A Change Of Plans

Well, it’s been three weeks and a lot has changed. You might recall that I have been training for my first marathon since before having my son and I have a big goal—to go sub 4 hours. The race I have been planning on running, the Indianapolis Marathon, is near and dear to my heart. It was my very first race and very first marathon—and yes, my first race was a marathon—and I have run that race 6 times. 4 times I’ve done the full marathon and twice I’ve done the half. Obviously, I wouldn’t keep coming back if it wasn’t an amazing race, well planned with great spectators and a beautiful course. So that’s why I was planning to tackle 26.2 again there on October 18th. But then, this happened:

San Francisco, here I come!
San Francisco, here I come!

I’m BEYOND excited for this race. Not only is it a Nike Women’s series event, it’s in SAN FRANCISCO. As someone who has never been to Cali and rarely ever leaves Indiana, I’m dying to go. But that means waving goodbye to the race I’ve loved for years, since these two races are the same weekend. I love ya Indy Marathon, but I have to go have a fling with the Nike Women’s Half. I’ll be back next year, and I’m sure I’ll appreciate your “hills” much more after conquering San Francisco’s.

So, I’m stoked to head out to California for this race—see what I did there? I’m even using Cali slang now—but I still want to run a full marathon this fall. I’ve already started full training, why quit now? So I’ve decided to toe the line at another race I love, The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 1st. It’s close to home, so no travel fees are required. Plus, it’s a flat, fast course which will seem like a breeze after the brutal inclines of SF and might make hitting my sub-4 goal even easier.

So those are my adjusted plans, now on to training. I’m definitely out of the honeymoon phase of Marathon training and on to the “I’m exhausted and don’t have time to run for 3 hours phase.” Add to that the fact that I have to incorporate hill training once a week—I HATE hill training—and the result is a less excited, crankier Molly.

 

Sweaty, slightly cranky. Most likely hangry.
Sweaty, slightly cranky. Most likely hangry.

But, once I again I have to remind myself that I WANT to do this. No one is making me. I want to run these races and so I have to do the work to make them happen. It’s just not always as fun as just running without a goal race can be.

Anyway, my most-days-of-the-week runs have been steady between 5-8 miles, though often this mileage comes from two runs. Usually this works out to 2-4 miles at lunch 2-6 miles in the evening. As for long runs, I ran 17 3 weeks ago, took two weeks off from long runs then did another 17 today (4 minutes faster than my first 17!). Hopefully, I’ll get a 20 in next weekend while we’re on vacation at my parent’s lake house in Northern Michigan, or possibly the day before we leave. I’m feeling semi-confident as far as long runs go, as these two 17s were both pretty decent. But talk to me after the first 20, I’ll most likely have a much more negative outlook.

max_unimpressed
Max is not impressed with my excessive running talk.

 

So that’s my change of plans and current training status. What about you? Are you training for a fall race? Have you had any changes to your planning?

5 Dirty Little Runner Secrets

Runners are gross. If you are one, you already know this. And if you aren’t, then I’m about to spill some dirty little runner secrets. Runners don’t just have strong legs and an appetite for pain, they also have the uncanny ability to be disgusting, mainly out of necessity. So without further ado, here are 5 downright nasty secrets of runners.

1. They pee their pants.

You try holding it when you’re running balls to the wall in the middle of a race. Or even on just a casual jaunt around your ‘hood. I’ll speak from personal experience that when you’re holding it on the run, whether it’s because you’re trying to hit certain paces, win the race, or even because you’re nowhere near a bathroom (or acceptable tree), roughly 50% of the time you don’t make it. That’s why they make running shorts out of absorbent material, right?

2. The world is their bathroom (in other words, they shit in the woods).

In order to avoid #1, or if they aren’t holding pee and it’s something else entirely, runners will find any acceptable spot to do their business. And by acceptable, I mean any tree that even marginally hides them, or large neighborhood signs, or not-so-large rocks, or utility sheds just to name a few. And unless there’s some leaves around, they often don’t wipe. Chances are if you live along a popular running rail trail or path, you’ve got runner poo lurking in your yard. Sorry you had to find out this way.

3. Their feet would make even the most seasoned, seen-it all pedicurist cry.

When you’re logging miles and miles on your feet, it’s going to show. Runners are usually missing at least one toenail, or have a few black ones. Their heels are dry, cracked and downright cringe-inducing. And their toes? Think blister upon blister upon blister. Sandals are not their friend.

4. Their personal hygiene leaves something to be desired.

Busy runners have to cram in a run when they can, and sometimes, all they have time for is the run, so they have to forego the all-important post-run shower. Most runners have perfected the art of taking a bird-bath after a run, freshening up the important areas with baby wipes or wet paper towels. And then they go back to work, or off to run errands or out to a fancy dinner (yeah, I’ve done it) still slightly stinky, with salt-crusted hair and smelly feet. And then sometimes, they get home after said post-run event and are so tired, they sink into their bed still stank-nasty and sweat-crusted and just plain greasy. In short, they smell. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.

5. They’re chafed, in the most delicate places.

Sometimes, no amount of Body Glide can keep a runner from getting chafed. Yeah, that’s right, a runner literally gets rubbed raw from running. Some runners get dreaded chafing on their inner thighs, some on their armpits, and some unlucky souls even get it on their nipples. Yeah, that’s right. Think about how great that has to feel. I’ve even heard of under-butt chafe. If it’s a part of the runner’s body, it can be chafed. So all those fit, mile-hungry hobby joggers you know are secretly suffering from embarrassing and uncomfortable sores in areas where the sun don’t shine.

Non-runners, I hope I haven’t scared you away from the joys of running. Because everything listed above is totally worth the satisfaction of achieving a PR, or hitting your mileage goals or finishing a marathon. That’s why we keep coming back for more. And if you have runner friends, cut them some slack. They may stink and poop behind trees, but they’re still cool people. Just don’t stand to close to them, or look at their feet, or judge them for peeing their pants.

Runners, any dirty little secrets I’ve missed?

Double Header

Yesterday was a good great day running-wise. And everything else-wise too. I’m on a serious high lately. Maybe it’s all the Vitamin D I’ve been getting, or the fact that Max has been consistently sleeping 12+ hours every night, but life is good! I’m still in the beginning stages of marathon training, which means I’m still positive and excited about it. I have yet to get totally knocked on my ass by a crappy 20-miler and I haven’t had to bail on a trip to the bar with me friends-yet. I’m still in the land of happy-go-lucky running, where it hasn’t taken over every free second of my life. That comes later.

Running and happy
Running and happy

Right now, I’m just running around with a goofy grin and spouting off about how much I LOOOVE running to anyone and everyone who asks how training is going. Actually, most of my friends and family know that if they ask, they’ll have to hear about it for roughly 5 hours straight. And they’re all pretty smart, so they don’t ask much. I don’t blame them, it’s probably pretty annoying. Conversations with me lately pretty much go like this:

Unsuspecting person who runs into me at work: “Hi Molly! What’s new with you?”

Me: “Max, running, running! Running, running, Max, Max Max!”

Unsuspecting person who is now backing away, then breaks into a run in the other direction: “Uh, great. Gotta go, I’m late for a meeting!”

So, in order to keep my personal relationships from going downhill, I’ll try to contain my obnoxious OMG RUNNING crap to myself. Myself and this blog of course. But since I have zero followers and the few random page views I’ve had are from my mom and some person who stumbled here by accident, I don’t think I’m offending anyone.

Back to marathon training. Last week was my highest weekly mileage since having Max. It might be easy mileage for a lot of runners, but for me, this is huge. Dare I say it, or even think it, but it’s like I’m finally getting my running mojo back. Knocks on wood.

Running Recap: June 23-29

Monday: Nada. Planned rest day.

Tuesday: 5 miles in the evening, easy

Wednesday: 7 miles at lunch, attempted tempo*

2 miles in the afternoon with the jogging stroller, easy

Thursday: 6 miles in the evening, easy

Friday: 6 miles lunch, easy with a fast finish mile

Saturday: 15 miles, soggy and slow

Sunday: 5 miles in the morning, slightly faster than a tortoise

Total: 46 miles!!!

So, I’m riding the high from last week’s mileage and still feeling really good mentally. Physically, I’m slightly beat up. I woke up Monday morning with sore quads and calves. And then I decided to make it worse by wearing wedges to work. Brilliant. Every single trip up or down the steps was pretty painful. Sigh, I never said I was a genius.

 

Stumbling in wedges is hot, clearly
Stumbling in wedges is hot, clearly

I felt much better when I rolled out of bed (late) yesterday morning. Since it was too late for a run, I tossed my gear in my bag and hoped I’d be able to squeeze in a run at lunchtime. Fortunately, my plan B worked out perfectly. I dashed out of the office right at noon and headed over to Fort Harrison State Park, the gorgeous location of the Indianapolis Marathon. I had about 30 minutes, so I figured I’d run the hills there as fast as I could. Sort of a hill-speed session. But lo and behold, as I hurriedly threw on my gear, I realized that my Garmin was at home. A run without my Garmin? What’s that like? Should I pack up and head back to work?

Random Garmin shot
Random Garmin shot

The fact that I considered bailing on my run just because I didn’t have my watch proves that I am way too attached to that thing. I used to run without a watch every day. I just went out and ran, not caring about pace or distance or any of the other unnecessary data my all the bells-and-whistles-and-then-some Garmin gives me. I seriously need to take the Zen, naked wrist running approach at least once a week in order to break my pathetic addiction. So today was that day.

I didn’t bail, I just ran based on time and effort. I did have my handy all-the-rage in the early 2000s pedometer, which I wear in order to get money off my health insurance at work. I used that to tell the time, because I at least had to know when to get back to work. Anyway, I ran for 31 minutes on the rolling hills, pushing it as fast as I could until my lungs burned and I thought I might throw up. Hills plus speed: Check.

Gorgeous Fort Harrison State Park, the site of my lunchtime run
Gorgeous Fort Harrison State Park, the site of my lunchtime run

I then had to get ready as fast as possible in the bathroom at the park. I forgot about the fact that not only would I be dripping in sweat from the hot summer day, but I’d also be attempting to put makeup on and make myself presentable in an air-conditioning free outdoor bathroom.  Look pretty at work post-run: FAIL.

Pretty greasy on my way back to work. I smelled about as good as I look.
Pretty greasy on my way back to work. I smelled about as good as I look.

So, not only am I annoying because I always talk about running, but I also stink. Sweet.

Post-work and post getting the wild man to sleep, I talked my amazing husband into making dinner while I squeezed in a few more miles. The arrangement earned me dish duty, but I’ll gladly scrub some pots if it means I get to run! I was trying to get as many miles in as quickly as possible, so the run turned into an impromptu tempo.

run

Not too shabby. Feelin’ good about yesterday’s double header. How do you feel about double headers? Love ’em or leave ’em? Let me know in the comments!