A runnning story during bitch week- 6 weeks till race day

I am entered to run a Half Marathon for Women Only in my state over Labor Day weekend.   Like a lot of races,  when you sign up and pay your entry fee they offer you a chance to pay even more money to join the training program.   Now I don’t know about you lovies, but I seem to work harder and do better on the running front when there are other eyes on me.  Plus if I’ve spent money to do something then logic would have it that I should be more invested in  seeing that money put to good use.

The Husband and I paid for a training program for our first Half Marathon through our local Y.  It was wonderful!  Three days a week there was a scheduled run. Mondays were the short day, we started at 2 miles and worked up to  never more than 4.  Wednesdays was the long run, and Saturday morning was a tempo run. A tempo run is supposed to be run quickly, at Race Pace.  I don’t have a race pace so the 45 minute Saturday run was more like another chance for me to put in  3 or 4 miles.   I had an injury about 4 weeks into the program and missed a lot of runs, but there were also MANY hours I logged on ellipticals  and cross trainers in  the wellness center while my husband and other running buddies were outside.   In the end I had to run that race with far less training than I should of had, but it was also easier than I thought it would be.   That first one was in May, this one is in  very early September.  What’s the difference you ask..  HEAT and HUMIDITY.

I learned to run outside in winter. In the cold, on the ice and snow, in the spring rain.  As a novice runner I  was not yet aware of how absolutely powerful  running in extreme weather  makes you feel..after you’re done.    The Y program was a set 3 days a week, one short day, one long day and one tempo day. There were opportunities  to stay and listen to speakers and also opportunities for extra strength work after the tempo run, but these things were OPTIONAL.  This new program is only on Tuesday nights. And I skipped the first month of sessions because they were meetings only. I don’t need meetings, I need running. And the running was promised to start last night and go every Tuesday from now until November 8. Long enough to get me through 3 local Half Marathons should I choose to run all 3.

Two weeks ago I logged 15 run miles, last week in the heat wave I logged a whopping 4.  And even that was indoors on a treadmill.  My neighborhood running buddy keeps me motivated and accountable to our weekly long run, a cornerstone to  any distance training program.  We both agreed we did not have a long run in us in the heat so we skipped the long one at the start of the heat wave.    I can run all the days a week I want, but if I  don’t get those  long ever building distance runs completed  I am not going to have as much confidence on race day as I’d like.  Guilt and the looming race date pushed us  to getting our 6 in this past Sunday.  We started at 6am. The  moon was still in the sky. It was the morning light of I just got home from the bar and need to fall in bed, not hey let’s go run 6 miles before it gets to hot to breathe.   It was hard, we do intervals and there  were more than a few that seemed like 30 minutes  instead of 3. But we did it,  at a decent pace for the heat and I got to run OUT to the moon and BACK to the sunrise, a nice switch. The sunrise was glorious and even though I was exhausted for the rest of the day,  I  felt mentally and physically strengthened for what was coming on Tuesday.

I’ve been a bit bitchy this week. Partly because it’s bitch week.  TMI alert: I  don’t have periods b/c I’ve had an ablation and have no uterine lining, but I have all my parts so I still get ALL the symptoms.   Yeah I am wondering too why I just felt the need to give you a TMI alert about periods but will switch to details about sex like it’s nothing, shrugs. It is what it is.    Anyway, It’s bitch week, The Husband is gone in LA for most of the week,  school is quickly approaching, I have a trip to finish planning and packing for next week, I have two kids in two swim lessons a week, in two different pools at two different but overlapping times.  Work is getting to the point that I feel like I’m only treading water, my house is a DISASTER, my kitchen literally smells right now.    All of this frustrates me because I’m NOT screwing around multiple hours a day and night in  chat rooms with boys anymore so I SHOULD be able to get and stay ahead.   But this is not happening.  I feel sometimes like I am living my life in about 8 hour increments and have no ability to actually  get  caught up on on my mother, household, work and friend duties.   I haven’t had very much  alone time in the last week. I KNOW I’m an extravert but I NEED copious amounts of time I can be alone with my thoughts. I am not fun to be around if I don’t get this break.   If I’m not getting alone time at home, I steal it in the car or on runs.   But that alone is not enough.  I HAVE to have alone in the home office time and that is not coming until sweet sweet tomorrow!!!

So I got up yesterday at the crack of dawn, took a shower, packed up my work gear, my running gear and my biscuits for the company fund raiser breakfast.  I got to the office by 7:45.  I was excited because the training program is downtown. score for being able to have a super long work day in the office every Tuesday and double score for getting to run downtown. I don’t start looking up where I have to be  until after the fund raiser breakfast is over.  And then I make the discovery.  This program is going to hold me captive in a CLASS for the first who knows how long each Tuesday until it lets me out onto the pavement to have my therapy.     I have an attitude about having to sit through class, an attitude about the fact there is limited and closely stacked parking at this place,  anxiety about do I change at work or there, oh and there is NO SAFE PLACE to store my stuff, other than the trunk of the Lexus, because we are running downtown.   And  the icing on the cake is that I didn’t fuel well yesterday so I arrive to run almost sick with hunger, and  I forgot the body glide.   But dammit I am going to suck it up and just do this. So I begin to sit in a pew near the back middle and attempt to listen to this guy speak. It’s brutal. No disrespect to him, he’s been a runner for 60 years.  But I can hardly hear, he is talking a different running/training language than I am used to appears to be going all over the place. Dude I am just here to RUN, please release us to RUN, for the LOVE OF GOD let me outside into the heat and humidity so no one has to meet bitchy Lola today.    He asks for show of hands who is planning to run today, less than HALF of us raise our hands.   There are murmurs of surprise so many people are headed out in this heat.    I am running in this heat, I feel like badass.   Then he puts the next slide up. According to him I  need to be  logging 18-22 miles a week,  running 4 days a week and   my longest run should be 6-8 right now.  Um, what? I’m so not there. I’m close, and our long run is ok, but we are 6 weeks to race day and I need to get up to a 10 2 weeks prior to the race. OK we should be ok track for that… but holy crap I feel behind on my RUNNING now. The thing that keeps me sane is just another thorn in my side for the moment.

FINALLY they release us outside to run.   The coach divides us up by who is going  2, 3, or 4.  I’m going 4.   There a lots of things I want to write about running in groups of people you don’t  know, the rules of pace and going ahead and etc.  But this is getting long and  I have a mountain of a list so I will just cut to the  recap.

I LOVED running downtown, loved running in a big spread out group again.   I learned a new skill called not really stopping at the light unless you have to. This can be accomplished one of two ways.  You can either run the light because the street is only 2-4  lanes wide and traffic is light  enough, or you can SPRINT to get to the light and across before the light turns red and captures you standing on the wrong side, not running, with your run keeper clock tick ticking away the time and eroding your pace.    The heat sucked and made breathing hard,  add that to my lack of fuel and I felt like I was  going  to puke until about mile 3.  The heat and humidity screwed with my breathing and stamina and I had to walk just about as much as I ran.   But I still finished all 4.34 of that run, I made some new new running friends, I am better prepared for what to do next Tuesday on the logistics of clothes and parking and such.   And wait for it….my pace was  12:45.   Only :45 per mile more to shave off over the course of 13.1 miles to meet my 2:45  finish goal on  the Women’s Half.    I’m getting better, even on bad days if you keep training you will get better.

Here is one of my favorite running playlist songs.   It’s not super fast but it has a great steady beat and good lyrics.  I’ve run many a final sprint to this song.

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