Run!, Slacker

State of My Head

I feel all over the place this week.  Truthfully probably for longer than that.   * I started this yesterday but zoned out in front of a Law and Order episode.  I don’t even like Law and Order.

I feel like I am falling short pretty much everywhere.   I feel like I am over promising and under delivering on a daily basis.   I feel inadequate.

Work-I’ve been telling myself that I’m not stressed but that’s denial talking.   I can’t even remember to call the doctor on my lunch.  I’ve had to make an appointment with my dermatologist for the last 4 months yet I never seem to remember to do that on lunch.   I fall asleep instead.  I stumble over my words on a daily basis, my hand writing looks like crap.  Well, it always did but now it’s worse.  🙂    Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job, I’m just a little fried.   I fell like I am short changing the new hires.    There is so much I want to show them I just can’t figure out how to.

A few weeks ago I applied for an open internal position.   It was different from what I am doing now- more research less people interaction.  Something I never thought I’d want but it sounded it so awesome that I couldn’t pass it up.   So I applied and then interviewed.  Then lived on tenterhooks for 3 weeks.   I don’t think I realized how much I wanted the position until I didn’t get it.   I started crying on my way home last night.  Ugh.     I really wanted to shove a pizza in my face.    Instead I rode 11.5 miles on the bike and ate some gluten free granola.  Then zoned out in front of the computer and ending up eating tortilla chips later.

  
Running– I haven’t felt like running this week.  Like at all.  Normally I look forward to my runs.  Yes, sometimes as the day wears on I can lose some of that energy but I always start the day looking forward to a run.  This week not so much.    I have had zero desire to run.  Yet, I’ve changed my clothes and gone running just like my plan says.   Tuesday evening’s run was pretty good but I just wasn’t feeling it.   I was that horrible cranky faced runner who didn’t smile at anyone I passed.  And the path was full of people!   It wasn’t that I wasn’t trying to smile, it’s that the smile looked more like a growl.   That doesn’t bode well for a race weekend.

Let’s be Real–  Speaking of races, I feel like I am woefully under trained and not ready for what’s coming.  This weekend is one of my favorite races of the year but I can’t forget how badly last year went.  When my mother was so pissed that I completed the 5K she walked home.    On the upshot- race morning is predicted to be in the 80’s so the chance of heavy fog seems low.   I’ll deal with the warmth… hopefully.

Oh and my goal race- let’s be real here.  I am not breaking 2.   My speed work was hit and miss and running and goal half marathon pace never really happened.   Was I stoked about the paces I hit in my intervals?  Yes.  But hitting a pace for 3-6 minutes followed by a walk break does not bode well for a consistent 9:00 pace for 13 miles.  That will be a dream to hang on to for another day.

Ok, enough dreary, I need to dig my way out of the hole I am burrowing into.  I need to find my shiny.  So here we go-

Work–  I have a great crew.  Working with them makes the day a little better. 

And that view
 Running–   I know that I can.  I know that I will.  It will just take longer.  And that sunset up there?  I never used to notice those.   Oddly enough, running has brought back the photographer in me.    I’ve just moved on from wedding pictures and almond blossoms to shoe selfies and sunsets.

Falling short– Yeah, this one’s a little harder.  This may take some time.  One foot in front of the other right?

Thanks for listening to me whine the state of my head.  If you made it this far.  🙂

How do you deal with stress? Any tips?

What’s an odd benefit you’ve gained from running?

Happy Friday!

Race Day, Recap, Run!

Central Coast Cancer Challenge 5K- Recap

My first time running the Central Coast Cancer Challenge was 3 or 4 years ago.  It was an entirely different beast then.    It was smaller and 2/3 on trails with no warning about that on the website.  Actually, I am not even sure it had a website.   I ended up running into a friend on race morning and we ran it together.    At the time it was the closest I had ever come to running a  sub 30 5K.  Well, until we realized the course was short.  By a lot- we all registered around 2.6 miles. Turns out some course signage had fallen over and was not corrected prior to the race start.   Oops.   The past few years it has been part of the RaceSLO group so I had been wanting to check it out.  Schedule conflicts prevented that until this year.

  
The race raises money for cancer research and a local charity.  Cancer survivors can race for free and get a special race shirt with “Survivor” on the back.   In memory/ In honor of bibs are free and participants can write names on them and wear them while running.   I love the shirts for survivors but I think there needs to be another category.  There needs to be a “Fighter” category for those who are still fighting their way to be a survivor.

  As the race got closer I wondered what the hell I had been thinking.  I haven’t raced a 5K in over a year, and my speed work has been more hit than miss and speed held for any length of time is problematic for my stupid stomach.   So yeah.   I had originally planned on trying to PR (current PR -27:48) this race but the closer race day got, the more I was leaning towards just holding on.  If I could even break 30, I was going to throw a party.   Then I saw the course and just laughed.  The race has moved to the center of SLO over the past years and they shut down multiple busy streets for it.   Having run some of these streets during the SLO half, I knew partially what I was in for.    The course loops downtown and starts with a little less than half a mile sloped down, then you make a left and it’s pretty much uphill for the next 1.5 miles.  It’s the kind of hill that you don’t notice driving but kicks your ass running.    Ahh, crap.  So new plan was to try pull off the following splits- moderate speed, slower speed, fast finish. Pretty simple right? 😃

    
Having picked up my race bib the day before may have made me too relaxed.   Per usual my mom was along for the ride and we didn’t even get to the start line area until 7:45.  I ended up bailing out of the car while she found a parking spot.  Then I needed a restroom stop and there was a line.    Another woman in line and I joked that at least races never seem to start on time. 😏   Took care of business and headed to the start.   I hopped into the starting line chute at 7:54.  I figured I could use the 6 minutes left until the 8:00AM start time to move my way forward in the crowd and get my Garmin situated.  Maybe stretch a bit.   Best laid plans right?The race whistle blew at 7:55.  

5 minutes early!?! 

 Mile 1- 9:00

My Garmin was on but didn’t have a satellite yet.  I just pushed start and figured I would deal with it later.   I got hung up in a crowd crossing the starting line but managed to break free after a few blocks.   A little too fast since my Garmin buzzed that I was running a 7:30 pace.  Oops, slow it down there.    Then we turned up the next street and that was taken care of for me. 😊  I passed the mile marker and checked my watch.  I knew the mileage was going to be off but I wanted an idea of my overall time.  Except the display was on some funky screen only showing the time lapsed in run/walk intervals.   Ok then, guess I was running blind.

Mile 2- 9:42

This felt like the longest mile ever.  I kept wanting to take a walk break but was arguing with myself that it was all in my head.    I felt like we were climbing forever and it’s not even that steep!  We only gained 133 ft.  I felt like everyone and their brother were passing me.   A woman came running up behind me pushing a stroller- uphill- looking fresh as a daisy.   I instantly felt out of shape.   I told myself I could walk at the water stop.  But knowing that there was only one on the way up I had brought my own just in case.  So I kept running.   Seriously I felt like I was almost at the freeway on ramp, where the hell was the turn around?  Oh there, thank you lord.   My watch buzzed for it’s mile 2 a little before that and said 9:42.  Ouch, definitely not PR pace.   It was the only mile I had seen so I wasn’t even sure I was going to break 30.  Grrr. 

 Mile 3- 8:17

I had hoped the downhill was going to help my pace but my stomach had started protesting around mile 1.5.  I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out.  I drew level with another woman and we had a little chat.  She was surprised at just how much of a hill that had been.  She said she hadn’t known.  I said I had known but that didn’t make it any easier. 😖  We separated, I think I pulled ahead but I can’t remember!    I picked up the pace and started reeling people in.  I didn’t really feel like I was pushing the pace fitness wise but my stomach was telling a different story.  I ran as fast as it was letting me and figured that was the best I could do right then.  I could finally hear the announcer and people cheering.  Yay, I was almost done!   I could see the clock but it was far away and I thought it said 29:something.   Then I realized it read 26:something.  Holy crap- run!

Finish- 27:10  New PR!!!

 Hell yeah!  How I took 38 seconds off of my previous time, I have no idea.   I felt like I was crawling up that hill.  Now I am left thinking that if I had pushed a little harder on the hill, I could have been sub 27.    Fitness wise, I didn’t feel like I gave it my all.   I know part of that was due to some serious cramping in the last half but part of that was also due to my pre-race doubts.    Or maybe me deciding to just hang on and not stress about the race was what got me that shiny new PR. Who knows.  I do know I was happy about the race.  I ran according to my plan and managed to pull off a fast time for myself.   Maybe next time I will push a little harder.  Now I just need another 5k.  😃

Oh and the women with the stroller was rocking the 10K.  So fast!

What’s you favorite distance to race?  Least favorite?

Run!, Slacker

I Needed That

I really, really needed that.

If you’ve been along for the ride awhile, you may have heard me mention a time or a million that my stomach and I don’t get along.   Also that it’s been a rough 10 months, stomach wise.   That roughness carried over into my running and things slowed down.    I was so gung-ho to set PR’s in 2014 and it just didn’t happen.   Even though I finally accepted that and moved on, a part of me was still frustrated.   Also with doctors but that’s another story.

While I have trained pretty consistently this year, I am still not where I was before my flare.  Walk breaks have become a part of run, long or short, slow or fast.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with walking, heck I look forward to those breaks on most runs.    But long runs stressed me out.   I don’t know if I hid it well or not but I was beginning to dread long runs.    I felt like I was moving so slow and that I walked too often but just couldn’t seem to pick it up.FullSizeRender (6)Beyond that I have a serious mental block when it comes to long runs past 10 miles.  I love half marathons but double-digit slow runs by myself?  Umm, not so much.   I have done one 12 mile run outside of a race.  One- and it took me 2.5 hours.  Actually it might have been longer but I’ve blocked it out, I am pretty sure I walked the last 2 miles.   So when I saw so many 12-16 milers on my training schedule, I had a mini freak out.   And I haven’t run a single one.   Once again I topped out at 10 for most of the runs.    Which was noticeable in Wine Country when I hit a wall at 10. Did that make me go out and run 12 the next weekend? No.    Then my doctor changed my diet pretty drastically and I missed 2 long runs in a row.  Crap.   I knew I could not miss another with SLO being so close.

While I am looking forward to my 5k race tomorrow, it is one that I know leaves me super sore.   So sore that I knew banking on a 10-12 mile run with a fast finish on Sunday was probably foolish.    Because work was a little crazy this week and I worked longer days on Monday and Tuesday and couldn’t leave the building on Wednesday and Friday, my boss said she was going to try and let me leave a little early on Thursday.   This sparked an idea but I wasn’t fully committed.  A small part of me thought I could move my long run to Thursday instead.  My 5K race is not a PR race but more for fun, so I figured if I was a little tired for it that was fine.    But I was still on the fence about if I even wanted to run that many miles after working all day.   Or if I even could.  IMG_0023I got off an hour early so I headed to the lake to run a few laps.  My stomach was the crankiest it’s been since I started this new diet, but then I had cheated the day before.   I also wasn’t dressed for a long run.  I wasn’t wearing compression socks nor a 10+ mile sports bra.  Yes, I have different sports bras I wear depending on the length of the run.    If I did run long I was going to split it. 7-8 miles at the lake and then I was going to head to the river path for the remainder.  My mother was thinking about meeting me for the second part.   So, in other words, I wasn’t expecting much and anticipating another Slacker moment.

I warmed up with my usual slow first mile before picking it up.    Miles 2 and 3 clocked in at 9:57 and 10:10.  So not long run pace.  I should have been aiming for 10:45-11:15.  I went out too fast, there was no way I was maintaining.  I was irritated with myself and doubting that I would even follow through with driving to the river path.  Then my mother texted that she wasn’t going to make it.  There went that motivation to follow through.    Ok fine, I was just going to run until I was tired or my stomach rebelled, I figured 6 miles tops. haterunning Around mile 6, I noticed that I was still running.  As in, I hadn’t taken a single walk break.  Not one and I felt pretty good.  Huh?  I did stop for a bathroom break but decided to just keep running after that.  Mile 7 and I was running.  Mile 8 still running.  Mile 9, more running.  Still no walk breaks.   I was starting to think I might actually pull this off.  Miles 9, 10,  and 11 all came in at 10:00 or under.   Did you see that 11?!?!  I cleared 10 miles on a long run!!!!!!  I wanted to throw a party and celebrate but I was surrounded by strangers!     I stopped my Garmin at 11 and walked the 3/4 of a mile back to my car.

Dudes, I ran the whole thing- no walking breaks!!  Who am I?  And 11 miles at that pace and not racing?!  I know it’s not much by some standards but for me and the past year, I was stoked.     It also reinforced that consistent training works and does pay off even if you don’t see it immediately.   I was seriously beginning to doubt I could even hit double digits after the last few weeks.  I was feeling rough and not confident in my running ability at all.   I had chalked my last race up to being a fluke and was mentally preparing myself for a rough race in a few weeks.    I didn’t know how badly I needed a long run- a good, long run.    Until I pulled it off.  🙂  Bring it on SLO!

Lapping the lake so many times, I passed a few people multiple times.  I was wearing a tank that says “I hate running” and that was getting a few comments.   🙂    I passed one pair of older ladies multiple times.  They said something to me once but I didn’t quite catch it.  Another 2 times past them and they stopped me.  One asked how many I was doing because I had to be near 20.  I wish!  I said that I was aiming for 11 miles and only had 3/4 of a mile to go.    I passed them again on the cool down walk and they said good job.  🙂

I still want to do a little happy dance when I think about yesterday’s run.   Training works, who knew?   I think I need to get this McMillan plan laminated for future use.  Haha.  Now I should probably get some sleep, I have a mountain to run up in the morning.  🙂

How do you feel about long runs?

Who is racing this weekend?

What was your last great run?

Run!, Slacker

Back on track?

Can you be back on track if it’s only been one day?  After choosing to take another rest day yesterday, stupid ankle, I hit the park after work.  Today was also my first day back to work so bring on the heels too!  Wore my lowest pair as they are still more support than my tiny little flats.  Too bad I can’t wear running shoes to work 🙂

Leaving work, I was so tired.  Today was such a Monday, plus the first day back is never stress free.  I had planned to meet my friend at the park for a few laps.  However her work day was just as crazy as mine, so she wasn’t able to make it 😦

After 3 days off my plan was to go slow and walk when my ankle hurt.  I also planned on only 2 laps.  It would be just under 2.5 miles, small but I figured it would be a good test.  Those 3 days off felt like forever once I started out.  I was so sloooooooow.   Which was the plan but it still irritated me.  Maybe I should have run this without my GPS, but where’s the fun in that?

2 laps turned into 3, all still slow.  Slow but steady with some walk breaks.  I can feel my ankle, it’s not as bad as it was but it’s not exactly happy.  So after tomorrow’s volleyball finals, I have decided to push my Wednesday run back to Thursday to give it a little more time.

On a funnier note, I had mentioned previously that there was a section of the park path that reeked.   Today when I ran passed that section the first time; I noticed a sign but didn’t stop to read it.  After the second pass, I busted up laughing and on the third pass, I stopped to take a picture.  Guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it smelled 🙂

This is awesome!
This is awesome!