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Personal cheerleader

March 3, 2012 1 comment

Today’s run didn’t disappoint in terms of challenging course, tough winds, and extra excitement just past the half way mark.

We ran “Josh’s Eastside Loop” this morning. I hope I never meet “Josh” because I might have to kick him.  The first half of this course consists of hill, turn, steady incline, turn, more steady incline, turn, hill, turn, graveyard, turn, steady incline, turn…(I think you get the point.)  Normally this would be a tough course but today we added a brisk 10-20 mph wind from the north with higher gusts blowing in our faces for the first half and it was really hard at times.  Running against the wind messes with your head after awhile so you have to pay attention to your mental game. At some point, I couldn’t figure out how I could have the wind blowing against me, turn, and still have the wind blowing against me!  I conjured the Austin half in my head and reminded myself I’m mentally strong and I would get through it.

I ran by myself today, which was all my fault. I was running late (hit that snooze once, something I don’t normally do on Saturdays) so I made it to Rogue a few minutes late. By the time I dropped my bag, got my iPod and Garmin on, grabbed a map, and went outside, everyone had gone.  I hadn’t run this distance (7 miles) by myself in awhile but I used to ONLY run by myself so I knew I’d be okay.   At least I got to see a handful of my lovely Rogue ladies on my way into the building =)

This is the route we always get lost on.  I don’t think I’ve ever made the right choice at 11th St and Navasota. Today was just like any other day so I spent some time headed west on 11th when I should’ve been heading north on Navasota. I walked around some, trying to figure it out, so my 1st mile was an upper 12.  I was a little nervous running on some of the streets by myself on the east side of Austin, but the area is really changing and I love seeing the history of the area and there would be one or two people I’d cross paths with from time to time so it was fine.

I had a healthy wedgie so I decided to get it out since I hadn’t seen any runners around me for awhile.  Of course, about 20 seconds later, a couple ran up behind me and past me.  I bet I blushed.  It was really funny =)

The first water stop wasn’t until @ mile 3 and the next one was just before mile 4. I was stopped at a light when I heard someone yell out the window “good job, girl” so I turned and there was a man in a small gray car smiling at me.  I’m always friendly to people when I run, especially Saturday mornings.  I like to say “good morning” and smile and be cheerful.  So I smiled at the guy at the light and turned back around.  Okay, let me qualify that last statement. I’m usually friendly when I run. When cars are inconsiderate and come close to hitting me or my friends, I’ve been known to get a little mama-bear-with-rabies.  Not gonna lie.

I proceed to head south, wind at my back (woo hoo!) and was approaching Pleasant Valley which is a nice flat road back to Rogue.  I see my “friend” from the car at the light take a right, make a u-turn, and sit at the next intersection. Didn’t realize he was waiting for me until he turned right as I  passed the intersection and gave me a “looking good!” out the window.  At this point, I’m not completely freaking out.  There are 1-2 people ahead of me and I passed someone a block or two back so I’m not completely by myself.  Plus, he wasn’t being derogatory or aggressive, just a little creep-o.  Over the next two miles, he would appear in various places, yelling out to me his “words of encouragement” and this just made me run a little faster so I could try and keep up with the people way in front of me.  Right after I took a right on 5th St from Pleasant Valley, I heard a car slowly approaching me on my right.  It was him.  I had my iPod on, which I kept on, but he proceeded to give me some compliments (we’ll just say that, um, he seemed to be appreciative of my, um, womanly curves. Yes. I think that sums it up.)  He also proceeded to ASK ME FOR MY PHONE NUMBER.  Um, yeah, no.  So I kept my smile on my face and said “sorry, I have a boyfriend” because what the hell am I supposed to say?  Seriously?  I didn’t want to be a bitch but I didn’t want to encourage him at all.  He rode alongside me for a minute longer, stating he had to give it a shot because he’d probably never see me again, and he left.  I kept thinking he’d show back up at some point but he didn’t.  I was relieved.  Although the whole situation was weird and creepy, I never felt threatened, just a little stalked.  I ran a lot faster those last 3 miles though!  Check out my splits!

12:39, 11:46, 11:59, 11:56, 11:18, 11:01, 11:14, 10:49 (last 2/10 of a mile)

You can tell when my Gu kicked in, when the course got easier, and when my stalker started following me just after mile 4.  I kicked it into gear!  My running friend, Saira, told me she’s praying for me that I meet someone special.  I think she needs to pray just a little bit harder =)

Some of our Northside Runaways were going to eat breakfast with our coach after the run but Kate had a soccer game at 9:30am so soccer mama duties trumped breakfast with friends.  Kate played a great game.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Finding my balance again…

January 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Before todays long run, I only had 30 miles under my belt since my marathon on Dec. 4th. This was due to my 2 week recovery where we ran less, me missing runs, and a 9-day period where I didn’t run at all because I was sick.  After being sick in November, I didn’t want to chance it this time so I took it easy.  I ran last Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and cross-trained on Thursday this week so I’m getting back into the swing of things.  The Austin half-marathon is on 2/19 and I need to jump back into it with both feet to be ready.

I sure missed running.  I gained a few pounds over the holidays, which was to be expected with what I ate and the minimal running I was doing.  Now I’ll need to shave those pounds off before the Austin half.  I can do it.

But even more than the physical ways I missed running, my brain/psyche/heart missed it the most.  The majority of my holidays were filled with great times with family but unfortunately, there was one event that happened and it tore me up inside.  It was out of the blue, nothing I could’ve predicted, and nothing I expected.  It really worked me emotionally, big time.  I decided pretty quick that I wouldn’t let it shape this whole holiday for me so I focused on my family and made the best of it.  I had no control over this situation, all I could do is react and hope I was choosing right.  I was so fortunate to be surrounded by so many great family members though so it was easy to get distracted and wrapped up in what was going on around me.  But I was counting the days to when I would feel good enough to go run again because I knew I needed to press “reset” in my heart and a good run can always do that for me.

When I first started running, I cried almost every time I was out there.  I ran by myself, even after I started running with Rogue, because I had a lot of feelings and insecurities I had to work through first.  It touched me to my core that I was believing in myself, pushing myself far beyond my preconceived “limits”, and seeing success after success.  The tears just flowed and flowed.  I felt like running was an emotional and spiritual cleansing of sorts and once I worked through so much, I was able to join in with my teammates and open up more.  I’M SO GLAD I REACHED THAT POINT!  My Rogue ladies mean so, so, so very much to me.  I always love to see their smiling faces and hear about their successes on the road.  We have a true sisterhood and I know they’ve got my back.

But today, after everything that happened over the holidays, I had to go back to running by myself, turning up my iPod, and working things through in my head.  Over the first couple of miles, I chatted with Denise and Whitney and it was great!  But then I could feel I needed to peel off and just be by myself.  I also decided today that “easy pace” wouldn’t be my goal for this entire run.  This Coach’s Special route was TOUGH, lots of hills.  I ascended 2267 ft and descended 2397 ft, all in a SEVEN MILE span of distance.  But I still pushed past my easy pace because I needed to feel myself pushing hard those last handful of miles.  It felt SO GOOD, too.  I ended up running 7 in 1:22:45 and my overall pace was 11:49.  I’m leaving my Garmin on the whole time, no auto-pause or turning it off at lights/water stops.  Here were my splits:

12:33, 12:37, 12:04, 11:26, 12:27, 11:42, 9:52

This included two brief water stops and several lights, one that seemed to last forever.  I loved how I felt out there today.  I’m so grateful to have this outlet to help me celebrate the joys in my life and also to work through the tough times.

I did foot drills when I got back to Rogue and bought my Mac Attack shirt (it’s AWESOME and proceeds of this shirt go towards Rogues’ own Scotty Mac and Alison Mac, who are attempting to qualify at the Olympic trials soon – WOW!)  I think it’s double-cool that my last name happens to be MacAllister, by the way.  I’m wearing this shirt with pride.  Riding on the coattails, baby!  I sped home, took a 5 minute shower, and zipped Dylan over to his archery class by 9:35am.  Yes, I’m wearing my Super Mom cape today but I’m happy to be finding my balance again, spending time taking care of myself – body, mind, and soul.   Happy Running to you all!