Monday, August 30, 2010

Fetal Position on a Track

Generally I find that curling up into a ball and refusing to budge is very childish.

That said - I can say without any amount of guilt that I did just that yesterday afternoon.

I was supposed to meet my trainer at 10am - but he stayed out late the night before and pushed our workout to 1pm Sunday.  Awesome.

So I showed up a little late, and we threw his dog into his truck and headed to a nearby school track.  So with the heat index - we are climbing into the high 90s - low 100s.  And he expects me to run in this weather.

I feel a "like hell" coming on.

But the dog was very excited to be out and about, and promptly marked the school grounds in multiple locations with great zest - and smell.

We got to the track and here were my instructions - keep up.

That's it.

Now lemme paint you a picture - I am 35, in decent shape, and fairly new to running.  He is 26, ex-military (the kind that runs everywhere), 6 foot-something, and gargantuan sized.

Ya - I am sure that keeping up won't be a problem.  Right.

I made it 0.34 miles at an average pace of 8:37/mile (WTF), and then I walked in shame - for 10 seconds.  See on a track - he can see me walking - crap.  So I started running again and only made it another 0.10 mile with an 11:23/mile avg pace, sneaking in another 8 second walking break, and then running the last 0.05 mile at a 10:22/mile avg pace.


So I ran about a half mile at paces I didn't think I could do - of course - I couldn't keep that pace up.

But wait - here is where the fun starts.

He let me walk the first turn to the far straight-away - remind me to put him on my Christmas list for this.

And then he told me it was time for sprints.  He says - all you have to do is sprint the straight-away.

Uh huh - all I have to do.  Right.

So I did.  Of course.

The first sprint was 34 seconds long and I moved with a 7:03/mile avg pace.  We walked the turn, and set up for the next sprint.  The next one was 21 seconds long and I averaged a moving pace of 5:04/mile - holy hell. We walked the turn,  and set up for one more straight-away - but this one backward.


Soooo - I turned around and began to run backward - best news - DIDN'T FALL.  (Did trip though - shhhh.)  It took me 41 seconds to get down the straight-away this time with a slower average pace of 11:47/mile.

Whatever - I'm just pleased I didn't fall.  Seriously.

And right about here - is where he said it was time to put on my gloves and flip a tire.  I think I might have flipped him the bird behind his back.

Ladies and gentlemen - let the grown woman temper tantrum begin.

Ask my Mom - I am damn good at them.  I balked, cussed, sat on the ground - I don't think I flailed my legs and arms, but I am pretty sure I pouted.

He let me get away with not flipping the tire in exchange for doing lunges down the straight-aways.  Did I mention the temper tantrum.  Here's where it got good.

I basically laid on the ground and refused to move.

So now I am a fully grown woman laying in a field at a school while a big ole guy stands over me trying to coax me into doing lunges.  I made him promise me an Icee after the workout.

I got up.

I made it about 15 feet, and stumbled over my own feet - grace - I Haz It.

He gave up.

I win!

Sadly, in the end he tricked me - I got a low-carb pineapple smoothie instead of an Icee (cheater).  And the dog got to ride inside the truck and slobber all over me on the way to my non-Icee.  He's cuter than the trainer anyway!

Today I am going to try and run 40 minutes easy as listed in my plan, but if not - look for me curled up in a ball throwing a temper tantrum on the street somewhere.

Go team go - wahhhhh!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And I Have Awakened

How in the hell did I let nearly two weeks go by without blogging!  I mean I THOUGHT I had no life - but I guess I let it get in the way of my running.

After the Sand Crab 10K debacle (where the only thing positive that I can say is that I finished) - I nursed my ankle for roughly a week.  All of those holes, sand castles, and issues led to a full blown case of swollen-itis.  

I did work out the Wednesday following the run with the new trainer and he nearly killed me with a 2-3 hour workout involving a 25-pound kettlebell, dips, push-ups, pull-ups, and all kinds of exercises that actually led me to tell him that he was out of his damn mind - to which he laughed.

No good.

So Thursday and Friday I nursed an ankle - and sore back and arm muscles.  Goody.

Saturday was supposed to be a 7 mile run - but thanks to a LOVELY evening fighting with The Boy - who is turns out lives up to the immature moniker - I didn't wake up at 5am for the run.

I did, however, jump and the parent's treadmill and tune in to a episode of Leverage.  I was hoping for more than 3 miles - but that was all I could do.  Damnit.

But I did do the three miles at 5 minute run splits with 12:30/mile pace and walk breaks in between.

The rest of the weekend was relaxing and enjoyable - thankfully!

But then this week I had other issues - ala - strep throat.  Awesome.

So Monday left I Houston after a doctor's check-up on my thyroid.  All levels are a go.  And when I woke up Tuesday I had such a painful throat - ugh - lymph nodes swollen, painful to swallow - the works.

But I fought through it with lozenges and aleve.

I even tried to go for a run on Wednesday.  I hit the treadmill at the gym, running at the 12:30/mile pace with my walk breaks.  I could only do roughly 2 miles - my chest was killing me, my head was pounding, my throat was on fire.

And then Thursday morning - I woke up and couldn't swallow without immense pain.  I tried the lozenges and the aleve, but no go.  I called in to my boss to ask for a sick day, called the doctor, go an appointment, and found out that I had strep.

I left armed with prescriptions that were supposed to help the condition.  One was a liquid to gargle, which I shit you not the pharmacist told me tasted horrible - but I had to use every 2-4 hours.  The other was the antibiotic, which again the pharmacist warned me would cause diarrhea.  Wow - almost would rather just be sick!

But even with the side effects - here it is Saturday and I feel pretty not bad.  Mom called to check in on me and we updated each other on our conditions.  I told her about strep, she told me I have always had a severe reaction to antibiotics, esp amoxicillian, ever since I was a child.

She told me she had fallen and broken both her feet.  She told me she was catching up to my broken bone record.  Guess I will have to bust another bone now - what a family we are!

My chest still hurts, my throat still hurts, my head still hurts - and I missed my 6 miles this morning.

I am still aiming for my half in November - I am registered and hopefully.

But it is weeks like these that make me wonder if my body can do it.  If my spirit can rise to the challenge.  I am having such a rough time.  It's not that I don't love running - it's that I wonder if my body can surpass the 6 mile marker.  Can a person with this many broken bones, injuries, and mind melts actually run 13.1 miles??!!!

I mean now that I have switched to the run/walk method I am having a hard time breaking my mental barrier to force my body to run a full mile.  Before I started adding distance - I was able to run a couple of miles without taking walk breaks.  Now - my mind kicks in and beats my body down.

I know Coach Leno used to talk about the inner warrior and overcoming the voice in your head - and find that other gear - but lately - all I can seem to find is doubt.

But as Scarlett O'Hara says - tomorrow is another day.  And I am fully awake now.  I know who I am and where I want to go.  Now I just have to put one foot in front of the other to get there.

Go team go - seriously - just go!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Warrior - Kinda

Sooo this Saturday was my first 10K race.

I had previously run 6 miles, but have not done that kind of distance since June.  The new training group had only run up to 5 miles until this past weekend.  We were supposed to do 6 miles.

I could have gotten up and run at 6am with some of the training group, or I could have done this 10K race.  The race was offering BBQ and beers after the nighttime race - I chose the beers.

I even convinced my friends and The Boy to sign up as well.

So there we all were - happy as pigs in the proverbial shit.  It was to be my first 10K, the first 5K for my buddies, and who knows how many 10Ks The Boy has completed (stoopid runner).  But we had a plan.

They would all be crossing the finish line around 45-60 minutes after the gun - I would meet them 30 minutes later - and I had told them that there had better be a beer waiting for me!

The race was late starting, by almost 40 minutes.  Truly ridiculous.  

But they finally got us moving, we wished each other luck, flipped on our headlamps, and started out.

Now lemme set the scene -

It's now closing in on 10pm, therefore - it's dark
We are running on a beach - complete with sand castles and holes
There is a decent breeze going - not so bad on the way out - but the way back was gonna suck
The sand is not packed at all 
And did I mention that it was dark??!?!!  

Even with the headlamp, I could only see the sand right in front of my toes.  That meant that as soon as I looked down to ensure that I was in good sand - I picked my head up - and landed right in the hole I didn't see.  I also have the honor of having stomped through about two sand castles.  

Oh well.

I should also add that without the conditions being against me - I was against myself.

The Boy had come over earlier that day so that we could take the ATV out driving.  So - I think it is safe to safe we started with beers early.  Probably was a bad move - one that wound up with my being dehydrated for the race - opps!

I went right past the first water station (another mistake) because it was so crowded.  It was on the inside of the turn back for the 5K - so anyone trying to continue on would have to fight their way in to get water and fight to get back out.  No thank you!

So I kept going.  For a while I was doing pretty well.  I ran for the first 0.8 mile before I took my first walking break, and then tried to follow my 5 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking.  

I couldn't quite hold on to that.  

But I did run and walk for a while.  And then I bumped into someone for Tara's running group.  So I paced with her, and she and I decided to finish the race together.

We ran and walked some, and then between the wind, the crappy sand, the darkness, and my ankle being cranky - we walked for a full 1.5 miles.  

But we did run out the last 0.2 miles or so.  

I even sprinted at the end.  

It was nice to have friends there.  I saw the finish line and heard people hollering my name.  One of my buddies even dug up my old roller derby name and yelled that!  I felt charged up and dug deep.

I think I finished on a 7:35/mile or something ridiculous - granted it was only for a short bit - but still!  

We walked over to my group of friends and started talking about races.  I even bumped into some of the Go Fasters - one of whom won his age class!  Congrats to him!

But for our little band of runners - only one of us was in the mood for BBQ.  Few were in the mood for beers, including me!  We were all gimpy and hobbling around.  Every one of us had trouble on this run - whether it was the loose sand or the holes or the lack of proper lighting.  It was a rough race.

But we did it together - and we all enjoyed ourselves (for the most part).

And trust me - I had the beers - I just had to drink 2 gatorades and a water before I could handle one!

Overall, I finished in 1:39:17 with an overall run/walk combined pace of 15:58/mile.  I ran half of the race with an average moving pace of 13:08/mile (not too shabby), but walked the other half.  Not my best run ever - but not my worst either.

And another milestone accomplished - I finished my first 10K.  Maybe not gracefully, maybe not wisely - but I crossed the finish line.

Go team go - rah!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sumbeetches Return

I know I had thought I had seen the end of sumbeetches when the Go Faster group disbanded last month.

But alas, I still have to train in sprints.  Holy crap.

I woke up Tuesday morning before the sun, sprayed myself with bug spray, strapped on my new moth-attracting light, and headed out into the darkness for sprints.

I was set to run over to Bob Smith, and there begin 8 sets of 30 second sprints with 30 second recoveries, and then run home.

I jogged over there (0.7 mile) at a 12:45/mile pace.  I felt pretty decent.

I then set my beepers to go off every 30 seconds and began my sprints.

I pushed hard for the first set - my feet seemed to be moving pretty quickly.  And then I rested.

I made it through a second set - a little slower - but still dang quick.

I was kinda achy at my ankle, so I decided to turn back after the second set of sprints - only making it to a complete set of 4 instead of 8.  Damn.

But I turned back, finished out two more set of sprints and recoveries.

I lost a couple of my sprint laps in my Garmin, but the two that I do have showed up with an average sprint pace of 7:15/mile.  That is nearly twice as fast as I normally run!

I was exhausted - so I walked and ran back to the house.  But for the times I was running, my average pace was about 13:00/mile.


I have to go ahead and say this - but I still hate these damn things.  A lot.

And Wednesday I warmed up with a short run and then lifted with Fred.  Today was supposed to be a 30 minute tempo run, but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed at 5am.  

But with any luck, and some strong determination I will get it in after I finished mowing the yard this evening.

Go team go - sumbeetch

Monday, August 9, 2010

Five AM Wake Up Calls

I have three alarm clocks running everyday.  Each one uses a different tone, beep, or sound - one even vibrates the bed.  And yet - most days I don't even hear them.

Today was an exception.  I woke up at 5am, and cussed.  This woke up the dogs.  They in turn jumped on my head and chest (the 90# one hit my sternum pretty hard).  This is actually what woke me up and forced me from my bed.

But as I was already awake - I figured why not run now before the temperatures hit melting conditions.

So I geared up, strapped on a headlamp (as it was still pitch black) - and headed out.

My planned run today was 40 minutes, easy pace according to my training calendar.  And I chose to up my running time to 5 minutes - so I would run 5 and then walk for 1 minute.

I went out feeling pretty heavy - tired, running with my eyes partially open.

But I woke up once I realized that little, tiny moths were attracted to my headlamp - one flew into my eye.  Trust me - taking a moth to the eye will wake you up.

But regardless I ran out for 20 minutes, turned around and headed home.

Right as I reached my flip back point, I realized that the sun was coming up and I would be able to watch the sunrise on some of my run.  Not a bad way to start a day!

It turns out that I ran 2.58 of a 2.84 mile run at an average moving pace of 12:27/mile run.  I even wore my new Newtons and I had no pain at all - really a pretty great run overall.

I came home, feed dogs, cleaned up and headed out to work.

Tomorrow - sprints - goodie.

Go team go - yawn

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Short Beach Run

I had a good time yesterday.

I hung out with the new boy, we drank some beers, drove an atv around (he actually let me try driving - and I didn't wreck it - two thumbs way up!), had dinner, and drank more beers.  I think I went to bed around 3am.

That almost makes my Saturday a 24 hour day as I woke up at 5am to run my 4 miles.  And no napping - that's for wussies!

And this morning I had agreed to run with a friend of mine on the beach -

at 7:30am.

That's right.

So after sleeping a scarce few hours and being slightly hungover - I awoke, and dressed.


But I met the new boy, my gal pal, and her hubby at the beach for the run.

Thankfully - she only wanted to run 1.5 miles.

The gal had yet to run on sand and with our race lined up next weekend for a full 5K/10K on the beach, she had wanted to give it a go.  

So - we get to the beach and off her husband took - like a rocket.  The gal pal and I took our time and had a nice light run.

The boy was MIA.  Last I had seen of him - he was groaning over his hangover and stretching.  Honestly, I thought he had gone back to the car to sleep while the rest of us run.  Wussy.

After about a tenth of a mile, we see the hubby walking along in the upper sands.  She and I are still running near the waterline.  Boy - still a no show.

We make it to 0.75 miles and turn to come back.  Off in the distance is a white shirt running toward us.  It's the boy!  Apparently he decided to run after all!

He catches up and tells us that he had stopped to help out a truck that had been stuck in the sands.  What a good guy - right?!

So he and the hubby pair off and run, the gal and I start out at our pace and run back.

We get back to the cars - my hangover is pretty much gone - but I still have a slight headache.

But I feel pretty good now - I had some breakfast and some coke, and it appears that I may have found a remedy for a hangover - running!

Who knew!

Overall we ran for 15:47 minutes and did 1.12 miles at a 14:08 average moving pace.  We walked for for the remaining 0.39 miles.  Not bad for hungover peoples!

Monday - 40 minute run.

Go team go - need sleep!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Placating the Soul - lessons learned!

I had a great day athletically Tuesday.  I ran, I lifted, and then I ran some more.

And then I recovered - a lot.

Maybe too much - but don't tell anyone.

The rest of the week should looked like this:

Wednesday: 35 minute easy run
Thursday: 35 minute tempo run
Friday: off
Saturday: 4 miles

Instead, my week looked like this:

Well, maybe not THAT bad - but still - let's just say that with the exception of work - I lived in my pajamas all week.  And as much as I like Spongebob Squarepants - I kinda got bored looking at the same ole boxers after a couple of days.

I don't know where my head was - but all I did was lay around, cuddled up with dogs, read, and watch TV.  Totally Old Brooke.  New Brooke must have been on vacation.  

And sadly, I did not get to bed early last night.  I blame the new boy for that.  Stoopid late night phone calls!  But I finally crawled into bed around 11pm, and Spongebob and I were out.  

This morning my alarm went off at 5am.  Ya - that's right - 5am.  It was still dark.  

I have to get up at 5am on Saturdays to make it to running group by 6am.  Most of the time I eek it out.  I pull a U-ey, slam the car into a parking spot, and hustle to the meet up point right around 5:59am.  Never been earlier.  Sad.

But today - I had high hopes.

I got the dogs out, got dressed, grabbed my gear, and then somehow lost 15 minutes.  Because I went squealing out of the neighborhood right around 5:40am, and I had 15 miles to cover.  

But I made it - 5:59am.  Hell - I felt kinda early.

I wore my new shoes- my fancy pants Newtons - and realized as I walked up that this would be the furthest I had ever run in them - and that would be on a belly full of sugar and fat.  No good can come of this.

Tara (new coach) got her GPS unit running, mine picked up the satellites and then we were off.  

Now - I don't know how people do it.  It was 6am and people were chatty and polite.  


I had both of my headphones in, and a look on my face that said lemme the hell alone, I'm sleep-walking here.  Not a morning person.  Sorry.

I felt pretty good for about the first mile.  

And then - the Lay's potato chips, and fried shrimp, and popcorn, and honey roasted peanuts began to party in my belly.  

I like parties.  Who doesn't?!

But this one had some repercussions.  Let's just say that it was a good thing I was in the back of the pack.

Regardless, I keep pretty decent pace hanging out behind the pack.  I made it to the water stop, Tara and another runner and I talked for a second (see - I could be a morning person).  And then we headed back.

The run back felt better, but still I was getting reminders of what not running and eating crap all week can do to ya.  

So here is another lesson for New Brooke:
  • Never let Old Brooke chose the food.
  • Never wear Spongebob boxers for over 10 hours a day, or more than 3 days in a row - he will begin to talk to you.
  • Never drink Icees all day the day before a long run and consider that hydration.
  • Never sleep so much your back hurts from lying in one position.
  • BUT  - should this happen again - stay in the back of the pack to avoid crop dusting your new running friends.
Lesson learned.

But I am happy to say that New Brooke is back.  We (that's right - the royal we) finished the 4 miles today with an overall time of 54:27, running 3.5 miles with an average moving pace of 13:01/mile.  Not my best - but considering Old Brooke drove the chariot this week - not too bad.

I came home from my run, cleaned the entire house, had a salad with a side of Nathan's all beef hot dog (no bun) for lunch, and put Spongebob in the laundry hamper.  

Tomorrow I plan on running with some gal pals on the beach.

Go team go - indigestion!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday Trauma!

I have been very tired lately - so much so that getting up at 0500 is not working out too well for me.  But I still have to get my runs in somehow!

Tuesday I work out with my personal trainer - the fun never stops around here people!

So I hit the gym and started a slow warm-up on the treadmill at 13:30/mile.  Wait - did I just say a slow warm-up!  It wasn't too long ago that my top speed was 13:30/mile - WTF!  But I paced out 10 minutes very easily and felt nice and loose.

Then I lifted with Fred for 45 minutes.  Arms, abs, pushups, medicine balls - all kinds of torture.  Sooo nice of him I think.

And since I skipped my Monday run since I actually had internet at beach house and wanted to catch up on TV shows I have missed - I decided I MUST run hills.

So on my way back from the gym I stopped at a parking garage - a nice, secluded, empty, deserted one.  The kind where you think rapist and druggies hang out.  But then again - I live in a small town and this parking garage was attached to a resort - so I figured I was all good.

Even so - I ran with one earphone out.

I sprinted up the levels of ramps to the top and hit the sunlight - breathing hard and kinda stiff from the squats I finished doing at the gym.  I walked and jogged back down to the bottom, grabbed some water, and started again.

I had originally sent my timer for 3 minutes to get up and 4 minutes to come back down.  But for some inane reason - I made it to the top and outside in about 1:30 - how that happened I have no idea!  Maybe this is a baby parking garage for compact cars!

The biggest problem I had the entire run was my Garmin beeping like a techno rave attached to my arm.  It kept losing the signal, going into auto-pause, and just being a nuisance in general.  So now my numbers are all dodgy.

But I finished three sets of ramps - up and down - I even took a moment on the third set at the top and celebrated.  Well - actually I kinda weebled and wobbled while taking a picture of birds on a power line to show I was at the top of the world - all 42 feet of it!

And then I went back to join Bessie (my car), and get the hell up out of the heat!  It is August in Texas - sheesh - what was I thinking!

However, at the end of it all - I ran a 0.75 mile warm-up at 13:30/mile, I lifted weights and worked core for 45 minutes, (I drove 25 minutes), I ran hills in a parking garage for 20 minutes - and I worked off roughly 650 calories.

Go team go - phew - it is frakin' hot!