Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This one's for Bama

A running friend posted she was going for the Runner's World 38 day streak challenge.  The idea is to run at least a mile a day, every day, from Memorial Day until the 4th of July.  No small feat for someone like me.

For some reason, it sounded like a good idea at the time.  I held off on my normal Sunday run and went out for a strong 2 miles Memorial Day morning.

It was a great run, everything felt good about it from the fact that I was taking 1 - 1:30 minute walking breaks after 5 or more minutes of running to the route and pacing to... well, you name it.  It all felt good.  I was pumped and ready to go.

Then I woke up this morning and thought, "Damn, I have to run today?!"  I had nightmares about it (mixed in with scenes from Kung Fu Panda 2 and the Avengers... don't ask) and this morning I looked out on a foggy day and realized there was no way I was getting out of my pjs to go for a 1 mile run.

The powers that be then took aim at me with a cosmic clue by four and smacked me the way Salty smacked that ball Saturday night into the bleachers.  There it was calling from across the room: my treadmill.

Really... a treadmill?  It's almost June and it's unplugged and folded up with my husband's glider behind it now.  Rather than risk another smack from the cosmic clue by four upside the head, I sighed and moved the glider, lowered the treadmill bed and plugged it in.  A mile later I was still cursing the powers that be, but it was done.  Day two is now in the books.  Miss Bama, this one was for you as another OFA participant.

Tomorrow I will dress and go outside because it's just not worth all that work for one mile.  On the other hand, knowing I can do that will deter me from saying it can't be done.

Two down, 36 to go.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poetry in Motion

I blew off Thursday night's Marsh Post run because I was in a really bad mood.  Like a "you don't want to be anywhere near me..." mood that even inspired my son to take out the trash without being asked and people not saying a word as I watched trash TV all night.

When I woke up Friday, I was still feeling grumpy and made myself go out for the 2.6 miles I normally would have done Thursday night.  I'm glad I did.  In the early morning air, I felt renewed.  I also realized I'm starting to get over the hurdle that goes from "shit this is hard," to "I got this."  It's an important hurdle to cross.

Coming home on Friday, my copy of Writer's Digest arrived and the monthly poetry corner had an article on Quaterns.  Quaterns are 4 quatrains (a four-line stanza) with no particular rhythm beyond 8 syllables a line.  There isn't a rhyme scheme, but the first line of the poem is a refrain through out as the 2nd line in the 2nd stanza, a 3rd line in the 3rd and the 4th line in the 4th stanza.  I scanned the piece and then headed out to the mall to buy a birthday present for my mother.  As we pulled out of the driveway, I saw a runner and immediately thought: I went out running this morning.  Wait that's 8 syllables!  Sure enough, the poem followed:

I went out running this morning

I went out running this morning
the fresh air moved my feet along
the black, buckled asphalt pavement
in the early morning sunlight.

Other runners greeted me as
I went out running this morning
with the promise of summer's kiss
lingering on my sweaty face.

I could hear the sparrows singing
saw puppies pull their masters as
I went out running this morning
at the end of the spring season.

My spirt felt renewed, refreshed
as the squirrels and bunnies played
on manicured suburban lawns.
I went out running this morning.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

But first I'll run

It's that time of year where everyone is booked.  Between getting plants in the ground for the summer, cook outs, graduations, you name it, this is rough time of year for down time.

Or is it?

This morning I slept in until 6:30 (yes, that really is sleeping in for me) and looked at the day.  After thinking through everything, I decided one simple thing: but first I'll run.

Four miles, less than an hour out of my day to get a sense of me.  The other 23 can be scooting here and dashing there, but for just under one sole hour, it was me and the road.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Value of consistent workouts

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's nothing new about consistent workouts making a positive difference but every so often, I have to find a way to remember that fact.

Sunday morning, I was pleasantly surprised when my 3.5 mile run went so smoothly.  I pushed myself for longer running times, took shorter/less frequent walking breaks and had a slightly less than 13:30 time.  Tuesday, I knew that I wasn't quite up for a run, but I was up for a walk so I walked 2 miles at a good pace.  Tonight I ran the Charles River course with my running club.  I shaved a full 15 seconds/mile off my time over last week's run.

Not bad at all.

That's the way it works though, if you're consistent in your training, your body responds consistently.  So now if I can get down to a 13 minute mile for the Smutty Nose 5k in a couple of weeks and a 12 minute mile by the big July race, I'll be able to think about which 10k I want to do this summer.

As always, one step at a time.  Just it's time for the steps to get a little quicker.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Poetry in Motion (Moody St 5k Race Report)

When Jim Walker (@brandnewwatch) sent out a tweet reminding folks that time was running out for signing up for the Moody Street 5K, I figured it was time for another race.  OK so I took a week off from running while I stressed over final projects for school and such and a race seemed like a good idea to get my butt back in motion.

I responded to him in haiku form:

Running Moody Street
5k on a May Sunday
hope the weather's nice

and he replied, "Hopefully we'll see some poetry in motion out there."

Hmmm... Jim, why'd you have to give me ideas? So I ran off to Target and picked up a cheap C9 wicking shirt and, in sharpie, drew a picture of a bear reading a book under some flowering plants and on the back I wrote:

Is there anything
as delightful as a run
in the morning sun?

I also added a couple of hashtags (#haiku #amrunning).  When I got to the race, someone said I should add my twitter name, so I found a sharpie and added @Karlsie.

The day started beautiful.  I left the house and the sun was out.  By the time I got to Waltham it was chilly and clouded over.  My husband was support crew and to show how supportive he was, he ran home and got a black compression shirt for me and drove back in time before the race start.  He now gets why I give myself a bunch of time before a race. ;)  I ran into a friend from the running club, we chatted for a bit before heading our separate ways for race prep.  We met up again just before the line up at the start of the race.  We realized there were a ton of kids from little ones up through high school as this was a race to benefit Waltham schools.  There were also a bunch of walkers, so it was going to be interesting.

We lined up on the bridge on Moody Street that goes over the Charles River, my friend near the front and me in the back.  A cold wind blew but just as the gun went off, the sun came out and the wind died down.  We started up Moody Street, which is a slight uphill.  I quickly fell into running 3 minutes/walking 2 minutes with a goal of a 13:30 mile.  This was my Sunday morning run and I wasn't going to push hard.  I had a goal of 42 minutes or less and the idea was to set a steady pace for myself.  We turned off Moody and down a side street at Mile One to loop around.  I was on track at a 13 minute pace and was relaxing into everything.  The loop was a mile through a side neighborhood with little glimpses of the Charles here and there.  At mile 2, I was still on track and we began the descent past the old Waltham Watch Factory and the DCR walkway along the Charles.  I loved being in the middle of the pack for a change at a race and really enjoyed knowing that there were plenty of folks behind me.

We wrapped down the side of the Charles and made the turn back onto Moody at the 3 mile mark.  Now here's were it got weird.  When I crossed where the start line was, you could hear the beep of the initial timer.  I kept running because the crowd seemed to be up ahead.  I'm glad I did because the finish was a good block or so up from the start line.  Had I slowed down/stopped at the beep, I wouldn't have finished the race.  As I crossed, the guy at the end yelled "41 minutes" - right in my goal range.

Later I checked the race results and saw that I did indeed finish in 41 and change with a 13 and change pace.  More importantly, nothing nagged, hurt or complained the whole time.  It felt good and I'm feeling a little more confident overall.

Another race is in the books and it's time to think about the next set of goals.  In the meantime, perhaps I'll put some of my haiku on the back of running shirts to inspire folks.  After all, poetry in motion is a good thing.