Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let The Sun Shine....

This was going through my head as I did my run and strength workout this morning. Such a catchy tune....

I headed out for my run this morning with the knowledge that I will be doing a 10 mile trail race in only a few short weeks. A lot is at stake here. For starters, my life. Secondly, my confidence. Third...let's just say I feel the need to do well, really really well.

I ran my neighborhood. Boring as usual but I have been trying to spice it up lately with my mailbox fartleks and whatnot.  Today I sprinted up the two hills I have then finished the 4 miles with a negative split. I know this isn't going to help me much with the terrain of the trail race but I at least need to be able to cover the distance. Actually, what I am saying is I need to get my conditioning back. I feel my spark returning, a renewed desire to run and race and hit the road. It feels good. It feels right. And now I have to put in the work to get my conditioning back.

I have also been trying some new kettlebell exercises that I found by googling Kettlebell workouts...imagine that! Some of these are no joke and have left my rear and thighs buring. All. Day. Long. So I plan to keep at it for at least 4 days a week.

Here I am, getting it done on my sunny back porch!


Um yeah.....I need to work on these....

And Ketlebell Figure 8's...ouch.

Done and DONE.....

It always feels so good to start the day off after a good workout! Tomorrow will be another 4 mile run followed by some Kettlebell swings and some other crazy things.

Oh and how did I forget? If you have a few extra seconds I am up for another Circle of Moms Top 25 Blogs Award, Health and Wellness Blogs! If you can head over and give me a good ole thumbs up...HERE. I'm kinda getting beat big time this time around. Meh...you win some, you lose some.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Trail Race????

I'm going to go ahead and say my goodbyes...it's been nice knowing you all.

Ok, a bit dramatic I am sure but really, a trail race? Not just an easy short one but a 10 MILE one. What am I thinking? Well I'll tell you what I am thinking...pumpkin pie...Mmmmm....

I have been forced into registering for the Raven Rock Rumble on November 17. I have some time to train so maybe I wont die. But then again maybe I will. Who knows? I'm actually excited to do this race, but not so excited about the pain I know I will endure. My last trail run was a month or so ago with Liz. The trail was very compact and not very technical at all. Then over a year ago I did a trail run during a sprint triathlon at a distance of 5k. It was awesome,raining,  muddy, and fun. I was, however, super sore afterwards. Before that I did a 9 mile trail run with J-Ninja and fell twice within the first half mile. It was sandy and rough. And no, I am not clumsy at all....Ahem....

So needless to say this 10 mile trail race will be interesting and I hope I don't break my leg or my foot or my ankle or my neck...or end up in a body cast.

This trail is not exactly smooth, compact or gravel. It is stoney, up and down, and what I would call a technical trail. It is not quite as technical as the mountain trail I ran on Mt. Rainier one year, where I was either going to fall 50 feet to my death into a roaring river or get eaten by a bear staring at me from 3 feet away. That was a trail race....But this one is not going to be easy. Fun? Yes. Easy? No.

J-Ninja pointed out that this is very uncharacteristic of me, to play it safe and not jump on the opportunity to punish myself in a race I am not prepared for.  Since when am I not up for a challenge? I guess since Big Sur really. Injuring my knee was a wake up call and I didn't like it. And then in Virginia Beach where I was prepared for neither the distance nor the humidity and my confidence was shattered. For the first time in four years I am not walking around, at any given point, half-marathon ready. And I don't like it, not one bit. So what am I going to do about it? I am smart enough to know that if I don't like something it is up to me to change it. No one can do it for me...so I am ready to get back into shape. Into the condition where I was so that on any given weekend I can up and race Amanda Style again...you know, last minute registrations and races.

So LB, Lazy Dog and I actually hit up Raven Rock trail a few weeks ago for a hike.  After just the 5 mile loop I was done for...tired. Exhausted.

Here are some pictures of the trail...and other random shots:

LB, Lazy Dog and me...LB doesn't usually sit in the front.
Only when Lazy Dog takes up the entire back seat.

Bridges and rivers...Fun.

I am certain we will not be balancing across fallen trees...at least I hope not!

I may remember this tree so I can crawl in and cry.

Just walking along...

Oh boy.....

Don't do it!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

So, True Story....

For the record all my stories here are true.....but this one I felt the need to preface with the fact that it is, indeed, true.

On Tuesday I went for a mailbox fartlek. You know, where you sprint between every other mailbox...fast fast fast....hit a mailbox then slow, next mailbox fast fast fast....next mailbox slow. And so on throughout the entire neighborhood. Next time I will be sure to count the mailboxes and let you know how many there are. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Mailbox Fartleking....the first notable incident was at the bus stop. Let me clarify, the High School bus stop. This bus stop is for the High School kids, about 12 or 13 all together. They were gaggling around the stop sign when I came loping by (that would be during my slow spell). I was suddenly aware of the fact that 26 eyeballs were on me...I felt weird. Insecure. Almost like I was in High School again. GAG! Shoot me now....I felt myself tighten up and my shoulders lift. I noticed my chin come up and suddenly I took a sharp left to avoid running past them. As I ran down the opposite way I found myself hoping the bus would come and get those brats before I had to run back by....and it did. Shew!

What's up with that??? Why was I suddenly so worried and self conscious about a bunch of pimply faced 15, 16 and a poor unfortunate, bus-riding 17 or 18 year old? Who cares anyway? They should be so lucky to be as awesome as me when they are 33.

Secondly, I ran up on a dead possum. It was just laying there. In the middle of the neighborhood road. At first I thought, "Yeah. Play dead you stupid possum. In the middle of the road. I'm on to you." And I expected it to jump up and run away....then I got closer and realized it was not going anywhere. Ewey gooooooooey. It was so gross I almost...almost called it quits and turned around and headed home. But I carried on and pretended I did not just see that.

Third, I was heading up the farthest back street in my neighborhood, not far from the bus stop. There is a part that is completely wooded, no houses, no nothing except for a small 2x4 that spans the deep ditch to allow easy access into the woods. There, in the woods was a teenager. A school-skipping, bus-missing, cigarette-smoking, emo teenager who stared at me. I couldn't help but laugh. What was he going to do all day? There in the woods by himself? Then I quickly realized I most likely did NOT want to know the answer to that....

Anyway, then... I finished my run and came in the house. I decided to do a quick plank. I've not really jumped on the whole plank bandwagon. First of all, I don't do bandwagons. Second what good could a plank possibly do? So there I was, in my room, doing a 20 second plank. I thought, "Yeah, this is a little tough." I came down to relax and thought, "Meh...I'll do another. See what all the hooplah is about." So I did a second 20 second plank.  I went about my morning, got ready and headed to work.  By mid day I noticed my upper middle back was sore. I didn't think much of it. Then come Wednesday it was still sore...I thought, "What the heck, what did I do to make my back sore?" Then it hit me! The planks!!! And today, three days later, my back is still sore! Whoa.

So, moral of the story is planks actually do DO something! Who'd a thunk it? I have a hoodlum teenager who likes to skip school and sit in the woods in my neighborhood. Teenagers at the bus stop make me self-conscious....and dead possums are disgusting.

So what have you seen on your run lately?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Just in time for the holidays! This time of year is always rough...Trick-or-Treating brings in buckets full of candy that I must use my super powers to resist. And who can say no to candy corn? Not me...Then we have pumpkin and pecan pies and all the other delicious Thanksgiving stuff. Once we survive that food coma we roll into Christmas with fudge and other baked goods. Then...then we step on the scale and pretend to be shocked at the 10 pounds that somehow just fell onto our backsides. Ok, ok. I shouldn't say "our" I really mean ME and MY. Maybe I am the only one who suffers from Fall-a-fat-a-gain-a-sisits?

So what is my plan? I have done really well up to this point keeping my Bridesmaid Challenge Loss off (10 pounds in all). I am determined to keep it off through the holidays.

After thinking about it....and thinking some more...

...and thinking so hard I gave myself a headache...I have devised a plan to help me keep it all in check and the damage to a minimum. I am leaving the country. Heading to a world where there is no sugar....


I wish though. If I could just board a plane this weekend and head for the jungles of Thailand or even the beginning of the Appalachian Trail  and return on January 2, 2013 that would be awesome.  But it will never happen. So instead I must exercise self-control and say no to all the delicious chocolate and candy. I have to keep my portions reasonable. I have to make a decision with each temptation: Will this be worth it? My goal is to maintain my current body shape/size/weight until the end of the year. I think that is reasonable, realistic, and possible.

I also plan to keep running, or at least pick up the running. I have a number of fall races staring me in the face. Some are on the same day and I must decide which I will do. I also have a doctor's appointment in the morning for my knee. I'm hoping all is well and there will be no need for surgical intervention. I haven't been in much pain but I have cut my weekly milage by about 85%. With that being said, the one race that is no longer on my fall calendar is OBX 26.2. For the second year in a row I will not be toeing the line at the Outer Banks Marathon. I am only slightly bummed but really I am at peace knowing it is the right decision. I am not ready for this race and I don't want to end up in worse shape because my pride was too big.

So anyone else starting to devise their Holiday Damage Control Plan?  Who wants to leave the country with me??? And who knows of a place where sugar does not exist?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Autumn Fest 5k....

Wow, thank you all for all the comments, emails, texts and encouragement. I really didn't know what to expect when I posted my last post but you all did not disappoint and went above and beyond. So THANK YOU. I have been reminded how amazing the running community is and I am so proud and thankful to be a part of it.

Now, on to running....

I did a 5k yesterday. It was an ok race. Not a PR but not a PW either. I over dressed, wearing a long sleeved shirt. Isn't it fall??? By the end I was pouring sweat and it got into my eyes which also reminded me why I normally run in a hat or visor. Next time....I won't make that mistake again.

My friend Sarah came out to cheer me on (and to enjoy the Autumn Fest festivities). It was fun to have a cheering squad and she snapped this amazing picture of me not even trying to pass the two slow pokes in front of me. I've pretty much decided that pace and time just doesn't matter. I am running for the love and fun of it.

Oh yeah...right at the finish. =)

Our friend Andrea does original work on a 1902 letterpress making really awesome letterpress cards. She had a booth set up at the craft fair so we of course had to go support her. I got a few really cute cards. You can check out her stuff at chemistrycarddesigns.com.

Overall it was a really fun day filled with running, friends, and crafts. The worst part of the day was dropping my cell phone....Nothing like cracking your iPhone screen.

In all it was a fun-filled weekend that has left me ready to take on the week....hopefully it wont be another month before I update you all again! 


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