Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days 23-31: AGAIN??? REALLY???

"Don't be concerned with what you can't do. Work on what you can do - then count your blessings."
~Alan Robinson ~ 56-year old partially paralyzed marathon runner

So you are telling me I have to run again? But I just ran last night. And the afternoon before. And now I have to run again. But I don't feel like running. Not like my marathon counterpart cares about me or what I feel like doing to be sure.

I'm in the middle of Week 5 of 18 weeks of marathon training and I am already sick of it. Literally, physically and mentally. I feel like crap. Which is probably dehydration. I mean all I do all day long is shove water down my throat. Glass after glass after glass. And go to the bathroom to pee just about as often. And yet I always have that fatigued, overheated, glaze about my person. What's an aspiring runner to do? Perhaps some of it is lack of energy from nutrition but I still blame dehydration in part.

So I'm about to go on my run. I'm half-dressed. I have my shoes laced up and my shorts on. Gotta find a moisture-wick t-shirt and then I'm off. I don't want to go. I have a feeling every step will be a struggle. But I know it needs to get done. Fortunately I get the Runners World online mag Quote of the Day as quoted above. Clearly, if partially-paralyzed people and paraplegics, etc. are running marathons then I need to stop my whiny half-assedness over 3 little miles of running. Still...I don't feel like running. But I digress...

AFTER: Once I got out there, it wasn't so bad. Really it wasn't. It only took all day of wearing my shorts and sneaks to actually make myself get out there. But then... it never is as bad as you think it's going to be. I even got so concerned that I was run/walking a little bit slower than my 14 mile per hour deadline (for every run that is) that I basically started sprinting a few blocks from my house and ultimately up the very steep and long hill that finishes most of my runs back up to the front of my house. I really pushed myself. Of course I realized AFTER I finished that I ran 3.23 miles exactly instead of the 3 miles I needed. Which kind of made me a little p.o.'d as it were because with all the running I'm doing I really really really don't need to be doing any more miles than I already am. Not even an extra .25 miles thank you very much. But it turned out that despite my exhaustion and feeling of inadequacies, I ran the 3.23 miles in exactly 43:00 minutes which constitutes a 13:10 mins/mile pace. Well above the 14 min/mile mark. Tomorrow is a rest day. Thank God.

THE BEFORE AND AFTER:I'm behind a few days it would seem. So I'll give you the short and sweet of what I forgot to tell you about earlier. For posterity.

Day 23: 4 mile run -- I am very very sorry that I didn't write a complete blog of this run but the blog before this Redemption is the beginning of what I would have said. I wish I had written more completely mainly because I was shocked at how well I ran after a week of drinking and being lazy and missing all my workouts. Whoops! But for some reason I have ALWAYS been able to do my best work hungover. Why is that? Is it that your body is so desperate to sweat out the toxins and get those poisons out of the body that its willing to work harder to get the job done? My GPS put me at 4.01 miles in 51:18 minutes which is an average page of 12:18 miles. Which considering I did some walking, means I was really speeding up my running pace. I felt good. I think I even ran the last mile in a 9 minute something, including that big hill to finish back to my house. So I'll remember July, 21, 2010's run as a reminder that even when you mess up or wuss out or laze out, you can get it back. Just forge ahead...

Day 24: 3 mile run -- Of course, OF COURSE, the day after the best run of my running career in the last several years I felt EXHAUSTED and had a really hard time with this run. I had to walk ALOT. In fact I think I ran one song (about 3-5 minutes) and then walked one song (about 3-5 minutes) and so on. My legs were immobile. Which is truly problematic when running requires them to be seriously mobile. Like a lot. Right. I ran exactly the 3.00 miles in 41:29 which was an average page of 13:50 mins/mile. Which goes to show you that even when you are exhausted and have to walk A LOT, you still are capable of what I've been referring to as that terrifying "Beat the Bridge" standard which is my only goal for the first 20 miles of the MCMarathon.

Day 25: Rest -- I was supposed to Rest completely but I felt so completely fat and gross and lumpy from all the drinking and food eating on vacation that I did a Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred 30 minute workout video which is basically high intensity circuit training with weights/strength training, cardio and abs. It definitely made me feel better, albeit guilty for not following my "Rest" commands to a tee.

Day 26: 9 mile run --So I probably only ran more like 71/2 miles (my GPS didn't work. It said I ran .67 miles in 1:24:05 which we all know is IMPOSSIBLE), but I did it in 101 degree weather (I know, stupid, stupid - haven't I learned anything?) So considering the heat, it might as well have been an entire marathon. This was a pretty touch run. I ran with a waterbelt. And some trailmix in my pocket. I even ran with an ICEPACK on my head, underneath a baseball cap!!! Serious I know!! And I stopped after about 2 miles at the first water fountain on my path and then again at another water fountain right inside the back entrace to the National Zoo along Rock Creek Parkway. There were some park rangers/staff hanging out by their truck across the pathway watching me utilize their fountain. I splashed water on my legs and arms and face and neck and wrists repeatedly and gulped gulped gulped. They looked at me like I was a crazy person. I was a little nervous that at any moment they might come over and tell me I wasn't allow to use any more water. I nibbled on some trailmix nuts -- peanuts, almonds, raisons and some M&Ms and then I continued on my journey. I got to Woodley Park Metro and metro'd back to Friendship Heights and then I got the bus home from there. It was a long day and a long run but I was proud to have done it, even having done it in the heat in idiotic fashion. I was doing what I said I would do and that was a good thing.

Day 27: 1 hour cross-training -- I did nothing on this day. I woke up around 4:30 in the morning with a huge knot in my left shoulder blade and electric, shooting pain from my left shoulder blade all the way up to my left shoulder through the left side of my kneck. It sucked. I went and got a deep tissue massage at Elizabeth Arden. It was amazing. Afterwards, I could actually hold my head straight BUT I could tell that the entire area in and around my shoulder blade was swollen and would remain so for days. Hal recommends getting massages every week after your long run or at least 1 or 2 a month as part of your training routine. I can't afford that. Lucky, if you can. If you can do it. It was the best thing thats happened to me in a long time. Plus, since I was in so much pain, I could I not afford it? I ran into a friend of mine, Clay, who is a crazy good runner. He couldn't believe I'd ran as far as I did on Saturday in the heat. He told me he went for an hour long run himself and stopped in the middle to get ICECREAM. hahahhaha. Genius! I'm going to try that sometime. Definitely.

Day28: Rest -- Still recovering from my back injury. No doubt I didn't stretch out enough or drink enough water after that evil 71/2 miler in 101 degree heat so I tried some extra neck and back and shoulder stretching today and vowed that I would make these extra stretches a part of my regular running routine.

Day 29: 3 mile run -- I don't have a GPS recording for this run. Maybe my phone needed charging or I just forgot it. I don't remember this run at all except for the fact that it needed to get done and did. I think I also did a strength training video for 25 minutes or so as well.

Day 30: 5 mile run -- I was a little daunted by having to run 5 miles in the middle of the week and in the middle of two other runs a day before and after. I remember running them kind of late at night and getting home at 9 something after missing a good portion of my favorite summer show: So You Think You Can Dance. Don't judge. I'm sure you have a guilty pleasure that is kind of lame too and I'm okay with that. I remember it being kind of slow going but that I got it done and in a reasonable amount of time and that I felt good about it later.

That just about catches you up to speed. So on that note...

Come Run With ME.

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