25 July 2011


I decided yesterday to start following a training plan. I decided it might help me stick to a schedule. I know you are all falling out of your chairs due to the brilliance of this idea and also the fact that it took me three months of training to consider it. What can I say, I AM AWESOME.

Painfully true.


I arrived at this brilliant conclusion after an 11-mile run OUTSIDE yesterday. That's right, folks, the great heat wave of 2011 broke late last week, making it a comparatively cool 88 degrees with 85 percent humidity during my run. As is regular for me lately, I spent about the first five miles mentally defeating myself by thinking about how I can't run a marathon because I have slacked off the past month and how even this training run was going to suck. (I am a really awesome running partner, it turns out.) Then I got to mile six, found a water fountain, ate two Gu Chomps and found a running trail and just like that, I was back into it. I don't know what happened or why, it was just like everything flipped, instantly, and I was happy to be out on a long run and happy to be training for a marathon and looking forward to all of the rest of it. Endorphins, maybe? The intense magic of the Gu Chomps (I LOVE THEM AND THINK THEY WORK SO WELL THAT USING THEM IS BASICALLY CHEATING)? I do not know. All I know is that even when my legs started to tire out around mile 10, I just kept on trucking until I got home. I was a rockstar yesterday. And I want to be able to keep that feeling going, and I think the easiest way to do it is to have a specific plan for each week and each day so that instead of waking up and thinking, "Well I think running around eight miles today makes sense," and then at night thinking, "OH DARN I GOT STUCK AT WORK UNTIL 9 AGAIN OH WELL I CAN DO THIS RUN ANOTHER DAY," I can wake up and think, "I am going to do a one-mile warm-up and a five-mile tempo run and a one-mile cool-down and it is On The Schedule so I better Get Up Now At 5 AM to get it done." With the random capitals, and everything.

I also think sticking to a schedule will effectively eradicate all of the naysaying demons in my head. Yes, I am behind on training. But yes, I have built enough of a base and I have enough time left (10 weeks) to be fully prepared for the marathon if I get myself in line right now.

So! That is my plan! And here is my plan for the week:

Today: rest or cross-train
Tuesday: 10-minute warm-up, 5 x 3 minutes fast, 3 minutes easy, 20-minute cooldown
Wednesday: six-mile run
Thursday: high/low (7.85-mile run with lots of hills)
Friday: rest or cross-train
Saturday: four-mile run
Sunday: 12 miles

Obviously that's a LOT more running than I have been doing, so Saturday may turn into a cross-train or rest day as well, just because the last thing I need to be doing is aggravating my random injuries. (Note: I did twist my ankle again on my run yesterday, but it was very minor. Also, wtf with that? Am I really that clumsy of a human? [Answer: yes, it is ridiculous that I even feel the need to ask this question.]) I am, for the first time in a long time, optimistic about my training. Which is happy. And fueled by Gu Chomps. (Seriously, they're AMAZING. I love them more than I love cotton.)

18 July 2011


I am back! My cat is ... okay, mostly, I think. I will not bore you with the long and ambiguous details of her illness, but she was at the vet's for IV fluids and forcefeeding for a few days and she is home now and seems mostly back to normal. I'm waiting on test results that will hopefully tell me if she has an actual condition or if this was just an episode, but either way things are much better than they were a week ago.

I guess, Sophie. I GUESS.

I didn't run at all last week, as a result of both the unbelievable stress of the combination of making no money and having a really sick animal, and of my schedule last week. I flew to North Carolina on Thursday for a two-day job interview, got back late Friday night and spent Saturday running around town picking up my various pets from their boarding places and then sleeping to recover. I had taken Henry to a bunny boarding place downtown and had a minor freak-out when I left him there because the photos on the business's website were EXTREMELY misleading. I thought I was going to be leaving him in a big well-lit room where he'd be able to run around and play with other bunnies. Instead I left him in a dark hallway in a cage.

Normally when I'm on a short out-of-town trip I just leave him in his man cave in my apartment and have my pet sitter feed him along with the cats, but after Sophie was so sick I felt like spoiling all of them, which is why I decided to board him in what I thought was going to be bunny paradise. Instead it was like bunny Auschwitz. Of course he is fine. But NEVER AGAIN.

So I was all set to go do a fabulous long run yesterday to restart my training and general good-at-life-ness, but then this happened:

Ugh really. REALLY? I debated my options (while eating some garlic breadsticks) and eventually arrived at the conclusion that I just couldn't miss another run. I've gotten way off-track training for the past month and I needed that to stop. So I sucked it up and went to the gym. As soon as I walked out of my apartment I knew I was making the right decision, because it was literally like setting foot inside of a sauna. Just DISGUSTING. I got to the gym, found Mean Girls on TBS and ran 10 freaking miles on the treadmill. TEN. It sucked and was boring and I wanted to die. I took three 40-second breaks to drink water (my Nalgene does not lend itself well to drinking on the go, I can barely drink standing still without sloshing all over myself), but otherwise I just pounded that mother out. I'm proud of myself, for going at all when it would have been easier and nicer to stay inside in the air conditioning watching Grey's on my computer, and for running a full 10 miles on the treadmill when I was ready to stop at around five and gave myself permission to stop at around eight. Basically, I'm proud of myself for (finally) sucking it up.

I'm still feeling sad about missing the half, though I know it was what I had to do for my own sanity that day. I found out the next day that the race organizers ran out of water at mile 2 and that people were dropping from heatstroke the entire time, so it's probably not a bad thing that I missed it, but I'm still kind of bummed. I don't want to register for another one because I'm (knock on wood) not sure where I'll be in a month (the interview went well), so for now it's up to me and my training. But now that I've knocked a 10-mile run out - on the freaking TREADMILL, no less - I feel more confident about things. Now if the weather would just cooperate everything would be golden.

10 July 2011

the little orange cat

My silly wonderful beautiful cat Sophie got pretty sick this weekend, so I didn't go to Milwaukee to run the half marathon. It sucks. But I got next to no sleep last night, haven't been able to eat anything and have spent the better part of the past day crying out of frustration and fear, so I don't think it would have gone well for me had I tried to compete.

I'm not sure what's wrong with her; she's been in and out of the vet's and will go back this afternoon. It seems likely that she ate something weird and has an intestinal blockage. :(

Thank you guys so much, though, for your encouragement on my last post - I will need to find a new half to run asap.

Apologies for the total lack of entertainment in this post, I am pretty numb and sad.

08 July 2011

the weekend of my idiocy

Soooo the Rock n' Sole Half Marathon is Sunday. I feel wildly unprepared for this race. Work sucks and I am bad at running in the mornings, so the past few weeks have just been sucko for my training. At this point I am looking at the half as a big kick in the butt to re-jumpstart things. Because I am NOT going to be standing at the starting line in Chicago in October feeling the way I do now. Which is a lot like this:

That being said I really do think, in the very small part of my brain that is logical, that this race will be okay for me. I will finish it. I did two long runs last weekend, each about 7.5 miles, and they were both hot and gross and I wanted to die, but I didn't stop and I finished both of them, and I think I'm going to feel much better than that on Sunday.

I also twisted my ankle again, then fell down, skinned my knee and got lost. All in the same run. I'm pretty sure the ankle is now a bonafide sprain because it's still pretty swollen; if you look at my right leg from the outside I look semi-obese with a huge cankle. ASK ME IF I CARE ABOUT ANY OF THIS. I went running on it again two days later; I taped it first to make sure it was more stable and it was fine. MY POINT IS THIS: I am nervous and I have slacked off the past few weeks and I am beating myself up for that, but I'm also owning it and changing it. SO THERE HALF MARATHON.

I still want to beat my tumor time. Unfortunately because my one and only half marathon was run in Virginia, they of course don't keep past-year times online. (Why would they? That would make my life easy. At least you are consistent in your suckitude, Virginia.*) From what I remember my official time was around 2:13 and that included bathroom breaks. Just as a recap, I was ordered to stop training for that race by my doctor, so when I lined up on race day my longest training run was 4.5 miles. It hurt like hell but I finished that thing without walking once. That course was beautiful but it was also hilly as a mofo. My point is this, if I can do those hills on little training I SURE AS HELL KNOW that I can finish this one too.

I'm equal parts pep-talking and berating myself here, can you tell? The "I can do it" part is the most important and the bigger part of me, for sure, I just like to surround it with a nice candy shell of WTF KATE-ness.

Anyway. The race starts at 8 am, is almost two hours away and I have yet to pick up my race packet so I'm probably going to be hitting the road at like 4:30 Sunday morning. I know you all are jealous. My dad and stepmom live about a half hour closer to Milwaukee than I do so I'm staying there tomorrow night and my AWFULLY GENEROUS father has offered to drive me there in the morning. This is amazing for many reasons, including the obvious ones like it means I don't have to be super-awake at 4:30, but also because the likelihood of me getting lost and missing either the packet pick-up window or the start is about 110 percent if I have to deal with any of this alone. THANKS DAD! (He totally doesn't read this blog.)

Here's my running to-do list between then and now:
- Laundry. All of my wifebeaters are dirty. Obviously this will not do.
- Run an easy 4 miles in my new shoes to see if the horrible quad pain I'm having in every run is a result of them. If quads hurt during run, run in old shoes on Sunday then deal with taking new shoes back next week.
- Go to the running store for a spibelt. I want to eat some chomps during this race, and I also want the option to listen to my iPod. Y'all, I used to judge music-listening runners; now I just think they're all training for marathons and need the music for sanity, because long runs start to become awfully boring when you're doing them 4 days a week. I've never run outside with music and I have DEFINITELY never listened to it during a race, but I don't know what the crowd support is going to be like in Milwaukee and if I'm dying, you better believe my bad pop music is going to help. Ke$ha understands my pain, probably because she hasn't showered since 2008.
- Carbs carbs carbs!

I also want you to know that I recently started seeing this guy who is pretty great, but unfortunately lives in Chicago, which is a good 2.5 hours from me. He told me this morning he is going to come spend tonight and tomorrow with me which is SO HAPPY. I will force him to give me many running pep talks, join me in my carb-fest and accompany me to the running store; he is a lucky one, for sure. He is an astrophysicist. For the purposes of this blog, I shall refer to him as Elroy. (Note: I sometimes refer to him as Elroy in real life too.) Oh my god, NEVER MIND. If I ever start another blog detailing the adventures of my dating life I will let you all know, but suffice to say that people are freaks and I am likely to remain the spinster of the running blog world until the end of time. (Seriously, have you all noticed that every running blogger is married, engaged or in a relationship? DON'T WORRY SINGLE PEOPLE, I'M STILL HERE, GOTTA GO GET MY CAT FROM THE VET NOW.)


* Dear Melissa, I know that you are from Virginia and I hope that you know that my constant berating of the Commonwealth is not personal and I hope also that it doesn't piss you off because I think about it sometimes and if you were always being all, "OMG WISCONSIN IS THE WORST STATE EVER, BLARGH" I would probably be cranky, basically you are great and I heart you. Plus I bet your Virginia hometown doesn't smell like kibble even some of the time. Harrisonburg = worst. LOVE KATE