Friday, January 30, 2009

Hoping for a weekend binge -

This week has been filled with the usual after work short distance runs with Grennie intermixed with a mid-week cross-training/body pump class.

This weekend I hoping to do some binge running before the marathon in a month. Yes, after my bout of bronchitis, I am fretting over running this marathon; I think it is going to be painful, long and not as welcome as i would have hoped. My goal for this weekend is to: remind the legs how it feels to run for many miles, again.

On Saturday, I will go to a state park where the land is flat and the scenery more urban than I like, but it will be trails, nonetheless. This flat warmup for the pain filled weekend will be a nice start to the Sunday's hills and into the wild jaunt.

Hopefully, this weekend will give me the strength to proceed with the marathon or the realization that another marathon my have to suffice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

External Events

I re-read some of my previous posts, and I wonder where all that strength has gone on days when my legs feel like lead. And, then a flash of light will shine, and I will remember the last four days and "Ah" no wonder I am so exhausted.

This weekend I bought a very used - but well loved - Honda Station wagon. But, as many can attest, the process of purchasing a used car is littered with many hours spent obsessing, researching, talking, obsessing, and more talking. I spent many hours on the computer reading, Kelley blue book site, and many others; i sent many emails and discussed intimate details about cars on the phone with strangers. (hopefully this lengthy illustration where my mind has been since last Thursday). All this energy and time has, surprisingly to me, affected my running, including my desire to run.

For example: I have a favorite route in Greenville. It begins on Pelham Road, and it does a large loop on black's road and up a long hill and back to Pelham. I love the undulations of the roads, the silence on certain sections, and probably most importantly, the familiarity; however, when i ran my favorite loop this weekend, all I could think about was when it was going to be done so i could return to my chair in front of my parent's desk top and keep researching. I was officially obsessed. And, it was devouring my energy.

The contrast was especially noticed on Tuesday when I returned to north Georgia, and I took Grendel out for our neighborhood loop, and my feet felt lighter, and my stride more relaxed.

Lamentation: times when the days are too long and the thoughts are silent.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Longer days - sign of warmer weather coming?

Usually, when I notice that the days have lengthened, this awareness is accompanied with a brush of warmer weather. Not this weekend. Up here in North Georgia, we are predicted to have record cold temperatures. Notwithstanding these temperatures, this weekend and in the evenings, I will be enjoying the extra amount of light added to the day; I always welcome this event.

This week has proved to be a relief after weeks of battling bronchitis, and I feel as though my step has lightened. Was the break good for me? Did my body welcome the many more minutes spent horizontally? No matter the reason, this week has been filled with good runs. Even yesterday, the day of dreaded cross-training, I smiled while lifting weights and doing the hated sit-ups.

Today, I fell back into the old pattern of squeezing a run in after work; this road-run consists of a long hill and then a quick swoop around our neighborhood with the beloved Grendel. These 30 minutes, although too short for Hal Higdon's standard, provide for of a long exhale and re-introduction of oxygen to the body after a day of tense reading.

This weekend I hope to make up some of the lost aerobic capacity and strength to my legs by returning to some old stomping grounds in the National Forest.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Returning to training

Finished the antibiotics; tried to go bed early all week - healed - probably not...

But, today, I went out with the fiance, and we hiked Currahee before the rain started. It was a cool morning with good visibility, and notwithstanding several cars and a scare with grendel when he chased a fox into its den, it was a lovely hike. My legs and lungs have not felt this weak in a while, but they took the climbing in stride.

Tomorrow, I will attempt the run/walk strategy on some trails. From today's hike, it is apparent that it will be a slow return to the 16 mile victory i was celebrating less than 3 weeks ago, but it is just enjoyable to be back in the mountains.

See you for Greenville 5k in a couple of weeks!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Diagnosis - bronchitis - PLEASE RUN AN EXTRA MILE FOR ME

Bronchitis. I sat there in the examining room - stunned and I stared at the doctor. I have not ever had bronchitis before. I started pelting him with questions - How did he know i had bronchitis? What are the symptoms? What about my constant sweating - is that a symptom of bronchitis? He just listened to my lungs! Is that enough evidence? I did not have a fever (anymore). My pulse had stopped racing - Was he sure??

But, ultimately, I gave in and have now ingested my first round of antibiotics, but at least I am cleared for my hike on Sat. Hopefully, I can start MY 2009 run off next week.

Cheers to all you out there running. PLEASE RUN AN EXTRA MILE FOR ME

6 days of not running and counting

After my mediocre attempt at running consistently while in NOLA for vacation, the sickness came swiftly and furiously. After five days of being bedridden, I am now just waiting for the lingering cough and phlegm to slightly subside, the tiredness in my bones to recede, and my energy level to rise a little before I lace my shoes up again.

Yesterday, my Grendel, after being sedentary like his sick owner for too long, convinced me to walk him around the block for some fresh air, I reluctantly complied. I leashed him up, and we were off. The beginning of the walk was enjoyable; my legs seemed to respond well to the movement, but my respiratory and energy level did not respond similarly. After about 1/2 mile, I was looking for a place to sit down and rest, and my cough had started again. I think I started frowning. And, my mind started racing. How is this going to affect the marathon in 8 weeks? Will I be able to make a come back?

But, alas, I have concluded that the sickness is what it is, and I will have to pick myself back up and try hiking this weekend to remind my body about mountains and movement and how much I enjoy being out there. The running may not start for a little while...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Runnning Gear - Yay for Holiday! + disclaimer

I have been stuck in the last century with my running gear since I can remember. My shirts are too big or too small; they ride up; my shorts ride up; overall the clothes never fit correctly; they rub; they annoy me, and they never help enough to battle the heat or the cold, and they don't have pockets!

This Holiday I received: long & short shirts of various materials & a running skirt! And, many of the shirts and the running skirt have pockets. I have run in these clothes several times, and I am ecstatic. SUCH a difference these clothes make!! I had no idea.

Disclaimer: NOW, I am not saying that new fancy gear is a necessity. One beautiful thing about running is that most of us only require running shoes + some clothes + a place to run - that is what i have always loved about running - the simplicity. My reflection is: for some of us - these running clothes only add to the enjoyment; they are not a necessity.

Coming out out of a fog of sickness and from a land where it is flat

My apologies for lack of posting.

Recently, I have been in New Orleans (NOLA) visiting in-laws, and then on New Year's Eve I came down with a flu which had me bedridden for 5+ days. Quite a respite from running!

In my limited knowledge about NOLA, it is not a city where people go to run. There are some beautiful parks: Audobon and City Park, for example, and many people run in these parks, but, again, most of the stories I have heard about NOLA include references to food and heavy drinking.

I did run while I was there; however, as many may know from their visits to NOLA, it is very flat. There are no hills, and if there is an incline, it is hard to notice. Where I was staying, the runs were in a neighborhood that was laid out very well so a non-native would not get lost. The streets running vertically where numbered consecutively while the streets running horizontally were labeled. My runs consisted of timed loops, over and over. I would run down a named street until it hit a busy 4 lane road, and then run on the numbered street until it hit a named street to run the numbered blocks back to the house. This loop would repeat depending on how much time I had. Also, the weather. It was never below 65 degrees while we were there. This was an enjoyable event for me, but my Grendel was panting early, and the style of the runs changed from longer to 2X a day shorter runs.

Then, there is the flu. This flu has kept me in bed for most of the last week. It started with a sore throat, which I intelligently ignored, and then our New Year's eve was spent inside watching movies instead of downtown roaming around. My biggest upset of 2008!

I do look forward to posting in 2009!