Friday, October 29, 2010

"Middleaged Runner... You never stop, do you?"

Chaos has once again been an all consuming trend here in my little world. Unlike last time things went down the crapper I have continued to run. I figure that not only will it perhaps assist me in the holding together of my mental state but it will ward off the major pounds that repeated family dinners might bring on.

So what on earth has been going on???

My Grandfather passed away completely unexpectedly, and rather frighteningly last week....
Yes, the Grandfather who was married to the Grandmother that we lost 5 weeks ago.

WHAT??? WHAT????

Oh man, what a hot mess.

The tsunami of absurdity pretty much continued on from there with many more (relatively) minor life issues clanging down around my head. All stories for another day...

I prefer to keep the emotion laden fraught with tears dialogues to a minimum on the interwebs so I'm not going to carry on much with this post. but I do have one recent memory to share (proving, that even in the toughest times my Grandpa was keenly interested in what the grand kids were up to, and what sort of mischief we were causing...)

When my Gramma was first diagnosed last summer we went to see family as fast as we could. Making my way thru the throngs of cousins, Aunts and Uncles I spotted my Grandpa. Clearly the strain was taking a toll on him but he opened up his arms to me and heartily said "Middleaged runner! You just never stop, do you?" We chatted briefly about my introduction to the world of running and how I enjoyed it. He closed the conversation with another very Grandpa like thought. "I have no doubt that you're going to take the running world by storm" he said with authority, as I laughed at the silliness of such a statement (being that I'm 30 something and 5 feet tall- unlikely!) "Nothing usually stops you, so go out there and show 'em what you've got!"

There is no doubt that at the times when I feel like crawling back under the covers, or skipping a run to eat the insides of cinnamon buns and buffalo wings I'm going to think of my Grandpa, and remember that "I never stop, do I...."

No, I don't.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Non Running Related (but awesome none the less..)

Want to get a taste of what life was like for me before I married the Huz?

Go on over to

She is hosting a competition for the most awkward dating horror stories of all time. No doubt I clearly have a winner....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Foliage 5K update. OR: My Epic Comeback

I won't come right out and admit to it but I may have been toddling around my house for a few minutes on Saturday morning gloomily moaning about my upcoming race FAIL. Clearly tired of hearing my bellyaching my Huz said to me, with irritating and completely unreasonable logic "Really, if you think this is going to be such a mess why don't you just STAY HOME???" Looking at him in complete disgust I replied that that certainly did not make any sense, who would do such a thing?!, and that was not how I operated thank you very much!! (which he knows. but the man can only take so much of my agonizing before he can't take it any more.)

As is the norm around here my Huz and Dad accompanied me to the start of this (now infamous) race. They are a highly skilled, not to mention highly paid coaching team. The helpful words that come out of their mouths are priceless and without them I might not know to "Run fast because it's cold and we're going to leave without you..." Or "Hurry back so we can drink a beer." (wiser words were never spoken.)

Despite my dubious level of fitness and my firm conviction that the race was going to be pure embarrassment I felt better as soon as I took off my 145,000 layers and headed to the start. I lie, in reality I felt freezing, slightly horrified and concerned that my butt was going to sustain serious frostbite, or at the very least some serious muscular pain. I digress.....

I had a good start with none of the ipod or shoelace issues that I had been bothered with earlier in the year. A bunch of boys took off for the front and since I don't bother chasing people who run a 5 minute mile I trudged along and set a decent pace for my freezing self.

It was a fairly flat course, with a medium sized speed bump around mile 1.5 Since I regularly trained on the icy and oxygen deprived slopes of Mt Kanchenjunga this summer this hill was no big deal, even in my current flabster condition. It did get the best of quite a few runners though so at this point I was able to start passing people. Which I like. Since it was an out and back course I was able to see the competition heading back to the finish like as I heaved past the first 0.1 mile marker (noooo, it wasn't that bad.) This was the point that I discovered that I had passed all but one girl- but the lone lady in front of me was a solid 15-20 seconds ahead. Doooom!!

My breathing got a little heezy and wheezy around mile 2.5 which I blame fully on 3 things- my horrible out of shape cardiovascular system, the remnants of The Sick that I have had and the fact that the wind was whipping in my FACE at 60 MPH. No shit, I have never felt wind like that while attempting to run. It pretty much tried to shove me back along the race course, which was met with my frantic cries of agony as I did not want to run any farther then absolutely necessary.

As I sped wildly to the finish I could easily see girl #1 in front of me but didn't have enough gas left in the tank to even take a stab at chasing her down and kicking her ass. Oh well. Next time?

I did, however, have enough energy to showboat like a fool as I ran to the finish line- seeing that I was going to come in at no more than 23:00 got me excited! (what can I say, I'm a show off and not afraid to fist pump and shout WHOO HOO for myself. Yeahhhhh.) I probably need to stop carrying on like that if I am ever to be seen as a serious, highly competitive and feared runner. (pffft...)

The post race festivities were very cold. It's always fun to run in one's own town because you see your friends and neighbors and can catch up with them and all that good old fashioned small town nonsense that I'm so cornily fond of. Good times, good times. I was terrifically pleased to win a gigantic jug of maple syrup for my mind boggling achievements, and a medal as well which has been proudly hung in the best place imaginable (the bathroom. Yes, really.)

All in all a good day. I most definitely could feel a few sore muscles the next day- very unusual post 5K but this was an unusual race, so I'm not shocked. No big problems from the Shin Issue though which was my biggest concern.

I did run in a brand spanking new pair of shoes too- Mizuno wave precisions- which are the freaking bomb diggity thank you very much..

So. I'm back in the saddle so to speak and hope to continue forward with a good Fall of running. (please running Gods. please!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sometimes I am wrong. Rarely, but it happens....

I guess I just need to shut the heck up?

After my agony yesterday morning, my gloomy predictions of epic humiliating failure, and my repeated bashing of my head off my desk as I imagined my last place finish, this happened.


Oh no you didn't!!

23:00. After 6 weeks off. 3 runs. A lot of moaning and groaning.

It WAS EPIC. 22nd place overall, and 2nd place female finisher. That really pissed me off but there was no catching the other girl in my current feeble and jiggly condition (13 seconds is insurmountable.)

It was freezing (very unusual for a race day...) 60+ MPH winds for the last mile made things oh so delightful and easy. Like running into cozy comforting arms (of an angry, bitchy nor'easter that is.) Pretty decent sized crowd all of whom looked taller, faster and fitter than myself.

I'll catch up on some details later- like the new shoes I wore, my profound thoughts and feelings (ha ha) and other juicy details. But after yesterdays pre race pity party I wanted to update with the shocking news of my re-entry into the racing world and subsequent success!

Go me. I'm cool.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Positively pathetic pre race premable....

After just a handful of runs post DL it might seem reckless to run a 5K today.
But if you don't live on the edge you are taking up too much room suckah!!
I kid, I kid! This race is literally right around the corner and I'm looking at it (grumpily) as a training mission and not a place to PR.
In truth, I'll be quite delighted if I can drag my sweaty, heaving, hippo self across the finish line in under 30 minutes.

Goal: To finish with no pain. A realistic time is around 27-28 minutes unless I have to walk due to pain. I am sure to post my worst time ever today and I wish that I didn't care- but my competitive nature is in quite a tizzy today.
I hope to obtain a positive "have fun" mindset in the next 90 minutes, throw my stopwatch in the hopper and pop around my town slowly, forever to be remembered as the slowest runner ever. (**sobs quietly**)

OK. I guess I have some work to do on my "have fun" mindset!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm BACK!! For real...

I have been able to get my lardo butt off the couch and get back to the sensible business of running rampant about my town. (sadly, despite my lack of running the couch and I have actually had very little quality bonding time. bummah)
I'm being smart about my re-introduction into the world of pavement pounding. I have restricted myself to runs that log in at just over 3 miles, despite the fact that the weather is perfect, the foliage is freaking gorgeous and the effing road is literally calling my name... (people, I might sound crazy but if you run you totally get it. You look down the road and it screams "run on me fool!!" yeahhhh....)
I still have a little left over lung garbage from The Sick but other than that I FEEL GREAT.
Somehow I missed the transitional period that we have in this neck of the woods that takes us from: HOT, HUMID, TOURIST TRAFFIC EXTRORDINAIRE!!!! To: cold, cold, no traffic what-so-ev. Need I even bother to take note of the fact that I love this time of year times a million? Gone are the days of having to pre game with ten thousand gatorades! I have bid farewell to the constant need to run in the puckerbrush at the edge of the road to avoid getting hit by a reckless speeding out of town driver. And with great sorrow I have said goodbye to all my good friends (ahem) who drive by me and catcall, or holler "fun fatty, RUN!!" So sad...
I have noticed the undeniable need for new shoes. Already?? Already..
I also noticed that since the temps are now 50 degrees cooler I can't scoot out the door in zero clothing. WTF? So I got a kickass and attractive pair of CW-X tights. Attractive? I jest! But functional they most certainly are. I really love those little buggers- they are just warm enough and the totally contain the butt jiggle. It is eliminated fo' sho!!
So. That's where I'm at for right now. A middleaged runner back on the road to recovery and world domination. Yay!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One step forward.....

Oh Maaaaaaaannnnnn. You think you're getting ahead again after a million years and THEN....

I headed out for my first "run" on Monday after being freed from the DL. (finally!) I was extremely pleased with how I did (although per DR's orders I took several walk breaks and did NOT run down the huge hill at mach 10.) I felt really good, and ran like a gazelle or similar bandy legged creature (haha. at 5'1" that is unlikely.)

I awoke the next day with one of those disgusting, pustulating, all consuming head/chest colds that make it near impossible to live, let alone run. Can't breathe thru my nose because apparently it is filled with concrete. Can't breathe thru my mouth because that triggers a fit of coughing up lung chunks.

Well, isn't THIS annoying!!

After staying up allll night last night trying to find some place in my body that would allow oxygen to enter I'm not feeling that I have recovered quite yet. This is ridonkulous, and I am suspicious that some running God has it out for me and wants to keep me off the streets.

Not gonna happen running God. I'm getting back out there the second that vile Floridian Cold leaves my system!

Monday, October 4, 2010

You're not a REAL runner unless....

"Real runners run Marathons or Half's. 5 and 10K's are just sprints or a fun few minutes for distance runners, and anybody can do one one of those with no training at all."

Really? I mean, REALLY??

Perhaps it is because I'm middleaged. Maybe it is because I took up running late in life. Or maybe I just don't know what I am talking about!

BUT HERE IN THE REAL WORLD a 5k is a worthy accomplishment, and a 10k is a big goal for big fricking dreamers like myself. (I do agree that a 5k is an attainable goal for even the most out of shape- but it does require some work!)

Yes, in the long run I would love to and plan to, run a half marathon. Perhaps in 2011 if life doesn't not get in the way. But does the fact that my running resume only contain 5K's mean that I am not a real runner? I certainly don't think so (well, right now after the 6 week recovery from the shin of doom I'm no runner. but I was and will be again stat.)

I just laughed off this silly comment from an otherwise well meaning acquaintance but it stung enough to make me reflect on the absurdity of such an offhand comment.

Maybe all of us can't to the 26.2. But we're still runners, damnit.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Important lesson learned and a big long talk about my feelings...

I'm finally fully recovered from the Shin Splint of Doom, back from vacation, done with my competitive season in my other sport and ready to get back to it.

How do I feel?

-Honestly a little bummed. I wish that I had had the common sense to take a week off when my leg first started bugging me and had saved myself the 6 weeks of recovery time. A lesson learned, I suppose. The final feeling on the injury is that it was not sustained from the accident but rather trying to gimp/run around post trauma. A great big DUH to myself and my stupid over achieving head.

-I am extra disappointed because had I not been shin splinted I would be looking forward to my first 10K on October 11. I had signed up for it and was really feeling like my OH 10 running goal would have been met. I simply can not see that there is a logical reason for running that race unless I feel like being crippled for another long period of time. So I will not do it.

-The race season in my area seems to be winding down. There are a few fall races and Holiday events but it will be snowing in about 5 minutes and that effectively shuts down the running community.

-BUT. Amidst all my negativity there are some good things too. I clearly learned a valuable lesson about listening to my body a heck of a lot better. In the long run this setback won't make any difference because I'm certainly not training for the Olympic trials or similar.

However, I'm sure that other type A people can understand the frustration of a set back such as this!! RAWR!!

I'm going out for an easy walk/run this afternoon. I'm sure it won't be pretty but it will be a step in the right direction- of putting the left foot in front of the other- faster than I have been for quite a while.