Mind games

I go back and forth between wanting to share really personal things about my anxiety and inner struggles here – but ultimately I think it is both cathartic for me and possibly helpful to people that might experience similar things. This also serves as a way that I can chart progress as well as remember previous states to learn from. So. With that being said this week was weird. I’ll start with the mileage…

Monday: 4.12 miles

Tuesday: 6 miles (2.5 WU, 10 X :30 on, :60 off, CD)

Wednesday: off

Thursday: off

Friday: 3.10 miles

Saturday: 4.54 miles

Sunday: 6.00 miles

Total miles run: 23.76

I’m finishing up a big project at work and ended up working more than I’d planned Wednesday and Thursday, and Saturday I had 9 miles on my plan but only made it 4.5. Not that I collapsed or anything, well, ok maybe mentally collapsed. I emotionally could not complete the run. Maybe it was compounded stress from trying to get things done at work or some critical thoughts I had the previous night, but I started feeling panicky 2 miles into my run, lost control of my breathing and heart rate and felt the overwhelming feeling that I was going to sob. It wasn’t due to some thoughts I was dwelling on in my brain – more a wave of ‘sickness’ that overcame me out of nowhere. I tried to suppress it for a while and get my rhythm back but I couldn’t. What I’ve come to conclude is it was a panic attack, which I hadn’t experienced since last July.

I ended up pulling off the trail and walking through some neighborhoods and embarrassingly – cried some. I felt incredibly ridiculous and weak. Eventually I collected myself and ran back to the car to wait for Scott, who instantly knew something was wrong as he never saw me again during his run. Once we were back at home I shut myself in the bedroom and cried for about 5 minutes. And then it was done. Out. Like a stomach virus that you need to vomit up. It’s fucking weird.

Sunday we met with the group run again where easily finished 6 miles, at just sub-9:00 pace, all while chatting with a friend.

So…. begrudgingly, I admit that I still have some personal things to sort through. Or am sorting through. Things that are intrinsically tied to running and image. How does one get out of their head?

Mini-training week 1

First week back to training was surprisingly smooth! I did start to feel fatigue set in mid-week but I seem to be recovering pretty well.

Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles (1 WU, 8:59, 8:40, 8:30, 1 CD)
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 8 miles (9:43/mile)
Sunday: 4.25 miles, 1 hr ashtanga

Total miles run: 26.25

My long run on Saturday was a bit slow – the first and last miles were covered in ice so I had to do a lot of careful picking as to not crack my head open. The middle miles I was more around a 9:15-9:20 pace which is just fine with me. Getting back to ‘fitness’ is kind of a new feeling for me, but I know I just need to keep up the routine and I’ll be back to my pace.

In unrelated news I bit the bullet and got a tattoo on Saturday. My first. I’d been thinking it over for about a year so I figured I was pretty committed. It was done by a friend of a friend up at a shop in Muncie and I am very pleased with the whole process. Nerves got the best of me when we arrived at the shop and I realized it was actually going to happen, not to mention the fact that I was electively doing something painful. And painful it was. But bearable – not sure how else to describe it. Brief seconds of pain while the line was drawn followed by an equally brief break from the pain. I got it on my ribs, which is apparently a notoriously sensitive spot so I guess it is downhill from there!

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A mouse. Related to my time working in a lab that directly used animals for research and how that cemented my choice to go vegan. For all the mice and laboratory animals still in cages. For all the farm animals with no freedom and painful lives. For all the animals used as entertainment or clothing against their will. Go vegan. Stay vegan.

Chicago Birthday Weekend

This weekend we got out of Indianapolis and headed to Chicago to celebrate my birthday – 27! I love that such a big city is so close to home, there were so many nice places to check out (ie; vegan foooooood) and awesome sites to take in.

But first things first! I woke up very early Saturday to get in my 12 mile long run on the Canal Towpath. The first two miles were slow, around 9:35 pace!! I couldn’t understand why I was dragging, so I considered those were ‘warm up’ miles and pushed it to 8:50-9:05 pace for the next 8 miles. I felt really good for these miles, but once I got into mile 10, I knew I’d maybe pushed too far. My plan was to run the last two miles as cool down – but I was so non-functioning that I had to cut it at 11 miles. But I still feel proud I could keep it just about below 9:00 for 8 miles!

After we arrived in Chicago we headed to the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It was full of so many amazing and diverse plant species.

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We got lunch at the Chicago Diner – I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a milkshake so fast in my life. I definitely paid for it after. Later we went to the Wormhole for vegan mochas and massive cookies.

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On Sunday we ran on the Lakeshore path (along with about 10,000 other runners who were doing a 20 mile long run before the Chicago Marathon). Then headed to a boat tour of the downtown architecture.

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And finished the trip up with a visit to Native Foods for THE BEST LUNCH EVER. Ugh. Plz come to Indy.

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And! On top of all this, we found a copy of Carol Adams The Sexual Politics of Meat in a used bookstore that was signed. Quite a birthday weekend huh?

And just to tally up the week it was:

Monday: Off – had my eyes dilated at the eye doctor!
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 6 miles
Friday: Off
Saturday: 11 miles
Sunday: 4 miles

Total: 30 miles

Week 9/1-9/7

This week was a lot like last week in both running quality and emotions. Still a little tightly wound, still logging lots of runs. But I am making progress on the first point, at least. I think. I have plans.

Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 8 miles
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 5 miles (supposed to be 6)
Friday: off
Saturday: 10 miles (!)
Sunday: 3 miles

Total miles run: 31

So this is kind of a new milestone for me. 30 miles a week. I have been hovering around 25 miles a week for a good couple of months now so this really feels good. Saturday’s run was my first double-digit run since probably last year and it felt really… solid. Not easy, not hard – just exactly how I wanted it to be. Other things about this week:

1. I’ve been paying less attention to pace lately and it’s been easier on my mind. But most of these were anywhere from 8:30 to 9:20 pace. I think my whole 10 mile run averaged out to 9:18 pace. I feel pretty satisfied with that.

2. On Thursday I had some motivational issues and skimped a bit on my milage. Not cool.

3. I also feel like I could be eating more green things.

Week 4/28-5/4

I’m feeling kind of ‘eh’ about my running right now, so this might come off more negative than I want. With that being said I had a pretty good week last week and did some things I am proud of. My schedule got kind of out of whack too, but oh well.

 

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 miles, quick in the rain

Wednesday: 3.5, 8:30 pace (felt super super fast, got down to 7:XX in the end)

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 2 X 5 miles, about 9:30 pace both ways, another mile or two downtown

Sunday: 4 miles, 9:09 pace

Total miles run: ~20ish

So. Last week. Stuff was happening during the week that kind of took my mind off running, but Saturday was the Mini marathon. The “nation’s largest half-marathon”, and it did not disappoint. We planned to run from the house to the Mini, spectate – watch Scott’s super fast teammates kick ass (and they totally did, I cannot believe their abilities) – then run home. We’re 5 miles from the start, so that is 10 miles total. I got all nervous leading up to it, thinking “Can I do it?” and “I don’t think I can do it.” “It’s going to be awesome!” “Can I do it?” Which, like…. I don’t know what I thought would happen. I’ll just fall over in the street and never take another step? No. That won’t happen. I might get slower and slower and slower and approach infinite slowness? No, again that won’t happen. I’ll make it home. And I did.

It was totally fine. And I barely ran the second 5 miles slower than the first, and still below a 9:30 pace. We also ran around the course getting from the start to the finish, adding maybe another 1 or two miles in. When will I stop doubting myself?!

Ok, obviously never, because today was Monon Tuesdays with the team and I was feeling all crap and chose to never even look at my Garmin during the run. It was warm, I was wearing long tights (?!) and I had some sloshy stomach thing going on. But when I finished and looked at my pace it said 9:08. I thought I was barely running 10 minute miles.

In other news, I’ve been eating a ton of fruit and vegetables and I think my digestive system likes it.

Week 4/21-4/27

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 4.51 miles, 8:54 pace
Wednesday: 3ish miles, 9:03 pace
Thursday: 3ish miles, 8:39 pace (maybe? Garmin didn’t pick up for a while)
Friday: Off
Saturday: 6.01 miles, 9:14 pace
Sunday: 3.21 trail miles, 11:05 pace

Total miles run: 19.73

Yay for 5 days of running! I’m pretty happy with how this week turned out. On Wednesday I experimented with running from work. It was good, but lots of pedestrian traffic leaving the university/hospital area and then lots of car traffic getting to the canal. Meh. I wasn’t totally sold. Might prefer driving to the Y, then running to the Monon.

Thursday was another group run, and an opportunity for Scott to try out these Hoka shoes at the Runners Forum as a possible way to alleviate some of the discomfort he experiences from chemo side effects. And they seem to help! I am happy for anything that further helps more of us running together. Sharing a love of running with a partner is something I really am thankful for.

Saturday was return of the ‘long’ run for my weekly routine. Though mentally challenging, every time I do a long run I am reminded exactly why I love running. It took a mile to warm up and another 2 to really get into a great rhythm, but damn when you find it. I was propositioned to buy some potato chips on 16th street ‘for my run’ – I declined, but maybe if I transition into ultras I’ll consider it.

Today we did some trail running at Fort Ben. I really really liked these trails. They reminded me texture-wise of the river trails in Lawrence, but they spanned a much wider area. The scenery was awesome and interesting, the trail was gentle but undulating. I definitely want to go back for more. Also the colonial style town surrounding it made me feel like I was in the The Village, so there’s that.

Other thoughts on running: this week I kind of felt like I was maybe eating more than normal – I went out to lunch twice at work, then we had Mellow Mushroom one night…. and Scott makes me lots of breakfast in the mornings…. I was kind of stressing. But I weighed myself today and it is the same as last Monday so my worrying was for naught. So maybe I am getting better at just listening to hunger signals with respect to increasing my running? I dunno. Still not totally able to shake off worrying about this kind of stuff. I definitely feel pretty tired today as this is the first week I’ve run 5 days, and just about hit 20 miles for the week…. I’m happy with that. I want to keep that up. So I’m just going to try to keep in mind to eat as a means to fuel running and eat good stuff. Ok.
 

Race Recap: Carmel 8K and Week 4/7-4/13

My first race in Indy felt pretty good! My thoughts are almost the same as finishing the 5K in February, like ‘hmm I kind of am underestimating my abilities’. But this strategy definitely leaves me less chances for disappointment – so ha! Anyways, the race had an 8 am start, 30 minutes after the half and full marathon had taken off. We ended up running into a lot of Scott’s teammates, or partners of teammates that were already on the course and positioned ourselves near the front of the crowd. I was definitely having the ‘oh whoops shouldn’t be this close’ thought when I saw the very competitive runners toe the line. Maybe I need to just look a little more competitive then I’ll try to blend in. I mean – I was wearing a cotton t-shirt, I wasn’t fooling anyone. Anyways, I made sure I was close enough to the edge so that there was ample passing room for people.

As per usual the beginning of a race is very exciting and I definitely was going at like, a 7:30 pace for a hot second before my senses (and legs) settled to an 8:40 ish pace. I was worried to hold it here, thinking I would wear myself out and barely finish the race, but after passing the first and second mile markers with ~8:45 times and feeling great I put more pressure on myself to keep it at or below that pace. The course was gentle with only a few hills; I actually felt pretty good powering up them and steadily descending them that they barely registered. After the third mile I felt really solid at my pace, and started passing a few people here and there until I was mostly alone. By the time I’d passed the fourth mile marker I was really determined to push it as much as I could (which wasn’t a ton) and maybe got closer to a 8:30 pace. With the finish line in sight it was easy to really kick it, and I crossed it in 43:00, with Scott yelling from the sidelines.

My watch read the course a tad longer than marked, but my overall pace was 8:40. I am really happy to continue this trend of sub-9:00 miles. There is something about 9:00 miles that makes me feel like more of an average jogger strolling around so it is nice to see a bit of improvement. I am pretty sure I want to sign up for a half-marathon in the fall and properly train for it, and probably do more 8K’s and 10K’s leading up to it. I have to say – I really liked the 8K distance. It had kind of a nice act 1, act 2, act 3 feel to it that made me really assess my physical effort during a race and the best way to balance it.

After I finished I got to hear about Scott’s race which he ran in an impressive 31:34. We then hung around to cheer the winner of the marathon (again, another PBT teammate, they definitely had a good showing at this race) to his victory for the third year straight.

Today my leg’s feel totally fine if only a tad fatigued, but no soreness or blisters. First race in my new shoes as well, and they feel just like last year’s model which is exactly what I wanted. So for the week it was:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 4.03 miles, 8:50 pace
Wednesday: 4.01 miles, 9:13 pace
Thursday: 4.06 miles, 9:27 pace
Friday: Off
Saturday: 5.02 miles, 8:40 pace
Sunday: Off

Total miles run: 17.1

Week 3/31-4/6

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: 3.8 miles, 9:04 pace
Thursday: 3.0 miles, 9:09 pace
Friday: Off
Saturday: 3.0 miles (?), trails
Sunday: 3.5 miles, 8:45 pace

Total miles run: 13.3

Monday and Tuesday I was not feeling ok to run with my knee still very raw and un-bendable, but everything was fine by Wednesday. Saturday we made it out to Brown County State Park to run Hesitation Point, a moderately rugged trail with a steep decline to the forest floor. It had been a while since I’d run trails, and good trails (I wasn’t much a fan of the ones in Kansas) at that. Though it had rained in the days prior, the trail itself only had a few muddy parts and I thoroughly enjoyed crashing down to the bottom. Of course, I then had to return to the top, which was definitely hard but a good hard. Some points I thought I’d never reach the top, only to find moments later I was getting another wind. My ankles today feel pretty sore from all the stabilizing they did yesterday, but another 3.5 miles felt good and fast on the treadmill. The 8K is this coming Saturday, which I aim to keep a 9:00 pace (or under) for the run. I also picked up this year’s model of the Brooks PureFlows as I hadn’t bought a new pair in a year. Bright blue this time instead of bright pink. Black anyone? Please?

On Repeat: Queens of the Stone Age – Go with the flow
 

Week 3/24-3/30

Last week was a good week running-wise. I was a bit more consistent, and then Sunday….. well I’ll explain. But first, the miles.

Monday: 3 miles, 8:50 pace
Tuesday: 3.5 miles, 9:30 pace
Wednesday: 3.1 miles, 9:00 pace
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: 4 miles, 9:13 pace. 500 meters row
Sunday: 12 miles biking. One incident with a curb.

Total miles run: 13.6

I bought a bike on Saturday. Indy has tons of great areas to ride a bike, so we planned to go to the Monon Trail on Sunday to get me used to the bike. The first 3 or so miles were on roads getting to the trail. In about… I dunno, the 2nd mile, I turned left and (the details are not clear) forgot to slow down so I hit a curb and fell off my bike. Ha. Of course. I managed to rip my running gloves, my tights, and skin my knee, hip and hand.

Sooooo that threw a bit of a wrench into my running. I have been manually bending my knee to get into and out of the car or cross my legs. It’s starting to scab over now so maybe running can be revisited tomorrow. Onward and upward.

I had a second interview with that place, so fingers crossed I am employed soon. It is near the canal so prime running territory!