Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Treadmill Love

Boston training has officially started!  I think.  I did do my first training run yesterday (7 miles plus strides).  But with the honeymoon and trips to MN, IA, and FL all happening in the next month, this might end up being a 12 week plan instead of an 18 week plan.  Life will be getting in the way.  Plus, have you been to Minnesota in January?!?!?!?

There is ZERO outside running in my near future (I did consider changing my blog title to "Kari On Treadmill").  Why?  Its cold.  And snowy.  And the trails/roads are cold and snow covered and I am clutzy.  I have been in the Minnesota/Iowa region the past 4 Januarys and have never once seen pavement in a stretch long enough to run on.  I have seen snow, ice, slush, mud, salt, etc., but no pavement.

My dear friend, Treadmill, and I are gearing up for a long rendezvous.  Warm.  Television.  Warm.  Not icy.  Warm.  Magazines to read.  Warm.  No chance of snot freezing to my face.  Ahhhhh...have I mentioned its warm in the gym? 

I could care less about being the toughest runner out there.  I just want to run, stay injury free, and prove to the world that one can acheive their running goals while training in place for part of it.  I will venture out of doors here and there when Mother Nature allows or Wendy makes me, but not this week. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finally, the bug photo

I just figured out how to add photos.  Here's the bug pic from after the race. 

2 weeks later

I am still on little high from my feat of stupidity. There are days I still cannot believe I ran Philly and ran it well. I also still have days where I can't believe that I can run more than 5 miles at time.

My legs recovered surprisingly fast. I took 2 full days off, but was able to get on the eliptical on the Wednesday following. I managed to run 5 slow miles the following Saturday. My shin has felt pretty good, but I won't lie and say there has been no awareness. I haven't run 2 days in a row yet, nor have I run outside. I thought about meeting the running group this past Saturday morning, but BoyToy vetoed me.

He main argument is, "remember how you got hurt? Running outside." Since he is the one who suffers the most when I am injured, I have remained on the treadmill. Plus, its starting to get cold. Treadmill is in warm, cozy gym and does not cause my snot to freeze to my face.

Its hard to think that Boston training starts next week (for those on an 18 week plan). I am going to try the heralded Pfitzinger training plan - 18/55 (18 weeks, peak milage of 55 miles per week). I chose this because many of my running friends have had stellar success with the Pfitz and because it starts out small - only 30 miles per week. I can handle that and not build mileage too quickly. This also leaves time to pursue my other fitness endeavors including spinning, Body Pump, pilates and pool running. Yes, I think I will continue in the pool because the definition in my arms don't lie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2,757 Words on my Philadelphia Marathon

Kari Makes an Ass of Herself in Philadelphia*

*Other working titles:
The City of Susanly Love
Kari Runs Like Country Mike
Gluten Free in Philadelphia Is Really Hard
Philadelphia Needs to Increase Funding for Insect Education


I hurt my leg on August 25 (outside). It started as what I thought was tendonitis on the outside of my right leg. I pushed through to run a half on August 29 and it was all downhill from there. The injury seemed to affect my entire lower right leg – one day my calf would ball up and hurt, the next day it was back to the tendon, and then my inner shin would hurt. It finally settled in my shin. I’m not exaggerating when I say I could barely go up or down stairs. I knew it wasn’t a stress fracture because it would improve throughout the day and would feel better after I pool ran. Plus, all doctors I saw (ART, chiro) said it wasn’t acting like a sfx.

I ran 4 times in September for a total of 25 miles.

I ran once in October for a total of 5 miles.

I couldn’t give up, though. I really, really wanted to run a fall marathon. I cannot describe how much I wanted to go to Philadelphia and was going to do whatever it took. I was angry, impatient, and jealous. I was also determined and stubborn. I did whatever I could to maintain any amount of fitness I could. I pool ran 5 or 6 times a week. Most of these workouts were an hour and 15 minutes, my record was an hour 45. I went to spinning classes once or twice a week to tax my heart and lungs for “tempo” work. Starting in October I added the elliptical 3 or 4 times a week (and decreased the pool running). November I started back to lifting and added twice weekly pilates. The entire time I was still doing hip strengthening exercises at home.

When I hit the 2 month mark of being injuries I started trying to run. I do not recommend this. Injuries are emotionally and mentally harder than they are physically. By this point I NEEDED to run. I couldn’t go in that pool anymore. I ran 3 miles on Nov. 4 and then 8 miles on Nov. 8. All felt surprisingly ok. There was awareness, but no pain and my leg would loosen up and feel better. I ran 39 November miles prior to the marathon. For those of us inclined to math I ran 69 miles in the12 weeks prior to Philly.

Race Weekend

I knew this could be disastrous. I was terrified of breaking my leg. I saw the ART doc the Thursday prior and he didn’t say I couldn’t run – but I knew he was not endorsing it. I just couldn’t not try. I knew I could drop out at the half if needed. I had run 9 miles the prior week, so I knew 13.1 could be achieved. This is also where the lady bug costume comes in to play. I’ve always wanted to run in costume, but had never run a marathon just for fun with no time goal. I wanted to wear the costume so I had a constant reminder that this was a FUN run – I was not going to set any PRs.

I arrived in Philly on Friday evening and met Susan (mom 2*4) at the train station (in a smashing black and white plaid wrap). We spent Friday at her house drinking and talking and watching Dateline. I slept 9 hours straight that night.

We went into the city about 11am to see the Comcast Center and walk to the expo. Since I had extremely low expectations regarding this marathon, I was in full tourist mode. I have been to Boston 5 times. I still have not walked the Freedom Trail, seen the Old North Church, been to the Sam Adams brewery, or done anything remotely educational. I rest. I sit in my hotel room in a cocoon of rest and friends. But not in Philly! We walked past the Love Statue, past City Hall.

We hit the expo next. I approached a random man in yellow because his bib was a 3 digit number and said, “you must be fast, you’re a 3 digit number”. As he turned around Susan goes, “Are you Esined?” It was!!! I had no clue. I also had no clue that Esined is Denise backward. I always thought it was one of those smart science or philosophical terms that I couldn’t pronounce and would never understand (like AreteQuest and when Spin was athababda – or whatever it was).

Pretz also met up with us because her parents were both running the half. I totally forgot she wasn’t a blond anymore and didn’t recognize her at first! She and Susan made meeting plans we met the parental units.

Susan and I then ate any free sample we could get our hands on and took any and all free pens. Mom also scored a Geico Gekko shirt. I saw Bart Yasso at the RW booth and couldn’t resist the opportunity to discuss the status of my Boston poster dreams.

We were leaving to find lunch just as I got a text from dbrunner that he was on his way to the expo. It was close to 1pm . I told Susan that I wanted mashed potatoes for lunch – gluten free and all that jazz. What then commenced was an hour long mission to find some restaurant that served potatoes not in French fry form. Dbrunner tried to meet up with us – but it was impossible. We were wandering the streets. We finally just went to the Continental and I had a salad. And 2 Triple Expresso Vodka Chocolate Milk Martinis! YUM!!! We left lunch and were able to meet up with Serendips before she hit the expo.

Back to being tourists. We hit Independence Hall (but missed out on tickets for the tour) the Liberty Bell (but didn’t go in to see it as the line was as long as the building), Benjamin Franklin’s grave, the Betsy Ross House, Old City and Society Hill. We must have walked 5-7 miles on Saturday. Dinner of mashed potatoes at Chops with a glass of wine. And bread. I couldn’t resist! Actually it was the butter I wanted, but I thought Mom would think I was weird if I just ate the butter. Home and in bed by 9:30.

The Race (finally – this is long already)

Did you know that running in costume kind of makes you an a$$face? I still wasn’t really owning my ladybug power prerace. Every time I felt someone looking at me questioningly I wanted to shout, “yeah – but I’m faster than you. On a good day. On two legs! Oh…you’re a 3 digit number. Not faster than you on any day.”

Once I found my corral (and skedaddle and kristyjill) many people were very complimentary. A few people told they’d like to run in costume one day. I also saw 2 spidermen and a boy in a green skirt (what started as a lost bet turned into a charity fund raiser). I told many people, “if I’m going to run sh!tty, I at least wanted to look good.”

Philly does the best job I’ve seen with a race start. They start each corral at different times. The green corral was released at 7:05am. I ran down Benjamin Franklin parkway and was relieved to feel no pain. Just normal start of the run stiffness. I wasn’t wearing a watch or a garmin – I didn’t even pack either one. I wanted to run 100% by feel. And I felt good. I knew I was around a 9 minute pace.

I saw Esined early on and ran around him and his friends for the first 5 miles. He was pacing his friends for a 3:50ish finish and I knew that was right around 9 minute miles. We ran down by the river back into the buildings by mile 4. We ran past Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell (which I wouldn’t have known had Mom not taken me on the tour) and I pointed them out to the runners around me. They didn’t care.

Back to Chesnut Street. I started looking for Mom and Pretz and mnrnr as they were going to be around the 10k. By now we were back into the crowds and I was hearing tons of people yelling, “Go Ladybug!” “Nice outfit” “look at the bumblebee!” Huh? I swear…I was called a bumblebee about 10 times and butterfly at least 3. Insect education anyone?

I had settled in to running with a girl named Nicki from Jersey running her first marathon. She told me she enjoyed running with me and I should be the ladybug pacer. I told her that for every person like her who was enjoying the bug suit there were probably 10 more who would go home and say, “I ran by this stupid ladybug and it was so annoying. She had no control over those wings.”

I was still getting many shout outs and feeling really good. No pain, no niggles, I didn’t even feel out of breath. I was running easy-peasy. Then at mile 10, both of my hips began to hurt. Not painful, per se, but usual marathon pain. I started to wonder if it would only be a half day. Nicki and I were running near a man and his son for part of the first half. The dad, Stephen (Steven? Stephan? Stefan?) was pacing his son through the first 10 miles before he would let him fly for the second half. We started the mile 9 hill with Stephan, but we lost him on the way up. I had no idea where we were – but it was beautiful on top of that hill. There was also something historic up there. A monument of some sort, but I have no idea what it was.

Down the hill with hips still barking. We went past the zoo – my people as Nicki pointed out, then along the west side of the Schuykill River. Bea. U. Ti. Ful. Gorgeous. Not much fan support for miles 11 & 12, but it didn’t matter. I started to feel like I was slowing down a little.

Then it was decision time. Half or Full? My hips were still aching – but it hadn’t gotten any worse. My right shin was surprisingly pain free and my cardiovascular systems still felt great. I was still running easy-peasy, but had no clue about my time. I went through the half at 1:50-ish and knew I was on track for sub 4.

Now the course became really fun. I mean that. Not being sarcastic. The second half is out and back along the east side of the Schuykill. My Mile 15 was Mile 24 on the other side of the road. The people around me and I started to look for the leaders. Instead of being demoralizing – it was really inspiring! I was so thrilled to be cheering for them and I knew I had picked up my pace a step or two. The out and back was also a great because it gave me something to do. Once I saw the leaders I started looking for dbrunner, serendips, skedaddle, and kristyjill.

At mile 17 the path diverges and you have to run a weird out and back over a bridge and down a street. On my way out I saw the 3:40 pace group pass me, so I knew that I was not on pace to BQ (not surprising) but on my way in I saw the 3:50 group. This was the first time I had any real indication of how I was doing. I knew I was sub 3:50, but not sub 3:40. I was elated!!! Totally excited. I still felt really, really good. Like I could run all day. Hip pain yes, but nothing else.

At my mile 19ish and the back mile 21ish, I saw skedaddle – she looked AWESOME!!! Just flying – smooth, determined, and fluid. Shorty afterwards I saw serendips! She looked just as good – relaxed and speedy.

Then I saw her. THE OTHER LADY BUG!!! WTF??? I thought I had heard a few people cheering saying, “another lady bug”. But I didn’t think much of it. Then there she was – in the same exact outfit! I was demoralized. I was running the whole time thinking I was going to be first bug! I never win AG awards or anything so I was pumped at the thought of being first bug. Stupid other lady bug. I was pi$$ed.

Turn around at mile 20 and I was in the home stretch – only an hour left of running. I really wanted to pick it up, but held back. An hour is still a long time and lots of things can happen. I reined myself in. Around mile 21 I started running with a Canadian named Steve. He does not know Eamon. I asked. I told him Eamon is a lawyer and he told me he has never been sued. Good guy, this Steve!

With 4 miles to go (the rest is easy, I kept telling myself – you can do 4 miles in your f***ing sleep!) Steve and I started playing word games to pass the time. The other Steven I met earlier’s son also caught up to us at this point.

Then…there she was. Other lady bug. I said to Steven and the other kid “We are passing her. I am going to be first bug (Swear word!)! I flew (pun intended past her). Plus, she didn’t wear the wings. I was totally more committed.

But mile 25 I was still feeling AWESOME – hip pain, yes, but my energy levels, heart and lungs felt great! I tried to pick it up and finish strong. The crowds were back now and I had many fans – even if they didn’t know which bug I was. Having no garmin and seeming to miss every indicator, I had no idea exactly how much I had left. I just knew I was going to run strong until the end.

There’s SUSAN!!! Woo!!! A few blocks to go! I could hear the finish line announcers, but still couldn’t see it. Then, around the corner, there it was!!! I ran through that finish line with my arms spread and smiling!

The clock said 3:47 and I knew I was minimally 5 minutes faster due to the delayed start (chip time was 3:41:47). And FIRST BUG!!! Surprisingly…no cash awards for that category.

I was so happy. I had had SO MUCH FUN!

Susan and I walked to a bar for a cheesesteak. We walked in. No cheesesteak. Not this again!!! I said to Susan, “As much as I want to eat a cheesesteak, I am not going to drag you around a second day in a row looking for a specific food.” So we hopped in her car and drove out to the ‘burbs where I devoured my first cheesesteak – it hit the spot!

The Aftermath

Is just beginning. Things hurt. My hips, my back, my calves, my feet. They took a pounding on Sunday. I am heading to the ART guy in 45 minutes. I need ice. And drugs. And a large Russian named Helga.

Final thoughts

I will admit, though this so far has worked out, I am an idiot. This could have been total disaster. I could have been crying by the side of the road and be in a cast right now.

I am very lucky.While I stayed in shape and stayed determined, I will not lie and tell you I was positive and had a great attitude. I had a bad attitude. I was horrible and negative. I’m surprised I still have friends.

I finally have faith in my base fitness. I was expecting to run my personal worst on Sunday. It was my 12th marathon and my 8th fastest time. Only 7 minutes off of my PR.

I really don’t have any words of wisdom except for my usual. Have fun. I say it to all of you and I mean it. I had the best time on Sunday. I laughed, I cheered on others, I slapped five to numerous frat boys, little kids, and others. I basked in the beauty around me – the sun, the sky and the joy of running.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Denial is a River in KariLand

3 days until my next feat in greater stupidity than ever! Notice, I say next. I have done this before.

Feat of stupidity #1 - In 2008 I ran the Boston Marathon on no training. I qualified in October and signed up for the April marathon immediately. Then, in January, my car broke down. Twice. At a grand cost of over $3,000 and a weekend spent stranded in Bloomington, Illnois in a snowstorm, with BoyToy, and sharing a hotel with 3 groups of stranded junior high cheerleaders. My budget (for anything, really) gone. I decided Boston was out that year.

But I didn't give up hope. Finally, 3 weeks before I had a nervous, ugly-cry, breakdown to BoyToy about how much I wanted to run and he gave me the money to go. So I went. I was still running about 40 miles per week through the winter (on my love, Treadmill) but my longest run was 15 miles in February. I ran 20 miles that Sunday and then I tapered.

I finished. In one piece in 3 hours and 50 minutes (or something like that). Granted, I was healthy.

Feat of stupidity #2 - Boston 2009. I ran hurt. I trained hurt. I was too stubborn to let a left IT band get in my way! I saw chiropractors, ART doctors, massage therapists - the works! I was even approached by a trainer at my gym who asked me to PLEASE stop limping on the treadmill - he couldn't watch it anymore.

I pressed on anyway. I remember the first 8 miles of the marathon not being that bad. By mile 10 I was in pain. Big pain. Still going, though. Thanks to 2 very good friends, running angels if you will, who help me through the miles. I owe that race to Beast with his neuroma and Shannon with her boa. I crossed that finish line at 3:44 (I think - any one of you know how to look those things up online, please let me know, I can't figure it out. The magnets are on my fridge with my results but I'm at work. Obviously working very hard.) I then had to take a month off to recover.

On to Feat of Stupidity #3 this weekend. What have I got to lose? My pride went out the window weeks ago. If I hurt myself worse, it could be a blessing in disguise as a cast would force me to take the rest I cannot allow myself to take. But, if I finish I get to eat an entire box box of Chex Mix - the peanut butter/chocolate/powered sugar kind!!! (also called Puppy Chow in some circles, but not Susan's circles) If that isn't incentive, I don't know what is!

BoyToy is totally against my running this. He actually said that he should have offered me to eat the entire box of Puppy Chow if I DIDN'T run. Too late now!

I guess we'll find out on Sunday what the running gods have in store. I hope its Vicodin.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two months later

Remember, a long time ago, in my last post, that I was sort of not injured? I went from feeling so positive it was a quick healing sort of thing to not running for 2 months. I'm still not sure what exactly was hurt.

The main pain was on my right shin, about 2/3 of the way up, on the inside. I went to the sports med doc for ART (active release treatment). Neither of us thought it was a stress fracture (sfx) as the pain wasn't localized enough nor was it at the level of a sfx. It still could have been, but I refused all imaging. I wasn't going to pay a couple hundred or thousand dollars to have someone tell me not to run. I was already not running for $25 co-pays.

I spent September and October pool running with the occasional spin class. I was up to 90 minutes at a time in the pool (thank you, This American Life!!!). I was also doing hip strengtheners, core work, and upper body toning. I was positive for the first couple weeks, but by the end of September I was pretty depressed. Hence, no posts.

The wedding was October 9. While in Key West, I attempted to use the hotel's EFX machine. My first attempt at weight bearing cardio. Success! I went an hour and 20 minutes one day and my leg felt fine. It was sore from walking up and down Duval Street and I knew then I had to drop out of Columbus. I held out hope until the very last minute. I dropped out the Wednesday prior. In hindsight it was a good decision. In addtion to the bum leg, I had under estimated how tired I was going to be post wedding. I was 100% exhausted.

I still had hope for running my sub 3:30 in Philly, but it dwindled by the day. I still hadn't ran a step. October 27 was our children's Halloween party at work and my leg hurt to dance. Yes, I cried afterward. What was I doing wrong??? I was pool running and spinning and trying to remain positive. Finally, after losing all patience with my leg, on a Tuesday morning, I decided to run.

I ran 5 slow, easy miles on the safety and security of my old friend, Treadmill. It actually felt ok. Not great, but no pain. A little awareness, but no pain. It wasn't until later that evening that a small amount of soreness was there. I didn't run the next day, but did 2 miles the following Thursday. I've since ran 5, 8 and 9. My leg is ok once it warms up, and I run 10 minute miles. There is awareness, but no pain. I continue to ice daily.

I am going to attempt to run/finish Philly next weekend. I think if I take it easy, I'll be fine. This might not be the smartest decision I've ever made, but I want to try. I can drop out at 13.1 if need be.

I should also mention I haven't tried to run outside. Too terrifed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm hurt, but am I injured?

Once again, long time no post. Between inventory at work, a visit from Meg and the upcoming nuptials I haven't had much time to write. I'll give it to you in this form: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good:

I ran a half marathon on Sunday, August 29 in 1:43:03 - a PR for me. 7:52 pace per mile. I didn't tell anyone that I hurt my right leg the Tuesday beforehand when I was doing my speedwork (remember how I was so proud that I had done it outside???). Its the tendon (ligament?) on the outside of my leg, between my ankle and calf (so lower leg). I ran very slowly on it Wednesday and Friday, but could barely take a step on Saturday. I knew I would still run my upcoming half, but wasn't sure if I could muster up any speed.

I went Saturday to the running store. The staff there thought it was because my shoes are too stable for me. They said I could run (though that might not be smart) if I taped it, did a warm up and started with anti-inflammatories. All of which I did and I had been icing like it is going out of style. I did tape it with the Rock Tape.

Sunday morning Meg and I ran a slow 2 mile warm-up. She assured me that I was not limping, that it was just in my head. I went by feel and ran conservatively the first 10 miles I just tried to keep an 8:00 min per mile pace, which is my goal marathon pace. Once I hit 10 miles I just tried to run each consecutive mile a litte faster (7:50 pace, 7:45 pace). My plan was at mile 12 to try to bust out a tempo mile. I was able to do that and I went all out the last quarter mile. Which, yes, gave me a negative split and a new PR. My only previous half was ran in 2004 and that was over 1:50. My half marathon PR within a marathon was 1:46 in last fall's Columbus.

My leg was ok, not great. I could feel the pressure, but it wasn't painful. It did seize up about 3 times, causing me to miss a step, but overall I ran fine. I haven't ran since, though. It hurts. I'm not too worried about it, since it feels muscular instead of skeletal. Plus the sore area keeps changing - it goes from my shin to my inner leg to outer leg. Like I told Josh, I am confident that a week or so off will be what it needs to heal, however, I am unconfident in my own ability to take that much time off :)

I took Monday & Tuesday & Thursday completely off, but I did the eliptical and a spinning class on Wednesday (felt good - didn't bother leg).

The Bad:

I attempted to run this past Friday (on the safety and security of the treadmill). I ran 11 miles. Big mistake. HUGE. It went crappy. I never felt in rhythm. So why didn't I just stop? I'm a moron.

I was encouraged, however, but being able to propel myself in a running motion, so I ran Saturday.

The Ugly:

I made it a half mile to the stoplight and had to walk (limp) home. I may or may not have cried. I went to the gym and did the eliptical for 45 minutes (which would have been the time equivalent of my run). Yesterday (Sunday) I did a 45 minute spin class and then pool ran for over an hour. Today I am back to the pool. At least I finally figured out that I can put my Ipod Shuffle in my swim cap and have something to listen to. Last time I was stuck in the pool I suffered in silence. Plus, my shuffle is now 2 years old, so if I ruin it in the water, I figure I am due for a new one. Hopefully by then I'll be back running.

The Silver Lining:
It still feels like a muscular/tendon type injury. It doesn't hurt to touch it or apply pressure and the area isn't hot (so I don't think it is a tear). It is feeling better, but I cannot go up and down stairs without pain. Regular walking is ok. I'm trying really, really hard not to turn a 1 week or 2 week set back into a 6 week layoff injury. I'm going to wait until I can do stairs to start running.

The other silver lining is I am registered for 2 marathons this fall Columbus (Oct. 17) and Philadelphia (Nov. 21). My original plan was to shoot for a sub 3:30 at Columbus and run Philly as a fun run. If I end up having to miss Columbus or am not ready to run full bore, I can save myself for Philly. All is not lost and my summer training will not be totally wasted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Long time no post

I was checking my last blog entry - almost 2 weeks ago! I updated my stats, but had nothing interesting to say about my running.

I did pull a calf, on the treadmill (go ahead...laugh at the irony). Its my left one. I haven't had to skip any runs. The calf feels ok during the runs. Its been sore so I went to the running store to buy a calf sleeve. Instead, the sales lady gave me a sample of Rock Tape. Similar to K Tape which was made famous by Kerri Walsh in the Beijing Olympics.

Taping a calf is easy. You tape a long strip from your achilles' tendon to the botton of your knee, and then tape a short piece across it near the bottom of your calf muscle. It's a cross on the back of your leg. I did both legs because I think my right calf feels left out and is having sympathy pains. It was not attractive and the red tape totally clashed with my pink and black outfit.

Verdict: the tape is worthless. I am very happy I did not waste $18 on a roll. First of all - part of it peeled off. On the left calf the top part of the vertical strip rolled down to hang over the horizontal strip. On the right calf, the entire horizontal strip came off. I'm not sure when or where. I apologize for littering. The time it was on I wasn't sure it was making any difference.

I'm all for gimick products. I own a TrionZ bracelet (one of the magnetic/ion/voodoo things you see a lot of athletes wearing). I don't know if it works, but I figure it can't hurt. Plus, it's pink so it matches the vast majority of my running outfits. I would buy a Phiten necklace, but they are expensive. TrionZ bracelet: $10, Phiten necklace: $40. Homegirl is on a budget.

I also buy socks that are specific to my left and right foot. I don't know if this helps either, but it makes laundry sock matching much simpler. I own compression socks. They are also bright pink. I wear these for the remainder of the day after my long runs and on other days where my legs are feeling tired. Again - not sure if it works, but I figure it can't hurt. I actually do think the compression socks work. I honestly think they've been helping my calf.

Rock Tape, however, is a gimick not to waste your money on. I was told it could remain on for up to 3 days (including showers), but it didn't last through 6 mile repeats. I also didn't dig how it said "Rock Tape" all over it. Simple, basic colors please (pink!). I am open to trying K Tape, but I think I'll have a professional put it on.

An update on my nutrition plan:
I've actually been pretty successful with it. I would give myself a B+. I'm disappointed that I haven't lost any weight, but I will say that overall I feel better. Less bloated. My energy level has stabalized. I no longer feel the late afternoon drop. Up until last week I also thought my clothes were fitting better, but the past two days they haven't. I felt like giving up, but after an entire month and with the wedding less than 50 days away, I might as well stay the course.

Running updates:
I ran 21 miles on Sunday - 8 with Linda kicking my butt. I don't think she knows how to run slow. We'll talk about taking it easy, but we still end up doing most of the miles around 8:00. Since I run less than half of my long run with her it's a good marathon pace simulation. We talk the whole time, so I know I can handle the pace. Plus, she runs the middle portion of the run with me. It is my goal every Sunday morning to wake up early, run 10-12 miles, meet up with Linda, run the remaining 6-8, and be done. I always fail at this plan. I can't get out of bed to save my life. So I end up rushing around, being late, running around 7 miles, meeting Linda, and then finishing on my own. At least its a cool down.

I also did my first speedwork OUTSIDE today!!! Milestone!!! I had been doing my speed work on the treadmill, but I couldn't motivate myself to do mile repeats on it today. Believe it or not, I now have a workout I would rather do outside. How the crap did this happen???

I will throw in this small disclaimer - it was only in the upper 70s today and the humidity was very low. Had it been 90 degrees with over 80% humidity, I would have probably gerbilled it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Things to not Listen to when Running at 4:30am

I am now more so of a hyprocrit than before. Why, you ask? Because this experiment has caused me to do yet another thing I swore I would never do (and often called other people stupid for doing). I ran in the dark. From 4:30am-6:00am last Friday morning.

I work at a golf course and last week we had our annual Invitational, a 4 day golf tournament with 192 players. What this means for me (and you) is I have to be at work at 7am. Meaning I have to be done running by 6am so I have time to shower and make myself look pretty.

I skipped my Thursday run and, God forbid, I skip 2 days in a row, so I found myself on the roads at 4:30am. Because not even the gym opens that early. I learned a few things:

#1 - My running route is not well lit. At all. The first mile of my route is along scary street (please see first few posts) and then past a grocery store. This part was ok. The second mile is along a busy street and I (very wrongfully) assumed would have street lights. When I hit mile 3 I chose do a pond/neighborhood loop that is 1.68 miles around (this would also ensure that I could head home at any time). I again (very wrongfully) assumed that people would have yard lights. They do, but they were small and not as helpful as I wanted.

#2 - Running in the dark makes you trip a lot. Mostly at the small undulations in the path. When you can see them it's not a problem, I guess your eyes and brain do all the adjustments for you. Take out the eyes, my brain fails.

#3 - You should not listen to This American Life's "Held Hostage" podcast. Learning about people who are kidnapped in the South American jungle will not help you feel safer and makes you frightened of telephone poles. Needless to say, I listened to less than a minute of it.

Here I am though - alive and well and hoping to never have to do that again. Or if I do, I'll have a dog by then. Who is not only scary, but a good runner.

Back to my new obsession: This American Life podcasts from NPR. LOVE them. For whatever reason my longer, slower runs are better when listening to people tell me a story than when I listen to music. I have learned about the world financial meltdown, two women who were switched at birth, infidelity, how New York's state budget is falling apart, etc. I have also been entertained by tales of partying at Penn State, the happenings at a rest stop on a summer weekend, how to talk to kids, urban legends, etc. I now subscribe to the free weekly podcast, but also buy podcasts from iTunes - only 99 cents per an hour of running! I can't recommend these enough!

Monday, August 2, 2010

BoyToy may have lost his mind.

The strangest thing happened this morning...BoyToy asked if I wanted to go for a run with him! WTF?!?!?!?!

This is strange for a few reasons:
1. BoyToy barely runs. Maybe a mile or two on the treadmill at the gym before he lifts things.
2. The last time we ran together (July of 2009) he told me very specifically that we were "never doing this ever again!" Granted, that was after a 4 mile race in which he ran 7:40 miles and I signed him up for without telling him, but he was very adamant. Not taking the hint, I still ask him at least twice a week if he wants to go on my run with me and he always politely declines.
3. He always tells me how much I smell after I run so I never thought he'd want to experience it in real time.

But he asked, so I wasn't going to pass it up (even today is my scheduled rest day). We ran 2.5 miles at a 9:46 pace. It was very relaxing, just being outside with him and talking about the neighborhood. We were like 2 explorers trying to find the Dairy Queen (even if it was 8:30am and DQ is not whole grain - we didn't stop).

That's it. Not much else to report, but in case BoyToy starts exhibiting more signs of having lost his mind, I felt I needed to put this on the record.

Next Topic: Friday I did tempo and didn't think I was going to die (unlike 2 weeks ago when I ran in the inferno).

I had an 11 mile workout on Friday with 5 miles at tempo (7:40 pace). In addition to being bad at math, I also struggle to figure out my Garmin. I have it set on autolap, so I can't read my splits. I didn't think of this until I was running my first tempo mile and by then it was too late. I ran them blind. 5 hard miles. I figured I would look when I got home and either be surprised or disappointed.

It was a workout, that's for sure. I ran hard, but tried not to go all out. It was hot, but not humid. I felt like I slowed down each mile, except for the last one where I hauled ass the last .25 mile to make up for the lost time. I needn't have worked so hard. I was shocked when I read my data and my miles were: 7:27; 7:25; 7:13; 7:19; 7:08. Once again, I had done it wrong (much too fast!). But I was shocked to find out that I could have held back and still done the workout successfully.

I called Coach Cope to grovel and ask for forgiveness. He told me not to worry. It was ok to do the workout too hard, but if I did that all the time, my other workouts could suffer. As usual, he was right. My Sunday 19 miler was tough. I had nothing in the tank. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

This could also be attributed to the fact that I forgot to eat before I ran. Normally I never, ever forget to eat. I eat too much. But I woke up late and in my haste to leave I forgot to grab something. I did manage to grab 2 Gu and 2 bottles of G2, so I knew I would survive the workout. And I did. Survive, that is. But it was tough. I made Linda stop twice so I could catch my breath and drink and pretend I was in shape. The last 3 miles were horrible. I should have just called it good at 16 (when Linda left after running 10 with me), but I’m too Type A to do that. So I HTFU (barely) and chugged through the miles. I won’t mention the MAJOR chaffing that also added to the misery of this run. Suffice it to say I’m surprised my thighs weren’t bleeding.

Final Topic: The new diet.

I am done with my first full week. I must say, I was rather successful (minus the whole forgetting to eat thing on Sunday and a pita attack on Saturday). It was easier that I originally thought. I’m still eating all the same foods, just in different ratios and proportions and forms. I went to Trader Joes to ease my shopping. I still bought the same things: bread, tortillas, pitas, cereal – but all in whole grain. I added the morning snack at 10am (usually 2 sting cheese and a piece of fruit) and its really helped me make good choices since I’m not starving at lunch time.

I thought dinner would be tough because I eat it with BoyToy, but he’s been amazingly supportive and my new diet hasn’t affected his normal diet. For example, one night we had burgers, but I didn’t have whole grain buns. He had a normal burger with chips, and I had my burger with sides of wild rice and green beans. Not bad.

I only had one moment of food envy. They had pizza for lunch at work one day. I love work pizza – its doughy and saucy and yummy. But not whole grainy. Boo.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Am I hardcore now? and then a rough transition to my nutrition

Once again I find myself with a week between posts. I'm not sure what that tells you, except that I am boring. Plus, it has been Africa-hot here and I've spent many a run on the air conditioned treadmill (with last Friday's debacle and all the "don't be a dumbass" speeches I've been getting).

Having no new magazines to read and actually, sort of, wanting to run outside, I was determined to hit the roads on Saturday and Sunday. And I did.

Saturday's run was mis. er. able. 4 miles at 8am in 85+ degree, humid weather. It sucked. A lot. I drank 24oz of water in 36 minutes. I was so thankful I was actually following my plan and only running 4 miles. I was nervous about next day's 18. I gave BoyToy strict instructions to wake me up before 6am to make sure I was up and out before the heat hit.

I need not have worried about the heat and humidity. Sunday I woke up at 6:10 (grrr...BoyToy) and running by 6:35. It was much better running conditions. 72 degrees and way less humid. My first 8.65 miles felt ok, not great, but better than the last few felt. I was running about 9:20 miles before I met up with Linda so she could kick my ass.

I met Linda at 8am in our usual spot (after submitting to the call of nature behind the market). We had talked on Saturday about running a little easier this week as we expected it to be hot and humid. Remember when I said I needn't have worried about that? I should have worried about the rain.

We were 3.5 miles from our cars (exactly as far away as we go) when the sky opened up to a torrential downpour. I mean, it was build an ark rain. (In case you think I am exaggerating, I checked the radar when I got home - it was red and yellow). Within 3 minutes we were drowned rats. Soaked shoes and all. It rained for the rest of our run. Just when we thought it was letting up - another wave of hard rain came through. All we could do was run. We weren't getting any drier. I could feel the standing water in my shoes. I started to wonder why I was even attempting to avoid the puddles. I won't mention the chafing. Oh the chafing.

For those you, ahem...Troy, who say that running in adverse conditions is "how we earn it". Linda and I earned something on Sunday. I hope its a PR in October, but I'll settle for new shoes.

I also met with the nutritionist this week. She had analyzed my food diary. I'll make this quick.

The good things:
I eat a variety of foods (this is thanks to BoyToy and his refusal to eat the same thing twice in a week).
I don't eat many fried foods.
I eat good breakfasts.
That's it.

The bad things:
Not enough protein.
Too much grazing. And grazing on the wrong things.
No portion control (so yes, a shit load is NOT an acceptable quantity)
Too many processed foods.

The plan:
All carbs I consume should be whole grain. From bread to buns to rice to cereal. No simple sugars. (except for 1 mini candy bar after meals - no more than 3 per day)
Protein with all meals AND snacks.
Snacks must come from my snack list.
Eat every 3 hours (6 times per day). (WOO-HOO!)
Portion control. (Dammit.)
One free day each week to eat (and drink!) whatever I want.
Watch my pee for signs of dehydration.

So far, so good I must say. I grocery shopped on Sunday and bought whole grain bread, cereal, pitas, and tortillas. I bought carrots, zucchini, blueberries, apples, string cheese, and ingredients to make my own trail mix. I'm feeling full and eating clean. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am a hypocrite...who is still bad at math

After posting on Thursday regarding my lack of outside running due to my lack of interest in heat stroke... then I was a hypocrite. The very next day, I ran my workout of 10 miles (3 easy warm up, 4 at tempo pace (7:35-7:40 per mile), 3 easy cool down) in the 90 degree heat. Why, self, why???

I prepared as best I could. I drank a liter of water during my work day (in addition to 2 Diet Cokes) and carried a 24 ounce bottle of G2 with ice. I even ran with only my sports bra on in an attempt to be cooler. This resulted in a side stitch at the end of 1 mile because I was sucking in my stomach so hard. Homegirl needs to do some crunches.

I chose a neighborhood loop to do my tempo miles at. It is about 1.65 miles around (on an asphalt path) and 2.5 miles from my front door. Perfect. I placed my bottle in the bushes at the head of the loop so I wouldn't have to carry it.

I continued my warm up for .5 miles after I set down the bottle (I tried to hide it so it wouldn't be licked by dogs or mistaken for litter). The Garmin beeped 3 miles at I was off! I ran as fast as I thought I should be - working very hard, but not sprinting. It was hot. Thank goodness there was a breeze, but every time it blew I could feel the heat radiating off of the asphalt. My garmin hit 4 miles and I pressed the lap button to see what my time was. 7:37 - perfect!

I stopped at 4.2 miles as I was at the end of the loop and needed a drink. Believe me when I tell you every orifice on my body was sweating.

I decided to run my next lap on the street instead of the asphalt - hoping that it would be a half a degree cooler. I think it was. When the wind blew it was still hot air, but not the waft of fire that came off the newly blackened path. I don't know what my second tempo mile pace was because I malfunctioned when hitting my lap button.

By the third tempo mile, I was starting to question my wisdom of doing this workout out of doors. My shoes were soaked, my clothes were soaked and I was starting to feel like I might hurl purple G2 on someone's petunias - though it would match nicely. I couldn't totally give up - but I did slow down. Miles 3 & 4 were 7:47 & 7:57. And. I. Was. Spent.

I wobbled home hoping to remain upright and not to have to flag down a passing motorist to call BoyToy. I made it in one piece thanking the gods of water fountains in the park. It wiped me out - through Saturday's run as well. I felt dehydrated through Saturday evening.

I rebounded nicely with my Sunday long run and today I'm resting. I had adjusted my training plan to fit in better with my work week and found out I've been doing myself a complete disservice. My weeks were supposed to look like this:

Sunday - long run
Monday - rest
Tuesday - intervals
Wednesday - 10 miler
Thursday - short recovery run
Friday - 10 miler
Saturday - short recovery run

Instead, I was doing:
Sunday - long run
Monday - 10 miler
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - intervals
Thursday - 6 miler
Friday - 10 miler
Saturday - 7 miler

I was being very good about running my paces, but by moving the schedule around and running a few more miles here and there I was tempting the injury gods. I was giving my marching, er, running orders last night and from here on out, I PROMISE, I will follow my plan.

I will also pull a Sarah Palin and write my interval workouts on my hand because I still do too many with the wrong recovery times.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I haven't blogged in 10 days. Maybe its because I've...um...sort of only ran outside 3 times since the last time I wrote (July 5). I guess that is 3 times in 10 days, which, if I played baseball, would be 3 for 10 or .300 - I'd be in the top 25 in the American League and the top 15 in the National League. So there goes all of your disappointment in me. I am doing great.

There have been a few factors keeping me off of the roads:

1. Its July. Its hot. Its humid. The gym is air-conditioned. Most days I after work and its 90 by then. I'm not interested in heat stroke. While it might give me some good material, I really don't want to tell that story.

2. Lisa was attacked by a bird. This is in Kari's Top Ten Creature Fears. If a bird attacks me, I might never run outside ever again. You could say that running inside means the birds win. I'm ok with that.

3. Speedwork. This is done on the treadmill. Yes, I know, I could go to a track, but that means a) I have to find one and b) be laughed at by middle schoolers. My running club does track workouts on Tuesday mornings at 6:30am. I start work at 7:30 on Tuesdays and, believe me, they prefer me showered.

Running on an actual track would also require thinking on my part. I'm not into that. The treadmill does all my thinking for me! I just set it and try not to fall off the back. I have thus far been successful. I also do not have to count how many intervals I have done. I simply fold down the corner of the page of the magazine I am reading. Then, when I feel like I might pass out, I count the folds. On a great day, I'm at 8, on a bad day, 3.

An argument can be made that I would be better math conversions on the track - I wouldn't have to do them. A lap is 400m, 2 laps is 800m. 800m is basically a half mile - which I can figure out, its the rest time I always screw up. My first 3 weeks of speedwork were supposed to be 8x800 @ 3:50 with 200 recovery. I kept doing half miles with quarter mile recoveries (800 and 400 respectively) and then wondering why my coach said the workout was 8 miles, but I had done 10. I'm not sure in who's world 200 is half of 800. Oh yeah, mine. Yes..it took me 3 weeks to figure this out.

Yesterday's workout was FINALLY 8x800 with 400 recovery and what did I do? 8x800 with 200 recovery. The kicker was that my intervals were ran 15 seconds faster and I needed the full 400 recovery. The good news is that I did not fall off the treadmill and despite my short recovery, I did all 8. Then I ate a Philly Cheeseburger (no longer keeping food diary).

(A short interlude on the food diary)
I gave it to my friend on Friday and she is analyzing it this week. I hope to have an update soon. I should continue keeping it as I'm sure I would not have eaten all the hot dog flavored chips at the car show due to the embarrassment from having enjoying something as disgusting sounding as "hot dog flavored potato chips".

On the road again
My 3 outside runs were also uneventful. I didn't get lost, I saw no squirrels, no random people talked to me. I ran the golf course last Thursday at a relaxing enjoyable pace. I ran 7 miles with my running group Saturday and learned new alcholic drinks to try. I ran 18 on Sunday and my fuel belt chafed my navel. (Stupid hips forcing my fuel belt upwards!)

Hmmm...now I remember what I was going to blog about. My love of This American Life podcasts from NPR ($0.99 on iTunes). Next time my 17 fans...next time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Running with a "Real" Runner

As far as I know most of my regular running partners are just like me: people who enjoy running, have a certain level of success with it (many of us have qualified to run Boston), and we enjoy each other's company. I think. I might annoy them from time to time, but they put up with me. I know a few of them have athletic pasts (unlike my uncordinated self), but to my knowledge none of them were competitive runners past high school.

On Sunday, though, I ran with a "real" runner. A Division I collegiate runner! (not currently - back in the day. She's older than me, but I won't divulge her age) She's been coached! She ran the Penn State relays! She was a fast enough runner to wear the underwear-looking things! (Google Kara Goucher or Deena Kastor - you'll see what I mean). Her main events were the 3000 and 5000 meters. She ran both on the track and cross country. After college she ran a few marathons, including Boston. Her name is Linda.

I met Linda this spring at the golf course I work at. She and her family joined. She has two sons, 5 and 1. She was a high volume runner until her first pregnancy. She continued to run after both births, but she is now a 3 or 5 mile runner and hasn't ran any 1/2 or full marathons in years. Linda is plannign to run the 1/2 at Columbus this fall and told me she would pace me through the first half. I told her she should pace me through the second half as that is when I would need her more, but that's not how race directors plan things.

We have been talking about running togther for months. However, with her kids and my random running schedule it just hasn't worked out. Until yesterday! I was super pumped! I had 16 on the schedule and Linda was going to meet me at 8am to run 8 with me. My big plan was to start running by 6:30 so I could have 9 or 10 in before I met her, but I sort of overslept and then there was some road construction, so I didn't get started until 6:50am. I ran 7.34 at a 9:14 pace.

I met Linda at the gazebo (after standing by my car for a few minutes and then realizing maybe I should look around) and we were off! We ran 8 miles along the Antrim trail and when we were finished my average pace was 8:34 - 40 seconds faster per mile. I would work out what that meant Linda and my's pace per mile was, but that involves math and I'm not sure how to get my Garmin to tell me. I'm going with 8 minute miles.

I know many of you (16!!! Holy Crap!) are now reading thinking "that was way too fast for a long run" I was also thinking that, but Linda didn't think I've been doing enough hard running. I do one day of speedwork per week, but I haven't done any marathon pace training runs since last September. She told me I need to get my body used to some hard running. Granted - not every day, but once in awhile and during my long runs. It was also nice having someone to push me for that long. It boils down to two competing philosophies and I figured a hard run wasn't going to kill my entire training. I took it easy today and am off until Wednesday after work (over 56 hours rest).

Linda also promised me after our run that she was going to "get in shape" so she could run better. I looked at her and said, "If this is your out of shape, I'm not sure I want you to get IN shape."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Nickle, A Diary and A Meg

I have 3 things to talk about tonight, I'll save the best for last, per the title. First though, a few notes on runs: I ran outside 3 days in a row. 11 miles on Friday (it was 91 degrees, but not that humid), 5 miles Saturday with the CRC Crew, 17 miles today in 300% humidity. I then got bored and bought new running shoes (and maybe a new outfit). Instead of the Asics Kayanos, I decided to save $50 (see outfit, new) and try the Mizuno Wave Inspires. Lisa and Jess run in them and they rock, so I should, too. Plus they're pink (so is the new outfit!). I've also been sleeping in my compression socks, per Beth. She is my running crush, so I do all she does. I also make her AMAZING banana bread twice a week (see diary, food below).

1. I FOUND A NICKLE!!! I was really excited about this. My first running cash! I have been highly disappointed with the lack of cash on the side of the road. There's enough litter to fill a dumpster, but no cash. Doesn't a $20 bill just fly out with the Wendy's cup? No loose change with the White Castle box? Not even a penny for your thoughtless actions. Why run outside if there's no money to be found? I can find plenty of no money on the treadmill.

Then, Friday...there it was. Shining in the sun like a...um...I don't know...shiny thing. My first nickle! Though the gentlemen mowing his lawn may have laughed at me, I didn't care. I had enough money to buy help from Lucy.

2. I started a food diary. As my (14!) loyal readers know, I have been struggling with my post Boston weight gain. I consider this a financial issue because I don't want to have my wedding dress let out. Per the antedote above, I'm not finding enough money to pay for it. I reached out to a nutritionist I know and she agreed to help me lose the 5 pounds. She told me to keep a food diary and write down every single thing that goes in my mouth (don't be a pervert). Since Wednesday, I have dutifully recorded each vitamin, potato chip, Diet Coke and piece of gum (18 in one day? Holy halitosis.).

This has been quite depressing. Turns out I can't go more than 2 hours without eating (or a half hour without a piece of gum). I feel really guilty about Saturday's peanut butter cups. I now count the chips I sneak from the kitchen. There's 8-10 per handful. I really need to drink more water. I think I have a Tootsie Pop problem. I wonder if "shit-load" is an acceptable quantity?

We don't have our acutual appointment set up yet, but I'll let you know how it goes.

3. My friend Meg posted a story on runnersworld.com that was too good not to share. It certainly beats anything I've posted:

"Morning! I'm cranky. Ran an easy 5 on the trails with boytoy and his coworker last night. Adventures during said run included a) a crash in which I managed to scrape significant amounts of skin off both knees, b) an encounter with a large, very overheated dog and the rescue efforts to cool him off that ensued (including boytoy's attempts to get the dog to lie down in a nearby stream, random passersby and their dogs, and a large Russian man named Boris), c) a random FE with serendips, who happened to be involved in said rescue efforts, and d) an unfortunate altercation with a large thorned branch, which scraped attractive red lines across my midsection. Fun times!

I feel like crap. Sore from softball wednesday night (probably because I was catcher and had to crouch behind the plate for 7 innings) and just generally tired and sluggish. I've also put on 3 lbs in the past couple weeks for no apparent reason. Tempting to do a long run, but I think I'm going to take both today and tomorrow off instead. Big 5K Sunday and I don't want to suck.
(oh, and before anyone says anything- NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT.)"

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Trip to Walgreens

I knew I hadn't posted in a while, but I didn't realize it had almost been 2 weeks! I blame work keeping me too busy and exhausted to write (though I did run). Today I am posting at work. I think its a fair trade. Disclaimer: if this post ends up being random and disjointed, please blame the golfers and my ringing phone.

The other reason my posts were not here is because nothing really noteworthy happened. The runs were pretty boring. The lone exception was Sunday, June 20. (Do you like my teaser? HA-HA! You have to keep reading!)

The week of June 13-19 I did all but 1 of my runs outside. The exception was my Monday speed work on the treadmill. Why treadmill? Because I can set the pace and run and not think about it. Speedwork outside (I assume) takes more effort. And thinking. And paying attention. Wednesday outside I pulled a muscle in my back. I'm not really sure what happened, but I attribute it to carrying my water bottle and how I was holding my arms. It happened at mile 3 but I still ran the remaining 8 miles. So smart us runners! I ran again Thursday morning. It didn't hurt to run, just to breathe deeply or yawn. The chiropractor cracked me that afternoon and all has been honky-dorey since.

Sunday's run was my long run (16 miles). I started at 6:45am to beat the heat. There is a Walgreens that is 7.5 miles from my apartment. I carried my water bottle, but no GU, as my plan was to stop and drink a G2 at the Walgreens. (You know what teenage cashiers LOVE? Sweaty money.) While at Walgreens, I used their facilities (bonus!) and my 32 oz of sweet, blue sugar water. A gentleman in line behind me (rocking some SWEET houndstooth pants) inquired, "How far are you running?"

"16 miles"

"I run 10 miles every Tuesday and Saturday and 5 miles every Wednesday and Friday."

"That's awesome." I replied. I meant it, too.

"I also run a jackhammer 5 times a week."

Um...ok. Yippee? He preceeded to then show me his bulging forearms and further inform me on the merits of working with a jackhammer versus weightlifting in the gym. I then heard about where his office was, where I should go for lunch, and who I should ask for. Why am I way too polite to blow off strangers that I will never see again? Who knows? He might tell everyone that some smelly girl (I sort of forgot to put on deodorant before I left) was rude to him at 8am on Sunday at Walgreens. The horror.

This week's runs were then boring. Monday off. Tuesday speedwork on the treadmill. Wednesday 10 easy miles on the treadmill. It was over 90 degrees, heat stroke is not attractive. Thursday morning 5 miles on the golf course. Today, gulp, back outside for 10. I think. Unless my People magazine arrives. No. No excuses. Must run outside. I can do it. Outside.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday I ran into a pesticide cloud (literally and figuratively)

I was really lazy this past week. I only ran outside twice (Sunday and Saturday) and took 3 days off in a row. I still managed to get in 45 miles on the week.

Saturday's run was another early morning endeavor. I awoke at 5:45am (feeling very rested thanks to falling asleep on the couch at 9pm) and met a few friends at 6:15am. It was already over 70 degrees and humid.

I was wearing my compression socks because I thought it might help my overly tired legs. I don't really know if they made me feel more hot or not. (I mean, I felt totally "hot" in the sense that I looked AWESOME with my matching visor, but I couldn't tell if they affected my overall body temperature). My legs felt ok energy wise through most of the run, so maybe they did help.

I ran 11.65 miles with the group and then strayed so I could get to 15 before I would be late for work. By mile 13 I was done for. So hot. So humid. Body hates me. Why did I think I should do pick ups during the 12th mile? Why, self?

Being the stubborn runner that I am (and obsessed with my weight gain since Boston that only keeps growing instead of shrinking) I had to get to 15 miles. Couldn't quit at 14. But at mile 14.25 I saw what I thought was a mirage of sweet relief. A city worker - with a hose!!! Spraying trees! Sweet relief! Its so hot. Please, sir, just direct the hose at my head!

"Is that water or pesticide?" I shout at my orange-smocked friend.


Too late. Ran directly in it. Great. At least I can finish my run pest free. (And it was totally NOT refreshing.)

As for my figurative pesticide cloud. I'll keep this short. Basically, I reached out to someone with some unsolicited advice, just trying to help, and got my ass kicked all over the internet. I spent a good portion of yesterday in tears, being angry at myself and beating myself up. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Instead of focusing on the negative, I'll find the silver lining. A lot of people came to my defense, and showed what amazing, caring people I have met through running. I have found a true community - good, bad and ugly, and we accept and support each other. Its been said that when you cross the finish line of a marathon your life changes. My life changed significantly when I became a marathoner. I have met interesting, loving, caring people who support my every step and I theirs. We are from all corners of the country, all shapes, sizes, colors, and beliefs. I can't imagine my life without the knowledge they have shared with me, the support they have shown me, and the love they have given to me. Thank you doesn't seem close to enough to say.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Moisture wicking, my ass...

I am fully aware that while running in a downpour my Nike top (endorsement money, please. Sponsor a slow kid!) will not be able to wick all moisture from me. Instead, it will cause me to look like the loser of the world's worst wet T-shirt contest. However, I did spend $70 on this outfit - is a dry spot too much to expect? I am now on a search for an umbrella hat. Added bonus - you'll always be able to find me in the running crowd.

Yes...you read that correct above. I ran in the rain today. At 6:15am, the day was sunny and full of dryness. Wendy said something about a storm moving in, but I thought we had a couple hours until it got here. Not 45 minutes later the big, dark grey clouds were near us. I was highly optimistic that we were running away from the rain by heading towards the lighter sky of the south. Mr. Rain chose to follow us and completely dump a cloud. Then another one about 20 minutes later, and one more for good measure 10 minutes after that one. I ran 15 miles, only 3 of which were in the rain and I was soaked to the bone. Does that make me hardcore now? I even stepped in a puddle. And outload swore about it. I was so wet that I had to find a blanket to protect my car seat.

I survived, though. And I want a merit badge.

I was super busy at work this week, and I didn't have time to write until today. I ran outside Tuesday and Thursday this week. Wednesday I chose the treadmill so I could read my Entertainment Weekly (top 100 characters of the last 20 years and no Urkel?!?! Outrage. It was on from 1989-1997. I checked before I outraged). Tuesday's run I got lost. Like way lost. Thought I ran to Michigan lost. I took one wrong turn and became completely discombobulated. I was running around my usual lake and had no idea. Once I figured that out, I tried to run in the direction of the golf course, but ended up by the big water tower that is only 2 miles from my house. How I didn't see the water tower looming...

Turns out I can find my running route in a car, either. The BoyToy's parents are in town this weekend and last night I wanted to show them the neighborhoods I run it. I also wanted to show BoyToy because if I get murdered by a squirrel while I'm out running it is his job to scrape me off the road. I told him to turn into the completely wrong subdivision (one with no outlet to boot!). Let's just say after 5 minutes of me having no clue where we were, I could feel the anger wafting off of him.

We finally found the correct neighborhood where I preceded to get us lost once again, by missing the same turn I missed on Tuesday and also not figuring out that I knew where I was until too late. BoyToy, as I should note, still wafting anger. I was able to get us home in one piece eventually, but I don't think I'm ever allowed to be navigator (note to wedding guests: we are registered for a GPS. If you buy it for us BoyToy may marry you instead me). At least it wasn't raining either time I was lost.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A month recap and a bee attack

It is Memorial Day...the last day of May. I ran outside 11 times this past month - an average 2.5 times per week. I would tell you the mileage totals, but I'm at work and all that information is at home. I also can't tell you my yearly tally of runs outside. I counted last night, but have no idea right now.

Last week was a rough one. I ran outside for 4 out of 5 runs. Let me tell you...I could feel it! My hips were sore by Thursday. My legs need a little more time to get used to asphalt. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, run on the grass and all that jazz, but I don't think the homeowners would appreciate it.) Plus, I am in dire need of a massage. I think my entire body is one big knotted muscle - from my shoulders to my back to my glutes to my calves. Anyone know a cheap masseuse? One that won't cost my $70 per hour plus tip?

Don't get me wrong, I think they deserve that much (considering some of the people they have to touch!), I just can't afford it. Someday I hope to have that luxury in my weekly budget, but I don't right now. I do have a foam roller and a stick, but they're not the same. I think tomorrow I'm going to break and get out the credit card.

Anyhoo...I ran with my running group on Saturday. I haven't ran with them since March because of my work schedule. Saturday they started at 7am and since I'm not up to high mileage yet, I jumped at the opportunity to join them. I ran 7 with the group, broke away with Denise for another 4, and then I HAD to run 1 more to get to 50 miles for the week.

As I was running my last mile, ALONE, I felt something hit my left shoulder, then my right shoulder, then my left again! AAAACCKKK!!! A BEE! ITS A BEE! I'M BEING ATTACKED! ITS FOLLOWING ME!!! A BEE!!! I tried to run faster, but the bee stayed with me. After about 10 steps I mustered up all the courage I could and tried to swat the bee off of me.

Turns out...not a bee. It was my stupid headband. Its a two strap thing and one strap had fallen and was whacking me in the shoulders. I was thankful to be alone it my freak out. Bee attacks on a treadmill are rare. I may have figured this out earlier had I been inside.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The things I get myself into...

I work at a Golf and Country Club. It is well known here that I am a runner. (It also well know that I am a gerbil.) I have been asked on numerous occasions to run the golf course. I have never done it for a few reasons. 1. It is outside. 2. They run at 6am. 3. It is dewy in the morning. My shoes will get wet. And covered in grass. 4. I don't know if the people I work for should see me sweaty.

But as part of this outdoorsy endeavor...I finally said yes. I set my alarm for 5:27 am. I packed my bag (bonus of my work: showers available!) and breakfast last night. I even fell asleep before the new American Idol was announced.

I showed up on time and ran 2 laps around the course for 9 miles. My shoes are wet. My socks are wet. I think I am bringing home enough lawn clippings to mulch. But I survived. I didn't even see any creatures. I thought for sure I'd see a deer (Did you see the season finale of The Middle? Sue takes up cross country and on her morning run she gets hit by a deer - histerical!), but no deer. And no squirrels.

I have to admit, watching the sunrise on a golf course is one of the most beautiful things one can witness. The green grass, the tall trees, the blooming flowers...it makes you happy to be alive. I was thankful to have people to run with and access to an amazing trek. I mostly see golfers at work and it was nice to get to know another segment of our membership.

I ran probably 8 of the miles on the grass. I have to say...I think my shins and calves are going to be sore tomorrow. My legs are not used to undulation. Grass is supposed to be easier on your joints, but I'm a hurtin. Thank goodness tomorrow is a rest day. I think.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You can skip this one...its boring

I ran 11 miles outside this morning between 10am and noon. I finally got off the couch at 9:50am, after my morning nap, after I slept past 8:30. My plan was to run 10 miles with 8 miles being acceptable.

Once I was on my way, however, I decided to finally figure out how far it was from my apartment to the entrance to the Wedgewood neighborhood. I ran this neighborhood once during my Boston training, but I entered it from the north side and our starting place was the running store. The Wedgewood neighborhood is one of the hilliest in Columbus. I plan on using this neighborhood to do hill workouts and build my overall running strength.

I knew I was close to this neighborhood from a few of my earlier runs. I just didn't know how far I was from the north entrance. I chose this as my goal because it was the midway point on our 23 miler this past March. Wendy, a good friend of mine and fellow marathoner, used the sign at the entrance to hide our water and fuel. I knew once I could figure out how to get to the entrance, my runs could be limitless from my front door. I set a goal to find out one day how far that sign was and I decided that today was the day.

I wasn't overly concerned with how far away the entrance was. When I started running I used to worry that I would run out too far and not be able to make it back. I had images of myself walking and crying and being stuck out in the middle of a trail. But now...distances no longer intimidate me. I have the confidence to run to a specific point. That point could be 5 miles away, 10 miles away, 20 miles away and I know I can make it. I am healthy and strong enough to make it.

That health and strength also tranlates to other areas of life. I could go to New York City tomorrow and I could walk all day around the city. I could go to Disneyland and have the energy to spend the entire day at the park. I could do most cardiovascular challenges on the Amazing Race. I even told a cardiologist that if I ever have heart trouble I will be PISSED.

I can still remember being a fat kid. Hating to run the mile in PE class. Knowing that I sucked at sports and never being picked in the first half for teams (I wasn't last pick, but often close). I still think before each marathon, while waiting for the gun to go off, "what am I doing here? I can't do this." Then having to remind myself that I can. I have before. I will again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

51 miles total, 16 outside

I was a total wimp last week. I wussed out Sunday (not technically since Sunday is a designated indoor day), Monday, (rest day Tuesday) Wednesday, and Friday. Thursday and Saturday were outside for 9 and 7 respectedly.

In my defense, it rained a lot this week. Like every day. Seriously - I thought I lived in Forks, WA and vampires were going to move in. Then one would fall in love with me, I'd find out BoyToy is really a warewolf (wearwolf?), we'd get to go to Italy to fight the Volturi and then I'd never get old and always be really pale. Ahem...

Wednesday I ran at 6:00am and you know I refuse to run in the dark (that darn fear of being hit by a car) AND it rained. I have been shopping for more yellow running tops. I love my electric yellow Boston shirt from 2009 - you can see that thing from space! If a care were to hit me while wearing that all you'd have to do is take the shirt to court. The judge would take one look and the Kari-smasher would go to jail. I am all about being super visible.

I am taking baby steps in my outdoor running, which is an apt description because I am such a baby about it. I think through June, I'll stay with my goal of 3 days of outdoor running per week. July I'll step it up to 4 and complain about humidity. August is a crap shoot, as will be September. I don't know if I'll get to the point where I'll be an "outdoor" runner. I promise you there is a post in your future about how dirty my shoes are. I'm making progress though (and this better get me a fricken PR this fall!)

Its hard to believe training will start again in June. My friend, Greg Coplen, will be helping me along the way - writing my plan. I like when someone else does my running thinking for me. Like the treadmill does - I set the pace and try not to fall off the back.

Pacing has been a challenge for me outside. I'm always running too fast. The majority of marathon training is done at what is known as a "general aerobic pace", or GA pace. For me, this is 9:15-9:45 a mile. GA pace is 60-90 seconds slower than your marathon pace. My default pace seems to be about 8:50 per mile - it takes effort to go slower (maybe effort is the wrong word. Consciousness is probably the correct word. I don't like to think while running.) Running the slower pace gives your legs a break. It lessens the pounding.

It took me a long time to buy into the whole "train slow, race fast" philosophy. But its been one whole year since my last serious injury so there may be something behind it. Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back outside, back inside

We have so much to talk about. After 2 treadmill runs in a row, I ventured back outside on Thursday after work. Surprising, because I was running at 4:00pm, aka "Scary Heavy Traffice Time." As you recall, Scary Heavy Traffic Time is only .42 miles, or less than 4 minutes of running. Don't make me quote all those statistics about seconds between being alive or dead - we've all gotten that email (probably a dozen times). I wore my new bright yellow tank in order to plead with the drivers to see me and not make roadkill out of me.

The new yellow tank top is a Nike compression top. Why, oh why, can I never learn that if something is compression I should buy a size larger? I ran my 11 miles basically in a bra, as the shirt rode up so far I looked like Britney Spears - without the abs. Or, as John King would say, like the Louisville Footloose doppleganger. I apologize to all the young children (including the one who past me on his bike, and then stopped to walk with it???).

Anyhoo...I did more "Kari exploring" and discovered that I live only 2.5 miles away from some really, really nice neighborhoods that have a disproportionate number of homes for sale. I feel very safe in the nice neighborhoods, with their invisible fencing, mowed lawns, hidden parks. Plus, if I were to be hit by a car I know they would call it in quickly. No one with a house that nice wants a yellow topped tummy barer messing up their strategically mowed lawn.

I enjoyed my exploration, I feel now that my runs are much less limited than I originally thought. Before my 3 recent runs from my front door, I would always drive to the running/biking path. I heart my path. No need to stop for traffic, no getting lost, 15 miles mapped out for me with no worries. Neighborhoods have limits. They come to abrupt ends at busy streets. You turn a corner to find a dead end. You run up someone's driveway thinking it is a path (seriously...how does a car fit up that thing? You must have a Mini Cooper or a Smart Car.). The neighborhood near my though, may be just right. I ran 11 total miles only having to double back once and upon my double back, discovering a new wing of neighborhood to explore. One of the parks has their drinking fountains turned on. I might even be able to do a 20 miler from my front door. Crap. All signs are pointing outside.

All in all it was a happy run in my happy color. I returned home having a run a few more miles than planned. Then, 35 minutes later, the internet and cable went out - and you, my 4 loyal fans I am up to, had to wait to hear of my new adventures.

Friday I was back inside. I was really tired and only running because BoyToy and I had dinner plans that night. 6 slow miles were done and beer was drank thanks to them. Saturday I wanted to head back outside, but I worked all day. I worked to early to run before and then late enough that I lost my motivation. Then I fell asleep on the couch at 6:30pm. Today was my usual - a 45 minute spinning class followed by 8treadmill miles. To all my tri friends, does this count as a brick workout?

Week 3 starts tomorrow. The plan is to be outside, but rain is threatening.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Treadmill, I Heart You

Tuesday's run was a FAIL. Not an epic fail, mind you, just a fail. I went to the gym after work. I think I worried about it raining. Or being humid. Or possums chasing me. Or something. Maybe I just lost my outside mojo. Turns out I had no inside mojo either. I ran 2 slow, clunky, horrible miles. With walking breaks. I blame Oprah. And Justin Bieber.

(Sidenote: I am now officially old as I just don't understand the allure of Justin Bieber and his weird hair.)

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Us "runner people"...we don't love every run. Some days...we even dread the thought. Yesterday was one of those days. I just wanted to stay home, curl up on my couch, read a book and watch some Glee. My legs felt sluggish, my motivation was somewhere off in the stratosphere. I envied those who can just go home and lay on the couch. No negative self talk. No thoughts of weight gained and fitness lost. No constant review of the past days' meals and miles. One part of my brain knows I need the break, the rest. The other side won't let me stop.

I went back inside to the safety of the treadmill. The feeling of knowing that however much or little I ran, I was right where I started and the car and ride home were mere yards away. If you're on the treadmill and your entire body is saying, "Please STOP running." I can. And I don't have to run (or I guess walk) the way back. I was thankful to be on the treadmill because my run was so craptastic. I stopped, I went home, guilt-ate a bunch of Cheez-Its, and rested.

I rebounded nicely this morning. I ran 9 miles. I again opted for the treadmill this morning. The was a big threat of storms this morning. My adventures outside do not include thunder or lightning. Or hail.

(Sidenote #2 Only idiots run in hail. Guy who was featured on Runner's World because your arms were bruised up from your hail run. You're an idiot. I don't know who you are because I refused to read the article. I know some people hate the treadmill, but you can suck it once in a while. Especially if its hailing hard enough to bruise you.)

I realize I have to head outside either tomorrow or Friday. I'll go. I'll go. I'll go. I'll go. I'll go.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week 2, Day 1

I almost wimped out today. I wanted to wimp out. I really did. I woke at up 8am, heated up my banana bread and parked myself in front of the television for the weather report. Ack! 41 degrees. Boo. That's cold. Sure, I've ran in colder (believe it or not), but I'm not in the mood this morning. Its fricken May. It should not be 41 degrees. This could be a treadmill day. Warm, cozy treadmill. Only needing one layer of clothing treadmill. Television watching while running treadmill. I don't have to play in traffic treadmill.

I said I almost wimped out. I put on my big girl pants (i.e. running capris), my new long sleeve Boston shirt, my new Nike vest, my ear warmer, my gloves. I stepped outside. It wasn't bad. It was actually sort-of-not-cold in the sun. I don't think I need the ear warmer. Or the west. This is brave of me. I'll keep the gloves on.

I am doubly brave today, as I am doing only my second step-outside-the-door-and-go-run. (According to the Garmin, I ran 384 yards before I had to stop, hike up the big girl pants, and tie them tighter. Note to running tights maker: stronger waist elastic. Seriously. The arm motion needed for running has nothing to do with hitching up your pants. Repeatedly.) My first was Saturday.

I live .42 miles from a trail head. The problem is, it is .42 miles down a busy street with no shoulder. I am really frightened about getting hit by a car. Saturday I felt safe because there was very little traffic. This morning, I missed rush hour and school bus pick-ups, but it was still a little busier than felt safe. I survived, though. Saturday I took the trail when it branched north. Today, I kept going straight.

For 1.5 miles until I hit the turn around. I then did "sub division miles". Meaning, I entered a neighborhood, ran through the cul-de-sac and back to the road. 2 of the areas were still under construction (sweet! Port-o-johns!) I found a few mini-sections of trail connecting a few neighborhoods, but no long stretches of trail. I found a few hidden, almost rural areas tucked into the urban landscape. I felt like an explorer! I am Lewis! Or Clark! Or maybe the chick (squaw?) that really lead them, Sacajawea! Hear me roar, people!

I ended up with 10 miles. A feat considering that when I hit the 1.5 mile turnaround I honestly considered simply heading back home with 3 miles in the books. If Saturday's run was all thanks to Dairy Queen, today's run was thanks to bad body image. I just feel fat lately. Yes, I realize that I am not fat. I realize that there are many people out there who wish they could weigh what I weigh and would trade bodies in a heartbeat. However, I am 6 pounds heavier than I was when I ran Boston (4 weeks ago) and 6 pounds away from being designated as a "cruiser". (By the way, who the fuck determined that? An asshole, that's who. I'll bet they still use height/weight charts from the 70s, too!) I'll cut myself off from the rant now. I'll also admit that there is a small part of me that considered trying to acheive cruiser status so I could win things. I won't go into my history today. Its always on my mind, so be aware it will come up again. Suffice it to say for now, that my next few runs will most likely be too far, too soon. The lesser of two evils, if you will.

For today, I will be happy with being (doubly) brave and exploring. And not getting hit by a car.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today's run brought to you by Dairy Queen

The alarm was set for 6:45am. The clothing laid out the night before. The Garmin charged.

The alarm was silenced and I went back to sleep. Bed is warm. Quads hurt from stupid squats. Bed is warm and not windy. Gym doesn't open until 8. Sleepy.

I awaken naturally. Bed is still warm and cozy. I can skip a day of running. I'm not in training. My quads still hurt. I have The Soup on DVR to watch.

I should run. But its cold out. And windy. I can sleep 15 more minutes and just go the gym for 6 quick miles before work.

You told your 2 readers that you were going outside today. If you disappoint them and one quits you, your total readership is cut in half. Eh...I can hit the gym later. They don't realize how warm this bed is.

If I leave now I could run at least 8 before work. You and BoyToy went to Dairy Queen last night. Crap. Stupid Dairy Queen. Stupid Chocolate Malt going straight to my thighs. I really should run 8 instead of 6 to burn off the malted goodness (which wasn't that great. Team Fail at Malts DQ!). I still ate it. Moments like this I hate having such little self control.

I'll go. I'll go. I'll go. I'll go. I'll go.

7:50 - 9:04
I'm going. Its windy. I should have worn a hat. I hope I don't get lost. This wind is making my eyes water! Great. People in the cars are going to think I'm crying. Now I have to pee. Who knew I lived so close to stables? And a park! Do you think BoyToy would fit in the red swing? Why are those people walking with a cooler? That's not a bad idea. Crap! What if they mug me? Thank goodness I have my pink heart ID tag. Whew! Past them. Ugh. Still windy. My hair is a mess. Note to self - wear hat next time (or just stay in the non-windy indoors).

I'm back. 8 miles in the books. Thank you, Dairy Queen for motivating me to get out the door. Same time next Friday? I'll stick to the always loyal Blizzard this time. I stepped out of the DQ box and fell flat on my face. Oh...I have to go. I need to sign up for the Blizzard of the Month club.

Friday, May 7, 2010

For the love of squats

I hurt. A lot. Why? Because I (sort of ) lifted yesterday after my run. I only did 3 sets of 20 squats with a 30 pound bar and 1 set of walking lunges. I can't walk today. If I sit too long, when I get up I'm frozen stiff. My legs feel worse today than they did after Boston. 26.2 miles, no problem. 60 squats with a pathetic weight? My kryptonite.

I still managed to run 7 very slow miles after a lengthy walking warm up on the treadmill this morning. I had the People Most Beautiful people list and GMA & The Today Show to listen to. I had a revelation last night at dinner. Since I ran outside Monday and Wednesday and took Tuesday off, I had no idea what was going on in the news. UVA lacrosse player killed! Lawrence Taylor with a 16 year old maybe prostitute! They now have an oil dome?!?! Something about the market crashing? What to get mom for Mother's Day? What else have I missed?

I use the treadmill to multitask. I watch the news, I read the gossip. I start each day able to have an intelligent conversation based on world events. I have shuddered at Wilard Scott's atrocious attempts at humor. I know if I need my umbrella. I can tell you who got kicked off of Dancing With The Stars. Through channel surfing I may also see the traffic report or maybe just watch a little West Wing.

On the downside to that, I do not cry while running outside. Even when the squirrels taunt me. I have cried on the treadmill (twice if you must know). Today was the second time. GMA was honoring a woman, Almez Gebremedin with Breakfast in Bed from Emeril. She was crying and couldn't talk! She was so surprised and overwhelmed. Then her 5 kids showed up! I'm telling you, its a feel good story. Even if I was crying on the treadmill. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Recipes/inspiring-housekeeper-wins-emerils-mothers-day-breakfast-bed/story?id=10579164

I also read my People and Entertainment Weekly. Iron Man 2 comes out this week. Does Mickey Rourke frighten anyone else? I don't think he operates in the same reality the rest of us do. Remember during awards season last year? He was always wearing sunglasses (which SCREAMS drug user or plastic surgery). Dude, you're inside. You're not cooler because you're wearing sunglasses. You might trip and fall. I've worn my sunglasses inside...you can't see that well. Plus, you're not Paris Hilton. You don't have to bring your dog everywhere. For the record, I also think its lame when she does it, too.

Speaking of lame...the entire People "Stars Without Makeup" section. Is it also "Stars without Airbrushing?" I didn't think so. Black and white photographs to hide supposed "imperfections"? I'm not buying it (well, I guess I did buy since I am a loyal subscriber and I faithfully read every word every week).

We've covered a lot today. My stiff, aching legs. Mickey Rourke. GMA. Willard Scott. Tomorrow I am back outside and all I'll have for you is a few Glee songs to get stuck in your head.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 4

Back on the cushioned treadmill, today. You realize if I get hurt during this grand experiment I may never run outside again. I'm easing myself onto the roads slowly. 2-3 times a week at most for the rest of this month. Plus, I have to keep up on my celebrity gossip.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 3

I couldn't sleep last night. Running outside gives me so much anxiety that I lose sleep. I ran outside every Saturday in March and April and slept crappy on every Friday night. Part of the crap sleep was worrying that I would be late. Part was worry that I wasn't going to be dressed correctly. Part was worry about being attacked.

I bought a RoadID on Monday afternoon. This way if I am attacked the Police can call BoyToy to come and rescue me. Its actually not an official RoadID. Its a dog tag. For a collar. Purchased at the pet store. I wear it on my shoe, not collar. It only cost me $7.13 and its pink and heart shaped and matches my shoes! I am still worried about being attacked, but no longer worried about lingering unconscious in an ER with no one knowing my where abouts.

I did another 8 miles on my 8 mile out & back, loopy thing. This loop is also easily converted to a 7 mile out & back with no loop. It was 50 degrees and sunny. One of those days where the trees are dazzlingly green and the air smells of spring (good spring like plants, not bad spring like dead animal). I can see why people get into this.

I was almost attacked by 2 geese. They stared me down as I ran past. One stupid squirrel wouldn't get out of my way and (deliberately) ran right in front of me. I screamed like a little girl.

I ran about 3 miles of my 8 on a wood chip path and 1 mile on a dirt path. If I'm going to be running outside so much, I'm going to try to be as nice to my joints as possible with soft trails. My shoes are dirty now...I'm trying to be mature about it. Tomorrow I will be back on the treadmill. I don't want to shock my system too much. I have an Entertainment Weekly to read as well.

Day 2.

Rest day. Yesterday was strenuous enough.

Day 1 - The Quest begins

You know that scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off where Cameron is sitting in his dad's car in the garage and repeating to himself, "I'll go. I'll go. I'll go. I'll go." That is me trying to pump myself up to run outside. I literally have to spend an hour in postive self talk. I have to remind myself to breathe at regular intervals.

I used to run outside. Back in the day. Around 2004. I did it for close to 5 months in preparation for my first marathon. Here is what I remember from that fateful summer: having to lift my legs out of my car and onto the ground. My hips were so sore I couldn't get them out of the car. All I can think of is how everything hurt. All. The. Time. All summer long into the fall. I ran the marathon and qualified for Boston. I jumped on the treadmill to train through the winter.

It was miraculous. I could walk everyday without pain. I could get my legs out of the car. I could watch TV while running!!! I have one talent in life in that I can read magazines will running on the treadmill. I am always up to date on my celebrity gossip and I know way to much about movies and television shows I have never seen. This is how I get my news - the Today Show and Good Morning America.

Recent attempts to run outside have been met with resistance on all sides. My car was broken into and my purse stolen (along with a winter coat, a sweatshirt, a pair of jeans and my Frozen Four bag). I got crapped on by a bird. My shoes got dirty. I tripped and fell. I am much safer on the treadmill.

Not to mention all of my rational fears. Running in the dark. Being attacked by all types of creatures from humans to reptiles to birds to squirrels to geese. I am not one with nature. I do not like dirt. I sort of hate creatures.

I will not run in snow or on snow covered roads. Not worth the risk of injury from falling. Not worth the wet shoes, either. I will not run in rain. I have run in light rain, but I was trying to get done before it started raining. I ran too long. I will not run outside in 90% or above humidity. That's just gross. Especially since the gym is dry, temperature controlled, and air conditioned.

Its not like I've spent all of the past 5 years on the treadmill. I did run outside 24 times in 2009. I ran all of my long runs (weather permitting) outside in preparation for the 2010 Boston Marathon. I ran well in Boston. Well enough (though not a PR) that I felt really strong. I felt capable of running this marathon thing well. Well enough that I have started wondering how strong I would feel if I ran more outside.

Which brings us to May 3, 2010. (I realize I should have started on May 1, please see the opening paragraph.) I slept until 8:00am, took my time eating and dressing and drove to the trail head by 9am.

The ipod is loaded up with new songs (I heart you Glee cast!), the shoes still has the Boston chip on it. I look smashing in my pink top. Here we go.

I ran 8 miles. It felt ok - not stellar or life changing. I noticed that my comfortable pace (i.e. slow) was 30 seconds faster than what I would have ran on the treadmill. I was not attacked or excreted on by anything. I left my purse at home and my car was intact upon my return. My left hip had a slight pain by the 7th mile, but nothing I'm worried about - just the shock of asphalt.

Day 1 in the books.