Preparing, following, sneaking

The half marathon is 16 days away.  That isn’t the three weeks i’ve told myself. It’s really closer to 2 weeks. 2 weeks isn’t a lot of time. 

I’ve been running 2-3 times a week – not 5 times a week like my training calendar says, but not 0, and any non zero number is wonderful. (I like non zero pieces of pie)

Tuesday, Thursday, and then a weekend day. It’s been working well. The supportiveness of the runclub at MRC (FF MR) has been delightful, and I’ve opened up the “people I run with” list to include new “pace crushes” (love that phrase Heather Anne). I ran with Carol, with Tami, with Carmie, with Jen, with other people.

I was in a mood that matched with my running plan on Tuesday, to include 6+ miles. The weather was perfect, and I decided I would run a few before meeting up with the group (sneaking in miles, cause that’s how I roll). Tami decided to join me, and we ran about 1.4 before meeting back at the store, and up with the rest of the group.

It quickly became clear that my sense of direction has not improved, and I am continually  thankful that runners wear bright clothes, so I can see them up ahead, and for Tami, who tells me when to turn. I couldn’t figure out how we could make a loop – running from FF MRC on Marginal to Mackworth (well, almost to mackworth) – oh. it’s an out an back. right. I’ll just go with the running and leave the thinking to others. So basically, I ran part of the marathon course (new to me).

Felt great, won a pair of socks, avoided the rain (until the skies opened up while i was walking to the car). Not bad for a Tuesday.

Would like to get 10 on trails this weekend, so I can feel more prepared for the race. Will make it happen!

 

Sniffing, admitting, training

The past 28 days since my last post feel like a whirlwind when I think about it. While I was living through it – not so much. First there was lots of celebrations for a friend’s birthday, live music, work, and then there was THE COLD.

Before the cold, on a nice not super cold Sunday, I ran 7 miles through the old port, over the bridge, and around town. It was great, and my longest run solo for a while. I was pretty happy with it, and even ran into a wandering Monster, who I promptly invited over, and gave him a “barley soda”.

The run felt great, aside from the IT band. Rolling, stretching – I was feeling ok. Then THE COLD.

Spent the next 4 days out of it. Woke up Saturday morning unsure if I could do the last snow shoe race. Me and the sir went for a walk around the block, thanks to some very nice springy weather. I had to stop many times, and upon making it home, I took a nap. I was not up for 5 miles of snowshoe “breaker”. My hopes were dashed, but i still brought all the stuff to the race. I volunteered for registration and finish line stuff, and until about 5 minutes before the start, harbored hopes of saying “F it, I’m racing”. Mostly glad I didn’t – I really needed to kick the cold’s booty, and so that’s what I focused on.

All was put through the test yesterday, when I attended a spin class (for charity) that I had signed up for many weeks ago, pre illness. I turned out to be fine, and then turned out to be better than that, as I ended up joining the winter warriors for a 5 mile run.

So – feeling healthy again, and learned I could do a 5 mile run after a 50 minute spin class = pretty pleased with my legs and lungs.

6 weeks to the half marathon, feeling good!

hovering, committing, training

I posted to the book of faces that I was hovering over ultrasignup.com – and I was! I haven’t registered yet, but I’m ready. Going to do the TARC half in April, and then.. (THEN she says, with conspiratorial glance around the empty room) either the stonecat full marathon, or the big brad ultra 50 K.

cause if you’ve never done a marathon, might as well start with a trail one, or a race called “BIG BRAD” 50K….

*gulp (yes, room is still empty)

Excited. Excited to have some goals. Excited to try to figure out how to train for them. Excited to learn that I’ll become a certified coach in May.

I’m looking forward to putting in the work, and I’m looking forward to feeling strong.

Repeating, directing and stressing

As a co-race director of a 1000 person event that happens on Superbowl Sunday, the time after Christmas is not as relaxing for me as it is for others. The planning gets ramped up, the lists are made, the unchecked boxes stare at me. I want the race to be awesome. I want to be the best RD I can be, thinking about the details that I wish others would at their races, setting an example for the rest of the MTC, living up to the great heritage of a 32 year old race. While this happens, I disappear into phone calls, spreadsheets and emails. It’s one decision after another, and with a full time job, it edges out some personal time.

Usually I turn to running to have “me time”. To remind myself why I spend so many hours on the running community. To get out the stress, flesh out the ideas, keep myself healthy, and grounded, I “lace up”. Thinking about the upcoming snowshoe races, I’ve been trying to get out there more. If I can’t train on snow shows, I can at least get my mileage in. But I’ve been a woman without a training plan, and a long to-do list for the race.

Good news: The race is over! It was great, in my opinion, and the feedback has been mostly positive. I’m mad I missed a few details, I’m upset at some interactions I had with people who weren’t nice, and I’m sad we ran out of shirts. No one was hurt, no major issues. I haven’t heard about anyone going off course. We didn’t run out of pizza or coffee. We had the largest field of finishers in 32 years, and it was 40 degrees. I’ll take that, with a huge smile on my face. There are things to improve for 2015. The water line, the shirts, the cannon, the awards being sooner, and more. The other thing to improve for 2015 is my running along side the race planning. 

If one gives, the other suffers, and I’m responsible for getting myself out there. I feel better when it happens, healthier, and more in control. So it’s been SUPER cold – not an excuse. 

Ian said something to me right before the Turkey Trot – “there are hills, but not hills that a trail monster would consider a hill”. That might not be exactly what he said, but it’s how I remember it. I’m applying it here. There are many things to do (what others would consider to be a hill), but not such a big hill (to do list) that I can’t get up it, and think it’s easy. 

Race is over, stress has dissipated, running is ramping up, and it’s snowing. A good day. Hill repeats tomorrow, and maybe a snowy run tonight.

Still without a training plan… definitely need one … suggestions welcomed :)

REdoing, REadjusting, REstrapping

Race report: Brabury Squall

An amazing day, the snow got all prettied by Mother Nature, who, surprise surprise, sometimes answers to Mr. Snowman himself.

confused? sorry.

It was lovely. The branches were heavy with new snow. The tap of my snow shoes along the ice reminded me to pay attention. The hills were minimal, the speed was slower than I wanted. The air was fresh, I WAS OUTSIDE, and I couldn’t see my computer. All in All, a great day.

The straps on my snowshoes slipped over the top of my shoes. EVERY SINGLE STEP. They rubbed my achilles, they pressed their miserable plasticness into my happy smart wool. They screamed “PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ME”. They demanded I stop, adjust, wiggle, shove my foot forward. I’d stand, sigh in relief, gasp for oxygen (snowshoe race!) and then run. I was free, I was playing in the snow, I was running, it was WONDERF_STRAP STRAP STRAP STRAP…. You see the point.

I realized i was way behind the goal, decided I’d just put a bunch of bandaids on after the race, and then started booking it. AND THEN the DEMAND won. Repeat, until about 2.5 miles, when I just had enough of fixing them, accepted in, and ran with the pain. I caught up to and passed a few people, but ran out of course to make my time closer to what I wanted. I wish I had reached that “F it” point earlier in the race.

A great day, filled with seeing all my TMR buddies, which was wonderful after the night before seeing all my MTC buddies. 

 

picking, running, pushing up

The ladies have chosen a 50-push up a day challenge, and I’m in.  Doing 50 push ups a day requires some planning, because I can’t do them all at the same time (yet), and when I get that close to the floor, I think about napping.  It’s interesting. It’s satisfying to complete each day, a check mark, a crossed out line of success. And 6 days in, my arms are tired, but I feel it other places too. 

After a wonderful snowshoe walk (with some sprints away and back to the group), I found myself standing by the side of the road, on a sunny day with my snow shoes on. I wanted to jump, so I did. Such fun, to just jump really high in snow shoes. E(l)liot laughed a bunch, and it lifted my spirits even more than where they were.

Life is a verb was my 2013 (and maybe 2012) theme. It will continue in 2014, and I’m thinking to sign up for the TARC half at the end of April. 

More speed, more strength, more distance – that’s what I’m after this year.

Banjo lessons started this weekend. Practicing is like running, but with your fingers. focus on the goal, go as fast as you can, with the fewest mistakes/ fumbles/ trips.

Reflecting, training, tracking

Obligatory reflection sentence: It’s been about a year since I started this blog. Is it what I wanted, how I planned it? It could be more, it could be better. Can’t most things?

Christmas morning, in the city I grew up in, I left the house, thinking it was going to be warmer than home. It wasn’t. I picked a simple loop. Past a house that my 10th grade boyfriend lived in. Past the tree that I hit when I flipped over my bike handles. Past the fire hydrant I backed into, past where my first kiss was. It was cold, and Christmas. A city, normally filled with people, was empty. It was cold, and early. I saw no other runners, no people rushing to the train for work, no cars at the convenance store. I’m running more in the cold, and without headphones. I listen to my breath. I listen to my feet, I listen to the gasping, and the squeaking, and, on this particular day, the stream of memories. The ox and lamb kept time.

21 days until the first snow shoe race, I’m signed up for all three.

15 races completed in 2013.

Bring on 2014!