Tag Archives: running

I Can’t Think Of a Snappy Title

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.  I have depression and sometimes it sucks the life out of me.  I was going to write that I “suffer” from depression like on those ads, but even when I’m not “suffering,” I still have it.  It’s just not as bad sometimes.

 
I always have negative self-talk and I always question if I’m helping or hindering the progress of civilization.  Usually I can downplay this with sarcasm, a broad sense of irony, and bad television.  I’ve also registered for 4 half marathons this year because exercise has been a saving force for me.  And I like medals.

 
But sometimes, like the last two weeks, I’m unable to reach up and get out of the gloom.  If you were to have been around me or talk to me the last two weeks, you probably wouldn’t have guessed things were bad because I hide it fairly well.  I can generally make people laugh and divert attention elsewhere.  There are pros and cons to this ability.  A pro is that no one knows when I’m at my lowest.  A con is that no one knows I’m at my lowest.

 
I’ll sleep 12 hours during the bad times, though.  I’ll get what I need to get done and then go back to bed.

 
I’m learning to be patient with myself.  I’ve always gotten out of the dark spells, so I believe I’ll get out of them again.  I’m on medication and it helps a lot but sometimes things just click in my brain and I go down, down, down.  Then it’s a matter of time and I’m back up.  I can’t explain it and I certainly don’t understand it.

 
But when I sit down to write, I’m not as good at hiding it as I am in person.  I write angry.  I hate everything.  I guess my true feelings come out.  So I take a break until I can find the humor in life again.

 
I believe we need to see the humor in life to enjoy it.  Life is hard, often an uphill battle and we all have things we’re working through.  We need to find the irony and laugh as hard as we possibly can when we do.

 
But I’m back and writing and editing.  And I’ve got to stick with it this time because I’ve promised 5 people I’d buy them dinner if I don’t finish all of my edits by June 21, 2014.
And I’m not sure they’ll go for the dollar menu at McDonald’s.

During this last surge, I wanted to go to Legoland.  That's how bad it was.  Cuz I hate that place.

During this last surge, I wanted to go to Legoland. That’s how bad it was. Cuz I hate that place.

VEGAS BABY!!!!

THE RUN

I have to put Vegas into 2 parts.  Part 2 will be the fun part of Vegas.

Part 1 is the run.

I went to Vegas to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  Last week I posted how scared I was because 4 weeks ago, I’d twisted my ankle; last week I pinched a nerve; and the day before I left, my lower back was killing me.  I was not happy that I’d spent 2 months training and I might have to walk the whole thing.

Luckily, my back and ankle felt great Sunday.  My friend Jen joined me and we headed to the start.

My running buddies.  I know all their names.

My running buddies. I know all their names.

There were 37,000 participants.  You were supposed to line up with your carrel which is based on your estimated running time.  Each group left every 2 minutes.  For Jen and me to get to the right place, we would’ve had to walk half a mile and then we it would be more than a half marathon.  We didn’t want to walk more than 13.1 miles.  So we stayed where we were and decided we’d wait for our group to come to us.  But then this nice woman from Chicago told us to just join her in group 16 because no one really cared, so we did.

I knew if I stopped to take a photo, I was done.

I knew if I stopped to take a photo, I was done.

We ran at night.  You run down the Strip, into a really dark neighborhood (on one street a small bus was just idling which not only created exhaust you had to run through, but also created uneasiness; and on another street I ran through cigar smoke.  I didn’t like this little neighborhood.) and then back down the Strip to end at the Mirage.

The farthest I’d run without walking was 6 miles.  The farthest I’d trained walking and running was 10 miles.  I decided to just see what would happen.  The first 10.5 miles weren’t that bad.  I really felt ok and I kept my pace the whole time.  At mile 11 I wanted to die, but I’d made it back to the strip and I told myself just to make it to the Stratosphere.  Then I made it to Circus Circus.  Then I made it to Treasure Island.  Then I made it to the second stoplight.  Then I made it to the finish line.  I couldn’t believe it!  I’d run the whole thing.

I’d booked a room at the Mirage because it said it was the finish line but it really wasn’t.  Because after you cross the line, you pick up your medal.  Then you walk through a water station.  Then they give you a metallic blanket because there was a chill and you’re dripping sweat.  Then you walk past the Gatorade.  Then the finisher pictures. Then the chocolate milk.  Then the power bars.  Then the bagels.  Then apples.  Then pretzels.  Then the beer.  Then you had to wait for the light.  Then I had to double back and pass all of this again outside the barricades to get to my hotel.  A lot of people went out later that night.  Jen and I went to bed.

We’d both just done something we never thought we’d do in our lives and really don’t completely understand why we decided to do it in the first place.  But I’ve got to say it was the best way to do a half marathon.  I needed the 37,000 people because someone was always running and someone was always walking so you felt pushed but faster than someone.  There were bands and music every mile and there were tons of water stations.  And there were the lights of the Strip.  It was a great night.

And now I can say I ran a half marathon.

WE DID IT

WE DID IT

My Half Marathon is Almost Here

Well, I’m leaving on a jet plane.  I’m unsure if I’ll come back again.

My half marathon is Sunday.  This week I’ve had a pinched nerve and my lower back hurt so bad my nickname became “Icy-Hot.”  (Icy- Hot patches are incredibly hard to put on your back by yourself while sitting in your car in front of CVS by the way.)  (But the CVS checker didn’t seem to be the type who’d do it for me.)

I have very simple goals in three different levels.

Level 1 = Do not get picked up by the sweeper van (this van picks up people going too slow to make the time cut off)

Level 2 = run 7 miles straight then walk and run until someone yells “You’ve crossed the finish line”

Level 3 = Win $1 million in quarters from a slot machine

I’m still thinking about the last one.  I only have a carry on and that cost me $30 with Allegiant Air.  I’m unsure I’ll be able to carry that many quarters home.  I may just buy a new pair of shoes instead.  It’s hard to know at this point.

I’m a little nervous, but I’m fairly confident I can achieve goals one and two.  My biggest problem with running is boredom.

I’m thinking of downloading a movie to my phone to listen to while I run.  Suggestions?

I Am Not Iron Man. (I know. I was surprised too.)

Last week I wrote how I went to the doctor.  I also had a health check for insurance.  I had two blood tests in one week.  It was an eventful week.

For a couple of years I’ve had issues with fatigue.  A couple times a month I’ll have days where I just don’t have any energy at all and the thought of moving a limb takes what little energy I do have so I never get to the actual moving of said limb.  I also have to sleep at least 6-8 hours or I don’t function well.  (Read that as ‘can get very, very cranky.’  Or mean.  I prefer cranky.)  To be honest, I really need 8 but rarely get that.  10 would be ok too.

It’s been very frustrating.  I see people who exercise and say how they’re energy level increases.  Or people who get up at 5am to run and I cannot understand how they do it.  I have also been known to give these people rather serious glares wishing I had that time suck machine the witch used in The Dark Crystal.

Then I got my blood test results back.  My doctor called me and told me that my iron levels “were of concern” and I needed to be on an iron supplement immediately.  The health check for insurance actually sent me my numbers.  Anything not in the “healthy zones” is printed in red.  (“This should not cause alarm, however.”)

Under Blood Count, I had 7 red numbers.    I guess blood should have 35-150 units of iron in it.  Mine came in at 17.

Which is lower than 35.

So now I have an answer for why I’ve hated all perky, energetic people for so long.  Taking iron hasn’t changed everything immediately, like I’d hoped.  I’m still tired, but not as much as often and I figure it’ll take longer than a week to get my number up.

But I no longer hate perky, energetic people.  I’m now merely annoyed.

TV Teaches All Essential Life Lessons

Here is the completely unnecessary background story:
So on Friday, my training was to run 7.1 miles.  I had the whole season of Rizzoli and Isles on DVR.  But I turned on my cable and it didn’t work.  I had to get a new cable box which meant a clean DVR.  So I decided to buy the season online, because I can think of few things worse than running 7.1 miles without destraction.  But then my Blue-ray didn’t work so I couldn’t watch it on my TV.  So I balanced my Ipad on the treadmill for 7.1 miles.  And I tried not to run too loudly.

 
Oh.  And background, background story: My husband thinks the microwave is broken but it works for me which makes me think it likes me more.
And before I went running I was on an ichat for 40 minutes to be told to plug my blue-ray into a different TV (which we don’t have.)  I was told this twice and then the helpful person ended the conversation.  And then I called and was told it was broken.  After 40 more minutes.  So I was in a bad mood.  And that was BEFORE I started running.

 
And then I watched Rizzoli and Isles and Rizzoli’s mom told her to think of 3 good things for every bad thing she thought.
And this is what I thought:

  1.  I don’t have to run 8 miles for one more week.
  2. I have chocolate in my freezer.
  3. TV shows solve most of life’s dilemmas in less than 45 minutes.

You should try this next time you have a bad thought.  It really works.  Until the microwave won’t pop a simple bag of popcorn.

Jogging Partners

Jogging is getting easier.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

While in Utah, I mentioned to my 20-something niece I needed to go jogging and she said she would like to go along the Provo River Trail and I should go with her so we could drop a car off at the bottom and only have to jog one way. I’m all about only jogging one way.

So I put on jogging shorts and a jogging shirt and a compression sleeve because this is Provo after all and fashion counts. I even had my cool triathlon sunglasses on and my Ipod nano with the headphones that are sweat and water proof except the wires are coming out of the protective sleeve so they might not be anything proof and one day electrocute me because I sweat like no other.

And then we went jogging together.

By jogging together, I mean that we were on the same path, except for that parking lot I got lost in, until my niece finished 20 minutes ahead of me and then I was jogging by myself while she walked to her car and had a nice cool drink of ice water.

It was pretty. And it was the farthest I’ve ever gone. But I posted it on Facebook and now my-slightly-older-but-much-more-in-shape cousin who runs-all-the-time said she’d like to run it with me.

I’m going to have to buy a cuter jogging outfit.

NOT Provo worthy

NOT Provo worthy

A Covert, Elementary Operation

So my friend was making fun of me because I was wondering if I should change my running route.  In case someone has been following me and noting that I run the same three mile path every time I run.  At varying times during the day.

And that’s the thing.  I don’t run the same time every day.  But I generally run the same path.  And I watch Elementary so I know that running the same path is a bad idea.

If you run at the same time every day.

In New York City.

Which may have been my friend’s point.

But this has been a moot point lately because I’ve been running inside.  I want to say due to heat but it’s mainly because that’s the only time I can watch Covert Affairs. 

I may be watching too much crime drama.

Look how vulnerable I look

Look how vulnerable I look

The Triathlon that Almost Wasn’t

I finished my second triathlon sprint.  I finished 20 minutes faster than I did last year, but it should’ve been 30 minutes.  After I’d swam 1000 yards, biked 12 miles and ran 1 mile, I got a migraine.
I started with denial.  I figured the aura in my eyes was from the brisk swimming pool water.  (The boiler had broken the night before and the water was only 75 degrees.  You usually swim in 78 degrees.  3 can be a very large number.)
Then I decided maybe my shoes were too tight and I loosened my shoe laces.
Then I started counting my breaths, thinking it would ease any stress in my head if I breathed in 4 counts and breathed out 5.
Then my eyesight really went crazy and I got slightly lost on the the run.  Then I found the path again and had to walk, while concentrating on florescent red markers.
As I walked across the finish line, I completely lost it and broke down as a friend led me to my car.
Now some would read this and think how strong I was to continue, although I didn’t have much of a choice because I was kind of in the middle of nowhere without much sight so the only way to get to Kevin was to follow the path.
But I don’t feel strong.

All I’m focusing on, for some odd reason, is how bummed I was I couldn’t celebrate all I’d accomplished.  I had really been looking forward to that burger and ice cream.  I had the flavor picked out and I was going to eat fries.  All without guilt.
There were tons of people there I knew.  It was going to be awesome.  I’m pretty sure someone would’ve lit fireworks.
Instead, I came home and took meds and closed the blinds and climbed into bed.  I stayed there for the next 24 hours.  I tried getting up Sunday and ended up back in bed.  My husband marveled at how much I slept.
So there ya have it.  I followed my own training advice: I kept going until they told me to stop.  And then I fell down.
LUCKILY, I’m the type to buy myself a reward for almost anything of significance I do and so I already had these babies:

The perfect reward!

The perfect reward!

I’m trying very hard to see what I accomplished and wear my bacon and egg earrings with pride and I honestly do.  But for some reason, without the celebration, it just doesn’t feel complete.  Sometimes things just need an end and this one didn’t have one and I have to learn to be OK with it.

(This does NOT mean I feel the need to do it again.)

Triathlon Advice

I’m about to do my 2nd spring triathlon.  Due to my experience, I was given the status of triathlon master by parenting experts who don’t actually have children.

There is a lot of advice out there:
-focus on your hamstrings on your bike to save your quads for running.
-only drink while on your bike and only at the beginning for bathroom and cramping reasons.
-eat what you would normally eat so you don’t get sick
-eat carbs the night before
-eat carbs the morning of
-eat carbs so that you can be happy
-don’t eat carbs

I thought I would add my own two cents.  This is what I do for a race:
I keep going until the finish.

I hope you find this helpful.  If you do not, talk to the parenting experts.

My other tip: wear matching shoes.

My other tip: wear matching shoes.

Hip to Be Square

I’m working with a personal trainer because parts of me just are not right.
(Leaving that open is my gift to you today.)
My right hip turns in so I always lead with it.  When I’m 85 and 4 months this may actually cause me problems, but right now I don’t notice it.  Unless I’m running.  And swimming.
When I’m running, after a while, my feet or calves or hips start to hurt and not in the “I’m burning through the pain” hurt.  It’s more of a “I think I’m 85 and 4 months right now” kind of pain.  And it sometimes stays after I stop running.
When I swim, I can’t tell too much until I do drills.  When I’m kicking on my right side, I can’t swim straight.  I automatically angle to the left.  It’s very embarrassing.
So I am working on strengthening my left hip so that it doesn’t let my right hip take over and usurp it’s power.  I do little movements that kill.  And it isn’t the “I’m powerlifting so I will yell making everyone in the gym look at my muscles” pain.  It’s fatigued muscle pain.  My left side is complaining because it enjoyed taking a back seat.  I can’t really blame it.  Sitting back and watching the action can be a lot of fun.
But unfortunately those times are over.
So I sidestep across the room with a band tied around my ankles.  This isn’t a difficult exercise; until my trainer makes me do it correctly.  Then I start to sweat and my body screams.
I’m hoping it makes me a better Mom.

(So far, though, it’s just made me reference really old Huey Lewis songs.)

It's really hard to believe anything could be wrong here.

It’s really hard to believe anything could be wrong here.