New Plans – New Goals?

Indeed I love sharing my plans on this platform. However, I’m always afraid of what could happen once I post it here: what if I fall short, what if I decide not to do it, what if this, what if that. Who cares, at least you tried. If all else fails, at least it’s the final day of September and what more could go wrong this year?

Fall makes me excited! There’s pumpkins and cooler weather and races and lots of coffee. Thanksgiving, leaves falling, no more mosquitoes, and extra blankets. Shall I continue? No matter how basic you may think I am, fall is hands down the best season.

Notably this fall I am not racing; however, I will be training for a race early December. Surely I’ve mentioned it, ohhhh, 5 times. December is winter, not fall, no matter where you live. Except on the other side of the globe. I made my race plan, consulted with no one, and intend to dig deep for approximately 8 weeks. It’s not long. Could be my demise. So we’re just gonna wing it!

Morning? Night? Same view

While everyone else is soaking up the final hours of daylight, I’ll either be lacing up for a post-work run or going to bed early to capitalize on an AM run before the world wakes up and ‘needs things from me’.

Bring on the gloves! It sucks when my fingers are cold.

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I ask you –

Do you, too, enjoy pumpkins and leaves?

Who else has perpetually cold hands/fingers?

Why are people so needy?!?

Running Reel – a short story

…that thing about one door closing…

Occasionally I enjoy reminiscing about past accomplishments. Helps with the current lack of running events.

Though I’m a little bummed about making a choice not to run a marathon – yet – I can’t help but feel super excited about what I was able to do in 2019 alone. I mean, I ran a double, people. A back-to-back half marathon AND I pr’d. Hellooooooo! There were a lot of changes going on then; who would have known despite them I could still pull a glorious race out of my assssss, I mean hat. This may forever be my running ace.

2 years ago, I was coming off a spectacular failure. Remember that DNF? Because I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, right?! Although I didn’t doubt I’d overcome it, there were a few times I heard “Hey Kel, you shouldn’t do this again.” Lucky for me, I make my own rules. Well…Kel does. More on that later.

Post VA Beach, which I haven’t run since, sore subject and all, I bumbled my way through another half, then traveled across the US to train on the West coast for a few weeks. In many ways, that trip changed my entire trajectory. As a last minute decision, I decided to run with a pacer at the next race. Good move! It gave me the confidence I needed and I pr’d.

Digression to current events: approximately 5 days before Labor Day (is it approximate if I say approximately and then give a specific number?), I found out the Texas Triple, always held Memorial Day weekend, was rescheduled to Labor Day weekend. Ooooof. I could’ve been training for that! I wanted to run it!!! Damn the luck. Needless to say, it’s on my race radar next year. Any running friends want to join? Hey, Coach, I’m pointing my finger at you.

so much more to come

Basically this synopsis brings you up to speed. I ran several other races during this course of events, but these are the highlights of my race reel. Maybe I’m just weird (no input, please) but I take an unusual amount of time analyzing the good/bad of my past runs so I can improve.

Because isn’t that a small part of life? Finding ways to do better, be better, and get stronger.

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I ask you –

Do you make plans to improve some area of your life?

Anyone interested in the triple?

Tell me your biggest success! Dare to also share your biggest “failure”?

Here Goes Nothing

I’m not going to run a marathon this year. There. I said it. My migraines aren’t under control at all, I haven’t been committed to the training plan, and the list of excuses goes on and on. Sure, some of this stuff is legitimate; the rest could come or go. If the opportunity arises to run a half in November and another half in December, then I’m going to take those instead. Confidence being what it is, I shouldn’t have any problems with 13 miles. But I’m just not ready for a full.

The saying goes something along the lines of only you know what’s best for you. Hmmmmm. Maybe this isn’t the “best” option for me, but I believe it’s the smartest move in this moment. Motivation and drive are low. Uncertainty about if the race is actually going to be held drives me nuts. And, as I sit here typing it out, I feel my heart is miles away from where it should be if I was ready.

Bridging the gap

I don’t believe I went into this for the wrong reasons. A big part of me found motivation in proving I could do it. Personal mantra: beat 5:46. However, more than self-motivation, humans rely on others to encourage them. We need it. Truly, I deserve encouragement. It’s lacking.

Sunset view w/ a rainbow

2021 is right around the corner. I’ll muddle my way through this cycle, figure out where I need to be, and then BAM I’ll make a comeback. No doubt it will be my best one yet!

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I ask you –

Has 2020 disrupted your goals?

May I borrow some of your motivation?

Share your comeback stories!

Running Your Race

She’s going places

Background: I’m provided small handouts each time I meet with a select group of people. Although I suspect it may have duel reasons (one of those being they fully know adults are like small children – we need drawing paper), I enjoy completing the handout and later using the lesson to further not only my faith but also my running/life philosophy.

Recently we went through a study titled “Running Your Race”. Much symbology exists, in my opinion, between what I feel spiritually and how I approach training for an event. Not to say those who feel no spiritual calling can’t be super successful in what they train for. Knowing my dislike of the word balance, I prefer to think of this as a well-rounded approach. The below is a small snippet of a lesson…

Tidbits of running-applicable advice meant to guide our way through life:

1. Run with covering – honor those in authority

2. Run with ministry – serve others

3. Run with grace – don’t return evil with evil

4. Run with joy – choose joy

5. Run with prayer – prayers win the race

6. Run with gratitude – be thankful

7. Run with discernment – see what can’t be seen

8. Run with wisdom – ability to apply knowledge

9. Run with vision – teach others/fulfill your calling

#6 speaks loudest to me because I often find myself pondering my overall ability to run. Many may never receive this opportunity or it can be taken from them. It’s a gift to be able to use my two legs to run. Lately I’ve been feeling a little down because I’m no longer in a field of fitness influence. Normally there would be an office people parade of different fitness goals. Now, not so much, but a quote I continue to implore: “We may change the method, but the message prevails.” – D.R.

One’s method may look or feel different than another’s, but the message is the same: running uncovers things about ourselves we might not normally explore.

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I ask you –

Thoughts on handouts? Wasted paper or useful?

Do you look for symbolism?

Share a favorite quote! My unspoken rule on RoF: bonus points if it includes curse words!

Why Thank You! Love, a Clown

A great friend said this: “You’re a fun writer. You lend your voice and perfect brand of sarcasm to your writing and it makes me laugh a lot.” What a compliment to receive! Of course anyone who reads this blog would think I’m funny. I’m basically Betty White. She said drinking wine, not taking shit from men, and making people laugh are what keeps her young. I think that’s what she said. If I was Betty White, that’s what I would say. I was also recently told I was agreeable; they stated it was refreshing. The disagreeable list is extensive. Regardless, another compliment in my book!

I flipped off my boss the other day and didn’t get fired. Hey, I did it with a smile and my smile melts hearts. Or at least it helped me keep my job. Then I had the period from hell and burned the holy f-word out of my hand whilst making cookies to curb the cramps. Not sure if you know this – you’re about to – but ladies who had a period during August experienced the worst headaches, cramps, mood swings, and (insert other PMS symptoms) than any other month. I took a poll. Believe me!

Cookies and aloe vera – an unlikely combination

Since we’re on the subject of complaining, since we are now, these migraines are getting worse. A headache every day for at least 5 days is not normal. For some reason, antihistamines seem to lessen the pain but they make me exceptionally sleepy. Surely the heat doesn’t help – makes me want to find a cold, dark place to hibernate. Wake me up when it’s fall.

But because I can’t leave this post on a sour note, it is slowly getting cooler during the overnight hours. Mostly mid-60s, but there’s been an occurrence of low 60s…I couldn’t be happier! Not one to let opportunity pass by, I got up and finished a run long before the sun rose.

Only the shadows, and fabulous tan lines, accompanied me

I sent an email to the marathon race organizer: no response. In the meantime, I’ll continue half-ass training because I have nothing better to do. My sweet mini will be gone in September so time is irrelevant. Train, eat, repeat.

Supposedly there are people who live vicariously through my writings. Though flattering as it is, may I remind you, I’m just a clown with a platform.

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I ask you –

Do you know any famous quotes?

Have you ever been fired for insubordination? No, but I probably should have been!

Tell me about your fall plans!

Feels Like the 6th Week of the Month

As expected, the first week back from paradise was a trying time. There’s some, but not a lot, of exaggeration here. On the drive home, I went ahead and put my healthier eating plan in motion so while everyone else ate hamburgers I chose the salad. I love salads so this wasn’t truly a hardship. My plan isn’t full on vegetarian. Let’s face it, I love seafood and chicken. And the occasional ribeye. However, adding loads of colorful fruits and veggies to my diet fits right into my heart.

Semi-keto (because I’m still marathon training and carbs are key) with the addition of mainly plant based lunches seems doable for me. I’m also trying to support and encourage my other half to be healthier. And overall I want to experience the energy I used to have.

Cilantro, not pictured

As for work, I’ll be sifting through 300 emails for a few days. Not to mention end of FY20 tasks I’ve never done before. No one answers anymore when I call. I also returned on time card week so that’s a real joy. How difficult can it really be to load your time into a system? Apparently it’s an undertaking unlike anything anyone has ever seen. You wish to be paid? Load your time!!

No drastic changes to my workout schedule. After fully taking off the week, I awoke Monday ready to return to my second happy place. Surprisingly the gym was empty and I took advantage of it! When my mini is home, it’s too easy to find a million reasons not to get up and workout or forgo the post-workday run but my pep talk includes the reminder she needs to see my dedication for my goals.

Running buddy

Besides, her joy comes from “running” with me once my miles are complete. This is a good indicator I’m doing something right.

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I ask you –

Is it just me or does the first week back feel like the longest?

How much anxiety do you get from seeing hundreds of unread emails? I think my heart stops beating just considering it.

Tell me about some activities you and your child(ren) do/did together!

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.

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.

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?

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!”