Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Appetizing Run? I inhaled a bug on my run today.  First I told Tara I ate a bug when we met up after the run, but really, as I was noisily and excessively gasping for breath, it's more realistic to say that I inhaled it as it was flying around, minding it's own business.  Poor thing, I hope that it knocked itself out when it slammed into the back of my throat so that it didn't have to suffer too long.  Thank goodness that I did it right at the very end of the run because running and choking and the same time would have been more difficult for me to keep going and I was already having enough trouble as it was!

I knew I was bordering on the edge of pushing it as far as runs go.  Today was my fourth straight run in a row at the  CIBC RFTC site aka my home-away-from-home and I already knew this morning that it wasn't going to be pretty, but I'd already committed to going and darn sarnit I was going to follow through!

Before I get into it much more, I have to say that Bart will probably ban me from going out at lunch hours with Tara.  We're going to start walking at lunch hours to keep us busy and to further prevent us from going out and buying "running" stuff. *LOL*  Today, Tara and I went to the Running Room and got ourselves some energy gel packets!  I've read about them and Tara had mentioned once that her friend had some good stuff to say about them, so this morning when I was reading a running article working, energy gel packets were mentioned and we made a plan to walk over and pick a few out.  The plan to walk over failed as we also realized that Tara had forgotten her earphones for the run later and I've been wanting to pick up a new pair (I want the ones that wrap around my earlobe so that I don't have to spend half my "jogging" pace constantly reaching up and pushing the little nubbin back into my ear).  So we revised the plan to drive over to FutureShop and then to swing by the Running Room on the way back.  I'm realizing that the place that we went to wasn't even the Running Room, but the actual name of it is failing me at the moment.  So, here's a little bit of free publicity, Running Room - directed straight to my one and only reader! *LOL* RUNNER'S CHOICE!  There, I remembered!  Shout out to RUNNER'S CHOICE!

Anywho, when we got to FutureShop, for some reason I ended up with an iSkin for my BB which I really wish I'd picked up BEFORE I dropped my BB on the sidewalk *insert moment of silence here to commemorate the sad occasion*  Ever notice how when you have something new and fancy and wonderful, it totally loses all of that the moment it gets defaced?  My BB felt totally less classy and professional the second it hit the sidewalk and got all it's silver part scuffed up.  Also the same when I went and hit a pole in my sexy, new-to-me car (thank goodness Bart was able to pop the dent back out using suction cup thingies, but still knowing what I had done to it took away from the sexy new-ness feeling of it) - but I digress.   So moving on, good purchase, much needed (especially as I fall more and more in love with Anna, my miCoach) but not really what we went there for.  Finding the headphones section, I find the exact pair I'm wanting and have already pictured myself wearing and bonus that it features a runner on it's packaging and it's $30.  $30?!? can get ear phones at the dollar store.  I briefly wonder if I can kind of wrap the cords around my ears to keep the buds (I kinda liked calling them nubbins, though) in my ear, but the whole point of me conceding to running was that I at least not look like a moron so that maybe people could be distracted by the fact that I look like a runner instead of focusing on the fact that they can walk beside me.  So no go on the earphone "wrap" idea, but I wasn't plunking down $30 either, so I figured WalMart would be our next best bet for another lunch hour.  It was energy gel shopping time!

Is it bad to say that the real reason why I wanted to try out an energy gel was not for the added energy boosting benefits that it might provide for me, but because the last time I was at RUNNER'S CHOICE (holla!) I noticed that they had tons and tons of them all neatly lined up and they came in a bazillion flavors and cute little packaging?  I am *such* a sucker for cute little things lined up beside a cash register!  I am probably solely responsible for someone's upselling success rate.  If you feel that this is you, you can thank me by getting me some more gel packets.

So we get there and I make a beeline for the neat little rows that I'm seriously about to mess up.  I rifle through everything first before I actually start choosing.  I reigned myself in pretty well, if I do say so myself.  I tried to keep it a little quick in case the guy behind the cash register actually asked me what I was going to use it for and I didn't want to say a 5k since he looked like he could probably finish one in his sleep - hell, he probably did three 5k's before he even came in to stand behind the cash register and judge me.  Okay, I have no idea where all this defensiveness about a 5k is coming from.  OBVIOUSLY it's a good distance and not everyone can do it and it's a viable and admirable achievement.  You know what?  I think I've got some kind of issue with it because I've finally actually done it.

Let's psychoanalyze for a minute, shall we?  It's only happened this week that I've gotten all weird and embarrassed about mentioning a 5k.  Earlier in the week, I was on the Niagara International Marathon discussion site and I really wanted to ask where the start of the 5k run would be so that the next time I'm down there, I could check it out and get a lay of the land kind of thing, but I couldn't bring myself to ask.  Here was people going on and on about how they were training to run the half and the full and I didn't want to sully the discussion board with my small potatoes question about a measly 5k.  I could already imagine the marathoners laughing at me and wondering why I am even worrying about 5k, when it's so easy peasy.  So I didn't say anything about it and then I got all defensive again when we got to the store and I didn't want the guy laughing at me for feeling like I need energy for running a 5k which for him is probably his regular walk in the park or something.  As I was typing this all up, I think it's hit me why I'm thinking this way.

Before, when I was just running, 5 km seemed like an AWESOME first step goal to get into running.  I thought it really meant you're a runner and that it could be the opening to other athletic things (ie. the triathlon that Tara is still hinting about).  It felt that way to me because even after the C25K program, I still had't actually reached a 5k distance.  Then all of a sudden I did (bwahahaha, I love how I say all of a sudden like it wasn't actually more than 10 weeks worth of work!) and my view of it changed.  Obviously 5k isn't anything to be proud of because, well, I can do it!  If I can do it, then it can't really have been all that hard right?  It shouldn't really be anything to brag about if I can do it!  All of a sudden, I'd conveniently forgotten that for pretty much all of FOUR months, I've been running at least three days a week and how HARD it was when I first started (hell, how hard it is NOW) and the mere realization that little me can do it just all of a sudden made it seem not so special.  How odd is that?  Anywho, just because I realized it doesn't mean that I'll still ask exactly where the run site is.  I'll just hope that it's not too hill-y. *LOL*

Alrighty, back to our regularly scheduled program!  Energy gel packets!  I rifled through each box and pored over flavors and decided that I would try out three different brands.  I got a Strawberry Banana flavored GU brand, a Razz (a way cooler way to say raspberry - awesome marketing strategy folks at Clif Bars!) Clif Shot and a Hammer blueberry pomegranate flavor.  I'm guessing on the last one, I don't remember if that actually is the flavor, but I know it's the Hammer brand.

This afternoon, I busted out the Razz Clif Shot a half hour before my run (the package said 15 minutes before my run, but I still think I showed good restraint, I wanted to eat it right after I bought it) and it was a standstill kind of moment.  The only way I can describe it is in a way that I probably really can't get into considering this is still kind of public and my parents might read it. *LOL* Or how about this, I'm also a really crappy pill-taker, so it was like me trying to swallow a pill.  I couldn't do it.  I had squeezed a huge glob of gel out and it sat there in a nasty, thickly consistent glob on my tongue and I couldn't make myself swallow.  So it sat there longer and I was about ready to gag on it and I still couldn't swallow.  Yeah, it wasn't that great.  Flavor...not all that razzy, but then again, how do I know, it was sitting on my tongue for so long.  Anywho, after the first big glob, I shoved the packet more into my mouth so that when I squeezed, it more or less slid down my throat quickly so I didn't have to register the yucky, thick consistency of it or the taste.  Another thing it reminds me of...I don't know if anyone will remember, but back in the day, stores used to sell this "candy" gel.  It was a huge tube of gel in green apple flavor and I used to LOVE it.  It was pretty much exactly like that, except I am no longer eight and it is no longer enjoyable to slurp syrupy suger from a package.

Well, it was my first time. Meh.  Did I feel any different?  I can't really say that I did.  I was pretty bouncy in the car, but can I attribute that to the gel or from the really fun, bouncy Glee song that was on?  Hard to say, I'm more inclined to go with the song, I can get REALLY into songs.  But like I said earlier, today was my fourth day in a row of running (outside!) and even when I was just walking, it was difficult, so for me to finish my miCoach training program for today and getting a 92% on it (YEAH, BABY!) could have something to do with the packet.  Once is not at all scientifically sound, so I'll just leave it at "meh, who knows" and get busy myself with choosing the next flavor for me next run - which will NOT be tomorrow!  Giving my poor, little, short-striding legs a rest!  I think I'll go with the Strawberry Banana yet.  I went and read some energy gel reviews and GU seems to keep coming out on top - especially considering that they were the first to come up with the energy gel concept.  I've already read that not all energy gels are as thick with the consistency as Clif Shot was which is a little bit of a relief, if I had to make myself swallow another glob of that stuff, I think I'd be turned off energy gel shots forever and might have to try a cocaine habit to keep me into running.

About the run itself - it definitely felt like a struggle from the get-go.  I got through the training program and it was hard for me to keep my legs going, but I also noticed that it hurt more when I walked as opposed to when I did the slowest jog known to mankind.  Tara was the smallest dot on the horizon at this point and I saw a glimpse of what it would be like at the Niagara run - cue Celine audio voiceover:

"When I was young, I never needed anyone
And making love was just for fun, those days are gone...
Don't wanna be...

*wince* Right.  I really need to work on upping my pace.

I leave you with today's run charts!

On account of my lead legs, today's run wasn't fully a 5 km distance which accounts for the faster time.  As I was making my way down, I looped earlier than I was supposed to to meet up with Tara who was already making her way back up.  But my chart looks pretty standard, all things considered.  I did the walk up the first steep uphill, accounting for the blue dip, but after that, everything looks pretty good - I didn't know I didn't hit the second blue zone at all so that probably accounts for the rest of the reason why I got a 92%.

I'll have to look at the free walk charts more closely, but I think I may have more spikes up to indicate that I ran a bit more on the loop back?  I'm not sure, but what I DO know is that I have no idea where that huge plummet is near the end.  The flatline indicates that I completely stopped which I didn't and in fact, my pace is always faster the closer I get to the top of the hill because I always run the rest of the way down.  It might be that the GPS cut out for a second, but that hug drop is irritating me.  I also didn't do the victory run at the end - not only because Rocky didn't come on again (stupid shuffle!) but I'm thinking that even if I did, I'm not sure if I really had it in me - it was at this point that I was seriously gasping for air and inhaling innocent bugs at the same time, so today's run is sans victory run.

I promised myself I would go to bed earlier tonight and it's already after eleven! *LOL*  So I shall bid you good night!

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