Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's too soggy in Houston to run today, so we'll make due with a Throwback Thursday Halloween running picture.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Long Run Randomness 3 - running is for the birds

Okay, so running isn't really for the birds. But these birds were were on my run!

Now, keep in mind, I live in the city. Large mice are the closest we have to wild animals (okay, it's Houston, so I do see the occasional horse riding by). I had no clue what these were as I stopped my run to stare. Turkey?  A new species of duck?  The extinct do-do bird?  Finally, I settled on the idea that they were vultures stalking their prey (I was running pretty slowly). 

**Update - I've been informed they are guinea fowl and they are apparently residents of the area.  Learn something new every run!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Another reason it is good my husband does not read this blog:  I have an online shopping addiction. In particular, an addiction to new running/workout clothes. 

Look, if we have to do hard things, shouldn't we at least look good doing them!?!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Post Run Highs and Lows

Today's post run highs: I've had two beers and an entire personal pizza and I don't feel guilty in the slightest. 

Today's post run low: Precautionary icing.

My left ankle has been hurting all week and as it usually goes, I rolled it pretty well today. Almost hit the ground but managed to stay upright. Probably provided some beach goers with a little entertainment. It's not feeling all that entertaining right now. But no swelling or bruising so I am sure I will be back at it come Monday. 

The Beach Is In My Blood And Stuck To My Face - Galveston Running

I promised a friend of mine who has been battling cancer (so there's some pressure) that I would write about how beautiful and inspiring today's run was. I think I can let this picture explain it for me:  

No filter needed here, folks. 

Welcome to Galveston. Galveston gets a bum rap as a beach. But let me tell you, I love this town. So many memories along this seawall and on these beaches. Family trips down here make up some of my earliest memories, field trip fun growing up, high school shenanigans (I'm old), and weekend beach house trips with friends. My husband and I even got engaged in Galveston. When I say this place is special to me, I mean it. 

I didn't have very high expectations for today's twelve mile run. It was terribly windy and I just felt really nervous. So much so that as my husband was dropping me off to start my seawall run, I told him that I wasn't even going to shoot for my "goal" pace. I told him all I was going to concern myself with was logging twelve miles and being done. So, with the above sunrise view next to me, off I went. I wasn't concerned with pace. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  As I ran, I was flooded with Galveston memories. Camping trips with my brothers on the beach, underage partying during high school summers (sorry, mom), kisses with boys I liked by the ocean (including my husband!), attending weddings of friends, wild nights sleeping in the car on the beach (again, sorry mom), yummy food on The Strand and by the ocean, it goes on and on. I finally looked down at my Garmin and saw that I was actually running well below my "goal" pace. And I was feeling great. I wasn't even feeling the run. And it continued on that way for the whole twelve miles (except on small stumble). I managed to take a full 10 seconds off of last week's pace and I loved the run. 

So, this blog is a big thank you to Galveston and to everyone who I have made memories with down here. It was you and those memories making today's run the joy it was. I love you and I love Galveston. 

21 And Up Only

I don't always drink beer. But when I do, it's at 10:30 a.m. after a 12 mile oceanside run. 
Stay thirsty and keep running my friends. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Treat Your Feet

When the road gets hard treat your feet!!

This run we are all on is going to be long and hard and, at times, it is going to leave us feeling worse for the wear.  There are going to be days we feel exhausted, beat, and beat up.   And on those days I tell you to treat your feet. 

This is how I spent my much needed and well deserved (if I do say so myself) off day. 

We runners have such a hard time giving ourselves a break. We feel like we have to run and run and run ourselves into ground all in the name training and in hopes of improvement. We are terrified to let off the gas for fear of backtracking. We are scared to slow down. But, the reality is our bodies require some off time.  They crave the break.  By giving ourselves a rest we are actually allowing our bodies the opportunity to build strength and reduce fatigue. Off days allow you to heal and grow. Embrace the off days. Know that in the off period you are allowing yourself the opportunity to grow and improve.  

So, when you feel the road below you starting to take its toll, take a break and get a foot massage!!  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The other day I was sitting at my desk with my head in my hands thinking about life and my schedule and all that we go through when I thought,
"My plate is FULL."
My immediate next thought was,
 "But my cup runneth over."
The next thing that came to mind was,
 "Holy Grail."
Okay, so the last one isn't exactly the point of this blog.  But any opportunity you get to get a good JT moment in, you've got to take it.  What I realized sitting there in exasperation is that it all comes down to dishware. 
My plate is full.  I am daily surrounded by fear and pain and sadness and uncertainty and that is just the tip of it.  Some days I feel like if one tiny extra morsal hits my plate, it's all going to go crashing and spilling to the floor below me.  It is overwhelming. 
But, then there's that cup.  Runnething over.  My blessings are many.  I cannot begin to describe the kindness I recieve on a daily basis from friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers.  These are people who have their own problems, their own schedules, and their own sadnesses.  Yet, these are the people who are consistently filling my cup.  They end their emails with the all powerful phrase, "How are you?"  They swing by my office just to chat.  They send cards and texts and meals and gifts and prayers.  They are constantly checking in and they understand when I check out.  They are the balance that I so often write about searching for.  I realize with my cup this full, does it really matter if my plate hits the floor?  I am touched by human kindness and I am forever grateful for all of the cup filling.
So, there it is folks.  It's all dishware.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Post About Food

I'm probably going to regret sharing this. But, we are friends, right?  You won't judge, right?

Here is the deal with long runs: they aren't great for weight loss. At least not for me. Runs require fuel and recovery requires even more fuel. And I really am into fueling my body ;)

This is what I started my day with:
I won't go into all of the benefits of eating before starting a long run (another post another day), but I will tell you that I've run without food and with and I am significantly faster with fuel. I started today with a Luna Bar (not my favorite flavor, but Kroger refuses to restock Nutz Over Chocolate) and dry Cheerios. Yes, I realize cereal is meant to be paired with milk, but milk and running do not mix well for me. I try to wait close to an hour between eating and running, but I also try to squeeze as much sleep in as possible, so usually start running a little earlier than I'd like. 

Fueling while you run is also important. It's something I find a little hard to do, but thank goodness for these babies:
I'm a sucker for anything gummy!  Really.  Fruit gummies, gummy bears, and even gummy vitamins (whoever invented gummy vitamins is a genius). Some people prefer gels while they run, but I find them too gooey and I feel like they coat my mouth and just make me super thirsty. For today's 12 miles I only ate two blok gummies and then saved a third for my cool down. Learning to chew and run is something I am really working on. I also need to do a better job at hydrating while I run. I try to plan runs along trails with water fountains but I often run right past them for fear of stopping and being unable to start again. I know I need to work on this. Hydrating during a long run is very important. 

Now the fun part. Fueling after a run. Once you are in the double digit runs, refueling can be very fun. I know I should be better about what I put in my body after a long run, but mostly I just want food and lots of it. Today we had to run errands down in the suburbs right after my run, so afterwards while we waiting for a wreck to clear we stopped into Cracker Barrel. 
Now normally, this isn't my type of restaurant/food. But, when in Rome...  I actually didn't go too crazy today and ordered baked chicken and veggies. But I might have snuck several bites of mac n cheese off my husband's plate. Oh, and did I mention they serve cornbread and biscuits with your meal!?!?

After lunch, it was home for some football. Not our best football weekend, but I made the family popcorn to snack on while we suffered. 
I actually like to make my popcorn on the stove the old fashioned way, which makes it a lot less "bad" for you than the microwave stuff (probably because I buy the extra, extra buttery microwave stuff). I did spray a little I Can't Believe It's Not Butter on it for a little treat. 

Now, this one was against my wishes:
I really prefer homemade pizza. We make if often and almost every time I get pizza out or delivered I feel like it doesn't live up to our homemade stuff. But the alternative was cooking, and that was not happening today. So, I let my husband spring for dinner. 

So you see, someone really needs to buy me this shirt;


Why yes, yes I do. And perhaps a new sports bra. Ouch!!!!!!

Long Run Randomness 3

Hello. Meet Marcus. I just did. 

I love runners. About 4 miles into today's 11 miles, this random guy went to pass me on the trail and made a comment about my pace and I replied back something about not being able to keep up with him.  I think sensing that I needed a little pick me up, Marcus, decided to run with me. I'd forgotten how nice it is to talk to someone while you run. Really helps to pass time. Turns out, Marcus ran the Chicago Marathon last weekend and was putting in twelve miles this morning. Whaaa!?!?  Marcus is obviously insane.  But of the crazy about running nature and thankfully not of the actually so insane you might be scared to be around him nature.  After I run the marathon in January, you'll be lucky to see me out of anything but Uggs for at least a week. You certainly won't see me in running shoes going twelve miles!!  Anyway, what other sport would someone slow down their training to help a stranger with theirs!?  Marcus actually pushed me on pace and I found myself really running without thinking about it. Normally, I don't recommend talking to strangers, but I don't really think runners are strangers. We are just friends who have never spoken before. 

Friday, October 18, 2013


This weekend I will face my first double digit run since January.  I hate to admit it, but I'm a little nervous.  What was I thinking signing up for 26.2 miles?!?  I mean, that's not just a double digit, that's getting to the double digits, multiplying by two and then adding a 10k!  Needless to say, this upcoming run has been on my mind all week and I've been trying to figure out how to approach it.  But today I remembered a lesson I learned and wrote about back in 2012:
"I really psyched myself out for this run. I was super intimidated before I even started. In order to finish, I really had to rely on my training. I kept repeating, "Every mile you've ever run up to this mile has prepared you to run the next." And every mile kept coming and going and I finished in a decent time. So, please remember, life is constant training for what's to come. You can overcome anything you face because you have already overcome so much!! Every mile up to this mile has prepared you to run the next."
So, there it is.  Time to do as I say and as I do.  Time to trust in my preparation, trust in my training, and trust in myself.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Is Anybody Out There?

Is anybody out there? Anybody there?
Does anybody wonder? Anybody care?

I totally respect your desire to read blogs anonymously.  I do it all the time!  And, to be honest, as much as I would love your feedback, the joy of blogging for me is just putting it out there.  Having the opportunity to think about my feelings and put them down on "paper" is what keeps me at this.  That, and the small hope that maybe something I say provides one of you with a little entertainment or motivation.  If I know that something I said makes one of you laugh, cry, or just decide to get up and run, it's worth it.

I am saying all of this because yesterday a wonderful friend told me that she had attempted to leave a comment on one of my posts and for some reason wasn't successful.  Was this a one time glitch or is this happening to more of you? 

Are you trying to reach me or are you just interested in reading me?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Legit

Came across this on last night's run.

Either these people are serious about Halloween or they are huge Dungeons and Dragons fans (I actually had to look up D&D to see if armor is their thing and sure enough, my guess was correct). Also, I think the Renaissance Festival is coming to town, so that could explain in. Regardless, I think this is a pretty legit Halloween decoration.

PS- I love how the picture came out so blurry.  It's as if I was running really fast.  But, you all know better than that by now, right? 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Long Run Randomness 2

If you're committing to the long run, get ready to be very familiar with this sign ( unless you are a guy reading this. If that's the case, your sign will look a little different):

It's inevitable. When you spend 24 hours hydrating and fueling and then take off for running a couple of hours, public facilities are in your future.  There is no getting around it. Try to plan ahead. I like to stick near park areas or trails with fast food restaurants nearby. I, at all costs (well, maybe not at ALL costs), avoid port o potties, but that's just a personal thing and I see lots of runners ducking into them.  Hopefully, those runners carry hand sanitizer.  This past week I found myself having to run (literally) into a bar at the height of happy hour. Lets call that a cool runner feeling. Kind of like forgetting to take off your fanny pack while shopping around town after a run. Yup, that's another "cool" runner feeling. I'm sooo cool!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Is this summer ever going to end?  We're practically in the middle of October and it is hot and humid like August. It's summtober in Houston. 

I know I'm going to be complaining like crazy as soon as winter gets here and I have to crawl out of a warm bed to run in gloves and jackets with numb extremities and a runny nose (sorry guys).  Just remind me of this day. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

In response to yesterday's blog, I was sent a link to another blog also posted yesterday (you really should check out that contained the below:

"You will never find your perfect life “balance” on the path for the same reason you will never find a unicorn on the path – because these things don’t exist. Forget unicorns and balance. If you were perfectly balanced- you’d never have to take any ones hand to steady yourself, and that would be a tragedy. There is no solid ground on the path – so don’t hold your breath till you find it. Breathe deeply and keep moving forward awkwardly. You can make it down the whole path imbalanced and flailing. When you fall, give thanks for the opportunity to rest. While you’re down, send love to every other path walker who’s down with you at that moment. Then get back up. Or crawl. Crawling is encouraged and respected. Path running is fine, but crawling is much better. Crawlers travel with their eyes close to the ground – so they never miss an inch of the beautiful, rocky path. Crawlers get less glory but learn the most about the path’s terrain."

Hello, my light bulb moment!!  Of course I can't figure out how to find the perfect balance between the musts with the wants.   Why would I expect to be able to find a "perfect" balance?  What in life have I ever found to be perfect?  The fact is, I AM HUMAN.  Aren't we all a little off balance?  In spending so much time and energy trying to find this ever elusive balance it becomes a must in itself, which in turn, throws off all chance at balance.  Not only was I feeling bad for trying to do too much, but I was also feeling bad for not being able to not want to do too much.  You getting that?  I was being hard on myself for not wanting something that deep down I don't really want.  Sure, I don't want to get sick.  Sure, I don't want to be too tired to get out of bed.  But, it turns out, I like doing the things that contribute to getting me there.  Some days are going to be good and some days are going to be bad, but I'm not going to spend time searching for something I may never find.  So, here is what I think now:  Sometimes the thing about life is just realizing that you are going to do it imperfectly and that it's okay. 

Yes, I do too much.  It's not a fault.  It's just who I am and I'm going to own that.  But really, some days I am SO good at doing too much (really, you should see me.  I even impress myself).  I love those days.  But, some days I really suck at it and I find myself down for the count.  But, you know what?  That's okay too.  On those days when I am curled up and exhausted I can take the time to be thankful for my wonderful husband who is willing to step in and take care of things when I can't.  I'm just not willing to give up the wants in my life.  They bring me so much joy and they recharge my batteries when I am down.  I've never done one of my wants and come away wishing I'd rested instead.  I've evaluated and I like doing all of the things that I do.  Could I make some improvements? Absolutely, yes.  But could I give myself a little slack for being off-balance?  Definitely! 

So, if you happen to pass a girl running like she could use a V-8, just smile and wave.  It's just me running off balance. 

*** UPDATE:  Isn't Life just freaking hilarious!?  It just doesn't take no for an answer. If you don't pick up its subtle hints it will slap you in the face with a big ol' sign   Not six hours after I made the above post, I picked up the Girls on the Run book to start reviewing the lesson I'm assigned to teach (my first to lead!) and this is what I see:

Can you believe it?  I'm going to be teaching the girls the importance of slowing down!  Okay, okay, Life. NOW I get it. I never claimed to be the quickest study. There is no perfect balance to be found. Life is unbalanced. At times you are overloaded with the musts and other times the wants get to take center stage. But, that doesn't mean I shouldn't learn to SLOW down so that I can fully appreciate both the musts and the wants. Life is not just about doing as much as you can. It's also about enjoying what you can do. Got it. At least for tonight. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slowing Down

Wait, haven't I just spent all my time writing and thinking about speeding up?  Life is "funny" like that.  You get so focused on one thing and then here comes life smacking you in the face and directing you to the exact opposite.

The truth is, lately I have not been reacting well to my running program.  Well, if I'm really going to be truthful, I have not been reacting well to life itself.  I have spent two days out of the last five curled up in bed just feeling completely, totally, and miserably spent.  I have been fighting "allergies" for weeks now and I can't seem to get better. My energy level is somewhere around zilch and my recovery time is taking way longer than it should.  Basically, I'm a wreck.  I don't think it's just the running that has me fried, but I don't think it's helped either.  The first time my husband told me, "You've taken on too much.  You have to slow down," I didn't really pay attention.  This is the same man who wakes up at 4:45 a.m. to go to the gym before starting his long and stressful days.  So, you know what the pot and kettle do, right?!  The second time (last night and then again this morning when he saw me in my gym clothes) he told me I had to slow down, I listened.  My husband is an extremely patient and understanding man, so when he gets firm about something attention must be paid.
Here's the problem: I don't know what to do about it.  Yes, I am a confessed over-doer.  I cram as much as humanly possible into those short twenty four hours a day.  And I keep cramming until I eventually break.  But, how do I stop?  How do you determine what to cut out of your life to free up a little rest time?  First, there are all of the things that must get done.  I must go to work, which can mean close an hour of travel per day.  Meals must be cooked.  Dishes must get washed.  Laundry must be done, folded, and put away.  Dr. appointments must be made, bills must be paid.  All of these things (I had to stop there before my stress level went through the roof) can take up an entire day/week/life.  Then there are the things that I want to do.  I want to go running.  I actually want to be training for this marathon.  I want to go to Bar Method.  I want to keep this blog.  I want to visit with my friends.  I want to see my family.  I want to go out to eat and drink with my husband.  I want to go on trips and see things and in general experience life.  But if fitting all of these things in is too overwhelming, I have to ask myself what goes?  Do I have to cut out the things I want to do because the other (and much less fun) list must get done?  And if that's the case, how fair is that?  What kind of a life is made of only doing the musts?  Aren't we all supposed to be living happy and fulfilled lives?  In doing so, shouldn't we also be living balanced lives with the wants thrown in too?  Where do you find the balance between the musts and the wants?  If I only do the musts then I'm miserable.  If I only do the wants then I'm happy, but poor and living like a slob.  HOW DO YOU FIND THE BALANCE?
While I was pondering this question, I took a look at my dog.  Trust me, this is not the picture of a dog curled in bed due to exahustion from doing to much.  This is someone who has mastered the art of relaxation.  I would say she spends about 96% of her day just like this.  Then again, the only other thing she must do is waddle over to her dog bowls and eat and drink what we must put down for her. 
So, I'm back at where I started.  Exhausted, but unsure what to do about it.  I have no clear path on this one.  Hopefully, the first step is simply acknowledgement and I can wait for the enlightenment to hit later.  Regardless, I must get back to work!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hill (and street) Blues

I am definitely singing the running hills (and streets) blues today.  Yesterday was my first attempt, in many years, at running hills.  And today I am paying the price.  My quads are absolute trash and my calves aren't in much better shape.  What is it they say?  No pain no gain?  Well, based on my pain level today, I should be running record breaking paces in no time.

They, you know real runners, say that one of the best ways to increase your speed is to run hills.  I really hope they are right.  Now that I'm in full marathon training mode, I'm starting to set my sights on an actual time goal.  It takes me a while to figure out what my goal is because I need to really evaluate where I am and how I think my running can progress.  It would be crazy to me before even starting to train to set some arbitrary standard that I could either fail miserably at or easily surpass.  Even though I'm not really ready to share my goal, I do know that the goal is pretty hefty and it's going to take a lot of work from me.  So, a lot of work I'm giong to do.  Starting with hills.  Well, really just starting with this one teeny, tiny, baby hill.
Seriously, can you even tell this is a hill???
I interspersed hill drills (forward and backward "running") between my scheduled mileage.  Believe it or not, there is actually a trail in Houston that provides lots of hill opportunities.  I have my eye on a particularly steep and intimidating hill, but I'm going to need some more practice and a running mix of nothing but the Rocky soundtrack before I tackle that one.  So, to start, I am sticking with this teeny, tiny, baby BITCH of a hill.

Hill running is not easy (in case you hadn't gathered that from all of my above complaining) and it takes a lot of work, but it will (better) pay off.  Some of the benefits to running hills include increased calorie burn (not really that important in marathon training, but I'm a girl, so I can't help but like this one), increased endurance, increased speed, and increased leg strength. These things will come in handy for reaching my goal. Also, you can't help but feel like Rocky Balboa running up the Philadelphia museum steps when you get to the top, which is about the only thing that keeps me going.  Not while you're running, though. While you're running you feel more like one of those cartoons who keeps spinning it's legs but isn't going anywhere. Does that cartoon actually exist?  I feel like I can picture it but I can't name it. It could just be an image from some reoccurring dream of mine. Probably the one where I am a cartoon trying to run hills. 

I came across this today. I think I'm going to start reading every time I'm just about to start hill running. I will be a hill seeker!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The other day my mom was asking me about how the Komen race went and how I did and I told her that I'd placed 16th in my division and went on to describe the race and later walking with my beautiful friends.  Her reaction, in typical, never-ending, undyingly supportive, mom-style fashion, was to say something along the lines of, "You amaze me with what you can do with those short legs of yours."  Mom, if you are reading this, please note now that I love you and I know you meant it as a compliment.  But, for the rest of you, when I read her words this is exactly what I pictured myself looking like:
And, at 5'1" it's probably a pretty accurate image.
Here is the thing, though.  I know I'm never going to break any speed records.  At least, not for another 25 or so years when my division is narrowed down to a bunch of old ladies power walking (nothing against old ladies power walking, I can't wait to be one).  I know that I will likely never wear anything more than a participants medal around my neck.  I know that when it's time to line up for the start of a race, I shouldn't rush up to the leaders section.  And, I'm totally okay with that.  I am 100% satisfied running my own race knowing that there isn't a chance in the world I will win.  I wasn't made for winning. My mom is right, physically, my body will not be breaking that sub 3 hour marathon.  I can barely fathom the idea of breaking a sub 4 hour marathon.  It's just not in the cards for me. 
I didn't commit to this in order to be the best runner.  I committed to this to be the best runner that I can be.  I committed to giving every run and every race my all.  I'm not in this for the records.  I'm in this because it's hard (very) and because I get a sense of fulfilment and pride out of doing very hard things.  Every day that I lace on my running shoes I know there isn't anyone standing at the end of the trail with a trophy for me (although, I wouldn't mind someone standing there with a box full of doughnuts).  The trophy comes from within.  The trophy is the sense of accomplishment that comes with setting a goal, working towards that goal, and finally, probably after a couple brutal fails, reaching that goal.  Of course, doughnuts would be cool too.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rainy With a Chance of Donuts

Here is the deal: it's not always about self -discipline and self sacrifice. Sometimes it's just about doing what you want. Sure, in committing to the long run, you are committing to doing something very hard. You are saying you understand it's going to be painful, but you are willing to do what it takes. You will give up late nights drinking, long mornings sleeping, and any chance of ever having presentable feet again. But trust me, for all of this, you deserve a little reward. Treat yourself!!  I am very good at treating  myself. If you ever need a lesson in how to give yourself a well deserved reward, just ask me. I've got it down. 

I was looking forward to this week's long run all week. The forecasters were predicting beautiful weather. Lows in the fifties, highs just barely in the eighties, and zero chance of rain. If you live around here, you know days like this don't come around often. I was checking the weather all day on Saturday planning my long run and I was so excited to take advantage of the wonderful Fall weather (yes, around here Fall is eighties). So, as I'm eating my Luna Bar and hydrating early this morning, I hear it. I hear the pitter patter of raindrops on the window. WHAAAAT!?!?  This is not what I signed up for. The weather channel had me sold on a cool, sunny, dry run. And as I'm thinking that I must have been looking at weather for some other city, the sky opens up and it starts to pour. And just in case you're wondering what I was thinking planning my long run in the rain, this is what the weather channel was saying as I'm watching it pour down:

Lesson learned. Never trust the weather channel. Ever. And, never let yourself be disappointed by things you have no control over. I can't control the weather. Because if I could, I would say I've been doing a pretty terrible job of it lately. What I can do is control my reaction to situations that are out of my hand. I can choose to run no matter what. When it's not the easiest or most convenient thing to do, I can still choose to run. 

So, after a quick wardrobe change (thank goodness for run rain jackets and visors - yeah I said it, visors. Running is the only activity in which visors and fanny packs are considered essential), off I went for 9 miles in the steady rain. 

Because I pressed hard yesterday for pace and because I had to skip my rest day and because the rain was coating the road making it slippery, I decided to take it easy. They say the important part of a long run is just logging the miles, so that's what I resolved to do. I made the soggy miles without more than a few quick glances at my pace. I just let my body do what it wanted and ran on. 

Now on to the reward part. I did the hard part. I chose to run on even when conditions weren't desirable.  That was hard, I needed a reward. I needed a reason to run. So, this is where I calculated my long run to end:

Yeah, that's right. When life gives you nine soggy miles, respond back with donuts and kolaches. Life is oh so sweet when you are on a sugar high. Really, runners, I recommend doing this if you can. A nice warm glazed donut right after a run is AHmazing!  Treat yourself. I promise you deserve it. 

Unless you are the jerk who thought it was funny to drive by me as fast as possible intentionally splashing the giant puddle you hit all over me. No donuts for you!  To you I send a special one fingered runner's wave. 

Long Run Randomness 1

Came across this sign on this morning's long run:

That's right, it's a Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich. On one hand, I'm a little creeped out that this exists. We are a society in search of ultimate  gluttony. On the other hand, the hand that wins out, what I'm really upset about is that I never thought of this!!  Pop-Tarts are my ultimate the wheels have come off the wagon food (next to Cheeto Puffs, that is). The idea of combining warm (preferably cinnamon) Pop-Tarts with ice cream,yes please!! I believe I have found my DIY treat for when I hit long runs in the teens. 


Yesterday morning my friends and I gathered for the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure in support of our wonderful friend Denise. To-date, team Crazy Fox Tales has raised over $10,000 and I am so proud of us!  

I was the only team member who opted to participate in the competitive run. It had been a pretty long time since I'd entered and run a race, so it was good to shake off the racing cobwebs. I'm not used to running races alone, so it was a little different for me but a good thing. As I stood waiting for the start, race officials read the names of all the women teams were running in memory of. It was pretty overwhelming. I couldn't help but think of my wonderful brave friend and as those names were read, I decided I was going to run my ass off for Denise. 

And run my ass off I did. As always, I forgot to hit stop on my Garmin when I crossed the finish line, so I'm still waiting on final race results to figure out my exact pace. What I can tell you is that it was unbelievably hot and humid and as I waited for the rest of my team, sweat literally poured off of me. I will not be posting any post-run photos, that's for sure!!  One thing about the Komen race is that it is HUGE!  I don't know the number of participants off the top of my head, but it's in the big thousands, I am sure. I spent the first half (if not more) of the race dodging other runners and walkers. Running to the left and right and hopping up on curbs and medians. I'd forgotten about the log jam of runners that occurs at the start of huge races and then remembered that I find it very frustrating. Something I'm going to have to think on for the marathon. 

After the race, the timing was perfect for me to loop around and walk with the rest of my team. What a great time. If you ever get the chance to participate in the Race For The Cure, I would recommend it. The whole event is touching and motivating. I dare you to get through without at least tearing up once. 

These are pictures of Denise walking down the Survivor Path. Now if these aren't examples of pictures being worth a thousand words, I don't know what is. 

Thank you to all who donated. If you are still interested in donating, the link is still open and in the Doing It For Denise Post. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Protect Yourself

Okay, you know how I say one of my favorite things about running is that you can just grab your shoes and run (literally) out the door?  Well, I am probably exaggerating a little on that one. While still the most convienent form of exercise, there is some preparation that goes into running. Aside from standing around with my arm aimed to the sky waiting for my Garmen to locate a satellite (seriously why is it so slow some mornings!?!), this is how I spend a lot of my pre-race time:
Say hello to my running shelf. This is where I spend time before every run protecting myself. Really runners, you've got to use sunscreen before heading out on those long runs. Lets face it, tank tops and racerbacks do not leave sexy tan lines. You can always spot a runner in a bathing suit, she will be the one with crazy tan lines across her back and weird sock lines on her legs. But really, the truth is we run for our health. So be healthy running!!  Protect yourself from the sun. Even when the weather starts to cool (I hear that happens. I haven't actually experienced it yet), it's important to protect your skin. You'll notice I use the sport spray. It makes quickly getting out the door much easier. But, because I have sensitive skin, I also use a very high SPF on my face.  It's worth the extra 30 seconds of application. Oh, and if you're from around Houston, you'll know why I keep a minimum of four mosquito repellents handy. Really, I don't think those little blood suckers. Are going any where this year!!  They make post-run stretching miserable. 

So to you runners I say, be strong, be fast, be safe, and be sticky. Because there's no way around it. Sweat + sunscreen + mosquito spray = one hot mess. 

Doing It For Denise

I think several months back I did a post about not taking your relationships for granted and not waiting until someone you love has cancer before you tell them how much you love having them with you on the long run.  In that post I introduced you to one of my very best friends, Denise. 
We took this picture on a walk immediately following Denise shaving her head.  She is beautiful.
Earlier this year, Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I don't know how to accurately describe the shock that comes with a cancer diagnosis for one of your friends.  I hate to admit this, but when it happens to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even your parents there is a small part of you that accepts it as part of age (please do not confuse this statement for me saying that it is any less painful.  A loved one being diagnosed with cancer is horrible no matter what).  But, when your friend is diagnosed with cancer, it is devistating.  Our friends are not supposed to get sick.  Our friends CANNOT get sick!!  Why in the world are our friends getting sick?!!?
The immediate feeling of helplessness when your friend is diagnosed is, for lack of a better word, overwhelming. Now that I think about it, overwhelming is exactly the right word.  After Denise told me the news, I probably spent a week begging God for the ability to fix my friend.  Well, not really to fix her, there is nothing wrong with my friend, she is awesome.  What I mean is that I prayed for the ability to take her cancer away.  Maybe that sounds dumb, but knowing what my friend was facing, and feeling like there was nothing I could do about it was awful.
This is where you come in.  This Saturday, I will be participating in the Komen Race For The Cure.  Being able to raise money in honor of Denise eases that overwhelming feeling of helplessness. I can't cure cancer, but I can run.  I can put one foot in front of the other and in doing so, I can help make sure that Denise and all women to come after her receive the best possible treatment.  This is where I ask you to PLEASE donate to my team in honor of Denise.  Or if for whatever reason, you can't make a donation right now, please forward the link to anyone you know who can.  I want to raise as much money as I can in honor of my dear friend and in hopes that your dear friends never have to go through this.  Every little bit helps.  Here is the link to my personal page:

Ever since Denise was diagnosed, she and I have pounded the pavement together for many a mile.  We've being taking these walks since right after her diagnosis, through her first chemo treatments, through her hair falling out, through ringing the bell on her final chemo day, all the way up to right before surgery.  During these walks we've spent a lot of time talking about cancer.  We've also spent a lot of time talking about the usual stuff like food, travel, and our husbands (sorry Paul.  I've learned so much about her during these walks.  Let me tell you, Denise is brave, she is shockingly (only to herself) strong, she is wise (this girl can research better than the FBI!!), she is giving, and open, and I am in awe of her.  I wish I could adequately describe to you what these walks and talks will mean to me for the rest of my life, but it sort of goes beyond anything a blog could capture.  This is the link to Denise's blog so that you can get to know what an amazing person she is.

To all my fellow runners out there, please donate.  Can we all send one giant runner's wave to Denise?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Spot the Problem

So, this is what happens when you pack your running bag in the wee hours of the morning:

So now I'm sitting here at the running trail  debating if it's a sign or not. What do you think?  Should I run in this condition?

***UPDATE:  I'm updating to let you know that I did indeed run 5 miles like this.  Luckily, other runners are very forgiving and did not give me any crazy looks.  At least not while they were running towards me.  Once we passed each other, I'm sure they started cracking up.  But man, when you have one new shoe and one old shoe on you can really tell just how dead that old shoes is.  The shoe on the left is toast!  I knew it was bad, which is why I bought the new, but I didn't realize how bad.  I had been hanging on to the old pair for emergencies, but no more.  These shoes are immediately going to be recycled!  Did you know that you could recycle your old shoes?  I have someone in my office who keeps a box for collecting and donating old shoes, but there are PLENTY of ways to donate your running shoes.  And, Goodness knows we runner's go through a ton of shoes!  Below are some links to multiple  shoe recycling programs:

Also, for all of you in Houston, Luke's Locker will take your old shoes for a recycling program.