Holiday Roadtrip

This post goes way back to Thursday.  Thursdays are scheduled to be my tempo run days and I like to do them in the morning after my first two teaching classes are finished.  But on this particular day, I realized I left my wallet in Chap’s car from date night the night before and had to make an impromptu 2 hour trip to Muskogee to get it.  Luckily, my schedule allows for that!  As soon as I got home, I buckled Miley up to go on my warmup mile with me, cranked out two more and then took her on the cooldown too.

I struggle with tempo runs.  I didn’t hit my target paces but it felt good to be running outside, and at a decently fast pace for me.  Just not the pace I need for 2017’s goals.  Guess I’ll just have to watch it get faster over the weeks 😉

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Friday I stretched out some sore leg muscles at gentle yoga with Teresa at StudiOne.  The more I get into this racing stuff, the more I’ll keep yoga in my routine forever.

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Most of Friday was spent in the car with my little co-pilot, heading from OK to IN for Christmas weekend.  I left right on time which was a Christmas miracle and arrived about 9.5 hours later.  I recently got into podcasts and listened to a variety of them on the drive.   Here are some of the ones I’m subscribed to:

  1. Organize 365 – 40 weeks of 15 minute tips on how to organize particular areas of your home.  This week it was the laundry room.  I try to listen to these on Sundays and work on that particular spot all week.
  2. Modern Love – fun stories of dating, marriage, love and loss in current times.
  3. Dear Sugar – with Cheryl Strayed.  I’ve read her books Wild and tiny, beautiful things.  I enjoy the perspective she and her c0-host provide on a variety of topics.  This episode focused on holiday dramas.
  4. Stuff You Should Know – this is like trivia tidbits in a podcast.  I always feel a little bit smarter after listening to this one, and find myself dropping facts into conversations following the episodes.
  5. This American Life – everyone recommended this one to me when I was asking what podcasts I should listen to.
  6. Being Boss- 2 creative entrepreneurs talk about their road to success.  I relate a little to some of what they discuss even though I’m not explicitly a creative.
  7. Aziz Ansari – not a podcast, but I listened to some of his tour on Spotify and laughed my way across Missouri.

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She’s a great car rider.  Which doesn’t translate to great company.  It rained the whole way from Tulsa to Indy, but thankfully the roads were no slick since it was in the high 30s.  I’m so glad to be sitting writing this by a roaring fire in my parents’ living room.  Dad and I did our Christmas Eve run this morning with Miley – a nice recovery four miles and the sibs and I will do some circuits later.  Shaping up to be a great holiday!

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Do you listen to podcasts?  What are your favorites?

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Celebrating Two

I made it for a second day in a row on my training plan!  I’m not a believer in running every day.  I am also no longer a believer in “more miles are good miles”.  My training includes three hard runs a week with maybe one additional run for just a little stress relief or because the weather is nice.

So today wasn’t a running day.  But, I still like to have a designated workout or task I can complete for my training.  This morning after my first client, I completed an arm circuit geared toward helping me build pull-up muscles.  (Full disclosure, I tried to get up and get this workout in before I trained with him, but I’m just not adjusted to the early early mornings yet.)

Here is the circuit:

  • 3 sets of 10 scapular pulls.  Hang at the bottom of the pull up and pull the shoulder blades together.  That’s it.  This is a small movement but will train that initial pull of the motion.
  • 3 sets of 10 reverse flyes.  Nothing special here, just working on developing the rhomboids and other upper back muscles.
  • 3 sets of 5 assisted pull-ups.  Right now I’m using a green band to help pull me up.  I’ll keep scaling down in bands until I don’t need them anymore.  Hopefully before I turn 30 😉

Then, just because I needed to get a good sweat in, I did 15 x 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow on the treadmill.  Did I say I didn’t run today?  I guess I did, but I count this differently in my mind.

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Also celebrating 2 years today with Chap.  What the heck? I can’t remember anything I was committed to for that long.  Does college count?  Never would have thought “beast mode baby, Sprenkeled” would have turned into this.   Here’s to two more!

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Winter Season, part 2

Last week took an unexpected turn after that ambitious first Tuesday Track workout.  Wednesday was business as usual, which meant a strong arm workout in the afternoon with one of my classes and a routine mid-week day otherwise.

Then came Thursday.  I woke up with a splitting headache.  Very similar to the one I had a few weeks ago when I also had some sinus and congestion issues going on.  Behind one eye, affected by light and noise, and making me feel sick.  Usually I’ll get up and do things before I teach my lunch classes but I accidentally stayed in bed until about noon.

Once I got to the studio, I drank some water thinking maybe I was dehydrated, and about five minutes later, mid-interval for my poor kiddos, I had to leave for the bathroom.  Like a champ, I managed to finish teaching but hit the bed immediately when I got home.  The rest of the night was a tag team between bed and bathroom.  So not pleasant.

Friday I was on my feet again but with no appetite.  No workout this day.  Same situation Saturday.   By Sunday I was feeling alright again but the polar vortex made me not want to go outside to run.  So I decided I’d just start over.  I used the time locked in doors to register of 2 of my 3 goal races in the spring – Sweetheart Run on February 18 and St. Patrick’s Day 5k in March, both in Tulsa.

I also spent some time playing in my Believe Training Journal.  I made the tentative calendar for the year, thought about four major goals and re-wrote my first week of training.

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This morning I was all set to do a repeat of the 8×400 from last week’s Track Tuesday.  Except that I did not want to run at all.  Even indoors on the treadmill.  I don’t know if it was the idea of repeating the same workout, or just that I wasn’t in the mood.  But I had to drag myself over there.  And then, when the treadmill cut off after 7 intervals, I just let it end.

Regardless, got a 1 mile warmup at 7.5mph followed by 7 rounds of 400m at 8.5mph  for a total of 4.5 miles.

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Week 1, run 1 is done!  So thankful.

Winter Season

Hi friends!  There is a lot to catch up on from my running standpoint on the blog but I don’t want to spend any time on that tonight.  I am ready to commit to my next 12 week cycle of 5k training to try to get that PR goal and sub-22 goal before I turn 30 in August (modified for realism’s sake slower than sub 21).

I had my fall target races roll around about 3 weeks ago.  And I got sick.  It sucked.  I’m fairly positive I could have killed that 5k.  But you know what, it wasn’t in the cards this year.  And I’m left with the effort that I gave that morning, and the training in my muscles and lungs that didn’t disappear just because I got sick.  I took 3 weeks off to rest from running, and too, major strength training.  I did a lot of yoga, I rested and I read books.  It was awesome.

Then I started to get stir crazy.  I added some strength training back in, and took Miley on a one mile run around the neighborhood.  It’s getting colder here in Tulsa so I don’t necessarily miss running in that, but I do miss running regularly.

So, Monday night after returning from my NYC Christmas trip, I sat down and mapped out the early spring’s races and year of travel for races.   In my new Believe Training Journal.  My next target races are the Sweetheart and St. Patrick’s  Day 5ks here in Tulsa, with a long hopeful shot at the Boston 5k in April.

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That meant a Tuesday date with a track run, so I picked one of my favorites to kick it off with.  The ol’ quarter mile repeats.  Run .25m fast fast, and then jog/walk a .25m lap slow.  Do this a total of 8 times.  I cranked it out indoors on a treadmill, after my first class of the day.

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I felt surprisingly strong and not too stiff for this first longer run in a few weeks.  I am really looking forward to detailing my training in my journal and on here, and feeling strong and fast again.

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What are your athletic goals for 2017?

Project To Love Ourselves

Part of me is quite sad that I’ve taken such a long break from writing on this little blog of mine.  Another part of me feels like I’m still outputting creatively, just in different realms.  On the Studio blog, on Instagram and Facebook.  But I think a bigger part of me really misses coming here daily to write.  I remember way back in Memphis I was posting multiple times per day!  Where did all that free time go?!  I’d like to post more, and I’m going to make an attempt to be more consistent.  Don’t we go through this every year?

I’d be ok with this blog becoming a place where I get to write when I have something worthy to say.  A big topic that I want to elaborate on, rather than a log of my food and training runs.  Maybe I can work back into that.  But, here is what I want to write about today.

I have been considering for years some way to “get involved” and give back.  I’ve looked into volunteering at nursing homes, in after school programs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, animal shelters and even hospice.  Nothing ever really jumped out at me as something that I truly felt passionate about and felt was feasible flexibility and time wise for me personally.  Of course I want to help better the world in any way I can, but I also needed it to be something I enjoy doing or I know I wouldn’t last.

Then one day, I saw via an acquaintance’s Instagram (acquaintance is tough.  She is more important than that.  Once upon a time we were close friends, but years and miles and missteps across time just pulled us apart.  But what do we call that?) that she had created this incredible project to send handwritten letters to girls who were struggling in a particular stage of life.

Of course she did.  This gal was a big rock for me in the tumultuous years of high school.  The years when we found our worth in grades, athletic performance and boys.  I still have a photo album of beautifully simple and silly words scrawled on brightly colored scrapbook paper reminding me “we do not wait by the phone for him to call.”  Oh W, how things have come so perfectly true for you!

How brilliant.  How simple.  How powerful.  This project caught my attention because I was lucky enough to be surrounded by powerful letter writing women in my adolescence and even on into young adulthood.  My mama is a wizard with words and I have shoeboxes of letters saved from occasions, some momentous, some trivial like my first homecoming date (which turned into heartbreak eventually), getting into college, rejection from college, more breakups, studying abroad, starting a business, joining a sorority and on and on.  Whether she was proud of me or hurting for me or empathizing or encouraging, or was able to predict inevitable fear and doubt before I even saw it, her words helped me start to believe in myself.

img_4286-jpgI give a grand amount of credit to these letters for making me the strong-willed, stubborn girl today who thinks her way is usually right.  Sure, my stubborn streak can be trouble at times but it is well worth the strong foundation of self-worth and self-love that is cemented within.  I’m willing to take risks and be vulnerable because I know that failure in business or relationships or even running goals doesn’t diminish who I am as a person.  And I owe that to all those letters.

I still have some sealed cards from a different close friend with specific titles on the envelopes – “open when you’re feeling sad”  “open when you don’t know what to do” .  Early and mid-twenties were a weird bitch mix of self-doubt, flopping around for new friends in the city I made all my best girlfriends in after we all leapt our separate ways, dating and doing adult things with no real rules.  Having gentle, positive and encouraging words to read and re-read when I needed them was more than once helpful.  I felt less lonely.  Less helpless.

15385320_1847128965571317_8467625916250713597_oAnd now, I get to give back in the same way that helped shape me.   By writing letters.

I will believe in you, until you believe in yourself!

If you’d like to join in as a letter writer, you can sign up here.  (I’m lookin’ at you mama)15304490_1846385145645699_1298334868843623591_o

 

First photo: Lemongrass Wedding Photography

Second and third: To Love Ourselves