Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The good, The bad and The happy days

So, there's been a mega inversion in the Treasure Valley for the last several weeks following Christmas.  It honestly didn't dawn on me until Saturday's 50K sweep of the Wilson Creek frozen 50K that we may also be dealing with poor air quality.  Nonetheless, the lows have been in the single digits to negative numbers and highs during the day are a swealtering 20 on a good day!  So, all outside running no matter when you go is pretty brutal.  I did get run down at Christmas with family here but doesn't everyone?  I had very low miles in December and I just figured I'd pick back up after my sister left to go back to OK on Jan 5th.  The very next night I met up with my training friend Emily and ran a 10 mile death march.  First off, we were meeting people at the Lake Lowell Refuge and my understanding was that we'd run a straight line from her house which would be less than 2 miles.  Well, leave it to Emily to have something more pleasant. She had a 3 mile route planned out and since we had just under 30 minutes to get there, I realized I was going to die.  #1 I've gained 15 pounds since my BigHorn 100 finish in June 2012.  That's been very difficult for me not only psychologically but physically as well when it comes to my work of breathing on a run.  #2 I ran less than 50 miles in the month of December.  Compared to the 150ish miles I'd been running every month in 2012, Dec was a very low running month.  Needless to say, those 3 miles of sub 10 min/mi was like a full out sprint and in single digit temperatures...the combo was just no good.  I was a wheeze fest on the way home from that 10 miler but the fact that I finished and didn't die and honestly didn't even walk (I may have spent 15-20 seconds wretching at the top of the 3rd roller) in less than 2 hours was great.  Just to know I could knock off a 10 miler felt like all wasn't completely lost. 

However the week following my "almost died but knocked off 10 miles" run, I didn't run even a step.  Between the dance classes for my two daughters and my oldest son's high school JV basketball and not to mention, I have a job, make dinner, do the laundry and try to squeeze some sleep and a few showers in....I feel lucky to have a moment to breathe every day.  Sunday night came around again and I thought it would be prudent to go ahead and do that 10 miles again with Emily knowing that I should be able to have a few days to get more miles in than just 10 that next week.  This 10 miles we ran with Tony Bunt.  He is a super fast guy who was gracious enough to allow me to slog on behind him and Emily.  I swear I've turned into more than a back of the packer, I'm like the little fat kid running behind the entire group waving their hands saying "wait for me"......only in reality I'm the one wheezing, dying on the inside, trying to find that part of me that really does love this. 

All the dang wheezing....and along comes the WC50K.  I've had some serious panic and doubts about my ability to finish this distance knowing my peak flows have dropped, it's absolutely sub-artic weather outside and an orange air quality to top it all off.  Luckily, Jon K and I only had to do about 24 miles and a good deal of that was with the last 20 mile runner who was going at a pace that was completely comfortable for a wheeze machine such as myself.  Even still, on the way home if I tried to talk to many words or laugh or exhale/inhale with any kind of force, it would send me into a mass of smoker's hack sounding cough spasms. 

I swear I can't live like this.  I yell at my kids, I'm angry with my husband and life in general is not pleasant for those around me.  So I gave in and called the doctor this morning.  They got me in today.  I had a fever that was low grade.  She said this likely meant that I've been having "this" lingering and my body has been working hard to fight it off.  OH, maybe that's why I have a stupid cold sore now!  Anyway, she said I had either one of or a combo of walking pneumonia and a sinus infection.  Back to the drug store for my antibiotics and steriod anti-inflammatories.   MORE MEDICATIONS.....I keep telling myself it's for the greater good of my wellbeing.  Not just for running because if that's all it is for, then it seems only selfish to take meds and spend money like that.  I mean I do feel better when I can breath and all but somehow it just doesn't seem fair.  I said as much to the Nurse Practitioner that I saw today and she said it's really not ok for me to just sit around since that doesn't make me short of breath.  Yesterday, pushing H (my 5 y.o.) and D (my 4 y.o.) in a cart at WinCo, I was so short of breath, I had to take H out of the cart to get the grocery shopping done.  Defeating to say the least. 

The good: Doctor's orders say that I am UNLIMITED in the amount of inside exercise I can engage in.  So my 60 min on the eliptical yesterday wouldn't have been considered "naughty".  So I ran 4 miles at the Rec tonight....just nice and easy. 

The bad: I have to take more medicine.  I hate taking meds....I feel like I AM Walgreens!

The very happy day: I am going to get better and feel awesome in less than 3 days and I can really start knocking out some miles!!! 

8 1/2 weeks and counting.  I'm focusing right now on keeping my miles up and getting my weight back down to 130.  This morning I was at 142.2.  IMO this weight is as important as getting my mileage.  "Ain't nobody gonna convince me otherwise!" 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Time and training, pt 1

Time is a weird thing.  It seems like time is the seasoning to most things. 

Training for a mountain 100 feels like turning the treadmill/eliptical/row maching or whatever you are using to the max tension and then trying to train at that level.  It is very very hard.  Don't get me wrong.  I love it, but it's really honking hard.  I have been training like that since May 2012.  It is what I really like to do and I really do like some super hard work.  I signed up for Antelope Island 100 for a couple of reasons.  I really think the island is mysterious so there is a draw to that.  And also, I want to finish a 100 where I am running a very good portion of the time.  Climbing is what I'm the least good at.  So clearly in a mountain 100 (and when I say mountain 100 I mean something with elevation gain in the upward of 10K'-15K'+....Bighorn had 18K') climbing is a big part of the game.  I remember enjoying training last year for pacing Emily at Salt Flats because all I had to do was run.  No climbing, no hiking, just plain ol' running.  What a fun and happy thing to do!  So now, as I prepare to do the same with Antelope Island, I get to just run and run and run some more!