menion

The misfortunes of a Hot Mess Runner

To say I haven’t been blogging much would be an understatement…to be fair I also haven’t been running much either. I’ll spare you the boredom of a drawn out, excuse ridden apology….Long story short, I’ve had other things in my life I’ve had to make a higher priority over the last year and sadly competitive running had to be moved to the back burner.  I plan to start picking things back up in a couple of months when things settle down.

Today was a beautiful day; I had some free time and a sudden surge of motivation so I decided to head to the C&O canal for a nice, easy run.  I parked my car at the Point of Rocks; threw my chap stick, key fob, and phone in my camel back, then started a slow trot down the leave covered trail. The first mile was clumsy and my joints felt like needed some WD-40. I made a conscious decision to be kind to myself and just enjoy the fact that I was outside in nature, and getting a little exercise.  After the first mile I settled into a rhythm and was bee-bopping along with my music. I started to daydream and was thinking to myself how beautiful everything was. I was like Bob Ross, “Oh what a happy little tree!” “What a happy little river!” “What a happy, blue, blue sky!!!”

But that didn’t last for long….About a mile and half into my run….my toe caught a rock, I went flying through the air, then I toppled and rolled into a huge pile of leaves. ..*KA-BOOM!!* I sat there, covered from head to toe with leaves, and pouted for a minute. I felt a dull throbbing in my left knee and began to tear up. I decided I’d like to spare my self the additional embarrassment of another runner finding me there, trying to rescue me, so I climbed to my feet and started running again. “Just go out one more mile, then you can turn around and run back to your car.”

I felt tears of frustration on my face as I gingerly jogged for another half mile, then started I started to feel good again, so I decided to run out a little bit further. (Isn’t that always how this story goes) At 3 miles I turned around to run back towards my car. I was feeling great so I opened it up a bit, and was happy that I was able to easily maintain a 8:30 pace  (given my current lack of fitness) all the way back to my car. I felt amazing, I was on top of the world, smiling ear to ear as I skipped to my car. I reached into my camel back pocket to pull out my key….”Oh. my. god. Where is my key?!?! Shit!!!!!” After several minutes of panicking, I have a flash back to  my roll in the leaves around mile 1.5….”Oh no!”

I open up the Garmin connect on my phone, and look for the sharp drop on my graph that would indicate a dead stop. I think it would be a great idea to walk back to that point on the trail and hope somehow miraculously, I would find my key fob buried somewhere in a 3 mile long sea of leaves. I ended up walking 2 miles back up the trail, and realized it what a not great but totally terrible idea that was. It was absolutely helpless. So I start walking back towards my car, making panicked phone calls to every friend and neighbor I could think of. I finally get a hold of somebody, my neighbor Kevin. “Oh thank god!” Then he tells me that he’s at the Penn State game (3 hours away). *Sad face* But he has a friend that he always calls on in emergencies, and he would see if he could come get me. I’m vaguely hopeful, but at this point resigned myself to walking the 8ish additional miles from my car back to my house. Trying to see the silver lining I tell myself, “At least I’ll get extra exercise today….”

About 10 minutes later Kevin calls back to tell me Malcolm is on his way.  I’m so freaking relieved! I get back to the parking lot, sit on a bench, and wait. That was when I realized that my knee is bleeding through my tights. A fellow runner seemed to sense my “damsel in distress” vibe, and comes over to ask me if I need any help. He’s wearing obscenely tight running tights, which make me a bit uncomfortable so I make sure I’m maintaining full eye contact as I assure him I’m fine, and help was on the way. He offers me a gu, runners are so funny! Again, I tell him I’m fine and he leaves. Then I begin to wonder if I was really talking to another runner, or just had a hallucination of David Bowie’s ghost….in runner form of course, because that is the only thing that could possibly make him any hotter…This thought makes me giggle. (You think I would have at least temporarily learned my lesson about day dreaming).

Finally Malcolm shows up, I’ve never met Malcolm before. I realize what a hot mess I must seem like; stranded in a parking lot, covered in leaves, with a blood soaked knee, and at this point shivering because I’m so cold.  I thank him as I climb into his car and we make small talk on the way back to my house. Of course, obligatory small talk comments on the weather are made….and I say “Oh yes, the weather is amazing! I hope it’s nice like this again tomorrow so I can go for another run!” Malcolm looks at me like I may be clinically insane. He may be right.😉

 

Running, Zombies, and Poop

I’m in a not so rare random mood right now, so I apologize in advance for the free flowing thoughts!😉 I just wrapped another training week with a long run on the C&O canal. Even though it was a bit chilly (Yay for Underarmour cold gear!), it was a gorgeously sunny day and not too windy! I ran my favorite route on the canal, running from Brunswick, MD to Harpers Ferry, WV and back. It’s not as far as it sounds, but something about running across state lines feels pretty cool! And the views are absolutely amazing!!!

A view from near my turn around point!

A view from near my turn around point!

Unfortunately, I ended up stuck late at work Thursday and Friday and lost my motivation to run by the time I got home.  Overall though, I got in some good quality runs and was happy with this weeks training. I can feel my endurance improving and feel myself slowly but surely getting stronger and faster! Here’s a quick run down of this weeks training:


Weekly Training summary:

  • Monday- Planned Rest
  • Tuesday-7 miles with 10×400 repeats.
  • Wednesday- 5 miles + 20 minute TRX work-out
  • Thursday- Unplanned Rest
  • Friday- Unplanned rest + “Eff it dinner out with wine!!”
  • Saturday-8 miles
  • Sunday-12 miles
  • Total Weekly Distance: 32 miles
  • Total 2015 Distance: 222.57 miles
This was me today! I was so Rungry!!! ;-)

This was me today! I was so Rungry!!!😉


 

My biggest training challenge this week, other than missing two of my planned runs, is learning how to eat while running again! Today’s run was my first run long enough to need fuel in a long time. I took water with Nuun and Honey Stinger fruit punch chews with me in my fuel belt. At mile 4 I tried to eat my first few chews, and it was disastrous! I fumbled trying to get the chews out of my belt…dropped half of them on the ground…tripped over my own foot…stumbled to regain my footing…bit my lip in the process…then drooled gooey chew drool on the from of my shirt! Good one Betty! I’m soooooo graceful!😉 Lol

A few other things I’ve been obsessed with this week…

  • The Walking Dead!!! I’m so excited to watch the season finale tonight! I binge watched a few episodes this morning/early afternoon, then totally entered this apocalypse day dream during my run, imagining myself trying to escape from zombies! I was thinking, my running friends and me would totally survive a zombie apocalypse! (Yep…these are the things I think about when running for long periods of time! Hahaha) Then when I got home, I saw this…
Too perfect!!!

Too perfect!!!

  • Poop– I have no idea why, lets just say this has been a weird week! A co-worker just recently bought a “squaty potty” and it’s been an entertaining topic of conversation around the cubicles! Then I saw this article in Runner’s World, How to make yourself poop. I’m not going to lie, I’m so happy Runner’s World wrote this article…this is absolutely legit! Nothing will destroy a race day for me like not being able to go #2 before a race! And for those of you who are judging me right now….maybe you should check out this children’s book…

everyone poops

  • A new lunch box favorite!! I made myself a hummus, tofu, avocado, and veggie wrap for lunch every day last week! Not only was it super easy to throw together and pack in my lunch box, it was soooo freaking delicious!! While I’m not 100% vegetarian, I do eat and enjoy veg-head foods a lot!
Disclaimer: This is NOT my actual lunch!

Disclaimer: This is NOT my actual lunch!

  • Coconut Oil Hair Mask: Last Sunday Ilana and I did “mini-makeovers” and tried out a new home-made deep conditioning mask on our hair. Recipe: 1 tbsn coconut oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 5 drops essential oil rosemary oil. We both coated our hair, let it sit for about an hour, then washed our hair with sulfate-free shampoo (with a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to keep the hair from getting too greasy). While I was letting my hair sit, I did a avocado face mask too, which Ilana always finds hilarious! The oils were samples from a friend who sales Young Living oils (Similar to Doterra). Honestly, I didn’t notice a huge difference in my hair…it was a little softer and a little easier to comb through. But it was a miracle on Ilana’s curly locks! I plan on using this deep conditioning mask on her at least twice a month!

hairoil

So that wraps up my weekly randomness! I’m ready to grill up some veggie burgers, crack open a bottle of wine, and watch some zombies with my lovie! Hope y’all had a fantastic and random week too!!

Have you ever had any mishaps trying to eat and run at the same time? Do you ever day dream about zombies during your runs? LOL How do you feel about coconut oil and essential oils? What are some of the things you use them for?

Betty

gotr logo

Why Girls on the Run is pretty AWESOME!

I don’t know about y’all…something about all this sunshine after the Mid-Atlantic’s last long, gloomy stretch has me in an AWESOME mood! Speaking of things that are awesome, does anyone else (especially those with kids) ever get that song from The Lego Movie stuck in your head…”Blue skies, bouncy springs. We just named some awesome things! Everything is AWESOME!!” I’ve actually caught myself singing that at my desk over the last couple of days…so yep, I’d say I’ve been in a pretty good mood!😉

everythingisawesome

And even though I think pretty much everything is awesome right now, I want to name (and talk about) something specifically awesome that just started up again last week, Spring season of “Girls on the Run“!! Lana did the Fall season of GOTR too, and I can’t say enough good things about this program! It’s a non-profit program for Pre-Teen girls that incorporates running with life lessons about health and even more importantly….SELF ESTEEM! Soap Box: The lessons about self esteem are soooo important to me as a mother because remembering how awkwardly insecure my pre-teen and teenage years (and half my 20s!) were, and thinking about the possibility (or likelihood) of my daughter experiencing the same thing, makes me cry cringe!  *Ummm…I think I have something in my eye….*

About the GOTR Program:

  • Programs across the U.S. and Canada
  • 1 million+ girls have participated in GOTR!
  • A 3rd-5th Grade and 6th-8th Grade Programs
  • Small group of 8-20 Girls
  • Meet twice a week for 12 weeks
  • 24 different, interactive lessons with talking points for parents
  • Train for a 5K
  • Select and participate in a community service project

GOTR GIrl

Most importantly…Ilana seems to be enjoying GOTR! She’s learning a lot of great lessons and making great friends… Plus it gives us something fun and active to do together! She’s still at that age where she looks up to me, and wants to do everything “mommy does”…so I’m soaking up every bit of that as long as it lasts! (I know it won’t be forever! *Tears*) We talk about her practices and go over the talking points in the pamphlet that’s sent home at the beginning of the season. We also go running and work-out together….The last few weeks she’s been asking me to go running with her to “work on her stamina” (literally her words! LOL) and she’s been talking about wanting to do a triathalon one day! We watched some “kiddie tris” on YouTube, too cute! I 100% support and encourage her dream to be a triathlete!

I was a little bummed that I didn’t get to be her buddy runner for her first GOTR 5K in the fall, but Danny stood in for me and it ended up being a great bonding experience for them! (Not to mention, it earned him MAJOR brownie points!!) I’ll be running with her for the next one though…just a few short months away!🙂

Thing 1 and Thing 2!!

Thing 1 and Thing 2!!

Anyone else have a daughter that’s participated (or participating) in Girls on the Run? Tell me what you think about the program!!

Betty

My First Race of 2015! (Barlowe Bolt 5K Race Review)

Yesterday I ran my first race of 2015, my first race in 6 months, the Barlowe Bolt 5K! This is my second time running this race, you can see last year’s race review here….It felt great to stretch out my legs and a great confidence booster to push the pace a bit! I was able to maintain a respectable 7:45 pace, by far the fastest I’ve ran since before my injury, and even took 1st place overall female in this small community organized race!🙂

Finish Line Photo. I've never took good race photos! ;-)

Finish Line Photo. I’ve never took good race photos!😉

 

We had an out of nowhere, first day of Spring, snow day on Friday so it was still uncomfortably cold at the 7 am race start time. Luckily they were offering free coffee for runners! I always appreciate free coffee! I also thought it was pretty cool that they now made the race stroller and dog friendly too! My friend’s Wiener dog, Rocket, ran a 35 minute race (with a poop break!!)…impressive for a guy with 1 inch legs! Next year they plan on advertising the race as dog friendly, which hopefully will attract more runners to the race.  This race is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for “Friends of Olde Mill” to build a new neighborhood playground. They’ve finally reach 20K of their 50K fundraising goal, and plan on breaking ground next month!

Thanks to Rocket, I totally want to go watch a Wiener dog race now!

Thanks to Rocket, I totally want to go watch a Wiener dog race now!

Not only did I run my first race of 2015 this week, I also ran my first long run of 2015 this week! Overall, I’d say this was a pretty good training week!! We had a few days with perfect weather, which gave me the chance to get off the treadmill and run outside! I’m looking forward to more running outside and more Spring races!

Soaking up the sunshine after my long run!

Soaking up the sunshine after my long run!


My weekly run-down…

  • Monday-6 miles (At the Park)
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday- 6.1 mles (At the Park)
  • Thursday-Rest
  • Friday-6 miles (Treadmill)
  • Saturday-5K + 3 miles (At the Park)
  • Sunday-10 miles (At the Park) + 1.25 miles (Around the Neighboorhood with Ilana)
  • Total Weekly Distance: 35.45 miles
  • Total 2015 Miles Distance: 190.57 miles

A new favorite: I started tracking more details about my daily runs in my Runner’s Diary so I can make tweaks/improvements as needed!

getbetter


How was your week? Any cool races this weekend?!? How do you log/track your mileage? Are you as excited as I am that the weather is finally warming up?!?! 

Betty

beat ritalin

Throwback Thursday-A Fitness Timeline!

It’s no big secret…I’m obsessed with running but that hasn’t always been the case! I HAVE always enjoyed working out but have a strange combination of exercise ADHD and OCD. I go through phases where I’m really into a certain work-out and treat it like it’s my religion, then one day I am decide I’m bored and over it.  (Unfortunately that trait carries over into other areas of my life, but I’m not going to go there! At least not right now…)  Running is the one form of exercise that has just stuck with me….I like that it doesn’t (in theory) require a lot of thought, planning, or gear and it’s the best form of meditation/stress-relief/therapy I’ve ever found!

I was thinking about all of my past fitness phases, and in honor of “Throw Back Thursday”, I thought it would be fun to throw together a timeline of my past fitness obsessions! I’ll admit, some of them are pretty silly…but try to laugh with me, not at me!😉

  • 1994-1999 (High School Years): Swimming and Water Polo

I loved swimming, even though practices were 3 hours day. Did not love water polo, but my coach didn’t make it optional for his swimmers and it was great conditioning!

swimming

  • 1999-2001 (College Years) Taebo, Crunch Fitness, and Belly Dancing Tapes

Yes, tapes….as in VHS!😉 Being a “starving” college student, juggling classes and multiple jobs, I had little free time and even less money for a gym membership. So I resorted to doing work-out tapes in the small basement apartment I rented. I did the 30 min crunch work-outs when I was pressed for time, the belly dancing work-outs when my roommate wouldn’t see me, and I LOVED me some Billy Blanks!!😉

feelburn

  • 2001-2003 (College Years Part 2) Spinning and Weight Training

I took a weight training class for a couple of semesters in college (to meet PE requirements) and became obsessed with lifting! I honestly don’t remember how the Spinning part happened, but somehow I ended up at 5 am Spin class every day. I HATE mornings….but I loved spinning my legs really, really fast (or so I thought), on a stationary bike, in a sweaty room, with a black light and techno music!

spin-class-cartoon

  • 2003-2007 (Military Years) Air Force PT and PT Test

Yeah, yeah, yeah….my veteran buddies from other branches will say, “Air Force PT” is an Oxymoron.  It was pretty much focused on meeting weight standards and passing annual PT test (1.5 mile run, push-ups, sit-ups). I NEVER got over my hate/hate relationship with push-ups. Having to run in formation was ALMOST enough to make me love running a little less. The one time I got to “pace” a formation run, I was fired within .25 miles for running “too fast” and running too “zig-zaggy”. *Sad face*

airforce

  • 2007-2008 (Fitness Rebellion Year) Kickball and Dodge Ball

After my separation from the military, I relished my freedom and NOT having someone tell me I HAD to do PT. No one telling me I had to do push-ups and run in “non-zig-zaggy” lines! So I went through a short-lived fitness rebellion where I did no serious exercise. But I DID play on intramural kickball and dodge ball teams…AKA…drinking leagues!! Woo hoo, doing what I want!!!!

hero_EB20040618REVIEWS406180303AR

  • 2008-2009 (Come Back Year Part 1) Beach Body/P90X

After a year of “doing what I want”, I decided I was getting a little too old to “rage against the machine”…and I was tired of feeling like an unhealthy slug…so I tried to get back on track. I ordered P90X DVDs, and followed the program/schedule to the letter. (Minus the diet, because I don’t do well on diets!) The first few weeks every part of my body hurt. I didn’t loose much weight (not enough cardio) but I did get noticeably more toned.  And loved the active bonding time with my sister when she came over to P90x it up with me at my apartment!

waterbreak

  • ??? (The Fuzzy Math Years) Other Random Fitness/Sports Phases 

There are a lot of other work-outs/sports/fitness activities that I’ve gotten into over the years…but they either didn’t quite stuck or been very sporadic. That includes; Pilates, Yoga, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Kayaking, horse back riding,skiing, snowboarding,TRX, strip aerobics, and rock climbing. Honestly, I feel in love with rock climbing, and found it to be perfect compliment to my running, so hoping to start climbing again in April!

goat-climbing-oh-god-oh-god

  • 2009 (The Hook) My first half marathon!

In 2009 I ran my first race ever, the Baltimore Half Marathon, and was instantly hooked. I was officially addicted to running from that point forward!

anotherrace

What about y’all? Have you tried any of the same work-outs? What are some of your favorite “retro” fitness routines or blasts from the past? 

Betty

 

 

 

 

where magic happens

Be Comfortable being Uncomfortable

At the beginning of the week, while slowly plodding along on my treadmill, I had a major “mental break-through”…which is way different and way better than the mental break-downs I usually have!😉 It went something like this, “What the f*ck are you doing?! Your foot is fine…get the eff over it, and stop running like you’re broken! Let’s pick it up!”….then I cranked up the speed/incline on my treadmill and actually pushed it for the first time post-injury! And you know what? It felt great and my foot really did feel fine! The rest of my work-outs this week were focused and felt strong! My mini-running epiphany made me realize two things;

1) It takes longer to mentally recover from an injury than it takes to physically recover from an injury.

stand in own sunshine

2) I had forgotten what it felt like to be “uncomfortable” during my work-outs and was stuck in my “comfort zone”.

comfortable

All these beach pictures have me day-dreaming! Looking forward to warmer weather and beach time (maybe with a fruity umbrella drink or two!!)

My top training goals right now; regaining mental strength and getting comfortable being uncomfortable (I really see the two as two-sides of one goal). I’ve read some great sports psychology articles and put together a list of some of my favorite tips for endurance athletes:

  • Clear your head and learn to quiet negative thoughts with meditation and/or prayer.
  • Stay focused on your goals to maintain the motivation to push through difficult work-outs.
  • Consistently practice “pushing the envelope”! Go just a little bit further/faster than you think you can. Train in adverse conditions (hills/rain/heat/technical trails). Seek out faster or maybe even “intimidating” competition.
  • Train your “inner coach” to neutralize negative thoughts and maintain focus when things begin to hurt.
  • Practice concentrating and blocking out everything around you.
  • Rebound from set-backs and failures by learning from mistakes and moving forward. (Don’t dwell!!)
  • Train your conscious mind to over-ride the “internal governor” in your sub-conscious mind that is telling you to stop.  Learn the difference between “the inability to continue” and “giving up”.

 

No one demonstrates "mental toughness" better!

No one demonstrates “mental toughness” better!

Some of my favorite (a relative term) “envelope pushing” work-outs:

  • Fartleks (speed play): I either pick-up the pace for 1-3 minutes at a time, with 1-3 minutes of recovery at an easy running pace, On the track I’ll sprint the long side of a track then slowly jog the turns, and on the treadmill I’ll put on an up tempo playlist and adjust speed/incline with the music.
  • Track work-outs/speed repeats: I’ll warm-up for 1-2 miles at an easy pace then do the speed portion of my work-outs, either 12×400 meters (1:20-1:30 min per repeat), 6×800 meters (3:00-3:10 per repeat), 3×1 mile (6:30-7:00 min per repeat), with 400 meters of easy jogging/recovery between each repeat (Except the mile repeats, I just stand there for 3 minutes, drinking water and trying not to puke! Lol).  This is literally the most torturous work-out for me every week, but it no doubt gets me out of my comfort zone! And in case you were wondering about the paces…they are very deliberate and based formula’s in Hanson’s Marathon Method, one of my favorite marathon training books!
  • Hill Repeats: I have a few “favorite” hills ranging in distance between 0.5 to 2.0 miles and between 400-800 feet in elevation gain.  This work-out is exactly what it sounds like….I run to the top of the hill, then run back down, then back up again….repeat until I reach my planned distance (Usually somewhere between 4-7 miles).
  • Rolling Hills: Planned routes where I deliberately hit as many hills as possible! This includes a majority of my long runs (I really may be a masochist!).

 

My Weekly Run-Down:

  • Monday-6 miles
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday-Rest
  • Thursday-6 mile speed work-out (8×400 meter repeats)
  • Friday-5 miles
  • Saturday-6 miles
  • Sunday-7.12 mile hill repeat work-out

Weekly Total: 30.12 miles

2015 Total: 155.12 miles


Do you have any tips for getting out of your comfort zone? How do you practice being comfortable being uncomfortable? What are some of your favorite (or least favorite if you’re more sane) envelope pushing work-outs? What kicks your butt more….speed work-outs or hill work-outs?

 

Betty