My New Holiday Jingle!

I really do!

It’s the most runderful time of the year!

There will be Saturdays for sleeping

And friends for some meetings

Without having to go.

We can toast to a break

I promise I won’t make

Anymore plans with the excuse of FOMO!

With the treadmill off

No one will scoff

When I say it’s only 10 miles.

No more tales of the wall

And I can’t find my tension ball

My legs are now all smiles!

The long runs are over and the weather is colder and my family finally comes near!

It’s the most runderful time of the yearrrrrrrr!

___________

I ask you –

How long should I wait for a record deal?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Aftermath / Letting the Dust Settle!

Day 1 Thoughts:

Wow! I certainly didn’t expect to achieve a new PR (personal record) and definitely not by 10 mins. Last November, I ran a 2:28 (again, that’s 2 hours and 28 mins) at the Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon in Norfolk, VA. On Saturday, I ran a 2:18! Before, I had a pacer and a whole group of people I was running alongside. This current race had no pacers, very little course support, and it’s a 3 mile loop – which means I am running the same route each loop. #boring

Prior to take off

But I felt good and was basically running off of pace versus staying tuned into my watch and monitoring every number. When I saw 2 hrs at almost 11.5 miles, I was tired, but I thought oh my, I could really PR today.

Overall, I’m sore. There is some hip pain and a large blister on my left foot, but I know, no matter the time, I can make it through tomorrow’s race. And even if I hate it, I have a shiny new PR as consolation!

Finish Face

Day 2 Thoughts:

When I woke up at 5am to eat my oatmeal, I wasn’t feeling it. My body was sore, the blister was looking particularly angry, and I had to give myself a long pep talk just to get out of bed. I told myself I at least had to try. It’s what I trained for. 18 weeks of training culminating in this weekend where I had two chances to prove to myself I can do it.

Completely fake smile

As I began running, seeing many of the same faces from yesterday, I started to loosen up. It got hot quick so I shed all the extra layers, including the Camelbak and ran until I was ready to either slow my pace or walk. After the first lap (remember each lap is a 5k aka 3 miles), I knew unless I broke something or was forced to stop, I would continue. Lap #3 was a philosophical turning point. I kept thinking about my Munchkin – the challenges she will face in her life and how I am preparing myself to be by her side. A thought that continues to stick with me is she is not my excuse to do hard things, sometimes she’s not even my reason. (It can be hard to convey what I mean here. Be open minded.) What she is to me is my audience. She’s always watching. And if she sees me sucking it up and and showing up every time, then perhaps those values will also translate to her own life. Time will tell.

Pain face

In saying all this, allow me to get to the point. You’re welcome! 2:27. I almost couldn’t believe it. To think I had to talk myself into getting started and these tired legs managed a what would have been a PR prior to the day before inspires confidence in a future marathon goal. I may not can walk much later – and definitely not tomorrow – but right now my smile speaks for itself.

Fritos, banana, and whatever else they’d let me eat

__________________

I ask you –

What’s my chance of feeling 100% within 24 hours? – I know, I’m laughing, too

Mood(y)

Sometimes I refuse to allow myself to cry because eye cream is expensive and I already have forehead wrinkles. Considering trying collagen to alleviate the roadmap that is my skin. According to modern research, women should look at their mothers to determine how they will age. This isn’t going to end well, if that’s the case.

Roadmap to the stars

Also, as I have a large forehead (a fivehead, if you will) I expect to pay more over the lifetime of face lotion and sunscreen because I will use more. This is crap. And over the weekend, my naturally long eye lashes scratched my eyeball. If that’s not a first world problem, I don’t know what is!

In all seriousness, the holidays are emotionally draining to many – myself included. Frankly, I’m tired of holding people together. I once said “I’m so busy helping others when they fall apart, but when I fall apart, there’s no one there to catch me. When is my day?”. Guess that’s the trouble with being a rescuer, a fixer, an empath. Reaching out takes a toll on my sanity and my mental health.

So I’m stopping. There’s a handful of people I contact every single morning. I’m not anymore. If you want me in your life, you know where to find me. A million other people can reach out to me when they’re ready to have a two-sided conversation. I’m done trying to be everything to everyone. I owe it to myself.

But so this post doesn’t come across as selfish and (too) moody, being seen and acknowledged is most important. I see you. I acknowledge your struggles and that you may need to do things for yourself only. Totally get it. However, the doormat days are over and the door is slowly closing. In terms of fitness and physical health, the flip side of the coin is finding things you love to do and will sustain long term well-being. Running and exercise in general does that for most people. Keep it in mind as you traverse the holiday season.

Struggling

Lastly, a few members shared their thoughts about me and the words ‘customer service guru’ were thrown out there. I’ll take that as a win. Double lastly, I have a fear of dumpsters. Just leaving that here.

_____________

I ask you –

How long do you think this mood will last? – copious amounts of Midol isn’t helping

Any suggestions on these wrinkles (nothing involving needles, please)?

Tell me a time when your personal resolution to yourself was successful.

Marine Corps Marathon Recap and Reevaluation

My apologies there’s no photos for this post – since I didn’t personally attend the marathon myself, I would have had to use stock photos and those just aren’t as much fun!

After conversing with several people who ran the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), I’m toggling between keeping my commitment to running it as my first (read: potentially only) marathon. As much as I love people, 50,000 of them makes my heart race. Even if I was to start and stay in the back of the pack, the chance of being exceptionally close to any runner is still high. Though course support is definitely what the MCM has in full force, my decision is based on other factors, as well.

Location, travel, training, and weather have me questioning the MCM. I can only imagine how beautiful the DC area is in the Fall and I love traveling so those aren’t my concerns. The training plan is a little iffy, but the weather I have to train in is highest on my list and the sheer amount of other runners is numero dos. It may seem silly to worry about these things; however, when you pour your time and money into an activity you always hope for the best outcome. Control freak much?

Training through the summer is limited in my own situation. The notorious Texas heat translates to a lot of indoor treadmill running which, in my opinion, doesn’t mimic outdoor running well. I can definitely tell a difference when I’ve trained primarily on a treadmill vs. outdoors. Also, and I know I keep circling back to it, I have no desire to run within arm’s distance of hundreds of people for 26.2 miles. That’s a big no thanks from me. So what’s my other options?

Option A: Find a new marathon. Not a bad idea. Although I loved the idea of the MCM because it’s a veteran’s support community, there are tons of other marathons available. By being a little more choosy on what marathon to participate in, I can decide what fits my training cycle best, too. I could find a local (Texas) marathon in the Spring – I’d already looked at a few of them before. Or…

Option B: Run the MCM. Surely I can recruit at least one other person to run with me that day. Perhaps someone who has already completed it and would like to voluntold themselves to be my pacer/motivator/conversationalist. Also someone who won’t allow me to take a hard turn to port when the going gets tough. Anyone? No? That’s ok because the beauty in being voluntold is it’s not really an option! Standby for heavy rolls. Side note: it took 3 tries to get that verbiage correct and I know 95% of my readers have no Navy experience but for the 5% who do – please appreciate my intent!

The bright side is there’s still plenty of time to decide. Unless I want to go with a marathon in Spring 2020. But I committed to writing then. So writing I must. Training will continue, but I don’t know for what race. The show must go on!

______________________

I ask you –

What races are on your horizon?

Are you Option A or Option B?

Any volunteers?!

Abbreviated Day in Photos, part 482

Have you read the story of the person who changed their Roomba to curse when it bumps into things? That’s me! I’m the cursing Roomba! How do you think the gym gets clean? Fairies?!

The other day I mentioned a need for someone to follow me around and take notes of the great things I dream of when running. It’s mostly nonsense and can span the range of highly emotional to very inspirational. Any takers? Bring your own golf cart.

That time I fell into a washing machine (not really) but it’s very possible

Friends and family joke about the volume of calls I’ve made to local law enforcement on the drive. Seriously though, I see the most random s**t! The other night my own neighbor tried to run me off the road in his white challenger. If I hadn’t been too tired to fight back and also fearful he had a gun, I would’ve stopped and yelled. I’m only assuming it was a male, I really don’t know. Women must band together. But I would’ve yelled at her, too!

Here’s a few other random things:

Lucky Charms. Yes. The end.

Cereal and books – all a girl needs

Look at all these leaves! One day it was 75° and beautiful out. The next was 25° and wind gusts to 40mph. The aftermath –

Nevermind the sucker

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving to you all. I will return next week with stories of family, humor, and, let’s hope not, violence. But have you met my family? Anything is possible. Please answer all collect calls.

_____________________

I ask you –

Is there a patent on the cursing Roomba or is there still room for me in that market?

What’s your favorite cereal? – Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch: my top 2

Where are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Any tips for keeping my sanity?

What’s New?

Much like spring cleaning, join me on this exploration of old and new stuff I’ve located in my house (aka mind and body) in no particular order

Pixel-y and beautiful

Book writing: let’s add some more stuff to my fully-loaded proverbial plate and take on the project-in-progress of many years. I began writing a book the year between my undergrad and grad school. As life got more hectic, I put it away and haven’t revisited it since. No better time than the present! In developing myself as a person, a woman, a mom, I decided to begin writing again. There’s no EDC (estimated date of completion), but I plan to maximize effort after December’s training cycle comes to a close. Which brings me to another topic…

Training: is going well! Committing to a plan to run 4 days per week is definitely less stressful than the previous 5-6 days a week. Even knowing I have to run both days of a weekend is somehow easier to accept than I originally thought possible. On other plans, I would dread the weekends. I was a super b-word until I got my one long run in and I would feel like a complete failure if Monday came and it hadn’t been done. Now? I run Saturday and Sunday. It’s a normal part of conversation. The schedule pretty much runs itself (puns for life). I aim for outdoor running – occasionally I can’t make it happen, but usually I’m successful. The only pitfall was the length of the runs. With some slight adjustments, I’m back on the track to success.

First double digit run went smoothly!

Motherhood: Some days I amaze myself at what I’m able to show her – my patience knows no bounds. Other days we each need a time out and I consider adding wine to my coffee cup. Your shaming has no place here. As a smaller version of myself, mini-me can push every button I have and create ones I didn’t even know were there. And then she smiles. If she wasn’t so cute… Being her mom is the greatest blessing of my life. Nothing compares. At times I don’t know who I was before her, then I feel a tingle in my heart and I know she and I were created to meet.

We drink coffee together. It’s half caff. Shut it.

Lastly, work: busy is an understatement. Building a brand, a vision, and melding the minds of multiple people is a job not for the faint of heart. It’s time consuming. But creating connections between people with the same goals is awe-inspiring. Daily (seriously, not a day goes by) I encounter people who share their stories with me, a stranger. Some are wilder than others; many settle heavily in my soul. It could be a story of perseverance or a synopsis of loss – collectively, it makes an impact. My goal is to bring out the best in these warriors who have come to me looking for someone to help make a difference in themselves. Every task brings us closer. Anytime Fitness fulfilled a passion within me; I can’t imagine not being the face of another’s desire to do so. Also, I got a green light to begin training. Training others, specifically. It’s a natural progression in my line of work while also adding a few tons to my already heavy plate. However, I’m stoked to begin this path again.

Stay tuned for another episode of Kel’s Crazy Life. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Always,

Kel

FitrWoman – Train Smarter!

Just some light reading

For many years, I’ve noticed the changes in my own training cycle would be affected by my menstrual cycle. As a woman who enjoys knowing things about my body, I use a few apps to track ovulation, estimated period length, and other symptoms. It seemed there was always a component lacking in these apps, though – they didn’t track the effect your monthly cycle has on your ability to train athletically, much less reach a goal.

Hey Diva!

Luckily, other women had this great idea! I found out about this app in an article posted in Women’s Running. Introducing FitrWoman, available via the App Store or Google Play. I had very high hopes and it has yet to fall short. There’s even a supplemental app, FitrCoach, for those who train female athletes. Though not free like FitrWoman, the coaching ability is a must-have for anyone instructing women in this capacity.

FitrWoman connects with Strava to track not only your workouts but also to meld it with your cycle. My personal favorite part of FitrWoman is the insights portion. The changes in hormones within our bodies affect every literal part of training, from nutrition to cravings to overall strength. I’ve always noticed during certain days of my cycle I would be unable to lift as heavy or my heart rate would be much higher than usual even if I wasn’t training any harder. Turns out these are all common physiology symptoms! Even sweating more and experiencing an increased body temperature are typical. I’m not crazy!

FitrWoman also includes recipes and food suggestions for optimal training during each phase of your cycle, as well as articles discussing topics like PMS and contraception, among many others. I think both men and women could use some extra reading material to truly understand these pieces of female life.

Screenshot of FitrWoman calendar

For more information, if you’re not sold by my words alone, check it out at https://www.fitrwoman.com. I continue referring to my app for daily insights and information on how to truly train for my body. It’s exciting to see the cycles run their course. Haha get it. Any chance we have to exceed our own expectations should be taken!

________________________

I ask you –

Are you using FitrWoman?

Did you know the connection between training and menstrual cycles?

What feedback do you have that would make FitrWoman better?