Friday, August 31, 2007

... you got to run with it

That was the thought going through my head last night at Pauly's Thursday night race. Here I am, finding a nice stride as I'm going along the Boston side of the Charles and I see a woman discussing what's wrong with her body with a friend.

I thought for a second about my body - the belly that just never went away after having kids, the excess weight, the chest many women pay good money for that I was "gifted" with naturally, etc. and all I could think in the moment was, "Well, this is the body I have so I guess I have to run with it...."

Funny the things that pop in our head when we're running.

I did pretty well last night considering I rolled my ankle about 1.25 miles into the 2.6 race. It was my own fault, it was dusk and I wasn't paying attention and missed a piece of curbing. I should know better. It happened just as I was about to take a walk break. I took the walk break, refusing to hobble, and continued running when the walk break was over. It wasn't ideal, but it wasn't too bad. I ended up finishing in under 32 minutes - which is about 3 minutes longer than I wanted to be out there but not bad overall. I put it up and iced it immediately and took some advil. When I got home I wrapped it and took a little more advil before going to bed.

It should be fine by Monday's 5 mile race, but it also means I'm not going for a run today as I originally planned. I might venture out for a short one tomorrow to see how it does.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Purple Haze

Today I felt like I was running through fog. It's only in the mid-70's but it's 81% humidity and I didn't think I'd make the 4 miles today. In fact, my pace was a full minute slower than a week ago running the same route.

I hate running in this kind of weather.

Wisely I'm using intervals for running now - 5 minutes running/3 minutes walking. When I can cover 8 miles, I'll adjust the timing but it seems to be a good set for my current level. It helped me get through the wall of humidity this morning.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Brie Burger in Paradise

First of all, I got a new running shirt. I figure a Pikagirl needs a Pikashirt - so when I took Mr. Pi into Hot Topic for back-to-school shopping, I never expected to find a shirt for me. Yet there it was, on sale. So while I may not be young, blonde and thin, I did wear it with my black running skirt and got compliments as well as a couple "Where did you get that?" squeals.

I really am enjoying the Marsh Post races this season - even these big ones with a ton of people. Tonight was the 4.2 mile Brie Burger in Paradise which included beer and a Buffett cover band along with the post-race cookout.

I wasn't sure how I'd do with the 4.2 mile distance. When I did the Reggae Ramble a couple of months ago, I wanted to bail because it was so hot out. Tonight it was cool, but it was really humid. I decided I would use the interval timer on my watch and run for 5/walk for 3 for the distance.

Now these races have a bit of a funky start. Hundreds of people and a two lane foot path along the Charles can be a bit harrowing, especially when you throw in kids on scooters chasing their folks, people with dogs and jogging strollers along with runners of all calibers. As Pauly, the race director says, it is what it is and I learned where I can start that has me far enough back so that I avoid the bulk of the pack. It's not perfect and the first walk break was a bit harrowing (I made sure to get as far to the right and that there was no one directly behind me before I walked), but after that the path widens and the crowd opened up enough that I was fine. My timing was good enough that I hit my walk break just as I got to the water stop.

All in all, I ran a 50:50 race for just over a 12 minute/mile pace - which I'm very happy with tonight.

Off to see if the rain delay has let up on the game. I hope it doesn't start too late, I don't want to fall asleep on the couch and miss most of it. :(

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Attitude, New Look

I miss my old running path. I thought about that the other day after running the big mambo hill and then, later in the day, driving past the path on my way to do errands. So there was only one thing to do: get a new attitude.

But how do you mark a new attitude? I'm not buying new clothes... well, OK, a couple of things the other day when I was running errands - but that wasn't like changing my style. As I pulled my hair off my face (yet again) as the youngest asked if I could take him in for a haircut this week, I realized what I needed to do.

I pulled my hair back and then measured 12" up from the bottom and put in a second elastic and said, "Let's go." I sat down in the chair at the hair place and told her to chop it off just above the second elastic.

"Are you donating your hair?" she asked. I told her I was, so she measured again to be sure and then hacked off my pony tail.

My hair went from waist length to shoulder length in less than a minute and today I'm mailing my tail to locks of love.

Today when I ran up the big mambo hill, I had a dinky little tail bobbing along behind me but it felt all right. I still ran a 12:29 mile (which ain't bad considering I walked 6 minutes of my 3 mile run today), but I feel lighter and some kid out there will feel better as a result and you can't beat that feeling with anything.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Big Hill Mambo

This is the profile of the hill I ran this morning - it was one big ass hill to run on a Sunday morning after laying off for a while. I am learning certain things about hill running like - if you live at the bottom of the hill, the good news is the uphill is at the beginning of your run. Then, after you run down to the bottom of the hill, you can sort of run around the base of the hill to get back to your starting point rather than having to run back over the hill.

Also, even though it feels like you're going slow, your legs feel pretty strong - until you stop and you realize you resemble the wiggly leg guy from the Kliban cartoon.

But I ran 3.68 miles of that this morning at around a 12:30 pace, which works for me. I'll get at least one more of the big ass hill runs in this week before the Brie Burger in Paradise on Thursday - you know, something to make me think running 4.2 miles on a relatively flat course is a treat.

But for now I'm feeling sweaty and hungry so I think I'll take a shower and grab some breakfast.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back in the Game

Tonight I ran in one of the Thursday night 2.6 milers to see where I was at after taking a month off. I managed to finish in 32 and change - for just over a 12 minute pace... which I'll take. At the half way point I walked for 5 minutes and then I walked for about 3 minutes more just before the final sprint to the end, so I'm certainly feeling pretty good about where I'm at.

Next week is the duathlon, but I'm only going to do the run. I'm also going to lay out a training schedule for the week and get cracking. The Brie Burger 4.2 miler is in 2 weeks and I'd like to be able to run the whole thing or do it with scheduled run/walks the whole way.

But right now I"m happy because I'm back in the game and feeling pretty good about it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First There is a Sidewalk

then there is no sidewalk, then there is...

Don't ask me why Donovan's "Mountain" was stuck in my head this morning over the Stevie Wonder on the iPod, but it was. Perhaps because I now live on a road where the sidewalks are there and then gone and then there again - thus first there is a sidewalk then there is not sidewalk then there is ... but no snails upon my garden or a Juanita to call her name.

It was the first time I've run in a month because my life was consumed with pack, move, unpack, repeat until the other day. The good thing about being able to move in early was that I could bring over things, settle them and then go to the old place and do it again until the day the big men with a truck showed up to cart over everything else.

Unfortunately, it also gives a somewhat false sense of feeling done when there's still much, much more to do. Add a pair of in-laws with an RV pulling into your driveway as you're finishing cleaning the old place and unpacking big stacks of boxes and it was a fun time for all.

The other thing with moves is odd things go missing... like your left running shoes. There are the right ones sitting there in the closet waiting for their mates who are hiding in a box labeled "kitchen" down in the kitchen.

I now need to find new routes. Since I'm at the bottom of a big hill, this means hill work is now part of my regular routine and no longer just for days I need a challenge or to feel as if I've accomplished anything.

Since it's been a month, I promised myself that if I got up and went for a run, I could just run up to the end of the street and back, which would be just over a mile. Two steps into my run I breathed a sigh of relief like I was home. A minute into my run I realized this wasn't going to be as hard as I thought.

Don't get me wrong - ascending 90 feet in less than 3/4's of a mile and back down again isn't a walk in the park, but it wasn't the dreaded killer I feared it would be either.

In the end I ran 1.37 miles (according to map my run) in under 16 minutes for an 11:37 pace. I can easily live with that. Better yet, I have the feeling it is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.