Monthly Archives: July 2009

Half of the Half!

Once again, today was one of the most perfect days for running EVER!  It was mid 70’s, breezy, sunny and very low humidity.  Because it was so perfect we thought it would be a divine day to run half of the half marathon course.  We hit the pavement around 4:50.  The very first stretch of the run was a straight up hill!  Once we reached the top, we thought, well it’s probably not going to be so hilly from here on out.  It wasn’t until we got to mile 2.5 that we hit another hill; this time it was gradual but really long!  Eventually we reached the 3 mile mark and turned around to head back home.  The last stretch of the run was honestly brutal.  We ran 10 blocks (10th Street to 20th Street) and it was massive hill the whole way. It’s amazing that we didn’t notice on the way down just how steep it was.  I wanted to die at that point in time because my throat was so dry!  At least when we run the half marathon there will be water every two miles.  It is SO hard running without water!  I felt just like Garfield when he used to get trapped in the desert and see mirages all over the place (although he always saw lasagna and meatballs and I really just wanted some water).

We completed six miles and it was 5:50 when we made it back to our parked car.  You can see the course map here:

http://www.omahamarathon.com/maps/omahamarathonmap.pdf

We did the West/ South portion of the run… basically downtown to Conagra to 6th St and back.  Feeling like champions, we decided to go lift weights.  I could barely lift up the bar when we tried to do dead lifts.  It was totally painful.  We lost steam fast so we only did dead lifts, squats, calves and abs.

When I got home I peeled my socks off my feet and examined my aching foot.  I discovered this massive blister — it’s totally sick, but I think people should see what I’m enduring!

My utterly disgusting blister!

My utterly disgusting blister!

After I showered and rolled around on my tennis ball again (to try to fix my knot! – if you have a better idea let me know), I cooked a delicious dinner with fresh squash, cucumber, tomato, chicken and pasta.  Perhaps I’ll post a picture tomorrow.  I promise it’s less disgusting than my foot!

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3, 5, 5

I swear I’ve been running…just too busy to tell you about it!  For some reason the nights fly by and before I know it it’s 11 PM and I haven’t wrote my blog yet!  Three days ago I ran the three mile loop with my coworker.  I was shocked by how fast she was running it and for a few minutes I was like man all my training is doing nothing!  Here she is doing a full out sprint and she hasn’t run since May!  It was impressive.  Unfortunately during the last stretch of the run (the dreaded hill), I looked over and she was making the universal choking sign!  She couldn’t breath!  I’m a bad friend and I went on without her.  A few minutes later, like the trooper she is, she made it to the top of the hill– still breathing!

Yesterday my running partner set out to run 5 miles.  It was beautiful outside– low humidity and cool temps.  Simply perfect.  Sadly my run was less than perfect.  Less than two miles into the run I developed the dreaded runners stitch (aka a side ache).  I felt so frustrated.  We walked for a few feet and started running again but it didn’t go away.  We had to walk the remaining three miles.  What a disappointment!  I felt like a failure, BUT sometimes you get side aches and there isn’t anything you can do about it.  If there is a cure I don’t know about, please let me know.

Today I psyched myself up and gave my right side a pep talk to not get another side ache.  I made the 5 mile run, with grace and style!  Well I don’t know about that, but I managed to complete the 5 miles without a side ache!  My body feels pretty good except for the knot that is still ruining my back.  After I took a shower I used a tennis ball between the wall and my back.  It was painful but it seemed to help for about five minutes.  I think I’ll keep trying to massage it out everyday with the new tennis ball method.  In more exciting news, I heard my doorbell ring and I had a package waiting at the door!  It was two pairs of running shorts that I ordered.  I like the shorts, but one of them have slits all the way up and it makes me feel sort of exposed!  I think I’ll keep them anyway because real runners wear really short shorts!  Now I’m a real runner!  Here are the new shorts:

The shorts that expose my leg!

The shorts that expose my leg!

Yes...I got that color, of course!

Yes...I got that color, of course!

Don’t mind those creepy waxy legs!  Wouldn’t that be creepy if I said those were my legs?  Yikes!  I mean they are nice and slender but so shiny and plasticy!

Anyway, on those first pair of shorts, you really can’t tell but the slit goes ALL THE WAY up to the waist!  I can literally open the shorts up in the front and back and expose myself!  It’s kind of weird, but at least I’ll stay nice and cool on hot days.  Now I still have to buy some fancy wool socks (or something like that) and a watch!  I can’t believe I don’t have a watch yet.  Oh and for the record, I’ve been asked this a lot lately why we are doing all this running — we are running a half marathon (not a full marathon, and certainly not just for fun! HAAA this is so not my idea of fun!) As I said on my first blog post, before we started training my idea of running was to the mall for a sale.  Stay tuned for next time.

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8 MILES!

Today I ran 8 miles in 79 minutes.  The run itself was not painful and went by fairly fast.  The worst part of the run was the aftermath.  When I got back from the run I could barely walk because of my knee pain.  I iced for about 20 minutes and then did some laundry.  Around 3 I decided to lay down on the couch because my body felt exhausted.  I accidentally fell asleep at woke up at 6 PM!  I really can’t believe I took a three hour nap!  I haven’t done that since undergrad!

I forced myself off the couch and cleaned my apartment for two hours.  Now I’m back on the couch icing and thinking about sleep.  I can’t believe how tired I am!  Is that normal?  Not sure what I plan on doing tomorrow re running…I’m thinking (if my knee can tolerate it) a short 2 mile run in the morning.  Hopefully when it’s over I can spend the day at the pool catching up on my tan, like I planned on doing today!  I guess I’ll aim for 9 miles next weekend?!  Yikes!  This is just getting scary!

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Just When I Thought I Was In Shape

I lifted weights.  Now I can’t walk.  I mean like I CANT walk.  In fact I can barely move my arms enough to type this dumb post.  Seriously just when I thought oh wow I’m in shape, my body looks just like Penny’s, I lifted weights and realized just how wrong I am.

It all started yesterday.  I was recharged, rested, and ready for a great run.  I had visions of me running 8 minute miles for at least 6o minutes.  All of my visions took place from my couch while I watched Oprah’s health secrets and ate the spiciest salsa ever!  Finally I pealed myself away from the Queen of talk shows and went to the gym.  I got on the treadmill with determination.  The gym was busy so I thought, super this is my chance to show these meat-heads (or is it beef-heads? I remember having this discussion with my coworkers and I know I got it wrong but I can’t remember which is the right one) just how athletic I am!  Within three minutes I was keeling over from the mother of all side aches.  I tried to breath through the pain but I literally had to stop like every ten seconds.  Finally I approached the three mile mark and decided to sprint to the finish line.  Or in this case sprint to the 4 mile mark.  Just as I was picking up pace and right around the time Mario Lopez was telling me about Michael Jackson’s doctor, I suddenly had the too familiar feeling in my stomach that things were turning iffy.  And by iffy, I mean it was time to finish the sprint toward the bathroom.  I’ll leave it at that… needless to say I couldn’t get back on the treadmill.  Salsa = bad idea before runs!

After I recovered from the horrific bathroom experience, we decided to do some leg work.  We started with three types of squats (ouch), lunges and then toe rises.  Then we did some crazy butt exercise with one of those giant ball things, which I’m pretty sure is why it hurts to even touch my butt today!  We finished with crunches.

Today we went back to the gym and I ran 5 miles in 49 minutes!  Woohoo!  My legs felt wobbly and tired the whole time but I pushed on through!  It was fun seeing the other people get on and off the treadmill the whole time I was running.  That is what I was hoping for yesterday.  After the run we did arm stuff.  We did triceps, biceps, shoulders and I feel like there was some other one but it’s not important.  I’m fairly certain I black out during arm stuff because I hate it so much.  I hate the feeling like my tendons are about to snap like rubber bands.  Plus today I decided my arms looked beefcakey because they are so buff!!! Although we haven’t lifted arms for weeks, so I’m not sure WHY they look beefcakey!  Overall it was a successful day at the gym and considering I can’t move, I’d say I have lots more work to do before I’m actually in shape.

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7 MILES!

Well well well guess who ran 7 miles…oh wait scratch that… guess who ran 7.14 miles in 70 minutes flat?!?!!  Oh yes, that was me!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!

Yes, it’s true.  I’ve officially had my longest run of 7 miles.  My running partner and I hit the gym yesterday morning with the idea that we would run about 5 miles and see how we felt.  After 5 miles came and went we decided to keep running and made it to 7 miles.  It was so exciting and I honestly can’t wait until I get another mile under my belt!  Today my legs are pretty tight and my knee is throbbing, but my spirits are high.

The days preceding the 7 mile run were spent recovering from that dumb hill run we did at the beginning of the week.  On my last post I wrote about how I could barely run our normal loop.  I still could barely run the normal loop all week.  At the start of my runs, I felt like a baby giraffe learning how to walk.  My legs felt all wobbly and I felt klutzy and all over the place.  I kept wondering if people saw me running and thought “wow that girl can barely run.”  Maybe that’s how I always look when I run and this was the first time I was aware of how silly I felt… who knows for sure.  Even my pink ipod blaring Madonna in my ear couldn’t give me the rhythm I was looking for.  I switched to “Gloria” so that I could hear the line “you’re always on the run now” (which happens to be the first line) but even that didn’t give me the motivation I needed to get back into my running state-of-mind.  But alas, I ran on and finished the loop.  I took Friday off to just relax and mentally prepare for the 7 mile journey on Saturday.  There was no mentally preparing for the journey, but there were Moscow Mules, which are even better than mentally preparing for anything.

So despite the fact that all week I could barely run the 3-mile torture loop, I was able to run 7 miles!  Maybe the 7 miles was easier because I was at the gym watching “16 and pregnant” on MTV, which was utterly disturbing but provided an excellent escape to my numb legs.  Next week we shall go for 8 miles!  8 mile– isn’t that some sort of Eminem song?  Time to add it to my running play-list!

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Oh My Aching Calves…

I think tomorrow calls for a day of rest.  Today’s attempt was simply that– an attempt and a lame one at best.  I decided to go for a short 3 mile jog but unfortunately around two miles I was sure I couldn’t go on.  My calves were SO tight from yesterday’s insane hill run.  I pushed on through but instead of finished the run after our usual super steep hill, I decided to walk up the hill.  Sadly walking didn’t even ease the insane tightness in my calves!

In addition to my calf pain, it was soo so humid I couldn’t deal with it!  The heat index was 92…and I’m fairly certain it wasn’t even mid 80’s.  This humidity is too much!  Some days are just harder than others and today was one of them.  Sadly too I realized that I had ice cream twice today.  AND a huge baked potato covered in butter.  I fail today!

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Oh Underwood Ave, You Are My Mt. Everest.

We wanted to go on another “longer” run today.  For some reason we got the crazy idea to just go straight down our street two miles and then turn around.  Sounds like an easy four mile run, right?  Too bad we happen to live on a street so hilly that it puts the rice-a-roni commercials to shame!  Seriously, it is SO HILLY!  We have heard rumors that our half marathon is one of the hardest in the country because it is so hilly here, but I think if we can survive these hills, then we can survive the half.

Honestly when we looked up at our first hill, I actually went oh no and my running partner said that looks like a mountain.  It felt like a mountain.  The sad thing about a hill is that once you reach the top, like we did, we went down but then had to turn around and run all the way back up.  We had to keep reminding ourselves to breath…I felt like I was breathing similar to how I envision is the proper way to breathe during labor.  I’m fairly positive that our run was more painful than giving birth 😉   Yes, I am the queen of exaggeration but that’s what makes my stories so much fun!  Sort of like how I told my coworkers that last year a tornado hit a building here and it blew over…that’s only half true seeing as the roof suffered only a little damage.  Still there was a tornado!

Anyway, officially our run was 4 miles and it took us a little less than 40 minutes.  Considering we were seriously running up a hill probably steeper than Mt. Everest, I’m very proud of us and our accomplishment.  Speaking in Mt. Everest terms, we’ve reached base-camp, now it’s time for the summit!

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