Monday, March 19, 2012

Look what showed up today? A sign of SPRING!

I NEVER thought I'd be happy to see this return.   The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the Port A Potty has arrived!   (This happens to be on my running loop so it's come in handy at times!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Facing your fear

For those of you that are Biggest Loser fans - you know that the premise of last night's episode was to "face your fear".  At the time I didn't really give much thought to it.

Today as I was digging for motivation - I started to think about my upcoming half marathon.  About the fact that I will be running it "alone" .  (you know - with 10k other runners!)  and how the course map indicates that there are 4 major hills.  About the fact that I ran 10 miles this past weekend and came in almost last .....about the fact that I train and run races without a running partner....this list goes on.  My mind has a tendency to go into overdrive sometimes. some point I made the connection to my thoughts today and last night's BL. I realized that I am facing a personal fear each time I show up at the starting line.  Nobody's driving me there.  I'm making myself go - nerves and all - and doing the best I can.  Hell - nobody would even know if I didn't go.  (I did debate last weekend going for breakfast instead of the race! - who would know? )

I'm not the girl that goes alone to the movies.  I'd rather stay home.  I enjoy my peace and solitude at times - but I certainly don't go "public" in my quest for alone time.  During last weekend's race there were 2 packs out in front - and then the remaining runners were single runners.  Nothing to push you along except the quest for reaching the finish line. 

I'm not sure why I keep running. Maybe I would have quit by now if I hadn't signed up for this stupid half in April.   I don't know.  I'm certain I wouldn't be out running 10 miles on a Sunday morning.  At least not ALONE.  (sorry to whine so much about the whole running alone thing :-)

 I run because I take pride in my accomplishment - and yet it so many times makes me feel inadequate.  I could certainly run faster, run longer, run more....but....I get up each day, I get on the treadmill or head for the hills (literally) outside my front door....and I run. 

What makes you run?  What makes you face your fear?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Two for Tuesday...Do I need to change my name?

I'm sorry I haven't been around for a few has been a very hectic week. 

I thought I'd get in a quick update.

1.  My 10 mile race was this past weekend.  I'm proud - I finished it and maintained essentially my same pace per mile as I did for my 5 mile race.  (10:44)  I'm sure that's because the pace isn't super fast - but at least I'm consistent!!  I only ended up walking for about 4 minutes.  On mile 7.5 they looped us back up a HUGE hill for the second time.  I called "uncle" half way up and walked.  Luckily - there is a downhill to the story so I made up some time with that. 

What was enlightening to me was the fact that there aren't many "fun runners" that come out for 10 mile races.  I'm learning that once you get out of the 5K range - most runners are "fit and fast". 

What that means for me - I'm moving from the Middle of the Pack to the Back of the Pack....YIKES!! Do I need to change the name of my blog?

This is at approximately mile 9 - at least I'm not limping!

2.  My daughter turned 6 this past weekend.  A very exciting day for her.  Unfortunately - she managed to fall and hurt herself so I'm home today - getting ready to take her to the orthopedist.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that its just a sprain!  What's one more day of kindergarten that's missed, right?  She's missed more time this year than her brother has in 6 years!  UGH. 

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feeling a bit nervous....10 mile race on Sunday

I've got a 10 mile race on Sunday.  I signed up for it because it fits nicely into my half marathon training plan.  At least it did until my training took a two week hiatus a few weeks ago. 

I've got my head back in the game and I've been doing my long runs for the past two weeks - but I'm STILL sore from my 9 miler on Sunday.  NOT a good sign.  Of course, I have yet to give myself a true rest day.  Starting tomorrow I won't be running until Sunday. 

I went out today to get in 4.  I ended up getting in 2 and I walked for close to a half a mile.  My legs are fatigued. 

I think compression pants might work better if I actually RAN in them! 

Now it's in my head.  Doubt.  Uncertainty. 

Bottom line is - I'm running no matter what.  The question is - how fast and will I completely make a fool of myself.  (why didn't I sign up for the 5 miler!?)

I need to get this race behind me - and I need to get some confidence from it.  The half is 4 weeks away.  Essentially 3 more training weeks. 

I'm getting in my own way at this point.  As SUAR says - I need to stop complaining - stop worrying - and just SHUT UP and RUN!  (easy for her to say - she's an awesome runner!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

My conservative running style - Am I phoning it in?

For those of you that have ever seen a Jillian Michael's video - I'm sure you know the expression phoning it in.  She uses it a lot - to make sure you push yourself to the max - and don't just "phone it in".  ( I know she didn't invent the expression - but that's where I've heard it most so I'm giving her credit.)

I went out yesterday for my long run of the week.  9 miles.  It's the longest run I've ever done.  With my new Garmin Forerunner 305 (I promise I'll stop talking about this sometime in the near future!) it gives me a lot more details on my run - while in process.  At times - my pace per mile was up near 13. 

I ran 9 miles at an average pace of 11:54 per mile.  Not a fast time - at all!  The Garmin did give me more freedom in where I ran - so I mixed it up a lot.  I didn't run my usual loop as I just couldn't imagine running it over and over again.  I ran all around my small town until I hit the 9 mile mark.  So - I'm sure some additional hills and new terrains made a difference - but none the less - not a great time.

Here's the kicker - my legs are KILLING me.  I knew last night I was gonna be super sore today.  It hurt to go up and downstairs by the middle of the afternoon yesterday.  NOT a good sign.

I'm a conservative person by nature.  I always err on the side of caution.  Not much of a risk taker.  I've been very "strategic" in my training plan as I've built up mileage.  Everything you read says to increase your mileage or your pace slowly over time.  I've done that - increased everything - SLOWLY. 

Perhaps - too slowly?  Maybe I've been phoning it in.  Not on purpose - but in my subconcious - running - but not running as hard as I could be.  Not getting the most out of it that I should be. 

How do you determine what's enough?  What's too little or what's too much?  None us want to end up injured and unable to run.  I know the mantra of "listen to your body" - but that means you have to try and figure out when you're being subconsciously lazy.  Not always an easy thing to do. 

I read a post from someone recently (I'm sorry but I don't remember who) and they had said that they do weight training on the same day they do their long run because they want to get the most out of their recovery days.  GREAT STRATEGY and an incredible amount of dedication.  I - on the other hand - come home from my long run - eat, eat and eat, lay around moaning and then - for anyone who will listen - I tell them how far I ran.  All while begging my husband to massage my knees, and achilles (which have been getting very sore lately - yikes). 

I think it's time to disconnect the phone service!  Clearly less talking and more doing is in order. (I may need to unplug my fridge as well :-)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Running Snob...VENT

I want to start by saying how much I love this blogging community and how supportive everyone is.  I wish I could say the same about some of the other "runners" I "run" into.

For us newbies, or slow runners, or "older" runners  - it's intimidating to join a group of people with the runner's mentality.  More, faster, better...

People who don't run admire us.  People see me out and about in my running clothes and ask - are you coming back from a run?  a race?  They are impressed.  I get told now by some people that the "don't recognize me" unless I'm in my running clothes.  (clearly I've got some social issues as I should probably dress a little better at times!)

The not so easily impressed are other runners.  They want to know - how you did.  Pace per mile, how far ....comparing the whole time.  It's human nature - I get it.

What bothers me is how quick they can be to tell you about their accomplishments - in a way that puts yours down. 

I run 15 - 20 miles a week.  A year ago I didn't run.  AT ALL.  15 - 20 miles a week, just about every week, for 9 months now is a MAJOR accomplishment for me.  I'm PROUD.  Those that run 15 miles in a day - put runners like me in a different class.  I am in a different class - no doubt.  But I would like to be supported and recognized for my efforts.

This past week I got it in my head that I want to run a Ragnar.  I went on their website and discovered that they have one in September up near where one of my closest friends lives.  She's always complaining  telling me about how her book club has practically become a running club and how much I'd enjoy it.  (she's not a runner -so she's not too happy about it)

I sent her an email asking her to check with her book club if they are interested in putting a team together.  Here's a snippet from the email she got back from one of them ...

"Ragnar is the same concept of HTC but on a smaller scale. HTC is a shining gem of a race, suspended in time that can't be replicated. But I'm sure it's quite fun in it's own right"

What the f does that mean?  Anyways.....she's out.  Not interested. 

No responses from the rest of them.

Then - there's my other friend's sister who is a tri-athlete.  She's done / does it all.  When we ran our first 5 mile race a few months back - she told us the time we should be able to run it in.  Who does that?  I'm just happy I'm running and I'm finishing.  If I have a time goal - that's personal.  It's mine.  It's not for someone else to tell me what I should be doing. 

I run for myself - so I know what others think isn't relevant.  But as a new runner, a SLOW runner (one that's 42 and 5'1 so let's face it - I'm not gonna get that much faster!) , it's intimidating.  I love it.  I do.  I do it begrudgingly some days - but I get a lot of joy out of it.  My accomplishments, the improvements to my health and my self esteem make it all worth it. 

I hate that other runners are the ones trying to take that away.