Friday, September 30, 2011

September 27th & 29th – 2.15 & 3.19 Mile Runs

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.”

Both these runs were GREAT!!! Extremely challenging for me.

September 27th – 2.15 Trail Run
This was an unexpected joy. I know I shouldn’t get pleasure out of this, but Jordan got in trouble at the BGC so he got to choose between corporal punishment and a trail run with me.

He chose the trail run. He usually chooses the run, which is interesting to me because he whines the whole time like I’m dousing him with battery acid. Seems to me that he should rather take the 15-second spanking rather than the 45 minute run with me. But whatevs! I was happy to have a running partner!

He lucked out this time because we only did 2 miles. Usually, I run him for at least 3. Lately I have been running almost five! But we were losing daylight and the terrain on this trail was really loose. I didn’t want to risk a sprain for Jordan or myself.

I only got to push it a few times because I spent most of my time trying to get Jordan to keep up. But the times I got to open up and tear up the trail felt really good. Toward the end, I started doing a Marine Corp cadence with him. These are *so* much fun!!! This is the one we did:

It may not seem like it, but they really help and Jordan was able keep in step and maintain speed with me when we did a cadence. Once he learned the words, he wanted to issue while I responded. It took his mind off of what he was doing just enough so he could enjoy the run. It was great. There’s nothing like shouting cadence on a dirt trail with your son. Fun!

September 29th – NEW SHOES!!!!!
Time to break in some new shoes!!!! Every runner knows that there is nothing quite like the first time you tie on a new pair of running shoes!!!

Good stuff!!!
Now! Back to the run!

September 29th – 3.19 Mile Run
This run was great!!! In my previous blog entry, I got some advice from Coach Dion about how to gain speed. He seemed to indicate that I could cover my normal training distance in 35 minutes without hurting myself.

I laughed out loud when I read this because I have *never* been able to cover this distance in 35 minutes. Now, my 5k PR on race day is about 31 minutes, but that’s different as we all know. Race Days are amazing and you always put out more when you’re racing. But I was on the street and had to contend with traffic lights and I would be using the Fartlek method, according to his advice. There was just no way I’d be able to make it home in 35 minutes!!!

Even though I didn’t really think it would work, I was determined to follow his advice as much as I could. He is used to working with gifted runners and I wasn't sure how much experience he had with 30-something, mothers of two, who run recreationally. But he *is* an accomplished coach so I thought I’d give it a shot.

So I set out. He told me to do 5-10 second fartleks and imagine that I’m leading the race and the cameras are on me. I did this and it really helped!!!!

The first thing I noticed is that when I am running at 90%, my form gets *really* sloppy (which he also said would happen)! But I remembered those cameras and adjusted my frame. At my first audio cue, I learned that my average pace was 7:15!! I'd never heard *that* before!

I was able to finish the route in 35:31. The last 31 secs were on the clock because I didn’t stop my RunKeeper immediately when I ran up my drive way. I was too concerned with gulping down oxygen. Even Jordan said, "Why are you sweating so much? And why are you back so soon?!"

I couldn't give him a coherent answer. All I could say between gasping breaths was, "Coach.... Dion....!!!"

It wasn’t always pretty, but I kept to his plan and it worked. Go figure! Good coaching translates even across cyber-space. Thanks Coach!!!!

He kicked my ass, but he got results! I’ll have to be sure to drop him a note and say THANKS!!!! And also take back everything I said about him at mile two, when I thought I was gonna die!

Not only did I not die, I felt GREAT afterward! And no pain the next day. Amazing!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 15th thru 22nd – 13.09 Miles Total

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 four runs were for maintenance, just to get the miles in and enjoy the last few weeks of Daylight Savings. Soon the sun will be setting when I get off work and I’ll either be running in the dark or before work.

I would love to be one of those disciplined creatures who are so addicted to the endorphins that my body can’t rest when it needs a fix. As it is, I do find myself craving the rush of the run and the feel of lungs that are expanded to full capacity but I can’t say that I am addicted to the run. At least not enough to drag my bones outta bed at O dark thirty.

Speaking of addiction: I have a few questions regarding pain relief.

My running focus is basically “Just Do it Regularly” and "Try to beat Last Month's Mileage". As long as I am getting regular exercise, I’m pretty happy. I don’t have to break records, place in my age group or take home any cash prizes. While I do enjoy collecting racing bibs and the occasional finisher’s medal, for me racing is just a competition with myself and a motivation to train.

I usually take it easy and work more on endurance and less on speed because it has been my experience that when I focus on speed, I end up hurting myself and I often get robbed of the joy that running gives me.

Because of my Easy-Does-It attitude, I typically don’t suffer with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, sciatic pain, tendonitis, bone fractures or any of the typical ailments that runners tend to be afflicted with.

However, as with any exercise regimen, I do feel stiffness, soreness and at times, pain. Most frequently, I have AT issues, which are most prevalent in the morning and usually work themselves out with a bit of stretching. I also feel tightness in my lower back at times, the occasional ache in my knees and stiffness in my neck and shoulders.

Typically, I try to relax and stretch. It often does the trick but sometimes it doesn’t.

With that in mind, I’m just curious about what other runners do when they feel pain and what their psych rotation is when they do something about it.

When I’m having any kind of discomfort the first thing I try to do is assess the pain and isolate the problem. If it’s the result of a run, I usually just stretch it out and try to massage it away. If that doesn’t work, I usually just work through it and keep going on with my day. If it’s stress, prayer almost always works.

If I am running after work, I try not to run too much more than 3.5 miles because I’ve found that I have trouble sleeping when I run longer distances and then have to go to bed for the night 2 hours later.

However, there are times when I do get 4 or 5 miles in at the end of the day and I find that if I take one Advil before bed, I sleep much sounder.

Curious…. Very curious.

I am *so* hyper-sensitive about becoming addicted to pain relievers. Not the substance itself, but the idea that I should pop a pill anytime I’m the least bit uncomfortable or when I want to get a good night’s sleep. So much so, that I tend to allow myself to be in pain when a single dose of Advil would set it right.

So my question is: When you have muscle aches and pains, do you work through it and tough it out? Do you take a warm bath? Do you talk your spouse into doing the back rub in exchange for “favors”? Or do you just go ahead and pop the pills? Have you ever taken Advil or even NyQuil just to get to sleep after a run?

Running Log:
September 15th – 3.01 Mile Run
September 18th – 3.55 Mile Run
September 19th – 3.06 Mile Run
September 22nd – 3.47 Mile Run

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 12th, 2011 – 3.05 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 was merely a maintenance run. Had to get the miles in. To be honest, I was not in the mood but I was determined to not only get it in, but to work on speed.

It was my usual end-of-day route. Chris drops me off about 3 miles from home and I run it in.

When I’m feeling this way, I can usually rely on my vibrantly colored, super cute running garb to at least make me feel fabulous outwardly.

But alas, before I left the house for work, I had packed my navy blue, ill-fitting, running-mommy capris. I bought ‘em on clearance at TJ Maxx last winter. I love them because they are comfortable: warm enough in cool weather but moisture-wicking so I don’t burst into flame in warm weather…. and the full coverage means I never have to worry about rubbing my girlie bits raw during long runs. However, they are not figure-flattering.

They don’t make me look *bigger* than I am, they make me look *exactly* as I am. Don’t get me wrong, I have no body image problems. I am grateful for the vessel GOD gave me. But it is well that my husband is an ass man because I’ve got a lot going on back there and these capris show it.

So, with a sigh and still feeling the little sting in my left AT that cropped up after my last long run, I took the last 5 minutes of the workday to change from business casual to Running Super Mom.

After we picked up both kids and got to the drop off point, Jordan says, “Mommy, do you *have* to run? Cuz I wanna come too, but I wanna walk.”

Working out with Jordan is always an exercise in frustration because he never pushes as hard as I know he can, but with this? There is no way he could push as hard as I want to go because he’s in his school clothes.

Well, this is quite the conundrum. Usually when I’m debating about a run, I do the same psych rotation everyone does: When I am 80 years old, will I be glad I ran tonight? The next time I have cheesecake, will be I glad I ran tonight? When I go to bed tonight, will I be glad I ran tonight? When I stand before the LORD, will I be glad I ran tonight?

Typically the answer would be an unequivocal “YES!” on all counts, but not this time. This time the question is changed. Children change everything.

So I said, “Come on… Let’s go.” My little man took my hand, and we walked home.

Some might call it a wasted workout, but the psych rotation continues:
When I am 80 years old, will I be glad I spent an hour walking 3 miles with my son? The next time I have cheesecake, will it be as sweet as walking hand-in-hand with my best little dude? When I go to bed tonight, will I know better how to pray because I walked with my son? And if I had to stand before the LORD tomorrow, would I be glad I chose my son over myself?

The run can wait….. These times are fleeting.

NOTE: What’s up with the snake?! My neighbors lose the weirdest animals. Remember the goats? Yes, plural… goatS!

Monday, September 12, 2011

August 25th – September 10th – 30.10 Miles Total

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.”

August 25th – 5.87 Mile Run – This one was decent. I added about 2 miles to a regular route. It was great. Nice and hilly toward the end. I did my best to fight the hills. No matter how you do, you always feel like a bad ass when you run hills.

August 27th – 1.14 & 1.14 Mile Runs – This was the “Big” Nelson Memorial Jog/Ride. This was a *perfect* outing. It was great to see so many of his friends and students out for a morning jog to remember him. Later that day, I went with my friend Tanya to the Memorial Service. A rough day made bearable by good friends. The distance was perfect, I thought because it didn’t exclude non-runners. It was a point to point course, but ended up being out and back for me and Tanya because we had to get back to her car.

It was interesting because this jog was organized without permits so we were supposed to run on the sidewalks, but 7am on a Saturday morning in Visalia is so quiet, we were able to run the streets. There were about 200 people, I think. It was amazing.

August 31st – 3 Mile Run – This was just my regular maintenance run. Very pleasant. Got dropped off on the way home from work. Ran it in. Text book. Felt good.

September 4th – 11.96 Mile Run – This run was a birthday gift to myself. Very hilly. Very slow. I think I ran it too slowly. I was hurting more afterward than I should have been. But it was a great run. A route that I had been meaning to do for quite some time. Great neighborhood. Perfect SoCal weather.

September 6th – 2.99 Mile Run – I wasn’t completely recovered from my last run so I was really feeling it in my ATs. I should have taken the time to stretched better and ice my ATs. But of course I didn’t. Now I am praying against injury because I’ll be running again soon!

September 10th – 4 Mile Hike – This one was great! Jordan had scheduled a play date with this little girl that he likes. I was trippin’ for real over this! Of course, he is not allowed to have a girlfriend until he is 16. He knows this, but in case he was thinking about it, I felt like he needed to see this girl at her best…. And worst! What better way to bring out the worst in a little lady who is trying to steal your son, than a brisk 4 mile hike with his mom?! I know very well that it is illegal and unethical to beat someone else’s child, but a 4 mile hike does the trick just fine.

Will she stay away from my son? I doubt it. But at least she knows not to piss me off. When I dropped her off at home, I told her mom that she’d be needing a pain reliever.