Monday, April 21, 2014

Way-Back-Machine

About 7 years ago I had a client who had a tattoo on her calf of the number 6.2. When I found out it meant 6.2 miles, I was instantly impressed. I figured if I could ever run that far, I would definitely get a tattoo like that.
6.2 is also, weirdly, the hazardous waste
designation for infectious diseases

Yeah, I haven't done that. But I think about that ink a lot. I think about how specific it was to a distance that isn't very popular in running. I wonder if it was the farthest she'd ever run, or if it was a meaningful race for her, or it just marked a time in her life when 6.2 miles was important.

I remember how reverently I would treat her entire leg- knowing that the mark of so many miles was there. 6 miles seemed like a distance that no one would ever really, sanely, tackle. I remember how I thought she must be so dedicated to running to have ever gone that far. She must have, like, bought shoes just for running.

And as I trained for the marathon 5 years later I often thought about doing the tattoo thing for the 26.2 mile accomplishment. But then I would think of the 6.2 and realize that, as soon as you ink a distance, you're defining that as a big moment.... but what if that changes, and you realize (as I did later) that 6.2 can be just a half of a training run- not a really big deal- and you have dozens of big moments afterward, and just not enough skin to fill up with numbers?

Perspective is crazy in running. I say that partly fueled by this morning's Boston Marathon performance by the elite athletes, and partly because huffing through my 4 mile route today I had to work hard to remember when 4.0 felt easier.

But as of yet, no running tattoos.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Week 16

I should stop taking these at sunset.
My legs are not this long.
This was a week of realizations and promises. I had a super-secret goal for this spring, beyond keeping up the 10 miles per week. I wanted to run a half-marathon. I figured if it was early enough in the pregnancy, and the spring, that things like heat and exhaustion wouldn't be factors. 

So after 2 weeks of trying to extend my runs from 3 to 6, I had to call it quits. Ok, that's not quite truthful. After coming home after the last 4 runs with hands so swollen that I couldn't close them, and feet so giant they'd formed new blisters... Stephan took one look at me and declared my training officially over. 

And I cried. 

And he promised me that I could treat myself to a spring marathon (a FULL marathon) next year. And I promised to actually listen to him and not run more than 4 miles at a time from now on. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

15 Weeks

15 weeks (with dogs, and MUCH looser pants)
I've been using a paper running log since the beginning of the year. I'm testing the theory that physically writing goals down is more productive than simply thinking them in my head. I guess it's working? I'm already so goal-oriented that it's just reaffirming my obsessive need to track numbers. (See: my budget spreadsheets)

But, anyway, the weekly log starts on a Monday. A fresh page. A fresh week, ready to be moulded according to my desires. Good morning, Monday. Let's do this.

And I can quickly scan through the pages and see which weeks have evenly-spaced, evenly-paced runs, and which have nothing until Thursday when I get 10 miles in the last 3 days of the week (Ahem, last week). So here it is. 9am... Monday morning... It's go time.

Make it or Break it
Do or Not Do
Man or a Mouse
Now or Never
... or maybe after 5 more minutes of quiet coffee-sipping.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'll Bite Your Kneecaps!



It finally happened. It finally clicked.

I ran out a 1/2 mile, stopped for water. Went out for a mile, stopped to pee. Went out for another mile, and just kept going.... Because I felt invincible. I finished the 5 mile run with a sub-12 minute final mile.

Yep. That, is how I do THAT.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

0.5

Forgive me, Internet, for I have slacked. It has been four weeks since I last hit a goal. Obviously, there have been a myriad of reasons for the lower-mileage weeks. And I'm pretty mellow about it. This week I ran 10.5, and I'm only 18 miles behind where I should be for my yearly goal. Not too bad.

I squeezed in the 3.5 mile run today because of this conversation:

Me: I have a terrible headache. And probably an ear infection because I'm dizzy. I've been bleeding on and off for weeks, but the doctor said I'm fine. The kiddo has been screaming and hitting all day. Yesterday I ate only Doritos. Sigh. Should I go for a run?

Him: Obviously.

{{45 minutes later}}

Me: Ugh! YES!! I feel SO much better!! I forgot how much better I feel after a decent run. Wow. Thank you! I needed that.

Him: And that's why I'm not a "runner." I NEVER feel like that. I just feel an absence of guilt.

Me: Are you sure you're not Catholic?

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Pants Dance

In my life, I'm excited to announce that none of my pants fit. The maternity pants are too giant huge and fall down. The non-maternity pants are too small and fall under the no-man's-land below my beer-belly.

So I don't want to wear pants, but neither does this kid.... Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

13 Weeks

I celebrated the beautiful weather, and my lack of any sort of sickness today with a 4.0 mile run! It was toward the end of the day and I kept watching the funny shadow I was making. From the front I could see the hour glass shape I'm used to. But from the side... well... I started wondering if people who saw me knew there was a baby in there, or if I just looked like a slow, new runner.

The run was still pretty slow, with a walk-and-water-break about every half mile. Toward the end I started feeling extra fluid in my hands and stopped at 4.0 (I felt like I could run all night, with enough breaks, but the swelling startled me).

The thoughts that rocked around centered on why I'm not as impressed with running pregnant as I thought I would be. I'm still pretty hard on myself for walking, and being pretty slow (12-14 min/mile). So I started playing with my mind: what if I was running this pace through shin-deep mud? I would be impressed with that. What if I ran as rehab for some broken leg or foot bone? I would be impressed with that. Or running as part of a chemo treatment? Or with some weird exhaustive disease (I'm thinking MS, RA, or something equally activity-limiting). I even pictured the Runner's World article about the Dwarves running the Boston Marathon. That's SO badass!

So with a shift in focus I'm telling myself that I AM a badass. And that shadow is only going to get more curvy. And dang it, I'm going to keep going. Because I love this.