Blog Posts

As It Goes

“We’re not depressed, we’re discouraged.”

How often do we – the collective – find ourselves down, tired to the point of exhaustion, sad, or unmotivated? Pot, Kettle.

Credit: word porn via Instagram

I manage to find small ways to “fill my bucket”, so to speak. Seasons in life require us to take from one bucket to pour into another just to stay afloat. Anyone want to juggle?! At the end of the day, after filling countless buckets that may not even be mine, recharging my batteries – aka filling my bucket – is top priority. This isn’t relegated to end of day either!

Taking Care of You!

What do you enjoy doing? How do you fill your bucket? It’s easy to find myself saying I’ll go see them (insert whomever) soon or I’ll call them tomorrow or, my personal favorite, I’ll add it to my list! Which list, Kel? Then I never get around to it and my bucket is filled with other things and what-do-you-know it never happens. Supplies!!

Bucket filling can be as simple as taking a walk around a bookstore and indulging in expensive coffee. For me, I visit my children’s shelter coworkers. Those women know how to make me laugh. And they remind me where I came from…a 19 yr old girl missing pieces of her heart. She was a mess. They know more about what I believe in than any words could convey. We laugh, cry, and share what it means to be a true friend. They fill a bucket within me.

Taking Care of Others!

Perhaps you fill a bucket for someone else; you probably don’t even realize what you’re doing. It can be a kind word, a text, a joke, even a smile. You know the feeling you get when someone says they saw something the other day that reminded them of you? Unless it involves cops. It only takes a second for you to give the gift of water into an empty pail.

Speak good things into another’s life! How convenient we find it to blame, ridicule, or negate someone else’s happiness when it really shows how empty our bucket truly is. The “you never”s are a reflection of our own insecurities. You know that saying about ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’? Start being it.

As far as discouragement goes, I firmly acknowledge depression is real. It manifests physically, mentally, and spiritually. However, I believe, more often than not, we are more discouraged than depressed. Life lets us down. We get in our own way. Discouragement + empty buckets = sadness, loss of hope, etc.

Taking It All In!

Recognize your buckets! Share your struggles! Feel free to juggle, but don’t live on the Merry Go Round of Paul & Peter. You know, robbing Peter to pay Paul or however it goes. Stop occasionally. Ask for help!

If all else fails, do you know how much wine a bucket can hold?! Probably a lot…I’m willing to find out!

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I ask you –

Was this helpful at all? Do you understand the concept of buckets?

How often do you unexpectedly reach out to someone to say you’re thinking about them? You don’t remember? Then do it right now!

Please share what works for you when it’s time to refill your bucket!

This one? + She’s Home!

Holiday Half Marathon, circa 10 December, Portland, Oregon.

Oh elevation

It’s just an option. I’m really enjoying “training” during my “off season”. Sounds so professional! This is the time of year where I refuse to run a mile or commit to anything because it’s hot and I don’t fancy dying outdoors under the blazing sun. You really can’t blame me. So the fact I am actually committed to a training plan and – most importantly – STILL RUNNING should be celebrated. Preferably with ice cream!

Right now, I’m a few weeks in to a 10k plan feat. by Garmin. It includes hills and speed runs. Those are now dirty words in my vocabulary and I loathe them. BUT! Those hills and speed (cringe) workouts are going to come in handy when I run at elevation this winter. Provided I don’t freeze to death first.

Better get started on buying for real cold weather running gear. However, I did survive a few sub-zero runs during the February 2021 Texas Blizzard. I’ll be fine!

Speaking of weather acclimation, I stumbled across this great article about heat training, specifically in regards to the Olympic trials postponement the other day. You can read it here. There really are a lot of factors that make up our ability to either acclimate or suffer in hot weather. My fancy new watch tells me I’m now 18% acclimated! If I reach 20%, we’ll all be shocked.

my little love bug

Since mini got home, I haven’t had a ton of time…to myself, to run, to do much except focus on her. I’m not worried. Remember, I’m not training yet.

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I ask you –

What’s next on your race calendar? Anyone running RnR VA Beach next month? My nemesis.

How does running in the heat affect you?

Favorite hot weather treat? Ice cream, hands down!

Key Toe Lyfe Stile

Beyond every ad, article, self-promoting good doer, and television commercial is a person who wants to have the type of lifestyle that just “works” for them. Mine is keto. Before you go off on a tangent about high cholesterol and/or fat, bad genetics, or some version of the previous, I will disclaim I know only what works for me. Me. Ok? Yes, I cheat sometimes. Yes, I’ve fallen off the wagon and bounced awhile. But I keep coming back to it because it makes me feel my best.

Now that I’ve said all this – let me show you a little bit of what it looks like for me. There’s ice cream!

Because I promised ice cream –

one of my favorites
when ice cream for breakfast won’t do
Rebel brand – an expensive treat

I eat a lot of salad. Nearly every day actually. And eggs. Scrambled with as much butter as I desire. Never met a chicken I didn’t like either. Asparagus is always on the menu, along with deep fried Brussels or quick green beans. Truly, I don’t cut out any vegetables except potatoes and corn.

Yes, I eat bread. Yes, I know bread is mostly white flour. But there are several keto-friendly options and I’ve tried many until I found my favorite(s).

(L to R) Sola, Nature’s Own (sugar free), and Braum’s (carb watch)

Cost? I don’t think I spend any more money eating my way than I would if I ate out regularly. The real cost is time. Meal prep takes time. A lot of time. Purchase, thaw, prep vegetables, cook meats, assemble meals, etc etc etc. Eating out definitely has its merits. Steak and meat item prices have risen lately, but chicken is pretty stable for now. I can’t think of one thing that doesn’t have a suitable alternative for every price point. Frozen and canned vegetables are nearly as healthy as fresh ones. The above photo re: bread is comparable to other sliced bread – minus Sola; Sola is expensive for the very small loaf and small slices you get. The point is keto doesn’t have to be expensive.

I am not ever going to try to convince someone my way of life is for them. I know this. I’ve seen keto do amazing things for others (a friend of mine lost over 100 lbs), but please don’t be afraid to try something new if you’re looking for a change. All that’s required is for you to enjoy it, be able to live your life, and feel your best.

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I ask you –

Do you prefer Greek or other types of yogurt?

Have you ever tried a “lose weight quick” diet? How did it work out for you?

Tell me what foods you eat the most! (Yes, coffee does count!)

Outs / Abouts

Has anyone tried one of these? I NEED that pecan caramel cinnamon heavenly thing. Too bad for you other-than-Texas-and-Oklahoma people. Braum’s is ours!

I should just give in

Whilst on a leisurely downtown stroll, I came across this funniness. Red, preferably.

I do love me some wine

And, then, to complete the collection of owning nearly every type of Keurig created. Monopoly, much? I feel like once I’ve run out of these, I might be stuck. So far — Keurig: 3; Me: 1. Why don’t electronics love me like I love them?

Original to Supreme Plus to Elite

My colleagues know me well. I’ve been working very hard towards our new office mantra of “Be the best first impression!” Work early, stay late, big smile, lots of laughter. All the things! Granted, I think I’ve always had a great attitude and work ethic, but there were a few weeks where I was Negative Nancy, for sure. Have you met my friend, Crow? No amount of sugar can make crow taste good. So I got it together and got back to being cheerful.

coffee rewards

Sometimes it may take awhile, but remember there’s always someone else watching.

So laugh loudly and spell correctly!

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I ask you –

Have you been to a Braum’s? Tell me how much you love their ice cream!

What type of coffee maker do you use?

Name something you’re thankful for! Coffee, hugs, ice cream…shall I go on?

Garmin Forerunner 745 – Review

Being a (very long time) promoter of Fitbit, I recently turned the tables and went a different direction.

first run!

1. I love this thing! Technology is my friend, but I was super worried I may not “get it”. Transitioning from a touch screen to real buttons wasn’t as big of a challenge as I anticipated. There’s only 5.

2. Menstrual tracking is by no means considered glamorous. Not in the slightest. However, I had been frustrated with Fitbit because they had very few “symptoms” options when using this feature. Pardon me, but I experience more than just cramps and backache. Hello, estrogen-producing people, this is for you. With Garmin, there’s also a notes section so I can input anything they don’t cover. Fitbit originally had a notes feature, but upon some update many years ago, it disappeared.

3. Training Load. Although I’ve heard from many people who state this designation isn’t always accurate, for now I’m holding it in high regard. To explain training load, Garmin compiles your daily exercise, stress levels, sleep score, and many other data points to recommend whether or not you should be training that day or waiting a determined amount of time. I think the reason some may not agree is because there are more factors involved than just what your watch is tracking, like overall training history. Make sense? If I’m training for a double, then most weeks I will need to run back-to-back. Garmin never recommends this.

4. Size. My schmedium wrist is accommodated by most watch sizes, but it usually involves taking out the final pin. Apparently the Forerunner 945 – the one step up edition from mine – has the largest watch face. Aesthetically speaking…I didn’t want to wear everyday a HUGE watch. Turns out I made a good choice with the 745 because it fits me well.

5. Battery life. Is awesome! I was charging my Fitbit every 2-3 days. Garmin states this watch battery will last 5 days with regular GPS usage. They didn’t lie. Even with internal music controls (which I’ll get to in a moment) and GPS use during most runs, the battery is still going strong at day 5. Surely if I didn’t run or use the music function, it would most likely hold a single charge for 7-10 days.

quick peak into my daily life

6. Music! A new watch requirement was internal music storage and playback. #1 selling point. My Fitbit had the same feature but to add music to it was a work of frustration. It took hours. Not kidding. Garmin Connect (the desktop/user platform) has a great user interface and I added music seamlessly to the program. The volume, song shuffle, and repeat functions on my watch are easily navigated. Also – my biggest issue with Fitbit – is I can toggle between my workout and the music controls WHILE keeping the workout in progress! This is incredible to me because with Fitbit I had to start the music first then start a run. No other order of events would work. And if music suddenly stopped mid-run, the run would have to be completed or ended before I could resume listening. I ran a half marathon without music once and I was livid. Yes, I’m the weirdo who hates carrying their phone. Less is more in terms of phone use mid-run and length of shorts.

7. It coaches me. You’re not the boss of me! Well, apparently it is. It talks to me – guides me, if you will – through workouts. My least favorite thus far are the hill repeats and speed runs. And since these are the only 2 I’ve done, here we are. A very sweet sounding lady I affectionately call the ‘b’ word instructs me on each portion of the run. For example, ‘b’ will say “Run, 0.5 miles, pace 8:40 to 9 mins”. Told ya’. And then if I run too fast, an annoying beeping sound will be emitted into the vicinity of my eardrums. If I run too slow, a different but equally annoying sound will clue me in. Finally, if I’m hitting the pace, a soft, gentle, single tone will be barely heard and I’ll still wonder if I’m doing it right. But really. This is a perk because if I was running my own plan – I usually do – then I would shortchange myself.

8. Lastly (I had to end on an even number) there are sleep tracking, alarm clock, and notification settings I haven’t even begun to explore. Like I mentioned before, sleep data does play a role in training load (see #3) so it really requires no effort from me except to, well, sleep. I’ve heard several complaints about the Fitbit alarm being too soft or gentle to wake anyone. For me, it was fine but I’m a light sleeper and the understated wrist vibration was enough to wake me. Garmin has a tone and/or vibrate option. I’ve been using both for my wake-up time; so far, no complaints. Overall, I don’t enjoy receiving phone calls or text and email notifications on my watch so I always disable this feature. Don’t bother me when I’m running! Maybe eventually I’ll change my mind. For now, running or working out is my ‘me time’. There’s very few things so important to warrant the interruption.

In regards to #6 and the less is more concept, the ability to phone a friend if I’m hurt on the side of the road is also a watch asset. With one long press of a button, my emergency contacts are notified of my location. Though this wouldn’t have helped much on the VA Beach boardwalk.

first workout

But, just in case…

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I ask you –

What’s the most important watch feature for you? Tells time!

Daydream a minute – if you could only have 1 extra watch feature, what would it be? I want fireworks to randomly shoot from mine!

Tell me what you currently have on your wrist! Watch on one, Just Run mantra band on the other.

Day in Photos, pt 210

Pig Pen Mud Volleyball made an appearance again!

Certainly a gloomy, cloudy day. But it only rained once!

Serve
Set

To be transparent: I don’t know any of those people playing, but they were a lot of fun to watch! The above are before photos. The afters were unrecognizable.

But the best part of this was the sprinkler!!! Since I (tried to) run – a speed run – beforehand, the cold water pouring out of it was a lifesaver. Stupid humidity, I’m over it. I called it quits 1 mile into a 4 mile workout.

Cold Watermelon and Sprinklers! Life is good!

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I ask you –

Did you do anything exciting for the 4th of July holiday weekend?

Thoughts on mud volleyball?

Share your favorite summer treat! Ice cream!

(I’m not) Training Update

Since running outside hasn’t been happening, I’ve channeled my inner indoorsy gal and made amends with the treadmill. Then I got myself a free gym membership. It’s been so much fun. Most importantly, there’s air conditioning. I really need to be doing more than just running. I have zero reasons why I can’t. Even if I had issues strength training in front of others – which I don’t – I own the same equipment. No excuses.

gym treadmills seem lower in incline

I’ve had some really good runs though! The photo above was an interval workout with some of my fastest paces ever. Which explains why my quads were sore for days afterwards. Can you still get a good run on the dreadmill? Absolutely! Just not my favorite.

Continuing to visit my favorite running haunts via a slower method of travel. I should be competing in the race walking Olympics. It’s a thing! Standby…

my friends!

One of my favorite aspects of the new watch is how it calculates and recommends what you should be doing that day based on previous patterns, like how you slept and trained the day prior. But of course I don’t take kindly to being bossed around so the first recommendation didn’t go well. We barely know each other, how dare it! It said don’t run today. I said I do what I want. I ran. It was awful. Beginner’s luck, maybe? I tried again the next time. And discovered I should just listen to it. Dammit.

Once work slows down, I’ll research some upcoming races. Maybe I can convince Morgan from Oregon to do another half! Probably time to take myself to the northwest region.

Glad I’ve been doing hill repeats! Especially if these geese keep chasing after me. Me > Geese.

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I ask you –

Do you have a pet name for workout equipment? I don’t. But I should!

What is this sorcery inside my watch that makes it think it knows me?

Give me suggestions for races in or near the Washington or Oregon area! She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to!

Races + Grumblings

“A (wo)man on a thousand mile walk has to forget the goal and say every morning, ‘Today I’m going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.’” 

LEO TOLSTOY

Some blog posts just write themselves; all that’s required of me is jot it down as it flows. Those are the best.

Let me skip to the good part. Why are Ragnars and relay races so incredibly expensive? $600 for 4-6 people to run an unaccompanied, off-road, course- supportless route whilst sleeping in one of the two vans you yourself and your team must drive. Exactly what am I paying for here? The name probably. Before I make enemies, allow me to disclaim I have no problem spending money on races! Sign this girl up! I’m just attempting to understand where my money goes when there’s no course support, no aid stations, no on-site medical personnel (because I love those people), and no ability nor obligation to support the local community where the race starts/ends. I don’t get it.

Speaking of spending money, let me introduce you to my most recent piece of expensive jewelry. Indeed it does more than I ever imagined. Garmin really does make quite the tech gear.

smaller than it looks

Full review coming soon. Need time to take her for a spin outdoors and with the heat not cooperating it may be some time. Speaking of the heat: holy hell, I’m over it. Just when I think maybe, possibly, with angels following me, and a fan on top of my head I may be able to run outdoors…yeah, no. Did I mention the migraines have returned, too? Heat and headaches: my favorite!

Fall can’t come soon enough.

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I ask you –

Any interest in completing a Ragnar?

Do you have a small, medium, or large sized wrist? Schmedium for me

Tell me something you’re looking forward to! My mini will be home in less than 2 weeks!

Out of the Mouth and Into the Ears

Sometimes I think I may have – gasp – too much self control. It’s a thing because I have it! In moments of silence, I find myself pleading to say what needs to be said. Yet I keep my mouth shut, the words I need to say staying locked inside the confides of my inner self. Tragic, really.

In all my years – all three and some odd decades – I only recall ever getting screaming mad once. I didn’t even know who she was that yelled but it sure sounded like me. Shrugging. I’m not a “yeller”. There’s no need to raise my voice because my tone, inflection, and stare will tell you more than my volume will. Besides. Loud noises startle me.

I’m the sane one!

I realized I started this post many weeks ago but didn’t know where to go with it. Do I talk about being a not-very-angry person? Quickly I nixed that idea because I can get angry as much as the next person. Do I share how some people have an uncanny ability to make me roll my eyes at their ideocracy? Nah, I’m just as guilty of being the idiot. So what do I do with all this frustration? Ding ding ding. I know!

This is why I blog. And run. Mostly run. That wine cabinet is really missing the mark lately. I digress.

In my humble opinion, it comes down to picking your battles and knowing when you’re fighting all the wrong ones. Glass half full mentality. Instead of seeing it as a setback perhaps it’s an opportunity. Within a matter of days, many obstacles have found their way directly into my path of least resistance. No one enjoys feeling like someone is upset with them. That being said, personal responsibility goes a long way. For example, if you want someone to invite you to dinner, maybe you should mention it in a tactful way or – better yet – make the first move yourself by inviting them! Hello, rocket science. Or, instead of standing up beating your own drum about what’s right and wrong in your tiny sphere of the world, might it be a little more helpful to steer someone toward the truth? Please note I said “the truth” vice “your truth.” Though if you’re on a high horse, I have serious reservations about you coming down any time soon. At least get your facts straight before your foolishness is broadcasted.

those eyes

Suffice to say maybe I’m just grumpy because I miss my mini. The month on/off schedule was easier to accept because I knew it would only be 4 weeks until I saw her again. Just enough time to catch up on a bunch of random things and maybe read 2 books. 10 weeks is forever. 11 or 12 is even worse. Yes, I know it’s hard on her dad when she’s not there so don’t pick a fight with me on the “what about him”. With school coming up, it will be the hardest on him it’s probably ever going to be. Empathy is real.

For now, my pity party has only room for one.

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I ask you –

Are you a person who yells when angry?

What’s been your toughest battle to “pick”?

Now seating: Party of One. I say again: Party of One.