Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl


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The last long run

I have been on quite the whirlwind of emotions here lately when I think about running in the half marathon next weekend. Being sick for two weeks has sucked all kinds of confidence out of me.  With my last long run (the 9 miler) being 3 weeks ago and my race being next weekend, I knew today was an important one. If I didn’t get a substantial run in today, mentally, I might as well hang it up.

Except for a lingering cough, I’m pretty much over being sick. I bought a humidifier for the bedroom and it seems to be helping me get over everything.

I got up around 7 am and prepared myself for either failure or successful run. I honestly didn’t know how it was going to turn out. After eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich for pre-run fuel, I headed to town.

As soon as I started my run, it began to rain. I knew that it was supposed to today, but I thought it wouldn’t be until this evening. I accepted it as fact and kept going. Nothing was going to stop me today. Rain would only make me more hardcore.  Or at least that’s what I imagined the people in the cars passing were thinking. Look at that girl. She’s crazy. It’s cold and it’s raining. She must be pretty hardcore to be out there this morning.” Yep. That’s what they were thinking. Must have been.

The rain never got stronger than light sprinkling so it never became an issue. I took a little different route and passed several other runners that were out and about. I was feeling good and strong…. and then I looked at my garmin and saw that I had only gone 1.8 miles. Phooey.

I trudged on and only started feeling tired at about 6.5 miles in. The rest, I’m not gonna lie, it was tough. I stopped two times for about a minute to stretch. My butt was sore, my legs were heavy and my feet were aching. By the time I got back to the park where my car was, I was at 9.1 miles. I still had to get that last mile done. I was exhausted. I had been running for two hours. TWO HOURS. Imagine watching a movie. Now imagine RUNNING THAT ENTIRE TIME. I had to walk. I walked. I jogged. I walked some more. I jogged the last two tenths.  I was finished!

I collapsed on the grass.

I don’t know how next weekend will go, but I will be there. I will squeeze every little ounce of energy out of my body and I will finish this thing. One of the things I thought about while running is the same thing my husband said when I got home. I’ve come too far to quit now. I agree. The girl who has pushed so far, so hard… she would be pretty pissed off if she did all of that for nothing.

One week to go.


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Seven mile Sundays

Holy Freaking Crap! I made it!

7 miles checked off the training to-do list to close out a great week. I really can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short time. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all comes out in February. It’s taking a huge commitment, but I’m getting huge benefits from it.

I told you I was never doing a long run on the roads by my house again (due to the crazy hills I have around here), so I headed to the flatland known as Monroe this morning. I started at the local park and then ran the rest of the route through hoity-toityville. It was a really great run, as most of it was quiet and had little traffic. I stayed mostly on divided roads that had medians and wide shoulders. It was nice to not feel like I was about to get smooshed by someone.

About a mile of the trip was running by this Bayou. It was really calming.

Sorry about my finger alien flying around the bottom there. Hey, I was running 🙂

When I started my run is was about 8:45 and around 34 degrees. And windy. Cold and windy. My favorites! I buckled down into it, though, and sure enough, soon I was good and sweaty and thanking the wind when I turned a corner and it cooled me off. Here’s how I remember it..

  • Mile 1 – Started on top of the river levee. Fun view. Running is easy. My thumbs are cold. Should have brought gloves, but I left them in the car.
  • Mile 2 – Beautiful view of the bayou. I’m liking this run. I’m gonna breeze through this whole thing. First signs of life are older lady in santa-red nighty running out to get her newspaper. See three runners and a walker. Third runner’s pace is so fast it makes me look like a sloth. I have to remind myself that speed doesn’t matter to me. I’m faster than I was on the couch.
  • Mile 3 – Just cruising. Watching priviledged society wake up and start to stir on a lazy Sunday.
  • Mile 4 – Bored. And starting to get hungry. I only had coffee and a Zbar this morning.
  • Mile 5 – Longest mile of the day. Seemed like I was on mile 5 FOREVER. I’m bored and I want to be done.
  • Mile 6 – My hips and butt are starting to fatigue. I’m tired.
  • Mile 7 – I’m tired and sore and painfully slow. I try to perk up my pace to finish strong but I’m afraid of dragging my feet. I’m gonna get this done. I’m gonna do this because I have to. I’m gonna do this because I want to.

As soon as I started walking again, I was painfully cold again. I feel like I need to do plenty of runs while it is super cold, though, with my race day being in late February.

Yeah for big accomplishments! I am proud of myself and am actually looking forward to pushing myself even more on next weekends long run.

After doing a little grocery shopping (rocking my sweaty running clothes, yeah), I headed home and had a late brunch/lunch.

Can’t tell what it is, can you?

Well. Ladies and Gentlemen. Let me introduce you to the best, and yes, I said BEST, peanut butter and banana sandwich that has EVER been made!

Except it’s not peanut butter.

It’s PECAN butter. Remember? I made it only a few days ago. I’ve been wondering how to use it, and today I got a major idea lightbulb. I cut two slices out of my homemade sourdough loaf, spread each side with pecan butter, sliced up a banana, drizzled a slight amount of honey, and grilled it with butter in a cast iron skillet.

Oh. My. God.

This was one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten, much less made. The Man hovered over me when he saw what I was making. I gave him a bite and he immediately went to work making his own.

Now, I’m not gonna say that this was a low calorie “diet” food. But I’ve just about decided that I don’t want to live that way. I want to eat food. Enjoy food. Exercise. Be healthy. And I’m gonna see if I can lose a little weight at the same time. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about being smart. Being balanced. And, most of all I think..  Being happy.

And this sandwich made me very, very happy 🙂