Monday, April 30, 2007

4.28.07: The Lowdown

Miles run: 20!

Amount of time if took for me to run 20! miles: 3 hours, 17 minutes, 53 seconds

Approximate number of steps I took to run 20! miles: Somewhere in the neighborhood of 16,000

Number of stops for water, snacks, and encouragement from teammates: 5

Number of salt packets consumed: 1. Ick. (Note: Salt is much more enjoyable when paired with french fries and/or tequila.)

Number of times I thought I might die: None! Zero! Zip!

Number of very sore knees the next day: 2

Number of very sore muscles following the 20 mile run: There are about 640 muscles in the human body... so, ummm... that many.

Number of times I uttered the phrase "I cannot believe I'm running 20 miles": At least 147

Number of cruise ship passengers crowding the trail in Monterey on Saturday: About eleventy thousand. Roughly.

Number of near collisions due to very crowded rec trail: Too many to count

Quantity of food consumed following 20 mile run: Probably enough to feed a small African village

Total "Caroline moment" during 20 mile run: Nearly faceplanting into a mound of iceplant. I am the personification of gracefulness.

Hours of sleep required to return to human-like state after 20 mile run: About three.

Number of times (before this weekend) that I'd thought I could ever run 20 miles: NEVER

Mindset following 20 mile run: Unabashedly, wildly proud of myself.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Should you ever be in need, these are completely remarkable:

Trust me, you don't even want to know what kind of shape my feet are in, but I can personally attest to the awesomeness of this product.

That is all.

Pain is Inevitable. Suffering is Optional.

It would have been foolhardy to think that I would get through this whole training without any aches and pains. The running seems to have been a little rough on the old knees - as you can imagine, with long miles your legs take a bit of a beating. Last week it came to a head and my knee told me, in no uncertain terms: "Lady, you're crazy. Enough with the running." My coach gave me the go-ahead to rest up on Saturday - a much needed day off to relax. We've worked our way up in the miles - this weekend was supposed to be 18 - but there was truly no way I could have done it. I've been hobbling around like a little 'ol lady for days.

Yesterday (Sunday) I went out for ten easy miles* along the coast in Monterey. It was a beautiful day, and even though my knee was aching, it wasn't so bad that I had to stop. The morning rain had given way to a perfectly sunny and warm day, and after the run was finished I waded into the ocean and soaked for a few minutes. (ICY cold at first, but downright pleasant once your legs go numb.) Such a perfect day and I could help but think that (even with an achy knee), I'm so incredibly lucky to have the physical ability to do this.

Next Saturday I'm in totally uncharted territory. (Cue the foreboding music.) I'm going to be shooting for TWENTY MILES. I don't even like to drive twenty miles. My strategy for the long runs so far has been to just deal with it in small chunks... we typically have water stops every 3-4 miles on the coached runs, so I figure that if I can just make it from stop to stop, I'll get through it. So please send all your good thoughts my way this week... I'm absolutely terrified for Saturday. I need my knee to hold out for just a few more weeks.


*I couldn't help but laugh as I set out to casually run ten miles yesterday. I remember when ten miles was SOOOO FAAAARRR, and now it's just an easy jaunt. It's amazing how your mindset can change, and how heading out to run for an hour and a half atually sounds rather fun and relaxing. This is proof. Proof that every single one of you reading this can do it too. We started off with just three miles our first Saturday. Unbelievable what the human body and mind can adapt to.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Second Verse, Same as the First

To say I may be a little exasperated by this situation would be putting it lightly...

Minor setback. To be updated soon...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Gremlin, I shall name thee Morty.

You've all been asking how I'm feeling, how training is going, how many miles I'm up to, etc. And of course I'd respond with my standard "Lovely! Fabulous! Terrific! Stupendous!". I've been wondering how many of you actually believe me. But seriously, everything has been great. It's like a bad movie, where it's all just going a little bit too well.

It was bound to happen. That really ugly and painful day where I might start to crack. So 16 miles. A nasty little bunch. Actually, the first few were pretty enjoyable- we started in Marina and ran to Sand City (have you ever wondered where that trail along Hwy. 1 goes? Yeah, me too.) We had a good pace going - probably a little too strong - but I was feeling good, so why not? Umm... yeah. So after we turned around in Sand City and headed back, I realized that the reason I probably felt so strong on the way out was that a good portion of miles 1-8 were downhill. Which means that a good portion of 8-16 were uphill. Nothing steep, just enough of a grade to make you notice. I was still going... through mile 14 I just kept at it, maintain a steady pace, stop to hydrate & eat, just keep going.... And then at mile 14 something hit me.

A few weeks ago our coach was talking about the Gremlin - that little voice in your head that tells you to just give it up, this is too hard, you've come far enough... Well my Gremlin is alive and well, and happened to catch me at the end of Saturday's run. I carried that ugly little guy on my shoulders for two miles. The longest two miles that I've run in a good long while. It took every ounce of willpower, sheer force, and determination that I had to finish the run. I won't even describe those last two miles as running - actually more of a shuffle. Or plodding. Definitely not running. With one mile to go, I was at the Marina State Beach. Stopped for a quick drink of water at the fountain and actually contemplated just lying down on the ground for a nap. Or to die. Whichever might happen first. But I continued. One step after the next, and finally got back to the finish. And I keep telling you all how good it feels to stop after a long run... well - for some reason stopping on Saturday HURT. Every muscle, every bone, even my skin, hair, fingernails... they all were very very angry. And what was I thinking??? The marathon is TEN MILES LONGER THAN THIS. You'll never make it. Oh that Gremlin. He's sneaky.

So that was two days ago. And two days later, I feel fine. I actually recovered pretty quickly - a sandwich and a nap and I was pretty much back to normal. In the aftermath, I know that I probably started off too strongly, which didn't help in the end. And I did not get nearly enough sleep last week. And was just a wee bit too sure of myself. Probably lots of things contributed, but what's important is that I made it. And I'll do it again next Saturday - nobody ever said this would be easy. 16 miles is the longest distance I've ever finished, so I have plenty to be happy about. This is more than training my body - its about training my mind too. But seriously, to quote one of my teammates... "holy crap."

Site Meter