How Do You Eat An Elephant?

This post is brought to you by one ass kicking, brutally honest conversation with Allison. Thank you thank you thank you for getting me to shut up and get going.

During this conversation, Allison said something that got my wheels turning. How do you eat an elephant? I promptly replied “One bite at a time.” because that’s the answer.

IMG_445044208383571

But it got me thinking because as I started my long run, I was feeling a little intimidated. I know I’ve done so much already, but I’m starting to feel worn out and tired. Seeing that long run scheduled on my calendar was just a little daunting.

So I guess today I’m rephrasing the question. How do you finish a long run?

You put on your shoes, pick a playlist and step out the door. One foot in front of the other at whatever pace makes you comfortable – or uncomfortable, depending on the kind of week you’ve had.

Allison also reminded me to be grateful. Be grateful for what I’ve accomplished and what I can do, even if I don’t feel it is enough to accomplish my goals. With two weeks to go before my half, the nerves are settling in hard. My last couple long runs have been just short of painful, and I had to end this weekend’s 12 miler early because my trusty old achilles started hurting badI didn’t want to push it, so I settled for 9 miles in the sunshine. But still, I’m trying to be more grateful for what I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. I’ve been working very hard, and in the span of three months I’ve gone from 2 mile runs to run/walking 9 miles twice now.

This week starts my tapering runs. Today I did 3 miles on the treadmill, plus some weights and abs, which I haven’t done since I finished boot camp at the end of December. Tomorrow I’m hoping to get out again and do 4.5 or 5 miles. This weekend is a slow 8 miler (maybe at White Rock Lake if the weather is nice?) and I’m actually looking forward to it.

I also got word that my awesome friend Ashley will be playing with her band on the half mile course in New Orleans! I’m really excited to see her again and hear her play (sort of) for the first time!

Two weeks until I run 13.1. #gulp

Advertisements

Taking My Own Advice

So it figures that, not three days after my rant on healthy food as fuel goes up on this very blog, I break my own rules.

Hey now, I’m only human.

I took Friday off to rest my ankle, because I was feeling some pinching and tightness near an old injury, and I didn’t want to push it. I’m going to test my shoes this week and make sure I don’t need a new pair yet.

Saturday we went to Austin for a family picnic and I took the opportunity to have lunch with my girls. I allowed myself an indulgence of a delicious burger and fries with a beer (No Label Brewing’s Pale Horse, if you were curious) and figured I would be find for my run the next day as long as I behaved at the party we were going to.20131109_142146

Well it turns out my stomach has shrunk quite a bit, because when we got to the party I was so full I couldn’t eat a bite. I did however partake in a few beers (it was  a party after all) and though I tried to drink a lot of water, It was harder than I thought it would be without my trusty 20 ounce water bottle.

Moral of the story: I got back home for my run on Sunday and even though I had dedicatedly drank at least 40 ounces of water that morning, the first couple miles of my run were tough. It could have been a lot of things, including the dehydration, or the fact that I was running on an empty stomach. Oops. Lesson learned.

That being said. I did make my 4 miles, even though the first couple miles were tough. I’m still trying to focus on controlling my speed, and even though I felt like I did terrible during this run, I was able to maintain a slower, but more consistent pace through the run, which I am happy with.Screenshot_2013-11-10-17-10-29

So all in all, I like to think I succeeded in turning a bad situation around, learning from the mistakes that got me there, and swearing off alcohol and burgers on the day before a long run.

Considering how much my family (and I) enjoy eating, training during this holiday season might be harder that I originally planned.

Running Song of the Week (RSOTW?)

If you know me at all, you know that I love everything ever written by Panic! At The Disco. This song has been playing on my work playlists for a while, and they even performed it when I saw them in concert back in October, but it didn’t strike me as a running song until it came on my Songza station while I was out this week. It’s called Ready to Go [Get Me Out of My Mind] and it is a great representation of how I feel in my training right now. I hope you enjoy it, and it inspires you to get out and start pounding pavement!

Favorite Lyrics: 

All of them. Really.

Hard Truths

Going into the third week of official training, I’m beginning to come face to face with a couple really hard realities about running. I’m sure there are more, and I’m sure I will learn more about them as I train, but here is what I realized during this weekend’s long run.

  1. Running is not fun. There. I said it. There were several points during yesterday’s long run where I thought to myself “this is not pleasant. nope. no fun at all.” Training for an event in this sport is hard, because sometimes, it sucks. No one told me this. Granted, it is a great feeling when you finish, reaching your goal, even if it was just to finish a small training run. But no, right now, running is not fun for me. Still, it is something I want to do, something I think I can do, and that’s what keeps me going.
  2. You’ll never be at 100%. Queue evil laugh. Thanks for that realization, Erin. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it is only going to get harder going forward, and that tightness in my calves may never go away completely (maybe on February 3rd?). But again, this is still something I want to to, something I think I can do. The feeling of pushing my body past what I think my limits are is almost addicting at this point.four miles sunday

So I mentioned above that yesterday I had my long run. 4.4 miles in the books. It went pretty well I think. I was pretty tight for the first half of the run, but as I got past the mental block of the numbers and the pain, I got into a smoother rhythm and was able to finish out pretty strong I think. I’m really focusing on finding that happy medium between my sprinting pace (between 8 and 9:00 per mile) and a walk. I think if I can find that comfortable in-between pace, I’ll be set for the distances I need to cover.

Running Song of the Week:

I’m also going to try and share with y’all my favorite running songs each week, because I will tell anyone who asks, these songs are the only reason I can get my butt up, out the door and clock the distances I need. This week my favorite song is one that’s been my favorite for a long time now. Empire of the Sun’s Walking on a Dream perfectly sums up what it feels like when I’m running, mentally. The official video is kind of strange, but if you focus on the lyrics I think you’ll see what I mean.

This is the final weekend until 2014 where all I have to do is rest and run. I’ll be going to a wedding in Austin next weekend and then the insanity of the holiday season comes down upon me with vigor. It will be a real challenge to make sure that running, training and resting remains an important part of my schedule. Wish me luck.