Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Running Angst.....and a quick CATnip 5K recap

It could be that I'm about to do a bunch of blathering and carrying on about Things That Sound Awesome but that will, in practice, end up being Things That Don't Happen, especially when the person trying to do them is me.

This is what I do. I think about excellent and exciting goals I want to achieve, and because of either money, time or my enormous propensity for procrastination and rationalization, I never get to where I want to go. I am my own worst enemy (as I'm sure I've already mentioned about eleventy-thousand times on this blog alone.)

What triggered this latest round of angst, I suppose, boils down to envy. Recently, I've been checking out a lot of other running blogs with the intention of establishing connections with other runners and thus broadening my horizons a bit in terms of shared information and experiences, and if nothing else, to simply make some more friends, because I really like making new friends. The common thing I have noticed amongst many of these blogs is consistency - consistency in training, in dietary habits, and in posting. In other words, these runners are really serious about their practice, and it shows - in their PRs and their routines.

This had made me really pause and think about my own running practice. There are things I think I really need to do - Things That Sound Awesome. Like, for instance: become very conscious about what I fuel my body with, and how much. And make the running and other sorts of exercise a non-negotiable part of my day, rather than allowing it to be eliminated from my schedule as a casualty of poor time management. And....posting more - allowing my writing to become the method by which I ingrain my experiences, thoughts and feelings about running into the very fabric of my practice. In other words, all of those consistent habits that many of my blogging brethren seem to have incorporated into their routines - or at least, that's what their blog posts indicate!

Here's the thing: I like to think I'm a runner, but this isn't about whether I actually am or not, because the definition of "A Runner" is quite variable and broad. And I'm not all that concerned about what others might think. But it does have to do with how honest I am being with myself, and coming to understand what exactly I want to receive as a benefit of my running - and to a lesser degree, what my ultimate "running goal" might be.

There are some things I know are certain, and are NOT necessarily in order of importance:
  • I want (need) to lose weight. Other aspects will, I strongly suspect, fall into place if I can just get this done, finally, once and for all. 
  • I love the act of running.
  • I love participating in races.
  • I love the running culture and community.
  • I feel I need more discipline in my practice.
  • I am slow, slow, SLOW.
Then, there are some things that are a bit out there in my brain, again, not in a given order:
  • Regular participation in marathons vs. shorter distance events - since marathons greatly affect the shape and style of one's yearly training regimen.
  • Ultrarunning - and if so, how far is far enough? 50 miles? 100K? 100 miles? (See the above bullet.)
  • Working for a Boston Qualifier?
  • .....and running Boston?
  • Perhaps not bothering with marathons or ultra distances at all? I do indeed love the halves. And you still get bling, generally speaking.
  • And related to that: bothering at all to concentrate on improving my speed? Should I work towards running a nice, "fast" half?
All this stuff just rattles around in my head and quite frankly, it's the time of the month that generally dictates just how much I pay attention and how hard I chew on it (you ladies surely know what I mean there.) Were I not such a slave to my cycle (so to speak) - all this might be a little more clear, but.....oh well. I guess I'll just do what I can with what I've got and hope it all starts to fall in place, or at least make itself a bit more obvious.


Anyhoo, the CATnip 5K last Friday evening was quite warm, in the mid-eighties, and I didn't run well as a result. Or perhaps it's just that I wasn't meant to run well no matter what - who knows. I came in just under 45 minutes, which....well, it is what it is.

Jenn finished great, about three minutes ahead of me. I knew I was on my own in about the first 30 seconds of the race, but more power to her - it's so awesome to see her come back from that stupid stress fracture that kept her from the Vancouver Marathon this year. Our training for Portand in October continues to progress, and we have both agreed that we will stick together on marathon day, so that gives me a lot of hope to have a much better experience than I did last year.

Nicholas ran the Mouse Miler with my friend Donna, since I was pretty much wiped out at the end of the 5K and couldn't imagine trying to keep up with him for an entire mile, since as I predicted earlier, he was off like a bullet, and essentially "sling-shot" himself all the way through......runrealfast! stop. gasp. runrealfastagain! stop. gasp. gasp!-- etc., etc.  He crossed the finish in a bit over 14 minutes.  In retrospect, I might have at least kept him in my sights, but in any case, I was just glad that Donna volunteered to tag along with him because I was a sweating, thirsty, tired, hungry, cranky mess at the end of the 5K.

And the official pictures that just came out today? Ugh. Just.....ugh. Someday, I will smile, and will not look like I'm trying to run over a bed of hot coals, and my legs won't look like they should be on a bull elephant instead of my body.



Anonymous said...

Go Julie!!! I am my own worst enemy too, but I never let myself get as far as you have, so I think you are maybe a better friend to you than you think. :)

Fruit Fly said...

Well as a constant blogger (sometimes too much??) I can say that writing about all of my runs, whether anybody cares or reads them or not, always helps me. When I'm running I think about what will I write? And then I want to do better so I can write good things and not how I felt like I was sucking ass. And other bloggers totally rub off on me. I bet my race schedule wouldn't be so crazy packed if it wasn't for the runners I read every day -- or that dang Runner's World magazine. I swear as soon as I get it I just start flipping through reading the ads for races trying to find some fun destination race.

You know what I really like about you and Jenn? You two are always so supportive and work so hard -- yet never feel judgmental. There are some people where I feel like I barely cross the finish line and they want to know my time to compare it to theirs. I hate feeling judged. I mean I just run for me and to try to do better than I did in the last race. I never get that vibe from you too. It is like just support and camaraderie. Yay for that!

The CilleyGirl said...

It is amazing to have met someone -- in the way that we did, through Jack Sh*t's blog in a whole 'nother state -- and to click as well as we did. My life has been immeasurably better since Julie came into it :)

Sorry about leaving you behind at the 5K though. Pretty much any distance under a half and I'm likely to do that. Except maybe at the turkey trot. It's just the longer legs is all :) Oh, and for the CATnip is that's you didn't take water with you. Did you learn nothing from my whining all week about last year's race? I whine to help! ;)