Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Oh, Who Am I Kidding...It's All About The Running!

As I told you on the Friday Mishmash, I ran for 30 minutes "with" my friend Matt. That was my last run before Saturday's epic five miler - I say epic because I hadn't run five miles since, like, June. Or July. Whatever - it had been a long time, as I discovered over the summer that Texas heat and humidity did not make for successful long runs. And at the beginning of the week, when I knew I was facing a five mile run on Saturday, I was nervous, apprehensive, name it - if there was a bad feeling, I was feeling it. But then came my run with Matt, and even though it was only 30 minutes, which equaled out to 2.6 miles for me, I actually relaxed quite a bit about the five miler. What is funny is that when I went to California and was going to run that 10K with Barbara and was all nervous about running such a long distance? Matt offered to run with me and I calmed down after that run. So what I'm saying is that apparently he is the Run Whisperer - the Cesar Milan of marathons. The Jennifer Love Hewitt of the long haul. The Robert Redford of running. OK, I've beaten that one to death. But you get the idea. I was remarkably composed going into Saturday's run. Here's a picture of me beforehand, all calm, cool - and oh, glowing in the dark - as I discovered that my new green shirt does under streetlamps:

See? Calm. OK, and a little bleary-eyed - it was 6:15 am after all!

So I got to the park. And after our little meeting, we were off...I have to admit, I miss running with my halfs (halves? - still not clear on that one) - they had a relaxing two mile run, and there is a lot more fun chitchat during their run. We fulls are all business; we have to be - you pretty much need to save your breath to get through the long run! My goals were pretty simple: to run the entire way, even if it meant running really slow and being the last person in. The first mile went well - I was under 12 minutes when Ricky Bobby chimed, which meant it was time for a drink - I ran as I drank some Gatorade. Mile two - still going strong, although I decided it was OK to walk for the few seconds while I was trying to drink, rather than choke and sputter the liquid down. Mile three - more than halfway there. Mile four - this is where the bargaining began. I started promising myself all kinds of rewards if I would only finish. Then I saw a deer. That's right, a deer walked across the street just ahead of me! Very cool - I needed that distraction, Mr. Deer. Back to the rewards. Funny, most of them were food. Some things never change, I guess. But hey - whatever works. At the stoplight (which was at least a minute long, thank the running gods!) Coach Dale caught up with me and we ran the last half mile together - and even kicked it toward the end, which was a lot of fun. I did it - I ran five miles...and it took me less than an hour! Um, not much less - my time was 58:33 - but hey, at this point it's all about completion, not speed, for me. And I completed.

After I got home, I took an ice bath and had some chocolate milk and a banana. Then a short nap may have been taken. Later, we went out for my food rewards - I split a turkey sandwich with Jeff, followed by frozen yogurt (of course). YUM. Vegetarian pizza for dinner - I had two slices and was pleasantly full...believe me, I still marvel that I can stop with two pieces of pizza. Who am I again?!? But the best thing about running five miles? Sleep. Glorious, glorious sleep. I laid down in bed to watch some TV and was out before 8:00 pm - and get this - didn't wake up for the first time until 4:10 am - a true miracle for me!

On my training schedule this week was a 30-minute run (done); a 45-minute hill run...wait, what? Hill? Here??? Apparently our running club coaches figured we might have a problem finding a hill to run up - you think I'm joking, but seriously, they are few and far-between in this part of Texas. I know of one hill in a really fancy golfing neighborhood, because I ran up it for a freakin' mile during this race back in April, but that's about it. So Tuesday evening, we met just south of our town in Coach Jan's neighborhood and what do you know? Hill!
Sorry the picture is so dark - it was nearing sunset when I took it. Click on it and you'll see it better.

I know - it looks more like a slope than a hill, but let me tell you, it kicked my butt nine ways to Sunday! First, we did an easy warm up run of about a mile, then we dropped our water bottles on the side of the road, lined up in either the "fast" group or the "slow" group (if I tell you that this picture is of the fast group can you guess which group I chose?), and then we were to run pretty darn fast up that slope hill, to the fire hydrant (which is hard to see in the picture) and then walk back. Repeat six times. I think the fast group did it eight times. Well. This did not go great for me. My left calf started hurt hurt hurting big time during the second time up. Cramp? I don't know. It made me limp. I speed walked up for the third go-round with Coach Erica, and then ran the last few times with my half buddy, Julia. Not sure what happened - being that we met at 6:30 pm, and it was warmer temperatures than I'm used to running in, maybe that messed me up. I did drink what I thought was a lot of water throughout the day, but I guess it wasn't enough.

I came home and threw my arsenal of cures at my leg - ibuprofen, coconut water (potassium), rolled it with the Stick, and finally iced it with my trusty bag o' frozen peas. And it's much better. I kind of feel like a baby - what happened to the person who ran five miles a few days earlier? They say each run is different, and I guess "they" are right!

Rest day for my legs today - although I will be doing my arm exercises with the tube, push ups, and also some ab work on my stability ball. Tomorrow the Run Whisperer and I will do another run "together" - this time for 35 minutes!

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter my giveaway for that gorgeous "Mind Over Miles" necklace from Lift Your Sole - entries accepted until 10:00 pm Thursday night.


  1. Im soooo impressed that you are doing this!
    Slope? SCHMOPE.
    looks like a hill to me :)

    Im off in search of my own coach erica :)
    perhaps thats precisely what I need!!

  2. Any hill is a killer. You are doing so great and look awesome in the process.

  3. Ok, I am SO jealous that you have to look for a hill. I have to look for a route that doesn't have several hills! So proud of you, and shoot, cramps happen, calves, neck (I have one now)(dare I mention that our bodies have been around for a while?), love the stick.

  4. Morning, Shelley!

    That happened to me one time when I was pushing myself on my hills. I thought I was going to have to limp all the way home. I stopped and stretched and it was all better. I don't know what made me think of stretching. That was the only time that ever happened to me. It happens in bed in the morning way too often.

    I am having so much fun hearing about your training. Its motivating me to keep trying!

  5. Well done on the runs Shelley.

    I know what you mean about that long run on Saturday. I have to do 6.8 miles next Saturday and already think too much about it. In the car this morning I said to myself I could split it up, then I said no you can do it, then I said skip it and do a 5K and all because long runs kind of scare me. It's stupid because I can always walk if I want to and I always make it when I do it. But the human mind can play dirty tricks on you.

    Where I live there are no hills either. Holland is a pretty flat country. There are two areas where there are "little" hills and I signed up for a race in one of those areas with 7 hills. What the heck was I thinking? 7 hills and 9.3 miles.

    I'm proud of you my friend.

  6. I'm with Laurie, any direction I run from my house there are hills just to get to the flat spots. The only way I can get a flat run is to drive myself to the high school track - lol!

    Hill repeats are freaking hard. You do the best you can and it sounds just like you did and you did fine!

    So proud to read of all your dogged determination to get through this training. It's inspirational Shelley!

  7. you are a rock star Shelley! I'm hoping to get some runs in on the weekends too, longer ones, know that I can run again....
    *happy Syl*

  8. Wahooo! Look at you doing it! Our 10K training starts tomorrow and our trainer said something about tempo runs and speed work and I just about died. I'm a steady as you go slow runner.

    She got this ugly gleam in her eye and said that was about to change.

    AHHHHHH! I'll be thinking of my own bargaining tools to use.

  9. I think you are awesome. Maybe not enough recovery time. It takes time to build up to all that running. But, I envy you! I love seeing you succeed, cramps and all.

  10. Hi Shelley! I've been without a computer at home since the kids are back to school and need the computer for homework and I need to catch up with you! Great job on the 5 miles!! Just trust your body can run further and it will. I know you can do this!!

  11. I have tremendous (real) compassion for the pain in your leg (and exercise). It's funny how unfair it feels when you are exercising so well (this late (haha) in life and you feel sort of struck (down) by pain.

    By "funny" I mean, not funny.

  12. Your running is making you look long and lean ... like a real runner.

  13. I'm loving your running post. Nodding my head in recognition and sympathy all the while. "A nap may have been taken." Is that the exculpatory passive voice? LOL

  14. Any hill is hard at first. Once you do it, though, you own it!

    Come on up here and visit me and we will do some hills...

  15. You are doing sooo great! You should be impressed with yourself. Vee at

  16. Completion is a great goal and you that hill DID look really, really long. Shelley you are getting out there and staying tough, keep it up!!

  17. Great showing! Those runs are never easy, are they? Before I injured my foot I used to do my fair share of running, and it tests you. But it's also the best place to get some serious thinking done.

    The one part I loved about long-range running was the time I had to myself just to think. When you're out there running, are you thinking about your life and making plans, or are you still at the stage where you're just barely getting through?

    Hey, we all need to start from where we stand, but once you get there - exercise starts taking on a whole new level for you.

    I wish you much success and if you're not there yet, don't worry, you will be

  18. Shelley - I love the fact that you call Matt your "run whisperer!" Way to knock out that 5 miler!

    And hills suck - I never realized how hilly my neighborhood was until I tried to bike/jog around it - they are hard!

    Hope you are having a great week - thanks for all your birthday comments for my family this week! :D

  19. Go, Speedracer!

    You are freakin' amazing! And you look great.

    There is something about running that makes for some great sleeping.

  20. Any road that has even a slight incline is considered a hill in my book. Keep rockin the runs, Shelly!


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