Running Hangover

I planned to run 15 miles.

As the hills grew steep I became discouraged and around mile 10 I stopped. I started to question why I was even running.

Now I have to back the story up…

Nic found a route on MapMyRun.com and I chose not to really look at the map, but to just follow him. When the sun set and my body temperature started to drop I got scared that we were going way off course.

It felt like hours ago when he told me what the half-way point was. Did he know where we were going? He told me all the hills were in the beginning, so in the cold and in the dark and after hours of running, when we hit a steep hill of about a quarter-mile long, I panicked.

My mind started questioning and became worried. So my body could only respond by stopping.

I had a choice to make. Either stay stubborn and angry (at him for no reason) in the cold or suck it up and keep running and stay warm. So I ran.

I ran until Nic practically collapsed. His knee gave out at mile 11. We walked a mile, him limping and me helping his arm stay over my shoulder. All of his weight leaning on me.

We got to a coffee shop…yes, yes it was Starbucks…and called my brother to pick us up, three miles from home.

So close, yet so far as the saying goes. Nic said he felt defeated, but sometimes you have to let the pain win. If you always put the pain to the side, it might get worse and take you out for good.

Eleven miles is still something to be proud of, even if the expectations were higher.

After getting warm with coffee and pumpkin scones my brother arrived.

The next day at work I had the most agonizing headache of my life and had to leave early. It felt as if I got punched in the head and stomach with the Iron Hammer from Zelda. I could not decide if I needed coffee or water.

Going from sweating and burning calories to abruptly stopping in the cold with the sweat cooling and the joints locking, made me sick beyond what I have ever felt.

I thought I did everything right. I was constantly drinking water after getting picked up. I took a warm bath and ate a dinner of carbs and protein. I guess after all the options have been used and you thought you did all the right things, you have to suck it up and deal with the bad times.

Taking the scenic route

I went running the other week in the back hills of Vista, aka the boonies. Nic and I found a really amazing trail through the brush and amazing landscape behind Gopher Canyon Road. After probably trespassing on a few properties we found the “real” trail. Where the trail starts, I still don’t know. It would be cool to find the real trail head so we don’t have to risk hopping over “Private Property” signs again.

Without exploration nothing cool would ever be found. And this trail was epic. No houses or streets, tree branches towering over my head, hopping over stones, trying not to trip over roots.

The last stretch back to the house on the hill Nic was house-sitting is a mile of gradually increasing uphill. Fun? Sort of. Then why? Great conditioning.

Here are my miles from last week:

Tues: 7

Wed: 0

Thurs: 6

Fri: 0

Sat: 0

Sun: 13

Mon: 3

Total for the week: 29

I admit I got bogged down by work and school. With just two extra days of running in there I could have easily reached a 40 miles week. 40 miles in a week is acceptable for a newbie marathon trainee according to research I have done through runnersworld.com and active.com.

My goal for this coming week is 50 miles.

Mezamashii

Lake Calavera – endless running routes around and to the lake from my apartment in Vista. This was my first time in this special spot that North County has in the heart of suburbia. I still do not own a pedometer to track my miles, but a great alternative is MapMyRun.com.

With this website you can mark your starting point and ending point. It follows roads, but you can always trace a route that is not defined by roads and the website still tracks the miles. From Point A to Point B and back to the beginning, miles can be tracked. This was a great find to help log miles and reach my goals.

The run from my house to Lake Calavera was my first time running nine miles since my half marathon earlier this year. It felt great to be back. Back to challenging my body and actually feeling tired and worn out by the end. Something to actually feel accomplished about. There are only so many times I can run six miles and still feel accomplished.

During the run I was feeling a little light-headed and needed to stop half-way through. I really wanted to run all the up to steep mountain, but my head got dizzy and I had to sit and slowly sip water. Sometimes I don’t know what is wrong with my body. There are good days and bad with running (and with everything). And that was a hard day because I thought I was hydrated and I thought I ate well, but the dizziness did not stop until after I had to just stop thinking about pain.

My favorite quote from the book “Eat and Run” By Scott Jurek is: “pain only hurts.” Every time I feel woozy I need to repeat that over and over until I finally don’t care about the pain anymore because I know it is just temporary.

A big misconception about running is that it just is not for them. It is too hard and their bodies are not cut out for it and they feel sick. Well so do runners that run everyday! It isn’t always easy. Runners just push through the vomit-striking feelings and swallow it. It only gets “easier” because bodies adapt.

I found the term “Mezamashii” through a video I saw online while reading running articles. It said Mezamashii is defined as: “when running means more.”

That phrase really made my nerves tingle, mostly because the video was done so well and had a profound meaning to it.

People get running confused with obligation, losing weight, being pretty and skinny, with something that is a burden rather than for fun. Running does not need to be these horrible-feeling triggers. Running means something different to people and yet they are connected in some way.

Running means more. And at the same time it does not have to mean anything. It can just be.

I have gotten a lot of people coming up to me at work saying they have seen me running around the neighborhood, seeing as I live right by my place of work. Customers and my coworkers and my friends have all seen me running like a crazy woman around Vista and Oceanside. To me that feels good. I embrace me home and my neighbors recognize me. It feels good. It makes this place feel like home.

I have mentioned this before in my blog; how a place does not feel like a real home until you run around your house and your town. I have moved around a few times to Yellowstone, Death Valley and Las Vegas and not until I ran did those places feel like I really lived there. It makes you connect to your surroundings a lot more.

With that thought, running has always seemed to be a part of my life and I never realized it until the other day I actually thought about it. Wherever I have been in life running has always fit. It fit in with my first-ever semester at Palomar College and it fit with me moving a lot. And that is what makes me think back to “Eat and Run”. Running takes you places. It takes you places in the soul and around the world.

The “P” Mountain

Getting back to basics.

After my internal struggle trying to define myself apart from my relationship while at the same time wanting to share the experience with someone I love, I have re-discovered a piece of myself I felt I was losing.

But nothing is ever lost.

I went to Palomar College to do some homework. After I was done, I once again strapped on my camel-pak and started from Lot 12. I ran up Las Posas and turned right on Borden. Down that street I was enticed by the “P” mountain.

I didn’t know where I was going or how long I was going to run for. I just went. I saw the white, chalky “P” and thought, “hey why not run up that big thing?”

I was not quite able to run up the entire hill, but I hiked it to the top and enjoyed the view of the foggy ocean and a glistening sun reflecting off it.

After catching my breathe I started back down, slowly. I did not realize how steep I was climbing until I almost fell down the rocky mountain. I talked with an older man who was on his way up. He said he saw me running up it.

His daughter hikes a lot and he tries walking the hills around his neighbourhood. He said his daughter hiked Mt. Woodson and asked me what I thought was more difficult.

Mt. Woodson is a beautiful four-mile hike starting from Lake Poway all the way to the potato chip rock. But, the entire way up is a struggle.

The man told me he tries hiking up the mountain on his break from classes at Palomar College. I think that is a great idea for students who don’t know what to do with their time between classes.

I said goodbye once the mountain started flattening out at the base and ran back to Lot 12 from the way I came.

Running. It is who I am. Rooting my spirit within through the movement of my legs.

Sometimes I can veer off my path. But going back to basics is what it is all about. Not thinking, not “training”, not keeping track of miles, just going out and running.

Anza-Borrego Wind Caves

Running free. I felt as close to the earth as I think I ever could. That moment I had a glimpse at what being human is.

For Nic’s birthday we went camping in the Anza-Borrego desert. We drove down a wash and set up camp near the wind caves. The hills went on for seemingly endless miles.

I strapped on the camel-pak and headed for the golden bee-hive mountains with Nic.

Even in mid-day heat I didn’t want to stop. Having a bag of water on my back makes me almost invincible. I don’t need anything else.

It is a life of simplicity that I strive for.

I lost track of miles or time. It was the epitome of freedom. I could run forever. Especially in such a beautiful terrain.

Sharing the experience with Nic was great. I like not having to talk while running. Or my ego to feel the need to keep up with my faster partner.

I always defined myself as the crazy friend who went running anytime, anywhere. And now Nic has adopted a similar lifestyle. This has not stripped me, but there is still a strong need to assert my own self apart from the relationship.

Nic made a great point while we were in the desert camping with our friends. He was explaining that a relationship is like a venn diagram. The two circles have to be complete and only after that, come together and share a small circle together. But we still need to have most of our circle to ourself.

Pushing the limits

I finally have a training schedule thanks to Nic’s dad who is also running with us. Though, I need to tweak it a little to fit my own schedule a bit better. The whole concept of a training schedule is to pick up miles every week, have one or two long runs in a week and the other days are shorter ones. The shorter ones are meant to not burn you out but keep your endurance and momentum going. There is one rest day and one cross fit day, meaning you do a different exercise besides jogging.

I missed my eight mile run yesterday. I had homework to do before I went to work and I don’t like excuses, but that’s all I got right now.

With the changing of the season, the sky grows dark much earlier. Yesterday I worked from 2-8 p.m. and by the time I got home the sun was gone. Running at night is not my first choice so I just went to the rock climbing gym.

I have found myself in a predicament.

I haven’t been pushing myself to do better. I haven’t been pushing the miles like I should. Nic said the first week of training his knees hurt, then it was his calves, and for the past week his ankles have been the problem. I don’t feel pain like. If I do I am unaware of it because I push through it. But, after he said that to me it got me thinking how I haven’t been sore.

When I was trianing for the half marathon last year I was running everyday and I was running hard. I wan’t logging miles every week. I was barely tracking it when I went out for the day. I just ran and ran and ran. When I was hurting to stop I would just keep running. Take a sip of water, but never stop to walk.

But, the passed few weeks I haven’t had that. That feeling of being sore after a long, hard run. I love that feeling because I know I challenged myself and sweated my little booty off.

I run almost everyday. But I should be running everyday (except maybe one). And I need to be keeping my miles up. I have been waking up early before work or school which has helped keep my miles up for the week. It needs to be more. I know we are always hardest on our self.

This morning I woke up and started hydrating right away (I actually started drinking a lot of water last night before sleep). I toasted sprouted Ezekiel bread with flax (for the protein) and spread almond butter on it. I whipped up a carrot, celery, kale, and pear juice with my amazing home juicer. And I was off.

I started at the bottom of a hill and got off to a fast start. Usually I start off slow, but I figured since I have been noticing myself slacking off with my runs I needed a strong start. Through out the six mile run I would go from running at my normal pace, which is kind of slow at about a ten-minute pace per mile, and then I would sprint. Run as fast as I could for as long as my lungs could handle and then go back to running my normal pace. I kept this going throughout the entire six miles.

After I was done I finally got that feeling. I really can’t describe it quite effectively…except it is me being limitless and boundless. On the road and in life.

I recommend investing in a pedometer. I need to get one so I can be consistent with these sprints during my run. I want to keep track of my time, pace, and miles.