April 30, 2011

And the verdict is...

No marathon tomorrow. I am no longer feverish, but my system is still not quite processing properly. I have to defer to Superman's better judgment, because I have none of my own in situations like this.

I still intend to run 11 tomorrow, up to the top of the hill and back. I have a half marathon in 2 weeks and the last long run I did was 10 miles (last weekend).

I am sad, because I had mentally geared for this run. I am happy, because I now have the chance to become at least a little more prepared, physically.

A pretty picture, just because.

Go Team Avery!

I've mentioned Michel before, over at Baby Weight My Fat Ass. She's this awesome woman with 2 baby girls. I like to think we're alike, in some ways. We have the same taste in music, and have some of the same difficulties running. She's run a marathon already though, and is willing to get up at 3am to get her run on. A pretty amazing woman.

Another amazing thing about Michel is how proactive she is. You see, both her babies show up on the autism scale. Her oldest is functional and doing well in school. The younger is a bit more of a challenge. Michel is in the process of researching schools for Avery, because the local school may not be able to handle her needs.

Michel is also very much an advocate. She ran her first marathon for the American Heart Association. This year she teamed up with Operation Jack and is running for autism research.
This is Avery.
I hope Michel doesn't mind I stole the pic from her Operation Jack donation site.
Michel has already raised over $1,000 for Team Avery. I think that's pretty amazing, too.

I worked while my children were growing up, so found a wonderful woman named Robbie to care for them after school. Robbie watched several children, including a non-verbal autistic boy named Micheal. I got to know Micheal a little through my children, and in passing when I dropped them off or picked them up.

Years and years later, I came to be very good friends with another amazing woman. My friend has an autistic teenager. I like to think her son and I are friends as well, with a love of both Ghostbusters and Kung Fu Panda in common.

This cause is close to my heart. Unfortunately, at the moment I don't have much to give. That is why I'm reaching out to you, all 16 of you (I know there are more out there who simply haven't hit FOLLOW...).

Even $5 would help. Please consider giving.

April 29, 2011

Getting healthy is HARD!

I never will understand how those live cultures can be active, frozen!
Right now I'm working on getting my gut back in line. Still have a low grade fever, which hopefully will be gone by tomorrow...

I'll post Sunday what I'm running.

Off to ingest more live active cultures...

April 27, 2011

Wouldn't you know?

No sooner did I hit post yesterday, wouldn't you know I'd come down with some nasty bug? For the last 24 hours I've been curled up in a ball, praying to the porcelain god, crashed on the couch, or trying to suck down as much water and chicken noodle soup as my body will take.

I'm wrung out like a wet dishrag.

So here's the deal. I expect to be well, well before Sunday. At the same time, I've promised Superman I won't do anything stupid (at least any more stupid than running a marathon completely unprepared). If I am not 100% by Sunday, I will not run 26.2 miles that day. I'll likely run 10, as I have the Cleveland Half Marathon in 2 weeks.

Fear not, the marathon will go on. Just not for a few weeks. I will not injure myself by running it the week before a race. I expect to need at least 2 weeks to recuperate. So not the 8th, because I have a race on the 15th. Certainly not the 15th, and not the 22nd because I'll want to recuperate from the 15th.

I am trying to be sane in the midst of my madness.

So if I am not up to snuff this Sunday, I will run/walk the marathon on May 29. Deal?

April 26, 2011

I have a surprise for you!!!

First off, is anyone having weird issues with comments from anonymous people? I'm getting spam comments that don't even make sense except there's a spam link. They're not showing on the blog - only in my comment notification email. It's almost as if someone is commenting, then deleting the comment so only I'll see. I don't want to set up the word verification again, so am currently moderating comments and hoping whoever this is goes away. It seems a little odd and creepy...
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So I've been keeping a secret, and keeping it has been VERY difficult.

I announced way back in mid-March I would participate in Barefoot Neil's I Can't Afford The Actual Race virtual marathon.
My first marathon!
The plan was to run this cumulatively over a few weeks, which is an option Neil offered. Having never run farther than a half marathon, I know I can't run a full one without the proper training. I'd actually planned to run my first marathon near the end of NEXT year, to make sure I had enough time to train without hurting myself. At some point between March 14 and April 5 though, I lost my mind. I decided I would run this marathon all in one day!

I'm not completely mad. I won't actually RUN the entire marathon. Superman and I have in the past walked 20 miles, so for this we plan to run one mile, then walk one mile. It's almost exactly 13 miles from my house to his, so we will run that: from my house to his and back.
this is what it's going to look like
I'm guessing it will take us about 8 hours. That is an 18:32 pace, for you number crunchers. It's also just a random, throw-it out-there guess based on no real factual data. Superman believes we will be done in about 6.5 hours. He's guesstimating we will average a 15-minute-mile pace. I think he's very optimistic, considering my 10-miler last weekend was at a 13-minute-mile pace, but we'll see.

My secret is, my first giveaway!

You get a chance to guess how long it will take us! The person closest to our official finishing time will receive a prize! Because I only have 16 official followers, I'll even let you guess over our finishing time and still win. If you are the closest, you win everything a person needs to run a marathon.

A pair of Ryders sunglasses with interchangeable lenses and their own protective case
4 Vanilla Orange Roctane Gu (for those of you not in endurance sports, this is like jelly/candy with potassium and caffeine added)
A 32 oz. Embark water bottle (straight from Target)

Ok, so no shoes or tech gear, but still a nice haul for being straight out of my pocket. Before you post your guess, you should also know we plan to make something of a picnic out of this. I'm bringing bananas and AB&J sandwiches. There's talk of stopping for ice cream. There's also talk of literally crawling our way to the finish.

So what do you think? How long will we be on the road? I'll post a recap with pictures and the winner on May 3.

Oh, and Mom & Dad? I don't think I'll be working at your place that Monday. Just sayin'

April 25, 2011

Mind, Body, Spirit - 04/25/11 Edition

MONDAY:
mind - Write Database security paper          
body - Drink 2 liters of water
           Walk 3 miles
           100 pushup program
spirit - Meet friends on-line for World of Warcraft raiding
           Brush cats within an inch of their lives

TUESDAY:
mind - Start A+ test booklet
           Add quotes to Access database
body - Drink 2 liters of water
           Run 2 miles
           100 pushup program
           Wii Yoga stretching          
spirit - Spend time with Superman

WEDNESDAY:
mind - Classroom participation
body - Drink 2 liters of water
           Water Aerobics
           100 pushup program
spirit - Mudding/patching parent's back bedroom
           Meet friends on-line for World of Warcraft raiding

THURSDAY:
mind - Classroom participation
           Answer homework question
           Finish bringing quotes into database          
body - Drink 2 liters of water
           Run 3 miles
           100 pushup program
           Wii Yoga stretching   
spirit - Finish reading Born to Run
           Spend time with Ninja

FRIDAY:
mind - Classroom participation           
body - Drink 2 liters of water
           Water Aerobics
           100 pushup program           
spirit - Mudding/sanding parent's back bedroom
           Friends Night Out
           Meet friends on-line for World of Warcraft raiding

SATURDAY:
mind - Classroom participation
           Answer homework question           
body - Drink 2 liters of water
           Run 2 miles
           100 pushup program
           Wii Yoga stretching   
spirit - Spend time with Superman
            Clean and vacuum bedroom

SUNDAY:
mind - Classroom participation
body - Run Barefoot Neil's Virtual Marathon           
spirit - Spend time with Superman

April 23, 2011

Cleveland 10-Miler Recap

I woke to my alarm at 6:45, already second guessing several of the decisions I'd made yesterday. I should have woken up earlier, so I'd have time to drink my coffee and let it have its way with me. Never mind that I went to bed after midnight, and I never sleep well the night before a race.

My hips ached, which didn't bode well. At least that meant they weren't tight.

I'd planned to wear a jacket, expecting rain, but decided while loading the car it would be too warm. I didn't want to struggle with jacket and camelback mid-run. I opted for a long-sleeved summer underarmor and my race shirt. I also opted for no socks, knowing all my tech socks drive me nuts after about 4 miles. Coffee and AB&J sandwich in hand, I pulled out of my parking spot only 3 minutes late.

I timed my arrival perfectly. There was plenty of parking (though I'm sure later arrivals had some difficulty). I chickened out at the last minute when I realized I had 3 Gu in my camelback from my last long run, and left my homemade fuel in the car. I got my iPod organized, and headed out.
I crossed a field dotted with seagulls to visit the porta-potties
then followed the snaking line of runners up the hill to the start
 




Everyone wanted a picture of this guy. He was in Vibrams, btw.
I wandered around, deciding even the underarmor was too much for a muggy 60 degrees. I shucked it and tucked it into a pocket of my camelback. I stretched. I wandered. I stretched some more. I saw a few people I recognized, but didn't go up to say hello. When everyone started lining up, I moved toward the back of the crowd.

Considering my last 2 long runs, I had no real goal for the race. I didn't even start thinking about goals until I passed the starting line and knew how I felt. I was mostly comfortable, which means my hydration and stretching strategy worked. I realized a 2 hour race was unreasonable, so settled on the same goal I'd had for the Towpath 5-miler April 3, and for that wonderful 11-miler April 2. Just keep running. Walk through water stops. Walk to Gu. Otherwise, just keep running.

I went out too fast, because I always do. I knew it, and tried to slow down a little once we got up out of the park. I was aware of my hips/IT, but they weren't really painful. I saw a woman running on the balls of her feet, her heals not even touching the ground, and was certain she would pay for that later. A woman my mother's age passed me, powerwalking at an astonishing speed. A man and his maybe-5-year-old son went by, talking about how far they would run. I was just managing my race, focusing on breathing, on looking up, on relaxing, on pushing my elbows back instead of my hands forward.

Just before the I hit the 3rd mile the leader passed me, coming the other direction. I felt bad for him, as the lead vehicle was a big SUV instead of a bicycle. That guy did amazing, breathing fumes and still running something like a 5:45 pace.
I saw these guys after the turnaround at mile 4. Check out Spudd.com
I carried my own water, but looked for sports drink at every water stop. Mile 4 was the first stop with Gatorade. I dumped a cup of water over my head and took 2 Gatorade. I was glad I'd shed the extra layer, as the sun came out and heated the muggy air.

Things started getting difficult just before mile 6. I took a walk break and decided to Gu. I Gu every 3 miles, and was surprised to find I was actually only a couple minutes early. This worked out well as they had a water stop at mile 6. I walked the water stop and set out again.

I was getting tired and my hips were starting to complain a bit more loudly. Changing my gait helped some, but when my GPS announced mile 7 I slowed to a walk. 30 seconds later I was running again. I'd really wanted to only walk for Gu and water. Mile 8 had a water stop and I took 2 more sports drinks.

I took another walk break in the 9th mile, thumbing pressure points on my hip and leg, trying to relax the problem areas. The last mile started with a switchback downhill back into the park. I took what I thought was the final turn, looked up, and saw the hill I'd climbed to get to the start. This was somewhat disheartening and ultimately misleading. Just before hill the course turned off, went round a picnic area, and ended where I'd visited the porta-potties before the start.

2:11:32. It could have been better, but not by much.

I immediately got in line for a massage, which may or may not have been a good idea. I stood in line for an hour, and probably would feel better right now had I just gone home and iced. When I did get home I had some errands to run, so instead of icing I used the Bio Freeze sample from the massage booth. I don't know if it's better than an ice bath, but I'm feeling pretty ok right now.

I ate both packets of my banana/almond butter/jelly concoction on the way home. It was yummy, and less sticky sweet than Gu. I'm back to wondering what the best fuel strategy is. I've heard some people water their Gu down so it's not so sticky sweet. I've heard some people add Gatorade to this and sip it every few minutes, all the way through a race. This is supposed to help maintain a steady energy level, instead of the up and down of fueling every 3-4 miles. I might try that on my next long run.

April 22, 2011

Ready as I'm gonna be

I decided to make my own fuel for tomorrow's race.
All food I've had before long runs
so no stomach worries.


Step 2. I cut a slit halfway through the seal
for easy opening




Carb loaded with Shrimp Mei Fun
Continued hydrating
(Yes, that is TEA in there!)
Checked the weather for race time
Dressed the nightstand appropriately
I love this race shirt!
I'm a little nervous about this race. I'm flying solo, since Superman is in Chicago and Energizer Bunny is having a crazy weekend before heading to Florida Tuesday. The solo part is not so bad, except my last 2 long runs have been horrible. Solo means I don't have anyone to push me, either by running with me or by waiting for me at the finish. I'm hoping hydration and the stretching I'll do before heading to bed will ward off the nastiness of those last 2 runs. The 11-miler prior to them was hands down the best long run I've ever done. I suppose it would be too much to ask for tomorrow to mirror that run...

April 21, 2011

F'ing SMART

This week has mainly been about focusing on my goals. I really do like the whole S.M.A.R.T goal concept. For those of you just tuning in, SMART stands for specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and within a specified time-frame.

What happens though, when life gets in the way? I had plans yesterday to start converting my copious collection of quotes into a database. I planned to attend water aerobics. What actually happened was I stayed up too late Tuesday night, slept through water aerobics, then worked at my parents for over 7 hours. I didn't get home until 8pm, and was not in the proper frame of mind at that point to think about my database. Today, I planned to read The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, but I can't find it, anywhere. All the bookstores in my area have closed, and while Target got me started with the first two books in the series, they do not currently carry the third. Tomorrow I planned to attend Friends Night Out with Superman, but he is now traveling to Chicago to visit his Mum for the weekend.

What I'm doing is F'ing S.M.A.R.T. Flexibility. Sometimes, things just don't work out the way you planned. That doesn't mean give up on the goal. It means you have to be flexible, work around things, and sometimes change the goal to fit.

So, yesterday was a wash, except my legs and hips are stiff from standing, sitting, squatting, and climbing ladders and stairs all day. I'm ok with that. Today, I found a copy of Born To Run, which is also on my reading list. Tomorrow I'll stay home and eat a healthy pre-race dinner, instead of fatty, salty mexican food. I'll start the database then too, as I will have more time than today. Today I get to spend with Superman, since he'll be gone all weekend.

Speaking of the weekend:
Ain't it the truth?!?

April 20, 2011

What a Wednesday!

The final bit of 1st floor hall painting
Another patch area. Can you tell?
7+ hours today
My Dad did the middle hall

We opted for while risers, because trim paint is easier to wash
Metal doors need 2 coats
My Dad put up the handrails and wallplates, too.
The 2nd floor is started. One more day...
I came home to find these in the door. I totally didn't expect them, since I ordered them yesterday.
Merrell Trail Shoes. Even more of a minimalist shoe than the Saucony Kinvara I'm currently wearing.
I won't wear them for the race Saturday.
But you can bet I'll wear them for my little 3-miler tomorrow.

April 19, 2011

I broke it

It seems everyone knows about SMART goal setting. Just in case you've been living under a rock for the last couple years, here's a rundown:

Make your goal SPECIFIC by answering the questions "what? when? where? why?"

Make them MEASURABLE by setting limits of how much or how many.

They should be ATTAINABLE, but also ACTION-ORIENTED. This means don't get yourself up to fail by trying to lose 10 lbs in a week, but at the same time say what you're going to do to achieve your goal. For example: "I'm going to lose 10 lbs. in the next two months by exercising and cutting sugar out of my diet."

Goals should be REALISTIC and RELEVANT. Realistic is the same as attainable - you can be ambitious, but don't shoot for the moon if you're not on track to be an astronaut. Honestly, I'm not sure what relevant is supposed to mean unless it's a business goal. In that case, you shouldn't be shooting for the moon unless you work for NASA, or one of the independent companies now focused on space travel.

It's also very important to set a TIMEFRAME for your goals so you know when to start, or when to kick it into high gear. Goals with no timeframe just sit there as you take care of more insistent matters.

So why the refresher course on goal-making? Because I broke some of the rules in my weekly goals post yesterday. Specifically, I should have put down "drink 2 liters of water" for each day, instead of just focusing on hydration. I focused on hydration yesterday, but I didn't get enough to drink. I just thought about it a lot!

So that's my new goal. 2 liters of water every day, not including what I drink when I run. I figure whatever I drink when I run is used up in the effort, and on those days I need more hydration anyway.

April 18, 2011

Focus on Mind, Body, Spirit

MONDAY:
mind - Finish Data Dictionary paper
          Continue researching Database Implementation paper
body - Yoga/Pilates class
           Focus on hydrating
spirit - Meet friends on-line for World of Warcraft raiding

TUESDAY:
mind - Finish Database Implementation paper
          Go over the A+ practice test
body - Focus on hydrating
           Run 4 miles
           Wii Yoga stretching          
spirit - Spend time with Superman

WEDNESDAY:
mind - Convert quotes file to Access database
           Classroom participation
body - Focus on hydrating
           Water Aerobics
spirit - Finish painting 1st floor woodwork at my parents' house
           Meet friends on-line for World of Warcraft raiding

THURSDAY:
mind - Classroom participation
           Answer homework question
           Continue working on quotes database
body - Focus on hydrating
           Run 3 miles
           Wii Yoga stretching
spirit - Read "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest"

FRIDAY:
mind - Classroom participation           
body - Focus on hydrating
          Water Aerobics
           Run 2 miles
           Wii Yoga stretching
spirit - Help my parents get ready for Easter
           Friends Night Out
           Meet friends on-line for World of Warcraft raiding

SATURDAY:
mind - Classroom participation
           Answer homework question
           Write Database Security paper
body - Focus on hydrating
           RACE 10 miles
           Wii Yoga stretching
spirit - House cleaning
           Spend time with Superman

SUNDAY:
mind - Finish Database Security paper
           Bring quotes database into SQL 2005
body - Focus on hydrating
           Create a healthy menu for the week
spirit - Spend time with family

April 15, 2011

Photo Friday: Progress

I hoped to paint all the first floor trim today. 6+ hours later, I realized that was not going to happen. Here is what I did get done:
The hall closet, including baseboards and 2 boards for hooks.
This is the best picture I could get.
Sorry 'bout that.

The front hall. Picture the other half of what you see,
plus baseboard all around,
plus the doorway you're looking through,
plus one side of the door you see in the lower left,
which I forgot to photograph.
 
The back hall. Can you tell where the patch is?
Neither can I.
Yay me for an awesome patch job!
Basement door
(with invisible patch)
Back hall.
Getting behind the radiator was FUN! (NOT!)
More back hall
Even more back hall (leading to the main hall)
I didn't take pictures of the doorway right next to the door above, or the bathroom doorframe, both of which also received a coat of paint today. I still have the two middle sections of hall, stairwell (with banister), 2nd floor porch door, and the entire 2nd floor to do yet. That may not all happen next week, as I'm taking Monday off for paper writing. I have 2 papers to write this weekend, I'm having company tomorrow night, and I have a birthday party to attend Sunday.

Pray for me. I'm going to need all the help I can get!

April 14, 2011

it would so seem

When I spend 5+ hours painting, I don't run. I painted Monday and Wednesday, and only ran 4 miles Tuesday. I did little today but sleep and homework.

Tomorrow I'll have some photos of the hallway. We're doing first floor woodwork, which means we're almost done. I'm really pleased with how the patchwork turned out.

Off to do more homework, then get more sleep.

April 11, 2011

Do you trust your GPS?

Superman and I each have a GPS application - his a Droid app and mine an iPhone app. You would think all GPS would measure the same distance as, well, the same. Mine mapped my last race at exactly the length it was supposed to be, though half marathoners complained theirs was long (I found out later some kids had moved the signs around. Race directors were able to fix them, but maybe not as precisely as they'd hoped).

After our last few long runs, I have developed a complete lack of faith in Superman's GPS. At one point it said we managed a 3 minute mile. Is that even possible? Certainly not for me! Our runs are peppered with me commenting "Is that your GPS? How fast are we zooming?" followed a short while later by "Mine just said mile ___."

After I posted about Saturday's long run, I wondered about our splits. While I do trust my GPS more than Superman's, I do not believe it 100% either. I was curious to see what Superman's splits said, and how they compared. Here's what our respective GPS showed:

You can see we're both all over the place. Sometimes his shows faster miles than mine. Sometimes my miles are faster than his. His splits have nothing to do with his announcements, either. Both our GPS announced mile 1 at the same time.

The biggest surprise for me was how fast we both measured the first 3 miles. The first half of this run is primarily uphill. My standard long run pace is somewhere between 12:30 and 13:00. No wonder I crashed!

For fun, I mapped things out on Veloroutes.org.
The first 3 miles
You can understand my confusion. It makes sense to me that Superman's GPS shows mile 3 as the fastest, considering more than half of it was downhill. On the other hand, by mile 3 I was already tired. A (comparatively) slower mile as shown on my GPS also makes sense. After that it just gets confusing. There's no way we did a 12:28 in mile 8. I quit running after mile 7, and on a good day I'm running a 12:28... on a short run!

Here's what the whole run looked like:
The full 11 miles
It also occurred to me after Saturday's post that I only took 2 Gu. This may have contributed to the "might not make it home" feeling. Either way, it was a calamity of errors I can't afford to make in the weeks to come.

What GPS do you use? Do you trust it?

April 9, 2011

I set myself up to fail

This is Superman and I on our way out for this weekend's long run. I had 12 miles on the calendar. I did not make it 12 miles. I ran 5 straight, then walked and ran and walked and ran an additional 2. At 7, I gave up. I had too much pain I was afraid would become damage if I continued. We did an out-and-back though, so I had to at least walk back (for a total of 11.25 round trip). I was completely spent, enough to honestly fear for a little while I would not make it home. Every run is a learning experience though, and sometimes I have to learn things over and over before they stick. Here's what I learned today:

I have to run every couple days - While I did expend a lot of energy painting 2 days this week, I did not run. I've skipped a full week of shorter runs twice now, and both times my weekend long run sucked ass. I started out stiff today and spent a lot of energy fighting my body in the first few miles. This made the first 6 miles of hill more difficult than it had to be, and exhausted me well before the run was half over.

I have to hydrate at least the day prior - I have been living on diet soda, which is already a bad thing because it sets my thyroid into overdrive. I also don't hydrate as well when that's all I drink. I sucked up an entire liter of water on this run, which at 50 degrees seems a bit much. I felt horrible at first, and didn't start feeling better until well in the 2nd mile (after I'd started sucking down water like I was dying).

I have to stretch and roll out after my runs - The first week I did my yoga/pilates class, my runs were incredible and awesome. This past week I skipped the class to write a paper. I also realized today that while I took an ice bath after last week's 11-miler, I did not roll out or stretch after that or the following day's 5-miler.

I have to forgive my shortcomings - While last weekend felt wonderful, my quads have been stiff and sore all week. I'm guessing I built some new muscle there, then never worked it out to make it pliable and healthy new muscle. I have a lot of room for muscle growth, and I can't beat myself up because my body was tired this weekend. I'm prone to beating myself up, but learning from my mistakes will make future runs better.

While I didn't run the entire 12, my legs were completely trashed and I decided an ice bath was in order.
I solved the "ice maker doesn't work" problem
This was my last long run before taper for the Cleveland 10-Miler on the 23rd. I'm very happy I decided to train for a half marathon in preparation for this race. I've had a really good 11-mile run already, so today's run does not phase me. I know what I'm capable of. I just have to remember what I've learned over the next 2 weeks.

It's official

I'm taking a month off from school. Five papers every six weeks since last February (minus two weeks over Christmas and New Years) and I'm just a little burnt out. I need to recharge my brain.

How will I recharge my brain, you ask? I'm planning to:

1) take practice A+ certification tests
2) give myself a crash course in SQL Server (the word is out a local bank is planning to hire several entry level database operators in the near future)
3) keep up with the current A+ course I'm taking

The break won't start until May 3 because I have to finish the course I'm currently taking, but I received confirmation today that my schedule is set.

In running news, I have no news at all. After 16 miles this past weekend, plus painting this week, I haven't laced up at all. I do have 12 miles on my calendar tomorrow. It's supposed to be in the 60s tomorrow, so that should be nice. It's my last long run before taper starts. My next race is exactly two weeks away.

April 7, 2011

Letter to a Stranger

Once again it's time for me to visit the 30-day Letter Writing Challenge I've picked at for the last several months. If you're not interested in my letter, you can entertain yourself HERE. Warning, it's fast and slightly addictive.

These letters are difficult, each for their own reason. This one has been on my brain for several weeks as I tried to define the word "stranger." I have people I could write about, whom I've interacted with on-line but never met. Ultimately I followed Merriam-Webster's definition: "a person or thing that is unknown or with whom one is unacquainted." The next question was, what stranger has made enough of an impression on me I could write them a letter? I immediately thought of two, but debated about writing to either of them. Ultimately I chose the more benign encounter.

Mr. Creepy Stranger Guy:

I am not starting this letter with the standard "Dear," because you are anything but dear to me. You are creepy, or rather you were creepy 30-some-odd years ago when I encountered you. I don't expect you changed much for the better over time.

I met you when I was 10 - a chance encounter on my way home from the pool. I lived at the pool every summer, getting there early for swim lessons or swim team, only running home when they closed for the dinner hour. I was tan, fit and active, out the door every day, running, biking, swimming, and playing. At that time I had no body consciousness, no shame or even awareness of what image I presented. I was not interested in fashion, choosing my clothes for function and comfort. The only interest I had in my body was how far I could push it, and where it could take me.

I was in the early throes of puberty, and have been told at 10 I looked 15. Barefoot, beach towel around my neck, I was running past the old stone schoolhouse when you stopped me on the path. It was standard to wear just my bathing suit and a pair of shorts, all summer long. I had a two-piece suit that year. I only remember this because I was wearing it with my favorite, worn pair of cut off shorts when you stopped me. I only vaguely remember what you looked like, just that you blocked my way on the path. I don't remember what you said, but understood you wanted me to pull my towel aside.

I didn't understand then what you wanted, though I'm well aware now how it could have played out. I only knew that the situation felt bizarre and uncomfortable. You wanted to look at me. Luckily I wasn't yet frozen with the emotional baggage I picked up later in life. Not understanding, not comfortable with the situation, my fight or flight instinct set me in motion. I dodged around you, off the path, and ran all the way home.

Mr. Creepy Stranger Guy, you most likely don't even remember that day, but it has lived in my memory for over three decades. I didn't tell anyone until I was an adult, and even then it was in the strictest confidence. I attached shame to the incident as soon as I realized what really happened that day. I carried that shame for a long time, before I realized it wasn't mine to bear.

I'm guessing you didn't know my age or innocence, but I remember you as being too old for even the teenager you probably thought I was. Given your behavior, I don't think you had a relationship in mind. I don't know what would have happened that day, had I stayed. I don't want to know. I'm only glad I was able to flee when I did. I am also glad I never encountered you again, though I traveled that same path at approximately the same time every day. I hope no other young girl encountered you, or if they did that they too got away.

I don't know how else to end this, but to say goodbye. You are a piece of my history, but no longer a defining piece. I no longer blame or shame my 10-year-old self for that encounter. I do wish I'd known to report you, though. I was so completely innocent I had no clue what happened. I guess in a way that's a good thing.


On a lighter note:

April 6, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

5+ hours painting. Everything is primed. We start ceilings Friday.

Now, I'm joining these guys...


April 5, 2011

What would YOU do?

I'm having calendar conflict, and am copying off of Baby Weight My Fat Ass, who also requested calendar help today.

This is what my calendar looks like:
Remember, X means I did what was marked.
As you can see from all the scritchy-scratch, I've changed my program once already. I moved Monday's run to Tuesday and Tuesday's run to Wednesday, so I could count Monday's yoga/pilates class as my cross-training day. (I didn't go yesterday because I was struggling with a paper I didn't want to write).

I'm having a hard time getting to swimming, and have to get used to the back-to-back running, but I understand my legs will be stronger without the rest days in between. I just have to make sure I do rest at some point, or I will injure myself. With that in mind, I'm going back and forth about today's run. Mainly, I just don't wanna. I have been fighting motivation issues in both running and school. In this instance, my legs are a little tired but I'm sure they have 5 miles in them. I'll likely guilt myself into getting them done later today.

I chose a half marathon program for a 10 mile race to make sure I was comfortable with the mileage. Also because I have a half marathon 3 weeks later. After April's race I'm just winging it though. I want a low mileage rest week, but then I have to gear up again for May's race, but then I have to taper... Do you see my conflict? Add in that I'm walk/running Barefoot Neil's virtual marathon on May 1.

So, the week after April's race I'm going to ditch the Saturday 10-miler. Superman and I are planning to run one/walk one through 26.2 miles that Sunday, so I'll definitely get at least 10 miles run. The question then becomes, how do I treat the following week? I once walked 20 miles in a day, but that was a couple years ago and I don't think I've even biked 26. I'll be in something of the same situation I am today, where I haven't had the 2 rest days planned. I'm thinking after the marathon I won't be up to a 5-miler, not to mention 5-4-5 over 3 days.

When I drew up the plan for the 2nd race, I included the 12-mile run the first week of May because I would not have run even close to race distance for a month prior. The marathon changes things. I will have been on my feet for close to 8 hours (random guess there). I will have covered the full marathon distance within a few weeks of the race. On the original plan taper starts 2 weeks prior. The mileage reduces slowly, with a 7 mile long run the first week of taper. I'm considering following the original plan in this.

Then there's the week after the half. I have another 10-miler scheduled for June 19. I don't want to sit on my arse the week after the race, because I know I will get stiff. I also don't want to push too hard with mileage. I'm comfortable with the 2-3-2 format, but I'm thinking of spreading it out more. 2 on Tuesday, 3 on Thursday, and 2 on Saturday. Do I then dive right back into the 5-4-5 schedule? I am going to shift the long run a week, doing 10 the week after the race and 11 the following week. The June race is only 10, but I do like the idea of running longer than the race distance to ensure I'm comfortable with the mileage.

As I told Baby Weight My Fat Ass, I know it all depends on how I feel. This is not set in stone, and may very well change as I complete aspects like the marathon. I'm actually most concerned with the section after the half, and may push recovery for another week before I try a 10-mile long run.

After the June race I can rest up a bit. I might run the Forest Hill Thunder Run 5K in July, but the next big race isn't until August 14. There seems to be some on-line registration issues, but a I'm in the process of signing up for the Perfect 10-Miler.