Day 49: You Geaux Girls!

Why is it that some days I really don’t feel like running even a mile and then others it is absolutely no problem?

Yesterday, Mira and I ran about 8 miles and it was easy! It took us about an hour and twenty five minutes, which is not too bad except for that it means it will take us about two and a half hours to run the half marathon. Two and a half hours seems like a really long time!

Earlier this week, I had a hard time running 4 miles. What is the difference and how can I make it so that every day is as easy as it was yesterday?

I read an article in Runners World about “the bonk”. This is when your body or mind gives up and you want to stop. There are many reasons for this bonk, the most common being not eating enough to sustain energy and not drinking enough, which causes dehydration and slows gastric emptying, which in turn causes cramps.

Even after reading this article, this still does not make sense to me. Four hours before running four miles the other day, I had a hearty lunch full of vegetables and carbohydrates as well as about 8 bottles of water throughout the day. Yesterday I ran at 8 a.m. and had not eaten since the night before. I drank a glass of water before leaving the house, but did not drink during my run.

Maybe it is just all in my head. Maybe it is only my own misgivings that are holding me back. In that case, now that I know for sure that I CAN run 8 miles, I should also know that I will be able to run thirteen miles just as easily. It is just a case of mind over matter.


Average miles run per week: 13
Most miles run in one day so far: 8
Hours spent in the gym/at the park: 65

$$ spent on gym membership: $90.00
$$ spent on running gear: $158.74
Running farther than I ever have before: priceless
(sorry couldn’t resist)


Day 46: 6th Inning Slump

My lack of posting does not necessarily equate to my lack of training. Or maybe I am just fooling myself. The last couple of weeks have been incredibly difficult. It has been hard to get out of bed; I have no motivation to shop, run, hang out, do laundry or go to work. I am doing all these things, but I am dragging along as I do it.

What causes this? Is it because it is winter and dark all the time? In Physiology class we learned that light produces Melatonin, which in turn produces Serotonin, which is what makes you happy. If there is not enough light, your Serotonin levels drop, causing one to be tired, unhappy, bored and unmotivated.

As a runner, this dark also forces one to run inside a lot of the time, which for me just is not as fun as running outside. The track in the gym is small; 11 laps equals one mile. So if you are running any more that one mile, you have to run around and around the track for what seems like millions of times sometimes. I get tired of looking at the same walls, the same people's backs and the same boring brown track.

So what is it - the dark, the boring track, or just my own complete lack of motivation? Perhaps it is a combination of all three… It is difficult but I am pushing through and ignoring all the voices in my head that are telling me to just go home and crawl into bed and skip the boring workout. I have to escape the 6th inning slump and make it to the 7th inning stretch.


Jackson Day Race

I ran and I ran and I ran and about an hour later I ended up red faced, sweaty and 9 kilometers from where I began. It was wonderful and terrible all at the same time.

The Jackson Day Race is my longest race run so far - 9 K (5.6 miles) of relatively flat road on a relatively cool morning in New Orleans. This race is run to commemorate the Battle of New Orleans on January 8th 1915, when the British invaded the city and the brave American soldiers ran the exact same route in order to defend their city and fight off their attackers.

I ran with Noel and Mira; Lea and Rachel were our loyal supporters. We finished in about 55 minutes, which is a consistent 10 minute mile. This may not be extremely fast, but our goal was to finish and finish we did!

Next up: 10 K race - "The Wall" on January 28th.

Day 35: Test Race Number One

Yesterday Noel, Mira, Kirsten and I ran the 100th Anniversary Jackson Day Race. This is a 9K race which goes from the top of City Park, near Lake Pontchartrain, to Jackson Square in the French Quarter. The Jackson Day Race is run to commemorate The Battle of New Orleans, which was fought on January 8, 1815 as part of the War of 1812. US Troops ran the same route that we ran in order to save the City of New Orleans from British invasion.

9 K is about 5.6 miles, which is good practice for the half marathon. There is one tiny hill and a couple of hard turns, but other than that, it is pretty straight forward. We ran at a pretty steady 10 minute mile, which is about what I had hoped and we finished the race without stopping once, which is what my goal was.

At the end of the race to celebrate your victory, you get a "free" 100th Anniversary sweatshirt and lots of food and...beer. You gotta love New Orleans. Where else could you exercise and then directly afterwards get drunk?


Another One Bites The Dust

And there we have it, another year down, many more to go. Strange to think that last year at this time I was in Sydney, Australia. It seems so long ago.....

This year we were silly and we went out on the 30th, one night before New Years Eve. First we went to a Japanese restaurant, had a lot of sake and then came back to my hotel for some wine and karaoke (courtesy of Mrs. Batenga). Security was finally called on us at 1 a.m. because we were still singing “Living on a Prayer” at the top of our lungs. I thought it was about 9:30, I swear! The next day I thought I would just skip New Years and stay in bed; I was so tired…

Regardless of our stupidity and thanks to the rejuvenating comfort of the W bed, our New Years was great! Not too crowded, good music, good food, "free" booze (we paid a hefty fee to go to a private party), great view of the fireworks over the Mississippi at midnight, bathrooms with no wait (yeah, that is VERY much a plus!).... All in all, it was a good time. However, Nicole decided to stay home after all and Matt ran off to Florida at the last minute to hang out with his friend and his friend's fiancée and her friend and her friend's fiancée or some sort of tangled web of pre-marital bliss...so we were a small group compared to last year.

After Pat O's we went to the Gold Digger or Gold Nugget or Gold something-or-other, which was PACKED and smelled of smoke and you had to stand at the bar for twenty minutes to get a drink, but they had good music. We hung out for a while but all the girls had high heels on and our dogs were barking so we went home around 3:30. Canal St. was A MESS, with sleazy people making out and groping all over the streets, everyone drunkity drunk drunk, passed out, slobbering, swerving, fighting and yelling. There was trash EVERYwhere. Ick. After attempting to solve a random dispute between a young Japanese girl and her white boyfriend (they came up to me and asked me to), I finally got back to the hotel and sank into my 350 thread count, pillow top, cloud-like W bed and slept until it was Slim Goodie time the next morning.

Resolutions made: 0
Regrets: 0
Months traveled: 6
Different countries visited: 12
New foods: too many to count
New friends: too many to count

Day 32: There is No "Easy" or "Conversational" About it

Well, hip-hip-hoorah! I think I finally figured out what an “easy conversational pace” is! The first time I experienced this so called “easy” pace was when I went running with Noel. Luckily, he runs about as fast as a turtle, which I was under the impression was wrong, but because of this I found out that the old saying “don’t knock it until you try it” really is true. The turtle run is the way to go! The day I ran with him, I ran about 5 miles with no problem. We even talked! Ha-ha! Conversation! And Running! At the same time! So this is what it is like!

Unfortunately, this pleasant new discovery eluded me when I ran by myself the next day. All of the other sports that I have done in my life have trained me to be fast, to be aggressive and to go get ‘em! This makes the attempt to set an easy, steady pace a difficult thing for me. I want to win; I want to be first; I want to go fast. Unfortunately, I don’t have the stamina to go fast for more than about a minute. So I set about trying to learn to be a turtle even when Noel wasn’t there with me. Yesterday I believe I may have been onto something. I ran 4 miles without even breaking a sweat. Whew. Of course I had to talk to myself a lot to prove that I had actually accomplished the “conversation” element of the easy pace, but hey, I think I got it down!

Miles to run this week: 19
Miles run so far: 4
Miles to run today: 7