August 25, 2011

Kiss My Legs Goodbye



SEMI-WEEKLY ISH RECAP:

Monday: Took Bruce for extra long vet visit and made sure he didn't die from the new medicine - did not run :(

Tuesday: Woke up eeeearly to run before work, but my legs felt like 100 lbs of lead. So I went to work early, earthquake happened, went home and ran that evening...little too late in the evening. It started getting dark when I was at the turn-around point, but it was nice running through the city at dusk, and cool too. Legs still not cooperating...thank you trail run. I think it was 4 miles.

Wednesday: Yesterday I headed to Roosevelt Island for my usual parking area. After checking out the totally sexy secret service type man that parked right next to me and contemplated what kind of suspicious behavior would have me getting frisked (mostly jk...), I started my run :P
I made my way down the Potomac Heritage Trail (not very far) and got a little scared when I saw a heap of what could have been trash, or could have been some one trying to hide/live down there...so I high tailed it back to the regular, safer trail. I decided to go up the ramp to get to Rosslyn, where Erin busted me for walking down Lynn to get to the Iwo Jima Memorial area. Once I was close by there, I started to run, around the memorial and down past the cemetery over towards Ft Myer. Not only was this a beautiful day, but passing by the memorial and the cemetery served as a great reminder of race day, and why I am raising money for Semper Fi Fund for the wounded soldiers who sacrifice for us daily. Talk about humbling yourself.

Tonight I have off, because tomorrow after work I get to run 15 miles. Weee... It will be my first time EVER going over 13 miles. But not the last time.

It's close to only two months left before I attempt the 26.2, and I am over halfway to my fundraising amount I need want to raise.

If you have already contributed, I thank you again. Your support means the world to me. If you haven't contributed, please consider.

http://www.active.com/donate/semperfifundmcm2011/fundSwalker

I'll fill you in on Monday about how I kicked butt in those 15 miles!


August 22, 2011

Trail running is good for the soul.

(this is what it looked like when I got to the park)


Happy Monday, everyone! Last time I posted on here I vowed to make all of my miles this week, let's see how I did:

Monday - 3 miles, fast run, had to stop at the crosswalks, but overall a good time

Tuesday - 5 miles with Erin, excellent run, ankle getting a little easier!

Wednesday - Off

Thursday - 4.....This is when I disappoint. I busted my toe Wednesday evening, on my own apartment door. How lame of an injury. The little metal part that lines the bottom of the door just sliced through a good chunk of my pinky toe...absolutely painful, and bled way more than I thought a pinky toe could! So clumsy.

Friday - Debated running the 4 that I missed, but I was incapable of putting a shoe on the toe without it being pretty painful. :(

Saturday - Decided to suck it up and head to Fountainhead Regional Park for my practice run for the Women's Trail Half Marathon, and I am SO glad I did, even though I was incredibly nervous.

Saturday's run was so refreshing for my senses and my spirit. I arrived at the parking lot a little early, so I made sure my camelbak was ready, phone was packed, everything in order. I headed over to where the pack of people (mostly women) had gathered, and being my shy self I just kind of stood alone for a bit...until a woman noticed we had the same watch. We began chatting, and that helped ease my nerves. I've mentioned before, though I get lonely when I run without people, I am also very anxious and nervous to run with a pack. We signed in for accountability so they knew if someone had gotten lost on the trail (sigh of relief...I wore my BRIGHT orange shorts juuust in case), and off we went for the first 8 mile section. I decided to settle towards the back of the pack in case my toe gave me any problems. A good bit of the trail only has room for single tracking, so I made friends with the women in front and behind me, and the four of us stuck together for 95% of the 8 miles. I was sweating pretty heavily right from the beginning (hello two big hills that start off the race), but then I noticed everyone was in the same boat as me.

Eventually, one of the head guys of Virginia Happy Trails Running Club (Bill) decided he would lead us the rest of the way, which was a great thing because some of the turns were hard to identify. The first 8 miles start out on paved uphill road, then you turn onto the trail and it's flat-ish for a while, some uphills but nothing too bad. Then you eventually hit the do-loop, and that was where the challenging part started. The entire 'loop' is just this mix of steep uphills, steep downhills, and semi-flats. We decided to walk the uphills to conserve energy, and my thighs were burning anyway. We finished strong, minus one of the original four, and I even got to lead the three of us for a while :)

At the end of the entire run, I was sucking air, my lungs felt completely like toast, and I could barely walk with my shoes on. My toe has been pretty swollen since, but in hindsight, I would make the exact same decision and go on that run again. I don't think I've ever been sweatier in my entire life, and it felt like heaven.

Yesterday and today my calves are pretty sore, and my thighs feel used. I decided to sign up to be a member of Virginia Happy Trails Running Club, with the prospects of MAYBE someday going farther than 13.1 on a trail (most of their organized races are of the ultra variety). The attitude and love of trail running from the members is very contagious, and I look forward to the friendships I will form.

Sidebars: I just started reading The Long Run by Matt Long, a book I've been waiting for in paperback for a very long time. I just started yesterday and I'm already halfway through it. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book, and if anyone personally knows Matty, hook a sister up! That man is delicious. (I do not care about THIS age difference)

My birthday celebration is this Saturday, pushing my long run of 15 miles to Friday night so I can be completely relaxed and not so exhausted on Saturday for the party!

I'm fifth on the wait list for the trail race! Getting closer! That means more trail runs on the weekends for me now if anyone ever wants to join me!

Countdown:
WTHM: 19 days
Philly RnR Half: 27 days
VA TM: 62 days
MCM: 69 days


Websites to check out:

www.thehaysay.com

http://trailrunningsoul.com/trs/

www.vhtrc.org

August 15, 2011

I know I can because I know I will.

Remember me? It's been a while, and I am slightly ashamed of that.

When I first started running, I hoped I wouldn't become someone who let life get in the way of training and enjoying my new hobby. But that's exactly what has happened. With being in a running funk, the dog being sick, losing faith in myself, being swamped at work, and just other life boo-hoos, I have commited the ultimate ball drop. Even my short runs have been completely not where they should be.

This past Saturday, I decided to change up the scenery and head somewhere with water fountains...the good ole trusty W&OD. I half-assed the nutrition aspect (great idea.....) but still psyched myself up/out for the run and told myself 'today I feel great, today I will kick ass' (even with the wonky ankle).

That day I did not kick ass, other than my own, and not in a good way. Chafing, apparently, is a real thing. You think it won't happen to you, you think you lost weight in those lovely Louisiana thighs of yours, you think you've run in that SAME pair of shorts enough....but no. It. Can. Happen. (And it did). I was only about 3.5 miles into the run when I needed to text my friend and ask for some serious advice...continue trekking on and soak up the pain, or turn around and try again tomorrow? The answer was try again tomorrow, and a good thing too, because it started to be uncomfortable enough that I couldn't run the 3.5 back....hello looooong walk to the car......in the now pouring rain. So I got chinese food, headed all the way home, found some frozen veggies to ice the still pissy ankle, and proceeded to take a very, very long nap.

I didn't run the next day. My heart was not in it.

Today is Monday, the start of a new training week. I have 3 scheduled today, 5 scheduled tomorrow, 4 scheduled for Thursday, and 13 scheduled for Saturday. I will complete these all, no matter if I have to limp/crawl/steam roll the whole way to finish the run.

I'm still terrified of running alone, in a sense that I FEEL so alone. I still feel the pangs when I see groups of friends in stride with each other around the monuments, sharing a common goal and helping each other through the tough spots. I really need to remember that I did this once by myself before, and I am strong enough mentally to do it again, and for twice the distance.

Philly RnR Half is almost a month away, and I am going to focus on why I signed up in the first place. I know the joy I used to get from running is still deep down there somewhere, hopefully I find it this week.

Sept 10: Increasingly more possible (PLEASE update your wait list...) Women's Trail Half Marathon

Sept 18: Philly RnR Half Marathon

Oct 2: ERIN'S HALF IM!!! (okay so not my race but SUPER excited to cheer her on)

Oct 23: VA Tough Mudder

Oct 30: The ultimate end goal this year - Marine Corps Marathon

Never lose sight of your goals, but don't let the weight of them overpower your will to press on...no matter how ambitious they may seem.

August 10, 2011

Ruff Night, Ruff Morning

Yesterday was a bad day, compounded with me crying in the car on the way to the trail to run, and getting a phone call from my roommate about how the dog left us presents all over the hallway outside our bedrooms. Cue more crying...not sure if it was out of concern for the dog, sadness for myself to have to deal with something else that day, or just that I felt like, hell, keep the crying ball rolling.

I get home and start cleaning, and roommate pops out of his room to make sure I'm okay...have I mentioned that I am just in general a really sensitive person? I'm one of those funny breeds of cryers where I know I MUST look like I've been crying, but I still try to lie and hide the fact anyway. So, I try to lie/hide it but I end up just having to tell him how awful the day was for me.

By this point, I figure there's no hope in making it out to my run for the day...and I remember a lovely opened bottle of white wine waiting for me in the fridge. Why dirty a glass? It's not like anyone else drinks it in the house anyway :D I started catching up on the missed episodes of Expedition Impossible, the dog is lounging on me, and I start to think that things are getting a little better...

...until the roommate goes upstairs and finds that new presents have been left for us. Deeeeep sigh. Go clean some more. Luckily, no more tears...just a little I-can't-believe-this-is-happening-to-me laughter. Go to the outside dumpster and make friends with the rats I've seen too many times in one day. Go back inside, decide to grab that bottle of red wine and camp out downstairs while eating the delicious hot pockets my roommate graciously let me have, I don't care if it was out of pity.

Eventually, I fall asleep. At some point in the night, I woke up terrified that it was October. I had a dream where the calendar just flew by, hello October, hello marathon I am not nearly close to prepared for.

I woke up this morning, early, so I could go for a run before work. Really, reeeally deep sigh. At some point in the middle of the night/wee hours of the morning, Bruce left presents in my bathroom. So I spent my run time cleaning that up, saying good morning to the rats at the dumpster once again...and slinking to work. I had a long, hard contemplation about not putting ANY makeup on to try to ward off any coworkers from trying to small talk...but I figured it's not fair to them.

Will I run today after work? We'll find out when I get home from work.