This photo basically sums up my life for the past five days. Haven’t been able to run or do anything besides take medicine and watch House of Cards. (Which, by the way, is amazing. Reminds me of all the reasons I love and hate politics, and, why I love and love Kevin Spacey.)
I’m worried about losing strength – and I don’t think I’ll be able to start up again for at least a week – anyone have any tips for low-impact ways to stay strong while sick? What do you do to stay strong when you can’t get the miles in? During my marathon training in 2011 I got pneumonia and, even though it was two months before the race, I think my time and my body took an extra beating on race-day from the strength I lost as a result.
I’m going to make it up this mountain, setbacks or not, I just really want it to happen in two hours or less….
Filed under Life, Running
I discovered something important today: Running with your hair down is really fun. (I guess I should say, as long as you live in a place with Portland’s climate. I can imagine it being the opposite of fun if you are running outside in Arizona in the middle of summer.)
I had so much fun today and felt so good, so strong, that I spent the entire 80 minutes of my run grinning. Grinning! A year ago when I was trying to work up to a 5k I couldn’t imagine ever feeling anything more than extremely uncomfortable while running.
I just love this sport. I love that it’s helping me undo/recover from years of unhealthy living and that my former smoker’s lungs can support me running for hours and hours now. That’s significant. I love that the sport lets me participate in my city — I feel like I’m getting to know parts of Portland so well just by running the streets.
Most of all I love that it makes me look like this. I can’t fake that grin (trust me, there’s a lot of awkward photographic evidence that I just can not fake a smile):
Nine miles. I feel so badass, but also so very, very sore. Nine miles were way harder than eight for some reason. It’s possible that today was so hard because I’m slightly under the weather but also for some reason this run was very mentally tough. This was the first time that I had to really work to believe that I could finish and the first time I’ve ever had a major naysayer inside my head.
Around mile 6 my butt muscle (sorry for the non-technical term!) started to really hurt and this little voice in my head was all “just stop and walk. Just stop and go back. You still have so far to go, you’ll never make it….” So discouraging and I couldn’t tune her out. She stayed there making fun of me the rest of the way.
In a weird (but still bad) way it was kind of motivational. If you know me, you know that there are three things I hate: people telling me what to do, quitting and failing. So there was no way I was going to let the evil voice in my head win. Still, she made things super-unpleasant and by the last mile I had to resort to bribing her (me?) with promises of Starbucks and pie if she would just let me finish.
That dumb voice pops up a lot — before staff meetings where I’m presenting, on long flights to and from the states I’m trying to help, at 3 a.m. the night before a big meeting, before every speaking engagement or panel. A lot.
I started running for a lot of reasons — the desire to be stronger, the desire to live for a long time, the need for an anxiety outlet (and strong aversion to taking my Lexapro…) — and I’m realizing that conquering that little voice of doubt in my head is just one more thing I’m earning one mile at a time.
Mango-berry-coconut pie is a great self bribe. Recipe to come soon...
Today was my “long” run — but I didn’t add any new miles. The training plan I’m following is a beginner’s half marathon plan and for every week where I add miles, the following week I actually go back down in mileage. I’m trying to remember that this is to prevent injury and will actually allow me to arrive at race day with months of steady training under my belt, but I am dying to get to double digits. For some reason 10 miles just sounds infinatly more badass than seven miles, eight miles, nine miles.
So today was a steady, but uninspired, seven. They sounded like this for the most part: