Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hot Yoga..

...It's getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes. I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off.  It's getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes. I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off....

Whoooooa Nelly....too far.  Please, please keep your clothes on while in Hot Yoga...

You get the point.  It's no secret that I love the heat. I love the sun. I love the summer. I love the North Carolina summer when it's 108 degrees and even when it's 98% humidity.

I love it.

I hate the makes my body hurt. Heat just feels like a warm blanket wrapped around me. I love to feel the sweat start to drip. It makes me feel like I'm working so much harder than I probably am. The room is kept at 100 degrees!! Perfect!! I've gotten quite fond of my weekly Sunday night hot yoga class. It's the perfect way to end the weekend and get ready for Monday.

When I can't make it I'm usually grumpy until I can make the next class. It's funny how we get into routines; creatures of habit I guess. Not to mention, after class I like to hit up the local market to get some Organic goods that my local grocer seriously lacks. I usually stock up for the week. And I've been making my green smoothies again with 50% of the ingredients coming from my own garden! One of the produce guys has gotten to know me and teases me endlessly about my ginger root and kale bundles. He likes to point out that ginger is good for upset stomachs. I agree but add it's a good natural anti-inflamatory, improves immune system and helps fight ovarian and other cancers. So yes, tease me about my ginger....I'll take two. Thanks...

Green Smoothie!! 
I like that I have a routine and I need it. I don't think I've always been that way. Actually maybe I have. When I have a good, solid running routine I do best.  I like consistency and routine for most things but I also like to think I'm not rigid or inflexible.

Inflexible....speaking of flexible or not so flexible, I noticed tonight I'm getting better at yoga. A few years ago I went three or four times a week. I noticed a serious improvement in flexibility, strength and my running. Tonight I felt stronger. I'm sure it's the consistency of the yoga practice paired with my twice a week visit to the weight room. It's always motivating to see gains.

In other news, not hot or yoga or ginger-related, my second half marathon of the year is next weekend. I'm ready, I think....but I just realized the course is a bunch of loops. Yes, stupid, horrible, awful, annoying, shoot-me-in-the-face-loops. Not a nice long 6.5 miles loop I'm gonna do twice but a loop of 1.74 miles. WHAT? Whose idea what that? It was a dumb one, I know that much. I have heard horror stories about loop races. I'd probably back out if I weren't committed to it as a 26.2 relay with a friend from work. So we both will be there, cheering each other on...lap after lap and lap after lap.....Seriously how am I gonna get away with walking on a 1.74 mile loop?

I don't know how I get myself into these things...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hit the Trail...

No really. I literally hit the trail today. 

Today was one of those days where I didn't have to be to work until a little after 1 o'clock. I love days like this. I  had planned to hit hot yoga this morning. Last minute I changed my mind when I was invited by an old friend, Nomad Runner, to run a nearby trail. I do love running trails but not by myself, so I could not possibly pass it up.

We met at the beginning of the trail, which is really a mountain bike trail, tagged "Difficult Trail". I had no idea how far it would be but I was ready to run. Plus I had no idea how fast Nomad Runner would be. He used to be much faster than me, but that was a few years ago. He didn't outrun me this time around.  The trail was nice, soft, and a little sandy but not bad. We twisted and winded and turned and climbed. There were no steep, long inclines but many little ups and downs. It was fun and I enjoyed hearing his advice for me, not to mention adult conversation is rare these days....

I was getting cocky, especially when Nomad Runner tripped and nearly fell....he saved it though, inches from the ground. About three miles in I started tripping up over all the roots and stumps in the trail. When I get tired my feet don't come up off the ground as far as they need to. That really makes things difficult.

We ran along and suddenly Nomad Runner said something and all I could really make out was "Mumble...blah blah...Cool, look, skunk....blah blah SEE!! THERE!!" Ummmmm "NO! I don't see! Not cool! STOP RUNNING!!!!" The last thing I needed was to be sprayed by a stupid skunk! A skunk's spray can go pretty far and with the wind we wouldn't stand a chance. I'd have to call in skunk to work for the next week! So we stopped and he pointed out the big, fat, dark skunk-looking creature just as ran behind a tree. I watched for a second and saw it scurry up the tree. What?! Since when do skunks climb trees? We debated for what seemed like five minutes but it was probably only 20 seconds since the furball was climbing the tree at warp speed, terrified of us...then we caught a better look at it, then there were two--two of the biggest, fattest, darkest squirrels I have ever seen. But definitely not tree-climbing skunks.

And we continued on our way.

Sure enough about 4.5 miles in I bit it. I can't catch myself and I can't fall gracefully. I've learned to just let it happen...Although I did try to prevent myself form landing face-first and ended up landing on my backside-somehow. There I was, sitting on the 

All I can do really is laugh. I've had some really ridiculous falls in my running career: The one in the middle of an intersection in front of a car full of college boys, yeah that was awesome, pushing LB in a running stroller and causing it to fall backwards as I hit the sidewalk, three times in the first mile on a trail run with J-Ninja (seriously, I can't make this stuff up), then most recently the near-death experience while running in the dark and falling into the biggest whole I have every seen (can you say man-eating sink hole?) and nearly getting hit by a motorcycle...and now this. Today pales in comparison though actually. I have one tiny scrapey scratch on my side-butt. I think I'll live....

Yeah I have no idea....

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston Memorial Run...

...I think everyone and their dog ran some sort of Boston Memorial Run this past week. I'm glad I joined in the fun.

This past weekend all the running clubs in town came together for an unofficial meetup, no road closures, no permit, no support....nothing. And that was awesome. I'm not sure of the official number but it had to be over 100 runners.

I was a bit worried because I had LB with me. Sometimes he can be difficult, stubborn, and just plain refuse to participate. I know I can force him with threats and punishment but that's not usually my parenting approach. So I wasn't sure how this run would go, one of two ways: good or very, very bad.

To my surprise when we rolled out of bed at 6:30 AM I told him to get dressed and ready for a run. He grumbled a little bit about not wanting to but all I had to do was say, "It's a Memorial run, for Boston. Not an option. Put on your shoes." Done and done. He was in.

Ready to run! PLEASE excuse his attire and lack of real running shoes...
He picked his own clothes, I wasn't gonna fight it. I think he grew a few inches since 
he last wore those pants. And I have no idea what happened
to his running shoes.

We showed up, mingled a bit and then headed out for a 5k. There was no intention of running fast. I just wanted to run with LB and encourage him to make it the whole way. I haven't run with him in so long. Our last run was painful intervals, sprint and walk, sprint and walk, sprint and pacing and done half a mile later. This time he was pacing! He didn't run out and kill himself in the first quarter mile. There was a little bit of sprinting though. He saw a little girl ahead of us, probably 10 or 11 years old, no way no how was that girl going to stay in front of LB. He took off and passed her. Not three steps ahead he slowed back to a snails pace jog. It could not have been more obvious what just happened. I smiled and caught up with him.

We did have some walk breaks but for the most part LB held steady. I was so proud! Not a single part of me wanted or needed to run any faster. I had a running buddy! And not just any running, my LB Running Buddy! I hope this is the beginning of many many more runs together. I'm sure one day he will outrun me and I'm ok with that. The smile on his face when he finished and when I told him how proud  I was of him was priceless....Not only did he come out and run, he understood the cause of the run, and that makes my heart happy.

Group Shot

Sarah, Rachel and me...

Done and I think he's tired.
Finally, happy Earth Day!! Figured this is a good time to post an update on my garden....It's almost done! I just need to finish up the fence to keep Lazy Dog out and put the last of the veggies in!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Track and Gym and Road...

...oh me, oh my!

Since Sunday's half marathon, which I haven't recapped yet (oops), I have decided that I kinda like running again. Variety. That is the spice of life. Right? At least that's what they say....who are they anyway? Well, neither here nor there, I think they are right.

When I lived and ran the streets of the PNW I had variety. My route was never the same. Always changing, always a left turn here, a new alley there, a random street was great. My neighborhood now is so vanilla...ugh. I don't want to be ok with vanilla. I need chocolate syrup, brownie chunks and sprinkles on top. So the lack of variety in my routes has been a thorn in my side since Day 7 of moving to NC.  I know that. I KNEW that. I have known that this entire time.


Things don't change on their own. I know this too. I point this out to people every single day, over and over. Do you want to change? What are you going to do about it? It's not gonna just happen, it takes something to initiate the change. If you want something do something about it. In my case maybe what happened in Boston was what I needed to initiate change. But I will say after Sunday's half I felt the spark. It was there.

I have been doing my best to mix things up and not be so boring. This morning I did a treadmill run. I had forgotten how much I (kinda) like the treadmill. With the lack of any good hills around here it is about the only way I can get in good, convenient hill training. I set it on incline of 4 and went from 4 to 7 and back to 4 for some variation.  I was eyeing a Jacob's Ladder thing next to the treadmill but decided against trying it for fear of making a scene of myself....all legs and little coordination=trouble... I did some weights after my run. I like lifting after I run because if I do it right I can keep my heart rate up and continue the cardio workout. Tuesday I hit the track for speed work of 400m intervals @ 7-7:30 min/mile pace. I only did 4 with a 400m warm up, 400m recovery between and a 400 cool down, 2.5 miles all together. I was dunnnnzo after that. I remember the days when I could do 10 of those all at a 6:00-6:30 min/mile pace.'s a start. With the weather nice these days I hope to start meeting up with the local running club at the track on Wednesday nights.  I've been itching to hit the pool....soon I will.  And finally I set my bike up on the trainer...


So there you have it. I'm spicing things up. How have you spiced things up?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Who knew...

...a race shirt could fit into an everyday work outfit? Not me, until this morning anyway. I think my wardrobe just quadrupled.

It was decided that runners everywhere should don their race shirts in honor and respect for Boston, the marathon, runners, spectators and families. So far no one has mentioned anything to me about it, so either they A) live under a rock B) aren't runners and just don't get it C) this race shirt looks dang cute and no one even suspects I didn't get it from Nordstrom.

Yeah's mirror image...don't know how to fix that....

I decided to wear the shirt from my first marathon, Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in April 2010. I can't believe it's been 18 years since the OKC bombing on April 19, 1995. I remember exactly where I was, Mr. Hula's Physiology could I forget Mr. Hula? And the way he used to write on the chalk board....**ahem**...anyway...News spread quickly around the school that there had been a bomb in Oklahoma City. At first I laughed. I have always felt so horrible for laughing....felt like such a jerk actually. But really, a bomb? In Oklahoma City? It sounded so absurd. Absolutely insain. Not possible...but then the librarian brought the TV out to the student center and we all gathered around. Shocked. In complete disbelief. Then came the news that there was a day care in the bottom floor of the building. Every working mother's dream, to have their child downstairs while they work, became their absolute worst nightmare....I felt sick.

The days and weeks to come were a blur. So many people came to OKC from all over the country. I remember seeing lines and lines of emergency vehicles, Red Cross Volunteers, National Guardsmen...And a photo seen HERE (you may not want to look) has been a fixture in my brian for so many years.

I don't know why I ramble on about this...but I guess just to say I chose the OKC Memorial Marathon for a reason. Even before I started running after college I imagined myself running that marathon. In 2004 my husband at the time ran the relay. Inside I was seething with jealousy. I wanted to to 2008. I started running. First small races, local 5k's, 10k's then my first 12k the day before LB's dad left for Iraq.

It was then that I decided I would run one race a month until he came home. The small races became half marathons...and I ended up running 12 races in 11 months. I didn't stop. In fact I ran more...I began to see that running was so much more than just running. It was my sanity. It made me a better person.

2009 was a tough year, but I had no idea what would come in the following few years. End of 2009 I lost a pregnancy, then came 2010. I nearly divorced, endured another deployment and the loss of friends, found out my dad had cancer...the blows kept coming! Was this life? Was this how it is, how it was going to be for the next 80 years? Such extreme ups and downs? People actually enjoy this life? That is where my head was...once I recovered from my ectopic pregnancy I was cleared to run in February 2010. So I ran...

I had been saving my first marathon for the OKC Marathon. I had wanted to do Portland in 2009, the inaugural Seattle Rock n Roll in 2009. But my heart wanted OKC. So in Feb 2010 I registered for OKC one night while eating ice cream watching Biggest Loser (or at least that is how I remember it). It became real...I downloaded Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Marathon Training Plan and I stuck to that plan like glue. The next three months of training were amazing and life-changing.

During that marathon I felt like I would never become tired. Truth be told I wish I had run faster, that was my BQ race. I was scared of the wall that never really appeared, I ran conservatively because I was told it would be there. The people lining the streets of this race were so supportive. I remember at mile 23 seeing a fireman in all his gear running. Trust me, tearing up and getting a lump in your throat at mile 23 is NOT a good idea. I had an immediate flash of the photo I referred to earlier and nearly tossed my proverbial cookies....The entire race I read Bible scriptures on the backs of shirts. I read names along the way of those who we were commemorating, I was touched.

I had done it. I finished that marathon in 4:09 and some change. My dad, my LB and my TFF were always and I could not explain the surreal experience  I had just had. It was like four hours of complete meditation. I would give anything to experience that again.

Anyway, I have no idea how to wrap up this sap-fest of a post. I don't pretend to know what it was like in Boston yesterday. But I do know how it feels to see your city under attack....and I know that during times of tragedy there is also so much good...just like Mr. Roger's mom told us:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers

So that is what I will do....I will look for the good, for those who help...

Monday, April 15, 2013


Heart officially broken...

I can't seem to wrap my mind around what happened today.

I don't want to wrap my mind around it because that would make it know me and my head-in-the-sand approach to life's events....that works sometimes. But not this time.

It is so sad and scary to think that this is the world that our children are growing up in. One where it is a very real possibility that a bomb could go off at a marathon, a football game, a concert....heck anywhere!  When I was growing up I worried about tornadoes. And quicksand. 

I never worried that there might be a bomb.
Just like when Sherry was murdered while out for her regular run, we came together as a running community and made it clear that we would not be broken. Our hearts, yes...broken. But our spirits, notsomuch. This Sunday I'll show up for the Boston Memorial 5k here in Fayetteville.  If you want details on the run email me and I'll give you the info. 

Hug your runner tonight. And if your a runner hug your support crew, those who are clap you across the finish! Hug your kids, whom you do this for every day.  Show them it's ok and to not give up, to keep going.  Look at your running friends...many of whom were there today, expecting to have the race of their life, the marathon they have worked so hard for...tell them they are freaking awesome. Lastly, look at yourself. Find your inner strong, grieve for the runners, families, spectators affected today. Grieve for the marathon...grieve for the days when we didn't have to worry about some idiot(s)....(fill in the blank here....)

Monday, April 8, 2013

That time of year again....

Almost. It is finally starting to feel like spring. The sun is shining and it's supposed to be 81 degrees today! Its time to come creeping out of my winter shell and I couldn't be more ready! Last summer was full of epic beach trips and I know this summer will be the same. LB and I took a long weekend trip to Hilton Head Island this past weekend. It was nice to get away. While I didn't do too much running LB and I did take a long walk on the beach and we had a few races...I let him win a few times. Saturday he told me, "Mom, my little ole legs are sore." I asked him to show me where they hurt and low and behold mine were sore in the exact same spot! I'm sure it was from walking and running on the beach barefoot.  Here is my weekend in a quick recap:

While driving to Hilton Head in the pouring rain my windshield wiper FLEW off....

We had to survive until the nearest exit so I could find a place to replace it. LB was laughing hysterically as I yelled at Siri for not having a clue where the nearest Auto Zone or Walmart was. Sometimes I wish Siri had a face so I could punch her in it....

Thursday and Friday were kinda rainy and overcast, but we had a good time anyway. No one else wanted to be out on the beach....

 LB didn't care...he was going to get in.

But then the sun came out and all was good....

Since my last post about priorities I have had some time to think and reflect. This almost always happens, every year. I am so hard on myself come end of the winter and then find myself coming around with the sunshine and warmer weather. I looked at the Inside Out Sports and Set Up Events Triathlon series and have picked a couple that I'll register for. I'm pretty excited! I've set my bike up on the trainer on the back porch, went for a run last night when we got home and then again this AM. I also hit the gym....haven't gone to a real live gym in quite some time. Now I just need to squeeze in pool time and I'll be set. 

This weekend's half marathon is still up in the air. I'll see how the rest of the week's runs go. I'd be ok with totally skipping out, probably more ok with that than earning myself yet another PW. A girl can only get so many PW's before she really starts to feel bad about herself...but deep down I know that it is way better to go out and make it from Point A to Point B, no matter how long it takes, than to just not show up. But my competitive side cringes at the thought of a half that is not up to my personal performance standard. I haven't been putting in the work so I can't expect a stellar performance....

I know better than to expect what I did not earn...I also know that if I really truly want it I have to work for it. Maybe it's time to get to work...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Priorities People...

Where are my priorities? I've been asking myself this a lot lately. It is no secret I have been struggling to maintain my love and commitment to running since I moved to NC. I have been trying so hard to force something that's just not there....the spark is gone.  Even though I want so badly for it to be, it's just not. It's gone.  It's just not the same anymore. When I think back to the hundreds of miles I spent with RED, Tall Mom, AN the RB, my heart beats faster and my eyes tear up. I miss you all..... I have written many posts about my Running Buddies and how much I love them...and how much I owe them, how much they kept me going, physically and emotionally, over the miles we spent together. I'd give anything for a good long run with each of you....But reality is you are far, far away....too far for a lunch run, or a Saturday long run.

This brings me back to my priorities. What are mine these days? I hardly even know anymore. I've decided to back off of running. Stop pressuring myself to do it. It's not working as a stress reliever or an escape anymore. It's a chore. But these days I need something to reduce stress. With the nature of my job I take on so much, so much emotional pain of others, on top of my own, and it starts to weigh heavy on my shoulders. I can feel it a lot lately. Since I have cut back on running I can feel the tension in my muscles and the weight of it all I can see in my face....I have been holding on though, waiting for summer. Waiting for the beach! Last summer that was my outlet. That is where I went and let the sand, sun and salt water just wash it all away. I am so close now! 

In the mean time, the times between when I have to work and can't just sit on the beach, I have been increasing my yoga practice. It's helped a lot, except for Friday when J-Ninja drug me to a power yoga class that literally killed me. My arms and back and butt are still sore.  I'm hoping to hit up the outdoor pools for some lap swim and Rachel has been asking about doing some Tris with her this summer. So maybe I'll dust off Nelly and get back in to the Tri scene.  That brings a smile to my face! 

Saturday I hit up the Renaissance Day Spa, thanks to my amazing fellow PNW Transplant friend...I have amazing friends, what else can I say?

Doesn't get much better than this!
So for now, because I can't hit up the spa or the beach every day, I'll run when I want to....I do have two half marathons coming up. One is on April 14th. I'm not exactly ready and I may just skip out on it. I guess I'll decide 5 Mile Style.....the night before.

Outside of running, yoga, tris, and the beach, LB and I decided to plant a garden. It should keep us busy throughout the summer. We worked on it all afternoon, digging up sand and mixing in "good garden dirt". Digging is a heck of a workout and my arms and back are killing me. But it was (and will be, since I'm only half way done with our round, circular garden) totally worth it when we have fresh fruits and vegetables!

Lazy Dog helped me plant herbs for the porch.....and some flowers.
LB digging out one quadrant so we could add the good dirt to our sand.....

And half of our circle garden is planted!!

I think it looks pretty good!


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