My Watch is an Asshole and My Phone is a Liar!

Just WTF!  I need a new watch!  I just have to break down and buy one because mine is dying.  First I cracked it, then it stopped syncing properly and now it won’t even record a run.  It goes to that screen and connects to the GPS but then it won’t turn on.  It must have gotten wet on Saturday when my wingman and I did 8 miles and got drenched in a downpour on the second 4.  GRRRR  but that’s fine because I have the Map My Run app on my phone so I turn her on, flip my watch off and away I went.  All is well, I’m kind of struggling through tired legs in mile one but nothing I’ve not worked through before.  Today it’s cold but with every step I’m warming up and waiting for my assistant to start reading off my stats.  Now she tells me I’m at a mile before I know that I’m at my true 1 mile mark.  Ok, it wasn’t far off so I stop the app and and stretch my shins that are protesting a bit.  I don’t stop long and head on my way through mile 2.  That is where the arguments began with the stupid app.  As I approached somewhere in the vacinity of 1.75 miles she lowers my music and announces that I’m at mile 2.  NO I’M NOT you stupid lady in my phone!  Now I’m irritated but all i really need to know is the time because I know the distance by heart.  Whatever, I keep going pausing just for a few seconds to again stretch my shin then move along to finish mile 3.  The thing that bugs me is that she tells me I have these rediculously fast times that i know I can’t hit.  Irritating.  Half way through mile 3 she says I’m at 3- LIAR!  It doesn’t matter really, just bugs me.  So now I need a new watch and potentially a new app as backup.  The run was ok overall but just took my mind off my running focus.  Some days it’s just the little things that drive you crazy especially when it’s the stuff that you rely on to keep tabs on your progress.

HAPPY RUNNING!

Laziness &The Lotophagi

I am so tired right now from working all weekend on sets. I went from Art Department -froo froo, making it pretty to construction person wielding a screw gun and a drill.  Although screwing 3″ nails into 2×4’s isn’t “hard” per se, my body feels like it was at this very moment.  Last night I thought I would go for a run this morning but this morning my body informed me it was too tired to run.  After some bargaining it agreed that we could do some Tabata but not a full hour which was just fine by me.  49 minutes later and much grumbling through every single exercise, I was done.  Can I just tell you how heavy 10lbs feels when you’re tired.  VERY!  Nonetheless I finished fairly respectably and gave it a good push for what was in my tank.  I could have taken a day off and it would have been fine.  I could have just ignored the fact that goals don’t happen by themselves but the fact is that goals don’t happen by themselves.  They take dedication and consistency even on the days that you don’t feel like doing anything.  Today was that day for me.  Having pushed myself through a workout makes me feel powerful and gives me that feeling of proven application to back up the words of wisdom when I tell someone that fitness takes sacrifice and dedication.  As I have found out in the past, laziness is all too easy to fall back into like the lotophagi who ate the lotus fruits as depicted in Greek Mythology.  Laziness used to be my habit until I broke free and took my life back.  It’s a temptress that is difficult to break free from if you don’t stay focused.  I have bad days where I just can’t get it together to do anything but today isn’t one of them thank goodness!  Today is a win for me so we will continue to take it one day at a time making progress, albeit slow progress toward the longest and healthiest life that I can possibly have.

Have you had tough days where you just didn’t think you could motivate yourself?   How did you push yourself to get it done?

HAPPY RUNNING!

Helping Ourselves To Be The Best That We Can Be

Until recently, I purchased running wear that was available at my local department stores.  Mostly name brands like Under Armour, Champion and Reebok and some other miscellaneous mixed in.  They work and are affordable and until now all I needed was something to wear that wasn’t from Walmart since they don’t have the best reputation with clothing that lasts.  About a month ago, I broke down and purchases some @Fabletics mainly because they have really great prints but my excuse was that I wanted to see if the price was worth it.  I was taking a shot to see how well made they were or if it was just another celebrity paving the way for their retirement career.  It’s probably a little of that but I needed to know what I was going to get for my money.  I ordered a bunch of stuff because they give you great deals to suck you into a membership.  It’s not too bad because I control if / when I order and there’s minimal responsibility for that membership.  I will say that the pricing is ok but comparatively it’s great if you look at some other well known and reputable brands like Oiselle and Lululemon.  I don’t mind spending money on things that will last and that includes running shoes.  I got my order and now I’m hooked.  The compressive quality of these leggins are amazing!  I actually like them better than my other running clothes because they are snug and hold all my junk in place.  My legs feel so much better during and after a long run when I wear them and not just a little.  I love them!  I love my Sparkle Skirts too but the shorts under them are not really comparative to how the @Fabletics pants feel.  That’s fine.  Everything has a purpose and my skirts are for shorter runs and races.  I know that sounds weird but I like to look smashing at a race and the skirts just look ultra awesome.  Just because of that fact they will maintain their racing priority even though they don’t massage my legs as much.  That’s ok, I now know what I want for more challenging runs and long races.  These @Fabletics are so good that I went out on a limb and purchased my mother a pair so she can use them on her legs which need compression and super support.  I am really hoping she loves them and they do the job.  We’ll see in a few days!

As we gain more experience we learn what we like and dislike, need and don’t need, love and hate.  It happens with anything that we wish to invest our time and effort into.  We read and experiment with things as runners like fuel during a race to find out what works and what does not.  We try different support items like socks and shoes and compression pants.  We learn how to dress for all kinds of weather and how to pack for the unexpected.  We learn how to manage ourselves to avoid things like bathroom emergencies and running out of water and we all have rituals that we follow from dirty socks to stretching mantras. Some of us seek acupuncturists, doctors, masseuses, cupping professionals and even circulatory specialists to make our bodies do what we continually push them to do.  We become experts and share the golden knowledge with as many as will hear it because we were there once too down at the beginning of an adventure that we really hoped we could like as we gasped for oxygen after our very first humbling mile.  It just happens when you hang out with other runners and spend the ridiculous amounts of money that we do on racing for that almighty bling.  Well for me the reason to sign up for a race if it’s not to do it with friends is because the reward at the end is stellar!  We learn about ourselves and others, about our thresholds and base points.  Why?  Because we all want the same thing which is to be the best that we can be for as long as we can be as we are out there on the courses day after day.  We do all of this because we are runners.

HAPPY RUNNING!

Country But Not Back Woods

Today I’m not in my hometown.  I’m visiting my parents in VA and it’s raining.  It’s also a gym day for my mother and my father has a visitors pass for the week.  That made the workout decision easy for sure.  So it’s the YMCA which guarantees a minimum level of equipment versus some rinky-dink; back-woods; converted garage gym for hicks.  I’m not expecting it to be big but I am hoping it will at least have what I need to get a few miles in. I go because it will make my mother happy but I wish I could just stay here and do my 3.86 mile loop.  I think that a road run must definitely have to be better than what  the back woods YMCA of Halifax VA (@YMCAsbhc )has to offer.  I try to reassure my doubting self that it’s the Y so there has to be a standard to uphold in terms of equipment and classes.  I’m not expecting much more than a single treadmill with a waiting line and a few free weights and maybe some mats and a water cooler.  Whatever. It’s a workout and better than nothing on this rainy day in VA which is preventing me from heading out on the street today.  I’ll make the most of it I think to myself as we drive the 20 minutes to the facility.  We make small talk and I think about what I’ll try and do when we get back to make up for the lack of a workout that I’m about to get.  Mother – Daughter time right? Right.  Then we get there and lo and behold we pull up to the front row handicapped parking (my mother needs great assistance getting around and uses a cane and a wheelchair and a walker) which is available.  We get out, go in and check in.   A small but quaint lobby, clean and bright is the first thing we walk into.  Here everyone is friendly so we get the typical greeting and hi how are you as we move to check in.  My mother goes to the pool and I head to the wellness center. The Wellness Center…sounds fancy doesn’t it?  Well I’m not going to be surprised or shocked when it’s a closet.
I’ve never been here so who am I to judge.   I’m not sure what to expect or if I’ll be fighting for a machine, waiting in line for one or sitting in a corner waiting for my mother because the wellness center isn’t very comprehensive.  To my surprise it’s HUGE!  There must have been 8 Treadmills, elliptical machines and bikes that weren’t all taken.  Bonus!  There were nautilus machines and free weights as well in a room that did not smell like a gym locker and wasn’t filled with muscle heads getting ripped.  There were people of all ages in there just trying to stay healthy. Even the personal trainer who was absolutely jacked was perfecting his form.  I shouldn’t have prejudged it because it was better than my own gym back home!  So I said a mental thank you for the gift of corporate standards and got on a DM deciding that I’d do interval training.  When I do this I run .75 mile and then sprint the last .25 mile and repeat for a few miles.  I love this DM workout because it breaks up the monotony and I feel super awesome afterward. So I did 5 interval miles then headed over to the free weight section to do some Tabata.  30 minutes later it was time for me to pack it up.  That was the best workout I’ve had in a long time and I went in with a poor attitude that I should never have adopted just because I’m in the country.  Shame on me!  It was a wonderful place with super nice people and very much current with the latest technological equipment offerings.  I’m so happy I didn’t stay home because I got a great workout and I earned myself a big fat ol’ piece of my father’s Blueberry coffee cake!  Thank You YMCA of South Boston / Halifax!!  I’ll be back on Friday!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Country Air

There is something different about running in the fresh country air of southern Virginia that fuels the soul and mind.   It’s the same air but not at the same time.  It’s quiet and peaceful and perfect for digging deep into one’s mind and thinking through the stuff that we don’t have time to weed through daily.  You can see the sun rising on the horizon that you would swear you could just reach out and touch it’s so close.  At the early morning hours as I tread on the pavement the residents are getting their days started and the Amish folks already have their day well under way with their business and farming.  I wave at everyone because here, everyone here waves at me.  I’m recognized as my mother’s daughter now, the one that runs since everyone knows my parents and each other and everyone talks about and to everyone else.  Here you definitely run with a stick as I found out today passing the three amigo mutts.  One decided to run just behind me a bit letting me know who’s territory it was.  I also run with Mace but this really didn’t warrant radical action even though I did think about breaking it out for a second.  A simple shout back letting him know that I could eliminate him if I wanted to with a firm voice did the trick just fine.  There are sections of my route that are a little creepy and lacking life but they are not very big and I’m past them before I finish thinking about being nervous running there alone.  Virginia, as many places, has a lot of poor sections.  Houses in disrepair or falling over and even abandoned.  It’s like a scene from a picture of America long ago when everyone struggled and family values were something different than the waning and changing ones of today.  It’s a reminder to me about how fortunate I am to have all that I do.  It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and complain about what we don’t have to which I am no saint.  The house needs paint, the roof needs repair, the floor needs to be finished and about a hundred other things that aren’t good enough the way they are.  When I come here, all that goes away because I am among people who struggle much more than I do.  When I come here I am sure to remember to thank God daily for the life he has provided to me and the family that I have.  As I run here, I miss home not for the things I have but for the people in my life.  Their absence makes me so happy that I can miss them so much.  When I am here I look forward to the Blueberry bread that my father makes.  It’s so good and he feels so happy when I ask him to make it for me.  I’m happy that he can still make it at 86 years old and I ask him to make it on purpose.  Partly because he’s been diagnosed with Dimentia and the days of his memory and coordination and lucidity are getting shorter and that makes me sad.  So while he is still all together I do what I can to make him feel useful and happy, besides it gives me a reason to go running here so I can eat it!  So good!  Time is in slow motion here and the days are really long with little to do.  Running although the same as it is at home mechanically just seems to last longer here as if the air were gelled and thick to move through.  You’re just forced to look around and take it all in.    Runs are always happy and pass by in the nicest fashion setting the day up so it can be nothing but good.  There just is nothing else like running to fill your soul like the back ass sticks of Virginia!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Post Race Recap

Yesterday’s race is now over.  It was decent race in that it was flat for the most part and flat is preferable in my opinion.  It was on a military base with big buildings and not many trees so the scenery wasn’t “spectacular” in any way.  It was a cold day to start.  I contemplated a few times before we started putting on my Fabletics leggings for warmth and for their great compressive support.  Maybe that’s why my knee is a bit more sore than I expected.  I decided in the end that it was going to warm up enough that I would regret that decision so I stayed in my outfit which matched Barbara’s.  I preferred looking cute anyway LOL.  I did in fact warm up.  This race I ran for fun not time so I ran at what I refer to as breathing pace and stopped twice for a potty break.  I didn’t have an agenda or a time to beat and in fact I thought about the rest of my day most of the way through all 13.1 miles.  I enjoyed myself not having any pressure or goal.  At this point in my life that is the way I feel like I want to continue my running life, just for fun.  It was breezy and we were running into that headwind several times throughout the course but it was manageable.  I found my joy in giving high 5’s to the kids handing out the water, talking to other runners and just taking my time on a beautiful sunny day.  I finished in 2:14 by my watch but 2:16 according to the official racing time which is probably because of the potty stops I paused my Garmin for.  I knew going into this race that it was going to be the slowest race for me and I was ok with that.  I felt badly for my friend who had some challenges that caused her to have to walk at the end.  James and I waited for her and I ran her into the finish which was fun.  I was happy to be sitting while she made her way to the finish line.  I was in the sun keeping warm, sitting with my son who is my best cheerer and enjoying the day.

Why Do We Race?  It’s a long way to run not only for me who only ran 13.1 but for anyone to run.  Every time I run a half marathon I reevaluate my bucket list marathon and wonder what is wrong with me.  I’m so happy when I’m done and usually at mile 10 or 11 I’m counting the steps until I can stop.  Running puts some big stress on the body and the after effects the older you get are harder and harder to handle.  I’m not complaining, I’m just reflecting.  Post race aches and pains are normal.  My right leg is sore and my right foot hurts mostly because of the bunion I’ve been blessed with.  Basically my body aches, my intestines are definitely squawking these days when I run 10+ miles so I will be glad to have a day off today.  I’m not happy about that because I took Saturday off too.  It needs to be done though because I feel tired everywhere.  Yesterday my right knee was protesting when I had stairs to do too.  I had signed up 8 months ago for this one because I was panicked that my son was leaving for college.  I really feared not seeing him and thought if I could run a race down by URI I could have an excuse to go see him.  In hindsight I see / talk to him much more than I thought but that was my motivation to which I sucked my running friend Barbara into doing with me.  Outside of the physical hurdles that come post race, I will say the post race food was not impressive.  I am not sure what I expect really but open food like pretzels left in bins for any sweaty or dirty hands to touch kinda grosses me out.  I don’t want frito’s or cookies but some runners do.  Salt is good post race, maybe I just didn’t want it yesterday.  I also was a little disappointed by the medal.  As you may or may not know I am a medal whore and really sign up mostly for the bling.  I mean if I’m going to run all that way I want a good reward.  Whatever, it’s done.

Ok, enough of the things that kinda sucked.  The good things were first and foremost, my son James came with me and took pictures of me heading out which made me so happy!!  He was also there as I turned the last corner to the finish and suddenly I wasn’t tired and I had so much energy.  I shouted out to him and ran to him and he ran me into the finish line.  THE BEST!!!  The second best thing about yesterday was that I got to run the race with my friend Barbara.  I love running races with her because she’s positive, realistic, honest and usually always happy.  She worries about the same things I do in race preparation too.  It’s so nice to not be alone and the more  I run with her, the more I enjoy racing.  The third bonus to the day was seeing my son John!  We went to see him, watched some movies, had some lunch, had the best pizza for dinner and then headed home to crash.  SO tired last night!  All in all it was a great day!  Thank you to Barbara for signing up to do the race with me….she is doing another half marathon in 6 days (EEEEWWWW) so she’s my hero!  Thank you to James for getting up so early and being my best cheerer ever!  I love you both!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Feeling Strong

It’s amazing to me how one day I can feel so crappy and another can find me running like I’m super woman.  Today I wore a cape as I practically flew all 4 miles.  I’m having so much more fun these days because I have embraced my slower pace and just go out with the best attitude for having fun and enjoying the fact that I can do this.  I have a half marathon on Sunday and this is the first half that I’ve run that I am totally just looking forward to with excitement and without fear.  Maybe it’s because I know I can do it but I feel like it’s because I know it will be my slowest race and I’m ok with that.  I just want to have fun with my friend and enjoy it.  Funny thing is, now that I’m just having fun, my splits are travelling back down to between 9.5 and 10 minutes which is rather amusing.  Try hard and do 10 or kick back and have fun and pull in 9.5 LOL!  So funny to me.  Today was a day that I easily cruised through and enjoyed this beautiful sunrise.  I stopped and took a picture and didn’t stress out because I was “STOPPING” for a second.  I’m not being timed and no one in the world cares so why should I miss the opportunity to take a picture that will forever remind me of this strong day.  This was one mile in and it only lasted for a minute before the sun crested all the way to the top of the trees and the beautiful pink horizon dissipated into a golden sky of the morning.  On the way back the sun coming up painted just the tops of the trees which was equally pretty.  All in all I felt stupendous and thought about my friend Barbara who takes pictures that inspire her along her runs.  I thought about runners that I follow because they inspire me and how they seem so brave and courageous and strong.  As I ran to my playlist it seemed that all the songs cued up had a strong bass line that seemed to be the same beat that my feet were pounding out and that my heart was singing to.  Simply awesome is how I felt.  Strong and capable was how I ran and happy and positive is what I embraced.  I simply love running for all of the good days and yes even for the not so wonderful days.  It’s helped me find and push my limits and helped me find myself again.  It reminds me that I want to skid into home plate at the end of my life screaming Hell Yeah! Woo Hoo! and not carrying any regrets with me.  It’s found me friendships and goals and motivation and determination  unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  I’ve found wisdom and encouragement and because running makes me feel so good, I try to share a little bit of my happy with as many people as I can because it’s the greatest feeling in the world!

HAPPY RUNNING!