T-Rex History

I thought I’d throw some notes out there about myself.  First, where did the T-Rex come from?  Firstly when I first started pretending to run I would sometimes look like the proverbial dinosaur with short little arms trotting after some tasty triceratops.

Secondly because of my smaller group I’m quite the older of the lot.

How did I become a #notarunner?

My athletic history for most of my life has been pretty much a roller coaster of peaks and valleys of participation.  More valleys than peaks.   As a kid it was the stereotypical, run around the neighborhood and woods all day till it was too dark to see (no street lights in the tiny little town I grew up in).

Then we moved to a ‘big’ city and for a few years it was fairly quiet on the exertion front then sports came into play, wrestling and football which occupied the school year and part of the summers.

Then it was time to move on and get a job but at the same time I got involved in the fledging sport of Paintball.  So early in the sport that we were still using the same paint that they used to mark trees for cutting down.  Yes, that’s where the paintball came from, marking tools used by lumberjacks and rangers and the like to mark trees.

Paintball involves a lot of running, sprinting really followed by periods of not moving all at random.  A kind of martial fartlek going on.

During this time I also took up running for fun with a good friend of mine.  Together we were able to always prevent the other from just going to the ice cream store instead of running when it was 110F and -10F.  My running was a fairly consistent 25-27 minute 3 mile run 3 times a week, rarely went past that and when I did it was because of some random pretty girl who was amiable to the company on the trail.

Then marriage came and went and came again along with kids the second time and during this time there were moments of lackluster engagment in strength training, weight loss and no running.

It wasn’t until 2 years ago, June 2016, that for a fairly random reasons, the primary one I got a Fenix 3 HR watch which almost demanded that I try to use it for it’s purposes, i.e. tracking running.

To say it was a couch to 5K would be generous.  It was a sleepy sloth to a slow turtle to be honest.

I ran my first 5K 4 months later clocking in a speedy 39 minute run.  But I ran the whole thing without stopping even if my ‘running’ was barely above walking.

2 months later I ran my first 10K in training, not well, on Christmas day.  2 months after that I ran a 10K as a race.  It was during this period that I started running with someone else, my partner in crime on this site who became RW Prime.  At the time I’d been running for about 8 months and she was probably at the same state I was 4 months in.  It didn’t take her long to catch up to me and then of course surpass me.

While at a local running store a pleasant lady by the name of Olga introduced me to the concept of the “Running Spouse”.  And thus T-Rex’s running wife club was formed which has been quite a source of humor.   The only qualification to be a member is you have to run a race with me.  To date this gives me 4 running wives, although one of them, Rabbit, is more honorary because while we ran the same race, it was 1200 miles apart.  I’ve had a shot at a couple of other random wives who approached me during races but we ended up not running together for whatever reasons.

2 months after that I ran my first half marathon.

I didn’t run my first full until March 2018, the Little Rock Marthon 2018.  Prior to that my longest distance was 20 miles, on a day so cold the water froze in our bottles and bladder lines.  Literally froze next to our bodies.

Then 3 months later I ran my first trail run, the Mowdy Mustang Run, in June.  A marathon distance, on trails, in Oklahoma summers.   Not my brightest decision but looking back it was a great experience and certainly pushed me to my limits in keeping moving forward in spite of adversity.

Which brings us to the present and looking back.

In the 2 years 2 months I’ve been running, as of right now I’ve run 2320 miles.  With Run being a pretty generous term, let’s just say that I’ve tracked 2320 training miles over the last 26 months.   That includes a 2 week down time due to injury but other than that every training day I’ve run.  Regardless of temperatures, weather, pain, stress, mental condition, life, work, whatever.  If it’s a run day, I run.

And that I believe is why I continue to run.  Because a run day is the same as a breathing day.  Once you let yourself miss a day, of anything, it doesn’t have to be running, but once you miss a day, the second day is easier to rationalize a reason to miss, the third time is easier until you realize it’s been 3 months since you’ve done whatever it was you were going to do.

My current roadmap is racing against time to reach my goals.  Time is my enemy at my age.  The older you get the harder it gets and I’m starting a bit behind the 8 ball in that regard.

I’m going to attempt a 50K this fall, a 50Mile in Q1 in 2019 (barring major injury) and potentially next fall there’s a race I’d like to try, the Cave Creek Thriller 50K + 30K double.  You run a 50K in the morning and a 30K that evening.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I’m not sure when, where, if, a Hundred is in the cards but as Rabbit has stated publicly she’s going to do it with us if and when we do that it certainly adds to the draw.  Although she’ll be bored silly I’m sure at the pace that we’d be doing.

Dealing with Disappointment

First let me preface this post that my Running Husband and my Dear Husband both ran amazing races today. Both breaking PR’s. My RH did this again so soon after his back to back race/long run two weeks ago. He pushed himself way harder than I did and I owe my own improvements race over race to his continued efforts to be a #betternonrunner.

That all said I am super disappointed in my finish today. I didn’t think I was going to be, I honestly didn’t think going into this race that I cared about my finish time as much as I now have come to realize I do. That was my a big mistake. Not knowing the importance to me of my own personal goals. As an adult we don’t get too many opportunities to shine. Projects tend to have anticlimactic endings in my line work, and as a parent we shine through the accomplishments of our children but that is indirect. We occasionally need a personal win and today I missed that chance.

Overall I felt really good. The hill up Turkey Mountain was a bitch but I had energy to burn because we were conservative and ran/walked smart. Again I give that credit to my RH. I chewed some nasty tasting Run Gum around mile 9 that gave me just enough juice to feel like I could really pull this off, but alas I didn’t. At a 2:18, I was two minutes slower than my personal best from the inaugural race of the Tulsa Route 66 Half Marathon in 2006. That was 12 years ago, I am that much older but honestly I am that much wiser thanks to my RH and his zeal for self-education which he has shared with me.

Things I learned about myself today. First never underestimate the importance of putting a win on the board for your team. Getting me to this place in my running career has been nothing short of a team effort. I owed this PR to my team as much as myself. I feel as much that I let myself down, as I let my partner down. He has worked hard to help me get to where we both are and I totally had it in me to make us proud but I let myself lose sight of this and as a result didn’t push myself when I should have and didn’t follow my instinct which was another big mistake.

Second pay attention to your actual run time and don’t depend on race time predictors. This was a major mistake on my part. I got, for lack of a better turn of phrase, cocky when I saw my finish time was several minutes ahead of my goal time. This allowed me to mentally feel like I had extra time at my disposal to hang back and finish with my dear RH. I DID NOT. The  predictor was off because my distance calibration on my Stryd is slightly off and as such my projected finish time was 2:13, by the time it adjusted and swapped to marathon finish time it was too late for me to make up the time.

It took me a while today to grapple with my disappointment. I unfortunately let it get to me, since I wasn’t expecting to feel this way immediately following the race, and sort of stomped all over my DH’s accomplishment of 2nd in his age group and 14th overall which is 1:42 finish time. Yah he is much faster than I will ever aspire to be. I did apologize and congratulated him on his victory, but alas the moment was passed. Seems to be the theme of the morning.

So all that said, tomorrow I am going to try again to break my PR here in OKC. It will be harder, on tired legs, and a more hilly unknown course. BUT so was Tulsa the first time I ran it, and so was San Francisco, so no excuses. I will do my best, and this time know that disappointment may be lurking should I not. I followed my self-care routine this evening and used the hotel tub to soak in hot and ice cold baths. I have tried my best to re-hydrate, although I am sure I will be under-hydrated somewhat tomorrow.

My dear RH is going to pace me until he can’t which likely means that for some portion of the last half of this race I will once again be running solo. I guess this OKC run is just going to be like that for us. One of us has to go off and leave the other, this year I guess it could be my turn, but at least I know I can do it alone.

Not Running Equals Free Time

So since I’m now at the end of week 1 of my for real #notrunning I find myself with free time.  Normally I’d of gone for a 2+ hour run this morning, add in travel time, shower time afterwards and since I didn’t go on a run I had an extra 3 hours to my day.

that it’s like doing it for the first time all over again”

Sadly I spent it spending money, getting weed and feed and grass seed for the lawn, some PVC fittings to make a set of push up / dip bars out of some 1.5″ PVC I have laying around from one of my many projects.

Saturday I spent my not running time cutting down a bunch of overgrowth in the yard.   So there’s definately value in not running.

But I’ve spent the last 11 months of my life running 3 days a week or more and now it feels strange to be doing that.

My running partner is still doing great, putting in all the miles I’m missing out on.  She ran 10 miles this morning.  Since she was wearing my Fenix 3HR it’s almost like I ran it in a weird way so that’s something I guess.

My replacement pair of Paradigm 2.0’s have been sitting staring at me waiting for me to try them.  I had to go a full size up to a ridiculous 14 since they don’t make 13.5’s.   The 13’s were just too short for me after 3 miles.  I have black toenails on both feet from the size 13’s and my toes hitting the end of the shoes.   The 14’s are too long by a bit but the rest seems to fit so why not.

I reset my Stryd back to a calibration factor of 1.0.  I’d dropped it down to 99.5 for the half marathon and it was off by about .2 miles over the 13.2 miles. Setting it back to 1.0 and I’ll walk it back down again and see where it’s the most accurate.

I need to work on my stride/gait.   Do the ‘altra run’ following their recommendations.  It’s just so abnormal to me that it’s like doing it for the first time all over again.   But that’s what it felt like when I started 11 months ago so I guess I can do it again.

I’ve been doing my PT daily, a combination of side steps with resistance, clamshells, bridges, planks, curls, shrugs, crunches, sideways leg lifts.   My knee definitely feels better after the last week of #notrunning or possibly the PT.  Or a combination.   Regardless I’m not running till 6/6.   Then I’m going to restart my full marathon training based on the Stryd plan.

Anyway that’s where I am, didn’t want two weeks to go by without some signs of life.

About Me

In spite of efforts of others,wife, family, friends, co-workers to categorize and label me, I proudly proclaim myself as #NOTARUNNER…

WTF am I doing out here?”

I started in July 2016, doing a C2K, then a C2K Level 2, then started a 10K Level I starting that program around Week 4.  A couple of weeks into that 10K I was peer pressured by #RUNNERS into signing up for a Half Marathon which hits in 5/2017.

I started that training regimen which brings us to today.

To date (2/11/2017) I have completed 5 5K’s races #JEWELRYCOLLECTOR and have a longest run of a hair less than 8miles.

When I started, my mixed run walk, mostly walk, mile pace was 18 minutes.

My current pace is 12 minutes a mile for greater than 5K’s and 11 minutes a mile for 5K’s.

My fastest mile is 9:37.

I’ve been around for 5 decades and while active with sports, paintball, and yes running in my teens and 20’s, in the last 20 years it’s been mostly a sedentary white collar married with kids lifestyle.   The running in my 20’s was all fueled by being single.   And let’s face it, more girls find being fit attractive than the girls who don’t.  So running was very much just a human version of the male peacock’s plumage and a way to be not single, at least occasionally.

In the last 5 months I’ve lost 60+lbs (which helps explain my starting pace eh?).  And yes I know July to January is 7 months but the first couple of months I didn’t really lose much at all in terms of what showed on the scale.   That weight loss was done by tracking calories and at each stall point the base calories were reduced by 10%.  Calories burned in running were added to the base calorie allotment.

In the time frame that I’ve been running I’ve come to realize that running isn’t enjoyable for me.  Shocking I know for all you #RUNNER’s.

I know you may know otherwise, the whole joy in life is putting on your shoes and hitting the street or trail  and for you that’s true.

For me, the results of running can be something to be enjoyed, but the act of running itself?  Not so much.

I share this information as it shows that everyone has to start somewhere so don’t stress it.   Don’t worry if you don’t get that unicorn, the ‘runners high’, I’ve never caught a whiff of it, don’t worry if after 6 months of running you still hit a wall at the first half mile or so where you ask yourself, “WTF am I doing out here?”

Because neighbors I’ll be metaphysically right there at your side going WTF.

You hear this spouted ad naseum but truly the important thing is to just get out there and do.  Yes it’s going to suck.  It may stay full of suck for you.  It may get better.  You may get that runner’s high, you may find you enjoy the effort and pain of pushing your body to it’s current limit.  Or you may be like me and proudly proclaim your #NOTARUNNER status.

But every day barring 1 day (surgery and a 38 hour straight work ‘day’ combined) for the last 6+months I’ve been out on my stupidly expensive shoes doing whatever my training schedule  has told my stupidly expensive watch to tell me to do.  And if I can do it, in spite of my walls and my moments of “OMFG this sucks ass” then I’m sorry to say, you can too.

We’ll see where tomorrow takes us…