Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Running from my problems

Running once a week is NOT cutting it.

How do I stay sane when I'm not working out regularly?  

Oh yeah, that's right, I don't. 

I become a tightly wound ball of nerves and I physicalize every last bit of it; my back seizes, my joints stop working (so working out now leads to injury, catch 22!), my skin erupts and then sloughs off, my adrenaline spikes for little to no reason, I become depressive, and my immune system implodes on itself taking the majority of my favorite foods with it.

Hell on earth, or as I like to call it, the entirety of my twenties!

Don't get me wrong, there were good days too
This past week was a bit extra stressy for me for a number of reasons and on Friday I found myself somewhat melancholic and yearning to take a midnight drive to Montauk Point. Unfortunately however it's about a five hour round trip for me and I couldn't see eating through an entire tank of gas in the name of catharsis* (also at that point I wasn't sure the whole route was open as much of it runs along beach).

I had officially signed up for the gym earlier that day so now that I had noticed the inverse proportion between my mileage and my mood (*cough* not to mention the firmness of my tummy *cough*) I resolved that this was the week I was going to get back in the swing of things and try to make my runs the cathartic road experience I was clearly lacking.

Sanity: a mile at a time.

Saturday was a bit whirlwind and draining so I headed out Sunday afternoon resolved to get my kinetic therapy ON.

Sunday afternoon run: Steady run plus 5 minute warmup and cooldown walks
4.03 miles (!!) at an average of 10:53 per mile -  total run time of 43:54

Another distance first for me made all the better by the fact that I felt really good! I wasn't sure how much I wanted to push after a whole week off but even mile two was pleasant so I figured I might as well go for it. Pretty consistent splits (10:59, 10:55, 10:43, 10:54) and I didn't feel like I was swinging back and forth as wildly throughout. I think 11:00 is shaping up to be a pretty reasonable road covering pace for me for the moment.

The 43 degree temperature wasn't thrilling to be sure. My eyes watered for the first mile and I felt like I spent the rest of the night clearing out a layer of gunk my lungs apparently formed to protect themselves against the cold (I must find my balaclava!). Otherwise I was pretty comfortable but I do see why people get extra sleeve layers. I'm almost tempted to reroute so that my first mile loops back to my house so I can drop my vest off after I have worked up a bit of real body heat... then again maybe not, it's not even December yet, it's only getting colder for the next three months. *sigh*

I am mildly concerned that I could feel a slight ache in my right arch again during the middle of my run and afterward I felt it in both arches and in both knees (though all discomfort was gone within an hour). If this continues much longer I may hit up the running store and see if they have a suggestion.

As far as my brain? Road zen officially achieved.
This is usually in the form of my brain just plain shutting off somewhere around mile three, but I'll take it.
I felt better for the rest of the day and formulated a plan of action going forward, so I'm going to call that mission accomplished.

I purchased the 5k to 10k App and the Garmin Footpod today (that will arrive Thursday), and my plan is to hit the gym three nights a week through the winter to do 10K training, and hopefully get out for a long unstructured run on Sundays when the weather permits.

I'm not sure how the app works without GPS (and there is NO support for ANYTHING from Active) but they do offer the ability to disable GPS so I suppose it must work without.

If I follow fairly consistently that will take me through February/March and I can start thinking about whether I want to move the Half Marathon training plan up from its current start time of July.

*I've only driven to Montauk once (December 19, 2010) and it was (and is) the longest I've ever been behind the wheel.

After spending an evening cleaning the last of my stuff out of storage at my ex- boyfriends house I realized I couldn't just sit home among the box pile, so I hit the road for a drive. I just sort of randomly resolved to go to Montauk after about an hour of aimless driving.

I listened to Nine Inch Nails on shuffle the whole way, enjoyed a light snowfall, almost ran out of gas, nearly collided with about a million deer, and initiated the functional part of reclaiming my sanity in the wake of what had become a rather horrible couple of years (capped off by an exceptionally soul grinding couple of weeks).

I consider it the hard point that separates that time of my life from this one. It wasn't a cure all, but aside from the near wildlife collisions it stands out as one of the calmest and most centered points of my life, and that clarity carried me through.


  1. I think the roads are fine heading in that direction. Western Suffolk and Nassau got hit the worst, but I wouldn't do the drive either. Maybe a beach a bit closer to you?

    1. I have a friend that does deliveries out that way and apparently the way is clear.

      To be honest I never really considered making a different drive! *laughs* The Montauk drive became so symbolic.

  2. I can identify with so much of what you wrote... precisely why I returned to running after almost 10 years. Good for you for recognizing what was going on much sooner than I ever did and getting back out there! Congrats on the new distance too!

    Jennifer :)

  3. i love you.

    no really, i love you. we are clearly soul mates and i shall be stalking you from now on.

    "joggingjawa" I sleep on an Empire Strikes Back pillowcase I've owned since the movie came into theaters. Chevalier bought me a replacement on ebay because he was worried I'd freak out when the thinning fabric dissolves.

    caffeine, carbs, and cardio keep me sane.

    as does the NIN. oh, the NIN.

    before I started running, I spent all this time burning fossil fuels using my mom's gas card. while playing the NIN loud enough that I am now mostly deaf.

    jason statham.

    immune-digestive disconnect.

    HOLY CRAP. AM I WRITING A BLOG I DON'T KNOW ABOUT? no. this one is too funny. I can't possibly have written anything this funny and poignant.


    1. *blushes and kicks toe in a little circle in the dust*

      So I guess it's cool that I've been totally blog stalking you for months and that I consider your blog one of the major inspirations for starting my own?

      Uh, I just re-read that and it sounds a little bit creepy-stalky.

      Not inspiration in the SingleWhiteFemale way; inspiration in the "this resonates with me and I enjoy it, I guess people with voices like mine have a place in the fitness blog world" way.

      The minute I found your blog you were in my feed... pumpkins (pumpkins!), goth music, running Halloween porn, a running team called Team Schadenfreude, running, open discussion of personal fragility, also open discussion of the immense strength required to deal with said fragility, hallowedding! blue language...