Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tears of sorrow, worry, and then joy

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon researching hotels for my trip to Anaheim for my half-marathon. I am looking for the best price I can get on a cheap, but clean, hotel, for my husband and I to stay for two nights. I looked at so many different websites and hotels and prices that my head felt like it was going to explode. I also took the time to price things out, which made me cry a little. Seriously.

You see, we are just scraping by right now. When I signed up for the race, times were better, but things have been hard the last couple months. And I have been avoiding totaling up what the trip will cost because I knew it was going to be a strain trying to come up with the money, and I didn't want to be stressed about it any more than I had to. I am already a stress case all the time without adding that. So when I saw the total, which was without calculating food, I choked down a sob. Because we have some money set aside for this, but not enough. And I am not sure how to get enough to make it work. I am doing things the cheapest way possible, and my husband's promotion and raise should (fingers crossed) kick in by then, but there are just so many things up in the air that I don't know how it will all come together. I have put so much time and effort into preparing for this race, my first half-marathon, and I am just worried that I won't be able to get the money together.

Then I received my first email about the race, with a link to the event program. It is about 20 pages long, and tells you everything you need to know about the weekend, complete with pictures and maps. And once again I found myself choking back tears, but ones of joy this time. It hit me what I am going to do, what I am going to accomplish, after I have put in all the work. I will be doing something I never thought I could do in one of my favorite places in the world. Even if I have to sleep in my car for two nights, (which at this point is a very real possibility for me,) I have to be there. Because I started this, and I am going to finish it and prove to myself that I can do hard things. I am going to show myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. I am going to prove myself to me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Question for the day: Why is it called getting "back on the wagon" when it is so hard and unpleasant??? Wouldn't you think that riding in the wagon would be much more comfortable and preferable to the alternative? Especially a covered wagon - there is shade and privacy. Who came up with this ridiculous pioneer-timed metaphor anyway? When was the last time you even rode in a wagon? (Unless you know someone who is Amish, then you may have. But you yourself can't be Amish, because then you wouldn't be reading this.)   

As you may have guessed, I am, in fact, getting myself back on track (no wagoning here.) Which is what caused me to ponder the phrase. I have been letting myself eat a lot of junk lately, but that ends today. Aside from what is in the gel packet thingies and occasional gummies I ingest while I am running (to prevent myself from falling down in the middle of the bike trail - those bicyclists don't stop for anything - they just roll right over you, or some of the more talented ones will jump you like Evel Knievel) I will not have any processed sugars for a while. I haven't come up with an actual time frame yet because I don't know how long detox is going to take me, but I am defining "a while" as more than two weeks. 

In other news, I went out for my first run since my 10k on the 16th. I attempted the 8 miles again, and the best thing I can say about it is I made it home. It was far from my best run, but I expected that after taking a little more than a week off and eating junk all that time. I did try out my new hydration belt, which I will talk more in depth about later. I also tried some GU for the first time, which I will talk about in more depth now.

It was terrible. 

Ok, clearly our interpretations of the words "in depth" are different. You want details, fine. Here is the low-down - it was a viscous substance that I had to choke down while concentrating on not vomiting it back up. I have never encountered a liquid-like substance that I practically had to chew before, and it was not an experience that I am eager to repeat. And if I am going to be chewing anyway, why not just pack a burrito or something? Chipotle has never made me gag. However, it did keep me going, and I recognize the fact that the fuel was helpful. Maybe other brands will be better? If any of you have some recommendations for me, I will gladly take them.

Random post today, I know, but after I have dragged myself for 8 miles, this is what happens. I'm off to shower and go back to bed be productive. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yay Saturday

It is Saturday, which I know in the blogosphere is also known as the day that nobody reads what you post. But there are a couple of good things happening for me today, and I wanted to share. First off, I signed up for a nighttime 10k that takes place tonight - it is the first race I have run in since Thanksgiving, and I am pretty excited:

Secondly, I've needed some new running clothes for a while now, but haven't had the money and also have been avoiding going to an actual running store, because, I'll be honest, they completely intimidate me. But this morning I bit the bullet and went to my local store. Where I fell in love. With this:
Yep, I am the proud new owner of a running skirt. With awesome built-in compression shorts. With hidden pockets. I also picked up a running tank and some socks, and for the first time ever I feel like I look like a runner. And while I know looks aren't everything, it really was a boost to my running confidence as I stood in front of the mirror in the changing room to feel like I looked the part. At any rate, I am really excited to try the outfit out tonight in my 10k. 

Now I am off to finish packing for camping (we leave tomorrow morning for four days!) and get some more water and food in preparation for tonight. Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I've lost my mind

This could be a picture of my legs in the cool, refreshing river on a sweltering hot day here in Northern California. I could be sitting there with a drink in one hand and a novel in the other, relaxing and soaking up the sun. It could be, and I could be, but it isn't. These are actually my legs in the freezing cold river, at 8:40 on a 55 degree, overcast morning. What inspired this apparent lapse in judgment on my part? My first ever 8 mile run, the last mile of which I hobbled as my IT band loudly protested. Feeling like the half mile home to my ice bath was further than I wanted to go, I instead sat myself down in the shallows of the river and wished I had a sweatshirt as the breeze cooled my sweat and the chill of the river crept up my tank top. I sat there for ten minutes before calling Hubby to come get me, and ten minutes later he arrived with two towels, a Gatorade, my flip flops, and his assurance that despite the fact that I had to walk most of that last mile, I am, in fact, a runner. Because no one but a runner would be crazy enough to sit in a river as cold as ours has been as the runoff from the late season snow comes down from the Sierras. 

He then walked me back to the car and brought me home, where I changed to dry pajama pants and a sweatshirt while he cooked me some eggs and bacon. Sounds like a catch, doesn't he? He is. Here is what I found on the mirror before I left for the 8 miles of torture running this morning:
Yeah, I'm pretty lucky ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All by Myself

As in, don't wanna be. But I have been feeling really alone lately. In everything I do. I am alone in taking care of the kids - who are home all day thanks to summer break - because hubby is working. I am alone in stressing out about the money we don't have and the bills we are struggling to pay because my husband isn't a worrier. I am alone in my half-marathon training. Through all the crappy runs, and good runs, through the IT band pain, through the wanting to quit, out there on the trail, I am alone.

Until it occurred to me that I don't have to be as alone and isolated as I am allowing myself to be. I have this blog, this poor, neglected blog, which should be feeling pretty lonely itself. I could should be chronicling the process of my training to run my half in September and reaching out to the blogosphere for extra support. And yet the last time I posted was in June, and every time I sit down to write something, I find that I just can't do it. Not for lack of things to talk about - nearly every run yields something that could be a post (all that time alone in my own head produces some very strange thoughts, let me tell you) and still I am barely blogging. Is it possible that I am isolating myself on purpose without knowing it?

I am going to make myself a schedule for blogging, a training schedule as it were, so that I can build that muscle back up. And while building that muscle, maybe I can rebuild a readership here, so that I can stop feeling so alone.