Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Words To Live By

Take heed, young grasshoppers:

Shit washes off.

How do I know this?

First things first: we're all runners here. We have no or very little shame. We discuss odd and embarrassing things about our bodies all the time. Now, on with it.

Shit happens, as they say. Shit happened to me for only the second time this morning. Yes, I have GI issues almost every time I run, but 99% of the time I'm able to control the beast and avoid a mishap. Not so today. I was cruising through mile 4 of my 5-mile run when I felt the dreaded rumble in my guts. I had cleared the pipes before I left as I always do (this is even more important than my shoes, Garmin, or sports bra) and there had been no grumbling from down below so I thought I was golden for the duration of the run.

Well. My body had other plans. I found myself sprinting for home, not an easy feat on sidewalks which were accumulating a slick coating of fresh snow. I almost took a spill right at the foot of my driveway. Despite my best efforts, I was too late. Yes, folks, I crapped my pants. There was nothing I could do to avoid it. Like I said earlier, shit happens. I find it almost miraculous that this has only happened to me twice given my constant battle with my GI tract.

Shit also washes off. It disappears quite nicely when a hot shower and lots of Dial soap is applied. I emerged squeaky clean, spicy fresh, and ready to face the day.

Up until this mishap, my run had been very enjoyable. When I first set out just after 6:00 AM, the first fat, lazy flakes of the morning's snowstorm were just beginning to float downward. The air was so still, they filled the air in a thick cloud which gently buffeted my face. It was like running inside a snow globe. Snowflakes accumulated on my eyebrows and eyelashes until I had to swipe them away. I ran in the street, my footfalls muffled by the soft layer of snow.

I am torn between loathing the cold and unpleasantness of winter training versus its quiet beauty. Luckily I have about 7 more weeks of this to figure it out.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Morning

Saturday I headed out for my longest run since the NYC Marathon last November: a cold and snowy 18-miler on my favorite, albeit challenging, long run route through the Waterloo Rec Area west of town. Last October I did my 20-miler on the same road, and this was the scene at the time:

October 17, 2009

Saturday, this was the view from approximately the same place (notice the one tree on the left is the same):

February 13, 2010

Clearly, it's not fall anymore. It was about 16 degrees when I left my house. I was wearing my thickest tights, a warm base layer, YakTrax, and the Jacket of Wonder. It was snowing lightly for the first few miles, but that tapered off and stopped by the time I got into the woods along Bush Rd. The footing was decent, aided by the 'Trax. I had the iPod rocking and I was feeling good. My knee/IT band wasn't bothering me at all. I was just out for a long, slow cruise in the country. When I reached the 9-mile mark on Loveland Rd. I paused for a picture:

Halfway there. I am amused by the corona of exhaled vapor clinging to my headband.

I finished the run in just over 2 hours and 47 minutes for a 9:18 pace. It was slow going, considering the surface conditions, but once I reached dry pavement again with 2 miles to go I took off the 'Trax and squeezed out a couple of sub-9:00 miles. I was pretty well aching all over by that point so I consider that an accomplishment. Once home, I showered and collapsed for a nap, complete with cat:

I think he's happy, don't you?


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Preparedness or Madness?

You know it's going to be a long, cold run when you use hot water to mix the Gatorade you're taking with you.

It's 16 degrees, snowing lightly, and I have 18 miles in my immediate future.

I must be crazy.
Mobile Blogging from here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shameless Begging

Last year I participated in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air stairclimb at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. I contributed over $400 to the ALA's efforts to fight lung disease. I'm back for more as a member of my workplace team. The stairclimb is February 28 this year and I am hoping to raise at least $300 by then. I hate asking people for money especially given the current economic climate, but even $5 would help me in getting to my goal.

Just so y'all know, last year I kicked butt and finished 14th out of all the women who participated. I don't do this just to raise money for the ALA, I do it to KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS at the same time, because I'm super competitive like that. Even though it's not TECHNICALLY a race...I act like it is.

In the process of kicking butt at the 2009 stairclimb.

Last year because I met my fundraising goal I got a sweet little duffel bag as my incentive reward. I use that thing all the time. Many of you contributed last year and thus are partially responsible for the sweet little duffel bag, and for that I thank you.

My personal fundraising page.

Help me out here people...even $5 would be awesome.