Friday, March 30, 2012

one day more

It's crazy to think that I'll be completely done with this by tomorrow morning. When I got my coffee from the kitchen at work today, I thought to myself, "at this time tomorrow I'll be running 13.1 miles!" It's almost here.

On Wednesday I ran 4 miles inside on the treadmill. It was raining. I thought about just sucking it up and going outside, but I decided the only way I could start a run in the rain was if it was for a real race. When I got home I started to feel some tightness in my right quad/groin/hip muscle. Ha, shows how much human anatomy I know. Yesterday, I ran 2 miles without any pain during the run. The "upper thigh area" really only hurts when I get up from a seated position. Like, when I put all my weight on the right leg to stand up.

Oh, but before my 2 mile run (last training run!), I had to go pick up my race packet from Luke's Locker. The journey was incredibly annoying. I realized I wasn't going to make my 5:30pm yoga class at around 4:30pm when I was at a complete standstill on Mopac and 45th. My car was completely stopped in the far left lane when BAM, I am shaken forward, confused, and surprised. I look in the rear-view mirror and see the front of a gigantic SUV. "Omgosh some idiot just rear-ended me." Yes, that is what happened. I get out of the car and some kid, probably around 17 years old says to me, "I'm so so so sorry."

I am still pretty shocked by all of this. This has never happened to me before. I quickly pull over, thinking how annoying we are for the rest of the rush-hour commuters. I get out of my car and we both agree that there is seriously, no damage. Maybe some light scratches? But they totally could have been there already. The kid continues to apologize. As we get back into our cars I say, "It's okay, but be careful!" Suddenly I have become some all-knowing adult passing on my wisdom to the younger drivers of the world.

My journey continues for another 30 minutes when I finally make it. Race packet obtained. It even included some sweet free stuff!
Zooma running shirt, bib, four safety pins, Lemon Zest Luna Bar, SunRype Fruit Strip, Garnier shampoo/conditioner sample, and Dole real-fruit pineapple bites . Not bad!

I'm saving all the goodies for after the race tomorrow. And at this point, all I can do is go to bed early and hope for the best. My goal is to finish having felt like I did the best that I could.

I've found several other blog posts with descriptions from the 2011 race. Per their advice, I'm going to try and really enjoy the experience. One mile at a time. I'll try to take in the scenery, the other runners, and the feeling of accomplishment.

So, today after a 25 minute stationary bike ride to get rid of some energy (and listen to my favorite podcast, thanks again Natalie!), I've been pretty freaking lazy. I feasted on some leftover pasta, some of Johnny's Favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, and sooo much water. Oh, and I did this:
Something about hot pink nails makes you want to run faster. Right?


And get a load of this awesome tongue-out cat pose.
Oh Khyra, always entertaining.


If anybody is awake from 5:30am-10am tomorrow, please send lots of good thoughts my way. I am almost there!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nerves

I cannot remember the last time I’ve felt this uneasy. Show week in high school? Yeah, I was a mess during those weeks. Which is funny, because most of the time, I try to be a pretty laid-back person.
I feel like I’m unprepared. I feel like my last long run was weeks ago and my legs aren’t going to be ready for so many miles on Saturday. I feel like my training regime has been totally messed up since my back injury. I feel like I should have pushed myself harder and run 14 miles before the race. Like I had originally intended to. Heck, my initial schedule had me running 13.1 miles on February 25th. That never happened. It should have happened.

In the book, Dawn recounts her own marathon experience in a hilariously horrifying journal entry. Her experience was so horrible. Her knee starts hurting before the race begins. She breaks her mp3 player. She has to sit down and rest. She limps to the finish line.

I just want this whole thing to be over with so I can get on with my life.

Monday, March 26, 2012

ReCap10k

Yesterday I participated in my first official 10k race. The Statesman Capital 10,000 is the fifth largest 10k in America and the largest 10k in Texas. This year they claim to have had 23,000 registrants. I don’t deny it, I thought the race was extremely crowded and had a lot of walkers. Still, it was so great to see so many people being active and enjoying the beautiful (albeit, hot) March day. If you’re nervous about finishing the 6.2 miles, this is definitely the 10k for you. Our company had 20 participants and finished in anywhere from 45 minutes to over 2 hours. We placed 15th out of the 37 Corporate Challenge teams. Way to go to the freaks at National Instruments who ran it in 34-41 minutes/each. Ridiculous.
Yay Team Morningstar!

Only 2 more runs until Saturday's race. I am definitely nervous.

Monday, March 19, 2012

15 miles, an engagement, and a baby

Friday
One of the best things about working at Morningstar is summer hours. The delightful Friday afternoons where employees get to leave the office at noon (assuming all tasks have been completed). Although they have not been officially announced for 2012 yet, in honor of SXSW, Spring Break, and the general “nobody else is here” vibes in the office, I was encouraged to head out at around 2pm on Friday. I knew my relaxing weekend wouldn't truly begin until I completed my dreaded long run. So, I uploaded 1 GB of new music to Chris' mp3 player, guzzled as much water as I could, mapmyrunned a 11 mile route, and set out through the neighborhood.

I returned 2.02 hours later, practically dying of dehydration. It was after about mile 7, that the stabbing into my stomach got so severe, I wondered if my kidneys were failing. During mile 7 and 8 I debated whether I should ask some of the nearby lawn-workers for water. Was I that desperate? So desperate for water to stop running and go into the Randalls’ to use the drinking fountain? I wasn’t tired, my legs weren’t sore, and mentally, I wanted to continue. The problem was that my mouth was parched and my organs were failing. At mile 9 my route turned back, and it was straight shot home. I kept going, doing some running, but mostly walking. As much as I wanted to, I refused to sit down and rest. I didn’t ask any strangers for water and I ran through the intestinal pain during the last .2 miles to make it home alive. My overall pace was 11 minutes/mile.

Even though this run was not my best, it was still successful. I made it. I ran 11 miles. In one day. Without dying. The race is a week from Saturday. I've been researching the course, and I'm definitely fearing the hills. However, I'm really looking forward to the water stations (every 2 miles, so I hear). Friday's run also showed me the benefits of Shot Bloks. I ate 3 of the gummy-cubes between mile 5-6 giving me more energy than I’ve had for any of my previous long runs. I definitely recommend them. The 11-miler was the most discouraging run I’ve done since my 9-mile fail back in February (only did 7.5), however this time I didn’t give up. No way jose will I give up after paying my race money. Only 4 more runs until race day. 4 more runs!

Saturday
While most know March 17th as jolly ol’ St. Patrick's Day, it’s also the birthday of BVN’s 2004 Homecoming Queen. AKA my beautiful friend Wilg Wilg. AND, to top of a birth, on Friday night her boyfriend of 6(ish?) years proposed. Aw, shucks. Hurray for them!
Sunday
More running. This weekend Chris remembered that he’d signed up for the Cap 10k. About time to throw in a practice run, wouldn’t you say? We ran 4 miles up and down through the stifling humidity and returned home to the news that the Hutson’s were at the hospital with the baby on the way. Later that night, precious baby Lila (LYE-lah) Margaret had finally arrived. 9lbs and 6oz of cute.
Only 2 weeks until I’m done running. And only 3 weeks until I get to celebrate with the engaged couple and brand new parents. My mom put it best (as she often does), “Wow!! Your friends are growing up!”

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Training for the Half

Last week, I received one of the most perfectly timed gifts of my life.

But, let me start the story at the beginning. And since it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, some important plot points are necessary.

On February 25th I ran 9.2 miles. Also that day, my dear friend Katie turned 25. Katie is training for a marathon and she's doing a half in mid-April. After talking to her, and getting evermore annoyed with my unceasing frugality. I registered for a half-marathon. $93 freakin’ dollars.

I’m going to run the Zooma Half Marathon on March 31st at the Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, TX.
The training continues,

On Saturday, March 3rd, I completed a 9.1 mile run with a meet up group sponsored by the race. The run was supposed to be 10 miles, but they shorted us a few, and I was unhappy about this. You know you’ve changed when you are upset that you only ran 9.1 miles. Only. I know, I know, ridiculous.

I finished the run and made it back home by 9:30am. Chris was out golfing, so I had the house to myself to lounge around all day. Perfection. March 3rd was also one of the most beautiful spring days we’ve had yet, so after a breakfast sandwich, a protein smoothie, and 3.5 hours of television, I felt like I’d feel even better if I went outside in the sunshine. Then I thought, “ah, I can plant this year’s garden!” And by garden, I mean, a few pots I have on my back deck. We don’t have a yard, but I’ve made the best of what space we have. I leaned over to grab last year’s dead plants and instantly felt a horrible tightening in my lower left-back. Uh oh.

Oh yes. The same horrific feeling I felt last fall. Same spot, same tightening. But on the bright side, the pain level was about half what it was last time. Maybe it would go away with some yoga?
I went inside and tried stretching out in all sorts of ways, but the pain was not going away. I’d hurt my back, AGAIN.

Like I said, it wasn’t as bad as last time, so I tried to carry on as normal. I finished my garden (I already have some growth!), did household chores, and went on an awesome date-night with Chris. Unfortunately, I woke up on Sunday morning feeling even worse. I went to yoga, hoping more stretching would help, however I was pretty limited on which poses I could do. On the bright side, I was able to stretch out my legs without any pain, phew.
Bringing us to Monday, where all day long I fretted about what I should do. I had 3 weekends until the race. Long enough to continue, but not unless I healed up quickly. Should I see a chiropractor? Should I see a physical therapist? It seemed like every person I went to for advice told me something different. I was a mess of indecision and on the verge of tears. By the end of the day I decided I’d do exactly what I did last time this happened, lie on the heating pad on the floor and do some gentle stretching. No running, no weights, no nothing. Just take it easy and heal up quickly.
Needless to say, Katie’s gift could not have arrived at a more perfect time. I got the mail Monday after work; in it was her package.

I started reading it immediately. It’s hilarious, it’s accurate, it’s motivating. And although it was frustrating to read about this woman’s runs while being unable to run myself, I related with her stories and knew as soon as my back healed, I’d be back out there.

And sure enough, by Thursday the 8th, I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill and did the best yoga class I’d done in a loooong time. That Saturday I didn’t think I should do the 10 miles I’d originally planned on, so that’s the distance I have to run this weekend.

I’m nervous. I haven’t done as well with my shorter runs this week, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do the full 10 without walking. Dawn touches on this in the book, but the run/walk method that a lot of people use doesn’t work very well for me. Whenever I stop to walk it’s like my body thinks it’s done running, and when I try to run again it doesn’t want to do it. All of a sudden my legs are tighter than they originally were. It’s easier for me to just keep running. Or at least, that’s how I've felt during the 93,000 other training runs I've done.

Here’s hoping the 10 miler goes just as smoothly. Here’s hoping.