On the Road to 13.1 – Vol. I: Early Rising Sucks Ass

As some of you may or may not know, I’m currently training for the Disneyland Half Marathon which is in 96 days, 19 hours, 39 minutes. Or September 2nd. Whichever you prefer. I’ve been running/walking since I did the 5K during the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend in January that Cathy had run. The 5K had been the first exercise I had done since before I got pregnant which pretty much meant that the 3.1 miles I speed walked through (with some pain but not too bad considering) was the first strenuous activity I had had in two, count ’em, TWO years. I actually started TRAINING for this thing on March 6th which makes today 2 1/2 months since I started training. I still can’t get past 3.2 miles. I did run 4 miles once. That was a fluke and I contend that the route was downhill the entire time. I can’t run 4 miles! Or rather run/walk (I interval train). And I haven’t run 4 miles since. Ugh…

I’m doing this marathon with Cathy, who encouraged me to sign up and run the marathon with her. What was I thinking? I am NOT  a runner. Not even when I was HEALTHY! But I signed up and have been training steadily for the past almost 3 months. We are also running with my friend John, who I’ve known for over half my life now, and my sister’s friend Angela. We started a team for PanCan.org to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer research which, as we all pretty much know, is a cause near and dear to my non pancreas. As a team we need to raise $1600. Individually $400. I think that’s doable, but I want to raise more personally. I really need to send out those emails…

Lately, it’s gotten harder and harder to get up early to run. My day usually starts at 6:30 a.m. and my eyes don’t close for sleep until 2:00 a.m. or so. It’s usually a nonstop roller coaster ride of rambunctiousness and wall climbing by my 18 (almost 19) month old. So needless to say, trying to get my insanely tired ass out of bed as I try to pry my eyes open at 6:30 every morning has started to become very VERY difficult. I’ve actually missed some days either because Autumn has wound up in bed with us and won’t let me go or I’ll wake up with the spins like I had been drinking profusely the night before (which I haven’t. In fact, I barely drink anymore. I have no more vices…). The past couple of weeks I have only been able to run twice a week. Three times if I’m lucky or feeling good. And now the weather is getting hotter earlier in the day. So I NEED to make sure I run by 7 the latest.

This morning I got up late. I could not get up. My head was pounding. My eyes were fused shut by sleep that wouldn’t let me go. I drove to the Rose Bowl to train on a “track” (I really can’t seriously call it that since there are hills on it and it’s not maintained as one) in an attempt to try and run, without any walk breaks, for three miles. So far, I’m still walking about 2 minutes after every half mile or so and then back to running. I’ve noticed my time is faster on this route but I stop a lot more. I’m not sure why… maybe I’m running too fast. I started my run at 8a.m. and let me tell you, it sucks. It already way to hot for my liking and way way way to bright. I can’t even imagine how much earlier I’m going to need to wake up once Summer is in full swing out here in Pasadena. And because I don’t belong to a gym (too poor) my only option is to run on the road or at the Rose Bowl. I’ve started running in the early evening with Desha on Thursdays, but that’s always hard. I think I try too hard and run too fast and I pay for it in pain. Plus the pollen in the afternoon is the worst and I usually can’t breathe. Anyway, this morning I fell because a lady walking her three tiny dogs who had no control over any of them got in the way and I tripped over one of the dogs leashes. I hurt my hip again. But after walking it out and stretching it out, the pain has subsided and I think I’m ok. The real kicker? She got mad at me for tripping over her dog and his/her leash. Yeah, the one that darted out in front of ME as I was running in a straight line. I love LA (insert sarcasm here, folks).

As for running at 8 a.m., it was a touch too hot for me. I find there is a huge difference in comfort when it comes to the weather. I prefer it to be cool. Cold and overcast is best. There isn’t much pollen in the air and I’m not sweating like I’ve been sitting in a sauna for 9 hours. I also find my pain is minimal the cooler it is. No pain in my side or in my non pancreas area. But once the heat starts to rise over 67 – 70 degrees… ugh. So now I know an 8 a.m. start time is OUT.  Running in the heat is like running in cement for me. I watch all these people running as if it’s nothing. Faster. With nicer strides. Some even with a SMILE on their faces. I wonder if I’ll ever get there. And I wonder if I’ll be ready to run 13.1 miles in three months. You would think yes. But sometimes I think I’ll never be able to pass that 4.1 mile mark… and then just keep on going. Dammit… am I going to have to get up at 6 a.m. now?

Maybe if my eyes aren’t still fused shut in an attempt to stay asleep. And if it’s cold.

Oh and as for why I haven’t written in a while, well, I’m tired of making excuses. No more excuses. Shit happens. Get over it. I’ll try and catch up.

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