Recalculating

Sometimes the route you were planning to take changes.  Sometimes you encounter roadblocks and have to go off course and do some unplanned twisting and turning.  You’ll still get to your destination, but it may take you a little longer to get there.

I won’t be ready to race RnR St. Louis in October.  Due to the circumstances with D’s mom, I just haven’t had the time to invest into quality training.  I’m running here and there and will no doubt be able to cross the finish line that day, but it will not be in a PR attempt as originally planned.  I’m spending the weekend with two FABULOUS LADIES, so there will be no shortage of good times, and October 19, 2014, is going to be about having fun running through Cardinal Nation and showing my team pride!!!  One of those ladies will be racing her first 70.3 only two weeks before this, so depending on how recovered she is, we may just have to shoot for a new personal worst!  haha  If I remember right, there are plenty of bars on the course.  And how cute will I be in these?!

WTF is it about an article of clothing in the floor that attracts animals???

The PR attempt will be delayed by at least six weeks when I’ll be running St. Jude in Memphis again.  And I’m even toying with the idea of running Mississippi Blues in January since it JUST SO HAPPENS to be on my birthday!  (And probably Little Rock again too since I’m so in love with that race.)  So yeah, my route has had to be recalculated, but I’m not one little bit upset about it.  The time I would have been running (and everything else, for that matter) has been spent with family, and that’s where I both need and want to be right now.  There’ll be plenty of time for everything else very soon.

The Outtakes:

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St. Jude Marathon Weekend–Third Time’s a Charm (I Hope!)

The first time I ran St. Jude was in 2011.  I had (what I afterwards found out was) bronchitis with resulting costochondritis and strained intercostal muscles from the relentless cough.  I was in pain and hadn’t slept well in a week.  I was crying in the corrals because I wanted to bail so badly.  But I didn’t.  And I sucked as much as one would expect.

The second time I ran St. Jude was in 2012.  Normally one would be happy to have a sunny 70-degree day in December.  But not a runner who has trained for a marathon in 40- and 50-degree weather for the last couple of months.  My race sucked as much as one would expect.

The third time I will run St. Jude will be on December 6th of this year!

Registration for Heroes opened at 10:00 yesterday morning, and I was on it like stink on shit.  Last year I waited until open registration and it sold out before I got in (which turned out great for me because the race was CANCELLED due to an ice storm last year!).  I didn’t want to risk that again this year, so I committed to doing a little fundraising.  This is the first time I’ve made that monetary commitment, but I’m excited to be doing it!

(If you’d like to donate toward my $500 commitment, you can do it here: http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR?px=2145666&fr_id=20064&pg=personal)

Race Report: St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon

I’ve been putting off writing this recap for a lot of reasons.  Honestly, I thought about not even doing a recap, but I kind of felt like I owed it to myself.  It’ll give me something to look back on as a reminder of how miserable I can make myself during a race.

You’ll notice the lack of photos.  I never even took my phone or camera out.  I just wasn’t in that happy picture-taking frame of mind.

I had been sick the week leading up to the race.  Not deathly ill, mind you, but I had one mother of a head and chest cold.  At least I guess that’s all it was.  My stubborn ass never went to the doctor.  But I seriously don’t think I’ve ever coughed so much in my life.  It interfered with everything I tried to do…running, sleeping, talking… but especially sleeping.  There wasn’t a single night in the week leading up to the race that I got more than 4 hours of sleep.  Every time I started to doze off, I would wake up coughing and gagging.  (The honey remedy I mentioned in a previous post proved to be effective in the very short-term only.)  And what little sleep I did manage to get was in an unrestful, uncomfortable sitting-up position on the couch.  I took off work Friday hoping to get a little extra rest before we drove to Memphis.  D was coming with me, and he couldn’t leave work before 3 or so, so that gave me all day to try to relax and rejuvenate a little bit.

I wish I could say that I did just that, but I’d be lying.

The plan was to get to Memphis, check into the hotel, go to the expo, and meet up with some friends for dinner.  None of that worked out exactly as planned.  We were later leaving than we planned and sat in traffic for about 40 minutes because of a wreck on I-40.  We knew we wouldn’t have time to get to the hotel, so we drove straight to the expo.  I ran in long enough to grab my bib and shirt and was back out the door.  We met up with our friends at Kooky Canuck’s, which was fun, but I just wasn’t feeling well, and I was soooooooo sleepy by the time we left there, which wasn’t until nearly 10:00.  I had planned to be asleep by 10:00.  Instead, by the time we got to the hotel, got checked in, got my crap together for the next morning, etc., it was nearly 12 before I got in the bed, and after 1 by the time I was able to go to sleep.  After waking up a couple of times through the night, when the alarm went off at 5:45, I had had another night of not nearly enough sleep.

Dressed, breakfast, walked to start line, blah blah blah… and then this race just almost didn’t happen for me.  The week of physical and mental exhaustion caught up with me and I started crying right there in the starting corral.  I did NOT want to run this race.  I wanted nothing more than to leave.  I told D if it hadn’t been for all the money wasted on entry, hotel, gas, etc., I would just say, “Eff it, let’s go.”  He told me he had been wanting to talk me out of running this thing sick for a week, but he told me he would support whatever I wanted to do.  After a lot of debating I decided to just suck it up and do it.  But then I told D that he had better just leave so that I couldn’t change my mind.  So he left me there in the corral in tears just a few minutes before gun time.  I was defeated before I even started.

I wish I could say that once I started running I felt better, but I’d be lying.  I was so fatigued, and I had no mental strength left to pull me through.

I wish I could say that I tried to make the best of it by soaking in the course and the emotion and everything St. Jude stands for, but I’d be lying.  Instead I chose to be a self-pitying little bitch.  I just turned up my iPod as loud as I could stand it and went inside my head and just did what I had to do to keep moving forward.  When I say I tuned everything out, I mean I TUNED EVERYTHING OUT.  I’m reading everyone’s recaps about the excitement of running on Beale Street, the power of running through St. Jude…  and I’m thinking, “Was I really even there???”  Because I honestly don’t remember any of it.  The most vivid memory I have of the whole 13.1 was running into the zoo and smelling the stink.  That was the first thing I’ve smelled in a week.

I wish I could say that I was so over the run that I ran it fast to get it over with, but I’d be lying.  I ran some, I walked a lot, I stopped to heave when I coughed to the point of gagging, I walked off the course to blow snot rockets in the grass.

When I crossed the finish line 2:38:36 later, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  D texted me to tell me where he was in the stadium.  I found him and we got the hell out of there.  I think I was asleep before we got out of the city limits and slept most of the way home.

I have nothing but regrets relating to this race.  I regret not training better for it.  I can’t help but wonder if trying to do too much in the couple of weeks before the race is what led me to get sick to begin with.  I regret running it when I knew I wasn’t feeling up to it.  I regret not going into it with a better attitude after I made the decision to go ahead and do it.  I regret missing out on all the things everyone else saw and experienced on the course.

I’m not posting this looking for pep talks or reassurances or anything of the sort.  I know that it all stemmed from sheer exhaustion and a piss-poor attitude.  But I’ve got a feeling that this one will haunt me for a little while to come.

Old People Rock

Remember that time I ran 10 miles in the cold and rain even though I was sick?

Yeah.  About that.  That may not have been the wisest thing to do.  Things have only gone downhill from there.  The last 24 hours have been pretty awful, so I’m hoping that I’ve finally hit bottom and can start working my way back up.  I seriously got like two hours of sleep last night.  Every time I would start to doze off, I would wake myself up coughing.  I gave up on anything just stopping the cough and even tried to just drug myself into slumber with other things hoping to just sleep THROUGH the coughing.  No dice.  All that did was make for a very loooooong day for me today.

And today was no better.  I swear, you guys, my abs, my chest, my back, and all around my ribs are sore from coughing so much.  NOTHING has helped.  Then today while I was at work I was waiting on one of my favorite little old men and he was all, “Screw them cough drops, you just need some honey!”  So on the advice of a wise old-timer, I came home and slurped down a big ol’ spoonful of honey.

And I heard the angels singing.

The effect was immediate.  No longer did every breath I inhaled result in that evil tickle in the back of my throat.  I was able to utter more than two consecutive syllables without gagging.  And it remained that way for about an hour.  At the first sign of that familiar irritation, I took another spoonful.  That was about 30 minutes ago, and so far so good.  I may end up in a sugar coma, but damnit at least I’ll get a good night’s sleep.

NEVER underestimate the older generations and their home remedies!

And in running news…  Well, there is none.  I haven’t run since Sunday because it’s kind of hard to run while you’re doubled over in a hacking fit.  But I am getting geared up for St. Jude anyway (and will try my best to get a few easy miles in tomorrow afternoon).  D is coming to Memphis with me, and he won’t be able to leave until that afternoon, so it’s gonna kind of be a mad rush to get to Memphis, get checked in, get to the expo, find some grub, and get in bed at a decent hour.  It’ll work out though.  Somehow.

I know a lot of you guys are going to be in Memphis, too, so if you see me, yell!  I don’t have an epic, highly recognizable outfit planned or anything, but I’ll be the one carrying the honey jar.

Cough Drops are the New GU

On Friday morning, I woke up with a sore throat and some achiness going on.  After we got back from the quickest Black Friday shopping trip ever, I plopped myself down on the couch and didn’t do much for the next two days.  I even skipped out on the redonk runner’s 4-mile Turkey Trot.  (If you didn’t participate, HURRY, you’ve got a few hours left to squeeze it in there!)  I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better, except for this damn cough.  I’m popping Halls like they’re going out of style.

Anyway, in case you’ve missed it, I’m running the St. Jude half-marathon in Memphis next Saturday and have very much half-assed my training.  I knew today was my last shot at getting in a decent long run so that I went into the half with ONE double-digit run under my belt.  (See, I told you I’ve half-assed it.)  So I threw a handful of cough drops in my jacket pocket and headed out.  Even though the radar looked like this:

I’ve always said that I don’t mind running in the rain, but let me tell ya.  TEN MILES IS A BIT MUCH.  I was drenched and freezing by mile one, but I absolutely refused to cut it short.  It rained on me from the first step to the last, never letting up in the slightest.  It was cold and not enjoyable in the least, but something miraculous happened.  I set a new 10-mile personal best!  I don’t know where that came from or how I pulled it off, but I eeked out this 10 miles 33 seconds faster than I did the last time I ran 10 miles in the spring just a couple of weeks before I PRd the half-marathon distance.  And I NEVER run negative splits, but I negative split the hell out of today’s run.  My fastest miles were miles 6, 8, and 10.

Anybody know what they’re putting in cough drops these days???  Cuz that was my ONLY fuel on this run!

I still in no way think that I’m in a position to PR on Saturday.  I really have no plan to even attempt any specific time goal.  I’m just gonna take this one for what it is, have fun, and enjoy the course and the day.  I got what I needed out of today’s run–just the comfort of knowing that I at least won’t be MISERABLE next weekend.  If I can run 10 on Sunday, 13.1 won’t kill me on Saturday.  But I may load my pockets down with cough drops just in case.

Mulligan

I’m calling a mulligan on yesterday’s “long” run and erasing it from memory completely.  Since the longest I’ve run is seven miles and have St. Jude coming up in two weeks, I had planned to do nine this weekend, 11 next weekend, and then the half the next weekend.  Well, I set out for nine Saturday afternoon and it sucked.  S-U-C-K-E-D, SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!  It was almost 70 degrees, which I didn’t realize when I left the house, so I was overdressed and HOT, and holy shit was it windy.  Like 20 MPH sustained winds with 35 MPH gusts.  It wasn’t so bad when they were cross winds, but for the last 3.5 miles as I headed home I was running dead into it.  And every time I met an oncoming car, it nearly blew me off the road.  It wore my butt out.  There was once I looked down and was running at nearly a 12:00 pace.  DOWNHILL.  That was about when I said, “Eff this!” and cut it a mile short to eight and walked home.

So!  This week instead of doing four- and five-mile runs in the evenings like I have been, I think I’ll kick it up to six miles and try for ten or eleven on Saturday.  I’m just gonna completely pretend like yesterday never happened.  I know it’s not indicative of my fitness level because I’ve been running my midweek runs as fast as and faster than I was before I basically sat out the summer.  While I still don’t expect my performance in Memphis to be anything short of laughable, I just don’t want to be miserable for the last five miles.  The next two weeks are all about doing what I can to keep that from happening.  And I’m more than open to any advice on two-week half-marathon training plans.

There Was No Wine

My relaxing night at home chilling out and drinking wine turned out to be not so much so.  I got held up at work and only beat D home by about an hour, so I did get an hour to sit down and catch up on a few blogs, then we headed to the rehab place to see his grandmother.  All in all she looked good.  She’s very down and is very ready to come home, but physically she’s doing as well as can be expected.  But there were some things that were concerning to me.  D’s mom had mentioned that while she was at St. Thomas she had been confused about a lot of things.  I had told her not to worry about it. She had been in and out of consciousness for two weeks–OF COURSE she was going to be confused and a little disoriented about time and place.  But now she hasn’t been sedated at all in about two weeks, and I could see exactly what my mother-in-law was talking about.  Here’s one good for-instance from last night:

Me:  Have you seen Michelle here?  (Michelle is D’s cousin’s wife that works at that rehab facility.  Granny knew this as well as I do.)
Granny:  No, they haven’t been by.
Me:  I mean has she been in to see you while she was working?
Granny:  She works here?
Me:  Yes, Chris’s wife, Michelle.  She works here.
Granny:  I didn’t know that.

Subject changes… a few minutes later:

Granny:  Did you tell me Michelle works here?
Me:  Yep, she sure does.
Granny:  I thought so.

Again, a few minutes later:

Granny:  Doesn’t Michelle work here?
Me:  Yep.
Granny:  I think Faye works here too.
Me:  Who’s Faye?
Granny:  Dewayne’s wife.
Me:  *confused and thinking she’s referring to another Dewayne besides my husband*  Who’s Dewayne?
Granny:  *shaking head*  No, not Dewayne.  I mean Chris.  Chris’s wife.
Me:  You mean Michelle?
Granny:  Yeah, Michelle.  I think she works here too.

I’m just kind of floored because this is NOT LIKE GRANNY AT ALL.  I’m telling you, this woman is SHARP.  I just pray to God that it’s a medication that is causing all the confusion as a side effect or something.

Anyway, we spent a good long while visiting there, came home and ate a quick supper, then I had to run back up there to take her a big, fluffy blanket of mine because she said she froze to death all the night before.  It was HOT in there to me, but she said the blood thinners she’s taking make her cold.  By the time I got back home from that, it was nearly 8:30, aka almost my bedtime.

There was one bright spot from last night though.  I got to remove the question mark from beside the St. Jude half-marathon on my race calendar!  It’s a for-sure thing now.  My friend M (remember her?  She’s the one that was supposed to run the RnR Vegas Marathon with me but decided it would be more fun to break her leg instead.) texted me about it a few nights ago thinking it would be coinciding with when she would be in town for her brother’s graduation.  Turns out they are on different weekends, so M is out, but another friend texted me last night asking, “Sooo… what are you doing December 3rd?”  She and her husband signed up yesterday!  IT’S ON!!!  I’m so excited to be running a race with a friend!  That’ll be a first.  M suffered a stress fracture less than a month before Vegas, and my BFF that was supposed to run the AJM half with me last month flaked out on me… so I’m STOKED!

I’ve got another busy weekend ahead of me… I’ve got to do the grocery/laundry thing tonight because I’ll be gone most all weekend.  (I know, I’m rockin’ my Friday night HARD.  Be very jealous.  When you get to be as cool as I am you can go grocery shopping on a Friday night too.)  Registration for the 10K is tomorrow morning at 7:00, and it’s about an hour away.  Then I’m going straight to my parents’ house for a day-early Mother’s Day.  I don’t expect I’ll get home before sometime late Saturday evening.  Then church Sunday morning, and as soon as I get out of church I am going to pick up my sister-in-law and niece and drive BACK to my hometown because a friend of mine there is a very good photographer, and she’s going to be doing my niece’s senior pictures!  And we’ve got to fit a Mother’s Day for D’s mom and some more Granny time in there somewhere.  Lots of driving and rushing around this weekend, but at least it’s all for fun reasons!

I’ll get around to my date with that bottle of wine someday…