Weekend Recap

This past weekend brought about low overnight temperatures (upper 40’s and low 50’s). Best running weather ever! Unfortunately my body couldn’t seem to get it together. Old age sucks. My back began hurting midweek so by Friday night it was unbearable. The suspected culprit: my home desk chair. You know, where I spend several hours a day diligently writing and researching. Still don’t have week one grades. Hmmpphh. I’ve made the switch to a proper ergonomic, blah blah blah chair. Hopefully that fixes it.

Dr. Google informed me walking (and running, actually) can be beneficial for those who suffer from back spasms. As I essentially have the same degree as Dr. Google, I took the advice with a grain of salt (otherwise known in pill form as ibuprofen) and went for a walk. It didn’t kill me and I only had to stop twice when the spasms nearly knocked me off my feet. Successful walk.

September concluded with nearly 33 total miles for the month! Overall that sounds paltry to what fall training began with last year. But it also wasn’t 95+ degrees then so I’m ok with it.

But I did have a solid reason to lay around all weekend and shirk my running duties. Finally! The long awaited premier of Hocus Pocus 2! Not as good as the original but not bad either. We made Hocus Pocus buns – basically disappearing marshmallow buns. Very tasty!

Update: late Saturday I received grades for my first assignment. 75 out of 75 points and a “well done”. *bowing graciously*

_____________________

I ask you –

How much faith do you have in Google?

Have you watched Hocus Pocus 2 yet? No spoilers, please!

Tell me about your weekend!

(The post Weekend Recap first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Tis Adding Up

I should definitely consider managing my blogging expectations before this semester officially begins. By the time you’re reading this post, the semester will have started (at least with student access) and I will be exponentially grayer. Solid assumption. My plans are to continue blogging and posting twice a week, but the posts may not be my finest work. Short of a quick blip week recap and a hail Mary, I have no content plans.

Fall half marathon training has officially begun. Did I already talk about this? I’m not planning to find a race; rather I just want to have a run on the books so I have a valid excuse to escape my computer at times. Strangely enough, this particular Garmin-created training plan does not include a warm up or cool down as part of each workout. It is an intermediate level plan so maybe that’s why? They just “assume” you know you best be warming up and cooling down. Sure, I guess. The good news is I have a pretty solid base – finally – for once in all the years – and I didn’t balk at a 5k right out of the gate. There’s no time goal because…no race…

This has been fun and all, but I know you just came here for the laughs. I shall indulge you. As I’m eagerly attempting to get my gradually climbing weight into a range I’m comfortable with, there has been a conscious effort to eat less donuts and (honestly) total crap. With the addition of a handy dandy food tracker app…ok, I really can’t remember where I was going with this entire diatribe because I intended to make jokes about my caramel-making skills which really doesn’t sound as if I’m trying to lose any weight. No, that part isn’t the joke. The funniness is/was the caramel-making. Initially I made toffee, maybe? It was hard as a rock, caramel-colored, and tasted like a candy bar I’ve never had before but might otherwise be known as Heath. My trusty sidekick stepped in, turned the heat up to high, and I frantically stirred while the pot alternately boiled over and melted the caramel rock. Alas I was successful! A caramel-cooker I am.

P.S. the oatmeal caramelita bars were delicious. And I stayed within my daily goal.

_____________________

I ask you –

Have you ever taken an extended break from something?

Are you training for anything?

Tell me your favorite dessert! Cookies. Or ice cream. Preferably both!

(The post Tis Adding Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Degree Prep

And it begins.

Dissertation ideas:

  1. Do mosquito bites correlate to high blood volume from intense exercise, like running? Or is it because I’m extra hydrated because I run?
  2. (Nothing else. Just #1)

210 emails awaited my one week hiatus. 210. I like to think I’m popular but really it’s most likely people are desperate. I know nothing! Ctrl + A, Delete. My job has certainly prepared me to tackle many moving parts at once.

Contrary to my common sense – which seems to be in short supply lately – I signed up for Civilian Mentoring Connection (CMC) 102. If you recall, I just completed CMC 101. We’ll be touring my building. Sounds like fun. I plan to ask obnoxious questions like I don’t work there. I also requested a mentor, but no word yet on if I get to keep my previous mentor or if I get a new one. (Update: I got a new one. She’s blunt. I like her.) After reading my blog posts, I bet it was a short end of the straw type of deal on who got me.

In all seriousness, I’m ready to get this doctorate party started. Books are ordered and delivery scheduled, fees paid, pens and highlighters at the ready; all I’m waiting on is the syllabus. Then I’ll panic.

So how’s the running going, Kel? Well, it’s going. I’m on a 5k training plan which culminates the weekend after I start school. Turns out I do much better when I have a plan, but indoor running is for the birds. I’m sick of it. Last week I did get an opportunity to run outside – it was glorious! At the time of this posting we “should” be done with triple digit temps. Just in time for Hotter’N Hell. Maybe I’ll join them again for a quick run while they peddle furiously towards the nearest rest stop. Always makes for a lively event when they comment how two wheels are better than whatever I’m doing. (Update: we received a few inches of rain and temps dropped to the high 60s. I ran outside in the rain!)

In this heat, the cyclists may be right. Two wheels are better.

_________________

I ask you –

Your thoughts on my dissertation topic?

What were my original chances of getting the same mentor?

Mini wanted to write the last word: catherine

Day in Photos, island edition

Let’s talk about my two favorite things: coffee and running.

Cafe Padre at Yummies Bistro

Perfectly cinnamony, any artisan-level coffee is just right for me. Yummies makes fantasticly fancy coffees for every taste. I’ve never ordered anything bad from there. They also have food, but who cares. More coffee, please!

Too bad I’ll be writing papers during this event because it sounds like everything I love in one weekend. Post-doctorate plans are already being made. Note to self: research how many times you’ll have to run the island because it’s not 13 miles long.

(not pictured) broken Keurig. Apparently it is an issue the company is well aware of because I have called in twice just on my own machines. There’s a particular model with a faulty mechanism which pops the heat sensor rendering the machine kaput. Or something like that. I bring my own Keurig on vacation and didn’t even get one cup of coffee before it broke. Hmmpphh.

Hoka running shoes seem to be the shoe du jour on the island. I never saw one runner in Brooks the entire week. Maybe they just don’t know what great shoes feel like. Or else they prefer their sandy toes in a different brand. Whatever works. I did see one sponsored cyclist mid-week. He had a fancy kit. Perhaps I should have asked if he would be participating in the HHH at the end of the month. But since I was dying from the humidity there was no way I was chasing him down.

Overall, I ran three times that week and walked dozens of miles…beach to condo, shop to shop, vehicle to restaurant. You know the drill. I won’t miss the humidity, but I do envy 80° days and nights. And fried fish. I adore fried fish. It’s practically healthy! For those of you sick of my island recaps, I’ll be back to regularly scheduled silliness soon. Right now, I’m still basking in my tan lines. Mini goes back to school this week. Standby.

____________________________

I ask you –

On a scale of 1 to I-would-literally-die-without-it, how much do you love coffee?

Do you find yourself walking more while away from home?

Please comment your bets on how tired mini will be after the first 3 days of school! Mine: she asks to go to bed after dinner.

REPOST! BMW Dallas Half Marathon Recap!

Repost from Dec 13, 2021! Whilst I’m away on vacation this week enjoying sand and surf and seafood, I decided not to exhaust myself writing new material. Instead, here’s a post from Dec and my proudest running moment to date.

Let’s start off with the good stuff, shall we, on this edition of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Yes, I met my goal of a 2:10 half marathon! Specifically, I ran 2:10:45 with an avg 9:58 pace. I asked my feet to fly and they did what I’d trained for with an 8 min PR! It was a lovely 35° at the start line – I met the most awesome people! My 2:10 pace crew also seemed nice.

Now the bad. Allow me to be a bit dramatic. My pacers were pushing us 20-30 seconds faster than what we were told we’d be running. I was able to stay with them the first 5 miles, then I dropped back. I don’t train to run non-stop. In fact, only one time have I ever run an entire half marathon without walking. It’s just not me. I’m super proud for holding on for 5 miles! But that wasn’t the plan. After the race was over, I remembered hearing pacers talk about this course “running long”, no pun intended, which means in order for pacers to lead their runners across the finish line in their prescribed time, the pacers were going to have to run faster. My unofficial course time was 2:12, but Garmin showed I ran my 13.1 in 2:10. Thank you, Garmin! Finally! I reject the course time.

So here’s the ugly. Because I spent the first almost half of the race running faster than I had trained for, miles 6-11 were brutal. The walking increased, even though I was still mostly holding on to a 9:45 pace. I began to favor my left hip/leg/hamstring/knee which caused a lot of pain in my right foot. So glad I decided to put BCAAs in my CamelBak and fuel with jelly beans. Even then, those middle miles felt awful.

pre-race injury treatment – long story for another day

Overall, course support was amazing! There were people giving out donuts, beer, mixed drinks, extra energy bars, and who knows what else. The water stops – though I used my own hydration – were frequent and plentiful. The bands on nearly every other street corner were more entertaining than anything I’ve seen in a Rock n Roll event. And those events should be bursting with music! Finish line food was great: pizza, tacos, bananas, enrrgy bars, more Gatorade, tons of chocolate milk, sweets; it was all incredible!

Morgan from Oregon kicked butt out there! She, too, dealt with the disappointment of a long course and too-fast pacers, but I think she rocked it! She’s got an upcoming 15k event and we’ve discussed a late summer run nearer to her so we’ll see.

At this moment, I’m retiring from the half marathon. Remind me next time I tell you all I want to race again!

_________________________

I ask you –

How was your weekend? Anything exciting?

Runners, do you write motivational things on your pace band, arm, etc?

Chance I’ll stay “retired”: 60/40

A Weekend Away

My good friend Dan sends me some of the most thought provoking articles.

“I Tried Slow Living in a Remote Welsh Cottage, and This Is What I Learned” by Kayleigh Dray was just what I needed. It was truly perfect timing because I was already fielding questions from mini regarding our trip to NE Texas to visit my parents, aunt, and sister. Her actual words were “What will we do?” Answer: just be. I spent my time wandering around a giant field and watching dozens of hummingbirds. They’re so fun!

In preparation for the visit, I had to move around a run scheduled for Saturday because I knew the humidity would be brutal and incompatible with any running plans. I started a 5k training plan – probably forgot to mention it. Not for a race though. I quickly realized if I’m not training for something, then my tendency to “get around to it” doesn’t motivate me well enough to actually “get around to it” especially where the treadmill is concerned.

Fortunately I have been able to accomplish two outdoor runs, both involving random rain. This is me not complaining. Except for the one that included lightning which made me run faster, it’s been good. Also, it was suggested I try graham crackers before a run. Quick carbs, easy to eat early in the morning before my stomach wakes up – simple, right? Well, my grocery store was out of cinnamon teddy grahams (my preferred alternative to graham crackers). I bought the store brand instead thinking there probably isn’t much difference. Wow. So wrong. Now I need to eat these individual packages of awful, pseudo-teddy grahams. Oh yay.

Thank goodness I can wash it down with ice cream which is exactly what I needed after a weekend of decidedly cooler temperatures (only 95°!) but with much higher humidity. Running out there would have never been a good idea. And it definitely didn’t epitomize the concept of slow living.

______________________________

I ask you –

Any interest visiting remote places?

Have you ever bought a food that didn’t taste like expected?

I’m on vacation next week. Should I bring my running shoes this time? I’m thinking yes.

Heat Wave

Change of plans. Nothing says get it together, Kel like a wake up call from your body, specifically when you’re too stubborn to acknowledge the signs before the fall. If that isn’t cryptic enough, let’s just say I got a little too close to the same experience nearly 4 yrs ago when I took an ambulance ride for suspected heat stroke. Coupled with poor fueling, I know better. And here we are. Unless the heat wave and triple digit temps break soon, the remainder of my summer will be spent on the treadmill. Surrounded by fans. Yay Texas.

I paused my training plan because I don’t desire to run 6 miles on the belt of doom. Possible, yes. Will… negative. However, I did see where there are a few upcoming breaks in the heat and MAYBE I can get outside one morning for a run. Perhaps I should have considered my running goals when considering Texas as a living option. I heard Utah was beautiful nearly year-round. Ehhh elevation isn’t my favorite either. I could use a summer home and a winter home. Let me get right on it.

My sister put it this way: “I have a few demands for going into the gates of hell this weekend! I need an ice pack, enough deodorant to bathe in and a fan!!! 😂😂😂👍🏻” Don’t we all. On the bright side, it “should” only be low 90s for the first part of this week which means it “might” be upper 60s on the overnights soooooo maybe I can run in the early mornings. Maybe yes, maybe no.

________________________

I ask you –

Are you currently training for anything?

Do you have a seasonal home? Mind if I borrow it?

Tell me your essentials to surviving unbearable heat! Ice cream!

Creature of Habit

Quick catch up –

As I seem to enjoy doing everything obsessively and excessively, nearly one year ago I made a decision to floss my teeth after every meal. Honestly, it wasn’t to ensure oral hygiene but a test to find out if it really makes a difference. I understand I had no true scientific parameters – control group, etc. – but I did it my way anyway. At my last exam approximately 6 months ago, the dental hygienist assured me she could tell a huge difference. This week I have another dentist appt so we’ll see. You can always find out where I am or have been by the floss that follows me. There are no less than 2 floss packages everywhere I go.

3 years doing what I love! Cookies! But, really, I love writing so much. I wish this was my job. For now, though, this is a hobby and I’ll keep writing as long as you keep reading!

Another example of obsessive and excessive – the run streak! Runner’s World hosts a run streak challenge each year immediately after Memorial Day and through July 4th. Since I’m a sucker for a good month of punishment, ta-da. Allow me to take it one step further. I’m mentally committed to running daily until August. It’s just a fun (my fun) way of filling the days until mini returns. So far, so good. Again, because I will never get tired of sharing this, the previous physical therapy sessions are my saving grace. My knee, hamstrings, and entire body feel incredibly strong. What a difference strength, flexibility, and mobility training can have when you’re expecting your body to “perform” every single day.

I’ll leave you with the above image. After posting it, I received some interesting feedback. The best was from my friend Jason who stated he thought my underwear were around my knees and I was peeing in the driveway. Other comments were unsure exactly what I was doing but it also looked questionable, as well as the thought maybe I was praying or having a moment of silence. To be clear, this is one of my many exercise bands I use for hip and knee strengthening. They’re amazing.

No word yet on what the neighbors might have been thinking. Hopefully everyone was still asleep.

_______________________

I ask you –

How long have you been blogging?

In what areas of your life are you obsessive and excessive?

Floss – yay or nay?

Noticeable Notables

Exhibit A

This standing desk contraption (Varidesk) has turned out to be a game changer in my life. For years, I would have digestive issues, presumably from sitting all day. Even the usual daily walking or exercise really didn’t alleviate all the symptoms. So I transitioned to standing. At first, my legs and feet didn’t enjoy the change, but I’ve now grown accustomed to standing for 7+ hrs. Don’t even notice anymore.

Exhibit B

As I am… how do you say it … directionally challenged, I downloaded this fancy tool called a compass. So now I’m 100% right when I give directions vs 1000% wrong. People seem to appreciate that. As a work colleague and I were discussing my propensity to be wrong all the time, I casually mentioned my dad worked for TXDoT for a billion years and knew every direction instantly. AND THEN the work colleague stated what if he was just telling you a direction the whole time because he really had no clue. What if?! To me this sounds like he’s the reason I can’t get directions correct and it’s not my fault at all! Seriously, if I give you directions using North, South, East, West, you should do exactly the opposite of what I’ve instructed you. 180°. Then I’m right.

app version

Exhibit C

Strength training is very much the piece I’ve been missing in my fitness life. Even though I dislike the word ‘balance’, I do feel balanced in my lifting/running routine. It’s nice to look forward to run days as well as strength days. Over the weekend, I ran my longest distance since December 2021…a whopping 5.71 miles. Granted it was a lovely 65° outside instead of the usual (lately) 105°. With this weather rollercoaster, I’ve been forced to stay indoors so I jumped at the opportunity to run outside. Then it was knee-icing time. I wouldn’t say it’s pain; maybe more of a higher level of uncomfortableness. I really have to focus on pushing my knee outward instead of letting it do what it wants to do which is collapse inward. Overall, I feel good.

ice time

Proper stretching, nutrition, sleep, and even ice/heat have found their place in my schedule. Not only do I not take for granted my ability to run, but I’m attempting to be a good example of what to do. And when I need extra rest, I don’t beat myself up over it. For the most part. I have missed a few speed/cadence/drill workouts this cycle. Funny thing is it really hasn’t impacted my running much. Again, not suggesting this is the way to go – simply saying it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. I’ll still make it to the 10k goal. Right now I think that distance is just right for me. Next December, though, well…all bets are off!

_____________________

I ask you –

Which exhibit resonates more with you – A, B, or C?

Are you directionally challenged and/or do you own a compass?

Choose one: ice or heat! No context. Just choose one.

Gym Faux Pas

As I’ve made going to the gym a regular occurrence, it’s time to report on what I’ve witnessed thus far.

  1. Stretchy Lady – the one who chooses to stretch in the locker room, centered in the walkway, the only entrance/exit to said locker room which forces the remainder of us to navigate around her with our gym bags. She’s going to get whacked. Sorry, not sorry.
  2. Treadmill Guy – who leaves his gym bag and various other paraphernalia behind the treadmill which impedes patron’s ability to reach other treadmills and equipment. Then, he laughs obnoxiously loud whilst watching Fox News. What could possibly be funny is beyond me.
  3. Weight Whiners – these pieces of work take one of every single weight of dumbbell back to their bench lair and hide them under it like little trolls. I’m thankful we have a gym with multiples of the same weight, but it’s annoying to go search for another dumbbell. My obvious glare should be enough to reason with them.

Sort of gym-related, I need a shirt that says DO NOT FEED DONUTS! This is not a weight issue. It’s a serious problem for me! I see donut. I eat donut. What’s self control anyway?

The weather is completely uncooperative. 98° in April? Someone told me we beat a previously held record in the 1920’s because this particular day it hit 103°. I’m not ready! For those of you who faithfully read my blog and mention snow or rain, I’m jealous. Texas is in a pattern of tornado-wind-drought-hell. Send rain!

photography skills are exceptional

As time goes on, I feel even more strongly I must have some Italian heritage because I can’t talk without my hands. The injury above proves it. How does one scratch the skin off of the area above their eye whilst telling a story? Oh so gracefully! I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

____________________________

I ask you

Do you relate to any of the 3 aforementioned gym fanatics?

Are you a hand talker, too?!

Go ahead. Tell me what weather you’re experiencing this week. Hot, hot, hot.