Sunday, September 28, 2008

14 big ones.

So I officially had my first 20 mile week. I realize I should have surpassed that many moons ago but better late than never, right? I did two 3 mile runs earlier in the week, being sure to take it slow because I've been on the verge of having a full blown cold all week. As per usual, I'd planned on doing my long run on Saturday but that didn't work out. So after having breakfast, reading the paper and doing some laundry, I suited up and got, running. I watched football as I ran and the first 5 miles flew by. I felt great. I swear, watching football is one of the best ways to pass time while running. It's so encouraging b/c in "5 minutes" in NFL time, I've usually run at least 2 miles. Good stuff. But I digress. So at mile 5 I stopped to stretch, drink some water and have a PowerAde gel packet. I hopped back on and did another 3 miles and took another water break and reset the treadmill b/c after 100 minutes it just stops. Since I was close I figured I might as well reset it. I did another 2.5 miles, took a break for water, did 1.5, break for water, 1 mile, break for water, and then the final mile. As you can see I was VERY THIRSTY. I guess I hadn't drunk enough water prior to running. It was very annoying. I chewed gum in a useless attempt to keep some moisture in my mouth but it didn't turn out to be very effective. Also, I was really starting to fade around mile 11. My ankles hurt, feet hurt and all I wanted to do was stop and chug a gallon of water. I ended up walking for 1 minute on the last two miles. Somehow, I managed to kick it up a little on the last .25 mile. I had been doing straight 12 minute miles and I think I ended up on a 10 MM pace for the last .25. Nothing groundbreaking, I know, but I was happy to have a little something to give. Then before I could finish recording my mileage, time and calories on the back of my "Learn Spanish a page a day" calendar I let my body fall backwards on the treadmill. I couldn't bear to stand a minute longer. My hamstrings immediately began to burn and ache and I figured I should probably not have just stopped moving like that but I didn't even want to think about getting up and walking or doing anything whatsoever. I laid there, grimacing, and took my shoes and socks off. A few minutes later I crawled over to my water glass and chugged. Then I got up and recorded the rest of the info. Of course, part of me was thrilled that I'd managed to do 14 miles but the other more dramatic (with good reason) part of me thought "Are you fricken kidding me?! That was just 14 miles. You will almost be running double that 4 weeks from today. How in the world is THAT gonna happen?!" Good question. I don't know. But I'm going to finish the damn race, whether it be on 2 feet, my hands and knees or crawling on my stomach. I'm hoping for the first option.

A few minutes later I was bending down to pick my phone up from the coffee table and felt like my nose was about to run. "Oops, need a tissue" I said aloud as I wiped my nose on my shirt (classy, I know). However, when I looked down I realized my nose was not running, it was bleeding. What the...?! I got some t.p. and stuck it up my nostril, took 4 Ibuprofen, got some frozen veggie stir fry bags out of the freezer and plopped down on the couch. What a sight I must've been. I still have no idea what the nosebleed was all about but it's better now. I was one salty dog though. There was a huge rough and slightly discolored patch on my shirt from where I'd wiped my face while running. Dave saw me a few minutes after the run and told me I had powder or something on my neck. I said "no, it's probably just dried sweat. No biggie." He was amazed and I'd like to think also a little impressed. :) I think I'm going to sleep very well tonight.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Is it really almost October already?! Where is the time going? Not too much has been going on. I wish I could say that I've been so busy running my ass off that I've had zero time to blog about it. Not so. Last week was a bust. I missed my long run b/c as per usual, I put it off until Sunday even though all week I'd decided to do it Saturday so that I could avoid exactly what happened. I swear I'm just too smart for myself sometimes. Anyway, Saturday turned to Sunday and we had plans to go into Nashville to a sports bar to watch football. On the way there I kept telling myself (and everyone in the car with me) that I can only have a beer or two and then tons of water b/c I have to go home and run. Yeaaahhh. About or two turned into several and I was enjoying myself way too much to stop and think about a freaking run. Then on Monday I felt like horse crap all day not only b/c my body felt run-down but because I was seriously racked with guilt over missing another run. I was not in a good mood AT ALL. I feel better today but still feel like a crapbag for having such a lousy week of running (or lack of).

Two weeks ago I cut my long run short and only did 6 miles. I guess the good news is that for the most part, I feel really great when I run. When I did 11 a few weeks ago, I felt like I could have easily continued. I know, 11 is still a drop in the bucket compared to what I will be doing in a month (oh my God, almost exactly!), but for whatever reason it makes me feel a teensy bit better. I will be doing at least 14 this weekend. I'm kind of at a loss for what to do b/c I know I have to increase my long runs (by quite a bit) but I'm worried I'll take that too far. I know the general rule is to increase mileage by 10% or some crap like that, but I'm going to have to throw that out the window and hope for the best.

My other concerns regarding the upcoming ass kicking of the year include the fact that I will NOT be:
1. running on a treadmill
2. while I watch tv
3. in the air conditioning
4. with my shirt off

Yikes. I am, however, excited about pace groups, which I read up on in the recent issue of Runner's World that was sent to me as a "free gift" (for 3 months - courtesy of Saturn). Has anyone used one during a race? It sounds like JUST what I need b/c every time I run outside I'm at a loss when I try to set my pace. It'll be much easier to have someone else set that for me. I'm pretty stoked about that and the prospect of having a cheerleader of sorts running with me for 26.2 miles. I really hope I'm not embellishing the role of the pace group in my head...I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I had a great run tonight and figured I should blog about since it seems like all I do on here is bitch and moan. ;) It was a 3 miler after work in my new shoes - details to follow later - and felt fan-friggin-tastic. My legs felt strong and all they wanted to do was go FASTER! My first mile was sort of a warm up but the rest were fast by my standards: 10:05, 2nd: 9:33, 3rd: 9:09. It has made a huge difference that I moved the treadmill so that it's not facing the wall. Now it is literally in the middle of the an that I can see the tv. Priorities, people! I don't think the feng shui is particularly stellar and it looks like hell but it helps me run. So as long as Dave can tolerate it, I'm all for it. Now that that's out of my system I've got to go to bed. Happy hump day ya'll.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How not to train for a marathon

1. Don't select a plan. Why use something created by people who know what they're doing? Just wing it. Surely you, a novice who just started running, can make up a plan to get you through this process successfully without injury to yourself or others.

2. Don't pick a marathon too far away. Just started running? Give yourself less than a year - maybe 8 months or so. Why wait, right?!

3. Run by yourself. On a treadmill. Nuff said.

4. Don't worry about following the plan you made up for yourself. That's too much hassle. Just run when you feel like it.

5. Don't bother changing your eating habits. Runners thrive on pizza and beer at least once a week, in addition to lots of Mexican food, margaritas and more beer.

6. Don't cross-train or do any strength exercises. Why bother? That's just adding more crap to your list of things you already don't feel like doing...i.e. running.

That's all I can think of for now. I feel like a colossal jackass. My marathon is a mere 53 days away and my daily mantra has become "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea." I'm freaking out about this. My training is inconsistent and at times, nonexistent. I think I should have given myself more time, especially considering what went on this summer with us moving to another state and trying to get our lives in order. I really could sit here and "coulda, shoulda, woulda" all friggin night. The bottom line is that I need to crack the whip and get my run on. I just don't know how (obviously since I've been saying this for months now...) Ok, I'm done with the whiny self-loathing. At least for the moment.

Last Sunday I had 12 miles on the schedule. Since I haven't found a great place to run that far I figured it would be fun to break it up and do 6 or 7 outside and then the remainder on the treadmill. That didn't quite work out as planned. I did the 6 outside but was mentally worn out. I realized I had a problem when I told Dave (who was biking with me), "I think I'm going to stop and walk at the corner". Now, "the corner" was about .4 from where I was supposed to stop. I had no reason to make that my endpoint other than that I was being lazy. I realized that if I'm choosing a point to stop - instead of just stopping - I don't really need to stop. It's not as if I'm injured in any way and simply cannot go on. I'm being lazy. So I didn't stop there. I finished it out. Then when we got home I did 2 on the treadmill and stopped. Mentally I couldn't go any farther. I think part of it is that we recently got my treadmill from Kim's house and whereas it was in the garage in front of a tv when it was at her place, now it's facing a wall and it's driving me insane. I haven't been able to run more than 3 miles on it since we got it back. I need to rearrange or something b/c this isn't going to fly.

In other news, work is going well. I forgot how entertaining it can be to work with the public. Last week I was chatting with one of the patients and she was asking me how I was liking the job and if I was adjusting ok and whatnot. I told her it was going really well and I was catching on but it's definitely a lot to learn, blah blah blah. To which she replied, "I always used to get diarrhea when I started new jobs." Wow. Ok. I didn't see that coming at all. Thank you maam for telling me more than I ever wanted to know about you and your waste system. She's this sweet 65 year old lady and no, she didn't even lower her voice when she said the "d" word. It was nuts. Somehow I managed to stammer (with a straight face nonetheless) "Well, I haven't had anything like that's good". I might have even held up my crossed fingers as if to say "here's to hoping...". Since bowel movements turned out to be a prevailing theme last week it's only fitting that another patient was talking about a "miracle bowel movement" she had. She literally used "miracle" and "bowel movement" in the same sentence. She was praising God for it and everything. I'm so upset that I didn't hear that firsthand. A few different people recounted the conversation for me. Ahh, good times.

I'm going to eat dinner now. My goal is to get up at 5 tomorrow morning and run. We'll see what happens with that. Maybe I should hire some kind of personal trainer or running coach or something. Hmm.
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford