Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Friday, 7 May 2010

No More Mrs. Nice Mom

I've decided it's time to concentrate less on caring for my kids and more on my running and weight loss. (How much is SLG joking this time?, you ask)

Have I enjoyed too many wonderfully-prepared meals with the kids and strayed too far from my own OCD eating habbits? What IS it that stops a person from getting faster when they continue to train hard? Have I reached the limit of my talent? Or did I just have a bad day?

I ran intervals on Wednesday. The first mile was in 6:29 and felt good. But then the second, which was uphill and into the wind was 6:46. The time in itself wasn't so bad, it was just that it felt so extremely hard! I had to pull off into the woods, with tears in my eyes and take a long break. I was so nauseated. It reminded me of when I started doing intervals last fall. It wasn't fun anymore. The third mile was in 6:35. Again, the time itself wasn't bad, but I was miserable. The fourth was very slow in 6:58. Ew. Why did my legs feel fast, but the rest of my body just feel like crap? I was so nauseated and tired. A week before my expected period, I couldn't even claim possible pregnancy as an excuse, or PMS for the matter. Number 5 mile interval in 6:54. But I was done. I couldn't suffer anymore. I gave up, one interval short of my goal. If I had just continued to do one more, I could have been on par with my fastest intervals ever. But I didn't have it in me.

I wanted an excuse so badly that I broke my own rule and took a pregnancy test before my missed period and it was, of course, negative. There is just nothing worse than being fat, slow, nauseated and NOT pregnant.

So what has happened? One thing that fascinates me with speed work is finding the limiting factor. Though I claim to be a scientist who is interested in running, this is a subject I struggle with. I don't think the limiting factor was my legs. But it was more this general feeling that I couldn't do more. So I had to wonder if it was my weight. My weight has crept up in the last few months, though I am not convinced it is bad. I think it is muscle and has a least led me to be a faster swimmer and cyclist. And I did the first pull-up in my life the other day. But one of my two main goals for the Copenhagen Marathon is to lose 1-2 kg, while continuing the same intense training and hopefully not losing muscle. The other under-appreciated factor in fast running, is simply believing you can run fast. Along this line, Emily Pease pointed a study out to me that found that simply believing you have good vision, improves your vision.

So are these smart plans for a Copenhagen Marathon PR?

1. Lose 1-2 kg
2. Continue current training with big taper the week before
3. Regularly bask in the glory of my speed

And no more fun and games.

Totally unrelated #1: Was excited to get a reader from Saudi Arabia the other day, but then realized they found my blog by searching for "lactating tit girl". I hope they found what they were looking for. Isn't that also how you found my blog, Steve Q? (hehe... giving you a hard time just never gets old)

Totally unrelated #2: on a scale of 1-10, how annoyed are you by the band Owl City (10: most annoyed)?

Running songs of the day: Swim Until You Can't See Land by Frightened Rabbit, Lewis Takes off his Shirt by Owen Pallett (both great for long, lonely runs in the rain)


mmmonyka said...

There is something in the air in Europe (and it is volcano unrelated) that makes us feel like crap, horrible, sluggish, negative. That's my current excuse. I have been feeling very negative and like crap lately (and I am sure I am not pregnant, because I had biology and know how babies are made, so it is not possible:))and I have runner friends who feel the same.
I guess we just need to focus on something positive and do not dwell on negative things, although I am really enjoying complaining to everything and everybody about how "l'entrainement/l'entraineur de la merde produit les resultats de la merde" .

PiccolaPineCone said...

wow, I have locked the doors, bolted the windows, closed the shutters and la cocotte and I have taken refuge in the basement because I expect the turbulence from the STORM of comments from people after reading that first sentence to reach all the way from Denmark to Northern Italy :)
it is hard to maintain normal healthy eating around babies/kids. being a stay at home mom has DESTROYED any sense I had of normal, healthy eating (was planning a post on this soon).

cherelli said...

Hey it was just one session...maybe there were other contributing factors? Sleep, something you ate (blood sugar bonk), low in iron?, just not in a tough headspace day....don't get to extreme! (Oh and yeah, like Piccola I thought there'd be a flurry of emails after that first comment; maybe there was a collective sigh instead :) )

Anonymous said...

I too was waiting for the fallout... maybe not this time though. :-) I agree that there's nothing worse than feeling that way and then finding that you're NOT pregnant - at least that would feel like an explanation. I don't know how feasible the weight loss will be with hard training. I know that I'm not as fast or as light as you but I had to totally set my goals aside the last few weeks of my half marathon training because I couldn't figure out a way to be ready for my harder runs, lose weight, and breastfeed. Maybe your bad intervals (though they sounded wonderfully fast to me!) were a fluke. I hope so!

Ewa said...

A week before a period for me is always PMS. OK, I get my PMS early and I really can see the difference in how I run in the first vs second half of the cycle.
Is it possible you've been training too hard and you need a bit of a rest?
So if one can improve his/her vision with the right set of mind, that might work for athletic performance too. Actually I think it does. Have you been doubting yourself? :)
Have a great weekend.

Helen said...

YAY - welcome back ;)

SteveQ said...

I've done searches with stranger terms than that!

Losing weight corresponds with higher VO2max up to the point where you start feeling tired and nauseated. Guess what, genius? You're there.

Or you just had a bad day.

Danni said...

A test wouldn't tell you that early silly girl.

amy said...

i found your blog through Olga's and enjoy following it.

funny on the saudi arabia comment. i also had a saudi viewer who found me through googling "run bitch run." hmmmm....

green light said...

one bad workout does not a trend make. Calm down. Stick to your plan. Stop over thinking and analyzing every workout, don't assume there is something wrong and you have to change things. You aren't consistently missing your splits, this was the first bad workout in a while. Let it go.

sea legs girl said...

Mmmonyka, we'll get through it. Yeah I hand't considered blaming the volcano, but interesting thought. We are not "entraineurs de la merde"!

Piccola, Everyone once in a while my humor is exaggerated enough that I guess people realize the needn't get mad. Either that or they stopped reading a log time ago.

Cherelli, I think it might have been the not in a tough headspace day.

Yeah, Xapis, one negative with running so many races is it is really hard to lose weight!

Ewa, yes, perhaps a litte self-doubt.

Thanks, Helen!

Steve, considering the weight loss has just barely started, I doubt it's that. And, hey, you're the one who claims to be a genius :). Feel free to let us in on those "stranger" search tems at any time!

Danni, my thought was if I can be irregular in the sense that there are long intervals between my periods, why can't there also be short? Anyway, it was an expensive mistake!

Amy, welcome! It is hilarious the things people search for. And sometimes I wonder what exactly it is they are expecting. Like "run bitch run", what exactly do they hope to find?

Green Light, you are right. Time will tell if there is a trend. But I am a worrier and overanalyzer by nature. In a honestly, the more I think about it, I am sure it was just that last month of very intense training finally catching up to me. Thanks for your thoughts! I WILL stick to the plan.

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I have been reading your blog for a few months now (having come across it during a search for running & pregnancy) and this is my first time commenting. When I first started reading, I totally thought you were nuts, but as I continue I find myself relating and really enjoying your writing and your race reports. I ran a 5K this morning and was the first female and I thought of you and was inspired during that last tough mile! Anyway, wanted to tell you that and also that I may be interested in writing a piece for your "Running Routes" book, if you are still accepting submissions (I know I am late on this!) - is there a way to e-mail you about that outside of comments? Thanks!!
Shannon (KS, USA) :)

sea legs girl said...


You are the best! Congrats on your win today! Awesome! What was your time (hope you don't mind me aksing!)?

I actually also think I am nuts but then end up relating to myself, too :). No, really, thank you for your honesty.

Um, you are definitely not too late for the book. I'm so glad you are interested. The email address is

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mmmonyka said...

This is more like a response to your comment on my blog.
Me, an American, haha. If only my parents have heart that:)
I have never really liked Nutela (on bread I mean, I loved eating it with spoon though but my parents never allowed me to do that:)) But my sister used to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (when my parents allowed it).
The first time I tried PB sandwich was 5 years ago when I moved to the US for college and did not liked it too much but then I tried it with a banana and loved it. Since then, I am a PB and banana, apple, peach (any fruit) maniac. And I will definitely do 100k walk to get some:)

sea legs girl said...

Oh, Mmmonyka. How embarrassing! I am coming over to your blog now to make ammends (if that is possible).

SteveQ said...

Guess what search led me to:

mmmonyka said...

Je vois, c'est trop complique avec moi:)
Merci pour le compliment concernant mon anglais. Ca me fait du bien d'entendre ca!
Je suis Slovaque, j'ai vecu en Slovaquie, j'ai toute ma famille la bas (sauf ma petite soeur qui etudie a Arkansas parce que elle veut faire tout comme moi). Apres mon Bac, j'ai fait le Bachelor degree aux Etats-Unis a Providence, RI. J'ai fini la-bas l'annee derniere et maintenant je fais Masters a une business school en France. Mais je vais faire un programme d'echange avec UCLA MBA l'annee prochaine et aussi je vais faire un stage dans une entreprise a Michigan (pas loin de Rochester Hills) cet ete. Et voila, plus du mystere:)

mmmonyka said...

Oh, yeah, I do not like root beer:)

sea legs girl said...

Steve Q, The link doesn't work! Otherwise I'd enjoy wagering a guess.

Mmmonyka, well, it is all starting to make sense now. Thanks for the explanation!