Archive | May, 2011

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

30 May

Day 8:

Scheduled Run: Steady State Threshold Run 40:00

Actual Run: 40:00, 4.48 miles, OUCH

Legs: Throbbing

Left eye: Started twitching again mid-run.

Sweat: Niagara falls ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Mr T: I hate you. We’re breaking up.

Towel: Threw itself in

It’s not cute any more. It’s not fun any more. It hurts. These steady state runs are the equivalent of a tempo run and they are the antithesis of fun. It’s Memorial Day and as such, I knew I had a bbq and then hanging out with out-of-town friends today so I needed to get the run done early. UGH. For the record, all you morning people are freaks. This is not OK. Morning is NOT a nice time of day. I don’t care what your little imbalanced brains say. It’s just not. And if any of you cheery little birdies try that chippery morning person crap, I’m not responsible for my actions. Just saying.

Looks like Mr. T and I have a date since I don’t run outside during the day if I can help it. I’m like a vampire in the sun. It hits me and I hiss and cry and smoke comes off me and I burn in about 6 seconds flat. You know that SPF number on sunscreen and how it’s supposed to be a multiplier of your natural resistance? Well, anything times 0 is still 0, so sunscreen doesn’t help me a whole lot. I have to stay covered. And I don’t deal well with heat. You see where this is going. Me and daytime outside are really really not friends. Regardless, This run won’t finish itself (though oh how I wish it would!) so I’m off to the gym.

Basic concept for this steady state run, you start out nice and easy with 10 minutes in the blue zone. Then move up to 15 minutes in the green zone. Then, then the fun really starts when it asked me to run in the yellow zone for 10 minutes. This might not be so bad outside, but on the treadmill, OMG will it ever end?

This is really next Monday's run, but same concept.


About the time I got to the torture section aka yellow zone, my towel slid off the display and right off the back of the treadmill. Now I had nothing to mop up the buckets of sweat OR block out the display so I couldn’t fixate on how much more suck I had to go. Thanks for the vote of confidence, towel.
I somehow made it through this massive suckfest and didn’t short out Mr. T with all the sweat.
After drinking 2 gatorades and taking a shower, I packed up the dog and headed to the inlaws. I soothed my achy legs in the nice cool pool and am currently 2 martinis deep. Just try and move me from this chair.

miCoach: A Gift from the Marathon Gods

29 May

Day 7:

Scheduled Run: None

Actual Run: 1.09 miles (Assessment test for miCoach)

Workout: Wrestling a 1600lb horse for an hour

Training Schedule: Redone Again

Pushups: 16, 17, 14, 14, 20

The first full week of training caught up with me today. I am achy and sore and trying to figure out how to weasel a massage into the coming week. I’m also realizing my shoes need replacing sooner than I thought. My ankles and the balls of my feet hurt from smacking the pavement approximately 87,000 times in the course of the week and my left quad has a cramp in it that I don’t know the source of.

Because of this I decided to use my riding as my workout for the day and rather than stress my joints lifting, I would do some bodyweight floor exercises at home. Anyone out there that wants to tell me riding isn’t exercise?  I will punch you in the mouth. Straight up. You obviously have never done it. And no, a trail ride where you climb on to some sleepy old swayback at a dude ranch in your shorts and sneakers and snap pictures and look at deer from horseback for a half hour while feeling like a cowboy does not count. I’m talking about wrestling 1600 lbs of muscle with attitude that doesn’t want to cooperate with you into bending like a pretzel and doing precision movements. Most rides I work just as hard as the horse.

As far as the pushups go…I was really surprised at how hard they were NOT. I mean, I felt it and it was tough to get through, but nothing like the last workout. Hmmm. Interesting. I made it all the way through and was OK. Noodle arm power!

While sitting on the couch noshing this afternoon (I’m still stupid hungry all the time), Glenn turns to me and says “Hey, have you seen this?” He’s showing me his phone on which is the marketplace screen for Adidas miCoach. It looks pretty cool from the preview and it’s free so I’m game to check it out. Cardio Trainer isn’t bad, but it does have some shortcomings and the $9.99 price tag to buy the pro version is a deal breaker (Sorry. I’m mega cheap. That’s a lot for an app). I’ve tried just about every run/workout tracking app out there and there hasn’t been one that covered all the things I wanted it to do. ‘Till miCoach.

The dashboard when you first sign in. All the important info in a nice layout.

After downloading miCoach I go through the signup screens which are easy and super thorough. It sends me an email and I finish setting up my account online. While I’m there, I start poking around and I’m floored. The website is PACKED with tips, training plans, information and features. It helps you set up a training plan based on goals (running, strength, fitness, anything) and then lets you customize it. You can click on each day of the plan and it explains the workout to you. If it’s strength training or floor exercises, it has animations and explanations right in the plan to show you how to do them. It will also track mileage on your shoes and alert you at 300 miles among other neat features. I cannot BELIEVE all this is free.

I put in the half marathon race date, my starting fitness level, that I want to run 4 days a week, I want my long runs to be on Thursdays and my off days on Fridays (yea, it’s THAT customized. I know!) and it made me a training plan and showed it to me in the calendar. UH-MAZING. It even tapers before the race! I think I will be switching over and following this plan at least for a week or 2 to see how it goes. I will still be lifting on Sunday and Wednesday since a good full body weight lifting program helps make running easier and seriously decreases the chance of injury. I can get behind that.

Clear and easy!

The initial workout for miCoach is a 12 minute “Assessment workout” that establishes what your “zones” are. These are the difficulty levels the app uses to tell you how hard/fast you should be running and ranges from blue (very easy), through green, yellow, and finally red on the top end. During the assessment workout it has you start out walking for 2 minutes and then asks you to increase your effort level starting at 4 out of 10 and working up gradually. I was really pleasantly surprised at how good the coaching feedback was. When it asked me to increase to a 7 out of 10 (This is when you get into the yellow zone) the coach tells me that at this effort level my breathing should be more rapid and conversation should be difficult. Thanks! HELPFUL feedback! Awesome!

The timing on it’s cues were great (told me “in 15 seconds increase effort level to a 6 out of 10……….NOW”) and there are about 10 languages and a ton of voices to choose from for coaches so you can find one you like. I stuck with my UK male voice, but in this app he doesn’t sound like a stuffy robot. I also really liked that once I completed my workout it told me and logged that info and then continued collecting data until I shut it off so I didn’t have to start a new workout to keep from ruining my stats on the run portion with my warmup and cooldown walks.

The short version of all this (I know, too late) is that if you have a smartphone and work out, go download miCoach. It is by leaps and bounds the best training app I’ve found and I’m looking forward to really testing it out.

Hi, My Name is Kelly and I’m a Total Nutter.

28 May

Day 6:

Scheduled Run: 3 miles

Actual Run: 3.27 miles, 29:51 avg 9:13/mi

Showers taken: 3

Sports drinks downed: 4

Heat stroke factor: 9

Pushups: Delayed until tomorrow

Today was the first day that it actually felt like summer is really here. I had forgotten/repressed just how extremely unpleasant summer here is. I’m wondering now if I can convince active.com that I didn’t really mean to register for a half marathon and that I accidentally clicked the wrong thing while trying to sign up for the Cheese of the Month Club. I mean, it’s just silly. I can’t RUN in anything like this! Why would any sane human being willingly subject themselves to this?! Don’t answer that.

According to the National Weather Service, it is dangerous to exercise when the heat and humidity meet (or exceed) the below combinations:

HEAT/HUMIDITY
86° F/90%
88° F/80%
90° F/70%
92° F/60%
94° F/55%
96° F/45%
98° F/40%

That’s cute, NWS. It’s not even June and we’re already above that. This means that a panel of experts has determined that it is actually hazardous to your health to be doing ANYTHING outside other than sitting frozen in a block of ice submerged in a swimming pool while sipping icees in front of an industrial fan. When I left the house this morning at 9:30, it was already 85° and 83% humidity and rising fast. Meh, it’ll be fine, right? There’s bound to be a breeze and I’ve got a Gatorade.

It should be noted that I was not running at 9:30 on a Saturday morning. No. Hell. No. There is only ONE thing I willingly sacrifice my deliciously wonderful sleep-in time for, and that is horses. I have an addiction to feed and that calls for drastic measures like waking up before noon and going out into the Florida heat to do manual labor wearing long pants. Addiction isn’t pretty, people. By the time I got mounted at just after 10, I was already feeling sluggish. There was NO breeze. NONE. The air felt thick enough to chew. All the summer bugs were out making sounds a lot like vuvuzelas; probably designed to disorient you so they can strip your carcass before you know what’s happening.  The heat felt downright oppressive. OK, so it’s gonna be one of those days. I brought my water bottle out. We’ll stick to the shade and take a lot of walk breaks.

About 20 minutes in I notice something. I’m totally dry. That’s not right. After spending 3 seconds outside in FL summer, most people are sweating their everlovin’ asses off and I’m no exception. I should be soaked by now and yet even under my helmet is still bone dry. Just as I start Val trotting, a swimmy feeling fogs up my head and my legs and arms feel like jelly. Heeeeeyyyyy…..I know these symptoms. Heat stroke is one sneaky bitch, but I’m wise to her tricks.

I did everything but lay down and elevate my feet...good job, me!!

I decide I need to stop and get a drink before I’m sprawled on the ground passed out under 1600lbs of warmblood (been there, done that, got the headache), but then I can’t remember how to say “whoa”. Thank goodness Val’s pretty sensitive and the mixed up aids worked to make her stop. While sitting in a folding chair next to the arena sipping water, a tiny tiny breeze floated by and I got chills. A normal person would have just called it quits there. Not Kelly. I sat for another 5 minutes hoping the water would do the trick and let me get back on and finish riding because I’m stubborn and hopelessly addicted. I need my full fix. Nope. Seeing spots now. Back to the barn before I pass out in a fire ant pile and wake up with no legs.

After hosing Val (and myself) off, I pitifully walked up to the house to ask Sandy if she would pretty please fill my spare riding sock with ice so I could put it around my neck while I mucked stalls. She graciously got me ice and a Powerade and made me sit for 30 minutes in the AC until I was steady on my feet again. She suggested tomorrow I should come ride in the evening so maybe it would be cooler. YES PLEASE.

After all this, a person of sound mind surely would have decided to skip their scheduled run for the day and recoup. Do you think that thought occurred to me? Nope. At least not until I told Glenn I was heading to the air conditioned gym to knock out my miles and he gave me that look that says “What?! Are you off your meds? How in the world did I wind up married to this crazy woman?”.  All he really said was “Kelly. REALLY?” Yes. Really. This is serious bidness. I’m training for a half MARATHON, bubs. I can’t just skip runs willy nilly, no matter how convincing Self is!

I finished my gatorade and headed for the gym. Glenn went out for a drive so he couldn’t stop me any way. Nanner nanner. I hate running on a treadmill because it’s so monotonous. I just check the distance constantly which always makes it seem harder and longer (that’s what she said) than when I’m outside where I have landmarks for goalposts and can actually see the distance going by. Regardless, I wasn’t running outside today so I figured I’d just go and get through at least a mile or 2 even if I couldn’t finish all 3. I’m NOT skipping a workout, Self. Not in the first week.  On the treadmill (Which I dubbed Mr. T), I walked for a few minutes and then set it at 6.5 mph. Nice and easy, but I could slow down from there if it got rough and still maintain a decent pace. I totally lucked out and found The Girl Next Door playing on Comedy Central and settled in watching that. A few commercial breaks later I glance down at the display hidden behind my phone to see how far I have left. Wait…what did that just say? 3.27 miles?! I over ran? Oooooooops….

No, wait…not oops. FUCK YEA, BITCHES! But wait…what happens when I don’t have a distraction on race day and I just get to focus on how much it hurts? Oh, yea. It’s cool. That’s why I signed up for the one at Disney. They have shows and fireworks and crap along the sidelines!! It’ll be fine. Right?

I really did try to do my pushups, but that’s where my body drew the line. I was just laying on the floor making weird noises. There was no “up” going on. I’ll try again tomorrow.

1 week down, 18 to go.

Rest and Rain

27 May

Day 5:

Scheduled Run: NONE

Wake-up time: 12:17 pm

Books read: 2

Cookies baked: 24

Cookies eaten: ummmm…….would you believe 2?

Today is my first rest day of this training adventure and it was a perfect thunderstormy sort of day. Like the rest of the training schedule, I intend to take this seriously. Your body needs time to recoup, so rest days are not just a rest from running or just a rest from lifting, they are for RESTING and are just as important as the other days in the rotation. Oh man. A solid, irrefutable, defensible REASON for me to be a total bum all day and not lift a finger? I AM IN. This is gonna be great. I’m gonna rest so hard, my bed won’t know what didn’t move out of it.  You’ll be able to make a mold of my face using my pillow. LET’S DO THIS SHIT.

I diligently did not wake up until after noon. I propped up pillows like a beast and read trashy romance on my nook for 3 hours straight because even my BRAIN is resting today. I dressed for success by staying in my PJs. I am still in my PJs. I soaked my feet in epsom salts. I parked my arse on the couch and put my determination to work choosing something to watch on Netflix. I made and ate microwaveable foods so as not to tax my culinary prowess. Pro Tip: Bird’s Eye Steamfresh items are amazing. Even I can handle stuffing a frozen package in the microwave for 4 minutes. Doesn’t get any more convenient than that.

I may have cleaned the house a little since it SORELY needed it and my OCD won’t let me really relax until things are clean, but fear not, dear readers. I did it all in under an hour and didn’t even break a sweat because, as you know, I am serious about my resting training. I also may have let Self talk me into making cookies since we rocked so hard on this first week of training. They’re Betty Crocker from a pouch and I used the stand mixer so I didn’t tax myself too much. Also they’re oatmeal, so that counts for something, right? RIGHT?! Right.

While I may be singing a different tune tomorrow, today I like this marathon training thing. A girl could get used to this.

Feed Me, Seymour!

27 May

Day 4:

Scheduled Run: Long run day. 3.5 miles

Actual Run: 3.52 miles, 35:31.  Avg:  10:08/mile

Walk breaks: Not a damn one.

Dezzi: Game face: ON

Kamikaze lovebugs in my mouth: 1

Left eye: Yep. Still twitching. STILL.

Stomach: Insisting I eat a PBJ. STAT.

"Feed Me" Said the Hungry Thing!!

All this exercise has caught up with my appetite and made me an insatiably ravenous monster all day. I just could not eat enough. My body wasn’t sure whether this was a new routine or just an exceptionally hard week, but it wanted restitution and was demanding that I consume more calories to make up for this torture. I downed cereal, veggies, berries, hummus and tabbouleh in mass quantities and still my body demanded more. I drank green tea to take the edge off since it’s supposed to be a mild appetite suppressant. Helped slightly, but there were still grumbling noises coming from my midsection loud enough to make my co-workers ask if I was all right and it left me buzzing since I have cut out all caffeine for the last 2 weeks in the interest of not having heart palpitations. That would have been fine except for the crash at about 4:00 that sent me face-planting into my desk in a series of hypnic jerks.

Magic!!!!

I was sore, stiff, sleepy and monstrously hungry. How was I going to make it through a long run? First off, I ate. Then I took a nap. Or rather I tried to take a nap, but 2 big noisy boys came and jumped on my bed and yelled and wrestled until I gave up that idea, at which point they left. So then I ACTUALLY took a nap. Upon waking, I ate again and downed a ZipFizz. I would like to take a moment here to tell you that if you plan on running or doing anything outside in the summer, you should invest in some ZipFizz. This stuff is pure, uncut powdered magic. It contains approximately 10 to the 67th power percentage of your daily value of vitamin B12 and probably some unicorn horn. I don’t know how they did it, but this stuff is the closest thing to a magic energy potion on the face of the planet. It is dehydrated hydration. No shit.

Some motivation required.

I was not exactly feeling Eye of the Tiger about this run, so I prepared inspiring mantras and power songs to help me get pumped and slog through. I told Self I would take walk breaks BEFORE I needed them. The important thing was to go the distance, not be fast. I had Glenn on standby for a dog pick up because while Dezzi wasn’t letting me out the door without him, this is the farthest either of us has run in quite awhile. I wasn’t sure if he’d make it or if I’d be dragging him along for the last mile and limping him home.

While I was worrying about all of this, I started running and made myself take it nice and slow with the first of the mantras skipping through my head: Smooth and relaxed. Smooth and relaxed.

“It is better, I think, to begin easily and get your running to be smooth and relaxed and then to go faster and faster.” – Henry Rono

I got almost a whole mile in and realized I felt…..good. Nay, GREAT. I settled in with some Weezer and Foo Fighters. Dezzi happily trotted along next to me, the breeze kept blowing steadily and before I knew it, that British guy in my phone was saying “60% complete”, and then “70% complete”. No fuggin’ way. I still feel really good! I kept waiting for the side stitches, the muscle cramps or the fatigue to set in and force me into the walk break I had already prepared myself for. It just never did. I just kept being surprised by how easy this seemed and how nice it was to be out running. NICE I tell you!! Even the weather was…dare I even say it….NICE! You know, when my body isn’t acting like a petulant teenager screaming that it hates me and I’m the meanest ever for making it do this and I’ll be sorry because it’s going to leave and never come back….running is actually PLEASANT!

I know that on long runs you are supposed to keep your pace “conversational” which means that you could carry on a conversation with your running mate without gasping for breath. Dezzi isn’t exactly stimulating to talk to, but I made sure I was still conversational by updating him on our progress whenever Cardio Trainer updated me and singing along with my tunes. I look like a total nutbag, I’m sure, but that’s part of why I run at night. Less witnesses.

I also know about these things called “fast finishes” from my research that are supposed to be implemented in training, but have never had enough gas left in the tank to do anything more than drag my spent carcass back home. Tonight I was conservative on the front end and it actually paid off. I picked up the pace when I heard that nice guy say “80% complete” (I should really give him a name…Belvedere? Jeeves? Alfred? Clarkson?) and kicked it up another gear at 90, and finished feeling pretty fucking awesome. I even high-fived the dog for being my awesome teammate. True story.

I never start out slow. Even when I think I’m going slow, I’m going faster than I should be. It’s always balls to the wall until I want to puke and then I run some more because if I don’t go until I give out, I’ve wasted the workout.

Ahhhh Grasshoppa….there are other, less painful and more effective ways to train that don’t end in burnout and despair. There are ways that enable you to enjoy yourself and the process too….

Huh. Who woulda thunk?

Hurry Up and Weight

25 May

Day 3:

Scheduled Run: Trick question! It’s a weight lifting day. New Rules program Phase 1, Workout B.

Actual Run: OK, so I ran 1 mile in 8:01 to warm up.

Left eye: Has stopped…twitch….twitch. *sigh* Never mind.

Dezzi: Sulking, but clean

Push-up Challenge: 14, 16, 12, 12, 17

I'm Sorry. Please don't make me get in the shower.

Today Dezzi, in what I can only assume was a passive aggressive retaliatory jab at me for leaving him behind when I went running last night, took a huge strong-man sized dump on the floor in his room while I was at work (Yea. The dog has his own room. I KNOW). Since my running shoes are safely locked away on the other side of the house, he couldn’t eat those (again), but the method got the message through. Jerkstore. He has also gone on a hunger strike since his little dog brain has decided he deserves better than the Beneful we serve around this joint. His stomach is growling so loud I can hear it across the house. To which I say “YOU’RE A DOG. DEAL WITH IT”. Running resumes tomorrow. For being a filthy, stinky animal, he got a bath which he hates. So nanner nanner dog face. I still have the thumbs in this relationship.

Side note, so far this week I have been a healthy eating dynamo and compared to my usual level of kitchen proficiency, I am a goddamn culinary GENIUS this week.  Cooking LIKE A BOSS. Taking my vitamins and everything. Not even 1 cookie. High five, Self. You deserve a prize. Like a cookie….wait. Oh, that was sneaky, Self. Very very sneaky.

Directly after work, I scarfed an egg, green pepper, onion and feta wrap that I made myself. I was gonna make an omelette, but omelettes are hard, so I made a scramble and put it in a whole wheat tortilla. BAM. What’d I tell you? Genius. We had to drive out to Orlando for a meeting and didn’t get home until 9:30. The gym closes at 10:00. Crap. Not to be outdone or Self-talked into a skip this early in the program, I changed in record time and popped back out the door. Good thing the gym is only a mile away!! My plan was to do as much as I could, even if it was only the deadlifts and lat pulls. I could improvise the rest at home with my 10lb dumbbells.

I walk in the door and look at the clock. 9:38. I have 22 minutes to cram in a workout. GO BLUE TEAM GO! Jumped on the treadmill and cranked that shit up to 11 (or 7.5mph. Whatever) since I was in a time-crunch induced moment of insanity and was feeling pretty awesome. The dude who hopped on the treadmill next to me and seemed to be trying to race me might also have had something to do with it. Not tonight, sucker. Lemme show you how a girl runs. POW!  8 minutes later, he was struggling and I was done. I even managed one of those super-smooth treadmill dismounts where I shut it off and nonchalantly turn around and let it drop me right off the end as I start walking. Eat your hearts out gym rats.

Without resting AT ALL, I sped through the rest of the workout in a flurry of weight plates and cable machines. I actually finished just as they were doing the “Hey, assholes. We want to go home. Move it to the parking lot” light flash and didn’t pass out even a little. How this happened, I still have absolutely no idea.  I sauntered out of that Planet Fitness feeling like a goddess of athleticism, telling that marathon I was gonna kick it’s ass up and down the state come October. All I had to do when I got home was my abs and pushups.

Oh. Pushups. Forgot about that.

Oh, come on now. That seems like an unnecessarily excessive jump in reps from Monday. *whimper* Goddess feeling is deflating. How do you expect my noodley girl arms to do all that?! Yes. I was Athena herself 10 minutes ago and now, when faced with push-ups I am complaining of noodle arms. I know, I know. Mantra.

The first set felt pretty good. The second set was OK. The third and fourth were rough and rougher and the 90 second rest break was over WAY too soon. The last set…..was not pretty. There were sounds I really hope the neighbors didn’t hear. I had to split the last set into 10 and 7 with 10 seconds of rest and my form was probably atrocious for the last couple reps. But I finished every last one of those 71 pushups.

My lovely and talented marathon partner Brittany also has a blog to track her side of the training experience ( I actually totally stole her idea in starting this blog…ninja! What? Noooooooothiiiiiiiing.). For all of the 2 people who are probably reading this (internet fame, here I come), I recommend checking it out HERE. She is witty, funny and determined and it will not disappoint you. I promise. 🙂

The Early Bird Feels the Burn

24 May

Day 2:

Scheduled Run: 3 mile Tempo (comfortably hard)

Actual Run: 3.04 miles, 30:56; avg: 10:10/m. Not so much comfortable, definitely hard.

Walk Breaks: About 3 minutes total broken into 6 or 7 short breaks

Left eye: Still twitching

Sprinklers: Out to get me

Heat stroke factor: 5

Daylight factor: Weird

This morning I revised the training schedule since the time-line is shorter than I had allowed for and I wanted to switch my off day to Friday. On the upshot, Fridays can now be spent in bed with my feet up on pillows, watching Netflix and eating assorted tasty carbs to my heart’s content. Glorious. On the downside, there is now a rough week and a lot of miles standing between me and Friday. Adjusting the schedule was also a sobering reminder of how short 19 weeks actually is and how quickly I have to progress beyond my 2-3 mile comfort zone. For the next few weeks, this is going to hurt. A lot. I am likely to be a blubbering pile of pitiful until my body catches up with the program and the mileage arc levels off a little.

I make a shadow 'cause there's sun! It's a novelty for me. Shut up.

We usually go to dinner with my parents on Tuesday, so knowing I had to get in another 3 miles, I peeked at the evening’s weather situation. The temp forecast looked on the high side of bearable, there was a breeze and the humidity was low, so I made a very ambitious and responsible plan to get the run out of the way BEFORE dinner. Yup, straight home from work and out on the pavement. The sun was even still out for crap’s sakes.

This forethought is mostly necessary because I know myself and Self has a bad habit of eating a big dinner and then “waiting to digest” at which point (3 hours later) I’m “SO tired” and couldn’t possibly run. Those miles wind up being rationalized away and skipped. That skip lays the groundwork for more skipping and ultimately me being “sick” i.e. horribly under-trained and sleeping through the actual race.
NOT THIS TIME, SELF!

It's SO BRIGHT! It hurts us precious!!! It burnnssssss!!

Gatorade was chugged, flax seed chips were eaten, hair was braided, the dog was peeled off my leg and left whining at the door since no matter what HE says, he needs a rest day and I was out the door by about 6:30. Yes. That’s early. Remember that part about me needing a NIGHT TIME marathon? I don’t usually make it out the door until at least 9pm.

There was a good breeze going and the sun didn’t turn me to ash as soon as it touched me, so I felt optimistic. Until I got about 1/4 mile in on the actual run. The sun was blinding me. Someone definitely put concrete in my shoes. I couldn’t get a solid lung-full of air. Sweat was running in my eyes and stinging and that breeze ran away to hide. Ah, fuckberries. Time to ACTUALLY “nut up or shut up” and get to work. I churned through about a mile and a half before I was forced into my first walk break by a side stitch.

It was early and I guess nice out by Florida standards, so there were loads of people outside. I only let myself walk about 100 feet and then started up again when I spotted an old guy walking his dog coming toward me. I’m so stinkin’ competitive that I have to be running when I’m going by people. And not painfully slogging either, if I can help it. I’ll pick up the pace a little even if I feel like my lungs are going to pop right out of my throat.  This is why I didn’t walk for more than about 15-30 seconds at a stretch. I even ran right through the middle of a kids’ birthday party (Who has a party in their driveway anyway?! That’s Rockvegas, baby). Have to keep going!! FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU.

The few times I got to a shady spot and a breeze kicked up it was like manna from heaven and I felt like I might not ACTUALLY die. Then it went away and I whimpered and slogged on. As a nice bonus everyone was watering their lawns and they all came on just as I ran by. I had to dodge at least 4 sprinklers popping up while I was mid zone so I didn’t smell any worse by the end of the run. For those of you who are not Floridians, most water for lawns is sulfur laden stuff that smells like rotten eggs. Add that to B.O. and you have an olfactory cocktail that is hard to forget. This is why I run after 10. I remember now.

I like to think I look fleet and athletic when I’m out running, but today I could just hear GlaDos over my shoulder saying “Look at you soaring along majestically like an eagle…piloting a blimp”. Definitely felt sluggish and blimpy and I know I looked like a tomato after the first mile. A big lumbering sweaty tomato with frizzed out braids. Look out, boys.

We didn’t wind up going to dinner with Mom and Dad, but at least the run is done.

My mantra for today was: “Even a short, slow run is better than none.” and I DID cover my full distance, so chock up a win for the determination column. Next tempo run I’ll pick up the pace a bit. Right now I’m gonna go heat up a sweet potato burrito (Don’t hate. They’re fucking delicious) and ice my poor knees.