Run!, Slacker

This is how we do

My new boss recently told me how impressed she was by my dedication.  I didn’t know what to say.    Partially because I am socially awkward and partially because I don’t feel very dedicated these days.  I have been hitting my 3 days of running but cutting back on speed and mileage has often left me feeling a little low.   A little uninspired.   Running’s always hard but sometimes it’s so hard you wonder what the hell you keep doing it for.

Running motivation quote gift for runner by JenniferDareDesigns, $10.00
source

Why do we put ourselves through it?  Why do we commit to the craziness?  Some get up at the crack of dawn to get in a run.  Others run at night in the dark.  Runner’s run tired and injured and cranky and mad and sad and hungry.  We run when it’s freezing cold outside, or when it feels like the side of the sun.  Running in the rain can be fun until you fall on your ass.  Running puts you at risk of crazies, inattentive drivers or animal attacks.  You could run on a treadmill but sometimes you wind up feeling like a hamster on a wheel.  Squeak, squeak.

And your body?  Something usually aches.  It could be a hip or a knee.  Your ankle or crappy shins.   Tight calves or hamstrings.  Black toenails, no toenails, hide those feet!   In my case, a crappy stomach.  But we keep running.  What person voluntarily chooses a sport that has a side effect called “runner’s trots”?  I think we’re all slightly masochistic or just a little crazy.   What does Einstein say about insanity?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Oh yeah, that.  Lets not even talk about the mind games we play with ourselves.  Even when I don’t want to run, I want to run.  How does that even make sense?duskWork ran late every day this week and on Thursday I had little to no desire to run.  I was looking for a reason not to.  I wasn’t injured and my stomach felt average for me these days.  I have been in a funk and just felt meh.  I just wanted to veg in a chair and catch up on my DVR.  I wasn’t even hungry and didn’t want to eat.  Which is very, very rare for me.   But I changed into my gear anyways.   Drove back to town and decided to run the river path.  Daylight was fading fast but I had zero desire to run on the treadmill.  That is coming soon enough.  I just wanted to get it over with, if darkness cut it shorter so be it.

Running has become a chore lately and it’s been awhile since I have had good run.  There have been decent miles here and there but all runs were less than stellar.  It’s a big reason why I am working on getting back out on the trails.  I set out for Thursday’s run not expecting or hoping for much.    My warm up was little shorter due to the twilight hour.   I started running waiting for the cough that would come or the stomach cramp that joins on all runs these days. My run went something like this-

1/4 mile in – oh jumping Rottweiler please don’t jump that fence and attack me.  Are you on a trampoline?!  1/2 mile in- may as well start running.  1 mile in- no huffing and puffing.  1.5 miles in-still no cramp.  2 miles in -breathing still easy, no wheezing and still no cramping.  Hmmm, this is nice.   The weather is the perfect temp right now, and the sky looks so pretty at dusk.   Oh the streetlights are on, that’s kind of cool.   Can I run all of mile 3?  Haven’t done that in a while, let’s try.  Yay, I’m still running and I feel good.  Damn this darkness, I want to run more.  I feel like I could keep going for miles.   Breathing is still easy, sweet.  5K mark, time to cool down, kind of dark now, oh and some interesting looking, umm, kids smoking on that bench.  Run is officially over.

And that is why I keep banging my head against a wall.  Sometimes the stars align and you experience a glorious run.    It wasn’t long and it wasn’t fast but that wasn’t the point.  The point was how I felt during and after.  It was kind of awesome.   Running is work, but the reward is worth it.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Who’s with me? 

Why do you keep running?

Any quirks you want to add to the list?

Have a great weekend!

Run!, Slacker

Shaking it Off

Yeah, I went there, sorry.  🙂   I actually did not like this song the first time I heard it and now I think I’m obsessed.  I got through my last few runs with Theory of a Deadman and Rise Against and the last few days have been Taylor Swift on repeat.  I feel like I am all over the place this week and it shows even more than usual in my music.   I may have played this on repeat tonight while driving from work town to run town.  There may have been a tiny bit of car dancing involved, but there are no witnesses.

The last two weeks have felt a little scattered.    I’ve been a little stressed by work, a little stressed by my stomach and just life in general.  How do people with kids do it?  After an unplanned rest day on Tuesday and a planned one on Wednesday, my feet were feeling itchy to run.  Because I had a business mixer to go to after work tonight, NikeC and I moved back gym night.  I wasn’t sure what time I could get there and didn’t want to make her wait.  I figured I would try to get in a quick 3 miles after the mixer if possible.  I just hadn’t figured out how I would change yet.   4:45 rolls around and I just didn’t think I had the mental capacity for a mixer plus my stomach just hated me today.  I was just tired, and I wanted to run.    I felt mentally tired and I just wanted a few miles to quiet my head. I needed to run it off.  After a discussion with a few people, we decide to bypass the mixer and attend next month’s.  I was relieved and looking forward to running, I was thinking of now trying for 5-6 miles.

It was a happy thought for about 2 minutes.   At 4 minutes to closing, I happened to be looking at the door as IT walked in.   What the frak?   If they drove all the way out, it was not going to be a quick visit.  Ok, reassess, I had to stay but I would still run it would just be a little later.   I changed into my clothes anyways and then just waited. I got cold, so I put my blazer back on.  Running shorts and a blazer- the new business casual?

Stylish, right?
Stylish, right?

It was hard to be productive since the systems were taken down.  I caught up on some blogs on my phone, checked twitter, and posted some randomness to Instagram.   Then I was over that.  So I got some Clorox wipes and started cleaning.   I finally headed out around 6:45.  Even though it’s summer, I am not a fan of running at dusk.    Just seems like too much room for error there.  And of course, I was wearing dark running clothes because I had really wanted to wear the new shorts that came in the mail yesterday.  Flowers!  But a visibility fail.2milesI got to run town a little after 7.  Just as I parked, my mom called and asked if I wanted to do a late dinner.  No! I was running.   I walked a half mile warm up before running.  Between dusk and my stomach I only got in 2 miles but they were kind of awesome.    They weren’t the fastest or the best and my ankle kind of hurt but I was just glad to be running.   It was a good little reset.   And tomorrow is Friday!!

Ever had one of those days or weeks where you just needed to run it out?

Do you wanna rock a blazer and shorts now? Haha.

What are you doing this weekend?

 

 

 

 

Recap, Run!, Slacker

Goodbye July- Recap

July didn’t exactly go according to plan.  It started great but that didn’t hold for very long.  So with that being said, bring on the recap-

Races-

Wild Run 5K– 27:47  New PR- Sweet

Rock’n Around the Pier 13.1– 2:20:21- Mother of Ouch

After my rough half, I was feeling a little disenchanted with running.   I like to think that everyone has those moments.  Right?   I played with the idea of taking a whole week off after the half because I was so irritated with myself.   That resolve lasted 2 days; I was running again by Tuesday.   I decided to let my feet do whatever they wanted to do and  the rest of me was just along for the ride.   That was supposed to last for a week but I let it linger all July.   Why?  Because I loved running again.   If I am honest, I have been a little disappointed in how I’ve been running since April and that all came to a head in that half.   I probably could have done a little better but I just gave up.   Not a good reason.

So pretty, I have to show them twice
So pretty, I have to show them twice

I figured that this month was going to be my lowest mileage month of the year so far and I was ok with that.  Running and I were getting reacquainted.  I met up with my mom for a bunch of runs, and I discovered the wonder of the warm up.  #littlelatetothegame  I did my yoga DVD and tried a Barre DVD. I walked around the fair and ate fair food.   I tested out a new pair of Wave Riders and met up with NikeC for gym nights.   And I ran.  With no real plans or goals, just to run.  And it was awesome.    I hit some average paces that I haven’t seen in months.  I somehow also pulled this off-

71.4- Hell yeah!!
71.4- Hell yeah!!

I know that part of June and July’s issues were my current GI issues.  I would like to say July was better than June but it wasn’t.   I went home sick from work once and managed to wear pants only 2 out 31 days.  I hate pants.  Going forward into August, I will get this figured out.  My appointment is now just weeks away, and the doctor is going to hear a lot from me.  🙂

How I uses to reward myself after speed work... oh and brown hair
How I used to reward myself after speed work… oh and brown hair

Running free was great for July but for August, I do need to get back into training.  Long runs need to come back and I would like speed work to come back into play.   I’m throwing out the other training plans.  I loosely followed a Nike one for SLO and a Higdon one for Pier.  All they succeeded in doing was stress me out.   I hit my current PR of 2:05:57 last year by doing my own thing.   I am a Slacker who is slightly dedicated and I should listen to myself a little more.  When I set the goal to break 2 hours this year, I let the doubts creep in.  Lot’s of thinking that other people were faster and with all these plans floating around, maybe I should follow those instead.   It worked for them right?   Except I am not them and should not measure myself by others (but it’s so hard not to!).   I am a little odd, a little nerdy, my brain works in weird and random ways, a little lazy and a little rebellious.  I am a Slacker who doesn’t like being told to run or that Monday should be 5 at goal pace with a Thursday 6 mile tempo, and extra stretching and strengthening on Tuesdays.

Now that my tantrum is over, it’s time to embrace my inner Slacker.  I have another half in 5 weeks and a goal 10K (gulp-NikeC!!) in 8.  Time to see what going off book can do.  Fingers crossed, wish me luck!

Thank you for listening to my rambling, slightly whiny words here…If you made it this far.  🙂

How was your July?  Are you ready for August?

Do you use other training plans or make your own?

Run!, Slacker

Letting My Feet Do the Talking

It’s almost Friday!

I was kind of disappointed with my showing at the race on Saturday.  I was so irritated that I contemplated taking a week off from running.   I always treat the day after a half as a rest day, so I used that as a testing ground.  I spent the day shopping and even with my lower back being sore from the race, I felt kind of lazy having a rest day on a Sunday.  This was the first time I’ve run a half marathon on a Saturday.   I kind of splurged and treated myself to a new laptop on Sunday- my old one is a 6 year old beast that has had issues from day one.  And it weighs like 25 pounds.   I had Monday off from work and thought about running but trying to get things moved over gave me a great excuse to not run.  And even now, I am still having troubles moving iTunes.  Ugh.10524595_780886761933167_2318417895026259963_n

I packed my gear for Tuesday after work but I was still feeling very anti-run.  The horror!  But I was a good little runner and changed after work before heading to meet my mom at the path we have been running.  I think I will call it the river path from now on just for ease of typing.     We started like usual with a walk and I was still fussy.  I still had my slow pace alert on my Garmin from the race and it kept buzzing.  I tried to turn it off but all I succeeded in doing was pushing the lap button multiple times so my splits look a little funny.  I gave up worrying about it because I figured I was going to be a little sluggish.   I walked with my mom until the concrete ends and then run ahead.   My first mile came in under 13.  Hmmm, that’s odd.  Usually walking the first .6-.75 of it makes it pretty slow.   I decided to let my feet do whatever they wanted to do and not over think it and just kept running.   I hit the turn around and once again, there was a headwind going down, where does that come from?!  If it hadn’t been for a horrible stomach cramp at mile 2.6ish that stopped me dead in my tracks for a moment, this probably would have been a nice little progression run.  🙂  Instead I will call it a nice little, unexpected tempo.   12:42-9:41-9:55-8:50-4:12 (1/2 mile)- then another 1/2 mile cool down walk. photo 1

Wednesday I tried out my new Barre dvd.  The instructors are a little interesting.  At first, I was thinking that there is no way this will count as a work out.  10 minutes later, my legs were shaking.   It felt like I was getting a good workout during but I recovered really quickly after, so I am not sure how well it worked.  I will have to try it a few more times before I really decide.   photo 3

Tonight my running plans fell through.   I had planned on catching up with an old friend from out of town, but we weren’t able to make it work.   😦  I was torn about where to run.  Work town looked amazing outside and it had been awhile, so I decided to run there.     The route that I run there is around 4 miles, part of it in a state park on a narrow road with no shoulder.  I had been told there was a little dirt path near the road but I was never able to see it.  I decided to look for it on the way back this time.  I made it through the sketchy part on the way down and stopped for some pics. 

I found the path!!
I found the path!!

 

Once by the water I was able to find the path and I was followed it back out of the park.   I had to walk part of it because I almost fell on my ass twice.  There was a section of super loose dirt, covered in fallen Eucalyptus leaves- it was like a giant slip and slide.   🙂   The route is downhill for the first 2 miles and uphill back.  I always go out too fast and slow down on the way back.  But once again, I decided to let my feet do whatever they wanted to do.  It was a great run actually, other than it was hot!!!  Work town is not supposed to be in the high 70’s at 6:00PM! photo 2

Both runs this week went better than I had anticipated.  I needed that to get over my crankiness.  My left shin is a little sore, so I will probably only run once more this week and take it easy before getting back into training for the Ventura half.  That’s ok it gives me more time to figure out this computer thing.  And hopefully not want to punch it thanks to iTunes.  I’m only missing around 3000 songs, no big deal right? Ugh.

In other news, the fair is here!  I live fairly close so I last night I was able to hear the Zac Brown Band cover Metallica.  Ummm, what?  Tonight, it’s Kid Rock.   I am looking forward to spending Saturday bumming around the fair and eating some yummy fair food.  It only comes once a year right? Plus I walk there, so there’s a little calorie burn.  🙂

Anyone taken time off after a disappointing race?

Who’s racing this weekend?

What’s your favorite fair food?

 

 

 

Run!, Slacker

Someone Kick Me

I had good intentions about getting in some really good runs over the long weekend.  You know what that saying about good intentions?  Yeah.  I had hoped to run a few miles Sunday evening after the hike but it didn’t happen.    There was some drama with the mother’s puppy and that made a perfect excuse.  Monday was a day off from work, perfect opportunity to get in some miles, but nope, saw Godzilla instead.     May has been a pretty off month for me; I am kind of nervous for my race on Saturday.  I feel completely unprepared and it’s just the 10K.  I am so glad I didn’t sign up for the half this time around.

blah
blah

I did get in a few miles after work on Tuesday.  But honestly, starting in 96º was not the best idea.   4 miles turned into a 5K, a slow, hot 5K.    I ran at the lake so I am still walking the construction section and I was so thankful for those walk breaks.   I even tried to take a picture to show how hot I was.   I felt like I was panting like a dog, ugh.

poor puppy
poor puppy
This is how we hung out
This is how we hung out

Speaking of dogs, my mom had a banquet thing for tennis, so I hung out with the puppy for a bit after my run.   She got hurt on Sunday trying to protect her yard and had to go back to the vet Tuesday.   She does not like her medicine.   Plus she is sad that she can’t play with her toys for a few weeks.  😦  We just chilled on the patio.   She would doze off next to me, then wake up to see if I was still there. It was kind of cute. 🙂

what the hell am I doing with my hand?
what the hell am I doing with my hand?

I once again hit the path for a few miles tonight.  4.5 sluggish miles.   The goal was a nice, easy pace of 10:00.  Pace met, but it didn’t feel easy.   I don’t know why running feels so hard lately.  I haven’t even run over 6 miles since my last half marathon.  Apparently May is synonymous with Slacker.  I was very happy to see the walking sections tonight as well.  But sooner rather than later, they will finish the construction and I will no longer be able to rationalize the walking so easily.   Wah Wah.  I really need to kick this- whatever this is.

Ok, it no longer be called a lake
Ok, it can no longer be called a lake

Tomorrow I hope to get to packet pickup for the race on Saturday.   It’ll be tight with work but I think I can make it.  Less stress for race morning then.  🙂 Is it too much to hope that this race will be the kick in the pants I need?   And a cookie counts as carb loading right?  Now if I can just hold myself to 1.

How has your week been?

Anyone else have a rough month or so of training? 

What are your weekend plans?