Blog Posts

Affiliate Link – Mantra Band

I’ve been wearing my Just Run bracelet since Nov 26, 2018. Nearly 4 years! I never take it off and I think it’s just as incredible today as it was the day I purchased it. Many compliments have come from wearing this – I truly love this simple reminder about how much running means to me and what a run can do for my day. The several months I was injured and subsequent PT had me concerned I may never run again. My Mantra Band was a battle cry to continue working towards running. Now look at me!

Super excited to partner with Mantra Band! The order page is: www.mantraband.com/mindbodyshameless. Use my code MINDBODYSHAMELESS for 15% off your entire order. Not only do the creators at Mantra Band design stunning bracelets but they also have necklaces, rings, and tons of other options, including Mantra Books! Their mission prioritizes optimism and mindfulness which we could all use more of, right?!

As part of their collection titled “Charity Bands”, they offer bracelets with unique mantras benefitting the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Alex’s Lemonade Stand, among others. What a great way to literally wear your support and passion on your sleeve. I also love the Bar collection and the Mandala Affirmation Collection. Let’s be real, I love it all. Shortly after I bought my own bracelet, I also sent one to my sister and one to my best friend with a different saying than my own. Mantra Band’s craftsmanship stands the test of time. Everything made by Mantra Band make excellent gifts – for yourself or others!

Full disclaimer: Yes, I have my merchandise links which of course I make money from. And, now, these are affiliate links which, again, means I do make money if/when my readers purchase their own Mantra Band.

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I ask you –

Do you have any affiliate links you’d like to share?

What’s the longest you’ve worn a piece of jewelry?

Again, you can order from this link: www.mantraband.com/mindbodyshameless. Remember to use my code MINDBODYSHAMELESS for 15% off.

(The post Affiliate Link – Mantra Band first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© Running on Fumes 2022

Finding Joy + Important Question

Sep 1st I’m starting a half marathon training plan. Not because I have a race in mind, but because it’s fall and that’s what I do. I train. I am the driver. I must drive! Also because running is my escape and with school starting mid-Sep then I’m going to need to escape from my laptop. And running brings me joy so why not.

A radio caller posed a question: “Should I let my 12 yr old wear makeup?” Nearly everyone on the show stated no. I didn’t see the problem. Mini has been wearing makeup since she was 2. No, she doesn’t wear it anywhere except to church. My reasoning has always been when you make something mysterious, when it becomes a big secret, that’s when it develops into forbidden fruit. She’s been watching me do my own makeup her whole life; naturally she wanted to participate. Putting makeup on brings her joy. Truthfully, she’s really great at eyeliner. She should give me lessons because mine sucks. For her, makeup isn’t about covering an insecurity or for attention…she genuinely loves blending colors and watching it transform to the finished product. Makeup artists are, in my opinion, creators on a living canvas. Joyful.

A lovely friend often uses the phrase ‘finding joy’. One day she stated she saw a cabinet of candles in her home and silently asked herself why she wasn’t using them. She recognized unlit candles were not bringing her joy so she made a change. Hello, fire! I, too, have a host of candles I never light. Sounds like I need to do something about it pronto. My “Is this bringing me joy?” moment revolves around perfume. I noticed I own several bottles of the same scent of expensive, glorious perfume, but rarely do I wear it. Not anymore. Mini has her own makeup and body spray I encourage her to wear – it’s about time I take my own advice.

Minus the dramatic, winged eyeliner. I’m not there yet.

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I ask you –

What brings you joy?

How would you have answered the question of a 12 yr old wearing makeup?

Tell me how many candles you currently have in your home! At least 6.

(The post Finding Joy + Important Question first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© Running on Fumes 2022

Double Trouble

For being a smart person, I really am quite dumb sometimes. Well, not like a dumdum. It just takes me longer than the average smart person to really come to grips with things. For example…

stock photo via photo library

An email arrived with the sentence “Thank you for your persistence.” which probably meant please stop bothering me. A co-worker told someone else in front of me: (paraphrased only mildly) “We love Kelly. She has a way of being mean but she does it with a smile and it makes it ok.” I’m not sure it was a compliment but it is true.

M’s – money, marriages, and messes. The radio show advised these are three things we should stay out of, as in other people’s. This radio show predominantly deals with other people’s messes so pot…kettle.

Not every email requires a reply. As I’m almost constantly (now) dealing with people from all walks of life, there are many different approaches: kind, understanding, firm, rude, hateful, dismissive, etc. You get the idea. This week I’m neck deep in an inspection that hasn’t happened since 2019. Read: before me. Somehow I tend to find myself in positions where once I’ve got my bearings, there’s a huge inspection or program audit and here I am with my hands in the air and a huge shrug. I shall prevail! Occasionally I have too much to do to reply. Other times it is best I don’t because angry Kel can only be quiet for so long. And I’m being pushed to the brink.

My sister accepted a job on the same installation where I’m employed. In fact, we’re in the same squadron. I should feel bad the base is now saturated with two people like us, but this could be fun. Someone asked if she is as wonderful as I am; her reply was “I’m better!” She’s got jokes.

Now we’re off to find the boss and explain in no uncertain terms why the grass is brown. Hello. Drought. Texas. Seriously?

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I ask you –

Thoughts on the three M’s? Do you agree?

Have you been inspected or audited at work lately?

On a scale of 1 to You’re Fired, how much trouble will my twin and I get into? 5. We have humor going for us.

Degree Prep

And it begins.

Dissertation ideas:

  1. Do mosquito bites correlate to high blood volume from intense exercise, like running? Or is it because I’m extra hydrated because I run?
  2. (Nothing else. Just #1)

210 emails awaited my one week hiatus. 210. I like to think I’m popular but really it’s most likely people are desperate. I know nothing! Ctrl + A, Delete. My job has certainly prepared me to tackle many moving parts at once.

Contrary to my common sense – which seems to be in short supply lately – I signed up for Civilian Mentoring Connection (CMC) 102. If you recall, I just completed CMC 101. We’ll be touring my building. Sounds like fun. I plan to ask obnoxious questions like I don’t work there. I also requested a mentor, but no word yet on if I get to keep my previous mentor or if I get a new one. (Update: I got a new one. She’s blunt. I like her.) After reading my blog posts, I bet it was a short end of the straw type of deal on who got me.

In all seriousness, I’m ready to get this doctorate party started. Books are ordered and delivery scheduled, fees paid, pens and highlighters at the ready; all I’m waiting on is the syllabus. Then I’ll panic.

So how’s the running going, Kel? Well, it’s going. I’m on a 5k training plan which culminates the weekend after I start school. Turns out I do much better when I have a plan, but indoor running is for the birds. I’m sick of it. Last week I did get an opportunity to run outside – it was glorious! At the time of this posting we “should” be done with triple digit temps. Just in time for Hotter’N Hell. Maybe I’ll join them again for a quick run while they peddle furiously towards the nearest rest stop. Always makes for a lively event when they comment how two wheels are better than whatever I’m doing. (Update: we received a few inches of rain and temps dropped to the high 60s. I ran outside in the rain!)

In this heat, the cyclists may be right. Two wheels are better.

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I ask you –

Your thoughts on my dissertation topic?

What were my original chances of getting the same mentor?

Mini wanted to write the last word: catherine

How Friendships Flourish

There’s an element of sisterhood I find so very appealing presumably because I always had an instant friend in my own sister. Womb mates. Generational friendships are special and life giving when, like flowers, they are kept watered and tended.

Life change: my twin made a huge change and moved to N. TX. Specifically…moved in with me. We haven’t lived together since age 16. Did I ever mention how we would fight constantly? Probably for the best I don’t share those stories. As we are now much older and can communicate like adults, I don’t foresee fighting but the day is young. Jokes! Perhaps our opposite personalities do attract. Or else we just know we’re stuck with each other and that’s that. Nonetheless, she is here now and it’s been a welcomed change. I recall the first time I left my “hometown” – it was a little scary and unknown but one tends to get used to it. She most certainly will, as well.

Next up is a special visit from our neighbors when living in Norfolk, VA. It took some time but we developed a friendship with them mostly due to the fact we have a social butterfly mini and they had two beautiful, social dogs. The running joke was mini would refer to the dog’s owner as “Dog Dog”. She was not amused. It took awhile but mini eventually learned our neighbor’s names and referred to them by such. The real star of the show is our neighbor’s daughter, Jordan. Jordan and mini became fast friends; Jordan being an only child, as well, took to mini like the sister she never had. We’ve watched Jordan graduate from high school, then college, and now she’s on her way to PT school. Time flies. They braved the nearly 24 hour road trip to visit before Jordan returns to school. The highlight of the trip was our impromptu photo shoot at the Wichita Falls.

Lastly (not leastly), is a rekindling of the relationship between my best friend and I. We are a work in progress. I have prayed for her and us to find our way through this season in life – small steps. Granted I understand we will never be the same as we were but who says it is such a bad thing? We have reconnected over our love for similar television shows, notably the upcoming release of Hocus Pocus 2. Because YES! We take us day by day. It’s the only way we can.

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I ask you –

What is your city’s “notable” icon? I’ve only seen in photos, but I hear from a reputable source the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL is quite a sight to see.

Are there any relationships you’d like to rekindle?

Hocus Pocus 2: yay or nay?

Day in Photos, island edition

Let’s talk about my two favorite things: coffee and running.

Cafe Padre at Yummies Bistro

Perfectly cinnamony, any artisan-level coffee is just right for me. Yummies makes fantasticly fancy coffees for every taste. I’ve never ordered anything bad from there. They also have food, but who cares. More coffee, please!

Too bad I’ll be writing papers during this event because it sounds like everything I love in one weekend. Post-doctorate plans are already being made. Note to self: research how many times you’ll have to run the island because it’s not 13 miles long.

(not pictured) broken Keurig. Apparently it is an issue the company is well aware of because I have called in twice just on my own machines. There’s a particular model with a faulty mechanism which pops the heat sensor rendering the machine kaput. Or something like that. I bring my own Keurig on vacation and didn’t even get one cup of coffee before it broke. Hmmpphh.

Hoka running shoes seem to be the shoe du jour on the island. I never saw one runner in Brooks the entire week. Maybe they just don’t know what great shoes feel like. Or else they prefer their sandy toes in a different brand. Whatever works. I did see one sponsored cyclist mid-week. He had a fancy kit. Perhaps I should have asked if he would be participating in the HHH at the end of the month. But since I was dying from the humidity there was no way I was chasing him down.

Overall, I ran three times that week and walked dozens of miles…beach to condo, shop to shop, vehicle to restaurant. You know the drill. I won’t miss the humidity, but I do envy 80° days and nights. And fried fish. I adore fried fish. It’s practically healthy! For those of you sick of my island recaps, I’ll be back to regularly scheduled silliness soon. Right now, I’m still basking in my tan lines. Mini goes back to school this week. Standby.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to I-would-literally-die-without-it, how much do you love coffee?

Do you find yourself walking more while away from home?

Please comment your bets on how tired mini will be after the first 3 days of school! Mine: she asks to go to bed after dinner.

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