Blog Posts

Flashback Fumes!

In a fun twist on words, theme-play, if you will, I’m resurrecting some of my older blog posts in a series I call Flashback Fumes. You’re probably familiar with the term flashback Friday (cousin to throwback Thursday) so I decided to design my own spin. Running on Fumes has been tantalizing the eyes and minds of loyal readers like yourself for 3 years now. But even loyal readers miss posts now and then. So this is for you!

Merchandise Pages are Live!

Coffee Mugs – because YES!

Shirts – t-shirts and tanks

Good morning everyone! I finally have the merch campaign live. Obviously this is a special post for a variety of reasons. One being I pulled the trigger and set up a merchandise page, period. Truth be told, my sister was a huge (read: main) part in getting this done because I would’ve drug my feet even longer.

Click on the links above (Coffee Mugs or Shirts) to check out the pages. For now, I have limited options but eventually I will be adding stickers, bags, etc. Let me know if there’s something specific you’d like to see! I’m not trying to retire on merchandise sales (big laugh here)…just looking to spread the word about what I’m accomplishing and, one day, when I open my shoe store/coffee shop/wine bar/library I’ll be ahead of the game! And then I’ll retire.

Please note: I chose to use a third party for the time being so you don’t have to wait forever for me to ship things and so I don’t have access to your personal or financial information. I fully realize many of you don’t know me outside of posting here; trust me, that’s a win!

Thank you! -Running on Fumes

Island Life in Photos

Back to South Padre Island we went! It’s sad I had to go to the beach to see any measurable rain. Speaking of rain, all of Texas is so dry. We encountered no less than a dozen burnt patches of land between N. TX and the island. Also a full-blown fire in progress. Send rain.

We spent a lot of time at the pool and a similar amount of time in the ocean. 7 bottles of sunscreen later…

Landshark is my go-to. No idea why I like it but I only drink it at the beach. South Padre’s proximity to Mexico is an invitation for the spiciest, most authentic tacos in the world. And since I can’t resist cilantro, I purchased some Cilantro Sauce at the local Farmer’s Market then proceeded to eat it at every meal. I’m on vacation.

Speaking of food, I also ate my weight in fish and limes. Oh, and gelato. I ate a lot of that, too. Really I only ate a lot of gelato because I was the designated driver on vacation and responsible for picking up our meals. So when asked to deliver gelato, I charged adequate tax on my Uber eats-esque services. One bite for me, one bite for you. Fair is fair. It was 90°, as well, so there’s that.

When in Rome… seeing as how it was quite cooler than North Texas, I took everyone’s advice and brought my running shoes! Somehow I only had to look at the sand and suddenly it was inside my socks. Magic. Between early morning runs and coffee 2-3x a day, I’m the most relaxed I’ve been all year.

I would share more, but there’s a stack of laundry to be done and I still have to de-sand our beach accessories. I feel a procrastinap coming on.

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I ask you –

Did you vacation this year? Where?

Have you encountered an extra dry season?

Tell me how much laundry you do when you return from a trip. Avg 3 loads.

REPOST!! I’m a Pioneer!

The post below was originally published June 7, 2021. At this moment, I’m probably basking unashamedly on the beach with a cup of coffee. Hope you’re having a wonderful day, as well!

I need friends. Running friends. Running friends who only run when it’s incredibly hot outside and I can’t go out there to run. Too much? So I joined Strava.

Find me on Strava!

Then I decided to channel my inner woman of the wild and become a canning master! Next up: living in a hut and churning my own butter. Right. I know.

As a writer, grammar and spelling are important to me, as well as consistent fonts across a document. It’s my job. I appreciate when someone’s email signature line is short, concise, and, most importantly, legible! You may be asking how an email could possibly be anything other than legible; rest assured, I’ve seen it all. It’s not pretty.

Full disclosure: I don’t believe everything I read on the internet. Tell me you don’t either. So I did my own research. Turns out it is true!

My dreamer mindset got a little excited, to tell the truth. But as for adding it to the bucket list? No thanks. The part that negated all my dreams was “The real-life walk would be grueling, filled with scary animals and diversely bad weather.” Nope, nope, and nope. Next, please.

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I ask you –

What’s your Strava information? Please comment below. I need friends!

Have you ever canned anything? What should I can next?

Tell me something on your bucket list!

REPOST! BMW Dallas Half Marathon Recap!

Repost from Dec 13, 2021! Whilst I’m away on vacation this week enjoying sand and surf and seafood, I decided not to exhaust myself writing new material. Instead, here’s a post from Dec and my proudest running moment to date.

Let’s start off with the good stuff, shall we, on this edition of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Yes, I met my goal of a 2:10 half marathon! Specifically, I ran 2:10:45 with an avg 9:58 pace. I asked my feet to fly and they did what I’d trained for with an 8 min PR! It was a lovely 35° at the start line – I met the most awesome people! My 2:10 pace crew also seemed nice.

Now the bad. Allow me to be a bit dramatic. My pacers were pushing us 20-30 seconds faster than what we were told we’d be running. I was able to stay with them the first 5 miles, then I dropped back. I don’t train to run non-stop. In fact, only one time have I ever run an entire half marathon without walking. It’s just not me. I’m super proud for holding on for 5 miles! But that wasn’t the plan. After the race was over, I remembered hearing pacers talk about this course “running long”, no pun intended, which means in order for pacers to lead their runners across the finish line in their prescribed time, the pacers were going to have to run faster. My unofficial course time was 2:12, but Garmin showed I ran my 13.1 in 2:10. Thank you, Garmin! Finally! I reject the course time.

So here’s the ugly. Because I spent the first almost half of the race running faster than I had trained for, miles 6-11 were brutal. The walking increased, even though I was still mostly holding on to a 9:45 pace. I began to favor my left hip/leg/hamstring/knee which caused a lot of pain in my right foot. So glad I decided to put BCAAs in my CamelBak and fuel with jelly beans. Even then, those middle miles felt awful.

pre-race injury treatment – long story for another day

Overall, course support was amazing! There were people giving out donuts, beer, mixed drinks, extra energy bars, and who knows what else. The water stops – though I used my own hydration – were frequent and plentiful. The bands on nearly every other street corner were more entertaining than anything I’ve seen in a Rock n Roll event. And those events should be bursting with music! Finish line food was great: pizza, tacos, bananas, enrrgy bars, more Gatorade, tons of chocolate milk, sweets; it was all incredible!

Morgan from Oregon kicked butt out there! She, too, dealt with the disappointment of a long course and too-fast pacers, but I think she rocked it! She’s got an upcoming 15k event and we’ve discussed a late summer run nearer to her so we’ll see.

At this moment, I’m retiring from the half marathon. Remind me next time I tell you all I want to race again!

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I ask you –

How was your weekend? Anything exciting?

Runners, do you write motivational things on your pace band, arm, etc?

Chance I’ll stay “retired”: 60/40

A Weekend Away

My good friend Dan sends me some of the most thought provoking articles.

“I Tried Slow Living in a Remote Welsh Cottage, and This Is What I Learned” by Kayleigh Dray was just what I needed. It was truly perfect timing because I was already fielding questions from mini regarding our trip to NE Texas to visit my parents, aunt, and sister. Her actual words were “What will we do?” Answer: just be. I spent my time wandering around a giant field and watching dozens of hummingbirds. They’re so fun!

In preparation for the visit, I had to move around a run scheduled for Saturday because I knew the humidity would be brutal and incompatible with any running plans. I started a 5k training plan – probably forgot to mention it. Not for a race though. I quickly realized if I’m not training for something, then my tendency to “get around to it” doesn’t motivate me well enough to actually “get around to it” especially where the treadmill is concerned.

Fortunately I have been able to accomplish two outdoor runs, both involving random rain. This is me not complaining. Except for the one that included lightning which made me run faster, it’s been good. Also, it was suggested I try graham crackers before a run. Quick carbs, easy to eat early in the morning before my stomach wakes up – simple, right? Well, my grocery store was out of cinnamon teddy grahams (my preferred alternative to graham crackers). I bought the store brand instead thinking there probably isn’t much difference. Wow. So wrong. Now I need to eat these individual packages of awful, pseudo-teddy grahams. Oh yay.

Thank goodness I can wash it down with ice cream which is exactly what I needed after a weekend of decidedly cooler temperatures (only 95°!) but with much higher humidity. Running out there would have never been a good idea. And it definitely didn’t epitomize the concept of slow living.

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I ask you –

Any interest visiting remote places?

Have you ever bought a food that didn’t taste like expected?

I’m on vacation next week. Should I bring my running shoes this time? I’m thinking yes.

Civilian Mentoring Connection

Picture this: a room full of people and you’re waiting on your name to be called to find out who your mentor will be. Spoiler: I was chosen last. But sometimes they save the best for last because I was paired with an incredible woman we’ll call Big Booty Judy (BBJ). Don’t laugh yet. I had spoken to her via phone many times previously and liked her. Turns out she chose me. The rest is history.

Civilian Mentoring Connection (CMC 101) was something I volunteered for knowing it did have a substantial time commitment. Myself and approximately 10 other people would be meeting twice a week for several months, including meeting with our mentor as often as possible outside of these formal gatherings. Luckily, BBJ understands my job and what I do so we had a mutual agreement to get things on the calendar as soon as possible.

…and then we blew stuff up! Small exaggeration. They did visit EOD which I heard was a lot of fun. It’s been rescheduled a few times since so I’m just waiting my turn for the next time. We’ve also discussed workplace communication, email etiquette, TSP (thrift savings plan), and other things I probably slept through. Kidding! I love this stuff.

Big Booty Judy – is actually the nickname for my mentor’s black Corvette. At our first informal get together, she shared her naming convention with me. Somehow I knew then we were meant to be. She has given me much insight into the world of civil service and helped me navigate some tricky setbacks. If you ever have an opportunity for a mentor – get one! Promise. 14 weeks later, my mentor, Stacey, is still one of the best parts of CMC.

The tenants of civilian mentoring connection are Connect, Grow, & Inspire. Indeed it impacted me in each way. Connect – as I’m inherently a people person anyway, connecting with others is kind of my thing. I love being able to connect with people I work with so this opened up many doors. Grow – I learned more about what other squadrons, groups, and work centers do (and how it accomplishes the overall mission). Growth is multifaceted. Inspire – after two personnel spoke on their journey to complete their doctorate programs, it re-solidified my desire to go back to school. As I’ve already shared many times before. It reminded me of my dream and the different avenues to achieve it.

As our graduation day ended and I reconvened with my partner in crime, Heidi, she asked if I intended to complete CMC 102. Then she gave me a knowing smile and stated “I thought you had school! I thought we were taking a break!”, followed by her words “I’ll do it if you are!”

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I ask you –

Does your workplace offer any mentoring opportunities?

Have you ever participated in a program like CMC?

Share with me a recent graduation accomplishment!

Tell the Truth

Once upon a time…I would take my breakfast to work to eat there. But with the medication I take, I discovered how awful I felt before I even arrived because I had not eaten. Turns out I’m a much happier human when I’m fed.

fancy

Which brings me to this nugget of truth:

H.A.L.T

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

By evaluating the words we say, actions we take, and decisions we make keeping the acronym HALT in mind, I bet you can pinpoint where many conversations or big decision making situations in your life went wrong. What if you evaluated your own internal cues prior to reacting to stressors at work, home, or life in general? Taking care of our basic needs is paramount to successful interactions. Hanger is very real, as is allowing lack of sleep to encourage poor decisions. So, next time, before you react or make a snap judgment, try the HALT method. If you need a snack, go for it. If you need to sleep on a decision, do that. If you’re falling back into destructive behaviors, perhaps it’s time to call a friend who will listen.

Unrelated – as I draw closer to the start date (I have one of those now – September!) of my doctorate program, I recognize this will finally unlock the door to teaching higher education. Some may think it’s not even possible, but I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5 yrs old. Really. Don’t ask me how. I just knew then and still know now in my heart and soul I was called to teach. In every career I’ve had I always find myself gravitating toward teaching positions, opportunities to teach others, or advancing my formal schooling with the intent to teach. Now, knowing what I know now, Higher Ed is very political. I get it. And even though my degree(s) are in Public Admin which cater to elected officials and city/state government jobs, it’s never been my intent to become an elected official. Way too empathic. However, I would take my chances at teaching at the university level.

I ran into a college friend a few weeks ago whom I hadn’t seen in person since 2007ish. She’s now a local principal and an adjunct professor at our alma mater. She had some interesting advice for anyone willing to tackle university-level students; it boiled down to the older they get, the more resistant they get. Let’s land this plane, shall we? Instantly I thought of the HALT method. What kind of service are we providing our youth (and ourselves) when getting older is synonymous with resistant? Absolutely rhetorical! I firmly believe we all have more to learn – there’s no end in sight. Honing your craft, sharing your skills, providing a sympathetic ear are just three simple steps. Imagine what could be done if you tried, if you made a conscious effort.

Perhaps this is where we get it very wrong. When the going gets tough, do the tough actually get going or do they get gone? Think about it.

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I ask you –

Know about good metaphors for deescalating stressful situations?

Do you consider yourself a resistant person? You can lie to me, but don’t lie to yourself.

Tell me something you are very good at (skill, hobby, whatever it is)! Baking cookies!

Texas Wildlife

This is most definitely not a post about actual wildlife. Instead, I’m indirectly referring to my neighborhood. There exists some neighbors who are like feral cats…projects never completed, unkemptness (made that word up), and general disdane for societal norms. Truly I couldn’t care less – haHA got it right this time – if anyone subscribes to societal norms because most are just ridiculous. However, living in an HOA is an acceptance of whatever “norms” are set forth. It only irks me a little when some are allowed to do one thing, but others can’t. Moving on, Kel.

actual wildlife

As I pride myself on being observant and having a great sense of situational awareness, the neighbors as a whole group fascinate me. Last summer there was a young man who nearly burned down a cul-de-sac because his camping “skills” and young boy appetite led him to make a fire with the intent of roasting hotdogs. Lately, the near constant running amuck of neighbor kids has ceased; I’m not sure if it’s weather related or the parents shipped the kids off to relatives for the summer. Wonder when they come back?

Then, there’s the house sans roof. Probably end of 2020 the house was stripped of shingles and eventually people came out to replace the black clothy stuff (technical term) only to disappear for… let’s see …nearly 2 years now. New shingles arrived before everyone quit and have set outside through ice storms, wind storms, and the rainy season last fall. Seeing as how I don’t know much about shingles, I’m going out on a limb to say those are probably not any good now. So, last week, more (new) shingles arrived; days later, there was a man on the roof replacing (again) what looked like the clothy stuff. A few hours later he was gone, project seemingly forgotten, and I haven’t seen him since. There’s got to be a story behind this.

Also, there’s the mystery of the perpetually lost, floating paddle boat. It’s not the only one on the lake, but it is the only one set free to float of its own accord. Is it broken? Inhabited by ghostly fish? No one knows. I’m tempted to beckon it to my shoreline so I can take a ride. Those things aren’t cheap so why would someone not take care of it?

Finally, I can’t end without mentioning naked neighbor. There have been no other instances of nakedness, to my knowledge. I’d like to keep it that way forever. However, his lonely shoes were sitting on his porch when I came back from a run one morning. Cringe.

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I ask you –

What strange things happen in your neighborhood? Tell me that story again of the weird loss of satellite capabilities.

Have you ever ridden on a paddle boat?

Tell me where you keep most of your shoes! By the treadmill!

Someone Else’s Lens

(The photos below were taken by my friend, Dan, on his recent visit to New York. Photo credit is all his.)

There’s something about traveling that makes my soul happy. New places we visit are seen from a different perspective than those who call it home. When was the last time you walked around your city and saw it with unfamiliar eyes? Try it. I’ve only seen NYC on a large scale via my window when I drove past. The sheer amount of people doesn’t interest me, but maybe to see it at 3am when fewer people are out and the buildings are lit up – that sounds nice.

The view south down 7th Ave from 51st Street.

Considered a total loss after a fire in June, the Spirit of Norfolk was a Norfolk attraction. I kept up with the story of its demise because a) I remembered seeing it when I lived in that area and b) I thought for sure they would extinguish the fire much sooner. Certainly there are some very worried people now because the ship was used for weddings and other large events. Bet they’re not pleased.

Spirit of Norfolk

Lately the only traveling I’m embarking on is from the car to whatever air-conditioned location I must be at. The average daily temperature is 108° with a heat index of 112°. I fully expect roads to start behaving like mini volcanoes. It’s a thing.

Fall can’t come soon enough. Farewell mosquitoes! Time to find some antihistamine.

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I ask you –

Do you love traveling?

Weather check in – what is yours?

Name your favorite place to visit.

Sarcasm and Acronyms

…is how I believe God talks to me. I once wrote a post on the age of acronymption. I should find that.

Why walk when I can run? Walking is supposed to be therapeutic. But I think I walk too fast for it to be anything like therapy. There’s a book I’ve been reading about overcoming anxiety. Quite fascinating really. And my inner Kel just said that with a British accent. Whackadoo. It mentioned keeping coconut oil or almond butter on your nightstand so you could eat a spoonful during the night for blood sugar stabilizing purposes. The last time I had any food on my nightstand was during pregnancy. When crackers were the only thing keeping me alive.

Remember the post from a few days ago about cycle syncing? It said the phase immediately after your period was energetic and motivation. I’m not feeling it. But my thoughts are all over the place and I really just want to run. Oh. I guess I am in that phase after all.

God talks to you in your native language. Did I already say that? Mine is acronyms and loads of sarcasm. This is where I think the military was really good for me. There was a commander I encountered who said something like…we didn’t tell you what to put in your seabag. Well, first, you did. I think his point was to younger Sailors who choose to get overpriced cars, sixteen wives, etc. I got debilitating anxiety. Kidding. Probably already had that. I did get a mini though and that’s a pretty good parting gift. Kidding. For real this time. But not about her. She’s amazing.

Wow, this stage is no joke. Hello everyone, my name is Kel and I talk a lot of shit for someone who can’t remember to unbuckle their seatbelt before exiting the car. Whoopsies!

Full disclosure: I wrote this post last weekend and now coming back to it I realize it is quite the wild ride. But, also very fun which is why I’m keeping it. Can’t let good words go to waste.

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I ask you –

Does your mind ever go a million directions?

What is your heart’s language?

Bloggers: how often do you go back to read your old posts? Not often.