Archive for March, 2012

Sometimes you’ve got to pay someone…

The knots surrounding my shoulder blades have been getting big enough now for me to think about giving them names, and so I decided it was probably time to cash in a Groupon I’ve been hanging on to forever and get them taken care of.  Or rather, taken out.   Pulp Fiction-style, thumb and forefinger in the gun position, taken out.

Take them out?

 

No. Take them out.

It’s always a crap shoot using one of those Groupons, I tend to feel like I’m making a deal that will end in something horrible happening.  Like, why is the massage parlour willing to sell them for so cheap?  Are they that terrible?  Have they driven away so many customers that now they’re shilling on Groupon?  Or are they just opening and filled with newly licensed therapists who haven’t quite gotten their shit together yet?

I’m not really in a position to be a super-discerning massage recipient (young children will do that to your income), so I usually end up taking the bait.  My husband, for being a sturdy guy, somehow manages to lose strength in his hands after two minutes of shoulder rubbing, and the massage that started nicely enough turns into a strange mashing of fist shapes into my spine with noises coming from him that tell me he’s giving it all he’s got.  So yes, I will buy that Groupon for a massage at a place I’ve never heard of or been to for $25!

After months of increasing my distance and pace during my runs, having my two boys use me as their wrestling partner, and all the other things going on that make up a woman’s life, I was ready for this.  It was like I was going on my first date in ten years – legs were shaved (even the backs!), toenails were painted, everything put in its place or taken out of its place, depending on what it was.  And then when using google to figure out how to get to my randomly picked massage, I read a couple of reviews that past customers had left.  And it was a major buzzkill.  Some of the complaints included unprofessional employees, a not-so-soothing environment, and iffy usage of the massage time (starting late and ending early).  But at least now I was prepared for the sub-par massage that was to come!  By god, I was going to ignore everything this place was going to throw at me and get my kinks worked out if it killed me.

Well, the reviews were pretty accurate.  My masseur, although she was semi-friendly, chewed gum for most of the massage, and the fan in the corner was making a noise that sounded like a death rattle, and I could hear people in the next room when they peed and then flushed.

So it was not so much this:

This place looks nice. I wish I could have gone there, too.

And more of this:

Okay, so it wasn't this painful. But it was this ugly.

But I still think it was worth it.

I know that she loosened my incredibly tight calf muscles and we discovered that when she pushed on a certain point in my upper back, my bones crackled like someone was crushing styrofoam (perhaps a trip to the chiropractor is next?).  Somehow I managed to have knots and extreme tightness on the top of my forearms – how the hell does that happen?  I left feeling – if not relaxed or rejuvenated – worked on.  And sometimes when that’s all you can get, you take it and are happy you had it.

I don’t know if what they say about lactic acid release after a massage is true, but I do know that I was so exhausted after my working-over that I went to bed at 9:30 and slept hard until 7.  This morning I woke up and was convinced that I had been  involved in some sort of sleepwalking street fight during the wee hours.  A fight that I had obviously lost.   But despite  sounding like I’m complaining about the experience, I’m actually really glad for it all.  Maybe it means I worked some of the toxins out of my muscles that have been gathering for six months.  Maybe my discomfort today is because I don’t get massages often enough, which means I need to schedule them on a monthly basis (at a less spirit dampening establishment).  Maybe having whats-her-name find my back clickies will lead me to hire a chiropractor, who will align me properly and I won’t suffer from shooting lower back pain anymore.  Maybe it was all pre-destined to be a sub-par experience!

Now I need to see if I can find a chiropractor on Groupon.

5 Things Making my Training Easier Right Now

Let me start this by making two important points:

I am a newbie.  I’ve only been working on my running skills – make that skillz – for about 6 months, and I know that there are a dozen things I haven’t learned yet.  Maybe even 13.

I am serious about adding cool accessories to my hobbies.  I can’t always spend tons of dough, but I get a serious thrill over finding a great deal on something that I’ve researched and I know will add either fun or ease to my running.

Wait, there’s a third thing!

No add-on in the world beats the simple act of putting on a pair of shoes and taking the time to get out there.  And incidentally, no add-on is going to do a damn bit of good if it just sits by your shoes in the entryway while you watch American Idol.  Basically, the best thing to do is to get out there and move it!  But since shopping is fun too, and I like to share ideas of things that have worked for me, I thought this list might be handy.

That being said, there are some things that I’m really glad I bought and have done me some good as an outdoor runner:

1. Proper Shoes

For most of us, this is a no-brainer.  A couple of years ago, I had decided that I wanted to start walking for more than the two minutes it took me to get from my front door to my car.  I went to a Twin Cities running store, a pretty well-known one, and from the moment I walked in the door I knew things were going to be challenging.  It was a not-so-great vibe, you know?  A sort of Sigh, another pudgy woman who thinks she’s going to be a runner type vibe coming from the tall, zero body fat 20 year old working the counter.  Needless to say, this did not inspire tons of happiness in making a major purchase.  They were perplexed when my foot was too wide for one of the trendiest women’s shoe, so they fit me in a men’s Saucony shoe.  I found out later that this was not a great solution, and consequently I went through a crap-ton of shin and leg pain before I finally put those shoes aside and went out to get a proper pair.

My cousin is also a runner, and she recommended a running store near her.  After the first 5 minutes, I knew that this place was a better fit for me than the first, in more ways than one.  Shoe after shoe came out for me to try on and run in on the store treadmill (I found out that I have a neutral foot after the store clerk watched me run and looked at my old shoes) until one was found that we were both convinced would get me through the next few months of putting in 22+ miles a week.

I swear, the fact that it was bright pink had nothing to do with me buying it.

Seriously.

I’m not that girl who had to be adorned in pink dresses as a child and I spent a lot of time in my teens trying to blend.  But these shoes fit me so well!  I’m learning to embrace the whole Hey!  Here I am! thing they have going on.

The Karhu Flow Fulcrum Ride

They are the Karhu (try it, it’s fun to say!  Car-huuuuu!) Flow Fulcrum Ride in Russian Pink.  There is this great feel to it, the raised heel kind of leans you forward and the mesh upper makes it super cool and comfortable.  I had to go up a half size (like the shoes aren’t noticeable enough, I had to get them bigger??), but now the fit is perfect and my shoes are one less thing I have to worry about when I’m getting ready for my long run of the week.

Take the time to go to a Running Retailer, I swear to you it will be worth it.  Shoes are one of the few things that we have to spend money on, so just suck it up, save up, and do it.

2. Hydration Belt

Okay, I know that a lot of runner hate to carry extra things on them when they run.  One guy said to me “I only bring water if I’m running more than 12 miles.  Even then, sometimes I just have my friends meet me with water.”.  Well, that is fantastic that he has friends that are standing by, waiting to help him reach his running goals – and that he is apparently a camel with no need for water.  I need a drink break every once in a while.  I run when other people are working or asleep.  I carry my phone and I hate armbands.  I needed a hydration belt.

I only wear it for runs longer than 6 miles, and I bought one with only 1 water container.  I know that someday I will need to add another container or buy another belt, but there was a helluva sale at TJ Maxx and this is what came home with me. (By the way, in case you didn’t know this, TJ Maxx and Marshalls have some great deals on running gear!)

Based on what my friends had told me they liked and after looking at all the online reviews, I knew I wanted to get a Nathan belt.  Luckily, that was what I found!  Any yes, mine is purple.  Apparently I’m the girl who runs with rainbows.

Nathan Hydration Swift Belt

So far, I have really loved it.  It holds my phone and a gel or energy chews in the zipper pocket, and so far the 10 oz container has been enough for me.  The little tabs on the front have bib holders for race day, and I haven’t had any problems with it moving around or riding up when I run.  You get used to the extra motion by your booty after a few paces (I mean it’s not bouncing all over the place, but you can feel that it’s there), and having things with you that you need makes it all worth it.  Love it.

3. Keep-the-girls-in-line Sports Bra

One day I was running down the street and I kept noticing that when I ran by men, there was a lot more checking out going on than I was used to.  Hey!  I thought, I must really be getting in shape!  Yeah, it could have been that…or the fact that the girls were getting a little too rambunctious in a sports bra that wasn’t up to par.  That is when I figured out that you can’t just go into a store and buy whatever sports bra looks cute and is on sale.  I mean, you CAN, but then you get the creepy ogling of the men, and the stretching of the boobs, and all kinds of bad things that you don’t want.  You are going to need a high impact sports bra, don’t kid yourself.

This one is the best and most comfy one I’ve found (that isn’t ridiculously expensive):

Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra

It’s the Moving Comfort Fiona bra, and it rules the school.  It has adjustable straps, comes in more colors than just black or white, has a back closure (no more sweaty contortions to get it off after a run!) and holds the girls down without making a horrible uni-boob.  I got 2, and as I said with making a good shoe purchase, it’s just one less thing to worry about.

4. Energy gels and chews for when the miles are starting to suck

Actually, for the mile before the miles start to suck, as it takes about 12 minutes to feel better after you use one.  This section is still a work in progress for me, I’m trying out different flavors and types that I like.  Anyone have any recommendations?

I didn’t start using them until I was running more than 7 miles, and I know that lots of people don’t bother with them until they get past 10 miles.  For me, I felt like I was going to punk-out and collapse on the street after mile 6 one day, and it seemed like a good time to give them a try.  Maybe once I get more used to running longer distances, I won’t use them as soon.

Anyway, I’ve tried the Honey Stinger Energy Chews in Limeade and a couple of the Power Bar gels so far, and I have a stash of others that I’m going to try out in the next few weeks.  They both did what they were supposed to, and for a 7.5 miler and a 9 miler, I can say that my last mile was the fastest one after using either kind.  Bonus!  On the negative side, the Power Bar gels had a serious Holy crap, that is a weird taste! thing going on, but the aftertaste was a little more tolerable (I tried chocolate and berry.  Not at the same time :)).  I’ve heard of some people mixing the gels with water, perhaps that’s why the taste was so…intense.  The energy chews were way more pleasing to eat, but there was kind of a storage issue with using them – once the bag is opened you either need to down all 10 of them at once or have a place to carry them where things won’t get sticky.  I used the pocket of the belt and just kept reaching back for a couple here and there after mile 6.

5. ___________ or maybe ____________

Okay, I don’t really have a solid fifth thing.  It’s just that a list of five is so much more satisfying than a list of four, and there were a couple of things  I was debating over, but they weren’t so easy to define.  Would it help if I gave you some of the contenders?

Like music.  For me, I really rely on music when I need to go farther than 3 miles.  On Sunday mornings when the sun isn’t quite up, I get a kick out of running while listening to American Roots on our local station 89.3.  Kind of a rootsy/bluesy/Americana twang thing.  And I’m always tweaking the playlist on my MP3 player – I’ve discovered that music I normally would make fun of can make great running music!  Right now my favs are Katy Perry, Lady Sovereign, La Roux, the faster P!nk stuff, anything by Foo Fighters, Flo Rida, and this great Gigamesh song made about that guy who was blissing out over rainbows.  Have you heard it?  It’s amazing.  If you are ever in my town and you see a woman running in pink shoes with a shit-eating grin on her face, it’s me and this song is playing.

The other thing I was mulling over was safety items: an ID bracelet with your name and contact info, a phone (I actually have needed it a couple of times), and unless you run to the same spot and back each time, some sort of GPS unit.  These things are super important to me, but it’s not such a fun list item.  Maybe fun is relative…like is it fun to have great shoes but no way to get help when you screw up your ankle by looking up at birds and missing the big stupid hole?

I bought one of those Road ID bracelets the other day, and I know it makes my husband feel better – especially when I go out when it’s dark and when he knows that sometimes I run on the road.  I picked the slim version, and bought a few different colored bands so I wouldn’t get bored with the same old thing.  This is why I don’t get a tattoo.

I chose to put my name, a couple of contact phone numbers, my blood type, and an allergy I have.  There was this option where you could add an extra line and include an inspirational saying that motivated you, but all I could think of was the EMT who was going to be reading my bracelet as I lay all messed up and gory on the road, and thinking about the irony of me wearing an inspirational slogan like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “I am a survivor”.  Couldn’t do it.

So I hope this list helped you a little if you are looking for things to spend money on and were wondering what other people have been buying.  If not, then hopefully it was a tiny bit entertaining and made you smile a little.  If not, then I don’t know what else to tell you.  Maybe just go for a run?

The Get Lucky 7k Race Results

Okay, the Get Lucky has come and gone, and now I’m moving my sights on to the next goal: finishing a half marathon in an upright position.

But first – a Get Lucky 7k recap!

I have a picture of me with a green beer, and by god, I’m going to use it.  I even managed to change out of my less-than-clean running shirt and into this clean one in the bar bathroom.  See?  Always thinking ahead.  Clean dry shirts are amazing after a sweaty run, in case you were wondering.

Really, the whole point of this 7k was to make it to the bar and get in line for my beer. Package delivered.

Do you know what my group and I found out?  When you offer free beer to 8700 people after a warm morning run, chances are you are in for a long-ass wait at the bar.  So we ditched the free coupon and went to the closest non-lined bar.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still ridiculously packed with smelly people in the same green race tee, but at least we could stand in a smooshed group with beers (as opposed to those standing in a smooshed group without beers.  Suckers.)

A lot of racers found this little bar to enjoy a green beer. It was smelly but triumphant.

Anyway, we had our beer and made the trek back to the van.  Remember the stuff I said about the wonderment of a  useful van?  It lived up to it’s full potential that morning, let me tell you!   After that, brunch was had by all, and I enjoyed the hell out of some fish tacos and coffee.  Good times.  While we were eating, Team Ortho sent out emails to everyone letting them know their race results.  Now, I have accepted that I have to get over the dream I have where I show up to race day and somehow break every record, surpass all expectations, and end up amazing myself with a running speed I didn’t know I was capable of.  It’s not going to happen.  But I have to say that I felt really fast when I was running!  I felt good and thought I was putting out some serious effort!  So I’m going to admit it, part of me thought that a little of that dream was going to happen.  Just a small part of it, not the record-setting thing.  Well, surprise, surprise, that didn’t happen.  Not only did that not happen, it  turns out that this particular race was one of my slower pace times.

Here’s what they sent me:
back arrow 2012 Team Ortho Get Lucky – 7K
Hope        Age: 36

Time

fivefourcolonzeroeight
Average Pace 12:27 per mile (view kilometer pace)
Age Graded Percentage 39 percent (view time)
Overall Place 7224 out of 8786
Sex Place 5031 out of 6352 Females
Division Place 1122 out of 1372 Females in the F3539 Age Group
(See complete F3539 results)

detailed results

Location Race Time Time of Day Overall Place Division Place Sex Place
Time 54:08 10:17:45 7224/8786 1122/1372 5031/6352
GunStart 00:00 9:00:08
ChipStart 23:30 9:23:37 8529/8786 1330/1372 6150/6352

graphic results

You placed 7224 out of 8786 runners overall
runner image
graphic results background
You passed 649 runners in the overall category
You were passed by 108 runners in the overall category

I have some things to say about this.

First, could the blue image girl look any more chubby and slow there at the back of the pack?  I mean, I get it, I’m not a 8 minute miler, okay?  The graphic was sort of an overstatement, Team Ortho. 🙂  I wonder, if I get faster and my blue lady gets closer to the front, does she get skinnier?

Second,  I really enjoyed reading that last part about how many people I passed – and that the number of people who passed me was a hell of a lot smaller.  In reality I know that I was chillin’ at the back of the pack, and a good number of those people were probably walkers, but for now let’s just put a little pin in that part and focus on the fact that I passed 649 people.

Third, it was a fantastically gorgeous day and I had a great time running.  So what if I was a little slower than I wanted?  Would going 10:00 min a mile have changed how fun it was to see the Irish dancers or hear the bagpipes?  Nope.  I may have been able to push myself really hard to get to a faster time, but I’m pretty sure I would have been a cranky mess by the time I wound up at the finish line.  Since running isn’t paying any of my bills, I think I deserve the right to give myself a pat on the back for just showing up, running, and having a nice memory of the day.  And a really cool green finisher’s medal!

Note to self: wearing a hat makes it hard to take a decent picture.

So now I’m focusing on adding more miles to my weekly long run, I’m trying to get to 12 miles two weeks before the half marathon so I can taper off and let my body get ready for the big event.
Tomorrow is my long run day, I’m going to try to get in 8 miles here in the ‘burbs.  Planning out a 8 mile running path that doesn’t have ridiculous hills or non-existant sidewalks is no small achievement!  I think I figured out a decent plan, and tomorrow at the crack of dawn I’m going to roll out of bed, strap on my hydration belt, and get going.

Get Lucky!

Or as I like to call it:  finish a race without having to use the port-a-potty.

Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day, and here in the Twin Cities there is no shortage of places to go that manage to incorporate beer into whatever activity is happening.  And race day is no different!  Saturday at 9am, I will be lining up at 2nd St and Portland Ave in Minneapolis to start the 7k Get Lucky race, my second one in the Monster Series I signed up for with Team Ortho.   As I am still working on increasing my mileage for the half in June, I thought it would be a better choice to run the manageable 7k as opposed to the Triple 7, and the course should be pretty great tomorrow: the temp is supposed to be 62 degrees at 9am!  It’s going to be kind of amazing to run in a t-shirt and capris as opposed to the base layer, cotton layer, and fleece I was wearing for the polar Dash.  I may even celebrate by wearing a festive silly hat, but we’ll see about that one 🙂

You can't go wrong with a course that includes not one, but TWO stations for Irish dancers.

Remember my excitement over the medals?  Well, tomorrow around 9:50 a cute little shamrock number will be coming home with me – my son will be so happy, it’s been driving him nuts that there is only one in the case and it’s all lopsided and sitting funny because it doesn’t have anything to lean on.  Lopsided no longer!

A non-lopsided view of them all together. The Polar Dash one I have will be happy to have a friend to lean on!

A non-lopsided view of them all together. The Polar Dash one I have will be happy to have a friend to lean on!

Along with my new green accessory, I will get the real prize of the day: a free beer pass at Kieran’s Irish Pub.  Yes, it will be 10 am.  Yes, I will be sweaty and in need of a shower.  But there will be beer, by god, there will be beer!

Race day is always kind of wonky for me (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, but since I don’t have a symbiotic brain meld with any other runners, my race day is all I know about).  My husband works nights, which leaves me a little puzzle to figure out each time a race morning comes around: what am I supposed to do with these kids?  My kids, I mean, not the kids of the world (although that is a good question, too.  Maybe a bit too much to be solved today, but I’ll let you know what I come up with).  Luckily, my parents have been really helpful the last few races by letting the boys stay over the night before to avoid an ungodly early morning race day free-for-all.  As they are 7 and 4, they are vastly more interested in watching an episode of Spongebob than standing in a crowd of people waiting for their mom to come panting down the road towards the finish line.  I have a feeling that when they first heard that they would get to see me cross a finish line, there were certain expectations of what that would mean formed in their imaginations.  Probably confetti, a close race where I magically finish #1 – possibly ending in a very large trophy coming home with us, and, most of all, an actual finish line that someone would break through.  Okay, I may be projecting my own dreams of race day onto them a little bit.  But I can tell you that the reality of race day for a kid is not nearly as fun as it sounds, and for that reason they are happy to know that this time they get to have an easy, late breakfast with grandma and grandpa and they aren’t required to make an appearance.

All of this is to say I will be kid-free for the Get Lucky, and this ensures that I will be enjoying my complimentary beer.  At 10 am.

Juggling momhood and running can be a bit tricky, but it has paid off in one unexpected way: my minivan is hella helpful when 7 people need to be hauled to a race with limited parking options.  This may be the only time since my uneasy purchase of the van – my self-image took a bit of a beating that day – that I’ve been proud to offer it up.  Hey!  We can all meet and ride together!  I have a VAN.  Tomorrow the van will be parked across the street from the pub, waiting to take us all home after the race has been run, the medals have been received, and the beer has been drunk.

It may kill sex appeal, but by god, it carries a lot of people.

I may do everyone a favor and bring a change of clothes for the post-race (got to love those bag check areas!).  Tonight I will be home alone with my pre-race thoughts, no kids, no husband.  I may go out for a couple mile walk just to escape the thought-swirl. 

Do I have my bib?  Should I wear my hydration belt? No, not for 4.5 miles.  But it has bib hooks!  And a place for my phone!  Maybe I could somehow take off the water canister so I don’t look like an over-prepared nutjob and then I could still use the belt.  I can’t forget to bring my ID or there will be no free beer for me.  I’m going to need that pocket for my ID!  I should probably shave my legs tonight.  Do I have my bib?…

Yeah, I think a walk would be a good plan.  Tomorrow I’ll just get up at the crack of dawn, have a little brekkie, and deal with any nitpicky stuff that pops up.  My plan for the race is to enjoy the weather, enjoy the people, and not let the pace of others freak me out.  If I finish under my normal pace, that’s great, and if I don’t…well, I get the beer either way.  My pace at my very first 5k was 13:30 a mile.  My average now is around 10:50 a mile.  So it really doesn’t matter what tomorrow brings, pace-wise.  I know that I’m improving, so I’m ready for a fun day tomorrow in beautiful Minneapolis!

 

 

The Half Marathon cometh

So it’s been quite a while since I made a post here.  After I ran my first 10k on January 1st (Polar Dash medal and fleece jacket acquired!) there was a sort of…fall-apart moment.  It wasn’t a full-on episode complete with hate spiral stemming from week-long binges on junk food, it was more of a “don’t mind me, I’m just going to quietly play video games in this comfy chair for an undetermined period of time” type of deal.

My post 10k pic. I look happy to be done, don't I?

I guess after I had trained enough to know I could finish 6 miles, the 10k date was reached, the race had been endured, and the freezing of my ass had been complete, I felt a little aimless.  And I was sick of being outside in the Minnesota winter, alternating between sweating and freezing and unable to get warm hours after my runs were over.  definitely sick of that.  So, I gave up – for just a little while.  My husband had recently gotten Skyrim as a Christmas present (if you haven’t heard of this, let me sum it up by giving you these three keywords:  Playstation.  Dragons.  Life-avoidance.) and I spent more hours than I’m willing to admit to building up my smithing skills and stealing soul gems from the local shopkeepers.  Not my most graceful hours, I’ll admit.  But sometimes grown people just need to spend some quality time killing mythical creatures to forget that bills are due and workouts are being missed on a regular basis.

After I had spent about a month convincing myself that I was “letting my muscles rest”, there came a day (let’s say February 21st just to give things a starting point) when I realized I was going to be standing at the starting line of a half marathon in just over 90 days.  And it froze me in my sweatpants.  I’m going to be running 13.1 miles in June?  I haven’t run a single mile in weeks.  I’m dead.

And of course, when things get hairy, I head right for the internet.  Luckily for me, there are about a kajillion websites with 13 week training plans for running a half.  Exactly a kajillion.  They all seemed to have a similar pattern, and based on those I made my own plan that would get me to the goal of running at least 12 miles at a time before the big day.  I started out on the plan the next day, knowing that the sooner I started the less painful the June deadline would be.  Essentially my plan boiled down to running 4 times per week, between 3 and 5 miles per run for all but the last long run of the week.  The first long run was last Saturday, picking up where the 10k left off at 6 miles.  Mapquest pulled a quick one on me, and my planned route of 6 miles turned out to be 6.5 actual miles, but hey, that’s okay!  So this Saturday I am scheduled to go 7 to 7.5 miles for my long run, which with the shorter runs I did earlier in the week will bring my total somewhere around 16 miles.  The running schedule was also paired with a weight lifting/yoga supplement, adding one or the other on the days when I was scheduled to do a 2 or 3 miler, or on an off day.  Here is my schedule from last week:

  • Monday – 3.5 miles
  • Tuesday – 2 miles
  • Wednesday – 3 miles
  • Thursday – Weight training (including bench press, push ups, sit ups, squats with weights, lunges, chest flys, and whatever else I could throw at myself)
  • Friday – Off
  • Saturday – Long run, 6.5 miles
  • Sunday – Weight training

If I follow this plan, shorter runs followed up with an ever-increasing longer run, I should make it to race day without  destroying my mind and/or body, ending up at the finish line in some sort of quivering death march.

There were two solid problems standing before me:

1. In order to have a chance in hell at completing the race without totally humiliating myself I was going to have to Follow.The.Plan.  Without “letting my muscles rest” for a week at a time.

2.  Although I could finish a 5k and a 10k, I was still unable to run for more than 2 miles without slowing down for a walk break.  I was okay with this setback (sort of) until I read something written by a running coach:

You’re ready to run a half-marathon once you are capable of running 11 miles without stopping and you are consistently running at least 3 days a week.
Jill Andre Parker, from the book Run Like a Mother

Okay, Jill, you just sent me on a self-doubt trip there.  Was I kidding myself in thinking I could do this?  Just because I was raised thinking I could do anything, it was possible that there were limits to what I could actually do.  But why would all these 13 week beginner level training plans exist if not for people like me, who may have overshot the goal a bit?  Perhaps Jill was really talking about people who cared about “racing” a race as opposed to “finishing” a race.  I am definitely in the please-let-me-finish-this-sucker category.  Finishing 13.1 miles standing upright and holding a stained glass medal was really all that I wanted.  If there was no timing chip and all the clocks in the world stopped working at once, it really wouldn’t matter that much to me.

Actually, that’s not true; I want to know the time of my first half so that I can have a base to improve myself from.

In the long run, worrying about what Jill or the sabotaging voice in my head think really doesn’t matter.  The race has been paid for, and June 3rd is going to come whether I’m ready or not.  So the best thing I can do is get as ready as I can, buy a hydration belt and stock up on gels.

I’m going to be better about updating my progress on this journey, at the very least it will give me a reason to back away from the Playstation and practice not slouching in front of the computer.