Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dark O'Clock

Here I am up at dark o'clock on yet another Saturday. Planning to do 8-10. I'd really like to do 10 better than last week, but tonight is my 20-year high school reunion (yes, I AM old). I've got my dancin' shoes laid out and I want to be able to use them! So, 8 sounds a littler better.

It's 70 degrees with 100% humidity according to weather.com. I'm headed to my favorite trail by the river, so maybe it won't be too bad. I'm hoping to remember the bug spray this time.

I ran hard two days in a row and my legs have struggled the rest of the week. Yesterday I only did 1.5 of my easy 2 miles. Next week is a drop down week and I think my body is ready. I'm having sore shins, ankles, and hips. Body, are you trying to tell me something?

I'm sure I'll look lovely on the dance floor tonight after running long this morning! Kind of like Elaine in that episode of Seinfeld......

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just Call Me Slacker McHeavy Legs

My legs are rebelling. They are not happy with me or this training regimen.

I ran 10 on Saturday. Sunday--nothing. Monday--No running, but I did some squats. Not many, maybe two sets of 10 or 15? Unfortunately, I don't do them often enough, so I was a bit sore on Tuesday. Tuesday--I did those two miles with the toddler in the stroller and then only 3 hill sprints.

But I woke up today with seriously tired legs. I knew when I rolled out of bed that I didn't have much running in me. I went to the indoor track at the Y (which is 1/16th of a mile) to do speed intervals. I was shooting for 6 miles in all. I walked a couple of warm-up laps. Then my friend Kelle and I ran 6 laps fast, then walked two (or something like that). I mostly yapped and she kept up with the laps. Around the 4-mile point, I was so done. My legs felt like they were made of lead. I've read that when they are flooded with lactic acid, that happens. Maybe that was it. I dragged myself to the treadmill to attempt to finish the last two miles and I made it maybe one, but that was with lots of walking. My shoes were scraping on the belt as I "ran."

Note to self: the day after hill sprints, don't attempt speedwork.

I picked up Julia from the nursery and thought I might feel better if we ate lunch out somewhere. Keeping "eating like a runner" in mind, I picked Subway, and we shared a turkey on whole wheat. Oh, and some sweet tea. (Sweet tea makes everything better if you are from the South.) Overall, it was a fairly healthy choice for me.

Afterwards, we made it to the door of the grocery store, but I could not drag myself in. My legs were STILL made of lead and I just didn't have the energy to push a two-year-old in a cart all over a huge grocery store. So we went home. I put my legs up and my quads and shins and feet just ached. I must have pushed too hard this week (with only about 6 miles to show for it). I believe I need a day off tomorrow!

Random food-related item: Last night, my husband was in charge of dinner and he chose New York Pizza Depot---the BEST pizza in Clarksville, TN, by far. It's really thin, slightly greasy (but not fried!) He got me a slice of cheese in honor of me trying to eat better. And you know what? I didn't even miss those pesky pepperoni! I think if you are in a striving-to-be-healthy period and want pizza, thin crust cheese pizza isn't the WORST way to go.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eat Like a Runner





Do you eat like a runner? I Googled the phrase "eat like a runner" and read several articles. Apparently I do not actually eat like a runner!

I had a sluggish run on Saturday. Could it have to do with more than the triple H (heat, humidity, hills)? Could it have to do with the big N--nutrition?

If "we are what we eat," then the day before my 10-mile run, I was a Chinese buffet. Now I should know better. I LOVE Chinese food, and the all-you-can-eat option combined with my lack of self control is a dangerous combination. I enjoyed sesame chicken, General Tsu's chicken, both deep-friend and covered in high-calorie sauces. I had a couple of crab rangoons and a spring roll, also deep-fried. And lot's more that I won't even go into. (It's making me hungry.) Sure, there were lots of carbs to "carb up" for my run the next morning, but I'm pretty sure all the fat and MSG had a detrimental effect.

Then AFTER my run on Saturday, I stayed off the healthy-eating wagon by refueling with Mexican food for lunch and last, but not least, pizza and hot wings for dinner. Did I mention the ranch dressing? It was lite at least.

Now how can I expect my body to perform the way I want it to when I eat like a 20-year-old college guy? I was doing better for a while, but I pretty much blew it this weekend (and all last week if I'm honest!). Old habits are hard to break. It's what I grew up with, and here in the South, it's just a way of life! (My state is the 3rd most obese state, sadly.)

So, I'll pose a mini-challenge for myself---No fried food for one week. Eat healthier in general. I have to start today (Tuesday) since I had a couple of tortilla chips yesterday and not the baked kind.

I discussed this with my neighbor and she said she'll be my accountability. We had the best "mommy workout" this morning by the way. She's a runner, too, so instead of heading to the Y to do my scheduled 2-miler, I put Julia in the jogger and my neighbor pushed her DOUBLE jogger. It was a short run, so we decided to add some hill repeats at the end (without the strollers--we took turns). Then we did some sit ups and push ups.

Now, I can skip the gym and just enjoy the day at home. Yeah! Tomorrow is 8 miles of speedwork (according to my half-marathon plan) OR 5 miles (if I go by the marathon plan I printed out just for fun/curiosity). I'll probably just compromise somewhere in the middle.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Triple Threat

I faced the triple threat today: heat, humidity, and hills.

Our running group met at 7:00 a.m. (perhaps later than we should have) for a 10-miler on the course of the October half-marathon. We are having typical August-in-Tennessee weather again. It's hot. It's humid.

I had never run this course, but I remember driving it once last spring and thinking, "There is NO WAY." There is hill after hill. Now, here I am committed to running the race in a little more than a month. I learned an important lesson today---run on hills more! My last two long runs (9 miles each) were on a flat, paved bike trail and the treadmill. They in no way prepared me for ten miles of rolling hills. What a difference!

It felt like we were running about 5 hours, but it was only two. We were deep in the country, surronded by farmland. I ran alongside corn fields and even saw 3 mules grazing in a pasture. (I actually thought, "I wonder if I could ride one of those to my car?") It was a loop, and I'm more of an out-and-back girl. The loop seemed ENDLESS, especially since I didn't know where I was going.

As usual, I ran out of fluids. I carried a small bottle of water (12 oz.) and had one Nathan fuel belt 10 oz. flask filled with G2 and one with water. You'd think that would be enough. But with 2.5 miles to go, I was empty. I guess I drank more due to the heat.

I did give away one ounce of water today. My dog-loving friend Rebecca would have been proud. At mile 3 on the run, a frisky little puppy started following us. Well, actually she was running in between our legs, tripping us up, and jumping up on us. But she was cute and sweet. (I'm guessing Golden Retriever or Lab or something.) She would not heed the commands of "Go home!" She decided we were HER PEOPLE and she was determined to run with HER PEOPLE. She ran with us for SEVEN MILES. She was panting and kind of frothy around her mouth, so other runners and I sacrificed precious ounces of our water for her. I squirted about an ounce of my water (when I was already running low) into her mouth. Seven miles in a fur coat is a long way. At the end of the run, one guy loaded her up in his car and drove her home. She hopped out at her house and lay down on the porch, exhausted but happy.

I fueled with raisins and pretzels again today. I have to say around mile 7 or 8, my body felt pretty done. I don't think real food quite gives me the boost that gels or Sports Beans or bloks do. Usually I can tell when a gel or whatever "kicks in" and my legs feel new(ish) again. The food-food didn't have that same effect. However, I didn't have stomach issues, either. I've still got to figure this all out.

All in all, it was not my best run, but I survived. (And not hanging-on-a-thread survived, but ran some, walked some survived.) At the end, Kelle and I were running the distance between two light poles, then walking to the next one, then repeating. It was more walking than I would have liked, but with the triple threat of heat, humidity, and hills, it was what we had to do.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Date with The Boss


Just a quick non-parenting/non-running update: the Bruce Springsteen concert in Nashville last night was..... ok. It started an hour late (Diva!). I was thinking, "Dude, we're old! Get out here," as the time ticked away. We were definitely among the youngest folks there. People kept chanting, "Brrruuuuucccceee," which sounded like "Booooo" to me. I kept thinking, "Why are they 'booing'? Are they mad the concert is so late?" Chris cleared that one up for me. Thanks, Honey.

I was a little surprised that in the first two hours, I only knew two of the songs. Two! I guess he played a lot of really old stuff and some of the brand new stuff, not the 80's stuff I know. There was no "Dancing in the Dark" or "Born in the USA" or my personal favorite "Born to Run." He probably saved them for the encore. Unfortunately, we had an hour drive home and my dear hubby had to be at work early, so we took off before the encore.

And either I'm gettin' old, or this was the LOUDEST event I've ever been to. Seriously, I thought my ears were going to bleed!

But being in the room with The Boss and watching him rock out was pretty cool. He's still got it. And I was almost as excited to see Stevie Van Zandt from the Sopranos. You can tell they still love what they do (and they've been doing it a loooong time). There was quite a bit of audience interaction where he just let people touch him as if he were a Rock God. He also pulled a girl on stage for her Courtney Cox moment. I admit I was a little jealous.

I'm still mad I missed "Born to Run," but now when I hear it on my MP3, I at least have a visual to go along with it. Speaking of long runs, I have 10-11 on my schedule tomorrow. I'm excited to be in double digits! (I'm not counting the 10-miler where I walked the last 1.5 when I got sick.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Innovative Training Ideas

I'm trying some new stuff in my half-marathon training lately. It's quite innovative.

Number one, I'm ACTUALLY FOLLOWING MY PLAN. If the Runner's World Smart Coach plan says 7 miles with warm up, 5 miles @10:18, and cool down, by golly, I'm doing it. Last time, I kind of fudged on those mid-week runs. My attitude was more like, "Six miles on a Wednesday? Meh, I'll do four and call it a day." I was good about keeping up with the long runs, but now I realize the sort-of-long runs are important, too. I'm using my plan as a GUIDE instead of general guidelines/suggestions.

Number two, I'm really making an effort at some EXERCISE BESIDES RUNNING. Let's face it. Runnimg gets old sometimes. And it seems to mostly work my legs. What about the rest of me? So, now I'm doing core and arm work. I'm doing crunches on the stability ball somewhat regularly and have been trying to survive the Push Up Challenge. I'm in Week 5 and I must admit it's a little RIDICULOUS. It took me two days to do Day 1 of week 5. Day two isn't looking much better---it's something like 7 or 8 sets of 15-20. I figure spreading it out over two days isn't so bad. I'm still doing the work.

Number three, I'm putting QUALITY FUEL IN MY BODY most of the time. (Scratch that-- some of the time.) I'm taking a multivitamin. I'm drinking milk and protein shakes. I'm drinking my weight in water. I crave protein, so I'm eating lots of chicken and eggs. I have steak once in a while for the extra iron. Oh, yes, and peanut butter. I'm just trying to be conscious of my food choices. I'm still having way too many french fries and fried foods in general and possibly too much chocolate, but I'm trying.

So, maybe more than innovative, these training ideas are common sense. It just took me a while to get here. My momma always said I was better at book learnin' than common sense. Perhaps she was right....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ch-Ch-Changes... (turn and face the strain)... Ch-Ch-Changes

It's always good to start a post with David Bowie lyrics. :-)

More changes seem to be on the way for our family. For 8 years, one certain baby crib has held a prominent place in this household. It was lovingly picked out when I was only about 5 or 6 months pregnant with baby number one, put carefully together, and placed in our new baby's nursery. That was a long time ago. The crib has housed (read: survived) three children. In the next few days, it will be permanently laid to rest.

Yesterday, my sweet little two-year-old decided she wanted to sleep in her sister Annabeth's twin bed during nap time, "Julia sweep in Annabef's big girl bed?" (And just last week, she had decided to no longer sit in her high chair, she wanted to sit in a regular chair like everyone else.)

I decided to let her try it, and she did great. She heeded my warning of "DO NOT get up," and had a great two-hour snooze.

I've actually been through this before. When Annabeth was 2 and a half, she, too, gave up the crib. It was retired to the attic, albeit temporarily. Luckily, I had the foresight to hang on to it just in case. Just in case happened about three months later. But this time, there will be no just in case. My just-in-case days are over! My family and my heart are complete.

One starting kindergarten, one leaving behind the vestiges of babyhood--- these past few weeks sure have been full of ch-ch-changes. I guess I'll adapt. Eventually.......

Slow down, Little One! You're the last baby!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

5K Race Report--- A New PR!

This morning I ran in the R-3 (it's a local running store) Anniversary 5-K Run. As I said the other day, one year ago, it was the first race I ever ran.

I knew I needed to remain between 8:45 and 9:15/pace per mile to meet my goal of sub-29. Maintaining 8:45 is a big stretch for me, but I always start out too fast, and I planned to NOT let myself go faster than that in the first mile. It was nice to have a range to stay in.

The gun went off, and I took off. My friend was there and we started together (in matching pink shirt/black shorts outfits no less, not planned). She's typically a little faster than me, but I hoped to stay with her most of the race. I looked down..... 8:30 pace. Uh-oh. Too fast. I forced myself to slow down and got down to about 8:35. I knew I'd pay for this later, so I finally made myself slow to about a 9:00 minute pace. End of first mile-- 8:57. I had passed "my twin," but she was hanging in right behind me. I could hear her about 1 or 2 steps back. I'm not an overly competitive person, but I found myself thinking, "What if....?"

In the second mile, I planned to walk through the water stop at 1.6. Knowing I could walk for a few seconds helped me to maintain my pace goal, even to speed up a little to make up in advance for the lost time at the walking stop. My twin and I both stopped to walk and drink. Then she took off. I still needed a bit more time to drink/walk, so I let her go. She got an 6-8 second head start. For the rest of that mile, I tried to catch her! At least it gave me something to do.

(Unbeknownst to both of us, there was another girl in a pink shirt trying to keep up with us!) Mile two with water stop was 9:10.

Mile three was all about hills. It started with a long gradual incline that just wore me down. During the incline, I caught up to and passed my twin! But I may have expended a bit much energy. I slowed down some and finally agreed with my body when it said, "Hey, You, I need another walk break. Then I promise I'll finish strong." I took a 10 or 15 second walk break and she passed me. So, I was again chasing my twin until about the 2.5 mark.

At this point, I was feeling nauseous. This hasn't happened before. I knew I was truly running my hardest (and that perhaps I had eaten too much breakfast!). I just breathed in through my nose and tried not to think of the possibility of throwing up. I now had three goals: to make my finish goal time; to catch up to and pass my twin; and NOT to vomit.

Coming upon another hill, a fairly steep one, I told myself (really LIED to myself), "I'm strong on hills. Maybe I'll be able to pass her then." And. I. Did. Woot, woot! Mile 3 with that very brief walk break was 9:19----outside of my range, but I knew I had extra time from mile 1.

Finally, I could see the finish. I did NOT want to play "cat and mouse" with my twin anymore. I knew I could sprint the rest of the way. Did I mention it was down hill?? I looked at the finish clock---28:18 or something. I realized I could make it under 28:30! The last .11 was an 8:39 pace, but the final kick was 6:38 according to my Garmin. I saw 28:22 on the clock as I passed underneath, but the "official" finish time was 28:24.

I GOT SECOND IN MY AGE GROUP!! (35-39)


It was a good day. And I managed not to throw up. I felt it would be rude. :-)

My twin was in the 30-34 age group and got 3rd among those young 'uns. I think we both probably owe one another thanks for the motivation. It kind of felt like a race of two.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bittersweet


Today was a big day in my family. Today was my daughter's first day of kindergarten.

Last Friday, my husband and I took her to school for about an hour to meet her teacher and find her classroom. Here she is that morning-- very excited, so sweet and little-girly.


But today was the real deal---staying the whole day, eating lunch in the cafeteria, recess, not taking mommy with her.... She was too nervous to eat breakfast. Though painfully shy, she insisted on riding the bus. But when it was idling before us and it was actually time to get on, she froze. I had to give her a little push toward the steps. She climbed as slowly as possible up those three steps to embark on the next stage of her childhood. She never looked back or said, "Bye." I cried as I walked back to the house.


She's not my first child to go off to kindergarten and won't be my last (I have a 2nd grader and a two-year-old still at home), so I thought it would be really easy this time. It wasn't.

She broke out the Hello Kitty BLING for her first full day today. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but Hello Kitty's face is covered in glitter on top of a tie dye shirt. She completely picked out her outfit. She's forming her own little five-year-old identity. This picture says, "I'm sassy! And I'm a big girl now!" (You know how we women feel confident in certain outfits? I guess this was hers!)

In the space of a week, she seems to have changed so much! How does that happen so fast? And where did the last five years go?




Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Runniversary!

On Saturday, I will repeat the R-3 Anniversary 5K, which just happens to be the first race I ever ran.

It was the first time in my adult life that I pinned a number to my shirt, the first time I toed a starting line with my heart pounding, the first time I drank water from a little paper cup and tossed it on the ground, the first time I crossed a finish line.

My goal was to finish in under 35 minutes and not to walk any. I didn't walk, but I ran so slowly at times, I might as well have been walking. (A walk break would have probably helped my time!) I came down the final stretch, and my friend Marie in the crowd yelled, "Go Donna. Run as hard as you can to the finish line! You are almost there!!!" I looked up at the clock and it was on 34:56. I "dropped the hammer" and skidded across the finish line at 34:59, just barely making my time. But I did it. If I hadn't made my goal, I don't know if I would have continued on this journey.

I've heard that 5K's are the GATEWAY DRUG TO RUNNING. (I read that on a blog somewhere.) I have to agree. After that day, I couldn't wait until my next race and proceeded to run more 5K's in September and October with PR's each time. Then I moved on to an 8K in November, 10K in February, and half-marathon in April. So, for me, that first race was the start of my running addiction. I'm in what's referred to as the "honeymoon period, " where pretty much every race is a new PR. That is the coolest!

I thank God for a blessed year of running. My family and friends have supported all of my endeavors. Nearly every race was fun and exciting. I have somehow remained injury-free. I have made some new close friends and have lots of new running acquaintances. I feel like a part of a community of athletes. I actually feel like an athlete myself for the first time in my whole life. I got to see "the other side" of the starting line when I used my brief running experience to plan and direct a race that raised nearly $3000 to build wells in Africa. I could NOT have asked for more this year.

I recently added this quote to my profile:

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot.

I'm livin' it! I always looked up to the athletic folk, but I was the shy, bookish, uncoordinated girl. (Ok, except for the shy part, I still sort of am!)

I'm going for broke this Saturday----I'm hoping to cross the finish in under 29:00 minutes. That sounds like nothing to most of you, I'm sure, but for me, it'll be a great accomplishment. Maybe there will be a tailwind, and I'll even come in under 28:30.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Work Out Buddies

I have a new work out buddy. It's my husband Chris. Chris works long hours at a very stressful job (while I keep the home fires burnin'), but he doesn't find time to exercise and de-stress very often.

He tried running. He had shin splints. We researched stretches and they helped somewhat. We planned to run a 5K together. He got up to 3.1 miles on a training run with the Garmin (he calls it his own personal neighborhood 5K), and the next day he injured his foot on the coffee table. This was around July 4th and he still has foot pain but hasn't gone to the doctor (men!). I think maybe he chipped a bone along the outside of his foot. (Did you miss my medical school graduation? Oh, wait, I did, too!)

So, lately, while we are watching t.v. after the three kids are in bed, I've started exercising during the commercials. He can't just sit there and watch like a big ole' lump, so he joins in. We do crunches and push ups and I even introduced him to planks.

Last night, I thought it would be neat to have him try out my stability ball. Oh, did I mention he's a BIG DUDE---about 6'1" and 210 lbs?


(This is him next to my 8-year old. Just kidding. She's two. Pretty much everyone looks big next to a two-year-old! But the scale of this photo is funny. Compared to the buildings in the background, doesn't he look kind of ginormous?)


He'd never tried to do crunches or anything for that matter on the ball. It. Was. Hilarious. He'd do a couple of crunches and then start rolling away. The ball was practically flattened. I said, "I think you're going to need a bigger ball," and we both cracked up. It's really hard to do crunches while laughing.

He's doing the Push Up Challenge with me, too. He's randomly done one or two days here and there, and he has no problem doing week 4. Grrr, men and their natural upper-body strength. I've done all of weeks 1-4, though it's taken me about 6 weeks.

Anyway, last night we took turns doing push ups and counting for one another. He did 25, 15, 15, 15, 25, and 5 bonus ones to make it an even 100. I did 25, 15, 15, 15, 25 AND 7 for a total of 102. (I just HAD to do a couple more than him. Guess it's my competitive nature.) Then I collapsed. My arms were twitching for an hour afterwards. I like the Push Up Challenge, but it's tough!

Then we stretched. Watching a man stretch is entertaining. Are they all so unlimber and tight, or is it just mine? Whereas they excel in upper-body strength, I think we women have them in the stretching department. Sitting on the floor, there was no way he could bend from the waist and touch his toes. He swiped at them a couple of times (leading to more laughter for both of us), but couldn't reach them. (Not that I'm much better! Very tight hamstrings after Saturday's 9- miler.)

It's always good when exercise is mixed with laughter and fun. Working out with someone you love is definitely the way to go! Now, please excuse me as I go air up my ball!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm Back with 9 on the 9th and Some New Tricks

Non-Runner Nancy hosted a virtual Olympics race (8 on the 8th) on Friday, but she agreed to accept 9 on the 9th as well. It was my long, slow distance for the week, so I'm not too disappointed in the 1:43:07 it took me. It's supposed to be slow, folks!

Finally, I was back to the running I remember from last spring, the running that I loved! I had a great run---the first time in a while that my long run has gone well AND the first time I've run 9 miles in about 4 months.

Feeling strong and confident. Back.
Finding my stride and my "zone." Back.
Not feeling like I'm dying. Back.
Finishing happily mentally and physically. Back.

This summer I have been experimenting with the Galloway 4:1 (run 4 minutes, walk 1). It never really worked for me. You are supposed to feel refreshed by your one-minute walk break, but I found that they seemed to drag the run out endlessly, leaving me struggling physically and mentally by the end. I never got into the zone. I didn't feel good about myself after those runs. And I felt just as tired (if not more so!) at the end.

So today, Kelle and I took advantage of the cooler temperatures (60's!) and went to my favorite running spot---a paved 4-mile bike path out in the woods called Rails to Trails (in the running community at least). It was once a rail bed. Now, it's a wonderful place for Weekend Warriors (like me) to cycle, run, hike, and walk the dog. The tree canopy completely covered 90% of the trail, so it was like running in a shady, leafy tunnel. I need to do that run more often.

We ran a slow, easy eight miles, out and back, then out for our last 1/2 mile and back. We stopped when we were tired (and NOT every four minutes!). We stopped for a minute or so at 2.5 miles, 4 miles to eat and drink, 6 miles, and 8 miles.

NEW THINGS I TRIED TODAY:

I ate breakfast 1.5 hours before the run. I stayed away from sports drinks. I think Gatorade, G2, Accelerade, etc., have been part of my tummy issues. I didn't take any Clif Bloks or gels, either.

I took a salt packet* from McDonald's, a small box of raisins, pretzels, and water on my run. At the start of the run, I had 1/2 the salt packet and some water. At the four mile point, I had 5 salted pretzels (carbs and sodium), some raisins (for energy), and the other half of my salt packet. Of course, I had water, too.
*I had recently read an article from the Running Doc on the Runner's World website called "Do the Salt."

This all worked for me. Maybe gels or blocks would have been fine, too, but it was the first run in a while where I no tummy trouble. Next time, I might re-introduce a gel and see if that works ok. Carrying raisins and pretzels is a little more trouble than just a quick gel. Or maybe I'll try G2 or Gatorade with the pretzels and raisins. I've got to experiment to see what works. (Actually, didn't I just say I know what works? I should probably just stick with that. But I'm hard-headed.)

It was so good to enjoy a long run again. My legs are tired. My knees and right shin are a little sore. But my spirit is lifted and my confidence in and enjoyment of running are restored.

Does everyone experience this polarity with running--- the highest highs and the lowest lows --- or am I the only one?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Six Word Running Memoirs

On the Runner's Lounge, every Thursday a topic is posted for all the bloggers to, well, blog about.

This week it is Six Word Running Memoirs. Describe in exactly six words memorable runs in your running career.

Here goes:

My first attempt at running at the YMCA in June of '07 (1/2 mile): "Ok, maybe I can do this." Or perhaps "I seriously cannot breathe at all!"

My first 5K in Aug. 07: Back of the pack-- not last!

My first 10K in Feb 08: Last place beats "did not start."

Country Music Half-Marathon in April 08: Well-prepared, finished strong, surpassed goal.

My last 5K race in June 08: "I just won my age group!" (out of two of us!)

Last Saturday's 10-miler (heat and stomach problems): I should have stopped much sooner.

The future: More half marathons, maybe a full?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sweet Relief and Running Like a Rock Star

Whoo!! Today is supposed to be the last day of the heat wave with the heat index at 105. I'll be treadmillin' it at the Y, needless to say.

But the relief to which I was referring isn't just from the heat. It's from the PRESSURE I was putting on myself with the marathon. The aforementioned hotel room in Huntsville is now cancelled. I happily tossed my marathon training plans into the trash. It's as if a weight has been lifted.

I realized I hadn't been enjoying running very much lately. I haven't been doing much speedwork, which I really enjoy. Those long runs in the heat were just making me feel disappointed in myself.

With all that weight off my shoulders, I'll probably run really fast today! (Well, technically not fast-fast, but fast for me.)

As for Jeff Galloway, I'm saying, "Buh-bye!" I really dislike the 4:1 run/walk. It makes me feel wimpy and less of an athlete and runner. And the BEST PART of running is feeling like a Rock Star. Know what I mean? I miss that.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Great Running Quote!

I added this to my title, but in case you missed it----

"Running isn't about how far you go, but how far you've come."
-- Bart Yasso


Good to remember. What's your favorite running quote?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stick a Fork in Me!



I'm done.
The marathon in December is not to be. Long runs just aren't working out for me right now. I'll be ready for the half in October, but I just can't (or won't) do the higher mileage in the heat required for the full.
For today's run, I did most things right:
  • I hydrated well all day on Friday.
  • I got up at 5:00 a.m. and had a small bowl of cereal and 1/2 cup of coffee---just like on half-marathon day.
  • I enlisted 5 runners to run the 10 miles with me at 6:00 a.m. before the heat really set in.
  • I carried 10 oz. of water and 10 oz. of Accelerade and Jelly Belly sports beans with electrolytes.
  • I did the 4:1 run/walk.

And yet, it was the worst run in memory.

Around 4 miles, I started having abdominal cramps. Around 4.5 miles, I noticed sweat dripping from my drenched ponytail down my back. That has never happened before. (It was about 75 or 80 degrees with 90% humidity.) There was a breeze and cloud cover, so it didn't feel hot enough to be sweating like THAT. I drank water and Accelerade as I went. I had Sports Beans and water at mile 5. That only aggravated the cramps.

Around mile 7, I started getting chills and ran out of water and Accelerade. My friend gave me the last of her water, which I promptly choked on and had to spit out, so I didn't actually get to swallow much.

I ran/walked until about mile 8 and the two friends who had stayed with me became concerned about the possibility of heat illness/exhaustion. I decided at 8.5 to just walk the rest of the way. My hands were feeling swollen and my stomach and legs ached terribly. I just felt really "off." Admirably and though we were pretty close to my car and in a safe, public area, they stayed with me. I hated to ruin their run. They got me back to my car and finished up the last .4 or so of their run.

I drank some water, cooled off in the car, and when I got home walked the last .4 to at least say, "I did 10 miles today," one way or another.

The 10-miler was to be the deciding point about the marathon. I think the decision is clear. Sure, I needed to carry more water. I think I probably need something more bland like a bagel for breakfast (no dairy!) and less non-water fluids. Maybe some salt tablets for electrolytes?

I think my next few long runs are just going to have to be indoors on the treadmill/track. My body isn't functioning well in this heat. Today was scary.

The timing isn't right for me to train for a marathon, though I tried to convince myself otherwise. I've only been running one year and have only completed one half-marathon. Maybe the Country Music Marathon in the spring will be an option. Long runs in January, Febrary, and March sound pretty good right now.