Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Slow, slow, quick quick slow

Hmm. Yet another up and down week of running....I really thought I'd moved on past bad runs.
After stacking runs on Tues/Wed last week I was struggling, but after a solid rest I had a lovely little easy run on Friday morning-such a glorious run that I floated through Friday, delighted with how good I felt and how 20 minutes seems so easy now that I'm building up to 40/50 minute runs.
On Saturday we had Melbourne/Hanmer Christmas, and I played with the kiddly winks on the floor, crawling and mucking around...should know better. My dicky knee hates that. I also didn't walk the dog, so come Sunday morning I really had no option but to take him on my long run, which I hate to do because he's just suck a handful on the long run.
It turned out ok though, because my long run lasted all of fifteen minutes. My left (dicky) knee felt all blobby and creaky, my right ankle felt bruised (I'm having some kind of shoe related problem there, possibly i'm lacing too tightly) and I just had nothing.
Logic kicked in. I've been training pretty hard, covering a lot more ground, it's the silly season, and I'm kinda exhausted. Something has to give, go home and take a rest day.
On Sunday I took what was really a pretty short walk. Maybe three kilometres, and by kilometre two my knee was going skreeek, skreek, skreek with each step. The only word in my mind was, SHIT.
So I took two whole rest days. Walked the first morning (pretty damn slow too, my energy levels are nuked), and opted for a lie in the second day. This morning I headed out for a half hour easy.
Overall it didn't go too badly, I stopped to walk a little a few times but I have to not worry about that, and while I had discomfort, I had no actual pain. I managed a very slow four kilometres during the half hour.
My panic now is, what if I could only run those distances because I thought I could? If one bad run has shaken me this badly, what would the result of a DNF (or a DNS?) be? Surely training will always have highs and lows. I was peaking on a high, maybe these lows are the price of those highs? Running is a heart breaking sport, because every time I get where I want to be something goes wrong, so I'm always building back to where I was, but to be fair, the point of reference is constantly getting better, and I'm continuing to run smarter and better. I also probably need to remember that as I'm now running 7:30 ks on my best days, I'm not exactly training for the Olympics.
Hmm. Sunday I have an epic run planned, (it's supposed to be an hour long) and I've been sweating it for weeks. I'm going to be in Bairnsdale, my home town, and there's a beautiful trail there that I've walked many times. I've been dreaming of running this trail since...hmm, probably since about October. Those kinds of running fantasies where you're springing along, ponytail bouncing, gazelle-like through dappled light and shade. And now instead of thinking how gorgeous it might be, how exciting to rediscover forgotten turf, I'm thinking about how i'm going to make an hour. *shakes head* Maybe this run needs a special mantra, a customised vibe. I want it to be about joy-it'll be Boxing day, too, and the weather is supposed to be sublime. Guess I'll just have to find a mid-point between tenacity and joy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back to backing it

I got experimental this morning, doing my second run in two days. Normally I always have a rest day between runs for recovery, but my plan keeps calling for sessions two days in a row, so it was time to give it a try.
Was a bit nervous about the whole thing, so I took it easy yesterday (30 min easy) so I'd have some left in the tank for today (40 min progression).
It didn't go super super great, a very slow five k, some nice speedy bits during the progression, but I walked the last kilometre becuase I was done like a dog's dinner. Lead legs, and just a general bonk-y feeling (I wonder if I lacked carbs because it was 5am?) but I didn't want to wreck myself my first time running back to back.
Overall I am pleased but oh lordy, i am taking exhaustion to a whole new level today. My legs are heavy and I can't stop yawning, it's even difficult paying attention at work (although that's always a bit hard). I'm not quite ready to call this two-days-in-a-row thing a success, but it definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Slow down, take it easy

Oooh, I left this off in a bit of a dark place, didn't I! I drifted off into that eerie space where you either pick yourself up and go run, or become someone who 'used to'.
Since my last post, a lot of things have changed....I got a payrise (wahoo), and things have been going very well at home (lots of love) but I have to say that the most wonderful thing is that after almost nine months of running, I've finally gone and become a runner!
I had a few very dark weeks of really poor, disappointing efforts, and of having to drag myself out the door, and yeah, just horrid.
I skipped the middle race of the SIS series, and was kind of looking for ways to slack off and duck out of the third, but I'd paid for it, and well....I decided worst case scenario it'd be a nice walk. My preparation was poor-I stayed up late, though admittedly it was a lovely night, and I did at least manage to eat my traditional pre-race meal (pizzaa!).
I didn't have the nerves I usually do, because I wasn't expecting anything. Plus, I was alone, so I think I felt less pressure. I was early enough to do a nice slow warmup, jogging gentle laps around the grassy area near the start, hopping back in the queue at the start line, then hopping out to run a few more laps when I felt jittery.
My wave left and I decided to maybe just jog slowly...after awhile I fell in behind a couple doing a really slow pace (much slower than what I'd usually do-but cannot sustain). They were trim and neat in matching white 2xu hats, so I dubbed them the 2xu twins.
And behind them I stayed. And stayed. Slowly puttering along behind them. At the 3.5 mark the lady stopped to walk but the man kept jogging (yes, they were going that slow) so I passed them, carefully reining in my stride to avoid burning out. I ran up a hill, growling out loud, refusing to be one of the chubby girls walking up. I ran through fed square and over the bridge. I ran down the line and I finished. My throat went all tight and I thought I'd cry because I'd finally actually RUN a race, instead of running half a race.
It was a slow time, but I don't care. Because I ran all the way. And I haven't stopped since.
I realise that a play by play of a newbie's race is probably incredibly dull, but I have gained so much from this race, when I went in expecting nothing. I learned the most important thing I've learnt since I started running-to slow the hell down! I passed a lot of girls doing what I used to do- running along quickly before flagging to a walk, red faced and exhausted.
Since then I've undertaken a REAL training plan, and I can now run for about 40minutes nonstop, covering almost 6 kilometres. Baby steps to many, but my baby steps are getting bigger all the time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Baby stepping

Dragged my lazy butt out of bed for a run today, and while it still hurt and sucked and such it was definitely better, even if I was motivated by frustration, anger and spite....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Motivational Crisis :/

I've just about kicked this evil flu's ass (finally!)...but the upshot of it is that I went a whole two weeks without running!
I made it out on Sunday for a short, gentle run, and even though I knew that it would be hard, I'm not sure I was prepared for just how difficult it would be...it was like starting all over again, and somehow worse than starting all over again would have been. I ran for nine minutes all up (short intervals, designed to loosen the mucous still in my lungs, ewww!). I hardly even broke a sweat, but my lungs were burning and my legs felt like lead.
I should have gone back out for round two this morning...but I chose bed. I'm pretty ashamed of myself, because I really need to get back out there! I'm blaming daylight savings....I always got up at 5am, stupidly early, but I'd adapted...but since the change on Sunday I am now getting up at what is *really* 4am, and I'm not coping very well with it yet. Sadly, I have also realised that (deeply ashamed for telling you this, but it's true) cigarettes really helped me to get out of bed in the morning, not because they're so fabulous but perhaps because feeding the little monster was enough to tip me over into being able to climb out.
Motivation has kind of deserted me...even upcoming races and such aren't holding anything for me. My plan at this point is just to make myself get out there and go the hard yards until things get easier....I just need to work out how to follow that plan through to those 5am starts......

Sunday, September 26, 2010

No good deed goes unpunished...

My reward for quitting smoking (it's been ten whole days now!)was to contract possibly the nastiest flu I've had in a decade...not happy! After my long(est ever!)run on Sunday I pulled up and started to cough....and haven't stopped for a week. Fatigue, fever, sinusitis, aches and pains, even an attack of shingles. Sadly I never realise that I'm run down and stressed out until AFTER my body melts down and it's too late to do anything about it.
I took most of the week off work...usually my job is quite stress free but at the moment there are some staffing issues that are quite worrying, and now I owe a whole bunch of sick leave, more depressing still...
I'm trying to regain my health by hitting myself with foods and supplements that I know make my body sing. Echinacea, barleygrass, Olive leaf extract....it's scary to think about how quickly i got sick, and just how ill i got. I'm still producing copious amounts of boogers and coughing up quite a lot of phlegm, which means it's not entirely safe to run yet.
Buttttttt, i did go for just the tiniest run this morning. More to allay my fears than anything else, I was frightened that I'd never be able to run again (cos fitness wears off in a week, i was sure). I ran a one minute cadence test (160 steps per minute, I'm planning to work up to 180) then coughed my hole out! But a kilometre later I was feeling so good I ran a half kilometre just to test the waters. I almost cried with elation, it felt so damn right to be running again, stretching my legs out and slurping down cool morning air. I cough feel the goo in my chest but my breathing still wasn't as bad as when i smoked, so i count that as a victory. I wasn't supposed to be running really, i had the wrong shoes on and everything but i just didn't really give a crap. I'm planning to carefully run some short intervals this week while I continue to heal, and start building back up next week.
I think i really needed this, in a weird way. My motivation was flagging and i was focussing heavily on times and goals and weight and on not being where i wanted to be, when i should have just been rejoicing in the freedom and joy of being able to run at all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The best laid plans

Well, nothing has gone quite to plan this week....after a disappointing time on Sunday I was ready to redouble my efforts and train even harder, I was all set to quit smoking, eat less and drop some weight, and generally kick the world's ass. I was a day off the cigs and feeling kind of fantastic.
As so often happens, the entire world seemed to fold in ( not pointing fingers, but this did happen on Tuesday....you sneaky fucker of a day). Fiancee announced that, despite the security offered by his (much higher paying than mine) job, that he wanted to pack it in, questioned my loyalty, questioned himself, and I was so shocked by the whole thing I ran screaming back to my lil smoky friends. I got my period. I lost sleep. This morning I gave up on a run for the first time ever-I felt nauseous, my legs were like lead and I had to face facts that I was utterly exhausted.
I'm kinda unsurprised. I am dieting hard and exerting a huge amount of discipline over myself. I am holding life by the balls, and pushing things hard enough that I sometimes go to bed completely wired. On weekends I tend to eat a little more and sleep for twelve-hour stretches.
But I never wonder why, because I know that nothing will stop me acheiving my goals. I picture what I want and I chase it as I run, as I work, as I rest. I've never been so doggedly determined, so single-minded. I usually lack focus, and I am really 'into' things....for a day or a month. But I've been chasing my dream down for six months now, making slow progress all the time, but I see all progress as positive. My whole mind is wrapped in positivity and self-control.
Having said that, today I decided that sometimes, you have to know when you're whipped. Try as I might, I can't do everything I want to, all at once. I decided that maybe it's time for an easy week, it's quite some time since I've had one, and there've been two races in the last month, so definitely time for a chill. Tomorrow (re-quit day, hopefully!) will be a nice long walk with the dog to clear my mind before work. Saturday we are heading to the park, which I had already planned....but instead of the big run I'd planned, we are going to have a fun run/walk and frolic. And maybe a hill climb, cause that's how I roll.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Smoking and running...

...do not belong in the same sentence.
I smoked for fifteen years, heavily, around fifteen to twenty a day. I quit a year ago, and while I felt proud of my achievement, I also felt depressed, and fat. I lost my ability to control what I ate and gained almost nine kilos. I had low energy, ate compulsively and was out of my mind with panic over the weight I'd gained. Finally after over four months an impulsive moment and a glass of wine ended it all. It took over six months to get the weight off....and it was during those months that I started to run.
I've now been running for six months, and I knew I'd need to stop smoking again, when being the question. When I could run a five? A ten? I'd actually smoke a cigarette at 4:50am BEFORE heading out for a run.
This morning after puffing and choking my way through a slow five k, I knew it was time to choose. Smoking or running. Slavery or freedom. The challenge of the new, or the same old same old.
So I sat down and smoked that last cigarette, and I choked on it. My lungs are too healthy after a run to cope with self-induced smoke inhalation. I choked on it and wondered why I think I need this, why I think I enjoy it?
I will not gain weight. In fact I will lose weight, because I will run further and faster than ever before. I will feed my body nourishing food to help it recover from years of being poisoned.
One packet of tobacco, which lasted me between four to six days, costs over $35.00. So, every packet could be a pair of Injinji preformance socks. Two week's worth is a new pair of running tights, entry to a series, or a new dress to fit my running-honed booty. A month's worth of tobacco is a new pair of training shoes.
I will be in control of my body. I will turn it into a machine that delights and amazes me. I will not be a slave to tobacco. Starting now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today, we run.

Today was the day I had planned to run the 20 minute interval.
It was looming large and scary in my mind, but I felt incredibly determined. Before I went to bed last night I gave my dog his little pat and cuddle and promised him that we had a date in the morning..."You and me, 20 minutes, I'll see you at 5."
I was awake on and off from about half three onwards, because I wasn't really sleeping, I was waiting for it to be time to run. I finally gave up on sleep at a quarter of five.
I felt so geared up, so totally alive. I strapped on my armband and laced my runners like it was raceday, but there was nobody else, just me and Oscardog and the road. Five in the morning but I felt electric. I felt like I could light fires with my eyes, I was so into it.
And I smashed it. Slow and steady, I did 2.77 k in that 20 minutes, hardly anything really, but for me it was epic. I was Rocky. I was on the podium at the Olympics.
I was finally where I wanted to be.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Couch to 5k

I've been using this program on and off practically since I first discovered it.
Initially I would write down the intervals for the week, then set timers in my phone and run the intervals. But before long I went freestyle as timing the intervals was a colossal pain in my ass, and sort of also I found the progressive length of the intervals daunting. Back then the intervals were two and three minutes!
In hindsight, while it introduced me to the concept of interval training, I'm glad I went my own way while I was still a beginner and ran for fun. Going it alone enabled me to build strength slowly without the constant pressure of an increase in time or speed, and I think if I had been running those longer times when I was not yet ready I may have lost a lot of time to injury.
When I got my iPhone I purchased the Couch to 5k app, because I felt I was physically and mentally ready to tackle the longer intervals, and I wanted to add more structure to my training schedule. I'm currently up to week 5, and have been running five minute intervals. Week five gets a bit hairy in that you're happily running your little five minute intervals and feeling all groovy, then suddenly it jumps to eight, and you're like, ok....i got this.....then it jumps to a TWENTY minute interval!!
I am a little distressed by the idea of running that long, but it's a step that I'm ready to take. My initial goal is just to make the 20, even if I am just barely shuffling along by the end. I figure if it's too much I'll repeat it. Sometimes with a new interval I just barely make it the first time.....but by the third or fourth time I am SMASHING that interval, and that's what I want, not just to make it but to frickin' kill it. Wish me luck.
TO BE CONTINUED...............

Race Stats

I'm thinking that as I have now run two (count 'em!) races that I'd start a post where I can keep track of my stats, woo hoo!

July 18th, 2010, Run Melbourne
I trained as well as I was able to for this race, but in the lead up I had the flu and a lot of trouble with shin splints, so if I'm honest I really wasn't good for the distance. Finish time was 38:39, and I walked over half the course. I felt good when I finished but was overall pretty unimpressed.

August 29th, 2010, Defence Lake Attack
Stupid name aside, this was my best event to date. I hadn't specifically trained for it as work organised it, so viewed it more as a social/training run. It was a much smaller event than Run Melb, and I was able to play with pace and drafting behind other runners. My finish time was 35:01, and i ran the last kilometre so hard that I almost blew chunks on the finish line :)

September 12th, Spring into Shape race 1
Non, non, non awesome :( Race was run over a 4.3k, relatively flat course, familiar turf that I know quite well. Good runs over the last week made me feel pretty good but the reality is that I'm still not where I want to be, even after six long months of training. My goal for the series is to run the 4.3 in under 30, yesterday I ran it in 31:43.
As for what went wrong.....poor hydration, which may or may not have contributed to the nasty crampy pain that shot up the back of my ribcage around the 2k mark. Not sure what that was, whether I pulled a muscle or something....Also issues with the narrow start line and getting stuck in a flood of walkers-slow, fat walkers. Hmm. Still,the aim of running the series is to track my improvement, so I'm thinking I just need to be seriously hitting it and working my butt off!

October 24th, Spring into Shape race 2

November 14th, Spring into Shape race 3
32:12-Not my best time, but a personal best nonetheless.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Turbo Turtle

I ran my second 5k event on the weekend. It was the 'Defence Lake Attack' (terrrrrrible name!) and a bunch of the people I work with were entered (some of whom are 'real' runners, running in a day what I run in a month).
I hadn't really altered my training at all for it, I just kept plodding along the way I have been, working away at my goals, and planned to use the run just to gauge where I'm at.
The course was a great one for me (it was flat, hallelujah!)and it was a very nice day, cool but pleasant. I ran with various people at dofferent points, pacing off them, and while i had a bit of a hard time (calves still tighten up over longer distances) it was overall a pleasant, relaxed run. I pushed as hard as I could during the last kilometre, to stand dry-reaching on the other side of the finish line, barely mindful of the clock!
I thought I'd run about a 37:30, and was pleased to have shaved minutes from my previous 38:39 time.
But when I got to work this morning and found out i'd run a 35:01 i was so delighted i didn't stop smiling for half an hour!!
I'm still turtling along happily but damn, i am getting to be one fast turtle.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kick some goals

I am on a mission to shed fat.
At 165cm and just under 80kgs, I am around ten kgs overweight for my height, and while I've been trying on and off to shed that weight for a year, I've had no success.
Running helps a lot, but my diet can always be tweaked to help too. If I'm smaller I'll also be faster and have more endurance, and I'll finally be able to run the type of distances I aspire to.
But a good loss is a lasting loss, and a slow loss is a lasting loss, so I'm trying to concentrate on smaller goals that will help long-term, rather than extreme measures that are unsustainable. I've already made some positive changes that I'm very pleased with, my commitment to running being the best, and also things like drinking plenty of water each day, concentrating on nutritious, health giving food, making good snack choices to keep hunger under control, and nurturing and loving my body.
So my goals for the next round of changes are-
1. Gain control of weekends by not skimping on exercise.

I tend to do less exercise on weekends because I'm tired. Shorter dog walks, skipped runs, and laziness. Given that my favourite weekend activity is laying around watching television, I propose that I can 'buy' TV time from myself by making the effort to exercise first.
2. Restrict treat/takeaway meals to one per week.

I love fatty food. But it's generally nutritionally poor, 'yellow food'. There's nothing wrong with a little of what I fancy, but I want to be in control of the frequency, and the portion.
3. Try one new recipe each week.

New foods will help keep life interesting, and add variety.

4. Increase exercise by ten minutes each day.

I'm already out there, and it makes sense to push even my basic thirty to thirty five minute dog walks and runs to forty five minutes. I'll get extra bang for my buck, and if I get to a point where I'm ready to bridge to ten kilometre runs, I'll find it easier to make the time.

It all sounds really simple right now, but in practise it can be difficult. I'm going to make notes of these goals and leave them places I'll see them to remind myself of what I want to achieve.

Blue Tuesday

I hold a deep mistrust of Tuesdays. A seemingly unassuming little day, I think it hides behind Monday, trying not to be noticed, but it's been my experience that Tuesday can be just as evil, or possibly more evil, than Monday.
Tuesday is sneaky. Tuesday is the used car salesman of weekdays. Tuesday must be approached carefully from the side, without making eye contact. Make no mistake, Tuesday is out to get you.
Tuesday can get away with it's malevolence because nobody suspects Tuesday.
It raises the hair on the back of my neck.
I'm not certain that Tuesday presents any hazards that other days don't...or why I am so suspicious of it. In morbid moments, I think I'll probably die on a Tuesday.
Tuesday is a day for being hit by buses, finding out you have cancer, losing your wallet.
Tuesday is a day for painting the devil on the wall.

Monday, August 9, 2010

iPhone love

Like the most exquisite lover, it is delicate to the eye, responsive to handle, and exquisitely sensitive to the slightest touch.
I am deeply, inappropriately in love with my iPhone. It's my first one ever, the new 4 model, and it's shiny and fun and just AWESOME. So amazingly helpful in every conceivable part of my life that after owning it for just one week I've no idea how I ever managed without it. I've bought some amazing apps, downloaded some great music, and it's made my life so easy.
I'm rerunning the c25k to build my speed and endurance. In the bad old days i used a timer to organise my intervals, which had to be reset before each interval or for different length intervals, and sometimes didn't work properly or at all.
Now I have the c25k app, which happily runs in the background alongside the iPod function, times all my intervals for me and cues each run with a friendly voice....what's not to love?
I used to try to work out distance by logging on to the computer to map out my runs online (imapmyrun, etc). Now runkeeper uses satellites to map it for me, including distance, average speed, pace, etc...and it was free!
I can log my hydration each day, dietary input (take THAT, last ten kilograms!), read books, play games, listen to music, surf the web, check the weather, watch tv....oh, and it also makes phone calls.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Super duper smoothie

I've always really dug natural medicine. I'm not really sure why...partly as a preventative health measure, partly because i find vegies super gross, partly just because it's quite interesting and I find it fascinating!
Most of my experiments over the years have involved vitamins, minerals, herbs or protein powders, of varying brands and such. I think my all time favourite is probably herbalife, though it is insanely overpriced! It pretty much priced itself wayyyy out of the realm of what I'm prepared to pay.
My latest fascination is 'superfoods', and general health tonics. To be more specific, I'm testing olive leaf extract, and Barley Grass powder.
Barley grass is relatively inexpensive, which is a plus. As a superfood, it's supposed to have insane amounts of chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins....all kinds of amazing stuff your body needs. I find it particulary interesting because i don't really like green vegies, so it can provide some of those nutrients for me. Claims for barley grass's effects range from providing extra nutrition, helping to clear skin, all the way through to curing cancer.
I've been blending it into my smoothies (i loove love love breakfast smoothies, typically with milk, a banana, and some berries) and it doesn't taste overly offensive. It does turn the whole drink bright green though, which is a little scary.
This morning's concotion was milk, raspberries, a little protein powder, some fibre powder, and a big teaspoon of barley grass (chased with a shot of olive leaf extract).
The berries and protein powder combined with the barley grass to create a shade of green so deeply bile colored that it looked like poison! It looked EXACTLY like the health shake the Marge makes on the Simpsons during that episode where she becomes a body builder. In my head I thought, "And some oestrogen blockers for that minty taste!", buah hahaha!
Surprisingly, it tasted pretty ok. I do burp grass after one of my super smoothies, but only a little.
I am not really sure that taking these things really makes me feel much different....maybe it's some kind of peace of mind that they help to fill a nutritional gap, or just curiosity, I'm not really sure. I do get really good results from some things, though. I take valerian to help me sleep, use flower remedies for stress, and sometimes guarana for energy, and I think that those things genuinely work, and work well.
I wonder if people think maybe it's a bit cracked to believe in natural medicines? I sometimes wonder if it's nothing more than some kind of placebo effect, and I'm one of the people using the darn things.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Word doc faillllll

Argggggggggggggggg! I have to write a self evaluation for my performance review at work....which I totally started, really I did.....but then I went and watched some tv. Then I forgot about it for a week, and now I need to finish it. BUT, in between the starting it and remembering to finish it, the internet at home went down, so I couldn't transport the doc to work. *pulls out hair**
Enter fiance, and the bright idea that he could import the doc to his phone, then email it to my phone, then I could open the email at work and voila, one word doc.
Which worked in theory....except that the doc is encoded in a way that means I cannot read it, and I don't know how to format it into a way that I can read it. Sooooo motherchucking pisssssssssed off....although what I'd written wasn't great anyway, from memory. Computers are crap.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Not too shabby! An insane, crazy race, with storm troopers, a gingerbread man, the Cat in the Hat, and little old me, plodding away, and walking a lot more than I would have liked to.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Packin' it, just a bit

Only two days to go! It's Friday, and Sunday morning is zero hour. I'm a little concerned about the whole thing...between the patchy prep, Tuesday's insane gallop through the rain, and the self doubt that I'm pretty sure goes with anyone's first race, I guess anyone would be worried.
On the other hand....it's not like I was ever going to win! My goals need to be things like maintaining a positive attitude, looking towards future goals, and above all, completing the course injury free. Still, I can't help being nervous. And going in circles around myself. Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
I haven't run since Tuesday....that run is the only time I've ever really really hated running, so I didn't want to overdo it in the lead up to Sunday. Also sometimes if i skip a few days I'm much more comfortable, and feel like I run better...call it tapering for the five, lol.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Save me Jeebus!

In the lead up to my first five k event I've been attending the free training sessions offered by the awesome people at Suunto and Run Melbourne. They ran for twelve weeks, and I ran in the beginners group, which mostly has been a really uplifting and positive experience. I run much faster and further in a group than I possibly could on my own, and the advice from more experienced runners has been invaluable.
I did, however, miss the last two session...one due to nagging shin splints that refused to heal, then I caught a nasty cold that left me coughing up goobers for a fortnight and missed another.
This is very very bad, as the beginner group increased their distance slightly each week, and so by missing two sessions (and bitching out slightly at a previous session due to the aforementioned shin splints) I was quite behind, distance-wise.
Last night was the last session, and I knew it was going to be hard for me, but Oh Jeeeeeeeeeeesuuuuuus I had no idea! We did just over five.....in the rain....and I was coughing.....dear Lord, we ran up a hill just so we could run down it again, which is insane! The rain washed all my sweat into my eyes, my lungs were just burning and I had to stop several times because I thought my heart would escape my chest. I threw a small tantrum in the last two hundred metres or so and ran screaming up the hill. So I didn't make the whole distance, but still, it was the longest, hardest run I've ever been on. Afterwards I stood with my hands on my knees, heaving from the pit of my belly, and would have blown some serious chunks if there had been any food left in me. Harsh.
So after a lot of trying not to die, a stretch, debrief, and a serious pigout on chips from Lord of the Fries, it was off home. I thought I felt a little better until I realised that I'd driven home with only my parking lights on :/
Soooooooooooooooooooo, what went wrong? Well, for one thing, probably not enough food pre-run. I didn't like my lunch (even though I made it myself, haha) and I hate to eat just for the sake of eating, or because it's time to eat. Also maybe a little stressed out, though I am not sure how that factors in. And at the source of it all, I just wasn't quite good for the distance.
So, half a tube of Deep Heat later, I'm a little stiff but otherwise ok. Fortunately, the nature of exercise that's so intense is that we forget how bad it was...right?

Monday, July 12, 2010

The turtle...and the other turtle.

My fiance is obese. He's always been a big guy, when we met he was maybe 20kgs overweight for his height, but I didn't mind. My ideal physical type is Seth Rogan, or Drew Carey....I like the chubby guy with glasses. But now, three years later, he's not just cute and chubby anymore. He's the real deal, properly fat. I am not sure how much he weighs now, to guess I'd say he's maybe 40, even 50 kgs overweight now. He snores so loudly we can't share a room, and god only knows the last time he saw his own penis. His t-shirts are size 7-XL and hanging them out to dry makes me die a little. His chin is obscured by a neck roll that makes him look a bit like a toad blowing.

I hate it. I love him so much it hurts, and he's doing this to himself. Sometimes I think he's doing it on purpose. Killing himself 'cos it hurts so good. Death by fried chicken.

In May I talked him into coming on a 4k charity walk. I really hoped it would be too hard for him, and wake him up. For christ's sake, he sweats if he does the dishes, so I figured 4k might wreck him just enough to admit that maybe he has a problem.

I didn't figure on pride, which he has in spades. While he bitched a fair bit, especially during the infamous Anderson St hill, he made it. He could barely walk for three days because his quads are so weak they were all torn up from the hill. When he whined I said it was his fault he hurt, for not having even a basic level of fitness. You could say I was a bit pissed off that my plan failed.

In my heart, I understand how someone can get this heavy. I've been this heavy, and I remember that I was overweight, then really overweight, then all of a sudden I couldn't walk around the block. I remember being pretty grossed out by myself. I walked and starved off 50kgs is nine months, and I have stretch marks and loose skin that I'll have for the rest of my life.

Maybe I feel so badly because I'm frightened of fat. It seems to me like a disease, like a virus or parasite that comes along and eats people. Leaves them depressed, debilitated, and unable to get their ass off the couch. It kills families and eats physical potential.

On the other hand...it's not like he's ever done much to ward off this monster. He adores all fried food, loathes exercise in all forms, and likes to lay down instead of sitting. His demon is Coke. Enslaved by seven-X, he drinks over a litre of this sugary concoction daily. Without it he suffers headaches, feels ill and is grumpy. He won't drink the sugar free stuff. He also won't eat most vegies, or rice, or any of the healthier things I know how to make. Although he does like my mashed potato.

I'm probably not the best or most patient person. My methods of motivatio involve pointed asides, invitations to come for walks, dissappointed looks when he refuses to come for walks, refusing to eat the saturated-fat laden food he prefers, begging, crying, and asking him why he cares so little for our future that he'd rather live this way. Or why he cares too little for me to make an effort.
The upshot I guess is that things didn't get this way overnight, so they probably won't change overnight either. Inconclusive.....but the vent blew off some pressure, at least.

Anyone can.

Put one foot in front of the other. Repeat. Then do it faster.

How can something so simple be the biggest thrill I've ever known?

Running is my goal, my dream, my fondest desire. When I run I feel like a cross between a clapped-out carthorse and an elite athlete, though some days more one than the other. I am proud of every drop of sweat, every kilometre, every injury, every session. I think about running a lot more than I actually run. I read and plan and learn. I love to run. I also hate it, sometimes. But even that makes me love it.

I am new. I've been running since April. I can't even really do five kilometres yet. But I can try to.

I'm running my first event just five short days from now. I'm pretty nervous, but trying hard to trust in the training I've done, and to focus on goals beyond it, in case I fail. I am not sure if I can make the five, so am distracting myself by dreaming of ten. Insanity. But it seems to work pretty well for me so far.