Tuesday, May 27, 2008

3 miles and a 6 word memoir

After running 7 miles on Sunday, I was almost excited to run 3 today. "I just did 7. Three miles is cake". Eeehhh, sort of. I just feel like 3 miles should have turned to 4 by now and I should be faster and I should be able to do it painlessly. Enough of the "should be's". The 3 miles dragged on - I think it was my psyche's punishment on me for thinking that 3 would be so easy and would fly by like it's nothing. And my shins hurt. So that sucked. Times weren't too bad so I can't complain too much.

M1: 10:53
M2: 10:42
M3: 10:11

I really want to start speedtraining but am scared that doing so will exacerbate my shin pain. Maybe I should at least give it a shot. I also wish I knew when to push through pain and when it's better to stop. I think there's a fine line there. But does anyone really know when to say when?

I've been tagged by Emilie to do a 6 word memoir. My life in 6 words or less.

Here's what I got: Transplanted, growing, running. Finding my groove.

Hmm. Now I have to tag people. I'm not sure whether these people have been tagged yet but here goes:

Suebob: http://suebob1.blogspot.com/
Julie: http://slowbikefastlife.blogspot.com/
Miss Allycat: http://www.missallycat.com/index.html
Tammie: http://tammie-mylittleworld.blogspot.com/
Aron: http://runnersrambles.blogspot.com/

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. :)

Sunday 7 miler and new headphones

I did some light cross-training (elliptical) and weightlifting last Friday, took Saturday "off" and decided to attempt to FINALLY surpass my 6 mile wall on a long run on Sunday. I think I've been stuck at 6 miles for over a month and it has been very frustrating, mostly because it's attributed to my overall slacking on scheduled runs than being physically unable to push past 6. I needed to remedy the earbud/headphone issue though, so I picked up a pair at Walmart Sunday morning: the sport kind that wrap around the ear. At first, I had a hard time getting the bud in my ear; it felt too big (that’s what she said). With the assistance of a friend, I got it in and wrapped around my ear. Something as simple as that clearly should not require assistance but just go with it.

I got on the treadmill around 1pm and almost immediately, both my shins hurt. Not a good start, especially considering that I was doing a 12 minute mile. I started out that slow because I assumed it'd be safe and easy on my body. Silly me, you know what they say about Assuming...I tried to just focus on my music or the silent episode of Seinfeld that was playing on the tv. I would have been thrilled to just call it quits and plop down on the couch...at least until the guilt of skipping yet another run set in. I was having major reservations about the miles ahead of me. I forged ahead SLOWLY, every so often pushing the earbuds farther into my ear(s) or adjusting the piece that wraps around the ear. They weren't uncomfortable but it was clear they weren't completely secure. Only once did one of them fall out, which isn't too bad. It was tricky getting it back in my ear because I was so sweaty that it took a minute of slippery fumbling. Around the 5th mile, I started to think about energy boosters: sports beans, Clif shots, blok shots, etc, and how I didn’t have any. I’m not sure how much of it was mental (I’m willing to guess about 98% of it) but toward the end of that mile, I started to feel incredibly weak. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do 2 more miles. All I could think about was that I needed SOMETHING. At the beginning of mile 6 I stopped the treadmill and hobbled into the kitchen to get some Gatorade, figuring that would be better than nothing. Dave was sitting on the couch and assuming I was done said "Nice job, muffin". I said "I'm not done yet" and felt like a real badass because even though I didn't tell him I'd already done 5 and was planning on doing a couple more, I'd been in the garage for around an hour, if not longer, so it was obvious I wasn't messing around. I was seriously hurtin’ though. I gulped the Gatorade down, torn between wanting to pour another glass and being scared that if I drank too much it might try to make a reappearance. I decided to play it safe and stopped after the one glass.

Surprisingly, mile 6 felt pretty fantastic. My legs finally felt as if I’d found my groove and the Gatorade was just the boost that I needed. Unfortunately, it didn't last too long. The last mile was pretty rough. I felt sluggish again and almost felt like I was going to pass out. In addition, I had an odd pinching pain on my left shoulder blade. But I managed to tough it out and was elated and extremely exhausted when I completed the 7th mile. Part of me wanted to cry tears of joy for FINALLY doing more than 6 miles. Since I started running around 1pm inside a garage, I was completely drenched with sweat. I have NEVER EVER sweat that much in my life. I might as well have been running in a sauna. I was a glistening, stinking mess. Since I didn't want to offend anyone with the sight/smell of me, I did some quick stretching, got more Gatorade and headed to the bathroom to take a cool shower. I felt like a new woman afterwards. I popped some Ibuprofen and was happy that I didn't have any pain in my legs or hips for the rest of the day. In fact, I didn't have any pain until the next evening when I had to run to the car to avoid getting soaked during a shopping excursion. It was only then that my shins started to hurt again.

Here are the details:

M1: 12:00
M2: 12:00
M3: 12:00
M4: 11:34
M5: 11:32
M6: 11:24
M7: 11:08

Dave and I went to a sporting goods store yesterday and as I was perusing the candy selection near the register (I still think it's weird that a sporting goods store has candy but whatever) I spotted some Clif Blok Shots: lemon lime and strawberry. I bought 2 of the strawberry and Dave and I sampled some in the car on the way home. I didn't quite know what to expect but have to say they tasted better than I would have guessed. It almost made me want to go home and do another long run so that I had an excuse to use them!

I hope everyone had a great long weekend! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Let me start by saying "my bad" for the comment about <3 being for 13-17 y.o.'s. I was really just going off what I read on urban dictionary. That and hearing Kim say her 13 year old cousin and her friends use that like it's going out of style. Sorry ladies and gents, I did not mean to offend, I just didn't have enough info.

I also want to thank everyone for their feedback on my XT question. I figured that would be the case (that I'd need to XT instead of just running). I just needed confirmation from people who know what they're doing. :)

The past week has been pretty lackluster running-wise. After my last entry I did another 3 miles, with plans of doing at least 9 more between a 3 miler and another long run of 6. That did not happen. Instead, I spent time with Dave and went to Renaissance Fest on Sunday with some friends. It was a fantastic opportunity for people watching. I didn't realize I'd see so many elf ears...Anyway, we drank yards of beer, ate deep fried Snickers (WOW), threw ninja stars, and then came back to the house to grill some burgers and dogs, throw horseshoes...and drink more beer. All in all it was a very productive day except for the whole running thing.

I've run twice so far this week: Monday I did a workout found in one of my running books that combines running with strength training exercises. It went something like this:
Run 11 minutes
Do 10 pushups
Run 5 minutes
Do 10 crunches
Run 5 minutes
Do 10 reverse crunches
Run 10 minutes
It kicked my butt. Don't ask why because I know it looks pretty harmless. I think my problem was that instead of doing "easy" miles (like the book said), I pushed to make sure my total mileage would be 3.

Today I went to the trail near the house and ran. I think it was just under 3 miles. My iPod earbuds do NOT want to stay in my ears, especially my left ear. Does anyone else have this problem? It's driving me crazy. I came this close to throwing the friggin shuffle into the friggin river today (temper, what temper?!). Overall, the run was not good. I couldn't find my groove and I swear an infant who just learned to crawl probably could have passed me. I don't know what my deal is. I don't do well when I run outside (granted, I've only done it 2 or 3 times, but still). On top of that my shins have really been bothering me. I was browsing through a book with some stretches in it and decided to give a shin stretch a try. You get down on your knees and then slowly sit back so that your butt is resting on your calves and ankles. When you start to feel uncomfortable or in pain, you lean forward and put your hands on the floor to support yourself. I can't even do this stretch. At all. It hurts too bad the minute I lean back. Not cool.

I really need to get back into a running groove. Even though I have all the time in the world, I can't seem to get anything done. I thought "It will be so great when I'm between jobs because I will have SO much time to run and do all the things I need to do". WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Instead, there is a terrifying pull toward the t.v., in particular the Lifetime Movie Network. It's so difficult to get motivated to do anything. I'm not sure what to do.

I hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I <3 my Shuffle!

Ok, so I just learned yesterday (by way of Urban Dictionary) that the above symbol <3 is supposed to be a sideways heart. I'm probably a bit old to be using it (I think it's reserved for 13-17 year olds) but whatever.

So my Shuffle has helped tremendously with my running. I totally love it! The "I'm going to get up early and run every day" I blogged about last week never quite came to fruition. Oops. Maybe someday soon. Last week I didn't run again until Sunday when I did 6 miles. Six was the farthest I'd ever previously done and truthfully, I was really worried as to whether I'd be able to do it again since my running has been slacking so much. I took it slow and started out with the goal of doing 5 and I felt so good that I decided I was going to do 6. It felt fantastic! Nothing hurt at all and in fact my biggest challenge of the run was getting rid of a side stitch at mile 3 after I was unable to control myself when "Midnight Train to Georgia" came on my ipod. Apparently belting out music at the top of your lungs (thank God for near-soundproof rooms) throws a wrench into your breathing pattern, causing stitches to appear. Oh well. But once that was gone it was smooth sailing again. I felt like I could (almost) go on forever...until mile 5 when I thought "Ok, it's a good thing I only have 1 mile left". Here's the dish on my time:

Mile 1: 11:34
Mile 2: 11:34
Mile 3: 11:34
Mile 4: 11:19
Mile 5: 11:06
Mile 6: 10:49

Although I took it slow to begin with (because I wasn't sure I could go that far again) I decided to push myself toward the end. I've come to the realization that I need to push myself a little bit more because that will bring a lot more progress than just moseying (sp?) along. I play it safe too often but am working on that. :)

Yesterday I convinced Dave to go to a trail with me to run. The trail is about 7 miles long (with plans for expanding it to 22 miles or something like that) and it runs along a river. There are tons of trees and it's perfect because while you're on the trail, unless it's high noon, odds are you've got quite a bit of cover from the trees, thus it's usually cool and comfortable. So we walked .5 mile, ran .5 mile, walked .5 mile, ran .5 mile and finished up with a .5 mile walk. It was great. And I saw a guy with a 2006 MCM shirt on. I was too embarrassed to talk to him but I got really excited because I immediately recognized it and thought "I'm going to have a shirt like that in less than 6 months!" After that we came home and I decided to run 3 more miles. Again, I felt great. I had some slight pain on the side of my right foot but it quickly went away and I finished strong.
Mile 1: 11:06
Mile 2: 10:42
Mile 3: 10:37
I have been wearing my old Asics because I can't find my Saucony's and am wondering whether the Asics are contributing to my legs and feet feeling as spectacular as they have. My dad will be coming up in a few weeks and as a belated b-day present we're going to a specialty store to get me properly fitted for shoes. I'm super psyched.

I hope everyone is doing well! Oh, before I forget, I want to get feedback on cross-training. How important do you guys think it is? What about weight training? At this point I'm not doing either but have been thinking I probably should. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Tennessean

That's me now. Wahoo! We left Thursday afternoon at 4pm and stopped for about 2 hours at 11pm. Then we had a lovely 4am breakfast at an Awful House (aka Waffle House) in Alabama, got back on the road and got to Murfreesboro (fun fact: the "Boro" as it's called was once the capital of TN) around 9am CST. We took the truck (24 foot Budget truck) to storage and proceeded to unload the stupid thing for something like 6 hours. I was ready to rip someone's head off for several reasons at that point: I was tired, hungry, frustrated, tired, smelly, starving, etc. I think my dad would have been proud of the way Dave and I managed to stack all of our shit in that 10 x 20 unit. It was pure genius. We were all a bit apprehensive when we first started unloading everything. I think the phrase "Holy crap. No way is all our stuff going to fit in there" was uttered at least thrice (and thought at least a dozen times). But we pulled it off. Score!

The rest of the weekend was spent driving around, eating and trying to get organized. We dropped Dave's dad off at the airport on Sunday and then headed to Percy Priest Lake to be picked up by our friend and new roomie Jeff, who took us (by boat) to their camping site. It was wicked cool. It was a little more hardcore than the "camping" I'm used to; there was no toilet, no electricity, it was on an island, etc. We stayed out there for a few hours, drinking, eating and fishing. Good stuff.

My cat, Ava, who is a bit of a scaredy-cat (gross understatement) hasn't quite been getting along with Kim's cat, Marshall Mathers (yes, that's his name). Neither of them are used to being around other animals so both are having territory issues. Ava has basically been hiding under the bed 24/7. Yesterday an interesting thing happened. Ava and Marshall had been sharing a litterbox (at least that's what I thought) that was placed in another room. I was sitting at the computer desk in our room and Ava tried to run by me but was blocked by my legs. I thought nothing of it, figuring it was just another one of her spazztastic moments. Then I saw her out of the corner of my eye so I looked over and she was sitting on the air vent and was looking up toward the ceiling. I thought to myself "that's how she looks when she's taking a whiz" and then realized that that was exactly what she was doing. I couldn't believe it! In FL the vents are in the ceiling so maybe that caused some confusion...So yeah, she peed in the air vent. I was pretty mad and worried that our room and the vent would forever reek of cat piss (one of the worst smells in my humble opinion) but I managed to clean it up pretty well. So I'm hoping it will be ok. Kim was pretty good about it (thank god). I think she was much cooler than I would have been about the situation. That's why I love her. :)

As far as training goes, I finally ran tonight for the first time in about a week. Honestly I can't remember the last time I ran - yikes. Anyway, it felt pretty great. I took it slow: 2 miles @ 11:19, 1 @ 11:08. All day yesterday and today I've felt so groggy. I've been completely exhausted for NO reason. I haven't done anything but some cleaning, driving around and shopping. What's so friggin exhausting about that?! As much as I wanted to continue sitting on the couch drinking Pomegranate Margaritas (best drink ever. No joke.), I hopped on the tread with the intent of doing at least 2 miles. My legs felt fantastic: no pain at all. I think it also helped that Kim has a small tv in her garage (where the tread is) and she put on Chappelle's Show. I couldn't hear it because we had music on but having something to focus on prevented me from checking my time/mileage every 30 seconds. So that was cool. I think instead of sleeping in tomorrow (because that's what we unemployed people do) I'm going to get up early and run. I'd like to make a habit of starting my day out like that. What was incredible was how clear-headed I felt after the run. I felt motivated to do something productive. Since it was after 9 pm when I got done, there weren't too many productive things I could do, so I showered, called my mom, and decided to finally get my blog on.

Oh, I almost forgot, I bought an iPod Shuffle a few days ago per Julie's suggestion. I can't wait to use the little guy. It's bright green and I love it. I thought about going with the nano or something a little bigger but I think the Shuffle should be more than enough for me. I think that's it for now. Sorry this was so long. I have a TON of blog reading to catch up on since I haven't been on for almost a week. I hope everyone is doing well! :)
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford