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.

_______________________

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!

Race Weekend is Upon Us! + Track Me!

You can track me using this link (find my name – Kelly Atwell): https://rtrt.me/ulink/RRSA/RRS-DALLAS-2021/tracker/RBRE5GLH/focus

I love races with real time tracking! There’s many cool things about tracking race participants, notably finding out if they finished, but also being able to receive real time stats (that’s my favorite!). And who doesn’t love a good stalker app. It’s literally permission to stalk someone. So weird.

So I don’t have a “real” post for today – this might be the only time I’ve ever said that. I’m really excited to race and then take an extended, forced break. More on that later. On Sunday afternoon’s drive home, I’ll re-cap the race, load photos, and give you all the ins/outs of racing the BMW Dallas Half Marathon for Monday’s post. I’ve tried to take it easy this week – doubling down on low stress, stretching religiously, eating well, and sleeping more to ensure I can meet my goal.

It may not be much to anyone else, but to me this goal is doable and a long time coming. I’ve really put my body to the test during this cycle – never before have I been so cognizant of tempo runs, cadence workouts, strides, and progression runs. Some of those have become dirty words in my vocabulary!

Wish me luck!

___________________

I ask you –

What are you currently training for?

How often do you use tempo and progression runs in your training?

Give me some words to use when it gets hard!

Randomly Random

So very random.

Very thankful to a nice man named Alex who left the lovely confines of his home to help me remove lug nuts that might’ve been tightened by the Hulk himself. Seriously, I’m a self-sufficient young woman who can do all kinds of things herself, but when I’m literally standing on top of the bar trying to remove the stupid, non-cooperative lug nuts…well, all kinds of words were coming out of my mouth. This wasn’t my idea of the donuts I tend to enjoy! $500 later – Betty has a brand new pair of shoes!

Slipper socks? Slipper shoes?

Not sure who invented these toasty foot warmers, but thank you times a million! I’ve owned these for several years. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried to use them properly until Thanksgiving! Feets and legs! Anyway, they’re awesome. Get yourself a pair. Or ten!

My friend recently posted a photo of her dogs with the caption “tfw (insert caption here)”. Normally I try to figure out things on my own before referring to Dr. Google. So as I wracked my brain to decipher what TFW meant, which bordered on the inappropriate – to f*** with – to the insane – tiny fried woman, I realized I was completely clueless. I don’t mind being politically incorrect, Correction: my anxiety says we do mind, but I do try to stay updated on the slang our society is currently using. I’m not old nor young. Not naive yet sometimes a little clueless. But as much as I tried, I came up with no words which would make sense in what she posted.

Totally didn’t see that coming. Thanks, Webster. You rescued me from a life of ignorance. Now I must come up with ways to use my new knowledge!

__________________________

I ask you –

When was the last time you had a flat? Did you need help?

What brand/style are your favorite socks?

Tell me an acronym you didn’t know the meaning of!

Friendship Funny Farm, pt 2

Back on the subject of friendships and how I pretty much suck at making new ones, it turns out one of mini’s classmates/friend is the daughter of a young man I worked with at Sonic a billion years ago because I’m old. Correction: I’m not the typical kindergartener’s mother’s age. And I’m totally fine with this!

Credit: fuckologyofficial via Instagram

Anyway, I’ve had a few encounters with this classmate’s mother, who is married to the guy I worked with. Keep up. The classmate is sweet and seems to do well in school. If mini’s antecdotes are to be believed. Each “Mommy encounter” has been pleasant until recently. I have her number saved and we’ve text before – she seems nice. However, the most recent time I saw her she said wildly funny things. She made an Anna Nicole Smith joke – God rest her soul. What’s funny is I’m old enough to get the joke. She also underscored the struggles we’re going through as parents with very needy children! And if you know anything about me to this point, then you know my mom abilities border on the completely unprepared. By border, I mean fall spectacularly short.

Herein lies the real issue. I want to be friends with this hilarious woman. But I’m not good at the making friends thing. I believe I’m the funniest woman on earth so this should be simple, right? Make a few jokes, endear myself to her, then pounce! Did this get weird? Or are you supposed to court them first? Told you…old lady here. Do I schmooze her with coffee? What if she doesn’t like coffee? Hard pass. We can’t be friends. Ever. I’ve already stalked her on social media which is how I found out about the husband/previous coworker piece. At least I’m honest!

parking lot motivation

Did you know: Children laugh, on average, 150 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, only six times a day. This is why adults are so grumpy! Because they don’t laugh enough. Find something to laugh at! I suggest starting with yourself.

Finally, my self-talk game is getting ridiculous. I sound like I’m talking to a geriatric horse. Come on, ole girl, the stairs aren’t too bad. See. Told you I was funny.

________________________

I ask you –

How many friends do you have?

What should I do to make her be my friend?

Tell me how funny I am!

Rants & Raves, RoF Edition

There’s a time to rant and there’s a time to praise. Unfortunately, now is not the latter. It could be, but it’s not.

Credit: momsbehavingbadly via Instagram

Group text from school system with individual phone numbers listed: blah blah blah, your child’s order is in; report to this place between these hours

Random number: What do we do if we didn’t receive our entire order?

Me: I’ll tell you what you don’t do! Don’t reply all to this message because it’s probably a) unattended and b) unlikely to help your situation. But it will make the remainder of us who didn’t ask to be a part of this group text really angry.

If you intend to homeschool your children, then please do so. Emphasis on the school part. When your teenager can’t tie their shoes, your schooling ideas are failing. Choosing to homeschool your children makes you directly responsible for their education. You have forgone the right to blame public education for your mistakes. Shoes and all. Home schooling is not an excuse to not send your children to school.  It’s a conscious choice to take sole responsibility in creating valued members of society. Not for the faint of heart, I’m sure. I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Note: wanted…past tense.

And if this isn’t enough to make you laugh, then you’re beyond help. Mini, along with her classmates, was instructed to bring bite-sized pieces of things to the class’s Thanksgiving feast. Parents were told to choose 3-4 items, then you would be told which of your choices to bring to school. Some followed the instructions, others not so much. When I positively told mini what she (I) had been assigned, her disdain and palpable disbelief was comical only to me. Days later, she still sounds upset whilst I giggle.

Celery. Mini had to bring celery. Apparently it’s the most hated food ever. My thought was some child will be overjoyed to see celery because it’s their favorite food! Alas, nothing could be worse than being the child chosen to bring… celery.

Final update: as I suspected, there was ONE child who proclaimed their love of celery.

Mommy: 1. Life: 8,374,150.

__________________________

I ask you –

How much do you ensure not to reply all when it’s not warranted?

Were you homeschooled? How did it work out for you?

Name your most despised food! Sauerkraut, for one.

Race Ideas

Brainstorming future race ideas led me to this one: the inaugural Rock n Roll Atlantic City event!

I’ve only ever seen New Jersey as I raced through it on the way to Connecticut, though I do vaguely remember vast toll areas. Perhaps that was a different state, like Oklahoma. Nonetheless, I’d like to enjoy a proper visit and run a little race!

Credit: #myfavoriterun via Instagram

I’m also very interested in the Blue Bell runs in Brenham, TX. Held annually in April, the finish line party includes Blue Bell ice cream, which is my most favorite ice cream of all time. Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream anyone? I want to explore more 10k distances so why not start there?!

Credit: #bluebellfunrun via Instagram

I’m about over this training plan stuff. 15-16 week plans are just too long for me. Week 8 is about my cutoff. Maybe 10 if I’m feeling generous. Never before have I ever given a moment’s thought to running a virtual half marathon just so I can say I did the run and be done with it. A few weeks back – I hit that point. And I know that particular week was kind of a struggle, but I don’t feel like my fitness has increased much since. If I didn’t know that Morgan from Oregon was traversing the plains to attend, I probably would have called it quits awhile back. Alas, she has been training so I’m self-motivating to make it to the start line. My Garmin goal meter says it’s very confident I will reach it. My internal doubter has serious reservations. All I can do is run the race laid out before me knowing I’ve put in work to the best of my abilities.

break in an emergency

Now, with all that said, I just want it to be over. Thankfully start line emotions are a very real phenomenon and 10 mins after I’m done I’ll be kissing strangers and hugging babies. Jokes, lots of jokes. To keep myself on track I’ve been brainstorming things I want to do post-race. For example…

Short Term –

  • Take a long nap
  • Eat copious amounts of Mexican food, specifically tortilla chips
  • Lay on the ground contemplating my life choices
  • Call everyone I know with the great news I have a shiny new PR

Long Term –

  • January run streak?
  • Train for a March/April half marathon
  • Train for a March/April 10k unrelated to the above half marathon
  • Resume keto
  • Survive the winter months
  • Fantasize about vacation

Surely I’m missing many additions to my listing endeavors. I’ll keep thinking and update you all soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving – filled with turkey and ham and as many rolls as you can stuff in your mouth at one time. And pie!!!

___________

I ask you –

Anyone have an upcoming race or race potential near northern Texas?

How often do you make lists?

Please share some thing(s) on your short/long term list!

Right Out of the Gate – Friendship Funny Farm

As I’ve gotten older, developing friendships has become more important to me. I try to be an authentic friend. Short of stating my own sordid past, my attempts at being “real” are usually a make it or break it moment. Seems I ride the line up to the very instant it goes down the road of “I, too, have…(the equivalent of the word problems)” because I don’t really have problems; I have hang ups, hurts, and some very diverse life experiences! Nicely put, Kel.

a cactus!!

There’s a blooming friendship I’m nurturing currently which stems from an unlikely encounter. She’s always very positive to be around; we laugh and cry together, typically at the same time. It’s a blast. But she has no expectation I will ‘fix’ anything going on in her life and she loves coffee so I rather enjoy her company. Win/win!

tea time

But in exposing ourselves to new people, the fear of rejection is always there. ‘What if I say too much, what if my past is overwhelming?’ – you know – all the stuff. I have a LOT of stuff. Thankfully, so does she and here we are! A few of our very first discussions were truth bombs, like a here you go, this is me, I understand if you want to grab your coffee and run away screaming now. Baggage. Maybe that’s more of what I have.

My mind sees myself as that frazzled woman who arrives at the gate juggling 4 oversized suitcases, then collapses in a chair between 2 put together businessmen, her luggage nearly killing them in a towering stampede, looks of disgust pointed in her direction. Yeah, that’s me! She smiles and waves without a care in the world, like her whackadoo bun isn’t escaping its confines and she didn’t just barely make it through security. Work with me, not against me; this is my vision.

Much truth lies in what we share with those closest to us, the ones privy to the good, bad, and oh-so-ugly. What we don’t share, however, is indicative of how relationships will progress. As this friendship is new, there are many things we don’t know about each other. A work in progress.

And I must find out how many pieces of luggage she takes to the gate.

________________________

I ask you –

When was the last time you forged a new friendship?

What is the length of your longest friendship?

My analogy game is a riot. Share what your mind sees when you think of yourself!

Random Thoughts

-My calves are sore. -I would like to do at least 15 min of foam rolling everyday. Wasn’t I supposed to do yoga 3-5 times a week? -LOL @ me in avitar form -Well damn, I guess someone told Airbnb that Turin, Italy will be the host city for Eurovision 2022. Left: prices the week […]

Random Thoughts Thursday

Borrowing the above from my good friend (he’s my friend even if he doesn’t know it) Run There, Drink That .

I now have a reminder in my phone to “Write Something” every single day this month. So far, it’s working well. There’s this neat gadget that schedules events in your calendar based on preferences and how often you tell it to shut up because you’re too busy. Unfortunately, no extra points for completing it early. Thanks, Google.

I’m doing all the right things:

  • Carbs
  • Hydration
  • Rest
  • Vegetables

So why won’t my legs turn over? Could it be the quality of workouts, i.e. I don’t respond well to speed and progression runs, etc? The only reason I mention this possibility is because I designed my own race plans the past 3 years and met (exceeded) my goals. Am I just not meant to run fast? Was the 2:18 the best I’ll ever run? I refuse to concede! I’m going to get this figured out.

frustration at its finest

Never fails – on the weekends I wake up early (hello, internal alarm clock), excited to have a few uninterrupted hours to work on the blog, but I’m thwarted by the update screen. It’s my own fault. I don’t think about this requirement until Friday night; by then, I’m tired and just go to bed, always telling myself ‘don’t worry, Kel, it won’t take long tomorrow’. Then here I am. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. You really need to learn.

___________________

I ask you –

Are you following Run There, Drink That? You should be, he’s hilarious!

Do you have a “Remind Me Because I’m Forgetful” feature on your phone? Bonus points if you use it daily!

Tell me about your regular sleep patterns!

And so it begins!

As I am in charge of feeding the Thanksgiving masses, I think I would rather run a Turkey Trot, eat some canned cranberry sauce, then take a nap! Seriously, I love me some canned Ocean Spray. And really I don’t have a huge role in the lunch festivities; mainly because I’m a better baker than baster. HaHA, see what I did there?!

Menu inspiration

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. It signifies child-like awe at mounds of mashed potatoes and huge, fluffy, buttery rolls. Somehow things taste better at Thanksgiving.

Have I ever shared about the Thanksgiving my dad and uncles thought it hilarious to serve a giant hog as the starring dish? Complete with cherries in the eye sockets and a huge apple in its ugly mouth, it was quite the sight to behold. Clearly we are country people with very little class. I believe the photo exists to this day somewhere in a pile of long-forgotten photos. My apologies to anyone who reads this with a growing sense of appall. I, too, am appalled I even shared this memory. Nonetheless, it’s been 25 years since my dad passed. He was quite pleased with his hog-hunting and stuffing abilities.

Credit: #momsbehavingbadly via Instagram

Now that I’ve seen one house with its Christmas lights up (and on), let’s begin this season, as well. I guess. I promise I’m not a Scrooge…but I’d rather enjoy one holiday before catapulting into another. Hallmark must be so confused. Really the only mistake I made was sharing my Christmas-light sighting with the other two occupants of my home who promptly began dragging out bins and totes of baubles, bells, and bows. And the 6 Christmas trees I own. Different story.

_________________

I ask you –

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

How soon is too soon for Christmas decorations?

Please feel free to appall me with a wild story!

Who Am I?

In a recent devotional, available via YouVersion, the below message (really, the entire passage) spoke to me like nothing has before.

Your answer will affect the way you look at life, tackle your troubles, and frame your circumstances. The answer to that question can give you the confidence to accomplish your calling or take away your courage to even begin. If you don’t answer that question with the truth of God, the devil will answer it for you with his bag of lies. 

Take Hold of the Faith You Long For

The passage continues with these questions:

  • Who am I that I should write a book?
  • Who am I that I should start a business?
  • Who am I that I should be a teacher?
  • Who am I that I should help orphans overseas?

I had to sit with my awe because how could one paragraph encapsulate every single desire I’ve ever had? Yes, all of them. It went on to reference the Bible verse of Exodus 3 which is most commonly known as Moses and the Burning Bush; more importantly, this is when God uses the words “I AM”, as in “the great I AM”. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized this is the answer to every question beginning with Who Am I…? I AM!

hope they also learnt how to spell learned

Many times we flippantly reply ‘well, who am I’ when commenting on a situation or asking a question that often seems so obvious to us. But what if we believed our words when we said, loudly and proudly, I AM!

I AM a writer…a business owner…a teacher…a helper to orphans. And the greatest I AM says so.

__________________

I ask you –

Do you read a daily devotional?

How often do you find yourself thinking (or saying) “who am I…?”

Tell me who you are using the statement “I AM!”