Saturday, March 19, 2011

Running, Running, Running

All winter long, I've been running on tracks. The longest run I did indoors was in early February and was 12 miles. I averaged just under 12-minute miles using my own offshoot of the Jeff Galloway program. Since my low-end Nike system and my low-end heart rate monitor don't do splits and have timers, instead of running 10 minutes and walking for a minute, I run a mile and then walk 200 meters (or longer depending on how far into a long run I am.) I've also been setting up training regimens for when I use GU and when I drink my low-calorie sports drink. I've learned that my body likes Gatorade G2 just fine (grape) but hates the Crystal Light version. (The taste is fine, but it doesn't seem to avoid bonking as well.)

When it started getting warmer, I realized I needed to get outside and start pounding the pavement. So I have been, but not as much as I'd like because of my respiratory infection and ear infection. It makes it kind of hard to breathe. And the anemia, oh, holy heck, it's showing me exactly how much harder my heart has to work to get enough oxygen to my muscles, particularly when I'm having to contend with 35 mph Savoy gusts. On my one 14-mile run, which declaratively told me I was a contender to participate in the half, not the full marathon in April, I broke down crying at Mile 11. My body hurt. I hit an emotional wall, and suddenly in one turn I had wind in my face, which, admittedly forced more air into my lungs, but made me adjust my running stance and then my calves started to cramp, so I walked the last 3 miles home. Angry, frustrated, but finishing.

I didn't want to have to make time to do that every weekend. And further more, if my calves were breaking down, I needed to give them a break and stretch.

I've been reading a lot of books about fitness lately. Chi Running, Run for LifeSpark, Racing Weight, Thrive, Born to Run, Cutting-Edge Runner, The Athlete's Palate Cookbook, Performance Nutrition, etc. I'm fascinated by the different running theories and concepts. I'm now getting through a number of Triathlon-related books, as well. But the ones that hit home the most, are the ones meant for people who want to be active, and enjoy it, rather than ones who want to run marathons under 4 hours.

I'm beginning to perceive my limitations and like them, which is a good thing. I'm also learning that a crazy amount of women who are runners have iron issues, which I find very interesting. Because if the IUD situation doesn't help me, I'm going to get referred to Hematology, which doesn't sound any fun at all. I mean, adult medicine and gynecology have been such a blast so far, why not go for a third department? I'm tired of doctors. I'm tired of being tired.

The last three weeks, I've been on a break from high intensity exercise. I've walked, stretched and just tried to give my body some relief. It's worked, particularly in relation to the crazy chest congestion. But I miss my fitness classes. So, I'm looking forward to returning to them next week, finally. It's the social part of exercise for me. Even if most of my classmates are my parents' age, I do like seeing them every week.

And now that kindergarten selection, illness and travel are out of the way (hopefully for a while). I can start feeling more in the groove again. Of course, now I need to do some work on the garden and get some new mulch in by the end of April. I love working outside in the summer. I like getting my hands dirty. I like eating tomatoes off the vine and picking spinach from the garden for dinner. Part of me totally can't wait for May, and part of me really likes that outside of running a half-marathon on April 30th, I'm not overbooked like I have been since January.

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