Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm learning, I think.

So of course, having had two kick-ass runs over the weekend, I went out with the kids today for a 4 miler - all hills, where we go. (No more of those lovely flat beach runs!) I had nothin', kids. Nothing in the tank. I was shooting for a 4:1 run/walk, but after about 30 minutes, it was just about all walk. It wasn't hot, wasn't cold (but it was sunny and the earpiece had fallen off my pretty new Kenneth Cole sunglasses (and my dinged up pair that I use for workouts is probably under a bunch of crap on the floor of my car or something similar) so the sun did bother me. End of nested parentheses.) My blisters were fine, my achilles tendon ached slightly but not enough to really be a factor - I was just empty.

But I know now that it doesn't mean I'm crap, doesn't mean I have to start all over at the beginning. I will run again on Friday (short) and Sunday (long) and I will be fine. And I will do a 10k next Saturday, and I will be very slow, and I will finish.

But - I do have to deal with the food thing. So far the hypno isn't making enough of a difference. I think it's gotta be Weight Watchers. It's weird to start on a Thursday so I might wait til Monday, not sure. But with all the ups and downs my weight is pretty much exactly what it's been for the last few months - all the times I said I lost a few pounds apparently were lies. I'll put the real number down on the first day I officially start WW (notice how I'm avoiding to actually commit, here - there is nothing ACTUALLY stopping me from signing up NOW) but my loyal readers know already it's a really ugly number (it starts with a 2.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pushing beyond limits

After Sunday's hard run, I wasn't planning to do much yesterday - we spent the morning lolling at the beach while the kids had a lemonade stand. But my friend, tireless and fearless as she is, wanted to go for another run int he afternoon, and this time we mapped out a full 5 miles. When I run here, the elevation gain is in the hundreds of feet - there, on the Cape, we went from a minimum of 6 feet above sea level to a max of 51! But every foot counts, especially running two days in a row, in sun and wind! Her friend Becky joined us - Becky lives in India and works with with survivors of sex trafficking as part of her organization - so we all inspired each other on this run. Every step was hard, but I did it - the whole five miles. Sometimes my body amazes me with what it can do if I just try! We all agreed that running with friends makes all the difference to motivation - I'm sure I"d have turned back if I was alone and I know Sarah felt the same. Becky is all of 23, so it was probably a different matter for her! Tomorrow we go again - 4 miles is the plan.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sometimes you never know

I'm visiting a friend this weekend, one who has always been athletic, fit and very gung ho. She was the first person I knew who ever did a triathlon. She runs regularly but has never done more than 4 miles, and lately 3 is her limit. I told her about my training and using a regular run/walk interval to extend your endurance. She'd never heard of that but was intrigued, so off we went for what we thought was a 5 mile loop. I was pleased to discover that I could keep up with her, and that my fitness was equal to hers. She lives near the shore, so we went out to the beach, and did at least 1/2 mile in the sand (including up and down the dunes to get out to the hard packed sand near the water.) We stuck to a run 5 walk 1 rhythm for a while, then switched to 4;1. I finished strong, and based our our time out I was sure we'd done more than 4 miles, maybe close to 4.5. But when we google-mapped it (I usually use it was only 3.6! What a bummer, though with the sand part it was still a very challenging run! I should try to look on the bright side - I felt strong and comfortable the whole way. But with a 10k coming up in 13 days, I need to get more miles in! By the way, this friend is an amazing human being: this is what she does all day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

An accomplishment, of sorts

After my successful 5K on Sunday, I didn't run again til yesterday (it was a beyond crazy week.) But I did 31 minutes running straight without walking yesterday. It was all flat, as it was on the rail trail (a 3% grade so gently downhill out, almost imperceptibly uphill coming back.) That felt good!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Race Day - Hudson Valley Youth Festival 5K

This race was created just for The Marathon Project participants - there were about 100 of us, overall. It is an interesting group - the majority of the kids are from urban Poughkeepsie and Beacon - mostly low-income, mostly minority, many of whom had never done anything athletic in their lives. The event was at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, and we gathered near the 4-H area - the long enclosures with the goats, cows, horses, and sheep. I wonder how many of the kids there had never seen farm animals before. It seems that Dutchess County has as dramatic a divide between urban and rural as anyplace I've ever seen. Everyone was upbeat and supportive of each other. It was the kind of day where there was a pledge of allegiance, a lovely rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and no cynicism or negativity anywhere in sight. The race went off at 9am, and wound through a quiet area of Rhinebeck I'd not seen before. The hills were rolling but manageable, the sun was bright but not too hot, and I felt as good as I have all spring. (I have definitely discovered that a real warmup - at least 10 minutes of jogging - is really good for me - somehow I get completely out of breath when I first start running, but after a few minutes I get into a good rhythm. ) I'd had a light week: I ran only about 1 mile on Tuesday (and walked an hour), ran 4 miles (in hot sun) on Wednesday, swam on Friday, so I was fresh. I finished in about 38 minutes - average for me this year - and wasn't even close to last - there were runners behind me as well as run/walkers and all-walkers.

Our group did well - one of our girls (by "our" I mean from the school we're working in - there are 4 in the program) was the first girl to cross the line, one was third, and all our kids finished early - we have a group of mostly experienced athletes. The next race is a big jump for this group - a 10K on June 7. I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The law of threes

I'm not sure this will work out if I really think it through, but my theory is: it only takes three days of not eating right and not working out before the feelings of well-being dissipate. Also that it takes three days in a row of a good workout and eating right before you start to feel any difference in the right direction.

Workouts this week have gone well. After Saturday's race, I did very little for the next few days, but I ran Tuesday (2.2 hobbling miles), Thursday (2 lazy miles), swam Friday morning (I felt really good - slow but smooth and steady!), ran 3-ish in the cold and rain Friday afternoon, and spun this morning. Tomorrow, if I can figure out when, I want to do a six-mile run. Hey, it's Mother's Day, I get to do what I want! (I'm on track for my schedule of increasing minutes week by week - my " long run" is supposed to be 60 minutes this week, and I did 62 minutes at the race last week.)

Hypnosis: I used half my latest hypnosis session, yesterday, to talk (OK cry hysterically) about the issue that's been lurking under the surface for me for a while - and I actually felt much better, and took some actions that helped. Today I'm feeling more hopeful than I have in months! Sorry to be so cryptic, but there it stays. The rest of the time she try to help me focus on food - it was weirder- more blatant, somehow- than I expected. She tried to implant the idea that the leftovers on the dinner plates would by covered with a layer of "thick white snotty fat" so I wouldn't want to eat any of it, I'd just put it all in the garbage. Last night I didn't eat any of their leftovers, mostly because I was thinking consciously about it, not because I was seized with revulsion whenever I reached for a scrap! Somehow, all the weight I lost 2 weeks ago came back last week - this is going to be really really hard. I'm thinking hard about going on WW like Misty - it's almost time to make that commitment! Too soon to say if the hypno itself is making any difference, overall. But I like the experience of doing it.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

First Race: Done.

It turns out I can run five miles. I was one minute-ish slower than last year - not surprising given the layoff and the extra poundage I'm currently carrying (and the fact that I'm due for my period today - bad timing!) . I am pretty sure I was completely utterly last (of the runners.) I am not complaining or whining - it's a strange sort of badge of honor! Of course I'll be proud and pleased if I ever get faster, but meanwhile, someone has to be last, and the last person across the line still ran the race! (My time was 1:02 and change for five hilly miles.)

It was cold out - I wore my new shorts, which I love, but I think my legs would have worked better in mile 4 and 45 if they'd been a little warmer. My first two miles were in good time (for me) 12:01 and 11:45 respectively. But I slowed down progressively after that (of course Mile 4 has a killer hill - it's the only time I walked for any length of time.) I carried my cool new cellphone in my picket in case I wanted to take pictures, but I didn't want to stop. It was beautiful out - misty and green - but there will be no photos posted of the route. (The cows were mildly suprised by the crowds, I think!)

I got the shakes a little when I finished - so came home to warm out instead of mill around and wait for prizes to be given out. Now I'm blogging instead of stretching - I'm sure I"ll regret that later! Off to NYC to see a passel of nephews! Tomorrow I'll write something about my new theory, the Law of Three

Friday, May 02, 2008

First race of the season

Tomorrow is the Sharon Classic. I'm not feeling great going into it - my plan went out the window this week. Consistency, where art thou? A sleepless night, a few issues with kids (resulting in one emergency room visit and two doctor appointments in three days), a lapse in focus... so I feel achy and sluggish instead of pumped and ready.

I take Misty's example to heart - tomorrow is Day One of Weight Watchers. Actually I should probably start Sunday since tomorrow there will be race food and then a trip to NYC to see various nephews that will likely involve mountains of delicious takeout rarely seen in these parts.

I know I'll cover the distance, somehow, and I know Janet will save me a banana - so all will be well and I'll continue with my training, back to the doubles and the group runs!