Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One for the money, two before snow

I wanted to get a quick run in this morning, which usually means a mile up a big mambo hill and a mile back down. Not a happy thing as it's a big freakin' mambo hill.

OK let me put it to you this way, I usually train on Heartbreak Hill and this hill basically goes up the same height, only in a shorter distance so the grade is much steeper than Heartbreak.

I wanted to get out early because it was supposed to rain around noon time, so by 8 am I was in my tights and under armor shirt and running up the hill. I got to the top, turned around and came back because I had a 9:30 appointment, I still have to pull together the turkey day shopping list (even though I bought the turkey yesterday) and meet with the teacher of my tutoree to see where she is vs where the student is and prepare this weekend for our first session next week.

Oh yeah, did I mention I'm also learning some ASL because apparently this girl had some speech problems at one point and sometimes uses signs as she speaks to make sure she's understood. So in order to understand, I guess I need to learn some basic ASL that doesn't include obscene gestures.

It was cold out there and I was worried that it wouldn't rain, but rather snow and sure enough, by the time I got home, showered and went back out the door for appointment #1, the snow was starting to come down. By 10:30 it was starting to tick. While it shouldn't be a significant snow fall, it's still covering parts of the ground. Welcome to New England.

In the meantime I discovered something new and interesting today (and to the RWOL folks that actually read this - my apology for carping on this discovery yet again) - we have a Narnia lamp post in the woods between our house and the neighbors' house.

How cool is that? I never noticed it before because of the leaves. I'll take a picture of it later.

The not cool discovery... OK, well maybe it's cool sort of: the squirrels started eating the pumpkins on my front step. *sigh* Not little bitty bites but ginormous chunks of my pumpkins are now gone.

Well, we'll see what the weather does. Tomorrow is suppoed to be close to 60 and I have a 3 miler planned. I survived today's hill and the cold, so hopefully tomorrow will be more pleasant (and less steep).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Four More Down

Yesterday I was scheduled to go for a 4 mile run and a tight schedule. The compromise was to head into the gym first thing in the morning to run on the treadmill. Not ideal, but at least I'd get a run in and a steady pace.

Worst of all, because of scheduling it means the health club where I'd get the 360 degree view of my ass. How joyful!

Well, that was not to be because all the treadmills in the women's gym were taken, leaving me to head into the main room where all the jocks use the various machines with lots of groans and sweat (and never wipe anything down when they're done... ick!). I took up the open treadmill in front of the set with CNN on and push the buttons to get going.

I was surprised at how easy it was to just keep running on the treadmill. That whole sort of motorized steady pace really does help, but I also began to feel certain changes in myself as well. I'm remember how to breathe again when I run, something you think would be somewhat innate but apparently isn't. That leads to being able to run longer with less walking breaks.

My legs are starting to feel stronger again and I've noticed my calves seem to be strengthen up again and that shivery feeling I get when my legs are feeling weak seems to be going away.

I'm going to up my mileage a little this week - squeezing in an extra, but shorter, run on Wednesday. Gazelle Boy and I are thinking about doing the Fried Turkey 5k on Thanksgiving.

Which reminds me - remember to do something nice for the police and fire fighters that will be working on Thanksgiving while we're gathering together to feast. In fact, these will be the same people helping to put out the fires caused by idiots with no clue trying to deep fry turkeys. About 11 years or so back, Gazelle Boy decided we needed to make cookies to cheer up the police that had to work on Thanksgiving and it's become an annual tradition ever since for our family.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A better run

Today I went out for a 3 mile run and ended up going a little extra to make it closer to 3 1/3. I ran the same route as Sunday, but this time rather than feeling discouraged, I felt energized. I have to admit part of what helped was today's mix on the new iPod.

Now because the old iPod worked mostly, I had no idea that there were certain things that I was missing out on, like a fully charged battery and being able to listen while it was charging. Who knew? Apparently not me.

Unfortunately iTunes is not communicating with Nike+ right now so my challenges will be missing a run (or more) until they find a way to talk again.

But while I was running, the "Running Inspired" play list made a difference. Now I know there are lots of folks who don't see why folks run with music. I get it, really I do; however, I need that steady beat and lyrics to grab my attention and lift up my spirit. It is who I am.

Sometimes the beats carried me through, sometimes the lyrics, sometimes my thoughts as I filter everything else out - that is often the case when I'm running. What makes it even easier is that, since I'm currently running for 6 minutes and walking for 3, I can keep track even when I do things like forget my watch (as I did today). I can say to myself, "I'll walk when I get to the end of 'Tessie' and run when the song after that is winding up...."

The bottom line is that it got me through today and today was the first day where running wasn't a scary chore but rather something I love to do. It was a good feeling.

I don't know if I'll race next Thursday, if not I will at least go out for a 5k run. In the meantime, I'm planning a long run Sunday morning and maybe a quick run tomorrow.

It feels good to be back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The land of almost new

The other day I did go out for a 3 mile run. It was a tough one too. Not in terms of terrain or anything like that, in fact it was one of the flatest runs I've done in a while. It was hard work and I'm not used to 3 miles being hard work. I'm used to going out for 3 without really thinking about it but to have to really push through that second mile made me want to cry.

When I passed the Johnny Kelley statue, I could almost hear him telling me to stop be such a cry baby. I pushed myself to jog along as the dog walkers, marathoners and others passed me in both directions on Comm Ave. Because I tend to leave my iPod in shuffle mode these days, just as I was contemplating walking the rest of the way, the song "Don't Give Up" by Moshav Band came up for play.

It was what I needed to hear in that moment. It also made me realize I probably need to put together a play list of songs that make me happy or inspire me to get through the next month or so as I rebuild my base. I know 3 miles will be easy again and maybe I just needed to remember that it wasn't always the case.

When I got home, I couldn't turn off my iPod.

So today I made an appointment at the local genius bar where I ended up going through the process of swapping out my old Nano for the same generation/model as before. (The new ones are just a hair too seductive and I think if the Apple genius had said something like, "Well, we'll upgrade you to a new one for only..." I would have said, "OK.")

At least now I have a "new" iPod to keep me in sync with my new running. It meant postponing today's run because by the time they were finished going through the paperwork and such, it was time to get home for boys. So I cleared my slate for tomorrow morning and will go out first thing and try for 3 again instead of the 2.5 I was going to go for today.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yesterday's 2 miles

This is what a 2 mile run looks like to me these days.

I did it, I survived and tomorrow I'll do it again. My ankle and I had a little chat last night about what is expected of it from now on and it seems to be cool with things. In the mean time, I'm trying to find a Thanksgiving race to do.