Here we go!

The beginning of this week started out bad for me. I had had the terrible run on Sunday and was just feeling sooo tired and beat down. I honestly didn’t know if I had it in me to do all of my runs this week so I bargained with myself that I would skip the Saturday 3m HMP run since it seemed that my long runs on Sunday seem better when I don’t run on Saturday. Wellllll come Tuesday I had a horrible day. all. day. long. I just had a lot on my mind. I know that the best thing for me to have done would have been to come home and run but I didn’t feel like it so I didn’t. I’m glad I didn’t because I’m pretty sure everything has just been laying on me pretty heavy right now and I needed the break. My body was telling me to take one. I like to listen to my body when it talks to me. hehe. I decided to do 6 x 800s for speedwork this week. I have kind of gone on my own with the plan by now. I do what I feel I need. 800s are killers! They are so fast (for me) and it is for 1/2 a mile. I, again, do the math in my head. With these I break it down to laps around a track. (Only 3 more laps – Push!) It works for me.

I felt pretty bogged down on my recovery run on Thursday but I guess that means I did my speedwork right? I was reading RW this week and saw some of Dean Karnazes‘ quotes. He had one where neighbor had said, “Doesn’t running hurt?” He answered back, “Only if you’re doing it right.”

I ran my 3m on Saturday since I skipped my Tuesday one. It was successful. I am keeping under pace for my runs so hopefully that is a good sign. My long run today was great, beautiful and windy, but overall great. I feel a sort of peace over me about the race. I’m ready. If I don’t have it by now then it’s not going to happen. I am anxious about hitting my time goal, excited about going to Disney World, and a little nervous about my first solo flight and getting through Atlanta’s airport on my own. I can’t wait to spend time with my fellow runners as well!! It has been so long since have ran with anyone so I am really looking forward to the half and commercing with a sea of runners. All of the races for this weekend are sold-out! How awesome is that?! We are going to have such a blast ladies!

On another note, I am feeding my addiction and signing up for a FULL marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon is in D.C. on October 30th. I have plenty of time to prepare but the distance (26.2 miles) intimidates me to the core. This one is a good one for my 1st I think. It is called “The Peoples Marathon”. Most who run this are running their 1sts, it’s fairly flat, and in our nations capitol. Well, I’m gonna need twice the discipline and determination for this one but I do have a lot longer to prepare. I only had 6 weeks for this half!

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Chilly runs are no fun :(

This past week has been good overall, if I don’t count Sunday.

Sunday, I almost skipped out on my run. (Gasp!) Why, you ask, would I do that? Well, quite frankly, I was tired. After my family had left on Sunday, I took a nap. Apparently, I learned, a big no-no for me on days I long-run. I had planned on gettting up at 1:15 to go…didn’t get up until 2:30. By then I decided it was too late to go run 13 miles and I had bargained with myself that it would be ok to skip this one. (?) But I eventually dragged myself out of bed and into my running shoes. I made it out to IOP around 3:20…with 2 hours ahead of me. I was dreading it. I wanted to be back in bed but I knew that if I didn’t do this long run I would regret it and be soooo mad at myself. I blame a missed run on my bum knee from last year’s half. I skipped a 6 miler. Then, my next run is when I began hurting. I couldn’t do that to myself again. Not when I am so close.

I took out over the IOP connector and it was in the 60s. A beautiful day. I had worn shorts and a short-sleeve shirt. The first time I’ve worn shorts outside in awhile. It felt great. I decided I would actually take it slow today like I’m supposed to. I started out at a 10:00 pace and fell into a 10:20 pace later (which is where I should be). I had brought along my debit card so that I could buy a water half-way through. I stopped at a gas station. Took my water to the counter. Pulled out my card. Dude says, “$3.00 minimum on your card.” WTH?! Really?! So I left. I said, “nevermind then”. It was so obvious that I was out for a run. He is obviously not a runner or he would’ve let me get the water. I found a Rite-Aid and went in there. This, of course, is cutting into my running time.

I was going to carry the water with me but it was cold and I was getting chilled. I don’t know if it’s because the sun was going down or what but all of a sudden I was freezing! I threw the water away hoping that that would allow me to run faster and warm up. So I kept going. I decided to go down this side street to make up for the 3 extra miles that I hadn’t accounted for on this course. I was supposed to go 1.5 down and back. I made it .75 down and just could go any longer. I was soooo cold! If you know me, you know I can’t stand the cold. That’s the reason I’m glad I’ve missed this horrific winter in Tennessee.

So I ran back, just wanting to get to the car and get inside where it was warm. I made only 10.5 of my 13. But…I will take that, all things considered.

On a good note, I ran 4 miles on HMP Saturday morning. It was great!! The rest of the week went as planned, if not better, and I’m hoping this week does as well. I’m really hoping upon hope that I’m not getting burnt out and all I need is a little sleep. Please, Dear God, don’t let me burn out!

Trust your training

And trust I did. My 12 miler today was UNBELIEVABLE! It felt so good. I had planned on running a loop from IOP to Sullivans Island to Mt. Pleasant and back to IOP…but as I crossed the Ravenel Bridge I was inspired by all those people to run there. If I was going to run there it meant one thing though. I was going to have to cross it TWICE! O.M.G. I have never ever done that and just crossing it once is a battle. I had had a great tempo run there on Thursday though so I thought I’d give it a try. Who knows? Maybe the bridge is my strength and secret to training.

I started off slow, as always. Still, I was encouraged. I had been having a great week and nothing could hold me down. Not now anyways. My playlist was, as my musical taste, eclectic. It was my favorite to date. I don’t know if it’s because the run went so well or it was just the music. Maybe I will never know.

My music, as my run, started off slow with Until the Whole World Hears, Airplanes, and I’m Letting Go. I have included my complete playlist at the bottom just so you can get inside my head a little bit more. The next several songs picked up the pace for me, which was perfect considering I was almost to the top the 1st time. (Tiff, I added Ms. New Booty just for you. hahaha) The whole time I was thinking, “Maybe I will just run it once and then do an out-and-back down Coleman Blvd. when I get back to Mt. Pleasant.” I didn’t have faith that I wanted to do this twice. I didn’t really know how far I would have to run past the bridge into downtown before I reached 3 miles because technically the bridge is only 2.5 so if you do an out-and-back it’s 5 miles total. I just figured I’d run til I hit 3. What else is there to do, right? So I did and it actually wasn’t that far out. Only to the second red light. I hit 3 and turned around to go back. At the bottom there were 2 water fountains and I thought that would be perfect for when I’m coming back the second time to wash down my Gu. This trek up was tough. I had gained so much momentum coming down. It’s hard to switch gears like that but you do what you have to. I’ve found that now rather than feeling like I’m pulling my legs through mud sometimes that my legs actually propel me forward. It’s a good feeling.

My country songs got me up this one…along with Black and Yellow and Firework. The downhill felt good. I was trying to hold back so that I don’t get too fast because that can easily happen here. I told my friend Courtney about this once and she said, “Just tuck and roll.” Hilarious and I think it everytime I’m going down that hill. When I got to the bottom I wanted to do it again. So I did.

I stopped at the water fountain first because I need some water after those 6 miles and I was hot. It was in the 50s but your temp rises when running. And I realized when I got home today that I had gotten some sun!! Wow! I had forgotten that existed. It certainly was exciting though. It’s not really attractive to have an ipod armband tan but who cares! I think my face is actually a little burnt.

So anyway, Eye of the Tiger got me back up the 1st hill the 2nd time. It’s funny that that has become my “powersong”. On the downhill I was smiling I was so happy. I had kicked out 7.5 so far and still felt good and strong. I also had Yeah by Usher to thank for that and Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars. I found this song because it was free on itunes but it is one of my new favorites. The beat is infectious and great for running too. Then I found today the line “Keep walkin’, runnin’, and runnin’ for miles.” Awesome. Again I was still smiling. I know I looked like a goob but today I felt like a runner, like for real. I was running with my ponytail whippin’ around behind me and happy to be there when it hit me. I AM A RUNNER.

The rest of the run went without incident except for those water fountains that I said would be great for mile 9 when I take my Gu. Yeah, they didn’t work. I was ok though. Power through. I was running at one point looked down and my watch tells me I’m running on HMP! Yes! I finished up the 12 mile run in just under 2 hours which gives me tons of hope for my finishing time. My last song was Wagon Wheel which I added because Katie (she’s from Asheville), whom I work with said that everytime I say I’m from Johnson City, TN she thinks of that song. It gave me a little bit of home and all those who love me there.

12 mile playlist
1. until the whole world hears – casting crowns
2. airplanes – BOB
3. i’m letting go – fracesca battistelli
4. the time – BEPs
5. hold it against me – britney
6. perfect – pink
7. ms. new booty – bubba sparxxx
8. crazy dreams – carrie underwood
9. evacuate the dancefloor – cascada
10.wildflower – jane dear girls
11.smoke a little smoke – eric church
12.firework – katy perry
13.black and yellow – wiz khalifa
14.bullets in the gun – toby keith
15.bulletproof – la roux
16.im coming home – diddy and dirty money
17.grenade – bruno mars
18.eye of the tiger – survivor
19.say hey – michael franti
20.are you gonna kiss me or not – thompson square
21.yeah – usher
22.barton hollow – the civil wars
23.stuck like glue – sugarland
24.fight like a girl – bomshel
25.boom boom pow – BEPs
26.forget you – cee lo green
27.imma be – BEPs
28.black or white – mj
29.haven’t met you yet – michael buble
30.love sex magic – justin timberlake
31.gotta be – desree
32.romeo – dolly parton and friends (hehe)
33.wagon wheel – old crow medicine show

Among the clouds

“Thanks for making me a fighter”, X-tina

It is amazing how much things can turn around in a few days, or even just one day. After this weekend I was incredibly discouraged. I just thought that I’m just not cut out for this “hardcore” training stuff and I will just run the race and finish in under 2:30. I would still have a PR but I wouldn’t really have to work at this. I felt after the long run on the trail that my body just couldn’t handle the stress. Then I tried at 5 miles on HMP on Sunday…I only made it 5k and I was dead. I walked another mile just to gain mileage but I feel it wasn’t quality miles. My knees were shot. Even on Monday, I thought I am going to just have to take it easy and whatever happens happens because my knees were ON FIRE! I did all the right things though. The cherry juice, the chocolate milk, the icing every other 20 minutes, and I even bought some organic muscle relaxers at Earthfare. By Tuesday though things were looking up. 🙂

Tuesday, I decided to run 3 x 1 mile repeats because I feel that my weakness is holding a quicker pace for an extended period of time. 1 mile is more than 800 meters by 2 so why not start there? The RW plan for breaking 2:00 says to run these at an 8:20 pace so that’s what I did. I warmed up for a mile ran my miles and between each I jogged 1/2 mile at 10:00 pace. Then I cooled down for a mile. I’m not gonna lie, this was tough. I know my weakness and now I must strengthen it.

I bought new shoes yesterday and they were a Godsend! I couldn’t have asked for a better run. My legs didn’t even hurt during this run. The new cushioning really helps.

I had had a lot on my mind for the past few days, dealing with my broken-down knees and other stuff that life makes you dwell on so I really needed this good run. If nothing else I run to get my mind in a better place. People wonder why I’m so easy-going most of the time…this is why. It is a natural drug to keep your sanity. Really. Everyone should try it.

I was feeling great after this run so I packed a bag for my recovery run right after work today. I am so glad I did! It was 71 in Mt. Pleasant and what a wonderful run! My legs were contesting this run at first. They did not want to go and they hurt from the hard run yesterday. I hadn’t worn my new shoes either. I try to not wear them every run so that they don’t get too worn down. I think I will change this from now on. But, like always, once I made it up to a mile I was feeling no pain. It was wonderful weather and I passed so many runners on my path. I love that this is such a runner-friendly place. It makes it much easier to run, find places to run, and weather to run.

I have been running and training all on my own. No one that I have met here of yet is a runner. They have no interest in the world to go out there and sweat it out with me, so alone I am. Some people might think that this is lonely and I guess it could be if I let it be. I won’t lie. I envy my friends in JC who can go run with each other and motivate each other. Running alone is perfect for me when I am just running, but for training it would be great to have someone to push me past my comfort zone. I feel that sometimes I give up too easily. This is true of my tempo runs mostly. This is definitely the hardest for me…like I said, keeping the pace over an extended period of time which worries me considering that a half-marathon is 13.1 miles. I will push myself to my limit on that day. I just want to be prepared for that mentally, but mostly physically.