About Me

My photo
On Friday, August 5th, 2011, I signed a paper saying I would voluntarily run for 13."some odd" miles. What the heck was I thinking?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Last Stretch

So many milestones, so little time!!

Can you believe we're only a month away from my run? I can't.  It scared the poo outta me.  Am I ready? Am I going to make it the whole way?  What if I pass out on the course?  Do you pee yourself if you pass out?  Can you imagine?  First time half marathoner passes out in front of thousands of spectators and proceeds to urinate on herself and the first aid crew trying to revive her.  Dearrrrr...goodness.  I have an active imagination. 

I also have a habit of worrying.  Could you tell?  My biggest worry right now is that I won't hit my financial goal of raising $2,500 by November 28th.  That scares me to no end. I have so many generous friends, and I thank God every day for how helpful they are and how patient they have all been listening to my silly stories and complaints about not losing a SINGLE FREAKING POUND on this journey.  Nope, not one.  I'm trying to stay positive but when I'm faced with a deadline I go into stress mode.  And guess what? My deadline is looming...closer and closer and closer.

Saturday Jen and I ran 8 miles on the Mallard Creek Greenway.  Once again, BEAUTIFUL.  The fall leaves were gorgeous, the people were scarce and the dogs were happy.  It still amazes me that I can move my body in a forward motion for that far without puking, or going into some form of shock.  And yet when I'm finished I'm all cocky and thinking, "Yeah, of course I ran eight miles.  Cuz I'm awesome, and I'm kickin' some crazy butt!" 

Thankfully we didn't have to see nearly naked runner this week, but we did see a plethera of squirrels.  Squirrels with nuts in their mouths, squirrels who stood in the middle of the path so that I actually felt it necessary to shoo him OFF the path so it didn't run up my leg and bite into my jugular.  Have I mentioned I'm paranoid?  HEY!! Suirrels can be rabbid too ya know?  And my jugular is just so vulnerable and out there...right under that weak skin of my throat.....eeeeeeks.  It's POSSIBLE!!!

Two things happened on Saturday that were fun for me!!! I got to pee in the woods again while Jen kept an eye on the track for would be peeping Toms! And then I had to blow a snot rocket. I couldn't help it! My nose was running, and I couldn't sniff enough to keep it back. It just needed to get out of its confines and greet the day!!! So it did...right behind Chipper Jen.  I think she started running faster to get away from me.  But I can't be sure.
After we ran, I'm embarassed to say we went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and an egg white sandwich.  Well, I definitely got the sandwich...and a large mint chocolate mocha.  Large.....on ice.....probably 3,500 calories. I CANNOT figure out why I can't lose weight. It's just weird.

Tuesday night I missed my chipper Jen, but I was quite entertained by Chatty Val and Urinating Jackie.  Val and Jackie are amazing people.  Val has no problem walking up to a complete stranger, telling them they will in fact be donating to her cause and this is how much they are going to spend.  Then she will explain to them she'll be hitting them up after the holiday for more money with a great smile on her face and a shrug of her shoulders as she places the money they just handed her into a pouch.  She's creative, she's direct, she's amazing.  I love it.  Jackie...likes to pee. He likes stories about peeing, he likes to tell others where he's peed before, where he's not had a chance to pee, about when they got to pee in porta-potties because of the construction....anything about peeing, you can guess Jackie will have a story about it. If I need to go, he knows where there's a spot.  I appreciate that.

This weekend is 11 miles.  So I have 11 miles to run and $1,060 to raise.  No pressure!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are we there yet?

Is it too soon to start getting tired of this?  I'd like to say that after I run my half, I'm going to sign up for a full marathon. I'd LIKE to say that.  What typically runs through my head though is, "I can't wait for this crap to be over so I can get back to drinking high calorie beer, eating pizza and watching multiple episodes of Lost every night."  Of course there are the different runs that make me feel differently.  Tuesday was a good example of that.  I started out the run with my normal mile warm-up. My second mile was mostly running, but at a very slow pace.  But -dang- the third mile was FAST!  I think I kicked it up to a 13 minute mile baby! HAHAHA!

In all seriousness, when I have a good run like that I think I can do anything. I can run a full marathon. Maybe I can ride long miles on a bike.  Maybe I can....nahhhh...pizza, beer and movies for me please! 

And that leads me to Saturday's run.  It sucked. There really aren't any other words for it.  It was hard, it hurt, I was tired, it hurt, I was hungry, it hurt, and I was frustrated.  Did I mention it hurt?  Stupid shins.  My coach thinks I need new shoes again.  I keep hearing that I can run in my shoes for 300-400 miles.  I can't possibly have run that far. 

OH, and guess what else?  My new watch that I bought?  Yeah, didn't work on my Saturday run. I have to call India to figure out what's wrong with it.  Great.  Stupid thing wouldn't turn on.  I figured out how to reset the thing, but it wouldn't turn back on after that.  So now I have a very expensive, mint green, piece of plastic. 

Anywhoo, I digress.  I can't tell you enough how sucky Saturday's run was.  Chipper Jen wasn't very chipper.  I wasn't very chipper.  There is this one area by Lake Norman where the houses are gorgeous and the cars are expensive.  I usually like to run through that area and think what it would be like to live in those houses.  Saturday, however, the internal dialogue was more like, "Stupid rich people.  They can probably lay in their expensive beds watching their expensive tv's and lose weight.  They probably have expensive machines working their muscles without having to get out of bed.  HA, their maids are probably working out for them so they don't have to. I mean, like that rich woman really does her OWN laundry.  Puhleeze!  And who the heck drives a car out the garage, down one side of the street, and then down the other street into the other entrance of the SAME STUPID GARAGE.  MAN THIS HURTS!"  Yup, that was my internal dialogue. Not pretty, and not very motivational. 

Coach Jackie says, "Some days are diamonds, some days are dogs."  Sage advice Jackie, sage advice.  Jackie also enjoys peeing in the woods and then telling us he did that to get a good reaction out of us.  He'll say, "just thought you'd want to know."  His favorite thing is to let us know that he's not going to make it to the restaurant we eat at after our Saturday run before he has to pee. He usually stops at another restaurant on the way, and then announces it when he meets back up with us.  Oh, and did I mention his annoying habit of running quickly between us?  Yeah, here I am thinking I've got a good pace going and he takes off like a bat out of hell to catch up to the next person and then runs back to me not even out of breath.  Grrr...knock it off!  AND, he eats a half gallon of ice cream EVERY DAY.  Are you kidding me?  He runs a marathon and eats ice cream every day.  I haven't lost a single pound and I'm eating healthier than I have in a long time. 

So, that's how my week has been. Among other frustrations that are more personal that probably didn't help along the way, it's been a crap week.  And yet, have no fear.  I will continue to run.  I will continue to raise the money I need to meet the minimum requirement to run.  I will keep going.  I'm not happy about it this week, but I ain't stoppin'.  No way, no how. 

Just keep running, just keep running...just keep running, running, running!!!  And maybe after I'm done, I'll sign up for a full.  Ya just never know.

Speaking of money, I'm still over $1,000 from my goal.  I need help.  If you haven't had a chance to donate yet, will you please consider giving five dollars? Maybe ten dollars?  I have to raise $2,500 to run in the race. 

You can donate here:  http://pages.teamintraining.org/nc/kiawah11/lmaurerakv

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chipper Jen

Pre Game Warm Up

You know the scene in "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie has just finished telling Santa in almost stunned silence that he wants a football, but then as he's getting shoved down the slide he stops himself and says, "No! No! I want an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"?  Santa laughs, tells him he'll shoot his eye out and then shoves him down the slide by slapping his shiny black leather boot on Ralphie's forehead.  That's pretty much how I felt picking out my new "gear".  See, I wanted a watch. I knew I wanted a watch that could calculate my pace, laps, distance, time, heart rate, location and elevation all while serving me a piping hot cup of coffee.  A girl can dream, right? But when faced with the decision (and frankly the price) of those monsters, I said, "Football...yeah, football" while pointing to the cheap Timex that guesses at your steps and heart rate and really just keeps track of how long you've run.  I mean, it's not like I'm a triathalete and need to be able to tell that I'm 50 feet higher than I was a mile and seven minutes ago.  But darn it, I wanted it!!!!  So I was mentally preparing myself to suffer with a plain ol Timex with the same grace which Ralphie suffered the pink bunny outfit Aunt Clara had made him.  Then my birthday money started rolling in.  And shazam!  Just like getting that Red Ryder BB Gun on Christmas morning, I started trolling Amazon for a Garmin Water Resistant Forerunner with Heart Rate Monitor and USB ANT Stick.  Do I know what an ANT stick is?  Uh, nope, but I wanted it! So I got it.  And I used it. And I shot my eye out.

So far on this journey I have relied on a couple different forms of motivation.  One being friends and family cheering me on, the other being a book called "The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women".  This book is freaking hilarious.  You can get it on Amazon.com for a steal.  The author, Dawn Dais, writes about her experience training for a marathon and the ups and downs of what she went through.  I have literally laughed out loud at this book till I cried.  My husband has asked if it's really that funny and the answer is "yes, yes it is THAT funny".  Dawn nicknamed her training coach "Chipper Jen" for a multitude or reasons that I'm assuming your logical brain can probably deduce on its own.  Which is completely ironic because as I'm reading this book preparing for MY half marathon, I realize I have my OWN Chipper Jen.

I can't say enough about Jen Biela.  We seem to have been paired together by something slightly more important than myself.  See, this is how it works in a nutshell.  We both show up to run early in the AM or late in the evening for our group run. Jen is all psyched and ready to take on the seven mile challenge. I'm ready to cry and puke in the back seat of her car.  About halfway through the run, we seem to change places and I start getting all psyched that I DID NOT puke and that we're more than half way there and I haven't died yet.  She gets all serious and starts to silently cuss me under her breath.  I'm pretty sure this last Saturday I got the "I'm going to chop you in small pieces and bury you behind that oak tree over there" look when I suggested we run two minutes and walk one instead of the other way around.  Thankfully she's also very patient with me and lets me jabber non-stop for the two hours it takes us to run our seven miles.  And she didn't hit me once!!!  How much more inspirational does it get?  :-)

Dodging Poop and Angry Squirrels

I've decided that one of the best things about running and exercising in general is that you get to go places you wouldn't normally go.  Saturday Jen and I went to the Mallard Creek Greenway (which has other names as well) and enjoyed the splendour of God's nature.  We saw things like piles of dog poo, large nuts chucked out of a tree by an angry squirrel, random locked fences leading onto the path and cat puke.  The normal stuff you associate with wild nature.  We also were surrounded by tall trees, an actual creek that wound around the path and quite a few bridges that crossed the more treacherous areas.  It was - in a word - beautiful.  When else would I get to see this? Certainly not while watching Episode 2, Season 4 of Lost. 

It's also nice not to be by yourself, that way when you're yelling, "COME ON YOU CAN DO IT JUST KEEP GOING ARE YOU KIDDING ME???" you don't like a total freak because there is technically someone next to you to receive the words...not just air, or the horses that happen to be in the field next to where you're running.  Being ABLE to talk while you're running is also quite nice.  It's coming on slowly, and getting a bit easier as time goes on. 

You know what?  Super skinny dudes running without a shirt gross me out.  I mean, I'm sure the guy was nice and all, but seriously?  He lapped us like four times. I'm pretty sure he ran 40 miles in the time it took us to run seven.  I don't even think he broke a sweat.  In FACT, I think to pay him back for his rudeness I'm going to find him this Saturday and force him to watch me run without MY shirt on...so THERE! 
There were plenty of other people to entertain Jen and I, and since we were now running two minutes at a time instead of one, we couldn't say anything to each other. We would just laugh and raise our eyebrows when we saw a character.  There was a blonde headed girl running like a gazelle. I know she ran like a gazelle because I was thinking it and then Jen said, "Dang, she runs like a Gazelle".....after we started walking again of course!  Then there was the three fingered wave dude, the guy with the iPod strapped to the back of his ball cap, the bird watchers that just didn't seem to make it too far, the landscape dudes we passed twice (they were holding still....doing landscaping), and there goes the skinny dude without a shirt on...again. 

Post Run Glory
Dunkin Donuts Coffee

Everyone knows that after a long run you have to celebrate.  You can't just walk away from something like that and say, "yeah, I just got done running seven miles, I think I'll go do some yard work".  NOOOO...you MUST celebrate first.  And what better way to celebrate making a healthy choice of running seven miles than by ordering a large vanilla LATTE from Dunkin' Donuts?  I can't think of a better way!  So I ordered a Large (Not tall or grande, but LARGE) Vanilla Latte, ice cold with whole milk.  Just the way I like it.  Mmmmmmmmm....goooooood stuff. 

I feel stronger, and more confident in running the longer runs now. I now know it's NOT going to kill me. I'm not going to randomly get some heart condition and fall down dead on a trail where no one can find me. Other people actually do exercise and would have been able to help me.  I'm not going to mysteriously collapse into a fit of crying and rage.  I AM going to keep running.  I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and make it to the finish line on December 10th.  God willing...and the creek don't rise. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mental Agility = Physical Capability

Be strong in the mind and you'll trick your body into thinking IT can be strong too!!  Just say to yourself, "Self, I know you THINK you are incapable of running 8 miles, but believe me, you can actually do this".  Then repeat that same thing about 5,000 times during the process of constantly propelling your 200 lb dead weights back and forth over the black top, and sure enough it's done!  Or, as Dory would have sang to herself if she had legs and was in a completely different movie, "just keep running, just keep running". 

In all seriousness, if you would have asked me two months ago if I thought I could run a half marathon I would have said, "no way....not in a million years".  It's amazing how fast a million years go by.  Finding the right motivation, keeping your mind completely numb of the reality of the effort, pain, and time it takes to run more than a 5k, and comitting yourself to utter humiliation if you fail...yeah, that'll pretty much cause you to continue to move your legs forward no matter how bad you wanna stop.

Saturday was my longest run ever. I'm going to say that every time I write this you know?  Because just about every Saturday - until taper - we add another mile or something.  And every time we add a mile, I start to panick.  What if I can't do this?  What if I get to the mileage I got to last Saturday and my whole body shuts down?  What if I don't bring enough of those nasty jelly beans to gag on at the half way point and I pass out on the road and my coach doesn't see me DEAD on the sidewalk???? OH MY GOSH!!  Nah, not gonna happen.  I'll be fine.  And I was.

Saturday morning started out like every other Saturday morning run (HAHAHAHA).  I had a peanut butter sandwich to "fuel up", laced up my shoes and headed out the door before 7am.  What the HELL has happened to me?  This is NORMAL?  Geesh.  Anyway, this time was actually a little different. It was a big group run.  So there were tons of people from south Charlotte ready to run with us.  The cool thing about the group run is they have cheering crazy people at the water stops.  It sounds cheesy and it kind of is, but it's motivating cheesy.  I loved it.  Round about mile seven, it was EXACTLY what I needed to keep going.

The not-so-cool thing about a big group run is there are more skinny people to make me feel intimidated and freaked out that they are thinking that dimple in my right butt cheek really needs to be covered by something a little thicker than spandex.  Heck, I think it every time I slap those suckers ON!  SPANDEX....sigh.  Everyone is faster than me.  Jen said, "Don't let it bother you".  I told her, "I dont'".  I lied.  I do let it bother me.  I don't want it to, and I hate that it does. In the back of my head I'm thinking, "those skinny hussies are faster than me!".  But I shouldn't let it bother me.  And so, next time I will think on more positive things.  Like what flavor goo I like best. 

The BEST thing about the race?  Jen Biela.  Did I mention her yet?  Oh, only five hundred times?  Well, I can't help it. She's totally motivating.  She runs with me on Saturday and Tuesday. She runs because she was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma a while back.  She went through what she affectionately refers to as the "trifecta" treament.  I can't remember everything that's involved, but it has something to do with chemo and and medicine and something else.  I have a hard time thinking past the "I was diagnosed with cancer" part of her speech.  It gives me the hibbety jibbeties, and I've gotten to hear it a couple times. It's so hard to listen to, yet so beautiful to hear her triumph over it at the same time.  You rock Jen Biela.  I'm glad I met you, and I'm really happy we're friends. 

Physically this was definitely the most challenging run so far.  Remember that sandwich I mentioned earlier? Yeah that was NOT the problem. The five people who told me to give up red meat while running can now officially say, "I told you so".  About half way through the run I had the dreaded "stomach incident".  There are actually good things that come out of these incidents.  My "good thing" was adding a couple of 10th's of a mile to my run as a result of having to go the opposite direction to the local Harris Teeter to....well....you know. And all because the night before my husband cooked me my annual birthday steak on the grill. And I ate it.  And I regretted it the next day.  And I promise I won't explain exactly how.  All I know is, I got some weeeeiiiiird looks from the early morning cashiers at Harris Teeter when a red faced, chubby lady in spandex came quickly shuffling through the front door heading DIRECTLY for the bathroom. Nope...no mystery THERE.

Anywhoo.  I had my usual first two miles of pain and suffering typically equivalent to that of being forced to watch an episode of The View.  Actually the intense burning in my shins and cramping in my calves is no where NEAR the excruciating pain of listening to Joy Behar's nasty voice, but nasty none the less.  The funny things is, I'm getting used to when my body "loosens up".  I know when it should happen, and I can actually feel a general warmth easing its way down my legs and into my knees.  And then BOOM I'm off.  Yup, my pace increases from probably a 16 minute mile to a 15.5 minute mile.  Yes, I know there are 86 year old ladies who can walk faster than that, but it's MY pace and I love it.  Around mile five I felt my usual knee pain, but interestingly it didn't get WORSE.  It just stayed the same.  Here's where the mental game gets really tricky.  Between the crazy wigged ladies and guys clanging bells and the "woohoo"ing us through the water stops and the mentality of believing I was actually going to FINISH eight miles that day, I did not in any way fail myself.  I just kept going. I have no clue how.  I just kept the legs going forward. I was tired. I was sore.  I wanted to stop. I was actually starting to fantasize about my squishy bed at home and how comfy my pillow is.  But I kept going.  I just had to.  And Jen was running with me and I totally couldn't look like a failure in front of her.  So we finished it.

We ran to the finish area and I almost died.  The "mental game" stopped. I could barely move.  My knees were screaming at me.  My legs were cramping, and I had to EAT.  I knew I was delirious because I looked up and saw that group of "south Charlotte Skinny hussies" running to the finish line.  For one fleeting second I actually thought to myself, "Holy crap we beat them".  Then I remembered they ran 13 miles or something.  It took us the same amount of time to run 8 miles as it did the skinny hussies to run 13 miles.  Okay fine, I'll stop calling them hussies, they aren't really hussies anyway. They just look better in spandex than I do.

Every time I run I learn something.  I learn that I CAN do this.  I can run farther.  The pain does go away.  I can get up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.  I can talk to people I don't know without dying.  I can improve my distance and my time.  I can.  And when my 5 year old says, "I can't", then I can say, "Yes, actually you can!". 

What better thing to learn on your 35'th birthday?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Five miles is a lot...for me

Saturday, September 17th was my husband's birthday. He turned 33.  I figured that was a GREAT reason to skip the Saturday morning run so I could sleep in late, drink coffee and eat a big breakfast.  It was a good reason, right?  Sure, except that I still had to do my five mile run.  I've never run five miles before, so I think I was in some sort of denial about doing this run.  I just kept thinking of it as my now "normal" three mile run....I just have to run three miles, but really I have to run five.  It's cool if I have bacon, toast and eggs for breakfast, washed down with two cups of coffee.  Man, that bacon was gooooood.

So after the hubby left for work, I started to pidaddle around the kitchen, thinking to myself, "I really should put my stuff on and go run my three miles".  And in the back of my head I knew it was really five.  Fear of the unknown, even when it's just exercise, is still scary.  My typical Chubby Chick mantra kicks in and says, "What is this five miles going to feel like? Will I get injured? Where am I going to run?".  Luckily my new runner instinct kicked in and said, "Screw it, go put your clothes on and quit whining. Just do it already". 

So I worked on getting myself all pumped up, I grabbed my donated iPod with my three artists on it (Keb Mo, Big N Rich, and Enya...yeah...I know) and I laced up my now dirty and old looking shoes and headed for the park in my oh-so-sexy black and neon pink spandex pants and moisture wicking shirt.  I felt pretty hot heading out the door...well, not hot but I felt pumped...and the result is I felt like what I knew my hot self would look like in another 2.5 months after I've run a half marathon!!! WOOHOO...I'm getting there right?  Whatever.

So, all pumped and ready to go, I pull in to the park and it is PACKED with parents watching their little kids play soccer.  It was really a cool scene, all these old folk just sitting there all lazy, and I was going to show them who was boss. I was going to run five miles in front of their KIDS...oh yeah baby.  I turned on the iPod...nothing.  I hit the button again, still nothing.  I even tried the southern approach and mashed the button, STILL nothing.  Dang it.  No music for the run. No little British chick telling me I had run half a mile, then a mile...and then the anticipated five miles.  I would have to say it to myself....NOOOOOO.....dang it. Dang it.  ......  Dang it.

Okay, I can still do this.  I have my expensive shoes, I have my good attitude, I have purpose, I have an audience, and I can cheer myself on and sing to myself if I have to.  Right? Sure thing.  I start walking to warm myself up a little, and after I made it across the parking lot I looked at the sign with the trail on it.  One-point-one miles.  I can do this.  Just run around it four and a half times.  I'm good.  I start walking again down the trail. 

Now if you're my dad and you're reading this I'd like you to remember a day back in 1994 after we first moved to Fort Mill, SC.   Remember getting a call from your daughter who was at a gas station somewhere between Pineville and Rock Hill?  Remember me saying, "can you please have this nice gas station attendant explain where I am so you can tell me how to get home"?  I literally couldn't figure out which way to turn to get to Pineville versus getting to Rock Hill.  I was supposed to be in Pineville for my job, I ended up in Rock Hill.  Rock Hill is NOT Pineville.  Apparently that little episode has stuck with me through the years because after I stood starting at the sign showing the trail for running one....point...one miles, I realized I had not one clue what I was looking at. 

I ran to the right of the soccer field where all the cute little kids were punting the soccer ball around, and came upon a fork in the trail.  I could NOT remember which way to go.  Fortunately I picked randomly...and picked correctly.  And then after a few more minutes there was another fork.  Okay this is silly, how many forks does a "loop" need?  I turned right.  I look up - you have GOT to be kidding me. Another freakin' fork?  I turned right.  Um yeah, it was actually really easy.  it looks like this...  0-0-0  get it?  it's three circles connected by a small dash....and all I had to do was keep turning right.  I'm an idiot.

About half a mile into the trail, I noticed a young couple sitting on a bench enjoying the scenery.  There are lots of trees. And lots of people running. Lot's to laugh at. And that's exactly what they did. People, I'm not kidding, the kids laughed at me.  I ran by, and the girl snorted and cracked up.  The dude shook his head as I ran by.  I was mortified.  What a sight I must've been. I was red faced, bouncing around, dressed in spandex, and I was running.  Okay, get yourself together kid, they probably weren't laughing at you, seriously.  Now, this trail loops around a couple of different ways, and if you can believe this, on my way back around I had to get CLOSER to said couple.  I figured I'd see what happened.  Sure enough, the guy whispered something in the girls ear, she said, "oh my God" and then cracked up after I ran by again.  You know what I did in self defense?  I clenched my butt cheeks in an effort make them look smaller so I would feel better about myself, and maybe, just maybe they would say, "Oh wait, I thought that was the fat chick, guess I was wrong."  Yeah, you're getting a glimpse into my defective, downright crazy little mind.  Pathetic isn't it?

Now, this is just my first pass.  In one loop, I have to pass this couple twice.  So I figure this is going to be a LONG five miles.  And all the way down and all the way back up the loop all I could think about was what I was going to do if this couple laughed at me again.  I pictured stopping, walking up to them, and introducing myself.  I thought about cussing them out. (Sorry Pastor Brian, but I am just a mudball after all!)  I imagined giving them the blog website so they could read about how stupid they were.  I was so furious.  And beaten down.  But don't worry, the story gets better.

As I came back up the loop, they were leaving, and I had a new friend.  There was a 50 something year old Illinois guy walking up and down the loop in the opposite direction, and he said, "Funny seeing you again!" as I passed.  He laughed WITH me every time we passed each other.  Thank God for small things....a friendly stranger's face and funny words. 

So all that anger got built up into energy and a determination to show that lousy couple what I could do. I could run five miles, and all they could do was make googly eyes at each other while plopping their skinny butts on a bench and laughing at people who were actually trying to DO something about their situation. I can fix fat, they can't fix stupid.  So THERE....Yes, I was aware at that point they had left, but I had to prove them wrong anyhow....I'm telling you, I'm demented.  You'll believe me eventually.

Running has so many layers.  The mental aspect, the physical, the emotional.  When I got to mile three, I literally felt like I ran into a brick wall.  My brain just shut down and said, "okay, you're done now".  My emotional side was asking how soon I'd be able to gorge on ice cream and pizza.  Physically, however, I was fine.  My legs were feeling great, I had a good pace going, and I was actually passing the walkers for once.  So I had to keep going, and I did.  I kept GOING people....do you realize that I, Lori Maurer, ran FIVE MILES????? I did!!!!  I can...and I DID!  I don't know if I'm the only one that gets the gravity of this, but I totally ran five miles.  I even have a blister in a weird place on my foot to prove it. 

The funniest thing to me about this whole trip was my attitude in the last two miles.  I was grinning from ear to ear.  Every step I took was one step further than I had ever run before.  On the last leg of the loop, there is a little place with a picnic table.  There was a group of people - probably a few families with their kids.  They probably think I'm the strangest lady living in Concord, NC.  On my last loop, in the last 10th of a mile, they got to watch me run like Rocky with my hands above my head rocking it out, laughing hysterically shouting incoherent words that were meant to be, "yeah, I did it!!! I ran five miles, I'm awesome!!!".  I think it sounded more like, "Wheaaa, I schmidid.....Ewan fwive meeles.......hewehehehehehe...." I was completely incoherent.  And probably a bit dehydrated.  I'm pretty sure I heard one of them laugh, but honestly I don't blame them. I'm not kidding, I really must've looked weird. 

I ran all the way to the parking lot where I grabbed my water bottle for the 10th time (I took some breaks okay?) and I walked to the grass, collapsed and drenched my face and head with the water....and then drank some. 

As a victory celebration for RUNNING FIVE MILES, I ate um...a lot of food on Saturday.  I iced my knees, and I stretched a lot. But you know what? It still hurt.  A lot.  So much on Sunday that I limped down the stairs.  I limped up the stairs. I groaned, I moaned, and I comlained.  And to prove I'm demented, I did this in front of two ladies in their fifties who are still healing from getting both of their knees ripped out and replaced with fake ones.  I COMPLAINED ABOUT KNEE PAIN...in front of them.  Demented.

I was supposed to run a recovery run of three miles today.....I couldn't do it.  I'll do it tomorrow.  I promise. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Little Victories

Last Saturday when we ran our three miles, I discovered that I have two options.  Option number one is to be irritated and frustrated with myself during the first mile because it hurts, it burns, and my legs feel like two big lead tree trunks I'm trying to haul up and down a hill.  The result of that first option is that I don't get enjoyment or satisfaction out of the next two miles which are not quite enjoyable but definitely satisfying.  For some reason after the first mile of excruciating shin splints, I get this lovely cool feeling down my legs, my joints limber up and I can feel my legs lighten up quite a bit. I feel like I can move along at a steady pace and not fall on my face or look like a complete idiot limping up the road.  I find myself saying, "Lori, you suck.  You can't even run one mile without gasping for air, whining about your legs, and talking about how miserable you are.  If you can't run one mile how are you going to run a half marathon?"  The result? I get ZERO enjoyment out of the next two miles.

So on Tuesday night I chose the 2nd option.  I chose to listen to my body and run/walk the first mile, and I didn't beat myself up. I chose positive self talk, and positive reinforcement. I chose to remember that the first mile is the hardest, and that doesn't make the next two useless; It makes them worth it.  So when I got the rushing cool feeling in my legs and I could run without pain I went after it. I chugged up the annoyingly long and steep "Gathering Oaks" hill and made it to the top with no pain and a sense of victory!  By the time I finished my three miles, I had a different attitude, a sweaty back, swollen hands, a very red face, and I felt like a RUNNER.  I haven't felt like a runner so far.  Doing three miles every time I run now, I'm totally a runner.  Yup, "Lori, the runner".  Soon it'll be "Lori, the half marathoner".  And as dorky as I used to think those 13.1 stickers were, I think I'm going to get one. And I might even clean a spot on my car for it.  Hey, at least it's not those little stick people. 

On a side note, anyone else ever wanted to go out and buy those stick people but do it wrong. Like buy two women, three men and a dozen kids?  Doesn't that just scream, "I belong to a freaky religious cult!"? 

Okay, back to my running questions. I'm dying to know why my face turns sooooo red when I run and then stays that way for up to an hour.  I seriously look like I got fried in the sun on a beach in Florida, it's so red.  Is that a bad thing?  The coach didn't say anything, but it's pretty obvious.

Another funny thing happened at my Tuesday night run.  I got there all jacked up because I had run up the hill the Saturday before, and I was all pumped about running again. I was feeling pretty stoked, and I walked up to the other TNT folks that were waiting for the coaches.  (Someday I'll tell you about the coaches, but I have a feeling the story will be even better as I get to know THEM better. They are characters!)  One guy started talking about how at the last tri he did there was a guy that died of a massive heart attack right in the middle of the race.  Well, one story led to another, and soon enough other people started showing up sharing their stories.  So here I am, out of shape, almost 35 years old listening to stories about people only a little older than me dying during a race.  Talk about getting you pumped up to do something physical!  All I could think of was, "If I die on the course, who will go tell Aaron?  And then all Aaron will say is, 'I refuse to ever do anything physical again, it killed my wife'".  I kept thinking all these terrible things about people just falling over on the course and what do you do? Well, according the guy with the first story, you give them a wide berth and keep on going.  How the HECK do you run around a dead guy and just keep going?  Not sure I could handle that.  Yeah, I guess that wasn't all that funny, but apparently people die all the time during these bigger races.  That's comforting.

Not to switch subjects again, but I'm going to. Why in the world does a pair of running pants that constricts your legs cost 65$?  Black shiny lycra, size large, hugging the dimples in my BUTT, and I wanna pay 65 DOLLARS to do that?  No thanks.  Oh, and the shirts are around 40-50 bucks.  And they are tight.  And the people who SHOULD be running are us chubby folk.  I'm going to open a chubby chick running store. I will sell running clothes for chubby people that are comfy and don't show off the 2nd dimple from the top on your right cheek like a flashing red light bulb on a dark and stormy night.  Good grief!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Step, Toot, Step, Toot, Step, Toot

Tonight's run was hilarious on so many levels.  First of all, it should have happened at 7am this morning.  This would have been my second group run, but I bailed.  I'm cutting myself a little break because my mother in law has been in the ICU with severe bilateral pneumonia for the last three days. She got to a regular room today and is doing really well, thank GOD!  Thank you friends for all your prayers and thoughts for the last couple days, I can't tell you how much they were appreciated. Aaron and I have been spending quite a lot of time at the hospital as you can guess.

Anyway, I digress.  I was SUPPOSED to go at 7am, but I bailed after my alarm went off at 6 and I couldn't get my crusty eyes open.  I spent the rest of the day shopping for work clothes, visiting the MIL at the hospital, and then buying a new television.  Probably the last thing we need.  Well, I got all agitated when we got home past dark and said I HAVE to run my three miles tonight. I can't go without it.  I bailed this morning, but I have to get it done.  So I put my clothes on, marched outside and began a 3.1 mile run in...my....driveway.  I measured it.  My driveway is .06KM long from garage to street.  Think about how many times I had to run back and forth from the garage to the street, street to the garage...over and over and over.  In the dark.

I had my Nike + iPod thingy in my ear cheering me on at every 1K, and that was really helpful. Here is a little trip down Lori's driveway run.

.5K - Large bug flies in my mouth. I have to stop for a second to spit it out and keep from gagging and puking in the driveway.  Wash my mouth out with water and keep going
1K - Dang, our garage needs a new coat of paint.  I sure can see where I backed into the garage door with the light reflecting that way
1.5K - Do you know what happens when you eat a burger with cheese and onions on it one and a half hours before you run? It sounds a little something like, "toot, step, toot, step, toot, step".  Come ON, I'm not the only one this has happened to.  Don't groan.  Admit it...at least to yourself, you don't have to comment or anything.  At least I'm honest.
2K - I begin talking to myself.  "C'mon Lori, don't bail. If you can't make it 5k tonight, you won't be able to make a half marathon in December. You CAN do this, keep going."  Yes, it was out loud.
2.5 K - I'm halfway there.  My legs are finally starting to numb up and lose that dead weight feeling and my shins are loosening up and starting to feel a little better.  This strange ice cold feeling starts needling it's way down my legs and making me  feel really tired.  I've never had this feeling before, but it doesn't hurt, it just feels weird. So I fight through it. And walk quite a bit at this point.
3K - My neighbor across the street comes home, backs his F250 into his driveway and as he sat with his headlights shining across to my driveway blinding me I imagined him wondering, "What in the blazes is that crazy lady doing?".  At this point my lungs feel about three sizes bigger than normal and yet completely useless.
3.5K - I realize that my ipod must not have synced correctly.  So far I've listened to three artists.  Enya, Big & Rich, and Keb Mo.  Interestingly enough, I enjoyed running to Enya much more than Big and Rich.  Keb Mo was just okay.  But it's weird listening to Orinoco Flow and feeling motivated to keep going.  Sure...whatever.
4K - I'm getting pumped about being almost done, and I run to the road yet again...this time, I hear a rustling in the leaves in the ditch at the end of my driveway.  I almost jump out of my spandex.  This shortens the distance of my driveway run from .06 to about .04. I will not be running NEAR the leaves.  God help me.
4.5K - I'm pretty sure I'm losing my mind.  I hear things everywhere. I'm starting to think that white van that just drove down my road is a kidnapper waiting for me to run to the road for the 250th time.  I'm almost certain there is a stalker in the bushes next to the garage.  What if there is a skunk out here? What if there is a pack of coyotes in my yard waiting for lap 1000 to attack me and rip my blubbery body to shreds?  Okay, time to focus on something else.
5k - Crazy neighbor lady is jumping around with her arms in the air shouting, "I made it....I made it....I made it...I made it!"

Can you believe I made it????????

Monday, August 29, 2011

Positive Self Talk Begins NOW

So this weekend I spent an amazing two and a half days at Bristol Motor Speedway working the booth for Irwin Tools and watching the NASCAR Irwin Tools Night Race.  I think I'm a NASCAR fan!!!  Well, probably not a fan, but I definitely have a whole new interest in the sport.

When we arrived Thursday we were almost immediately whisked away to the center of the track where we walked around pretty freely, and then we were all treated to a ride in a 5.0 Liter Mustang convertible @ 90 MPH around the track...I laughed, I screamed, I think I peed myself. It was AWESOME!!!  Then Thursday night we were taken to the hotel where the executives were staying and we ate wonderful food, drank wonderful wine and beer, and listened to two terrible - but funny - piano players.  Did I mention there was good food? Yes...wonderful, rich, fooooooood. And free beer. Friday and Saturday?  Pretty much a repeat of Thursday except longer and I worked the booth all day.  We got to ride in the back of the Irwin Tools Truck around the track before the start of the race, and I stood on the track after the cars were parked in pit row while all the local famous people wandered around us.  I was so close to the cars I could have touched them...incredible.

So remember how I told you that this blog has to be honest to work?  I wish I hadn't said that.  Because then I wouldn't have to tell you the following:  When I packed for this trip, I remembered my running shoes, two outfits for running, and the appropriate socks.  I did NOT, however remember to pack enough pants.....or shirts....BUT, I packed enough clothes for running.  Plenty, in fact.  Pleeeenty of clothes for running, which are still sitting in my suitcase unused.

I did nothing, I mean NOTHING for my running all weekend. I packed all those clothes, made a commitment the night before, and did not follow through .  And what is the FIRST thing I did when I got home? I beat myself up for not running. I told myself I'm a failure. I said I can't do this.  I admitted that I'm not going to be able to run a marathon.  I shouldn't have eaten all that food at the race, or drank all that beer (it wasn't THAT much Pastor Brian, I swear!!!), or stayed out so darned late! I realllllly shouldn't have eaten that hamburger from Hardee's with the fries at 2:30 am on Saturday morning. I really....really...should NOT have done that. But then I don't have willpower or consistency, or nerve, or strength.

And then I got home and checked facebook.  Wendy Bartush posted this quote on her wall, "Yoda says, 'Do or don't do, there is no try.'"  And I almost fainted...I'm not sure why that struck me so hard tonight, and why it affected me so much, but those few silly little words completely CRUSHED all the negative self talk I had been doing all stinking DAY.

You know why?  Because even if some jerk thinks I'm a fatty, the fact is, I AM strong, I AM determined, I AM competent, I DO have willpower, and I WILL RUN A HALF MARATHON! This is no joke people! I am down on myself because I allow myself to be down on myself. I am what I think I am. It's not about "I think", it's about "I know".  I know I can do this. I know that I had a great time at a yearly event that doesn't happen every weekend. I know that I won't have those distractions every weekend, and I can still run tomorrow, and the next day and the next and be completely prepared for my half marathon. The only thing stopping me is ME.

Even if I should not have eaten that burger, it was seriously the best danged burger I ever had.....EVER.  The fries were crispy and salty and the burger was juicy and hot.  And the toothless lady at the drive through we walked up to was so darned nice, and that made the burger taste even better.  So I will not feel guilty for that burger because it was just one.....I swear.  

And you know what? I had a fantastic time at the race.  I loved it! And I have the pictures to prove it! I wouldn't change a thing. I'm going to work harder! Not because I'm punishing myself, but because I CAN and I WILL.

P.S. NASCAR races make for the most interesting people watching I've ever experienced.  I literally saw a 200 lb woman in a bikini with fake hair, a fake tan, and missing teeth. Jiggety, that was painful, but oh so interesting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Snot Rockets & Panty Lines

My first group run was Saturday. And miracle of all miracles, I set my alarm for 6am and got up at 6:09am. Can you BELIEVE IT? I can't.

I arrived at The Nook and there were my good buddies Jen and Jen. Thank GOD they are both named the same or I'd forget their names. They are both super nice ladies and are doing a run/walk program.

We stood there waiting for our coach, Jackie, to kick things off with a motivating moment, and I have to say the thought process in my head was a little embarassing. It went a little something like this,

"I'm going for three miles. But what if I can't even do one? These people are going to think I'm nuts. I soooo want to joke right now, but I don't want them to hate me before I even get STARTED! Geeze, none of these ladies have panty lines. How in the HECK do you NOT have panty lines with tight pants? Oh no way...are they NOT wearing underwear? Is that what runners do??? NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR?? I hope they don't notice I didn't shave my legs. Seriously, they have to be wearing underwear...how else do they keep their goods in place and such...ya knowwwww???!!!"

Yeah, it went a little something like that. So then we got started. I'm feeling all proud of myself because I'm feeling spry and agile this morning, so I'm totally pumped about running three miles for my first group run. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA....yeah. Didn't happen. At about .5 miles, my shins decided they weren't ready to wake up so they fought back. I'm ahead of the team at this point and I just know they are thinking, "Wow, look at the new girl, she's totally fast!", so I can't stop. I keep going, I just slow my pace. I'm panicking now because I seriously have to stop and walk, but I just can't do it. Maybe it's mental. Maybe I just need to push through it. Maybe I'm an IDIOT and I shouldn't have signed up in the first darned place....so I stop.

I stop running, I start walking, and I wait for them to catch up to me. "Coach, I have shin splints. I can't run the three, I'm doing two miles with you guys". No problem, everyone is totally encouraging, and I walk/run with the group for two miles....except now I have an interesting pain in my FOOT.....The coach is worried about a condition called planterwachahoochie fashiiitiiisolio....or something like that. It's where the tendon in your foot isn't cooperating with what you want it to do...so it hurts you. Painfully.

So I took the last two days off. I haven't run, and I have another group run tonight. I'm going to have panty lines, and I'm dying to show off my new snot rocket trick...I hope they don't mind.

So, this is where I have to remind myself why I'm doing this. Why am I running a half marathon? Remember, the first motivation for me is to get in shape. Knowing that I need to do this for a LONG time to make it a habit, I need some external motivation. How about LLS...Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Yup, helping people who need to make it through cancer, who need to know that there are people behind them....THAT is good motivation. The thing is, I can't do this all by myself. I need help from you guys to get this going. I need money.

Will you consider donating five bucks? Ten bucks? Twenty bucks?

What will motivate you?



Thank you for your help, and for suffering through my blog...it's silly I know!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Finding Motivation

"Sorry folks, the only reason you'll see me running is if I happen to be chasing an ice cream truck" - Lori Maurer

I'm pretty sure I'm plagiarizing someone else with that quote, but I googled for hours (okay about 2 minutes) and couldn't find the actual quote anywhere.....so I stole it. And the fact is I used to say exactly that to my co-workers every time they tried suckering me into running with them on "the trail" behind work. But no matter how many times they begged, pleaded, and bribed me with chocolate it just wouldn't work. At the time I just didn't have the motivation or the desire to run.....or exercise. But then over the holidays I hit my highest weight ever. Now here's where this blog gets tricky. I promised myself if I did a blog, I'd be dead honest otherwise it wasn't going to be useful to me...or anyone else. So here goes....I weighed 192 pounds on a frame of 5'3"....FINE....5'2". Geeze.

That's a lot. I was almost a "deuce". THAT could not possibly be happening. Being a deuce is motivation. In my mind, being a deuce was simply not acceptable. I'm not really sure why weighing 185 was okay, but 192 wasn't. It's really not that different, but there was something about 200 that was looming WAY too close.

So I decided to run.....in January. Brrrrr.... The first time I ran a mile, I seriously thought I was going to die. It took me over 16 minutes and I had to walk. And, unfortunately, I hadn't begun the effective habit of positive self talk. I was immersing myself in negative, self hating, destroy yourself talk. Not good. Even so, the result was I got outside and ran/walked for a mile. While I wasn't exactly hyped about doing a run/walk of only one mile in over 16 minutes, I figured I'd still post it on facebook for some moral support. Smart idea on my end. My cool facebook friends were completely supportive and helpful. VERY motivating.

Shortly after that I ran my first 5k in Charlotte, NC with my friend Patty and my husband Aaron cheering me on. My time was 43 minutes plus. I was so excited about being able to finish without stopping to walk, I signed up for another one. I ran in Salisbury and my time was OK. But I was hooked...so I signed up for ANOTHER 5k....and then another 5k!!! Well, apparently after the 3rd 5k, I wasn't as motivated. I didn't run for almost three weeks before the run, and it was HORRIBLE. I ran it in something like 47 mintes. Stupid honesty...okay it was probably more like 57 minutes. Maybe. I'm really not sure.

Once again, I was at a crossroads. I either needed to step it up a notch and do this thing, or I needed to be comfortable and positive about being nearly a deuce. By the way - I forgot to mention that between January and May of 2011 I lost more than 12 pounds just with running. Pretty awesome huh? BUT! I needed a better motivation. Something outside myself to motivate me, so I crossed my "crossroads" on Friday. I signed up for a half marathon. But not just any half marathon! I signed up with Team in Training. TNT is a group program where you are assigned a coach and run as a team to help fight Lymphoma and Leukemia. Cancer has affected my life by hitting so many of the people I love. Lymphoma specifically recently hit Alex, the brother of a good friend of mine. I've decided that I'll not only be running for our sponsor - who I'll write more about later - but specifically for Alex.

I have my big kick off meeting tomorrow night at Fuel Pizza. Again, this blog calls for honesty, so here goes. Who the HECK has a kick off party for a group of runners at a PIZZA JOINT??? That's like taking a bunch of recovering alcholics to the ABC store for an informational session on what alcohol does to your liver. Running? I'm going to be focused on the PIZZA BABY! Anyway, I'm sure they are wise beyond my years and know what they are doing. Did I mention they'll be supplying free pizza? Yup..."here Mr. Alcoholic, while you're waiting for Dr. Stupid to explain that the liver you have looks like a dried up prune and is totally useless to you, have a vodka tonic". Geeze Louise.

Anyway, I honestly believe this organization is the real deal, and I have a lot of faith in what they can teach me (no seriously) and I believe they can get me to the point where I'm ready to run a half marathon. I'm scared, I'm nervous and I'm pretty sure I'm going to literally pee myself somewhere on this journey, but I'm doing it anyway.

Dont' bother fixing my grammar or my spelling, but PLEASE help me stay motivated. Post some trash talk, encouragement or good humored swift kicks in the rear!!! I need the motivation...BELIEVE ME!