Saturday, July 28, 2012

One Week til race day...

One of my dogs woke me up last night to go outside. And before I went back to sleep, I realized that next week I'll be running a marathon. And then I started sweating uncontrollably.

And ever since race day came into the 10 forecast on, the song 25 Minutes to Go by Johnny Cash has been stuck in my head.
Today's run was supposed to be an easy 8 miles and it felt really hard. Is that normal? Wait, what's normal about running a marathon?

Half marathon's I'm used to. I've done enough half marathons to feel comfortable with the distance. I know when I'll start to get tired, I know when I'll get a second wind, and I know what parts will suck the worst if I'm having a bad day.

But the full marathon? I just don't know it well enough to go to this one calmly. I'm a mess.

Oh and I fell during today's run! Miles and miles of training runs on trails and I get a sweet wipe out a week before race day. WTF!?! Thankfully, my knee jammed into some soft dirt and my butt cheek took the worst of the log I rolled in to. I now have a black and blue butt cheek + giant welt on butt cheek. And once I stopped forward movement I looked up at my running friends and said, "wait, did I just hear you turn off your Garmin before you made sure I was ok?" She didn't want to count the time if she wasn't running. I get it. I mean, didn't I turn off my Garmin when we surprised a black bear while hiking in Montana? We runners are a f'd up bunch that's for sure.

One week to go...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yellowstone Long Run. This isn't Indiana

I've been running all kinds of trails in Indiana to get ready for this trail marathon on August 4th. When I plan out a long run I just figure out how many miles I need to go and find some trails to match. Done and done.

The husband and I had planned our vacation to Montana MONTHS before the phrase "trail marathon" was even in my vocabulary. Turns out, the phrase gets into my vocabulary, and the trip lands right on FINAL LONG RUN weekend. DOH!

I planned a run, like I do in Indiana. A 10 mile trail right across the street from a 6 mile trail. In Yellowstone. I figured I would add on a few miles at the end. Sure it's at elevation, but I'll start slow and then slow down. Just get the miles in. In my head it was going to be amazing! It was all going to look like this.

Here we go...... Trail one = 10 miles. Bunsen Peak/Osprey Falls. The word peak should have clued me in right away. Whoops. 3 miles up to the top of an 8,000ish foot peak. But it was early and fun and magic. And here's me at the top.

Major concern was bears but the husband and I kept talking and shouting things. It was funny. We skittered back down to lower ground and headed toward the falls. And then we went down. And down, and down, and down. And my knees were aching. I kept saying to husband, "I don't know if I can climb back outta this". And he kept telling me to suck it up and keep going. He said it in a nicer way, but that's what I heard... The falls were awesome (dang it, he was right).

And the climb up was horrible (I was right too). We should have paid more attention to this sign.

We climb out of the falls and I felt like my legs were going to fall off. This is not Indiana trail running. And I am an idiot. Thankfully, there was a little bit of even ground that I felt like I could get some sensible running on. Husband looks at me and says, "we could just do that trail again". Ha ha ha so funny. If I coulda caught him I would have punched him. And I'm thinking, is a 10 mile run close enough to a 20 mile run? No it is not.

On to trail two.

It started out more level, through some nice scrubby stuff. Lovely to not be climbing a mountain. But there was definitely more up to come. And more bear crap! Fantastic. We were tired and it was no longer fun to to warn the bears we were coming. I found myself just shouting random things like, "I'm running". My husband just looked back and said he was so tired that he didn't care if a bear ate him anymore. Agreed.

We then ran in to a couple of hikers that told us what great views were ahead of us. FYI great views=more up. Crap. We were running up to this rocky area called the Hoodoos that would have been amazing if we weren't in some kind of zombie march. And I kept thinking, what if this doesn't come out in the right place? The thought of any extra miles was terrifying! We crested a hill (yes, more up) and I almost broke into tears. OUR CAR! I could see the car!!!! That lit a fire in me and I ran again

All in all, we ended up with 17 miles. Not the 20 I had intended, but what an adventure! I don't know if any of it is enough to get me through this race, but at least I won't have to worry about bears on race day. No bear threat = win. Let's do this thing.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hello Humidity. I have not missed you a bit

Home from vacation last night at 2am. Oof. Want to know how many days I ran while on vacation in beautiful Montana with it's zero humidity? one. Still training for a marathon... according to my schedule, but only ran once. It was an epic run which I will expand on soon. But this morning I became a runner again and admitted that tapering doesn't mean... TRADE ALL RUNS FOR HIKING!

My dear training buddies and I scheduled a run at 7:30am this morning. I haven't been in humidity for a week, so waiting for things to really get swampy out later in the day seemed like a horrible idea. Then again... an 11 mile run on four hours of sleep with that crappy uncle humid pants hanging over your head wasn't either. And we ran...

The company was delightful. The extra oxygen (lower elevation) felt amazing. But, after the first 5 miles even the extra oxygen had lost it's sparkle. But, you keep going I suppose. And I did, because my car was still 6 miles away. 6 miles of run/swim away.

I finished the run. I love my running friends. I hate humidity. I am TERRIFIED of race day. If today's 11 miles felt this sloggy. What am I gonna do with another 15? Marathon freakout #785 of this training round.


Should I cram in some miles?
Should I drop to the half?
Can I lose 16 pounds in the next 13 days to make the running easier (less to transport)?
Is there a way to surgically implant wheels into my feet? Would that be cheating?
Is it normal to freak out like this?
Is it ok if the race takes me two days to finish?

UGH... 13 more days (thanks for reminding me, training partner). I just need to make it to the starting line.

Job #1 -  make it to the starting line.
Job #2 - propel body forward 26.2ish miles


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I run slowly, but I can HEAR you just fine!

I started this race once, in the middle-back, you know... where the party is. We like to chit chat and make friends back there. No rush to "get done" with the race like you people that start races in the front.

So the gun goes off and off I go at my usual smile on my face, start of the race putter. La dee da... seeing the sights. There are some family types in their yard cheering for us. Beautiful day. And then, one of those adorable children leans over to his mother and says, "THESE PEOPLE AREN'T EVEN RUNNING!" For real? I assure you kid, I'm running. I'm running the best I can you little turd. Let's see you knock out 13.1 miles! Maybe you would start off easy too. I bet you eat boogers you jerk. YOU DON'T KNOW ME!

I did a race in furnace heat once and decided I'd do run/walk intervals, because it just seemed like a reasonable idea. So I'm four minutes running, one minute walking just getting through. And I hear a lady say, "What's with these people that run and walk? I mean that just seems stupid. Why would you want to do that?" This was a grown-up. I mean kids say dumb crap all the time. But this was a fellow runner. A fellow woman runner, who let's be honest wasn't going much faster than me. Get over yourself Princess Judgement!

Really, I love to run. And I do it the best I can. And I can hear you. If you would like to say crappy things about me or make judgements on the way I run... could you please do it out of earshot like a civilized person? Please and thank you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Sampling of Dumb Conversations.... from a 20 mile run

What do you talk about when you do a 20 mile trail run in 90 degree weather?

Well, it helps when your 20 mile run involves two friends to keep you company. But having company can sometimes mean you talk about really stupid things. Here's a sampling:

Friend 1: Do you ever think about what you would do if something really bad happened? Like what if someone broke a leg? Are we equipped to help that person.
Friend 2: I'm first aid certified
Me: We could take off our shirts and fashion a splint with logs we located on the trail! And then we would make a sled to drag you out of the woods.
Friend 1: I could make a nice fluffy pillow out of all this stupid dirt.

Conversation two
Me: Quit wandering off the trail to look at bugs and rabbits. You're like taking a child to the zoo. Next time we aren't going to let you wear your hydration backpack, I'm going to give you a backpack that looks like a monkey and I'm going to hold onto the tail so that you stay on the trail!

Ongoing conversation:
Me: It's gotta be 90 degrees out. Did it just get hotter?
Friend 1: My feet hurt
Friend 2: My feet kinda hurt too.
Me: I'm certain it's 90.

Conversation three
Friend 2: Friend 1 what is in your hydration backpack? Cause I think you're drunk.
Me: I am not gonna make a splint for you if you hurt yourself because you're drunk.
Friend 1: That would makes this run fun huh? Being drunk?
Me: NO! That would be awful. Is it 90  degrees? I think it's 90 degrees.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Should be Skinnier By Now

You would think that when you train for a marathon you would lose a zillion pounds and have abs of steel. You would think that wouldn't you?

I have yet to make it through a marathon training without gaining weight. I'm 36, so I no longer have the magical metabolism of my youth. Back then I could survive on a steady diet of Nutty Bars and Mountain Dew and maintain a weight around 110 (seriously was that real?) So here I sit. Three pounds up from when my head switched to MARATHON MODE and I can't decide if I care. Because frankly, all I want to do is eat.

When I started running I was in the process of shedding 30 pounds. Running was a magic bullet. Any running I did would help on the scale or allow me some extra goodies.Then my body got used to running and the only time it showed on the scale was when I wasn't running. Oof.

So I took on my first full marathon thinking that it will be a wonderful bonus when I get rid of those few extra pounds because I'll be running SO much. And training progressed..... and I asked one of my friends, are you hungry all the time? Because as I'm putting food in my mouth I'm thinking about what the next food I'll be eating will be. Thankfully, misery loves company and my friends were struggling with the same thing.

Now, I'm anxious for my taper. And I suppose when that comes around I can focus my neurosis on that. But today, I can't help but focus on what I'll be eating next, and that my pants feel a bit snug this morning. And don't tell me that I can eat whatever I want because I'm training for a marathon. Because I'm moody and irritable from training for a marathon. Your liable to see me break down in tears, or get punched in the gut. Boy, my husband is a lucky guy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

12 mile run becomes 10 becomes ugh....

There's a lot of wisdom in the theme song to The Facts of Life. And if you're too young to remember the show, I'm sad for you. Cause Tootie was Da Bomb. But here's the theme song.

Today's run was supposed to be 12 miles. What's 12 miles after last week's EPIC 20 miler? When you're training for a marathon you constantly find yourself saying dumber and dumber combinations of words. Like, "isn't it great that we only have to run 12 miles today? It's gonna be a piece of cake!"

So here we are, a cut back week, YAY! I knew that Friday I needed to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate because it's still hotter than lava in these parts. However my guts had different plans for me on Friday. I had gut trouble all day. Couldn't eat right, couldn't drink right. Kinda felt dehydrated when I headed for bed. OH GREAT!

So I was cautious going into this thing. And boy howdy it was the definition of a ball sucking slogfest! First my knee tweaked again (thank you friendly runner buddy for hooking me up with some Ibuprofen), then the side stitches, then the heat.... then I hated everything.

We were on a 10 mile loop, thinking we'd knock off the 10 mile trail and then pick up a couple more miles afterwards. Oh no no no no no. I gave up on that idea after about mile six. Ten miles would be just fine if I could only survive them.

We got done and and were guzzling ice water when my friend checked her phone only to discover that the heat index was around 102. OOOoooh, well that makes sense. What is wrong with us? There's not enough time to get into that topic. But what it made me remember is that when you're running a lot you sometimes have these ball sucking slogfest runs. It's ok. It's ok, right? Every training run can't be rainbows and unicorns.

I suppose today is just a win that we all got through safely and got some forward motion in. I suppose some days that's good enough. AND if was a good reason to have the Facts of Life theme song stuck in my head all day. WINNING!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tonight, I Rest

Have I mentioned that it's hot here? Ugh, this is Indiana, not Arizona. Today I'm not even kidding, it was 104. Now one run in the heat advisory makes you tough. Two makes you a macho runner. Three runs make you slightly nutso... ect ect. But good lord I feel like all I do is run in heat advisories anymore! It's lost it's luster and I'm melting...

And I'm grouchy. I'm melting and I'm grouchy and I'm hungry all the time. Oh yeah, these are prime symptoms of marathon training. Come on kids join the fun!

I also have OCD. OCD with running? Helpful you think? I probably do EVERY workout. Well..... I'm not so great at doing every workout. But I ALWAYS run Monday and Thursday. Always.

Not today. Today it was hot. And I was in a pissy mood all day. And my knee is not 100%. And I forgot to pack a sports bra. So my OCD arm wrestled my pissy day.

The pissy day won.

What? Then the OCD went crazy in my brain. Your supposed to run 5 miles. Is this going to mess with your schedule? You're not following the schedule? Why even print out a schedule if you're not going to follow it? If you don't follow the schedule will you fail on race day? Remember Chicago (bad race, I'll tell ya about it later)? You skipped training runs for Chicago and look how it turned out. So it's hot, you think it's gonna cool down before a marathon on August 4th?

I say SCREW YOU STUPID OCD BRAIN! Maybe sometimes it's ok to surrender to a pissy mood. It's like a mini vacation. Mini vacations are a good thing right? right?

I swear I'll be a nicer person tomorrow. I swear I'll be a runner tomorrow. But tonight, I rest. Ahhhhh....

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm Not Crazy! I'm TRAINING!

Ugh. It's been a while since I trained for a full marathon. Nonrunners think that we're all nuts training for marathons. The reality is we GO nuts while training for marathons. Well, I do. Maybe it's just me...

I ran 20 miles on Saturday. Well, ran some, walked some, walked some more. Let's just say there was 20 miles of mostly forward movement. My race is still a month away, but I was feeling good with a 20 mile slog under my belt. Sunday I took it easy like a good girl and my body is really recovering suprisingly well.

And then.... and then... I went crazy. Wednesday is the 4th of July so my gym isn't open. So of course I went this morning. And I felt tired, but it's ok. And Monday is also group run day so I'll did that too. Oops. About three miles in my knee gripes a little at me. Weird. It happens again

What if I can't run this race?
What if I can't run ever again?
I just started a stupid blog about running! If I don't run it will be the dumbest blog that ever Blogged!
Why did I just suffer through 20 miles of running in 90+ degree heat if I can't run the stupid race?
Who am I if I can't run?

Then I took a walk break. I began breathing. I've had some aggravated scar tissue in my knees before. Ice the knee, do some at home Graston (oh admit it, you do it too), Ibuprofin, and rest. I really shouldn't have tried a double workout day so close to a 20 mile run. It will be ok. It will be ok. It will be ok.

This is one of the things that drives me nuts about Marathons. They still feel so big that they insight hysteria in me. And I'll be honest, I'm borderline hysterical on most days (lucky husband).  Marathons just seem to bring out the extra crazy.

So not only am I training my body to run 26.2 miles, I'm trying to get my feeble mind to the starting line so that my body can do what it's trained to do. Stupid minds. Why they got to think so much? 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chambana Half Marathon

Champaign/Urbana Half Marathon 2012

Ever had to poop about two miles into a race? Me either... until the Champaign/Urbana half marathon. Ugh

Girls weekend in Illinois for the race! The temperatures had gotten into the 50s and I was thrilled that I could wear my compression tights. I thought about capris, but my capris have no tie. So if the the rain came back and the capris had gotten heavy with water, well you get the idea. I mean I love a good race photo, but that might be too much. So compression tights it was! I had run long runs in them before, they were great! And they made me look super fast (I need all the help I can get)!

My spring race season had begun super crappy. A trail half that I had to quit due to a stupid ankle that would not stop rolling and the local half marathon that started with sore feet and ended with a crappy attitude. This race felt like some kind of turning point. It had to be good or else, or else, I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE!

Anywho, race starts same as the others. Pretty course, good signs, nice crowd, tummy grumble. Tummy grumble? That's not normal. Whatev, the line's too long at the port-o-craps, I'm sure it's nothing.

Boy these compression tights sure do accentuate the grumbling. Perhaps the drawstring is too tight (yeah cause that makes a difference). Hmmm.... port-o-let line here is too long too. It'll be fine. No worries.

WHY ARE WE RUNNING BY AN EMPTY FIELD WITH NO PORT-O-JOHNS! There's one, but the line's too long. I'll wait. I'm sure the next ones will have a red carpet and a gentleman with a warm towel to hand me.

What if I have to take a dump in the middle of the road? All I have in my SPI belt are some honey stingers and salt pills. I can't wipe with those! Ok, if I have to take a crap in the road, I have to find something to wipe with. People are still shedding layers. I'll grab throwaway clothes! Hats will be too sweaty. Wait, there's an ankle wrap. An ankle wrap? Who the f is ditching an ankle wrap? Wiping with ankle wrap = ouch. No ankle wrap. GLOVES! There's gloves right there! Did anyone see me pick those up? Do they know I'm about to drop a deuce in someones yard? I'll just subtly tuck this into my bra strap and find a nice place to... WHERE IS THE PORT-O-POTTY!?!?

Oh there's one! And there are only two people in line! This is awesome. Weird that it's in someones driveway. Oh because it was probably a construction workers'... Boy are they going to have a surprise on Monday! Seriously, what takes these people so long?!?! Finally! No glove required. Whew. But I just lost five minutes of the race!

So what can you do? Well, I tried to make the race as interesting as possible. I knocked out a speed workout trying to chase down a friend that I saw breeze by as I was waiting in line for the pooper. It was fun! I finally caught her at mile 11ish and we had a blast shuffling to the finish together. It wasn't a PR, but... can it be aport-o-john adventure PR? Yes, yes it will be. A port-o-let PR! BOOYA SUCKAS!