Monday Musings

Monday. Literally like swimming into Monday. Was it only not so long ago that I was complaining we needed rain? Well as it goes in the south, when it shows up, it’s ready to party. The past week offered plenty but the weekend saw lots of local areas, streams and creeks flooding.

I’m just over here annoyed that it doesn’t make for the best training environment for running and cycling. But I also know it’s good to train in everything since you never know what race day will offer up in the weather department.

It always amazes me though, with a good dose of all that wet stuff, how it almost turns everything green overnight. The fact that my grass is going to be approaching my height in days is rather troubling… and means I’ll be picking up some extra cardio work shoving a push mower all over the place cutting it.

I’ve had people tease me about my preferring a push mower over a riding mower, but honestly, I just like the work that comes with it. There’s something satisfying about it and it feels good to be able to do it.

Do you have a preference?

Rainy days are always good for projects…

So I used the time inside this weekend to work on some of my furniture projects. I pretty much wrapped up a custom order I’ve been working on. Two of the final chairs are old harp back chairs and I’ve had to basically build the harp part (painstakingly) back up because age and careless handling from a previous owner’s “better idea” had left them broken and in sad condition. My customer loved them and wanted all four I had ( plus four other random ones I had) But I’ll really be glad to get past the repair stuff on these, it’s been one of my more challenging projects.

I did however, flip this cute phone bench I got last week fairly quick. It too needed veneer repair on side so it made it a good paint candidate… not only that… I just got a quick vision for what colors it needed and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it came out…

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It’s “before” look
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And after… I am seriously in love with this.

 

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Not happy with the lighting in photos, the yellow is actually a bit deeper and warmer but matches the fabric perfectly.

In the list of things that are annoying…..

This week, once again, I was wrestling off thick, goopy price tags off some glass items I’d purchased. It is up there on my most annoying list.

I get it… person slapping price tags on glass or other surfaces doesn’t have to see it after that. They don’t have to go home with it and begin the frustrating attempt to remove it without destroying item in the process.

Ugh.

There’s got to be an easier way, right? Something kinder and gentler to the poor purchaser. I try a variety of tricks to extract them, do you have any clever ideas that make the work easier?

Oh. Let’s not forget to add to the list “easy open tops”, “just tear here” markers on packages, and “re closeable Ziploc ” tops.

Lies.

They are all lies.

It sounds good in theory, but really, have you ever tried to really successfully open those package tops without losing your sanity, much less having it actually zip and seal afterwards?

This my friend, is what scissors are for, and re closeable tops be damned.

Making the news this week…..

Just Do It.

I probably don’t need to say more than that do I? Unless you live in a cave you couldn’t have missed Nikes controversial new campaign ad with Colin Kaepernick.

The meme’s have abounded from humorous, to crazy, to thought provoking, to well, down right stupid.

Every person has become an expert on knowing him and what he stands for…or doesn’t stand for.

Every person has an opinion on Nike even if they didn’t previously.

I’ll just state the obvious here. Personal opinions are not absolute real…. facts. No matter how hard someone tries to make them be, they just aren’t.

I have sat back and processed, observed and studied lots of angles of this. I’m certainly no expert on the topic.

I just try to look at things in an objective way not driven by wild personal passions or half baked beliefs of questionable truths gleaned off internet postings of my friends, or worse yet my own desires to “make” something be true without actual, ya know,  real facts or evidence.

It is crazy to me how people jump on bandwagons without actually digging into something on their own and gathering their own info but just blindly accept others thoughts or opinions on a topic.

There is a reason people are referred to as sheep. Sheep just collectively follow each other without any thought to doing something different from the others, thinking for themselves.

Maybe because I write and am often digging and researching for information that my perspective looks at it in a different way.

If you tell me the sky is blue, but I can’t for sure assess that myself, then I’m darn well gonna go look to the best resources I can find to help me come to a conclusive idea if the sky is really blue or not.

Nothing gets me more than self imposed ignorance on anything.

I was going to make this a passing topic on todays post, but really have determined it needs it’s own platform, it’s own separate post.

I’m going to let my own opinions out ( and yes, I’m just as entitled to them as the next guy) perhaps I’ve seen this whole thing in a different way than others. I have seen some interesting, sane, thoughtful posts made by others that let me know there are other thinking and reasoning people lurking out there.

I also plan to bring some “facts” in alongside my own thoughts.

And on that note… I’ll move on… for now.

Let’s talk about food….

Of course I need to share a new recipe with you. I went out to eat this week and the local restaurant had added fresh asparagus and cherry tomatoes with garlic as one of their side dishes.

It was amazing and colorful.

Of course I immediately set out to find a similar recipe to duplicate at home, which I did and whipped up last night.

 

Seriously these few items paired together are amazing. I baked chicken, made some rice pilaf and dinner was served.

In other news….

I got a new book this week I’m really eager to get into. It’s called “Roar” and it’s written for women athletes, addressing  our physical make up and how we difer from men in our training needs, eating, and conditioning to be stronger, better athletes. It’s such a rich book full of great information I am hopeful to get some new ideas for training. Of course, once I finish there will be a book review on it as well 🙂

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That’s a wrap for this week. Have you read any good books lately? Tried any new foods?

 

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Not Running Sucks.

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Let me tell you how I really feel….. #nofilters

The shirt says it all.

I recently picked it up ’cause I had really scaled my miles down to almost nothing and was totally … hating it…..

After todays doctor appt. it reflects how I’m going to be feeling for awhile.

At some point it was bound to happen…. work hard… play hard… play harder…. injuries become a possibility. Or a reality. You can get hurt doing stuff you really love that you throw yourself into with abandon.

It sucks ’cause this is my first running injury.

Oh, I got sidelined a few years ago for like… 6 weeks… when I took the motorcycle down learning to ride….. that’s when I learned big bikes and gravel aren’t a good combo. I hurt my knee which knocked me out of running.

I literally cried the first time I was back out for a run. I had been so afraid the time away would make me not want to do it anymore. Nothing, was farther from the truth. I embraced that run back out celebrating my freedom and my restored health.

So I’ve been babying my heel for a month or two. I’ve intentionally brought my miles down hoping and allowing it would give my foot a break to heal.

In the last couple weeks I’ve scraped running and just focused on cycling and other stuff… still… it remains..

Which pushed me to an official appointment.

In a nutshell…. foot doctor confirmed what I knew…. Achilles tendonitis.

No running…at all.

No impact sports at all.

No movements that put strain on the tendons which rules out strength training moves with my lower body like squats, deadlifts etc. Cycling if questionable.

I left thinking… I’m going to go stir crazy…. almost all active movement has been axed.

Please hear me… I get it. Once again, I’m crazy, but not stupid. My health and getting 100% again is my most important goal now so I can get back out on the road.

But…..still…. no… running ??

I actually found a sports med doctor I’ll be seeing in a few weeks. I want someone who understands athletically where I am and how to treat me. And a second opinion is never bad. He does triathlons so I feel like he’ll “get it”.

Meanwhile, I am being a good girl. Ice several times a day, no running around barefoot (this kills me too, I’m a barefoot girl! ) I have discontinued all activities that would possibly strain or further irritate my injuries.

Swimming appears to be the most recommended and supported activity for this kind of injury. How ironic that I am constantly telling people how weak I am with swimming that this will now be my main form of cardio for awhile. Hmmm maybe when I go through this time I’ll come out a stronger and better swimmer.

Is this the silver lining in having my wings clipped ?

I will confess to tears… and frustration… and pain… and wondering how this will impact the goals I had set for myself in the remainder of the year. I have worries of “what if”.

Serious marathon training is set to start in August… at this point I don’t know if I’ll be healthy to do that yet.  My marathon in December… will it happen ? The goal of finding a duathlon to train for ?

I just don’t know.

This I do know.

I miss being on the road. I miss the feeling my body gets from running long and hard. I want to plan a long run and be out early and see the sunrise while I’m doing it. I want to be drenched in sweat and feel like a million bucks from challenging myself to do more. I want to tear up hills and feel my body respond to the challenge.   I’m jealous when I read running posts or see someone running.

I want to stop and say… “don’t EVER take for granted what you’re doing right now… it’s a pure, sweet  gift.. value it”.

Ok… this post… is really letting me process and get this outta my head. I know what I have to do and will do it… I promise to keep you updated and make my whining… minimal…..

You just don’t take a woman who’s been running and active and clip her wings without a lot a few tears and angry stomping of her feet.

I will regroup and look at what I can do, implement, and improvise. I might come out of this a better swimmer, which means, maybe a tri wouldn’t be out of my realm of possibility at some point. I will learn to do more activities that work my body while protecting the hurt parts. I will add more boxing with swimming to get in some good cardio..

Basically, I will develop a new game plan and bounce back while I “recover”.

I’m wired like that….get pushed down… and figure out how to get up and fight again.

But for the love of all things running… I really…. hate… this.

Talk to me…tell me… have you dealt with an injury that sidelined you ? How did you handle it? This is my first serious one so …do you have words of encouragement ? What helped you through it ?

Product Review And Fun Stuff I Love

So I got a bit crazed inspired and thought maybe I’d do a little post on some cool stuff I love, but also make it a  product review of sorts too ( you are welcome,companies about to be recognized here, for your free advertisement 😉

I always like to read personal input on products, especially if I’ve never tried it….. like someone else took the fall for me haha

Alrighty, without further ado….

One of my most fav afternoon snacks.

I love Greek yogurt and I personally think Chobani is the best. I’m kinda snobby and don’t really like the “store” brands as I find them to be chalky and not as creamy and smooth. Not only that, the high protein the yogurt packs really does a good job satisfying an afternoon craving and keeping me feeling “level”. I am hooked on the coconut kind as I don’t really like the gooey “fruit” at the bottom of others…nor the higher sugar content they contain.

But then I found…. ahhhh… toasted coconut almonds ???  Yes, toss a few in your yogurt and it’s sweet and crunchy and offers lots of good health benefits.

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Yummy snack

As long as we’re on food…. my next is something I like in my lunch salads. I find mixing up sweet, crunchy, and veggies makes for an interesting salad meaning I think very little dressing is required (which is a good thing) I love Craisins and the 50% less sugar is a big bonus. I  also enjoy using them in oatmeal when I have it for breakfast.

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Small, yet fun 😉

And then you know…. I gotta share some running stuff, right ? 😉

I’ll start with my fav running shorts. I’ve definitely experimented with several kinds in the few years I’ve been running and these are without, hands down, awesome. Now I get everyone has what they feel most comfortable in… the baggy, windbreaker type shorts were to much fabric, to bulky and bothered me. I love skirts, but definitely not for running. Then one day I stumbled across these….

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Best running shorts…ever.

I love how sleek and perfect they fit and the fact they don’t bother me when I’m running. Nike, is pricey but I try and hunt them down on sale or troll E-Bay 😉

Another part of my running gear that’s so important….shoes. As I wrote in a previous post on running shoes, you’ll know I’m pretty committed to Asics. Specifically, Asics GT 2000 3, which are featured here. Understand there was a “2” also, 3 is this years model… they just fit so crazy good.

I realized in one shoe buying moment, that I REALLY loved this style… and I will stay with them… the colors don’t hurt either 😉

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Asics GT 2000 3

Ok so after all that running, I’m ready to get clean and girly again. With all I put my body through, I need a lotion to replenish moisture that also keeps my skin smooth and soft.

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Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Butter is amazing. I like the Sweet Pea fragrance ’cause it’s light and not over powering and it’s perfect for warmer months. The benefits of soft silky skin makes it a product I always keep on hand.

Tell me… what products do you use and love that you can’t do without ? Have you ever tried something after a recommendation ?

I’m An Ultra Girl!

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My one token picture taken after I finished my run =) I’m still standing…..
Hey boys and girls…
Have ya missed me ? I’ve had a busy weekend…. and as you know… my Saturday was kinda hogged by my 50K run. Half the day running, the rest of it, dragging my carcass home, getting cleaned up ( I never thought the act of showering and washing my hair was an athletic event, but it felt like it)  and allowing my body some much need rest time. Oh yeah, and a lil food to replace the 4,037 calories my Nike+ watch told me I burned off.
You gotta drop 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat…. so… that’s interesting….did I accomplish that too ? Multi-tasking in a new way 😉
I was….so….very…. tired.

Wow… it’s not …usual…. for me to run a half marathon, a full, and an ultra distance all in one morning 😉

Holy mackerel Batman…… I’m now an Ultra Girl!

(So you know, if you don’t, anything over the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles is considered “ultra”) a 50K is 31.7 miles although by the time I got to my “finish” I was close to 32.

Yes, the weather was amazing, but that wind was a blessing and curse. I seemed to always be running into it, which dries out my head in the worst way, not to mention, it’s so hard to run into the wind! I am now however, sporting a really good start on my tan 🙂

The best way (for me) to tackle this distance, or any really long run, is not to focus on the miles in front of me, just take them one at a time, otherwise, I might run kicking and screaming the other way……..

All was well and good, miles were going by, overall feeling good. I had left the parking lot at Starbucks ( my turn around point to start going….back… the way I had just run) and a mile down was the big hill I had just run down.

My legs were begging for mercy. I was almost at full marathon distance at this point. By the time I crawled to the top my “support team” came zipping up.

I will be honest…. I wanted to get in. I begged hubby to tell me to keep going. I was hot. My quads were threatening to leave my body after the hill not to mention almost 26 miles on them.

I cried a little on the side of the car. 

 Those voices were talking. Those horrible, damn voices.
I know them. They’ve showed up when I’ve run both marathons about mile 21-23. Those voices talk to you and try and convince you that you can’t do it, maybe you should quit, give up, take the easy way out. You must use every bit of mental muscle to stomp them down….sometimes you have to stomp hard.

I had already given myself the pep talk that I was counting down single digits to finish. I wasn’t gonna quit. I don’t quit.

Besides… he locked the doors on me 😉

The other crazy thing? In both marathons, and today, I started craving a Coke in the….worst… kind of way. Crazy ’cause I never was a big soda drinker, and haven’t even had one in… I don’t know how long. That simple sugar your body runs on… when you’re in the midst of long distance running… you aren’t focused on being all healthy… you just need energy. During the marathon I have to let the feeling pass and when I’m done I don’t want it anymore. Today though… I sent my support team off to get one….

talk about a shot in the arm … it was…helpful 😉

Anyway, I was having to double back on my run route to get all my miles in and decided to run a side road which was a mile back and forth and off the main busy road. I knew I had a little over a mile back once I got on main road again.

I won’t lie… those last miles were brutal…. hard and brutal. Seriously, I was praying for strength to finish what I started. Those legs….. were seriously protesting further movement… I know I took them to a whole new level of exertion…

Oh, and this side road I was on, in the beginning, hills, and then running back down… the quads were crying…legs were starting to feel fully trashed.

Finally… my watch hit 30 miles… which seemed surreal ’cause I’ve never seen that before… I would’ve done a happy dance if I could’ve moved my legs better…. it was finally time to head to my finish line..my mind was pushing my body at this point….

Although, it wasn’t the “race” I had originally planned out and there weren’t the crowds, and spectators with signs, or a time chip on me, my body didn’t know that… it still ran/crawled haha almost 32 miles…

My 50K in the books. A huge personal goal for this year. My official virtual race form has been submitted to the race committee and in a few weeks I’ll get my ultra medal and t shirt =)

Will I do another next year ? I’m not sure. It’s hard to not always want to take things to the next level, know you could do it a little better.

The challenge of running…..

I will tell you… I got home…and crawled onto my bed in the fetal position, not sure if I had the energy to get in the shower.

I’ve never….been so tired….ever.

My son came in and offered to carry me to the shower… nice try kid… I’m a package to pack… 😉  I assured him I could crawl in on my own when he grabbed me and said…

“Why are you so white and gritty feeling??”

Salt. Dried salt all over me. Crazy. A human salt block.

So I’ve had some rest time, been good friends with my foam roller, made dinner ( actually movement really is good for recovery, you have to push back against the desire to do…absolutely…..  nothing  the rest of day :-P) and managed to get cleaned up without calling 911 to rescue me haha

I slept well…. can you imagine ? I think you could’ve moved the house from under me….

And now… I’m plotting and planning what’s next….but first… the body definitely gets a little down time to recover…. the hardest part for me. I read an article suggesting you take one day off for each mile of your race you ran.

Yikes… I don’t know about that….
Overall, a pretty productive running month with two half marathons and now this 50K under me. I know some down time is essential, but mentally, I will admit to struggling with it.
What about you? Do you like having time off ?  When you do a big run, is the recovery time easy ? or frustrating for you? What are some things you do to help the process along ?  Share with me.