I. DID. IT. (Now, About That 12-Hour Run.)

My new favorite treats!

My new favorite treats!

You guys have NO idea what a major step that was yesterday. I’m not sure I’ve ever broken the cycle I’ve been on for 7+ years as successfully as I did yesterday. I stuck to a new diet for X amount of weeks, had a bad binge day, and then went back on the diet successfully the next day. LIKE A BOSS. I’ve never done that. The binge day ALWAYS leads to more binge days until eventually I gain all the weight I lost back. If I’ve broken the cycle before I don’t think I’ve done it perfectly, like I did yesterday. Like – maybe I didn’t binge but I didn’t stick to the diet either. Or some middle-ground like that. But yesterday? I ate the calories MyFitnessPal told me to eat. (Which was a nice amount since I exercised TWICE!) And those little divine chocolates in that pictures? Are totally my new “dessert” which I find I really need after a meal in order to PUT AN END TO THE DAMN MEAL. Otherwise, I’m eating “dinner” for four hours.

Thanks for the help/support/commiseration. SERIOUSLY. Especially to my 4-month old nephew who sent me an encouraging video. (Possibly all on his own. Kids these days…they’re learning tech earlier and earlier.)

SO! Guess what’s on my platter next in the world o’ crazy running challenges? My first ever 12 Hour Run. I’ve mentioned it casually here and there as a thing that is coming up, but I haven’t gotten into the details.

The Race

It’s 12 hours on a 1-mile soft-surface loop. There’s a digital reader at the end of every loop that keeps track of your miles. There are two “competition” aspects of the race:
1) How many miles can you do in 12 hours OR
2) How fast can you do 50 miles
The second option is for those trying to claim one of the state records, as there are people who do that on this course every year as it’s basically the fastest 50 mile run you can do in the state.

I will be seeing how many miles I can do in 12 hours. OBVIOUSLY. Because I’m not living under any delusion of state records. And a lot (most?) don’t run the full 12 hours. They just run as much as the can for as long as they can and then they stop. Supposedly it’s really fun and social. I’ll report back on that later. I’ve been surprised that these races are actually social at times, I can see how this one would easily fit the bill.

My Goals

With a distance race my initial goal is always to finish under the time limit. But, with a race like this, there’s no distance…only a time limit. So, everyone finishes under the time limit! You have to set a distance goal. And my initial distance goal is 32 miles. Just to simply go further than a 50K which has been my longest distance run up until this point.

My second goal is to try to do 40 miles under 12 hours. I haven’t really trained with distance as much as I had wanted to originally when I considered doing this run. I peaked last weekend at 31 miles over two days. That will get me my 50K no problem. So, if I get my 50K in my slowest previous 50K time (8 hours) then that gives me 4 hours to do about 8 miles. I CAN WALK THAT. So, I think I’ll stick to 40 miles as my “initial” goal.

But – I do want to run the whole 12 hours. Or walk. Obviously I’m not going to actually be able to run the entire time. But I would like to be able to say I was running/walking for 12 hours and then have a good idea as to what distance I could do in that time. But, I do hear you get a little insane. (SURPRISE!) It’s easy to get dehydrated, no matter how well you try to avoid it. And 12 hours of doing anything physical is going to tend to make you a bit crazy. SO! That should be fun.

I think I’m as ready as I can be this time of year. Things immediately got crazy after the new year with shows at E’s school, so I’m not as solid as I was in the early winter with ultra distances, but I am confident my body can do the 32 miles. I’m just counting on my mind to get me through the final 8+.

A 12 Hour Run. I never even knew there was such a thing before last year! And now look at me…going into it like it’s NBD. I am often surprised by how casual I am about these things now, because the Previously-Non-Running Kim is sometimes still very loud inside my head and questioning my sanity on these endeavors.

Tri-ing Something New

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I don’t know how often I talk about it on here, but my husband is a kickass triathlete. He started it 3+ years ago and is now coaching a Tri 201 class through our local Fleet Feet. Triathlons are his jam.

He’s been trying to get me to give them a tri (pun intended, and overused in this entry) but I have refused for several reasons. The most important being:

1) I’m not sure if I technically “know how to ride a bike”
2) I dislike swimming because I kinda freak out when I can’t touch the bottom and I don’t do open water.
3) I don’t handle stress like “transition areas” well.

But Donnie just kept on about it as my running became more and more solid. And I understood! I talked him into doing ultras with me this year! But all that required was more running, not learning actual new skills.

Eventually, I gave in. I made him a deal and said I’d sign up for the beginner’s triathlon class at Fleet Feet and do one triathlon that occurs IN A POOL.

Tonight is our kickoff meeting and I am in such denial that this is happening that I:
1) Haven’t even looked at the bike I’m borrowing from my sister-in-law
2) Haven’t bought any sort of swimming gear
3) Haven’t registered for the actual triathlon I’m supposed to be doing.

Here’s the thing, I’m very in tune with my anxieties. I don’t take left turns when I can avoid them because the stress of someone on the road near me wanting me to go when I was not comfortable going, is enough to give me nightmares. Therefore, clogging up a swim lane or the road because I’m going slow IS THE WORST THING I COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE.

I honest-to-god have no hope that I’ll enjoy this triathlon. I think I’ll cross the finish line crying over the stress and never want to do it again. I’m going to be open-minded, but my anxieties are VERY REAL and even just thinking about doing a triathlon brings them to the surface.

But I promised my husband I’d do it once. So I will. Race day is June 22nd. As long as I survive and finish, my husband can never bug me about doing another one ever again.

And then I can stick to my easy challenges like the 12-hour run I have in two weeks.

(What the WHAT?)

Recover From The Holidays 50K Race Report

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All photos taken by Gregg Gelmis, a local athlete/photographer who donates his time to so many of our local races. I will be adding several of these to our race wall – for sure!

I totally wrote this WEEKS ago and only realized I never published it when I went to write about my next race and couldn’t find this entry to link. I SUCK AT BLOGGING.

The Course Everyone Hates But Me

I started running this local 3-mile cross country course over the summer with Tuesday night runs sponsored by our track club. By the time the summer and those Tuesday runs were over, I had proclaimed no less than a million times, “I HATE THIS COURSE.” I mean, there were no 3 miles in this town I hated running more than that course. HATE. HATE. HATE. Surface changed too much, one hella hill that made me feel like I was dying, and a zig-zag part at the end that made me want to punch people.

HATE.

However, once I ran it in the colder weather this winter, I realized that I just hated that course in the summer. I did 4 loops a few weeks ago when it was cold and liked it just fine!

Of course, doing it 10 times for a 50K is another story. And that’s what the 50K I just finished involved. That 3-mile cross country course done TEN TIMES. And most everyone I know either hates it, or if they haven’t run it before they know someone who does hate it. TEN LOOPS! IT’S SO BORING! That’s what they all say.

But, I’ll be honest. I didn’t find it boring at all. I found the last 50K I did boring because there are 2+ mile stretches where you’re running on the same bit of trail, same surface, same elevation. And even though in that 50K I only did each of those stretches three times, they still nearly killed me.

Even though this 3-mile course was something I saw 10 times on Monday, I didn’t really get bored. The course itself changes surfaces (woods, grass, gravel etc) and the elevation changes (Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN, Flat, UP UP UP UP.) often enough that I actually had several little goals on each loop to pass the time.

I didn’t have any of the mental barriers I had at the last 50K. I didn’t enter any dark periods of doubt and misery.

And because the course is a lot of out and back, I actually got to see a lot of people almost every step of the way. Part of the struggle during the last 50K was feeling so alone during parts of it. But Monday? I was always only a few minutes away from seeing another friendly face, which made the course that much more enjoyable.

Of course – having Donnie there the entire way helped too. He signed up for it the last minute, just to help me finish because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to. While he’s not a cheerleader type, he was still a constant force there – trying to pull me faster. I know I would have struggled more mentally without him, and he definitely pulled me physically.

I walked less on Monday than I have at any other marathon or ultra-marathon this year. I think that’s why I set a new personal record (PR), almost even beating my first trail marathon time!

Perfect Weather Is Perfect

I do not like being cold. I’ve always said you’ll never see me move to a warm climate without some HUGE things pulling me there. I hate being cold SO VERY MUCH. And I don’t mind being hot and sweaty, I actually kind of like it.

But when it comes to running? Just the opposite. As long as it’s above freezing? I’ll be sporting my Lululemon running skirt and a shirt-sleeve shirt with arm warmers. If it’s windy I might wear a jacket, but my legs are always fine. In the summer? I HATE RUNNING WITH EVERY OUNCE OF MY SOUL.

The weather was cooler Monday than it was for either of my previous marathons or my previous 50K. And the sun rarely made an appearance. I kept my gloves and ear wrap on the entire time. It was perfect in every way and I’m almost certain that’s the biggest contributing factor to how good I felt the whole day. I don’t think I could have done 6 loops of running everything but one chunk of the hill, if it had been even 5 degrees warmer. Or if the sun had been out. I would have been zapped a lot faster.

Obviously, you can’t special order weather. But if you could? Overcast and 38 was the perfect recipe for running for 7 hours.

The Food Of The Gods

I know I’ve only been doing this distance running thing for about a year, but I’m continued to be surprised by…well…surprises.

No matter how much you think you have figured out about fuel, clothing, training, nutrition and footwear — you’ll still often find yourself facing an unexpected challenge. Or you’ll find the expected challenge never showed up.

When I had surprising nausea at my marathon, I found comfort in some soft-chew peppermints that a guy dressed as Santa was handing out. I had no idea if the mint actually settled my stomach, or if Kris Kringle brought his own magic to the even – but whatever the cause? That mint hit the spot.

So – well in advance of Monday’s 50K? I stocked up on those damn peppermints. And even though no article or website or coach ever recommended them to me? I took about a dozen with me to the race. AND THEY WERE THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS EVER. My stomach did get uneasy a bit, but the mints kept the real nausea at bay. I think my body just doesn’t handle skipping meals well. I mean, I fuel a lot during the run, obviously. But I basically skip one or two sit-down meals while I’m out there and my stomach revolts that along with the constant movement for 7 hours. I just get queasy and those mints kept me stable.

Made A Plan

I also went into this race with an actual plan. I was going to run everything, even the mild uphills, except the steepest part of the one hell-hill…for SIX LOOPS. I’d only walk that one steep part in the middle of that one hill for the first six loops. And then the plan was that with every loop after that? I’d let myself walk one piece more. So, by the time I was doing the last few loops? I was looking forward to finishing them just so I’d have more time to walk the next one.

Sounds crazy, but it worked for me.

Then we had Nikki come do the last lap with us. And let me tell you, going into Mom mode to help HER through those three miles? BEST. THING. EVER. It was easy to make it when I was trying to encourage her along the way!

All in all? I liked this 50K better than the last one. Will I like it as much next year without Donnie doing it with me? We’ll see!

Seriously. Eff The Scale.

The cover of my future book.

The cover of my future book.


“Why did I gain weight the second week of diet.”

“Gained weight week 2 discouraged”

“Stuck to plan and still gained weight.”

“How many chocolate bars can I eat in one hour and not die?”

These are the things I found myself Googling Friday morning after seeing I had gained almost a pound from last week after sticking to my diet RELIGIOUSLY.

Week one is easy on ANY diet because you always lose tons of weight the first week of a diet. But week two shouldn’t mean: GAIN! Not when you’ve actually been careful!

Let me back up a bit: The lowest I’ve been in the last two years is 135 (I’m 5’3″) and that was several months ago. I then proceeded to put on 10+ pounds and weighed in at about 145 when I first started using MyFitnessPal two weeks ago.

First week? 5+ pounds. 139lbs. EASY. Awesome. Now, I knew not to get really excited about that because I’ve started new diets often enough to know that the first week always sees you losing several pounds.

I figured I’d stay the same, or drop half-of-a-pound at the most on week two.

NOPE. Gained ONE pound.

Now, that should mean that I was 3500 calories in excess for the week – to equal weight gain of one pound. WHICH I KNOW IS A MATHEMATICAL IMPOSSIBILITY. Logically? I know I didn’t actually gain a pound. If anything? I turned some fat into muscle. Or I’m bloated. Or something. The smart side of my brain KNOWS not to panic about that one pound.

But the Crappy Body Image Addicted To Food part of my brain? Is a mess. I’m giving up my anxiety cure every night: Binging Before Bed. This makes me crazy all the time. But I’m doing it! Two weeks and no emotional eating binges! And to gain a pound? Makes that side of my CRAZY AS ALL CRAZY CAN BE.

I mean – EVERY DAY that pound stared at me from the scale – MOCKING my efforts to break my emotional addiction to food.

And then this weekend? The scale said 138.9. YAY! That seems better! Much more realistic considering my efforts!

And then this morning? Back to 140.2. Same as where it was all week when I went to bed everything night restless and anxious because I was not doing my pre-bed binge ritual.

LOGICAL BRAIN: Chill Out, Kim! You can see changes in your body! You’re proud of yourself and you look great! You’re fit! You’re awesome! You ran 31 miles this weekend! YOU KICK ASS. EFF THE SCALE. Don’t even look at the scale!

EMOTIONAL EATER SIDE OF MY BRAIN: Gained weight. There is no point. Give up now. Binge, Baby. BINGE!

Please tell me I’m not the only one stupid-crazy about this stuff? And please remind me that two weeks without a binge is such a great thing for a personal emotional connected to food and that I should not forget that, no matter what the scale says. Right? I don’t need to adjust my calories, do I? I mean – MyFitnessPal seems to be logical about all of that and gives me calories to eat when I work out. I should trust that and ignore this one pound, right?

(Also – tell me to put down the donuts. Because, while I’m not currently holding any, there’s a good chance this one pound will drive me to purchase them today.)

Four Is The Magic Number

Photo taken by White Rabbit Studios

Photo taken by White Rabbit Studios

As much as I want another child…in theory…I’m also content with the family I have because I’m constantly being reminded that the many things in life are designed for families of four. It’s hard enough to work around one extra person, not sure how I’d do it with two extra.

Simple example? Your basic restaurant table/booth. Most are designed for four. Yes – it’s easy enough to put a chair on the end of a booth, but for tables? You have to move two together. And then we’re taking up two tables.

Not to mention feeding five people at a restaurant is stupid-expensive. Which is why we go out to eat as a family – maybe once a month.

Basic sedans? Four people comfortably. We bought the minivan a month after Wes was born, which was when we needed one because I was driving a sedan prior. And although they can seat 5 people – you don’t really want to push that capacity often because, when you do? No one is happy.

Food packaging: NOT FOR FIVE PEOPLE. As the little ones get older and start eating bigger servings at dinner we realize that very few items in the grocery store are designed for families of 5. Package of 10 tortillas? Nope. We made quesadillas last night and I didn’t get any. Pork tenderloin? Barely enough. Someone always ends up getting not quite as much as they could eat. 1lb of hamburger meat? Not enough for hamburgers for 5 people. 1 can of veggies as a side? Not enough for five people if everyone actually likes the vegetable.

Lucky, my kids hate vegetables, so it works out for us!

One pizza? Not quite enough. Two? Too much. Some with Rotisserie chicken from Publix. And don’t even get me started on “family entrees” in the frozen food section. Those are only big enough for my family if we also serve THREE sides to go with it.

And if I’m lazy enough to cook a frozen entree from the store? I don’t want to have to cook three sides too.

Most recreational places from bowling to Putt-Putt? Family Four Packs. Of course – just like with restaurants – even four people at any of those places is too rich for our blood. So, we’d be skipping them regardless of the number of people they put in a discount pack. BUT STILL!

I know several of you with families of 5 or more. Do you notice the disadvantage anywhere or with any packaged items? Do you find yourself always cooking too much or not enough? Do you go out to eat as rarely as we do? And most importantly of all – Do you have a minivan? Do you love yours as much as I love mine?