Marine Corps Marathon Groupie!

Yesterday I decided to head down to D.C. to watch the Marine Corps Marathon.  It’s the 8th biggest marathon in the World, and it’s a big race for a lot of local runners.  I have never been a spectator for a race before, if I’m not running in it, I’m usually running in another race or have a long training run scheduled.  So when I had nothing major going on this weekend, and over a dozen running buddies and acquaintances competing in the race, I jumped on the opportunity to cheer them on and show them some support.  I figured it’s about time for me to “pay it forward”, with the countless races my boyfriend and daughter have supported me at, and I was actually excited to see elite runners cross the finish line in person! (Since I’m usually over an hour behind them! Haha)

mcm

It was such an amazing experience and more inspirational/moving than I ever could have anticipated!  First, the atmosphere was incredible! The music, the liveliness, the cheering, the overwhelming patriotism, and talking to people who had traveled from all over the country (and the world) to cheer on their runners.  All of them had one thing in common, they were so proud of their runner…like really, genuinely sunny beaming proud of their runners.  I teared up thinking about all of the people who have supported me,and my crazy dreams, on my marathon journey, and was very humbled at the thought that they are probably just as proud of me when I run my races.

Then when I got to see the first place runner come around the corner to make his way up that final hill, I was absolutely star struck! US Army specialist Samuel Kosgei finished in an impressive 2:22:11 without another runner in sight!  The race for top 3 females was close up to the finish, with 1st time marathoner, US Army Captain Meghan Curran coming in 1st in 2:51:46! With my boyfriend being an Army veteran, it was exciting to see the Army kick ass yesterday! (Even if I am prior Air Force…but hey, I’m not a hater! 😉 )Army ended up taking 1st for the overall men’s competition and 2nd for the overall women’s competition! Go Army!!

finishing-a-marathon

I was no less impressed with the other 30,000 runners that I watched cross the finish line over the next few hours. I saw one of Danny’s good friends, a member of the Army team, finish her race with a solid 3:17 finishing time and a new friend that I met at the NFC marathon finish her first road marathon in an impressive 3:48! I also got to see old Ragnar teammates and the guys from my office “running club” (Even if they do tease me and try to kick me out of the club all the time! I forgive you guys, ok? 😉 Lol) including a first time marathoner finish strong! I saw runner’s throwing up at the top of “hear break hill”, runners helping each other across the finish line, runners collapsing the moment the crossed the finish line,runners pushing themselves to the point of exhaustion,  and I saw runners smiling through the pain with a look of accomplishment across their faces as they crossed the finish line! I’m proud of every one of them for doing something extraordinary; showing up, hanging tough, persevering, and running 26.2 freaking miles! Something only 1% of the people in the world will ever be crazy enough to do! 😉 Here’s a video that pretty much sums up the entire marathon experience! Hope you enjoy it! Especially my 1st timers for yesterday! You are now part of one masochistic club! 😉

I’m so glad I watched the MCM yesterday.  It made me realize that when I am running a race I am so focused on myself, staying in the zone, and running my best race that I am missing so much of what’s going on around me.  It gave me an entirely different perspective and made a marathon so much more significant to me.  I was energized, moved, inspired, elated, motivated, and so excited by all of the runners yesterday! I can’t wait to run my next marathon and I hope what I learned from my spectator experience allows me to be more present and in the moment when I do!

watchamarathon


 

Last week was not a good training week for me.  I was dealing with major septic/plumbing issues that had me mentally/physically drained, and not being able to take a shower kind of kills the motivation to run. (For me at least)  That fiasco was what inspired my “The Reality of Being an Independent Woman” post last week (In case you were wondering! Lol), but luckily I have that behind me now and this week is another week! I got 3 runs in, including a 10 mile run on the WB&A trail with a friend.  I rarely get the chance to run with other people, but it was fun and therapeutic! Exactly what I needed to get out of my “poor me” funk and back into motion!

So my super quick run-down for last week:

Total Miles: 19

Total Miles for 2014: 1133.55

Weekly Motivation

Weekly Motivation

Have you ever watched a marathon before? What was the experience like for you? What did you gain from the spectator’s perspective of a race?

❤ Betty

The Reality of Being an “Independent Woman”

I remember Destiny’s Child releasing their song “Independent Women” my senior year of high school.  Man, that song made being an independent woman look AWESOME! You get hang out with your best girlfriends showing off all your sweet “sassy pants” dance moves! Of course you look perfectly put together; wearing designer clothes and diamonds, with flawless make-up,  and not a hair out of place! You ALWAYS felt 100% confident in your ability to take on the world!  Oh, wait!?!? What? AND you’re fire proof! [@2:56] Hell yeah!!! An “Independent Woman” has it all and she doesn’t need anybody!

I like to think of myself as an “independent woman”.  I have an education, a job, my own house, pay my own bills…yadda, yadda….For the most part, it’s something I take a lot of pride in, and it has it’s perks…like not having someone to stop you from painting your kitchen lime green or telling you that spending $150.00 to get your hair done is ridiculous…but let me tell you, it’s NOT all rainbows and butterflies!

independent-woman

 

There are a lot of major details missing in Destiny Child’s [and the media’s] picture of an independent woman.  This video needs to show Beyonce  watching a YouTube video, while trying to fix a leak under the kitchen sink, knocking a hose loose, having water spray everywhere…then throwing a temper tantrum that includes throwing a wrench across the room and lots of profanities…Wow, that sounded pretty specific, huh? Umm, not that that ever happened to me or anything….*Hey, look over there! She knows Kung Fu!! [@2:22]* My experiences as a single, “independent” woman have been much more like something out of an episode of “I Love Lucy” than a Beyonce music video. *I ❤ Lucy!!*

lucy

Why is it that women, regardless of where they are in their lives, are expected to be perfect? Super mommies, top of the career ladder, great cooks, spotless homes, perfect bodies, beautiful, and always poised with a smile on our faces.  The sad thing is, so many of us buy into all that hype! We drive ourselves crazy and beat ourselves up trying to achieve some ridiculously unrealistic ideal.  To set the record straight, here are some myths versus realities about being an independent woman…

Myth: Independent women make their own money, and have plenty of cash to spend on clothes, getting their hair and nails done, exotic vacations, fancy cars, jewelry, and diamonds.

Reality: Seriously, what person on a single income has money to buy random diamonds? Yes, I make my own money and most of it goes to pay my mortgage, utilities, car payment (For a VW Golf), insurance, groceries, gas, home repairs, and stuff for my daughter.  I rarely have money to spend on myself and when I do…I shop at Target and thrift shops.  *I got $20 in my pocket!!*

Macklemore-Challenge

Myth: Independent women are always stylish, put together, and they style their hair and put on make-up every.single. day.

Reality: I look totally put together….like twice a year…maybe? By the time I squeeze in my morning work-out, I barely have time to shower and throw on clothes before work.  I don’t wear make-up, put my hair in a pony tail, and usually am wearing some combination of jeans, t-shirts, and flats (No socks, because seriously, who time to make sorting socks a priority?).  On the positive end of the spectrum some of my go to looks include; Somewhat presentable, Casual Free spirit, Almost Mentally Present, and I don’t really care what anyone thinks. It only goes downhill from there with some of my go to looks including; Totally Disheveled, Hot Mess, Frazzled Mama, I may have forgot to brush my hair/teeth and put on deodorant, and Zombie Chick.  That last look actually kind of works with Walking Dead being back on T.V. and Halloween being right around the corner! *Mmmmm, Brains!!*

Zombie

Myth: Independent women have plenty of time to hang out with their girlfriends and they spend all their nights partying at the swankest bars/dance clubs, laughing and gossiping while sipping on $20.00 Cosmopolitans. (Thanks Sex and the City for getting my hopes up on that one!!)

Reality: Since finishing high school and becoming an adult, I’ve discovered that free time is sparse.  Up until recently, most of my nights and weekends were spent taking classes, studying, and working part time jobs.  Now, my days are still pretty much crammed full from 6am-8pm…then the last thing I want to do is go out and be a socialite. At the end of a long day, nothing sounds more glorious and wonderful than a nap in my flannel P.J.s!

naps

Myth: Independent women have fabulously trendy, modern, spotless, perfectly decorated apartments that look like they are straight out of a Crate and Barrel or IKEA catalog.

Reality: My house looks more like a  helpless “before” pad from the series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. I spend about 15 minutes a day cleaning…and by “cleaning” I mean shuffling my messes from one room to another.  I don’t think I’ve EVER had every room in my house clean at the same time.  I also don’t have the time, energy, or desire to spend my weekends shopping for cute accent furniture and nick-nacks…nor do I want to blow my limited spending cash on stuff I don’t need! (I only spend money on necessities like running shoes, race entries, and coffee mugs! Duh!)

dream

Myth: Independent women are always strong, confident, and 100% in control of every aspect of their lives.  And of course, they NEVER doubt themselves.

Reality: I have had days, weeks, months that have been a whirlwind and I’ve wondered how I am going to keep everything together.  I’ve doubted myself, I’ve made mistakes (many, many mistakes…I could have been the Queen of Bad Decisions at one point in my life), I’ve had melt-downs….but I pick myself up, keep moving, and somehow things work out.  And I am thankful for my failures! Failing and overcoming those failures is what has made me a more confident (Note: I did not say I’m always confident) woman…knowing I can overcome pretty much anything life throws at me!

confidence

Myth: Independent women don’t need ANYTHING from ANYBODY! They can handle ALL their business, 100% on their own!

Reality: I used to believe this, I was prideful to a fault.  However, I finally learned the importance of having a solid support network, made up of wonderful family and friends….I learned to ask for help when I need it.  I also learned to accept and appreciate having someone help me with things that I technically COULD handle on my own…because having someone to lighten my load is awesome! *Like when I found out my boyfriend LOVES to do yard work! Score!! Because I HATE it!! And I love my handsome Gardner!! 😉 *

Must+i+do+everything+myself_963f25_5116707


Finally, here is a list of 10 things every REAL independent woman needs:

  1. A sense of humor
  2. Creativity
  3. A budget
  4. An emergency savings account
  5. A good home warranty (Best advice anyone has EVER given me, mines saved my life!)
  6. Wiki How and YouTube (You’d be amazed at what you can figure out using the Interwebz)
  7. A few basic tools; Power Drill, Screw Drivers, Allen Wrench Set, and for when all else fails…duct tape *Cause eff it!!*
  8. A trustworthy mechanic
  9. An outlet to blow off stress and clear your mind (For me it’s running and recently playing my guitar)
  10. Family and Good Friends (No woman is an Island!)

woman

What are your thoughts? Do you think the media portrays a realistic image of an “independent woman”? What do you think is missing? What advice do you have for all the independent ladies out there??  🙂

~Betty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bootys and Inspiration

Warning! There is absolutely no logic to this post!! I started it off feeling a little cheeky, and thinking about all of my favorite booty songs! 😉 I put together a timeline of Booty Songs (1976-2014) which I plan on compiling into a new workout play-list!

  • 1976-Shake Your Booty, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
  • 1978-Fat Bottom Girls, Queen
  • 1982-Boogie In the Butt, Eddie Murphey
  • 1986-Da Butt, EU
  • 1989-Big Ole Butt, L.L. Cool J
  • 1990-Bonita AppleBum, A Tribe Called Quest
  • 1992-RumpShaker, Wreckx-n-Effect
  • 1992-Baby Got Back, Sir-Mix-A –lot
  • 1997-2 Much Booty (In Da Pants), Sound Master T.
  • 1999-Thong Song, Sisqo
  • 1999-Back dat azz up, Juvinelle
  • 1999-Ms. Fat Booty, Mos Def
  • 2001-Bootylicious, Destiny’s Child
  • 2004-Shake it Fast, Mystikal
  • 2004-Ass Like That, Eminem
  • 2005-Them Jeans, Master P.
  • 2005-My Humps, Black Eye Peas
  • 2005- Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, Trace Adkins
  • 2006-Ms. New Booty, Bubba Sparxxx featuring Ying Yang Twins
  • 2006-Shake That, Eminem
  • 2006-Money Maker, Ludicrous featuring Pharrel
  • 2009-Culo, Pit Bull
  • 2009-Salt Shaker, Ying Yang Twins
  • 2011-Dance A$$, Big Sean
  • 2011-Booty Wurk, T. Pain featuring Joey Galaxy
  • 2013-Bubble Butt, Major Lazer
  • 2014-Ass Drop, Wiz Khalifa
  • 2014-Anaconda, Niki Minaj
  • 2014- Wiggle, Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg
  • 2014-Booty, Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea

Then…a good friend/fellow endurance athlete shared this video with me today about the Barkley 100, “The World’s Toughest Race”.  This is one of the most moving, and inspirational things I’ve seen in a long time! The mental strength and the quotes of these runners are pretty amazing!

http://www.outsideonline.com/featured-videos/adventure-videos/running/Barkley-100–The-World-s-Toughest-Race.html

My favorite quote from this, “You haven’t tested your limit until you try something you can’t do. Then you know where your limit is. It’s right there where I quit. That was it.” That quote reflects my feelings and reasons for loving marathons.  It is going to be my personal mantra for my next round of marathon training! (Starting in one month!! Eeeekkkk! So excited!)

limits


And to cap off the daily randomness, here is my weekly run-down!

  • Monday- Run 5 + Swim 1800 meters
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday- Rest
  • Thursday-Run 6
  • Friday-Run 6
  • Saturday- Run 3
  • Sunday-Run 10

Total Weekly Mileage: 30 miles

Miles Ran in 2014: 1114.55 miles


What’s on your workout play list? Do you have a favorite booty song?? What is something that has recently inspired you? Do you have a training mantra?

Running, Eating Clean, and Regaining my Sanity

After spending most of the summer traveling for work and eating out for every. single. meal….Not only did I pack on a little extra/unwanted weight, I was feeling totally blah.  My stomach hurt, my face was puffy from all of the extra sodium, and I was totally sluggish.  When I got back home a couple months ago I not only focused on getting back into my training (base mileage and cross training), I decided it was time to totally overhaul my diet and really start to focus on what I am putting into my body so I can get the most out of my training.

eatfeelcrap

So what does that mean? First, I’ve gradually been transitioning to a vegetarian diet.  I’ve been a vegetarian off and on since high school, and I always find I feel better when I cut out the meat and limit the dairy. I LOVE cheese and ice-cream but it doesn’t love me back. 😦  I’ve also been focusing more on “eating clean”.  While it sounds like just another fad diet, the foundation of it is based on the basic principles of healthy eating.  More real food and less processed/junk food.  It makes sense to me!

I’ve been preparing all of my meals/snacks the day before so I don’t end up reaching for a candy bar from the office snack fund when the mid-afternoon munchies hit me.  It takes a little extra planning, but it’s worth it.  After a little over a month, it’s becoming second nature and I’m finding myself craving healthy foods like kale, avocado, apples, berries and almonds!

clean-eating-diet-free-2

 

Tips I’ve been following for (veg) clean eating:

  •  Eat whole, unprocessed foods while avoiding packaged foods, sodas, salt, sugar, and alcohol.
  • Avoid gluten and dairy.
  • Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include healthy fats like avocados, olives, nuts, and coconut oil.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, and quinoa.
  • Get protein from egg whites, almond/soy milk, Greek yogurt, tofu, nut butters, beans, and tempeh.
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.
  • Stay full and maintain balance by combining carbohydrates with protein or carbohydrates with fat for every meal/snack.
  • Cook your own meals, avoid prepackaged meals and eating out.

What I’ve been eating:

  • Breakfast-Oatmeal with a handful of walnuts or a protein shake (Vanilla almond milk, frozen banana, almond butter, and scoop of protein powder)
  • Lunch-Large salad with lots of veggies (kale/tomatoes/red onion/bell peppers/olives), 1/2 an avocado, and beans or tofu for protein.
  • Snacks-Fresh fruit, almonds, baby carrots with hummus.
  • Dinner-Veggie burger with steamed vegetables.
  • +Lots water with fresh lime slices (I need to add flavor or else I’m terrible about drinking enough water!)

And my new favorite treat….a spoonful of Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joes! No, it’s not healthy…but it’s sooo tasty and just a spoonful is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth! 🙂 Yum!!!!

My new fav!!

My new fav!!

So what differences am I noticing?

  • Since I’m constantly filling up on fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and protein I am literally NEVER hungry.  *I’m greedy so that’s saying a lot!*
  • More energy and my energy levels have been staying more constant throughout the day.
  • Better workouts! I’m able to workout harder and longer.
  • Less tummy problems…ie No more bloating, heartburn, and stomach pains.
  • My super oily skin is more balanced and I’m breaking out a lot less!
  • And I lost 5 of the extra/unwanted lbs that I put on over the summer!

On top of trying to eat well and trying to get in some solid runs, I’ve also been working on eliminating some unnecessary stress from my life.  I have the tendency to take on too much, including stuff I don’t want to take on (Because I suck at saying no!)….but I took a couple big steps in the right direction last week.  First, we dropped a couple of Ilana’s after school activities, she wasn’t really enjoying gymnastics and swimming anyway and was feeling just as burned out and frazzled as her mama! So now it’s just Girls on the Run and guitar lessons, and less scrambling to get dinner and homework done late on school/work nights.  Second, I talked to my boss about unloading some of the additional responsibilities that I had taken on over the last couple of years.  I explained to him that I was overloaded, wanted to focus more of my energy on doing what I love (pure hands on geek work), and needed to have a better work life balance.  He was totally receptive to it, and it ended up being the perfect opportunity for someone else in the office who was wanting to take on more.  So win-win! And hopefully this means I will feel less tired, more sane, and have more time/energy to dedicate to the things that I love in my life outside of work too….like playing with my daughter and training for marathons! 🙂

This is how I feel some days!!

This is how I feel some days!!


This weeks Runs/Reflections/Fun:

  • Monday-5
  • Tuesday-Thursday-Rest+Contemplating how much stress I really wanted in my life 😉
  • Friday- Run 6 (1 mile warm-up, 8×400 meter repeats with 400 meter recovery, 1 mile cool-down)
  • Saturday- Run 7 miles
  • Sunday-Run 7 miles + 2 hours of Wii Dance Party with Lana (Hey, I was sweating so I’m counting it! Lol)

Total Weekly Mileage: 25 miles

Total 2014 Miles:1084.55


 

Me feeling more healthy and balanced.

Me feeling more healthy and balanced.

Do you eat a clean diet? What differences do you notice when you eat healthy versus when you aren’t eating so healthy? How do you find the right balance in your life and training?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Problems that Tall Girls Have

I’ve always been a bit on the lanky side, reaching my current height of just under 5’10 *I think drinking coffee stunted my growth so I’m 1/4 inch shy 😉* by the time I started 8th grade.  Height certainly has it’s advantages, especially when I was swimming competitively, but I still used to be a bit self conscious about it.  I think partly because society sends the message that small and petite=feminine and partly because most most of us go through a phase where we want the opposite of what we have. (Like how some women with straight hair wishing they had curly hair and vice versa).  I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but at some point in my life I stopped being insecure about it, and started to embrace my Amazonian stature.  I can honestly say (now) that I LOVE being a tall woman! So the other day when I came across an article about “short girl problems”, I laughed.  I decided to come up with my own list in response of issues that tall girls deal have.

Tall Girl Problems:

1. Random strangers walking up to me and saying things like, “Oh my god you’re tall!!”  Then feeling unsure when I respond with something like, “Umm, yeah?” Followed by *awkward silence*  I’m never really sure if it’s a statement or a question!

guy-best-friend-problems-quotes-tumblrtall-people-have-problems-too-ggtb3l7o

 

2. Constantly being asked if I played basketball or volleyball in school.  Then the look of disappointment on that person’s face when I tell them no. I somehow feel like I let them down by never living up to my height potential.

basketball

 

3. Accidentally playing footsies during meetings, when I get tired of bumping my knees trying to cross my legs, and just want to stretch out a little.  “Whoops…sorry about that!” *Really, it was an accident…be easy with those eyebrows mister!!*

eyebrow

4. Having people always ask you to reach for random things from high places.  Not like I’m going to be a jerk and say no….plus it’s the perfect opportunity for me to show off! Sure I can reach that can of soup on the top shelf! And I don’t even have to stand on my tippy toes! *Mmmm hmmm, that’s right!!* 😉

reach

5. Trying to find clothes that fit is a pain! My pants look like high waters, dresses look like shirts, all sweaters and jackets are 3/4 sleeves on me, and finding shorts that don’t expose butt cheek is ALMOST impossible.  As clothing sizes go up, they only get wider not longer. You think with all the stores that cater to petite women more would cater to tall women as well! I can usually find pants in long lengths, but all of me is tall NOT just my legs!

tall-girl

 

6. Trying to find cute shoes for my totally proportionate but “large” feet is not any easier.  And to add insult to injury, I have been told that a store “doesn’t carry shoes that big!” Sheesh, not ONLY do I not get an adorable new pair of strappy sandals, I have to have a total stranger call me a big foot! Haha

feet

7. Having to bend in pictures with my shorter girlfriends so I don’t get my head cut out of the picture!

Kinda like this! ;-)

Kinda like this! 😉

8. Hugging shorter people can be awkward because their head is at my chest level!

boobhug

9. Having to bend to wash my hair in some showers (Mostly in women’s locker rooms) because I am taller than the shower head.  (Noticing the pattern here, being tall=lots of bending=horrible posture!)

shower

 

10. (This one was while I was still single)…Having my girlfriends try to set me up with one of their guy friends who would be perfect for me because “he’s tall…” *waiting for it* Nope, that’s it.  Me, “Wow! We have so much in common!” I guess they assume tall people should date each other so they can talk about how tall they are?

tallncurly_youshouldmeetthisguy

And then maybe even blog about it together! 😉

Are you a tall girl? Can you relate? Do you have anything to add to the list? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That time I DIDN’T run a marathon…..

For those who don’t remember, yesterday I was SUPPOSED to run the Wineglass Marathon and it was SUPPOSED to be my peak race for the year/BQ attempt.  I was SUPPOSED to follow Hanson’s training method.  Bottom line is, there were a lot of things that were SUPPOSED to happen that just didn’t.  Life, work, lots of excuses, and a major motivational funk…I gave up on the idea of running Wineglass just a month into my training and chose instead to spend what free time I had outside of work on shenanigans instead.  I tried to get a few runs in here and there, but if I’m being honest I wasn’t in the right mental state and I totally half assed my work-outs and took a few big backwards in terms of my fitness.

Me this summer!

Me this summer!

That being said, I think I made the right decision to NOT run yesterday (Deferred my entry for the 2015 WGM).  Still, it was a weird feeling waking up yesterday, looking at my clock and thinking about the fact that the race I was supposed to be running was going on at that very moment.  This was my first time backing out of a race; even if I don’t feel 100% prepared I usually will just say, “F*#@ it!”, change my strategy/goal for the day, and look at it as more racing experience under my belt.    So yesterday, I had a couple hours of mourning and silent reflection for the marathon I DIDN’T run.

00_euro_oval_decal

 

I’m O.K. with it, I really am….in fact, I think it’s EXACTLY what I needed.  It fueled the fire under me again, and I am ready to get back into “beast” training mode.  I’ve been running consistently for the last month and building my base mileage back up, last week I ran 35 total miles and this week I’m ready to start pushing my weekly mileage back above 40.   I signed up for two half marathons next month to “shake out” my racing legs and regain some of my confidence.  (I do a lot of non-peak races just to keep race anxiety in check for the peak ones) I need to decide on a Spring marathon soon so I can start planning out my training.  A March race would mean I’d have to start another training plan around the end of this month.  I want a race with a fast/flat course somewhere on the East Coast in March or April.  I’m looking and asking around, and hopefully will make a decision in the next week or two.

Hmmm....decisions, decisions!!

Hmmm….decisions, decisions!!


Even though I didn’t run a marathon last week *tears*, I did get some solid training runs in and I’m slowly, but surely, making a comeback!  Here’s my weekly run-down:

  • Monday-Run 7.1 (C&O Canal)
  • Tuesday-Rest
  • Wednesday- Run 11.7 (BWI Loop)+Strength Training
  • Thursday- Run 4.2
  • Friday-Run 7 (Speed work)
  • Saturday- Run 5 + Strength training
  • Sunday-Rest

Weekly Total Miles: 35 Miles

Total 2014 Miles: 1,059.55

Why running buddies are the best!!

Why running buddies are the best!!

Have you ever backed out of a race before? Did you “mourn” the race you didn’t run? Did it give you motivation to try harder for your next race? Does anyone have suggestions for good Spring Marathons on the East Coast?

Have a great week!!

Betty

Sharing the trails with cyclist….Can’t we all just get along?

One of the things I love about the DMV area is all of the amazing trails there are for me to run on. I can be a mere 10 minutes away from the rush hour traffic but still feel totally secluded on the tree lined pathways, jogging around a lake or over the cutest little wooden bridges! 🙂 And it’s always so cool to see other people out enjoying the trails and getting their daily exercise in too. I have a couple “old faithfuls” that I run on often and see a lot of the same people. All though I’ve never actually talked to them, I feel like we’re friends because we always smile and wave as we pass each other on the trail.

runnersgeteachother

Now I have a confession…every once in a while I have an unpleasant encounter with a cyclist that I’m sharing the trail with that throws off my chi for a few minutes. I JUST had one yesterday while out running on the BWI trail. I was running behind a couple other people and after a few minutes following behind them I decided I wanted to pass them. (Running behind people I don’t know for too long makes me feel like a creepy stalker!) As I was passing them a cyclist turned onto the trail going pretty fast, and I found myself in a game of chicken with him. I tried to adjust my speed to quickly move over…in the meantime the cyclist made no effort to adjust his speed and instead yelled at me to, “Move off the trail!” I tried to apologize and somehow let him know that I was not some jerk who runs down the middle of the trail, I was simply passing. But by the time I turned my head to look back at him, he was “Tokyo Drifting” a corner, middle finger extended fully in the air. I muttered, “Ugh! I hate cyclist!!”

moreawesome

Then I had to take a step back and think about how irrational that statement was. First, HATE is a very strong word and there are very few things in my life that I actually hate. Second, I was making a generalization based on my experience with this ONE cyclist. Why would I dislike someone because they ride a bicycle? That is just silly! I was simply frustrated by the situation. I have had a couple similar situations but in general most of the cyclists that pass me on the trail are VERY friendly, and just trying to stay in shape just like I am. They just choose to do so in a different way. Sure they wear silly matchy matchy spandex outfits when they do it but….Wait! Did I just say that out loud! 😉 In all seriousness, cyclist are pretty cool people too!

It does have me wondering though….is it just me, or is there a little bit of a turf war between cyclist and runners who share the trails? Here are few of my frustrations as a runner with SOME cyclist:

Why do I always have to be the one to move?

I always run as far off on the right side of the trail as possible, and don’t listen to music when I run so I’m pretty aware of my surroundings.  However, there have been several times when I have had packs of cyclists come up behind me 5 people across and instead of trying to move to a single file…or make some type of adjustment, they’ll just take up the whole trail. I have been ran into the bushes before by cyclist who refuse to budge to make room for me on the trail.  Once I had a cyclist clip my heel with his tire and make me fall flat on my face. (And nope, he didn’t apologize or stop to see if I was OK)  I mean come on, since I’m usually running solo, I really don’t take up THAT much space on the trail!

Why do some cyclist get “trail rage”?

This was not the first time I’ve been flipped off by a cyclists.  I’ve also been yelled at to “Get off the trail!” before and been cussed at too.  I understand I am MUCH slower than a cyclist is, just like a walker is much slower than I am.  But I don’t yell at walkers or demand that they get off the trail.  A simple “On the left” works just fine.

Why do some cyclists disregard trail speed limits?

Not that I carry around a radar gun to officially clock cyclist’s speed, but I have seen some cyclists BLAZING down the trail at speeds that are not safe for other pedestrians who are sharing the trail.  Talk about scary!

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Seriously, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike cyclist AT ALL! In fact, I do ride from time to time and hope to one day become a much better cyclists.  I’m just curious, have any other runners had similar experiences/run ins with cyclists? And I’d like to hear the flip-side….for the hardcore cyclists out there, what do runners do that frustrates you? From both sides, do you think there is a bit of a “turf war” between runners and cyclists?

At the end of the day, runners and cyclists actually have a lot in common! And we absolutely can coexist and get along on the trails!

getalong