Monday, August 30, 2010

Race Day Notes

A quick PS to my original July 31st race report. These are the original unedited notes that I took in my training log post race. Anybody that uses's training log knows about the "faces" that they create for you, depending on your well being and what have you. That is what I'm talking about...

I love the little blue face that active trainer put up when I recorded my daily feelings, or whatever. This was a Very Bad Week. I had not slept properly in days. My stress was very high. My feelings of well being were lowwwww.
It was a beautiful sunshiney low 70's and dry day, and I actually had a running buddy! (my BFF's Hubs) so I made the best of it.
My original goal was to come in in an even 31:00, but after I heard many people moan and agonize over the hilly terrain (and after my lack of speed on my own personal hell, I mean hill) I said eff it. If I can't do my own hills in less than 35 minutes than what will make me faster on this day?
It turned out to be quite hilly- the first 2 miles were ALL uphill but it was manageable and not retarded like I'm used to. Awesome! I felt good and it was fun having a running buddy (for the 1st 2 miles, than I made him eat my dust.)
The first mile was slowwww (8:23) but it was a large race with lots of weenie campers running arm in arm and clogging up the interstate. The pace picked up nicely after that and I beat my original goal by 30 seconds. I hit the wall in the last 0.1 but recovered in less than a few seconds once I stopped. The final hill was a bitch and owned my slow ass....
Ended up 95th out of over 600. Only 16 women were in the top 100- it's absurd how much faster the men are. I'm used to a female dominated sport so this really makes me say "WHAT??" I was 5th in my age division (it was 10 year divisions instead of the usual 5. Excuses, excuses.)

Delayed July 31 race report

Awwww shoot. I really need to tell all of y'all about my race that took place 3 million years ago...

Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth and men lived in caves I awoke, excited and energised to run a 4 mile race on a course straight up a hill.

OK, stop the crazy train so that I can get off. Let's have a reality check.

Said race took place about 48 hours after the family had heard that bad news about my Gramma. I was in a terrible head space, as my Gramma is one of the most important and beloved people in my life. "Go run" said my wise Mom "Your Gramma would not want you being a quitter and running creates positive energy. Or something!" I concluded that these were indeed wise words, and vowing to A: not be a disappointing slacker and B: to try to send all my positive energy in the right direction off I went.
I met my Best Friends husband at the start of this mad, insane race. Not being much of a runner my BFF had informed me that he would be finishing in no less than 48 minutes, which I seriously doubted. The two of us collected our numbers, waved goodbye to the excellent coaching squad of my Dad and Huz and boarded a bus for the Other Side of The Mountain. I had never run (or seen) this course before but had been warned excessively and hysterically about the never ending hill. As we came around by mile 2 we started to go down, and down. My ears popped as we dropped below sea level in a most leisurely fashion. Looking back I concluded that these hills were not of the Mt Everest quality that I run in my normal training but were many miles long. (post July 4- 4 miler I had set a goal of 31.00 for my next 4 miler. After hearing all the talk about the difficulty of this course I backed off and set a 35:00 goal.)
There were a million people at the start (well. 600) most of whom were from various camps and would obviously be sticking together in a pack and clogging up the road like cholesterol. BOO! As the BFF-Hubs and I made an epic race plan getting by/around/ahead of those fools was top on the list.
We decided to stick together for as long as we could, with the plan to run the first 2 miles in about 16 minutes. For a non runner this is a blistering pace when set on a never ending mountain of doom but BFF hubs is in fine shape otherwise and said he'd be just fine.
We got caught in a moderate clusterfudge of chaos, churning bodies of campers and general mayhem at the start but escaped quickly. Despite the fact that the 1st mile ran a little slow we were right on target at mile 2. I knew at this point that I had plenty of high octane fuel (aka purple passion Gatorade and pretzels) in the reserves and was going to try to book it the hell out of there for the final 1/2 of the race.
To this point BFF Hubs had been doing just fine, he was puffing a bit but had kept right up like a rockstar. Just after mile 2 I looked around and the poor kid was GONE. I had a moment of thinking about waiting, looking, stopping, whatev but I'm an asshat so I shifted into high gear and set off to kick his ass.
Things went really well for the last 2 miles, I kept up a very steady pace and was able to pass a very high number of people. I was concentrating on all of those positive mindset shenanigans that my Mah had pep talked me on (and of course concentrating on not falling down, vomming, whatevs.) There was a bigass hill about .01 mile from the finish which was not my friend in any way but I finished up just fine in 30.29. Since this blew my goal finish time out of the fricking water I was quite pleased. I placed 95th- in such a big fast crazy crowd I was more than happy with this result.
Not too long after my BFF's Hubs came thru the finish- also beating his wife's expected time and coming across the line in 32.30. WHAT, WHAT!!! Good for you BFF Hubs! He looked a teeny bit green around the gills but smartened right up with some water and manly words of congratulation from the coaching squad and some of his friends. He really hadn't dropped behind me all that much at all and we all had a laugh about my robo-cop cyborg running style. Hey, chin up, chest up people!!
And the best part.... NO pictures of either of us in awkward poses the following day!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A list. I like lists.

After having my ever helpful and fully fantabulous friend Jennie diagnose my sore leg with a "compound fracture" I took it over to see my sister, the expert diagnostician. "It is probably a bone bruise" said she, with wisdom and gravity. "If you had a compound fracture you would be in excruciating pain, not to mention the bones and what not sticking through your skin." (which I knew. I really did.) "Go run on it" she advised "maybe take it easy for a few more days."
Digesting those words of wisdom (as well as my weight in chocolate chip cookies) I hit the road for a not so easy and relatively up hill 4 miler. And it was fine. (smiles)

Things I have learned while running this summer. A top 8 list.
1- Well, that I can actually run... Profound bitches!!
2- Running in humidity kinda sucks. Like, a lot to be honest.
3- I can easily consume 5 Gatorade's and endless water in said humidity and still loose pounds of water while running. Lots of pounds. Weird..
4- Pavement gets really hot in the summer sun and burns the eff out of my sneakered feet, again- weird.
5- People love to shout at me out of their cars. "Run, fatty, RUN!" being the clear winner here.
6- A while back 2 miles was daunting, and 4 was insurmountable. I have, ummm, mounted it? How would you say that?
7- I have met some really nice people and I feel that runners are terrific. (except ABS. Just kidding!)
8- I like running. I like how easy and uncomplicated it is to slap one foot in front of the other again and again. It is not always EASY, but it's always straightforward. All things in life should be so simple...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Life and Times of a non running runner

This has been a very strange August.

Being the determined, organized and (ahem) rather anal gal that I am I had Plan A for how to properly take my running to the next level during the past 3 weeks. During this time I fully expected (even thru my VERY busy summer work weeks) to put in 4 runs per week, look towards bumping up my mileage and make the final epic decision on where/when if the Ultimate 10K Goal was going to be part of my plans in the OH Ten.

Oh life? why are you getting in the way??

During August I have run (count EM!) FOUR TIMES. 14 MILES. WTFFFF??

I don't have excuses. I have reasons.

1- Big life changing family situation. Saying goodbye is hard. And heartbreaking.

2- Mysterious injuries, case in point-
2.a- The toe, tentatively diagnosed over tequila shots as a ruptured tendon. I do trust my diagnoser so this seemed quite logical (for real!) That is feeling better and did not stop me.
2.b- I had a close encounter with a rock wall. Evidently I saved most of my bod by cushioning the fall with my FACE. But my legs were unfortunately involved and 9 days later (and some pitiful running attempts later) I'm still having the ouch. Damn..

3- Life in general. Suck it!!

Enter PLAN B:
For the next week or so I plan to attempt to do some nice slow runs with the goal of figuring out what the leg can take right now. If I can't run I'll walk. I'm also in the process of getting as fit as I can for a big thing in the other work/athletics related part of my life so I'm hitting up some weights, ab work, that kind of fun crapola.

I wish to run. I would like to take a vacation from the garbage in my head and running offers a very nice escape as the whole time I'm running that is what I think about (not tripping, falling, getting hit by errant trucks, etc. Ya know..)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My mini-break...

I still have to backtrack and recap my July 31st 4 miler. But first a few quick words.
(a few quick words that would LOVE to take a turn for the angst ridden hallmark TV mini-movie monolouge. but will not...)

Occasionally, even when one is pretty crazy/hardcore/dedicated one needs to back the eff off and take 5 minutes to chill out. Think things over. Re find one's inner zen-like qualities.

On August 1st I made a responsible choice to take a mini vacation from hitting the pavement. I was exhausted, about to embark on the busiest work week of the summer (in retrospect, possibly my life) had just been slapped in the face with a hearty dose of good old fashioned bad news, and had also developed an odd and annoying toe injury.

How do I feel after taking an absurd 10 days off from running? Not so hot.

There is NO way I could have done it for the past period of time though, as I was having immense difficulty drumming up the energy to get the job done during the day. (and seeing as I hurt my toe inexplicably while not running I can only imagine the horrors had I gone out for a long, energetic Marathon training session.)

Bottom line, every so often a reason is a reason and not an excuse. I did not wake in the morning saying "I wish I could run, but..." My energy needed to be directed elsewhere, to my insanity laden job, to my family in this time of trouble and to attempting to maintain some level of sanity. (yes, a low level. but still...)

Today I go out and hit the road again. I have no great expectations but am ready to put one foot in front of the other and get back to what is normal. I find that whenever the rest of my life is taking turns for the scary and unknown I take comfort in my normal (somewhat crazy) routine.

So here's to knowing when to take a few days to readjust. And then getting back to life, and taking things one day at a time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More racing, whining, hot weather and ABS.

I had oh-so enjoyed my long and restful vacation from racing. The weather was so cool and pleasant that it was clear I would be able to resume my racing career with aplomb.

Back to reality. The summer weather had a firm grip on our area of the world and it was entirely dreadful. Like I have mentioned in my previous posts rest was not on the schedule in the least.

I once again awoke to the feelings of the stupid pre race butterflies on July 17Th and immediately declared shenanigans on them. Enough is enough you ridiculous creatures!! I declared war on them by chugging the purple Gatorade and inhaling mass quantities of tiny twist pretzels and ginger. I was growing weary of this hideous pre race happy meal but it never had done me wrong so I didn't dare change it up. YUCK.

At race hour the temps were already in the mid eighties and rising, and the sun was blazing down with avengence. Asshat sunshine... I was pretty excited though because it was not a loop, or out and back but a point to point course. I thought it would be fun to do something a little new. I was also excited becasue I'm awesome? And that I was more or less used to the heat... And that no matter what it was going to be a damn good time. YES IT WAS!

My Dad and The Huz came along per the norm as my excellent and very serious coaching squad. They were excited because this was an Old Home Day's race for a local town and there were exactly 3 things to look at. Which is 3 more things that our own town has at their Big Country Fair. Lucky them!

I saw Abs and gave her menacing looks and dirty glares. She was amused by this as well as afraid, due to my above average speed and super human acceleration... (actually, I did no such thing. I had a perfectly nice chat with her because I know how to act in public. So there.)

Once again I had trouble with my IPod. And then I had trouble with my watch. And THEN as I was trying to have a good start all the little kids in the world decided to stop in front of me to tie their shoes. GAHD! Just run!! Despite the clusterfudge I ran a solid but not insane 1st mile in 7:23.

It was hot like WHAT! The sun was so hot that I could feel it boring a hole thru my skull. I was fairly certain that from that hole my brain would pour out and then fry on the 4000 degree pavement. A pleasant image. Even though it was disgusting out I ran in a pretty strong manner and never got to the point of wishing to vom/die/call 911/pass out and hallucinate.

In the final mile of the course the route took us up a road, around a cone and back down that road to finish. I discovered that there were not a huge number of people ahead of me but enough so that catching the leaders was impossible. I passed by a man in spandex with a horrifying mullet, I watched Abs round the cone about 20 seconds ahead of me, and knew there was no getting her, I observed quite a few very creatively dressed people all somewhat ahead of me (I don't usually run in my jean cut offs- but maybe I should?) Realising that I should stop sightseeing and start running I did, made it to the finish and ended up into 26th place with a time of 23:14 which was better than the last race. I won my age division and got a hat. I think I should have won a car, a boat or something of significant value. Or maybe the whole Old Home Day's set up?

And the best part: Later that day my Dad, Huz and I went out for some dinner. At one point I saw something catch my Dad's eye in back of me. He pointed and it was Abs and her family. He said to her "HA! WE. BEAT. YOU. HERE." It was the highlight of the day and we all laughed very hard. (maybe you had to be there, but use your imagination! It was funny.)