Day in Photos, pt 4 + Snow Notes

First snowstorm of 2022 was a rousing success, in my humble, North Texas, don’t drive on wet pavement opinion.

Also, I had just recovered from a stomach bug my generous mini brought home from school. Bless her heart. Every single year during Jan/Feb time frame, I inevitably contract some sort of digestive issue resulting in at least 24 hours of disgusting unmentionable symptoms. Truly an exciting time to look forward to. You may think I’m being dramatic, but I’m not. Every year for the past 10+ years. Like clockwork. It’s a running joke now. If you’ll recall, I was almost finished with a 31 day run streak in Jan 2021 when I got suspected food poisoning on the 27th. Run streak: busted. I could barely walk to the bathroom much less run.

Anyway, the photos. Who needs proper snow weather clothing when Crocs and a thin nightgown will do just fine.

Anyone else addicted to the popular game Wordle? Jason, I know you are! I’ve got two degrees and this is what I use them for.

Doing well!

As the day progressed, it got colder and snow-ier. We also found appropriate clothing, less pants that fit. Stop growing! If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be scouring all 3 local stores in search of ski or snow pants for an almost six year old.

Sledding for days

As my office and I were discussing the possibility of snow days, of course talk turned to driving on ice. I stayed quiet. Upon my coworker’s remembrance of the reason I don’t drive in this weather anymore, the next sentence ensued “…what kind of employer would make their employee drive to work in that?” Let me clear it up. No one except my own insane need to do what I felt was right made me drive that day. I felt a loyalty to people I worked with and for. Repeatedly they instructed me to stay home. Repeatedly I replied I got this. And we know how it ended. Now, I am thankful each day I believe in my heart there is nowhere I am more needed than to stay home when the weather turns bad. My family is here and I have nowhere to be.

Now excuse me while I patiently await the next round of snow days. After a weekend of 70 degree weather to make it really complicated.

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I ask you –

Do you play outside in the snow? I’d rather watch.

Wordle! Who else plays?

Give me your best snowman-building tricks!

Final Christmas Thoughts

We finally (like it’s not only January) got snow, then the following day I had to take down Christmas decorations. But I was rewarded with nature at its finest – tiny ladybugs everywhere! It certainly wasn’t enough snow to play in; I still have plenty of hope we’ll have another February blizzard like last year.

bare feet

Belated Christmas with mini was a rousing success. We had her requested snack supper and she opened gifts until I couldn’t see the floor for all the wrapping paper, boxes, and tissue. How does one small child have all this stuff? Maybe next year we can do a one gift limit. Somebody tell Santa. I’m still sorting the gigantic plastic tub of gifts she returned with from Tennessee and her dad’s family. It never ends.

Now that I’m thinking about it…the title of this post seems a little dark. I didn’t mean it’s the final Christmas. I meant it’s my final thoughts on Christmas. Since Christmas was held at my house in January. Whatever. You’ll figure it out.

As school has gone back into session, the familiar feeling of gotta-do-it-all’s returned. From homework to reading folders to checking out her first library book, the sleepiness of holidays faded into the background. Just where I like it. Even after all these years, I still struggle getting into the holiday spirit and end up sounding like a Scrooge with my final comments…

school routine

I’m really glad it’s over. Now, where’s the spring flowers that bring May showers? Or whatever they say.

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I ask you –

Any final Christmas thoughts?

Did you get snow on Christmas Day?

A report I read stated thousands of people or more will go into debt during the holidays. I just don’t get it.

RoF – Caffeine Injected

After we’d spent 2 1/2 hrs driving through rain on the way back from taking mini to the meet-up point in Arkansas for her Tennessean Christmas, I was in dire need of coffee. A random road sign caught my attention in a town not 15 mins from the small town I haunted (I mean, went to school in) while growing up.

Dekalb Grinder

Apparently this adorable coffee shop has been open for 4 years, but it was brand new to me! Introducing De Kalb Grinder! Greeted by two lovely young women, Whitney and Kourtney, I was instantly in love with their sweet smiles and joyful attitude!

(L to R) Kourtney and Whitney

Introducing De Kalb Grinders, located at 136 N Runnels St, De Kalb, TX 75559, right next to Jody’s Flowers, in downtown De Kalb!

My usual drink – hot latte with heavy cream and sugar free vanilla – was extra delicious with the addition of sugar free peppermint mocha. So delicious! De Kalb Grinders’ price point is also below what I’m accustomed to paying for a cup of coffee. For those who want more than coffee, this shop has numerous tables to share with your friends and family while eating something from the extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Note: Whitney said the pancakes are made from scratch!

there’s another page on the back!

The coffee cups made me genuinely laugh! There was also a photo op area; as I was leaving, I saw two young kids getting their photos taken. What a great idea!

catchy!

Needless to say, next time I’m headed toward anywhere east of Texas, I’ll be stopping by! You can find out more about De Kalb Grinders by visiting them on Facebook. Stop by, grab a drink, and tell them Running on Fumes sent you!

Want to see more?

If you or someone you know owns or frequents a favorite coffee establishment and you’d like to be featured (or nominate them to be featured), please comment below!

Cheers to the Caffeine Injected series!

Year in Review

So as 2021 will be closing out in just a few days and I will be on my way to retrieve mini from her holiday, today is my – surely anticipated – year in review!

In actively trying to remember how many races I’ve run, I returned to admiring my medal and race bib holder. There’s a lot of jingle on that wall! Pre-pandemic, I was accustomed to training for and scheduling at least 2-3 half marathons per year. Since then, I’ve been extremely lucky to complete one per year. 2021 was a wash/rinse/repeat of 2020, but I don’t let it get to me. Sure, I could blame the lack of events for my injury (which makes no sense and still doesn’t make me feel better); however, one is more than none! Knowing I run much better in the cold, a December race just works for me. I tried to establish a base through the summer, but between the heat and the dreadmill, it sucked. Not only did my base not get built, in retrospect, perhaps I should have used that time to ensure I wasn’t dealing with an injury before I started fall training. One day I’ll learn the lesson the first time!

10 – is how many half marathons I’ve run. Technically, I only completed 9. But I’m still proudly saying 10! Never did get around to counting the assorted 5k and 10k medals. Instead, I took a trip down memory lane. It was fabulous! I have made some amazing friends who also run. I’ve talked to people from different areas and connected with them solely online. I even get super excited when they complete a race because sharing in another’s accomplishment is such a rush of emotion! There are people whom I still refer to as my running buddy, my coach, my mentor – life brings with it different seasons but those people stay in my heart. I imagine for forever. Running just does something wonderful for me.

Ok, moving on…

I love when an app puts numbers together for me! Sometimes I don’t number well on my own. What can I say? – I’m a writer, I like words! Since I won’t be running much (any) anytime soon, I shall live vicariously through my previous endeavors and your stories! Give me all the stories! Disclaimer: for 2021, I only started using Strava in April so this doesn’t include any miles I ran January – March.

thank you, Strava

Being uncertain of which of the past years have been my favorite, I am extremely grateful I chose running! Or maybe it chose me. There’s joy in the adventure running brings to me. It is a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a run, no matter how fast or slow it was. Running gives back tenfold what you put into it. I want other sports to BE that for me; alas, I don’t know if it’s in the cards for the dream to ever be a reality. Time will tell. Some days I’m rushing to know; others are a slow crawl. Guess it just depends on the mood of the day. I’m anxious to ditch the brace and lace up my trusty running shoes, but I know it can’t happen. Yet.

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I ask you –

Anybody else love looking at their year’s stats?

Are you following me on Strava? Share your ID so I can follow you!

Goal time! Tell me what you have planned for 2022!

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!

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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!

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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!

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!!!

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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!

Wk 11, HM Training

Garmin says it has the utmost confidence in me reaching my goal. Utmost! I remind myself constantly.

With several appointments and work obligations with a holiday thrown in there for good measure, I adjusted the training schedule to make sure I hit all the workouts.

We celebrated Sheppard AFB’s 80th birthday with a 5k/8k – keeping in line with the prescribed run, I chose the 8k. Started out great, then gradually got slower. It was warmer than expected. Even though Garmin said I was unproductive, I felt very good!

As I took off an extra day at work – because why would I have a holiday on Thursday, them return to work on Friday – what better way to kill two hours than by running circles around my favorite lake. Two hours.

Done and done! Too bad it was 10.98 – I could’ve run the extra 0.02 to round up!

Nonetheless, another week has been conquered. Almost there!

My Favorite Run – Texas Edition

I would love to invite you to My Favorite Run! You can also use this link to join the Network: https://myfavoriterun.mn.co/share/2Xq6XfgBX8wADiC-. It’s an easy to use app with support, motivation, and a focus on better mental health through running.

There are monthly themes, challenges, questions of the day, and many other ways to get involved with other runners, like yourself! The spirit of camaraderie can be tough to find lately – especially with many running events and races being cancelled or rescheduled still. For me, running improves my inner peace. And we could all use a little more peace in our lives!

Since November’s theme is Gratitude, we’ll be exploring ways to stay grateful in our daily lives and how running fosters a sense of gratefulness to be able to move our bodies. Disclaimer: you don’t have to be a runner to join My Favorite Run! Even if you just want to find a group of people who focus on mental health and the “why” of movement without all the running stuff, we can help! Our ambassadors (ahem, me) (and many others) (the “others” are much more knowledgeable than I) are available to facilitate discussion on tons of topics!

I truly believe My Favorite Run is a gamechanger in terms of what other apps offer for runners because many fail to recognize the internal component of movement, i.e. the mental awareness piece. People don’t always run to lose weight or win a medal or whatever other common misconceptions exist. Some run just to have a moment to themselves, to find peace in whatever struggle they’re battling, or to enjoy the outdoors, among many other reasons. For me, running has opened a door to connecting with myself and to help me focus on what I need vs what others may need from me. Running is powerful!

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I ask you –

What running apps do you subscribe to currently?

Why do you run or do any form of movement?

Share a time when being outdoors changed your whole day!

Day in Photos, pt 75

This is more like a week in photos. Work with me.

My cherry tomato plant is still thriving, even into November! Perhaps bucket planting is the way to go next year.

Tooth fairy time, round 2. In an unexpected turn of events, she let it be pulled out by her Papa. Shocking. I was no part of any of these festivities. Teeth – when they’re not in a mouth – gross me out. $2 later, we have a winner.

There was also a week of drug-free activities, aka Red Ribbon Week. I’m still a little confused by this and I believe many memes already exist but I’m going to say it anyway…no one (I repeat, no one) has ever offered me drugs. I was offered cigarettes a lot, but not like real, illegal drugs. Maybe cocaine was too rich then. Anyway, just say no.

I digress. One of the week’s dress up days consisted of pajama day! My workplace really needs to get it together. Since I got to take my mini to school that day, we stopped for coffee first. Because no pajama day is complete without a huge coffee.

Edit: I heard, errr read, about National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit that challenges writers to complete 50,000 words in the month of November (roughly 1667 words daily). So it’s like a running streak, but writing instead. If you’re reading this, then you may/may not know today is November 1st. The organization encourages writers to participate in the daily goal in order to complete a novel, but many use it to brainstorm blog posts, etc. Always up for a good writing task. Let’s see how this goes!

Thank you to https://brianlageose.blog/2021/10/30/friday-night-clam-bake-35-its-almost-the-time-of-year-when-i-do-that-questionable-thing-that-confuses-most-people/ for the idea!

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I ask you –

Are any of your vegetables still alive?

What’s the going rate for a tooth nowadays? I think I’m getting scammed.

Tell me something funny about your week!