Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Bad News

I always want the bad news first. So here it is: my first half marathon, for which I have been training for months, is next weekend. And I hurt my foot.

I had to go out of town for work last Wednesday, and I ended up walking all over downtown Huntington. In ballet flats. And somehow, I stepped off a curb weirdly and strained/pulled/hurt the arch of my left foot. I took a few days off from running, and I've been icing, taping, and taking it easy since. My last long run that was supposed to be last Saturday, was shortened to 6 miles. I feel, suddenly, totally unprepared. I wanted to get one last long run in. I wanted to feel awesome and finish with a time that I was proud of. I wanted, I wanted.

Sometimes shit happens. Life is full of setbacks. I was on the verge of freaking out for a couple of days, until Brad reminded me that I want to continue to run for many years, right?

So here's the good news (there's always good news): I'm going to do it anyway. I'm going to show up with my weirdly taped foot and, if it's not 100% better, I'll set my watch for 5:1 intervals, and Galloway this bitch.

And you know? I think I'll still feel proud. Finishing a 13.54 (according to the course map) run, even with a one minute walk break out of every six, is still an accomplishment, something I never thought I would do, ever. I'm going to try to remember that as I eat everyone's dust next Saturday.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Charleston Lately

Brad is gone for the weekend at a 9-hour mountain bike race. Not only did he take my car, the peanut butter, and all of the beer we had in the house, but he also took the last of the coffee. That was a pleasant surprise this morning.


KSF is beautiful, the trails have been great, and I went for an 11-mile run with this guy this morning:
He and I were running at about the same pace today. Look at the pity in his eyes. He's all "Dude, lady. You should be faster than that by now."

I know, turtle, I know. It was just a bad day.

I also saw my first ever bear while running today. It was HUGE and lumbering away from the trail I was on. I stopped for a minute to contemplate what I should do. Sneak away? Continue to stand completely still, staring at it? Yell? In the end, I just continued on my run, checking over my shoulder every now and then. It did not give chase.


My friend Misty turned us on to these real femur bones that are filled with food for our dog. She (the dog, not Misty) has been gnawing on a bacon and cheese flavored one for the past week, with her eyes closed in ecstasy. Probably one of the better purchases I have made for her.

If you have a dog, especially one who is lazy yet needs constant attention like our dog, I highly recommend these. It keeps her occupied for hours.


We finally bought that living room furniture! I am the proud owner of two huge comfortable couches and I love them. They're so nice that they make all of our other furniture look extra shitty in comparison.


Week 5 Training

Monday - yoga + 3 mile run
Tuesday - 3 mile run, tempo pace
Wednesday - 2.75 mile run, 5 horrible hellish hill sprints at the end
Thursday - unplanned rest day. My knee was bugging me.
Friday - Blissful Rest!
Saturday - 11 miles that took a lifetime
Sunday - 4 or 5, depending upon my mood tomorrow

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Susan G Komen Race for the Cure

Yesterday I ran the 11th annual Susan G. Komen WV Race for the Cure here in Charleston. I ran this race last year, and it was my first 5k. This year, my goal was:

1. to PR (My previous 5k PR was the last 5k race I ran, the Turkey Trot, with a time of 31:45)
2. to finish in under 30 minutes.

However, last Wednesday I ran speed intervals on the treadmill and didn't use my knee sleeve. Thursday I ran an easy 2 miles, and my knee hurt pretty badly. I spent the rest of Thursday and Friday icing it every few hours, and my plan was somewhat derailed. I didn't want to hurt my knee in the 5k and risk not being able to run the Half Marathon (which is now less than a month away! EEK!), so my goal became to finish, run as much as I could, not kill myself, and walk if I needed to.

Friday night, Brad and I went out with some friends for happy hour and then dinner, but I made sure to drink a lot of water and only two beers so that I wouldn't be dehydrated for the race on Saturday. After the 5k, my HM training plan called for 6 more miles, which would not be fun hungover!

Saturday morning I woke up, had cereal and coffee, woke Brad up, and we went down to the Capitol grounds, where the festivities were in full swing (Brad was awesome enough to come with me to cheer me on! Thanks, B!). I wore my pink Nike Dri-Fit T-shirt, pink socks, and my pink Bondi band. I don't normally dress in all pink when I run, but at the Susan G Komen race, you stand out if you're NOT in pink!

I hung out with Brad for a while and then went to line up. I was so nervous! I always get pre-race jitters, even though I will never win a race in my life. Soon enough the horn sounded and everyone took off! The other runners and walkers fill both sides of Kanawha Boulevard. It's inspiring when 7000+ people come out to support a cause, especially to do something active.

I kept a good (for me) pace throughout, didn't have to stop to walk at all, and felt good! My knee didn't hurt and I thought maybe -- just maybe -- I would achieve my goal of under 30 minutes.

As I approached the finish line, I saw 30: on the clock. I was so close! But I picked up my pace to finish in under 31:00, and I made it! The official chip results aren't up yet, but I crossed the finish line, high-fiving Brad, just before the clock turned over to 31, so my time will be 30-something. I'm happy with that. Next time, under 30!

After the race, I went home, ate a bagel, and drove to the state forest for another 6 miles. It was a perfect day, the trails were in amazing condition, and I was happy to be able to run on them.

Week 4 Training:

Monday - yoga
Tuesday - 3 miles tempo
Wednesday - 3 miles intervals
Thursday - 2 miles easy
Friday - Blissful Rest
Saturday - 5k race + 6 miles
Sunday - rest -- sore legs!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On My Legs

I've always had big thighs. For the record, I am not calling myself fat. But my legs have always been fat. Large. Shapely. Thick. Or, to use the quintessential midwestern term, "sturdy." Because of this, I have never really worn shorts. Bermudas, sure. Knee-length running tights, yes. But never shorts.

Last week I purchased a pair of Nike Tempo running shorts. Partly because they are popular among runners and I want to be like everyone else, but also because Charleston? It gets super hot in the summer. Last year, I would put on my workout capri pants and run a couple of miles a couple of times a week. But now, my running schedule is busier and I run longer and the capris aren't going to cut it once the temperatures hit 90. And this will happen very soon.

I took them for a spin yesterday, drove to my favorite nearby trail for a quick and dirty 3-miler over my lunch break (Can I just say that this is the best part about working from home?). I'd already applied my Body Glide to avoid chub rub issues, so I took off in my shorts and I started up the hill.

A woman was walking on the trail, and I passed her around the 1.5 mile point and nodded pleasantries. She was looking at my legs as I passed.

"Oh shit, she must think my legs are too fat for these shorts. WTF lady? I can wear shorts if I damn well want to." These thoughts are rolling through my head as I plug along.

I reached the end of the trail and turned to head back. Wouldn't you know, I passed her again! "Hello," "Hi there," still obviously staring at my legs as I went by.

"I clearly should not be wearing these shorts. They must look really bad. I am a giant fat monster." It's amazing how quickly what I imagine one complete stranger thinks of me can ruin my mood.

When I got back to my car, I remembered that my leg looked something like this:

IMAGE SOURCE - if this was my actual leg I would not have these issues

And that might have been what she was staring at. Whew! Self-esteem meltdown caused by total stranger averted.

Here's a little bonus story:

Picture it: Pittsburgh, 2008. Brad's friend Ned rolls up to our house on his road bike to go for a ride with Brad.

From inside our kitchen, I hear Brad say, "Dude. Your thighs are huge."

And Ned answer,"Yeah, thanks!"

There's one conversation that would never pass between two women.