Thursday, June 21, 2012

Running, the Way I See It: Every Day Warrior

Running, the Way I See It: Every Day Warrior: Sometimes things in life come together in a beautiful way. Last May is when I started running OUTSIDE. I had been a pro on the treadmill, u...

Every Day Warrior

Sometimes things in life come together in a beautiful way. Last May is when I started running OUTSIDE. I had been a pro on the treadmill, up to 11, 12 miles on a regular 4 time a week basis, when I switched to outside running. Honestly, when I think about that now, I can’t even imagine how I spent those miles on the dreadmill. Last year I couldn’t run ¼ mile outside w/o practically feeling like I was being run over by a semi-truck. For my 1st 5K I chose a very special one for our community of Smithville Warriors! The run was to honor the everyday heroic life of Smithville Middle School Guidance Counselor, Julia Bargman. She was not just the counselor but a tender heart & the high school’s cross country coach. Julia ALWAYS had a positive spin for even the most devastating things in life. She has become my running inspiration. “IF Julia could do it, I can.” Julia had a long battle with breast cancer but never seemed to be down & out. She was kind, lovely, beautiful & awe inspiring. She would run our hills of Smithville like THE healthiest, most fit body, soul & mind out there. All the while, trying to CONQUER her horrible illness.
The community lost an EVERY DAY WARRIOR when Julia passed away. To honor her, Julia’s family & our little community put on the mother of all 5Ks! I think everyone in Smithville had some part in that run/walk. Signs, balloons, sprinklers, cheer sections, you name it, we had it goin’ on! That was not an easy run. It started early, was terribly HOT, was hilly & when I ran it, I huffed & puffed all the way thru, when I wasn’t walking it! My time for that 5K was about 35-40 mins. The hills were insane & hard & steep. I’ve run those hills since then about once a month, to remind myself it can be done, that Julia did it under the hardest of conditions.
The run is coming up again, one month from today. I wanted to run the entire course today to see what kind of performance I could turn out for myself. The temp. this afternoon was about 84 degrees, sunny, slight wind & those hills were just waiting. Btw… the run FINISHES on a hill! I thought to myself today before I ran, “You’ve got this. You just ran a Half named Hospital Hill, for crying out loud. It’s KNOWN for its HILLS!” Uh, no… I didn’t “GOT” this… I was WORN OUT at mile 2. I knew what kind of hills were waiting for me, so I sucked it up & continued on. I wanted to walk, to quit, but I kept thinking how Julia NEVER quit! If she could do it, I can do it. I was one of HER warriors. She was an EVERY DAY WARRIOR. I really did want to quit. I was winded, hot & I think I was still feeling the after effects of yesterday’s & Monday’s runs. Julia was an EVERY DAY WARRIOR & I am one of HER warriors. If she could do it, I can do it.
Mile 1 was timed at 8.14. Mile 2 was 9.43. Mile 3-.3.01 was 11.01. My total time was 28.58 with the average pace of 9:50 per mile. I was pretty pleased with those times. Those were some of the longest miles I’ve ever run. They were worth each & every foot strike. There are EVERY DAY WARRIORS out there whether we know it or not. Every time I have wanted to give up, slow down, not complete a run, I think of Julia. If she could do it, I can do it. In my life, there is an EVERY DAY WARRIOR, my running inspiration. I’ve tried to learn from Julia’s life, the gifts she gave & her CAN DO attitude, even when the odds were against her. I try to take something from every run. Today’s run for me meant I am stronger than I have ever been, more determined, happy with my progress & always needing to learn from an EVERY DAY WARRIOR.
Keep in mind there is always an EVERY DAY WARRIOR out there. Happy running y’all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bulges All Over

So, I like to at least looooook slightly "fit" when running. I like to wear layers, but they are usually fairly form fitting. Today I wore form fitting running capris, a form fitting tank, a BRIGHT pink form fitting outer shirt & my sweat belt. I like to wear the sweat belt, because my dad always wore one when he ran. It does just what it promises, makes you sweat. I want to at least looooooook like I'm working hard! I like to think I at least can look the part of a runner. ;-)

Today I ran in Lee's Summit, a town about an hr. from my little town of Smithville. I'm familiar with certain parts but not the residential or downtown areas of town. I have a few meetings out that way on Mondays & have decided to change around some of my running days. I usually run with a group on Mondays, but won't be able to do so for a while because of said meeeeeeetings... darn work, interferring with my running. Aaaaaaanyway... I knew it was gonna be a warm run, a windy run. When I left for my run the temp was 95. Yes, it was windy, but I'm a runner damnit, I can take it! Within the 1st mile the following "ISSUES" occurred: I ran out of sidewalk, I got a tree limb to the shoulder (b/c the hurricane force winds threw it down at me!), something crunchy was in my gum (don't even wanna to know), I kicked dog poo (PICK UP after your pooch please) and I got a wave from the train conductor. This was a 6 mile run, I could feel that it was maybe gonna be a struggle. I played "chicken" with a guy on a lawnmower, a very cute man wielding a leaf blower winked at me (at least I think it was a wink, but in all honesty, he probably just had something in his eye), I got something in MY eye, I got a nice cold spray down by the fountain in the downtown area (because the WIND was INSANE!) & I lost my hat. I know, I know, it was windy, afterall. I found my hat too!

Determined not to be discouraged or defeated by this run, I squished my hat up & smooshed it into my sweat belt, which at this point I noticed was all cock-eyed & bulgey in the front. Moving forward like a champ, bulges in the front, I had a smooshed up Kansas City Track Club hat all bunched up in my sweat belt on my back. BULGES ALL OVER! I did take a couple of minutes (at mile 4) during this "run" to catch my breath & clean the muck outta my eyes, with my dirty, sweaty fingers. I noticed a cute little wine store, a peanut store and a red train car. Noted to self: take a walk next week, bulge free, to GO into the stores.

I took a moment to straighten out the bulges from all over, repositioned my sweat belt, tucked my hat back in & like a champ, finished the 2 miles left. I finished this run, feeling the effects of the heat. HOT, sweaty, tired, wind blown with BULGES ALL OVER. I headed to the gym for a cool down outside, sans bulges, did an upper body workout, took a nice, long warm-ish shower & cleaned my contacts. Ew!

Even though I felt a little defeated by this run, I was glad I went, glad I finished & was ok with having bulges all over. They made me look the part of a runner.

Happy running y'all!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Funky Font

So sorry about the funky font of the last post. I hate it & will NEVER do it again...

Pocket Miles

Why is it the “pocket” miles are seemingly some of the hardest? I’ve had 4 runs now since last week’s Hospital Hill Half Marathon & they’ve all been short & “routine”. I bought myself yet another pair of runners last week. I LOVE them. I love them so much, I really do wanna marry them! I feel like they’re the shoes I should’ve bought 3 months ago. Having said thaaaaaat… the damn things still don’t have rockets attached to the back, or cheerleaders jumping out of them to get me going! I feel so much better about my recovery from this half than the last one, yet I still am finding it difficult to motivate myself.
Last week, I was eager to try out my shoes & the run suuuuuuuucked. All stinky like, I went thru the rest of my day with the brilliant plan to run out at the soccer fields that evening. Maybe I should add here that I was not only stinky from the 3 miles but from the mere fact that I had grabbed multiple dirty running gear items out of the stinky laundry. What?! I was just going to get them dirty anyway! Anyway… I digress. I felt sluggish, but kept going. That same evening I ran around the soccer fields too. I felt muuuuuuuuch better about that run. There was a lot of goose poop though, which is always a turn off.  Christopher played a good game, but was a little timid & thirsty evidently… he drank the rest of my water, ugh! He & I had a nice dinner of nachos and nachos, just the 2 of us. I’m finding those little moments very sweet & I plan on taking full advantage of them when they arise. J Look at me… I can be suuuuuuuuuch a good mom…
P.S. Yes, I was still in the same dirty clothes that were still stinky from the previous run of the day aaaaaaaand from the fact that I grabbed them out of the laundry… the DIRTY laundry. Look at me telling y’all my secrets! Luckily, no one really reads this blog. LOL!
Yesterday’s run was short & sweet but left me with the need to do a little foam rolling. I HATE that! And my butt cheeks are a little sore. WTH!? Well, not even butt CHEEKS… just the right one.
I changed today’s 3 miler to a trail run, with the trail running Cha-hu. I hadn’t taken her for a while. She IS hilarious! The trails were a bit busier today, but no biggie & she’s been worn out the rest of the day. The upcoming week is another hectic one where everyone is going in a different direction. I tried to clear my head of all of the To Dos but just seemed to add to the list. Nevertheless, a run is always a good run as long as my feet are hitting the ground. ;0)
Happy running y’all!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Nervous Breakdown Is Only A Moment

Twizzlers, orange slices, bands, sprinklers, cold water, lemon-lime Gatorade, cheering sections, brrrrrrrrr frozen sponges, flip flops, BBQ sandwiches & beer! Oh! And with all that even came the 40th Annual Hospital Hill Half Marathon! This past Sat. I ran my 2nd Half Marathon. My first was in April, I feel like I was prepared for that one. This Half was very, very different. In the parking garage of the expo I broke out in tears and nearly started to hyper-ventilate! I didn’t want to do this run! I didn’t feel prepared at all & I was SCARED of all those hills. I’ve been doing some hill training, just around our little town, but nothing like what was to come in the Half. I wasn’t even going to have my own bag bitch to hold my stuff on the day of the run! What was I going to do!?!
I didn’t sleep well AT ALL the night before… nerves, nerves, nerves. Awake at 4 a.m., not by choice, (STUPID Chihuahua!) I tossed & turned for 30 more mins. After getting up, showering (YES! I shower prior to running. It wakes & relaxes me), I put my last minute items together. I was all set to go. The weather couldn’t have been more PERFECT! I picked up my friend Melissa, ate a little yogurt, peed a couple of times, peed some more--- I was ready!! We met up with our friend Michelle & joked, laughed & relaxed a little more. At that point, I felt ok, ready for it to happen. With the cannon off & Kansas City, Kansas City, here I come, playing over loud speakers, we were all OFF!
I made friends with a lady behind me. She’s running the Marine Corps Marathon too! She’s not having anyone go with her though… and here’s the beauty of making running friends… I gave her my name to look me up on FaceBook & she messaged me the other day. We’ll meet up in Oct. for the MCM! We can support each other.
My decision to stay with a pace group, proved to be very smart. It was mile 4 before I even knew where we were. We had already gone up the longest hill! How could that be?! My pacer, Megan was a chatty Cathy, that’s how! We were talking & singing & joking with cops along the way;  I was impossibly busy to even realize we were knocking down miles & staying AHEAD of our pace time!
Around mile 8, I had Gel issues. NOT in my hair, but my fuel gel. I tried to remain calm, & not burst out into tears because I couldn’t get the damn fanny pack turned back around, so it would be resting on the small of my back, not on my stomach! What kinda pictures would that have made for, I wonder… Speaking of pictures, I only saw cameras once along the way & at the finish. I tried to look like I was indeed a runner, sucked in my pooch, stayed focus, smiled, but not cheesily, tried to have the correct gait, tried to not look blinded by the sun, annoyed with the stinky runner in front of me, or like I was totally about to fall over dead at any given moment. We’ll see how all that worked out, pix come out tomorrow.
There were FREE high fives with a ½ mile left, a short, but very steep hill, of which I opted to walk up & once again, I could see where we started & hear the announcer calling out finishers. With that, I took a deep breath & picked up my feet in a quickened pace! I was gonna finish this race with my head held high, my feet fully functional & my pride worn sparkling well!
I shaved off 8 minutes from my Rock the Parkway Half time, wasn’t sore, only had one small blister & felt AMAZING! That night, I was dead tired & had chafing issues. The next night I was icing my calves, thighs & the blister popped on its own. All in all, a pretty fun time. I’m thankful to all of my supporters! I’m proud for showing MYSELF, my best is YET to come & that a nervous breakdown is only a moment.
Tomorrow is a 2 miler. I’ll take it nice & easy & I’ll do it in the hottest part of the day, because that’s how I like it best. Happy running y’all!