Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Running Leads to Questionable Behavior

Running is a passion. It’s relevancy in my life is more & more prevalent each day. I love the feeling it gives me. I’ll be the first to admit though, Running Can Lead to Questionable Behavior…

I’ve had a hard time getting back into marathon mode since the MCM. This has led me down a rocky road. I have 10 weeks until my next marathon, March 3rd! The feeling I get most days when I think how quickly time is passing is one of UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH! However, I THINK I am FINALLY on my way. The other day, I told my hubs that I was READY to run again. Ya see, I made up my mind to do the Little Rock Marathon, but my heart did not agree… YET! I’ve had not so many great runs since the decision was made. Today, well, today was different. Today is CHRISTMAS & as I lain around in my flannel jams, I kept trying to talk myself out of today’s run. It’s cold. It’s windy. It’s too late. It’s Christmas. But as I kept coming up with reasons, I got more anxious & KNEW I was ready.

I took off on my run, all bundled up in cold weather gear. I got a lot of stares from passersby & I started to question my behavior. NINETEEN degrees sounds a little chilly & indeed it was! Upon taking off on this run, I questioned whether my cold weather full face mask was even cleaned after the last cold weather run (which was probably back in February). I stopped one time after realizing my questionable behavior had led me to having a piece of hair stuck in my gum (that I had already been chewing for a good 15 mins). I thought it was in there, but I just kept chewing. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I pulled down my mask & pulled the hair outta the gum. In doing so, the gum froze. Meh, it warmed up nicely once I started chewing again. There was one time where my music suddenly turned quite slow for running. My questionable behavior led to a little dancing on the side of the road while finding the correct play list. Again, there were a few “looks”. I know I’ve mentioned the weather was a bit on the “chilly” side, but I don’t know how to stress just HOW chilly 19 is to a runner. My wrist was frozen, as were most of my fingers (Duh. Yes, I had on gloves) & my thighs were ICE! As I was running, I kept wondering HOW questionable of behavior was I willing to admit to today. I kept thinking about my poor thighs & how much they hurt from being so cold. It was like they were being stabbed a thousand times by needles. Yes! THAT cold! Most questionable of my behavior was the thought of how to keep my thighs warm… I wonder if it would help if I peed? It would be warm. I wonder how long it would take for the pee to freeze? Wonder if I could make it home before it froze. Yep! That’s questionable behavior alright.

NO WORRIES my friends… I didn’t even neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to pee. Rest assured, it was the 19 degrees making me delusional. I’ll leave that questionable behavior for another day. The good that came from my questionable behavior today was that I got in a pretty good 6 mile Christmas day run! Nothing wrong with that!

Merry Christmas & happy running y’all!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Curiouser & Curiouser

The mind of a woman is definitely a mysterious thing (maybe curiouser & curiouser says it better). Even to the woman! I made up my mind last year to do the MCM THIS year & was determined to do just that. I did it, loved it & afterwards, made up my mind to “rest”. I’ve enjoyed it too, but lemme tell ya… I have had a very hard time making up my mind to get off my tush! After the marathon, I thought it would be easy to take a few days off & just jump back into running--- both feet hit just hit the pavement, after all. NOT so. It has been a real struggle & I think part of it has been the resignation I set up in my own mind. Meh… just take a week off, you deserve it, look what you did!

I’ve kept up with all of my running friends, kept track of the very few miles my mind was set on running, have thought about doing other races & again, have made up my mind to kick up my feet & take a little time off to make up my mind… Well, I think right now, my mind is, once again, made up!

Time to drag out some of the cold weather shirts, dust off the old runners, set up a shoe rotation, plan a few new routes & get my butt & MIND in gear!

We went shopping yesterday, Under Armor, Nike, it was like Christmas! Bought a new cold weather shirt, hopefully it fits--- I made up my mind too not to track my food! BAD move! My clothes don’t fit. LOL! I’ll just make up my mind to make better choices.

Making up one’s mind to do positive & powerful things is an awesome thing. I’m thankful to my family for putting up with my mind’s fickle ways some days. Once I make up my mind, that’s what I focus on; miiiiiiiiiiiiiiind set! So, I’ve decided to definitely run my next marathon in March; mind made up!

I’ve already packed my running gear for tomorrow. I may even run twice! I’m goin’ a wee bit ol’ schoolio… using my iPod… my iPhone didn’t appreciate the fact I tried to give it swimming lessons in the washing machine, alongside the whites. WHATEV! Gaaaaaaah!

Make up your mind m’friends. Make it up, change it, revise it, revisit it, then make it up again, stick to it & execute! Get out there & dooooooooo whatcha wanna doooooooooo, no matter what, no matter how small, or slow, or trivial. Happy, happy running y’all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Community Made This Runner

Running with KCTC has given me an entirely new appreciation for the running community. Prior to becoming a track club member, I ran. I ran for fun, for fitness, for myself. Once I joined KCTC, I started running for the community, the dedication of the members and the comradery among all runners of different abilities. Making friends thru this community had become fast & easy. Recently I joined a new community of runners; I recently became a MARATHON runner! Training thru the KCTC was vital, enjoyable & I looked forward to seeing all of my training partners, whether I actually ran with them or not.

On Saturdays in Liberty, I run with a great group of people. We appreciate where each started a year ago & the runners we have all become since. Several members have run marathons; some ran their first halves, 10Ks, or even 5Ks! On Mondays I run with a wonderful group. We start at the Brooksider & run the Trolley Trail. This group is a completely different type of group than Saturday’s. Finally, on Sundays I run with a variety of runners from all across the city, the Sunday Runday Group. Some from the Liberty group, some from different clubs. They are all amazing! And FAST!! I’m always the caboose, but I never feel a lack of support.
When I first became a member of the KCTC, I joined the Beginners Running Group because my 14 year old son wanted to give running a try. After his time became consumed with school work & soccer, I continued to help out with the group of new runners & walkers. It was a nice way to meet new people, to see new runners achieving their goals, to see walkers turn into runners & to give & gain encouragement. We all have something in common; we are runners. We celebrate little victories & huge life events with one another. We socialize outside of our running groups, learn about running from one another and are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.
I recently ran the 37th Marine Corps Marathon in DC. I had a few running friends there too. We all faced Hurricane Sandy; all had completely different experiences and were all eager to check on one another’s accomplishments. I got to see one of my running friends at the start of the marathon, where we encouraged & calmed each other. It was a great safety blanket to know I had KCTC friends out in the marathon somewhere… Since my marathon two weeks ago, I have only run twice. Neither of these two runs has been at my running groups. I feel like I’ve been struggling to get back into a running “groove” again. The feedback & encouragement I’ve gotten from my fellow runners is that I am not only “normal”in feeling this way, but that I will indeed get back into the swing of things when I’m ready. Knowing my running groups & running friends are there for me when I do, well… It’s invaluable.

Becoming a part of a great running community is what makes all of my runs these days, worth it! I’ve seen average runners evolve into marathoners, marathoners become even faster & stronger & walkers become runners! Even my own son, who would rather pull out his own nails than have to run, has shown an interest in running his first half this spring. He seemed very excited about doing the run. Of course, he’s 14 & his attitude is subject to change at any minute. We’ll do the Scout Strong Challenge as a family if he’s ready & willing. To see a boy find a love in running is a most wonderful thing, even if he needs a generous push from the running community every now & then.
Rejoining my running community is what I’m looking forward to most in the next couple of weeks, beeeeecause… The Community Made This Runner! Happy Running Y'all! 


Friday, November 9, 2012

A bigger better font of The Color Blue

If I had to pick the color I’m most similar to at this moment, well, it’d be The Color Blue. But NOT Cornflower Blue- my fave color crayon. Someone pointed out to me the other day that I just may well be suffering from post-marathon bloooooooooooooozzzzzz! I’ve been running with a goal in mind for so long, that now that the goal’s been accomplished, I dunno what to run for these days. I guess I should fill you in on my marathon. It was AWESOME!!! Simply put, that’s it! It was all I hoped it would be & managed to be so much more! And then because of Hurricane Sandy, we got stuck in DC & stayed with friends & that was pretty awesome too!

So, back to the blues… 11:06:39:10 has passed since the running of the 37th Marine Corps Marathon, not that I’m counting. I’ve only run ONCE since then. A 4 –miler that was nothing special, nothing terrible. It was just a run. I enjoyed it, but really, it was just an ordinary run & most routine. No pace time, no distance, no personal goals existed. I felt OK, my knees were still a bit wobbly (kind of like a baby giraffe walking for the 1st time), no biggie. But there was something missing to this run. I described it as a “purpose”, until someone reminded me that a lifetime of running is the “purpose”; running itself was the purpose, the races were just “measuring sticks along the way”… nicely put by my friend Bryan.

I’ve been toying with the idea of running the Get Lucky Marathon (March) in Little Rock, AR (hills, hills and more hills are good for the boooootaaaay) & am definitely running in Nashvegas with friends in April. April will be their 1st Half, so THERE is my purpose. It’s been nice to have a ‘break’from running, although I dunno really how much of a break it’s been. After the marathon we were stuck in DC for a week, got home & had a sick kiddo, he missed school, I missed work. As I type this, I’m sitting in the hospital with him, ugh. The things floating around in my swirling brain…

Needing a goal is what I do… I do it with my family, with my job, with my weight, with my workouts, with my running. It’s just what I do, even if it drives everyone else loony, it’s just how I am. I was singing the blues earlier (which in itself is scary since I cannot sing), but as soon as I sign up & throw my $$$$ down on getting lucky, I’ll have a concrete plan in place. Having that goal will turn my color into HAPPY! Speak’n of happy… Happy running yáll!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

One day I'm gonna have that bib framed!
One special medal!

The Color Blue

If I had to pick the color I’m most similar to at this moment, well, it’d be The Color Blue. But NOT Cornflower Blue- my fave color crayon. Someone pointed out to me the other day that I just may well be suffering from post-marathon bloooooooooooooozzzzzz! I’ve been running with a goal in mind for so long, that now that the goal’s been accomplished, I dunno what to run for these days. I guess I should fill you in on my marathon. It was AWESOME!!! Simply put, that’s it! It was all I hoped it would be & managed to be so much more! And then because of Hurricane Sandy, we got stuck in DC & stayed with friends & that was pretty awesome too!

So, back to the blues… 11:08:29:10 has passed since the running of the 37th Marine Corps Marathon, not that I’m counting. I’ve only run ONCE since then. A 4 –miler that was nothing special, nothing terrible. It was just a run. I enjoyed it, but really, it was just an ordinary run & most routine. No pace time, no distance, or personal goals existed. I felt OK, my knees were still a bit wobbly (kind of like a baby giraffe walking for the 1st time), no biggie. But there was something missing to this run. I described it as a “purpose”, until someone reminded me that a lifetime of running is the “purpose”; running itself was the purpose, the races were just “measuring sticks along the way”… nicely put by my friend Bryan.

I’ve been toying with the idea of running the Get Lucky Marathon (March) in Little Rock, AR (hills, hills and more hills are good for the boooootaaaay) & am definitely running in Nashvegas with friends in April. April will be their 1st Half, so THERE is my purpose. It’s been nice to have a ‘break’ from running, although I dunno really how much of a break it’s been. After the marathon we were stuck in DC for a week, got home & had a sick kiddo, he missed school, I missed work. As I type this, I’m sitting in the hospital with him, ugh. The things floating around in my swirling brain…

Needing a goal is what I do… I do it with my family, with my job, with my weight, with my workouts, with my running. It’s just what I do, even if it drives everyone else loony, it’s just how I am. I was singing the blues earlier (which in itself is scary since I cannot sing), but as soon as I sign up & throw my $$$$ down on getting lucky, I’ll have a concrete plan in place. Having that goal will turn my color into HAPPY! Speak’n of happy… Happy running yáll!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don't Stop Believing

Don’t Stop Believing… this just so happened to be the song playing in the parking lot of the mall where I sometimes run on Sunday. It was appropriate because I had just taken my earphones out & kicked off my runners when I heard the song. It was appropriate because I had just completed my longest run, 22.13 miles. What?!?!? Seems crazy to me, but I guess that’s where the song comes in. Don’t stop believing in your own determination, in your own goals, in your own strengths, in your own craziness. Don’t stop believing because there are always people who are believing in all of those same things, right along with YOU!
I was pretty sure I was as ready for this run as I was going to be. I had my plan all outlined, my fuel all packed the night before. My music selection was ready to go; I bought myself some new tunes just for this run.
I am running these long runs, slowly & efficiently. I try to be consistent, which may not always be the case, but I try. There’s always a lot of runners’ advice for every run, because runners LOVE to share their knowledge. I do listen, I do take things into consideration, I do try things that work for others, I do ignore some of the wisdom too. What I have found is very elementary… others want to encourage me because they believe in me, in my goals, in my evolution & want to see me succeed nearly as much as I do. I LOVE that. I’m not trying to inspire anyone else, but sometimes it is the awesome result of what I am trying to accomplish & that is so humbling.
Don’t stop believing… in what success others want to see for you. Don’t stop believing in what the mind, body & soul can do. Don’t stop believing in your own evolution as a runner. As I whimpered up & down the stairs Sunday & yesterday, I kept hearing that song in my head… “Don’t Stop Believing. Hold on to that feeling”… the feeling of, “WOW, I JUST DID THAT!” And the feeling of relief of being one step closer to the goal I set for myself in April of 2011. It’s mine, all mine, & I will get there with the belief, encouragement & sometimes, even the ‘SUCK IT UP & DO WHAT YOU CAME HERE TO DO’ attitude reminder I get from certain people. For all of that, I am most grateful.
 For myself, I won’t stop believing that there is always room for improvement & that come marathon day, I will do my best, ya better believe it! Now, get out there & do whatcha came here to do! Happy running y’all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Strong Enough

As a felt the warm water trickle down on me this morning while I was curled up in the shower, I thought to myself, “Ugh… you did this to yourself last night. I knew you weren’t strong enough to finish what you started.” What?! Doesn’t everyone sit in the shower? Ok, yes I wasn’t merely sitting, I was indeed CURLED up into a ball in the shower. This may very well teach me a lesson…
Yesterday was the BACON FEST for crying out loud! There was some celebrating to partake in, after all! Perhaps with a week of stomach issues that left me unable to hydrate properly, or even eat, it was maybe NOT the best idea to drink beer and then progress to a gin & tonic (I don’t even like them- I was proving a point! But that’s an entirely different story) and then on to Dirty Martinis… the massively dirty, filthy, nasty in a good way dirties I just LOVE so, so, so, so very much. Perhaps I loved them a little less this morning at 5 a.m. knowing there was a 12 mile run waiting for me. On the other hand, perhaps I did not.
When I first got the notion to run the Marine Corps Marathon last year, I knew there would be some sacrifices to make, some routine adjustments, some commitment issues, some life altering ways to achieve & in my head, I think I thought I wouldn’t be strong enough. I committed myself in April of 2011 to run this marathon THIS year. I was being realistic & I knew I wasn’t a strong enough runner at that time.
I have to say, I cannot even imagine what it will really be like to run with only 30 thousand other runners, all running after something different. I don’t know if I will be strong enough to not have a breakdown at the start of it. If I’m not, that’s alright because a good cry is just that sometimes… good.
I was unwise in my drinking decisions last evening. Ok, OK, that’s maybe putting it mildly. What I know about myself is this: I am a lot SMARTER AND DETERMINED than I give myself credit for some days. Around 6:15 last night, I knew where the evening was headed & I’m afraid folks, it wasn’t in a good direction. I had the wherewithal to set my alarm, as I had a 12 miler this morning! I also reset the alarm a couple of times after that, but it was SET, dang it! I tried to QUIT the run several different times. I tried to renegotiate the terms of the run several times, just knowing 3 was practically the same as 12, or 10, or 8. I wasn’t strong enough to resist the peer pressure! When I wasn’t strong enough I was ever so “gently” reminded by my Smart Ass Coach, aka SMAC, that I WOULD indeed be running the 12 & to not take that text tone with him. UGH! He’s not the boss of me! I knew my condition & at that moment, I knew I wasn’t strong enough to tackle a 12 mile run.
Today’s run came entirely too early; I was wide awake at 4, even though my alarm was set for 5:15. I hate when that happens! I hate when the rooms spins too. Luckily the room was NOT spinning at 5:15. I wouldn’t have been strong enough to stay on that ride.
I pulled myself up by my proverbial boot straps & set myself straight. And the hot shower helped too. So did the soda. Being strong enough to do that, felt pretty good. Today’s run was HUMID, wet, a little slippery, slow & seemed a lot longer than 12 miles. WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got lost, because I was in my own la-la land, had to back track, found my way again and ended up running NOT 12 miles, but 13!!! When I was back at the start explaining my actions to my SMAC, he said to me… “See, you didn’t give yourself enough credit. I think you found out you’re a lot stronger than thought.” Awwwwwwwwwwww… in that moment, I was pretty damn proud of myself, not because I ran the 13, but because I didn’t give up. It would have been pretty easy to have NOT gotten out of bed, to have climbed back into bed after the shower, to have ignored the SMAC & cut my run short, to have NOT set my alarm last night. There are only so many excuses one can make for their own self misbehaviors, their own weaknesses, their own failings. I was all out of excuses & I knew that last night.
I make no more excuses for having weaknesses. I know my weaknesses & today, I learned one of my strengths………… my determination to be as strong as my body will allow in order to accomplish what I set my mind to doing April 2011. I am a runner & I am strong!!! Happy running y’all!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Truth Is...

Truth is… I’m kind of tired. LOL! I’ve been busy putting in some miles, of course, but have also been busy with getting the boys back to school, shuffling everyone’s schedules, STILL unpacking, arranging, rearranging, keeping up with work & my mom was just in town too! We went to a wedding a week ago & THAT’S when my running schedule got all whacked outta loop! I did a quickie run the morning we left for the wedding & it was much cooler than it had been; it’s weird how weather works. Sunday was a scheduled 16 mile run that was to be out of town & performed after a late night & crappy sleep at the hotel. I had some issues on the run & it turned into 13 miles but it also came with a gorgeous view of Horseshoe Lake in Collinsville, IL. So, all was well.
This week my runs suffered due to--- meh… IDK, poor eating, a lot of eating, go, go, going, not really wanting to go, a myriad of reasons (excuses too). So my mileage will be down this week, but hey- I figured a little bit of a change wouldn’t be all bad. And hey! I got to run in the run one day this week! I was pretty excited about that!
Truth is… with all of this running… I’ve managed to actually GAIN weight! WTH!!!! I’m hungry all of the time & crave soda & Greek yogurt like CRAAAAAAAZY!!!!! Figures!!! Tomorrow’s run is 18 miles & I’ll have a running partner that I hope to be able to keep up with for at least some of the run. :-) Truth is… I’ll probably get ditched in the 1st 10 mins, but that’s alright. We’ll both be there for each other if we need to be.
Time for me to go hit the asphalt for today’s 4. Happy running y’all!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Expect Nothing

Expect nothing… I heard a sports announcer the morning after one of Phelps’ swims say that we should expect nothing from him, so we aren’t disappointed if he doesn’t achieve what’s expected. Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed. Expect nothing and you may just get surprised. Expect nothing and there’s nothing to look forward to, nothing to propel success. Although, I don’t think we should always expect that someone’s best will always be the same as what it had been four years ago. Expect nothing and you may just win.
Going into this week’s long run of 18 miles, I have to say, I was expecting nothing. I was tired, not mentally prepared & had been so nervous about last week’s 16 miler that, quite honestly, I thought if I got in a good 10, that would be alright by me. So, in that regard, it’s not that I expected nothing, but that I didn’t expect much…
These very hot days are really starting to become the norm around here & frankly, that’s ok to me. The only thing I worried about on what I thought would just be an ok run, was water. I mapped out my route to have water REFILLS every 2-2 ½ miles. The longest stretch would be the last 3 miles home. I set out maybe a touch fast, my 1st 6 miles were all under 10 mins. I really hadn’t expected that, but I felt good.
Expect nothing and you may just get something. I had to have a water break at the VFW, Legion, not sure what its proper name is… I was just hoping there were people already drinking at 2:00 on a Wed. afternoon. Aaaaaaand, there were!!! God Bless the VFW! LOL! This break became a little long, because one of the men needed, really needed, to tell me about his daughter that had been in the Navy & how she is getting into Tris… ugh, ok. She had a name, which he told me, like he expected me to know her… I knew nothing. Anyway, when asked why I was running, I said I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct. At that point, one of the men offered to buy me a beer. This idea was quickly squelched by one of the other men, he apologized for the man & said, “She’s training!!” Uh… I kinda wanted the beer. Alas, I settled for an electrolyte tab in m’water... The beer’s not something I expected to be offered, but it was a winning idea in my book.
I was feeling pretty ok during most of this run… until… I expected I would finish strong & expected the route I mapped out was a good one & expected I could run this bad boy of a run with not too many issues. I EXPECTED wrong… The last mile was THE WORST MILE IN HISTORY!!!! I became very nauseous, ran out of water, started  to see beeeeeeuatiful blue & red stars & in general, had a nervous breakdown. I walked up a hill (both ways, in the snow) & planted myself in the shade of some trees. At said shady break, I called for help. What a shame I had come all that way & now how to quit was my reaction. Then my reaction was, “THE HELL I’VE DONE ALL THIS WORK & HAVE TO QUIT!” Then my reaction was, “Oh my God, I’ve come all this way, practically collapsed under these trees & am literally being eaten ALIVE by a pile of ants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Just my luck! I should’ve expected that!
Not to be defeated & not to go down without a fight, I stumbled back onto the road, determined to drag my own damn self home. I think I sniffled sad tears a few times, before remembering a nearby neighborhood & their LIFE SAVING POOL!!!!!!!!!! I got to the pool & low & behold there was not only one water fountain, but TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t expect that. :D When this crazy run was finished, I was proud to say, I managed 18.63 miles, something I hadn’t expected. I even managed a 2 miler yesterday & a 3 miler today. Not bad for this girl, something I wouldn’t have ever expected…
With great expectations can certainly come great disappointment. But with great expectations, there can also be a fire lit from within one’s self. Expect nothing and you may just get something great. But if you always expect nothing, you’ll never have something great to work toward & what a great disappointed that would be.
Get out there, stay safe & hydrated & happy running y’all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Runner or Mexican Day Worker?

Well, the run that I was both dreading & dreaming about has come & gone. Today’s run was neither creative, scenic, easy, very much fun, or even dreadful. Today’s run seemed to be sponsored by the letter “R” for Reptile… 2 snakes (although it’s possible one was a large string of some sort, but I don’t think so, considering its slithering movement next to me), a turtle (hey turtle! wanna race?) who may have very well beat my speed if given the opportunity and a raccoon. Yes, I know raccoons aren’t reptiles, but he was worth mentioning, as his teeth were really quite lovely…
I knew for sure this run would be damned because of my new fuel belt. I couldn’t get it tightened enough & the bottle kept slipping out of the pouch. So, I threw a mini-tantrum & stripped off the belt. This, ironically, wouldn’t be the last thing I stripped off during this run.  Because of the whole belt “issue” I had to adapt my plan. My plan was for a glorious 8 miles one direction, 8 in the return direction. Instead, I broke the run down into 4 miles out, drink, 4 miles back, drink. Rinse & reeeeeepeat…
Surely the run was not only damned because of the belt “issue”. As I was expertly running along, a man slowed down in his truck & hollered something out of his window. He then slowed his truck down, as if waiting for me to answer. With this, I took out my ear plugs & asked what he said. He wanted to know what was going on with a road construction sign. I wanted to say, “What? Do I look like a Mexican day worker?” Don’t gasp… I kind of do at this point. And I can say stuff like that, because technically, I’m ½ Mexican. And I am currently, very, very dark… Perhaps that’s what stumped him, but I think he said he thought I’d know because of my shirt- florescent pink! Maybe if it was orange. Because of that interlude & because it was 105 degrees, the shirt was stripped off. Now, with that being said, I am a fairly modest person. Yes, occasionally, I take pictures of my sunning legs, but it’s not like they’re my boobs. Mainly, I don’t take pics of those, beeeeecause, I don’t have any. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh…
Anyway, on one other run on this same road, I was offered a ride by one of Smithville’s finest. On this run, I was offered a ride by a MO State Trooper. Don’t I feel extra special! Pretty sure though, if I had accepted the ride, I would’ve been hauled straight to the loony bin, because really, no one in their right mind is running in this weather. When I declined today’s ride, I was offered water. Of course, I took it. We topless day workers need water too…
For today’s 16 mile run, I had planned on going 1st thing this morning- alarm was set for 3:30. I reconsidered at 2:00 after a dog “issue”. My plan for this afternoon’s run was took take a different route, go straight out one way & then return. None of that went according to plan. What kind of went accordingly was my pace. Having never run this distance before, I wanted to go slow & steady. That I did- FOR SURE! Slow & steady turtle… wanna race?!
I’m starving & pretty sore, so I think some dinner & ice are in order for the remainder of the evening. Happy running y’all!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

This Ain't My 1st Rodeo

So these miles are adding up quite nicely & very quickly. However, 100, 104, 108 degree afternoon runs are really kind of taking a slight toll on my body, as well as my mileage. This ain’t my first rodeo in the heat, is what I tend to tell myself on the days I feel like I’m running with wet sponges for feet. Ugh… 96 days until the Marine Corps Marathon! Last week was a “light” week for mileage. This week is not. My runs since the last post have consisted of a 14+ miler @ 3:40 in the A. M.! It was wild! And when I say WILD, it’s because of the disgusting wildlife I encountered--- 3 skunks in very close proximity to my legs, 4 deer, a black cat, a white cat (I assume they cancel each other out), one runner about ½ way thru my run & another when I was finishing. Clearly, they were slackers!
We also did the Glow Run 5K, a nighttime run that was HOT (what did you expect?), a bit disorganized, but wholly enjoyable. My time for that one wasn’t too shabby. Last week I ran 6 on the trails & had mismatched (but cleeeeeeean) socks, entirely inapprope shorts, ran out of water, encountered a VERY SCARY creature (so what if it was actually a squirrel, the heat causes delirium!) & I made a less than graceful tuck & roll kinda flip over a root, resulting in a scraped elbow, scraped knee, a scratch on the back & a full on headache!
This past Sat. I ran the Julia’s Warriors Run for Hope in our town of Smithville. It lost some of the “community” feel of last year, but lost none of the meaning. That hill was a bear, but I did it! I chatted with a couple of friends, got some water, a cold towel, had my chip clipped, walked around, had a pic. taken, all before noticing I had NOT turned off my GPS. What a DORK! NOT my 1st rodeo, but clearly I forgot…
So back to being a “pro” in the heat… hilarious! Today’s run was tough, rough, hard, horrid, nappy, scraggy & just plain hard… It was 104 at the start of the run. This is NOT your 1st rodeo in the heat. WHO was I fooling? I have goals for myself, & yes, it remains true… the only one disappointed in my performance is me, me, me. I ran out of water TWICE. The 1st time was kind of a welcome break & a good reason to get some air conditioning. The 2nd time was just poor planning. I was thirsty! Even thirsty, I just wanted to be finished. I had NO patience for today’s run (6 was only 5.11). Having spent a lot of time in the sun yesterday & hydrating with Mimosas was, perhaps, not the best of my ideas. Yes, yes, I had a ton of water too… I find the key to hydrating, especially in this heat, is to keep downing water for days in advance. This ain’t my 1st rodeo after all.
I’ve been tired & if I’m honest, a bit stressed about this Wednesday’s run. On Wed. I will attempt to run the farthest these little size 6 sponge feet have ever taken me. I am scared & just thinking about it makes me hyperventilate a bit. I am worried. I am fit. I am determined. But… in the aspect of running 16 miles… it is indeed, MY VERY FIRST RODEO.
Stay safe, stay hydrated & as always, HAPPY RUNNING Y’ALL!

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Hopes for All Runners

I wish I could be all “technical” here about running, about form, times, splits, speed work, etc., etc., but I cannot. I’m not THAT type of runner. What I am is a visual runner. I see things differently in my runs each time. I hope that rings true for each runner and walker out there. When I really started running outside, I noticed all of the things that were so unusual about the usual. When you pass by places in a car, you never really SEE those places. When runners concentrate on their paces, heart rates, mileage, form, the beauty of the run may sometimes be lost. Maybe not, I could be wrong; it’s been known to happen.
My hope for every runner, walker & cyclist out there is that the everyday beauty of our surroundings be fully appreciated. The way the flowers blow in the wind, the way the hot air from a car feels as they race by, the way the smell off the lake is intoxicating sometimes, the way the sun feels against the skin, the sound the feet make as they hit the ground. Those things are all things I pay attention to as I run. I also pay attention to my pace patterns as the music thumps in my ears. I feel a great release from all of the stressful and ordinary things in life. That is WHY I run.
Every runner out there has a different mission, if you will. But I do hope that on one of the runs, the mission is pure appreciation for the great things your mind, body and soul are accomplishing. Take time to smell the roses seems really very blasé, doesn’t it… if you do though, be sure to take it in, tell someone else about what you experience. Be sure to wholly enjoy each run. Happy running y’all!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dirty Laundry & Dirty Secrets

Well I haven’t posted in a while, not because I didn’t have anything to say… I was just worn out. Loading, unloading, hauling, unhauling, packing, unpacking. Anyway, I did an “interesting” trail race last week. It was a nighttime 10K that was a disaster! My friend Courtney & I are in NO way cut out for that kind of running… it was ‘get yourself murdered’ dark & 100 degrees. I’m still stumped by our decision to tackle that one. Anyway, we can say we did it & will never have to do it again.
I’ve been a bit miffed with myself since my long 12 mile run on Wed. turned into an 8 miler on Thurs. & 2 of those miles were walking. I got a nice offer for a ride by one of the town’s Po-Po, I declined. Looking back, I shoulda hopped in. At least I would’ve gotten to ride in the police cruiser.
This morning’s run, & I use that term loosely, was HOT, short, a little walking & a whole lotta disappointment. Not that I walked, or that it was 4 miles, but that I just had that irked attitude still from Thurs. At least it was good company thanks to my friend Melissa. And afterwards was a great visit w/friends over coffee.  
I know I’ve been moving this week & life has been a wreck & so has my eating & sleeping, but I guess I see that as no excuse to already being a week behind in my marathon training. Ugh, Oct. will be here entirely too soon I’m afraid.
I decided I was feeling well enough after a walk/run, coffee, a shopping trip & a few mins. at home, that I dusted off my old runners, strapped on my water belt & headed back out the door. I tried a new route to the lake today & was pleased enough. After 5 miles, I rested on the shoreline of the lake & drank my water in the shade. I wanted desperately to slip my shoes off & feel the waves, but I feared wet feet=blisters. After a nice break, I headed back towards home. With only 3 miles left, I was feeling pretty good about my water supply. This is where the run got a little iffy… There’s gonna be a ton of traffic on a bloody hot day on the main road to the lake. Why didn’t I see that one coming?  I spent a lot of time on the side of the road. At this point I was drenched in sweat & just kind of ready to be finished. I kept hoping for someone to just sweep me off the road & take me out to the lake on their boat, but nope. Because of the very busy & hilly road, I thought smart & decided to cut thru a neighborhood. PS… that added about ¼ mile to the run I wished was finished…
I found a shaded tree to stand under & also found a need to ‘flush my hush,’ so with a little coolness & a little coyness, I did. What the hell, I was already soaking wet… what?! I drank the rest of my water, leaving me w/the feeling I just knew I would die before I made it the rest of the way home. So what if I could actually SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE my house at that point. The mind plays dirty sometimes. Just knowing that, I kicked it into high gear & tidied up that run, completing 8.25 more miles for the day.
I stripped down in my front yard & relaxed with my water. When I got up, there was a nice puddle where my toosh was. I’ll be honest here, because I think I can be… IDK if it was water, sweat orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. Probably a mixture of all. Oh well. Knowing it was probably a mix, I stripped off the rest of my clothes in the garage, promptly placed them in the brand new washer & off I went to shower.
I didn’t realize the garage door was still open. But that’ll be our little secret. I felt better about the 2nd run, as well as my miles for the week. Happy running y’all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Running, the Way I See It: Every Day Warrior

Running, the Way I See It: Every Day Warrior: Sometimes things in life come together in a beautiful way. Last May is when I started running OUTSIDE. I had been a pro on the treadmill, u...

Every Day Warrior

Sometimes things in life come together in a beautiful way. Last May is when I started running OUTSIDE. I had been a pro on the treadmill, up to 11, 12 miles on a regular 4 time a week basis, when I switched to outside running. Honestly, when I think about that now, I can’t even imagine how I spent those miles on the dreadmill. Last year I couldn’t run ¼ mile outside w/o practically feeling like I was being run over by a semi-truck. For my 1st 5K I chose a very special one for our community of Smithville Warriors! The run was to honor the everyday heroic life of Smithville Middle School Guidance Counselor, Julia Bargman. She was not just the counselor but a tender heart & the high school’s cross country coach. Julia ALWAYS had a positive spin for even the most devastating things in life. She has become my running inspiration. “IF Julia could do it, I can.” Julia had a long battle with breast cancer but never seemed to be down & out. She was kind, lovely, beautiful & awe inspiring. She would run our hills of Smithville like THE healthiest, most fit body, soul & mind out there. All the while, trying to CONQUER her horrible illness.
The community lost an EVERY DAY WARRIOR when Julia passed away. To honor her, Julia’s family & our little community put on the mother of all 5Ks! I think everyone in Smithville had some part in that run/walk. Signs, balloons, sprinklers, cheer sections, you name it, we had it goin’ on! That was not an easy run. It started early, was terribly HOT, was hilly & when I ran it, I huffed & puffed all the way thru, when I wasn’t walking it! My time for that 5K was about 35-40 mins. The hills were insane & hard & steep. I’ve run those hills since then about once a month, to remind myself it can be done, that Julia did it under the hardest of conditions.
The run is coming up again, one month from today. I wanted to run the entire course today to see what kind of performance I could turn out for myself. The temp. this afternoon was about 84 degrees, sunny, slight wind & those hills were just waiting. Btw… the run FINISHES on a hill! I thought to myself today before I ran, “You’ve got this. You just ran a Half named Hospital Hill, for crying out loud. It’s KNOWN for its HILLS!” Uh, no… I didn’t “GOT” this… I was WORN OUT at mile 2. I knew what kind of hills were waiting for me, so I sucked it up & continued on. I wanted to walk, to quit, but I kept thinking how Julia NEVER quit! If she could do it, I can do it. I was one of HER warriors. She was an EVERY DAY WARRIOR. I really did want to quit. I was winded, hot & I think I was still feeling the after effects of yesterday’s & Monday’s runs. Julia was an EVERY DAY WARRIOR & I am one of HER warriors. If she could do it, I can do it.
Mile 1 was timed at 8.14. Mile 2 was 9.43. Mile 3-.3.01 was 11.01. My total time was 28.58 with the average pace of 9:50 per mile. I was pretty pleased with those times. Those were some of the longest miles I’ve ever run. They were worth each & every foot strike. There are EVERY DAY WARRIORS out there whether we know it or not. Every time I have wanted to give up, slow down, not complete a run, I think of Julia. If she could do it, I can do it. In my life, there is an EVERY DAY WARRIOR, my running inspiration. I’ve tried to learn from Julia’s life, the gifts she gave & her CAN DO attitude, even when the odds were against her. I try to take something from every run. Today’s run for me meant I am stronger than I have ever been, more determined, happy with my progress & always needing to learn from an EVERY DAY WARRIOR.
Keep in mind there is always an EVERY DAY WARRIOR out there. Happy running y’all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bulges All Over

So, I like to at least looooook slightly "fit" when running. I like to wear layers, but they are usually fairly form fitting. Today I wore form fitting running capris, a form fitting tank, a BRIGHT pink form fitting outer shirt & my sweat belt. I like to wear the sweat belt, because my dad always wore one when he ran. It does just what it promises, makes you sweat. I want to at least looooooook like I'm working hard! I like to think I at least can look the part of a runner. ;-)

Today I ran in Lee's Summit, a town about an hr. from my little town of Smithville. I'm familiar with certain parts but not the residential or downtown areas of town. I have a few meetings out that way on Mondays & have decided to change around some of my running days. I usually run with a group on Mondays, but won't be able to do so for a while because of said meeeeeeetings... darn work, interferring with my running. Aaaaaaanyway... I knew it was gonna be a warm run, a windy run. When I left for my run the temp was 95. Yes, it was windy, but I'm a runner damnit, I can take it! Within the 1st mile the following "ISSUES" occurred: I ran out of sidewalk, I got a tree limb to the shoulder (b/c the hurricane force winds threw it down at me!), something crunchy was in my gum (don't even wanna to know), I kicked dog poo (PICK UP after your pooch please) and I got a wave from the train conductor. This was a 6 mile run, I could feel that it was maybe gonna be a struggle. I played "chicken" with a guy on a lawnmower, a very cute man wielding a leaf blower winked at me (at least I think it was a wink, but in all honesty, he probably just had something in his eye), I got something in MY eye, I got a nice cold spray down by the fountain in the downtown area (because the WIND was INSANE!) & I lost my hat. I know, I know, it was windy, afterall. I found my hat too!

Determined not to be discouraged or defeated by this run, I squished my hat up & smooshed it into my sweat belt, which at this point I noticed was all cock-eyed & bulgey in the front. Moving forward like a champ, bulges in the front, I had a smooshed up Kansas City Track Club hat all bunched up in my sweat belt on my back. BULGES ALL OVER! I did take a couple of minutes (at mile 4) during this "run" to catch my breath & clean the muck outta my eyes, with my dirty, sweaty fingers. I noticed a cute little wine store, a peanut store and a red train car. Noted to self: take a walk next week, bulge free, to GO into the stores.

I took a moment to straighten out the bulges from all over, repositioned my sweat belt, tucked my hat back in & like a champ, finished the 2 miles left. I finished this run, feeling the effects of the heat. HOT, sweaty, tired, wind blown with BULGES ALL OVER. I headed to the gym for a cool down outside, sans bulges, did an upper body workout, took a nice, long warm-ish shower & cleaned my contacts. Ew!

Even though I felt a little defeated by this run, I was glad I went, glad I finished & was ok with having bulges all over. They made me look the part of a runner.

Happy running y'all!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Funky Font

So sorry about the funky font of the last post. I hate it & will NEVER do it again...

Pocket Miles

Why is it the “pocket” miles are seemingly some of the hardest? I’ve had 4 runs now since last week’s Hospital Hill Half Marathon & they’ve all been short & “routine”. I bought myself yet another pair of runners last week. I LOVE them. I love them so much, I really do wanna marry them! I feel like they’re the shoes I should’ve bought 3 months ago. Having said thaaaaaat… the damn things still don’t have rockets attached to the back, or cheerleaders jumping out of them to get me going! I feel so much better about my recovery from this half than the last one, yet I still am finding it difficult to motivate myself.
Last week, I was eager to try out my shoes & the run suuuuuuuucked. All stinky like, I went thru the rest of my day with the brilliant plan to run out at the soccer fields that evening. Maybe I should add here that I was not only stinky from the 3 miles but from the mere fact that I had grabbed multiple dirty running gear items out of the stinky laundry. What?! I was just going to get them dirty anyway! Anyway… I digress. I felt sluggish, but kept going. That same evening I ran around the soccer fields too. I felt muuuuuuuuch better about that run. There was a lot of goose poop though, which is always a turn off.  Christopher played a good game, but was a little timid & thirsty evidently… he drank the rest of my water, ugh! He & I had a nice dinner of nachos and nachos, just the 2 of us. I’m finding those little moments very sweet & I plan on taking full advantage of them when they arise. J Look at me… I can be suuuuuuuuuch a good mom…
P.S. Yes, I was still in the same dirty clothes that were still stinky from the previous run of the day aaaaaaaand from the fact that I grabbed them out of the laundry… the DIRTY laundry. Look at me telling y’all my secrets! Luckily, no one really reads this blog. LOL!
Yesterday’s run was short & sweet but left me with the need to do a little foam rolling. I HATE that! And my butt cheeks are a little sore. WTH!? Well, not even butt CHEEKS… just the right one.
I changed today’s 3 miler to a trail run, with the trail running Cha-hu. I hadn’t taken her for a while. She IS hilarious! The trails were a bit busier today, but no biggie & she’s been worn out the rest of the day. The upcoming week is another hectic one where everyone is going in a different direction. I tried to clear my head of all of the To Dos but just seemed to add to the list. Nevertheless, a run is always a good run as long as my feet are hitting the ground. ;0)
Happy running y’all!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Nervous Breakdown Is Only A Moment

Twizzlers, orange slices, bands, sprinklers, cold water, lemon-lime Gatorade, cheering sections, brrrrrrrrr frozen sponges, flip flops, BBQ sandwiches & beer! Oh! And with all that even came the 40th Annual Hospital Hill Half Marathon! This past Sat. I ran my 2nd Half Marathon. My first was in April, I feel like I was prepared for that one. This Half was very, very different. In the parking garage of the expo I broke out in tears and nearly started to hyper-ventilate! I didn’t want to do this run! I didn’t feel prepared at all & I was SCARED of all those hills. I’ve been doing some hill training, just around our little town, but nothing like what was to come in the Half. I wasn’t even going to have my own bag bitch to hold my stuff on the day of the run! What was I going to do!?!
I didn’t sleep well AT ALL the night before… nerves, nerves, nerves. Awake at 4 a.m., not by choice, (STUPID Chihuahua!) I tossed & turned for 30 more mins. After getting up, showering (YES! I shower prior to running. It wakes & relaxes me), I put my last minute items together. I was all set to go. The weather couldn’t have been more PERFECT! I picked up my friend Melissa, ate a little yogurt, peed a couple of times, peed some more--- I was ready!! We met up with our friend Michelle & joked, laughed & relaxed a little more. At that point, I felt ok, ready for it to happen. With the cannon off & Kansas City, Kansas City, here I come, playing over loud speakers, we were all OFF!
I made friends with a lady behind me. She’s running the Marine Corps Marathon too! She’s not having anyone go with her though… and here’s the beauty of making running friends… I gave her my name to look me up on FaceBook & she messaged me the other day. We’ll meet up in Oct. for the MCM! We can support each other.
My decision to stay with a pace group, proved to be very smart. It was mile 4 before I even knew where we were. We had already gone up the longest hill! How could that be?! My pacer, Megan was a chatty Cathy, that’s how! We were talking & singing & joking with cops along the way;  I was impossibly busy to even realize we were knocking down miles & staying AHEAD of our pace time!
Around mile 8, I had Gel issues. NOT in my hair, but my fuel gel. I tried to remain calm, & not burst out into tears because I couldn’t get the damn fanny pack turned back around, so it would be resting on the small of my back, not on my stomach! What kinda pictures would that have made for, I wonder… Speaking of pictures, I only saw cameras once along the way & at the finish. I tried to look like I was indeed a runner, sucked in my pooch, stayed focus, smiled, but not cheesily, tried to have the correct gait, tried to not look blinded by the sun, annoyed with the stinky runner in front of me, or like I was totally about to fall over dead at any given moment. We’ll see how all that worked out, pix come out tomorrow.
There were FREE high fives with a ½ mile left, a short, but very steep hill, of which I opted to walk up & once again, I could see where we started & hear the announcer calling out finishers. With that, I took a deep breath & picked up my feet in a quickened pace! I was gonna finish this race with my head held high, my feet fully functional & my pride worn sparkling well!
I shaved off 8 minutes from my Rock the Parkway Half time, wasn’t sore, only had one small blister & felt AMAZING! That night, I was dead tired & had chafing issues. The next night I was icing my calves, thighs & the blister popped on its own. All in all, a pretty fun time. I’m thankful to all of my supporters! I’m proud for showing MYSELF, my best is YET to come & that a nervous breakdown is only a moment.
Tomorrow is a 2 miler. I’ll take it nice & easy & I’ll do it in the hottest part of the day, because that’s how I like it best. Happy running y’all!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In the Clear

Today I took a much needed trail run… WISHING I had my new Adidas Kanadia 4 trail runners. Anyway, I took the trail named Lakeside Speedway Trail, it had the MOST difficult rating on its sign, but I did it anyway. I was quite pleased with myself, especially when I practically skidded down the hillside to the lake. The view was beautiful, the lake calm, my nerves were calm & my head, in the clear.
I have Hospital Hill Half Marathon on Saturday & am in no way, shape, or form feeling ready. I’ll be glad to have no goals after this one. Well, at least for a couple of weeks.
I needed this run today because I feel as though I have been “on edge” for the last week or so (who am I kidding; always) & just needed time to sort thru all of the things in my head. Dealing with work, summer schedules, house hunting, training &ridding myself of toxic people makes me feel overloaded. With a cleansing sigh, I set out on my run. Key all tied up in my shoe, Nike+ GPS set, music cued, head, in the clear, I felt good about my slower pace. I took a trail I don’t normally like to take so I would really need to concentrate on the trail, not any of the things mentioned above. I ran to the shoreline & took my gloves off, sat down & listened to my music. It was comfy, warm & the sound of the water was sweet. It’s times like that when I miss the ocean terribly.
When I set back out to the trail, I felt better; I felt lifted, even. Having to head into the clear is necessary, especially in trail running… your time always gets a little better when there’s clear path ahead.  Having my head in the clear, makes life a lot easier. Someone asked me one time what I thought about when I ran… I had to think about that… I honestly don’t think about anything. I like to listen to my music, all in order because I want to know what song comes next. I like all kinds of music, Dr. Dre, Britney Spears, Linkin Park, Beastie Boys, Carrie Underwood, Mirah, Pitbull, Tim McGraw, Thousand Foot Krutch, etc., etc., etc… I don’t like the edited versions of music. I want the full on, parental advisory warning kinda songs. I wanna sing ‘em out loud to myself, because it’s a release for me. I don’t HAVE to think about anything. My mind, my head are in the clear.
I had several butterflies following me today. I don’t know if they knew it was me, or if they were just fluttering by coincidentally. They did make me think of my friend Sandi… this weekend will be the 5th anniversary of her passing. I get misty when I think of that, but the butterflies made me smile. I didn’t see any snakes today. I was pretty glad about that. I did see a VERY fat salamander, & 2 squirrels. One squirrel ran beside me for a little bit. He was cute. The other squirrel scared me because he was flat on his belly, all limbs spread out, like he was hurt, or dead. He was neither, just relax’n perhaps… getting his head, IN THE CLEAR.
My other runs this week will be short & sweet, mind in the clear, no doubt. Dreading Hospital Hill for sure. Any run’s a good run though, sooooooo… Happy running y’all!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Knowing My Best

My friend Courtney recently asked me what I wanted to get from my runs- Did I want to improve my times, (because she thinks I am faster than I think I am) or did I want to run for distance. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I think what I want from my runs is to KNOW at the end of each run, that I did my best. What’s my best though, this is where I struggle.
Last Monday, I was scheduled to do a 2 mile run, easy pace, routine… or not so much. I was tired & winded & was relieved I only had a 2 miler. Wednesday was a scheduled 5 miler, that turned into a 7.4 miler. I kept thinking, DISTANCE or TIME. It was HOT & super windy & my snot was running outta my nose- SIDEWAYS! Oh, this reminds me, I really need to wash the hat I ran in that day, there’s still snot on the bill. IDK HOW!!! I just know there is!
For that Wed. run, I was feeling good & thought I would zip on over to the high school, since my 14 yr old was playing soccer. I had this brilliant idea that I would run over there, then he & I would walk hand in hand, arm in arm, orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr at least in the same proximity of one other. I was WRONG on all counts. When I got to his practice, I asked if I could have some of his water b/c I was currently in the midst of dying of heat stroke. He didn’t appreciate that. I asked if he wanted to walk home with me, to which he was quick to follow up & answer, “I just spent 4 hours playing soccer. I’m tired & I’ll get a ride home.” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!? But, what about my idea of walking hand in hand the 1 ½ miles home? Well, there was some walking alright… by ME! I was trucking along again once leaving the school, until about a mile left until home. At that point I had a terrible blister on my heel (WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY) & was more tired than I had realized. I stripped my shoes off & walked in my socks for about ½ mile. On that same run, my shirt was too big & had a stupid ribbon on it. Hey! It was $2, I couldn’t pass it up. Anyway, said ribbon was annoying me, so I yanked it off, making the shirt even bigger around the chest. Whoops! My tank sleeve kept falling off my shoulder, which was quickly making me realize, my run was entering into a land of doom. I was feeling a bit defeated & a lot ghetto at this point, sideways snot leftover on the rim of my hat, shirt all torn & falling off, shoeless Joe Jackson like & tired. I kept thinking… if only I had gone for time, instead of distance…….. or distance, instead of time…………. Anyway, I sat on the side of the road, (thankfully the man mowing went around me) collected myself, swept off my dirty socks, put my shoes back on & trucked it back home- finishing that last mile in 9:03!!!!! Now, I think at that point, I was just determined to get home.
Saturday’s run was supposed to be a 9 miler. It was a 3.22er… with 3 of those miles ringing in at 8:06 per mile. I was tired, hot, sweaty but pleased.
So, this all brings me back to what I want to get out of my runs, time or distance. I think, for me, it varies. But what doesn’t vary is the fact I want to do my own personal best each time I run. I don’t know what that means quite yet. I think some days, it’s 8:06 per mile. Some days it’s the longer distances. Some days my best is wiping off the side ways snot. And then, some days, my best is lacing up my shoes & simply walking out the door.
Tomorrow, I’ll run again & maybe I’ll be one step closer to my best. Happy running y’all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

THIS Is Why I Run...

Ugh... I've been drinking entirely too much beer as of late... Time to get back on track or switch to wine perhaps. I feel good after my runs, workouts, but am still just feeling so tired all of the time. I was hoping changing things up a bit would help out, but it didn't really. I kept wishing I was outside running. So easily distracted and am feeling really very anxious today. To ease my way back on the right track, I've stepped up my water consumption & have tried cutting back on the carbs a bit. More fruits & veggies are really keeping me fuller longer; almost too full. Blah... anyway...

I am really trying to listen to that Smart Coach (no, it doesn't say anything) but it really is so hard to keep focused sometimes. Today was an "off" day, no running for me. It is a GORGEOUS day out, wind just so, sun shining, clear sky, warm but not hot. As I mentioned, I've been feeling really quite anxious today and am not totally sure I have the answer as to why. THIS IS WHY I RUN... too much down time lets my mind wander & worry. My iPhone has me baffled, but I did manage to get some of my music back on into a couple of playlists. I have been trying to stiffle the bad eating with some healthier alternatives, bananas, peanut butter (just a smidge), tomatoes, water and milk. My staples...

Being anxious, over thinking, always thinking, running thru all of the things that need to be done, have yet to be done & aren't going to get done, worrying about people, money, work, etc, etc, etc. THIS Is Why I Run... that hour of silence, that hour of no worries, that hour of being in synch, that hour of sweat, that hour I have my music all to myself, THAT HOUR that regularly turns into longer... THIS Is WHY I Run...

I don't honestly know what my issues are today, otehr than it's an OFF day... Tomorrow, I'll be back ON with a scheduled 5 miles.

Happy running y'all!

A Good Place To Start Over

UGH! I wish I could tell you when & where I ran last week up until today, but my life in iPhone wonderland has left me... "speechless". Due to iPhone issues, I had to get a new phone today, which was a complete disaster & a massive disruption to the fluidity of my life. I lost all of my contacts, emails & work info, but more importantly, MY RUNNING APPS!!!!! Yeah, yeah, the contacts were important, but come on now... we all know our life in running is a resource, a form of bragging, a motivator & just really something to build on. Since this information in all 3 of my running apps is gone, today's run seems like A Good Place To Start Over.

I did run Wednesday, I think around 6. It was fantastically warm & I don't know my time. I just know I wanted to quit, but kept going... It felt good to run, even better to finish and I beat the bus home to get my son off the bus on time! WooHoo!

Thurs. was a shorter scheduled run, but some friends were kind enough to drive my way for a bit of trail running. I petered out around 3 miles, but we continued to walk for a bit & it was nice to have people to run with. There was, of course, a potty "issue" on the trail run & I think I got a little poison ivy on the back of my leg as a result.

Sat. was to be an 8 miler & ended up as a 7 miler. I don't have any idea of the time... it was beautiful out & we seemed to manage to get the wind going aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand coming. The sun was blazing! There was a lot of traffic due to a 5K that was going on. We got a little caught up in the people & the very FAST travelers on the parkway. We did lose a bit of our mojo for about a mile, but hey, at least we were out there doing it!

I made what I think was a smart decision about the Five Trails Half Marathon I was supposed to do yesterday & bowed out. I felt given the amount of time it's been taking to recover from injuries, I'd back out of this Half in preparation for KC's Hospital Hill Half on June 2.

This all brings me to tonight's relaxed, short & maybe a bit lazy run. It was a scheduled 2 miler, but we set out to do a bit more. We were optimistic. We ended right at 2 & walked about another 1/2. Oh well, it was still nice to get out, visit with friends and eat a yummy dinner, sans beer...............

It's the start of a new week, the start of a new outlook on eating & A Good Place to Start Over with my running apps. I still miss looking back at all my runs though.

Back ups from now on will be in iCloud, as well as on the computer- Lesson Learned!! Happy running y'all!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Use Only As Directed

The directions on things rang to mind today during this run. For optimal results, use only as directed. With a week off from running, my heart grew strained but my body finally had a little time to rest. This run felt so good. It was gorgeous outside, 83 & not a cloud in the sunny Carolina blue sky. My favorite time to run has always been the hottest part of the day. Knowing it would be a warm one today, I started to hydrate yesterday. I knew it would be warm & I didn’t want to get caught needing a drink, even for the short miles.
Still wrestling w/doing this Half on Sun. not wanting to think I probably shouldn't, I wanted to make  sure I paid attention to my Smart Coach & only ran the scheduled 3 miler. Setting out on this mission, I found myself quickly & happily, lost in the run. I was relaxed & felt healthy, somthing I haven't felt in a run in quite some time. My throat was a bit dry, but my minty fresh gum helped me out there. I drank up the sun & took the time to smell the honeysuckle... I couldn't help it, it was so strong today.
When I heard my time for the 1st mile, I was kind of surprised. The app lady said 9:52. Whoa! Where'd that come from. Mile 2, 9:11. Whaaaaaaat!! How's that possible? Mile 3, 9:56. Having not run in a week, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Still AM! This was a HILLY run folks! I'm trying to get some hills in prep. for Hospital Hill in 19 days. I panicked because earlier I thought it was in NINE days!
Rest, does the body good. It may make your mind go a little crazy, but the body LOVES it! I did it right today. I put my time in & my efforts paid off in a big way. After my run, I felt pleased, energized & everything felt as though it was back from a nice, relaxing vacation. The knees felt good, the calf felt good, the heart... it felt whole.
I made sure to continue this run correctly with after run stretches. Right now my calf feels a bit tight & that damn foam roller is calling my name. I wish it would shut up! All in all though, the sun, the smells, the warm breeze, the nice old man that offered me some shade, the 4 blackberries I found (I've been looking!), those things all made paying attention to my body & my Smart Coach App worth the week's wait.
I'm not a very patient person, but I have some big goals in mind for myself. Paying attention to my body & my running tools, using them as directed will help me make the most of each run.
For optimal results, use only as directed.........................................
Happy running y'all.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Since Monday's run was just an OK run, I decided to rest this week; skipping Wed., Thurs. & Sat.'s runs. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. I'm still trying to decide if I want to run the Five Trails Half Marathon in Leavenworth, KS a week from today. I KNOW I can do it, just wondering how smart it is & how quickly my body would recover. Considering these factors, I'm leaning towards NOT running the Half on Sun. in order to continue to be strong for the Hospital Hill Half Marathon, KCMO June 2. I am still wrestling with this though. I want to push my body; I need to. However, I also realize this May 20 run wasn't an original goal of mine, it just meant something personal.

Anyway, in missing out on several runs, I CANNOT wait for tomorrow. It's a scheduled 3 miler. I know I want to go further. ;-) Missing my own runs, I was excited today when my hubs FINALLY decided on a new pair of runners. I've been trying to convince him he needed new ones for sometime now. His others have a respectable 400 miles or so on 'em. Maybe more. :) I feel bad sometimes because I have 3 pairs of runners I run in regularly. They all have their purpose. So, now I don't have to feel quiiiiiiiiite so guilty. LOL!

Getting to the meat of today's blog.................. I volunteered for a sweet little 5K yesterday. It was a brand new event for a great organization. Together with some of my running buddies, we volunteered to help this little town have quite the event. One of my running buddies helped organize this run and the course. He did a great job! There were very few runners, some walkers & LOTS of support. It was an overcast and cool morning. Great for a run!

My friend Melissa and two teenage friends "manned" the corner of a little dirt road and a very busy town road. We had ELECTRIC lemonade colored vests, orange cones & the assistance of a cutie young town copper. The girls were there to cheer on their dad (who won said event) & ended up cheering, very energetically, for everyone else! They took turns holding the 2 mile sign that sported lots of HAPPY verbage.

As runners & walkers passed our corner, we would whoop & holler for them. Then, we would just wait for the next wave of 2 or 3. Zoda, one of the younglings, asked if we just cheered for the front runners or if we cheered for everyone. Melissa & I explained to them, of course we cheered for all. That's what runners do... for each other... there's a lot of fellowship between runners. Walkers too. At that moment, I wanted to just join in the run. Melissa & I even teased that we were going to do just that. One of the girls could just drive really slowly back to the starting line. LOL! No! We did not join & neither Zoda, nor Alice had to illegally drive back to the start.

Being a volunteer puts a smile on my face. Helping out others so the event is seamless & successful, puts a smile on my face. Visiting with friends afterwards puts a smile on my face. Seeing how happy everyone is while enjoying their successful event, puts a smile on my face. Being a part of a track club that helps others make their first event a success, puts a smile on my face...................

Not having run since Monday, makes me miss my music, the scenery, the NOTHING going on in my head. I've missed it this week. Running, I think, is my mistress & I MISS HER TERRIBLY! Absence from running really DOES make my heart grow fonder. The fondness for the rush I get, the destressing it gives me, the accomplishment I feel afterwards, it's more than a want. It is all a NEED in my life.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder & THAT makes my heart & soul smile. Tomorrow, my sweet mistress & I shall meet again.

Happy running y'all!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

All's fair in love & running?

Ugh... while I do not think all's fair in love, perhaps it is in running. I ran last Wed. afternoon w/one of my running partners & her co-worker on their lunch break. It was my 1st street run really since my Rock the Parkway Half Marathon adventure a few weeks prior. It was tough on my body & my calf for several weeks, which is why I was doing the trail running. I think I've come to the following conclusions: you get what you get & you don't throw a fit. I can get out of running what I put into it. If I push my body's limits, it will rebel. Allowing a little time to heal is good for the body, although torture on the soul. Lastly, I have a mental block @ 2 miles!

Last Wed. all seemed to be going swimingly until... TWO miles. I had an instantaneous urge to stop. My calf was tightening up on me. Or was it?! I stretched it out for about 10 mins. & walked a bit while my partners made a round about of the lake. After the break I felt ready to go again. Off we went for another half mile. I felt really good & was a bit saddened when we were back to where we started.

Was my calf really tight or was I just expecting that it would be? I've been loyal to my foam roller & have been cross training to strengthen & loosen. Was I just mentally blocked or was this the way it was always going to be?

The Warrior Dash was fun & wore me out & yes, made me sore. That's about right, riiiiiight?! If I push beyond my norm, I'll pay for it later. That seems fair, right? Ugh...

Today's run was to be a 5 miler. Sunny, windy, gorgeous out. I took it easy on this run, felt good & thought about my mental status as well. I turned my Nike Plus voice off, in case my issues WERE indeed mental. Fair's fair, afterall. Irritatingly, indeed I DID need a break @, you guessed it, mile TWO! In my head were all of the following thoughts: Why is this happening? Will I ever get past this? THIS ISN'T FAIR! What is wrong with me? With my body? THIS ISN'T FAIR! I want this to stop...

My body did brave new things on Sat., however, that just wasn't enough for me. I wanted more, so I continued to push it today. Even I know when to say when... Mile 3.71 was enough. My quads were sore from Sat., as were my shoulders & the sunburn was still achey. What could make me think I could do that to my body & still expect that it would play fair on today's run? Ugh... my only conclusion: I'm a woman & that's just how I wanted it to be.

I stopped today when I could do no more. I will rest on Wed. It was only a scheduled 5 miler too. I am volunteering on Sat. @ a run, so we'll see about that day. Perhaps a trail w/the Trail Running Cha-Hu is in order.

My hope is to still be able to run on May 20 for another Half Marathon. To be able to do that though, I do realize, I need to actually RECOVER. If I had taken the time & had the patience to rest today, perhaps I would've been ready for a longer run on Wed.

What I do know is that when I push & push an injury, it takes me 10 times longer to get over it. Perhaps, I realize I should appreciate the limits my body has & be fair to it. Sounds fair, right?

Happy running y'all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Three white things that never lie...

Three white things that never lie... A white towel, a Q-tip and toilet paper. The towel prompted me to a 2nd shower. The Q-tip & toilet paper to a 3rd. I wanted to blog this while the trauma, ahem, adventure was fresh in m'mind.

Today I was pleased w/myself for doing the Warrior Dash. Being a girly girl, slight germ-a-phobe & having slight OCD tendancies, I was doubtlful of my own ability to do this "Dash". Official time, 54:39:35. Today I've gladly checked off one more running goal & have moved this "To Do" into the "Don't Do Again" category of my running life.

It was my husband's idea to do this "together" & of course, many months ago that seemed like the perfect bonding experience. He ended up having to work today, but was kind enough to drop me in the intersection so I could walk to the buses. I felt like a homeless child, pushed outta the truck w/only my cell & a backpack. As he left me, I was shaking and quite nearly crying to my friends on the phone about how I didn't really want to do this. One offered to come & get me, the other said NO! I asked if someone could just push me into a mud puddle, take a pic & I could call it a successful day.

I met a nice new friend on the bus & we exchanged emails so he could look up our running group's website. Some of my other running buddies took pity on me & said I could run w/them. If you are unsure of what this "Dash" is, lemme break it dowwwwwn for ya... obstacles, obstacles, obstacles. And it was a humid 90 plus degree day today. As we excitedly ran to the 1st obstacle, of which I bear the scuffed knees from, I may have been reconsidering this "Must Do" run. After about a mile, we were all excited to see the WATER obstacle, of which surely we would have salvation from the heat. We rounded the corner & caught the smell straight away, of which there really are NO words to desribe... OK, maybe cow poop is a good phrase.

I am indeed vertically challenged w/little to no upper body strength, yet I seemed to manage alright w/the help of Rick & Scott. My most frightening of this came upon approaching the vertical wall & fireman's pole; it was about an 8ft. drop. I think I may have been crying, not sure, it could've just been sweat or cow poop water falling. I couldn't reach the pole & knew it was too far to just throw myself down. I considered going back the way I came, until my friends said they would help me. All "knight in shining armor-like" they reached up for me, allowed me to step all over them & before I knew it, my feet were safely planted on the very wet, muddy ground. I'm pretty sure at this point I verbally cussed my husband for abondoning me, yet again. Together, my butt! He would run later, (& have a rock'n time of 33:46:95) only after having to sweet talk a gal into signing off for him to get his packet b/c he forgot his license (even though on every e-mail it said NOT to do so). Whew, off topic... All of the obstacles were smooth sailing from there, for the most part. We ran where we could & walked where we needed. And when I say that, we ran when photographed. ;-) Duh... we're no rookies.

The fire was no problem, the walls were good, the fire was non-threatening and the "pool" at the end was slightly more refreshing than the other water obstacles. We finished as a team & it really did feel pretty great!

The beer was cold, the giant turkey leg delicious (except when my husband threw some of the skin on me... ok, so he meant to throw it out the bus window but this is MY journey. If he wants it told HIS way, he should start his own blog) & the company was fantastic!

After coming home, my shower was long & hot & long! When I stepped out, grabbed my WHITE towel and toweled off my leg, I was DISGUSTED by my showering ability! After my second shower, the towel results were much kinder, until... the toilet paper was for my nose... I KNEW I had mud up there. No biggie though, right?! The Q-tip results were a little more disgusting, prompting me to a 3rd shower. So here I am, squeakier than squeaky clean w/delightfully smooth skin from all of the mud, hungry, tired, blogging & pretty pleased w/my accomplishments for the day.

For the record, I DID NOT pee in the water & I had two showers at the run. HAHA! See! Germ-a-phobe.

Happy Cinco y'all & happy running!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blogging Newbie!

OK, so I've got a few kinks to still work out when blogging. Like, WHY is my blog time 3 hours ealier than when I am posting? And, how do I add more pictures? And, WHY is the entire left hand side all naked? And HOW do I continue double posting? I'll get it, I'll get it... for sure... hopefully... maybe. ;)

Running, the Way I See It: The Trail Running Cha-Hu

Running, the Way I See It: The Trail Running Cha-Hu: Ok, so here it is--- my first "official" blog. When I set out for my run, my mind was racing about all of the good and clever things my 1st ...

The Trail Running Cha-Hu

Ok, so here it is--- my first "official" blog. When I set out for my run, my mind was racing about all of the good and clever things my 1st blog would say. Now, I am wordless, thoughtless... LOL!

I have a 7 lb. tan chihuahua we call her a CHA-HU. Her name is Sister Biscuit and she is fun and annoying all at the same time. Last week, I had a day off, my first in MONTHS. I took Sister out to the a trailhead by the lake. Thinking she would hate it, I didn't have much in the way of expectations. We ended up running about 3 miles that day. Which, I think in Cha-Hu terms is like, 9! Last Saturday I took her out to the same trailhead and we tried some different trails, some very long, some very rough. She did amazing! We ran over 6 miles! When we finished up, it was all I could do not to kiss those nasty little wet eyes, that were all glazed over. This all brings us to today's run.

My mind has been racing since yesterday. As soon as I think about a run, all is calm. I pulled out the dog harness, she came running. We set out to the same trailhead, time limits do apply to today's run. That dog is INSANE! She led most of the way today, like she knew where she was going. It has been raining yesterday and today, so slosh, slosh... I took my earphone out, I only run with one when I'm alone (like that'll save me), because I liked the way her little feet sounded on the wet ground. She had her own little rhythm, like she was moshing! Who does she think she is anyway? After about 1/4 mile, we were both in sync with one another. I think she really likes this whole running thing! We aren't fast, afterall, we are both little, but it sure feels badass, especially when we came tearing out of the woods onto the paved trail. There was a person taking pics today. Sister got very territorial and did the whole, running of the bulls bit, you know, like after a dog does when the poo... I guess she is NOT to be messed with or have her run interrupted.

I just cannot get over the fact this little dog LOVES to run with me. I never in my life have had a dog as a running partner. Not for lack of trying, but it has just never taken with previous dogs. A cat one time, yes, but never dogs! I know this blog is suppose to be about MY running, but dang it, I'm just impressed with Sister, I had to relive the moments.

The Sister and I can notch our belts with 3.04 more miles of trail running. Running with a friend tomorrow on her lunch break. Hope she can impress as much as the trail running Cha-Hu has.

Shower time for us, seperately of course. Both a bit muddy, but not bad at all.

Have a great day and Happy Running!

Running, the Way I See It: Let's get this party started...

Running, the Way I See It: Let's get this party started...: Whew! This blogging stuff is wearing me out! I wanted to start a blog because I am always so happy to hear about other people and their live...

Let's get this party started...

Whew! This blogging stuff is wearing me out! I wanted to start a blog because I am always so happy to hear about other people and their lives in terms of fitness, running, food and health. I thought some might enjoy those same things from the way I see it.

So, once I get this blog up and "running", I'll hit the streets and tell of my running adventures, the highs, the lows, the cheers and the tears of it all; the way I see things. LOL! I can't wait!