Unrunner Getting Married.

Insert maniacal laughter here.

Trust me, I know.  That poor guy.

But yes, it is true.  I’m getting married. 

 A few other updates. 

My name is quite fitting at this point.  I completed my 1st marathon in Philadelphia last November, and have hardly run a consecutive 3 miles since.

Sure, I get on a treadmill 2 or 3 times a week, but that does not a runner make.

It started with a foot injury from training that was exacerbated during the marathon.  I was demanded by my podiatrist to quit running for 2 months.

I never went back.

Sure.  THAT was easy to quit. Smoking?  We’ll torture you for months and make your brain speak crazy-talk, but running?  Yeah, you can quit that—NO PROBLEM.

Thanks brain.  Thanks.

 But I am determined to get back into the swing of things.

And I am getting married, which means I have to wear white.  In a while. 11 months or something.  I should really know this.

 Day One: Project Get Fit(er).

 Success.  Began a P90X regimen along side the future Mr.Unrunner. He too had paused the fitness routine and had been supporting the local take-out facilities.  This is not coincidence. I am pretty sure my laziness and ease to Moo Shu Pork sounded quite convincing.

 But the important part…where was I?

Right.

Day one Project Get Fit(er):

Exercise:

20 Min P90X Ab-Ripper Routine.  This video sucks so good.
30 Mins of P90X Chest and Back Routine.  This is half of the full video, which we decided was wise.  When you’re this flabby, it’s not always wise to march out “Guns-a-Blazing.”  Get it?  Guns?  By the way, this video basically consists of alternating Pull ups and Push ups for a while. And if this sounds easy?  You’ve never done it.

 Food:

Everything healthy 🙂

-Breakfast: Yogurt and Chia seeds.

-Lunch: Frozen dinner (I am ashamed of these, but bought them before I started dieting.  I will eat salads as soon as I run out of them, I promise. I hate wasting food.)

Snack: Whole wheat fancy grain bread with Hummus. I love Hummus.

Dinner: Salmon, salad and a veggie and Quinoa pilaf-esque thing. I made it up.  I get to name it.

 How do I feel? :

Sore.  Bending hurts, breathing hurts, moving my arms hurts and my stomach feels like it’s digesting itself under protest.

 A few more weeks of ramping up and I should be able to wave without cursing. 

 

Baby steps.  It’ll all be worth it.

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10 Things I Learned From Marathon Training

10.  Toenails retaliate. And they fight hard for such an innocuous body part.

9.  There should be a YouTube channel devoted to videos of removing compression socks after a long run. I am typically naked while sitting on the floor and grunting, pulling at them with all my strength.  Ratings stipulations forbid me from posting my own.  

8. If you really hate someone, offer them a Perpetuem Tablet when they mention the have heartburn. It won’t cure heartburn. It just looks like a large antacid table (such as Tums). Don’t worry, they won’t yell at you because very shortly their mouth will  be filled with a cement-like substance that will take them an hour to fully remove from  their teeth.  To increase your enjoyment hide any water.

7. Carly Rae Jepsen isn’t the Anti-Christ.  This applies only to Ipod running mixes.

6. It is entirely possible to gain weight while burning 3,000-4,000 calories a week.  I got good at it.

5. One of your cats will steal your underwear out of the laundry basket after a run.  Every time.  Then she will lay on them.  For hours.
Additionally, if you can honestly type the phrase “one of your cats,” you have at least one cat too many.

4. You will develop a borderline inappropriate relationship with your running watch.  You will then cry when it craps out on you.   But then again, what functioning device really wants to run 488 miles in 20 weeks?  (Side note, currently shopping for a new one, if you have recos!)

3. You are capable of smelling THAT BAD.

2.  It’s way more fun to train for a marathon when your buddies will be drunk at the finish line when you complete.

1. You will complete.

Where have I been?!?!?

Ohhhh, it seems so silly to have writers block for a blog.  I talk ALL THE TIME.  I’m annoying. I bather on like a nimrod.  And yet, I sit down to type and….nothing.

But I am hoping I am over that now.  Let’s find out.

I moved to the country.  No, really, the country. I am trying to embrace it by reading Pottery Barn catalogs and looking at the perfect chainsaw bear to purchase.

I have turkey, bear and deer in my yard, all of which seem to have the same goal of not allowing me to plant a vegetable garden.  I think they talked to the man-friend, because he seems to agree with them.

This weekend, I am transforming a dump truck of mulch into…something.  I would like to call it “landscaping” but time will tell.  I have rocks, and plants and ideas. 

I’ll post before and after photos this weekend to try to inspire you to never try this at your own home. 

I’ve also taken to Yoga, as a result of my body falling apart. It’s been helping, so unfortunately I’ve been converted.

On a side note, while I am still running for fun, I am eagerly awaiting the news if I have been accepted into the NYC Marathon this fall.  The lotto pull is April 25th, so I am not training for anything at the moment.  I am taking some down time so that if I am to train for the fall marathon (*gulp*) I’ve given myself some needed time to rest. I ran another half in March, and while it was not as fast as my 1st, it was still very fun.

Yup.  Fun.

Perhaps I am not really an un-runner anymore…  

A horse is a horse, of course…

Don’t laugh.

Okay, I know that I am so hilarious that me saying that is the equivalent of telling my dog to not be excited when I come home. But really, I mean it.

I’ve decided that if I manage to run the half-marathon I am going to reward myself.  Now this does not mean if I show up, start

Bret Michaels

and eventually finish.  This means: I run it, I’m happy with it. I don’t break any part of my body, or hurt anything, faint, vomit, poop myself or publicly humiliate myself in any way, shape or form. I manage to not piss off the man-friend so much that he leaves me there. AND that I get to take my picture again with the Rocky statue.  City-Mouse, we may need to make that a yearly tradition. Not that I’ve ever seen even a single Rocky movie.

This particular course has bands along the way, and Bret Micheal’s will be performing at the end, so it will also mean that I have to enjoy that too.

My reward:

 

Stetson Alexa Rae Red Boots

 

I think it’s perfectly logical.  I fell in love with these last weekend.  It still makes me sad that I don’t own them.  Grant you, they are sold out of my size on Zappos.com, but if i try hard and don’t care what I pay, I’ll find them. Really.  I could be running along Route 209 in Hurley and see a horse that clearly needs to be tamed, and I don’t own the proper footwear for such a task.  Honestly, I think it’s a safety hazard. Really.  What am I going to do if that happens?  OR if I suddenly decide I have rhythm[1], and need to take a line dancing class?  I seriously need to fill out this section of my shoe wardrobe.

Besides.

They are really pretty.  And I love the detail of the stitching, the precise shape of the toe, and the rich, demanding color of the leather itself. And I absolutely adore the shading on the sole of the boot (Is that called a sole?).  I know that I will walk all over them (there’s a lot of restraint in not making a Nancy Sinatra reference), but the shading will be there for the first few wearings, and I’ll know it.  It’ll make me smile to know that I even love the sole of these boots.

I love them. So I have to earn them.  Or if they aren’t around then, another pair that suits my needs.  Or slightly unhealthy shopping habits. Obsessions.  No, maybe needs.  There is that horse scenario.  Grant you, to tame a horse encountered on a run, I would first need to go home and change out of my running sneaks, and into the boots.  But the horse will wait.

 

[1] This is less likely than needing to tame a horse

Some days, the bear gets you…

Since Monday is a “rest day” on my training schedule, today is the first day that I am running again after this past weekend’s 8 mile training run. To be honest, it sucked.  I went home feeling terribly worn out, in a lot of pain and very, very sweaty.

That being said, there are positive outcomes from having a bad training run. In fact, these learnings are what will make my run on the day of the Half Marathon so perfect. (How’s that for positive spin?)

1)      I have reached a mature standpoint where I can say it was just a bad run, vs. I am never going to be a good runner.

2)      While it took me almost 2 hours to run 8 miles, I still ran 8 miles.  Actually, I ran 7.5 miles.  I walked at least half a mile intermittently due to a pain in my ankle after mile 4, kind of Achilles-like. This is good practice for when at mile 12 my whole body goes numb from stupidity and regret.

3)      I learned that my water bottle isn’t going to cut it for mileage over 6 miles, and I have just ordered a hydration pack for the remainder of my training runs.

4)      I have also learned that I need a clif block after mile 7.  At least, this time I would have GREATLY benefited from one, so I should have had one with me, just in case.

5)      I learned that when I crawl into bed (after a post run shower) and stay there for 3 hours, my dog will keep me company. He will cheer me up the whole time.  He will even pretend to be interested in the tv show I am watching.  He’s very supportive.

The run was kind of bad all around.  First, I was lazy and slept late, so it was hot, hot, HOT.  I ran out of water early on (this was partially due to a water bottle malfunction) and there were no stores near where I was to refill. (Ironically, I was running at a reservoir for NYC.)

Ashokan Reservoir

My muscles had been very sore all weekend, and they were no less sore when I started the run.  I had hoped that once I was warmed up, I wouldn’t even notice them (this theory has worked in the past).  This was not the case.  Right from mile 1, I was averaging a minute over my usual pace per mile, and it just never got any better (it did get worse).  Then, around mile 5 heel pain (felt slightly like my Achilles Tendon) kicked in and…I had to walk it off. Once I started walking and lost my momentum…it was all over.  I think I finished my last mile at a 16 min pace (which, honestly, I can walk faster than.)

While 8 miles is the longest run I had ever attempted, I want to note that the run had failed long before the extra mile, and that I had a FABULOUS 7 miler the weekend before.  It really was just “one of those  things.”

Why am I posting this, you ask? Well, this summer seems to have bred quite a few newbie runners (either something in the water, or it’s contagious) who are shooting for long distances.  I want to encourage folks to keep going after a bad run. If I can do it, you totally can. And I can.

I took a yoga class with a friend yesterday which seems to have helped stretch out my muscles, and I am ready to start all over again today for this week.  It’s gonna be a better week.

Wiggle your Big Toe.

Today, at the age of 31, I get to say something very exciting.  I get to say words that so many children run off the camp bus to excitedly tell their moms.  They rush into the kitchen as their mom pulls cookies out of the oven and excitedly say,  “Today [Mom], on a day much like any other sunny July day, I managed to swim from one side of the YMCA pool to the other, using a freestyle stroke!”

 Did anyone’s mom actually BAKE COOKIES when they were at camp?  I’m pretty sure mine was either working or napping. (Heck, if it were my kids, I’d be drinking, so she’s aces in my book!)

 But, back to my triumphant sentence about getting from one side of a pool to the other, using my arms and legs to propel me while being underwater. Y’know.  Swimming.

I am fairly certain I have mentioned this before, but I was never a swimmer.  And by that, I don’t mean that I don’t like it. I mean I never DID it.  I think it started because I wore glasses at a young age and swimming meant not being able to see the other kids and whatever nonsense they were up to.  I signed up for other recreational activities instead and I avoided the whole pool concept. My family never pushed it. I used to think it might have been a “my people” thing, as we did spend 40 years or so  in the desert, but I now know far too many Jews who swim to believe that. I think it was just quite simply a skill I overlooked the importance of.

Once I started running and biking, I knew that not swimming was going to become a HUGE roadblock once I completed my half-marathon in September.  Triathlons are a very logical next step. (A marathon, while not entirely out of the question, is a long way away for me.) Panicked thoughts of how I would see in a pool to learn, or how I would find the right coach or not drown in the process filled my head instantly upon the thought.  But I took a deep breath and remembered to “wiggle my big toe¹”.  Everything kind of fell into place when I learned that I could order prescription swim goggles rather cheap, and met a very well known triathlon swim coach at the Y.

So, back to today, where I swam the whole length of the 25 yard pool.  Including the deep end.  Yup.  A whole 25 yards.

So, in my mind, this obviously means:

A)    I am only 32 more lengths (consecutively) away from being able to do a sprint Triathlon. I’ve got this by next spring.

B)    I think it’s possible that I can do anything.

Cept stop my dog from peeing on my floor.

But you know me, I don’t tend to get ahead of myself.

Ever.

 

¹You could insert the proverb, “The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With One Small Step”, but I prefer the Kill Bill reference.

In the Summer, in the City…

There is a cat living outside my house who may just be the most annoying thing to happen to me since puberty. 

My landlord let it live in her part of the house for two days last weekend while a very bizarre woodchuck trapping endeavor took place. While at first the cat cried and hissed for hours trying to escape from the house, it suddenly realized it had food, water, a window and air conditioning.  The crying was replaced with purring and 10 hour naps.  Then a desire for snuggles.  Put back on the streets once the woodchuck escapade was completed, she’s been trying to get back in to the world of ever-flowing cat food and air conditioning ever since.  She seems convinced that both apartments in this house will provide these things, and has been serenading me with song every night since.  I didn’t ever like that cat singing the commercial’s song, and I don’t like this cat keeping me up at night. Even as cute as she is.

A particularly funny arrangement at the house I rent in Kingston is that the man-friend and I refer to it as our “city-home”, using his house in the Catskill’s as our weekend “country home“. This is ridiculous for several reasons, starting with; this is NOT a city house.  It’s a beautiful Victorian with an English Garden and is seemingly hidden in a pocket location in the city of Kingston.  It is minutes from anything I could possibly need (and yes, this includes both a grocery store and a beach) but is tucked away in a quiet place.  But for the location being convenient to EVERYTHING (the polar opposite of the “Country House” location) it gets dubbed the ‘city house’ by us.

Now, the landlord, who is the only other person living in the two family Victorian, views this as her and her husband’s Country House.  She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhatten.  This is an appropriate statement, and an important lesson in perspective.

Important to note: The trapper was not Bill Murray, which is further proof that I cannot have everything that I want in life.

While this is her country home and my city home, we both recently agreed on one thing:  The woodchuck that was living under the house, destroying the foundation and eating the garden had to go. So, a trapper was hired and the saga began.  This trapper informed her that he could not release the woodchuck anywhere and consequently, the only option was a kill trap.  My landlord is an animal LOVER (see first paragraph) and was not happy, but had no choice.  Thus, all the friendly animals in the neighborhood were gathered up and brought inside the house, and so began the two days of us tripping over animals, popping corn and sitting at her window staring at the trap, waiting to see the woodchuck meet its fate.   No, we don’t have cable TV. Why do you ask?

Soon after the trap had been laid, and once I’d had my fill of watching nothing happen (just like a baseball game or a golf game), I left to go to the country house for the weekend. When I came back, I had the porch kitty crying for the better life she had while the woodchuck was avoiding (unsuccessfully) his own fate.

That’s what life is like, here in the city…