Thursday, October 28, 2010
Note: I actually wrote this post on 10/17/10 before doing the Ragnar event. I just didn’t get around to posting it until now. My post-event report will be coming very soon!
Why? Why? Why did I commit to running leg #2 of the Las Vegas Ragnar Relay with only 2 week’s notice? Ragnar Relay is a 24-hour 195 mile relay race made up of teams of 12 people. Everyone on the team runs 3 legs anywhere from 3-10 miles long. As runner #2 my legs happen to be 8.8 miles (under the classification “very hard” – great), 4.3 miles (easy – whew!) and 3 miles (easy – love it!).
Okay, I’ve run plenty of 5K fun runs. I don’t consider myself a distance runner at all. I was a hurdler and high jumper in my track days. 3.1 miles is a challenge for me but is fun and do-able, which is why I like 5Ks. I have done one 10K in my life back in college. I ran it casually with some friends and think I even walked a ways while going up the steepest hill. Several months ago K and I ran a 4 mile obstacle course fun run and had a blast! It was a tad unorganized but we think we got 2nd in our division; I was brutally edged out at the last moments while crawling through the mud pit. (Note to self: add more mud-pit crawling training to workouts). Then we biked through most of the summer or did our circuit workouts at home, which did include some shorter running intervals but I certainly hadn’t done any long runs recently. So why would I think I could handle jumping into an extreme road race that totals a running distance of over 5 times what I’m accustomed to?!?
I’m nutty. I’m crazy. K certainly thinks I am and has told me so several times. What has added insult to injury, literally, is an actual injury. Since I committed to run this, I’ve gone on two longer runs of about 6 miles. In regards to my fitness and fatigue levels, I felt pretty darn good. But both times around the two mile mark this stabbing pain started behind my right knee and persisted and intensified for the rest of the run. Ugh. I have never dealt with this before. I suspect some tendonitis or maybe a bit of a strain. I know I need new running shoes and I also know that I increased my mileage way too quickly and suddenly. But I still think that if I had tried doing this same thing even a few years ago, I wouldn’t be dealing with this issue. So I’m blaming the majority of the problem on age. I’m getting old and my body ain’t the same.
How it happened is that I received an email from a friend who was trying to find some one to fill in for an injured team member that had to pull out at the last minute. I initially dismissed the email but I found I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’d heard of those extreme road relay races and was intrigued by the notion but my interest hadn’t extended further than that.
I don’t know why the pull to jump into the race was so strong. I think a big thing is that I wanted to kinda test myself and see if I was up for challenging myself like I never have before. And also to see if my fitness routines have been doing me any good. I’m pretty happy right now with my weight and body composition and feel that I’m quite “in-shape”. I love the idea of just being able to jump into any adventurous situation and enjoy it because I’m trying to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.
I am excited to do this and feel I’m up to the challenge … if it weren’t for my darn knee. Oh well; overcoming difficulties is what life is all about, right? Plus it provides me with a handy excuse in case I totally suck.
Ummm… I’ll keep you posted. I might be dead next week but if I’m not, I shall return and report.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
It was a small, seemingly harmless little package, caringly left on the doorstep with good, friendly intentions. Little did I realize that the moment I brought it inside and set it down on the kitchen counter, it would morph into an insidious, evil temptation that became the very bane of my heretofore stoic self-discipline that day.
What could I possibly be talking about? The gooey, cinnamon-y, yummy monkey bread that my friend left for me and family to say hello and that she was thinking of me. Yeah, some friend!
I had done well that whole day. Healthy, balanced meals with good portion control. Plenty of fruits and veggies. The only between-meal snack I allowed myself was a low-cal protein shake. I’d worked out that morning. I felt good, not even hungry. Even when I realized that a potential dietary land mine had been left on the front porch, I picked it up and casually thought that I might actually take a nibble and then throw the rest out. Then R caught a look at it and was interested. “What’s that? Can I try some?” I thought, “why not? Then I’ll throw it out.” Then the cream cheese frosting on the counter caught her other eye. “Can I put frosting on it?” Wow, this child really is mine. I took a double-take at the frosting container. Why in the world is that just sitting there on the counter? Oh yeah, earlier Z had been dragging cans and boxes out of the pantry for fun and I hadn’t had a chance to put them all away yet. And that tub o’ frosting just happened to still be perched right there in the most horribly relevant spot on the counter: right next to the newly acquired, odious monkey bread.
K walked past at that very moment and immediately perked up as he realized what direction the conversation was heading: straight into Splurgeville! He whipped off the foil lining on the frosting can while I fumbled with the twist tie in my haste to open the monkey bread baggie. Then the spackling commenced. No, we didn’t just daintily add dollops of smooth, delightful frosting…we downright smeared that gooey, sticky, sweet decadence upon the chewy, moist, yeasty cinnamon goodness of the bread.
Delightful…just utterly delectable. Do I regret it? Well, of course, duh. But, honestly, not much. I’m already over it. I was over it the moment I licked my last finger clean. Today I got up and started off with a great breakfast, got in an awesome heavy bag workout and my good momentum continued the rest of the day. When K pulled out the leftover frosting and dipped a few Nilla Wafers into it, I allowed myself two. That’s all I needed. Then I immediately turned my attention elsewhere.
The question isn’t, “will I have another binge session like that?” because, yeah, you will. Hopefully not real soon, but you will. The real question is “what will I do after my next binge session?”
What’s your answer to that question?