Saturday, October 31, 2009

And I Ran...

I ran so far away...

Ok, not far away, just a couple miles around the neighborhood but it sure felt good! I'm getting faster (even after my running hiatus) and that makes me eager to run some more. Ahhh, running: the self-rewarding sport.

So yesterday I geared up for a run on a normal Ohio fall day and walked out my front door only to confront warm sunniness. I guess I wasn't thinking about the actual temperature as I started my run, because about 5 minutes in I realized it was frickin' hot outside. My running t-shirt was plastered to my back and my black capris were soaking in the sun's rays -- IT WAS HOT. Hell, I don't think I truly understood what was going on until I got back home, took a shower, stepped out of the shower and was still sweating. Finally I gave in and checked the internets - it was 71 degrees. SEVENTY-ONE DEGREES. This is Ohio, it is the end of October!! WTF!?!? Part of me still has a hard time comprehending what happened yesterday...

The lesson learned, if you live in Ohio - always check the weather before you leave for a run. Other lesson learned, excuses are indeed lame (thanks for the reminder Carolina John) and I do just need to hit the pavement.

Oh yes, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all out there who celebrate!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Best Plan is no Plan

I totally set myself up for a whole lotta nothing. Last blog I waxed and waned about wanting to increase mileage in this cool Ohio fall weather - HA!! I don't know when I ran last. It seems since the root canal I've been hit with a barrage of health issues and lame excuses that have kept me off the trails. It looks like tomorrow might be my chance to get out there. I don't know how far I'll go, hell I don't know what my body can handle right now. (You know those Mucinex commercials with the mucus partying in some human organ? Well that party is happening right here baby.) And the craziest part - my inspiration to get back out there came in the form of perusing the web for new running gear today. Oh, retail therapy -- somehow it always works.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Plans

I've been off enjoying life south of the Mason-Dixon line for a while... and now it's back to reality.

My tooth is all better now - I had to have an emergency root canal. The thing is: the root canal felt soooo good after dealing with all that pain. What was not good was having to cancel my classes thus pushing back my exams a week. (Lord knows I'm not going to re-write a whole exam!!) Being a professor can be hard work ;-)

I wish I could say I got in a great run once I got back from my mini-vaca, but I didn't. I have come down with some sort of illness - no, not 2009 H1N1, it's likely just an upper respiratory infection. I brought box of tissues to work with me today - my students looked at me like I was a whack job when I set it down on the podium. I was up there hacking and sneezing and wheezing while talking about sexuality and reproduction in art. This wasn't one of my note worthy lectures, that's for sure.

So all I can do with this blog is plan. I am going to let the blog world in on a little secret of mine: I'm thinking about running in the Cleveland Half Marathon! I really want to get my mileage up and the thought of running through my hometown excites me. (I live in Akron now, but I was born on bred in the west-side suburbs of Cleveland.) I have a long way to go, but this is something I really want to do. I figure I have until February to work on getting up my weekly mileage then I can begin a training plan. The only flaw - this means training in northeast Ohio during some seriously shit weather.

This was last November... and if you can imagine it was worse in February. I don't have an indoor track to go to, so I guess I'll just have to learn to like running in sub zero temperatures with snow and ice.

It can't be that bad... can it?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tea Bagging

Still in a world of hurt. This damn tooth is going to be the end of me.

Determined to go out for four today. I know you're not supposed to run while in pain, but what if the part that hurts isn't a body part used for running? I'm saying it's ok.

Resorted to checking out home remedies for abscessed teeth on-line. Apparently putting a tea bag on the infected area is supposed to help...

Yes, there is a tea bag in my mouth right now.

For the record, any type of tea bagging thus far in my experience is not pleasant.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A World of Hurt

I am sidelined. I could say that I hurt myself running. I could say that I took a fall while biking. I could even say that I am in a body cast after chasing down a runaway stroller only to save a small child's life. But, I won't.

I have an abscessed tooth. It hurts like a motherf*@ker. The painkillers from the dentist are starting to wear off and today's run just ain't gonna happen.

Let's hope tomorrow brings me a less painful mouth and some more blissful painkillers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


As The Enthusiast I like to show my support and enthusiasm for the fine state of Ohio. The buckeye state has been my home for most of my life and at times I can't help but gush - this really is a great place. Why, you may ask? Well, for lots of reasons. But today I just want to focus on the towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Yesterday I went for a run. I intended on doing 3 nice miles - but then the walnuts happened. I went back to the hills (glutton for punishment I guess) and started out on my nice jaunt. Right around the half mile marker I was going along nicely, enjoying the blustery weather, when I noticed a large patch of fallen walnuts on the trail. I specifically remember thinking "Look at me go! I can dodge any obstacle... " And then reality hit in the form of my foot landing funny on said walnuts and my right ankle rolling at an exorcist-like angle.

(An example of walnuts on a trail)

Needless to say, I cut my run a mile short and prayed my ankle would be normal sized when I looked down. Luckily, the ankle was fine. I RICE'd properly and I am now good to go - as a result I fear the fallen walnut much like I fear stepping on chipmunks.

This morning I decided that I needed to make up for that lost mile, and what better way than by dusting off my trusty bike! It has been a long while since I've taken the bike out for a spin. I figured a nice 1o miler would be a fantastic start to my day. I geared up for the 42 degree weather and hit the towpath. Not even a mile in my legs were screaming at me. They were tired and not used to pushing along the two wheeled contraption. The 10 miler was NOT going to happen- so I decided to bust out my fancy phone with a super duper camera and photo document my favorite stretch of the towpath.

This is the goose. He's a large, very vocal goose that likes to hang out on the towpath. The first time I saw him he scared the living bejesus out of me waddling onto the path as I was zipping by on my bike. I look for him every time I'm in this area and get quite excited when I see him. Why? I don't know - just like white geese I guess. I decided to give him a name today, it's Fester. He needed a name. (Note: After I took this picture he starting honking at me, it was kinda scary.)

Here is Beaver Marsh/Turtle Pond. I've heard it called both, though I've seen more turtles here than beavers. I'm not a betting woman, but I would bet my bike that in daylight hours there is always a photographer on this planked area. This morning there were three.

This is Szalay's Farm. They have the best sweet corn EVER. I kid not. They have a good selection of produce and most of it is locally grown, even better! Now that it's fall time there are pumpkins, gourds and haystacks all over the place. It's quite pleasant.

And a nice view after my turnaround point. It was a good morning for a bike ride, it was cool out but refreshing. If you're even in the Akron area I would suggest hitting this place up! And if you're super into running - like a marathoner, the Towpath Marathon is this weekend. It's quite scenic from what I understand and it's also very flat.

Good running and biking to all as I relax and enjoy my Thursday off! :-D

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Sucking

I have been know to sport an inferiority complex. No, really? Yes, really. My type A personality may lend in part to that. My thought process "Oh, I just ran 4 miles, but other people run 18. Wow, I must suck." I know it's horrible, but hell, I know I'm not the only one out there who goes through similar thought processes. As you could imagine, venturing into the world of running with a mindset like that could kill a person dead in their tracks (or on their trail...) So the question: How have I overcome my self-deprecating brooding nature?

1.) Being Realistic. Being Patient.

I know you can't just leap up to double digit mileage overnight. I am not superwoman, I am not an Olympic athlete, hell - I'm not even a runner. :) I do, however, have a nothing but months and months of run-able days ahead of me. I have nothing but time to cover all manner of distances.

2.) My Kind of Running

When I started to run a about year ago my goal was a 5K and after I did it, I didn't do much else except indulge in holiday feasting. My inspiration was a seasoned runner and all I did was emulate his habits. I had never ran before so I didn't know how many different approaches there were! My running spree lasted about 3 months. I didn't do much research, I didn't log onto Runner's World religiously, and I didn't take walk breaks. I thought walk breaks were a sign of weakness - guess what, they're not. This time around I've learned what type of running method works for me. I want to feel good about my runs, and in order to do that I embrace the walk break. Again, I cannot sing the praises of Jeff Galloway enough. And another new addition to my running - MUSIC. Sometimes you'll even catch me dancing on the trail. Hell, why would I do this if it weren't at least a little bit fun?

3.) Celebrating all Accomplishments. (No Matter How Small)

I ran hills for the first time yesterday. They weren't huge hills, but they were more than I've ever done. I was nervous, on the way out to the trail all I kept thinking was "What if I can't do it?" Failure scares me. But, I found my resolve and was determined to attack those hills. In the end, I had a great run. I'm getting faster (apparently even on hills) and it feels damn good. I clocked one of my fastest miles, and even though I ended my run with a sock/shoe full of blood. (Still working on the finer points of toenail clipping) I was all smiles. I let myself be proud of my accomplishments. Running up and down some hills may not seem a point of pride for some, but for me, yesterday, it sure as hell was.

In the end I just tell myself, "You don't suck!" Even when I'm thinking that my mileage is measly compared to all of the marathoners that must be surrounding me on the trail; Even when I'm taking a walk break and what's sure to be a stellar triathlete passes me; Even when a high school cross country team whizzes past me and surely thinks, "HA! What is that girl doing running out here?!" -- Even when all those things happen - I mange to force myself to say "YOU DON'T SUCK." I am out here and that's enough- even for me.