Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Running on Empty

Ahh this one's a stretch to relate to babies but I think I can do it. Kind of off topic. My brother talked me into doing the Phoenix 10K this Sunday. Well he didn't really talk me into it as much as I felt bad if I didn't. For the last five years every January I've run the Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon here in Phoenix. This year was a tough slog for me; it wasn't my worst run by time, that fell somewhere in the middle. It was my worst one physically. Last fall I was sick for a few months with, of all things, Legionnaire's disease. I know right, who gets that? Well I did, sometime in June. It took my doctor and a lung specialist a gazillion tests and four months to figure it out. A week on antibiotics and it's gone. I think I lost some lung capacity, because my normal marathon training is September to January, and I missed a few runs and for the bulk of my training just felt like I could not reach my normal potential. (My doctor said I shouldn't be running but I had a marathon to prepare for so lung disease or not, I'm going. I didn't tell Gregg that...oops.) I really love running, but this just took all the joy out of it. I remember crossing the finish line thinking "That's it, five is the magic number no more". I let my running slide after that. Running and I broke up over the summer, and it's only been in the last two weeks that we've started flirting again, taking the Boys out for a three miler here and there. I'm starting to feel bad I'm not signed up to run this year, so I decided to do a five miler on Friday and see how I felt. It wasn't bad, but fives are for me my base run. What I mean is that if I had to pick one run to do every day, it would be a five miler. Short enough that I could run it every day, long enough to make me feel good. I call running "Sneaker Therapy". I can be stressed or emotional about something, and a good run clears my brain. My favorite? A five mile run at night, temps in the low 50's, just me, darkness, and the run. I'll feel so good after that. Since running May to October around here feels like pointing a blow dryer in your face, you don't always get to do that. I've really been "wound a little tight" due to the election, stress over Prop. 102, work, and adoption hurdles. I've been pushing all exercise away, which is not like me. So this was a good way to get back into it.

Well my time was around 55 minutes or so; disappointing as I should have gotten in the high 40 minute range. That's what you get for not training! It felt so good though; I love a good race. I get off on the mental energy of it; you're really racing against the clock and your last time, not each other, so there is a feeling that we're all striving for that goal together. Kind of weird I guess but I love the camaraderie and support runners give each other in the "mob" as we move down the course. It's hundreds or thousands of people, depending on the race, just reaching a common goal. I think it was the jolt I needed though because I'm ready to start out there again. It's too late to start training for the marathon; I use an 18 week program for that. My brother and some of his in laws are going to do the half so I'll think about that. Not the most time left to prepare but I think I could jump into training and post a respectable time. We'll see. The most important thing is to get out there again.

Oh the baby part. Well it does help relieve adoption stress, for sure, but I love those cool jogging strollers. I could do that. I already take Ripley and Chase on runs with me (they love it) so I could handle a stroller and run at the same time. Something to think about...

*Note: If any of you are runners, and wondering about my marathon PR's, here they are below. For those of you who are not runners, a marathon is 26.2 miles. And I'd recommend everyone do at least one marathon in their lives; completing it is a feeling of accomplishment like no other!
2004 -- 3:56:57
2005 -- 3:54:50
2006 -- 3:56:29
2007 -- 3:48:12
2008 -- 3:55:48
Ha! I was so pissed in '07 I could taste 3:45 most of the race!


Two Moms With A Plan said...

Wow! I wish I had those numbers. I'm lucky if I can run 10 minutes on a treadmill. I tried the whole running thing and failed terribly! I have a really bad back and very large tatas! So in order for me to run, I need a good sports bra!

I'm happy to hear that you and running are dating again. :)

Anonymous said...

(Just got here via Baby Blueprint)

A) You're quite a speedy runner

B) "Running and I broke up of the summer, and it's only been in the last two weeks that we've started flirting again..." Hilarious, and I totally get it.

I like to break up with "running" (which is actually slow plodding in my case) for long stretches of time, so long that my partner and daughter forget that I'm such a dedicated "runner," then jump back into four-days-a-week training, then break up again. It keeps the relationship fresh, if you will. Even though I'm such a slow plodder, I strongly agree that everyone should do a marathon at least once. I did the Dublin City Marathon many years back. Although I trained so poorly that I walked/limped the last ten miles, I finished. Having done that has given me confidence that I can do anything... at least once.

Good luck on the half, and I'll throw out a wish for you... I wish that you'll get to do some of your RNR training next year with a baby jogger.