Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Split Personality

I laid out my Christmas presents in front of the tv cabinet. Pink Hello Kitty bag, a different pink Hello Kitty bag, pink lunch bag, pink Hello Kitty stocking. Anyone seeing a trend here??? :) I like pink, I like cuteness, I have shoes in every color and style, I change my purse every week or so. A colleague-friend once told me I looked nice. I replied "Thank you, I try."

It all changes though, the second I put on my Mizunos and UnderArmour sports bra. They're like my own personal ... what's the opposite of Kryptonite? The Cape? All of a sudden, I immediately stop caring how I look. Things like rain, snow, puddles and mud stop deserving any consideration whatsoever. Questions stop starting with "If...?" and become "How...?" "Can I...?" becomes "I can...!"

My normal self has massive germ issues, the runner picks up clothing off the side of the road because she's cold.

Normal self hates snow and cold, and tries to avoid both, even admitting she's a great big baby about the cold, runner sees bad weather as a minor inconvenience that can't interfere with Hal's prescribed mileage.

Normal self loves sleeping in late, runner wakes up early as needed to run before it gets super hot.

Normal self doesn't leave the house without wearing make-up, runner couldn't possibly care any less about that or hair or anything that interferes with function.

It's like I'm my own Janus :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Back together with boyfriend Hal

Need? yes!!! Miss? yes! Love? Not so much lol
Hal Higdon is one of my favorite people, certainly one of my top ten favorites of people I've never met. I successfully used his beginner training program for the spring 2012 races, and used the novice 2 for the fall ones. Following his programs with about 98% fidelity got me to goal time, even with only marginal work on intervals or hills.

All along I was planning to use his novice 2 program again for the spring 2013 training. It took so long to get in shape that I wanted to maintain, rather than let my fitness diminish and have to rebuild it. So I've been maintaining, and my legs are in rough shape. They feel super fatigued and I asked my yoga teacher to work specifically on hamstrings tonight, as mine have been screaming. I'm not officially in training mode and already feeling so lethargic and weak? Not good!

I had planned to maintain between the spring and fall races this year, but a sprained ankle kept me from any running for 9 days, then I was very slow to rebuild because I resumed running a few days / weeks sooner than I probably should have so I kept the mileage really low, lest I hurt it worse. While it was frustrating at the time, it was ultimately for the best because it gave my legs time for REST without losing much cardio capacity. After Columbia City in the fall - it was a Saturday race - I was back to running 3 times a week by Tuesday. Is it any wonder my poor legs are exhausted?

So it was time for an immediate overhaul of my off-season training. I scrapped the cross training on Wednesday, and plan to keep it out of rotation for a few weeks. My heart and lungs are in great shape, so forcing myself to bike twice a week is just more work for my legs and isn't doing one bit of benefit. It might even be detrimental to my health, so it's off the table for now.

The other big change is getting back together with my boyfriend Hal sooner than anticipated!!! I was planning to pick up his program with 10-12 weeks to go before my first spring 2013 marathon. I looked at it again though, and we're back together this weekend. It's week 2 of 18 and the long run is 9 miles, which is completely do-able, then I'll stay with my man through the Martian. At that point, I'll have to maintain for 4 weeks, relax for a week or two, then start training again.

I guess it's official tomorrow. I'm "training for a marathon!!!" It's the perfect go-to excuse for anything I don't want to do :D

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michelle Bemis - Ironman? What?

I've had several conversations with a 3-time Ironman. In almost every one of these conversations, he has said he can totally see me completing an Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). I just don't see it! Yet at the same time, I don't think it's impossible per se, because I know I can commit to and train for a big race. It just takes time and a ton of dedication (delusion). Big problem though - I hate swimming!!! I can swim, I just do not enjoy it one bit. Then I asked...what is a ballpark time for the swim? 2 hours-ish. Do-able? Not right now. Possible? Sure, if I was willing to put in the time and effort.

No part of me wants to attempt the Ironman....not right now at least... It makes me wonder though, how and why we instill dreams in other people. I've certainly done it. I told the Ironman about Badwater. I've told my Indy roadtrip friend several times that I know with all certainty he can finish a full marathon. We complete a goal or event (or in the case of Badwater, read a book about it) then seem to transfer it other people, where the idea sits in the back of their brains, not inspiring real action, but not going away either. Then eventually after the idea has ruminated long enough, you start to think "What if..." which eventually becomes "How....?" Besides there's real confidence that comes from someone saying "I completed this really difficult event and I know you can do it!!!!!"

Will I attempt the Ironman? Probably not, but never say never. Multiple marathons were never on the agenda either. Stranger things have happened :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A good day :)

Thursday was a good day. It was SUNNY!!!!!! YAY!!!!! It was sunny when I left for work, and still sunny when I returned home at the end of the day! I texted my friend at lunch and asked her "It's 40 and sunny. Why am I working? Prime running weather!!!"

Did I want to run after work? Of course not, but the conditions were pretty good and I had to go as soon as I got home, or I wouldn't go at all. On Tuesday when I got home at 5:10 and it was already dark, I opted to not run at all, then felt disappointed in myself all evening. Tuesday was the first scheduled run I skipped since August, but I was still upset and disappointed that I gave in to the cruddy weather and darkness. As a result, I haven't run since Saturday and it was rough today.

The temperature had dropped to the upper 30s and I had to race against fading daylight. My right hamstring has been a little sore the past few weeks and while it normally loosens after 2 miles, it's never good. So there was that. My lungs were working really hard in the cold and it was just a rough run mentally. Physically I forced myself through it and finished with a better pace than I was expecting. I averaged 9:34; I was anticipating something 10+

Internet pic, but I think it's the same one
Other good stuff was working at one of my favorite schools (I can say this almost every day), scheduling a job interview for tomorrow, and a student giving me a Christmas card and Meijer gift card - grocery money!!!

Despite the gross awful weather on Tuesday, there was one good point - I found a $3 glass pig at Pier One, with pink wings!!! It's like they knew I'm running the Flying Pig Marathon! :D Since it was so cheap, I bought two and the first person to join me in Cincy gets the other little piggie. Chris from Indy? Friend from Indy roadtrip? Ironman? Middle school secretary? We can all run marathons when pigs fly. Oh wait....we already have.... hehehe

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The self-writing blog

I don't even have to come up with my own blog ideas anymore. People keep sending and telling me funny things that are as good as or better than anything I could come up with on my own.

My friend send me the runners Christmas tree on Monday. Tuesday I got this:

Hah! I'm sure everyone has seen it already, but so funny, so true. Besides Sylvia Browne said years ago that we have nothing to worry about this year.

The other funny contribution this week came from a phone conversation with an Ironman. 

"I actually like running now," I said, "Through the first five marathons, I did not like running, there was nothing fun about it, I hated it."

"Indianapolis was the fifth?"

"Yup. Something happened the week between Indy and Columbia City. It was like a switch."

"Indy was the one where you threw up?"


"So you got something out of your system that morning?"

"Hahahahahahahaha yup!!!!" So funny, so gross, so true!!!!

As a last minute goal - run 1000 miles this year. I'll hit it with miles to spare :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Summer vs. winter

Running in the winter is a drag. I have to start by 4:30 pm if I want to finish before it's pitch black. I have to bundle up in three layers of clothing, my lungs have to work harder, my nose runs the entire time, then the cold air always gives me a dry cough for the duration of the run and a few hours after.

There is one consolation, however, that I get to wear my knee socks!!! I think running in shorts and knee socks is the cutest look ever. Besides I don't like my pants. Yes, they keep me warm, but they don't fit as well as the shorts, so as long as it's over 35 degrees, I'm in shorts.

Rather than wear a solid color knee sock or something boring, I try to find the ugliest designs I can haha The only bad thing is that the purple ones don't fit snug on my calves, so they slip down after a half mile. As a result, they have been downgraded to gym wear. The others fit perfectly and don't move for 26.2 miles. Whee!!!

The only real criteria I have for socks - aside from being hideous! is that they be Merino wool. I used to wear SmartWool exclusively, then I found the gray ones in the clearance bin at REI. They're REI brand and 1/3 the price of SmartWool. I wore them once and all was good. The red, yellow and gray pair are DarnTough and they have a lifetime warranty. If I can wear them out, the company will replace them. Sweet :)

I must spend too much time working at Cabrini High School, where the students wear uniforms, but the girls are free to wear whatever socks they want. I have seen some seriously ugly socks that wouldn't match ANYTHING! It's funny though.

I wore the brown ones for every race in 2012. I'm thinking burgundy for 2013. If I wear the same socks to every race, I can quickly and easily look at a photo and know the year :)

For comparison, here are my winter and summer socks. Yes, they used to be white at one time. Ewwww. I think Mom has darned every pair when my toes poked holes through the seams. $12 for footies is too expensive to replace because of a little hole! All are SmartWool :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yeah I'm a dork

I posted the photo from my friend yesterday then immediately thought.... you know, it's kinda funny in a completely tacky way. What fun is being the adult of the house if I can't decorate however I want, even if that means setting up my Christmas tree as a complete joke? :) The dumbbells behind the tree add a little something, don't you think?

Happy Festivus for the rest of us :)

Here's the normal place I keep the medals. Again, it's great to decorate however I want :)))))

Monday, December 3, 2012

Funny or tacky?

My friend emailed me today:

"Oh, I forgot one thing that I saw - I thought it would make you smile.  Let's just call it a "Runner's Christmas Tree." I could TOTALLY see you do this. lol" 

It's funny, yet really really tacky at the same time. Happy Christmas runners!

What do you all think? Cute and creative or seriously tacky?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy happy happy!

I got the BEST email today:

A running company has taken over managing the Columbia City marathon for 2013 so it WILL be held again. Yay!!!!!! Add it to my list :D (Never mind the hills or the brutal wind. I've already forgotten about those :)