Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today's Run:
4.12 miles/ 40 min

I'm melting....
I've been having a few back spasms since my run on Tuesday morning. At first I thought something was out of alignment, even though I just went to the chiropractor last week and I'd not been in any kind of collision. Now I think it is muscular so I've been icing, heating, icing, heating, icy hotting, Advil-ing since Tuesday afternoon. I took it easy today and did the minimum today at a reasonable speed. I was uncomfortable for the first mile and then pushed through it. It may actually feel a bit better post-run today.

I wonder if this weird back thing I have going on has anything to do with my form? I'm a neighborhood runner. I've never had anyone look at my stride and tell me what I am doing wrong or what I could do better. There's no reason for that - is there? Lately, each mile I run I try to focus on something different, like relaxing my face or keeping my shoulders down or swinging my arms. Maybe all the adjusting has re-adjusted my adjustment.

It pays to be a slacker
Also needing an adjustment is my fridge. This is the second time since we bought the old icebox 11 years ago that it has crashed and burned. I hope they can shock him back into service. Days like today I should be happy that we never really grocery shopped after our Chicago trip or that we rarely keep anything worthwhile in our freezer, but it's still a pain to basically trash everything in the fridge and start over. I had just purchased a new pint of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Shortcake Greek Yogurt. That made me really sad. I tried to eat as much of it as possible before it melted a slow painful death. Why is it that when I limit myself to the crappy 1/2 cup portion I feel like I could eat the whole pint. Tonight I couldn't even make a dent it in. Stupid fridge.

To make things more interesting, I leave for a week tomorrow. Yippie! The repairman will just have to come by when I get back. I'm hoping where I'm going it won't feel like 117 degrees at 5p. No, that isn't an exaggeration. That's what the weatherman said it felt like outside with the heat index at 5p today. I suddenly live on the sun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Olympic Trials

Today's Run:
6.45 miles/ 52 min

A nice tropical breeze - thank you Debby - made the 1000% humidity almost enjoyable this morning. I ran as long as the could before the cloud cover burned off and was pleased to see that I ran faster than I did on Sunday. Improvement is a good thing. Another good thing - my SiriusXM Radio app on my phone didn't lose its connection once so I got almost a solid hour with my man Howard Stern.

About three hours after my run I felt like someone had hit me with a truck. It isn't unusual for me to have an afternoon slump on days that I run (after all I'm up at 5a), but this was different. I seriously felt like someone had slipped me a sleeping pill. I followed my usual routine both pre- and post-run, but for some reason my body was hating me today. Then three hours after being stricken with narcolepsy, I got a migraine.

photo from Track Town USA
So instead of writing exciting wellness communications for my clients today, I listened to the Swimming Olympic Trials that took place yesterday, while my brain took a time out. I've really gotten into the Olympic Trails this time around. I think it was the article I read in Runner's World about all of the Track & Field favorites going into Eugene this week. The personal stories about athletes who really want to excel at what they do, in events that most of the world could care less about except every four years, makes you really want everyone to do well. This is the exact opposite feeling I have when I watch King James play basketball. I would like to see him humbled anytime, anywhere.

photo from Track Town USA
I was psyched to see Kellie Wells make the U.S. team in the Women's 110m hurdles. Her story is heartbreaking and inspiring. Ashton Eaton's World Record Decathlon performance was exciting to watch. And the drama surrounding the dead heat in the Women's 100m is like discussing the rules for a match of rock, paper, scissors. I also like that the women running are mostly in their mid- to late-20s, some even early 30s. It doesn't make me feel so old, unlike watching gymnastics where the median age is like 14.

KC was a baseball scoring official for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Not an umpire, but the geek who sits in the booth who decides if that swing of the bat was a hit or an error and keeps track of all the stats. It was the summer that we met, so the Olympics are special to us. I think he is really annoyed with my Olympic interest this summer as nothing else seems to be on our TV lately - thank you NBC Sports Network. It's just my way of getting back at him for having Sports Center on 24-7. I mean seriously, how many times can you watch highlights of a game that you just watched in its entirety? Obviously, the answer is - as many times as they show them.

Sigh. I'm going to ice my brain again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Power Up

Today's Run
6.35 miles/ 55 minutes

Yes, that's yogurt on her nose.
I hate to say that I'm getting use to the heat, but I have. It was 102 here today between the 98 degree temps and 1000% humidity. I don't like getting up an hour before my run, which starts between 6:30a and 7a, but I've found that I really need that time to fuel and wake up my body. When I wake up, take three sips of coffee and nibble on a Luna Bar I hate every step I take can't get into a groove, so it's worth the effort to get out of bed just 30 precious minutes earlier, but it isn't easy.

One thing that keeps me going for the last five minutes of any run is the thought of the cold chocolate milk in my fridge that is waiting on me when I get back. I love chocolate milk. It makes me feel like a kid when the reward for choking down cafeteria food all week was the ability to buy chocolate milk on Fridays. I even buy the mini-milks meant for lunch boxes for that nostalgia sake - well, that and to make sure I don't drink a half-gallon in one sitting.

When I first started running, I didn't refuel after my runs. Running was helping me lose weight, why would I want to eat or drink all of those calories I just worked so hard to burn off. I would get fuzzy headed for most of the day. Even after I ate lunch, I would just feel weird. Now, along side my chocolate milk when I walk though the door, I have a Greek yogurt while I ice my ankle. Oh, and Seka licks the bowl clean - so nothing is wasted.

Chobani is my favorite. I've just discovered the apple cinnamon flavor, which is addictive.

This weekend we took in two movies:

Seeking for a Friend for the End of the World - B+
It isn't a comedy if you ask me. Some of the stuff people do when they find out Earth will be destroyed by an asteroid in 21 days is pretty funny - like letting their six year old drink beer or yuppies doing heroin at a cook out. Steve Carell and Keira Knightly play nice opposites and have a few nice "real life" moments while the world is falling apart around them. Did I believe they were in love? No, but I can see how someone can easily attach to each other when everything has gone crazy. Good choice if you like to have discussions with your movie partner post-viewing.

Rock of Ages - B-
I love musicals, so keep that in mind when considering this review. In a word, this movie is FUN. If you like 80s hairband music, you'll enjoy it. The non-musical numbers are a bit slow, something that the Broadway show can easily hide with the energy a live stage show brings, but seeing Cruise as a washed up Axl Rose/Brett Michaels is pretty priceless. And who knew Tommy could sing?

Friday, June 22, 2012


Today's Run
5.14 miles/ 50 min

Available on both
iPhone and Android platforms
Maybe it's just getting back into the swing of things from vacation or maybe I'm in a running slump, but it has taken a lot of effort the last two runs to get out of the bed and hit the pavement. Today, I decided not to run with my normal running app tracking everything from the speed of my music to how frequently my ponytail stuck to my back (annoying). Maybe all the data was bringing me down?

Instead, I ran with a game app called Zombies, Run! This game makes you a part of the action and the better you run the better your town survives. When you put in your earphones you become Runner 5 and the world is being taken over by a zombie apocalypse. Your missions differ from run to run - like today I had to rescue a kid who was abandoned in no-man's land.

Speed work is built into each mission. As zombies approach you are warned and you must up your pace and sustain it for at least a minute to out run the living dead. If you don't, you drop some of the supplies you've collected to distract those that want to eat you.

The app tracks your pace and distance and uses your music between the story segments. It certainly isn't serious running, but I kinda think it is what I needed today. My last two runs I barely broke four miles. Today I easily did five and could have gone longer if I had the time. Besides, when you look at all the talk of zombies and flesh eating bacteria in the news these days, this app might just help prepare you for running for your life for real!

On the docket for the afternoon - bad movie viewing. Rock of Ages and That's My Boy are on the list and both have totally been slammed by Rotten Tomatoes and Entertainment Weekly (my personal movie bible). Sometimes you just have to watch horrible, mindless movies in order to appreciate the good ones. Movie snacks to be packed include: mini-bag of popcorn, an apple and a Coke Zero. My movie bag is considerably bigger than my actual purse. No it does not have wheels.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crack My Back

Today's Run
4.3 miles/ 9:01/mile
I'd love to have my own roller table!

Getting back on the wagon is tough. After a week of vacation it wasn't fun to get up early and get out the door. I'm not going to lie, I had grand plans of upping my mileage, but after my lack of motivation I decided to just do 40 minutes and be done with it. Maybe getting back on my "normal" early morning schedule for a few days will give me my motivation back.

Today I went to my chiropractor for my regular adjustment. I started going to the chiropractor a year ago in March thanks to lower back pain that would not go away. My mother was a basket of nerves thinking that some quack would paralyze me by cracking parts of my body that shouldn't be cracked. After a month of treatment, I could finally sleep through the night without getting up and assuming child's pose in the floor of my bedroom to stretch out my back. Now I see her every four to six weeks just to keep everything in line.

I've noticed as I've upped my mileage, my back gets a little out of whack a bit easier and my neck gets pretty tight. Obviously it's a form thing and I'm not sure how to fix that since I'm so new to running, so for now I try to think about relaxing my shoulders and visit my chiropractor regularly. I also try to work in a massage from the massage therapist at least every three months. It's not like going to a fancy spa, but she's good at what she does.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lake Front Trail - Chicago

Today's Run
5.7 miles - 9:21/mile
Lake Front Trail, Chicago

I was happy to sneak in this run after a far too big breakfast celebrating Father's Day with my FIL. Note to self - running and jalapeno peppers do not mix.

Running on the Lake Front Trail in Grant Park was a feast for this southern girl's eyes. Between the water, the marina, the sky scrapers in the background and the diverse group of people out on the trail on Sunday morning made the time fly by.

I was in the minority this morning. Most people seemed to be on bikes - something I don't have to worry too much about on my local neighborhood treks. I became a tad bit paranoid and kept looking over my shoulder in fear of being run down, but I escaped without harm.

The other thing Chicago didn't lack was a multitude of people with ridiculously awesome bodies. Lots of eye candy on the trail. And in total juxtaposition to the sweaty, super-fit that were seen along the way, I saw two Muslim women, covered from head to toe out running together. I'm pretty sure this is something I won't see again (at least for a very long time) and it made me smile.

I spent the rest of the afternoon looking at crazy skeletons of things that should only be living in some creative movie maker's mind and not having lived on our planet at some point in our Earth's existence. Seriously, whales with arms and legs or giant sloths the size of elephants totally creep me out. But I did like getting a closer look at a T-Rex named Sue.

I'm kinda just running without any goals right now, other than not dying of dehydration from the heat. I've decided to pick back up the Ease to 10K program if for no other reason than to begin building my stamina for my half training this fall. I can run this far, but I feel like I need something or someone to tell me what to run each time and this distance seems heat friendly enough.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vaca Running

Today's Run:
Jim Gibbon's Traffic Jam 5K
25:51 - 7th out of 73 in age group

Until six months ago, I would never have thought about how to get a workout in while on vacation. Vacation = Lazy. The last two trips we've been on, I've kept to my every other day running schedule. This one has been a bit more difficult, but I managed to find a race to do in Chicago the evening we arrived. I thought it was the perfect, "welcome to the city,"experience.

This was the 18th year for the Jim Gibbon's 5K and all race proceeds went to Leukemia research. I thought Jim was a local news man at the ABC affiliate in Chicago and KC and kept looking for and wondering why we couldn't find the reporter anywhere in the crowd.  Unfortunately, Jim fought a long, hard battle with Leukemia that ended in the mid-1990s. His son runs this event in his memory. I'm glad we didn't ask someone where Jim was.

I had an unexpected running partner for this race - KC. He runs on the treadmill regularly, but doesn't run outside or have any interest in running races. But, since we were on vacation, he decided to strap on a bib and enjoy a run along Lake Michigan.

It was 85 degrees at race time, but I'm not kidding when I say it felt cooler at race time in Chicago than it does when I get up to run at 6a in Georgia. The race kicked off on the local news and you can see me (in white hat and pink shirt) and KC run by around the 1:07 mark of the video.

He paced off of me the whole race and out-sprinted me at the end to post a 25:40. I was very pissed that he beat me proud of him.

I was proud of my time and I ran better than I have in my last two timed events. The girl who won my age group actually came in third overall female with a time of 19:02. Holy f-ing cow.

They had a few food trucks at the post-race festivities. My favorite - the Chubby Wiener.

After the race we decided to walk along side the lake through Lincoln Park and enjoy the fabulous weather. We ended up walking three of the six miles back to the hotel before it got too dark for us. Along the way we watched beach volleyball tournaments and a dodgeball game that was pretty intense.

After seeing what competitive dodgeball is about first-hand, there's no way I will ever willingly participate in a dodgeball game. Insert balls flying in my face joke here.

Between the mile and a half walk to the race (after getting off on the wrong L stop), running three miles for the race and walking another three home, our legs were a little on the sleepy side to say the least. Our big plans for taking in the comedy festival that is in town this week were quickly nixed. Old people need their rest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Today's Run
4.33 miles/ 9:01/mile

Travel days tend to be a bit stressful for me. Remember those lists from yesterday? Well, I made three more between 8p - 1a and when I got up (late) at 6:30a, I was already freaking out about how I could cross off items on my list, get my run in and be on the road in a reasonable amount of time. I really should know that it doesn't matter how hard I try to leave for a vacation on time, we will walk out the door 45 minutes late - especially if we don't have a plane to catch.

The run wasn't relaxing. It wasn't calming or all zen-like. It was a mind racing measly 30 minutes of sweaty, humid, hot running. All I thought about were the things I was afraid to forget to do, like putting RidX in the toilet before we left - real life or death stuff. Needless to say, I'm not sure that I should attempt morning runs on the days I travel.

We packed up the car and headed north. First we had to drop off the dogs at the doggie spa.

Then we spent the next 7 hours in the car listening to Howard Stern and other random stations on SiriusXM. We heard that catchy Gotye song five times.

We arrived in Cincinnati this evening in time to partake in a heart attack on a plate local favorite - chili, cheese, beans, onions over pasta. Sounds crazy right - well it is, in a good way. We chose to fore go the chain chili places and eat at Camp Washington Chili which has been a tradition in Cincinnati since 1940. I heard about it on Man vs. Food and the small dent I made in the meal was very good.

After writing this post, I'm feeling like I need to go run on the hotel treadmill.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rain, Rain...

Today's Run:
4.77 miles at 9.01/mile

I have issues with severe weather. Maybe it is because my dad would put me and my sister in the bathtub with pillows anytime there was a severe thunderstorm. Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, he and my mom didn't have tornadoes or vicious storms, but when they moved to Georgia, the storms would derail life in our household until my father felt it was okay to come out. When the storms blow in now I no longer hide in my bathtub - well, I can't because it is on the second floor and now I have a basement and it is much safer - but I do try to avoid all windows, electronics, and running water. I know in my heart that lightening can jump through the pipes in my house and get me in the shower.

My plans to long run yesterday morning with a few girls from the Where's The Finish running group were  canceled due to rain. I was pretty bummed since I was up early and all geeked up to go the distance. I'm not much of a rain runner. I mean if I wake up on race day and it is raining, it won't stop me from going, but on a normal running day, I'd rather stay inside and sleep run on the dreadmill. Even though I was all dressed up with no where to run, I came back home and put my pjs back on. Loser.

Today, I woke up to a thunderstorm. My local weatherman said everything would push through by 6:30a so I waited until 7a when it appeared clear enough outside. Besides all of the tree limbs littering the street, the run was uneventful, short, humid and slow. I ended up racing the rain home and I won. Nothing like a little speed work with Mother Nature.

The remainder of the day has been spent making lists. Lots of lists. Any time I go on a week's vacation I require super lists to get ready.

I've not checked one thing off of these lists, but everything is right there on my paper. I think a nap and some Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Shortcake Greek Yogurt may be in order before anything gets crossed off.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Will Run for Biscuits

Race Day
CFA Connect 5K Race Series: Warner Robins
26.49 - 3rd in age group

If you've never eaten at a Chick-Fil-A (CFA), you are missing a whole mess of chicken sandwich goodness. Grilled or fried, their product is flawless and their service is perfection. All you northerners are missing out. CFA used to be a southern secret found only in malls. Now it's more mainstream thanks to their BCS Bowl Game sponsorship. The cool thing about this company is that even if it is a giant corporation with stores all over and billions of dollars in revenue, their local operators do a great job supporting their communities.

This year, CFA started a race series across the country to help promote family fitness. And like everything else they do, CFA does racing right too. Today was the second race in the Middle Georgia circuit. The first race, which was on Memorial Day, was a horrible run for me. I felt slow. I had a bad attitude. I had a guy puke right in front of me not even a half-mile into the race. I was disappointed in my time, but the race itself was well-run and had lots of really nice touches - including chicken biscuits for the runners at the end of the race. And you haven't lived if you haven't had a CFA chicken biscuit.

Here's a recap of my morning...

Race prep: 5:45a - PB&J on toasted English muffin and coffee. Must. Have. Coffee.

Put the Pink On: 6:45a - race day is a pink day.

Post-Race Pics: 9:30a - these ladies are a part of our local women's running group called Where's the Finish (WTF). This is also the time for giving shout outs on Facebook. I just realized that I'm wearing my number way too far up on my chest. Super dork.

Medal Swag: 10a - not to brag, but I smoked the 4th place finisher in my age division at the finish line. We had the same chip time, but I crossed first. Thank you sprint training. I felt good today. The course was really tough. The whole first 1.5 was all downhill, so you know what that means - the whole 1.5 was uphill. It was also one of my better times in the heat (75 at race time). Thank goodness for a shady neighborhood.

Pedicure: 10:30a - sure I'm sweaty and stinky, but I do like a post-race pedi. Don't knock it til' you try it.

What's missing? Oh, right - the post-race chicken biscuit. This CFA didn't put out a spread like the Macon location. Just water and bananas - blah. Where's the biscuit? The next local race isn't until October and there better be biscuits.

Friday, June 8, 2012

When Marketing Genius' Strike

Rest Day

I had to pick up my race packet for the second race in the CFA Race Series today which just so happened to be at my local running store. Genius marketing. Get runners to pick up their junk at the local running store and I'm sure someone will "need" something. Like me... I "needed" to try on a new pair of running shoes and I "needed" to use my 15% off coupon. I used the coupon, just not on shoes for me. KC got new kicks instead. What can I say - I'm a giver.

I did walk out with a new water bottle, which I desperately needed now that it is 100 degrees at 7a. I don't think I need to invest in a hydration belt yet. I feel like I'd be running in a fanny pack and I'm just not ready to go there yet. Although I do have my eye on this SPIbelt.

I also desperately needed an iced coffee at 4p this afternoon and lucky for me the Dunkin' Donuts was right next door to the running store. I heart DD Iced Coffee.

Don't worry, I got a second 15% off coupon in my junk race bag today that I will use on Monday.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Running in Skirts

Today's Run:
5.08 miles 
3 hill sprints 

My dogs live and die by a schedule. They get up, like clockwork, at 5:30a every morning to be fed. At 5p, they act like bitches gently remind me to look at the clock and fill their bowl. Before I started running, the 5:30a wake up call was horrible. I prefer to be awake for 45 minutes prior to putting on my running shoes, so their call time isn't as painful as it used to be - especially in the summer when earlier is always better in the South.

I'm unsure if my furry alarm clocks were partying until the wee hours of the morning and I didn't notice, but my alarm went off at 6a and both girls were still snoozing away. Someone must have ruffied my dogs, there's no other explanation.

I decided that I better get up and get moving if I was going to get a run in today. I freakin' HATE the heat, but this morning was pleasantly cool (65 degrees and overcast). When I see 75 degrees on the early morning weather, I start thinking about running on the dreadmill instead. But I'll take overcast, warm and humid over sunny and sizzling any day.

I skipped breakfast and my coffee before my run. Mistake. I was starving after 30 minutes and started getting side cramps. I never get stitches in my side and boy, I hope it doesn't happen again. Not fun. I was also out of chocolate milk, so my post-run recovery wasn't very good. No lie - chocolate milk cures brain fuzz for me.

The rest of the day consisted of working on a few articles for a client and watching Sports Center in preparation for tonight's big game six in the NBA conference finals. Let's go Celtics!

Photo from Wikipedia
I've gotten hooked on a National Geographic show, Amish: Out of Order. I've always been fascinated by this lifestyle ever since I was a child. We took a trip to the Pennsylvania Amish Country when I was 11 or 12 and I still remember the buggies traveling along the roads with the men and women tucked inside. Oh, and that movie Witness was awesome, too. Watching these former Amish men and women trying to fit in with the rest of the world is cra-cra (as the young folk say). It sort of reminds me of watching a new kid enter a middle school in the middle of the year.

I would think the hardest thing about being Amish would be getting used to wearing that long skirt 24-7. Horse riding, chicken plucking, pie making and barn raising all while sporting a duvet cover to your ankles - that's impressive. Runner's World did a story on Running with the Amish in April 2012. Running 26.2 covered head-to-toe and wearing suspenders should be an Olympic sport if you ask me (women don't run, or can't in those skirts). Boy, I bet that's hot in the summer time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day

Chick-Fil-A Race Series
Macon, GA - May 28, 2012
If you had asked me seven months ago if I would be celebrating National Running Day, I would have told you that someone must be chasing me if I'm running. Don't ask me how my running addiction happened. This, among other things, run though my head every time I lace up, including:

  • How did I ever run in sneakers that really didn't fit properly? While they are cute, I now know that the Nike's that I bought at the outlet three years prior weren't really meant to be run in. Now that I have "real" running shoes, I cannot even put my feet in my old ones now. Not even to wear them to the store or to walk the dogs. Maybe I should bronze them like my mom did my baby shoes? Where's that spray paint?
  • I wonder what I look like when I run? I dated boys who ran track and cross country in high school, but they never invited me to tag along on a run. Maybe my stride was is too dorky, because my husband won't run with me either. There are no mirrors or glass windows along my run. I'm pretty sure that's a good thing.
  • I am so slow. I think this frequently, even when I'm not running. I read blogs where these women are running an 8 minute mile for 26.2 and still look cute at the end of the race. I've got to learn to accept that my times aren't going to improve overnight. Too bad Marty McFly can't take me to myself in 7 years and see what my times look like so I can not freak out about it.
  • Have I hit my pace peak? I read somewhere that beginning runners will see the most progress in the first 9 months of running. After that, the improvements are marked in seconds, not minutes. If this is true the sand is almost out of my hourglass. Wait, did that 9 months start on the first day I started running (October 31, 2011) or my first 5k? That reporter should have been a bit more specific.
  • What will I do if I lose a toenail? The biggest fear of training for a half or full - toenail loss. I love open toed shoes and I'm pretty sure I'd have to lay off the flip flops if I'm missing a toe covering. I wonder how long they take to grow back? Maybe I have extra strong toenails because how didn't I lose a toenail or two running in those crappy shoes for the first 200 miles of my running adventure is beyond me.

I've started this blog as more of a record of my running life and hope that one day when I'm running Boston for the first time I can look back and remember where I came from. Happy National Running Day to me.