Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If the side of the road could talk...

Don't you just love to see what on the side of the road while you're running? There's always something interesting that gets you thinking and as we all know... there's plenty of time for thinking on those runs. Of course there's the masses of road kill that I end up leaping over. And there's plenty of garbage. But I love the various shoes and socks that I have seen, never a pair of course. But doesn't it make you wonder how in the world they ended up there? I envision a kids throwing it out the window and the mom too mad to go back and get it. Or it being left outside on a summer night and a dog takes off with it and leaves it miles away. I've seen caulking guns, and garbage of every kind, but my favorite from the last couple of weeks has to be a bike seat. I see a bike seat off to the side of the road and think it's weird but it gets better. A few hundred feet later I see the bike from which it came off of. Which left me thinking about how that seat fell off and the rider somehow rode that bike at least a little while longer in some very uncomfortable position until finally ditched the whole effort. I wish I knew the real story behind some of the weird things that I see on the side of the road. What strange objects have you seen?
I ran my last 20 miler Saturday with Mel and Heather. It was a slow run, possibly the slowest to date mostly because of me. We stopped a lot to stretch and I tried babying my calves as much as possible. But they pretty much hurt the whole time. And then the last four miles I got some pretty fun cramping happening there. But we made it and now I need to figure out how to fix it before the big day. I went in and got a sports massage and then my chiropractor taped my calves with kinesio tape. He had just returned from a seminar and was happy to practice on me. I hope it helps.

Monday August 31st- 10 miles biking with the trailer
Tuesday Sept. 1st- 8 mile easy run
Wednesday Sept. 2nd- 10 miles biking with the trailer
Thursday Sept. 3rd- 8 mile easy run
Saturday Sept. 5th- 7 mile easy run, 8 mile bike ride

Monday Sept. 7th- 12 miles bike ride
Tuesday Sept. 8th- 5 mile run, calves hurt entire run
Wed. iced the calf on and off all day but it hurt. 5 mile bike ride
Thursday- saw the chiro and had him work both calves really hard
Friday Sept. 10th- 4 mile run, calf did better but I word leg warmers under my pants. I don't know if keeping them warm helps or not but it couldn't hurt.
Saturday Sept. 11th- 20 mile run

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

At what point did you call yourself a runner?

This question was brought up in our car during the Wasatch Back by Tall Girl. I've been thinking about it lately with the half marathon this last week, and I wonder- can you still be called a runner if you run for fun and not time? It took me a really long time to call myself a runner. Even after completing my first marathon I didn't feel like I could call myself a runner. Not because I didn't love it- because I did. The answer was simple. I didn't feel like I was fast. I know that fast is a relative term and those people that I admire and wish I was like are not fast when compared to the elite runners. But man, I'd love to be as "fast" as them. I did speed work religiously. But I never seemed to really get as fast as I wanted in the time I wanted. It was easy to overlook just how far I had come in that pursuit of some elusive time. And getting pregnant or injured every single year and having to quit running didn't help. It felt like I was starting over after each break. So when did I actually consider myself a runner? I don't know if there was a big moment when it happened. No fireworks in the sky or ribbons pinned to my shirt. Maybe it was when I quit doing so many other things in the cardio arena and ran more than anything else. I'm not sure. But I'm happy to say that I am a runner. I'm still not fast but I'm out there doing it and loving it. I run for fun. I still care about times. I can say that I don't all I want, but deep down I do. It's not because I'm in competition with anyone else. I don't even consider myself to be competitive. It hard for me to run with someone who IS competitive. I don't ever want to hold someone back. And it's not so that I can say that I run a "so many a minute" mile, but it's tangible evidence that all my hard work is indeed working. Will I ever be satisfied with my speed? Probably not. Because no matter where we are, I believe it's inherent that we want to be better. It's what drives us.
So, back to the half. I ran it last year. I ran faster than I had ever run before. It was an amazing race with a finish time of 2:02. I was so shocked and happy. And I felt like I pushed as much as I possibly could. I also ran it injured and really trashed my IT bands. I was out for months after. But that time made it all worthwhile. I knew that I would probably never do a repeat of that time. It was one of those fluke things. So even deciding to run it again this year was hard. I mentally prepared myself to not be disappointed. I knew I was leaving the watch at home and somehow I was going to make this a fun run. Heather and I wore some fun socks and had a great time. We got lots of comments from other runners as well as spectators and it made it fun. We even heard the comment at the finish line from a guy saying that he had seen those socks pass him up in the last miles. My calf hurt almost the whole race, but never really bad. We stopped at each drink station and stretched a few times during the race but tried to keep the pace up. At the end we were really pushing it. Heather knew I was o.k. with whatever time we ended up with, but being the great friend that she is, she pushed us through and our time was 2:00. It was pretty awesome. I honestly couldn't believe the time clock as we passed it and I made her give me a dorky high five across the finish line. Really, really awesome. Now I just have to worry about being faster next year. Ugggg.
So now it's your turn. When did you consider yourself a runner? And talk to me about speed.

(thanks to Mel- our unofficial photographer for hanging out and documenting our totally awesome socks!)
So for this week:
Monday August 24th- 6 miles with hills Calf was good until the very end of the last hill. Wasn't just sore this time. It hurt like an injury. Went in and had it worked on.
Tuesday August 25th- 8 mile bike ride
Wednesday August 26th- 7 miles speed work Calf was sore after the second mile of speed work but didn't really get worse. Stretched really good. Hope it's o.k. for the weekend!
Thursday August 27th- 11 mile bike ride
Saturday August 29th- Top of Utah 1/2 Marathon!