Posts tagged ‘running inspiration’

Ready to run!

Since my first run just three months ago, I have trained consistently.  I have covered uncounted miles and acquired several pairs of running shorts.  I have even purchased 4 pairs of fancy wool socks at $14 each.  I have finished two races and was happy with both finish times. I have read a running book, a triathlon book and everything Running World has ever published on its website.  I have also faithfully read many great blogs and runner tweets.  Today, it is quite obvious that all my prep work is complete and there is just one thing left to do: run.

I could make it a lot more complicated.  I could talk about all the many feelings and thoughts running through—how I almost cried when I got my race packet at the expo because I was so excited or how I have obsessed over the ever-dropping temperatures that are now estimated be about 28 degrees when I head out in the morning—but the one thought coming in loud and clear over every other thought is that I am ready to run.

My legs feel great.  My running kit is all laid out.  My gels and apple juice are in the right pockets and zipped tightly in my fuel belt.  The camera is charge.  Boyfriend knows where to be.  I am very carbo-loaded.  My playlist is finalized.  It is time to run.

Tonight, I plan to relax, knowing all the details are taken care of.  I am sure there will be a moment of panic in the morning—even in the middle of the night—but I am ready.  Tomorrow is my first half marathon and I am ready!  All those shirts and stickers in the expo? Tomorrow they all pertain to me. It is so overwhelming I can’t help tearing up just a little.  It must be all the carbs.  Tears, freezing temps and 13.1 miles will all be tackled tomorrow.  I am ready to run!

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December 4, 2009 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

St Jude Half Marathon Bound

 

First and foremost, I am pleased to announce I am running in the St. Jude Half Marathon on Saturday.  You may wonder why this is news.  I have been talking about running this race for months.  Well, here’s a quick breakdown of my Thanksgiving drama.

Sunday: Great 10-mile run

Tuesday: Bad leg pain that fits the description of a classic stress fracture.  I make a doctor’s appointment.

Wednesday morning: Doctor agrees it sounds like a stress fracture.  When it becomes clear I will not stop running without proof, he schedules MRI.

Wednesday afternoon: They call before the MRI to let me know it will cost $850 because I have not met the deductible on my new insurance.  I call my mom (the nurse), who asks if knowing really changes the course of treatment.  Since it doesn’t, she agreed I could skip it (so that I could afford heat this winter).

Wednesday night: I ran a mile and everything, including my leg, felt terrible.  I sat in the floor for an hour feeling sorry for myself.  My leg did not hurt worse than anything else, but I was scared to keep running and risk it.

Thursday morning: I tried to run the Turkey Trot.  After 1.5 miles I quit.  My leg was twinging and there were so many people it was impossible to walk it off.  Yeah, I know.  I drove the 2.5 hours to my mom’s to eat turkey feeling sorry for myself.

Friday morning: When I told my grandmother I wanted to try running once more, she begged me not to run.  Common sense seemed to point toward bailing out.  Getting hurt would be jeopardizing all the other things I want to do this spring.   I was really pitifully bummed the entire drive home (sad, rejected playlist).

Friday night: Boyfriend told me to quit worrying and psyching myself out.  I tried the hop test and no pain.  Still undecided.

Saturday: On my feet all day decorating and no pain.  Decided to try one more run.

Sunday Morning: I ran 5 miles and my leg did not hurt at all.  I felt out of breath on the first 2 miles, only to discover I was running really fast—not hopelessly out of shape from my pitiful running attempts.

Sunday Afternoon: Brunch downtown.  No pain, but a few mimosas—my last drinks until after Saturday.

Monday: No pain from the run.  I am planning another run tomorrow and getting ready for the big day Saturday.

The moral of the story: stress fractures can affect the brain, too.  I think I was so worried about a new pain (not unlike others I have felt along the way that faded naturally, with rest or with ice) interfering with my race, that I overreacted and let it interfere with my race.  I am glad I had it checked and incredibly thankful I feel better.  Also glad I did not spend $850 on the MRI.

November 30, 2009 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Getting closer

Sunday was my long run.  You know, the super long 10-mile run?  It was, in a simple, beautiful word, awesome.  I tried to do everything as if it were race day, and while I know that is much easier to do when it is not race day, all went well.

I felt great when I set out.  My first mile was a little slow, just 10:22, but I decided not to sweat it and just keep running a solid pace.  Throughout the run I could tell I was holding pretty consistent to 10:30 miles.  Each time I wanted to slow down, I just told myself I had the juice to keep going.

About 8.5 miles, I had the temptation to cut the run a little short.  I just starting to get tired, but I never seriously contemplated an easy out.  Before the thought had really formed, I got this mental picture of myself finishing my race in two weeks and almost started crying I was so proud.  That definitely kept me going.

When my Nike+ said 400 meters, I was ready to cross the finish line.  I started sprinting.  I next thought it said 50 meters to go and I really picked up the pace.  Then it said 100 meters to go.  I will admit to shouting “bitch” a little more loudly than one should in a nice neighborhood, but kept sprinting.  Finally, those great Nike+ words, “you have completed your workout.”  I had done it!

My final time was 1:45:38 with an average 10:33 mile.  For my 9 miles last week I averaged 11:01 per mile, so this was a major improvement.  This was also the first long run where my splits were consistent instead of getting progressively slower.  Even better, I feel much better the day after this 10 than I did after last week’s 9.  It is amazing what I week of resting and hydration can do!

I refueled with two 4 oz apple juices and one gel.  I will do one more of each I think on race day but otherwise I felt good. I did order the purple shirt, and it should be here this week for a few test runs.  Otherwise, I am going to try to take the advice of my friends and taper.  I think that must be easier said than done though, because I am bummed I don’t get to do another 10-miler this weekend.

I am hitting the gym tonight to stay loose, then 5 miles tomorrow.  My goals for the week are to eat well and sleep well.  Why is that the hardest part?

Photo credit: http://blog.hinctechal.com/

November 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm Leave a comment

Just 35 more miles

There are no two ways about; I procrastinate.  More than once after finally doing the thing I’ve been dreading, I have found myself thinking, “that wasn’t so bad,” or “that was much quicker/better/more fun than I expected.”  I procrastinate about a long list of things including cleaning, work projects, taking the dog out and even going to bed.  Lately, I have put off running until the last possible moment too, which makes my blog even later!

I can say I sort of had a good reason to stall on running this week, or at least I thought I did.  After my 9 miles Sunday, my right knee was really sore.  After icing all day Monday, I was afraid to run on it Tuesday and opted for the gym instead.  Thursday I was supposed to run, but I was so afraid of finding out my knee was really “messed up,” I waited until today.  A week’s worth of worry (and rest) resulted in a fine run today and very little pain afterwards.

Running really is 98% mental.  I have just 35 miles to go before my race and I need every one of them.  Putting them off is not an option.  No room for procrastination or excuses.  Just 35 more miles.  I can’t believe I have come this far, and you better believe I am going all the way!  Next up: 10 on Sunday.

Photo credit: http://kenkurp.blogspot.com/2008_06_29_archive.html

November 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm 1 comment

Two-month Running Anniversary

anniversary_balloon

I checked my training log today and confirmed that yesterday was the two-month anniversary of my first run. Wow, two months. When I think of all I have accomplished from that first 1.75 miles to today I can’t help but be proud. I’ve run a 4-mile and 8-mile race, as well as committing to run a half marathon. And with that half marathon a month away, I feel very good about running it.

I have completed 25 runs and have 13 more before my half. Some have definitely been better than others (my training long only had on word for my run on Sept 5—pukey), but overall they have been good. Each run builds on the next, and each improvement is built on previous struggles.

My long run of 7 miles on Saturday went really well and the 4.75 miles I put in yesterday were smooth, too. I needed these runs to boost my confidence and they did just that. My commitment to follow my training schedule and run a strong half is through the roof.

Maybe the most important thing I did to show (force) my commitment to my training this weekend was finalize my training schedule and reschedule any runs disturbed by travel and the holidays. I now know all my runs will fit into my schedule and that I better do them because they don’t fit anywhere else.

It was hard not to run during lunch today, because I just feel so good, but looking back at my training log also reminded me of the consequences of overtraining. Instead, I read Runner’s World and dreamed about my own dramatic race finish.

Photo Credit: http://www.gamespot.com/users/Domovsky/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-25577902

November 3, 2009 at 8:26 pm 1 comment

Running past post-race funk and standing water

panthers492

It was a day later than I intended, but I did run through the park today and it was gorgeous.  Well, the foliage was gorgeous.   The weather was rainy, gray, mid 60s and unbelievably humid.  Still, I had a great run and learned what I am sure are invaluable lessons about how to run through and around standing water.

I only ran 3 miles, but at least I was back in my running shoes and moving past my post-race funk.  I also mapped out a bike ride for my cross training Sunday in the hopes of revitalizing my training plan.  Variety is certainly the spice of my healthy lifestyle.

Looking at my training plan and calendar, I realize the next five weeks are going to be tough.  In addition to piling on the miles, I have all kinds of parties, concerts and travel plans.  And the busier I am, the harder it is going to be to make myself get up and run 5 miles in the freezing cold.

I have come to the conclusion it is time to get organized.  I have proved I am a serious runner who can compete.  Now, I have to prove I am a dedicated runner who can train.  The frequency and consistency of my weekly runs are going to be what carry me through my half marathon.

 

I have divided my weekend into the following productive areas:

1) Cleaning and Laundry—the house is a wreck after getting back from vacation

2) Running—7 miles on Saturday and lots of stretching

3) Cycling—riding about 20 leisurely miles on Sunday to loosen up and relax

4) Planning—mapping out training and social activities for the next 5 weeks

5) Halloween—this will be the fun part

 

Making a list always makes me feel better.  Now I know what I have to do and how to do it.  I am going to take my mantra from the Dillon Panthers: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!

Photo Credit: http://www.fancast.com/blogs/tv-news/friday-night-lights-scores-two-more-seasons/

October 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

Post-race rainy days always get me down

hill climbing black

 

One of the first things you intuitively learn when you start running is that there are always two sides of a hill.  If you run up, you get to run down.  If you are going down, chances are you are going to have to go up again.  I have been taking my little hills in stride, but I feel like I just rounded a corner and came face to face a looming monster.  The fun race with my sister is gone and the half is little more than five weeks away.

Maybe everyone is a little down after all the excitement of a race.  Even though it went really well and should be inspiring me to get out there and train hard for my half marathon, it really has just left me tired.  And after running with my sister the prospect of going out alone seems a little depressing.

Not to mention it has been pouring rain all day so there was really no way to do an outdoor run.  I actually took a nap during lunch instead of going to the gym.  It is truly one of those days, but I do have a plan to overcome my post-race blues.

The same way I could see myself running along the streets months before I laced up, I am having visions of myself running in the many parks and trails around town. Less structured than following roads and traffic signs, the trails are teasing me with the tastes of freedom and fall.

I will take one more day to revel in my own post-race glory and watch sadly as it fades. Tomorrow, the sun will come out and I will run in the park.  After all, there are more hills to climb and more glory to come.

Title Reference: Rainy Days And Mondays, Words and Music by: Paul Williams & Roger Nichols

Image credit: http://www.clker.com/clipart-map-symbols-hill-climbing-black.html

October 27, 2009 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

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