Jan 30, 2008
three more left - two next tuesday and one on wednesday. and i was about to say i hope its a cold day in hell before i ever have to do them again when i realize that a majority of my repeats have been just that: a cold day in hell. today's being the most recent. i looked at weather.com to see what i should wear to mile repeat street and upon seeing that the temp was "feels like 4", i seriously considered going back to bed. but then i thought about all i had to do today & realized that there was no other time the workout was going to get done. so there i was. another cold day in hell on mile repeat street. today's thrill ride included running into another headwind for the first 800 meters and getting tangled up in tree branches and debris from last nights' storm.
i have hated these mile repeats since the first day i was out there. and it's this hatred of them that made me think; hmm, maybe that's my problem, i hate them. thats why they aren't going as well as i'd like. so i would try to embrace them. feel the love. be one with the repeat. chant good mantras. none of it seemed to work. i'd head out the door every tuesday and wednesday, my head filled with good, loving mile repeat thougts. i'd think, today could be the day. today is the day it is going to go well (i.e; faster). but then i would get up to that yellow line and all good karma thoughts were gone, and it would take everything i had to just start. and then everything i had to do another one. and another one. and another. and just one more.
because i was training for a hilly marathon, i was convinced that my schedule would be filled with hill repeats - and i was looking forward to it, beacuse i love them. so i almost died when i saw instead two back to back days of mile repeats. and i almost feel like i never quite got over the shock of the schedule. i hated being up there and would just long for the sunday long runs when i could just run. there was a point a while back when i got a bit more comfortable with the suckiness of the repeats in that i could do them and not feel like i wanted to cry, die, puke or quit in the middle of the workout. while becoming more comortable in the hell that was a mile repeat was an improvement, they still never got better - both in attitude and performance.
mile repeats are fun things when you actually get faster. when you see a progressive improvement and the numbers keep getting lower and lower. i know this cause they were sort of fun last fall. i'd go out there and wonder how fast i could go. what will my watch say? and there was complete elation upon seeing the numbers - they just kept going down.
i naively expected the same this time around. but i didn't factor in the fact that i had them two days in a row. but lap after lap and week after week the time on my watch was almost, freakishly, the same exact time. every time. i never got faster. and this worried me. i worried that i had just wasted my time out there. so i do what i do when i worry about my running and i wrote to coach, thinking that maybe i had blown it because i hadn't gotten faster. he explained that getting faster wasn't the point (thank god). the point was to get comfortable with running faster than race pace and training my body to be able to repeat the workload over and over. effort, recover, effort, recover.
i think half the effort some days was simply to stop standing at the yellow line contemplating running and to actually start running. there was effort required on some days to not curl up in front of the line and go to sleep at some point between the umpteen repeats. there was effort in trying to maintain some semblance of a respectable pace against headwinds. there was effort required to stay upright on the ice and slush last week. there was effort to just get out the door on tuesdays and wednesdays and get myself to that damn yellow line.
but its almost over. i did them. and in 10 days, i will be more than happy to line up at another kind of line and hope that all the mental & physical efforts of mile repeats line up with the rest of my ducks and translate into a very happy, third times' the charm of a plan b marathon.
Jan 29, 2008
she: mom, you eat a lot of oatmeal.
me: i know. its my favorite breakfast.
she: lilah eats a lot of oatmeal too.
me: how do you know?
she: she brings it to school for lunch.
me: wow, what a great thing to put in a lunchbox.
she: yeah, lilah comes from the land of oatmeal.
the land of oatmeal.
where everyone is well fueled and can run for hours.
and i guess its good for getting through a day of first grade too.
Jan 24, 2008
so i'm running. i'm running. and i'm even chatting. making small talk. and i am not good at small talk and especially not good while running; cause its hard to make small talk when you are sucking wind. chatting can really only take place in the first 15 minutes, and if i'm lucky - the full first half; but after that, i cross the threshold into wayoutofconversation zone and all bets are off. but i digress. i'm running. i'm running. then, without warning, the group gets shot out of a cannon. without me. and i'm off the back. and its early in the run. and i'm usually disappointed in myself when i am off the back like this, especially within the first 30 minutes; but i know the water stop is not far and i'll catch them there & be able to regroup. i peer into the park as i come up to it. and i am mentally & physically slowing down a bit. i'm looking for them around the water fountain. i'm not wearing my glasses, but i am pretty sure those bushes are not them. oh god. they did not stop for water.
i am so conditioned on these runs to expect a water stop 30 minutes in, that if we don't stop it messes with my mojo. i mean, that's what we do. we stop. for water. its my favorite part of the run. the actual stopping of the shitfast wind sucking running. for just a minute. that way, i can look at these runs like two shitfast 30 minute runs rather than one long agonizing hour one. and its like getting to take an instant mulligan. if the first 30 didn't go so well, i get to rest for 1 minute and try again.
they didn't stop. and now my physical slow down upon nearing the fountain meant i was even farther behind the group. so far behind that i could no longer see anyone. ok. no big deal. just keep running. but the thing about these thursday runs is the fact that the singular focus to just keep up, coupled with the oxygen deprivation doesn't leave room for paying attention to where i actually am. and so, i got lost. while i had a general idea of where i was, meaning that i knew what neighborhood i was in; i really didn't know exactly where in that neighborhood or in which direction the main road or the park where we begin the runs was located. lets just say i had gotten a little turned around and there was a point at which i was running through a neighborhood and just had to stop and take stock. wait a minute! where am i?!?
i got my bearings and zigzagged my way to the main road, whereupon i looked at my watch and realized i'd be at the finish right around the same time as everyone else. like i didn't even fall off the back or get lost. love it when it all just works out.
Jan 22, 2008
on the first lap, i found myself watching cars as they approached the stop sign at the intersection and wondering if they would actually stop in time or skid into my path. i'm always amused by the white knuckled drivers, hunched over their steering wheels, terrified of the half inch of snow on the ground. they never quite know what to do. the first lap was slow. crazy slow for a mile repeat. the best surface for running wasn't always right in front of me, just moving under my feet as always; i constantly needed to weave and bob to seek it out, it changed every block. the slush was too slippery, as was the packed snow. the fresh snow was best, but was so far off to the side of the road, that i would run on it & not be able to see the tiny ditch in the road where it ended and met the grass. i had to save myself from falling more than once. and when a car did indeed skid right through a stop sign in front of me, and i could feel my toes slipping every time i picked my foot up, i knew it was all just a recipe for a twisted ankle. and 18 days before my plan b marathon, it all felt just a little too risky. so in an unprecedented move, after just two laps, i just scrapped the whole workout and resolved to finish later, knowing that any sort of snow and slush on the streets don't last very long around here. so i ran home trying to stay on the fresh and undisturbed snow that offered a bit more traction. and when you aren't trying to go blazes fast, and when you are the first one to make tracks in it running on snow is still bliss. trying to run fast on it? not so much.
Jan 21, 2008
- what to wear on a long run when it is 11 degrees out?
- how to stuff a fuel belt with as much food as possible.
- what to do when your ass is frozen and you feel like it may fall off.
- energy gels: friend or foe?
- long runs in the worst weather ever. ask the expert.
- how to get your ducks to line up.
- sugar - bad. real food - good.
- when toenails fall off
- hitting the wall: how bad is it?
- getting out of the ambulance and finishing anyway.
and so begins the taper. plenty of time and energy to spend on nonsensical posts. not that any of them really made any sense in the first place. its all just a little look inside my head. and i can't believe y'all keep coming back for more, but you have no idea how happy i am that you do. there's really nowhere else this yankee girl can say y'all and be okay with it. and there is nowhere else i can talk so incessantly about running.
when i noticed a year ago that if i talked about running anymore, my friends' eyes would start to glaze over in that ohmygodhereshegoesagain way, i knew i was in dire need of another outlet. that, or risk losing my friends or being locked in a rubber room. i really liked my friends and didn't want to lose them to the minutiae of my every running thought. plus, i was driving my husband crazy. so i took my obsession here. and for months, i was a closet blogger. i'm out of the bloggy closet now and those same friends i was trying to spare from my madness now read the blog and while they may still roll their eyes at me and say ohmygodhereshegoesagain, i just can't see it. it has been a wild ride of a year. so thanks to everyone who stops by to share in the adventure; and offer friendship, humor, support, advice and enough hits to get me the number one spot on googles' boobs a mile long. not quite sure how that gets topped next year, but my husband just renewed the domain name for another year - so i'll keep running and blogging and hope that you just keep coming back, cause you all rock.
Jan 20, 2008
so that's it. my last long run of plan b. there's two more sunday runs. three weeks from today i'll be in birmingham, ready for 26.2. my ducks are lined up. the food and fueling experiments have been conducted. the squares in the schedule are getting crossed off. the shit hard ass-kicking schedule didn't kill me. i'm still here. while i was dissapointed at never having gotten faster on the mile repeats, i felt much better when i was told that wasn't the point. i've never had back to back mile repeats and i've never trained for back to back marathons either. i think i came through okay.
20 days and counting.
if getting out of bed
and walking across the room
a kabillion times
to hit snooze
counts as a warm up?
cause i know its still about
7 degrees out
i just want to give mother nature
a little more time to warm
up to at least double digits.
i'm going to need all
the warm up i can get.
Jan 18, 2008
ok. i'll admit it. i really love checking the stats of my blog. i love to see where everyone is from, i love to see which things get the most hits. but mostly? mostly i love seeing the keywords that bring people to the blog. i always wonder if people found what they were looking for. and i find myself wishing i could answer their question in some way. so, what better way to spend a training day off than doing just that and combining it with some shameless self promotion in the form of links to some oldies but goodies?
- i need to pee badly - yes, i often need to pee really badly during a run. mostly in a race. the short, fast 5k kind. or during mile repeats (thank god for those bushes at the finish line). or, during a field test. this is the result of giving birth to three children but it also has the added benefit of being a very effective maximum effort gauge. if i peed, then i gave it my all. this is the top search. i don't get it. there must be a lot of people out there who need to pee really badly.
- red button pushing games - there are games?
- treadmill how many miles? - none. go outside. i'm amazed at all the variations on this theme - people googling how many miles to run on a treadmill, and they wind up here. listen, people - you aren't going to find the answer here. bundle up. go outside.
- funny picture of exhausted runner - whoever came here looking for this must have been disappointed. my exhausted running look is not funny. and it is not a good look for me. i'd have to be really drunk to post it.
- runner down - it can't be good if you are googling 'runner down'. unless of course you want to learn how to not ever have those words apply to you. if that's the information you were looking for you came to the right place. it is indeed a sad ocurrance. but it was the impetus for getting my ducks in a row, which coincidentally is another popluar search that brings people to seezannerun:
- getting my ducks in a row - people google this. and that makes me feel better.
- boobs a mile long - this is my all time favorite, thus the post title. anyone who knows me knows i don't have boobs a mile long. hell, i don't even have boobs. but most importantly, who googles 'boobs a mile long'? the icing on the cake of mile long boobs? i'm on page 1.
- best gels for long run - i'm sure whoever googled this was looking for an intelligent comparison of gels for a long run. i have no doubts they were disappointed to have arrived here. i think i said they are vile. now, if they want to come back and talk clementines or bananas, or how much food can be stuffed into the back pocket of a fuel belt, i have conducted many experiments. they came to the right place.
- big button secret - there is no secret. just push it. its big. its red.
- feverish nausea - oh. someone was trying to self diagnose and they came to my site. whoever you are, i'm so sorry. but - if ever you feel feverish & nauseous and it is day 3 of three digit temps and you are running a lot; training for a marathon for example, it is highly likely you are dehydrated. drink more water.
- leo's babershop harlan - completley perplexed by this one. i got nuthin'
- mice in stove insulation - strange for a running blog, yes. there were mice living in the insulation in our stove (unbeknowst to me - until after, the um, incident) and i cooked them all. it was a veritable mouse waco. it somehow kept me from getting my run done the next day. must have had something to do with all the wine i drank over the hilarity of it all. that's how i tied it all in to the running theme. i can relate almost anything to running. and to me. its a talent.
- running in the wind - just in case i wasn't clear enough in whatever post this landed on - it sucks. and apparently, it is also a song.
- snot runners - i just think this is funny. who googles snot runners? what are snot runners? i wonder if they ever found out.
- happy runner girl - ok, love that this is on page 1. i love that someone googled it. and right under it? a treadmill for dogs. good god. its a dog. bundle it up. send it outside.
- wardrobe malfunction - janet. justin. and me. bringing sexy back.
- training to run 12 miles in 12 minutes - seriously. someone googled this? a minute mile? and they got to my site?
- what is a mile repeat? - pure hell, my googly friend. pure hell.
Jan 17, 2008
i love the snow. everything about it. the crunch of it, the feel of it falling on my face, the stillness of it, the way the world looks in it. pure bliss. and running in it is all zen and perfect and dreamy. and if its dark out, it just adds to the allure. all the days of running in blistering cold, torrential rain and howling winds - this was the weather i had been longing for. so even though i was on a big dog run, and i started it feeling less than inspired, and spent most of it feeling slightly defeated and wondering whether they had kicked it into warp speed or i had slowed down, and even though i was trying to stay focused and keep my crazy breathing under some semblance of control, and even though it was tough; there were a few fleeting moments of snowy zen. and zen moments don't usually appear on big dog runs. but i am glad that i recognized them and enjoyed them before the moment was gone. the snow falling on my face, the stillness of everything around us, our reflections in the wet road and the occasional crunch of snow under our feet. i was actually grateful for the earliness of the big dog run, cause it was all gone just a few hours later - and i would have been running on just another grey, dreary day.
Jan 15, 2008
but the last marathon go around resulted in dreams like going to a bakery with p. diddy and ordering cookies and cakes and wanting to eat all the frosting off of everything. and that was before the sugar purge.
last nights' crazy dream? it was me and david beckham. and we were tight. like best friends tight. we took our kids to the park. we went shopping together. we frolicked through central park. and of course, we kicked a soccer ball around. it was like a watching a trailer for a really cheesy movie musical. i don't get it. i don't play soccer. never did. i don't frolick through grassy fields. and david beckham is not even on my wheel.
but i still have 21 days to go.
that's plenty of time for lenny kravitz to stop by in one of my dreams.
Jan 9, 2008
i love the easy week.
whoever invented the easy week is genius.
just when you think you are going to break,
just when you think the schedule may actually kill you,
that it is too hard, and all your runs are sucking
and none of them feel good -
just when you think your goose is cooked,
and you are composing emails in your head to coach
about how you don't think you can hack it anymore -
along comes an easy week.
and a run in the sun with no wind, rain or blistering cold -
a slow run, but it feels good
cause that's what your body wants to do.
thank god for the easy weeks
and good, slow, easy
runs in the sun.
Jan 8, 2008
Jan 7, 2008
there were good tunes throughout the house all day.
kids playing outside like it was summer.
a little housecleaning, a little rearranging.
cleaned out, fresh backpacks.
it all made for a very nice recovery day. a little mental health day so to speak. i hate it when panic and doubt come to visit. i honestly didn't think they'd stop by this time around. and its worse when they come along on a run. those runs where even as you tell yourself, just run, just run; you think you cannot do this. its no fun to be out on that ledge & need to be talked back in. but all it takes is a little day off, self-imposed or scheduled; to feel back on track, to realize you just had a shitty run, nothing more - to feel like you can do it. and to actually look forward to lining up at the mile repeat yellow line tomorrow morning.
Jan 6, 2008
i got rid of sugar, i got my gi system back on track. i've since re-introduced sugar in small bits, and even dairy in small bits. the next step was to re-introduce energy gels and drinks on the run. we were waiting until longest run to start. since i wanted more than one shot at it, so there could be some comparison, we started last week. sadly, they don't go down so well. last week, all the sugar in the gels contributed to some extreme post-run soreness. this week, about four miles after the gel, my intestines announced their existence. my intestines have not made their presence known on a run in a long time; and really, they are not invited on my runs. i do not want to know they exist. today, they reminded me.
and so for the middle 7 miles i tried to work through the stomach pain. and i haven't had to do this in a long time. i was bummed. i was pissed. and i was miserable. i had some pretzels that i had packed helped to settle things down. once i got to mile 14, things were looking up. my stomach had settled and i was feeling a bit better. but around mile 16, my lower back decided it didn't want to run anymore, and so the last 5 miles of the 21 vascillated between moments of feeling fairly good and working through the back pain.
i think the hope here was that once i got all cleaned up, i could better tolerate things on the run - have a stomach of steel so to speak; able to take anything they handed out at a marathon. i don't think i'm here. maybe i will be someday, i just don't want to sacrifice another run to experimenting with it. two sacraficial runs are enough. i'm going to stick to my tried and true: clementines, bananas, pretzels and HEED. these were the things that fueled the happy runs. and even though i was running through miserable conditions on almost every long run, physically, i felt good. this was the food. real food. real food fuels happy runs.
so my husband will have to keep driving around town after i've left on a run to throw fruit out the car window onto the lawns of friends and complete strangers. and he assured me today as i sat in an ice bath and needed to be talked off the ledge; that he would deliver anything i needed to me on the run in birmingham. why can't they pass out bananas and clementines at races? it would make life so easy.
i'm a smart girl. really, i am. i know that all the runs can't be good. its hard. it was really hard today. hard is ok. but still. i hate the runs that make you think you can't do this. i'm blaming it on the gel. have to blame it on something. it would have been a fine run had it not been for that vile stuff. well, it would have been fine at least until my back started screaming at me. massage girl has her work cut out for her tomorrow.
ugh. i didn't want to be here. i didn't want to need to be talked off the ledge. twice. coach called too, after i emailed a cry for help. shit. i thought i was past this shit.
Jan 5, 2008
Jan 2, 2008
well, truth be told, it wasn't actually four degrees, that was merely the "feels like" temp during my mile repeats today. the regular temp was a balmy 16. i felt like i was gearing up to hit the slopes instead of the pavement, but running over to mile repeat street, i figured i had geared up right, because it didn't really feel that cold. clearly, the cold had already gotten to my better senses and messed with them. that shining sun can be very deceiving. but once at the start, running in the opposite direction from where i came, this is where i found that "feels like 4" temp. i was running headfirst into it. i turn the corner, get hit with an even colder blast for about a half block, turn the corner again, the winds are gone and suddenly the 16 degrees feels downright hot. and so it went like this three more times. running into blistering, painful cold and turning the corner to suddenly feel hot and want to peel off extra layers. my legs were so cold on the first 1/2 mile stretch into that wind i don't think they knew what to do. or maybe they did, i just couldn't really feel them doing it. even though the homestretch half mile felt downright balmy in comparison, 16 degress is just insane. it may take a while for my ass to thaw out.
Jan 1, 2008
happy new year everyone!
hope 2008 brings you good fast runs, good rides, good times.