Archive for October, 2010

The Final Week

As time ticks down to the Hot Chocolate 15k I find myself thinking about race day.

I’m going to say something pretty obvious here but….  nine miles is a lot.

Yes, I’m pretty nervous and to be honest, I’m not even sure if I’m signed up for the 15k or the 5k.  I wish I knew one way or the other.  If it’s just a 5k, I could likely stop being as nervous.

I’m sitting here right now wondering “why the heck did I sign up and pay money to run so far?  Heh.  Nerves.  They’ll do that to ya.

I went for a nice 4 mile run yesterday.  Want to know the shocker?  I didn’t take my Garmin.

Mmmhmm.

Part of me just wanted to get back to the whole enjoying running thing.  With the Garmin it’s great to know how many calories I’ve burned and yeah, I am always curious about my pace, but…. I don’t know… I just keep looking at the pace/time and trying to figure out if I should push myself harder or not.

Want to know my first thought after finishing those four miles?

“I wish I’d had the Garmin on, I think I did that pretty quickly.”

Ha!

All jokes aside, I needed that Saturday run to get me into the spirit of this upcoming event.  Next weekend!  It’s less than a week away!

Yaaaaaay!

In other news, I went to a roller derby last night.

First response?  OMG.  I have not sat on bleachers since I lost weight.  I’ve always had a bony butt and, well, it’s bonier now and I think it’s actually bruised today.  Can I just say what the heck?

As for the derby itself.  The first half really sucked.  I spent the first half trying to figure everything out.  Things move so quickly and I’m just not a very good visual learner so it took me a while to get it all down.  Once I had it figured out, everything became more interesting.

My ass still hurt though.  I might need one of those donut things.

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Time vs. Distance

As I thought about my run for Monday night I had two thoughts:  Will I seriously be ready to run again after my brutal 8 miler?  And…Mannn do I hate running for a specified amount of time.

To be honest, I fully expected to still be feeling the effects of my Saturday run on Monday evening.  I mean, seriously, Saturday hurt and Sunday found me all stiff and tired.  However, Monday morning found me feeling “normal” and it lasted the entire day.

So there I am, thinking about my run and staring at my training schedule wondering how much I should run and how much I really hate my timed runs.  Why is it so much easier for me to go put in an “easy 4 miles” than it is for me to run for 50 minutes?  Why is the mindset so different?

So what is a girl to do?

Well this one doesn’t load up a program into her garmin.  Instead I just decided to wing it, run a bit over 3 miles and see where the time hit.

And here you go….

I can honestly say I’m pleasantly pleased with my pace.  I did NOT feel like putting a lot of effort into this run and for the most part I felt as though I was taking it easy… niiiice!

As the Hot Chocolate Run looms closer I’m frustrated that I haven’t heard back from them with confirmation that I’ve been bumped up to the 15k.  I mean, she said she’d send me an email confirmation but….

At this point I’m pretty sure I’ll find out when I pick up my bib.  It would be nice to know ahead of time but I’ve got a pretty good attitude about the whole thing.

On one hand, the 15k would be an epic thing for me to accomplish when just a couple of months ago I couldn’t run 3 miles regularly.  On the other hand, I’m sure I could blow my first 5k time out of the water.

Wasted training?  Not at all!  I’ve come so far and believe in myself so much more now than I used to!  My long drawn out plan for running involved 5k’s this year, 10k’s next summer, a half the summer after that and then maybe the year after that a marathon.

At this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a half marathon next year.

Un-freaking-believable…. and in the very best way!

I didn’t think I’d get it done

Saturday morning it rained.

After a quick look at the weather report I knew it would rain Sunday morning as well.  Sucky because I had 8 miles to run this past weekend and I certainly didn’t want to do it on the treadmill.  Of course, the treadmill would be preferable to doing it in the rain.

I wish I could say the rain devastated me, but it didn’t.  I had planned another Girl’s Night In for Saturday night and having the extra time (and energy) seemed a nice little gift from the universe after my hectic week.

And then noon hit.

And the sun started to come out.

And I realized I’d pissed away my morning doing not a whole lot and it seemed if I acted fast I would be able to go for my run.

Well crap.

So I did a scramble to finish everything up and I went for it.

You know the rule I made?  The one where I said wind wouldn’t stop me from running anymore?

Yeah…. about that….

The wind brutalized me.  I faced the kind of wind which pushed me around as if I weighed nothing.  I ran into that wind.

I think my legs worked harder on this run than they’d ever worked before and that made this run…. painful.  It kicked my ass.

My heart rate never got super high, but man I worked hard!  Toward the end I had to take a few walk breaks, I’ll admit it.  I am not, however, upset about this.  When I first felt the wind, I said to myself I didn’t care about my pace so long as I got the thing done…. and trust me, I got it done!

Did you see that calorie burn? 1006

Can I get a hell yeah?

******Only read on if you want to know the brutal truth about an 8 mile run **************

I am one of those unfortunate souls who gets a stomach ache after a run.  Seriously.  Unless I refrain from eating ANYTHING for a period of 3 hours after my longer runs… I stand a huge chance of getting an awful stomach ache which can last the rest of the day.

A 1006 calorie burn meant I really couldn’t wait.  I was beat, I needed food, and I needed to get showered and ready and finish up for my party.  I stretched out, nibbled on a Lara Bar, relaxed and killed as much time as possible before heading to the shower.

In the shower I got light headed and my stomach started in on me.  By the time I got out it was all I could do to stumble into bed, wrap a towel around my wet hair and lay there until I fell asleep. (I had to, I just had to.)  In a word, I felt ROUGH.  In two words I felt, F@#$@ ROUGH.

When I woke, I had an hour until my guests arrived and I was scared to sit up.  My stomach usually doesn’t settle down that quickly and I didn’t relish the idea of getting my blood flowing enough to feel the problems again.

However, through some miracle I sat up and was….fine.  Starving and with wild hair I managed to get everything done with a few minutes to spare before my guests arrived.  How I pulled it off I don’t know but I am thinking the nap might have done the trick.  Or my prayers were answered and the universe took pity on me.

So anyway, the 6 hours after my long runs are usually pretty brutal.  I just don’t want to leave anyone thinking it’s all sunshine and roses!  It hurts!

Whew! (Part 2)

So that brings us to Wednesday, which was fairly uneventful… sorta.

By this time I’m incredibly sleep deprived.  So much so that while the massage therapist at my chiropractor’s office was working some nasty, painful knots out of my shoulders, I actually fell asleep.  I have no idea how that was possible.

I spent a lot of time at work writing out lesson plans as Thursday I would be out at a conference.  I’m not one of those teachers who leaves nothing for the sub to do.  Some of them love me for this and some of them just ignore my plans if it seems like too much work.  Luckily I have fantastic students so I usually tell them ahead of time what they’re going to be doing and they usually get it done whether the sub tells them to or not.  (I know, I’m lucky… again, I have fantastic students.)

Thursday found me leaving the house at 5 am to drive 2 hours to my conference.  It’s a pain in the butt to get there and I hate this drive.  I’ve made this drive three years in a row now and trust me, if this conference for AP Biology teachers wasn’t so incredibly helpful, I certainly would throw a celebratory party in honor of not going.  However, it’s always so helpful I cannot fathom not going (especially now when the budget is so bad I don’t know if they can afford to send me next year).

So let’s see… that’s 2 hours of driving there and 2 hours of driving back, plus 8 hours of sitting around.  I got home around 5:30 pm.  I had to run.  I wasn’t sure how it would go.

And in the end, I felt really great during my run.  I wasn’t sure I would.  I did a lot of sitting around Thursday and I’d made up my mind just to take it easy and go at my long run pace if I had to.  I’m pleased with my pace.  Usually I end up below 5 mph by the end of my week day runs and I really kept it very steady Thursday which was totally cool.

Another strange thing?  Running at that time of day.  I set out with my sunglasses on as usual, feeling just a bit chilly as I did my warm up walk.  As I ran the sun started getting lower in the sky and I thought “naw, there’s plenty of time.”

Well, it seems I’d forgotten how fast the sun sets this time of year.  As I ran I eventually had to take off my sunglasses and carry them and I started to get worried about getting caught in the dark.  I was running in the park so I wasn’t exactly afraid of traffic, just being caught so far away from people while a bunch of weirdos kept watching me run…. Creeeeepy.

I finished right before it got darkish.

Felt great.

A pick-me-up I really desperately needed.  It made me feel as though I was ready for this 8 miler (which I will hopefully be running on Sunday).

And now, I’m off to prep for my second Girl’s Night In.  I suddenly have extra time and energy to do all the preparations!

Whew! (Part 1)

I’d have liked to start this post off with “I made it”!!!  But I’m still pretty far from done being super busy and stressed.

In fact, the only reason I have time to write this post is that it’s raining and I’m holding off on my 8 mile run until tomorrow in hopes I won’t have to do it on the treadmill.  If tomorrow morning is rainy, I’ll be putting in some awful time on the treadmill.  I’m not even sure I can do 8 miles on it – I seem to have a lot of issues running on the thing now that I’ve been running so much outside.  My entire stride is different and I struggle a lot.

Let’s see…. Monday….

Monday’s run was…. bad.  I hadn’t slept much the night before… and by that I mean about 3.5 hours.  In fact, I’ve had issues sleeping all this past week and it really sucks.  I felt tired and stressed and I don’t know why but that usually makes me push myself too hard and yep – that’s exactly what I did.  My average pace was 5.3 mph when I’ve been hovering around 5.1 for a long time.  All I could think about was how tired I was and how I would likely end up in bed by 7 pm (and yes, yes I did).  It didn’t feel right.  My body felt tired, I felt out of sync and out of breath.

So I stopped.  I felt bad about it but not terrible.  I figured my lack of sleep had  more to do with it than anything.

Tuesday I had a two hour long department meeting after work.  We’re working on a big project to redo our curriculum (years of being in No Child Left Behind’s looming shadow has led to too big of a focus on standardized testing which led to teachers being encouraged to cram as many facts into student’s heads as possible which led to very little learning and very few thinking skills being taught – now we’re just saying to heck with it and getting back down to teaching the thinking skills).  I’m super glad my district has come around on this.

You’d think it would all be sunshine and roses when some teachers get together and get to improve their curriculum for the good of the students, yes?

No.

I’m pretty much the only one really on board in my department of 4.  I’ve got a bit of support but not in the form of any real willingness to do the work…. which is…. frustrating.

That’s me (if I were male) pretending my poor hapless laptop is a coworker.

I truly meant to work out on Tuesday.  I got home two hours later than usual determined to work out to relieve stress.

And then I couldn’t find a sports bra.

Fine, I’ll wear a regular one.

And then I couldn’t find the shirt I’d planned on wearing (yeah, to work out in… major tragedy, yes?)

Fine, I’ll wear a different one.

And then I found out my cat had peed in my basket of clean clothes I hadn’t had time to fold and put away.

And I put on my pj’s, put the clothes through the wash twice (because once doesn’t get the smell out) and stress ate for the first time in ages.

I won’t even tell you the stupid amounts of food I ate or the poor quality of it.

I will tell you it made my IBS act up (well, I’m pretty sure it’s stress coupled with too much grease).

And that, my friends, kept me up all night in pain.  Another night of no sleep.

I’ll save the rest of the gripes for another post.

Little Bit Busy

I will post an update about my crappy Monday run and my lack of work out yesterday soon enough.

Just wanted to put it out there that I’m really incredibly busy this week with barely any time to think, let alone blog.  I mean, just yesterday I had to be in two places at once and desperately couldn’t miss either event.

We’re talking two seriously important meetings; one being about a potential salary freeze at work which will lessen the bad stuff which will be coming our way (teacher in the state of Illinois here so we’re in money troubles as the state can’t pay us any money owed.

On one hand, a salary freeze which still brings negative consequences sucks.  On the other hand, the alternative is literally so awful I’m not sure I could come out of it still enjoying my job in the slightest.

Big stuff.  Big stressful nasty stuff.

We will return to our regular programming as soon as I can sit down for 30 minutes and think relatively straight (oh yeah, also having trouble sleeping).

Monday Monday

I am looking at one heck of a busy week.

It’s ok though, I’m partially prepared and ready to take on the challenge!

Sundays have become my unofficial kitchen days.  I’m really enjoying fiddling around in the kitchen.  Last week there was pumpkin butter, almond butter and brownies.  This week’s works were homemade potato soup – a first for me not using bacon – pumpkin gingerbread and brownies again (they seem to be popular).

This week ahead of me:  Two 50 minute runs, a department meeting for two hours after work on Tuesday, a conference to drive 2 hours away to on Thursday, my second Girl’s Night In on Saturday along with an 8  mile run, and a birthday party for my niece on Sunday.

I have a feeling I’m going to hit next Monday feeling as though I’ve run a marathon…. YIKES!

Speaking of running…

Saturday’s four miles were lovely.  I had thought my times would be better but they honestly weren’t bad at all.  I could certainly feel my body wanted a bit of a rest and so I’m glad there were only four miles to run.

I really pushed myself during the last mile and I have to say I’m pretty pleased!  I think I could have pulled off 5.5 mph or better had it been the first mile but I like trying to push myself at the end… good practice!

I’ve begun creating a new playlist for my 15k.  I figure it’ll be awesome if I create a playlist just for that day.  It might take my mind off the running and I’m hoping to fill it full of songs which will inspire me and pump me up.  Plus, if the playlist distracts me or tanks I can always just switch back to one of the two I use all the time right now.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great week!