Friday, February 24, 2012

A Mental Game (and a couple questions)

This morning, I donned my "glow belt" and headed out into the 0530 darkness to log a few miles before the day got started. (We are dropping off the dogs at a kennel and the baby at a friend's house and heading down to Wilmington for the evening to attend my husband's Dining In - it's a military function - with his folks. Oh, and I have an appointment to get my hair chopped so it's one busy day.) Yesterday's high temp was nearing 80, and this morning, it had cooled to about 70-degrees. Many of you think that's too warm, but this girl was thrilled! 

I set out to run anywhere from 3-5 at an 8:30 pace. (my goal pace for the half next month) Yesterday I kept a 7:37 pace, so I thought it would be no sweat. WRONG! Running is such a mental game for me (and probably about 99% of all runners, but this blog is about us:). I'm sure my legs and lungs were capable of holding a faster pace, but it took every ounce of mental resolve for me to keep running nearly a minute slower per mile today. What gives?!

Maybe it was a factor of not getting enough sleep the night before. I've been using these teeth whitening strips that have to go on twice a day. For the past two nights, I haven't put them on until close to 2300, meaning I'm up until at least 2330 before I can take them out. Or perhaps it's because today is the final day of our cleanse. Maybe my Saturday experience allowed me to talk myself into running a shorter distance today in a much slower time. I don't think it's a lack of rest for my legs, because I took Sunday off and ran short yesterday; however, my dog FREAKED OUT at the vet yesterday and did lay down some decent scratches/bruises on me:

He really is a good dog, but he was not happy about getting Bordatella in his nose so he demonstrated his UFC skills. It took me, a tech, and three docs to accomplish the task!

Whatever it is, it sucked and I need to figure out some tricks on how to kick my own butt into gear. I'm missing a run with my Stroller Warriors this morning, but I know they plan to finish with some strides, so I tacked on 6 to the end of my run and did feel pretty darn good about that, so I'm not totally fed up with myself. And miles are miles in my book, so it's all good.

Now for my questions:

1. What's the ideal distance when running strides?
2. How many strides should one do at any given time?
3. What's your favorite trick for overcoming your own mental obstacles?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cleanse + Long Run = Terrible Idea

I've been following various running blogs for about 2 years now. Many of them have included at least one (some many...SUAR) stories about "accidents" while running. Well, it's finally my turn to tell my tale.

On Saturday morning, I hopped out of bed, kissed my husband, and said, "I'm off for 6 miles, even though I should do 10." (MIL & FIL are in town and BIL was in-bound Saturday morning, so I was planning to cut it short.) He replied, "Don't be a puss." So what did I do? Of course, I changed my plan. Heading out on a 5 mile stretch just outside our neighborhood, I was feeling ok and managing an 8:16 pace. It's pertinent to mention at this point in the story that earlier in the week, Jason and I decided to do an herbal cleanse in an effort to recover from our European vacation. Without getting too graphic, over the last few days, I've been spending an increasing amount of time in the bathroom. I hit the turnaround and was still feeling good. 

Shortly after my RunKeeper App told me I'd completed 7 miles, I felt a sudden movement...NO I did not soil myself, but I came really close. I stopped my watch and searched for a place to take care of business. We live in a relatively rural area, and luckily there was a small stretch of woods I was able to climb into. Unfortunately, we live in Eastern NC (home to many, many pine trees), and the offering of pine needles wasn't providing a Charmin-like alternative. Thinking quickly, I dropped my shorts, and ended up using my underwear instead - the shorts have a lining thank goodness, so running commando was fine by me! While it wasn't a pleasant experience, I was feeling better, so I started running again.

No more than a mile later, disaster struck again. I was still 2 miles out and not about to give up one of my socks, so I changed my route and tried to get into a local volunteer fire station in search of a toilet. I pounded the windows and doors to no avail and once again, found myself among a small strip of trees:

Notice how you can see STRAIGHT THROUGH the "woods!" Lucky me:) I ended up finding a few dry leaves and relieved myself for the second time in an hour and a half. I finally arrived home to be greeted by my FIL. I said, "I had a bit of a situation. Let's just say, I'm no longer in possession of my underwear and I need to take a shower." 

So it's official...I Run, Therefore, I Am is an official running blog, complete with our very own poop story!

Now, what's your story?!