Archive for the ‘running’ Category
In two weeks, I’ll toe the line again for a half marathon. The same race I’ve run so many times, and my comeback from last summer’s injury. I’ve been patiently crossing off the workouts, and noticed today that there are so many S’s on this page. A month ago, I had a 10 day illness that had me crazed from not being about to train. Two days ago, I woke with a similar scratchy throat feeling.
So. I’m 2 weeks out. Only one more long run of 9 miles on Wednesday coming up, but I can’t shake that same feeling. I could have done more. I could have trained harder. These thoughts are followed by the notion that you cannot go back. You simply have to show up on race day with what you have.
The hay is in the barn, but it’s sort of wobbly, stacked funny. I’m not sure if all the pistons will be firing correctly on that morning, but there is simply nothing to do about it now, except…go forward. I’m excited, no matter how the race comes out, because last summer, I was begging the gods for just one more chance. You have no idea how much you want to run…when you can’t.
Nothing but fun here.
Every February, Ripon celebrates the Almond Blossom Festival. It’s that time of year where the trees come alive, and the parades, carnival, and baking contests come to town. There’s always an 8K, and I have never once run it, because I just couldn’t bring myself to pay for it! Plus, there’s always an urge for me to go out of town. This year, my son asked me if I would be at the parade, since he was riding on the football float, so I decided to stay. On Friday night, I was cooking pre-race pancakes, so it seemed I would also be running the 8K.
Saturday morning, I drove to the start of the race, bought a bib just as they were setting up, and drove home. Something really nice about living 1.5 miles from the start line. I spent 2 hours just relaxing, and then drove back to the start line.
It was windy, but not horrid. I got in the pack, and the race field of 460 took off when the guy yelled through his megaphone. Yes, it’s that small of a race.
I thought I would be bored, since I have run these streets weekly since 2009, but after we turned on Spring Creek, the race went out through homes and streets that I’ve never seen.
We got to Santos road, about 2.5 miles in, and I was at about 11:15 pace, which is AMAZING for me, post stress fracture. About a mile earlier, I had started picking off racers. One by one, I just kept my eye on the person in front of me. There was supposed to be a water station here, so again I cursed myself as to why I didn’t bring my own water. (A lesson I learned in marathon training). As I turned the corner, I remember Kim and I stashing candy in the bushes for a 15 miler that we would run…oh so many years ago, before fuel belts and serious training.
I felt amazing. We ran through bees that were busy trying to pollinate, but it was pretty cool…and and at mile 4.2 or so, I started to get thirsty. We headed back down Spring Creek, and I knew the park was very close, so I didn’t stress.
Post race: Water, orange juice, oranges, and a lone quarter of a bagel. My only gripe about the race would be the post race “nutrition” and water station that never materialized.
My final: 8K~57.18, an 11:32 pace. I was 19/32 in the 50-59 age group, and 225/300 overall. Best of all. It was a blast.
The familiar places of a runner: The burn in your lungs when you attack a hill, the sheer exhaustion at the end of your last speedwork sprint, the calves that need rubbing later on in the day. These are the things that I chase, and even though I am nowhere near where I was when I was training for my first marathon, I still embrace the pains and exhaustion, and actually enjoy them in a sick way.
Today, I ran 4 miles, 2 @ a tempo, fast pace. A pace I easily could have sliced off a year or two ago, and today found myself working VERY hard to complete the task. Enough about the stress fracture already. I have babied the foot, and taken good care of myself. I have lost some weight, and am within that 10 pounds again of my last race day, though I have decided to get near 20 off of me by the time I toe the line in March.
This starts week 4, and the thing that I love about runners the best, is that all of you…you know the thrill of feeling this tired. And so. You simply understand why I keep up this silly sport.
Week 4 of 12…and here we go.
Today ends the first week of training for the Modesto Half Marathon. Not having run more than 3 miles since about May of 2012, I was eager to get started. I posted this plan a week or so ago, and just laid low. On Sunday night, I realized that the plan I laid out actually started that day, so I laced up and went out for 2 miles in the cold.
This plan is different for me because I’m employing weights 3x a week, instead of my usual 6 days of Hanson running. I lifted on Monday, Thursday and will tomorrow, because I’m after that elusive pull up. Right now I can hang comfortably for 8 seconds. I can do 3 assisted pull-ups.
For week 1, I ran 9 miles total. I ran a long run of 4 on Wednesday, and my foot is fine. I felt really good, but very slow and sluggish today. I’m slowly (emphasize slowly) trying to take off the 8% of the weight I gained since my race weight day back in May. (That’s 14 pounds). Currently, I have 3 off already. I gained a few here and there, then got the cast and boot …and there went 5 more. At the holidays, 5 more came back on with unrestrained eating …So. That is the quest.
Today as I was running, I was struggling. I have no idea why, after a great run on Wednesday. I credit my 4 other bloggy gal pals who have enthusiastically joined a weight loss challenge with spurring me on to better my body. We are currently putting up our Thinspiration pictures, and a theme is emerging. It’s not enough to be thin as I was when I raced in May. It’s more important to be strong. Thinner, stronger, older, wiser.
Thus ends Week 1.
The topic is race recovery. I am going into a new season, with a new-ish foot…and I can no longer live on yesterday’s accomplishment or training regiments, as I am now a different runner. Many times, I think about the 10 min paces I kept only a year or so ago…pre marathon pacing…and, I wish I could do that again. However, after a Summer of casts and boots and walking…I am simply a different runner.
- “I don’t have a choice.” – I can use the excuse that I’m old. I’m heavier. I have a broken foot…so therefore I have no choice but to accept my present circumstances. This is a lie. I have a choice. I’m heading to lift weights and have made a commitment to cross train every other day. This week, my commitment is 3 miles, every other day. No stopping. I do have a choice. I can re-tool my training.
- “Training is easy.” – Once you accept that training will be difficult, you can face any plan. I have trained for 5 marathons to date, and there comes a point in the plan where you are just running. All the time. It doesn’t matter if you lose your job or you have a romantic glitch with your mate…you have to keep it up every day. And, this is the rub…if you DON’T, then your RACE is difficult. I have skipped workouts, and on race day beat myself up for allowing that day I slept in, instead of laced up. Training is not easy.
- “The way it is now is the way it will always be.” –This is most difficult for me. I have certain walls I hit in each marathon. And, I sort of fight with myself around mile 18. But, I don’t have to have this. I can build in an emotional component next race…whereby I will have trained my brain for the fight. It can happen.
- “The sky is falling.” – I have about a million posts about bad runs. Times when I’ve thrown my shoes. When I collapsed on the ground. Got all dramatic about how much of a crap runner I am. Truth is, these are the runs that shaped me. I’ve talked a lot about that here. These are the runs that you rely on when the going gets tough.
- “Everyone else is doing better than me.” – I think this is one of the most ruinous thoughts for runners. For a long time, I was comparing myself to 25 and 35 year olds. And, of course I was coming up short. I thought, “I don’t have enough drive, or enough passion.” It always ended with me feeling less than. I was comparing my insides with their outsides. Truth is, I’m 53. I can compare myself with other 50 year olds (as is done on race day), but really, my life is mine. I compare myself with me, and I am okay.
- “That’s unrealistic.” –”Doesn’t it seem a bit unrealistic to be able to walk into a dark space, hit a switch, and instantly fill the entire space with light? Fortunately Thomas Edison didn’t think so.” (quote) As an older runner, when I hear the noise that I have to give up running already because of my foot or my age, I think…no. When I started training for my first marathon at age 50, I didn’t know it was too old. I would hear people remark about my age, and I thought…really?
- “I wish.” – You cannot have a 4:30 marathon if you don’t put in the work. I’m a 6:00 marathoner. I’ve accepted this. I can’t wish for a faster time, unless I will train for it. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I have to stop living in fantasy land. Do the work, and accept the reality of your training.
- “It’s too late.” – Never. It’s never too late. I will run, and continue to train until I can no longer. It’s not too late to race an ultra. If that’s what I want (I don’t). I do have a little fantasy. To run the Dipsea. It’s not too late, and to prove it, I have on my calendar the day I must enter. It’s not too late to grab my running dreams.
- “I can’t.” – Fall down 8, get up 9. Or something like that. I am thinking this weekend of my friends running CIM. All week we’ve been talking about how bad the weather will be. And, I’m glad I didn’t know how bad LAMarathon 2011 (aka Monsoon Marathon) was going to be. I certainly would not have chosen to run, either. But, you get in a situation like that and you really have no choice. ”I can’t” becomes “I must”…you have to forge forward. So it’s not “I can’t”…it’s, “I won’t”. You are no longer a victim, and you absolutely can…you just chose not to.
- “This situation couldn’t get any worse.” – Yes. Yes, it can get worse. You can get injured, or lose a job or a mate…it can get worse. As a runner, accepting how bad it can be, is really very healing. I remember the time that Kim and I ran in 85 degree weather, and she had no water. We got out about 8 miles, and it was apparent that she either get water, or get sick. We had one bottle between the two of us, and I gave her mine. I ran a little way longer and found an orange tree, so I got hydration that way. Later, my pink top had the ravages of blood on it, and I was down on the ground resting. A car came by and asked if I was okay. I wasn’t. It was stupid. I finally got to the Shell station, and called her to come get me (she was home already). It can get worse, but the lesson is always to be prepared!
The thoughts I must leave in the past…they hold me back. Running is my love, my salve…and re-tooling my thinking is as important as any physical race plan.
*Idea taken from Marc & Angel Hack Life
I’m really in the Christmas Spirit this year, and it’s only December 1st. This weekend, Harley Guy and I got my tree, a stellar, magnificent thing for $20 at Savemart. Seriously, it’s the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen.
I also have two small trees that I decorate every year. The first year that I was separated, my two girlfriends came over and decorated my house, and we bought two smaller trees. Every ornament I took out of the box slayed me with grief, so I really needed help.
This year, the boys took everything out, and decorated the tree by themselves. I was left with the two trees, and no ornaments.
I got on my clothes to run, and sadly, went to My Plate for a big dose of reality. I have gained some real poundage since the Summer of the Cast. Not as heavy as I was last year, but inching closer. I ran three miles, and thought about where I would find some motivation.
A friend of mine always makes a marathon tree. And last week on Twitter, I saw her mention it…so, I started crafting the idea to decorate one of my small trees with medals from the 13.1 & 26.2 races that I’d done since 2009.
And. You know what? It worked.
I started out by just putting on the marathon medals. Then, I got the 13.1 medals on, and I started envisioning every race. Every PR. Every bonk. And, even though I’m on my 54th Christmas on this planet, I decided that I would put this by my bed…to motivate and inspire me not only for the coming year or the coming month, but every day.
As I put each token on the tree, I realized that every one of these races has shaped me into the woman I am today. From the girl crying over her divorce on the top of the catwalk, to the run right after I met Harley Guy, to the Mom showcasing her first marathon to her boys, to all the little feats of strength or insanity…each medal MEANS something. I laughed as I put on the Half Marathon of Death medal (my first half, in which I threw my shoes across the field as I finished). I beamed remembering the 13.1 PR of 2:24 in Davis.
And, as I finished the tree, I felt…motivated and pleased. Proud of my work, I started snapping pictures, and felt real joy. We are SO lucky to run!! Happy Christmas season to all of you, my readers, and if you’re looking for me, I’m right here, crafting out the next big season of running. Cheers to December!
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
I forgot how good it feels to run in the morning. When the air is crisp, and the sun is not yet hot. I had to get up early today because of a crazy morning schedule and start my 4th week of recovery runs. I am up to 3 blocks running/1 block walking. And for the first time, I can see the wisdom of my doctor urging me to start slowly. I no longer have twinges in my foot during or after the runs, and I’m feeling stronger on the road.
I grabbed an older iPod, one of my hard running standbys, and Tom Petty Running Down A Dream came on…I had just dropped the kids off to school, so there was no risk of embarrassing them as I ran by their peers. Today’s run was 3 miles, followed by 2 more this week of 3.5 and 4 this weekend.
There was nothing really special about this run. Down by the gym, overpass, catwalk. Same run. Same route. Except for one thing. That endorphin thing we chase? Nailed it. Floated and ran and floated and ran. If you could have peered into my brain, you would have thought I was winning some kind of race. That’s how good it felt.
And, in many ways, I was winning. Slinging off old ideas, embracing today, acknowledging what is in every department of my life. Same thing I always get when I let the road take me where it will. And, it did.
Happy Hour. Yes.