2017 · accountability · Attitude · brenna gimler · Cold Running · commitments · Discipline · running

Making It Up On The Other End

Last night I laid out my running gear for a run this morning.  I got my cold weather gear out, and had it in my head that  I would do my usual 3 mile, 5am run.  When my alarm went off and I pulled up my weather app, it wasn’t quite the 31 degrees that I had anticipated.  It was 25 degrees outside which isn’t far off from 31 but 6 degrees is 6 degrees when you’re warm and cuddly in your bed.  So I was already working through my other options for working out today like A) running at lunch which would be at 51 degrees which is much more tolerable to me today.  B) I also thought about riding my stationary bike which meant I would stay inside and stay warm.  C) I also thought about possibly not working out today and if that happens I’m ok with it.  I am opting for option B which means utilizing my free time differently, but giving up sitting around reading the same old gossip magazines or going out and possibly spending money that I shouldn’t is a good trade.  You see, I don’t have to, no one is counting on me to do so, so it ain’t gonna happen today at 25 degrees!  I’ll make it up and I do feel a little lazy at the moment but it’ll get done when I’ll be more comfortable and when my nose won’t stick together when I breathe.  When it’s so cold out that I might have to cover my face so I don’t catch PEE-NEW-MONIA I instantly begin my work around solution.  It’s funny because I really don’t mind running in the cold but I think I’m not quite adjusted to winter yet.  You know that brief time between Fall and Winter when it starts to get cold but isn’t truly freezing but you’d swear it was an ice age….yeah that’s where I am right now!  So I didn’t go out running….I ate my pancakes and eggs anyway….. and I will get my butt out there today….just later when it’s warmer and I’ll be happier!  Some days it’s all about the compromise and that’s ok as long as you do in fact make it up on the other end.

HAPPY RUNNING!

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2017 · Attitude · brenna gimler · commitments · Discipline · Dreadmill · motivation · Random Thoughts · running

4:49 AM; The Line Between Dedication & a Hobby

So today I woke up before my 4:45 alarm to the sound of wind and what was probably sideways stinging rain.  I realized that running outside was not a smart idea so I decided to go to the gym to use the treadmill instead.  Now I pretty much hate the DM but on days like this and others in the winter where there is no where to run, I appreciate my gym membership quite a bit.  There are some other things I like it for like spin class.  I have a stationary spin bike at home but I don’t work it like I do when I go to the gym.  I also appreciate the pool for some cardio, the sauna sometimes to relax, the stairmaster for punishment, fitness classes of many kinds for whenever I’m having a whim moment.  Mostly my appreciation is for that damn DM because it’s always there when I need  it.  Today was one of those days.  As I tossed on my gear and grabbed my keys I took this picture of the clock on the stove in my kitchen.  This is the line between dedication and a hobby.  I’m up because I have limited time to fit in a workout these days so it’s either 4:49 or not at all.  Wanting it and doing it are very different.  It’s like the people on the DM that walk while holding on, no incline and no sweat.  Those are the people that wonder why they aren’t reaching their goals.  It’s because they aren’t working hard enough for it.  I don’t mean to sound like an asshole but really, no sweat, no elevated heart rate, no sore muscles = no achievement.  You have to actually put effort into it which includes getting up at 4:30 to get to the gym to sweat.  I can’t carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing when I’m running, street or DM.  I don’t go to the gym  to talk to my friends, I go to the gym to improve myself.  Now I don’t know anyone’s situation so there could be extenuating circumstances like coming back from a heart attack or surgery, however, in general there is a definite line between casual fitness….NO!  no no no no no!  I can’t even use those words together because fitness isn’t casual.  How about  there is a difference between moving and dedicated fitness.  Today that line for me was 4:49 am as I stepped out into a morning that undoubtedly would have ended in some kind of negative result.  Today I realized that dedication has set into who I have become from someone who no longer exists.  It’s just part of my being now.  I don’t even think about it.  I just do it day after day working toward an invisible and undefined goal that changes all the time.  4:49 is what sets me aside from everyone else who just talks about it, complains about it instead of doing it.  4:49 is the strength of the lotus that rises up from the mud at the bottom of the pond to bloom on the surface into a beautiful flower.  I am the lotus and 4:49 is the fire in the pit of my belly that burns strong like the eternal flame that always reminds me where I have been and why I do what I do.  4:49 is the bar that I always reach for that is just out of reach but always reachable.  4:49 is the line between dedication and a hobby, doing and not doing, wasting energy and getting results.  I am 4:49!

HAPPY RUNNING!

2017 · Attitude · Blessings · brenna gimler · running · Running Environment · running problems

God’s Listening Even When You’re Running

So today I ran the Narragansett Half Marathon in Easton Mass.  It’s July so I’m not sure what the  hell I was thinking but I expected it to be hot so there was no surprise there.  It was also humid but the big complaint I have is that it was hilly on the first half of this race in the sun, in the humidity which made it seem harder than it probably was.  My legs started swelling at mile 1 which didn’t really please me but it’s July so suck it up buttercup and drink a LOT!  I did and I also sadly walked a few times.  Now it isn’t a bad thing to walk, I just don’t like doing it because I feel like a wimp but the hills felt so hard so when I needed a little break I walked a minute then moved on.  I drank every mile and at every water station but by mile 8 I started beating myself up about being a bad runner and why do I do this and feeling like everyone else was just better prepared than I am.  All lies I know but it always happens when you start struggling, at least it does to me.  So here I am at mile 8 or so having the nastiest talk with myself and willing myself to not quit and keep stopping if I need to because I refuse to DNF (did not finish for those of you who may not run).  I just won’t do it.  I took a corner and ended up next to a nice guy who started talking to me.  Now I have my headphones in but I’ll almost always take them out to talk to other runners.  I love talking to people during a race.  So out they came and we chatted a while about the heat and hills and in this short discussion was God’s message to me reassuring me that I wasn’t some stinky old runner.  This guy, whose name I wish I had gotten, was from MD.  He was here with his girlfriend who wasn’t running on a little mini vacation which included this race.  I learned that he is running 17 half marathons in 2017 as a personal goal (WHOA!).  I also learned that he was a pack a day smoker a year ago and just started running 6 months ago.  Amazing to me.  Here comes the lesson kids… when he asked me what my best half time was I told him 1:57 and he was floored like that was so amazing (I think so but you know, that’s just me!) and all of a sudden I felt like a good runner again.  I was still struggling but I felt like time was passing faster and somewhere in the hilly heat of the last 4 miles I found strength in weakness if that makes sense.  I pulled my head up and suddenly felt like I was pacing him.  He in fact did drop back around 11 because as my  poor running friend Barbara knows all too well, running with me can push you to the red zone without much effort.  I’m not super fast but faster most days than she is so when we run I slow it down so I don’t stroke her out.  So my friend from MD did drop back to catch his breath and on I went but with a renewed strength or maybe it was determination.  Either way, I wasn’t in so much of a down spiral after meeting him and I have him to thank for that.  You see God gave him to me as a pat on the back just when I needed it most as per usual with most of his lessons/ gifts to me just when I need them.  I am grateful to have Faith and God in my life.  I didn’t see my new friend again after we separated but he’ll stay in my memory as one of those interactions that bring you back to center when you’re teetering on the verge of losing your humility, reality and strength or your perspective in general.  I’m glad I met him because I finished my race strongly and happy instead of dragging my ass over the finish line.  Every race is different and we need to find the blessings that each one brings.

HAPPY RUNNING!

2017 · Attitude · Hard Running · running · Running experience · running problems

11 Miles Felt Like 100

So yesterday I had an 11 mile run scheduled.  My wingman James was tired from a long hard day working on Saturday so I didn’t bother to wake him up at 6 to keep me company for my journey.  I left early so I hit the cool part of the day but sadly I did not escape the worst part, the humidity.  It was a tough run I’m not gonna lie about that.  I again intended to run slow knowing in my head how hard it is for me to actually slow down.  I figured if I could keep it to 10+ minute miles that would be good.  That wasn’t a problem yesterday.  Of my 11 miles most were where I wanted them except miles 3,4,5 and 11 which hit just under 10 but not by much.  Still too fast for what I was trying to practice but it’s ok, 7 of them were good.  Now, 7 of the 11 miles were good but mostly because it was horrible out.  I stopped every single mile to take a sip of fluid and rest for a minute.  This seems to be a habit on long runs these days but I’m not sure if it’s because it’s summer or just because no one really cares if I stop.  I in fact would recommend that to any other runner who was self conscious about it.  It was 71 when I left my house at 6:15 and of course I now wished i had gotten up at 4 instead but we’re here now so we make the best of it.  I don’t care about stopping.  Stopping every mile broke the run down for me into little tolerable pieces rather than struggling to do the entire thing or big sections without stopping.  The humidity killed me from mile 1.  Much of my run was shaded so thank God I wasn’t baking for 11 miles!   I knew it was going to be tough right out of the gate as I struggled to get my breathing under control before I even left my neighborhood.  So I reminded myself that it meant slow down and take it easy.  That’s how it went until mile 7.  When I hit 7 I was looking forward to being done and counting the minutes until the next mile buzzed on my watch so I could stop.  Mile 8 my husband, who was worried about me and checking on me regularly, suggested I take an alternate route back home that included a big downhill finish.  I didn’t even think about it.  If it was shaded and downhill, at that point, that was for me!  Everything after 8 was just hard.  My hips were hurting, my legs were getting tired and my upper body felt like I was running stiff because it too was tired.  After I started mile 8 I apparently didn’t hit the GO button on my watch the right way because it displayed the recovery heartrate message which means it’s stopped.  DAMN!  I ran a little bit not on the clock. Are you kidding me!  Any other day I would be ok with the error but today it was like slow motion torture that just didn’t seem to have an end.  SO, now I have a choice.  I can either finish the run and let my stats show that I didn’t complete 11 miles OR I could run a little more and make it right by my watch OR I could edit the mileage after I sync it.  I’m a little OCD sometimes because as tired as I was and as much as I was really struggling, I added a little side street so that when I got home my watch was right.  Control freak I know but I’ve run further before and it wasn’t all that far (less than .25 mile- NBD).  I was having such a hard time that mile 9 was a 12 minute mile….12 minutes!  For me that is super slow which is what I say I was trying to do but never accomplish because I just run too fast every single time. The worst part was I had to run PAST my house to hit 11 miles which totally sucked because I wanted to stop so badly.  Needless to say, the minute my watch beeped I halted immediately!  I was super happy to be done and pretty much considered that whole struggle equal to running with a blister.  Every mile hurts, you stop frequently (at least I would) and you cannot wait to be done!  I really wish James were with me for it because he would have taken my mind off the struggle and made me laugh.  Happy that it’s over….next Sunday is 12 miles.  Here’s hoping for the best and a wingman!

HAPPY RUNNING!

2017 · brenna gimler · happiness · running · Running in Pain

Some things just aren’t worth suffering over!

So just a short post script to my insert saga, the inserts are out!  I gave them to my son to try out which probably won’t work because he wears a sixze 13 shoe and well, I don’t.  So if anything they’ll bother the bottoms of his toes and he’ll take them out too.  I on the  other hand refused to do an 11 mile training run ‘adjusting’ to my inserts so I ripped them out and put in an old pair that I tucked away.  So much better not having to grimace with each step and focusing on other aspects of a long run than the pain in my feet.  So if you are struggling with something like this and trying to suck it up, don’t!  Some things are just not worth suffering over so why do it?  I’d rather run happy because that’s what running is for me even on the bad days and I’d rather keep it that way.

HAPPY RUNNING!

2017 · brenna gimler · fitness schedule · Good Running Gear · running · Running gear · Running in Pain · Running Knowledge · running problems · Smart Running · Tabata

IT was bound to happen!

It was bound to happen sooner or later and with all the training I’ve been doing sooner was more like IT.  IT is as you may have guessed, some minor and irregular discomfort on the outside corner  of my knee cap.  It’s been bothering me for a few days but infrequently.   Since my 10 mile race on Sunday following a dose of Ibuprofen, I thought it felt better at least I had no pain.  When I say pain I really mean uncomfortable and sudden twinges that are painful for a moment…stairs or if I put pressure on the knee leaning or getting up from sitting mainly.  When I’m at work or walking or just not running I’m fine.  Yesterday I went for a run and not 50 feet out of the gate what felt like a sudden shard of glass poking my knee caused me to hop and interrupt my motion for a moment.  It didn’t happen again but it did make me think to look it up to see what it could be even though I had a pretty good idea already.  Sure enough I didn’t have to look far before I found the obvious, IT Band Syndrome.  Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka IT Band Syndrome, shows up when the outside ligament running down the thigh (hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. The IT band is attached to the knee and assists in stabilizing the joint. When it isn’t working properly, running and sometimes knee movement becomes uncomfortable and even painful.  If it isn’t monitored a happy runner can be taken off the road for quite a while.  Funny thing is that when you look it up on Google the first thing it says is to stop running.  LOL it’s almost like getting yelled at by the doctor.

So I’ll do some adjustments like taking today off from running and making it a Tabata strength training day which in order since I try to do it every other day if possible. Riding my bike is a great and recommended alternative in addition to swimming which I just haven’t found the time to add into my jam packed fitness schedule.  Hopefully a day off is all it needs.  I’m also proactively taking Ibuprofen for inflammation despite the fact that at the moment my legs don’t feel swollen nor does my knee feel tight.  Better safe than sorry.  I have so much going on this year in terms of races that I have to monitor regularly and modify whenever I can if I need to so I can make it to the end of the running season.  Yes, I take the winter off from racing.  I just don’t like winter races much but 8 – 9 months of the year I go at it hard so I need to be careful.  I

Since it just showed up all of a sudden and since my running shoes are just about ready to be changed out, I’m going to try that to see if maybe it was caused by end of life gear.  This time I’m going to try a pair of New Balance to see if I like them.  I have been a devoted Saucony disciple nearly exclusively give or take a few Reeboks and Asics here and there.  My friend runs in New Balance and loves them so we’re going to head over and see if we can find a pair we like.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was indeed caused from needing to change the guards so to speak.  We’ll see and advise.  Till then…

HAPPY RUNNING!

For more information about causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment of IT Band Syndrome you can read this article from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome

2017 · Attitude · brenna gimler · post race running · running · Running in Pain

Stretching Out The Kinks

I feel like a truck ran me over.  Yesterdays long run was 7 miles and it did have hills but none that I haven’t run over a hundred times since I’ve started running.  Nothing out of the ordinary, just a long run.  After long run however, I pulled weeds and gardened and mulched for 6.5 hours.  Yep that’s what did this to me.  I am stiff everywhere and my knees are pretty much flipping me off.  I can’t kneel much because it hurts so badly. I’m not cripple and  I don’t have arthritis I don’t think but being on my knees is super painful to me. Maybe I have extra nerves there or something, I’m not sure.  All I know is that when I have to kneel it hurts.  I gardened after my run yesterday which meant 6.5 hours on my knees. Thank God a lot of it could be in the grass and I actually did wear knee pads while I was on the tar along the driveway.  Up and down and pulling weeds and reluctant grass roots and hoofing bags of mulch all played a role in how I am feeling now.  When I was 20 I wouldn’t really be this achy but I’m 48 and my parts are just easier to tire out.  It’s good for me to feel tired, it means I worked hard and I like that.  So, today I creaked out of bed at 8 because we have the day off.  We went to the drive in last night and didn’t get home until 2 so I was tired after a day of big activity.  I contemplated not going out for a run but I got a nudge from my husband who probably knew I would be sorry if I didn’t run today.  He reminded me that the rain was coming and my opportunity to run if I wanted was a tiny little window RIGHT NOW.  What the hell, I’ll just do 3 I thought and then I’ll be happy and done for the day.  So I did and I’m glad I did because I did some extra stretching to wake up my sleepy body and stretch out all my aches that were trying to convince me that I should not go out there today.  I ran slower and I feel much looser now than before I left.  Running will do that for you, you just have to see the upside and the outcome over the obstacle that you have to get past.  Just another reason why I love running!

HAPPY RUNNING!