On Your Left

I’m about 24 hours out from starting a new training cycle. What I mean is…forgive me for not returning your calls, texts, plans, and anything else that doesn’t include running or eating. I was speaking to a co-worker several minutes (could’ve been weeks, it all runs together; runs, get it?!) about her Spring race plans and she mentioned she still had “unfinished business” with a marathon goal. (To be clear, this woman is an ultra runner, 2000+ day streaker, and super speedy marathon finisher. We’re not even close to being in the same category!) But she’s fun to talk to and very encouraging so she gets a free pass. As I shared my triple half marathon goal, her sounds of incredulousness made me laugh. Here’s this woman who runs high double digits regularly yet thinks my 13.1 for 3 days is insane. Just means we’re all a little different. And equally crazy. Next time I’m going to tell her my life goal of completing a Ragnar. Look it up. It’s awesome!

Lone Star state beauties

There’s no getting around it. I have a shoe addiction. Running shoes specifically. There’s something about the sleek, cushioned, makes-me-feel-like-I’m-running-fast beauty of new shoes. I’m currently rotating 4 pairs. Excessive? I don’t know. Like I’ve said for years: you can’t do enough to take care of your feet. They’re all you get! No replacements available. But, if it came down to it, and I couldn’t speak for myself, YES! I want a foot transplant! Please remember this! You can take my voice; you will never take my feet! I may not be able to berate you with my tongue, but I want one last opportunity to run you down and kick you. Enough of that.

Thursday nights’ Freedom small group is going well. These are the most courageous, strong, and honest women I could ever know. How I got so lucky to lead this group is beyond me. Many times in my life I fretted about being able to be open with other people, especially women. Nothing against women, but being one myself, I know how ugly we can act. Freedom in Christ, amongst other believers, was never a part of my plan and for this I’m thankful because without Him I wouldn’t have made it this far. Life sure is funny like that. I miss my 6am group, but Thursday nights are special in their own way.

Lastly, the title of this post is the most common phrase used by every runner. A close second: where’s the bathroom? I’m not entirely sure this is true, but it’s true for me! I try to smile and wave, clear my throat unnecessarily within earshot, and do all the other things to let people know I’m about to pass them, but obliviousness tends to rub me the wrong way. So if you see me at the lake or in my neighborhood or on base running and I look grumpy, it just means I’ve said “On Your Left” one too many times.

pleased I won’t be running in this

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I ask you –

Last call: anyone willing to train with me for the Texas Triple scheduled for Memorial Day weekend?

Is kicking people as I pass them allowed?

My shoe collection reminds me of the cutest video I have of my mini, age 18 months, walking around the house yelling for her shoes to appear and she looks at the ceiling as a viable option.

When the Sun Goes Down –

artistic effects unintentional

It was the end of a long, tough day. From discussion earlier, I had stated I was going home to eat cookie dough with the intention of it making me feel better, to heal my sad heart. The other person said they were going to drink beer. To each his own. As I scooped out bites of cookie dough – sugar free – the tears came. The grief that was building poured from me. My final thought? Great. Now I’m still sad, even full of cookie dough.

Which reminds me of when I was pregnant with my mini. One night I sat on the couch eating my favorite chocolate chip cookies. And I began to cry. Then I cried more, without any reason at all because hormones are hell, and my thought was this: Who cries while eating cookies?! Only a pregnant woman.

Before I forget, prior to the cookie-dough-and-crying fest, I developed what I now know as “amazonesia”. It’s a thing. Minus the part about Amazon and the part about amnesia, I went grief shopping. Add to cart…oh look, it’s pink, add to cart. Retail therapy is the other moniker.

clearly I needed more shoes

And, if you’re reading this, then I have survived the run streak. Hmmmm. There is a schedule button, so perhaps not. They say it takes roughly 21 days to develop a habit. At day 25, the constant daily running began to become painful. But since the habit was there and the finish line so close I continued to run despite some questionable MCL/ACL bruising. If you recall, I took several weeks off when training for a December half marathon so hopefully there isn’t a pattern emerging. (Full disclaimer: I wrote the above lines prior to completing the run streak because I full well intended to complete it. Alas, my body had other plans and Day 27 was officially my final day of streaking. Huge thanks to the poisoning o’food I received. Too bad it wasn’t February already because then I would have only been short a day. Life goes on.) And if anything good was to come of hours upon hours of living inside my bathroom, I did write an incredibly funny blog post; stand by.

One month to recuperate then it’s time to begin training again. Unless I’ve already decided to start running again by the time you read this. That’s always possible, too.

______________________

I ask you –

What are your grieving habits?

Have you heard of Amazonesia?

Share a time something good came of something horrible.

And the Numbers are In!

2020 total miles: 318.25. 2019 was about 140 miles higher, but since I only ran one half marathon the entire year I’d say it was a success. Granted that one half marathon was 14 miles long – must have been the wet and wild adventure we took off course.

Nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put you in a good mood! I recommend it for everyone. My toes are splayed out like they should be, ankles are inline, and quad load is below normal. Sounds super sexy, right? My little lady calls new shoes ‘go fasters’; I couldn’t agree more. They make you want to sprint!

Run the Rail, New Boston, Texas, Oct 9, 2021. Race numero dos on my list of three. This one is near my parentals so maybe they can support my need for homemade cooking. I should ensure they read this. One more race added to the list then I’ll have a full plate. Of course nothing is official until I all-caps-it and post it here. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen even then. Whoopsies!

Relatedly unrelated, I have a confession. A short time ago, I was feeling dissatisfied in my work life. A position in a prior career field was open and I was seriously considering making a big move. After crunching some numbers, praying, asking for advice from others, etc. it became apparent this wasn’t the best option for me. Hello, Kel, you only spent 4 years trying to get to where you’re at now. The silence of what I had asked for was more telling than any answer I could have received.

Suddenly a different opportunity appeared. To be the storyteller I am at heart. Even before I could complete that mission, more people reached out for help with their own personal goals. It took a minute, but I soon realized I wasn’t feeling dissatisfaction with my job. I was feeling as if something was missing from my purpose in life. I asked, He obliged.

Funny how purpose shows up in the most unexpected ways.

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I ask you –

Do you get excited about new shoes? What’s your favorite pair?

Do you go through periods of feeling unsatisfied with your work?

Tell me your advice when going through a low period in life.

Race Recap!

Picturesque scenery

First, we’re pretty lucky to have been able to participate in a race this year. Nearly everything except trail races were cancelled and some road races may not even be returning until 2022. Originally my childhood best friend and I had our sights set on Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio the first weekend of December. Until about 2 weeks before the scheduled start, everyone was saying it was a go. Thankfully, by that time, Morgan and I had decided to swerve right a little in order to register for the Stars at Night Half Marathon near the Natural Bridge Caverns in NE San Antonio.

post-run, pre-pain

Allow me to disclaim as I sit here the morning after reflecting on this race, I need to up my game. Hills. Ugh. I’m a big dummy for not considering if we run in Hill Country there will be…hills. Kel, really? Sadly, I was not prepared, but, thankfully, Morgan was. My hips feel like I tried to smash them between plywood in order to create something new, something altogether too small. Mid-race I made jokes about walking like two old ladies. HaHA, joke’s on you.

Deer kept us company

There were a few sketchy stretches on course: we felt lost once; had to navigate a flooded portion which took us through a large culvert and across pallets and one large rock; and ran alone in a winding, wooded forest for approximately 2 miles. Now we know why headlamps and lights were required. Overall, it was a lot of fun and running with Morgan is always a pleasure.

Sunset photo ops

The resort hotel was beautiful; although I didn’t get any photos of the swimming area, suffice to say it was also gorgeous. A much needed racecation!

Snow globe medal!

_______________________________________

I ask you –

Do you regularly train for hills or elevated surfaces?

What’s been your craziest off-course moment? We weren’t technically off course, but it sure felt like it.

Thoughts on racecations?

Day in Photos, pt 8

My Christmas cards are done! They were completed weeks ago. Who am I?!

card-carrying member of the postal service

90% of my Christmas shopping is done, too. I’m killin’ it over here!

assorted paper options

Final long run topped out at 10 miles in 2:03. We’ll find out soon, but I suspect my commitment (or lack thereof) of consistent training will result in some major post-race soreness. On the bright side, the 40/50° temperatures have been absolutely perfect running weather. Even if the cold makes me a little angry. San Antonio should be right in that range!

a previous 8 miler

I’ve found by taking a lot of seemingly random photos I can easily put together a cohesive blog post. Finally, right? Of course it won’t always be this way – I have some serious sh*t to say at times – but when my mini is home and time is short, a photo collage gets the job done. You may notice the “pt…” number in the post title is in no specific order. Welcome to random (wo)man!

Stay tuned for a Stars at Night Half Marathon update next week! Wish us luck!

_________________________

I ask you –

Do you send out Christmas cards every year, some years, or no years at all?

Whose shopping is done? Disclaimer: I’m usually a last minute shopper.

This will be my very first night race! I’m really excited!

Old Macdonald Had a Farm

Still running, still training, still finding funny stuff to share with you all.

people with funny bones

On today’s episode of crazy things you find in Texas, let me introduce you to exhibit A. When running isn’t going your way, slow to a crawl and find humorous photo opportunities. Guaranteed to make you feel less guilty.

I have so many questions

In a society of “let’s name everything!”, why should anything be exempt? We name our land – hello, Kel’s Corner -, our creeks, our pets, and, sometimes, even our alternate personalities. No judgement. You should try it sometime. Join the club. It’s fun in here.

no yellow lines

You know you’re in the country when road lines cease to exist. It’s just you and 2 ditches. Thankfully for me it was a dry day and I could sit in the middle of the road, prop my phone up against a water bottle, and snap photos to my heart’s content.

my new friends

Have I ever mentioned my deep-seated love for cows? I once raised a cow named Bluebell. Yes, you’re accustomed to my jokes, but I’m very serious this time. When I was a little girl, my dad would let us bottle feed the calves on our farm. There was an innocence to growing up around these huge animals. Sadly many children today don’t know a thing about livestock or where our food comes from. I intend to ensure mini knows all about it. Shouldn’t be too hard: she already prefers animals over people anyway. Problem solved.

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I ask you –

Why did they name it Shit Creek? Side note: have you watched Schitt’s Creek? Hilarious.

Ever bottlefed cows?

Tell me you understand where the food you eat originated. Please. Don’t let me down.

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.

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.

___________________________

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?

Reflect and Deflect

Anyone else feel like October is running them over? Oh great, it’s just me.

my version of Bridges of Madison County

Maybe it’s the change in weather – love! – or the promise of new races – or not – or the upcoming UFC battles – we call them debates – or all the activities I somehow committed to – what were you thinking, Kel? Probably a small bit of them all. Either way, I’m tired and we’ve only just begun.

I’ve packed my calendar to the very edge of its sanity and mine; now I’m having second thoughts. It can be tough keeping the same momentum there was when I first said ‘I’ll do it!’

Now I sit here in the quiet stillness of the morning, drinking liquid joy (have you tried vodka in a coffee cup? recommend!), evaluating the schedule in front of me. Quickly I remind myself to be thankful I’m able to have this moment before the whirlwind that is my mini awakes and off we go again.

And I hear a whisper. There’s some new wine in the cabinet.

__________________________

I ask you –

Is October a gear up or gear down month for you?

Do you have a habit of overextending yourself?

Funny thing is I rarely drink. It’s just fun to make jokes about it.