Saturday, August 9, 2014

Another Birthday

Friday I celebrated my birthday with a fun night out to see Carlos Mencia at the Richmond Funny Bone with my family.
Hubby, me, Mencia, Cassie, Andrew my son

Right now I am slurping down a protein shake trying to feel recovered enough to go by the gym and run so I don't mess up my streak. My celebrating has left me feeling slightly challenged...

True tidbit: I partied quite a bit when I was younger and was still living in Baltimore. I moved to VA in 1989 - that makes me sound crazy old - and had my son in 1990. While pregnant I was motivated to quit drinking and smoking for the obvious reasons and after my son was born I decided if I could abstain that long, I didn't really need those activities in my life.

A few years ago, after almost 20 years, I tried wine and discovered I really enjoy it. Probably because I upgraded from MAD DOG and Boone's Farm lol to Sangria and Pinot. Last night I enjoyed a few Long Island Ice Teas at the Mencia show. I am not quite the party animal I once was, as I am moving fairly slow today.

Recently I saw a quote somewhere...
"Yea, you are old. Get over it."

I will be 48 years old on Sunday. I don't know how this happened to me. In 1984 I remember feeling 30 was ages away! I was rolling along in life till about 45 and honestly birthdays didn't bother me much. The past few years I have seen the physical changes and I realize you can't really do anything to reverse what is happening. Sure you can eat clean, drink lots of water, take your supplements, but the sun damage, the wrinkles, the hair thinning, you can't control it, you just have to accept it and try to age gracefully.

I have shared this tidbit before but in case you missed it...

Celebrate your 30's! It is the best decade. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how damn good you look! Strut your stuff every so often. Enjoy your smooth skin, go without makeup and enjoy it, show off those muscles you work for and if there's anything you really want to do...just start! Being in your 20's and 30's is peak time in my mind, and you will enjoy being in your 40's more if you took life and lived it to the fullest in your 30's.

Time is precious.
♦ Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. ~Wayne Dyer
♦ You may delay, but time will not. ~Benjamin Franklin
♦ Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference. ~Mignon McLaughlin 

If I could share one thing I wish I would have done better in my 20' and 30's it's -  weight train. Weight train your arse off! Make muscle and eat enough protein, it will pay you back tenfold later in life, never ever think it's a waste of time. 

Till next time, 

What's your favorite way to celebrate a birthday? 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Speed Work - What's That?

I have seriously been slacking at speed work. My last formal, following a plan, speed work was in the beginning of April.
That's a lot months ago!

I occasionally do a little fast running here and there, but nothing structured, no exact timed intervals, certainly not even weekly do I really push myself. Progression runs, yes, I can technically say I do  progression runs, but I typically start my first mile at a fairly easy pace.  10:00, 9:40, 9:13, and the last mile I will work 9:13 up to 8:34 pace. These runs do involve some pushing, but I am slacking by not starting more challenging.

When I was 10K training I would do four mile progression runs and start at a 9:20 pace and hold the pace for a mile and keep bumping up up to an 8:34 pace.That would wear me out.
Why did I stop? A big part of that was weight training. I found it was a challenge for me to use THAT much energy and weight train. I also hit my 10K goal and since speed work was causing a lot of soreness and icing I decided it may be a recipe for injury and I am 47 (days from 48 now) so I just decided easier pace was better for my big picture goal of running till I am 90.

Every so often I feel a hankering to go out and run fast. Since I have been doing the run streak
and running at least a mile every day, I have done a few fast ones and it always feels so good to get a nine minute mile in :) My fastest mile was an 8:58 and it's funny, seeing an 8 in front of anything makes me feel so bad @#s. 

Yesterday I was feeling a little frustrated all day, it's hard getting older and accepting some of what comes along with it. I noticed some new wrinkles and my gray hair is getting very out of control. I am now almost completely gray/white all through out my head and it's hard to cover it. I called and got a hair appt. and had a pile of hair cut off and had it colored. It's nice to see NO gray today (I know it won't last) but it helped.
Relief, no gray hairs today ") 

After I got my hair done I decided to go for a run and push. It was really humid, but I kept telling myself's short, suck it up. I actually didn't feel nauseous right until the end :) It's amazing what pushing does for me, the ick just drains out of me, and I slept like a baby. That's why I love running so much.
Avg Pace

I really wasn't sure I could still pull this off. I will confess I could not have maintained one mile at that pace, shoot...I couldn't even do a slow mile. I had to walk for about 5 minutes when I was done and then jogged one more mile home. In April I was able to maintain this pace for a 10K,  so slacking at the speed work has really caused me to lose some stamina.

One thing I am curious about. How much faster above your average pace do you do speed work at?

Do you do speed work even if you aren't really training for anything? Thoughts on speed work in general?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Long Run

I woke up Saturday and it was like this...

Actually it was darker, because I took the above when I was done my run, but you get the idea, not a lovely day. It drizzled the whole way, but I was determined to run outside.  About four and half miles in I thought I was going to flake out, so I kept running further from my house :) 

I made it nine and half miles.

Avg Pace

I tried to start out easy and relax so I wouldn't gas my self out. I didn't have an exact goal, but I didn't take my hydration pack, so I knew maybe I could make it 8 miles or so. My feet hurt off and on during the run, but I kept pushing and told myself not to stop. 

I took a bottle of water with me and I thought I would carry it for the first two miles, then stash it for the way back. Ha! I stashed it about a half mile from my house, I didn't want to carry it.  I hate carrying extra "stuff".  I ended up taking two short stops at sprinklers during my run to splash off and get a handful of water. I just didn't want to deal with my hydration pack, carrying it does provide the advantage of not stopping of course, but I just don't love it. I need something I can wear that "disappears".  Rinsing my hands and arms, flushing my eyes, feels very refreshing, but I am left to the random luck of if and when I will pass a sprinkler.  I never feel the need till I am at least four miles into a run to get water, but after that I am usually looking for an opportunity. I always wonder if someone is sitting drinking their morning coffee cussing at me for leaning over their sprinkler lol I only stop if it's right on the edge of the yard. 

It was nice to have a bottle of water for my walk home after my run ") 
I was a sweaty happy  ❤ mess when I got done. Amazing how good even a mediocre run makes me feel right now :) 
I did chafe my right thigh raw. I will spare you the picture. My body glide must have worn off in the extreme drizzle and sweat mix I guess, but you know I don't even care. The ouch reminds me I ran. 

July turned out okay. I did have a few panic moments where I was convinced I was completely losing my running stamina, but I still managed 80 miles for the month.
So far during the streak I have only missed one day. This really helped my mileage last month, so I am still on track to bypass my goal for the year. ❤  

Do you ever stop at sprinklers when running? Would you cuss at me if you saw me splashing my eyes? Have you ever done a run streak for any length of time? 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Just a Spectator for Now

This past weekend I was the photographer/cheerleader for my run buddy and her hubby at the James River Splash and Dash. It was kind of fun to watch everyone run in the 90 degree heat, but at one point I was so sweaty just hanging out, I thought I may as well have run...but maybe next year. 

The course was a 5k trail run on Belle Isle (hilly, single track) followed by a 1/3 mile tube float, paddle with your hands, across the James River. 

James River  Richmond, VA 

Done running and still smiling

I did nothing significant as far as running goes this weekend, I slept in and ran 4 miles on the treadmill on Sunday. Somehow, I have still managed to hit my regular 70 mile monthly goal just picking off a mile here and a mile there. Thanks Clarinda for keeping me motivated.

I hope everyone had some fun this weekend, share if you did. 
Try to find some time this week to indulge in something you love ") 
Happy Trails, 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Confidence is a big part of running.

I do a lot of visualizing as part of my run planning. Usually when the alarm goes off, I try to picture myself dressed, running, and whistling.

Saturday when I woke up early for my "long" run I was visualizing running through the neighborhood and which route to take. I really wanted to run at least 8 miles, since my summer runs have mostly been six miles or under. "Seeing" myself finish usually helps me to get over rough patches if it doesn't turn out to be a smooth sailing kind of run.  Sometimes I will visualize where the stopping point on a run may be, or a point in my route where I feel like I should pick up speed, etc...

Hydration pack in tow, I was ready to go

Saturday I ran five miles in 52:03 (avg. 10:15), about 4.5 miles in I realized I wasn't going to make it much past five miles, my foot was aching in a strange place and I just felt done. I tried to visualize running back home to distract myself, but at mile five I stopped. I was a bit disappointed I just couldn't push myself past the hump I was experiencing. It was just one of those runs, I felt okay for a lot of it, but I never felt great or just zoned out. 

Luckily, I carried my timer (gym boss) just in case I was feeling funky and wanted to use the Galloway method.

I walked about a half mile, cooled off, and the foot cramp subsided, so I turned on my timer and gave it another shot. I ran four miles in 44:00 which was a challenging enough pace for how I was feeling. Even though it wasn't the long run I hoped for, it was still more miles in one day than I managed all month. 

One thing I learned going through this journey, is that small successes can build confidence. The flip side is, small things can suck the confidence right out of you as well.

My personal epiphany is, confidence shouldn't be built solely on individual events. 
I will not let minutes, or walk breaks steal my love of running and what it does for me. 

Running is challenging. Think about what you went through to get to a point where you actually considered yourself a runner. Tenacity, patience, perseverance, determination, physical resistance, will power, pain, and passion to push your limits. 

Doesn't that sound like someone who should be confident? 

All of my life I've been pretty uncoordinated, I was always the kid that loathed gym class. I still can't catch a ball, and it's true, I will never break speed or distance records, but I am not a quitter. I am an adapter. 

My confidence can be pretty fragile at times, but I am learning to remind myself I am more than just my last run.

Where do you draw confidence from? Pace, distance, personal strength? Do you take a rough run and just move on, or does it linger with you a bit?

Friday, July 18, 2014


I have been pushing as hard as I can more days than I flake out lately. 

I guess I was due a flake day.

Thursday after work, I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't want to be at the gym, so I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, did some sit ups, leg lifts and a few heavy back sets and left.  I just couldn't do it, I didn't want to lift feeling that unmotivated. I felt "off" all night, so I planned to wake up early Friday and run.
Run or sleep...
6 a.m. I still wasn't feeling it, I went back to dream land and the next thing I knew it was 8:00 a.m. I ate an oatmeal raisin cookie and contemplated...

It was only 80 degrees this morning w/58% humidity - I put my sunscreen on and decided I could handle a half hour run outside. 30:44 5K and a 1.5 mile walk. You know if it had taken me 33:00 I would feel great about it. I am not so worried about pace, I really just want to feel good while I run. I didn't want to carry my hydration pack because I wasn't sure if I was going to last in the sun, so I traveled light. I still do not like carrying extra "stuff" with me when I run, but to do a longer run tomorrow I will have to cave and wear the pack. 

I love days like this - just enough clouds so it's not sun full force on you 

It actually felt really good to be outside. My outdoor run earlier this week was in the rain. 
Toward the end of my run I tried to pick up pace and push, but that nauseous feeling started in shortly after. 

This is a little blurb that explains pretty well where I am at in life...
The ability of your hypothalamus (a wedge-shaped tiny gland deep in the brain) to naturally and easily regulate body temperature seems to falter. Since that gland also triggers your thyroid's secretion of the hormones that regulate metabolism, you could watch yourself gain weight without even varying from your diet or exercise regimen by one iota. And you might feel extremely tired from time to time.
Credit: - How Stuff Work

Yep, that sums up my story perfectly...

I will just have to have to chill and accept easy pace outside runs so I can enjoy myself and not overheat. I hope I can get my tush out of bed early tomorrow, I'd love to get a longer run in. 
My longest run all month - treadmill 10K's. 

Walking back home I saw a gal running toting a stroller, kid, and a dog. 
It was so nice, I sat on the steps to pet the kitty. VA has been pushing at a 100 degrees and can't breath humidity for the past few weeks. 
My run has me back on track, going to the gym later to lift upper body :) 

Pleasant weather welcome and appreciated. 

What are your weekend plans? 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Caffeine must be a serious drug. Until you lack it you don't realize how much it impacts your body. 
Several years ago I was volunteering at a camp that was caffeine free and experienced an extreme headache with nausea the second day I was there. Someone offered me access to a Mountain Dew stash and I gladly took it without a thought to the real problem...withdrawals. I needed to function so I was thankful for the quick "fix".
Take a sip and avoid the symptoms 

We've all heard it...if you are having an issue sleeping the doctor will say stop the caffeine, it will dehydrate you, it will raise you blood pressure...blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, I try to eat pretty clean most days, take in lots of fruit and veggies, work out, run, and I am not going to give up every vice in life, so I never really listened.
I just wasn't tuned into the effect it has on my body. In reality, I believed it had very little effect on me. Wednesday my experience at least challenged that belief. 

Wednesday morning was crazy. I woke up to discover some *little critters invaded my kitchen so I was playing whack a mole for about 40 minutes trying to kill them off, then I threw on my running clothes and ran my mile since I am trying to stay committed to the run streak.

After I showered, I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up my lunch items for our weekly group luncheon. I didn't have time to eat or grab my usual cup of ice tea because I was rushing so much. I ran in Tropical Smoothie and got a liquid breakfast for my ride to work. All that before 7 a.m., but sometimes life happens. Anyway, I just drank water all day. Three o'clock rolls around and I can barely hold my head up. I was battling my eyes closing while I was sitting up. I realized that I had not had a drop of caffeine for a more than 24 hours, likely it was about 30 - 35 hours. I was very thankful the headache that usually happens didn't occur, but by four o'clock the listless, sluggish feeling was too much. My arms felt heavy, my eyelids, my neck...everything. I can only compare feeling that overwhelmingly tired to when I have been anesthesia induced. I couldn't focus or concentrate, all I could think was sleep. 

I wondered if I could seriously be feeling that tired from lack of caffeine in my system. I knew I couldn't sit at work another hour without caving, so I left and went to Burger King (because it's a mile away) and got a large diet coke. I sat in the parking lot (this felt like a science experiment) for just a few minutes and drank. Sure enough the listless, sluggishness just left my body. By the time I got back to my desk I felt almost "normal". Seriously, I wasn't even tired anymore. Truly, this is the first time I've ever given real thought to what a powerful substance caffeine is.

I started looking up medical articles about caffeine, and one thing that really stuck out to me, is that it inhibits your body from being able to absorb calcium. That is enough to make me pause and realize I at least have to consider making a change. I have shrunk an inch in the past year and half. Most of my life since high school I've measured 5'3" and now I only measure 5' 2".

My regular drink every day is ice tea with Truvia. I am not a coffee drinker. I just can't do straight water all the time and I don't really drink juice because I don't need the extra calories. So most days it's tea or water. When I go out I do LOVE to get a diet fountain drink. I do not like soda from a bottle or can, but a fountain drink   that's a treat ") I know diet stuff is bad for me so I try to limit it to when I go out, but it's one of those things I just don't want to give up.

When I was younger, I did stop using caffeine for a long time, being pregnant will motivate you, but I don't remember feeling anything but the jitters, which subsided soon after, when I finally started up on it again.

Just thinking about my overall health, I know I should consider switching to caffeine free tea and giving up the fountain drinks. I do wonder if the amount of caffeine in medicine or food will still cause the same withdrawal effect in my system?

What are your thoughts on caffeine? Do you love coffee or tea and feel you need it to wake up? Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms?

* the critters are already handled - house is treated and critter free, thank goodness :)