18 Miles this Sunday!

I have to run 18 miles on Sunday. Here are my worries thoughts:

– I will be doing this long run mostly solo, but I think my friend from high school (in California), who also lives up here now, is going to meet me for at least the last 3, maybe 4, miles. I haven’t seen her since probably 1995 (the year we graduated). If I meet up with her at Mile 14 — wow — she’s going to be seeing me at my absolute BEST. Yikes. We still need to work out the details of where I’m running and what time she should meet me, etc.

– I’m not sure what I’m going to wear yet. It’s supposed to be 60 and partly sunny, but I think I’m going to start early in the morning so it could be cooler. I do know that I will definitely wear sunscreen this time.

– I still do not have enough water pods for my Amphipod belt. Me and T Junior will be making a trip to REI today to purchase two more (for a total of four) pods, along with some GU. Last night, after my treadmill run, I stopped at the QFC to get money for the babysitter (long story I will write about later), and saw that they had gels there! But no GU. I got some Clif Shots and a Power Gel (I think that’s what I got), but I don’t want to try them on 18 miles.

– I spent a couple hours creating a new playlist the other day. The first quarter is my usual party-girl music (Ke$ha, Rihanna, etc.), but I wanted to add some music that would spark memories for me so that I can think about something else besides how bad my feet hurt. So, I’ve got quite an eclectic mix: lots of Tom Petty (Running Down a Dream — how perfect is that?), some Sheryl Crow (love Steve McQueen), and even ABBA (hoping I’ll just want to sing along and distract my brain). At the end is my Legally Blonde-The Musical soundtrack, but not all the songs, just the fast ones. Those really work to keep my mind off things. Hopefully, by then, I will be running with my friend, though, so I’m not really planning on listening to this part of the list. Anyway, I hope all the songs work out.

– Last night, on my 9-miler (that turned out to be 9.5 miles because I’m horrible at math), my foot really ached. That darn neuroma. I think I’m going to make a Pod appointment for next week, if I can, and get a cortisone shot. I’m just hoping that the asphalt will be kind to my foot on Sunday.

– I’m going to focus on keeping my pace between 11 and 11:30, but if I am in too much pain and have to go even slower, I will. Slow and steady wins finishes the race. Right?

Day 282: Saying Goodbye to My Little Secret

After consuming way too many calories on Tuesday (all because that big software company in Redmond that starts with an M — yes, I will continue to blame them unless I lose weight this week then they will be off the hook), I really wanted to do something on Wednesday. It couldn’t be before or after work, though, which really limits my options.

Then I remembered that even though I canceled my membership at the Secret Gym, I had actually paid through the end of the month for it. So I packed my bag on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, I drove over to the Secret Gym, changed in the spacious, clean bathroom and then rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes, or 10 miles. I read my book. Nobody else came in the little gym while I was there. It was so quiet and relaxing.

I am a little sad that I won’t be able to use this gym anymore. I just can’t afford to pay for two gym memberships. Of course, I do have a real bike hanging in my garage, but let’s not get crazy here, people. Real bikes are way too scary.

I can’t lie. The thought crossed my mind that I could probably go to the Secret Gym on occasion if I wanted to. I doubt anyone would notice or think to look up whether or not I ended my membership. But I’m too chicken. Besides, bad things happen when I break the rules.

So…I have a confession to make about the Secret Gym. The first time I went there back in December (read here), I snuck in with my co-worker and worked out without paying anything.

I know.

I just wanted to “try it before you buy it,” you know?

The very next day, I got in a car accident. (Read about it here.)

Goodbye little, quiet, clean and convenient gym that nobody knows about. And, rest assured; your secret’s safe with me.

Day 281: The Problem with Running at the End of the Day

I was working my way through, oh, about 2,400 calories on Tuesday in anticipation of my 9-miler that night, the whole time thinking about how much I was enjoying all this eating.

At the end of the workday, I headed for home looking forward to seeing my little boy, the hubs and then finishing a treadmill run in front of the tube to top it all off. My cell rang. It was Mr. T.

“I’m not sure when I’m going to be home tonight.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope.”

“But I was supposed to run,” I whined. Stupid big Redmond software company that I love normally. You are messing up my plans.

“Sorry.”

“But, but I’ve been eating like I was going to run 9 miles.”

Laughter on the other end.

Annoying. “It’s not funny.”

“Yes it is,” he laughed. “It’s hilarious, actually.”

But it’s not because the calories I needed to eat went from approximately 2,400 to about 1,400. When I got home, I looked at my tracker and saw that I’d already eaten almost all of my calories for the entire day. I only had 150 left for dinner.

So, yeah, I went over. I tried to limit it, but I was so hungry. I think eating all those calories and then stopping abruptly totally confused my body. It was like, “Need…more…fuel,” even though I didn’t get to do any exercise.

If I don’t lose weight this week, it’s entirely the fault of Mr. T’s employer. So there. Hrmph.

Days 279-280: The Great Outdoors

DAY 279
Sunday was lazy. T Junior was on the mend, too, so we ventured out in the afternoon to McClendon’s and got flowers to plant in the front yard, and Mr. T got tomato plants. T Junior helped.

DAY 280

I got up early Monday so I could hit the gym for a 4-miler on the treadmill.

Just before walking out the front door at 6:10, I switched off the front porch light because it was light outside.

Wait.

It’s light out.

I turned around and went back to the kitchen, dropped my gym bag on the table, stuffed my Zune in my iFitness belt and snapped it on. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to run outside. I even did my 12-miler on the treadmill on Saturday. I was a little nervous to run outdoors.

No moving belt. Actual concrete. Barking dogs. And, this morning, wind on my town loop. Strong gusts that slowed me down and sped me up.

Again, I was very stiff and it took me just over two miles to loosen up my calves. I’m consistently stretching after I run, so I don’t know why my legs are so tight. Do you think it could be from running on the treadmill so much?

The tightness reminded me of running with ski boots on. That made me think of skiing, something I learned to do when I was a toddler and grew up doing with my dad and friends. I love it. I miss it. Thinking of skiing reminded me to drop my hands low, to my hips, and drive from there. That always helps me run faster.

And I wanted to do my third mile at a sub-10 if I could. Dropping my hands helped me accomplish that.

I finished four miles and felt great! I was so happy. I don’t feel that great after getting off the treadmill. I guess there’s something to be said for running outside.

4/26/10 – 4.19 Miles – 42:53
Average pace: 10:13
Mile 1: 10:52
Mile 2: 10:32
Mile 3: 9:36
Mile 4: 9:58

The “out.” 

The “back.”

Days 277-278: 12 on a Treadmill

I just want to say that I have no regrets about switching gym memberships. In fact, the new gym has sort of become a place for me to go when I just need to GET OUT!

DAY 277
Friday was so long. I was home, inside, with T Junior, the puppy and the two other dogs all freakin’ day. I didn’t want to go anywhere since the doctor said T Junior’s stomach bug was contagious. The only time we left the house was to walk to the mailbox. I wanted to go on a longer walk, but T Junior tripped over his feet and skidded on his arm, and then the world was coming to an end, so we had to go home and get a “Pooh Bear Band-Aid” that he wanted so bad, but wouldn’t leave on and sobbed about till I ripped it off.

When Mr. T came home, I asked if he minded me getting out of the house for a bit after T Junior’s bedtime. He didn’t.

Except I wasn’t sure where to go. I sort of wanted to go shopping, but it was a little late in the day for that, I didn’t care to go that far from home and we just bought a pretty expensive dog, which means we don’t have a lot of extra money.

So I went to the gym.

I’m really enjoying having my new gym membership. First of all, it makes it really hard for me to skip working out. And, second, it’s a good place to go when I need a break.

I changed, grabbed my book du jour and drove to the gym for a 45-minute bike ride. I have not been doing my cross-training and strength exercises. It’s all I can do to get the running in. But I felt like my legs needed something different.

My calves have been really tight. I feel like I always have ski boots on. I have to take stairs one at a time pretty often.

I was riding the bike and reading my book when I suddenly felt alone. I quickly glanced around and realized there were only a couple people in the gym. The front-desk woman was switching off the flat screens.

“Are you closing?”

“Yeah. We close at 9 on Fridays.”

“Oh, that’s right. Sorry!”

It was 8:59 and I practically jumped off the bike while it was still moving. Well, while the wheels were still spinning anyway. I got 40 minutes in, though. I just forgot to look and see how many miles I rode.

DAY 278
“Oh my god, it’s pouring.” I stood by the front door with my bag (fuel belt, post-run food, Zune, etc.), and watched the wild weather out of the window across our living room.

Mr. T looked. “It’s going sideways.”

“Ooo-oohhhhh maaaaaan.”

“Why don’t you do your run at the gym?”

Light bulb. Then…

“Um. I don’t know. Twelve miles on a treadmill?”

We went back and forth and the rain came down harder and more horizontal, and I ran upstairs to grab a short-sleeved shirt. I decided I would see how busy the gym was and make my decision based on that. Plus, I reasoned that I could always do half on the treadmill and half outside if the sun came out.

And, wouldn’t you know it? The sun came out in less than a mile on that thing.

But the first season of America’s Next Top Model was on and I hadn’t seen that one with Adrianne (the girl that married that Brady Bunch dude). So I got sucked in and before I knew it 65 minutes had gone by.

Thanks to my impromptu bike ride the night before, my calves had loosened and I wasn’t so stiff. I was hot. My feet hurt. But my calves felt great. Note to self: cross train.

After the first six, I popped a piece of PB and J in my mouth and reset the treadmill. Even though the sun had shown its face, it was followed by some serious hail, and I saw black clouds heading our way. I stayed in the gym.

I wondered if anyone else wondered what the hell I was doing or if the front-desk woman would come over and tell me about some time limit on the treadmill or something even though there were like 5 other people in the entire gym. It was, after all, late in the day Saturday (4 p.m.) by the time I finished the first six.

The second six went by a little slower. I felt done at 8, but I pushed through it. Watching skinny models helped. I also thought about fitting in size 8 jeans a lot.

Toward the end of my workout, my right foot was hurting pretty bad. It’s that spot where your toes meet the ball of your foot — it’s where the pod said I had a neuroma. I might need another cortisone shot. The only thing is, though, is that last time, the shot caused a little more pain for about a week and I have 18 miles coming up. So…yeah, probably just going to tough it out.

I got off the treadmill after 12 miles and wobbled over to the only place I can think of to stretch. Am I the only one who feels awkward stretching in the gym?

Back at home, I walked in the door. T Junior greeted me. “Hi Mama! Mama bath!” and he ran for the stairs. Well…I wasn’t really planning on taking a cold bath, but now that he mentions it…

So I put on my bathing suit, a sweatshirt and two pairs of socks (thanks for the suggestions, bloggy friends!), and eased in with T Junior laughing. Mr. T came upstairs and asked, “Did you really do that whole run on the treadmill?”

“Yeah.” I shrugged like it’s no big thing. Wow, did I impress him?

He shook his head and then he made fun of me for sitting in a freezing bubble bath with a sweatshirt on. It’s okay. I’d make fun of me, too.

Thoughts?

I want to sign up for a fun race. It’s a 5K and it’s local and you get to run in a kilt! With Mr. T playing the bagpipes and our Scottish genes, it’s perfect! There’s even a 1K run for T Junior!

Whoa, that’s a lot of exclamation points.

Anyway, there’s only one problem. It’s two weeks before my first marathon.

Is this totally dumb?

What if I promise to take it easy and just run for fun? It’s just a really good excuse to wear my pink plaid Running Skirt! C’mon! Pleeeeaaaaase!

Posted in 5ks

Leaning on You

I’m starting to come out of the hole that has been this week. I think I see a ribbon of light coming from somewhere above and I’m just going to keep moving in that direction until I’m engulfed in sunshine, which to be honest, could be difficult since this is Seattle after all and right now the sky is a milky gray and there are leftover raindrops clinging to the window screen.

Still. I’m feeling more positive after this difficult week. And part of that has been the commiseration and support and suggestions from all of you, my bloggy friends. I don’t know if I say it enough, but I cherish the community we’ve got going here.

Sometimes, I feel better writing down all my negative, whiny thoughts and sending them out into the world. Like a message in a bottle, I chuck my feelings past the breaking waves. (Although, I don’t think people should do this anymore because the ocean has way too much litter in it, so let’s just keep this a virtual activity, okay?)

I started Mom vs. Marathon in order to document my quest for marathon glory, and so that means I must be brutally honest when I write — as close to diary material as possible, really. That’s why I’m not always positive about running here.

Thanks for letting me lean on you.