Monday, September 30, 2013

Giveaway Winner, (Non) Marathoning and Getting Married

CONGRATULATIONS to Elena who won the Group Giveaway sponsored by Kaliwood! Elena is in for some fun goodies so next time make sure you enter so you can get in on the action!

Now for your regularly scheduled programming....

Hi there, another absence I apologize for but my life has been crazy in good and bad ways. First with the bad:
  • I'm officially about 3 weeks out from the marathon and still can't really run because my leg is not getting any better. Who runs a marathon after 6 weeks of slow, sporadic and moderately painful run/jogs? This girl. Should be a spectacle.
  • I'm experiencing some PTSD after the Tri for Sight and am afraid to swim because I'm afraid of sharing a pool lane with someone. It's starting to really interfere with my swimming which I'm going to need to start doing more of since I'm planning that 70.3.
  • I have not actually picked a 70.3. I was originally on board for Rev3 Cedar Point. Which then became the NashVegas Triathlon. Which became Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Which became Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. Which became Rev3 Williamsburg. Which became Rev3 Maine.
  • I am 150% overwhelmed with work (2 jobs) and am pretty sure both the school and I made a terrible decision in hiring me as the speech coach. I basically never stop until I fall asleep on the couch with a script in my hands.
  • Did I mention I can't run?
Of course I could dwell for days on the negative but I thought a bullet list would keep me from falling too far down the Negative Nancy rabbit hole. Onto the good:
  • I got married on Friday, a year to the day earlier than that wedding we were going to have and I'm positive it's the best decision I've ever made. Even better than buying a Ninja or adding spinach to everything.
  • I'm currently sitting at my lowest weight (168) since I started paying attention to my weight after college. The first time I really decided to acknowledge my weight gain was at the doctor's office a couple years ago and I was 174 and I had to pass 200 before I really decided to care about it. So 168 is awesome.
  • The Colonel and I in proper married couple form shopped for stuff for the house on Saturday and it was like Christmas opening and putting everything away.
  • I got sweet potatoes at the Farmer's Market which means the return of sweet potato walnut muffins!
  • I'm getting my security deposit back from the old apartment this week!
  • I managed a solid 2 hour workout with my sister yesterday which I desperately needed. So what if that means I didn't finish my work for practice this afternoon? 
So, yeah. That's what's been going on. A lot of crazy as usual and a lot of good outweighing the bad although sometimes it's hard to remember that's the case.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Murphy's Law

I am totally experiencing the Murphy's Law of marathon training. The race is a month away and I haven't run longer than 16 miles. I haven't run consistently in 2 weeks. I ran the 5K Sunday as part of the tri but when I tried 5 miles on Tuesday I made it 2.5 before the mysterious leg pain reared its ugly head. I decided to take it easy and hold out for the 18 miles scheduled on Saturday (aka today). I'd really like to say I'm coming to you from a sore and satisfied place but I'm not. There was another wrench thrown in.

Remember that head on collision I had in the pool during the Tri for Sight? No big deal right? I drove back home Sunday and things were fine. Had a little headache, neck and left shoulder were a little stiff but nothing new for after a race. I took Monday off from workouts which depressed me of course and then had the failed run Tuesday. Tuesday morning my neck was incredibly sore and I figured I'd slept on it wrong plus I'm always a little tight through my neck and shoulders after a swim/bike. Wednesday was worse in the pain department but not bad enough to care. Just some icy hot. I also had a headache that had been lingering but again, no big deal. Something is always hurting on me so I just ignore things. Thursday I had a headache and sore neck still and forgot my ibuprofen at home so I just sucked it up. Reasonable right? Wrong. By 2:00 I was having the second worse headache of my life and was actually thinking it could be meningitis (again!). I went to my trusty WebMD for a diagnosis and though I always expect "CANCER" and "FIBROMYALGIA" to pop up I was unprepared for what I actually got which was "SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!" So I tried to enter different symptoms I was having and got the same message. Hmm. So I called my significantly more reliable than WebMD nurse sister and gingerly drove home from work instead of to job #2. I'm not gonna lie, I was scared. My sister mentioned that time I crashed into someone head first in the pool which I had totally forgotten about! I went home and took some medicine and laid down which helped but definitely wasn't a cure. Once The Colonel got home we started talking about what had happened over the week to see if we could figure things out. That was when I realized I literally couldn't remember anything about Sunday night or Monday. With some cues I vaguely remembered a couple of things but not much. That's probably not normal. Friday I was feeling rough so decided not to go to job #1 and finally go to the doctor. Long story short, I have a cervical sprain and torn muscle on my left side that connects the neck to the head, hence the headaches. I also probably had a concussion but was way out of the danger zone so there's nothing to do there. I've got an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer and CAN'T DO ANYTHING.

What does that new wrench mean? Week number 3 of missing a long run. No matter what I'm running next Saturday. I have to. I knew training was going a bit too well but didn't think I'd get punished for it. Am I being dramatic? Probably. But am I miserable? Absolutely. I'm getting engagement pictures done today which I'm unfortunately not at all excited about since I haven't had time to get my hair cut in about a billion years, have maybe only 5 articles of clothing that actually fit and, oh yeah, I hate pictures. I am excited to meet the photographer face to face though because we're already blogging, dailymile and Facebook friends! It'll be fun to see her in real life and it's at least a lovely day.

So here's to yet another week of no running except this time no swimming or biking either. I'll tell you friends, it won't be pretty. I'm already grouchy and can feel my muscles turning into mush (dramatic much?). I was so excited about this marathon and now it just keeps getting stepped on. I really hope I'm not going to have a repeat of the God-awful Derby Festival Mini with a bathroom break and back injury that destroyed my race.

Here's hoping.

P.S. - Don't forget to enter the giveaway! A lot of ladies are giving away a lot of fun (and FREE) things!


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Giveaway!

Quick note to let you know about a fun giveaway I'm a part of this week! For my portion, I'm giving away 6 tubes of ZipFizz (3 fruit punch flavored, 3 orange soda). I used ZipFizz during a long run a couple of times and found it a little sweet for my tastes but The Colonel liked it and it did do its job of providing energy. Designed as a 5 Hour Energy alternative, ZipFizz is vegan (yay!) and comes in a powder form that just needs to be mixed with 16 oz of water. It's also not syrupy or chalky like some drink mixes can be. I got a great deal on some at the Ironman Louisville expo and even though I don't love it for long runs (it's also a teensy bit carbonated) I'd say it's a nice little energy booster. *Disclaimer: It IS an energy drink! So please treat it with the respect any caffeinated beverage deserves and drink responsibly. Also, I am in no way being compensated for my opinions and my opinions are just that. See below on how to enter and thank the lady in Kaliwood who put this all together!



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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tri for Sight Race Recap

Good Morning!

Remember how I said I wasn't racing in any tris this year? Because I was so busy/stressed/etc. etc.? Well apparently I'm not that busy (and in better shape than I thought) because I last minute signed up to do the Tri for Sight Sunday in Lexington and peer pressured Autumn into doing the duathlon. I was far too busy watching U of L beat UK in football Saturday to make it there to pick up my packet so we had an early morning Sunday. I had to be at packet pick up at 5:30 and be out of transition by 7 so I was up at 3:30 and left by 4:15 for the hour and some change drive. The Colonel was nice enough to do the driving so all I had to do was sit, eat and sing. Oh, and FREEZE. It happened to be the first weekend in a long time with 40 degree morning temperatures so that made things interesting. As you know, I love the cold so there was lots of shivering but no complaining on my part! A few of the Landsharks were also racing so it was cool to feel like part of a team for the first time. Best membership fee I've ever paid just from having people there cheering me on!

L to R: Andrew, Christy, Me, Autumn, Terri and Rhonda (minus Luke and Lori)

I got everything set up early and managed to hit the potties before most people had arrived so that was a bonus. Taking off the one piece trisuit and hovering basically naked over a toilet at 6 am in the dark in 40 degree temps isn't the most fun thing to do on a Sunday morning but like every other crazy triathlon thing it was totally worth it. I got set up pretty quickly and was feeling surprisingly calm. I spotted Luke in transition and stopped to say hello. *Funny fact: I started reading Luke's blog last year when I was thinking about triathlons and his popped up since he also lives in the area and has raced tons of our local races. Long story short we became Facebook friends and he just so happens to also be a very active member of the tri club and a super speedy semi-pro triathlete!* It was good to talk to him in person and he gave me some huge containers of RAW protein for FREE since Garden of Life is one of his sponsors and he (lucky for me) hates coffee flavored things.

After dropping off the goods in the car I ventured back out to check out the swim area. The swim was being held in a heated pool (what?!) so I really had no nerves heading into it. I swim in a heated pool all the time so how bad could it be? And since there was steam coming off of it, it looked like a glorious hot tub. I came back to transition for the athlete meeting and found the Landsharks and Autumn to stand around with. I was still feeling really calm. All week I'd been visualizing the race from start to finish and really had everything going well. I saw my transition set up and each sport and made sure to have fun. The duathlon started 5 minutes before the tri so I walked over to see Autumn off. She was really nervous but I knew once she started running she'd feel better. There weren't too many people in the du so it looked like it would be a good run with no congestion. After she started I walked up to the pool deck to wait around for what ended up being another hour to start. We were seeded by our estimated swim times and I was 285. Luke was something like 26 or 28 (told you he was speedy!), Lori was in the 180s and her daughter was 292 or so so we stuck together. Christy wasn't sure what her time would be so she was seeded in the 300s. Before I'd even gotten in the water they were already announcing the first finishers! Wowza!



After an hour and 11 minutes my race finally started! We had to sit down and slide into the water then wait 15 seconds before taking off. Once he said go I started my watch and off I went. I was already feeling great, no jitters and few butterflies and once I started moving it all went away. I love swimming and am improving a lot which is a big confidence booster. After the first 25 I had already caught the person in front of me. At the 50m mark a woman caught me and I let her go by but before we even reached the wall for 75m she started doing breaststroke and I caught her pretty quick. Since it was in the pool and the lanes were narrow we had to wait until the wall before we could pass which was a little irritating. Somewhere around halfway I got in a head on collision which is kind of funny. When I swim in the pool I don't do a lot of sighting because I don't have to so I was looking straight down and a woman doing breaststroke bulldozed me! I was surprised but no one was injured so I just kept on swimming. Later everyone told me she was going the wrong way in the lane so I didn't feel too bad. I passed a lot of people on the swim which was really surprising but I was so happy since I knew they'd all catch up on the bike. I could hear people cheering for me every now and then when I took a breath and that was fun too. Before I knew it I was finished (and a little sad that swim time was over!) and hopped out of the pool to make the long jog to transition. I was expecting to do around 12 minutes, my best time in the pool on my own was 11:13 and I figured I lost some time getting stuck in traffic. I was shocked when I saw my splits!




400m Swim - 10:59 (2:45/100m)

I still felt great after the swim, in fact I didn't have sea legs at all and jogged into transition like an old pro.


The Colonel always acts as my personal photographer and this time Landshark Andrew was snapping some pics too so I've got a lot which is really cool. My bike was racked far back in transition but right near the bike out which was nice. The Colonel tried to give me a pep talk but my brain wasn't quite working enough to talk and dress so I didn't say much. I was nervous a little for the bike because I'm severely undertrained and didn't know anything about the course but I was having fun so tried not to stress. A few people came into transition behind me from the swim but I beat most of them out. I assume they were all first timers since I'm not all that seasoned.

T1 - 2:50

Away I went on my bike. I forgot to set in a low gear (of course) but there weren't any big climbs out of transition so I was fine. It was a beautiful course! If I weren't in the middle of a race I would have stopped to take pictures. Scenery is definitely where Lexington has Louisville beat...but literally the only place it wins ;) They weren't joking about the "rolling hills" on the course because it was a constant up and down all 13 miles. I haven't ridden much but it's almost always on hills so I didn't have trouble with any of the climbs. There were a couple of pretty big ones and it definitely started to hurt on the way back but I just changed gears and kept moving forward. Just like I thought I was passed by what felt like EVERYONE on the bike course which strengthened my resolve to start The Sufferfest in November. I just kept telling myself to push hard but save a bit for the run. I think if I weren't so afraid of going fast on those downhills I would've done much better time wise but I'm still inexperienced and ride my breaks in case a turn comes up or I have to swerve to avoid something. I'm a wimp. I saw Autumn early on who was heading back for her last run and it always makes me feel better to see she's doing ok. I really enjoyed myself on the bike even through the climbs and the constant "On your left!" song and feel like I've made a lot of progress in a year of minimal riding. I was actually sad when I rolled in to dismount because I was having a lot of fun out there!

13 Mile Bike - 1:06:24 (11.7 mph)
I remembered to shift down for the last half mile or so of the bike so I'd spin a little and get my legs used to a quicker cadence. I got off my bike and did the tippy toe dance into transition to get that tingle out of my butt for the run. Transition was FAST and I'm not sure how it's possible but the results don't lie! As I was jogging out I heard a guy yell "Nice legs!" Only in triathlon does that mean nice brick-free running legs and not the actual shape of said legs. He was right though. I hardly felt the brick and for a split second thought I should've gone harder on the bike. Who am I???
T2 - :51 WHATTTT?!
There was gravel at the start of the run which sucked but was manageable. The course was bizarre with 3 (I think) kind of random turn arounds. Aside from the gravel the roads were in great shape (bike included!) so that made the run pretty easy. I wasn't really paying attention to the time so didn't worry about intervals although I did walk here and there as I drank water. Remember all of those people who passed me on the bike? Yeah, I remembered too and picked off a lot of them during the run. Apparently I'm pretty good at that. I'm not used to passing people but I've got to admit it's kind of fun. Rewarding maybe is the right word. I gave them all words of encouragement and got a lot of stink eyes thrown back at me but a lot more positive words back. Anything goes during the run of a tri so I don't hold anything against anyone. There was one woman I really tried to hang with and did for almost 2 miles before she left me in the dust. Oh well. After the final strange turn around I came up on a TNT woman who was really sweet. Her grandkids climbed out of bushes and started screaming for her and she turned to me and said "Let's go!". I shrugged and said, "Ok!" and took off. She didn't. It was weird. But coming through the finish I passed 3 or 4 people which was still fun (more fun to pass the men) and saw lots of people I knew cheering for me which was awesome! Most importantly, that pesky leg injury of mine didn't bother me at all!

 
5K Run - 33:27 (10:47/mi)
Overall Time - 1:54:32 (less than 2 hours! Yay!)
2nd Place Athena 39 and Under Division

This is likely my last Athena (female triathletes over 165 lbs) race and I'm glad I did well. I really felt great throughout the whole race and only took a couple sips of water during the run the whole day. Before the race I had a few bites but not much. I can really feel the difference in my performance from eating well consistently and not just during race week. It's also nice to reap the benefits of skipping donuts! A few people have asked me about what I eat as a vegetarian athlete as opposed to what I eat as a vegetarian so stay tuned for a post on some of my favorite nutrition bits. ALSO look out for a giveaway coming soon!
 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts on 9/11

There are a lot of mixed emotions out there surrounding the meaning of today but even if it's just for today let's think about those innocent lives lost and remind ourselves how lucky we are to still be here. Even if you're having a bad day, some would argue that's better than not having today at all.


Not that it is particularly profound, but that is my Facebook status today and I'm considering making a variation of it my status everyday. It is my belief that recognizing or remembering 9/11 is not about you being a democrat, republican, conservative, liberal, black, white, gay, straight or any other limiting or defining term you or others use to categorize people. It is about being a human being. The entire 9/11 story is controversial. Many people simply don't believe the supposed facts the Bush or Obama administrations have presented to us whereas plenty of people do. 

But that's not what remembering 9/11 is about, at least not to me.

Take away the politics. Take away the facts or rumors. Take away the religions of anyone involved. Now look at it as a human being. I don't care if you think 9/11 was all staged and never happened or if you think it was a terrorist attack or if you think it was a calculated conspiracy by some government. All I care about is the respect of those innocent people who lost their lives that day. There were people just attending a day of work whether it be as an executive or a WTC janitor who never got to take a lunch break. Those people will never get to complain about work or have a bad day again and those are the people who need to and deserve to be remembered. Every other day of the year feel free to spew your hatred or support of the government, your belief in a calculated attack or your quest for world peace but for today, just one day, think about the individuals. 

Like most every Americans I can remember where I was when I heard the news and am still horrified by the circumstances. I don't like to watch footage of it and don't like to see before, during or after pictures. It's a hard pill to swallow and gets worse for me with age. As I get older I think about my mom who used to work there and start the dreaded What If game. I imagine myself or someone I know heading out to work every morning with their usual routines and never getting to come back home. I think about kids who are now 10 years old and missing their mom and/or dad. When 9/11 happened I was 13 years old and none of those things really came into my head. But as I get older and mature every year things transform and take on new meaning. Maybe it's because I've been to the World Trade Center during the week when there were thousands of people everywhere hopping into elevators or stopping for coffee that I can see a clear picture of the ordinary people who were affected.

Please, again even if just for today, take a break from the usual day to day complaints and annoyances and just be alive. Be a human being. Think and live with compassion because there are plenty who would trade an underground bed for every single part of your life you're complaining about today.

Monday, September 9, 2013

5 Things You Should and Should NOT Say to Your Endurance Athlete Friend

Good Monday Morning! I secretly like Mondays because they always feel like a do-over for whatever you screwed up on last week or over the weekend. For example, Monday morning means I get back to my normal meals and snacks and schedule which gives me a chance to detox after a weekend of 3 meals out over the course of 2 days. That's more than I ate out in like all of August. But it was well worth it, a lot of fun was had.

But let's get to the point. Although I have a little degree in Communication, I still generally suck at communicating. This means that I often find myself googling things like "How to talk to *insert type of person here*" or "What to say to *insert another type of person*". I really wish I were joking but I'm not. Whether you are an avid coin collector, stay at home mom, engineer, or bird watcher, I always want to make a good impression so if there's a way for me to know ahead of time that we'll be meeting you'd better believe I've been googling you AND your hobby/lifestyle. That said, since I now find myself described as an "endurance athlete" (woo hoo!) I've learned that a lot of people have no idea really what they should or should not say to me. In the same way that I don't know how to talk to you about knitting, you may not know what to say to me (or your friendly neighborhood triathlete) in social situations. For starters, the thing we all need to remember is that friendship is a two way street. If your friend is nice enough to say, "Hey, how are your duck calls coming along?" when they know nothing about duck calling, you need to have the decency to also ask them "How is your marathon training going?" Which leads me into Number 1.

5 Things to Say to an Endurance Athlete
  1.  How is your training going? We generally LOVE this question. It's open ended so we get to say a little more than "Fine" but it's also non-threatening. You're not saying anything about how long we have been training or how long we have left until the event and it makes you look like a rockstar for even asking. If your endurance athlete friend is a good friend who knows you have no interest in their particular form of crazy, they'll likely keep it short and sweet. But the best part about this question is that it shows you care. Do not say "You're still training for that?" Endurance events kind of take forever to train for. We know that. You reminding us and making us feel out of shape for needing 6 months to get to a marathon doesn't help anything.
  2. I'm really proud of you! This is typically not something you'd say to someone you just met but even in that case it would be appropriate. For endurance athletes, training and racing (and/or finishing) are big accomplishments! Weeks, if not months have been dedicated to this event so it's ok to tell them you're proud of their accomplishment or even their dedication. They'll likely play modest and may seem a bit uncomfortable but on the inside they're feeling like a 4 year old who just scored their first soccer goal. Our society doesn't say things like "I'm proud of you." often enough. Break the trend. Do not say "You're crazy!" This one gets old quick. We are a little crazy, but so are you. We kind of think you're crazy for not wanting to join us for a 4 hour bike ride but we'd never tell you that. We understand we can be seen as extreme.
  3. What made you get into *running/biking/swimming/etc.? Again, another open ended question that shows you care and allows them to talk a little bit about their past. In many (but not all) cases, running to an ultramarathoner is their life and probably means more to them than their career. Just like it's acceptable to say "Why do you love being a teacher?", it's ok to ask why they run. But please don't phrase it as "Why would you do that?" That just makes you rude and puts ultramarathoner on the defensive. Their inevitable anger or annoyance towards you will likely fuel an excellent run though.
  4. It's not my thing, but good for you! This is a good one for people you may have just met or don't know particularly well. Stating that it's not your thing lets them know not to go into weird, gross and sometimes disturbing detail of training and what it does to their bodies but it also tells them that you're not judging them for it. This also implies that you in fact have a thing and that opens the door for them to ask questions about you. Do not say "I'd never do that!"For starters, never say never. But it also kills the conversation. Can you think of a good response to that? Because I can't. Again, we know an Ironman is extreme to an outsider but would you want someone saying that about your sewing hobby? You love sewing! In your head you can't imagine what people do who don't love sewing! If someone proclaimed they'd never do it, you'd probably take offense. It would be like someone criticizing your haircut. It's just plain rude.
  5. I just don't think I'd be interested in doing that. That's your polite way of saying to the endurance athlete STFU. There are those of us who just can't shut up about our cause. There are some who can't stop inviting you to join on their mission to rid the world of 5k walks and 1 mile fun runs because we should all be doing 100 mile trail rides. If this person is just a jerk then feel free to be a jerk right back to them. But if you can tell it's at least with good intent. This simple phrase is succinct and clear enough that they should get the point. If they insist, something like "Look, I've walked a 5k for Alzheimer's before but if you come at me one more time with that half marathon registration form I'm going to papercut the F out of each and every one of your fingers." might be acceptable. Please, for the love of God, DO NOT say "I can't run because of my knees." or any variation of that phrase. There are people with really bad knees out there who really can't run. There are people with really bad knees who run anyway. If you don't want to run, just be honest and say "I can't run because I don't want to." Gotcha. Runners all have bad knees. Swimmers all have a bad shoulder. When you get specific like "bad knees" the endurance athlete will almost always try to find a way to rescue you. "You know, you could try cycling. It's much lower impact on the joints." or "Swimming is great if you have trouble with weight bearing exercises." We want everyone to love what we do or at least to love something as much as we do. You see, we know we're kind of nuts and we subconsciously want to make everyone as nutty as we are so we don't feel like weirdos. You also leave the door open with phrases like "Oh my bad hip" because you're implying that if you had good hips you'd be right out there with us stride for stride. Most of us like training buddies.
*BONUS* Everybody loves a little bonus right? Here's one thing to never ever ever say to your endurance athlete friend. Or any endurance athlete ever. Did you hear about that guy who died doing what you're about to do? We know a lot about whatever extreme feat we are about to complete. We know more about it than you do. In fact, we know which guy you're talking about and know of 7 more guys and 3 women who also died. We don't care. I don't think there's a single endurance athlete who would think I'm going to do a marathon and didn't know the first guy died after he did it. I also don't think you're changing a lot of minds with your death talk. People die driving cars, crossing the street and sitting on their couches. This question just makes you a douche.

These are just opinions. There could be endurance athletes out there who feel the complete opposite of me and there are probably a lot of them who have problems with me calling myself an endurance athlete since I'm sort of a fraud. But either way, here are some general guidelines if you find yourself unsure. Stay tuned for the wallet sized card I'll be handing out for quick reference when you're under pressure.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Life is Awesome

Do you ever just wake up, take a big breath of fresh air and feel totally grateful to be alive?

Ok, so I don't. But I also don't wake up wishing I hadn't anymore and that is certainly something to be grateful for. You see, I went through a very long, very dark phase in my life where every day was not a blessing, I couldn't enjoy a pretty day and I begged the earth to swallow me whole. I had things on the horizon and did a pretty damn good job of faking every normal human emotion so no one knew what was going on. The only one I didn't have fooled was myself and unfortunately at that time, mine was the only voice I heard and the only opinion that mattered.

Without going into detail I'll just say that there was a point when I hit rock bottom. And as I sat there and finally felt solid ground under me I realized that I was no longer falling. What was more important was I realized the true benefit of rock bottom, the ability to put your feet on the ground. When I was no longer falling, no longer flailing and allowed myself to hit the bottom it allowed me to feel what I needed to feel, cry as much as I needed to, yell as loudly as I could and feel totally empty. Do you know what's great about that? I released all I needed to and for the first time in years planted my feet and stood up. I felt solid and strong. My legs were supporting me and I finally had the ground and stability I needed to walk and eventually run to where I needed to be.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, don't worry. I'm not entirely sure either. But what I do know is that for the first time in my life I'm actually happy to be alive every single day. Even when my life is bad, it's still great. This isn't one of those "and then I found God" or "running changed my life" posts because I'm not going to try to explain or give credit for the change. I don't want to or care to because all that matters is that it happened. For whatever reason.

If you feel like you're sinking, falling, flailing or failing, I invite you to let it happen. Let your butt crash into the ocean floor because once you're down there hopefully you'll see that it's not as bad as it seems. When the worst thing you thought could happen happens and you're still there to tell about it, what else is there to be afraid of. Take your time standing back up because when you're at the bottom you'll have the ground to steady you.

So there's your break from my normal blah blah marathon blah. Maybe it wasn't worth the read and if so, I'm really sorry to waste your time. As an apology, here's a picture of my dog and cat.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Long Weekend Long Run

See what I did there?  As everyone else is discussing the long weekend I went with discussing my long run. Oh Marathin Monster. You have consumed my entire being.

After a very successful Track Tuesday I sat on the couch never to run again. That's a lie. But I didn't run again the rest of the week. Saturday the plan was to hit the always scary 16 mile mark for the long run. Why I had such a hard time getting out of bed I will never know. But I peeled myself from bed, stumbled along in the dark cursing as I stepped on random bits of things (wood floors hold a tremendous amount of debris) and made it to the kitchen for breakfast. Close to 7am Autumn sent me the text I always secretly wish she will send saying she couldn't run. I was disappointed initially but upon letting my dog outside and closing the door sweating I didn't feel too bad about the decision to skip. I tried to lay back down on the couch but no real luck falling asleep so I got on Facebook to see a post from the Bardstown Rd Farmer's Market! I always miss my favorite Saturday morning Farmer's Market because of that pesky long run so I found my perfect opportunity. They opened at 8 so I headed out and made a killing with $25. I then went over to Paul's Fruit Market to supplement what I didn't get at Batdstown Rd and headed home. Less than $50 later I had a pretty insane spread of quality produce! That's all it takes my friends. I love produce and as a self proclaimed yet undisputed Produce Snob I am very particular about where I shop. After I got home I had a lot of excess energy which I guess had appeared for the run so I went ahead and washed, sliced and packed everything so it would be ready for grab and go juicing. I know cutting into it can pull some of the nutrients out but it's hard to find the time to juice daily if I have to wash and cut everything every morning. If I have to do that everyday it just doesn't happen.



Sunday seemed even hotter than Saturday and since Autumn had worked Friday and Saturday night we scrapped the run again. No worries though because this is where the long weekend part comes into play. It was like a magical extra 24 hours designed solely for the miles I fully intended to run before my return to work! This morning I was up at 5 for breakfast and tried the whole long run process again. By the time we were ready to run I was feeling pretty apprehensive because I've been having some mysterious pain in my left leg. Once we started running it started to hurt pretty bad but since our first interval always sucks I continued on. By the second interval it was still hurting and I became irrationally angry (the Monster part of Marathon Monster) and started spewing about how much my body hated me for absolutely no reason and that I was doing everything right and it was just being ungrateful. See why I'd make an excellent mother? I concluded that I was only going to run 10 and since next week is another 16 (Why?) I would do it then.

By mile 3 I'd sorted myself out and decided I was doing 16 even if it took me all day which it practically did. On the bright side, early into the run I had to stop at Starbucks to pee! My train has been parked in hydration station so it's quite nice to see it working. We ran from Seneca Park down to the Waterfront and if you know Louisville, that seems like it should be far. It was not. Just over 6 miles. WHAT?! How has it not been 8 miles yet???? On the other bright side (almost all sides were bright at this point) the Mayor's Hike, Bike and Paddle event was about to start. It's a cool event where the Mayor encourages the city to come out and be active. There's yoga, zumba, tai chi and as you can imagine, hiking, biking and canoe/kayak paddling. Even better, it's all FREE. So since we were down there we snagged some free t-shirts and other swag before attempting to fill up the water bottles. Except the fountains weren't working. WHAT?! The things that outraged me this morning...anyway we continued along the trails by the river and found some water fountains that were working and filled up, hit the 8 mile mark and turned back. Somehow within like a half mile I drank almost all of my water so we turned to go back to the water fountains before hitting no man's land on the way back to Seneca. Somehow we got lost doing exactly what we'd just done (thanks runner brain) and decided to figure it out along the way. We did make a stop at the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen on Frankfort Ave. around mile 11 when I couldn't take the thirst anymore. Did I fill up my water bottle with faucet water from the bathroom? Yes I did. It was either that or a puddle. By mile 12 or 13 we were still feeling pretty good which translates to great by long run standards and I attribute that to my nutrition being on point. I'll write about my personal nutrition soon enough but today was one of those perfectly executed moments where I took in all my calories right on time. After that magical 13.1 mark I got into my own head just a little bit for just a second and was really wishing I were done but for the most part the run after mile 3 was all positive. There was more walking that I would have liked but it was all pretty necessary. I wanted to finish still standing and I do have to go to work tomorrow. I refilled my bottle one more time when we got back to the park (I was in for like 48 ounces by this point!) and literally before we knew it we were done! 16 miles. Like a boss. I refilled again so I'd have water for the road and did some stretching which was excruciating then hopped in the car for home.



As I sat in my ice bath eating a fruit roll up and chatting with The Colonel we decided to assess the damage of the day's events. Basically all the usual culprits except for the return of sore toenails (this apparently happens at 16 miles but not 14), a really jacked up left leg and a chafed arm from rubbing against the seam of my shirt. How random. And yes, The Colonel sat in the bathroom and chatted with me as I shivered in the bathtub. This is a normal relationship.

I will unfortunately miss tomorrow's Track Tuesday due to this run...and because of whatever I've done to my leg but as Autumn said during my meltdown this morning, "In the grand scheme of getting to the start line is speed work really all that important right now?" The track workout was definitely fun and I will be incorporating it into my routine but maybe not right now. Increasing mileage and increasing speed just seems like asking for trouble which I'm not interested in.

So what about you? What did you get into this weekend?