Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Winding down the Summer

I'm sad that summer is wrapping up. Yes, it's hot and work is hell and I can't seem to fit in a vacation, but I can truly sleep in some days and home life is less stressful. Then tenor of things changes when school starts, so I'm enjoying things while I can.

According to the half training plan I've settled on, I have another month before getting going. So this month I'm going to try to finish up the bulk of Zombies, Run! Season 2 and add in some weight work.

I also may have signed up for another race.

Here's the thing: I have a friend who has been killing it this summer! He's finishing up C25K, he's been doing a crunch challenge, he's lost a ton of weight--all while working full time and doing a local production of Hairspray! So when he mentioned an interest in Foam Glow, how could I not? (Also: coupon.)

Yes, it's another let's-cover-you-in-color runs, but I never miss a chance to go with a friend.

Plus bubbles.

So natch I'm thinking what to wear. I thought about grabbing some wings, but an inventory of my own wardrobe suggests not gilding this particular lily--I've got a white tutu and loads of neon stuff that will light up in black light. I may splurge with some neon lipstick or something.

This month is about grabbing the Happy before starting the Work.

#July100Miles: Finish Line! (Also My 200th Post!)

I admittedly don't take on challenges that I don't have at least some inkling that I can't complete. That doesn't mean, however, that I take on easy challenges. Otherwise they wouldn't be called challenges.* 100 Miles in one month was definitely doable, but it wasn't easy.

But it is done.



I've mentioned before that I'm not really into streaking.** I had made a few attempts before but nothing like this. After this experience, I'm still not into it. But I can do it. So if I end up choosing a half-marathon training that happens to have me running two days in a row, I'll be okay.

I've done this. I can do that.

My calves are aching in a way that lets me know that I do need to take a rest day (or two). But for the most part, things don't hurt as much as they did. My legs do feel a little more defined, and my waistline is a teeny bit smaller (not that I didn't eat the entire kitchen this month).

Also, because it was a long month, I had the privilege of running every day through not one but two bouts of ugly PMS. It seems to have helped with some of the symptoms. Still have a hair-trigger temper, though (can you imagine what I would be without the running?).

But seriously, between this challenge, an anniversary, a birthday, working at least part of three weekends in a row, and the blasted heat, I'm pretty exhausted. Proud of myself for pushing through but exhausted.

And then I discovered there's an  #August100Miles challenge ...

Nope.

But maybe you should. When I broke it down into manageable bits (at least 3.22 miles a day), it wasn't that bad. I also used the heck out of Zombies, Run! (so much so that I ran out of the after-mission radio clips). It gave me a focus, and I may do it again next summer if it comes up again.

I should get my belt buckle in mid-August, after which I will attempt an Epic Picture.

But tomorrow, we sleep in.

* What would you call them? Easy-peasies? Shirley? 
** No, not that. This.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#July100Miles: Week 3



Less than a marathon to go at this writing.

At this point, I've settled into a routine for the most part. I'm still a little ahead of the game, so I was able to sneak in another rest day. Still hurts, especially my butt (what?). Still a lot of walking.

A week ago, I was set to go out, and it was raining. I was about ready to turn around and go back to bed when I reminded myself that races happen rain or shine; I might as well start practicing in the rain now. This was one of those huge-drops-you-can-practically-walk-between kind of rains, and it pretty much let up after a quarter-mile in. As with most things, it turned out to be mostly mental. This month has been all about, "I can do that because I've done this."

Zombies, Run! had a satisfying story arc this week, only broken up once by one (kind of dumb) side mission. It did end in a Game of Thrones way, though. Trying not to be spoilery, but like any decent post-apocalyptic storyline, it's in your best interest not to love anyone. Except that you will. Because emotions. To the credit of the writer(s), I struggled with going out on Saturday because I was still sad,* but the following episode worked those feelings into the storyline. But seriously, don't love anyone if you can.**

I do love that in Season Two, you get Base add-ons that reflect the missions. Also Radio Mode (which kicks in after you finish a mission) has an algorithm that adjusts to the day of the week (and even time of day) that you run. It was spooky at first until I began to see the patterns.

The morning weather turned a couple degrees cooler this past weekend so I was able to keep a steady pace for 3 miles instead of just 1.5-2. Commitment to a half-marathon training plan is on the horizon. The kick-off party for that will be 31 July, which will be a nice way to wrap up this challenge.

* I know I'm not really running in a zombie wasteland. That's beside the point.
** I'm relatively secure that Runner 5 won't get killed off. Then again, if they were going to wrap up the game, that would be pretty cool. Just don't do a LOST ending.

Monday, July 14, 2014

#July100Miles: Week Two



 Halfway (more or less)!

This week was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. The muscles in my legs have been protesting the constant use. The toe, as suspected, didn't give me any trouble after Tuesday or so. The joints in my right arm, however, were screaming for a while--shoulder, elbow, fingers ... With all the mosquitoes that have been feasting on me, I was beginning to wonder if I had caught one of those diseases that makes it on the news. And then I realized that was the arm I use to grip the leash--and grip tightly sometimes; I switched off, and it feels better.

In other news, July is hot. Really hot. Really horribly, horrendously, hellishly hot. I can choose to sleep in or attempt to run in the sun. Therefore, I am sunburned a bit. Also, depending on when I go, I can only seem to shuffle out a continuous two miles before walking. I am trying not to beat myself up about this.

I'm still using Zombies, Run! as a motivator, and I'm a little irritated that a cliffhanger story mission was broken up by a side mission at least twice now (which means I have to pay attention a little more than I really like). However, there seems to have been a content drop--the supplies I pick up are more varied* and there are some new buildings, including a library ... and a dog kennel ... and a tequila distillery.**


According to my math (which can be shaky at best), I had clocked enough hours that I was able to take a rest day, which I took last Friday in celebration of my (almost) 17th wedding anniversary. I'm hoping I can do the same next week for my daughter's birthday as well. (More family walks!)

Best wishes to everyone for next week! 

* How many sports bras does one township need? Runner 5, you have a serious problem. (On the other hand, I have a great poster idea ....)
** I got all Montessori and put a vegetable garden next to my school. I don't know why that makes me feel satisfied since I can't seem to grow anything IRL with or without the help of small hands.

Monday, July 7, 2014

#July100Miles : Week One



At 26.7 cumulative miles, I'm officially over the quarter mark for this challenge!

I am beginning to feel it, though. My legs hurt in ways I haven't felt in a long time. Compound that with having the worse days of my cycle, and on the 4th, my daughter backed into one of my toes with a metal chair. I'm telling myself it's not broken--I'm able to walk with no pain and the toe bends fine; it's still a little twingy, though.

I'm finding I could really use a rest day, and I'm hoping that I can bank a few miles with family walks to allow me to do so. But when I start on the half marathon training in earnest, there will be no whining when I have back-to-back running days. If I can do this, I can do that.

Other things I have observed this week:
  • The morning light is shifting again. It's still light by the time I get home around 6:30AM, but less each day. I love connecting with the natural world this way.
  • While I support "wear what you want" in theory, bootie shorts that show off half your cheeks is really, really, really tacky. Doubly so when your butt isn't up to the challenge, so to speak. That just can't be comfortable! (Says the catty old lady. I know.)
  • I thought I knew the funniest joke. Evidently I did not. Thanks to Zombies, Run!, I do now.
  • I also learned about how carrots were used as a propaganda tool in WWII, again thanks to ZR!
  • SPOILERS: also Margaret Atwood cameo!!!
  • In non-ZR news, I'm amused by the toilet in one neighbor's yard and a flock of plastic pink flamingos in another.
All in all, a strong start. Now's the endurance part.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

#July100Miles : An Auspicious Start



Cranked out 4.81 miles this morning. A little over 3 miles were at a nice steady pace. Walked the last bit, but no shame. With as hot as it was, I'm going to need to carry at least two water bottles.

My general plan is to make at least 3 miles every day, and front load as much as possible to bank for those inevitable times when getting out will be difficult. Tuesdays and sometime during the weekends will need to be longer runs because I may not have the fallback of a family walk to fill in mileage.

Speaking of family walks, we are borrowing a wagon for Little Girl to ride in when she gets tired. She did really well the other night, alternating between pulling and riding. She's been wanting to do a night race with me, and I did see one coming up in October that should be pretty (I hope--I've been disappointed before). I told her that I don't mind walking, but she would have to go the entire 3 miles with me. We could consider this summer our "training."

I know I tend to go too strong at the beginning of pretty much anything. I'm going to have to pace myself to a certain extent to make this goal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

On Like Donkey Kong! #July100Miles

It's pretty evident that I'm a magpie for shiny things. I do stupid stuff for costumes, medals, bits of code in the form of badges, etc.

This time it's a belt buckle. How very Texas of me.

I had seen this pretty on my FB feed and tossed it on my page half-kidding. Running Momma called my bluff and signed up.

Challenge accepted. Because mutual pain.

This actually is a really good goal for next month. I don't have to go fast. I can even walk. I just need to be diligent--a minimum of 3.25 miles/day. That means I can really crank out a majority of Zombies, Run! Season 2 (no chases), and Mister has been making noise about evening family walks.

#July100Miles Are you in?