Thursday, March 21, 2013

An exciting Summer in the works!

Just a quickie today!
On March 1st I decided to enter the very unique selection process for the Great Cranberry Island Ultra (yes, I said Ultra. Yes, I have claimed on SEVERAL occasions to have zero plans to run even a step over 26.2. WHOOPS.)
The process was right up my alley. You put in all the normal info and then answer, in 250 words or less a creative variety of questions. Having no idea what they were actually looking for, I plugged in the first things to pop into my head. And if you know me, you know that could have been a risky move! In the end it paid off, as I made the final cut.
I keep telling myself that this is a GOOD THING, hahaha...
I'm not gonna lie, I am very excited about this race and think it's going to be a pretty awesome mid summer adventure. Also, they claim it is the Best Race Ever- since we ALL know MDI holds that title I very much look forward to having GCI prove me wrong! Can't wait...

I'm actually VERY psyched!

On the same day that GCI announced the lucky 2013 runners Beach To Beacon registration opened as well. After running this race for the past 2 years (and getting in thru the lottery both times) I have mixed feelings. It is a great race, you see a lot of elites, it's a big deal! It is also kind of a clusterfuck. But, it's one a a very few 10K's in Maine and is a helluva good way to see ALL your running friends in one place.
And did I mention that it's 8 days after GCI? Shit.

Silly Race!

At 7:00 AM sharp Eric, Kate (my sister) and I were sitting at our computers hitting "refresh" and knowing that my BFF Angie and Eric's sister (and 6,000 others) were doing the same. Total system overload! With the exception of poor Kate we all had luck- and we are confident that she will get in via lottery. The plan is to wear cute matching outfits (you hear that Eric?) and to make it a social event not a sprint to the finish. It should be a lot of fun!

Needless to say, at the end of the day the calendar was looking even more full and my wallet even more empty. I need to get another job just to pay for my hobby, Hah!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In which I attempt Yoga, and like it!

Since December cross training has started to become more of a way of life for me. 
That being said, until I ran Hyannis and discovered that my form really started to slip badly when I got tired I was more or less half assing it. And as we all know, I was much more sore both during and after the race then I expected to be. In part because of the horrid weather but also a good reminder that i can get much stronger!
When the weather permits I have been going to Kelsey's spin class in Falmouth on Wednesdays- it is a hell of a drive to get there and any kind of bad weather makes it virtually impossible. Sure, in Falmouth the roads might be glorious but it's 40 plus miles to get to those roads... Blah!
My basement is a short flight of stairs away (and, upsettingly, can be found on Facebook as "Sufferfest Torture Chamber") and that is where I have been doing my coach approved core workouts 2-3 times oer week. 
The most shocking turn of events is that my sister talked both Eric and me into taking Yoga classes at her favorite place,  Maine Yoga House. You should have heard her sales pitch "I LOVE IT" she would shout, while prancing around in tiny yoga pants "There is NOTHING BETTER and they are AMAAAHHHHHHZING THERE!" She was quite convincing. Then she would bust out some Yoga poses and stand on her head, which was really quite impressive.

Kate is good at Yoga.

And she is very well balanced!

To say that I have been resistant to partake in Yoga is the understatement of the century.
Here is what I thought:
-It will be boring and a waste of time-
-It will be lots of lying down and a waste of time
-My ADD will be off the chain, and it will be a waste of time
-It's not running so it's a waste of time
-If I pay coin for a workout I want an ass beating. Not a waste of time!

This is how I felt about Yoga.
Before I tried it, that is!

I was quite sure that this was the deal.
This still might be my favorite part though.. Kidding, kidding...

After listening for months to Kate's amazingly enthusiastic sales pitch I agreed to give it a serious open minded try after Hyannis. The good news is that post Hyannis I was an easy sell. I knew I wanted to get stronger and more flexible (since I'm basically as flexible as a 2x4) and wished to do so without having to run 20 extra miles per week. (not that that would help the flexibility...)
Eric and I went for our first class a couple of weeks ago and everything that I had been concerned about was blasted out of my head in the first 30 seconds....
I mean this in the nicest possible way because everything was very positive and yoga-like but holy crapola. I was a sweating shaking mess by the end of the class. And had totally drank the kool-aid, haha! Bring it on, yoga!
I felt even more positive about my big Yoga life choice this past Saturday AM when I attended a class (or practice, I believe they are called- duh...) on a particularly stiff and creaky morning due to my previous days long run. I felt like shitttttttt when we started and by the end I felt great- total transformation- like I had been subjected to an ass kicking but in a good way! I went out shortly after for a recovery run and was thunderstruck, my legs felt like they hadn't had a long run in weeks. My whole damn body cooperated and was coordinated and downright organized. This is not a normal way for me to feel! 

The moral of the story is that I've added Yoga to the list of weekly activities that I am happy to do to make myself stronger and less likely to suffer a grievous injury. It's still quite a bit out of my comfort zone as I simply can not balance on one foot, nor am I able to twist my body parts around one another in the graceful way that the rest of the class does. Slowly but surely I'm figuring little parts of it out, despite my slight shock that muscling my way thru things doesn't seem to help (egads!)
And dudes, it is a serious, serious workout. Totally legit. No bullshit in that Yoga studio for sure!
Everybody kinda moves at their own pace though and I like that. The really good people do complex stuff, the less coordinated like myself just do our best and it's all good. No shame!

It will be interesting in a few more weeks to see where I'm at, hopefully one step more coordinated and one stop stronger. And pleased to have taken on a new challenge and to be enjoying it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dumb Lady Issues: In which I want to barf...

Being that I am a big tough runner, and not a shrinking violet who has "spells" it really infuriates me that every time I'm on my damn period running kicks my ASS.
(oh sorry male readers. if you can't deal with this stuff stop reading. or grow a set and remember you could probably never cope with being a woman!!)
 I have no issues getting thru my every day life during this super fun time, and compared to the stories I hear of days and days of screaming pain cramps and what not I feel fairly lucky. Until I lace up my kicks and head for the door to run, that is.....

I am a clever lady and manipulate my birth control so that (usually) the Evil Woman Time does not fall on race day (look back to the All Women's Half and The Derry 16 miler to see what happens if I don't!)
So what's my deal?
I'm not about to wimp out of my regularly scheduled workouts and I try not to over think how much they are going to suck. I hydrate, pop a couple advil and chase them with a couple pepto (and chase THAT with a friggin' shot of Jameson- I kid, I kid..) have a bland snack and go for it.
And my stomach REBELS. BIG TIME.

This has occurred to me.

I am lucky to only suffer from these unreasonable GI issues when it is Angry Ovary time but WTF?
Yesterday is a prime example. I went off on my merry way to tackle a progressive tempo run (knowing that it would be tough, but I REALLY wanted to try to get it done!) I had to ease into the workout as right from the get go my belly got all hiccup-y and bouncy (gross). I DID manage to speed it up- to the slower end of what I know I can do but still in the range of acceptable. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being walking, 10 being balls to the walls) I'd rate it as an honest 7- but it felt like a 10. On a better day I would have liked to make this workout a 9, obviously but I just couldn't pull it off. As soon as I finished I started getting super nauseated and the sick feeling lasted for a couple hours. I try to eat crackers, sip gingerale, whatever- and can't usually find any relief. IT IS STRAIGHT UP GROSS. I did avoid the dry heaves of doom, but honestly- that wouldn't have made it any worse.
So ladies of the internets. Are we all just suffering together? Is running at THAT EFFING TIME just the worst for everyone? Or am I alone in my misery? Dudes, I AM SO OVER IT!
Any advice, or just general bitching is encouraged. :-)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Boston Training Time, in which I cop a 'tude.

I feel that with just over a month to go it is high time to start overloading the blog with chit-chatter about my Boston training.
Post Hyannis I spent a few days recovering and then gently eased back into a simple and calm training plan. One which will enable me to maintain my normal inner zen like peace and perhaps maintain my current level of fitness.
Ah yes.... So calm and peaceful...

Is this true?
I am getting my ass kicked via Coach Kelsey and voluntarily kicking my own ass at every possible turn. Fuck this noise kids, this is no time to leave any possible stone unturned. I have a month to thrash myself into better shape and I am taking every possible opportunity do do just that.
I'm not so worried about rando injuries anymore because the last few months have put me into pretty good shape. So the time has come to run faster during my speed work, push harder up the hills and do my core workouts with 100% motivation. Also, I certainly don't plan to add ridiculous extra and unauthorized mileage (because that will get me hurt, duh.)
I've got a month to go and I am not going to look back on a single workout and think "well... I could have done THAT a bit better/faster/with more intent...."  I'm laying all my freaking cards on the table and getting ready to lay a serious beat down onto myself. It's go time. Go big or go home. PR or ER bitches. If Boston sucks giant hairy balls then it will be because I kick it so hard in the teeth that it cries for its mommy (ok that's not even remotely realistic) or because it is 9,576 degrees again and there is nothing that I can do about that!

I'll save all the calm, zen stuff for race day when I need to calm the hell down because I'm so ready to take it ON.
And that, my friends, is THAT. Time to kick some ass and take some names.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

January and February Recap! LATE....

I am indeed a bit late on this recap but late is better than never.
Hmmmm let's see...

Number of miles run as of March 1- 310
Number of races run- 3 (and only 2 of those actually "raced")
Number of times I stayed up past 9PM- 2. And paid for it both times...
Number of times I blew off workouts due to said shenanigans- 2
(and we all know that I never blow off workouts... oh well it was only 5 days post marathon...)
Number of shoes worn out in 2013- 1

Number of times I puked on those shoes.
One. Not Bad.
There's that overly happy guy again. *sigh*

Number of times, bizarrely, that I ran in shorts OUTSIDE. In MAINE- 1
Longest Training run- 21 miles. And doing it at a 10 mile race was a damn good call.

Number of times this could have happened if my shower was upstairs.

Longest run- 26.2 shittttttt yo....

Number of PR's- 1 (at Derry, despite the fact I swore NEVER to run faster than I did in '12)
Number of BQ's for 2013- Z-E-R-O. F-A-I-L!!! Oops...

Number of times that I was invited to Yoga and went- ONE
(more on this later)

Number of times I have had to bail on Spin Class because the weather sucks hairy balls- 3, at least. Maybe 4. Bullshit.

Number of iPods destroyed/lost/or other, requiring replacement... 1 UGH.
Number of times I have quit running- 2 (SOLID!!! I usually quit daily in the winter!)

Number of times I have had to change my long-run-day due to incredibly shit-tastic weather- 4 
(so 50% of the time is what this tells us... holy craopla winter...)
Anyway. A pretty good start to the 2013 season. I have been less than stellar at blogging lately but promise more tales of epic Boston training soon! (really, my last 10 days have mostly been recovering from Hyannis so not particularly fun to read about.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

In which I am mostly recovered, a true miracle!

I seem to be somewhat back to normal after last weekends drowning incident.
(physically. who knows if I'll ever get to "somewhat normal" in everyday life...)
Still reflecting upon the events at the race and still feeling good about it even though I didn't meet my time goal.
Actual race picture.
This was a DRY spot, no lie.

Double Fact
Still glad I didn't bitch out at mile 13...

I got back into the running way of things yesterday and it was ok. I didn't hurt and that's all I can ask for (very happy actually...) I did my core workout too and actually put forth a modicum of effort which is sure to pay off in dividends (yeah, ONE good core workout will do that. *ahem*)
I mentioned in my last blog that I have a small handle on my race nutrition.
Please note, I say that tentatively- I have had success with the following plan on 2 runs (which, sadly, is an amazing streak for me!)
In bullet points:
-2 breakfasts. I start with 2 crumpets and jam (of all things!) Then an hour to 45 minutes before the race have a plain bagel with some sort of nut butter (peanut or almond)
-1/2 a small cup of coffee. Gotta have it
-A decent sized bottle of Scratch. Go buy some now. It is the best hydration mix ever (not to sweet like some drinks, not to fizzy like others...)
-2 Pepto about 2 hours prior to the race. Because that is smart.

-While running I have a squeeze packet of baby food (purple carrots, blueberries and pears) around mile 6. This sounds gross but it is GOOD and so easy to eat. I have an awful time getting GU down and this is so nice and easy to eat. Sits much better in my idiot belly too...
-I snag several cups of too sweet but caloric Gatorade (I prefer H20 but need the sugar/calories)
-If I'm running slowly (training run) I eat a few PB crackers. If I'm running fast (race) I eat part of a honey stinger waffle around mile 15 or so. I'd actually like another fruit snack here but they are heavy to carry!
And that is it.
I plan to stick with this for a while since I have had decent luck with it thus far. I do not enjoy darkening the doors of every porta-crapper on the course, nor do I enjoy projectile vomiting. It is not fun and it does not make for a very enjoyable race or post race. Gross.

In other news I look like death in all my race photos.
What's new, you might ask....
They are also very pricey so I am not going to buy them for the "bad photo" section of my blog.