Saturday, September 5, 2009

Did the old leg hold up?

Yes. Quite admirably, too.

I'm not sure how far we ran this morning. The schedule called for 5 miles, and the map of this week's course put us at 5.3...but my pedometer read 5.84 when all was said and done. I also don't know how long we ran because I forgot to start my watch until somewhere around mile 2...whatever the final time, it was over an hour. By the time I walked back into my apartment this morning, I'd clocked 11,195 steps. Not bad for 7:25 a.m. on a Saturday.

It's strange...the first year I ran, when I was sick, I would always stop running. Last year, when I got cyclic vomiting syndrome over Sarah Palin, I adjusted to running through illness. This year, I've been running while sick on purpose in the hopes that it will make me feel better. It makes zero sense. But I've been warding off a sinus infection all week and the days that I run, I feel better than the days I don't. (God, what my shins will endure if I get swine flu...)

The only problem today was that my right knee suddenly blinded me with crippling pain somewhere in the third mile, but I think that was because I was running on the street and the surface was uneven. I moved to the sidewalk and was fine.

Wow, this blog is boring today. But so was the run. But in a GOOD WAY. Although now that the endorphins have worn off, I'm feeling a bit ill again. Man. If it's not one damned thing it's another.

OH. I should cross-train today, too. That'll make it an even three. I will do it. I will, I will. It's as if exercise is the police and I'm Paul's grandfather at the start of THIS CLIP. I'd say that's an accurate summation of both my relationship with cross-training and my current feelings of determination on the matter.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Runner down!

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. All that build up to my second run of the week and I'm laid up. Shin pain. Right leg. Damn.

This always happens to me. I hit a stride, up my mileage one week, and then either my knee(s) or my shin(s) will protest horribly. I'm not in so much pain that I *couldn't* run tonight, but I know from experience that if I *did* run, I would be incapable of running on Saturday. (That whole "run through the pain" thing always backfires.) The half-marathon training course this Saturday is five miles so...hmmm, yes, better to sit out running two miles tonight than to sit out five miles on Saturday.

Man. My stupid shin. It aches in the persistent, dull way that a shin aches when it decides it's tired of running up and down hills. It hurt a little yesterday but when I tested it out with a few barefoot laps around my desk in the office this morning, I knew I was in trouble. I'm disgusted with it. My shin is dead to me right now.


I'll just be over here with an ice pack and a towel soaked in Epsom salts. :(

P.S. Remind me of this next time I'm all peppy and think, 'yes, I should totally run twice as far as far as I usually do on a weeknight...'

P.P.S. OH GOD I don't have any ice made. Can this get any sadder? The wild peaks and troughs that have been chronicled in this blog this week...stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Peer pressure.

Curls and crunches for the second time this week? CHECK. I "cross-trained" (for real, what I do is so barely within the confines of what could be considered cross-training) this evening primarily because, while responding to a comment from Kathryn, I felt like a slacker for not just going and doing it already. And thus it was done. Kathryn, my triceps will thank you tomorrow.

In other news, I regretfully inform you that I ate my Dove delicious morsels today after all, even though I had such high hopes for waiting until tomorrow. If my run tomorrow is terrible, this is why.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are you going to eat your tots?

I did, indeed, cross-train last night. A few stomach crunches, a few arm thing you know, I have been trained. So one session down for the week, two more to go. I've never actually done a full three days of cross-training any week...

...until now?! MAYBE! Keep your fingers crossed for a dedicated week of laying on the floor followed by lifting my arms in a repetitive fashion. I just might make it happen.

But not tonight.

Tonight was my first run after the race on Saturday and, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it, oh, maybe an ELEVEN BECAUSE I RAN FOUR MILES. Where did that even come from? It's unseasonably cool for September 1st here in Memphis (about 78 when I set out), with low humidity, and as I was walking to the path where I run, I thought, 'Hmmm...maybe I could do three miles tonight instead of my usual two.' And then I further thought, 'Hmmm...maybe I should listen to Revolver because WHY NOT?' And what do you know, a mile and a half in, "She Said, She Said" came on and I knew right then that I could run 4 miles. Easily.

Except "easily" left me in the final mile. I got a side stitch, my knees started to hurt a little, and my right shoulder cramped up (that's the arm I wear my iPod on). But I got through it, and my final time? 44:14! That puts me at just over an 11:03 pace, which is huge because my "official" (as in calculated by race officials) pace for the race on Saturday was 11:24. No only was I under my race pace, I ran the last mile in 10:41 (!!!!).

I have no idea how I did this. But occasionally, in rare, rare instances, I have good running days. Today was one of them.

It came as a total surprise, too. My boss is having this party thingy at our office after hours this evening, so before we left today, the office manager went out and bought a bunch of candy and distributed it at pivotal places throughout the office. I resisted admirably until she came over and dumped a handful of Dove milk-chocolate-with-almonds DELICIOUS MORSELS on my desk and I ate one, and then another, and then another, and then there were only three left, so I had one more, and even as I ate it, my stomach ached, as if to scold me: 'Four?! One really would have been sufficient, jackass.'

This is why I usually don't have candy just lying about. Or donuts. Jesus effing CHEE-RIST what I will do if I see a donut sitting somewhere. I will eat it. And I will want to vomit. And I won't even care. I will eat anything sweet if it's in front of me.

So I thought I might have terrible run because of all the chocolate (which I followed up with a huge Manwich sandwich and tots when I got eating habits make no sense).

I eat like this guy.

Anyway, I put the two remaining chocolate morsels in my desk for consumption tomorrow, but now I'm thinking I should save them to eat before my run on Thursday (for luck). My stomach kinda still hurts, but I'd say that's minor in comparison to the major physical feat that was accomplished today.

Run done. Blog done. And I even have time to get a shower in before 18 Kids and Counting. I am awesome today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cross-Training: A Discussion

You're supposed to cross-train when you're working up to a big race.

It's like...this thing.

For some people, cross-training means going to the gym on the days they don't run and lifting weights or taking aerobics classes or something. Anything to work out other muscle groups and help you get stronger.

In the past, for me, it's mainly meant doing the Abs of Steel 2000 VHS video workout. I did not buy this, mind you, but rather my mother found it in a dusty box on the side of the road when she was out walking one morning. That's about the effort I put into my cross-training: doing a decade-old workout video that was in someone's trash.

This is my actual tape.

But recently, even Abs of Steel 2000 just isn't working for me. For one, it's, like, 25 minutes long. That's for-ever when you're lying on the floor doing stomach crunches while trying to keep an eye on the television.

Two, it's not a very well-done tape, in that there are times when Tamilee and the two other women leading the exercises skip reps or forget to do the right side after the left side... All in all, it's just not up the standards one would expect from a volume in the "of Steel" collection.

And three, I never really feel like I've gotten a great workout. I also don't have abs of steel, so either I harbor unnaturally durable stomach muscles, or it's just a shitty tape.

The original Abs of Steel (current retail value: $0.74) was also in the dusty box in the side of the road, so I tried that once. It was even worse, but for the opposite reasons. Ninety percent of the workout on that video involves being in a push-up position. I valiantly held on for about 5 minutes or so, and then I collapsed onto the floor and spent the next two days unable to lift my arms above shoulder-level. NOT HELPFUL.

So where does that leave the current status of my cross-training?

Sometimes I do crunches on my own. And then, if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll do a quick arm-strengthening regimen that I found on YouTube, using 5 pound weights. I think I'm supposed to be doing this, um, 3 times a week (maybe?). I don't really know. I haven't put a lot of effort into my cross-training (it's a theme with me an exercise).

But since I'm taking today off from running as I allow my legs to recover from Saturday's race, I should probably cross-train tonight...

I'll let you know how that goes.