A quick update on the past 2 weeks, plus 10 things you need to know about me, the runner

So, the past two weeks: well, week and a day, really, but still. It started with the 18-miler. What can I say? It started out fine, got tough in the middle, but around mile 15 I realized I would be fine and kept banging on until the end. When I was done, I. Felt. Awesome. I’d given blood two days prior, which may explain why I then had a crap week of running these past few days – another shitty 8-mile pace run, flanked by a couple of “meh” 5-mile easy runs. The first one, though, reminded me of one thing I love about where I live: you can run two miles out of the city and be in horse country, isolated completely, surrounded by fields and deer and birds and the occasional errant golf ball. It was really nice, even if my pace was a bit off. I did 13 miles yesterday, which unbeknownst to me until it was too late had a HUGE hill at mile 5. Oops. But after having reached the top of it, I felt completely recharged, which set the tone for the rest of the run. Maybe it was the brisk weather (55 degrees at run time – heaven!), maybe it was my refreshed legs, who knows, but it was a perfectly pleasant and happy half-marathon. (And it actually was 13.1, since I added 0.1 zigzagging through a parking garage when I had to take an unplanned detour and discovered that the normal way out of the garage was closed. Ha!) I also had a fun experience with a blue heron, whom I startled right before the huge 5-mile-marker hill. It flew up out of a creek right in front of me, which scared the crap out of ME in return, but it was a breathtaking sight, these magnificent wings just pawing at the air 5 feet from me. I’m thankful it didn’t turn around and attack me or something.

I calculated my mileage for this month, and it’s the highest it’s ever been: just over 143. I’ll do more next month before I start my taper. That’s insane. My year to date mileage is – and I couldn’t believe this – about 765. By the time my marathon is done, that number will be 942. (Runners know exactly what my next thought was upon learning this) The marathon is November 10; I have a 10-miler in early December, which would knock that number up to 952, leaving me about 47 miles to run over six weeks to get to 1000. That’s 1000 miles, run by MY FEET, IN ONE YEAR.

I might actually go for it. THAT is insane.

This week is a reduced-mileage week – three 5-mile runs during the week – and then 19 on Sunday, which will be 6 on a treadmill at my hotel and then 13 at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge half marathon. AND THEN, oh goodness, I’m going to my first ever Redskins game about which I am so excited I might pop. (Or poop. One never knows with me.)

Finally, apropos of nothing – seriously, I came up with this on my 13-miler yesterday, so no one thing or person triggered it except my own weird brain – here’s an unofficial list of ten things you need to know about me, as a runner. (Read this with a grain of salt, or with tongue in cheek, but maybe don’t combine the two unless you have a canker sore.)

1) I don’t run fast. I run slow, but I can run for a long time. In a possible zombie apocalypse, you want me on your team. Remember this.

2) When we hang out, if I start being That Person who won’t shut up about running, please tell me to Shut It Now. In fact, I’d love to talk about anything else – football, beer, the last good book you or I read. Running already consumes my life. I don’t want it to consume every one of my conversations, but I’m often not aware that it’s doing so before it’s too late. Help me help you not hate me!

3) It’s okay – I think I’m insane, too. And no, I don’t get it either.

4) When I decline to hang out with you on basically any night of the week that’s not Saturday, it’s not because you’re lame. It’s because I’m lame and go to bed by 10:00 every night, because I’m up at 6:00 pretty much every morning. Saturday is the exception to this. Saturday is when I am looking to do something STUPID. And fun.

5) The older I get, the less I can drink like I did in college. The more I run, the less I can drink than I could six months ago. This is good for you, because it makes me an incredibly cheap date. Not kidding: three beers of a good ABV will probably knock me under the table. Or start a fight. Join me for drinks with caution.

6) If you see me running and you honk or wave at me, I’m not going to return your gesture. This is for one of two reasons: one, I’m in the zone, which could mean that I’m focusing on my breathing, or that I’m desperately trying to convince my legs that they want to keep going; two, I’ve run far enough to cause the joyous delirium that removes all thought from my head and renders me basically unable to do little more than put one foot in front of the other and hope I don’t get hit by a car. If you’re in a car, please don’t hit me to say hi to me. I think that somewhat misses the point. 🙂

7) Please please please please don’t feel intimidated or silly or anything because you’re ‘just’ training for a 5k. One, we all had to start somewhere, and I clearly recall how long it took and how awful I felt going from 1 mile to 2 miles to 3 miles. Two, are you kidding? 5ks are HARD. Harder than a half marathon, in my opinion. Are your feet on the ground? You have my respect.

8) If we go out to dinner and you offer to split something with me, be warned: I’m going to eat 75% of it. Sorry. I have a running tapeworm that requires me to eat as if every day is my last day on earth.

9) I have no idea when I smell bad anymore. I spend so much time steeped in my own gross sweat that I’m immune to it. If I stink, please tell me.

10) Last, but certainly not least: especially in the moments after a hard run or a race, but always, even in the middle of the night – I can never adequately express how much your support means to me and motivates me. Even if it’s a two-word “Go Kat!”, it doesn’t matter. Having people back you up is sometimes the only thing that gets you through your worst mile. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And thank you for reading this. 😀

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6 Responses to A quick update on the past 2 weeks, plus 10 things you need to know about me, the runner

  1. Hi Kat. Way back in April, I commented on your post about your first half marathon, and how it inspired me to continue increasing distance in my 10K training. Well, that image of you finishing strong has kept inspiring me, and today I totally rocked my own first half, just as you said I would.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks again, and run a great marathon in November. Go Kat!!

    • kmt4n says:

      Hi Cathal! I remember you, and wow, time sure does fly! That Mooathon looks like it was a serious deal – CONGRATULATIONS on your awesome finish, and awesome toenails 🙂 Do you have any plans for the next race?

      Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for the support, as always. Keep on keepin’ on!

      • First, to clarify: MY time was 1:49:19 – re-reading the comment on the first pic I realize that could have been ambiguous (so I changed it). It was the smiling red-haired woman who “skimmed in at 1:25”, NOT me. (I’m 34, and I’ve only been running again for six or seven months – I’m still a long way off a sub-1:30 half! But 1:50 was my “optimistic” goal time, so I was really pleased to have beaten it, even by a little.) There may not have been any “elite” runners at the Mooathon, but there sure were some serious amateurs. My family were amazed to see a man run up to the 13.1-mile aid station at 1:22, only a minute after the winner of the half, and then proceed to set off on the second half of his marathon. “He looked like he’d just started running”, my brother says.

        My own finish WAS pretty strong, though. Averaging out uphill and down, I was at an average 8:20 pace at 8 miles. From mile 9 I’d been chatting to a guy in a cow suit who caught up to me running his first full Marathon, we both kept up around a 9 mile pace. Then at the 11 mile marker we wished each other luck and I picked it up a bit. I ran the last mile and change at 93% of my max heart rate, and cruised over the line smiling and waving to my family.

        As for my next race, I don’t know. My legs still hurt 🙂 so maybe I’ll think more about it in a few weeks. I’d like to do a couple weeks of running without a schedule or plan (no heart-rate monitor either) just to relax. Then maybe the Connemarathon in Connemara, April 2013. (I really have to stop finding races solely based on how cool their puns are!) I’m not sure at this stage if I really want to train for a full, but the Connemarathon has a half event as well. I’ll try extending my long runs and see how it feels. And I’ll keep an eye out for any local 10Ks, they’re always fun.

      • kmt4n says:

        Haha, gotcha- but still, 1:49 is impressive! I dream of a sub-2:00 half – I get another shot at it this weekend, but I don’t have high expectations – but that you’ve done it after not even a year of running consistently is pretty darn awesome. It sounds like you had the optimal “first half” experience, which is so great.

        I took about a week off after my first half, and then spent the next couple of months just running for the sake of it. No plan, no required mileage, nothing; I had about 10 weeks before marathon training started, so I wanted to just relax and enjoy being able to get outside. Of course, because I am a creature of habit, I fell back into the patterns I’d established during my half training, but it actually made starting the marathon training easier since I’d maintained the base I’d already built up. It sounds like you’re on the right track, though, with taking it easy and seeing how you feel.

        I LOVE races with pun-based names. The Connemarathon sounds exactly like something I’d do based on the name alone! Wish we had more of them over here.

        Enjoy your recovery and time off! And congrats again.

  2. Alyssa says:

    I think we are the same person. Can we make a pact to run a race together in 2013?! Pleaseeeee??? Also, your 10 facts had me nodding in agreement and I think I will be quoting your last one in my next post =) Go Kat!!

    • kmt4n says:

      Oh my goodness, YES, we can/should/must make a pact to run a race together next year! I’m always looking for excuses to travel 🙂 Good luck on your 18-miler this weekend (right?). Go Alyssa! 🙂

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