Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Friday, September 6, 2013

Heart, Hustle, and Stubborn Muscles

Hanson Marathon Plan run for the day: 9 miles at marathon pace with a warm up and cool down.

Woke up at 3:40am, feel okay. GI system takes a few extra minutes to give me the all clear. Oddly enough, today I have a few wacky spots on my right calf.  Already rolling my eyes. Tempted to just go back to bed, but I just drank a cup of coffee.. Let's try to at least do a couple miles to see how things warm up.

First half mile. Yikes. My calves feel like a giant mess. My right calf has some tightness at the top portion, and a spot a few inches above my ankle on the inside.  And my left calf had a few spots on the top and outside as well. I was close to just saying F it and turning back.

But then I thought of all the food I ate yesterday and the buffet of food I prepped for today. I gotta at least earn some of that.

Second half mile, not much better. Feeling depressed. Can I go back to bed now? I start thinking I'm going to pull a muscle in both legs, this is it, this is the end Charlie Brown.

But I kept going.  Maybe stretching will help. By the time I got to my stretching area, my legs felt a tiny bit better. I started seeing a fools hope.

Start again, hit mile 1.5.  I think I can at least do an easy set of miles today. Something is better than nothing right? Or maybe I should call it a DNF early and rest..

My ego kicks in. I remind myself, how many runs have I had in the last month where I don't get my legs until mile 3 or even 6? I know what a pull feels like, I can still run this smart. I have to at least try.  I look at the time. I can still pull out 9 miles at marathon pace and sneak in a 1 mile cool down after.  Okay, lets do it.

I start to speed up before my two mile marker so I can ease into my pace. Speeding up was like poking a sleeping bear. I felt the strength was there in me, the energy was there, but my confidence in my calves was not cooperating.  But I was willing to tempt the giant in me. This run was going to happen on pure heart, hustle, and maybe muscle.

The aches in my calves start break up, there is a little more strength being used on other parts of my legs.  Maybe I have poor running posture when I go slow?

I start to feel good. And the numbers back me up:
Ideally, I would have liked to warm up and cool down a little longer, but I run with a time constraint. At least I got my full work out in. My pace miles start at mile 3 and it took me a little to get the feel for the pace. 

Going south there was a bit of a headwind.  It was strong enough off the lake to add resistance to the run, and to give me a lot of dry mouth.  The lakefront path was very light on runners this morning. I only saw 6 people in the first 6 miles, two couples, and two solo runners (between Ardmore and that bridge at North Ave).  I think that was a new record for fewest people out running for that stretch of time and distance.  Maybe it is the darkness? Maybe people have short or no runs today with a lot of long runs happening tomorrow? Or tapering for the half marathon on Sunday?

I need to make a comment about waving to people, at least in the dark. (Note: Please invest in reflective gear, arm band, or a running light if you are going to run before 6) If you want a successful dark wave, you need to commit to it from much farther away. Success rates drop, so don't be too sad. But I made two new categories of reactions to a wave:
1. Did you REALLY just wave to me? who the hell do you think you are?  - This person looks at you with that vapid look in their eyes as you wave, they see it, but they choose to be a bitter Betsy.

2. Uh, wait do I know you? umm HI!!!!!!!!! - This person notices you wave at the last moment and doesn't have enough time to figure out of they know you in any way so they put in 100% enthusiasm in saying hello just in case they do. (They don't!) but now they do!

Some random notes from the run:
I was pretty successful at stopping for water without pausing my GPS and not dropping pace.

Near the end of mile 9, this older middle aged Asian man on a bike (not a speedy type bike) was rolling along, when he suddenly goes into my lane. He was going south, I was going north.  I think he  will go back after he realizes he veered off.. He is now right in front of me, 20 feet and closing. umm WTF. I slow down, hoping he moves, he has no fear in his eyes. DUDE??? He stays the course to go at me. Did he see some imaginary pot hole? I have to stop my run and jump into the grass. He goes on by, staying in the wrong lane and I look back and glare at him...then realize my time is ticking and this mile is now off! Hence the slower mile at 9.

I was getting tired for the last mile at marathon pace, but my legs still had it. When the GPS sung out that it was over, I did a mini fist pump and heard in my head - I DID IT! - in my kid's voice.  She says this many times a day for any task she accomplishes.

I stopped to take a picture at the end as well just so this blog would have some color:

Now for non running stuff:
This is how I feel when I try to amuse you guys and your subsequent reaction:

My day was made yesterday when WBEZ (Chicago branch of NPR) read this tweet on air yesterday. They said it was their favorite response *Swoon*

Annnnd the official trailer for the next Robocop movie!

Happy Friday!


  1. The sunrise this morning was amazing and even closer to 6:30 there were very few people on the path. Weird.

    Nice job with your marathon pace! Sometimes I find it easier to run at pace than to run slow. I'm not sure if its stiff legs or just adapting to a faster pace but its strange. Slow miles are supposed to feel easier right?

    I need to get a light for running in the morning. I've never had one before (bad, I know!) but most of my reflective gear is for cold weather (jackets, ear warmers, etc) and I need something for the warmer weather.

  2. Pete B lakefronttrail.blogspotSeptember 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Awesome job. You always come through in the clutch. Congrats on your tweet being read on NPR. In other tweet related news, I tweeted Penn Jillette this week and he tweeted me back seconds later!

  3. Nice work on ignoring the doubts and trusting yourself.
    My scheduled had me dropping miles today, so maybe that explains the quiet. I agree on the visibility needs for pre-dawn running too. I have a super flashing pink light! I'm not sure it helps with waving but I'm hoping it helps with not being run over (that hasn't happened yet, so let's say it's a success).

  4. No way, congrats! I always hear about WBEZ Chicago on This American Life so I assume it's a big deal. I'd be so excited if someone read my tweet on the air.

  5. My husband is SO excited about the new Robocop. Sigh.

    WTF. I wish you would have stayed in your lane and knocked that guy on his ass.

    Not cool about the legs taking so long. Was it a soreness or them not waking up? Are we worried about these knots?

    Happy Friday!

  6. Great run, way to stick with it. We become our own worst enemies when we let our brains control our legs. Stupid brains.

  7. Nice job finishing your run! It's hard not to get paranoid running while rehabbing for an injury. Every little pain can get thrown out of proportion and freak you out. I agree on the need for visibility on runs when it's dark. I wear a vest and carry a flashlight (since my headlamp broke).

    T-Minus 34 days!

  8. Thanks! I wish slow miles felt easier. I feel like I have too much concentration to spare and it is just off.

    Get that light!!

  9. Thanks! I didn't want to let the WRCE down

  10. Thanks! As long as my trust doesn't turn out to be ignoring a warning sign lol

    Pink flashing light?! I want one

  11. Totes big deal! Pretty sure I'm getting a movie deal now

  12. Haha I love bad action movies. The new Riddick is out too!

    If i knocked the guy down, i would have lost even MORE time in my split! no way lol

    It is soreness. The areas PT works on tend to take time to warm up, but start sore.

  13. I'm getting an app for my legs

  14. exactly this! every sneeze- I'm sick! Every ache- I'm broken! Every doubt - I should quit!

  15. I might have to see the new Riddick movie if it goes to the $5 tickets at the local theater...