Supposed to be 22 miles, then 20, but crawled to 16.75 miles done!

Have you ever had one of those runs where it doesn’t seem like anything is really going right?  Well that was today’s run.  I was set to do my last long run before my next marathon in October and I was planning a 22 miler.  Well you know when I start talking in past tense that it did not go well.

Our morning was thrown off a little when a meeting that was supposed to happen got canceled so instead of going right out and going for a run, I laid around for over an hour.  That was probably mistake number one.  Then once I did get started I tried a new training plan.  It’s called a 5-4-3-2-1 run where you run easy for 1-2 miles at the beginning and then 5 miles at race pace, then 1 mile easy and so on and so on until you finish with a 1 mile easy run.  I thought it would be good especially since it was cool outside.  You know, try something new.  5.5 miles in, my stomach said “hey, you need to make a stop”.  So off into the woods I went.  This has never happened to me during a training run.  But on I pushed (after the pit stop), I was determined to make today’s run good.

photo (7)

Beginning, during, and end!

As I got done with mile 9, I was thinking let’s turn this run into a 20 miler.  My body screamed “Yippee, that means we get to turn around soon”.  I made it to mile 10 and that is when my whole self said “this sucks! I hear it is better to undertrain than overtrain.”  I plodded along and talked to my other half who was biking next to me and made arrangements for him to go on ahead and bring the car a little closer than the 10 miles it was away.

Off he went to get the car and left me trudging along, now uphill, to our meeting point.  That is when my brain went into overdrive:

Why are you doing this?

You are never going to qualify for Boston!

Maybe you should just stick with 10K’s, you did great last weekend.

Time to walk

Burr, I’m cold

Can’t wait to get to that towel at the car so I can warm up

Maybe I should do more crunches.

Crunches really, you think that would help what is going on right now?

What is going on right now?

I think I see the car

Yippee we get to stop moving!

(There was lots more negative thoughts but don’t want to overwhelm you with how bad my thoughts were today!  What can I say, sometimes I am my own worst therapist.)

Now hours after making it home, a long shower, and refueling with dinner and an extra thick chocolate frappe, I continue to beat myself up about what went wrong.  Really I have no idea.  I just felt gross and Dave keeps telling me to chalk it up to a bad day because we all know that those happen.  So I’m working on that.  And I do remain hopeful that it was just one run and I can get out there tomorrow and complete the last few miles of the run and still have a weekend full of miles.  So right now that is the plan, at least 3.25 miles tomorrow to finish my 20 mile run and if it feels good maybe an extra 2 to get the 22 miles done!

Here’s to changing thoughts and to quit beating myself up!

Ever have a bad run?  What did you do to move on?

Enjoying a race

On Sunday I had one of my best runs EVER!  Or being a person who now lives in New England, I guess I should say, one of my best runs EVAH!  I didn’t even plan it.  In fact, my focus has been on training for the marathon in October and this was just one of the races that I have on my calendar.  This was one of those races I have done for 4 years now and keep coming back because it is wonderful.

When I first competed in this race, the Lone Gull 10K, there were about 600 runners, parking wasn’t a problem and there was breakfast at the end on the beach.  The only thing that has changed in the 4 years has been the amount of racers.  I say racers because now it has changed from running to racing.  It has become a USA track and field event, which means it attracts VERY fast racers.  The amount of runners has doubled, in fact there were 1361 runners registered for this event.  Okay, so maybe the parking has changed too.  In fact if it keeps growing, it may have to change locations because we maxed out the parking lot at the beach.

Yep, I said it, this race starts along the beach.  It is beautiful.  Nothing like starting a race next to the Atlantic Ocean, hearing the waves hit the shore, the wonderful smell of salt in the air and let’s not forget about the seagulls announcing their presence.   Here are some pics that Dave took, enjoy: (sorry for no real beach pics but believe me it is there!)

Getting all warmed up in the 50 degree temps.

Getting all warmed up in the 50 degree temps.

1300 of my closest running friends out for a sunday run.

1300 of my closest running friends out for a sunday run.

Already relaxin'!  Kind of floating on air.

Already relaxin’! Kind of floating on air.

Finishing up strong.  Serious game face too.

Finishing up strong. Serious game face too.

Having run the race so many times before, it was easy to relax from the beginning because I knew the course.  I expected to feel pretty bad for the first two miles but my body said, “not today, today you are going to enjoy your run”.  And I did.  My first mile was 7:28.  In my mind, I was like “holy crap, you need to slow down” but it felt so comfortable.  In the end, I did slow down but not too much.  I felt strong, knew where the hills were, knew when I could push it harder, and was so excited when I was finishing the race in under 49 minutes, this was my goal that I was okay if I did not make but deep down wanted to make.   My official race time was 48:16 with a 7:42 pace.  If I had run this 4 years ago I would have placed in my age group.  Now I think I’m somewhere in the 30th something for my age group.  Oh well, I loved it.  It made me remember why I run this race and why I run in general.

Sometimes, for me, running races becomes a lot about completing it, another race completed.  This run was more about enjoying it.  Taking a moment, being mindful of where I was, what was going on, and how I was feeling.  In doing this, I had the best race EVAH!

I think we do this in our daily life too.  We become overwhelmed, we don’t enjoy the moments in our day, we set expectations/goals and then work our hardest to live up to them or achieve them.  I discovered on Sunday that sometimes, enjoying the moment, enjoying the race, gives you a better outcome.

Have you ever tried this, enjoying a race?  How about your day, ever tried to just live in the moment and take it as it comes?

 

Virtual Run

Have you ever been a part of a virtual run?  Have you ever heard of a virtual run?  This doesn’t mean you think about running and it’s like you are virtually there!    I had never been a part of one until recently.  I signed up for one through this wonderful group.  They are raising money for doing away with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, DAWS. I became connected with them through this wonderful wordpress friend.  (It is amazing how small a world the internet is.)

So what is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?  Here is a link that I found that explains it better than I ever could.

What I love about the virtual run is that you can set the day and time as well as the distance you want to run.  Then you complete your goal and post a picture on their facebook page and they send you a really cool medal like the one I received in May for the cool race of “May the fourth be with you”.mayfourth  I of course completed it on may fourth and did 4 mile bike ride and an 8 mile run at the gym because the weather was not so great on that day, another advantage of virtual running.  So I didn’t have to get up early, drive to the event or stay at a hotel the night before and was still able to compete and receive some bling.

If you have never entered a virtual run, give it a try.  Their next run is happening now until November 4th and you not only get this cool medal but you are helping to find a cure.  You can sign up for $30 and it is a donation to the fundraising campaign.  So it is a win-win for everyone.

I would love to hear about any other virtual runs you have competed in.  Who can’t use a little extra bling and be helping out this crazy world at the same time. 

Yesterday was flying, today was trudging

After a longish day at work, I was able to come home early enough to take advantage of the beautiful weather, in the high 70’s with a breeze.  My goal today was just to run.  After yesterday’s flight across the parking lot, I wanted to make sure everything was still in place and I hadn’t hurt anything other than my hand (the whiplash went away, yeah).

So off I went, trying to escape my head.   My feet plodding along, one in front of the other.  I felt like I was going really slow and I really was not that slow but slower than my short runs usually are but I didn’t want to know.  I only looked to see how far I had gone at times but other than that I would not look at my watch when it went off.  addiction

During my run my thoughts kept focusing on the events of my work.  Today I found out about another loss of life to this disease.  Another person who was taken by addiction, another person who I can see sitting in my groups and talking to on the phone, another person who just wanted to get better.  I wasn’t second guessing whether I could have saved him.  I wasn’t wondering if there was one more thing I could have helped him do that would have made his life more valuable.  Why?  Because I know I did all I could possibly do.  I listened, provided feedback, let him talk and try to work through his problems but yet it still hurts.  I think this is the hardest part of working in addiction counseling.  My clients are some of the highest risk client’s there are in this profession.  I know that I can’t save everyone or I guess I should say, I can’t SAVE anyone!  I treat all my clients with respect and empathy and let them know that someone cares for them.  I think that is the part that hurts.  I just care so much for my clients that it is hard to see someone fall to addiction.

I thought about taking some time off tomorrow.  Because what you don’t know is that this is the third client that I know that has passed in the month of August.  One was a past client that I have not seen in almost 8 months and the other was one who transferred from my care over 5 months ago but it is still hard.  But I decided that the best thing I can do is go to work tomorrow and interact with my clients.  Talk to them, be there to support them, help them fight this disease.

So this is why I trudged.  It made me tired and this evening I have been able to relax enough to shed some tears for these wonderful souls who were trapped by addiction and now are free spirits in Heaven and no longer suffer.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost or who are struggling to deal with this disease.

I tried to fly…

flyToday I tried to fly and I failed.  Ok, I didn’t know I was going to go flying but it was an epic failure when I tried to do it.  I guess maybe I should say I had no net, no wings, and no force to get me off the ground but my legs.  Oh maybe I should let you know that I had not planned the event either.

It all started when I was leaving work and it was pouring rain outside.  I unlocked my car and thought okay time to make a run for it.  I went down the stairs and quickly started to run towards my car.  That’s when it happened…I found myself flying through the air, coming out of my shoes and barely able to catch myself with my hand before landing on the ground and getting very wet (the one thing I want to avoid).  First thing I thought of was, have I hurt anything that would cause me to have to stop running.  The answer was no, but because I came out of my shoes, I did get a stubbed toe that hurt a little.  Then when I made it to the car, shaking because of my epic failure to fly, I was glad that no one was around to watch me do a face plant in the parking lot.  Now as I sit here, getting sore from my failure to fly, I start to think, can you get whiplash from something like this.  I think the answer is yes.  Just like any accident my neck is stiff from the sudden jarring and my shoulder that was carrying my belongings is sore.  But the good news is, hopefully with a little ibuprofen and an early to bed tonight I will feel better tomorrow.

So what did I learn… I can’t fly!  Oh and maybe walking in the rain will keep you dryer than trying to run in the rain!

I really did have a good day though and I hope you did too!

Yippee

So I guess all my regular readers know what that means.  If not, I will explain.  Today I went for a long run and I had no leg cramps until the very end.  Yippee!  The ones that happened at the end were not even that bad, oh and I should mention that the cramps were around mile 17.5 and I was able to last until 18.2, which was where I wanted to stop and I think they only came because I stopped.  The best part is that I ran 8 miles yesterday so I even got a marathon in this weekend.

Today’s run had me with a camelback water carrier.  I have never run with anything on my back and it was interesting.  I was very concerned that I would have some chafing because it was up around my neck but that did not happen, which I am very thankful for.  I came up with the idea to run with the backpack because my other half is studying for a test in a few weeks and I wanted him to be able to study while I went on my long run.  (I remember how stressed I was before I took my LMHC exam back in march and he really needs these weekends so he can pass on the first try.  Like me but I’m not bragging.)

My new hydration friend!

My new hydration friend!

Anyway, I can honestly say my run today was wonderful.  It was very hot like in the low 80’s by the time I finished but I really liked it.  There were points of it that I was able to relax and look around at the scenery.  I even met someone at mile 9 that was just out running for fun.  It was his mile 3 but we were able to chat for a few moments and by mile 10 (his 4th mile) he was turning around to go home to spend the day with his kids and I was over halfway done.  Yippee!  We wished each other good luck in our upcoming events, his a 26.2 mile walk for charity and mine, well we all know that it’s several races before the marathon in October.  I love the running community because we want to see each other succeed so much!

Then at mile 15, I passed a friend I had not seen in a year who was out for a walk with her two very young daughters.  It was so fun to see them and I was able to stop and spend a few moments catching up.  Oh and I was very thankful for the break before the last 5K to the car.

Yesterday's run and today's run with my new hydration buddy.

Yesterday’s run and today’s run with my new hydration buddy.

Now looking back, I think I have hit on some good nutrition.  I mixed the endurolytes with my water in my camelback and had more than enough to make it through.  I am not sure how this will translate to actual races because there is no way I want to carry that backpack in races but the good news is, I know I could do it if I needed to.

I’m looking forward to a rest day tomorrow and taking advantage of the free chair massage at my gym.  I think my back muscles will need it with the extra weight I put on it today.

How was your weekend?  Any Yippee moments?  Please share I love to hear about accomplishments whether big or small.