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!