Tuesday, December 9, 2014

That Time I PRed: My Comeback Race Recap

Well it's official. I made it out alive.
 And I set a new PR.


Hot dang! Thank you to everyone who sent encouragements my way before, during and after the race. I was, and still am, in awe at the outpouring of love you gave me on my Comeback Race. I celebrated with lots of coffee and a huge breakfast at a 24-hour breakfast diner at two in the afternoon. Perfect.

I had to wait a couple days to write the recap because it still seems unreal to me that it's all over.

But I know you are dying to know what happened on race day. So I'll put you out of your misery.

I went to the expo. Walked around. Looked at each booth. Now that I work at a running store, expos don't have as much magic as they use to. Perks of getting to know about the "new, hot running gear" before everyone else. But I did get to go to the Fleet Feet Memphis booth, and that was fun since I got to chat with one of our reps for a while.

After a nice, yet miniature sized, supper at a downtown Memphis restaurant, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for race day.
Yes, I laid my clothes out the night before. It's tradition. Since it was going to be a balmy 55 degrees at the starting line, I opted for my favorite pair of Brooks shorts, a short sleeved tech shirt and a very lightweight jacket.
We got to the start line a little before 7:30 a.m. and made our way to corral 10. Kerri and I decided to start out with the pace group for that corral and see how that went. But more on that later. After a heartfelt rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, which I think was sung by a St. Jude kid, the race started.

And I had to wait 18 agonizing minutes until my corral reached the start line.

There is nothing more real than walking toward a race start line with 20,000 other people. That feeling is unlike anything I've ever felt. It's hard to describe. There is an air of seriousness mixed with excitement. This feeling that can only mean we are about to start something important and meaningful and slightly terrifying. And then the fact that you aren't alone just make it that much cooler. I love that about running. It's so "to-each-their-own" but then "all-for-one" at the same time.

I make it to the start line. My corral is screaming with excitement and nervous energy. Music is blaring. And the announcer is counting down the seconds til we start. The music changes. And we're off.

Mile 1: Can you say crowded? 20,000 people crammed on one city street is tight. I say goodbye to my mom and Lisa, and Kerri and I tried to set our pace. Did I mention it was crowded?

Mile 2: Nothing major to report. Ran up the first big hill. And down the bricked road called Beall Street.

Mile 3: First time for nutrition. Kerri runs ahead of me. I run like crazy to catch up to her. Very big hill made worse by very large gust of wind.

Mile 4: Through the St. Jude campus we go. I try not to make direct eye contact with any crying parent. Make it out tear free.

Mile 5: Nothing major to report. Start the long drive out to toward the Memphis Zoo. Try not to think about how I'm running away from the finish line.

Mile 6: Second nutrition. Kerri runs ahead of me. This time I know I can't catch up to her. My pace is set. At some point during this mile I feel a sharp pain shoot up my inner quad. Think about the searing pain and contemplate walking and/or throwing up. Decide to keep running and to slow down if it happens again. Said quad basically goes into a state I call "numb."

Mile 7: Final turn off the death straight-a-way I'd been on for 2 miles. Look for zoo animals. See none. Fight the now crowded street since the road narrowed.

Mile 8: Start relying on the people I dedicated miles to. What would Monica say right now? Worry about the "numb" quad. Can't figure out when I will get out of the zoo. Figure out I'm now in a public park that connects to the zoo.

Mile 9: The Doubts Mile. Another round of nutrition. Evaluate my body. Feeling the fatigue. Calves are tight. Right quad is "numb." Denise would be saying something positive now if she were here. I start to doubt my training and the fact that I set such a lofty goal for a new PR. Why did I say I'd run a sub 2:30? That was stupid. And it's never going to happen. Why is my quad "numb?"

Mile 10: Finally get out of the park and on to the road back to downtown and the finish line. Feel a surge of energy from turning said corner. Can see the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in the distance. Relieved to see the hospital because I know it's close to the end. Where did all these hills come from? Don't remember these hills from last time. How many are there? Where's Kerri? Pick random orange shirt in a sea of people and pretend it's Kerri. Feel slightly better knowing she's up there.

Mile 11: WHY IS THE LE BONHEUR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL SO FREAKING FAR AWAY? Am I going backwards? It's only a 5K. You do 5Ks all the time. If Daniel were here right now, he'd be prancing beside me with fresh legs. Stupid fresh legs. Must ask him about my "numb" quad. That can't be a good thing. Don't think about it. How are there more hills? Only one more hill left. Seems like a small one. Start up said small hill and realize it's a death trap and then the coldest wind blows at 100 miles per hour while I trudge up it. I tell myself it's character building. Then I laugh at myself because that's stupid. Finally pass the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, and realize I have 20-ish minutes to run another mile. HOPE SURGES.

Mile 12: Last batch of nutrition. Random guy tells me not to walk because I'm so close to the finish line. Give random guy the death stare. Decide to give it all I've got. Bust out a 10-minute mile pace AND maintain it. Pass tons of walkers. Wonder why they are walking when I'm still running with a "numb" quad, sore foot, tight calves, tight hamstrings and a sore left hip. Contemplate how broken my legs will be once the race is over. Decide it doesn't matter because I will make my new PR goal.

Mile 13.1: Decide to pass someone to feel like I'm winning. Choose blue tye-dye tank top girl who danced around me for 12.5 miles. Pass her. Think about how she's totally eating my soon-to-be PR dust. Enter a state of sheer euphoria. Can't feel my legs. Nothing hurts. I can see the finish line. People are yelling encouragements. Turn the corner. Hear the race announcers. Cross the finish line. Stop my Garmin. And bask in the glory of my new accomplishment. Then immediately wish I hadn't stopped moving because my legs hurt so bad. But I don't care because I ran the half marathon in 2:24:54.

Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Comeback Race

The St. Jude Half Marathon is only 3 sleeps away. To say I am a nervous wreck would be an understatement.

I've been calling this half my "comeback half" since I started training back in September. I've battled nagging little injuries, ran some of my fastest longer distance times ever and managed to kick all my previous GI distress to the curb.

I've learned how to better listen to my body. And I honor what it can do on each run.

But with the race so close and all of my taper runs being not as good as normal, I've been having some doubts about my sub-2:30 finishing time.

I've been doing this thing that I call goal manifesting. I tell people exactly what I want to do, some people I know and others are strangers. The idea is to make it happen by verbal affirmation. Saying it out loud makes it more real.

Two years ago when I finished my first half marathon at St. Jude, my time was 2:45:37.

Three months later I ran the Little Rock Half Marathon in 2:39:46 and got a six minute PR.

Then I took a little over a year off from running because I was injured from not cross training properly, and it took forever (or what felt like it) to figure out what was wrong.

My training this go-around has been much better. I am faster than I've ever been, and I owe that to being the fast group mentor for No Boundaries at work.

But like I said before, the taper has been messing with my mind. So to stop these mental shenanigans, I've decided to dedicate each mile of my Comeback Race to someone or a group of someones who have impacted my running life as of late.

The St. Jude Half Marathon Miles Dedication

  • Mile 1: Asher Brooklyn Ray
    My 6-year-old cousin who is fighting bone cancer for the second time. She was my original inspiration to run my first half two years ago, and she continues to be my inspiration in running and in life today.
  • Mile 2: My NoBo Group - Mike, Steve, Jon, Daniel and Elaine - You have made me do things I didn't even know I could do. Every Tuesday night and Saturday morning for the past 12 weeks you have let me push you to your max, and by doing that I had to push myself. Thank you for the motivation you gave me.
  • Mile 3: Arkansas Children's Hospital Hemoc/Oncology Unit - All the bald babies, families, doctors and nurses who keep each other going when times are happy and sad. Those babies fight each day, and they deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
  • Mile 4: St. Jude bald babies - This is the mile marker that runs through the St. Jude campus. They, too, deserve to be celebrated and remembered.
  • Mile 5: Candace Walker
     My cousin who bravely fought cancer at St. Jude. She is in remission, and she will be running the St. Jude 5K on Friday as part of Danny's Dream Team. She's the spunky little red head in the middle. Yay for us running together! 
  • Mile 6: Sarah Marks
    I met Sarah at No Boundaries back in the summer. She had been running for a while, and she joined our 5k training program to get faster. She wanted me to be her mentor, and I immediately was drawn to her spirit. It was like we were meant to be friends. She recently moved to Northwest Arkansas, and a lot of life changes happened for her and her family very quickly. New job. New town. New house. New running community. I saw her last weekend, and she told me about her struggle with the move, about how much she missed running with us and how she got into a running rut for a while. So Mile 6 is for you, Sarah. It's my favorite distance, and I want to run it with you. 
  • Mile 7: Abby Hanway
    She was a friend of Asher's, and she lost her battle to cancer earlier this year. I chose mile 7 to dedicate to Abby because seven miles is always a blissful distance for me. And 7 is a Godly number, and I know she is in heaven, healed and watching over all of us. She was brave and fearless, and she deserves my lucky mile 7.
  • Mile 8: Monica Zaremba
    She is my favorite athlete. I've known her for a little over a year, and I've been working with her for about six month. She is super fast. And that's awesome. But what's even more awesome is how humble she is about it. She qualified for the Boston Marathon this year, and I'm so proud to call her my friend. She has be a constant ear throughout my training, and she always encourages me, even when I know she can finish a half marathon before I am halfway through it. Monica once told me her least favorite mile was mile 8. It's like a mental road block for her. So I will run mile 8 for her. To celebrate her overcoming the mental 8th mile and her upcoming trip to Boston.
  • Mile 9: Denise Waltrip
    Where do I begin? She was my first recruit to our No Boundaries 5K training program when I started working at Fleet Feet a year ago. She is fast. She is motivated. She is a positive force in my life. And she has been injured for the last three months. She ran my 5 mile long run with me, and only made it to mile 9 in her half marathon training before she figured out what was wrong with her. This mile is for her. Because one day soon we will run 9 miles together, and then I will run with her when she makes her way into double digits. 
  • Mile 10: Kerri Nutt
    I ran my 10 mile training run with her, and I had a PR for that distance. It was under 2 hours, which has never happened before. I will always cherish sharing that moment with her, and it turned out she had a 6 mile PR that same day. She is running St. Jude, too. But I feel like by mile 10 she will be way ahead of  me since she is naturally quick and has been training like a machine. Thanks for being awesome and letting me tag along behind you.
  • Mile 11: Daniel Black
    My favorite full-time co-worker who has put up with my aches and pains for the past year. If I ever "break" anything, he is the person I go to with my questions. He is full of knowledge when it comes to biomechanics, and he's a natural coach. Almost a year ago, he had stomach surgery that deterred his running game. He is currently shopping for a half marathon to celebrate overcoming four years of doctors, tests and a major surgery. I can't wait to celebrate his Comeback Race. I definitely wanted to dedicate a higher mile to him because he always reminds me that my legs aren't broken. Thanks for listening to me whine for the last year about my knee, hip and foot. Your pep talks are always on point. Mile 11 is for you.
  • Mile 12: My Mom
    The lady who got me started on this running journey. My original running buddy. She is my constant cheerleader and the best person I know. She will also be running St. Jude, and it will be our second half to finish together. It's just makes the moment more special when you can share it with your most favorite person on earth. 
  • Mile 13.1: Myself - This is my comeback run. The one that says I can still do this. I have overcome the injuries. I have trained for this. I am ready. I owe it to myself to give it all I've got. So that's what I'm going to do. I will leave it all on the road. The last year of not running like I use to. The figuring out how to not judge myself for not being the runner I use to be. The figuring out what shoes I like since the manufacturer jacked up my most favorite shoe. The months of PT. The speedwork. The long runs. All of it. It comes down to this. This moment. When I cross the start line, I will be on. I will be a machine. It doesn't matter if it hurts. I will finish. I will finish with a sub-2:30 time.
You can follow my race day journey if you want to. Just click here and put in my bib number 5076 to get my splits. They won't be official, but they should be pretty dang close. 

I'll see you at the finish line. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The First Snovember

Waking up to snow on a mid November morning is super weird. I was lame and missed out on Monday's good weather, and now we have nothing but cold in our future. Bummer.

I've never liked the cold. So it makes running outside even more difficult. I don't have a membership to a gym and I hate the treadmill, but when you're in training for a race you gotta make sacrifices. And I'll be honest, I haven't done much running this week.

After my weekend away and 11 mile long run, I didn't realize the cold was coming in so quickly. So I lollygagged around on Monday instead of logging some valuable miles.

Annie didn't seem to mind our Monday full of couch snuggling and Netflix watching. But then again she is a dog so she's pretty low maintenance. And she never complains about me re-watching my favorite shows on Netflix. Ahem....How I Met Your Mother, Scandal, Gilmore Girls, House, Criminal Minds, Vampire Diaries....Don't judge me.

Since it was bitter cold yesterday, we started setting up our Christmas window display at work. Very merry for mid-November. I'm waiting for someone to say "It's not even Thanksgiving yet," so I can give them the eye and say we are trying to win a contest for Christmas Window bragging rights.

When I got home to take Annie out, she had to sniff every single fallen leaf in her path. In the 30 degree weather. For 30 minutes. Brrrrrrr. Silly puppy.

So I made some Nutella Hot Chocolate.
 It was pretty chocolaty. In the future, I think I will cut back on the cocoa powder just use Nutella. Because let's face it, Nutella rules.

I have 12 miles on the books for Sunday, and I should get close to 3 miles in on tomorrow's run with my NoBo group. I'm using both as dress rehearsals for race day. Little secret about me: I have to teach myself how to dress for the cold weather every winter. Not kidding. The first few runs I always overdress and freeze. And then I under-dress and start running with the fear of freezing, but it usually works out for the better. You'd think I'd know better after all these years.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Love of the Brownie Pan

Why do they call them Brownie pans anyway? That makes them so one-sided. Like hey, I'm a Brownie Pan. I only hold gooey, delicious brownies. Full of chocolate and slightly undone centers. Warm squares of chocolatey goodness.

I've had this so called Brownie pan for a while now, and I've pretty much only made brownies in it since I got it.

But recently I had this brilliant idea to bake some BBQ chicken in it. And that turned out delicious.

And you know what else?

It was the most perfect portion size for just little ole me.

So I did something crazy. I made lasagna in my "brownie pan."

Oh, the horror it must have felt when it was full of cheesy, saucy noodley goodness instead of danity chocolate squares.

And again. Perfect portion sizes. I didn't have to eat lasagna for 65 days.

This is huge, people. And please don't tell me one of you, who is smarter than me, figured this out long ago. Shame on you for not sharing with your fellow single people or two person homes.

Total casserole game changer.

So long to my "brownie pan." And hello to my new I'm-gonna-use-this-for-everything pan. I think my next creation will be poppy seed chicken.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One Month til Race Day

Well I guess it's actually a little less than one month until race day. Training has been going ok. Just a few nagging injuries that try to keep me down. But all in all, I feel strong.

I am definitely faster than the last time I finished a half marathon, and I'm excited to see how I do on race day.

This past weekend I went to Tennessee to spend some time outside on my grandparents' farm. My mom and I ran 11 miles around the town. And we ran out of the city limits. Seeing a city limit sign and not being at your turn-around point is humbling and mentally challenging.

Here are some scenes from my mini-vacation.

Annie loves spending time outside, and apparently she is "real" dog because she likes to carry and chew on sticks. My mission as a dog mom is complete. My dog loves sticks.

This weekend I will run my last long run before I start my taper. 12 miles. It's going to be a good dress rehearsal. Gotta figure out what clothes to wear since this Arctic Blast is starting to kick it up.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Building a Base

Building a base is hard work. Being out of the running game for over a year has put the hurt on me. So I've spent the past two weeks (and next week) building up my mileage so I can run the St. Jude's Half Marathon.

After last week's just-under-15-miles week, my hamstring and knee were bothering me. So I took Sunday off.

On Tuesday, I ran a fast 2 mile run. I forgot to take a picture of my stats since I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after my run.
Here's how it went:

Distance: 2.0 miles
Time: 20:05
Average Pace: 10:09
Best Pace: 8:17
Calories: 173
Average Cadence: 174

The ice bucket challenge was the fastest cool down I've ever had. I do think my co-worker enjoyed dumping ice water on my head a little too much.

When I got to work Wednesday, we found a knot in my left calf the size of the Titanic. We each took turns trying to work it out. None of us could break it up. I now have a bruise on my calf. No pain, no gain.

Yesterday's run was super nice after the first couple of miles.

I forgot how much better it feels to run passed the 2-3 mile mark. I've always felt like I don't get warmed up and feel good until after 3 miles. It was totally true of my long run this week.

Stats for this week's long run:

Distance: 4.0 miles
Time: 46:52
Average Pace: 11:43
Best Pace: 10:46
Calories: 343
Average Cadence: 172

I had negative splits for each mile, and mile four was my fastest. I was nervous about the Titanic sized knot in my calf and my nagging hamstring/knee injury, but everything kept it together. And I can still walk today. It's the little things.

I have a date with my foam roller, and I'm going to a yoga class to help workout some of this muscle tightness. I'm looking forward to a solid recovery day.

And I think I need to take Annie to the dog park....
Since she's been perched on the side of my computer since I started this post.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Up and Running

Half marathon training is in full swing. I'm currently working on building up a nice base before I set out to start my training plan.

This week has been full of accomplishments and a couple of set backs. All good things mostly with just a hint of nervousness.

I have been battling an injury for over a year. Apparently running isn't always nice to you. You have to do other stuff with it. You can't just run, and I always just want to run. Nothing else. And I have to work on changing that.

I logged just under 15 miles this week. That's huge considering I've been good to get five or six miles in a week. I've gotten some new running swag that's made it all the sweeter.

I went for a trail run on Sunday. Conner Park to River Mountain Park. Up a .6 mile massive hill that made me rethink my decision-making skills. And then down Cantrell, which is every runner's nightmare.

It was a beautiful evening run.

I got a little beat up, but it was totally worth it. Set out to do a 3 mile trail run and ended up doing a little under 5 miles. I love it when that happens.

On Tuesday, I did a ladder speed workout with a half marathon training group from work. After a nice warm up, we did a 400, 800 1200, 1200, 800 and 400. Each one had a rest period, and it was an awesome workout. I felt strong. Only had some minor twinges of pain in my knee area.
I was under my usual 11-minute mile pace by quite a bit. My 400s and 800s were in the mid-9s, and my 1200s were right at 10:30. My last 400 was right at 8:30. 

It felt good to run fast, but the minor pains I felt in my knee and hamstring area were on my mind. Lots of soreness on Wednesday. I did a lot of foam rolling and stretching and finally felt a little more normal until I ran this morning. 

I met my running friend Denise for an easy 3 miles. 

Easy turned into terrible real quick. My two 5 mile runs earlier in the week put the hurt on my ole legs. I felt tired the entire time. My legs felt like they weighed 1,000 pounds each. We both struggled, which has never happened since we've been running together. I blamed it on Tuesday. And the fact that I was due for a tough run.

My hamstring/knee has been sore/tight/achy/bothering me again. So that's my main concern. I just want to run and healthy and feel good about it. It's really hard when I've already trained for a half before and had no problems. Thankfully, I have wonderful people around me that are helping and encouraging me to make to race day.

I can't promise I will post every day. But I will do my best to post my workouts for the week, as well as how I'm feeling about it. This space will be my training log, and I hope you follow along.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Pink Slip

What causes bad relationships?

Bad dates? Forced conversation? Being set-up?

I've been on some bad dates, struggled through forced conversation and have relentlessly told everyone I know not to set me up on dates. And yet I've still had bad relationships.

It's been a little over two years since my last relationship. And I've just been doing my thing. Someone will come along, right?

Aside from the fact that the majority of men who come into my workplace are either married or seriously dating someone, I have met zero eligible bachelors. It could be because they all think I'm jail bait because I don't look over the age of 18.

And then yesterday something that's never happened to me before happened.

It's just been mostly me, the Boss and the Boss Lady at work this past week since Management went to have his surgery. So if it get busy, we are all busy.  I typically lose blocks of time when I sit down with customers, and the same was true yesterday.

I was with a lady helping her make her shoe choices and talking about what her PT said. Once I was done, I noticed the Boss Lady had taken a phone message for me. She wrote it down on one of those pink message slips.

Y'all, I've never had someone call and ask for me before, unless you count my mom and her running friends.

I assumed it was a customer calling me with questions. But I didn't recognize the name, and Boss Lady wrote that his mother got my card and told him to give me a call.

So my thought process goes to I must have fit his mom for shoes or talked to her about one of the training programs, and that's how she got my card.

I called him back. Left a message explaining that I was returning his call. Please call me back if he has any questions.

The whole thing was just kinda weird.

So I head back to Boss Lady's office and ask her about the pink slip.

She laughs before she says anything, and then she tells me when she was taking the message she asked what his call was regarding. She said he got really embarrassed when he had to explain.

He said his mother met me at the store one day. I gave her my card, which I don't remember doing yet it's something I would do. She, then, gave my card to her son and told him to "call" me. As in, not about shoes.

Who does that?

My friend Denise pointed out a major red flag.

His mother told him to call me....and then he actually did call me.

Seriously, I can't make this up. This is actually my real life.

Thankfully, he hasn't returned my call because I don't have any idea what I would say to him.

I mean he should have gently stalked me before calling. Like came up the store and made it seem like a chance meeting. That's what I would have done had my mom told me there was a hottie at some store she went to. (Does that make me a bad person?)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Overdressedness and Other Shenanigans

As you know, I work at a running shop. So my daily attire is every woman's dream. WORKOUT CLOTHES!!!!!!!

But I'll tell ya, I have lots of other clothes I kinda miss wearing. Dresses. Skirts. Cardigans. Concert t-shirts.

On my days off, I plan on being completely overdressed.

A week ago I delivered a homemade chocolate cake to one of my co-workers. He had a major surgery this past week, so I wanted him to eat something extremely delicious before going under the knife.

I forget that the work peeps never see me in regular people clothes. It was a beautiful day, and I wore some bright colored pants with a neon yellow cardigan. I felt like a girly girl in the best possible way. Is it weird that I'm excited about the next time I get to wear a dress to something?

Anyway, I'm reaching for stuff to write since I haven't gone to any of my scheduled classes for the week. Pure Barre is on Wednesday, and yoga is on Friday. If I don't sleep in tomorrow morning, I may go for a run....but let's be honest. I'll probably sleep in until the last possible minute.

I do have a date with my favorite kid.
We are going to watch Frozen. She told me I had to dress up and look pretty, and "don't forget to wear a smile."

Could she be any cuter? I think not.

If any of you have any functions or shenangians you need me to partake in, let me know. I'm looking for any excuse to put on a party dress.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

It's been a good week.

A weird one,  but a good one.

I took my first Pure Barre class, went to a sunset yoga class and ran/walked an unpaved trail by my house.

My hips are full of super tight muscles, and I don't mean that in a good way. The trail by my house is super hilly, but so beautiful. I'm working it into my rotation because it's a good work out. I love trail running. It works different muscle groups, and it always reminds me that I'm not as "in shape" as I'd like to be. Very humbling.

I'm also starting the daunting task of packing for the big move. Only 26 days until I have my own place. I've been collecting boxes from work, but I've yet to put them to good use. I'm gonna change that this week. I have to start. So far all I've packed is Christmas stuff, which was already packed. I just put it in a new Rubbermaid container for better storage.

I've also been listening to this song non-stop. My love for Phillip Phillips is huge. I saw him live with John Mayer last July. He is amazing. Sings like an angel.

The drums at the end of this song make my stomach hurt. I love everything about it. It's so full of energy, and he always sings with so much power. I can't even explain it. Just listen to it. The last 30 seconds or so will blow your mind.

This week's workout schedule looks something like this:

Wednesday - Pure Barre. Bring on the hip thrusts and gyrating.
Friday - Yoga. Relaxing on my day off.
One of those other days - Trail run or regular run. Gotta stick with my roots.

Next week will get even more intense. We will start our 5K training group at work. So I will run Tuesdays and Saturdays, and go to Pure Barre and Yoga once a week. Like I said, I'm turning my body into a machine. I want to run a marathon, but I have to make sure everything is in tip-top shape before I start the process.

The goal race is New Orleans Marathon in February. That should be plenty of time to get ready. I'm going to run the race and then overload on beignets and coffee from Cafe Du Monde. And I'm going to listen to some authentic New Orleans jazz because I didn't get to do that last time I was there.

What are some of your goals?

Tell me how you're getting back in the saddle again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Set Your Glutes on Fire

Step 1: Find a Pure Barre class in your area.
Step 2: Sign up for a class.
Step 3: Go to class.
Step 4: Feel awkward gyrating your hips in front of a mirror.
Step 5: Try not to make eye contact with people close to you.
Step 6: Stretch.
Step 6: Leave Pure Barre.

Y'all, I seriously am having a hard time walking. Going from sitting to standing or vice versa is a total nightmare. I literally had to roll out of my bed this morning. I let out little yelps every time I have to squat down to do something at work. Sometimes I even physically pick up my legs and move them because they are so sore. I wish I was kidding about that last one.

While it doesn't look like much more than pelvis gyrating for 55 minutes, I can honestly say I got a good workout. My PT would be proud I'm working on my weak glutes, which are a pitfall for runners.

Since I've been home from work tonight, I've set myself up with a rigorous schedule of Pure Barre classes, yoga classes and running workouts. I am going to become a machine. A fit machine. Plus I know yoga made me a better runner, and I'm hoping Pure Barre will just add that little bit of glute and hip strength I need to get back to running like my old self. The things we runners do to run healthy and injury free.

Tomorrow after work I'm going to a sunset yoga class. I'm hoping it helps me stretch out my sore muscles. Lord knows I need it.

I'm also trying to eat the contents of my fridge since I'll be moving in exactly one month. Gonna be a lot of weird combos happening at my house. Like eggs with a side of rice. Or black beans and yogurt. Typing that last one made me feel a little queasy. Whatever the combo, I'll just back it up with a few of my favorite candies.
I had to pick my legs up off the couch to go get these babies from the kitchen. It was well worth it, my friends. Well worth it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Let's Talk About the Joy

I've been thinking a lot about writing again. I should be thinking about writing my thesis, but I've been thinking about writing on this blog I created so long ago. 

It's been months since my last post. So much has changed, and yet so much is still the same. 

My favorite kid has cancer again. I didn't think I'd ever have to write that. This past week she started chemo and had an emergency surgery to fix her broken donor bone. It's been really hard for me this time around. I want her to be healthy so bad. I want her to grow up and be big and strong. I just love her so much I can barely stand it. She really is the bravest person I know. 

I got up on Saturday morning before the sun came up to run a 5K. It was my first race in over a year. I've been helping with a 5K training group at work, and it's been really amazing to see how running integrated into their lives. Each person is so different, but they came together every Tuesday and Saturday to run together. Now that's fellowship. And I absolutely love our No Boundaries group. 

I've also been working on a coffee table project. 
I've been bring this beat up old trunk back to life. It's going to make a beautiful piece of furniture in my new apartment. Yep, I said it. My new apartment. One bedroom. Hopefully with a perfect Boston Terrier puppy....if I can find one. 
I'm mixing old with new in my new place. So I bought this couch. I'm basically in love with it, and I can't wait to sit on it every day. It's the most comfortable thing ever. 

I'm kind of nervous to live by myself. I've never really wanted to do that. But it's time. Things....They are a-changin'. Which can be a good thing. Like decorating the new place. And getting a puppy dog. 

I have lots of reason to be joyful. So I'm gonna be.