blarrgghhh (worst run ever)

This morning, I blithely go out to have an easy 2 mile run on a nice flat route.  I start running, and for the first three deceptive blocks I think, Wow!  I feel great!  Then I turn a corner, run roughly 5 seconds of the only hill in the entire route, and realize that I am going to die.  The rest of the run is all downhill from here.  About 3/4 of a mile in, I actually have to stop and walk a block out of desperation.  By the time I get home, I don't even think that I can make it up our cul de sac and driveway -- even though I have been walking for about five minutes at this point.

BUT...  even though I had to walk that block, once I got to the end of it I started running again and I totally finished that run.  So it may have been the worst run anyone has ever had (it sure felt like it), I DID finish.  Go me!

Things I've learned from this experience?
1) Oatmeal, bread, okra, rice, and a string cheese are not adequate fuel for running the following day.
2) Don't expect your run to be stellar after only getting 5 1/2 hours of sleep, whether it was intentional or not.
3) I can totally run two miles even when I feel like I'm going to have to lie down on the sidewalk and die.  (i.e. I am a badass.)

Tomorrow?  Three miles, here I come!


my blog in a sea of germanity

Completely random observation, but I just got curious what kinds of blogs would come up randomly using the "Next Blog" button, so I hit it a few times... and then a few more... and then a few more... and apparently my blog is surrounded at this moment by about ten million Deutsche Blogs -- which appears to be the technical term.  Just had to share.

Also, I have obviously redesigned my blog.  Hope you like it!

Be back this weekend to report on Saturday's upcoming attempt at a three-miler!


the call of the wild

So I walked down to Lake Olmstead again this morning and ran around it, which is about 2.25 miles.  This was my first time not running an out-and-back route (when you turn around halfway and go back along the route you just ran), and I was surprised that mentally it was actually harder than an out-and-back...  There was something about being at the back of the lake, looking across it, and realizing that I was only halfway around that made the second half really tough -- even though the road around the lake is mostly flat and I ran a quarter of a mile farther on Sunday.  Go figure.

The Augusta Canal. (Don't swim in there.)
Even though it was a tougher morning than I expected, I still had a great time.  It's so nice to have something other than houses and yappy dogs and lawnmowers to pay attention to while you're running!  At the halfway point at the back of the lake, there was a bridge with the lake on one side and the Augusta Canal on the other, which was really pretty.  Even though the canal is probably full of chemicals and nuclear waste from SRS and other unsavory things.  As long as you don't get in the canal, though, it's pretty nice.  This morning, there was still mist coming up from it, which was really pretty -- although it obnoxiously made it look like it should be a nice cool morning, which it is not.

The coolest thing about this morning's run was definitely the wildlife!  I didn't see anything terribly exciting, but there were two different kinds of ducks (white ones that looked like the Aflac duck and some brown ones that I think were female mallards), some Canada Geese, two geese with red bills (but I can't find pictures that look anything like them, so I guess that one will just have to stay a mystery) and even an egret hanging out in the marshy business at the back of the lake.  Of course, the pretty wildlife was probably balanced out by the two palmetto bugs (translation for Yankees:  giant flying roaches) I found in the house this morning, half-eaten  & disemboweled rodents the outside cat had left for us in the carport, and the squashed frog I saw toward the end of the run, but I won't put pictures of any of those things and we'll all just pretend they didn't happen. 
nice white ducks
Mrs. Mallard
Canada geese

There was also a German Shepherd roaming around without a leash, but thankfully he did not seem to want to eat me -- he actually seemed pretty freaked out when he saw me and ran away.  Way to go, guard dog.

All in all, it was a pretty entertaining morning!  2.5 happens again tomorrow, and hopefully it will be a little easier than today's run was.  Should be fun either way!  :)

Epic German Shepherd says goodbye


sheeee's back!

So, as you may have gathered by now, the beginning of the most overwhelming semester of my academic career was probably not the best time to start a blog.  Six months after my one and only post, I figure it's time to start this thing back up and to revamp a little so I might actually be inclined to write something occasionally.

(not me)
Instead of focusing only on new things and experiences (of which, admittedly, I have probably had several since I started this pitifully neglected blog, but which I was too lazy to write about), I'm just going to write about things I feel like writing about.  Luckily, one of the things I am likely to want to write about a LOT can tie this together and make it something of a goal-achieving-fitness-type blog, because... I am now calling myself a runner!

I've started the Couch-to-5k program several times in the past two years (because there's nothing like getting together with a seven-days-a-week runner/mutiple-marathon-completer to inspire you to get fit), but I've never gotten very far and have had a lot of trouble breaking the run/walk cycle.  I ran a few times this May, but then I got really busy doing the Harrower opera workshop down in Atlanta during June and fell off the wagon again.  Then, on the last day of June, something changed.  I went out for a "run," which for me had always meant some sort of combination of walking and shuffling/trudging, and I decided on a whim to try slowing down and seeing how far I could actually run.  And I ran a mile.  Without stopping.

Apparently the effort made me lose my mind, because since then, I've been running 4-5 days a week, reading Runners World articles like a woman possessed, logging my runs on mapmyrun.com every day, and I've had a blast doing it.  I even got new shoes (Saucony Hurricane 10s), which I adore and which are saving my grateful shins from my overpronating feet.  Arguably, July might not be the best month to start running when you're in Georgia, but I figure that this means that by the time the weather is tolerable again, I'll be a REAL runner and I can actually enjoy running 4 or 5 miles on crisp autumn mornings while looking at the trees and other picturesque stuff.

So far this month, I've run over 26 miles (thanks, Map My Run), and this morning I had my first 2.5 mile run -- which was actually a ton of fun!  I had to get up at 7:00 to beat the heat, unfortunately, as I'm in Augusta and managed to come the week that temperatures have been getting to 100 by midday with humidity to match.  (The Weather Channel says that the heat index today is supposed to be 110.  Yeah.)  It was already in the mid-80s by the time I got out the door this, but it wasn't unbearable and  it was definitely nice to go a little earlier than usual because I saw lots of people biking and walking their dogs, which was nice.  I ran down to Lake Olmstead, which was perfect because it was almost pretty enough to distract me from the fact that I was going farther than I'd ever gone and that my ran ended with a 3/4 mile incline.  That part was definitely not cool, but otherwise it was a great morning.

Lake Olmstead

In short, I've caught the running bug.  I'm planning on running two 5ks in the fall, Hoosiers Outrun Cancer on Sept. 18 and the Jill Behrman Run for the Endzone on Oct. 23, and my long term goal is to run the IU Mini Marathon (that's 13.1 miles, folks) at the beginning of April.  I'll be honest, it's so shocking that the 5ks are even feasible that I can't let myself start thinking about what the half marathon would actually entail, but I figure I've got plenty of time and there's really no reason why I shouldn't be able to do it.  I've wanted to really start running for so long now that the thrill of actually getting out and doing it every day might actually get me there!  I have to say that when you're coming from nothing, even tiny milestones like running two miles make you feel so superhuman that you want to run around telling everyone how awesome you are.  Especially since I'm not really particularly awesome and I doubt that people at the grocery store feel like hearing about the unthinkable two and a half miles I just ran, I figure this blog is the perfect place to get some of that excitement out there.  Congratulations, readers.

Anyway, that's all for now, but I'll post again soon.  Really.  :)