Friday, September 17, 2010

9/17/10--The next day...

Today's run: 2 miles
Week to date: 10 miles
Month to date: 30.1 miles

Well, I'm breaking the broken record loop today, because it is not another bright, sunny, and shiny morning. It kind of looks like this outside:
Green Iceland Royalty Free Stock Photo
Except, this is Iceland. I don't live in Iceland, but this is how it looks in South Range this morning.
Today's run was just a little 2 miler. I needed to just get out and get my legs moving and my heart pumping after taking 3 days off in a row. Yeah, I know--3 days? To be fair, one (Tuesday) was because my knee was super sore, another (Wednesday) was because the time I set aside to run got absorbed by the never-ending painting project. It's the third one that I'm really not proud of, but at the same time I need to address.
I like to think that I have come a long, long way in terms of my overall health and lifestyle. I really strive to live a healthy, balanced life, and I'm working on making slow and steady progress in achieving personal goals within that healthier lifestyle. However, there are moments when the demons come back to play, and as hard as I may try I can't help but play with them.
Wednesday night, I had kind of a personal breakdown. I acknowledged a problem, and while I came up with a number of potential solutions, I wouldn't let myself get past the point where I was just stewing on that problem. I barely slept that night between the stressing and the stewing, and when I did sleep I was rocked by nightmares that woke me up gasping and terrified. So, to alleviate and cope with my stress the next morning, I opted for the old standby of how I dealt with negative emotions: I didn't eat. All day. I didn't even have water or coffee in the morning, because I knew once I let something in to my system, the floodgates would open. Did it make me feel better? In a strange way, yes. It brought back the old sense of control, and how while I can't control a lot of things in my life, I can control what does and doesn't go in my body, and opting to not let anything pass in to it always feels to me strangely and sadly empowering. If I didn't have Brandon as a roommate, I probably would have gone the entirety of yesterday without consuming anything. Once he got home and he figured out that I had gone without eating the whole day, he very patiently guided me in to having some dinner, and that's when the rational part of me started to return. Not eating all day is right up there with drinking myself stupid--it may make me feel better in the moment, but in the end it really is doing far more harm than good, and I can't go back to leaning on that kind of thing for support. I have come so far in pursuit of being healthy and finding better coping mechanisms for stress, and I won't and cannot let myself go back.
So, how did this tie in to running? Well, I knew that if I wanted to run, I would have to eat something or at the very least drink something. Even with a warped mindset like I was in, I knew going out to run on my own through the woods in that kind of scenario was dangerous, and I wasn't about to do that. So, that is why I did not run yesterday.
So, I am now going to make myself a giant cup of coffee and something for breakfast. Today is another second chance, and I'm going to be OK.

Monday, September 13, 2010

9/13/10--Thanks, Mom!

Today's run: 5 miles
Week to date: 8 miles
Month to date: 28.1 miles

Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but it is yet another gorgeous morning! I am definitely going to enjoy all this while it lasts, because before too long, I know I'm going to be waking up to this more often than not:
Winter Royalty Free Stock Photo
I'll tell you what, though: motivation was severely lacking when I woke up. Vegging on the couch with cinnamon coffee, PJ's, and my hideous yet insanely comfy slippers sounded like the best thing in the world. That's when Coach Mom and her Facebook Statues of Glory and Motivation stepped in:
OK, Mom. Thank you!

I didn't have a set mileage when I set out. I just decided I was going to go out, and base when I was going to turn around on how I was feeling. I wound up going 5, and now I'm wondering if that was the best idea. Do I regret the mileage? Not really--if nothing else it appeased the part of me that is having a temper tantrum over not getting in enough miles per week since the race, but I didn't feel that great toward the end, especially once I got past 3.
And, once again, I busted out the ice packs when I got back to my apartment. Knees. Oye.
I did it, though. I went out, put in the mileage, and like Coach Mom said I would in our status chat--I do feel better now that I've gone out and done it. :)

OK. I need some freaking breakfast. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/12/10--It's a Beautiful Morning!

Today's run: 3 miles
Week to date: 3 miles
Month to date: 23.1 miles

It was a PERFECT fall morning!
The colors up here aren't quite to that level yet, but I give it 2-3 weeks before we're peaking in color! :D
I had originally hoped to go 5 this morning, but I got going and decided that 3 would be smartest. The lead feeling is gone (could the cup of coffee before my run this time that I didn't have last time have helped? Probably, but I can't confirm that), but I'm still bouncing back. I'm hoping I can get a longer-than-3 run in at some point this week, but I'm not going to push myself farther than I should too soon!
I had to get out the ice pack when I got home. My knees felt fine the whole time I was out, but as soon as I got back, my knee was killing me.
(Sorry for the sub-par photo--I'm new at using Photo Booth. Apologies as well for the messy apartment--we're still in the process of painting, and we have to take a load of things we don't need to the Boyfriend's parents' place soon. )
(Oh, and yes--I'm still wearing my finisher's medal from last week. I'm also wearing the marathon shirt, too.)
All right, it's time for food. Happy Sunday! Oh, and GO LIONS! :D

Thursday, September 9, 2010

9/9/10--Draggin' that Wagon...

Today's run: 3 miles
Week to date: 5 miles
Month to date: 20.1 miles

It is another fall-like day in the UP!

I headed out for a 3 mile run this morning, thinking that after yesterday I might have shaken off the sore and tired feeling left over from the race. Unfortunately, I was only half right. My muscles were no longer noticeably sore, but I could definitely still feel lingering fatigue. OK, it might not be lingering fatigue 5 days later, but my muscles still felt tired and it felt like I was dragging. I tried to put it out of my mind and be positive on the run, but I kept coming back to that.
I'm also freaking out a bit about mileage now that I'm done training. I really liked running at the mileage level I was at over the summer, but I'm realizing I don't need to be running like that anymore now that I'm not training. Is only going 10-13 miles a week going to feel like enough now, though? I don't know, but I'm leaning toward probably not, at least at first because I am so used to the higher mileage. But, I am going to tell myself to calm down, and that it's OK for me to not run as much right now. My goal, however, is to consistently average 15 miles per week this fall. I LOVED how I felt on weeks that I ran that much before, and I think that is a good goal for me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

9/8/10--Back in the Saddle Again...

Today's run: 2 miles
Week to date: 2 miles
Month to date: 17.1 miles

Yesterday, I texted my mother to see when I could start running again. I was still feeling a little sore, but I was getting anxious and needed to get out and going again. She told me I could go whenever I felt like I was ready, so I decided I would wait until this morning. What I really want to do deep down is a long, slow run, but I know better than that. So, I opted for an easy 2 miler, just to see where my muscles were at and how it felt.
This morning definitely felt like fall!! Very crisp, very cool, very much like fall. In terms of my run, I felt OK. I could definitely feel the residual soreness! It was hard holding back, considering the last time I ran that 2 mile route I was burning off rage and was going fast.
Oh, and I saw a deer! Yup! And, leave it to me, I was scared... hey, I don't know if it's still a mama with babies that might go all mama on me! But, as I approached, it ran away.

So... on to the next! There is a 5K this weekend in Lake Linden, and another one the weekend after in Painesdale. Right now, I'm leaning toward the second one, but we shall see!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9/4/10--The Big Day!

Get braced, all--this is gonna be a long one!!
Well, when I last left you, I was in the midst of the pre-race panic. Soon after I posted my last, screaming blog entry, I found out that Brandon was able to leave work early. In that same time frame, my family decided to stay at the cabin instead of Tourist Park, and when Brandon got home I convinced him we should do the same. He had actually been thinking about getting a hotel room, so we were both on the same page about not camping.
We arrived in Marquette around 6:30, got my race packet, let the park know we wouldn't be staying, but got car tags so we could still shower in the morning.
After that, we tried to go to a few different places to get dinner, but we ended up at Aubree's for pizza (perfect pre-race fuel, btw), and we waited there to hear that my family was getting close to Munising so we could head to the cabin. We ended up getting to the cabin around 9:00pm, and settled in for the night.
The alarm went off at 5am the next morning, and we all were rushing around to get out so we could make the 50 minute drive back to Marquette. During all that, someone managed to snap a photo of me packing up my after-clothes...
We all load up in to the cars, I throw on my iPod, and away we went! I was really emotional the whole way over--I even was crying a little at one point, and I still have no idea why.
When we got to Marquette, we had to park about a 1/4 mile from the actual starting area. My sister and I immediately took off to the starting line to find bathrooms, while the rest of the family unloaded themselves. Thankfully, checking in and getting to a bathroom went VERY quickly (thank goodness for small races!! :D) So, we had some time for a photo shoot before the start...

I left the course map with the family so they could figure out where they could be when. I knew Brandon wouldn't have a problem getting around, but the others would need it.
Around 7:10 we started lining up to start.
I never actually heard the starting gun--I just noticed we started moving! I was pretty far back, but that was my way of making sure I didn't go out too fast. I did, however, pick off quite a few people along the first couple of miles.
The first time I saw part of my family along the course was at Tourist Park--My dad, Brandon, and Andy (one of my former park co-workers) were on the corner as we turned out of the park.
Just after that, I saw my sister and mom, then just after that I ran in to Dad and Brandon again!!
And, as you can tell by the smiles, I was having fun and I felt FANTASTIC. Really and truly. I was at a very comfortable pace, and I was just having a blast.
At about 4.5 miles, I was passed by the marathon leader, who was out in front by a large margin. He was flying!
Once I got across Washington St (about mile 5) I really felt like I could be going faster. I had been mentally holding back in a way, just to make sure that I wouldn't burn out, but by then I couldn't hold back anymore, so I started to really push harder. I was still having fun though, as shown by the next photos:

The first one was just before mile 6, the second one is at around 7.75. This was just after the dog-leg out and back on the course, and it was fun to see all the people ahead of me, then all the people behind me! (This is also where I had my only stumble moment of the race--the guy in front of me went to go get a gel, then collided with another runner, and then I collided with the 2 of them. Thankfully, none of us were hurt!) You can see the aid station behind me there--they were all awesome, and they had water, HEED drink and HEED gels. I stuck with water during my race, and I carried 2 vanilla Gu gels with me. I took the first one at 5, then the next one at 9, and looking back that might have been too much, because I was queasy after the race.
At just after 11 miles, we entered back in to Presque Isle Park, and I saw my mom again for the first time since mile 3 (they apparently had trouble finding me and didn't want to stand still too long because they were getting cold), and she told me the greatest thing I had heard the whole time on the course: "1:45! You did it! You're doing it!" At that point, I KNEW I could hit my goal time of around 2:00. I was so freaking happy, and that really kept me going through the last stretch around the island.
Here I am coming in to the finish:
(I caught that lady, I think. This part was a blur of cheering and pure freaking joy that I was finally here!)
I did it!!
The clock at the finish didn't have the race time but the time of day, so I had no idea what my finish time was until I saw my mom--she had me at 2:02:05 from when I personally crossed the start line to when I crossed the finish line. My official race time was 2:02:55! All along, I knew I wanted to be around 2 hours, but I honestly expected to be closer to 2:15 or 2:20. I was--and still am--so happy with that time!!

Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with the finish area. The food selection was pretty pitiful, and they didn't have any kind of sport drink. I grabbed some water, a rock hard peach (that I wound up throwing out) and a piece of bagel. The queasiness really set in at this point, and they had already started the post-race bbq, and we left pretty quickly because I couldn't handle the smell of burgers and hot dogs. Also, we all were wet and COLD--a hot shower sounded fantastic.
There was one very awesome part about the finish area--our finisher's medals!
They're genuine Lake Superior stones on a braided leather cord, and there's an engraved sterling silver plate with "M2 2010" on it. I love that it's something you can wear anytime or all the time--I'm wearing it right now, and I don't plan on taking it off for a long, long time. It's a reminder to me of all the hard work I put in, and the day I accomplished a life goal.

I was pretty sore the rest of the day and in to the day after, but now I'm feeling pretty good! I got the go ahead to start running again, so tomorrow I'm planning on going out for a short 2 or 3 miler just to get out and moving.

Saturday was amazing. I'm sure it is a day I will never, ever, ever forget.

Friday, September 3, 2010

9/3/10--It's the Day Before the Night Before the Half...

...and I'm busy, busy, busy freaking out!
Beyond the standard "Day before a big race" nerves, I'm dealing with weather worries. The NWS has released a Lakeshore Flooding Statement, meaning that there are going to be HUGE waves that could flood part of the course. This warning is issued a lot in Marquette, and sometimes it's more of a precautionary measure than anything. However, add in the irrational nerves of the Day Before the Night Before, and you have a full blown panic storm.
In other panic news, Brandon can't get out of work until 6. So, between getting home, getting ready, and loading the car we're looking at an ETD of 6:30 PM. That doesn't get us in to Marquette until roughly 8:30, with only a half hour left of packet pick up. Also, since sunset is about 8:45 anyway and it's supposed to be cloudy and rainy, we're going to be setting up in the dark. Not exactly the most restful and relaxing night before, and that's if everything goes right.
Honestly, I'm so preoccupied with the other details, I'm not even thinking about the race itself! How messed up is that? Maybe it's because that is the last thing on my mind. I know I've put the work in. I know I can do it, and given the opportunity I will. I am going to do great, as long as I get there and get the chance!

Deep breaths, Lindsey Ann. Deep breaths. It will be OK, things will be fine... I hope.
*Closes eyes, takes a deep breath, hangs head*

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

9/1/10--Ragin' Non-Cajun

Today's run: 2 miles
Week to date: 9 miles
Month to date: 2 miles

You have to love doing an MTD count on the first day of the month, eh? That just sounds so weak.
Anyway, a run was not really on the docket for the day. However, another financial related meltdown inspired me to take off flying down the Bill Nichols like I was being chased by fire. Seriously, I was seeing red, and I had to let it out. I almost wish I would have timed this, because it had to have been fast.

After I got done, I was still seething mad. So, I then proceeded to circle the streets of South Range and Baltic, and hacked out another 2 miles. It wasn't a good walk, though--it was more of me trying desperately to find a healthy way to take out my anger, and really only getting myself more wound up. It could have been worse--I have had worse coping mechanisms in my life, that's for sure. At leastI didn't dive in to a bottle or in to the cupboards, right?

In other meltdown news, the race-day forecast is getting worse and worse. I might have to bust out some tights for this race... :( A HIGH of 60 and 25 mph winds from the north west? Yikes... I'm really trying to keep my mother's words in my head right now: "It doesn't matter what the weather dude says. It is going to be a great day and you will have fun!!" Still... it feels like the little details of the day are starting to go wrong, and that is stressing me out BIG time. Another reason to stress: Packet Pick Up is from 5-9. As of right now, we won't even be leaving South Range until 6:15-6:30. So, now, I'm looking at a rushed packet pick up, a late dinner, and trying to set up a tent in the semi-darkness? Oh, yeah, that's a fantastic night before a race.
I don't know... I'm just not feeling very positive about this right now. I hope to all things good that I can change that before Friday night/Saturday morning, but right now I have a massive stress headache.

On a different note: on my brand new shiny personal blog, I'm taking part in Tina's 30 Days of Self Love Reflection project. I really recommend checking it out and giving it a try! :)
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