Runners and their Ramblings

While running, I like to have long conversations with myself. Truth be told, I do this even when not running. A few gems:

Sometimes we feel limited by things we can’t control. One way to overcome these limits is to change your thinking. For example, pair limits with overcome. I have the ability to overcome my limits. Take responsibility.

SHMC. Otherwise known as shmuck. Not the derogatory term for an idiot. This acronym is my check-in during running. S – sweating: am I? Because I should be. H – headache: do I have one? Because it’s one of the first signs pointing to danger of heat-related illness. M – mouth: is it dry or wet? Dry mouth can signal dehydration. C – cramps: another telltale sign of heat-related problems. Every mile, I run through the SHMC checklist.

Running essentials

Do you know what tastes good during a long run? Besides an ice cream cone. Jelly beans! A race several years ago gave us jelly beans around mile 10 and I’ve never forgotten how amazing they were. So I did some research and was happily surprised the fuel I typically use during a run has about the same calories and carbs as jelly beans. And jelly beans are much cheaper! I’m now the proud owner of a huge bag o’ beans. Win!

Aftermath of the first 10 miler in the training cycle

I find it hard to believe I will complete training runs longer than half marathon distance. Now I know this seems like a big duh moment, but it still blows my mind. The satisfaction I find in 13.1 miles is so comfortable to me. How do I run 26.2? How do I even mentally train for it? I remember experiencing every single emotion while running my first half: joy, elation, surprise, fear, pain, sadness. You name it – I went through it. I did receive some strange looks while running and crying. When they asked if I was ok, I said yes. They probably thought I was lying. It’s hard to imagine what I’ll feel that day. The mind takes us down some crazy roads when there’s nothing to focus on except footfall and breathing. I typically zone out and come to wondering where am I?

There’s still time to become accustomed to these thoughts. But it is fading fast.

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I ask you –

How often do you talk to yourself? Bonus points if you never stop!

Do you like jelly beans? Have you tried the yucky flavors, too?

Share a time when others didn’t understand your emotions.

Grassy Colors

Just as often as I crave sweet treats, my body craves vegetables. Ok, maybe not “just” as often. I enjoy my workday lunch of grilled chicken salad. Really, I do! But as it continues to heat up outside, I find myself seeking out new recipes for Brussels sprouts, green peppers, and fresh corn. If I didn’t love meat and fish, I would find it easy to subscribe to a vegetarian way of life. The more colors the better! There’s very few I don’t enjoy; then again you can fry anything and I’ll most likely eat it.

Shades of green

Perhaps it’s way off, but I once had a headache for a month while on a long underway. 30. Straight. Days. Sure, the Navy isn’t known for being relaxing, but no amount of rest, ibuprofen, or caffeine helped. Eventually diagnosed with migraines, I thought for sure that was the end of it, but it took some time to realize my nutrition played a large role. Onboard the ship, the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables begins to lag as time goes on. Naturally things spoil. And no matter how much iceberg lettuce I would eat, the headaches would return. Much research has been done on the link between what we eat and migraine triggers, although I’ve heard more about chocolate and some “-hypnols” than anything else. Maybe I’m on to something.

Veggie Scramble

Call it what you will: placebo effect, wishful thinking, whatever you like. However, intuitive eating is possibly more important than anything else. When my body has had enough cookies, I know. And when it says hold up lady it’s time for greenery, again, I listen. Thankfully I was raised with a deep appreciation for fresh-from-the-garden wares (although I suck at gardening). My parents would spend weeks cooking and canning fresh salsa, okra, and pickled everything. Oddly enough to me, many children aren’t exposed to this natural, live off the land upbringing now. Even then it was becoming obvious this way of life was falling by the wayside. Long gone times.

On a lighter note, my strengths include shelling purple hulled peas and endlessly complaining about ants. But…if you need some help pulling weeds or over-watering your plants, I’m your girl. Pay no attention to me stealing your vegetables.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love vegetables?

Name your favorite veggies!

Did you have a childhood garden or know someone who did?

Making Changes

A game changer for sure. This short documentary shocked my whole system. I know I’ve previously mentioned intuitive eating, but making the switch to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is something I’ve never considered. Until now.

Remember the post a few weeks ago (or was it just last week?) where I mentioned craving vegetables? It’s gotten worse. If you can even imagine. I literally can’t get enough. Bizarre at best. And it’s been surprisingly easy to not eat meat. My usual post-run veggie scramble was a little tricky though. The urge to add eggs almost derailed me, but with a quick reminder all the protein I truly need is found in the vegetables I added.

Bell pepper, spinach, cilantro, and tomatoes. And a peach

I ordered a salad and felt no desire to add chicken. During a chili dog dinner, at the request of mini me, I made a Frito chili pie instead. Yes, chili is often made of meat, but baby steps. Not sure where this journey is taking me – I’m just along for the ride. The strange looks among a family of carnivores is slightly unnerving. They’ll get over it. Can you imagine my first Thanksgiving as vegetarian?! Oh the mutiny. Although why it’s anyone else’s business I’ll never know. Moving on…

Clearly I have no timeline for this rather large change. The best information I’ve read is to start slow: substituting meatless meals or meatless days, then gradually crossing over to entirely no meat. To be frank, I have no problem with animals and my basis is not about animal rights (if this is your viewpoint, great!). I’m most interested in the physical and performance variations of those who consume animal proteins and those who do not. My research has taken me down some winding roads concerning blood quality, inflammation, and arterial dilation post-animal protein consumption. It does make sense most animals eat plants; therefore, a plant-based diet is the foundation for all creatures. Why should my body not thrive in this same environment providing I ingest enough proteins, carbs, and other essential elements from plants? And even if I don’t see a measurable difference, what have I wasted except my own time? But what if I learn to fly?!?!

I’m soliciting advice from other non-meat-eating peoples. Send them my way!

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I ask you –

Have you watched the documentary? What was your take on it?

Is this a crazy idea? Can’t be any worse than my others.

Share your thoughts on vegetarians because we all know the stereotypes exist.

Solid Work Takes Time

I like to manage projects, but I don’t always complete them in a timely manner.

Background: I bought an old chest approximately 11 months ago. Completion time: 11 months. Difficulty level: 2. Same issue, different project. Background: My dad custom built a shadow box for my Navy memorabilia. Completion time: (him) 1 month, max. (me) 24 months. Difficulty level: (him) 4. (me) 1.

Moral of the story: if you expect me to get things done in a hurry, please lower your expectations. But, on the bright side, I completed 2 projects this summer! For past information on the chest renovations, you may visit this post: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/running-on-fumes.blog/776.

Now I have the utmost pleasure to reveal…..Ta-Da!! He completed it and I (finally) filled it. Better late than never, right?

As for the chest, in my defense, I was solely responsible for the stripping, sanding, painting, re-assembling, and decorating, among other woodworking things. I didn’t want to rush it lest I mess something up. And when I started it, I was working a million hours a week so naturally the time I could devote was a small fraction of what is available to me now. I mean anything can be an excuse, right? Overall, I’m super impressed by my own work. The simple understatements of the chest serve my purpose. My mini aptly refers to it as a treasure chest and our next project is to find and paint a miniature version just for her.

Stand by to stand by.

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I ask you –

Who built it better: dad (shadow box) or me (chest)? My feelings won’t be hurt. I’m blessed to have a dad who is both handy and creative. He made my vision come alive.

On average, how long does it take you to complete a project?

Ideas for my next project(s)?

Local Event and Saturday Morning Wine

Do not ride

After some deep thinking (and a radio bit I caught on the way to the gym), it rings true those without a sense of community have a harder time coping with life in general. By community I mean feeling included in what’s going on your local area, as well as the ability to impact any decisions made within. Feeling a little like being on the fence, a community event I’ve been wanting to explore is the market of farmers!

Tables of wares

There’s something innocent yet thrilling about waking up early to ditch your run until later in the day in order to peruse fruits and vegetables. Not everyone feels this way? Why not? I also heard there would be jam, jelly, and fruit pops. Count me in! P.S. I did not forgo the run. It was a very long day. More on that later.

My loot included a huge basket of juicy peaches from a local orchard (Morath Orchards) and 3 small, round lemon cucumbers. The lovely woman whose parents own the farm from which they were picked said the rind does have a lemony taste, the seeds are delicious, and they’re much better than any “normal” cucumber she’s ever tasted. I’ve always been on the fence about cucumbers, but I do enjoy English cucumbers so I decided to try something new.

Mr. Scott Poenitzsch of Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard and Winery

What community doesn’t include wine?! I knew this was a great idea! The real beauty is the fact Horseshoe Bend Cellars is less than 5 miles from my home. Yes, I knew they were close but I hadn’t yet made it a priority to visit and now with the strange times we live in I’ve only prolonged my ability to frequently visit. From what I was told, the owners regularly host murder mystery events which include wine and dinner and all the mayhem one can expect at a winery. I can’t wait to attend!

You can find me here every Saturday for the foreseeable future. I’ll be the one stumbling about – wine glass in one hand and peach pops in the other. I’m kind of hard to miss.

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I ask you –

When was the last time you visited the Farmers Market?

Name your preference: fruits or vegetables?

Tell me what community means to you.

Adventures

Guadalupe Mountains

West Texas has many of the same features as San Diego, minus the obvious SD weather and, you know, the ocean. Details. Besides being hotter than the surface of the sun, a short visit proved successful. And I was careful to avoid heat exhaustion. Goal: drink at least a gallon of water per day.

Do you know how tough it is to drink that much water? It’s hard! For whatever time I’m not drinking, I’m going to the bathroom. An endless cycle. But I digress.

Franklin Mountains

There’s really not much between NE Texas and W Texas. I mean that quite literally. Emphasis on NOTHING. Wind farms, two lane roads, pump jacks, and desolation. Oh, lest I forget tractors for aforementioned desolation. Most of the roads are 75 mph with no police presence to prohibit you from doing 80+. I don’t trust bare fields with their wild cattle and brazen deer so I kept it to a modest 70. Unfortunately for you all, my loyal readers, I forgot my camera, but I would have loved to share photos of dusty, minimally-inhabited downtown squares reminiscent of days gone by. The love I have for old photos such as that prompted a future post of my current city. Standby.

Wind turbines in the distance

Not that I know much about wind farms, but I do find them fascinating. From a distance they can look so small in comparison to the oversize load tractor trailers who cart their wings down the highways. I’ve heard – or seen, rather – signs and rallies proclaiming the negativity of wind farms; apparently the sound alone is enough to drive people nuts. No se. Spoken from an ignorant mindset, I really don’t know what else could be done on the open fields of such a huge expanse of land, besides solar panels, which I also saw huge “farms” of dotting the land. For miles and miles, it was either wind farms or solar farms. Energy is big business. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, just simply reporting on what I saw.

From a generalized standpoint, the people I came into contact with are very unpretentious and quite friendly. What state uses the slogan the land/home of friendly living? Maybe it’s a city? But I guess when it’s so hot and there’s really not much to do, it is expected everyone is struggling and why not give them a break. Nonetheless, I’d suggest visiting at a time when there’s leaves on the trees (Jokes. There were very few trees.) or when things fully reopen because this closing at 8pm trend is a little frustrating.

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I ask you –

Ever ventured out into the wild wild west, Texas or otherwise?

Have you experienced wind or solar farms?

Living in the desert: pros/cons. Go!

Eat, Sleep, Run

“…I don’t like training. I love competing.”

Usain Bolt, Olympic Gold Medalist
Available on Netflix

It can be a struggle to find a show both inspiring and fast paced to get me through a run. I Am Bolt did it for me. Highly recommend!

On another note, can it just be winter now? Between the heat and the occasional rain which makes it unbearably humid, Texas is shaping up to be exactly how I remembered it. Think showering outside with all your clothes on. In the desert. That’s my take on it.

My grocery bill skyrockets during a training cycle. All I do is meal prep, eat, think about what I’m eating next, and plan when to eat. A whole different type of cycle. And the sweets! Running makes my sweet tooth crowd out the boundaries.

A sleep schedule is the biggest joke though. Working from home means I’m not required to go to bed at any decent hour. So I don’t. Who am I? 10pm, 11pm, whatever time I finally feel like closing my eyes. Because it’s not like I’ve done much during the day so it’s no surprise I’m not tired. Repeat daily until bedtime is a thing of the past or we return to a “normal” world. Whichever comes first.

I watch a lot of cooking shows…while running…and find myself getting sleepy. If only these 3 things could fall in line.

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I ask you –

Name your top 3 daily activities.

What’s the average temperatures where you are?

Do you have a regular bedtime? What about the weekends?

Nuance. The Polite Term.

If only we were so lucky

As promised (or threatened, whichever way you choose to see it), the inevitable post on things that annoy me. Pull up a chair. These are numbered only for you to comment on your favorites; in no way does it signify preference.

  1. The populations’ propensity to legally plagiarize another’s words. As the saying goes: imitation is the highest form of flattery. I disagree. It’s okay to occasionally repost and republish memes, etc on your social media account, but if you have time to repeatedly do this throughout the day, then you have time to come up with something original.
  2. A previously mentioned annoyance: wearing a mask the incorrect way. If your nose is uncovered, you’re doing it wrong. Look it up. Perhaps you could use your imitation time (See: #1) for self education.
  3. Lack of common courtesy. Move yourself and your shopping cart out of the middle of the aisle. Give the right of way. Use some situational awareness! I actually see this more on the running trails and tracks than anywhere else. It’s not designed for 4 abreast. Get out of the way!
  4. The amount of emails I receive is ridiculous. It’s mostly junk or advertisements, but what most annoys me is I signed up for these things! Sometimes I spend much longer than necessary debating should I unsubscribe. Then again, when we receive junk mail, for a minute don’t we get excited there was actually mail in the mailbox?
  5. When I have to pee really bad and can’t find the tampon string. Sorry, maybe I should have put a warning on this one. Ladies, you get me.
You can draw your own conclusions

The polite thing to do here would be to leave you with a tiny glimmer of my humility and good-natured humor. But what would a mostly complaining post be without some cynicism? I received the Newcomer’s Award during the 2nd Quarter Awards in my workplace. Truth: someone took the time and effort to nominate me and route a package. Cynic: with hiring at low levels, fairly certain I was the only option. Realist: I’m quite flattered and proud of my first award in what I hope amounts to a long line of many.

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I ask you –

Can you relate to any of my complaints? Which one really hits home?

Please share your additions to the above list!

What award are you most proud of? Extra points to something with the words “Guinness” and “World Record”.

Matters of the Heart

Quite possibly there may be nothing more difficult than repairing a friendship. Even running very long distances doesn’t compare. Physical work can be trained for; emotional work requires time and patience. If it was so easy to chalk it up to a simple misunderstanding, perhaps we could do the I’m sorry routine, hug, and all would be right in the world again.

This is us

Adult human relationship just aren’t this easy. Or if they are, I have not located them. Believe it or not, I don’t share everything here. If you thought I did, so sorry. Long story short, my best friend of over 15 years and I disagreed on some fundamental beliefs. Now before you wonder how these belief systems could have never come up in all the years before, rest assured they did. She and I agreed to disagree; best friends are like that. As with any strong relationship, we vowed to support the other while remaining true to ourselves.

Upon moving back to Texas, I began to see things I wasn’t comfortable with and I felt impacted the small girl I am responsible for raising into a strong, capable, independent woman. I believed her fairy godmother was on a path impossible to continue overlooking. In all fairness, I have also been down some troubled paths and was never truly confronted about them. For this I’ve asked much forgiveness.

Maybe unforgivable though was my best friend was facing a complicated, unfair time in her own life. One I promised to be there for her through. Instead, I bowed out ungracefully. Be kind. I’m no saint. And so this brings you up to speed on the last 10 +/- months.

We may be clowns but guaranteed we have the most fun

The repair part of this discussion is slow going. We have short bursts of conversation and try to leave the past behind. Our tone is guarded. As to be expected. Will we ever find a new path, together? I honestly don’t know, but I have hope. One doesn’t quit a decade long relationship without giving everything they’ve got to make it successful.

Best night of our life

I realize this isn’t the post many of you are accustomed to; however, on the off chance my best friend finds it, maybe it will serve its purpose. Love finds a way.

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I ask you –

Words of advice?

How long have you and your best friend been a part of each other’s lives?

Tell me how you and your friend met. She and I worked together. I was responsible for training her (I think) and she got in my face to demand why I was “talking sh*t about my family”. I hadn’t said anything about her family, my ex-husband had but you know how small towns are. From then on, we were inseperable.

Training Update

There’s a tiny voice inside me still not believing my fall marathon will actually happen. Nearly every week, I see reports of more races being cancelled. However, instead of letting that voice take over, I continue to train and follow my plan. Except for that one time a few weeks ago. Struggle city.

Keep reminding myself

Currently, I weigh about 150 lbs. Never thought I’d disclose that outside of a doctor’s office. You see, I struggle with my weight; not on the heavy side but on the lower side. When I don’t like what the scale says, I just stop eating completely…so I’m having a tough time accepting this number because it’s only 10 lbs less than what I weighed when I gave birth. My mind tells me well if you’re not creating a human right now then why does the scale think you are?

The easy answer is I’m strength training consistently 5 days a week. Muscle weighs more than fat. Behind-the-scenes there’s a lot going on. Typically during a training cycle I quit lifting – usually because I don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to it, as well as my own personal belief that if you weigh less, it’s easier to run. I honestly don’t know the truth about it. Now I have time to do both. The only workouts I don’t do are lower body because I intend to keep my legs as fresh as possible. Soccer body.

I know as my runs get longer, faster, and harder my weight will find a new norm. And I will embrace it as best I can. Seeing as how I’ve never been able (or willing) to accommodate both types of training during a run cycle, there’s much to learn. Short of giving up on strength training to change a number on the scale, what could this really serve? Probably nothing.

all the Navy references

I certainly don’t look like I’m any amount of time from expelling a human from my body (unless I eat a whole cake) so I’m good there! I quite like the easy way those dumbbells move overhead. My run pace is still on par with last cycle’s paces. And there’s still room in my day for cookies. Let this be a lesson in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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I ask you –

50/50 on the fall marathon chances? Or less?

Where did the term “food baby” originate?

Personal motto: “If I can’t fix it, I’ll break it!”