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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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!

Connecting the Dots – Leadership + Training

Authoritative. That’s the name for my leadership style. I took a test. Understandably this makes me sound like a dictator without regard to the many nuances surrounding leadership and people. But I’m not. What I am is someone who typically sticks with a decision because I’ve already done my due diligence in gathering the facts and evaluating my/other’s opinion. Rarely do I question my “why” – I’m well aware of the reason I do things.

credit: Anna Tarazevich via Pexels

As my dad and I were recently talking on the phone, he mentioned speaking with a neighbor’s college-aged daughter who was struggling with sticking with her decisions to attend a university while working. He said she had a decision to make about accepting a job with higher pay and responsibility or remaining with a lower paying job/less responsibility. After we hung up, I started thinking back to times when I was in similar situations. My attitude has always been go after what you want. Sometimes to my detriment. The following day, before sunup, as my feet pounded the pavement, I wondered if I ever question why I run. When the internal answer was a solid no, I let my mind wander to other parts of my life and their respective why. Why do I subscribe to a certain faith? Why do I want to go back to college? Why is it important to have drive?

Only I can answer these questions. My why is just that – mine. Furthermore, I really can’t recall more than two times when I questioned my why. I know why I do the things I do and/or why I’ve made a certain decision. Mostly. But I’m committed to it.

All this to say my run streak lasted two weeks. It took a few days for me to realize (accept) the signs of overtraining. You know – resting heart rate in the sustained fight or flight stage, utter exhaustion, alternately feeling famished then zero appetite. I wanted to chalk it all up to a really terrible menstrual cycle, but it became clear there was more to it. Sadly, my stubbornness….read: authoritative…style just wouldn’t give up. I had a goal. I must reach goal. Nothing stands in my way. Until it does. Certainly this is the same mindset that kept me running last year past an injury. It has its moments. Nonetheless there’s always something new to be learned. Running is a privilege; I get to run. Tomorrow is not promised.

For now, I’ll continue chipping away at the 10k plan I’ve almost completed. With its manageable 3 runs/week, I’m able to strength train 4-5 days/week and I enjoy it. But two a days just weren’t in the cards for me. I must remember plans are in place to keep us on track; not necessarily to be capitalized upon. Just because we can make it better doesn’t mean we have to right then or at all.

Now I’m going to find someone to boss around…seeing as I have extra time on my hands.

__________________________

I ask you –

What is your leadership style?

How often do you reevaluate goals?

Overtraining: if you’ve experienced this, tell me what it looked like for you.

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!

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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.

Summer Planning

With an impending TN summer on the horizon for mini, I need to find things to do with my time. Things that don’t include cleaning or working.

  1. Read all the books
  2. Create a photo album of mini’s 2021 summer vacation photos + kindergarten photos
  3. Organize mini’s massive amount of outgrown clothing
  4. Write copious amounts of blog posts to make up for all the times I’m scrambling on Sundays.
  5. Do nothing until approximately 24 hrs before mini returns, then frantically attempt to complete the above list.

All jokes aside. I sort of got a headstart on #1. Morgan from Oregon (soon to be known as just Morgan) gifted me this fantastic set of books by author Sarah Centrella. Her writing style is fun yet also very real. No spoilers from me. I love workbook-style books, too, so these are perfect for me. As I received my performance appraisal a short time ago, the final question was “What does Kelly see in her 10 year plan?” Can we just make it through today?! Luckily, I had already begun working through the guide for th we books so I was able to answer in the best way possible. “Let me get back to you!” No, I didn’t say that. For the most part.

a gift!

Broken record alert! Considering another run streak. Just to have a summer goal. Maybe June-July? One easy mile/day. More if I feel up to it. Obviously it would mostly all be treadmill miles because Texas summer is similar to the pits of hell. Pretty sure I’m right. The 5 day break we got from the heat was most appreciated, but don’t anticipate it happening again until…oh… probably November. Just something to consider. …the running. Not the heat. It stays. Moving on!

Short of registering for another degree and finishing up a book, I don’t know exactly what I want to accomplish this summer. Since those are revolving projects, best I stay the course. Hello, library!

______________________

I ask you –

What are your summer plans?

Do you like self-help type books? If not, what is your favorite genre?

Vote yes or absolutely not: 60 day running streak!