Sunday, January 27, 2013

All it takes is one great run....

It's been a long time for me since all the pieces fell into place, since I have had that one great run. 

You know, the run where you are able to get into the zone, block out all the negatives and negativity inside yourself, and just feel perfect running, like you could continue for ages.  Were your legs feel as light as air, where your lungs are so expansive that you never need to stop to take a breather. 

My run today was that run.  I am a weather wuss (to be fair, it was -21 celcius here today!!) and decided to get my butt to the gym for a run.  I have set a goal for myself this year to get to the gym 3x a week, or at least get running 3x a week.  For the first few weeks of this year, I have been consistently failing at that goal. With being in Florida for Christmas, and getting back to work, I just haven't been getting it done.  Come March, I will be forcing myself to do it, as I have signed up for my first Running Room clinic (more to come on that, and my annual running goals).

But for now, I am on my own.  So I got to the gym, and decided to do a long slow run.  For me, long was going to aim for about 4 miles right now.  Pathetic, I know.  I started up, at a pace of 11 minutes a mile, and felt fantastic.  Normally, I am huffing and puffing within minutes, thinking of reasons to stop.  But today, it was awesome.  Not even the idiot running beside me with their treadmill going at 9 miles an hour, with a 10% incline, who was running by lifting most of his body weight with his arms, leaning on the treadmill the whole time, not even he could get me off my game.

I ran a wonderful 5 miles.  Way longer than anything I had done recently, and it felt amazing.  I could have went longer, but with sleeping late, I had other things I had to get done. 

I'm so happy to have that run under my belt, because I was starting to worry that I had completely lost my game.  I just realized, I was pushing way too hard, way too fast. I'm looking forward to investing the time and taking the effort to reach my goals this year...... which will be posted soon! 

When was the last time you had a "perfect" run?  Have you managed to have one on the dreadmill?

P.S - check out Running Diva Mom's Nuun giveaway here -

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lance Armstrong

I tried to do another post to celebrate my 100th blog entry, but as I was drafting it, I realized that I can't delay my thoughts on the Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah one bit.  I need to say my peace, and find out the opinions of runners regarding Lance Armstrong wanting to be able to compete again in the future. 

I admit, I wasn't following this scandal as much as some people who are very interested in the cycling world; I was one of the people who knew of Lance from his achievements, the 7 tour wins, the cancer fight, dating Cheryl Crow, creating Livestrong.  I thought of him as an amazing man, someone who had persevered and done amazing things in his life, and had actively taken the time to pay it forward through an amazing organization for cancer research. 

When the ASADA report came out, I didn't read it, but I wasn't sure what to think. It seemed, based on what had went on for years, that people were out to get him.  At this point, the historical testing of his urine samples hadn't happened, and so I kept thinking that all the facts weren't known, and that I wasn't prepared to judge one way or another.

I watched both interviews last night and today.  Wow.  I am torn regarding the interview, whether he was sincere, whether he truly admitted that his life was a lie, that he was a bully, a jerk.  I thought he admitted some things frankly and candidly, but it certainly was not a no holds barred interview, he didn't admit how it was done, he avoided topics, and keep walking a fine line between accepting responsibility for his actions and blaming the "doping culture."

I don't think the interview was enough, or was done for altruistic reasons or for the public's benefit.  This was clearly for him, and what he could do to earn money, get sympathy, rebuild his reputation, or get the ban lifted.  However, I do believe there is a doping culture, and that at some level, because he was so popular and got caught, he is becoming a scapegoat, someone that is being punished more than others who had similar "crimes against sport."

I was especially struck by the conversation when it turned to his ban, and how this affected his ability to run. He got a lifetime ban, from anything sanctioned, which means many, many running races, he can never participate in.  Lance Armstrong says he hopes to have that ban lifted, to run in the Chicago Marathon when he is 50.  Online, there has been talk of his Boston marathon time of 2:50:58 from the 2008 race, where he came in 497th place, that it would be vacated, as if it didn't happen.

As a runner, I understand how this would be hard to accept.  Races are part of what we do, what we enjoy, why we run. To run without a goal race, without something to work toward, would be very hard to accept. I have a hard enough time having motivation when I do have a race, I can't imagine having to accept to race against my own time on my own made up courses or a treadmill.

That being said, it is a consequence of his own stupid actions.  He needs to understand that his actions have consequences.    Cycling is his love, and he should never get the chance to race again.  Period.   That will be punishment for the rest of his life.  But running?  He is never going to place in a big race like Boston or Chicago.  Should he be allowed to join a group of people to work out together, to enjoy a hobby that will never earn him money, that will never get him prize money?   What happens if he gets better at running without doping?  Do we ban him then?

What about triathalons?  Apparently, he was having quite a good year in 2012 before he was banned, and could have had a shot at Kona:

If I had to say my peace on the running issue, I would lean towards letting him run a 10k, letting him join Team Diabetes or another charitable running program to make some amends.  Him running probably won't make any negative impact in anyone's life.  But ban him from triathalons, from the bike, because that is where he should be punished.  Let him compete in running, but don't let him win.  That will hurt him just as much, if not more than not letting him participate at all.

What do you think of the running ban that comes along with Lance Armstrong's ASADA punishment?  As a runner, do you think he should be banned from races?  Why?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back and Ambitious!!!


I've came back after a very long year (nope, no baby to announce, just work and life and the ups and downs that come with it) with a new sense of renewal and dedication.

When I left the blog last year, I realized that I had the wrong focus, that I had become a person who was too obsessed with "competing" with the fast bloggers, the bloggers who ran Boston, the runners who are generally freaking amazing.  I LOVE these bloggers, but it took me a heck of a long time to figure out, I'm not them.  I'm not even close.

After I got back from my whirlwind Europe trip, which was awesome, my friendship with my best friend, the person whose wedding I attended last November, went off the rails.  Reasons will not be discussed, but it is sad to see one of your longest friendships fall off over something so insignificant.  Things were rocky, then bad, then we just stopped speaking.  And I'm ok with it.

I've moved forward with life and work, finding great people in my life to "fill the void" so to speak, and expect a pretty big improvement at work very soon.  More to come on that in the near future.

With respect to running, the past year has been all about running for me.  I did the Resolution Run last December, and it was a great race.  I made good time for me (somewhere around 33 minutes) but didn't really care.  Maybe that was due to the Irish coffee I drank before the race.... ;)  But it renewed my sense of being a runner, and that I could define what that meant.

Since then, I have ran in the following races: a short (5k), small prediction race in March, the Spartan Race, the Perth Kilt Race, a Race called Rattle Me Bones, and the Franktown 10k.  Most of these races went very well.  The 10k didn't, mostly because I undertrained, and once again focused on time expectations without putting the effort in.

In December, I turned 29.  Eek!!! Most women certainly know, you hit a certain age and really have to evaluate where you are and what you want to do.  I decided I am at a good place overall - great job, family, own my own home, decent-ish debt load, etc.  Even with my contentment, I decided I haven't been spending enough time (or money really) on me and what I want to do.  I am the person who hands over the remote to my husband, who gives my step-daughter my shoes when she forgets hers at her mothers, who lets my friends have the last slice.  So this year, I have given myself a 30 under 30 (really a 30 before 31) list of things to do, and have started crossing them off. 

There are several fitness related ones, including doing the May Race Weekend 10k again and beating my sucky PR for that race of 1:09:45.  I actually went and signed up for a running room clinic so that I can meet new running friends who are at my pace.  It excites me and makes me internally freak out all at the same time. 

I am also planning to do the Spartan Trifecta, which you can read about here because I'm crazy, and frankly, there needs to be more women's names on that list. 

Finally, I have a few other goals that I will share that are not running related - cooking a meal I am terrified of, eating something scary and awesome, zip lining for the first time in my life, losing some weight, reading some of the great classic books, etc. 

I hope to make this new version of Running from the Law interesting to you, so if anyone comes back and reads this post, please, please tell me what you want to see.  Me making an idiot of myself? Less running more life, or vice versa?  Informative posts about things like research and gear??? More/less pictures?  Let me know.

K, I'm out for now, but will check in soon with pictures of my newest running gear, and details of the trip I went on over Christmas. Later!