All Good Things – Do They Really Have to End?

Ta-da!

Here it is – in all its glory. The big announcement you’ve all been waiting for. Drumroll, please. I have decided to run the Texas Triple! You probably already knew this but I did not. I painstakingly designed the training plan with 13 full weeks of training – give or take the random things that come up. I hope to minimize any obstacles, but you just can’t be so strict as to decide they will never happen. So if you need me on a Sat/Sun/Mon anytime between now and end of May – just look for the nearest treadmill or lake-front track. That’s where I’ll be.

So the paragraph before this very one was what I had originally written for the big reveal. However, I’ve changed my mind. Sorry, folks. I keep reflecting on the weekends I won’t get back and the hours I spent dedicated to running every last mile in preparation for the Texas Double. I’m not ready to commit to such a plan again. Not yet. Maybe next year. At this moment, I’m unemployed and working on my mental, physical, and spiritual growth. I love running. This you know! And I want to incorporate a base-building running plan into my current strength routine. While also maintaining a “normal” weekend routine with my mini.

I know it can be done. I’ve done it before. But it seems a little reckless to begin training (and paying for) a race I don’t know if I’m ready to complete. Maybe this isn’t what you thought was going to be said here – I had my own doubts, too! Yet I know this is the best decision for me at this point in my life. Not to worry, that plan will be utilized. I’m thinking next year!

Lo and behold

Semi-related: Morgan of the Portland Oregon-area Morgans (aka Mo Money Mo Tacos) and I have verbally committed to running Rock’n Roll San Antonio together next December! She also has her own plans to run a Seattle half marathon early summer then train with a group of like-minded crazy runner people in the fall pre-San Antonio. I couldn’t be happier for this unexpected turn of events because after New Orleans about a year ago I was almost entirely certain she’d never run again. Much less with me.

Funny how things turn out.

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I ask you –

Disappointed in my 360° take on the Texas Triple?

Any upcoming activities/events you have planned?

Tacos, tacos, tacos! Tacos for everyone!

Split Training

Now that I’m not running as much, at all really, I’ve carved out some time each day to strength train. Something I noticed toward the final weeks of my last training cycle was my hamstrings seemed to be much weaker than ever before. This may also be the reason I developed a “pulled” inner thigh muscle during Day 1 of the Texas Double. I’m not a doctor; just fairly certain this is what happened and why. So in the off season, I’ve committed to strengthening my whole body to prepare for whatever race I want to do next. If you’ve been following along, my previous posts are about an upcoming opportunity but I’ve not made a final decision yet.

Balance and grace

All this being said, I was originally trained using a split training program, i.e. a different body part is trained each day with at least a full 24 hours of rest between muscle groups. Even though I know this isn’t the only way to strength train…and maybe not the best way anymore…I still function well under these types of workouts. I also experience the most strength and muscle-building results. My real problem is I get so dedicated to one way of doing something I tend to forget to incorporate other aspects of training, like running. I’m a give-it-all-I’ve-got-but-only-to-one-thing type of girl. It borders on obsessive but I didn’t ask for your opinion. Was that mean? I’m sorry. Now I’ve forgotten where I was going with this conversation.

Oh yes. I’m back! Split training gets a bad rap because it’s very unilateral. Think about it. Anyone anywhere can have all the gym equipment they want. With a big enough garage or home, you can purchase every bench and dumbbell available to use at your leisure. Those people who walk around in a very hulk-like manner that can’t touch their toes or lay their arms flat against their sides? Good for them, but is that the definition of true fitness? They can lift a car. Can they pick up a pen off the floor? If they needed to run across the parking lot in the rain, would they be gasping for air?

The tiny tricep

All good questions, none of which I can answer. Every body is so different. Mine just happens to respond well when I give each part of me my undivided attention for approximately 45 mins/day. Even my mental health needs one-on-one attention. But even with all this attention focused on my needs, the body wants what the body wants. And mine really wants to run. This morning I woke up moody and craving peanut butter. That’s my typical PMS symptoms, for anyone who didn’t care to know. To combat the grumpiness, I walked on the treadmill for about an hour. It helped. While walking, it occurred to me I miss running. Even with the break I said I would take and the strength training goals I have, nothing compares to that feeling of your heart’s rhythmic beating and the sound of your feet propelling you forward. Except for people who loathe this kind of thing.

A happy medium exists somewhere for someone. Maybe not me, not yet. Perhaps this was the answer I was waiting for in order to commit to the triple endeavor. Even when I can’t wait for the training cycle to be over, it only takes a few weeks for the itch to run to return. Or else I really need to work on running and lifting at the same time.

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I ask you –

Do you ever have a need to DO something?

Split training fan or no? If not, what training methodology do you subscribe to?

No apologies for oversharing. Get over it.

Random Day, part 36

In typical Running On Fumes fashion, here are several random thoughts to start your morning:

Many years ago, before I joined the Navy, my best friend and I stumbled – quite possibly literally – into a venue in Ft. Worth. As several mullet-bedazzled men in cutoff jean shorts and fanny packs took the stage, we were appalled. Our lives were forever changed. Introducing The Mullet Boyz! 3 intentional concerts later, any chance I have to see them I take. Like rock music and cowbell? I encourage you to visit us in Texas to see The Mullet Boyz! Sorry, they don’t play anywhere else. I tried to get them to come to Florida once. No dice.

A night of insanity – and so much fun!

Recently I discovered my blog audience includes one of my Anytime Fitness bosses. Guess I shouldn’t have made all those jokes. Though very taken aback, I am also secretly, not so secretly, proud and amazed. But I’m upset with myself because I’ve never given them the credit they are due. It was because of them I received the huge opportunity to write this blog. They hired me upon my return to Texas almost a year ago and have been nothing short of encouraging and accommodating. As a family running a family business with many other projects being run simultaneously, I can’t imagine how lively their holiday gatherings must get! And they’re originally from “up North” so the colorful language and accent are, by far, my favorite! We get along well. If you ever have a chance to do business or work for anyone in the Destefano family, please acknowledge you are a part of their family. And make sure you laugh at their jokes – up North and all.

Clean clothes, clean bear

Meet Mister Bear. Pronounced “Mist-uh Bay-yuh”. He’s been a staple of our household for approximately 4 years. Like a loyal teddy bear, he sleeps with us, occasionally eats dinner with us, and has his very own wardrobe which consists of “sleeping panties and a t-shirt”. Yes, I know he has a male prefix; I don’t make the rules around here. Clearly. You see, Mister Bear is my Munchkin’s lovey. In case you haven’t figured that out. And when she’s not home, it’s my job to wash his clothes and make sure he is happy. He’s an integral part of this family. …one time, I forgot to bring him on our road trip. Cue the mom tears. I felt so bad. My mini was devastated and the look of ‘HOW COULD YOU?!’ still haunt me. Not even joking right now. We’ve all only barely recovered from such a traumatic experience.

Training. I think I was supposed to start last week. Ooops. What with the snow and some other things to deal with, my plan is still in progress. Technically, I’m not late. Yet. I’m hashing out a few more small details then I’ll get started. If you negate the 4 hours I was driving each day, theoretically I should have all this extra time to run, right? But much like not paying for a coffee each day and putting that money into savings, something always comes up to spend it on instead. Time is the exact same way. I tell myself I’ll get up early and do something smart, but what really happens is I play gummies for another hour and get nothing done. Time management trickery.

I’ll keep you posted on the continuation of my sh*t show!

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I ask you –

Favorite obscure artists/band?

Have you ever worked in a family business? Perhaps you run your own business?

Tell me you also had a lovey. Bonus points if you still have him/her/it!

Snow Day! (but not for all of us) + Other News

Lake effect

As you can guess by now, the drive impacts many portions of my life, including work. So with personal things going on plus the chance for copious amounts of snow and ice, the decision was made for me to work from home. Good thing, too, because the Texas weather dictated a few hours of ice before the snow which makes driving obviously treacherous. As I stared out the kitchen window from the safe and warm confines of today’s workplace, i.e. my kitchen table, I hear children playing while the snow pelts the lake behind my house. It’s definitely beautiful, but I’m lucky to not have to be out in it.

Unfortunately for my co-workers, the snow in my part of Texas did not share its presence with them. A mere 2 hours away, all they’ve received is rain and above-freezing temperatures. Sucks for them. Sort of. This precarious balance of weather, work, and life brings me to my other news.

Do they make seat warmers for outdoor furniture?

I have resigned from my position within Anytime Fitness. The drive and the toll it has taken on my mental well-being came to a point I can no longer handle. I’m fairly certain if not for the car accident a few weeks ago, I would still be making the commute. To be clear, I love my career in fitness, especially with Anytime Fitness. The opportunities I have been presented overwhelm my heart and soul. The stories I’ve been blessed to hear, the incredible people I’ve met, and the generous work of my owners and their family will not be forgotten. This journey in fitness will continue for me and them but in separate capacities. These past 9 months have been incredible.

Do people still use pencils?

So what will I do now? I’m not fully certain at this point. Not drive? There are some other career passions on the horizon for me, I’m sure. I will regain the confidence necessary to drive in all weather conditions. And I will never take for granted the relatively simple task of traversing the roadways with other drivers. Also, I will continue blogging, right here, same time as always. These posts have become a sort of therapy for me – many emotions have splayed across these pages. I try to share the obvious, the not so obvious, and the deeper parts of myself in hopes I can reach others who may be struggling, too.

Thanks to each one of you, I believe life is a series of stepping stones. Some are slippery and covered in mud; others are a brilliant square of marbled beauty.

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I ask you –

Do you play in the snow or stay inside?

How much hot cocoa is enough?

Tell me your career passions. Entrepreneurs?

Season of Sickness

Seems I had it coming. It was bound to happen. Your body can only stand being coughed on so many times before it becomes overwhelmed and can’t fight all the germs it comes into contact with. Everyone in our family has had whatever this is on an alternating basis for weeks. From yucky, runny noses to the open-mouthed, deep in the chest cough my mini human shares so willingly with me. Ewwww. It’s just no wonder!

Needy child, not pictured

But being the stubborn woman I am, I fought it tooth and nail. And with a minuscule amount of DayQuil because I fall asleep after taking anything. There was a full 24 hours where my voice toggled between a pubescent boy and a frog’s croak. I think everyone around me enjoyed this immensely. Blessed silence! And I had the most insane dreams – that’s for another day.

It seems we’ve all survived. The parents are cured, the husband isn’t milking it for all it’s worth anymore, and the munchkin only wants medicine if it includes honey. Me? Oh, I’m fine. A mother’s work is never done. All I got was a poor pitiful look and the request for more snacks. I swear I could be on my death bed and someone would still find me to ask for a da*n snack! I continued to tip-toe around the house careful not to disturb anyone’s slumber (because…sick), go to work, and field a litany of phone calls (sans voice). Where’s my celebratory snack?!?!

For the love of all that’s holy, please just wash your hands

With this world succumbing to the flu, coronavirus, and everything else, the simplest task does the most to prevent illness. Wanna guess what it is? Wash your hands. That’s all there is to it. Wash your hands. Every time I shake someone’s hand or touch a piece of equipment, the amount of grossness I encounter disgusts me. Surprisingly your skin doesn’t wash off. So if that’s your excuse not to wash your hands, consider this myth debunked. Wash your hands, please! Use soap and scrub under your fingernails and between your fingers. Sing happy birthday to yourself. Just do it!

End of this PSA. Lastly, don’t drink bleach, you idiots. Why are we still having to tell people not to do this? Morons.

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I ask you –

Do you skip washing your hands? – please don’t tell me if you do; I’m already appalled

Did you know hand sanitizer does not double as hand washing? – wash your da*n hands!

Tell me the other stupid things you’ve seen/heard suggested to prevent illness.

Planning, Planning, Planning / Update

Choices are difficult

To prepare for a decision, I enjoy overwhelming my already anxiety-ridden mind by processing every single thing that could go wrong and then changing a few small details to ensure the outcome of my choosing. In other words, prepare for the worst and expect the best. Or is it the other way? Same thing. There are a few other variables to committing to this plan I’m still debating. So I’m not fully ready to say yes, I’m doing it. Not yet.

I’m in the beginning stages of formulating a training plan for the Texas Triple. Mostly I’ve decided to do a 12 week cycle and only run 4 days a week – 3 of those days will be back-to-back to simulate the triple part of this silliness. I find it funny how everyone I’ve spoken to about this endeavor is very encouraging. That’s because you’re not the one doing it! My goal is to spend the remaining days of the week focusing on strength and prehab, aka making sure I don’t get injured.

Obviously this is a preliminary plan and you know how that goes. Wild eye roll. The best of intentions have a way of traversing down a path towards hell. Major swerve to get back on course. But then it’s all sunshine and rainbows! Haha, I wish. The bright side is my summer body will be in tiptop shape!

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I ask you –

Is this still the craziest idea I’ve ever had?

Spring/summer plans?

Give me all the tips on making sure I stay injury-free!

Cultural Norms of Fitness

Badminton in Bangladesh?! Sign me up! I adore badminton. It was one of those childlike sports I truly excelled at. Of course, my only competitor was my sister and it was the only sport offered in our front yard, but hey…

Racket and shuttlecock – technical terms

For Chinese culture, fitness is considered more about socializing than what we traditionally refer to as working out.

In Columbia, Sunday’s may well be reserved for runners and cyclists to take to the streets.

In begs to be stated and cannot be overlooked, most fitness-related activities and sports in general are attended to by young men. Women may have not caught on to the pension for fitness; more likely the female population has yet to be allowed to partake in “men’s sports”. A few publications tell the story of social inequality when it comes to fitness, particularly the ability/inability for a certain race/sex/culture to gain access to standardized “fitness” facilities. However, with many gyms offering a range of price points, I think it difficult to concede there’s not a financial option for most people. That being said, I’ve not experienced this in any other place except the United States. What happens elsewhere I have no idea. I would hope gym discrimination isn’t a thing though.

From here to there

From the well known bodybuilders to athletes of other sports, fitness has served well to bring us together. Imagine the Olympics and the New York City Marathon. Global athletes come together to do what they do best and we cheer them on from the comfort of our couches and speak about them in the office like we’re their biggest fans. Because we are! Fitness unites humankind in a basic way. Athletics is now big business. Sure, we can debate all day about the sheer amount of money thrown at major league and professional athletes but what they do is extraordinary and can’t be taken lightly. Sports and fitness are entertaining, at the very least. But what about the little people?! Like me and you!

Our world has undergone so many changes from societal norms to viewpoints. It’s incredible but also very overwhelming. The people I meet share one thing: their stories. Each has a gift. What it looks like varies widely. But it’s their gift to be shared at their choosing. I count myself as one of the lucky ones to be able to have an opportunity to simply listen with my heart and eyes wide open. Fitness may look like nothing I’ve ever seen from one country to the next. But fitness unites us all in a basic way.

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I ask you –

Have you experienced a gym or sport in another country? Tell me about it!

For you travel bugs: any place you’d like to (re)visit?

Where’s my badminton players?! – I excel so beware!