Tuesday, February 28, 2012

She runs!

I could also have titled this post " My body tells me no" but then the song gets stuck in my head. I slipped out of my funk for about an hour on Sunday morning and went for a run with my marathon coach, Tuan. If I hadn't scheduled the run days earlier, there is no way I would have actually gone. Right now accountability is everything and being held accountable only to myself is not working.

We decided to meet up at our usual spot at the Marina and head out. I assumed we'd keep it simple since I hadn't run more than 4 miles in one shot all year. Nope, not a chance. Apparently the Georgetown loop was on the docket for the run, a familiar 6.2 miles from training days. That distance just sounded so...long. I know that I wouldn't have been able to do it alone, the quitter in me is quite strong these days.

I'd had my second session of ART the day before and was hoping that my leg nice and loose for the experience.  Not so much. I'm just plain out of shape. We took the run very slow and steady, I certainly didn't bother using my watch. My right hamstring and hip began bothering me after the first mile and was fairly constant for the rest of the run. Two days later, I am still sore. On the upside, the weather was beautiful and the conversation kept my mind off of how difficult it felt.

Technically, training for my next 1/2 started 10 days ago. Oops. I need to get on that. This week is a full one but if I manage my time properly (HA) I could get a trip or two to the gym in there. I'm also running with the family on Saturday morning and hoping that takes care of the mileage on my 1/2 schedule.  In other running news, the 1/2 relay is less than a month away and I'm getting pretty nervous. My original goal is no longer achievable because of my lack of training, so I need to come up with a new one. I don't know yet which leg of the relay I am running; I should probably get that squared away.

I was also able to finally score a bib for Cherry Blossom and will be running that with my sister and brother-in-law.  I'm hoping to improve on last year's time but we'll see. I think I'll have a better idea of where my fitness is once this relay is over. If anyone would like to throw out some reasonable goals for me work towards in the next month or so, I'd love to hear them. Again, the accountability factor. I'd feel like a total ass if I had to report on here that I let you all down.

Until next time, run safe and train smart. Much love!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


For better or worse, I have nothing new to report in the world of Pam. For all of you that have reached out here and on Facebook with your support, thank you. I can't tell you how much it means to me. Most of what I am experiencing right now feels very lonely, and I easily forget how many caring people are out there, rooting for me and ready to help if I'd only ask for it. Right now the most I can do it dip a toe in the water. As soon as that changes and I get braver or stronger, you'll be the first to know.

In the meantime, here is a belated chain post. I was tagged in this a few times in the last month or so but never got around to do anything about it. The gist was to post 11 random things about yourself, answer 11 questions from the tagger's post, then create 11 new questions and tag more people. Well, we all know I'm a lazy one, so there will be no new questions and new tagging. Just enjoy the random facts about me and feel free to chime in about yourself in the comments.

11 Random Things About Me:

1. I just took my first CrossFit class on Saturday at CrossFit Adapation in Arlington. It is exactly as scary as you think.
2. I'm looking into hiring a life coach. No, Seriously. At this point, what do I have to lose?
3. I just joined Pinterest and I don't know why. Someone tell me the point.
4. Less then 30 days until the half marathon relay and my longest run in a month was 3 miles. Hmm.
5. I really want a bib for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. PLEASE!
6. I am not giving up anything for Lent this year. In fact, I wish the reverse was allowed and you needed to take on something for the duration.
7. Aside from my childhood, this is the longest I've ever lived in one place. VA, has it really been that long?
8. Even at age 31, my mom is usually my first call when something goes wrong.
9. I need structure and routine. Change, no matter how positive, is always disruptive for me.
10. I find it easy to make friends, but letting people in and keeping them close is another story.
11. Fear is my biggest weakness. I miss out on so much because of it.

1. What type of shoe do you prefer to run in  and why?
I prefer to run in Saucony, and right now my shoe of choice is the Kinvara 2. I love Saucony's wide toe box and the cushioning, even in the more minimal shoe.
2.  Salty or Sweet? Favorite snack?
As far as snacks go, I generally go for the salty. But there are times when I need a little of both for balance. Yesterday that meant a square of dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt.
3. Why do you run?
Why do I run? Wow. I ask myself that question a lot these days. Or, why did I used to run? I like the friendships that you make with every passing mile. I like pushing past "I can't." Sometimes breaking through a mental wall on a run gives me hope that I can break through walls in other areas of my life.
4.  If you could only take 3 items with you on an island what would it be and why?
Hmmm......I think I'd need my journal, the cats (I'm counting them as 1), and my best girl.
5.  Favorite website(s)?
I wouldn't call them my favorite websites, but the ones I check the most are Facebook, Gmail, and my Blogger Dashboard. Boring, I know.

6.  Do you having a running mantra and if so what is it?
I have a few mantras, it depends on what I'm experiencing or what point of the run I've reached. One that I use often near the end or when the miles just feel hard is "find your edge."
7.  Are your currently reading anything  (other than this) and if so what?
I'm in the middle of several books right now, but I wouldn't say that any of them have me hooked. I'm more likely to finish reading the most recent issue of Competitor magazine that I got from my new chiropractor over the weekend. 
8. Do you run with music, if so whats your favorite tune to run to?
I don't run with music, even on the treadmill. I have headphone issues at the gym and when I'm outside it is a personal safety issue. I do make a running playlist that I'll listen to before a race to get pumped up but that is constantly changing as new songs come out and old ones lose their meaning.
9. What inspires you?
I think I walk a fine line between the things that inspire me and the things that hold me back. Depending on my mood, fellow bloggers successes can get me super pumped to take my training to the next level or cause me to feel like I should just give up. It is all in my head. For sure, one thing that inspires me 100% of the time is watching the Ironman Kona coverage on television.
10.  If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go?
I think I'd have to play it fairly safe and say that I want to go to Italy. There are so many places in the world that I'd love to see and explore but right now living my own version of "Eat" from Eat Pray Love sounds perfect.
11.  Do you have a favorite clothing item that you like to run in?
My favorite item of clothing to run in are a pair of Nike Dri-Fit shorts that my ex bought for me on Ebay. Hands down the best pair of shorts I've ever run in and for the life of me I can't find additional pairs anywhere.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


May you rest in peace.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One good thing

In the midst of what feels like an endless nervous breakdown, I forgot that one good thing has happened in the past few weeks. It isn't a big deal at all, but in times like these I find that the smallest things can mean everything. What am I talking about?  I am the newest addition to the Girls On The Run coaching staff. Starting in March and continuing through May, I will be helping the girls of Arlington Science Focus Elementary school train for their first 5k.

I heard about GOTR a few years ago but just got around to doing my homework on them in the last couple of months. I'm not sure, but it might have been an article in Runners World that made me get off my butt and get involved. I can't wait to meet my girls and starting the coaching process. They have so much great stuff to gain in life from running and I know that they are going to teach me quite a bit as well.

The only hiccup in the process was that the track workouts I miss attending on a regular basis overlap with the time that I've committed to being at the school. Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It actually wasn't that difficult a decision to make. There are always alternatives to fitting in my own training and I think the girls and I need each other more than I need the track. I know that CAR isn't going anywhere, and given my significant lapse in running it will take a chunk of time to get back to track workout shape anyway.

So there you have it.  One good thing. With any luck, one good thing might turn into two or three. I just need to have some hope. I am the last person in the world that would be considered an optimist, so this having faith, not losing hope, look on the bright side, think positive thoughts business is foreign to say the least. But, when all else fails...give it a shot. So I am. Reluctantly. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Distractive Post

While I jam my fingers in my ears and pretend that everything is fine, please find this attempt at self-distraction brought to you by my friends at Team Tough Chik.

This is referred to as Riddle Me This and the rules are as follows. For my beloved non-TTC readers, please feel free to join in on the fun, I want to hear your answers too.  
  1. One TC is selected on Sunday to post a question of the week to the Team FB page.  Shannon gets to pick the first TC.
  2. The selected TC has two (2) days to come up with the question.  By Tuesday morning at the latest.
  3. Everyone has until Saturday night to blog about it.  For those without a blog, just put your answer in the comments after the question is posted.
  4. Comment after the question on the Team FB page with a link to your blog so everyone can read your answer.
  5. You can pass the pick on to another TC if you are chosen and can’t come up with a question, but you must do this within two (2) days of being chosen.
  6. If there isn’t a response within the two (2) days, another TC will be selected, and that TC will have two (2) days to post their question.
  7. For the weeks when there is a delay in the question posting, answers and blogging will be extended out until the next Saturday.  (Or until TCs are tired of it and want to move on.)
  8. On Saturday, the TC from that week will select the TC for the next week.
  9. And the next question will be posted sometime between Sunday and Tuesday.

Despite our best efforts, we are not the perfect runner. We sleep in. We eat too much or too little. We under train. We over train. We eschew cross training. The list goes on.  What I want to know is: what running rule(s) are you guilty of breaking?

If I had to narrow it down to just one, I'd say my biggest runner faux pas is skipping the pre and/or post run stretch/foam roll.  I know how important it is. I know how well my runs go when I do it. I know how crappy I feel when I don't do it. But...I skip it 99% of the time anyways. I'm either sleeping an extra five minutes or watching an extra 5 minutes of tv. I fail to rationalize how better spent those five minutes could be. I just want my runs to be over and done with. I think some of that has to do with how I find running to be an obligation. It hasn't been fun in a while and when it isn't fun, it is harder to do the due diligence necessary to make it an even more enjoyable experience.

That, my friends, is my long-winded answer. I'm looking forward to hearing yours in comments and blog posts throughout the week. Now, back to my regularly scheduled breakdown.

Monday, February 6, 2012


My name is Pam, and I'm a total deadbeat. I haven't blogged in 24 days. I haven't run in 29 days. I feel like I've lost control over my own life with no end in sight. All I do is work and sleep. I spent a week in NY, a week in CA, and now I'm home but commuting to MD for the next 5 days. I was sick for one of those weeks, I crashed and burned on the GRE last week, and of course there was that incident where I totaled my car. At last check I was 20 pounds above where I feel comfortable.

Everything seems to be coming unglued. I don't know what to say or what to do. I feel completely derailed. All those goals I had for 2012...they seem so foolish now. Another marathon? Running 1,000 miles? Training with CAR? Puh-lease. I'm registered for a 5k this coming weekend. I don't want to do it. What is the point? I'll only embarrass myself. If my family wasn't coming to run it, I think I'd just bail.

I want so badly to be the busy but optimistic person I was a month ago.  I don't know where she went or how to get her back. Now I'm just overextended and depressed. I'd ask for help, but what can anyone do? Not work for me. Not run for me. Not clean for me. Not anything. It is all on me. No pressure, right? The more I think about all the ways I'm letting myself down, the more overwhelmed I get, and the more I do nothing.

I don't expect much feedback on this post, to be honest. I've noticed that the more personal I get on here, the more it seems that I alienate anyone reading. I'm as vain as the next person and comments mean so much to me. It isn't often that I feel heard or validated. Maybe in the next week or so something will give and I'll start to come out of this. Just seems like once one stressful event passes, there are two more waiting right behind it.

I apologize for not having read your blogs, friends. I miss hearing how you are and what you're up to. In this state, it is almost too hard to read about how your training is going and what your latest run was like. It is a flaw of mine, not capable of being happy for others without comparing my life to theirs. Just add it to the long list of things I should be working on. I'll wrap this up, although I'm sure you stopped reading ages ago. If you have a moment, a little love would go a long way. Please comment here or stop by my page on Facebook. Thank you.