Friday, June 30, 2006

Things, They Are a Changin'

I hope!

So far, my training for Chicago has sucked, for lack of a better description. It's been hard and frustrating. It has reduced me to tears on two separate occasions, and has had thoughts of quitting running through my mind more often that I want to admit.

I can't believe how much I lost since Indy, and how miserable it's been getting going again. I'm mad at my knee, and the world in general for things being harder than I thought they would. I knew it would be hard later, but now? Hard running 4 miles? That is ridiculous! But, it's been a fact for the past 3 weeks.

But, finally.

FINALLY.

Things are starting to feel right.

They are starting to click.

I feel like a runner again!

Last night my schedule called for 3 miles. So, that is what I set out to do, but it felt so great I decided to go a little further and pull a few more lost miles out of the abyss. Surprisingly, there haven't been too many miles tossed in there. Somehow, I've managed to pretty much stay on schedule.

So, I ran an amazing 4.25 miles. It felt perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

Nothing could have been better. The temperature was just right. My knee didn't hurt. The new music I was trying out was great. The slightly altered route I was running was good.

There was even one mile where I felt like I was flying.

Well, flying for me that is.

I never post my splits, and I really don't know why. I always wear my Garmin and look at them after every run. I just never think to post them I guess. So, I am changing that and posting them. So here they are:

Mile 1 11:12
Mile 2 10:20
Mile 3 11:22
Mile 4 10:46
Mile .25 2:36
Total 46:19

Not the most consistent, but oh well. It felt amazing and that's what matters.

Part of the inconsistency was the fact that I ran a new route, and the 10:20 mile was on the new part which is mostly down hill. It is also on the shoulder of a major road, and I NEVER run along the road. EVER. But, I thought I'd give it a try and actually enjoyed it. The breeze of the passing cars kept me cooler and watching the passing motorists gave me something to do to pass the time. Plus it helped that the shoulder is really wide along the stretch I was on.

Normally, I always run around my house. My neighborhood, or "addition" as we call them here, connects to four others. So I can run for miles and never leave the neighborhood streets.

In some ways it is nice because I am never that far from home for emergency bathroom or water breaks. I could cut across people's yards and be home in a mile in necessary! There is never much traffic, and the cars that do go by are always very courteous and give me lots of room.

But, at the same time it gets very boring running in circles staring at the same houses over and over every day. I am becoming an expert on what cars people own and how often they mow their lawn.

To mix it up, I have tried running through the back country roads that are just a short 2 mile drive away. A few turns and I can be smack dab in the middle of nothing but corn fields. Yipee. Now there's some excitement for you. If you've never watched corn grow you are really missing out.

Or I might get really crazy and drive to a park and run in circles around the golf course and dodge flying golf balls.

But all of my runs have been limited by the fact that I need to be some place that I can essentially run in circles, so I can keep coming back to my car or house for water.

Well, I finally broke down right before Indy and bought a fuel belt. I tried it on my last long run of that training season and HATED it. I bought it hoping it would sit around my hips, but it wouldn't stay and kept popping up around my waist. Of course it was too big to fit my waist and just bounced around freely.

So, I went back and exchanged the belt part for a smaller size, and decided I was just going to have to deal with it around my waist.

Today was the first time I had used it, and I expected it to drive me crazy. But, It really wasn't bad after the first few minutes and I loved the freedom to just wander around through some different areas without worrying about where I was going to find some water.

The only bad thing about it is I have a hard time getting the bottles out of the back holders. But I found that it isn't too bad if I just switch the front and back ones as soon as the front bottles are empty. That way I only have to get into the back holders once on each side.

So this morning I got in my 8 mile long run before the holiday weekend. The first 3.5 miles my legs felt pretty sluggish. I think it was partly from last nights run and partly from the fact that my body doesn't wake up before noon and it was 7:30 am. But the rest of the run wasn't too bad. I took more walk breaks that I usually do, and I was more than ready to be done during the last mile, but I made it. My knee wasn't too happy, but I stretched it and iced it and it isn't screaming too loudly at me.

Again, here are the splits:

Mile 1 12:11
Mile 2 11:35
Mile 3 12:09
Mile 4 11:36
Mile 5 10:51 (that same down hill as the 10:20 mile last night. I am in love with that hill!)
Mile 6 11:32
Mile 7 11:35
Mile 8 10:41 (just get this over with!)
Total 1:32:14

The weekend plans consist of... a party tonight, work Saturday, a 4 mile run on Sunday - followed by a party at the lake, work Monday, and a 4 mile race on Tuesday. I'm actually not that busy between now and the 4th, so I'll probably be posting. But, in case I don't, I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!!

9 comments:

  1. I just found your blog. I loved your "I Just Run" blog...it describes my philosphy perfectly. In my short time blogging, I have discovered so much about running from other blogs that I didn't know...I am starting to think I don't really need to know it either! :-)

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  2. Hooray for good running days! Have a great weekend and good luck with the race.

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  3. Sometimes I get so nervous about posting my splits. But then I'm like who the hell cares?!

    Good job!

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  4. A change of scenery is always good. Just be careful if you're running with music playing. I can't handle fuel belts and instead run with a bottle of water in my hand. Over time, it feels more natural and actually helps build up the arm muscles when it's still relatively full. I guess I'm lucky in that there are numerous parks on my courses -- with water fountains and restrooms. Though I remember running in the country. We'd set out bottles every three miles along the course. Worked wonders.

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  5. Awesome run! I loved my fuel belt. I just need a new one for this marathon because the old really STINKS...literally. It was a lifesaver for me on the long runs.

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  6. I tried a new route last weekend. It really did do wonders! I've been contemplating either a fuel belt or a water bottle with that handle strap thingie. I guess I haven't decided what to do yet.

    Great splits! I didn't realize you were so speedy.

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  7. It's great hear your running is getting back on track. Once I got used to my fuel belt I don't know how I ever ran without it.

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  8. Great run! Never get discouraged we all have bad weeks, and some of us even month - I've totally been there.

    By the way I used to work in Dyer IN - right over the IL border. Where are you?

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  9. Don't get discouraged when things go bad, as they'll always be ups and downs with any training program. It's good to hear that things up now on the upswing. Try and remember the rush you're feeling now when and if things start to go a little bit sour.

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