The sun may be breaking through. A little bit. Maybe. I hope.
The sun may be breaking through. A little bit. Maybe. I hope.
I think I have been kind of in denial about the fact that I actually registered for a half-marathon which is taking place in TWO WEEKS. But yesterday I received my race number in the mail and that sure woke me up fast! I was like.. umm… gulp.. WHAT did I do?!?!?
I felt like I had to decide if this was Real or not. The friend who invited me to participate said that she might end up switching over to the 5K. I am fine with doing a 5k, really, but then when I got that number in the mail, and saw the route map, I thought, oh, COULD I do it?!?
Thirteen point one miles is quite a distance. I thought I’d better check out my long-distance stamina and see what happens.
So this afternoon I went over to our lovely neighborhood lake which happens to be around 3 miles around (can be stretched to 3.5 or 5K if you take a bunch of extra side wrinkles, which I didn’t). I was all loaded up with gadgets! I had my Bodybugg on (for calories & steps), and also my iPhone which was set to Runkeeper (for distance and pace info) and for my music.
I figured I could do 2 laps and then decide. After the first lap (3 miles) I felt GREAT. Then I did the second one. After 6 miles, I felt pretty good, not BAD, but I knew that last one was gonna take some pushing. I was walking at an average of 14-14.4 minute mile, and then every so often I’d run for a few minutes, around 11-12 minute mile. That felt good.
But during that last lap, between 7-9 miles I could feel things breaking down. First my skin. I was wearing stupid socks and at one point I walked into a puddle so my feet got wet and then I got a blister. The blister really bothered me when I ran. Then my hips started feeling like old-lady hips around mile 8. The only thing that relieved them was RUNNING, but then the blister whined at me. I was pretty happy to see my car at the end of the third lap.
So, bottom line: 9 miles, 2 hours 10 minutes (average pace 14.44). My goal is to finish the half-M in less than 3 hours (15mph) so if I can keep up that pace I’m good. I felt really really tired at the end of 9, but I also felt like if I had to do 4 more I could do it. So that was really good.
I did learn:
1. I will bring moleskin, and wear better socks.
2. I will have water (water stations) and I will carry some nutrition (bars and/or Gu). I got pretty hungry around mile 8 and then after I stopped I was kind of bonky feeling. I went to a nearby store and guzzled a big bottle of Vitamin water. Then I came home and my bg was all high. Bleah.
3. I can probably do a half marathon in two weeks! Yahoozie!!!!!!
I’ve signed up for two marathons in the next couple of months! Woot! Before you get all awed and excited, let me be clear. I am NOT GOING TO RUN A FULL MARATHON. My body is not ready for that, my mind is not ready, and my schedule does not have the time to train for such an endeavor. However, I plan to:
* Complete (in some combination of locomotion, but mostly walking) a half-marathon in San Francisco on February 7th.
* RUN as part of a 4-person relay team for the Oakland Marathon (historical event! first marathon in Oaktown in 25 yrs!!!) on March 28th. I just signed us up. Go, Team Penguin! We’ll waddle our way to the finish!!
I am excited about these events. Really excited. This morning I took a beautiful mini-run (2 miles) on the beach where we are staying. I felt so exhilarated and happy. Those two miles were slow, but easy, loping. I probably averaged about a 12 minute mile. Which is quite penguinesque. But I wasn’t trying to run fast or anything, I just wanted to see if I could run. I am hoping I can triple that for the relay in a few months.
One thing I am a little nervous about is that they state that no “musical devices” are allowed. Um. I am not sure I can run without one. In fact I am pretty sure I don’t even want to try. I am already scheming how I can put a little iPod shuffle in my hair and hide it. I NEED MY MUSIC: to keep my pace, and to keep the sound of my own heavy breathing out of my ears. There’s nothing that freaks me out more than the sound of my own labored breath.
I DID complete a full marathon back in 2000, the Country Music Marathon in Nashville Tennessee. I trained with Team in Training and had great fun. What I remember back then, though, is that I was almost 20 lbs heavier than I am now, and how I thought that in order to train, I need to EAT A LOT. Of pasta (carbo loading anyone) and Steak. Ha ha ha ha. I have photos of myself in my hotel room, porking out on creme brulee, spare ribs, Krispy Kreme donuts. Wow. I probably put on 5 lbs during the months I was training. Interesting, huh? I trained as a walker and did pretty well, but I never did anything BUT walk. Not any weight training or anything, except… lots of walking.
Things feel so different now! I’m excited for these marathons. I have to talk myself down from feeling somehow “less than” because I haven’t committed to running the full length. It’s just not in the cards for me right now, or rather, I’m not CHOOSING those cards. I don’t think I have anything to prove. I am just excited to participate in these two events in ways that feel healthy and good for me.
Ah, the wisdom of the aged. (snicker)
Wednesday was my first workout back with my trainer since I’d gotten sick. I think, objectively I DID okay, and he was like, yeah, you’re doing great, this is awesome, BUT I was emotionally shaky. I do these sideways running hurdle things, two sets of ten. Usually I just do them. They feel good. On Wednesday, during the second set, when I was on #7, I felt myself looking anxiously at the clock, and wondering if I could actually make it. I did, but it brought up this crazy anxiety and grief about Not Being Able To Do something. Or having it hurt or feel hard. I know, I’ve been down this road before. But it’s my particular Achilles heel.
I think one of the reasons I really despised that girl Amanda on Biggest Loser is that I saw her as this big whinemuffin. Which is how I was much of my life. I hated myself for it, and I hated that this is how I was. And if things got hard, I’d be whimpering and moaning like a big baby. (she started doing this high pitched whining during her marathon and I just had to TURN IT OFF, it upset me so much) And I felt my whinemuffin self starting to rear its whiney little head on Wednesday. And I couldn’t stand it. I left the gym feeling really anxious and pissed off, and thought, this better change SOON.
On Thursday (yesterday) I sort of dragged myself to a Nia class. Most of the people there were like 75 years old, so it was not really this big consolation that I was able to get through the class without whining. In fact I felt rather pathetic. Also, I got there late because I was dragging my feet so much. I missed the first 15 minutes. I told myself that the consequence I was giving myself for being tardy was that I was going to take the class AFTER Nia, which is called something like Turbo Toning. It’s filled with very buff college students (no senior citizens). I always see them chomping at the bit, waiting to get in as we are finishing up our Nia. (which I’m sure looks super lame to them) It’s only a half hour class. I figured I could do it.
Well, I did it. But it was hecka hard. We used 3 and 5 lb weights for endless (it felt like) repetitions. There were a lot of variations of pushups, which I hate. So I did it. I felt a little more virtuous, but still, I did not feel happy or good because I REALLY felt like whining during that class.
This morning, I trudged back to the gym. I had a little heart-to-heart with my trainer during my stretching and warmup session. I poured out all my whiney neurosis and he listened, like the great guy that he is. He also had a bit of a devilish twinkle in his eye. He let me express all of my doubt, anxiety and whininess and then he put on my favorite Slumdog Millionaire workout mix, and we got down to it. Some of the things he had me do, I was like, you must be joking. But he was not joking, and I DID IT, and I BROUGHT IT, and it felt….. WHOOOOOOO!!
What I did today:
I did that whole circuit 2 times through. When I was done I felt like a million bucks. I loudly sang holiday tunes along with the radio all the way home. I was so pumped.
It was interesting how my head really messed me up this week. And how it turned around. Just… interesting, this mind-body connection.