Fumbling Towards Fitness

the trials, victories, and musings of a documented slow poke

Running, Researching, Hydrating, Blocked April 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lorna @ fumblingtowardsfitness.com @ 4:37 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s really a shame that there isn’t someway I could just shoot my thoughts straight from my head, while I’m running, to here.  Unless there’s an app for that…is there?  I have so many things I want to talk about and seemingly endless clarity while I’m out on the road or at work, but then the very instant I plop in front of my computer I am all things but articulate and concise or even a little bit entertaining.  Grrrr.  What I do to “try” to get past a block – freewrite?  outline?  Heck no.  I start researching stuff on the internet which leads me down all manner of rabbit holes from blogs, You Tube,  podcasts, Daily Mile, magazines, books…it’s endless.  And then I’ve run out of free time.  So no writing has occurred, but learning stuff?  Yep.  So probably not a great way to get to writing, but awesome for killing precious bits of free time.  I’m like a free time poacher.  I don’t see it much, but when I do, I KILLS it!

So my little running streak turned 49 days old today.  No big feat, I realize, but I am glad to say that running each day has effectively taken on teeth brushing status…it has to get done; I don’t even think about it.  SO, I’m glad of that.  I deserve to have to run everyday.  Just look on my DailyMile prior to the beginning of March (click on the DailyMile box on the right-hand side of this page)…pitiful.  I was a very badly behaved girl.  Speaking of DailyMile, you should totally come be my friend.  I’m a pretty good encourager (well, I’m alright).  It’s a pretty fun little site.  I get a kick of seeing how many doughnuts I’ve burned.  Also, I like joining the various challenges that people post on there.  Okay, I like the bubbly graphs.  They amuse me.

Remember how excited I was to be getting faster?  Yeah, I’m not getting much faster anymore.  Eh, whatever.  I’m so much more captivated by distance than speed, but STILL.  I’m pretty sure a big part of that is me being a lazy slacker bum about doing hill and speed workouts.  I don’t do them.  I feel guilty every week, but I just haven’t worked them in.  Lazy.  So my next goal is to get at least one of each in each week.  Ugh.  How much do I love just throwing my ear buds in and going my required mileage without having to think about it?  A LOT.  This is the next stage in my acquisition of all that discipline that eludes me.  Anybody out there have any ideas on how to get motivated for this?  Anyhow, I’ve managed to get ALL of my prescribed training runs in each week since I started my mileage buildup three weeks ago…victory!  (For me, anyway.)

It’s in the 80s and 90s here so I’m taking water with me on my longish runs.  I’m a weinie about getting thirsty while running, so I sometimes like lots.  I look like a big fat rookie, I know, but I just figure the added weight of the water will just enhance my endurance (right?).  My hydration journey started last year, while training for my first 20k.  I couldn’t get excited about the dinky little flask types of bottles-on-a-belt (see Lacey’s below, on the left), which I felt like I would easily drain within the first mile, so I opted for something a bit more robust (see mine on the right).  Also, I needed the larger pack to accommodate  my convenient running-as-much-as-I-do nose.  I just can’t execute a proper snot-rocket, so I have to pack tissues.  There, my secret is out.

This year, I started experimenting with a Camelbak.  I snagged one up on a whim one day, just before a 10 mile run, because I forgot my ten-weeks-in-the-wilderness-belt (above).  It was a cutie:

Called a “Skeeter”, it held 50oz. of liquid.  I knew pretty much nothing about Camelbaks, but this one seemed like it would do fine.  I went to put it on and found I had to let the straps out ALL the way.  Dang, guess I’m about as big as they expect chicks to get.  Anyway, I ran my ten miles and loved this thing…barely was aware of it.  I had swigged the entirety of it by mile six but didn’t suffer in the miles after.  I started thinking I might need a bigger one.  Researching the next day, turned out I picked up the children’s model.  HA!  Guess I’m as big as they expect kids to get.  Yay!  Anyway, I passed that one down Lacey, the kid-sized girl, and picked up “Aurora”:

Last week's long run

This one is a 70oz. which apparently NO one else in the world runs with.  I am the only person needing this much water, excepting those running the Sahara.  My good friend/running buddy Linda tries to get in on the long runs with me.  She gets by on a teaspoon:

Linda before last week's long run

 Today, I did 7 with my handheld bottle, which ended up being just right.  I thought it would be annoying to have something in my hand while I ran, but it isn’t so bad.  It’s got a strap to tighten around your hand, so you don’t even have to clutch it.  I am getting used to using it for shorter runs.  I’ll share with you a secret: I’ve got a 100oz. Camelbak, also, for the really long runs.  I haven’t seen many experienced runners using these things (they seem to LOVE handhelds) but I’m big on being able to leave and not come back to water source for a few hours.  I feel like a Spartan running around with a little extra weight with this one, but then I’m the distance over speed girl.  There’s my true hydration confessions…what about you guys?

I have, for now, ditched my Pandora dubstep station (don’t judge…it gets me going) during my runs and switched to running podcasts.  They’re pretty subdued, yeah, but really interesting.  Like an extension of my little research hobby WHILE I’m running…woo!  I’m listening to Marathon Training Academy and Two Gomers Run a Half-Marathon, the first being pretty informative, while the second is more just entertainment.  I’m almost out MTA episodes and searching for other podcasts to follow.  Anybody have suggestions here?  There’s also a pretty good one called RunRunLive where this guy interviews somebody in running each episode, which I love, but I have to kind of skip through some of the small talk in the beginning.  Speaking of, I’m reading a bunch a bunch a bunch about ultrarunning these days.  I’m just blown away that these things even happen and I want to know more about the people that do them.  I mean, are they super-human?  What I’m learning is that these folks have conditioned themselves to the point that they are comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Holy schnikes, do I need to learn to do this.   So I’ll report back on what I learn.  I’ve got two books going about the Badwater Ultra out in Death Valley…it’s nuts…135 miles in temps around 130.

Well, you can see that I still haven’t made much progress on the articulate and concise front, but I’m glad I finally got a little bit unblocked and threw some stuff out there.  I actually have tons that I want to talk about and get ideas from all you guys, but that will have to wait until perhaps next week, when I haven’t squandered all of my free time and I’m magically talented at writing…haha.  Talk to you guys later!

ps…check out my little garden:

I planted late this year…around the beginning of April.  Above are my little baby plants.

So we’ve had lots of rain and the plants are growing like weeds.  I’m so excited!


Midnight Running April 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lorna @ fumblingtowardsfitness.com @ 5:38 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today is my 28th consecutive day of running.  Alright, it’s not much to be excited about.  Especially if you know that exactly half of that has been stinky little single miles.  But I set out to try this for a month, and I have no inclination to stop. So that, I’m excited about.  I’m also really tickled that this has fixed by problem of missing runs.  I’ve had to do a few desperate things to keep this going so now  I realize now that all those folks that I was falling all over myself admiring for doing this for so many decades, yeah, they have treadmills.  I’m convinced.  Last night, I went ahead and just ran in a thunderstorm.  One big lesson there: get that run when you can.  We had a gorgeous day all day.  I managed to busy myself with life (that didn’t involve being at work) and waited until the evening, when a storm was kicking.  Yeah, I didn’t check the weather like I learned I was supposed to.  But I was at home, which means I have about 10 pairs of old running shoes that can get soaked and lightening doesn’t worry me, so run in the thunderstorm I did.

My parents are moving from New Jersey back to Savannah which meant I was in New Jersey, helping pack the moving truck for most of last week (we’re big do-it-yourselfers).  So that was five days of getting by on the bare minimum of one mile a day and mostly at midnight, each day.  The last of those was Saturday night, after a 7 something hour drive from Atlanta (where we didn’t leave Atlanta until 5pm).  So, I set out to get a little mileage in on Sunday and barely hacked out five miles.  My body has decided that’s its new threshold.  Since the race, I haven’t managed to all-out run more than five miles without having to include a little walking, for whatever reason.  I only took about three days off between the race and the streak.  I have tendencies to get a little freaked out when I sense that I’m losing ground that I’ve fought hard to gain.  I experienced something similar in CrossFit when, after many months of improvement, I started to get slower.  Who knows what causes this crap.  Am I failing to push myself?  Anyway, I’m keeping my cool on this and working on building myself back up.  I am definitely someone who must fight constantly to keep any progress I make.   Does it work like that for you guys??


Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve been doing my runs during the day.  I prefer the evening/night, but I figure I’ve got to get myself used to the heat.  So, I ran at the beach for the last few days, mostly out of laziness because it’s two blocks from my house. It’s a fine place to run.  I just haven’t perfected the whole coming up behind people that are walking and slipping by them without scaring the peewine and green goose mess out of them (my Mama’s terminology).  Now I realize there is etiquette for this type of situation.  I’m just working on my execution.  At first, I felt like my desperate huffing as well as (what I imagine to be) slapping footfalls (that I know is improper form), coupled with a polite “excuse me” would announce my approach, however a test pass past a strolling middle-aged couple proved that this was not the case.  The poor woman just about back-flipped into the sand while her husband ran off the sidewalk like he was dodging a speeding bus.  (Speeding, no, but bus, perhaps.)  I apologized ALL over myself, and continued on in humiliation.   Okay, maybe I’m not as loud as I think I am.  Shortly after were two ladies with whom I was determined to do MUCH better.  So at about 10 feet away, I politely said “coming up on your left” yet somehow earned the same reaction.   I’m now taking out my earphones for the maneuver so as to more accurately hear what others are hearing.  Clearly I am better suited for the night/lonesome running that I’ve been doing.  My favorite location is the Bay St. Louis Bridge:


Ok, this was taken post-run, so you’ll have to forgive the squiggle-vision.  Guess I’ve gotta get my shots before I run, or it’s gonna be “Dr. Katz”.  Anyway, it’s two miles across with a wide, fenced off running lane, and hardly anyone on it later in the day.  Somehow I always have fantastic runs here.  It’s a magical bridge.

Today I registered for the Pensacola Marathon – November 11………..so, woo hoo!  I’m the kind of chick that has to get locked in and all obligated to make sure I do the work.  Since I apparently need some more mileage buildup, I’m doing this appropriately named “Mileage Buildup Schedule” for the next couple of months before I start training.  (From Art Liberman’s website, marathontaining.com.)

Mileage Buildup Schedule (Schedule I)

Week# Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Total
1 4 Rest 3 Rest 4 Rest 3 14
2 4 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 3 15
3 5 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 3 16
4 3 Rest 3 Rest 3 Rest 3 12
5 5 Rest 3 3 3 Rest 3 17
6 6 Rest 3 3 3 Rest 3 18
7 6 Rest 3 4 3 Rest 4 20
8 3 Rest 4 Rest 3 Rest 3 13
9 7 Rest 3 5 4 Rest 3 22
10 7 Rest 4 5 4 Rest 4 24
11 8 Rest 4 6 4 Rest 4 26
12 4 Rest 3 Rest 4 Rest 4 15
13 8 Rest 5 6 5 Rest 4 28
14 9 Rest 5 6 6 Rest 4 30
15 9 Rest 5 7 6 Rest 5 32
16 5 Rest 4 Rest 4 Rest 4 17
17 10 Rest 6 8 6 Rest 4 34
18 10 Rest 6 8 7 Rest 4 35
19 6 Rest 4 Rest 5 Rest 4 19

I’m not doing the whole thing, just jumping in around week 10.  We’ll see how that goes.

I have lots to talk about, but I gotta rush and catch a few hours of sleep before work tomorrow.  I sat up to wash all my running clothes for the week.  Streaking equal lots of laundry.  More later!