Sunday, January 29, 2012

Muddle through

After not running for two days and overall inconsistent runs for several months, I had to escape my house today. Normally I use runs to "work things through" and that is certainly what the plan was today. I intended to simply Zen out, muddle through all of the crazy, and return feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally lighter. Nothing went as planned of course. Lunch from hours before refused to settle, resulting in the closest thing to labor pains I've experienced since, well, labor.

I also planned on 5-7 miles depending on how I felt, which very quickly went to the 5 mile end of the spectrum. However, a bridge that was necessary to complete either run is out. As in literally not there. So I re-routed to a very busy and dangerous road with a very steep no-shoulder curve. Very un-Zen.

Despite this I tried to muddle through. There are a lot of things right now that need figuring out, such as:

How am I going to finish grades before they need submitting? Why am I teaching a dumb elective class for which I have no plans or materials past the first day? How am I going to create this class and stay on top of the AP class at the same time? Why are teachers continually treated unprofessionally? What kind of asshole kids will I have this semester? Are we really going to get our raise next year? When are we going to get our taxes done? What if we owe money AGAIN this year? If we do get some back, what should we do with it? Save it? Pay off cards? Pay down mortgage? Refinish basement? New floors? I would really like a decent workout space in the basement. Or make it an office. Where would we put the dogs' crates? Why is the tax code so f-ed up? Why do we end up owing money? If Mitt Romney is half Mexican, where is the GOP outrage? Why don't people consider him Latino?

And so on...

As I made my way up the final hill towards home, they sun came out from behind a huge wall of low-hanging stratus clouds as the front slowly eclipsed the sky. The contrast between the dark blue-grey of the front and the bright yellow sun was unexpected. I took it as God's way of saying "Not in your time, but in mine".

 I wished I had my phone on me to take a picture, but I had to wait to get the view from my porch:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back from a Break

I put off posting for a bit. Mostly because life got slightly insane and then husband and I went out of town for a wedding.

Baby bean completed his first race with me on October 8th. He did a great job, like he usually does when we run. There was no stroller division, but if there was, we would have won. This year was only the second running of the Fallen Soldier 5K which benefit the families of two soldiers from my husband's field artillery regiment who were killed in Iraq in 2009. One of the soldiers was my husband's rank and my sister's age (he would be 23). I knew who his wife was among the spectators before the major introduced her at the awards ceremony. A tragic loss stays on your face and in your composure for a long time. The major presented her with a folded flag that had flown in her husband's honor over the Pentagon. I could only imagine the memories of the last time she was presented with a folded flag.

The next day I had a great 7 mile run, but there was a segment on CBS News Sunday Morning about how the remains of soldiers are transported home. It followed a National Guardsman's wife from Oklahoma who's husband was killed in Afghanistan. She's now a single mom of a young son. It was a bit much for me. Watch the video here.

On a happier note, last weekend I got to spend a few days on a Gulf Coast for my friend's wedding. It was a such a fun time. We spent a day on New Orleans before going to Mobile. Overall we drank way too much and had too much fried food, but it was great. Running wasn't really a priority, but the Marriott in Mobile had one of the best fitness centers I've ever seen so I did work out a little bit. Not much. 

I spoke too soon last time about my back. Throughout our trip last week my SI joint was incredibly painful, especially while on the plane and walking around. Oddly though it didn't hurt while running. I think all of the cramped sitting on the plane was the problem.

Now it's back to reality. School is crazy and husband is about to leave for a 1 month training at Ft. Sill Oklahoma so I'll be a 1-parent show. Hopefully I'll get 2 decent runs in this weekend because it probably won't be a priority for at least a month.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Small victory :)

Nothing major, just a quick celebration. Today and Monday I ran 4-4.5 miles in my Merrell Pace Gloves. These are my longest runs to date in my minimalist shoes. *knock on wood* I have not had the typical SI joint and piriformis pain that usually plagues me while running. My feet actually look stronger. The new faster cadence has been easier on my body and it's become much more automatic.

My goal is to run the Fallen Soldier 5K on Sunday in my Merrells. 

Thank you Sir Churchill :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Note to self: Don't listen to self

Next time I decide to take my own advice, I'm going to think twice.

Example #1: I should keep up eating with my pregnant best friend. No, I should not. The post-pregnancy metabolism boost is officially over and I should no longer end each day with a Klondike bar. Good thing it's season for deliciously flavored herbal teas and low-cal hot chocolate.

Example #2: I should run the Codorus State Park Mary Furnace trail after a hurricane and record rain/flooding. I really wish I had my phone while running today so I could document the spiderwebs I ran through, the 2 inch thick mud, the debris all over the trail, the shotgun shells, and the raft disguised as a sea monster moored at the campground dock. I also told myself my Brooks Ravennas would be appropriate foot gear for this venture. In hindsight, my Merrells would have been fine (albeit wet), but I'm still hesitant to run more than 4 miles in them.

Example #3: It's worthwhile to expect quality time with my husband. We will most likely NOT be running the Fallen Soldier 5K on October 8th because---I know this will come as a shock---he has to work.

Today's soggy trail run was also some of my LEAST favorite weather: mild, muggy, foggy, completely un-crisp early autumn. Even though there was no sun, I wore my polarized lenses to at least have some contrast to see things like the spiderwebs, mud, and shotgun shells.

Shameless product mention alert! Native Eyeware's Ignition sunglasses are THE BEST. I have the rose-colored lenses and these ensure I don't have to squint even in the brightest sun. They're also great for creating contrast on nasty days like today.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Postdeluvian Running

I haven't run in a week.

School has started again, baby's back in daycare, and I'm a zombie by the time we get home. Normally I could run through these circumstances, but the heavens opened up and released their rain-soaked fury on us this week.

Now I have no qualms running in a light shower, but I draw the line at downpour and lightning. Thank goodness we're far enough from the Susquehanna that we didn't get any flooding. Husband has been called out with the Pennsylvania National Guard to patrol flooded neighborhoods and only let residents in and out. Apparently the flood has brought out the gawking onlookers.

I'm supposed to get a baby break from the Nana-fairy today so hopefully a foggy and muggy run will be on the agenda for today. Tomorrow we were supposed to do a local "Run for the Fallen", but the course is partly cross country and not stroller-friendly, despite being advertised as a "road race". Balls. Next up: 2nd Annual Fallen Soldier 5K at the Carlisle Barracks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

3 miles up, 3 miles down

More like 4 up and 4 down, but that doesn't sound nearly as cool. I found myself back in my element at the On the Rocks Trail Run in York, PA today. And there were literally many Honda Elements in addition to mine in the parking lot. Trail runners are a different breed all together. Much friendlier and much less pretentious than strictly road racers; even the really fast runners are nice. Everyone is just a bit crunchy.

I ran this race in honor of everyone involved in Jumping for Heroes this weekend in Upottery England. JFH is raising money for the Richard Winters Leadership Project which is funding a memorial to be constructed at Ste. Marie-du-Mont in Normandy, France. The memorial will feature Maj. Richard Winters (then captain) and honor all junior officers who served on D-Day. The JFH crew organized a skydive event to raise money for the project and many of the actors who portrayed Winters and the other Easy Company men in the HBO series Band of Brothers are participating. Since I cannot go to England or the L.A. for the stateside jump, I'll continue to support them with donations and telling everyone who will listen about it. Also, this awesome kid is selling wristbands to support the foundation too.

*Sigh* I wish I could just pick up and go places and do cool stuff like that.

While training at Camp Taccoa, GA in the early 1940's, the 506th Infantry regiment of the 101st Airborne Division ran 3 miles up and 3 miles down the nearby Mt. Currahee. They ran the formidable mountain often multiple times per day in full gear. "Currahee" became their rallying cry. I thought of those brave men a lot while I ran. They don't make them like the Greatest Generation anymore.
"Wild Bill" Guarnere and "Babe" Heffron. Two awesome reasons to support Jumping for Heroes

Anyway, back to the run. This was by far the most technical trail I have ever run. I am SO GLAD I did not stick to my goal of running in my Pace Gloves. I would have been out by mile 3. "On the Rocks" was no joke. It was hilly too, and not rolling hills, but sharp ascents and descents that left even the front runners hiking instead of running. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging, telling you to be careful on the upcoming stretch or telling you you CAN keep running up the hill. I miss this in road races where you're more likely to get stomped on or spat on.

Barefoot techniques really helped fight leg fatigue and I only had two near-spills towards the end when it got difficult to pick my feet up enough over the rocks. Trail running for some reason feels easier, even with rough terrain. Maybe it's the fact that you can't see the end.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Life's a beach

Today is my second full beach day and the weather is great! That wind turned around to the East yesterday afternoon, driving the green flies away and stirring up the surf.
Yesterday morning we sojourned with little E up the the pier and back (about 4 miles total) which is WAY more tiring while lugging a 16+ lb infant, so I'm considering that a decent workout.

Today I ran in Manteo for just a little bit, maybe 3 miles or so, partially in my Pace Gloves, but no more than 1/2 mile. Even while running in my Brooks I'm focusing on a mid-foot landing and a faster cadence.
Tomorrow will be an off day because Sunday is the 5K beach race! Better load up on some beer for carbs and B vitamins. Lots of B vitamins...
(taken from my phone)