On Your Left

I’m about 24 hours out from starting a new training cycle. What I mean is…forgive me for not returning your calls, texts, plans, and anything else that doesn’t include running or eating. I was speaking to a co-worker several minutes (could’ve been weeks, it all runs together; runs, get it?!) about her Spring race plans and she mentioned she still had “unfinished business” with a marathon goal. (To be clear, this woman is an ultra runner, 2000+ day streaker, and super speedy marathon finisher. We’re not even close to being in the same category!) But she’s fun to talk to and very encouraging so she gets a free pass. As I shared my triple half marathon goal, her sounds of incredulousness made me laugh. Here’s this woman who runs high double digits regularly yet thinks my 13.1 for 3 days is insane. Just means we’re all a little different. And equally crazy. Next time I’m going to tell her my life goal of completing a Ragnar. Look it up. It’s awesome!

Lone Star state beauties

There’s no getting around it. I have a shoe addiction. Running shoes specifically. There’s something about the sleek, cushioned, makes-me-feel-like-I’m-running-fast beauty of new shoes. I’m currently rotating 4 pairs. Excessive? I don’t know. Like I’ve said for years: you can’t do enough to take care of your feet. They’re all you get! No replacements available. But, if it came down to it, and I couldn’t speak for myself, YES! I want a foot transplant! Please remember this! You can take my voice; you will never take my feet! I may not be able to berate you with my tongue, but I want one last opportunity to run you down and kick you. Enough of that.

Thursday nights’ Freedom small group is going well. These are the most courageous, strong, and honest women I could ever know. How I got so lucky to lead this group is beyond me. Many times in my life I fretted about being able to be open with other people, especially women. Nothing against women, but being one myself, I know how ugly we can act. Freedom in Christ, amongst other believers, was never a part of my plan and for this I’m thankful because without Him I wouldn’t have made it this far. Life sure is funny like that. I miss my 6am group, but Thursday nights are special in their own way.

Lastly, the title of this post is the most common phrase used by every runner. A close second: where’s the bathroom? I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it’s true for me! I try to smile and wave, clear my throat unnecessarily within earshot, and do all the other things to let people know I’m about to pass them, but obliviousness tends to rub me the wrong way. So if you see me at the lake or in my neighborhood or on base running and I look grumpy, it just means I’ve said “On Your Left” one too many times.

pleased I won’t be running in this

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I ask you –

Last call: anyone willing to train with me for the Texas Triple scheduled for Memorial Day weekend?

Is kicking people as I pass them allowed?

My shoe collection reminds me of the cutest video I have of my mini, age 18 months, walking around the house yelling for her shoes to appear and she looks at the ceiling as a viable option.

Re-Introduction + Updates

Run streaking is going very well. I’m only a little surprised. What is very apparent to me is the amount of excuses I can make to not complete some of the prescribed runs during a training cycle. Yet I’ve managed to run every. single. day for this goal. Sometimes it’s only a mile, sometimes it’s three; but I do it. Granted the mileage isn’t high – no long runs, for sure. This is a proverbial marathon, not a sprint. Only maybe yesterday did I even consider I might want to continue the run streak through February. What else do you have to do?

have coffee bar, will travel

If you’re new to the blog, we have a bit of a co-parenting style with my sweet mini me. Every other month she takes off to Tennessee to live with her dad. The amount of ‘missing’ her I feel has no words; however, we do what’s best for her and she’s had this type of life since she was born. Is there an award for most traveled under the age of 5? When she’s off on another month long adventure, my schedule looks like this: get the whole bed to myself (almost), cram literally everything I can into one month to make the time pass by quickly, and plan all the things I want to do with her for when she returns next month. Never said I was exciting.

HI! My name is Kelly and I can’t focus. Only when required. There tends to be many moving parts in my life; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Where’s the fun in one iron in the fire (or however it goes)? Fires may not last long so pile on the irons, is my motto. Never before have I said that so just work with me here. Please remember many of my blog posts, ahem, all of them, are typically written weeks in advance so you may be reading this up to a month after. This protects mine and my family’s privacy and allows ample time for me to overthink what I’ve said in a moment of clarity. Take nothing at face value; I mean no offense to anyone. All this being said, I paid for, designed, developed, and wrote this blog for my own use so I reserve the right to say what I want and in whatever humor I see fit. If you’re disappointed, join the club!

I love what I do. The sphere of influence I have is nothing next to His. My hope is to bless others in the same way I have been so very blessed. I’m not only a blogger; I’m a writer, a storyteller, a coffee-drinker, a joke teller. My jokes are particularly awful if I’m being very honest – which I’m not. My jokes are great!

The “I ask you” section below and located at the end of nearly every single one of my posts is not rhetorical unless stated otherwise. Please leave comments, questions, words of encouragement, whatever is on your heart when you read these posts. The back and forth of a friendship is my vision for Running on Fumes.

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I ask you –

Do you have a coffee bar? Which is better: making your own or purchasing from whomever makes the best for you?

How many irons in the fire do you normally juggle?

Please share a vision you have for your life!

And the Numbers are In!

2020 total miles: 318.25. 2019 was about 140 miles higher, but since I only ran one half marathon the entire year I’d say it was a success. Granted that one half marathon was 14 miles long – must have been the wet and wild adventure we took off course.

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put you in a good mood! I recommend it for everyone. My toes are splayed out like they should be, ankles are inline, and quad load is below normal. Sounds super sexy, right? My little lady calls new shoes ‘go fasters’; I couldn’t agree more. They make you want to sprint!

Run the Rail, New Boston, Texas, Oct 9, 2021. Race numero dos on my list of three. This one is near my parentals so maybe they can support my need for homemade cooking. I should ensure they read this. One more race added to the list then I’ll have a full plate. Of course nothing is official until I all-caps-it and post it here. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen even then. Whoopsies!

Relatedly unrelated, I have a confession. A short time ago, I was feeling dissatisfied in my work life. A position in a prior career field was open and I was seriously considering making a big move. After crunching some numbers, praying, asking for advice from others, etc. it became apparent this wasn’t the best option for me. Hello, Kel, you only spent 4 years trying to get to where you’re at now. The silence of what I had asked for was more telling than any answer I could have received.

Suddenly a different opportunity appeared. To be the storyteller I am at heart. Even before I could complete that mission, more people reached out for help with their own personal goals. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t feeling dissatisfaction with my job. I was feeling as if something was missing from my purpose in life. I asked, He obliged.

Funny how purpose shows up in the most unexpected ways.

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I ask you –

Do you get excited about new shoes? What’s your favorite pair?

Do you go through periods of feeling unsatisfied with your work?

Tell me your advice when going through a low period in life.

Mary, You May Call Me Martha!

The 5am wakeups have been… something. At first it’s exciting, then by day 3, it’s a ‘oh lookie, 5am again’. I love the mornings, but pre-sunrise takes some getting used to when you haven’t done it in awhile. Practice makes perfect, right?

Streaking is going well, too. Much to the benefit of my neighbors, I have been dressing appropriately for each run. The only person to complain was that one guy. The weather has been quite cooperative with my goals!

wayyyyy too much going on here

While helping a friend with a job search, I came across a listing for a “Laundry Manager” at a nearby maximum security prison. Cue the hysterical laughing. Truly funny to me was the fact I made jokes about my own title; motherhood is full of little quirks. Needless to say, I don’t think my friend was interested. Entertained, yes; interested, no. I understand.

Do you know how hard it is to submit for a copyright? Perhaps hard isn’t the correct word; try tedious, overwhelming, nerve-wracking. Don’t mess it up because you pay a lot of money for it! Hopefully it will be worth it. Just another step toward a dream. What’s the worst that could happen? Resubmit? Ok, so that really would be the worst.

For more than a week, the phrase “Who Am I?” circled around me. First, I noticed it during the course of a conversation. Then, it was spoken in a song. Finally, I read it in print. Unsure of its context – question or statement – there is much meaning to some very sincere questions I have had lately. Maybe this happens to you, my dear reader, at points in your own life when you’re unsure of the correct path. Or maybe it doesn’t and I’m just weird.

It’s nothing short of miraculous hearing about a chance encounter between two people that turns into the opportunity of a lifetime. No spoilers. The Courage to Run is a profound and inspiring documentary about the late Gabe Grunewald and Chip Gaines. You may have no desire to ever run 500 feet much less a marathon, but watch the show anyway. Bring Kleenex.

As I’m currently lacking in fun catchphrases to round out this messy post, hope you all have a wonderful day!

P.S. It took nearly 6 1/2 hrs for my computer to update and restart yesterday. If ever there was a license to be able to own electronic devices, mine would surely be revoked.

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I ask you –

What time do you typically wake up?

Copyright, or of the like, advice? Patience, perhaps?

Name something you’ve watched lately which really inspired you! And then restart your computer. Don’t be like me.

Welcome Back!

we have arrived

If you’re reading this, then it’s the very first post of 2021! What a lucky bunch of readers I have. Sound the alarm, wake your neighbors, go to work, do whatever you do best.

Let’s chat about the New Year. Most likely we’ll all be writing the wrong year for awhile, maybe even the wrong month, and still wondering why there’s so many sweets around the house. Oh, just me? Liars. I’m that girl who gets excited about a new year; a new page in our lives and, honestly, if you made it out of 2020 alive you’re doing better than a lot of other folks. Bring out the champagne!

January used to be the busiest month of the year for me. Working in a gym is fraught with resolutionists (definitely made that one up) and many eager to buy their health no matter the cost. Quite sad really. What about the other months, you ask? As expected, I say. Not to be outdone, I’m starting off my year with extra coffee and a 5am wakeup for 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer. Disclaimer: I’m not fasting; I’m de-sugaring. Again. Without my lady love home for the month, I’ll surely succeed at entertaining myself.

a girl and her shadow

Oh! And I’m run streaking! Pay attention to my words. I’m doing a run streak, as in running every day for a whole month. With clothes. It’s January! Then we’ll see where it takes us. Figured since my mini me is gone for another Tennessean adventure I should pack my calendar so full she’ll be home before I know it. Looks like I have the right idea.

Stay tuned for more from 2021!

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I ask you –

Resolutions? Please share!

On average, how long does it take you to write the correct year? At least until March.

Have you participated in a run streak?

When There’s Only One Way from Down

…the conditioning of society to “make” us feel sadness is wrong.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/on-the-benefits-of-a-blue-period?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Several weeks ago – perhaps even months – a dear friend sent me the above link after reading one of my many rants and raves here. I saved it because I just knew it would come in handy, most likely sooner vs later. This time it was later. Surprise! I don’t know the history behind labeling a rough spot ‘blue’, but I like it better than other phrases used.

When my tiny shadow cries or gets frustrated or doubles down on attention-seeking behavior, the soft mom in me wants to cuddle her and give her everything she wants. But I can’t. Shouldn’t. These times are so important to her development because I won’t always be there to rescue her. By allowing her to experience pain, rejection, and other normal life emotions, I’m nurturing a strong, independent, healthy young lady. It still hurts.

Reflecting on my own life, which I’ve shared some about, I can see how mental and physical health are intertwined. Exercise goes out the door during an aptly named blue period. It can be tough just to put on socks. However, sometimes the only hindrance is myself. Moral of the story: screw what society says you should be feeling and focus on what makes you happy. Like baking.

And always remember if you need help, please ask. Reach out to anyone. Please don’t battle alone.

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I ask you –

What do you call the feeling of being sad? Down. PMS. In a mood.

Do you have a go-to ritual or activity to cheer yourself up?

Share your thoughts.

Race Recap!

Picturesque scenery

First, we’re pretty lucky to have been able to participate in a race this year. Nearly everything except trail races were cancelled and some road races may not even be returning until 2022. Originally my childhood best friend and I had our sights set on Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio the first weekend of December. Until about 2 weeks before the scheduled start, everyone was saying it was a go. Thankfully, by that time, Morgan and I had decided to swerve right a little in order to register for the Stars at Night Half Marathon near the Natural Bridge Caverns in NE San Antonio.

post-run, pre-pain

Allow me to disclaim as I sit here the morning after reflecting on this race, I need to up my game. Hills. Ugh. I’m a big dummy for not considering if we run in Hill Country there will be…hills. Kel, really? Sadly, I was not prepared, but, thankfully, Morgan was. My hips feel like I tried to smash them between plywood in order to create something new, something altogether too small. Mid-race I made jokes about walking like two old ladies. HaHA, joke’s on you.

Deer kept us company

There were a few sketchy stretches on course: we felt lost once; had to navigate a flooded portion which took us through a large culvert and across pallets and one large rock; and ran alone in a winding, wooded forest for approximately 2 miles. Now we know why headlamps and lights were required. Overall, it was a lot of fun and running with Morgan is always a pleasure.

Sunset photo ops

The resort hotel was beautiful; although I didn’t get any photos of the swimming area, suffice to say it was also gorgeous. A much needed racecation!

Snow globe medal!

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I ask you –

Do you regularly train for hills or elevated surfaces?

What’s been your craziest off-course moment? We weren’t technically off course, but it sure felt like it.

Thoughts on racecations?

Day in Photos, pt 8

My Christmas cards are done! They were completed weeks ago. Who am I?!

card-carrying member of the postal service

90% of my Christmas shopping is done, too. I’m killin’ it over here!

assorted paper options

Final long run topped out at 10 miles in 2:03. We’ll find out soon, but I suspect my commitment (or lack thereof) of consistent training will result in some major post-race soreness. On the bright side, the 40/50° temperatures have been absolutely perfect running weather. Even if the cold makes me a little angry. San Antonio should be right in that range!

a previous 8 miler

I’ve found by taking a lot of seemingly random photos I can easily put together a cohesive blog post. Finally, right? Of course it won’t always be this way – I have some serious sh*t to say at times – but when my mini is home and time is short, a photo collage gets the job done. You may notice the “pt…” number in the post title is in no specific order. Welcome to random (wo)man!

Stay tuned for a Stars at Night Half Marathon update next week! Wish us luck!

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I ask you –

Do you send out Christmas cards every year, some years, or no years at all?

Whose shopping is done? Disclaimer: I’m usually a last minute shopper.

This will be my very first night race! I’m really excited!

Misplaced my List

Why walk when you can run?! Fall brings about the desire to be outside at all costs.

A lovely thought came my way whilst preparing for a trip: when I’m motivated, nothing can match my drive to get something done; when I’m procrastinating, I rival the laziest sloth ever encountered and I will f- around until the last possible moment. Truth be told.

Thankfully this blog isn’t on the lesser end of the spectrum. In all this time I haven’t adopted an Eyore voice of “poor pitiful me, I have to work on the blog”. I’m truly excited to do it. I make time even if it is Sunday afternoon when I publish Monday morning. Like clockwork, it’s there. To be genuinely excited about something someone else may see as a ‘have to’ instead of a ‘want to’ is fascinating to me. Grocery shopping: have to. Blog: want to.

Running is also in the category of want to, but I will confess sometimes it’s a have to. As in, have to for my sanity and the continuation of not going to prison. You know, details! Running and blogging have some similarities, really. They’re both solo sports. Although there are elements of other people interaction, the brunt of them happen where motivation and drive meet. Not to say I don’t rely on my readers, coach, race manager, etc. Nothing wrong with having individual goals; in fact, it is quite welcomed.

As is the norm, my plans are riddled with speed bumps. An injury, an expected race cancellation, just the regular things. They seem to happen at random, but I’m not convinced. Perhaps it’s a voice telling me to slow down. Nevertheless, I continue making plans, even if they may be reworked time and again.

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I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to you’ve got to be kidding, how would you rank your motivation?

Do you have any prison stories? PG only, please. Weak stomach here.

Name some things you have to do and some you want to do.

Into the Unknown!

…and if you didn’t sing this title with all the gusto of Elsa the Ice Queen, I may have to reevaluate our relationship…

In fully contemplating my upcoming half marathon may very well be virtual, I faced a tough decision: where exactly would I run the miles? a) treadmill or b) outside -> which left me with many more questions, like if I chose outside (no brainer) where would I go? a) neighborhood or b) Gordon Lake aka my go-to running location. But what if there was another option; say a previous unknown location with many open miles of pavement and gravel?

c) Eureka!

During recon of new location, I’m mildly disappointed I didn’t know about this before. Too little, too late. But it’s not really too late because at least I know now! Intending to join a running group upon transitioning to my new job in the spring, apparently the rest of the world had other ideas. Surely they would have schooled me in the fine art of new path discovery. Locals refer to it as the Circle Trail; I’m sure by the end of this I’ll have my own name for it. Definitely not family friendly.

According to the maps I’ve located online and what’s posted around the trail, there’s over 20 miles of available running surface area. Translated: no reason I can’t do a half marathon (even a marathon) here. Might as well put all this training to good use. Granted this isn’t my first choice. I WANT to run with my childhood friend in San Antonio; however, if a wrench gets thrown in our plan, then I have a backup option. It may be my final chance to get some kind of event completed in 2020. In other words, why not?!

So as I plan to train on these trails, amidst the wildlife and foliage and abundance of wasps – all I need is to get stung; hello anaphylaxis – I’m both excited and reserved. This trail gives me all the feelings of last year’s Texas Double so we’ll start there. As always, standby for tall tales.

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I ask you –

Have you ever been the last to a party? Seems I’m way behind on what everyone else knew about.

Anyone else completed a virtual race this year? Suggestions?

Tell me what you’re allergic to!