I am a piss poor blogger. My life got ridiculous, and personally crushing, and depression and BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. So I’m back now. I’d like to say, “And through running, I found an outlet for my anxieties and sadness. Through running I solved my reoccurring sense of soul crushing disappointment and ongoing familial stress.” But that’s a lie. What I can say is, “Running kept me from totally losing it, which is an accomplishment, because fuck me sometimes it’s the small things.” So, that’s all I have to say about that.
Had my long run on Sunday. I’m being really casual, internet friends, when I say that. Imagine a shrugged shoulder and a scrunched up “It’s Whatever” face. Just a light 9 miles. It’s whatever.
No. It is not whatever. I RAN FROM ONE FUCKING CITY TO ANOTHER FUCKING CITY. Granted, they are both shitty fucking cities, but I started in one shitty city AND I ENDED IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT, THOUGH SIMILARLY SHITTY, CITY. I still, and this shit happened Sunday, cannot wrap my head around that. I would never, ever, schmever have believed that I was capable of running to another place. I totally get that 9 miles is nothing. I get that some people run 9 miles every day, but this gal does not and has never ran that far before. But, it’s not the number that I’m impressed with. 9 is a lot, and I’m proud, but this weekend is 10. And the half marathons this year are 13.1. And next year’s marathon is 26.2. So I have a lot to go, but I cannot get over running from my current city to my hometown. (Oh yeah, touching emotional spin. You know, something about how you can never go back, but you can run through it, or something. How I’m a grown woman who can accomplish this foot driven pilgrimage of the soul.)
Yeah, I’m a grown woman who had her grandpa drop her off and pick her up at the trailheads because she HAD 4 BEERS OVER THE SPAN OF 4 HOURS AND WAS WASTED THE NIGHT BEFORE. Too wasted to drive her own car home. Like, T-Bell caravan wasted. Class act over here. What the hell happened to my tolerance?
So the very boring facts of the run: Ran with hand water bottle, phone tucked into its pocket. Podcasts and The Civil Wars for jams. Learned about Sleep Issues, The Religion of Atheism, and Cooking Lamb. First 6 miles were really nice, 7th was less awesome, almost died in the 8th, and the 9th I was riding the hope that if I made it through, perhaps I’d get an award from a secret running organization that watches slow, flabby ladies like myself running from somewhere in the sky and sends them gifts for accomplishing mediocre goals. Less than 2 hours. Bitch ass sunburn on my left side (including face) and wicked tan line from clothing and iPod armband.
Speaking of: Today I went back to 2005 and purchased an iPod shuffle for running. I just don’t need the bulk of an iPod Touch and an arm band. Reasons I have basically spit on technology:
-I don’t need a screen when running. When do I have time to look at it? As previously discussed I am trying NOT to fall down. I make a playlist before runs so I don’t have to do much changing. Currently IT’S ATTACHED TO MY ARM, so I can’t see it without looking like a failed circus act anyway.
-I do not like that it’s on my arm. It’s heavy-ish (it is not, but I like to complain) and it’s hot (this is true, it’s like a sweat swamp) and with an iPod shuffle I can clip it to my shirt/sports bra.
-It’s cheap. Brand new, with engraving* and free shipping, right at 50 bucks. So if this thing dies in a year due to sweat or heat or cold or whatever, no biggie.
-It’s small and less noticeable. Some races “don’t allow iPods or other MP3 players in the race.” Yes, yes, I get it. It’s for my safety and yours. Well, unless you are willing to run beside me and tell me all about interesting, current event topics and keep my mind off my the burn in my thighs and the cramp in my side then I don’t really care about your rules. (I’m sure I’ll be enlightened as to why I’m speaking out of my ass and am a terrible person for doing so, but for realz, I need Ira Glass to run a long distance. I NEED HIM.)
So, hopefully, I’m back.
*The engraving is: “Easy. Light. Smooth. Fast.” Honest to goodness, Caballo Blanco changed my life just by doing what he loved.
P.P.S. - Thank you, Addie, for keeping me honest to this and being a push towards healthy (and sarcastic).
Dear Running Bitch –
It is runner’s etiquette to nod, even smile, to a passing runner. I did not read this is a book. I did not learn it from a website. I was not told this by a seasoned runner. This is just something you learn, quickly, as you run, especially in suburban neighborhoods where the passing runner is, no doubt, someone who lives less than a city block away from you. So please don’t act ignorant to what I’m about to say.
DON’T ACT LIKE A BITCH WHEN WE PASS. You don’t have to smile, you don’t have to mouth “hi”, you don’t have to be my friend (I most certainly do not want to be your friend) but you have to acknowledge that a person is running by you. We are all in the same damn boat here. Running is terrible. Running in 100 degree weather is worse. AND WE ARE BOTH RUNNING.
Maybe you’re acting like I’m the ghost of Roy Cohn because you’re having a bad day. You know what, that’s okay. But when I pass you week after week, either you’re being a bitch or your face is the most wrinkled up, disgusted looking, train wreck of an overly tanned mess I have ever seen. Let me fill you in on two things:
1. We are not in competition. I am a very realistic person. I know I have about ten pounds of pure, beer and pie fueled, pale white fat I need to lose. I know that my run is similar to any scene in The Hunchback of Notre Dame when he is moving at any pace quicker than a slow walk. I am aware that I am sweating as though I have just done enough cocaine to bring down the entire dance floor of a gay bar. I don’t think I’m prettier/faster/better/thinner than you.
2. I am not hitting on you. Let’s pretend none of the above description of myself is true. Let’s pretend I look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Let’s pretend I wasn’t happily engaged and very much in love. Hell, let’s pretend you met me five years ago and that wouldn’t even have mattered. Let’s pretend I am a hot ass, promiscuous, playa for realz who wants to take you home and show you a thing or two about Early Renaissance Theatre if you know what I mean. (Oh, you don’t? Oh that wouldn’t be interesting to you even if you did? I mean to say, “Show you a thing or two about hot rods and my bench press stats.”) I AM NOT GOING TO HIT ON YOU AS YOU ARE WORKING OUT. That is so fucking disrespectful, ill timed, and sweaty. I am just trying to be nice.
Just know that making that effort, the nod (and smile that I give but am not expecting back) is quite an effort for me. Not only must I break myself away from the hypnotizing Natalie Merchant song I am trying to “lose myself” in so I can “just disappear into the run” but I also must, for those four seconds we pass each other, pretend that running is great. Pretend running is easy. Pretend that I am not counting each step in hopes that once I get to 100 or 200 or one million, that’ll be the one that is in front of my house or a fucking pizza joint. I am making the effort because I applaud your effort. You are out there, giving it a try, and I think that’s pretty fucking amazing and heroic.
You damn bitch.
Yesterday I did not get up to run in the morning. No, I instead used my very adult, very responsible way to get out of things and used my morning whiny voice to my partner about being too tired to get up when the alarm went off. Now, my partner is a hyper intelligent, totally pulled together, mature woman, but my morning whiny voice is like her kryptonite. I think I could talk her out of going to our own wedding if I could crack my voice enough times. So I enjoyed an hour and half longer in bed.
Wednesday is a choice between running a measly two miles or cross training. She cross trained at the gym, like a respectable person, and I waited until evening to do anything that even resembled productive. Far too busy “watching” the Olympics and reading everyone on Facebook.com act like bigoted douchebags about ChickFilA. (Let me state for the record, the people whom I would consider friends were not acting like douchebags and instead brought tears to my eyes with their amazing support and open minded discussion.) So when I did get out to run I got all sorts of cocky and using that voice inside my head that sounds like a condescending giant I thought to myself, “Oh! 2 Miles! How ridiculous! I’ll do hill repeats so this is even worth my time!” I am, without a doubt, an ass.
Half a mile = two hills (but going the same way) meaning, two down hills on your first trip, turn around, two uphills for the second half mile. I am an idiot. Of course the first part was awesome. You could roll down it if you wanted. The second part is horrific. AND THEN YOU DO IT AGAIN. Mile 2, first downhill, I am dreading the next part like Andy Dufresne did as he walks into Shawshank State Prison for the first time. I couldn’t even enjoy the easy sprint into MY OWN DOOM. But, like all other runs, it came to an end and I stood in front of my house considering lying on my porch until my partner came home from rehearsal. I did not. I did not because there were ants.
Let’s play a little game. It’s Spot the Differences! The first picture is taken before my run, the second after.
I can count 4:
1. It is darker outside.
2. The light is on inside my house.
3. You can see my chiggers clearer in the second photo.
4. I LOOK LIKE I’VE BEEN DRUG FROM A MOVING VEHICLE.
So in reference to my last blog post, I explained why I hate morning running. The number one reason was because my body is like a small desert and running makes me want to drink from birdbaths. I have now made two attempts to solve this problem, by taking drinkable (by human standards) water with me on the run. THIS HAS BEEN A DISASTER BOTH TIMES.
The first attempt:
I filled an aluminum water bottle with ice and water. Jesus Christ Chelsea, it’s like you don’t understand basic science. Problems faced: I cannot do two things at once. Running and making my hand responsible for the care of a water bottle led to frustration, aggravation, and running sideways. I legitimately cannot ask my hand to grip something and still expect my arms to swing and my legs to carry me forward in a straight line. I am willing to concede to the fact that it’s just me, that other more normal people without the klutz crown I wear are able to do three things at once. It’s worth a try. BUT NOT EVER AGAIN.
Additionally, if you fill an aluminum water bottle with ice and cold water it becomes, and I don’t know how, dry ice. It has the ability to burn your hand in a matter of seconds regardless of how hard you are sweating and how hot your body, read: hands, happen to be. Believe me, I am the Human Torch while running and I considered ditching the bottle in a neighbor’s yard just to rid my hands of the incessant cold attack. I was willing to litter and possibly die of dehydration two blocks down.
The second attempt:
Like any good half assed attempt at change, I bought something cheap and quick to fix this issue. I went right out to our local Academy Sports and bought a water bottle that attaches to your hand that needs no grip. I did no research. I JUST NEEDED SOMETHING RIGHT NOW. It wasn’t awful. It’s a 9 dollar step in the right direction. The fit and size of bottle are perfect for my nimble, lesbian hands. The fact that it stays on without my hand having to do anything IS AWESOME. I can run in a straight line, I can swing my arms, I can pretend I am running a race with all of my asshole ex-girlfriends there to see a thin, beautiful me crossing the finish line appearing to have just come from a fashion shoot and with abs you could use as sheetrock.
What I cannot do with this water bottle is drink cold water. These hands, while attractive to look at, are also small volcanic rocks just bursting forth from the lava when running. The plastic bottle is against your hand so the water gets hot very quickly. So as I reach mile 2.5 and attempt to refresh myself from my new purchase my lips are greeted with boiling water. I threw it in my front yard as I ran by. Fuck that bottle and fuck my yard.
I have ordered a new water bottle, one that is insulated, in an effort to keep the water cold. Amazon.com reviews best pull through for me. Until that comes in, I am going to make alterations to my old/new water bottle. I am going to place a washcloth between my hand and the bottle, you know, try to create a barrier between the hot plate hands and the water. This will no doubt look classy and add legitimacy to my “runners appearance” something my numerous frat-boy shirts with the sleeves (and sides) cut out was unable to do beforehand.
Better (but bad):
I ran the prescribed three miles this morning. Waking at 6:20 I can say the following about the run: It was beautiful outside, I felt very accomplished very early in my day, and never has something sucked so much ass before. I hate running in the morning. To every runner that has ever said, “I get halfway through my run before my body realizes what it’s doing!” you are a damn liar and possibly have nerve damage.
Reasons morning running sucks:
1. There is no goddamn water in your entire body. Remember minutes before you put on your clothes and left the door to go for a joyous morning jog? Remember when you went pee? Yep, that was the last liquid you had in your body and you will now spend the entire second mile of your run considering drinking from a stranger’s hose.
2. If you are like me and wear contacts/glasses, you are running in your glasses because it’s six thirty in the morning. I don’t care that I look like a pale, lumpy mathematician as the morning commuters drive by. I even appreciate that when I am hating every moment of my life and running in that lungs on fire, please God trip me now and put me out of my misery, way that I can look down and see nothing but blur. It’s a way to trick the mind into thinking you’re okay, hell you might be so fast your eyes just can’t focus, but honestly it’s just so I can’t see how far away the next street I’m turning on is. The problem is in Sun VS Eyeballs VS Eye Wrinkles. I am blinded and as I squint I can imagine the weird creases that are now around my eyes (WHICH WERE NOT THERE LAST YEAR I SWEAR TO GOD) setting in deeper and deeper. It’s like I am choosing between being fat again and looking old.
3. It’s morning and you could be sleeping and your partner could be snuggled in beside you and your dog at the foot of the bed and your cat by the pillows and the cool air and warm sheets form a sort of heaven on earth. But no. You’re outside running because in theory this seemed like a big deal. Something to accomplish. So you can say, “I RAN A HALF MARATHON!” Fucking idiot Chelsea.
But tomorrow is another running day and I’ll be out in it. A review on handheld water bottles is coming. Try not to get too excited. I’ll give you a hint, I spent most of the day on Amazon.com ordering a new one. CLIFF HANGER.
This is a blog about my experiences training for a half marathon.
In an attempt to keep myself honest, both with the training program and myself, I will make an effort, however ridiculous and boring it may be, to chronicle the experience here. I had decided it would be self serving to have blog about these next twelve weeks, but then I ate most of a pie on Monday as opposed to to “Stretching and Strength” that was planned. It appears I need the element of accountability. So, with Day 1 blown, I start here, on Day 2, ready to make the commitment.
The deets, if you’re interested: The races are the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon on October 20th and the Bass Pro Conservation Marathon on November 4th. Weight is 130lbs as of this morning. I am using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 Training Program but will be switching the “Long Run” days to Saturday instead of Sunday. I run comfortably at a 10:40 to 11:00 mile. I wear Nike Free+ shoes and whatever clothes my partner has been kind enough to wash for me. My partner, soon to be wife this upcoming April, is also training. She is beautiful, athletic, and I do not run with her because doing so makes me want to go home, eat an entire box of Oatmeal Cream Pies, and kill myself. I will blog about each run/workout, related information, and what psychological issue I work through each day. These vary from my disastrous relationships, future goals and plans, and such as the case today, what I am going to wear for my engagement photos. This is, surprisingly, a stressful decision. So, onward and upward.