Friday, May 25, 2012

The Heat is On!

Well, there's no getting around it...Summer has hit Atlanta; with a vengeance!

The humidity the past couple of weeks has ZAPPED my speed and endurance. I've been struggling to get through a 5/8/5 schedule.
It's strange to go from a half marathon, to struggling through 5 miles. I haven't even been able to run a full 8. I've been doing a 3/2 interval on those days.

I didn't lose any outdoor run time this winter. It was just a perfect winter for running. The temps stayed in the 50's most days. Even on the "cold" days, I could get by wearing capris and a light long sleeve tech shirt. Most of the time I'd come home too hot.
That really should have been a sign that summer was coming hard and fast. One look at my Daily Mile log and you'll see that all I seem to do lately is bitch about the heat. The last fantastic run I had was in April, when I ran the 10k across the Golden Gate Bridge. I day dream about that race. I'd do it every year.

But, this IS Atlanta, and there is simply no getting around the heat and humidity. Stopping for the summer isn't an option, so I just have to suck it up and do it.

The miracle isn't that I finished, or started, it's that I kept putting one foot in front of the other and got the miles I wanted in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've got my own demons, I don't need yours

This needs to be said.
Not that many years ago, I was a size 2. I had 3 kids under the age of 10 that I was raising practically on my own due to my husband's travel schedule. I worked at a gym and taught 2 classes a day. Three days a week I left the gym and went to a martial arts class, where I eventually earned a Brown Belt.
I was thin. I was pointed to as the ideal body type to strive for at the gym I worked at. What people didn't know.... I had no energy. I had to co-teach my classes because I couldn't get through them. Going up the stairs got me winded and left my heart racing to the point where my Dr. insisted I get an EKG to check my heart. My hips stuck out. My stomach was flat, but you could also count my ribs. My collar bone protruded, and my cheeks were sunken. I had dark circles under my eyes. I couldn't left the weights in the Body Pump class that I was teaching. I was too busy keeping up the facade to take care of myself.
I burnt out.

I stopped everything and gain 50lbs. I gained it 5lbs at a time, so I didn't see it so much at first. Then one day I realized I was 150lbs, and unhappy.

It started slow. First I started ballroom dancing. Then running. Then I went to Zumba and fell in love with that. Before long I was asked to develop and teach a weight class. I started that in Jan. Along the way, I found myself. I found a healthier version of that girl I was 7yrs ago.  I didn't lose a lot of weight, because i was building the muscle my body so desperately wanted and needed. I did lose though. I went from a size 14 to an 8. If I never lose another dress size I will be happy.

I carry my class. Me! There's no instructor beside me to to "take the hard songs".

I'm a runner. For the first time in my life I can say that. I can scream it from the mountain tops. I AM A RUNNER. And it doesn't matter that it takes me 3 and a half hours to finish a half marathon, I still crossed the same finish line that the first place runner crossed. It was my legs that carried me the distance. It was my lungs that breathed in oxygen. It was my heart that pumped the blood through my body.
A body that is not perfect, but that is mine and I am proud of.

So, if my muffin has a little more top than you would like...well, first you are delusional about what a real woman looks like. Second, you can kiss my fat ass. If that offends you, well, saying things like "With all the running she says she does, she should be invisible by now", offends me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Baby Stepping

I had no idea just how much taking two weeks off from running would effect me. Of course, there is also the thick Atlanta humidity to take into consideration, but still....

Monday, I was excited to get back out on the road. I planned 5 miles. I set out and almost immediately, my body reminded me why I had taken a break. The area behind my left knee (which never bothered me before the half marathon) started to make itself known. I decided to just keep going. I can't stop for every ache and pain, I'd never get out of bed. I kept going, and everything was fine...not great, but, fine, up until around 2 1/2 miles. I managed to get to 3 miles before feeling like I really needed to just call it a day. I was disappointed with only 3 miles, so I walked a little, hoping to get a second wind. It didn't happen, but I did manage to walk/run another mile to bring me to 4miles for the day.

I came home and worked on new routines for my class later that night. It was good to feel some accomplishment.
Class was good. I added 3 new songs. They were good and challenging. Especially the squat track. Because I still believe that Jordan Catalano was singing "Red" to me, I used 30 Seconds to Mars - "Closer to the Edge" for the new squat track. It's hard, but I love it.
My knees weren't happy with me after that one, and I expected to be sore on Tuesday, but I must be doing something right because, I wasn't.

Tuesday is rest day, and even though I was itching to do something, I made myself hang out and lay low.

Today I had originally planned 10miles. My head was against me. Kept telling me that Monday sucked, today would suck too. And it was going to rain, so why bother. I hate my head sometimes.
I forced myself to put on my running gear. I set my Garmin for intervals. 90 mins. Whatever happened, happened.
Halfway through the intervals, it started raining. Barely. I might have noticed it more if I was standing still. I was at the park a mile from the house. I contemplated turning around and cutting the run short. What if it started pouring and here I was a mile from home? Well, I guess I'd run home in the rain, huh?
I decided to do the mile loop around the park. Not even halfway around, I decided to keep going and make it the mile and a half loop instead. Back to the start and heading the mile home. I zig zagged it a little to get some more mileage. The rain picked up some by this point, but still not enough to notice. Certainly not enough to wash the humidity blanket out of my path.
Almost home and I detoured around the 0.6mile loop around the small park across the street from my neighborhood.
I was at the last run cycle of my intervals when I got back to my house. I ran past to the end of the block and then walked it back to the house.
Just as I walked in the door, it started pouring.

The intervals definitely made this run better. I managed 5.31miles. Better than Monday, mentally and physically, if not time wise. Actually, I have no idea how my average pace compares. I wasn't out there today to break any records. I just wanted to get the miles in and get back on track.

I am going to give myself 2 weeks to get back to where I was. I hope to be back on a 5/10/5 running schedule for the week.

Races on deck:
May 28th - Memorial day 5k
June 2nd - Buford 10k (maybe)
July 4th - Peachtree Road Race (10k)
Oct 7th - Half Marathon

Friday, May 4, 2012

Much needed

I took a break from running after the half. At first, it was just going to be a week, but  then I taught my class on Monday, and could feel all the aches and pains that were lingering on. Then the end of the week came and we had the Glow in the Dark party at the studio and after 3hrs of that, I was beat. So, another week off. I'm finally starting to feel more like me. I'm inching to get back on the road, so Monday is the day.
I'm Looking at a couple of 5 and 10ks in the next month. Then July brings the Peachtree. After that I'll start working on half training again. Working on speed instead of just finishing. I already know I can finish