Half Marathon Training

training miles

This seemed like a good WOD to kick off training again. For one, I could do it RX, even if it would be a slog. Also, the running portion could be a partner WOD, and I have the best partner of all! He has floppy ears and yellow eyes and keeps a pretty steady pace even if he does trot on the diagonal. Like a boss, he’s also mastering terms like Stay and Place and Heel and Walk. It’s just him and me in our little slice of out-of-the-box garage WODs.

WOD 7-14-18WOD complete. Our time: 1:08, not that that matters much. It’s the doing that matters. As it turns out, we ran an extra mile at the end, which just makes us a couple of badasses.

It’s been almost a year now since I started cleaning out the garage and refitting it with CF gear. It’s amazing what can collect in a garage: dusty bug zappers, rusty trailer hitches, and castaway cans of leftover paint. Last summer the local dump had a hazardous waste disposal day. The mile-long line of cars on that sunny Saturday morning started lining up long before the gates opened. I drove along the queue until it finally came to an end, turned my nose around and pulled in to claim my spot, thinking, I can wait for as long as it takes. I had nowhere else to go, and there was no way in hell the soured antifreeze and curdled engine oil and other unidentifiable garage-type liquids stacked in the bins in the trunk of my car would be coming back home with me.

It’s amazing how something so simple as hazardous waste disposal day at the local dump can change your perspective. It was a catalyst, the beginning of something new for me. The garage felt cleaner, smelled fresher. Then I hung new curtains, put down a throw carpet and cleared away what I could from the floor. What I couldn’t store in the shed or hang on a nail on the wall, I tried to sell or giveaway. Some people’s junk can indeed be someone else’s treasure. Okay by me.

It was as if I felt like I could not start training again until I cleared out the half-used and forgotten piles of… stuff. It’s all stuff. Just stuff. So much stuff. I do not do well with clutter. My ideal space would be modern, open, white and gray walls and clean lines, minimal wall hangings if at all. White plates, red coffee pot, navy blue sheets. We need so little to live well.

It’s officially 12 weeks until the half-marathon.

Now the dog sleeps and soon so will I.

Monday

Greetings from the garage. Yesterday the CFHQ WOD was swim 1,000 meters (1,094 yards) for time. 1,000 meters equals approx. .6 miles, or around 20 laps in a 25 yard pool. Either way, I do not have immediate access to a pool, nor will I anytime soon, so instead of swimming on Sunday I ran 2.5 miles for the first time since the 5K last weekend. The route from my house is uphill on the way out, a gently sloping uphill for approx. .9 miles, so I tend to feel slow when first embarking. It’s not until getting about a mile under the feet that I begin to warm up and gain some cadence and comfort in my stride.

The dog loves to go for these runs, that’s an understatement. When I pull out the training collar he wags his tail and circles at my feet making it difficult for me to get my shoes on. There’s a cornucopia of chipmunks and squirrels and robins along our route. There’s also the old white farmhouse down the road, home to two white farm geese. Winter or summer, the geese are out there. Sometimes the farmer closes them up in the warmth and security of their shelter—a small wooden house-like shed painted green with white trim and a shingled roof—but mostly they wander freely around the property.

On Sunday afternoon the farm owner was outside putting up fencing around his rather impressive gardening plot. The dog and I stopped to say hello.

“Oh hey, Mary,” the farmer said. The geese honked loudly in the background as if to say, Intruder! Intruder!

“Beware of my attack geese,” the farmer said.

“Do they have names?” I asked.

“No, no names,” he said.

My dog tilted his head from side to side, listening and studying the creatures before him as German Shepherds do. He didn’t bark or tug on the leash to get to the geese and I felt relieved for his restraint against a normally pretty high prey-drive.

Then a bug flew into my mouth and I gagged and coughed and gasped for air and unsuccessfully tried to spit it out. “Oh my goodness, COUGH, COUGH… excuse me,” I said.

“Black flies, they’re out this time of year,” the farmer said.

“Well, enjoy the afternoon,” I sputtered and then turned to go. The dog dutifully stepped in-line at my side.

A few weeks before we had a met two young black labs, Jupiter and Indigo, another half mile up the road and I get the sense that my dog was more interested in seeing them again. After some brief introductions the dogs were tumbling along the roadside and thrashing in and out of the creek in a playful roughhouse that dogs do and their humans love to watch. The newly acquainted neighbors seemed to get along just right.

My dog picked up an optimistic pace as we headed in Jupiter and Indigo’s direction once more, but sadly, the siblings were not out. So we turned and headed back the way we came; the dog noticeably slower then, lacking a certain bounce even if we were on the downhill home.

Hello spring

Where the %#^! have you been, Spring?? Some people want to know. We’ve been waiting up all night for you, waiting in the dark, snow-covered landscape, waiting… for you, spring.

But alas, you are here, and it’s glorious! We knew it would be. Take a walk or a drive down the street and people are outside, of their homes, and doing stuff, in the street, in the dirt, and on the grass. It’s wonderful.

I felt the sun on my face this morning for the first time since I can remember. I felt my clothes warm in the afternoon light, the soothing warmth soaked through to my skin and then to my heart. And it was good.

To celebrate your arrival, spring, I went for a two-mile run with the dog. To be fair, it was a walk/run—one minute run followed by one minute walk, etc.—and it was glorious too. Just like you, spring, now that you’re finally here.

So, a friend and I have signed up to run a 5K on June 2. Even though my training has been sporadic at best—some rowing here, some walking there—with the sun’s warmth I’m finally feeling energized to begin again, again. And it is good.

3 and 3

“I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed!” ― William Shakespeare

Run 3.2 Miles. Avg. pace 9:53 / mile. And 3 Burpees. Christmas Day will be Day 100, of the 100 Day Burpee Challenge that my BFF and I have challenged one another to complete, via text, from MN to NY, across the great plains, and powerful Mississippi, and Facebook, and beyond. Burpees know no boundaries.

Today was one of those days when I woke up with tremendous anxiety. It can happen. For no particular reason, other than I’m pretty sure it is diet related. I indulged this weekend, not overly, but there was some wine, and chocolate dessert. And I think the body responds to the sugar, partly, with anxiety. It’s amazing I was able to get out for a run, but pushed myself to do so in the very least.

Then there’s this video on our food supply, about Seeds in particular, and Genetically Modified Food. It’s not a downer, but an eye opener, and ends positively as in that seeds of change are already afoot. Mostly, it’s ever more important to think about where our food comes from.

Hard to reach long term goals if you’re half-assing it along the way. As I am currently, at this moment in time in particular, with the dietary cheats. Tomorrow is a new day.

5K Saturday

Another 5K today. This time the course was flat. Wore my super cool fancy watch. Took me a long time to step up and buy it. There was some guilt, followed by rationalization. Cause I’m all about the gear. So glad I took the plunge because I simply wuv it. It gives me heart rate and pace and time and distance and GPS and 10 wings, medium, extra crispy. Even has a ‘Get me home’ feature, in case you ever get lost, it’ll guide you back home. S’rously.

So why is it, if I love it so much, and check, and re-check it throughout the duration of the run, do I forget to hit ‘Stop’ when the race is over? (And thereby accurately capture all the race data for which I purchased the damn thing initially for anyway…) Excellent question. Maybe I’m just so glad to be crossing the finish line, that everything else simply goes out the mental window. I’m certainly meticulous about hitting start when crossing the ‘Start’ line, because heaven forbid the chip times are inaccurate. But crossing the ‘Finish’ not so much. And sure enough, today, I forgot to stop the timer, so while I wondered around and drank some water and handed in my race chip, the clock was still running. And therefor, my times are inaccurate. C’est la vie.

Feels like I missed an opportunity here. 9:22 minute mile. Not bad, yes. But, I want more. More, I say. Better. Then take a look at my splits:

9:00 minute mile in mile two? Who Am I? Wowee. Fun to see. Then again, please notice mile 4. And all of its 13 minute mile glory. Catching your breath and high-fiving your peeps takes time. As well it should. Word.

The final 5K of the week. end.

This morning came wicked quick. 6:03am on a Sunday morning after getting up early yesterday for a rainy Friehofer’s Run was not easy. I’ll admit, if this wasn’t for work, not sure I would have made it.

But soon as some of our best volunteers and friends started arriving, smiling their most welcoming and warmest of smiles, the birds began to chirp, the clouds began to part. And we were off.

I’m convinced my Garmin is biased. Because I secured another PR today. Not sure what’s in the air recently. But, here it is, an avg. 9:22 minute mile in all its glory.

The most enjoyable part for me being the splits. Like, where the heck did 9:04 minute miles come from?

Not sure I recognize myself. Two 5K’s in one weekend. But am definitely enjoying the feeling of this newbie.