Producing Vision

“A vision clarifies purpose, helps establish priorities, motivates commitment, maximizes productivity, and fuels passion. A vision is a specific desire that God has for our future. It gives us a direction to head in. A vision grows out of a need that we see around us, something so strong we can’t get it out of our minds.” – Anonymous

He had a dream. I need a vision statement. As part of my (ongoing, yearly, monthly) goal to grow my blog not only into a widely read source but also into a business, a clear vision statement is necessary.

My friend Morgan from Oregon shared with me a booklet called Unravel Your Year. It’s free and available on the website. Basically, you sit for a few minutes or hours, drinking your favorite tea or whiskey whilst reminiscing on years gone by and how you can incorporate lessons learned into not being a complete idiot the next time. That’s the gist. By the way, it’s 59 pages. But who’s counting. Short story long, I’m doing it! Because what better things do I have to do with my limited time. Truthfully, I jest, but I really do want to use some self-discovery in determining where and how Running on Fumes can grow. There’s also that book still needing to be published. But I can only fry one fish at a time – the blog is the fish in the pan at the moment. No one says that, Kel. Stop it. I have been more intentional about using my planner(s) – one for home, one for work – to set tangible, mini goals. Granted it’s only mid-January.

I write with pens, too!

Focusing on the vision part. I believe there are big opportunities for me in 2022. There will probably be big setbacks, as well; that’s ok. Nothing comes easy. A vision is a lot like expectations. You can’t tell someone you have no expectations when asked, then, all of a sudden, have expectations needing to be met that weren’t clearly communicated when originally asked. Bitter much? Perhaps revisiting vision should be a regular occurrence.

I think this is why I’m enjoying the pages in the Unravel Your Year workbook – because each month of 2022 there is room for monthly reflections. It’s extremely easy for me to say I should revisit the vision portion, but let’s be honest…will you? Not without some reminders!

And, frankly, I love to write in whatever medium I can obtain; be it paper, computer, phone, napkins; I’m not picky. I just want to write.

Oh how that book publishing goal is staring me right in the face.

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I ask you –

Do you have a vision (statement or otherwise) for your blog, life, etc?

Any suggestions on writing a vision statement?

Tell me what you consistently find yourself writing on! Maybe yourself.

Stranger Things

…have happened.

My workplace is offering a class on how to deal with stress. Upon discussing possible attendance at said class, my co-worker stated she was offered the same class at a different job, but the class was cancelled. Cue the stress jokes. How does a class on being stress-free get cancelled?! The whole incident just speaks of stress!


I was approached at my desk by a kind woman who was having some computer issues. She explained she is accustomed to using Navy-supported technology resources. Upon further discussion, she explained she’s from Charleston and works with SPAWAR, now known as something else I continue to mispronounce. It was so nice to chat with someone who understands Navy lingo. Toward the end of our conversation, I secretly hoped she would have to use me as a verification source for her account just so we would another opportunity to speak about Navy stuff. I don’t miss it. Just sometimes.

From another source: “I’m sure most of you saw that former member of the Monkees singing group, Michael Nesmith, passed away a few weeks ago. Maybe their heyday was long before many of you were born. The Monkees were the TV answer to the Beatles in the mid-1960’s (I can recall watching each new episode each week); whereas the Beatles were known as the ‘Fab-Four’; the Monkees were the opposite as the ‘Pre-Fab Four’, a made for TV group, and though the Monkess could play instruments, all the songs were written and played by studio wizards like Neil Diamond and Glen Campbell and the Wrecking Crew. When the Monkees got their way to play their instruments on later albums, they fell off the rock-world. Mike Nesmith enlisted in the USAF and took his tech training as a B-52 mechanic here at Sheppard in the 1960 timeframe and was assigned to Clinton-Sherman AFB, OK. As a side note, his mother invented Liquid Paper, the correction fluid used extensively in the typewriter days.”

Never have I ever… considered I would be starting a new year without running. It feels lonely, like watching everyone get on the bus to do something fun and I can’t go. If you’re sick of hearing me talk about how I can’t run for awhile, then keep scrolling. But seriously. I feel genuinely left out. Strava has no problem reminding me of upcoming or current run challenges. The Facebook event tracker rubs it in even more with their stupid ‘your friend is attending race whatever’. Oh, shut up!

And I’m over here with my yoga and walking. Be so jealous. Did that stress-free class ever get rescheduled?

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I ask you –

Would you attend a workshop on stress management?

What are you doing for fitness goals in January?

Note: I only posted about the Monkees for the final sentence on liquid paper because it was so random to me.

Final Christmas Thoughts

We finally (like it’s not only January) got snow, then the following day I had to take down Christmas decorations. But I was rewarded with nature at its finest – tiny ladybugs everywhere! It certainly wasn’t enough snow to play in; I still have plenty of hope we’ll have another February blizzard like last year.

bare feet

Belated Christmas with mini was a rousing success. We had her requested snack supper and she opened gifts until I couldn’t see the floor for all the wrapping paper, boxes, and tissue. How does one small child have all this stuff? Maybe next year we can do a one gift limit. Somebody tell Santa. I’m still sorting the gigantic plastic tub of gifts she returned with from Tennessee and her dad’s family. It never ends.

Now that I’m thinking about it…the title of this post seems a little dark. I didn’t mean it’s the final Christmas. I meant it’s my final thoughts on Christmas. Since Christmas was held at my house in January. Whatever. You’ll figure it out.

As school has gone back into session, the familiar feeling of gotta-do-it-all’s returned. From homework to reading folders to checking out her first library book, the sleepiness of holidays faded into the background. Just where I like it. Even after all these years, I still struggle getting into the holiday spirit and end up sounding like a Scrooge with my final comments…

school routine

I’m really glad it’s over. Now, where’s the spring flowers that bring May showers? Or whatever they say.

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I ask you –

Any final Christmas thoughts?

Did you get snow on Christmas Day?

A report I read stated thousands of people or more will go into debt during the holidays. I just don’t get it.

Hey, Tigger!

“Regret looks back. Fear looks around. Worry looks in. Faith looks up. The will to persevere is often the difference between success and failure.”

January!

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare! But vision combined with action can change the world.”

Joyce Meyer writes, ‘I used to be a full-time sinner, and once in a while I “accidentally” did something right. But now that I have spent many years developing a deep, personal relationship with God… I still make mistakes, but not nearly as many as I once did, I am not where I need to be, but thank God, I am not where I used to be. I do not do everything right, but I do know that the attitude of my heart is right.’

What’s interesting about the three paragraphs above is this post pertains to…drumroll, please…social media. During the holidays, people (many of whom I consider actual friends) would post things ranging from the incredibly sad (missing a loved one) to the truly joyful (a family dinner with family not seen in a few years) to the downright dramatic (poor, pitiful me, my name is Eyore). Sometimes I find myself scrolling aimlessly, but I take heart in this: I was anti-social media for many years. I’ve learned I can live without it. For many, though, being connected or plugged in is a way of life they may not know a time without. I’m old. The end.

Kidding. I’m not finished here yet.

A few times a year (notably: New Years) I clean out my ‘following’ list to reflect what is important to me. For example, if I’m training or wish I was training, then I follow more running motivation sites. If I’m focusing on what I put into my body, I have more keto lifestyle sites on the home page. Make sense? But it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of wash, rinse, repeat for days, weeks, even months at a time. I’m trying to be more present and focused in what I view on social media in order to be less complacent. More books, less scrolling.

a book a day keeps boredom at bay

In trying to grow a blog and establish a brand, cutting out social media just doesn’t seem possible. And that’s a-okay. But it doesn’t mean I can’t disconnect at times when necessary. With a new year comes new opportunities to reflect inward what really matters to me (and you). Remembering – or being reminded – faith looks up is my cue; lest I become the Eyore.

Run away!

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I ask you –

Do you have a go-to quote?

What is the attitude of your heart?

Tell me how many times you’ve had an Eyore moment! Only a few I can remember – I’m dramatic, but not in the ‘my life is so hard’ way.

Gas Station Guilty Pleasures

Have I ever mentioned my fear of convenience stores? Dumpsters, yes; convenience stores, maybe not. Perhaps I watched too many nightly news broadcasts as a child where so-and-so was killed during an armed robbery at a corner convenience store, blah blah blah. My overworked imagination is a bit much at times. Even for me. Maybe it’s the fact there’s typically so many posters, flyers, window paraphanelia covering every square inch of glass where one would/could see out. Or maybe it’s the one way in, one way out design. It may even be the fact many people pay cash instead of using their debit cards. That makes no sense, Kel. Which is exactly my point. My fear makes zero sense. Nothing bad has ever happened to me inside a convenience store. And I won’t be patronizing any to test my luck.

I have seriously digressed. IF I was to frequent convenience store establishments, my guilty pleasure would be peach rings. Affectionately called “peachies”, I would most likely purchase them each time. Soft yet chewy and reminiscent of a sweet, summery peach, these sugar-laden treats beg me to sample twenty. On a related note, a whole group of kids played a game at Halloween which consisted of inserting a large popsicle stick (or tongue depressor, if you want to be specific) inside their mouth and seeing how many gummy orange slices each could stack on their stick. Since I did not play, but am a huge kid at heart, I sneakily ate 4 gummy orange slices when the game had commenced. I had forgotten how much I love those things!! Pretty sure my blood sugar went into outer space. But what a way to go!!

Yummy!

You know what else they sell at convenience stores? Lottery tickets. Or as mini calls them – scratcher offers. My parents love receiving lotto tickets. To my knowledge, they’ve never won anything big (unless they kept it to themselves which is exactly what I would do haha) so I guess it’s the possibility of winning a huge payout that keeps people addicted. On the radio show I most often listen to, one of the co-hosts spends upwards of $200 each paycheck buying lottery tickets. I don’t recall if he said he buys the scratch-off kind or plays the actual lottery, but $400/month is still $400/month on gambling. Perhaps since I’ve never been a gambler do I not understand this fascination. To each his own.

this is the only lotto I’m winning

And, on that note, my mother’s birthday is coming soon. Let me find someone to stop at that store on the corner to get her lottery tickets. Because it’s not gonna be me!

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I ask you –

What is your gas station guilty pleasure?

What do you call lottery tickets? I’ve heard the term “scratchers” before.

Name something you are unjustly terrified of.

Year in Review

So as 2021 will be closing out in just a few days and I will be on my way to retrieve mini from her holiday, today is my – surely anticipated – year in review!

In actively trying to remember how many races I’ve run, I returned to admiring my medal and race bib holder. There’s a lot of jingle on that wall! Pre-pandemic, I was accustomed to training for and scheduling at least 2-3 half marathons per year. Since then, I’ve been extremely lucky to complete one per year. 2021 was a wash/rinse/repeat of 2020, but I don’t let it get to me. Sure, I could blame the lack of events for my injury (which makes no sense and still doesn’t make me feel better); however, one is more than none! Knowing I run much better in the cold, a December race just works for me. I tried to establish a base through the summer, but between the heat and the dreadmill, it sucked. Not only did my base not get built, in retrospect, perhaps I should have used that time to ensure I wasn’t dealing with an injury before I started fall training. One day I’ll learn the lesson the first time!

10 – is how many half marathons I’ve run. Technically, I only completed 9. But I’m still proudly saying 10! Never did get around to counting the assorted 5k and 10k medals. Instead, I took a trip down memory lane. It was fabulous! I have made some amazing friends who also run. I’ve talked to people from different areas and connected with them solely online. I even get super excited when they complete a race because sharing in another’s accomplishment is such a rush of emotion! There are people whom I still refer to as my running buddy, my coach, my mentor – life brings with it different seasons but those people stay in my heart. I imagine for forever. Running just does something wonderful for me.

Ok, moving on…

I love when an app puts numbers together for me! Sometimes I don’t number well on my own. What can I say? – I’m a writer, I like words! Since I won’t be running much (any) anytime soon, I shall live vicariously through my previous endeavors and your stories! Give me all the stories! Disclaimer: for 2021, I only started using Strava in April so this doesn’t include any miles I ran January – March.

thank you, Strava

Being uncertain of which of the past years have been my favorite, I am extremely grateful I chose running! Or maybe it chose me. There’s joy in the adventure running brings to me. It is a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a run, no matter how fast or slow it was. Running gives back tenfold what you put into it. I want other sports to BE that for me; alas, I don’t know if it’s in the cards for the dream to ever be a reality. Time will tell. Some days I’m rushing to know; others are a slow crawl. Guess it just depends on the mood of the day. I’m anxious to ditch the brace and lace up my trusty running shoes, but I know it can’t happen. Yet.

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I ask you –

Anybody else love looking at their year’s stats?

Are you following me on Strava? Share your ID so I can follow you!

Goal time! Tell me what you have planned for 2022!

Making Strides – Not the Literal Ones

The results are in! I won’t be running anywhere for…awhile. Trust me, I’m devastated. After further instructions to do nothing but rest for at least 4 more weeks followed by lengthy physical therapy, I have resigned myself to doing just that. Well, except for those few minutes I attempted to bargain some “active rest” by way of cycling, but was quickly reminded this type of rest is literal. No exceptions.

view from the ground

Good news: I can walk! Albeit a hobbling “walk”, but a walk nonetheless. Sans crutches. Sans a walker. haHA My medicine cabinet looks like that of a much older, more frail human being and I’m now the proud owner of various compression garments. I also own an assorted collection of massaging tools, as well as something called “Spray and Stretch” which turned out to be a very cold spray-on analgesic. Not convinced on this one yet.

sorry about the language, but it’s too good to not share

In contemplating the future of my running habits (perhaps I’m a little too dramatic), I believe it’s important to chart out the many possibilities.

  • I can’t run again
  • I can run but with some pain.
  • I choose to do something else.

As someone who enjoys goals and making plans – here we are. I do think I’d like to explore cycling more. Remember, that was originally going to be my cross training activity. Instead, I ran and ran and ran and never cross trained. Hmmmm maybe that’s the problem. I’m an ‘all or nothing’ kind of goal setter. To my own demise. Fortunately, I work with and know several cyclers so I will talk with them. Living in the founding city of the largest and oldest cycling event ever, it shouldn’t be too hard to get set up if that’s what I want to do.

Credit: jmstormquotes via Instagram

Problem solved and there wasn’t even a problem!

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I ask you –

Beyond strength training and swimming, what other “sports” could I substitute for running?

What was your last injury?

Tell me your goals for 2022! Walk without pain.

Day in Photos, pt 9029

Christmas edition!

Mini is with her dad in Tennessee this Christmas so allow me to reminisce and smile through this year’s holiday adventures before she departed.

Obligatory hotel lobby photo! I know last year’s and 2019’s photo are around here somewhere!

Special Santa letter! She was beyond excited when retrieving it from the mailbox.

a tutu a day is the only way

Bet you’ve never seen/heard a girl squeal in joy when getting buttons in her stocking! Mini loves to craft so buttons were on her Christmas wish list. Buttons. Of all things.

oh look, another tutu

Ice skating with Aunt B! My sweet sister was such a trooper to take Mini skating the weekend of my race. She prevented me from breaking anything pre-run, only fell once, and encouraged mini to keep going through the approximately 47 falls of her own! Towards the end of the at least 2 hour icecapades, Mini was bravely traversing the ice alone. Definitely a must do again!

A school trip to the local library for a visit with the Clause’s!

And, finally, a cuddly moment for mini and I. This amazing girl is reading sentences, making friends with everyone, and has the biggest heart! She sings with her whole body and, no matter how big she gets, will always be my snuggle buddy.

a tutu – again

Merry Christmas, from Running on Fumes to all my loyal readers! Thank you for blessing my life with your friendship!

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I ask you –

Are you traveling for the holidays?

Have you ever received a personalized Santa letter?

Again, may your holiday be filled with love, joy, and a silent night!

Mom Fails, pt whatever

Narrative: mini’s class was having a movie day experience and a message was sent to parents for help acquiring small boxes of candy.

My perspective: this time, I’m not responding. I don’t have time this week to peruse for candy boxes. Too much on my plate, but I’ll check back to ensure what was needed was purchased, then, if not, I’ll chime in.

Spoiler alert: all candy was successfully located.

Credit: mommy.meds via Instagram

Final observation: a mom whom I know personally and absolutely love had the final say – to the effect of if you have the dollar general app then candy is buy three get one free. FIRST, I had no idea there was a dollar general app. SECOND, this is the mom level I aspire to…the one who knows about apps and deals and where to go for the best coupons. LASTLY, what an amazing person to share this info for those of us who flounder around in the world with no real experience in “mom’ing” and rely on other mommier moms for encouragement. Isn’t it like us to compare and see others doing it better (or so we think)? Let it be known, I don’t doubt my mom abilities, but I am very realistic about my strengths and weaknesses! Becoming a candy purchaser is not my forte – lest I buy the celery-flavored stuff.

And we all know how that turned out!

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I ask you –

What’s your favorite movie candy?

Did you know there was a Dollar General app?

Link to my celery debacle post: Rants & Raves – RoF Edition

Reflections of a Training Cycle

This one has been tough – not on time, but on my body.

From start to finish (16 weeks), I only gained 6 lbs but the inflammation is very pronounced. I have failed to disclose previously I’m under orders to stop running for 6 weeks. Ooof. Due to a probable hamstring sprain/strain bordering on a tear, instructions were given to rest/ice/heat/medicate and a whole list of other things for no less than 4 weeks. Instead, I continued to run and train for several weeks to make it to race day. So what does that mean now? It means I’m very lucky to have made it through the race and now I will be following doctor’s orders for the remainder of the month and partially into January. Not exactly the plan I had, but here we are. Surely I realize the scope of my decision to train regardless of pain, etc; however, once I finally received a diagnosis, it was exactly 10 days until R-Day. Many people much smarter than I have decided not to compete in events incredibly significant, i.e. the Olympics, for injury prevention reasons. Alas, my measly race pales in comparison yet I continued to train despite the bruising, pain, and swelling. I don’t say this to brag; rather I say it to reemphasize what not to do and how little I use my brain cells. Please learn from my mistakes.

If anyone needs me, I’ll just be ambling around chained to an ice pack alternating with heating pad and taking copious amounts of muscle relaxers to release the muscle from its confines of tension with the ultimate goal of running sans pain in the very near future! Speaking this into existence! Also, it seems I’ll definitely need to make an update to my eating habits for the duration. Can’t be imbibing in everything my heart desires if movement is limited. Don’t misunderstand – I don’t run so I can eat. It’s taken a long time to get to a place where food is fuel. I eat so I may run. I eat to enjoy the little things in life, like fresh baked cookies. But the donuts and croutons and extra pie need to take a back burner to getting myself well again. They will be there when I’m ready.

16 weeks is a bit too lengthy for me. Garmin told me I “peaked” around 14 weeks and instructed me to race soon as my fitness would start to decrease. So I proceeded to continue running as prescribed because what were my other options?! Then the reported VO2 max kept increasing so was I really peaking? Was the peak an early symptom of the highest VO2 max I’ve ever accomplished? Who knows. Let’s be honest…I have never considered my VO2 max as any number worth being concerned over and I’m not starting now. But it was awesome to see the message ‘Superior’! haHA! Superior! Anyway, previously I said (wrote) I wanted to focus more on the 10k distance in 2022; I think my plan is solid even if it won’t start as early as I’d hoped for due to mandatory rest. Seems like every single time I have a great running base something comes up. Oh well.

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I ask you –

What is your typical training cycle length?

Have you ever continued to train for an event despite a recommendation to stop?

Tell me the stat you like to track!