As you all may be aware, my training has been going pretty darn well. I've had to slide some training days around to accommodate my schedule, but I'm getting the miles in and that's the most important part.
What you are not aware of is what happened this past Saturday on the towpath. Viper explains "Saturday night was a seven-miler at race pace (8:54 pace) with the Enthusiast biking." What he does not explain, is well - the whole story.
We left late to get in our respective runs/cross training. I had pooped out on a run earlier in the week and was committed to getting in the mile I lost in a not-so-awesome attempt at running mid-day. (Damn humid Ohio summers.) The plan was simple: Viper would run my first half mile with me, I would turn back to finish my full mile, jump on my bike and catch up to the Vip. As all of this was happening the sun was slowly setting. Picturesque, JMW Turner-like, right? Wrong.
After I got my bike off the car and make a quick pit stop at the latrine (smelly!) I began at a nice steady pace on the bike to meet up with my man. The sun was sinking over the corn fields of Szalay's and then - BOOM. DARKNESS. I could hear birds, feel the crushed limestone under my wheels but I COULD NOT SEE A DAMN THING. The backlight on my bike computer pooped out at some point while in storage (read: sitting in the exposed shed all winter) and I had no idea what time it was, how far I had gone or how long I had been on my bike. I began to panic. Where was Viper? I mean the woods is where all the murderers and rapists hang out. I could be dashing right past his dismembered body and not even know it. I tried to do the math of where we would meet on the path in my head but sheer panic is not conducive to figuring out math in my simple artsy head. I was surrounded by blackness and I had, honest to God, never been so afraid in my whole life. I just kept peddling faster and faster, when I would feel a twinge in my leg I would down shift my gears. I was freaked and flying on the bike.
Now, I know some of you must be thinking, "C'mon lady, it's not that scary in the park at night." And for some of you, I'm sure it's not. But I grew up fearing the park, trails and wilderness at nighttime. My mother always warned be about those murderers and rapists. But the scariest part of all was not knowing where Viper was, he was on foot and my skewed math had told me I should have met up with him long before I actually did...
Panic. Panic was consuming all of my thoughts. I think I might have actually been whimpering at one point. Then finally, finally - I found Viper. He was alive - and well. I was so relieved to see him I just lost it right then and there on my bike. We rode/ran back at a nice pace but admittedly even with the Vip there, I was still quite relieved to finally see the turn off for our trail head.
In the end I learned a few very important lessons on Saturday night.
1) I'm a big wimp when it comes to being in the dark.
2) Never go running/biking in the park when it's dark again.
Yesterday I did my long run. My legs were still sore from my biking frenzy on Saturday night so my coach came with me for the much needed encouragement. I did four miles with a route that introduced me to The Bastard Garman Hill. I killed the hill. Seriously. And Viper, he was always a step or two behind as I climbed to my glory. I know he could have vaporized me on that hill, but he didn't. Now that my friends - that's love.
And finally - Ribena. Much thanks to Xenia for sending me the BEST care package ever. I mellowed out last night with my Ribena, but not before sharing with Dobson. :-D
My training is going really well, the running is getting a tad easier and I'm actually kinda sorta for reals enjoying it.
I'm still having issues finding the best way to cover my bottom half. I am pear shaped and I cannot wear running shorts unless I want them to ride up my crotch the whole time. My New Balance Bonita Run Skirt has seriously been a life saver, as it covers my ass wonderfully. The only downer, I need to wear capri tights under it, or else the shorts underneath ride up. The issue: it's HOT in Ohio right now, and super humid. My goal: A pair of running tight shorts, knee length or so, to wear under the skirt. (Could this get any more complicated?) I'm a girlie girl, I like skirts and cute tank tops and bright colors - can I help it if I want to look super cute when I'm out there sweating my ass off? ;-)
In other news, the job is settling down which means I need to get my ass in gear prepping for next semester. I'm teaching a new course in the fall and have yet to get that ball rolling. Now that I've literally got my ass in gear I need figuratively shift it into an art history gear, and fast.
Oh yeah, and that thesis thing. Need to finish that. Right.
A trip into my head during a run... it's not too scary, I promise.
(For those readers in foreign lands that can't access youtube links, this is No Doubt's In My Head, from their Rocksteady album.)
"Damn, It's already 7:00 pm and I have to run 3 miles today. The Viper will get all bad ass coach on me if I don't get my run in before he gets home from the banjo jam. Oh, I'll wear my new capris. I hope they don't suck. I wonder if all girls have as many issues as I do finding running shorts/skirts/capri's that work? I have such wide hips it's ridiculous. I lost 2.2 pounds at my weigh in this week, so that's good. But I gained 1.8 the week before, so really I only lost .4 - hell, that's still good. It's something.
Will I get faster as I get slimmer?
I hope I do at least a bit.
Out the door. I usually feel more motivated once I get going. I'm going. I'm not motivated. Damn, my right ankle is twitching funny. Will I have to stop? (That would be kinda nice though, not having to do this today...) But no, the ankle is fine - just adjusting.
Shit. These capris SUCK. Holy wedgie and camel toe.
Dammit, I have to run down Merriman like this. All the rich people will point and laugh at my massive wedgie issue from their gigantic home windows. They'll think to themselves 'Poor girl, she can't afford a trainer, personal chef and liposuction.' They'll pity me.
I can't wait to turn down a side street. Thank you God, side street is here. Why is this run so hard today? This whole week has been hard. My coach has worked me.
Tuesday I ran, Thursday I ran and did strength, Saturday I biked for 30 minutes. The bike ride was tough. Been since September or so since I've been on the bike. My ass hurt and my thighs burned.
No wonder my legs feel like lead. I haven't been this active since I trained for my first 5k in Nov of 2008. I was so motivated then. I remember the first time I ran over 2 miles, I was on vacation with Viper in Cooperstown, NY. I ran along Lake Otsego. Damn, I could go for some Cooley's wings. That was such a beautiful morning, the sun rising over the lake, smoke on the water, rolling hills - it was marvelous and I was so excited.
I need that kind of enthusiasm again. This is hard. Running is hard for me. When will it get easier? Will it get easier? I've taken so many walk breaks this is crazy. I suck. No, you don't suck. You're out here - that's all that matters.
SHIT - TURKEY SAMMICH COMING BACK UP!!! That was close, I honestly didn't know if that was burp or barf coming up.
Lame, only 2.5 miles in and I almost yack. Quit getting down on yourself! This is your first week of training in forever!
Just dig deep, finish strong.
Damn, is it 'walk your family down the street day' in our neighborhood.
Well, I may have done something very stupid the other day. This being said - here's the back story...
I got inspired at my last Weight Watcher's meeting. The topic of "activity" came up. (WW doesn't like the word exercise for some reason.) My meeting leader basically said we become active for one of two reasons. Reason 1: We actually like the activity we do, i.e., dancing with some Zumba, relaxing with some yoga, hitting the trails on your bike, etc. Reason 2: We don't necessarily like the activity, but we like the reward. I guess I never really thought about it that way. I realized the reason I bike: I like it. The reason I run: I like the reward.
The other integral event in this story, the Tallmadge 5-K Memorial Run. I'm used to going to races to watch the Viper run. But this run was different, a friend of mine who popped out a baby less than a year ago ran. She wasn't a runner, she hadn't run before her pregnancy, she just did a couch to 5k program. She ran, she finished and she was very happy. It reminded me of how I felt when I started running - the sense of immense accomplishment from hitting one mile for the first time, then TWO and so on... Something inside of me was stirring, my word - was it MOTIVATION?
After all this my head was wondering, "Could I run a half-marathon?" I never thought I could run a 5-K, but I did. I bounced this idea off Viper, he had nothing but the utmost confidence in me. That's when I realized - "If he thinks I'm so damn able, then let him be in charge of this whole endeavor!" Hence, a coach is born.
So, this is where I am. I am in Akron, with my man, coach, Viper (Note: We are not married, we live in sin. Hopefully, this will change. ;-o ) I have no real idea why I'm doing this but I just feel like I need to do this. I will run the Akron Half Marathon and I will finish. Damn skippy.