Sunday, April 24, 2011

One Fine Saturday

It'a been a long time since we've had truly decent weather around here. Yesterday was absolutely stunning - clear sunny skies and mild breezes - the best kind for running!

So Jenn and I set out on the Fanno Creek Trail, feeling pretty fine and just enjoying the fact that we weren't cold, wet or both. The intent was to do about 12 miles or so, and it seemed like it was going to be a relative piece of cake - except that we hadn't counted on the fact that neither of us were accustomed to running in warmer weather and we both ended up deflating like a couple of pinholed balloons. Fortunately, we found water along the way so we were able to stay "juiced up" and that helped a lot.

The run was really great, but we should have started a lot earlier than we did, so we only ended up doing about 10 and a half. We retired to Shari's for a ginormous brunch,so all in all it ended up good. Next weekend I hope we have similar weather (although I'm not going to hold my breath) and I think we're definitely going to push for at least 14 miles.

Jenn's got a marathon coming up in mid-June so there's no time to waste!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Catching Up

Saturday was Tilikum 10K day at Champoeg Park. The weather held out (no rain) and the temperature was just about perfect.

My colleague and friend from work, who unfortunately hasn't been doing as much training as she would like, was also slated to run, and so we set out together, nice and gentle-like.

I was determined to run the entire course without walking, and because we went out slow, stayed slow, and finished slow, I was actually able to do it! Other than a couple somewhat protracted water stops, there was no walking during the race.

My wonderful friend, in spite of the lack of training, did great - we finished together and then sort of hobbled off to where the rest of the runners had gathered. Unfortunately, we were the very last two through the gates, and we didn't get our number tabs into the kitty for the prize drawing - oh well.

About 30 feet from the finish line.....

Yep. We were slow, but we finished. Before they took down the gate.

In other news, over the past several weeks my diet has been damned near pristine, I've been running fairly consistently, and the weight is coming off, which makes me seriously happy. It's great to finally be back on track, and hopefully I will soon stop kicking myself for not carrying through in the latter part of 2009 and all of 2010, where my progress completely stalled out because I simply let the diet go to hell in a handbasket once again. I can only imagine where I would be now if I had kept going. In any case, the silver lining (yes, there is one!) is that at least I didn't gain too much of it back - about 20 lbs. or so, and now the interest is gone and I am back to working on the principle, so to speak.

The last couple of runs (even on the treadmill) have been pretty intense. I think I can already notice a difference, just with the 20 lbs. gone. I went for a 5 miler this afternoon after work, and at least according to the Jog Log lady, I hit a couple points doing a sub-12 minute mile...and at one particularly giddy moment, she said I was doing sub-10. To be honest, though, I think Jog Log lady was a tiny bit on crack about that one. I know what sub-10 feels like on the treadmill, and there is just no way in the world I worked that pace today. So naturally, I have to take Jog Log lady with a few grains of salt. It's ok...I know I worked hard today, and I can dig the sub-12.  ;-)

I'm starting to think about higher and more challenging possibilities when it comes to the running. I suspect that as I get closer to my goal weight, my abilities are going to improve exponentially. Fact is, I haven't been at a "normal" weight since about 1987, and definitely not when I was running - and I am completely unaware of what I would be capable of at optimum weight. I look at it this way - I've been training and training at the weight I'm at, and even higher, which stands to reason that while the extra poundage is definitely not healthy, it has helped build the kind of stamina that should be pretty amazing when the pounds are gone.

So what could I do? Ultras, for sure. I would love to finish a 50K sometime in the next two years. I know for a fact that this is a goal for Jenn, and I am more than happy to join her in this venture. I might even consider the possibility of a 50-miler. I don't, however, think I'm quite crazy enough to do a 100-miler - I'm thinking that kind of punishment just isn't prudent and definitely isn't necessary.

And then there's Boston. They've tightened the standards recently, so now it is extra-challenging. This obviously would require some serious attention to my aforementioned pace. If I could do it just once, though....not as a charity runner, but as an owner of a bona-fide BQ race time. Just once.

Who knows? I can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tangent of the Dietary Type

I've not talked much about my weight issues on this blog, but undeniably, it is an aspect of my health that makes my running life a constant challenge.

I am, by most (if not all) standards, significantly overweight, and at this point in my life, I am no longer interested in minimizing the situation or trying to downplay it in any fashion - fact of the matter is, I need to lose 100 lbs.

While I've not had this pronounced of a problem all of my life, I remember being concerned about my weight as far back as junior high school. At that point, it was perhaps only an extra 10-15 lbs. extra - but irregardless of the amount, my weight and my attempts to deal with it have been part of my existence for the majority of my life.

The latest battle in my neverending war on the excess fat cells camped out on my person has been taking place since January of 2009, where I found myself at my absolute highest weight, ever. At that point I decided the madness was going to end, and I started working to re-establish the running life I'd let disintegrate about 7 years before.

So, in the past two years, I've lost roughly 60 lbs., but somewhere in the mix I also lost my motivation - or rather, the hard, strong edge of it - while I've managed to at least not really *gain* any weight, I've bobbled up and down, up and down without actually getting anywhere.

Tonight, I got a little angry. Lately, the whole thing has seemed like the ultimate exercise (pardon my pun) in futility. I don't even know what in particular got under my skin, on this particular evening, but I went on a mental (and verbal, to myself) tirade about how much I hate the fact that food has always been such an anathema while also being such a comfort and an enticement. People talk about "love-hate relationships" with food; I feel like I have the granddaddy of all those relationships, past, present and future.

More than anything, I couldn't overcome the thought about how unfair it is that I cannot indulge in the foods that I really, really like without jeopardizing my weight loss progress. Many think that it's simply a matter of moderation - just take one bite. Just have a few chips. Just have a spoonful. Well, for me, with a lot of a different types of food, that's simply not possible. It's like for me, when it comes to moderation, there simply is no such thing. And salad? I hate salad. No matter how you might dress it up - and when you're trying to be "good", there's not a whole lot you can safely dress that salad up with - it's just not appealing to me. And it doesn't do squat in terms of satisfying my appetite.

Perhaps that's a cop-out, perhaps I am simply rationalizing yet again, dodging the true responsibility that blossoms when one simply stops blaming their problems on external causes. But really and truly, trying to moderate my intake of foods such as warm french bread and butter, whipped cream, pasta, tortilla chips and melted cheddar cheese when it is available and within my reach is sort of like trying to quit breathing. And that makes me MAD.


After the tirade, and after (I confess) a tiny bit of binge eating involving some dry cereal and an english muffin, I put the big girl panties back on and determined once again that I'm not going to give up.

Just gonna hafta kick it up a notch. Or two. Perhaps three........more running, less (or perhaps just better quality) eating. Strength training, consistency. Water, water, water.


Friday, April 1, 2011

The deed, it is done!

Bib #5216.
Portland Marathon - the 40th Anniversary Edition.
October 9, 2011

It's all in.

Oh, please, Mighty Running Weather Gods, let it be mostly cloudy and about 55-60 degrees with no rain.