Monday, February 22, 2010

21--It's all a matter of perspective...


I finally did it!!  I went somewhere else to run!!  The picture might not look like much...but it was a really nice greenway near my house.  I ended up going 2.75 miles in about 33 minutes.  My calves are still giving me problems...but I also didn't use the stick today just before the run.  I used it early this morning, but not JUST before I went out like I did last time.  

((BTW, I'm NOT one of these people who can "connect the dots" between what I do and the results I get.  I tend to be one of those people who insanely continue to do the wrong thing hoping to get different results....hence the need for me to continually repeat the same things until I make changes...))


I started out fairly strong, but after running a couple of minutes, my calves were really hurting (cough..excuse...cough)...and I started SCREAMING at myself-in my head, lest anyone within earshot realize my insanity...  And then I remembered Jaime's advice.  I shifted my focus from what a crappy runner I am...what a loser I am that I can't run more than TWO minutes without I'm never going to make my marathon I'm a big fat whiney butt...   to Romans 5:3-5 (NAS)
3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
I'll save all my in-depth thoughts on that passage for a post on my other blog (eventually).   But, the outcome of today's rulk was that discipline without grace and love is just harsh legalism.  Screaming all those negative thoughts at myself in my head won't help me go faster or farther....and doing that on a continual basis will only make me forget the whole reason I'm out there in the first place.  So, I stopped yelling at myself, and I started looking around at the beautiful scenery.  Instead of thinking I'm a big loser for not doing MORE, I started appreciating what I am doing....and what it's doing in me.

It turned out to be a good day...when viewed from the right perspective!

((By the way, that first picture was just an accident, but I thought it was a good illustration....Yes, I'm completely aware how corny it is...but hopefully someone gets it without me spelling it all out.......  Maybe??))

Again, USE THE STICK BEFORE I RUN!!  STICK with the plan.  STOP beating myself up with a STICK.  
Tomorrow I start with my running group!!  I'm so excited about this.  I was told I'd be with a group that is about my same ability level (thank goodness they recruited from the local nursing home!).  I'm hoping it will prove to be an encouragement and not just more fodder for my internal critic!
Thank you for stopping in, come again soon!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautiful Blogger (Part Two)

Back when Anything Fits A Naked Man passed on the Beautiful Blogger Award to me, I was new to this wonderful blogging community.  I was only following a handful of lives.  And, like I said, a couple of them were running men who probably couldn't care less about blogging awards.  In the short time since then, however, I've amassed quite a blogroll.  (The gadget I use on the side bar doesn't update, so hides my "secret" blogaholism!)  Whereas the hard part of passing on the award back when I won it was coming up with seven the hard part is narrowing the list down to the three remaining tags I have (according to the "rules"......).

The thing is, it seems that a couple of the bloggers I passed the award to, didn't accept it.  In my estimation, that means I have the opportunity to re-gift this wonderful title two extra times!!!!

So without further ado....the winners of this prestigious award

are...(drum roll please)........
All of these blogs are GUARANTEED to make you smile...or twice your money back!!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Give-A-Way, really???

I have prided myself on not ever giving in to give-a-way greed.  I don't need a copy of a book that I'll most likely never read, or a free critique of a queary letter that I'm not in a position to write (yet)....but I started following a new blog today (gasp) that shares the same photo as I have in my title...and she is giving away some really awesome earbuds that I've decided I can't live without.  So, in a shameless attempt to win them...I'm linking the contest here.  I don't consider myself lucky, so it's doubtful that I'll win.  What's really bad is that earbuds are against race rules here, so I've been training without them anyway.  ...But, did I mention these look really cool??? :D

20...I will NOT quit.


I used "the stick" for five minutes on each calf before I went out today....then I rulked 3.35 miles in 43 minutes (including my 10 minute warm up and a five minute cool down).  My average speed was 4.7 mph which is an increase.  The whole time I had to remind myself ...TELL myself... I am not a quitter.  I don't want to be a quitter.  I will not be a quitter.  (More about this in the bottom section.)
One section of my run was on a road that has a bunch of little cypress (maybe cedar) trees planted an equal distance apart.  I started running at the start and told myself to run to the end (maybe 1/5 a mile).  I immediately wanted to quit so I started counting the trees and kept telling myself "just one more" until I made it to the end.

At 31 minutes, I was at the end of my street.  I had just told myself I would not quit, but seeing my house I thought it would be perfectly acceptable for me to finish my rulk since I was originally only supposed to go 30 minutes under the plan I started with.  I felt like the biggest quitter.  My neighbors were all out working in their yards and I imagined them all saying to me, "You're a quitter!!"  Never mind they had no idea how far I'd been or how long I'd been out there...never mind they would NEVER say that to me...  So I pushed myself and kept going.  I am SO GLAD I DID.

I love my new shoes!!  No shin splints today!  They are not like running on pillows which is what I would prefer, but they do what they were designed to do--give my fee the support they need.
I am lazy.  Yes, it's true and I admit it as much as I'd like to deny it.  (More about this in the next section.)
I need to drink more water.  My mouth felt like a ball of cotton about 15-20 minutes in.
I can CERTAINLY do more than I think I can. 
I have said it before, but I haven't done it yet---I am going to go somewhere else to run.  I don't think it will make me not want to quit, but I THINK it will make it a little harder since my house won't be right there.  Another idea I has was to have my husband drive me out about 3-5 miles and drop me off.  I'd be forced to finish then!!
I was telling my husband about how I was feeling and he said he thought running had lost the appeal to me.  That's just not true.  I really love it.  I love the way it makes me feel.  I think about it all the time--even now just an hour after my internal debate, where I had to force myself not to quit, I wish I was still out there.  I long for the day when I can go out and run for hours.  But, the thing is, I'm LAZY.  This is something that's going to take work for me to do.  I can't just go out and do what I want to's going to REQUIRE perserverance--something I've been short on my whole life.  I can act like I can do anything I put my mind to...but the truth is when what I put my mind to gets hard, I decide to change what I've put my mind to doing!!  
I'm going to ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH A DECISION I'VE ALREADY MADE---to keep keep training for the keep remembering this is a goal I made for keep seeing myself crossing the finish line... 
Most of all, I'm going to win the race against myself.  I can do it.  I will do it.
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

19...Did I Say "Every Day"??

The good thing about blogging my runs...accountability.  The bad thing about blogging my runs...accountability.  I admit it, I skipped a day.  I spent the better part of yesterday reading blogs and writing not one but TWO posts on my other blog.  I guess I'll use the excuse that my calves were KILLING ME...and although that is actually the truth, it really is an excuse for not doing what I had already decided I would do (run every day).  And, I think I am going to stick with ever other day until next week when I'll get the new plan from the running group I joined.

So, today, with calves that were unwilling to get with the program, I went 2.8 miles in a walk/hobble/jog that took about 35 minutes.  (Yes, another of my "goals" that I backed down on--to go for 45 minutes total.)  Today was a "something is better than nothing" kind of training day.  This was the most painful day I've had.  I was THRILLED to make it through a somewhat decent, albeit babystep, "walun" (more walk than run).  (Yes, I'm a whiney baby--I own it--but at least I got out there; I did push myself much harder than I would have in the past.)
1) Something IS better than nothing.  
2) Most importantly...I went to Fleet Feet and found out not only have I been running on just about "the worst shoe" (according to the guy who helped me), they are a size too small!!  I thought they were pretty good shoes, but after watching a video of my stride and then being fitted with a better shoe, I can see that I was wrong!!  So, I bought a new pair of Saucony Hurricanes...and some killer inserts.  I can't wait to try them out (day after tomorrow!!)
3)  My calves are hurting because I have shin splints.  I used to get them on the outside of my shins, so I didn't think that was the problem (since my pain is on the inside of my calves).  As it turns out, that's exactly what's going on.  My darling husband (who used to be a star cross country runner back in the day) gave me some exercises to try.  I also bought something called The Stick that is supposed to help with "trigger points" (much like the foam roller, but smaller).

2)  Use the stick-several times a day, but especially before and after my runs.  
3)  Do the exercises my hubby suggested, along with some suggested by the trainer I worked with a while back.
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

18--DARN HRM!!


Today was a hard training day....I think it's all because I read THIS BLOG just before I went out today!!  (Just kidding...thanks "reachdown" for reminding me "it's all in my mind...until I pass out, then it's physical"!!) 

Today I found myself HOPING I would actually pass out!  My darn heart rate monitor just wouldn't cooperate and LIE to me.  My heart is getting stronger and a much faster rate than either my body or my mind.  My HR seems to almost plummet when I stop running.  I know that's a good thing, but my calves were really hoping for a different reading!!  They are really tight.  I pulled out the foam roller, but it's going to take more than the few minutes I've spent with it to work out the problem.  The question I have to ask myself is "Do I want to rise above my complaints or continue to sabotage my goal?"

Today I guess I made the choice to complain because I didn't go the full 45 minutes...I stopped at 31 minutes (17 minutes run intervals).  My distance increased a bit because my average speed increased, but it certainly didn't FEEL good.  (Reminder to train by my instruments!!)


1) Continue to train by my instruments...NOT what I feel like.  The day was better than I thought it would be, and 2 weeks ago this would have been a good day...

2) I MUST have a plan.  Just winging it does NOT work for me.  AND, changing the plan really doesn't help me.  RUN THE PLAN.  TRUST THE PLAN.  (I've outgrown the plan I've been following, which is why I've tried to modify it....but I'll actually be getting a new one next week, so I'm just going to flounder along for one more week...)

3) I do MUCH better first thing in the morning.  I've tried different times of day, but first thing in the morning seems to be my very best time.


Keep going....stop whining...stretch...use the foam roller...use Icyhot.  (Sorry, Joan, I just don't know that I can get in a bathtub of ice water, even though I've heard many times how great it is...I'm not there yet!)

I'm also going to look into driving somewhere to do a run rather than continuing to run in my neighborhood.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again many times before I actually DO something about's incredibly BORING to go around and around in the same streets over and over.  

 Thanks for stopping by, come again soon!!


Monday, February 15, 2010

17-Proving determination is NOT the problem!


Whew! What a day.  Anticipating snow and ice, I bought a pair of Yaktrax yesterday.  I went to sleep last night dreaming of waking up to several inches of snow on the ground and still being able to run.  Only slightly disappointed, I woke to find a dusting of snow on the grass, and to roads that appeared clear and dry. told me it was 20 degrees outside, and that it "felt like 15", so I bundled up and set out...only to come straight back to the house to get another layer and set out again...only to come back to the house when I realized the sidewalks and roads were covered in black ice!
I have a treadmill that I've been meaning to get moved into the I decided today would be a great day to get that done.  After I maneuvered it out from behind the boxes and yard sale junk that currently occupies the space meant for cars, I realized it wasn't going to easily fit in the front door.  I decided I'd just plug it up out there and not have to change out of my cold weather clothes.  I found an extension cord, got it untangled and strung out across the room...only to find it was not a 3-prong cord.  Then I found a 3-prong cord, that wasn't long enough to reach....It was one thing after another but I finally got an hour in on the dreadmill.  

I learned that I'm really glad I didn't bring that thing in my house!!  I want to keep it as a last resort, outside and hard to get to, lest I get in a habit of taking the "easy" way out and hopping on that horrid machine!!
I learned that if there's black ice out on the roads and sidewalks, it's most likely going to be gone by noon anyway.  On a more serious note, I also learned that I really need to start stretching after my runs.  I'm going to have to drag out the foam roller because my calves are really tight.


I'm going to drag out the foam roller and stretch after my run tomorrow--which will be done out on the ROAD, even if I have to wait until noon!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

16-From Saturday's Run


I was out of town all weekend so my schedule got a little off track.  My normal running days would have been Friday and Sunday...but instead I went Saturday and I'll go today and then again tomorrow.  I increased my running intervals from 15 minutes up to 30 minutes!!  I walked my usual 10 minute warmup, then trained to the HRM (staying between 165ish to 175ish), then walked to cool down for 5 minutes.  Since I was out of town I got to train on HILLS!!!  I am going to have to find some hills around here to train on because that adds a whole other level to intensity!  (Duh, I know.)  It's beautiful where my friend lives--out in the country with farm land and forrest all around.  It had snowed before we got there so, although the roads were clear, the ground was mostly white every where.  I felt like I could have stayed out there for hours...well, I wish I had felt like I could have stayed out there for hours.  That brings me to:

 ((Warning: the following section is FULL of psychobabble...not meant for mere light reading!!  
Feel free to skip on down to the next won't hurt my feelings one bit.))

The way I see it, there are four main components to me as a runner: my physical heart (not to be confused with the 2nd component...), my determination/drive/moxie, my body, and my mind.  

My heart is pretty strong, despite slight mitral valve prolapse/mitral regurgitation, and I can tell it's gotten stronger in the last month.  As far as moxie...I am determined to continue running...more than that, I enjoy it. I don't get out there because I have to.  I don't dread it.  I don't want to love it, I just DO!!  Those two parts are strong....but there's a problem with one or both of the other two...

I used to think my body just wasn't physically able to run.  My legs would hurt, my lungs would feel like they were going to explode, my heart would beat out of my get the picture (all those things your body does when it's out of shape).  After some considerable pride-swallowing, I made the decision I can run.  I say it took some humility because I had to admit running for any length of time, much less a whole marathon, is not something I can just go out and do, I have to build up and train.  

The "problem" is, almost every time I start my first interval, I think I have an ache or a pain somewhere.  It sometimes feels like I'm running in super slow motion and can't seem to speed up.  I can't describe it.  It's almost like my body is behaving completely contrary to what I want it to do!!  Intellectually, I know my body is stronger than I think it is.   To wit, I haven't been sore, I haven't felt fatigued, I haven't thrown up or collapsed after a run.  So I think the idea of not being able to make my body react the way I want it to must be all in my mind.  But my mind is the one that has decided to run, so why would my mind be causing problems???

As I was running Saturday, I spent the better part of my 45 minute "rulk" debating whether my mind or my body was the weakest link.  They were both pointing a proverbial finger like school children deflecting responsibility to the other one!  I think, because of all I said in the previous paragraph, I have decided my mind is the main saboteur keeping me from my best training.  Unfortunately I can't just tell it, "goodbye" like they do on the show...although my husband might say I did that long ago!!  

So, what I learned Saturday is that I have to continue to train by "my instruments" as my darling husband so aptly put it in his comments to a previous post.  My body is good, my heart is good, my determination is strong.  All of these components MUST overcome my mind.

What I think is funny is that if my mind were weak, I wouldn't be having this "discussion" in the first place!  The thoughts in my head really do have the power to override all the others....which is why it's so important to remember that running was a decision first made in my mind!!

((Hey, I warned you--complete psychobabble!!  My husband says, "Welcome to (his) world!"))


In an effort to bring my mind into submission to my drive, on top of the change I implimented Saturday (increasing my run interval time to 30 minutes), I've decided to run every day.  The only thing that might change that decision is if the running group I joined that starts up next week has a different plan.  In that case, I'll simply follow their plan.  

I'm completely aware that this whole thing might make no sense to anyone other than me...but I'm okay with that.  On the off chance anyone reading has any idea what I'm going through, I'd LOVE to hear your suggestions....even if you're reading this years after the fact because chances are I could still be dealing with this issue!!!
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Layout

I sure wish I knew more about HTML code...Although, in the time I've spent looking for a running layout I could have taken a class and learned!  I've tried to find an "easy" template builder, but so far no luck.  And, I have yet to find a good running blog ready-made template.  This is a stock Blogger layout with a picture off the web (no, not me....I only look like that running in my dreams!).  But I want the picture to the left and the title to the right. 

Maybe I can whine enough that my SOFTWARE WRITING husband will help me fix it.  (HINT, HINT...honey, prepare to be begged!!)

Let me know what you think.  One thing I don't like is visiting a blog with a horrid layout.  Everybody has their own taste, but there are layouts that are just generally displeasing to everyone.  ((Kuddos to Anything Fits A Naked Man on her new looks FANTASTIC!!))  So...tell me what you think either way. 

See you tomorrow after my run!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What am I doing?/What have I done?

It's 12:30 in the afternoon and I'm about to go out for my run.  I had hoped it might warm up a little bit from this morning's temperature of  28 degrees, and indeed it has, to a whopping 30!  ("Feels like" 23!!!)  I'm going to bundle up as much as I think necessary to stay warm enough, but not get hot, and hit the streets.  If someone would have told me a few months ago I'd actually be looking forward to running in sub-freezing temperatures, I would have said they were crazy...and yet it's absolutely TRUE.

I'll finish the post when I get back....

...Well, I didn't freeze to death.  Not even close.  I wore tech tights and thin wind pants, a tech hoodie, a long sleeved t-shirt, and an ear warmer.  I think it was one long-sleeved t-shirt too much.  Who knew??  At some point I've got to get used to NOT dressing as warmly as I think I need to.  ((You might be wondering why I didn't just take the t-shirt off....... because I strap my iPhone to my arm, over my shirts.  To take it off would require more work than it would be worth.  I'd rather complain!!))

If I had trained without my HRM I would have thought it was a terrible training day.  It felt really hard today.  Without the reassurance of cold hard facts, I would have been just a tad discouraged.  My stomach hurt a little bit and my ears have been ringing all day.  I think it's sinus funk.  Having said all that, I still went a little over 2.5 miles.    I didn't run more total time (a little less in fact), but I went faster than I have been going.  All-in-all, I'm pleased.

I'm going to be out of town this weekend which means I'll be training in a new area.  I'm really looking forward to the change in scenery.

Thanks for stopping by, come again soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fifteen...It's Official

About the time I would have usually been getting ready to run it was sleeting cats and dogs!  So I cleaned house first (my usual Monday chore).  About the time I got done it had stopped sleeting, and was snowing a blizzard!!  (An Alabama version of blizzard--a lot of flakes, but no accumulation anywhere.)

I decided I'm officially crazy because I could NOT wait to get out there and run--even in the snow!  By the time I was all bundled up and ready to go it had stopped snowing, but it was still about 35 degrees.
Today's run was much harder because I got very little sleep last night; I can really tell a difference in the way my body operates on less sleep.  I was much slower than usual....but, my heart rate took a while to crank up, and recovered very quickly.  I ran a total of 12 minutes and my recovery intervals totaled about 3 minutes.  The cool thing is the break down.

After my 10 minute warm up, I started running (very slowly-the inside of my right knee and the outside of my left calf sort of hurt----not injury pain, just niggly ache that I knew would eventually go away).  I ran until my heart rate got up to 175--it took 4:23!!!  Then I walked to recover to a heart rate of 167 (which took only 30 seconds) and started running again.  I trained up to a max HR of 180-determined to make it all the way up a slight hill without stopping-and recovered down to a HR of 165.  The rest of my run intervals were: 1:07, 2:09, 2:56, and 1:34.  My recovery intervals were: :42, :46, :56.  I did my usual five minute cool down.

I have been doing a lot of research on training to my heart rate.  I don't have it all figured out, but I'm learning a little bit every day.  I did find out what I'm doing is a good thing.  The way I'm doing it and/or the heart rates I'm using might not be the best, but I'll get all that figured out eventually. 

I'm really excited to see improvement, even on a day when I was tired and my legs were in protest.  Even more exciting to me is that I really love it.  I know there will be days when I won't feel like getting out there, and I hope on those days I can remember how good it makes me feel...and how much I've loved it every day so far!!

My 10K training group starts two weeks from tomorrow!!  I can not wait.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!


Sunday, February 7, 2010


One of my favorite bloggers, Anything Fits A Naked Man, gave me an award!!! 

Other than the gold medal in math when I was in the 9th grade, I can't remember ever winning an award this cool!!  But, I've been a tad reticent in my acceptance because it came with a two conditions!

The first condition was to list seven interesting things about me...I still haven't made my list.  But, I'm a "verbal processor", which means I talk (or write) a lot of words in order to figure out what it is that I'm thinking (or the point I'm trying to make).  This is the opposite of "most people" who think about what they're going to say, put their words together in a coherent form, and then speak!  I talk and talk (or write and write) then try to clean it up afterwards.  I'm so thankful for a husband who not only completely understands this, he frequently lets me "get my words out".  This is the very reason my profile name is "getting my words out", and why my other blog is called Using 100 Words When 10 Would Suffice

I'm going to count the above paragraph as the first two interesting things!!

1) I am a verbal processor!!
2) The meaning behind my profile name and other blog name.  (If I get desparate I'll come back and count this as two, but I think if I write long enough I'll come up with enough things to say!!)

3) I was a Middle Eastern Dancer!  Let me be clear here..."Belly Dancer" is not the proper term for the art in which I participated.  In ...Naked Man's blog post today she discussed pecking orders.  This dance form is no different from anything else, there's a certain caste system.  "Belly Dancing" refers to the "beer and pizza" form of this kind of dance, whereas the label "Middle Eastern Dancer" is reserved for the higher-ranking level of performers of all kinds of dance styles from the Middle East.  I started in about the ninth grade, and continued until well into college.  I quit because my first husband didn't understand the difference between the lowly "Belly Dancer" and "Middle Eastern Dancer" since we all wore close to the same outfits!

4) ....HEY, you know what??  Look back at the first sentence of this post.....that's going to be my number four!  I won the gold medal in math in the 9th grade!  Interestingly enough, the same day I won the award, I was also suspended from school!!  It's a long story, but I didn't do it.  I was innocent of the charges brought against least in my 14 year old eyes!  Having a 15 year old daughter, I can see how what I did might have been perceived as insubordination and disrespect, but, I was NOT GUILTY.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

5)  I have a black thumb.  Other than some peace lillies that have managed to keep themselves alive in my presence, I have killed every plant I've ever owned...even several cacti! ...Naked Man has not only a green thumb, but a green ARM as evidenced by this post...and I'm green with envy!  After reading that post, I ran out and got bought some plants for containers perched by my front door.  You could hear the poor things screaming as I reached for them, "PLEASE, NOT ME...PICK THAT ONE OVER THERE!!"  I was once given a potted Easter Lily with a card that said, "Just like Jesus gave his life for yours, this lily gives its life for your brief enjoyment."  (It lived about 3 weeks...)

6)  Okay....I'll admit it...I love BELLY BUTTONS!!!  It's not to the fetish level of love..and I have NO IDEA why, but I just love them.  When my kids were little I used to "zerbert" their little belly buttons until they couldn't breathe from laughing so hard.  My husband has the best belly button in the world, but he'll hardly allow me to even look at it and certainly won't allow me to touch it!


7)  I used to be terrified of heights and mice but have overcome both phobias.  I believe the acrophobia started when I was about 10 or so.  I was climbing on a rope ladder and fell.  It knocked the breath out of me.  It got so bad that I couldn't even go up on a step ladder.  I overcame that fear when my first husband and I bought an old house that needed a new roof.  We couldn't afford to hire a roofer, so we were forced to do it ourselves.  I decided there was no reason I had to remain afraid so I went up and down the ladder, and walked all over that roof (6/12 pitch, with a GORGEOUS view) until I got over it.  

The fear of mice started when I was pregnant with my son.  We had a mouse problem that I don't care to go into.  Although I'm "over" the musophobia (yes, that's a real word...I looked it up!), I don't think I'm over it enough to go back to the beginning again!  I overcame it by going to PetSmart again and again until I could pick them up without having heart palpitations...and kept going until I thought it was actually fun to play with them.

Now for condition number two...I have the privilege of passing this award on to seven other bloggers.    Here goes...drum roll, please.  And, the winners are...:

I'll have to reserve the other three "tags" because my blog world is about the size of Toad Suck Arkansas (actually much smaller), and I've just "moved in".  A couple of the blogs I follow are written by ultra-marathon running men who would pay as much attention to the award as my cat pays to the word "NO"!  ...and the others have all already won the title!

Okay, tomorrow back to posts about running!!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


BOY, do I have a lot to say about today!!

I was nervous.  I don't know why really, but I was.  There ended up being about 175 people in the race (well, if they all showed up).  It was 35 degrees out there, but according to it "feels like" 26.  The winds were from 13 mph with gusts up to TWENTY THREE miles per hour!!  ((When the race was over, it started SLEETING!!))  I've said all that to say, I was happy to just get out there and run, much less in a race!!

It seemed like everyone there was a serious runner (who else would get out in these conditions??....and so, what does that make me??  !!!).  My "goal" became to not finish last.  I lined up toward the back but not at the very end, because I knew I wasn't going to walk, at least not to start out.  One mistake I made was not warming up.  I told myself I was going to, but when I got there I just didn't.  I really felt like I would look stupid because I knew I wasn't going to RUN, so it felt silly to warm up to jog in the back of the pack.  That really was a mistake I won't allow myself to make again.  I don't think it "hurt" me at all...but it's just something I need to make sure I follow through on next time.

We got bad news just before the start of the race.

It rained all day yesterday so the greenway we were running on was flooded.  They had planned for us to go up and over the flooded area in a school parking lot, but due to a function at the school, that wasn't possible.  So, they had to shorten the race.  They hadn't determined the exact distance, but it ended up being 1.7 miles.  I was disappointed, but not as much as the "seasoned" runners.  I think, for me, it turned out to be a good thing.

I stared out at a quick pace (for me) of 8.5 min/mile.  My heart rate took about 2 1/2 minutes to get up to 175, which I think is great.  I decided I wanted to keep running, as opposed to doing intervals of running and walking, so I slowed down to a rhythm of a 10.5 min/mile pace.  After about NINE MINUTES my heart rate went above 180 so I slowed it down a little more, determined to keep running at least until I made it to the 1/2 way point....or (giving myself an out) until I just couldn't do it anymore.

There were two separate couples who passed me along the way.  The guys were obviously going very slow for the women.  I wanted so bad to run with them, but I knew if I sped up my heart rate would spike up and I wouldn't be able to keep running.  So I resisted the urge to compare myself to these people I knew nothing about and just keep running.

The "hot rods" made to the 1/2 way point (which wasn't even in my sight) and were already on their way to the finish line as I was still plugging along.  I was convinced I was last, because the guy who runs at the end had passed me up (good indication of race position).  I started telling myself that I was crazy for even being out there.  I actually had the thought that I could tear off the race number, turn around and go back to the car and no one would even have to know.  ((I told you before, I've been known to quit when things get difficult...))  But, I PUSHED PAST that babble in my head and just kept running, determined to finish the race even if I was dead last.

When I got to the 1/2 point, I didn't take any water because I didn't want to slow down even more...last was bad enough.  To my surprise, when I turned around I realized I was NOT last!!!!!  There were several people behind me!  I almost cried.

My new goal was to run the whole way...and to not let any of the people behind me pass me up!!  My hope was to be able to pass someone before I crossed the finish line, but I was going to settle for not being last and running the whole way (even at a snail's pace!).  Just ahead of me I saw one of the couples...and the woman had started walking!  I wanted to kick it up but I certainly didn't want to run out of steam and look foolish.  So instead I just kept running at the same slow and steady pace---and I PASSED THEM!!!  (YEA ME....)  I kept telling myself that even if she caught her second wind and passed me again, I would focus on me and me alone-but it sure did feel good to PASS HER (again, there was a guy with her, but it was obvious he was there for moral support).

About that time I started seeing people, who had already finished the race, circling back to keep running (my inspirations).  There was one lady who was obviously older than I who came by; I couldn't resist telling her how awesome she was.  I asked one older man how far it was to the finish.  He was so nice.  He told me it was just ahead, that I was doing great, and he encouraged me to keep going.  About that time I saw the other couple who had passed me earlier....I resisted the urge to make it a competition with them.  I remembered to focus only on ME and what I was doing...and I PASSED THEM!!!!

I could hear the people at the finish line cheering, although it was around a corner so I couldn't see it.  I heard two sets of feet behind me and was convinced it was one of couples I had passed earlier.  I knew I was giving all I could because my heart rate was up to about 183 at that point.  Disheartened, I kept running at the same slow and steady snail's pace I had settled into.  I about jumped up and down with glee when two men who had already finished the race, and apparently run past me earlier, overtook me--it WASN'T EITHER OF THE COUPLES!!

Just then, in my moment of pure race bliss...I saw IT--the FINISH LINE!!!  I decided that I still had run left and wanted to leave it all there so I kicked my legs in high gear, ignored my heart for the moment, and finished as strong as I possibly could---at a whopping SEVEN minute mile pace!!

I stuck around to hear results, because I thought I might get lucky and there wouldn't be any other 40-45 year old women running that day--meaning I would WIN a prize!!!  And, guess what??!!  I DID win....FOURTH in my age group.  I don't have any idea how many of us were there, I just know that I was FOURTH and I'm happy with it.

To recap:
  • I finished the whole race!
  • I wasn't last, and even finished fourth in my age group!
  • I ran the whole way!
  • I passed FOUR PEOPLE!
  • All in 35 degree, wet, overcast conditons.

What a GREAT DAY!!!!

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!


Today is the Day!! (Part One)

Part One (written at 4:30am)

Well, I planned on getting to bed early last night...but circumstances of life kept me up until about a little after 11.  That wouldn't have been bad if I'd have been able to sleep until 6ish...but, no.  I woke up at 4ish!

My husband says this is a sure sign that my metabolism is picking up.  That would be a really good thing!  See, I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  Ominous sounding name, but innocuous condition.  Basically the thyroid controls the metabolism, and mine hasn't been working right.  I started on medicine in November (which is the only thing that can be done).   I'm not sure if running has helped to speed up my metabolism, or if the change in my metabolism is helping me run.

I'm very excited about today.  I would be excited about getting out for my run today, but there's something decidedly different about running a race vs. just going out for a run.  I can't quite put my finger on it....

Wish me luck!!  (I'll post again when I get home!)

Friday, February 5, 2010

5K = 3.1 miles

I've decided to run a race tomorrow!  It's the Grissom High JROTC Wounded Warrier 5K.

I've done three 5Ks in the past (all were Races for the Cure), but I didn't do any of them to participate in a race.  The first one was in 1996.  I went just to be a part of something.  It was the most amazing experience!  It's my understanding that was the first year it was held in Arkansas and there were 7400 participants.  I did the whole thing pushing a double stroller (walking mostly, with some bursts of running)!  My daughter was just over 2 years old, and my son was just about to turn 4.  The following year, if I remember correctly, the participation grew to over 10,000.  Did I mention that all the participants in the 5K race were women!!!???  They had banned strollers in the 5K so my son and I did the 1 mile "fun run", while I pushed my daughter in the stroller.  He loved every minute of it...well, he loved the parts where we ran.  Mostly he loved that I was huffing and puffing saying I couldn't keep up with him!

Both times, it was amazing.

Several years later, after my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, my family (second husband, son, daughter, and step-son) walked in the Race for the Cure in NW AR.  That was not a good day for our family...but that's a story I don't care to tell.  We all wore "In Celebration of" placards on our shirts.  The race suddenly took on a whole new meaning.  Two years later, I participated in the race again.  This time as a woman going through her second divorce, with two friends who invited me along just to get me out of the house!

This will be the first 5K I will run as a true race participant!!  I am so excited.  I just saw the notice yesterday, thanks to being signed up on First Place Athletics' mailing list.  A big thanks to those guys for being so much more than just a store!

I'm not expecting to set any records or anything.....well, you know what, that's not true.  I will be setting a record, a personal record.  No matter what my time ends up being, it will be the fastest time I've ever set in a 5K to be sure.  So, I should say I have no expectation of winning, even in my age group.....but even that isn't true, depending on how you define "winning".  I'm going to be a winner in my own eyes just by doing the race.  I just won't be crossing the finish line first...but my hope is that I also won't be finishing it last!!  But, since this isn't a big time race (it's not the Huntsville Track Club list of races), and it's not a race for some cause...that might not be the truth either.  BUT, I'm still not going to let that stop me!

Wish me luck!  (You don't say "break a leg" to a runner, just "good luck"!!)  I don't know what to expect, but I'll be sure to post tomorrow night!!

Oh, by the way...that little 10 minute work out I did yesterday that I didn't think really did anything for me.......did something for me!  My back, arm, calf, and (clears throat)... gluteus maximus muscles are a tad sore this morning!  How about that?!

Thanks for stopping by, come again soon!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lucky Number 13!!

WOW...I trained completely by my heart rate this morning.  I didn't look at my times at all after the 10 minute warm up walk.  I ran until my HR went to 175, then walked until it went down to 165.... I just uploaded the data to trainingpeaks and WOW!!  My first run was 2 1/2 minutes long!!  I ran a total of ELEVEN minutes and walked a total of six (not including warm up and cool down) (yes, I went over on my interval running just a couple of minutes).  None of my running intervals were under a minute!!  PROGRESS!!! 

I didn't get enough sleep last night (5 hours--which is about 2 less than I "need") and I could feel it this morning.  But, when I got home I did a 10 minute "G-ball" work out.  That was the first time I've done that "work out" and I can't say that I really felt I got anything at all from it.  The only reason I did that one is because I couldn't find my 10 minute Pilates DVD!!  I know if I had done that work out I would have felt it!  We'll see tomorrow!

I'm really looking forward to the day I can go out and run for an hour.  I used to have my doubts that would ever be possible, but (most days) I don't anymore!  I just have to keep working at it.  It's like any other skill in life, to get better you have to practice.  Chess, writing, golf, strength, math, piano, cooking.......even marriage!!

I have a lot to say today, but no time.  Maybe I can practice my writing skills later!!

Thanks for stopping by, come again soon!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I woke up WAY before dark:30 this morning so I could get my run in.  Although I have the BEST job in the world (see this post in my other blog), I do still try to maintain a schedule.  Tuesdays are full, so when my every-other-day run falls on this day, I have the choice to either swap days, or run in the dark.  I already tried swapping days and I hated it.  I am positive that I'm obsessed with running now, because there's no way I would voluntarily go two days in a row without it!

When I got up, my leg was hurting  a little bit and my stomach sounded like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors ("FEED ME").  I had just gotten good and warmed up when my 30 minutes was over.  I might have kept going, but I feared for any neighbors that might be out and about.  (That's a reference to the movie, so if it doesn't make sense, check out the link!)  Seriously, I'm sticking to the plan so even if I FEEL LIKE doing something different, I'm committed to doing what I already decided to do.

Having said that, I trained to my heart this morning!  Heart rate that is.  I haven't figured out the textbook way to do this quite yet, but I worked out with a personal trainer a about a year and a half ago (strength not running) who set some heart rate zones for me that I'm (roughly) using...along with "perceived exertion levels".  At my "max", 180bpm, I feel like I can't breathe.  At 175, I'm just to the point that I don't want to talk (or sing, since I run alone).  So, starting with my first interval, I ran until my HR got up to 175 (about a minute and a half), and then walked until it was down to 165 (about 30 seconds).  I repeated that until it was time to cool down.  (Okay, so I did cheat a little bit, running a couple of minutes longer, ending with only a 2 minute cool down.  Yeah, I remember what I just said about "sticking with the plan", but I don't think I veered too far off!!)

I had SEVERAL intervals that were longer than 1:15...and most recovery intervals were about 30 seconds.

I'm not going to pretend that's "good" in relation to ALL runners, but I do know that's "good" for me.  AND, I do know that's an improvement--after just TWELVE training days!!

And, yes, I sing when I run!  I stopped using earphones when I found out they aren't allowed in races.  Instead, I play music on my iPhone (via the external speaker), just loud enough for me to hear, and I sing along.  Some (obviously not all) of the songs  I listen to are in my "Playlist" on the side bar.   (Feel free to mute it if it's not your thing.)

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Just Get It Over With

I had been thinking about it all weekend long.  I knew that today would be the day I'd get to do it, and I couldn't wait.  I excitedly talked about it all morning.  I planned for it, prepared for it, and was eager for the time I could begin.  After dropping my daughter off at school, I raced home to get started.

My eagerness soon turned to frustration.  It seemed as though I was just going in circles, getting no where fast.  Knowing I still had a long way before I could call it finished, I kept pushing myself forward....concentrating on the end result. 

At one point, I hit the "wall".  So, that's what it feels like??  I've heard about it many times, but haven't ever really had the experience before.  All I could think was, "I just CAN'T go on any longer....I. Have. To. Stop. NOW."  And, yet, there was an urge inside me that kept me moving toward my goal.  Through the frustration, through the desire to quit, ever pressing onward. 

I knew once it was over I could just RELAX, knowing I had given it my all, knowing that, at least for today, it would be finished.  It seemed to go on forever, and the end loomed too far ahead for me to envision it.  I plugged on, with the knowledge that as long as I kept moving, I would be finished soon enough.

Alas, after pushing past the desire to give task is complete.  My house is finally clean!!

Did you think I was talking about running??