Thursday, July 28, 2011

The heat of the moment

July has been hot. Surface of the sun hot. Ok, that is a slight exaggeration. But still, hot. Everyone is complaining about the heat. It's understandable. Oppressive heat is uncomfortable. A hot, sweaty mess of uncomfortable. But I'm trying to appreciate it. Because soon enough everyone will be complaining about the cold.

Besides, learning to deal with discomfort makes you stronger. Sometimes you have to endure the uncomfortable before you can get to the awesome. And if you want to learn a lesson in discomfort, running is one of the best teachers. Sometimes running feels amazing but other times it feels very, very bad. Sweaty, out-of-breath, achy, tired, nauseously bad. But if you keep going, good runs eventually follow the bad ones. If you're really challenging yourself, in running or in life, it's bound to feel a little uncomfortable at times. That's how you grow and improve. I guess that's why they're called growing pains and not growing ice cream sandwiches.

On Monday I had lunch with Dangers and he said he was having a mini life crisis. He didn't feel like he was any of the places he was supposed to be in life. I've definitely felt like that before, though for me it was more that I didn't know where I was supposed to be in the first place. Then I sort of decided that wherever I am is where I'm "supposed" to be and just set about enjoying that for however long it lasted. When I think about it, all the times that I felt a little bit uncomfortable in my life eventually lead to the most fantastic and hilarious times. Maybe the discomfort is the impetus to change or one of the side effects of the process of change. Either way, it too will pass.

In unrelated news, my calf muscles are starting to get some definition. I have a muscle! Sort of. I hope they peer pressure my other muscles into appearing.

Lyric of the moment: "How infinite is space, and who decides your fate, why everything will dissolve into sand. How to avoid defeat, where truth and fiction meet, why nothing ever turns out as you planned. These are things that I don't understand..."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

East Rochester Karknocker 5K

Last night Mike and I ran the Karknocker 5K in East Rochester. The race started at 7pm and it was a stifling 91 degrees out, but there were water stops at every mile and a lot of the neighbors were out spraying runners with their sprinklers and hoses. I finished in 21:54 (54th out of 225) which isn't my fastest time, but not bad given the heat. I'm consistently faster now than I was in high school or college, but I'd still love to run a 5K in under 20 minutes someday because it's the goal I never managed to achieve when I was younger. I did win a medal for placing 3rd in my age group, continuing my lucky streak of 5K and 10K races this summer. Most of all, I'm so proud of Mike for finishing his first race ever in 32:00!

The heat started to get to me during the race. My mouth was dry and my stomach was a little queasy. I kept thinking about how much I wanted to stop, so I had to tell myself that each step was bringing me closer to the finish. And closer to the next sprinkler! I still haven't mastered the art of drinking from a paper cup while running, but I did learn that if I look down while running through a sprinkler, my sunglasses won't get all wet and I will still be able to see.

Bright and early this morning, Eric, Shooter and I did a long run. Even though we started at 7am, it was already in the 80's, but we got in a good 11 miles. I think the combination of a fast paced 5K race and then a long run only 12 hours later is good training for my legs. I guess we'll find out come marathon time.
Lyric of the moment: "Ooh ooh ooh I'm on fire..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

If I had a dollar...

If I had a dollar for every blister I have on my feet, I could buy a movie ticket. Or ten lottery tickets. Sadly, blisters are not full of money. They are full of ewwwww.

Thankfully, they seem to be getting better. My feet were pretty unhappy after Saturday's 12 mile run, but they made it through one 5 mile and two 6 mile runs this week without complaint. I bought new socks and a crapload of band-aids. Plus I washed the new Kinvaras which are a half size too big. I originally washed them in order to get the blood out (I sort of considered leaving it there to make myself feel tough, then decided that was too gross) but as an added bonus they also shrunk in the dryer and now fit better. Win!

It sucks to run when something hurts, but then I get through it and think, well that wasn't so bad. And the next time I have a particularly good run, I enjoy it that much more.


Random tidbits:

*It felt almost weird to run on my own so much the past two weeks. I've gotten so used to running with friends and I missed the camaraderie and hilarity. Sorry, Justin Timberlake. You can bring sexy back (or ask me to marry you) anytime but you're just not as fun to listen to as my running friends.

*Weekend highlights: DJ's BBQ, Mike's godson's birthday party, brunch at Woodcliff (I think brunch is my new favorite meal. So much deliciousness, so little time), finished reading Wicked (It was so different than I expected and from the musical. I still can't decide whether or not I actually liked any of the characters, but it's interesting to see how people become who they are).

*Am I just antisocial or is it weird when strangers ask a lot of personal questions? Yesterday the dental hygienist asked me if I was going on vacation this summer and I made the mistake of answering honestly. Then she was all "Who are you going with? How long have you been dating? Have you met each other's parents? Is he going to propose? How old are you?" I think she was just trying to be friendly but Jesus, woman! Please get back to murdering my teeth with sharp instruments and stop giving me the third degree about my personal life.

Lyric of the moment: "I do believe it's true, there are roads left in both of our shoes..."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Victory and da feet

Dear Body,

Yo, what's your deal? I seem to have angered you somehow because you are all over the place this week. Lightheaded at the Corn Hill Festival. Uneasy stomach one night. Your knees hurt, so I get new shoes. Then your knees feel better but your feet get all blistery and uncomfortable, to the point where I got so frustrated during yesterday's run that I took off my shoes and ran home barefoot. Yes, I know you love to run barefoot, but it's a lot harder in the city because there's glass and rocks and debris everywhere. So in Hawaii, I promise we'll be all barefoot up in that beach. But for now, please make peace with my shoes.

Speaking of Hawaii, I ordered a bikini from Victoria's Secret online and, if it fits, you're going to put it on and wear it on vacation and shut the hell up about it. Because in the past the thought of us in a bikini was horrifying, but life is too short and we are too old for that shit. So we're going to wear what we want to wear and not worry about it.

So feet, let's get better soon, mmmk? And the rest of you parts, we have big plans and grand adventures ahead, so let's be friends.

From Robot, with love

Lyric of the moment: "But I would walk 500 miles. And I would walk 500 more. Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles. To fall down at your door..."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Movies in the park, after dark, with a shark

Last night we went to see Jaws at Charlotte Beach, part of the county's free movies in the parks series. I thought it would be cool to watch a movie outside, and it would have been, were it not for annoying mosquitos and even more annoying people. Ten minutes into the movie, this guy came and sat directly in front of us, taking his sweet time setting up his Budweiser cooler and then blocking our view so we had to move. Other people were talking and walking around and generally interrupting the movie. Not cool.
So next time I would bring insect repellent. I don't think they make a jackass repellant.

But it was still a good time. Warm night, picnic dinner, hugs and watching people get eaten by a fake shark. Not bad for a Tuesday night. So some people may be jerks, but life is far too awesome to worry about that.

Lyric of the moment: "It's been so long since I've seen the ocean..."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The good, the bad and the snugly

Things that are not so good:

*Friday night I really wanted a smoothie so I went to Abbotts. I should have known it was a bad idea when the employee looked confused and then pulled out a book with instructions on how to make it. The instructions didn't even help her because the smoothie tasted terrible and I ended up throwing it out.

*My knees have been hurting lately so I thought I'd try new shoes to see if they made a difference. I bought new Saucony Kinvaras from Fleet Feet and the salesgirl told me I should get size 9.5 instead of the size 9's I usually wear. But when I wore them on an 11 mile run on Saturday they rubbed against the skin on my ankles until they bled.

*My body was angry at me this weekend. Saturday we went to Corn Hill fest and I started to feel light headed. I don't know if it was because of too much time on my feet in the sun or something else, but I hope it doesn't happen again.

Things that are good:

*Later Friday night Mike came upstairs and surprised me with a smoothie he'd made for me. It was delicious. You know when you're really thirsty and you take a drink of cold water and you feel a sense of complete satisfaction at having gotten exactly what you wanted? It tasted like that.

*Lesson learned: trust my gut more than the employees at Fleet Feet. They may know more about running shoes but I know more about my own feet.

*We went to Next Door Bar & Grill with my parents, where I discovered that bamboo is edible, and tastes mostly like whatever sauce is on it.

*Sunday morning cuddles and sleeping in.

*33 days until Hawaii! I can't wait!

Lyric of the moment: "And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born, then it's time to go, and define your destination. There's so many different places to call home..."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Irondequoit 4th of July 10K

Riding the Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze
4th of July weekend adventures: Mike's cousin's wedding, 10 mile run on the Genesee River Trail, Seabreeze with the little bro, dinner with Mike's family and my family, brunch at Mario's, watching Caddyshack at the Dryden Theater, Irondequoit 4th of July festival...

And running the Irondequoit 4th of July 10K race. It's a tough, hilly course, which is why I haven't run it again since 1998. But I wanted to try and beat my time from high school, which was 52:02. Luckily I had a good day, and not only beat my time but ran my fastest 10K ever (45:22) and got a medal for placing second in my age group. 13 years older and 7 minutes faster...I'll take it!

Picasso, Eric, me & Shooter at the race

I don't know why but I still get nervous before races. There's always that moment when I wonder why I thought this would be a good idea, when I question why I'm here. But here I am. Because racing is where you measure your progress, where you find out what you're made of. Sometimes you cross the finish line feeling invincible and sometimes you feel like you can't take another step. But either way, it makes you stronger. And that's why you keep coming back for more.

Lyric of the moment: "In the place where I make no mistakes, in the place where I have what it takes..."