Last week, I surprised even myself with not totally effing up my training plan. Other than one missed 4 miler, I managed to shove my ass out the front door and get some miles in. Yesterday, I started having what, I believe, are shin splints (a shin splint, singular?) in my left shin. I’m taking today off to give it, and my pain in the ass quad, a bit of a break.

On this week’s agenda:

Monday- Rest; Tues- 4 Miles; Wed- 4 Miles; Thurs- 4 Miles; Friday- Rest (Thank god!); Sat- 4 Miles and yoga; Sun- 7 Miles.

In other, non-running related news, D and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary this weekend. We got a hotel in SoHo and spent the day drinking and watching the Michigan State game at a “sports bar”.  In classic Manhattan (SoHo?) style, this was the fanciest sports bar I’ve ever been to. Coors Lite for $7? No thanks. I’ll just go ahead and spend the extra $1 on a beer whose sole purpose isn’t to be shotgunned.

Trying to carry some of the positivity of the weekend through this week. Not looking good so far. But still hopeful that the weather gets its shit together and stops differing by 20 degrees each day. I really do think that the never ending winter is contributing to some of my mood instability.

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Three days into half marathon training, and I’ve already missed a run. I skipped out on my 4 miler yesterday. In my defense, it was my anniversary, and a nice, leisurely morning at home seemed a lot more celebratory than a run. The only bummer was that the weather was absolutely gorgeous yesterday morning, and now we’ve been plunged back into winter. I am so over it, there aren’t even words.

Tonight, I’m going to a Hip and Core workout at Jackrabbit on the Upper East Side. Bonus is that there is a apparently an eyebrow threading place in the train station (?) that’s gotten stellar yelp reviews. So, I’m going to go ahead and kill two birds with one stone.

Last night, D and I went out to Dino, an Italian restaurant down the street from our apartment. For some reason, we had never been before, even though it is literally a block away. Maybe because it looked too fancy? I mean, it was fancy. As in, entrees cost more than $7. I had the spinach gnocchi with a side of sauteed kale. I was so full afterwards, that I could only manage to stuff my face with tiramisu and the remnants of D’s chocolate cake and ice cream. I basically eat all the food, all the time.

My plan is to get back on the training… train tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be decent this weekend, so I will be long running in the midst of more anniversary celebrating. You would think that 4 years together was like, 40 , the way we’re carrying on, but I need something festive to carry me through the rest of this never-effing-ending winter.

Yesterday marked the official start of training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I had originally planned on running a half with my dad in Chicago (his first!) in June, and then was peer pressured into signing up for the Brooklyn Half in May as well. And by “peer pressured”, I mean that I heard other people I knew were running it and impulsively signed up because I never, ever, ever have anyone to train/commiserate with. I am following this plan:

http://www.nyrr.org/sites/default/files/training-programs2012/Moderate.pdf

Two half marathons under my belt and, all of a sudden I warrant a “Moderate” plan? It’s foolish, I know. Especially given my recent quad pain. And the fact that I am now running 2 half marathons in the span of 2 months. Totally fool-proof plan. No way this could blow up in my face.

This week’s running plan looks a little something like this:

Monday: 3 miles; Tuesday: 3 miles; Wednesday: 4 miles; Thursday: Core and Hip Workout class at Jackrabbit; Friday: 4 miles; Saturday: 4 miles; Sunday: 6 miles.

So, basically, Moderate Plan just means “Running all the fucking time” Plan. I was able to do 3 miles yesterday with no real pain, and made sure to foam roll for a solid 1 minute afterwards, so that should solve all my problems. I’m going to play this plan by ear and might end up running the Conservative Plan if I run into any issues. Racing season has officially begun!!

P.S. I am basically computer illiterate and am still figuring out how to do some things (all the things?) on this blog. Bear with me as I attempts to make this thing MODERATELY less embarrassing (get it?)

Gone, is Yoga for Chumps. Introducing, for the first time, the Official New Title: Cardinal Rules of the Run. I thought I’d ride the Portlandia bird craze for as long as I can, which is super smart considering I’m pretty sure that’s played out already. When pondering blog names, it hit me, for the first time ever, that the state bird of Illinois, from whence I came, is a Cardinal and the college I went to has Cardinal red as the mascot. Let this sink in, guys. Ten years later, and I JUST realized this. If I hadn’t thought to re-vamp this blog, I might never have put aside the HOUR it took me to put two and two together. I am scary smart sometimes.

On the running front, I’ve been dealing with some pretty sweet quad pain that refuses to go away. I didn’t run at all last week thinking that would help, but, spoiler alert, it didn’t. I went to yoga this weekend thinking I could stretch it out a little, but it actually hurt during yoga, which is a little troubling. It doesn’t hurt when I actually run, so I guess that’s a good thing? I don’t know. I’m a huge baby when it comes to minor discomfort, so physical activity of any kind is right up my alley. I’m also lucky enough to be a hypochondriac, so now I’ve convinced myself that I have permanently torn something in my leg. Bonus is that this week I’m supposed to start training for my half marathon. My poorly researched, and possibly permanently damaging plan, is to keep on keeping on with my half marathon training plan, making sure to force myself to stretch and foam roll (neither of which I do with any regularity). I’m also getting my money’s worth out of my Walgreen’s ice pack, in the hopes that something magically fixes whatever is wrong. Worst case scenario is that I run a horrible half marathon, bust up my body too badly to complete the marathon, and have lots of people feel sorry for me. I think I can live with that.

Somehow, I have managed to make it almost a year without posting on this blog. High fives, all around! It’s certainly not because I haven’t had the time. In fact, in that time, I’ve spent about 5,000 hours reading other people’s blogs. Since my last post, I’ve managed to con someone into paying me for my services as a professional human being, so the noon-time yoga classes have been nixed. I completed my second half marathon last October, which was super exciting, and painful, as the entire lower half of my body felt busted on race day. Happily, whatever was fucked up with my legs made it more enjoyable to run up hills than downhills, so at least I had that going for me.

In the months leading up to my half, I began going to a Yoga for Runners class put on at Jackrabbit Sports. I heart any yoga class where absolutely everyone is as inflexible as me. You mean, none of you can touch your toes and all of you have hamstrings that refuse to do their goddamn jobs? Hey-o! Being a class for runners, the talk was non-stop about the New York City Marathon. Here I was, freaking out about my half, and everyone was rolling in every week complaining about their 8 mile long runs. Well, I like complaining, too! So, to validate my need to whine and let people know how awesome by talking about running all the time, I signed up for the NYC Marathon. Holy. Shit. I have basically been switching between sheer panic and denial since then. I fully expect that my body will simply give out at some point during the race. I’m talking, spontaneous combustion. As it is, I’ve been averaging 15 miles a week this winter and my left quad is having a serious “bitch, please” moment.

Anyways, I am determined to commit myself more fully to this blog and my zero readers. Reading other running blogs keeps me motivated and inspired, especially the ones by other slow-bies like me. No one wants to hear about your 7 minute miles, people. Keep it moving.

since my last post. What can I say? Being faux-employed is incredibly time- consuming. I will say, I’ve been incredibly good about working out since I’ve moved to BK. I got an insane Living Social deal for a yoga studio near the house, and I’ve been going about 3 times a week. One major complaint I have is that the place is crazy crowded, especially during the day. Apparently, everyone in BK is faux-employed (unemployed? an “artist”?). I can say with total honesty that, about 15 minutes into yoga, I start sweating so much you’d think it was Bikram, so the last thing I want is another human being 10 inches from me. But, the studio does have a yoga teacher who informed everyone that he “doesn’t believe in anatomy”, so the place isn’t a total bust. Probably the only thing that appeals to me about becoming a yoga teacher is the opportunity to say completely inane things under the guise of profundity. When I was in college, I took my first yoga class with a man who asked us not to wear deodorant to class because he wanted to be able to smell our fear. At the time, this dude struck me as creepy enough to ensure that I didn’t take another yoga class for the next 5 years, but, in hindsight, being able to BE that ridiculous, out loud, to a room full of strangers, was probably very satisfying. I spend about 80% of my life filtering out the weird/inappropriate shit I think but could never say, when, in reality, I should just complete my yoga teacher training and let it loose. 

In addition to yoga, I’ve been running like a crazy lady all throughout Brooklyn. I have taken to listening to music on every run, partly to motivate me, but also to drown out the voices of random men hitting on me. As I’m running. In a gross skull cap. And stupid looking running clothes. While breathing as though I’m about to pass out and looking like I’m most likely going to throw up. It would maybe be flattering to be hit on if I had some confidence in the fact that I looked good in that moment. Can’t hate on someone appreciating the time I put into looking cute. But when I am all too aware that I look like butt (sweaty, smelly, matted hair butt), the comments just seem disingenuous and make me rage-ful. I’ve seriously considered stopping mid-run, walking back to one of these dudes, and asking them, specifically, what about my appearance in that moment they appreciated (and the vague feeling that there’s a vagina under these awkward looking running pants doesn’t count as a legit answer). If one of them can name something that doesn’t sound like a total crock of shit, I will probably (definitely) leave my boyfriend and marry him.

Not to be crazy dramatic, but I feel like running saved my soul today. I talked to my dad and found out that my grandma is on hospice now. She’s been declining for awhile, and I’d already grieved the loss of the grandma I had known and the grandma I would never know. So I wasn’t all that upset to hear the news because it is just another step towards what will be her eventual death. But even though I wasn’t sobbing, I instinctively knew that I needed to take care of myself tonight. Not in the social worker, “What are you doing for self-care?” way, but in a different, MY BODY IS SCREAMING OUT TO RELEASE SOMETHING, kinda way. I couldn’t wait to get home to run. And I knew that the elliptical at the gym wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a balls out, cold wind on my face, interacting with the world type of run.

I told myself that I was going to get real with myself on this run in the hopes that forcing myself to think about my grandma’s death would be better to do while running than not. Halfway through, I started repeating to myself, “Grandma is dying, grandma is going to die”. Nothing. Which, of course, made me think that this was working like gangbusters! Could I have discovered the cure for sadness?? Then, all of a sudden, I started repeating, “I love you, Grandma”. And I started to get choked up. “This is it!”, I thought. This was going to be mad therapeutic. But the tears wouldn’t come. I think it’s probably because my lungs were preoccupied with about a million other things. So no tears. BUT, there was this incredible moment when I honestly felt like my grandma was simultaneously feeling what I was saying. That she was feeling in her body the love that I was feeling in mine while I ran.

So I decided to run for her. Not a run powered by the intense sadness of losing her, but powered by the even more intense love and gratitude I have for having known her. Running with the strength that I know is partly there because she put it there. Feeling my body do the things that hers cannot and being so happy that it is able to do these things. Knowing how strong and fragile it is. I am. By the end of the run, I was laughing like a maniac. I felt like I could have run forever. When I got to the end, a really good song came on and I started running again. I just had to. It was so what my body and soul were needing.

Do I think every run will be this magical? No. I’m not delusional. And I wouldn’t want every run to be like this either. I think some runs need to be hard. They need to be battles we fight with our body. Just to remind ourselves that one day we’ll lose those battles. But right now, in this moment, we can win.