Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blogging From Under a Bridge

Well, I never guessed that "Blogging From Under a Bridge" would be one of my titles. But, alas, here I am, blogging under a bridge. 

This pretty much sums it up:

There were signs this might happen. Namely, that huge dark cloud hanging over the trails. 

I was under the delusion that I might outrun the weather. As always, Mother Nature reminded me who is boss. So, here I wait under the bridge with a couple of runners, bike riders, and dog walkers, hoping it passes. 

I am normally a fan of running through the rain like a badass, but having already had to replace one iphone because of water damage, I think I will wait patiently for my husband to pick me up with an umbrella...

**Update: My husband did not pick me up with an umbrella.  The rain eventually slowed a little, so I packed my phone into my SPIbag, which I then tucked into my shorts (first time I've ever been excited for built in underwear)  and made a run for it back to my car.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I am so rungover. 
Take it from me, do not drink and run. I know it's tempting, but if you are thinking of a Saturday morning run, put down that Friday night drink. When the waitress comes back a second, third, and fourth (ugh!!) time with refills, show some restraint and just say no. 
Do as I say and not as I do, folks. 

Too much of this....
Combined with this....
Leaves you feeling like this.
Stick to drinks that do good things for your body.

Thank you, Beet Box Blend Bar.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When You're in Need(le)

Since my car accident (truthfully it was starting to get bad before the accident), I've had a lot of knotting issues in my neck and shoulders. I know that so many of you out there also suffer from tight muscles, and you know I speak the truth when I say, having a pain in the neck is a pain in the neck!!  
I thought I would share with you what I do when the pain gets to be too much. Once I can feel all of those knots start tightening up, well, that's when I am in need of the needle. 

That's right, acupuncture. If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would go to and be a fan of acupuncture I would have laughed in your face.  But, here I am paying good money to have someone poke a ton of needles into my head, neck, back, and shoulders.  Isn't that crazy?!?!  But, I have to tell you that it has worked for me.  Now, I'm not suggesting that acupuncture is for everyone or even recommending where I go, I'm just telling you my story.
I've always, or as long as I can remember, had a tight neck shoulders.  I can't tell you how many times I've had what started as a small "crick" in my neck turn into a full on locked up neck.  For years I tried to figure out how to relieve the pain in my neck.  I would go for sports massages and deep tissue massages and every other type of massage, and while those massages all felt great (in that painful kind of way), they did little to actually relieve the pain in my neck/back.  After one particularly severe flare up, I caved to the idea of trying a chiropractor.  I asked for recommendations and went to see a well-reviewed chiropractor.  I went through months of neck and spine realignment and other treatments given by the chiropractor.  Really, I went to every single appointment they recommended.  And, about 3 weeks after they said I was in good shape, my neck locked right back up.  I was devastated.  No, a neck "crick" isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's really miserable while it's happening and having tried so hard to get rid of it and having it come back was really upsetting.  That's when someone (actually many people) recommended that I try acupuncture.
This is what I can say about my acupuncture experience.  After being treated one time, my neck pain was completely gone and my range of motion was fully restored.  Sure, it spasms every now and then and I get lots of knots and some tightness, but the misery of being totally locked up has never returned.  Can I say for sure it was the acupuncture?  No.  It absolutely could have been a coincidence.  Do I claim it will work for everyone?  Definitely not.  But, it's what I feel has worked best for me and I just thought I would share it with you. 
Also, you should know, you never see the needles (at least, not when you are going for the areas I go for), so it's not as creepy as you would think it would be.  And, you are pretty much guaranteed to fall asleep during the whole thing, so if anything, I enjoy the nap.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Runday

Remember Sunday Fundays?  Well now they are more like Sunday Rundays. 

My thoughts on this Sunday run:

1.  Overall, it was a better run than last week. I added an additional mile to the run and my pace was a lot better. I wouldn't say I was fast, by any means, but I was a little quicker. Aside from the first warm up mile and the last exhausted mile, I was feeling a lot more like my old self on the run. 

2.  Oh, Houston in August. There is no escaping you, is there?  I was out an hour and a half earlier this week, and it was still pretty darn warm. 

3.  Even in shorts and a tank, it was HOT out. Several times during my run I would start thinking how nice it might feel to take off all of my clothes and run naked. Then, I came across this guy who was running barefoot (I know you can't really tell in the picture, but trust me on this, he was extremely overdressed everywhere but his feet) and it made me thankful for at least my socks and shoes!

4.  This is happening in all Houston parks, and I am thrilled about it.

No matter what your thoughts on smoking and smoker rights are, I think we can all agree there is nothing worse than inhaling cigarette smoke as you're run. Look, when I'm running, every single breath matters.  Seriously, I am trying to get in every ounce of air, especially in this heat, and breathing in smoke is pretty much the worst thing ever a I struggle down the trail. Kudos to you City of Houston!!

5.  At about 2.5 miles a bug flew directly into my eye. Listen, it was a BIG bug and it hurt a lot. For about a solid mile after that, I was convinced it was a bee and that it stung my eyeball (turns out it wasn't). I'm sure I looked crazy running with one hand holding my eyelid up and letting years stream down. 

6.  Speaking of ouch, holy thigh chafing.!!  I've never had to put Body Glide down there before, but it looks like it's on my horizon.  Is this what all you shorts-wearing runners go through?!?!  Or do you all have a "thigh gap?"  I just showed my husband the result of today's run (I will spare you from the picture) and I had to explain to him that I hadn't done anything wrong to create this lovely red mark, except, you know, have thighs. 

And finally,
Okay, so maybe there is still some Sunday Funday left in me...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It May Not Buy Happiness, but...

I know they say money can't buy happiness, but I'm here to tell you, it can help buy motivation.  Motivation in the form of a bunch of new running shorts, that is.

I've been pretty honest about my lack of motivation lately, and I thought what better way to force myself back on the road than to give myself something to look forward to. Let's face it ladies, we are suckers for new clothes. We will do  anything as long as we can show off our cute new clothes doing it. Heck, if they made stylish, flattering floor scrubbing clothes, I'd probably be on my hands and knees cleaning the kitchen a lot more often (you know, ever).

I've decided, if I'm going to push myself to get out there and back running in the Houston heat, I'm going to have to dress the part. 
I wrote before here about how I'm pretty much a running tights girl, but I think it's time to cave to the heat and get accustomed to running in shorts.  And what better way to do it than with some cute new shorts?!
Here is the lesson:  Sometimes you lose your motivation and finding it again can be really hard and it might take all kinds of tricks to get you back out there, but never underestimate the power of going out there and buying a little ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Message On A Bottle

Yesterday morning, on the way out of the door for the gym, I reached in the cabinet for a water bottle and from the way back, I pulled this one out:

The water bottle was purchased here

I didn't get to share it with you yesterday, so I will tell you today, "We belong to each other."

We belong to each other, so take care of one another and take care with one another. 

Is the Universe Against Me?

Well I was all prepared yesterday morning to hit the gym for a good sweat session.  I was up early and even had a workout plan in hand so I could really start getting back into the swing of my routine.  I was in a seriously good mood as I left for the gym at 5:20 a.m.  And then, BAM!!  I was in a pretty significant and very scary car accident. 
I'm fine.  Very, very minor injuries.  My car is not so fine, however.  I am very thankful for airbags and seatbelts and all of the other wonderful Volva safety features.  I am also very thankful for insurance.  Mostly I am thankful for my wonderful friends, family, and coworkers who expressed concern and cheered me up.
Being in a wreck like that reminds you of how quickly something truly terrible can happen.  How everything can change in a second.  It reminds you of what the really important things in life are and what just isn't so important.  In a weird way, as sh&*ty as  the wreck was, it made me realize what I should be appreciative for. 
That said, I have to ask: What exactly does the Universe have against me being in shape?!?!  I'm pretty sure being t-boned by an SUV was a cosmic way of saying, "Don't workout, go back to bed!!"
Aren't car wrecks the worst!?!  Have you ever been in one?  I swear you never stop seeing it/hearing it. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Have a Blog About Running, But....

Here is the honest truth:  I have a blog about running (loosely), but I don't want to run. I really, really don't want to run. This is why:

It's hot here. VERY HOT!  I know I've written about running in the heat and humidity before, but I just can't find the motivation to get out there. This morning I sat for a very long time reading motivational running quotes trying to get myself excited to get out there. It never worked. There was only thing that actually got me out there in that "feels like 95" degree weather, and that one thing was you.

You were the only reason I kept going, even though that voice in my head was SCREAMING at me to stop and call husband for a ride home (well, you and the knowledge that my husband was sound asleep and wouldn't hear my call). And, I was pretty annoyed at you the whole time. I didn't want to run before I started and once I was into it, all I wanted to do was quit. And once it was over, all I wanted to do was collapse on the floor in a ball of sweat. But no, you wouldn't let me.

Here is my dilemma: I write this blog that really requires me to run, but I don't feel like running. Do I stop writing?  Do I stop running?  I can't really imagine doing either of those. How can I quit when I've spent over a year telling you not to quit?  How can I say the long run is feeling too hard for me when I've done nothing but assure you that, no matter what, you can get through the long run?  I guess I can't. 

So here is the deal, I think I'm really going to need you guys for a while. I need you to continue being my motivation while I can't find any of my own. I need your help to keep me running. It may not be pretty. Okay, it won't be pretty at all. But together, maybe we can get through. 

        (Told you it wouldn't be pretty)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Views

Well, we are back at it in Houston and I can't lie, the views just aren't the same here:

Running (or to be honest, elliptical-ing) just isn't the same without being able to stare at a church or palace from the 12th century.  As lovely as our newscasters are, sweating it out in front of the TV just doesn't compare to hiking the calanques next to the Côte d'Azur. Oh Houston, I love you so, but the views here are somewhat less than inspiring. 

But still, here I am. Sweating it out and, hopefully, working a little off. Turns out, all of that bread and cheese and pasta and wine adds up and this body doesn't quite fit into my running tights like it did before we left. That's okay, I'm not complaining. I loved every minute of indulgence overseas. What would life be without bread and cheese and pasta and wine?!?  It would be no life for me and that is the truth. But, nonetheless, I am glad to be back (a little) and slowly starting to get back into my regular routine. One thing about me and my body, we crave a little routine. Even though my brain and heart rail against the monotony of it sometimes, physically, monotony is good for me. It keeps me on track and dedicated. I like, even when I complain about it, getting up early and getting my sweat on. 

I haven't run in a while though (not run since my Rocky moment in Avignon). After Avignon, I spent time sleeping in and laying out. We didn't totally shy away from physical activity. We kayaked several miles one day. Another day we hiked for hours. Every day we walked everywhere we went, which included a lot of pretty steep uphill climbs. But, no running. I know I need to, but I just haven't been able motivate myself yet. I'm going to blame it on jet lag... 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What you are seeing.

What you are seeing here folks is the result of too much French food and wine combined with a runner's heart.  The food and wine won out. I set my running clothes and shoes out before bed, set my alarm for early morning, woke up and put said shoes and clothes on, and then promptly crawled back into bed. It's not often you wake up in running shoes. 
Ps-- I think I need to change the name of this blog to "Lessons Learned On Bread and Wine."  It will be a lot less motivating but pretty filling!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What I didn't do...

Guess what I didn't do.....

That's right, I didn't run these (Rampes St. Martin- yep, there are so many they have their own name). My calves are still screaming at me for my Rocky moment in Avignon.  In all fairness, I have walked them a couple of times while sightseeing.

Just thought I would share some of the beauty of Menton, France. 

The French lifestyle (stay up all night, sleep through the morning, and then start eating, drinking, and beaching) isn't so suited for us runners. But I am learning to adjust...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rocky's Got Nothing

Rocky doesn't have sh$t on me!  Forget the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I ran the steps of the Wall of Avignon, France this morning. 

And if French people didn't already think that we Americans were uncouth, I absolutely would have thrown my hands up Rocky style at the top. But instead, I'm just posting this blog....

***This run was done in Avignon, France.  The stairs climb the city wall.  Avignon is entirely surrounded by a city wall, which is one of the things that make this town so visually stunning. 

I am sad to report that while running France, I only received one runner's wave and, while I couldn't understand what he was saying, I discerned that he was homeless and pretty crazy.  I think it's just a cultural thing, but the runner's wave was not big in France.  It's not that people are rude, far from it, everyone was wonderful in France, it's just that they keep to themselves a little more.  Which, can make the run feel a little lonely, but when you are running to these views, there is no complaining!

However, some things are the same no matter where you run: