Monday, June 24, 2013
Today was awesome - and not awesome. It was definitely emotional. I spent the night at Mom's, close to the race.
Because I've been sick and really wanted a good night sleep, I made the mistake of buying some cold and cough medicine I'd never tried before yesterday and I took my first dose ever last night. It will be my last one. I am allergic to Nyquil and I am apparently allergic to this, too. I had hives and my pulse and blood pressure were very high. I could not sleep all night. I had the itches, the scratches, my heart pounding in my ears, diarrhea and my diastolic pressure was 107-120 for most of the night. (That's the number on the BOTTOM.) I was afraid to awaken Mom because Dad died of anaphylactic shock due to allergic reactions to medicine. He woke her up one night, said she'd better call 911 and died before she was even off the phone. So I felt stupid and full of dread. I kept the Epipen ready, but it makes my heart race even more, so I did not plan to use it unless I came down too low.
And I wondered: WHY do people ever want to be on uppers? I just don't get it. Yes, my mind was racing. No, it wasn't a bit of fun.
At 5:30 I had breakfast and tried to calm down with Tim Noakes' book Lore of Running, which is really incredible if you are into the physiology of the sport, although I don't agree with his stance on carbo loading. (He is for it.) By then I was coming down a little.
By 7:30 I was a little woozy feeling from lack of sleep, but it was time to go. My husband was going to drive up from our house and meet me there. I got lost on the way to the park. I ended up in a park that almost looked right. There were about 30 people stretching in the grass, but - funny - they were mostly doing the same stretches, and that didn't seem right for runners, who are individualistic sorts. I drove by really slowly, staring out my window. They stared back. Then I saw the park name. Skinner Butte. I didn't think my butt was skinny enough yet for me to stay there so I turned around and headed back the other direction. I was still apparently driving very slowly and got honked at several times. I couldn't decide on several occasions whether to turn left or right.
But I got there. I had preregistered and so they had my name and race number. I almost cried when I saw it.
Number 9. My dad called me Nine. It was my nickname my whole life. I may have felt like garbage, but I knew I was supposed to be there. They were expecting 140 people and I got to be number 9. I didn't know whether to cry or start laughing.
My husband showed up and promised again that he wouldn't go to meet me at the half way point. It was a GOOD THING, too, and not just so he wouldn't embarrass me. This was a race to benefit a suicide prevention awareness group and two families who had lost young men this year to suicide had quite a few runners and walkers participating. This morning the pregnant widow of one of the men who committed suicide went to the hospital with contractions. They sent her away, saying she still had a little time yet... so she called the person hosting the race and said she was bringing a nurse and she was going to do it.
I am not lying.
So they altered the course THAT MORNING so no one had to go on the other side of the highway. Instead, we went on Pre's trail for part of the trip. It was NOT on the original plans, but it was great. There were a few hills, but it was bark lined and shaded. There was, of course the symbolism and the wonderfulness. How could you not feel grand running past Autzen stadium, the home of TrackTown USA, while running on the trail founded by Steve Prefontaine, himself?
If my husband had brought his bike and biked to the other side of the highway, he would have been waiting there for a long time... no doubt fearing the worst, considering my medical history.
The person who redrew the race said it was almost 3 miles. We are not sure exactly how much. No one's pedometers and foot pods read exactly the same. I ran/walked it in 35.26 minutes. Lately, on a good day I have been doing about 3.11 miles in 39 minutes. I figure 2.9 is about the right mileage based on my time, the speed I feel I was running, Runnersworld.com's pace calculator, and how much it looked like was cut off the original route when I looked at an aerial map. However, people reported mileage from 2.7 to 3.5 miles. So that tells you how accurate pedometers are. People set them once based on how they walk alone and then they walk completely differently with other people. I got my own foot pod yesterday FedEx, but didn't have time to program it.
Either way, I felt like I was doing a 13 minute mile... and that's about what it looked like according to where I placed. There were about 20 people very far ahead of me, people who were obviously much fitter, who had trained longer, people who were doing 7 minute miles. One woman came in ten minutes ahead of everyone else and no one even saw her but my husband because no one even expected her to come in. She was super fit - had six pack abs - and we were surprised she wasn't running the half marathon that was also scheduled for today. She ended up with her picture in the newspaper, along with pictures of some family members.
There were also at least 100 people very far behind me, although to be fair, only about 20 of them were runners. (The newspaper reported about 50 runners total. They were being generous and including the people who ran when they saw the finish line. The race management crew gave out 147 numbers, I believe.) One man in his late 70s probably ran the whole way. Very slowly, but he never stopped. We talked a couple times. I eventually passed him for good, but when he came across the finish line, I started up a big hoot and hollar for him. He was the next person behind me, about 21st. They didn't keep track of our places or give out any age prizes. But I thought he deserved at least recognition for his steady effort.
The pregnant woman was NOT last. She came in about an hour later, in a small group. We roared with applause for her. We whoop whooped. We jumped up and down. We embarrassed the daylights out of her. We loved her up. I had tears in my eyes and I didn't care who saw. She is my new heroine. Some of her family whisked her away a little afterwards.
I don't even CARE that this wasn't a regulation race, although maybe one or two of the faster runners might have. I am so inspired by the thought that people would redraw a race for this woman and that she would complete the entire course, 3.11 miles or not.
When I got to Mom's, she took David and me out to lunch. David bought me a pair of Nike Flex shoes that I adore. I love the pair I already have - the only pair of shoes I have ever worn that have never pinched or rubbed my huge honkers. And they are so light! So I got pampered a little bit, as if I had run a half marathon or somehow done something awesome!
And then I relaxed before napping and read the Sunday paper... and found out in the Sunday paper in Oregon that the mother of a friend in Virginia died in a rather horrific plane crash. Complete with firey photo.
So today was a day of thinking about people who died and shouldn't have. Not Garrett Big Guy Brandt, whose widow finished the race today. Not my father. Not my friend's mother. All of these people died suddenly, unexpectedly, and none of us saw it coming. What can we do about it? We can honor their memories and do the best we can to love and care for the families that remain behind. We can take care of ourselves as well as we can, vowing to be healthy for ourselves and for our families.
I made a little collage. I could have just posted me coming across the finish line, but since I am all by myself, it looks kind of staged... like SURE she didn't just show up all by herself and pretend she did a race! Up in the left hand corner is the father of the soon-to-be-born (tonight?) baby. I promised a week or two ago that I would keep running until I caught Bigfoot. In the lower hand corner is Bigfoot, sneaking off before I could catch up to him. I guess I will have to keep on running.
And a close up of me trying to sneak onto the moonbounce:
I was going to go farther in, but it started to sag, so I backed up and my husband caught me with a silly grin. I am glad I didn't go any farther. I coaxed two very small children in a few minutes after this picture was snapped and it collapsed on them. I would have been mortified if I had caused the collapse!
Friday, June 21, 2013
..we'll all make a fortune selling Daddy's dope!
Please remind me not to sing this aloud when I'm on the course on Sunday. I dug out my Nano, which I had shoved in a desk drawer. It was given to me as a gift and I had not used it. I was annoyed by my hubby and kids with those dang earplugs shoved in their ears all the time, and besides, I have one busted ear drum that makes loud music annoying, anyway.
I have a race on Sunday and I've been sick most of the last two months. I have life long asthma and I've been dogged by a respiratory illness that just won't go away. It's not really bad, just persistent. But I'm going to run, anyway, if I can. I've been running all along, just not fast - more like slogging - and I've been doing a lot of walking. I was actually doing BETTER at the beginning of my running than I am doing now.
I have told my husband he is ABSOLUTELY NOT to check up on me at the half way point like he wants to. I will show him that I put my inhalant in my pocket. After that, I want to be NORMAL! I will be embarrassed if he makes a fuss. I'd rather he shows me he thinks I am Bad to the Bone by waiting at the finish line with a camera! If I find he DOES wait for me at the half way point, I'll "tan his hide when he died, Clyde, and that's it hanging on the shed!" Oh, well... maybe not. I just wanted to use another lyric. But you get the idea.
However, my breathing problems really have become a BELIEVING problem. So I decided I needed some distraction. I was a DJ waaaaaaaayyyy back in the day, when I used to bring my own LPs and occasionally 45s and even 78s and tapes to the studio to augment the stations' collections. (Two stations, one college, one non-profit, both underfunded.) So I chose some music that was FUN, that made me remember being young. I chose music that was appropriately about 120-130ish beats a minute, paced right for a slow but steady runner.
My selection is all on shuffle, to surprise me. It includes:
Zydeco: several Beau Zocque - Boogie Woogie All Night Long is my favorite one
Paul Simon - That Was Your Mother
Reggae: Desmond Dekker - 007 Shanty Town - and YES, I DO know the words
Bob Marley - Buffalo Soldier
Silly Sixties: Coasters - Three Cool Cats and Yakety Yack
Clarence Frogman Henry - Aint Got No Home
Rolf Harris - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport
Alternative: Dave Mathews - Tripping Billies
Swing/Country: Bill Kirchen: Swing Fever
Rock: George Thoroughgood - Bad to the Bone, Move it On Over, One Bourbon, One Whiskey, One Beer - he has GOOD running rhythms
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Spank
Ramones - We're a Happy Family (me, Mom and Daddy!)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Aeroplane
The Kinks - Lola
The Presidents of the United States of America - Lump
Paul Simon - Ace in the Hole
The Police - Roxanne
Santana and guests - Smooth and Why Don't You and I
Blues Rock: Stevie Ray Vaughan -Let Me Love You Baby
Funk: Wild Cherry - Play that Funky Music
Folk Opera: Porgy and Bess - I got Plenty of Nothing
If you know the lyrics to these songs, at least 70% of them are ridiculous. How could anyone feel miserable running to these? They come from a disparate mixture of genres, but are close enough in tempo and mood so they segue pretty well. I did have to drop a couple of old songs I wanted to keep because the sound quality was so low that it sounded awful in the mix. And I couldn't find a GOOD copy of some peppy old favorites like "Who put the Benzadrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?" But this should keep my busy for a couple of runs. Anyway, I ran out of time to add any more!
One thing about the silly ones: I have to watch my form! It is hard not to want to get bouncy and silly while listening! So if you see someone moving more vertically than horizontally, with a goofy grin, mouthing occasional nonsense like "kangaroo" and "piranha pajama", well, it's probably me.
Edited to add: I got good copies of Mrs Murphy AND Ain't Nobody Here But us Chickens! Ha! (Nothing worse than straining to hear a quiet old scratchy song with one good ear and then being jarred afterwards by the Ramones! But these are good!) Re: Play that Funky Music, I'm sure it was at least half satire. At one point he squeals incredulously about playing it until he DIES?!?
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Shirazsolly's vision collage shows my goals:
1: enjoy exercise and running!
2: goal weight 140
3: find Bigfoot
The last one is a joke, but when I moved in, I did hear from the locals that Bigfoot had been spotted not far from my property several times in the last several years. I think it was a bear on his hind legs. But I could be wrong!
By the way, I took pains to find muscular women. No ephemeral, diaphanous, see-through-body princesses and underwear models on my collage. Nope. I'll never be one of those critters, so why daydream about them for even an instant? I didn't put any sprinters on there, either. I'm too stiff for those quick starts and I have short, big legs and big arms so I looked for endurance runners and female gireviks.
Edited to add: I should give credit where credit is due: the girevik is Lauren Brooks. She is not a Shape and Cosmo girl, underwear-posing kind of "athlete". She is the real deal, in My Mad Methods for April. I have no clue who the runners are and the woman flexing her biceps came off a "risky" website (my McAfee software told me AFTER I clicked on it to find out who she was so I didn't stay to see who she was).
P.S. Notice the man running BEHIND all those women! I don't know if he's enjoying the view or he can't keep up.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
The first day assignment for BLC didn't make me very happy.
My hubby and I are both sick. For two weeks I thought I was having a bad time with perimenopause. Really exhausted, late period, stomach upset, grumpy, having extra bad allergies, hot flashes that were straight from Hades, couldn't sleep. But then my husband got the same exact symptoms. (Of course, his period's always late!) Unlike me, he went to the doctor and the doc put him on antibiotics. I just kept slogging away on the treadmill 'cause I'm stubborn that way. And I gained 2.75 lbs anyway! In less than a week. Yeah, I went over my calories 4 or 5 days in the last 8 - but I tracked, and none of those days were by more than 200. And I kept working out despite feeling terrible! Grrrrr...
And my waist is BIGGER! DOUBLE GRRRRRR...
And today's Presidential Challenge meant I had to measure my fitness levels on a bunch of stuff that I can't do like normal people can. Then these levels were placed on a percentile with others in my age range and gender. Since I'll have to redo the same exercises later, I kept track of my modified versions. Here's what I did:
Plyometric wall push ups (due to neuropathy, I can't do standard pushups, but regular wall push ups are too easy). I fall on the wall, bound off, clap, fall back on the wall, etc... hands wide apart, over and over again, for one minute as directed.
Lying leg lifts from floor to 90 degrees straight up and back to floor. Again, due to neuropathy (I have spinal disc degeneration C3-7 and T8-10 so my neck and back do not curve much and I have significant pain when I try. Also I have left side weakness). I thought I did great, but Pres Challange didn't think so!
My sit and reach abilities obviously suck. I can hardly reach my knees whether standing or sitting.
And kept 13.2 pace on my run.
Pushups: _95__ (%)
Half Sit-ups: _30__ (%)
Sit and Reach: __5_ (%)
1 mile walk/1.5 mile run: _20__ (%)
BMI 25.3 "Overweight, risk for disease."
Overall score: _37__ (%)
What a downer score! I don't think there is a lot of chance I can improve these, except my BMI and my run time by the end of my 12 week BLC.
If anyone else in the Violet Venuses is feeling just as grumpy about their results, well, let's all just virtually paper the houses of who ever gave us such bad scores. Too bad there's no emoticon for that!
At least my weight, I hope, will be normal again next week. I suspect the 3 lbs is at least half water gain. I drank like a fish yesterday because I was so hot.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Nope... I didn't say I'm leaving them in the dust. Two of the races I'd wanted to do this summer look like they're all junk and I'm trying not to be disgruntled. And the third organizers haven't answered their emails and the website isn't very informative. That's what I get, I guess, for picking them for convenience rather than for the event organizer.
The June 23rd race, Emotions in Motion in Eugene, Oregon, might still turn out to be an ok beginner's nonprofit race, but there sure isn't a lot of advance information. Oh, well. It is on a convenient day, at a convenient time, in a place not too far away for me to visit my Mom afterwards... so it won't be like all is lost. It was only $20 to register.
The July 20th race, Lighthouse and Lake 5k, apparently has been cancelled, but none of the running websites know that. It used to be listed on Reedsport/Winchester Bay's info, too, but has magically vanished off their tourist websites. I've already paid for registration. Unlike Emotions, I don't live close enough so I can just drive there the morning of the race.
I also reserved a place at the local state park for 3 nights and my husband and I were planning to make a vacation out of it. I've been emailing people for a week trying to figure out what's going on and tomorrow morning I'm going to have to restrain myself from calling and being irate. I'm just going to get my registration money back. Now we have to decide if we're going to go to the park for our little vacation, anyway or to change our reservations to a less crowded time? Because July on the Dunes is crazy! Everyone brings their 4 wheelers and cases of beer and it gets noisy. (Kind of mindbogglingly different from green and vegan Eugene!)
There was a third 5k/9k for which I hadn't registered, on July 13th. However, I almost did because it this race is a charity to benefit a lovely local park with peacocks, big trees dripping with moss, a creek and horses. I wanted to see the trail first, though, because the park website was unclear about where the race would be held and I remembered some of the park as being rather unsuitable for my plastic-wrap-for-cartilage- self. Fifteen years ago I would have done any of these trails with relish.
I had gone out to see the trail after heavy rain and wondered if the race would be held on the largest clear trail, which was made by cattle and horses, and was therefore full of hoof-print dents and debris. There was also at least one hill that did not seem to end, ever. I walked up it while my husband and the dogs stood at the bottom. I got to what they thought was the top, looked down at them and they were smaller than my pinky fingernail. And I was not even half way up.
I couldn't find anyone to ask so I wandered around, looking at various places that had trail signs. One was really nice, bark chip lined and wound through a treed area, but it was too narrow for a crowd and was heavily slanted to the right, in the direction that my ankles unfortunately turn. I noticed my right ankle was somewhat swollen the next day. I started across the street at another trail, which was completely unmowed and was barely recognizeable. I thought, well, this is Oregon... maybe a crew will come out and clear the area up.
I went back a week later and asked the groundskeeper if there would be any maintenance done before the race. First he was confused. "What race?" Then, after I told him what I read on the website, he laughed. "Oh, no", he said, as if that were completely preposterous, as if I were a city slicker... "what you see is what you get." So I won't be signing up for that one. Meanwhile, a peacock pecked at the door of my car. I guess he didn't like what he saw, either.
Grumble... there are two other convenient 5ks, but they are $40! For a 5k! One of them isn't even for charity! Gee Whillikers!
(5k and 9ks are bad enough... Can you even imagine MARATHON event planners being this lackadaisical about their runners' feelings, efforts, time and money? And having hundreds of marathoners show up in an idyllic seaside town on a July weekend, expecting the perfect race after months of hard training? I'm picturing a biker movie riot scene ... but with buff men and women in tiny shorts!)
There's another race coming up by Eclectic Edge in August (Umpqua River Run) and they have a very good reputation as event organizers. Their entrance fee is $30 and it is for charity. I think I'll sign up for that. At least I know they'll be there on race day. Their website ALREADY, in June, explains registration, parking, packets and footpods. This one has real money prizes, so I don't have a prayer of placing well (competition will be steep in a poor economy area like Douglas County!!!) but it will be a real, professional race.
Oh, well... I am a member of the the Violet Venus BLC team now, so even if I don't currently have a slew of good races to look forward to, at least I have 12 weeks of other reasons to keep on running... until I stack my schedule full again. I do like a full schedule... keeps me on track.
Today I walked for almost ten minutes straight . That wasn't in the plan, but my first supposed 4 minute run ended up being less than 2 minutes because I had to blow my nose repeatedly. Solly enjoyed chasing the tissue that I dropped because it raced to the back of the treadmill and fell off. Once I decided I was "done" I put my treadmill on 4 and slogged (jogged at a very slow pace, like running through slush) for most of the next 30. Solly watched the treadmill for more tissues a few minutes, gave up and wandered off. Sometimes I increased the incline to 5, but lowered it again soon. Once I got to 3.1 miles, I decreased the incline and my speed for a cooldown.
Afterwards, I did assorted strength training and a few stretches and went outside to weedwack. So I had a good exercise day and felt a little better about running in general. Maybe I deserve better races, right?
Get An Email Alert Each Time SHIRAZSOLLY Posts