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Friday, August 28, 2015

Your Running Moment of Zen

It has been a while since I have blogged but I have been on the running, eating, and strength training track.  I feel pretty good.  It has just been busy with work, life, and taking care of my mom and aunt.  This week I got to travel to work to my favorite place in Georgia, Jekyll Island.  It is amazingly beautiful and peaceful.  Though I had conference duties I did manage to get out to run both yesterday morning and today.  I am back home now.

I thought I would share a quick check in and my own "Running Moments of Zen"  with pictures seen on my runs this week in Jekyll.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Having some Fun

I think sometimes as runners we can, don't kill me, take ourselves way too seriously.  Not every run is an Olympic training exercise. In fact it is okay to go out and run everyday and never do track intervals! Like today, it is even okay to got to a race with no intention to PR or win your age group.  It can be liberating to have no goal other than to have fun, look at a pretty park, and spend time with your significant other.  After a long week of caring for family, a busy work schedule, and hubby's first week back with the kidlets; the idea of pushing ourselves to race the hot hilly Jog Days of Summer Course did not seem to be in the cards.

We started back in wave C and we just enjoyed the rare low humidity August morning.  If you are not familiar with Atlanta, and its relative proximity to the equator, you might not realize what an unexpected gift that was.  So now, serious runners, I already know what you are thinking.  Low humidity on race day?  Ditch those taking it easy plans.  This is your moment!  Well it was a moment.  It was a moment to remember why we love running.  Surprisingly it is not in the PRs and medals though they are nice.  It is in the races where we just let go of everything else and enjoy the moment for what it was.  It was just fun and sometimes that is what you need even more than a PR.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

When Life Gets in the Way

So I have been away for a little while.  You know how it is when life gets in the way of the things you want to do.  That has been my life story for the last couple of weeks.  So... how have things been going?  Well it is a mixed bag.

Blogging - Duh! Obviously I have sucked at that!

Running - Though I don't blog about it; I have been running everyday.  I had a rough race two weeks ago.  Bad cramps and a lot of walking.  Still got it done.

Strength training - Yea, I am supposed to be doing that twice a week.  After 3 weeks off I got back to two days this week.  I was even still able to find my gym.

Eating - Vacation I took off from my fitness pal and just enjoyed myself tracked nothing.  Hence the race when we got back in town.  Note to self - don' do that then race.  Came back and I have been using my fitness pal and my Fitbit Charge HR.  I am 3 pounds from my goal.  It is amazing how a little accountability really makes a difference.

Work - Has been crazy busy, but with some new staff and energy we have been working on some exciting new projects.  That is fun.

Home - So my home with hubby and cats has been all a buzz with the start of hubby's school year, but has remained a calm and peaceful respite.  My extended family obligations have been raging out of control and I again find myself care taking family members due to consistently bad health/life choices.  What is different?  I stopped blaming them and started to just serve with a giving heart.  I realized their choices are not now, nor will they become my choices.  I just need to see this through with compassion.  The attitude you have going in makes a huge difference.

I dropped the judgement and picked up understanding and compassion.

So that is where I have been and where I am going.  It is going to be up and down for a while.  I will do my best to blog on the downhills.  Hope things are going well for you!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Week in Review

This week was pretty good.  It was also my first experience with my Fitbit Charge HR.  I am a geek, so being able to see so many stats about my fitness is weirdly motivating and also I know, a little weird.  I have been tracking in My Fitness Pal also and my charge links to that account.

Monday - I got in a pre-work 5K and stayed within my calorie count.
Tuesday - Got in a 4:30 AM 5K and a 30 minute after work strength session
Wednesday - A quick 3.2 at 4:30 AM
Thursday  - I got a 2 and 1/2 mile run in and then hit Gym for after work strength session
Friday - We did a 2 mile shakeout in anticipation of the Peachtree Road Race
Saturday - Walked 3 1/2 miles navigating PRR, ran Peachtree Road race Largest 10K in the US at least.  Historic weather.  I will do a more complete report later.

I have a question and observations for the week.

We are headed to the beach on Friday for a weekend trip followed by three days in Savannah for the annual Georgia Water Conference.  I am thinking I will wear my Fitbit but seriously thinking about not logging in My Fitness Pal.  Just taking a break and enjoying my vacation.  Thoughts?

Also two quick observations.  One is a victory lap.  I have been trying to get hubby to the chiropractor.  Those who read my blog know I go every week and I find it super helpful.  Especially since running is tough on the body, older bodies in particular.  Hubby finally went and I have added him to my plan.  He could not stopping talk about how good it felt.  I am happy, not because I was right, but because I think he will actually feel better and be healthier.

Eating real food at home, bringing real food from home for lunch and giving up alcohol make a huge difference in my overall health! Duh!  Just thought I would let you now. Stayed within my calorie goal everyday.    Have a great week.  Four days of work then beach bound!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

That Moment

Yesterday I came in from my morning run and I was doing my usual post run routine.  As I was stretching out my hips I bent at the waist and all of a sudden my palms were on the floor.  I know that is what is supposed to happen in an ideal world, but not if you are as inflexible as me.  The best part is I wasn't even trying to do that  I long ago accepted that I might be strong, and run at a decent speed but I was never going to be a one of those Gumby like yogis or a Pilates instructor.  I mean we all have gifts, right?  Being able to touch my toes was not one of mine.

There I was in the basement rec room and I was hands on the floor standing up.  Then I went over to the wall for my next set of post run stretches and I was doing some quad and and calf stretches and I did not need to hold the wall for stability.  I thought "huh?  When did that happen?"  Then I realized. I have just tried lately to focus really consistently on running, stretching and getting in my strength training.  I was not doing anything crazy or targeted.  I was just shooting for fitness and lo and behold fitness happened.

All of that is to say, if it feels like you are not making forward progress, keep at it.  Be consistent.  You are making progress your body just needs to catch up.

by the way love my Fitbit Charge HR.  I will tell you all about it after I have used it a few more days and actually know what I am talking about!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Did Not Recap My Week - Better Late than Never

It is a new week but I need to finish up reporting on last week.  Work was crazy and I have a friend going through some stuff regarding her living situation.  So I had a few challenges to my fitness and eating.  How did I do?  Not too bad.

Monday - 3 miles at 4:30 AM stayed within my calorie count on My Fitness Pal
Tuesday - 2.2 miles at 4:30 AM crazy day at work but managed to stay within my calorie count
Wednesday - 3 miles at 4:30 AM managed to stay within my calorie count
Thursday - Frustrating when your technology won't work.  Garmin would not find GPS ran 3 at 4:30 AM and went to the gym after work for 1/2 hour strength session.  Within calorie count
Friday - 2.5 miles on Friday no technology just finding my zen - cheat day for me. I was tired we had pizza for dinner.
Saturday - Spent the afternoon taking my friend to see apartments - made it to the gym after.  2 mile run death by treadmill and then half hour strength.  I had to fit in my second strength session for the week. Within my calorie goal.
Sunday - Ran 5.2 miles at the Eastside Beltline trail.  Then we went to the Old Fourth Ward Art Festival. Within my calorie goal. Still on the Summer Running Streak.

All in all it was a successful week.  It is amazing how much more aware I am of eating and working out now that I track it on My Fitness Pal.  It also inspired me to finally jump into the Fitbit craze.  I am getting a Fitbit Charge HR.  It arrives tomorrow and I am super excited.  I will let you know what I think.  Have a wonderful week.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Today's blog is not about fitness, cats, or water.  Today's blog recognizes a momentous day in history for this country.  For me personally today is about many dear friends who have waited for something I take for granted.  They had to wait for someone to validate their right to love someone and then  be granted permission to build a legally recognized life together.  It also brings to mind someone I think of often, but have not seen since we graduated high school in 1987.  Today is about Charles.

Who is Charles?  Just some kid I went to high school with, who was funny, smart, and a real math genius.  Also did I mention he is the benchmark for me for demonstrating personal courage.  Charles also had a secret, one I am sure many carried when they were in high school in 1987.  Charles was all those things I said, but if you asked many of my classmates what they remember I don't think that is what they would list.  They would say Charles was gay.

It wasn't a secret disclosed like so many uncomfortable high school truths by someone gossiping in the halls.  Charles, at 18, decided he wanted an authentic life and he did not think he should have to hide who he loved.  So at our senior prom Charles was escorted by his boy friend during senior walk.  Word spread like wildfire, for a time in history we can barely remember pre-cellphones and Facebook.  I am not sure how exactly I came to find out; I was not even at the prom.

Often I have thought of Charles and how much personal courage it took to take that walk of authenticity at the age of 18.  I have asked myself if I have that same personal courage about anything. I am pretty sure I don't.  Not only did he do this at 18, it was at a time when misconceptions and fears of AIDS ran wild.  It was before his story could go viral and he could find legions of supporters and end up on the Ellen Show.  It must have been so lonely and scary to walk in his truth.

Though I don't know where Charles is today I hope today he received the  acceptance we did not even know how to give him.  He already knew at 18, what it has taken this Country decades to understand. All  Love is equal and in that equity we ourselves find love.  I hope you can celebrate today, Charles and realize the walk you took 28 years ago ended at the steps of the Supreme Court.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I love Robert Frost, always been one of my favorite poets.  I love this poem in particular.  I love it yes, because of the whole road less traveled thing...I am notoriously all about marching to your own drummer.  I love this part of the poem the most.  Maybe because I am very big on promises.  Sadly, I noticed a weird trend lately and was reminded today,

It was a crazy week.  Could not get out of work at the end of day to make it to the gym until today.  Actually because of the crazy week each morning getting up at 4 has been less then a stellar option.  I am currently doing the Summer Running Streak from Runner's World and I am really trying to get back to very consistent workouts and better eating.  I made a promise to myself to get back to blogging and to log data in My Fitness Pal as well as continue my fitness.  I know what you may be thinking...great you only promised yourself.  Lucky you; no one to disappoint if you push the alarm clock back,  That is not really true.  I will disappoint someone.  There will not be a big discussion with someone or justifications needed, but I will let someone down,  That someone is me.  The promise is to myself for myself.

Later in the day I was leaving work,  It is so hot and I am so tired.  A friend said are you headed to the gym.  I said "yes I have to.  I promised myself I would strength train a minimum of two times a week.  I have to work late tomorrow, I need a rest day between.  So today is my last option or I will break my promise."  My friend looked at me strangely.  "You know a promise to yourself doesn't matter.  You won't get in trouble breaking it."  Then they said what I think we have all come to believe. "It is not like you promised someone important."

I know she did not mean I am not important.  I know she meant it is not like I told our boss or something like that.  How sad that the prevailing thought is we are the least important people we should be accountable to.  I am not sure when that happened.  I think it does explain why so many folks who try to get healthier say "I want to be there for my kids.  I promised my husband I would lose weight. Etc."  I think we have gotten to a point where either we don't think we are worth keeping promises to or we have become comfortable that just promising ourselves means I will do it if I feel like it, but if I don't who will know?

I made it to the gym.  Tomorrow is Friday the last day to be up at 4 in the morning this week.  I will be up at 4 because  I too have some miles to go before I sleep, or while everyone else is.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This Week in Fitness

So my workout week runs from Monday to Sunday.  I am trying to be more accountable so I thought I would check in on how I did.  Though sometimes I feel like my cat Pablo above, this week was a pretty good one on the workout and eating right front, despite being a little derailed after losing Frankie early in the week.

I am still using my Fitness Pal and I have been really good about logging.  So glad my Garmin 15 uploads to My Fitness Pal.  Also I can't believe how much more conscious I am of what I eat and my physical activity when it is staring me in the face all the time.  So I stayed below my calorie goals all week.  I got a lot of fruit and veggies in since this comprises most of my diet.  I did have two glasses of red wine one Tuesday after putting Frankie down and one on Friday with our meal.  

For workouts:

Monday - Ran 3 miles at 4:30 AM
Tuesday - Ran 3 Miles at 4:30 AM
Wednesday - Ran 2.5 miles 4:30 AM (heat lightning made me cut it short) 30 minutes strength after work)
Thursday - Ran 3 miles at 4:30 AM
Friday - Ran 3 miles at 4:30 AM, 30 minutes strength at the gym
Saturday - Ran 3.3 miles at 11 AM and went for my weekly chiropractic adjustment.
Sunday - Ran easy 3 at 10:30 AM (hubby is recovering from a back injury so we took it easy) 30 Minutes strength at gym.

I am happy to get an extra strength session in since last week I only got one in.  I can definitely tell a difference when I get in my regular strength sessions.

Hope your week went well!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Surprises You

I was reading RunHaven today on Facebook.  They have great articles pieces by bloggers on there.  They also randomly ask questions.  Today they asked, what surprised you the most about running?  There were a lot of great answers.  It seemed like such a cool question.  I thought, "hey I have not done my blog yet!  Why not steal this idea?"

What surprised me the most about running?

  1. I can do something athletic.  I was not exactly the high school track star.  More like the twenty min miler, who wondered why I could not spend P.E. reading in the library. 
  2. That it is true. It affects more aspects of your life than just fitness and health.  I have found myself many times thinking "you can do this.  You just ran in a downpour."  
  3. That it really is fun, even when it is so not fun.
  4. My husband was right.  Never saw that coming.  Ladies you know what I mean.
  5. That it is really mostly mental.  If you don't have an actual physical injury than the only thing stopping you is you.  
  6. That I would need it.  That on the days I can't run I am less than a joy to be a round.  That I feel less accomplished, that I feel less without it.  
So what surprises you about running and what surprises you about you now that you run?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Man it is HOT

Wow this has been a struggle this week.  Temperatures are in the high nineties with a side of 100% humidity.  I am glad for my run every morning, right after I am done.  During it I am running slower and breathing heavier, and cursing my husband for ever convincing me to do this.  This will make me a stronger runner come fall, right?  I am really glad it is so dark when I run that no one can see the obscene amount I sweat.  I mean that is supper attractive.

How do you get out of the AC and on to the road and how do you recover to look half human at work.  I have no idea, but here is what I do.

1) Lay out the minimum amount of clothes needed to not be arrested the night before.
2) Get out of bed. (Do not under estimate the power of this step.)
3) Layer on Body Glide.
4) Walk outside, notice that you did not melt.  Also note if that is a monkey hanging from the Elm Tree.  I mean who can blame him for being confused?  I also thought Atlanta had become a tropical rain forest.
5) Crank up your running tunes.  I like something that takes my mind off the heat like "Fever" or "The House is on Fire".
6) Try your hardest not to collapse or die.
7) Stumble back to the AC cooled house.
8) Stretch out while any one of five cats take their turn getting you ready for work by licking the sweat off of you.  That reminds me.  I need to have their sodium checked at the vet.
9) Take a cold shower.  If I had to choose a lynch pin in my ready for work strategy this is it.  It lowers my core body temp enough to put on my work clothes without having to change my work clothes before work.
10) Apply some kind of make up.
11) Pat yourself on the back.  Remind yourself you can laugh at all those folks running when it is 95 on your way home.

Good luck out there.  Stay hydrated and be safe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Frankie

Dear Frankie,

Today was a tough day.  Today, Daddy and I had to decide that relieving your pain was more important than the pain of your loss.  You came into our lives 17 years ago.  You were an awkward, dirty, skinny, little kitten that someone brought to the animal hospital where I worked.  They tossed you across the counter and said "kill it.  He can't even catch a squirrel."  What did he expect?  You weren't even half the size of a squirrel.  I told him we would, had him sign the paperwork, and took you home.

Probably for the first 5 years of your life I questioned that decision almost daily.  You had boundless energy, you were so smart, but you were unpredictable.  You were aggressive with our older cats.  You would fly down the hall and launch yourself teeth first into my calf.  I kept saying "I don't know if I can do this.  I don't know how to handle him."  Between the fights and the bites, there was you.  Your heart, your soul.  The way you stood on a chair and stretched that whole Maine Coon body up, begging to be picked up and wrap your big paws around me.  There was the way you loved people calling you pretty, handsome, and beautiful.  It was obvious you could tell the awe people had when they saw you.  "Scrawny kitten no more."  In those years you taught me patience.  You taught me to look harder to truly understand those we love.  Find the Frankie in everyone.  The good parts with the mischievous parts.

But that was early on, and you would grow.  You would become the top cat and no longer need to bully to be noticed.  You loved kittens, and for a burly Maine Coon boy, you were the most gentle "mother" they had.  You gave up your top cat status when those bossy girls grew up, and you sensed time was running short.  You became the elder statesmen of the house.  You paced until everyone came home from a vet visit, you waited to eat until all the cats were present.  You counted noses and verified each of their safety and ours before laying down.  You took the sunniest spots and prime lap time.  You had earned it.

You fought illnesses, broken hip, break ins, and 6 moves.  You knew your name and every nickname we gave you.  You would come and sit with us and talk as long as we said your name.  You lit up when we came home.  I wish you could have told us about lasts.  I wish you could have said, "I am sick.  This is the last time I will wake you up by slapping your face gently with my paw."  I probably would not have pushed you away like always."  I wish you could have said "I will be gone by next weekend.  Let's lay in bed with me on your chest a little longer."

I don't doubt we gave you the final gift we had to give, freedom from pain.  I just wish I had known as all the things that made you Frankie fell away, that I would never have the privilege to complain about them again.  Today is the worst part of sharing our lives with you.  If not for the pain today the joy of 17 years would not have happened.  For that Frankie, Daddy and I wish you a speedy trip to Rainbow Bridge.  I know you are once again beautiful, handsome and pretty, most importantly strong and healthy.  Say hello to all your brothers and sisters who went before you.

In closing I would just say Thank you.  I am sure you know what for.

All of our Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Friday, June 12, 2015

OMG! I am One of Those People

I don't know when it happened.  I don't know how it happened.  I am alarmed by how it just was one day.  Yesterday I was putting up my shoes after my 4:30 AM run...yes you read that correctly.  Here is the best part.  That isn't even what I am talking about.  I was putting my shoes up on our running shoe rack in the garage...yea we have a rack in our garage just for running shoes.  Again not what I am talking about.

While I was about to put the shoes up I just flipped them over to look at the wear pattern on the sole, and my mind immediately started evaluating what that meant about my stride.  What?  When did I become one of those people.  A runner who looks at the tread wear pattern to see if I am hitting mid-foot most of the time?  This, along with everything else I said before it, are all things I used to mercilessly rib my husband about!!!  How did I morph into some female version of him?

When did it become normal to date my shoes?  I don't mean taking them out for lobster and a nice Merlot.  I mean recording the date of purchase and number of miles on them!!  Here is the point for all you "I'm not a runner, never will be" people. Know this running is insidious.  At first you think "okay I will walk wile you run come get me".  Then you watch them and you start thinking "I could probably run to that sign.  Look at that person they are running and seem to love it."  Everything about running is gateway drug.  So mostly, if you are new to running, and feel like all of this is some crazy cult.  I have a few things to say.

1) Feel ya.  I was totally there, but now I am totally here and I can't even remember the journey, except we have had some beautiful runs along beaches, trails and parks.
2) If you are questioning if you even deserve running shoes because you think you are so slow, Of course you do, but start with a nice pasta dinner and an imported beer first you are just starting to date.
3) The wear pattern on my shoes is very consistent with a steady mid-foot strike.  I wonder how my cadence is?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

This Week in Fitness

I am wrapping up a couple of days off to enjoy part of my hubby's summer vacation.  It was a pretty good week for me with workouts and eating.  I also decided to start using My Fitness Pal, which I have never done.

So this may just be true for the ladies, but once you reach your forties and like me late forties and post menopausal, you are dealing with a new body and that body takes time to get know and let me tell you what I learned.   It is slower!  Not much slower running but my metabolism is definitely slower.  I have not been happy with what I have seen on the scale or how I have felt, not as tight as in the past.  So I made some decisions and realizations.  I can not out run or exercise a not great diet.  I have a fairly good diet but I wasn't really tracking anything and an occasional glass of wine or beer was now a once a day occurrence.  So I decided to change a few things up.

1) I am on a wine and beer hiatus.  I just decided I did not need the empty calories and it was pretty easy to cut out.  I had gone about 15 years without drinking at all so it is not that big a deal.
2) I decided to set up a My Fitness Pal account and start tracking my calories in and out.  It is amazing how much more mindful you are of what you eat when you are actually recording it and seeing the direct correlation with workouts.  For me this is really a first.
3) Going to be vigilant about my strength work and my running including mixing in some tougher effort runs and keeping in a distance run each week.    

Don't get me wrong I am a size 6 and wear a small. I am not one of those girls obsessed with my weight.  I believe strong is the new skinny.   I just want to tighten up and maybe go down about 5-10 pounds where I was before menopause.  Also we all know, even a few pounds makes us a little faster in a race.  I will keep you updated on how these small tweaks go.  It is a new adventure in personal accountability for me.

This week:

Mon. 4:30 AM = 3 miles
Tues. 9 PM 1 Mile ( should have been track race with ATC - lightning cancelled it)
Wed. 11 AM - 5.5 miles Happy World Running Day
Thurs. 12 PM - 3 Miles
Thurs. 3 PM - 35 minute strength session at the gym
Fri. 10 AM - 2 miles
Sat. 12:30 PM - 2 miles hill work
Sat 2:30 PM - 32 minute strength session at the gym
Sun. 10 AM - 3 miles

I also made all of my Fitness Pal calorie goals for the week.  Feeling pretty good and ready to get back at it.  Back to work means pre-dawn runs.  I downloaded some new tunes from Rock My Run and I am good to go!!

Hope you had a healthy week!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hug a Cat...Meet our Family

What a busy couple of days.  Yesterday was National Running Day which I am sure we all enjoyed.  Today was a day dedicated to cats, another passion I have.  It is National Hug Your Cat Day!  I happen to love cats, pretty much all cats but especially six in particular.  Today I will share my six little darlings, mostly because everyone should see them!  Also because as we all know everyone on the interwebs loves looking at cats!

Frankie our most senior statesman at 17 years old

This is Mo, hubby would say my spoiled baby.  He is 15.

Jazzy, he is a lot of cat in a little body.  He is one of the three 7 year olds

This is Georgia, or the Million dollar cat.  She has HCM but is doing fine.  Also 7

This Pablo, Georgia's brother and a delicate flower at 20 pounds also 7.

This is Lena she is 6, with an obviously ironic sense of humor.

Rest assured they got their share of hugs today, and well everyday!  I hope people have someone in their life that brings them as much joy as these six bring to us!  Hug a cat; the day isn't over yet!!  Keep a good thought for Jazzy and Pablo they are at the vet tomorrow for dental cleanings and annual check ups.  They will be away from home all day!  I hope I survive!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I am Back

So I have taken a really long break from blogging.  I love writing but I had struggled with what to write.  So I am back now.  I have decided to open up my blog to write about more topics than just running.  As hubby pointed out today "we are more than just runners."  So sometimes I will write  about running but sometimes I will just write about my life as a chick in my mid-forties, in the middle of my career, in the middle of my marriage, and in the middle of figuring it out.  Since today is National Running Running Day I will say my return to blogging is just a quick Why I run blog!!

We hit the Chattahoochee National Park today to run 5.5 around the river.  It was early.  I took a couple of days off to kick off hubby's summer vacation.  What a great day to do that: National Running Day!  There were not too many folks out there yet.  Today is a day we talk about running and all the things it has done for us.  So of course it has done some positive things for me.

1) It gives me quality time with my husband.
2) It makes me tougher.  If I can run 13 miles I can listen to yet another person talk about how water should be free!  It falls from the sky. (Face Palm!)
3) It helped me realize I am an athlete.
4) Sticking it to everyone who said I could not run...what better reason!
5) knowing fit is different than skinny and running taught me that.
6) Freed up Sunday evenings...who needs to paint your toenails when you will be running in the morning?
7) Best way to see my city and every place we visit.
8) Races...they are just cool!
9) Cute running clothes!
10) Letting me truly embody a running toilet.