Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog


Summer Colds are the WORST

June 7th – It’s Global Running Day! I was so close to not running this day. My sinuses were threatening to choke me all night. I kept waking myself up snoring, and felt like I was on the verge of getting sick. All morning, I was, “I’m gonna go. No. I’m not. Yes, I am. No, I’m not.” Then it was, “You’re already dressed for it. Just go one mile. Maybe two. See how you feel.” OK, FINE! Stop nagging me, me!

Needless to say, I felt pretty good once I got going, maybe with a little help from Sudafed.
june 7

June 9th – My birthday! Yay! And, apparently, summer colds are good for my running! This was my best run of the year so far, and I woke up feeling like someone filled my sinuses with cement. I guess my normal exercise-rhinitis (runny nose) loosened that crap up enough that I could breathe. Or, once again, maybe it was the Sudafed.

june 9

Then June 10th, I woke up, feeling pretty good despite (or maybe because of) all the wine I’d had the night before. Mowed the lawn, pruned the hedges, weedwacked the weeds, set up my little kiddie pool and filled it with what felt like ice water,  then… KABAM! I was sick. Now “feeling like I”m getting sick,” but “Is this what a man cold feels like?!” sick. During the first heatwave of the year, of course. I spent the rest of the weekend in bed, sucking cough drops and blowing my nose. The worst of it only lasted about a day, but my poor snoot felt like it had been filled with hair gel and I was completely wiped out for a long time after.

So I didn’t run again until June 21st. I wasn’t expecting this to be a fast or easy run, and it wasn’t. But it wasn’t that bad, either.

june 21
Which brings us to yesterday, June 23.  I knew before I left the house this wasn’t going to be a fast run. It was already in the mid-70s and I’m a wuss and like it in the upper 50s to low 60s. And humid. And I’m tired. But I did it. After the first mile, I wasn’t even really trying. I’d run a little, then walk, then play Pokemon (they just did some updates to the game to make it more interesting), then detoured through a park to hit more Pokemon thingies, then got distracted by a cat on the sidewalk (had to make sure he was ok – he was. And very friendly) then got held up chatting with a sweet old lady who kept telling me about how far she used to walk when she was younger, how far she’s going today, and that she knows all the garbagemen (Hi Carl!) and to be careful because there’s a lot of accidents around here. They call this accident ally. And there’s Sam. He has the deli up the street. If you’re hungry, go there. And so on and so on… But she was sweet. Then I thought it started raining, but it was just the sweat dripping off the back of my shorts. Ewwww. I don’t think the picture shows just how incredibly sweaty I was. the shirt is NOT ombre.

But… pace doesn’t matter. Distance does. And I went five miles. Longer than I’ve gone in about a year.

june 23
Looking at the forecast for next week, I’m so happy to see some overnight lows in the 50s again. Heaven!

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The Return of the Mojo

I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I completely lost my mojo last summer. A combination of things, being sad over the loss of my dog, a few minor injuries (shin splints and plantar fasciitis), which lead to less running, which lead to increased depression, which lead to even LESS running and poor eating choices. Then some weird mindfuck things, where I felt like a giant bloated blob, but in reality, had barely gained weight and most of my clothes still fit from when I felt good about my body. The brain in a weird thing.

A fitness group I’m in on Facebook ( Outlander Fit – it’s for fans of Outlander who like eating well and exercise and ogling Sam Heughan. 😉 Join us if that’s something you’d like! ) started a Couch to 5k Challenge starting April 1st. Perfect timing for me, because the worst of winter weather was over and while my mojo wasn’t back yet, I was mentally prepared to find it.

The next few posts are going to follow my path back to being a runner.

Since I’m a stubborn dumbass, I didn’t exactly follow C25k’s plan. “i’m already a runner. I don’t need to start at the beginning!” is what I told myself. So the first few weeks, I just followed a “run til I’m tired, walk til I’m bored” approach.

The first run was BRUTAL. It was pretty cold that day, and I kept putting it off, saying, “Do it tomorrow. It’ll be nicer tomorrow.” But I was already in a sports bra & capris, and already took a Claritin to ward off the exercise rhinitis. I just did random intervals, usually about 2-3 minutes of running followed by 1-2 of walking. The really pathetic part? I’d included the first five minutes of warm-up walking in this workout. I walked the first five minutes and I was STILL faster in mile one than in mile two. It was a good wake-up call that I’d really been slacking.

Day One

My next run was a bit better. Mostly. I didn’t start Runkeeper until after my five minute warmup and I was determined to do a full 5k this time. But I’d had a salad for lunch and I don’t think salads enjoy being bounced. At about 2.5 miles, I had a wicked stomach cramp. After a big fart (yeah, TMI, I know), I felt better. For about a quarter of a mile. I kept trying to keep running, but quit just after three miles and walked the rest of the way home. I can walk and clench my bunghole. I can’t run and clench. This is my “I’m trying to smile, but I don’t think the next fart is a fart” face.

I am eternally grateful that my bathroom is right by my door.

Run Two

Run three felt great! I ran (ok, ran, walked, ran, walked, ran, walked) a full 5k in under 40 minutes. And mile three was faster than my first two, which always makes me happy.

I like to finish my runs in the park about two blocks from my house, walk around a bit, then walk home. There’s a Pokestop there. Yeah, I’m one of those dorks. There’s also a Job Johnny there – you can see it behind me –  which I really wished I’d seen at the end of the last run. I haven’t needed it since, but it’s good to know it’s there in case of emergency.

I have to remind myself to take each victory for itself. If I think to myself, “A year ago, you could do a 5k about 10 minutes faster. A few years ago, you were fifteen minutes faster,” I’ll get bummed out. That’s not going to help my psyche. I’ll get there again. Or I won’t. The numbers on an app don’t define me. Neither do the numbers on a scale or the tags on my clothes. I’m doing things to be healthier and stronger. That’s what counts.

Run Three
It was also time to switch to my new shoes. I didn’t realize my tread was so worn!

New Shoes

Second week. A few seconds faster per mile, but I think most of that was just in the last tenth of a mile. It was a windy day. Wind does wonderful things to my hair. My final pair of contact lenses died, and I was stuck wearing my glasses and prescription sunglasses for a while until I got my arse to the eye doctor for new ones.

When you’re terribly nearsighted, and didn’t get high power lenses because “they’re just sunglasses,” those fuckers are HEAVY! Bouncing with every stride, sliding down my nose when I got sweaty. Ugh.

Week Two,  First Run
This next run surprised me. I thought I was going much slower  than last time, since it was quite a bit warmer (already about 70° and I was wishing I was in shorts and a tank instead of capris and a tee) and I ran a hillier route. But I averaged 18 seconds faster per mile, or about one minute faster for my overall 5k time!

Next goal was to get the average pace below a 12 minute mile.

Week 2, Run 2
But when I said “next goal” to be under 12 min mile, I didn’t mean “next run!” But I’ll take it!!! Woohoo!!!

Week 2, Run 3
I was not feeling this one. It was a rough run and I had to drag myself out the door. But it was the day of the Boston Marathon and the story of Kathrine Switzer inspired me to put on my reddest lipstick and go for it. If she could run 26.2 at frickin’ 70 years old, I can do a measly 5k! I was going to let some stupid allergies get the best of me! Thoughts of Kathrine made me go …. well, I didn’t go the extra mile. I went the extra 9/10ths of a mile.

Week 3, Run one
Then I tweaked my knee. It was just one of those random things – getting old sucks! – where I turned funny and it gave out on me. It wasn’t bad, but enough for me to take a week off and realize, “Hey, dumbass! You haven’t been strength training. Cross training is important, idiot!” So I started lifting again around this time.

After resting, my first run sucked. Actually, the first mile was fantastic, and THEN it sucked. Fucking allergies. I couldn’t get a good lungful of air and couldn’t get a good rhythm going. I had every intention of going my standard 3.1 miles, but … no. I wasn’t going to punish myself. But I had gone to the optometrist and gotten some trial contacts, so I could finally wear normal sunglasses again instead of the ones that weighed fifty pounds.

I’m not counting that last one as part of my weeks of running. This one is the real W3D2. It was so much better than Monday’s run. Still having allergy problems, but I wasn’t a wheezy mess.

Getting on the road was the hardest part. First, i mistakenly sprayed myself with Febreez instead of my sunscreen, then as soon as I shut my gate, I realized I didn’t change into my running shoes. Back inside to change them again. But once I got going, it was ok.

Also, I didn’t realize I had so many Star Wars shirts.

Week 3, Run Two
One does not simply run after leg day. The previous day’s squats & deadlifts put a damper on this run. But other than my dead legs, I felt good. It was kind of the opposite of Monday’s run. Monday, I ran my first mile faster, than usual but felt like crap. This time,  I was slower than usual, but it didn’t hurt. (Until the last half mile. i was going to go for 4 miles, but my hamstrings cried UNCLE!)

It was also warmer than I expected, and it’s garbage day (so stinky!), so there was a lot of dodging cans and bags and waiting on traffic caused by garbage trucks and little minor things like that that slow you down. I did find out that I run faster than the street cleaner, which is very good because the noise blocked out my music and I would have had to take a detour to avoid it.

Week 3, Run 3
So that’s my first three weeks returning to running. I’ll post about the next three in another post. 😀

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First Race of 2016!

My first race of 2016 was this weekend!

It was hilly. And windy. Two things I hate the most when running! I thought I trained on enough hills, but alas… no. But even though I was really hoping for under 30 minutes, I was expecting closer to 32-33, so finishing in 30:30 was fantastic! And I took second place in my age group.

Did I tell y’all about my stupidphone? I don’t remember. Anyway… on January 1st, all happy that I was running my first run of the new year, I dropped my phone and busted it. We weren’t eligible for an upgrade until July, it costs way too much to get a new one, so I reactivated my old phone. The one I got in 2012, but was a 2011 model. And that thing was a piece of shit. It would randomly crash, or the battery life would go from 70% to 5% in five minutes, and it rarely lasted through a run. Sometimes it would throw glitches on Runkeeper where it would show me running at ridiculous paces. Like this…

I can assure you, I did not break the speed of sound. I would have remembered that.

It crashed three minutes before the race started on Saturday.  It barely restarted in time for the race and I ran with it plugged into a backup battery bank. Then, because it’s an ornery little fucker, I stopped it after the race, took off my ear buds, shoved it all in my running belt, and accidentally restarted Runkeeper. So it was tracking my movement while I puttered around waiting for the last of the runners to finish, while eating a jelly donut (yay for post race donuts!), through the awards ceremony, and the entire drive home. All in all, it kept track for an hour and a half, and didn’t crash. But let me try to go for a two mile run, and it’d shit the bed a quarter mile from home.

So, anyway… we checked to see just how much more it would cost now to replace my phone, rather than waiting for the contract to be up. And… it wouldn’t! The only difference if I upgraded now vs. in July is that I have to send them my old phone back, instead of keeping it as a backup. You want this glorified paperweight back? Fine! Take it!

I’m now the happy owner of a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7, with an Otterbox and extended warranty. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. Being both broke and thrifty, I always got last year’s model on phones, whatever was cheapest or free. And now I’m looking forward to going for a run without having to carry a backup battery and remembering every step and turn I make in case I have to manually plot my route. See ya later, I’m going running!

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