Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 15 - Run through Hell on Halloween Eve

After last year's Run through Hell on Halloween, I knew if it was repeated this year, I was definitely there! After waking up at a hellacious hour in the morning, I set off nice and early, remembering full well the hell of traffic jam last year. We were backed up from the Hell Creek Ranch all the way onto Darwin Road - obviously we all needed to be nominated for Darwin awards :)

Not wanting to sit through that again, I left early and jammed to - what else? "Highway to Hell." It was cold, but still warmer than last year. The sun was nice, the frost on the ground (!!!!!) not so much.

My costume this time was a ballerina, with a tutu I wore in 8th grade :D Other good costumes were plenty of Where's Waldos, Wonder Women, a man dressed as Pamela Anderson a la Baywatch, a man dressed as Daisy Duke. Gumby finished, as did the Easter bunny.

Here are Tammy and Roy as a pig and frog. It must have been hotter than hell in those costumes!

When it was all said and done, my time wasn't great - 32:01. Not the time I wanted, but look at my placement! I've never placed that well, which is not to say I had a good race, but it was a pretty weak field. Whatever. It was hilly and I have done absolutely zero training for hills. I don't even entirely know what I should be doing on hills. Speeding up? It seems I do slower in races than in training, mostly due to the uncertainty of where I'm going next and how far along I am. Yes, I had my stopwatch to help with timing, but the poltergeists in the area paused it and I didn't notice until the turn around point.

The shirt is cute - the same design as last year, but it's a t-shirt, not a tech wick. I'll definitely wear it to work tomorrow - I hope the principal doesn't give me hell for wearing a t-shirt :D

Since I was already dorked out in the costume, I modeled the t-shirt with boxers over tights. Whee!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 12 - I need to buy some pants!

Today's weather was awful! Cold, raining, gloomy. In other words, not so good for running. My secretary sympathized that it was awful and she was glad she wasn't running, but I keep telling myself that if I can't run in the rain when it's 43 degrees, what am I going to do in January? The Y is not an option! (at least not yet!!!)

Yet at 4 pm, I walked outside of the building and into the greatest surprise - it was sunny! Hallelujah! 43 degrees suddenly looked tons easier, maybe even enjoyable. One of the school teams was running by and all the boys had taken off their shirts. Why aren't kids fazed by weather like adults? So unfair!

Unlike the boys, when I got dressed it included a fleece hat, a wicking t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, gloves, the whole shebang. As soon as I opened the front door, I got another weather surprise - rain! yuck!!! I was dressed, I was ready, so I pulled the hood over my hat and set off. As soon as my sweatshirt got covered in rain, it stopped and now, less than five minutes after finishing, it's sunny again. What's that line about Michigan weather? If you don't like it, wait a few minutes...

The first half mile was hard, but if I can make it that far, the remainder is do-able. First half time 9:53, second half time 10:01. Total time: 19:54, 22 seconds faster than last Thursday.

The run felt great, I was happy to improve my time, but golly I need to buy some pants!!!!! Pretty soon I'm going to run in jeans, if nothing else, just to keep my poor little legs from turning blue!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 9 - The problem with moderation

I'm not sure about this year's training program. It's absolutely gorgeous outside - low 60s and sunny with a mild breeze. If I looked up "perfect running weather" this would be the first hit. I feel great, I feel healthy, I have a ton of energy, so why am I sitting inside "resting?" I only ran 3 miles yesterday (I love it!!!!! A few months ago, 3 miles was difficult, now I barely think twice about it. Progress is AWESOME!!!)

I have a problem doing things in moderation. If I'm training for a race, I want to be running 5 or 6 days a week, really pushing myself. I don't want to be limiting myself to four days a week. It seems like a waste of good weather!

Yet I know I'm just starting training for a two marathon year and I can't overdo it and burn out - or worse - get sidelined by another stress fracture!

Conceptually I understand the theory and purpose of resting and slowly, gradually building mileage, but it sure is hard to accept on days like this!!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 7 - We have a date!

The Free Press marathon is October 21, 2012. Going that late into October scares me - I don't want to run in the snow!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 5 - Running in the rain like an idiot

I work until 4 on Thursdays and it now gets dark at 6, which doesn't leave much time for running. I have no idea what I'm going to do after day-light savings. (I've always hated it, can we boycott it this year?) With the only other option being the Y, I knew I had to run right after work, when it was cold and miserable. To make it even better, it was raining! < / sarcasm>

I donned my hat and gloves. I told myself the faster I ran, the sooner it would be over. It was cold and miserable, but after I got over the gasping of trying to breathe in the cold, and settled into a groove around a half mile, it really wasn't that bad. With the gloves, I barely noticed it was raining, although a hood would have been nice to keep my neck warm and dry.

At least most of the Allen Park homes and yards are decorated for Halloween so I have en-route entertainment :)

But seriously, what kind of idiot runs in the rain??? Whenever someone was deliberately doing something foolish, my grandma would call him a damn fool. That's exactly what I was and the worst part - I knew it and did it anyway!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 4 - now accepting applications

I realized on my day 3 run that two things would make running and training so much easier: a coach and a partner. I'm looking for someone to motivate me on the hard days and to help with pacing. I realized a 4:33 finish requires me to average 10:25 an hour. When I did the 2010 Free Press, my fastest mile was 10:33. Obviously this will be a problem and it might make more sense to shoot for a 5-hour in April, then spend all summer getting it down to 4:33.

Also problematic in looking for a partner is my running schedule, which is sporadic at best. Some days it's early, some days I run late, I go in Allen Park, in Lincoln Park, in Southgate, pretty much whatever suits my fancy at the moment. I need someone who can respond positively to a phone call or text at any time to say "Let's go. Now!"

Oh yeah, I can't afford to pay the coach either...

Anyone interested???

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 3 - I can't breathe!

What is it about cold weather that makes it near impossible to breathe? Why does a change in weather cause an instant collapse in lung capacity? It happens every year and it sucks! I spend the summer getting into moderate shape then the first day of cold - bam! - it's like day one all over again.

The worst part is that it wasn't even that cold. At 51 degrees, it will be considered balmy in December, yet it's still October and I'm not ready to give up on outdoor running, so I found a hat, gloves and an old sweatshirt before I set out. I don't have any running pants, so I even looked online for SmartWool knee socks to wear with my shorts. If I was this miserable in the 50s, what in the world am I going to do when it hits single digits?

I know I have two choices - go back to the gym or learn to deal with it. After running outside for 3 1/2 months, the thought of going back to the Y is dreadful, which leaves me with learning to deal with cold weather running. Ultimately this is the better choice because it's extremely likely an April marathon will be on a gray day of 30 degrees. Besides, if I went back inside, I'd have to acclimate to outside running all over again.

My yoga teacher always tells us a good way to build lung capacity is to bend over, touch your toes and just breathe, so I tried it today. I can't tell if it worked or not.

I felt heaps stronger today though and the run seemed tons easier than it did on Sunday, for one reason only - the treadmill is #$#% boring!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 2 - the vitamin d plan

The specified activity for today was "rest." Rest from a 2-miler? I'm not sure that necessitates more than a few minutes, but ok. Rather than rest like a sloth, however, I turned it into a vitamin d day, the grand extent of which was taking a vitamin d supplement and sitting outside for 10 minutes without either sunblock or sunglasses. It feels almost as good as endorphins and helps with bone strength. This is my kind of running program!

Also great, not only is the Martian a few days before my birthday, it's during spring break. Resting and relaxing will be no problem whatsoever!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 1 (of 182)

Today started with beating myself over the head - again! - for missing the sell-out point of the Freep half marathon. After breakfast, however, it shifted to day 1 of the next training program, specifically for the Martian marahon. It's not my first choice for a marathon, but will give me direction for my workouts for the next six month as well as keep me in shape. The actual race is a few days before my birthday and a 4:33 full will be the greatest present. (Not a random time, but a solid two-hour drop from the abysmal time I logged in 2010.)

I went with a different training program this time, from Sports Fitness Advisor. Unlike last time, I looked at day one - run two miles. I smiled, nodded to myself and said "Yup, I can do that."

It's rather apropos that I'm starting on the exact day of the Freep. I saw a heartbreaking story from this morning - a woman had been training all summer to qualify for the New York City marathon and missed it by 3 measly seconds! It would be easier to miss the qualifying time by hours than by such a slim margin.

Anywho I mentally committed to the Martian when it was 70 and sunny. I have no idea how the actual training will fare, especially given that I'm a huge baby about being cold. At the same time, however, I can't see myself running 20 miles at the Y. When there's a will, though, there's a way.

Here we go again!!!

The green eyed monster extends a peace offering

To my friends running this morning, to strangers running this morning, to the 20,000 fortunate souls with 20,000 reasons for attempting what most people consider the impossible: I hope you all have the best morning of your lives! I wish you all physical health, mental strength and for the weather to continue holding off rain. I hope you all enjoy crossing the Ambassador bridge (the highlight for me), I hope the neighbors are outside in Indian Village to give you company and cheer, I know you enjoyed the camaraderie of running in the dark with so many people, to be with so many people in a solitary, oftentimes lonely sport.

From the 4th grade teacher at one of my schools, to the guy I met in August and thought would win, I am beyond jealous of you all. I wish more than anything that I was there with you. Next year I will be! Enjoy the day, enjoy your accomplishment, enjoy the feeling of doing something 99% of the world will never ever do. You're all winners!!! (and no matter how dirty and sweaty you feel after, take the massage, lest you want to be unable to walk for several days!)

See you all in 2012!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The kindest offer I've ever gotten from a stranger

On Friday night before yoga class started, the teacher asked how my week was. I told her the truth - I had to pay $$$ for a new transmission and I discovered the marathon was sold out. From a few stations away I heard an unfamiliar voice "Was it the Free Press?" I assumed it was just a polite question, but the woman asking had registered, then discovered a few weeks ago she's pregnant and decided it's not in her best interest to run that far. In the nicest thing a stranger has ever offered, she asked if I wanted her spot.


Unfortunately it's not that easy. Since it's an international race, the department of homeland security has to approve each entrant, and there are no transfers whatsoever.

I can understand that DHS doesn't want random people showing up the morning of the race, but it seems like surely she and I could both go somewhere together, passports in hand, and make the change. Come on DHS - help me out!