If it’s not one thing, it’s another

Is janky a word? It feels right for how my body felt as I glided into a slow jog yesterday, one week after surgery and very little physical activity. (Sunday, we walked the dogs and I had to lay down for 45 minutes after. Monday, we walked around in Tom Brown and I felt fine.) My bones clicked and creaked upon each other but my heart and lungs were champs about it. I managed two miles but then my right incision felt like it was pulling. It screamed at me to stop so I cut the run short. But Lord, being out there on the path, working my entire body in that freeing manner, was just so awesome. As much as I tried to hold onto the last remaining hours of NO RUNNING, I really appreciated the act once I was doing it.

So now I am mentally conflicted. I don’t WANNA run, I whine. But I know I must and I will and I’ll just accept it because I committed to the marathon and if I don’t, this baby belly fat will NEVER go away. There’s no reward without the hard work before it – I KNOW this – but hate to think about all those runs ahead of me that will inevitably suck at times and take up my Sunday mornings and… and… it’s all just too much!

The upside to all this is a.) weight loss, b.) justification of eating what I want, and c.) Football Sundays. I know now why Ash loved them so much when he was training: you kick your ass from 5:30 AM until your long-ass run is over and then you sit on the couch for the rest of the afternoon and just watch football. Added bonus: fantasy implications. I love fantasy football and I really like my team this season. I’m stoked!

That’s pretty much where this post ends; I have no clever way to tie this together or any more observations. I am in a holding pattern right now but there is Fall in the not too distant future and pumpkin spice lattes and leaves and pumpkins soon… SOON.

 

 

Fall, running

I had a hot latte instead of iced this morning; it just seemed right. After all, it’s been many months since I did that. Perhaps I am just ready for Fall. At the same time, I am desperately hanging onto that idea of high summer; the feeling of freedom and hot days that are quenched by the pool and anytime naps and popsicles on the lawn. I think every August is like this: the days are so very disjointed because the beginning of the month is still summer session at work, then a few are in-between, and then the end of the month, the semester begins and it’s back in full force. It’s so jarring for each part of the month to be something else. Throw in there my sister’s and Elliot’s birthdays and it’s just a busy time. September is no less busy but I ease into that month, taking my face-to-face class in stride and balance it with my online work.

Of course, I have to balance it all with running. I am halfway through week 3; here’s how one and two worked:

Monday(1)- Rest; Monday (2) – Rest

Tuesday(1) – 3 miles easy; Tuesday (2) – 3 miles easy

Wednesday(1) – 5 miles hills; Wednesday(2) 6 miles hills

Thursday(1) – Rest; Thursday(2) – Rest

Friday(1) – 5 miles easy; Friday(2) – 6 miles easy

Saturday(1) – 3 miles easy; Saturday(2) – 3 miles easy

Sunday(1) – 9 miles LSD (Long slow distance); Sunday(2) – 9 miles LSD

Week one was 25 total, week 2 was 27. Week 3 is apparently 29, made up by my Sunday run, which is slated to be 11. I’m slowly building and soon enough, running will be all but dominating my life. I have, so far, managed to make evenings work. I don’t take lunch and try to leave my office by 4, which I am technically not supposed to do but I figure so long as I work the correct total number, it is justified.

Rest days make me understand just how truly grateful for something I can be. Those two days are little gifts every week. I don’t know if I was actively aware of gratetfulness before these past few weeks. Even though I have trained before, it was only four days a week; that fifth day changes everything.

It’s funny the different phases I go through when training. Some days I’m all “Oh God, I really don’t feel like running.” And others, I go through the entire day knowing, having committed, that I will do my run and shut my mouth. Some people don’t even have legs, I tell myself. Be glad you can walk, let alone run. I have also given up worrying about rain. Summer thunderstorms are inevitable here so if it’s 5 PM and the only time I can run, but pouring rain, I’m just getting wet. Though it may only be a matter of time before my ipod stops working.

There are always trade-offs, I suppose. I have to have music but my armband cuts into my arm every run, leaving a half inch scab. It doesn’t hurt but it leaves a mark. I’m ok with this. I am waiting for the other effects of running to show though: pounds lost, muscles gained, miles and miles behind me.

Running in this heat – a love/hate story

Running in the summer means that on some days, the only time I can run is between five and seven PM and it is sweltering. It means that I have to run on the concrete side of the street to find any bit of shade but I still feel dizzy and disoriented, even by the end of a quick three miler.

It means that some days, a torrential downpour will consume you a good two miles from home and you have to adjust your electronics so they don’t get drenched. It means stopping at bus stops in hopes the rain will quit but you really only end up sitting next to a skeezy looking guy awaiting the bus. And wondering if you smell horribly of sweat but then realize he smells worse.

Marathon training in summer means those hill intervals are way more difficult because the humidity is insanely high and the humidity is what keeps you from sweating effectively. Your lungs feel constricted and even if you have the actual energy and even if your legs still feel fresh after that Blairstone climb times three, you want to fall into a heap in the next shady spot and curl up, clutching at your ribcage for relief.

But oh, how sweet it is to be jogging past those last four houses, just past the neighbour’s boat where I can slow to a recovery walk for the duration of my driveway. Typing the four number passcode For the garage is such a magical moment because as the door lifts up and reveals home, I can taste my gatorade already and know that a cool shower awaits.

And once that run is over, I can put it away, compartmentalize that aspect of my life and move on. I wash dishes, read to Isaac, play a card game. I don’t think about the next run until the day of and even then, I try to keep it on the back burner until it’s time. if I can just take each day’s run in stride, then i will make it through this training.

Weekend of drowning + musings on running

Ok so most of Saturday wasn’t wet but after T.S. Debby debuted here in north Florida, it’s been non-stop rain. Luckily, it was nice Saturday and I got to get out early and get Ash’s side mirror installed. Yay! Mistake corrected. Soon after, we went to do a little shopping then made plans for the afternoon. We decided to meet up at a friend’s parents’ house and use their community pool, because it’s nicer than my friend’s condo pool. And we don’t have anything but a blow up thing. So it was a huge step up. We were there for about two hours and the kids missed nap but usually they’re ok. Not so much. Isaac melted down around 4 so we put him in his crib and then Ell was watching TV. Ash fell asleep too. So then, when I went to nap, I was hoping to get just a tiny bit but Ell woke me complaining he was hungry, even though I gave him food then implicitly stated not to wake me. I was petty annoyed by that so when it was around 6, I was getting everyone up and out of the house for food, but no one was happy. I didn’t want pizza but they all did. So that’s what we got. BUT, I was vindicated when we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch on Sunday, amidst the rain. So we mostly napped and ate and stayed dry. I have not been able to run, however, and this bothers me. But it just won’t stop raining!

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I was supposed to run theĀ  Monday before vacation – after a short Friday run – but I didn’t. I was too caught up in flying solo while Ash was out of town so I didn’t utilize time home before the workmen came that morning. And though I promised myself the elliptical after the kids went to sleep, I played a game instead. I was supposed to run at least one day of my vacation; maybe just a lap around the lake at the hotel. But no. I was just too caught up in everything else. So Sunday afternoon was my first time back and it was… OK. About halfway, one of my toenails was digging into my other toe so I stopped and took my sock off, fixing said nail. When I put my shoe back on, I tied it a bit too tight and after maybe five minutes, I started having shooting pains throughout that entire leg. I walked. Tried running again; pain. I walked some more and tried running and it was OK for about 50 feet before hurting again. It’s at that point I started to worry a bit; marathon training begins in one month. I cannot get injured!

After Tuesday night’s run, I felt better. At least, the nerve pain had subsided and the only residual pain was in my knee, as usual, and some in my right ankle. I won’t lie: the three miler was a bitch. I felt pretty good the whole time but the general fatigue that took over afterwards was unexpected. I guess it’s true that time off will allow your muscle to atrophy and getting back into the routine is hard.

It’s hot out but I’ve been leaving the house around 7:30 and that seems to help some. The heat is unavoidable and I can’t – and won’t – use it as an excuse. My ipod needs new music; I need to tape my training plan to the kitchen cabinet so I can hold myself accountable. I will probably go back to using KT tape, not just for my knee but this new-found ankle problem. I wish I looked better in running gear. All this weighs upon me and I know it’s going to come down to a mere moment when everything clicks and I get serious.

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Hope everyone else had a good weekend. I am super busy this week but must hold it together. Off to grade papers, as usual!