
12. Visited the Statue of Liberty
13. Got a job I like
14. Took Spanish classes

Yup. Things have been pretty good for me. I would count myself among blessed. I would even say I am more blessed than I deserve. So why am I not freaked out about turning 30? It's because I'm just getting warmed up baby!!