Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why I can't run long distances

It has nothing to do with the actual distance. Or my tendency to get diarrhea afterwards. But let me back up.

Last night we had our monthly girls night out. I made dinner for the family and when I finished eating I got in the shower and then left. The dishwasher had been running when I left but it doesn't take more than a couple of hours. When I got home, more than a couple of hours later, the dishes in the dishwasher were clean, but they were the same dishes I left. All of the dinner dishes were piled up next to the sink. I suppose I should be grateful they made it to the sink and weren't left on the table. Bedtime is always before 8 so there was plenty of time for someone to unload and reload the dishes.

Before last Sunday's run I had thought about doing a different route--one that was much hillier--but when I drove down that road I remembered that there is no shoulder at all and every time a car comes from the other direction I always think there's going to be a collision. I mentioned the road to Vader who confirmed that it would be a bad idea. He thought I just wanted a different route (I want to work on more hills) so he suggested I run to the state park 5 minutes from our house. I figured, why not? So I ran to the state park. I knew it would be farther and longer than usual. I figured I'd run to the park, pee, and run back. When I got to mile 2 and I hadn't made it there yet I could have turned around but by that point I needed to stop and pee. So I kept going. It was mile 3 when I made it to the bathroom. It was wicked hot and while most of the way was nice and flat, there were some pretty nice hills too. I didn't want to go from running 4 miles for my long run right up to 6, in the heat, because I was pretty sure I'd be in the bathroom the rest of the day. So I took a few walking breaks. I probably ran 5 out of the 6 miles. I got back home more than an hour after I left. What did I come home to? Can you guess? A sink full of dishes! And Vader on the computer, not even pretending to interact with the children. I had to shower and I had brunch to make so I wound up with an even bigger pile of dishes.

There is nothing more frustrating than coming home from a fun experience and being hit with what your absence meant, especially so visually... It almost feels like a punishment. Like, sure you can go out and run for an hour and I'll keep the house from burning down and the kids from escaping, but you'll still have to do all the drudge work only now you'll have much less time to do it. I'm sure that this is not intentional on his part, but this is the message that I get, the feeling that I get, and all of the positive feelings I have from running or being at girls night fly out the window.

How can I train for a 10K so that I can actually run all 6 miles at a decent pace? How could I train for a half-marathon?? It's not enough to have verbal support, it's not enough to say "yeah, go out for a run." I need someone to pick up the slack in my absence and not just watch TV with the kids.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The best birthday week ever

It started like this:

Something major has been brewing for a long time now but I've been too afraid of jinxing it to put it here. After 3 1/2 years, my BFF, Shinesalot, is back home. Not quite next door, not yet sure of where they will finally hang their hats, but they're back in the same area code and a hell of a lot closer than Texas. I can't quite put into words the enormity of this.

The day after they returned we celebrated the 4th of July with 2 parties. We had fun in the afternoon with sprinklers and friends and then in the evening we enjoyed some fireworks on the lake with Shinesalot & family. My kids were up later than they've ever been before.

Vader took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work, so we got to see him for 5 whole days. On Tuesday we took the kids to play some putt-putt and Chewie surprised me by not running off... too much. Then we went to Wal-Mart and bought a bike for me to ride. (I'm not giving up running, but I wanted to have a bike so I could encourage SkyWalker to ride his. A week before he actually got on his bike, sans training wheels, and learned how to ride! I may have misled him into thinking his BFF could already do this. But that's okay since today his BFF took his training wheels off and learned how to ride with his best buddy by his side in my driveway. All's well that ends well.). On Wednesday, my actual birthday, we went to Howe Caverns with the kids and they all did so well. No crying or complaining. It was great.

On Thursday I was planning to go to dinner with The Happy Runner, which would have been an awesome way to end my birthday week. Instead, she tricked me and I had dinner with all the girls, including Shinesalot! It was a lovely surprise (although I disappointed them by not actually registering any surprise. ) I brought my camera,  but forgot to take any pictures.

After years and years of suckitude surrounding my birthday (something always gets screwed up), it was so nice to have multiple days of good times. And to know that there are more ahead.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In which I come to my senses

Finding the time to blog is actually more difficult than finding the time to run. Funny, no?

I had been following a transitioning plan from a podiatrist on facebook who runs in Vibrams. It was very VERY slow. Increasing 1/4 mile every 2 weeks. But then... I read The Barefoot Running Book. It was a free download and I was able to read it on my iPad, which was cool. One of the things I really loved about the book was how very nonjudgemental it was. On most barefoot running sites (wow, I just typed breastfeeding. Ha!) it's either naked foot or you suck! But Jason Robillard just wants you to run better. Whether it be barefoot or in minimalist shoes or even in traditional cushioned shoes. That was really nice because over the past couple of weeks I've concluded that barefoot running--real barefoot running--is just not for me. I don't like pebbles in my heel. I do agree that we don't need the super cushioned shoes that running stores want to sell us, but I don't think that means we have to run completely barefoot. Which is why I love the Merrell Pace Gloves. It's a nice in between. If you want a shoe that will let you feel every rock and get the ultimate feedback, this isn't it. But if you want a shoe to protect the bottom of your feet with a zero heel raise so you can still feel the way your foot lands... then this is it. I'm glad I've concluded this because I would have been super pissed if I paid $90 for shoes and then wound up running barefoot.

Anyway, in this book he gives super tips on how to transition to a minimalist shoe or barefoot running. And that every one is different and has different abilities so there's no one size fits all plan. I've been walking around barefoot A LOT for a while now. I'm still relatively young. I haven't had any major injuries. And I run short and slow. So, rather than increasing 1/4 mile every 2 weeks I bumped it up to every 2 runs based on his suggestions. And then I bumped it up again. I made a plan for myself that had me running every day--alternating between the Pace Gloves and the Mizunos--and then I woke up. Was I that concerned with my "numbers" going down that I needed to do that? Not with 3 kids at home. So I dropped most of my Mizuno runs. I kept the long run on Sundays with the Mizunos. But then the rest of the week are all Pace Gloves and if I can only run a mile, so be it. The last run I did was supposed to be 3/4 mile but I bumped it up to 1 and I had no pain. So I think I'm doing okay. I should hopefully be all transitioned for my next race in August.

Yes, I know this blog has been all running for a while. It is NOT turning into a running blog, I swear. It's just that since Isaac died I've found myself not wanting to blog about anything. I will return to the antics of my children. Tomorrow I might even recap the best birthday week I've ever had...