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.

Texas, my Texas

Surely no matter where you live you’ve been privy to the song that goes something like this…”the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.” Bonus points if you sing it. Double bonus if you hear it in Sheldon Cooper’s voice complete with hand clap.

Anyway, nevermind my (lack of) singing skills. The big reveal is an update to my race plans! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio is still happening, from my understanding, but I quite possibly found something better. Introducing The Stars at Night Half also in San Antonio and just 2 weeks later than the RnR.

Bigger in Texas!

Upon discovery, I quickly notified my childhood friend and we equally, excitedly, committed ourselves to this new race instead. Not only does it give us a few extra weeks of training, but also a picturesque view of the beautiful JW Marriot Resort and Spa.

coursework

And there will be Christmas lights! And it’s a night run!! Bucket list! And my sweet, (not so) little girl will be able to be there! And…and…and!

I’m a little bit excited. You can find me under the stars! And if it’s cloudy or raining or whatever else gets thrown at us, I’ll be smiling anyway.

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I ask you –

Are you familiar with Sheldon Cooper?

Name a few things on your bucket list!

Hopefully I haven’t been too annoying with my seemingly constant change of plans lately.

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!

She’s Doing It Again

The title is what I imagine runs through the heads of family and friends when I tell them I’m training for something. Again. More realistically, can you imagine the massive eye roll and sigh of annoyance? Me three.

My bank account probably cringes, too. In my defense, think of how much money I’ve saved working from home, not going anywhere, and not racing! Bring on the race fees! I say ‘fees’ like I have plans to run more than once knowing damn well I don’t. Moving on!

Half marathon shirts keep me motivated

Today starts my official training cycle! And Mondays are rest days! I’m already winning! The past few weeks have been spent getting enough sleep and (semi) base training. By base training I mean walking a lot and eating pie. Details. But today the bs stops; it’s time to get serious.

As always, I’m amazed at how 3 miles can feel like death and only a few weeks later a 10-miler is completely normal. Runners are psychotic. My plan – as it typically is – is to attempt to do more hill training than usual. Read: never. So even though I have to brave the roads with all the wild dogs, I’ll get some done.

investments clearly

Remind me to check how long it’s been since I had a tetanus shot.

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I ask you –

What hobbies do you spend the most money on?

For such a short plan, how many rest days per week should I have? Answer: I should probably run 8 days/week.

Do they give preventative tetanus shots?

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!

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.