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.

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!”

Fickle Life

Literally nothing but net

I didn’t realize how short this post was until I got ready to publish. As much as I debated on editing this to make it longer, nothing came of it. Better luck next time.

Bad news. The mud volleyball tournament is cancelled. Well, rescheduled to Labor Day. Still gonna be hot so what’s the difference haha I was disappointed for a minute, then I remembered this past weekend’s long run went to hell within 2 miles so now I need to ensure the next long run doesn’t do the same. And if I was playing volleyball all day the chances of running anywhere except to get snow cones was nothing short of nada. It works out.

I’m just filling the time with activities until my mini comes back from her Tennessean summer with her dad. Typically we alternate months but after the stay at home order radically changed our plans we had to make up for it on the back end. Happy to report she’s healthy, happy, and spoiled. And she’ll be home in a few weeks, just in time for vacation!

Physiology, not pictured

PSA. Did you know the average person can’t answer 5 random questions on 5th grade anatomy? I made up the stat; thought I’d join the club. Seems par for the course lately. But this is clearly true because the amount of people who don’t know the nose and mouth are connected is staggering. Otherwise why would their mask be covering the latter and not the former?

Stay tuned for a post on things that annoy me, currently in development.

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I ask you –

Name your favorite flavor of snow cone! Dragon’s blood, I think.

Submit your thoughts on things that annoy you so I don’t sound like a complete ogre when I make my own list.

Should I go play volleyball by myself this weekend or run? Don’t answer that, I’m easily swayed.

A Predicament of Utmost Importance

Heat training has cracked up to be exactly what I thought it would be: a major pain in the a**. Unintentional as it was, perhaps this is an opportunity in disguise. Or else an upcoming setback. Not one to dwell on the negatives, I am navigating this uncertain time. Obviously I’m being overly dramatic. “Heat training” has not been a part of my plan nor is it necessarily happening currently. Really I’m just trying to figure out how to complete this training cycle throughout the hottest months of the year. Now that my work schedule is getting back to semi-normal (read: full days on an alternating schedule vs previous half days on an alternating schedule) there are decisions to be made regarding when to run.

There are a few options. Do I run prior to sunrise, attempt to complete the miles via treadmill as soon as I return home from work, wait until much after sunset when it – maybe – cools off, or establish an alternating schedule of my own to closely align with my telework days so I can run outdoors mid-morning? Most likely it will be a seemingly weird combination of all these things.

Pay very close attention

It’s probably best this way. I couldn’t imagine Texas being anything other than the hot state it is. Let’s not get started on global warming and climate change. If things go as the all-knowing meteorologists predict, it will most likely hit 105 sweltering degrees some time this week and I’ll be forced to make a decision well out of my control so I best get started deciding now. I took a short break two weeks ago to mull over this issue. Well…actually…hormones and laziness got to me so I decided to skip runs 3 & 4 and focus on recharging my batteries. The body can only take so much GO, GO, GO before it warns you that you may be demanding too much. Besides, breaks are as important (perhaps more important) than the gas pedal. Knowing when to stop is complicated and requires heeding the warning signs. I’m slowly figuring this out.

My trusty trail

Nonetheless, the show must go on! On the bright side there’s only about 5 more months of hot weather which delivers me right to the doorstep of the marathon. How thoughtful. Though I’m hopefully kidding. It will surely become more manageable as time marches on. Not lost on me is the distrust I have in my body now. Performance is based on all cylinders correctly firing at the right time to produce optimal results. Without my temperature regulator, or with a confused regulator, I’m hesitant to push past the point of no return. I guess that’s why God made Fall.

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I ask you –

Training for anything? Do tell!

Is your workplace returning to “normal”? What does that look like for you?

What’s your favorite season and why?

No Laughing Matter. Kidding!

Last week was hell. But the good kind of hell. Let’s not mince words and get to the point.

Home sweet home

If you hedged your bets on me not returning to the gym opening day all I can say is I hope you didn’t lose a lot of money. Because I was there. Granted it was 2.5 hours after they officially unlocked the doors, but, hey, I had to work that day so my options were limited.

Needless to say – or is it needed? – I completely broke apart every muscle group minus glutes/legs/anything below the pelvis. It felt incredible! Seems those home workouts were lackluster at best. As the week wore on and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, aka the true hell that sets in to muscles when you’ve pretty much over taxed them) set in, I was located on the couch, unable to move, but so proud of myself. This is the beginning stages of some type of masochism.

If you’re wondering, or judging me, by the negation of lower body exercise, may I remind you I am in the final weeks of pre-marathon base building training. Say that a few times fast. Absolutely I could go in and knock out reps of squats, lunges, and good mornings (p.s. these are my favorite) but the recovery is a heavy price to pay. But now that I say…errrr type…this, I’m reminded how important those good mornings are for strong hamstrings to power my runs. Anyway. I just didn’t do it, ok?! But I will. Promise.

Ugh. Texas heat

Moral of the story: everything is sore, I’m managing to both run and strength train on the same days, and the training plan officially starts tomorrow. In my next life, I will be a juggler in the traveling circus.

Hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day. Remember the true meaning of this day and know we are quite fortunate to have what we do.

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I ask you –

How crazy am I to jump back into the gym day 1? Nevermind. Don’t answer that.

Are there any circuses that don’t travel?

Memorial Day plans? Since large gatherings are most likely out of the question. Unless you’re extremely rebellious.