Friday, May 29, 2009

Pizza and Beer: The demise of a good runner

Last night's run was so much less than satisfying. I know I can do better. I know I run better than that. I was trying to do to much. I was trying to run without walk breaks and try to run 10 minute miles (on average). Neither happened. In fact I ended up walking far more that I usually do: 12 minute miles was more the pace. But that isn't the too much I was referring too. That should have been a challenge, not "too much". No, last night we went to happy hour because of the looming threat that an old hangout would soon be closed and we felt we had to visit one last time for nostalgia. I drank 3/4 of a Mich Golden Light. Blech! Why do I even bother? I bothered because it was cold and I new I was running so I didn't want to over do it but still wanted a brewski. And we ordered a pizza. I had 3 squares and a triangle.

Which - side note - how come when pizza is cut into squares you can eat the entire thing because, heck, what's just one more small square? But with slices, you're like "2 slices, whew! I'm full!" Hmmmm.......

Anyway, I left dutifully at 7 with some remorse that I even mentioned I was running because then people were like "You better get going" - Yeah, well you're not the boss of me! (just kidding). I fed the dog and headed out about 40 minutes after the pizza. I'm pretty sure I would have been ok with 3/4 beer sans pizza. Typical symptoms, lump in your stomach, heartburn, lethargy. And I only had 3 squares! And a small triangle. So, it was too much to reasonably think I could get happy hour and a run in (in that order). I keep telling myself time and again, get your "job" done before the fun but also, I'm never one to be left out of a party. I couldn't bear the thought of warm sun and cold beer, pizza and my friends having the best time of their entire lives.....without me.

The run sucked on a number of levels. First though, it had to be one of the most perfect days weather wise. I at least enjoyed that a great deal. But my hamstrings were so sore. This was a real shock to me because I'm never that sore. I never have injuries. I started running with my left leg straight because it hurt Mr. Hami to kick back with my leg and my right leg was doing all the work to compensate for the lack of thrust coming from the left. I think this means I need a rest. POOF! Done. I'm headed to Chicago with a friend today. Just because I'm a jet setter like that. To Chicago. Randomly. And I signed up for a 10K on Sunday - Share Your Soles. The online registration said there were 183 participants so I should be fairly easy to spot. I'll be last; I'm not getting my hopes up or anything though :) Rest today, walking and sight seeing tomorrow and I should be right as rain by Sunday. Ready to try out those 10 minute miles again because in a race scenario - anything is possible!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Everybody's Got a Story to Tell

Last night was the last night of my Women's Running camp. I met some folks although I'm not sure I ever knew their names. And while I didn't create lasting friendships (because it was a short camp which met once a week and I missed 3 weeks) it was great fun to be in a group of women, gathering to do what we all love. I enjoyed going each week. We ended with a timed mile, just like we started with in the first session. I ran 8:50. Exactly the time of the TC 1-Mile and 6 seconds slower than my one mile time in the first week of camp. I think I'll try the 1 mile distance once per month and see if I improve. The slower time was a bit discouraging, but at least it's consistent I suppose.

After the run they usually have a speaker come in to talk about different aspects of running. Last night they had the senior women's group from MDRA talk in a panel format. It was so interesting. It just goes to show you that every body's got a story to tell about how they became runners or why they continue to run. I could have listened to every women in that room go around and tell about why they are runners. It's so personal and unique to each person. Anybody who has worked to train for anything from a 5k to an ultra-marathon or even those who never race and just started by going around the block know what it's like to have to pull from your inner strength and go beyond what you though you were capable of. It's inspiring to think about. It leaves me speechless. It makes me tingly and all I can do is nod in agreement. But that chord in your heart flares up when you hear other people's stories because they are playing the same identifiable chord that is in you.

What's next for me, well, Grandma's Half is coming up June 20th. I want to rock and/or roll that race! It's flat. It's less than a month away. It's flat. I can run my little heart out. Also, I am 89% sure I am going to sign up for the Fall Marathon Training program through MDRA. I'm not sure if this is the right year for me to do a marathon but I have the time to train for one, so I thought heck, why not. My feeling is that I won't be a marathon runner but rather a 1/2 or 10 mile runner. I think to put that much time (and effort!) into training for that distance will wear me out; become a job. But who knows. I vowed I would never run over 10 miles either. So I'm not saying 'never' I just am feeling like probably not at the moment. But the training group is something I am really looking forward to!

Something new: I was thinking that it would be great to be a 10 min/mile runner. Just on average. Very occasionally have I run 10 min/miles for any distance. Very occasionally. But tonight for my run I am going to do two things. 1. Run the whole way - 5 mi. (no 1 min walk breaks every 10 min) and 2. Pretend I am a 10 min/mile runner. What if I just run 6 mph. And just see how simple it can be. Maybe it's cuz I just never tried it before. So tonight I'll try. Maybe this is ridiculous because I've never tried to run a 5 min/mile either and I don't have delusions that I can. But I think it's good to not always have preconceived notions about what you can't do. Isn't that just setting myself up for not being able to do it? Don't they say something like "If you think you can't, your right"?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mississippi 10 Mile

Well, as predicted, this was a bit of a challenge for me. Seeing as how my weekly distance has been about 10 miles, I just decided this week, I'd put it all in one day. Whew! This is actually a pretty nice little race. The price is right - $8-$10 w/o T-shirt I think. It's out and back along the Mississippi River path. It was a perfect morning, and the path was shaded enough to keep you from overheating in the sun. All in all, I recommend it. If your looking for the thrill of victory and all the glory of medals and crowd rah-rahs, this is not your race. But if you want to get out there in more of a low key setting, maybe a training race, this is great. I'm for it.

That being said, a mile 5 I was keeping pace with the back of the pack. I did a run 5, walk 1 through the first half. I kept thinking that if I felt good, I would pick it up to at least 10 minutes of running on the way back. What was really interesting to me is that I wasn't even winded by mile 3. I felt like I was doing the run/walk intervals more for my poor legs that didn't know what was in store for them yet. I can only credit the swimming I have been doing for my easy breathing during this run. Swimming must be helping with the cardio side of running.

So I stayed the course even though it is SUPER-D-DUPER painful to not want to keep up with the cool crowd. It was me and 5 other people bringing up the rear for the first half. I did feel ok, so I started running for at least 10 minute intervals and was able to improve my position a little. Mostly I felt good because I didn't go out to strong and I still had fuel at the end. And at the end I mean until about mile 8.72 I had fuel. Then I was not a happy camper. I had to lie to my legs and tell them we were almost done. Yeah. Right. Almost is .10 of a mile. not 1.10 miles. They felt betrayed, but luckily they didn't walk out on me.

In the end, I am so glad that I have that behind me as a milestone. My legs are pretty sore, but they'll recover. It more of a mental thing to know that I did 10 and that building up the miles is within reach again. I'm doing a cutback week next weekend, and then ramping up for Grandma's Half. And I am vowing that I am going to follow my training plan that I came up with to the letter. No more, 10 mile weekly totals. I need about 16+ miles per week. I don't want to have to have a painful 1/2.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Long Run Report with Bonus Feature

Long Run Report:
Next Sunday is the 10 mile race. Yikes. Today I was supposed to do 8 which turned out to be only 7.47 because I guess my route wasn't long enough. Today's run was better than the last two weekend long runs. I felt better. I would have felt great if I would have finished today feeling like I had some left in the tank. 2.73 to be exact, but I think I will have it next weekend. I did feel better this run, and I was getting hungry and was thirsty around mile 6, so I am hoping that will better nutrition and a couple days rest before I'll be able to pull through. I'm just using this 10 mile as training for Grandma's 1/2 anyway. I will be doing 5 minute run/1 minute walk probably. I'm at a point where I don't have the base miles built up to cover that distance with stamina. I'll get there though. This is all good news because I feel like there is hope for the 10 miles next weekend. Last week there was none. This is good.

Bonus Feature:
I've read brief parts, heard about, talked with others about the book Skinny Bitch. I hate this book. I don't find anything humorous about the authors attitudes or the fact that they call the reader names. How is negativity supposed to get me motivated? I don't get it. One person's blog I read mentioned the fact that at least it's an easy read and entertaining and the in your face style get attention for the lifestyle they are trying to promote. Maybe I just hate it to argue because I hear people raving about it. That and I'll freely admit that I've never understood vegetarianism and sometimes we dislike what we don't understand. That's not a good way to be; I'll admit that too, but that's how it is and I something I need to work on.

BUT - I bought this book today called The Food Evolution - How your diet can help save your life and our world. I like it because the guy is promoting making choices that make us feel good about ourselves. He's promoting vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle without any name calling (to the reader or the dairy/meat industry). He's says "I care whether you live in accordance with your values, whether your life has integrity and purpose, whether you act with compassion for yourself and for all life." I can certainly get behind that. I want to live a healthy lifestyle and I want to be a good steward of the environment. Because here's the thing. Do I like the fact that we consume so much chicken and beef that the industries have had to come up with ways to mass produce this product the cheapest way possible which I am sure is not in the animals best interest? No. But what about the 2-3 cows that my cousins raise each year and then take them to a local butcher and sells the meat to friends and family? I think there is a HUGE difference there and my conscience does not feel guilty about eating that meat. This book makes me feel like I can make good choices for my health and the environment and I get to choose what that means for me. Which I'm pretty sure will always include eating meat, but I might modify my diet based on what I learn. Who knows. So it turns out that I hate that other book because of the way it is written, not because of the ideas they are presenting. Which is a good thing, because I like to think that I am open to listening and learning regardless of whether I agree or not.

I like this book and I'm only on page 21. I just find it interesting and the author seems like he is writing from love, not from hate. Whether or not I ultimately agree with him, I respect his opinion much more because of that.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I can justify leaving work at 4PM if I go workout before eating a ton of pizza at my aunts house. But if I don't work out then I need to be at work being productive.

But what if I want to leave work now and NOT work out. It's hard being an adult sometimes.

Because the 10 year old child in me is the one who came up with the fabulous idea that I could leave now AND just lounge. But the 30 year old in me says think about how guilty you will feel about eating a ton of pizza if you don't work out.

*Notice how neither the 10 year old or the 30 year old feel guilty about work?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Progressive Post

Beginning of a post from about a week ago:

Here's the way I like to do things. I listen. Someone teaches and talks and I listen. Then I observe. I focus on the details and really visualize what's going on. I start slow. If its a mental thing then I work in groups and try to listen more or individual I attempt something small. If physical I still take it slow concentrating on every aspect of what I heard and saw. Then - TaDAAA!- I'm good at it. At least that's how it goes in my mind. So I can't for the life of me figure out why I'm not a master swimmer after 3 practices! I'm not so good on the practice. All my life when I don't get something immediatly I give up. Because early on in life I didn't have to work at things. Stuff came naturally and when it came time to buckle down because things weren't coming so easily I didn't want to because I was used to just getting things. I shouldn't have to work, I should just know.

I get it. Everyone has to practice. Even Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps still practice. I know I'm doing fine. I know I just have to put in the time and practice. Yeah, yeah. I get it. But I'm still frustrated.

Few days ago:

I wish I could say that I feel much better about where things are but I can't. Not really. I ran 7 miles on Sunday and once again thought my legs would fall off. It was all I could do to finish. I have one more long run before the 10 mile which is 8 miles hopefully on Saturday. I would feel a lot better about picking up those 2 miles on race day if I can finish the 8 miles with any dignity or at least an ounce of energy to spare.

I ran the TC 1-Mile last Thursday. Beat my time from last year by 10 seconds, but I guess I expected more. 10 seconds is good, but more would have been better. Course this year I didn't nearly lose a lung so I guess that's an improvement.

And I must start riding my bike. Or some sort of bike. Geez, I can't believe that I'm in the pool more than on a bike. Never though I'd see that day. I'm officially signed up for the triathlon in July. I got a $10 discount for being a Lifetime member, but then charged an extra $10 for not being a USATF (or whatever) member. What's that all about. I can't help feeling robbed somehow.


Had a run with the running group. We did fartleks. That went ok, started off strong and then completely faded to shorter sprints and some walking in between. I've seen in a million times at the track. Your horse is out in front for first 1/2 or so and then going into the first turn a few horses catch up. Making the final turn into the stretch it looks like he's going backward as Derek Bell and whatever horse he is on zooms by for a huge close and the victory. Yeah. I'm that horse. (not the one that speeds by in the stretch). But I did have this enjoyable thought:

I keep telling myself that the only person I have to best is myself. I may run past this person or that person but what does it really mean? There will always be someone faster. I like to focus on making myself proud, knowing how hard I worked and meeting my own goals. So the fact that I only did 10 seconds better than my last 1-Mile time, why, that just means that I am really hard to beat. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Steady as she goes

I've been feeling pretty good about my workouts since I got back from Ireland. I jumped right back in last week running almost 10 miles after 2 weeks of NADA. I did 3.42 on Wednesday with my running group and then 6 on Saturday. The Saturday run was difficult to say the least. Sometimes there are runs where you have to dig deep but your all the more energized for having done that when you finish and then there are those runs where you dig deep, and somewhere along the way find you have hit the bottom. And you still have 2 miles to go. That was this run. I did it with under a 11 minute mile pace, but it was exhausting. I'm pretty sure I lost a little fitness on my break but it will come back. One or two hard runs in between, but I'll get right back where I was.

I was hoping to start biking this week, but since I have decided to do the short course triathlon again in July I figure I've got some time before I need to get serious. I would like to get a ride in soon though just because it's been so dang nice here outside! Swimming has been tons of fun though. I've been to two sessions, but I love it! It's new and it's challenging and....just fun!

This week should be pretty good then. Run, swim, run, swim/run the TC 1-mile, break, run 7 miles.