Friday, October 30, 2009
Really. No joke. He's here to film the movie, "Unstoppable" about a run-away train. There's a rail line that goes right through the heart of my little 4-signal-light town. Pretty Cool. If the weather cooperates, they'll be filming all day tomorrow and a few more days after that.
About six weeks ago the production company arrived to finalize the arrangements and take applications from the towns people for extras. I didn't go--I was down at the rails-to-trails taking a 20-mile training run for next week's marathon. But I hear a good number of people will be there as "extras." DH & I plan to head downtown tomorrow for awhile and watch them film. Helicopters are arriving tomorrow, too. I don't know if they'll be used for aerial shots or if they actually play a role in the movie.
This is about as exciting as it gets in my sleepy little town. Hope I can get some pictures.
That's a wrap!
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Be warned; this blog is a downer.
Betrayed--that sums up how I feel tonight. And angry, frustrated, hopeless, and tired. There are probably a lot more adjectives that would work if Iíd dig a little deeper. Itís been weeks since Iíve been on a run that felt really goodómaybe since the half marathon in early September. Thank goodness thereís no ice cream handyóif there was, the half gallon would be empty and thereíd be a sticky ring around my face from shoving my head as far into the container as it would go to get the last licks from the bottom. Iíd look like Daisy, our dog, after she sticks her head into the yogurt container to get the last dollop. Itís comical when she does it; it would just be pathetic if I did it.
My ankles, knees, thighs, quads, and hams are all hurting. My stride is choppy and Iím barely shuffling along. Iím not enjoying this at all. Iím tired of training for the marathonómentally and physically. I wish it were over. I've been betrayed by a weak mind and weak legs.
Tonight I had to call it quits after just a few minutes of running. I had planned to run 10 miles this evening, but my muscles are tight and everything hurts. I canít risk an injury; Iím on a 50-mile relay team that is racing on Saturday and if any one of us drops out, the whole team is disqualified. My leg of the race is just short of 6 miles. Maybe with some more rest and the excitement of the race, Iíll be in a better mood and better shape on Saturday.
Iím falling behind on my marathon training plan. I missed last weekís 23 miler. I rescheduled it for Sunday, but really, I thing thatís overly optimistic. The following weekend is the Century bike ride; no running that weekend. Itís unlikely that Iíll be able to finish the ride; another downer. All my efforts this summer have gone into running. I told my friends not to wait for me; when Iíve gone as far as I can, Iíll catch the sag wagon back to the start and Iíll be waiting for them with a beer in each hand. But thatís not really how I want it to end.
I donít know what to do to get my mojo back. I want to be excited about running. I want to feel confident that Iíll finish the marathon. I want to know I can count on my joints and muscles holding up. I want my will power back! I want to eat a gallon of ice creamóBen & Jerryís NY Super Fudge Chunk.
Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. This one's been a bummer.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This week Iím Spinning instead of running. Last Sundayís HM left me with a blister the size of Rhode Island on the bottom of my foot. I didnít know it was there until the early a.m. hours on Monday when I was roused from my sleep by a hot, burning sensation. No running until it heals sufficiently.
Itís been a long time since Iíve gone to spinning class. This may all be fortuitous as I have a Century (100 mile) bike ride coming up the first weekend of October, and Iíve barely been on the bike.
At 5:40 p.m., TC cranked up the music, turned down the lights, and closed (locked??) the door. There would be no escaping.
We started out slow; a nice leisurely pedal on a flat road. ďIncrease your cadenceĒ he shouted over the music. ďMake those legs turn over.Ē I hunched over the handles and churned my legs like pistons in an engine. Not bad; running has built up some muscle. ďOkay, now give your bike a full turn; you should be at 5 out of 10 on the resistance.Ē I gave it a full crank. The pistons slowed a bit. I pushed them harder. A few minutes later, they pushed back. I eased the resistance back a quarter turn.
ďOkay. Weíre starting up the hill. Another full turnóyouíre at 6 now. Weíre going to position 2.Ē I upped the resistance to 6 and stood up. Each turn of the pedal I rise and fall. The music is pounding; the beat has slowed a bit driving home the slower, more difficult cadence. Sweat is pouring; chest is heaving. ďIn a minute, weíre going to position 3 where youíll alternate for a couple of minutes between positions 3 and 1ó4-6 pedal rotations at each position; crank the resistance to 7.Ē
I set my resistance to 7. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 down I go to the seat; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and up I go leaning over the handlebars. The music is pounding louder, my breathing is labored, my eyes are stinging from the sweat. The pistons have slowed; this vehicle needs a tune up!! I backed off the resistance before the engine had a blow up. ďKeep it going; weíre going to do this sequence three more times; a 40-second rest at resistance 5 between each series. For the next sequence, itís 4 pedal rotations for each position.Ē
1, 2, 3, 4 up out of the seat; 1, 2, 3, 4 down on the seat. I so desperately want to take a sneak peak at the clock. Is this class half over? Almost over? Donít look . . . donít look . . . donít look. D*%#, I looked. It is only 6:02. I canít do this; this is tougher than running. There is sweat pooling in my shoes; dripping from my nose, my hairówhy doesnít anyone else have a wading pool beneath her bike?
Focus on the music . . . boom, boom, boom. I can feel it in my bones; reverberating in my head. Pushing me to keep pedaling. ďOkay, weíre climbing again. Get ready.Ē Wait, wait . . . where was that 40 second break? I donít feel like I got a break!! Up goes the resistance, slower go the legs. But Iím going to make it. I have to finish. Thatís the name of the game. Finish what you start.
6:30 . . . finished!! And Iím going back for more tonight.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Two weeks ago I had a massage (it's been about a year since I' last had one) hoping that it would relieve what I think is Piriformis Syndrome. It was wonderful. The one-hour massage focused just on my glutes, hamstrings, quads and ITB. For the first time in months, maybe a year, I was pain free when sitting. Sessions with the chiropractor never completely alleviated the pain.
Tonight I went back and had the same massage all over again. Pure heaven--at least after the massage was over. During the massage, I had to breathe deep and clench my teeth a bit as she really dug in and worked the muscles loose. When she worked on the glutes, I could feel muscles release the whole way down to my ankles.
I'm counting down the days (30) until the next massage. Massage will become a regular part of my training plan. Before I started running, I thought of massage as a luxury. Now I see it as a necessity.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The organizers could not have wished for a more beautiful day. Last I had checked the weather, it was to be cool at 8 am---maybe mid-60s and partly sunny. What we got was a bit warmer with a beautiful clear, blue sky. Perfect for a 13-mile run.
The alarm went off at 4:45 and I jumped out and started to get ready. By 5:45, I was checked out of the hotel and on my way to the Waffle House for breakfast. I had packed bagels for breakfast, but I was craving some waffles. The restaurant was just about deserted--one guy who was finishing up and me. Breakfast was very leisurely, and I arrived at the race at 6:45, picked up my packet and headed straight for the bathrooms since there wasn't yet a line. A quick trip to the car to drop off the goodie bag--lots of candy bars, a t-shirt, and vanilla Myoplex. Then I did a little warm up run, some very light stretching, and in general, took in the scene. At 7:40, I was in line waiting for the start, when I looked down to check out what shoes people were wearing, and I realized I had forgotten to pick up my chip! Yikes, not a good omen. So, it was a fast jog back to the registration area.
The warm up run was mostly to check out the condition of my hip. It was back to hurting quite a bit. I tried a couple of different paces, swinging my arms differently, even changing where my foot struck, but nothing seemed to make a difference. I figured I'd do my best and see what happened. There was the bigger picture to take into consideration--if I ignored the pain and injured it, it would be a huge set back to the marathon training.
At 8:05, they got the race started. The first half mile was really jammed with runners and the path was narrow, so we had to walk a bit, then a very slow jog until it thinned out. Within minutes I was seriously considering a DNF and going home. Two things stopped me: (1) Brian36 and Dragonfly1974 were virtually running with me for awhile, and (2) I knew I could run the race using Galloway's plan to give my hip some rest. So I settled into an 8:2 interval. Between miles 3 & 4, the pain continued. We were doing a loop and would be close to where we started, so again I assessed my pain threshold. I was leaning heavily to leaving the race.
But then, right smack in front of me, is a guy wearing a bright orange shirt with "Death Before DNF" emblazoned in large letters. A coincidence? A sign? You bet!!! From that point on, I was determined to push it until I absolutely, positively could not take another step.
Somewhere between miles 5 & 6, the pain started to dissipate. It was merely a small annoyance. When I crossed mile 6, the pain was gone. I don't know if the hip was warmed up adequately or if the nerves simply couldn't send out any more pain messages, but I had relief.
My goal was ambitious--2 hours, 15 minutes for a 10:18 pace. At each mile marker, I was anywhere between 30 seconds to just over a minute off my pace--and this was with 2 minutes of walking after every 8 minutes. I was really astounded and several times became very emotional that it was going so well considering the start. Around mile 8, I noticed that I was passing runners, but they weren't passing me unless it was during my walk period. That was a great boost.
The coolest sign at the race was standing in a front yard with some young kids beside it: "Hurry Up!! We can't have lunch until the last runner crosses the finish line."
I started laughing and almost choked on the Sport Beans I was munching.
At mile 12, I got choked up again (gotta find a way to control those tears). I was going to make it and it had been a very good race. I just couldn't believe that 2 hours ago I had considered going home. I want to tell people, "Don't ever, ever give up." But that is not smart advice--people have had heart attacks, stress fractures, etc. with that attitude. So, my message is less dramatic--Give it your best every time.
My time: 2:16:20. Oh, sheesh, I'm tearing up again. A new PR. I bested the Cook Forest HM by 8 minutes, 32 seconds. I had doubts that I could set a PR using Galloway's method, but I am a true believer now.
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