Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breaking Nine

Last night's dinner was a bit strange, I made the kids' dinner and while I did that I snacked - a 1/2 of avocado, crackers.  Finally the dinner I made for myself and Miguel - Red Beans and Rice - was ready so I had a cup of that.  Then more snacking - cheese, crackers, dinner roll, more cheese, more crackers.  I was finally able to intervene when I went for the second dinner roll and said, "Stop, your stomach is full, you don't need more food you need to go to bed."  And so I did.  I was very pleased with myself not eating that second dinner roll.  Those Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls are so addictive!  I found myself wondering about the sum total of my dinner and considered entering it into a calorie counter but I was too lazy.  I had probably 2oz (maybe 3?) of cheese, maybe 15 crackers (Kashi), a cup of beans/rice, 1/2 avocado, 1 dinner roll...sounds about right but I could be missing something.

Anyway, I had a big day ahead of me today and wanted to get to bed early.  "Early" turned out to be 11pm.  I am so bad at going to bed.  My day included lunch plans and an afternoon meeting. Knowing I had a full day I'd packed healthy snacks but instead ate part of a chocolate croissant and most of a lemon tart pastry (don't ask).  And lunch was pretty indulgent too, a mushroom/onion/avocado/cheese omelet, hash browns, toast...but it was so good and I needed a meal like that.  Anyway, my booked-solid day meant I couldn't run in time to pick up the kids.  So I arranged in advance for Miguel to pick them up.  Now that we have a later pick-up at their preschool he's able to do this pretty easily.  Oh, I forgot, at the meeting they had chocolate cake for December birthdays (of which mine was one), so I couldn't very well turn that down.  It was vegan and very rich, I loved it.  I wonder if there was any avocado in it?  I've heard of avocado being in vegan chocolate deserts.  Aaaanyway... 

After work I decided to go home and run from there.  Miguel has pool tonight so I knew he'd be readying to leave as soon as I got back.  It was chilly out (by California standards, 52°) and moving toward dusk.  I put on some cropped running pants and a white cold-weather running top.  There's a loop from my house that's about 2.5 miles with no stoplights to speak of (or hills).  I didn't take any gels figuring I can handle 5 miles on my own after such a big food day.  I wore my headphones but I always keep the volume low so I can hear cars.

I started out running what felt like around a 9-minute pace.  I thought about slowing myself down some but decided that since I was only running 5 miles I could just see how things played out.  And I decided not to look at my Garmin, something that seems to work pretty well on these shorter runs.  As I ran I felt like I was keeping up the same pace, though I know from experience it can be hard to tell how fast I'm running based on feel.  At about mile 3 I felt myself lagging a bit and thought, "some shot bloks would be nice right now."  But then Eminem's Till I Collapse came on, like a gift from the heavens, and gave me the boost that I needed.
Cause sometimes you just feel tired.
You feel weak and when you feel weak you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.
Could there be any better lyrics to push you on a run?  By the time the song was over I was back in my groove.  Around mile 4 I turned off the music.  I can concentrate on the running better when I can hear myself breathe.  The real fight started when I got to 4.6 miles.  I felt myself fading so I dug in on the self talk, "It's almost over, you can rest soon, you might be on the edge of a great pace, don't give up now, go."  I remembered running with Jane on Sunday.  I remembered her telling me that she started running about the same age I am now and that she's just gotten faster and stronger (she's a smidge over 50 now).  That was so encouraging for me to hear.  Sometimes I get down about the fact that I wasted so many years sitting on the couch.  And I wonder how many years I'll be able to keep this swim/bike/run/weights thing going.  Jane made me feel like I've got years ahead of me, decades even.  Anyway, I used all that self talk and the thought of getting stronger over time to push myself.

Happy 8:58 post-run picture.
I reached the 5 mile mark and thankfully got to stop.  I was very pleased with myself and gave myself a couple, "good job, Michelle" verbal pats on the back.  Heck, there was no one else there to do it so I might as well.  And then I looked at my Garmin...5 miles in 44 minutes, 48 seconds for an average pace of 8:58 minute miles.  I broke the 9-minute mile mark!  Woot!  I was immediately so glad I pushed myself during that last .4 miles.  It was worth it.

And look at my splits, my fastest mile was the last one.  My slowest was mile 3, where I'd felt myself fading.  The average pace translates into roughly 6.7mph.  I'm thrilled to maintain that over 5 miles.  

Run splits. Full Garmin stats here.
So I was walking the few blocks toward home but I started getting cold.  It was well after dark and the cool air was no longer my running air conditioner.  I started a slow jog just to get home faster.  

I walk in the door and the kids tackled me, "Mom, how was your run?"  My son is Mr. Grown-Up these days.  They were about to sit down for dinner so I was able to stretch and have a quick shower.  Miguel made a plate for me before he left but I didn't feel hungry yet.  And before I ever got hungry my stomach started hurting.  Grrrrr.  So irritating.  I skipped the Vitamin C today so I don't think that's it.  Maybe it was all the food indulgences today?  Maybe it was the hard running?  In the end I ate maybe a 1/2 of avocado, a few bites of black beans and then figured a dinner roll was probably best for my achy tummy.  Not much of a dinner but breakfast is just a wake-up away.  

So I've done a bit of reading about post-run GI issues, which are quite common. Some people have problems with every long run. Though today's run wasn't long so I don't know if any of this applies.  Anyway, some people take an Imodium AD before a long run (or just after) and that keeps these issues at bay.  Something to consider.

Oh man, I'm exhausted.  Done.  Wiped out.  Tired.  I'm off to sleep and hopefully have some sweet dreams. 

p.s.  The online chatter about Jillian screaming at contestants on The Biggest Loser has been interesting. Sounds like her behavior turned a lot of people off.  I recorded it and hopefully I'll get time to watch more than the 5 minutes I saw last night.  Though BL is so dramatic and more reality than reality that I don't know if I can get into it. We'll see. 


  1. It might be the Vitamin C (I've read your last couple of blog posts on my iPhone, which I find difficult to comment on...I digress). I have GI trouble whenever I have too much C.

    I am so proud of you for breaking 9 minutes on a 5 miler! Good for you.

    BTW...I just turned 50. One of my BFFs Elsie, ran a 1/2 marathon on her 60th bday last year... you've got YEARS ahead of you!

    1. I think it might have been, the upset stomach has gone away. I'm trying to decide if I should give it another go or just give up. I'm sure there's some C in my daily, plus what I take in in food.

      Thanks for the cheers on my breaking 9 :)

      But THANK YOU for letting me know about you and your friend as far as age and running/fitness. I need to start taking my body maintenance more seriously though, rest when I need it, etc, so I can keep this up over the long haul. And Happy Birthday for the big 5-0. Even though I'm 42, 50 feels like it will be here before I know it and I want to be ready for it!

  2. Girl, I too have a very special relationship with Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. I kill a whole pack all by myself!! Great job on the 5 mile run! I used to run but with 3 kids and the youngest being 1 yr old and no childcare it is not possible so I burn all my calories in my living room. But one day I will get back to it.


    1. Aren't they like crack? Sweet, soft yumminess gets me every time. You'll be able to run again someday but good job getting it done some other way in the meantime! Off to check out your blog...

  3. Congrats!!! I love the feeling you get on the days you make a personal milestone!

    1. Thank you!! Feels great. Running slow today though...balance, right?


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