Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jingle all the way!!!!!!!!

I made it. Without being mowed over, thrown in a ditch or passing out. And all my thanks goes to Susan Cloninger. She pushed me to places I didn't know I could go. There is something to be said about having someone at your side for these things.

It was amazing. I got up at 6:30 this a.m. This was after staying awake half the night thinking and worrying and wondering what the heck I was doing. Me, Donna Logan, out on the streets with all those "runners". What was I thinking? Had I totally lost my mind? Sure I could walk 3 miles in my neighborhood, but run/walk a 5K with all that pressure? No way. Then I would roll over and remind myself that I had wanted to do this for years. So, I showered, dressed, ate half a banana, checked my items to take 12 times, (you know, just to make sure they hadn't jumped out of my purse) and wandered aimlessly about the house until time to go.

I was to meet Susan at 8:15 in front of the steak house on Battleground. I arrived a few minutes early and walked up and down the street. Well, other people were doing sprints, stretching, etc., so I decided it must be what I should do. When Susan arrived, I felt a little better. At least she knew me and what I was or was not capable of. And I was not one of those experienced runners. We stood around and chatted with other people and really had a great time just talking. I think that helped calm my nerves. That and going to the portajon 6 times. Yes, 6 times. I'm certain it was just nerves. Nobody has to go to the bathroom that much. It was funny, everytime I went and got in line, the same women were there.

It was finally time to take our place in line (after a 30 minute delay). My idea was to go to the very back. I mean the absolute very end of the line. But no, Susan thought we should be up close to the front with all the excitement. So, that it is where we started out. Now my other idea was to start off a a nice steady walk. Nope, Susan thought we should start off at a nice steady run. By this time, I was about ready to ditch her. But, once again, I gave in.

The race started and off we went at our nice steady run down Gold Street. Now, we are nice steady running and about 5 thousand people pass us. Go figure. We then took a left and headed (steady walking) up "Killer Hill", which, in reality, was not that bad. I have learned to always look at the ground when going up killer hills. Next we rounded the curve and headed down toward Marion Street. More steady running. Then steady walking, then steady running. All this time Susan is monitoring our speed with her fancy little watch thingy and tells me we are right on target. Two days earlier, she had informed me that we needed to cut 4 minutes off our time from our practice trial. Who the heck was she kidding???? The only way I could see us/me doing that would be to cut some area off the route. you know, that little road at the end of Marion that connects to Hillside? Just saying. I would never do anything like that. Not with all those people around and they had spies along the route. But anyway, she was monitoring our speed and we were doing a lot better this time. Next, we headed around Hillside Drive pass the Boy Scouts. Sweet little guys with water cups. I opted to pass on the water. (no bathroom breaks on the route.) Susan had been giving me gum and that helped. (She is wonderful. She knows all the tricks.)

Next we rounded to the left down Sims Street. Steady running down the hill and almost all the way to Gold Street. At this point, the 10Kers began lapping us. Hmmmm. Show offs. Well, not really, I was really impressed. These people were serious and hauling it up that hill. Next, we turned left on Gold Street to nearly the end.

We turned and headed back up Gold Street. The final stretch. We were now able to see all the people behind us. Hundreds. So, we really weren't doing all that bad. I was drained at this point, or so I thought. Susan, still monitoring our speed, kept encouraging me to slow down my breathing and keep it up. "I" encourage her to go on and leave me to die. But when I saw all those other people, I just kept going. Surely I could make to the end.

When we topped the hill at Goforth, I could see the light at the end of the looooooong tunnel. Still a far distance, but not as far as it had been. I think I can, I think I can.

Then, the last and final stretch.......The finish line well in sight. All those people cheering us on. The sign that read "my mascara runs faster than you". All this helped to push me across the finish line. The announcer said our names and I looked at my time "46:13"....WOW super WOW. We had not only shaved off 4 minutes from our time, we had shaved off 9 minutes. AND finished..

Now, yes, I know most people finish in less than 30 minutes but that's ok with me. I finished. Like Susan said, "You got out of bed this morning and did it."

I really don't know how to describe exactly how it felt. When I saw that finish line, still in the distance, I felt something amazing within. There it was, something I had thought out of reach, now a reality.

I feel inspired. Inspired to try harder to run more. Inspired to walk stronger when not running. Inspired to keep at it.

So, my "Road to Jingle Bell" was pretty long. But, I got there.................

Thursday, December 1, 2011

T minus one

One more day and then it's on. Susan and I walked the route today. Still not real sure how I feel about it. I do know with absolute certainty that I felt better having her with me. It sure did seem like a loooooooooong way. There were lots of other people out doing the same thing. Most of them running. Whatever...good for them.....All those skinny little girls in their tight little spandex pants. humph.

OK, enough negativity. I am excited. That first hill is deadly but after that, it wasn't really that bad. We actually ran down Sims Street and up the little hill and finished in about 55 minutes. Susan, my inspiration, says we will probably finish faster on Saturday with all the other people around. Well, all I had to say to that was that she might but I am not real sure about me. I am 50, you know. Never done anything like this before in my life. I have heard of lots of people doing things they never thought they would do when they get my age. Things like skydiving or getting a tattoo or buying a cutsie little red sports car. So I guess a 5K is a conservative way to enter this stage of life.

Anyway, I guess we'll see how it goes on Saturday. Everything I have read says to rest up the day before and get a good night's sleep. Good luck with that sleeping thing. And dangit, I want a hoodie.....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

well, here goes nothing....

Well, I did it. I registered for the Jingle Bell Run. After 4 years, I finally signed on. I have a friend who has volunteered to walk with me. Yes, I did say walk. I am not a runner. Oh, I can run from one mailbox to the next and then walk to the next, then run two mailbox lengths and walk the next two, etc., but that is where my running ends. I just can't seem to get any further in the running process. Maybe I am not trying hard enough. Or maybe I just was not cut out to be a runner.

I am semi-excited about the JBR. BUT, I think I am more anxious than anything. I really don't know what to expect. Here are a few things I am concerned about:
(1) Where do I go? Me and my friend are walking the route tomorrow afternoon so maybe that will help. Knowing me, come Saturday morning, I'll forget my own name and have no clue as where to go.
(2) How many people will be there? Not that I really care, but are we going to all start out neck and neck? Will they all just slide right by me and leave me at the rear? Or, worse than that, will the run over me like a bunch of cows in that bull run thing in Mexico or wherever? I can just see it now, me, splattered face down on Gold Street.
(2) Will I be able to make it? Well, I have been walking 3 miles or so these days so I should be able to finish. Key word here is "should". I'd hate for my friend to have to call 911 or my husband to come get me off the side of the road.
(3) Hills???? Heck yeah. I know the area and it is up hill all the way there and back. I will probably pass out. 911
(4) Will I be properly dressed for the occasion? Too hot too cold?
(5) What if I have to go to the bathroom? Believe me, this is a real concern for me. I have to go a lot.
(6) Did I sign up too late to get a hoodie? Dangit, I want one.

Oh well, after reading of this list, I realize that some of these concerns are not very important ones (except the bathroom thing). Oh, and the being mowed down by the mob and the killer hills. I bet some of these people are a lot more serious about this race thing than I am.

Which brings me to my final point about the Jingle Bell Run. This is for me. It is only important for me to me. I just want to start and finish. Oh well, prayers please.and if you don't ever hear from me again, I died trying....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wow!!! I haven't blogged here in 10 or so months. I have been walking and have not really decided if I am up to the Jingle Bell Run in a couple weeks. A couple weeks????? It sounds closer when you type it than when you say it. I really, really do think I could handle the 2 mile run/walk. I mean, seriously, who couldn't. I just have some reservations. First, what if I fall. I have this fear running down Maner Road absolutely everyday. No I am not really a clutz but I do have moments when I feel like my feet are not quiet fast enough for my body. It might be because of the spare tire I carry around my middle. I am, however, working on ridding myself of the spare. The walking is helping and the starvation diet (not really. Is hashbrown casserole and a chocolate cookie I had a church this morning part of a starvation diet? Just asking.) appears to be helping too. My family doctor has "requested" that I lose 18 pounds. Yes, 18 pounds. This, on top of the 10 I had already lost before I would face him at my routine appointment, puts me at losing 28 pounds. Oh well, it doesn't sound so scary since I only have about 11 more to go...Woohoo. Oh, but that is not the end. That is just where the doctor wants me to be. I have bigger plans for myself.

Ok, back to my reservations. Second, I haven't a thing to wear. Seriously. What does one wear in a 2 mile run? On my daily excursions I simply wear my capris sweat pants and an over-sized sweat shirt. Not very comfy but I refuse to wear spandex leggings and a sports bra and tight fitting shirt. Spare tire, remember.....Anyway, I must consult my fashion guru, aka Liz Eagle, if I want to step out, or walk/run out, in proper fashion attire. Then there is the shoe issue. I am in desperate need of new running shoes. But $100.00 on a new pair of running shoes for myself this close to Christmas seems selfish. North Carolina lowly paid public school teacher here.

Third issue. The foot thing. Oh, I did have major surgery to remove the culprit last week. (Not really major surgery in a health care sense, but anytime someone comes at me with a sharp object, I consider it major.) But the little bugger is coming back already. I don't know what the next step is. I guess just keep going back. Lane says to go ahead and try the "you didn't fix it right the first time" thing and see how that works. But it did seem to be "fixed" last week. It is probably the spare tire putting too much pressure on the poor thing. You'd think my big eight point fives would be able to hold up all this weight sufficiently. Guess not.

Fourth issue. The 3rd is Catherine's birthday. Since she has moved away and become, as we refer to her, "The Duchess of Sumter", I want to be able to spend the week-end with her. She is supposed to be coming home so I could still do the run but if not, (and you know how kids, especially mine, change their plans at the last minute) I want to go to Sumter. Where the heck is Sumter anyway???? I don't think I have ever been there. I hear it is a beautiful little town. She seems to like it there..

My fifth and final issue is this. How stupid will I look out there. Oh, I know, I really shouldn't care how I look. I mean I am the one who is on the streets with no makeup, hair unkept, stained shirt, etc., but there will be millions of people at this thing. Well, maybe not millions but hundreds anyway. They will all pass me from the beginning when the gun fires. (I will probably jump out of my skin and fall backwards and be trampled to death by the mob anyway.) Seriously though, I walk/run for no other reason than to please myself and make me healthier. I don't really need to have anyone track my run and see how fast or, in my case, how slow I am.

I love, love, love my daily outings about the neighborhood. I'm not really sure how far I am up to these days because most days I just keep going and going...I usually walk about 50 minutes to an hour. My pace does vary and sometimes I stop to chat or look at something on the road or admire someones flowers or pick up some treasure along the way or simply meditate and admire the beauty around me, even on cold or rainy days. Will I be able to do that at the Jingle Bell? On second thought, maybe I don't need the Jingle Bell. Maybe I need to just continue doing what I'm doing. You know, just for me.....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bronco Bill...I mean Donna

I am affectionately referring to this past week as "Bronco Donna" week. No, I do not ride horses but I do like western movies. I think I missed out by not living in the days of the wild frontier and living off the earth. That would have been great. Anyway, my Bronco is a 1983 to 1985 (can't remember the exact year) Ford. My hubby, bless his little heart, bought the Bronco, the first time, about 15 years ago. He has since bought the Bronco two more times. Yes, he bought the same car 3 times. He sold it the first time to a guy who worked for him. They guy got it stuck in a creek and decided he didn't want it anymore so hubby bought it back from him. Several thousand dollars later, it was as good as new. Next, he sold it to my cousin in Georgia for their 16 year old son. She then decided that a vehicle without air bags was not a good idea for her son. I agree. So, hubby bought it back from them. 3 times. I have threatened to divorce him if he sells it again. I know the DMV is bound to get a kick out of him.

I didn't work Monday or Tuesday but on Wednesday I had to go in., Now, I was not about to move my new car any where so I was left with no choice but the Bronco/dog taxi. My hubby uses this vehicle to take his dogs places. He has a secret place (well, I know where it is) that he takes the dogs on Sunday afternoons and he uses the Bronco as the taxi. Said vehicle is a magnet for dog hair. It is totally covered on the inside in dog hair. And did I mention the seat belts are crazy and I am a seat belt stickler. I had to put an extra-large beach towel in the seat and fight the seat belt for 20 minutes before I could even start the thing. Oh, and did I mention that the Bronco is a straight drive? Straight drives do not scare me. I learned how to drive on a tractor and a pick-up truck in the country so I can handle it. AND, when I was in high school, I drove a straight drive school bus. Can you believe they used to let students drive buses? I shudder at the thought. I wouldn't let my kid get on a bus with me if I was 16. Whew..scary....

After two days of Bronco Donna, I had hubby to dig out my car. I only drove to school and to Cat's salon. Avenue 427 Salon, 704-739-6955 (just saying). Gold Street was a little scary and my street is still scary. But, I did survive the week of the Bronco.

I missed three days in a row of walking/running. And boy could I tell it!! I hope I don't have to do that again. It is hard to go back to where you were after missing that much time. I thought I was going to drop dead on Wintergreen on Thursday but I made it. And today seemed harder. I don't know. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Now, to the cute, skinny, blonde with the perfect hair, legs and whatever, please stay off my street when running, especially if I am out there too. Why don't you just stay out of my neighborhood, better yet, go run in another town. You really didn't have to pass me three times AND talk to me when you knew I couldn't breath much less talk. Matter of fact, why don't you just take your perfect little cutsie self to another state.....hmmmmm??????

Anyway, hope the weather holds out so I can make up for lost time this week.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

running in the rain

There are a few things that I have come to realize since beginning my new program. They are as follows:

1) If you take your leggings out of the dryer because you had to wash them in the morning before you went to school because the cat slept on them and they had hair on them and they are the only ones you have and you know you will need to wear them because it is going to be cold and rainy, make sure they are good and dry.

2) If you are running down Maner Road in the rain and cold and your glasses get wet, do not take them off and try to dry them on your hoodie because your hoodie is going to be wetter than your glasses.

3) Do not run with your eyes closed no matter how exhausted you are on that last stretch.

4) Do not believe your husband when he is outside fixing a sled for granddaughter in anticipation of a big snow and says he will keep the dog from following you because half way up Wintergreen Court you will look down and there will be the crazy little canine and you will have to turn around and take the crazy little canine home and start all over.

5) If your neighbors stare at you as you walk/run past, pay them no attention. So what if you haven't brushed your hair (and maybe your teeth) and you have on no makeup and your panting like you are about to die. Your out there to feel good, not look good...So there....

6) Always keep your head up. They do park port-a-johns in the road at new house construction sites on Wintergreen Court and you will run into it.

7) Don't spit..Someone is always watching...

OK...I think that's all I have learned. I am still doing 4 to 1 mailbox lengths... and am very proud. What will I do if it snows? I am really worried about missing a day. I was thinking that maybe I could do sit ups or something in the house. But I feel like I need to do something for 30 minutes since that is how long my outings take (more if I have to bring the dog back) and I don't think I can do sit ups for 30 minutes. Probably not 30 seconds. Oh well, I'll figure something out. It is amazing how good I feel these days. Giving up the diet cokes (almost totally but still have to have some in the morning) has made me drink more water and I am not having any trouble going to sleep and staying asleep. Wonderful. I even get up earlier. Why am I still getting to school only seconds before the bell rings?????

Until next time......

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Today's adventure was absolutely wonderful. I started out at exactly 5:00 and was back in at 5:27. Now, I don't know if that is good or not, but I did hustle. My running is getting so much better. Instead of running from one mail box to the next and then walking to the next and so on, I was able to run 3 mail box lengths to 1 walk. It wasn't too bad. When I got home I figured that I had done half a 5K. Could I double that? Probably.

Liz promises me that at this rate I will definitely be ready for the NoDaween 5K in October. She thinks I might be able to do a 5K before then so the Jingle Bell Run is definitely a possibility this year. I hope so. We'll see how it goes and how the hip holds out. So far, I haven't had to take pain meds before or after but the old(and I do mean old) hip is a little achy tonight.

The temperature was around 40 but with my new black leggings, it was not too bad. Actually, on the return trip, I had to roll up my sleeves and I was sweating when I came in.

I have decided that the way I have been able to build up my running endurance is to think of something totally away from the actual running. On Monday, I planned my seating chart for the computer lab at school and today I planned out some poetry lessons for a couple weeks for now. Robert Frost will really get you moving.

I have actually lost 7 pounds in the last two weeks. Yippee. I'm not really focusing on weight loss here but it is a nice perk. I'm also sleeping better. I think that has a lot to do with the drastic reduction in my diet coke addiction. I have been downing water like crazy (which I should do anyway) and have steered clear of the diet cokes. They don't even interest me that much anymore.

I want to get a treadmill to put upstairs in front of the window. That way, when it is rainy or snowy or whatever, I will have an alternate plan. I wouldn't use it everyday, so I am a little hesitant to invest the $$$$ in it. I'm going to give it some more thought before I do anything.

I want to be a runner.....:)