Sunday, February 25, 2007

Aaaahhhh...the Joy of Self Inflicted Misery

So those that know me, know that I sometimes tend to procrastinate on certain cleaning my house, grocery shopping, laundry, etc., etc. I've found that at some point this weekI decided it would be in my best interest to add running to that list. Just hear me out-it made TOTAL sense at the time; this week's training was supposed to be an easy one (14 miles total 5/5/4 over my three days of running) so when Thursday came around I told my self "well, you have too much to do, just take the 5 you were supposed to run and do it on Sunday but STICK TO THE REST OF YOUR SCHEDULE DAMN IT!" Well Friday rolls around and I know full well at that point that I need to strength train but again, I felt I was just too, too busy (I know what you're thinking-I have no kids, a job where I can come and go as I please and not much of a housekeeping schedule as I mentioned earlier but, zip it ok?...I was busy as far as my own head was concerned).

So here comes Saturday rolling on as if it couldn't have a care in the world for my hopeless procrastination...and again, my ass was not out on the trails, it was not down on the was here-parked in front of the computer for the better part of the day. 11 turned to 12 which eventually turned into late afternoon which then proceeded at warp speed to turn into evening. I was starting to think it was a lost cause so when George called and offered to pick up chinese food I jumped at the chance and welcomed the idea of gorging myself on kung pao chicken (extra spicy). And then, as the clock inched towards 8:30 I started to feel that pesky guilt rising in me a little. *clearing throat* LET THE SCHEDULE RE-ARRANGING/BARGAINING BEGIN!!!!, if I do my strength training tonight then maybe I can get a longer run in tomorrow, or maybe I can just do a shortened version of strength and grab a few miles tonight and then do a few more tomorrow, or maybe if I feel REALLY strong I can do my full routine and run 9 miles after and then be right back on schedule and able to take tomorrow off... I swear, the time I end up wasting in the re-arranging would be so much better utilized during the actual week when I figured skipping all these workouts was such a grand idea in the first place (oh yeah, did I mention I'm the queen of self scolding as well??). I came to rest on the decision of my full strength workout and three miles on Saturday followed up on Sunday with six miles.

I was extremely proud of myself for making it work until this morning when that evil treadmill started haunting every one of my waking moments. But I changed it up-I thought I'd block the time on the clock and the console and try to watch a movie (but it had to be a pretty frivolous flick cuz I wasn't about to move the dreadmill closer to the t.v. and, um, my eyesight just isn't all that great now...and the motor of the machine kinda drowns out the sound on the t.v. but hey, I'm still gonna be gung ho about this, right?? <--said in my best sarcastic tone). Ok, to anyone reading this, for the future... The Devil Wears Prada + 6 miles on the treadmill = monotonous torture-I strongly suggest you do NOT attempt this at home. Oh well, it's done, and I'd love to say I took something away from it but ya know, the siren call of procrastination will win me over's inevitable.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What's up, Doc?

Webster's Dictionary defines "black ice" as a noun: a nearly transparent film of ice on a dark surface (as a paved road or a body of water) that is difficult to see.

5:35 am on any given morning in February, in Northeast Ohio, is dark. No traffic. Very little streets lights. Dark.

So, can you guess what happens when a runner stumbles across black ice on a dark morning? She thinks of Looney Tunes! There I was, slipping, sliding, as graceful as I could possibly be in such a position, going down faster than the Titanic and all I could think of was Wile E. Coyote. Help! Not Bugs Bunny pirouetting beautifully before he drops into his hole. Help! Wile E. Coyote deadpanning for the camera with the realization on his face that the earth is no longer beneath him. Help! Not cute little Tweety Bird, with "no more little piddys". Help! Wile E. Coyote grasping for land as he heads off the cliff. Help!!

Did I mention it was 5:35am? Actually by that time it was probably only 5:35am and 15 seconds, but you know, it seemed like an eternity before I landed on the very icy, hard, not soft and billowy snow pile.

With the ease of a gazelle, I picked myself and spun like a top. Whew! No one around! Wait! Someone is in the bus stop! They didn't see (or they are saving me embarassment)!! Thank you God!

This did turn out to be one of my better runs I must say. Nothing hurt, not even my pride!

So, what's up doc?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh, yeah! The Chili Bowl!

First, it was very nice of Maria's cheering squad (husband and mom) to cheer me on, too! And her dad's words of wisdom, "You've already won when you step up to the starting line" (gosh, I hope I didn't mess that up, but that was certainly the thought behind it!) was way beyond encouraging to me, someone who hasn't been in a race since the last century.

I don't know my official time. I don't run for time, I run to finish. And I finished! So, I'm happy!! If you want to know how fast I ran, lets just say that I started at breakfast and got back in time for lunch! LOL!!

This isn't exactly new...

I used to run. I used to run a lot. Ten or so years ago I ran. Well, I escaped. It was a way to avoid spending evenings with someone I no longer wanted to spend evenings with. I tucked the kids into bed and I was off! It was effective. It was euphoric. It cleared my head. There was nothing like the smell of dryers exhuding their exhaust of fabric softner sheets. Sunday nights were the best for that...mmmmm I love that smell!

Now I run because I want to...sort of. I run because I thought of a lovely "treat" for myself...a marathon. Maniacal, I know. My youngest will be off to school soon, leaving me an empty-nester. Most moms go to a spa. Not me. I "want" to run a marathon. I had that thought in my head ever since I heard about the Marine Corp. Marathon. A co-worker was preparing for and eventually ran it last October. I love D.C.! What a great "treat" to myself.

I wasn't going to tell ANYONE. I was going to train...starting around spring time, and then run the big race. HAHA! Well, I told someone. Maria. Maria who has done this before.(and a good thing I did...WAKE UP CALL!!) Maria who, on some occasions in our past, I would have rather ran over than ran with. She's right. We've had our ups and downs. Looking back, more ups. Looking ahead, more ups, too! Now Maria is training me. She encourages, she uplifts, she scolds in a caring manner. There is sarcasm on both ends and high fives and laughs. Oh, and grunts and groans and some gripping (all on my end). There is no one else I could really think of whom with I want to take this journey.

So, no, you can't make me run, but you can make me WANT to run!

Chili Bowl

The 2007 Chili Bowl proved to be a little nicer temperature-wise than last year;we had a balmy 18-20 degree morning with the windchill only hovering around 8 degrees (as opposed to last year's -7). Being my first race in close to a year (due to a self induced fractured pubic ramus bone with very stupid overtraining) I was a little nervous. Oh the issues, let me count the ways...

  • I ate like shit (king cake, candy and girl scout cookies) all week and I thought for sure God would "remind" me how hard it is to run well when you've fueled yourself with strictly refined sugar
  • it's been so long what if I forgot how to pace myself?? Yes, I know it's just a 5k but still!
  • my right foot has been bothering me lately
  • when I put together my current training schedule for the Cleveland half marathon coming up in May I based my speedwork/tempo runs around what I thought would be my current 5k time since I hadn't done one in so long-hence, failure at meeting my mark (25:30) to me spelled failure ALL AROUND (overdramatic in my own head? Why yes, yes I am)
Now, my husband has told me for years that when he accompanies me to races he sees everyone else all happy and laughing and smiling...and then there's me-sitting against the wall thinking of all the horrible outcomes for myself. Well, since Pier and my father were going to be racing as well, I figured I would act the part of a happy-go-lucky-no-cares-in-the-world-optimistic type of girl. It worked and I actually felt that way before the race.

If only that feeling could have lasted. I succeeded in the time I wanted-actually I did better than what I needed to do (25:02 was my official time) but all you other runners will know what I mean when I say I felt out of control the whole time. It just made me sad that first of all, I'm no where near my PR at a 5k and I had to work way harder than I can ever remember. I wanted to reach my goal and feel strong and stable all the way till the end...instead I just felt like I was going to puke or better yet, be stopped on the course and offered a job as a phone sex operator cuz I was breathing so heavy!

All in all though, it was a decent race and I couldn't have been happier to have my dad and Pier there participating. They lift my spirits on a continual basis.

A big thank you to my mom and my husband for braving the weather to cheer us on and for snapping the great shots that she did. Oh, and to George...I did work son, I did work!

...and then there was blog

10 years, three offices, numerous disagreements, hundreds of laughs and we now end up here. I could give you an in depth bio of myself and Pier but that's not neccessary. Here's all you need to know:

- our goal is to run the Marine Corps Marathon (my second, Pier's first)in October
- we've been friends and enemies over the years so really nothing is off limits
- running is what will fuel this blog, sarcasm will allow it to continue to burn

Here's hoping to an enjoyable journey to the finish line...