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Running Fever

I don’t know if it’s the weather or the fact that it was Disney Marathon Weekend, but I have the running bug. I’m itching to get back out there.

This morning I overslept and only had time to get in a mile and a half (no shower….shh, don’t tell) but it felt so good. Few things clear your mind like a run. Even difficult runs are great because you learn the discipline of pushing through the pain.

It took me a while to believe this, but now I do. You are a runner if you run. It doesn’t matter how fast. It doesn’t matter how far. What matters is that you go.

That’s not to say I don’t take breaks. See this and this and this as proof positive. But over Christmas break, I made a decision not to run and it was the best decision ever. Why? Because I needed the time away to realize that I missed it. Looks like running and I are in a little relationship after all. When I saw other runners out in the morning, I got a little jealous. And that’s when I realized I’m in this for the long haul.

Running Gear

cooshheadphonesI have all but given up running with music because I can’t get headphones to stay in my ears. These Coosh Pink basically pinky promised they would work, and, no. All the Apple headphones pop right out as well. It’s annoying. At one point I used bright white athletic tape to tape the headphones to my ears. Sexy. And painful when it ripped my hair.

Then my sister bought me some behind the neck ones (similar to this) that I am excited to try out. Am I the only one with ear bud issues?

 

spotifylogoSo Spotify isn’t exactly gear, but I am very tempted to start using it so I can use these playlists while I run! Any of you guys use this? From what I understand, a paid subscription lets you download music for offline use. I’m not sure if it’s worth $10 a month, but I would be willing to try it for a month or two to see if it’s interesting. At the very least it would introduce me to running-appropriate music. (Anyone remember the days I listened to the audiobook Twilight while training for the half-marathon? Team Edward!).

 

Another Race

I want to add a fun run into the calendar this year. Something that is at least a 5 miler up to a half (13.1). The Wine and Dine Half Marathon has always tempted me (but the price has not!), so maybe this will be the year. But I don’t want to do it for time or pace or anything like that. I just want to do it for the fun of running the event. It’s a thrill that doesn’t get old. Like first-day-of-school thrill or a brand new calendar thrill. Love that stuff!

Any races you are thinking about doing or have heard that are good? 

Day #9 Running Shoes & BBQ

Day #9 Running Shoes & BBQ

Update: I was asked some questions about what I ordered on Amazon Prime, so I updated the post from yesterday. This is fun!

This is a post where I talk about my favorite thing of the day but really that’s a giant ruse for the real post which goes something like this: “Hey, I need medical advice and don’t want to go to a doctor. Can you help?”

If you’ve been around this blog for much time at all, you know that I talk about running a fair amount. We have a rather on again – off again relationship, running and I. Right now, we’re on and that’s a good thing. I’m back into my six days a week running habit which will hold true until I go on another trip or the weather gets cold or I get tired of wearing the same turquoise running shorts each day (gross).

But here’s the thing. I’m experiencing mild but massively irritating foot pain. It’s primarily my left heel but will occasionally stretch to the arch. Mornings are the worst. As soon as I wake up, the thing kills (so maybe not “mild” pain). But as soon as I run, the pain goes away. The rest of the day it’s in the mild to barely there pain stage. But as soon as morning comes, it’s probably a 7 or 8 on the pain scale. Any closet podiatrists out there who know what I’m talking about?

BrooksRavenna3I know what you’re thinking. It’s not the shoes.

My shoes are amazing. Best running shoes I’ve ever owned. I wear the Brooks Ravenna 3 in turquoise (gotta match the shorts!) and definitely have not put the mileage on where it’s time to have a new pair yet. And I didn’t just pick them because they were cute. I got fitted at Tri & Run, which is the lesser known version of Track Shack.

And while I love me some Track Shack, Tri & Run is located next to Harry & Larry’s BBQ (which is the lesser known version of Four Rivers) and oh.my.goodness. Best BBQ. It’s a little hole in the wall and the names rhyme and it’s pretty much everything you would ever want in a BBQ joint. And they know how to fry up some okra.

And now you know why I run. Two words: fried okra.

This post is part of a month long series called 31 Days of My Favorite Things. To see all the posts, click here.

Secret of Adulthood: Do the Work

One of the most difficult yet freeing realizations of adulthood is that there is no magic wand. There’s no rich uncle. There is no Santa Claus.

If you really want something to happen, you are going to have to do the work of making it happen. And that is both difficult and freeing. Difficult, because somebody has to do the work and now that somebody is you, not the Fairy Godmother. But freeing, because now you don’t have to wait on that someday or someone. You can begin today.

Before I get too esoteric, allow me to explain.

JustGoRunI’ve written about my struggle to be consistent with running. Much of that has to do with the fact that running is pound-the-pavement, hot-asphalt hard. But it’s also because I compare myself with my friends who are far better runners than me. I wait for the perfect running conditions, convincing myself that will help me improve. But as long as there are large dogs and snakes on the loose, perfect running conditions there will not be. There is no magic wand. But I digress.

Today as I wobbled in yoga while everyone around me was graceful and beautiful and serene I thought, “maybe I’m not such a bad runner after all.” And I almost left, right in the middle of class. But that’s when it hit me. You practice yoga. You keep running. The difference in wobbling and steadiness is not because they are thinner than me or stronger than me or prettier than me. The difference is those girls have been practicing longer than me.

I used to think you were born a Michelangelo or Steve Jobs. But now I am starting to think you can become one. That there’s not a genius gene, but that God creates each of us with ability to achieve greatness. And a key to greatness is simply discipline. Day after day, doing the work. Feet to pavement. (Or yoga mat).

And poodle makes two

And poodle makes two

I bought a bottle of champagne and drank it by myself. I spread out the fun over two nights, but still. But it wasn’t until I was walking my blind poodle, wearing the same yoga pants for the fourth day in a row – (me, not the dog) – that I realized I am either desperately pathetic or extraordinarily confident. One of the two.

Let’s get back to the bubbly. I love champagne. It’s sparkly and pretty and festive and goes great during a half-marathon. At least for the spectators while I was running and watching those Baldwin Park yuppies sip their mimosas while I sweated out watered down Gatorade in a paper dentist cup. Never again.

Speaking of which, I miss running. I do. It all came flooding back this week (not enough to lace up the shoes, mind you). Summer is my favorite time to run, if only because the heat forces you to get out at the crack of dawn and I love the productive feeling of accomplishment the rest of the day. If only I could get out the door…

That Time I Went to Yoga

That Time I Went to Yoga

Yoga is not for the faint of heart.

I finally got a bonafide pedicure — the kind where all ten toes are painted as opposed to only the ones that you can see in a peep toe sandal — and decided today was the perfect opportunity to face my yoga fears.

The class at my local gym turns off all the lights in the room other than a tiny desk lamp plugged in on the floor in the front. You walk in to the piped in sounds of an African rainforest. Birds chirping, a waterfall, possibly a rhino.

I walked in precisely 35 seconds late which is apparently a cardinal offense against the yogi master. Have you ever tried to put a giant rubber mat down on the floor quietly? In trying to be quiet and gentle, I knocked over my water bottle and sent it rolling. Thankfully I wouldn’t need it the entire hour because yoga is one giant pretzel contortion and even if I wanted the water, I couldn’t untangle my arms to reach it.

The names of yoga moves are meant to describe what you like in proper position. Downward Dog. Cobra. Eagle. Child’s pose. Pigeon. But here’s the thing. As I’m not exactly a lover of Animal Planetwhen you say “Cobra” my immediate reaction is to tense up, gasp, and look for the nearest exit. My pigeon does not look like a pigeon. Downward dog I could do, but not without my ankles cracking. And of course I unintentionally parked myself right next to Barbie yogi who performed every move flawlessly and with more flexibility than Gumby.

Will I go back to yoga? Possibly. The clothes are die for and you don’t have to wear socks. Always a bonus.

Namaste.

Hit the Groove

Hit the Groove

I think I’ve hit my groove with this working out business, and just in time to go on vacation and lose my momentum. Isn’t that how it always works?

Back to the groove. I found the one whom my heart loves. Spin class. Best workout ever. Let’s start with the fact that you are on a bike. A bike! Not my feet. But wheels. Wheels that are grounded to the floor so I don’t run over anything or hit a pothole or tree. And there is air conditioning. And this morning I channeled my inner Celine Dion and broke out to My Heart Will Go On while mentally winning the Tour de France. I love spin class.

It helps that there’s a little digital display that tells me how fast and far I am going. Depending on the instructor, there’s a little too much math for my taste in a workout, but I figured out a way to keep myself sane. Numbers up = good. Numbers down = bad. Who flippin cares what the numbers are. That’s my plan.

I’ll do my best to update along the way, but let’s be honest. I still haven’t even downloaded the photos from my trip to Africa back in May. So lower your expectations. But if you haven’t already, go ahead and like EverydayKarin on Facebook because that will be the easiest place for me to update along the drive and you know I’ll be running into some interesting characters. It is the South, after all.