Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some things never change

3 years ago I was anxious when I pulled up to the track. I had on cotton sweat pants and a cotton tee, no special running sneaks. Had no idea what to expect, and was blown away when the expectation was a 3 mile run. Blown away more when I finally finished pulling at times slower than an 11min mile. Today I went to that same track with those same anxieties. I can’t do this. It will be too fast. It will be too hard. I had my running gear on from head to toe and hit the track running. During the warm up I caught up with others who I missed during the winter hibernation. Anxieties started to fade until the bait and switch was unveiled. I came expecting 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m times 3, was told nope, go do 4x a mile. What the f*ck!! Too late I’m here, in the back of my mind I knew I could do this. I had kept up with my workouts over the winter. We started and by the time the 2nd lap came around I found my rhythm. The arms were moving, breath moving in and out, legs pumping. Sue and I alternated the lead on the miles, keeping steady every lap, at times seeming to be on autopilot. I had gone from being called out for poor form, taking off too fast, not being able to finish, to someone who knew what they were doing and doing it well. It was the confidence builder I needed to start off the season. I can do this, I will do this and Chicago will be a better marathon as a result.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 192

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 131

Days till Cox Half: 31

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Windy, Rainy but fun!

I broke my rules that I swear would not be broken going forward. I ran outside this morning, and had a BLAST! Seriously, going forward I can say that I ran 5 miles during the flood of 2010! Credit needs to be given to Erin for meeting us, there is no way I would have gotten Joe out of bed on my own. Heading out the door, I tried to jump puddles for about 5 mins before hitting on square on. The feet are soaked, lets keep moving! Heading up Charles St, I would have benefited from goggles. No joke, I had a hard time keeping my eyes open with all the water. It wasn’t long before an oncoming car forced us onto the shoulder, squeals and laughter from all when the water line rose about our shoes. Not only was it POURING, but it was pitch black so judging depth of the puddles was nearly impossible. Running down Woodward we could see that the park was more like a lake. The fun and games continues until we turned back onto Charles for the last mile, straight into the wind. This part sucked, the feet were moving but I wasn’t going forward. The wind was brutal and the added weight of wet shoes and socks was taking a toll. It was over before we gave up and would have had to swim home. Please note that had we waited and run tonight it would have been dry, but I can’t help but wonder if we would have enjoyed it as much…

Miles trained today: 5

Days till Chicago: 193

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 130

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Loosing interest?

I’m stuck. I hate long runs, not a good place to be for someone training for a marathon. Part of the problem is that it’s March and Chicago isn’t till April, I’m not sure what the rest of the problem is. The distances do still intimidate me, over thinking all the miles. The training is like learning math, you can’t just jump ahead, and every week builds on the previous week. I seem to have a great long run about every 3 weeks and in between I don’t mind anything from 5-7 but 10+ irritates me. What to do? Going public is my first step, next I’m going to register for the Cox half and focus on that as a distraction. Beyond that I’m open for suggestions, please insist that I get the miles done on a Saturday, no more excuses.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 195

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 132

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's raining again, *sigh*

There has been too much running in the rain when a day like today doesn’t seem that bad! Now I know that laying in bed I couldn’t hear the raindrops, but looking out the window it was quite clear what was happening. Come on now! I’m sick of being wet, my feet get pruned on runs like these. Rain or treadmill, rain or treadmill, rain won. Thankfully it wasn’t a downpour and not that I want to admit it, but I had a good time today. It always makes for an interesting morning when one is enthusiastically debating healthcare reform and the nutritional needs of school children before 6 in the morning! 4 runs complete this week, 2 to go, fingers crossed that they will be dry!

Miles trained today: 5

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 134

Days till Chicago: 198

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don't break the rules

There are a few simple runs I have when it comes to running. One of them pertains to running in the rain:

If lying in bed I can hear the rain, I won’t run.

Very simple, I followed it this morning. Alarm went off, while I stumbled to my snooze button, the rain was audible and I went back to bed for an hour. After work it was still raining and although I wasn’t in bed, I’m sure if I had been I would have still heard it. The rule was broken and I went for a run. Bad idea, terrible idea, no good awful idea. There was no one else out there. I knew my jacket wasn’t waterproof, but I thought maybe it would magically become waterproof if I ran outside today. It didn’t. To keep myself going I tried to imagine having to run Chicago in this. If it rains during Chicago I might not run it. 5.5 in the rain wasn’t worth it, I can’t imagine 26.2 would be. Lesson learned, don’t break the running rules.

Miles trained today: 5.5

Days till Beach 2 Beacon: 137

Days till Chicago: 201

Monday, March 22, 2010

You never know

This morning was a disaster, we got up late, moved too slow; 7 mile run turned into a 2 mile mess that would barely count for anything. I planned for the Blvd after work and dreaded it all day. Thought about canceling it, the only reason I did it was my headphones happened to be in my car after work. I figured there was no way it could possibly be as bad as the morning, never thinking it would be a great run. Running on rested legs always feels great, and having been sick all weekend the legs were ready to move. Don’t ask me why they put up such fuss this morning, but this afternoon they were rocking. It was perfect running weather in my book and the blvd looked beautiful. High 40’s with barely a breeze, not quite raining, more of a mist; Grey skies made the green grass pop. There were maybe a handful of other people out, so I felt like I had the trail to myself. I did not bring my watch and purposefully did not look at my car clock when I stepped out, so I don’t know how fast I went. It felt fast, I ran hard. I ran with purpose. Man, did it feel good. Rarely do I enjoy a run, but today I’m basking in it.

Miles trained today: 5.5

Days till Chicago: 201

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm just running in the rain, running in the rain

1 hour and 42 minutes in the pouring rain and wind + friends from running club = a great long run. There are very few times I finish a long run with a smile and today was one of those days. It wasn’t expected to be a nice run, 10 miles in the cold and rain, ugh. When we started I had second thoughts, but it didn’t take long for those thoughts to fade away. It was so nice to have other people running along with us, everyone talking, laughing, joking. I forgot for a while about the crummy weather or what I was putting my body through. I need to hold onto the feelings I have from today’s run and remember this after the next run I have when I’m feeling low about my performance. Too easy I will beat myself up for going to slow or not far enough but don’t give myself credit for days like today where I had a good time while still running fast enough and far enough

Days till Chicago: 210

Miles trained today: 10

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm not very sure about this

So I’m getting ready to write this about my morning run and am realizing that I don’t really remember it. There was a moment of panic at the end of my yoga class when I thought I was going to have to run, but quickly realized it’s done! It’s a recovery week, YAY, so runs are shorter, slower and more enjoyable. We hit the road at 5:30, I remember meeting Erin on the corner. There was some chit chat and a few laughs. No watch, no worries about the next repeat, no checking the pace. I remember being pleased when we finished, thankful that it was done. Good run, bad run, doesn’t matter. The miles have been logged and I can head to bed!

Days till Chicago: 212

Miles trained today: 4ish

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Old Friend

Hello Old Friend,

How have you been? It’s been a while, several months if not longer. I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to meeting up with you but after a few moments I remembered how well we used to get along. We started down Hope towards Angel, that turn hasn’t softened over time, but all was forgotten with the downhill on Angel. Starting downhill always makes things more bearable. It wasn’t long till we hit Elmgrove, looking good there old chap. I didn’t notice many potholes, although has someone called the street cleaners on your behalf? Heading past Rochambeau I took pride on running on my favorite patch of sidewalk, love it for no particular reason. I see that you have been busy with the Blvd, there were plenty of other runners out there. You haven’t been cheating on me have you? Then the worst part, all the damn up-hills. Please, I’ve asked you to fix that before and yet you ignore me. But cresting the hill at Doyle is so sweet, a quarter mile to the finish and it’s all downhill. I’ve missed you, we go back a long way you and I. You’ve helped me reach many a mileage goal, and I think my record is 4 times around before calling it a night. Not sure when I’ll be back, I’ve been trying out other routes, although none feel quite as nice as you. Glad to see you are doing well.

Miles trained today: 4

Days till Chicago: 214

Saturday, March 6, 2010

finally starting to make sense

It’s funny when you finally start to realize that you had been looking at something the wrong way. I have always hated tempo runs, finding them to be very stressful and difficult to manage. Over the last 3 weeks I had found success and I wasn’t until today that I figured out what I was finally doing right. Rather than heading out of a particular day deciding that it would be a tempo, I’ve been relaxed. When I review my week, there always seems to be a run that meets the qualifications. This week I had convinced myself that it wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been running slower and hadn’t been able to muster up the energy to give it my all yet this week. Our track work earlier in the week was pretty brutal and had taken a while to recover from. Today was just supposed to be miles, nothing special about them. We started out and I knew we were at a pretty good pace but expected to fall back and did when we hit the hill on Onley. It took over a mile to get beyond all the up-hill and by then I felt like I was dragging. I peaked at my watch and was surprised to see that I was going at a 9:41 pace. Didn’t give it too much thought and just kept going. I don’t think I checked my p ace again during the run, just focused on getting it done. Chatted a little bit, and spent more time just enjoying the sun on my face. Finishing up at the Edge only to find that today was going to count as my tempo, 10min pace (I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but if this training continues I will surpass my 4:40 goal). Up hills and the wind weren’t enough and even my poor attitude didn’t phase me. Going forward I can’t schedule the tempo, my body knows what to do and all I have to do it get out of my own way!

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 217

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm trying to listen

Listen to your body, listen to you body, listen to your body. If I have been told this once since I started running, I’ve heard it too many times to count. If you ask me it’s a useless phrase. If I listened to my body I would stop running immediately and curl up on the sofa with my pup. Today was just one of those days, I was striving for 6 miles and after a few steps thought about forgetting about the whole thing. Now we all know I can get a little obsessive with my planning, and I knew that skipping all 6 would ruin my chances of coming anywhere near my goal for the week. I hung on until about 3.5 and started to falter again, I was just tired. There was no focus; I couldn’t get out of my head, the whole run felt clumsy. If I can make it to 5 I’ll be in good shape. Well you know once I hit 5 there was an inkling to hang on for 1 more mile, but I didn’t. I listened and stopped. Not sure if this is what that phrase is meant to address but I didn’t force myself to finish the entire 6, that’s not mentioning the fact that the 5 miles I did run were completely forced and unpleasant. It’s hard as the weekly mileage grows I’m learning to run on legs that aren’t fully rested, trying to train them to recover quicker. It’s a difficult balance between listening and pushing yourself to the next level and closer to the goal.

Miles trained today: 5

Days till Chicago: 218

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Double Time

I’m at the point now with my training that if I want 2 days off a week I’m running 7 miles a few times a week and given how pokey I can be, this is a difficult distance for the before work hours. Also keeping in mind that if things keep progressing I’ll be at higher weekly mileages in the future, I figured that this was a fine day to start running twice a day. I’ve done it a few times and don’t really mind it, although my partner in crime can’t stand it. So I haven’t built it into my training in the past. 3 miles this morning and 4 this afternoon and I have to say I’m feeling pretty good. Neither distance was overwhelming; I wasn’t stressed during either run. I kept the pace easy, no sense in killing myself knowing what’s coming down the pipeline. I’d like to do this 1-2 days a week; it’s just a nice way to shake things up a little. Running in the morning tends to get me moving, my co-workers can tell if I’ve run before work or not. Running after work is a nice was to distress and let go of everything. Today I did both!

Miles trained today: 7

Days till Chicago: 219

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

left or right

Ever wonder what happens when you take a left rather than a right? I wondered that this morning after my workout. This morning I dragged my ass out of bed before 5 and killed myself for over an hour getting an interval workout done. We did this workout just Joe and I, no coaches there to keep time or club mates there to cheer us on. Just my sweat and me; it was hard, very hard. Quicker pace with shorter rest and more intervals, more than what we had been doing. Had I never joined this club what would be different? So much would be different it amazes me. Never mind the running, but my friends would be different, vacations would be different, my free time would be spent differently. I wouldn’t have completed that workout. I wouldn’t have had the courage to try to finish it. Here I am, glad to have found such a great group and grateful for how different things are.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 221