Thursday, August 28, 2014


I want this to be one of those posts that I look back on in a couple weeks and think, "I was so worried about nothing!" 

I don't think this will be that kind of post. 

The other day my daughter and I were talking about the running hobby I've developed over the last two years. She said, "I know you love running but-" and I cut her off. "I don't love running." 

I explained it like this: "remember when we redecorated your room? And it took lots of work to paint and clean and organize and put everything back together- but when we were done and you felt accomplished and like everything was better?" You know, that feeling of "ahh, this feels nice. The work was worth it." She did. 

That's what running is like. The actual running sucks. It's hard and tiring, and you mostly want to be done, just like painting and cleaning. But you're in it for the "after."

So I mostly hate running. But I like the after. The feeling of accomplishing something that's hard and that I never thought I could do. 

If you've read this blog you might know I'm training for my second half marathon. It's a big one, one with a time goal, and it's in Chicago which requires a trip and lodging and stuff. It's kind of a big deal to me. My second half, in a cool place, with a big accomplishment in terms of time. And I got injured. 

I have tendonitis. I've tried resting it, icing it, physical therapy exercises, ibuprofen. And a week and a half after the symptoms came on, it's still bad. Really bad. I've bought an ankle brace and kinesiology tape.

Nothing makes it better. 

I have a running partner that will either have to bail on the race or try to do it alone which is lame because it's OUR goal together and we've trained together. And I can barely walk, let alone walk/jog a 12 min mile. 

I currently plan to walk it if I can't jog by a week from now. Which is lame because the race closing time requires you run. The course closes in three hours. And at my hobbling walk pace with a bad ankle I'm looking at 4.5-5 hours. And since I've had no relief over the last 1.5 weeks I don't expect more. And I'm sad. Really sad. 

I don't want to stand on the sidelines and watch others run the race I trained for. I don't want to walk the route long after the race is over and the medals and water stations are gone and it's back to being a regular street. And I'm tired of staying home on nights I usually went to the gym since mt ankle pain doesn't even allow me to do a yoga class because it still requires me to bear weight on my foot. 

I had planned for this to be my last distance race because my body was already revolting but it appears I won't even get that. My first half training had me down for two weeks with a different foot injury. There's clearly a theme. 

Ever set a goal and work toward it only to be stopped from accomplishing it in the eleventh hour? Tell me about it. Misery loves company you guys. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The time running almost killed us.

When it comes to running, Jessica and I break all the rules. In a bad way. 

For example, we sign up for a race and read the details (13 min max pace) later. 

Or, we go out for a 7 mile run, get ambitious, and decide to run to a park without knowing the actual distance to said park. 

Important note: anyone who has run long distances knows you slowly ramp up mileage. Our longest training run so far: 5 miles. We ended the night at 9.84. Mistake. It gets worse. 

When we started tonight, I told her I didn't think 7 miles was going to happen because I had a bad work day and was really stressed. But apparently running (which is really hard for me) was working out frustration. So we kept going.

Jessica bought a water belt, which came in really handy because it was soo humid! We ran out but luckily were running right past our friend Edie's house and stopped for a refill!

We were at mile 4, and turning back there meant 8 miles total... But we'd set the goal of making it to the reservoir at the park and were pretty close so we decided to go for it. 

By the time we made it to the park, we were almost out of water again, but feeling pretty good (but sweaty.) As we turned back, we realized it was starting to get dark-- we started our run at 7:15 p.m.  And we started at Potters Bridge Park, which is very wooded and NOT lit at all. And we would have to end our run there. In the dark. Really poor planning. 

Armed with iPhones with flashlights, we figured we'd power through... But as we approached the woods, the overcast sky hid all moonlight, and we were worried about rape, murder, and woodland creatures. I mean, there are endless bugs, birds, coyotes... 

And as we shined our lights into the dark, wooded path, and debated our choice- A BAT FLEW INTO THE STREAM OF LIGHT and right towards our faces!!

As is our style, we ran straight into each other, screamed, and turned to run. It was decided- we were NOT GOING IN THERE. 

So we headed back toward the road and took a slightly longer route that kept us closer to civilization. But the road leading to the park, for the last mile, turned out to also not be well-lit, and had no sidewalk. We walk/jogged along the road, iPhones in hand, dodging the occasional car. It's after ten at this point. 

Some of those cars slowed, making me fear kidnapping, and some came dangerously close to the edge of the road, leading Jessica to believe we'd be on the news for being hit by a texting driver. 

As we crossed a bridge with barely a shoulder, in the pitch black, we wondered why it was SO loud out there! There must be a thousand species of bugs, birds, frogs, and rodents all competing to produce the loudest, creepiest song. 

Just when I thought to myself, "yep, this is where we die" we suddenly saw the light at the entrance of the park. 

We lived. Barely, in my opinion. And my legs have turned to stone and my back feels like I've been hit by a baseball bat. But hey, almost ten miles! With an average pace of 15 min/mile so we are definitely getting picked up by the struggle bus on race day. But at least we will live.