Sunday, October 23, 2011

My 80/20 Rule

As I mentioned in my last post I really hurt my ankle/foot back on October 3rd. DUH ME.

I saw no reason to bore you all with my daily whinings of a minor, although painful injury so I have been MIA. Also, I was busy wrapping up my equine competitive season in a bang up way. Kicking ass and taking names, very proud of the way that my boys finished up the year! (or, technically started next year. it is now 2012 in the Dressage world.)

...I digress....

I was hurting to the point where walking was questionable from the 3rd to the 14th or so, and advil was my every 4 hour friend. It was not the most comfortable time and I was prone to small fits of yelling at my foot and hollering "creak creak" randomly. (although it wasn't that random- my foot was literally creaking. whatevah..)

I think a good rule of thumb is that if 100% of your day is spent in foot pain one should not run. Especially when the application of one's running shoes makes one scream and writhe in agony.

Slowly, the pain started to decrease to a 50/50 ratio- still with a hearty dose or several of advil a day. Finally, on Monday I was able to spend a FULL day advil free and felt that my pain was finally down to the magic number- 80% painless 20% slight discomfort.

Well hot damn! Time to run a marathon! PR in a 10K! GO NUTSSSSS!

In reality! On Wednesday I hit the road for a little "run" and made it exactly six tenths of a mile in fairly bad pain. Crap! When I pulled off my shoes I was all better though, no lingering side effects (odd.) On Friday I tried running in my "old old" shoes and it was a bit better- I made it thru an awkward, and walk break riddled 1.5 miles- again with no ill effects. Today I threw on the "old" shoes and found that they were somewhat better than the "new" shoes so gave them a try. I made it thru a slow 3 miles- but only needed to walk for pain reduction during the first mile. I ran the last 2 miles at a slow and steady pace with very little ouch factor.

Which is good news if I do say so myself...

I still have not needed to pop any pills since Monday. And for that, my liver thanks me.

Hopefully I am over the hump and can get back down to the business of running less like an invalid and more like a middleaged woman!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Running with The Kids: Part 3

It's that time of year again. My cute little town has a cute little 5K slash nasty chilli cook off. nothing inspires me to feel vommy more than the thought of chilli at the end of any mileage...

Last year this race was a study in fall weather. It was no more than 40 degrees out with a stiff 35 MPH headwind. It was rather brutal really, but allowed me to PR with (as usual) no practice. Being that I have been running a good amount I was ready to go for the effing gold this year, win the womens race, PR (maybe) and walk off with a gallon of maple syrup.

Then my plans changed.
Last Monday I hurt my foot. Don't ask me how (because it is too damn embarassing) but I did, and in a big way. Figuring that I'd be pretty well 6 days later I modified the plan by asking the kiddos if they wanted to join me. Everybody was too wimpy except for good old 8th grade (who has grown a staggering amount this summer but despite what this picture tells you I AM still taller than she.) This was 8th Grades FIRST 5K! Yay for HER!

8th Grade did not get the memo about the "scary face." She is embarassed by me, as any 8th grader worth their salt should be.

Have to make a comment about the weather. It was HOTTER THAN HOT. Seriously, it was 80 freaking degrees which is hot for this time of year in Maine. (reason #2 that I was rather pleased that a fast race was NOT in order.)

Reason #1 that I was pleased that I was not going for the gold? My damn foot. Hurt like a bitch! I was not convinced that I was going to be able to run at all, and I gave 8th Grade some good instructions incase I had to lie down on the side of the road and wait for Stoneham Rescue to come and save me.
As it turned out the foot did not feel any worse than normal so off I gimped. I did indeed run like peg-leg-Pete but what can ya do?

It looked like little 8th grade was going to run a pretty decent race! (note: she hasn't run since the 4th of July, bless her little heart.) We kept up a casual, but totally do-able 10-11ish minute mile. Around mile two she came to a grinding halt "I am going to THROW UP! Maybe we should WALK?" I think she thought I was going to be mad. Which I clearly was, since that is how I roll- getting all pissed at poor little kids and whatnot.... So off we walked, and I tried to keep 8th Grades mind off things like chilli, which can easily induce vomiting in the most stoic of runners.

We ended up walking about 7/10ths of the last mile but made a good push for the finish. To take 8th Grade's mind off her Vom-Dot-Com situation I babbled on in full storytelling mode for the last mile. ....that will teach her to walk, hehehe..... As we rounded the corner to the finish another one of my little students (a 4th grader!) blew by us with some serious speed, "Run 8th Grade, RUN!" I shouted "Are you REALLY going to let this HAPPEN??" OFF she sped, as I laughed hysterically at this epic finish to our super slow effort! In the end 8th Grade got a conscience (silly) and 4th Grade snuck infront of her. Gosh, we really need to teach that kid that there is NO MERCY!

Overall, not a bad effort at all! 4th Grade finished in 33:08 (she's gonna be a hot ticket) 8th Grade finished in 33:10 (with practice she's gonna kick ass!) and I laughed my way in just behind them in 33:11.

8th Grade did NOT throw up so no vommy award for her this time! She is excited to do it again (which makes me happy!) and we are going to try to shave about 3 minutes off the time at the next race- which seems reasonable if we can fit in a bit of practice.

I find that I really enjoy running with the kiddos, it is good to see kids getting into a healthy activity and being so excited about it.

Here we are, showing off our Zumba Strength! RAWR!!
We went home and ate some candy.
The END.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Odd Childhood Fears!

I read somebody's post about Odd Childhood Fears yesterday and it made me think of days gone by. In terror!

One must know that I was an oddly practical child and was really not scared of much. However, to say that I had a vivid imagination is an understatement so (on occasion) things got a bit out of hand in my little head.

1: The "Spider Book." My parents were all into nature so they had books of shockingly vivid photos of birds, bugs, animal turds and... SPIDERS. I was SO horrified by this book that I did not like to be in the same room as it, let alone TOUCH it. Eeeekkkkkkk. I can still feel the creepy crawlies now! (they still have this book and to be honest, I feel rather the same way about it.)

2: E.T. What! This was supposed to be a fun family feel good movie? Oh eff that! I was absolutely terrified of E.T., his freakishly long phalanges and his creeper creeper little voice. (and to be honest yet again- I still feel this way.) The movie even put me off my Reeses for a time.

3: The "Child Eating Monster" in my closet. I was a child, need I say more? This dude was badass and scared me until I was about 23 years old. (who am I kidding! I still close the closet door before bed. The Huz understands completely.)

4: The "Detatched hand under the bed". UGHHHHHH. Imagine a cold, pale, clammy detatched hand under your bed. He probably kind of flips and flops around in a half dead way until he sees you coming! Then YARGH! He'll jump out and grab your ankle and drag you down! (to WHERE? There is no DOWN!) Anyway. Yeah.

5: "The Pit and the Pendulum." Well no shit, what child wouldn't be scared of this? Gotta love my Grandma who thought that this was a very age appropriate scary story for a couple of teeny tiny kids. (oddly, it did not scare me much at first and my Sister and I often asked for repeat readings- complete with "voices" and "sound effects!" it became MUCH more hair raising as the years went on...)

6: The "Skunk" in the corner of my room behind my plant. Thanks to my cousin I became rather convinced that there was a super scary skunk in the corner of my room. Whenever there was a little sound I'd be all "AK! SKUNK!" for many years. We still talk about that guy...

So there you have it. My top childhood fears! Childhood fears are much more fun to think about than our top adult fears of going broke, breaking bones (the hand under the bed... the skunk...)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My LOVE/HATE list!

You know how sometimes a period of time goes by and you hear so many people say "OMG! You are a runner/reader/eater of foods/fab person! you should try so-and-so because you would just love it!" Time marches on, you continue to hear these cries of joy about the newest and the greatest thing of the hour and you more or less avoid the whole shenanigan laden minefield. Maybe you even roll your eyes a bit and figure that when the fad dies out you will still have those dollars in your pocket that the rest of the world dumped into the new get-fit-quick scam. (or whatever.)

.....oh... that's just me? well moving on then......

Over the course of the summer I decided that I was going to be a yes-sayer and try things that I suspected that I would hold in disdain. Why not? What could happen? Life is too short to always be practical and sensible. Here is no particular order are a few of the things on my brand new, tried and tested "Love it and hate it" list!

Love It- OK, I love Harry Potter. We all know it and I am not ashamed to admit that I know pretty much everything about Harry and his band of friends. When people started pestering me to read "The Hunger Games" I rolled my eyes and wrote it off as another "Twilight" debacle of horror. .....And was I ever WRONG..... The books are pure genius, smart, well written, blatantly politically incorrect and the final book does not end with "everything" working out. They are cutting edge lit in the young adult field and I was jaw-droppingly delighted to read the series in less than 3 days. Read em. They are the bomb freaking diggity.

Didn't love it or hate it- I caved and read "The Help" It was fine and did not change my life at all. Do feel free to argue, many people have....

HATE it- Thorlo Experia socks. Dudes, do you LIKE running on mattresses? Cos I don't.

HATE it- Shot Blocks. GU. Energy Gummies in general. Actually, you know what I hate? Eating while running. So I don't anymore, eff it.

HATE IT- Zumba. My sister talked me into a class. (remember, she talked me into running which I LOVE) We all lined up in some gym and the instructor started throwing down dance moves straight out of one of those movies about (ummmm) kids dancing on the streets of Havana or whatevs. I stood there is silent horrified disbelief, watching in fear as the rest of the class attempted to do some semblance of what the Dance Queen was doing. As the dance became more and more apocalyptic (and as I flailed around, laughing hysterically in the manner of Elaine on Seinfeld) I looked over at my Sister and said "WHAT the FUCK is THIS SHIT??" That summed up how that went for me. Boom.

LOVE it- Salmon on pizza. holy hell, is that good. Go to David's in Portland, ME for the BEST Salmon, Asparagus and Goat Cheese pizza in the WHOLE world!

LOVE it- Running however I feel like, training plans be damned!

LOVE it...... training plans......

And the final HATE: Saucony Kinvara's. Thank God I did not buy a pair. Just running around in a friends pair was all it took.. (feel free to argue the point, I don't mind.)

LOVE it- (these things are not new. but still.) My own fab house, my own fab dogs and the bag of kit kat in my fridge. Gotta love the little things!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Maine Half Marathon: The official slow race report!

After my epic beer race report of yesterday I thought it would be prudent and adult of me to type up something a bit more legit for today. Don't ask me why, as my post yesterday pretty much summed it up!

Let's backtrack for some second.
- I did not train for this shiz AT ALL. My last run over 7-8 miles was in APRIL. I did NOT follow a training plan, I did NOT PLAN at all!
-This meant that I did not have time to suffer any over training injuries (well, duh. I have been on a "taper" since May!)

Let's now take a look at Sunday morning.
I woke up with a fresh shiny new cold. REALLY??? Really. Oh well.
The weather was amazingly bad and it is hard to amaze me with bad weather. OH WELL.

Off I went in the dark, rain and cold. I was feeling pretty good about things because why the hell not? Nothing says "here I come" like an old, untrained sick person, right?

I snuck to the start in the nick of time (parking took a bit) but what luck... It was pouring buckets so I managed to stay fairly dry until the gun went off. Being that I got there last I was way back in the pack at the start- I think it took over 3 minutes to actually cross the start line!
(good think I put my number on sideways so that it could be read properly. Other MM participants will know what I mean.)

Before mile 1 arrived my feet were already more wet than they have ever been before. As the race progresses I was seeing some horrific blisters on other runners- I have never been so happy to have good socks!

It rained so damn hard! I had on a "waterproof" windbreaker and I ran with the hood pulled up over my head the whole time. It didn't do a bit of good as I was still completely and totally drenched at the end. It was also freezing cold and around mile 4 I began to have serious doubts about the wisdom of walking at all. I was quite nervous that I would get so chilled that I would not be able to get warm again...

I ran at SUCH an easy pace that running the whole thing began to seem like a viable option at the 1/2 turnaround point. I took a moment to evaluate and honestly declared that I felt quite well. VERY wet, but good. At this point I had had to pause once to re-tie my soggy shoes and I had walked thru one water station (thanks to the amazing volunteers who stood around for hours in the awful weather!)

Remembering back to my last half I knew that the second half might sneak up and get me. I still have vivid and unpleasant memories of having to talk myself into taking every step of the final 5 miles last time... I did not enjoy that. As it turned out this time I had plenty of gas left in the tank- remarkable considering my lack of long runs. During the second half I ran each mile faster than the previous one, passing people along the way.

I knew that making it in under 2:10 was going to be almost impossible given my 10K split but I ran along in a comfortable pace, checking out the scenery, laughing at the beer drinking boys at mile 11 who (from their porch) screamed "whooooo-hooooo" whenever a group of ladies ran by, and in general really enjoying my run.

As much as I enjoyed the whole epic 13.1 I was still glad to see the finish and VERY pleased to run under the clock in 2:06:50 (final net time was 2:04:09) As you all know this is MUCH slower than my PR but MUCH better than I had ever hoped for!

I had a lot to think about on my drive home.
-Clearly I made the right choice to run within my "comfort zone" as the odds of an injury with my lack of training were higher than I would have liked.
-I enjoyed this run tremendously, head cold and weather and all...

And this makes me wonder, should I just be cool with running slower than I feel I should in the name of "enjoying" it? Usually I would scream a resounding "NO" as I feel mediocrity in the name of comfort is one of the seven deadly sins!

But let's face it people: I am no elite runner nor will I ever be. Why push myself to the point of vomiting and burnout? Perhaps I can find a balance- I would prefer to be finishing in under 2 hours (seems do-able) but perhaps kick aside the goal of consistent 1:45 finishes? (insert some serious doubt *here*)

This was a whole new 13.1 experience for me and one that I honestly thought was terrific. I enjoyed listening to the conversations around me, I liked the fact that I had given myself permission to stop whenever I needed to, and I liked the fact that there was no high pressure and challenging to obtain goal hanging over my head (I have enough of that in the equine show arena, thanks!)

Anyway. I finished, got a tinfoil blanket, ate several bagels, drank a Gatorade and two chocolate milks, went home, ate half a bag of caramel creams and a slice of salmon, goat cheese and asparagus pizza, took a pile of cold meds and sat down.


Monday, October 3, 2011

The BEST race report EVER.

I have often thought that I should have made a name for myself as a beer blogger. I expect that I would have had far more to talk about on a daily basis, if nothing else...
Here is a mini race report from yesterday, using some of my favorite things,

As we all know, I had forgotten about this race because I am a:

Perhaps being a bit of a fool is a good thing. It brings the old ego down a bit and keeps me from running around yelling:

Knowing that there is NO chance of finishing in less than 4 hours also keeps me from being a big old:

One of my biggest concerns, and rightfully so, was being struck down by the dreaded and hard to avoid: (Luckily I was able to avoid the krampus! yay!)

So. In the:

I gazed out upon the EPIC weather. Best described as a:

After 0.2 miles my feet were so waterlogged that I suspected that I had misplaced my sneakers and was instead wearing:

I finally fisnished! And in 2:04:09 which isn't too shabby considering that I expected to walk the whole thing (didn't walk at all). The BEST news is that I felt GREAT, which was a welcome change from the normal feeling of: (a polite way to say shit??

I was pleased to be done, but really had a very good race. I wrapped myself up in one of those tinfoil blankets, ate some bagles, drank a gatorade and left. Much to my great delight I was home just in time for:


A "real" race report to follow, not that I really left anythng out!