Office Life / Cold Front

My office has a serious Crumbl cookie addiction. As well as donut addiction. If you want to get something into the hands of leadership quickly, we can be bribed. Everyone has a price!

Speaking of office stuff, when the going gets tough, I remind myself of an instance where I helped a stranger get into their master’s program. Well, it was a miniscule part but I played it. Seeing as how it was several years ago, I imagine they have since graduated. Pretty proud!

Again, on the office theme, I have encountered some really beautiful sunrises lately. The only problem is I’m usually driving and too lazy to pull over. Being punctual is my thing. Although my phone doesn’t take the best sun photos, you get the idea. I adore the mornings. There’s just something about a new day, waking up before others, the quiet stillness of the world early in the day. Before life gets crazy. Before the sun starts boiling me alive. The days are getting shorter hence the darkness is lasting longer. Bring on Fall!

We’re getting closer to the closing of Hell’s Gate aka end of summer in Tejas. Not close enough. Sadly I missed the opportunity to run last week when it was a blizzard-like 59°. Break out the parkas, folks. I’ll get my cold weather running gear. It’s a party!

Alas, a day later, it was 99° outside and 78° in the office. Have I mentioned I miss teleworking?

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I ask you –

Does your office have a particular addiction?

What are the average daily temperatures where you live?

Tell me an office skill you’re not proud to be good at! I’m getting good at work order requests.

Fall Training Schedule

Considering this upcoming race. Coincidentally – or is it? – a trip to TN would enable mini to see her dad and family during the Thanksgiving timeframe.

No word yet on Morgan from Oregon’s plans to attend Run the Rail mid-October. Since I got the plague from hell in August, discontinued my run streak, and had to remember how to breathe properly, anything long distance before November is probably a no go.

There’s also Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio. The Stars at Night Half isn’t a viable option this year because it will be the same weekend mini heads back to TN for Christmas break.

Speaking of, I was a few paragraphs back, there was a week in there where I went to the doctor or was on the phone with a doctor at least once a day. They are nice and all, but I try to avoid, know what I mean? Anyway, I began to notice a troubling pattern. They don’t measure how tall adults are anymore. Yes, they ask how tall you are, but they don’t physically verify. Two problems: 1) I could be lying when I say I’m 6 ft (yet she didn’t even blink an eye) and 2) hearing the words “You’ve grown” isn’t exactly a compliment as an adult. Bet she didn’t really write down 6ft on my chart. Hmmmppphhh.

Relatedly, sort of, in the Navy they called shoes “go fasters”. The more I think about it, I realize that was the ‘kind, new Navy’ saying something positive about passing a PRT, etc. because I have never called my new running shoes “go fasters”. Instead, I internally refer to them as the shoes that will kick someone’s a**. I will outrun a cheetah in my new shoes! I am faster than Olympians in my new shoes! There’s a meme circulating on social media that says something like…why doesn’t anyone ask me (as an adult) how fast I can run in my new shoes…and I totally agree. It’s BS. You better ask me!! And I’ll be happy to demonstrate. But sometimes I just ask my shoes to get me home. You know what? That’s ok, too!

Hotter’n Hell Hundred went off without a hitch, to my understanding. More like best guess, Kel. I went to my usual viewing spot and didn’t see a single thing. Not one kit-clad cyclist was located. For a minute, I thought I got the date wrong. Alas, my final thought was since the annual bicyclist event was not held last year, they had an extra year to work on speed and sped through the course in record time. It could also be because I slept in and was approximately 2 hours late to the location. Or I read the map wrong. Really, it’s anyone’s guess what happened. I’m going with extraordinarily fast cyclists though. Just pretend there’s a super awesome photo here of thousands of cyclists.

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I ask you –

Any race suggestions? Or know of something I’m missing? Preferably early December.

Does your doctor ask how tall you are or take a measurement?

Participants in Hotter’n Hell Hundred next year – leave your name below so I can get insider information. I need an accountability partner!

RoF – Caffeine Injected!

Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted individual will influence 10,000 other people during his or her lifetime. 

Smash House Coffee

Meet Marcy, a self-described quiet woman and owner of Smash House Coffee, located at 215 N Yosemite St, Iowa Park, TX. Personally, I like her drive and careful attention to detail. She declined to be photographed, but she’s beautiful – you can’t miss her!

Every name has a story…Smash House doesn’t disappoint!

The difference between Smash House Coffee and other coffee shops is the open band area. Marcy’s children and their friends play for Outcast Rising, formerly known as Revelation; this area showcases their talents and encourages patrons to visit for more than their coffee fix.

Originally just the bottom floor of her husband’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu business, the idea for a coffee shop may have come about some time before even Marcy was ready. You’ll have to ask her! Smash House Coffee is certainly a downtown novelty; several years ago there were rumors of a coffee shop being opened but it never materialized. So when it came time to get started, Marcy wasn’t even sure how to make many of the coffee drinks customers know and love; therefore, she had to learn quickly! She isn’t the chatty barista you might expect, but she encourages you to take a seat and stay awhile. Also, first weekend of each month, Smash House hosts Cars and Coffee, typically at 8am where local (and non-local) car enthusiasts can show off their hobbies!

From a dirty chai latte to CJ’s Caramel Macchiato to homemade smoothies and local baked goods, Smash House Coffee fills a void in Iowa Park. My usual order is iced coffee with heavy cream and sugar free vanilla. I’m boring. But it never disappoints. And at Marcy’s price point, I could drink one every day for a week and spend slightly more than $20.

You can find out more about Smash House by visiting them at 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!

How to Vacation and Why People Suck at it

Alternative title option: How to try to vacation and why most people generally suck at it. But, I once read something about how concise titles draw more attention.

Briefly I considered the 1,000+ emails that were surely awaiting me upon return from my beach vacation. So I drowned out the thought with ice cream sandwiches and the like.

Blue Bell Pecan Pralines and Cream

Circa 2020, when I took a similar beach vacation, I fielded no less than 4 phone calls and did some “telework”. I’d like to think it was because my job really needed me, but it was probably more like I didn’t set any boundaries. Lesson learned.

This year I ensured work was where I left it, approximately 12 hours away. With the instructions: don’t call me, I’ll call you. And I never called. If my coworker can go away for 2 weeks and leave incompetent me to hold down the fort, then she definitely doesn’t need me to help her. As my sister chatted away on another work call, I rolled my eyes and packed for another day oceanside.

Shell shocked

(I’m only sort of sorry these posts sometimes seem out of order because I jump around a lot.) I write like I talk – with many ideas swirling around at once. You should see what I deal with at work. Geez.

Anyway…people suck. I mean…suck at vacationing, getting away, unplugging, being around people. I love to fly. Because airplane mode is expected. Turning my phone off was my favorite part of being out to sea. And the battery lasts forever when only used as an alarm clock! Occasionally we’d get computer access to check email but optimal hours were midnight to 2am so choices had to be made. Sleep / no sleep.

Focus, Kel. How many cups of coffee have I had today? I can’t remember. Must be the lack of blood in my sugar stream. We found the cutest coffee shop, Cafe Karma, on the island. Apparently they got the memo for a book nook meets ice cream shop meets coffee house. And the chai tea latte was amazing! Good thing my small, local town also has a great coffee shop. And they’re super inexpensive!

Smash House Coffee

Really, I don’t know “how” to vacation; I just wing it. Eat all the food, drink all the drinks, and avoid any work-related thoughts. It can be tough to step away, but we all need time and space to recharge.

Next time, I’m leaving my phone at home.

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I ask you –

Do you think you know how to unplug?

On average, how much coffee do you drink daily?

Name one coffee shop requirement (not coffee)!

24 hrs Post-Island Life

Something about run streaking is so much fun to me. Maybe it’s the confidence builder qualities or the satisfaction of having a daily goal? Maybe all of it. I feel accomplished! Running is a huge leap of faith for me. Day 1 is tough – getting restarted, developing a habit, and believing somehow I’ll go from a nearly 12 min/mile to a 9:30 min/mile. This body is pretty amazing.

Photo credit: my sister

After my unscheduled running hiatus – thanks a lot – I’d only missed three weeks of the Garmin 10k training plan. So I’ve put it back on rotation and decided to start an August streak…which means I will (at the time of this posting) be running and “training” at the same time.

Granted it’s only a 10k but if you’ll recall there are hills in there. Cringe. Then I remembered the new DoD guidance concerning indoor mask wear and it’s still summer in Texas. Double cringe. You’d think after the super high humidity I’d be acclimated by now…alas, my trusty home treadmill is always available until it begins to cool down.

I did loosely plan to run while on the island. Instead I drank. And swam daily. Vacation, after all. Watched some Olympics, too, so that definitely counts as inspiration! Then I ate more fish, dessert, and attempted to sleep in. Damn internal alarm clock.

Back to work, I guess. And by work I really mean eating donuts with my office peoples.

dead battery = watch still on

Before I forget, I have a watch rave. The Garmin Forerunner battery life could be the best in its class: 8 days without charging. When I got home, it showed 0% but the watch face was still on. Check out my full review here.

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I ask you –

Am I the only one who keeps getting confused when I see Tokyo 2020? What year is this? Oh yeahhhhh.

How often do you take a vacation? Yearly? I would prefer quarterly!

Time to dust off my running shoes again!

This one? + She’s Home!

Holiday Half Marathon, circa 10 December, Portland, Oregon.

Oh elevation

It’s just an option. I’m really enjoying “training” during my “off season”. Sounds so professional! This is the time of year where I refuse to run a mile or commit to anything because it’s hot and I don’t fancy dying outdoors under the blazing sun. You really can’t blame me. So the fact I am actually committed to a training plan and – most importantly – STILL RUNNING should be celebrated. Preferably with ice cream!

Right now, I’m a few weeks in to a 10k plan feat. by Garmin. It includes hills and speed runs. Those are now dirty words in my vocabulary and I loathe them. BUT! Those hills and speed (cringe) workouts are going to come in handy when I run at elevation this winter. Provided I don’t freeze to death first.

Better get started on buying for real cold weather running gear. However, I did survive a few sub-zero runs during the February 2021 Texas Blizzard. I’ll be fine!

Speaking of weather acclimation, I stumbled across this great article about heat training, specifically in regards to the Olympic trials postponement the other day. You can read it here. There really are a lot of factors that make up our ability to either acclimate or suffer in hot weather. My fancy new watch tells me I’m now 18% acclimated! If I reach 20%, we’ll all be shocked.

my little love bug

Since mini got home, I haven’t had a ton of time…to myself, to run, to do much except focus on her. I’m not worried. Remember, I’m not training yet.

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I ask you –

What’s next on your race calendar? Anyone running RnR VA Beach next month? My nemesis.

How does running in the heat affect you?

Favorite hot weather treat? Ice cream, hands down!

Outs / Abouts

Has anyone tried one of these? I NEED that pecan caramel cinnamon heavenly thing. Too bad for you other-than-Texas-and-Oklahoma people. Braum’s is ours!

I should just give in

Whilst on a leisurely downtown stroll, I came across this funniness. Red, preferably.

I do love me some wine

And, then, to complete the collection of owning nearly every type of Keurig created. Monopoly, much? I feel like once I’ve run out of these, I might be stuck. So far — Keurig: 3; Me: 1. Why don’t electronics love me like I love them?

Original to Supreme Plus to Elite

My colleagues know me well. I’ve been working very hard towards our new office mantra of “Be the best first impression!” Work early, stay late, big smile, lots of laughter. All the things! Granted, I think I’ve always had a great attitude and work ethic, but there were a few weeks where I was Negative Nancy, for sure. Have you met my friend, Crow? No amount of sugar can make crow taste good. So I got it together and got back to being cheerful.

coffee rewards

Sometimes it may take awhile, but remember there’s always someone else watching.

So laugh loudly and spell correctly!

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I ask you –

Have you been to a Braum’s? Tell me how much you love their ice cream!

What type of coffee maker do you use?

Name something you’re thankful for! Coffee, hugs, ice cream…shall I go on?

(I’m not) Training Update

Since running outside hasn’t been happening, I’ve channeled my inner indoorsy gal and made amends with the treadmill. Then I got myself a free gym membership. It’s been so much fun. Most importantly, there’s air conditioning. I really need to be doing more than just running. I have zero reasons why I can’t. Even if I had issues strength training in front of others – which I don’t – I own the same equipment. No excuses.

gym treadmills seem lower in incline

I’ve had some really good runs though! The photo above was an interval workout with some of my fastest paces ever. Which explains why my quads were sore for days afterwards. Can you still get a good run on the dreadmill? Absolutely! Just not my favorite.

Continuing to visit my favorite running haunts via a slower method of travel. I should be competing in the race walking Olympics. It’s a thing! Standby…

my friends!

One of my favorite aspects of the new watch is how it calculates and recommends what you should be doing that day based on previous patterns, like how you slept and trained the day prior. But of course I don’t take kindly to being bossed around so the first recommendation didn’t go well. We barely know each other, how dare it! It said don’t run today. I said I do what I want. I ran. It was awful. Beginner’s luck, maybe? I tried again the next time. And discovered I should just listen to it. Dammit.

Once work slows down, I’ll research some upcoming races. Maybe I can convince Morgan from Oregon to do another half! Probably time to take myself to the northwest region.

Glad I’ve been doing hill repeats! Especially if these geese keep chasing after me. Me > Geese.

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I ask you –

Do you have a pet name for workout equipment? I don’t. But I should!

What is this sorcery inside my watch that makes it think it knows me?

Give me suggestions for races in or near the Washington or Oregon area! She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to!

Races + Grumblings

“A (wo)man on a thousand mile walk has to forget the goal and say every morning, ‘Today I’m going to cover twenty-five miles and then rest up and sleep.’” 

LEO TOLSTOY

Some blog posts just write themselves; all that’s required of me is jot it down as it flows. Those are the best.

Let me skip to the good part. Why are Ragnars and relay races so incredibly expensive? $600 for 4-6 people to run an unaccompanied, off-road, course- supportless route whilst sleeping in one of the two vans you yourself and your team must drive. Exactly what am I paying for here? The name probably. Before I make enemies, allow me to disclaim I have no problem spending money on races! Sign this girl up! I’m just attempting to understand where my money goes when there’s no course support, no aid stations, no on-site medical personnel (because I love those people), and no ability nor obligation to support the local community where the race starts/ends. I don’t get it.

Speaking of spending money, let me introduce you to my most recent piece of expensive jewelry. Indeed it does more than I ever imagined. Garmin really does make quite the tech gear.

smaller than it looks

Full review coming soon. Need time to take her for a spin outdoors and with the heat not cooperating it may be some time. Speaking of the heat: holy hell, I’m over it. Just when I think maybe, possibly, with angels following me, and a fan on top of my head I may be able to run outdoors…yeah, no. Did I mention the migraines have returned, too? Heat and headaches: my favorite!

Fall can’t come soon enough.

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I ask you –

Any interest in completing a Ragnar?

Do you have a small, medium, or large sized wrist? Schmedium for me

Tell me something you’re looking forward to! My mini will be home in less than 2 weeks!