Sunday, October 31, 2010

a day at the races

Well, the Monster Dash didn't go too well.  I've been having some very minor knee issues off and on and this ended up being a really off day for my knee.  It didn't seem to enjoy the run very much at all; actually, it seemed rather pissed off at being asked to perform and not at all interested in cooperating.  The husband and I had planned to walk/run the race and ended up walking almost the entire second half.  I have to say it SUCKED to not finish running strong.  I'm not fast by any means - most races I run about 10:30 minute miles give or take - but walking through the finish chute really bit.  Makes me much more motivated to get a plan together to keep my body healthy as I enter into serious training for Grandma's.  I do NOT want to finish that one walking.

On the up side, it was an absolutely glorious day, the course was beautiful and the volunteers and spectators were SO supportive and encouraging to this walker!  It really could have sucked a lot more than it did.  And 10 miles partly walked is still 10 miles.

Friday, October 29, 2010

t minus 10 hours 30 minutes til the Monster Dash 10 mile!

The husband and I haven't had much luck keeping running a priority item on the schedule.  We've decided that tomorrow we'll run 10 minutes/walk one minute for the race.  And when we run, we'll run in s-u-p-e-r slow motion.  That way we can save ourselves from injury and make all the other runners look really fast.  It's our little way of giving back.

I didn't let a little thing like having no intention to actually RUN the entire 10 miles get in the way of my carb loading tonight.  I am a carbohydrate whore.  Had me a BIG heaping helping of pasta followed up by a thick slice of banana bread.  Ah, so very yummy! And I feel no guilt whatsoever.  That's what's great about running!  Even when I don't deserve it, and really probably shouldn't indulge, the specter of a moderately long distance run in my not so distant future lets me think I've somehow earned it.  Ahhhhh, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen lovely 1:2:1 ratio!  How I love thee polyhydroxy aldehydes and ketones!!  But let's be honest: at this point, the carb loading just translates to increased fat stores for winter.  But dammit, I've earned those fat stores, right?  So bring on the cold weather baby, I'm going to be SOOOOOOO prepared.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

trails and tribulations

So I signed up for another race as a motivator before my Monster Dash 10 mile.  It's a 5 mile trail run through an apple orchard.  I've sort of run on trails but not really so this might be interesting.  And I guess this isn't really trail running, it's orchard running.  So, really a new thing for me.  Anyway, I hope it's not a dumb choice the week before a longer race.

Unbelievable.  I just went to the race website to look at the starting time for tomorrow's race and saw that the damn thing was TODAY!!  I am a dipshit.  Oh well.

I need to mix things up a bit.  I have so NOT been in the mood for running lately.  That might explain my screwing up the date of my race.  What's up with that?  Must be some interesting psychological reason to explore.  More to come on that.  For now, I'm going to look for a different race to run in tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

it's good to be slow

Four, count 'em, FOUR 4-leaf clovers found during a run!!
Summer is leaving.  When it's gone for good, Summer will take with it the possibility of me changing my luck every time I go for a run.

Did I mention that I'm a slow runner?  It's a good thing I'm slow - I like to look around when I'm running.  When I'm alone I need to capitalize on the distraction of my surroundings to keep my mind off the fact that my body hasn't yet embraced what I'm doing to it.  And because I'm not super graceful, a faster pace might make my tendency to look around kind of treacherous.  Add running with Jane to the mix and things could get really ugly if I'm not noticing all the flora, fauna and funky stuff she's bound to go after.

Speaking of running with Jane, we went for a run this morning.  It was only 3 miles and we walked part of it but for some reason, it was a tough run for me.  I hate that!  I was grateful that I had to walk "for Jane's sake" because I was spent.  Seriously, at what point is running going to feel effortless?  Ever???

Back to the possibility of changing my luck with each run.... There are perks to being slow.   One of them is my strange talent for spotting four leaf clovers while I'm running.  It's not like I'm on a mission or anything, I just happen to look down and there they are!  It's pretty cool actually.  During one run, I found 4 of them. Since it was right before my first (and so far, only) half marathon, I took it as a good sign that the race would go well (meaning I'd finish).  And it was!  I had a surprisingly fun time in that race despite having to run down a huge hill at the beginning, up another big hill in the middle, then turn around and run down the big hill again and finish going up the HUGE hill we started on.  And I didn't even feel like puking when I was done!  So, was it the clovers or the slow pace?  Hmmmmm........maybe a bit of both.

Monday, October 11, 2010

do these socks make me look like a poser?

I confess I've been wearing socks that imply I have run the TC Marathon.  Even though I decided I couldn't run the marathon, I went to the expo and got my goodie bag.  In the bag was a pair of socks that say "26.2" and "Twin Cities Marathon." I've worn them on a couple of runs now. I love those socks! Super comfy!!! I was a little worried that I was kind of a liar for wearing them but then I thought, "Hey, I've worn sweatshirts from schools I didn't go to and shirts from places I haven't been, so what's the big deal?"  Somehow the socks seem more important. Maybe because I really want to be one of those people who ran the marathon.

I need to fit a 6 mile run into my day tomorrow; some days it's really tough to squeeze in a run and tomorrow looks like it will be one of them. Maybe the socks will provide that little extra bit of inspiration to make it happen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

make it so, number one

I have this blue running jacket that I really like.  It was a Christmas gift from the husband.  This jacket FITS.  It's soft, its comfortable, it's fitted and has good lines, it's long enough that my stomach isn't exposed and has those thumb thingies that I like so much.  You know, the little holes that you can put your thumbs through so the sleeves are pulled way down on over your wrists?  This jacket has really long sleeves! I'm 5'11" and have orangutan arms so most running jackets/long sleeve shirts NEVER seem to have enough real estate to cover my entire arm.  Running pants are the same.  All my running pants are capris whether they were designed that way or not.  Plus, I have to admit, I'm cheap.  Or frugal.  Or whatever you want to call it.  I hate to pay full price for stuff.  And I really hate shopping for clothes (see orangutan arms, above) because it's frequently such a disappointment.  I may have to expand my horizons beyond the sale rack to find gear that fits.  The weather is getting cooler so I guess it's time to act.

Proof of one-time winter running.
Beloved blue Jacket worn
underneath the green one.
Historically, I haven't done a lot of outdoor winter running.  Actually, I've pretty much taken the winters off from running.  I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to cold weather.  Anything below 20 degrees is a bit much for me to take; throw in some wind and I'm outta there.  Couple that with the possibility of having inches of tender skin exposed and I'm not usually willing to brave the bitter elements that Minnesota winters can toss out.  <One exception: this past New Year's Day, the husband and I ran in the Team Ortho Polar Dash.  It was a beautiful day, about 3 degrees, (yes, THREE degrees, but NO wind!).  One of the coolest (no pun intended) things about the entire event was as we were waiting for the starting gun with the few thousand other racers, seeing the steam rising above everyone in the morning light.  Another very cool (really, no pun intended) thing was the spectators who were out to cheer us on.  Minnesotans are a crazy bunch!>  Anyhoo, my dislike of running in the cold is going to have to become a "like." (Cheering spectators would help.  I always seem to need more cowbell.)  I'll need to train outside this winter - the treadmill is just not going to cut it.  I can only manage about 4 miles before I am bored out. of. my. mind.  Too much time on the treadmill makes me crabby.  Kind of kills the endorphin boost I hope to get from running.

So, back to the blue jacket that I like so much...... I  was wearing it last spring on an especially chilly day and was feeling all stylish and runner-like (having actually just completed a run even!) when I saw my brother.  I had paired the jacket with my ONE pair of black running pants that are almost long enough to reach my ankles, had the jacket zipped all the way up, and my hair pulled back into a tight ponytail.  My brother looked at me and said, "Make it so, Number One." Ok, maybe I DO look a bit like a graduate of Star Fleet Academy.  All that's missing is the beam me up pin.  So I guess it's time to do something about the wardrobe. And embrace my inner Trekkie.

Friday, October 8, 2010

running with jane

I'm grooming Jane to be my running partner.

Jane isn't the most attentive runner.  I should clarify - she's not attentive to the running aspect of our runs.  She likes to stop A LOT to investigate items she comes across on our runs, and I'm pretty sure one of these times she's going to rip my arm out of it's socket.  So she's attentive to what she deems important.  And I guess we do come across some pretty interesting things: geese, rabbits, SQUIRREL!!, deer, garbage, the occasional sock or shoe, discarded food containers, and a plethora of animal crap from dogs and other creatures.   I suppose if I were her I'd want to check stuff out too.  I'd draw the line at literally sampling crap that we come across on the run, however.  That's just gross.  But then, I'm not a dog, so it's really not my thing.

Anyway, she's fairly young (not quite 8 months) so I don't like to push her too much.  She needs to finish growing and I don't want to be responsible for wrecking her joints.  One of us with bad hips is enough.  So far we just walk/run around the lake by our house - the distance is an almost perfect 5K.  On the up side, Jane's always ready and willing to go out for a run, and she never complains that it's too hot/cold/late/early/windy/rainy, or how her shoes don't fit exactly right, or the fact that running tights emphasize her cellulite and do nothing for her butt....that would be me doing that.  Not out loud, usually.  It's more like a thought scroll under all the other stuff I think about (Did I turn off the coffeemaker? What time is that meeting today?  Do I have time to take a real shower or do I have to settle for a baby wipe cleanup?, etc....)

After I run with Jane, I still feel like I need to do a "real" run, one where I'm not walking half the time.  I can usually talk myself out of it though. Guess I don't like to push myself too much, either.

My next race is the Monster Dash 10 mile which will be on October 30.  I'm going for a run this morning (sans Jane - we have a date at the State Park later today) after I have my coffee.  Gotta fuel the machine first!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

and so it begins.....

A friend and I signed up for the marathon last night after drinking a couple glasses of wine.  In the harsh light of day, I have to admit I'm questioning the wisdom of that move.  We had already bailed on the 2010 TC Marathon due to a broken toe (hers) and some life events causing serious training interruptions (mine).  The fact that we bailed didn't stop us from going out for a celebratory dinner.  She's already done 8 marathons; the TC was to be my first.  We decided we still want to do a marathon together and being Minnesota girls, Grandma's seemed like the logical choice.  Plus, it's all downhill right?  I mean, it's point to point/North to South all along Lake Superior.  How bad can it be? Life remains crazy right now, but who knows when that's going to change.  So what the hell, I'll give it another shot!

I've been running off and on for three years.  For some reason, I wanted to start running and found the Couch to 5K  program online in May 2007.  I'm not kidding when I say it was REALLY hard for me to run 60 seconds in a row when I first began and I was terrified when the program called for me to run 10 minutes in a row.  I ran my first 5K August 18, 2007 and when I finished I truly felt like I could do anything!  I've since run in a few 5K and 10K races, and I've even done a 10 mile and a half marathon this year.  I'm slow and not the most graceful runner but I always manage to finish my races in an upright position.

I'm thinking I'll need some external pressure to keep me going when the long runs get super long so I decided to:
A. Run for a charity - my choice is the American Cancer Society (link to my donation page coming soon!).  I figure anyone going through cancer has it lots tougher than anything I'll encounter in training - hopefully that will keep my whining to a minimum but no promises; AND
B. Go public so I'm more likely to stick to some type of training regimen and less likely to stay up late and play on Fridays thereby causing me to skip those early Saturday morning runs.

255 days to go.  Wow.  So do I LIKE to run?  The jury is still out on that one.  I like some of the benefits of running: ever so slightly smaller butt, able to eat things larger than my head, and a reduction in my crabbiness level on the days I've given the endorphins a boost.  I just wish running would erase cellulite.  But do I LIKE to run? I dunno.  We'll see how this whole thing pans out.