Friday Rambling

I love my Friday rambling time!  After the week I’ve had I’m not sure what’s left to ramble on about, although I’m sure I can find something!  I think for me right now I’ve gone from being very skeptical about my next 9 weeks of training to being on a mountain high with enthusiasm.  There are not enough exclamation points or large enough letters for me to express how excited I am.    I don’t even know where to begin!!

This is not me but that's how I feel!

I’ve always believed, “ I don’t have to run, I want to run.” However I think in some aspects it has become just words and my enthusiasm had left me.  I mean I still run and I still enter marathons but I do it because I would rather cut my pinkie toe off rather than miss an event.  I felt like my relationship with running was wilting, which is odd because I love to read about it, talk about it, listen to others and compare war stories but I didn’t have the happiness in my heart.  The passion was dying.

This morning was a whole new story.  I couldn’t get out the door fast enough to see how I was going to feel and what my legs would do for me.  It’s absolutely freakin’ amazing to feel like this again.  I feel like a puppy on a leash wanting to run but being held back for all the right reasons.  I say that since I’ve seen my new schedule. I only get to see a week at a time and I’m so okay with that.  I can’t agonize about what’s coming up if I don’t know.  I think that’s why I like races I’ve never done before. I don’t map out the course before I go because I would just rather not know. Let me find out as I go.  I’ve sent all that info to the man with the plan so he’ll know but for the most part I’m trying to just not know.

So anyways, this next week I’m only running 3 days. Oy vey!  I may climb the walls these other days!

Once again not me (I would never post a picture with me in my underwear!)

I will have a clean house that’s for sure!  I feel like someone has taken me to Frostings (if you’re ever on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and love cupcakes you need to go there!), let me sample and smell the cupcakes but is only giving me small portions many many days apart!  Oh the torture!

Once again, it’s a good torture. It’s all about the finisher’s medal!

Also I have amazing nutritionist helping me and it’s starting to show on the scales.  I am very blessed to have such amazing help.  I know I probably drive both of them nuts but that’s what they get for being good at what they do!  I just hope when San Francisco rolls around I can say thank you by performing to the best of my ability.

Until Sunday………

Cheers!

I believe!

So tonight I just had the best run ever!  Okay, maybe not ever but at least in the last year.  I ran 3 miles in 39 minutes while running 4 minutes and walking 2. What made all the difference?  Heart rate!  That’s right I put my heart rate monitor strap on that I’ve had for 2 years now and maybe wore twice before today.  So my new training plan is requiring I include this in my training package and I’m completely hooked on it.

I’ve spent months trying to come back from not being able to run for 6 months.  I finally decided on a run walk ratio and found that 2:1 worked for me (or at least I thought).  I also constructed my own training plan as well with this 2:1 in mind.  Well I know it all sounds fine and dandy but every run I’ve been on since December I’ve questioned myself.  Am I running fast enough, am I running to slow, am I running long enough, etc. You get the picture.  Well finally I had enough of the self doubt and asked for help.  In my 12 years of running I’ve never had any formal training regarding my running so this was HUGE for me.   I had my first run with Mr. Running Coach this morning and I was so nervous!  I had no idea what to expect or what he would think of my running condition or even me for that matter.  Thank goodness he’s a genuinely nice guy who is passionate about the sport.   Also thank goodness he’s talktive in the mornings because I am not. We only did 2 miles this morning, mostly so he could get a feel of what I’m like when I run (I guess). Either way I wore my heart rate monitor for the run and was able to forward my stats to him via Garmin Connect.  Very cool stuff.

Trace Run-First time to use heart rate monitor

 It’s amazing how much info that little watch gathers.  It’s my new best friend. In fact I have two things I pray never break down. My Garmin watch and Google Gmail.  Both would extremely detrimental if they did!!

Anyways so later on today he sent me an email with everything I needed to know for the next couple days and he also told me to keep my heart rate around a certain point .  Well, It was much lower than I thought it should be. Like really slow. Talk about disheartening when I saw that. However, if he thinks it then it must be for the better good and I’ll try anything at least once.  I really think he could tell me to stand on my head and I would (funny thing is that’s what I use to do as a kid to get attention, stand on my head!).  Curosity had the best of me so after I got home and the sun went down I got dressed, laced up the shoes and tied on the heart rate monitor for a 3 mile workout.  It went amazing!  I’m completely sold on the heart rate training.

Ran with heart rate monitor with new run walk ratio. Very pleased.

I can’t wait to see what the next 9 weeks of my training brings.  I know I’m probably a little too over excited about all of this but for so long now all my workouts have been just mediocore and I’ve just been going through the motions.  The change is good.  I can’t wait to share more with you guys.

This is going to be  so exciting!

 

Sweaty Decisions

I'm not sure who's dog this is but could it be any cuter?!

 

What a humid day!  At 5:45 a.m. I walked out my front door to a wall of sticky hot heat.  Within 2 miles of running I was drenched and disgusting.  It was the kind of sweat that made my hands sticky even though nothing was on them. Gross!  Today was a semi stressful but easy 5 mile run. It should have been 6 but I had to take a bathroom break and that threw my overall time off so I only had time for 5.

Let me be the first to say, I think way too much!  I overanalyze and replay everything.   I have a hard time falling asleep because I just can’t shut off this tiny motor of mine.  Like I mentioned the day before, I’ve meet with a local running coach who questioned (in a postive way) how important was my marathon Labor Day weekend. He also brought up the point that typically it takes one day of recovery for every mile a person runs in a marathon. Let’s look at the big picture here. A marathon is 26.2 miles.  That’s 26 days of running. Now marathon number one is Labor day weekend. Marathon number 2 is October 16. Hmmmm not much time to recuperate and do whatever it is I’m suppose to do between two marathons. That’s another thing. What am I suppose to do between two marathons so close?  There’s not much literature out there that I’ve found that covers this kind of time frame.  I’ve really been stressing over this, a lot.  Hence me contacting a running coach.  I’ll be honest I really expected him to be like, ” Sure, two marathons in a month is completely doable.” Instead he was polite but I sensed he thought the elevator didn’t make it all the way up with me.

So my options are A. back down from marathon #1 and concentrate souly on marathon #2 or B. Do marathon #1 and suffer possibly through marathon #2.  So some of you may be asking what am I even signed up for two races so close together. Let me explain.  In January of this year I decided that 2011 was the year that I would run Tupelo Marathon and get my skull and cross bones finishers medal.  I love a cool finishers medal. I have one that is the Mercedes emblem.  Very cool.  I also ran the half marathon as a training run a couple of years ago and fell in love with it.  It starts at stupid thirty in pitch black (really, take a flashlight) and you follow the police car lights  till the light starts to break.  It was so much fun because I could not see where I was going. I’m pretty sure I stepped on road kill.  I also ran with some of the nicest people.  I really had way too much fun but I didn’t get a medal.

Anyways, then the plan  for the Tupelo race turned into a girls trip. In April like I’ve done for years now I put my name in the lottery for the Nike Women’s Marathon with the thinking that this would be another year I wouldn’t get picked.  Well, I did.  Since I made a promise to myself and my friend I went ahead and signed up for Tupelo Marathon in either May or June.  So since then my friend is unable to go to Tupelo so that left just me going to chase after my medal (literally).  Now to present time, I’ve got two marathons a month apart and no set plan in site.  You can see where my concern is coming from right?

This morning I struggled mentally and physically with what to do.  I mean, it’s been weighing on my mind but in order for me to get any sleep last night I had to tell myself that I would make a decision while running.   I don’t mind making decisions but I have to know that I can make it and not feel like I’m going to have regrets.  I like to make a decision, declare it and not look back.

I made my decision.

I decided that Tupelo would have to wait one more year.

Does it pain me to make that decision?  A little bit. However I am having an even harder time with that space bewteen the two marathons.  It’s like a black hole in my mind that I don’t know what to do with and that scares me more than the pain of not doing a race.

Feeling just a tad bit lost today I’m not sure what my training schedule is right now.  I’m okay with that.  Everything happens for a reason.  I think this is where running is like life. Constantly changing and altering. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is certain. I have to be able to adapt.  I know this all sounds a bit dramatic but marathon training is such an emotional ordeal as a physical one.  If I have an off day with running it messes my world up and vice versa.  A runner puts so much heart and soul into completing 26.2 miles they can’t help but have an emotional attachment somewhere in the mix. So when major decisions have to be made it becomes  emotionally taxing.

Sorry for the long post. I just had to clear my chest.  Enough of that. Time to move on.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

A Solid Run

Recovery runs are so nice.  Now I’m not sure 12 miles and recovery go in the same sentence but some how if a person runs marathons it does.  That just goes to show you how wacky marathoners really are!

Instead of my traditional Saturday run  I had to bump my normal run to Sunday this week since I had to teach pilates Saturday morning at 9:15.  Saturday actually turned out to be a very busy day.  Let’s see 9:15 pilates, shoe shopping (running shoes of course), hair appointment, then I had to go to my mom’s to move rocks ( long story but there was a lot of them), rush home to change clothes to head to the movies to see the Smurfs, dinner with friends and finally home about 9 p.m.  Sunday’s 12 mile run really was a recovery run compared to Saturday!  It really was a solid run.

So before I can finish my long run report I have to fast forward (and jump around just a bit), I’ll come back to the main point in just a minute. Sunday afternoon I meet with a local guy who is a running coach.  For some time I’ve followed his blog and wanted to inquire about his services but I felt ashamed regarding my  run/walk pace  being so slow.   Running coaches are for fast people right?  Well Friday I really got to thinking about my San Francisco marathon but I can’t do it until I do my Tupelo marathon which is one month apart.  I really was smoking the wacky weed when I decided to do all this!  Anyways, I gave myself a little panic attack because I realized I had no idea how to attack that month between the races.  So Friday night I sent Mr. Running Coach an email asking him if he would be interested in helping out a local slow poke.  I figured it would be a couple of days before I would hear anything back but nope by the start of my Smurfs movie Saturday we had already started communicating. It felt like Christmas in July!  We eventually decided on meeting up and going from there.  I was so nervous! But of course he’s a super nice guy who really has a true passion for the sport.  I was also very impressed how well organized he was.  (My point of telling you all of this ties in with my long run post.)  He asked me questions that most runner’s get asked all the time and I answered my normal answer but then he was ” No. Why did you start running?”  It was a very direct question. Not a generic “I want to hear your fluff answer” question.  It was thought provoking questions if a person allowed them to be.  For instance “Why did you start running?”  For me it was 1999 and I had no clue this sport even existed.  I had never heard of a 5k, 10k or marathon.  So after moving to Hattiesburg and finding out about this sport it really was a desire to want to do something different.  I had played tennis, lifted weights (yeah, one day when I’m feeling frisky I’ll break out the pictures from the weight lifting days) but never ran for a prize.

In the bigger picture I want a running coach to hopefully help me be a stronger runner and maybe finish a marathon in 5:20 instead of 5:30.  And of course me being my typical self (meaning being critical of myself) I kept reminding him ” I’m slow. Like really slow.” Finally he said ” Slow is a relative term.  No matter how fast you are someone’s always going to be faster than you and someone’s always going to be slower than you.”  It really put things into a different perspective for me.  I knew immediately this morning when I went running and didn’t fuss at myself about moving so slow that this Mr. Running Coach might be just what the Dr. ordered. It gave me something to chew on that’s for sure.

So back to my long run post.  Mr. Running Coach in just a short amount of time helped me to look at how I view my running terms. So what do I mean by a solid run. What is a solid run for me? Well…………excellent question.  Since I run 2 minutes and walk 1 minute  a solid run would be keeping to this schedule. Not wearing down and having to do a mile of cycling back and forth between a  1 minute run and 1 minute walk.  A solid run is me not breaking down mentally and wondering why I can’t run harder or faster.  A solid run means executing the plan without little deviation and not breaking down mentally which would cause me to constantly question or doubt myself.  That’s a solid run.

So I’m not sure when I’ll start working with Mr. Running Coach (if I didn’t scare him off) since I only have a couple of weeks till my Tupelo Marathon. There’s not much he can do for me except advise at this point.

So the rest of this week is spent gearing me up for my 18 miler this coming Sunday. Then the following weekend is 20 miles and then downhill from there.  A person would think I would be over the nervous excitment leading up to a marathon but apparently not.  I know pretty soon I’ll have the dream where I oversleep, miss the start of the race and try to play catch up. I always have the same dream at some point just before a race.  It’s kind of like that Seinfeld episode……………The Hot Tub.