Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 24th, 2010 – 3.71 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

From the very beginning of this run, I was having stress in my AT. I knew this was going to be a bad run from the beginning, but I was so glad to finally be out! Chris left town and won’t be back until Tuesday. So I’ve been with the kids all by myself for days now. I love ‘em, but I really needed to get a run in! My in-laws came over to see the kids, so I took the opportunity to get in a quick 3 mile sprint.

This was by no means a sprint. After the 1.25 mile mark, I actually stopped and walked for a little bit. My AT was killing me. Maybe I should have stopped but that’s just crazy talk. I need to find a dirt trail to run when I’m dealing with knee or AT issues.

Mile 2 was getting better, so I picked up the pace and started an easy jog. The rest of the run was quite good. The sun was setting but it wasn’t quite dark yet. The weather was absolute perfection.

Getting out was so wonderful that it didn’t really matter that it wasn’t a great workout. I’ll have to get out there again as soon as possible to redeem this run. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find that trail.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 19, 2010 – 6.69 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was a long awaited treat. I fully intended to go alone, but I knew that I would lose all my daylight before I got home, so Chris insisted that I take Sarah with me. She was literally whining with delight and frustration that I was taking so long to get a move on.

So I threw back a Cliff Bar, filled up my CamalBak and went out the door. I set my phone to RunKeeper and turned on some good music.

Before we took 20 strides, we ran into the first dog. First of many, and the way Sarah reacted, you’d think we never let her out of the house. Jeez! So I’m pulling and scraping and trying to get her under control with just a word. It could have been worse. She’s pretty excitable but more than anything, she really seems to want to please us, so she regained her focus and we were off again. Before we got to the half mile mark, we had run into 4 sets of dogs. I was kind of hoping we had missed most of the dog walkers, but it really seemed that I had hit peak hours.

Needless to say, by the time I got to the 1.75 mile mark, I was already feeling pretty well beaten up. I was running harder and faster than I wanted to because there were so many instances where I had to sprint to get us quickly past some dog who Sarah just *had* to sniff or mount. I kept her leash locked and pretty short, so I had to sprint along with her for most of the run.

I was putting far too much pressure on my AT and I knew my knee was going to give me some serious trouble when this was all over.

At about the 4.5 mile mark, I am feeling a sting every time I plant my left foot. I knew I messed myself up and I was going to have to rest for several days after this one, but at the moment, it was worth it and feeling pretty good.

At the 6 mile mark, I took a longer walk break. It was completely dark at this point. I was wearing my vest and had turned on my LED lights and I wore my new high visibility cap. Still, I had to wave a few cars down to avoid being mown over by someone making a right turn in one of these monstrous SUVs.

When I had a quarter mile to go, I turned on “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera and started a mad sprint toward home. Ooohhhh…… that felt good.

I know I’m going to pay for it later. I know I need to throw back some Advil as soon as get home, but at the moment, I’m feeling good! This is why we run. This feeling is worth the pain later and worth the fortune we spend on Gu, Cliff bars, Body Glide, registration fees, shoe inserts and pain medication.

The obsession is real and irresistible. I could never do drugs, drink excessively or hurt myself with blades or needles. No tattoos for weird piercing for me. But I absolutely understand pounding the stress out of my body and glorying in the pain that it sometimes brings.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like pain. If a pair of shoes or earrings caused me pain, I’d never wear them again and even in running, I take my rest periods *very* seriously. But this pain reminds me that I’m alive somehow. It’s a good feeling.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 17th, 2010 – 2.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was not great at all. It was after a very long day and I was still feeling some tenderness in my AT and some sciatic pain after the last run, so I wanted to run the track at the local high school. I really prefer not to run laps, but they have a nice rubberized track and I thought I might be able to get a decent workout and go easy on my old bones.

However, when I got there, I couldn’t figure out how to get into the track! Every gate I came was locked. I knew it was possible because there was a gentleman running the track. I use the term gentleman quite loosely, as I am positive he could see that I was there and having trouble trying to get in and he didn’t offer any assistance.

I’m convinced that I ran a good half mile just trying to get in. Soon, I was ready to give up and decided, I would set my GPS and just run back to my car just to see how far away it was. By this time I was at least a quarter of a mile away from it. As I was running over the baseball diamonds, I thought, “Well, this is nice.” The weather was beautiful and the temperature was so comfortable and the little trot I was doing was feeling really good. So I figured I would run around the greenbelts until I wanted to leave. After the first mile, I was feeling pretty good so I kept going. The grass smelled like it was newly mown and watered. It felt just like summertime. Made me have flashbacks of high school track and cheerleading practice.

I was losing daylight, but that was OK. I felt pretty safe on the campus and I didn’t have to run home. After 2.5 miles, I figured I really needed to go because I was out longer than I wanted to be because it took me so long to figure out that I couldn’t get on the track and eventually give up. I still had dinner to cook and the regular home stuff, so I went home.

Two days later, I felt like I hadn’t run at all. There is definitely a HUGE difference between running on damp grass and paved sidewalks. Of course, I knew that, but the difference was overwhelming. I could have run all night.

Still, I think I prefer to run on the street. Can’t say why. Probably because I really feel like I’m going somewhere when I’m on the street and running laps just makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel.

Not a great workout, but a pleasant experience. I’ll have to try it again sometime very soon. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get on the darn track!

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 14th, 2010 – 3.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Tonight’s run was really nice. I felt like it had been awhile since I’d had a workout. It’d been 5 days since I ran the streets of Camarillo. This was an unexpectedly nice run. The day was so excruciatingly hot that I didn’t think I could run without getting dangerously overheated. However, the evening cooled off beautifully. While I couldn’t do the full 6 mile workout I wanted to do, I figured I could do a quick 3.5 mile sprint before I lost all my daylight.

Mile one was ok. I was happy with that, as I usually really don’t like mile one. Sarah was behaving reasonably well and she was ridiculously happy to be out with me.

Mile two was even better. I picked up the pace a little and it was feeling pretty good. I shaved a few seconds off my time in mile two. However, by the end of mile 2, I started to feel like my left foot plant is really off for some reason. Hmm…. That might mean trouble.

Mile three is also really good and I was able to shave another few seconds off my time. It felt pretty good. While doing the home stretch, I picked up the pace a little more even though my foot fall is starting to put a sting in my left hip. I absolutely expect some sciatic issues in the morning.

On the up side, I the last half mile was my fastest pace yet. I was able to shave almost a full minute off of my mile one time. A very successful run.

Isn’t my little lady a cutie pie?!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 9th, 2010 – 5.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.” Tonight’s run was a tremendous blessing. I took the kids to go see their grandparents and see with their cousin who was visiting from the East Coast. I knew there would be all kinds of mayhem and frivolity for them and the grandparents, so I thought I could take the opportunity to run the beautiful streets of Camarillo. The weather was perfect and I brought Sarah. The plan was to get at least 6 miles in, so I would have to map it carefully. After a brief consultation with the mother-in-law, I decided on a nice, gently rolling route and set out. I didn’t get my full six miles, but it was a great run. Mile 1 was not the misery it usually is because I had the splendor of a new route to keep me distracted. Sarah and I were in a zone. We barely noticed when mile 2 came and went. At about mile 3 , I pass the high school and start to head back home. Now comes the steepest incline of the run. I was feeling pretty good until a gentleman twice my age flew passed me like I was standing still. Ah well, I knew I was going to take it easy and by the end of the run I was feeling good and could feel no trouble-spots sneaking up to impede my sleep. I got back to the house and the kids were playing and having fun. Each one had had their own little melt down for one reason or another. Jordan leaned into a rose bush and got stuck by thorns, Jayda threw a ball at his head for some reason and Logan didn’t want to go to bed. This is my life and it’s a good one. I felt great and my bones and joints weren’t screaming at me, so I’m calling it good. Go Scorpions!!

July 8th, 2010 – 1.5 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.” This run was very pleasant. Jordan had another swim lesson at the Community Park. I sat through most of them and marveled at how athletic and beautiful he is. But tonight was his last lesson and I wanted to run the park while he was in class. I could have burst into flame during his class and he wouldn’t even notice until he needed a ride home, so I felt pretty confident that I could leave him there without worrying about a meltdown of any kind. So I let him know that I was going to run the park while he was in class and told him I would have my cell phone if he needed to reach me for any reason. By the time I got over my own separation anxiety issues, I only had 20 minutes to run around the lake. It was a nice, easy run and I really enjoyed it. I only got in about a mile and a half, but it was good music and a very pleasant workout. Not sure when I’ll get to do it again, but I hope I will before the summer gets too hot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 5th, 2010 – 4 Mile Run & 3.86 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Today’s run was FANTASIC!!!! Fantastic in every way. It’s a holiday Monday and my brother came for a visit. He is one of my heroes and an ex-Marine (if there really is such a thing). We went to a local trail to do a 3 mile run with a half mile warm down. It was so so so so much fun!!!!!

We had such a great time! He called out several Marine Corps Cadences. Since I knew a few, I called a few too. They were funny and highly effective. Hanging with him is always a good time.

The first mile was OK considering I usually really hate mile one. We talked and laughed. He is *much* better than me and it’s always nice to train with someone who’s better than you. He was a good sport though and stayed with me.

I wouldn’t call it a hilly workout, but it was much hillier than I’m used to doing and I was really feeling it when we hit the 2.5 mile mark. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but he pulled me through.

We hit the mile 3 mark and started back. There was about a half mile trek back to the car. That part was great. It was just a brisk walk.

The weather was perfect for a run and the softer terrain was much easier on these old bones. This run was a HUGE blessing and it was so great to share it with my brother.

He left town after a quick trip to Jamba Juice and a snap shot. When I got back home I took the dog for another half mile walk. That was just to get my Nike sensor to activate. It still didn't work. I don't know what to do with that thing!

Oh, yeah! I forgot to post a 3.86 mile run on the 1st. That run was a draaaag! Another one that made me wonder why I do this. Why am I beating up my body to do something I hate? Today’s run made up for all of that. Can’t wait to get back at it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June 30th, 2010 – 1 Mile Swim

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

My last run was such a drag, I thought I would try swimming. I used to swimming quite a bit and I always enjoyed it but the truth of the matter is, public pools are disgusting and I swear, now that I’m older, I just don’t react well to them. A few days after I swam in the local 24 Hour Fitness pool and a single drop of water bounced into my throat, I was diagnosed with Strep Throat and I had never had it before that time or since. It may have been a coincidence, but that was the last time I ever swam in that pool.

The pool I swam in tonight was the pool at the community center where Jordan has lessons. I had no reason to believe this pool would be any better kept, but they have lap swimming from 7p to 9p, so I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s been well over a year since I’ve swum for my workout and I wasn’t sure how it would go. But I decided I would treat myself and wear the new bikini I purchased for the summer. Typically, when I purchase a bikini, I do weeks of research on the best style for my body type, purchase one, try it on in my bedroom, then never wear it in public. Any time I need a swim suit, I pull on my trusty, competition style, royal blue, one-piece, full coverage, Speedo. But not tonight! I was going to wear my new bikini with pride and hold me head up high at this very public pool, where college and high school swim teams practice.

So I get there, pay my entrance fee, ask what the rules are and find a place to stow my gear. The lanes are set up. There are 5 lanes and one girl swimming laps while her mom looks on. On the far end, there is a Men’s water polo team practicing. I pull out my swim cap and goggles, I kick off my Crocs and ask the little lady in the pool if the water is cold. She smiles her charming, metallic, toothy smile and says, “No. It feels good”.

Now there is no other reason for me to dawdle. Either I throw off my cover-up and jump in, or I’m just that 38-year-old weirdo who paid three bucks to watch underage children in their swimsuits. So, I pull off my little cotton cover up and remind myself that I’ve worked hard this year and even though my body is riddled with evidence of childbearing, it is strong, healthy and remarkably fit. I look great!!! And not just “great for a 30-something mother of two” but actually damn good! I throw my shoulders back and my chin up and I walk across the deck and drop into the pool. The water does feel good. I dunk my head and emerge to slick back my hair so I can slide on my swim cap. I rinse and shake my goggles and those are in place too.

It’s been awhile, so I want to take it slow at first. I do a fairly well formed free-style and a clumsy but effective summersault at the end of the lane. I do 4 lengths before I stop for breath. That felt good!

The little lady is at the starting position too as she asks me if I’m training for something. I felt pretty good about that! My focus and form have obviously convinced her that I am a real athlete! At least that's the story I'm stickin' to. I told her I was cross training for a Half Marathon. She said she was in 9th grade and was on a team. She asked me if I wanted to race. What?!

I am well over twice this girl’s age and she’s on a team!!! Swimming is not my sport and I tell her so, but I accept her challenge and she calls the start.

I take my mark… Get set… Go! And we’re off!!

My form was good. Stroke, stroke, stroke, BREATHE! Stroke, stroke, stroke, BREATHE! It was good. I get to the end of the lane a half second behind her. Well, like I said…. I’m old and swimming’s not my sport.

We go again, and this time she beats me by half a body length. Still not bad. The third time, I beat her! Obviously, she's quick, but lacks stamina. Not uncommon for the young’uns!

After that, we get back into regular lap swimming. Me, with my free-style and she with her kickboard. After 4 more laps, she said she wanted me to do well in my Half Marathon, so she wanted to challenge me further. She pulls on a pair of flippers! There is just no way I can beat this girl when she’s wearing flippers, but I’m up for it. She says she'll give me a 5-second head start. That’s fair. NOT!!!!

She calls the start and I’m off like a shot! I am working my butt off and I want to compete well even though there is no chance of me beating her. I get to the end of my lane and she beat me by one second, which of course means she would have left me in her proverbial dust without the 5 second head start. Still, she was wearing flippers and she is HALF my age!

She said she was impressed. She said she was afraid she wasn’t going to catch me. “After 5 seconds, you were already half way across the pool!” she said that racing with people makes you better and asked me if I wanted to go again. I was exhausted, but I wanted to try it again. She called the start.

We were off! Then a cramp in my right foot! Damn! But I have to plow through it! I have to finish! I flex my foot, which of course, produces drag and she beats me by a full body length, but that’s not the point.

The point is, I hung in there and I finished even though I was cramped. That was good.

By then, she was ready to go and I was too. It was after 8:30p and I had I dinner to cook and children to feed.

So I got out of the pool and approached the girl’s Mom. I know how important it is for parents to feel comfortable when their kids get too chummy with strangers. I told her that her daughter was lovely and a very good sport for letting me race her. She said, “You’re a good sport too! You kept her out here. She was ready to leave 30 minutes ago.”

What a blessing! A divine appointment, for sure.