Like lifting the needle off the record

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Well, I got knocked on my ass yesterday with a serious case of “throwing up like crazy.” It started around 3, 4 in the morning and I wasn’t successful keeping food down until about 6:00pm or something like that. It was a long, slow, painful day. I barely moved. It sucked, to say the very least.

So I missed my scheduled workout, obviously.

I got up today and felt optimistic. I had half a banana and kept it down. I decided to try a workout. I got on the treadmill but my energy was just pathetic. I walked for about 15 minutes before I just crashed. It really sucked.

I’m nervous about tomorrow, because it’s another training sessi0n in the park at 5:30am. If I had been running yesterday and today, maybe I’d feel a little more confident in my ability to be out there with the team, but I’m not so sure right now. I wish I didn’t hate the team practice sessions so much. What’s the matter with me? I just don’t enjoy being out there, trying to even half-keep-up with the rest of them. And I have noticed something, for sure: I do worse with my breathing outside, and I wonder if it has to do with air quality. I say this because on Tuesday it was a pollution advisory, and now we have had one all week, each day. I need to look into what I can do to handle that. Not sure I want to run wearing a mask or something.

I’m sorry, I just had to vent. I feel really down today. I wish I felt better, too. I’m just weak and exhausted. I’m invited to a birthday lunch today for my friend, at an Italian place, and I’m not sure I can do it. That’s how I know I’m not myself: usually, I am unable to stay away from Italian food.

Oh, there’s something else about the running that I wanted to mention, too. I have been reading a LOT about running and apparently, if you are a complete beginner to running, it can be better to train for 6 months on your own, gradual pace… still using a schedule, still working in interval training and everything… and THEN signing up for a training program for a specific marathon.

It could just be how I feel today, but I’m thinking about this and wondering if it has some merit. I mean, I am REALLY struggling out there. I do better indoors, on the treadmill, but outside is so hard. I wish I had more time to get closer to running for 5 miles, but a week from tomorrow is the 5 mile run at South Mountain already.

I don’t know how I will survive it, at this point. Can I go from my 2.5 mile maximum (and I don’t run the whole thing, either. I walk for 1-2 minutes throughout) to 5 miles in a week’s time? And do it outside? On a mountain?! I think I will need an oxygen tank.

There’s just a chance I’m getting in a little over my head.

I wonder if I can switch to a later marathon. They just announced the winter schedule, and there is the PF Chang Rock and Roll marathon here in Phoenix in January, and then a marathon at DisneyWorld at the end of January. Both are full or half marathons. I’m thinking they might be more realistic for me, too, because the courses are a heck of a lot flatter than San Francisco. (That’s why we are having so many mountain training sessions… to prepare us for the hills.)

I’m not making any decisions right now. I’m just beginning to wonder if I really could be taking on more than my body can realistically chew right out of the gate. Because let’s face it: I was a couch potato before this. I wasn’t exercising at all except to walk the dog at night. And now, for the past three weeks, I’ve been walking/jogging/running 3-4 times a week, constantly trying to one-up my previous workout so I can get to the goal on time. My left hamstring is constantly sore this week, but I was still working out on it at the interval training on Tuesday. The gasping for air thing is scary, too.

Of course, I am already three weeks in. Monday will be the 4-week mark already. Maybe I am doing fine, really, and I should keep going. Keep pushing it. That’s how you get stronger, and build up endurance, right? This is likely just a little slump, and it doesn’t help that I am dealing with a stomach virus or whatever this is on top of it.

So I don’t know what to do.

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4 responses »

  1. I think you will be ok. Self-doubt is normal, as are all of the physical maladies you are experiencing. Keep going, being accountable and doing what you CAN do. Don’t focus on what you’re NOT doing, or on your limitations. Focus on your ABILITIES and the things you LIKE about this challenge. Remind yourself of the positives- like how you’re officially NOT a “couch potato who only walks the dog” anymore. 😉 Nobody becomes an elite runner overnight and it’s not necessary that you become same in order to complete this task of yours. So what if you run some walk some? Everybody does at some point. I don’t think there’s any hard, fast rule that says you HAVE to “run” the whole damn race.

    The human body is an amazing thing. It’s really funny how quickly it can adapt, become stronger and progress. You’re already doing 2.5 miles, I have no doubt you’ll be able to swing the 5-mile thing when it’s time. There’s no set way you HAVE to get there, do your run/walk thing, do some sprint intervals… you’ll be surprised.

    Have you maybe thought of cross-training? Doing some other activities that will help your body develop better cardiovascular conditioning? It’s amazing how that works. For example, a friend and I both notice how much step aerobics helps our endurance when we’re running, vs. when we’re not in the habit of including step aerobics regularly. Or cycling. Do some bike riding with your sister. It will give your hamstrings a break, help condition your quadriceps and overall strengthen your legs, while also contributing to your cardiovascular endurance, making it easier to breathe. Even if you only biked once a week, that would make a difference. It’s good to have a day or two a week where you challenge yourself with a different type of activity, anyway. It breaks up the monotony and gives some muscles a chance to rest while working others.

  2. I totally feel what you’re going through. I dropped out of the running group I was going to, even though it was really helping me and I loved the way I felt when I did it, because I felt slower than everyone else.

    I want to start training on my own in hopes of getting to a place where I can train for a half marathon. I’ve been thinking about the January PF Changs thing, but figure I’ll test out at the New Times 5K.

    If you do decide to wait for a later marathon, let me know. Maybe we can do some training together.

    I’m waiting for the end of my diet thing (end of this month) and then I’m going to start doing some real exercise again. I feel like such a slug right now. 😦

  3. Although I was always thinking about it since I started this regimen, I’m definitely doing serious thinging about nutrition now, too. I’m not using the word “diet” because it’s not that, exactly, that I need to do: I just need to eat the correct fuel. Too bad I am a pain-in-the-ass picky eater, because it’s making things difficult. (I’ve already talked about my non-enjoyment of almost all protein, right?)

    The thing is, I need to lose about 50 pounds to be at a good weight for my height. So I figure once I slim down a bit, it will be easier to run. I keep imagining carrying a 50 lb. weight around with me on a run (like in a backpack) and yeah, that’s kind of what I am doing now.

    I hate being the fattest, slowest one on the team SO MUCH!! I wish I could do a poll and ask who, there, was once overweight and had a hard time at the beginning of their training like I am, just so I feel better about being out there with them. (I won’t, though.)
    Thanks again for the encouragement. I’m glad I vented today! 🙂

  4. I don’t like the word “diet” either, and try to avoid using it. “Fuel” is definitely the way to look at it, or sometimes I use the “good nutrition” phrase.

    You’re right, though, it IS hard to run when carrying extra weight. I remember how I’ve felt when running throughout different times and stages of my life, at different weights. It’s definitely easier and feels better even if you’re just 5lbs lighter. Mind blowing! and then they make all those military people run while carrying weighted packs… OMG!

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