That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Couch-bound ramblings, blast from the past and a reminder for me

I. Am. Feeling. Like. Crap.

I can't tell for sure what it is, but I have some guesses, and when I have guesses, I figure that the answer is probably a little bit of every one of them.

Causes of feeling like crap:

  • Drastic long run increase to 20 miles and my body wondering WTF I did/WTF I will try to make it do next
  • All the kids are back to school swapping germs and now my immune system has to go to work again! Indeed, two of the clients/families I saw today mentioned feeling under the weather. I don't know if it was the power of suggestion or legit, but suddenly my lymph nodes feel puffy and my throat doesn't want to swallow effectively. (I'm very susceptible to suggestion btw. Supermarket displays and infomercials are made for people like me. I have a suspicion that I would make the best hypnotism subject ever.)
  • Work has been kicking my butt. My schedule has been earlier this week than usual, with some late nights still in there. Lots of mental stress in general due to various things.
  • I haven't been eating much since the 20 mile run, not even that day. Partially laziness, partially difficulty getting a lot of food in myself while I'm working all day (no lunch break and my office is my car), partially the fact that I'm a grazer anyway, but I think that style isn't letting me get enough in my system.
Probably just a bad combo. I fought and fought with myself tonight, but I decided to skip the biking group. I'm usually tailing them anyway, and I don't have the energy to do top speed tonight. Plus the weather is hot and muggy and icky again, just when I thought it was over. (In the 60s yesterday, perfect for jeans, a light sweater, and a pumpkin latte. Today: 90 and sticky. WTF, Ohio, WTF.)

Trying to listen to my body, not beat myself up about being tired. I just am. Maybe I don't need a good reason. Maybe I just need to stop for a minute and plant my butt on the couch tonight. I look back at a lot of my good runs and my fastest runs, and they were done after periods of rest and during periods of low mileage. I don't need to wear myself out to run well.

Anyway.....when I'm tired, I get neurotic. Way neurotic, to the point where the husband is well tuned-in and when I start getting irrational and bitchy and teary-eyed, he turns to me and says, "Just get some sleep already!" and I do. So I'm lying on the couch trying to be a good runner and take a rest day, and my brain starts going nuts with all its thoughts of how inadequate I am and how I wish I could run faster and how I haven't improved so much after all and I'm reading old blog entries trying to prove to myself that I have improved, I have I have I have, and then I find this one:

(Posted it in its own paragraph so it doesn't get lost amongst the ramblings.)

THAT is what this marathon is about. Not a goal time or pace. Not speed. Not anything else other than the fact that it wasn't all that long ago that running 26.2 miles seemed utterly ridiculous. Not something I would ever do, EVER. It was something that pro runners and people with freakish genetic structures would do. I didn't even think about it or lament about it - it was just a fact that I was not a marathon runner. Like something in an encyclopedia or on Jeopardy. "Not ever going to be capable of running 26.2 miles in one stretch." "Who is Kate, Alex?"

In less than three weeks, I will be doing it. I will be doing something that used to seem so much bigger than me. Somewhere along the line, amongst spending so much time associating with people who eat marathon medals for breakfast, I've completely forgotten that. I need to keep that awe and wonder and that spirit of fun and awesomeness and savor every second of it for what it is. Forget how many of those seconds there are. This is it. This is me achieving the impossible.

Also....I am STILL raising money for GOTR this time around!!! Fundraising page here!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

20 mile run recap!

First of all, the disclaimer is that I am not training the recommended way that one trains for a marathon. I increased the length of this long run by almost five miles from my longest run to date, since I skipped my 17-18 miler. I wish I coulda/woulda trained a little more, but at the same time, it may have done me in and caused another injury.

Anyway, yesterday was the long run - the 20. The most mentally grueling, dreaded, scary part of marathon training. I decided that 18 would be good enough, but I really wanted to hit that 20. To me, running 20 miles would be the ultimate test of whether I would really be able to complete a marathon without nearly killing myself in the process - something I've struggled with doubting for the last few weeks.

I went downtown to start the run, because I live uphill from everything, and there's just no way to do a 20 mile run solely in my suburb without doing multiple loops, and I hate loops. It's a total mental thing with me; I think, "I already ran this once, I'm not doing it again!!" So running 20 would mean leaving my neighborhood, and having to end the run with 2-3 miles of uphill to get back. Wasn't going there with a 20 mile run.

I passed the running spot group on my way downtown, running the same way I was about to run. It must've been the fast group, because they were all booking it. I saw Coach Joe and Coach Sarah and nobody else that I recognized. Yup - fast group! Parked the car, took a deep breath, and took off. At turtle pace. Go back and watch the Tosh.0 clip I posted. Slow Motion Girl - it was my goal to look like that. (Well, not necessarily in terms of gorgeousness, definitely not in terms of boob bounciness, but in terms of running speed!) It felt good and easy and while I felt slow (especially when there were a lot of FAST runners out that morning) it was easy to feel nice and relaxed. Plus, the weather was PERFECT.

I'll spare you all the details, but the highlights - it wasn't awful. It got harder as I went, but I kept the same 11 and change pace for the majority of the run. The main problem was boredom. That's just a long time to be doing anything, and I had nobody to talk to. The sun came up and got a bit hot. I found myself talking to bunnies along the trail without realizing it. At one point, I realized I was singing along with Pink and hadn't even noticed. My hydration/nutrition plan seemed to work great - sip of water at every mile, shot blok at every 3. I'm wondering if I wouldn't benefit from a little more nutrition - maybe add some gels, too, or gatorade instead of water - but I'm not sure if I was feeling tired from running or more from being bored!

13.1 miles in (2:28), I stopped at UDF to refill my water bottle and get some ice. I shoveled it into my bra in front of two somewhat amused men, one of whom warned me that I would probably go into shock. I would say post-13 was the most difficult part of the run. I slowed way down. The heat could've been partially to blame. At any rate, I kept telling myself to get to 3, get to 3, and then at 3 I wanted to be DONE. So I switched to a 5/1 Gallowalk. It helped a lot, although it got super annoying staring at my Garmin. Time was going sooo slowly. I finished my 18 mile route, got to my car, and almost almost almost decided to be done there....but I really wanted that 20. So I took a little bit of a break, switched out water bottles (I'd stashed a frozen one in my car - smart move, since it was thawed but nice and chilly!) and took off in the opposite direction through the downtown parks. My last two miles were actually easier than the previous two, even though my ipod died at 18.5. I was able to run a little faster and go a little longer between walk breaks. For the last half mile, I just kept repeating, "Get to 20, get to 20, get to 20!"

End result was that I didn't feel half bad. Sore and tired for sure, but better than last week after the half, which tells me that maybe I could've gone a little faster. I think that on race day, when I'm not all by my lonesome, I'll be better off mentally. Hopefully it'll be a little cooler. Plus, I'll walk at the water stops, and I think that'll conserve some energy - I was drinking while running and didn't actually take a walk break at all until 3 hours in.

At one point, I wanted to do a 4:30 marathon. I think I could, easily, if I had gotten more training in. This time, I'm primarily trying to finish, but I'd like to do it in under 5. My plan is to try to run with the 4:45 pace group for a while and re-evaluate around mile 20. I think that's doable, and that will give me some people to commiserate with. I'm also feeling better about my ability to do this. I was told (by one of the all-knowing advice-givers on the internet, of course) that I would probably re-evaluate doing a marathon after I attempted to run 20 miles. NOPE. I have no reason to - it felt pretty good. Physically, it felt better than I thought it would; mentally, it felt worse, but the mental part is easy to fix.

The plan after this is to get some new shoes, hopefully some that are better for my areas of injury proneness. I noticed recently that my current setup is overcorrecting my weakness - I usually roll my feet way in, but now, I'm actually running on the outside of my feet, and I don't think that's good either. I'd also like to be able to wean off the calf sleeves without hurting myself. All this is to be addressed post-marathon, as I'm not changing a single thing beforehand!!

Come January, I think I'll try training with the Pig group again. Hopefully as long as I keep running during the fall, I'll be in a good place to step up the run frequency and mileage. My speed improved a lot last time I ran with them; I may go for a slower improvement this next time, but I should be able to really PR when I do the Pig in May. This time, I'm just setting up my time to beat!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How normal people view marathons

This clip is HILARIOUS. Ignore the first 30 seconds. They're not funny and it's pretty a-hole-ish to laugh at the clip. But Daniel Tosh's monologue about marathons is pretty freaking funny. And then the treadmill marathon is pretty much genius.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Question of the day

Why are people on running/athlete forums such assholes when you ask for advice??? Third time this has happened to me, third forum, third training-related question I've asked. I know, fool me once, shame on you...blah blah. I guess I'm done asking anyone in the online running community for advice. EVER.

Seriously....all I wanted to know was how to plan my remaining long runs/taper. And responses I got included "FAIL." "You're (sic) marathon is going to suck." <---to which I replied with equal snark that my marathon would not suck worse than her English skills, and that I am not, in fact, a marathon. Umm...someone said that I have low pain tolerance (HAHAHA and WTF)...basically a lot of unhelpfulness.

Asshole runners can suck it. OVER IT.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Little Miami Half Marathon - race recap

First of all, I really really really thought I'd have to let this one go. In the days following last week's 5k, I HURT. For a couple of days, it hurt to walk. It hurt when I woke up in the morning. I was rolling my left foot to the outside so it didn't hurt. It HURT to go down stairs. I vented on an online forum and was basically told to hang up my marathon dreams for a while. (That forum will remain nameless. Things got a bit dramatic, and I will say, I responded rather bitchily at times myself, so I'm not blameless.)

Needless to say, this past week I've pretty much been a wreck. I bawled my eyes out during my swimming workout Monday. Note: I do not recommend this. While nobody can tell you're crying in the pool, it gets really freaking hard to breathe in there. I biked 20 miles each on Tuesday and Wednesday and that saved my sanity a little. Thursday I worked a 12 hour day so I skipped the workout. Friday I talked my husband into walking a few miles with me. I could walk on the leg, but I was still very aware of it. Arrgh.

So Saturday, I went to the after-hours clinic at my doc's office. I was pretty sure I was going to be told NOT to run today (yeah, and you saw the title so you know better!) BUT things had been getting better. It had stopped hurting so much and had downgraded to the occasional twinge, but I had a lot of pinpoint pain, which scared the crap out of me. Pinpoint pain is not good news for a runner. Then, that morning, I was on the couch messing with it, and I realized something. I made my husband check to make sure I wasn't dreaming. "Right there, hon! Right there is where it hurts, and that is NOT WHERE THE BONE IS. That's between the bones! That's not a bone! What is that?? A ligament or something??"

My husband loves it when I drag him into crazytown with me. But seriously, that was the first time that I realized that maybe I was not making a return visit to stress fracture land.

So, the doc's office!! Yeah, he said it did not at all look to him to be anything bone related or anything that starts with the word "stress". He said I strained the...err....ligament? tendon? He told me what it was called and I know I should pay better attention....but honestly, he gave me the good news first and I was downright giddy and couldn't process everything. "So, I'm for a marathon. It's in four weeks." "Go back to training. Just be careful. Ease your way back in. Good luck." "Err, umm, I'm signed up for a half marathon tomorrow. I was just going to treat it like a training run, I swear. I'm going to run it easy. I'm slow." "OK. Just walk if it hurts." I asked him if I was doing any sort of damage by running on it, and he said no!!!

I celebrated by spending the rest of the day shopping (including getting new running shorts!) and carb-loading for dinner.

Got up early this morning. Husband decided yesterday to run the 10k - his first 10k ever! His first words this morning were, "Running sucks!!!" I was still way nervous about the leg, but I had looked up how to KT tape a calf strain, and I must say, I did a bang-up job. It looked professionally taped. I wish I could've showed it off more, but there's no way I was running without the calf sleeves today. Rode with my running buddy Jene and got there early enough for packet pickup. I had made myself a cup of coffee to go, which I had sipped on my way to the race. The point of the pre-race coffee is twofold - the caffeine boost, obviously, and to clear out the ol' colon. I've learned the hard way what happens when I run with an unclear colon, let's just say.

We were in line for packet pickup when the coffee kicked in, and not the caffeine boost part. And by the time we got out of line, before you could say "runner's trots", the porta potty lines were HUGE. Jene, Mark (that's husband - he does have a name) and I joked as we waited in line, but the jokes got a little more serious as I began to question for real whether I would make it to the potty in time. I did!! They delayed the race start due to the potty crisis, and we got there just a few minutes before the start.

We were off! My shin didn't hurt!! Actually, it felt great. It felt downright sproingy. I regretted not taping my other leg too. I had a HARD time not trying to keep up with everyone, especially my running buddy. I felt like I could run with her; I also knew that she was gunning for a sub-2:00 that totally was not in my power. Although at the beginning of that race, I felt like EVERYTHING was in my power.

I ran my first mile in 9:39. My first thought was, "yay!! fast!!" My second thought was, "That was my average 5k pace last weekend. Not back in the day. LAST WEEKEND. I probably need to slow the eff down." The problem was that I felt really good. I didn't want to slow down. My pace felt comfy and my attempts to slow down led to my second mile still being a 9:50 - still too fast. I decided not to care and just run at the pace that felt good. I ended up running right behind this guy for a while, and I told him I wasn't stalking him, I just liked his pace. But then he slowed down to a 10:30 and I ran around him.

I actually felt unhappy when my pace dropped into the 10's. I had to mentally shake myself quite a bit. TEN SOMETHING IS YOUR LONG RUN PACE, IDIOT!! THIS IS A LONG RUN!! It was still faster than I had thought I could run so comfortably. I gave myself permission to slow down because I still had a long way to go. I did - 10:08, 10:16, 10:21, 10:21. The 10:08 was still fast, considering I walked at a water stop at that mile. They had Heed. I decided to try it. That stuff is straight up nasty. I took a swig, spit it out, and backtracked for the WATER. Just after mile 6, I saw Jene on the way back. I meant to yell something encouraging like, "Go, Jene! You can do it, running buddy!" But I was feeling a little disoriented (another sign I was going too fast) and instead, I threw my hands up in the air and yelled, "woo!"

Got to the water stop at the turnaround. I recognized that I was starting to fade and asked them for a gel. Again, it was nasty. It was raspberry and gritty and left a feeling in my mouth like a fluoride treatment at the dentist. 10:36. I had a goal of doing a 10:30 pace overall and I was way ahead of that. I tried to predict my finishing time. I watched the runners headed in the opposite direction for the turnaround, and saw someone that I kinda thought looked like my blogging/daily mile buddy Christina - and she gave me a big smile and wave and said my name. Yay! We met in person! Sort of!! I was pretty jazzed. I looked down and saw that I was running an 8 something. WTF. Although by that point I had realized that the trees seemed to be screwing with my garmin, which was varying by up to a minute either way while my pace still felt the same. I think it was evening out because the distance was right, but I decided not to trust what it said for my pace at any given moment. That mile: 10:20.

And THERE was the wall. I hit it hard. My right quad locked up. It hurt. Not injury hurt, just felt tight and tired. Then the other quad joined it. Then my current injury spot tightened up. I looked down: 8.5 miles down. NOT the time for this. I was bored. The slight rain had let up and the sun was trying to break through the trees and fry me.

Basically, the rest of the race was a lot of me playing mental tricks with myself - counting songs, counting minutes, trying to get to a certain time or mile marker. It was the point in the race where time magically slows way down, so you feel like you've been running for 10 minutes and it was only 1. My walk breaks at the water stops got a little longer as it took more effort to make my legs keep running. They didn't want to. I made them. I watched my pace slow way down and decided to abandon any monitoring of my pace just to finish. I got to the last two miles and tried my best to enjoy them as a nice, easy run. THIS IS FUN, I tried to tell myself. This is fun this is fun this is fun this is fun. No, it's boring and it hurts and I want to walk. BUT THIS IS FUN.

My last three miles were 11+. The two before that were in the 10:50's. That's the part of the race that perturbs me - not that I slowed down for those 5 miles, because I was giving it all I had. Where I screwed myself was in those first few miles. I had no choice but to gradually slow down from there. I would've been happier, and not had to deal with a 5 mile strugglefest, had I gone slowly. Lesson learned: don't start out comfy. Comfy won't stay comfy for long. Start out S L O W. I want the marathon to be fun, and it won't be fun if I repeat this performance - I would've had 13 more miles of thisisfunthisisfunthisisfun.

I was passed by a few people toward the end - people who, I know, ran smarter than I did (a few that I had passed earlier on!) but largely, I had the last half of the race to myself. Just me and the orange shirt guy up ahead of me that I was following.

Anyway, I got to the finish line and this chick came out of NOWHERE and flew by me. I tried to catch her but she was absolutely flying. (My .1 was at a 9:09 pace and it felt ridiculously fast!) I knew, though, that I got my sub-2:20. I had been telling myself that for a while, and that was what kept me going. I kind of wanted to run the whole thing at a 10:30 pace, but in the end, my average pace was 10:34, and that is totally close enough.

Best news: shin/calf/ankle is FINE. It's still owie when I push on the owie spot, but it held up better than I expected during and after the race. I'm SO relieved. A little worried for the 26.2 because of the struggle today, but...I haven't ran in a week. I only logged 8 miles the week before that. (This is due to owies, not laziness!!) I totally feel like my cardio endurance is there, but my legs gave up on me. Hopefully in the next four weeks I can get them re-used to running. And I can slow down for the 26.2. And I should!!

I went home to an ice bath. I used to think ice bath people were crazy, but it feels SO GOOD and it loosened up the quads a bit. I forsee lots of stretching in my future!!

Unofficial time: 2:18. PR by 17ish minutes. I'm happy with that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

more cuteness

Huz and I after the Newtown 5k. You can see part of my much-loved Fit to Fight shirt. I'm rockin' the sweatband because I wasn't feeling like a hat or visor (it was overcast when we left the house, I regretted that a little when the sun came out) but there is still nothing worse than sweat dripping into a contact lens. Ow. We're both holding beers. (You can't see mine.) It was 10 AM. This is why I love the Newtown 5k. Also, he loves those sunglasses and he totally ran in them.

he loves me

My husband got me two of the cutest bike jerseys ever for my birthday. Here's one. (I chopped off part of my head, but that's ok, 'cuz I had sweaty helmet hair anyway!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

arrgh, not again

It SUCKS when things hurt.

It sucks especially when you're training for a marathon, and last time you trained for a marathon, things hurting was the beginning of the end of that training.

I was slightly dumb. I ran minus one calf sleeve. The next day, I went to what I thought was a strength training class, which turned out to be 15% strength training, 85% jump/step/clap crap, which was not what I should have been doing two days after doing a long run minus a calf sleeve. The next day, I ran, even though I was hurting a little.

Now I hurt. My good shin hurts. It hurts when I walk, although it's not nearly nearly nearly at the level of pain that I was at before. I'm skipping the long run that I was supposed to do this past weekend but didn't because of the 5k but was going to do tomorrow. I hate taking such a crucial run out of the plan, but it's better to do that and be able to run 26.2 healthy but slightly undertrained, than to force it and make everything worse. I know this. Plus, if it comes down to it, I can do a 2 week taper instead of a 3 week taper.

My plan is to not run this week. At all. It's already driving me nuts because it's perfect running weather. I will bike, I will swim, I will not run. If I feel better, I will do the Little Miami Half on Sunday. I will do it at easy training run pace, not at gunning for a PR pace. If I feel good afterwards, I will continue somewhat as planned and do my 17-18 mile run the weekend after, my 20 the next weekend, and then the two week taper. Those long runs will be as flat as I can get them to be, short of running on an actual pancake. If I do not feel good afterwards, I will......scream and cry and throw things.

I realized today that this training has been mentally taxing, I think because the fear of injury is so real and looming around every corner. I still enjoy running, I just can't wait to get the marathon done so that goal is met. The most stressful part is the fear that I won't meet it. I think next time around, marathon training will be more enjoyable, since I'll be armed with the knowledge that I can indeed run that distance without joints and bones and muscles staging a revolt. <---I can. For real.

In the shin needs some good vibes. PLEASE.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

good vibes needed

Cross your fingers for my left shin/ankle. It's just angry enough with me to have me a little worried. I really want to be able to get my long run in this week (aiming for Monday or Tuesday) and to give the Little Miami Half next Sunday a good effort. Of course, I'll adjust those plans accordingly, but hopefully I can get it to calm down. I'm also, of course, fairly terrified of injuring myself in the next month pre-marathon; at the same time, my training plan is so low mileage that I really really feel like I can't be skipping any of the long runs now.

Incidentally, the right shin (formerly known as the bad one) feels good enough to go run a marathon right now. Sigh!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

1 down, 29 to go

First thing checked off my 30 while 30 list!

Newtown 5k official time: 29:51. 8/20 age group, 161/243 females, 509/670 overall.

Is it just me, or do those stats mean this race has a pretty fast crowd??? :) Actually, I know it does, because a lot of the local cross country teams use it as a pre-season race. There were 96 people in the male 15-18 age group alone, and the slowest one was 22:53. This race is pretty much always led by a pack of shirtless teenage boys.

That also means I shaved 9 minutes off my 2009 Newtown 5k time, and over 4 off my 2010 time. And of course, I got my sub-30.

I ran it a wee bit conservatively, I think. I lost a calf sleeve before my 15 mile run last weekend, and so my good leg went naked. Consequentially, all this past week my good leg has become my bad leg. I took an extra rest day, which I think I needed mentally as well. While a birthday run sounded great, a birthday extra hour of sleep followed by a nap after work was more beneficial.

The sleeve has since magically resurfaced in the washer.

Anyway, this race was NOT worth hurting myself; plus, it was still a bit warm for my taste. I also still am uncomfortably unaware of what my pace is/should be at various distances right now, so I really didn't have much of a pacing strategy. That was only the second running race I've done in 2011 - crazy, huh?? Of course, I couldn't run for a while, then I couldn't run fast, then I didn't want to do a race until I knew I'd worked back up to some semblance of my old speed. So all things considered, I'm pretty stoked for that race to be my first sub-30.

That's a little frustrating, though. Before the injury, I could pace myself so that my splits were within seconds of each other for 5k, 10k and 10 mile distances. I could pretty much tell you what my pace was at any point without looking. I still haven't gotten that back. So I'm waaay more likely to burn out too fast. I suppose I'll have to be patient with myself on that one. The heat and hills have made my pace so erratic anyway.

Naw, I'm mostly just stoked about my time. I really am. It's just a TINY bit frustrating to see that, as awesome as I thought that was, 500 people still did it faster! This is when I need to get that tunnel vision back, because that time is fantastic for me. I've been chasing that sub-30 for two years.

This was also the first running race I've done sans music. I've been running more and more lately without the ipod, sometimes just to do it, sometimes because I forget it or it's dead. I still love my running music, especially for long distances, but it's nice to wean myself off it a little. (I did all three tris without music - forbidden in the triathlon world!)

This was also the first race I've done with my Garmin when I really and truly had a time goal. I mean, I had the garmin for the Cinci tri, but I was just trying to survive. I had it for Food on the Run, where I kinda sorta had a time goal but I also knew I was really hurting and was well prepared to throw it out the window. Also a different feeling - and at one point, I had to give myself a mental shake and a talking-to: "Kate, quit looking at your damn garmin every five seconds already!!!" I think it really helped, though; probably because the race starts with a downhill so it's easy to get off to a pretty fast start. It was nice to be able to tell myself, "OK, you can relax; you can do mile 3 in ten minutes and still hit your goal time." (Maybe that's not so good, but again, I was going a little conservatively, and mile 3 also has the uphill version of the aforementioned it was nice not to worry that the hill would kill my time.)

Can ya tell I don't really have the personality to push myself to the breaking point in a race?? I just don't. I race at about a tempo pace - it's hard, but I can still enjoy it. Being a non-competitive type is a blessing and a curse and sometimes I wonder if I'd be faster if I were more insanely competitive. Then again, I don't LIKE being slower than people, I just don't feel like going balls out to be faster than them. Maybe I'm weird. Props to you if you even made sense of that!

Oh yeah, day before my birthday I hit a swim PR: one mile in 42:32. Didn't even mean to swim a mile that day; it just felt good.

I seriously just meant to type in my race time and stats here and then I got to rambling. Oh well!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lest you wonder why I prefer roads to sidewalks....

It's because clumsy runner + crack in the sidewalk = this:

Of course, I was also running alongside one of the busiest roads in the Cincinnati metro area during morning rush. Stay classy, ya'll. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

30 things while 30!!

*EDIT TO ADD: I have decided to keep updating this entry as I accomplish things!!*

 So generally, I try to keep this as a running-specific blog. However, I'm going to venture outside that for a minute (although a lot of this is running-related and I could argue that it's all wellness-related and, well, it's MY blog and I can do what I want!) Apparently there are a few of us in the blogosphere who are turning 30 within a couple of months of each other, which is how I came to hear about the idea of making a list of 30 things to do while you're 30. I googled others' lists for inspiration, asked a few friends, and I'm pretty happy with what I came up with. I even have three days to spare! :) So here are my 30 things, with a bit of commentary.

  1. Run a Marathon  DONE - 9/17/11
  2. Do a half Ironman
  3. Do a trail race
  4. Do a century ride
  5. Get my PCC-S license - Stands for Professional Clinical Counselor Supervisor. Technically, I'm eligible in March, and I'm currently supervising an intern at work to meet that part of the requirements. I just have to find 18 affordable, very specific hours of continuing ed. Groan.
  6. Do an unassisted pull-up - I've never. Ever. Ever. even come close. September update: I've been using the assisted pull-up machine at the gym....sometimes. I can do one with only 40 lbs to counterbalance, which is an improvement from the 60 it used to take. This is with very little actual work on my part.
  7. Do a sub-30 5k   DONE - 8/13/11
  8. Do a sub-60 10k
  9. Grow a veggie garden - Now that we have a house, I can start on this in the spring! Yay!
  10. Take swim lessons - Technically I have - when I was eight. I want to improve my form for this triathlon thing. Not that I care about placing, I'd just like to not be last out of the water again!
  11. Visit a new country - My bro-in-law is going to be deployed overseas in March and we're already talking about saving up to go visit him, my sis-in-law and my nephew. I'd tell you where, but they're not telling anyone outside of immediate family at the moment. It'll be a good trip, though, and somewhere I've never been.
  12. Pay off my car - Easy. It's due to be paid off two months after my birthday next year anyway.
  13. Donate hair to locks of love - 10 inches is the minimum. I'm not sure what that actually looks like, but my hair is a few inches past my shoulders as it is, and it grows fast, so I'm sure I'll have enough to donate this year. I'll ask for more info next time I get a trim.  September update: I asked. I could donate 10 inches right now...if I get a pixie cut, which I'm afraid will make me look like a 12 year old boy. More growing is in order.
  14. Learn to change my own oil - Always wanted to do this. Talk about a money saver.
  15. Learn to play and accompany myself on at least 3 songs - I went through a guitar phase for a while. I still have an acoustic guitar, but I all but forget how to play it. I took piano as a kid and I've talked about getting an electric keyboard for a while. Not sure if the gimpy finger will let me play guitar until it's healed, but I could probably do piano. Anyway, I think I've mentioned before, I love to sing. While I don't think I'm winning American Idol anytime soon, I've always thought it would be really fun to be able to accompany myself on some instrument.
  16. Do an out-of-town race - Dayton and Columbus don't count. If one can feasibly drive there on race morning, it doesn't count. I basically want to take a mini-vacation that includes a race.
  17. Get boudoir pics done - 'Cuz I ain't getting any younger here, people. Gotta remember what 30 looks like.
  18. Do something with wedding pics - I have scrapbooks that people got me. I have wedding pics in a box. This needs to be rectified. I need to enlist the help of a scrapbooking friend and make myself sit still for a few hours.
  19. Bench press 100 lbs for 3 reps - I can do three sets of  10 at 70 now, probably up to 85 max. I'm kinda stuck there. This means I'll have to do more strength training.
  20. Run the Flying Pig
  21. Get concealed carry permit - I do not yet own a gun, and I'm still slightly scared to shoot them, although I have. But I've talked about this for years too. September update: husband now owns a S&W .45. I have shot it and got over the panic attack caused by the loud noise it creates. I figured that was probably smart in case I ever need to use it for protection. I actually came to enjoy it. I now have a gun I can use for a CCW class if I should so choose.
  22. Ride a segway
  23. Take a belly dancing and/or pole dancing class - Who's in with me??? I guarantee that it's impossible to have less grace and coordination than I do, so you wouldn't be embarrassed!
  24. Organize school papers -  I have all my notes and handouts from grad school, still. Many of them are helpful, and I've been told to hang onto them in case licensing requirements change and/or I pursue an out-of-state license. Especially since my school wasn't accredited, I could need to prove the content of my classes. I was doing really well and got some of them organized into a notebook. The a box. I graduated 2 1/2 years ago. I should fix this.
  25. Complete a knitting project - I know how to knit, but I've only ever completed two things - a scarf for my husband that was too short (ran out of yarn and couldn't find the same type/color again) and a scarf for myself that unraveled. I haven't knitted in a couple of years now, ever since I started a blanket that, you guessed it, never got finished!
  26. Visit a new state - Possibly in conjunction with #16
  27. Visit an out-of-town friend
  28. Go vegetarian for a week - I will have to enlist my husband's cooperation since I cook 95% of the meals, but I think he'll go along with it. Honestly, though, I don't think I'll attempt it until after the USAF marathon. I'm in the training stage where I pretty much swallow everything in the fridge whole after a workout and I'm not going to try to mess with my diet that much. (It's true. Marathons take your appetite to a whole other level. Last night I ate half a sleeve of ritz, cold meatloaf, a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and then a handful of pickles. Then I made popcorn. Then Huz was eating saltines and pb so I had some too. It wasn't even after a run. It was after a measly 5 mile bike ride. You'd think I was pregnant. <--I'm not!!)
  29. Do something nice and unnecessary for myself once a month - Like manicures, pedicures, massages, etc. I actually made this vow to myself after we went on a cruise earlier in the year. I forgot it for a few months but I've done it for a couple of months in a row now. I want to keep it up.  
      1. August - mani/pedi/30 minute massage the day after my birthday
      2. September - pedi and new tattoo 
  30.  Create a signature dish - I love to cook, and I love to watch Master Chef and Hell's Kitchen and the like, where they always have to make a signature dish to present to the judges. Huz always asks me what mine would be, and I'm stumped. I have a year to figure it out. September update: I kind of have an idea to work on now. It involves comfort food and bacon.
And then I even came up with a few extras, just in case something on the list doesn't get done (although for the most part, they're very doable and realistic). These are a few I came up with that seem a little less doable in the next year, but that I still want to do in my lifetime:

Honorable mention 1: Learn to ride a motorcycle. Something I've always wanted to do, just don't know if the budget will permit a chopper this year.

Honorable mention 2: Get LASIK. Probably doable, provided that I can build my HSA back up and I don't have to blow it all on running/biking injuries again.

Honorable mention 3: Get something published. Besides this blog, I mean.

***Things I didn't think to put on the list but I accomplished this year:

9/3/11 - first urban adventure race

Friday, August 5, 2011

Time to play "Guess My Issue!"

Nah, it's not a huge issue. I've just been a bit undermotivated to exercise lately. Possible causes:

-Work has been kicking my butt lately. Like 50+ hour weeks kicking my butt.
-Doing longer and longer long runs has been killing more time and more energy.
-I haven't found any classes that I like at my new gym, and that makes me SUPER sad. :( Granted, I've only tried a couple. Their circuit classes are at times that don't work for me. (In theory, 5:30 AM COULD work, but...nah.) They only have one Yoga 2 class that I can make, and I didn't really like it. I plan to try Yoga 1, but if it's as basic as it's supposed to be, I'll just be bored. I SO miss my circuit and yoga classes at my old gym. I could cry.
-I have to go somewhere else to find a bike course where the hills don't about kill me. This involves finagling a bike into a sub-compact car. (And right now I'm driving a rental, which I'm not about to cover in bike grease like the back seat of said sub-compact car.) (In case you're wondering about that, I got rear-ended.)
-I'm overwhelmed by this multisport thing. For real. I want to do running and biking and swimming and strength training and yoga and somehow do enough of all of them...and when my brain gets overwhelmed, it tends to say screw it, don't do anything.
-I'm not actively training for a tri.
-I was OVERmotivated before, and now I'm just normal motivated.

Now that I feel super whiney, it's probably a combination of those things. I've been super dedicated to my run training, btw. I honestly wish I could run more than three days a week because it's the simplest and most satisfying exercise I do. However, I don't think I'm there. When my shins don't protest after a long, hilly, or hard run, I'll know I can run two days in a row. Right now, I'm not doing anything to push them. The protest usually clears pretty quickly and I'm gonna keep it that way.

So, should I feel guilty, should I care, should I try something different? Or should I just work out whenever I want and don't work out when I don't?