Getting Back My Mojo

Posted in Milestones on January 10, 2010 by Meggan

So. I am depressed.
I feel serious clinical depression. I have been miserably sick for the last two weeks, coughing up god knows what, with little motivation to even get out of bed in the morning. After taking more than a week off of work, I am finally able to get out of bed. Two weeks worth of tissues, tylenol and two full twilight books. And all though the bronchitis (and lack of appetite thereafter) has given me a few extra inches in my running pants, I have yet to actually do more in those running pants than take a nap . Sad, huh?  Two full weeks without so much as a mile. What’s worse, is that I fear this lack of motion was completely justified due to the amount of junk built up in my lungs. Running could have easily killed me. And all I need is an actually reason not to run. Too sick. Yup. Which leads me to tomorrow…our 16 mile run. Ugh, imminent death. I am on my way to run 16 miles without so much as a single maintenance run. But I must.

I was told my depression was a vicious result of my lack of running. So hopefully after tomorrow I will have run this weird sadness out of my body for good. We are almost to the two-month mark, the marathon looming, and I need to get my sulky little ass in gear. And that includes writing as well. For those of you still reading this equally sad attempt at a blog THANK YOU. I will make it up to you. Promise.

I feel that this 16 miler is possible, partly due to the fact that they are slowing all of us down. That’s right, we are basically going to crawl for 4 hours until we cross the finish line. Adding a full minute to each mile and changing our run/walk ratio to 2:2. Now what is almost as difficult as the actual running for me is overcoming the sheer monotony, so adding any time, not to mention 16 additional minutes is going to make me crazy. I am bored out of my mind after two hours of running, and I pray for numbness (of my mind and feet) anytime after.

Here is their justification:

“This concern commonly happens every season when we slow our participants down for the long runs.  Please trust that the program works (we’ve been doing this for over 10 years and have a 98% success rate). In general you will be much faster on race day than on these long training runs.  A key to remember with marathon training is that long training runs
build endurance; short maintenance runs build speed.
One very important reason for slowing you all down at this point. The reason being that by slowing you down we are significantly decreasing your chances of injury. Pushing too hard during the long training runs increases your chance of obtaining an injury that could jeopardize your performance on race-day and you have worked too hard to risk that. Training at this slower pace will in no way compromise your pace or finish time for the actual race. The original pace of 13:30 should definitely be your race-day pace, and if you keep doing as well as you’ve been doing, you have every reason to expect a sub 6 hour finish time. I hope this allays some of your concerns.”

We shall see. I will update you in the aftermath of tomorrow.

And as always, wish me luck 🙂


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PT: Personal Torture

Posted in Feel the Burn on November 3, 2009 by Meggan

So I finally cashed in my first official personal training session today at 24-hour fitness. In my super ambitious formative days in Los Angeles I was coerced into purchasing a package of six sessions “which will infinitely elevate my results” upon signing up for my gym membership. Being new to the world of organized exercise in general, I think what the hell,  I am already paying $35 a month to torture myself, what is another $300 dollars to have a professional ensure optimal torture.

At first, I put off scheduling the sessions because I wanted to build my endurance before looking like a pathetic weakling. Which eventually turned into me going to the gym every six or so days, minus that whole month I just didn’t feel like it at all.  Whoops. Now for those of us in L.A., or the rest of you with televisions, we know that this place is a Mecca of beauty. Millions of wannabe actors, models and industry types flock to these hills everyday, their golden tans and toned tummies in tow. It really is as bad as it seems. A gym membership is as vital to get ahead as are questionable morals.

I figured since I was paying for it, I would use it. Just ask my food dehydrator. Right… The truth of the matter is that I love banana chips far more than I love sweating. So there I sat. Couch cozy, indulging in the country’s finest restaurants at my fingertips, sushi on every corner and Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine delivered at my doorstep at 2 a.m. All that deliciousness = fifteen or so pounds and  newly acquired jiggly (as pointed and prodded by mother on my last visit home).

Xavier, my deceptively sweet practitioner of pain, has been calling week after week trying to get my happy ass back in the gym. And while this marathon business has yielded a surprising jump in gym attendance, I have fallen into the camp that running is all I need to do. I go to the gym, run 3, 4 …2 miles and then call it a day. Better than nothing, I say. Alas, I realize I can’t get skinny on running alone. Especially since I haven’t forgone beer, and really have no intention of doing so. The catch. Apparently these damn personal trainy-ma-things expire after six months, so in order to maintain my investment I am forced to schedule a visit.

Xavier meets me at the door, smiling. Boo. I am ready though. Ready to work, get my moneys worth and feel the burn. This particular personal trainer doesn’t believe in weight machines. I began my warm-up with jump-roping, which succeeds in drenching me in sweat and making me look like a retarded cowboy in less than 5 minutes. Then we commence an arsenal of calisthenics, crazy bendy arm locomotion drills (he called the Caterpillar) and coached stretches, which actually hurt just as much as the 100 squats beforehand.   This shit was hard. Who knew a squat could cause so much pain. By the end of the 60 minutes, which I counted down by the second, my knees were shaking so much I could hardly stand. No joke.

Update: Two days later, I am still so sore I can hardly breathe. Yes, the mere motion of inhaling, expanding my lungs, makes me hurt. What the hell did this guy do to me. I feel as though I was pummeled and beaten to an invisibly bloody pulp. Running is now the last thing on my to-do list, which in some way seems counter productive. Oh, well. It’s only going to get easier. Right…?

Ready, ready, ready to run.

Posted in Milestones on October 10, 2009 by Meggan

So this marathon thingie is serious business. I’m in super prep mode. The more reading I do, the more scared I get. Come to think about it, the more running I do, the more scared I get. Yep, all signs point to scary.  26.2 miles of pure terror.

I am in the process of preparing for the very scary first run.  I have been to the gym more this week than I think have the past couple months.  I’ve spent two good weeks working toward this ‘light’ three mile run. “No huffing, no puffing,” the email explains, “nice-and-easy.” My three mile runs at the gym consist of a lot huffing, even gasping at times, between well deserved walk breaks. I am nowhere near running the entire stretch but each attempt is admittedly getting easier. My workout routine is centered in the half-assed mentality that it doesn’t really matter how much energy I expend or how long I run.  Because doing something, anything really, is better than doing nothing. A head game. Even though I may be capable of running harder and further, a part of me just shuts down. Every step, every second, every breath is misery. God, what the hell am I thinking.

I try to run—without stopping—for one mile. The last time I tried was a gym class time trial my junior year of high school, pretty sure I almost puked. I set the pace at ‘an easy’ 5.5 and had at it. I focus on the tv, turn up my Ipod, make eyes at the hot guy running next to me; anything to keep going. One mile. That’s it, and it takes everything I have to finish it. 11 or so minutes later I wheeze to a halt. I’ve been setting the treadmill at 5.5 and running for a half mile then walking a quarter mile. Then running at 6 for half, walking for a quarter. Then I get bored and push myself to sprint until I dizzyingly stumble past the 3-mile mark. Not so bad. Of course, its’ always better when its over. Just think, more than 26 times as long. The thought is incomprehensible. Like playing poker with God and Santa Clause and Hitler in Tahiti topless…or something to that effect. Which would be infinitely more fun than running 26 damn miles.

The training coaches claim we will ease into it, that we will run inspired, that we will have fun. Pshhh, I say to you. You show me a happy, inspired, fun runner…and I will show you someone I would like to punch in the face. But here I am.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2009 by Meggan

Here we go. I suppose a brief introduction is in order before I get to the good parts. I am a recent California transplant from the blizzardy wonderland of northern Minnesota. My time is spent drinking, eating and playing in the sun between shifts catering to the finest of SoCal diners, writing freelance for sinninginla.com and dabbling in ‘the industry.’  I am a self editing, self deprecating dreamer who bounces about from whim to whim. My latest capricious escapade? Completing the LA Marathon.

Now I say complete instead of run because even in my most insane of moments a tiny part of me strives for grounding. So at this point in the game, completion is all we can ask for. That’s right 26.2 simple, scary, sexy, sweat-soaked miles.  This coming from the girl who complained incessantly about running the bases in gym class. I think running is the worst part of any sport (probably why I started golfing), and I maintain the platform that you should never have to  run unless something is chasing you . And now it seems, I have found another motivation. Running for a cause. I have signed on with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program which will help me safely conquer this unfathomable goal as well as raise more than $1,600 for AIDS project Los Angeles.  (www.aidsmarathon.com)  And what is even crazier than the marathon itself, is the notion that I intend to blog my way through it. Hence, Half-Fast.

I am as new the world of running as I am to the world of blogging. I have spent more time trying to set up this marathon blog than I did gaining the gumption to run the damn thing in the first place. I want it to be pretty and informative and smart. I can’t even figure out how to install a simple countdown to M-day itself. M is for Marathon, for those still paying attention. So, as with all things difficult, I am going to fake it. If you look to your right, I have included a rough count down to the Marathon day as well as a count up of miles ran, money earned and dollars spent located in its own page (titled THE COUNT). And with fingers crossed this blogging thing and my computer savvy will improve with right along with my milage. There.

I seem to have put myself in quite the predicament. Please try and keep up.