Friday, April 21, 2017

10K day: eleventy billion steps of doom

If you've never trained for a long distance race before, you may not know that you have a training schedule to follow. You can't just automatically run a 10K, a half marathon, or a full marathon. I mean, you COULD, but you'd definitely get injured along the way, unless you're incredibly lucky. I started training for this half marathon in January by rebuilding my running base. To successfully finish a half marathon, it is recommended that you be able to run 3 miles; I was there, so I was all in! 

I'll get into it another time but I ended up with an injury after running for about 3 weeks and spent a month off. I'm feeling the stress of being behind in my training plan, which was originally 12 weeks. It shrunk down to 8 weeks, and I am in the final 3 weeks now. This weekend, I was scheduled to run at least 6 miles for my long run. I track my runs on the Nike+ app, and I went back to see if I had run 6 miles recently...I hadn't. I only figured out when I last ran 6 miles by getting out my marathon training book from college and reading the entries from that plan. I ran 6 miles back in 2009 when I was training for a half marathon. Holy hell. That was EIGHT years and probably at least 40 lbs ago. 

So, to say I was nervous about this long run was . It kept me up until 2 am, which messed up my early run schedule. I woke up, had to fuel with at least 200-300 calories and hydrate, and give that all time to start digesting and settling before I could start. That meant I didn't get out to run until about 12:30 pm. And it. was. hot. It's not even summertime hot yet here, but it's hot and humid enough to remind me why I don't run when there is sunlight. 

And now, I bring you, Kat's thoughts while running 6.2 miles in 79 degree weather with 60% humidity:

Mile 1: Woohoo, it's already 1 mile and I'm feeling pretty good! I just have to run 5 more of these. I've totally got this. It's windy too, so that's nice. 

Mile 2: Ugh, okay it's hot. My phone is in my back zipper pocket and I don't want to get it out to see what my time is...oh! I'm at 28 minutes for 2 miles. That's not too bad considering I'm running slower than race pace AND walking. Ok. I can still do, stop and stretch the calves and outsides of my lower legs/ankles. 

Mile 2.38: How is it not 3 miles yet? I'm so thirsty. My Hydrate drink is by the garage why in the world didn't I bring it with me omg I need to get a new Fuel Belt or figure out how to stash water along my route I wonder if I could call or text a friend to come bring me water why is it so hot and it's only 79 degrees?!

Mile 3: Praise sweet baby Jesus I made it back home and I get to drink my Hydrate. It tastes like heaven. Maybe I should take a bathroom break while I'm here? *Garage door code pad doesn't work* WHAAAAAAT?! How will I get back inside? Should I break a window? No. SOS! I'll text the neighbors and see if they can help...while I'm waiting, I might as well finish my other 3 miles. You can do it. You can do it!

Mile 3.5: Why am I not at 4 miles yet? And why did I decide coming to the park to run this second half was a good plan? There are people EVERYWHERE. Move. I know you want to hide eggs for your kids but I'm on a mission here. One that needs to end. Soon. I wonder if they will notice if I grab an egg?

Mile 4: This trail seems to make me feel better. But there's mud and I'm getting....AHHH man on a bike! This trail is definitely not made for more than one person at a time. Time for a walk break. Never mind! Mosquitos swarming! Of course I forgot to put on mosquito spray before the run. Of course.

Mile 4.75: I hate mile 4. I do not enjoy this. Nope. NOPE! But I only have a little more to go. Ok. I'll just loop back around the park to the bridge and then I should almost be at 6.2. 

Mile 5: Death. Dead. How are my legs moving? This is 15 minutes slower than I ran my race last week. Wermp. Let's walk again. Yes. Ok. That is a little better but ugh....How in the world am I going to do THIRTEEN MILES in 3 weeks? I must be crazy. Ohhh my jam is on! I have to run. Go. Move your legs faster...

Mile 5.9: How am I not doneeeeeee?? Are my legs actually moving? Oh geez, I'm running a 13:54 pace. Does that even count as running? Just go to the bridge and I'm sure the app will say I'm done. Almost....there...

Mile 6.2: ------------------------

That was the hardest thing I have done in years. Period. Probably didn't help that I didn't sleep well, I didn't take water with me, and I ran in the middle of the day. But I did it. I am scheduled to run 8 miles this weekend and I'm pretty nervous. I have got to break through the 4 mile barrier because that's when I usually start losing it. 

I recovered with a lot of stretching, Shakeology + BCAA's + L-Glutamine, a banana, an ice bath, and my Zensah compression sleeves. I am sore today esp in my Achilles' but I don't feel terrible, so that's good! More running this week...just about 2 weeks to go until 13.1! Eeek!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Back at it

I've been thinking about blogging for quite awhile but I didn't think I had enough to write about.

Now that I'm in the midst of my running life and training for my first half marathon though, I have PLENTY of things to blog. Also, this is a way for those of you who are interested in what I'm tackling next to keep up with me. I know it probably gets old with all my Facebook and IG posts about fitness. Or my other goals. 

I decided to name this blog Kat Can Do {Blank} because I am always trying new things and setting big goals! So far in 2017, Kat can do: yoga, knitting, and long distance running. 

Once upon a time...

There was a beanpole 10 year old who found out she was pretty good at long distance running. 
It all started with the 100 mile club and the yearly Turkey Run at my elementary school. I didn't place in the Turkey Run top 3, which meant I would have won popcorn, a 3 Liter of Coke or a turkey. I did however get these sweet participation ribbons. 

At the 5th grade track meet that wrapped up our last year of elementary school, I ran the 400m dash and won! I realized that sprinting wasn't my jam though and once middle school track started, my love for running meant I was the only middle schooler crazy enough to run the mile and a half race. I also decided to try out the 800 m hurdles because it was long distance AND the challenge of hurdles. 

I wasn't the fastest but I did place a few times at my track meets in 6th and 7th grade. Running became an escape, a challenge and a joy. Running conditions changed on a dime and track season during the spring in the panhandle was tough. We started running in the bitter cold and sometimes snow and continued on in the ridiculous wind. 

But the love affair with running continued into high school track and cross country. I continued to push myself and even though I was pretty fast (6:13 mile pace!), I still wasn't the fastest girl in the panhandle. Not even close. That didn't matter though because I. loved. to. run. 

I didn't finish cross country out in my senior year though (#regret) because they switched practice to the morning. We ALL know how I feel about mornings and especially working out in the morning. I remember trying to get my runs in at the start of the school year and I hated it. I was exhausted, stressed, and nauseous. So I turned in my shoes to the coach and didn't run that fall. I kept running on my own though and kept up my 6-7 min/mile pace. 

I remember running without music and without GPS. I remember driving my car and watching the non-digital odometer to track my running routes around the neighborhood. No fancy technical shorts, shirts, headbands...nothing but my shoes and my heart.

Sometimes I wonder if I should get back to that--the simpler time of running. Maybe then I wouldn't be so worried about my splits, my finishing time, my weight... Especially as I am running regularly again and training for my first half. 

More to come about my running roots and other fun. Thanks for coming with me down my running memory lane.