I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Training’

Pay to Play: Race Report

I don’t know about y’all, but there are times when I simply cannot persuade myself to make time to run. I make all sorts of excuses – fatigue won’t allow me to do my best, or I could be spending time with those family people or working, etc. So I did what any girl on a Friday would do to get my feet back on the pavement. Registered for a 5k scheduled for Saturday. 

I prepared myself quickly and quietly so as not to wake Lil One or Adonis. The race site was a nearby familiar one – I did most of my marathon training around this particular lake. Knowing that my race registration would help to benefit victims of human trafficking was even more motivating to me. It is funny how we get wrapped up in these questions about our value and self-worth, taking for granted the freedom we have to be able to spend even one moment to reflect, when there are so many who lack just that – freedom. I told myself that when the horn went off, I was going to run for anyone who can’t. No time for self-pity OR self-flaggelation! 

I really was not sure what it meant to pace myself when it started; rather, I didn’t know what it would look like today. My marathon pace was 13:26 and I have a tough time with perspective – sometimes a 13 minute pace feels like a 9 minute pace and I’m just slow no matter what, you know? Gahhhh! Focus! Just. Run. 

And so I did. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t look at my Garmin, but it WAS a race and I did want to do my best by maintaining whatever pace I could. When I got tired, I thought of the freedom I had to be there that morning. As I turned toward the finish, I lamented that the course appeared to be .1m short, but no matter. I went and I did it AND my pace was 10:14! 

Who. Is. This. 

The only explanation I have for such a speedy performance is the fact that I’ve been getting sufficient sleep and eating very cleanly, because the only runs I’ve been doing have been with the girls training for their first 5k or with Adonis, running and walking for our half-marathon relay. Lesson: problems can be solved by clean eating, sleep, and money! 

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Who am I? Race Report

E Major

That’s the key of my alarm that went off in its futile attempt to wake me at 4:30 this morning. 

E Major, but louder. 

I groaned. 4:39. ‘I’m not ready for this race…’ I shut off the alarm. 

My thoughts.

Decidedly louder and less harmonious than my alarm, my thoughts of potential regret are what finally got me out of bed at 4:45. Well, that and Adonis pounding on my door. My fabulous future hubs made me breakfast as I prepared for the half-marathon ahead of me. 

Though I was armed with my bib holder and best running lipstick, I was plagued with doubt. My longest continuous run in my current training cycle was 8.5 miles. I was worried about both my mental and physical stamina. In my previous post I wrote regarding my grand expectations for this race. Knowing how far I have fallen from my 2014 peak kinda bums me out. I hadn’t run a half-marathon since the last leg of my half-ironman. My piano teacher always told me that the reason for practicing is not just for skill building but for building confidence. The guilt that comes with not practicing is enough to sap the most talented of confidence. 

As I walked to get my bib, I stared at the finish line. My eyes started to tear. The half-marathon distance has always moved me. I know that I cannot take any of the approximately 30,000 steps that are between me and a finisher’s medal alone. Though on my feet, I am forced to my proverbial knees in a way that I don’t so tangibly feel for shorter distances. 

I took in the crowd. I overheard conversations between other runners. “I’m running with the 1:40 pacer!” Heh. I was trying to decide what a reasonable goal was for me. “Beat the balloon lady?” I thought to myself. I had been thinking this week that considering how underprepared I am I should be happy with 3 hours or less. I searched for the 3 hour pacer. “13:43 min mile,” his sign read. I figured I would be safe but I was not sure if I would be bored. I saw the 2:45 pacer. “12:35.” I walked over to him and told him I wanted to run with him. He smiled and recommended that I keep him in my “rearview mirror” to ensure that I finish in a time I wanted. 

I took a selfie at the starting line and made a face in an attempt to reflect my emotions… 

 I think that captured my Jessie Spano-like state of split emotions. I mean, I did have the morbid curiosity to show up today. Could be fun. 

The horn went off, and off I went. It was good to be moving in the cold weather. I checked my watch. “11:30.” I turned to see if Billy the Pacer was in my rearview mirror. BTP was sho ’nuff in my blind spot! What the hell?! Forever the good student, I sped up. I wasn’t feeling as drained as I thought I might. Yes, I know I still had 13 of 13.1 miles to go. I smiled as we made our first turn. I felt my calves greet me hello. It is here that I am making a public service announcement for all pensive runners – do NOT reflect on the meaning of life before a race instead of warming up. Do them at the same time. I shrugged and kept going. 

I observed the people around me. BTP was talking to a chick who was running her first half. A man was running in memory of a 15 year old who died last month. Some old dude left me in the dust. I grinned. I was moving forward. 

I greeted new people I would encounter. “Good morning!” “You seem happy,” one man responded. “I am!” I said. “I’m alive.” And it was true. Had I had the breath, I would have elaborated that I was alive and could run. My brain had clicked into performance mode and I was freely running without analyzing my preparation or thinking of what would come after the finish. Not even second breakfast was on my mind as I made my way through 13.1 miles. All I was thinking of was the moment, of my current journey, of the blessing of this particular experience. 

I reached mile 7. I thought to myself, “Great! I can do that again.” My knees were angry. At the perfect time, I read a sign that read, “Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.” Race volunteers are a big deal. I thanked God and I thanked the volunteers as I passed them. I checked for BTP. I lost him. Whoops. I shrugged. I ran some more. 

By mile 10, I was starting to warm up. I removed my hat. 10.5 – removed my gloves. 11.5 – damn. I really don’t feel like removing my jacket but it’s hot now. I removed my watch and phone from my sleeve, grabbed both by my teeth, and tried to simultaneously run and disrobe. Almost landed on my face. My youthful lack of wisdom was compensated by my youthful balance. Winning. 

Once I looked at my watch again, I thought to myself, heh. Positive splits. Who cares. I’m a positive girl. This finish line is happening today. No Monday morning quarterbacking until tomorrow. I smiled and waved for the race paparazzi. I turned the final corner and saw Mom, who ran with me to the finish line. 

  
I want to say that I don’t think I could be more proud of myself than I am. I am not worried about anyone who would shudder at the thought of being proud of a 2:41:01 finish time. I fear that someone could read about my concrete goal for the day and think, “Shut up! I would be lucky to finish with the balloon lady. Or finish at all.” I think it is important to note that awesome is relative. I gave 100% today. My goal, in time, is to make MY 100% better. I can’t do anyone else’s 100% because I am Joan. I can’t be anyone else, and it is good to have a day where I am thankful that I am no one else. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

That’s who I am. 

Just put tape on it 

  
I missed a workout tonight, and I’m only sorry I missed it because I have to make it up tomorrow. It turns out if I want to run faster, I have to run faster. As much as I’d like to run from the facts (heh), there are people in my life who will not let me. 

I wish I wanted to do all my training. In fact, lately, I find myself not wanting to do much, training only because I know I must. I don’t even find the wedding dress business to be sufficient motivation. Why can’t I be more like 3M (pictured above), who has a solution – a way of mending or taping any problem – for everything? Even when she b*****s it’s oozing with potential and positivity! She knows it’s going to be hard and she is still excited about it. Many can be envious of her speed, including me, but if I could take anything of hers it would be her enthusiasm. Is there an enthusiasm workshop somewhere? Gah. I hear Blonde Oprah’s high-pitched voice but I can’t make out what it’s saying.

I don’t just want to train and get better! I want to like it! 

The During The Race Report

The race started 2 minutes ago, and I’m not sure how it’s going. 

“Lady J,” you say. “I have so many questions.” Hit me. 

1. I know you aren’t obsessed with fast finish times, but um – isn’t blogging during a race unorthodox, even for you? 

Yes. 

2. So – isn’t this slowing you down? And how could you not know how your race is going? 

Breaking news: the race is going well! Check out my Superman! 

 That’s right, y’all. Adonis is running the first half of our ten mile relay! Just like I tell my babies – I need you to read carefully. I never said I started the race. He seemed to be in good spirits a mile and change into the race. 

In about half an hour, Captain America (that’s me!) will take over for the second half. I’m nervous because my left Achilles is really bugging me today AND I’m getting a wish fulfilled today! When I first started running, I wished to myself that I would do a relay with the man I was going to marry and he would be waiting for me at the finish line, just like he will be at the altar! So I’ve got all kinds of mariposas in my tummy as I wait for him. 

*puts phone away to finish blogging later* 

Mommy got a picture of me waiting to high five Superman…

  
and the exchange! 

  
Off I went! 

My goal was to maintain an 11 minute mile pace. I set my watch to yell at me if I went outside 10:30 or 11:30. I also monitored my HR, as I was hoping that it wouldn’t skyrocket as it had during the 10k last month. I now know my cussing threshold is 180, so I was trying to keep everything at 175 or below. I walked through the water stops and that seemed to help. 

I am pleased to report that I finished maintaining a 10:58 pace and my max HR was 180! My average was 169, which was down from 176 for an 11:44 10k pace just a month ago! I suppose there was no cussing on this course because by the time I hit 180 I could see the finish line, where Adonis was waiting for me…

  
By the way, he’s still a jackass. He has run exactly two times in the last month, has never run more than a 5k until today, and it took him just 5 more minutes than I did to finish his leg. I suppose I shall let him off the hook since he helped to fulfill his sappy fiancée’s dreams the way he usually does! Jerk. 💞

Who am I?

The Last 8 Months of My Life

By Lady J 

  1. Completed a Half-Ironman
  2. Signed up for a Full Ironman
  3. Met a Full Man
  4. Agreed to marry the Full Man
  5. Decided not to do the Full Ironman

I’ve also gone to work but that’s not really cogent here. 

I really am at peace with the decision not to race long distances for now, but something happened yesterday that I am not proud of. At. All. 

I couldn’t find my Garmin. 

I look at my engagement ring all the time and I smile, knowing how very different my life and outlook were just a short time ago. But – but…this. Not being able to find my triathlon watch may not be a mortal sin, but it’s definitely a venial one. My relationship with training is injured. Well – so am I, although I like to pretend that I am not. As I frantically looked for my watch, I realized that the last time I remembered running was at my last race two weeks prior. That’s freaking ridiculous. Yes, I have been making it to boot camp and eating fairly well (until a few days ago – it’s birthday season aaaaand PMS), but surely not training as I once did. While it is kind of nice working out no more than once a day, I should be uploading stats on training more than once a month. For serious. 

I even feel a little guilty for 2 of the last race reports! It’s like…it’s like I care about Adonis more than I do my watch. I did find it, by the way. It had just dropped from my nightstand and was between it and my bed. Though it may sound weird, I wasn’t only relieved because I didn’t lose a REALLY expensive watch. It means that I haven’t lost myself, which is something I’ve (perhaps irrationally) feared could happen if I got married. 

I am 100% happy that my life is 100% different. The transition is just scary sometimes. I am looking forward to learning how not to flip out when I have to adjust to new circumstances. I must admit I am not really looking forward to figuring out exactly how I’m going to do my next triathlon (holy crap it has been 8 months), but I will need some help. I’m not the greatest with balance or trust, qualities I’m pretty sure Mrs. Lady J will need to lean upon heavily. 

Here’s to not getting fat while making that happen. 

  
 

At least this explains the fat – Part I of II 

I’m a big baby. 

This has dawned on me as I have been reflecting on the differences between this year and last year. On average, between January and May of 2014, I was racing every other weekend. Looking back, I suppose it was logistically tiring, but it was very exciting. Coachie told me throughout the year that while it may be fun to live that way, it makes it more difficult to plan a training schedule. I dutifully declined opportunities to race that had made me so happy previously. Between January and March of this year, I participated in exactly 2 races. Yawn. 

Which is exactly how I’ve been feeling about my training. 

When I was in graduate school for music education, I learned about the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. As we get older, intrinsic awards are supposed to mean more to us; for instance, a first grader will be more enthused about receiving a sticker for doing the right thing, but a high schooler will realize that the real reward for doing the right thing is invaluable. Finish lines are the new stickers, y’all. Seeing my physical progress, seeing the results on my Garmin – nope. Not feeling it. 

The payoff is coming, they tell me. They being the government, of course. But I want it sooner. I want to be comfortable in my skin, I want to giggle on Saturday morning races whether I PR or not. Dammit, I still need stickers. 



Character Flaw 

I don’t see the point in making sacrifices unless I’m going to be, like, totally HAWT. 

It turns out that I’m not crazy for not liking what I’ve been seeing in the mirror. I tried to be kind to myself in my previous post regarding staying within a reasonable range of my weight loss, but the fact is I’m displeased. I weigh 15 pounds more than my lowest weight and I don’t like how I look OR feel. I finally donated all my big(ger) Joan clothes and the only reason I don’t regret it is because someone with much greater need is now using them. If you don’t believe that things are getting out of hand, look at what the girls did last week: 



Yeah. Bras aren’t supposed to do that. In guess it was begging for dear life and the girls busted free. RIP dear titty holder-backer – by the way, you don’t really realize how much you rely on a bra until you pop out of one in the middle of your workday. But I digress. 

I’ve not been eating out (except for that one time). I’ve been meeting my calorie goal set by Blonde Oprah the vast majority of the time. Coachie says I’m training well. What do I have to show for it since I started this year? 

ONE. LOST. POUND. 

Meanwhile, I feel like I have no life. I miss smaller races. I miss smaller Joan. I know, I know. “You weren’t training for the same distances last year!” I also was a lot happier with my progress. What’s the point of going a million miles in the water/on the bike/on my feet if I’m going to be a fatso finisher? It is hard to be proud of what I’m doing if I hate while I feel as I’m doing it and don’t feel good in my clothes the other 10 hours of the day that I’m not training. 

I either need to reevaluate my goals for this year or just be happy that I won’t be spending any money on race photos. 

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