A New Sport for Me

April 30, 2008 at 7:13 am | Posted in Conditioning, Cycling, running | 2 Comments

I’m excited beyond belief!  Just picked up my new bike last night.  (Well, new to me, that is.  I was lucky enough to find a gently used road bike at the Tow Path Bike Shop that fit me like a glove.)  I bought the bike, a helmet, tri shorts, a bike skirt (tres cute!), a cat eye, and gloves.  Believe it or not, I got all that for $500 – I’m such a bargain shopper.

Most of my friends participate in multiple sports and for a long time, I’ve felt like I’ve missed out on the fun of duathalons and triathalons.  (Not even close to a tri – gotta learn to swim correctly first.  Stay tuned, posts on swim lessons coming soon. )  Now, I can join the Tuesday night Run, Bike, Run group in Webster.  I can’t wait!

BTW, great run tonight.  Ran hill repeats at Cobbs Hill and logged a total of 8.2 miles. 

No (Wo)Man is an Island

April 29, 2008 at 6:49 am | Posted in friends, running, Socializing | 3 Comments

Socialization is one of the many perks of running.  It’s only been in the past couple of years that I’ve branched out and met other runners, mostly from participating in races.  If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t start racing locally until the fall of 2006.  Prior to that, I ran mostly alone and whenever I could squeeze it in between/during my children’s sports practices, dance rehearsals, etc.  I never complained about being alone; I was just glad that I could run.

Now I’m spoiled.  I love to run with my friends, especially Karin.  Our pace is very similar and because we’re so close, we always have lots to discuss.  There have been runs when we’ve shared secrets with each other that we’ve never told another soul, and others when we started laughing so hard we had to stop running to catch our breath.  There’s nothing quite as fun as running with friends, and for those fortunate souls who find life partners who are also runners, it must be wonderful. 

Yesterday’s run was much, much better than Saturday’s.  For one thing, I was able to run a bit quicker and felt a bit stronger.  But it was running with my good buddy, Karin, that made it fun (not to mention the fact that I met a new, potential friend).  

Don’t get me wrong:  There are plenty of days when I welcome the solitude of a good, long, hard run.  Sometimes I just need to be alone on the road with my thoughts.  Still, there’s nothing like running with a good friend.

Patience – BLAH!

April 27, 2008 at 4:05 am | Posted in Buffalo Marathon, Conditioning, running | 3 Comments
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Will someone please tell me why it’s so easy to lose conditioning and so difficult to gain it? 

It’s hard to believe that on April 3, just 22 lousy days ago, I ran 20.4 miles without a lot of huffing and puffing.  Today, I ran 7.4 and felt like I was at least 50 lbs heavier than I was a month ago.  (You know the first thing I did when I finished my run was weigh myself – lost 5 lbs.)  My run was heavy, slow, labored, and very difficult. 

I’m supposed to run a marathon on May 25.  How am I ever going to be ready for that?  Well, if worse comes to worse, there’s a half in Buffalo that day and I could run that.  Another BIG disappointment. 

A small voice keeps whispering to me to be patient with myself.  After all, I just had major surgery 15 days ago.  I should be grateful that I’ve run 23 slow miles so far this week.  I know, I know…I’m lucky.  I’m also not very patient with me.  Funny thing is, my patience with my kids, my students, my friends is endless (not to say that I don’t have my limits). 

Maybe it all comes down to loving myself enough to go easy on me.  This has never been my forte.  Perhaps it’s time I learned to let go of my need to achieve and just enjoy what each day brings.

 

 

First Run

April 23, 2008 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Gratitude, health, running | 5 Comments

Yee Haw!  Went to see my surgeon yesterday who cleared me to start running again.  Of course, I had my running clothes packed in a bag ready to change into right then and there.  That’s exactly what I did.  The receptionist got a laugh out of the situation: Entered the exam room dressed in my professional clothing and exited in my running gear.

I knew that I’d need to take it easy for my first run, so I drove to the Canal Path at S. Clinton and ran toward Pittsford and back for a total of 4.5 miles.  Of course, I ran at a very, very easy pace (9:16) and just enjoyed the warm sunshine and the feeling of my legs moving again.  I’m convinced that I’m totally and completely addicted to the endorphin rush that only running gives me. 

God, it felt great to run yesterday!  Looking forward to tonight’s run!

 

Scared Straight

April 15, 2008 at 7:08 pm | Posted in health, running | 5 Comments

April 4 I underwent surgery that, I was assured, was minor and would keep me from running for only 2 weeks.  Of course, as with any surgery, there was a 2% chance that I might develop a hematoma or a severe bleeding problem, but being in excellent health, I dismissed these possibilities.

Other than one small scare with some bleeding, I was recovering nicely.  In fact, I felt so good that I started working out in spin classes just 4 days after my surgery.  By Friday, April 11, I decided that I could return to work and, in a few days, to running.  But someone else had other plans for me.

I did go back to school Friday feeling under-the-weather – you know, headache, upset stomach, tired – but I persevered and stayed at school.  STUPID, STUPID, STUPID DECISION!  By 5:30 that evening I started vomiting and felt a pop in my chest which was apparently an artery!

I’ve never been so scared or in so much pain!  Six hours and an emergency surgery later, I was released from the hospital with strict instructions to take it easy for 10 days.  Yes, that means no running, no spinning, no yoga, only walking until April 22!!!  This time I’m following the doctor’s orders!

Today, April 15, 2008, I’m feeling pretty well – thank God!  Because I lost a lot of blood, I’ve been tired and sleeping a lot.  But I’m on prescription iron pills, so my blood will build up quickly.  I just hope I’ll be able to build up the fitness as quickly. 

Being thrown into a critical health emergency has made me value my life so, so much more than I did a week ago.  It’s true:  Life is fragile.  I must make the most of the time I’m given on this earth.   I have a new resolve to train hard, play hard, love hard, work hard but rest often.  Until now, my balance has been off.  I’ve spent too much time working hard, training somewhat hard and too little time playing, loving, and resting.  Thank God it’s never too late to change!

20 Miler on Thursday, April 3

April 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Long Run, Marathon training | 2 Comments

Knowing that the next morning I’d be under the knife, I ran my 20 miler last Thursday after work in Greece, the town in which I teach.  Now, if you know anything about Greece, NY, you know that it’s extremely busy and resembles a small city more than it does a suburb.  Honestly, there are few good places to run (meaning quiet) and, invariably, (thanks to my students) I hear my name screamed out of at least a dozen cars.  But there’s nothing like pending surgery to motivate me to get out for a long run.

I found a pretty cool place to run along the shores of Lake Ontario.  Enjoyed a great, great run and I only stopped for a few traffic lights!  Here are some highlights of the day.

Edgemere Drive (approximately mile 7) – WOW!  My eyes stay fixed on a man standing in the lake fishing.  I’m so shocked by the sight that I actually take off my running sunglasses and stare!  All I can think is that he’s absolutely nuts! (Remember, folks, this is Rochester, NY.  The temp is only around 50 degrees and it’s very windy.)  Of course, most would find me crazy for running 20 miles after working all day.

Charlotte Beach Pier (approximately 9 miles) – I’m starting to zone and am quickly awakened when I very nearly fall flat on my face from tripping on a huge branch.  (Okay, so it was a twig…shhhhh!  I don’t want anyone to know I’m clumsy!)

Edgemere Drive (approximately 14 miles) – Again, brought back to reality by the shouts of a man driving by, “Hey blondie!  Nice legs!”  For some strange reason I wave and smile.  I must be half mad!

Long Pond Road (approximately 15 miles) – Okay, I tell myself, time to pick up the pace.  For the last 5 miles I focus on keeping my pace between an 8:30 and 8:45.  Remind myself every two seconds that I’m almost done.

Greece YMCA (20.4 miles) – YES!  I DID IT! I’M DONE! 

Distance:  20.4 miles

Time: 2:54:26.

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