how jord got her groove back

Subtitled: really not interested in researching psychological disorders at the moment

After a few months of feeling sorry for myself because of my knee/hamstring lameness, it struck me that the real reason I wasn’t feeling better about my running was because I wasn’t running regularly. Funny how that works. I gave myself a dozen or more pep-talks trying to get myself back into that mental space of enjoying my runs. Turns out, talking (self or otherwise) does not activate the production and release of endorphins into the brain. You might think that is fairly self-evident, and I suppose you would be correct. I feel like I have a good understanding of the “if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them” concept. Sometimes I feel like I have a sub or semiconscious need to double-check or triple check to make sure I’m drawing the correct conclusion from my mistakes.

The end of my pity party started when I finally picked up my copy of Run Like A Mother to reread it. The book is written by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, to whom I was first introduced to in various articles out of Runner’s World. They are writers, wives, mothers, and most importantly runners. Or maybe it’s the combination of the last three aspects (since we all know the first doesn’t apply to moi). The first chapter was all I really needed. It is entitled “Running for Our Lives”. Both authors include essays about what running means to them. I’ll include what really sticks with me from each essay.

Up first is Dimity:

The trip-trap, trip-trap of my heels lulls me into a dreamy space where the reality of my ulcer-inducing life doesn’t faze me. Running is more powerful than any drug I’ve taken, and I’m fairly certain it’s the elixir that has allowed me to maintain a sliver of my former self-and my sanity… I don’t doubt myself in tough situations because I am a runner. I feel almost invincible because I’m a runner.

And now Sarah:

I need to get out and just be me, not the time-out-giver, snack-bestower, or boo-boo kisser. I want to be merely a woman in a running skirt, sweating out the stress so I can return ready for another trip to the playground… I also run to feel alive. To remind myself that I am a corporeal being, that I have a body… All my worries, internal debates, and concerns get tamped down by the rhythmic pounding of my feet. I love it.

There are probably a score or more of other underlined phrases throughout the rest of the book, but I’ll leave it here. Copyright issues and whatnot.

I think the magic is in seeing that, yes, it is a struggle for everyone. I know logically that making myself a priority is beneficial to everyone I interact with, but it is reassuring to see that I’m not the only one that struggles with it. Even though I know we all have our own dilemmas, the closer the circumstances of others are to our own, the more it resonates.

Even with a poopy run this morning, I’m still in love with running. I would really like for my iPod sensor to magically reappear. And I’ve discovered a down side to my Nike Frees. I don’t know what it is with the tread, but the gaps are HUUUUUUGE. I spend about 10 minutes after each run picking out pieces of gravel. Not a deal breaker, but gravel is permanently banned from my “awesome-est uses for rocks” list. Major blow to gravel’s self-esteem, that is.

living in a timewarp

I’m blowing off my class tonight. I just can’t sit through it. I have a take home test due and I’m just emailing it to him. I simply can’t take it. Imagine me doing a Scarlett O’Hara back-of-the-hand-to-my-forehead impression when reading that last sentence. I think it adds ambiance to my whining complaining revealing of factual information.

I finally went for a run in the new neighborhood! Even with the peek-a-boo sidewalks, it was so much better than in B-town. Hubs doesn’t have to get up as early in the morning for work so I’m considering switching to morning runs. Read that again. MORNING RUNS. As much as I enjoy my late afternoon/evening runs, it’s not going to be practical in the summer. It was hot on my run today! And by hot I mean it was around 65 degrees. So maybe the issue is that I’m dehydrated and not the “heat”. Whatever. I actually like the idea of getting up in the mornings, although we know it’s not my natural inclination. I just did 20 minutes since my commute is like 500 times longer. used a new piece of equipment that I’m embarrassed/excited to tell you about. But not now. I actually have to finish typing my take home test and then email it to my professor. I’m just telling him I can’t make it to class tonight and not going into the why part.

I do have to share one of the questions we could choose to answer: “Why purpose do such forms serve in culture?” I would assume there was originally another part to it, but that’s all that’s listed. Although, this is coming from a man who has a picture of a dinosaur Jesus as his Facebook profile and uses Borat and M.I.A. as teaching tools. So perhaps he meant that as a question.

I’m getting really excited for my Girls on the Run 5k! So remember how I said I wasn’t going to do the Monkey 5k (trail run raising $$ for the search and rescue peeps) because it would be too much? About that. Here’s how my 5/22-5/23 schedule will look.

  • Saturday 8am-noon: Girls on the Run 5k plus some type of carnival thing afterward
  • noon-2: eat, get myself from south Seattle to the UW campus for Relay
  • 2pm- Sunday 8am: run,walk, take photos, blog & tweet about all of it
  • 8am: drag butt across town to Alki for a 5k (which starts around 10am?)
  • whenever I stumble across the finish line: tape eyelids open & drive home before passing out until Monday at 3:30 pm when I need to leave for school.

Awesome plan, right? I’m actually really excited and I’m glad that SeattleRunnerGirl let me in on the secret that is the Alki 5k. Little known fact: Ballard is not my true homeland. I actually came into this world on First Hill, but lived in the ghetto that is the Highpoint neighborhood of West Seattle until I was 3 1/2. My dad called our house the ‘yellow submarine’ (it was on the small side, and meringue-y in color). Highpoint is now full of brand new “green” project housing, but I just saw on the news that someone (a mother running?) was stabbed (10+ times?) there last weekend. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. So, anyway. West Seattle will always have a soft spot in my heart, although my yellow submarine is no longer yellow. Also, this race is FLAT which is a relative rarity for Seattle.

This is way off on a tangent, but it’s really awkward listening to 18 year olds flirt. Also, a sweater vest is to be worn over a shirt at all times. Your wife-beater doesn’t count. Thankfully, those two observations are completely separate. Otherwise, I’d feel the need to pass on the wise words from the krill in Finding Nemo: “Swim away! Swim away!” Or maybe that it was the slugs in Flushed Away: “Run away! Run away!”

Overheard any funny/awkward/strange conversations? Any fashion faux pas? (not in the that’s-not-in-this-issue-of-Vogue way, but in the honestly-it’s-not-okay-to-wear-panties-as-pants-because-that’s-why-they-are-called-underpants way.)

5 in the rain

It’s March in the beautiful PNW, which means Mother Nature is at her bipolar finest. I had actually forgotten how refreshing a run in the rain could be. There was a nice strong headwind at the start of my run, but it disappeared soon after. I took a new route (for the most part) and it was nice. Not too hilly, but no chance of being flat. It was supposed to be an easy run, but I have a hard time keeping a ‘conversational’ pace while running solo. I tried. Really, I did. Time to find a running partner or three. I’m getting so excited for the race on Sunday! Tomorrow is packet pick up and costume gathering time. 😀

I joined some new challenges at Nike+ but like usual it’s not registering my most recent run yet. Maybe this is Steve Jobs’ way of trying to get me to buy a new iPod? In terrifying news about my running capris, it appears UPS has misplaced them. Somewhere between here and Illinois. Note to self- just pay for shipping next time, Cheap-o. I really wasn’t expecting them to be here by Sunday, so I’m not too bummed out. Hopefully they will show up tomorrow while I’m out running errands.

The lovely (I’m quite sure!) Seattle Runner Girl had a recent post that has me thinking. The gist of it is, do something that scares you. Personally, I’m taking this in a baby steps sort of way. I will not be jumping out of or off of anything, sorry to disappoint. The thing is, I’ve experienced so many scary things life changing events in the last 9 or so months that I don’t know what I have left. Actually, I’m left with a litany of irrational fears. (Exaggerate? Moi? Never!) So today or maybe tomorrow I’m going to face one of those fears head on.

I’m going to eat a banana.

Go ahead and laugh. It’s okay. I would laugh, too. I’m not exactly afraid of bananas. It’s more like the smell/texture makes me dry heave if I think about it too long. I don’t even drink smoothies because they always have bananas in them and then they smell and I can’t get past the banana smell! Banana flavored Runts however… but I digress. I even have a plan of action. Cut it in rounds and cut them in half. That way they can’t turn into banana paste in my mouth. *deep breath* I don’t plan on eating more than half since the bananas Hubs got are basically the size of my forearm. It’s like they all have a case of elephantiasis or one of those brain tumors on the pituitary gland that make people grow to enormous size. Ugh. But, much like my classes this coming quarter, I will reserve judgment (and even thinking about it) until it’s already started. Wish me luck!

not a great start

I couldn’t find either of my preferred running shirts. It was freezing in a short sleeve t-shirt. I completely forgot that I own a technical long sleeve top, or that I own multiple pairs of gloves suitable for running. I very nearly turned around. I’m not really sure why, but I felt really sluggish. I started out too fast in a desperate attempt to get my blood flowing so that I could regain feeling in my arms and hands. Which never happened, by the way. It was pretty, though. Fog is one of my favorite things, as long as it isn’t too thick when I’m driving. It gave the trails a prehistoric feel to them. Very otherworldly. It’s all burned off now and it is an incredibly beautiful day. It’s in the mid 40s now, so it’s warmed up a bit and the wind has stopped. This is more like late April weather and I’m loving it! It’s supposed to pour buckets tomorrow though, so the mini spring we’ve had the last week or so is over.

title nine

came through in the most amazing way. I spent way too long in there yesterday trying on different styles. I narrowed it down to the two with the least amount of bounce. I opted for the less cute completely ugly Wired and Ready for Action bra and the much cuter yet extremely functional 3-Reasons Support bra.  As there was a tiny amount of bounce difference between the two, I went for the uglier minutely less bouncy bra. Besides, I am definitely not at the point where I would feel comfortable running around without a shirt on. Maybe someday, but not this one. I did want to try the 7 Wonders Bra but the store had not yet received a shipment of that style. I left my name and number and they called me today (a mere 22 hours later!) to let me know the store had just gotten that style in. Love them!

My run felt really weird today. Not physically, but mentally. I get bored with a route easily and I confess I’m at that point with my local park trails. So today I went to the park and did the trails, but I started my loop and ran counterclockwise. Big deal, right? Apparently it was. I couldn’t concentrate on anything but that I was running the “wrong” way. Maybe that’s why it felt so short. I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’ll go the same way again on Monday or the “right” way instead. (Saturday will be my first 5K this year!) Silly, isn’t it?

last two runs

have been spectacular. Or something close anyway. Sunday’s run felt really great and so did today’s. I pushed hard this run and when I checked my pace in the final minute I was right near 9:30 mpm which is great for me, especially at the end of a run (I’m usually closer to 9:45 or 9:50 at the beginning).  I’m really enjoying my runs. I’m thinking ahead to the warmer months and contemplating what type of lights I’ll need to run at night. Although it’s possible that my schedule will shift enough that I’ll have to start running in the mornings. I suppose that will be fine. I did go today as soon as I rolled out of bed, but very few people would consider that an early start. Who knows? I don’t care, as long as I figure out a schedule & can run somewhere besides a busy street. I’m heading to Title Nine tomorrow since they are the only retailer that carries products that meet my requirements. And then it’s out for a short run to calibrate my Nike+ and test the goods from the shop!

running after dark

I’m not used to running after dark. In the past I’ve only ever done it at a local lake with a well-lit path. I wasn’t feeling well this morning (again), and didn’t go first thing like I’d been planning. Then suddenly, it was 5 o’clock and I still hadn’t gone out. In the land of no sidewalks and SUVs (aka “the suburbs”) this left me with one option that feels safe to me (as I have yet to purchase a headlamp or butt light), which was an out and back on the closest arterial. Lucky me, that means hills, hills, hills. I really didn’t know if I was going to make it through this run without having to stop early, but I did. So despite the slow overall time, low mileage & low caloric burn I feel like this run was a success if only for the fact that I didn’t stop before the little voice in my ear bud said to stop.

I’ve tracked all my runs on the Nike running website. I love it. I upload each run and I can look at a graph of my overall pace among 100 other options. I’ve joined a few challenges, specifically to move from “yellow” to “green”. Yellow is the lowest standing ( 0-30 miles) and green is 3rd of 6 (155-620 miles). One is to reach that goal by September 4th, and the other is to reach it by December 31st. So a rough calculation for 09/04 puts me at needing to run a little over a mile every other day until the 4th. I don’t envision any issues with that plan, but with 12/31 as a goal, that puts me at under a mile every other day.

My goal this year is to run in some sort of race each month. I still haven’t decided if I want that to include a marathon this fall or not, which means that I probably won’t do it. I have a nasty habit of starting out too fast or pushing too quickly and I’m tired of getting injured. So, I’ll try to play it smart. This is my tentative schedule:

January 31st: a 5K which is part of a fitness challenge (they offer 3 over the course of 3 months)

February 13th: a Valentine’s themed 5K at my old stomping grounds (a local lake aka the bog of eternal stench)

March 14th: St. Patrick’s Day themed 3.8mi which I’ve participated in a few times in the walking wave

April 18th: a 6K to raise awareness about the availability of clean drinking water

May 16th: an annual race to raise money for diabetes (which my grandfather-in-law just lost a foot to)

June 26th: my first half marathon

July 23-24th: Ragnar Relay’s Northwest Passage (12 person team covering 185 miles in 24 hours, each person running between 11.4-19.2 miles split between 3 legs each. MOST AWESOME RUNNING EVENT I COULD EVER IMAGINE, except for an ultra, but that will be a long time coming for me)

August 14th: 13 mile trail run. Super psyched about this!

September 12th: a 10 mile trail race

October: still working it out, would love to do a charitable run for breast cancer but can’t find anything local…

November 25th: 5K Thanksgiving themed race to raise $$ for a local food bank

November 28th: half marathon (this would have been my marathon, but let’s not go too overboard)

December: still working it out, but leaning towards a run to support diabetes research

For Ragnar I need to know my 10K pace, but I figure between a few 5Ks and a half marathon I can get a good idea of what it would be.

Long term goals: a marathon, and an ultra. Maybe even Badwater? lol I can dream. That one goes under pipe dreams looooooooooong term goals (I’ll just go flip a coin.)