Sunday, December 21, 2008

2X Currahee + Lake Russell = 16 mile victory

2X up currahee (i need the hills for my marathon) + Lake Russell trail = sixteen miles. a sixteen mile victory- Mileage victory.

Running up Currahee is my hill/mountain which never becomes easier - no matter how many times I run it. The first 1.5 miles have become easier, but the last 1.2 - still after many months running it is still so difficult. A typical run starts with fresh legs and this feeling continues until the bottom of the climbing section. There, the mountain steeply turns upward and the climbing begins. And, not just any climbing - often, in the beginning I wonder if I am going to be able to run to the top, i.e., finish the climb. Will I walk this time? Will I be able to "set it in cruiser gear" and make it to the top? Always, when I reach the top, I am bent slightly forward, my breathing is laborious and my legs feel like weights. This feeling does not quickly dissipate (as I always think it will) on the way down. In the beginning of the descent, it is steep; steep enough for your legs to do little work and for gravity to take over. But, the climb up has made me so weary that on the way down I am more tense - trying to make sure I do not trip on a loose rock.

In theme of victory, today I was able to (after a quick snack and sip on Powerade) to run this mountain 2X. Hopefully, this repetition will assist in my climb of Mt. Mitchell -

Friday, December 19, 2008


Brief comment on new routine:
Lately, I have started running during lunch on the weekdays. I have enjoyed this new switch because the traffic is lighter, my dog loves it, and it is nice to run when it is warmer out and without the fear of twilight coming.
However, yesterday, I was able to leave work early and run around the streets of one of the small towns in which I work. It was a great over 5 mile run (which I think will be the start from climbing out of the rut I have been in). I left my office after 4pm, and I headed up one street with a nice climb. I turned left and started on a more rural road toward the outskirts of town. This road was flat, and I was able to zone out and feel my legs moving quickly. And, around minute 20 after my legs had really warmed up, I started to feel a new feeling that had been absent in these recent weeks; a level of strength that seemed new. Instead of a more labored breathing; I felt similar to a person in really good shape - quick clip of the legs, soft breathing, and I am sure I was smiling.

One can surmise for minutes, hours or days why we have these runner highs (this one lasted until minute 50). Did we eat enough food today? Did we get enough sleep last night? Have the weekend double digit runs helped? Notwithstanding all these questions and obsessive compulsive thinking - the one thing that will remain in my memory is that feeling, which has been so absent these past weeks (yes this was an intentional repetition) of strength and enjoyment in contrast to previous runs, which felt like a dreaded activity rather than an enjoyed hobby.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Moving 40th Birthday Gift - Wow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paris Mountain Road Race

I look forward to seeing everyone on Sat!! I am excited for a good run!

Comment: Mind Matters - coping with injury

Upon receiving my "The Runaround;" I had to comment.

My posts have been more infrequent lately and my enthusiasm to run recently has declined. Have I been in a rut? Has the enjoyment of the constant plodding - become more of a dread? My surmise: the actual experience of training for a marathon vs. the initial hope.

The initial hope was styled as such: weekends full of running - anywhere everywhere - so many places I will have the opportunity to explore on foot. Time with my beloved Grendel; time with my beloved nature. Time with my thoughts - my own quiet time!
The reality has evolved as such: many hours away from my fiance, obsession with where am I going to run my double digits (small town and hunting season has decreased my available running space). And, frequent interruptions in my necessary running schedule.

To comment on Dr. Hammond's article - especially on the interruption in the running schedule - how frustrating this has become! If I miss a day - I am not too upset, but for example, my thanksgiving hiatus - really (in my mind) negatively impacted my running schedule!I was all prepared to be in Greenville running with fellow GTC members, but I ended up sleeping. I find, once i don't run for more than 1 day, my motivation decreases - am I genetically inclined for laziness? Am I a real runner?

For evidence to support the latter question: I can look to my history - 15+ years long distance running. Natural habit of running everyday. (Sufficient?)

SO -I rhetorically ask again - What has been the cause of this recent taking 2 or more days off a week?

Maybe there is no answer to this shift. Maybe it is for me to accept, quiet my mind and put on my running shoes and attempt to break this new unwelcomed habit. Or, in the spirit of Dr. Hammond - enjoy the extra hours in the day?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday effect - Hal Higdon would not be pleased

To all who have committed the sin of gluttony over thanksgiving, I have to say - you are in good company.

This thanksgiving was especially gluttonous for me - food and drink. After a stressful, stressful week with high productivity, I was relieved to have several days off to run (of course) and rest. However, although I succeeded at my rest goal, my running suffered. On Thursday, I was going to run, but since I don't cook, I snuck away to change into running clothes, but somehow, I ended up taking a 1.5 hr glorious nap, which included a session of drooling on the pillow. Later that evening, I drank too much wine and beer (which again is not a usual activity for me) and ate too much turkey. Although this combination should have created a sense of stupor and a great recipe for sleep, the two did not combine well, and I did not sleep until my alarm went off at 3:45am to attend Black Friday with my younger sister. (As some of you may remember from my previous posts - I am not a morning person) SO, this change in schedule, and fact that I did not sleep at all the night before, I ruined my chance at running on Friday. (oh and I had to entertain the future in-laws). Then, on Saturday, I was supposed to meet the fellow GTC members for the Paris Mtn run, but I was thwarted by my own choice to forget to set an alarm (probably a conscious decision), and I did not awake in time.

Needless to say this 3 day break was not good for the running schedule; Hal Higdon would NOT be pleased.

I recovered enough on Sunday to somehow squeeze 8 miles in but my stomach has never felt so nauseated and my legs have not ever felt so heavy.

I am glad to be back in the routine, and I now have a reason to avoid being too gluttonous during the rest of the holiday season.