Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with Exercise or Fitness...But It's Still Cool...To Me, At Least.


As I'm lying in bed last night I came up with a super awesome totally cool idea.

No, it's not what you're thinking....or what you're thinking either so get your minds out of the gutter. Ick.

Wouldn't it rock if you could have a bubble that extends from your feet to your head that is climate controlled AND has a built in alarm clock that you can choose the theme to which you can be awakened by it? You know, like 'Caribbean Breezes' with calming coconut scented breezes and relaxation music or 'Sock Hop' that plays upbeat '50's and '60's music and projects Happy Days reruns above your head or my personal fave : 'DISCO PARTY'...complete with mini disco ball and multicolored lights. I would set it to that every single morning and wake up in the BEST mood EVER.

I was pitching the idea to the guy that I married...whose new nickname is going to be 'The Detective' because was I watching a show about George Bush and his wife referred to him the entire time as 'The President' and I thought that was funny hence the nickname. Anyhow, I pitch my idea to The Detective and he says to me:

"That sounds annoying."

WHA?!? I mean, I don't know what's wrong with this man. How could you think that something like that would not be practical and a fun way to wake up?? I tried to reason with him but all I got was:

"There's something seriously wrong with you."

We'll see who's got something "seriously wrong" with who when I wake up in my super comfy climate controlled disco emporium. Me thinks someone may be a tad jealous.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The 2nd Annual Rose Run Registration Is Open!


Early Bird Registration is now open the 2010 Rose Run in Petersburg! Register online by March 1, 2010 and pay $20 for your registration fee. Pass it on.....let's make another fantastic event!

The Rose Run

For those of you that have been with me since day 1, you know that this is the event that got me started on this crazy adventure and inspired the name of my blog. I wanted to do something that was bigger than me for someone that I loved dearly who lost her battle to breast cancer and for her family. This event was a huge success last year and hopefully this year it will be an even larger success.

I won a free registration last year in the raffle drawing so I'm going to be running again in this event which guarantees some good entertainment for you all. If the wonderful cause isn't enough to convince you to participate in this event then the mental picture of me limping along while huffing and puffing should be enough to push you over the edge to register. Yes, you can walk but of course I love pain and embarrassment so I'll be running it again. I didn't require the lifesaving talents of Petersburg's volunteer fire department last year but you never know what this year's event will bring.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Here's A Downer With Your Upper

I have food issues. The same food issues that probably 85% of women in America have. I read an article by one of my absolute fave bloggers, Scary Mommy.

The subject, if you haven't already clicked on my link and abandoned me here to drone on and on and on....Oh, there you are. *Ahem* The subject is about being a mom who has food issues to a little girl who you don't want to pass on your food issues to.

This is me.

I start and stop or should I say fail diets all the time. I start new exercise routines almost as often. I find myself eating well for weeks and then blowing it all on junk that I crave. The good thing or maybe the bad thing, depending on how you think about it, is that I'm not alone in this behavior. Misery loves company and all that jazz.

I make a conscious effort to never ever say anything negative about myself or anyone else especially when it comes to weight issues in front of my little girl. I fail at this when it comes to myself sometimes though and that is the seed that I'm afraid will sprout in my little girl's mind when she becomes aware of body issues.

In the words of Scary Mommy: "Being a girl is hard. Having a girl is even harder."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

He's A Brick House


I have a dog named Roscoe. When we got him from the rescue agency they told us they thought he was part Dachshund and part Basset Hound.

Take a minute to picture a dog that is shaped and is as large as a Basset Hound with the coloring of a red Dachshund and you have Roscoe.

I really think he might be part potbelly pig. Those rescue groups. Such tricksters.

Following is a conversation that I have with Roscoe on a nightly basis while I'm working out. Here goes:

**I'm getting into position to do sit ups...which means I'm laying on the floor.**

Roscoe: Jumping down from his perch on the couch..."What 'cha doin' now?"

Me: "Roscoe! GET OFF OF ME! ICK!" Pushing Roscoe's face out of mine...

Roscoe: "I was thinkin' when yer done there doin'...um...whatever that is yer doin' that you could get me a treat." Proceeds to lay very large Basset Hound sized head on my chest as I perform an exercise called the "Superman"...

Me: "Really? Because it doesn't look like you need a treat, buddy. I'm the one working out here and you haven't moved an inch."

Roscoe: "Yeah but just watchin' you work out makes me hungry...looook at me, I'm starving! You never feed me....enough table scraps...my rolls and barrel shaped body are thinning." Dramatic pause...

So, I figure that I should get extra credit for 1.) Working out with full grown potbelly pig...er..."dog" on my chest and B.) Reasoning with a hound dog about food on top of that.

Who's with me??!??

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Does This Season Make Me Look Fat?


The season that is equally loved and hated by all people who could stand to lose a few pounds is here. It all starts very innocently with Halloween and all the "free" candy. You go from house to house with your kids and watch them in all their merriment and delight collect candy with their bright orange plastic pumpkin bucket. The moms, at least the ones in my neighborhood, follow the kids from house to house telling them to "SLOW DOWN!" or "WAIT FOR US!" or "STOP EATING YOUR CANDY BEFORE WE CHECK IT OUT-DON'T YOU KNOW IT COULD HAVE PINS OR RAZOR BLADES IN IT?!?!"

When really we just want to save the best stuff for ourselves.

You know you do it.

The Snickers, Twix, and Milky Way bars call to you like a siren song.

Just admit it and move on.

Then we get a slight pause before launching full force into the Thanksgiving season. This is another holiday that lulls you into the false sense of security because so many of the most popular dishes served have vegetables in them.

Vegetables = Healthy...right?

That cheesy casserole with some flecks of potato in there? Give me a second helping Aunt Sue!

How about another GIANT spoonful of that green bean casserole! EXTRA gravy, please!

Don't forget that everything is made with REAL butter and HEAVY cream. Of course, that's your dairy serving. Then there's the pumpkin pie which of course counts as a fruit serving...might as well have 2 slices. After all, you need your fruit. Oh goodness, I can practically hear my thighs getting bigger and my bum getting wider.

At least it's only one day! Live it up!

Yeah. One day. Plus the 5 days of leftover turkey-mashed-potato-cranberry-sauce-butter-dressing-gravy sandwiches. Yeeeehaaaaaw!

Then the mother of all holiday dinners comes to town. It's commonly camouflaged in red and green colors but it can't fool me. I know what it means.

I mean, besides the whole savior is born thing.

It means food. A lot of it. At many, many parties and get togethers. It means eggnog shakes at McDonald's. It means Grandma's peanut brittle. Yum. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Don't try to fool yourselves into thinking that this is just a one meal holiday either. It's meal after meal after party after get together. Throughout all of them, the constant voice at the back of our minds is:

"I'll eat better/start my diet/exercise more after the holidays."

I'm POWERLESS to the lure of this yum fest, everyone! I love the food of this season. I will eat the food of this season and I will enjoy the food of this season. Oh, yeah. You heard me right.

I'm. Going. To. Eat. Holiday. Goodies. And. Not. Feel. Badly.

Fo' shizzle.

Sorry about that minor gangsta white girl talk that just slipped out. I wanted to sound tough so you didn't harass me about my eating habits this season.

Seeing as the holidays fall during the Power 90 challenge that I'm doing, I hope to avoid any extra poundage and I would be happy to just not gain anything in the wake of cookies, pies, and eggnog.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Extra Gravy, Please.

It's the week of Thanksgiving and all through my house
Not a creature was stirring
Except for me and my stupid workouts.

My free weights were behind the couch
Hidden with care
In hopes that my strength training routine would not go there.

My sweatpants
They clung
To my thighs like cake batter.

My sportsbra
It suffocated me
Like a boa constractor.

(What? I know it's supposed to be constrictor but that doesn't rhyme with batter, does it?)

In the middle of my second set of sidekicks
There arose such a clatter
I let my foot fall
To see what was the matter.

I ran to the window
Threw open the sash (Um...What exactly is a 'sash' anyhow? a curtain?)
I could not figure out
What had made such a crash.

I returned to my workout
And when I raised that foot
My hip groaned like a dog
That was totally pooped.

It was then that I realized the sound that I heard
Was nothing but my body
Not wanting to be disturbed.

I laughed at those creaks
And those pops
And those groans
I didn't give up or even once stop.

I thought to myself

As I should have all along

"Happy Thanksgiving!"

I deserve a day off!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Working 9 to 5...or 6 or 8...or 24 Hours A Day...

I had to work late last night. Later than usual. I got home around 8pm or maybe a bit later. Who knows because all I could think about was the fact that I still had to injure myself...*ahem*...I mean, work out. All I wanted to do was get this workout done and over so that I could pour a bowl of my homemade chili for din din and chill out for about 3 minutes before the nightly demands started. I walk through the front door and see that my 6 year old daughter is fast asleep on the couch.

JACKPOT!

I can work out and then eat my dinner without having to stop and answer 50 questions about if I got her anything while I was at work, why the sky is blue, and why I'm the only one in the house that she wants me to cook her dinner.

I race upstairs and throw my shorts and Dukes of Hazzard tshirt on-because a Dukes of Hazzard tshirt clearly says: I'm a badass-and run downstairs to begin my workout. That's when I realize that I have something attached to my side. A cling-on of some sort. It comes up to about my elbow and has disheveled light brown hair.

The princess has awakened from her slumber.

"Mommy-I'm-hungry-will-you-cook-me-dinner-and-read-this-book-where-is-the-United-States-on-this-map-I-thought-we-lived-in-a glove-that-doesn't-look-like-a-glove-oh-you-mean-we-live-in-Michigan-INSIDE-the-United-States-I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom-can-you-watch-my-food-how-much-longer-do-you-have-to-workout??? I'm bored."

It's truly a work out just to get to my workout.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 8...

My Power 90 adventure continues to be an eye opening event. I learn something new about my body daily it seems.

I, apparently, have an important muscle in my armpit region that I use a lot more than I ever thought possible when it comes to armpit muscle usage.

I lift my arms...my armpits hurt.
I lower my arms...my armpits hurt.
I pick something up...my armpit hurts.
I close a car door...my armpit hurts....

I'm sure you get the picture.

With my luck, by the time these 90 days are over I will not have flat abs but seriously toned armpit musculature. Oh, baby.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where Is My Motivation, People? OH! There It Is...

Yet again I'm amazed at what an emotionally traumatizing event can do for one's exercise routine.

You're not following me are you?

Ok, this is the thing, you ever notice that when you get really angry about something...I'm talking RAGING angry about something that it gives you that extra little *oomph* in your workout? Well, something really got my goat in the last couple of days and it has got me madder than a wet hen. That means "really annoyed" for all you city speak folk out there.

I'm not going to go into detail about the reason my panties are in a bunch but it has got me goin'. The good thing about all this angst and pissy-ness is that my workouts are getting that extra kick in the butt which means more calories burned for me. I can practically see my assets shrinking!

Well, not really, but I'm convinced just being angry burns more calories than being happy or content. I sweat when I'm mad. Seriously. More than usual and I'm part Native American and French...there is a lot of sweating going on. Make me angry and I look like Billy Blanks in one of those Advanced Tae Bo VHS tapes! Except I'm white...and I'm a girl...and I'm not in nearly that good of shape...but the sweat! Billy's excessive sweating = my excessive sweating. There, that's the Clif's notes version of the whole sweat issue.

So there I am doing the cardio portion of my Power 90 program last night. To be specific we're on the "punching" section. I know I look ridiculous punching, I don't kid myself about the lack of toughness that I convey. However, my partner aka husband feels it necessary to heckle me while I go about my exercise.

"You look like a windmill that's gone horribly WRONG! You're confusing me!" This said whilst hiding behind his own raised arms. Like I'm some horrible mutant that has assaulted his eyes.

This just aggravates my anger which has gradually turned into rage and I start to windmill even more aggressively. All the while thinking: "I'll show him. I can punch and look tough with the best of them. I am an ANIMAL!"

Then it hits me...

No, literally, I hit myself in the mouth. Smooth. The only thing saving me is the fact that I didn't tell him and he didn't notice. I mean, it's not like I gave myself a bloody lip. THAT would have been hard to hide.

At least I still have the rage left inside of me for tonight's workout.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pain...Glorious Pain

Power 90 with Tony has re-entered the picture. I know in the past Tony and I haven't gotten along. I know I tried to replace him with other exercise routines but we just can't get enough of each other. I mean, it's not like we were committed or anything so he can't complain...we were on a BREAK! Well, 2 days ago I made a promise to stay with him and his Power 90 program for 90 days. Eek. You heard me right folks. 90 whole days...with only 1 rest day per week.

I haven't given up on running, I really haven't. Really. It's just that lately I've had to take a step back and re-evaluate my relationship with running. Not to mention I live in Michigan and it's freaking cold outside right now! Pair that with the fact that it's dark by the time I get home after work and how I loath running on the treadmill...well, you get the picture. So running and I decided that we should see other people for a little while; just until the snow melts or I break down and use the dreaded treadmill in the basement of doom. Don't worry, we're still the best of friends.

Back to Tony and I...if you've never heard of the Power 90 program before then you are in for a treat! It consists of 2 DVD's; that means I can stay warm AND dry while working out! I've never had my snot freeze to my face while doing Power 90, people. NEVER. Anyhow, the program starts off with Level 1-2 and moves on to Level 3-4 when you deem yourself ready. Which is semi-bad news for someone like me because *I* am never ready to move onto anything that is considered "harder" or "more challenging" but that's where my workout partner aka husband falls into play. He feels that "Oh, a week or so of this 1-2 business and we can switch to 3-4; NO PROBLEM!" All the while he has this crazed look of someone who has clearly lost his mind and doesn't comprehend the fact that for the last several months he has been not exactly what I would call...um...active. Let's face it, neither one of us are spring chickens either so let's not throw caution to the wind and end up breaking a hip or something.

*Ahem*

The program is alternating days of weights and cardio workouts that are 30 minutes a piece plus some stretching time with one day off a week; I've chosen Friday because that's my fun day and fun day to me does not = Power 90. Call me a pessimist if you want, I don't care. I've completed 2 workouts as I write this; 1 cardio and 1 weight training. I can sum the way I feel up in 2 words:

I hurt.

I can barely lift my arms past my belly button and it feels as though my abdominal muscles are actually trying to rip their way out of my body and move to another state. That means it's working though, right? Anyone?

Judging by my past experience with this program, the soreness should end in about a week until I level up and then it still won't be as severe as it is now. Mama can't wait for that day! I'm seriously, hobbeling around here like a drunken sailor but I'm not drunk or a sailor which is a bummer on so many levels.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Run Like a Girl




This weekend is my daughter's inaugural run. My daughter is the light of my life. The air that I breathe. The cheese to my cracker. The manic to my depressive. Er. Whatever.

I am incredibly excited to tell you that this very weekend her and I will be running the Red October 1 mile Kids Fun Run. It's a mere 1 mile but my daughter is only 6 years old and well...I haven't exactly been running very faithfully as of late. No worries though, I'm no quitter! I can't wait to slip on my running shoes and pound the pavement alongside my favorite person in the world.

I picture her and I gracefully running together...the picture of the perfect mother-daughter bond. Then I come back to reality and realize that I'll be a wheezing wreck and I'll have to beg my 6 year old to slow down for my geriatric butt.

Que sara sara...and all that junk.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I May Not Be The Fastest But At Least I'm Not The Lastest!

I've said this several hundred...thousand...maybe MILLION times over the last 6 months: Running is not easy for me. I'm not a naturally athletic person. No matter how much I run, it will never be easy for me. Yet, I still get out there and do it. I run slowly and I'm not exactly something special to see. I have good weeks when I run almost everyday and then I have terrible weeks where I run ZERO...ZILCH...NADA.

I sign up for race after race and tell myself:

"This is my break-through run. I will do this run and not whine about pain, I will ignore my screaming muscles and joints, push through and be victorious!"

That's usually prior to having the starting gun go off and me being left in the dust by children and seniors alike. *sigh* I admit, I can be what others call "overly-dramatic".

I'm serious about being left behind by almost everyone though. I'm slow-I've said it before in the above paragraph and probably several below this also in other posts.

The race that I did on Sunday was a 5K for a local fire department. I'm not going to name it because I'm NEVER, EVER, EVER running in it again. Why? Because not only was the actual event disorganized to the point that I didn't know what time to be there, where to be, or if the race was still scheduled or cancelled. Here's the kicker though, folks:

People cheated.

Go ahead and re-read that if you have to....you know, just in case you couldn't process it the first time. Yes, runners and walkers alike were witnessed cheating by my very own eyes. I watched one woman who was behind me run to the 2 mile marker and turn and run back the direction she came from which cut off over 1 mile of her run. Think of the time advantage that gave her. There were people who skipped over the entire last 2 miles because they avoided that portion of the course.

I was in pain, I ran the entire blessed course and I HURT. These dirty cheaters got better times than me because they CHEATED. I wanted to tackle them when I came across the finish line. They were lucky they were no where near the refreshment table when I was there because I would have stuffed bagels down their shorts and kicked them in their shins.

What type of people CHEAT at a 5K that's for charity? If you don't know, I can point you in the direction of where they live.

Now, I'll cut them some slack...this was the first year for this race. I'm sure that every race has it's hiccups but these were not just slight hiccups...these were gas bubbles the size of Texas that they need to work out. It's bad enough that I know I'm not a strong runner but to have someone pour salt in the wound by blatantly cheating is beyond me. That's just not in the true spirit of the sport of running. I came out of this race extremely discouraged and ready to retire my running shoes for good until I was told by my husband that he was proud of me because even though running does not come naturally or easily for me, I keep doing it and I refuse to give up.

Well, snap. I guess I can't quit now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm A Pretzel...A Soft One

I went to a yoga class the other day. I've tried yoga before and I haven't really enjoyed it because of numerous reasons starting with the fact that I'm not flexible, graceful, or able to keep a straight face when someone tells me to do "positive self-talk". What? I'm sorry, I just can't do it. I guess I'm just not at one with my chakras enough to do that. Speaking of chakras...what are they exactly? Because if you ask me...they sound a little, um, dirty. Perhaps that's my problem-dirty chakras!

I went to this class because I was invited and because it was free. I have a hard time saying no to the above 2 things. I hate disappointing people by turning down an invitation and who doesn't love free stuff? If you happen to know someone who doesn't like free stuff then keep them away from me because that's just silly. Then again, maybe send them my way and I can have their free stuff and my free stuff. It's a win/win if you ask me.


The instructor was your typical middle-aged, thin, tye-dye wearing, granola chick. Like most women like this I was immediately drawn to her. I don't know why. Maybe it's the inner-hippy in me trying to get out. She then proceeded to contort us into knots that a sailor would have proud of. She did mention as she was telling us to put our opposite hand and foot in the air and focus on our breathing that this was more of a Pilate's style workout. Uh-huh. Might want to mention that prior to people making a decision to attend! Yoga is supposed to relax, right? I was sweating just as much as if I just ran 4 miles...in the heat...quickly. Oh, and just for toots and giggles she covered the air conditioning vents! Yay! It was so hot in there one guy had to sit out because he almost threw up. Even if I wanted to throw up I wouldn't have been able to get out of the position that she put us in.

I'm still not so sure that yoga is something that I want to throw into my workout rotation but it was nice to get out and do something different. I get bored very easily and I think that the key to keeping things fresh and new and exciting, for me at least, is to throw something like this into the cycle of torture that I like to call "physical fitness".

Monday, August 10, 2009

Train Wreck...Choo Choo

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth and no, I haven't given up running. I have my next 5K, The Great Train Race, coming up in about 12 days or so. I'm nervous about this because The Sprite will not be running with me because she's jetting off to California to visit her mom.

The nerve of her.

Don't worry about me though, I've tricked 2 other people to run this with me. Neither of which have ever run a 5K. Hee hee. This may just make me look GOOD.

There are a couple of things that I'm going to switch up for this race. I plan on wearing shorts this time instead of long pants. At about mile 2 I don't give a flip if my legs are jiggling because I'm HOT and I want my leg skin to BREATHE! The first 5K I ran was in cooler weather, I was fine so I foolishly decided that I would wear the same type of outfit to the one in July...STOOOPID. The second thing I'm switching up is I'm going to wear my iPod.

Why have I not been wearing it-you ask?

For the same reason I wore long pants to road race in July. It's right up there, people...I'll wait for you to go re-read it and come back. You know, you should really take your time and absorb the words that you're reading so you don't have to go back and re-read...but I digress...Yes, the answer to the question of why I haven't worn my iPod to any races is because again, I'm stupid aka STOOOPID. The other reason I haven't worn it is because all the race rules I've ever read say that you can wear iPods but they're discouraged because "a road race is a social event yada yada yada."

Guess what? Ms. Antisocial-iPod-short-wearer has come to town.

I feel like a rebel.

Just don't tell my mom.

Hopefully I can get my caboose (get it? caboose?) across the finish line in under 28 minutes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Really?

Oh gawd...are you serious? How many walls can one ridiculously slow runner hit before she feels that running may really not be her "thing"? I have to run...I have to run...I have to run. But do I, really? When can I expect to start enjoying the run? When do my shins start to feel good during a run? When will my legs carry me faster than a 10 minute mile? I feel like a geriatric midget. I want to run faster but it seems that my body does not want to run faster. Maybe I could convince someone to find a rabid pit bull and let it chase me? I think that would help me run faster.

Maybe.

Then again, I may just decide to give up and become din din for the rabid pit bull. I think I'd go well with a nice Chianti, don't you think?

I believe that my answer is intervals. Now I just have to figure out how intervals work. From what I've read, intervals are sprinting and jogging mixed into one painful, horrible, mind challenging run. I've heard they work for increasing speed and distance. If I'm wrong I'd love someone to throw me a bone here...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Picture Perfect...


Pre-race check in...At this point, panic and anxiety had set in. Good thing the porta-potties were right there. Ah, anxiety.


Very near the finish line. Proof that I have lost my mind: The smile on my face. Running and smiling should not go hand in hand. That would indicate that running is enjoyable and not the painful torture it truly is. I am guilty of false adverstisement here.


The Sprite and I taking our place sticks. Still smiling...Why? Oh, that's right, because I was done running.

Full blown laughter. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was the pure joy coursing through my veins because my lungs did not explode and both my knees were still functioning.
**Photos taken by Jason Miller www.toledophotoguy.com



Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Rose Run


I did it!

The Rose Run was yesterday, July 18, 2009 at 8:30 am in Petersburg, Michigan. There was a fantastic turnout and it was inspiring and painful at the same time. There was the physical pain of the run, of course...I mean, who do you think I am? But at the same time, there was the pain of heartbreak and loss during the many times that I stopped and actually realized why I was there.

Rose is gone.

Rose, the mother of one of my very best childhood friends is gone. The woman who baked the most outstanding chocolate chip cookies, who always had a smile on her face, who welcomed everyone into her home...the woman who knew me from the time I was in elementary school through college...weddings and babies; was not there. We wouldn't be running this race, we wouldn't have to, if she was still with us. It was a bittersweet moment.

As I lined up with the Sprite at the starting line; I stood there and looked around at the faces of old friends, Rose's family members, and faces of people who never knew Rose. I know that she would have been proud of everyone but most of all, she would have been overwhelmed with pride for her daughter, Jessica, who organized the event.

As we waited at the starting line, we were all handed a red balloon with a tag on it that simply stated: "In honor and memory Rose Marie Hunt". We released the balloons at the start of the race and it was a beautiful statement. Rose would have loved it I'm sure. There were several times during the race that I begged the Sprite not to let me stop...I had hurt my knee somehow the day prior to the race and that was bothering me. I kept going though with the support of her. Darn it, I wanted to stop a few times though! Running hurts. *sigh*

You know what the kicker is? I put my name in a raffle to win a free entry for next year's Rose Run and I won. Is that a sign that I can't quit running? I think so. Jessica called me today to tell me that they had drawn my name. I was so excited and then I realized that this means I can't stop running...I have to keep it up. I'm good with that. I can't believe it but I am happy to have that goal to keep me going. Whatever it takes, right? So, be prepared for more whining and sarcasm from me in the future about running and any other physical fitness obsessions I may take on.

Thanks, Rose. I know you were there yesterday looking down on all of us. You're missed by everyone who knew you. Below is a quote from Rose prior to her passing away...Jessica asked her what advice she wanted to pass on and this is what she said...




"Be Happy. Be a family. That's it." -Rose Hunt




I think that says it all. Don't you?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Self-Reflection

There are moments in life that cause us to step back, pause, and re-evaluate who we are, what we do, and where we are going. Throughout the last few months of training I've discovered much about who I am deep down inside. Sometimes I wasn't very happy with what I found...stubbornness and the lack of willpower were the 2 things that I have faced over and over again head on. It was a constant test of my resolve when I got home at night, usually at 6:30 or 7:00 pm to get out and run or move my body in some way other than lifting dinner into my mouth and flopping down on the couch. I have to admit that guilt has been creeping in there lately too. Sometimes my daughter will look at me and beg me not to go for a run or workout. She just wants me and that's all there is to it. I give in sometimes because she is ultimately the most important thing in this life to me. That's when the guilt from not running or working out kicks in. Does it ever end?

I tell myself if I had better work hours or a cleaning service or prepared more meals the night before then things would be easier. I have this running banter in my head everyday! It's enough to make someone wither into a blubbering mess of ridiculousness, seriously. I try to convince myself that I'm setting a good example for my little munchkin and she'll learn the importance of health and exercise from me. Will she? Am I kidding myself? I grew up in a household with 2 parents who were thin naturally, they didn't have to exercise and I value physical health. Perhaps I just notice that I'm physically different from my parents and if I don't exercise I'll become horribly overweight. Even with exercise I have several pounds that I need to lose....*sigh*

This is a heavy post, eh? Shoot...does anyone have a caffeinated, mocha, Valium, Prozac, latte handy?

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Bit Of Anxiety


Look at my countdown clock over yonder-------------->




Less than a week to go.




*breathing into a paperbag*




I'm feeling a bit woozy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why I Don't Need A Personal Trainer


I have a daughter, Megan; she's 6 years old and she is now acting like Richard Simmons incarnate. I asked her on Sunday if she'd like to ride her bike with me while I ran and she gave a very enthusiastic "YES!" to me. Great, I thought, I can get her outside and get my run done at the same time. Brilliant idea. Bravo, I say.

What was I thinking?!? Did you know that a 6 year old can ride their bike approximately 963.2 miles per hour? Did you know that at that speed they cannot hear their winded hippo of a mother screaming in a slightly emphysemic tone to "SLOW DOWN!"? Neither did I.

So, later that same night, in my never ending genius way of thinking I ask Megan: "Do you want to do a workout video with Mommy tomorrow?" and of course in her best Richard Simmons imitation she says: "YES!" At this point you may be asking yourself what I was thinking and my honest answer is that I have no idea, maybe exhaustion from sprinting after my 6 year old had clouded my judgement. Moving on...

My phone rang today. Seems her father thought it was wise to let her call me. Do you want to know what the first words out of her mouth were? "Mommy, remember you said I could work out with you today? What are we going to do? Which video are we going to play? What's Tae Bo?...." That's the only reason she wanted to call me. She didn't beg to go play at her friend's house, she didn't ask where her Webkinz were; the only reason she called was to remind me that we were working out and I wasn't getting out of it. You have got to be kidding me. Is this some kind of divine intervention? Has God decided that the only way to motivate me is through my little girl morphing into some fitness dictator?

The child is harder on me than a personal trainer but at least I don't have to pay her.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Like A Sloth...Only Taller And With Less Fur...

I admit it, people; I've been lazy. Not "lazy" as in "I-didn't-run-for-2-days-and-I-drank-whole-milk-instead-of-2%-lazy"..."lazy" as in "I-haven't-run-since-last-week-and-I-have-a-5K-that-I'm-running-in-my-hometown-which-means-that-I'm-going-to-have-to-get-my-butt-in-gear-or-suffer-the-embarrassment-of-mouth-to-mouth-resuscitation-by-someone-on-the-volunteer- fire-department-that-probably-graduated-from-high-school-at-least-8-years-after-me-lazy".

Are we on the same page?

Good.

Oh, Power 90 and Tim?...Tom?...OHHHHH, it's TONY Horton. Tim makes wicked donuts, Tom was a guy I went to high school with; but Tony Horton, however, is the fitness nazi in the Power 90 videos and he HATES me. I had a plan, a glorious plan, to not only run but to incorporate the Power 90 videos, the strength training portion, into my workouts. I lasted a day. Yes, 1 day. So here I am a couple of weeks away, give or take a few days, and I'm not doing so hot. Yet, the only thing I seem to be truly concerned about is where we'll be able to park the day of the race. What is wrong with me? I mean, I don't want to have to park too far away because then I'll use up all my precious energy walking to the starting line, right? As we've explored before, I am NOT one of those freaks of nature who runs to a run. No, sir. That does not make my boat float at all, my friends.

I need to refocus. Instead of parking anxiety, I should figure out how not to die or embarrass myself in...oh...11 or so days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Final Countdown







The journey is almost complete for me. Look at my countdown clock and you'll see that I have less than 20 days to go until the 5K that I originally set out to train for. In the meantime, I've managed to go from running less than half of a mile to running a little over 3 straight miles and I'll let you in on a little secret...I could probably run farther than that. I've had great runs and terrible runs...gosh, that just doesn't sound right, does it?


I've had minor injuries, I've ran through rain, cold, heat, wind, hills, and vicious dogs; so what if they were on the other side of a fence? Stop judging me. I've pushed myself to the limit and I've wimped out and accepted that some days you're the pigeon and other days you're the statue; if you know what I mean. I ran my first 5K almost 2 months before I had planned to ever run that distance. I gained a running buddy who makes these workouts and planning these races bearable; she has never let me give up and she wouldn't let me beat myself up for missed workouts.


I still don't really like running. I'm just not a natural born runner. I'm going to keep doing it though because there were those that thought I'd never stick to it; that it was passing phase. I love to prove people wrong. It's that sadistic streak I have in me. I mean, it's not like I carry a whip and make people kiss my feet or anything...I just like to have the satisfaction of knowing that I did something that others thought I wouldn't and/or couldn't do. Those "In Your Face" moments are priceless; call me what you will.


I dare you.

I'm kidding.

Sort of.


The question in my mind now is: Do I stop blogging? The event that I started this blog for is almost here and gone. Do I continue with the running theme or do you think I could throw some other useless experiences that I have on here? Does anyone even care?


Good-bye, cruel world!


I'm so dramatic.


I guess I'll make the decision to continue on with some form of verbal vomit after I finish The Rose Run and post about that. This was one of the best decisions that I've made for myself, I have to admit. I found strength that I didn't know I had and I have been able to accept the areas of weakness also.

Thanks, Rose for being that inspiration and not indigestion.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Water You Lookin' At?

To keep with the theme of hydration I would like to add a rant. About water bottles. There is this new fad that has taken over the universe of bottled water...this fad is the "eco-friendly, 50% plastic" water bottle. In other words, it's a piece of crap water bottle that is so thin the minute you open it even the most delicate of grip will send the water shooting out the top of the bottle onto anything and everything within at least a mile radius.

Take my most recent bottled water purchase. Please. Har-dee-har-har.

Seriously, I'm sitting at my desk and gently I open the cap and a tidal wave of $2.00 water splashes down my arm, drenches paperwork on my desk, and splashes all over the crotch of my light grey dress pants...can you say "somebody looks like they could use some Depends"? Argh.

I'm all about saving the earth and all the baby animals and peace and harmony, recycling and reusing but I'm putting my foot down. Right. Now. I want the old, 50% more plastic, eco-unfriendly but non-geyser like water bottles back. I need hydration on the inside not the outside you tree-hugging, Birkenstock wearing, bottle manufacturing, hippies! I don't want to feel like I need to don a raincoat just to open my Aquafina!

I need to go put some dry pants on.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pee Like A Racehorse...


I have new respect for this phrase...which I actually happen to use a lot. I'm not even really sure what it means. Let's see...Oh, Yahoo Answers, my dear friend, holder of all knowledge of pointless thoughts and things tell me what this means...

"Racehorses are commonly given Lasix ( aka Salix) which is a powerful diuretic. They pee a lot right before they race, we're talking gallons and gallons. The medication is thought to help prevent nasal bleeding, which sometimes happens when racehorses supremely over-exert themselves."

Aha. That makes sense now. So, onto the reason for the chart posted up there. It's a pee chart. You can compare the color of your pee to see how close or not you are to dehydration. Print it out and laminate it for handy use at festivals, restaurants and beach trips!

You can thank me later.

**Just in case you can't read the captions under each color swatch-and really, you need to because they are freaking hilarious! From left to right...
1. Overly hydrated spectator
2. Hydrated spectator
3. Spectator with mild hangover
4. Spectator who jogged to several viewing points
5. Well-hydrated walker/jogger who made it to mile 19.
6. Finisher who got to know everybody's names at all water stations
7. Ran well within heart rate threshold, was able to chat throughout race
8. Pushed body steadily throughout race, no major surges, achieved goal time
9. Looked at The Wall at mile 23 and pushed through it. PR'd. Ideal level of exertion and common sense.
10. Laughed when body said slow down. Negative split the marathon. Still able to go to the post race party.
11. Ignored critical water stations to shave seconds. Party is a big maybe.
12. Whoopsie. This level of masochism has a name **"Rhabdomyolysis". Skip party. See doctor.


**Rhabdomyolysis-is the breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Some of these are harmful to the kidney and frequently result in kidney damage. Fun stuff.

Monday, June 15, 2009

That's How I Roll

So, here I am minding my own business getting ready for this 5K when BAM! I hit a wall.

No, I hadn't been drinking and it was not a literal wall.

An inspiration brick wall. Kind of like writer's block but it's runner's block. Are you following me here? I was able to prove to myself that I could run a 5K and now I'm just not all that impressed by it. At all. Yep, I pretty much think that I have got to be the world's biggest wimp that I'm not jumping up and down at the thought of a 10K or a half marathon.

I guess it's normal human behavior to want to reach higher and higher...but I digress into a Van Halen song...

I haven't been on a long run in at least a week. I'm ashamed and not looking forward to the pain that I will put myself through on my next run. I know that I will swear that my shins are going to explode, I will get a stitch in my side that feels like one of my kidneys is trying to gnaw it's way out of my body and I will look like a winded hippo. What a picture.

Get this though, The Sprite is actually getting into running. She got a jogging stroller for her daughter even. She woke up early one morning and ran. On the weekend. Very impressive. She even mapped out a new route for us to run.

Before long we'll tackle that 10K and maybe even a half marathon...but then again maybe I'll just try to keep my expectations more realistic.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rewind

Whoops! Forgot to post the place that I took in that there yonder 5K mentioned below. In my age group, 30-34 year olds, I placed 37th out of 162 people. Yay me.

That still doesn't change the fact that an 80 year old man still came in well before me.

*sigh*

I knew you were on the edge of your seat just waiting for that information.

That is all. Over and out. 10-4 good buddy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kicking Asphalt


Here it is. The proof that I ran in the 5K. This is a picture that I HATE. I LOATHE this picture with all of my heart and soul. I look like I'm doing some strange half run, half walk, half dying thing. Not only that but of course I look like a giant next to The Sprite. Now, I know that I have been protecting her from the spotlight...didn't want to embarrass her or anything.

That is all over.

I want to preface this by saying that I love Alicia The Sprite, I do but she posted race pictures of her and I on Facebook. She says that I should be proud of them and I am but I look like crap and place me next to her and I look like crap with an extra side of crap. She's bouncing along all sprite-like and I'm all hips, thighs and sweat next to her.

Moving on...The night before the run I made sure that I was in bed early, I iced my shins, took Advil, coated my legs with Sports Creme, drank what felt like gallons of water and went to bed early. We're talking 9:00pm early. I had a nightmare about not being able to wake up and missing the race. It was awful and anxiety producing to say the very least.

I woke up at 6:30am because we had to pick up our race packets by 8:15am in downtown Ann Arbor. As we drove into Ann Arbor we saw people actually running to pick up their packets. These people were running to a run. It boggles the mind. Since we had to pick up our packets by 8:15am and the race didn't start until 9:05am we had some time to kill once we got to the starting area. The Sprite and I decided to spend that time freezing our asses off and making fun of the other people that were there. Oh and feeling inadequate when we spotted not just one but two very pregnant woman who were going to participate in the race.

There was the guy who wore a kilt which prompted me to wonder if he was wearing it the traditional way; sans underthings. Then there was the girl who walked around with half of her very short shorts tucked into her underwear-how did she not feel a draft? There was a crotchety old guy that went on and on to the guy next to him about how there were "no REAL runners here at all! Just look at these people!" That was annoying. Finally, as I was eavesdropping on yet another conversation, I found the biggest tool there. Imagine a skinny, short, middle aged guy dressed in spandex gear and holding a Starbucks cup.

Got it so far? Let your imagination take over.

As he's standing there sipping on his venti-grande-latte-low-fat-no-foam-extra-caf-overpriced coffee his friend walks up. Mr. Starbucks, who I will now call The Tool from now on, slaps his friend on the shoulder and says very loudly and with utter seriousness: "I hope you brought your 'A' game!!"

Oh yes he did. At a 5K. Wearing spandex and sipping his Starbucks. What a major tool. I've been trying to convince The Sprite to have tshirts made with that saying on them but she just rolls her eyes at me and tells me to shut the heck up. Not really. She just rolls her eyes at me but wouldn't that make her seem tough?

As we lined up for the starting line I was so nervous I felt like I was going to throw up. I have a bad habit of throwing up when I get anxious about things. The Sprite told me that I needed to relax. Sure. It took us 9 minutes and 8 seconds to get to the starting line after the gun went off. We were like cattle being sent to slaughter and I even muttered a "moo" at one point. After that everything was a bit of a blur. There were a lot of hills. I am convinced that hills are sent from hades now. I've never run hills and I know now why I don't run them. They are pain inducing mounds of evil.

Some of the highlights that I remember from the race include the fact that we were almost run over by several strollers when we were running downhill on a gravel section of the course, The lady that had Prince playing so loudly from her ear buds that I felt like I was at a dance club and the fact that I wanted to stop so badly at about mile 2 1/2 that I had to beg Alicia to not let me. The spectators were great. They were so encouraging!

Finally, the finish line was in view. I was almost afraid it was just a mirage that my battered body had conjured up. The finish line was actually uphill, it wasn't steep but it was a steady incline. How cruel is that? As we neared the finish I got a sudden burst of adrenaline and sprinted the last 50ft or so. Then it was all over. I was handed a water bottle and ushered out. That was when the muscle pains started and have not stopped. It was worth it though. It really was.

I'm looking forward to my next organized run. Just don't tell anyone I said that.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Call For Prayers!


OK, I know I still haven't posted the gory details of my run or pictures but listen, you guys know I'm a super dork and I'll get it all up in due time...maybe tonight? Don't hold me to that though.

I just found out that Carrie Samples (this girl is an inspiration to all of us for real) has to go back in for another surgery. I don't know the details but she may have posted it on her page which is linked over there on my sidebar...do you see it? No, it's on the right and down a bit...there you go.

Click on it. Read her story. I dare you not to want to do something, anything about cancer and all it affects. If you are not amazed by this little chicky you are not human.

Above all, regardless of what your spiritual persuasion may be, pray for her...send her positive energy...light a candle...um...whatever you choose to do is up to you but keep her in your thoughts.

Go Carrie!




Monday, June 1, 2009

Proof Someone Actually READS My Blog


So, I got an award. It's soooo fun. Actually I got 2 awards but only one actually had directions on what to do with it so since I'm new to this blog thing I'm going to just run with it. Excuse the really bad pun.



The steps to becoming a Queen are...(I hope I can figure this out.)

1. List Seven Things That Make You Awe-Summm!
2. Pass the award on to seven bloggers you read religiously.
3. Tag those seven bloggers.
4. Don't forget to link the Queen that tagged you.
5. Copy the pic of the Queen and put it on your sidebar.

Seven Things That Make Me Awe-Summm are:


1. I cut the plastic rings from soda apart before I throw them away so that animals don't get caught in them. Love those furry, feathered, fish-face friends!

2. I can and will and DO laugh at myself.

3. I can do a mean Running Man.

4. I don't hold grudges. Seriously, I've really tried to do this and trust me there are somethings that I should hold grudges about but it's a totally impossible thing for me to do.

5. I have a container veggie garden on my back deck and they've survived almost a month. I think that's pretty frickin' awesummmm.

6. I ran my first 5K May 31 and I lived.

7. I can blow a bubble inside another bubble using Hubba Bubba gum. Bubble Gum flavor only.

I now nominate the following blogs as QUEEN! Some are old, some are new, some are borrowed and some are....blue? Eek, sorry about that, Daddy Scratches...




Daddy Scratches (Hey, men can be royalty too!)









Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm No Longer A Virgin...

A road race virgin...you bunch of pervs. Get your dirty minds out of the gutter.

I finished my first 5K today and I have the tshirt to prove it! The Dexter/Ann Arbor 5K was perfect this morning. The weather was cool, dry, and breezy. The route was scenic albeit a bit hilly. I''ll post pics and after I figure out my finishing place I'll post that also.

I'll also post about the several times I thought I was dying, the story about the tool that I heard say to his buddy: "I hope you brought your A game today!!!!", and the fact that without my running partner I may have just curled up on the pavement and sucked my thumb at one point. I do know that The Sprite and I finished the 5K in 29 minutes and some odd seconds. There were about 2000 people in the 5K from what I read.

Amazing.

I'm not DEAD!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

My first 5K is this Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 9:05am.

The proof is in the puddin'. Can I do this? Will I be able to run the entire 3.1 miles without oh...dying? That is the question, my friends.

Monday afternoon The Sprite and I ran about 2.75 miles. That's purty durn good if I do say so myself. I may not be running fast but I can outlast several people I'm sure. The real motivation behind this run is the fact that Taste of Ann Arbor is pretty much at the finish line. WHAT?!? You've never heard of this event?

Click...here... http://mainstreetannarbor.org/2009/04/taste-of-ann-arbor-may-31-2009/

Oh, it's good. I haven't been there in about 8 or 9 years. It's some good schtuff. Food and drink vendors galore. Tickets for tasting are only .50 a piece. Ok, can you say heaven? Say it: heaven.

***Breaking news...Not only will the food and entertainment be phenomenal but there will be FREE massages being offered too!!! *shrieking like a school girl*

Now, who really knows if I'll feel up to staying and perusing this good ole time but at this point I'm throwing my hat over the fence and saying that I will be in attendance.

Back to the technical mumbo jumbo...the expo for the run is the day before at a local high school. Alicia aka The Sprite and I need to still officially register there. I've never done a run, I've never attended an expo and to be honest, I'm nervous about the whole thing. So, sometime betwixt 2pm and 6pm we will be registering at the expo on Saturday, May 30, 2009. I've heard that there are running vendors there too so maybe I'll have the opportunity to pick up some sweet socks. It's the small stuff that keeps me going really.

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. My very first official run! I feel like I'm going to either explode with excitement or throw up from nervousness and it's only Wednesday. I was doing some research pertaining to my fear of running actually killing me. Turns out, running won't kill me-I'll just pass out first.

Knowing is half the battle.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm On Fire...In A Bad Way


Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was a perfect day to sit on the back deck, open a frosty beer and heckle the people walking by on the trail behind my house. It was not a beautiful day to go running. But guess what the heck I did? I went running. O to the M to the G. What was I thinking? It was 80 degrees out, full sun, no breeze and I'm not what one would call a "strong runner" or a "happy runner"...you get the picture. I sweat and whine. A lot.

I get home from work and I get suited up with the proper running capris, tank and-this is the part where everything started to go terribly wrong-a new sports bra. You see, I have 1 sports bra that keeps my throw pillows from flopping about-and everyone knows that "flopping" is the number one cause of running injuries, right? I had planned a short run and I didn't really think that a new sports bra would make much of a difference. Now I know that I was terribly, horribly, ridiculously WRONG. Oh, and I forgot to put a few swipes of Body Glide on the inside of my thighs because "there's just no way that they'll burst into flames on such a short run. Ha. Ha. He. Ho. Ha." Look at me, I'm an idiot.

After the first mile I was hurting a bit. Actually, I was hurting a lot and I kept telling myself to just push through it...fight the power and all that inspirational BS. Coming into my second mile is when I started to feel the tingle of 9th degree burns along the straps of my sports bra. Um, ouch. Then it actually started to IGNITE. I felt like every time I swung my arms that my skin was being dragged across sand paper and doused with lemon juice and a pinch of salt just to add insult to injury. Just as I started to realize that the pain around my arms was not getting any better the inside of my thighs started to sizzle. And by "sizzle" I mean "catch on fire". Oh my.

The good thing about this was that I forgot about the pain from my shins. Another good thing that I learned was that I will NEVER go for any length of run EVER again without Body Glide and a sports bra that fits me well. The bad thing? My inner thighs and my underarm area looked like I had some mutated form of leprosy. I'm a disgusting specimen of womanhood. Avert your eyes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Universe Has Been Kind To Me

My horoscope yesterday was right on, people. I had one of the best runs to date last night. My shins didn't start bothering me until about mile 2 and I kept going for another 1/2 mile. I've broken through the barrier! I'm not walking like Frankenstein today either which is huge bonus. People tend to look at me funny when I walk like that...it's starting to give me a slight complex.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still not feeling like I could train for a marathon or anything that crazy. I still ache a bit. I did purchase some Sports creme this morning to slather on my feet and shins...it says it's "odorless". We'll see about that. I wonder if I put it on while I'm running if it will numb the pain emanating from my shins? That's probably not one of the best ideas I've had...it's by far not the worst though.

Trust me on that one.

I am starting to feel slightly geriatric in between the large doses of Advil, the Sports creme, having to ice various parts of my body, and the limp/hobble/whimper mix that I've been doing for the last 9 weeks. Does every new runner go through this? Is it just me in my pathetic effort to finally become an athlete? And while we're at it...How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

The world may never know.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Horoscope For Today


"Pisces: This is a super day to go out and do something that involves a lot of high energy. "



Like running?



Running involves high energy.



Oh, yes it does.



Clearly, this is my day to shine!



What?



It has to be the truth, my horoscope said it was.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Keepin' It Real



See Melanie run! Run, Melanie, Run!




Or hobble, limp, and cry...whichever comes more naturally.






This is proof that I'm actually running. This is also proof that I'm in pain while I run and it also demonstrates why I needed to buy Body Glide for my combustable thighs. Alicia was in this picture also but this is about my humiliation, right? I don't need to post a potentially embarassing photo of her and lose my closest friend. You can thank me later, Lish, for cropping you out.


Look at my face...What possesses someone to do something that causes that expression?


Remember to shield the children from this sight. Spare the innocent, I beg you!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Panic Attacks And Pride

Hey.

Remember how I freaked out about The Rose Run being less than 100 days away?

Remember how I tried to talk myself out of giving up and resigning myself to the ranks of Quittersville?

Then maybe you also remember the fact that Alicia and I have decided to do the Dexter/Ann Arbor 5K on May 31st of this year.

That is 2 weeks away, my eager friends.

I don't like to swear...wait, that's a lie...oh shit. I know that I can run 2 miles straight without dropping over in some sort of seizure induced by running but a 5K is just over 3 miles. I haven't run that far yet. I can't even begin to wrap my ever delusional mind around that distance. You know, I read article after article about people that run marathons and I'm amazed at their athletic prowess. I 'ooh' and 'aah' over the fact that they are so hydrated they have to stop and pee in bushes every hour, I find the fact that they have blackened toenails or missing toenails really gross but in a "grrr, I eat people like you for breakfast" kind of way, but most of all I read about or talk to people who run anything over 2 miles a day and I feel like a loser of epic proportion.

Oh jeez, I totally suck.

But you know what? I don't care. I don't care how bad I suck or how many 95 year old women with bad hearts pass me.

Well...maybe I care a little bit. I haven't had a full-blown panic attack just yet. I've actually never had one of those to my knowledge but shoot; this is as good as any time to try one on for size.

With all my luck I'll have an attack the minute the run starts and The Sprite will have to kick me in the shins to get my butt going. Maybe if she ran in front of me with a bottle of wine...Hmm...

8 Essential Jogging Tips

1. Loosen up first. The ideal method is to throw back at least 2 glasses of red wine. If the urge to jog persists, double the loosening exercise.

2. Check your resting pulse. If you can't find your pulse, check the pulse of a loved one. This is sometimes called "playing doctor" and, with any luck, will take your mind completely off running.

3. Never run if you are a short person (Clearly, I have not listened to this advice). Short persons (Ahem...I am not short, I am "vertically challenged".) are built too close to automobile exhaust pipes. The noxious fumes get into their brains and make them crazy and they try to bite buses, which can be pretty dicey, especially if the bus has not stopped.

4. Always wear - a) a sports bra, and b) a jockstrap. (Whichever applies to your "situation".). The worst jogging injuries result from flopping. Never wear both at once. At least not in public.

5. Children often taunt passing joggers. After a while, you will become accustomed to this and even grow to enjoy it, especially if you carry a golf putter and whack taunting children across the back of the head with it.

6. Dogs can be a threat. If a huge, vicious dog charges you and lunges at your throat, say "Down, boy!". If that doesn't work, show him your membership card from the Humane Society or the golf putter mentioned above..

7. Set your own pace. If you black out after five minutes, you are probably running too fast. If workman from the city come by and paint you green, you may be running too slow.

8. After jogging, check your pulse rate again. This time if you can't find it, you are quite possibly dead. Look at it this way: your corpse is sure in great shape.

Credits: Prairie Inn Harriers running club, Text copyright © by Prairie Inn Harriers running club.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Poke In the Eye Would Feel Better

Medial Tibial Syndrome, the proper medical name for shin splints, struck me down with a vengeance last night on my run. It's described in Wikipedia as a "painful condition in the shins".

Uh huh.

Painful is an understatement and for anyone that has had this condition, you know how absolutely suckish it is. On top of the pain I was angry at myself for doing something to cause this stupid condition...was it my stride? Was I landing too hard on my heels? Did I tie my shoes too tight? Were the running gods TRYING to make this sport even more unappealing to me?

My original plan was to run 2 1/2 miles last night and I only made it to 1 1/2 because the burning pain in my shins got so bad it actually brought tears to my eyes. Yes, running has finally brought me to weep. The pain was so intense at one point I wanted to lie down on the sidewalk and hope that someone would eventually come looking for me, preferably with a vehicle or wheelchair. I managed to haul my butt back to the house and to the freezer where I grabbed the first 2 bags of frozen vegetables I saw-edamame and green beans-and applied them directly to my shins. There is nothing like using a Japanese frozen veggie to alleviate pain. Trust me. I left them on until I could no longer feel my shins but the minute I took the cold compresses off the pain returned.

Well, that's downright discouraging.

How, may I ask you, am I going to run a 5K or even up the stairs with shin splints? I'm seriously starting to doubt myself here. Am I insane to think that my body...the body that has never been a runner...the body that is clearly not doing well with this whole running thing...can really do this?

I need some Advil. Stat.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Watch Out Chuck Norris!

I lifted last night. I'm not talking about lifting a fork to my mouth either. I lifted free weights or dumbbells...whichever you prefer. Now, I know that this blog is all about my running issues and/or mental issues but I did mention somewhere below...um...maybe a few posts before this one...that I was going to integrate strength training into my schedule.

Yes, I know that was at least 2 weeks ago. I like to take my time making these types of committments. Remember: I don't like pain and it's good buddy, fatigue. No, I don't. Say it with me!

I used a video that has been on my shelf for quite some time. It's part of *The Beach Body Series and is led by Tony Horton and his crew. The specific video is the Power 90 strength training section which is 30 minutes long. I did it and I lived to tell about it. As a matter of fact, I'm going to use heavier weights next time because the 5 pound ones that I used are much too light for a woman of my strength and superior fitness level.

Oh, I can tell you are impressed.

Now I'm sore and I'm walking kind of like Frankenstein after he had one too many drinks at the local pub. Will the pain ever end? I'm planning on a run tonight...depending on if I feel like I haven't just been run over by a zamboni driven by a rabid monkey.

*Beach Body and Tony Horton have no idea who I am nor do they care what I'm doing. I'm not trying to sell anything and I'm not an official spokesperson for anyone or anything that I write about on my tiny little blog. The products that I mention on here are just products that I happen to like or in this case, have a love/hate relationship with. I feel so much better...I'm totally purged of responsibility.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Somebody Stop Me


I've really lost it. My mind is gone and I don't remember where I put it. Why, you ask, have I deemed myself "crazy"? I'll tell you why...

I'm running the Dexter/Ann Arbor 5K on May 31st AND I convinced The Sprite, aka Alicia, to run it with me.

My reasoning? To see if I can actually make it through the 5K without throwing up, cramping up, giving up and/or dying. It was the trip to the shoe store that did me in. Oh, Running Fit you sneaky thing! All the shiny postcards about running events with full color pictures of happy, bouncy runners on them sucked me right in. Somewhere in the twisted, ridiculously over-confident recesses of my mind I figured that I should actually run in one of the events prior to The Rose Run.


Yeah, good idea, Mel.


Then I realized that I had picked up a second postcard for a trail run. I think I picked it up only because it was purple and had a cute name...Flirt With Dirt. After all, purple is my favorite color. The run is on a dirt trail and starts/finishes on top of the sledding hill at a park. It sounds painful so why am I so intrigued? WHY? This is more evidence that proves beyond a doubt that I've lost it. Now, I haven't quite mentioned this run to The Sprite yet so let's keep this in between you and I, okay? I'm hoping that we do so well on the Dexter/Ann Arbor 5K that she'll agree to this one. Either that or I'll end up throwing in my running shoes for good and drowning my sorrows in a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

I have exactly 4 weeks from today to convince my body that it can and will run 3.1 miles without stopping or passing out.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smells Like...Poop Trees


The path I take while running is the sidewalk that surrounds the neighborhood I live in. Now that Spring has sprung, supposedly, the trees that are planted on the easement are in full bloom. They look beautiful and I have always admired the gorgeous white flowers when I drove by them during this time of year.

The appreciation has come to a screeching halt.

While running past these trees the other day I smelled something. It was a smelly smell that smelled like...well...poop. Manure. Number 2. You know what I'm talking about. So I mention the fact that my olfactory unit was being assaulted by this smell to Alicia who was bouncing along next to me in her sprightly fashion. She says to me: "It's the trees."

WHAT?!?

Yes, the trees that I had been envious of for years. The trees that look like they are draped with delicate snow and shiver beautifully in the wind are actually POOP SCENTED. As we ran down the sidewalk the smell was almost overwhelming. In my mind I was thanking my lucky stars that we did not plant one of these trees in front of our house because I would be forced to take a chainsaw to it and dance around it's dismembered body...while I plugged my nose of course.

I think the smell actually hurt my time running. Either that or it helped my time because I started running faster to get past the trees. I'm really not sure.

I'm also not totally sure what the "technical" name for the Poop Tree is...I think they might be Bradford Pear Trees but don't quote me on that. They stink...literally and you can quote me on that.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oh, My Soles Sing

Yep. Got me some new shoes. I took them for a 2 mile test run last night.

I could still feel my toes after I finished the run. What a difference a pair of shoes make! The rest of my body was screaming in agony and I think my right lung collapsed a little bit but my feet...my feet were rockin' the house...or the sidewalk, whatever. Running in warmer weather was a bit challenging and I felt like I had been dipped in vegetable oil by the time I was done. It was enough to make me want to crawl out of my skin. Ick.

In all seriousness, good running shoes that are properly sized should be the first investment for anyone who decides to start running. I cannot believe the difference in the way my body feels. It's not just my disgustingly wide, flat feet that felt the improvement but my back and knees and even my shins felt better than they have in previous runs. I really wish I hadn't waited for so long to get them. It's my fear of committment...wait...no...it was my lack of money.

My fearless friend, Alicia, just might be investing in a pair of tiny running shoes to match her tiny, sprightly body this weekend. That means I'm going to the running store. Again. Oh, the socks and the water bottles. I'm losing my mind slowly, people.

Now I suppose I have no excuse but to add distance to my run. I still have to be able to run a little more than another mile on top of the 2 that I can currently/barely run. I think I'm going to let my body get used to the idea of 2 miles though for the time being. I'm also going to add some weight training on the days I don't run. I really want to tighten up the jiggly mess that is my abdomen because it's just downright depressing. I can't blame it on my baby anymore-she's going to be 6 in June! In the meantime...you may call me: Jigglypuff.

Monday, April 27, 2009

1 Foot, 2 Foot, Flat Foot, Wide Foot


Did you get the play on the children's book title above? Hmm?

Moving on...I got new shoes this weekend. To the joy of my feet, especially my baby toenail, I got fitted for real, honest-to-goodness, running shoes. I went to an actual running store where the wonderful staff is knowledgeable about all things running. Running Fit in Ann Arbor, Michigan is the place that I went for this foot themed goodness. If you look to your right, you'll notice I listed them on my 'Good Stuff to Read' list.

Oh, the places I'll go now that I have the soles that my battered feet have been crying out for! I'll go here and there...I'll go anywhere! I can run with a mouse, I can run by my house...Ok, enough with the Dr. Seuss-isms. I have never been fitted for shoes like I was fitted for shoes there. First, the girl who helped me asked me to remove my shoes and roll up my pant cuffs...*insert eyebrow raise*...okie dokie. She then asked me to walk away from her in a straight line and then back towards her. Now, I am completely intrigued as to just why she wants me to do this but of course I comply and walk the walk. After I complete my strutting as requested she looks at me with no effort in trying to mask her amusement and announces, "You really don't have any arches at all, do you??"...she's smiling openly now and obviously trying not to laugh. I smile and shrug all the while cursing all the years that I've worn flip flops which have caused me to ruin my arches. Then it gets even more strange...she doesn't ask me which shoes I want to try on, she doesn't ask me what brand I like, she doesn't even ask me what freaking color I like! She disappears and brings out a few boxes of shoes and says, "Let's try these first." Well, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.

Now, according to the shoe goddess that is helping to prepare my tootsies for running, each shoe type/brand has a different type of arch support, width, and cushioning. It's very important to wear the proper shoe for your foot type or you'll die while running. No, I'm kidding, you just risk injury and at the very least, you're toenails could fall off. Wait, that happens sometimes anyhow if you train for marathons and other longer events...which I do not have to worry about since I'm not able to run past 2 miles at this point.

Thank goodness I can keep my toenails for now.

After several pairs of shoes and her proclaiming at one point, "You have REALLY wide feet, too." *sigh* I find my oasis, my soul mate in the form of shoes...Asics Foundation 8 running shoes. They give me arch support, they don't pinch my toes or the tops of my feet and they're pretty spiffy looking too considering I didn't even get to pick out the color. They don't even make my "Fred Flintstone" feet look so "Fred Flintstone-y".

I also picked up some Body Glide and some postcards for a couple of other 5K's. I know that you want to know what Body Glide is...Google it. This is the stuff that will keep my thighs from bursting into flames from rubbing together. Try not to focus on that. Seriously. Also, I can sense the concern you have for me in reaction to me picking up information about more running events. I truly think that it may have been a moment of temporary insanity. I mean, the smell of the new shoes, the wall o' runnin' socks, the multiple flavors of GU (again, Google it) stacked neatly on a shelf...and don't get me started on the fancy water bottles. It was merely an environmental reaction. I'm fine now. I think.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

WOO-freaking-HOOOO!

I ran 2 miles.

Without stopping.

Just now.

I mean, at one point I was "running" so slowly that I might as well have been walking.

I may actually be able to walk faster than I was running during that last 1/2 mile...

Nah.

I'm schweaty.

I hurt.

I definitely need new shoes because I think my baby toenail is getting loose.

Gross.

But at least you can't smell me from where you are.

Things could be worse.

I RAN 2 FLIPPING MILES!!!!!

10 Out Of 10 People Agree...


Anyone who has read anything that I've written over the past month or so knows that I love to whine. About everything. The physical pain of running is no fun for me. I've never been a strong runner. My legs are short and when running with other people that have average length legs I have to take about 2 strides to their 1. Place me with a running partner any taller than average and there is just no way that I can keep up without falling over from a massive coronary. It's helpful when I'm wallowing in my self-pity to remind myself why I'm doing this.

I have more than one person who inspires me to keep on keepin' on. Of course there's Rose, ever optimistic and uplifting throughout her battle and my original inspiration to run in this event. Then there's Carrie, young and beautiful and overwhelmingly brave. One of my closest friends, Missy, had to put her goal of having a family to get treatment for cancer. She emerged with a wonderful sense of humor and a beautiful baby boy. As I stop to think about the people that have touched my life on one level or another I realize just how many have been attacked by this monstrous disease. I wonder if they ever stopped to feel sorry for themselves? If anyone is entitled to do that, cancer victims are surely one group that has earned that luxury.

There are strangers that I see in public that wear pink ribbons for themselves or a loved one. I've seen women and children that wear a scarf to protect a head that is missing hair. I wonder what their stories are. I hurt for them and their family. I think about all of the people who have had close calls with cancer. I've felt the fear when a friend tells me that they don't know what it is but "the test results will be back next week". I've felt the rush of relief when those results are negative and the grief when they aren't. This disease blows. I'm running so that hopefully my daughter doesn't have to go through the awful anxiety that this causes.

*sigh*

Have no fear, my sarcasm is merely on a union ordered lunch...It will be back in 30 minutes. Hey, don't laugh, those union standards are strict...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello, My Name Is: Swampfoot


The most wonderful part of living in Michigan isn't the potholes, the year-round construction, or the fact that at any time most of our pocket change is Canadian...the most wonderful thing about Michigan is the weather. Yep. During most weeks it can and will and does rain, snow, reach 80 degrees, and just for fun, we may get some fog. See, I've lived in this grand, mitten-shaped state for all of my 31 years and I've never had the intelligence to move someplace more...balanced weather-wise. That doesn't mean that I don't get upset or even mind-numbingly angry when we have 70 degree weather one day and freezing rain the next. Running to me is torturous enough without added environmental stress...like large, bottomless puddles.

I'm dedicated though; die hard!

It was during last night's run that I realized very quickly that my shoes are not even close to being waterproof...and I look like a drunken hobo when I run on grass trying to avoid above mentioned puddles. Luckily, I had on proper socks or my feet would have been a blistering mess. I kept going though and finished my second 1 1/2 mile run.

Ah, Michigan...America's soggy, left hand.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Got Attacked by a Bird


Yes, I was attacked by not just one birdie but TWO blood thirsty, maniacal birds on Saturday. No, it wasn't while I was running and technically, they didn't "attack" me in the literal sense of the word but the title of this pulled you in, didn't it? Don't roll your eyes at me...I'm crying out for attention here, people. So there I was minding my own business, sitting in the sunshine on Alicia's (yes, Alicia the Sprite's) back porch on Saturday when out of nowhere two insane birds that were clearly fighting with each other fell on my arm. I was already feeling guilty about the fact that I was avoiding running in favor of sloth and a glass of red wine. It was like the running gods sent an avian warning to me in the form of these birds. I showed them though; I didn't heed their warning and decided to eat their cousin, fried chicken, for dinner instead of strapping on my running shoes. I'm a weak person. Do not fear though, my loyal readers (reader? Mom?), I ran a full 1 1/2 miles on Sunday, outdoors. I'm proud to say all 7,920 feet of my run was completely bird-free from both flying and fried varieties.

You don't seem impressed by this fact.

Let me tell you that this is the FIRST time I've ever ran 1 1/2 miles, outside, in my life. EVER. Yes, I ran that distance on the treadmill, aka The Hated One, but that doesn't really count, does it? It's good exercise and all that but running out in the elements really proves something. It proves...um...well, it proves that I'm safe for almost the first half of this 5K because I will not need the volunteers to administer CPR, an oxygen mask, or call me a taxi cab. It's a good thing that they won't have to call a taxi for me too because this run is in Petersburg where there are 3 bars and 3 churches within 1 mile of each other but no cabs. Seriously. I think after all this is over with I'd rather have a bar than a cab anyhow.


*The birds that did a fly-by on me were Grackles. Even the name sounds mean. Just look at the picture of that one above...that is a face that should strike fear into hearts everywhere. Does anyone remember 'The Birds'?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fear And His Friend, Self-Doubt


For must of us, starting something new is frightening. I have a certain comfort zone as I'm sure most others have also and when I breach the boundaries of it I tend to get nervous. When I made the decision to start training for a running event I knew that I was stepping outside the area in which I was cozy and warm and into territory I have always considered one of my worst nightmares. Even though I've been questioning my sanity since the minute I made this decision to train to run I've never really been struck with too much fear. Last night I was minding my own business when out of nowhere I realized that I had less that 100 days until this 5K to get my butt ready. If you don't believe me, check out my countdown clock over there on the right. Do you see it? Yep, that's less than 100 days-eek. The farthest I've run is 1 1/2 miles and I'm supposed to be able to make it 3.1 miles without stopping?!? This is where I'm going to write out my fears and tell myself why they are absolutely ridiculous (hopefully, I'll listen to myself.)

Fear: What if I'm not ready?
Why this is ridiculous: I've given myself more than enough time to train for this event, I have taken it at a pace that a 96 year old woman with no toes could handle just to be sure I don't injure myself and I have my family and friends support(not to mention one great sports bra.). Hey, don't laugh, you have no idea how uncomfortable a bad sports bra can be. *shudder*

Fear: What if I fail?
Why this is ridiculous: I seem to be repeating myself...see answer above.

Fear: What if I'm the last person to finish the 5K?
Why this is ridiculous: Actually, this is just reality. I'll just be happy to finish the 5K. Beggars can't be choosers and all that junk.

Fear: How high was I when I made the decision that not only would I do this but that I could do this?
Why this is ridiculous: People twice my age with no legs have finished marathons...that's 26 odd miles! I am a perfectly healthy woman that is capable of running a little over 3 miles.

Fear: Can I actually be high while running this 5K?
Why this is ridiculous: If I take enough Advil that may not be a bad plan actually...

Fear: I will humiliate myself in front of my hometown and old classmates if I have to be resuscitated by the volunteer fire department.
Why this is ridiculous: I've known most of these people since I was born. I've done enough in that time to completely humiliate myself for years to come-why should I worry about running in front of them? This is minor compared to the time I fell out of a pyramid when I was a freshman cheerleader at the first pep assembly of the year...in front of the entire school...Yeah, I think I'm good.