Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The End of an Era

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have
ended up where I intended to be. ~ Douglas Adams

When I set out on the journey that led me to start this blog, I had expectations of where I was going and why. I knew what things I wanted to get from running, and felt confident that I would obtain them.

Boy was I in for a shock!

Not only did I never make it to my marathon, but the process was nothing like what I was expecting. The wealth of things that I learned about myself was unfathomable, and I got what I wanted out of the experiencing without ever reaching my perceived end point and goal.

I have learned several invaluable lessons along my journey and gotten to know myself better than I ever could have imagined.

But, after many months of soul searching, it saddens me to report that this will be my last blog post. I haven't trained for a race in well over a year. It's been a year and a half since my knee started bothering me, with no real relief in sight. And the farther away from it I get, the less I miss it.

I just don't feel like runnergirl any more.

I do miss the competition of the races. The competition with myself, that is. I miss pushing myself to get better and be better. Not just physically, but mentally as well. So, maybe one day I'll decide to take up swimming or biking.

But not now.


I'm going to start directing my energy in other directions. I used to really enjoy lifting weights at the gym, but I didn't have enough time to keep up with it and run too. So I gave it up a few years ago in lieu of running. So, my plan is to get back into that as soon as I make a firm decision on which gym I want to join.

It has been great spending an hour every weekday morning walking and talking with my mom. Which is another thing that I had given up doing in order to train for long distance races.

One of the best things to come of my journey is that I have gained a great love and appreciation for blogging, and I have every intention of continuing with it. I just feel like I need a fresh start in a new blog, where I don't feel the pressure of writing about running because that is what my reader base is expecting. I want a new forum, where I can babble about my life and the people in it without feeling like I am boring people to tears because they are expecting something running related.

So, from now on I'll be hanging out here. Stop on by and say hello!! **link removed**

Happy Running to everyone! And I'll still be lurking here and there on your blogs.

~ Runnergirl Out!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Back Among the Land of the Blogging

Right. So... I'm back.

And No, I don't want to talk about it.

My head is screwed back firmly in place, and all is well in my world once again.

So, let's recap:

In the past month and a half since my last real post, I've...

joined Weight Watchers and lost 8 lbs.

I'm seriously ecstatic about this. Last week, I put on a pair of pants for the first time in 2 years. I was jumping around like a freshman that just got invited to the senior prom. It was like someone just told me I'd won the lottery.

Seriously ecstatic!

Or Mentally Deranged.

I have no weight goal beyond fitting back into two dresses that I have hanging in my closet. So, whenever I hit the happy number that allows me to put on those dresses and zip, sit, and breathe all at the same time, I'll call it a done deal.

walked what feels like a million miles.

My mom and I are still doing our morning walks whenever she is in town, which has been great.

faced the fact that I seriously need to rejoin a gym.

But, so far no decision has been made as to which gym. I think I know. But, I'm not quite ready to commit. For now, I'm just enjoying the decent weather. And maybe in a month or so, I might join. I'm thinking that a gym membership might be a great thing to ask for as a birthday gift. *hint, hint*

stopped being in denial about my knee.

I've finally faced the fact that my knee just plain hurts most of the time, and refraining from running has done nothing to actually help it. So, I've made an appointment for next week with my primary doctor to get a referral to a specialist. I think my running days are probably over for good. But it would be great if I could actually walk or bike (or maybe just stand!!) without pain.

gotten insanely busy at work.

It's back to school time, so all the kids need their eyes checked. Which means I've turned into a walking zombie from being so busy for the past 3 weeks.

spent a fortune.

Since my basement is almost a done deal!! I bought my bar, ordered my counter top, got the carpet replaced (finally!!). So, in a matter of weeks it should no longer be a construction zone.

And, faithful reader, I do believe that has you caught up with the world of runnergirl. Thanks for staying tuned!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Blogging Hiatus

I'm going to fall off the face of the earth for a bit.

But, never fear, I'll be back. I promise!

I just have too much swirling through my head right now to form coherent thoughts, now yet actually get anything down in written form. I really have no desire to even try.

For now, I'm just going to let it all spin around in there, and when I get it all sorted out I'll be back in full force.

Happy running, walking, swimming, biking, and blogging to all you awesome people out there in blog land!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Racking Up the Miles

My mom and I have walked 65 miles this month, and biked about 10. Wow!

My mom will be out of town for the next few weeks, so my goal is to try to get a few runs in and test out the various aches and pains. We'll see how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Big Thanks!

I just wanted to say thanks to Liz, Lisa, and anyone else that sent a letter for helping me out with this .

Matthew ended up getting over 60 pieces of mail - I didn't get an exact count from him mom.

Unfortunately his doctors said his counts were too low to risk going in the lake, so he didn't get tossed in. Instead it sounds like he got to pick someone else to take his dunkings for him, so I'm sure some of the staff at the camp weren't too happy that Matthew is so popular!

So, thanks again for helping me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Something Had To Give

Those readers that have been around for a while know that I love Jayhawk. I might even have a crush on her because she's just so darn cute with her new hair.

Some of her writing hits me so hard it about knocks me off my feet. Sometimes I think we are long lost running soul mates separated at birth. Today's post is inspired by her most recent one.

I could have written it myself.

In fact, I pretty much did.

Then a few months went by and things got a little more under control, and I was feeling better but not great about the state of things, and I was considering giving up my blogging.

Luckily, I decided that I enjoyed it too much and decided to stick around.

So, here I am blogging, but I'm not running.

Instead I'm just boring everyone with my ramblings.

Something just had to give or I was going to require a straight jacket and a padded room.

So, the running gave. And right now, I'm honestly ok with that. I miss it. I watch the other runners that I drive by every morning and feel a little pang of jealousy and regret.

But the relief I feel to not be training in this heat, and to not be in constant pain far out weighs any negatives. And I still haven't made any final decisions about the future. I'm just taking it one day at a time.

And until I decide to wrap my mind around my running future, I've been walking like a mad woman. I think my mom and I have logged about 50 miles walking and 10 miles biking since June 1st. So, even though I'm not running I haven't turned in to a couch potato.


In addition to the running, there was something else that had to give. Something that I used to do a lot of, and no longer have been doing.

Some of you may have noticed that I have been MIA in the comment sections of your blogs.

In order to make time for my own blogging, I decided that I needed to cut back on some of the things I was doing that were taking up my time. And going to each individual blog, reading each post and leaving a comment for the 40 odd blogs I follow was just too much.

So, now I read them all in bloglines and rarely leave comments. It is a source of guilt for me, and I would like to eventually get back to leaving more comments. But I can only do what I can do. And when I dropped all those balls back in January, there were a few of them that I never picked back up. But I know they're still there waiting on me. And one day I'll get back to them.

In the mean time, I just wanted all of you wonderful and inspiring bloggers out there to know that I'm still reading!

I've just turned into a lurker.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Crunch Time

A while ago I was talking about needing to make a decision about my gym membership. The time is quickly approaching for me to finalize that decision and I'm still in limbo! I have until the end of the month to renew my membership if I am going to do so.

The gym has a deal to keep you paying every year by offering a discounted yearly membership after your first two years. I can basically renew my memberships for just under $100. That's a darn good deal, and hard to turn down. But at the same time, I don't think I've set foot in the place in the last 6 months!

I joined the gym two years ago because it was where my boyfriend goes, and I though maybe I'd go with him. It just really didn't happen though. We live and work on opposite sides of town, and we have different schedules. I wanted to go in the morning since I don't go in to work until 9:00, but he starts work at 7:30. He got off at 4:00 and wanted to go after work, but I didn't get off until 7:30 or 5:30 depending on the day. So, it was very inconvenient for one or both of us to try to go together, and it just didn't seem worth the 40 minute round trip drive to go by myself.

I feel guilty to give up the membership. Which is extremely stupid! I'm not going anyway, and at least by not renewing I'll be saving some money. But I still feel guilty. I guess I know I should be going and if I still have a membership I can fool myself into thinking that I will go. Without the membership I can't hold onto that little falsity that I keep telling myself.

What I'd like to do is join one of the two gyms near my house and start going in the mornings with my mom. But I'd have to get my mom to agree to join with me, and I'd be spending a fortune as the last time I checked the membership fees were $35 or $40 a month. Yikes.

Mostly I miss having an indoor track to walk and run on, having the weight machines readily available, and being able to attend the classes. Of course, if I join the Y that is right across the street, yoga isn't one of the classes included in the general membership fees - you have to pay extra.

Maybe I should just continue taking my community sponsored yoga class and buy one of those all in one weight machines for my house! Every time I think I have made a decision, I change my mind.


Monday, June 18, 2007

A Simple Reminder

On my way to work I have to drive by the walking/running path that I was talking about here. A portion of the track runs along the road and you can see the people on it while you drive by.

This morning on my way into work there was a little boy running on the path. He couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 and he was just running along, pumping his little arms. He was really moving. Probably could have given me a run for my money. It was the cutest thing.

I did find it alarming that there was no adult in sight and I'm seriously hoping that his parent was not too far behind him where the path veers off away from the road.

But, the sight of him running along made me smile. It reminded me of the pure joy that I find in my night running. Which I am itching to get back to now that summer is here. I've just been too darn busy lately!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Here We Go Again

Well, it is once again that time of year, when my favorite kid goes to camp!

If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you know that I ran with Team in Training in 2006. Matthew was my honored hero for my first event and a more awesome kid you will never find!!!

He was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 8 years old. And he just celebrated his 15th birthday a few months ago. That's one heck of a long time to be undergoing chemo! But he deals with it like a champ and lives up to his motto, "NEVER GIVE UP!" every day of his life.

He is even dearer to my heart because he is a runner, too. And I often think about him running in track meets the day after chemo when I am out there wanting to quit on a long run. It helps to keep things in perspective for me.

Not a day goes by that this amazing kid doesn't stop me in my tracks. Sometimes it's just to look around and be thankful for the things I have. Sometimes it's to make me think what else I could be doing to help other people. Sometimes it's to wonder how I can contribute to making the world a better place. Sometimes it's to see if there's something I can do to ease the burden of a family with a teen fighting cancer.

But mostly, it's to make me realize that no matter what is thrown my way, life is to be lived to the fullest. And in the words of one of the wisest people I know I am reminded to, "NEVER GIVE UP!"

Matthew has been given the opportunity to once again attend a week long camp with other kids battling cancer. This camp has a tradition that any camper who receives five pieces of mail in a single day gets thrown in the lake. The past few years Matthew has received enough mail to get thrown in the lake every day that he was there.

Last year, in the 7 days that he was at camp, Matthew received 65 pieces of mail. He currently holds the record for the most pieces of mail ever received by any camper there.

I currently hold the record for the single individual that has gotten the most mail sent to Matthew. *Hee Hee*

And boy was he mad at me last year! But, I'm willing to undergo his wrath again to make sure that both of us hold on to our titles again this year.

So, if you can find it in your heart to drop him a quick hello, please do so.

He will be at the camp from June 17 - June 22.

The address is below:

**address removed**

Thanks for once again helping us out with our evil, get Matthew thrown in the lake, plot!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A New Place to Run?

No running for this little runnergirl since my race, but I have been walking my butt off (Quite literally, I hope!)

I have been getting up at the crack of dawn, which I just love oh so much, to walk with my mom. We've been averaging between 3 and 4 1/2 miles a day, depending on what time I have to be at work. I just can't bring myself to actually set my alarm in the 5 o'clock hour, so some mornings we only have time for the 3 miles. The rest of the days we go 4 - 4 1/2 miles, depending on if we are walking at my house or hers. I've actually been a little sore, and can tell that I am using a few different muscles for walking compared to running.

My various aches and injures have been keeping quiet during my walks, but my knee does shout out an occasional protest. I'm just ignoring it like I usually do.

I do intend to continue with my running, though. The plan is to just take it easy this summer and decrease the miles and to not be in training for anything for a while.

I've been meaning to check out some different parks and/or tracks around town, and just haven't gotten around to it. I'd love to find a place that actually had a drinking fountain or two along the way, but so far no luck! So, I'm thinking that I'll make the time to do that this summer.

So, as a start to my search, last night I went for a walk around the new walking/running track that they put in near my house. I felt a little silly driving 2 miles to walk around in a 1.8 mile circle, but so be it. I was curious to check it out and see if it would be a good place to run. And I'd already walked 4 miles that morning and didn't want to add the extra 4 miles on that it would have taken to walk to the track and back.

I decided that I did like the setting. A small portion of it runs parallel along the roadside, but for the most part it wanders through farm land. There are quite a few areas where it is lined with trees, which might provide some shade depending on the time of day. It did also have quite a few gently rolling hills, which would be excellent for me, since we all know how much I suck at hills! I'm sure they would feel like mountains to me while I was running, but it would be good training for me.

There isn't the greatest place to park near the track, but it wouldn't be too bad if I had to stop by my car in between laps for some water. Much better than trying to keep swinging by my house when I run at home.

The only thing I didn't like about it is less than a quarter of the track is actually paved. The rest is gravel and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I suppose it might be easier on the joints than running on asphalt, but it makes me feel less sure of my footing. I'm not sure if they intend on paving the rest or not. I originally thought that they just hadn't finish it, but then last night while walking I noticed that they have the dirt at the sides all smoothed out and the grass replanted. It seems strange that they would have done that before finishing the paving, so now I'm thinking maybe they intent on keeping it as is. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Last night, I decided that I am unable to actually take a walk alone. If I'm with someone else, then I'm fine. But if I'm by myself the urge to break out in a run is too strong and I can't resist it. I went to the track with the intent of taking a leisurely walk. I didn't even have on my running shoes or a sports bra! But there were a few times when I just couldn't stop myself and I broke out into a run. Partly I wanted to test out running in the gravel, but mostly I just couldn't stop myself. I really wasn't there for more exercise or to get a work out. I was just kinda checking it out to gauge if I wanted to come back and run there in the future. It's almost scary how ingrained in me running is!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Great 10k Adventure Part 3

The Race Report
Read Part 1
Read Part 2

I'm standing the in road surrounded by others runners. There is an older lady standing next to me, with a child that looks to be at least 3 strapped on her back. I think to myself that I hope she is walking. Another runner jokes with her about her extra load. She laughs and says she is in fact walking and that she'd have to be crazy to attempt running while carrying her grand daughter.

There is what I assume to be a local radio station DJ off to the side and he begins counting down to the race start. He is far enough away that I can barely hear him, but apparently the race starts because everyone begins to moving forward. It is a chip timed race, so I'm not really all that concerned about it. I cross the start line in less than a minute and hit start on my Garmin.

When I cross the line I am still walking. The crowd is too thick and moving too slow to start running. I finally start picking up the pace and realize that I lined up too far forward and watch all the other faster runners blow by me. I feel bad, I hate doing that. The cold had consumed all other rational thoughts.

I start running and I feel stiff. It hurts. I go about a quarter of a mile and both shins start hurting. I decide that it is going to be a long race. I wonder what I am doing and why. I think that I can just quit now. If I turn around it's only 1/4 mile back, plus another 1/4 mile to the car.

I plod along for the first mile. My right shin stops hurting, but my left is still bothering me. I always let shin splints get the better of me and quit when they start up. I will run through just about any other pain, but shin splints make me want to sit on the curb and bawl like a 2 year old. I wonder how I am going to make it through 5 more miles of this.

I make it 1 1/2 miles and I start feeling like I am loosening up. My shin stops hurting. My hands are still freezing and they feel numb. I'm wishing I had thought to bring my gloves.

We are running along a residential area and someone has set up a water stop in their driveway. It's on the other side of the road, but I cross over and grab some water. I slow to a walk while I drink it and then speed back up. I'm still freezing.

I am running an out and back course. I haven't quite made it to the 2 mile mark and I can see the contenders for first place coming towards me running the opposite direction in the other lane. It's an amazing sight. I rarely have an opportunity to see the front of the pack runners, and the fact that they are running a pace that is at least twice as fast as mine is blatantly obvious. I am in awe. I see the first female runner pass me and I silently give a little cheer for her.

Watching the faster runners pass me gives me something to concentrate on, and before I know it I've gone about 2 1/2 miles. I'm actually feeling good. I can tell I'm picking up speed. I think that I should be seeing my boyfriend soon going in the other direction and begin looking for him.

Some where near here is the official water stop and I once again stop for some water.

The song switches on my mp3 player to Eminem's Shake That, which I love and it gets me moving a little faster. Then Ice Cube's You Can Do It comes on next. I run to that song a lot, as it is in the movie Save the Last Dance and I run while watching that movie at least once a month. I always speed up during the song, and this is no exception.

My feet are hitting the pavement in time with the music. I feel perfectly in sync. I feel like I'm flying. I'm in heaven. I feel like I was born to be in this moment. The song ends. It switches to the next one. I feel myself fading with the music change.

I look down and notice my shoe is untied. I run over to the curb and bend down to tie it. I decide to ditch my sweatshirt. I'm starting to warm up a little bit, and figure I may as well take it off while I'm stopped. I fumble with it, and knock both of my headphones out of my ears. I toss the sweatshirt to the side and take off running again, struggling to get the headphones back on. I finally do and I can tell that I am nearing the turn around point.

I have a tank top on under the sweatshirt and I can feel the cool air on my arms. It is refreshing and feels like it gives me an extra burst of energy. I pass my boyfriend going the opposite direction. I wave but he doesn't see me.

I make the turn around and feel amazing. I can't believe how well the last 2 miles have gone. I decide that I want to go back to the You Can Do It song, and back up my mp3 player until I find it. I actually listen to this song for the entire last 3 miles of the race over and over again. It just feels right.

I'm actually weaving in and out passing people like crazy for the next mile or so. I feel like I'm on fire and nothing can stop me now. I come back to the official water stop and grab a glass. I'm feeling really thirsty by now and slow long enough to drink the entire glass, wishing that I had another.

I start back up and feel myself fading slightly, but I'm still doing well and still passing people. I round the corner with 1.2 miles to go, and I know that I'm going to struggle with the end. It's getting hotter, and I'm warming up and getting uncomfortable. I feel like I need more water, and I'm giving it everything I have and it's taking it's toll. I'm coming out of the residential area and there is less shade

About 3/4 of a mile from the finish, I have to go up a hill. It about does me in. I struggle big time, but finally make it to the top. And I want to sit down and cry about the fact that I'm not done yet.

I keep going. I feel myself slowing down. I can see the end in sight. The end of the race is a loop around the high school track. It feels like torture. It's hot. I'm tired. I feel vaguely like I'm going to throw up or pass out. Maybe both. I'm regretting the decision not to stop at the porta-potty I passed 3 miles ago. I have 1/4 mile left and I'm seriously considering stopping to walk the rest of the way. I'm arguing with myself to stop being a wimp.

I round the final curve in the track and just have the straight away left. I kick it into high gear and finally cross the finish.

I bend over to take off my chip and don't think I'm going to be able to stand up right again. I grab a water and start to chug it down, I eat a banana and some yogurt, and proceed towards the car where my boyfriend is supposed to be waiting.

While walking, I'm watching other runners cross the finish. I can tell the struggling 10k-ers from the early half marathon finishers. I stop to watch some of the faster runners go by. One poor kid gives it everything he has, barely crosses the line and starts loosing his breakfast off to the side of the track. I'm thankful I hadn't done the same, knowing I was pretty close.

Official Time: 1:10:55.80

Garmin Time: 1:11:06.30 (for 6.30 miles - I forgot to hit stop until after I'd removed my chip. Oops!)


Mile 1 11:33
Mile 2 11:41
Mile 3 10:56
Mile 4 12:08 (This was where I stopped to tie my shoe and fumble with my sweatshirt and earphones)
Mile 5 10:54
Mile 6 10:37
Mile .3 3:13

These are amazing split times for me. I never run under 11 minute miles. And even the first two miles were pretty good considering I hadn't bothered to warm up or even stretch. I was just too darn cold, and I really wasn't taking the race seriously anyway. At that point I was still telling myself that I could quit and go back to bed.

Over all, the race could not have been better. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure that I could have completed the half and regret bailing on it. But, it was what I felt I needed to do at the time.

The entire run my knee, ankle, hip, and back were completely fine. It made me wonder why I was quitting. Then I stopped running, my hip locked up, my back started hurting and I was limping like a 90 year old, and I quickly remembered.

I don't know how to feel about the race. It was amazing. It was the best race I've ever ran. And I did it with no preparation, and my head not even remotely in the game. It's given me the urge to keep running. To keep racing. Makes me wonder what I could do if I was better prepared. But the nagging pains are telling me that I really need a break. I haven't made any decisions. I'm still really thinking about running the 8 miles around Mackinac Island in September. Guess I'll have to just see how the next few weeks go.

I apologize for the three part report. It really wasn't from a twisted desire to keep everyone is suspense for days! I've been super busy since getting home and have been blogging in between patients at work. It can take a while to write a blog post in 5 or 10 minute increments!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Great 10k Adventure Part 2

Read Part 1

It's 4:00 AM, and I hear a strange sound. It drags me out of a deep sleep as I try to place what the noise is. I roll over and look at the clock and realize that it is the alarm going off. Why is it static instead of the radio station that was tuned in last night? I hit the snooze button and try to start the long process of waking up.

No more than 5 minutes go by, and another noise interrupts my attempt at slumber. This time I recognize the noise. It is the horribly annoying alarm on my boyfriend's watch. I once again roll over to face the night stand and this time turn on the light.

I lay with my face buried in the pillow until the snooze goes off and the static starts up again. I drag myself out of the bed, turn off the alarm, and stumble to the shower, where I probably stand for a full 10 minutes before I am even awake enough to bother with soap and shampoo.

I get out and dry off, and finally feel semi human. I can't decide what to wear. I don't know what the temperature is, and I don't know how warm it is supposed to get. I hem and haw and finally put on a pair of pants and a tank top to run in, along with a sweatshirt to keep me warm until the race.

I proceed with the rest of my pre-race necessities, gather my stuff, and we head out the door by 5:00 AM. We get to the car and I put my coat on over my sweatshirt. The intent was to eat a light breakfast at a Bob Evans that we had spied the previous evening. But apparently, normal people do not need breakfast prior to 6:00 AM, as this was the time they opened.

Deciding that we will not have enough time if we wait until they open, we head down the road toward the race. We spot a 7-11 that is open, and pull in. We spy some muffins and bananas, and grab some along with water. We sit in the car in the parking lot and eat our breakfast. I'm still only half awake. It is dark and cold, and I'm seriously considering just saying screw the race and heading back to the nice warm king size bed waiting back at the hotel.

We finish eating and head toward the race. We park the car in the school parking lot. It's 5:20 AM. It's still dark. It's still cold. I'm seriously questioning my sanity. Why exactly did I voluntarily sign up, and pay, to get up at the crack of dawn to torture myself with running a race that is farther than I've ran in months, and that I am doubting my ability to even finish without one of my various injuries kicking in and side lining me?

We sit in the car for a while, watching other racers begin filling up the parking lot. It slowly starts to get light. It's still freezing. I pin on my number, and dig out my garmin and mp3 player. We get out of the car and it takes everything I have to take my coat off. I still can't convince myself to remove my sweatshirt, but I have not come prepared with one I want to toss and leave behind. I like the one I am wearing; it is relatively new and it good shape. I would like to keep it.

We wander into the school and sit for a while on the bleachers, just watching other racers. It is 6:40 AM and our race starts at 7:15 AM. I can't believe all the marathoners still standing around as their race starts at 7:00, and they should be heading toward the starting line. My knee is actually hurting a little and it concerns me.

We make one final bathroom stop and head back outside. I still can't convince myself to remove my sweatshirt as it is just too damn cold. I tell myself that it is so cold I might be able to run with it the entire race.

We make our way to the start line and watch the marathoners take off. They head out and it is now our turn to line up at the starting line. Which we do, and we start the cold 15 minute wait until our race starts...

Read Part 3

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Great 10k Adventure Part 1

It's Friday morning, the day before the race, and it is surreal for me. I know that I am running a race the following day. I know that I should be thinking about it, probably even worrying about it, and certainly attempting to prepare for it, but I'm not. We are supposed to be leaving for Traverse City, but neither one of us has packed a thing and nothing is ready.

We are obviously getting a late start, not that is of any concern because it is a 4 hour drive, and we won't be able to pick up our race packets until 5:00 PM at the local high school.

So we eat a leisurely breakfast, pack our suitcases, and finally get on the road. I am conscious of the fact that I am racing in the morning, even if I haven't given it much thought, or even bothered to run, in the past 3 weeks. So, I am at least attempting to hydrate. This is a tough thing to do while trapped in a car for 4 hours with no idea when the next bathroom will roll into sight. I do the best I can under the circumstances - drinking water on the way and trying to drink as much as I can during lunch.

Of course, with all that water, I desperately need a bathroom by the time we finally roll into town! We head straight to the school and pick up our race packets. I inquire about a bathroom and am directed to one, only to discover that is locked. After a random search of the school, I finally find an unlocked door, and am soon in a much better mood!

We are told where the race will be starting from the following morning and head out to check out the starting line. Once we are confident that we know where to go and where to park in the morning, we leave to find our hotel.

We get checked in and decide that dinner is in order. Keeping with the theme of ignoring the fact that I am racing in the morning, we head to a steak house, where I proceed to eat Fillet Mignon, a baked potato, green beans, and bread for dinner - Knowing full well that I am going to regret it in the morning. Also knowing that I am setting a bad example for my boyfriend and leading him astray. I should be directing him towards a better pre-race meal, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I am presented with a rare opportunity to eat at a much loved resteraunt from my youth, and I am unable to turn it down.

We leave the restaurant stuffed to the gills and head back to the hotel. We settle in and attempt to get to bed early. It doesn't really work. We keep talking. My boyfriend is worried about the race, as it's the longest one he's ever ran. I keep reassuring him it'll be fine. I'm worried about my various injuries, but I try not to think about it. We turn off the lights and I remember that I need to plug in my garmin, so I get back up to find the plug and get it charging. We finally drift off to sleep about 10:45 PM...

Read Part 2

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Exciting News!

Well, first of all I just signed in to blogger, only to notice that this is my 200th post. Wow! So, I guess that is my first bit of exciting news to report.

The other exciting news is that my boyfriend has decided to sign up and run the Bayshore 10k with me! I think I kinda twisted his arm into it a bit, but I'm glad he will be running it "with me".

I know what's gonna happen though. For the next two days, he's going to ask me over and over if I'll stay with him and be sure to not leaving him behind. He'll say that he's afraid the mileage will be hard for him. That he's not a distance runner, just runs a few miles at the gym. He's not sure he'll be able to make it. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Then we are going to get to the start line, the gun will go off, and he'll leave me in the dust. I won't lay eyes on him again until after I cross the finish line, which he will have crossed 10 minutes earlier.

But, that's ok. I'm used be being left in the dust. Being a back of the packer isn't so bad. I'm just glad he's going to run it. He loved the two races that he ran with me last summer, and I have been thinking that he should try another one. It'll be his longest race ever, and I'm sure he'll be so excited to finish it!

Maybe I'll turn him into a runner yet!

I've Decided...

that I am going to run the 10K at Bayshore instead of the half.

I just don't feel up to wrapping my mind around a DNF for the half, and I'm pretty sure that is what would happen. I've been walking every day with my mom, usually about 4 miles or so, and my ankle has been holding up fine. My knee, on the other hand, has been doing some protesting. Nothing out of the ordinary, but enough for me to worry that even walking the half might be too much right now.

So, I'm going to go for a leisurely 6.2 mile jaunt along the shore of Lake Michigan. Then I am going to hang up my distance running shoes for a while. There is a trail race at a local park in June that I am considering doing just for the experience, since I've never done one before. But I don't plan on running anything over 5 miles or training for any races in the foreseeable future.

In the morning, I leave for Traverse City and Saturday is race day. Then I will be traveling to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a relaxing holiday weekend and returning mid next week. So, happy running everyone and have a great Memorial Weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2007


In my quest for the next road that I am going to be traveling down, I am returning to one that I used to frequent but gave up once I started distance running...


A few years ago, I used to get up most summer mornings and walk 3 - 4 miles with my mom. Once I started training I simply didn't have the time, and we stopped doing it. And I really do miss it. It was nice to get out and get a little exercise, but what I really enjoyed was the hour or so a day to talk to my mom. I'm really looking forward to getting back to that.

Because of my work schedule, and in an effort to escape the heat, we usually got going around 6:00. However, I don't work on Fridays, and the weather hasn't been that warm lately, so today's walking session starts at 8:00.

And right now, at 7:30 AM, the outside temperature is a whopping 37 degrees! I didn't know I was going to need my winter coat to walk in the middle of May. The really crazy thing is that I over heard a few people saying that the high temp on Monday was 91.

Now that's insanity!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I'm trying to decide what to do about Bayshore.

I'm not running the half, that much I've decided. But, from what I can tell, it sounds like they give you 6 hours to finish. I'm pretty confident that I could walk it in 6 hours.

The information I have read says that they don't have a category for walkers, and if you don't cross the finish line in the allowed time, you aren't an official finisher. But, it also sounds like they won't kick you off the course for walking.

Another possibility, is that there is a 10k instead. I sent an email asking if it was possible to switch my registration to that instead, and they said yes. I have no doubts that I could run a 10k without any problems as long as my ankle holds out, and there's nothing I can do about that. It's just gonna do whatever it's gonna do, so I'm not really going to factor that in to my decision.

I've wanted to do this race for a number of years, and I'd like to participate in some form or fashion.

Maybe I'll just go and watch.

The jury is still out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Life is Ironic. It's full of inconsistencies and contradictions.

One minute I feel like I have it all figured out. The next I don't have a clue. Just when I finally feel like maybe my life is "settled", it throws me a curve ball. As soon as I think I know what I want, I change my mind. One day I feel like I'm soaring. The next I'm falling. I often bring it on myself, but I just can't help it.

I'm an analyzer.

I often wish I wasn't.

I think too much. I rarely accept things at face value. I never just live today without viewing what the consequences will be for tomorrow.

Usually, I believe that this keeps me on the track to happiness.

But, other times I wonder if ignorance really is bliss. And maybe if I analyzed less and thought less about my life, I could be ignorantly blissful.

I could take things at face value, and do what's easy, instead of what is probably right.

I could settle for what is in front of me, instead of worrying about what regrets that will lead to later on.

But that just isn't who I am. And I suppose that isn't who I want to be.

I never want to be the person that let's fear of the unknown keep them from trying things. And I certainly don't ever want the fear of change to keep me stuck some place that I shouldn't be.

So, I suppose I'm left with no choice but to sit and ponder my position.

I feel like I've been cruising along in my life the last few years happy as can be, and someone came along and yanked the rug out from under me, and I'm trying to catch my balance.

I'm reaching a point where I feel like I need to make some changes, but I don't know that I really want to. However, to ensure my future happiness, I believe that it is necessary. I think that if I sit here and passively let life happen, I'm going to wake up one day years from now and regret that I didn't take action now to try to get what I want and need from life.

Sometimes the toughest choices and the hardest things to get through, are the things that lead to real happiness in the end.

At least that's what I keep trying to remind myself.

I think that's part of why I love running so much. The training is hard, but crossing that finish line makes it all worth it.

Now, I'm trying to equate that to other areas of my life. The getting there may be hard, but hopefully the ultimate result will be happiness.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm Quitting

After weeks and weeks of soul searching and deliberation, I have decided that I am no longer going to do any long distance running.

I will not be running the Bayshore half marathon on May 26, like I had planned, and I do not intend on training for any races in the foreseeable future.

My body just can't take any more, and it has reached the point where I no longer feel like it is worth it.

The knee injury that I dealt with when I ran Indy last year has never completely let up. I can feel it during every run, and even the 6 months that I took off while trying to get my ankle to heal didn't seem to make any improvement to it at all. When I wasn't running, it had stopped hurting, but as soon as I started back up it kicked in again. Now, it pretty much hurts all the time, whether I am running or not. It hurts as I stand all day at work. It hurts when I am kneeling down pulling weeds. It hurts when I have to stand in one place for too long. It hurts when I am sitting and have to keep it bent for long time periods. I'm just tired of it.

And of course, there is the ankle that doesn't seem to want to heal. Every run for the past few weeks it has been talking to me. I'm waiting for it to give out again at any second, and then I'll be back to not even being able to walk.

For the past year and a half I have been having issues with my hips. For the longest time it was just the right one, but the left one has started in the past few months as well. If I sit for longer than 10 minutes, I literally have a hard time standing back up. It feels like my hips "lock" themselves in the sitting position and won't release for me to stand. It takes me a full 30 seconds or so to go from a sitting position to a standing one. I feel like I am 82 not 32! Up until I started training for this race, I wasn't having any hip issues while running only when going from sitting to standing, but the past few months my right one has really been bothering me while running as well.

I think the final straw is that now my very lower back, almost near my tailbone has started to bother me. It lets up if I stop running for a week, and then starts back up as soon as I try to run again. It affects me when I sit and when I try to sleep. I just can't find a comfortable position no matter what I do.

I've just plain had enough of the pain. It's starting to affect my life.

I went to a friend's college graduation last week and we keep going from sitting to standing and I was having a hard time with it. My hip didn't want to let me actually stand up, and my knee was bothering me once I got there.

I went to see Spiderman 3 over the weekend, and sitting in the theater that long without being able to straighten out my knee was really bother it.

All of this pain is self inflicted. If I stop running, it should go away. So, I'm going to stop running.

But, that doesn't mean that I'm going to fall off the face of the earth, either!

Running is ingrained in who I am, and I will probably still do a few miles here and there to try to keep in shape, maybe run a few 5k's once I feel like I've put myself back together.

I've been giving some thought to giving biking another chance and riding on a more regular basis.

I used to go to the gym on a regular basis, and maybe I'll get back in to lifting weights.

I've really been enjoying my yoga class and am thinking about continuing with that.

Maybe I'll just start babbling about the rest of my crazy life.

I haven't decided.

I'm closing one door (but keeping it cracked), and in the mean time I will be searching for the next one that I'm going to open.

And in honor of my new path, I'm changing the name of my blog from Adventures in Running to The Adventures of Runnergirl to reflect that the winding road of life is taking me in a new direction.

So, stick around and see where I go from here....

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'm Home

I made it home safe and sound after a very enjoyable trip. It was a little iffy there for a bit if I was actually going to make it home yesterday. The final leg of my flight got delayed for 3 hours and they were discussing canceling it all together. But, it finally took off and delivered me home!

We had a blast! We drank a few too many bottles of champagne, took a few too many naps, got a little too much sun, and ate way too much food. But we had tons of fun!

I even managed to run a few miles on the treadmill on the ship.

Now, that was a weird experience! I was actually having a hard time staying on the treadmill. Between the ship rocking and watching the waves outside the window I felt like I was going to topple off the side of the thing!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bon Voyage

I leave tomorrow for my cruise. Yipee!

Drinks will be drank. Sun will be soaked. And fun will be had.

But, miles probably won't be ran.

Lucky for me, Mike told me that just looking at the treadmills on the cruise ship counts as training while I'm away.


Happy Running everyone, and I'll catch up with ya next week.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday Run

Today's run ended up being 5 miles. I really didn't have a goal when I set out. It took me all day to talk myself into getting out there, so I told myself I could stop whenever.

Ah, yes. The games I play.


Mile 1 12:03
Mile 2 14:20 (I think my Garmin lost it's signal. At one point it said I was running 17:56. I don't think so!)
Mile 3 11:46
Mile 4 11:59
Mile 5 11:11

All I have to say about the run is this.... #%*@ing ankle. It hurt every single step the entire 5 miles.

I knew my boyfriend was on his way over to my house and was going to be driving by me sometime while I was out running. I kept watching for him for the last half of the run. I was going to flag him down and hitch a ride back.

When he finally passed me, I was hidden on the other side of the road by a huge pick up truck going the opposite direction. I didn't see him because of the truck, and by the time I did see him he was going too fast and was too far past me to flag him down.

I wanted to cry.

But, I pressed on and make it home.

Now I am limping.

But I am not going to think about it. I just can't deal with anything else this week. I'm going to go to bed and when I wake up tomorrow it is going to be fine. Right?

Did I happen to mention that I am the Queen of Denial?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Losing Momentum

It feels like the RBF is in a funk.

Myself included!

Everywhere I turn, there are blogs filled with posts from runners that decided not to train for a spring race this year. There are several more that decided to give up their races due to other life obligations. And then there are the ones like me... we haven't given up yet, but we are hangin' on by a shoelace, and a shredding one at that. I think instead of training, we are just gearing ourselves up for the pain that is going to result from dragging ourselves through the race courses.

Jayhawk and OOSG are running the Country Music half in Nashville this weekend, but in the past few weeks their blogs have been filled with posts about how under trained they feel. And curiously there seem to be more pictures of them partying with Mouse than actually running recently. Hmm... It must be some new form of crossing training, and I'm seriously considering giving it a try myself while on my cruise next week!

Runner Susan is running the Indy half Marathon next weekend, and she too has been discussing feeling under prepared.

Firefly and Jess are both trying to recover from ITB issues.

Liv had been MIA for the past 2 1/2 months, and just recently returned to blog land.

And both Bob and Rabbit recently pulled their blogs.

As for me, I keep flip flopping between running like a mad women and slacking with the best of them. One day I'm telling myself that I'm going to conquer that half marathon. The next I swear that I'm not going to run it.

Of course then there is Mike, out there kicking ass and taking names on his 18 miler. And I pray he keeps it up, because reading his reports and knowing I'm supposed to be running the half to his full at Bayshore is the only, and I do mean the only, thing that gets me out there some days. So, thanks Mike!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Is. Kicking. My. Butt.

But, in a good way. I'm really enjoying it more that I ever imagined I would, but it hasn't been quite the easy relaxing workout I was anticipating. The more I do it, the more I really want to continue with it. So, I'm trying to decided what I want to do when this class session is over in 3 weeks.

The instructor that I currently have is moving out of state this summer, so I'm going to have to switch regardless, and I don't know exactly what my plan is yet.

What I really should do is drag my butt across town to my gym, and attend the yoga class there, since my membership is ALREADY PAID FOR! Duh. Instead, I'm paying extra to take a class outside of the gym. Even worse is the fact that I am driving 10 minutes farther to it than I would have to drive to the gym.

I admit that my gym isn't in the most practical location for me. It is about 5 minutes from my boyfriend's house and place of employment, but that makes it about 20 - 25 minutes from mine. But it is dirt cheap so it's hard to complain. A year's membership fee wouldn't even cover 3 months at the YMCA or racquet club that are both 5 minutes from my house.

Of course, it has probably been at least 6 months since I've set foot in the place, so it's probably a waste of money even if it is dirt cheap. I have to renew my membership in June and I keep flip flopping about if I should keep it or not. But, I could go to yoga for a year there for the same price that I could go for 16 weeks with my current class.

Blah. Whatever. I'll figure it out.

I'm babbling about yoga schedules and gym costs because I'm trying to stick to something remotely positive. I have had a few incidents happen this past week that have me twisted and tied in knots and I am completely furious about them. Nothing devastating or life altering, but bad enough to about have me spitting bullets, and has me keyed up enough that I can't sleep, and even though I can finally chew, I can't eat either. What I really need to do is go run and stomp out some frustrations. But I got less than 3 hours of sleep last night, and have eaten one meal since lunch yesterday. I'd probably pass out on the road side and no one would find me til morning. So, running is probably not a smart idea. I think I'm just going to go to bed instead, even though it is only 9:00, and hope the world looks a little brighter tomorrow.

If not, I only have to make it for another seven days. I leave for the Bahamas one week from tomorrow.

Well, provided that I actually receive my passport as promised. But that's a whole 'nother issue!

I sent in the paperwork 9 weeks ago! because it expired a few days after I got home from the cruise I took in February. When I called to check on it last week I was told that they were a little backed up.

Ya think?

They promised I'd have it by May 1st. My flight leaves at 7:00 AM on May 3rd.

Nothing like cutting it close. If I miss my cruise, heads will roll.

My cruise leaves from Orlando. My boyfriend's sister lives in Orlando. My back up plan is to crash on her couch for a week if I don't get my passport. That way I'll at least make use of the flight.

Of course, I haven't told her that yet.

Tomorrow is back to the dentist day. Wish me luck...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Play List Extraordinaire

This is my current play list. I'm recording it for my benefit. I'm really happy with it and think that I will use it, with a modification or two, on race day. But, I've been listening to it for a while and I need to change it up for a bit. If anyone listens to similar music and has any suggestions, I'm all ears (or is that eyes?).

Bitch by Meredith Brooks
Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
We Will Rock You by Queen
You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC
Simply Irresistible by Robert Palmer
Buttons by The Pussycat Dolls
Shake That by Eminem
You Can Do It by Ice Cube
Maniac by Michael Sembello
Safety Dance by Men Without Hats
Love In An Elevator by Aerosmith
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Jumpin' Jumpin' by Destiny's Child
Highway to Hell by ACDC
Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top
It's Tricky by Run DMC
Unbelievable by EMF
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by ACDC
Whip It by Devo
Tubthumping by Chumbawamba
Get This Party Started by Pink
Tootsie Roll by 69 Boyz
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot
Closer by NIN
Stayin' Alive by The Bee Gees

Last Sunday the ground was covered with snow. Today it's 80. Can someone please explain that one to me? Ugh.

I got up this morning to run my 9 miles. I decided to change my play list on my mp3 player while I ate a little breakfast. During the process, my computer crashed twice, and now my mp3 player isn't working.


I took it as a sign that I really wasn't up for the run and went back to bed for a bit. I'm going to give it another go this evening, but I'm pretty much dreading a 9 mile run without any music. But a 9 mile run on the treadmill doesn't sound any better.

I guess it's time for a new mp3 player or an ipod or something. I've been putting off the decision for quite some time, but I suppose I'm going to have to face it now. My mp3 player was one of the first ones that came out, and it is quite old and has absolutely no memory. It can hold about 30 songs max - and that's only if they are pretty short songs!

The teeth update: The pain has been reduced to a very dull ache, my checks are no longer swollen and I can actually close my mouth again. My jaw is still a little sore and the most I've tried to chew was the banana I ate with my oatmeal for breakfast, but that managed to go smoothly. So, I think the end to the misery is in sight.

Well, until next week that is.

Lucky me gets to go back on Thursday for some more work. Unfortunately, when I finally could close my mouth I discovered that one of my new top fillings is too big and it hits my bottom tooth and those two places are the only ones touching. The rest of my teeth all have a space between them and I can't make them touch. So, I'm going back to have it worked on again.

I'm oh so thrilled with this. But, I'm just going to consider it my new diet plan. There are only so many foods that you can drink or swallow without chewing. I haven't been on the scales, but I can tell I've lost a pound or two.

Friday, April 20, 2007

So Be It

I only made it 2 miles.

And that was 1.75 miles more than I wanted to go.

The bouncing was hurting the teeth and jaw.

Plus I was running without my beloved gum.


The first I've actually timed since fall...

Mile 1 11:42
Mile 2 11:23

That's not too bad for me under normal circumstances, and while running I was feeling like a total slug and knew I was going a lot slower than I have been running. So, I'm actually pretty pleased considering.

There's no where to go but up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Comfort Zone

Tuesday evening was yoga class and we started standing balance poses.

I was having a really hard time and could stay on one foot for about 2 seconds before I toppled over.

This wasn't exactly surprising or anything. I'd been expecting it. I knew it would be tough for me. I'm not exactly the queen of grace and balance.

But, I know with practice it'll get better. Until then it's just gonna have to suck for a while. And I'm going to have to try to not get frustrated with it.

The whole time I was standing there, one single thought kept going through my mind...

I wish I was running.

Because that I can do! I wanted to shout out during the middle of the class... "I know I suck at this. I know I keep falling over ever 2 seconds, while all of you just stand there all tall and graceful. But, guess what... I can do something. I can run! I'm kinda good at it, even. No, really, I am. I swear. I'm going to run 9 miles in a few days. You might be able to stand here and balance on one leg for like 20 minutes, but can you do that? Huh? Can you? Can you?"

I was feeling really out of my element and very far removed from my comfort zone. And I was feeling the need to be doing something that was easy for me.

But, at the same time I knew it was good for me.

I know that I will never grow as a person without challenging myself. And I also know that it takes time to get better at things. I've done yoga before and was eventually one of those seasoned people standing there watching the newbies topple over. And I will be there again if I stick with it. I just have to keep repeating that to myself over and over until it happens!

On the running front, I opted not to do my 4 mile run yesterday.

I feel like I am walking a fine line with my training this go round. Trying to get in enough miles without pushing myself to the point of injury again. I am conscious of every little ache and pain in my knees and ankles these days.

And it scares me!

I'm sure that I had these little twinges of pain in the past, and I never even noticed them. But now, since dealing with the injures I am constantly scanning my body for any sign of impending doom. I'm probably being over cautious, but I figure that if I reinjure something then no amount of training will matter. 'Cuz I won't be running any where.

So, I added another rest day into the schedule and did 4 very easy miles tonight. And I do mean easy. It actually felt pretty good to just run without being concerned about the pace.

Friday is my 9 miler. The weather should be perfect. They are predicting 62 and sunny.

I'm having 4 of my old silver fillings replaced tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping that maybe some of the laughing gas will still be in effect on Friday morning and I'll just float through my run.

One can always dream...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Why Do You Do It?

I was up reading blogs and I read this post written by Miss Petite America, and it got me thinking.

A recap for those of you you haven't read the post or don't want to:

Her mom is telling her that it is ok if she doesn't finish her upcoming half mary on Sunday because it's supposed to rain and MPA is dealing with an injury. And MPA is upset that her mom doesn't "get it".

How many of us have experienced similar conversations?

I know I certainly have!

My boyfriend's parents have always been amazingly supportive of my running efforts. They gave very generously when I was fundraising for TNT. His dad is very quick to offer praise and tell me how proud he is of me.

But he is also very quick to tell me that it is ok if I can't finish a run or a race. He's always telling me that it's ok if I have to quit, and not to push too much, and not to hurt myself (too late), and that they are proud of me no matter what.

My mom knows me pretty well, and isn't overly vocal about her opinions of what I do unless I am seeking advise, but I get the feeling that she thinks I am borderline mental for coming back for more after the knee and ankle injuries I suffered through last year. If I had to guess, I'd say that she often wonders why I just don't quit and why I keep coming back to torture myself.

And honestly, some days I wonder the same thing.

Running has probably reduced me to tears of pain and frustration more than just about anything in my life. And I have a choice. I could hang up the shoes and walk away at any time. I don't have to answer to anyone, so what's stopping me?

Why don't I just quit?

Because I can't.

It's honestly that simple.

Running has given me something that nothing else ever has before.

Confidence in my physical abilities.

And for me that's an amazing thing.

I'm a smart individual. I was always at the top of my class in school. And it usually came easy to me. If it didn't, I could almost always study hard enough to understand what ever it was. If I have to use my brain to solve I problem, I'm probably going to do ok.

But, I've never felt all that confident in my ability to do something physical. Most kids loved gym class, but I dreaded it. I was out of my element. Outside of my natural abilities.

And I felt like a dork.

I certainly couldn't hit a baseball with a bat, but I sure could get hit in the face with one. I couldn't shoot a basket, but I could scrape a two inch section of my nose and my forehead with my fingernail while I was trying, and be humiliated for weeks while it healed. I couldn't kick a soccer ball, but I just might nail the shin of the kid next to the ball pretty good. If dodge ball is the name of the game, then runnergirl is the name of the one who's gonna be hit out first. Football? You have got to be kidding me!

But, running.

Oh sweet running.

Now that I can do. It's just one foot in front of the other.

Running is a mental sport.

All you have to to is Not. Give. Up.

The first time I ran 8 miles, I was so shocked that I was able to do it.

The first time I ran 9 miles, I was so proud of myself I didn't know what to do.

The first time I ran 10 miles, I was on top of the world!

The first time I ran 13.1 miles, I was so excited I wanted to shout it from the roof tops.

And when I finally finished my first half marathon, the amount of pride and self confidence I felt was over whelming. It amazes me how much I draw on the strength I felt at completing that race at other times in my life. If I think I can't do something, I look back at that race and tell myself that if I could do that, then I can do whatever the new challenge is.

If you put my half marathon medal and my doctor of optometry diploma side by side and asked me which I was more proud of, I'd say the medal hands down.

I had to work harder for it.

And earning it changed something in me, and I will never be the same. I have a confidence and an unbreakable will that never existed before. If I don't do something these days, it is because I have decided that I don't want to, not because I am afraid that I can't.

And that is the most liberating thing in the world for me.

The freedom from the fear of failure.

So, why do you do it?

To Commit or Not To Commit

That is the question.

Do you ever feel like the universe is plotting against you? Like everyone sat down when you weren't looking and all agreed to start nagging you at the same time?

So, last weekend my boyfriend and I have this conversation...

BF: "Have you started running again yet?"
Me: "No."
BF: "You've missed a few weeks with being sick. Can you make all that up?"
Me: "No."
BF: "So, what are you going to do?"
Me: "I don't know. I haven't decided. I don't want to talk about it."

Then, on Wednesday I was chatting online with a friend, and we have this one...

JL: "How's the running going?"
Me: "It sucks. I got sick and it slowed me down. I feel tired and worn out. Both knees are bothering me and I feel like quitting."
JL: "That blows."
Me: "Tell me about it."

Then on Thursday, my mom and I have this one...

Mom: "So, have you been able to run since you've been sick?"
Me: "No."
Mom: "Can you make it all up?"
Me: "No."
Mom: "What are you going to do?"
Me: "I don't know."
Mom: "Well, are you still running your race?"
Me: "I haven't decided."

Every time I look at my blog or log into my myspace account there are those pesky counters nagging me that I only have 45..44..43..42..41...days until Bayshore.

Alright already, I hear you loud and clear!! I got it already. I'm getting my butt back in gear.

I'm running, I'm running. I did last week's long run. I didn't miss my weekend run. I have tomorrow's run planned out (probably my first outside run since fall 'cuz - ya know - I'm a cold weather wimp and all).

But, does the universe cut me any slack? Does it recognize that I got the drift and I'm back on track and get off my back?

Of course not!

What does it do instead?

It taunts me.

It tosses a morsel in front of me, one that it knows I might not be able to turn down.

In my inbox this morning when I got up was an email telling me that registration was open to this.

Not that I am expecting it to be an exciting race, by racing standards. And Mouse told me that it was very unorganized, didn't have enough water stops and pretty much sucked when she ran it.

But it is in my home town, people. My teeny-tiny, podunk, don't blink or you'll miss it, home town! The place where I spent my entire, very loved, and very much missed, childhood. How cool is that?

And don't you remember how excited I was last year when I found out about it? And how disappointed I was when I couldn't run it because of my ankle?

I am dying to go wander the streets of my childhood, reminiscing of the good ol' days, in between gasping for breath, choking at the water stops, and cussing myself out for signing up for a race so early in the fall season when the temperature is bound to still be sweltering.

There are only 3 races that I really want to run: Bayshore - which I am doing on May 26th, the run around Mackinac Island - which is only 8 miles and I am planning on doing this year, and this one.

So, what's the problem, right?

This is the problem. Remember that post from 4 days ago. The one where I said I was tired of pushing, and that maybe I wanted a break from training.

Well, I can't run a 30K without some major training!!! The longest distance I've ever ran is 13.1 miles. And I've done it twice. Once in Indy, and once 3 weeks before - to prove to myself I could do it so I didn't have a major freak out on race morning.

I want to do the race, but I don't want to commit to the training. Lazy, Lazy, I am, but I just don't know if I'm up for it! But I'm going to hate myself come Labor day if I don't do this.

So, what's a runnergirl to do?

Luckily, this race isn't going to fill up, so I don't have to commit early and send in my registration. But I obviously will need to commit early enough to start training in time if I decide to do it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Aftermath

I admit it.

I'm sore.

And a few of my muscles are letting me know that they aren't too happy with me right now.

The 8 miles took their toll, but the really really wonderful news is that my knees have been great all day. I haven't even heard anything out of my right one, and that nagging ache is pretty much a constant these days. It didn't even stop during my forced 6 month hiatus. So, I'm ecstatic about that.


Do you remember that pesky little ankle thing?

Yeah. That one.

The one that kept me from running the Chicago Marathon last October.


Well, it apparently did not get the message on Friday about the dictatorship status, because I have been hearing some whisperings of a protest from it for the past hour.

If that damn thing keeps me from another race, I'm going to sit down and bawl my head off.

Then I just might cut my ankle off.

Mind Games

Yesterday evening's goal was to con myself into running 8 miles.

And I do mean con!

Two and a half hours before my designated "get on the treadmill" time (because I wasn't willing to actually call it my running time - I was just telling myself all I had to do was step on the treadmill and I was hoping the rest would take care of itself) found me happily sitting at my computer eating a brownie and drinking a glass of milk. (Left over from entertaining the previous evening)

Forty-five minutes to my designated treadmill time found me sitting at my computer shoveling in 2/3 of a pint of Ben and Jerry's. (Bought in a moment of weakness at Walmart the day before. But it was a new flavor and I just had to try it. I mean it's Ben & Jerry's! No one in their right mind would turn down a new flavor, RIGHT? It was the cinnamon bun one and it rocks, by the way!)

I so wish I was kidding, or even exaggerating slightly. But I'm not.

Is anyone out there starting to realize why I haven't managed to lose those 5 lbs yet?

Ten minutes to my treadmill time found me sitting on my closet floor, staring at my old running shoes sitting right there in front of me, and trying to convince myself to go get my new shoes out of my car.

Pretty sad, don't cha think? Hypothetically I'm about to run 8 miles and I'm too lazy to go get my shoes from the garage! So, I put on the old shoes, telling myself that I can always change them later if I need to.

I got on the treadmill, making the deal with myself that all I had to do was start and I could quit any time I wanted....

But I knew I never would.

I am a person that spends waaayyy too much time evaluating myself and my life. But the good side of that is that I know myself pretty well. And I knew that if I quit on the 8 miles, I was also quitting on the race. And I'm not ready to do that yet.

Because I'm not a quitter!

So, I knew the only choice was to compete the 8 miles or die trying. I just had to do it. Nothing else would be acceptable.

I spent the first 4 miles having a little chat with all of the protesters. I explicitly explained to my feet, ankles, calves, shins, knees, thighs, hips, shoulders, and lungs. That this endeavor in no way resembles a democracy. It is a dictatorship, through and through. And, therefore, they do NOT get a vote regarding the miles that would be ran for the next 6 weeks. They would do as they were instructed without complaint or there would be hell to pay.

And for the most part they actually listened. I did not hear a peep out of either knee, for the first time in months. Which leads me to wonder if it is the current shoes inducing the new left knee issues. Guess I'll just have to try a few runs in the old shoes and a few in the new ones, and see if I can figure it out.

I spent the last 4 miles trying to convince myself that I wasn't dying.

Friday, April 13, 2007

And Now...

Back to your regularly scheduled program...


Health: I feel better, but not back to 100%. I would say that I'm over my cold and no longer feel sick, but I feel so tired and run down still. There have been several nights over the past week and a half that I have slept for 12, 13, even 14 hours! And I'm dragging myself out of bed half awake, stumbling through my day, and going home just to fall back into bed at 7:00 and sleep until morning. It feels like my spring allergies are kicking into full force, and I think that leaves me feeling kinda sleepy and spaced out, too. It's making it much harder to get back into the running groove, that's for sure!

Yoga: I went to my first yoga class 3 weeks ago and loved it. The second class fell right after I got sick and I was running a temperature of 99.8, and figured it was probably a smart idea to stay home and rest. The next week happened to be spring break for the local area schools, and we didn't have class.

So, this past Tuesday was my first day back since the first class. I again really enjoyed it, but it is turning out to be much more of a work out than I was expecting. This instructor certainly pushes us to our limits! In this week's class we did a lot of back and arm stuff, and my lower back and shoulders are still sore this morning!

We haven't been doing any poses that require balancing, which is good and bad. It has been a nice transition back into yoga for me, with things being simple. But, after a few weeks back into it I'm starting to want the challenge of some of those harder poses. We might get into them as the weeks progress, but I'm not sure. I'm already thinking about signing up for the next session of class in the summer, and maybe I'll consider moving up a class level next time.

The Aforementioned Non-Running Goals: I am doing great with my ab work! We have an incredible local library system with a wonderful online searchable catalog. So, I can just get on my computer search for ab DVDs, put in a request to reserve them, get an email when they are waiting, and go pick them up. So, I've been doing my old stand by videos, and mixing it up with some new ones for variety. I've probably averaged an ab workout about every other morning for the past 4 1/2 weeks. I've even managed to get myself on a decent schedule to go to sleep earlier and get up early enough to do them before work! Which is probably the reason I've managed to actually stick with it! I'm not noticing any visual results from my efforts - not that I'd expect to yet! But I can feel that my waist line is tightening up a little when I'm standing with my arms crossed.

I haven't been doing so great with my weight loss goal, though. But I'm not giving up! I keep having small social occasions pop up that I have been using as excuses to over eat. Plus I've been on a cooking kick lately and have been making a lot of my favorite dishes. And it's not that the meals are all that fattening, I'm just kinda lazy and don't cook for just myself all that often. So, the home cooked food is tasting so good to me that I'm inhaling way too much of it.

But, I've been having a little chat with myself and we have agreed that we are going to get it back under control starting on Monday! It's always been better to start at the beginning of the week for me with things like that. The weekend just feels like a bad time to begin something new.

Running: I'm struggling, big time. I'm getting tired of pushing. Every run feels like I'm pushing to make myself finish it, even if it's only 2 miles. It just feels hard. My left knee is joining my right one it it's nagging pain that lingers even when I haven't been running in weeks. It has me a little concerned. I'm tired of running on the treadmill, but not willing to head out into 30 degree weather, complete with wind strong enough to knock you over, and every possible type of precipitation. In the past week we have seen rain, sleet, hail, and snow. Today is the first sunny day in almost 2 weeks! I keep waiting to fall back into some kind of groove with my running, and it's not happening. And every day that goes by just makes me dread those runs more and more. I just don't want to push any more, and I'm tired of hurting. I've been thinking that maybe I want to give up the training for a while, but not the running per se. I want to have the freedom to stop running after a mile if that's what I feel like doing. Not forcing myself to crank out another five because that's what the schedule says. But there is that pesky little problem of the half marathon that I am supposed to be training for on May 26th. What exactly do I do about that? I can't decided. I either need to kick it into high gear or give it up. I'm going to the race no matter what - I've already booked the hotel, and planned a vacation around the race location. Maybe I'll just be a spectator and cheer everyone else on. Maybe I'll just walk the damn thing. Maybe I'll get mad at myself enough over my lack of ambition that I will be able to kick it up for the next 6 weeks. I just don't know!

Blogging: I'm going to keep the blog. I enjoy it too much to give it up, and I'll just have to hope that my readers will forgive my erratic posts. And I think I'm going to take the advise of Miss Petite America and Jess, and use a second one to ramble about whatever I want. I already set it up. :)

And I almost forgot...

The Bangs: I still haven't made a decision. One day I love them and the next I hate them. I've decided that I'm going to keep them for now. I need to see myself in some pictures before I decide for sure if I want to keep them or not. For the past 2 weeks they have been too long and driving me nuts - and that's a short trip! But my appointment isn't for another 2 weeks. I don't want to have to start getting a haircut every 4 weeks, but I don't think I trust myself to trim them myself. The ironic thing is that since I've gotten them cut, I've had about 10 people tell me how much they like my new hair color. But the color isn't that new! I changed it a week or two before Christmas. I think people are just paying attention now because of the change in the cut.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


When I was in college I started keeping a journal.

It all started because of a guy.

A guy.... that I thought was unbelievable.... that I thought I wanted to always be with.... that broke my heart.... that I thought I'd never get over.... that I compared every other guy to for years. But also a guy that I was too scared to give a second chance to when he finally asked for it because I was afraid I'd get hurt again.

In an attempt to rid my mind of the swirling memories of my "one that got away", I started writing.

I poured out my heart and soul into my journal. I sat and let the thoughts flow from my head to my hand. Whatever crossed my mind ended up on the paper. It was therapeutic. It was eye opening.

Most of the time I just opened up to a blank page, grabbed a pen in a funky color, and started writing anything and everything that came to me. I rarely knew what the topic was going to be until I got going. Sometimes the things I wrote really surprised me. I learned a lot about myself.

And I liked doing it.

For years I kept the writing up and I had filled notebooks full of my innermost thoughts and desires. Filled up pages with my secret wants and fears.

I felt like I literally grew up on those pages. I went through the struggle of changing from the child I was to the adult I am in those notebooks.

Then one day, I just stopped writing.

Not for any reason. Life just got in the way.

I was working full time. Keeping up with my husband, my parents, my friends, my house, my car, my pets. And I just stopped writing.

Finally, I opened up the most recent notebook and noticed that it had been over two years since I had written a word. I started thinking about how enjoyable my journals used to be for me, and decided that I wanted to start writing again. So, I bought myself a pretty new notebook, came home and wrote a few pages, set it aside, and never wrote in it again.

All of a sudden it felt like a chore.

Like something I had to do.

And it was no longer enjoyable.

So, one evening I sat down with all of those old notebooks spread around me from the past 10 years of my life.

I read every word.

Then shredded every page.

That may sound like a strange thing to do. I mean, why not just put them in a box and tuck them away or something.

But, I knew they were there... with those empty pages calling out to me to start writing again.

And I was tired of feeling the pressure.

Shredding them was my road to freedom. And free I was.

And it felt good.

Insert a few years, and here I am.

Sitting here journaling again.

And I am facing that with very mixed emotions right now.

My blog is starting to feel like an obligation. I feel like I owe it to all of my faithful readers to keep them updated on my running status. And I want to keep them updated. But once again, life seems like it is creeping in and getting in the way.

I feel guilty when I haven't had the time to post for a few weeks.

And that guilt is sucking the joy out of it for me.

Also, I started my blog as a means to keep my friends and family updated on my training and fundraising progress with TNT. And many of them still read my blog. I have several family members that still read it, an ex-boyfriend who reads it, friends that read it, my current boyfriend reads it, and I'm sure a few others that I'm not even aware of because literally every single person I know was sent an email with this url included in it.

And I LOVE that they care, and I LOVE that they want to keep up with my training, and I LOVE that they support me, and I LOVE that by reading they are better able to stay in touch and know what is going on with me.

But at the same time, I don't exactly have the anonymity to pour out my every thought, now do I? And sometimes I miss being able to write without the filter in place of knowing that I need to be careful about what I write. I try to keep it PG - 13ish in case there are younger readers. I try not to mention other individuals very much as to not cause them attention that they may not want. And as much as they might love me, there are probably some things that my friends and family just really don't want to know about me.

I also have tried pretty hard to keep my blog related to running, and avoid boring everyone with my random life stuff. But sometimes, I'd like to write about the rest of my life. To be able to rant about a bad day or talk about my dreams or fears. Whatever.

So, I am finding myself at a crossroads. What do I do?

Do I keep blogging just like I have been and limit what I say to mostly running stuff? Do I delete my blog and just say screw it, I quit? Do I start another anonymous blog where I can blog about my non-running life? Every 5 minutes I come to a different conclusion!

I'm also feeling like I am at a crossroads with my running. Mentally I'm really struggling right now and I'm not sure what I'm gong to do. Part of me wants to quit. Just toss in the towel and walk away. Because there are so many things I'm tired of. But another part of me thinks it might just be the weather, and the fact that it is April and it has snowed for the past 10 days in a row, and I'm sick of the treadmill. But I don't think I'm quite ready to deal with it or make a decision. Or even to fully explore all the issues that are there. Which is probably why I ended up writing about blogging instead, which wasn't really my intent when I sat down.

I'm really quite good at avoiding things that I don't want to deal with! But I will. Soon! Just as soon as I can come up with something resembling a decision about what I want to do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Why oh why does this always happen to me?

It seems that every time I finally get going with my training I get sick and it stops me in my tracks.

I started coming down with a cold on Monday, complete with sore throat, running nose, fever, and aches, and it's gotten progressively worse ever since.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Progress Report

Yoga class on Tuesday was great!!

It really was a true beginner class - probably the most basic I have ever taken. Sometimes you just never know! It may say beginner, but often times there are individuals that have taken the class a few time before, so the class is taught at a semi-beginner level to try to teach the newbies without boring the old timers that aren't quite confident enough to move up a class level.

The instructor spent a lot of time talking and explaining things for the first part of the class, which was good for a number of reasons. I actually picked up quite a few pieces of new information and insight that I had never learned before.

Starting with the basics is a great refresher for me and it is all coming back easier than I thought it would. I may not remember the names of any of the poses, but my body seems to remember how to breathe and how to flow from pose to pose. I'm really glad that I signed up for the class, and I'm hoping that it will continue to go just as well as the first evening did.

My boyfriend asked me a few days ago how my training was going for this race. Since he had asked, I actually stopped and thought about it which I really hadn't done. I was mostly just trying to get my head back in the game, and taking it as it was coming with out evaluating it. What I decided was that this time it hurts more.

I feel sore-er (is that even a word?) than I ever have along with more little aches, pains, and twinges than before. It's not a feeling of major pain or anything that I think is serious and it is never in the same spot. Just some rumblings from my body letting me know that it's not completely happy with me.

I don't know if I am pushing too hard, but I don't feel like I am. Or if my body is just having a harder time getting back into the groove. Or if I am just paying closer attention, looking for any sign that my knee or my ankle are going to start to give me problems so I am now noticing things that I wasn't before. But I'm encountering a new experience with it all, instead of thinking to myself that I want to stop because I'm tired, I'm thinking that I want to stop because my knee, ankle, hip, feet, back, etc, etc, are uncomfortable.

Well, my morning was supposed to consist of a 6 mile run outside, before I leave to go out of town until Sunday. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that no running will be done by this runnergirl while I am away. I will be spending the time catching up with one of my best friends while we scrapbook to our heart's content. Which usually means sitting in one spot without moving anything but our hands and mouths for days on end, combined with too much, bad for us food, and no sleep.

Instead of my 6 mile run outside, I'm hoping to get it done on the treadmill before my power goes out! I woke up to a dark looking sky. Which quickly started casting down rain and lightening and making my house rumble with the thunder. My lights have flickered twice in the course of my typing, so I do believe it would be wise for me to end my post earlier than planned before I lose power and my computer crashes.

So, until next week...... Happy Running!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Long Lost Friend

Two short hours from now, I will find myself some place else.

Some place I haven't been in a really loooooonnnnnngggggg time.

Some place where I will be spending an hour every Tuesday evening for the next 2 months.

And I will be doing something, umm... shall we say, different than what I'm used to,

and I'm a little nervous.

Because, well, what if...

what if...

I, oh I don't know... tie myself in knots and fall flat on my face?

Because that is entirely possible.

What is this new activity?, you ask.


And it's not like yoga and I are complete strangers. It's more like we're long lost friends.

And we will be reuniting after a long separation.

But the question remains... what if we no longer like each other?

It could end up being a very long 8 weeks!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


The "4 mile leisurely run" that I had planned for Tuesday afternoon turned into the 1 mile torture session from hell.

I made it less than 1/4 of a mile and my calves started to cramp up. I stopped and stretched them out, but as soon as I started running again they started cramping again. So, after repeating that process a few more times, I decided to toss in the towel and give up after a mile.

I'm giving myself today off, and hopefully tomorrow my legs will be willing to cooperate for the 6 mile long run that is supposed to occur this week.

Since the running seems to be on a fast track to nowhere, I decided that it was a good time to concentrate on other things. So, I've been getting up early every morning to do some ab work and have been getting myself back into the habit of drinking plenty of water. I'm also trying to convince myself that since I'm back at the training, maybe I should start making friends with a vegetable, or two.

I woke up this morning before it was light out.

That tends to happen when you go to sleep before 9:00 PM!

I made my customary bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and wandered upstairs to the computer. I ate my breakfast, checked my email, and read a few blogs. By then the sun was starting to make an appearance, and I proceeded back down the stairs to go do my sit ups.

I got halfway downstairs, and was able to see out the window next to my front door.

Holy @#*&! Where did that white crap come from?

I knew they were predicting snow for the weekend, but when I went to sleep last night it was raining, not snowing!

I heard that our high on Tuesday was 76 degrees. Today the ground is covered in snow.

I think Mother Nature must be suffering from PMS!

Do you ever have one of those 'Oh my god, what the @&*$ did I do?' moments?

Where you made a snap decision about something..... not something extremely, critically important or life changing.... but something that maybe you should have thought about for a little longer than the 10 seconds you took to make the decision?

Yeah. Well...

I went to get my hair done this morning.

{Are you sensing the impending doom?}

So, I tell my stylist that I'm getting bored with my hair and have been thinking about doing something new.

I tell her that I'm liking the color of it, since we just changed that a few months back. But, I've had the same cut, more or less, for a long time. So, I was thinking about doing something different.... thinking how my cousin and the girl I work with both just cut their hair much shorter, and it looks so cute.... thinking maybe I should cut mine. Blah. Blah. Blah.

But, I don't really like having short hair when I run. I like to be able to pull it back into a ponytail. I hate having to put in a million bobby pins to keep it off my face.

But I'm so tired of it. I feel like it's flat and lifeless. I've had it the same style for a long time. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I just don't know what to do, I tell her.

Poor girl!

So, she says to me...

"Well, we could cut in some bangs and bring all the layers up. It'll still all go back into a ponytail, but the shorter layers will give it more body. And you'll just have to put a bobby pin in to hold the bangs back."

After about 5 seconds of consideration, I say," OK. Go Ahead."

So, she colors my hair, and then proceeds to cut it, dry it, style it, and then hands me my glasses and turns me towards the mirror to look.


I feel like I'm in kindergarten!

I don't think I've had bangs since, oh I don't know,..........NEVER!

Sure, I had the huge "mall hair" bangs back in the 80's that stood a foot off my head. But I don't think I've ever had real, lay across my forehead, bangs combined with the rest of my hair being longer. If I ever have, I certainly don't remember it.

And it's not that I don't like it.

It's that I look in the mirror and feel like I don't even know the person looking back at me! How can a few snips of the scissors make me feel like I've lost my identity?!?! And it isn't like the rest of my hair is that different! It's got a few more layers, but it's been like that before. It's basically the same as it's been for the past 6 years, except for the bangs.

I know it'll grow on me! My hair stylist said she felt the exact same way when she cut her bangs a month ago, and now she loves them. She was teasing me that I was going to send her a myspace message in 3 days telling her that I love my hair. Just like I always do.

And she's probably right.

Once I stop wondering what the #&*@ I did to myself!