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Words, Words, Words

I’ve never been good with words.  The spoken, the written, but definitely the spoken.  They always gets jumbled or misconstrued.  They never come out just right.  I don’t recall the last time I felt like I won an argument or truly expressed my thoughts or feelings the way I wanted to.

I guess that could be to blame for why I didn’t write in here for about 1.5 years.  But look at me now-lots to say and not a lot to listen-but the words are still so jumbled and lost.  They’re just stuck in my head, really, and only make an appearance at usually the moment that my guard has been let down.  Like on any run I’ve been on in the past few weeks.  Usually they build up until they explode and I find myself almost hyperventilating.

Or a few days ago, at a work appointment, when I was just asked about my Christmas tree (or lack thereof this year).  Man, that was embarrassing, and again, I had no words to explain myself.

Just lots of emotions.

That same day, in Starbucks, tears and lots of them, but few words.  Oh god, I can only imagine what the packed store thought of me.  These ones were different though.  I got a confirmation that I got into the NYC Half Marathon.

I had registered for it about 1.5 months earlier when everything had just started to get hectic.  I told myself, continue your life, take care of yourself, but was nervous to sign up for it.  I told myself, what happens if you get in?  How will you pay for everything on your own?  Who will travel with you?  Who will support you?  What if you have to go to this race alone?  Alone? Alone?….Alone.  And here I am….signed up for this race…alone.  I’m proud of myself for doing this, but I’m terrified.  I’ve ran races alone a million times-Hell, I just ran one alone a week ago.  This one is a big one though.  Not only due to travelling and its size, but this one is going to be for me.  And yes, I clearly run most races for me, but again the words just aren’t there.  This one is for me….I plan to prove to me that I can do it alone, which is scary and also so very exciting.

Those ridiculous tears in Starbucks?  It was probably the first time I felt happy in a long time.  While I still struggled to get my thoughts and feelings out, I felt some hope.  And God, did I need some hope.  This race is still giving me so much hope and excitement and nervousness, but if I can do this myself….I know I can do so much more.

I’ve already begun working hard for this race, even though I am still injured.  I have been cross-training like it is my second job, so keep your fingers crossed that I will be ready for running, breathing, words, and life…..

Hopefully I will write an update on my life and running prior to completing the NYC Half….no promises though! :0)

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….And then it all became clear

Today was like any other day, and then bammmmmmmmmmm.  I opened a random email from active…you know the emails I’m talking about if you have ever signed up for a real race.  They send you a million of them with random running topics.  Well for some reason I opened this one instead of throwing it into my trash…probably because I was feeling a bit unmotivated to run today and I was desperately searching for something to get me excited.  Well as I said……BAMMMMMM

Q: Are treadmills “easier” on your body than running outdoors?

Yes and no.

Longer answer: In general, running on a treadmill is less stressful on the body than running outdoors. John Post, the medical director for TrainingBible Coaching, explains that the treadmill absorbs a significant amount of impact, sparing your body. On the other hand, he says, “The downside is that it doesn’t condition the shock-absorbing musculature of the lower extremities like road running does.”

Result: Over the long term, heavy treadmill use may actually leave you more prone to injuries like stress fractures.

And with that, my mind was blown.  Well, not blown….but yes, blown.   I kinda knew this all along, but when the experts just come out and say it, it makes it more real to me.  What I’m referring to is that last sentence….about the stress fractures….I guess anyone who happens upon this post hasn’t learned EVERYTHING about me, but lets just say stress fractures and me are frenemies.  They want to be my b.f.f., but I just want them to go far, far away and bother another gal.

Anyway, every year that I train for a marathon, it is winter, it is freezing, and I don’t mix well with either of those.  So what happens is I spend a majority of my time training inside on my third b.f.f. (no where near as special as my first b.f.f., my iPod (no joke) and of course very close to my pal, stress fractures (sorry Turd, if you are even checking this site, you are fourth in line, but tied with S, Lil T, and K-Swizzle))—my third b.f.f., my TREADMILL.  I am still amazed that thing still works and hasn’t fallen apart.  We spend more time together daily than most people do with their significant other.  I’ve always thought that my relationship with my treadmill was an issue, however…I part from him (obviously my treadmill is a man.) for a minute and immediately I am hurt.  It’s like one awful abusive relationship.  Every year when the weather gets nice, I will venture outside and throw myself into an intense run, and again, BAMMMM.  Hello stress fracture, hello rest.

Turd has always insisted that my stress fractures were due to me running too often with too few breaks.  I often disagreed.  I always take 1-2 days off per week, while other bloggers seem to run double what I run and never take a day off.  I have always noticed the relationship with me starting to run outside and getting a stress fracture, but when I finally read that statement, it proved my point and finally made me think about what I’ve been doing.

The first thing I did, after re-reading that article, was send it to Mr. Turd.  The second thing I did was plan my run outside.  And then as soon as I got home (Yep, still got that motivation in me) I was out the door and getting in my miles in the burbs.  No treadmill for me today, and hell, I think no treadmill for me tomorrow.  I think I’ll hit up a local park.  I have gotten my motivation to run outside now…or at least for a while.  I will suck it up for the cold if it means I can keep running (and not have to deal with excessive medical bills for stupid injuries).  Like I wasn’t motivated enough, I then saw this blog post from someone I just started following, and BAMMMMM.   More things to think about.  Winter could suck its cold, nasty self because I am going to dominate it until Spring!

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

I already find the title of this post to be annoying, but oh well.  Every time I thought about what to write, that song jumped out at me.  This blog is indeed ironic….like a traffic jam when you’re already late…and a “No Smoking” sign on your cigarette break.  Okay, enough of that awful song.  Clearly not Alanis’s strongest moment in my eyes, but hey, I won’t knock a fellow runner.

The irony is related to this website. I originally said I was starting this blog to track my running progress and to keep myself motivated during my marathon training-something that I have struggled with every year I have trained for the marathon.  The idea of running is amazing to me.  I love running.  Even when I don’t want to do it, I eventually feel good about my choice to actually get up and run.  What does not sound amazing is someone telling me to run.  Isn’t that the truth though?!  When you are told to do something, it tends to make it so much less fun.  “Go clean your house” sounds so awful, but when I CHOOSE to clean my house on my own, it is almost therapeutic.  “Go make dinner” “Go read a book” “Go run 14 miles”……..eh.  See-there went all of the fun….  Ok, to most people, that does not sound fun at all.  But to me, it doesn’t sound awful, until I’m being told to do it and know that I have to do it.  On any given day, I will pick a random amount of miles and go do it just for the hell of it.  I set my mind to accomplishing something just to prove to myself, but I can always change it up.  Not so much changing can be made when I know I have an overpriced running race and  I have to be able to run a brutal amount of miles.

SOOOOOOOOOOOO, back to my girl, Alanis, right?  (Of course all of this talk about her has got me motivated to listen to some of her songs I do feel are wonderful…the ones that remind me of junior high are pretty amazing.)  The irony is that I started this little bloggie here to keep me motivated, but between starting to think about writing about running and reading a million other blogs about running, I’ve been beyond motivated to stick to my running plan….so motivated I’ve basically found zero time to throw a post up about it.  I’ve been strict to my schedule’s mileage and have even noticed my speed coming back to where it used to me.  It’s been pretty awesome.  I have had my yucky days of running (this am when my legs were dead), but I’ve had some pretty awesome ones-like last Wednesday when I decided during the work day that I wanted to knock out my long run early in the week because it sounded good to me.  14 miles sounded good to me?  I’m not even going to lie, I actually enjoyed it.  I usually dread them all week and put it off until I can no longer avoid it, and here I was, excited to get in some mileage and clear my mind.  It was incredible.  I actually didn’t even have to push myself to get off the couch because I just couldn’t wait to get moving….And this feeling has not went anywhere.

~Even these babies couldn't keep me from getting out of bed to run.  Note the Runners World magazines...not to motivate me to move, but because I can't get enough!~

~Even these babies couldn’t keep me from getting out of bed to run. Note the Runners World magazines…not to motivate me to move, but because I can’t get enough!~

 

~This my friends, was taken during a run on Sunday (was amazingly warm and a nice slow jog with Turd and our friend).  This may seem like a random pic to take on a run, that, right there, is Gotham City Jail...from The Dark Knight Rises!  As I ran past, I could see my boy Baine giving his crazy rants.  I missed running around that area and can't wait to do it again asap!~

~This my friends, was taken during a run on Sunday  (was amazingly warm out and a nice slow jog with Turd and our friend). This may seem like a random pic to take on a run, but that, right there, is Gotham City Jail….from The Dark Knight Rises! As I ran past, I could see my boy Baine giving his crazy rants. I missed running around that area and can’t wait to do it again asap!~

 

I am anxious to get in another long run, which again, is a new feeling to me.  Tomorrow I will devote to resting, a good walk, and of course, working 12 hours, but the few days after that….hmmmm.  I have no long run in my schedule for the next week as it is a recovery week, but I already hear myself saying ” should I take advantage of the excitement for running while I still can?”  I know the recovery week is placed there for a reason as I’ve learned from the past three stress fractures a thing or two or three, but what if I lose that feeling?  Will it just go as quickly as it came?  OR on the other side of things (thank you six years of psych education for giving me this fancy term to use…and of course the debt and lack of financial resources) what if I continue to hungrily grasp for those positive running feelings (endorphin rush or crack-induced delirium?) until they disappear…oh no, will I overdose?  Will I go through withdrawal?  Will I deal with an extinction burst???  Will I be slapping at that damn lever obsessively in hopes that I will continue to receive a reward, but come up with nothing?  I can’t get that thought out of my head….stupid thoughts, right?  But I know where these thoughts are going, and I can tell you all signs are point to >>>>INJURY<<<<!!!!  I am going to push myself too hard.  I am going to lose motivation from tedious, continuous running on painful leg injuries.  I am going to ruin my marathon race for the second year in a row.  I don’t want THAT.  THAT was probably one of the worst pains I have dealt with.  Sounds kinda vain and shallow when I say that, but it was.  To plan and dream for months of a challenge and three day before find out you can’t do it…and then see thousands of others who can….That hurt.  I’m hoping those are the feelings that will keep me level and in prospective, but the excitement I feel from this blog, other blogs, and running in general is overpowering right now.  Lets hope I can use it to help me in the right ways….I will keep you posted on that one…hopefully in a more timely manner!

Day 1…..success! Day 2………eh.

Well we are one for two folks…kinda.  Thanks for the few who liked my post and kept me motivated!  I’m still going to go ahead and track day one up to the placebo effect as I didn’t post on day two and I failed, but we’ll see how the next few days go! 

So, I guess I should probably tell you what I did on Monday and then my dreadful Tuesday.  I typically run on my treadmill (PA weather blows this time of year, and one thing I hate is being cold, so treadmill it is for the time being.), and rather than just doing my typical five miles (the length of one tv show without the commercials-I have it almost down to a science.), I instead ran six miles (Progress!!!!).  I did, however, run these miles at a slower pace, but that’s fine right?!  The good ‘ole PA weather was insanely atypical (Thanks, global warning, just this one time!) and was 70 on Sunday, so I ran in my neighborhood.  As just stated, I don’t get off the treadmill in the winter often enough, but when I do run in my neighborhood it is brutal.  Even though I almost always have my treadmill at an incline, the mean streets of Pittsburgh’s burbs are hellacious in regards to hills (Hillacious perhaps?).  Let me put it this way-every year there is a 5k and 10k that starts and stops literally outside of my front door.  The year we moved there, Turd and I signed up for the 10k thinking nothing of it.  We can run a 10k without thinking about training we thought….well not this one.  I ran a marathon earlier that same month and found the marathon to be much more pleasant than this 10k.  The hills are rolling, but intense.  I believe I stopped to walk a few times, and I couldn’t tell you another race besides my last marathon where I have stopped to walk before.  My neighborhood is well-known by runners due to it being a good training area for tough runners.  I am pretty sure I am not one of those tough runners though, because I will avoid my neighborhood like the plague.  In the two years since we moved here, I have vowed almost every time I go outside to run that I will do that 10k loop, and my legs are usually too dead by the 5k mark (I wish I were exaggerating about how brutal it really is.).  Sunday I did kick it up for about 5.1 miles, but I actually woke up slightly sore from that.  So to wrap that up, I am pretty fine with my six miles yesterday, no matter the pace.  Last night, however, was the prime example of the issue I deal with most in regards to motivation.  I worked about 11 hours yesterday and did not get home til 7.  I was literally ready to eat a small child if I had found one wandering the neighborhood, so I immediately binged, eating way too much.  I said oh, I’ll run after I let myself digest for an hour or so.  Well after that hour, I couldn’t bring myself to move off the couch. This happens probably at least twice a week due to my yucky work schedule (and more so, my lack of motivation).  Today, I immediately felt guilty about Tuesday though.  I made up for it by working out for about 40 minutes in the am, and then in a little bit, I am going to try to pick up the pace and do intervals.  I’d say doing two workouts might make up for the day prior, right??  I was just complaining to friends that I haven’t been able to kick my extra weight I threw on in the past few months, and they reminded me I keep doing the same old thing, so how am I going to change anything?  I guess I just needed someone to remind me of that!  Plus those wimpy arms need to start getting some action if they are ever going to get me through a Tough Mudder!  I’m excited to change up my workout tonight, but by the time I work out at like 9:00, I’m sure that will change…..but now that I already tossed out my workout plan to anyone able to read and use the internet, I guess I’m kind of accountable. 

Anyone who may happen upon this reading ever complete a Tough Mudder or want to!? I’d love some details!

I’m signing up for one in August!  I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a race in sooooo long (and nervous at the same time!). 

What is your favorite race length???

Lets Make a Deal…

Welcome, Nobody.  I know right now, I’m talking to just about nobody…or Emily.  Still Nobody (Just kidding my dear)….but let me dream that some day this post will be viewed by the millions, leaving me to quit my job in order to begin running nonstop so that I have enough content to maintain this blog and profit from it, AND eventually have a million of you living vicariously through my life.  I will start planning for the date of that dream to begin in about three months, so hurry it along followers!  Lets build a cult quickly!

Seriously though, I’m sure anyone who is reading this, knows me, or is my friend is likely thinking “Why are you wasting your time (and quite possibly mine)?” (My friends tend to be fairly pessimistic and bitter-that is why I love them all.)  The next thing I will hear is-begin quote-“Why are you making a blog now?  Everyone already has one.” -end quote.  Yes, I know that.  Maybe I’m late to drinking the Kool-Aid (I tied in the cult reference!), but I wanted something that would make me accountable.  Not just to me, but to someone else.  Maybe you won’t be interested in seeing what I have to say or what is going on in my life (I don’t blame you!), but you can at least see if I’ve been blabbering on on here and likewise know if I have been motivated to move around a bit.  And hell, Maybe it will motivate you to move around a bit too-or to do any of the other fine topics I post about (I hope not all of them though, as I don’t want to pull you into all of my bad habits.)  Or, maybe by posting about my running, I will become highly enlightened into my own running habits/abilities…maybe???  The last thing I will likely hear is “You don’t have Facebook, but now you will publicize your life via the internet on another webpage?”  My answer again is yep.  See comments above, thanks. So now that I have covered all of your comments in  advance, allow me to start covering mine….

So let me say it….I love running.  Even on my worst run, I have found a reason to love it.  I may have felt like crap afterwards, but obviously, it has pushed me to keep going.  No matter how much one loves running, though, the world and life often often finds a way to invade your running time-sometimes it is just your television, food, and couch that get in the way too.  That is where my problem lies (pun intended.).  And this is hopefully where my solution lies.  I am hoping in the next few months, you will hear a different story about a girl who has followed a marathon training schedule, maybe got a bit healthier, and maybe even made some changes in her life (AM runner perhaps? Taking on other sports/activities?  Lets not get too CrAzY here.).  Who knows where I will be led?  Lets just hope it is off of the couch.