October 17, 2010

Ambitious me (or am I just hopeful?)

I've been choosing very ambitious goals all weekend. First, for some reason I cooked enough food to feed an army. I must be very ambitious to think I'm going to eat all this:
A dozen hard boiled eggs
A gallon of cherry Jello w/mango
A salmon casserole
Several lbs. of mashed sweet potatoes
2 pie pumpkins reduced to puree
Left over pumpkin pancakes
Everything else is left over from last week
(except the potatoes donated by my next door neighbor) 
Granted, Ninja was home for the weekend and needed feeding, but still. I think this qualifies as just a touch over ambitious...

I was ambitious to think I could go out singing 2 nights in a row with no repercussions. While I had GREAT fun, I averaged about 5 hours of sleep both nights, and naps simply do not agree with me. I did manage to get all my homework done on my laptop, using the free wireless connection. Dangerous, that!
Wide-Eyed and Laughing at Karaoke
I am ambitious to think my pepper plants are going to survive transplanting and winter well indoors. Or is that just hopeful? Pepper plants apparently do survive well for years, as long as they get enough light and don't freeze. I could even get the right lights to make them flower and grow peppers all year long, if I wanted to spend the scratch. I'm not quite that ambitious. (or am I?). 
They're bent over because they started out in Topsy Turveys,
hanging out my 2nd story window. I'm hopeful they'll straighten somewhat, eventually.
I am definitely hopeful my watermelon patch will survive the winter as well. I'm a bit more realistic than hopeful about this, as I have no way to bring it indoors and what I've read says it can go either way. <crossing fingers, toes and eyeballs>
Can you see my 3 little watermelons? They and the one I ate last week will be the entire crop.  Not bad considering the plant was transplanted into a little bathroom wastebasket for over a month while I waited on the waterproofing guys to finish...
Lastly, I was extremely ambitious to attempt a 10 mile run after giving up everything I had at last Sunday's race, putting in work at my Dad's all week, then staying out late 2 nights in a row. Needless to say the run did not go as planned.

I tried taping my toe, in an effort to reduce the pain I feel when running distance. Toward the end of last Tuesday's run I realized I was lifting my big toe, which left the one next to it (the one that hurts) to take the brunt of each landing. I could relax my big toe only for a moment before it lifted again. I hoped taping the first 2 toes together with a spacer in between would either drag the big toe down or lift up the one next to it, reducing pressure until I can figure out how to stop the behavior.  

According to Jog Log, I started out at an 11-minute-mile pace, which didn't feel overly fast. I was not well hydrated and my legs were tired, so I expected a struggle. I'm not sure I've recovered from the race yet, and am disappointed at that thought. The Energizer Bunny spent the afternoon apple picking after the race. The Monday following I was still bone tired exhausted. I know she's been running for years and years and years, and that my stamina and recovery times will improve, eventually. I just hoped to feel better a week out.

My pace deteriorated by about a half a minute per mile over the next 2 miles. Miles 3 and 4 were at my standard distance run 12-minute-mile pace. (I'm started to doubt Google, by the way, since Jog Log told me my miles were further than Google indicated.) I planned to fuel every 4th mile, since every 3 felt too often last week. By the time I hit 4 miles I was struggling, the back of my thigh was cramping slightly in the same place it had last Sunday, and my toe hurt. I stopped and took the tape off, leaving the spacer, and headed off again. That seemed to help for a while. 

By the time I hit mile 6, I was done with my toe. I took my shoes off and ran the next mile and half barefoot. I ran over grass where I could, but also on concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads. It felt faster, but that mile clocks in at 12:03. I carried my shoes, which tired my arms, and I stopped running when I stubbed my toe slightly. I figured my ankles and legs were tired, and I  don't want to push to the same level of exhaustion I was at last week. 

I walked the remaining 2.5 miles home, and am content with my run. A mile and a half at standard long distance pace, barefoot, is an improvement. As long as I'm improving, I'm happy. Even if I didn't achieve my ambitious (or hopeful) distance goal.  There is always next week, when the mileage goes up to 11. The Cleveland Fall Classic Half Marathon is in only 5 weeks, and my ambitious goal is to PR at a 12-minute mile pace (2:37:20).

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