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.