Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The beginning...again

Starting over kinda sucks. After running 26.2 it’s a real pisser to huff my way through a few lousy miles. I did 3 miles tonight, which translates to 1 mile of running, .75 mile walk, followed by another mile of running and then a .25 mile walk. During the last .25 of the second “run” I started to feel like my body was literally going to fall apart. It’s incredible how much my feelings can vary during a run. I started out pretty strong, trotting along, and then Dave got home. For some reason, every time he infringes on my “running space”, I immediately get distracted and have the almost irrepressible urge to STOP running. All of a sudden I notice I’m tired/sore/in need of water. It is quite irritating (the urge to stop, not Dave, he's awesome). I guess it might be b/c when no one else is there I let myself get into the zone. I stare straight ahead and am totally immersed in what I’m doing. Then he walks in and BOOM. I want to stop and talk to him or start cooking dinner or get online or whatever the hell else. His presence sucks the force right out of my body and my concentration goes out the window. I’m able to get my focus back but the phenomenon leads me to believe that I’m just a loner when it comes to running. During my last marathon I trained almost entirely alone (and on a treadmill). You’d think that having another person there to talk to would be a welcome distraction but that isn’t the case with me. I have to get into my own head and work things out. For awhile I have been convinced that I have adult-onset A.D.D. Seriously. I'm like a small child, it's ridiculous. I could provide at least 5 examples off the top of my head but it's late and Dave is yelling at me to come to bed. The A.D.D. theory may explain why I do well inside on a treadmill. There are a helluva lot fewer distractions (and things to make me feel self-conscious) in a room staring out the window than there are out on the road. Oy. Enough psychoanalyzing, back to the recap. There were a few times during the run that my step felt light and springy and I felt like I was a carefree 8 year old running around the neighborhood. I love that. I hope to have the feeling more often.

It’s tough to beat the feeling that comes over me after I’m done running. I feel strong, calm and pleasantly exhausted. Maybe if I write this down and read it repeatedly it will be enough to get my ass on the road (or treadmill) tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chicago '09

I just signed up for Chicago. Eeeeeee! So I've decided that my challenge this year, unoriginal as it may be, is to run another marathon, but to do it faster and in much better shape. I haven't decided on a firm time yet, but I'd like to do it under 5 hours, which would be a 37+ minute improvement from the MCM. My good friend Ana's birthday is the day of the race and a bunch of us are going to Chicago to celebrate her birthday and a few of us will be running Sunday. I hope she doesn't feel like her thunder is being stolen with the race going on Sunday.

Oh sweet Jesus, I'm nervous but I can't wait to see CHICAGO! The closest I've been is when connecting flights have landed at O'Hare. I better get some sleep so that I can get my training on tomorrow. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where did the time go?

Somehow, four and a half months have flown by since my last post. More disturbingly, in about 10 hours I will officially be 27. Yeesh. The birthday challenge thing has been on my mind for months, or really ever since I successfully completed last year's. I have no idea what to do. A few things have come to mind but they're so boring that I'm ashamed to mention them. Beyond that, the ideas I've come up with aren't challenging enough to warrant an entire year dedicated to them. Furthermore, the ideas aren't related to a physical challenge. The physicality of the marathon challenge served (for the most part) to 1. make me proud to divulge my challenge to anyone who was interested enough to listen (or read) 2. get my ass moving, which is no small feat because unfortunately I am, in nature, an extremely lazy person (thanks Mom and Dad...just kidding) 3. carry me through the most incredible experience of my life to my proudest moment. The marathon was BY FAR the coolest thing I have ever done. The entire run went frighteningly well and part of me wants to pull a George Costanza and just quit while I'm ahead "Alright, I'm out. You've been great, thanks." But of course another part of me wants to do it all over again; maybe choose one in an exotic location or convince a few friends to run with me. As much as I wanted to do the Shamrock Run in VA Beach (it's next weekend), that isn't happening. I pretty much stopped running altogether. Ok, not "pretty much". I did. I just stopped. It sucks but oh well. A couple of weeks ago I joined the gym at work with a coworker and we've been going about 3x week. I'd like to get into a consistent routine and get healthy and fit and drop a few lbs before the wedding in May. I am hesitant to say "I want to lose weight for the wedding" because I want to institute a lifestyle change, not a temporary one designed to make me look good for a few days and a weekend of pictures.

So back to the challenge. It seems that a lot of people transition from marathons to triathlons but those don't appeal to me at this point. Maybe one day but not right now. I feel like whatever I choose to do it's got to be very physical and very tough. Unfortunately, I set the bar kinda high with the marathon challenge. How do I top that? Maybe I'm just not thinking hard enough. Maybe the 6 pack of Coronas from last night are impeding my thought process. A few people I've talked to about the challenge have tried to let me off easy this year: "Why don't you make the wedding your challenge?" Well, probably because that isn't a challenge, but a natural progression of a wonderful relationship over 4 years in the making. No bigs. I got that shit in the bag. Seriously though, does anyone have any ideas? Part of the problem is choosing something that isn't going to break the bank. It wasn't too difficult to buy running shoes, socks and sports bras. I also feel like the challenge must have a clear end point or win/lose decision. My 2005 "piano lesson" challenge left me able to tap out a few intros on the keyboard but I never got the feeling that I actually accomplished anything. Perhaps it was the nature of the challenge. It isn't feasible to think that I was going to master the friggin piano in less than a year, especially when I was not apt to put in the practice. I need some sort of finish line to cross or some other indicator that yes, I have achieved what I set out to do. It must be measurable. So there we go. It's got to be cheap and measurable. Hmm. Not quite sure what I can do with that. If anyone has ideas please send them my way. Until then maybe I'll just make this a fitness log (yawn). Must keep thinking...
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford