Respect the run; 7 weeks till Rock N Roll Half

On July 22 I’m registered to run the  XSport Fitness Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon, a mere 7 Sundays away. The hotel is booked and the sitter is arranged. Now all I have to do is run.   I don’t think I’ve ever slammed in training for a race this quickly before. I have been off  the Doctor mandated four weeks and only was a short 2 miler once to test my foot out.  I don’t think it really is/was a sesamoid fracture, but rather  more likely inflammation and flare up.  He also mentioned arthritis so I’m hoping for “old” vs. broken.  This will likely be the last time I hope to be “old”.  The down side to that diagnosis though is the foot/joint is going to be my new potential whiner and fit thrower, not unlike the ticking time bomb of kids on long car trips.  It’s going to try to screw with my mind and my confidence.  Hyperfocus on an injury or body part is not a good part of a run.

The last four weeks have both crawled and flown by.  When I can’t run it’s almost like time stands still so I’m really looking forward to getting back out there this week and seeing how the foot feels.  I’m interested in how bad the first 2 weeks of training are going to suck as I shed my lazy  and recondition my lungs and heart.  My legs have certainly enjoyed the break,  almost 4 weeks of zero muscle soreness has been  quite lovely.   I haven’t been a complete and total sloth; there was gardening, dancing and one trial run,  but I still didn’t do any cross training.  I blame the ADD, it’s a task I wasn’t really all that pumped about, so I just didn’t do it.  Given the short timeline to the next race, play time is definitely over.

There is a new running schedule to negotiate because Babu is supposed to run this one too, but I”m not going to hound him about  training or buying his bib, I need to focus on myself. I’ve got to get my mental crap together so I can push past those last 3-4 miles.  I’ve only got two more races scheduled for this year and I’d like to realize my goal of not walking that last 3 miles sooner rather than later.

I need to focus on my physical strength by adding an extra 1-2 days of either strength, flexibility or cross training is a must. I’ve already got my sights on another round of Yo-Pi, nothing like some downward dog and scissor kicks to tone and lengthen.  There is one school of thought to run 6 days a week, but with less miles on the short days, I may look into that if only to keep it a part of almost every day, and maybe shed some more weight while I am at it.

A training plan must be documented and followed, or I will skip runs from laziness or bad planning.

I have to eat cleaner, drink more water, get enough sleep, take my vitamins.

I need to be gentle, yet firm with myself.

Things are getting full of chaos at the office, and I may be spending the whole summer  working remote at home. This  means I can run in the morning at a reasonable hour and don’t have to commute or be pretty for my first round of meetings.

My running posts may get more boring and technical as I plan to really analyze and look critically at my diet and training and how it affects my performance,  I think this means I can  feel like a ‘real” runner now, maybe?

We’ll see 🙂


Respect the run: 2 weeks till race day #1

It’s almost here! My first half marathon of this years running season.  The One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon.  In July I will rock the Chicago Rock and Roll Half marathon followed by the Indianapolis Women’s Half marathon in September.  I may take leave of my senses and do the Geist  Half if only for a medal and some funny writing material.  I’ve driven up the hill at Mile 8 on that course and I don’t relish running it on legs that are 2 hours in.  There is a Dirty Girl Mud Run in 3 short weeks,  I’m on a team and I am anxious and excited for that one too.  I had a really amazing day complete with an epiphany or two last week. But I didn’t get in here to write it all down soon enough so it is as of now still percolating.  Let’s talk about running for a bit.

I did in fact finish all 12 miles last Wednesday.  I did also in fact have to walk the last 5 miles or so because of a bad attitude from the get go and a left foot that started to hurt the more i pounded on it.  I also got to the tired point and felt dehydrated. So at the end I was walking faster than I probably could of ran.  I fell like I can handle next Saturday’s 13.1 with no issues now.   I took Saturday’s run off to rest my legs and foot further and today I tackled another 4.0.  I hadn’t successfully run 4.0 in about 10 days.  I don’t like not having confidence on even the short runs. It means I have to dog deeper within myself to get some and some days it is much harder than others.  Today  we ran in mild temps  but crazy winds.  We seem to have run a lot of wind this season so it doesn’t even bother me anymore. This of course means that the humidity this year will be early and brutal.   Maybe if I am lucky it will clear up by the Women’s over Labor Day weekend.   I was tight and stretched several times today.  When we started I knew my legs were tight but I also know that if I remain clam and patient that I can sometimes find my knees before the end of mile 3.  So i just went with it and the miles were not easy. Babu and I did minimal talking today but I also did minimal grousing.  I was just determined to make it to the next little landmark on our route. The miles passed by while I let my mind wander to how close the actual race is.   And then to the training regimen for the next one, what I can tweak, how much harder can  I work, how much weight can I lose if I focus on nutrition.  Before I knew we were at the final land marks, crosswalk, crosswalk, crosswalk….home.

I had run the whole thing without stopping it nasty winds and there were no cracks in the mental armor!  Up next is 8.0 miles on Wednesday, thank GOD we are on taper.


Found my running mojo- Respect the Run

I’ve had this running post in my head since Wednesday of last week, and only just have a few minutes to sit down and get it out. I’m training for my 2nd Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon.  Indianapolis is my city and  “The Mini” as we call it around here is always a topic of conversation every year.  Last year was my first one and it was very enjoyable. It is 13.1 miles of people cheering for you along the sidelines as bands  set up playing along the way.  The route takes you onto the  actual track for a loop and part of our downtown.   I followed up  that first 13.1 last year with the inaugural Women’s Half Marathon. Similar route but MUCH different in the support and entertainment arena.  It is probably more like what  most Half Marathons are like, you are running for yourself without much benefit of sideline support outside of the water and fuel stops and the handful of  husbands and friends on the sidelines.  

This year I signed up for both of those halfs again, and in my last running post I wrote about feeling kind of meh this  year about training. Partially it was the been there done that aspect,  last winter was pretty brutal and being a very beginner runner all of that outside training in the cold, wind, ice and snow served to  fuel my inner badass. This year it just felt like,  how soon will it get warm again?!? My right foot has been bothering me a little and I was afraid I was getting another stress fracture.   So far I have still not called Dr.  Hate because I am able to run with no pain and the pain I’m experiencing after has lessened.  I picked up new shoes after Monday’s run and tonight I will be running on them for the first time.

Running is 20% physical and 80% mental.  If you want to be able t push yourself and your body all of the miles needed to properly train and then race, you have to have something inside of you keeping you going.  Some runners adopt a mantra, a phrase they can repeat to themselves to help them through the rough spots.   Last year I had several, most of them were  resolute tirades aimed toward all of the crap that I went through during the Almost Divorce. This year, I had nothing.  I  had nothing so badly I had even forgotten about the need or want of a mantra.  I started this training program a few weeks ago woefully out of shape, as in struggle to even get a mile without walking out of shape.   As I run more it gets better by leaps and bounds. Last Wednesday was pace trials. Our first 3 miler and  a timed start.  I followed through on my plan to drop from the advanced group to the beginner group and let both coaches know.   Once they let us begin I started my run. If you haven’t ever trained with a group I highly recommend it. It is nice to have so many people around you, even if you start to spread out as the miles climb there is the comfort of knowing that even if there are LOTS of people ahead of you, there is usually also someone behind you. There are people you don’t know very well to talk to, there is always someone to give you some encouragement to just keep going.  I started in a  pack with about 8 other girls in my pace range and we kept up at about a 12 min pace for the first 2 miles.    I ran without walking no problems for those first two miles, the street was ice from sleet and the rainy icy pellets were hitting me in the face.  Cars were sliding on the streets we were running on and I started to feel it. The badass feeling was returning. I am conquering nature.  We turned onto the part of the route I call Farley/Tukle home, because it represents the last mile or so and I started to slow down. This was pace trials I  wanted to have as good of a time as I could, I wanted to be sub 12, not 12+.  Then it just sort of popped into my head,  run without walking. If I can just keep running without walking I can rock this to the best of my  ability. For the next mile as our group started to spread out  I ran that mantra through my head. Run without walking, run without walking, RUN WITHOUT WALKING!  And before I knew it I was headed down the stretch of the last tenth of a mile and to a time of 32:36.  I had found my mojo, I am conquering myself! It was an absolute breakthrough on several fronts. One it reminded me that I lacked a mantra. Two it reminded me that if you train, your body will respond. That you will never be as weak as you are in any given moment if you just keep moving. That your body is capable of so much more than you routinely ask of it and if you put the work in, it will reward you by responding.  I walked  away from that pace run knowing that I wouldn’t have to worry about walking anymore during training.  If I do the miles and keep up the training, if I fuel and water my body properly then I will perhaps even  be able to finish  in a better time that last year, set a new half PR.

Saturday’s ran came and it was  super  windy, Saturdays are a times run, 45 minutes as far as you can go, a simple 22.5 minutes out and 22.5 minutes back.  So group seems to stay a little tighter on Saturdays and I did a lot of talking about my weekend plans so I didn’t really need to call upon a mantra.

Monday’s run came and as I suspected the head coach placed me in the beginner group with the other girls and guys above 10 min miles.  We did a 3 and I turned onto Farley/Turkle home I knew I would have to dig for that last mile.  I didn’t feel like I needed to walk  but I knew I needed to go inside myself and find a mental place that would propel me to the end.  Then it came to me, respect the run. My mantra for this year will be respect the run and in extension respect the runner.  A reminder to myself that what I am giving my body and mind via running is nothing but good and pure. That  it is a gift to  be able to run, to  be alive to have the struggle of breath, to be married to have the support of my husband. It is a gift, this body God gave me,  and I will respect it via the run. I will use the run to mold it. I will respect and cherish the clarity and endorphin rush running brings me. I will  remember that The RUN isn’t something to be trifled with. RESPECT THE RUN!!!!

Happy running Lovies!