April 29, 2008

Know those times when you are just “off”?  Well I’m having one of those.  I guess it’s good that I’m getting it out of the way all at once.  Taking yesterday off from training was a good choice and I definitely felt better rested today.  Today, however, was E.MO.TION.AL.  Bigtime.  Partly hormones, I’m sure, but also some big stuff going down with my family that is hard for me.  Out of respect for them and their privacy, I will not go into details, but let’s just say I’ve been having big emotions.  Not bad ones, necessarily, but it took virtually nothing to push me over the edge to a teary place today.

So after this big day I was feeling pretty drained and wondering how I was going to rally for my track workout.  But somehow I did.  The weather was pretty unfriendly but cleared up a little when I arrived so that it was mostly wind I was dealing with and not rain which was good.  I had 20 400s to do.  My coach has been promising me this workout for a while so I was pretty psyched when I read the workout on my schedule.  During my warmup I had to dash into the bathroom with an upset stomach and I didn’t feel much better afterwards, so I knew it would be a battle out there today.  Two more visits to the bathroom and I was still pretty uncomfortable but I fought the urge to go back to my car, knowing that it’s the mentally hard workouts that count the most.  I ran pretty well in my first few 400s considering how I was feeling and how desperately I wanted to drive home.  I worked really hard to get my head in the game and by my 9th 400 things were starting to come together.  Just as I noticed my knee getting more painful.  Trying carefully to find that place in between wimping out and being stupid, I ran number 10 and then number 11.  By then I was really feeling pain so I made a deal with myself that if I could hit one more 400 on the desired interval then I could pack up and go home.  Well, I started that 400.  And stopped after 100 meters because my knee sucked.  I got totally pissed, had a temper tantrum, went back to the line, and started it again.  The same thing.  Pain, stopping, anger, punching the air.  Then I tried to start again by going in a different direction.  The same thing.  This time I got furious and just burst into tears, grabbed my bag, and limped off the track crying.

It’s one thing to have to end a workout because of pain.  But it’s REALLY frustrating to end a workout because of pain after you RALLIED like crazy to push through a huge mental block.  Anyway, what’s done is done and now I’m icing my knee and promising myself to take care of this before it becomes a bigger deal.  After reading Danielle’s blog today as well as Marit’s, I should know better than to blow this out of proportion.

I guess you can’t win ’em all.

Killer Deer

April 28, 2008

GB and I had a bonfire last night.  We made smores and had a good laugh about life.  I was so tired from the weekend that I practically fell asleep staring at the fire.  Eventually we went down to the pond for our little camp-out.  We left the dogs in the house which proved to be a good choice given the abundance of wildlife in the night.  Definitely the highlight of the night was some time in the four o’clock hour. 

Just so you get the full picture, GB had pitched the tent in a clearing next to the pond.  There was woods on three sides and water on one side of us, and what is obviously an animal path running very close to the tent itself.  So there I was deep in four o’clock sleep when I heard a tremendous crashing and cracking and LOUD, HEAVY animal feet on the ground, some screetching, and then some VERY heavy breathing that was not mine or GB’s…  Instantly we were both sitting bolt upright in the tent and you could feel our heart beats in the walls of the tent.  GB is much more wild-animal savvy than I am and I would expect for me to have a more fearful reaction due to my belief that herbivores want to eat me.  However, the fact that GB was also sitting up alert and freaking out was extremely terrifying to me.  In my mind, a bear had just chased a deer, was eating it, and was planning to eat us next.  (GB later pointed out that a black bear would much prefer to eat berries).  Anyway, once the loud crashing stopped, there was an angry snorting sound for a while before it went quiet again.  We thought it could be a moose, but moose steps would probably have been even heavier than those.  The best part was that as I was sitting there waiting to be attacked, I noticed that my hands were on my legs and my legs were shaking.  I think that after this weekend, my legs were saying “oh PLEASE don’t tell us we have to run some MORE!!  We do not have the energy to run for your life right now!!  YOU WILL DIE if it’s up to us!!!”.  Luckily there was no running involved and we eventually fell back to sleep.

The most likely theory about the event is that a deer was on it’s way to the water, saw the tent, and completely freaked out.  Then it lingered for a while, breathing heavily before giving up the idea of getting a drink and leaving.  Whatever the actual truth of the matter, it made for an exciting night! 

Today I am feeling very tired.  Just plain dragging.  I have some aches and pains that seem like they are fighting to become full-fledged injuries, and I just feel tired all over.  I emailed my coach whose response was “take the day off”.  I nearly cried at the thought.  Which is a sign that a day off is really what I need most.  It’s such a battle between doing the smart thing and feeling like a wimp but when I weigh the pros and cons of taking a day off versus provoking my body into injury, I think it’s obvious that some down time is the best choice.

St. Anthony’s

April 27, 2008

Well, it has been a busy and productive weekend.  So busy, in fact, that I’m too tired this evening to blog much about it.  GB and I are camping out tonight and we’re just about to have a bonfire but before I go outside for the night, I wanted to congratulate a few bloggers.


Beth, Jen H, Bri, and Bree for awesome performances at St. Anthony’s today.  I was thinking about you all this morning and sending you fast vibes.  Apparently other people were too, because you were ALL VERY fast.  I was also sending positive vibes to Marit this morning whom I know was sad to not be racing.  Just wait ’till next year Marit – you’ll be schooling them all!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Out of the Closet

April 25, 2008

Fellow bloggers, readers, friends….

There’s something I need to come clean with you about.

I have not been honest with you.  Well, I have not been DIShonest, but I have been only partially honest.  Deceptive by admission.  I have kept something big from you.  Possibly you have guessed – certainly I have dropped hints along the way.  Maybe you suspected.  I’ve been keeping a huge part of myself secret.  Closeted, if you will.

Why have I kept this thing from you?  For self-preservation reasons really.  I didn’t know if you would judge me, fair reader.  Perhaps it would turn you off completely and my readership of three would dwindle back down to two…or even one.  But alas, the burden has become too much.  I feel that I am misrepresenting myself.  I am hiding an integral part of who I am: a part that colors my world and alters my day-to-day interactions and thoughts.  And so it is time.






I am a big fan of country music.

There, I said it.  Boy, what a load off.  Now I just want to shout it from the mountain tops.

I.  LOVE.  COUNTRY.  MUSIC!!!!!  I love it all.  I love Brad Paisley, and Big and Rich, and even Toby Keith.  I listen to it on the sly whenever I can.  My car radio is programmed to the country station but I made it button #4 so it seems like an accident.  I think I might know all the words to all the songs.  Even the sexist songs and the stupid ones about alcohol.  I love it.

Wow.  I feel so light.  So EXPOSED.  But better.  Definitely better.  As they say, the truth shall set you free.  And I, lover of country music, am now free.

Recovery Run

April 23, 2008

Today was pretty great.  I got up early, had my coffee, and got to work nearly thirty minutes early which allowed me to collect myself enough that the rest of my day was well put-together.  I managed to squeeze a recovery run in at lunch time too which is an unusual treat.  Although it was over seventy degrees and gorgeous out, I ran on the treadmill because it was a recovery run and we simply do not have ANY flat roads out here.

Earlier this year, sometime in the dead of winter when we were all hating on the weather and grumpy about our limited training options I did a treadmill test.  After that test, after busting my ass for twenty minutes and thinking unconsciousness was just around the corner, my coach emailed me and said something along the lines of “Great job!  x:xx is a really good time to be running on a treadmill”.  Bolstered by that thought, I launched my campaign to become a “real” runner.  I started to think great things might be possible.  I started working hard.

Well, today was just a recovery run.  Just an ordinary half hour on an ordinary day.  Except it wasn’t.  It wasn’t ordinary because the number staring at me from the treadmill screen was the same number I had once been proud of during my run test.  Only THIS time, this number was staring at me while my heart rate was in ZONE ONE!!!  As you can imagine, I was pretty excited about this.  So things are looking good in the world of Ness’ running legs, thank you very much!

After work I met a friend at the pool for my swim.  Boy was it nice to have someone to swim with.  ALTHOUGH my swimsuit did one of those magic disappearing tricks today.  You know, the day AFTER you should have retired the suit.  The day AFTER you looked at it and described it as embarrassing and indecent.  The day AFTER you said this suit is toast.  Yeah, well…I wore it one day too long and was rather mortified to discover that every fiber in the suit made a choice NOT to HTFU today and in unison, they up and retired.  Every last one.  Which left me climbing out of the pool in a giant, collapsing mass of transluscent lycra that was nearly down to my knees.

Fortunately, anticipating this horror of horrors, I jumped on the Splish bandwagon last night and created myself a suit.  So hopefully it will arrive soon because in the meantime I have nothing to swim in.  I’ll have to swim naked like Jen does!

Fun and Games

April 22, 2008

I swam before work yesterday which was awesome because it meant I had the afternoon to do my own thing completely.  I was a little sore from my race, but not as much as I might have predicted.  My coach promises this will get worse.  It was a pretty busy at work.  And then I got home…  First, Carcassonne.  Got my butt whooped by GB who has been PRACTICING!!!  Who PRACTICES board games???  Anyway, it paid off because I lost and lost and lost.  Then outside for a little ladder golf (which I cannot believe I have not posted pictures of yet!).  I can’t remember who won, which is a sure sign it wasn’t me.  Then some raking of leaves.  I think the leaf-raking will go on until August, but I’m fine with it.  That’s what I get for having a huge backyard I guess.  Then I dismantled the out-of-use satellite dish.  Then dinner.  Then I collapsed on the couch with my book and actually was asleep in bed by 8.30pm!  – That’s early even for me!  My body is being a little high-needs with regards to recovery and that’s fine with me.  We had talked about getting up at 4am to see the meteor shower but not surprisingly that did not materialize.  I’m sure it was more lovely than the dream I was having where I couldn’t find GB anywhere and was frantic and there was a huge fire.  Next time maybe I’ll get up for the meteor shower intstead.

GB dropped me at work with my bike today and the plan is for me to ride home as my recovery ride.  We shall see how that goes on these tired legs.  But alas, it promises to be over seventy degrees today, so I’m thrilled to be getting outside again.

The New Me

April 20, 2008

Man, I think I was awake nearly once every hour last night either having to pee or worrying that my alarm wouldn’t go off.  I left the house right on schedule at 5am and got to the race with plenty of time to set up my transition area, read through my race plan, visit the SaniKan, read through my race plan again, visit the SaniKan, warm up, and visit the SaniKan.  The weather was about 50 degrees and absolutely PERFECT for an early morning race start.

I pulled the first run off almost exactly as I had planned and managed to stay within sight of the first few girls.  The bike leg was its own special brand of hurt.  I definitely got schooled a little on my bike.  With my very bright, old, tri-colored bike I feel like a bit of a target out there on the race course but what can you do.  I think I rode a little harder just to make up for the ugliness of my bike.  As I neared the end of the bike course I seriously wondered how I was going to be able to stand up afterwards let alone run, but my legs had big plans and did not let me down.  I ran pretty well off the bike, although nothing so spectacular as to not leave room for improvement this year.  My coach had sent me a quote this morning about being prepared to give 100% if you want big returns for your efforts.  I kept that quote in my head the whole time and was really surprised to find out that I had more in me than I might have suspected.  About half way into the second run I was shoulder-to-shoulder with a woman and thinking that with hips that came up to my shoulders, she was probably going to leave me in her dust.  Then a guy came by and I just sort of clipped my imaginary caribiner to his imaginary belt loop and went with him.  Longlegs did not follow and I set about chasing down the next woman.  With half a mile to go I could almost read her number and I had a constant internal battle that went something like this:

Old me: it hurts too much.  There’s no way I can catch her.  My legs are toast.

New me: Shut up you big baby.  Are you going to go home and blog about how you let this one go?  We’re talking about a few more minutes here.  Dig in and HTFU for Pete’s sake.

Old me: I want my MOMMMMEEEEEEEE.

New Me: You need to zip it.  You’re getting closer and you can reign this one in.  You’ll be so pissed if you don’t.

Old me: WWWWWAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.  painpainpainpainpain.

New Me: Oh screw you, I’m outta here.  I’ll catch you on the rebound wussie-pants.

So I went hard and I dug deep and I chased that woman down.  BUT…just as I crept up behind her I realized a sprint finish would be needed to catch her by surprise and leave her behind AND we had arrived on the grassy part in the chute AND all of a sudden I didn’t trust my legs on the grass and wimped out.  I was a little annoyed but I guess we need to have these experiences from time to time so we can learn from them.

Anyway, it was a great day overall.  I felt like I won most of the mental battle out there and that my run is coming along as I was hoping it might.  I took about 4 minutes off of last year’s time in this race, so no complaints here.  I had another good cry on the drive home just thinking about how amazing and overwhelming it is to be on track with my goals and dreams.  Life is good.  Very good.