Running

Running

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. http://www.enjoyingthecourse.com/



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, 
Karen 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Confidence

❤ 
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

T.G.I.F.

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: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/women/menopause/welcome-to-menopause.htmMenopause - 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

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 :) 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

There's a First Time for Everything

In all my years (and there's lots of them) I have never been to Disney World. 218 days from now I am going to be a Princess Half Marathoner!!

February 19-February 22, 2015 


The online registration was more stress than anyone should have to endure. Okay, that may be slightly over-dramatic, but they charge almost $200 a bib, so seriously, get the web site working! It took an hour and 6 minutes for Kasey to get both of us registered. Pages wouldn't load, and she would get bumped and have to start over...extremely frustrating! She has three young children that she was trying to keep occupied during the process; the more the web page malfunctions drug on, the more the chances a three kid pile up was going to happen in her living room. Run Disney was supposed to go live at noon for registration. I walked to a wing in my building that was quiet so I could talk on the phone and be ready to give her my info. and not get caught up in work tasks. I have my proprieties straight folks, of course running is more important! 



After I dialed all hell broke lose. The fire system in the building malfunctioned and every obnoxious buzzer and bell in every hall was screaming, then doors started slamming shut, I could not believe it. I escaped to the outside and walked the school track. It was so humid my glasses fogged when I went out the door. I gave up after a sticky, sweaty, half hour and went inside to try to log in simultaneously with Kasey to see who could get the web page to load. Finally she got it!!!




I am so excited!

Most of you reading this know I don't like heat or humidity, but it is in February, so there's at least a slight chance we may get a cooler day, right (just say right)?! We plan to do the Galloway method so we can just enjoy the experience and stay together and not die in the humidity. NO time goals for this event, this is about fun, fun, fun and a costume! 

I will be 48 years old for my first Disney trip ever "/   I am so excited!

Mickey ear pictures after our celebratory 3 miler tonight - which by the time I ran home was 4.5 miles :) Tonight was my first run outside in a few weeks


It rained on us for the entire run - my shirt is soaked



Run buddy posting our official announcement on FB

Kasey's 6 year old son was amazed this morning I have never visited Disney.

"What?! Never been to Disney, she's taken a wrong turn in life somewhere."

We actually have bibs now, so we can start working on travel plans soon, so I can get my life on the right path lol 

(¯`•.•´¯) (¯`•.•´¯)
*`•.¸(¯`•.•´¯)¸.•´ ♥

☆ ♥ `•.¸.•´ ♥ º ☆.¸¸.•´¯`♥ Have you ever run a Disney race? Any tips on a must do at Disney?? ideas welcome :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Run Naked

Towel, IPOD, waterbottle, lock, headphones, heart monitor on... 



...off to the gym I went, and when I arrived I realized I forgot my Garmin.

It's hard to explain how attached to my watch I am. I considered leaving and going home, but I resisted. My plan was to run a treadmill 10K for my "long run". 

I boldly stepped up on the treadmill and began my run, naked wrist exposed for the world to see. The first few miles felt strange, I kept checking to make sure my skirt was on (yes I wore my beloved Lulu) because I kept having the weird panicky moments that happen when you forget something. 

An hour later I was dripping with sweat and accepted my time scrolling across the treadmill screen. I hopped off the TM and knocked out some leg lifts, push ups, and back exercises. I glanced at my wrist in between sets (like 10 times) to see what my heart rate was...I mean duh...I knew I left it home, I guess it's just habit. 

Usually I plug my watch in and upload it while I shower. I had a strange emptiness when I came down the stairs and I realized I couldn't "see" my stats. It's almost like the work out didn't happen if I don't have my visual at the end. 

I am totally kidding, but seriously, if my Garmin ever dies I will pay for overnight shipping to have a new one. It's like going to work without your ring on. Randomly during the day I will notice it's missing from my finger and have that panicky second where I wonder what happened to it. 

The push ups aggravated my ganglion cysts in my wrists so I have been popping ibuprofen today. I will probably go to the gym tonight right before it closes to run, I guess I will not be lifting today:( 

Light week again, just 14 miles of running this week. My naturalist episode changed things up a little anyway.
Last week I picked new shoes for my half in Nov. so I can train in them when it's time. I usually go with neutral Brooks Ghosts, but these felt great on, and the trail shoe I love to run in, actually falls in the stability category, so I went with the Adrenaline GTS 14

Shoe shopping wore me out-I tried on shoes for hours and even left to walk around and think about it...and returned to try on again lol I have quite a time making decisions...I worked up an appetite. 


Don't see one of these every day ") The building I am working in temporarily  (we move to our new building in Aug.) opened in 1977.  Seeing this just makes me smile...brings back memories. As a kid I loved answering a ringing pay phone at a mall or on a corner, just to see who was on the other end. 

accidental modern art 

You to can create a uniquely shaped water bottle if you carelessly dump boiling water in the sink- I loved this darn bottle but I ditched it because I was afraid I released some toxins melting it down.  


Do you know that momentary panicky feeling when you forget something you are used to? Ever see a real pay phone? How often do you run naked? 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Protein Intake

Protein is a challenge for me. I have been a vegetation for 20 plus years. I log my food intake on my Lose-it app daily so I can pull fat intake, fiber, protein, and calorie percentages pretty easily.
If I can get to 75g or higher of protein I am doing really well. When I first started tracking I was having a time getting to 50g a day. My average was 35 to 40 grams a day my first year of tracking. I have increased that average during my second year of tracking.
Run buddy is so cute ") 

Run buddy talked me into going to a Herbalife weight loss challenge (last year), because I had been struggling trying to get 25 lbs off  I gained in 2010. I had surgery, went through some hormone and thyroid changes and was basically a miserable mess. It was very hard to face the scale at the weekly meetings. I was seeing an endocrinologist already and the doc was on board with me using the shake mix and taking a big calorie cut to just get some weight off. I've had some bad reactions to medication in the past so she wanted me to tackle the weight loss without being on hormones or thyroid meds if possible. I still battle my weight to this day, although I have lost about 17 lbs., I continue to bounce up and down by a few pounds all the time. Seems like every time I get close to my goal weight I bounce back up.  This mornings weigh in I was four pounds heavier again after just getting it off,  (big sigh) so I am feeling a little moody about it at this moment. I am trying to relax and just keep at the weight training, and tell myself next week I will see a more agreeable number on the evil scale. 

I could feel a noticeable difference in how running and recovery felt after adding the shakes to my diet. Herbalife was tasty, but expensive, and had some artificial sweeteners, so after several months on it I started searching for vegan plant based options. The Herbalife challenge really opened my eyes to what I needed to change. When I was running a lot more this past winter I was able to put back to back longer runs together pretty easily using the shakes after a run. 

I found some options for protein now I really enjoy, it's really not all about the flavor with these; although I like the taste, it's truly all about being fuel.

Being off work a few days last week, plus a long weekend for the 4th, sure helped me to have more time to make shakes and clean the blender. I can actually hit  80-90g of protein a day with shakes. My crazy 10 hour work days keep that from happening regularly, but I often make a shake and drink it as soon as I come in from the gym in the evening. 



Recently, I discovered the joy of powdered peanut butter (PB2) - it's so delicious in a vanilla recovery shake. Just add ice water, a banana and PB2 and it tastes fabulous. 

This past year I have added eggs back into my diet, and even tried tuna...yes, the vegetarian of 20+ years has "ruined" her true pure vegetarian status, but I felt I needed to at least try and see if I could find some lean protein I could live with and I liked tuna as a kid. I haven't been able to bring myself to eat any other kind of fish though...I did order Tilapia once but it didn't go down well. I tried some fresh trout over the 4th of July weekend and that didn't work for me either, it seems to close to chicken and I can't get it down, so I am still searching. 

I have been more committed to weight training lately and I hope I will be able to see some results soon. This week has been sluggish for me, just 4 miles of running so far, sure hope I can can get some zippy in my step this weekend. 

Have you ever tried to work on your diet to improve your running? What's your favorite source of protein? Do you make an effort to eat protein after a hard workout?
Thoughts or tips?