March 2007 Archives

Never Too Late

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I finished my 5.5-mile run this morning with John (11:55/minute pace, better than last week), and turned on KXCI for the drive home. A song I had heard maybe once before came on, and when I heard the singer referecing summertime, marathons and long roads, I just had to find the lyrics. It's Michael Franti and the Spearheads' song Never Too Late:

Don't fear your best friends, because a best friend would never try to do you wrong.
And don't fear your worst friends, because a worst friend is just a best friend that's done you wrong.
And don't fear the night time, because the monsters know you're divine.
And don't fear the sunshine, because everything is better in the summertime.

But it's never too late to start the day over, it's never to late, pick up the phone.
You know it's never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders,
it's never too late just come on home.

Don't fear the water, because you can swim inside you within your skin.
And don't fear your father, because a father's just a boy without a friend.
And don't fear to walk slow, don't be a horserace, be a marathon.
And don't fear the long road, because on the long road you got a long time to sing a simple song.

But it's never too late to start the day over, it's never too late, pick up the phone.
You know it's never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders,
it's never too late just come on home.

Don't fear your teachers, because if you listen you can hear music in a school bell.
And don't fear your preacher, if you can't find heaven in a prison cell.
And don't fear your own self, paying money to justify your worth.
And don't fear your family, because you chose them a long time before your birth.

But it's never too late to start the day over, it's never too late, pick up the phone.
You know it's never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders,
it's never too late just come on home.
Hold to your children, hold to your children, hold to your children, let them know.

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Apparently there was nothing wrong with my computer. My friend's husband breathed on it and it magically got better. I'll plug it in at home to see how it works tonight.
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My ex and I re-worked our parenting schedule. I think this will be much better for Ash. It will be better for Ash's dad. It won't be so good for my running. But Ash is waaaaay more important than my running. At first, I wasn't sure I'd still be able to train for my upcoming ultra. But I re-worked my training schedule, and although it's not my preferred schedule or the best, it will work. I'll be able to run the PCT50k.
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My life has been very crazy lately. I have not been able to blog or keep up with blogs. (My home 'puter being down didn't help things.) I was ready to say my blog will be on hiatus, but I'm afraid to say that and then suddenly have plenty of time to write. I've been on a serious re-evaluation kick lately and am figuring out priorities. Obviously, Ash is #1. I often wrestle with #2 being running and the person I am currently dating. (Do I stay up late? Sleep in with him? Or go to bed early and get up and run???) Work is thrown in there somewhere. Yoga isn't as big a priority any more either (seems to have served its purpose). Painting and collaging and crafty, arty stuff is thrown in there when I get a chance. I read every now and then (used to be my biggest thing!).

For a long time, my blog was a huge priority. Writing every other day religiously, in order to give people enough time to comment and not overload with too much info all at once. Keeping an eye on the amount of visitors. Feeling valued for having a lot of comments. Feeling accepted by having many readers. Feeling seen and heard and validated on my running (and other thoughts). These are all strong pulls for me to keep blogging.

Does my run exist if only I experience it? Do I exist if no one else witnesses me? My thoughts? My actions?

Why do I seek external praise (or "adoration" as Kiera puts it)? Shouldn't my acceptance of myself be enough?

I find I feel pressure to write. Pressure to comment on other blogs. Pressure to report on how thing are going. You all aren't putting any pressure on my whatsoever, it's all me. If I don't comment to other people's blogs, my site visitors go down. My visibility goes down. Then I feel less liked, less seen, less...I don't know. Just less.

I've made friends through the blogging world. People like Olga and Jess and Michelle and Phil and Jeff. I like staying connected with folks through the blogs. But it's getting overwhelming.

This is my long-winded, rambling way of saying I most likely won't be around all that much in the upcoming weeks while I try to figure out more things. More of what fits with my pink fuzzy.

Tuesday Morning Run

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I received some much needed support, encouragement and advice this morning from my Tuesday morning run partner, John. I first ran with him last fall - we've recently begun running together again once a week. He lives on the opposite side of town, and we meet halfway at the River Path at an insane time in the morning for 5.5 miles in the chilly pre-dawn darkness. John has been running marathons for, I believe, close to 10 years now, and he was a marathon coach prior to moving to Tucson.

This morning when we started our run, I just unleashed on him. Poor guy! I spent the first good mile just being cranky and venting and throwing out all the fear and discouragement I was feeling. He just listened, and when I finally started running out of steam, reminded me that everyone has bad days (just like you all wrote in the comments to my last post). We discussed training after taking time off, how I need to just build my base mileage and the speed will come later, how I just need to relax regarding the relay.

The run passed by quickly, and I realized I felt much better on this run than Sunday's. By the end, though, I had developed a side stitch (hopping around to demonstrate how Johnny reacted last year after I stepped on a snake and woke it up and scared the hell outta him didn't help the side stitch).

It was a good run, what a relief. (Although still slow. John told me I needed to relax regarding speed. And distance. I guess I just need to relax, period!)

I ended up skipping yoga last night (too cranky) and instead finished a collage I had been working on for months. That felt good. I had three people at work plus Johnny that night ask me if I was okay. It's not like I was projecting crankiness - at least, that's what I thought! Apparently it showed. In the words of a coworker, I wasn't my usual spunky self. (Working on an intense report under major deadline and having Word crash on me twice losing precious work didn't help matters any.) When I relayed that comment to John this morning, his reply was, "Well, you not being your usual spunky self is still spunkier than most people!" I laughed at that.

I've got kids yoga today with Ash, hatha flow tonight, three miles tomorrow morning, basic hatha Thursday night, three miles Friday morning, three miles Saturday morning and another seven on Sunday morning. Now I have to make sure I don't drink too much green beer Saturday night, and I need to properly take care of myself so I don't burn out on Sunday again. Reviewing my schedule for the week, I feel a little overwhelmed, especially with crazy work, so we'll see how much of that I actually do!

Quick note - I've been training with the PowerBar hydrating/recovery/fueling system, and I'm surprised at how well it seems to be working. I'm enjoying the Harvest Bars and the Endurance drink, and today - since I was out of milk for chocolate milk - I used the Recovery drink (it had protein in it). I really liked the taste, and it felt good going down. We'll see things continue.

Ill-prepared

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Kiera's new gaiters (her birthday present from me)

I followed our fantastic three-mile run on Saturday morning with a sliver of chocolate coconut cake, coffee and then salad with a diet later on. Eventually, I remembered I was supposed to go for another seven on Sunday morning, and realized I should be drinking water to rehydrate and prepare for the run. I managed to down a couple of glasses before heading down to 4th Ave Saturday evening. At least I carbo-loaded at Caruso's for dinner (linguine with pesto sauce, mmm...). I managed to get to sleep probably around midnight, although I remember looking at the clock once and seeing 1:30 - had I already been asleep for awhile before I saw that?

A leisurely morning in bed left me with less than 15 minutes to get ready and get out the door to meet Kiera. I managed to get dressed, brush my teeth, find my map and grab all the necessary items for running that were scattered on my floor to take to the car (normally I have them all in a bag - sunscreen, gaiters, hat, etc.). I chowed down on half a PowerBar Harvest Bar on the way. I had to get gas, but I still drove into the parking lot a few minutes early and at the exact same time as Kiera. I grabbed all the loose items and tossed them in Kiera's car and finished getting ready.

We made it out to the trailhead by 9:20. It didn't seem too warm yet. We sunscreened up, got our gaiters on and headed out. The trails out at Cactus Forest are fantastic - gently rolling, not too rocky, full of saguaro and jackrabbits and mesquite trees and golden grasses. And horses. We saw about six horses out there - more than usual.

I realized early that I was not prepared for this run. I was tired, my legs were shaky and I had no energy - and this was on the first mile! It quickly deteriorated from there, as I downed a gel and starting drinking water (I was so thirsty). This was the quietest run Kiera and I have ever been on together. I couldn't talk, I was having a hard time breathing, kept needing to take walk breaks and eventually, got so hot that my head started feeling like it was going to explode. I realized I was going to run out of water way before the end of the run, and I was worried about getting heat exhaustion. The beauty (curse?) of the Cactus Forest trails is that there are trail junctions about every third of a mile - this place is covered in trails and at any point in time, you can turn and be back at the trailhead in no time. So we cut out early.

I ran out of water on the last two miles. I ended up drinking 44 oz of water in about 1 hour and 15 minutes! I was still thirsty and having no stomach issues - just leg and heat and head issues. Finally made it back to the car where we got to overhear a couple of ultrarunners talking about running and how one was out to get 20 miles that morning as she prepared for her upcoming 12 hour race. Kind of inspriational, but at the same time, a little depressing. I only managed 5.34 miles, and I was beat.

I'm definitely doubting my running abilities and my performance (or lack thereof) at the relay at the end of the month. I'm very slow and it's very hard for me right now. I don't feel like I will get in shape by July to run 31 miles. I know I've done it before and I can do it again, I just feel a little down about it. I'm out of shape, weigh 20 lbs more than I did during my last training cycle, and I'm having difficulty with my training schedule - having to run on specific mornings and days when I don't have Ash (plus Saturday mornings when Mike watches him). It used to be that if I wanted to run, I rolled out of bed on any given morning - whenever I felt like it - and ran. Ash would be watched by his dad. But not this time around. I also have to make sure that I'm done with my runs on Sundays by a specific time so I can shower and pick up Ash for Sunday evenings. I just feel overwhelmed with all this. Plus I have yoga three nights a week, which - while absolutely fantastic and much needed - cuts into my (possible) running time (not that I run much at night anyway, but still).

So Kiera and I finished up the morning by meeting her family at Beyond Bread for breakfast, then I headed home for a few hours of rest before picking up Ash. He had fun playing while I created a cool new piece of art (much needed therapy!).

My computer crashed yesterday! It froze, then I turned it off. When I tried to turn it back on again, the light came on, indicating the computer was on, but there was absolutely nothing on the screen. I tried twice. So now I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Go read this

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It's an older post, but I just found it and I love it.

(Recovering okay from the cold, ran 3.25 this morning with Paki which was fantastic, will run 3 tomorrow morning with Kiera out at Sabino and 7 on Sunday morning with Kiera out in the Rincons. Need to be eating better. Work is crazy hectic busy. I really like Apricot Weizen Beer. Am actually getting over 8 hours of sleep each night, wow! Oh, and I saw three coyotes in the middle of Tucson this morning as I drove to meet Paki for our run.)

Results

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Thank you to everyone who responded to the poll in my last post. My favorite comment: whatever makes you happy :) The consensus is that above the neck = run, below the neck = don't run.

What if it's, like, *in* your neck? As in, moving from my nose to my chest? It's about at throat level now, I'm hacking and clearing my throat on a regular basis, although it's not really a cough yet.

I was concerned that running could deepen whatever I have into something more serious, and I'd miss out on crucial training time for the relay at month's end. Yet, I was also worried that if I don't train, I won't be adequately prepared for the relay. On Sunday, I chose to rest - which meant I missed my 8-mile run, and only got 8 miles for the week. Not good - half of what was needed! Yesterday, I still felt sick, and it was still windy outside. I just didn't feel like it would be good for me to run.

Because of that, I cancelled today's early morning run with my friend. My voice is getting froggy, and I'm afraid I'll lose it soon if I don't take care of myself. Running is one thing, but misssing out on crucial rest time (4 to 6 a.m.) to get a run in seemed worrisome to me. Instead, I slept in.

But I was feeling pretty good by mid-morning, and it was warmer and not so windy outside. I was supposed to take Ash to his kids yoga class this morning, but due to scheduling conflicts, that wasn't going to happen. I still had two hours of approved off-time from work, though, so I decided to fill that time in with - what else - a run!

I headed to the river path, hoping for the entire 5.5 I should have gotten this morning. I had to settle for approximately 4.8 miles instead. I was very hot and not particularly prepared, fuel-wise (spur of the moment and all). I had to walk small parts in the middle and the last .25 mile, and at first I was down on myself for walking. I don't feel very well-prepared for this relay, let me tell you! But then I looked up at the Santa Catalina Mountains and the blue blue sky and the zig zags in the sky from planes and I just felt glad that I made it out at all. How awesome - I got 4.8 miles on a day I didn't think I'd get any! Yay!

While I was out there, I didn't really have any mucas-related issues. No snot rockets like Eric said, no hacking, nothing. I had to keep clearing my throat, because like I said, this thing seems to be stuck in my neck. But it seemed okay.

And right now, I feel great! I did yoga last night, ran today, I'll do yoga again tonight, probably get 3ish miles tomorrow, yoga the day after that, possibly another 3 - 4 miles on Friday, 3ish miles with Kiera on Saturday morning, followed by 7 miles with Kiera on Sunday! I feel good about this.

(I must admit, I have not been able to keep up with my bloglines this past week. I'm up over 200 posts behind, ack! Hopefully I'll catch up this week...)

Poll

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Completely unscientific. Which is better when you have a cold:

To run

or

To rest

(and tell me why)

Thank you!

Whew! I'm tired today. I couldn't sleep much or well Friday night, so I got up at 3 a.m. I took my leisurely time getting ready, and left with plenty of time to spare. OP50 is about an hour-and-a-half southwest of Tucson, on dirt roads I've been on before, but I've never driven on by myself. I was a little worried about finding my way back there.

I had used trade at a local book/music store to purchase a couple used CDs for my drive out there. First, I rocked out to an older Hot Hot Heat release (while I could hear characteristics of their later, more well-known release, this one was definitely more raw; I still enjoyed it though), then I really had fun bopping along to the newest Jet release (the first couple of songs were a little too..."swagger rock"...for me, but I mostly enjoyed it). I managed to find my way back to the correct dirt road, and by this time, other cars were heading there as well, so I followed the caravan of about 10 cars as we slowly made our way back to the starting point at Kentucky Camp.

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It was about 21 degrees, and I wasn't prepared for that (I was more prepared for about 40 degrees (or so I thought)). Despite the chilly conditions, there were runners milling around in tank tops and shorts! We loaded a truck for mile 25, and then waited for the start. I was so cold; a friend offered hand warmer, which were a lifesaver! Once the runners were off, we headed back up to our cars and caravaned to the aid station. I really enjoyed the ride out there - twisty, turny dirt roads through southern Arizona grasslands as the sun rose. The road plunged over a pass and down a canyon. Four miles later, we arrived at our station.

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I opened the door and was assaulted by a freezing wind. "Uh-oh," I thought. I had been fighting either bad allergies or a slight cold all week, and being out in cold wind did not bode well for me (cold and wind dampens your immune system). As I helped to set up the aid station, I couldn't stop shivering. One of the volunteers offered me an extra fleece, and another volunteer gave me a blanket. I was wearing my jeans, a tank bra (shimmel), long-sleeve shirt, thick fleece, windbreaker, another fleece, mittens, handwarmers, my beanie topped with my ballcap and over the whole thing was the blanket. I looked like a mummy :)

We waited for about an hour while crew and additional volunteers showed up. Finally, Hal Koerner was the first runner through. We all pounced - "What can we get for you?" The ham radio operator asked for a person to check runners in and also a person to check runners out. I volunteered for that. I spent the next four hours sitting in a camp chair, wrapped up in my blanket, attempting to capture everyone's numbers and time out while saying Hi to the runners I knew (most of whom said, "I didn't see/recognize you under there!"). It was a little stressful to try and get everyone's numbers, but I only missed one person. I got to chat with David Goggins' crew for a bit (he was at Twin Peaks a few weeks ago), which was cool. The wind starting dying down by the end, but even as we were packing up, I was still shivering, deep-inside-my-core shivering.

The warm drive home was a welcome relief. Despite preparing well with food, I was starving on the way home, so I stopped by Carl's Jr. After downing a totally unhealthy lunch, I jumped in the shower. Oh, the warmth! I spent the next few hours reading a magazine and just relaxing.

I think I need to stop staying up till midnight on days that I wake up before 6 a.m. But I got to sleep in this morning until 9 a.m. I was supposed to get an 8-mile run in this morning, but I woke up feeling like it's definitely a cold that I have. And the wind is wicked today, with major dust in the air. I just really don't feel like subjecting my sick body to more wind while I fight through a long run. I want to rest and take care of myself.

Relay Planning

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I met with half of my team last night to go over logistics for our upcoming relay. I am running on a Performance Footwear team. I was assigned to be Runner #1, which was my second choice, yay! (My first choice was the easiest assignment, seeings as how I’m just getting back into training and all, and I’m so slow and so many of runners on my team are fast!) It’s a tentative assignment, based on our team leader meeting with the other half of our team (from a Performance Footwear store in Tempe), but I’m pretty sure that will stay as mine. What fun, I’ll get to start the race! Also, as Runner #1, it looks like I might actually get to run at the best points during the race, time-wise: at 1 or 2 p.m. (depending on our start time), about 11 p.m. and then again at about 6 a.m. It looks like I won’t have to do any of the early morning segments (like 2 a.m.), although I suppose that could be fun :) Our shorts and gloves were handed out, and we also received some PowerBar fuel to train with, since PowerBar is sponsoring us and we’ll use those products during the race. I’ve got two gigantic containers of Endurance drink mix and one giant container of Recovery drink mix, too cool. Plus I was given lots of Harvest Bars, which I’m very interested in trying. I use the original PowerBars now (I eat half a bar before a run, which is easily digested by my system and provides pretty good fuel), so I’ll see how the Harvest Bars work.

Also, at this meeting, I was invited to join a friend on nighttime trail runs, which I thought was pretty darn cool – if I’m really going to do 30 hours for my 30th birthday (and run longer distances like I’m contemplating), I’ll need some nighttime training. So that’s pretty awesome.

I’m looking forward to volunteering at OP50 this weekend. I love the atmosphere of ultra races, and it’ll be good to get back in touch with many of the folks in my trail running group whom I haven’t seen in months, because I’ve been too injured to do their runs. If anyone who reads my blog will be at OP on Saturday, let me know – I’d love to meet you!

I’ve got yoga tonight (thank goodness, I need it!), running either Friday morning or at lunch (I’m tending toward the morning, to make sure I do it!), then OP50 on Saturday (I’m wondering if I’ll get a chance to run at all on Saturday…), followed by four to seven miles on Sunday (depending on if I get to run on Saturday). I’ve got to make up that three miles I chose not to run on Monday. See, it’s just easier to do it earlier in the week. Get it out of the way! Dammit. Oh, well. It’ll get done :)

I’m pretty tired today. Not sure if it’s a cold or allergies. I’m drinking OJ and tea and trying to make sure I take care of myself. The stress at work isn’t helping matters. I’m sure I’ll be fine.

***UPDATE***
I just realized that if I can do a 50k or marathon in August, I'll qualify for Marathon Maniacs...oooo....

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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