Wednesday, May 6, 2009

cramps and bricks and trail runs...oh my

First of all, I still don't have this blogging thing into my regular schedule. Change takes time for me. I think about blogging often (like I think about titles and things to write about and pictures that I want to include, etc. ) but I don't have the timing as a part of my routine yet.

Cramps - I got cramps once before while I was swimming. It sucked. This time, it sucked even more. Why? 'Cause I got them in both legs - not at the same time though. Saturday morning we ran in the Philosopher's Way Trail Run (my first trail run-race). It wasn't part of our training plan but it was something local and something we wanted to support so we did it. I had a fruit smoothie and a Power Bar. The race was great (more on that later). I ate lunch (peanut butter and jelly maybe - can't remember right now). Anyway, after enough time for lunch to settle, we went for our swim - major swim of the week - something like 2300 yards. I realize for some of you that's nothing - but for me, well, I'm still working on it. And, yay ralla - there were no drills, just a ladder. JUST A LADDER. WTF. 50. Then 100. Then 150. Then 200. Then 250. Then 300. Then, holy crap, I was supposed to come back down the ladder. Well, my legs decided they didn't want to come back down the ladder. They just decided to stay at the top of the dang ladder. I got to like the last length of my first 300 and got MAJOR cramps in my calf. Did you know it's dangerous to get cramps while you're swimming? Me too, now. I stopped in the middle of the pool, grabbed my leg (rock hard - not like that Glaven) and the lane divider thingy - all the while, the lifeguard is staring at me. I informed him that I had cramps and inched back to the wall. I breathed ('cause all of those football players when they get cramps they take in oxygen so I thought if I breathed a lot it would help); I stretched ('cause it's the opposite of what was going on in my calf at the time); and I wished for a banana ('cause that's what everybody says you need when you have cramps). It got a bit better, so I swam back to the other side and took an extra long break - stretching and stuff. MTP (my training partner and just plain fabulous partner/girlfriend) checked on me to make sure I was okay - being the good girlfriend that she is. (Word to the girlfriend.) I was okay but VERY frustrated. I mean, I wasn't looking forward to the swim anyway but good golly I was there and I was doing it and I wanted the credit for finishing it. DAMN IT! She said that it wasn't safe to continue because I could get another cramp and if I wasn't careful then it could catch me by surprise and I could swallow water and, ya know, like drown. EEK. So, what did I do? Yep, that's right, I tried to continue swimming. But, I got about 2 or 3 strokes and got another MAJOR cramp in my other leg. Holy cannolli batman. And, it like moved - it started in one place and traveled. Did you know that cramps travel? I didn't. I thought they got real comfortable in one place and just tightened up. But, nooooooo. It started in one place and then either moved up or just invited all the rest of the muscles to join in the cramp party. It was then that I realized the cramps had gotten the better of me and that I needed to just through in the goggles - so I did. Literally.

So back to the trail run. (Hmm. Why did I start with cramps and then come back to the trail run? Weird.) It was great fun - humid and bee-yoo-tiful. The rocks were fantastic. The trail had all these great roots and dips and steep (but thankfully short) climbs. The support was fun (PBR at the water station - gotta love that - someday, I'm gonna drink one of those in the middle of a run - by god). They had music that drifted through the trees and there were all kinds of really nice people. Oh yeah, we made a couple of friends too. I saw some people that I knew and reconnected with others that I hadn't seen in awhile. All in all, a great time. I like this trail running thing. I like the shifts in terrain. I like that I can totally get into a zone but it's a totally different zone than the kind I get in during a road run. Trail running is very zen (like I know anything about zen - but if I did, I bet it would be zen). And, I wasn't last. I wasn't fast. But, I wasn't last.
MTP produces a much better race report, IMHO, so please check out her post/report here.

Now about the bricks. No, not those kind of bricks (except that is what my legs felt like the first time I did a brick). And, yes I did say brick-suh. That's plural - ride, run, repeat. Now for you seasoned veterans out there, this might not seem particularly challenging but I remember what my first brick felt like (reference the bricks) so I was a bit skairt. But, a little fear never stopped me before so why start now. We did our first 15 miles and it wasn't that bad - it wasn't that great but it wasn't that bad either. Then, we ran 2 miles. We ran slow but good-golly-miss-molly I felt progressively better during the run. That so rarely happens to me - the whole feeling better the more I run thing. Yay freakin' ralla! Then, we sadled up and rode another 15 miles (which felt not-too-bad). I'm pretty sure we had a serious negative split on the second half of the second 15 miles. DUDE. WTF. I have to confess though that we were okay with just letting the second brick go in the event that we felt a single raindrop. But, alas, the weather held perfectly for us during our second bike. We finished the ride with that fantastic negative split but I held out NO hope whatsoever of having a decent run the second time around. I mean c'mon my legs felt like bricks before, I was pretty sure they would feel like, well, um, lead-encased bricks.
But, ya know what? We started running and even though it was tough (because we had a faster pace than our earlier run) , we did it. And, the second mile of our second 2 mile run after our 2 15 miles bikes was faster than any of the other miles - that's like a negative split squared. Dude. WTF. Where the hell did that come from?
It was a huge confidence builder for me. Seriously though, this training thing - totally rocks! (Except when it sucks.)


  1. Training totally rocks except when it sucks - AMEN! I love "MTP" by the way (as long as I still get to be LP and GF too.) :D And I love your race reports. Yay ralla!

  2. Whoa, sister, you haven't posted in a while, but you don't have to do a month's worth of words in one post! (Hahahahaha! Look who's talking!)

    I like the fact that people think of me when they think of "hard". I was just disappointed when I didn't come to mind when you mentioned "banana".

    Maybe next time.

    I remember the first time I had a calf cramp - I was like 11; it was after swimming in the ocean up in frigging MAINE, like an idiot, where the water was like 60 degrees.

    I really thought I was dying till my dad said it was "just" a cramp. And I was like, well what do I do? And he's like, Relax the muscle.

    Are you EFFIN KIDDING ME?!? It's a ROCK!1!

    Luckily, it happened while I was no longer in the water.

    Still, those effers - cramps - are painful!

    Great job on the trail run and the bricks.

    (P.S. Tell MTP to stop SNORTING INSECTS!1!)

  3. bricks can be tons of fun. stick with it.

  4. Great job on your workouts! Sorry about the cramps in the swim the swim sucks enough with out that! Oh yeah, you like the swim it is me who HATES it. ;o)Glad posted. I ma pretty sporadic myself these days.

  5. Donna, at home and don't feel like logging into C2S so sending you this message here. I signed up for Team Sakina (and am now on their mailing list). Thanks for telling me about that! Are you going to do it?


  6. I feel the same way about blogging. I have so many ideas on the workout, but as soon as I get home, the ideas are completely gone.

    but this was a great post. Way to make up for lost time.