54 Days and Counting: Breaking Limits

Sunday I ventured on (yet again) my longest run to date: 17 miles. I had a nagging pain in my right toe for the first three miles, which troubled me greatly. I had felt it on my Saturday run as well but chalked it up to either a pinched nerve or stepping the wrong way.

But, I am a little fearful it’s something more, so I’m trying to incorporate more rest into this week’s training period. I also was (and still am but muted) incredibly sore after the run. Dad thought it had to do with limited hydration — I agree. Yesterday, I rode for 40 minutes on the exercise bike, and today I’m taking a complete rest. My feet are also quite cramped and achy. Is this what I have to look forward to getting older?

I’ll run 6 and 4 miles respectively on Wednesday and Thursday and then complete an 8 and 12 mile run over the holiday weekend. I see the 20 mile run looming ahead. Yet, that’s it. That will be the longest. It’s hard to believe I’ve come this far in my training.

I’m reading more up on turf toe, which may be exactly what is happening in my right foot. It makes me sound like such a professional athlete!

62 Days and Counting: New Milestones

Yesterday, I officially set my own personal record of mileage distance: 15 miles. I struggled earlier in the week wrapping my mind around running 15 miles (I still am mentally avoiding 26.2). But, with my Nathan’s hydration belt strapped on, Gu in my pocket and my phone for potential conversation, I took to the American Tobacco Trail with positive thoughts.

I felt great. The weather was perfect: not below freezing (as my 8 mile run Saturday morning started at 31F) and not too warm. There was moderate use of the trail — not as crowded as it can be. I truly enjoyed the run. Once I hit the 14 mile mark, I will fully admit that I was ready to be done. But, I finished with a smile on my face.

In attempts to thwart cramping, I am trying to increase my hydration on a daily basis. I have placed a self-imposed limit on the amount of coffee I’m drinking. This is also due to my abuse of creamer (oh, how I love you International Delights!), which is not helping my caloric intake. Two cups max. I’m making the return to the land of tea. Ibprofen is on standby today — withdrawal headaches looming.

Next Sunday’s run is 17 miles. Again, that number sounds like a beast. But, I’m less nervous than I was last week at this time. I know I can do it. Hopefully, I can still finish with a smile on my face.

66 Days and Counting: What Do YOU think About…?

I was posed the question by a classmate recently about what I did during long runs. I explained that I did not run with headphones. He then asked: “Well, what do you think about?”

I’m not quite sure what I do think about. Sometimes motivational chants echo inside my head in hopes of maintain forward progression. I do day dream as well. I have thought about graduate school assignments and how to tackle problems/evaluation reports. I sometimes reflect on the past and pleasant experiences I’ve shared.

Sometimes I come up with witty jokes too. At least, on mile 8, they seem funny to me.

What do others do when running? How much do you think about your own body? Are you in-tune or tuning out?

69 Days and Counting: Half-way There

Again, here’s a whopping two weeks that have gone by, but, to be fair, life is incredibly busy. Throw in a new part-time job and a weekend trip to Knoxville, and you get this.

Speaking of Knoxville, I had to squeeze in a 10 mile run last Saturday before the UT/USC football game. Aaron dropped me off in the Sequoya Greenway, which is located in a very fancy neighborhood. Wow, Knoxville really should be called KnoxHILL because it was treacherous. And I thought North Carolina was hilly!

Joke: Those hills went Top Gun on me. They took my breath away.

Ha ha. Upon return to Durham, I have a week/weekend of some great running. This Wednesday marked the last official BullCity Running run club at Fullsteam (thanks winter). I made sure to attend (one: in hopes of achieving my free t-shirt but second: to celebrate the success of the club). A mandatory MPA conference made running on Friday more challenging. I was absolutely exhausted from not returning home until 10pm on Thursday, so I took the opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep Friday morning. I was able to squeeze in a couple of mile on the treadmill at William Peace University.

This weekend’s weather: stunning. Saturday was a bit windy, but not a cloud in the sky. Finished a brisk 7 mile run on Saturday along the American Tobacco Trail on the Durham side. Did not see the Peeping Tom I had read about (whew).

Yesterday, was a bit more daunting: 13 miles. In honor of those who ran half-marathons Sunday as well (there were quite a few), I added one-tenth of a mile on the end. 13.1 miles. 2:14 was my time. Not too shabby. I started off with my first mile at 10:45 and then subsequently ran between a 10:00 – 10:15 minute mile. Boy, was I stiff last night! But, I’m feeling buoyant today. I’m switching to run tomorrow since we have volleyball tonight AND I have some work to get done.

Until then.