Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tired and babbling

Here’s what I want:

  • I want my knees not to hurt.
  • I want not to be so hungry all the time.
  • I want not to be so grumpy.
  • I want not to have worn those stupid sweatpants on Saturday that got so soggy and heavy and that rubbed off four-inch-wide swaths of skin from my inner thighs.
  • I want to have workouts that are just about sweating for forty-five minutes or an hour and don’t leave me tired three days later.
  • I want my apartment to stop being such a ridiculous mess, which probably means that I need to find enough energy one evening or weekend to put all that crap AWAY already.
  • I want to know what makes some runs so good and some suck so much.
  • I want to be able to have a nice hissy fit without knowing just how ridiculous I’m being.

You know that friend, the one who, when you complain to him or her about how much everything sucks, feels the need to say things like, “but think of the starving children! And babies with cancer! And look at all the good things in your life!” when what you really want them to say, “good god, how you have suffered! No one could have withstood so much and with such grace! You poor, poor, thing.” You know how you hate that friend?

My interior monologue is that friend. All day—all week—I’ve been in a mood. I’ve been operating at about three-quarter normal speed, tired, and grumpy. I want to blame it on my weekend run-apalooza, but that just makes me grumpier, because yes, there was some serious mileage, but I’m supposed to be able to handle it, and plenty of people run that much and more, and I am going to have to be able to run that much and more, and I’m the one that signed up for this stupid marathon anyway.

And I want it to be last year at this time, because if I were in this kind of mood back then, I would have picked up a tube of cookie dough or at least some take out, and camped out on the couch in my pajamas for hours of snacking and bad TV. But now I’m active, healthy Naomi! And so that thought never seriously occurred to me, and instead I made plans to run with a friend from work so that my lazy ass wouldn’t wimp out again.

And so I went, and it was fine. There were no 8:30 miles, I’m sure, but the weather was nice, and I came home feeling better than when I’d set out.

Stupid running. Stupid marathon. Won’t even let me stay in my stupid bad mood.


So even though I’m exhausted, I’m still really glad that I ran that 5K last Sunday.

Initially I viewed it as a sort of dry run; to see what it’s like to check in and line up and lace in a chip and run with thousands of people on an unfamiliar road course. And even though pretty much all of that will be different the day of the marathon, mostly there’s a vast difference between 3 miles and 26 (about 23 miles worth, actually), and also Anchorage is not metro-accessible, I think it was still a valuable experience for those reasons.

But I learned something else that is far more important: that I’m capable of running faster for much farther than I thought.

Not “oh look, it turns out that my normal pace is faster than I thought it was.”

More like, “oh look, I can push myself this hard, and I don’t need to die after 400 meters.”

I have always been (quite reasonably) afraid that if I overdo it, I’ll collapse well before the end. And I would. It’s not like I finish my long runs with loads of energy to spare. But I sort of think that there’s a hidden reserve that I’m not tapping into. Like, it might be slightly less pleasant a run, you know, with lower quality witty banter, but I would be about the same amount of exhausted at the end, and I might be a bit closer to my time goal.

So anyway, I’m thinking it’s time to test that theory this Saturday. If I die, I guess we’ll know it wasn’t a good idea.


Oh, and just in case you thought I wasn’t obsessed, and also crazy, and unable to give myself a break, even though I clearly need one, I have signed up for a 10K this Sunday.

I really liked the experience of running in the race, because of how it was a different kind of work out. Which I just explained above, so I don’t know why I’m telling you again. But anyway, I want to try a 10K, because for 3 miles I can basically run all out and not die, but I want to try pacing myself for a 10K.

I would have preferred to wait a week or two, but I didn't want to do it the same weekend as my 20 mile run, so it was pretty much this Sunday or not at all. Or I could have gone to Baltimore, but really, that's nobody's first choice. (Heh. A little city snobbery always makes me feel better.)

And I've convinced Tim to run with me, again, so that’ll be good. (Just wait. He's going to join the RBF before you know it.)


Anonymous BD said...

Get some newfangled high-tech sweatpants that fit well. They work. No more chafing in the rain (or snow).

Running almost always makes me feel better too.

Please evaluate yourself closely before you run/race the 10k. If you are feeling achy or fatigued then don't *race* it, just run it. It might be hard with Tim there but you have to give yourself a break. Racing is much harder on the body/knees/legs than running with a slower pace. It's great to push yourself but you just ran a long way and it takes time to recover from that. Six miles is nothing compared to 18 but it can be hard on the body if you race it. Of course, I've never raced a 5K or a 10K so what do I know? I could be full of camel dung. Plus, each person is different and you know far better than I do what you can and can't handle.

Good luck with the 10K!

12:50 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Good god, how you have suffered! :-) Just a little note of awe at your gumption to change your entire lifetyle, to readjust your instincts, and to keep running even when it chafes. (But of course to stop before it becomes too much!) Mucho impressive, sayeth I.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Because I'm obsessed with *my* knees, I am now becoming obsessed with *your* knees! (just kidding...sort of) So, do yours hurt all the time? Only when running? Is it pain or discomfort? I looked back through your archives and saw that you were on the elliptical at one point...was that because of the knees (or "the Jens")?

And good luck in the race! You'll rock!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Noames said...

Ah, the knees.

Well, the new(er) shoes have helped greatly. I was running in Brooks Addictions and with those, the knee pain was pretty bad, and I felt it while I was running and then during recovery. My new Mizumo Wave Nivanas are fantastic--my knees feel world's better during the runs, and aren't nearly as stiff afterwards.

Also, stretching more helps, when I remember to do it. And I've tried to do weight training to strengthen the supporting muscles, but I'm bad about making time for it.

Mostly, I've accepted that the pain is not debilitating and doesn't seem to be getting worse past a certain threshold, and I'm okay with not being able to go down stairs comfortably some days.

Remind me why I'm doing this again?

5:01 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Um, at the risk of being indelicate, use the Body Glide. Use it liberally and use it EVERYwhere. It will block any moisture from getting to your skin and you absolutely will not chafe.

8:11 PM  
Blogger David said...

As I was reading your major league whine about how bad you felt I was thinking I'd comment that I always manage to recover from the same funk by going out and j..u..s..t running.
And there you did it.
So if going down the stairs hurts, try the elevator.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Oh, sweetie. ::hugs:: If it helps, I've been in that mood all week, too. I keep trying to fix it and it won't be fixed. I dunno, maybe it's just allergy season.

Re: remembering to make time for the exercises to help the knees-- I find that I never remember to do something unless it's tied to something else. So if you find something else that occurs regularly, and do those exercises every time that other thing happens... it's like a drinking game, only more regular-like and with exercise and no booze! (Okay, it's nothing like a drinking game. And now I want beer.)

You feel however you want to feel. You're awesome and you are enduring a lot of stuff that you don't have to, stuff that most other people don't have to, for this one goal. Things you chose, instead of having foisted upon you, which makes it even more imporessive. I think that qualifies for some awe-struck sympathy, yes indeed.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Noames said...

Re: the body glide--yes, in retrospect I should have used it there. I've been using it for weeks in the sports bra region, but I just haven't had chafing on my legs before, so I got complacent. In retrospect, I really should have worn my fancy running shorts or tights, which probably would have minimized the chafing, but at the time, I had all sorts of good reasons not to (such as how I don't like being seen in just the spandex tights--oh I am so shallow). I do like to learn lessons the hard way...

As for the elevators... It's kind of funny really. I spent ages breaking lazy Naomi's habit of always taking the elevator, and now that I (sometimes) have a legitimate reason to, I keep forgetting and walking straight to the stairs.

And Meg, I love your suggestion about tying the knee exercises to something else that I do regularly. I'm totally going to try that. And maybe the coup chopsticks too. I like the idea of a talisman.

Thanks, everyone, for being so supportive. Everybody else seems to want to cut me more slack than I give myself. Maybe I should learn something...

11:11 PM  

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