Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Race Report: Booby Bolt 5K

Nope, that's not The KoB in a pink skirt.
Nope. It just looks like him.

Here are my observations on this race, in no particular order.
  • Is that really the way you spell Booby?
This is actually a booby.
Which makes sense now,
why there were penguins on the race shirts.
 
  • Can I just say, that part of me rolls my eyes anytime I see the charities use the words TA-TAs or BOOBIES or BOOBY or whatever? I mean, I get it, it gets more publicity that way, but as an uptight feminist, it kinda makes me feel like we can't even separate a CANCER from sexualization. I know, I'm a fuddy duddy. I'm even kind of embarrassed that it bothers me, but I dunno... you don't see too many SAVE THE JUNK 5Ks or the DICK SHUFFLE 5K or whatever. Okay. I'm done now. I promise.
  • Actually, I'm not. I'm also a little bothered at how these events basically become a spectacle. Like, it's almost a fucking party. I understand that for whatever reason getting to put on a bedazzled bra on top of your clothes and wearing a tutu brings more people out, which means more money and more awareness for your cause. I get that. What I don't get... is... WHY? Breast cancer itself isn't a big enough deal? 
 
I just don't get it.
  • The course was awesome. Gently rolling hills the entire way. I treated it as a tempo run, because, well, I've never been in 5K racing shape in my entire life. But, as a tempo run, it felt pretty dang good. (Don't get me wrong, I did push it, hard, and still finished in an abysmally slow 25:26). 
  • I won age group award because there were 5 other women in the entire race which consisted of my favorite age group award to date: a coffee mug filled with m&ms. YES. 
  • It was a good day, for a truly terrific cause. Booby or no boobie. Sequins or not. Breast Cancer screening, awareness, and research are extremely important and I appreciate this race making the effort to volunteer for the cause.
  • and I really appreciate the m&ms.
 

 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Friday



I was hoping to make some time to do some posting this week, because I've bought some things that I want to review on the blog. Buuuuuuut, somehow it's already October and my October 15th deadline is looming and I've procrastinated so much that I'm pretty much fucked till October 16th. So... enjoy these gifs and have a great weekend!




Monday, October 6, 2014

The Full Truth

Yeah. I'm not in good enough shape to be training at the paces for a PR attempt at the 10 miler. That is a HARD sentence to write.

Last week, I was supposed to do a workout of 200s, 400s, and 800s. The suggested paces by Coach (who, doesn't know what kind of shape I'm in, either) were what one would be running to run a sub 1:19 10 miler. I was pretty terrified by those paces and not in a good, challenging way.

 The KoB is like... YAYY!
and I'm all... get me the fuck off this thing.

There are HARD workouts that push you and teach you to be hard and fast and all that fun stuff and then there are HARD workouts that you can't actually do without dying. To be fair, Coach's paces were always "suggestions." But, to go from years of training with her and always being able to hit my paces FASTER than I was supposed, not even being able to hit them at all, has been pretty fucking tragic.

And if I'm totally honest with myself right now... I'm teetering on the edge of a mental funk (running aside). So, to feel like a failure at running, isn't really helping.

 Gotta get up and keep going...

The KoB suggested that we try the 200s at a slightly slower pace and see how they went. We ended up just doing the 200s (8 of them) and came up with a plan to try and make October the month of the turnaround. I'm going to focus on doing tempo runs around 8:30 and probably some track work that mimics that type of fitness level. Until that all starts to feel too easy and then I'll crank it up.

I emailed Coach and of course she was supportive and awesome because she's not only my Coach, but one of my favorite friends and because... well.. that's just how bitches roll. And, let's be honest... I've put her in an unfair situation here because neither of us know what kind of shape I'm in OR how long it will take me to start gaining fitness. When I gave her a deadline of... early November. It's kind of like.. I can't exactly be pussyfooting around in my training.  Plus... we've gone from her having to tell me to NOT run all the miles to now having to nudge and be like... uhhh.. maybe you should try to hit 35 miles this week.


Oh, I can't use eating popcorn on the couch
as cross-training? Fuck.

All this to say... I'm not going to be documenting training for a 10 mile PR. (You probably saw that coming, anyway). Instead, I'm just going to go back to how I used to blog back in the day, when I wasn't really "training" but just running and yes, I'm going to be running tempo miles, because I do WANT to improve and get back to being in shape.

And I apologize to all 7 of you who read this blog. I know it gets old to continue to go from... HEY I'M TRAINING AND AWESOME to JK, OUTTA SHAPE AND HATE RUNNING to OMG, I'M TRAINING AGAIN, etc. Sometimes running isn't just about running and as a thank you for sticking with me, I offer this totes adorbs puppy gif:


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Training Week Review

The week of the wake up calls.

You already know about my long run (and it's awesomeness!) and the only other run of note is my tempo run last Wednesday. 4 miles at 8:00-8:10 pace.

I was dreading this workout. SO  HARD. Particularly since the same exact run (1 mile less) the previous week just about killed me. So, as The KoB stretched before the run, I tried to come up with some brilliant excuse that would get me out of the workout and instead just let me jog around for fun.

The KoB, unfortunately, was having none of my pansy ass-ness.

Okay, okay. I'll do the thing.

I did bargain for the workout, though. I decided that since I sooooo didn't want to do it, I would give myself a little win, by doing it on the easy park loop instead of on the roads.

I KNOW. I just did a whole blog post last week about how I'm all HARD now and I'm going to keep my tempo runs honest by doing them on the road. Except last week... I was just a soft, weak, broken down Amy.



So, we ran over to the park, we did them (overall a TAD slow, but not too bad). And, afterwards, I dramatically collapsed in a heap on the grass. As sad and slow as it sounds, running 4 miles at an 8:12 pace felt like a huge fucking victory.

I also got an email with the following words of encouragement from Coach last week:


And right now, as you talked about in your blog, I think your brain needs a small ass kicking. You already know it, but running and racing is so hugely mental. Obvi, you can't make your brain be all sunshine and rainbows about running if you're in a blah place with it, but it is really possible to have a better run by thinking positively and pretending that you're looking forward to a hard workout even if you're not. I know that sounds ridic, but it works. Positive mantras often strike me as a shitwad load of tofu and sprouts, but when I've told my brain to STFU and think positive things (even if in the back of my brain there's a chorus of "Ha ha, you old hag! YOU SUCK!), the run is nearly always better.


The Too Long; Didn't Read version of her email:
I have been a little bitch. 
A whiny, bratty, pansy bitch.

And, of course she's right.  I have been so focused on how HARD everything feels and how SHITTY my runs are. I knew it, but it was kind of a wake up call to have someone else tell me to get a grip on my attitude. So, while it's not going to be puppies and ice cream over here non-stop. I am going to make a conscious effort to stop being so goddamn negative.

You can leave your thank yous to Coach in the comments.



Monday, September 29, 2014

FINALLY

Saturday morning I had to get up at 4:00am because I had to get out of my place before 6am. Thanks to the Nashville Women's Half:
The Red Star marks the spot where you
are just fucked if you live there. 
I live there.

Lucky for you, in line with keeping my blood pressure down and because I've been trying to remember to pop my Holy Basil pills you aren't going to get a long diatribe about how much I hate that fucking race and it's all male pacers (couldn't resist to bring that up, again, obvs).

The purple streets were closing at 6am and so, I made sure to leave at approximately 5:52 to beat them. And I JUST DID. I was meeting Melissa at Percy Warner at 6:30. So, I ended up sitting in the parking lot at the park for 20 minutes because heaven forbid if I actually get out and run or walk any before she got there. Nope, I'll just sit in my car and web surf on my phone, thanks.

Originally, I wanted to run my new relay leg at the park which is mostly roads and easily navigable. But, thankfully Coach Bitch offered to run the long road leg BECAUSE SHE IS IN HELLA BETTER SHAPE THAN ME and there is no way in hell I can figure out what the leg I'm going to be running is from this description:

Leg 2: The Tennessean
Distance: 5.4 miles
Start at Scott Hollow Pavilion. Turn Right onto Talley Bluff Rd, turn left onto the Red trail, travel on the red trail to Bumblebee Hollow. Run around Tornado Ridge on the Rd. Turn left onto the red trail and run up Basswood Hollow. Turn left on the 11.2 heading back to Gum Ridge. Finish at Scott Hollow Pavilion. This leg is 4 miles of road with 1.4 miles of trail and a good tough hill. 
View Map - *New Course Design!

The only words I understand in that is... RED TRAIL. (And good, tough hill. Thanks, Coach!). So, I opted to just run the 5.8 and some of the boulevard to get 8 miles with Melissa.

Holy shit people... the 5.8 ACTUALLY FELT FINE. Like, sure 3 mile hill felt like death, but I never once considered stopping to walk and by the end of the run, I actually WANTED to run more. (But, I totes didn't).

To me... being able to run at Percy Warner Park without trying to hurl yourself off the top of the 9 mile hill overlook means I am BACK. Even if it was just 5.8. I think my head and body have finally realized.... "yeah, okay, so we are a runner again. FINE. We'll cooperate".

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Last Week in Review

So, you already know how the Tempo Run went last week:


The other items on the agenda included a track workout of 4x800s at 8:00 pace. Saturday morning, The KoB met me and we ran over to Rose Park to get these done. OH MY GOD. I hate being so whiny and complainy, but christ... nothing is feeling easy. I feel like my first couple of workouts a couple of weeks ago were fine (I was probably just delusional) but now it's like everything feels like shit. Total, utter shit. And isn't that the complete opposite of how this is supposed to work? Isn't it supposed to get easier as you go along?


Anyway, at least I did the fucking thing.

The other significant run of the week, was supposed to be a long run with the last 3 miles a progression run. That run didn't happen.

But... THIS DID.
KARAOKE, BITCHES!

The Run Bitches and The Sonsabitches met up on Saturday night for some dinner, drinks, and some karaoke!
Bitches in the Men's bathroom at The Hermitage Hotel.

SoBs are too cool for poses.

I mighta been born just plain white trash...
but Fancy was my name!

It was SUCH a fun night. The KoB and I stayed out later than I have in a LONG ASS TIME. But it was so worth it. 


Monday, September 22, 2014

Same Workout, Different Weeks

So, in my quest to get back into shape and HOPEFULLY have a shot at a 10 mile PR in November, Coach has been sprinkling in some baby workouts.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a 3 mile tempo run. It wasn't easy, by any means, but it also wasn't that terrible. I did it at Centennial park and just ran around the measured mile loop that I have there. I know all the quarters and was able to easily keep on pace.

No big deal, just cruising through my baby workouts.

Last week, I was given the same workout. Instead of going to the park, I decided to hijack The KoB and I's Wednesday night run and run it on the road. I knew it would be a little tougher, but I just expected it to be tough at the end, because there's a hill to climb. The first 1.5 was pretty much all downhill.
We started the tempo and from the first step... things didn't feel well. I started to freak out a little, because, this was the beginning of the tempo and it was downhill. Yet, it felt like shit. What was the last part of the tempo going to feel like going uphill?

Not looking good.

By the time we turned around, I was pretty convinced that I was going to either die trying to continue on with the tempo run, or I would end up slowing down to a 13:50 pace or something. We climbed up the hill and it felt like I was crawling. When we got to the top of it, I tried to speed up to make up for time and when we finished, I was pretty close to throwing up all over the road.

It was practically this by the end.

We finished with about a 15 second pace increase from the previous week. So, not a failure really, at all. I was pretty defeated though. I mean, it felt 100x worse than the previous week. Even the downhill part. WHY?

The KoB made a great point. He said that it's tougher to do a tempo when you don't really have any idea what pace you're going at any given time. When I run at Centennial, there are two bonuses: 1. I know what I'm running every quarter of a mile and can adjust accordingly and 2. Checking my pace every quarter of a mile gives me something else to focus on. 

I have really been thinking about this a lot. In past training cycles, I have been so concerned with getting my workouts done by the numbers, but, I haven't really been taking into consideration, the mental benefits of workouts. I need to train my brain, that I'm not going to be able to focus on my pace for every quarter of mile during races. Hell, I'll be lucky if there are mile markers to focus on. Training my brain to be able find somewhere else to go during races could be very valuable for me. 

Physically, I feel like I am a really tough and can gut my way through a lot of physical pain. But, mentally in races... I am so fragile and weak. Any little thing can set me off and get me down and make me want to quit on my goal. And, I'm starting to think that my past training has only made that worse. 

All this to say, I think doing these tempo runs on the roads is going to make a HUGE difference for me. As much as I crave the soothing rhythm of a flat, well marked loop for workouts, I think it's time to start thinking about training my brain just as much as I think about training my body.