Sunday, October 30, 2011

Keep On Keeping On

What a month October has been.  New changes have been decided on, some have been acted on, and in the meantime, we kept on running.

On the 22nd, we ran in the Oakland Cemetery's Run Like Hell 5k.  As part of the Halloween spirit, we all dressed up.
Thanks Joshua!
The looks on everyone's faces when they saw our Jackie Moon look-a-likes, priceless.

Lessons Learned from Injury #3:  Do not attempt to turn around to talk to your friend amid a crowded street, just after missing a tree in the face, and not seeing the approaching curb.  You will stumble, fall, and scrape your hand.

Injury #2 is slowly but surely healing.  It finally just looks like a long scratch on my arm.  Injury #1 is barely visible.  Yay!

The following day was the long 10-mile run.  Remembering our previous 10-miler made this one feel a bit daunting.  I just felt so tired the entire run, and was nervous for this one.

In trying something new, we sipped on Gatorade during the run instead of water.  I personally don't enjoy drinking Gatorade while working out, but I was willing to try anything to keep up my energy, and had a 1/2 water and 1/2 Gatorade mixture.  I also tried little energy bites that I would eat every 15 minutes or so.  Phillip wasn't as much of a fan of the little bites, and stuck to his Gatorade.  I was surprised by how much they really did help, and will definitely continue this new tactic on the long runs.

Now what I need to figure out is a good recipe for sports drinks and energy bites that I can make myself so I know exactly what I'm putting in my body.  Until then, Gatorade will have to suffice.

A few more runs throughout the week, and here we are, back at Sunday.  We decided on going on long runs every other weekend until we're more comfortable with those distances, meaning we have this weekend "off".  And we almost really did take the weekend off.

Until today when I guilt tripped myself into going for one. 

You know when you know you need to do something, and you just don't want to do it, but realize that's the time when you really need to?  Yep.  It happens.

And for the best.  My run today was the best paced run I've had in quite some time.  Maybe it had to do with running mid-afternoon.  Maybe it's because it was surprisingly nice outside.  Whatever it was, it worked.  It worked great.

Great for Phillip, too.  He was totally going to skip out as well, but luckily for him, when I got home and told him how I did, it seemed to guilt trip inspire him, leading to his own great run.  Awesome!

Tomorrow is the last day of October!  It's doubtful that I'll get another run in.  I have to dress up in my costume for work, and it's likely to take all morning to get ready.

Which leads me to my end of the month stats!

Total miles run in October:  74.1 (up 23.3% since September!)
Farthest distance in October:  10 miles
Total miles since August:  209
Total calories burned since August: 20,344 (yeah, baby)

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What a week

Thanks Katie!
What a busy and emotional week this has been.  Last week Saturday was just loaded with things to do.  We had the Walk to End Alzheimers in the morning, that afternoon Phillip went off to donate blood while I had to go work at a festival for a few hours, and then we spent the evening with his sister and her boyfriend.  No time for a run at all. 

Then Sunday rolls around, and so does a 10 mile run.  I figured that 10 miles would be a piece of cake if the week before I ran 9 and felt awesome after.  Phillip was able to join me, and we decided to keep this long run interesting by driving up to Marietta and running up there. 

We started off great.  We stopped early on at the Kennesaw Mountain Visitor's Center for a quick bathroom break.  10 miles is a long run, so we figured it would be a good idea to empty our bladders before we started our trek. 

Unfortunately, within 20 minutes or so we had to alter our course to find the nearest bathroom to stop again.  Stupid bladder. 

With that taken care of, the rest of the run was just looooonng.  (I say this now.  Just wait til I start running 20+ miles.) On top of that, there's just no way to avoid hills.  They suck.  Until you're done with your run and realize hills are actually good for you. 

Long runs like this one gives you a lot of time to think.  So many thoughts went through my head.  What am I going to be for Halloween?  What do I get to eat after I'm done?  Why does this run suck so much?  That kind of stuff.  I did realize that my 9 mile run the week before was so great because I ran on about as flat of a trail/road as I could find in Georgia.  Dang.  Stupid hills.

After the grueling 1 hour 53 minute run was over, we met up with Phillip's dad at Waffle House, where we promptly scarfed down an omelette, hasbrowns, and half a waffle each.  It was so good.  Then, hot tub!  It does a body good.

Alas, 10 miles really pushes your body to do things it doesn't normally do.  Phillip and I both felt the after-effects of it for days after.  Our bodies were just so tired.  I was falling asleep much early at night and having a real hard time getting up in the mornings.  I couldn't muster up any energy until Wednesday to go for a run, and even then it was just 2 miles. 

On top of that, Phillip has been busy looking into grad schools, while I had an incredibly emotional week of work that caused a chain reaction of figuring out my next step.  Unfortunately, I've found that this kind of stress can be really un-motivating.  I had no desire all week to get on my running shoes and get out the door.

It wasn't until Friday that I managed another run, with it being only 4 miles.  But remember:  No run is too short!  While my 2 and 4 mile runs were nowhere near what I should have run, they were better than none at all.  Right?

It's now Saturday, and we have another busy day ahead of us.  I'm going to try to in squeeze another short run today in anticipation of a possible 10 mile run tomorrow. (Already? Dang.)


In other news, injury #1 for Phillip is slowly but surely healing.  He's back to running! Injury #1 for me is also almost completely healed.  Just a bit of a scar showing. 

I might have already earned injury #2...only a week after getting injury #1.  It's possible that it was also acquired while on a run with our dog, who got spooked by another dog and her leash somehow caused a rope burn on my arm.  Very unsightly.  And very slow to heal.  A week later and it's only now starting to scab. 

I'm going to have to keep a chart on my fridge to keep track of how many running related injuries I get throughout this whole training process. The ones that are conincendentally acquired whilst running with the pups gets an extra star. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Early Days, Cooler Runs

The weather has a crisp breeze in the air, the leaves are starting to turn colors, the sun rises later and sets earlier.  Fall is upon us.

Running in the cooler weather has brought much needed satisfaction in improvement.  I no longer feel like I want to die five minutes in.  I can run a consistent, moderate pace the duration of however many miles I run in a day.  It feels great.

I do miss summer, with the long days, the warm sun, the carefree feeling of the season.  I don't miss the serious heat, the humidity, the mosquitos.  Who am I kidding, I still have to deal with the mosquitos.  Bah.

I'm typically out the door by 6:45 a.m. on my run days.  Seriously?  Yes.  My work schedule is such that I get extra time in the morning to get a run in, but in turn, I get home later in the evening than I'd like.  I've tried running after work, but I'm not a fan of spending what little time I have already on an hour of running.  Plus, working with kids all day leaves you drained.  So, my solution is to get up early and go.


With the sun rising later and later, it can still be pretty dark when I'm on the road.  I have to admit, the early morning foggy mist is pretty cool.

The downside to all of this is come the weekend, all I want to do is sleep in.  Oh, sleep.  Oh, comfortable bed.  Oh, warm blanket.  How I love you all.

The downside to sleeping in is the long runs that have to get done.  And with all our roadtrips behind us, no more excuses.

Today's goal:  9 miles.  Total miles: 9.16.  Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.  I broke my normal 10 minute pace!  I felt great the entire run and could have kept going.

Phillip's goal was just to slowly get back into running.  His total miles: 7.24.  Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes.  Phillip's pace broke 9 minutes.  Even with a sore knee he's still faster than me. 

And now, I'm beat.  Can't get off the couch tired.  And bloated.  Ugh.  And have been super hungry all day.  Dang.  I'm very concerned of the forewarned weight gain that comes with marathon training.