Since the Beast and I are headed to Lexington this evening to visit our alma maters for the weekend I decided to do my long run on Friday. After sleeping in, I ate a little something, waited for some bowel movement to occur then headed out.
I didn’t know what I was in for.
The first 4-5 miles went really well. My pace was getting faster by 2-5 seconds so I was pleased. I spent this portion listening to a book on tape which helps me not go out of the gate too fast. When I stopped to get water at the end of this segment
The first bad sign happened here. I had brought along my last salted caramel gu to eat for my last 4 miles. I checked my pocket and it had somehow fallen out. I wasn’t that upset and figured it would suck but I could manage.
During the next 3.5 miles my thigh started to burn. Not the muscle, the skin. And when I stopped at the turnaround to check it out I noticed my wonderful life saving CW-X tights were going bare right on that spot of my leg. I was already chafing and bleeding just a little bit. I asked some construction workers for duct tape to hold my pants together. This solution lasted until about half way through mile 9.
The duct tape came off and wouldn’t stick and the chafing hurt so bad that I had to hold the material together. By this point there was a hole bigger than my fist in my pants. I tried to run and was overcome with a burning sensation. I decided to try a walk run but even that failed and I succumbed to as fast a walk as I could handle while essentially holding my crotch material together.
Then my phone died. The last two miles would be in silence. No music, no texting to help me through the walk. I was alone.
With a mile left to go the cramping started and it took every ounce of my will power to continue walking. I wanted to stop but there was no other way to get home and I needed to not be on my feet anymore. I dragged on.
When I finally made it home I grabbed the jug of chocolate milk, peeled off my clothes, and immediately sunk into a nice hot bath. The sweat and pain began to leak out into the hot water and I began to feel like a human being again.
Today was a test of my mental power and what I was made out of. Without the pant rip I would have been on pace at about a 12 minute pace, which is about on par for what I should be doing during the Richmond half in a couple weeks. But the pants rip happened. And I had to hobble home.
I am at least thankful that my pants ripped today and not two weeks from now. I have plenty of time to buy new pants (which I already did) and it proved that I can do it. Despite a less than perfect training cycle with lots of excuses and reasons for not sticking to my plan, I am worthy of competing in the Richmond half. Will I PR? Probably not. But maybe that’s not always the point of running a race.
When the Beast and I moved in together I read a ton of things about how you will both gain weight but I figured we had already done at when we first started dating so we would be fine this time.
I was so wrong.
The first few months went well, for me at least. I was sticking to my workouts and killing it after the hub bub of moving and apartment hunting. The Beast was adjusting to life in DC, a place he loathes.
Then life seemed to speed up and suddenly working out wasn’t as easy to do and eating bad was terribly easy to do. It’s like living with your best friend who you steal all the cookies from the cookie jar with. We were constantly looking for something sweet or savory and high in calories. It was fun but now at the end of a couple of months of this, I feel gross. I feel bloated and fat and frankly I’ve put on 5 pounds that is the difference between clothes fitting and looking good and everything being tight and only wearing oversized shorts.
Its a cycle I go through every few months but I am determined to stop it and beat this “sweet” tooth (or more like taste buds that crave everything bad for me). And this time hopefully the Beast can help me to resist all the cookies and cakes and pies and ice cream and…well you get it.
This past week, I ran very, very little, not on purpose, but because I decided to take a hiking vacation, which meant that my “runs” were actually walks at higher than normal elevations with much steeper inclines than I am used to.
The Beast and I took our first adult vacation out west together with a packed agenda. We left on Saturday and started in Las Vegas, where we spent one night, and decided that scene wasn’t really for us. Apparently we don’t like big cities (not such a huge shocker). Then we headed out to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I really cannot put into words how amazing the view was. It left me speechless. I will let pictures do most of the talking for this post.
On Monday, we had our first real adventure: hiking into the Grand Canyon. We decided that since it takes twice as long to come up as it does going down that we would go down for 2 hours and see how we felt after that. In the 2 hours we made it a little over three miles, and while I was trying to convince the Beast that we could keep going for thirty more minutes, I am glad he convinced me to turn back then. The ascent up may have almost killed me. I never realized what living at sea level does to you, but trying to hiking up 2000 feet in 3 miles from 7000 to 9000 feet was killer. Although I am sad that we didn’t make it to the bottom, I am glad we made it out.
Also, we passed a woman who was running from the South Rim to North Rim to South Rim…in one day. She may have been insane.
From there we headed out to the Sequoias in California. Needless to say, we had an entire day of driving.
On Wednesday, we explored the forest. We hiked up Moro Rock, walked around the huge trees (General Sherman and General Grant), and walked some more. Not as strenuous as the canyon, but still a good bit of hiking for a total of somewhere between 3-4 miles.
Thursday, we had a little bit of light hiking in Yosemite, probably around 2 miles, so nothing too crazy.
Friday, we decided to hike to a waterfall, which was 1000 feet of elevation in a little over a mile. Then we did some more hiking, for about 7 miles of hiking total that day. The waterfall below is Bridalveil Falls…not the long march uphill to see Vernal waterfall.
Saturday, I was supposed to do my long run. I had planned to wake up early in San Francisco and get on the treadmill (Beast worries about me exploring a new city by myself in the dark running, which is a valid point). However, I got on the treadmill and could barely run for the 2 miles I completed. Maybe it was the exhaustion or the sheer boredom of staring at myself for 2.5 hours ahead. I abandoned the treadmill for some more cuddle time in bed because it was a vacation and I needed that more.
After a redeye back to the east coast, I contemplated trying to do my long run. However, my body rejected that thought and all the elevation and hiking and soreness caught up to me. I was exhausted after barely sleeping through the night and week of extreme hiking for me.
Yes, the Richmond half marathon is not that far away and my longest run has only been 11 miles, but I have time to complete two more long (11-12 mile) runs before I need to taper, and sometimes you have to listen to your body and rest.
Time to turn over a new leaf. I am headed on my first vacation in over a year this Saturday and while part of me is tempted to push back my serious training until after vacation that would mean missing two weeks of serious running and not being really ready for the Richmond Half Marathon in mid-November. So the serious running starts tomorrow. I know, it should start today, but I accidentally scheduled a dinner with friends for this evening and my legs are surprisingly sore from yesterday’s sprint triathlon that I did not go that fast in.
I have noticed a pattern over my last two triathlon seasons. I start the season strong, ready to race after a winter of training and not racing, then summer and warmer weather comes and it gets harder to fit everything in, so I begin to slack off and by the end of the season you can really see it in my race results. Then I get frustrated. I get upset with myself, and then the cycle starts all over again.
The Beast and I are both a little fed up to put it mildly. He’s put on some weight, I’ve been maintaining an weight I want to shed, and so we are embarking on that. We are starting to clean up our diet reasonably and get more days in the gym.
As we shift into fall/winter training I am planning on focusing on running and lifting with a little bit of swimming and biking thrown in. I need to improve my run and my bike the most, but I really want to focus on my running for the time being and then get to biking later. I notice those are the two places I get passed the most, with the run being the biggest place.
I’ve got big plans for next year and a lot of things I want to accomplish, but most of all I want to finally get to a place with my body where I am really truly happy and where I am pushing myself running and in triathlons. I am ready to set PRs all over the place and be a little faster and stronger.
So here goes nothing.
It’s been awhile.
I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been at a low point of my life with exercise and food. I’ve been searching for motivation and coming up empty handed.
The mental part of my training is lacking and seriously affecting my physical training.
But I figured the best way to get back to it would be to blog about it. To be held accountable again, to learn to love myself and my body again, to throw myself back into my training, to stop eating so much junk food.
I have one last triathlon this weekend, just a sprint, and a couple weeks ago I did my first Olympic distance triathlon. I promise I will post about it soon!
I know this is a short post but more is coming soon. Because I need to be accountable, particularly to myself.