self-destructo

19 May

Yesterday I attempted to write a post but things were not going well.

It was an emotional day.  There were a few reasons that I won’t bore you with and great scott, I was a bit of a disaster.  Anyway, the whole post started to sound like one giant whiny mess.  So I hit delete.

Last week was okay in the work out department.  Certainly not great and it was yet another reminder I need to kick my own ass into gear.  I can’t wait for someone to do it for me.  And even if they attempted I can picture myself rebelling against them.  Example:  If Jillian Michael’s was my trainer I would want to high tail it out of there.  Then purposefully eat donuts.  In my sweatpants while binging on Netflix.  Self-destructo right here.

Anyway, do you also remember when I told Spring to get it together?  What was I thinking?!  We had some toasty, humid days and I came to my senses that 50’s in May ARE FREAKING AWESOME when you are a runner.  Saturday morning I ventured out for a quick run before traveling to visit friends.  It very quickly turned into a run/walk scenario.  It was gross.  Last night?  Same deal.  I will also admit, I’m a complete dodo bird.  I didn’t bring water with me on either run.  I know, just plain silly.  I’ve been carrying my phone with me (it’s in an otterbox case and won’t fit in anything I currently have) so carrying water is a bit tough.  Today I finally ordered an arm band on amazon.  I thought long and hard about the flip belt and even ordered one.  I don’t think it’s for me though.

There was some other exercising last week but nothing of note.  I’m trying a little something this week but before I go into detail I want to see if I accomplish it.  This past weekend I ventured down to visit some dear friends.  We haven’t been together as a group in ages so it was wonderful to catch up on all the happenings of life.  All three of them have little ones so I got in some toddler and baby snuggles.

friends!!!!!

friends!!!!!

Scary moment on the way down there – a semi decided to move into my lane right in front of me.  I was boxed in on either side by other cars so I had to hit the breaks.  I despise driving on the freeway.  I have no idea where this defensive driving business came from and I was extremely proud of myself.  When I arrived at my friend’s house, I had a delayed panic attack.  Haha, at least it wasn’t while I was driving!

The next morning we went to this cutie-patootie cafe for breakfast.  It had all kinds of accommodating foods and I even got gluten-free toast with my omelet!  I’m still thinking about that bread, man.

Alright, this is the end of my post.  I’m debating running tonight.  We shall see how motivated I am after I go to the grocery store.

Does anyone else have their motivation crushed by the grocery store like I do?

i’m neurotic about my feet

14 May

When I first started running, I didn’t give much mind to my feet.  I was happy they got me from point A to point B and that was it.  My first 5k and all of the training leading up to it, I wore some really broken down shoes that weren’t meant for street running (maybe trail running?  but I really don’t think so) and they were OLD.  As in years old.

After that first 5k, I liked the running gig and decided it was time to have REAL running shoes.  I proceeded to search Kalamazoo over, looking for shoes I deemed appropriate for my new runner status.  I went everywhere – well, everywhere except my local running store.  Because I can be a dumb bunny.  After multiple purchases and returns (I’m pretty sure there are stores in my area that no longer want me to walk through their doors because of my returning issues), I went to Gazelle, my local running store.  It was a great experience and it increased my “I’m a runner!” feeling.

Even after this magical experience, I didn’t give much mind to my feet – or really, injuries in general.  I didn’t develop my first injury until 1/2 marathon training when I decided stretching was stupid.  Still, my feet were good to go.  Until the Headless Horseman 10 Miler.

happy cat lady runner - this was before I knew how much it was going to suck

happy cat lady runner – this was before I knew how much it was going to suck

This was an inaugural semi-local race that sounded darn cool.  The course was through a golf course, at night and you got a nifty little plaque.  I dug it and managed to trick convince two other runner friends to do it.  It was Halloweenie time so we kind of dressed up and were on our way!  The race sucked on so many levels.  I had a 1/2 a week or two before and then didn’t run much so the Monday of this week I decided I needed to squeeze in a 10 mile training run.  Unbeknownst to me, the route I chose had a ton of slanted sidewalk and I’d been slacking on overall training so this was a silly thing to do.

From that point forward, I’ve had troubles with my right foot.  I’m fairly certain my arch fell on that ill-fated training run as this is what all of the interwebs said.  It’s been problematic for the last 5 years or so?  I don’t know, it feels like forever.  It’s also what led to my ankle issues in this foot.  My neurosis officially set in after the headless horseman run.

Now, I’ve gone through a variety of different shoe styles to try to help it.  I’ve purchased all kinds of braces and arch bands.  My love for Tom’s probably didn’t help as the summer before last, this was all I wore.  I BARELY ever wear heels anymore as I know these aren’t good for my runner feet/ankles.  Any off feelings worry me and I immediately jump to some kind of worse case scenario.

cinderellaSince all of this, I’ve done few smart things: 1) I went with the special inserts.  As much as these initially pained me (literally) they have been a huge help.  My arch feels so much better and my ankle is hanging in there. 2) I’ve been stretching my ankles and rolling a tennis ball under my feet after running.  I hate stretching – no real reason, I just do.  3) I buy lots of Sketchers.  They have extra support and I’ve been able to find some cute ones to wear to work.  They are more comfy than typical flats and make my feet happier.

aaaaa – my eyes! I don’t hate, I just can’t handle it!

My soon to be sister-in-law LOVES high heels.  We talked about it recently and she said there are times when she can no longer feel her toes – even when not wearing heels.  The other day, I was walking behind a woman with those crazy heel-platform things and it was like watching a newborn calf try to walk.  Part of me wishes I could return to my high heel days.  But alas, this is not in the cards.  Not terribly high platforms do work well for me, so I can still be dressy but that’s it.  I’m neurotic about my feet.

You?  Do you love high heels?

Are you neurotic about your feet?

absent around these parts

13 May

I’ve been absent so be prepared for some blog post stew:

1.  Last week I was struck with the dreaded “spring cold”.  What I thought were allergies when I woke up the morn of the race turned on me.  A cold it was.  Naturally, my stomach thought it was unfair another part of my body was getting sympathy and attention and decided it needed to put up a fight as well.  Thanks stomach, you’re a peach.  The sicknesses lasted through Monday and yesterday I felt more like a “hooman”.

always makes me laugh

always makes me laugh

2.  During this time, there was an intense lack of activity.  It was all couch all the time.  I did go for a 3 mile walk with my friend on Thursday eve and then a 5 mile walk on Saturday eve when I thought I was healed and ready to go.  I came home from the Saturday walk and fell asleep on the couch at 8 pm.  I was OUT.  Perhaps not quite as healed as I thought.

3.  Mother’s day isn’t my favorite since my mom passed.  My friend and I went to see the new Avengers movie and it was a great decision!  I came SO CLOSE to bailing!  I was sickly, sad, and wanted to wallow.  Thankfully, I forced myself to bathe and hit the big screen.  I was proud of myself.

this is why we have friends

this is why we have friends

4.  It is COLD around these parts!  I’m talking 30’s in the morning and yesterday it didn’t get higher than low 50’s.  Spring is getting beat upside the head.

5.  My eating habits have been a bit out of whack for the last two weeks.  I’ve eaten out 4 times during this period, which isn’t usual.  Then, after LOST ended, I ate my emotions for the rest of the week.  Okay, the rest of that week and the next.  Seriously, I have to stop buying peanuts.  They are not safe in my apt and I’ve been snacking all the live long night.  Last night, I decided it was time to rein it back in as my pants feel a bit tighter.  Stupid snacks.

truth

truth

6.  I bought my plane ticket to Paris!!!!!!  I am very excited.  I was super nervous to hit the “buy” button though.  In fact, I should’ve purchased this bad boy a few months ago but I’ve never dropped a grand on a plane ticket before.  I’ve been around the world but that was on a boat.  It was a bit of sticker shock to do this.  It’s a huge weight off of my shoulders so it was silly to wait so long.  I also put in for my passport renewal so I’ve got this adult-ing thing down.

7.  You know what is a true luxury?  A fresh pair of contacts.  This morning I could barely keep my eyes open.  Yes, part of it is I’m exhausted but the other part of it was my depleted contacts.  New ones in my eyeballs at lunch and I’m functioning again.  Yay!

8.  Time to jump back into my training regimen.  I know tonight’s run will be a bit unkind.  I’m running out of excuses and I need to get over the fear of the impending hurt!  Must stop procrastinating (seriously, I’m considering it right now!) just get it done, Aim!

my favorite snack is now giving me orders – seems fitting

why you should solve a murder mystery with your co-workers

6 May

One of my duties at work is overseeing a training, development and recognition committee.  Amongst other duties, we are in charge of putting on our dept end of the semester gatherings.  Monday was our spring end of the semester shindig.

My committee did a great job of trying a few new things this year and for this most recent gathering, we decided to play a murder mystery game.  I LOVED the idea of this – completely different from anything we have ever done.  I was also fairly nervous that people wouldn’t participate.  My first inclination was “forced fun” and make everyone play.

However, my committee-mates overruled me (it was like some kind of royal uprising, I swear!) and we sent out invites to see who wanted to participate.  There were going to be approximately 30 people there and we needed at least 10 individuals, 15 if you wanted all of the characters represented.  Guess how many RSVP-ed?  15!  Success!  My worries that people would be “too cool for school” were completely unfounded and I dare say those who didn’t directly participate wished they had.  If more than 15 wanted to participate, I was ready to either a) split some characters, b) double some characters and/or c) give some characters a twin <— my favorite idea.

Anyway, if you haven’t hosted or been to one of these events, they are a blast.  Your guests certainly can make or break it, in that if they are lackluster when playing their character than it won’t be as much fun.  That being said, chances are the people who play their characters up will outweigh those other stinkers.  We chose the 1985 High School Reunion themed murder mystery and it was spot on for our group.  I did most of the legwork for this and if you are the organizer than make sure to allot some time to prep!  There is some pre-planning along with set-up that while certainly not difficult, is a bit time consuming.  When you order the packet, everything is there for you and realistically, you should just need to print and put together but it takes a small chunk of time.  Also, read all of this well ahead of your event – this was a blunder on my part.

My co-workers hammed this up and got into their characters!  It was so fun to watch!  Even individuals who I thought might be more reserved – nope!  They got into it!  I helped to facilitate a bit but mostly was on the logistical side as I also had someone be the moderator-type person.  Everyone had fun and the timing of the game worked well with our having lunch, too.  When I assigned characters, some I matched with their personalities and others I gave them exact opposites.  I high-fived my self for this idea.  I had a couple of people who dressed up and others who said they would’ve of but didn’t get their emails with their characters in time.  Note to self – assign characters earlier – again, I underestimated how much time the details would take.  No matter, there was hordes of dramatics!

I loved all of the over the top acting!

If you have a group of co-workers and are looking to do something different at your next office celebration, I can’t recommend this enough.  I think the packet is $15, however, we used one a co-workers purchased, so I’m not quite sure.  Or if you are planning your next family reunion, cook-out, birthday party – whatever, it’s a really good time and HIGHLY entertaining!  You can get as intricate as you want with the decorating, theme-favors or whatever.  We were fairly low-maintenance with it and it still worked.  Nothing beats watching your friends/family/co-workers/whatever essentially acting out “CLUE” right in front of you!

borgess 10k recap – back in the racing saddle!

5 May

I’m so pleased to be writing this race recap!  It has been positively AGES since I last wrote one – November, in fact, and it does my heart good to be typing this.

yay! a finish line! that I crossed!

yay! a finish line! that I crossed!

The Borgess 10k is part of marathon weekend here in Kalamazoo.  Once upon a time, only the 1/2 and a 5k were offered.  The Borgess 1/2 was around for a long time and it was my first ever 1/2 marathon.  I trained like a boss for it.  Look at all of the happiness.

I do love a good running skirt

I do love a good running skirt

This was/is my 1/2 PR – 2:04 and some change.

I’ve signed up for the 1/2 twice since my inaugural running of this event and both times I didn’t run it.  I wasn’t trained enough or whatnot.  We now have the Kalamazoo Marathon and last year they introduced the 10k.  I picked the 10k and I went into race day knowing my legs weren’t ready but I was determined.

mapThe week prior to the event is the end of the semester so it’s always chaotic.  I woke up Sunday morning feeling like I was getting a cold but figured it was just some allergies.  Momentarily, I wondered if I should not run… really, I was just scared.  I got up at 6 am and was out the door at 6:35 am – only 5 minutes later than what I wanted.  Major score for me!

Now, the race didn’t start until 8:15 am but I was paranoid about finding parking.  It’s safe to say, parking worries me as much as actually running races worries me.  I hunkered down in the car once I arrived (prime parking space btw), adjusted my play list, talked to myself and just generally got mentally prepared.

The 1/2 and 5k are very established.  The marathon and 10k are continuing to grow so there was a fun crowd gathering.  All of the events started EXACTLY on time.  Well done, Kalamazoo!  The marathon and 1/2 marathon started at the same time and took a right out of the starting gate.  The 10k started 15 mins later and we went left, with the 5k starting 20 (or so) mins after this.  The 10k and 5k only partially shared the course but we were mostly ahead of them so we weren’t stampeded by speedy 5k-ers.  There was also a walking/family event which was part of the staggered start and were split from the runners during shared course time.  I explain all of this because it was very well-organized.  I was never mowed down by a 5k-er, nor did I slow up a 1/2 marathon person.  You should definitely consider this race someday.

runners as far as the eye can see

runners as far as the eye can see

I started out and quickly realized a couple of things A) I haven’t run 6 miles since October.  B) This is/was a damn hilly course.  C) I wanted to walk – pretty early on!  But I kept telling myself I could wait to get to the water stop.  And I knew there was a steep hill at the end so if I needed to walk at all during this I had to save it for that biggie hill.  I pepped-talked myself a lot and remembered things friends said to me, one of my favorites being, “the faster you run the faster you’re done”.

a billboard facing the last stretch of the course

a billboard facing the last stretch of the course

I did have to walk a bit on that last hill – it was at the end of the course, which is just stinkin’ mean!  I FINISHED!  Yay!  It was my slowest 10k to date but I’m crazy proud of myself.  There has been a lot of sickness and injury for almost a year now and I didn’t give up even though I really wanted to.  I celebrated with a brewski which is specially brewed for this weekend, “The Big Finish”.  At 9:45 am.

of course I kept the cup

of course I kept the cup

It got fairly warm while I was out there (nothing unmanageable since I knew I would be finished soon) but the water stop seemed very far away.  I should’ve brought my own beverage.  Also, when we walked through the finish line there were some after-race fuel tables but it was confusing.  There were minimal options (especially for a gluten-free-er) and I thought there would be more outside of the finish area.  There wasn’t, unless you wanted to pay for lunch.  I grabbed a mini-orange slice, a bottle of water and then a chocolate milk.  These are my only two gripes about this race.  By the time I lingered a bit, got coffee, showered and dressed I was so beyond starving.  I need to work on my after-run fueling strategy.

Now I need to sign up for a million more races!

tuesday tidbits (a day late)

29 Apr

Here are a bunch of random tidbits:

1.  My co-worker bought these for me as he knows my love/obsession for Sharpies.  My heart not only skipped TWO beats but then it began to sing.

my love for sharpies knows no boundaries

my love for sharpies knows no boundaries

2.  I adore the fact that my name has a letter from the first part of the alphabet, the middle and then the end.  I am also crazy about the letter “A” and have many of them in my apt.  One is even part of my tattoo.  Yesterday I took this photo:

A

random “A” found in nature!

3.  Monday I walked to work, walked back for lunch, walked back to work, then to a meeting and then back and then home.  All of this?  Almost 4 miles!  Walking back and forth to work is definitely going to be my new thing as it’s an easy way to get some steps in during the day.  Seriously, I didn’t realize how sedentary I was until I got this activity tracker – it’s kind of scary.  Another bonus, it takes about 8 mins to get to my office from my apt and this is fairly close to what it takes to get in the car, drive to work, park and walk into the office.  And a reduced carbon footprint, yo.

Yesterday I clocked in another 4 miles during the work day with this walking business.  The only downside is I’ve given myself a small case of shin splints because of improper footwear.  I’m trying to remedy this.  Still, another 4 miles!

4.  I had a doc appt yesterday morning at 7:45 am.  I don’t know how you early morning people do it – whether it’s working out or for work.  I struggled since I had to wake up at 6:10 am.  Eww.

5.  I finished LOST on Monday.  I was/still am very attached to these characters.  I’m struggling to let go.

6.  I went to Costco yesterday and was enticed into purchasing 2 lbs of beautiful strawberries.  The problem?  I’m a party of ONE!  What was I thinking?!  I gave away a decent handful today so here’s hoping I can eat the rest of them fast enough.

7.  Someone put a can of Easy Cheese (or a version of it) in the hazardous waste bin in one of my buildings.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the brilliance and accuracy of this!

truth

truth

8.  Donuts.  I love a good donut.  There have been donuts in our office twice this week.  TWICE.  The smell is intoxicating!  It’s not the actual donut that I’m against, it’s the damn gluten.  I know I could have one and it wouldn’t be the end of the world but I see it as a waste of my gluten eating.  For instance in a week, I’m going to have my very favorite pizza ever.  I’m saving my gluten consumption for this.  Not to mention, I don’t want it to become a habit of “oh, it’s just this one thing” and then it turns into more and more.  So, a no to the donut.

9.  This poor model had her leg photo shopped out – seriously fashion peoples, stop with the photo shop/air brushing already!  And for the record – she did have a second leg in her other photos.

cropped legI kept the title “Tuesday tidbits” despite it now being Wednesday because I liked it.  Tonight there are some running miles on the agenda.  I’m revving my motivation now!  10k this weekend!

Do you love your name?

Do office supplies leave you as giddy as they do me?

snow, running and pride – two of these are great

27 Apr

Last Wednesday it started snowing.

I absolutely get that I live in MI and this isn’t really abnormal per say.  However, I think this is the latest in the season it has snowed for as long as I’ve lived here.  That’s 13 years folks.  I’ve seen snow around the beginning of April and it always cracks me up.  Now, I’m getting a bit salty – pull it together Mother Nature!

On Tuesday I jumped into running clothes as soon as I got home.  I could feel myself slipping into the Tuesday slump like the previous two weeks and I was determined NOT to let it happen again.  It was close though.  I cleared off my treadmill and got 3 miles in of walk/run intervals.  I made the running minutes longer and increased the speed as well.  I was surprised I was able to (mostly) keep this up – when I first pushed the buttons, I was certain I wouldn’t last throughout the work out.  It was a good boost of confidence.  I did have to walk a couple of extra intervals but the pride was still there.

even Chuck is proud of me

Wednesday was a working late-I’m so exhausted-please don’t make me move kind of day.  I got some extra walking in but that was it.  No running.  I briefly considered it and then I decided Simon needed some snuggling instead.

Now, Thursday… Thursday was a GREAT running day.  Once again there was some snow lazily falling – it was taunting all of us.  Those snowflakes were serious jerks.  I had to work late again but came home and went straight to the treadmill for more walk/run intervals.  Get this:  I hit every interval!  I’m not sure I’ve ever, ever, ever done this.  I kept the same increase in time and speed as I did on Tuesday and I still didn’t give up on myself.  It was close a couple of times (I seriously need to believe in myself a bit more) but I kept pushing.  I was/am so excited!

My right calf got kind of tight during this run so I tried to get some good stretching in, hit the compression socks and rolled it out.  Friday it was still a bit sore so I walked a lot and doing some calf-raises seemed to help.  Friday I went for a 4 mile run – outside even!  The temps are back to a more acceptable level.  Truth:  this run SUCKED.  I half walked/ran the first two miles and then pulled it together for the last two.  I was pretty close to vomiting in the streets those first two miles.  I’ve done this before and am not a fan so I slowed to a walk to avoid it.

Saturday I was beyond exhausted and walked as much as possible but that was it.  Last night I went for a 4.5 mile walk, which was decent but nothing to go into further detail about.  I got 32.5 miles in for the week – yay!  Only 5 miles off of my goal.  The interesting piece, is I’m being a smart runner and not increasing my mileage ridiculously each week – not on purpose, mind you.  It’s been a decent progression so even though I am aiming higher, somehow I’ve reached responsible status.  I have no idea where this came from but it is radical.

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