8 miles from Hell (or Fremont)

So maybe I’m exaggerating. Tara and I did eight miles on the Burke-Gilman Trail this morning. It is such a pretty trail and I’m hoping that one day the city has the budget to connect it through the industrial part of Ballard (totally unsafe for bikers/runners at this point).

borrowed from the city's website

I wasn’t mentally in the run for the first 4 miles. Everything felt hard. I didn’t feel like I could make it even to the turn around point, let alone all the way back to our cars. I felt weak, tired and totally out of shape. Not really what I was envisioning before the run.

Somewhere near the halfway point, my right hip started to twinge. This is the same hip that I’ve had problems with for months (before you give me the ‘park it, sister’ speech, it is more ‘off’ than ‘on’). Every so often, my IT band gets tight and reminds me that it isn’t inclined to warm up and loosen up as I go.

Confession: I am not good at stretching, even though I know it feels good/prevents this sort of thing from happening. This is not a ‘sorry I’m not sorry’ moment. It’s something that I really need to work on.

On the return trip I could feel the tightness work its way down from my hip to my knee. I needed more than a few walk & stretch breaks to finish. I would love to tell you on a scale of 1-10 where the pain was, but I can’t. My first reaction is to call all pain an 8 or 9. I want it to stop. NOW. But it took me over 24 hours to go to the ER when my appendix was preparing to explode. And that was really fucking painful.

Even though my right leg was refusing to cooperate, I mentally felt like I could run another 8 miles from there. How’s that for weird stupid unfair strange messed up?

Dear Mind & Body,

Get yourselves on the same page. Today.

Signed, Me

I’m trying to not freak out about this. My pikermi is in 26 days. I’m overanalyzing everything I’ve done in the past few days.

  • did a tempo run and a hill workout on Saturday (NOT BRILLIANT) (7 miles combined)
  • my fueling has been off for a few days (not that balanced, not as much water as I should be drinking)
  • is there something wrong with my stride? Do I run “special”?
  • need to fuel better before run (must get up earlier)

I have injured myself in a number of ways trying to do too much too soon, so I’m feeling really fragile (mostly mentally) today. I’m fighting off the urge to panic, and refusing to sit down and have a good cry about where I may or may not be. Normally, I find a good cry to be cathartic, but today I think it might feel too much like admitting defeat.

There were points on the way back where I was biting my lip (literally) because of the pain in my knee. I would stop, stretch and walk for a few minutes before running again. I probably walked a solid mile. Super disappointing. Near the end, the pain lessened, or maybe numbed. It still felt uncomfortable but it wasn’t searing like it had been. I don’t know how to interpret that. I’m aware when I’m being a big baby about physical discomfort and this was not one of those moments.

There is nothing to do but wait and see. Which I really suck at doing. Patience is a virtue that I simply don’t possess (hence all the overtraining injuries in my past). I spent a while stretching and rolling my leg when I got home and I’m RICE-ing as I type. Tomorrow is an off day, as far as running goes. I’m going to take my usual walk around the neighborhood with Bubs, but I’m gonna play it pretty conservatively regarding this whole lower extremity thing.

Deep breath.

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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