"And I realized...this wasn't a way to live. This was a way to die." (28 Days)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Shoes!

Oh happy day! I bought some new running shoes! It was time--my shoes were something like 5 years old and running in them was agony. They are Asics Gel-Nimbus:


I think these may be the coolest shoes I've ever owned. I love them.

I went for a run in them on Sunday and it wasn't too comfortable, but that's okay--the first runs are not always great when the shoes are being broken in. Even though it wasn't the best run, it was pretty great, because they were so soft and supportive. I'm pumped.

On other health notes, I'm tired of being a bad eater. I can't say that I was healthy when I started college, but I was a better eater. Fast forward 6 years (and 80 pounds!) and I'm a terrible eater. Well, I'm not as bad as I was before I started running, but I could be better. So, I'm going to try to focus on my eating, too. I am going to avoid fast food (because it really is the devil--a calorie-laden, fatty devil) and listening to my body in regard to why and what I'm eating. So, yeah! Hope it goes well!

The first thing that I'm trying to do is cut back on caffeine. I can't do it all at once and this is the right time to stop drinking coffee--it's not cold so I won't be missing out on its warming effect. I was doing pretty well for a while--I took three weeks off, but two weeks ago, I started drinking it again. On Sunday night I couldn't get to sleep until 3:15 AM. I don't know if that's because of the cup of coffee I had that morning, but it really made me recommit to not drinking it anymore (after drinking it yesterday to make it through the day on 3.5 hours of sleep!). After I get this down, I think fast food will be my next project. I think it will be hard because on the weekends when we're doing errands, it's easy to pick something up, especially if Kalem plans to get something himself. So, it's an ongoing process, but I'm excited about it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Street Running Experiment

If you don't live in this area, I know that you won't know the streets I mentioned. Still I wanted to make it a part of my tale!

Well. On Sunday, I decided to do a street around my neighborhood and the surrounding area. I had an eight-mile run scheduled (a feat since I can't seem to get past 4 flipping miles at a time) and I knew that I'd lose my mind running around a track 8 times. I woke up early (8:00AM on a freaking Sunday!) and thought about running at that time, but Kalem and I went to brunch instead. And of course we did--what sane woman picks a 8-mile run over pancakes?! It was a really nice, cool morning and I know should have run then. But that's water under the bridge.

The day hit 80 degrees. My first mistake was running in 80-degree weather. My second mistake was only waiting 1.5 hours to run after I ate lunch. Anyhoo. I started out and did okay for the first mile or so (from Negley/Hampton to Highland/Hampton to Highland/Penn). I thought, this is going to be great! I'm such a runner! Okay. I got accosted by a creepy dude during one long stretch of sidewalk. He ran next to me talking about how good I looked, etc., and singing some song I didn't catch the words to. I could have easily taken this man if he tried anything (on account on my being bigger than him as well as full of terror), but still, I was freaked out. After a while he gave up. I had started running pretty quickly to get away from him and by the time I was away from him, I was completely worn out and sweating like crazy. I walked a little bit longer than usual to catch my breath. We'll call my third mistake running faster than my normal, snail-like pace.

By this time my right calf was screaming. This shouldn't be a surprise--I have known for at least a month that I need new shoes. I bought my beloved running shoes during my first (failed) attempt at becoming a runner, back in 2004. I know that one should replace shoes around every 500 miles and even though I have failed at being a runner a few times, during those attempts, in addition to using them as workout shoes at the gym, I'm sure that I've surpassed that limit. I shouldn't have even gone past that amount because, as a large runner, I wear out shoes a lot faster than smaller runners. So, these shoes are done. So, my fourth mistake was running in worn-out, though beloved, running shoes.

So, I ran up a slow incline up Penn (this was not a mistake, but I absolutely detest hills) and tried to keep my mind focused on what I was doing and seeing and hearing rather than the miles ahead. I finally got up the incline and made a turn down Fifth St. Now came the biggest mistake of all (excluding the running in extremely bad shoes). I sat down. I was worn out and sat on a bus stop bench. Okay, that's a lie. I laid down on the bench. I caught my breath and allowed myself to let my heartbeat come to a regular rate. It felt great. After a while, I reminded myself that I didn't have my bus pass so I couldn't wait until a bus came by to get home. So I got up and started shuffling along. One good thing about stopping was that it finally felt that there was a breeze (just air drying my sweat, but it felt great!). I got tired again and bent over under the shade, trying to catch my breath.

Then I made my sixth mistake. I texted Kalem that I needed him to tell me I could do this. Kalem was in the Oakland area playing a video game with Raji. On his way home he called me and, being the kind, supportive, loving, enabling husband that he is, he offered to pick me up. I could have kissed his feet. I was so thrilled. And so tired. So, I walked toward where he was coming from and let him take me home. I stopped at Fifth and Negley, I was so tired and humiliated, but I sure couldn't wait to get home and elevate my throbbing calf muscles and eat some cheese and pretzels. And that's just what I did.

I was so sure that I had run at least four miles. I just knew it. Sadly, though, it ended up being just three miles. I was so sad. How could the most exhausting run of my life only be three miles?! Still, I'm proud of myself for still running even after making so many mistakes. From now on, I plan on sticking to a safe park, running when it's cool, and getting some sassy NEW running shoes.

My calves still hurt, but they're getting better. I also made the mistake (#300?) of wearing heels to work yesterday. Not so smart of me. I am buying new shoes this weekend for sure because my calves can't take this anymore.

If I have to walk this dang marathon, I'm still doing it. I plan to keep running as much as I can. After all, my goal is to finish and not to finish within a certain amount of time. I'm still intent on doing this. Just at a bit of a slower pace!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Running Cold

I have only run twice since I last wrote. This may sound okay to some, but I was scheduled to run at least three more times than that. Bah.

Anyhoo, the first run was really good. I finally got out of my 3-mile rut and it was a pretty comfortable run. Yesterday's run, however, was a nightmare. On Saturday, Kalem treated me to a fantastic day at the spa. I had a massage for the first time in my life as well as a mani/pedi. I don't know if it contributed (the masseuse told me to drink a lot of water because I could dehydrate) to it, but by the end of the night, I was feeling pretty tired and out of it. I think it's something of a cold. I got up to run (after 12.5 hours of sleep!) and my head was swimming. My chest was a little congested so I had a lot of trouble breathing deeply. So, instead of six miles, I ran three. Bah!

I think I need a change of perspective. Running hasn't been fun for me lately. It was a joy when I first started, when it was just about running. Now that mileage has become the focus, though, I'm easily frustrated and feel let down. I feel I need to change back to running for running's sake. But, I don't know what that would mean in regard to the marathon. I'm just not sure. Surbhi has been running like a fiend and I am super proud of her! I don't want to let her down. Or myself--I never seem to meet fitness goals.

So...I'm not sure what that means about the upcoming marathon. I have some thinking to do. For now, though, I'm just going to run and focus on how fantastic it makes me feel!