rest days are dangerous

Or, why running is like school.

Because they (rest days) are extremely boring. I found myself becoming restless yesterday, filled with nervous tension. Bubs and I spent the entire day in the backyard; me in my ghetto-fab cabana and him alternating between the cabana and kiddie pool. I think part of my restlessness is stemming from it still being the early days of my summer vacation. I took 11 credits this summer and only finished last Thursday. It was another 4.0 quarter! Pretty awesome considering I never opened my textbooks and quit caring about the quarter exactly 45 minutes into the first week.

Here’s the thing about school. In the 43 credits I have taken in the last year (I didn’t take anything winter quarter), I have maintained a 4.0 consistently (except for one class in which I received a 3.0 and I’m not happy about it/tempted to retake it from another professor, but I digress). In all those classes, I have only felt like I deserved the 4.0 once. A part of me resents being given a grade I don’t feel I deserve, because I feel like it lumps me into a group with some of the people in my classes that feel that because their parents are paying X amount, they deserve a certain grade. The first time I went to college I had basically the same attitude. It didn’t get me anywhere near where I wanted to be. But people are who they are, and they are where they are in their lives. I’m not going to waste my energy reacting emotionally to who/what/where they are at this point in their lives. I have no qualms telling the beat-boxing guy to shut up during tests, though.

I hope I haven’t lost you after that tangent. I tend to use the blog as a place to express my half-formed ideas, giving myself a chance to let stuff come to the surface so I can figure out what is at the root of whatever I’m feeling at the moment.

School is like running in that I don’t feel like I’m earning my races. I don’t like hill work, and I really don’t enjoy speed work. Note to self: I don’t think anyone enjoys it while they are doing it. It’s the sense of accomplishment that occurs afterward that people love. So I haven’t been doing much of either lately. Also, I’ve started to feel guilty because I know I *should* be doing cross-training. But cross-training is just like the dentist. I put it off as long as I can, do not enjoy a single moment of it, and then retaliate by not flossing for three days have to take a nap after my adrenaline levels drop back into the normal range when it’s all over. Apparently, I’m not the only one feeling this way now. Tricia (Endurance Isn’t Only Physical) seems to be feeling a similar need for action, and after reading her post, I’m thinking the Hard CORE Club might be is a good choice for me. I won’t say that it sounds easy, but it sounds like my sort of challenge. Or, the kind of challenge I need. I’ll be doing the sets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. And now I’m not going to think about the core work until Friday because otherwise my abs might revolt.

It’s now 38 days until my first half pikermi. I panic a little every time I think about that, but I think I would panic more if I just pretend its off in the future somewhere, floating around in the vacuum of the space/time continuum. I’m battling the voice in my head saying I’m not prepared. There’s a little of the “They’re all going to laugh at you!!!” thrown in for good measure, because when I like to self-sabotage I go balls to the wall take no prisoners.

The fact is, if my pikermi was going to happen tomorrow, it would suck. Possibly on an epic level. But it’s not tomorrow and I have a number of training runs between now and the race. I know that at least some of this is coming from the fact that I am naturally an introvert and crowds freak me out. But again, this is not my first square dance rodeo road race, so I understand about race crowds and have a personal strategy: get in the back, near the outside. No, I won’t be setting any land speed records, but I bet I won’t be the last across the finish line, either. And so what if I am the very last person to cross that line? It would still be a PR, and hopefully make a new PR easily attainable with more better training (read: hills and speed work).

What I’m trying to deal with now is the fact that I have a particular goal in mind for my pikermi time. I will not meet that goal simply because I have not been diligent about hills, speed work OR cross-training. So the next 38 days will be about accepting where I am in this training plan, and letting go of the “magic number” in my head. Because unlike my sociology class from spring quarter, no one will be awarding me a finishing time that adds up to less than my splits (translation: my final grade was higher than what I actually earned based on all coursework).

I am working hard toward this goal and I’m not going to feel bad about what I haven’t done. Choices have been made. They are not cast-iron, so choices will be re-made. Just because I have an unrealistic finish time in my head for my first pikermi, absolutely does not mean it will always be unrealistic. So, little voice in my head, kindly shut yer trap.

And because I love this song, and the title is really resonating with me (as well as all the lyrics), for your audio-visual enjoyment I present you with:

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Sole Mates and my first giveaway!

It’s time to get serious about my fundraising efforts for Sole Mates. Sole Mates being the adult fundraising arm (I suppose ‘leg’ would be better?) of Girls on the Run. New to GOTR? Just skimmed it when I posted about it last?

Girls on the Run (GOTR):

Mission: To educate and prepare girls for a life time of self-respect and healthy living.

Objectives: The objective of Girls on the Run is to educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. At risk activities include substance/alcohol use, eating disorders, early onset of sexual activity, sedentary lifestyle, depression, suicide attempts and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.

Sole Mates:

SoleMates is the adult charity running leg of Girls on the Run® (GOTR). We are male and female athletes who pursue individual goals, such as running a marathon or participating in a triathlon, to raise money for local Girls on the Run® councils.

I chose to get involved with Girls on the Run as a Running Buddy originally. I had a great time doing it, but it wasn’t as rewarding as I had hoped for (note: I have a thank you letter and photos of my Little Buddy on the wall above my computer). I still plan on running in their semi-annual 5ks, but in all honesty, Sole Mates is more my thing. Sole Mates gives me the ability to help girls while pushing myself to new heights. When I’m running, I often wonder where I would be if I had participated in a program like GOTR. Hearing their message before the onset of puberty could have saved me a world of hurt, both emotional and physical. And I know I’m not alone in that.

Go back up and reread the objectives of GOTR, I’ll wait. As people who are women/love women/love future women (aka girls), we can all agree that we wouldn’t want our loved ones to experience any of those at-risk behaviors. We want our sisters, daughters, cousins, nieces, granddaughters and friends to be happy with who they are and where they are in their lives. Help me help an amazing organization reach girls before the damage is done.

I have registered with Sole Mates to participate in my first marathon (soon to be known worldwide as a double Pikermi), the Amica Seattle Marathon, being held November 28, 2010. My fundraising commitment for Sole Mates is only $262. Because it’s a relatively small minimum compared to some other organizations I wanted to approach it in a fun way.

My personal fundraising goal is to get donations from 262 people.

Someone might want to double-check my math, but I’m quite sure that works out to a minimum donation of $1 per person. Not that above and beyond isn’t something to strive for, but I would really love to hit my secondary goal of 262 individual donations.

Which leads us to this point: I need you to click this link right here, and donate your $1. Then help me spread the word to others.

At the brilliant suggestion of Tara (who is doing her own amazing fundraising now), I’ll be picking up the tab for an entry fee to the Girls on the Run 5k* being held December 4th, at Seward Park.** That way, you get to see your donation in action. Which is quite possibly one of life’s most rewarding experiences, ever.

All you need to do is make your donation and leave a comment. Link back to this post with your twitter, facebook, blog for extra entries (one post per link, pretty please).

*Don’t run? No problem. 5ks often have walking waves, and from experience, I know this one will have plenty of walkers. I might be one of them this year. Don’t run yet? Now’s your chance to start running.

**We can substitute with a closer GOTR 5k if you aren’t ready to travel to Seattle in December, as unimaginable as that is to me. 😉

Official details: the giveaway opens as soon as I publish this post and ends Friday, August 13 at 10pm Pacific time. I will then wave my magic wand (aka enter all the data at random.org) and one number shall rise above the others, because has The Highlander explained so well, there can be only one.

Thank you!

ETA: Decided it would make more sense to have the winner choose their own 5k/fun run.

a photo post

Not exactly a wordless Wednesday post, because that would be an extremely difficult process for some of us impossible for me. Countdown to my running date with Val has begun!!

my Running Buddy school

maybe 1/4 of the people at GOTR

Betty Page hair that desperately needs a trim now

before the rain washed all the Sharpie off my shirt 😦

1/2 of the RfL message

green tea, water, Green Monster, black coffee (aka breakfast)

thinking death thoughts at the buttface that broke into my car the morning of the St. Paddy's Day Dash

Becks' most appealing ass-et. Get it? Huh? Where did everybody go?!

OH!

I got my packet of stuff from Sole Mates, so consider this your only warning before I start begging politely requesting your $1 donations and for you to spread the word to others.

My requirement: raise a minimum of $262 by 11/28. As always, the links are in my “causes” page and I’ll include them in each subsequent post.

There will be a few giveaways so stay tuned.

a (ridiculously late) weekend recap

I will eventually be talking about vomit, so consider this your warning.

Saturday morning was my Girls on the Run 5k. I got my babysitting situation figured out at 7 am Saturday. With nary a minute to spare all the time in the world, I made my way to beautiful Seward Park. It’s usually beautiful, anyway. It had rained on and off and there were some threatening clouds up in the sky, but it all held off. It’s the first 5k I’ve ever been to that didn’t have coffee supplied for the runners (probably because the last thing half the runners needed was a dose of caffeine). The first quarter-mile or so was nice and flat. Then we started climbing a mountain. Maybe not by local standards, but I’m pretty sure it counts as a mountain back East in Oklahoma. And that’s when the sun popped out. We did pretty good- it wasn’t a timed race and I didn’t realize there was a clock at the finish line until we’d been waited for 20 minutes or so. My best guess is somewhere between 37-42 minutes. I got to meet my buddy’s mom and older sister, which was cool. Within our school group, we moved from 4th place to 2nd, so that was awesome! She was a soldier & I hope she keeps running. With a good coach, she could be competitive in high school. 🙂

On to Relay. Oy. When I got there, Bunny (my sister/friend, who will eventually get her own post for explanation) and I had to haul what felt like 200 lbs of gear at least  a mile through the parking lot. We only had to call twice for directions after we parked the car. This is not the worst we’ve ever done. By far. Mostly, we act like morons because we make each other laugh so hard that we cry and can barely breathe and our bladders suddenly become full which adds an element of danger to the laughter, which explains why we are a rather unproductive team (probably the reason we never did group work in classes, except for one time which I will also explain at a later time). ANYWAY. It started raining within 10 minutes of us getting there. At that point, one of our team members had to take off because he coaches a middle school ultimate frisbee team and they were celebrating the end of their season. More on him later.

We mostly hung out in the tent when it rained and in camping chairs when it didn’t, always with someone walking. We had a little sign up sheet with half hour blocks to keep track of things and make sure at least one person was always on the track. Remember the ultimate frisbee coach? (Really? It was only like 3 sentences ago. Try and focus with me here). He was scheduled to walk at 8:30, and at just about that time he called. His father passed away unexpectedly. They were really close and I’m heartbroken for him. That’s about when the thunder and lightning started. And then the rains came. Big fat drops, falling hard, with no end in sight. It certainly reflected our emotional state, and for a little while it felt really fitting. It would let up just a bit and then come down in sheets again. It was atypical for a Seattle rain, that’s for sure. The luminaria ceremony had to be moved up into the bleachers under the overhang so they wouldn’t be ruined. It rained. And rained. We tried to keep spirits up, but in relentless rain it’s a little hard. When we first got there, the guys were teasing Bunny and I a bit for over-packing. I’m a Seattle native. I wear layers. I had thermals, yoga pants, too many running outfits, two pairs of running shoes, at least 4 pairs of socks, my fleece jacket, rainproof shell, and a hat. For an 18 hour event. Don’t judge. A boy scout is always prepared.

The luminaria was emotionally tough. Lots of people to think about. More time to sit and walk before my first big run. My goal was to run my personal best mile at 1am in honor of Tara who has been working on speed lately. It most certainly was not my fastest mile ever. Retrospectively, I just can’t run that fast in a parka. But it was a great way to get my blood pumping and it kept me warm for a while.

I didn’t have another time scheduled until my 3 miles at 3. For the most part, it was just a lot of chatting. People dropped in, people peaced out. I got a little studying done and then suddenly had the overwhelming urge to vomit. My head was pounding, vision tunneling, and OF COURSE it was raining the proverbial felines and canines. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I experience a panic attack I become hypersensitive to smells (hence the urge to vomit). I got outside and felt better less claustrophobic. I started walking so that the hypothermia wouldn’t set in. (That is less in jest that I wish it was). I tried all my best coping mechanisms, and for a while thought I was going to pull out of it. I did run those three miles but they were particularly ugly. No form, breath was crazy, bursts of speed and sloth (the latter bit was mostly contained to when I was running into the wind). I decided by about lap 5 (of 12) that I would finish my run and go home. I couldn’t take it. One team was frying something as a way to get some last minute donations. Every lap, I had to hold my breath as I passed them for fear of puking from the smell. I finally finished my 3 miles and then went half way around the track (to avoid the frying-foods tent which was really close to mine). I notified the proper authorities (Fearless Leader’s younger brother) and headed home.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be prone to panic attacks and through the perfect vision hindsight provides, this one was building up for a while. If you’ve never experienced one, you won’t understand and if you have experienced them, I’m sorry you do understand. It’s a miserable experience. By the time I got home I was feeling pretty normal. I fell asleep around 4:30 or so and slept for a few hours.

Right through when I needed to be in West Seattle for my second 5k of the weekend. I woke up with a sore throat, a cough and a pounding head. Clearly, I wasn’t in the right physical space to run that second 5k, but I was/am really disappointed that I missed it. More than anything, I was looking forward to coffee after with Seattle Runner Girl and I’m so disappointed that it didn’t work out. I didn’t even make it to hot yoga on Monday morning. Sigh. I’m frustrated that I wasn’t able to follow through with my plans. I’m tempted to blame it on the weather, although it’s not the weather’s fault. My morale got low and I couldn’t boost it back up. Of course, the panic attack didn’t help. They never seem to.

Anyway, that’s about it for my updates. Did I mention earlier that my laptop refuses to recognize my camera now? Well, it’s true. I’m this close () to washing my hands of technology and moving in with the Amish. I think. Okay, that’s maybe a slight overreaction, but still. If things could just work the way they are supposed to, I’d be happier. I have pictures of my new hair, my 5k, Relay & my Relay shirt. Plus I’m sure plenty of randoms.

Also, I feel really uncomfortable when I overhear people flirting. Note to self: GET HEADPHONES ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check it out: my post made Dimity smile! It’s the very first one. In my original post I go on (and on) about my other not-loves of running. But my loves still out number, so rest assured I won’t be going anywhere. Besides, it’s about time to pick out a training schedule for my September half marathon!

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.)

GOTR training 5k

It was so much fun! My little Buddy is only 2-3 inches shorter than me, so I guess ‘little’ isn’t as appropriate as ‘young’. She did a great job! April weather is always wonky, and the forecast had predicted rain for Thursday for almost a week. It so wasn’t rainy. Everyone was expecting rain, including the coaches who brought cocoa as an after-run snack. I managed to get a slight sunburn. I either burned through SPF 45 which has happened before, or I sweated it off since it wasn’t a sport variety.

We did 5 laps of a 1k loop right near the school. It had a few short but steep uphill sections, and one long sloping downhill. We mostly kept ourselves to a jog, up until the last 100 meters or so. We decided to run as fast as we could to the finish and she was right there beside me. It was the first time she’s ever run that far! I’m really looking forward to the official 5k in a few weeks.

And I totally aced my test. 🙂