Thursday, August 19, 2010

The line has been crossed...

I have just crossed the line from a "recreational runner" to a "psycho-crazed-training-for-a-marathon" runner.  OK, admittedly I stopped being a recreational runner last summer, when our Running Diva group emerged and started training for craziness such as half marathons, 25Ks and the like.  But this week I have turned the corner.  I have been obsessing about missing training runs like someone from the TV show "Obsessed" thinks about flicking light switches.  Up until this week, my runs have been automatic, enjoyable, and natural.  Visiting my mom this week, without the normal distractions of taking care of my house, teaching classes, and juggling a crazy schedule, I've had lots of time to obsess about my running. Or lack thereof. In the Carolina heat and humidity, the only time for me to get out for a jaunt is super early in the A.M., before my momma heads to work. Since I threw the phone across the room yesterday morning and blogged to you all about skipping out on my track workout, I came up with a grand plan.  Note:  Here comes the psychosis.

I thought, "WOW!  What fun would it be for me AND the boys to run along the track?!  I could get my workout in, they could play outside, and we'll all be happy".  I raced to put my running clothes on and brought the kids down their sneakers and sleeveless shirts.  "Boys! We are going RUNNING!", I proclaim.  They glance up at me from their DSs with glassy eyed blank stares.  Oh yeah, I think, these kids need exercise.  We lace up our sneaks, fill up the water bottles, and grab our ipods.  I am having visions of my 5 and 7 year old trotting alongside me on the track, me listening to Lady Gaga and them jamming to Alvin and the Chipmunks. We open the door and the sun blares in our faces and the heat hits us like a ton of bricks.  "'s hottttt".  "It's fine," I protest, "get in the car and let's hit the track".  I glance up at the thermometer in the car.  87 degrees, it reads. At least it's not 90, I rationalize. 

We park the car and walk down to the track, the boys at least 50 steps behind me, already with looks of boredom and disgust on their faces.  "Won't this be soooooo fun?", I ask.  I show them the long jump sand they can play in, the football field they can run on, the bleachers they can climb.  Mild interest creeps on their faces, but I still see a hint of "what in the HECK are we doing here" behind their already sweaty brows.

I set off to begin my planned 4 mile run:  1 mile warm up, 6 x400s, and cool down.  My first lap around the boys are doing some long jumps and give me big, smiley waves as I pass.  Lap 2 both boys, on the football field, join me for about 100 feet.  Lap 3 I get tentative high fives.  I am sure I detect the start of protests and frowns but I keep on truckin.  Lap 4 (1 mile) I pass them sitting down on the field as they are saying something to me but alas, my ipod is turned up too loud to hear them.  Lap 5 I find them laying on the field and at this point I decide I might only be able to get in 3 miles.  I do a couple random 200s ( is warm out here...).  Lap 6 they are both yelling something at me.  I'm no lip reader but I could see the words HOT and GO.  I yell back "Go play under the bleachers...I think there is shade under there.  Drink your water!" and I press on for some more random 200s.  Lap 7 I don't even look their direction but blurt out "2 more to go and I will buy you toys and slushees at Walmart!!!".  If I can just get to 2.5 miles I will be happy... Lap 8 they are near tears, faces flushed, begging me to leave because they are so hot.  Guilt is setting in for sure. I tell them to give me one more time around the track and we'll leave. I finish my lap and stop the Garmin at 2.25 miles and they trail behind me as we head to the car.  I am still desperate for 2.5 miles though (don't ask me why...I think I was dehydrated and being totally irrational) so I plop them in the A/C cooled down car (gotta love remote start) and I continue to RUN LAPS AROUND THE PARKING LOT until my Garmin rolls to 2.5.  Seriously?  Laps in the parking lot? Am I insane?

Probably.  But as we headed to Walmart to buy treats (the only public place I felt comfortable going to stinky and dripping in sweat), I felt pretty good that I got out there and did something.  No, it wasn't the 4 miles I planned...but it was more than half that and it was something.

And I felt even better that I did that measly 2.5 miles because I had to miss this morning's 11 miles because of a wicked thunderstorm rolling through at 5:30 am.  I am not crazy to run in that nonsense.  Not yet, anyway.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Go-Go

Vacation all I ever wanted.  Vacation have to get away...

Gotta love the Go-Gos. But I am quite certain Belinda Carlisle wasn't knee deep in her marathon training when she pened that tune.  Like I said in the previous post, when it comes time for vacay, I am quite lax on the normal routine.  I eat more.  I drink more.  Trans fats ooze out of my pores.  I exercise less. And, usually I don't feel guilty about it one bit.

Fast forward to this vacation. 8 small weeks left until 26.2 and I am on a 2 week excersion to Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, NC (to visit mom) and Connecticut (to celebrate my nana's 80th).  Along with packing my bathing suit and sunscreen, I pack my Garmin, Spibelt, and GUs.  30 miles or so per week, with a long run of 17 and 11 miles thrown in the mix of some short and mid-distance runs. Really?   At home, no problem.  I have my running classes that keep me honest, knocking out the short runs easily.  I actually look forward to the weekly long runs with my girls (whether there is 1 or 5 of us out there).  The mid distance runs are a sunday morning treat where Zach mans the boys solo and I clear my head for an hour or so.

Down here, it's a different story.  Last week at the Beach, I dragged myself out of bed to do my mid-distance (7 miles) and my long run.  Looooonnnnnggggggg.  17 big old miles.  I did (in a freaky sort of way) look forward to it because we did it along the ocean. I ran part of it solo and Zach joined me for the last 11. I wouldn't have done it without him so thanks babe (even though he left me the dust for the last 1/2 mile.  Whatever).

Now, I am at my mom's where I have a full week of runs to accomplish and zero motivation to do ANY of them.  My 8 mile run turned into a 5 1/2 mile run yesterday morning.  This morning I was supposed to do a 4 mile track workout.  The alarm went off on my phone and I chucked it across the room and went back to sleep.  Tomorrow I am supposed to crank out 11 miles.  Hmmm.  We'll see how that rolls.

Instead of the lax vacation attitude, I am totally guilt-ridden that I am missing these training runs.  I know in the grand scheme of things, missing a few runs here and there won't make me crumble at the 20 mile marker in Baltimore in October.  It's like I have the angel and the devil on my shoulder, like the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.  The angel is Hal Hidgon (whose running training program I am following), perched on top of my left shoulder, telling me that every mile counts and to just get out there and do SOMETHING.  And then the devil, is Belinda Carlisle, crooning in my ear "vacation all i ever wanted...." and drinking a big Blue Moon and laughing "maaaawwwhaaaahaaa".

OK.  This morning Hal is winning.  As I type this I am guilted into doing "something".  So the boys and I are strapping on our Saucanys and hitting the track down the street.  I can't promise it's gonna be a quality speed workout or might only be a few laps.  But at least it's something. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On the road again

Greetings from somewhere in the foothills of North Carolina. Our journey began at a mere 5:30 am, when we shoved 2 bleary-eyed boys, still in PJs, into our Acadia, packed to the gills with unnecessarily large amounts of stuff. A travel mug full of coffee, vacation had begun, with yours truly behind the wheel to start our 12 hour road trip to Myrtle Beach. Have you ever noticed something about a road trip (and vacation for that matter) erases all the rules regarding diet, behavior, habits, etc.? Case in point: my snack bag for the car. Non-road trip Kim would happily munch on roasted almonds and make the boys munch on a cereal bar from Trader Joes. Road trip Kim, however, has managed to pack every high-fructose corn syrup/partially-hydrogenated oil/trans fat laden snack known to man. We've got goldfish (with marshmellows in them for god's sake!), Pringles (I believe you cannot go to the beach without them), Blow-Pops/Smarties (read: bribes), Chex Mix, Bugles, ChipsAhoy, Combos...oh, I could go on. There is something magical about putting the car in drive, embarking on your journey, with a fistful of sour cream and onion Pringles.
Not only do we eat with wild abandon, but all rules regarding technology get thrown to the wayside. 2 straight hours playing Pokemon on the DS? GO for it. You want to watch UP, Wall-E, and Cars all in a row? Knock yourself out! Just keep those headphones on and don't touch each other, please. No license plate games in this vehicle.
Hell, I am even letting Zach play his Ipod which is chock full of family favorites from Motley Crew, Pantera (really?), and Metallica. Rock on brotha. Just let me read my magazines (another rule: nothing less than smut and celebrity gossip allowed) and type my blog.
Directions? What exit? Uh oh...I'd better look like I am paying attention...
BTW-who knew there were so many "biscuit stores" around here...may have to add that to the road trip menu!