September wrap-up and relay meeting

I’ve been so busy lately. It seems obvious, but spending time running really puts a strain on any hopes for a social life.

After last Saturday’s wet, cold, and at times, mentally excruciating 20 miles, we all skipped on a camping trip. About 30 minutes after skipping out, there was a tornado warning (apparently a few hours south, but still… Ever since that one tornado tore through downtown Raleigh, and my roommate, cat, and I sat huddled in my tub with pillows and comforters all around us while the walls shook and hail was crashing against the outer walls in the dark, I take those things seriously). Anyway, so it was fine that we didn’t go camping. Then the boys posted pics on facebook of their s’mores. I almost put on pants and drove 15 minutes to get a few s’mores. Almost. Yeah, okay I almost thought about doing that. I was pretty snug without pants in bed.

So Tuesday was our Tuna 200  Relay planning meeting. Sarah actually told Allison and I “I figured I’m hosting and you guys are running it right?” Which helped to allow Allison and I to freak out plan a little bit. We did cover a few things. \And in general, just seeing everyone, and feeling like we could answer any questions they had, made me feel more prepared. I woke up this morning realizing that I was worried about Van #2. To be honest, well, I’m in Van #1, and I’m not trying to win the race, so who the hell cares about how prepared Van #2 is? They’re either prepared or not. Van #1 is great. So problem solved- stop worrying Chandi!

And I calculated my September mileage. 169.9 miles! HELL FREAKING YEAH! Seriously?! (I reworked in various programs, each run; I used different formulas to calculate; I even added it up by hand, thinking technology must be failing me- that’s too high). I’m not sure how I managed 170 miles. I’m pretty sure in 2009, I ran less than that (in the whole year). But my legs feel strong. And after talking to our 3-time vet about it, I feel really confident in my ability as a runner. (I actually am getting accustomed to feeling like a [gasp!] strong runner… though maybe not speedy, just reliable- like a Volvo).

I ran 3 miles this morning, so slow- I think I was still asleep for the first 2 miles! And then was supposed to meet up with a small Wednesday night group. I decided we could pump out 6.7, though the boys were iffy about doing that much could barely contain their excitement about running that much on a weeknight. I got to our meetup 45 minutes early. So I figured the boys would be happy if I pumped out 2-3 miles before meeting them. I managed 2.5 miles. I got a text as I was crossing the street to the greenway that Dave (slower/younger of the boys) was bowing out. I would have made a smart-ass comment, but I really had to get started. So I pumped out 2 miles, then got a text from the other- Dan (older/8-minute pacer) “Am I the only one running?” I quickly dropped to a walk as I saw my last turn off the greenway and texted I would be there in a second. I knew there was no way I could do the 6.7 miles with this guy, after doing 3 this morning, and 2.5 just before. I suggested we do a shorter out-and-back. I made it 7 total.

And we quickly dropped the pace to an in-between speed. I could tell it was too easy for him, he could tell it was too hard for me. So I told him, the polite thing would be to entertain me “STORYTIME!” It was hillier than I remembered, and I just kept reminding myself that going faster would make me stronger. And I plan to drop pace for Tuna, etc etc. At one point, I felt a cramp in my left shoulder. I told him whenever I get this particular cramp, my reaction is “Omigod! I’m having a freaking heart attack! I’m going to die!” He tried to talk me off the ledge. Either way, we finished. I have to say, he stayed with me the whole time. I kept telling him he could leave me. I even told him at the end I was going to walk the last few meters to fully stretch/ cool down my legs, and suggested he sprint it in. But he just kept pace until my legs gave out I stopped to walk. There were moments though where I was thinking, I wonder how fast his reflexes are. If my legs gave out, would he be able to somehow stop my head from crashing to the ground? Glad I did not have to test that.

Oh, awkwardly disgusting moments. Because I figure you were waiting for that-

Sweating before I even met up with this guy. (Like dripping- it’s been humid and 80-85 degrees, and ya know what? I don’t have to explain myself)

When attempting to spit, and it ummm ‘stayed’ with me a few (long) seconds longer than expected.

The whole ‘I think I’m having a heart attack’ (eye roll response, followed by ‘you’re just breathing harder than normal for an extended period of time’)

And ringing my hair out (Yes, as if when you get out of the shower)- not once, or even twice, but three times, between our walking cool-down and getting in my car to leave.

Not sure if those make me bad-ass (that girl is totally bad ass!) or just gross (Ew! Stay away from her She probably smells really bad too!) <— In the theme of Budlight’s Real American Hero commercials. Oh long runs. I may miss your hilarious inside jokes that are only funny to me…

Tuna… 16 days

Richmond (First Marathon!) 38? I might have counted or remembered that wrong… I have a few weeks though.

cold double-up

Today was the first day I dreaded my morning run. It was dark. And cold (well 49 degrees, but that feels cold). I just wanted to stay in my bed, and snuggle with my fat cat. Hitting snooze is generally a bad sign for a weekday AM run. I hit snooze three times this morning. I eventually rolled out of bed at 6:40, basically so I wouldn’t be late for work.

I pulled on my running capri tights (first time since April?). And the tank I’d laid out the night before. I checked the weather and it was 50 degrees outside… Okay, dayglow green long sleeve over the tank. And blinkie. Since at 645am, the sun was just coming up.

“Am I really doing this?” I thought to myself. As I stepped outside, the cold air actually felt good. I remembered how good it feels to run in the crisp air. How everyone PR’s in the fall, because the lungs were pushed to extreme in 100+ degree weather with high humidity. “Okay, okay” I thought as I walked down the stairs, finally ready to run. For the first mile, I couldn’t stop yawning. I think drivers were confused why I would be running if I was that tired. I also thought to myself, “You are a wimp. It is 50 degrees and you just had the thought that you need gloves and ear muffs. This is not going to be a pretty winter if you need gloves on a 50-degree day”

My legs eventually warmed up, and I got to my sub-10:00 pace. I wanted to go further than 1.5 miles out, but I knew I’d be late for work if I did. So, I turned back, and raced home. My average pace was 9:34. I haven’t wanted to run with one of my running apps lately on shorter runs, so here’s my best guess on splits (I glanced at my time at the mile intervals): Mile 1- 9:48, Mile 2- 9:30, Mile 3- 9:10. Not too bad.

Work, then round 2 (8 miles) tonight… One down, one more to go.

After work, I got in a second run- 8 miles. During my run at dusk, my new blinkie broke (damnit!). I managed to pump out the first few miles no problem. The splits were as follows- 10:29, 9:33, 10:37, 9:58, 9:24, 9:59, 9:28, 8:27. The 10:37 was me figuring out my blinkie wouldn’t work. I stopped to play with it some. The 8:27 was my last mile, which is flat so I sprinted in.

In training for a marathon AND a relay race, I am trying to “double-up” as many days as possible. Some days, I run twice in a day, some weeks, I run 6 days. This past weekend, I ran 16 miles Saturday, then 5 on Sunday. This attempts to fatigue my legs and help them adjust. Currently, I am running the most in my van- about 22 miles total (legs split as: 9.08 miles, 6.37 miles, 6.57 miles). Though the second leg may change. I also try to strength train my hips and glutes, as they tend to be weak, on my off days. I have a training program, but it is way too involved.

Also, my mileage increase look scary when you look at monthly mileage:
July- 84 miles
August- 109 miles
September- 141 miles (and counting)
but weekly it went: 24.3, 23.6, 21.8, 19.5, 25.6, 28.75, 29.9, 33.9, 32.75, 38.1, 41.1, 44…

Other random thoughts- I may have worked my cat too hard. He’s been limping all day.  So I gave him the last few drops of my milk. He was delighted but confused. And is now snuggling, with his teeny paw outstretched across my lap 🙂