Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stop signs and cars

So I was running this morning and when I started to cross an intersection that had a stop sign for cross traffic, there was a typical person who sped up on the cross street to try and beat me out from crossing first. I thought what an idiot I am already 1/3 of the way across the street and I have a florescent yellow jacket on (how could you not see me???). So I kept going then looked over and realized that the car's hood was unlatched and could fly up. I raised my hand up for him to stop, which he almost didn't do and he then gave me that "I don't care about you but I see you and am going to stop" look that I am sure any runner has seen before. I went to the front of his car and grabbed the hood, which got him pretty startled. Before he could even open the door or roll down the window and yell at me I had the hood opened then closed all the way and I was moving back down the street.

I would have to say that the guys mood seemed to shift from an unpleasant "I don't want to stop for you" to a very nice "you just saved my arse" and I will stop and say thanks as I go by. So I feel as though I have done my good deed for the day and in the mean time I hope to have changed at least one person's opinion about being a little more courteous to runners.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sick of sick

Three weeks ago I had a great week of training as I continue my Boston buildup. I hit 117 miles with a 21 mile long run and one light workout. On Sunday morning that week I woke up with a scratchy throat, but tossed Morgan in the baby jogger and headed out for an easy 10M to cap off the week. Unfortunately, I spent the rest of the day on the couch with a fever while the baby abused me with her toy hammer. Over the next week I had a fever, headache, upset stomach, weakness, you name it and eventually broke down and went to the doc to find out I had at least strep throat, bronchitis, and a sinus infection (yeah!). I missed two days of work that week (I've only taken one sick day in 3+ years previously) and only managed a miserable 46 miles of running.

Last week I felt relatively better, but still not well. I muscled my way through 100 miles of running and by the end of the week convinced myself I was well enough to toe the line in the 5000m at the Mines indoor meet. Big mistake. It took me about a mile and a half to realize I didn't have my strength back and by two miles I peeled off the track and went for an easy jog.

Finally this week I've been able to resume my schedule (though pushed back a couple weeks in workouts). Early in the week I still had a cough, but have had two solid workouts and a whole pile miles. I'm at 108 miles for the week right now with the weekend still to go and feeling the best I've felt in a couple months.

I think the last time I had a cold was last April. Now hopefully I can start another 8+ month streak of being virus free.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yes! Sometimes I don't feel like running!

As a runner, I often listen to jokes and questions from co-workers and friends who are non-runners who don't understand our sport. I will often hear, "You ran 22 miles yesterday? I don't think I even drove my car that far." or "What do you think about when you run?" or how about the classic "Do you ever just wake up and not want to go for a run?". I will often smile/laugh at the jokes or just give a really vague answer, but to the last question I often want to scream "YES! I don't always want to go for my runs."

Over the past few years, I have been blessed to have a coach that is working on making me learn to read my own body and know when I should or shouldn't do a run. Now that I am still dealing with the after effects of some health problems, this is even more important than ever before. In the past I would run even if I really, really didn't want to do it. On those days I would get my husband to drive me out however far I was supposed to run and drop me off. Then I had to run because otherwise it would take me FOREVER to get home! Now, especially coming off the fall I have had I realize more than ever before the importance of listening to my body. I love to run. I love the feeling of pushing myself, working towards a goal, and running workouts that I am not sure I can finish and then when I finish feeling so good about the work I just put in. So, when my mind is screaming at me not to run, I take that as a sign and am learning to listen. Now, don't get me wrong, there are times when I am just feeling lazy or would rather finish watching the tv show that I started instead of heading out into the cold, but there are also times when my mind knows something that I don't consciously know (yet).

Yesterday (Wednesday) was one of those days. Tuesday I had a really, really stressful day (that started out with getting stranded in a broken down car and just sort of went downhill) and got in about 11 miles total in two runs with a small workout in the afternoon. I was exhausted, tired and in a horrible mood by the end of the day and I also thought I was getting sick. My throat was a little sore and I was starting to feel congested and sinus pressure. So, I decided to sleep in and not worry about meeting people the next morning for my run. Then the whole day I managed to put off the run. I went to work, but was done by 2:50. I came home but instead of lacing up my shoes and layering up, I got into bed and took a nap! I talked to my coach and the decision to run was left up to me. So after some debating, I took my procrastination as a sign and rested. And I am glad I did. Even though marathon training is partially about training your body to run when it is tired, I know that at times, especially now, I need to listen to my body. Instead of always pushing and always wanting to get in more and more miles, I need to learn to recover, relax and understand what my body is telling me is best. I have been running pretty seriously for about 15 years and I think this is a lesson that I will continue to have to learn with each and every training cycle that I do. Thankfully, I don't have to navigate this all by myself--I have a husband who understands running and me and he can often tell when I need to rest (although I don't always listen), I have a coach who has been a respected runner and coach for years (and I do almost always listen to him, but at times do it grudgingly) and I have amazing family/friends/training partners of all abilities that remind me to relax and take it easy at times. So next time your coworker wants to know how you can motivate yourself to get out the door each and every day for a run and you want to respond by either crawling under the covers or yelling at them--remember to listen to your body to see if you really shouldn't rest instead!