Running after a break, time to train harder and smarter

Medal #2

The last time I wrote about running was right after finishing my 2nd half marathon.   I had plans for a third in 4 weeks , but that is probably not going to happen.  I have run approximately 3x in the last 6 weeks.  The list of excuses is long. School is in full swing and 3rd grade home work is plentiful. Work has picked up and I am currently running 3 of the largest projects in out company, all program and  2 with regulatory deadlines.   At first I was just resting on my laurels, then  the time just kind of snuck up on me and I started noticing this week especially that my body ( I’m sure the out until 4:30 am Saturday night shenanigans had nothing to do with this)  and energy levels  (I’m sure the lack of water and huge amount of Diet Mt Dew had nothing to do with this) were jacked up, my loose jeans were getting better fitting and my skinny jeans were getting unwearable.   Time to hit the pavement.  So this afternoon I stole some time from work to make up for the lunch I didn’t get to eat and I strapped on the brooks and went out for a 3 mile run.   This was very spur of the moment as I’ve been beating myself up for days that I need to run.  I was properly fueled nutrition wise, but  the only liquid I have consumed before sitting down to bang this out , was a giant 44oz of  Dt. Mountain Dew. The weather here right now is fabulous and has been for the last 10 days or so.  The leaves are on the path already and as I started my run/walk/run pattern i got to enjoy the crunch and the cadence of my pace.  I was pleased to find that pacing wise I am still about where I was 6 weeks ago.  I was dismayed but not surprised to discover that my body had to work much harder than it should of to make this a happen.  The phone call I had to take in the middle of the run didn’t help matters much but at least I can  cross one more to do from my list.  I’m crossing “lunch” off right now with and apple and a string cheese and some water.

Hood running buddy has already signed up for the Half  in 4 weeks, but I had not.  She hasn’t been training either and no one has been keeping the other accountable.  Earlier this week I finally just decided that I am juggling right now another race in 4 weeks is probably not feasible. BUT, that doesn’t  mean continued slacking.   The days are much shorter here right now than they were last summer so I am going to have to set some  hard goals and get to it.  I’m still working through the details of the master plan but it looks something like this.  get back out on the pavement or treadmill and add in 2 times a week of cross training and  at least one strength training.  This is going to allow me to strengthen my core some more (adding back in yopi), build up some more muscle and tone and if I am crazy enough allow me to re-learn my swim stroke in the hopes of adding tri-athalons at some point in this journey.  So I need to sit down with the Y schedule and map out my spinning and turbo kick classes, sign-up for that awesome yopi class I grumble all the way through and then wow at the results I get and negotiate with The Husband on who gets to run and when.   I’m glad I’m doing this now because the Holidays are coming and I want to get ahead of the,  another 20 pounds weight loss goal.   BookBitch and I are making plans to meet and run  a  Half , we wanted to to do Disney Tinkerbell or Princess Half. Tinkerbell is sold out and The Husband says I can’t go to Disney without MiniMe and The Destroyer. So we will have to pick a state in between us and make it a girls weekend. Shorty has also shown some interest in running halfs as well.  This would be awesome because we could plan our long runs together to get alone and girl time, she would get much needed away from the kids time and then I’d have another running buddy for races.  I love it when my getting off my butt and moving to manage my grief and anger, and then keeping it up past the initial burst of fuck you,  gives rise to not only things I can be proud of, but also motivates others to tackle running as well.  I mean it when I say anyone can do this.  trust me, if I can, you can too.

Even though today’s run was a bit stilted and rough it felt amazing to be back out there on a such a sunny beautiful day with a smile on my huffing and puffing red sweaty face.   My ass look amazing in these jeans therapy has once again commenced.

Running in the Dark; Running out of time; 1 week till Race Day

This is one of my favorite running songs.

Running in the dark:

If I had  been less busy or better prepared, or maybe just spent less time playing random grabass  last week I would of written a post called Running in the dark is great for your pace.   The problem with running in the dark being great for your pace is the motivating factor behind this is not some magical environmental thing that happens when it finally gets dark outside thereby rendering your body free of all the weight that daylight brings or some other  such zen running crap.   It’s just your basic FEAR.  I’ve always considered myself more of a fight vs. flight girl.  But I can now tell you that if I ever decide to make the flight choice I’m better prepared for what that is going to feel like.    It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a proper running post and the last few weeks of training have blended together a bit in my mind.   Except for one thing, running in the dark  when you weren’t planning on it.  Twice at the end of long runs, running buddy and I have been caught in the dark.  The first time on the country roads  with no sidewalks we  have on most of the roads near us along with unlit asphalt hood paths, with all kinds of cracks and valleys in the pavement and no lighting.  We ran quickly because we wanted OFF the pavement and back onto the slightly less treacherous paths.  We were unprepared for night running and were a little at the mercy of the cars coming toward us, it was not a fun mile or so.   White hats and white shoes was about it, and I’m tell you all bravery aside it wasn’t enough.   She had just joined me on the last 4 miles of my 8.0 and I should of been just beaten, but during the 5th mile I was seriously booking it.      The only other time I’ve been that scared of cars while running was over the winter on the ice on the pavement in rush hour traffic.   I’m adding flashing safety lighting to my list which also includes arm warmers I want to wear on Saturday, but that’s another running topic.    Sigh, yeah, sometimes we are not smart girls.   As we carefully navigated the darker hood paths we talked about how it was indeed getting darker sooner and we would need to plan better to be safer on our evening runs.

So a few short days later we were standing on the paved rail trail  for what we thought was plenty of time for our 9.0.  The problem was that a-it wasn’t really enough time for our 9.0 b- our 9.0 turned into 9.71 and c- the adventures during that 9.71 were plentiful and added time as well as distance to our run. Somehow we found ourselves in what felt like complete darkness for the last 1.5 miles or so.   This trail closes at dusk, for a reason. Well for several reasons,  including it’s not lit, there are multiple tunnels and  complete tree overhangs, it’s an easy go to place for pervs to attack running women.   We get through the first bit knowing we are running to population, a street crossing with shops etc.  We run the last bit to the car, and it’s further than we think, and the trail is getting less and less populated even by the bikers on it past curfew.  Usually I am a bastion of bravery.  But this is a bit creepy, a little horror movie. It’s beautiful and scary all at the same time.  We are tired mentally and physically because we have been running for 2+ hours.  No one wants to say out loud they are scared, finally I do it.  “I’m starting to get freaked out you’re too far ahead of me”.   We close our gap.  There are two of us I breathe in.   Do I have fight left in me, I breathe out slowly? I decide I do and so I relax a little bit to try to enjoy the scenery and the moment, being on this trail in this darkness is not likely to happen to me again, I want to try to enjoy it. It is eerily haunting and beautiful and terrifying all at once.    We finally make it back to the car and then we can relax and laugh at our stupidity all the way home, while making plans to be more safe as the  days get shorter. I swear….

Running out of time:

Later today I’ll be putting in my final 10.o before the Women’s Half Marathon  Race on Saturday.  I have only today and two short keep the legs warm and worked runs ahead of me.  I managed to score my new shoes on Tuesday during lunch and break them in Tuesday night.  I only have to buy arm warmers and give them a try  before race day. I try to follow the NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY, rule.    Runny buddy and I have discussed outfits, we both tend to race in whatever we trained most in.  I still have to solve a sport beans carrying issue, but I’m giving that a dry run tonight.   I must go fill up the Diet Mt Dew cup with water NOW before I even write any further….ok now, where was  I.    We have rides to and from worked out. She is driving us down there because I am leaving directly from the Half Marathon to go on the annual Labor Day BGC  Family trip to the Chateau.   The Family and Dog will have to meet me near the end of the race and cheer us on.  A mutual friend  is meeting us at a specific spot near the end to run the last few , the hardest, the most wrenching emotionally and on your body miles with us. To renew us with her spirit and her energy.   Almost all of the plans are laid and just have to be executed.  We’ve set the goal, we made the plan, we each stuck to it as best we could, and we are ready.  This will be my buddies very first 13.1.  She is anxious about her ability. I think she discounts the 38.4 two day walk she has under her belt too much. She is a badass, she just doesn’t believe it quite fully herself yet Or maybe hse knows but just doesn’t like to let herself get too cocky, I really haven’t known her all that long.  I can tell you that running with her and in front of and behind her has brought us closer than  we ever would of gotten in passing at neighborhood events or FB status updates.   My running buddy is my friend now.  Along the way to becoming my friend she was  my confessor, my coach,  my commiserater.    My only goal for Saturday is to be able to hang with her for the entire thing so we can look at each other and give the nod.  “We got this, let’s go girl” as we  sprint, run, jog, walk, stumble, crawl or whatever we have to do to get it  across that finish line.  Hopefully somewhere in the 2:45-2:55 mark.

Then it will be straight to family vacation time and  I can spend a week reveling in the soreness and glory that comes with another (hopefully)  13.1 medal on  my dreams board.   Before I dive in and continue to train for the next one.   Which is November 5.  If I’m feeling really freaky I’ll run the hilly one on October 15, but I don’t really see that happening.  Right now I just need to keep plugging away at the list of things to do while  looking forward to the  10.0 waiting for me before dark and the 2+ hours that gives me of running therapy.

Running sick. Running in the rain. 4 weeks till Race Day

This stall is so small I had to open the door to get the pic. Apparently I ran with my gangsta hat on.

For starters it really isn’t 4 weeks until Race Day.  It’s 4  Saturdays until Race Day.   LAST week, Running buddy and I both slacked off.  We skipped our Sunday 7 miles and I pretended I was already on my Chi town vacation by drinking vodka with SIL.   I did technically put 4 miles in along Lake Michigan on Tuesday, but given my condition it hardly counts as true training.  Considering  a threaded topic was whether or not I was indeed going to puke again that morning while running. I haven’t done that yet and to be honest I’m sort of nostalgically looking forward to my first run exerted puke session.   Alas it was not  to be on  Tuesday.  So last week was a big 4 mile week.  This means that because the race is only 4 weeks away that THERE WILL BE NO MORE SCREWING AROUND WITH TRAINING.

Which also meant when the  tell tale my lips are really dry and a few sneezes here and there over the last two weeks finally came to a head and I succumbed to an awful head cold with nasty typhoid Mary cough; that i had no choice but to be a badass, suck it up and run the scheduled 7.0 on Sunday.   Now in all fairness I managed to suck it up just fine for a concert the night before.  So I really had no excuses to not run, other than I had doubts of if I would even be able to breathe, like at all.   It’s usually my responsibility to plan the running buddy route, so I planned for 3 loops, 2 small and one large taking us past our hood entrance for water stops.  i figured I could make it through 2 miles no matter what and I could bail on her if I had to after the first water stop.  But I also took very precaution I could to ensure I was fueled, hydrated and nasally dried out before we started.  Running buddy and I knocked out 7.21 fabulous miles on Sunday night.  We literally rocked it.  I   had very little cold symptoms while sweating it out.  I felt great when we were done and great for the rest of the night.  And then I woke Monday morning feeling just awful.   All day it was  Dayquil. Finally at like 3 am on

Wet running skirts do a good job of staying down

Monday night I took Deslym, I doubt my family slept well with all the coughing either.

Tuesday morning I canceled the kids dentist appts because I just wasn’t going to be up to taking them.   And all day long I tried to decide if I was going to make the drive downtown to  do the big group class/run.  Again I was worried about ability to breathe.  But again I decided I better just do it and headed downtown. I was smart this time, no more changing in the tiny cramped, hot  church bathroom. I arrived dressed, heart rate monitored up and ready to go.  All I had to do was stretch through the last 20 minutes of the class and then get in the 4.o mile group.   I couldn’t figure out why it seemed like it was such a light group and then  as we started out I got a look at the sky and felt the breeze.   A storm was coming.  This is my thoughts on choosing whether or not to train in rain.  If it rains during the 13.1 miles are you just going to quit? Um no you are not, so put your big girl panties on and run.  Within the first 1/4  mile the sky opened up and started just pouring down in driving sheets of rain.  The wind was strong and someone made a comment about what fun it would be on the bridge, up hill.     I have run in the rain before and to be honest I kind of like it.    It’s sort of like being a kid all over again.    I’ll admit  I was a little scared running in the oil slick street crossing because those damn white lines are slick  when they are wet. But I remembered I’d done this before and if I just kept my cool I’d keep my footing.   Some runners went around the puddles in long arcs to avoid them. To me that is juts extra effort to avoid wet feet you are going to get anyway so I splashed right through  the puddles.  I briefly worried about blisters but after the water stop and heading back down the bridge my feet felt wet, but still great and I hoped my socks would sit just right.   The other great thing about rain running is if you are wearing a skirt it gets wet and stays down.  I am ALWAYS worried that my skirt is flipping up and showing my boy short inner liner covered ass while I’m running .  Rain alleviates that fear.  I don’t do intervals on Tuesdays, well not planned ones. I just run until I need to walk and then run again as soon as I can breathe to do it. Yesterday I mostly ran and it felt great.   I also got a little closer to the fast group  this time. It was  even still a good run when I went one block too far and had to run down a busy bar and restaurant street.  Oops vanity will propel you quite quickly.   4.49 miles later I was ready to change into some dry clothes and head out.

The only thing I DON”T like about rain running is trying to get tight soaked sweaty clothing off.   I swear I have some kind of irrational fear

Prune feet after wresting off the soaked clothing. I assure you I am standing. 🙂

of getting pinned in a shirt.  I feel like i have wide shoulders and I’m always wrestling myself into and out of running clothing that appears to fit just dandy once on.   Tomorrow is another 4, and I suppose I have to also find a way to do that cross training I promised running buddy I would do as well.