Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Climb

I realized something this last week.  It's been a long time coming.  Like about a year.  And it took a silly song to do it.  I came across my training schedule from last year.  I had kept notes on how I had felt during the run and whether I had made it a negative split or not, which was one of my initial goals for last year.  Almost every run was good.  I wasn't dealing with any injuries.  My body felt strong and I was getting faster.  I was learning to start out slow and then push my body even at the end of the run when I was getting tired.  Every run leading up to the Salt Lake Marathon was great.  Then the marathon came.  It was disappointing to say the least.  Four weeks later I ran the Ogden Marathon and had an even worse experience.  It really messed with my  mind.  More than I'd like to admit.  I cried for days afterwards.  I cried for weeks afterwards just thinking about it.  My confidence was shot.  Running wasn't as fun anymore.  I felt like I had something to prove, if only to myself.  I started leaving the watch at home.  I just didn't want to know where I was.  I pushed myself when I shouldn't have.  And injury is what happens when you do that.  So, back to the point of this whole story.... Last week my daughter introduced me to one of her new favorite songs.  She's a preteen and I'm often forced into listening to her music.  I hate to admit that I like some of her stuff and it's been added to my playlists.  But this one caught my attention for the lyrics.  Since I have no pride I'll just admit that it's a Miley Cyrus song called The Climb.  
Here are the lyrics:
I can almost see it, that dream I'm dreaming.
But there's a voice inside my head says you'll never reach it.
Every step I'm taking, every move I make
Feels lost with no direction, my faith is shaken.
But I gotta keep trying, gotta keep my head held high.

There's always gonna be another mountain,
I'm Always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
'Aint about how fast I get there
'Aint about what's waiting on the other side.
It's the climb.

The struggles I'm facing, the chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down but no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it, but these are the moments 
That I'm gonna remember most, just gotta keep going
And I, I gotta be strong, just keep pushing on.
Why do I get so fixated on that marathon day?  It's really all the training leading up to it that is where I learn and grow.  It's the climb.  There will always be other big days, other goals to reach, but it's in the getting there that makes all the difference.  As I looked at that training schedule the happiness and success came flooding back.  That was a great time in my running life.  And I let one day (o.k. maybe two) ruin it.  For far too long.  I'm gonna try and remember this as I continue to train for the next mountain in my life.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting back into it

The last couple of weeks have been a blur.  I got sick.  My kids were sick.  There was not much sleep involved and even less running.  The first week I tried to keep it up, 3 miles one day, 2 miles the next.  But it just wasn't worth the coughing fit I'd have afterwards.  I still longed to run, but after things took a turn for the worse, (kids got ear infections and fevers and I got my sinus infection back) I gave up.  I didn't even want to run.  I managed to lift weights twice the first week and twice the second week, but even my pushup/crunch challenge got put on hold.  So last Saturday I finally got back out there.  I ran 5 1/2 miles with some challenging hills on the mountainside (new trails discovered! Hooray!)  It felt great to be out there again especially since the weather was so nice.  I even got a bit of a tan line.  The last mile seemed long.  But I desperately needed the break from the sick house.  I had a nice coughing fit when I got home, but I wasn't sore like I thought I'd be after a week and a half break.  Yesterday I ran 2 miles easy and got back to the challenge.  I moved up to the 30 push ups and 300 crunches.  The last few were tough, but that's how it's been each week I've moved up.  I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things this week.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Weekly Report (It's pretty pathetic that I can't think of a new title)

I had a really sick child last week.  It makes it really hard to do exercise when your little one just wants you to sit and hold them and watch movies all day long.   Not that I'm complaining.  He rarely wants me to hold him anymore so it was a joy that I savored.  However, now that I have little one's barking cough and runny nose, there's not so much savoring anymore.  He's almost back to normal and little sis and I are now in the thick of things battling this croupy cough.  Yuck.  Good thing cold's don't last forever.
So, Monday:  full body weights, took out the lunges from last week.
Tuesday:  3 miles on the treadmill doing intervals.
Wednesday:  2 miles outside.  These were supposed to be recovery miles but I felt so good I pushed it the entire time.  Why do I do these stupid things?
Thursday:  4 miles on the treadmill doing 8 minutes of running and 2 minutes recovery.  Felt horrible during the first interval.  Second one was o.k.  Third one I thought I might die.  And the fourth one, well, I quit after 6 minutes.  I just couldn't do it.  Note to self.  Make recovery runs really recovery runs or you will pay for it the next day.  Even my push ups and sit ups were extra hard this day.
Friday: full body weights again.  This was the first day I could feel that darn cold coming on.  I was ignoring it.  It was not going to get me.
Saturday:  a little over 9 miles, slow, outside.  15 degrees when I left.  32 degrees when I got home.  My body felt so strong and good the entire time.  One of the best long runs I've had in a while.  Came home to a quick ice bath, hot shower, stretching, a quick meal, and then off to my next adventure.  
A new class.  A ballet class.  My girls both take ballet from a fabulous teacher.  I don't know how our little town got such an amazing and accomplished ballerina, but I'm glad we did.  We switched dance schools earlier in the fall and it's been a really good thing.  As I was watching the class on Thursday, I marveled at their flexibility and leg strength.  That's what I needed.  I remembered that she taught an adult ballet class so after the class I asked her about it.  I told her that I was thinking about taking it to improve my running.  I need flexibility.  She was really excited and told me that she taught the Wharton stretching technique that was developed for marathon runners and ballet dancers.  I had remembered reading about it before and was really excited.  Now I just needed to know if I had to wear tights and a leotard and if I had to perform in front of anyone.  Since the answer was "no" to both questions, I signed up.  Buying my ballet shoes was pretty fun.  I have to admit that I woke up pretty nervous and excited that morning.  The class was great!  It was an hour and a half of me trying to keep up.  My quads and calves are really sore and my hips were killing me during the workout from all the turn out.  It's working my legs in a whole new way.  I really hope this will be good for me.  It's only every other week so I'm going to have to do some homework.  But I think it will help balance out all those muscles that don't get used running.  And Miss Michelle says she may just join me for a run to work those muscles that she doesn't use during ballet.   
Now I just need to figure out how to not do a long run on the days that I have ballet.  I think it was a bit much.  I didn't refuel as much as I should have, I just didn't have the time.  And so I was hungry all day long and was even up at 2:30 in the morning eating yogurt because I was starving!  I definitely need to plan that better.  It was a good week.  Now if I can quit being sick, this week will shape up to be good as well!