Miserable Run

Oh my, was yesterday's run unpleasant.  Want to laugh at the misery of someone else?  I won't take it personally if it makes you laugh.  Read on.

I knew it was probably going to be a rough day by 8 am, after making several trips to the bathroom.  I came to the conclusion that one of two things happened:
  1. I ate something in the last 24 hours that had declared war on my intestines.
  2. I swallowed so much pool water that the chlorine killed off all the good bacteria in my gut and declared war on my intestines.
You can see where this is headed.  Yep, a poop story.  You can stop reading if you want.

My GI tract was not settling down as the day went on.  I ate some Greek yogurt about 10 am, hoping that would help to reset my system.  I ate lunch earlier than normal, hoping to give myself at least 3 hours before I had to run.  My stomach was unsettled after lunch so I took an antacid.  That didn't help.  So an hour before I left work, I took two Pepto-Bismol.  Then 30 min later, I took two more and prayed.

I started my run about 4 and the beginning wasn't too bad.  My schedule said 12 miles, 10 at 8:15 pace.  It was really windy, so the miles into the wind were awful. But I made it through the first 4 on pace and feeling not too bad.  My stomach didn't feel great, but it wasn't horrible either. 

Somewhere around mile 5, the abdominal cramps started.  Every time my stomach would cramp, I'd grimace and hope that it was just gas and nothing more.  I'm sure everyone who drove by must have thought I was torturing myself.  It's impossible to keep good form when your butt cheeks are clenched.  Still, I kept on pace.  Even into that sonofabitch Kansas wind, nothing slower than an 8:16. 

I tried positive thinking "Each mile is a gift."  That was crap.  That wasn't helping me at all.  I felt terrible.  So I add a few words "Each mile I don't shit myself is a gift."  That at least made me laugh a little (when my stomach wasn't cramping).  After four or five of these stomach cramps, I decided I was pushing my luck and I should throw in the towel.  I finished the mile I was on at pace and then did a cool down for 9 total.  The entire last mile was a debate: do I run faster and try to finish faster or do I run slower and hope to avoid certain disaster?  I slowed down to an 8:45.

For a run with GI distress, I supposed 7 miles at pace isn't bad.  I didn't crap myself but I did spend some quality time in the bathroom when I got home.  And I'm glad I called it when I did.  If I had tried to finish out that run, I'm pretty sure I'd be looking for a new seat cover today.  The moral of the story?  Don't try to run with the runs.


Reality Check

I've been tossing around "PR" in reference to my upcoming 1/2 marathon lately.  Then I thought, even better, I'm going to try to go sub-1:40.  Why 1:40?  Back in 2009, I sold a 1/2 marathon bib to a friend since I couldn't run due to plantar fasciitis.  He ran a 1:40:13, which I thought I would never approach.  Well, I'd like my online PR to be my actual PR, so sub-1:40 goal it is.  Right?


My current PR pace is 7:58 min/mi.  To go 1:40, I would have to drop that to 7:38 min/mi.  That's pretty steep, not to mention really fast.  And I have this mental block when it comes to running faster than 8 min/mi.  This midwest farmer's daughter was not built for speed.  My DNA is much more efficient at carrying heavy objects.

I have another mental block, which is my failed PR attempt at Austin.  Even though I know it's dumb, the bike crash in September and DNF at Austin sent me into a bit of a tailspin that took three months to get out of.  I don't know if I want to set myself up for that kind of failure again.

But what is life if not a challenge, right?  Isn't that why we all race: to put it all out there and see what we're really capable of?  And my recent running times have been good, it's not like I'm going for a 1:40 after a month of 10 min/mi long runs.  So is there even a decision? 

No, there's not.  Tonight's workout is a 5 mi tempo run @ (gulp) 7:50 pace.  Thanks for the pep talk guys, I really needed that.


Did you notice?

If you're a regular and you have good attention to detail, you may have noticed that I updated my "Races" section on the blog.  Instead of the very pointed "none" there are now three races I have listed.  The 5k I signed up for quite a while ago.  It should be fun, but I'm not really focused on it.  With spring just around the corner, it's about time I find a race and commit.  I picked two races, both in May.

I've heard good things about the 51.5 series and we all know that I am NOT a good hot-weather racer, so when I found the KC Triathlon in early May, I thought it sounded perfect.  I also have brand new race wheels to try out.  This will be the second Olympic distance race I do, the first being Nationals last summer in Vermont.  Since I've had issues with the run on my last few (or all) 70.3 races, I think I may try the Olympic distance for a while and see if I have more fun.  It is just not any fun to suffering through a half marathon at noon when it's 90 degrees out.  Just for reference, an Olympic distance race is a 1.5 k swim, 40 k bike, and 10 k run.

Then I signed up for the Running with the Cows 1/2 marathon, which is a week before the KC Triathlon.  Since my long runs have been going really well, I think I'm going to try to PR.  I think I should be able to.  Today I ran 12 at and 8:35 average pace and that was an "easy" run.  Actually, the last 3 miles were no easy but they were also mostly uphill.  Either way, I'm already running over 10 miles at a decent pace.  I wanted to get back to 10 mile long runs at an 8:30 pace.  I think I made it.



Kelly and I have started climbing once again and while I talk about it a lot, I've never had any pictures to share.  It seems like my hands were always too busy for pictures.  This last week, Kelly's beau came along and he just so happens to be an amazing photographer.  So here are some pictures.  If you've never done indoor climbing, I would highly suggest it.  Especially if you're in need of changing things up this winter.
Kelly checking her Figure 8 knot.  Looks good!
Me with an ATC and carabiner, getting ready to belay.

Show off!

I trust this girl with my life.  Literally.

 I hate this blogger interface.  Sorry for the stupid format.

My favorite kind of girl-time.
Hanging out in the bouldering grotto.

On the overhang!

I love the last one because the look on my face is exactly how I was feeling.  This is a 5.9 route the goes up a serious overhang that requires a good about of strength and finesse.  I started it two weeks ago and made it halfway up clean (no cheating).  This week, I couldn't get as far and I couldn't do it clean.  I was frustrated and confused.  I'll try it again this week.

Thanks Jon for the pictures!


The big 3-0

I mentioned before that I was aging up this year to the 30-34 age group and today is the day.  I'm not much for birthdays (mine, anyway) so I'll keep this brief.  I have a bunch of stuff up my sleeve for this year, but you'll have to wait. A friend made me this e-card, which is by far the coolest card I think I have ever received.

It's time for cake!