Sunday, February 28, 2010

From Zippy to Zombie

I did it! I conquered the 6-mile long-run day! I didn't do it quickly or without pain (or without thinking I was going to quit a zillion times) but I got through. I was so happy I nearly skipped home after I finished. My elation lasted the rest of the day, but my batteries sure as heck did not!
Now, I am not a napper. I actually really hate taking naps because I always wake up feeling groggy and often more tired than when I started. But, here I am at 4pm barely able to keep my eyes open. My husband took me for a coffee, but even my caffeine jolt could not shake the absolute exhaustion I felt (feel, really) throughout my entire body. Must sleep.
Is this normal? Do any of you need to run, shower, eat and nap? After my 10K in December, that's exactly what I did. Is it just me?? Man, what will I do as the runs just get longer?? Should I expect to go into a brief coma after my half marathon?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Buckling down

Happy Friday! Hopefully some of you are in the area and enjoying the sunny (but cold) weather here in the Midwest. If any of you are on the east coast buried in snow, I hope you're hunkered down with some good movies!
Today's post is about my realization that I need to put good food in my body if I want to feel good, especially when I run. Shocking that it's taken me so long, I know, but I was convinced that all the running canceled out the extra calories. Somewhat true, but it turns out that greasy pizza and excessive sugar do not a great run make!
As much as it pained me to have to say goodbye to junk food, I've managed to do it and am feeling great! Now it's all about finding the right foods to replace the delicious (but horribly naughty) french fries, M&Ms (sigh), and white chocolate mochas (double sigh).
So, as I dig into my very first greek yogurt (thanks to Kari for that recommendation), I put it out to all of you:
What kind of foods do you like to eat when you're training? Suggestions that include some way to sneak chocolate into my diet are appreciated :)
As I said in the previous post, I'm not big on meat and so don't always get enough protein (hence the yogurt), so if anyone has some good ideas for ways to get some protein in as well, that would be awesome!
I'm on my way, people! Feelin' good and, bonus, starting to look a little more like a runner, too!
Next week's post: NEW RUNNING SHOES!!!
Until then, low-fat chocolate milk wishes and Clif Bar dreams!

Monday, February 22, 2010

We're all in this together

This weeks' training schedule said yesterday (Sunday) was a 6-mile day. I was a little freaked that morning and was dreading the very real possibility that this would be rough.
As I was driving home from the grocery store that morning, I saw a few brave souls already bundled and hitting the pavement. I was totally inspired.
I went home and slipped (or yanked) on my brand new running tights (an item, by the way, I was pretty sure I'd never be caught dead in due to their extremely unflattering cut), grabbed my kicks and I was out the door. It was a balmy 29 degrees, but I warmed up pretty quickly.
Was it a great run? Absolutely not. After about 4.5 miles, my body was done (side note - I think this could open a whole new discussion about nutrition as I am basically a vegetarian and have trouble getting enough protein, but that's another post for another day)
Was it a great experience? Absolutely. The reason? I couldn't believe how great it felt to be out among my fellows. Every time I passed another runner, there was a smile, a wave or even a "Hi!" between heavy breaths. I felt an instant bond with these strangers simply because we were all out there in the elements together. Even as I drive through my neighborhood and see runners working hard, I am suddenly compelled to roll down my window and yell, "Keep it up! You're doing great! Good for you!"
My only explanation for this is that I am suddenly (instantly, really) part of a community. Runners (even us newbies) know what it means to get out on a Sunday morning and get your feet moving. This blog has already made me feel like I belong (thanks to all of you), but nothing can compare to getting out there and seeing the support on the face of other runners.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The "Tweener" Race

My training calendar says I am just a few weeks from being half-way through my training -wow. Time to start thinking about an in-between (tweener) race. A 10K seems the obvious choice, but which one?
The last (and my only other) 10K wasn't so great. Snow-covered trails really tested my newbie muscles and completely wore me out by mile 4. I went home and slept all day only to wake up with an over-use injury. Hopefully I can get through this one unscathed.
I live in Madison and am looking for a good 10K some time in March. Do any of you have any recommendations??
Stay tuned for a review of tomorrow's long run: 6 miles. I'm doing it outside, people! Neither rain, nor sleet, nor really sloppy wet roads will stop me thanks to all of your excellent posts!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cabin Fever

I got back on the treadmill last night and decided: I am sick to death of the treadmill. No amount of quality TV can distract me from the (very) slowly changing numbers on the machine. Time drags by as I suck in the stale-seeming air and proceed to sweat my butt off (not literally of course, but that would be nice). Oh, and let's not forget the infamous "chatties" who seem to end up working out next to me. They don't seem to notice or care that I am wearing earphones, they simply chat my ear off as I huff and puff and barely respond.
I guess it's time to put aside my wimpy-ness and get outside again. I hope that little groundhog in Sun Prairie was right. Bring on the spring!
Until then, does anyone know any clubs/locations in Madison with indoor tracks open to the public?

Friday, February 12, 2010

How am I ever going to do this?

As I sit here at my desk, I keep looking over my shoulder at my half marathon registration confirmation posted on my bulletin board. (Sigh)
After a few days off for a vay-cay in New York, I got back on the treadmill yesterday. Three was rough. My knees are screaming at me today and I'm wondering how in the heck I will ever be able to add another 10 miles to what I did yesterday. If this process is a climb, I just got buried in an avalanche.
It all started a week ago...
I was at a local running store with my cousin who was shopping for new workout duds. I was chatting with a salesperson and said, OUT LOUD, "I'm training for a half marathon." It was freaky. I felt like speaking the words to a total stranger made the whole thing even more real. I felt like I was lumping myself in with this exclusive group (runners) and imagined the saleswoman was thinking, "Sure lady, whatever you say."
I started to doubt.
Then, I had a bad run the day before leaving town. It was freezing and I had a side cramp almost immediately. I struggled through the rest of my run, but I didn't feel the sense of accomplishment I usually feel.
I felt guilty for shunning my workouts during vacation, but told myself all the walking was just as good. Then, I came home to find that my body had gone on vacation as well as my brain.
Ugh! How do you dig yourself out of a mental hole? I know if I can just start thinking I can do this again, I'll be able to convince my feet (and my knees and my lungs...)!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I really did have the very best intentions. I dreamed of running in Riverside Park and reveling in the fact that I was in Manhattan...but it was like, really cold.
My one and only sister graduated from musical theater school in New York City this weekend. I was so excited for a mini-break, but totally intent on maintaining my running schedule. Yeah, that didn't so much happen. Though my running gear was all packed, my cold-weather gear in-tow, I simply wimped out. Rather than hitting the pavement, I spent the weekend shopping (um, that's cardio, right?) and eating. It was glorious!
BUT, I'm back now and it's time to jump back on that wagon. I just hope this hasn't side-tracked me and that I don't lose focus. Eye on the prize!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Non)Drinking Problem

It was the most horrible feeling a hangover and the stomach flu rolled into one...
Sunday night, with five miles of running ahead of me, I dragged myself to the gym expecting a not-so-stellar performance. I had been in the car all afternoon (driving back from Minnesota) and had fallen asleep - never a good thing. I was still feeling groggy and just wanted to get this over with, but all of a sudden, I hit my stride and I felt like I could have run forever! I even punched it up at the end and finished strong. I felt great!
After some stretching and a hot shower, I was in my pjs and ready to wind down. I had a bit to eat and settled in on the couch.
Suddenly, it all went wrong. It was like my batteries had died. I felt weak and ill and wobbly. Dehydration hit me like a truck. I was up until 1am downing water in small gulps attempting to fend off the nausea and cursing myself for being so negligent. I tossed my cookies (all of them) and collapsed in bed. I was so exhausted the next day, I stayed home from work and slept the entire day away. Ugh.
Today, I'm back at work where my water bottle will stay glued to my hand wherever I go. Lesson learned (so, don't worry, Mom!)...the really hard way.