Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

So I don't have a great memory, but while I'm jumping rope today, all I can think of is Rocky and this vision of him jumping rope like a mad man during his training.  It's not the first time I've thought of good old Sylvester Stalone.  During the winter and those cold runs, I thought of him as well running in Russia.  You would think that I'm a big Rocky fan and I'm really not.  The last time I saw these movies was in the 80's and I'm sure that it wasn't really my choice to watch them.  I got a punching bag for Christmas a couple of years ago and I'll still get that out every once in a while.  I used to go to a kickboxing class that I really liked and when they cancelled it, I wanted to do it at home.  Anyway, so back to the jumping rope.  Circumstances made it so that I didn't get to leave the house today and so running was out unless I wanted to get down on the treadmill and that definitely was not going to happen.  So I grabbed my i pod and decided to make the best of it.  I tend to make games out of my workouts and that seems to make them go faster and makes it much more enjoyable.  So I warmed up for 2 songs (double jumps) and then alternated fast songs and single jumping with moderate songs and slower jumping for the first 20 minutes.  Then I did shorter intervals for the next 25 minutes by fast jumping during the chorus and bridges and slower jumping during the verses.  I alternated knees up and kicking back behind me for the last couple of songs and then cooled down.  It ended up being a really fun workout, one I'll do again for sure.  I was interrupted about 30 times by my kids asking me crazy questions that they'd figure out for themselves if I wasn't there.  The phone was also a problem.  Another good reason for me to get out and run.  I get to be alone with basically no interruptions.  I think I mentally need that time each day.  It makes me a better mom and a better human being in general.

I have also been pondering some of the things that Mike talked about in his blog today.  I've been really discouraged about running any races lately.  I've left my new fancy schmancy watch at home for almost a month now.  I just don't seem to be satisfied with any of my race results.  I think part of my problem is that I put in a lot of work and the training runs seem to be so good.  Then the race comes and I bomb out.  I really appreciate all the support and comments from friends and family and Anna and Mike especially.  These seasoned runners can see past these few disappointments and the good that will come eventually.  I lean on their advice a lot.  Thanks!  Anyway... I'm really digressing today... I was visiting with a good friend this week.  She's a bit older than I am, but we think a lot alike and I really respect her.  When she was little they didn't expect her to live.  She had asthma so bad and really could never participate in anything physical.  Her doctor calls her a miracle because she lived past age 8.  Now there's good medication and though she deals with pretty severe arthritis she is always so positive.  She doesn't complain and though she'll be honest with me about how she feels, she's always grateful for what she can do.  Somedays it is very limited.  She tries to stay active and lifts weights and is a healthy eater.  Every time I leave her I am renewed with gratitude for what I am able to do.  It's not anything great but 4 years ago I didn't think I'd ever be able to run again.  It was a devastating thought.  I'd never been athletic through all my school years.  I avoided playing any type of sport.  I just didn't think I'd be good.  I was a good spectator though and I enjoy watching all types of sports.  And now that I'd finally found something that I loved, I felt like it was being taken away.  Being able to run again brought such great joy and appreciation for my body.  I think I've lost some of that this year.  I'm taking for granted the simple action of slipping on some running shoes and hitting the streets.  I want speed and endurance (and I want it right now!) instead of simply being grateful that my body is able to do those things.  It's something so basic and yet I know there are people who physically can't do it.  They can't do what they love to do.  My heart aches for them because I know how they feel.  I think that's one reason I've left the watch at home and why I'm running alone and why I don't have any desires to run any races right now.  I need to get back to why I run in the first place.  I need to be grateful for the simple ability and just be content and happy with the fact that I can run.  I need to remember that running is fun.

9 comments:

Mel said...

I love your blog! Just wanted to let you know your posts inspire me. I'm new to the long distance running and I am loving it. I did my first long run (10 miles) yesterday and I kept reflecting on how wonderful it is to be able to run at all. Not everyone is able. What a wonderful outlet running can be! Like you said, no distractions or interruptions.

I've read your marathon experiences and I think your awesome! Besides, jumping rope for that long is impressive.

Michael said...

I think running chick in orange hat says it best. When asked why she ran she replied "because I can". That pretty well summarizes it for me, forget the top ten list... I run because I can. Anytime you need a reminder take a walk through your local hospital or visit a sick friend. Keep running Jen, forget the speed (it'll come naturally). Never stop. Today's a much welcome rest day so I'm gonna laze around and bring out the true slacker self. ;>) Mike

jeanne said...

Jen: Thanks for your comment!!! who says you're a non-athlete??! You sound pretty dang athletic to ME! keep it up!
:)

jeanne said...

and p.s. congrats on the title nine promotion! well done!

Audrey said...

Jen,
You are still my hero! I am so amazed and in awe of you! Thanks for the inspiration. (Do you know that it is just NUTS to jump rope for that long?)

Mel said...

Congratulations on the Title Nine listing!

To answer your question: I'm not training for anything specific but have thought about the TOU 1/2. I've been increasing my mileage really fast and so I should probably slow it down so as not to get injured. After reading your blog I'm thinking you would say hold off and do the 1/2 when I feel good and ready. There are only three weeks left to train. How long was your longest "long run" before you ran your first 1/2?

I'm guessing that we live relatively close to each other?

Jen said...

Mel, I bet we do live close to each other. As far as my first half, I had been running 5 or 6 miles as my long run. On a whim, I ran 9 miles one Saturday and had a friend talk me into running a local half that next Saturday. I did (she never showed up by the way) and was fine. So I think you could do it. It just probably isn't the best way to train. You could do it and then make sure you really take care of yourself afterwards and not do any longs runs for a while. And I wouldn't have a time goal. Just run it to finish. Hope that helps and good luck with everything!

Mel said...

Wow, that's amazing that you were able to up your mileage from 6 miles to 13 in two weeks! Thanks!

The Hoyt's said...

Nicely said... You never cease to amaze and uplift me... I have to agree jumping for that long is insane... I'm not sure i even remember how to jump rope.... LOL