Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Critters

Someone asked me on yesterday's post how I am able to make myself get up early and run. You'll notice that I usually start my posts with, "I really didn't want to run today, but I did anyway, and it was great, I am so glad I did it..." I always have a hard time making myself run, but not running is no longer an option for me.

Somewhere along the way of my weight loss/running, I started to see running as a part of my life--just something I would do, and there was no option to NOT do it. I still wake up and dread running, but the worst part of it is actually right before I start. I try to think of excuses to put it off until tomorrow (and my excuses are never legitimate), and I remind myself it's only 60 minutes of my entire day (or however long it will be). Most importantly, I think about how I will feel if I DON'T run.

On the few occasions that I've skipped a run for a non-legitimate excuse, I felt like crap--mad at myself for making excuses, like I failed on the small commitment I made, and very anxious. Running is the best way to relieve my anxiety, and since I have a lot of anxiety, I can't afford to skip runs. When I go more than two days without running, I get very edgy and irritable.

So anyway, about exercising in the morning (versus later in the day)--I like to get it out of the way first thing, before I do anything else, because then I feel like I can relax. I like to run before breakfast, so that I can get it done and shower, then sit and relax with my breakfast and tea while I read e-mail and blog comments. If I tried to relax that way before running, I wouldn't truly be able to enjoy it, because I would be thinking about (read: dreading) the run.

Honestly, the hardest part is just starting. I put on my workout clothes as soon as I get out of bed, before I can talk myself out of it, and then just do it. I have never, ever regretted a run. Once I start running, I play little mind games with myself to keep going. And when it's over, my body feels fantastic for the rest of the day! Totally worth the pay off.

So today, I really didn't want to run, but I did anyway. I had intervals on the schedule: 20 minutes easy, then 6 repeats of (3 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy), and then 10 minutes easy (66 minutes total). I was feeling really tired today, and I wasn't sure how well I was going to do with the intervals.

I ran the first 20 minutes at 6.0 mph, and then the first interval started. I took it up to 8.0, and after a minute or so, 7.5, and then 7.0. I was feeling really rough, but I didn't want to quit early (I knew I could at least finish the run, even if I chose not to do the intervals). I started thinking about the half-marathon on Saturday, and decided to see what a 9:05 pace felt like for a while.

I've had a goal to run a sub-2:00 half-marathon for a long time, and to do that would require a 9:09/mi pace. I chose 9:05 today just for a buffer. I told myself that if I could hold a 9:05 pace for the rest of the run today (while fatigued, as I was feeling), then maybe I could go for a sub-2:00 on Saturday. I pushed the speed to 6.6 mph (leaving the incline on 1%, which I always leave it on to imitate running outside the best I can), and tried to forget about it.

I was watching The Biggest Loser (just started Season 2), but today was just really hard to take my mind off the fact that I was running. I struggled mentally, and I felt tired, but I knew I could hold pace. When 66 minutes came around, my heart rate was 157 ish, which isn't bad at all for having just run 7 miles. I think if I'm feeling good on Saturday, a sub-2:00 may be in the cards for me after all.


I totally forgot to write down an appointment for today--our home alarm company was scheduled to come and fix a problem. At 2:30, I got a call saying they would be here in 40 minutes. Naturally, my house was nowhere near clean, so I rushed around like crazy trying to get it done. The litter box is in the same room as our alarm box, so I made sure to clean the litter box out. When I was done, I brought the bag outside and lifted the lid of the trash can, dropped the bag of cat poop inside, and saw two glowing eyes looking at me.

I screamed (yes, screamed), dropped the lid, ran into the house, and shut the door. I knew it was a raccoon, but I am terrified of them. The trash can is super deep, and there was only one bag of trash in there, so I knew it had crawled in and gotten stuck (just like last time). I wanted to get a picture this time, so I grabbed the camera, and lifted the lid just the tiniest bit--expecting it to jump out and grab onto my face, like they do in the movies--but it just sat there and looked at me, like, "Help me!"
Or maybe he was saying sarcastically, "Cat shit? Really?"  I dropped the lid back down and worked up the courage to tip the garbage over, so he could run back into the woods. I tipped it until it fell to the ground, and then watched as he ran out, looked around like he was totally confused, then took off for the woods.

Now, I titled this post "Critters" (plural) because he wasn't the only one we came across today. My dad called me and said that his friend trapped a huge snapping turtle and gave it to him. My dad said he was going to make turtle soup, and he was wondering if the kids wanted to come over and see the turtle.

I kind of freaked out, because the turtle was still alive--I was sad for the turtle, but my dad is a hunter and fisherman, and this was totally normal for him. I told him the kids could come see it, but I didn't want them to watch him kill it. He said, "Why not? The kids are going to have to learn to do it someday, when they're grown and want to make turtle soup."

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I said, "Dad? I'm 30 years old, and I can assure you, I've never had to kill a turtle before... or had the desire to make turtle soup." So he said fine, he would kill it tomorrow. I took the kids over there, but I didn't even go look at the turtle, because I felt so bad for it. My dad tried to make me feel better by telling me that it was eating all the baby ducks around where it lived.

A couple of hours later, Eli called and begged me to let him watch Pay (that's what he calls my dad) "clean the turtle", because it's "just like cleaning fish, and I'm going to have to learn how to do it someday". Basically the same words my dad used! I thought about it, and asked Eli, "Is Pay going to kill the turtle before he cleans it?" and Eli was trying to think of what the "right" answer would be--whatever answer would make me say yes. He said, "No, he's not going to kill it, he's just going to cut the shell off and make the meat into turtle soup!"

I couldn't help but laugh at that. I asked to talk to my dad, and he said of course he was going to kill it first--that it would snap his fingers off if it was alive. So I agreed, as long as he killed it quickly and humanely. My dad reminded me of a time when I was little, and he was cleaning a deer carcass in the garage--I sat there and watched, all while eating a piece of pizza.

28 comments:

  1. I so admire you because once you get going you're great at it! When I start running I just wish I could stop the whole way. I was supposed to do 5 miles today but only did 3. it hurts the whole time!
    wow about the turtle - I've never even heard of turtle soup!

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  2. Hi I found your blog a few weeks ago and have been an avid reader ever since I am currently working my way through loosing 90 pounds through healthy eating and exercising so far loosing 15 pounds in six weeks I'm a mother and work full time so at times it can be difficult but you have inspired me with your honest down to earth blog

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    1. Congrats on your success so far!! Keep at it :)

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  3. Good luck on your half! You'll do great and I'm sure you'll get below 2:00. I've heard of turtle soup, but never knew anyone that actually killed a turtle to make it. Gross!

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  4. Good luck on your half! You'll do great and I'm sure you'll get below 2:00. I've heard of turtle soup, but never knew anyone that actually killed a turtle to make it. Gross!

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  5. I cracked up and read this out loud to Charlie! When you said your dad told you that the kids were going to have to learn to kill a turtle to make turtle soup when they're grown all I could think of was him looking like Phil Robertson from 'Duck Dynasty' talking about Miss Kay (his wife) making squirrel stew with his kills!

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  6. Thanks for doing this post! It really helps me out a lot....I have GOT to figure out a way to get up, I guess I just have to literally drag myself out of the bed and get it over with....

    I know how you feel with the critters...we've been dealing with some rats in the walls at work...we work in a hundred and some odd year old building. Ugh.

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  7. We recently had a huge snapping turtle in the yard! I had no desire to eat it;-) just wanted it to go away! Our dog practically had her head spinning Exorcist style trying to get to it. Thankfully my husband got it out of the yard w/out any fingers or paws being bitten.
    I've been running about 6 months & love your blog! I find you so inspiring.
    Brandi

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  8. Great writing as always!

    www.shilohstaste.com

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  9. Ewwww on the racoon! I had a close encounter with a possum once (in the suburbs!), and I have never forgotten those eyes...{shudder}

    Good luck this weekend!! Hope it's awesome!!

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  10. I'm still a beginning runner, but I get up to jog 2 miles every morning before work, and on the weekends too. Like you, I have a hard time getting up, but once I'm out I feel great. But my body doesn't feel great for the rest of the day. I tend to get more and more tired throughout the day. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing something wrong, and sometimes I chalk it up to the fact that I'm a jr high teacher.

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    1. I think being a Junior High teacher would wear ANYONE out!!

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  11. Katie, I've been following your blog for a bit, and based on your training runs' paces, I am pretty sure can hit that sub2! But let me just remind you, the pace for sub2 is 9:08, not 9:15, and check your previous HM to see how far you actually ran! I run at fairly big races and all of them I ran 13.3-13.5 miles., and I really had to keep my paces sub 9 min/mile to get that sub2! Good luck!!! I know you can do it!!!

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    1. You are right! For a 1:59:59 finish, it would require a 9:09.15 pace (I mistakenly looked at the seconds and said 9:15). I thought it didn't sound right when I typed it! ;) And I always end up running farther than the race is supposed to be--at my marathon, I ran 26.75 miles! That was a huge difference. But they measure the course at the shortest possible distance, and since I weave in and out of people, it adds to the distance. Which is why I wanted the "buffer"--I think a 9:05 pace should be close. I don't know that I can hold it for 13 miles, however!

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    2. You will, trust me!!! Your training paces are similar to mine, if not faster, and my pr was 1:57, you can do it!!!

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  12. Raccoons are nasty! We had one as a pet when I was a kid (a crazy idea of my dad's - he had a lot of wacky ideas!) and it used to hiss every time we went out by its cage! We had to gingerly poke its food through the cage with a stick! My dad should have realised that they're not meant to be kept as pets! That's so funny that your dad said your boys would want to know how to make turtle soup one day! Yep - I can honestly say I've NEVER had a craving for turtle soup either!!

    On the running front, it's actually quite reassuring for me to read that you struggle with getting out for a run. Clearly this isn't a feeling that goes away the longer you've been running, it's just a matter of choice and as you say on the days you run, you feel much better about yourself. I would have to agree - I'm talking myself out of it right up to the second I close the door, but once I get back I feel so much better for having done it!

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  13. Once, while on vacation, some of our friends caught a huge turtle and made turtle soup. When they were cleaning it they cut out the heart and put it on a plate. It was still beating strong hours later! Holy cow!

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  14. Holy raccoon! I've never seen one in person. I hear they can be mean. And poor little turtle. Yes, I know how meat is made and where it comes from, but can't I just close my eyes and hum til the burger's on my plate? ;D

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  15. Second day in a row that I set my alarm for 6am to run before work...and I hit snooze both days. Oh, Katie. I don't know how you do it! I don't think I can wake up that early unless there is a flight scheduled!

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  16. Well...as long as it wasn't venison pizza!!! Great blog. I laughed out loud when you said the raccoon was probably saying, "Cat shit...really?"
    I would not have had the courage to take its picture nor tip the g-can to let it out.
    You are very self-disciplied with the running. Or maybe it's just that you hate the way you feel so much, when you don't run cause of some lame excuse that keeps you going? I know I hate it when I binge or even over eat. I feel so guilty afterwards. I wish knowing how awful I felt afterward would stop me from doing it, but so far....well it does stop me sometimes I guess.

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  17. Haha - I've heard of turtle soup, but (I think) it was only jokingly ;) I remember seeing different animals butchered at my cousins' farm as a kid, and I felt bad for the animals, but I understood the reasons, and it was done humanely. Now, I'm glad I had that experience (not that I'd like to do it myself ;)

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  18. Yes, you'll regret not doing a workout, but you'll never regret doing one. I like the analogy of a workout as something you have to do: like brushing your teeth or going to work. You won't skip that over and over! And I agree that working out makes relaxation better. Sometimes I think I just "deserve" to sit on the couch and watch a little TV, but then I feel guilty. If I worked out and THEN sat on the couch to watch a little TV, the guilt is gone and much more relaxing! Excellent Post!

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  19. Even though I'm training for my 1st marathon, I, too, still try to talk myself out of my runs....not so much the long run, but the shorter runs on my training schedule through the week. Or, I'll say to myself as soon as I start running,"Geez, I feel like crap! I'm cutting this one short" but I always hang in there, settle in, and am always glad I did.
    We stayed at a cabin in the Smoky Mts recently and left a bag of trash on the porch. A fat little raccoon was just helping himself to it the next morning, and just sat there with his hands full when we caught him!
    I didnt know people really ate turtle soup! Is it good? It sounds gross, but I bet your son loved the whole process!!
    Thanks for your blog....it's my daily source of entertainment!
    -Deb from TN

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  20. LOL! I love the personal anecdotes that go along with the training reports.

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  21. ack poor turtle!! I love turtles so much, I can't wait to get out of this apartment and get a tortoise or two. I can't imagine eating one : /

    However my mother-in-law supposedly loves turtles as well but she eats turtle soup and turtle eggs. I don't get it at all!

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  22. Joining my running group was the best thing I could have done. I have met some awesome runners with the same pace as myself and our long runs go so much faster when you are not running them by yourself. Plus, it helps knowing that people are waiting for you to run so no sleepin in on Saturdays!!

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  23. I'm a teacher and have been getting up to run early every morning during the summer. I don't WANT to get up and run but I do anyway. As of next week the morning runs end and I'm going to have to run after school, I can't possibly get up at 5am to run before work, not going to happen, so I'm not going to set myself up for failure. I must admit that once I get going I feel great, and I'm glad I'm up and running. I've also been noticing that no matter how long my run is either 2 miles or 6 I always feel like I've been out for the same amount of time. I don't know if that is a good thing or bad.

    I love reading your blog it cracks me up. I, from what my dad has told me, used to sit outside with him and watch him skin woodchucks when I was younger. I guess we do strange things to spend time with our dads.

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  24. I'm a teacher too and discovered your blog and reconnected with running this summer. I will miss my freedom to run any time I want during the day but I WILL NOT let that stop me from running. I worked too hard to build up my strength, mileage and consistency. I've promised myself a minimum of 3 days a week running--treadmill or park, guess I'm committed now--it's in writing. :)

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)