R.I.P. Micah True

His story and the book Born to Run really changed how I looked at running, and inspired me to run onto the path I’m on today. Sad to lose such an inspirational individual.

photo from Denver Westward Blogs via The Portland Press Herald



I went out a couple of weeks ago for a 12 mi run, and accidentally did this:

Don’t ask. The point is that when I hit the stop button and saw how far I had gone, the fact that I was in a crazy amount of pain, and had walked most of the last 20 min made a lot more sense. Such a dumb ass. I would have cried, but I was too tired, and needed more fluids. I was beating myself up during that last bit, pissed off and disappointed that I couldn’t even finish 12 stupid miles. How was I going to get through my half mary in April? How was I going to get through a full mary in November? Oops.

So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to get over that. Well, my legs, anyway. They got pretty angry with me for not being able to do simple math (there’s a reason I rub nekkid people, y’all), and have refused to let me run far or fast ever since. I’ve tried the road and the treadmill. I have to say, as far as being injured goes, I do much better on the road than the treadmill. My problems are shortened and dysfunctional muscles in my right glutes and leg. On a treadmill, you can’t really work on certain things. You know, because the ground is moving. Heh. So the road is better for that.

Until yesterday, I had topped out at an 18 min, 1.62 mi run. Every time I tried to run and failed, I would get pissed. It was my own fault, and if I didn’t learn from this, there was no hope I’d ever meet all of my running goes (they extend well past a full marathon, I tell you).

Friday night, I went to my fitness center’s Last Chance Workout. Wow. I’m glad I went, and I honestly wish they did it every week. It was great, and so much fun. Mainly because I totally got picked on and singled out, which makes me work extra hard. While I was on the treadmill for the first round of cardio, I noticed it was a little easier, and my knee wasn’t tightening up. This was good. Gave me some optimism for my run the next day. I stayed away from leg machines for that workout, tho the super awesome and lovely Trainer Adam had me do stairs while everyone else got to do cardio machines. Ugh.

Yesterday, I headed out for a run of yet undetermined length. I knew I had to take it easy, start out slow, and pay attention to what I was doing. I usually listen to podcasts when I run, but opted for music since it meant I didn’t have to pay attention to what I was hearing. After 20 min, I wanted to quit. It was starting to hurt. I remembered what Ian Adamson of Newton Running said during a run clinic I went to last year. If you’re hurt or tired, it’s the perfect time to work on your form. That’s what I started doing. It still hurt, just not as much. I worked on relaxing, lowering my arms, and keeping my chin up. Then I noticed my strides were too long, so I shortened them which helped a lot. I ended up running 5.84 mi yesterday. They were slow, but I got them done. I was very happy with that when I finished.

So, I guess I’m learning from my mistakes. Good thing, too. I want this year to be a good one with some pretty big goals met. I can’t be screwing myself up!

Oh, and it’s always nice to know you’re not the only one out there who does stupid running things.

Can you even believe how long it’s been since I put anything here?! Holy smokes. A lot has happened/changed since last April. But we won’t get into all that. I still like running. I still wear Newtons to run, and VFFs for every day. Oh, but now I have a pair of Toms. Nice. I like them. I still have a half-fro that I occasionally let loose while I’m running. I have more tattoos, and more metal in my face. My kids are still growing (what the hell is that about? they’re like huge!), and I’m still all married, and stuff. Did I miss anything? Okay, moving on…

I didn’t make any resolutions this year. Mainly because last year’s goals were woefully unmet. So instead, I came up with “things I want to do”. I think that will work out much better for me. Come on. You know me. Throw a shiny thing at me, and I’m veering off course before you can say, “Hey, Amy. Look at this shiny thing.” I am trying to minimize the disappointment at the end of the year (heh, or within the first few months) when I have to face the things left unaccomplished.

Don’t fret, though. I’m not going to let you surf away completely empty-handed. I can tell you what’s already on the calendar this year:

The 4th Annual Frisco Railroad Run Half Marathon:  I did the 10-miler last year, and fell in love with that trail, so decided it was time to do a half mary successfully. This is the one. Can’t wait. I like the medals. They are big, and have a train on them. Whoot whoooooot!

Warrior Dash:  I absolutely love this race. So fun. Who doesn’t want to conquer 3.1 miles worth of obstacles, jump over fire, and low-crawl under barbed-wire in a pit of mud?!?! I’m doing this race with my friend Kate this year, and we’ll also be cheering on another friend (who couldn’t make it into our wave… balls). Can’t wait! I will definitely make sure I wear pants I can cinch up tight. My shorts almost slid all the way down my hiney last year when I got out of the mud! Sheesh.

All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run:  In December, my step mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Stupid cancer. Luckily, they found it through a routine mammogram, and were able to take care of it quickly. She had a double mastectomy in January, and is doing great now. She’s a helluva strong lady with a giant heart. I heard about this run right around the time she was diagnosed, and decided that I just had to do this run. If you click the link, you can donate. The proceeds go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Cool your jets. If you’re like me, you’ve had a huge problem with Komen in the last few weeks. But I was already signed up, and cancer is a bitch who doesn’t care about politics. So go donate, please. That will make us all feel so much better, don’t you think? I’m doing this run in honor of my great grandmother, grandmother in law, and my step mom. The grandmothers both lost their battle with cancer. Super glad my step mom hasn’t.

Bass Pro Conservation Marathon:  Well then. 26.2 miles. Twenty six point two. I guess it’s confirmed that I’m crazy. Why did I sign up for this? Well, you see, I decided at the end of 2011 that I would focus on running this year. I’ll still ride and swim, but I don’t actually have any tris on my radar as of yet. So why not go ahead and stare death in the eyes this year? Over-dramatic? Possibly. You don’t know. What if this year they decide to release wild, blood-thirsty animals onto the course to chase us down? Mmmm hmmm. Bet you’ll feel like a big, dumb, dummy when you find out I could not fully unleash my inner Kenyan, and was eaten by a freakin’ liger. You heartless jerk.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah. Running.

So, this year’s focus is running. I’ve heard a rumor of a new tri possibly happening locally that could get me to flex my SBR muscles, but otherwise, I’m just unsure right now about that.

Oh. Swimming. There’s a chance I could actually be half-way decent at this. Someday. Not in the near future, necessarily. But, you know, maybe by the time I’m 40? Yeah. That’s a good goal. I’ll be half-way decent at swimming by my 40th birthday. Which means maybe I’ll try my first OWS this year. Um, that’s “open water swim”, not “occupy wall street”. Heh, still get confused when I see OWS in the news. Can’t figure out why an open water swim is such a big damn deal.

Back to running: I did my first 5k race of the year yesterday. I use the term “race” sort of loose-like because I’m only racing myself. I am so competitive with me! Yesterday was a great race. I beat me. Pretty good. I finished in ((drum roll, please)) 27:39. I know. I know. Amazing, right? Yes, that is exactly how I felt when I saw that my Garmin was not playing a cruel joke on me, and I had totally blown myself out of the water. It was cold as hell out yesterday (yes, I see how that really doesn’t make sense seeing as how everyone claims hell has fire, but whatever shut up), so I don’t know how much of that was me just wanting to feel my toes again, but I’ll take it. Of course, this also means I had better start running faster regularly. That’s the downside of a PR. You see what you’re capable of, and realize you are one lazy mofo.

Well, there ya go. If you missed me, I think that’s a healthy dose of “Oh yeah, she’s just a weirdo” to hold you over. Will do my best to keep this up to date. My homework load has increased. Like, a LOT. So, I’m not promising you people a damn thing. I can only do what I can do.

I wore my sweat pants rolled up on Friday when I went to class. A female instructor came up behind me on my way into ICE and asked me if I thought it was summer or something. I laughed and told her that since it was above freezing, I was pretending it was Spring already. She laughed and told me I have nice legs. Yeah. I kinda do. 😀

That’s not really important. I’m just sharing one of the few things I’m vain about. 🙂

I expected to feel something in my calves yesterday. Some twinges, maybe even a little pain, from my new shoes. Nada! Aces. Today, tho, my legs felt alien and rubbery to me. I didn’t sleep well at all last night, and I think that has something to do with it. I woke up feeling like I was getting sick, but I only needed to run 2 miles today, so I did. OUTSIDE. I know. If you’re still in the frozen, arctic tundra, I’m sorry. Don’t hate me. It’s lovely out. The sun is shining and it’s in the 40’s. The wind is cold and felt great on my run!! Yay!!

Oh shut up! It sounded funny in my head! Hahahahaha!!
You don’t want to go in there….

I bought some new running shoes today. Ta-da!!!

This is my second pair of Newtons. I went from VFF’s, to Nike Frees, back to VFF’s to Newtons last year. I think I’ll just stick with these bad boys. I got a pretty good deal, too, thanks to a $50 Groupon, a $20 gift card and a 10% discount for being a member of the multi-sport club. Yay!!!

Took them out for a spin this evening. Sure pissed me off that I had to drive to the gym to run on the stupid, torturous, retardo dread mill because finally the tundra is melting but my neighborhood is covered in slush. Yuck. There is NO way I’m getting my shoes all gross on the first run. Pffftttt. But whatever. At least I got to try them out. Only did 2 miles, just to be safe. The guy at the store kept telling me, “Don’t just go out and run 5 miles in these. Ease into them. They’re different than your last pair.” Sighface I do know this. I swear I do. I learned my lessons last year. But I totally appreciate the reminder. That’s why I love that store.

I would like to point out that there is green glitter in that ‘n’. This is only acceptable because I know it can’t escape.

Love. These. Shoes. (But I still want some VFF Bikilas or Komodo Sports)

This has taken me entirely too long to get around to writing. It’s not that I didn’t want to write it. I did. I’m just super awesome at procrastinating. Luckily, I know this about myself and made a note of the important stuff.

This was my first half marathon. I signed up for this thing back in April. I totally thought I’d be ready, no problem. Heh, I did not, however, foresee jacking up my ankle in August. That set back training. Oh well. Shit happens, right? Life and injuries happen. All I can do is keep moving forward. (I smell a tattoo…)

Okay, so I woke up feeling like I was getting a cold, but I ignored that. At the start I felt great. I mean really great. Like, I totally forgot how ill-prepared I was for this race good. I got all teary when they said raise your hand if you have a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan. I raised my hand thinking of my super-bad sister-in-law in Iraq and her husband who will be heading to Afghanistan in short order. After the national anthem, it was go time.

The first 2.5 miles were fine. Better than fine. I felt good and was having a great time. Apparently my IT band decided feeling good was out of the question. I felt a twinge in my right knee, but it wasn’t enough to stop running. I ran for another mile and a half before realizing this was a big problem. I finally had to admit I was in a lot of pain. I stopped to walk and stretch, thinking that walking a little wouldn’t be awful. I was disappointed because it was so early in the race, but whatever. What can you do? I kept up a decent run/walk/stretch/run routine until around mile 9. By mile 10 I wanted to cry, and at mile 11 I was barely moving. My right knee just didn’t want to bend. But I kept plugging along. I always carry my phone, so I was texting The Husband and Dickers who were both super encouraging. Dickers, tho, totally made me laugh instead of cry. Thank you, Sam!!! 😀
ME: “I can’t hardly walk! My right leg is shot!”
DICKERS: “Drag it!”
ME: “I wanna sit down so bad!”
DICKERS: “You can sit down after 13.1! Keep going!”

So I finished my first half marathon with a great time…had I run a marathon. 😉 Oh well. I’ll just have to try again. When my Mom called that afternoon to ask how it went and update me on my step-dad’s condition, she asked why, if it hurt that bad, I didn’t quit. Um, because I had to finish, duh. I told her, “Because Randy didn’t quit, so why should I?” Randy is my step-dad. He’s still in ICU after an abdominal aortic aneurysm almost killed him 9 days before my race. He shouldn’t have made it, say the doctors. Well, if he can pull through that and 8 hours of surgery, I damn sure can walk to a finish in a piddly-ass half marathon.

Here are some things that stood out.

1) The cute girl in the Camp Barnabas shirt pushing the man in the wheelchair. She totally beat me. She pushed a wheelchair for 13.1 miles. Wow!

2) Downtown there were a couple of homeless folks cheering us on. That was crazy, funny and very cool. I’ve seen those two before on my way to class a couple of times. I also saw a kid sleeping on a bus bench. Thought it was another homeless person, but turns out it was just a tired kid out to support their runner.

3) Something smelled positively awful on Jefferson between Walnut and Pershing. No joke, it smelled like Pascagoula in the summertime. If you’ve not ever driven through Pascagoula, MS, then think rotten broccoli. Blech!

4) Right after the nasty smell there was a rock band on the corner of Jefferson and Elm. I have no idea if they were any good. They stopped playing when I got close enough to hear.

5) With my gimpy knee, I chased down a woman who had dropped a fuel belt bottle. She only had the one on her belt so I figured it probably was important she have it. It’s not like I was going to be breaking any speed records, so I picked it up. Damn, she was hard to catch! But I did. Karma points.

6) Next time I run this, I’m stopping to pick up the damn beer tickets. I passed at least 6 or 7 on the road because people apparently didn’t know to tear them off of their bib before they start running.

7) About 2 miles from the finish, this guy doing the marathon came running past. He had blood on his shirt. My first experience seeing the infamous bloody nipples. Well, technically not the nipples. The shirt was enough to turn my stomach a little. No thanks. Ugh. Pretty sure THAT would slow my ass down. Ouchouchouch.

I know normally there’s “nothing new on race day”. But sometimes that doesn’t happen either. I couldn’t get to my gel because the zipper on my pack got stuck. So I grabbed one at an aid station. I’m a fan of Hammer gels because they never upset my stomach and they taste good.  These were apple cinnamon flavored, but they tasted alright and no ill effects. Glad that worked out.

The other new thing I had on race day was my brand new Garmin. Seriously, I wanna marry it. I love that thing. That is all.

So not a great report, but oh well. I got the first one out of the way and got my first medal. I’m hoping to do another one in December. We’ll see. It’s 4 loops, so I’m not completely sold on it yet.