Sunday, July 31, 2011


So, it is summer and we are all seeing signs for detours right? Road work is going on all over the place. Everyone hates a detour. You're driving along your normal route, doing great, and you have to get off and go another way. Most of the time this is nothing but an inconvenience. Sometimes though, you end up seeing or doing something great and wonder why you've never come this way before.

My running has taken so many detours this summer (metaphorical and actual) that I barely even recognize it.  Have you ever had a new road built in your area next to the old road? You drive on the old road while looking at the new one being built. Then the new road is done and you get to start driving on it. It's all shiny and new and exciting, but you still look over at where the old road was and kind of miss it. Eventually you have to look really close and concentrate to see the old road. Why am I rambling about this, you ask? Well, my running detoured off of the road it was on and hit a dead end for a while. Whoever laid out the detour did not plan well! Then I got back to running, but I was suddenly on a new and different road. The trouble is, I didn't have a chance to prepare. I totally missed  the new road being built. When I got on this new road I kept looking and looking for the old road and I can't find it. I guess I need to learn to deal with the new one.

The worst part about this new road is that it is completely different than the old one. The old road was paved and even and covered with glitter. I loved that road. We were good pals. The new road? It is gravel, filled with potholes and hills. It hates me and I can't say I love it very much. It keeps twisting and turning and challenging me. I've had to make peace with this and learn to deal with it. I'm running less miles on this road and have learned I had built up endurance on the old road and need to rebuild it on this road. Now that I have realized this I am so much happier.

Enough of the metaphorical detours. Lets talk about the physical ones. You have all heard me complain about the heat endlessly. And btw, I blame the heat for this new road I'm on. Anyway, due to the heat (and something else that is more than you want to know) I've been running at night. This can be challenging in my tiny town as I have to run back and forth and past the same houses multiple times. Unfortunately, it is also frought with dog issues. I've been running in this area long enough I've gotten to know the dogs and their barks. A few days ago I was running and heard a different bark. I slowed down because it really didn't sound very friendly. Or small. In fact, it sounded mean and large. Well, it was dark so I couldn't tell where it was. I ran slowly for a bit until I saw it. It started coming toward me barking agressively. I wasn't hugely concerned because it was at a house with very good owners that always come out and control their dogs when I run past. Except no lights were on in the house and no cars were in the drive. Oh crap. I promtly turned around and started running the other way. Faced with a choice of fight or flight I will never fight. I'm a wimp. This caused me to have to change my route. I had to run on a gravel road and got to meet a new extremely annoying cute little black dog. It chased me for an entire block nipping at my heals. On my way back by a man was outside with a million five little dogs that were doing their business. He didn't have a shirt on. I think he was shocked to see me. Also, since all five dogs chased me and he had to chase them I don't think he liked me very much. Scratch that little detour off my list.

Last night I attempted to run 6 miles in town. No easy challenge. I had so many dog issues I gave up at 5 miles. I couldn't see the dogs and I was running in parts of town I had never run before, so I didn't know if they were mean or not. They would come running out and I would turn and go the other way. This caused me to just run back and forth in some well lit areas which was less than pleasant. I would have a new running plan in mind, run into a dog and have to change it again. I just finally gave up and went home. I'm trying to adopt a new zen-like attitude about these kinds of detours. So I only ran 5 miles instead of 6. At least I got out there, right? I am trying to quit looking for the old road I used to run on and be at peace with the new one. We will see how it goes!

Update from my last whiny post: I'm going to continue training for the trail race. I don't have to register until September, so I will re-evaluate at that point.

Happy Running ~Mel

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I'm stuck trying to make a tough decision. My training has NOT been going well. The longest distance I have run since my half marathon is 8 miles. My longest trail run has been 4. At this point, I don't think I can be ready for Flatrock by September. I'm just not sure I'm going to be able to pull it off. I don't want to do it if I'm going to be dragging myself across the finish line, which is what I think I would be doing.

Had I stuck to my training plan I think I would have been fine. The heat is just kicking my  butt though. I know, you are all sick of hearing me complain about the heat, but wow! It's hot! Yestererday I left my house at 5 am and it was already 78 degrees. And honestly, I think I have some kind of mental block going. For some reason I've convinced myself I can't run. Plus, I'm having some bathroom scheduling issues that affect my ability to finish a run. Good times, let me tell you! I'm pretty sure my husband was not thrilled yesterday when I called him at 6:00 to come pick me up because I had to go to the bathroom. Being the good man that he is, he drug himself out of bed and came to get me. He didn't even complain! Have I mentioned lately that he's the best husband ever?

So, if I don't do Flatrock what do I do? The good answer would probably be just run to run for a while, but I can't do that. At this point, if I don't have something to train for I'm not getting out of bed to run every day. I think I'm going to run the Salt City Run for the Rocks. This is the day after Flatrock would have been and is still 13.1 miles, but I think I can do that. I won't break any speed records, but that's no surprise. At this point, running 10 miles would be a huge accomplishment for me.

Anyway, I'm feeling like a wimp and a loser right now. I know scrapping my original plan for the trail run is the best choice right now, but I can't help feeling like a failure. I'm going to mull it over for a few days, hopefully get some more opinions, then I'm going to have to make a decision. Oh, and for the record, I'm not giving up on trail running. I really like it. I plan to throw in some trail runs from time to time, just not get too stressed about it.

Any opinions?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Heat and Humidity

Have you ever heard the saying "It's not the heat, it's the humidity?" Well, that's true,  but it's also the heat!! We are seeing triple digits pretty often around here and running is becoming very unpleasant. Even leaving the house at 5:30 am doesn't guarantee a cool run. Yesterday morning I left at 5:30, but checked the weather first. According to the app on my ipod it was 73 degrees with 100% humidity. That's right. 100%. It was like running through soup. Have you ever walked outside and the heat takes your breath away? Well, try running in that. Not good times my friends.

A monthish ago I bought myself a camelbak and that has helped quite a bit. On Tuesday I unfortunately didn't bring it. I thought "heck, I'm only running 3.5 miles. I don't need a drink." Ha ha ha ha. How wrong I was. It was already 79 degrees out and very humid. I was sweating by the time I reached the end of the block. By the time I got to 2.5 miles I was really thirsty. Being the beggar that I am, I stopped at the Keli-Mart and begged for a cup of ice water. I had no money but they graciously gave me a drink. I should probably mention I know everyone in town, the store is named after my sister, my parents used to own it and I worked there for 10 years. I promise I don't go into random gas stations begging for water. Not that I wouldn't, I just haven't yet.

According to The Weather Channel, we are supposed to be in triple digits the next 10 days. I don't know how I will survive my long run on the weekend. Thankfully half of it is on the trail and therefore in the shade. Another thing to love about trail running!

Off the running topic, my oldest son Ryan is 11 years old today!! Also, his baseball team has made it to the state tournament, which starts today. His team has worked very hard and I'm proud of all of them. Can't wait to watch them play this weekend, even if it is supposed to be over 100 degrees.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Ahhh, numbers. I love them and hate them at the same time. Being a runner, I am surrounded by numbers. They can be very useful and and wonderful and frustrating all at the same time. Miles run, pace, elevation, etc etc etc. Running is surrounded by numbers. Lately, I have been getting too caught up in the numbers.

Todays post is all about how mentally messed up I am :) See, I have this thing with numbers. Sort of an obsession. Ok, not sort of. I have OCD and anxiety. No really. I know people joke about being OCD about stuff, but I really am. My anxiety and OCD sort of manifests itself in numbers. This is something I know and keep an eye out for and can usually control it. Lately, however, I haven't been controlling it so well. It started when I started a new training plan and added speedwork. All of the sudden I was getting caught up in numbers again. And it was so much fun! At least I was convincing myself it was fun. It turns out that it wasn't. I was not enjoying my runs and I was really miserable. I hadn't really made the number connection yet though.

I have not weighed myself since February. Knowing my issues with numbers I finally gave up on the scales since it was better for my mental health. I sort of monitored my weight by how my clothes fit. This worked perfectly. For some reason though, I weighed myself a couple of weeks ago. This started me on a nasty downward spiral. I was back to obsessively counting calories in and out. I set an amount of calories that I will allow myself to consume and won't go over that. Trust me when I say it is not enough. Most days I will end up burning almost as much as I consume. I was also counting repetitions while doing strength training and making sure I did more each time. See, once I know how many reps I've done or miles I've run or whatever, I can't let myself do less the next time. If I do less I hate myself and try to make myself feel better by eating less and doing more. Like I said, downward spiral. Eventually I get to where I can't do anything because my body is exhausted and isn't nourished. At some point, I just break down mentally and physically.

That is what happened to me last week. I realized I had a problem (thankfully it doesn't take me as long as it used to). I reached out for help and luckily I have some really wonderful friends (and the best husband in the world) that were willing to help. One of my friends is so great she has hidden my scales from me and knows not to give them back no matter how much I beg until I know I'm in a place where I can have them. Who knows when that might be. My biggest source of support (besides Rick) on this continuously comes from the wonderful ladies on It's not just about car seats!! Several members sent me private messages, texted me, whatever they could to make sure I knew I had support. It's nice to be able to send someone a text saying "this sucks. I'm hungry and can't eat. If I eat I will puke" and not be judged. Well, they might think I'm crazy, but they don't tell me I am. They just support me no matter how many times I go through this. And for the record, I would probably have support from my family if I actually admitted to them what what going on. Please don't think my family and friends outside of those online aren't supportive because they are. I just need to be more honest with them.

Right now I am doing much better! This week I decided to run just to run. I didn't run on the trail and didn't worry about my speed. I did do 6x400's on Wednesday, but didn't worry about my speed. Oddly, my pace was fantastic. Faster than normal! I so enjoyed running this week. I didn't do any strength training, just ran. I have 10 mile run for tomorrow, then next week I will slowly get back to strength training and trail running.

This post may not be here long. We'll see how long my courage lasts. Writing this out makes me feel better and stronger. Admitting to what I'm going through helps me to take care of it. And some of you reading won't understand this. That's ok. Unless you've been there it is hard to understand. It doesn't make sense that I don't just eat when I should or when I need to. It doesn't make sense that I wouldn't just quit counting things. Trust me, I don't understand it either.  I just know this is something I battle over and over again and probably always will. I can only be thankful that I am learning to recognize the signs before I'm too deeply involved with this stupid disorder and take steps to correct it.

Next post will be back to normal, promise!!