Saturday, February 25, 2012

Assume Nothing, Learn Everything

I had a pretty good run today! It was the week that my long runs turned from miles to hours.  "Time on my feet" I am told that is called - just another piece of information I did not know. This ultratraining has turned me into a student.  As a person who spends 40 hours a week teaching, being a student is pretty refreshing. I have some great people in my life guiding me on this journey with their sage advice and I truly appreciate every morsel they give to me!
Some of my favorites - and I tend to put the advice into categories
"Enjoy the run - it will always be long, so learn to love it"
"When you are feeling weak, refuel and rejuvenate.  Your body is asking for a break."

"Carry toilet paper - just sayin'"
"Just because you hear a rattle does not mean the dog is chained up." (right, L?)

Keeping it All in Perspective
From one of my students upon hearing that I would be running up to 4 hours on a long run this weekend "Mrs. Brudwick - do you realize you will be running for 1/4 of your waking hours on that day? You had better correct our papers, too!"  I think she was telling me to keep balance!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Ironic Run

I wish the title of this blog was "The Bionic Run" because then that means that my run rocked, I broke PRs, I ascended hills with great power, whatever it is that one might do on a really great run. But, hmm, today was not one of those runs.  When the alarm went off at 4:15 I really did not want to get out of bed.  Really!  My stomach was not entirely happy (I refuse to believe the cause of that was the  lone MGL with olives that I consumed!), and my body was tired.  Thankfully, my "people" were waiting for me, so that got me out the door.  As I got into the car, a Kelly Clarkson song was blaring "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, blah, blah, blah..." Whatever, Kelly!  I was too crabby to listen to her sing.  I am not strong today and yes, the run IS going to kill me.  Great attitude!  And no surprise-the run really stunk!  I had to make two pit stops due to my icky stomach issues, my pace was inconsistent, and during the last two miles of my 20, my it band was even crankier than I was.  One friend (at the risk of getting a shoe thrown at his head) tried encouraging me.  I almost gave up at mile 19.  But then those lyrics snuck up on me again "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger stand a little taller Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone. What doesn't kill you makes a fighter Footsteps even lighter..."  I want to be stronger, I want to be a fighter, who doesn't want footsteps a little lighter???"  I am not going to tell you that I finished the run strong or that I threw up my arms to the heavens and thanked Ms. Clarkson for her inspiring words.  I sort of hobbled to the end, leaned against the car, and sighed.  Not every run is going to be stellar!  But I do believe that in every run you can find strength - mental or physical strength.  It is how you view it.  Celebrate the positive, understand the negative, and then make a choice.  I choose to be "Stronger!"

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It Was NOT a Marathon

It wasn't!  I ran 26 miles today, NOT 26.2.  Cuz running a marathon would have been just plain insane!  Pretty good run today!  I ran with an assortment of friends over the miles and let me tell you-- it was COLD today!  The windchill was -20!  The first ten miles were pretty good- steady pace and not too chilly.  But when I stopped to change face masks, my hands froze.  I wanted a Gu, but my hands were too cold to get one out.  So, we continued to run. Now I was with a new group of ladies and this part went really well. I think we had a really nice pace going and I was having fun.  And then---we turned left!  Up Doc Jones Road and it had a hill!  A steep one!  What?  This was not in my "plan!"  But I followed my friends up the hill.  I was wishing they had a rope to tow me up.  As they all pulled away I heard one say the second hill wasn't as bad as this one.  WHAT???  But you know, when you don't have a choice it is best to move on with a positive attitude, and I did. I plodded to to top and was happy to cruise down on the other side.  At mile 19 we stopped at the car to grab a Gu.  My plan was to take it into the Y and warm it up so I could get it down. It was the consistency of taffy - it was actually pretty good!  While I was chewing on my Gu my legs started to thaw and IT HURT!!!!  OMG - there was so much pain I though I was going to cry!  A friend and I decided to walk the track to warm up before heading back out for the last part of the run.  That plan was nixed when we decided we just couldn't face the cold again. I went home, quickly showered, and delivered my youngest to my sister's 45 minutes away, then headed back to the Y to finish the run. I DID IT!  So, yep, I ran 26 miles today.  But NOT a marathon. I am not THAT crazy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

I have been very patient.  I have been listening to my body.  I have been dialing back the miles.  I have been waiting, waiting, waiting.  Last night was the night I was waiting for!!!!  Everything felt good, the stars aligned or something, and the run totally rocked!!!!!  It was supposed to be one of those scheduled runs - an easy 6, shake out the kinks, prepare for Sat. long run.  It started out that way. I intended for it to stay that way.  But something in my brain and body just took over.  My legs were sending messages to my brain that said "Let's push this tonight!"  The gait felt great - "jumping over logs" and "driving with the knee" is starting to feel natural.  Lookout Drive was the first hill to conquer.  I am not sure of the grade, but it is a mile long from bottom to the top with some areas that get pretty steep.  Wow- that felt great! My favorite hill in the whole city - I love cresting it and looking over the side down at the valley!!  If I time my runs right I can see a sunset as I get near the top.  So the run continued.  I needed a little time at the top to regroup.  Headed back to the Y at a fairly good pace and was at about 6.5 miles right before the Y.  I asked my running partner if we could do a couple hill repeats just to get to 7.  We did that - holy moly!  Then we threw in a third for good measure.  So we should have been done at 7, but now we were a little over.  "Hey, lets' go to the lights to make it an even 7.5" soon became  a "Let's go around the football field to make it 8!"  Great!  LOVE those runs!!!!  A lesson that I keep being reminded of in the ultra- training is how important it is to be patient.  I am glad that I am a good student!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Better Than a Band-Aid

Yesterday I ran 25 miles and I did it almost pain-free!  That almost is a pretty important word to me. There were times last week even when I could not have said almost.  So, yes, I am happy to be almost pain free and today I ran almost pain free which now is HUGE because I have not been able to follow a long Saturday run with a Sunday run.  Those back-to-back runs are really important in training for an ultra.  Today I did it!!!!!  I am learning that stretching, strengthening, and rolling are the pieces that will help keep me healthy.  When I am injured (or "have aggravations", as I like to call it) I am so good at adding those things into my daily routine.  I will even set the alarm early so that I have time to get them in before heading out for the day.  BUT, the minute I start to feel "normal" again, those things fall by the wayside.  And then what happens?  You guessed it - my it band bites me in the butt!  So, this time I vow to continue with the things that every runner should be doing regardless of injury status.  Check in with me once in a while to see if I am staying true to my word!
Best exercises so far (add to my list, please!!  I love to hear what works for others!)
Clam lifts
Bridges - esp. the one-legged ones!
Wall sit
Lunges and squats

I just stretch every which way and wish that I was a rubberband - you know the kind, the ones that stretch and stretch. NOT the ones you find in the back of your desk drawer that are so brittle that they snap in two with a tug!

LOVE my foam roller and stick. I carry one in the car with me.  Funny story - on the way home from school on Friday my youngest and a friend were sitting in the back seat of the car.  The friend was holding the stick and said "Your mom has all the cool stuff.  My mom is not really into running that much"  to which my daughter replied "Well, my mom just has more pain than yours."  I'd like to think that statement is the equivalent to "My dad can beat up your dad"!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Glimpse of Me

I keep a running journal.  It is a very simple one, but it is a source of information and inspiration.  I love to look back at old entries.  Sometimes I learn where I went wrong, more often I find celebrations of good runs, good times, and good legs!  Today I was looking though a journal from 2009 and found an entry that I hardly remember writing.  I am not sure of my mood on that particular day and there was nothing notable about the run on that day, but the entry I wrote then made me smile today.  I am sharing it with you at the risk of revealing my secrets to an unknown audience.  But if it makes you think (that I am a bit goofy) or motivates you in any way, then the risk is worth it!
"The woman in me says run powerfully- let your legs show what you can do. The teacher in my says run smart- learn all you can to become a stronger runner. The mother in me says run because it is your passion – do what you love and do it well. The child in me says run hard and run free- let the wind carry you! I am a woman, a teacher, a mother, a child, and I am a runner! I run faithfully, gracefully, and every day with purpose, determination, and complete joy!!"