Run, Run, Run

My plan to run 3-4 times a week has been working! I’ve even been able to consistently strength train, even on days my schedule gets completely sidetracked with a million other requests. I’m a better person when I work out.

My happy mileage is around 2 miles. For now, this feels doable and manageable. I try not to think about how double digits were once the norm. Not there right now. And I’m unsure if it’s the weather, the season I’m in, or the actual running, but my knee has been pretty angry lately. I religiously stretch, complete my PT exercises, and strengthen my knee; however, the nice medical and PT staff did say this may be the new norm. I refuse to accept it.

Out & About

Nonetheless, I continue running to keep my sanity. I’ve also tried to incorporate some (new to me) cardio, namely the Despairmaster. For all I’ve accomplished, I can only manage about 7 minutes on that stupid contraption. It’s awful, I hate it, but I will conquer it! A wonderful friend of mine is training for her first official half marathon. Living vicariously through her plan makes the Despairmaster worth every terrible minute. Dramatic much?

Now that school has returned to in session (today actually), let’s hope I continue my workout routine. I mean, it may be the only moments of true release I can find. What was I thinking?

________________________

I ask you –

What’s your happy mileage?

Are you training for anything?

Tell me a funny name you have for some piece of workout equipment!

(The post Run, Run, Run first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Word Play

2023. Somehow this is where we’re at. Don’t blink! As I’m not into resolutions – hello, failure! – I prefer to focus on a word or phrase. 2022 was Praise. This year, I think it’s Strengthen.

I want to be strong in faith. Strong in body. Strong in dedication to my education. Side note: is that a song title? Dedication to education. haHa Focus, Kel. Strong in presence.

Interestingly, running isn’t exactly on this list. Well, it is, but not what it has looked like the past 5 years. Wow. I raced for 5 years. Or maybe just 4. I didn’t run a single race in 2022. Perhaps this explains the body differences. My weight is up, things fit a little differently now. But it’s just a season. And most of the time I remember to strengthen (there’s that word again) my stupid meniscus with all the cool things I learned in physical therapy. Spiky donut, anyone?!

Not bad, if I do say so myself

I want to refocus on some smaller things in order to be stronger at the big things. Like my career. Walking back into the gym felt like being home again. Natural rhythms resumed, the excitement of supervising personnel, being a catalyst for change: those things make me feel strong inside. So now it’s time to be just as strong on the outside as I am on the inside.

Pause.

In related news, maybe if I had Moonwalkers then I could really accomplish something! Check out this article on the latest development to help people get where they need to be faster: Moonwalker Article.

And, if there’s one thing I want to accomplish this year, it’s this: I want to be able to do unassisted pullups again. Like my mini proudly says – welcome to the gun show!

________________________

I ask you –

What is your word or phrase or even resolution for 2023?

How many miles did you run the past year?

On a scale of 1 to spaghetti arms, how likely am I to reach my goal? 8!

(The post Word Play first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2023 Running on Fumes

Thinking Out Loud

or on paper.

This time last year – I wasn’t sure if I’d ever run again. The question many people have asked is “Was it worth it?” Even though I should probably say no because my health is more important than any race, the all-heart reply is absolutely yes. It was. It was worth the pain, worth the uncertainty, worth the PR I had arrived day in and out for. It was worth it, to me.

Now, the mind, the logical, reasoning part of my brain (albeit small) thinks I’m insane. How could something that jeopardized my literal ability to walk pain free be worth one stupid race? I should have stopped when the pain never did, I should have stopped when advised by medical personnel that I was running (no pun intended) the risk of seriously damaging my body, I should have stopped at the first pop of my knee. But I don’t listen well.

(from a previous post)

I probably won’t ever race again. I love training, I love running, and I don’t wish to give it up even though my seasons of running look much different now than they did a year ago. And that’s ok. It’s hard to believe by May I’ll have completed 5 courses towards my doctorate. Time really does fly. To think in Jan 2022 I documented on a visionary board I wanted to go back to school. Then, in June, I heard from someone else who had recently completed their own program. I made a call – one call – a few days later and by the next month I was enrolled. It all happened so fast.

Yay! More books!

Sometimes the things that are meant to be happen quickly. Sometimes we miss the signs of impending disaster – or choose to turn a blind eye to it. And sometimes good things come when least expected.

Final thought – I read this line somewhere and it really rang true – the feeling of magic will disappear. You are responsible for your own enjoyment.

_____________________

I ask you –

Have you ever blatantly disregarded advice? Who hasn’t?!

Do you agree you are responsible for your own enjoyment?

Tell me your thoughts on a vision board!

(The post Thinking Out Loud first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

I Have No Catchy Title

Thankfully, I don’t do a lot of driving anymore but occasionally I see funny things when I’m out and about. Like a car with the license plate MY TOY. It was a Hyundai. To each his own.

My sister is my nail girl.

Costco is selling caskets now. For the low low price of about $700, you can purchase your very own bulk-discounted sleeping vessel. Why not. P.S. I tried to use a stock photo of a casket as my post image but there was nothing funny about any of them so I decided against it lest my loyal followers think something terrible happened to me.

For the church Christmas skit, my sister and I were recorded for our parts. Riot. We had too much fun laughing. However, we each got it on the first try! I know, it’s hard to imagine.

One run last week. That’s all I had (made) time for. Truth be told, I was super sore after it, too. Which reminds me to input a training plan for the next 4 weeks until class starts again. But I did do some form of intentional exercise each day – yoga, pilates, taking a walk…something was done!

Finally hit week 8 of the course from hell, aka Advanced Finance and Budgeting. This class was rough. But you don’t want to hear anymore complaining, I’m sure. Just wait. I’m taking two 8-week courses simultaneously in the Spring. Not sure what I was thinking. Sorry in advance.

As usual, thank you for coming to my ramblings. I’ll be back next week with more of the same.

__________________

I ask you –

Do you own anything you consider your “toy”?

Would you purchase a Costco casket? Yes. A bargain is a bargain!

On a scale of 1 to send help, how are your holidays going so far?

(The post I Have No Catchy Title first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

Let’s Catch Up

Running update: I haven’t been.

School update: it’s all I’ve been doing.

The end.

As what’s his name once (or all the time) said…And now the rest of the story. Paul Harvey!

I had female-centric surgery a few weeks ago and only now am officially cleared to return to full duty status. Honestly, I paused my training plan then and just haven’t turned it back on yet though the good doctor said it was possible to return to running as quickly as I felt comfortable. The problem is I wasn’t really comfortable. I still feel a little misled but I’m getting over it.

By the time I was ready to restart, I was neck-deep in two classes and not sleeping or eating well. At all. Stress is funny like that. It has a way of keeping you humble. Then there were the hormones. My God, I don’t remember crying so much. Ugh. I’m not sure if I have it together yet but I’m trying. Unfortunately, what I really don’t have is extra time to get my head back in the game and run. The desire is there; the time, not so much. I’m lying. The desire isn’t there much either. I consider going for a run then the writing bug bites me again and I start typing instead. Which is probably a good thing at this point.

But, Kel, you said people make time for what’s important to them. And I truly believe it! But that’s literally the problem – I don’t have time right now! My priority list basically includes sleep and not much else. I have a brand new book (or 2) I haven’t yet found time to read.

Maybe at Christmas. Maybe not. At this moment, I can’t remember if I have a week off at Christmas. Don’t ask about the Spring semester. We’ll be lucky to see the light of day.

We. Me and my other personality.

________________________________

I ask you –

When everything flies out the window, what do you prioritize?

Do you remember Paul Harvey?

Tell me a good book to read!

(The post Let’s Catch Up first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)

© 2022 Running on Fumes

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

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

Sarcasm and Acronyms

…is how I believe God talks to me. I once wrote a post on the age of acronymption. I should find that.

Why walk when I can run? Walking is supposed to be therapeutic. But I think I walk too fast for it to be anything like therapy. There’s a book I’ve been reading about overcoming anxiety. Quite fascinating really. And my inner Kel just said that with a British accent. Whackadoo. It mentioned keeping coconut oil or almond butter on your nightstand so you could eat a spoonful during the night for blood sugar stabilizing purposes. The last time I had any food on my nightstand was during pregnancy. When crackers were the only thing keeping me alive.

Remember the post from a few days ago about cycle syncing? It said the phase immediately after your period was energetic and motivation. I’m not feeling it. But my thoughts are all over the place and I really just want to run. Oh. I guess I am in that phase after all.

God talks to you in your native language. Did I already say that? Mine is acronyms and loads of sarcasm. This is where I think the military was really good for me. There was a commander I encountered who said something like…we didn’t tell you what to put in your seabag. Well, first, you did. I think his point was to younger Sailors who choose to get overpriced cars, sixteen wives, etc. I got debilitating anxiety. Kidding. Probably already had that. I did get a mini though and that’s a pretty good parting gift. Kidding. For real this time. But not about her. She’s amazing.

Wow, this stage is no joke. Hello everyone, my name is Kel and I talk a lot of shit for someone who can’t remember to unbuckle their seatbelt before exiting the car. Whoopsies!

Full disclosure: I wrote this post last weekend and now coming back to it I realize it is quite the wild ride. But, also very fun which is why I’m keeping it. Can’t let good words go to waste.

____________________

I ask you –

Does your mind ever go a million directions?

What is your heart’s language?

Bloggers: how often do you go back to read your old posts? Not often.