Saturday, February 23, 2013

You're a Runner. And that's F'ING awesome.

When I was out running this week I was approaching a gal that was doing some stretches, getting ready to start her run. I was watching her do the old school  hamstring stretch and the calf stretch and for some reason it reminded me of when I was new to running. Maybe her outfit matched too well, maybe she seemed to be too aware of who might be looking at her. It just SEEMED to me that she was a bit new and a bit self-conscience. And I found myself thinking, that gal needs a “good job”! So I was certain that as I ran past her, I’d give her the ol “good work” or “good running”. These aren’t thing I normally say during a run, when I’m at a race cheering, oh sure! But not while running. However, this time I was gonna do it. Then, when she ran by me, she had her head phones on and her head pointed down. Boo. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and say, “Pick your head up! You’re a runner and that’s F’ING awesome!!!”

 I remember being a person that stretched out certain that everyone was judging her. I was sure that all the 3% body fat runners were sitting around eating three feet high pancake stacks and laughing at the funny looking pudgy girl that acts like she’s running. I remember being afraid to go into the running store because even though I was running 3-5 times a week I didn’t feel qualified to go in.

These are some of the things I’ve learned since then…

-Runners love running. They love people that love running. They love to talk about running. They love to encourage people to run. They love to talk about running gear, times, food, routes. And runners will discuss any of this with anyone that will listen.

-Running stores are made to get people running. They don’t care if you have never moved faster than a stumble. They’ll encourage you, give you tips, answer questions, and send you out the door excited!

-Runners don’t care what size you are, they’re just happy to see you out there.

-I have seen 3% body fat runners eat a lot of food. That part is true. They are freaking brats. But not all runners have 3% body fat.

-When someone drives by, or walks by, or runs by a runner, typically they are not judging them. If that person is inactive, they’re probably thinking “wow that person is running, wish I could do that”. If they are an active person, they are probably thinking, “another runner, that’s cool.” Or, “man those shoes are awesome, I wonder what kind they are.”

It’s good to remember, however much you have to walk during a run and no matter how much a run sucks…

You’re a runner. And that’s F’ING awesome.

Next time maybe I will grab her by the shoulders....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Solo Long Run...

Here we are again. Time for another long run. It was about 17 degrees out this morning. And all my friends that were going to start early with me weren't feeling up for it. So I was off on a break of dawn solo long run! I kept trying to come up with a coherent blog post throughout the run, but my thoughts were all over the place. I realized that this was not a post that could come together as a story. Rather I'll tell you the story the way I thought it. Welcome to my disjointed long run brain....
But first, a bit of background. If you didn't read my post about heart rate training, I'm still doing that. And it came up in my conversation with myself many times. Here's the post. I think that just about gets everyone on the same page. And we're OFF!
- I hope this is the right way, the map looks a little different, oh well. I'm just all alone in the woods, what could go wrong?
- Is that a coyote? Greeeaaatttt. Hmmm.... what do you do when attacked by a pack of coyotes? Curl into a ball? Run? Bend over and kiss your a.... goodbye?
- I love it when the sun just starts to come up and everything is sparkly! I wish a picture would show how awesome it looks. Or I wish I could write a poem to explain it!
-I don't even like poetry. Why would I want to write poetry? It's such frilly talk it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe haiku? That seems more efficient but also frillier. Dang it.
-It sure is cold, I hope my Camelbak line doesn't freeze up.
- Heart rate training is kind of fun because your watch tells you to take walk breaks! Sorry folks, gotta walk, the watch says so.
-Did I just try to jump over that log with my back leg straight as if I were a hurdler? I am not a hurdler and almost fell flat on my face. Mental note, this is not an effective way for a 5'2" runner to jump a log. Got it!
-Ok really heart rate? I'm going downhill? Gimme a break here!
-Yup, water line of the Camelbak is completely frozen.
-Hey there's something swimming in the lake? Is it a monster? Nope, it's a beaver! I guess that's cool too.
-huh? Where are those chatty people coming from? OHHHH... those are my running group friends and their across the lake from me. Sounds like they're two feet away.
-Yay! Running group friends! High fives all around.
- Walking up a hill in front of a running group friend I stop because according to my heart rate monitor I'm near death.
     Me: You gals go ahead, my heart rate monitor is telling me to take a nap on the trail
     Running friend: OK, just remember... if you start to get warm, you're dying.
That is AWESOME. And also a good fact to keep in mind.
- Seriously! Can I run a little you stupid HR monitor!?!?!?

-Maybe if I take my gloves off it will lower my heart rate?

- Nope, my hands are just cold now! Why the f did I think that would work?

- Maybe if I had a sip of water for the last 5 miles of this stupid run my heart rate would go down!!! I could just stick my face in my Camelbak reservoir and drink from it like a pup... Nah I'll be fine.

- CAN I RUN NOW!!!! Two more miles.

- Maybe if I stick the Camelbak hose down my shirt it will thaw out and I'll be drinking water like a champ! Nope, it just makes me cold. Why the f did I think that would work?

-Is it normal to want to break down in tears during HR training out of frustration?

-It sure is pretty out.


Soooo..... a typical good run/bad run. Glad I did it. Beautiful day out! And I do love that trail. I'm not ready to give up on heart rate training, but I am ready to punch it in the mouth.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Is It Spring Yet? Is It Now?

I'm so eager for Spring I feel like I'm losing my mind. Ok, losing my mind more than normal...

This week we had a day that was actually in the 60's! The 60's! Oh my lord. I was so excited. I even got to run in a bit of daylight in the 60's. So I got excited. And there I was tromping around in capris and a t-shirt with the perfect song on my ipod and a smile on my face. I was running on campus and having a blast looking at all the akward clothing choices the students had made. I know I know... undergrads often make strange clothing choices, but this random warm weather had made them even more hilarious to me. So I had plenty of sightseeing and was really enjoying this solo run. And as I was running down the sidewalk I see this big guy running with his dog coming towards me. For no good reason we ended up high fiving each other as we passed. And it was AWESOME! I've never seen this guy in my entire life... but we were both so happy!. It's like all the runners in my little part of the world were way too excited to get a taste of some warmer temps. To be outside and not have to pile on every item of clothing I own. It was a thrill!

So then it got cold again, of course. Because it's February. Duh. But when Saturday's run came along I of course planned for an early start. Because heart rate training and hilly trail running make for a looooooonnnnnngggg morning. I need all the hours I can get. As I was waiting for my friend to show up I walked outside and I could just feel it. That feeling you get when you just know that Spring is coming. YOU JUST KNOW IT (nevermind that it comes at about the same time every year)! With a blue sky and gorgeous morning sunlight, it didn't even matter that it was 20 some degrees. I got downright giddy imagining the the trails getting green with new growth and critters coming out of their boroughs. I'm a bit eager if you can't tell....

Is it here now?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Heart rate Shmart rate...

It's been a pip of a week. A pip I tell you! As I write this my weekly mileage is 22.5 and 10 of those miles were on a treadmill and just typing about running on a treadmill makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out with a knife.

I'm working on a project I like to call, "make treadmill running less yuck". Pretty self explanatory. I do random speed work on the treadmill to pass the time and sometimes I try listening to music. Lately I've been listening to podcasts. Specifically podcasts from Trail Runner Nation. I figure if I'm stuck on a treadmill I can at least listen to people talk about awesome trail running adventures.

Well I came across some podcasts about heart rate training. You know, run at a lower heart rate, train your body to run on fat instead of carbohydrates, body starts working more efficiently, magic happens, you run faster, burn more fat, and win the lottery! Ok maybe not all of that, but some of it... Here's the one that got me.

Speed up by slowing down? You're speaking my language. I mean, I'm already slow! There's no where to go but up!

I've toyed around with my heart rate monitor thingy a few times I the past, so I thought I'd give it a shot this week. So I did some math and got my number and I was off. Turns out I run slow and to keep my heart rate lower I get to run even slower... Oh boy. It wasn't so bad on my shorter runs, I just had to slow down a few times or take a short walk break.

Then came a long run... Lots more walking. Lots slower. So I'm running this 10 mile run that is taking 475 hours and I'm thinking, really? What is this all about. Sure I could go for just about forever because I'm moving at a crawl, I feel like a million bucks, but really? How is this gonna make me faster? What is this voodoo magic all about? I don't get it. I know I know science and blah blah blah. But I kind of feel like it might just be a big funny way to allow people to slow down a little. I'm all for that!

Gotta quit typing and get back to my magical fat burning.... Or something