Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Running: The Great Stress Reliever

Today was a terrible, terrible day work. Several times I had to take a deep breath, smile and just go about my business. Thankfully, I ran tonight, so I got to "run-off" my stress.

It seemed like I was going 100 mph, doing 100 things at once, had another 100 to do, and was going nowhere fast. Several times, I've considered changing jobs. Why can't I make a living out of running. Surely, there can be no stress in that. Even if there was, I'd prefer that kind of stress over some of the stress I am used to.

If it wasn't for my sunny disposition (some might disagree with this description, but blah) and the fact that I'm pretty good about letting things bounce off me, I'd've gone insane a long time ago. Oh, yeah, my running also helps. It's my great stress reliever.

As I was saying, it was a pretty nasty day. At around 2:30pm, it started getting better: my running partner texted me to ask if I could start running earlier than our agreed upon (5:30pm) time. Could I??? Of course, I could. We agreed to start 30 minutes after I'd get out of work. I know, I know, it's only an hour earlier, but I needed to start running since this morning (if it wasn't for the fact that I have no more personal time to take, I'd've been out the door running at 9am).

I ended up running with 4 of my friends (a big shout out to them - Laura, Gabby, MAP & John). Great company while running is a double dose of stress relief. We ended up doing 12 miles.

It's never too late in the day for the day to get better. I think I was reading a quote (i'm a quote junky, by the way) that said "you always feel better after a run than you did before." It's true. I'm living proof of that. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, though - y'all knew that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A BIG Happy B'day To The Best Son Ever!!!

A BIG happy b'day to my son, Joshua, who turns 17 today. You cut me deep when you told me "Dad, running's just not for me," but I still love ya lots and lots and lots.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

...Not Feeling "it"

I agreed to meet my running sole sister, MAP, at 7am to run this morning.

I awoke at 6am (even beat my alarm), and wasn't feeling "it". I secretly was hoping she'd cancel. But she never cancels - who was I kidding? As a last ditch attempt, I texted her asking "Are we still on?" Unfortunately, she said yes. Dang, reliable as always.

We'd agreed to run 15 miles, but I was secretly hoping for 20. I'd been itching to run since my knee had finally felt "run ready" since CR over 3 weeks ago. I'd nerded on my running log(s) and saw that I'd only run 8 days in November due to being very conservative due to my knee pain/strain. AND my longest run was 10 miles.

Right from the get go, I felt slow & sluggish, but I kept it to myself. After a couple miles, Map asked me "Why are you running so slow?" She noticed - there's no winging it with her. I told her (and probably convinced myself also) that I'd overlayered/overdressed, and felt uncomfortable.

I secretly wanted to quit, but didn't want to tell her. I suggested we run by my duplex (so I could just stay there since I'd already be home...pretty smart, huh?), so I could drop off my pullover. After all, it was my hard-earned CR100 sweater. I couldn't just take a chance and leave it on the side of the trail to pick up later. It didn't work. Once there, I couldn't quit, now, and make her run the rest of the way solo.

Besides, surely, I'd run more comfortable after this. I'd be running in a t shirt. Nope. I was still dragging. She noticed, too, because she said "You're still going slow, but the pace is ok with me." Ouch.

Well, we did the 15 we'd agreed to. It was a struggle. Looking back, I'm glad I stuck with it and finished. We even did "hills" via parking garage along the way (she smoked me but waited at the top and bottom of the garage for me each time, 'cause she's cool like that).

I apologized for slowing her down and thanked her for waiting for me. She assured me it was no big deal, and you know what: she meant it. It wasn't lip service. THAT is why she's the best, and I love running with her!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Am Thankful For...

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for how well my son's been doing. It's tough to relate to a 16 year old, but i'm trying. Really trying. Our relationship's gotten better...much better, and I continue to work on making it better. We've had some "issues" which both of us have worked on (in our own ways). He has made a incredible turnaround, and I'd like to think that I have as well. I cannot say enough how proud I am of the young man he is becoming. I hope some of it rubs off on me.

There are other things to be thankful for, I agree, but this is my main one. I'm making it all about us this time.

This is my running blog, so you know i'd find a way to make it about that also.

Not far down my list of things to be thankful is my job as a middle school teacher. Yes, I'm thankful I have a job, get to teach and work with kids...but I'm also thankful for all the time off throughout the year that I get to focus on my running. I know. I know. I know. It should be all about helping young minds, and it is, but it's also about me sometimes. Besides, who says you can't juggle it all?

I'm off for the next 3 days and the weekend. Technically, it's a 5 day weekend and it couldn't've come at a better time: This is our 1st time off since school began in late August and, more importantly, I haven't been running much since CR due to some knee pain.

Full disclosure: We get 5 personal days to utilize during the fall semester (and 5 more during the spring semester), and I've already used them all. Nothing wrong with that, but it occurred to me that I used them all for my running - driving to/from races, taking day off for soreness, etc. It's all about priorities.

This got me thinking how much "me" time I get off...time to spend with my son and time to run.

I'm off 3 days this week (plus the weekend = a 5 day weekend), 2 weeks for x-mas, 1 week for spring break and (drumroll)............the entire summer off.

I think I already run quite a bit, but all this time off makes running easier since I practically have all the time in the world to do it, and being slow, I need all the time in the world to do it.

Plus, I get to run with my track runners in the spring for about 5 weeks when I'm coaching them. That's when I get to work on my (lack of) speed with some speedy kids by chasing them.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that all this time off coincides with my son's time off??? Yesssssssssssssssss!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Hills"...of the aluminum, concrete & dirt kind.

We've always had to do "alternative" hills down here in vertically challenged RGV to train for some of the more hilly courses in the Cen-Tex area. The other alternative is to run in some of the awesome state parks in the SA / Austin area, but it can get expensive to travel up there.

So we've had to come up w/ some "unconventional" workouts:

Bleachers - Who doesn't love bleachers? Besides, who hasn't done 'em before? The only issue we have with bleachers is that there are only a few high school stadiums that have high bleachers, and all of them are not open to the public (something about the school/coaches being afraid of the public destroying their new & expensive state of the art turf.

Highway Overpasses/Ramps - The good ol' paved hills. As you can imagine, back & forth/over & down repeatedly does get boring. We recently started using an exit ramp that has been closed ~ to change it up a bit.

Construction Mounds of Dirt - Yes, you read that correct. Here, locally, there's a huge mountain of dirt that I think is for sale or construction crews get dirt from.

I guess if I really think about it, we do have "hills" in the valley...of the aluminum, concrete & dirt kind.