Running and Racing Memories

For just over six years now, I have been running and racing. Through running, I’ve met some of my best friends, lost other friendships and gained a better understanding of who I am and who I want to be. I really don’t think anything else I could have ever started doing years ago would have allowed me to do and see all I have other than running.

I got to thinking about all my favorite running and racing memories and some made me laugh, others made me a bit embarrassed, and others frustrated me! Regardless of how it makes me feel, there was no way I would change a thing about it.  Here is a short list of some of my memorable running and racing stories. memorieslogo

What you find on a run?

For a while, it seemed like we were always finding things that didn’t quite belong on the routes we run on. We have seen a cucumber, condoms, a package of meat, a guy passed out, etc.  The one that made us all go ew….a half eaten deer leg?! No deer. Just the leg. That one freaked us out a bit but it did give us something to ponder for a mile or two making up our version of how it got there.ew

When nature calls

I was trying to juggle a family dinner and getting in a run so unfortunately, my dinner was happening right before I was meeting my friend, Christie to run. I thought I would be fine running so soon after eating. Boy was I wrong!! About halfway into our run, my tummy was not feeling good at all. I had to go, go. There was a gas station about 1/2 mile from where we were but with each step, I knew I was not going to make it there. I took off for the near by area. Not ideal but the alternative was far worse. Christie was dying laughing at me as I scurried from one tree to the next trying to find a discreet place. I had broke out into a dang cold sweat. I finally found a secluded place to go, tucked behind a huge tree.  Not my finest moment at all!! To this day, we crack up every time we run near that area.tree-800-234x300

That race! 

By now, you all are probably sick of hearing about Kiawah aka my worst marathon ever. I learned a lot from that race but I never share anything else other than how bad it went during the race. If it wasn’t for Kiawah,  I would have never met Cara. She was friends with Katie and Nathan and they invited her to come on the trip. It was her first time being around all of us on a trip and I’m sure she was trying to figure us out, just like we were trying to figure her out. It didn’t take long and by the time we all got home, it was like she was part of our group all along!! Christine was there too on her own trip with friends and it was also one of the first times we got to all hang out. Kiawah was a huge turning point for our two running groups. We all started hanging out a lot more after that trip!11949437_10206107332536989_8990555650156000488_n

And finally…

The Year of the 12athon

One of our running friends created this amazing virtual race series just for 2012.  It was called the 12athon and runners earned points by running 12 miles on the 12th of each month.  We could earn additional points for adding fun elements to our runs.  There were also fun challenge runs too!  I spent the better part of 2012 running in costumes, consuming hard boiled eggs after each mile, running 12 miles on a .25 or less track, etc.  It was a load of fun!!  546031_3568054154689_220894912_n

This Week’s One Word Prompt: Memorymemoryquote

What is your favorite running or racing memory?  Have you ever seen anything weird on a run?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Favorite Running Bras

Sorry, guys!  This post is just for the ladies.  Unless you all have any interest in wearing the man bra, then you probably don’t want to go any farther than this.

So for most of us runner girls, we have go to bras that we wear.  Some of us need a lot of coverage and support, and some of us (me!) need minimal amount.  Regardless of what size and support you need, it’s important to wear a bra that does have some support.  The purpose of a good sports bra is to keep the jiggling and bouncing to a minimum.  I even find that during certain times of the month, the type of support I need varies. tumblr_mxi6giydlH1skbwk4o1_500

Since I’m in the medium support club, I can only speak to the ones I like to wear.  I’m fortunate that I can wear the basic C9 bras that they have at Target.  I love the ones with the adjustable straps and are racer back.  They are super comfortable, wick well and do the job of supporting me.   I actually buy them in a size smaller than I would just so they are a little snug.

I recently upgraded to their newest style which has modesty pads or as I like to call them “chicken cutlets”.  I like the little bit of padding these give me and I love that I’m fully covered in some of my sheer tanks.  These bras also have thicker straps, but are still adjustable and racer back.  Unfortunately, they just changed them again and the newer version seems to be a little bit too restricting.  They changed the material and it’s not as stretchy, more compression even. friday3miler

Some things to consider when buying a sports bra:

  • Sports bras should fit a little bit tighter than your regular bra.  This will help to control jiggling and bouncing.  You want to stay put in your bra.  Unfortunately that will sometimes lead to the dreaded uni-boob.
  • Look for material that wicks and pulls moisture away from your skin. Check the band along your rib cage to make sure it is soft.  Look at the seams along the armpits and the straps.  Any rough spots when you try it on will lead to chafing later.
  • One way to check to see if your bra is the right fit, try jogging in place.  See if there is any movement.  Try lifting your hands over your head too.  If it pulls up at all, you may need to make a change in size or adjust the straps for a better fit.
  • Check the cups and make sure that there isn’t any gaps or extra space.  Adjust size if needed.
  •  If you wear a heart rate monitor, you may want to bring it with you to see how it fits under the bra when you try it on.  I personally prefer a bra with a wider band so that it keeps my HR monitor in place better.

The thing I’m probably guilty of is holding on to a bra too long.  The average lifespan of a sports bra is about 6-12 months.  I know for a fact I’m wearing some that are older than that.  I try to buy a few new ones every few months.  If my older bras are in pretty good shape, I still keep them and use them as my “dry” bra when I bring a change of clothes after I run.

Also, don’t dry your sports bras (or any running clothes really).  I hang mine up to dry which helps keep them in better condition.  You’d think drying it would tighten it back up but all you are doing is ruining the fibers and making them break down quicker.

What is your favorite running bra?  What do you like most about it?

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Running Role Models

Every day, every where there are a women and men showing up and running their runs.  In the heat, in the cold, with busy schedules…there isn’t an obstacle that is standing in their way to do the very thing that makes us happy.  Nothing that keeps us from the thing that is so a part of us, running.

This Tuesday on the Run is all about honoring our running role models!  I’m a super lucky girl to be surrounded by a huge group of runners.  I can’t just pick one or two of my friends who are my role models, I just couldn’t pick! Every one I run with has a different reason for being out there and a different way that they are special to me. role models

For all those new momma runners, I couldn’t even imagine the thought of trying to add in running with a new baby.  Keep in mind, I wasn’t even running yet when Hayden was born.  I didn’t find it again until she was 6.   I admire the fact that your love and care for your baby but included the love and care for yourself.  You’ve embraced becoming a new mom and your running has become finding you again.  Enjoy both journeys, the motherhood one and your new running momma one.  They are both special.

For all the momma runners, there is a bond that we share.  It’s true.  I understand you and you understand me.  You get that we juggle everything and that every time we step out the door, we have to overcome the guilt of leaving our mom job to do our running job.  We find ways to get in quick runs around family schedules, we try our best not to disrupt life too much, but we also know that part of being a great mom is taking care of ourselves too.   We toe the line all the time but because our families realize how important this is to us, we feel just a bit better about it.

For all the beginning runners, this is hard.  Those of us who have been running for a while, forget what it’s like sometimes to start running.  There is no ease, there is no runner’s high, there is only thoughts of wanting to stop, how long until I can walk or stop, why is there a hill?!, I’m so slow, etc.   There is no joy when you first start running.  What I admire is that you do it anyways.  That you still lace up, head out and run because the prospect of what running can be and what running can do is far greater than the need to stop.  Your heart beats out your head every time.

To all of us mid-pack and back of the pack runners, we can sometimes feel like the forgotten children of running.  There is always that one race that by the time we finish, everything is gone…no food, no water, no cheering crowd at the end, and the post race party is all but done.  But, we don’t do this for those things (ok, maybe the post race beer…). We do this to prove that we can do it for ourselves.  We’re doing this because it’s part of us.  No matter what the time on that clock says, it doesn’t define us.  That number doesn’t tell you how much heart, dedication and love we have for running.

To my own running family, all of you, your support and dedication to running is amazing.  I love that we always have someone in our group to run with if and showing up on Saturdays and Sundays to run, we are all out there together in our smaller groups clicking off miles.  I love that we love each other.  We want to see everyone do their best and have their best runs or races.  I want to be a better runner and friend because you’ve shown me how to be a better runner and friend.  It’s through the strength of our whole group that makes us all strong.

and finally,

To Cara and Christine, my sisters in running.  I loved running before, but I really love running now.  You both bring so much to my life, outside and inside of running, that I’m forever grateful.  I love that you both show up every day.

With in her mix matched running clothes (although this summer, she somehow started matching?!), her YEM socks in the winter, and her stinky camo visor (may it rest in peace now),  Cara makes me find joy in running.  Your ability to just be in the moment when running makes me want to do the same.  You don’t take this all too seriously and I’ve learned a great deal from you.  I’ve chilled out in running and life (a bit) and I’m happier for it.

Christine is the yin to Cara’s yang for me.

Christine is a quiet thinker.   While Cara and I are usually off the chain, Christine keeps us grounded and realistic with where we are and what we’re doing.  If I’m struggling with a run, I want Christine next to me.  She’s not going to get worked up about it, she’ll keep us moving, and we’ll finish.  She’s the powerhouse in our little group.   Christine is unstoppable.  She’s taught be how to brush myself off and stand stronger for it.  I’ve learned to be stronger from her.  thesegirls

Who is your running role model?  Is it someone close to you?  What makes him/her your role model?

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The Voices are Silent

About this time last year is when I was feeling beaten up, tired, and running was becoming a chore rather than something I loved to do.  I was constantly battling with feelings of defeat.  I was beating myself up on most of my runs and I started to doubt myself.  maf maf baby

I made a huge decision in regards to my running and I haven’t looked back since.  I realized that I needed to change my approach to running and find a way that running and training works for me or I was going to burn myself out.  That’s when I switched and started heart rate training (MAF Method), I gave up on doing traditional speed work (unless I felt like it) and just ran.  It was huge change, especially when I did it right in the middle of marathon training.  I went on to finish my training that way for City of Oaks Marathon and continued with it straight through to Gasparilla and Tobacco Road Marathon.

Where I started mentally and physically with at the beginning of training for City of Oaks and where I ended with Tobacco Road were like night and day.  I was back and feeling amazing!

So where am I now with it?

I’m still with it about 95% of my miles.  I wear my heart rate monitor for 5 out of my 7 days of running.  I give myself 2 days off, one on my mile “rest” day and maybe one other day when I just want to run by feel vs by heart rate.  Those days usually are my speedier days of running, but I’m not going all out either.  Conservatively fast, I call it.

What has it done for me as a runner physically?

The benefits of it have far out weighed any of the negatives.  Sure running every single run at the same HR pace can become monotonous, but luckily, I’m running with friends for most of my runs so I hardly notice it.  On days were I let it fly, I feel amazing.  I can run at higher speeds with a lower heart rate and it feels awesome!!  No yucky pucky feeling.  I’m efficiently burning fat for fuel.  I haven’t had to eat any kind of nutrition on any long runs in ages and my tummy is happy for that!  Proof that I’m burning fat?  I had a body analysis done in January and again in July.  Over the course of those 6 months, my weight stayed basically the same (gained a pound, but my July weigh-in was after a week vacation at the beach, I’ll take it!) but I gained 5lbs. of muscle, which means I had to have lost fat at some point and replaced it with muscle in order to stay the same weight.   (To be fair too, our diet also changed significantly from January to July too with the addition of Hello Fresh.  So that’s just an added bonus!)

What has it done for me mentally as a runner?

Health benefits aside, mentally it has given me so much confidence.  The voices that created negativity, doubt and fear are silent.  They don’t talk to me any more.  Once I realized that I wasn’t going to try and make every race my fastest or a PR,  those voices stopped. They were replaced with voices of joy, peace, and contentment.  And my goals?  They have reached higher than they did when I limited myself to just wanting to be faster.  Now, I love doing challenge races with crazy amounts of miles, picking ultra distances and not being scared of them and finding other ways to enjoy running without having the wear and tear of racing everything.  Thank goodness for pacing!  I run races with a real smile on my face not just the one I would muster for the camera.  I’m having a blast out there!  silencequoteThe negatives?

It takes tough skin to be a heart rate training runner.  You have to be really sure of what kind of runner you are.  Other runners sometimes don’t get it and that’s okay.  It doesn’t have to make sense to them to be right for me.  Those are the only voices that I have to silence now.  It’s easier to ignore those than an internal dialogue any day.

Where am I going now with my running?

Good question!  I’m sticking with this path for quite a bit longer through 7 Bridges Marathon and Crooked Road.  I don’t really see me deciding by next year to start changing anything too dramatically.  We already have some big back to back distance races in the works so I’ll need to maintain my endurance vs speed for those.  I’m just enjoying running too much to want to change anything!  It’s nice being content with my running.   It makes me happy.

This Week’s One Word Prompt is Silent.

How do you keep those voices of negativity and doubt silent?  Have you made any big changes in your running?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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A Day in the Life of Summertime Me

Happy Friday, y’all!! We are on a little vacay for the weekend with friends. It’s our last trip until school starts.

This Friday Five is all about a day in the life of me. By being home for summer break, this is not a normal look at what our life looks like most of the year. So I’m calling this a look at my summertime life. summertimeme

I still maintain a normal waking up schedule. I don’t want to be in for a rude awakening once we’re back at it. I wake up daily at 6-6:30am. Gotta love that body clock! I feed our sweet kitty cat girl and grab a cup of coffee. I wrap myself up in a blanket and spend the time blogging, catching up on TV shows I dvr’ed or just sit in the quiet. It’s my favorite time of the day!

This summer I’ve been lucky to run some in the mornings. It has helped tremendously with any schedule conflicts. Just this week, I was able to move my long runs to the middle of the week. I’m happy Cara is home too so we ran together early. Once school starts back, weekends become all about running.


Summertime is also about home improvement and cleaning. We already spent time working on the kitchen. Hayden and I spent a few hours tackling the pantry. I wish I had a before. It was a mess!! Here is our after pic!

Summer has also given us time to spend it with friends and family. On any given day, we’ve spent some afternoons at the pool. We have been on a few vacations and were able to head to some concerts too!! We’ve had a lot of fun!!


Lastly, a day in the life of me at home during the summer we’ve set up a cooking routine. It was one of my goals this year to cook more and actually like it. Guess what?! I do!! Thanks to Hello Fresh we are eating better and cooking every week. I’m excited that we’ve established this routine as we head back to school soon.

What is your favorite part of your day in the life? Is your summertime life different than any other time of the year? 

For even more Friday fitness love hop over to:

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Thinking Out Loud

Happy, Happy!!  It’s Thursday!  We are one day closer to the weekend!  It also means that I’m thinking out loud today.  I have a lot on my mind and we’ve been doing so much, so let’s roll! 🙂

Thinking-Out-LoudSo remember in my last post, I talked about going through and refreshing the house? Well, I found a color for the kitchen and went for it!!  I picked a dark slate gray and I love it.  I also used the same color to paint our foyer too.  It’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint can have such a big impact!  Bye bye orange, hello gray!! kitchenredoIn the foyer, I didn’t take a before picture, but we pulled up the big rug that covered the hardwoods and we bought the new shoe bench!  The clutter is gone!!  So happy! foyerI still need to find accessories for the kitchen wall.  I did also end up painting just that one wall all gray.  We have vaulted ceilings in the kitchen so it’s a great little accent wall.  I’ll post a pic once it’s all decorated.

Nick and I also celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary!!  It’s hard to believe that time has gone by so quickly and that we are already at 17 years?!  We celebrated by spending the day at the pool with friends and a great dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants.  anniversarypicWe also had a jammed packed weekend not only our celebrating our anniversary, but we also went to a going away party for our friend, Daniel.   He’s headed to Taiwan for two years to teach internationally.  It was great to all get together at Sticks for a drinks and dinner and just spend time together with friends. goingawaypartyDaniel left just yesterday morning and Cara and I got to see him off at the airport.  It was definitely bittersweet and we held it together until we got outside.  We both blamed each other for starting the water works.

We are headed out of town this weekend for one last summer hurrah!  We going back to Williamsburg to meet up with our friends who live in Virginia on Friday and Nathan and Katie are tentatively coming up and we’ll see them on Saturday and Sunday.  We plan on hitting Busch Gardens and Water Country USA again, as well as a trip to Colonial Williamsburg since we’re there for an extra day.  I’m so excited to see our friends and spend one last long weekend away before school starts.

Also more exciting news!!  My college friend is moving 2 miles from me.  I cannot wait until Jen, Super Dave and Kaley are here.  We laugh because the whole time we were in college not once did we think that we’d be living within 2 miles of each other?!  I’m so excited to have her living so close.  We have that wonderful friendship where even if we didn’t see each other as often as life would let us, we just always picked up where we left off.  Now there will be no more picking up!!  It makes me squeal just a bit with happiness.  I also can’t wait for her to meet my friends here!  They are going to love her as much as I do.

Shopping, shopping and more shopping!  Cara, Hayden and I headed to Concord Mills for a day trip this week.  We wanted to look for some school clothes and we found some awesome deals!  I love a good TJ Max visit.  Hayden got hooked up with some great clothes and we are all set!  Next, we will have to tackle school supplies.  I also hit some great deals on work clothes too.  I found an amazing dress at The Loft outlet.  The minute I saw a dress similar to this dress, I had to have it! It fit perfectly and I’m thinking I’ll wear it for Open House.  I also get a Stitch Fix box next week too.  I asked for dresses and skirts that I can wear to school.  I also started a Pinterest board for my stylist for some inspiration.  Maybe one of my pins will make it into my box?!

Hey, wait a minute!!  I didn’t mention running?!!

So what’s new with you?  What’s on your mind? Share it with me!

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Rockin’ Running Survey

Hi y’all!  I’ve been a little MIA lately.  Lots going on and I’ve not had the time to sit down and write like I usually do.  I had some quiet time this morning and jumped at the chance to work on a post.

Allison at Inverted Sneakers tagged me in her super fun post to answer some running related questions.  I loved reading through her responses.  It’s an easy way to share some info about my favorite thing, running!

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or mountain trail?

I’m a mountain momma at heart.  I graduated from THE best school, Appalachian State!  But, I’m an awful trail runner…  So I’d have to pick a beach path with one major stipulation, not in the summer.  I always have this great idea of what running along the beach looks like…hair flowing, running along the surf, effortless and in reality, running at the beach in the summer is awful.  Hot, no breeze or you have a headwind?!  Maybe I need to run more trails. ha!

2. If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

I’d pick between my two favorites, Arctic Cherry or Glacier Freeze.  They are my favorites not just because of how they taste, but that they are almost clear.  Nothing worse than seeing bright red Gatorade at an aid station.  9 times out of 10, I’m gonna be wearing it.

3. If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would you purchase with it?

I’d have to put it towards running shoes.  My go to shoe is the Adidas Boost and they are not cheap.  A new pair costs about $160.  Now, if I found them on clearance like I try to find, I could almost get two pairs for $100. newshoes

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and then decide how far and how fast you want to run?

If I’m training, I follow a plan for sure.  If I’m not, then I usually stick with a weekly mileage goal and fit runs in to meet that goal.

5. Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

I’d rather start both on a downhill and have the hills in the middle.  ha!  I guess that’s not a choice.  I guess I’ll pick uphill at the start and downhill at the end.  I rather finish strong and a downhill would give me the extra boost of confidence to kick it.

6. When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

I run every day to keep my streak going so I don’t have a “can’t run” day.  I have to fit it in somewhere!  I do love Body Pump and stretching.  mixingitup

7. What is your preference—>out and back, point to point, or loop runs?

My friend, Andrea, would be rolling her eyes at that out and back suggestion.  I don’t mind any of them.  For a lot of our second long runs, we do short out and backs to break up the miles.  I like loop runs also.  I don’t do many point to point runs during training, but I actually like those the best for races.

8. If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner it would be?

After shoes and clothes, I’d have to suggest an anti-chafing stick of some sort.  The worst pain in the world is finding a chafing spot in a hot shower.  OWIE!  9. Do you see any wild animals while out on your runs?

We see a lot of squirrels, occasionally deer or a groundhog and once in a blue moon, Copperhead snakes.  The snakes are the scariest things to see!

10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Thankfully, no.  I am the one who maps a lot of our group’s routes, so I know where we are going and make cue sheets for everyone.  I have a good sense of direction too, so even if we get turned around, I can find my way.  Now, lefts and rights are another issue.  I get them confused all the time!

11. If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days…what would it be?

This is a tough one!  I love all kinds of food.  I also wouldn’t want to pick my favorite food because after 30 days of eating it, I’d probably be sick of it.  Hmmm….  I think I’d pick a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with a pickle spear.  I think it would be the one thing that I would be happy eating every day.

12. Capris or shorts? What do you run in most?

Neither.  Skirts!  I am a skirt wearing girl! I will wear a skirt up until it’s about 45 degrees.  I like having cold legs when I run.  I’ll switch to capris until it’s in the 20’s, then I grab my full leggings. IMG_569413. At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

The more I run, the longer I have to run to feel better.  Why is that!?  I’d say 4 miles.  Most of my runs, I feel my best when I finish.  It’s right when everything starts clicking.

14. What do you do with your key when you run?

Because I wear skirts, I have pockets to stash my key.  I won’t buy any running bottoms unless there is a place to put a key.

15. If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one?

I have two to choose from:  Blue Ridge Relay or Gasparilla.  Both races were an experience and were actually more about the people and the experience vs the actual races themselves, though the courses were beautiful too.  I love the camaraderie of a relay, but I loved that we tackled all those miles at Gasparilla.  I can’t pick. ha!brr201216. What type of run is your least favorite?

Hill repeats, without hesitation.  I just don’t like them.  We run so many hills on all of our runs that I feel like I get enough practice.

17. When you go for a run, do you leave from your front door or drive somewhere to start?

For some of my solo runs, I’ll run in my neighborhood.  If it’s my long runs or I have plans to run with friends, then I’ll drive to run.  There are more options on routes if I drive to run.

18. When running in daylight, are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

I know I should wear sunglasses when I run, but I loathe them.  I have a really good pair of Oakley’s and I can’t stand them.  They fog up every time I run.  I spend more time wiping them off then I do running.

19. When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

That four letter word isn’t in my vocabulary…QUIT.  Not an option.  Unless it is something that will prevent me from running another day, I don’t quit.  I will walk miles before I throw in the towel.  I did in Kiawah, at least 7 miles.  Was I mad about what my time was?  Sure.  It wasn’t what I trained to run, but I’d have been more disappointed in myself with a DNF than a bad time.  Always.  So I guess pride keeps me from quitting.

Now it’s your turn! What are your answers?

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Fitness Traps 2

Last week, I blogged about fitness traps that we all have from time to time.  Those little thoughts that run through our minds or the things that we think or say when it comes to working out.  It’s something we all do, but knowing how to overcome those thoughts before they sidetrack us is so important!

I started with the fitness traps that I had a lot of when I first started running.  Once I got established into a running routine, my traps changed a bit  I was comfortable running, but I was struggling with other things.  Here are some the fitness traps I fell into and ways that helped me to overcome them.  I am by no means an expert; I’m just sharing strategies that worked for me.

fitness trapsFitness Trap #4  “This is boring!”

Once I had been running for a bit, I was doing just that.  Running.  I loved running, but when I wasn’t training for a race, running felt really uneventful.  I liked the rush of a race, but certainly I couldn’t do that every weekend.  Running lost its luster and became boring at times.beatheboredom

How to help overcome these thoughts:

  • Mix it up!  Part of what helped a lot for me was finding new places to run.  Even when we’d travel, I’d look for new places to run.  If you are going to the gym, find other classes to take.  I’ve tried all kinds of classes from cycling to Zumba.
  • Find local running groups to join.  Meeting new people and running might be just the thing to make it more social and fun.  Make plans to meet friends to workout.
  • Try a virtual race or a fitness challenge!  There are some that are free; others have a small fee associated with them.  I participated in many #Anywhere races from Run Chat back in the day.  I loved that it kept my running fresh, but I wasn’t having to pay money to race every weekend.  I also participate in various 30 day fitness challenges.
  • Try something other than your current fitness activity.  It’s okay to take a break from it.  About the time I was finding running a bit boring, I found Body Pump.  It was a great way to mix in something else that would benefit my running and it was giving me another option for staying active.

Fitness Trap #5: “I want a PR!”

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a fitness trap.  While it’s good to strive for improvement, this one is a tricky one!  I used to thrive off of constantly going for the PR during each race.  Faster = better!  It was easy at the beginning to PR races because my improvement in running was greater.  Now that I’ve been running awhile, the effort to PR is more difficult. I would feel so bummed after running if I didn’t PR.  I realized quickly that if I constantly strive to PR all the time, I’m setting myself up to feel defeated all the time.betteryourself How to overcome these thoughts:

  • Be realistic.  It’s far easier to target one race a training season as the one you are going to PR.  Train and go for it!  You cannot expect to PR every race you ever run.  So many factors pay a part in that from temperatures, race day GI issues, rested legs, etc.  Also, shooting for too many PR’s in a season will wear you out!
  • While PR’s are great, there are other ways to recreate the same feeling.  Try running different distances.  I ran my first ever 12K last winter.  Guess what?  New distance, new PR! 🙂
  • Mix it up on trails.  If you are a road runner, try running trails at various distances.  Again, it gives you a new target to conquer.  I’ve run a road half, what about a trail half?!
  • PR the course!  Take a race that you ran already and re-run it to see if you improve your time.  I’ve done that with a lot of my races.  My goal is just to run it smarter or more efficiently than I did the year before.

Fitness Trap #6: “Um, my leg is kind of hurting.  (ignore the pain)  It’s fine.”

After running for a bit, I naturally started increasing my mileage and training for longer distanced races.  I had twinges of pain and uncomfortableness here and there, but for the most part until it started really nagging me, I ignored it.  I ignored pain in my shins for a really long time.  Blaming it on my shoes, hill repeats, shin splints, etc.  You name it, I had an excuse for what I was feeling.  Needless to say, I ignored it too long, continued running until one day mid-run, I couldn’t run.  I had successfully run myself right into a stress fracture. listentoyourbody How to overcome these thoughts:

  • RICE.  If something starts to rear its ugly head, try resting it.  Ice regularly to see if that helps.  Wrap it, tape it, compress it.  See if that helps.  Elevate and stay off of it.  I tried all four back in the day when I had shin pain.  It made the pain tolerable, but it was still there.  Definite red flag!
  • If the pain increases and never goes away, go to the doctor and have it looked at.  I know the fear of hearing those dreaded two words (“No running!) is enough to keep you from getting something checked out, but the time of no running might become longer without having it looked at.
  • Train smart.  I went from running 3 days a week to now 5 days and most of those days were not easy.  I was running everything at full force.  I paid no attention to the types of runs I was doing and the constant pushing and pounding was enough. I got caught up in the training without realizing it was too much, too soon.

What are some of those “fitness traps” you had to overcome once you’ve been exercising for awhile?  What are some “fitness traps” you are dealing with now?

For all things fitness and fun:

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Thinking Out Loud

We are over halfway through the week and I’m thinking out loud today!  Let’s get to it! 🙂

Thinking-Out-LoudWe’ve lived in our house for just over 10 years now and it’s time for some facelifts.  I am going to tackle the kitchen first because it will be the easiest to overhaul.  When we moved in, I had a thing for orange paint and the bottom half of the walls beneath the chair rail is this faux finish orangish color.  I’m sick of looking at it now.  I think I’m going to go with a deep gray.  I also want to find something to do with all the stuff above the cabinets.  We have vaulted ceilings in the kitchen so I need to come up with something to fill that space or the kitchen will look really tiny.  I’m not sure what to do yet.  I’m tossing around the idea of doing solid white items and adding in color based on the season.  I’m just not sure.

I’ve not been on Pinterest for some time and I got on there to look for some ideas and I successfully spent way too much time searching through kitchen ideas, clothing, quotes and any other random thing I found.  I knew that was going to happen.  In the midst of pinning kitchen ideas, I did start a Stitch Fix board for my stylist.  At least something productive came out of that!  After looking back at my Stitch Fix board, I also realized that I pinned only all black clothing.  It figures!

I’m kind of addicted to Fiber One bars.  They came out with a whole bunch of new flavors and I eat them for dessert.  My favorite?  Salted Caramel Cheesecake.  No wait, Blueberry Streusel.  No.  It’s Cinnamon Coffee Cake.  Ok, maybe the Lemon Bar.  Chocolate Chip Brownie!  I love them all!  I can’t pick a favorite.  I have to remind myself to just eat one.  Most of them are 90 calories and are the perfect sweet treat!

Women’s Only Running School is in full gear now.  We’ve held three days of assessments for the ladies to come out to a local track and complete a one timed mile.  Their mile times will help to place them into groups.  We’ve had 90 ladies show up at this point with our last assessment tonight. I’m super excited to meet my group next week Thursday and start our training.  My friend, Julie, has coached for years so I’m happy to know someone out there coaching also.  It will be helpful for me to ask her questions as needed.

And lastly, I mentioned a book I was reading about recognizing “life traps”.  It inspired me to look at common fitness traps that we’ve all had at some point.  Anyways, I finished reading through the section that I felt would be of most help to how I’ve been feeling and I’m happy to say that I’ve seen some improvement already in how I’m dealing with certain situations.  I’ve shut off some of the spiral of thoughts I would normally have.  It also helps that Cara and I had a really good run talk on Tuesday morning.  She’s really insightful about everything too.  She has been an amazingly awesome listener for me, even when I ramble.  It’s great to have friends who I can have these types of conversations with often.

So what is on your mind?  What are you thinking about it? 

See what other people are thinking about too for Thinking Out Loud Thursday hosted by Running With Spoons.

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Pieces of Me

My blogging friend, Wendy from Taking The Long Way Home, tagged me in a her most recent post.  She answered several fun questions about herself and now it’s my turn!  I love these types of things, not only do they get me thinking but they also give you even more pieces of me and who I am.

piecesofme

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m 41 years old and I have a woobie.  Yup, a blankie.  It’s not even a special blanket, it was a freebie from a department store.  Somehow, I started sleeping with it 3 years ago and now I take it everywhere with me.  I have no clue why all of a sudden I have a sudden affinity for a blanket, but I do.  It’s become a running joke among my family and friends.

Have you ever met someone famous?

Yes!!  Although I haven’t talked about it in a while.  I’m a rocker chick.  Love, love, love rock music.  A few years ago, I won tickets through the local radio station to a concert and I got to meet one of the bands.  This is me with the guys from Crossfade.  Now if I can figure out how to meet Pete from Chevelle, I’d be one happy girl! 🙂 crossfade

I’ve also met Bert Yasso at the Richmond Marathon Expo.  He was super nice and signed my bib.

What is something you hope will never come back in style?

Every time I think surely something won’t come back in style, it does.  Take tunics and leggings which I wore all the time in high school.  That look came back and I totally love it, again.  Granted back then, we had stir up leggings.  Remember those?  Every style eventually comes back in its 2.0 version.  Fanny packs?  There are still versions of them out now.  Slimmer and sleeker, but they are fanny packs.  Honestly, every thing I’ve thought of have an updated version of it now.  Let me think outside the fashion sense.   I got it.  Colored ketchup.  I hope colored ketchups never return.  Ew.heinz-ez-squirt-275What is one thing on your travel/must see bucket list?

I have an obsession with going to two different places:  San Antonio, TX and Portland, ME.  I have no idea why I’m drawn to San Antonio.  I’m just drawn to going there.  I think the Riverwalk looks amazing and I just want to see it.  Nick’s been to Portland, ME for work and he loved it!  The little bit of research I’ve done, it looks like the coolest place to visit.  I’ve never been to Maine or Texas so it would be great to see both!  Even better if I could run a race there.

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

There is only one choice for this role.  Lauren Graham from the Gilmore Girls.  My kiddos at school and some friends say that she’s my Doppelganger.  So who better to play me in a movie about me?! 

Who is your favorite Disney Princess?

I don’t have a favorite, but I am a bit giddy when we see them when we visit Disney.  My actual favorite Disney character is Mary Poppins and Alice from Alice in Wonderland.  I love Mary Poppins’ creativity and I love that Alice was the only one getting herself out of Wonderland. She wasn’t waiting for a Prince to save her.

What would you sing at karaoke at night?

I love some karaoke!!  Love it!  Christine and I spent one night singing song after song after song in Asheville while Cara laughed at us.  My go to songs?  Anything by Joan Jett.  “I Love Rock n Roll’ and “I Hate Myself for Loving You” are my two anthems! 

Who would you want to be stranded on a desert island with?

I’d choose Nick. I’m the handy one, but he’s the cook.  Being both type A personalities would probably be our demise, but we’d at least get to spend our time together.

What clothing item/accessory/shoes do you have too much of in your closet?

Black clothes.  My whole closet is filled with 99.9% black clothing.  It’s my uniform of choice.  I have some color and jeans thrown in there, but it’s mostly black.  Even my running clothes are too.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I have several but my biggest pet peeve? People who drive/drive slow in the passing lane.  It grates on my last nerve.  Aggravates the snot out of me.  That lane is for passing!!  I know that you might be making a left turn 15 miles down the road, but come on!  Please move over!

It’s your turn!  Pick a question and answer it!

If you are interested in answering the questions too, please do!  I’d love to see everyone’s responses to these ones. 🙂

Go be awesome! 🙂

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