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Surviving the Battlefield 10K

Monday, March 07, 2011

I sometimes complain about having nothing but hills for running. Six months ago, when I first started C25K, I mapped out a little one mile course that I could run down and back so that I didn't die trying to run hills. When I was in the final weeks of C25K I ventured out to some of the small rolling hills because I was tired of looking at the same scenery and wanted to start working towards being able to make it through the full 2.75 mile loop.

I'll never forget the day I conquered the Louisiana Monument hill. That's the biggie you see in the elevation graph between mile 1-2. It's like Mt Everest when you see it even though SP compresses the graph and makes it so much less scary. I hit the top of it still running and I would have shouted woo-hoo but I couldn't breath. So it was a silent woo-hoo as I sucked in air. I've run up that hill many times and it is still a feeling of accomplishment especially since now I can do it without gasping for breath when I get to the top. I didn't realize how much harder it is to run hills until I ran the first 5K that was flat with 2 inclines. I passed a lot of people that had to walk. Last month I did a 10K down and back that was so flat the elevation gain was only 25 feet. Thank goodness because I had been sick all week with a cold and my goal was just to finish. I did it in 1:04 which I was happy with because my best 5K was 31:26.

Every year since moving here I have envied the people participating in the Run Thru History race that takes place in the Vicksburg National Military Park (Civil War Battlefield). The race offers a 10K run & 5K walk. I always wanted to do it and, in fact it was one of the motivators that got me started on this journey last year. Another year had gone by that I didn't walk it. Fast forward to Week 9 of C25K and I put the Run Thru History on my calendar for 03/05/11. Nevermind that I could barely run 5K. I was going to run 10 by then. Just sending in my registration was emotional for me. It meant so much that I had far exceeded my "want to walk that race some day". Now I was going to run what is considered the hardest course around here.

I was a bundle of nervous excitement. It was supposed to thunderstorm from early morning through afternoon. That's ok, I've been rained on before. But I had this fear that my foot would slip on one of the steep climbs. I pictured my foot flying out behind me slamming my face into the pavement. Thankfully it didn't happen, but don't think I wasn't thinking about it on every incline! Parking is rather inconvenient so I decided to walk to the start (a mile from my house) then have my DH pick me up at the finish later. The finish was outside of the park 1/2 mile in the other direction.

The race started on time and I was rather displeased with myself when I checked my Garmin and saw that at the 1/2 mile I was running under a 9 min pace -that's way too fast for me and I seriously don't think I have ever done that in a practice run except blazing down a hill. My plan was to stay at 10 for the first mile because it is relatively flat and Mt Everest was ahead. I finished mile 1 at 9:46. About that time we rounded a bend and the beast came into view. A lady in front of me shouted "OH HOLY HELL ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?" That brought a lot of nervous laughter from the pack. It's not a long climb, it's just steep. A lot of runners stopped at the base and walked. At mile 2 it rained on us through mile 3. I was really glad I decided to use my fuel belt for my own water because the water stations were at miles 2 & 4. I need more than that. My heart rate was higher than I wanted it to be but since it was cooler, I was doing ok. When it gets too high, I get extremely hot and I have to dial it down or my breathing gets too heavy. I watched my HRM more than my pace. The Galloway run/walkers were making me nutty. Scurry past me, walk until I pass them and repeat. But hey it sure works for them because we all finished together.

The advantage in having experience with the course is that I knew after the back-to-back climbs in mile 5 that I was home free with a downhill to the finish. As I came out of the park and onto the road with finish line in sight, I burned it out on the last quarter mile at a pace I didn't know I had left in me. As I approach the inflatable archway I notice a man in a yellow vest in front of it shooing people to the right side. I'm blazing for the finish thinking "what is he doing?" when I hear someone shout "runner's finish to the right". And then I see it. This isn't the finish line. My finish line is another 100 yards --on an incline! I would have yelled like the other lady did, but I couldn't spare the oxygen required. Talk about diggin deeper! I maintained to the finish line and the clock flashed up 1:02:52. My official time was 1:03:10 though. My Garmin says 6.33 miles for 1:03:30. I have no idea. I thought the Dtag was supposed to give actual start to finish. I hit my Garmin start on the gun and it was at least 15 seconds before I crossed the start line so I guess the finish clock was wrong.

My only complaint is that there was no water at the finish. We had to climb a hill to the top of the parking lot to get to a single Igloo of water which two young ladies were slowly filling Dixie cups to hand to dehydrated, heavy breathing runners. Yep, 1 bucket of water for 700+ runners & walkers. I went inside to the after party thinking I could get something quicker in there. Hotdogs, bananas, oranges and a great band. No beverage. Or napkins, LOL. I tossed a few orange wedges into my empty water cup. I went back outside and the few people I knew were hovering at the beer truck. That's right. We drank a beer and ate a hotdog at 10am. I sent my DH a text and he arrived just as it started to rain again. I jumped in the car handing him a hotdog for his pick up fee (he loves hotdogs) and he asked where was my medal. Pbbbth. He thinks he's so funny.

I'm really happy with my race time. This wasn't a beginner's race and I held my own in the competition finishing 10/19 in my age group and 60/120 of women. I've been training for a half marathon (4/30) so I am not working on speed as much as I would have if I was only shooting for a 10K. I have to build my mileage right now. But next year... I'll be back. I'll be even stronger, fluff-less, and faster.

Garmin Splits
1 00:09:46 1.00 09:46
2 00:10:02 1.00 10:02
3 00:10:14 1.00 10:14
4 00:10:12 1.00 10:12
5 00:10:23 1.00 10:23
6 00:10:01 1.00 10:01
7 00:02:49 0.33 08:41
Summary 01:03:30 6.33 10:02

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETFIT2LIVE 3/11/2011 2:28PM

    Awesome job--just sorry I didn't see this to comment sooner. Hills are my nemesis (aren't they for any runner?), but a friend told me to chant silently 'hills are fun, hills are fun' as I run them and eventually I'll believe it. He was right; I wouldn't go so far as to say they're actually fun, but I don't dread them nearly as much.

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JICASMOM 3/9/2011 5:57PM

    Sounds like a great run!!! I just signed up for a race, and at the finish line they will be handing out margaritas!! DH and I are signed up!! It will be in the afternoon, not at 10am, but if it were at 10am, that would be fine too!!! emoticon

Awesome run and great blog on it!!! Can't wait to hear more stories!!!!

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GIVINGINOW 3/8/2011 4:49PM

    Sounds like it was quite the adventure!! Very proud of you for doing it :) I remember my first 5k last summer and there was a lady that would be walking and I would run past her and then she would sprint past me... it drove me nuts! And she finished before me! lol

It sounds like it was a challenging run and that you handled it perfectly... boo on the lasck of water they provided for the runners though, that really is awful!!


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SHARJOPAUL 3/8/2011 10:02AM

    Woo Hoo You did great. Keep working on your mileage for the half marathon!

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BRSCLS 3/8/2011 6:44AM

    You are awesome!! I always avoided the hills whenever I could when I first started last year and now I kind of look for them because I know they will make me stronger. You are an inspiration to me to find some races to sign up for.

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LISAINMS 3/7/2011 11:20PM

    Mclaflin: My husband gets car sick driving through the park.

LJohn: That elevation graph came from my Garmin Connect. I love all those reports and maps! What appears to be green dots next to the vertical ELEVATION is actually numbers in 100 increments.

Thanks for all the kudos everybody!

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HEALTHYME47 3/7/2011 10:30PM

    Congratulations on a great race! You conquered it despite hills and rains. I chuckled at the Galloway run/walkers making you nutty. My husband and I used the Galloway method to do our marathon in 2004 ....I did the whole thing running 5 minutes then walking 1. Now I don't do that anymore, I'm just running straight through, but my knees are starting to bug me unfortunately.

That's so bizarre about the lack of beverages at the end of the race...seems like poor planning on someone's part.

Anyway - great race report!


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MAGGIE805 3/7/2011 10:18PM

    You so totally ROCK!!!!! Way to go!

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CRISSYCURRY 3/7/2011 9:36PM

    You did so awesome!! Congrats!! emoticon

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TEDDYBABE 3/7/2011 9:26PM

    Lol. Oh I love this blog. We have hills here also and I am always trying to strategically pick my way thru them. And I also get frustrated with the walk run passage. Hey. Didn't I just pass you?! Great run you did. Wow I am impressed. Such an inspiration!

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 3/7/2011 8:11PM

    You are a woman after my own heart! I have always dreaded hills (ok, I still do!) What a fantastic accomplishment! Good for you!

And, what were they thinking with the water so far away from the finish? Yikes. But, the hotdog and the beer after the race sounds good. Even at 10:30 in the AM.

Afterall, you know it's five o'clock somewhere!

Comment edited on: 3/7/2011 8:12:25 PM

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LJOHN44 3/7/2011 6:52PM

    YOU are a total BADA$$!!!! WooooHOOOOO! I'm proud of you!!!! BTW -where'd you get that graph? That's cool...
emoticon Greetings from the snowy North!

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MCLAFLIN 3/7/2011 5:57PM

    I've been through the park, and I remember those hills! Thanks for taking us on your run with you. I loved it! You did great!

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What is it about losing 60 pounds?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Several days ago I wrote about this odd point that I have arrived at in my journey. My weight loss has slowed to .5-1 pound per week after cruising along in the 1-2 range for months. I've questioned and rechecked my calorie ranges for the umpteenth time. I'm right on target and doing exactly what I should be doing so I'm not changing anything at this point. The truly interesting thing about this is that since writing that blog, I have read several blogs stating the same scenario. These were not sparkies that read my blog and wrote their own. I found their blogs because my sparkfriends commented and it appeared in my friend feed. It's not interesting that their weight loss slowed. It's interesting because they also have lost 60 pounds and said they had another 30ish to go -they are at the same place in their journey as I am. And we are all experiencing that same brakes on slow down. I didn't give it much thought until I read the 4th or 5th blog in a week that said the same thing. That's just odd to me.

So what is it about losing 60 pounds that seems to be a line in the sand? Is it hitting the 2/3 mark? That we have lost a significant amount of weight and our bodies are now shifting gears before continuing forward? Is it a percentage issue? I've lost 25% of my body weight. Is that where the body says "Hold on there. I put up with this for months but we're going to slow this down now before you get carried away with this shrinking business".

There has to be a pattern in here somewhere! Like the others, I will continue to press forward. I'm not frustrated or freaking out. I'm still losing weight it's just not as much as it was. But I sure would like to consider the coincidence of the numbers. What is it about losing 60 pounds?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCBRITT 3/8/2011 12:48PM


Just think how hard your body had to work with 60 more pounds...just imagine slapping on 60 pound weights..10 on each ankle, 10 on each wrist and 20 around the waiste...go run...your body would your body is sighing with relief and cruising for a while..take a look at SkinnyPowell..I think she went through what you are now going're doing good girl...I'm proud of you...proud to call you a spark friend...I brag about you and my other successful keep me motivated. emoticon

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NEEBREW 3/3/2011 10:09PM

    Oh, it is ALL too common to experience the "slow down." And the smaller you get and the more your body adjusts to your calories/work outs, the slower it gets. BUT as long as you have a downward trend, you're doing GREAT. Even a pound at a time, you're getting healthier every week. And those pounds add up... just think where you're going to be in 6 months compared to now!

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 2/28/2011 10:36AM

    Interesting! I haven't thought of this before but you may be on to something. I'm thinking that what SHRINK71 could be the key. the less you have to lose the slower it comes off. When people talk about the last 5 or 10 pounds just not coming off, that drives the point home. Keep up the good fight. I know it's frustrating. It will come off but I understand how frustrating it is..

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OLVAJE 2/28/2011 8:19AM

    You are doing great and doing all the right things! Way to go! Be proud! So many of us are just beginning and aren't near as far as you so you are definately an inspiration to us!

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SHARJOPAUL 2/28/2011 8:14AM

    I think you probably have a point about the percentage af body weight lost. There has been a theory around for some time about "set point" for body weight/fat. It basically says that your body gets used to a given weight/amount of fat and tries to maintain it. When we consciously make changes in food intake and exercise our unconscious mind sees it as famine/starvation and tries to maintain what it is used to even it is higher than what we want it to be or higher than what is healthy. Maybe that is what is going on.
I googled "set point weight". There is lots of info out there on this. And of course lots of things you can spend money on about it.
What I read boils down to is that you need to make lifestyle changes and stick to them (gee sounds like SP) in order to permanantly lose weight.

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SHRINK71 2/28/2011 8:02AM

    I think it's just that the less you have to lose, the slower it comes off... That's just the simple fact. We see it all the time... on TV shows, with our friends... with ourselves. But as long as the scale is still moving down that is the right direction. If it's "only" a half pound... great! It's still a loss!

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TEDDYBABE 2/28/2011 2:45AM

    I agree with you. I don't think the magic number is 60 as much as it is a percentage of weight needed to be lost. I have experienced the same thing and wondered the same thing. Maybe someone will shed some light on this. It's obviously some sort of chemical balance realignment in our bodies. I'm thinking, but then what do I know.

Have a great week friend, and thank you so much for your awesome tips and motivation. You have been a tremendous help to me these last few weeks.

Take care,


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Calories, BMRs and Deficits - OH MY

Monday, February 21, 2011

Consume less than you burn and you lose weight, right? I have researched my BMR for the umpteenth time and no matter which calculator I use, it's within a few calories of 1525. That's unadjusted for any activity. Sit on the couch and watch tv all day and I will burn 10675 for the week. Obviously I am no longer a couch sitter. But let's err conservatively and count only my exercise specific calorie burn -not the laundry, etc. That's a weekly average of 3000 calories burned. Since November I have maintained a weekly calories consumed of 10500. So here's the math....
10500 Calories in
-10675 calories out for BMR
-3000 calories out for exercise
3175 calorie deficit for the week

That (theoretically) gives me .9 pounds lost every week.

I've been analyzing my calories trying to figure out how much I need to eat to keep my metabolism going without hitting starvation mode or plateauing. Sometimes I think I'm not eating enough because I see other sparkers (with similar activity level) saying they eat 1700-2000. I'm never hungry, have energy to spare and don't crave anything so I think I am at the right amount of calories with 1550. I don't know!! I would hate to realize that I would be losing more if I was eating more.

I'm not complaining about my results -I just want to maximize all of my efforts! I've lost 60# in 9 months. I have 30# to go and I feel like it's going SOO slow although I have averaged 1# every week since November. It was coming off in 2's though. And now I'm working so much harder, but burning more efficiently and losing slower. That just doesn't seem fair! I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what I should be doing different. I updated my SP recommended range and it is down a tiny bit to 1380-1730. My 1500 is inline with that. I've tried both consistent and cycling calories. I'm not convinced it made any difference to cycle 2 days higher end of range (I was looking at it to compensate for my long run days because I burn so many calories).

Does everyone else obsess over calories, BMR and deficits like I do or am I the only number freak around here? Ok, maybe obsess is too strong of a word. I know some people don't track their calories, but I won't win any awards for patience and I want to see results -so I track. What works for you? Calorie cycling or consistently level calories? Do you use the SP range or wing it? Seriously... I'm curious as to how everyone else figures out the numbers as we all go along this ever evolving journey. It would be so much easier if everything was consistent the whole way through!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEEBREW 2/22/2011 9:33PM

    I too track every single calorie, fitness minute, etc. That's what drives me to keep going.

Everyone's body works in a different way. I was keeping my calories low (around 1300) and wasn't losing. I lost a lot faster last year eating around 1600-1700 a day so I upped my calories and started losing faster again. If I start to put weight back on, I will immediately drop the calories back. I'm so afraid that my body is going to think it's starving, especially because I've always been a voracious eater! Weight loss is such a mystery to me, but as long as it's an overall downward trend, I'm happy!

I think you've done GREAT so whatever you've done is working. As long as you aren't hungry, I sure wouldn't worry about it :)

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SHARJOPAUL 2/22/2011 8:38AM

    60# gone! That's GREAT!
If you want to keep up the 2# a week weight loss try lugging 3 - 20# bags of dog food around with you during all your activities. Just kidding.
You are really burning fewer calories now than you were 60# ago so you weight loss will be slower. As long as you are still dropping a pound a week you are doing fine.

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MAGGIE805 2/21/2011 9:53PM

    That's just too many numbers for me, it hurts my head. You've lost a lot already so stick with what's working for you and don't sweat it. Don't dwell too much on the numbers and just keep rocking that run. :)

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MCLAFLIN 2/21/2011 9:39PM

    I agree with LJOHN44, you have lost lots of weight, and I have never heard you talk about hitting a plateau. Maybe this is one. You have been so consistent with your loss, and I know it is tough to see that consistency falter. Stick with what you are doing. Step away from the scales for a couple of weeks, just keep measuring! And you have talked about sodium and eating out more often than normal. Maybe that is the culprit.

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 2/21/2011 9:31PM

    I track everything as well but I tend to stay below the range. I've always been a healthy eater. I also have been an exerciser for most of my adult life but when I started peri menopause all rules of the game went right out the window and I promptly gained 40 pounds. I also stopped exercising because my body temperature was so hot I thought my head would explode. Sorry, getting off track here.

I started running again this past fall. I also finally started tracking my food. I really felt the calories were too high and I stay around 1,300 and lo and behold my weight is dropping. Menopause seems to be over too which I'm sure is a factor here.

I make my calories count by eating really good whole foods. Lots of vegetables which add bulk and fiber. Some whole grains because I get to craving them if I don't incorporate them into my food plan. Some fruit but I'm not a fiend about it. And lots of protein because it makes the satiety center in our brains happy. I hope this helps. But truly we can get totally nuts about this if we let ourselves.

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MYLADY4 2/21/2011 8:46PM

    I am in the same boat and am going to see a trainer tomorrow about this very subject. What I did to lose 80 pounds (and gain 25 of it back and lose it and gain it back) is no longer working for me. I ran and rode my butt off last summer and the weight just did not drop off. Once you get to a point calories in versus calories out just does not work.

I was told that when you have been working out and eating to lose weight for a while you body get real efficient at it and you need to try something new. I thought I was but it was not enough. We will see what the trainer has in store and what new knowledge and plan we can come up with the have the rest of the weight drop off.


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GETSTRONGRRR 2/21/2011 8:26PM

    I'm with you, I'm a numbers freak too, but I came to the realization a few weeks ago that all these numbers are approximations, not an exact science....only our bodies know how to treat the calories we ingest and work off.

My only lesson learned is that I need to be patient...I may plan to get to a goal weight in 6 months, but biology & chemistry and who knows what else may say it ain't happening till.....

Just keep at it....consistency is the key

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HEALTHYME47 2/21/2011 8:25PM

    I track like a maniac and am obsessed with the numbers as well. For me I've been able to see pretty clearly the correlation between what I eat, how much I exercise, and whether the scale goes up or down, but I'm only on month 4. From what I've read with others who have been around Spark longer these plateaus happen....and eventually you just break through. To me it sure sounds like you are eating the correct amount of calories. Maybe play around with the macronutrients a bit, see if lower carb makes a difference. Otherwise, you probably just do need to stay patient and consistent and eventually the plateau will break when it's good and ready.

Hang in there, you are doing AWESOME! 60 pounds is an amazing feat!


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CRISSYCURRY 2/21/2011 7:48PM

    First of all, congrats on you weight loss!! That's awesome!! Next, to answer some of your questions, I do track on SP but not as often as I should. I sneak bites of food in here and there. Some days I snack all day long without tracking. Plus, since I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm not as meticulous about it as before. However, now that I'm not running as much or doing classes, I've had to cut my calories way back which means tracking loyally and consistently!!

I don't look at the actual math behind it. I just try to stay in the ranges that SP has recommended for me. When I was trying to lose weight, I really was more focused with the calorie counting. Now, not so much.

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LJOHN44 2/21/2011 7:06PM

    You do realize you can drive yourself nuts trying to figure it out, right? Spark 2.0 I got obsessed with the numbers and gave up after awhile because the math wasn't working out like it was supposed to. So I bailed out of Spark completely. Brilliant. (not)

1 lb a week is good. 2 lbs a week was great but you have to realize you've lost a considerable amount of weight. You'r not carrying around as much of "you" anymore so you're not going to be losing as fast. Not fair. That's life. I'd rather lose 1 lb a week and not have to carry around 60 extra lbs 24/7!

Don't get frustrated and don't drown in the numbers!

I track like a maniac. I don't know how people do it without tracking. I track my food religiously and my exercise (I use my garmin to calculate calorie burn). I adjust my calories when Spark tells me to. I only lost 0.5 lbs from Jan 1 until last Wed. I got frustrated. Really frustrated. But I'm on a challenge team and I didn't want to let my teammates down so I stayed within my calorie ranges and upheld my end of my exercise minutes pledge. Then all of a sudden last week I lost 4.5lbs. If you look at just the numbers, the past 7 weeks shouldn't have happend like they did. But they did. Who knows?! Life is weird.

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JO88BAKO 2/21/2011 6:35PM

    I use the calorie range SP suggests. You have lost a lot, so whatever you are doing seems to be working well for you,Congrats!! Keep up the good work. emoticon

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7 mile battle wounds (pics)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yesterday I got schooled on the need for Glide. I've been using it on my back underneath my bra strap just on the spot right in the middle of my back where it clasps. That became a necessity when I went beyond 4 miles. Unfortunately we have to learn these little necessities the hard way. Chafing really sucks. I don't notice it when it is happening. It's that "light me on fire" first minute in the shower that is the dead giveaway that you know you have a chaffed spot.

Sooo, the way to prevent chafing in unavoidable spots is to rub on a little Body Glide. But you have to know there is a problem before you know to Glide. Yesterday I learned there was a new problem. My heart rate monitor band. Just a mild rub spot, but as the weather warms and the distance increases... this will be worse.

But that was the least of my problems. I have been wearing a fleece pullover over a tech shirt and a Spibelt on the outside of the shirt. It doesn't show, but if I need it, I can get to the belt easily. It was 45 yesterday so no pullover. I wasn't really thinking and wore my Spibelt under my shirt. That's right... on my bare skin. Check out this lovely chafe spot and the line I have all the way across my belly.

Yeah, that will never happen again. In case you've somehow never been chafed like this... it feels like a lit match on your skin when the water hits it. The first time it happened on my back I was certain I was being stung by a wasp. I didn't see it before I got in the shower and let me tell you it's a shocker when you don't know it's coming. Ugh. Things to not look forward to about half marathon training. I think I will go buy a case of Body Glide.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PELESJEWEL 2/27/2011 12:30PM

    emoticon Ouch! thanks for sharing!! I gonna research it now! Sorry you're in pain!

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 2/21/2011 9:24PM

    I'm glad I just found this blog. I have horrible chafing around the area under my bra in the front. I even bought a bra that says it cuts down on chafing to no avail. I've not heard of body glide but will look for it.

By the way - your photos of your progress look great! Congratulations.

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GO-JO-GO 2/16/2011 10:13PM

  Hey, Lisa - I've found that Gold Bond Medicated Powder works wonders to prevent chafing and also heal any chafing that has already started. Jo

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MAGGIE805 2/16/2011 7:47PM

    :(. I have two spots that chafe. Both right under the armpits. I am going to have to check that out.

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JCBRITT 2/16/2011 12:40PM

    This shows how much I know...SPIbelt? Glide? I had to google these things to find out what they were...who knew? I guess I better get up to speed...LOL..The downside is for me to get my ipod, watch, hairband, socks, shoes, running bra, etc all in the same place is sometimes a challenge...add a couple more things and I better find a permanent home for everything with lock and key so they don't walk away....

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SHARJOPAUL 2/15/2011 9:29AM

    ARGH! I've had chafe spots before and you are right, they are awful!

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HEALTHYME47 2/14/2011 9:10PM

    I used a lot of Body Glide when I did my one and only marathon back in 2004. I needed it on feet, inner thighs and around bra straps. I did learn that I couldn't use my heart rate monitor once I got to the really long runs...there just wasn't enough Body Glide in the world to keep it from chafing, and by that point I really didn't need it any more to measure my exercise intensity while running, I just "knew" what the correct zone felt like.

I did learn that Body Glide goes bad and starts to smell funny, so if you buy a lot keep it in the fridge until you need it.

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A beautiful day for a run and pushing past your stopping point

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So I'm working my way through the Higdon half marathon training plan... today I did 7 miles. I do not have many options for running because there is only one large park here, most of the city does not have sidewalks and the country roads aren't safe because of speeding drivers. I made 7 miles out of my usual 6.25 route with a double back to get the extra distance. This is only noteworthy because it was funny to see my dog's reaction as we came upon our exit point. The approach is an uphill curving to the right. I was psyching myself up as I was chugging up that hill (since that is my normal stopping point and I had to add another .75) with "I'm not finished yet". As we reached the top of the hill, Zoe started angling to the left side of the park road to get to the trail going back to our neighborhood. I said "no, keep running". I was probably saying it as much to myself as I was to her. She looked at me then continued pulling toward the trail. I said "come on let's run some more". She looked at me with total concern as if to say "are you serious? this is where we get off. we're done!" but she trotted back to her lead position about 8 feet in front of me. She looked back over her shoulder at me a couple of times as if to say "are you sure about this? this is not the way we're supposed to go". We reached the spot I knew would give me the right distance and said "ok turn around, let's go home" and I swear she smiled as she jumped with excitement, turned around and bolted past me. It made me realize that she was uncomfortable in pushing beyond her routine. Even though we run varying distances and different routes, she knew we were past the end and was eager to be back in the familiar. You see where I'm going with this? It's normal to want to stay with our routines. We have to challenge ourselves to change it up whether that is to try something new or just to push past where we normally stop. It's a little scary, we're a little unsure of where we're going, but we take that step and grow through the process.

We reached the trail and walked the half mile back home. I treated Zoe to a big peanut butter rawhide chew. She earned it! What was my reward? A big omelet with sauteed onions, mushrooms, red bell and spinach... topped with feta. Oh and a toasted wheat bagel thin with cream cheese and fresh blueberries. I earned it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCLAFLIN 2/13/2011 10:18PM

    See, humans are not the only creatures of habit! Great job, I truly admire your determination! Just think of all the calories you burned.

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 2/13/2011 8:37PM

    What a great day for you! I'm proud of your choice to push and do an extra .75 mile!

It's cool that you have your dog to run with you too. It is funny how we get stuck in routine and feel funny when we change things up.

Have a wonderful week!!

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NEEBREW 2/13/2011 8:23PM

    Wow! Congratulations!

You are SO right about getting into routines. I can just envision the look on Zoe's face! Ha!

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HEALTHYME47 2/13/2011 8:22PM

    Too cute about your dog. Good for both of your for pushing past your limits!

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