Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perhaps I Should Live in a Bubble

I'm pretty accident prone.  I run into doors and walls on a pretty regular basis, trip over phantom bumps in the carpet, hit my head and a litany of other things that most people only associate with slapstick comedy movies.  I've  never thought much about it, because I've always been that way.  Bruises I can't account for, aches and pains that come from who knows where...well, I probably did something stupid like touch the curling iron to see if it was hot.  Or, my personal favorite, getting a black eye at the age of six from running into a clothing display with my face at the local Pic-N-Save.  I still remember the looks my mom got for that.

Now I'm "in training."  Over the past year, I've been "in training" several times, first for the Gate River Run 15k, at the time my biggest race to date, for my half-marathon and for last tri season.  So really, lots of events this year, which has been fantastic.  However, the thought of getting injured and not being able to compete never occurred to me.  

Now that I'm in marathon training....I've become uber-paranoid. Reading Bill Bryson's At Home, which is a great book, is now however on the topic of injuries that can occur in the home.  This is not helping.  Also, I am going skiing for the first time EVER the week after Christmas.

Mostly, I'm picturing myself like that episode of the Simpsons where they put Bart in the "special" class.  If you've never seen this episode, there is a discussion concerning "circles of paper" and phrases like "I fell off the jungle gym and when I woke up I was in here."

I know accidents and injuries happen - and stressing about them probably just ups the probability.  It's just something I have never really thought of, or cared about.  It's interesting for me to realize how my outlook has changed!  So now that I have shared my fears, I am going to go roll myself in bubble wrap.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Emerging from my Shame Cave

So I was a terrible, terrible marathoner-in-training last week. As a result, I didn't update my blog about training.  I went on a horrible run/walk recovery session on Monday - just heavy legs, hurting, mostly walked the whole thing.  And then I was busy after work on Tuesday, and by the time I got home it was after 830 and I just didn't want to do 6 miles, Wednesday I didn't get up to make it to the gym and Thursday it was just so nice to be home and relax.  Overall, just a wash of a training week.

Yesterday I did my long run, 10.5 miles in the rain and wind.  It was actually pretty awesome.  I felt like Charlotte in Wuthering Heights, stepping out to walk the moors.  The sky was cloudy, gusty winds, cool temps and rain (only heavy for a little while).  I realized that you get so sweaty running anyway, that unless its a torrential down pour, you don't really notice getting wet.  At least I didn't.  I sort of have to stop myself from waxing poetic here.  I spent a lot of my run having vision about running through the English countryside.

We did the Festival of Lights 5k on Saturday night.  We did this race last year as well.  It winds through historic San Marco, and the whole route is lit with luminaria, it goes along the river, and overall just really pretty.  This year's race however was really, really crowded.  Like the first mile was just bottleneck after bottleneck.  Overall it was fun though.  We found a Santa hat and reindeer antlers with bells at the Dollar Store, so we were appropriately attired.  I look forward to running it next year.  Also attached bells to the sneakers.  Several times I stopped walking to figure out where the ringing was coming from only to realize it was from the multiple bells affixed to my person.  I was a little out of it Saturday.

Things I've thought about in my last couple runs:

1.  I really appreciate when drivers make eye contact with you when you are crossing the street or in any other ways around their vehicle.
2.  I don't appreciate cars that come roaring in the intersection and barely manage to break in time to avoid flattening you into a pancake.
3.  It means so much to me when, in a race, people who stop to walk move to the side, rather than stopping directly in front of, causing a gruesome runner's pile up.
4.  I think it's great that kids like to run races with their parents.  However, for the little ones (little physically, like under 10) can we keep it to the fun runs or maybe not start in the front of the group.  I almost took out several little kids in this weekend's race when they suddenly appeared in front of me.
5.  You feel really accomplished when coming back in from a run in the rain.

Christmas is almost here....are you ready?  Watched Christmas Vacation last night to get ready!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brrrr....Cold Comes South

I have to say it's been a pretty dull few days in the world of training.

I had to work on Saturday, so I moved my long run to Sunday, which, since I was in a recovery week was only (only!) seven miles.  It was cold and windy, but turned out to be a nice run.  I met Elton and our friend Bryan out at the beach, where they had just finished a nice 25 mile bike ride and were commencing on a run.  I am loving the new Garmin for situations like this.  Map it before I go?  Nope, I know I can run up 1st Street until I hit 3.5 miles then turn around.  It's awesome, I'm really happy I went with that.  My pace was pretty decent, particularly given the gale-force winds.  Sort of felt like I was going to blow away.  Very over the gusty winds of the last few days.

I went for my recovery run last night which turned into more of a recovery walk.  My legs just felt awful.  Elton went with me, so he walked with me when I walked and made me feel a bit better about having a crappy run.  I'm hoping my legs will feel better for tonight's six miles.

It's also been coooold here, which has been kind of nice.  It makes running feel so different.  I also have turkey chili simmering in the crockpot for my post-run meal and Elton's post-brick meal.

What's your favorite cold weather comfort food?

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Is Why I Run

Last night was the first cold run of the season - well, cold by Florida standards, around 48 degrees at 8 p.m.  E and I went together, and bundled up in true Floridian fashion: beanie, gloves, longs-sleeved shirt and pants.  Of course, I was hot and sweaty by mile 1.  But none of that matters because this run was EPIC.

I got out there and felt like freaking Ryan Hall.  Well, perhaps Ryan Hall's slower, less fit younger sister.  But seriously, it was one of those runs where I felt like I was flying.  It was dark and cold and crisp, the stars were bright, and I felt like I would never stop moving, would never need to stop moving.  My heart rate got pretty high, but my breathing felt smooth.  And I was extra excited when I checked my times and realized that I set a new PR by 6 minutes!

Monday and Tuesday were tough runs; my legs felt tired and heavy.  Coming into a run like just drove home why we run.  It's that feeling that you can't describe to people who have never felt it, but I think it's what every runner chases.  I have a friend who started running a couple of months ago and he's still pushing through mile runs that are pretty tough.  He hasn't had that joy of running moment yet, and this was that moment I've tried to describe to him.  All of my muscles were in sync and I felt so strong.

Also, I finally got race pictures!  My chip time was  2:27 so I was really happy to be under my goal of 2:30.  I remember there was when running or cycling for an hour seemed impossible, than two hours seemed nuts, and now time is no longer something that is daunting (unless we are talking about a 140.6).

And a funny race video.  My dad took this while we were finishing the last 10th of a mile.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recovery and Training

Over the weekend, post-half, I got a lovely case of food poisoning which laid me up for Saturday and Sunday, so I didn't get my recovery run in until Monday evening.  I did 4 miles and my legs just felt tired through most of it.  Achy.  Sore.  Blah.

Since this is recovery week, last night was a 6 mile run, and I can't say it was much better.  Well, really I felt pretty split.  It was a really nice night, and people are starting to put up Christmas lights, and it all felt peaceful (and a little creepy in the really quiet parts).  So mentally I was really digging it, but physically my legs still felt trashed.  I think today as a rest day should help. 

I am still stoked though about officially being in marathon training.  I'm using the Chicago marathon plan (I'm cheap, I didn't want to buy one and didn't like Hal Higdon's).  I started it several weeks ago, and was about on target for my half, putting me into a recovery week this week, which I'm pretty excited about. 

On another note, I mentioned a little while ago that I've started using whey protein, and being the research-loving person that I am, am always reading articles about supplements and nutrition, and came across this yesterday on Competitor,  Racing Weight:  Should you Supplement for Weight Loss? which I found to be interesting.  I think (probably more than I should) about what I'm eating, if I'm deficient in any areas, if I'm getting the right amount of vitamins, if I can cut down anymore on processed foods.  I drink green tea and the aforementioned whey protein, but worry about getting enough iron and calcium, and now I'm curious about creatine.  I think all of this mostly feeds back to a fantasy I have in which I have an amazing amount of time to train and create wholesome foods from scratch that are completely unprocessed.  The next scene in the fantasy involves me and a biggie sized double cheeseburger and fries from Wendy's, but that's why this is a fantasy, right?

At any rate, nothing really new to report.  This week is about recovery, and officially being on the road to the 26.2 with Donna on February 13, 2011!