Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rainy Day Saturday Run

Yesterday my running partners and I had a ten mile training run. We started at 5:30am. It was sprinkling when we started - it was a steady ran from around mile three until we finished the ten. We were soaking wet. The streets were flooding. We got intentionally splash by some jerk. But it was a great run. The kind of run that makes you feel good. The kind of run that boosts your confidence. I wish every Saturday morning run would feel that good.
Tomorrow starts our week of afternoon runs - afternoon runs are hot and humid but Karen and I will push through them.
Bring on the rain!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5th: The Day After

Note to anyone who might read this:   I am not a good writer.  Although I do not have ADD or ADHD, I write like I do – kinda all over the place.  So if you start reading and I jump from place to place, forgive me and bear with me.   Hey – a squirrel !  (if Karen reads this, she will get it.)

Yesterday morning, I ran the 4 on the 4th race.  I had great expectations.  I ended up disappointed.    I ran with my two Super Hero friends who I must give praise to and say THEY DID AWESOME!   I am so proud of them.

This post is for me to vent my frustrations.  My thought process is that if I vent, I can move past what is weighing on me.  Ok – I heard that from a shrink so it is not my original idea.  So let me start with some background info. 

During the work week, I run in the afternoons (the majority being hot afternoons) with a really good running partner.  She and I push and support each other and we have really good runs which on any given day during the week are anywhere from three miles to six miles.  It was from these afternoon runs that I was encouraged that I would perform well in the 4 mile run on July 4th.

I have a competitive nature - have had it since high school over 20 years ago. 
I played high school and college softball and I hated losing, I hated not getting a great hit or home run in a game,  I hated not doing my best.   Being an excellent softball player means practice, practice, practice.  To quote the Coach from the movie Bull Durham, This... is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball.”   I apply this to running as well, it is simple – You run.

My husband has been running for many years and the boy is fast.  I have been running for about two years and I am not fast.  I want to be fast like him.  I want to have endurance like him.  I want to finish before him just once, not because he let me but because I earned it. 

Here I am the day after the race still sulking. I am not happy with my performance in the 4 mile race. I could sit here and make up excuse after excuse for my performance (actually, lack of performance) – didn’t sleep enough, didn’t eat properly the day before, my foot was hurting, blah, blah, blah… But at the end of the day, I have no excuse other than I sucked.  That is one thing I learned from my softball coaches – if you didn’t perform to your full potential, it is no one’s fault but your own.  So what does this mean?  It means I need to work harder. I need to train better.  I need to let go of this disappointment and look forward to the next race and perform.  I need to learn to stop listening to that voice in my head that says “you can’t do this.”  

I am registered to run the Houston Marathon in January 2012 with my Super Hero friends.  Before January, my friends and I have several half-marathons we will be running.   Training for the Houston marathon begins July 9th. I want my head and my heart in the right place once Saturday arrives.  I want the voice inside my head to shut up because I WANT to run to the best of my ability.

As disappointing as Monday’s race was I still want to get out and run today.  I am looking forward to running this week in the afternoons, in the heat, on the same course that kicked my butt on July 4th. 

I saw this quote on a beautiful picture of a runner who was running alone down a road, specifically the second sentence hits home with me:

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners.  Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”

Another quote I saw on twitter this morning from Runner’s World which smacked me in the face:

“The most powerful lesson you can learn in running? You're capable of much more than you think."

And I will end this venting blog with this quote, emphasis on the last sentence:

“You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”
Steve Prefontaine

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday, June 28th

At the beginning of June, my friends (Karen and Amanda) and I registered for the Houston Marathon lottery - we registered as a group so we would either all be in or all be out, our group is named "Go Run Happy" (I picked this name because I could not think of anything clever).  We have waited all month to see if we "won" (and winning requires that we pay them $125) a spot in the Houston Marathon which will take place on January 15, 2012.   You are notified via email if you "win" or "lose" and the date set for this notification was Monday, June 27th.  Needless to say, I did not sleep much the night before.  I checked my banking account so many times over the weekend for a charge for the marathon that I got locked out.  I stayed up until 1:30am the night before watching my email because to me being notified on June 27th meant after midnight.  At 1:30am, I gave up and went to bed.  I received a text from another running friend, Rebecca, at around 5am which read "I'M IN!!!"  I knew exactly what she was talking about... no other explanation needed.  I was so excited for her and immediately went to check my email, but then I got scared to look.  What if we lost?  My heart sunk when I saw no email in my inbox.  It was now 5:30am.   My thoughts were negative.  Then I heard my phone buzz and when I opened my email there it was.... the golden ticket.... the "winning" notification... my heart jumped, my stomach felt butterflies.  I immediately texted Rebecca "I'M IN!!!!!"   My next text was to Karen and then Amanda.    So on January 15, 2012,  Karen, Amanda and myself will tackle 26.2 miles in downtown Houston!  

I have only run one full marathon before - I completed the Houston Marathon in January 2011.  It was hard.  The stories that runners tell about how you "meet the beast" or "hit a wall" during a marathon are true!  But although the 26.2 miles were long and hard, I want to do it again.  And again.  And again.   So next year along with running the Houston Marathon,  my partners in crime and I will be looking to run another marathon.   It makes sense to us that if you train for 6 long months, we should run 2 marathons.  Who knows... we may even do 3 next year!    (Karen, if you are reading this do not laugh at me.)

The rest of this year will be spent training for Houston.  We "officially" being marathon training July 9th.  For me that is exciting!  The less exciting thing about that day is that it is my 42nd birthday.  Ugh!!!   We have some other races lined up for this year - one that I am really looking forward to is the Gulf Coast Half Marathon on October 9th.  This is going to be a girls only road trip.  FUN TIMES!  We also have 4 on the Fourth (this coming Monday) and then the Swamp Stomp Half Marathon in December.  We are always looking for races to add to our resume...

Someone told me that I am obsessed with running... at first I balked at that.  Me?  Obsessed with running?  Then I realized I am obsessed (or dedicated) with running and there is nothing wrong with that!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thursday, May 15th

It looks like I will get to run with my friend Karen this afternoon.  It is going to be really stinking hot outside but as I watch the clock on my desk at work, I can't wait until it is 3:45pm!
I am also watching the calendar - according to the Houston Marathon webpage, those of us who entered the lottery will find out between June 24th and June 27th if we have been selected.  I was lucky enough last year to get picked to run the Houston Marathon - it was my first full marathon.  I have run several half marathons which were exciting but the excitment of the Houston Marathon was different.  If you are a marathon runner, I highly recommend running the Houston Marathon.  Now, I will say this - this past January 30th, the weather was not ideal.  It was hot and humid - not at all what I had hoped for.  Next year the Houston Marathon will be held on January 15th and I am hoping for some cold weather!
I have started doing research for other marathons at the beginning of the 2012 year and I have found several that I can participate in IF I do not get in for Houston... but my fingers are crossed for Houston.
I am looking forward to the next six months of marathon training.   I was talking to one of my running friends and we began talking about the months and months of training for one race and then it is over.  So we have decided that in 2012 we are going to run 2 marathons. 
I just glanced at the clock... it is only 11:26am....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today is Tuesday, June 14th.

Do you have anything that you do on a daily basis with a friend? If you don't, you should. I love running with my friends. We run bright and early on Saturday mornings. During the week, we get to run together in the afternoons. I love our runs. Yeah, I used the word love and run in the same sentence.
Yesterday I did not run with my friend Karen. I had a bad headache (which I believe is due to eating too much bread but that's a dumb story). Today, I did not get to run with my friend Karen, I did a two mile run alone - which sucked.
To make this situation worse, I have to go out of town on Thursday and will miss more running time with my friends including our Saturday morning long run.
Missing these runs with my friends makes me appreciate them - I should thank them more for running with me and being my support system.
In about three weeks we begin training for the Houston Marathon (fingers crossed we get chosen in the lotto) and for the next six months my friends become more than "friends", they become my partners.