Friday, September 28, 2012

The balance of life and running

As you may have guessed by my open letter, my 11 miler yesterday did not go as well as I had hoped. It started on Wednesday. I made a conscious effort all day to hydrate and eat plenty of carbs. Eating dinner I announced to the boys that I was going to crush my 11 miles the next day. I felt strong and I was confident I could. Then it happened. While I was doing the dinner dishes, N kicked L in the face and broke his glasses. It all went downhill. I knew immediately that I couldn’t fix the glasses and would have to drive L down to the ophthalmologist the next day to get said glasses fixed. I saw my run getting flushed down the toilet and it really pissed me off. Not only did N break the glasses, he showed no remorse AND he screwed over my long run, again. I was angry and guilty for feeling this way about my baby.

I thought to hell with it. I poured myself 2.5 ounces of bourbon, put the boys to bed, ate two frozen cookie dough balls and tried to sleep. The problem was, I couldn’t after the alcohol and sugar. I tossed and turned all night long. The next morning I put N on the bus and then L and I hopped in the car during rush hour traffic to head downtown to get the glasses fixed. I was impressed with how quickly we got there, how quickly she fixed them and how quickly we got home. I was able to drop L off at school in time for his at school field trip and all was good in his life.

I then decided it was now or never for my run. I ate a Cliff bar, changed into my skirt, put on my sunglasses, grabbed my water and left. I knew it would be a tough run due to the late start, the heat and my lack of sleep. My first mile was awesome. Then I slowed down. The heat and humidity got the worst of me. I tried to ration my water, but it was hard. At 9.5 miles I thought of stopping but decided I couldn’t. My A-plan goal of finishing the whole run in 2 hours or less was out the window. My new goal was to finish 10 miles in 2 hours. I quickly stopped back at my house to get some more water and a cold towel to wrap around my neck to cool my temperature down with. I hit my goal of 2 hours for 10 miles. I was disappointed that I couldn’t do all 11 miles. I finished said 11 miles in 2:13:35. My worst time for that distance yet. I was so discouraged and exhausted. I know that I had set myself up for failure the night before when I said to hell with it. The whole run was a huge mental battle that I feel that I both won at lost at the same time. I won because I didn’t quit, but I failed by giving up so early.

As a mother runner, my first duty and priority is my family. My second is running. That’s why I am a mother runner and not a runner mother. I struggle with balancing my mom life and my running life. This is one example of how a bad day in my mom life can spew over into my running life. But isn’t that exactly how life is; a perfect (or imperfect) balance of all of our roles? I love running because it challenges me. I push myself more than I would in my daily life. I get angry when one part spews over into the other part, especially if that spewing messes up the balance.

Today I talked J into taking a slow 2-mile walk just to loosen up my legs. We headed out the same time as yesterday when I was heading back to the house for water. As I walked with J, I complained about the heat. He commented that it was more the humidity than the heat. I then told him how proud I was of myself for running those 11 miles in this heat (and humidity). If I was miserable walking today, I am definitely GBA for running in it yesterday! That’s why I run. I may want to curl up in a ball and die while doing it, but as I reflect on my accomplishments later I realize how awesome I really am; regardless of whether I am on my A game in life and running or not.

It’s a great day for running y’all!

An open letter to 11 miles


Dear 11 miles:

Once again, you tried to bring me down. I was prepared for your foul play. I suspected that you’d mess with me. I never expected you to use my children, the weather and air quality. I underestimated your abilities. Never again. I knew it was going to be a long, hard go and I respected the distance. Next time, I will eviscerate you.


-Carrie J
85 degrees

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

A non-running Wordless Wednesday picture for you! 
Tomorrow: 11 miles.

Friday, September 21, 2012

6x800s: Not for the faint of heart

Yesterday I had speed work on tap: 6x800. I definitely wasn’t feeling it. All week I’ve been crawling back into bed after putting the boys on the bus and sleeping for two hours. That is NOT me. Overtraining? Possibly. Exhausted? Yup. N has been waking up each night between the hours of 11-4, coming into my room, waking me up so he can use my bathroom and then I have to walk him back to bed. Some nights, this happens twice. I’m an 8+ hours a night kind of girl and do not function well with less sleep. Thank you N for disrupting that! I know that this too shall pass, but it is starting to take its toll on me.

With said lack of sleep, I did not feel like doing intervals yesterday. I was tired. My legs were heavy. Should I just attempt three miles and negative split them? That’s speed work too. Nope. Only a slacker would wimp out like that. I forced myself to get out there, start slow and not crash and burn. You know what? It worked. I’m still not as fast as I’d like to be. But my splits were pretty decent. I’m keeping a steady 8:30 or faster pace during those intervals and that is a fast pace for me! It felt so good to be done. I love that feeling of accomplishment when you finish an exceptionally hard workout. Yea, that’s how I felt afterwards.

I guess the lesson from this all is, if it doesn’t kill you it will only make you stronger and hopefully faster!

Happy Running Y’all!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hill Repeats: Part Deux

Today is hubby’s birthday. As I posted on his wall, “Happy Birthday to my better half. I celebrated with leg-trashing hill repeats. Boy do I know how to partay!” Today was my third attempt at hill repeats. (Sorry Hills Part Trois was not as catchy). This morning I put the boys on the bus as hubby was leaving for work and found myself wanting to crawl back into bed. So I did. Two hours later, I woke up, scarfed down some breakfast and hit the pavement. I had some hills to tackle and I had wasted enough daylight napping.

My original plan was to hit the “BIG hill” on my long route 10 times. As I ran towards “the hill” I realized that it was farther from my house than I thought;1.5 miles. I descended two hills on my way to “the hill” and realized that I had to ascend them on the way home. “Crap. I’ll do eight repeats instead of ten.” As I was halfway up the first repeat, I realized that this long hill gets steeper halfway up. “Crap. I’ll do six repeats instead of ten.” I successfully completed six repeats on this hill and ran up the other two hills on my way home. So I guess you can say that I did a total of eight repeats today. This hill was a b!t(h. I am looking forward to next Monday when I will do eight repeats and show it who's boss! Today’s workout was very similar to the last half of my race on Thanksgiving day (minus the six repeats on the same hill). While I know that my legs will be hurting tomorrow, I am glad that I’m doing hill repeats this go around and I’m excited to see how I perform on race day.

Tomorrow is a walk day. Hubby has the day off so we’ll celebrate his Birthday one day late. Thursday I do 6 x 800s; wish me luck!

Happy running y’all!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hill Repeats: I'm a fan!

The last two Mondays, I have been doing hill repeats. My first attempt was Labor Day. I did a quick Magical Mile (MM), and then moved towards a hill on my regular running route and did six repeats. I then finished up my run and came home. I was sore the next day. This week, I chose a steeper hill and upped my number of repeats to eight. I wasn’t sore the next day! Next week I am planning ten repeats on the biggest hill on my long run course. We will see how it goes.

Today, I ran nine miles. I was actually scheduled to run it yesterday, but N stayed home “sick”, Mommy duties trump running every single time. I put the boys on the bus this morning and headed out. It was dark and raining. I wasn’t too happy about that. As the sun began to rise, the rain stopped. I hit pockets of humidity that came and went but overall the air was cool and refreshing! I was shocked at my strength and endurance and this run. It’s been awhile since I’ve hit nine miles and I expected my body to put up more of a fight. I’m glad that my body decided to cooperate today!

I can proudly say that I noticed a HUGE difference today after doing hill repeats. The hills were easier for me to ascend and I didn’t have to stop and walk it off at the top to catch my breath! I am now a HUGE fan!!! My pace was slower than I’d like, (I averaged 11:29) but I am convinced that it will pick up in the near future. My goal was to run up every single hill and not stop to walk. I did with all but one hill: the BIG hill that I will meet and conquer next Monday! The end of mile seven was at this point and I was fighting a very painful stomach cramp. I had to walk it off which coincided with this big hill. Next time, I will show that hill whose boss! The stomach cramp was from intense hunger pangs combined with a too tight fuel belt. Easy fix for next time.

Overall, I am incredibly happy with my performance today. While there is room to improve, I feel that I finished strong and kept my paces regular. I’m looking forward to more hill repeats on Monday and I’m really looking forward to meeting those hills on race day to chew them up and spit them out!

It’s a great day for running. Happy running y’all!