the difference a week makes

I did an 11 mile run on Monday. I opted to do 4 loops around the Bog.

There was a time when one loop was all I could manage. It took just about everything I had to make it the 2.8 miles. I thought about that a lot in my second and third loops. Not the 4th. About 1/10th of a mile into that last loop I started debating whether to use my bobby pin to amputate my right leg. That lasted me a good 1 1/2 miles. Then I saw a woman pushing her 2 year old TRIPLETS in a triple-wide stroller. So I spent the next mile alternately thanking God that it wasn’t me* and fantasizing about how much harder that must be than my singleton.

I made good time on my first loop (subtracting the 5 minute wait-my-turn-for-the-bathroom break, since the big multiple stall bathroom was still locked). It was somewhere about 1/3 of the way through my second loop when my knee started to hurt.

Sometimes a short walk break helped and other times it made it worse. I had lots and lots of time to think about how my stride was affecting my knee. And it definitely is. I need to work on shifting to a midfoot strike (when I remember to do this it helps immensely) and more squats. This run took as long as last week’s 10 miles PLUS my half hour meltdown in my car (aka if I were completely healthy I should easily be able to finish the half in less time than this run took. At this moment, I’ll be elated just to finish.)

It was once explained to me by a physical therapist that many women walk by using the quads to pull the leg up, rather than the glutes to push off. I didn’t ask for a source, and I haven’t looked for anything to back up her statement (because I already know I’ll find 8497503487 supporting her and an equal number dismissing her opinion).

When it comes to junk in the trunk, I am (sadly) built like a hatchback. My mother refers to this as a ‘Swedish butt’ which might make sense if we were even remotely Swedish. I’ve seen their calendar girls, so I think this might be more of a reference to their pancakes and not a physiological comment on the entire population.

Point being, I need to do some work back there. Also, I know better than to quit doing PT when things start to feel better. I quit rolling my hamstrings last week because I felt good.

Yeah, I know. And I paid for that choice yesterday. So rolling my leg is no longer in the ‘choices’ section of my life. Going back to doing it twice a day. Every day. Until I get a bionic leg.

As for the blister on the blister that I got… Fine. I get it. Those shoes are not for runs over 6 miles in length. Lesson learned.

That little sinus thing I had going on last week has migrated into my lungs. I have a temporary smoker’s cough. I think that might have something to do with my pace.

I hope this doesn’t sound like whining or bitching. The run wasn’t what I would have hoped, but I did it. None of the sucky things (pace, blisters, cold) out weigh the fact that I didn’t back out on this. I’m not upset by how it turned out. Not every run will be great, but every run can be a learning experience. And darned if I didn’t learn a thing or two yesterday.

I might have been partly inspired by the guy I saw out there running in a full knee brace. Also, partially horrified that I might be looking into my future. I wanted to hug him and/or cry every time we passed each other.

Also, Nestle chocolate milk > Darigold chocolate milk. Hubs says it’s because Nestle probably doesn’t use real milk. I think Darigold is abusing the chocolate syrup.

*Not that I wouldn’t love them with my whole heart if I were to become the parent of triplets, but still. I probably wouldn’t be able to muster the energy to leave the house from the time they were born until they started kindergarten.

Half marathon is on Sunday.

my first 10 miles

subtitled: Me, Myself and I.

sub-subtitled: horoscopes are stupid.

Since my not so hot 8 mile run with Tara (that was 2 weeks ago), I have run twice. The 10K last Monday and then again today. Today was a big deal. My first double-digit run. I did two 5 mile loops near the Bog.

I parked my car and grabbed my iPod, only to discover that the battery was dead. At that point, I realized I forgot to wrap my knee. And I didn’t have my watch. I knew right then it was going to be a looooong 10 miles.

I have no idea where I was during that first loop when everything went south. It was all in my head. I had to run 10 MILES. I’m not ready for that. I’ll never be ready for my half marathon pikermi. And don’t even mention the marathon. What was I thinking? I mean, clearly I wasn’t or I wouldn’t continue to repeat the fact that I am planning on running these races. I wouldn’t have registered. I wouldn’t be spending my money on running gear.

About 1/4 mile before my car, I stopped. I stood on the side of a busy street and spoke to myself out loud.

“You have to work for the things you want. Do you want this or not? You need to figure your shit out, now.”

I got to my car and sat down for a few minutes at least 30 minutes. I really needed to think about what I wanted. It would have been so easy to walk drive away and never come back to this point. By that I mean occasionally running 3-4 miles, and giving up the desire to run longer distances. Was I ready to walk away from my goals? Walk away from this blog and the support I receive? Was I really ready to give up?

As I sat in my car I got a text from Tara saying that she’d received 100% of her fundraising goal for Team in Training. I cried. I cried because the level of support in this community is enough to take my breath away sometimes. I cried because I’m not willing to walk or drive away from my goals. I cried because I’m frustrated. I have a strong dislike of doing my long runs solo. I dislike running solo without my music. I HATE long solo runs with no music. I cried because I HATE battling injuries (even though it’s relatively minor). I cried because I am certifiable member of my generation, as much as I’ve denied it up until this point. (that’s generation “I deserve everything I want because I’m “special” and I want it 5 minutes ago”). I cried because I feel like I’m always tired (can you say anemic?). I cried because I am not a natural runner and I don’t like (and don’t have a good track record with) sticking to things that don’t come easily to me. Yes, I know I’m not alone in that. Knowing that I’m not alone in that feeling doesn’t actually make me feel better. It makes me sad knowing that there are countless people out there giving up on themselves because something is challenging. It makes me want to be one of the ones that doesn’t give up, but it doesn’t make it easier to not give up. I cried because I read my horoscope today and it told me “you can get all the benefit with little effort or expense”. I really don’t like being lied to, even if it’s just by a stupid horoscope (let’s ignore the fact that I actually read it. Embarrassing!) It hit me that I am the only thing standing in my way. Let’s call that part the “Me” and the rest of me is “Myself & I”. Myself and I will be doing some brainstorming tonight about how to kick Me out. Myself and I are tired of how negative Me always is. Myself and I want to go places and see things, but Me is an enormous road block. If we don’t have any better ideas, Myself and I are going to grab some metaphorical dynamite and reduce Me to a pile of rubble.

I got another text while I was in the car. This one from a friend and former classmate that I love very dearly. We were joking about a part of my life that I honestly suck at. I am saying it here, with no pride and in my regular-volume voice, I suck at taking care of my car. I am an irresponsible car owner. One could even go so far as to say terribly irresponsible. The gentle ribbing I received was a balm to my (clearly) fragile psyche. Being able to laugh away the tears is a blessing.

It was a sweet, impeccably timed reminder that I am not perfect (all together now, DUH).

I got out of the car and did my second loop.

long run Monday

I had a long run scheduled today with Val. At this point, my long runs are two miles longer than hers so my preferred method is to get to the Bog early and run them first so that we can finish together. I am less in need of a partner at the beginning than at the end of a run, natch. (I had 7 on the menu for today).

But. Insert cliché about making plans here. Bubs had an accident last night. He peed. 😦 He actually woke himself up before any part of his bed got wet, but it still required some minor clean-up and much back-to-bed coaxing. He woke me up at 2:30 and it took over an hour to get him back to sleep. The little goober is taking a poorly timed nap in my bed at the moment.

The panic mode icing on the lack of sleep cake was that my alarm didn’t go off. The goal was to get up at 5, walk and feed my parents’ dogs & be at the Bog at 7 to run my two miles really slowly/mentally wake up/maybe even eat something.

Hubs woke me up at 7 in that too-urgent voice insisting that I was going to be late if I didn’t get out of bed. Right. This. Instant. As exciting as an adrenaline rush is, this is actually not my preferred method for starting my day. Or doing anything, actually.

So I made a mad dash to the store for some shot bloks, since there was no time for any real breakfast before the run and let Valerie know I was going to be late. We ran, we talked. Good times. The Bog is smelling really… boggy lately.

I feel the beginnings of a blister on my baby toe. I am not prone to blisters and (surprisingly) don’t really like how this feels.

I’m all sorts of off today: I actually took a nap. And I am debating if I want to eat dinner or go to bed.

All my self-pity aside, it was a nice run on a beautiful day with great company. 🙂

Continue reading

running feels good again

I had an impromptu running date with Val this morning. She was planning on 3.5 and I was planning on 5. We ran at the Bog and it was completely gorgeous this morning. It had that medieval look to it, like a castle could have appeared out of the mist all of a sudden.

Thanks to a little we learned after the fact that Val’s run was actually 3.75 and mine was actually 7.39. Speaking only for myself, this is what happens when you take a social sciences major, deprive her of sleep*, and ‘force’ her to be somewhere before 7 am. I love you math, but I clearly don’t understand you.

*Sleep deprivation took the joint efforts of Harold the rooster/my earplugs falling out, my bladder and Twitter not respecting the “do not disturb before 6am” notice I hung on my door. Seriously, Twitter. By 6am, I actually meant West Coast time since that’s where I live. Not 6am East Coast. This is a problem because my phone is my alarm. I don’t really want to have to turn the mobile alerts on and off every day, but if you can’t respect West Coast time then that’s the way it will have to be.

After my run I had time for a quick shower before meeting my oldest friend (length of friendship not chronological age) and her boyfriend for brunch. Bubs was barely able to control himself, and I seriously considered licking the butter and maple syrup off his pancakes. I refrained and had a delicious omlette instead. Oh, hi there self-control! Nice of you to drop by. Stick around a while, won’t you? The whole experience was bordering on chaos. Okay, Simone and James probably thought it was chaos, but they don’t have a 4-year-old.

And now I seriously have to type a paper and possibly even study for my quiz tonight. I am so thankful that this quarter is almost over. I’ve developed an unhealthy hatred of these two classes so it’s a good thing that they end next week.

Weekend Update

So I totally slacked yesterday and ended up taking two full rest days in a row. And I don’t feel guilty about it. Well, maybe a little. Which brings me up to this morning and the St. Paddy’s Day Dash. I’m just going to break it down list-style since that’s how I am.

The good:

  • all four of my alarms went off this morning (daylight savings confuses the hell out of me/ I wasn’t sure if my phone would adjust itself in a timely fashion)
  • I managed breakfast and coffee AND a shower and still left on time
  • beautiful weather
  • the new route is AWESOME!
  • I remembered my ID so I could hang out with Hubs in the beer garden and not drink beer at 9:30 in the morning (I never drink beer and this was no exception. I propose that Jameson sponsor next year!)
  • I kept up with Hubs (he’s 8-9 inches taller and it’s all leg so this is a big feat for me!)
  • I led a train of cars to the most awesome parking spot and received a salute and 3 thumbs-up in thanks ( they all followed me from the freeway. I felt like Mrs. Mallard from Make Way for Ducklings)
  • My tutu was SWEET!

The bad:

  • traffic was sucky because of road construction on I-90 and the exit off I-5 to Queen Anne was backed up almost a mile (typical, actually)
  • I forgot my gloves so my fingers were frozen for the first mile
  • My camera battery was dead so Hubs is going to take a picture of me in my outfit tomorrow so I can post it
  • Daylight Savings Time (Hi. Farmers get up with the sun, regardless of what the clock says, so why do the rest of us have to suffer?!?!?!)

The ugly:

  • Someone broke into my car (Hubs’ car too!) last night (he/they didn’t get anything since neither of us keep any valuables in the car. But still. That’s a hell of a way to wake up)

That last bit was sort of dominating my thoughts on the drive into town. In all honesty, I’m not that upset about it. Sure, someone violated my possession but I’d rather it happen to my car than myself. Nothing was taken, and at least they had the courtesy to get in the car without breaking anything. I have a 4-year-old, so it’s not like my car’s interior was in pristine condition anyway. This is the type of thing that would have ruined my day (if not my week) before I started running. I have a short fuse and assholes tend to make it run out faster. I thought about it a bit (and now I’m wasting everyone’s time blogging about it) but I’m not upset at all. No one was hurt, nothing was taken and life goes on.

Back to the race recap, such as it is. It was cold but sunny. Beautiful. There were over 15,000 participants (I think the race is a bigger draw than the St. Patrick’s Day parade) which made it a lot warmer than the actual temp (about 40F). The route was changed last year, but this was my first time on it. I loved the old route, but the new one is pretty cool, too. It’s an out and back loop with the first half being up a gradual hill and then back down in the second half. I’m a shortie so I didn’t even see a mile marker until the 3rd mile. That’s when Hubs took off, but he never got too far ahead. I finished exactly 30 seconds after he did, which is awesome!! For some reason, everyone slowed down at the last turn (with about 2 city blocks to go to the finish). It was bizarre. Next year we decided to run in the green wave (timed, awards) because there were A LOT of walkers in the red wave (timed, no awards) so it was hard to keep a steady pace.  After the trip to the beer garden we headed out for breakfast (my second). We went to a spot in the industrial district south of the stadiums. I had my usual post-race 2 eggs (sunny side up), hashbrowns, toast and this place had Morning Star Farms breakfast patties to round it out. Hubs got an omelet with brisket in it and Swiss cheese. Dunno about that one. Brisket’s just not my thing.

Best of all was the morning I got to spend with Hubs sans Sweet Little Monster. We do get the occasional night out, but it was really nice to run together and then get a meal out. Clearly, it’s been a while. Hubs has even mentioned going running together (possibly at THE BOG) multiple times today. Ah, Cloud 9!

Valentine’s 5K

The race was this morning. I had a great time. I got to the Bog of Eternal Stench over an hour before the start of the race. Since I was running on my own, it was a lot of standing around. I picked up my chip and bib yesterday so the only reason to be there so early was for a good parking spot. All the standing made my right hip sore, so I had to keep reminding myself to shorten my stride during the run. I’ve never participated in a race where the finish line is only 6 feet wide. It was a complete logjam which I’ll be keeping in mind when I see my results. I’m not sure what my time was, but it’ll be posted soon.

I went out to brunch with a friend afterward and I feel like I’ve been in a food coma ever since. Well, it’s a combination of that and getting up at 6:15. I’m really out of practice with getting up that early.

sunny, wet, & cold

It’s a nice combo. I rained last night and intermittently this morning. The glare from the wet roads is completely blinding. I played leap-frog with a mail man for the last 5 minutes of my run. Today felt like less of a challenge than Monday, even though the intervals were longer today. Maybe I was pacing myself better? It would be a miracle, but it’s too early to count on that. I’m thinking I’ll go back to the trails for my Friday run. Or maybe west. East maybe. There’s a lake close by. It’s no Bog of Eternal Stench, but I’m sure it will make every effort it can to help me feel right at home.

Nike didn’t upload my run properly, so I’ll be obsessively checking it all night. Something similar happened on my last run- all the dates of my goals were off. But it got fixed no problem. Hopefully they fix this little snafu just as quickly. I feel like I’m one of those people who doesn’t think things are real unless it’s announced on Facebook. If it doesn’t show on Nike, the run didn’t happen. Silly me.