Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Detroit half marathon recap: sad reading

Yesterday I ran the Detroit Free Press half-marathon. This was my first race since running a marathon in 2007. Sheesh. It’s been 5.5 years and that’s just embarrassing.






It’s not that I stopped running. I ran when I was four-months pregnant in 2009. I laced up my running shoes when my daughter was four weeks old. I was in better shape during my year-long maternity than now because I went back to my long commute and work. Until June, it was a struggle. I had gained weight and found it hard to run once or even twice a week. I hit bottom and then I set a goal.



At some point early this summer, I decided to run the half-marathon. I figured I had four months to train, more than enough time. And it was. I used a training schedule out of my issue of Runner's World that only required three days a week of running until a month before the race when I had to run four days a week.



But for whatever reason, this half-marathon was harder than the full marathon I ran in 2007. It was harder than the other two half marathons I've run. It's possible I didn't have the same amount of base running that I did in previous years. I was sick and unable to run for two of my 12 weeks of training.



I also feel like I messed up on race day. I ate breakfast at 9 a.m. Although my run started at 11 a.m. I had planned to eat a bowl of oatmeal in the car on the way to Detroit but instead split a granola bar with my daughter. I needed that food. I’ve never had a problem running within an hour of eating and I should have stuck with my original plan.



I wish I had seen this guy. It might have made me feel better if I had. Anyway, the biggest mistakes I made yesterday were not eating enough before the race, not bringing enough gels( I had two but needed three to four considering how energy depleted I was), obsessing over my time to the point where I nearly drove myself crazy. I found myself disappointed in my race performance so much so that I wasn’t having a good time.



There were high points; I really appreciated the wonderful residents in Indian Village who gave out beer and jelly beans and serenaded us.



Still, it wasn’t until there were three miles to go and I was completely out of gas that I admitted to myself that I wasn’t going to finish in the desired time. I had previously run two half marathons in 2:25.



It was like a switch getting turned off. That critical voice telling me I’d failed was shut down and I gave myself permission to relax. My goal then was just to finish the race. That’s when I looked around and smiled at people; the cops holding back cars, the other suffering runners. I started to appreciate the breeze from the Detroit River and the view from the waterfront east of GM headquarters.



I shortened my steps and was able to keep running comfortably without stopping. I even ran up that last hill, the one that is 500 feet from the finish line. The one that the event organizers put in just to torture the runners.



When I rounded the corner toward the finish line I saw my husband and three-year-old daughter. I gave my husband a hug and he whispered in my year, "finish strong."



And I thought, what? Do I have anything left? And I did. The announcer called my name after he said the name of someone else, someone who finished the marathon in six hours and 20 minutes. My only thought was, poor woman. She had to suffer for six hours and I only did 2:45.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Jaded reader

I think I read too much.
Lately I've read so many books that I can't believe got published. The publishing industry is supposed to be in such turmoil and being even more selective about the titles it publishes. But it seems to have the time and space for drivel.

I've stopped reading several books that I can't bring myself to finish because they have lost my interest. I have not finished Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James, Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs, Necromancer by Michael Scott and The Broker by John Grisham. I listened to each on audiobook and stopped and started. I am especially disappointed in the Reichs book.  I've read most of her books and been at least entertained. My issue might be with the audiobook, but every single character sounds the same in tone, language and attitude. The story isn't even very interesting which makes it easy to stop reading.

I'm in the midst of reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks and last week finished Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I read a lot of books via audiobooks because I commute two hours a day and I like to listen to books while I run. I have a large selection of podcasts I also follow but I do need a lot of audio reading material to fill my day.

I do listen to NPR but sometimes the content is repetitive and contains nothing new.

Back to books: Life As We Knew It was one of those empty books. It starts with an interesting yet improbable premise that an asteroid hits the moon and brings it very close to earth. The gravitational field is messed with throwing mother nature into a tizzy. There are tsunamis on all the U.S. coasts, earthquakes and volcanoes where none existed before. This would be an interesting story especially if the characters in the book had a bigger challenge than making dinner every night.
While the characters fight a lot, probably due to living in cramped living quarters, nothing much happens as they slowly run out of food. The brother chops a lot of wood, while the main character skates, swims and generally moans about a restricted life of no friends and a limited diet. I give this book five big yawns.

Safe Haven isn't as bad as the other books and I'm still reading it but holy predictable. Nobody has a personality that is unexpected. Everyone seems to be cardboard cutouts of typical people. I'm three-quarters done and sort of wanting to ditch it. I know the husband is going to find her and try and kill her and the boyfriend. How is this interesting when I already know what will happen?

Arrrr. My time is precious. I at least feel the stories I write, while not smooth or masterful, are not predictable. I prefer a creative story over super smooth writing any day.





Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Editing is chugging along. I made some changes to chapters one and two that are posted. The changes aren't too significant.
I did the rewrites I needed to do on the mid-book chapters. I have more work to do but it's manageable. I'm still set to finish by the end of next month.
It's been super hard to juggle everything with training for the half marathon, which is Sunday.
Being sick and then the back pain really set me back but I seemed caught up last weekend and had a great 10-mile run on Saturday.
Now I have a seven miles to get in before Friday.  I was supposed to run today but the husband called me at work to nix my plans because he had to work late and I had to take care of the bambino, who was in a surprising good mood when I picked her up from daycare.
I also had to feed the family, a chore that is time consuming. I made Cincinnati chili last night and gave half away to a friend of mine who had a baby two weeks ago.
A couple of my friends brought over dinner for me after I had Chloe and it made such a difference.
What's it called? Paying it forward?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My baby says her back hurts

With my sore back, I was apprehensive when I did my 10-mile run yesterday. It was super slow because I was so focused on keeping my back straight so that I didn't damage it further.

Tonight I went out for a blistering three-mile run that was the fastest I've run in months!! Funny how things work out.

My back is still sore but I'll survive. Since I've been complaining of back pain, my three-year-old daughter told me her back hurts too. I'm not sure if it's like the sympathetic pregnancy where the husband feels like he's pregnant too or my little girl being super silly. I'm leaning toward the goofy side because my daughter is definitely got a sense of humor.

video

Case in point this dance routine.
The editing is chugging along. One of my chapters got way too long so I've split it in two. I'm just fleshing it out more tonight.

While my husband and I are big fans of The Closer that's about where our tastes end in TV. I just finished episode two of One Upon a Time. One of my must-see TV shows. My husband hates it.
I know he doesn't have any TV taste. He likes Two and a Half Men. Enough said.

Friday, October 5, 2012

When I got home it was pouring rain and in the 40s. I'm still recovering from a cold I got a month ago, so I blew off the run. Arrg.

I just finished the second episode of Fox's Fringe and I can't say I'm liking this season. I used to love this show.

I also purged my personal Twitter account. I have one for work and one of my own. I noticed a lot of people I meet  through my job were following me. I dropped them. I don't want them knowing what I really think.

Must sleep.
I finished Insurgent by Veronica Roth within two days. It was an excellent sequel and I look forward to the last installment.

I read so much YA and have not found a series that I really liked in a while.

I have not run in six days because of my hip and back pain. I casually consulted two exercise gurus and both said I must have been hunched over when I ran the 10 miles.

The back feels better so I'm going to try and get 7 miles in tonight and 11 on Sunday. I'll try and sneak in 2 miles on Saturday but no guarantee. I have to look after the little one because my husband is going biking.

This week I've felt like signing up for the half marathon was a bad idea. It takes about 4 hours a week of running. I've been super busy and haven't had the free time.

Then again, I'm always busy.

I'm starting to panic over my book deadline. I am only halfway through the edits and found that I need to do more rewrites. Arrrrrr.

Here is my night schedule. Go for run @ 8 p.m. Start editing @ 10 p.m. I can't wait. Don't you envy me?


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