Monday, February 25, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
If you’ve ever met Ryan, you know how passionate he is about fly fishing. He lives and breathes fly fishing. He's gone after everything from tarpon to bass, but is fish of choice, is a trout, be it a Rainbow, Brown, Brooke or Cutthroat. He ties all his own flies; he reads only fly fishing books and magazines; he watches fly fishing on TV; he practices casting in the yard; he named his canoe "The Trout Stalker;" and he has a collection of fly rods that put my handbag collection to shame. He’s been a serious fly fisherman for over 10 years. He’s been on numerous fly fishing trips to Colorado, Pennsylvania, Montana, Florida, Arkansas, and will conquer Alaska this summer.
And after all of this, he’s still never caught his "dream fish." He’s been close more than a dozen times. He’s missed them, he’s hooked them, he’s battled them, he’s let his friends have the opportunity instead, but they’ve always gotten away from him. Don’t get me wrong…he’s caught a million absolutely beautiful large worthy fish that anyone would be more than proud of, but there’s always the potential for more. There’s always the "one" that got away.
This past weekend, Ryan and his buddies went to Arkansas for their annual "Beer Drinking, Trout Fishing Arkansas Man’s Weekend" (that’s my title, not theirs). Every year they go and have a great and manly time, but Ryan comes home once-again disappointed that someone else caught "the big fish." He usually catches "the most fish" (because he’s very talented), but that’s never good enough. So you can imagine my surprise when I get a message on Saturday exclaiming, "I CAUGHT THE FISH OF MY LIFE!!!"
After hooking Walter once and having the fish throw the fly, my most persistent boyfriend stalked, hunted and landed him again. His dream fish!! I am SO proud!! Walter (as Ryan’s father has affectionately named him) is a Brown Trout, wild (not stocked) to the White River in upper Arkansas. Although they didn’t have a tape measure, it’s estimated that Walter weighed nearly 25 pounds!!! This is calculated from some generic scientific formula based on the fish being about 34 inches long with a 22 inch girth. He was caught on a 10 foot 5 weight Sage Z-Axis rod with 4 pound tippet, which is incredibly hard to do without snapping the line. And no, he didn’t keep Walter. Ryan’s strictly catch-and-release, which means he’ll live to be caught another day.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I had a rough week at work. And that was coupled with (or the cause of) me skipping a handful of runs during the week. I was so completely stressed out about work and my training. By Wednesday I was at the end of my rapidly fraying rope and that night I had a meltdown. I just didn’t want to continue with the training schedule or run the marathon. Whether I could do it or not wasn’t the point, I just didn’t want the stress of it anymore. It was just causing problems and beating me up. So I decided to take a few days off and get ready for Saturday’s long run.
Thursday evening, Valentine’s Day, was spent home alone watching crappy reruns on TV and eating everything in the house. Ryan left earlier that day for a long weekend of trout fishing in
All week I couldn’t stop thinking about (dreading) my 18 mile long run scheduled for Saturday morning. For some reason, this 18 mile run has been making me so nervous and scared. I had no problem with last week’s 16 miler and felt great afterwards, but 18 was a different story. This run would be my longest and hardest to date. It was a mental obstacle for me. I needed to be well-rested and hydrated. This was the one time I felt really confident that I could run it. I knew I could do the distance, I just didn’t want to. I wanted to give up and go back to bed. Where was my motivation?
Friday night my mom and Anna came to visit and spent the night with me. We had a nice dinner of tortellini and breadsticks, birthday cupcakes and gelato, then we played a few games and went to bed early. I was still feeling sick, tired and nervous. And of course, I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I woke up at , , and finally I just got out of bed around . My run was at and as I sat in the living room eating my breakfast, I tried to come up with any possible excuse not to go. I was so tired. I felt absolutely terrible. I knew I was sick again. It looked so cold and dark outside. My spirits were completely broken. I forced myself to get dressed. I got in the car with tears in my eyes.
I felt a little better when I pulled up the trail-head and saw all the other TNT runners. There were more people than I expected. A new group had joined that just started their training for the San Diego Rock and Roll
I paired up with another girl who would be doing 14 miles that morning and also training for the
I got home and gave myself a 15 minute ice bath. I think the bath was more painful than the run! But after my steaming hot shower, I felt absolutely refreshed. My legs didn’t hurt at all – what a miracle! Mom, Anna and I treated ourselves to lunch and shopping. Easter came a little early, as you can tell from the pictures. And yes, you saw correctly, a new pair of bunny slippers, to make her fast!!
Total: 30.0 miles
I also got some fantastic and inspiring news...Marion finished her first marathon, Myrtle Beach Bi-Lo Marathon, Saturday morning with a time of 4 hours and 6 minutes!!! That is FAST!! I'm so incredibly proud of you Marion!! You have been such an inspiration to me. I know I'll never be able to beat a time like that, but you've helped me realize what's possible with hard work and determination. And Tim finished the Run the Reagan Half Marathon, his first half marathon, with a time of 1:55:46!! That is also FAST!! He had a great race - which is obvious b/c Tim's already scouting out the location of his first full marathon! I'm so proud of both of you two!! You are my heros!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
"…Something else entered my mind as I grunted through the final miles to finish 4 minutes slower than my PR. Something between gratitude and epiphany on the realization scale. I realized that I am out here, most days of every week, pursuing something that does not come naturally or easily to me. And I have been doing this for 5 years. Never in my life, before running, did I ever push hard after something that did not rank high on the list of things that come easily to me. I have always aspired to/excelled at things that I was already good at. This probably stems from fear, pride, laziness or some perfection compulsion. But running isn't like that for me. It's hard for me. I struggle. I suffer. I get discouraged. I get mad. I celebrate, sometimes. And when I chase after a zippy friend, it's not because I suck, it's because they don't. It isn't [a natural passion] of mine, and that is okay with me, because I love it anyway. I love it the way you love a rivalrous sibling, deep tissue massage, a session with your therapist, giving birth, or a big fight with someone you love. It doesn't always feel good in the moment, but ultimately you are a better person for it. So I may not always run the way I want to run, race the way I imagine myself racing, and my performance outside may only rarely reflect the runner on the inside, but there is a certain endurance rush reserved for those of us who have to work extra hard just to stand on the start line and dream."
I could never explain the "Why?" of running or how it’s changed my life. So, I’ll let Madeline explain it. Although I have yet to met her, Madeline is the younger sister of my good friend Alice. Alice and I met in law school and she is my running hero and guru. Madeline is a student at Xavier University and will be running the Chicago Marathon with Alice and the rest of their family in October.
Madeline’s New Cure-all Elixir
By: Madeline LaFave
What if I told you that I was using a miracle drug that can remedy obesity, depression, drug addiction, smoker’s lung, sleep troubles and many other impediments affecting your daily life? What if I told you that this drug can get you high, make you happy, improve your academic and social life and make your body run like a machine? And what if I told you that this drug was free and legal? Would you do it?
My name is Madeline and I am mild-to-moderately addicted to running. I come from a family of non-runners. Athletes, yes, but none of us have the lean, bony, fatless body that typical runners have. My siblings and I stuck to contact sports in high school, and all four of us began running in college to stay in shape. All three siblings have completed at least one marathon, including my brother who qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon.
I began running half-marathons my freshman year of college, and four or five later, I am ready to train for my first full. I quickly found out that running is neither easy nor boring, as I had once perceived it to be in high school, yet it has the potential to be the most energizing, spiritual, relaxing or challenging part of my day. My self-esteem and confidence sky-rocket during marathon training.My life changed drastically when I committed myself to the sport, and I have an intense desire to share this passion with others.
To those of you who feel unworthy of this miracle drug, I address you specifically.
For the over-stressed and over-worked: Studies have shown that distance running does wonders on the brain. Anxieties become mere annoyances on a run and are put out of the mind. Running provides the perfect mental environment to work out problems. It is one of the most efficient workouts for the schedule-oriented, giving you solid exercise in the least amount of time. Making time for this daily run will force you to improve time-management skills, therefore time is utilized more effectively.
For the smokers: It has been proven that even smokers can recover full lung potential through running. What an awesome gift. There is about 50 percent unused lung potential that can be utilized when running.
For the drug-users: There’s a well-known phenomena in the runner world called the "runner’s high." The runner’s high occurs when the natural chemical Anandamide crosses the blood-brain barrier, creating feelings commonly associated with those of Tetrahydrocannabinol—feelings of euphoria, relaxation and cessation of pain. Last week I spoke with a professional who described the runner’s high as similar to the endorphin high of heroin.
Finally, for the scared: If you have a desire to begin running, that is the first step. The hardest part is getting out the door. Throw on some athletic clothes and shoes and run up and down campus a few times if that is what fatigues you at first. Read up on tips for beginning runners online, head to the gym and try it out on a treadmill or enlist a friend to try it with you. The main thing is to get started and later you can define your goals more clearly.
So drug-addicts, smokers, fatties, skinnies, downers and normal people unite! Try out my drug to solve nearly any problem. Come on, everybody’s doing it!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday: 4.0 miles
Total: 37.5 miles
Monday, February 4, 2008
I took Jenn’s advice and "treated" myself to my first ice bath when I got home. For those of you that don’t run, an ice bath is exactly what it sounds like…a bathtub full of ice water. It’s supposed to help with lactic acid soreness. So, I sat in the cold water and screamed while Ryan dumped in the ice and yelled at me (lovingly, of course) to "Suck it Up!" I can’t say whether it helped a lot, but it definitely couldn’t hurt as tight and sore as my legs felt.
Monday: 4.6 miles
Total: 27.1 miles