Year 2, Week 9: Time to Run Really Far

I’ve decided I probably won’t keep doing these weekly recaps of my life. Not that I won’t continue to tell you all the excruciating details of my life; it’ll just be with less scheduled regularity. With the Wednesday newsletter and Friday podcast — even if those are more about triathlon stuff — that really feels like as much of a weekly dose of Kelly as anyone needs. So if you just aren’t completely fulfilled and scintillated by my Twitter or Instagram, you should probably sign up for the newsletter or re-read all my weekly training recaps from the last year. Or, just wait a little while, because I’ll still blog plenty (just not every Monday).

This Saturday is the Way Too Cool 50K. This is currently the forecast:

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I had basically settled on all my gear and shoe and clothes and food choices. Was set and ready to go (as much as one can be ready to go). Those choices, however, were based on what the weather’s been like all winter — ie. 60-70 degrees and sunny. Now, I’m having to slightly re-plan, well, everything. The only upside, as far as I can tell, is 1. at least in the scheme of all people I have more cold rainy trail running experience than most, and 2. Steve thinks it’ll be interesting now.

Continue reading “Year 2, Week 9: Time to Run Really Far”

A Few Things

1. Tuesday, I talked to this guy who is starting a Recovery Lounge in Marin, with ice baths and massage people and NormaTec boots and stuff. He had all these market research questions, including ‘Why do you workout? For exercise and health or something else?’ Which we all know is one of the most annoying questions. I think I said: ‘If I did it just for my health that would be pretty stupid, since the optimal level of exercise for health is way way lower.’ He also asked ‘How important is improvement to you?’ And I was like man, shit, you better hope improvement is important to lots of people because that’s who will pay to come to your recovery center. Hopefully, they figure things out, because that kind of place would be cool.

2. It rained yesterday, despite this whole drought thing. I had to commute around on my bike and got so wet that I actually took my boots off when I got where I was going, turned them upside down and water poured out.

3. When I finally got home last night after all that and was trying to pack, I went to get the bike box out of the garage. Tupac the Cat wanted to come too, so I was holding him in one arm and the box in the other. The only problem is the bike box is kind of big and bangs on the steps, which scared him and then he tried to jump. But, instead, he got a claw stuck in my face. Actually stuck. It was caught under the skin on the inside of my eye. So, we’re standing there on the steps and he’s trying to pull his claw out of my face and I’m trying to pull it out and hold onto him and the bike box and yelling. I think this might be why the neighbors hate me. That is also why I will be showing up in Arizona with a swollen and possibly bruised eye.

4. I am on my way to Arizona.

Tupac the Cat Strikes Again

This is what Tupac did to my wrist last night:

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He and a friend’s dog were sniffing each other and I made the mistake of picking Tupac up so they could leave. I’m pretty sure he thought I was trying to feed him to the dog.

Or else he figured the thing I’m really missing right now is people thinking I tried to cut myself.

The Real Problems with a Taper

So many athletes complain about tapering before a race, that they get all antsy and can’t sit still and MUST. GYM. GO. This makes no sense. Do you people not own a TV? Or a computer? Or a library card? Come on, learn to lounge like a professional.

The real problem with the taper is that you can only screw it up.

The last week or two before a race, there’s no workout you can do that’s going to win it, there’s no fitness you can really gain, nothing magic that’s going to happen. The work is done. All you can do in the last week or two before a race is screw it all up. You can only get hurt or sick or not sleep enough or not eat enough. You can’t win the race in the taper, but you can definitely lose it.

Welcome to my super cheerful thought process and why I generally try not to think too hard.

CIM is on Sunday. At this point, I probably haven’t screwed it up. (Ahh, jinx, jinx!) But, I’m also not 100% sure about that. My goal is under 3:10, which is like sub-7:10 pace, which feels significantly not easy in workouts. Two months ago I would have said my goal was more like 3:04, but then my stupid toe started hurting and I had to not run for a week and the world ended. On the other hand, I’m still in significantly better shape than I was at Chicago last year when I ran a 3:17 off of like two tempo runs that whole training cycle. So, as long as my toe/bone spur/messed-up foot stays in in the dull ache category and doesn’t move into the sharp knives kind of pain, I should run somewhere between a 3:04 and 3:17. Maybe.

And, in the vein of ‘things you should be doing during your taper,’ yesterday when I was looking for the gif I wanted of a kid failing at swimming, instead I found lots and lots of gifs of animals swimming — because what do I have to do besides spend an hour looking at cat gifs. I’m pretty sure I can teach Tupac the Cat how to do this, right after I teach him to stop running out the door and into the bushes every time someone comes home:

Bye Biggie the Cat

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We put Biggie down this evening. He was rapidly losing weight, to the point you could feel all his vertebrae, and his stomach was huge from filling with fluid. He still enjoyed eating sushi and Niman Ranch beef, but mostly he didn’t move, just sat and watched TV.

Today I also finally finished all the things I had due the last two weeks. I only cashed in a ton of chips and called in quite a few favors.

So, now, I guess two of the worst weeks in a long time are done, though not really, since it’s still all kinds of depressing. My body has decided it’s done too. I pulled something in my back and haven’t been able to turn my head since Monday. I’m not walking real good either. And two of the lights in our house stopped working, which Pete thought was hilarious this weekend: I’m literally and figuratively living in the dark.

Bye Biggie, you were a good, sweet little guy.

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And, that’s how I ended up deciding to run Nike Women’s tomorrow…

Somehow, I had convinced myself that if I just got through the week everything would be ok. Like, then, the kitten wouldn’t be dying anymore and I’d suddenly be untired. That’s not really how things work though. And, when you find yourself telling the cat it’ll get better, who are you really trying to convince?

I was supposed to get up at 6:30 a.m. this morning to go to high school cross-country. But, last night, when I finally got home and then went to the other house to check on the dying cat and then was eating dinner at 9:45 p.m. and trying to figure out how I would get down to Nike Women’s Marathon to do some interviews for a story and make it work with my workouts, I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I slept for over 11 hours.

Your day gets really messed up when you sleep for over 11 hours.

You end up deciding that the best way to do some research/interviews at Nike Women’s and get a run in would be to run the race. A friend of a friend was offering up her bib, so I said sure. Sure, why not. My new plan is to run the first 3-4 miles warm-up, do 9-10 miles at marathon pace, just do the half-marathon (obviously, I’m not THAT stupid) and then scope out the scene for my story, take some notes and be back at home — or one of the homes, with one of the cats — by late morning, ready to wrap up some work.

What could possibly go wrong.

PS. The story I’m working on is about races and volunteers and money and it’ll be up on Beacon on Tuesday and you should get excited.

The Different Kinds of Tired

Coach Mario, when he was my coach, used to laugh at the descriptions I gave for different kinds of tired. There was normal tired, my face hurts tired, my legs are so heavy it feels like I’m dragging weights along tired. But, this week, I’ve hit a new kind of tired. It’s a I tried to pick up a barbell and nothing happened tired. I just stared at my arms and couldn’t figure out why the bar wasn’t going up.

It’s not like I’ve never been tired before. There was that time I decided to try sleeping 45 minutes every three hours. There was the year in high school I slept four to five hours every night. There have been some intense periods of training where I just couldn’t move. But, this is the worst tired I’ve been in a while.

I’m a nine hours of sleep person. Usually, I need it. Since Saturday, or maybe Friday, I’m not sure, I’ve been getting five to six hours a night. Last night it was probably less than five.

There are a couple things here.

1. I have lots and lots of work due by Friday/Monday/Tuesday — including a very cool story for Beacon about races and money that you should get excited about.

2. I’m also working at KQED full-time the second half of this week. I’ve been working the early shift, which means getting up at 5:45-6:15 every morning. The BART strike has added a layer of stress to this, not knowing until midnight each night whether they’ll be striking. Ugh.

3. Taking care of a dying cat is not super restful. Biggie is still hanging in there and we decided as long as he seems happy we’ll let him have more days. But, it’s not going to be many more. He’s staying at Steve’s parents, since we don’t want Tupac to get sick too. But, someone needs to stay with him at least most of the time or check on him. That means we’ve been going back and forth. I’m not even sure what I’m going to do this weekend when Steve’s out of town at CAFM.

4. I’ve still been training, which maybe isn’t a great idea.

(5. Also, I haven’t eating great. I did have a steak salad today, but otherwise it’s been strictly Kit Kat Bites and Bud Light Platinum for meals. *hint: Looking for a sponsorship here*)

Tuesday afternoon I ran 800s with the high school kids. Partially, I needed to maximize my time: if I’m going to be at practice might as well run at practice. Partially, I had on the schedule 800s or mile repeats. But, 12 x 800 was hard. Really hard. We did them as a cross-country half-mile loop around the park. We also did two of them tempo — like 3:15-20 — but the rest were 2:52-3:06, with the last two at 2:59. I’m pretty sure, per the Yasso 800s, this means I can run a 2:59-3:04 marathon. Right?

Except, if I can just get a little sleep first…