Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nowhere to Run

Running in worn out shoes can be likened to having surgery without being anesthetized. You might think you're tough enough to take the pain, that your sheer power of will can overcome anything. In the end, you'll regret opting out of pain killers, be in more pain than when you started and only have a long recuperation to face. I learned that lesson the very painful way, and not wanting another semester of pain I invested in new shoes.

The Nike Factory store is like my field of dreams, my candy store. By no means am I label whore-but I am when it comes to Nike, and yes-I know it's not high end. It fits my lifestyle: cheap, and decent quality. I can safely put 300+ miles on Bowermans without risking injury, and I could not ask for more from a shoe that's not custom and under $60. Friday my super-sweet Husband bought me new Bowermans and a Nike Sport kit, since my first kit pooped out after Goliath chewed it up.

Here they are: originally $130, purchases for $49.99:

Snow is on the ground here, again. With new shoes, I know ultimately they will get dirty and wet, especially in the weather I force myself to run in, but I couldn't bring myself to go out on a tempo in them yesterday. Instead, I skipped training altogether to continue with my recent running sin pattern. Although I should be, I'm not worried.

This week, I will be top loading my marathon training because of vacation. I'm well aware top loading can be dangerous in the sense of taking too many days off at the end of the week may lose fitness. Although I should be, I'm not worried.

Goliath and I went out for our tempo run this afternoon, and after running the half mile to our trail we saw eight of so tweens playing on their bicycles in the snow. Not wanting to disturb their little party on the run/hike trail, we turned around and went home, after all the run/hike trail shouldn't be used for running or hiking. I finished my work out on a treadmill, and took Goliath to the dog park for his.

I got sweaty, he got muddy and in the end we both got baths. Speaking of getting clean, I found eleven of Goliath's toys hidden in the lining of my couch. How does he do it?

Today's Mileage: 3.1, 5k (runs combined)
Time: 23:45

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just Like Honey from a Bee

Goliath and I rested today. Well, I rested and Goliath ran around in circles. You can rest easy, I will be fitted for new shoes tonight so our tempo Saturday, and long run Sunday will not be interrupted.

If you know anything about me, you know I didn't gain weight eating carrots. I bake and cook a lot, and on days where I have a full morning I like to spend it researching new recipes and tailoring it to my wants, and my husband's sugar tooth.

After a recent conversation with a friend, and pregnancy like cravings from the Mister I attempted Oatmeal Cream Pies ala Little Debbie.

You are thus warned, that the following pictures contain pornographic material of the food nature:

The recipe was found at Recipe Zaar, and I made slight modifications.
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
1 tblsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Old Fashion Oats
Cream Filling:
2 tbsp HOT water
1/2 tsp salt
7 oz marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup powder sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1. Mix flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl.
2. Cream butter, and sugars. Beat eggs in one at a time, then add vanilla and molasses.
4. Add flour slowly, beating in. Stir oats in with wooden spoon.
5. Round tablespoon of dough onto parchment paper, and bake at 350 degrees until edges brown. You want the cookie to be slightly moist. Let cool on tray.
6. For the cream filling, dissolve the salt in the hot water.
7. Mix all other filling ingredients for 3 minutes on high, then add cooled salt water and mix well.
8. Spread filling on flat end, press another cookie on top.
9. Enjoy immediately, or set completely in fridge for an hour.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Feel on Top of the World with Ya' Baaaaybee

I've been breaking all sorts of cardinal running sins lately. After yesterday's pain, I decided that I probably should take off until I invest in new shoes. This morning, I woke up feeling energized and fresh-which is rare. I usually dread getting up, but the sun has been rising sooner and I've been having more restorative sleep. Goliath sleeps in his bed for most of the night, and like clockwork he gets up at 7am and jumps in with me. I woke him up and said "Wanna run?" and he perked up from a solid slumber:

I laced up my racers and set out for 5.5 miles knowing that I would have to walk seven miles to work. Initially, I was apprehensive not knowing how this would go and if I'd feel that same pains as yesterday. Between mile one and mile two, there's a quarter mile wind tunnel and when I pushed through I knew that it'd be a good run. With a twenty foot highway barrier on the left and condominiums on the right the wind whips through there like bottle rockets. There's no headwinds or tailwinds, it's just wind in all directions.

These five miles completely made up for my miles yesterday. It was one of those runs, where you feel like you could run forever. I pushed a 7:20/mile on mile three. Goliath noticed my pace picking up, and he was pleased. It's cheesier than Gouda, but it was one of those runs where you feel yourself improving and your body changing. There is literally nothing running wise that could make me happier, except maybe new shoes.

Goliath decided to wade the creek today:

All in all, awesome run today. It felt great: snot, boogers and tears from the cold, all of it. I was so focused, that I didn't notice him cockroach in poop. He's such a Beetlejuice, attracted to foul scents and fan of dirt.

I need to start cross training more, so if anyone has any good suggestions-bring them on.

Today's Mileage: 5.5
Time: 45:23

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This is Me on the Hurtin' Side of Pain

It's time to retire the Bowerman's. They've gotten my through two half marathons, and their training. Today's run, although scheduled to be brief, was excruciatingly painful. From over zealous training, I experienced not just one but TWO tibial stress fractures. During the month hiatus from running to recover I went a little crazy. The mental low from not having the excess endorphins was just added insult.

Driving to work, I'd see runners and get bitter. Normally, I'd wave or give them a chin nod even if they couldn't see me-but there's no camaraderie in injury. Today, I felt the familiar pang in my leg. There are way too many miles on my shoes, and I know better.

So what should have been interval training for four miles, became a two mile jog and a two mile exploration walk.

Goliath swims in this fall when it's warmer, today the frigid twenty degree water swayed him against it.

We got home about an hour after we set out. I think Goliath was still tired from yesterday's run, because he's been sprawled out, passed out since I took off my shoes only waking to see what I was cooking for lunch.

(Cajun Lettuce Wraps)

Today's Mileage: 4 miles
Time: 1:00:32

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Pain that Buckles out Your Knees

Yesterday's run really made today's eight a lot harder. My legs are exhausted, and my shoes are pushing 380 miles. I haven't pushed that mileage on our trail since running the Gobbler Grind in November. It was motivating to remember that the last time I paced through those woods was when I completed my first marathon.

Our scenery improves as the foliage turns green, and the animals come out. When the grass gets tall, Goliath likes to chomp at it and cut his own path. Some days I would be so focused, I wouldn't notice that he'd found some carcass and was proudly strutting it alongside me. Little puppy Goliath found a lot gross things, including snakes. He's such a prey driven dog, that anything that moves along our path catches his attention and needs inspection. The milliseconds where he decides to attack or ignore are priceless. His stance gets wide, and his neck elongates. The ears perk, and twitch like radar.

I get a little intimidated at our splits. My mind gets caught up in the pain in my knees, the muscles that are now bricks and how raw my lungs are. Then the thought of "I'm only halfway finished," enters my head and suddenly I feel exponentially exhausted. Suddenly, I mentally don't think I can do it. Regardless of what the total mileage is, it could be 2 or it could 15, I feel this way.

At 4.1, I collapsed into the grass to stretch. Our scheduled two minute split became a five minute rest. It was laughable: me sprawled out in the grass while he darted in and out of the tall weeds. Smart money says that for every mile I log, Goliath doubles it. I couldn't even get him to sit still for this:

Today's Mileage: 8.3
Time: 1:20:18

Monday, January 25, 2010

Climbing up the Top Sails

Monday's are the days where I pay for my transgressions over the weekend. Goliath makes me regret the fried pickles from Friday, and the chocolate cake from Penny's. It felt like eighteen degrees this morning, and with a headwind of 18 mph. After running an errand this morning, I yawned pulling in my parking lot and for a split second decided to blow off today's run.

Monday's are the days where I can find a million reasons not to run, but only one reason to: Goliath. I could put away laundry, organize my cabinets, finally hang the painting or figure out how to replace my carpet. Instead, I will lace up the nikes like I did today.

According to my training schedule, today was suppose to be speed work incorporated into a four mile run but at the two mile split I knew I'd have to go farther, faster and longer.

If you've ever struggled with your weight, and maintaining your goal you know as well as I do that having a daily reminder keeps you focused. Weight Watchers calls it an "anchor," and can you guess what mine is? We adopted my anchor after I lost my first five pounds, as both a reward and motivation. My anchor gets me up on cold mornings, and won't let me slow down on the uphills. When I try to stop, he'll shoot me a look like "Hey I'm not the one who ate that extra serving of pancakes and sausage," and then I get moving.

Our four by two run quickly turned into a 10k, our favorite distance. We run door to door, only stopping for a split or to greet another dog. For the first time in training, I felt like I might puke. I could feel those aforementioned food sins slowing me down. The desire to stop every five minutes didn't stop until mile four, when we approached another runner. An older man, clearly a seasoned vet, no running gadgets and worn out sneakers. As we passed each other, he said "Well at least the dog likes it!"

Darn it, I like it too. Before I knew it, I was home and peeling off sweat soaked gear. I look forward to my post work out protein. I usually have skim chocolate milk, and Goliath has a beggin strip. Lately, however, I've been playing mad scientist with protein powder and smoothies:

Monday's are the days where I need to remind myself why I do this, why I get up at 5am, why I need to push myself. The days where I need to find a million reasons to run, and throw the excuses out the bandwagon door. The days where I owe my success to my anchor on the end of a leash.

Today's Mileage: 6.21
Time: 1:08:43

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This is the Way I Need to Wake

It has been seven months since the accident, and I had my first nightmare last night. Maybe it's because of this chronicle and me doing more reflecting on our relationship than normal. Maybe it's because seven months ago I never thought I'd get to run with him again.

We live in an apartment just large enough to be a kennel for Goliath, so he's been visiting the off-leash dog park as early as he could and for as often as we could get him there. I wanted to socialize him as early as possible, and get him exercise simultaneously. On our first trip, we learned something very quick. People in Overland Park don't really want their dogs to act like dogs. Some lady grouched at Goliath because he was playing "too rough." The same day, I overhead a couple grumbling because their pooch wanted to play in the mud.

I didn't adopt a dog to treat it like a human. For us, the dog park is where Goliath can be a dog. I expect him to listen to me, which he does very well, but I don't expect him to avoid the puddles just because I would. Case in point:

On days like today, Goliath is a lonesome pup and I'm the only owner in golashes. The mud was thick, and the cloud were spitting rain. When there is no one for him to play with, I get the privilege and honestly I love it. On nice spring days, dozens of dogs swarm each other. Each sniffing the other's rear until Goliath breaks the pack and takes off running. They follow. He'll throw back his head as if the momentum from his front legs was too much for his neck, and zoom to the end of the park . He'll zip back and forth even if his new friends get bored. It's on those days I smugly stand with the other owners, secretly wishing I was out there chasing him. But it's on days like this one, where I lap the park with him. I run along side him, dredging up mud.

It's on days like this, where unlike other dog owners complaining about the mud of their pup's paws. I'm just incredibly thankful that my dog is here, with me, getting muddy. I'm just incredibly thankful that it's been seven months since the accident, seven months since he was mowed over by a suburban.

Today's Mileage: 2 miles
Time: Not timed

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Struggle is Nothing but Love

Something I've always admired about Goliath is his relentless commitment to running. He doesn't care if it's thirty below, if there's a 20mph head wind or if it's 5am.

Even after our jaunt yesterday, a second walk and a full afternoon of playing-he wanted more. He always wants more of everything, except sleep and food. So where his energy comes from, I'll never fully understand, but maybe one day my home's power will run off it's source. At midnight as I'm winding down and finally getting into bed, he brings me this:

If you can't make it out, it's a squeaky bunny that has lasted in our home for a record toy-life: 3 months. His wanting to play at midnight should have been a sign of things to come.

A bored puppy makes for a completely torn up apartment. I awoke to a newly uncarpeted entry way, and 600 square feet sprinkled with coffee grounds and an array of trash. This is they way he likes things: Chaotic. Dirty. Fragrant. My personal taste prior to being a dog-owner revolved around: Order. Cleanliness. Fragrant,but of the different variety. My life pre-Goliath sat at 90 degrees, and didn't have dust. We now have carpet three shades darker than what it was when we moved in, and have balls hidden throughout the place. I used to anxiously dust because dust exacerbates my asthma and allergies !! Everyday I made sure contents of my closet was in order because I need to know where everything is, at all times!!

BUT this is why we run. We run to counteract the boredom, the pinned up energy and the anxiety. Nearly 1,000 miles later Goliath has taught me that I don't have asthma and that those brown pumps were ugly. The lessons were never easy ones to learn: sprinting after him uphill into oncoming traffic and finding three pairs of "ugly" shows chewed to shreds, but they gave me something invaluable. Peace of mind.

We ran today for both of our sakes. I was angry, and he was smug but we embarked on a quick four miler. The trail we use on daily basis rarely has anyone on it when the weather is bad, or during work hours. Yes, I advocate leash laws but today I gave Goliath a little freedom to roam, for a mile or so.

I no longer wear a pace watch, or a nike+ band that calibrates my pace. I've learned to recognize my pace with how fast his legs move, if he looks like he's walking I'm running a 10 min/mile and if his tail is wagging and he's galloping I'm sprinting.

We run this trail enough, that I do trust him for a short while off his leash. He knows where we stop for splits and he knows which forks we take. I have a special relationship with the trail, it's where I ran my first mile, my fastest mile, where I trained for all my previous races and where I ran my first half marathon. It's runs adjacent to a fresh water creek and goes through "forest" and it just makes me feel like a granola runner.

This was on our two mile split, he introspectively will stare at his reflection while I figure out how to breathe. He'll get impatient for the two minute period, and run in circles around me and try to spar but the next two miles will inevitably wear him out, even if it's just a little. As we neared the accident site from yesterday, I quickly thought about how the impact felt on my ego and face. I decided I'd hurdle it with him this time.

I jumped. He went around. One day we'll get it right.

Today's Mileage: 4 miles
Time: 42:56

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Faceplant in an iceberg

I have been wanting to blog for a while now, and until this morning I never thought I had anything interesting to discuss, explain and/or teach. That was until this morning when I found myself nose deep in a pile of muddy snow with Goliath sitting patiently waiting for me to get up.

Meet Goliath:

He's a one year-old German Boxer and Siberian Husky mix. He joined my family in December of 2008, at 5lbs and 6 weeks old. He's now a little over 60lbs and loves peanut butter by the pint, tearing sheets and three feet long raw hides. More than anything though, he loves to run. His Husky family tree is most likely full of Iditarod champions, because something about a leash with someone/something on the end triggers a long-lasting-never-ending energy surge. What is he pulling?

I'm a 22 year-old human. With little money and little time, I started running in December, 2008 tipping the scales at a little over 170lbs. Figuring that all I needed was sneakers and pavement, now 30lbs lighter I run marathons and log an average of 30 miles a week. I, also, love peanut butter by the pint, purchasing new sheets and hunting for world's biggest raw hide. My family tree is full of educationally decorated individuals, competitive athletes and America's finest shoppers.

So you see? We make a pair. We feed each others needs. When Goliath is hungry, three cups of food in the bowl. When I need motivation, he pulls me six miles.

The boskyblog will take you on our whirlwind adventures during marathon training, dog park jaunts and everything along the way, including this morning's faceplant into compacted snow.

There has been record snow fall this year in Kansas City to Goliath's delight, and when the ground is white the leash is off. There is no controlling this snow obsessed maniac. This week has been the first week in over a month where the sidewalks are clear enough, and devoid of ice where the leash can be worn and the yak traks are no longer needed.

We logged 5.8 miles without any hiccups, no major arm amputations or squirrels on the trail we frequent. It was around 5.8 on a half mile-long uphill did we come across a molehill of plowed snow. Now, I don't know how big molehills typically run but this one was about two feet high and three fee wide, polka dotted with car splattered mud and whatever else.

It was upon this "snowhill" did we face an Oregon Trail decision: go around it? or forge the river?

Guess what Goliath decided? He jumped, I fell.

Today's Mileage: 6.2 Miles, 10k
Time: 1:08:02