Monday, June 18, 2012

Have I mentioned I hate running?

I've been a swimmer for as long as I can remember. My mom had me in the pool at the local YMCA for Mom and Tots when I was still an infant. By the time I was a teenager, I was teaching that class. I swam competitively (although I wasn't the best) until I as about 14 or 15 years old when I fell out of love with swimming. I had gained a little weight and found boys.

A few years ago, when I started with Team in Training, I fell back in love with swimming. This morning, I voluntarily jumped into the outside pool at 5:45 am and had a great workout. I had some music playing in my SwiMP3 and watched the sun come up.

I've also had a long love affair with my bike. When I was a kid, my parents allowed me a lot of freedom on my bike. I would ride my bike up and down my road and when I was older, I would ride for an hour into town and then back again. It was a small town and little traffic. So when I bought myself a nice little road bike a couple years back, it took only a few months and I was feeling pretty comfortable on my bike. Now, I look forward to getting on my bike and exploring a little bit more of the Kentucky countryside.

But running... I've never liked running. I dreaded the day in gym in high school when we had to run the mile for the Presidential something-or-other. I don't remember ever owning sneakers for running in my childhood. When I began training for 1/2 marathon 3 years ago, I thought I was crazy. My family and friends thought I was crazy. But I trained for more than 4 months, running about 3 times a week. And I grew to really enjoy it. I got into a rhythm that I enjoyed. I was (am!) slow as molasses, but I could run 6 or 7 miles without too much difficulty.

Then I developed plantar fascitis. Not only did I stop running but I also had to cut back on the biking. I made trips to the podiatrist and the physical therapist. In the end, losing weight was the trick to improving my two feet. And now I'm back in the game.

So tomorrow, I'm getting up early to hit the road at 5:00 am. Running in the morning is the easiest - it is cool and dark. I can hide my slow ass in the darkness and get lost in the songs on my iPhone. While I don't necessarily dread getting out there and running, I certainly don't look forward to it. But I wonder if half the reason is because I don't run very quickly. It's my weakest sport and I hate feeling that weak.

So, when you wake up tomorrow and get ready for work, think of me. I've taken a couple steps towards improving my run time. Maybe I'll even like running again one day. Maybe I'll even get faster!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So now what?

I'd been working pretty hard towards the Irongirl Atlanta. It's been a couple weeks now and I've spent them thinking about what to do next.

I did decide to sign up for a local triathlon in just over a week. The Markey Race for Women's Cancer - the money goes to the local Cancer Center associated with the University of Kentucky. It's a sprint race - 400m, 13 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I've volunteered at this race for the past two years - it's time to go for it myself.

However, I haven't run since the tri almost three weeks ago. I just don't like to run. I really enjoy swimming and have really fallen in love with cycling. I was able to enjoy running while I was training for the half marathon I did a few years ago. But with plantar fascists plaguing me and my hip that always hurts after running, it hasn't been much fun.

So... my focus this summer, I think, is going to be running. Yeah, I know... I just got through telling you how much I'm not loving it right now. It's clearly my weakest sport (and the slowest.) So it really is the one that I think I should focus on. I mean, I don't need to train for another half, but maybe get my mileage up to 4 miles and really focus on brick workouts. For those of you not fluent in tri-speak, a brick is when you pair two of the tri sports back-to-back. Like swim to bike. Or bike to run. It's the latter that people really struggle with (meaning me!)

I'm following a 12-week Olympic triathlon plan starting last week. There's an option of doing three run workouts a week, so I'm going to up the running to three times a week. I'll keep the other two sports to just twice a week. I mean, I love exercising, but it's not my life... well...

Speaking of triathlon taking over people's lives - there are a group of 5 people (and I use that term loosely and you'll understand why in a moment) who completed a 27 hour triathlon. Nope, you did not read that incorrectly. And no, that's not a mistake. TWENTY SEVEN HOURS!! All in the name of bringing attention to the 27 million victims of human trafficking. I watching them finish up Sunday morning. And then they all stuck around for a couple more hours to celebrate. Amazing!!

There was an amazing table set up there from a local boutique selling free trade stuff. I think I bought half the table. And took home a gift certificate for a Road ID (I LOVE their commercials.)

Last plug for the day - take a look at this project! It's a pretty snazzy GPS system for women that's under development. I'm a backer and I won't be charged until they meet their fundraising goal. It looks like a great investment!!

I'll keep you updated on my running escapades!