Day 106: A Halloween Running Poem

It was Halloween morning and it was not even cold,
the pumpkins had been carved and set out to mold.

With football on TV and the baby sawin’ logs,
I sat on the couch to catch up on some blogs.

But the sky was so clear and the ground was all dry,
so I went up the stairs and got dressed with a sigh.

For all I had left for jog-wear, of course,
was my frightening pair of shorty short-shorts.

After I laced up my shoes and plugged in my Zune,
I got started on three with a cool list of tunes.

But after I’d been about a mile or so,
I’d been going too fast and I started to slow.

Mile Two was so hard, I just wanted to walk,
when all of a sudden, Avril started to rock.

Faster and faster, I wanted more speed,
Because, lately, I’ve felt this is something I need.

I turned up the hill, the end was in sight,
I hoped to get home before Halloween night!

I looked at the clock, not believing my power,
Three miles with four hills in just a half hour!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Day 105: I've Got It!

Okay, first things first. (What kind of saying is that anyway? Of course the first things are first. How would anything else even be possible?)

Aaaannnnyway…

I had a 5-miler this morning and I was really hoping it would not rain. I woke up before the alarm clock went off at about 10 minutes to 6, and decided to just get up. Out-the-Door Goal Time: 6:15. Actual Out-the-Door Time: 6:22. Hrmph.

But I think I was late because I had put off washing the water bottle on my new Nike hydration belt, so I had to do that. Plus, I’m just super slow in the mornings. Sometimes I just wander around and forget what I’m doing.

Oh yeah, I also was late getting out the door because I wanted to take a picture of my belt and I couldn’t decide the best way to do it. I ended up with this.

With the belt on, I can really see my…um…problem area.
And, why does my hand look like a giant paw?
After the first mile (on an unseasonably warm and NON-RAINING, but windy morning), I still hadn’t decided whether or not I was okay with wearing a belt. It was bouncing a little. But then around Mile 3, I tightened it a little more and it stayed put. It was good to have and I think it’ll be okay for what I need right now. And for 15 bucks, I’m cool with it.
But the most AWESOME happened on my run around 4.75 miles. I guess I had been letting my mind wander and suddenly my NaNoWriMo idea solidified in my brain! I felt like screaming, By Geowge, ahyve got eet! (Okay, that was my lame attempt to write in a British accent. Luckily, my story will be in your basic American Teenager English.) The really good news is that I was almost done with my run, so I didn’t forget my idea. When I came in the door, I scribbled what might turn out to be the first sentence on my sticky note pad. So, at least I have an idea of where I will be going Nov. 1-30.
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have some time to think through an outline or something close to one, or at least start one. Although, I know there are plenty of writers who don’t use an outline. They just write. I’m not sure what kind of writer I am yet, though, because I’ve never written anything as long as a book (unless you count my 10K recap).
So tomorrow’s a scheduled rest day because on the plan for Sunday is a 10K race. Since I don’t have a race, I’m thinking of doing a 3-miler and some strength training. I did some weights and crunches this morning after stretching, but T Junior woke up and I had to move on to Mom stuff: making eggs and wiping little hands and letting dogs out, then in, then out again. You get the idea.
And one more thing: I’m convinced my old 4-mile route in and out of cul-de-sacs through the neighborhood is actually more than four miles. I took a new more straight-forward route and I finished my five miles in almost exactly an hour, maybe a couple minutes before. I KNEW it didn’t take me an hour to run four! Ha! (I need one of those Garmin watches. Santa, are you listening?)

Day 104: Thank You Thursday

I was in a sorority in college. As you probably know (or not), the Greek system engages in a process called rush in order to recruit new members to their houses. It’s basically several days of meeting people. So you are grinning and talking and laughing…for hours. By the end of the day, my whole face would hurt.

The other night, I was catching up on my running blogs and noticed my cheeks aching. So, thank you all for making me smile and even laugh out loud!

Okay, now here’s something about running that made me giggle last night on Modern Family. I was really hoping I could find the clip online and I did. Enjoy!

Quick running report: Nothing today, but I will do some strength and stretching here as soon as I get this laptop out of my way.

Day 103: Trying Not to Panic

I mentioned it before: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, it starts Sunday.

I should be working on an outline, maybe some character development. A plot would be good. But I haven’t even started. Like most of the things I WANT to do (but never get around to, like scrapbooking, cleaning or running — until I started this blog anyway), I’ve been THINKING about it A LOT. I know I can do it, if only I could DECIDE on a freakin’ story to write.

I’m going to have to put in at least an hour a day for writing in order to complete the NaNoWriMo challenge. AT LEAST. This means something’s gotta give. It’s not going to be running, but I can’t promise my posts won’t suffer during the month of November. And, gah, the HALF is like the DAY before NaNoWriMo ends! Plus November has Thanksgiving, too. Plus holiday shopping. Yikes. I feel like November is almost over and it hasn’t even started.

Anyway, no running for me today. T Junior and I absolutely had to go to the grocery store. We were DESPERATE for staples, like bread, eggs, lettuce and 2-point Weight Watchers mint ice cream cones.

Day 102: There Goes the Sun

I didn’t know what I was going to do tonight. I had an errand to run, but I also wanted to actually run. (I’m sore from strength training yesterday.) I decided to complete my errand after work. But when the time came to go (after I picked T Junior up from day care), my thoughts drifted home to my poor doggies who had been locked up all day.

I canceled my errand, pushing it to tomorrow during my lunch hour (hopefully). This also meant I had no excuse to miss my 5-miler. But who am I kidding? I don’t have enough time for five miles on a work night! It was 5:15 before I was even walking out the door. It took almost 30 minutes to change my clothes, let the dogs out, and to gather all the things T Junior would need in the BOB like his talking Elmo, water, a container of Cheerios, a blanket, music, etc.

I’ll run as long as I can on the trail before dinner time.

I had just stepped onto the dirt pathway, when I heard a familiar voice. My neighbor and her cousin were about to go for a jog, too! With them was my neighbor’s baby girl in her jogging stroller and her enthusiastic dachshund. So we all went together — about three miles total on a very cool October evening in Seattle.

The trail was beautiful but it got dark much faster than I anticipated. I was glad to have the company, not just for the fun conversation.

The sun disappears really early this time of year, especially if it’s a cloudy day. And it’s about to get worse with Daylight Saving Time next weekend. So I’m not sure what to do about getting my workouts in on workdays. I’m consindering paying for a gym membership at one of those places that really only have treadmills (therefore, they are cheaper).

What does everyone else do?

Day 101: Lord, Give Me Strength

Today was rough. It seems that overnight, my sweet, content, inquisitive baby boy has turned into a defiant, screaming, hitting, tantrum-throwing toddler.

I didn’t want to leave the house today. I wanted me and T Junior to wear jammies all day while the rain washed any remaining summer dust off the windows. But by 2 p.m., I’d had enough. Enough of being hit. Enough of the Dr.-Jekyll-Mr.-Hyde meltdowns. Enough of “No!”. I carried my 17-month-old son, fists swinging at my face and feet kicking in a bycicle motion, up the stairs to put some clothes on him.

Then we got in the car and headed to the Nike Outlet in North Bend (on recommendation from my bloggy friend, Mel at Tall Mom on the Run.) We parked and I saw there also is an Adidas store, so I stopped in there first. That was a waste of time. If you are a runner and a woman, don’t bother going in there (although the woman who worked there was super nice).

T Junior had fun at the Nike outlet. For some reason, he thinks the Nike logo is the same as the Cougar logo, so he screams, “GO COUGS!” whenever he sees the swoosh. He got a little loud, but at least he wasn’t crying.

And, just so we are all clear:

Nike logo
Washington State University (Cougars) logo

I found the running accessories I was looking for. While T Junior waited for me in his umbrella stroller, he pulled footballs off the shelf, yelled “Catch!” and tossed them to no one. So we had a little fun.

And I got a fuel belt for 15 bucks. Yeah, it’s not all high-tech or fancy schmancy or anything, but it’s a good tester to see if I can tolerate having something around my waist while I run. Hopefully, I’ll get to test it out tomorrow on a 5-miler (pushing the BOB, though, ugh).

Tonight, I did 75 crunches on my exercise ball and three sets of 12 push ups, overhead lifts, bicep curls, rowing lifts, behind the back thingies, inner thigh lifts, outer thigh lifts, and three sets of 15 lunges. I stretched, too. I didn’t want to do any of it. I wanted to go to bed, to just tuck this day in and wake up fresh tomorrow. But I talked myself into exercising.

Besides, I’m going to need the extra strength now that full-blown toddlerhood has set in.

Day 100: Eight Miles on My 100th Day of Running

I did it! Triple digies! One hundred days of running. One. Zero. Zero. And what better way to mark the occasion than 8 miles?

Last night, I was setting my alarm clock for 6:45 when Mr. T asked me what I was doing. He was all, “I can watch T Junior while you run.” And I was all, “Sweeeeeet,” and reset the clock for 7:30 because I don’t like to sleep past then.

So, I had breakfast like normal and watched CBS Sunday Morning, made T Junior his meal and relaxed. By 9:30, though, I knew I had to get ready. The weather man warned me that the rain would come later in the day, so I didn’t want to wait around to see that.

I mapped out a new run because I am so over running in my neighborhood. But by the time I’d mapped out 8 miles, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remember where I was going once I was out there. I know the roads, but was worried I’d forget where my turn-around points were or what cul-de-sac I was going to take or skip. So I wrote it down on a sticky note.

Then I got dressed: Brooks tights, REI shirt, and New Balance shoes. I tucked my Zune in the handy shirt pocket along with my route directions and I zipped my phone into my back pocket. Then I remembered I was going to make a PB&J for fuel. This is an idea I am borrowing from ChicRunner. I figured I would only need 1/4 of a sandwich. I made a half and then cut it. I put my PB&J square in a Ziploc bag, squished all the air out and then folded it up and crammed it in my rear pocket with my phone.

Oh yeah, that looked awesome. I had a huge rectangular growth on my bum. I felt like George in that Seinfeld episode. The one where he keeps all of his receipts in his wallet and it gets so big that he can’t even sit straight. He tilts to one side and starts to get back problems. What writer thought of that anyway? So funny! Anyway, I really need to get a fuel belt.

Next, I made Mr. T take my picture. You know, in case I didn’t come back. In case I collapsed somewhere and they need an accurate description of the victim. Okay, okay. That’s not why. I made him take it for Mom vs. Marathon.

Okay. So there I am. A full body shot. I’m channeling the red carpet here, trying to strike a flattering pose I’ve seen celebs use. (I’ve definitely lost inches since I started running back on July 18, but I just checked: I’m down only 7.4 pounds since then. Dude.)

And, yes, I wore a headband again. Yes, it was annoying. I had to replace it like 10 times, but I thought a baseball hat would be too itchy.

After many, many trips to the bathroom (I was a little nervous), I was out the door around 10 a.m. I forgot to check the exact time, but it was right around there.

The running was normal. At about 1.5 miles, I had to check my directions. At 3 miles, I was feeling good and strategizing where I should eat my sandwich. I needed to do it near a trash can because I didn’t want to have to put the baggy back in my pocket. (By the way, that little piece of sandwich along with my phone weighed my pants down a little bit in the back. I had to tug them up several times, so I was relieved when I was finally rid of it.)

I ended up removing the sandwich and tossing the bag in a garbage can right before I hit four miles, where I joined the trail. So, when I mapped out my run this morning, I purposely put the second half of my route on the trail. On last weekend’s 7-miler, the last couple of miles hurt my knees, ankles and hips. I hoped the softer turf of the trail would be easier on my joints.

The trail. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I’m afraid of wild creatures or bad guys jumping out from the trees, but I love the beauty and peacefulness of it. I actually felt myself relax when I turned onto the dirt pathway. I even updated my Facebook status at 10:58: “half way done. 4 miles 2 go! (txting while running!)”

I took a picture around Mile 6.

I also checked the time: 11:21. I gave myself a goal: finish by 11:40. I picked up my pace. Then I noticed I was thirsty. Damn. If I had a fuel belt, I would NOT be thirsty. (Can’t do handhelds, by the way. Especially when it is chilly like today and used my shirt’s mittens for the first couple of miles.) I got a little worried about being thirsty because I know if you feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated.

I figured I was almost done, though, and I would be okay (besides Mr. T had taken that handy picture of me).

I definitely had been running too easy before. I huffed and puffed in a controlled manner, of course, and made my way to my finish line, which was back where I joined the trail in the first place. And guess what?! I made my goal. Exactly. At 11:40, I updated Facebook again: “Done!” Now, I can’t be sure about my splits,  but I think I did the second 4 miles a lot faster than the first 4.

Here I am. Done with EIGHT miles and 100 days of running in the books…or maybe I should say, blog.

EPILOGUE: Yep. I look tired. I hurt, too. The last two miles, my right ankle was really sore but I did notice it eased a bit when I lengthened my stride in the home stretch. My hips and knees felt fine while I ran. But when I stopped, all my joints were hurting. I forgot to take Ibuprofin before I left the house, but I really think it was because I needed to be drinking water during my run. I walked and jogged as a cool down. When I got home, I ate the leftover piece of PB&J and drank a glass of water with two pain pills. I was about to start stretching when I got really cold. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and into a pair of lounging pants and a sweatshirt. Better. I also had another glass of water. Then me and T Junior stretched. Any achiness I had went away after that.