Tuesday, June 9, 2009

1st day off school with a celebratory 19 miler

With an email arrival just moments before I went to bed last night that left me a little agitated and my head spinning, I woke up to my first full day of summer break with about 2 1/2 hours of sleep. Exhausted, fuzzy, groggy, testy, and snappy, I decided I needed to go for a long run; my head needed some major harmony and organization.

The boys had a half day of school but yeah, I was done. Finished. Completed. Discharged. Abbey was sound asleep, as is norm for her 18-year old body so after the boys got off to school, I relished the quited sanctuary of my surroundings. When was the last time I was alone (sorta) in my house. I looked around and thought what a dump it was and how I should get my butt going to clean it...but I didn't, I crawled back to the cozy confines of my bed and I laid there and did nothing. NOTHING for a good solid 15 minutes. I pretended I was meditating and visualized myself in seclusion somewhere on a beach sipping a margarita. Or a Corona with lime. Mental visualization is so powerful in running, it can literally change the outcome of a run or race by merely seeing yourself succeed. Or so I learned in my coaching class. I have to admit that I have tried this approach in moderation and have NOT had the favorable outcome claimed. Boston for instance. For me, when I start visualizing how I can PR or run well, something inside clicks that tells my mind I now have to work that much harder and suddenly, my physical body aborts and I'm left with one hell of a tangled mess. But I vow to spend some of my summer time reading some mental preparation books that I have longed to read and have been collecting dust during the school year such as Brain Training for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald, Running and Being by Dr. Geroge Sheehan, and the one that's been staring at me since I went to listen to his seminar in Boston and HAD to buy his book, The Competitive Edge . Dr.by Dr. Jeffrey Brown. Dr. Brown is the sports psychologist for the Boston Marathon as well as NYC and Chicago. I mean, who knew that there were sports psychologists for a marathon!!??!! He gave a speech on how to tackle the mental aspects of marathoning and wow...this was right up my alley since yeah, I have many. Mental issues that is. He used a lot of visualization also and one little exercise he had us do was to close our eyes and visualizing ourselves crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I was all over it...I closed my eyes and I saw myself running down Boylston Street. He had us sit there closed-eyed for about 30 seconds. Then we all opened our eyes and he asked us to raise our hands if when we visualized ourselves crossing the finish line if we saw ourselves as the one running or if we saw ourselves crossing as viewed from someone on the sidelines. I was a sideline girl; I saw myself crossing as someone was watching me, seeing my entire body crossing verses the other way where you yourself was the person that was actually doing the crossing (does that make sense? I'm not explaining it with elegance the way he did). Anyway, the class was about half and half. He said, "if you visualize yourself as crossing as then you are more likely to be successful." I won't spoil the clincher of which view was more victorious as I don't want to interfere with the progress of your own mental demons. But if you really want to know, email me and I'll tell ya'. Anyway, I found Jeffrey Brown to be absolutely fascinating and especially loved learning the fact that "obsessors" in life are also very superstitious. Yeah....that'd be me. And he said that wasn't a bad thing, it's just the way you handle it. I LOVED this. I had to buy his book, it was only $10 (I think Karen bought me this...I think I managed to not have any cash with me on hand at the time. How convenient), I had him autograph it and I asked if I could have his personal email and a commitment for life-time therapy via email. I'm not sure he found the humor in this! Anyway...that was a major side-track note but that is one book I've had sitting on my nightstand looked at the cover almost daily since my return from Boston but have not had a chance to even read one page. Another book I'm going to read, for once, is my monthly book club book - it'd sure be nice to go to book club and give an education opinion based on the book, which I rarely have time to read, vs. my own experiences....which, really, seem a little more dramatic than most of the book club books. Maybe I should write my own. But that's another story...

Back to my tired state of physical and mental body. I set out to do my long run about 11:15. I know....I thought the same thing, this is way too late. But really, the temps were only in the mid 60's and it was a little overcast so I thought I was safe. I was dealing with the lawyer in Iowa and my brother and the sprinkler guy and the spring break 8th grade DC trip customer service guy and one fairly long phone conversation from Kathryn, Big Sur Marathon-ee, whom I have not spoken to in literally months (she just quit her coaching job....wow!! I am floored. You gotta know her I guess; she put her whole life into it...guess it just was too consuming) and so I just wasn't moving very quickly. The clouds broke early (and I have a sunburn on my back to prove it) and it was WAY humid for this semi-arid state and when I got to the Conoco station to restock my water bottle, I was dripping profusely. I knew I needed to drink like crazy or I was going to have issues. Hahaha....stomach issues were exactly what I DID end up with the last 5 miles and by the final mile, I was walking/running. So much for "running through the pain and fatigue" - I was DONE! I ran the entire 19 miles on the Cherry Creek trail that takes me downtown. It follows the Cherry Creek creek and I love the water; all the rain we've recently had (thus the high humidity) has left the creek really muddy and flowing very fast! Come late July, it will be a mere trickle.

While en route on my journey today, I got 4 phone calls from my boys trying to organize golfing/swimming/friends over/over at friends.....and one stating that we had no "good" food in the house and could I please stop at the store on the way home. Welcome to summer break!!!

Some glute pain about mile 15 of my run. Iced bathed upon return and have stretched it a lot today; it is feeling better - though I can still "feel" it.

Found out that one mr. trainer does not follow my blog regularly. Hum...I find that disheartening. Sad. Very unfortunate because I always thought that one could learn a lot about someones running when they write a running blog and the one that is training your running doesn't even take the time to read. But what do I know....

I'm way excited that I may have scored transportation while in Iowa this summer (and even more excited that it's mid-June and I'm already working out details before the day before I leave :)). Okay, this is complicated so I won't go into details because as my friend, Bob, said (when I was seeing if he'd be my taxi service in Davenport), "that made my head hurt. I need a beer." Ha.

19 miles run.

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