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Running For Life

NO MORE Marathon Training

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September 2011

Last Run Before the Race


Last night I changed things up a bit and decided to run down in the city after work instead of meeting up with my group.  Since I’ve started with my group, I don’t really run in the city any more.  I kinda miss running by myself.  Forgot how much I enjoy it. 

I ran my normal loop that I do down by the reflecting pool and was both bummed and surprised by what is going on down on the Mall.  There is this huge reconstruction project going on and the whole pool was fenced off and the base of the structure has been all dug up.  Not sure what they are doing but man, it looks terrible. 

Here is what my route used to look like.

 

 

 

And here is what it looks like now. 

 

 

It’s a sad state of affairs but hopefully when they are done it will look better than it did before…

After I left the Lincoln Memorial, I ran up to the Monument and the area around the base of the building was roped off to keep pedestrians from getting too close. Turns out that after the earthquake, there was a structural crack at the top of the Monument and so there is this guy tethered to the very top fixing the damage.   I guess this is of great interest to folks because there were a ton of NEWS trucks filming this guy dangling from the top; over 500 feet in the air.  I’m assuming they wanna be there first if he should happen to drop to his death…ohhhh, I guess that’s why they have that area roped off.  Interesting.

See that, had I just been riding in my car I would have missed all of that…..Running really puts you in the mix of things.

Sunday is my race…I’m feeling pretty good about it.  My run went really well last night.  The cooler temperatures make the world of difference.  It’s suppose to be 45 degrees and sunny!!! Perfect.  Hopefully it will be a good race.  Tuesday night as I was leaving my group after our workout, my coach came up to me and asked, “so what’s the plan?”  I was like “what?” And he was all like…”what is the plan for the race?”  To which I responded, “To finish?”  He chuckled…and then said, “no, what is the plan for how you’re gonna run it?”  I thought that was kind of a funny question but I then realized he was talking strategy…never really thought about it but I guess when you do run a race you kinda have a mental strategy of how you’re gonna get through it.  Thing is..you can plan and strategize all you want but you never know what kind of race you’re gonna have till you have it.  Going in to it, I guess my plan is to only walk at the water stops and stop at every water stop.  That seemed to work for me during the Rock n’ Roll ½ so we will see how it goes.  I just need to move a little faster between stops. 

I’ll be sure to let you know…

Wish me luck! 

Stupidhead! Why are you running this race???


Stupidhead me thought that running another ½ marathon right after the Rock n’ Roll ½ Marathon would keep me motivated through the fall.  So I took one person’s advice (see poll results)  and signed up for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge ½ Marathon.  Worst investment of $90 bucks EVER.  I better get a goddamn gold lined fleece jacket to make this one worth it cuz it most certainly won’t be my time. 

WHY, WHY, WHY, do I continually feel the desire to sign up for races that I really don’t want to run?  I mean, I guess that’s a rhetorical question but now that I ask it…I really sorta should ask myself, “why?”  What is it that I hope to achieve by running these races?  I feel a little stumped asking myself that question right now…I think initially I thought the question was going to be a good transition into writing something about how important it is to be consistent with your running so you can have a good race blah blah blah blah…but the more I think about that question, the more I’d like to know why….

  • Why do I get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning to get in a long run?
  • Why do I rush home on Tuesday and Thursday nights to get my practice runs in?
  • Why do I feel like complete shit if I don’t rush home to get my practice runs in?
  • Why do I purposely stress myself out for a whole week prior to a race worried about not being able to finish the race for which I signed up? 
  • Why do I brave the near black ops tactical logistics needed to even get to the race on race day?
  • Why do I put myself through the borderline OSD pre race rituals I have before each race? 

Why?

I wish I could say I had some profound reason as to why I do all this but the sad thing is….I don’t.   I guess, just off the top of my head, I could say it feels good to challenge myself;  to push myself to see what I can accomplish….but really, if that was the case, once I finished the race, I’d be done…unless my next challenge was to get a better time.  If that’s the case, I’m in luck cuz my time can only get better…my small incremental decreases in my mile minute times will leave me with years of opportunity to “get better.”  But, I don’t think that’s the only reason….

I started running (many many years ago), because it was a quick, easy, inexpensive way to try to get in shape.  You don’t need a lot of money, you don’t need to be a star athlete, and you don’t really need any special gear, you just need the motivation and a pair of shoes (unless you’re one of those hippie aholes who thinks it’s better to run in your bare feet; and that proves my point even more sadly). 

So that’s why I started…but that still doesn’t really answer the question why I continue to run and most importantly, why I sign up for these races…. 

Well, I’ve been racking my brain since last night trying figure out what my real reason for running races is…and the problem was, I WAS searching for some profound reason but honestly the simple truth is, when I’m done and I’ve crossed that finished line…and I’ve run a good race, for a brief moment I’m a badass.  I know it’s only in my own mind…and in the grand scheme of things I always finish in the last 1/3 of the pack but the rest of the runners in that race mean nothing to me when I cross the finish line..it’s my own glory of finishing something I started and it is that feeling that keeps me going. 

New Reason to Run Fast


Last night I was supposed to do a track workout with my running buds, but when I got to the track I was met by my coach who was trying to redirect folks to the Cross County Trail for our workout. Turns out, on occasion, Lee High School has football games at home. Who knew?

Anyway…so we all head over to the CCT (that’s what we cool cats call it). When we got to the parking lot, there was a big sign stating the park was closed. Ignoring the sign, cuz clearly it does not pertain to us; we parked in the church parking lot next to the trail and went down to start our workout. Apparently, due to all the rain we had last week, the whole damn field was flooded. In the springtime this area is jammed packed with little leaguers playing ball, chewing on some Big Chew, spitt’n out sunflower seed shells and dreaming of being the next Jeter. It’s actually pretty cool to see…it’s like this whole little subculture that goes on just for the sake of baseball. How wonderfully American? I LOVE it! But anyway I digress…as we are walking through the grass to get to the trail, the entire ground was soaked and had turned into this nasty clay like sludge that made walking without slipping next to impossible. The whole time I was walking through the muck I was thinking…this is NOT sanitary..there’s a treatment plant that attaches to this creek and if the creek overflowed then that must have also!! YUCK. But, we go ahead as planned and start running…we were supposed to do 8 to 10 800s at a 5k pace. No problem, but I was wicked tired (too much drinking and not enough sleeping the night before), and by the time we got to the CCT it was close to 7 and it was starting to get dark. Well, I got through 9 of the 800s (we were doing an out and back for each 800) and when I got to the turnaround point, several of my running mates were standing on the trail huddled around a dark mass in the middle of the trail…IT WAS A FRIGG’N Copperhead!!!

OHHHHH HELL NO!!! As much as I try to pretend that I’m an Urban Warrior, I am deathly afraid of snakes..particularly ones that are venomous. Seriously, you just don’t understand….as soon as I see a snake, my entire body starts to react. I feel things crawling up my legs and things sliding down my back…my heart starts to race…I go into full on panic attack mode. It’s nuts, I know but I can’t seem to shake this kind of response. So needless to say the snake + 800 meters on a dark unkempt trail gave me a whole new kind of incentive to run fast. Dude, I took off like a bat out of hell. The fast runners in our group were no match for me…I was haul’n ass like never before. I passed my coach on my way back to the base and when he finally caught up with us he said “you guys really poured it on at the end.” “Hmmmm, should I tell him why? “ Nope..I just took it for what it was… but I did learn something valuable as a result of this fiasco…I CAN run fast…even when I’m tired. Good to know.

Oh..one last note…guess no one cares which race I do cuz NONE of yas voted!  Whatever…either way I decided to to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge 1/2 Marathon.  And if you feel guilty for not caring, you can come out to cheer me on October 2nd. 

Till next time, keep on keep’n on!

You Vote


Post 1/2 Marathon


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Hola mi amigos!

So the race is over and I’m fully recovered both from the race and the celebration afterwards.   It’s funny, now that  it’s over, I’m like sorta in this state of limbo trying to determine if I want to sign up for another ½ at the end of this month or not.  I had such a fantastic race I think I could be talked into signing up for a full marathon right now but there is this voice of reason buried back somewhere in the back of my head saying “hell NO!”  But, as you know…being a Type A person, I can’t let the fact go that I did not achieve my goal time.  I did a lot better than the last time I ran the ½ in 2009; took 11 minutes off my overall time, but I just didn’t get under 2:30 and that just sticks in my craw (whatever that means) so I’m gearing up for another one either the 1st or 2nd of October.    The one on the 1st is the Freedom ½ marathon in WVA…out in Shepherdstown.  Looks like it might be a bit challenging with all the hills…but it also looks so beautiful.  I love the Shenandoah Valley so much!!  The race on the 2nd is a bit closer to home …it’s the Woodrow Wilson Bridge ½ marathon.  It’s always nice to run a race that is right in your back yard.  It starts at Mt. Vernon …goes down the parkway, over the WW Bridge and ends at the new National Harbor.  Not a bad place for a post race celebration.  So those are my options and I’m still trying to decide. 

 

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