Saturday, July 31, 2010

How I love me some Gatorade

It is actually cool this morning for my long run! Like 55 degree's cool. Oh man, it is going to be great. Well, the weather, the run may suck. Isn't it weird how you can wake up feeling good and *think* you are going to have a good run, but once out there everything goes to hell. Running can really fu*k with your head.

Last weekend, ran 2:45 hours with a friend and we covered 16 miles. Humid as hell, like wring your socks out from the sweat, humid. The weekend before, we ran 2:45 hours and covered 15 miles. Shitty...shitty...shitty run. The difference was that last weekend we didn't have the sun beating down on us so it wasn't as hot as the weekend before. It was the heat that got to me, but I think the biggest difference between the two is I wasn't a dumb ass and brought Gatorade with me this past weekend. Oh what a difference Gatorade makes.

Happy trails!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Proud as a Peacock!

Saturday was the big day for the group of runner's I've been coaching for the last 12 weeks. It was their first 5k. Most have never run before...ever.

The day was humid as all hell. All week the news was covering how oppressive the heat and humidity was going to be on Saturday. And for once, the news was right. CRAP!

Woke up that morning and it was horrible. It was 70 degrees with 90+ percent humidity. My first thought was please, please don't let anyone go down. Let them finish this race that they have worked so hard for.

The group arrives at the race and everyone was so excited. One of my runners was literally vibrating with excitement. Before the race I gave everyone a stern warning of NOT going out fast because this was a day to just finish, not break any records. The weather conditions were not in the cards to really haul ass. Especially for their first race.

Everyone was running strong. Then. The inexcusable happened. NO WATER. Yep. The race ran out of motherfucking water on one of the worst humidity day of the motherfucking year. I cannot tell you how pissed and still pissed I am about this. This was not a HUGE 5k. There were stores everywhere to get water. The 1st stop had plenty of water. How was there no water at the 2nd stop. In-motherfucking-excusable.

I was running with two of the slower runners and they were struggling because of the heat/humidity. They needed water and there was none. Seriously. I was panicking because nothing is more important to me than the safety of my runners. We see a gentleman and his wife sitting in the back of their truck watching the race and they had 4 glorious bottles of water. I happened to mention that I was seriously considering mugging him for a bottle. He then offered us one and my faith in humanity was restored...for a second. I told him he possibly saved a life.

We rounded the end and took off for the finish. She finished strong and I went back for the last runner of the group. She also finished strong. Everyone finished and ran so well in such shitty weather, that I am just in awe of all of them.

The best...the BEST...was when Kitty, age 66, took 1st in her age group. The screaming and cheering that erupted when we heard her name was like something from a Justin Biber (oh whatever the hell his name is) concert. She had tears in her eyes. We all had tears in our eyes. Shit. I am freaking tearing up right now! In the car, on the ride home, Kitty was sitting in the front and quietly said to me "I have the fever."

That's my girl. And she is going to kick my ass in a 5k one day. I can't wait.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beat Up!

Long run this past Saturday was brutal. One of those runs where you think of seriously throwing yourself in front of a car so you can be put out of your misery.

The run started out okay. Felt good, was running with two of my girlfriends that I haven't seen for awhile so we were chatting away until mile 7 and then silence. Why? THE MOTHERFU*KING HEAT. I am telling you, this summer is killing me. Just killing me. Plus, the route we took was not a good one (okay, it sucked monkey balls) to run in the summer. It really is a route to save for Fall/Winter running. Most of the 15 miles was not shaded, on asphalt with a lot of traffic. Mix that in with a cloudless, sunny, humid day and it equals one shitty run.

When we hit the 5 mile stretch in front of the State Fairgrounds and that is when the wheels began to fall off. It. Was. So. Hot. And it was humiliating because not only was I crumbling, I had an audience. Last weekend was the big "car show" at the State Fair. A huge line of traffic waiting to get in the Fairgrounds. Nice. I felt like a bad opening act. Look honey, while we sit here at the light lets watch this lady over there do an impression of the Humpback of Notre Dame. Oh, she is running? Really? Okay.

FINALLY we get past the Fairgrounds and I see a convenience store ahead. I had to stop and get water because I was out. Only had two bottles on my belt with only water. Add this to the stupid shit I did that day. Standing outside I noticed the ice cooler. You know the ones where you can get bags of ice? Then it struck me. I am not joking when I say I crawled in the cooler, only thing sticking out were my feet, to get my body temp down. It felt glorious. I highly recommend it to anyone about ready to have a heat stroke.

At this point we only (ONLY - HA) have 3 miles to go. I walk my ass up the hill and we are at the bridge to cross back in the park to glorious, glorious, shade. My last three miles were at a 12.12 pace. Made it back to the start and in-between gulps of water, swore to never run that route again in the summer. EVER.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Find the Joy

Here it is 5 a.m. again on a Saturday morning and this is the only time I have to write. This summer has been so incredibly busy with running and teaching at the local YMCA. I am only home one night a week to spend time with the husband and to catch up with my cheesy reality shows (don't judge me!).

Training is going well. Just finished 4 hellious weeks of hill workouts. I really..really...hate hills. Hate. Them. The heat wave we've been having doesn't help either and a coach that really doesn't care it is 95 with 90 percent humidity. Actually, he cares so little that he increases the time spent on hill repeats. There are days I swear he really is Hitler with longer hair.

There are some amazing people in this years crop of people and I don't foresee many dropping. Last year, the group started with over 20 and ended with about 12 (if that). This year, there is a different vibe and it makes the workout's fun, if you call sweating so much you have to wring out your sport bra, fun.

A few people have said that they can't believe the difference in my running this year. That I am a stronger runner, not the same person. This surprises the hell out of me because I feel like the same runner. The only difference this year is that I don't care about my pace. Well, I DO, but I am not obsessed with it. Last year, my Garmin was like a permanent tattoo on my wrist and there were runs I would give myself whip lash from looking at it so much to see how fast or slow I was going. It, not me, ruled my running and I started to hate running. That my friends is bad.

Then I read a book in the Spring that changed everything. A little book called Born to Run. The message I got from that book is to get back to the joy of running and everything will fall into place. That is what I did. This year, I run by how I feel and I don't beat myself up. I've accepted that I am not going to be a front of a pack runner and hell, sometimes not even near the front of the middle of the pack. I run because there are moments of such beauty. Times where you feel like you have wings on your feet (even if you are going at an 11 min mile) and you just feel GOOD. That is the feeling I love and after when I run. Don't care if I am running a 8 min pace or a 11 minute pace (won't lie, would be nice to know what an 8 min. pace would feel like and not feel like puking).

The other change is my confidence. I've run a marathon, made it through and have learned from it. I know I can do it. The big question is how pissed is my body going to be and what retaliation will it take upon me. Shiver.

Time to get ready. Looking out the window and there is an absolutely gorgeous sunrise. Ah, that is what I am talking about.