a lot of miles, a lot of thoughts…

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Day 17, did I get ahead of myself?

I’m a planner, or a strategizer, or maybe just a dreamer. I’ve been thinking about this challenge for months. Seriously. In the beginning it was just an idea. I tossed it around in my head. I was looking for something. Something I could sink my teeth into. Ironically, at the time this challenge was merely a thought I was barely running. I was coming off an injury from another challenge and pressing through to run some races that I had already signed up for. You know, once you pay, you run. Regardless. But, I knew I needed something. Something big.

And then the idea took on a life of its own. It became real to me. And, I knew it was a bit out there and I didn’t want to leave anyone out. So I figured out ways that other people could do a version of the challenge.

And then I started telling more and more people. Yes, got some flack. Yes, got some eye rolls. Yes, got some “you’re crazy”. But I could visualize myself doing it. I could see me run the roads, run the tracks, run on the mills. I knew I would get up early to run, stay up late to run, adjust my schedule to run. And I waited. I waited for September. Every month I participated in some sort of challenge. All geared to set me up for success. All geared to make my core stronger, my legs sound, and my mind ready. I knew this would be a challenge that would test me. Physically, mentally and by the grace of God, emotionally.

I know there are other runners out there that could do this challenge and not even think twice. I know there are runners who could run circles around me, faster and longer. And I know there are runners out there who wouldn’t even give it a try; not any of the levels. But, none of them are me.

So, day 17. Day 17. I was already thinking about day 18 and day 20. I’m dreading day 20 actually. Not because I don’t think I can run 20 miles, but because I need to get all 20 in before 11 am. But, that’s a whole other post.

I had planned out day 18. 3 runs, 6 miles each. One in the morning, one around lunch and then one with either the high school or the Cheetahs. I got ahead of myself. I didn’t properly plan for day 17.

Day 17… I got another late start but it wasn’t too hot and I figured I’d hit the road. I plotted out a course that was originally about 7 miles long. I knew I was running with Team RockStar later that night and I figured I’d probably have to finish on the mill. I was feeling good the first mile or two. Not my best pace but better than the latest runs. I’m getting slower, which sucks, but rather than beat myself up about it, I simply go at a pace that I think I can go for a long time. On a gimpy leg? That’s slow. Anyway, somewhere during that run I decided to do a bigger loop so that I could maybe hit 10 miles. I hit mile 5 and out of nowhere my legs just shut down. I was coming up a hill and I literally slowed to a walk. If I’m close to the crest (and I’m still running) I try not to walk, I try to pull myself up the final incline but not today. And, gradually the mile times got slower and slower. And, finally I was walking up all the hills.
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My legs were sore. My ankles were aching. But the pain wasn’t the same as before. I’ve run through the whole “muscle being pulled from the bone” pain. I have that weird ability to just overcome. It happened when I did my 1000 miles challenge and well, I guess, no I know, prayers work.
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Anyway, I was beat after those 10 miles. Seriously beat.
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I didn’t run with the XC team. I stayed back with two of the runners and we did some drills and core work. I was saving my legs. I really wanted to run the stairs and hills with Team RockStar.

The second run was all that it was meant to be. Its a challenging 4 mile run loaded with hills and stairs and it didn’t disappoint. Coming down the hills was brutal on my ankles. I had to walk down some of the hills cuz the pounding was just too much. But I really enjoyed that run.
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And, then I finished the day with a run on the mill. Watched some Netflix and put day 17 in the books. It was weird. I should have planned it better. I shouldn’t have forced that first 10 miles. About 8 miles is my max right now. Anything over that, and I’m toast. But, I was so ready for day 18 that I let day 17 get the best of me.
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I know better. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you run 465 miles in September? One day at a time.

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Day 7… a short video post!

For those who need a glimpse of the plyo workout…

Day 5… had to break it up

Day 5. Should be an easy 5 miler, right? Well, uh, if you run it in the cool morning, yes, an easy 5 miles. But if you wait to run it when its triple digits then its not such an easy 5 miles. And, add cranky, out of shape high schoolers to the mix and your easy peasy 5 miles just became a tortured almost-3 miler.
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Now don’t get me wrong, I love the cross country team. The kids are great (when they aren’t complaining about how hot it is), they are funny (when they aren’t moaning and groaning about some new “injury”), and they are eager (when they don’t know just how far the next run is going to be) but the drive and ambition is just… well… its just not there. It may be the heat, it could be because they’re testing the new coach, it might be the fact that most have never run a day in their life or its possible that they just haven’t experienced that runner’s high yet. Its probably all of those things put together. But… today, today was a tough one.

Yesterday I put them through a mini Team RockStar stair bootcamp… stairs, hopping stairs, two at a time stairs, up and down; some walking lunges with the slosh pipe; jump roping; push ups and some windshield wipers for their abs. First of all, don’t kids jump rope any more? Anyway, they were feeling it today. Some of them were even “toilet sore” for those of you who know what that is. ūüėČ So, we needed to run to loosen up their legs. We weren’t gonna run far, but come on! Walking after only a mile? They’re killing me! And, not like, “hey we just killed that workout!” No, more like, “if you keep making me come back for you, I may die!” Its triple digits, there’s a hill or two and these kids wanna walk! Which makes me have to come back for them and do some of it twice! What is up with that?

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And then when that painful hour and a half was finally over, I went to the youth cross country practice, San Diego Cheetahs, and these kids… this is like a whole different ball game! These kids WANT to run and they want to run FAST! Yes, some of the newer ones are walking a bit but there isn’t much complaining, no one’s “injured” and as soon as they get a drink of water, they GO! Amazingly different. But because there was a football game going on at their practice I waited till I picked up my youngest son from HIS football practice before I finished my 5 miles.
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The last 2 1/4 miles were painfully slow. My legs were tight and the pace was horrible but I got ‘er done and that’s all that matters.

Before the first run… see how happy I am?
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After the first run… see how… um, see how happy I am?
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Before the second run… the sun is going down… weather is cooling off!
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After the second run… ahh! Its over!
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And tomorrow is another day!

Running, running, running and its only day 3!

LOL!  Who thought up this challenge?  

To be honest, I really didn’t think I would be taking on this running challenge in the manner in which I am. ¬†I’ve been thinking about this challenge since February! ¬†A friend of mine was doing some Wounded Warrior challenge back in February and it sparked an idea. ¬†Then in March I did a running challenge set up on another Facebook page, I ‚̧ to run, where we had to run at least 1 mile every day and post our runs for accountability. ¬†And, I was HOOKED! ¬†I’m all about challenges. ¬†I LOVE a challenge, something that is out of the ordinary, pushes me, but yet allows me to not have to jump off a cliff, out of an airplane or eat something still living and wiggly. ¬†I do have my limits. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†So, the more I thought about MY challenge, the more I was excited to do it.

I slowly started telling people about it. ¬†You know, like mentioning it to a group of running friends, and I got all sorts of responses. ¬†“Are you crazy?” “That’s not possible.” ¬†“Why would you do that?” ¬†And, the more push back I got, the more I knew I was gonna do it. ¬†And, then I came up with a month. ¬†I couldn’t do April, May or June cuz it was too soon AND I was running half marathons in each. ¬†So, you know, I was gonna be busy. ¬†And, then July I had two 5Ks planned and then August has 31 days… so, September. ¬†Nothing planned, only 30 days, sounds like the perfect time to me! ¬†So, mentally I set the goal, verbally I started sharing the goal and physically I started preparing. ¬†I cut back on my running from every day to about 4-5 days a week, let my legs rest and well, here we are.

I have dreamed about this challenge, I’ve had nightmares, I’ve strategized, I’ve planned, I’ve done everything I thought to make this challenge go as smooth as possible. ¬†I came up with ways other people could participate in the challenge without being on the lunatic end of it. ¬†And, then… it actually started. ¬†And, it is so not going as planned. ¬†

I’m one of those rule followers. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I don’t follow EVERY rule ALL the time. ¬†Sometimes I have a heavy foot when I drive. ¬†I’ve been known to cross the street where there’s no cross walk in a residential area and I don’t always shower before entering the pool. ¬†But!! ¬†For the most part, I do follow the rules. ¬†Especially when it comes to workout challenges, or training programs. ¬†I’ve been taught to “follow the plan, trust the plan”. ¬† Its a bit disconcerting when others don’t follow the plan but I’m getting better at letting others change up the “plan” to meet their needs or abilities, but for me… I follow the plan. ¬†If it says “Hoop for 15 minutes”, I hoop for 15 minutes. ¬†If its says “rest” I rest. ¬†I follow the plan. ¬†And this challenge is no different.

The first day I was supposed to run one mile. ¬†Can I do more? ¬†Yes. ¬†Do I prefer to do more? ¬†Yes. ¬†Did I do more? ¬†No. ¬†I ran just a little over 1. ¬†Sheila (the Runkeeper lady) is sometimes a bit short with her mileage so I have to make sure I go over a bit just in case she is in one of those moods. ¬†Day 2, I ran two and a little bit miles. ¬†Day 3…¬†

So, here’s the deal. ¬†This is how my game plan for this challenge has not been going as planned. ¬†Too many plans? ¬†ūüėČ ¬†When I originally thought up the idea and began strategizing for it, I figured I’d run early in the morning. ¬†Its cool, I’d get it done before my day got started, if I had a lot of miles to do I’d run some in the morning and then the rest in the evening. ¬†That was the game plan. ¬†

Well, here’s the twist. ¬†I’m now coaching a high school cross country team and they practice at 3:20 in the afternoon. ¬†It is hotter than you know what at 3:20! ¬†And, I’m the “running” coach, the head coach rides his bike. ¬†He has a lot more mileage to cover than I do but still… it is freaking HOT! ¬†So my plan of running in the morning or early evening hasn’t quite come to fruition. ¬†

So, day 3… ran 3 plus miles with the cross country team in 99 degree heat. ¬†The route I had chosen was actually about 4 miles so I gave Sheila her leeway and then walked the rest. ¬†Dripping in sweat and praying, no pleading, for rain! ¬†¬†

Before…

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Love the “feels like 100”!

 

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And the after…

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Dripping AND praying! ¬†ūüôā