Weight I have lost

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Only" 20 Miles

So, on Friday, D and I were scheduled to run 24 miles.  I know some trainers think you shouldn't run more than 20 miles.  For me, I want to run more, because I don't know if I have a mental block.  Like in all runs over 10 miles...I have a terrible mental block between Mile 9 and 10.  I have no idea what it is about, but I have to fight my brain to get through that space.

But anyway, it was a gorgeous day.  There was a nice breeze.  The trail was a bit boring.  And truthfully, so was the run.  Because let's face it, running a long run by yourself is boring.  And I mentioned we were running on Friday, so the trail was empty (we had Beer Festival Plans for Saturday).  I struggled through Mile 9 and hit my first hill at Mile 11.  A couple of times I thought of turning back sooner and finishing the run somewhere else (don't ask me where...).  At Mile 11, I also saw a restroom and water fountain. I didn't stop.  Between Mile 12 and 13, that rest stop is all I thought about.  My shoes were shot (over 400 miles), but I hadn't broke my new shoes in yet, so the old ones...I knew I needed a Body Glide Break on them.  So at Mile 13 I stopped and fixed myself up.*

*Somewhere at Mile 12, my HRM said I had no heart rate.  Right beside a school.  Not thinking, I whipped my shirt up and adjusted and spit on everything, and got it going.  A guy going the other day, gently reminded me I was in a Public Park by a school.  So think before you do that.  Just sayin'.


Me, Body-Glided, and Rest-Stopped!
So I resumed my run.  I actually felt really good.  Until Mile 17.  My hip started talking.  I started paying attention to my watch and distance.  I told myself to ignore it.  It started hurting more.  I had no Advil.  Hmmm.  I had 3 miles to the next stop that D could get me at, or 7 to where he actually was.  Hmmm.  I got to Mile 18, and my hip, knee and butt let me know they were alive.  On my walk breaks, I could tell I was slightly hobbling. I decided to stretch.  Still screaming leg.  My brain and I were fighting.  I was now walking everything.  I finally decided that at Mile 19, I would sit down and call D and ask him to pick me up with 20 miles done instead of 24. We were 3 weeks from the marathon.  If it hurt in the marathon, I would push it.  But right now, it would do more damage than anything to be stubborn.  I texted him and let him know that it hurt, but I was ok.  I just needed him to pick me up.  And that I was in a good mood.  I told him I'd see him in 20 minutes.  I resumed the walk.  I tried running twice. The first time, I thought that maybe I should call him back.  But the second one, I decided to go with my decision to call it quits.

Me at Mile 19, calling D
Later I looked at my pace.  For 18 Miles is was 16:15 and for 20 it was 16:45.  It actually was a good run.

Red Brick Hoplanta- To 20 Miles
But this is where the "only" comes in.  I kept telling people I "only" ran 20 miles.  Sunday, my friend ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  I don't know why he stopped (swept, injured, etc....I didn't ask), but he put, "I "only" ran 18 miles."  Then on FB a friend who has had surgery and is getting back to walking put, "I "only" walked 1.5 miles."  And then on Monday, a co-worker told me, "Well, unlike you, I "only" ran" a 5K."  Clearly, "only" needs to be removed from these sentences.  We "only" got up, exercised and tried to be healthier.  Why are we dismissing our achievements?  Could any of us do these things a month or 2 ago?  No.  While it is easy to not go out and exercise, we have to remember not to dismiss our achievements when we do.  Other people shouldn't be pointing out our achievements.  We should be standing with our heads high, yelling from the roof tops.

I'm in taper mode this week.  I still have pain in my hip, but I also need to break in these new shoes.  Yesterday, I "only" ran 2 miles, walked 1 and stretched a ton.  And I'm proud of trying to take care of this hip.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

12 Mile Clarity or Delirium?

I'll write more about my 12 miler later (maybe), but have you ever run a run, and wanted to thank people?  But then been afraid to call them out because maybe 40 other people might have been offended that you didn't call them out.  And you know that those ~40 people have every right to be mad, but really you can't stop thinking about the few people that are helping your runs, and how every thing is clicking.  And you feel like an asshole for not thanking the ~40 people but you keep going back to the people in your head while you run.  And then suddenly, you passed the 10 miles.  And you go, "I'm delirious, so thank you!"

In no particular order, except for the last 2.

To those ~40 people - you support me.  I'm sorry your exact name didn't come up on my run.  But you inspire me, and keep doing it.
Marie - si se puede. I'm still laughing.
Nina- my pro bono running nutritionist and mentalist- I got hungry at mile 9. I know why!
Jonathan- for reminding me that I can run, and don't need to relearn it.  And to prove them wrong.
Cher- to keep trying, and always be strong. And I listen to some sucky music
Yas- I must ask you for a play list.  SHUT UP!
Lisa - to know when I get to 9.61 miles I can call someone who won't flinch when I'm in complete tears.
Jen - for when I don't feel like doing it.  You inspire me.  And yeah, Coach Vader might kick my ass
Turff- I love you, but I'm never running in Ptree City again!
Bethany- I'm glad GreTchen has a great Mom, and and awesome sister, JoDee.
Justin and Amy- we inspire each other
Susan- being honest about quitting (I needed to hear it), and telling me about Honey Waffles
Delane - for the inspirational texts and letting me cry to you on your vacation when I needed to
Victoria - because change is not a stagnant thing and to don't be satisfied of where you are but where you want to be
Hillary - if I had a sister, I'd want her to be as awesome as you. #teamvickie
Matt - your smile makes me happy and you will always give the best hugs. And you are my best friend besides D.
Doug (the infamous D) - who doesn't fix me, just supports me.  And that is more fixing than anything.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is Everything Finally Starting to Click?

So a couple (2) weeks ago, I had mentioned the only way to get faster outside, was to run outside.  And so I ran around the neighborhood twice for 5 miles.  It wasn't really anything to write home about.  The only thing special about it was that I ran under the 16:02 pace (barely). 

So yesterday, I had to run 5 miles.  I talked to D who had day off. He hadn't run yet when I started home.  He had mentioned he charged our Garmins.  It was really nice out.  He mentioned going to the gym because he runs faster there.  I just wasn't in a gym kind of mood (I actually haven't been in a running mood, but that's besides the point).  We both agreed to run at home.  I got home and changed. 

And we started our warm up (walking up a hill).  I mentioned how I really had wanted to take SB to go get a beer.  D had taken him to the vet earlier and SB had just wanted to chill outside.  D thought that was a great idea.  We both may have paused and REALLY thought about going home, leashing up SB and going to a bar.  However we were already out, and dressed.  We continued our walk and then parted ways. 

I started my run and it was kind of ho hum, except I almost got hit by a car.  Electric/hybrid vehicles really suck in terms of being able to hear them come up behind you.  I got to where I normally take a walk break, and checked my watch.  It said I had more to run. Hmm!  Went up the Terrorist Dog Hill, which is now Crazy Dog Hill, came back down, and now it was time to walk.  So I did.   Got to USP Hill and usually the time to walk is coming down the hill.  Again, still had to run.  Bell South Way and Drug house, same thing.  I got to walk up the hill at the Friday house (different than Drug house).  What is going on?  The watch dinged the Mile was over at 13:31. 

Wait, what?  I haven't pulled a 13:31 mile outside in so long, I almost forgot I could.  I completed Mile 2 by German Shepherd Pass a little slower.  Then I repeated the route.  Again, the walking breaks were not at the "usual" spots.  I was totally confused. I felt I was exerting a little more effort than usual, but not that much.  Had I just become "lazy?"  Had I not been trying?  What was going on?  Who knows?  My legs felt good. Mile 3 was faster than Mile 2.  Mile 4 seemed to go much slower (and it was).  OK, I finally finished the loop.  Only .75 miles more. 

At this point, I really didn't care about my time, because I was so excited about Mile 1.  I checked once and saw I was going much slower than I should be. I picked it up.  I decided to run the whole .75 miles, with no walk break.  And then I was done. 

I was still in disbelief as I walked home (600 feet).  I walked into the house, and D asked if I ran the whole thing.  I said yes, and he said I had picked up some speed.  He expected me in another 10 minutes.    I said, I was pretty sure I was way faster than the last time I ran that route 2 weeks ago.  I checked my watch, and sure enough...8 minutes and 31 seconds faster.

Just have to keep this up.



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Si se puede! Si se puede!

This week's long run was 21 miles.  I did my 5 miles and 8 miles with no issue, except boredom.  We started carbing up on Thursday.  I kept looking at the weather, and the predicted humidity was going up each time I checked.  I got more and more nervous.  Our dogs were all sick, so there was that stress too.

Friday, I tried hard to devise a plan.  I decided I would take 7 hours to run. Which meant that I would be running in weather from 68 to 83 degrees.  RH would be 93%.  What lovely conditions.  I was stressed out.  How would I do this?  Not only mentally but physically.  I had shown my coworker, M, the damage across my stomach from my 8 mile run.  The waist band of my shorts had rubbed my stomach raw.  My arm rubbed on my bra to the point of rawness.  It was bad.  How was I going to prevent that?  I was pretty sure this run was going to be a fail.  I told M that.  She speaks Spanish, and came over and did this little dance.  She told me to imagine her at every stop, yelling, "Si se puede!  Si se puede!"  She told me to imagine her holding the Mexican Flag.  She was like, "Basically, imagine me showing up to the wrong rally to cheer you on."  The ridiculousness of that cracked me up.

D and I met our friend R later on Friday for drinks and to sell him our GT tickets, since we would be unable to go.  Then we went and got pizza. When returning home, I got my food ready, looked at my Camelbak, got money ready for that, and put everything together on the counter, including the Gatorade that was supposed to go in the fridge.  Then I went to bed.

Saturday morning came, and D saw the Gatorade on the counter around the same time I thought about the fact I didn't recall putting it in the fridge.  For once, I didn't freak out.  D told me there was plenty of Orange flavor cold, and if that wasn't ok, we could stop and get some. I told him the orange was good, and thanks for letting me use it.  We continued getting ready.  The weatherman kept telling us what a gorgeous October day it was.  If 85 and 90% humidity is an awesome day according to him, I want to smoke what he's smoking.  He also assured no one would get wet with the few storms pending (ask GT how that went with the rain delay that required the fans to EVACUATE the stadium).  I ate 1 Clif Bar and 2 bottles of water at home.  On the way to Silver Comet, I drank most of another bottle of water and ate another Clif Bar.

So D and I got to the Silver Comet just as the sky opened up.  We and every other person in the parking lot just sat in their cars.  I posted this on Facebook and M sent back, "Si se puede! Si se puede!"  Finally after about 10 minutes, it let up and I told D I was going.  He said he was too, so we got on our fuel and off we went.

I focused on not looking at my watch.  Don't worry about it, Al!  I pretty much did fine.  The one thing I did notice, was I was not drinking my gatorade very much because I was afraid I would run out.  At Mile 8 I started thinking negatively.  I kept saying, "Si se puede."  I passed D who was returning.  I wanted to return.  "Si se puede."  I kind of had to go to the bathroom.  I remember my friend L told me to just look around and notice things.  At Mile 9.15, I saw a building in a SC parking lot.  However the bathrooms were closed, but the water fountain worked.  I drank a lot.  It felt good.  I had been eating every 2 miles.  But water tasted so much better.  So I continued on my way.  My foot started to hurt.  I decided to walk.  I had also passed the turnoff to McDonald's.  I started running 3 minutes, walking 2 (I had been doing 9 running, 1 walking) and finally got to 10.5 miles and turned around.  "Awesome job, Al.  Furthest on the SC in this training period.  That deserves a "Way to go!" And you are out of Miles 9-10."

I decided I would go to McDonald's and get some Powerade. Should I call D there too?  Si se puede!  What if McDonald's didn't have Powerade?  Would that do me in?  Was there a convenience store there? I could just get water at the fountain.  Most of this was done while walking.  I decided to walk to the Mile 9.15 marker (the marker I just passed).  I got there, and decided not to turn to McDonald's but go get more water.  I drank a lot and then decided to go to the 8.5 mile marker (where my friend picked me up last time on the trail).  This was a combo of walking and running.  I noticed my foot really hurt and my knee burned.  I had still been talking myself out of calling anyone at the Mile Marker, but knew I had to stop.  I remembered what I told D.  Stop if I need to and fix what is wrong, and then keep moving.  I stopped at the bench and got my Body Glide out.  I took my shoe off and covered my foot in BG.  Got the shoe back on.  Applied BG under my knee brace on the part that bugged me.  Put it back in the Camelbak.  Debated on the eating my Clif Bar.  I wasn't feeling good (vomit-y).  I didn't want to eat anything.  My bag had a lot of Gatorade, so I decided I would see where I was at Mile 17.  I got up and went on.

Body Glide Break

I continued walking more than running, but I also noticed my shoulder really hurt.  It hurt more when walking.  I took my Camelbak off.  Still hurt.  Camelbak back on.  I restarted the 3-2 thing.  Si se puede!  Miles 4-8 have a lot of roads you have to cross, so on the way back , it cut up the run.  I was pretty sure my time was all over the place.  I did notice I ran 12 miles faster than my slowest, but my 13 was too slow for my liking. I decided I would call D at 17.  I mean, 17 miles is not bad.  But my legs felt fine.  So maybe I should just tell him I have 4 left.  2 women training for a full passed me.  Their legs looked bad. Their form looked bad.  I was walking and decided to walk to 17 miles.  Their form made me think with my shoulder, I would really hurt it.  Finally I had to stop and get out some Advil at Mile Marker 5.3.  The 2 women were there stretching, but were pained.  I would have offered them Advil, but I had no more.  And then strapped the Camelbak back on, and walked.  Si se puede!  Si se puede!

I ran a little during Miles 14 and 15, but by Mile 16 I was done.  So I walked to Mile 17.  Finally I was back at the Bike Depot.  I went and got more water.  I still had plenty of Gatorade.  I sat on a bench and let D know where I was.  I just rested.  I talked to some guy for awhile.  4 women told me I needed to finish.  I had some more Waffle Cookie, but I still didn't feel well.

The sky turned black and the women told me I needed to go, or call someone.  But I needed to get the 4 miles done quick if I was going to do it.  So I strapped the Camelbak on once again.  The 2 runners came in and called someone. I actually only had 3.88 to go (but who was counting).  I crossed the street and resumed running.  4 minutes on 1 off. The tunnel at Mile 3 got there quickly.  Only 3 left.  That's 12 laps around a track.  Let's focus on the next .25.  Keep going.  10 laps, 9 laps.  I got to the bridge I hate.  Keep going.  Si se puede! Si se puede.  Was that the last bridge?  8 laps. The rain that started coming down was ice cold. It felt awesome.

2 bikers yelled, "You got this."  7 laps.  6 laps.  I'm just going to walk to that bridge.  Oh it's uphill after that bridge.  5 laps.  Why are you walking? I like walking.  4 laps.  A little running.  More walking.  3 laps, 2 laps.  OK, 10 minutes or 8 minutes?  You can run.  Just run.  Finish out with a run.  1 lap.  "You are going to do this!"  20.96.  Come on.  Keep moving.  21.00!  My arms went up in the air.  A biker said, "Congrats"  although I'm sure he didn't know why I was cheering, since I was still on the path.  But I was done.  Yes, I had to get back to D and the car and Mile 0 but I was done.  I sucked down the rest of the Gatorade.  I was done.  I saw D and told him I finished.  He gave me a hug.

Then we went and got water and diet coke.

Si se puede!  Si se puede!


Monday, October 6, 2014

The First Week of October

So after last week's 18 mile debacle (or shall we say 9.61 mile finish), running seemed to be a bit of a struggle this week. 

However the weather cooperated.  I seem to run slowly outside so my fix to that was to run outside.  Tuesday, I ran 5 miles around the 'hood.  It was a little hotter than I had expected (83), so I grabbed my water bottle full of Gatorade and went.  I didn't really know what to expect because I wasn't fully there, mentally, but I kept my legs moving and focused on getting the next .25 miles done (I don't particularly care for this course because I have to do it 2 times and then add on streets, but I got it done).

Wednesday was Porter's birthday.  She would have been 13.  We had 8 miles scheduled, but we went and had beer in her memory.  Because, yes, my dog's birthday is THAT important to me.

So that put 8 miles on Thursday. I wasn't really feeling it.  I knew D wasn't feeling it.  I finally got to the gym.  I put on a pair of compression shorts.  They were not the ones I thought, and they were a little snug.  I don't know if that was the problem, or if they had a pre-existing hole in the inner thigh.  Whatever.  I decided to do 8.  At mile .5, the fat that was bulging out of the hole was rubbing against the seam of the other side of the shorts (yeah, my thighs touch).  So at Mile 1, I stopped and Body-Glided the hell out of the hole,because my skin was burning.  Anyway, D got there.  He wasn't exactly excited to do 8.  I could feel I was making my gait weird trying to run without the fat touching the other thigh.  I decided to do 4, he did 5. 

Saturday came.  I think D thought I was being weird, because I was really preparing for 12 miles.  Because of last week, I ate 2 Clif Bars before heading out.  I had bought Honey Waffles in an attempt to eat real food (not gels or blocks) while out.  So I packed 2.  Got my 40 oz of Gatorade.  Then it was 55 degrees.  I decided to wear long sleeves when I saw there would be no temperature change in 4 hours.  So compression shorts and a long-sleeve light T (my ATL half-marathon shirt).  And then we were off.

D asked where I was going. I told him I really didn't know.  And I didn't.  Even when I started, I wasn't sure if I was going to go through my own neighborhood or venture south.  I decided to stay in the 'hood, but I got up to the top of a hill and decided I'd rather go travel north.  So I did.  Although I typically drive through Ormewood Park, Grant Park, and Peoplestown, I stay on 3-4 roads.  I know the streets of GP pretty well, from previously running there, but I never really went into Ormewood Park.  So off I went.  Can I just say what big hills there are there?  The one road that I typically drive on is relatively flat, but go off that road, and BOOM!  Downhills steep enough to have to walk down, drawn out long hills that never seem to end.  At mile 7, I finally got out of OP and to Grant Park (the actual park) and decided to run the Summer Shade 5K route in reverse.  Except I knew it wasn't long enough, and I didn't really want to run on Boulevard because I would have to run on the sidewalk.  So I ran part of the route, and ended up even further north up at Woodward.  I ran to Boulevard and then ran all the side streets all the way to Hill.  I decided I would run Connally to Georgia and run around the parking lots at Turner Field.  However Peoplestown was setting up their fall festival and Georgia was closed, so I ran around the streets that hold the GA State Track (I didn't actually run on the track).  Finally I was at Mile 10.  I was pretty sure this mile was mostly downhill (I forgot to take into account the uphill up Georgia (the away from the festival) to Cherokee.  Finally at Cherokee running south, it was downhill.  But I could tell I needed to determine more of a route.  I did some side spurs and ended up getting off of Cherokee because zoo traffic was building up.  I ended up finishing back on Hill.  I called D and he came and got me from the pet store (we needed dog food so this was planned). 



Me, finished 12 Miles
My time wasn't great, but overall, I felt strong mentally.  And even if the time wasn't great, it was consistent.   And as evidenced of Mile 12, I think I really wanted to be done.




Sunday I planned on doing the 8 miles around the neighborhood.  Since I know the route and where to take walk breaks I didn't look at my watch.  At mile 3.3, I was exhausted.  My quads were killing me and basically, I thought they were going into revolt.  My watch time made no sense, when I finally looked at it.    Since the dogs were sick, I told D I would swing by the house, and if he left me a message to come in (i.e. took my Gatorade inside), I would...else I'd continue.  Yeah, that 4 miles was looking good.  I headed home, and when the watch dinged at 4, I had to do a double take.  I figured my lack of fueling for this run (I don't think a slice of pizza 3 hours prior and a 32 oz Diet Coke really count), had worn me out.  It didn't occur to me 6 minutes faster than anything I had done in 2 months of outside training would be the culprit.  So I got home, and no message, but I was completely done.  So I went in. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September's Strides

Weight Lost: 2.7 pounds
Miles Run/Walked: 113.54 miles (30 more miles than August!!!)
Longest Run: 15 miles
How many runs missed: 1.5 (1 6miler and I didn't finish my 18 miler)
Achievements: Deciding not to quit training after a mental meltdown
Craziness: Running/Walking 113.54 miles this month

Monday, September 29, 2014

What a Sucktastic September

This month has been really hard in terms of mental training.  I have made almost every run, and before Saturday I had run over 98 miles.

However, every long run but one sucked.  It actually started August 30th with a 12 mile run.  It was 71 degrees when I started.  I ate one Clif Bar and went out.  I got to Mile 7 and someone informed me I was running on a rather busy road, which is normal, except I had drifted into the middle of it and not realized.  So I headed home.  D met me with some Gatorade, informed me it was 79 degrees and over 89% RH and we walked together for me to finish 12 miles with a 18:19 pace.

On 9/6, I did a half marathon.  I thought with all the training I had done there was no way I could do poorly.  I got my personal WORST, by 12 minutes. The course was not hilly.  It went from 68 to 81 degrees with 95% RH while I was out. I ate one Clif Bar before driving 90 minutes to the race.  I forgot my iPod.  The race sucked.  I walked the last 9 miles. I finished 13.1 with a 17:13 pace.

On 9/13, I had an "easy" 10 mile run.  I got 8 done before the walking started. I don't know the temperature but it was 98% humidity.  I finished 10 with a 17:45 pace.

I started thinking I should quit training for the marathon. D assured me it was the humidity and that my feet would stop hurting, and I would pick up speed.  For some reason I believed him.

On 9/20, I ran 15 miles.  I did it feeling strong.  I ran out of Gatorade at Mile 13, but past that, no big issues, except my speed wasn't there. I didn't pay that much attention.  I think the RH was ~70%.  The temp was 71.  My pace was 16:33.

On 9/27, the wheels fell off. It was 68 degrees, RH was 86%.  I went out for an 18 mile run.  I ate one Clif Bar.  I got to Mile 7 and was getting progressively slower.  Every negative comment anyone has ever said to me popped in my head.  I started to cry while running.  I ran out of Gatorade.  I continued to cry.  I got to the half way point. I left D a profanity-laced message.  I tried not to quit.  My foot hit an acorn, rolled over it and I tinged my hip trying not to turn my ankle. I went a little more, with my hip letting me know it was there and said, "Fuck this," and sat down on a bench and cried.  I texted a friend and she came and got me.  D came and got me from her house.  I told him I quit running forever.  My pace was 16:34 for 9.61 miles.  I have no idea where I put anything related to running when we got home.  I refused to talk to D. And I cried like I was in mourning.  I slept and cried for the rest of Saturday.  At the one time I did talk to him, I told him I wasn't going to Richmond, and to have fun. 

Sunday, I woke up still feeling unable to get out of bed.  I started looking at my blog.  I don't train in the heat. Looking at pictures, I should be eating more than 200 calories before going out for a run that is going to burn 2500 calories.  Looking at previous schedules, if I ran more than 3 times a week, the 4th run was not the LSR, it was a 4-5 mile run.   These are easy changes.  I still continued the self-doubt. 

I talked to a friend who is a 2-time stroke survivor.  I felt kind of selfish, knowing I can run (relative), when at one point he had to learn to walk and use his arm again. "If you like running then run, cut the anchors weighing you down free. Life is just too short," he said.  I told him I was afraid to fail and validate the negative people.  He said he didn't quite understand how quitting wouldn't be doing the same thing. 

I've been thinking about the quitting versus trying/failing.  The stress is there. You can read until you're blue in the face about long slow runs and not to pay attention to the pace. But no one writes about being the back of the pack and having run with the SAG truck behind you. If you are a middle of the pack, you will never know what that stress is like. D doesn't understand.  My friend V doesn't understand.  They have never come to water stations that have NOTHING.  When they look up pictures from a race, they actually remember camera people still at the stations.  Me, the cameramen, if they are still there, have packed their cameras and started texting, unless you have a person waiting for you that tells them to do their Goddamn job.

Am I stressed?  Yes.  Am I worried about not finishing?  Yes.  Am I worried about the SAG truck?  Yes.  Am I stressed that I'm more worried about the fact I can finish if it weren't for that stupid SAG truck?  Yes.  Do I worry about the pace of 16:02 now more than ever?  Yes. 

Am I still running this freaking race?  Yes.