dumb and dumber

5 Oct

Note:  I wrote this three months ago but it’s the start of some of what I failed to post

You know, it’s a good thing my blog is small-time or else I would be sued for all of the song lyrics and movie references I use for my titles.  Oh well… this title completely fits my running life at the moment.

This past weekend (June 20th) I ran the Kalamazoo Klassic.  It was the 37th anniversary of this race and the motto is, “the thrill, the will, the hill”.  And they are not lying about the hill, but more on this momentarily.  Last week I signed up for it since I have a 1/2 this coming weekend, I wanted to make sure I could at least run some mileage over 6.  Yep, I am well trained for this bad boy.  Anyway, I signed up for the 10k followed by the 5k.

this is really good representation of my training

The starting line is about a 5 minute drive from my apt.  I got up there about 6:50 am for the 7:30 am start and parked.  As I was driving up there my stomach made some unfortunate gurgling sounds.  I searched my car for some antacids but alas, none were found.  I hightailed it back to my apt, dosed up on meds and then zoomed back to the race.  I didn’t need to fret so much as I had plenty of time to hang out at the start and watch a small gathering of people come together.  It didn’t take me long to calculate my last place finish.  Not to mention they had pace cards set up and they only went up to 9 min miles – gah?!

Thankfully, the running crowd grew and the 11 and 12 min group leaders came into view.  The race started right on time and the weather was pretty cool with nice and thick humidity!  The race is two loops of the course with the second round hitting the FREAKIN’ GIANT AND LONG hill.  Crepes.  Even my friend who has trained much more than I did was blown away by it.  I remembered it from the last time but not quite the pain!  Anyway, even walking up the hill had me winded.  The rest of the course is pretty hilly as well so it’s not an easy 10k.  They were stocked on water stops though, which is always nice and the volunteers were great.  I came into the finish line, tired, my quad displeased with me and not too much time before the next race.  And the announcer pronounced my last name correctly!  Bonus!

The 5k started a little further down the ruthless hill so these runners/walkers got a little taste of it as well.  Since my buns had already been kicked by said hill, I walked a bit at the start before I started running.  I was tired.  I ran (with some walk breaks) the 5k and tried to stay in the moment rather than thinking of the rolling hills in front of me and my impending doom 1/2 marathon.  My pace finally picked back up the last mile and about 1/2 way through it my knee started hurting good and plenty.  I had to walk a bit to calm it down and still, my knee was cursing me.

I have two thoughts on this: 1) I haven’t trained enough for this distance so of course my body is going to riot.  2) One aspect of this course I really don’t like is it runs along some really slanted road.  My right leg HATES these slanted roads with a passion and as much as I tried to find some even ground, I could tell this was playing a factor.  3) My right quad is not strong enough to support my knee.  I don’t know why my left quad is stronger but my right one always hurts more after these races.  You better believe I iced when I got home.  The whole rest of the day my knee was whining and yesterday it was sort of “eh”.

this is what my mind tells my body during running and races

My stomach made it through the races.  Between the 10k and 5k, I grabbed a small banana but wasn’t able to finish it.  I went straight for some coffee after finishing the 5k (I parked at the top of the giant hill – close to the starting line because I’m sick in the head so I walked up the hill for the THIRD time).  There isn’t much to eat at finishing lines for me, since it’s a gluten-fest.  I got a chocolate milk but that was it.  I got home, showered and then started making breakfast.  This is important because by this time, I was starving and at the same time feeling nauseated/light-headed.  I made a baked potato with an egg and sausage crumbles.  I wasn’t able to finish as my stomach was so angry.  In fact, I felt horrible the whole rest of the day.  Considering this is my longest run since this past October, it was the first time testing my stomach and the results were less than desired.

Anyway, the dumb part was signing up for these back to back races.  It’s a crazy cheap deal – $35 for both and I wanted to make sure I could run some sort of distance.  But an injured knee is not what I want going into this weekend.  The dumber part is not freakin’ training enough for these races.  Seriously, what is my problem?!  I found running to be really discouraging these last couple of months so I would skip planned long runs and walk more during my running.  I was fairly apathetic.  I also haven’t added any strength training – for the love of Pete, Amy, do some damn squats!

me refusing to listen to my body

I’ll make it through the 1/2.  I’m going to work on slowing my pace from the start – I didn’t monitor it this weekend and I felt it.  And accepting my inevitable struggle and enjoy the scenery and swag (seriously, it’s some good stuff).  I’m going to cradle my knee in Rocktape and keep my fingers crossed.

ham… my triumphant return to the blog world

4 Oct

It’s been positively ages since I last wrote – in fact, almost 3 months.  This is the longest I’ve ever gone since I started this puppy and I’ve really missed it.  I’ve actually been writing posts in my head all of this time but committing the words to “paper” seems to be alluding me.  I’ll get into that more in the future.  Right now, I want to focus on HAM.

can you feel the excitement building?!

Why?  Because I adore ham.  It all started about approximately 7 months ago (It’s nutty it’s been this long).  I found some sliced ham at Costco that wasn’t deli meat.  I hate deli meat.  A year ago, while I was doing the Whole 30, I got some deli turkey to make some roll-ups.  I took a bite and suddenly I realized it was very slimy.  I was done.

I found the good stuff much more appealing.  Whenever I’m home and we cook a ham for dinner, I always look forward to the next morning for “ham on toast”.  Sliced cold ham on warm toast?  A divine breakfast!  So, I started making this in the mornings.  This went on for a month, however I was finding I didn’t have enough time in the mornings and I missed my gluten free oats.  Hence, I decided a ham sandwich for lunch.  A star was born.

I’m thankful for ham on a daily basis

Now, I’ve had a ham sandwich for lunch every week day and sometimes on the weekend for 5 or so months.  I get excited about this sandwich on a daily basis.  It keeps me full for a long time and recently I added some “calci-YUM!” (cheese) and now I’m in ham sandwich heaven.  It’s a solid choice friends.

Do you have a food obsession that you just don’t feel complete without?!

Why am I writing about ham?  Because I talk about it all.the.time.  Officemate asked if I’d shared the word with all of you and I realized I was keeping this magical secret.  My ham sandwich gives me energy, allows for some down time in my apartment from the chaos of work and I don’t spend the rest of the afternoon searching for things to eat because I didn’t eat enough at lunch.  Not to mention, I don’t have to make any decisions – another perk.

I was a bit crushed when I walked into Costco a month or so ago and get this – NO HAM.  I talked with a Costco employee and they thought it would come in another shipment.  I went back two days later – NO HAM.  I wrote a comment card.  The next week, again the lack of ham and it was starting to worry me.  I had officially run out of the good stuff.  I wrote another comment card followed by a tweet.  I didn’t hear from Costco.  Alas, I’m not a fair weather fan of the place but I was disappointed.  Anyway, I dabbled in some other options but it just wasn’t good enough.   Thankfully, a coworker came through with the suggestion of Boar’s Head and I found local deli that has it.  My triumphant return to a tasty ham sandwich has returned – and not a moment too soon.

a ham celebration was in order

Then there are the blueberries.  Another obsession.  Blueberries are my after 4 pm snack and again, I can’t get enough of them.  I know they are going out of season and the price is increasing each time I go to the store but I can’t give up these little gems of goodness.  Thankfully Costco came through for me on this one with some bigger quantities or else I would be running to the store every other day.

turning blue is a an almost certain reality for me at this point in time

So there it is.  My first post in three months and it’s about ham and blueberries.  I’ve got more posts up my sleeve.  In these last three months, I’ve run a 5k/10k double, a 1/2, went to France, signed up for a marathon, went to New York, ran a couple of other races, bought a shiny new computer, and worked my ass off for more hours than I care to count.  Oh and made some giant life decisions.  But today?  It’s ham and blueberries.

monday randomness

15 Jun

Thanks for the support last week.  Thankfully, time and communication helped the situation.  I’m kind of lousy at expressing my feelings to the people in my life but I am glad I finally did.  Even if it did make me want to vomit out of nervousness!

On a lighter note, the following are some random pieces of my prior week:

1.  I was super social folks.  I know, crazypants.  Since my mom passed 3 years ago, I’ve become much more of hermit as my social anxiety essentially skyrocketed.  More and more, I’ve noticed just how much I avoid social situations.  I’m working on pushing myself but eek!  It’s not easy.  Anyway, two times were forced – I worked late and had to host candidates for my job.  But I’m totally still counting these.  Then I went to a friend’s birthday party (where I was only going to know 2 ppl – HUGE for me!) and then went to Jurassic World with a couple of friends on Sunday.  Yep.  Pretty successful social interacting business for me.

2.  Jurassic World – I really enjoyed it.  And while sitting there, one of my friends from college came on the screen!  I didn’t even know he had a role in the movie!  He did get eaten but I was rooting for him!

I love this pic - not Simon, however, Jurassic Park is Simon's favorite movie

I love this pic – not Simon, however, Jurassic Park is Simon’s favorite movie

3.  I did some running.  Two treadmill runs due to weather and they were tough – as mentioned, treadmill runs are so much harder for me.  But the other two were death marches outside.  Per my usual m.o. I stalk my weather app.  The weather looked wonderfully cool for a MI June but alas I forgot about humidity – curses!  We’ve also experienced some impressive storms as of late which was the reason for the tready.  I AM very pleased with a four day week.

4.  Paris is getting ever closer!  The bachlorette party is in Spain so this plane ticket (from Paris) has been booked and we already got part of the itinerary for the weekend. Let me tell you – it is swank!  We will be enjoying a food festival in Barcelona along with a biking tour.  Ummm… I haven’t been on a bike in 15 years!!  Haha, this just cracks me up!  Seriously, these are just two of the activities planned.  It will be a beautiful weekend.  I’m bringing my running shoes so I can run in every place we visit.

if a chimp can ride a bike, I can ride one… right?!

5.  I purchased lovely succulents, and “pixie” plants for closed-top terrariums.  I also bought a couple of other plants.  I found this local nursery and I’m kind of obsessed.  I want ALL of the plants!  I’ll do a post once I get these bad boys finished up and seriously, it has made my apt so much more homey.  It’s great.

6.  Taye Diggs started following me on Twitter.  Yes, I verified it was him.  No, I didn’t follow him first.  I’m fairly sure it was because I posted this random thing about my chicken burger.  You see, on the back of my chicken burger package, it suggests different recipes.  One of them was to add a fried egg on top, which to be honest, kind of weirded me out.  So I shared this with the twitter-verse.  Next morning, BAM! Taye Diggs!

That’s it for not – go forth and conquer your Monday!  Or at least live through it!

running can’t fix everything

10 Jun

You know how people say/imply running can cure for all that ails you?  Well, I’m here to say, this isn’t true…

my feelings tasted like peanut butter m & m's

my feelings tasted like peanut butter m & m’s

Let me back up.  Yesterday was a crummy day.  A friend of mine hurt my feelings on Monday and in my true over-analyzing fashion, I couldn’t let it go.  It kept going through my mind, over and over.  In reality, the hurt-feelings aspect has been going on for a while now but it got to a breaking point on Monday.  I couldn’t do much about it that day so yesterday became the day of “the festering wound”.  Gross image, eh?

I won’t even insert a picture of what I was able to find on the internet.

I thought I would try to go for a run to make myself feel better – the magic of running, right?  It will fix everything!  Well, it didn’t.  Turns out trying to run while you are crying really interrupts your breathing and running.  Finally, I sat down under a tree and just bawled my eyes out.  I got up to finish my run but it was as lackluster as it was before the big crying session.

You know what I realized during this run?  Well, two things actually:

1.  My mental game is WAY off.  All I could think about was how horrible I felt emotionally and my running was suffering for it.  I had to walk bigger chunks, I was hot, I wanted to quit.  The fact I made it the whole loop is a miracle in itself and will get stored in my “if you can run through that, you can run through this” memory/strength bank.  I recently read an article about mental toughness and I thought about it again last night – here it is:

2.  Sometimes running can’t fix problems that sit in our souls.  They can act as a band-aid and I will admit the mini-burst of endorphins got me through the rest of the evening without feeling too sorry for myself.  But life is tricky and depending on anything too much just sets me up for disappointment.  Truthfully, had I gone out and had the best run I’ve had in months, I still don’t think it could have rescued me from the blues (although it would have helped a bit more!).  And there was no way that a great run could’ve happened – see number one.

I’m not sure if I am glad I went out there and ran last night but I guess it gave me a new place (aside from my couch) to expel some of my emotions. Probably getting outside and some fresh air was a positive.  And it really drove home how my negativity toward myself and my running abilities needs to be adjusted. Stat.

Ahhh… sorry for the pity party.  Things will get better…

no real point post

3 Jun

After last week’s running everyday deal, I’ve taken the last few days off.  In retrospect, running everyday might not have been the best plan since it took three days for my ankle to even start to feel better.  Lesson learned.

I love denial

That being said, I now need to jump back out there before it becomes even more daunting.  You know when you just know it’s going to hurt?!  But what better day to feel the pain that we runners know well then National Running Day!

I’m fairly certain this will be my first time running on National Running Day.  Strange.

Last night I made an interesting salad.  I threw together what veggies I had on hand and tuna fish.  This included some lettuce, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, olives (I’ve been obsessed lately), sweet pickles, peas and then the tuna.  I proceeded to top this with some Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ sauce.  Again, it was a one of those combinations where the first bite was kind of “I’m not sure I’m going to eat this” to the last bite that was, “hey this was pretty tasty!”.  I was surprised by how full I was when I was finished and I believe the only part truly missing was an avocado.  Miss you.

this was basically how my salad came together – whatever I could find…

Other than making quirky food combos, not moving much and spending entirely too much time trying to find a dress for my brother’s wedding (along with other clothing options for Paris), I’ve been lazy.  This past weekend I was so tired that on Sunday, I slept until 9:21 am, took a little over an hour nap and was still in bed and asleep by 11 pm.  I did finally vacuum on Monday but my laundry is still crying uncle.  The good thing about not doing laundry is it forces me to get creative with my clothing options.  It also is telling when I put something on and refuse to wear it because of how much I hate it.  This automatically goes into the “give away” pile as opposed to how I used to simply put it back in my drawer.  Another adult decision!

I don’t have any clue what the purpose is of this post.  My salad?  My non-movement?  My plans to run tonight?  I’ll leave you with a picture of medal I won for the only time I placed in my age group ever.  I came in third and if memory serves (which it does) I legit SQUEALED with joy!  So much happiness!

in all it's glory!

in all it’s glory!

my personal brutus (plural) – peanuts & avocados

1 Jun

You know how I’ve mentioned my adoration for peanuts on this here blog?

Well, I’ve learned they are one of the culprits contributing to my poor tummy upset.  Curse you peanuts!  Seriously, how could something so wonderful hurt so much?!

basically… I loved you peanuts

And you know what else I’ve recently learned can be added to this list?  Copious amounts of avocado – WHY STOMACH GODS, WHY?!

it’s mocking me with its goodness

I hate it when foods stab me in the back…

With regards to peanuts, I really noticed a problem as I was inhaling the honey roasted bad boys.  Man, are they tasty.  My stomach was hurting a lot after I would eat them.  It took me entirely too long to put two and two together and then I was in denial.  I’m fairly certain regular peanuts are part of this deal, too, although it could be the sheer quantity of them I was eating.  I haven’t had any peanuts in their natural state in about 2 (3?) weeks so at least I’m learning my lesson.  Thankfully, I can eat a piece of peanut butter toast on Saturday and Sunday mornings and survive to tell the tale.

Silver lining?  My night snacking has decreased.  Always a positive.

Last week, I made the most delicious dinner.  Pork chops on my grill pan after marinating in Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ sauce overnight.  I paired this with some salad with some avocado.  Oh my goodness – it was heavenly.  I’m not even sure why I bought the avocado in the first place but it was such a good decision.  I put 1/2 of it on my salad that night and was simply TOO full when I finished scarfing down my dinner.  The next night, I eagerly anticipated my meal and only added a 1/4 of the avocado and wasn’t bursting at the seams anymore so this was better.

Thursday, I went home sick.  My stomach was completely unhappy – I was so queasy.  That night, I knew a pork chop wouldn’t settle so I chose a scrambled egg, baked potato and you guessed it, the other 1/4 of the avocado.  Again, deliciousness.

It didn’t dawn on me that perhaps the avocado was a culprit with regards to my bloated, painful belly until Friday.  Nevertheless, I had some again with my pork chop dinner (yes, I love leftovers!).  Saturday morning, I finally looked it up on the FODMAP diet and I was over the suggested amount.  Like MILES past it!  I purchased two more avocados Wednesday and it felt so wasteful so I ate some again on Saturday and Sunday.  I still have 1/2 of one left and I’m hemming & hawing about finishing the last part tonight.  In all reality, it’s silly to even be considering it since I don’t feel so great.  But those weird green puppies make me anticipate my dinner, like whoa.

I know I don’t have to swear off of avocados completely but perhaps I should not scarf them down for days at a time.  Look at me making adult decisions!  And it might be nice to have my tummy return to a non-bloated state.

Another adult decision I made was to give up on the RW run streak.  I officially started last Saturday and by this past Saturday my ankle was hurting even more and my knee suddenly decided to join the party.  I don’t typically have knee problems so I iced it but it still felt wonky.  Oh and some random shin pain in my opposite leg.  I really liked the idea of streaking (I know – lame joke), however, I don’t think it’s for me at my current fitness level.  Or maybe just in general.  The motivation was nice though – there was a “gotta get out and do this” mentality that I haven’t experienced in some time.  I’m kind of hoping I can continue to tap into this reserve that I didn’t even know still existed.

Made it through another Monday – winner, winner, chicken dinner!

ummm… running is hard

26 May

I’ve been silent on this here site for the last week.  There were a number of reasons and now I’m ready to jump back into the writing deal.  I do enjoy it so.

Last week, I ran on Monday.  I really believed it would be a good run.  It wasn’t.  It dampened my spirits a bit as I had high hopes.  Then I took a minor hiatus until Saturday where I walk/ran (mostly walked) 7.5 miles.  It was hot.  It was hard.  The walk/run combo was for the first mile and after that I just decided to put in the mileage in the form of walking.  This was because the running part so completely sucked that I couldn’t stand it.  Yep, the whole 4 day off deal didn’t help, nor did the hanging out on my buns prior to getting outside but still, I thought it would be easier.The walk was challenging as I made sure to hit some really steep hills to make up for the lack of running.  Sunday, I was fairly certain, was going to be easier.  After all, I got the “first day back” lazy legs out of the way so I was set.  Hmm – not so much.  At this point, I admitted to myself that running is just hard.

I’ve spent some time romanticizing my past running abilities.  In my brain, I envision a gazelle-like state; regularly running around without a care in the world because it was easy.  Clearly, my imagination is vivid and totally inaccurate!  When I turn off the filter, I can remember how hard those runs were – it just doesn’t feel like it now when I have to walk up yet another hill.  I also find there are times when I’m bored but I think this is related to the constant thought in my brain, “this is hard, this is hard, this is hard”.

Anyway, Sunday was a 5 miler and again not pretty.  But since the above conversation was going on in my head, I started saying, “tomorrow will be easier”.  Monday, I hit the pavement again.  Not exactly easier.  My legs felt lead-like.  I walk/ran 3.5 miles and I dare say, I ran more than I walked.  Hooray.  Using my keen over-analyzing abilities, I recognize dehydration is playing a role in these disappointing runs.  My handheld pulls on my (sort of still) dislocated thumb so I leave it home thinking I’ve been drinking enough during the day to get me through.  I love denial!

I decided to give the RW Run Streak a shot.  My runs will only get better and legs stronger if I add a heaping helping of consistency into the mix.  I have no idea if I will follow through on it – I’ve tried before.  But it’s an interesting challenge and even if I don’t make it everyday, it will still help.  Tonight I will only run a mile and then do a strength video.  I’m going to get swoll.


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