Friday, April 14, 2006

Lessons Learned

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." ~ Unknown

I have very few regrets about my life. That's not to say that things have always turned out how I wanted them to. It simply means that I do my best to find the good where I can. I believe that most things are worthwhile, and that as long as I learn something it was a valuable experience.

That is the attitude I am taking about today's run. I am trying to strike a balance between making excuses, and beating myself up. I'm trying to look for the lessons and find the value.

I set out to run 11 miles today. I went 9. But I only ran 7.

I woke up at 7:45 this morning, intending to get up and get my run done early before the heat struck, but I woke up feeling like an entire marching band was pounding in my head. So, I made friends with some excedrin and went back to sleep. I can't wait for this to be over! Hopefully only another week or two, usually by the end of April my headaches are pretty much done for the season.

An hour later, my head didn't feel any better, but it also wasn't getting any cooler so I decided I was going anyway. I got dressed and was just about ready to leave when I turned on my Garmin and it said it only had 1 hour of battery life left. Great. That isn't going to work for a run that is going to take over 2 hours. So, I plugged it in to charge, and left 30 mintutes later than planned. I'm just going to leave it at that. The run wasn't fun. It won't be any better the second time around. So, in the spirit of trying to find the good, here are the lessons that I learned today.

Lesson 1: Do Not. I repeat, Do Not! Change the music on your mp3 player before a long run. I was killing time waiting for my Garmin to charge, and decided to put some different songs on my player. Bad idea. Songs with strong, fast beats keep me moving, slow ones make me want to quit. I must have still been half asleep when I added the music, because they sounded good while I was reprogramming, but made me want to run slower than molasses when I was listening to them later!

Lesson 2: Body Glide is my new best friend. I have problems with my under arms rubbing on my shirt when I run. It leaves these huge abraded areas where I literally rub the top layers of skin off as I run. Sometimes they are so bad that I think they are never going to heal. A few weeks ago, after my 9 mile run, I went to the running store and the clerk recommended Body Glide. I was skeptical, but figured it was worth a few bucks to try it. It works amazing! I'm going to have to try it on my feet to prevent blisters the next time I break in a new pair of shoes.

Lesson 3: Working on your landscaping the day before a long run is a horrible idea. My landscaping is an absolute mess, so I'm trying to not be the disgrace of the neighborhood. After squatting for 4 hours yesterday digging in the landscaping beds, my calves, inner thighs, hamstrings, and glutes are killing me. It was actually why I didn't do my run last night. I read articles all the time about the need for cross training, and how you shouldn't neglect your legs when it comes to weight lifting. But I have always resisted this theory for this very reason. I don't want to be too sore to run. And today that was part of my problem. I was sore starting out and it just got worse the farther I went.

Lesson 4: I need a new schedule before I start to train for Chicago. I can't run in the middle of the day heat. During the winter, I seek out the warmest possible time of the day to do my runs. In the summer, I hide from the sun like it is the plague, and usually run at night in the dark. Which is great for 3 or 4 miles. I know I can't do it for 20. I have to start developing the habit of running early in the morning. Oh horror of horrors! I hate to exercise in the mornings! And it isn't that I'm not a morning person. Or that I have to sit sipping coffee by the barrel to wake up. It's just that my natural clock wants me to go to sleep too late to get up at 5:00 am. I'm going to have to do some serious readjusting of my schedule if I am going to make it through my training for Chicago.

Lesson 5: I have 21 days to figure out what to eat for breakfast before the Indy Mini. That is one of my biggest problems about running in the morning. If I run on an empty stomach, I have no energy. I think eating a bowl of cereal is almost worse. It just wakes my stomach up, but doesn't last very long, so my stomach is howling for more in a matter of minutes. If I eat a big, hearty breakfast I have to wait for it to digest for a while or I feel like I am running with a lead weight in my stomach. I don't want to get up an hour early just to wait for breakfast to settle! This morning I tried a protein shake, which was a mild improvement over the cereal, but not much.

Lesson 6: Do not guzzle water. Repeat. Do not guzzle water. I stopped half way through my run to get some water and Gu. And before I realized it I had consumed an entire 20 oz bottle of water. I could feel it sloshing around in my stomach for the entire rest of the run. It was probably a large contributor to what made me quit early.

Lesson 7: I need to learn to make friends with my spandex. I broke down and wore some spandex shorts today, and it was so much better than Wednesday's run in regular shorts. I'm just going to have to live with it. I realized that while I'm running I don't particularly care too much about the fact that I look awful. Because, hey, I'm running, and you, passing motorist, who is judging my wobbling cellulite, are not. But it's a whole 'nother ball of wax when you are walking in spandex! First of all, you aren't moving quite as fast so there is more time to observe the jiggles, and second it is a little harder to feel all high and mighty when you just quit your run 4 miles early!

Lesson 8: Plug in your Garmin GPS tracker after every run!!!

On that note, I'm heading back to my landscaping. I'll leave you with an easter funny. Click Here I hope everyone has a very happy Easter. I think I may try to make another attempt at a longer run on Easter morning. If nothing else, I really need to get in some more miles. And if I run, I can eat more at Easter dinner!! And if I'm really lucky the Easter Bunny might leave me a treat or two that I can eat guilt free.

1 comment:

  1. oh my, so much to comment on! yay!

    okay. this is just a "huh, interesting" comment.. but i love running to mellow music. it makes me feel relaxed and i just enjoy what i'm doing. i like the mix of fast and slow... when a fast song comes on, i focus in, focus on my gait, my pace, my technique.. and then a slow song comes on and i can drift a bit.

    i dunno. everyone's different, thats how i am.

    body glide is awesome. agreed. but for feet, may i suggest vaseline?! i almost never have blisters b/c i slather my feet in vaseline pre-long-run!

    re: tired legs from weight lifting.. the idea here is that your legs get used to running on tired legs throughout your training. then you back off from the weight lifting as you taper... so you run your event on FRESH legs. and you feel that much better... and then, when your legs DO get tired, they already know how to handle it!

    at least, thats how it was explained to me! its worth it. but man does it suck! i'm with you on that one!

    re: breakfast... i dunno. bagel with peanut butter and banana does the trick for me? but you kinda just gotta figure that one out on your own! :)

    ok i think that covers it. don't stress a missed run or two, we all have our off days!