Thursday, June 28, 2012

The F rule

All we've heard about here is hell fire and brimstone about the coming heat wave. Sure it seems a bit early for our friend the heat advisory. But that jerk shows up every year. And every year we gripe about how bad it sucks and how the water we have to haul around is too hot and we become shocked that we have to take a walk break (or in my case MORE walk breaks).

However... some of us still run. Like tonight. Because why not? We'll take it easy. Drink lotsa water. The first thing we decide is that our workout will be called sun/shade fartleks. Run in the sun walk in the shade. What about that street that has no shade you ask? That's when you istitute the F rule.

Do whatever the F you want.

Turns out I've been training by the F rule for years! I just never had a name for it.

What's the workout tonight? F rule.
How many miles are you gonna go? F rule
What's your prerace ritual? F rule
What's your race pace? F rule
Why are you standing in that sprinkler behind a tree giggling like some kind of freak?  F RULE

Why are you spraying water from your water bottle onto your running companions? Because it's hot and we're close to a water fountain for refills. Duh. Ok maybe the F rule isn't the best answer for every question. But it's a pretty fun answer for many questions.

Side note: I would like to thank the class of 1984. They donated or raised some money for a wonderful water fountain on campus that made today's ridiculously fun/awful/awesome run possible. Class of 1984, you rock!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taking Crazy to a Whole New Level

I've run two full marathons in my life.

Marathon number one:

I just want to do one. Then I can say I've done it.
I'm gonna follow every single training run to the letter.
I'm gonna join a training group to make sure I can accomplish my goal.

Marathon number two:

I just want to earn my "S". You know, so when people say,"This is Erin, she runs marathonS", I don't have to correct them.
The first one wasn't so bad.
All of my friends are doing this one, it'll be a BLAST!
I got this training thing down, I won't even need to do all that running I did the first time around!

Yeah, you can imagine how these played out. First marathon=magical running day. Second marathon=90 some degrees on race day and I'm standing at the starting line knowing that I'm screwed.

So I took a year off. The second marathon took so much out of me I needed that time to consider if the old 26.2 was really worth it again. Of course it was. I mean I had to redeem myself from the crap show that was marathon two.

The plan was that 2012 would be my comeback year. I picked my race, Columbus, Ohio marathon. It's in the fall, I've heard great things about it and I already have two friends that have signed on to head over there with me. I'm gonna train hard and kick 26.2's butt (relatively speaking)!

I have my training schedule mapped out. It will start on the 4th week of July, I know just what I'm doing. My OCD is having oodles of fun with all of this planning..... and then..... whoops. That race director said I could upgrade my trail half marathon to a full marathon on August 4th because it seemed like a good idea to do that. When did I lose my mind? When did that happen?

This marathon happens in about 6 weeks? WTF! I kept joking about training for a marathon. Like, "ha ha ha, I know my mileage has been really high but I'm not REALLY training for a marathon, I'm just helping a friend train for one" And, "ha, ha, ha, I know 14 and 15 mile runs seem like overkill but really I just want a good spring board for when I REALLY start training for a marathon...which I am not doing right now". And now I'm openly training for one (it was silly to try to hide it all this time). And I keep thinking that this is stuff that real runners do, just deciding to run full marathons all willy nilly. No planning, no stockpiling snacks and gels, no counting back-up shoes, no planning race outfit options 6 months ahead of time.

Wait wha? Am I getting the "real runner" crazies? Crap I must be. This is either gonna be the best idea or the worst idea ever.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paynetown/ Pate Hollow Triple


This is either the best idea, or the worst idea. Ever.

I took up trail running late last year. I had stayed away from it for years because of stupid, puny, weak ankles from years of mediocre gymnastics as a child. And I'm a klutz, big time. I was also intimidated. I mean, trail runners are tough and fast and macho and I am none of these things. But one day I secretly went out to this magical Paynetown Trail with one of my best friends. She's my pace and one of the sweetest gals I know. And neither of us knew what the heck we were doing. So it felt safe. We had a blast!

People that don't live in Indiana think Indiana is pancake flat. That is a fact for much of the state. But not not here in southeastern Indiana. We gots some hills. My fancy pants Garmin tells me that this was the elevation info for the Paynetown triple today.

Elevation Gain:1,995 ft
Elevation Loss:1,946 ft
Min Elevation:583 ft
Max Elevation:839 ft

These numbers basically just mean ow. It's a beast. But I love it. In the morning when the sun is just peeking through the trees and it hits a spiderweb just right.... I fall in love with everything. Always.

So another friend decides she's gonna run her first trail marathon this August. And being the generous person I am (or sucker), I jumped at the opportunity to help her train! Time on the trails with a best friend? Who could ask for more!?! We've done a few runs together and I would typically bow out 4-6 miles before she was done. Because you know, I wasn't training for a marathon.

Then she did three loops at Paynetown. There was no way I could have done it that day. My knees were achy before I took my first step on the trail that day and the first 12 I did run with her felt like tiny hammers were being pounded into my knees. The whole time. When she came back from her 18 miles victorious, I became obsessed with the triple loop.

So today was going to be the day, I just KNEW it!

Obstacle one:
Here's what my workout at the gym looked like on Friday morning.

OK, I don't breathe like that and I'm laughing my butt off right now watching it, but you get the idea. What this macho dickwad in the video isn't telling you is that three reps in, your calves start to cramp up like you've had charlie horses for 72 days straight AND it doesn't get any better when you're done. Then you wake up the morning of your big triple loop at P-town and you realize that you can't really walk well. Do you give up on your run? Nah. You make a chia seed concoction because chia seeds have magical powers, right? It'll be fine, right? It'll only be yelpy painful on the uphills. Right? RIGHT?

It was.

But I just knew I was gonna do it. First loop... lovely. Refill Camelbak, inhale honey stingers. Second loop... company! Three friends joined me, yeah! I knew this would be the "fast loop" because I was trying to show off for my friends, or something. Third loop... oof. I was really on my own for this one. I had told the fellas that did two loops, "I'll post about my triumph in at least two hours on the Facebook, if that doesn't happen, send help". So I began. Here's a some of the things that went through my mind:

Why is there so much uphill?
It's hotter now.
Everything is awesome.
My lower back hurts so much I almost don't notice the knife in the calf pain I've had all morning.
Why so much uphill?
It would be cool if I saw a turtle.
Am I drunk on endorphins?
What's with all the f'ing uphill?
ow my calves
I'm hungry
Is that a green bouncy ball?
That's a plant, why would I think it was a bouncy ball?
Am I seeing things? Oh well.
So much uphill.
Pick up your feet, pick up your feet.
WEEEEEEEEEEEEE (last downhill).
Oh my god I just did that! I JUST DID THAT!!!!
ow my calves

Now I'm ice bathed and lounging in some compression tights and life is good. I've emailed the race director to see if I can upgrade my  race from a half marathon to the full. If he tells me no, it's fine. I did the triple at Paynetown. And once my calves don't feel like a pot roast in a vice, this is gonna feel better than any race ever. Because sometimes doing stupid dumb stuff just to see if you can do it, can feel pretty amazing. But also... ow my calves.

Friday, June 22, 2012

How do I describe my running?

I am not fast
I am not talented

Running does not come naturally to me. I started running because a good friend that was a runner described to me the way she began running. She said she started with run/walking. Run 30 seconds, walk a minute. Well, any stupid jerk can run for 30 seconds! Even me! That was 2007. That’s when I started this silliness.

After 6 months of run/walking, I ran my first 5k in my neighborhood at about 6am. It took me 45 minutes and I was thrilled! Turns out a 15 minute mile is not worthy of a happy dance in the general running community (glad I didn’t jump on the message boards to brag), but to me it was like breaking the sound barrier. I have sped up some since then, but not much. I’m a mediocre runner and most days I’m ok with that.

I’m not a writer. As a matter o fact, just writing this is giving me the sweats because I am flashing back to school when I had to write stupid dumb papers about stupid dumb things. Right now my head is counting words (remember the 200 word essays?) and trying to figure out how to enlarge this text to make it appear that I have written more than I actually have. So don’t expect literary genius, or proper grammar, or correct use of punctuation, or epically long posts.
Here are some words and phrases I may overuse:
I ran
This is either the best idea or the worst idea ever
Ball sucking slogfest
Macho dickwad
I also overuse quotation marks and …
Good, now that I have pumped you up with disclaimers and horror stories of bad grammar… LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!
Welcome to the ridiculous mind of a persistent runner.