Friday, July 30, 2010

Gotta Let Go

I did it. I put aside the fear, and got up and ran this morning. AANNNND I was *this* close to not. Yes, I legit almost put it off another day. It really had been a full week since I last ran, so the fear of sucking was added to my health concerns. We've discussed this before, you know? That sinking rock in your gut telling you how hard it's going to be when you start again. Knowing that you won't be able to be as good as you were, even it was only one week. Fitness takes months to build, and days to lose.

When you miss a day of training, it's no big deal to jump right back and start where you left off. But what do you do when you miss a full week, including a long run? There's debate on what's beneficial and let's face it, practical. Do you attempt to make up mileage, so your weekly mileage isn't touched? Do you just dive in, as if you haven't missed the last vital work outs? Whatever you should do, I made my decision on what I knew I could handle. Four miles. Which also happens to be in line with today's scheduled run anyway. So win-win? Maybe.

Really, I don't have any weeks to spare with training so missing one Not even kinda, it just does. I don't have time to worry about things, and I don't have time to stress the miles. I only have time to get it done, and not think about it.

So I got it done. Goliath and I ran four, a 2x2-and he wanted to dilly-dally in the creek, and chase squirrels, but not today. We forged two miles out, and we forged two miles back. It was almost like I need to proved to myself that I could still run, and well prove to everyone on the trail too. There are days, that I still feel like that chubby girl trying to lose weight and I wonder if that's what people see me as. Does it even matter, Julia? Does it even matter? No, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it.

I guess in a lot of ways I am still the chubby girl trying to lose weight if I continue to doubt myself as much as I did this week.

Total Mileage: 4.0
Time: 38:09

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Out of Gas

Last week was a recovery week during training, so my mileage dropped to an absolutely minimum.

Halfway through the week, I noticed a lymph node that had been slightly swollen seemed to almost quadruple in size. I was asymptomatic and had no other implications of viral infections.

Nervous, I backed off running for one day to see if that would help. Perhaps the heat, sweat, etc etc were agitating it.

After six days, I finally went to the doctor and had some tests done.

I've got the green light to run, but I can't seem to shake a feeling of fear.

I hate having a burden of knowledge, and I hate constantly checking myself right now.

I have skipped two more runs since being okayed to run.

I need to run.

I need to run.

Friday, July 23, 2010

When It All Goes to Hell

The best runs can turn into your worst runs. I read recently in Runner's World that when you start to get better at running, you have more bad runs than not. Theoretically, this makes sense to me. When you start out running, it seems like you'll never be able to run a mile without walking and that averaging fifteen minutes a mile is something to be proud of. Once you are able to comfortably run a mile, you move on. You build stamina, muscle strength and a lactate threshold. Then a year later, you can average 9 min/miles for 10 miles.

But just because you can do something, doesn't mean you always should. AND just because you've done something once, doesn't mean you can always repeat it as often as you'd like. As a runner, I think it's hard to recognize progress. Forward progress is usually measured in seconds, and much like losing weight, initially the first few minutes come off pretty easily but the last few seconds can take years to lose. In a year, you can go from average 15 min/miles to 8:30s if you so choose, but if you want to go from 8:30s to 8:00s get ready for a long tumultuous journey down frustration path.

There are so many metaphors that come to mind, when trying to articulate this point but that is erroneous. I bring this all up because, much like many of my counterparts, I put an inordinate amount of pressure on myself to improve. Training is my time to do so, and I put a lot of emphasis on my long runs. Which, hey-I know can be detrimental-but it's what I do, so sue me.

Sunday, Goliath and I set out for twelve. Eek. Very proud of myself, I woke up early enough and fueled. All my long runs are suppose to be at 10:04/mile pace, but I see that and go pfffft that's so Julia2008 and shoot to push 9:00s. At our split, I felt fantastic. WOOOHOO Just ran six in 46! Then I made a mistake, I sat down on a bench. Took out my iphone, snapped a few pictures-where else do you think the pictures come from? When my two minutes were up, I went to move but neither of us wanted to go anywhere. I gave myself another two minutes, and before I knew it I'd been sitting on that bench long enough for someone to have run a mile.

Begrudgingly, I got up. Shook out my hammies and started out. Each half mile, I stopped. Evaluated. Walked a little and checked my pulse, and pace. For the run in me, I could not break this cycle. Finally, I started saying Okay, just run to the end of this song then you can walk so I would, and a new song would start and I'd say the same thing. Finally, about mile eight I got my groove back. I think I was a little intimidated by the mileage, I KNEW I could run six but double that? Meh...

Well, Stella got her groove-but someone didn't get the memo. Goliath and were trucking along, and we were about half a mile away from a water fountain when SPLAT! Someboddddy decided he wanted to play in the creek, and kinda forgot he was attached to me. Goliath jolted into the creek to my right, and I slipped down an embankment of mud and kerplunked flat on my back. ouch to the ego and to the back.

I swear I wear other shorts...these are just my fav.
So Yeah, I was soaking wet and covered in clay-like mud and boy was it AWESOME. My shoes were full, and it looked as if I had poopied myself. We jogged to the water fountain where I rinsed off my hands and ringed out my shirt. I splashed water on my face, but that seemed redundant. There really is no moral to this story, except that if you join your dog to be four-legged running machine make sure they remember that at all times.

Total Mileage: 12.05
Times: 2:27.33

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Rock the Crossroads 5k Recap

Welp, I ran a 5k on Saturday. The heat index was 109+ and it was an inaugural race.

Rock the Crossroads 5k is a course through the crossroads art district in KC, which is downtown. So lots of asphalt and buildings with glass reflecting heat. It was just hot. Record breaking hot. Did I mention it was hot?

Determined to place in my age group, and perhaps set a PR I took off rather quickly. They had pace group signs, but they disappeared before guntime. Regardless, I had my garmin so I could pace myself. So I take off and I'm pushing myself really hard and MAYBE one minute in I think to myself Wow, can't do this race, stop now. Something in my head just went, nope not gonna do it. I wasn't even a mile in-so yes, this will be a story about the little runner girl who could, but didn't want to.

Finally, mile one came around and I felt like I had been running a lot faster-but alas it was 8:47 minutes in. The mile marker was on a corner, at which we turned right. So this big gob of runners take a sharp right and there lies a half mile long hill. Not even exaggerating more than 75% of the runners at my pace or better were picked off by this baby. They stopped to walk, but yes I did keep going.

Yay, cliches! I just told myself I really wasn't allowed to quit and that what goes up must go down. At the top of the hill was the only water station for the course, and the line for water was line. My ego drove me right on by, thinking maybe my counterparts would stop and this could give me a leg up. After, all there was only a mile and half left-water could wait. The rest of the course took us through the Power and Light District, where bar goers and patrons gazed with confusion.

There were timers at each mile and I knew even with me being the last person to cross the start pads, there was no way I'd be setting a PR or even placing in my age group. When that realization set in, the pressure came off-but unfortunately by that time I only have 0.1 left and the finish line was in sight. So I turned it out, passed a few people in the last few hundred meters and finished.

I waited for my buddies to finish, and we entered the after party. Free beer! YAY! I knew I'd regret it Sunday, but it was cold and I was hot. We sat around and cooled off as much as we could, drank my brew and headed to get some frozen yogurt. It was a good time despite the blistering sauna of a course. I ended up placing 9th.

Mileage: 5k, 3.1 miles
Time: 27:20 (boo :( )

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Higher and Higher

Julia's Do's and Don'ts for Hill Repeats
  • Don't run hill repeats when the heat index is 109 degrees
  • Do pick a hill that is at least quarter to half a mile long. If you need to run seven miles of hill repeats, you probably don't want to be running up and down the same hill 42 times.
  • Don't expect to run hill repeats at your 5k pace, take it slow-this isn't a work up to build speed, it's about strength
  • Do take water
  • Don't be afraid to walk, even if it's just downhill
  • Don't pick a hill with heavy construction, traffic and newly laid tar-you'll likely induce an environmental asthma attack with a SUV full of frat boys watching
  • Do pick a decent grade of hill, but not one that you need ropes and pulleys to climb
  • Don't think people watching are even remotely keyed in to what you're doing, so when you stop at the bottom to turn around and go back up don't worry about if anyone saw you and thought "What a slacker, they just stopped their run"
  • Do trick someone into doing this workout with you
  • Don't expect to run 5 miles of hill repeats on your first time
  • Do invest in a foam roller, and take extra good care of your muscles after
  • Don't pay any mind to your pace, or overall time
Got any tips of your own? Post them!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just Wastin' Time

I don't particularly mean to be such a lazy blogger, I swear. Once a week updates are pretty turdariffic. If I had the time to write a post immediately after each run, I swear I would. Unfortunately, unlike when I originally started blogging, I no longer have the time. When the Bosky Blog was conceived, it was thought that the purpose would be a running log: to track mileage, progress and my races. I never thought I'd have 75+ followers and I never thought that when I start migrating rambling running thoughts into run-on sentences that I'd actually discover things about myself.

Finding the time to log five miles proves to be difficult lately, which isn't cool since I'm-ya know-training for a trucking marathon. So you can put 2 and 2 together: if I can hardly squeeze in a five miler, it's probably even more difficult to figure out how to write about the fiver. Yeah Julia, we get it. Running is hard. Blogging is time consuming. Life is soooo hard. Wah wah.

Well, I've been writing this post for like twenty minutes. Why? Because I have nothing to say. I was just tired of see these photos in my "Edit Posts" list. See, I have good intentions. I take a ton of photos for the blog, and then I upload them to the blog that day. Then I let the pictures dictate the post, unfortunately as of late more pictures have been falling on the editing room floor if you will. Not enough is getting written. So I will work on that.

This week look forward to: A 5k Recap, a How to on Hill Repeats, Long Run Recap and the completion of the blog roll!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All the Courage You Have Left

Two weeks complete. Roughly eleven more to go. Now, that I'm officially training for the KC W&R, I gotta say I feel like a total bad ass. I know I'm a pretty decent runner these days, and I know I've come a looooonnng way-but following a training schedule makes me seem so official. I am running with a purpose now. Clearly all my half marathons were self-derived and Goliath inspired running plans. I went off some Internet acquired know-how, basic running principles and a dog's energy. Obviously, not the best strategy but it worked-but I don't think it will be get satisfactory results for 26.2 miles.

My second super-official-marathon-training-long-run, we shall call these SOMTLR from now on, was this Sunday passed. I slept in, WOAH major surprise there, and ended up pushing the run back into the afternoon. Luckily it was raining, again. Mother Nature knows I run better in the rain. There's something about my playlist, being with Goliath on a muddy trail and just putting my heart into a run that makes me feel like an epic Nike commercial. The song "Shots" by LMFAO is like the most annoying song, unless I'm running. It's perfect for my cadence, and regardless of the lyrics it makes me move.

Maybe I rely too much on my ipod. Sure, I'd love to be some crunchy granola runner with no shoes and natural deodorant, but the reality is that I'm not. Running is easier if I can put a soundtrack to it, and sorry but I run for so many reasons and none of them include adding stress to my life. A bad run stresses me out, it puts pressure on my next run and fills me with self doubt. Logging nine miles in one day is not second nature to me, but getting lost in some fun Bieber on mile six definitely makes it feel like it is.

By our split, Colbie Caillat was calming down my playlist. I put songs like her's on there, because I unintentionally slow down. Sometimes I need that reminder, sometimes I don't but on this run it came just at the right time. I let my heart rate recover to 60%, stretched and allowed Goliath to explore the banks. By that time, the clouds had cleared and the sun was evaporating all the fallen rain. Steam was coming off the trail's pavement, and that's when my power song came on.

I have a special relationship with "All the Above" by Maino, and admittedly when I think about how motivating it has been to me and all the races and runs it's pushed me through, I get overwhelmed emotionally. So no, I've never been shot or spent hard time in prison-but I can relate to songs, running wise I guess. It's a song about struggle. I struggle on even my easiest runs. It's a struggle for me to put my shoes on most days, let alone spend the upside of an afternoon running. I struggle just to break into the middle of the pack. So, what's up Maino-I struggle too and thank you for making me a better runner.

We pushed nine that day. We spent the rest of the day recovery couchside with ice.

Total Mileage: 9.05

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I want to make some improvements to TBB. If you haven't checked it out, we have a "What I Ate Today" page now.
There will be a blog roll page: If you'd like to linked on our blog roll page please comment belooooow with your bloglink and a brief description.
Starting next month, there will be a featured follower page. Each month, TBB will feature a runner or dog lover or weight loss super star. The page will include their story, their picture and why they inspire TBB. If You think you have what it takes please email TBB at [email protected] with a photo and your story. Each month's featured follower will receive a prize unique to their story and ambitions.
Are you currently training for a Fall Marathon? Do you want to virtually train with us? Watch out for virtual training page and instructions on how to participate.
As always if you have any suggestions, comments, concerns or advice: Please leave all of the above in the comment section belooooowww!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Poundin' Head and an Achin' Back

Running with a dog is no joke. You can clock your fastest mile, and slowest in one run. You can have an amazing split, or a split that leaves you with a torn groin. You can become one with your four-legged-partner and be completely in-sync for a hundred meters, and then you can become the body attached to a leash that's preventing the hunter from getting his prey.

I've said in the past that in achieving goals, especially weight oriented ones, it's important to have an anchor. If you've been subscribing and following since the beginning of The Bosky Blog you know who my anchor is, and it just so happens that my anchor can run 20 mph if he so chooses. Unlike most people's anchor, mine is not only figurative but quite literal. He's on a rope, that pulls me.

This goes without saying as well, but the sled-dog in him makes for a unruly leash dog. Anyone with a dog that's bred to draft knows that you strap a leash on they instinctively go: "PULL PULL PULL MUST PULL." Goliath is no different. You know this. Studies show that dogs who were bred to work are missing a neurotransmitter that tells them when to stop, which quite literally means some dogs will and can work or run themselves to death.

There are mornings where I feel like I am missing the neurotransmitter, and then there are days when I WISH I didn't have it. Intrinsically, humans aren't designed to run forever. We aren't fashioned for the purpose to save Alaska, like Balto. Being able to run for 3.1, 6.2, 13.1, 26.2, 50+ are feats we train and condition ourselves to do. So while I have spent two years training myself for various distances, I've also been simultaneously leash training. Continually leash training.

Not a day goes by where Goliath doesn't forget he's attached to me. He has dislocated fingers, and my shoulder, popped my wrist, abetted in pulling groin muscles more than three times and was the primary reason for a pretty severe knee injury last winter. Why do I reiterate this? I've come to resent running with him. He's clearly a better runner than I, and ok I'll say it-although more skilled, he can make running for me miserable. I never thought I'd get to point where running with him would be more chore than choice. For the last month, I convince myself to go without him-but the guilt alone would ruin a run.

The obvious toll that 70lbs on a nylon leash puts on my frame has really been starting to get to me. After a long run with G, I not only feel like I ran X miles but I also feel like I was abused along the way. My right arm feels like it should be amputated, groin needs to be iced from all the awkward jerks after squirrels and my back and neck are so exhausted from straining to be his resistance. Honestly, I'm not sure how my body has handled it for so long. I've built up callouses so I no longer get leash burn, but that's about the only adaptation I've made to compensate.

Clearly, something needed to change. Kinda desperate I looked into obedience classes, made some calls-but a lot of trainers echoed one of my biggest fear: It's instinct, you can train a dog until you're blue in the face but instinct will always be there. No, no one said he couldn't get better-they just warned, it might always be a problem. Wednesday, I stopped in PetSmart sans Goliath to pick up his monolithic bag of food. I meandered through a few aisles, just to see if there was anything I was missing and I found myself in collars and leads. My heart got a little heavy, wishing that it was just as easy as a retractable 1/8 inch thick nylon chord. I longed to purchase the 6 feet of Jayhawk bedazzled nylon. Then, something caught my eye. It was bright. It was orange. It whispered my name. The hunting leads gave me a little wink, and said Hey we are made for prey-driven-workin'-dogs. I pulled eight feet of lead off a rack, and held it in my hands like I had just received prophecy.

Reality, quickly set in. Being orange and having two more feet of nylon isn't going to solve genetics. ...but maybe...No, I knew it wasn't like I'd snap on this lead and Goliath would suddenly think Oh hayyyy, shiny new leash? Better behave! So I hung it back up, and headed toward check out-until something else whispered my name. Julia...have you ever though about trying something like ME out? A baltic blue harness said. Why no? Think it would help?

I stared at the Large Breed harnesses. Fully prepared to bite the bullet, and put my foot in my mouth. Being such a snob, I've always said that MY dog will never wear a harness, he'll be properly trained. How foolish of me. How judgemental of me. How incredibly incredibly stupid of me that the answer was here, all along and I IGNORED it because of pride. I quickly grabbed the harness, backtracked to the bright orange wonderfulness-and checked out before you could say fartlek.

I sped home, clumsily fit Goliath into his new hardware. The garmin logged five miles, and it was magical. No, not the garmin-the run. Goliath and I formed this totally invincible running machine. I looped him around my waist, so he was at my center of gravity. I didn't even notice him, and we both had the most fantastic time. When we arrived home, a little tear made it's way out. I tried to tell Logan how amazing it was, but words couldn't describe. I love Goliath, and I love running too-but I love running with Goliath more than anything. It's our common ground, and without it I don't know if I have much to offer him. So thank you PetSmart harness and hunting lead, you saved my life.


Mileage: 5.01
Time: 48:01.12

Monday, July 05, 2010

Rain Is A Good Thing

Sunday = Long run day! I think it was so exhausted, that it's prevented me from updating.

Goliath and I woke up around 4:30AM to run 9 miles. Why so early? Well we had plans at 10AM and that's the price you pay for being a marathon-runner-in-training and, I guess being my dog.

When we started pacing, it was slightly humid and still dark. The fog lifted, and then the rain set in.

It misted, then it sprinkled and then it poured. By the time it was dumping inches, we were at our split and waiting it out under a bridge. Several other runners and bikers whized by, probably thinking we were wusses-but the short break paid off.

The rain halted, we set off and half a mile later it picked back up.

As it was raining, I started thinking about my half marathon PR at Rock the Parkway. It was pouring rain, even hailing. I thought of this because, never have I ran so well in my life until that race and it was in horrid conditions-so why not during training am I sluggishly pushing each quarter mile and dreading the rain? Maybe it was the leash burn or maybe lack of sleep, but just recognizing that I could perform better in worse circumstance made me run just a little better.

Goliath, of course, ran just fine. Especially with the prospect of creamy Jiff in his future.

Total Mileage: 9.0
Time: 1:28:03

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Put Your Foot in My Nikes

Last night was beautiful. Beautiful. After a long week, I was really looking forward to a night with the dog. The hubs had plans with his little brother, so it was just GoGo and me. We lounged around, snacked on some apples and peanut butter and ultimately wound up at the dog park. A weekend ritual that is seemingly unavoidable. Goliath's girlfriend Sarai (a boxer-mix) was there, along with his boxer pal Mishka. Another boxer showed up, 9 month old Archie. The four of them created the ultimate-boxer-club, and I'm pretty sure they thought they owned the park. That is until a Malamute named Seneca wanted in on the fun. Unfortunately, the OP Boxer club was much faster and Seneca was always late to the party. Doggy separatism aside, I had a good time with my fellow-furparents. It's pretty funny the people you meet just by forced interaction.

No surprise here: I overslept this morning, and didn't get start on training until close to 11. There's some Fourt of July festivities being set-up on my trail, yes I said it MY trail. So we took a right turn over a bridge to explore part of the trail we'd never explored. Much to our dismay, after 0.3 mile it lead to a deadend on a street. No wonder we'd never gone down that way. After two miles, we took a hiatus in the fountain. Today, it was hot enough that I got in. Say what you want, I was a kid this afternoon. Goliath was ecstatic to have me in the water with him. Several people joined us, and played with G too.

Both soaking wet, we finished the run. Happily. I like to think it was obvious we had been playing in water, but I think the looks we got means that people assumed I was just really sweaty.

This picture courtesy of Patty K. who took this and emailed it!

I burned 497 calories on the run, so what better way to replenish the deficit? FROZEN CUSTARD! The Bosky Family piled in our car, and ventured to Sheridan's for some delish custard. We particularly love this place because they serve complimentary doggie cones. Too bad a doggie cone doesn't suffice for this Goliath-sized sugar tooth.

Mileage: 4.0
Time: 38:13.04

Friday, July 02, 2010

Wasted on Fixing All the Problems

As I type this, I'm sitting on the right hand side of our bed with my husband to my left sprawled out on his back and Goliath to my right, belly up on the floor passed out and twitching in a dream. So why am I awake? Urm, I woke up at 5am to run 4 miles-that's why. No need to rejoice, I'm irritated at myself. Why? I'll also tell you. It all starts with last night's choices, which included....

a full liter of long island ice tea.

I mean, maybe the drink alone wouldn't be so bad-but paired with nachos, fries and whatever it was that I grazed off of friend's plates it's a major problem. Like Apollo to Ground Control, we have a problem-problem. But really who can turn down a liter of long island for $5....and nachos?....and fries?....and whatever it was that I grazed off of friend's plates? Well I know I can't-could you?

When you make compromises with yourself, that should be a red flag that you probably shouldn't be doing whatever it is. If you have to bargain with your own conscience, probably not a good decision to begin with right? This is what I did: Ok Jules, you can drink this but you still gotta run tomorrow no matter what-even if that means puking the whole way. Puking, I can handle, but it was the acid reflux-bloat-headache train that I hopped this morning. My alarm went off, and I argued with myself for like ten minutes. I guzzled some water, sipped a little coffee for a boost and put my foot to pavement.

What was suppose to be four, quickly became a quick and easy two mile run. Burping over and over became not only miserable, but absolutely unbearable. A mile in I knew, sometimes you can just tell-no matter what: this isn't going to be a good run, and the only thing that's going to make it better is to recognize that. Luckily, there wasn't anyone on the trail so Goliath got a little off-leash freedom.

We took it down to a slow jog, explored a little, turned around and finished up strong. No matter what I'm burping up, just being out with my pup on a beautiful morning is an awesome thing. I shouldn't be mad at myself right? I am a serious runner, but I also have a serious social life-and maybe I'm ok with sacrificing a little training for a little fun.

Mileage: 2.11
Times: 20:58.10

PS: please check out some new blog features! I've added two pages: Races and What I Ate Today...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Just Win Baby Win

I got it!! I got it!! A Garmin Forerunner405CX that is!


I'm so geeked out. What happens when you take a nerdy, science fiendish runner and introduce a GPS enabled running watch with a heart rate monitor and a touch swivel bevel? Well ladies and gents, you get the happiest girl on the planet Earth.

I owe my new found happiness to a good friend, Justin H., an engineer at Garmin. With his employee discount, and a few months of saving my dream became a reality. You see-since I started running, I've been an avid nike+ user. Don't get me wrong, I love it and the little voice in my ear-but the accuracy was off, and it also did nothing for my fitness. I wanted to see where my heart rate was, if I was improving and many many more details I longed to know. NIKE+ has pushed me through six half marathons, and two years of running but the Forerunner405CX will take me to that next step in running.

Sure, it's going to give me tons of useless data that I could spend hours and hours attempting to interpret and draw conclusions from-but the point is: it has that capability whether I decide to use it or not! HA-you probably thought I was going to say something profound, but you should know better especially if you've been reading for a while.

This goes without saying but I couldn't wait to run with my new gadget. As soon as I got home, I geared up and leashed up and took off. It was kinda funny, having this thing on my wrist and a HRM band I felt like someone was watching me. So at first, it was a little awkward. I had to come to terms with my new running partners, and recognize that they aren't judging me. They are there to help me train.

Five miles later, I felt death warmed up. I was so excited about my new toy that I wasn't really aware of how tired I was or the heat. Goliath was even a little tuckered. Running on the trail, with so many people around I almost expected other runners to stop and go "HAAAY!!! Is that a 405CX?" but nobody did, Goliath stole the show as usual. Only people asking me what kind of breed he was, or telling me how happy he looked. What an attention whore, couldn't let the 405CX have a day. I will say, my favorite comment yesterday was from a lady who was walking with her husband who stopped and asked us what breed he was, as I answered "Boxer-husky," she smacked her husband and said "TOLD YOU!! I said he looked like a boxer but ran like a husky" I told her that might have to be my new tag line for the blog.

Mileage: 5.01
Time: 46:49.81