When you can’t scratch “The Itch” and Emancipation Day

I’ve had “The Itch” the past few days; since Saturday, to be exact.  “The Itch” is the phrase I use to describe that gut feeling I get when all I want to do is run or when I just can’t get enough running.  And historically, for me, is usually the precursor to injury.  I can’t help myself from doing too much or going too fast.  But this time, “The Itch” is itching for a different reason.  I am ready to race!!

My most recent runs have been two of the most amazing runs ever in the history of running.  Even more miraculous is the fact that just one week ago, I was limping to my car, literally unable to bend my left knee after Queen Of Stupid Sh*t Jen refused to cut a 22 mile training run short when my ITB started acting up.  But I have beat that dead horse enough.  Since I tend to over-analyze everything (the things I happen to notice, anyway), I have some theories on why these runs have been so amazing.

  • My myofascia guy is THE BOMB
  • Standing at the abyss of injury is somewhat akin to having a near-death experience; it makes you appreciate what you are able to do
  • It’s Movember
  • Weather has been PERFECT! (for me: 40s, sunny and low winds)

Back to “The Itch”….It seems like ALL my Twitter friends were racing this past weekend.  The majority of them were living it up in Vegas and racing RnR, but I had one Twitter friend make his own 50k and another who ran his own marathon just because.  All this racing has caused me to realize that Dallas Marathon is getting close (25 days, to be exact, but who is counting?) and now the racing fire within me is at California wildfire status. It’s been a long time coming, y’all.  I trained last Fall only for the race to be cancelled because of a freak Icepocalypse (OK, I COULD have driven down to College Station to run that marathon, but I REFUSE to participate in anything associated with Aggies).  By the time it’s said and done, I will have waited almost 18 months from the time I began training the first time to actually running my first marathon.  To say that I am ready for this race would be a gross understatement!  I literally can not shake that yearning in my gut to get out there and go.  All that being said, the bottom line is that my biggest challenge at this point is to train smart, and we all know what a mammoth challenge that will be.

Yesterday was Emancipation Day in our house, for myself and my newly turned 16-year-old son, Logan – he passed his driving test and is now an officially licensed driver!!!! I have made it widely known how excited I was becoming in anticipation of this day.  In fact, I was so nervous for him (OK, for ME) that my stomach was in knots while he was out taking his test!  For me, this means no more driving Logan to 6:15 practice, no more hanging around in town after school when he decides to stay and play tennis, no more waiting for the soccer bus to get back in town at 10:30 PM and the list goes on and on and on! Logan is just happy to be able to drive himself to Burger King for a large fry at his leisure and sleep 30 extra minutes in the mornings before school.

YES, he needs a haircut, but that isn't the point.
YES, he needs a haircut, but that isn’t the point. And, yes, I expected aliens to reveal themselves at any moment while we were at DMV.

Our celebrations turned nostalgic last night, and we began reminiscing about Taylor (really just her TERRIBLE driving), which reminded me about something that happened at her high school graduation.  During the Valedictorian speech, I learned that Taylor had RUN INTO a student WITH HER CAR near the high school parking lot.  Funny, Taylor forgot to mention that.  Turns out that Taylor was turning as this girl was crossing the street.  Luckily, Taylor was going slow and the girl was “only” bumped by the side of Taylor’s car.  Taylor did admit that she was nervous for weeks after, wondering if she was going to get a ticket for it, as she didn’t know whether or not the girl would report it.  Remembering this helped alleviate some fears I have had about Logan hitting the roads solo, because I am positive that Logan will be a better driver than Taylor.  It takes a special kind of skill to run over as many curbs and collect as many tickets as she has and I don’t think Logan has it!  Alli’s place in all of this?  She is oozing excitement that she can claim the front seat as hers and hers alone!

And now I leave you with this….the happiness that is my desk.  I was given this little tree a couple of years ago and love it!!  I usually forget to get it out until we are almost out for Christmas break, but I am getting very excited for Christmas this year and decided it was time to decorate my office!!

Love this little tree....it reminds me of Charlie Brown :)
Love this little tree….it reminds me of Charlie Brown 🙂

Until next time,

Jen

Golden birthdays, comeback runs and grand-dog sitting

My middle child, Logan, is now 16 – and it is an extra special day because it is his Golden Birthday.  Even more special is that he will <hopefully> get his driver’s license tomorrow.  THAT will be cause for celebration!!

So many of my parent friends with kids Logan’s age are nervous and concerned about the transition to driving.  I have to admit, I am a little anxious about Logan being out there on his own.  However, they don’t have the same perspective as I do, because almost all of Logan’s friends are the oldest children in their families.  These parents don’t have a clue how wonderful it is to have a kid with a license living in your house….it’s like having a mobile servant!  Even if you don’t ask them to bring home milk from the store or pick up the little sister from gymnastics, the fact that they can drive themselves to and from school and soccer practice makes you feel like a prisoner that has just been set free!  I joke (well, people think I joke) that the hardest part of transitioning Taylor into college life was losing an extra driver’s license in the house.  I think you get the idea that I’m ready for Logan to take this next step in growing up!!

On Saturday, we gathered some of our family together to celebrate Logan’s day and surprise him with his truck.  Logan isn’t the usual Texas boy, in that his only prerequisite for a vehicle was that it “rides smooth”.  He wasn’t even that interested in going with my husband, Bobby,  to look around for cars, which caused much disappointment for Bobby.  Logan has been increasingly nervous, though, because his day has been drawing close with NO word of a vehicle.  Bobby hid his truck in the shop and sent Logan out for some ice, while I waited for him to snap photos of his reaction.  When he burst through the door, he noticed me, standing behind the truck, but didn’t even notice the truck for a couple of seconds.  It was priceless!

I use this photo, because after posting on Facebook, Logan made me take it down.  He says it is the "worst picture ever". I kind of like it :)
I use this photo, because after posting on Facebook, Logan made me take it down. He says it is the “worst picture ever”. I kind of like it 🙂

I know it is cold everywhere in the continental US (except for Florida), but guys, it is COLD in Texas!  I planned my run for Saturday afternoon, because I didn’t have time to run early morning with all the family lunch preparations. (That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  I am NOT a cold weather wimp.) I have chronicled my ITB problems of late, and, to be honest, have felt so weak mentally and physically this week.  I HATE that feeling.  I prefer the invincible feeling that I generally have in regards to my running. (A good friend told me yesterday that for ME to admit fear it had to have been BAD!)  Anyway, I ran my 22 last Saturday and did not run again until Thursday.  Thursday’s run was decent as there were no ITB or calf issues, but I felt sluggish; not myself.  I was NOT looking forward to my longer Saturday run, because I felt beat up; defeated.  I tried to find any and every excuse to post pone or cancel, but thank goodness I kept my wits about me and ran as scheduled.  When I finally got out on the road, I felt GREAT!!!  During the first mile, I thought it was a fluke, but when I was still feeling strong in mile 9, I breathed a sigh of relief and started believing that I CAN finish this marathon training strong.  I originally had planned 12-14, as this was a drop-back week, but decided before the run to hold the run to 10 to help my body ease back into the beating it will take this next week in my last long run of training.  The important thing, though, is that I feel great this morning on all fronts, and that is a RELIEF!  My biggest challenge at this point is to train smart, and I thank my lucky stars that I have several running friends who will hold me accountable.  We all know I can’t maintain “smart” training for any length of time.

One thing I have noticed about running without a partner is that I can’t always tell when I get my high.  My partner was my pacer (we all know the troubles I have with proper pacing) and as a result, always felt I was holding back. When I would get my high, she would literally have to grab my arm to keep me from taking off in a sprint.  I do love that feeling, as if you could take off and fly.  Ahhhhh.  These days I can vaguely tell during the run, but generally notice it later in my splits as that is usually my fastest mile.  All this makes me wonder if any other runners experience this as well?

It’s Sunday and, besides being Logan’s Golden Birthday, that means that Taylor is coming to pick up our grand-dog, Izze.  We kept Izze for Taylor because her roommate was in a terrible wreck and had reconstructive knee surgery this past week, so she isn’t at their house to watch after “The Iz”.  Taylor was to be out-of-town most of the week, as she and her team were playing in their conference tournament. (This is the “official” reason we kept Izze.  The REAL reason we kept Izze is because my husband missed her and wanted to get her nails trimmed.)  Izze is a short-hair, piebald mini dachshund and is the most nervous, spastic, ADHD dog I have ever seen, but we love her anyway!  Seriously, she barks incessantly!  I will go to my bedroom and when I come back, Izze will bark at me like a stranger that just burst through the door.  We have learned to just shake our heads, because there is nothing else to be done!  She WON’T stop barking! Sophie (our long-hair, piebald mini doxie) enjoys Izze’s company, but dislikes Izze treading on her turf.  Sophie has REFUSED to sleep under the covers this week, because Izze was also asleep under the covers.  I get so tickled, because the only dog/person Sophie is hurting is herself!  Doxies have to be the most passive-aggressive dogs on the planet!

She is a MINI, for sure, but cute as a button!  She has to be, for us to put up with all that barking!
Izze is a MINI, for sure, but cute as a button! She has to be, for us to put up with all that barking!

Happy Sunday!!

Jen