Running Geek

Saturday I pushed past the seven mile mark. That was exciting for me. But also stupid. My legs still hurt, but I don’t think it was the distance. I think it was a series of events leading up to the run and the blowing snow I so stubbornly persisted through. Had I waited just one day, I could have run in forty degree sunshine instead of  twenty degree blowing snow. Stupid. Also, I spent the night before standing while I watched my daughter at gymnastics. I like to move around so I can watch her at each station, but my legs were getting really tired so I should have sat. I didn’t. And then, instead of my usual Saturday where I wake and have a leasurely breakfast, I had to rush out of the house without eating. I did eat about thirty minutes before my run and was rewarded with a ticked off stomach for the rest of the day. So my spinach and egg special really does need time to digest.  But I am a stubborn person and like to keep to my habits. I try to do my long runs on Saturdays and that’s where I want them to stay. I want to keep running Saturdays so I can take off on Sundays  (or go for a bike ride if Spring ever returns), and have legs for a Monday treadmill. Although my legs Monday morning were still hurting on the treadmill.

I was so wiped out when I came back on Sunday, I literally took a hot shower -because I was also freezing- and crawled into bed.  Where I lay feeling sorry for myself and wondering what went wrong. I kept rejecting the idea that the distance was too much, mostly because I didn’t want to believe that. Besides, the weekend before I ran a measly five minutes less and felt fine the rest of the day and even better on Sunday. So really? A half mile can make that much difference? Could it have been the cold? Does cold make that much of a difference? I was cold. I can’t remember my legs feeling so cold for so long during a run ever.  Could it have been the lack of food? Was it because I stood for so long the night before? Am I becoming this ridiculous?

Yes, yes I am. I have even purchased a Running Log. Because keeping track with Runkeeper just wasn’t enough! Ha! Now I have a place where I can plot out my runs and then comment on them every day and even rate them. Some people spend too much time peering into their mirror, or the psyches, I like to peer into my feet. Where can they take me? Why aren’t they doing what I want them to do? How do I make them move farther? How can I make them go faster? Why won’t Brooks Ghost 7 make the really pretty blue go to neon green shoes in sizes bigger than 6?

But my running log is fun. And it was only like $12 so not a huge investment. It lets me plot out my upcoming year, and then month and then a place to store comments on each individual run or work out session. One of the chapters is titled An Experiment of One, which I really like. The idea is that by tracking your runs along with some other variables such as weight, diet, weather, etc. you can see what works and what doesn’t. This fascinates me and makes me happy in a way that only a real running geek would understand.

I also, on a whim, decided to sign up for the online Runcoach. That was also only $12 and seemed like a good idea.  I made the decision as I was watching this woman work out at the gym. She is amazing and I keep thinking, she must be an athlete. She must have serious goals. So while I’m siting there on all fours trying to remember how to do donkey kicks, and forgetting, (really, how hard is it? sometimes I am a true moron!), I decided that I would try that online running coach after all. Nervous, because what if I can’t do it? But my legs have been really hurting since I tried that crazy Iron Workout, and I thought, “Hey, maybe I could use a little real guidance.”

At first I was not impressed. For $12 it wanted to know my last race, my next race.  There was no place for me to explain to the data input box that my last and only race was a duathlon. There was no space for me to explain that I haven’t even been running for a year. And there was no place for me to whine about my hopes and fears. They must have seen me coming. And then it produced my new training plan which went something like this: Monday: Run 1 mile easy pace; Tuesday: rest; Wednesday: Run one mile easy pace; Thursday: rest.  Seriously? I could do way better on my own. I contacted them via email to cancel explaining that the plan was just not challenging enough for me. Ashley immediately emailed me back and apologized and then asked for more information about my current training program. Lucky her, I gave it to her in minute detail. And a new plan was born. And now I’m not sure I can do it. But, I am going to try. Here is what I like about it, although I have only been doing it now for a day. It sets out real challenges that somebody else (I hope) has figured out and knows something about. You know, beyond what they read in Runner’s World. And here is another interesting thing, I don’t feel the pressure to do more. I am doing more, but in a guided kind of way. Running only six miles this week as my long run is okay. Because it’s all part of the plan. Interesting, right?  Well, it is if you are a running geek.


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