I am still producing voluminous amounts of phlegm. This stuff is gross. I managed to lace up and get out last Saturday, after skipping all runs since the previous Saturday. My training called for a 10k race, but I have that lined up for this weekend. So, switching the two weekends would have meant a 9-mile run for me.
Hell to the no. I knew 9 miles wasn’t possible, but I hoped for at least 5. I quickly readjusted my goals when I realized that I was having trouble even holding my arms up in the running position. I was worn out by the effort. I decided to just run very slowly and focus on getting as much time on my feet as possible. The heat, the phlegm and the lingering fatigue were a nasty combination. Still, it felt great to be moving after such a severe case of
pneumonia typhoid pleurisy the common cold, so I tried to think positive and enjoy the fact that my ass was up and off the couch/recliner/bed.
Oh, if I could only blow a snot rocket. I would have littered the neighborhood! I also coughed up at least 5 pounds of crap from my lungs, which I had to swallow back down since I couldn’t spit it out. I comforted myself with the knowledge that at least it was leaving my lungs and going to my stomach.
That is so gross. God, that’s gross.
Anyhoo, I managed 4.7 miles at a 10:17 pace, which fell into the good-enough-girl-you-are-sick-go-home category of long runs. I went home and gorged myself on football and couch time for the rest of the weekend and resolved to start fresh on Monday.
I got in 4.2 miles on Monday morning at a 9:49 pace. I was happy with that. I squeezed in a 30-minute tempo run yesterday on the dreadmill (I wasn’t able to get out until noon, and it was already blazing hot). I am still not 100%. Nowhere close, in fact, which is annoying because I have a 10k this weekend. It will be my first time running the Plaza 10k, which looks to be a great race. It runs through the Country Club Plaza, which is a beautiful outdoor shopping area here in KC. The course is flat and would normally look to be a great race to turn it loose and try to PR. Given that I’ve only run 1 10k in my life (in Bern, Switzerland with my Swiss bestie Pam back in 2011), the chances would normally be good, right?
Here we were in Bern post-race…I was so happy to be done!
And just so she doesn’t get mad at me for posting that pic (although she looks perfect), here we are with fresh makeup…
Well, no. I ran that race in 53:37, which I would have no hopes of doing today under the best of circumstances. I’m just not there right now. Plus, this is not my goal race anyway. So, I’ve come up with a plan. It’s genius.
I’m going to start slow and just try to do my best and enjoy the race without killing myself and hating the entire thing and finishing the last two miles in such misery that I am cursing and swearing and hating life and promising myself that I will never run a race again or even jog a mile so help me God.
Now I know this is a novel idea. I must be the first one to think of it. I’m really going to try to embrace it, especially since I’ve been sick and still coughing like a champ. It’s a good approach for my physical health (if not my mental).
Plus, I like the idea of enjoying a race DURING THE RACE for once. I am the sort of person that overcooks (a great term a reader wrote in a previous comment on this blog) the first few miles of every race, then suffers for the remainder and nearly has a mental heart attack toward the end when I am out of juice and getting passed by runners who know how to run smart but really aren’t as fast as me, just not as dumb.
F you, intelligent runners!
Overcooking the first few miles is never good. I’ve done it repeatedly, and I recommended the approach (in a way) to HH when he was training for his first half marathon. “You can’t make up that time lost at the start, but you can always slow down!” I said cheerily. He is such a faster runner than I am, and I honestly thought he had a shot at finishing around 1:40, even though he isn’t really a runner.
Here he is after taking my advice, flaming out and finishing at just over 2 hours. He blames me to this day.
Is it just me being silly, or do I have an unusually long badass thumb?
God love him…he’s never run a race since.
I have an article somewhere (that I can’t find or I’d link it fo sho) that talks about how the first mile or two in a run sends a signal to your body. If I recall correctly, and I’m plainspeaking it here, if it’s a mid- to long- distance race, you want to let your body ease in a bit so that it doesn’t think it’s a sprint. Your body will react differently if you’re suddenly taking off like a bat out of hell…lactic acid and all that jazz. Not sustainable for a longer race. You want to ease in, let your body think everything’s groovy so it doesn’t freak and think it’s in a shitstorm, and then coax more and more out of it without inducing World War Z type panic.
Kind of like how I landed my husband. Act all low-maintenance, then slowly make more demands over the years until he starts calling you Princess but is locked in for the long haul.
Feel feel to elaborate and jazz up the wording in the comments, or to disagree. How do you cook your first few miles of a longer distance race? I have a hard time taking it easy, because all I can think about is how I’m losing precious time.
I plan on cooking this race nice and easy in the first mile, like it’s in a Crock Pot. Slow and low, baby! Then we’ll see how my lungs and body feel, and hopefully I’ll be able to crank things up a bit. In short, I’m going to try and avoid my usual freak-out mode that I tend to go into when I cross a starting line.
I even have a 57-minute playlist lined up that is loaded nice and easy at the start. What? You want me to share it? You love my taste? Well, okay!
- Here I Go Again by Whitesnake: the first song on my first race playlist back in 2007. An ode to solo training, not to mention hair spray.
- Proud Mary by Tina Turner: Hello?! Just too good…lyrical perfection. I hope to be kicking into a higher gear by the end of it, lungs willing. Tell me how to run, Tina.
Y’ know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy
But there’s just one thing
You see we never ever do nothing
Nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough
So we’re gonna take the beginning of this song
And do it easy
Then we’re gonna do the finish rough
- P.Y.T. by MJ: Smoothness. Hope I don’t waste any energy by shaking my ass here. That would be counterproductive.
- Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol: Great beat. Lots of hair spray (and gel. And bleach).
- Baby I’m a Star by Prince: ass shaking concerns here too, but I’m sure I can keep it under control.
- Without Me by Eminem: Strong beat. Crazy good.
Let me just revel and bask
In the fact that I got everyone kissin’ my ass
- Roar by Katy Perry: I’m not a pop princess, but this one gets me. Hope I’m rolling by the time this song hits.
- Rebel Yell by Billy Idol: The pace on this song is just perfect. So many people run to this song.
- Houdini by Foster The People: Nice and light, with a great finish. “Focus on your ability” is just a great lyric. Better to focus on that than the fact that I’m never going to be an elite runner.
- Panama by Van Halen: God, I love Van Halen. More hair spray.
- Talk Dirty to Me by Poison: And more hair spray. I clearly have a nostalgia thing going for 80s music that is not going away anytime soon.
- Set Adrift on Memory Bliss by PM Dawn: A recent running fave. It’s just mellow goodness. A classic in my book.
- Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie: This should take me up to just under 55 minutes, which will be my signal to get the damn race over with already.
- Main Title from Band of Brothers: Always inspires me. Always makes me grateful, thankful and glad to be living in the moment. A great race ender.
Happy Wednesday, readers!