Tag Archives: half-marathon

Run for the Booty and a New PR

6 Mar

Gasparilla Tampa Bay Half Marathon: COMPLETED

Is that not the most rockin' finishers medal you've ever laid eyes on? I KNOW. BAD. ASS.

Chip Time: 1:52:09

Days since race: 2

PRs CRUSHED: 1

Minutes I took off my last time: 24

Concert attended race day: Yep

Hours spent PTFOd on the couch yesterday: apx 7

Post race massage: Most brilliant idea any race organizer has ever had EVER

Race Weather: Sketchy, hurricane-y, wet, windy, and almost pleasant.

Conversations I had on course with strangers: 5

Random running buddy Raoul: Better than the pacing team I started with.

Official results from the website

OK. I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last wrote. Especially since I did in fact break the 40 minute mark on a 5 miler (finished strong in 39:07), set a new 5k PR and kicked ass on a couple tempos. My last 2 long runs were completely miserable however, and made me question why in the world I put myself through this garbage and don’t just run 5ks like a normal person? Well…because I’m a nutbag and 5k is not enough. That’s why. Last time I updated I just registered for this race. Well, I ran it and WIPED THE DAMN FLOOR WITH IT.

One of the official pics from the half. This was getting close to the finish. It was a little soggy and blustery.

For as much of a “yea whatever” as this felt like during training and even leading up to it and walking around the expo, the race was pretty awesome and I have to hand it to the organizers, they did a great job. There were plenty of aid stations, everyone was super friendly, we started on time and it didn’t feel like a mob scene and they funneled us right down through all the recovery stations to the convention center after the race right to where our massages were. And holy crap. That 10 minute massage probably is what kept me upright at the concert Sunday night rather than laying on the floor in a mangled pile of aching joints since it kept my right hip from locking up when I stopped moving. BRILLIANT. I will get the 20 minute one next time. I did feel bad going in there straight from the finish line with my sweaty gross legs, but everyone else was too and I know relatively it wasn’t that bad since it was all kinds of windy during the race.

The race shirt is pretty awesome too. Damn...I actually have runner's legs.

The feel of this race was SO completely different than the last and I think it was both due to the fact that I knew without question that I would finish and the pace I was running. The crowd you’re mixed in with while running 8:30 and faster miles is so much different than the 10 minute mile crew. Everyone in that group is running for a time goal and are much more focused than the jovial casual atmosphere in the 10:00/mile group, but they’re still super supportive of each other and friendly. I hardly saw anyone walking at all until I passed the 10 mile mark and even then not many. It’s cool how the attitude shifts as you get faster without losing the camaraderie. We still all cheered for the leaders as they passed on the turnaround and joked with each other, but there was also more conversation about pace and timing.

Runners may be crazy, but they really are pretty awesome people, I’m finding. During a race, we all band together and help support each other through each painful mile even though we’re all strangers and all running our own races with our own goals. If someone breaks down and walks, there are people around to give a peptalk, encourage you and get you started again. People yell out where the puddles are for those behind them and if there are potholes or rough spots. Everyone says “thank you” to the live entertainers, volunteers and supporters on course as they pass. In the predawn early race portion when all you hear are feet hitting the pavement, breathing and Garmins beeping to mark pace and distance it’s sort of surreal. I had to remind myself I was actually running a race. Especially because it’s distance running, so you settle in and get comfortable and it’s not a frenetic, adrenaline fueled flight to the finish with spectators cheering. There are occasional pace time checks and laughing, occasional yells of “Water, Right!” “Squeeze coming up!” or “Left turn ahead!”, occasional words of encouragement from people parked on the sidelines, but it’s just 6000 crazy people all running on quiet blocked off roads both together and in their own race. Crazy crazy people. And I’m one of them.

Ready to head to the start approximately 30 seconds before the deluge started. My sweet war shirt says "Trample the weak, Hurdle the dead" on the back. That was my mantra this race. ARRGGHH!!

Sitting in the car at about 5:15am waiting to head to the start, the wind was so strong you could feel it pushing the car around and it suddenly started pouring buckets. It legit looked like a hurricane outside and my crazy ass was getting ready to go out in it in some tech shorts and run. They weren’t going to call the race unless there was lightning, and if it was on, I was running. Have you seen that finishers medal?? It’s frickin’ sweet! I didn’t come all the way to Tampa to be scared off from taking that thing home by a little wind and rain. I say little….but the wind was 20+mph sustained. It was not fucking around. Hence why I wore the headband and double braided my hair. You do not want to have to fuck with that stuff in the middle of a race. Especially if it’s wet and windy. Makin’ sure it stayed out of my face and contained.

While I did get all kinds of prepared and packed up and brought all my stuff, ate a good breakfast and all, the weather distracted me and I totally forgot my knee brace and my sportshield. I had a moment of panic at the start where I went “SHIT. My knee is gonna blow out and I’m gonna have thigh/underboob blisters the size of pancakes by mile 5. This is bad.” Then I looked around, realized it was either run without or don’t run at all and went “Meh, fuck it. Let’s run.” I know. Super serious. Turned out I didn’t need either. My knees did just fine, my new Champion sports bra was AWESOME and my chicken legs are still skinny enough they don’t rub together anyway. So there. I consciously decided to not bring the camelback since there seemed to be enough aid stations and with the wind and wet it seemed like it would be more of a hindrance, which also meant I left behind the phone since I had nowhere to carry it and it was safer not getting rained on anyway.

I'm not paying $35 for this pic, so you get to see it with PROOF stamped on it. We'll just say that's for "PROOF" I did run the race. This was me early in the race while I was keeping up with the pace group.

At the last minute I hooked up with the 1:50:00 pace team in the starting area and stuck with them for the first half of the race. That meant they were trying to average 8:24 per mile. Since everyone’s packed together at the start and your first mile tends to be kind of slow, you have to make up that time in the subsequent miles. Well, the lady leading the group was not fucking around and by mile 3 we had made up a full minute and kept running somewhere between 7:40-8:00 per mile for the first 5 miles, I guess to buy some time for the bridge and wind. Yes, the wind was strong enough that it slowed you down considerably when it hit you full in the face and sometimes even when you caught the crosswind off the water. At around the 5 mile mark though, I realized if I didn’t cool it and back off to an actual 8:24-8:35 sort of pace, I’d burn out too early and be in bad shape towards the end, so I stopped for a second to drink my gatorade at the second aid station instead of just throwing it towards my face and hoping it landed in my mouth and I lost them over the bridge. Whatevs.

Side note, it is really hard to drink out of a paper cup while running. I’ve seen techniques like scrunching the cup so the opening is more of a slit or just straight pouring the water over your head with your mouth open, but the one time I did successfully get more water in than on me, I was spluttering and coughing for the next quarter mile from half inhaling some since I was, you know, running still. I finally determined it was better to just walk for 3 seconds, pound it and continue (those nights doing shots at the bar paid off!). Also, even though I know you’re supposed to, it is very hard to convince myself it’s OK to throw the cups and my Gu packets on the ground. Just feels wrong, both in the littering sense and the “I’m not a disrespectful slob and won’t make you volunteers who are nice enough to stand out here in the rain with water for us clean up after me” sense, but there weren’t any trash cans at all save for 1 or 2 stations, so that actually was the only option. Thus, I THREW IT ON THE GROUND!

Around mile 5 I paced and chatted with a grandfatherly sort of guy in an orange shirt who asked “you were with the 1:50:00 pace team too, huh?”. We then chatted about how the lead lady’s pace was sort of crazy and how we were in fact right on pace to meet the time anyway and he reminded me to “always run your own race, not someone else’s” which is good advice for distance running, but also a good thing to remember in general. Forget about “keeping up” with someone else. Run the race that’s right for you right now. Thanks Orange Gramps for the conversation and life lesson. See ya at the finish.

This is Raoul my pace buddy. I found him at the finish. He reminds me of my friend's dad.

At the halfway point, I started pacing a running-dad kind of guy who introduced himself as Raoul. He was super consistent in his pace and super friendly. We chatted a little and I yoyoed from next to him to ahead a bit and back for the rest of the race. The one time I broke down and walked at around mile 9 to work a kink out of my hip, I heard him behind me coming up yelling “Come on Kelly! You can do it! Keep going!” after which another guy in white passed me and said “Let’s go yellow! Don’t stop!”. I laughed and picked it up again. I wasn’t walking more than about 30 seconds to a minute. These guys weren’t having it. I need them on my training runs!

Yea, I finished. No big deal. They even gave me a sweet shiny cape for being so awesome.

At about 10 miles I had to do that “Ok. That was just a REALLY long warmup for a 5k. ONLY 5k left. That’s NOTHIN’. You got this.” By mile 11 though, I was out of steam. I was tired and achy and the wind was blowing against me hard enough to knock me off balance a couple times. I kept waiting for the last Gu I took at mile 9 to kick in and it kept not happening. I slowed down dramatically, but kept plugging. I ran 11 miles in about 1:33:00 and kept looking at the Garmin for time and distance going “Don’t give up now. You’re on track to kill it as long as you don’t start sandbagging now. No walking. Keep plugging. In like 15 minutes, you’ll be getting your sweet sweet skull medal and feasting on bananas and bagels and victory. Don’t listen to your hips and knees. They’re being whiny bitches.” Raoul helped peptalk me into picking up the pace a little, but then since he was being all consistently paced and I was petering out, I lost him in the last couple miles.

Not too much the worse for wear! SUCCESS!

In those last 2 miles I am hard pressed to tell you why I do this. Everything in me is screaming to stop, to sit down, to just not run any more. And then I round a corner and can see the finish line. And I push even though I don’t think I have anything left. Once I cross that line and stop the timer, there is a feeling that floods through me. Maybe it’s part relief that I don’t have to run any more, but seeing that timer just barely clicking over 1:53:00 and knowing my actual time was less than that as I finished and knowing just how huge an improvement that was and that I did in fact just run 13 miles on my own steam feels so good. Yes, a lot of people run these things now, but it’s still a small percentage of the people I know that can say they’ve finished a half marathon, and in a damn respectable time, to boot. I had the dedication and drive to train for and finish this thing. Fuck yea. I’m pretty awesome.

Hurroo Hurroo!! My phone takes pretty good pics!

Since I am apparently crazy in the coconut, I also bought tickets to go see the Dropkick Murphys in Orlando with my friends the night of the race. I could barely walk up the driveway to the house by the time we got home after jumping and stomping for 4 hours in the pit, but it was totally worth it. The show was awesome and I had a great time. All in all, a really bitchin’ day and another milestone.

Now to decide if I can squeeze in one more race and one more PR before I back it off for the summer. I’m not training in the heat again this year. I’ll stick to 3-5 milers early in the morning and then pick up seriously when the heat breaks in the fall. Got my eye on a half at the end of April, though. We shall see…the addiction has taken hold for sure.

Foot Stabbings, Creepers and Sunrise Running

25 Jan

Days to race: 40

Scheduled: 5 miles
Actual: 5.01 miles, 41:01, Avg: 8:13/m

Temp: 68F, Humidity: 91% – Oh, Florida. That’s cute. It’s supposed to be winter though, remember?

Gasparilla Half: I AM REGISTERED

10 minute post-race massage: Purchased. Sneaky fuckers.

Last week:

Huge sandspur spines that stabbed my feet: 2

Runs it prevented me from doing: 0

Tuesday Scheduled: 6 mile tempo run
Tuesday Actual: 6.0 miles (after cutting spines out of my foot), 48:16, Avg 8:02/m   Splits: 8:19, 7:46, 8:00, 8:27, 7:33, 8:06

Night running: Still easier

Morning running: Still nicer

Spinning bike: Totes my bitch

9 mile run: Should not be done without breakfast

Palm Bay: Rivals Rockledge for skeez-bags

I haven’t written anything for the last week because I have been extremely busy kicking ass at life, but now that I have a moment, I will fill you in.

Like wheat of death. This is a cruel joke by nature.

Last weekend I somehow had a stroke or mental episode of some sort and forgot that this is Florida and you can’t just run out to your car willy nilly barefoot through the grass to get your water bottle unless you have stone soled feet or hooves. I have neither. Thusly I got my feet turned into pincushions by a load of sandspurs. It happened to be the one chilly day of the year that locals endearingly call “winter”, so for an added bonus, they were frozen and extra sharp. For those of you fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with this atrocity of nature, I have included a handy dandy educational photo. There’s probably more of this than actual grass in any given area in this county. It’s horrifying neato. So after cursing profusely and leap-running back inside, I stood on the tile at the front door and gingerly picked them all out of my feet, trying to avoid having them stab my fingers too badly in the process and promptly set them on fire. Not really…but I should have. I thought I eradicated all of them without lasting damage, but I was mistaken.

Surgical implements used to dig out the offenders

Unfortunately I did not realize my oversight until the next morning when I got up and got ready to go out for my 6 mile tempo run. I tied on my shoes, stood up and…OMGMOTHERFUCK OUCHOUCHOUCH! I had 1 large sandspur spike and 1 smaller one lodged DEEP in the sole of my foot and the outside arch support of my shoe pushed directly on them. OK. This is not something I can just suck it up and run through. They were too deep to get at with tweezers (though that didn’t stop it from bringing tears to my eyes when I touched it wrong and sent a TWANG through my whole foot), even after soaking in Epsom salts. At this point it was too late for me to run before work, so I grumbled, got dressed and the run got put off. When I got home from work, I soaked my foot again and pulled out the big guns. Exacto knife and needle were sterilized and I gritted my teeth and dug those suckers out of the bottom of my foot like a badass. The big one was probably 1/8″ long. Not fucking around. Now that that is taken care of, I have 6 miles to run at tempo pace, if you don’t mind.

So very true.

I was so cocky about successfully digging those things out, I took my pre-run Gu and THEN sat down and started performing surgery on myself. I was going out. Better believe it. Stupid little devil plant isn’t sidelining me. I’ve dealt with way worse shit and still gone running. And I KICKED ASS. I rocked my tempo splits and kept a decent pace in the recovery sections. I’m pissed I had to stop and wait for a truck to pass to cross the street or I would have done 5 miles in under 40 minutes. Hit the 5 mile mark at 40:03. Next time, Batman. This was a good reminder that I have not totally acclimated to being a morning person. Running at night is still easier for my body. Pushing the pace just felt good. I’m able to hydrate and fuel better pre-run and that’s when my body WANTS to be active. But this race is an early morning race, so I’m trying to keep my runs in the AM hours.

The last few runs my shins and calves have been bothering me. Not sure if it’s because I’m running faster and so am pulling my toes up more than I used to or if my shoes are nearing the end of their useful life and not cutting the impact shock sufficiently. I still rocked even with screaming shins. Next tempo I’m aiming for 7:30 pace in the fast miles.

My worried about it face

My long run last week was a 9 miler. Due to alarm clock failure, I missed it on Friday so just pushed it to Saturday morning instead. I decided to do an out and back run from where I was in Palm Bay, which B-T-DUBS is the super redneck classy southern swamp portion of the county, like Rockledge’s southern cousin. I forgot to throw a granola bar in my bag, so I just hydrated really well and went out. I should also note that the previous night my dinner consisted of 2 brownies….and then 2 glasses of whiskey. Ummmm….that’s totes what distance runners eat before a long run, right? Definitely gonna get me through. Whatever. It’s fine. Let’s run.

Like this, but with less mountains and water and more traffic and houses.

I filled my camelback and started out just before dawn when it was still dark, foggy and chilly and headed east. The sunrise that morning was AMAZING. Just before the colors started showing up there were rays of yellow light shooting through the clouds into the hazy sky. Then the oranges and pinks started showing up on all the little scattered clouds and got super vivid before the sun popped through. It was BEAUTIFUL. I ran straight east for the first 4.5 miles and watched the whole thing until the sun was all the way up over the clouds. Even ran over the highway overpass and was tempted to stop for a second. SO pretty. One of those mornings when yea it’s early, yea I have a long way to run, but damn if I don’t feel good. By 8 AM I was finished and showered. I was so damn hungry I even ate McDonald’s for breakfast and it was delicious. W.T.F.?

On the way back, I passed a house with a skeevy lookin’ dude sitting on a bike in the driveway messing with his phone. One of those bikes that’s way too small for him but he thinks it makes him look “street” rather than developmentally stunted. About a half mile later I notice he is hanging behind me, pedaling slowly. OK creepo, I know you’re back there. Hope the view is nice. Try it and see how far you get before I relieve you of the few gold-capped yellow-brown teeth left in your skull. I moved onto the grass to make it clear I knew he was back there and was giving him room to pass. Eventually he did and hung about 200 feet in front of me for the next mile. He then slowed and stopped to mess with his phone and I passed him again. We did the hovering and “I know you’re back there asshat” again. This time though, he just got close and since I had at this point pulled out 1 earbud to keep closer tabs on him, he tried to string human words together into sentences aimed in my direction.

Skeez: “Dang, yu’r runnin faster than Ah’m pedallin’ ”

Me: “That’s kind of embarrassing for you.”

Skeez: “Nah, s’whatever. I dunn care. I can’t buhleeve you kep up that pace from all a way back there”

Me: “Yep”

Skeez: “Yu’r like the onny girl I know s’even up dis early”

Me: “Really? You know many girls?”

Skeez: “Haha. Haay, how far you go?”

Me: “9 miles today.”

Skeez:”Daaaaaaaaaannnnngg. Atsa long way. Whatchoo runnin’ that far for?”

Me: “Marathon”

Skeez: “Word. At’s coo. Whatchoo runnin’ a mayrthon for?”

Me: “Cause I feel like it”

I know. Be still my heart. At this point I noticed a break in traffic and used it to escape across the main road into a neighborhood before I succumbed to his charm and proposed marriage on the spot.

Sometimes I think there should be a missed connections section on Craigslist for creepers that stalk you and yell lewd things from cars while you run. There must be some emotionally damaged people out there who could find love that way.

“I was running along the side of the road Saturday morning when you glided up behind me on your super cool bike. I could tell you were environmentally conscious and an athlete like me since you were riding your bike instead of driving. The way you had your hood pulled up was really mysterious and sexy and I could tell by the way you stayed behind me as I ran that you felt the connection too. Tell me what color shirt I was wearing and let’s meet up again for a few more miles.”

“I noticed your super cool 1987 Oldsmobile with the 24″ rims and custom flaking rust paint when you yelled out the window at me as I was running on the side of the road. My headphones blocked out most of what you said, but I thought it was very flattering you would make a gesture like that in front of your friends and would like to hear more. I’ll be running again tomorrow night. I’ll look for those chrome rims and listen for your call.”

Ummmm……yea….this is why I carry pepper spray.

Tap It….and Run

15 Jan

Day Random:

Scheduled: Lift   (I still do that?? Umm…sort of…maybe…I mean, YES…that’s another post)

Actual: World of Beer Tap It and Run 5k

Chip time: 23:57, 2nd place in Women 25-29 division

Preparedness Level: Low to Medium

Breakfasts: 2

Redbulls chugged: 1

Redbulls I regretted chugging: 1

Weather: Oh my glob!! Sweet glorious majesty it is lumping gorgeous!!

Temp: 39F, “feels like” 27F and sunny

Attire: Shorts and tank top. It’s totally fine, it’s awesome out. NO I’M NOT CRAZY. IT’S NOT EVEN COLD YOU PUSSIES! NO, I AM NOT SHIVERING!

Today I ran a 5k race. My first real, well organized 5k. The last one in October didn’t even count. I could have organized a better race in a mental hospital while on nyquil. This race was put on by the Running Zone, a local store that I frequent for all my running goodies because they are awesome and dog friendly and super cool and I love them. GO THERE. They sponsor a shit ton of local races throughout the year and I will be partaking in more of them. I’d like to do at least 1 5k or 10k a month this year I think…just to keep me pushing the speed a bit and break up the distance runs. I’m entertaining the idea of a full marathon towards Thanksgiving, too….but that’s a ways out.

I tend to be a cheapass and not actually enter races ever because the $20-$25 entry fee for someone to tell me I have to run at 7:30 AM on a Saturday was…well…fuck that. But now that I’m a morning person and fiscally irresponsible and all, that’s no problemo. Sign me up!! And I didn’t have to run until 9 this morning! I mean, that’s sleeping in for fuck’s sakes! I think they made the start time late because they gave us beer at the finish and drinking before 9:15 is definitely alcoholic territory. I mean, really. Let’s have SOME standards here, people.

I got dressed and stretched in a REALLY half-assed sort of way this morning, chugged a redbull, put yoga pants and a sweater on over my running gear and got in the car. I ate my granola bar and banana breakfast on the way there and drank some water. This is a much better preparation already than the last time I ran a 5k. I even had a SALAD for dinner last night and went to bed early! Remember last post when I said 5k doesn’t really even count as a workout? Yea. I tend to not give it a lot of thought (or any thought for that matter), except that I was on a team for this race, the weather was SUPER nice, I wanted to see if I could set a new PR and all that jazz, so I actually ate, hydrated and (holy shit) warmed up when I got there by jogging around the parking lot, doing a few strides and some high steps and such.

This is what I look like when it's cold out. No, that's not me, but you get the idea.

In a half marathon it’s not such a huge deal if there’s a crowd at the starting line because you’re gonna be running for a long time and those few extra seconds/minutes to find a hole and clear the slowpokes you can pretty easily make up on course. When there’s only 3 miles and the race will be over in 25 mins or less, that 30 seconds to a minute it takes for you to get around the shuffling wide old guy and moms pushing strollers can mean the difference between setting your PR and not. Like today. That extra 30 seconds (and the redbull) killed me. I really should have thought ahead and gotten myself a sweet spot near the front, but alas, I didn’t think of it until the race had already started. Once I found a hole….and by that I mean once I got fed up and totally long-jumped over a planter and scared an old dude in fluorescent yellow spandex…*shudder* some things you can’t UNsee… Anyway, once I got around that I took off and started passing people with my crazy-legs. I used my half marathon strategy and latched onto a couple guys wearing crossfit shirts running about a 7 min mile pace and let them split the crowd while I drafted off them. It’s pretty effective.

At about 2 miles the redbull started to dissolve the lining in my stomach and cause me some discomfort. This regrettably slowed me down. Which made me upset. I lost my crossfit buddies since they were still rocking 7 minute miles and I slowed to around 7:45/mile. At around the 3 mile mark my body decided that since I was not paying attention to my stomach being corroded, it would throw a sidestitch at me to force me to stop running. HELLLL NAAAWWW! I only have a tenth of a mile left mothafucka. I sped that shit up and made for the finish. Feeling like vomit was a looming possibility as I crossed the finish line, the smell of bacon from the post-race breakfast smacked me in the face. NOT exactly what I wanted to smell just then. UGHHHHHHHH. I’m gonna need a minute.

Now, admittedly even though the weather was superglorious, my body was not totally on board for this speed run for whatever reason. I do admit that there is a small possibility I should have worn leggings or a jacket or something and that the temp may have been slowing my muscle twitch function even though it felt super nice….but I’m gonna ignore that and just say it was a mediocre run day. Still came in 2nd in the division, but I think I coulda done better. Next time, Gadget. Next time.

Cold Weather is Pretty Great. And so am I.

4 Jan

Planned: Make up 5 miler for Monday

Actual: 5.01 miles, 40:29, average 8:05/mile

Temp: 41F

Humidity: 52%

Sky: Clear and starry

Ears and nose: Tingly from cold and awesome

Breath: Visible

Makeshift warm running attire: SUCCESSFUL

Badassery Level: DING!

I usually hate blinky animations, but I felt this one adequately illustrated my point, so I went with it. This is not a habit. I promise.

So, last night after a superdelicious sushi dinner with mom and dad, I did my lunges, pushups, ball jack-knifes and crunches and all my running stretches and warmups and went out the door into the superdelicious chill. I am SO happy right now. I am in my element. Know why? A cold front came through earlier this week and knocked the temperatures way the fuck down (by FL standards, that is). We have frost warnings, bitches. Highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. It’s go time. Bring out the beanies, blankets and hot chocolate and celebrate! I fucking love the cold. L.O.V.E. I thrive in it. I feel a million times better, like my body wakes up. My skin is happier, my sinuses are happier and my brain is happier. When you go outside, you involuntarily go “whoooooo!!” while you do that all over exaggerated shivershake and hug your hoodie tighter, your nose and ears tingle, all the hairs are standing up on your arms, the air is still and clear, you can’t help but bounce around while you’re standing still and you can smell fireplaces and dryer sheets. OH, heaven. I would rather be shivering than sweat any day of the year. Period. Yup. Once again, I DO live in the absolute wrong place.

This is the first time I’ve ever run when the temperature was cold enough for me to clearly see my breath. Wait….no. That’s a lie. But the last time I did it I was just starting the couch to 5k program and was only running (a.k.a. slowly ramble-jogging) for 30 seconds at a stretch so it barely counts. This is the first time I’ve been running for any kind of significant distance, time or pace in what would be considered a chilly-type temperature. At least low enough that I had to make SOME adjustments to my usual attire. Not much, but a little. I don’t really own anything warm and athletic, so I pulled on a pair of leggings I use under dresses and such and a long sleeved underarmor shirt I had in the back of the closet under my shorts and tee shirt (which I wore for visibility’s sake).

Since I hadn’t really run in this kind of weather before Self started in about muscle cramping or it being too cold to breathe, or wearing too much, sweating and subsequently getting chilled and how I should maybe wait till daylight hours since I wasn’t sure and curl up on the couch with Netflix tonight instead. I punched her in her dirty mouth, put in my earbuds and went out. And it was fucking spectacular. Like verging on life changingly amazing. I never want to run in anything warmer ever again. I’m going to cry a lot when summer rolls around again now that I know the true glory of cool weather running. I’m not gonna call it cold either, because I know a lot of runners in other parts of the country having to truly bundle up who are out running in temps seriously close to or below 0. That counts as cold. 40 is glorious. Just enough to give my ears and nose a bite but not so much it hurts to breathe.

All that's missing is Derrick.

My easy slow warmup miles were at the previously “I’m awesome” pace I’d been running for the last few weeks, right around 8:30 and 8:20. Then my muscles were truly warmed up and I was feeling light, energized, happy and like I could race the Flash, so I kicked up the pace a bit and started doing sprint sets to my music during the choruses. And singing along. And laughing. And moving my head and arms to the beat. And skip-hopping curbs and kick-jumping around cars parked across the sidewalk. I even vaulted a knocked over trash can. All while still feeling super comfortable and within my effort threshold. ‘Cause my badassery, it knows no bounds. I ran all of the last 3 miles damn consistently at 7:49, 7:48 and 7:50. Which, B-T-Dubs set a new 3 mile PR for me. By a 30 second margin. That’s 10 seconds a mile for those of you too lazy to do the math. BAM. I even started getting that stupid muscle cramp at the top of my right quad somewhere around mile 4 and didn’t even give a single fuck. I just ignored it and went faster.

It felt amazing. The breeze had a tiny bite to it and the air was clear and light. I was having to shake and move my hands and jaw to keep the circulation going and I LOVED it. Such a difference from the miserably fiery, muggy, suffocating, energy sapping summer. This is how it’s supposed to feel. This is why I do this. It’s just me and my legs and the pavement and the pure joy of feeling strong, fast and awesome under nothing but my own power. To finish smiling and feeling like I could go forever and then realizing that I just ran 5 miles. That distance used to be so daunting and take so much hyping up and recovery. It’s just an easy “whatever” run for me now. I finish, stretch, shower and go on with my life. No big deal.

Damn I’m awesome.

Oh Hey, Victory. Pretty Sweet Setup You Got. Think I’ll Stay.

3 Oct

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WEDIDITWEDIDITWEDIDITWEDIDIT WE FUCKING DID IT!!!!!!

The spoils!!! Finisher's medal!!

We went, we carbo loaded, we stretched, we ran, we fucking CONQUERED.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, October 1, 2011 Official results:

Straight off the Run Disney website!

Because I know it’s small and hard to read, and also because I’m super proud of myself right now and want you to read and appreciate this, here’s what it says:

Chip Time: 2:15:57

Overall Placing: 2390 of 8254 finishers (Disney said there were 10,000+ entrants)

Sex Placing: 1065 of 5213 women

Division (Women 25-29) Placing: 262 of 1105

My first time out, with a bum knee, I managed to average 10 minute miles and beat my tentative goal time by 14 minutes. WHAT’S UP?! BRING IT, LIFE!! This weekend has been the most amazing mix of nerves, doubts, excitement, worries, aches, pains, adrenaline and incredible highs.

After spending yesterday icing and soaking and napping and recovering, I am just going to spill out my impressions of the weekend and this first of what I am sure will be many races. I am trying to organize my thoughts, but no guarantees since a lot of it blurred together and I’m not sorry. I earned the longwinded-ness.

I got a REALLY good massage on Friday morning from my neighbor John who owns a massage therapy place in trade for some design work. He spent a solid hour on my legs doing stretches and myofascial release and working out all the kinks. I think I gave him a workout trying to un-knot me and am reasonably sure he is the reason my right leg was able to make it through the race as comfortably as it did, so HUGE thank you to him. 🙂

My on course survival kit, sans Sport Sheild and phone.

I also went and spent a solid 20 minutes comparing knee braces at CVS. I was that person that takes them all out of the package and stands there contemplating the merits and shortcomings of each and talking to myself. I decided on a dual layer system of a light support sleeve with a moderate support adjustable brace over it. That fucker was gonna be SUPPORTED. Saturday morning I woke up earlier than I planned and couldn’t sleep any more so I made a protein shake and 2 pieces of peanut butter toast and watched a movie with my feet up to distract me from the butterflies. Went over my checklist, making sure I had all my gear and necessaries, squashed that last little bit of Self that wanted to listen to my achy knee and stay at home rather than risk mid-course failure and headed out the door.

HOLY SHIT THIS IS REAL. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I spent most of the ride over texting with Brittany about our pre/during snack choices, hydration issues, dinner plans and nerves, texting my friend John (not the neighbor) who would be using the spectator pass I bought about logistics and meeting up at dinner, and painting my nails green to match my running shorts. Hey, I wasn’t in costume. Gimme a break. As we pulled in to the ESPN Sports complex, I saw them setting up the start line and had a mini freak out. I’m not a real athlete!! My knee hurts, I haven’t really run in 2 weeks, I’m gonna crash and burn in front of thousands of people, I shouldn’t be here. SHUT UP, SELF!!

Packet pick up, hotel check in, party pass reassignment and seafood alfredo dinner all went relatively smoothly and we were on to pre-race prep. Saw Brittany for just a few minutes when we picked up our goody bags at the expo and then separated again until race time.

Acting like confident athlete types on the bus to the starting area. That woman in pink is a bad ass, BTW.

At 7:30 it was real no shit get dressed and on the bus go time. John so very helpfully hunted down the ice machine and packed my camelback full of ice for me while I changed, put all my Gu’s in their respective pockets, packed up, laced up, braided and pinned the hair, pinned on my bib and took a deep breath to quiet down the nerves. They dropped me off by the bus loop and I met Brittany in line. We both kept fluctuating between excitement and panic as we rode on the bus over to the start corrals and saw various people and race areas. Nikko called me on the phone to give me a last minute peptalk and encouragement as my long distance support team and my mom called to say they would be able to be at the finish line to see me, which we didn’t think would be possible. This was getting scary real.

Doesn't do it justice at all.

The start area was a massive field and there were people EVERYWHERE. 10,000 people all ready to run a race (some in costume, LOTS in tutus), chatting, stretching, warming up, dancing to the music being played, laying on the grass and taking pictures. Insanity. We all had to be there an hour ahead of race time so they could close the roads we were running on, so we had time to sit there and stretch really well and get good and nervous. They had Mickey and Minnie up on stage and were leading dances and checking in with the relay switch off point. It felt like a festival. 9:30 finally rolled around and it was time to get into line in our corrals to start. I thought I’d be in the last corral, but it turned out I was in the middle. Right smack in the middle of 10,000 runners. WOW. Since Brittany and I were in different corrals, we hugged, wished each other luck and parted ways. I was on my own. It was scary.

I totally stole this from Brittany because I was too busy setting up Glympse to take a pic. This is what it was like starting the race! SO MANY PEOPLE!!

As we were waiting to go, stretching our calves on the curb, they started playing Zombie Nation and counting down each corral. Fireworks went off at the starting line as each group started the race 5 minutes apart. It was chaotic and remarkably smooth at the same time. Then my corral was up next. Everyone around me started moving and buzzing. My heart was hammering. It all hit home like a wave. I’m here. I’M HERE. RIGHT NOW. All the training, all the long weeks of mileage, doubts and soreness, foam rolling and protein shakes, heat strokes, breakthroughs, life and emotional breakdowns, all the minor victories and major struggles have culminated in this moment. And I am here. I made it. I. MADE. IT. I am standing at the starting line to this race and nothing is going to stop me from crossing the finish line.

The crowd was so thick I wound up walking the first tenth of a mile or so since I couldn’t go any faster than that. Had a moment of internal fighting where I was simultaneously pissed and thankful for the mob. It kept me slow and reasonable out of the gate while the music and adrenaline would undoubtedly have made me go way too fast. Once we made the turn out onto the main road it got quiet and all I heard was feet on pavement, people chatting and coaches asking how knees or ankles were and advising on hitting in the toe box. I hopped up on the grass median and started passing people on the outside looking for a more open spot while I waved to all the cops working the event. I started latching on to various runners ahead of me going about my pace and letting them split holes in the crowd. I would just basically draft behind them, slipping through the holes before they closed again, dodging fairy wings and antennae on costumes. I followed a pair of middle aged guys running about a 9:30 pace for about a mile or so this way until I hit an open-ish area and passed them on a hill.

A little after mile 2 The race leaders started passing us on the far side of the divided highway. WTF?!?! We were at mile 2.3 or so and these guys were already closing in on 8!! I had a moment of feeling extremely mediocre and then looked at the literally thousands of other runners right next to me and behind me, all of whom were cheering for these super fast guys and each other and just enjoying this and it went away. I reminded myself I was DOING THIS. I was running a half marathon. Relax. Enjoy this end goal of all my hard work.

They had the floats and dancers from the light parade in Magic Kingdom out on the course. The guys on stilts in light up suits were in pairs in the middle of the course and along the sidelines at intervals along the roads encouraging us and giving out high fives as we ran past. One of them raced me for a few seconds since I was in an open spot at the time and then high fived me before I went on. They had stages set up with live bands playing at different points. All of them were playing THIS SONG when I passed and it was playing on speakers too….this seemed to be the theme of the race. It will be stuck in my head for a month now. A couple other runners and I were joking about it.

It wasn’t until a little after mile 3 that we hit Animal Kingdom. It was kind of neat running up to and through the front gates and on into the park. Felt like a mob scene. I had been consciously keeping my stride really short with higher turnover to protect my knee and hips, but it was starting to get uncomfortable. When I got into the park I accelerated a little bit to pass some people and fit through some holes and was running more of an 8:00-8:30 mile. It actually felt better to stretch my legs out and go faster for a little bit so I maintained that through most of the park. This was sort of tricky since the paths were a bit narrow around the park and I had to keep my eyes peeled for holes. I stuck to the outside mostly, but I felt kind of dumb since I totally missed that I was running around the tree of life because I was concentrating on dodging people, watching the uneven ground and all the twists and turns the track was taking. I was aware of the race photographers snapping photos as I was passing twice and thinking “at least I’m running right now…”. It was really nice, there were trees overhanging the paths and they had special lights and things out all along the track, so there were things to look at even without noticing the HUGE tree…..yea…

The whole race, all along the track there were Disney employees cheering, clapping and encouraging us. I know they were paid to be there and do that, but it still was really nice. Especially since I was on my own with no music for the whole race. As much as I usually scoff at that kind of insincere crap, most of them really honestly did look like they were cheering for us and excited for us. They were telling us we looked great, we were so close to __miles, keep going, we were awesome, etc. A couple times they yelled out “Whose first half?!” And we’d put up our hands and cheer and they’d give an extra loud “YAY!! GO GO GO!!!” It was cool.

I didn’t take my first walk break until just before mile 6 out in the parking lot/highway where it was dark and quiet and my hip started hurting. I walked about a half mile, I think, and then stopped on an overpass to stretch out my hip and quads before starting back up. I ran out of water in the camelback about this time too. I remember miles 6-8 being pretty rough. There were a lot of hills going up and down on-ramps on the way between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and no music, employees or entertainment and my hip was really starting to kink and give me grief. Part of this we were running along the highway and lots of cars were honking at us. I caught my impulse to flick them off since it wasn’t Rockledge and it was likely a supportive honk from a family rather than an asshole trying to impress his friends.

I remember seeing one of the light floats sitting on the side of the course at one point and being confused for a second because all I could see was 2 orange stripes on a bunch of blue and thought it was an 11. It didn’t look like a mile marker and the next one should have been 8…weird…Oh. It’s a peacock. That’s its legs. Never mind. Around the corner and up another hill. I heard the GPS on my phone crap out from low battery a little after mile 8, so I took a short walk break and switched it out so Glympse would keep running and my long distance people could keep watching me slog along. Glympse held the track and place and everything!! I didn’t have to reset it!! SWEEET!!

Running through MGM (Sorry, Hollywood Studios) was neat. We went right past Tower of Terror and down the main strip with it all lit up. I was in a clear spot then so got to coast and enjoy it and nobody was telling me not to run, or to be careful because I’d trip or run someone over. They were all encouraging me to run faster! I stopped for my second stretch break on the side of the road shortly after that in one of the back areas of the park. When I stretched it made my leg feel great for about half a mile and then it started cramping again right at the top of my quad and on the outside of my hips. URG. I started really getting tired around 10 miles, but reminded myself I had just broken another personal record. No matter what, this was now the farthest I have ever run and I’m only 5k from the finish. I can do this. Right after the 11 mile marker I stepped off to the side for my last stretch break to make the rather loudly yelling hip kink shut up and get me to the finish. I basically did some yoga on the side of the race course. Deep lunges, crescent pose and pigeon pose since my hands were too sweat slippery to hold on to the post for standing stretches and my leg was shaking a lot.

Leaving MGM heading out around the parking lot beside the lake towards the boardwalk, Epcot and the finish, a good 60 degree breeze kicked up off the water and felt like air conditioning. It was absolutely awesome. I swear I heard angels singing. Gave me a little boost as I ran along the water.

At mile 12, I sent a text to John and Dad letting them know I was closing in on the finish (just said “12!!!!” I was running, after all. Don’t text and run, kids). It is absolutely amazing how close and how far that finish line felt at that moment. Between there and 12.5 miles I hit the wall. My legs turned into lead, I felt like I was running in water, my hips were screaming, I was thirsty and tired and had a moment of panic as I wondered if I could make it.

About that point, I rounded a corner and there was a whole street lined with supporters and employees holding signs and cheering, one of which said “ONLY 400 YARDS LEFT! YOU DID IT!” I almost cried and I pulled out whatever couple drips of steam I had left stuck to the walls of the tank and pushed. I don’t know how, but I pushed and sped up. I could hear the finish line music and announcer. It was close. I was almost there. I WAS GOING TO FINISH!

Came through the last S turn and just when I was starting to contemplate walking, I blasted into the bright lights and crowd and ran across the finish line. I stumbled back to a walk and kept moving through the areas funneling us out of the way to the post race area half wondering if I had really just actually crossed the line (It was huge and lit, there’s no way you could miss it). A girl on the side lines about a hundred yards down put the finisher medal around my neck and I started choke/cry/wheeze/laughing as I remembered to stop my Garmin timer. I tried to stop moving for a second and realized I would fall if I did.

I pulled out my phone to text Nikko and John and thanks to Glympse, I already had a text from Nikko saying “YOU DID IT!!!! YOU FUCKING DID IT!!! I’MSOFUCKINGPROUDOFYOOOUUUU!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 :D” I started laughing and gasp sobbing. I walked through the rest of the lane, got stopped for an official photo where I think I smiled…I was in a haze. I got my snack and checked bag with my clothes and a compliment on my tattoo from the attendant and started texting John to see where they were as I scarfed a banana and tried to calm down my breathing. I was still in shock and disbelief. Did I just do that?! I JUST DID THAT.

I'M A FUCKIN' HALF MARATHON FINISHER!!!! Sitting on the ground recovering.

I figured out where John was and that I was in fact still outside Epcot and made my way to the entrance. As I walked through, John yelled for me and waved and then ran around to where we were filing into the park. He scooped me up in a huge hug and huge congratulations; it all hit me and I broke down and started crying and laughing. All the doubt and worry and nerves and pain and sleepless nights, and I DID IT despite all of it. I FINISHED!! The feeling was overwhelming and incredible. We stumbled a little ways into the park and found a quieter spot to sit and stretch. As soon as I stopped moving, my legs went out and I was sitting on the pavement shaking, crying and laughing whether I wanted to be or not. John was reminding me to switch legs stretching and helping me get some Powerade and being excited with me while we waited for my parents. I have never felt anything like that. I was totally spent and covered in sweat and salt crust, achy and cramping and caught in an emotional whirlwind. The feeling of accomplishment was amazing. I couldn’t stand up on my own power, but I felt stronger right then than I have in months and months.

I wound up being too nauseous and tired to really enjoy the Food and Wine festival, so we left early. John helped hold me up as we walked out to the car and up to the hotel room. That shower and sleep are some of the best I’ve ever had and the victory pancakes the next morning were DELICIOUS.

It seems odd to me that so many people told me I was inspiring. Me? No. You have me confused with someone that does amazing things. I’m just a crazy, messed up girl that’s too cheap and proud for therapy that found running instead.

This has not been a journey for the faint of heart, but if you really want it, I can absolutely guarantee that it’s worth it. I’m still no Wonder Woman and the coming months are still likely to be confusing and hard, but something changed on that course. I’m different now. Stronger.

I’m a runner now. I’m a half marathon completer. And it feels REALLY damn good.

There’s a New Me in Town, and She’s All Business

20 Sep

Days to Race: 12 (For last night)

Scheduled: 6 mile easy

Actual: 3.3 miles, 28:21, Avg 8:34/mile

Knee brace: Effective

Swimming and spinning: Are the shit and I will be doing them more

Major Mood Shift: Achieved

Hours spent in tattoo chair: 7

BADASS ARM ART: ACQUIRED

Times I cried this week: 0

Weeks since my last run: 2

Music: My Body (If this is not in your workout mix, it should be), The New Flesh, You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar but I Feel Like a Millionaire (This NEEDS to be in your workout mix. If you can sit still while it’s playing you’re not human.), Make Yourself, Propane Nightmares

My sweet ass brand new tattoo right after it was finished. I'll get better pics when it's healed and her face has faded out to where it should be instead of black eyes. NEW ME FTW.

So I really am not sure what caused it exactly, but I had a major mood shift late last week. I am done crying. I have spent more than a month and a half in a pathetic state crying and stressing over someone who has made it abundantly clear that he obviously does not care about me any more and has moved on and I’m done. I’m ready to be mad and make it hurt. I started doing some of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time but couldn’t because we didn’t have the money or whatever, the biggest of which was I went in and got my first BIG tattoo. I’ve always wished I had the guts to start a sleeve and this piece lent itself perfectly to the space so, I did. Amazing what I can make decisions on and work into my budget when someone else isn’t irresponsibly wasting the money. It took 7 hours of sitting in the chair and it was like a transitional marker for the old pathetic life ending and my new awesome life starting. This is going to sound crazy, but I was almost disappointed it didn’t hurt. Aside from about 10-15 minutes where it registered as uncomfortable, I could have taken a nap almost the whole time. My pain tolerance is pretty high. Maybe this is also why I can work out as hard as I do. Hmmmmm.

The artwork is a piece by Audrey Kawasaki that was one of those I found while stumbling months ago that just made me stop and stare for a long while. It hit home for me then and now it’s all the more meaningful. I’m not going to go into all of what it means for me here. It’s not important and is for me to know and feel. What IS important is that the tattoo artist (Leif McHatton at Studio XIII in Cocoa Beach) did a beyond amazing job and I’m so excited and happy with it. He freehanded in the fall leaves and those may be my favorite part. I may go back for more. 🙂

Right before I went for the tattoo, I went and got a massage and had all my muscles unknotted. Lisa said my knee issue was likely coming from my sartorius (?) muscle being so tight (that’s the one that connects lateral hip to medial knee. YAY medical terminology), but I was totally twisted up head to foot on the right side. I have been swimming and spinning and foam rolling like a nutter to keep the fitness level up and the joint stress down. Have also been doing lots of lunges and one legged squats to build up all those stabilizers and hammering on my core to get that 6 pack out in the open (almost there). Since it’s now do or die time and I have to stay out of the pool until the tattoo heals, I rested the knee and foam rolled twice a day over the weekend and went out for a test run last night. I’m supposed to be starting my taper now, but this week is going to be the last week of training and I’ll just do an easy rest-ish sort of week next week to get ready.

Just planned on an easy 2-3 miles last night just to get back into the groove of feet on pavement and see how everything felt before trying that last 11-12 mile long run on Thursday. I was TIRED all day. Like randomly waking up faceplanted in a puddle of drool on my desk kind of tired (not that that…uh…happened…what?). So I decided to take a quick nap since caffeine was failing me because I was not skipping workouts. I woke up 2 hours later at 9:30. Ah, well. Drag myself up out of bed and out the door.

I was guardedly optimistic. The knee felt pretty good. I put on my knee brace and tunes and stretched really well. Started running and immediately noticed how much more stable and strong I felt. The swimming was GOOOOD. This is DEFINITELY becoming part of the routine at least once or twice a week once my arm skin is back to functional again. I made myself slow down for the first mile and then just stopped worrying and started cruising at whatever felt comfortable which happened to be an 8:00-8:30 pace. I didn’t even bring my Garmin so I didn’t worry about pacing. I just ran. And it felt great. There was a nice cool(ish) breeze blowing and it was quiet outside. I just got to enjoy the run. Felt my right quad trying to get unhappy towards the end, but I foam rolled the crap out of it when I got home. Not taking no for an answer, legs.

My knee is bothering me a little again today, but I’m hoping it’s just some stiffness. I’ll go for a walk later and put some heat on it and see if it helps. While I know even if I just do shorter runs between now and the race I can finish, I want to do that last long one. I want to KNOW I can finish this race and finish it strong.

While I’m certainly not going to say I’m OK now, I’m done crying over people and things that don’t consider me important and I’m done letting things slide. It’s time to cut the anchors, make me the most badass, name-taking me I can be and then, maybe look for someone who can keep up, encourage and challenge me instead of holding me back and feeding the self doubt. It’s scary since I don’t remember who I am outside of the relationship, but also kind of freeing. It means I can be whoever I want to be. I can make myself whoever and whatever it is I have aspirations of being and not worry about if it’s “me” or not. If it feels right, then yes, it’s me, and it ONLY has to feel right to ME. Maybe scary isn’t the right word. It’s scary in the way I imagine taking that step out of the plane to skydive is scary. Once you’re out in the air it’s awesome and exhilerating, but it’s that sitting in the plane on the climb up that makes your stomach twist.

I’m even semi-seriously planning on entering another half marathon for a time goal in November, 8 weeks after this race. Only hitch is it’s in the morning. If I can start getting up pre-dawn for runs, I’ll make it happen and I’ll bust the 2 hour time mark. Bet on it.

Fucking ONWARD. Bitches.

LEGIT, BITCHES!

3 Sep

Days to Race: 29 (AHHHHH!!!!! WHAT?!)

Scheduled: 10 mile long run

Actual: 10.01 miles, 1h:38m:37s, Avg 9:51/m

Stops: 0

Pace for last 1/4 mile: 7:30/m

2nd Gu: taken WHILE RUNNING

Camelback: MUUUUUCH better with small adjustments

Phone battery: Can’t last as long as I can

Sunrise yoga: Difficult after a 10 mile run that ends at 11pm

Seeee?!?!?! Garmin tracked the whole thing!!

Last night I broke through a milestone and completed the unofficial rite of passage that means I can legit, for real, no bullshit call myself a runner no matter who I’m talking to. I did my first 10 mile continuous run and finished feeling good enough to wail down the last quarter mile homestretch all engines ahead full and feel good afterwards. I actually started picking up the pace a little after the 8 mile mark cause my power songs came on and I felt good. Unfortunately this is also conveniently when my cellphone battery got too low to keep GPS tracking me, so the accurate feedback stopped. My mom can vouch, though. She was following me on her bike the whole way. I think mom may have outdone me in the badassery department on this workout since earlier in the week she had a shelf fall on her head and got 3 STAPLES put into her scalp. Did that stop her?? Hell no. 10 mile bike ride? Bring that bitch on. Role models, I has them.

We had awesome luck with crosswalks the few times we needed them and were waiting 10 seconds or less on all of them. Most of the time I’d pause Endomondo, only to have to start it right back up again and barely took a step of walk. I was purposely keeping it slow since it was really humid out and kept my splits really damn consistent at right under 10:00/m. My knees started to feel slightly stressed around the halfway point so I shortened my stride and went for more turnover rather than longer strides to make up the pace. It worked pretty well and they felt better after another mile. Since I was still feeling pretty comfortable at the 5 mile mark when it was time for the prescribed Gu break and I had it stored in a convenient little pocket right on the shoulder strap of my camelback, I decided to not stop to take it. I managed to open it with my teeth and take it a little at a time with sips from my camelback, all WHILE RUNNING. I DIDN’T STOP. It’s these stupid little things that make you feel SUPER legit. Running in the rain, drinking weird concoctions, foam rolling, whatever. Took a Gu while running?? FUCK YEA. I’m serious now. Know what else is serious? The amount of sweat I produced on this run. I quite literally wrung out my shorts in the driveway and was still dripping all over the house on the way to the shower. G.R.O.S.S.

I know I should have been coasting on the afterglow of this run all day today, but it was a bad day emotionally and I couldn’t shake the funk. Not for lack of trying, either. I got up before the sun and went to yoga class at 7 in the fucking morning with a friend. PS, my legs thought this was a funny joke and kept making me almost tip over in the warrior series. I played video games and ran errands. I saw a movie. I took the dog to the park and the store. I impulse purchased stilleto heels for craps sakes!! I DON’T DO THAT!! GIRLS DO THAT!! WTF?!?!  WHO AM I?!?!?!

I was depressed, insecure and on the brink of tears all day and it just sucked the victory right out of me. I should have been walking around all day today telling everyone and anyone that had the misfortune of saying “hi” in my general direction that I kicked 10 miles in the face with my energy legs last night and exalting in the fact that even if I just repeat that performance and walk the rest of the race I will still finish in less than 2:30:00 which was my tentative goal. I was just lost, failing miserably at the instructions given to me by the counselor and thinking about the one person I’m not supposed to. How can I NOT, though, when literally every facet of my life was woven in with him and everything funny, interesting, meaningful or even infuriating, I instantly want to tell him about or think of how he would react. Even this major goalpost got the wind sucked out of it because he wasn’t here to share it with and to tell me he’s proud of me. I feel pathetic for that and hate myself for being so dependent on another person for my happiness, but then that only multiplies the depression. It’s a vicious, perpetual motion machine of mental anguish.

I know it was supposed to be a rest day today, but I did the yoga this morning and I took the dog for an hour long walk tonight. I have managed to forge enough positive mental associations with being outside, on my feet and moving at night that while I was out I felt better and my mood lifted a little. Once my body stops moving, that’s when the brain shifts into overdrive and the spiral continues. I can’t just go forever, so I have to find some way to quiet my brain while my body rests at least a little. As I say this I’m looking at the clock thinking I need to try to sleep because I’m getting up for spinning in the morning.

I’m wondering if my mind or my body will give first and hoping that I’m back on an emotional upswing tomorrow.