Jul 30, 2007

when will i learn?

dairy hates me.

i learned this the hard way last year in the last month of marathon training during those really long runs ... those runs where i wanted to curl up & die on the side of the road from the excrutiating cramps that signaled, well -- that signaled the coming of the runs. sorry. maybe i should have warned you this would be a little TMI.

it took me a while to put 2 + 2 together, i did all the doctor visits & drank the vile barium, and got a perscription ... but in the end i just cut dairy out of my diet, tossed the Rx & at the advice of coach added acidophilous -- the cure was instant & practically miraculous.

i don't touch dairy in any shape or form with a 10 foot pole. actually, i don't touch it at all - not even with a pole.

so why - why, for the love of all that's holy - do i decide to suddenly play russian roulette with a happy GI system while on vacation?

ice cream? that looks good ... i need a small cone. with jimmies on top.

oreo cakesters? i've never seen those. those look delicious ... and i'm stressed out cause our airstream just broke down for the umpteenth time. cakesters will totally make that better.

candy made from MILK chocolate? mmmm ... give me some. may as well just mainline it.

accidophilous? sensitive colon care vitamin thingys? who needs to take those?

and then this - i want to meet the asshole who decided that MILK was a good ingredient in a sports drink. hello - accelerade? it has MILK in it. WTF???

my head is in a fog. my system is a mess. and it tells me so. several times a day. in that emergency, i hate you for eating so much milky shit kind of way.

Jul 25, 2007


since i am on vacation there is no pool running ... (i realize that the atlantic ocean is out my front door, but that is so not happening)

so i took my 6 prescribed miles to the street & ran the same 10k race route that i ran about 20 years ago.

i just have this to say to my 18 year old self:
i just kicked your ass

it gets better: i beat my 10k time from 3 months ago by 11 seconds.

nevermind that i think i heard myself wheezing on washington road.
nevermind that during the last mile and a half my mantra was -
when can i stop when can i stop.
nevermind that i kept telling myself, this is a training run, what the hell are you doing?

all of this makes up for the fact that monday's run had me checking the route on gmap over & over again. surely, there was a missing mile in there somewhere ... because my pace on monday's run was so shamefully slow for my current self, i had a really hard time accepting it. maybe my watch was wrong. maybe gmap is wrong. or, maybe i was just shit ass slow.

today made up for it.

am sure i'll pay for this later in some shape or form - crazy soreness, or a shit run tomorrow ... but for now, must relish the feeling of knowing that i just did at the age of 38 what i never could do at the age of 18.

hell. i probably couldn't have done it 2 days ago. but i did it today & that's all that counts.

Jul 23, 2007


best pre-run warm up...
boogie boarding in atlantic ocean - which is currently my front yard.

best ice bath after 11 mile run ...
dip in icy atlantic - running clothes and all.

best destination run ....
this place. the very same place where about 16 years ago you realized the guy you were dating was a total keeper. and you married him. and now you run there & meet him and your 3 kids for breakfast.

best pit stop post 37 mile bike ride...
cousins' surf shop where they hand out red bulls like they are candy.

best 37 mile bike ride ever ...
the one we did the other day that was so quintessentially new england,
we half expected someone to just hand us a lobster roll as we passed by.

best place in the world to run ....
right here. right now.

pictures coming soon ...

Jul 21, 2007

rogue wave

i didn’t see it coming. Isn’t that by definition what a rogue wave is? Unpredictable. Random. Unforeseen.

this post could also be titled: dedication. Because never in my life would I have thought that while on a road trip in our RV, I would wake up the morning after a stopover at the Flying J truck stop and go for a RUN.

but that is exactly what I did. I had been fretting (I’m really good at fretting) about how I would possibly get Thursday’s run in knowing we’d be on the road … I did not want to rearrange days or commit the unthinkable training sin of deviating from the schedule. I mean, how could I live with myself for 12 hours sitting in the RV, eating Pringles - knowing I skipped a run?

Now, I can be a total scaredycatgirlygirlworrywart & I wondered about the safety of leaving for a run, from a truck stop in the middle of nowhere. So I brought my phone, put on my watch & road id bracelet and headed out – hoping that Hannibal Lechter wouldn’t drive by in his van & toss me in. My plan was to go out 30 minutes & turn around.

My husband takes a picture of me in the parking lot … one last photo – you know, for the “Have you seen this Girl?” bit on the news … she was last seen running down obscure state road 1234 wearing all black.

And I’m off … wtf? Why are all you people beeping at me? Never seen a girl running before? Oh. My god. Ok … I see. This is the highway entrance. Yes. ok … will turn around.

Ah, much better - this looks like nice obscure road from which to get abducted.

So im running, im running. And its raining, its raining. And I think – holy shit. I am dedicated. I am running. In the rain. In the middle of nowhere. And the boogie man could so totally get me.

And so, in order to keep my mind off that boogie man, a.k.a Hannibal Lechter and the fact that it weas highly likely he was going to drive by any minute, I started to count smooshed caracasses.

Lost count at 15 … I gave bonus points for severed limbs near the carnage.

What are those? Sneakers? On the side of the road? One is still in a box … oh lord, those are probably from the last girl who got tossed in a van.

Have I mentioned it was raining? Have I mentioned that people drive shit ass fast on obscure state roads? Have I mentioned I had freaked myself the hell out with crazy thoughts in my head? (I’m so good at this, I could hold seminars) -- Despite this, though – it must be noted – it was a very good run.

and then, a van came by. and I thought this is it ... he’s headed right for me. I considered pre-dialing 911 into the phone. and I’m so busy thinking that I am running my last few steps while at the same time wondering if I could outrun shit ass fast van that I fail to notice the small pond on the side of the road that I am running by – the very same small pond that Hannibal’s van is about to drive through.

and that’s when it hit me.
rogue wave.
they exist people.
i got whacked with one.
wall of water.

so, I ask you - if a runner girl and a van travelling in opposite directions on an obscure state road, converge upon a small pond on said road, and the runner girl is running about 6.8 miles per hour, and the van is going a kabillion miles an hour, and the runner girl lets out a big girly yelp at the wall of water that envelops her and then dissolves into hysterical laughter, did the runner girl complete her entire run, did she do her 2x8:00 steady states & if so, what was her pace?

Jul 18, 2007

mantras & a road trip

a one hour pool run was on this mornings' schedule ...

pool runs suck. this is deep water pool running. no floaty anything. just me. in a bathing suit - "running" in the deep end & turning right before feet hit bottom of shallow end. (although when i started, i would totally run with feet hitting bottom once i got to shallow end) but then i got schooled. that's a no no. this is excrutiatingly boring. its hard. i sweat. in the pool for gods' sake. sweating in a pool. good god.

for the first time since i've been doing the pool runs, i arrived before my "running" partner ... i just sat at the edge of the pool looking at the entrance gate ... please come, please come. i got in reluctantly - because dammit, coach was there swimming laps - no way i could justify just sitting there any longer. must get in. 2 solo laps. she's here! thank god.

and then the chant inside my head: there's no way i am doing this for the whole hour. there's no way i am doing this for the whole hour.

essentially, this is my mantra every wednesday pool run, and i always do the whole hour. and i'm always happy when its over that i stuck it out - cause as much as it sucks - its a great workout & i get to cross another day off my schedule.


now - the bike: the bike has taken a back seat now that running can pick up again & i am on my official schedule. tuesdays & saturdays are bike days. so last night we did our regular tuesday club ride ... nothing messed with my mojo on the way to the ride - in fact it was my best ride ever ... so much so, that i found my self saying i am rockin' this ride, i am rockin' this ride. it didn't matter that i got dropped with about 10 miles to go - i just switched to: i totally rocked the first half of this ride, i totally rocked the first half of this ride.

flexibility is key.

we are headed off on a little road trip today ... i'll be here. which, as far as i'm concerned is the best place on earth. my family has a house here. right. on. the. beach. not - walk across the street & you are at the beach - not pack up all your gear & walk a couple of blocks and you are at the beach. the house is on the beach. the beach is the front yard. i love this place. its' dreamy & perfect. our little camelot. and so i plan to enjoy the hell out of it ... i'll be shamelessly soaking up the sun, playing frisbee with my husband, boogie boarding with my kids ... and running. lots of it.

... i had this thought the other day in regards to that whole "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" saying ... i say, when life gives you lemons, RUN ... and running on that beach next week will be really, really good.

Jul 12, 2007

happy runner girl

i do still actually run. even though i can't remember the last time i wrote about running.

but now it's official: i have my marathon training schedule. it's for real. not a temporary till-i-get-through-this-injury schedule, but a real honest-to-goodness, the road to boston starts here schedule.

even though i have been running regularly & for the most part, pain free - for the past 4 weeks, today was the first day on my new schedule that i had something to do. something other than just run & hope it doesn't hurt.

almost every one of those above mentioned runs have been better than each previous run ... but today was by far the best. something about the official-ness of it. i wasn't just going out to run to get miles in or to keep fitness up. i had a task. i had 7 miles w/ 2x8:00 steady states ... and while i think maybe i was a little too fast - it felt amazing.

runner girl is back ... and so so so happy. all is right with the world when you just can't wipe the smile off your face during that last half mile of run home & you feel like you could run forever.

Jul 10, 2007

inside my head

my husband & i just got back from a club ride & he wants to know what's inside my head. more specifically, i think he said "what the hell is going on in there?" -- it had been raining & a guy pulled a u-turn in front of us on the way to ride. messed with my mojo. early in the ride, my husband knows i'm wiggy & all messed up. and so, he says ... "you have got to get on someone's wheel or you are never gonna make it". this was an excellent example of foreshadowing. i wish i had known this so i just could have turned around and gone home.

whoa? ... where are you all going so fast? no one told me we were going to be shot out of a cannon when that light turned green. ok. i can do this. i'll just get on his wheel. shit. i lost him. ok. i'll get on his wheel. dammit. where the hell is he going? oh look at that - a light. ok. here i am. man, this riding through downtown is bullshit. go fast. stop for light. go fast. stop for light. ok. here we are. river road. shit. husband up ahead with small group. ooh get on this guys' wheel. sweet. he'll bridge the gap. wtf are you doing? you are pulling off? that was your pull? you gotta be kidding me. holy shit. ok. fine. i'll pull. gogogogogogo. omg. this is hard. am dying here. fucking tired now. i can pull off now. respecatble short pull. ok. pull off. omg. that was a big line behind me. hey - did that guy just say "nice pull"? i like him. ok - last person. move into line. jesus. feels like they are going really fast. look at speed thingy. 21.5. jesus. what is your problem? you can do that. this feels wildly fast. its not though. when can i have water? i really need water. not sure i can take hand off bike. wtf is my problem? why is this so hard? whoa! where did they go? shit. i fell off that fast? dammit. gogogogogogo. catch up. can i cry now? i can't catch up. hmmmm. sort of feel like throwing up. god. throwing up on bike would suck. i bet i'd fall. throwup AND feel what road rash is like. that would suck. oh god. they are really far. this is shameful. god? are you there? could you just make my legs spin faster? and get some more oxygen into my lungs? ok. snap out of it. get your shit together. you can do this. suck it up. dig in. oh now this is really bad. its just me. i'm all alone. amazing how fast that happens. am i still even on this ride? did they turn down that road? hey. buck up. there is still another whole group behind you. you were in the front pack. oh jesus! do not under any circumstances let 2nd group catch up. look behind. ok. they are nowhere to be seen. i got a lot of wiggle room here. just in case you want to fuck up this ride any more. who is that up there? is that ... it is! my husband. stopped. to wait for me. oh boy. don't ask how long he's been there. don't need to know. ok. we are turning. here's where i do my best work. where i smoke everyone on the hill. only shit. there's no one to smoke. and oh my god. what are you doing? are you actually having trouble on this hill? what the hell is wrong with you? this is your thing. the hills. did you eat anything today? breakfast? check. lunch? check. carrots. nice choice. healthy. bagel before ride. ok. good. then what the hell is wrong with you girl? what are you doing? good god - does your speed thingy actually say 9mph? you should just hang it up now. did my husband just ask me when i was going to stop this 15mph bullshit? yes he did. dig in. i can't do it. i don't care. i'm done. where's the sag wagon?

            Jul 8, 2007

            this about sums it up

            i was reading Velo News this morning (i really don't know who i have become ... i didn't even think i knew what Velo News was a few months ago - now not only am i reading it, i look forward to its arrival & devour it before my husband even knows its arrived).

            anyhow - i was reading Velo News this morning during my - ahem, pre-run ritual & came across a blurb in the article "at the back" that summed up my thoughts about cycling. (and can also be applied to my running) it was written by a woman who was comparing roadies (which she is) to mountain bikers: she writes -

            "they say i take the fun out of cycling.
            But the way I see it, it's just a matter of productivity.
            Something must be accomplished & measured.
            Sadly or not, riding for the sake of riding is not enough for me.
            Quantity validates quality".

            She also talks about how she's preoccupied with calculations: average speed, calories burned, vertical feet climbed.

            I rode with a good friend a few weeks ago ... when we returned from the ride & i discovered how many miles we had ridden, i said "shit, we should have ridden x more miles so i could have gotten an even 100 for the week". her response was something along the lines of "just have fun - why worry about the miles" ... there are definite times when i get a little psychotic about it all, jacked up and obsesive about the schedule - i think my coach told me once too - it's just biking & running, its supposed to be fun.

            but if i wanted fun, i'd go out and play frisbee, i'd go boogie boarding (you know, on the occasions that i am actually near an ocean & not in my current, landlocked state), play monopoly with my kids or go out with friends & laugh all night ... thats fun.

            but running & cycling? i'm working too damn hard to have fun. and i like it that way.

            busy calculating mileage, paces, thinking about entries in my spreadsheet, total weekly mileages --

            i love that whole "quantity validates quality thing" ... although i think i'd add performance to it too. cause if i have anything less than a stellar run - if i've walked for a moment. or if i zig when i should have zagged, when i've run x miles instead of x.x miles - i almost feel that it was a wash, like it almost doesn't count.

            i always like knowing that someone else feels the same way i do. and i like even more when someone else can sum up the jumble of thoughts in my head that i can't quite express.
            so when i read it i say yes! that's me. that's how i feel.

            it makes me feel slightly less loony. and that's always a good thing.

            full disclosure, footnote, bibliography & giving credit where credit is due, etc: the author of article i referenced above was Jill Janov. the article was in the July issue of Velo News.

            Jul 6, 2007

            loose interpretation

            another friday, another easy day. i'm still working off my temporary "recovery" schedule and so fridays are, according to my coach - 'a day i can play around with'. i could choose between a 30 minute swim, pool running, yoga, 3 mile run.

            i was planning on the 3 mile run this morning.

            instead, i decided to play around with my snooze button.

            for an hour and a half.

            now, this blatant disregard for my schedule is completely out of character. i do not stray. i do not take it upon myself to interpret it as i wish. i just do what it says. exactly.

            that said, i was amazed by how long i could keep up the game. coupled with being completely annoyed every 9 minutes when that thing went off.

            its far enough away that i have to get out of bed a weensy bit to turn it off. i mean, an effort definitely has to be made - albeit far less effort than actually getting sorry ass out of bed, but an effort nonetheless.

            but my favorite part of the snooze button game is when my husband talks to it ... and says "shhhh, shhhh".