Work It Out Wednesday: Float Like a Feather

People, I am fried.  Vegas did its usual number on me and sent me home exhausted.  HH and I had a fabulous time together sans enfants et chiens, we played smart poker but didn’t get great cards, and I saw enough trashy women in ill-fitting high heels and short dresses to last me a lifetime.

I can’t help it…the people watching was hilarious, but I couldn’t help but wish for better health and smarter clothing choices for many of the people I saw.  Maybe I’m just a prude.  Hell, I know I’m a prude…but I’m just being honest.  It was bad.

On a good note, I got carded twice, which I told TiffeeG was about the only time I felt like a winner while there :-), and HH got catcalled by a group of women and one amorous man outside of Margaritaville at Harrah’s as we walked down the Strip, which still has me laughing.  The crowd of drunks was very disappointed to see that he was married.

Hands off, ladies (and guy!)  He’s all mine!

I was scheduled to run a half-marathon on Saturday, which had me worried.  Normally my long runs are on Friday, but this was the week where I was supposed to rest an extra day on Friday and then run a half-marathon race on Saturday.  I missed my 4-mile easy run on Wednesday due to the chaos of trying to leave town, so I rested that day and Thursday.  

Thursday night HH and I shared a bottle of wine at our dinner in Bellagio, and I also had a glass of Champagne and a Jagermeister/schnapps/cranberry drink.  I drank as much water as I could, but I woke up Friday morning feeling a bit dehydrated from the alcohol.  I was dreading the Saturday run.  It was hanging over my head like a cloud.

So around 3:00, HH was deep into a poker tournament, and I decided to go ahead and do the run to get it over with.  I knew it wasn’t the best idea.  I’d eaten a jalapenô burger and a bucket of fries less than two hours before, and I was dehydrated, but sometimes you just have to get things done.  Right?  I wanted the monkey off my back.

I forgot my Honey Stingers and had no water, and given my state I figured it would be a pretty pathetic effort.  I headed out and decided not to really race, but just to try to stick to a sub-9:30 pace after a slow first mile.  

It wasn’t easy.  I felt withered and dehydrated.  The pace wasn’t really difficult to maintain and in fact I stopped thinking about it for awhile.  It was just that my body wasn’t in its best condition–and at 40, I was feeling it.  I was tired.  I wasn’t tired in the sense that I was running too fast or that the run itself was tiring me, just in the sense that I could feel that my body wasn’t in the right shape to be doing the run.  It’s hard to describe.  My body was leaking oil a bit and I mentally didn’t want to be there.  It was Vegas, after all.  I sort of wanted to quit and rejoin the party.

I didn’t, of course.  I thought of TiffeeG and money I’ve raised, and I kept going.  Tiff doesn’t get why I am doing this, and she certainly doesn’t want me to feel like I have to do anything for her.  Me chasing a silly lark and running a marathon doesn’t change one thing for her or her health.  I am certainly no martyr, and I wouldn’t be running this race and blogging if I didn’t partly want to do it for myself.

But I am doing it, and every time I run I think of her.  I don’t know why she has been hurting so bad the past few years, while I can go out and do anything I want, but I’m not going to waste a day of good health not appreciating it.  I push my body, and I push myself mentally, because I can.  And if I can, and she can’t, then I have to.  I can finish a run and feel the exhilaration of it, and she can’t right now.  Other AS sufferers can’t either.  Of course it’s just life, but it’s still wrong.

So was the run really that bad in comparison?  Not at all.  I pressed on.

Imagine my surprise when I reached the 11-mile mark and realized that if I just kicked myself into gear I would finish with a sub-2:00 run.  I concentrated and finished with an 8:49 and 8:28 pace for the last 2.1 miles.  1:58:02 and an average 9:03 pace.  Jackpot!  That run was for my sister.

It felt wonderful…all these long slow runs and a far-from-perfect setup, but I still managed to run comfortably and speed up when I needed to.  It made me realize what the training has done for me so far.  I was pumped!  I hit the hotel lobby for an espresso and some chocolate milk for recovery then headed upstairs for a shower.  Time to bring on the party!

I am such a wuss…my body crashed in the hotel room.  My usual problems–blood sugar and low blood pressure–had me in the bathroom and then sprawled out on the bed.  HH came back from the tables to fetch me, and he brought me an ice bucket for my foot and dragged me downstairs to get some food.  It always comes back to keeping me watered and fed…what a guy.  Those Margaritaville drunks know a winner when they see one!

After some bread and pasta and a lovely bottle of Dolcetto d’Alba, I was just fine, but it was a good reminder for me–when race day comes, I need to eat food immediately after crossing the finish line.  My body crashes without it…and I don’t just mean a banana.  Real food.  Protein included.  Lesson learned.  Also, I shouldn’t run a marathon after drinking the night before and getting little sleep.  Got it.

I was scheduled to run my usual 4 miles on Monday, but thanks to an 8-hour flight delay of comical proportions, we didn’t get home until 11:00 pm.  No run, and tired again.  Yuck.  I headed out yesterday for another goal-pace run of 8 miles.  I kept to a steady 9:30 pace, but felt tired, which feels kind of silly given that I’ve missed my last two slow runs.  Still, it is what it is.  Long weekends in Vegas are not good for the body.  My last two runs have worn me out!

Today is 4 easy miles, then I shall bunker down with the family for the anticipated Snowmageddon here in Kansas City, while hopefully giving my body some much-needed rest and gathering strength for Friday’s scheduled 17-mile run.

This chick needs some couch time and some healthy food.

Today’s Work It Out Wednesday song is one of my slow/steady run faves:  Creep by Radiohead.  I am not a Radiohead fan, but this song has always seemed so beautiful to me…beautiful and sad and yes, stalker-like, but with a great steady beat for running.  When he sings, “I want you to notice when I’m not around”, my heart just bleeds for the poor guy.

Here’s to good health, snow days for the kiddos, and people noticing when you’re not around—and good vibes for TiffeeG, who had her third Remicade treatment yesterday.


One thought on “Work It Out Wednesday: Float Like a Feather

  1. Way to go on the sub 2:00 half! Quite impressive, especially considering you did it without any other runners next to you to kick in your competitive side. 🙂 Hope Tiffany’s latest treatments start giving her some relief!


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