Training Widget

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Color Me Retired

I haven't blogged in many, many moons; but I did run the Chicago Marathon three days ago.  My finish time was dang near exactly one minute slower than my PR (results can be seen more clearly if you click on the image).  Considering I had a pit stop early on that probably cost me about five minutes AND the fact that I really didn't feel particularly ready for this event (I ran a decent number of miles, but did pretty much zero hill or speed workouts), I'm quite happy with the end result.  

Happy enough, in fact, to retire from this particular event.  As I trained for this one, I told anyone who crossed my path that I would be done with the marathon once I crossed the finish line.  Few seemed to believe me, but I tell you it's TRUE.  

Why, you ask?  (I know, you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway).  There are many reasons.
1.  I think I've done as well as I can do in this event.  After a very successful summer/fall in 2011, I decided to really buckle down and see what I could do.  Yes, visions of Boston (in a few years) danced in my head.  I undertook an extremely aggressive training plan and spent my spring of this year running and running and running.  And doing killer speed work.  And... I was getting faster.  A month before Grandma's marathon I was feeling oh so ready to kick some booty.  Then something happened in my lower left leg.  I still don't know what the heck it was (MRI showed absolutely nothing wrong), but it hurt like a son of a gun.  I didn't run a single mile in the three weeks leading up to Grandma's.  I ran the marathon anyway, and it was a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day (for a lot of reasons).  My conclusion:  when I do the kind of training needed for me to improve, I break.  I do not want to break.

2.  My kids are growing up and taking on lots of activities of their own.  My husband's a full time attorney who has started an internet company on the side.  In short, we're a busy family.  Training time is an issue.  This may sound like I'm putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own, but I can tell you that's not the case.  I'm ultimately a super selfish witch.  If I wanted to continue, I would.

3.  I got to the point where I was really having to psyche myself up each. and. every. time I needed to go out for a run.  The joy was gone.  That's unacceptable.  Running so much that I don't want to run any more is not a vicious cycle I'm willing to take part in.  

4.  The way I need to train (being super serious about putting the SLOW in long slow distance), is not real compatible with my run club peeps.  Circumstances were such that I became the lone middle of the packer, which took a fair amount of fun out of it for me.  

5.  I miss training with my husband.  He's still recovering from hip surgery.  His prognosis for a return to the marathon is iffy at best.  If he does get back into the game, he's the only person that will be able to bring me out of said retirement. 

I could go on and on.  But my five readers are smart folks, and I know they get it.  I look forward to a future of 5k's, 10k's, and half marathons.  And, maybe even some triathlon training.  Who wants to buy me a bike??  :-) 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's Evolution, Baby

Well... Grandma's Marathon is 10 days away and...
I've got something going on in my lower left leg.  Something bad, I fear.  In some ways, the pain is not like that of the stress fracture I probably had years ago.  In some ways, though, it's also not unlike it.  It is in a different location, more on the outside of the leg than inside; but it hurts pretty much every time my foot strikes the ground while running.  No bueno.  
I'm going to see the fabulous Dr. Boren tomorrow and get her take on the situation, but I'm mentally preparing myself for the fact that I will not be running a marathon in 10 days.  It hurts too dang much right now, and I feel like it would take a small miracle for it to turn around in such a short time.  
All that being said, I had a situation like this last year, and it resolved quite quickly.  So, there could be hope.  Optimism has never been my thing, though.
Despite the fact that I have trained like a beast for this race, I am, strangely, at peace with this situation.  I knew there was some risk with undertaking such a high mileage plan.  I also knew that it was the only way I was likely to shave off any time.  Was it a good choice to train the way I did?  Maybe not.  Do I have any regrets?  Absolutely not, which is why I've included evolution in the title of this post.  A year ago this situation would've given me an anxiety attack.  Having a few marathons behind me, though, seems to lessen the depression of potentially not running this one.  We shall see what tomorrow brings...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blah Blah Blah

Hey!  Have I mentioned I'm training for a marathon?  

I know, I know... I've only mentioned it about 1001 times.  If it makes you feel any better, I'm as sick of me talking about it as you are.

AAAAAAAnyhoo.... Still training, still on the high mileage plan.  Last week I set a personal record for mileage at a whopping 57.  It was supposed to be 58, but I had yet another tempo run "incident." Last Saturday I ran what will be my longest single training run of the plan... 18.  I've been very disciplined about putting the 'S' in my LSD.  That's Long Slow Distance for you folks that don't obsess over this silly game like I do.  I ran the 18 miler at 10:03 pace, which was cool, because I felt like I could have gone on and on and on and on and on, even at the end.  It was a new and different long run experience for me.  

Other than psyche crushing tempo runs, my training has gone pretty much swimmingly.  There is one other issue, however.  My long time running partner in crime (who I also happen to be married to) has a labral tear and is scheduled for surgery on July 10th.  I was supposed to be logging a whole lot of these miles with him, and now I can't.  Which sucks.  I miss my running buddy, he misses running (though has probably, if truth be told, enjoyed the break from having to run with his gritchy wife), and training just isn't quite as fun as it used to be.  

So... there's the training update.  Grandma's marathon is 21 days away.  I'm interested/excited/scared to see how it goes after this completely different method of training.

In other (not) running news...
I'm still mentoring.  It's been about six months now.  Boy howdy, do 13 year old girls change in that amount of time!  She's gone from sweet kid to completely schizophrenic teenage girl.  Not like mentally ill schizophrenic, but just normal teenage girl schizo.  We got together last night and she spent the bulk of the time texting her frenemy (I can think of no better word), about their scheduled fight.  It was originally scheduled to go down after school was over for summer, but apparently panties were in such a wad that it was going to need to happen sooner.  

This all causes me to sigh deeply.  I grew up in the sticks, was non-confrontational to a fault, and was very, very white (the only part of that equation that has changed, really, is where I live).  My mentee is African-American and lives a very urban, somewhat rough area of north Minneapolis.  At this age and stage of my life, I'd have a hard time wrapping my mind around the mystery that is ANY American teenage girl.  Throw in the other factors and it's darn near impossible.  Her attitude isn't bad, but I see it declining.  I'm not judging, because, despite my mostly non-confrontational manner,  you could search the whole world over and not find a kid with an attitude any crappier than mine was at age 13.  As far as I can tell, she's completely and totally developmentally appropriate.

My struggle, though, is that even though she's behaving normally, the implications are far more serious for her.  In some ways, I don't feel she has the luxury of being normal, which seems completely unfair.  She needs to keep her head screwed on straight.  She needs to be rational.  She needs to do well in school.  All things that can be really, really tough for a kiddo that's 13 years of age.  

At any rate, we will keep on keepin' on.  All I can do is be there and listen, and try to occasionally dole out some advice without sounding like a geeky, annoying adult.  It's amazing how invested I feel in her success after such a short time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Old Enough to Know Better

I think Grandma's Marathon is something like six weeks away.  As mentioned in a previous post, I actually paid for a training plan this time, and it's been a whole new beast.  I'm running a lot (50 miles last week and ultimately this week, with a weekly mileage peak of 58 in the next couple of weeks).  

Generally speaking, I've liked the plan.  I like running, so I don't mind logging the miles, and most of them are prescribed to be at 8:15-10:00 pace, which tends to feel delicious.  This last little bump in mileage, however, is creating fuel issues.  I ran six miles yesterday, and the poor friend running with me had to hear me bellyache for the last three about how hungry I was.  Well, it's a good thing I ran alone today, because a running buddy would've gotten quite the earful.  I was straight up outta gas and it suuuuuucked!!!  I walked out the door to hit the trail right after the kids got on the bus, and it started raining buckets, so I came inside.  Upon checking the forecast, it seemed that all I needed to do was wait it out and the rain would subside.  It did, which was good, but I ended up hitting the road for my 10 mile tempo run about 10:45.  I knew I was going to run through my normal lunch time, but I ate a banana and thought I'd be good to go.  Had I been able to start running when I planned, I think this run would've been a different experience.  

By mile five, I gave up on the effort being a tempo run and decided to just get the miles covered.  In addition to my lack of fuel, the downpour that preceded my run created quite the sauna effect.  I was completely wrecked by the time I finished.  Hungry, sweaty, cranky.  After a couple of hours (which included a nap) to process it, I'm feeling better.  There's comfort in knowing where I went wrong.  Now if I can just remember it for next time.  If running after about 10:30am, EAT A SIGNIFICANT SNACK before taking off.  We'll see if I've learned my lesson.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Big Three-Six

I turned 36 on Saturday.  Not a landmark birthday in any way shape or form, but I find the way I celebrated to be a little remarkable.
I spent the day with this fantabulous group of people.  My husband and kids, Kam and Alayna, and Felipe the great.  Exactly half of this group (or more than half if you count my hubby) is made up of people from the greatest run club ever.  Here's a picture of the whole blam dam runnin' fam:
I think I've written before about how much I think of this crew.  If not, I'll just say it:  I think a lot of this crew!!

Anyhoo... the group in the top picture helped me celebrate my birthday with a road trip to Ames, Iowa to watch the KU/ISU game.  Kam's from Kansas, Alayna went to ISU, and Felipe's always ready for an adventure.  Kam & Alayna are a whole lot younger than us.  They are kid free and fabulous.  After six hours in the car with my kids, they're likely to stay that way!!!  

We watched the game.  KU played like complete crap.  ISU, not so much.  They done good and beat my Jayhawks.  But, hey, we'd won the last 13.  All good things must come to an end.  After the game, we loaded up to head home.  We dropped the kids off at my folks' place and got cleaned up to hit the bar.  
Good Peeps here, even if they do look a little demonic.

Why, you ask, do I describe any of this as remarkable?  Well, it's just kind of amusing to me that I spent my day with runners, fellow marathoners, people from my gym of all places.  It's amusing because if you'd have told me 10 years ago that I'd run a marathon, or that I'd be spending my b-day with runners, I would have told you to lay off the crack pipe and get serious. You just never know where life is going to take you.  I'm thankful mine's brought me here.  Running is great.  The people it brings into your life are way better than great.

I am, admittedly, a little mushy and gushy with this post.  I once wrote a small blip about Heather.  I know Heather because she is best buds with Tiffany (seated next to me in the pic) and because she works at the YMCA.  She beat breast cancer.  I learned last week that she now has spots on her brain.  I am but a peripheral by-stander in this whole scenario, but seeing someone so young, with kids near the same age as mine, who is clearly so loved by so many going through such complete and total bullshit is shaking me a bit.  I want to be a better person, and I want the people in my life to know I value them.  Life is too short and too uncertain to behave any other way.  Please keep Heather in your thoughts and prayers.  Be good to everyone you meet.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bolder Options Update/ Running Minutiae

No, I haven't quit mentoring.  I'm just a crappy blogger.  
We did run (run/walk) our first 5k the first weekend in December.  It wasn't too cold, thankfully, and we had a pretty good time.  Other December activities:
The Bolder Options holiday party-- good times
Another swim

I haven't seen my mentee since before Christmas due to holiday craziness, but on Thursday we're headed to a photography exhibit, 'Of Sadness and Hope:  Images from the Northside Tornado.'  This is definitely a perk of volunteering... I'd never take the time to go check this out, even though I really want to see it.  Mentoring gives me a great excuse to take the time.  

Overall, so far, this has been a great experience.  It can be a bit of a struggle to find the time some weeks (this issue is further complicated by my better half's lack of wheels).  But, so far, a great experience.  

In non-mentoring related news, I am signed up for marathon #4.  Craziness!  Since I've been through this a few times and had a little success (in my own mind, anyway), I'm trying something new this time.  I paid for a training plan made by Luke Humphrey.  I received said plan yesterday, along with an email containing the following statement:

As far as your schedule goes, I think your biggest thing will be getting mileage and maximizing your aerobic fitness first. I really think you can run 3:45 from just that. 

I don't know about any 3:45.  He's a pretty smart guy, though, and seems to really know what he's talking about... so we'll see.  The plan itself is going to be an interesting ride.  It starts gently, with a lot of miles at 'easy' pace, then after a few weeks he's thrown in some tempo runs that are going to be pretty intense for someone as completely genetically un-predisposed for running as myself!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Daily Mission

It's been a while since I posted one of these.  I like today's, and I'm totally stealing my response.

Today's #dailymission

What's Your Running/Biking/Swimming New Years Resolution?

To set higher goals and be willing to fail.  
We'll see how that goes...