Sunday, April 18, 2010

Want Some Cheese With That?

I feel sucky. This running thing sucks. It seems like I'm taking 5000 steps forward and 4999 steps back. I resent it. I curse my sore knees and cramping calves. I lament my tight quads and flabby glutes. I sneer at my weak hips and pronating right foot. I give the side-eye to my dropping hips and disengaged core.

Everything hurts. Stretching hurts, cross-training hurts, chiro hurts, and running hurts - again. I know, I know. No pain, no gain. Blah, blah, blah. But I was hoping that some part of this would be fun.

And I'm really, really annoyed at all the time and money this is taking up.

This is definitely the muck in the middle. I'm trying really hard to trust the process but I'm not enjoying it right now. Maybe because I'm on my own at the moment. I'm not part of any running clinic so I'm just doing my runs myself, doing my training myself. But I don't want to hold anyone else back. My ego is definitely asserting itself.

I can totally picture myself running the marathon which is reassuring. I can visualize me running down the country road, winding through little French villages, sampling some vino along the way. I can see it. But I'm having trouble getting there.

And last night my roommate's cat bit me. Harrumph.

Monday, April 5, 2010

ROCD - Yeah, You Know Me!

For me to actually get out there and run, everything has to be just so. I think I have ROCD: Running Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Here is my checklist:

* Weather no colder than minus 20, no hotter than plus 20 (In my defense, I will go to the gym if the weather isn't cooperating)
* Socks can be no higher or lower than just above ankle bone. Lower and the sock slips over my heel and bunches up in my shoe; higher and it just looks dumb.
* Running pants have to have a drawstring so they don't slide down
* Running shirt has to cover midsection. I'm easygoing on T versus tank but I will not wear a singlet because I that word irritates me.
* If it's a tank, it can't be one of those that zips up on the side because the zipper chafes against my arm and it adds bulk.
* Jacket has to be zipped to the middle of my chest. Higher and it scratches my chin, lower and the wind gets in. And if it's too low the collar flaps around and hits my chin.
* Must have sunglasses, even if it's overcast
* Ears must be plugged in some fashion, usually with a headband. I HATE wind in my ears; legitimately, because it gives me earaches.
* Must have lip stuff of some kind on; sometimes I'll put it on my cheeks if it's windy.
* Hair. Hair is the biggest thing. Hair absolutely must not be in my face - ever. My headband does double-duty in the winter. The headband is challenging, though, because it pushes my bangs up and then when I take then headband off they stick straight up and I look like a fool. In the summer it's elastics and clips. If a strand dares to venture near my face I will rip it out so I use 2-3 elastics and A LOT of clips. It looks like I'm trying to keep something IN (like my dignity?) rather than keep something attached. And I can't wear a basic ponytail, it has to be more of a knot. A ponytail swings too much.
* Unless it's below minus 15, NO HAT.

It's funny to me because I'm pretty laid back most of the time. Other than, inexplicably, the colour of my toenails, I'm not overly fussy about how I look (when you have freckles, you get used to a bit of chaos in your appearance). I'm an outdoorsy, granola-girl at heart. I feel happiest being outside, in grubby clothes, mucking around in a garden or tromping through some woods. I'm not a crazy housekeeper either - and you should see my desk at work...yikes....

So what's with this fixation with what I'm wearing when I'm running? Really, with all my gear on nobody knows who I am and no one cares how I look. Comfort is important for sure. When you're running long distances the rest of your body feels so uncomfortable that being comfortable in what you're wearing can keep you from going over the edge. You would think I'd want the distraction, though.

Or maybe it's about control? If all of these details are taken care of then maybe I'm more likely to succeed at the actual running. Hard to tell if it's actually working, though I've had 5 pain-free runs now!!! Maybe that should be my strategy going forward. Like other athletes have rituals before they play so they do well, my weird dressing routine can me mine. Can't hurt!

I got back up to 10km yesterday!!!!