RunNerdier

musings on running, life, and everything in between


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Blergh

It’s been a bit, right? There are some things going on in life that are taking a lot of energy out of me. It leaves little room or desire to write about running. Part of this might be combined with the fact that I turned my ankle two weekends ago on the trail.

I was about 4 miles into an 8-11 mile run with some friends at Bull Frog in Palos. Ironically, I had stopped to re-tie a shoe tighter because it felt like it wasn’t support enough. As I got up to start running, I hit a big rock in the path and turned my ankle. I wasn’t in horrible pain, but I felt a momentary flash of panic. Ok, maybe not momentary. Just panic. The worst part was that we were just before the turnaround point. And this is trail. Which means, short of getting back to a road and waiting for someone else to run back and get the car, I’d have to run back. It wasn’t great, but I found I could bear weight on it without screaming in pain. So I ran back 3 miles–Kelly was able to configure a slightly shorter route back. Gorgeous picture of the lake from the BEGINNING of the run. Sigh.

I saw Craig that day and had him work on it. He actually didn’t think it was too bad, and I babied the heck out of it, wrapping it tight and wearing an ankle brace. I think that all helped. I can run on it, but 50k on it is a different thing…The amount of mental self-abuse I’ve been doing is outrageous. I just checked the cutoff time, though, and I’ll have almost 10 hours to finish the 50k. Hopefully I won’t need all that.

It just continues to remind me, on multiple levels, that our weaknesses–physical and otherwise–need constant monitoring and intervention. I had stopped doing my one-legged squats while brushing teeth awhile back, filled with false confidence in my ankles. And this is what happened. It reminds me of the same character defects I have, my willfulness, anger, etc. also need to constantly be worked on as well. They never really go away, just wait for an opportune moment. Seems exhausting thinking about it. But that is how we become stronger.

And one thing I’ve learned over the years is when I get stuck in self-pity, get outside yourself and go do something for someone else. So I did. A slew of my girls were running the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha, including Jenny’s first comeback race after over a year of injury. It didn’t occur to me, until really late in the game, that it would be great to go cheer for them. I found out two other friends–Jen H and Doreen–who also came to Boston were heading up, so I hitched a ride.

Andrea, Emily, Michelle, Jenny, Michelle

I am SO glad I went. The course was windy as HECK. It ran alongside the lakefront, which sounds great, until the wind picks up sand and scours you with it. The temperature was perfect, and it was somewhat cloudy at moments, but the wind was probably upwards of 30mph at times. The course was also really desolate. There were almost no spectators, and even the most “crowded” sections had just over a dozen. And they were QUIET. There was almost no cheering. So this made the 3 of us cheer even louder and act even nuttier. Two women even came up to us after the race to thank us for cheering. It was also weird because there were parts of the course that weren’t really closed off so people were driving ON BOTH SIDES of the road. Someone even pulled a boat down the middle of the course. I think based on the crowd support (or lack thereof) and the weird course stuff, I would not run this marathon. Jenny did say, though, that it was well run and the aid stations were great.

The girls had a really hard time, but the Michelle’s stuck together for most of it. Although Michelle R (left) pulled a Jen and finished about 20 second ahead of Michelle N. Ha.

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Despite all these brutal conditions, most of them finished ahead of my Boston time. Sigh. It was awesome, though, to go root for someone and not just be on the receiving end. I swear my “cheering high” carried me all day through rooting for my oldest’s tball game. Haha.

Andrea, Jenny, Emily

Whitecaps!!

Alright, that’s all for now. I’m gearing up for the 50k. It feels really weird because I’ve essentially been in a 6 week taper now. I’ve been actually weightlifting to try and do some less impact stuff that should help me with the hills and such.


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Happy National Paczki Day!

I had trouble sleeping last night, so I got up at 5:20 am and headed to the local bakery because today is NATIONAL PACZKI DAY! If you don’t know what a paczki is or don’t live near a bakery that makes them, I am sorry for you. It’s essentially a lighty, airy donut with a filling. For your viewing pleasure, here’s the breakdown of the dozen I got: fresh strawberry, custard, chocolate, and cheese.

If you live in the Chicago area, with its huge Polish population, you  know it’s a big deal. Even knowing that, and knowing the bakery opens at 5 am, I was still taken aback by how busy it was. Line to the door. One woman had even pre-ordered 12 dozen. That’s right, 12×12=144 paczki.

I’ve decided to indulge today and seriously shift my diet starting tomorrow (I know, I know). I don’t own a scale, but I think I’ve gained a little bit of weight. Hardly “racing weight.” So I’m cutting sugar (sigh) and wheat (not grains, but I eat too much wheat and it’s pretty processed–plus I get more creative and veggie-heavy when I cut it. I need to start taking my training a little more seriously. Keep me accountable, folks, and chime in!

Which brings me to training. We did our long run out at Morton Arboretum this weekend. Some serious hills. Well, as serious as you can get around here anyway…

I was annoyed, though, I forgot my Garmin and had to use my Strava. My pace looks like it’s all over the place because a) it was, haha, and b) I didn’t pause it for potty breaks, general confusion, etc.

This lovely crew!

We did a couple loops, and the second time we passed this bench, I made us take a picture. How could I not force a bunch of awesome, strong women NOT pose on it? You can see that some felt “stronger” than others. Ha.

And just to give you a window into how crazy distance runners are, someone in this picture had fallen earlier in the run (don’t text and run over a pothole) and broken two fingers and finished the run without much complaint. She didn’t know it was broken, and none of us took it that seriously. There may have been a doctor in the group as well…although to be fair, she’s an infectious disease specialist. Runners really are insane.

The rest of the weekend was pretty fun. I finished up a multi-week project, reusing all of our old broken restaurant crayons to make Lego crayons for Valentine’s giveaways. Ok, so actually making them was NOT fun (i.e., oven burns are the gift that keeps on giving. The initial burn hurts, but then every time anything other than cold water hits it, it hurts again.), but seeing the end results was pretty rockin’. And usually, I’m the mom that barely remembers to even get cards, but I’d seen something similar (except in heart shapes) and I’ve been itching to find a way to use all the free crayons we get from restaurants, random holidays, etc. I find purging things so satisfying.

We also went to a local establishment for our annual lobster eating. Every year, a bar near us has a lobster special, one whole lobster for $12.99, around Valentine’s. I don’t love lobster, but it’s fun to do now and then, especially for so cheap. My husband, who grew up spending some time in the summer at his grandparents’ place in Maine, LOVES lobster and always goes on about the lobstermen fishing them straight out of the ocean and bringing it to their table. THIS is definitely not that, but it’s an affordable way to eat some lobster and relive some of those memories. We also discovered that the youngest one also likes lobster. And yes, I know that’s not how you really eat lobster.

Anyhow, it snowed an inch or two last night which will probably kick today’s intervals/tempo (2×2 marathon pace miles) indoors. Chatted with Bill today, and he was talking about how important speedwork was in helping you work on form and activate your glutes and such. I’ve been ignoring the speed workouts as I’ve been trying to deal with my various tightnesses and wonkiness, but it’s time to put it back in. I re-shifted the training plan a bit, but more on that next blog. In the meanwhile, happy running!