Saturday, April 28, 2007

Runner's tummy

OK, so I don't know if that's the technical term for it or not, but it's when almost everything upsets your tummy on a long run. I used to have a gut of iron, but these long training runs are killing me! If I don't eat fairly soon before running, I feel faint.

But I've figured out over these past few months that my system simply will not tolerate most things within about 3 hours of running... no meat (and definitely, most definitely) not fish; nothing fatty or with any kind of sauce or dressing; no onions or garlic; no bread; no juices (and especially not vegetable juice or V8), absolutely-under-no-circumstances can I go near a banana.

Today I had some cooked veggies and table water crackers with some cheese (just becuase if I don't have some kind of protein, I'll just about pass out). Then I waited for over an hour to run.

I try not to drink too much water on the runs and I don't use Gatorade, either. That's OK for shorter runs, but it brings on the gut ache sooner on the long runs.

But still... after about 45 minutes, it came... that slow nausea that just swirls around in your gut. You know you're not going to hurl, but it's just not fun. And it slows the run down!

I am enjoying the long runs (15 km today! First time! For U.S. friends that's 9.3 miles.) But they are, literally, nauseating. I took a gel after about an hour so I wouldn't bonk, and then near the end, it got better.

By the end of the run, of course, I'm ravenous. I feel like screaming at people, "Get the hell out of my way so I can eat, or I'll rip your face off!"

But of course, I don't. I just smile nicely and cooly reach for whatever snack I hope my princess gut will handle.

I figure that I can't be the only person who's ever experienced this. Anyone got any advice?

My running books all say to eat bananas. My tummy would tell their authors they're full of baloney.



Let's not even go there.

Not even on a good day.

Friday, April 27, 2007

And now for something completely different.

Was it...

- a way of celebrating spring?

- a temporary loss of sanity due to exams?

- a desire for a little fun?

Answer: All of the above.

The result?

Super-uber blonde!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Today is a good day to die

For those of you who may be shocked by that title, or just may not recognize the reference, it is from Star Trek. It's what Klingons say before they go into battle. For Klingons, dying in battle is honourable.

That pretty much sums up how I feel about this Candidacy Exam, which starts today. The questions will be e-mailed to me and then off on my little Vision Quest I go.

Yes, my stomach is in knots, but the way I figure it, nothing could be worse than Stats, so I'm already starting out well!

Michelle asked about posting the questions. I would love to share the questions, and I will, but only after the oral exam is done. There's this understanding that the exam is done independently, no one helps you, etc., etc. All very ritualistic, really.

If I were to post the questions, then it might *look* as if I were asking for help. (Not that any of you would give it to me anyway, of course!) But on account of my profs knowing my blog address, I'm going to refrain for now.

After I submit the paper (in 28 days) and after I have the oral exam that is based on the paper (somewhere mid to late June), then I'll tell all like a Hollywood tabloid. Promise!

And with that, I should stop procrastinating and go check my e-mail to see if the questions have arrived in my Inbox.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Last weekend of freedom (well, for a month anyway)

You'd think I'd be partying my ass off, but I did that last weekend. This weekend is low key, hanging out, going to yoga, generally getting ready for what has come to be known affectionately as my "hibernation".

This is appropriate since spring appears to be happening everywhere but in Calgary, where we have had a rather large dump of snow and the flannel sheets went back on the bed this week.

I am going to be like a Bear of the Great White North... retreating from life for a time to go on a sort of Vision Quest, otherwise known as my PhD candidacy exams.

On Monday I receive three questions. I choose one. I have 28 days to research the answer and write it up into a 40-page paper.

It's a pass or fail deal, which for most people would be a relief, but for a pathological perfectionist, it sends you off into a tizzy thinking, "Oh my God, what if I don't pass? What if I absolutely cannot answer the questions? What if I haven't read enough? What if I write a lousy paper? What if no one likes it? What if...? What if...? What IF ?!"

So, I have developed an alter ego for the purposes of retaining my sanity through the process. Said alter ego (whose voice always sounds like Owen Wilson inside my head) slowly says, "Chill, dude. There's no way to prepare for this, so why fret? Better yet... your preparation is your ten years of university education. Yeah, dude... you... ten years... Really, you need to get a life, eh? So anyway... Just chill... How about this for a challenge... See how much fun you can have with this. Go on... I dare ya to like it!"

And I have to live inside this head of mine... 24/7.

God help me.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

8.37 / 13.48

The title is for Craig. :-)

The post is for everyone who's been with me on this journey. Today was a happy, happy day.

I ran 13.48 km. (For my friends south of the border, that's 8.37 miles.)

My knee was a bit cranky and my hip flexors were a bit grumpy, but I stretched and they became happier.

It was not fast. (Michelle would zoom past me with the way she's been running lately!) But the sun was shining, the breeze was just right and the pathways were not too packed. A fantastic day to run.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What's new...

One more week before I get my exam questions... (She writes with trembling hands.)

Long run now up to 11.5 K!

Signed up for my first road race! It's in May and it is only 5 K, but I am excited. It's gonna be fun!

Not much else to report for the moment... Will try to visit blogs again soon.