Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Stephen and I are okay. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about…two Metro trains collided yesterday afternoon, killing 7.) The crash occurred on the red line and we ride the orange line. It is unsettling to say the least but accidents will always happen and everything we do involves some form of risk. You can’t live your life worried about all the accidents and natural disasters that could occur…what kind of life would that be anyways?
With the Metro crash and the news that Jon and Kate are divorcing, it’s been a sad news morning for me. I haven’t seen last night’s Jon and Kate episode (I was already asleep when it started) and I’m debating if I even want to watch it. It might be too sad. I do know that if I watch it, it’ll be the last episode I’ll watch…I have no desire to see those kids put through their parents’ divorce on national television. I used to enjoy the show and thought it was cute but they should turn off the cameras already!! Can you just imagine being one of those kids in 5 years and being able to watch your parents’ marriage fall apart on TV? How psychologically damaging to be able to relive your parents’ divorce over and over.
On to happier things…
Thank you so much for all your comments yesterday regarding my 16 miler on Sunday!! Anytime I checked my email yesterday and had a new comment, I just smiled. You girls are awesome!!
While I was doing my 16 miler, Lynn was running her first 10K! I loved reading her race recap…whenever I hear about someone else’s race, it makes me really want to run another one soon but I need to focus on my marathon training. So I’m living vicariously through any of you running a race in the next few months.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I totally rocked it!!!
I always like to do my long runs on Saturday morning that way if I want a glass of wine with dinner on Saturday, I don’t have to worry about my run on Sunday. (When I do shorter runs, I don’t worry too much about drinking the night before but now that it’s warmer and I’m running longer distances, I want to make sure my body is fully hydrated and properly fueled.) Well, Friday night Stephen was coming back from his trip to Chicago. Long story short, he was 3 hours late and his bag went to the other DC airport…so we enjoyed a nice romantic meal in the airport waiting for his bag to arrive (I’m totally kidding about the romantic part. It was not the nice “welcome home” meal I’d envisioned).
We also had plans to help some friends move on Saturday. So by the time we went to bed on Friday night and knowing that we had somewhere to be Saturday morning, I held off on my long run and postponed it to Sunday (which ended up working out well as it rained Saturday morning). We helped our friends move and decided to meet up with them later for appetizers/drinks/dinner since we all wanted showers first. I knew that I was doing my run on Sunday morning so no drinks for me. I did get a little teasing and peer pressure to have a drink but knew that one drink would lead to more and a horrible run on Sunday. I wanted a drink (the place we were at has some great martinis and an awesome wine list) but I know from experience that drinking would cause me to have a hard time on Sunday morning.
I woke up on Sunday morning around 7, ate some breakfast, and headed out. It always takes me a while to get ready for my long runs since I like to let my food settle a bit. At first it was misting which was actually kind of nice but then it stopped. There was a slight breeze which also made running a bit more comfortable.
I won’t lie…it was hard but anytime I wanted to give up, I just told myself encouraging things and kept going. At the end, I almost started crying…partly from exhaustion but also because I couldn’t believe that I had just ran 16 miles! I carried a granola bar with me and as soon as I was done running, I ate that granola bar and drank a lot of water. (Last week when I did my 15 miler, I didn’t eat immediately after and I got nauseous and weak.)
Once I was home, I took a shower and then sat in a super cold bath for a few minutes (as long as I could stand it) and foamrolled. I was a little stiff yesterday afternoon but this morning I feel pretty good. My legs are a little stiff when I first stand up after sitting for a while but after taking 2 steps, they feel better.
Oddly enough, my abs are REALLY sore!! I concentrated on keeping my shoulders upright and having good running form instead of hunching over…that must have really worked my abs!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Didn’t mean to go off and leave you all hanging. Life has just gotten in the way lately. Here’s a bulleted list of what’s been going on with me (well, I was going to do bullets but blogger does not like them right now so imagine bullet points in front of each of the following paragraphs):
Work is pretty busy. Besides my usual responsibilities, I’ve been put on a literature review panel so I’m up to my eyeballs in academic papers and books (but it’s for an industry that I find extremely fascinating so I’m mostly enjoying it).
Stephen is out of town this week. I always feel a little off when he’s gone…like there’s no structure to my life. He’ll be back in a couple of days so I can make it until then.
I’ve signed up for the Baltimore Marathon in October!! After my 15 mile run this weekend, I bit the bullet and registered. I’m so excited!
So supremely jealous of the Canadian girls getting together last weekend in Toronto…like really, really jealous.
It’s just hit me in the last couple of weeks how sad I am that Stephen and I won’t be going to Canada this year (his family has a cabin in Ontario). I’ve only been the last two years (compared with Stephen’s 15 years) but I still feel so sad and I’m missing the relaxed atmosphere and being able to jump into the lake anytime I want and the boats and the waterskiing and pretty much everything besides the family drama that we got into last year.
I’ve read some really great books lately but want to do more thorough reviews. I’m in the middle of “Master Your Metabolism” and I’m finding it very interesting.
I’ve got an exciting announcement to make soon. Still working out the details but hopefully I’ll be able to say something in the next week.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
I wake up on Sunday morning in our hotel in Annapolis. My clothes and equipment were laid out and ready to go. When I open the curtains I notice something…it’s raining outside. There was no mention of rain in the forecast and it really surprised everyone. I get ready and walk the half mile to the start line. All the while, it’s still raining. I get to the start line where there is no cover and there are huge puddles everywhere. So I stood around for 30 minutes in the rain trying to keep moving so I didn’t get too cold.
The race started promptly at 7 and we were off. There was a huge puddle right at the start line so it took several minutes for me to actually cross the start line because everyone was trying to avoid the puddle.
I wanted to run the entire race with only a couple of short walk breaks to take in Clif Shot Blocks. I did so well for the first 5-6 miles. It continued to rain until about 45 minutes into the race when it stopped.
I ran with my iPod for the first couple of miles but because it was raining I was having trouble keeping my earphones in and then my cord got all tangled and messed up. Close to mile 3 I turned the iPod off and wrapped the cord around my sports bra so it wouldn’t get even more tangled.
At mile 6 I needed to listen to music. So I stopped and walked as I untangled my cord and got my iPod situated. Just to give you an idea of how tangled the cord had gotten, it took me nearly 3 minutes to get it untangled.
After I got my iPod going again I went back to running. About this time my feet started hurting so badly. All the rain had made my socks get wet and I was now getting blisters on the bottom of my feet. Every time one of my feet hit the ground it felt like a thousand needles going in to the bottom of my feet.
Close to mile 8 I was done. I felt like I couldn’t take another step. I started thinking of excuses I could tell the volunteers at the next aid station…my knee hurts, I think I twisted my ankle…so that I could stop running and be carted back to the finish line. A few minutes after coming up with my excuse and getting prepared for a “Did Not Finish”, I thought about what I would tell everyone when I was asked about my race. I knew I couldn’t tell them I quit because I was tired and my feet hurt.
I also thought about the phrase on my Road ID…”Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.” I knew that if I didn’t finish the race I would regret it.
At this point, I told myself I was going to finish even if I had to walk the rest of the way. My time didn’t matter but I was going to finish. I had to keep telling myself, “You can do this. You can do this. You’re tough, you’re strong. You can do it.” I did not let myself think about how bad my feet were hurting…I just put it out of my mind.
The last 4 miles was excrutiating for me mentally. I was so mentally and emotionally spent. I felt like I didn’t have any fight left in me at all. I didn’t walk the entire last 4 miles but I did a lot of walking/running intervals.
But I finished. My time was 2:31:21, a pace of 11:34 minutes per mile. Not my fastest time but not my slowest. I have pictures and I’ll post them once I get them onto the computer.
Now for a rant…
This race had the rudest non-paying-attention runners in it. I was pushed and ran into at least 3 separate times (not once did the offending person apologize). I was ran off the path and almost fell into bushes (no apology there either). It is courteous when running that if you’re going to pass someone or change your position to look around and behind you to verify that there is no one there! People were just running all over without looking around. So annoying.
And also the paths we ran on were too narrow. We ran for miles 5-11 on a bike path. The turnaround point was on the bike path so there was 2 way traffic. The bike path was way too narrow to have two way traffic! It was ridiculous! I felt so claustrophobic. Very poor planning on the part of the race officials. 3000 runners are going to need more room than a bike path, especially if there’s two way traffic.
Why was it so mentally hard?
After thinking about it, these are the reasons why I think I had such a mentally challenging time:
1) Standing around in the rain before the start of the race. I don’t mind running in the rain as it’s actually refreshing but standing around for half an hour in the rain before I started running was the worst. My socks got wet and that caused my feet to really hurt 8 miles into the race.
2) The 3 minutes it took me to untangle my earphone cord was too long of a walk break. If I take too long of a walk break when I’m running, it is so hard to get my muscles back into running mode. This was too long of a walk break but I needed my music so I’m not sure I would have been able to do anything differently.
3) I’m burned out. 3 races in 7 weeks was too much. My body needed a break and I mentally needed a break. This week will be a light running week (if I feel like running at all)…maybe a couple of 3 milers but no long run over the weekend. I’m taking the weekend off! Stephen and I will be heading to Atlantic City for a weekend away and we’re getting massages!! My body needs some R&R and I’m going to listen to it.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a very inspiring running post but sometimes running is painful and hard. But the thing with running even when it hurts and you scream “uncle” is that you still learn something about yourself. I know that I’m much more mentally tough than I thought I was. Even though it wasn’t fun, it was a good reminder for me that I’m not always going to set a new personal record every time I run and sometimes I’m just going to finish.
Some great quotes from the course
My favorite: “I have met my hero, and he is me.” ~George Sheehan
(Many thanks to Roni for remembering this.)
“Tough times never last but tough people do.” (Thank you Google!)