February 22, 2008
whine me up, whine me down
golly, what a two weeks it's been.
Employment-wise, everything's great. Well, not really. But it could be. Last week was my last at the clinic; business had reached the point where it was costing me money to go there and not earn any money, so that was that. Meanwhile, I was answering every ad I saw and still held out some hope for positions I'd applied for. Then, completely out of the blue, through a freak sequence of events, I got the chance to rent office space 1) very very very cheap, 2) 2miles from my house, 3) in an office with two therapists I absolutely idolize and who are willing (well, not averse anyway) to teach me what they know. Well, great, after paying $30 to the county I am now a business owner. After 3 or 4 days of wild running-around and spending $$, the office is fit for clients. And even greater: the chiro office I'd applied at hemmed and hawed and hemmed and finally offered me a part-time job, which takes a lot of financial pressure off the joe positive LMT business. Yay.
Runningwise, things are likewise. We've had some ok weather this week, and I've been able to tackle the tinman workouts with no problem. There's a 10k tomorrow, and I asked tinman about treating it as a hard workout, and he said that would be a great idea. If I can run 6:45s that will fine.
Except for the whine.
I have yet to convince even one of my quasi-regular housecall clients to come visit the new office. My break-even point is one client per week. That's how cheap my rent is. One. I thought "surely I can get one client a week." But now it's more like "who the hell am I thinking I can attract even one client a week?" The chiro job would put my mind at ease, only they are so disorganized there that they can't even settle on a start date. Since the initial interview, it's been: phone call to warn of impending email to discuss dates/times of future interviews with people whose schedules are unknown and will have to be discussed in some later phone call. I've spent all day today waiting on such a phone call, and today was to have been my first day on the job. Finally, there's my foot. For the past two weeks I've noticed pain in the first metatarsal (big toe joint), and I attributed it to some push-up type exercises I'd been doing, so I stopped. No dice; it's getting worse. I can walk, but it hurts. I can run, but it hurts. If I do nothing it also hurts, which is one of the reasons I keep running on it. I can't decide if it's a bunion or something else (and no, it's not gout). I was able to run 6:45s forever and ever during Monday's stamina-pace workout, but because tomorrow is a big scary Race and I'm grouchy and hate everything, I wonder if I should pass it up.
February 17, 2008
some things I learned this week
first, let's get this out of the way:
M: 6.11mi (8:11), pissed at myself for Sunday's performance, too fast for a recovery run
T: 7.8mi (8:59), paying for Monday
W PM: 11.78mi (8:30) incl 10x50m pickups
R: 8.4mi (8:21)
F: 8.04mi (8:43)
Sa: 15.05mi (7:59) progression incl 10x50m pickups
Su: 8.45mi (8:18), felt easy, but too fast
total: 65.6 miles + various xtraining (core strength, leg strength, stretching)
ok, here is what I've learned:
1. you don't always come up with an ultra-catchy post title.
2. sometimes the tiniest annoying thing can throw you off: I have a blister on the little toe of one foot. It hurts like a mother and throws me onto the medial (big-toe) side of the foot, which puts too much weight on the joint of my big toe, which now hurts like a mother. Thanks god I don't have a workout until tomorrow.
3. hamstrings! They work. After the half-marathon last Sunday I chatted a few minutes with a woman who beat me by about 5 minutes (two years ago we were pretty much even, whaaa) and she mentioned she'd been doing some plyos that really helped her hamstring strength. Now I mean this in the nicest possible way, but this woman has always had thighs that were bigger around than my head, so I was happy that she'd found a good use for them, i.e. a 1:27 half-marathon. Anyway, during a few runs this week I made a point of using my hamstrings - not in an exaggerated way, more like just remembering they were there - and I was amazed to see my pace drop with no corresponding increase in effort. I have big-ol' sprinter's calves (though I have neither the talent nor the desire to sprint), and I have probably been overusing them the entire six years I've been running. Maybe if I can gradually bring the hamstrings into it, I'll start running better. If my bad foot doesn't fall off, that is.
4. I discovered stuff white people like right about the same time the entire rest of the internet did.
5. on a running forum I hang out in, I learned that transgendered (male-to-female) people have OB-GYN docs, though I can't for the life of me understand why.
whew! That's quite a bit of learning this week.
February 12, 2008
after some reflection
How quickly we forgive ourselves sometimes!
As might be expected, I've spent the past 48 hours thinking about the race, and running, and the comments received on Sunday's self-pityfest. In particular, Salty's comment got me thinking:
I am wondering why you had the pace so micro-managed before hand. I can just imagine how disappointed you felt when mile 6 came and went and you hadn't dropped the pace. Heck, the disappointment was probably beginning to build when you were 1 second "slow" for those few preceding miles.
I wasn't really trying to micromanage the pace. Really, though it certainly looks that way, doesn't it :-) Tinman had advocated a negative split and cautioned against running faster than 7:03 the first couple of miles, and I just kinda took it from there. I thought that by giving myself a small task to focus on each mile, I could avoid going out too fast, getting overwhelmed by everything, or having to do math late in the race. But now that you mention it, that was probably unwise, or at least unrealistic. I just haven't figured out how to race yet, even after 6 years.
btw, due to a combo of transient GPS inaccuracy, 6am darkness, and middle-aged failing eyesight, those 7:01s all looked like 7-flat to me, so I didn't start bumming until the 6th or 7th mile :-)
Anyway, yesterday I fumed my way through a too-fast, too-hard 50 minutes, chewed on running and other stressful stuff all day, and finally realized the only thing to do was get right back to proper training. This morning, spent and sore (but forgiven, ha), I had my first truly awful run in months - 70 minutes of slog that I could not wait to finish. One day I'll learn.
PS - Adeel: Sorry the 15k didn't go so well. I looked for you Saturday, thought I saw some yellow shorts 'round 8 or 10 minutes into the race (I was jogging along Bayshore on the other side of the street), but I never saw either the shorts or your bib number at the finish. I was really looking forward to yelling ADEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as loudly as possible as you crossed the line, but I missed you.
February 10, 2008
every wasted second gone
'Tis the week of expectations unmet. Tuscaloosarunner returned to racing after a long hiatus and did not run up to his expactations; I ran a half-marathon today about a minute slower than I did in October, and 11s slower than I did a year ago. I slept horribly last night and had a negligible warmup, but then again the weather was cool for once, and not too windy. Plus, I had a Plan that seemed to guarantee something close to 90min, or at least a PR. But here's what happened instead:
6:43 7:17 (headwind)
? 6:06p (.1mi)
I started out conservatively, remained that way, then settled into a nice not-easy-but-not-hard conservative pace when I should've been picking it up. This was actually the most consistent half-marathon I've ever run; with the exception of the windy 11th mile, I never got more than 4s out of average pace. I passed a woman in the 12th mile, and I did manage to hold off the inevitable male-sprinting-to-the-finish-so's-not-to-let-a-woman-beat-him (yay!), but otherwise I completely, utterly, suck. Which is why I'm on my second big glass of bourbon at 10 in the morning.
Later this afternoon I will think about this again and try to figure out if I should: 1) keep doing the same thing, 2) start doing something different (what?), or 3) accept the possibility that at 44 I may not have any PRs in store.
February 8, 2008
For a busy week, this has been one of the most unproductive ever, For an unproductive week, this has been one of the busiest ever. At the clinic there were no clients at all, which resulted in an utter waste of at least six hours each day, unless you count the 7th rereading of The Selling of the President 1968, which I don't.
On the other hand, I had two interviews this week and set up one for next week. One place offered me a job I don't want - they pay less than the clinic where I work now, and they're as un-busy, or even un-busier. I found I had to do a lot of multiplication and division by zero to compare this position to my current one, and it confuses my little massage-therapist brain. Drive 22 miles to sit around unpaid all day hoping to earn $XX, or drive only 7 miles to sit around unpaid all day hoping to earn $X? The other place (which I decided would be utterly perfect) sent me off with the ol' "well, we have some other people to interview, we'll be in touch..." Anyway, there's been an awful lot of driving around to interviews this week, to no good end.
Running's been more of a stress-inducer than reliever. Monday I had a sore gastroc, and Tuesday it was more sore, but I ran my not-so-difficult workout, and by Wednesday my gait was just beginning to get weird. I really hated to bother coach about a sore calf, but I did, and he said to cut back a bit on the mileage (which I've done) and to NOT RACE if it's sore Sunday (which advice I will heed). After a very light running day and a lot of fussing (stretch/massage/ice/etc) it's a lot better but not 100%. We'll see.
Boy this has been quite the bit of whining, hasn't it?
February 3, 2008
first week in February
M: 70min (8:38)
T: 90min incl 16x[1min@CV, 1min jog]; avg "hard" pace = 6:26; 10.97mi total
W: 50min (8:45)
R: 120min incl 6x[30s@CV, 1min moderate]; avg "hard" pace = 6:08, oops; 14.89mi total
F: 70min (8:27)
Sa: 70min (8:31)
Su: 100min incl 5x[30s@5k, 60s@CV, 90s@HM], 60s jog recoveries between items and sets; 12.26mi total.
xtraining: core strength (20min) 3x, leg strength (3 sets of 10) 4x. Also some stretching and painful sessions with the foam roller
total = 68.5 miles + xtraining
Runningwise, it's been a good week - nothing earth-shattering, but I've finally gotten close to 70 miles again and am able to do faster things, and last week's shin splints are but a memory.
Otherwise: I sent out several resumes responding to various ads for massage-therapy positions, with nary a peep of acknowledgment. This confounds me. I know how to write a good IT resume (back in the day, my resumes almost always netted an interview), but I guess a massage-therapy resume requires a whole different approach, maybe some weird font on patchouli-scented paper, or maybe a graphic of hands clasped in a loving fashion. At any rate, my resumes seem to go right to heaven, or /dev/null. I wonder, daily, whether I made a terrible mistake when I changed careers.
And then there's that race looming next weekend. I tell myself it doesn't matter much, that it's not a goal race at all, that I'm training for a marathon months away and I'm in no shape to do more than putter briskly right now. But the truth of the matter is that I really really really really really really would like to run well, and to do that I have to be prepared to take some pain, and I don't know if I will do it when the time comes.