bad day..

I've heard over and over - listen to your body, some days will be harder than others. I heard my body loud and clear this morning, and just a half-mile into my planned 5.25 miles. There was the piercing ache in my right side, my shins making themselves known and my breath escaping my lungs but not returning. I know, sounds like I'm overreacting in massive proportions. Maybe I am.

Maybe my muscles are still recovering from my Pilates class yesterday? Though I always go to Pilates on Fridays before my Saturday runs.

Maybe I didn't drink enough water yesterday? I'm sure last night's salty homemade popcorn didn't help.

Maybe it was just a bad day.

I ran/walked my way home, not evening breaking the one mile mark. I'm going to stretch, drink a few gallons (exaggeration) of water and try again tomorrow.


barefoot running & the Big Ten 5K

Before you even think it - I'm not planning to run the Big Ten 5K barefoot. But I am planning to run the Big Ten Hoops Day 5K. Should be fun. (Still gets to me to put running and fun anywhere in the vicinity of one another.) Plus the Big Ten is a very cool, big deal, good-for-the-city event in Indianapolis. Yep that's a sales pitch for you to do it with me. You can sign up here or on site the day of. So at 11 a.m. on March 14 if you're not at the starting point in front of Conseco Fieldhouse, just remember that I will be. (I can be guilt-tripped into running, anyone else?)

I've talked Brett into running the 5K with me too. (He can also be guilt-tripped into running.) I reminded him of his "Sure, I'll do that with you." this evening and he quickly agreed to go out for a run with me before dinner. It may have been nicer for me than him. You see he's 6'3" and I'm 5' - our strides are slightly, okay not-at-all the same. I fully expect him to take off ahead of me in the 5K, but that's okay. Selfishly, I know it will keep me going - to see how quickly behind him I can finish.

So anyhoo - that barefoot running comment was for a reason. I've been hearing more and more talk about the practice and this came across my Twitter feed today.

Long-awaited barefoot running study finds sneakers are harmful

A good friend of ours is a trainer and has talked to me about our human evolution from running barefoot to our modern practice of decked-out running shoes. (Mine with extra stability thank you very much, I run on the insides of my feet.) And yes, it is fairly modern. Seems that while the proper fitting and supporting shoes can help with some aches and pains and perhaps some injuries, wearing them changes our natural human stride of striking with the ball of the foot and we exert that impact instead on our heels. That in turn causes different pains and the potential for different injuries. For example I used to wear just any athletic shoe from a department/athletic shoe store. Honestly, I picked them based on the which colors I liked. I have a runner friend who did marathons when we were in college. I knew how much her running shoes cost and I didn't want anywhere near that. But when I would run (it was an infrequent at best habit) my legs and feet would hurt and wear out before my endurance did. Fast forward some years to me signing up for a half marathon when I'd never run a 5K and I decided I'd take any help I could get and was fit for my first pair of running shoes (at The Running Company). No picking colors here, it was "these are the shoes for your feet and your stride. And by the way you were wearing a full size too small." (Feet sweat and swell, they need extra room.) Voila! No more shin splints. And when I stop running it's because I'm spent, not because my shins are hurting.

However, since I've started running more, I have experienced a stress fracture that ended my mini training last year, and my knees have started to bother me. I'm not saying it's my shoes. I love my running shoes. And I think they've improved my running. It's probably because I, like most, strike with my heels first. I'm not quite ready to adopt this practice of barefoot running, especially not midway through training for the longest distance I've ever run, but I do find this interesting. Perhaps I'll give it a try sometime this summer. Or maybe when I run out of these shoes I'll invest in a pair of Newtons. I'm intrigued by them and plan to ask around. The price tag is pretty steep, but they do cost less than the co-pay was on my insurance claim for the doctor visit and x-rays when I fractured my foot last year. You know, for perspective.

60 minutes/6 miles on Saturday!


frost on my eyelashes. ice in my water.

This past Saturday was my best run yet. And I really needed a good run. I'd been feeling overall discouraged with my progress, only fueled by a complete lack of motivation, again fueled by my feeling discouraged. It's like debating if the chicken or the egg came first. I even tried to bail when my alarm starting crying at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. I was just thinking of how bad I'd feel if I couldn't complete my run, and there I was on the Monon with everyone to witness. Brett literally poked me until I got up.

Even before we got out on the Monon, I was glad I'd gotten my bum out of bed. Our running coach at The Running Company chats for a couple minutes before we get started, and it's like he was in my brain when he said this is about the point it starts getting hard because the novelty and adrenaline of signing up is wearing off.

Umm. Yes.

But then another Mini-Marathon veteran pointed out how much progress we really have made by the 4 mile mark. From our downtown starting point, the race path weaves it's way west and we'll make a loop around the 2.5 mile famed oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. By 4 miles we'll be making a turn from (or to?) Holt Rd and we'll almost be to track. That's pretty darn close to the half way point because after that loop you're definitely on the homebound path!

Saturday's goal was 40 minutes or 4 miles, depending on your pace. And it was a whole 11 degrees on Saturday morning, making the muscles a bit resistant to warm up! Roughly into the first mile I set my eyes on a couple gals just ahead of me and made a goal to keep them in my line of vision. Having a moving target was awesome, and just like that I was to the half way point and on my way back.

Then I saw the wildest thing. About mid-way through the -back portion of my run, I passed a gal running in the opposite direction and it looked like she was wearing thick white mascara/false eyelashes. I thought that to be an odd for a Saturday morning run. (It was early. And cold. And I'm clearly a novice in the running world.) But that made me notice my own eyelashes, and that could actually see them through my line of vision. I started noticing more and more of my fellow runners with white eyelashes, and white hair, and white shimmers on the shoulders of their running fleece. I couldn't believe it, our own sweat was freezing on our bodies. Even my water I was carrying had started to turn to ice! Oddly enough, that was the motivation I needed to turn my spirits around.

I ran the full time and covered a distance of 3.6 miles. (I use MapMyRun to plot each of my outdoor runs.) If I had a fancy schmany iPhone there's an app for that and it will calculate as you run. I'm sure there's an app for my Droid too, but I run with my iPod rather my phone. That puts me in the neighorhood of an 11 minute pace. I'm happy there.

Now if this snow would just let up a bit...



Ok, I'm done with this "to run outside in the elements or in the climate controlled indoors deal-io."

I had a 40 minute run to complete on Saturday. Given Brett and I had celebrated our birthdays with a nice dinner out Friday evening, I was not about to get my bum out of bed at 7 a.m. to meet my running group on the Monon when I have dozens of nicely paved and wide sidewalks in my own part of town. I'd like to tell you I'm that dedicated but I'd be lying. So I slept in. And when I rolled out of bed at 9 a.m. it was an entire three degrees outside. Yes, as in one...two...three degrees. Hauled my bum down to the treadmill, yes I did.


I wasn't even to a single mile and I was willing it to be over. There was no setting a landmark a few blocks ahead before I'd make a turn and set a new landmark another few blocks in the distance and repeat. That works for me. A giant television screen with bad Saturday morning programming and a treadmill that I feel moving beneath me while I make no visible progress whatsoever. That does not work for me.

I'd love to know if this is just my own crazy mental block or if anyone else has a strong liking toward one form of running vs. another.

And I promise to file this topic away after tonight.