Monday, March 29, 2010

A wink and a smile....or something like that.

My new-found self sufficiency was apparently a big hoax!  Two weekends ago I had the chance to run with my friends, so I did.  They were only doing 10 miles, I had 15 on my schedule, so I did 5 on my own and then joined them for their 10.  The weather was great, the conversation came easy and before I knew it our run was over.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those days!  I woke up the next day feeling as though I could run another 15.  I really felt strong and great!  Then this weekend came along.  All my "training partners" had other engagements, so I was on my own to do my long run.  No big deal, right?  I headed out to a not-so-scenic bike path with the dingo for our 15 miles.  The morning air was chillier than expected, which made for a painful first few miles.  I finally warmed up after about 25 minutes and trudged along the path.  I think I went maybe an hour without seeing another living soul.  Thank goodness I had my dingo with me, I'd never recommend running on that path alone!  I did purchase a new hydration belt for the occassion.  Usually I can't take the dingo on long runs that require water, because I simply can't manage him and my hand-held amphipod.  I bought the Camelbak Delaney Fit belt.  My running store didn't have the Nathan belt that I wanted and were out of my size in the Amphipod one that I liked.  I kind of felt like I had settled for this one...but it worked out and actually did a good job.  So for those that are keeping count, I now have a SPI belt (that I've used *maybe* a handful of times), an Amphipod handheld (used that throughout my marathon training and for the actual marathon), a Nathan 5K Runner's Pak, and now this Camelbak.  I like to spread my money throughout all of the companies!  In any case, I was glad it only cost me $26 to have somewhat piece of mind, on my lone journey into the unknown.  I made my way to the turn around point and was feeling pretty low.  I was tired and bored.  My legs were a bit stiff.  Still, the dingo and I trudged along.  My saving grace that day was a balding, middle-aged man who gave me the kindest smile and a thumbs up.  Apparently my discouragement was evident on my face.  That was all I needed to pick the pace back up and f inish the run.  I didn't set any records that day, but decided the purpose of that run wasn't to see how fast I could run or to build endurance, but to see how mentally strong I was.  I suppose that's more subjective and it's defnitely something I constantly struggle with.  This weekend I'll be on my own again....but only have 13 miles to contend with.  Tapering has officially begun for my first race!  I also start a new job this week.  I'm leaving the hospital setting and going to work for a homecare company.  I'll be managing patients who are on long-term nutrition support (parenteral and enteral nutrition).  It will hopefuly allow for more flexiblity and a chance to further my studies in the area of nutrition support.  Change is hard and I spent many a runs thinking about making this change.  At least I have my upcoming races to keep me going and to stay focused.  Still working on the wardrobe for the races.  I'm really slacking this time around.  Usually I have my outfits planned out months in advance!  Oh well....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Power of One!

I am over half way through my training plan (well, kinda....but more on that later) for my upcoming half marathons!  I have felt so good and strong on my long runs.  It feels good to run long again!  I'm even happier that I've been training on my own and thriving!  You see, shortly after the marathon in October, I was "dumped" by my training partner (and very talented sister) in the pursuit of a BQ.  Being new to running in general, I had never run more than 10 miles by myself.  I wasn't sure I could do it.  I know a lot of people train by themselves, but I'm a wimp!  I need that distraction, companionship, and confidence that comes from running with others.  Or so I thought.  This training cycle has proved to me that I can do pretty much anything!  I've ran through frigid temperatures, inches of snow/slush/ice and rain.  And I've done it all on my own.  No one expecting me to show up at the crack of dawn for a training run.  No one encouraging me when things get tough.  Just me and the open road....and it's so empowering!  I was really worried about running the Kentucky Derby Festival half by myself.  Now, I think I may rather enjoy running it by myself.  No one to worry about, but me!  Sure, I'm gonna feel like a loser standing at the starting line by myself, but once the gun goes off, I'll be fine.  For my second half marathon in Indy, I'll be running with my good friends.   And as alluded to earlier...I may be doing a third half marathon in Cleveland on May 16th.  This is the marathon my sister is running and I had wanted to go up and cheer her on anyway.  One of my co-workers may be doing this race with me.  That will be 3 half marathons in 4 weeks!  Despite my new found running independence, I think I will be happy to have the added support and companionship on the last two!

These next two weeks will be my biggest mileage weeks and then I'll start tapering down.  It just so happens that I'll be starting a new job in the coming weeks, too.    Nothing like a little stress in one's life!  I just hope and pray for my continued strength and endurance and that I can stay injury-free.  Although my feet/shoe situation isn't ideal right now, I'm working through it.  I'm still trying to find the perfect running skirt.  I really appreciate all the feedback from my earlier post.  I think I'm going to go with the Skirt Sport one.  I was hoping to find one at a local retailer, but no such luck.