Monday, February 22, 2010

Just one of those days...

You know "those days". When just about everything gets on your nerves.
  • The guy on the bus next to you that insists on spreading his legs 10 feet. Seriously?! No way you need THAT much space.
  • Guys that fit into skinny jeans 1000x better than you do.
  • Putting together your "healthy" coffee at Starbucks, only to realize afterwards that you picked up the half/half instead of the skim milk.
  • 4 year olds that kick my ass snowboarding (only exception being my niece but she's just awesome).
  • People that walk 4 across down the sidewalk - under scaffolding.
  • Friends that say "oh I'm not hoping for a good time, I just hope I can finish" and then turn in a 28 minute or under 5k.
  • The loud cell-phone talkers, about nothing that couldn't wait 45min, on your usually very peaceful ride home.
  • That girl who insists she is only competitive with herself and then proceeds to put you under her microscope through every pilates and yoga class you are unfortunate enough to have with her.
  • The boots you were so excited to find that fit over your calves, only to find out they are actually somehow TOO big and start to slip down every 15 steps.
And really all of this is stuff that normally just rolls off of me, but I'm sitting here in the middle of the catastrophe that is my apartment with a moving date that just got bumped up a week to THIS Sunday. And I'm downsizing from a beautiful 2-bedroom into a junior 1-bedroom (but with a real kitchen and dishwasher).

So this is really just one of those days where all these little frustrations to be vented and blame placed elsewhere. Because I'm at that funny point where I'm torn between pulling my hair out and screaming, just throwing everything out the window and saying "screw it", and the more appealing option right now of curling into a wimpering ball and pretending none of it is happening.

And then there is the idea of just lacing up and running. Preferably long enough that little magical fairies will come and pack and move my crap for me. With pixie dust and sparkly wings. Quite frankly, that seems almost as realistic as the idea of me actually getting all of this finished on time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stumblings. And ramblings.

First things first: Yes. I'm still doing the marathon. And yes. It's the one IN Dublin. In Ireland.

But yes - the past week or so has been a struggle in so many areas (recurring shoulder injury, unusual knee pain, snow/ice that just won't end, tragic news from my hometown, and I'm moving in about 2 weeks). So I've given myself permission to recover through Friday night. But come Saturday morning, vacation's over buddy.

Instead of moping and whining through my injury(s) and training hold-ups like I normally do, I opted to ask for some advice. Trust me, this is a major life-altering event.

One of these people that I've been fortunate enough to get to know is a great personal trainer/martial arts instructor. He has been (and hopefully will continue to be) nothing short of an amazing resource. He's that kind of guy that you really want to like, until you've taken about 5-10 minutes of one of his kickboxing classes. Then you are calling him every name in the book. And I spent almost all of my "formative language" years surrounded by guys so I have quite the extensive vocabulary. And then he'll just stand there laughing. And demanding more jumping jacks. And guess where I will be spending my Saturday morning?

All this aside, I have a feeling he will be a huge help in other areas of my training: helping me clarify my goals/expectations for the Tabata training I want to add in to my regular routine, getting me to consider "joint mobility" and conditioning exercises as beneficial, and sparking an idea for a new fusion/bootcamp class we (we = he, I and my yoga/pilates pal) are working on putting together. Just wished he liked to run, I'm pretty sure I'd put out better times just trying to run away from him for fear of having to do more jumping jacks afterwards.

Oh yeah, the last one is huge. I'll talk more about that later. It's super-top-secret. Well not really. Let's face it, I have a big mouth. But it's not quite ready for release yet. Yippie! I'm actually really excited over this...

Through all of this, what I'm really starting to learn is that I have this idea, it's a little fuzzy but it's there dammit, about all the pieces of my training being codependent. I just need to try all the pieces out in different ways to figure out the best fit/combination. And there's nothing more that I enjoy than figuring out the solution to a puzzle.

Especially when there's Guinness at the end. Guinness makes everything better.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's only 4-minutes long - how bad can it be?!


It's called a "tabata" interval and it's a royal bitch from hell. Yes that's my official review. And I apologize to anyone I have offended.

However, it's also effective.

Simple concept: 20 second sprint, 10 second recovery, repeated 8 times. You can use this with whatever exercise you want. Tonight I chose to use it as a warmup to my planned easy run.

I made it through 4 of the repititions before I thought my chest was going to explode. I did however make it through the rest of my run and I have to be honest, I felt cleaner and stronger at the finish.

The next step will be to add 1 repitition each week until I get to the full 8.

Now excuse me while I finish coughing up a lung.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rocky Road to Dublin - part 1

So a few months ago a friend of mine ran the Melbourne marathon and thought it would be a great idea if a group of friends found a destination marathon to run together. Ideas were thrown out: Jamaica (rum, sun in the winter, ocean - all good), Chicago (hometown pride, Goose Island beer - also good), New York (impossible for all of us to get in - very bad).

Then came the suggestion that I swear made me hear angels singing: Dublin.


Dublin means Ireland. Ireland means Guinness. I'm in.

This was last September. It's now February. Am I ready? Not. Even. Close. Am I still going? Absolutely. I think.

Considering I agreed to this while being rum-soaked in the Keys, I could just blame it on the alcohol and bail. But that would be wrong. And the truth is I want to run this. Seriously.

But I'm still freaking out. I just started taking my running seriously again a little over a year ago and there is still a real love/hate relationship between me and running. And yes, a marathon was in my plans. Eventually. Down the road. So yes, I have doubts about this all the time. A 5-6 mile run now is something I consider a "long run" and I'm going to run 26.2? Oh boy...

And the best line came from my dad of all people: "You're planning on running a marathon in Dublin?...It's just not like you to run PAST a bar. I'm not sure you'll make it baby girl." - Thanks Dad.

True. I always thought my first trip to Dublin would involve a raucous group of friends and lots of Guinness. But as for the rest I thought about things like: catching a rugby game or 2, maybe some (cold) surfing, good food, lots of sweaters, great pubs and just taking it easy. A marathon was never in my list of "Things To Do In Dublin".

And I recognize that there is more to it than just the running. I've been cross-training like a fiend (Power 90, pilates, yoga, gym cardio, etc.). My nutrition has take a huge turn for the better, trying to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. My average weekly alcohol intake has been cut by approximately 75% and that involved giving up my beloved Saturday night dart league. Which means there are now more Saturday nights spent on my couch than ever before because I WANT to be fresh for early morning yoga on Sundays. I'm getting up at 5am daily to get my first workout in. I've come to appreciate the real value of a regular pedicure (even if it only last a few days), and then I spend almost my whole pedicure appointment apologizing for the condition of my feet. And there will be more changes coming.

But still the question remains: Am I really ready for this? I'm still not sure. But I'm doing it anyway.