Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Run, walk, stare at wrist.

Ms. G has been dying a very slow and Painful (for me) death.

First, the heart rate monitor function stopped.

Then, I couldn't use any training options.

Then, I could no longer upload to *anything*, not to training center, not to bt.com, not to buckeyeoutdoors.com.

BUT! I still had time and distance and average pace, right?

Well, I did until today when my garmin happily reported that I was running, running.....yes I WAS RUNNING a pace of 58:26.

The 3.7 mile course? Garmin insists it was 2.8.

Not to be outdone, my total time according to Garmin was 21 minutes.

I'm not the BEST at physics, but I know that Rate x Time = Distance. 

I also know that 1 mph X 21 minutes does NOT equal 2.8 miles.

So, I ran today. I have a general idea of how far I went. An approximate time of how long I took - minus the time that I stood in the middle of the street staring questioningly at my Garmin, willing it to start working. 

I'm not complaining. It was a sunny 45 degrees when I took off this morning. How can that ever be a bad thing?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Shape of Things to Come

At one point, I didn't think it would happen. Ever.

I have been thinking for quite awhile about the possibility of doing Ironman again. I had been considering 2012, but I really didn't have any plans or crazy desire.

I sat back and started looking at my race schedule for next year. 

Jan 8th: MS Blues Marathon
June 4 or 5th whatever the date is: Elephant Rock Ride
August 7th IM Boulder 70.3

The year was taking shape, and I liked the scheduling. Elephant Rock leads to the 70.3. The marathon sort of wraps up the previous year of run focused training.

That it's. That's year 5 of my 5 year plan.

Then it hit me that wanted to do Ironman again. I really wanted to do it. I didn't want to do it because everyone was doing it. I wanted to....

I picked up the phone and called Mr. Tea.

Me: I want to do Ironman again.

Mr. Tea: Ok when?

Me: Probably 2012, but I know the race. I want to do IMAZ. I started looking at a bunch of factors, and I realized that IMAZ would be perfect timing.

Mr. Tea: Why don't you go down this year, volunteer and sign up for next year.

Me: Silence

Mr. Tea: HELLO?

Me: I hadn't thought about that, but it actually works really well with my race schedule. I don't have anything after Boulder. It would be perfect timing.

With that simple phone call, it was decided. I'm heading back to Ironman.

I can do the training.

I know what it takes.

I know how to better manage my daily energy intake now.

I have the time.

Most importantly, I have Mr. Tea's support.

It's the right time. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's time to grow up

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, probably a dangerous amount. My runs are getting a little longer each week.

And, I'm going through a phase. 

This past week, Googs registered for school as a junior (11th grade). JMan registered as a freshman (9th grade).

As I run I think back to the days that I pushed them both in the running stroller and then hooked them up to my bike and rode them around town and to the parks.

Later as I was on my long runs, Mike would drive by with the boys in the backseats, strapped into their carseats. I would see these little fists waving up at me, and I'd hear their chants of "Go Mommy".

Mike would tote them to my races. He'd have Jman on his shoulders, and he'd squeeze Googs to the front of the crowd, so they could see me start and finish.

We'd go to the pool, and the boys would play in the fountains and go down the slides, and I'd swim laps in between games of "pool crack the whip".

When they got a little older, I no longer needed to pull them on my bike. They were able to ride along side of me. All three of us, loaded with camelbacks and snacks for the long 10 mile ride.

Then, they got old enough to run races. They were more of run walks, but they never let me run with them. They always said, "Mom, run your fastest!" So, I would. When I finished, I always ran back through the course looking for them. 

In the early days, they would be miles back.

Last year, Googs was only :42 seconds behind me.

When Googs was training for his first half marathon, I even named a route after him. To this day, my 5.5 mile run is known as the "Googs Death Run". After he ran it the first time and began to doubt his abilities to run the race. 

Every day I run or swim or bike or lift weights or do yoga or do ANYTHING, the boys always ask detailed questions about my workout, showing that they pay attention to my races. They know my paces. They know my finish times. They know the difference between a tempo run and speedwork. They know what drill work means. They know what my favorite  movies are to watch while I'm on the trainer. 

That's when it hit me. I was running the Googs Death Run today, and I realized that I have only a few more years of hearing their cheers

As fate would decide, this evening, Mr. Tea and I just happen to be out when we realized that we were close to our old neighborhood. We decided to drive by our old house.

We lived there for 11 years. We moved in one month after JMan was born. At once, I was overwhelmed with memories. 

The house that I had built up in my memories looked small and run-down. The neighborhood sidewalks showed their age with giant cracks. The neighborhood that I remember being filled with kids, was empty except for cars lining the streets. 

It left an empty feeling in my stomach.

As Mr. Tea and I drove home, we were quiet.  Finally, I turned to him and said, "I don't want to ever go back there. My memories are better. I remember teaching the boys to ride their bikes. I remember them doing chalk drawings on the road. The house was like a castle." I stopped and whispered, "My memories are better."

The boys are growing up. Over the next few years, they will be moving on to their own lives. 

No matter where they live. No matter what they do.

Every time I run, I will see their little fists pumping in the air and hear their little voices chanting, "Go Mommy!"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I went running today at 6am

and the world didn't end.

In fact, it was quite pleasant.

So pleasant that I think I'm going to do it again on another day.

To think, I did it because I HAD to. HAD to if I wanted to avoid things like dehydration or even worse death.

Y'see, I live in a place. It's a nice place, but the air is so dry that your skin peels off in layers as soon as you step outside. The heat is so hot that when the wind blows, your breath is taken away.

But I'm used to it.

Then, once a year, we have monsoon season.

GLORIOUS MONSOON SEASON.....when the humidity slaps you in the face like the b!tch you are, but it feels SO GOOD after having your lips fall off from the sauna days.

I'm also not stupid and 93% humidity is one thing. 93% humidity and temps in the 90's and running long is....well, just plain stupid-crazy.

I got up before the sun, and it didn't kill me. I thought it would, for sure. I packed quite a bit of water and head out to run just as the sun was rising.

It was already warm and before I even got to the 2nd mile, my arms were coated with a layer of sweat. There wasn't any wind, but it was just wonderful.

As I was running up the 2nd largest hill, a man-type was walking toward me with big bulging HEADPHONES. With sweat stinging my eyes, I smile at him and say "Beautiful morning, isn't it?" He stops and points both fingers at me and yells, "GO GET'UM!".

I couldn't help but laugh. From that point on, every time I was climbing a hill, I replayed his words "GO GET'UM".

I got home, and everyone was still sleeping.  I relished the fact that I was done for the day and it wasn't even 8am.