Sunday, September 28, 2008

Taper, Base and Race

If you have a problem with dogs chasing you when you run...don't buy that shoe! (On the other hand, if you need a little motivation to run faster, try them out!)

This last week+ was a taper period for me. I'm going to pick back up with base training as soon as I start feeling better--apparently I'm coming down with something. My mom and I did the 3 mile American Heart Walk across 2nd Street Bridge in the morning which was great fun but I started feeling a little worse after it was over. At DBF's brother's birthday party yesterday evening, I felt pretty crappy the entire time. So today, I slept in instead of doing any training at all, and I'm okay with that decision. I believe my body thanks me. Now, if only running will do the same thing when we meet this week...

We'll see.

I don't remember if I mentioned this but I've already registered for the KDF Mini-Marathon! And earlier today, I registered for the Komen Race for the Cure (5K) and I'm super excited about that! Great cause and it'll be my reintroduction to the racing world after 5 months! I can't wait! My goal is to run sub 35:00, think I can do it? :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Losing Motivation, Heading for Procrastination

What is that dude wearing, anyway?

So in case you couldn't tell by the umm...title...I'm hitting a low point in the running "career" again. I hate the spells I go through, and I imagine I'm not alone in this phenomenon. I am cognizant of the same "roller coaster" pattern in other areas of life--relationships, healthy eating, a certain hobby, etc. You have a lot of motivation for a few months to achieve a goal or you just get in "the mood" to do something at a higher frequency, but eventually, the motivation fades and you stop doing so well or stop putting so much energy into said aspect/activity. But within a few months, you're back at it again, doing good. It's that love/hate relationship that we all know so well! Speaking of, here's one of my favorite commercials from the NB line of love/hate advertisements:

New Balance "Bench"

I think part of my problem is that I haven't had any scheduled races since Spring...that's GOT to be it! I really need to stay focused and continue training so that I'll be ready in October. I have 3 races planned that month, no need to slack off right now! It's just hard for me right now since the job change and (not to make an excuse) my body is totally out of whack because of the change of schedule. I had my workout and all successive bodily functions at the same time every day. Now, my body is asking, "WTF are you doing getting up at 4:30? And you're not even running, you're just eating and going to work? Where's the RUN? DON'T DO THIS TO ME!" I miss running in the morning so badly. Now I have all day to talk myself out of it. :(

Anyhoo, I am excited for the next 5K, which will probably be the Race for the Cure. My last 5K was May 10 and I know my speed has improved since then, thanks to my hard work. I believe I'll set a new PR, but even if I don't, it will feel so good to get out there and race again after almost 5 months! I'm really looking forward to the Home Run 5 Miler at Bernheim Forest, it will be so beautiful there during that race!

Hey guys, feel free to give me a pep talk...I think I need it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grow up, Miss Shorty Pants!

Seriously, I've heard enough controversy about running skirts. What is the problem with them?

Prior to this spring, I had never worn one but not because I was judgemental about them or the women who wear them, only because I just hadn't been introduced to them yet. I found one on a clearance rack and thought I'd try it on. In the fitting room, it felt comfortable and looked decent, so I thought I'd give it a try on my next training run, knowing that even though it felt okay in the fitting room, it may not suit me on the road.

Well, it DID suit me and it felt GREAT! No more worrying about my shorts riding up and exposing too much thigh! No more noisy fabrics rubbing together! It was great. Eventually, I ended up buying a few more and I haven't run in shorts since. Not that I won't at some point, but honestly, I don't see the point when I have a piece of clothing that does everything I want it to.

My current fave, the C9:

I remember the first race to which I actually wore a skirt, and I felt like everyone was looking at me because of all of the "skirt" controversy. "REAL RUNNERS DON'T WEAR SKIRTS!" That has got to be one of the most ignorant statements and a testament to the confidence level of the woman who actually thinks that. I'm a real runner and I do wear a skirt. I don't wear it because it makes me look cute. I wear it for comfort. I wear it because pre- and post-run I can get on the ground and do my stretches and spread my legs and not have anyone catching a glimpse of my private parts! I wear it because it makes me feel good and contrary to what an e-mailer said in the comments section of October's Runners World issue, if I am comfortable working out (whether in a skirt, or shorts), I CAN push my body. She's plain wrong and I find it interesting that I haven't heard ANY men say anything negative about the skirts...just some women. That speaks volumes.

To all of you women who have a problem with running skirts, mind your own damn business. It's not that serious! We feel good in them and that will help our training. That should be what matters to you, as we should be focusing on supporting each other, not belittling each other based on apparel choices. You don't hear the skirt wearers demeaning YOU, do you? Maybe it's because we feel so much better and LOOK good doing it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weekly Update

Great LSD today! Weather was nice--overcast and cool so no sun beaming down making it hotter than it needed to be. Lots of people were out at my spot with dogs, dogs galore. It was actually a little annoying, but I won't get into that. All in all, a successful run. I got about a mile into it and looked over to my right, and saw a beautiful female deer walking around calmly. She looked at me but didn't seem alarmed. We were about 15 feet from each other, which is rare in the city, so it excited me! Then, a young deer, spotted and cute as could be, ran out to her. I couldn't believe it! As if it couldn't get any better, as I was about to pass the clearning where they were, a male deer snuck out of the wooded area, eyeing me and walking toward them. It was such a cool scene! I had chills and a little extra adrenaline for about 10 minutes after that!

I had an awesome day out today, eating lunch on the river with mom and then going to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona! Glad I got my run in early because I had too much bad stuff today, even while TRYING to do well!

Oh as an update, I'm fairly certain I'm not going to compete in the half-marathon in October. I didn't chicken out but I really had to be honest with myself, and I'm just not ready. My goal was to be able to run the whole thing, and I know that with my longest run at 7 miles, there's no way that will occur. So to avoid injury, frustration and SHAME, I am not going to do it. But when that Kentucky Derby Festival approaches, you can DEFINITELY count me in, it's a no brainer. I'll be GOOD and ready by then!

I've done pretty well all week and I'm proud that I've stayed strong. I've started the 100 Pushups in Six Weeks Plan and I can't wait to see how that goes. I'll keep you updated.

Oh, another update--actually two. First, the back pain I was experiencing has gone away as far as I can tell. I was worried about it because I thought it had something to do with my running form, or something physically wrong with me. But when I started dissecting the possible causes, I realized I've been doing a lot of core exercises that included some pretty intense back strengthening exercises and I'm PRETTY sure that the "pain" was actually a soreness from the poor muscles actually getting USED for once! Whew!

Also, I've had to start experimenting during my LSD days to see if there's a way to rid myself of the awful runner's trots. Today, I decided to eat my favorite yogurt, Activia, before my run. I was hoping that by eating, it would help force out a bowel movement before my run AND that the natural bacteria in the yogurt would actually help my belly during the run too. I went 80 minutes without cramping, and I'm so happy about that! I don't know if the cooler weather had anything to do with that outcome but I'll try the yogurt method again next week and let you know! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
I'm on Team Margaritaville Miles (Runners World Forum) and I'm really excited to have a team and some cool people to share with and support. It's great to have accountability, it's actually helping force me out of the door to run!
Happy Running for the week ahead!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Things I've learned in the Last Month

Who knew that my half-marathon training would take my mentality to a whole new level and actually help me in other aspects of my life?

To become a stronger, more efficient runner, I realized that the only thing to do was to KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON! That means to keep running with purpose; put some muscle into my workouts and don't be a sissy; don't give up just because it's not easy; push past the points where you didn't know you could go; don't stop when you WANT to, only when you need to; and pretend to be stronger when you feel weak, it'll get you through better than pretending to be weak when you've got strength within.

So I've been talking myself through my workouts, especially when they get tough. If I have to start out slower to get more distance out of the workout, I do it. If I have to FORCE myself to pick my knees up when I'm going uphill, I do it. If I have repeat mantras in my head, I do it. If I have to look around and take in the scenary the way you do when you're too tired to drive, I do it. What does all of this mean? It means that a large amount of my physcial success has greatly depended on my mental strength. When my mind is in the game, my body can play and it can play well. I've learned that by pushing myself just a little, I receive gains from that. I can have strength, muscles popping out, more energy, better success the next time around, and so on.

Which leads me to the second thing I've learned...when you do something once. It can be difficult. When you do something a second time, you remember what went wrong and you can plan for it, making it easier. The more times you do something, the easier it becomes. Valuable info to remember--in running and in life.

Oh, I've also learned that I can actually run 7 miles. Which means I bet I can probably run 8 later, and maybe 9 or 10 later than that. Revelations for days, I tell ya...