Some Healing Pain.

August 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Despite what my blog might reveal, I don’t just run to race.

Today’s run was supposed to short & slow, an easy day.  But sometimes I need a run more for emotional reasons than physiological reasons.  Today was one of those day.

I found out last night that someone very important to me is going through a rough patch.  A real rough patch.  And I can not help her right now.

So I’m a bundle of empathy, pain, fear, anxiety, hurt, anger, guilt, and love that I needed to release.  And, as fun as it may sound, going to a CPR class and talking about life-threatening situations touched too close to the heart today.  I spent most of my lunch hour on the phone with family sharing an odd mixture of tears & laughs.

After class, I had some time to get in a run.  I was “suppose” to do two easy miles.   But I needed to hammer some of the emotions out so I did 3 miles HARD.  It was hot today and I hadn’t eaten lunch so it was pretty tough.  I needed to feel some physical pain today to mask the emotional pain, hopefully washing some of it away.

In the process, I discovered that not only can you use the “talk test” to determine if you’re running aerobically or anaerobically but you can also use the “cry test”.  You can not run anaerobically and cry.  Trust me, I tried.

One thing that made this run even more poignant is that this person is one of my running heroes.  She is the one that motivated to start running again after I had given it up in college.  She is the person that has encouraged my running more than anyone.  She is the one that had the courage to run in college. She is the person that understands my passion for running better than anyone. She is the person that came to see me finish the Bjorklund half marathon this year.   So using running to cope in this situation was both extremely appropriate but also a painful reminder of what she is going through.

I don’t often use a run to burn off emotions like this–more typically I use them to refocus myself, to clear my mind, or just to escape.  But there have been a handful of times where I’ve run just to burn off pure emotion.

And now, I hope to return to my boring old blog about my training…


Oulu Rock Run Race Report

August 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

This race was two weeks ago and my memory isn’t that good so I’ll give the briefest summary: Went out too fast (6:43 first mile, 7:30, 7:36), mud, down-pour, and lightening.

I especially wanted to do this race because it is in the Town, Oulu, Wisconsin, that I grew up in.  It was at the baseball park 2.5 miles from my home–I spent many hours there playing, and later coaching, baseball.

The 5k  (closer to 3 miles to Mr. Garmin) which I ran started at 8:00 and about 8:05 it started to rain, which was fine, and around 8:08 it started to rain real hard.  All of that would have been great if there wasn’t some high-in-the-sky lightening that was a bit unnerving but I never actually heard thunder.

If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see the reflective strip is, well, reflecting.  My father took this picture and because of the rain clouds it was dark so he needed to use his flash.  The flash freaked me out at first because I wasn’t paying attention and out of the corner of my eye it seemed liked lightening.

It also looks like my left shoe lace is flopping around again.

The one thing that the rain effected was the 1 mile run got moved from 8:45 Saturday to Sunday afternoon.  That was a bit of a bummer because my girls ran the 1 mile but because of my schedule, I had to leave before they walk/ran.

My 11 year old.

And the six year old in jeans.

The best illustration of what a home-town race this was for me, there were five race officials at the finish area.  My aunt and uncle were the clock reader and race director.  I spent a lot of time during the summers growing up with them and my 3 cousins.  My uncle was running at that time so they brought me to a lot of the races I did in the 80s.

After passing the finish line, I ripped off the tag at the bottom of race number and handed it to another aunt and gave her a hug.

I didn’t notice it at the time but my  mother was writing down numbers along with the only non-relative at the finish.  However, this “outsider” was a girl from my high school class–we went to school together from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  So while not related, she is a good friend.

RRCA Coaching Certification Class

August 7, 2011 § 3 Comments

I just spent the last two days taking the Road Runners Club of America’s Coach Certification Class.

It was awesome.

First, Patti & Warren Finke, the instructors, are long-time runners, marathons, ultra-runners, and coaches.  Patti is an exercise physiologist, and has been the American age-group record-holder for 50km and 50mi.  She has been an Oregon Road Runners Club Age group runner of the year three times.  Warren has raced in over 170 marathons and ultramarathons–winning more than 20.  Twice he has been the U.S. track record hold for 100km.

Obviously, both are well qualified.

But their presentation is what really made the classes enjoyable.  The first day included a lot of lecture on topics like nutrition and physiology. The material was somewhat dull but they kept the class entertaining with antidotes from their 60+ combined years in the sport.

One of my favorite stories was about a competitor in the Race Across America bike race who started hallucinating in St Louis that his crew was a bunch of aliens trying to abduct him.  This racer later confessed that even after his crew caught him and got him to sleep a couple hours, that he thought all the way to Atlantic City that his crew was a bunch of aliens.

The second day was a bit more interactive as we broke into small groups and worked on developing training plans for Josefina, as interestingly played by Patti.

One of the side benefits I had not expected–and wish I had been able to take better advantage of–was meeting several other (better) bloggers.

Rebecca, me, Adam, and Ann

Rebecca from Michigan sat next to me the first day and works with Girls On the Run.  If I remember right, she works with over 80 different clubs in a 3 county area in the Detroit area.  I’m hoping to pry some more information from her as I try to get my program going.

Adam’s blog, The Boring Runner is tragically mis-named.  I wish my blog was half as entertaining as his.   Dude can run, too.

Unfortunately, I had less time to talk with Sporty Girl of Sporty Girl Jewelry Fame but she was extremely nice & she makes really cool sports-themed jewelry.

The long lectures on Saturday, coupled with the fact I hustled home to my family right after class instead of going to the restaurant, limited how much I got a chance to hang out with anyone.  I wish there had been a casual get together Friday night or a group run one of the mornings.  But I guess there’s always Twitter.

Again, the class was really amazing, I think I learned a lot–we’ll see when I take the test.  If I pass (and I complete my CPR & First Aid class later this month), I’ll be  a certified Running Coach.  I have a few goals in mind of what I want to do with that but even if I go no further than the experience I had this weekend, it was worth it and something I would recommend for any runner.  If you live in the Portland area (or Kona) , you might want to check out Team Oregon‘s training groups.

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