Saturday, September 24, 2011
Quite awhile ago now I saw that there was going to be a mud run in a nearby city and that they were seeking volunteers. One of my goals this year was to volunteer at a race. So I took the opportunity along with my sister (4everadonegirl), my mom and Angela (aweise).
Yesterday was the volunteer meeting where we got our bright yellow volunteer shirts and signed up for our duties. We all decided to hand out water at the one and only mid-race water stop.
Today we headed out nice and early, got there in good time and met our co-workers for the water stop...Chip and Julia (I think that was her name..I know I got his right). After waiting a bit we were transported to our location via Gator. Not an alligator, but a Gator...if you don't know a Gator you are missing out (not really-lol). A Gator is a particular brand of multipurpose cart. It is like the utility version of a golf cart. Driver's cabin is pretty much exactly a golf cart, the back instead of being additional passenger space is a miniture trunk bed, complete with tailgate :). Let's see if I can find a picture for you...
The one being used was most like the one on the far left, but not as new or nice :). So...anyways...all four of us pile into one Gator. My mom in the passenger seat, my sister, myself and Angela in the back. I climb in and immediately see a sticker about passengers not riding in the bed-lol. Just as he starts I wasn't quite ready and jolted a bit when we went. My sister warned me about the dangers of falling out and we immediately started giggling and laughing over the fact that I, would indeed, be the one who fell over board. Lots of giggles about me falling out the back, landing on my tush and yelling "I'm alright" and "wait for me." Lol-it was so hillarious because it didn't happen and I am cracking up again just typing this. I did get a serious case of the giggles. The giggles were just starting to subside when our tour guide took us over hill and over dale and through a small grove of very large bushes, maybe they were small trees.
Okay, this part isn't quite as hillarious, but the "tour guide" (which is what I'm going to call our driver) is driving us through this grove and branches keep reaching into the Gator. Unfortunately they kept getting Angela. Okay, so I got the giggles AGAIN and was TOTALLY cracking up....not because they were hitting Angela but because the tour guide kept saying "Trees. More trees. Trees. More trees." This sent me into HYSTERICS for some strange reason. For quite some time after that if I or my sister said "More trees" I would still laugh. "More trees" might make me laugh for quite some time-lol!
We got set up and started waiting for the first runners....oh wait....unfortunately we were also waiting for the water jugs...lol. Oh dear, but the water did arrive just in time for us to fill a bunch of cups and be ready for the runners.
It wasn't long before people were coming by wanting water. Things got a little hectic sometimes and we got a little nervous about our water supply other times, but overall it was a fun, fun, fun experience. Hot though. It was an unseasonably hot day today.
They brought us lunch....uggh...nasty burrito...I managed to choke down about half just so that I would have the energy I needed.
I accepted one very muddy hug, my sister got more and almost looked like a race member-lol!
My sister and Angela had to leave early and we got some reinforcements to help out. Young high school students who did an awesome job chipping in and getting water on the tables.
We were done before three o'clock, cleaned up our area and got a ride back in the same Gator...which now had a flat tire...but he shrugged his shoulders and off we went. Unfortunately because the back is NOT designed for passengers it seems to sit right on top of some important moving part that puts off A LOT of heat. My tush was toasty...more than toasty by the time we got back and so was that flat tire. But, we got back without having to walk the entire way-lol.
Volunteers also got medals so we picked up our medals and came home :). It was a great day. Hot and exhausting and I feel like I ran the race (only not as dirty-lol). I would LOVE to volunteer at a race again.
One of the best parts of volunteering was how excited people were to see us out there with water. I know how they feel, I've been there. I know how exciting a water stop can be. Everyone was so awesome. We were told over and over how awesome we were. The runners are the awesome ones. It felt really great to do for other runners what volunteers have done for me. It was a great experience.
Not a runner? I still recommend volunteering at a local race. It is an AWESOME way to give back to your community and you get to say hi to wonderful people and you get to cheer for them and help make their experience a great one. Doing for others is a great way to spend the day :).
Monday, September 19, 2011
Okay, so challenge for PMP week 3 came up....last week I failed to get in one of the 3 hours, but I feel good about what I did accomplish so...moving on to week 3.
A 3 part challenge this week....I'm not going to take the time to cut and paste in the whole thing...so you get me paraphrasing
1. Work on a part that does not get enough time...Legs...because I run I trick myself into thinking that is enough. Really, I know it isn't, but I like to pretend-lol! So my legs are my focus for the week. I'm going to accomplish this by FINALLY getting back to the 200 squat challenge I've NEVER finished. Back to square one and it should get me focusing back on my legs, not just for this week, but for 8 weeks...so good to go.
2. Abbreviate the time spent on a part that gets plenty of attention...well, that would be my arms, but considering that I've only started to give them attention last week, I feel really bad letting up on them...so I WILL abbreviate, but ONLY if I am running short on time or otherwise feel like I "can't do it all".
3. Remeasure or retake one minute tests from the start of the challenge. I'll be re-doing the tests at the end of the week and will post a comparisson of the results!!
Okay, so on to my question...here's the situation...I hate shoes!! Really, I hate them. At home I am ALWAYS barefoot...my sis has pointed out that in order to protect my feet I should at least wear flip-flops or slippers...I'm making an effort in that direction, but really I love my tootsies being free-lol. So the dilema is...I hate putting on shoes for no good reason...if I'm going outside, fine, I get it...I need shoes. I pronate...so if I'm going running...I get it...I need shoes (and specific ones at that). But, if I'm strength training...at home...on carpet...do I need shoes? No circuit training so I'm not jumping around. No special equipment...just me, the mat and the weights. I kind of don't see the need to bind up my feet if I'm just standing. Granted I would be in trouble if I dropped a weight on my foot, but since I don't wear steel toed sneakers that might still be a problem.
What do you all think? I'll go with majority rule-lol!
Hope everyone has a great week! :)
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Okay, so this is kind of a popular theme round these parts, but honestly sometimes you just gotta get up and do what you need to do.
I've had a pretty successful week. Not perfect, but overall successful.
Monday through Friday I got in my two scheduled runs, got in one hour of two hours of strength training, I actually got to the library and studied for my class, I got a lot of PTA business completed without sacrificing my family time. It was a good week overall. I could have tried harder to get that second hour of strength training done, but it is what it is.
Today, I had 10 miles on the schedule. Honestly, 10 miles scares me. I haven't done enough 10s to feel comfortable with the distance. 10 miles is a heck of a long way. Running at 10 miles gets very mental for me. 3 miles...not a problem...easy peasy...I can go three in my sleep (and I think I have-lol). 6 miles? A little more difficult, but doable and a distance I actually kind of enjoy. Far enough to be a challenge, short enough to not be intimidating. I have to wonder why there are not more 10Ks (at least in my corner of America they are kind of rare). 10 however, 10 is scary, so is everything over 10. So when I got up this morning I was already looking for a really good reason to not go or not do the entire distance. I even wore the shoes that haven't been tested at high distances, maybe they could be my excuse.
Met up with everyone and as always, felt good once I started. I had to stop and stretch a couple times throughout the run...the last time at about 8 miles. I was getting tight all over and knew I could press through and still finish, but thought that a quick stretch would keep me moving a bit faster and more comfortably. It worked. I lost about 2 minutes on the stretch, but I was better able to maintain my pace. During the last mile and a half I have to run past lots and lots of benches. I never realized before how many benches. Every bench screamed to me to sit and rest. They all looked comfy as a sofa. I felt a bit like Odysseus and the benches were the sirens. I had to plug my ears and tie myself to the mast to keep myself from crashing my ship on their shores. Even curbs started to look enticing-lol! But, I kept plugging along and I eventually got there. According to my GPS I even had to go farther than I expected, but I did it. I finished the 10...then sat on a bench. But, only for a second because the fear of cramping and accumulated lactic acid got me moving again fast :). I bit the proverbial bullet and got it done...and at a speed I was very happy with (just below 18 min average pace which is what I was aiming for...slow, I know, but fast for me).
I went and did some shopping. We are horrible in this house about eating our vegis with our main dish. Mostly my fault since I'm the chief chef. Today I stopped by our health food/produce market and stocked up on lots of delicious vegis to add to or make meals of. Cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and grapes just because they are delicious :). My family is going to have to bite the bullet and eat more fruit and vegis. Daughter was so excited we had grapes though...that was a bonus :).
I got home and was, frankly, exhausted. I did a few things around the house and fell asleep-lol! Then it was time to hustle and go to great-nephew's first birthday party. Ate a few too many chips unfortunately. But, had a great time and enjoyed the day.
Came home and did a few more things, got dinner together and knew that I still had some strength training to do. Uggh, not feeling the groove. Then my college football game came on and immediately my team literally hands the opposition (our long standing rivals) a touch down. The frustration level kept climbing and I bit the bullet and started on my strength training. I can't watch them fumble the ball while in plank-lol. I can't make gestures at the t.v. if my hands are full of weights-lol. The strength training took a bit longer than it should have as I took breaks to yell at the QB or lament the poor plays, but I got there. The routine generally takes almost an hour and took longer tonight, I forgot to time it so I'm calling it an hour. Especially since I threw in extra planks and worked to muscle fatigue on biceps and triceps.
So, my team lost...spectacularly (50 something to 10 or some such embarrassing number), but I won. I bit the bullet this week and I feel good. My muscles are all tired and will be sore tomorrow, but in a really awesome way :).
Bite that bullet, it is very rewarding.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Well, failure to plan has bit me on the hiney once again...this week started the Pimp my (P)Ride challenge and in 4 days we are to rack up 2 hours of strength training. I could have chosen to do a half an hour each day and rotate muscle groups, but no...I failed to do anything on Monday to yesterday I had to get the entire hour in order to stay on track. I did it...no problem, but dang am I sore today. Shoulders, butt and hip flexors are the worst with minor soreness everywhere else. Although, thinking about it today, I think I prefer the "hit it all at one time" method. I think I'd rather be sore all over for one day at a time than sore in bits and pieces all week-lol.
I did have a personal victory yesterday though...while doing the strength training the video I was doing had this move...from plank you dip your hip to the right down to the floor, pull back into plank and then dip left. Just watching I'm thinking "no way, I'll fall, there is no way I can do that." But, as Yoda would say...there is no try, only do or do not (or something like that...need to freshen up my Star Wars). Since nobody was home to laugh at me when I fell to the floor, unable to haul my sizable hip back into plank, I went ahead and did it. Once on each side before crumpling to the floor in a heap-lol! But, once on each side was more than I expected and now I know I can do one on each side...next time I'll do that and probably a bit more :).
The other interesting bit is that I have this favorite pair of jeans (who doesn't, right?) and generally speaking when they've just been washed they are a tad snug...over the course of the day they get looser and are fine. Today I took those jeans out of the closet, put them on and they felt loose, like I'd already worn them. Woot....not sure that is showing on the scale yet, but it was nice to put my jeans and have them start out loose.
Okay, off to do my thing for the day. Have a great one everyone!!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
What an interesting morning!! It all started at about 3:15 this morning...yep, that's what time my alarm goes off to get me up and ready for my run. Shortly after I got up my phone went off, my sister texted that she wasn't running so I immediately texted my mom asking her to meet an hour later and at my house, then went back to bed.
Got up again in an hour and hadn't heard back from my mom so I got ready and got the dog, shot off one more text and headed out the door. We stuck close to home for a few minutes thinking we would get an answer and when we didn't get one the dog and I headed off for our run. One of the first things we noticed was a flash of lightening behind us. Hmmmm...what's that about? Should we head back? No thunder...okay this thing is MILES away no worries. Stopped to stretch and watched a couple more flashes of lightening and decided to cut the route short. Started running and about a 1/3 of a mile in my shin started acting up...great. We were no headed east and facing the storm. Lots and lots of flashes of lightening. Glad I decided on the shorter route.
Get to a point where I have to decide between two routes home. One will add a bit of distance, but is down a tree lined street (a VERY tree lined street), the other is a tiny bit shorter but on a wide open street. I choose the open route. I'm hearing thunder now, but it is still obvious the storm is far, far away, but one never knows when that will change. The shin has me walking now, at a good pace, but walking feels better, so walk it is. Dog isn't fazed at all by the light show and is having a blast, but time to head on home. Just as we get back to our neighborhood, my phone tells me I have a text. Ah...there's mom...finally.
She left her phone at work and hadn't gotten any of the messages. She'd been to sister's and even to my house, but we were all asleep so she went shopping at Wal-Mart-lol! Went to work and got her phone (luckily she works at the hospital so there is always someone around-lol) and got all her messages. Dog and I waited at a little park where I stretched some until she got to my house. We kept watching the light show and even got a tiny bit sprinkled. When she pulled up dog recognized her car and started yelping at her so we ran the opposite way down the street away from the houses until he calmed down and we waited for her to catch up. It is still REALLY early...almost 5:30 by now, I didn't want dog to wake up the entire neighborhood. He's a beagle and has a beagle's voice. A bark and a yelp designed to travel for MILES so when he gets going you can hear him a block away-lol! The diversion worked and he settled down. We went ahead and took another short walk down one longish street and back and still saw lots of awesome lightning strikes...still miles away, but we were hearing more thunder by now and were glad to be going back.
By the time I added up all the little starts and stops I'd gone 2.5 miles. Lol-that's what I almost always do (run with warm-up and cool-down included). So there was nothing short about it...it did turn into a walk instead, but I kept a great pace for the walk and it was a great morning.
I had every excuse to not do anything this morning. A couple excuses even. "If she's not going I won't either." "There is lightning". "My shin hurts." "I'm too tired (true)."
But, I shushed all those excuses and got out there anyways and it was nice. I got fireworks, I got a cool, fresh morning, I got to spend time with my little beagle and make him happy. A beautiful morning :)!
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