One last tempo run

Today’s my last run before race day and I’m feeling kind of anxious and antsy about it. It was a strong but short 30 minute tempo run that I pushed hard on; I divided it up 8-14-8 and pushed all the phases nice and fast, finishing 2.65 miles on the treadmill. It was awfully hot and sticky in the cardio room this morning, since it’s pouring outside.

Maybe the reason I’m so antsy is I don’t feel tired at all after the workout– I mean, while I was running the fast phase I think I was about at capacity, and the cruise phase was challenging as well, but as soon as I finished and slowed to a walk my breathing and heart rate rapidly fell right back to normal and I felt like I could do the whole thing again. It makes sense; I’ve been doing so many long workouts and I’m sure my endurance is much improved, but the question is, could I (should I) have pushed harder for that short time? I don’t know.

I feel like I’m definitely prepared for the running part of the race Friday, but I’m a little bit worried about the inevitable fallout that comes after. But I think my best bet is to set that aside for now and deal with it when it happens. I have enough to think about.

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It’s finally taper week, and I couldn’t be happier. I thought runners were supposed to hate tapering? I’m like “YES ALMOST TIME FOR THE RACE”.

I had a regular 3 miler on the schedule but I really wasn’t feeling it. I think I’m still sore from Saturday? And I didn’t sleep well at all this weekend; it’s been too hot and stuffy. Anyway, my legs felt like crap and I struggled through only 2.5 miles and that felt like plenty for today. All I could think about when I was out running was getting home and stretching.

This weekend I went to the sporting goods store to poke around and look for some new goodies. And once again I was amazed at how expensive things are… I mean, I can understand dropping some money on a good sports bra or shoes, because those are critical items. But $25 for a plastic water bottle with a handle? What the heck? (I think that store is overpriced and I could probably do better on Amazon or something, but still.)

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Through gritted teeth

Today’s a long run day and I was feeling good as I cruised along towards 7.5 miles. Weather was beautiful, legs felt good, pace was strong. And then, around 5.5 miles, I stopped at a light and when I started running again I felt it: intense burning blistery pain in the ball of my right foot. The sound I made was something like the Sound of Ultimate Suffering. And I cussed as I desperately tried to alter my stride, limp, whatever it took to take pressure off. Nothing really helped, though. And I thought, well screw it, maybe I should just stop running and walk the rest of the way– but it hurt when I walked too, and at least I could save on time in pain by running. So I gritted my teeth and hobbled along and wrapped it up the best I could. I managed 7.1 miles in 1:33, 13’09″. I was headed for under 13’00″ too! That would’ve been a nice PR for the distance.

It occurs to me that one week before the race is a particularly bad time to mess my foot up. At least I’ll have extra motivation to taper, I guess.

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an incredible feeling

Today’s a no running fun day. I went to the gym and elliptical’d for 20 minutes, then did some nice yoga and stretched. Can you believe this horrible toe blister is still going? Even after I tried to break it. I keep hoping it will finally heal up but nope…

Sometimes I wonder if my personal philosophy about activity and body acceptance is just too far out to share, but it works so well for me despite the fact that it falls well outside mainstream opinion. Letting go of weight loss as a goal has radically transformed my life. Letting go of self-criticism of my body enabled me to learn to use it effectively and push it to new achievements. Setting aside criticism from outside myself led me to be more comfortable in my body– and more comfortable doing activity in public, where I sometimes feel scrutinized as a fat body daring to exercise. I’ve had to learn to listen to my body, to recognize what it needs, to give it enough rest and fuel and care.

I have a good friend who firmly subscribes to the "weight loss = health" life, and she’s taken up going to the gym and started c25k (which I think is great! yay activity!) We’ve been chatting about her progress a lot– she’s really excited about it. She has a hard time, though; she keeps getting hurt. I’ve suggested that it might help if she takes more rest days and thinks about eating more/differently, and both these things are so far outside her philosophy that she refuses, and yet she wonders why she’s always fighting an injury.

Maybe I’m just too fanatical? I recognize that everyone’s body and experiences are unique. But, jeez. If a person has been pursuing a goal using a particular method for many years and it hasn’t been successful, maybe it’s not the fault of the person, it’s the method. I feel like society says "this is what you need to do to have an acceptable body" and no one questions it, we just beat ourselves up over failing to achieve this socially acceptable body. But the method is snake oil, and the acceptable body is a arbitrary, moving goalpost, and therefore we’re never satisfied.

So yeah, I let all that go. (It is still a work in progress, too.) And I feel really good about that, and I want to share it, because being comfortable and happy in my own skin is an incredible feeling.

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Running in the spring

Today was my first springtime run around my work neighborhood. It’s a beautiful morning, 60F and sunny and the air is filled with pollen. I run right by the pollen-measuring site, too. On their 12-point scale, today is an 11.5. Achoo! Hopefully I have enough tissues to get me through the day.

It was a nice run though; the terrain here is generally more moderate (though the hills that exist are quite steep, but not long) and the runs feel a little shorter because of all the stuff going on– houses, streets to cross, trucks to dodge, squirrels to chase (kidding). I finished the 3 miles in 37:30.

Hopefully, now that the weather’s nice, I can run outside more and banish the treadmill to rainy days where it should be.

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Longer plans

I finally went back to the gym after a couple days’ hiatus for mixed reasons; I skipped my run on Monday because I was hoping to let this angry, infected blister heal (plus it was pouring down rain and I was at home), and on Tuesday I was sick (bleh). Today my stomach is still sort of iffy but I went and treadmilled my 40 minute tempo run anyway. (Only a little barfy!)

It’s only a week and a half until the dang race. Unless they decide to push it back yet another 2 weeks? Anyway, I am looking forward to being done and hanging up my running shoes for a bit. Or am I? I know I won’t continue at this level of mileage, but I’ve been enjoying my longer runs a whole lot and I’m feeling the temptation to see if I can get up to maybe 10 miles. I suppose I’ll see how this works when I go back to NRoL4W though… it always leaves me too sore to run much.

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Honking moratorium

I was out late last night (indeed, I am getting too old for things like that) and I wasn’t sure I would manage my long run today. I got up late, and loafed around for a while, and finally in the late afternoon I got dressed and headed out. It’s windy and a bit chilly today, but it was sunny so that helped. I finished the 7 miles in 1:33, scoring my best overall pace for that distance (13:18).

I experimented with a different lacing technique today. Parallel lacing is supposed to take a lot of the pressure off the midfoot for folks with high arches, and it worked well for me. No foot falling asleep! Hooray! I think I’ll keep it. The only problem is, there’s a lot of extra lace left over. I just tied it into a big knot on the top of the shoe.

Finally, I’d like to propose something to all the drivers out there: do not honk at a runner unless you are about to hit them. Seriously. It’s not encouraging, and I don’t care if you like my butt; when I hear someone honk I startle and try to figure out if there’s a car coming at me and if I need to do something about that. Honk means “I need your attention because you are in danger”. So please, please keep your business inside your car and your fist off the horn. Thanks, a skittish runner

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