My Mea Culpa and an 80s Playlist Offering

I promise to be a better blogger.  I really do–especially now that I am running again and all healed up from my stress fractures and my entirely mental defeatist running stagnation of late 2014.  I hope you’ll forgive me…especially you fellow bloggers whom I’ve neglected to read over the past two months.  It’s hard to read about running when you aren’t doing it yourself.  If you were celibate, would you want to read about sex?

Some quick life updates and then I will talk about running and humbly submit a great 80s playlist as a peace offering to my readers….

Christmas came and went, along with bouts of typhoid/flu/virus hell for most of our family.  I spent about three weeks coughing like a two-pack-a-day smoker but credit running and strong lungs for seeing me through without an antibiotic.  Take that, respiratory bug!

I have joined the committee for a 4-mile run here in KC called the Trolley Run, and I am thrilled to be part of such a great group and helping with a race for the first time!  This run is in its 27th year and benefits the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI), an AMAZING school that provides services for blind and visually impaired children from infancy through kindergarten.  I believe it is the largest 4-mile run in the country, with over 8,000 runners participating each year.  If you are a local reader or someone looking to visit KC, come run it with me!  We on the committee have been working hard to make sure that this year’s race will be incredible…it’s a flat to downhill course with a fantastic after bash.  What’s not to love, right?  I’ve written a few blog posts for the run (which you can read here and here if you’re interested!),

I am close to opening a cross stitch shop on Etsy and will put info in a sidebar once I have it up and running.  Old lady crafting is a current passion, and I will be able to take custom orders too.  To be fair, I will mostly be offering snarky patterns and song lyrics, so please don’t contact me hoping for an elaborate stitched pattern of a playful kitten and a yarn ball.  Contact me if you want some Kendrick Lamar lyrics stitched up nice and crafty-like.

I turned 42.  Let’s skim over that one.  I tried to look happy about it…and honestly it’s not that bad.  I would rather be the me I am at 42 than the half-formed idiot I was at 22, and I’m knock-on-wood healthy and happy, so complaining about it seems like a waste of time, and wasting time is for suckers.

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HH and I played some winter golf this weekend…and wondered why we haven’t moved to Florida yet.

winter golf

This little beast has decided that it’s fun to snack on poop in the back yard…a real homemade all-you-can-eat buffet!  So much for having a fellow princess in the house…

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The other dog continues to volunteer with me each week at a local rehabilitation center.  He is clearly the house favorite.

My love for running has returned after a few months off.  I am definitely slower (like running through Jello slow!), but much happier.  I am trying to take it easy to allow my body and especially my weak feet a chance to rest, build back up, and accommodate the extra pounds I’ve put on from not exercising for several months.  I am scheduled to run the Trolley Run in April, which will be my first race (I think) since last 4th of July’s Ward Parkway Four on the Fourth, where I patriotically kicked some ‘Murican ass and barely snagged an AG medal (all the really fast people must have been out buying fireworks that morning.)

And now, I present on one apologetic runner’s knee, a list of some great 80s songs to kick up your run, including some standards and a few new ideas.  I don’t know if my running playlists ever generate any interest, though my blog stats say otherwise, so if you like them, leave a comment, tweet me a pic, or send a shoutout to @TwistedSwisster (bonus respect to anyone who runs in pegged pants or one-shouldered sweatshirts!)

Part One:  Betcha no one runs to Midnight Blue, but you can’t go wrong with that song.  He ain’t got no regrets, and he ain’t losing track, and neither should you.  Your following days are over, baby, now you just gotta follow through!

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Part Two:  A bunch of somewhat obvious yet totally bitchin’ running staples, and they’re solid gold just like the dancers.

80sPlaylist2

As always, thanks for reading and HAPPY RUNNING!  You’re simply the best!

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It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, and a Pre-Race Mantra

FIRST, the mantra for tomorrow’s Rock the Parkway half marathon (the first in my Heartland 39.3 Challenge of 3 half marathons in 5 weeks)–it’s very short and goes like this—

Don’t shoot out of the gate like a freak.

That’s it, really.  I like to keep it simple.

I am hydrating and mildly carb-loading…more than I need to for a half marathon, but why stop something that’s so enjoyable?  I also have been watching the weather obsessively while debating what to wear.  Unfortunately, it has progressed from “should I wear a long-sleeved layer and end up hot?” to temps in the high 50s to start (with plenty ‘o sun) and up to the mid 60s by the time I fist pump my way across the finish line with a new PR of anywhere under 1:52 (the Nuun must be making me delirious.)  It shall be full on Sun’s Out Guns Out weather, which is great for decision making but not so good for racing.

At least we won’t all freeze, right?

I am obviously excited for tomorrow’s half.  I had made a personal goal at the start of the year that I would break the 1:50 barrier this year (my PR is 1:52.)  I figured I would have the best chance in the fall, but now that I made it into the NYC Marathon, I am realizing that tomorrow’s race will be my best chance at meeting that goal.  Do I think it’s realistic?  Not really…I just don’t think I’m there.  So I am going to shoot for a PR instead and hope for the best, but I really do want to focus more on enjoying the race, since my last half marathon was so damn fun because I ran it with no expectations and actually had a negative split for the first time ever (wow, what a difference it made in my joie de vivre!)

Am I rambling?  I feel like I’m rambling…

Anyhoo, I hope to PR, I will probably piss myself if I break 1:50, I will shit myself if I lose to HH but also will be ecstatic, and I really hope to enjoy myself as a bonus (usually I hit the seventh circle of hell around Mile 11 in these things and spend Miles 12-13 listing out the reasons why I will never race again.)

Second, I have to share a personal story that is part embarrassing, part too-funny-not-to-admit (and no, honey, not the story where I ran out of gas the other morning and you had to come bail me out!) 

So I’ve been breaking out with acne lately…at 41.  Yes, it’s a joy running around town with zits and wrinkles.  I’m sure you can imagine my happiness.

I thought it was maybe from running and sweating and applying so much sunscreen (remember that the sun is not your friend, peeps, and slather on a broad spectrum SPF.)  Well, I went to see a dermatologist on Wednesday, and she told me that adult female acne is quite common and that I just have “too much testosterone” floating through my body.  Apparently, if I was a man it would attach to my skin and make my beard, but since I’m a woman it just attaches to receptors and causes acne.  

I was simultaneously horrified and salivating at the comedic aspect.  First, I have decided that my new rap name shall be Heavy T. From now on, please refer to me as such.  I also preface all statements to HH with, “This may be the testosterone talking, but…”, and I scratch myself regularly.

The lovely and ultra-feminine PA went on to describe the medicine I need to take and asked me if I was okay with it, since it’s technically a diuretic which might cause my already low blood pressure to crash more severely.  I simply grunted and shook her hand with my big meaty paw.

Then yesterday, I went to pick up my race packet and noticed on my printed registration receipt that I was listed as a male.  Seriously?  What gives?  People, I am not a man!  I shall seriously be wearing pink for the next few months until I once again feel confident in my femininity.  

I made sure to get it straightened out in the system, ‘cuz you know I check my gender stats every race to see where I stack up.  Hopefully it is fixed for all three races.

As a bonus for sticking with me for this long post, here is a list of my favorite second-half race songs…I am torn between calling them Negative Split Songs or Spastic Songs for Speed.  Regardless, these songs help me crank up my pace, so if you’re looking for new tunes, maybe you’ll find one here in this not-so-original list!

Happy running!

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Taper Advice Request From Mrs. Richard Simmons

I just wrapped up Week 10 of training for the Heartland 39.3 Challenge, which is the highest mileage week of the program…the crescendo, the height of pain and pleasure, the peak in the training program where I always either start to feel like the shit or begin berating myself up for not being in a better state and begin talking nonsense like “I just want to enjoy the race!”

This training program has been interesting (Hal Higdon’s Advanced Plan), as I’ve discussed before.  I’ve basically modified it every week, since I can’t bring myself to run 6 days each week–3-5 race pace miles on Fridays, then a long run on Saturdays (up to 2 hours now), continuing Sunday through Wednesday with speed work and tempo runs included.

I’ve adapted the program most weeks by dumping the easy run the day after the long run (although I did do it last week and felt great.)

So last week I had a kickass 5-mile race pace run on Friday (averaging 8:22 without very much effort…riding on the NY Marathon high perhaps?) and then followed up with a fantastic 12.3 mile easy run on Saturday (averaging 9:35).  I made a very mellow playlist and took things soooo slow and easy.  My playlist was pretty ridiculous…like Sweatin’ to the Oldies.  I am an elderly woman.

Here is a sample…find any running inspiration here?  I did.

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I have to ask, looking at this playlist photo…does an explicit version of Kenny Loggins’ Heart to Heart even exist?

Tell the truth, bitch

Don’t fucking turn away

From this one last chance

To touch each other’s heart

Is that out there somewhere?  Dare I dream?

I came home on a runner’s high, which is not good for HH, since that means I will talk about my run in infinite detail.

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Poor HH.

Now for my question…I am hoping for some advice from my fellow running fiends.  The Advanced plan calls for me to do another 2-hour long run this weekend (the weekend before the first half.)  It then calls for a bit of tapering during the week (2 miles instead of 3, a speed workout, a 30-minute tempo run, and then two days rest before the race.)

Does this seem like enough tapering to you?  Basically, I am just wondering if it’s okay that I will be running over 12 miles the weekend before.  Most plans that I’ve followed in the past have called for a reduction in mileage for the last long run before the race.  I know that Hal knows what he is doing with his plans, but I am just wondering if I’m up to heeding his call or if I would be better off to run something like 9-10 instead.  I felt strong this weekend and completed the 2-hour run easily, so that makes me think I’m okay to do another one, but I don’t want to come in tired and not at my potential, especially when I’ve worked so hard this cycle on speed and have another two half marathons in the four weeks following the race.

I will appreciate and welcome any thoughts/suggestions/advice.  Many of my running readers are far faster and more experienced than I am, so I am looking to you for your expert judgment (and any info on whether Kenny Loggins ever released a raunchy or explicit version of his seminal song, Heart to Heart.)

Training Update, My Fall Running Playlist, and Reevaluating My Last 10k

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you’re having glorious fall weather.  Here in the Midwest, we had an amazing weekend–sunny skies, temperatures in the mid-60s to 70s, and a light breeze. 

It was perfect running weather.  FINALLY!  I have struggled so much with the heat and my running these past few months (mostly because I am too lazy to get my ass up and run early like the smart people do.)  Also, between my recent illness, some health stuff that I seem to have going on, and general life circumstances, my half-marathon training has been a joke.

Normally, I am the runner who is religious about training.  My training runs are my security blanket, and I don’t like to show up to a race having missed any or having any reason to feel that I’ve not given my all to prepare for a race.  It helps me live with the disappointment that invariably follows when I see my finish time :-).

Yet, this time around, I’ve missed or shorted several weekday runs.  I’ve been sick.  I’ve been tired.  I’ve been hot (my God, the heat!)  I’ve been mentally all over the place.  I’ve not been myself.

A sampling of thoughts that have sprung into my head during recent training runs–

  • F*&$ this!
  • I should take up competitive knitting. 
  • F*&$ing ignorant drivers!
  • S*%$!  My feet hurt!
  • S*%$!  My entire right leg hurts!
  • Why am I out here?  I suck at this!
  • Ten years?  Ten years I’ve been doing this, and I’m tired at Mile Two?  F*&$ this!
  • I’m never racing again.  F*&$ this!
  • I’m hungry.  Would it be bad if I quit?
  • F*&$!  Why is he/she/that dog faster than I am?
  • Am I moving in slow motion?  It feels like I’m running in slow motion?.
  • If this run doesn’t end soon, I’m going to lose the will to live.
  • Is that a hill?  F*&$!  That’s a hill!
  • I hate myself.

Yes, I’ve been a beacon of classy positive energy these past two months or so.  I’m hoping that my visit to the endocrinologist tomorrow will start me on a path to:

A) stopping my recent hair loss

B) helping with my fatigue (I am seriously tired lately.  Like exhausted for no reason tired.)

C) better running.

Until then, though, I am pressing on with my training as best I can.  This past weekend called for a 9-mile training run.  Now, just a few months ago, 9 miles would have been a cakewalk, but not at this time.  I was nervous about the run, because my 7–miler was cut to 5.3 during a disastrous summer heat wave, my 8-miler wasn’t exactly a shining moment in my personal running history, and I should have run another 9-miler a few weeks ago that turned into a very ill 4.7-miler on a week with virtually no running.

Yuck.  I wasn’t exactly psyched about my chances of having a good run, much less finishing.

The first 3-4 miles were mentally painful.  I thought about quitting and scrapping the half marathon.  The thought of just taking a week or so off to physically heal and mentally recalibrate was tantalizing.  I was thiiiiiissssss close…but I pressed on.

Finally, I hit that happy zone around the end of Mile 4, and it saw me through.  By Mile 6-7, I was cruising.  It was like rediscovering an old friend.

I’ve never needed it more.

I am reinvigorated, and though I know my upcoming race is going to be far from my best, I will be there, happy to show up to the starting line (as long as my peculiar leg issues don’t get worse.)

Every run is a gift.

Also, I downloaded the photos from my recent 10k, and one caught my eye.  It was taken around Mile 3, I think…

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It makes me laugh, because I look so unhappy in a way, but yet I find it inspiring.  I was running my ass off at that point.  The look on my face is one of total determination.

Maybe I was being too hard on myself about that race.  Maybe I deserve a pass and should give myself a break.

Finally, like so many others, I love fall.  Fall is pumpkin candles, football, the return to red wine, and for me, heavy doses of jazz in my music rotation.  Here are my favorite mellow songs to run to in the fall…obviously best for long, slow runs!  I hope you find some that you like…but I warn you, I never put them all on one playlist without any peppier tunes mixed in; otherwise, I would end up sprawled out on someone’s lawn staring at falling leaves and calling out for a glass of Pinot Noir and a decent cheese board.

All in moderation, right? 

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Here’s to fall running, the joys of red wine and cutting ourselves some slack!

Modified Training, my 10k Playlist and Overcooking Miles

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!

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And just so she doesn’t get mad at me for posting that pic (although she looks perfect), here we are with fresh makeup…

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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?

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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.

Just kidding!

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!

Heat, Humidity, (Hint of a) Hangover and Hella Old!

We had some friends over Friday night…a great couple that we rarely get to see.  Our dear friend recently lost his father, in the same manner that I lost mine many years ago, and so it was great to have dinner together and just laugh and talk…

and drink some wine.

As I had my third glass (it was a lovely Sauvignon Blanc), I told myself that it wouldn’t kill my 7-mile run in the morning, as long as I drank plenty of water and took the run slow.

I had another glass (it was a beautiful Cab Sav–who can blame me?), drank a lot more water, took two Advil and tucked in by 11:00 (we in the 40+ crowd really party hard, don’t we?).  Before going to bed, I bailed on Erin, my running partner, who wisely wanted to run early to beat the heat.  I think it’s more important that I sleep in, I said.

I woke up around 9 feeling just fine, made omelets and cleaned up the previous night’s mess, digested my breakfast and hit the door running at around 11:00 am.  I don’t know if I have lingering delusions of grandeur from last spring’s marathon or if I am just ignorant, but I didn’t think 7 slow miles would be that bad.  I even headed over to Loose Park, a very hilly park a few miles away, and tackled its big hill around Mile 4.  I can do this, I said.

And by Mile 5.3, after taking 3-4 walk breaks (which I NEVER do), I quit.

The heat absolutely made me feel sick.  I swore I caught a whiff of wine oozing from my pores.  I tripped in a pothole crossing one street and landed right in the middle of my foot with the plantar fasciitis, triggering intense pain.  I’ve been struggling with my PF since last weekend’s 5k, and I’ve had pain shooting up the outside of my calf, which usually means that I’m not walking right (stepping down wrong on my foot trying to avoid the painful spot, which affects my leg.)  Once I landed in the pothole, the whole foot and ankle hurt.

Some über-fit chick with ginormous and improperly restrained tatas passed me at no more than a 9:00 pace.  I got honked at.  My legs felt like lead.  I kept lifting my visor to wipe the river of sweat so my eyes wouldn’t burn, but then my hair started falling out of my ponytail and matted down on my forehead. 

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My songs sucked.

So I called it.  5.3 miles at an average 9:53 pace.  Done.   And if you know my personality, you might guess that I berated myself all the way home.  But I didn’t.

Bad runs happen.  I wasn’t happy, but I had a good sense of what had gone wrong.  I am too old to drink 4 glasses of wine the night before and expect a good run in high heat and humidity, no matter how much sleep I get.  Heat and humidity is a killer for me, and the decline is swift and brutal, like Miley Cyrus’s career, I hope.  One missed goal will not torpedo my training plan.  I need to be more forgiving of myself and treat my body a little better.

I am off for a 4-miler this morning, and I am going to love every minute of it.  But first, I will make a quick Justin Timberlake playlist in honor of the man.  I didn’t watch the VMAs last night because I knew they would be raunchy and not something the whole family could enjoy, but I did watch his performance this morning…

I have loved that guy since his first solo album.  Here are the JT songs that I love to run to…

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Here’s to a great week of running, for me and my readers, and a little more forgiveness for those less than perfect runs!

Last Work It Out Wednesday: My Marathon Playlist and Race Day Fears!

Not only have I experienced a recent team-turning massage experience, but now I’ve discovered a new joy thanks to my girlfriend masseuse sports therapist—the heat wrap.

She recommended putting one on my leg before running to get the muscle loose.  This happened right about the time I was face down and she was working on my hamstrings and telling me that I looked good for 40–you know, right when I would have done anything for her.  

I picked up this bad boy at CVS yesterday and strapped it on about 30 minutes ago…

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Yes, I added some text there.  Did you notice?

It’s amazing what treats you can find at your local drugstore.  🙂

Anyhoo, it’s warming up nicely.  My leg feels sore and a bit weak, but pain- and twinge-free, so I am excited to hit the rainy roads for my first run in 10 days.  I hope to knock out 3 easy miles, and if all goes well, I’ll be good to go for Saturday…a tad undercooked and thus way underconfident given the runs I’ve missed with this injury, but able to run!

Obviously Boston is on my mind and will be in my thoughts on Saturday.  I published my post on Monday and saw what had happened five seconds later.  I can’t add anything beyond what I’ve read from other bloggers and from news sources and commentary.  My heart is broken like everyone else’s.  All I can think to do is continue on with my posts, my need to share my love for running and my dream to run this marathon…for the love of the sport, my love for my sister and the desire to raise money and show my appreciation for the good health and life I have today.  The runners, the victims, the people of Boston and the people who are dedicating their lives to find the killer/killers will be in my prayers forever.

So without further ado, I present my marathon playlist in three parts.  Don’t laugh, and skim right on through if you don’t care for my endless discussions of music.  Some people dig it.

Part One:  Mile 1 to roughly Mile 14-15

I’ve sprinkled some songs in here with a high amount of cheese, which I think will match my initial euphoria nicely.  I kept the beats toned down at the start so I won’t feel any drive to hobble out too fast, and I’ve got some songs that are sentimental for me (like That’s the Way of the World by Earth, Wind and Fire, not Scream and Shout!)

I even tried to match some tunes (approximately) with elevation changes and straightaways where I need to relax and just run smooth.  Yes, I am that nerd, and obviously Al Jarreau is meant for the smooth part.  Isn’t he on every runner’s playlist?

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Part Two:  Mile 14-15 to mid-20s

I hope Florence Welch’s voice doesn’t annoy me on race day, because she’s all over this playlist.  Love her!  Other than that, by glancing at this group I think I should call it the R&B section.  Smooth grooves shall see me through.

Best line in these tunes?  At the end of My Body, when he screams “It’s not supposed to be easy, That’s why it feels so f&$*ing good!”

Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

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Part Three:  Mid-Twenties to 26.2!

I know…you’re thinking that Barry Manilow isn’t exactly a motivating end-of-marathon song.  But it is to me, and TiffeeG understands.  The rest is heavy on Rocky music, and wouldn’t it be great if JT could send me to the finish with Mirrors?  Highly unlikely, since that would put this undertrained novice marathon runner at a 4:15 finish.  There are a few songs after, and I also loaded the playlist with a repeat of this last bunch of tunes, all the way to almost 5 hours.  I’m covered.

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Finally, I’ll wrap up with a quick list of raceday fears…

  1. My leg.  Obviously.  if I get hurt and have to quit, I’ll be quite pissy.  You don’t want to hear my pissy round-up of a race that wasn’t.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.
  2. Not finishing for any other reason.  I repeat, pissy Anj is not good for anyone.
  3. Chocolate rain.
  4. Prairie dogging.  I don’t mean to be gross, but it’s pretty clear that anything potty and bowel-related is a concern of mine.
  5. Chasing a Neil.  Readers know Neil.
  6. Gross miscalculation of pace and thus disappointment.  I know that pace should not be my concern for my first marathon, and no one dangled the carrot by betting more money if I beat 4:15 (it’s an option on my CharityBets page.)  However, I know my training paces AS TRACKED by my Runtastic app, and so I can’t help but have a loose sense of where I’d like to finish.  Thus, 4:15 would be a dream, but I’d be thrilled with anything under 4:25 and still pretty darn happy with a number under 4:30.  But what if the app’s been inaccurate all along?  What if I’ve been running 11:15 long slow paces instead of 10:15?  I’ll get schooled pretty quickly, and then I’ll be a bit disappointed.  Still, just to finish will be an accomplishment.
  7. Not enjoying it!  I’ve come too far not to stop and smell the roses.  I want to enjoy every minute that I’m out there, with love in my heart and a spring in my step!

Sorry to be so long!  Coming on Friday:  my pre-race wrap-up and a discussion!  Should I keep blogging or wrap this thing up?