Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drinking the Kool-Aid

I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago -- I've been completely addicted to running, and running races for several years. It doesn't matter to me that I'm really not that fast, and that it never seems to get any easier. I just keep doing it, and when I'm not running or talking about running, I'm thinking about running. And like a good TV evangelist, I keep trying to get new converts. After I ran Twin Cities in 2006, my friend Shelley decided to run. I gave her all of my old Runner's World magazines and signed up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K with her. She trained for a couple of months and ran the 5K. And promptly quit running. Her husband Mac, who happens to be one of my closest friends, started running at the same time and is still going. He has slips in the road and tells me he's thinking about taking up cycling instead of running. He complains about his ankles hurting. I just tell him to toughen up and keep running. We have run a few races together and are planning on running Twin Cities '09.

I'm working on a new convert, my co-worker Ashley. She had her second baby around the time Sophie was born and is looking to recapture the pre-baby body. She's run a couple of miles at a time, but is scared to go further. I keep telling her to plan a day to stay after work and I'll run 3.1 with her to prove to herself that she can do it. So far, no go. But I'll keep working. Because, like the Jehovah's Witnesses who chase me down at the gas pumps and on the steps of the courthouse, I'm no quitter. And I just can't take the hint.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back on Track

So, with all the ear infections and not sleeping last week, the running really took a hit. Two 3-milers during the week, and then a 10K Saturday morning. The 10K was really nice, and I think I ran a pretty good race. It was at the Audubon Center in Sandstone, so we ran around Grindstone Lake and then through trails back to the Center. This was the first year for the race and, overall, I think they really did a good job. One downside - no mile markers. With no markers and having never run the course before, it was very difficult to judge pace (and to know when to start telling myself that I was almost done). At one point, my running partner said he thought we were within a mile. When he said that, I had just been thinking that we were probably a little over halfway . . .

Once we got off the road and onto the trails, I figured we were almost done. And then we had to do an extra little loop. I hate extra loops. There is nothing worse for me mentally than thinking I am close to the finish, and then having to turn around and go farther away from the finish line. But I survived the loop. As we approached the finish line, I gave it a good kick and really felt that I had run a good pace the whole race (did I mention that both my running partner and I had forgotten to wear watches, so we were completely at a loss as for pace/time?). There wasn't a clock, but a guy with a stopwatch was standing at the finish calling at times. As we got closer, I could hear him saying the seconds, but didn't know what minute we were in. And then I crossed and he said 58:11. Seriously? What? My first 10K 4 years ago was 58:28, and I have NEVER been over 58:00 again. In August, I ran a 10K in 95 degree heat in 57:06, and I felt that I ran this race much faster. In talking with people after the race, it seems the general consensus was that the race was longer than 6.2. A guy with a Garmin said it was 6.4. No matter what, I ran a hard 6+ miles on a beautiful course. Definitely not a wasted morning.

Now, I'm just trying to get my mileage back up this week. I ran 3.6 yesterday afternoon, and 3 again this morning. If Sophie is cooperative after work, I'll take her out in the running stroller for at least another 3. And I've already conned my mother-in-law into watching her for an extra hour tomorrow night so I can get in a track workout. (Of course, this was the plan last week until pouring rain and lightening intervened. Keeping my fingers crossed for another beautiful fall day.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bad Mommy

After three feverish days and two sleepless nights, I finally took Sophie to the doctor this afternoon. Double ear infection. I feel like the world's worst mother. I held off on taking her to the doctor because I hate to be that mom that runs to the clinic every time their child gets the first hint of the sniffles. But really, now I'm that other mother, the one who lets their child suffer with a double ear infection for three days. I'm sure child protection will be knocking on the door any minute . . .

I did manage to run 3 miles this morning. It was perfect fall running weather - I love that crisp feeling in the air, and the complete lack of humidity. It felt really good to get out, and my new running shoes were wonderful. The stiffness of new shoes always takes me by surprise when I first put them on, and I get paranoid about whether they will cause me to break an ankle or fall on my butt. But I survived. I'm going to try for another 3 before work tomorrow, and then I have the 10K on Saturday. Maybe my unintentional low-mileage week will give me a good boost for the race!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still Not Running

I have only run 3 miles since Friday. I managed to get out yesterday morning before the rain and thunderstorms came in -- it started pouring within 5 minutes of the end of our run. The after work run was called off when I was nearly blinded by a bolt of lightening outside of my office window. I'll run in the rain, but running in lightening just doesn't seem like the best idea.

And then, there was the night from hell. By far, the worst (and longest) night of Sophie's life so far. I never really went to bed. Just walked around the living room with my screaming child. Even the never-fails triple threat of Tylenol, Baby Orajel, and a Baby Einstein video didn't do the trick. You would think that an 11-month old wouldn't really care about the difference between Baby Einstein and The Biggest Loser. And if I have to stay up all night because she refuses to sleep, shouldn't I get to choose the television programming and get caught up on my Tivo? But no, instead I spent the night watching Baby da vinci 17,000 times. And fantasizing about using one of those monkey puppets to beat myself senseless.

After a night of no sleep and a full day of court, I am beat. I would like to say that I'm going to go for a nice run when I get home (and really, I wish it was, because the weather is really beautiful today), but I think I'll just curl up in a ball on the couch and sleep. And maybe watch The Biggest Loser. Or, I could hold a screaming child and watch Baby da vinci a few hundred more times. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for watching the contestants race down those giant slip and slides.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not Running

There is a very sad pair of brand new Saucony Grid Hurricanes in my backseat, still in their box, suffocating in their plastic Lady Foot Locker bag. They want to go running. I'd like to go running too, but closed daycare and babysitter difficulties have added an extra 3+ hours of driving to my day. So . . . the running probably isn't going to happen today. Why do I live in the middle of nowhere???

I've got my morning 3 miler and an afternoon hill workout planned for tomorrow. The forecast is for rain, but I'm determined to suck it up. (Although I'd hate for my new pretty shoes to get dirty so soon.) We'll see how determined I am when the alarm goes off at 5:30 tomorrow morning . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Week of September 14th - Training Recap

  • Monday, Sept. 15th a.m. - 3 miles
  • Monday, Sept. 15th p.m. - 3.6 miles (hill)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 16th - 3 miles
  • Thursday, Sept. 18th - 3.6 miles
  • Friday, Sept. 19th a.m. - 3 miles
  • Friday, Sept. 19th p.m. - 11 miles
  • Saturday, Sept. 20th - 4 miles

Total weekly miles: 31.2

I met most of my goals for this week -- managed to run double days twice, got in a hill workout, and ran a long run of more than 10 miles. The only goal I missed was my track workout.

Last night's 11 miler went really well. My friend Cheryl and I ran on the bike trail. We managed a negative split, mostly because she had her dog with slowing us down for the first half. Her husband picked up the dog about a mile before the turnaround (and brought us cold G2's), and we were able to pick up the pace for the last 6 miles.

Tomorrow's goal: get new running shoes!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ways to Tell It's Friday

  • Your weekly lunch money/cash is depleted, so you have to spend 15 minutes digging around on the floor of your car for $1.50 in dimes and nickels in order to get your Diet Mountain Dew. (Note to self: I really have to clean out my car. The crushed fishy cracker/curdled formula combo is really disguting).
  • Instead of having the willpower to wait until at least 10:00 to get the above-mentioned Diet Mountain Dew, you're at the door of the liquor store when they unlock it at 9:00.
  • Your morning three mile run feels unusually short because you're already half-dreading the weekend long run.
  • You're so sick of hearing people's excuses all week that you tiptoe on the line of appropriate courtroom decorum when one more idiot whines about how he will lose his job and not be able to support his family if he gets sent to jail. Seriously? Were you worried about that when you decided to to drive drunk with your eight week old baby in the car?

So in the interests of avoiding caffeine withdrawal and keeping my license to practice law, thank God it's Friday.


Earlier this summer (on June 21st, to be exact), I ran Grandma's Marathon. This was a big race for me -- even though it wasn't my first marathon, it was my first marathon since having my first baby. I felt like running Grandma's would prove that I had survived pregnancy and early motherhood and I was still a runner.

Grandma's kicked my ass. I finished, but thought about quitting the whole way. My time was TERRIBLE -- almost twenty minutes slower than my time when I ran Twin Cities in 2006. And although I have used the last three months to find the silver lining (yes, I finished a marathon within 8 months of having a baby; yes, I ran with some amazing people who inspire me to lace up my shoes every day), Grandma's has for the most part remained a big black storm cloud in my running sky.

But one thing Grandma's did do for me was to beat me into submission. After a week of rest/mourning, I put my running shoes back on and got back on the road. And it came to me that I really got what I deserved with Grandma's. My training was inconsistent at best, and, at its worse, not even sufficient for a 10K, let alone the 26.2 mile beast. In April, I ran a half marathon, and that was my first long run. And I didn't do very many more after that. Reflecting on my half-assed training helped me realize that if I wanted to keep running, and if I ever wanted to run well again, I needed to run. No more excuses, no more laziness, just run.

For the most part, that's what I've done. In August, I ran my first 100+ mile month since September of 2006. I've been getting in hill workouts, running at the track, and running at least 10 mile long runs almost every weekend. All in the name of consistency. Some of my friends have questioned me, "Don't you feel guilty spending more time away from your daughter?" Yes, of course. But I've learned in Sophie's first year that maternal guilt is going to be my close companion for at least the next 18 years (and, if my mom is right -- and she usually is -- for the next 30 and beyond). So I remind those friends (and myself) that running makes me a better person and a better mom. Because I like who I am when I push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of doing. And, as a bonus, my stomach no longer looks like the cottage cheese filled kangaroo pouch I was sporting after Sophie was born!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Is it really only Wednesday? After being up all night Monday night with a sick child, and then home with her all day yesterday, I feel like I am in some sort of strange, sleep-deprived alternate world. One where I look in the mirror and get creeped out by the dark-eyed ghoul staring back at me.

I did manage to get in a good 3.6 mile run Monday night, with Sophie in the running stroller. As a bonus, I went on a route that has some good rolling hills, and then a 1/2 mile stretch that is straight uphill. And of course I ran the last mile straight into the wind, which, when running with that stroller aka windsail, is like running uphill. Last night I was able to slip out of the house for a quick 3 miles. Apparently not sleeping and then drinking Diet Mountain Dew all day in order to stay awake isn't the best pre-run strategy.

I'm hoping to get to the track tonight - even if it is just for some semi-easy 800's.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

After a lethal weekend combo of bad eating and no running, I ran an easy 3 miler this morning. Hoping to get in another 5 or so after work . . . I should have dropped the running stroller off at daycare with Sophie this morning, because then I could have ran the 2.5 miles to pick Sophie up, and ran back in with her to the office. BUT, it's Monday. So the whole switching out the golf clubs for the running stroller was 3 extra minutes that I did not have. But at least my hair looks good and I ate breakfast.

Goals for this week: double up at least two days, 1 track workout, 1 hill workout, and at least 10 miles on Saturday.