Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

   Recently, I've been having issues with my running. Some of my recent runs have not only left me injured, but mentally defeated. I know, I know - running is hard. Running in the Summer is harder. But coming back from my sprained ankle has been harder than I expected. I'm slower. My ankle hurts. My hip hurts. I recently had a bug fly into my mouth and sting my lip while I was running. Let me repeat that... I had a bug. Fly into my mouth. And sting my lip. True story! Stuff like that happens to me! I'm a freakin' mess. During my run last Friday, I seriously considered moving to strictly cycling because I hated running so badly at the moment.
   But have a run when all of the stars align. The weather is perfect - in the 70's and no August. Friends you haven't been able to run with in months show up to run. The chosen course is challenging, but doesn't kill you. For some reason, the aches and pains of previous runs have disappeared. No bugs fly in your mouth. Running seems easy. Almost, dare I And it is awesome.
   Maybe I'll stick to this running thing for a little while longer.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tomatoes and Donkeys and Chicken Cars - Oh My!

   Before I get into this week's post, I need to let everyone know that a date has been decided for the "A Christmas Story Virtual Run!"  It's going to be December 14.  Time and place TBA - probably sometime in the mid-morning and at Shelby Park.  Instructions on how to register will be announced later this week.  Now - on to the recap!

   This weekend was CRAZY busy. Lots swimming, biking and running and very little sleep. Not only was it the Tomato 5k, but it was also training camp weekend for my tri training group - FTP Coaching. "Camp" is a little bit of a misnomer in that we didn't actually camp out, which I'm completely fine with. The training was going to be tough enough with actually having to sleep outside. Plus, I'm a big fan of showers.
   Anyway, Friday night we all (FTP) met at Shelby Park for a run. For August, the heat wasn't that bad, but the humidity was just sick. Imagine running with a blanket wrapped around your body. That's what it felt like. I had to run five miles and by the time I was finished, I was drenched from sweat. Gross, I know, but that's how it is when you run in Nashville in the Summer.
  The next morning, I got up a 4:00 am. Yes. You read that right. 4:00 AM! The Tomato 5k was that morning and I had to get there early to help set up. Plus, I was singing the National Anthem, so I had to at least attempt to look half-way decent. Have you ever tried to put on make-up at 4:00 am?  It's not easy. Plus, as mentioned previously, humidity is not my friend. By the time the race started, I was a hot mess. But I did my best with the National Anthem. I hope I did it justice.

Yes, I'm pointing my toe. I have no idea why.

Hoping I remember the words...

My view. 1,500 Tomatoes strong!

  The Tomato 5k was also the big finale of the Potato to Tomato 5k training program. Look at all of those awesome Potatoes!  About 250 of them ran their first 5k Saturday! It was a lot of fun to be a part of it.

The Potatoes are in red, the Coaches are in green.

   I actually didn't run in the 5k. Between singing, the big training weekend and my ankle acting up, I decided to just cheer on the Potatoes. I'm so freakin' proud of them. It's hard to step out of your comfort zone and do something new - especially something physical like a 5k. They all did awesome. I had tears in my eyes as some of the crossed the line. 
   After the race, I headed up to Dollar Farms, which is the home of FTP Coaches Andrew and Jessica. While I was at the Tomato 5k, they were all at Old Hickory Lake getting in an open water practice (I got my swim in on Friday since I knew I wouldn't be able to swim on Saturday). We had a 40-60 mile ride scheduled for later in the day and I wanted to meet up with them before the ride started. Fortunately, I got there in time and we rolled out right around 10:00 am.  It was a little overcast and rainy at first, but then it just got hot and steamy. Being that I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep, I wasn't sure if I was going to ride 40 or 60, but my friends were all riding 60, so that's what I did because I, apparently, easily succumb to peer pressure. 

Kathy, Jan and Carissa. My dealers - though instead of drugs & alcohol, they push more mileage.

   The route was great - a little hilly at first, and then some nice rollers the rest of the way. Well, there were three killer hills about 14 miles from the end, but I tried to block those from my memory. It was also really scenic. There were all sorts of farms with cows, chickens and even a baby donkey. There was also a big blue sedan with a giant chicken mounted on top of it. If I were a better blogger, I would have photos of all of this. But considering I was riding with other people, I would have really felt like a jerk if I stopped to take photos. I did, however, have to stop one time because a bug flew in my helmet and started crawling around. And yes, that feels as creepy as it sounds.
   After the ride, it was probably 90 degrees. We were all miserable. Fortunately, Andrew and Jessica have an ice cold creek running through their yard. Did it look like it could have snakes in it? Yes. Did I care? No. I dropped off my bike by the car and walked directly into the creek. It. Was. Awesome.

Fully dressed and sitting in a creek. Apparently, this is what I do now.

   Today was 25-miles of hill repeats on the bike and then a 6-mile run. We started about an hour late due to rain - which made for another steamy day. Fabulous. We got done with the ride, and started off on the run. I got about a mile and a half in ankle gave out. I mean - GAVE OUT. It was one of those spectacular ankle-twisting (it touched the ground), arms flailing about kind of things. Fortunately, I was about to catch myself so I didn't fall. But it hurt. Bad. Instant tears and mild hyperventilating hurting. I calmed myself down after a minute or two and realized I could walk, so I started heading back. Eventually, I was able to lightly jog. I think I'm OK. My ankle has been giving me fits since April, but this was the first time I had severely rolled it like that. Scared the crap out of me, honestly. It's currently a little swollen, but not too bad and isn't bruised at all. Hopefully, it'll be back to normal tomorrow.
   And now I'm sitting on my sofa trying to recover from everything. I actually feel pretty good considering all of the training we did. Fortunately, tomorrow is a rest day and I actually get to sleep in until about 7:00 am. Yes, sleeping in is 7:00 am.  Sad, but such is the life of a triathlete!