I am. Still running, that is.
My same Made It Myself schedule of 2x/week tempo runs and 1x/week shortish long runs. Because I'm not going to be getting all double-digit miles on my ass if I'm not training for a fall half marathon, which I'm not. And isn't it just a bitch that I choose to take this year off from fall races and it turns out to be the coldest NorCal summer in 40 years?
Yes, it is a big, fat, chilly bitch.
Because if this were like any of the last three summers, I'd be waist deep in double-digit training right now - all stressed out from having to keep Luna Moons in stock and new music coming in for the iPod and OH are my insoles wearing out and can someone please tell me where I can buy BodyGlide in bulk except that, no. This is a year off from fall races and, better yet, summer training which is usually a hot, sweaty nightmare of pain and misery.
'Cept that this year it's cold. Coldest it's been in 40 years, like I said before and have repeated on a loop for anyone who will listen, and THIS is when I should be training for a fall race because I wouldn't have to be getting up in the 4s and 5s to run 12 miles like I have in the past three years just so that I could get my miles in before the big shiny ball came out to burn the skin from my bones.
No. This year, and we can take last Saturday as an example of what it's been like every Saturday since it stopped raining in May, it's cool, cloudy and just the most perfect running weather on Saturday mornings at 8 FUCKING 30 AM.
Seriously. I wouldn't even have to set an alarm to get up in the pre-dawn hours for my 10+ milers because OH the cloud cover doesn't burn off until after 11 in this big fat rip-off of a summer we're having.
So, yes, there are people out there who would, and do, hate me for complaining about lovely cool summer weather when half our country is stewing in its own juices from extreme heat and humidity, yet still, I carry on.
That's right - I'm super stubborn! And also, bitter. Because I know next time I decide I'm going to run a long distance fall race (and, to me, a half marathon is a long distance race, so QUIET, YOU PEOPLE who are about to give me the "it's not even a marathon" talk because *middle finger*) it's going to be the hottest summer on record.
It'll be the summer where California is burned off the map. The streets will burst into flames and I will be right there trudging along, sucking masochistically on my empty Camelbak hose, waiting for the sweet release of death.
But this year, well, I'm not training for anything long distance-y, so I go out for my shortish-long runs and come home without a Barely Alive story to tell. Which, I'll be honest, is kind of nice.
Except last Saturday. Last Saturday I tried again at killing myself with running. I guess I figured that if the weather wasn't going to do it, I'd have to do it myself.
See, I haven't had a race in a while - have I told you? I feel like I've told you. Just go with me, here. And my last road race was a 10K during which I finally nailed my sub-60 time and felt the great satisfaction that comes from brutalizing one's body into achieving a far-fetched goal hatched during times of insobriety. Ever since that race though, I've been hesitant about going back out for a straight up road race because of some retarded reasons:
- Running another 10K with a slower time would make me suicidal
- Running a 5K in order to avoid the soul-crushing 10K disappointment would be boring/pointless/a waste of money on a race that would take longer to park for than it would to run
- Running a half marathon at this point would be painful/messy/against my No Long Distance Races in 2010 rule
So, instead of signing up for a race to give me a purpose and a goal for running and so that when I do find another race to run I won't shame myself and my precious PRs, I decided to go back to my sub-60 10K training.
Basically, make my Saturday run a 10K and see if I still "had it". As in, can I still run this in less than an hour. And if I could, then YAY and maybe I'll sign up for another 10K. Or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll just keep it up until Thanksgiving rolls around and I'll dress up in a nice Pilgrim costume and dust some of those dumb looking turkeys while I set a new 5K PR or something.
A girl can have dreams, am I right?
So, that's what I set out to do last Saturday under cloud cover and with temps in the 50s - go out and run a sub-60 10K.
You excited I'm saying that again? Sub-60 10K? Don't gouge your eyes out with spoons yet, you dramatic whores - I will stop saying it soon.
Anyway, I went out with that intention and what I came back with was a completely empty tank. I baaaaaaaaaarely squeaked over the line (and by "line", I mean the crack on the concrete that coincided with the exact moment my Garmin hit 6.2 miles) at 59:39 and my pre-run snack creeping up my esophagus.
Though, I did finally do that thing I've heard trainers tell their trainees: Leave it all on the course.
I did not, however, hit the puke threshold, and while I know that's another thing that trainers train their trainees to do, I have no aspirations in this area. Barfing as a sport really doesn't appeal to me.
Going 100% until you simply can't go anymore though - that's fine.
But it was a haul. I turned around on the trail at 3.1 miles knowing that I was going to have to pick up the pace on my return if I wanted to hit my number and then at mile 5 I knew I was going to have to either sprint or suddenly learn to fly if I wanted to make it under 1:00:00.
So, yeah, if you were driving around San Jose on Saturday morning and saw some girl wearing this outfit while running and crying - that was me and no, I wasn't crying so shuttup.
But I made it. So I still *have it*. Though *it* moves farther away with every Saturday that passes without focused training, so I'm going back to this sub-60 10K business so that I don't have to fight my way back to it quite as hard as I did last weekend any time in the near future. Painful, my friends, it was painful. And I like to avoid pain like that. So it's worth it.
If only so that I can kick some turkey ass in November.