This Damn Long Run Wall

I’ve been away for a while. I can’t break the 6 mile mark and when you keep slamming your giant gourd of a head into the same wall over and over and over you don’t really want to taco ’bout it. (2 things. 1. It took three tries to spell gourd 2. If you don’t know the taco reference google “husband illustrates drunk wife’s joke” and find the video about the corn chips. You’ll thank me)

Back to running. Tonight I ran 50 minutes. And by ran I mean I ran 5 minutes, walked 1-2 minutes, rinsed and repeated. It was a gorgeous night, a little hot in the blasting sun, but the Charles was buzzing. Pretty soon it’s going be filled with thousands of college freshman who think their God’s gift to the city of Boston. For tonight I enjoyed it with all the other locals.

A funny thing happened. I run with a breathe right strip. It looks funny but I’ve always said it helps despite the looks and side eyes from friends and family. Tonight I didn’t have a strip but thought “what the heck. Maybe it is all in my head” and ran anyways. Turns out I was right all along, I need the strip. When I breathe hard all that air flowing quickly through my tiny sinus passages vacuums my nose shut. I’m not kidding. It would have been hilarious if I wasn’t gasping for breath.

On top of that I learned something else tonight. Don’t dress for and run in late summer weather and then go into a Whole Foods produce section without a winter coat. You’ll freeze your arms right off. And then I’ll spill wine on you. Because you can’t lift your own glass. Because you have no arms. And we’re drinking wine. And we’re getting drunker. And let’s face it. Helping a person drink out of a wine glass sober would be hard, never mind drunk. Oh. Wait! Crazy straw. Problem solved. Feel free to enter cold places after a hot run. And be the girl drinking red wine from a crazy straw. Sounds kind of genius, doesn’t it. I might actually do it with my arms still attached. No more stains! I realize I’ve strayed quite a bit here. But I’m rocking my first runner’s high in two weeks and it’s nice. I’m also going to crash in 30 minutes and I’ve not finished dinner yet.

This week I’ve got another day of cross training, another 50 minute run, two rest days, and then it’s time to tackle the long run again. I’m nervous, but it’s gotta happen some time. I got close last week (5.5 out of 6 miles, though the last 2 were mostly walking). I just have to keep pushing ahead and hope that wall is turned to dust. Off to devour dinner, shower, and pass out. Yay sleep!

Hearts and this delicious panini from WF I’m eating for dinner because – um 50 minutes of running. In 78 degree hot sun. After gyming it at 6:30 this morning before work. Alone. Because I was stood up. (Still love you JP)

5 miles. What whaaaaat.

Fact: My half marathon is in 54 days.
Fact: I was sidelined waiting for my back to heal for 5 weeks
Fact: I’ve been not eating well and have been a little willy nilly with my training plan
Fact: My best friend got married this past weekend and and I had a bunch of other things to take care of last week and didn’t sleep enough. Instead of running I chose sleep a couple of times last week.
Fact: Tonight I ran 5 miles.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3rtyerfHZ1qir45xo1_500.gif

Sorry. Can’t help it. I love Ben Wyatt and I love that .gif!

The final tally was 5 miles. In 1 hour 13 minutes 24 seconds. I ran 6 bridges over the Charles. I ran into 1 co-worker. And I was attacked by 4 mosquitoes. This is the furthest I’ve run since March of 2012 when I ran a St. Patrick’s day race. And to be honest, it doesn’t really feel like I ran 5 miles. It feels like I ran 2.5.

In my rush to leave this morning I forgot to grab my Garmin. Before the run I bought myself a hand held water bottle. It’s still hot out in the evenings and I’ve been told by a coach that it’s better to run without holding anything. It had a pocket for my phone and car key. For my run I threw my phone in the pocket and started my plain old digital watch’s stop watch. I ran 4 minute intervals with 1 minute walking in between. Maybe it was just a really nice night for a run. Maybe the paths along the Charles are just that intoxicating. Or maybe for most of the run I was just running: no pressure for pace. I knew that it would take about an hour and 15 minutes to run 5 miles and so that’s what I asked of myself. And instead of seeing what little distance I covered every time I checked the time, I just ran what I could; what my body could handle.

Do I care that I’m still walking way more than I want to? Nope
Am I freaking out about adding a whole additional mile in just five days? A little
Am I going to be a little sore in the morning? Probably (though 45 minutes on the bike at 6:30 should shake that right out)
Does it feel awesome-sauce to look at my RunKeeper map and see 5 (five!!!) mile markers? Hell yes.

It’s the little things.

Hearts and Michelle Obama thumbs up! (PS Did you hear she’s coming out with a rap album to help get kids to get up and move?? I can’t decide if it’s awesome or will out shine Barack Obama’s dad jeans in the embarassing national parent category)

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Back Watch 2013 Continues

When we left off on Friday my back was trying to decide if it hurt or not.

As Friday went on, my back was giving me a little more ‘tude than I would have liked. I was a little worried. Maybe I just shouldn’t run until the pain is completely 100% gone. But if I do that I’ll go crazy. I posted on Friday with a wait and see attitude. I had a bachelorette weekend for my very best friend on Sat/Sun so Friday night I did some errands and made sangria and sandwiches for Saturday’s festivities. At the end my back was saying it was done for the day. I gave in and lay down on a heating pad and was quickly asleep.

I can’t believe this, but I forgot to take a photo of the sangria #takesphotosofeverythingfail
To get it into the pool area of the hotel, I made it in the 2 gallon Hawaiian punch bottle lefter over from making party punch at the bridal shower the weekend before. It was odd to Punchy (seriously, that’s the Hawaiian Punch mascot’s name) riding a wave of red wine and lemon wedges.

Riding down to CT, partying it up all night wearing the cutest and teeniest pink glitter cowboy hats (which solicited some odddddddd comments and got glitter on EVERYTHING), and then riding back to MA my back was feeling pretty good. I should have run yesterday but I was tired, it was hot and humid, and I promised myself I would get up and run before work. (ha!) That turned into running at lunch because I have a birthday party (happy birthday Jennie!!) after work until I realized that doesn’t start until 7:30 and I can probably roll up to that quite smelly/sweaty. 85-95% of the crew that will be gathering are runners. They get it. I much prefer running after work. I’m still moving hella slow and walking a lot more than I want to, so trying to cram in anything more than 1.5 miles I’d feel a little guilty for how long of a “lunch” break I was taking.

My back is a little stiff, but it’s really just discomfort, not pain. My long run from the weekend is supposed to be 4 miles. I’ve mapped out a 3.37 mile route. I’m confident I’ll change that to 3.5. I’ve run too many times with OCD runner Jennie and you can’t stop unless it’s an even time/distance. It’s going to be 79 degrees. With 75% humidity. I’m going to want to cry. But, but! I’ll be running. And it won’t be the damn treadmill (or worse: elliptical!). Plus, what’s a better reward than pizza and birthday cake?

Send cool thoughts my way!

Hearts and happy birthday wishes to my IRL-psuedo-running coach, cheer leader, and all around excellent friend!

UPDATE:
Eff yeah, I did 3.5 miles. They were slow. There was more walking than I wanted. And I thought I was going to be struck by lightening. But they are in the bank!

Let’s Celebrate my Return to Mileage Tracking

I have two running entries in my training spreadsheet. TWO!!!! I ran twice this week. And it was glorious.
And birds sang.

And mice danced

And cowboys swaggered.

And basically my life was a Disney movie.

An aside: To produce the above images, I googled “birds chirp”. And this popped up.

http://www.hungryharps.com/2011/08/big-pb-chocolate-chip-cookies-birds-eye.html

Um what? All google searches should lead to cookies. Then I thought about it. And looked. I googled birds CHIP. #fail I blame the early morning.

I mean, yes. I was gasping for breath a little and my back still hurts a smidge. But I had to know what was going to happen. I noticed that I felt better on days after I was active than than not. So I went for it. I ran on Wednesday and yesterday my back didn’t hurt more or less than it did the day before. I ran this morning and it’s little twingy. I’ll monitor it and wait and see. If it does flare up then I’ll go back to the elliptical. This is how I feel about that plan

This morning’s run was at 6:45. Yes, that’s a 6. I hate morning. I work in an office with a boss that doesn’t mind if I don’t show up until 9:15 or 9:30. I’m luck, I know. And I take full advantage and usually get up between 7:45-8:15 (haha, yeah right. I get up at 8:30). Today I was up at 6:05. The run was pretty decent and then I hit the showers. Except it’s mostly been a month since I last ran, I didn’t keep up with the elliptical like I should have, and did I mention it was pre 9 am? It’s possible I forgot how to take a sports bra off. And was maybe stuck outside a shower half in and half out. I almost had to ask a stranger. And then I remember I could put an arm through the arm hole and then pull it off. And then I felt a moment of shame that I forgot how to undress myself.

My problem with an early morning run: I’m thirsty and hungry all. damn. day. Thirsty I can take care. The hunger? That’s going to be a bigger challenge.

Sunday is 10 weeks to race day. Today I ran 2.56 miles at 3:1 intervals. I was supposed to run 35 minutes. I ran walked 40. I’ve come to accept the fact that I’ll be walking more of my half than I wanted to. But sticking with the training plan and not having any gaps, this weekend is only 4 miles. I stopped at 2.56 this morning because I hit 40 minutes, I was bored on the dreadmill, and I didn’t want to come busting out of the gate two days into my return to running. Looks like with hard word, some determination, and some awesome friends/cheerleaders this half is still going to be mine to conquer!

Hearts and running love

I’m still here

Injured.

Disabled List.

Ouchies.

Bummed.

Two and a half weeks ago I woke up with a sore lower back. I decided to let it rest. It was getting better until I woke up on a Friday and it seized. I hobbled around my office for the rest of the day and made an appointment with my primary care. She asked some questions and then pushed on the sore spot and then bent me in all sorts of twisted positions.

Diagnosis: Muscle strain with a spasm

Treatment: Heat every few hours, Ibuprofen, no running

I can still hit up the elliptical, go swimming, and walk. I went away on a little vacation this weekend and did some swimming in the Long Island Sound. And I tried to go walking, but I was bored halfway through and decided my back was feeling better and maybe I was being a big baby. So I ran most of the 2 miles back. A few hours later I regretted it as the pain flared up again. For now, I’m listening to my body and my doctor and am not running until the pain is gone. I’m getting a little panicy about the half in October, but what’s the worst that could happen? I have to walk every 10 minutes. That would still mean I’d be running 90.9% of the race. Or maybe my back needs one more week of rest and then I’ll train hard and get through the whole race. Either way I’ve still got my eyes on the prize. And I promise to be back as soon as I can put together a run. Or maybe sooner if something really hilarious happens on the elliptical.

Hahahahaha. Nothing ever happens on the elliptical. That’s why it sucks.

Hearts and heating pads!

Head Scratching Good Runs and Terrifying Steps Forward

Happy first day of summer. So much sunshine outside and good runs this week have put me in a fantastic mood!

I’ve had Pad Thai on the brain for a month so I gave in on Tuesday and ordered some from this restaurant I like near my house that won’t be near my house when I move in September. The portions are big but I thought I’d get a little side dish too (idiot) and save some pad thai for left overs. And then for whatever reason I ATE ALL THE PAD THAI. As Ron Swanson said I worry you think I said I ate a lot of pad thai. What I said was I ate all the pad thai.

http://radar-net-of-our-senses.tumblr.com/post/22327728651/my-appetite-at-this-very-moment
http://radar-net-of-our-senses.tumblr.com/post/22327728651/my-appetite-at-this-very-moment

                                                http://radar-net-of-our-senses.tumblr.com/post/22327728651/my-appetite-at-this-very-moment

My stomach was angry face all night and then when I woke up on Wednesday, it was still PO’d to the max. I managed 4 bites of oatmeal and nothing else. The office buys lunch for us on Wednesday and this week was burritos; my very favorite food on the whole of the Earth. And all morning the thought of trying to eat a burrito at lunch made my stomach turn. It also made me think “idiot” over and over. Why did I eat so much for dinner? I ended up going to the Tar-jey for some applesauce and animal crackers because I was a teeny bit hungry and I thought if I didn’t eat I wouldn’t make it through the afternoon. The worst was that I planned to run that night and I didn’t know if I’d be able to. And then, thankfully, I was hungry around 6. I grabbed a left over burrito and did a little more work.

By 7 my stomach was still wonky and all I’d eaten was some applesauce, half a small baby burrito, and some animal crackers. But I figured I have to get out there if I want to run a half marathon in October (foreshadowing). So I laced up and hit the pavement.  And then sure enough it was one of the better runs I’ve had in a month. WTF body. I give you mondo indigestion, almost no food, and you pull out a great run. I give up.

24 hours later Christine and I ran 2.56 miles with no walking. Rockstars. At least, that’s how we felt at the end. I mean, yes. It was slow. And not even a 5k. But shove off any haters, it’s better than we’ve been doing! I’d like to recreate the run but quite frankly, I blacked out during the second half, but from what I remember our conversation was mostly:
“We have to keep running, no walking”
“At some point I feel like the walking isn’t even worth it”
“Jennie will be proud”
“Maybe we shouldn’t tell Jennie. She’ll make us run straight through from now on”
“Maybe we’ll just make her go slower”
“When we finish this we’re going to feel amazing”
“Am I dead yet? I think I’m dead”
“OMG why do bridges arch up so high?!”
At some point near the end Christine pointed out the community garden we were running by and offered this helpful thought “let’s focus on the pretty garden” and I grunted out “Ooh, nice.” but in my head I was screaming “Who cares about a f**king garden, there is not enough air in the world to get into my lungs right now”
Me: “We’re going to hit 2.5 miles early, do you mind if we just run the full 35 minutes”
Christine: “Sure”
At mile 2.52 and 35 minutes
Me: “Let’s just run all the way back to the dock. It’s only an extra 15 seconds”
Christine: “When did you turn into Jennie?”
Me: Couldn’t respond. Focused on not falling over.

We then proceeded to limp over to the water fountain. It’s one of those that has a dog fountain near the ground and then a normal human fountain. The human fountain wasn’t working, but the dog one was. We decided that we weren’t above laying on the ground for water but, you know, dogs. For whatever reason I tried the human fountain one more time and…success!! Then we stretched and I somehow managed to find the DIRTIEST spot. Literally. I was covered head to toe in dirt.

What I want to know is this: what is different about this week that my running is going well? Is it the birthday cake I ate mid afternoon before Thursday’s run? I will gladly eat cake and blame it on “needing” it for running.

Gladly. But I don’t really think it’s that. I keep a log and I’ll keep going over it and maybe I’ll figure it out.

Also. I officially registered for the half. I’m scared and excited and nervous and ready to kick it’s ass. Maybe?

Cue the shaky knees and nausea

 Hearts and summer love!

What it’s like when we’re friends and we run together

You’ll suggest a goal, I’ll back it off a tad. I’m willing to let you push me. But only so much (the foreshadowing here is that you’ll probably still get me to run more than I planned to.)

I’ll arrive at your abode, we’ll catch up for a few minutes. We’ll both be thinking well what if we just stay home and have a beer and spy on the neighbors. I’ll be thinking it more. And it’ll only be a passing thought for you. But neither of us will say it because we both know we’ll be happier if we just go.

We’ll start out running. I don’t have high hopes, but you do. We’ll chat a little and then the hills will catch up to me and I’ll be willing to listen, and will enjoy the stories but will only be able to gasp out short replies. And laughing? Ain’t nobody got breath for that.

I will want to die part way through. You will be cheering and singing and waving your arms around. And I’ll see how slow you’re running and look at my watch and see our pace, but I will be maxed out and thankfully we have an unspoken agreement that I’ll let you push me on time and/or distance, but I can only run so fast right now. Also, I’ll mostly appreciate your cheering. But a little sliver of me will be mad that I don’t have that much running fitness. But I know that the more we run, the closer I get. When we started we ran 4 minute intervals. We’re up to 10. I’m counting that as a victory.

We’ll get near the end of the workout and I’ll want to quit. This doesn’t always happen. I mean, yes, who doesn’t want to just slow down to a crawl.  But on the nights when I want to quit, I will want to quite bad. Real real bad. I’ll lean on you to get through the runner’s wall. Except I’ll be silent. Because, hello? Hurts so bad. But you’re good. You’ll push and push and push. And I’ll try to zone in. And we’ll get it down.

I’ll look at my watch. We have 1 minute left. 1 minute until the end of the workout. Except you’re tricky and you’ll make me go further. And I will. But. A gap will probably form between the two of us as you pull away. You’ll double back and then you’ll slow down and I’ll try really hard to keep up. But while there’s a gap between us, I will absolutely yell “I hate you”. In front of your entire neighborhood. I won’t mean it in 5 minutes, I’ll even retroactively retract it, but oh, do I mean it then and there.

We’ll make it back to your house. I’ll want to just pass out on your lawn. But it’s time for dinner. I’ll make a bit of a mess in your kitchen, though dinner will be quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

And then I’ll drop a water bottle on your dog and spill 700 mL of water all over her and the kitchen. Yay I’m such a good friend.

You’ll invite me back. Friend love has no bounds

Hearts and runner friends!