March has been a bad month for this blog, an ok month for my running, a pretty damn good month for yoga and a really fine month for me.
Started on a bad note, with a week of intestinal trials, a great time in the Bidwell Classic half (2:22, 1 min off of PR -- I haven't totally given up the thought of a race report, but . . . yeah) considering the illness leading in to it. Various things happened, bad weather, life conspired and for much of March I was considerably under my running goals and somewhat neglecting my training (me?!? Never!!!!). I know this is really poor preparation for my first marathon but hell, why change now? Somehow I am justifying my slackiness with the fact that while I have missed a bit of running here and there, I have not missed a single long run. Even if I did nothing else that week, I went out and did my 16 miler or whatever. Gotta be better than nothing, right?
Regarding those long runs . . . ok so this is really obvious to anyone who is living and breathing, but, . . . running long distances is hard, people. Here's the math problem: Running 9 miles is three times as easy for Bootchez as running twice as long. How will she run 26.2 (or 27, with all the staggering that I'll be doing)? Discuss.
Seriously. 9 miles is pretty much old hat these days (and don't think THAT's not a huge deal for little ol' me, I'm still amazed I can run even a mile), I bounced out that 16 miler a few weeks back that was tough but ultimately doable and even a little enjoyable, but last week? I did my 18 miler (only 17.4; my intentions were excellent but my math sucks, even with Gary) and pretty much stumbled the last 3 miles, wondering what happened to my legs and hips. I don't know if it was just the day or what, but that 18 was so much harder than the 16. Low back sore, thighs sore and sorest of all was right where my legs join my torso, owwwwie!! I tried to do some shopping afterwards (I had driven to Reno for the run, looking for trails, I've HAD IT with winter!) and just had no mental capacity to manage it, never mind physical capacity. I have a new respect for long runs, is what I'm saying.
In retrospect, I think a bit of my problem might have been my new running shoes. More specifically, on the advice of the woman who precipitated my change from Saucony to Asics, I also got some Arch Mold (or something) inserts to swap out with the standard inserts, due to my overwhelmingly flat feet. Looking back on my running since I've switched, I've had a lot of foot cramping in the beginnings of my runs, and a lot of residual fot pain in the hours after. Instinct tells me (after 2 weeks, but I'm a little slow) that these pains might be from these inserts. Today, I'm off to run 9 miles or so (my new favorite number) and I'm trying it with the standard inserts. We'll see how that goes.
So I've totally dialed in what I like to run with, regarding shorts socks shirt etc. It only took 4 years, but I've finally figured out my ideal outfit. Under Armour tanks, Champion sports bras, Asics shorts, compression shorts underneath those (completely solving any chafing issues), Asics shoes (probably, the jury's still out), Pearl Izumi socks, Camelback waterbelt, Nathan handheld, Garmin, hat, iPod, I'm good to go. I've tried numerous shorts and shirts, and did settle on these brands. In celebration, this past weekend I went on an internet spending spree and bought like 4 complete outfits, dedicated a dresser drawer to run/yoga clothes and am now feeling like a fashionista, all lookin' spiffy and matchy-matchy. This, of course, will last for 2 runs, until I a. fall down, b. eat something (anything!), or c. breathe, after which it'll all be stained, faded and lookin' like all my other clothes. But those 2 runs, man, I'll be looking quite the fitness model.
And, O my, I'll keep this short but I am really getting into my yoga practice. I still fall down, fall over and fall out (and yesterday I cut a big fart -- in a silent class! -- when I did a between-posture sit up), but less so of everything. I'm starting to notice improvements in my flexibility, in my overall body tone (finally!!), and especially in my spinal arthritis. I'm trying to practice every day when I am home, and am starting to put that first on my Things I Must Do Today list. Today I even got up and made a 7:45 am class (I rarely get out of bed before 9am), just because I wanted to. That's something!
Between the running and the yoga, I feel like I've found the perfect fitness cocktail for me. This has only taken me 40 years, but I'm happy to have finally arrived.