Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's know what time it is...

TIME FOR ME TO BORE YOU WITH MORE TALES OF TRAINING. I mean, really, it's all my life is these days. Well, that, and spending time with my precious baby niece. My life is pretty terrific. No complaints.

I'd had a rough time of it the last time I attempted to run more than five miles. Since then, I have had numerous pep talks from lots of runners who reminded me that I need to stop beating myself up, that every run isn't going to be perfect, and really, what matters is getting my miles in.

So, Saturday morning, P.I.C. and I set out for our long run. Nine miles. CARA runners be damned. Those of us in Chicago are very aware that it's been HOT lately. 90 degrees plus. That is HOT. I knew that my body would have to get used to the heat. So I said..."Know what? You're going to take a little walk break after each mile, have a couple of sips, and regroup." And so I did. My walks were very brief in the beginning and probably over a minute toward the end. BUT I DID IT. Even better? I felt pretty great doing it. It was SLOW. VERY slow. I'm not going to be that upset about it.

Face it, I ran NINE miles on Saturday. Most people didn't do that. So, my attitude has been checked, my body has healed from its ailments, and I am slowly building the confidence and endurance to run 13.1.

I can do it. Right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Training IS Wednesday.

So, I got a cold. One of those annoying, nasty summer colds that gets in the way of having fun. I actually stayed home from work for an ACTUAL sick day in which I watched streaming documentaries on netflix, drank tea, and blew my nose. It was awesome, except for the whole surplus of mucus. Blech.

I suspect part of the problem was that my body was just exhausted. I did the ten mile race, which was farther than I ever ran in my entire life, then just hopped right back on the training wagon without any sort of appreciable break. That's why my eight miles were so tough. That's why I STILL can't run three miles without having to stop to blow my nose.

GETTING PAST THAT, THOUGH. I'm back on the horse. I'm taking it one day at a time. My goal for the half-marathon is only to run the whole damn thing, aside from walking for my water break. (Hat's off to those of you that can sip while running, but I'm just not that coordinated.) I don't care about my time so much. I just want to run the whole damn thing. And I will. Thank you so much for those of you that have dropped a kind word my way toward my struggles. Honestly, this might be the most tough physical thing I have ever put my body through over a period of time (not including the Panamanian Volcano Climb of 2010) so encouragement goes a very long way.

P.I.C. and I have decided to take our long runs separately now. He has decided he wants to run the half-marathon faster than me. I get it. He is faster, has already run one, and I tend to be surly at times. Lots of times I don't even want to run with me. Clearly, this is going to be one where I am going to have to look within for strength to finish. Therefore that starts this weekend. Nine miles solo. Eeeeeeps.

I'll do it. I will be surly. It won't be fun. But I will do it. That's all that matters.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer in Chicago...seen and heard at street fests.

People in Chicago can be disagreeable. North side versus south side. Cubs versus Sox. Thin crust versus deep dish. I could go on and on, but trust me. There are so many things on which those of us lucky enough to reside in this beautiful city will disagree.

BUT. There is ONE THING that I feel confident in declaring. One thing on which I think all of us can agree. SUMMER IN CHICAGO IS THE BEST.

It just is. There are festivals, outdoor concerts, street festivals, movies in the park, beer gardens, friends’ patios, and I could go on for days. It’s fantastic. It is why we put up with crappy winters and shitty sports teams. (Alright not all are shitty, but lots are, and I’m a Cubs fan, so I’m just generally down on Chicago sports, so deal with it. AND deal with my run on sentences too.)

Here it is, barely June, and I’ve already trekked out to two festivals. Granted, if I were truly diligent, I would have hit up four, but come on. A girl’s gotta get some sleep, right? While I don’t love crowds, and my fear of Porta-potties is only slightly less than it used to be, these outdoor events have on quality that will keep me coming back. People-watching. Duh.

Last weekend, at Maifest, I witnessed a girl who had a rather portly middle that she rather half-hazardly covered with a shirt. She got around the fact that her too-short denim shorts DID NOT BUTTON by slapping a belt on. It was delightfully awful. To top it all off, she was drunk (at 5 p.m., not entirely unusual) and making out with what could only be a random dude. Quality people-watching right there.

At Ribfest, I witnessed some girls having a good time dancing to a band. They were having fun, drinking, throwing popcorn, whatever...IT WAS J. Roddy Walston and the Business...ROCK OUT! There were two girls in front of them, however, that were rather persnickety and with each “WAHOOO” and subsequent popcorn throw, they would turn their heads around to give a snotty look, look at each other, then get back to shifting on one foot to the other and slightly bobbing their heads. As I was behind all of this, I could witness each little episode of snotty hilarity. Loved it.

THEN there was the youthful girl that would not even “WOOOO”* at the end of a song, she would SCREAM at the top of her lungs and emit a song that I can only equate with a rape whistle. It was heinous. After she did it the first time, she looked at one of the guys she was with and said, “I know, I know. I was a cheerleader, we were TAUGHT to make that noise.”

SAY WHAAAAAA? Number one, girlfriend, I was a cheerleader too. Granted, it was MANY years ago, but I fairly certain that there is not a new trend for cheerleaders to start screaming like they are being attacked. I PROMISE. Number two, your ploy to inform the boy that you were a cheerleader was SO TRANSPARENT. “I was a cheerleader” = “I want you to picture me in a short skirt doing high kicks and stuff.” Sigh. Kids these days. But also, file THAT under hilarious too.

Summer in Chicago. Street Fests. People-watching. Never, ever, ever gets old.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Worst. Run. Ever.

You guys, never have I felt so demoralized. Not even at mile eight of the Soldier Field Ten Mile race at which point I told P.I.C. rather rudely to shove his supportive comments and to refrain from speaking to me have I felt THIS bad.

Of course, having survived the ten mile race, I waiting a few days then signed up for a half marathon. Normal, right? (I guess that depends on your definition of normal.) I jumped right into training, knowing that eight weeks isn't that long to get where I want to be for an even longer race. On Saturday, I was supposed to run eight miles. I have run eight miles before without having to take walk breaks. I did the stupid ten mile race without walk breaks. Sadly, on Saturday, my attitude took a turn for the worse.

When we woke up, I just didn't feel well. My stomach was bothering me, and I just felt a little off. We left according to plan and started our run. After nearly three and a half miles, I told P.I.C. to go on ahead. I was going to turn around and do seven miles instead of eight. I walked for a short period of time, then turned around at the next mile marker. Only I couldn't hardly run. It wasn't my knees. Those felt good. My hamstring felt fine. My damn stomach just hurt a little. I was having trouble breathing. So I would run for a bit, then have to walk. Only when I got to the "have to walk" part, I would start bawling. I'm sure that was REALLY helpful for the whole troubled breathing thing. It was just a disaster.

P.I.C. caught up to me at the end  of his eight miles at while point I broke down. I started crying, feeling like an utter failure.


I definitely need an adjustment.

Sigh. I guess seven miles, even part walking, is better than no miles, right?