Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fragmented Mind

My 68th post! Yes! Let's celebrate.

Product review: Today I did a seven miler with my new Sofsole inserts. They are the "Women's Performance Insole" for maximum cushioning. They have a gel heel and a Hydrologix moisture management system. That sounds fancy and I'm not sure what that is. I didn't realize I had a whole "system" going on in my shoe. At any rate - I didn't have any of the foot pain I had the other day, so I think these babies helped me out. I was focusing on how my feet felt quite a bit. The cushioning was noticeable and comfortable. My feet felt cool and dry (must be that system I was talking about). Overall, I really liked these insoles. For me, I don't want to feel or think about my feet when running. Really, I don't want to think about any body parts or malfunctions while running. That way I'm freed up to think about -
  • What's for lunch?
  • Why did that cashier look at me that way?
  • Oh, here comes a biker I better move over.
  • Did I leave the iron on?
  • God that was a great dump this morning.
  • Cute prairie dog.
  • I wonder if the kids are awake?
  • Shouldn't have had that extra glass of wine.
  • Why did the Bachelorette not give Jesse a rose?
  • When is the premier of Entourage?
  • Did Will.i.am just say the F word?
  • These shorts are riding up my ass.
Very stream of consciousness thinking. Or ADHD.
Unless I'm pissed at someone and then I go over and over that in my mind calculating confrontations and responses. I guess I really should be thinking positive thoughts and mantras or listening to some uplifting and educational book or podcast. But that might be too healthy.

Whatcha think about when you run?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Damn the Cleaning Lady

The good: was in the zone on the treadmill at the gym last night. Doing hills on a steady incline, keeping up my pace, counting down my time, ticking off the miles, sweat pouring down my body.

The bad: all of the sudden treadmill goes black. Everything shuts down. Cleaning person has unplugged it while vacuuming. Huge loss of momentum for me. Do I just attract this stuff so I have something to blog about?


The good: Took a ten mile run with Ken (husband) this morning. He has broken his promise to never run further than a 10K and is running a 1/2 with me in August (Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon). Beautiful morning for a run along the roads near the foothills of the Rockies.

The bad: a cyclist is coming towards us on the shoulder, we move over. She's pissed and yells, "You are supposed to run with traffic not against it!!" Okay - am I wrong? I thought it was a safety thing that runners are supposed to run against traffic so they know what's coming. Any insight?


The bad: lost lots of money at the blackjack tables in Vegas this week.

The good: (this is for you L.A. Lakers fans) - Luke Walton sat next to me at the tables. Had no clue who he was until people were stopping for pictures and autographs. Pretty nice guy. A tall drink of water at 6' 8". Yes I think I'm cool. If you're like me and think this is just another LA dude, google him.

The good: took a few short runs (4-5 miles) in my new Sauconys. Like running on air.

The bad: on the ten miler this morning my arch hurt and I got blisters. In all of your expert running opinions, is this due to 1) poor shoe fit 2) just regular breaking in of shoes? Do I need to go back to the Olympian for advice?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Olympian and the Fart

Something cool arrived on my doorstep the other day...a care package from SofSole - makers of running socks, insoles and other accessories. SofSole had asked if they could send me some items and if in return I would review them on my blog. I'm not one to turn down free stuff, especially if it pertains to running, so I fell over myself saying "yes" while trying to to appear to eager.

The only product I've been able to try so far were the Anti-Friction performance socks. SofSole sent me two pairs of these babies. I ran ten miles in them. What I noticed most is that they kept my feet cool. The cushioning aspect was nice too. Very comfortable without too much bulk. I'm hoping to try the insoles soon. Thanks to SofSole for the great products!

I think my shoe dilemma has been solved. My friend Carolyn recommended a small running shop in Louisville, CO called Sole Pepper. The owners, Alan and Shayne Culpepper, are elite runners both having been members of the 2004 Athens and 2000 Sydney Olympic Track and Field teams. It was Alan who helped me today. He put me on the treadmill in a neutral shoe (twice) to see what my gait looked like. Turns out he could not see any pronation at all - different than what I had been told previously. This meant that I had been running in a pretty heavy shoe with lots of support I probably didn't need. I ended up with the Saucony Rides. They are so light and for once I'm excited to run in new shoes.
Funny part of the whole gait analysis was this: (I swear I can't do anything and not have some sort of incident). I'm on the treadmill - wearing a knit dress nonetheless (I didn't plan well for this shopping trip). I'm running along while Alan videotapes me. I'm only on there for 30 seconds, but in that short span of time, I manage to fart. Just a little "pop," but still I know the Olympian heard it. I will probably fart in my own casket. I just can't seem to control it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Secret Lives of Us

Just wondering - all of you hard core runners - do you have habits that you justify or rationalize because you run so eff'ing far each week? As in -

Yep, I drink a bottle of wine every night, but I run 10 miles a day, so lay off!

Sure, I ate that whole row of oreos but I did 39 miles this week, so f%$@ off!

No shit, I slept until noon and had 5 pancakes, 4 links of sausage and 3 cinnamon rolls but I did a half marathon the day before, so screw you!

I have to be honest here - I do find myself justifying my bad habits because I run so much. I mean, even if I eat like a pig or drink like a sailor, I run long distances regularly so it's all cool, right? Everyone close to me knows I'm a runner. They might think I'm all healthy and in shape cause I run. I feel like I have this secret world of bad habits. Like if they all just knew...well, certainly they wouldn't think I was all that healthy.

Just wondering if I'm the only one who is healthy and not healthy all at the same time???

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not a Fetish

I've got shoe issues. Not a fetish or anything. I just have this extreme fear and dread about getting new running shoes. I somehow believe that if I get the best shoe possible for me, then I will be the best runner possible (for me). If I get the worst shoe possible, I will be the worst runner and someone who limps around with blisters, bunions, black toenails, plantar fasciitis and fungus.

In prep for my marathon training, I tried on too many shoes to count. I ended up with the New Balance 1224 (stability) because the dude at the Boulder Running Co told me that I pronate and that I need stability (if he only knew how much stability I really needed in all areas of my life - geez if a shoe could only fix that problem). Anyway, he also said it was a good shoe for distance running. And did I mention it just happened to be one of the most expensive shoes in the store? ($139 - ouch).

So off I go in the NBs. They worked pretty well. Hell, they got me through my training, my marathon, my half marathon and many miles between. At certain points I got killer blisters, a sore heel and a black toenail. A sign of bad shoes, or a sign of the fact that if you are going to put that much time on your feet, bad stuff is going to happen to your feet.

So here I am today. In desperate need of new shoes. I've tried on a few including the infamous Gel Kayanos, but ended up just ordering a new pair of the NBs. I ran in them yesterday. Only five miles, but I wasn't feeling it. It was like running on cardboard. I could feel the start of a blister. My knee hurt by the end. Is this in my head?

Seriously, you seasoned runners - tell me what to do. I've done the whole gait analysis several times. I am a moderate pronator. My left foot is slightly larger than my right, so I have trouble with the right foot slipping. My feet are average width. I have recently tried the Asics Gel Nimbus. Not a stability shoe, but the cushioning felt wonderful.

How do you choose your shoes? Comfort alone? How do you know by just taking a jaunt around the block or the running store that this is a good shoe for you to run super long distances in? How important IS the shoe anyway? Hell, people run barefoot. Maybe I will just start doing that. I would look like an earthy girl without a care in the world (except the shards of glass in my heel, the dirty syringe sticking out of my big toe and the used condom stuck to the sole of my foot).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Major Food Groups

These vacations kill me. Beer, wine, red meat. Every thing in excess with the exception of sleep. That has been quite limited. Needless to say, running has also been quite limited. Don't get me wrong, I've thought about it a fair amount. Like when I'm in the car eating a Cinnamon roll, I might see a runner on the path and think "good for them." Yesterday we were in downtown D.C. all day at the White House and Smithsonian. I was impressed by all of the runners. I really did wish I had my shoes/clothes with me, cause running on the mall and by all of the monuments looked like one of the best runs anyone could do anywhere. But, alas, I had my kids in tow, and there were artifacts so see, metros to ride and souvenirs to be purchased. I have given in to the fact that I will not be on any training schedule this week. Wednesday, however, I will be back in action and I'm thinking all of these carbs (beer) and protein (meat) will serve me well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Headlights Were Dripping

Well I'm glad we all agree that making love to the treadmill is either cheating or just weird.

I'm typing this from Harrisonburg, VA - home of my alma mater, James Madison Univ. Since moving to CO I don't get out this way much. We were in D.C./N. VA this morning - Ken and I did a 10K run on the WD&O trail. I will say this - CO may have elevation, but the east has humidity - the kind that makes you think your skin is melting off. The kind that makes you look like you just got out of the pool. The kind that gives you a sheen similar to having just bathed in baby oil. The kind that makes your shirt at the end of the run weigh more than you do. The kind that keeps your husband complaining that he is still sweating two hours after he's finished running. So those of you who regularly run in this squishy air - hats off to you. It is SO not easy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Making Love to the Treadmill

I saw something interesting and curious last night at the gym. Maybe you can explain it to me. No, I'm not talking about the "gym wanderers" who linger between pieces of equipment, stopping temporarily for a swig of water at the fountain, an update of the day's headlines or a manly conversation with the guy with the weight belt, I'm talking about a running style on the treadmill.

So I'm running along, minding my own business. This girl gets on the treadmill beside me. It becomes clear that she is doing intervals. She'll run for a bit, then walk. I finished my workout and as I was leaving I noticed that her speed was at 7.9 mph - a nice clip. I also noticed that she was holding onto the top of the treadmill while she ran, kind of with her arms hugging the top (not holding the heart rate monitors). It looked goofy to me (and a bit like cheating), but then I wondered if I was again in the dark about the latest and greatest trends. After all, I still think a fartlek is something erotic you do in the privacy of your bedroom or bathroom. Anyone seen this before? If so, what's the advantage? Maybe she just didn't want to fly off the back.

The family and I are off tomorrow a.m. for Washington, D.C. to visit friends and family and to take in the sights. We even scored a tour of the White House through our congress woman. I am excited to short-sheet Obama's bed and to see if Beau, the white house mascot dog, humps visitors like my dog does at home.

Mostly I am excited to run in a new place!! I love travelling and running - best way to see the place you're visiting.

Where's the best place you've ever run? Anyone want to tell me where to run in D.C./Northern VA? Maybe I'll use Obama's treadmill.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Never Knew I Was So Lovely

First off a big thanks to Jen from Jen's Runnings and Ramblings and Heather from Trials of Training for giving me the Lovely Blog Award this week. I'm not entirely sure what the award means - I guess that my blog is lovely and smells like roses in a coffee cup? If I didn't know better I'd think this was from my aunt Ethel. I can smell the White Shoulders now.

Seriously, I really do appreciate their kind comments about my blog. Here's what was said about Shut Up and Run:

By Heather: a humorous and adventurous running Mom out in beautiful CO! She’s even got her kids into this habit we love so much, goooood stuff.

By Jen: A new one I just found through a blog of a blog of a blog... and I love her already. She's running the San Antonio R&R this year - my first full last year. I'm so anxious to hear her race report and how she likes the course.

As far as I can tell, there are a couple of "rules" to this award thing.

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link (yay, did that already)

2) Pass the award to other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here are a couple of my faves (there are truly too many to mention here - you guys rock):

Own Your Backbone: An insightful, witty blog about running, but also about so much more. Clair goes beyond her workouts and races to places that are deep and inspiring. She does all of this with a bit of her tasteful (most of the time) humor.

Macker's Meanderings: Again, a blog mostly about running (Macker is a professor of sport's physiology and an accomplished runner). Macker weaves into his posts philosophical and hilarious anecdotes about races, running topics and health. Love it!

See Chrisy Run: Chris has been running for many years (starting back in her teens). She is also a mom. She has great insight into running topics, but also into life in general. A really down to earth and grounded gal.


Thanks to Jamoosh, I've finally found a group to run with here in Boulder. A few posts back, I was wallowing in my running loneliness, feeling like a loser. I may still be a loser, but I have signed on with the Boulder Striders, so at least I will look like I have some friends. Training will take me right up to marathon day (11/15/09) and will hopefully help me reach my Boston goal. I am always nervous running with new people. Here's why:

  • Will they be faster than me? (every runner's fear)
  • Will they crack up/run away in disdain if I fart? What about if I mess myself?
  • Will they be pretentious and cooler than I am?
  • Will they have really fancy running outfits that include compression socks, running skirts, and sparkly singlets? (Cause I have NONE of these things...yet).
  • Will they all be 20 years younger than me with really good skin, tight muscles and perky bosoms?
  • Will they talk endlessly on long runs about their great uncle Peter and how he broke his hip one time and how he ate chicken in the hospital and how he had an IV and how he was in a wheelchair and how he has a sleep number bed? Zzzzzzz...
  • Will they, will they, will they???

I don't know. I'll let you know at the end of June when we start training.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

3:53 My Ass!

OK, so I'm a little behind the eight ball on this one, but I wanted to know what you think.

If you do or do not watch the Biggest Loser, it doesn't matter, but this might be slightly more relevant if you did watch this past season.

But, really, this post is about race times, cheating and etiquette amongst us runners.

Here's the story: big boy, Dane (with the hot wife) was voted off the show in March after having lost 100 lbs. He returned to his home state of Arizona. The little clip that they show when someone gets voted off regarding their accomplishments in weight loss, etc since leaving showed that Dane and his wife ran a full marathon together after he was booted. I distinctly remember watching this, because when Dane and hottie wife crossed the finish line, the time clock above them said 3:53. Yes, 3:53.

I was pissed. My husband was laughing his ass off at how pissed I was. I had just finished running my first marathon in 4:03 and was put off jealous that this big, brutish guy (still 283 lbs.) who was totally and completely out of shape and 150 lbs overweight could not only lose big time pounds, but could run a sub four hour marathon. You see two months prior when Dane started on the BL he was barely able to lift his left nut. And then he loses 100 lbs and runs a 3:53 marathon???

Then...guess what I find out this week while reading Runner's World?? Dane is not the Biggest Loser, but he is the Biggest Liar! He expected to run a seven hour marathon. The producers wanted him to go faster. He hit the middle of the marathon and knew he wasn't going to make it in time...so...a van picks him up at mile 17 and drives him close to the finish line. Here's what he said about getting caught the ordeal:

Interviewer: What would you say to the people in the running community who are upset about the misleading finish time that aired on the show [the clock erroneously displayed 3:53 instead of 5:53]?

Dane: I’m not part of that community and I’m not familiar with runners’ etiquette. I understand why they would be upset. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. If they want to take away my marathon away from me than that’s fine. Before all of this happened, my wife and I were planning on running another one in April and by that time I hope I can be a part of that group.

So to my blogger friends who are part of the running community, what do you make of this?

To me there is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) understanding that you wear your race time like a badge of honor. Good or bad it is your time and you take it. You can explain away after the fact why you didn't PR or why you didn't go faster, but you accept your time with grace, dignity and sometimes disappointment. Cheating is not an option. I don't know anyone who has ever left a course and made a detour just so their time could be less. Or anyone who has ever accepted a ride for part of the race so that their time could be less. It's just not right. Part of running a race is earning every step, every mile. Otherwise what's the point? When the day is done, we're not out there to impress and compete with anyone but ourselves, really. As much as our friends and family are rooting for us, they won't love us any less if we run a 3:53 marathon or a 4:53 marathon, right? (unless they're those really bitchy types whose love is totally conditional, but that's another blog).

Maybe I shouldn't care so much. It's just a dumb show. But you shouldn't say you ran a full marathon when you didn't. Period. I would have had tremendous respect for Dane no matter what his final time was. To lose that weight, to get into shape and to finish a marathon??? We all would have cheered our asses off. But to lie...well, you lose me there.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thanks Be to You

Ken, my husband, completed his first triathlon this weekend. It was local, here in Longmont, CO. His wave started at 7:05 a.m. The kids and I wanted to cheer him on from the start, but that meant a very early morning for all of us.

He's a stud

Later in the day I was yawning and jokingly said to him, "I'm tired from getting up to watch your ass swim/bike/run at 7:00 a.m."

His response?

"Oh yeah, I remember back in January when I watched your ass run a marathon for four hours. Oh yeah and I flew to another state to watch you. That's right, then I drove around with two whiny kids for four hours in a city I didn't know in a car that wasn't mine looking for you along the marathon route so we could cheer you for three seconds while you ran by. Then it was back in the car, taking out the map of this city I didn't know, to go to the next place trying to find a place to park to watch you run by for three seconds again. Then when it was all over, you felt sick for the rest of the day and we rubbed your feet, looked at your blisters and black toenails and ordered you room service. Now that's dedication."

Well, he wasn't quite that sarcastic, but it put me in my place.

We runners demand a lot of those around us. Months of training that includes hours away from our loved ones. Injuries, illnesses. Getting lost on our runs and calling home for directions or to be picked up because we were caught in a thunderstorm/blizzard or we were just too tired to keep on. Hundreds of dollars spent on shoes, Garmins, gels, Gus, blocks, beans, socks, fuel belts, sports drinks, post run sandwiches, coffees. Hundreds more dollars spent on race entries and massages for that tight hamstring or IT band. Memberships to health clubs so we can balance our running with yoga or so we can supplement our outdoor running with dreadmill training. Early morning outings to train. Endless talk about which race is next, how we will PR, what training plan we will use. Shoulders to cry on when we DNF or don't meet our PRs. And the list goes on.

When we train and run our races, we think it's all about us because we are the tired ones, the ones doing all the work, putting in the time. But what I realized on Sunday is that it takes a lot of fortitude, patience and energy to be the fan club, the cheer team the sideline supporters. So this blog goes out to my husband, parents, friends, children and other family members who have graciously and selflessly supported me along the way. Your time and love does not go unnoticed.

So take time today to thank those who put in the time to be your fan club.