29 September, 2012

So Here We Are

Well, my big racing debut is tonight.  The weather, it seems, is not going to be in my favor.  Rain this evening, supposedly ending by 8, isn't going to do much to lower the temperature.  According to WFTV, at 10 pm it'll be 76 with 81% humidity.  I trained in just about those exact conditions all summer, but never very well!  I was really hoping for low 70's like we had earlier this week.  This Indian Summer crap is for the birds.

I feel like I have done everything that was in my control.  Good shoes, good tunes... and hopefully the duct tape will hold up!  My belt pack is ready to go with Craisins, water, and a clip-on towel (thank you to Scott's dusty old golf bag for the last-minute addition!).  I bought an arm band for my phone, but it's uncomfortable and since I want the ability to take pictures on the course I'm just going to carry it just like I did on all of my practice runs.  If I decide not to carry it, I will store it in my bra (I have a snack size ziploc bag to protect it from sweat).

This week I was caught completely off-guard by the love and support coming from unexpected places.  Phone calls and emails from people I don't talk to often... last-minute advice and support from my "fit" Facebook friends... and one incredibly cute picture of a kid dedicated to me.  I cried at work, cried in the car, cried at home... but I think that's out of my system now.

So we're about 11 hours from the starting line right now, which means probably 14 hours until the whole thing is over.  I still think there's a chance I'm going to finish.  I also acknowledge that there's a chance I won't.  I mean, what if my feet get soaked before or during the race?  Will I be able to ignore that?  I never had to train in anything harder than a light rain.  What if I can't nap or relax enough during the day and all of that race adrenaline gets used up just keeping me awake?  What if my duct tape doesn't hold?  This is the time to just push through pain and injuries...but I'm such a wuss about my feet.  What if I just plain old didn't train hard enough?

...then you won't finish, and the sun will still come up tomorrow, and after a week of sleeping in training will start for the Princess with all those lessons learned.  And instead of a traditional smoothie at the end of this run, there will be a medal, a banana, and then whatever deep-fried crap I feel like eating.  Oh, and a party at the Studios with a bunch of villains.

Still reading?  I know, I'm rambling.  And I still have a lot to go before I forget.

I did the math a week ago, and I figure I ran about 140 miles training for this race.  Actually, of those miles I probably actually ran about 40 and walked the rest.  I'm now on my third pair of shoes in 6 months (though to be fair the first pair of shoes was probably 4 years old), my thighs have worn out 2 pairs of knit biker shorts (that go under another pair of one needs to see my butt in a sausage casing!), and I have a whole rainbow collection of "active" shirts from Target.  And just let me say it one more time:  140 miles.

One last thing before I go.  I don't feel at all guilty about Scott waking up at 5:30 four days a week to go to the gym with me.  He needs it just as much as I do, and though we don't ever really work out together, I think it's enough that we motivate each other to get out of bed in the morning.  That said, I think that getting up at 5ish every single Saturday morning is really above and beyond the call of duty.  He drives me over to the trail, bikes behind me, listens to my whining, hands me water, worries about me, and then lets my stinky sweaty self back into his car to come home again.  And as if all of that wasn't enough, yesterday we got to the race expo to pick up my race packet, parked in the far reaches of the Sports Complex parking lot, and walked 1/2 mile in the pouring rain (uphill, both directions).  At least this whole time I've been working toward a tangible goal/reward.  He's been the damn wind beneath my wings.  So...thanks for that.  I'm pretty sure I would have fizzled long before now without the support.

OK that's it.  This blog post is inevitably going to cut into my football/napping time scheduled to start at noon.  It's going to be a long weekend, so there will be no blog posts at least until Monday... but knowing me it'll probably be longer than that.  I'm planning on sending pictures and possibly some poorly-typed words to Twitter during the race tonight, so you can keep up with me there if you want.

Wish me good luck, dry feet, and strong legs!

22 September, 2012

FAcT Check

As of Thursday, my weight loss is a total of 23 pounds. My original long-term goal was 100ish, so I guess that means I'm 1/4ish of the way there.

It's time for our annual "wellness rewards" at work, so I did some checking on the BMI calculator at WebMD and came up with some hard numbers to keep in mind:

PAST - BMI as of 4/1/12: 38.6
PRESENT - BMI as of 9/20/12: 35.1
GOAL 1 – 5% reduction for $150 wellness rewards – BMI of 33.34 (-12 lbs)
GOAL 2 – non-obese BMI of 29.8 (-35 lbs)
GOAL 3 – “healthy” BMI of 24.8 (-68 lbs)

It turns out I wasn't far off with my original "100ish" goal after all! I still don't have a timeline, but it's not unrealistic to think I'm a year away from that. As long as I keep losing, I really don't care how long it takes!

15 September, 2012

Longest Run Yet

I did 9 miles yesterday afternoon... on the treadmill.  I'm getting over yet another sinus thing, and really thought I'd be better off on the treadmill in the air conditioning than running outside in the humidity and heat.  I think it was the right call.

For nothing but my own record, here are my mile times, followed by the 16 minute/mile "scoop time" for the race:

One: 14.55...16.00
Two: 29.28...32.00
Three: 44.26...48.00
Four: 59.36...64.00
Five: 75.56...80.00
Six:  93.44...96.00
Seven:  111.40...112.00
Eight:  132.30...128.00
Nine: 154.40...144.00
Ten: n/a...160.00

This weekend's run was actually supposed to be 11 miles.  It's the last long run before the race, and I'm guessing the 11th mile is so that a normal beginner runner would know that they have enough in the tank to complete the whole route on race day.  Unfortunately for me, I had a problem I haven't had before:  I completely ran out of gas.  In fact, I came dangerously close to passing out in the shower after I quit.  I'm fairly confident that if I had stayed on the treadmill long enough to complete the 10th mile I would have passed out...and wouldn't that have been embarrassing?

Believe it or not, I am very happy with my results for a few different reasons.

1. The new shoes are a God-send for my toes.  I didn't get any new toe blisters, and my toes didn't feel like they were being crushed.
2. The duct tape over my existing blisters didn't completely hold, but I got through the run.  I didn't wash my feet before putting on the tape, and didn't use powder or antiperspirant to keep my feet dry, so I think if I do that I'll be golden...or at least silver (har har).
3. My lungs still aren't at 100%.  Of course, there's no guarantee they will be two weeks from today (!), but if they are I'll be able to push a little more.
4. I screwed up my meals yesterday.  I had a smoothie for breakfast, and a pb&j sandwich around 10:00 (plus a quart of Gatorade) and started running just about noon.  I run with a little bag of Craisins, but I was trying to be discreet with them in the gym, and only ate 1/2 the bag before I gave up.  According to the calorie counter on the treadmill, I burned about 1,000 calories, which was more than I had available to burn.  On race day, I'll be having a big bowl of pasta for lunch and then probably 2 peanut butter sandwiches before the actual race starts. 
5. They are allowing spectators into Champion Stadium at the sports complex, and we run around the field there between miles 6-7.  I'll be disappointed if I don't make it that far (so Scott can take a tiny blurry picture of me), and elated if I make it to the finish line.  Based on yesterday's times, I would have been scooped after mile 7.
6. I haven't had a good run since my 5-mile long run 2 months ago.  I was sidelined by 2 colds, plus countless blisters and other assorted foot problems.  None of my old problems came back to haunt me yesterday, and the new problem was really just poor pre-planning.  Worst-case scenario, the water stops have some "gu" available.  I'd prefer to stick with what I know won't bother my stomach (btw, I CAN NOT drink anything but water while I'm drinks, even watered down, are like ipecac for me), but I'll do what I have to to not lose my steam like I did yesterday.
7. We've been out of the gym for more than a month (see point 6, plus vacation), and I've been running at home in the mornings.  We'll be back in the gym on Monday morning, which will allow me to push a little harder on the treadmill AND give me the other two days to work on weights.  I know I'll do better if I can get a little stronger over the next 2 weeks.

I wish the race was an extra 2 weeks away.  I really feel like if I had one more long run I could fine-tune the rest of my issues and be completely prepared for race day.  However, I'm going to follow the program and do a 3-mile run next weekend and give my muscles (and blisters) more time to heal.

I give myself a 25-50% chance of actually completing all 10 miles on race day.  People keep saying "think positive" and other helpful platitudes, I think because they think I'm discouraged.  Really though, look at how far I've come in the past six months.  I'm freakin' doing this, and really? That's still awesome.

Oh, and one other thing to note: I got on the scale at the gym yesterday before my run, just to see what sort of weight gain happened in my month out of the gym.  It turns out I was still losing.  I'm down 21 pounds!  It's been 20+ weeks, so it's not really a drastic loss, especially considering how much I still have to go, but it's still going in the right direction.

05 September, 2012

How Can This Be True?

This kid started kindergarten today.

Yes, I cried when I saw the picture with the pigtails and the backpack and the can she be school-age already?