Running Strong

Now that things have settled down a little bit for me, I have been doing a lot of running. My team relay race is coming up in mid-October and I was also dumb enough to sign up for my first half marathon in mid-September, so there is definitely a reason why all the running is necessary—I mean, beyond the obvious mental and physical health reasons.

I’m happy to report that even though I did very little running in May and June, things are going really well for me and my feet. I mean, I do have semi-debilitating pain in a hip, a knee, and a peroneal tendon of the ankle. However, I’m kind of choosing to ignore much of that in a partly educated guess that it’ll all work out fine.

Because that’s what happens, right? Things work out fine.

Some running news from my life:


I ordered a running visor online a few weeks ago, because I was way too lazy to track one down at a store. This probably bodes poorly for my ability to actually, you know, run, but let’s not look at that too closely.

Anywho, I got the shipping confirmation and it was all, “Please be aware that if it rains, your shipment may be delayed,” which made me wonder, how is this visor being shipped—by Pony Express?


My new house resides at the veeeeery top of a hill. Like in all directions. It is literally at the highest point in all directions. I’m pretty excited about this in terms of floods, but less excited in terms of running. I mean, it’s great when I’m leaving the house, but every single run ends with a half- to one-mile run up a fairly steep hill.

Sure, it’s probably good for me in terms of hill training and all, but it is terribly irksome when I am tired.


As I mentioned up there at the top of this post, I signed up for my first half marathon.

I am scared to fucking death.

I visited the registration page probably 8 or 9 times before I actually registered. Thirteen miles seems like a lot of miles. Plus, there is a time limit on this half marathon, which is extremely close to my running pace. They asked for my expected finish time down to the second, so I put 2 hours, 40 minutes, and 32 seconds, just to be a jerk.

Of course, that estimate is absurd. I plan to finish in 2 hours, 40 minutes, and 18 seconds.

Yes, I am aware that this time estimate is FOREVER in terms of a half marathon. I don’t care. I plan to be very proud of me when I finish.


I have been aware for a while now that if you want to run longer distances, mid-run fueling is important. I have also been aware that I could never consume anything that has a name pronounced “goo.”

I have a friend who suggested sport jelly beans. Nope, I couldn’t handle their taste and texture. I came up with the idea that I could eat Snickers bites on the run. Nope, I ate them all before I went running. For my ten-miler, I took Jolly Ranchers with me for at least a sugar boost. I’m not sure they helped, plus I think they were probably a choking hazard.

Happily, I have discovered Clif Shot Bloks, which are not terrible. Plus, you can get a flavor that comes with caffeine! I couldn’t be happier.


I did a ten and a half mile run today, which was awesome. My feet and legs hurt at the end, but I could have kept running, so I feel good about that. I could not, however, have kept running up the hill leading to my house. I walked that motherfucker with a stop midway to stretch.

I tell you about this run not only to be all, “I did a ten and half mile run today,” but also because it started out really hard. I was scheduled for said ten-miler today, but was only three and a half in when my ankle started to hurt and I was tired and I almost stopped and turned around.

In fact, I did stop. Twice. I thought, “Today might not be the day.” But I’m reading a book by an ultramarathoner and I was all, I bet he never stops a run at mile 3.5. So I kept moving. I stopped my Garmin and I walked for about a quarter of a mile and then I started to run again.

So I restarted my Garmin and ran seven more miles. I didn’t even walk the uphills. (Until the end, naturally.) In fact, my originally planned route turned out to be not quite long enough for my planned ten, so I added a whole long section to extend the run.

Yay, me. I rock. I spent a couple of hours in pretty extreme pain after I returned home, but eventually much of the soreness dissipated and now I can totally stand up without crying.


I ran my last longer-than-10k race (a 10-miler) in March. I have been worried that because I didn’t run for a couple of months that I have lost too much fitness and that a half marathon would be too much for me. But based on my recent runs, I can tell how much stronger I am now than I was then.

That feels great. Like really, really great.

I have a healthy layer of chub on my body, but you know what is under that soft, bouncy surface? Rockin’ muscles.

Sure, I’d rather those muscles were on the outside. I’m still not happy with my body shape. That said, I am very happy with my body. It is pretty awesome and can do a lot.

Hells yeah. Bring on 13 miles.

19 thoughts on “Running Strong

  1. The ultra-marathon guy has a wife in a camper following him and orders pizzas to be delivered to him along the route! I think we need to do that!

  2. You’re very inspiring you know, even to me as a non-runner. You constantly challenge yourself and learn and push through and become stronger. You make me smile a lot.

  3. You are awesome!! If you ran 10 1/2 today, you’ll definitely be great with 13.2 on race day!! Before I did the Parks, I hadn’t run longer than 11miles. Hope your pains go away soon!!

    • This is extremely encouraging, thank you!!!! Plus, I figure that because it’s not run on roads that if I run a minute or two over they can’t sweep me from the course!

  4. Yay You! If you’re already running 10+ miles, 13 miles should be a breeze. Or, at least, do-able.
    a. Re mid-run fueling: should that include protein, carbs, fat, or all three? I REALLY like Kind bars, and another brand whose name escapes me right now. The Kind bars have relatively few ingredients, AND you can actually see the ingredients in the bar. One caveat, though: another Whole Foods customer pointed out that they aren’t good for anyone allergic to nuts.
    b. How do you manage the noise at start and finish of the race? The few times I ventured to a fun-run, I didn’t cope with the loud music very well.
    c. I’m sorry you’re [again?] having pain. A thought: Have you had your shoes evaluated recently? I was pleased to learn that my current run/walking shoes are perfect for me. As you know, I can also recommend an excellent physical therapy practice. Only if needed. :)

    • b. I’m actually okay with that. Before the race, I usually just find a spot to stretch and wait. Afterward, I cheer on the people who come in after me. Then I retreat.
      c. It’s not too bad. I’m doing alright. :)

      • That’s great to hear – was worried about the semi-debilitating pain. Not that I’d know anything about that. :)
        Hope you have a great race!
        I want to increase my walking, too. Stay tuned ….

  5. You are awesome. I plan to be proud of you,too, regardless of your half marathon time. Dude, it’s a HALF MARATHON.

    The apex of our neighborhood is at the end of our street. So we always walk up hill whenever we set out. But, it’s a nice cool down as we walk downhill to our house. I think I would cry if I had to go up hill at the end of every walk. You rock.

    • I think I might prefer the uphill on the way home. If I had to go uphill when I left, I’d probably stay in my house all the time.

  6. I am exactly where you were…haven’t run much in the past 2 months. I had the crazy idea to run a half in December…and I think I’m crazy enough to take that on!! My half time though will be somewhere in the 3 hour range…I will be walking some of it.
    Good luck on these next few races!! Keep up the great inspiration for people like me! :)

  7. you are so badass.

    and when you are really hurting, and things really really suck, remember your 10.5 mile day. remember what you are capable of when things get hard.

  8. You should have been a real asshole with your estimated finish time – take the course time limit, and subtract one second. That way, when you come in at a faster time, you can say you blew away your estimates :)

    My house is at the bottom of 3 hills (and the fourth side dumps into a lake). I’m sort of mixed about this – if I do a 5min walking warm-up, I can usually make it to the very top of the largest hill, and then can either run flat or downhill depending which way I choose. Doing a c25k program, I’ve actually been able to time it so that every single run segment is downhill. While this is good for my self esteem (I run like the wiiiind!), it’s probably very bad for helping me build any sort of endurance.

    • Ha! Isn’t it funny how you can find ways to do that? It is amazing how good I am at finding mostly downhill routes. But you’re right, there are definitely long-term downsides (see what I did there?) to such a way of training.

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