I’ve started to notice a bipolar trend in my running performance. When I manage one impressive speed or distance day, I become incompetent and incapable the next. I go from awesome to sluggish, to new personal record, to molasses, to Hooray! then Boo! This week brought this pattern to my attention. Easter Sunday I came closer than ever to rocking the canyon. I still stopped a couple of brief times on the way up and down, but I dug deep and managed some short sprints in both directions and finished with a 13:41 pace. That’s 2 miles uphill and still a couple minutes faster than my BolderBoulder pace last year!
Monday morning I headed back out hopeful for a repeat performance. Not even close. Apparently back to back days of revelry in my speed skills are still an unattainable dream. A half mile in, I almost gave up all together and turned around, but my iPhone chimed in an told me initially I was doing an 11: something pace. I briefly entertained the notion that maybe I WAS actually doing better than I perceived, and I kept going until I remembered my phone’s history of prior inaccuracies. I gave up and resorted to walking up the canyon, on account of muscular insubordination and excessive generalized misery. The unnecessarily large decaf chai latte I chugged before heading out was the primary source of the latter. I have only recently discovered the delectable goodness contained within decaf chai lattes, and it has become my new Achilles. I make them at home and really should be able to control their size.
I pour them into the largest glasses we own so that I can froth them, and then I savor every last spicy drop. Sometimes, I make two. It’s the creamy spiciness of the ginger and vanilla, and I can’t seem to get enough of it.
At some point, I discovered that with non-fat milk, it is somewhat healthier than my former vice, hot chocolate. I happily guzzle it down as my health conscious energy drink. This particular morning, I had roughly 24 ounces. There was extra leftover after I filled my pint glass, and I did not even pause for a second before slurping it all up.
Unfortunately, before a run this apparently exceeds my maximum latte capacity, causing the all too familiar slow breach of my southern dam and adding the element of suspense to my run. Nothing undermines my running confidence and capabilities like the question of whether evidence of my over stressed bladder will manifest itself on my exterior posterior. At the first sign of a drizzly day, I become a wide eyed cat entrapped in a harness for the first time, utterly unsure of my next move and reluctant to stir for fear of inadvertently unleashing the full wrath of mother nature.
The only thing that kept me going were the port-a-potties at the end. I used them, then briefly tried to rally for the return trip until dementia kicked in and my bladder forgot it was empty and my body forgot how to run. I am certainly drier than I was last year, and on most days the dam holds. In fact, I can usually throw caution to the wind and partake in beverages of my choosing without significant consequence. Every now and then, however, the sprinkler system goes haywire, usually a direct result of my inability to coordinate the quantity and timing of beverages before my run. I have steered clear of my doctor since my visit last year, but after today’s experience I promptly rescheduled. Time to see what exciting new innovations the world of gynecology has developed in the last year.
As for the muscle memory lapses, I gather it is not necessarily the wisest training approach to attempt massive-for-me runs on consecutive days. The problem is that Mondays are my new day off, and I feel like I need to maximize running on all of my days off. I may need to rethink my current strategy. As proven by my efforts last week, trying to run up a canyon when I’m still reeling from the previous day’s effort is not necessarily productive. I may have to roll back the alarm and hoist my tushy out of bed for a run before work some other day. Either way, I’m back on beverage patrol for now, reducing my decaf lattes to human sized portions prior to my runs. Sigh. I’ll do what I have to do. As God is my witness, I shall prevail!
On a side note, my husband is my editor-in-chief and I asked him for some feedback prior to posting this blog entry. He rolled his eyes politely and suggested that people may be tired of hearing about my soggy situation. I can’t blame him. He’s been listening to the details almost daily over the last year. When he asks, “How’d your run go?” I immediately prattle off a reply in terms of wet or dry, when it turns out he’s really asking our son about his running effort for the school fundraiser. I’m tired of it too. I wish I no longer had an elephant on my runs, but it refuses to go away and it’s impossible to ignore. For better or worse, I am unabashedly continuing to post for other moms out there who know my misery and the struggle to trudge onward in search of health and fitness. Most men who read this will have no comprehension of the matter until their prostate gets the better of them in a few years (and Grampy, I know you appreciate every word!). Deal with it. Hug your wife, uncork the wine, and pretend to understand the battle she is waging against this offensive, degrading outcome of giving birth to your beautiful children. …Incidentally, Dave bought me a lovely Malbec.