Lawson Lake Trail 5k Race Recap 10/14/19

I know, I know — I just ran a 10k a couple of days before this “race”. I use the term race loosely. Trail runs/races just tend to be fun runs for me. That’s the attitude I went into this with. A gorgeous weekend, a lake, trails, friends. What could go wrong?

This fire felt great while we waited to start!

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our bibs the day of the race with no issues. It’s basically a club run, although there are bibs and timing chips — but no tee (no problem!) and no swag. Unless you’re one of the overall winners, then you get a free entry to the trail race of your choice in 2020.

I picked up Darlene @ Myfirst5kon my way there, and we got there early, which was a good thing because the one parking lot open was tiny.

We ran around this area twice at the start and once towards the end

There are two races (which start together): a 5k and a 5 miler. This was only the second year the event has been offered.

Ok, so light capris are not so flattering (but they were comfortable)

The weather & dressing
Another beautiful day to run with low wind and temps in the 50s. I wore my Skirt Sports Blue Deco Watch Me Go Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris with the Toasty Girl Vest. The Blue Deco top is very lightweight, and I knew a lot of the run would be in the woods, and hence shady and cool. I did get warm, but I’m also glad I kept the vest on.

Am I on the right path? Have I missed a turn?

My Race Plan
Again no race plan — run where I can, walk where it was steep or rocky or lots of roots. I didn’t think about the carpeting of leaves, and that certainly came into play.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:12. Slight downs & ups while we looped around the parking lot with views of the lake — twice. The road here was unpaved with a smattering of gravel, but it wasn’t a true trail for most of the first mile so I was able to keep a decent pace.
  2. Mile 2: 18:23. The fun began in mile two. About halfway through the race I found myself basically alone. Darlene and Running Buddy J were walking, and were behind me for a while here, but I’d lost almost all the rest of the runners. The leaves were deep, there were many roots and rocks, and I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way . . . often. There was a lot of walking. A lot of walking. I’ve never “run” a trail so slowly, LOL!
  3. Mile 3: 15:50. They had told us that we would go up a “small uphill” right before the downhill finish. Small my a$$. Okay, maybe to some runners it would be small — it was pretty darn steep in my opinion and just cruel at the end!
  4. Last .06: 12:40. It was, at least, downhill to the finish, and I’ve never met a downhill I didn’t love.

46:53 — Official Time
15:06 Average Pace
4 out of 5 in F55-59
40 out of 47 Runners

They were gonna walk (well, they mostly did). The final downhill to the finish.

I get a giggle that the runners who finished before and after me are from the same town as me — and both are 20 years younger than me. My first trail 5k, which was in the summer, was about 4 minutes faster, and one I ran earlier this year was a whopping 10 minutes faster. Both of them were in the summer, so no carpet of leaves to contend with.

Why do race directors always put a hill right before the end?

Was the race well run?
The race was well marked, although there were long stretches without flags that seriously had me wondering if I’d taken a wrong turn. I told everyone I really counted it as a victory that I didn’t get lost. There were a few course marshals here and there, too, but I appreciate that that is very difficult on trail races.

We thought there were pies in here . . .

I personally didn’t need the medal at the end, although it’s a nice touch, as was the cider donuts. We’d all seen the boxes, but thought they were pies for AG awards (there were no AG awards, not that that mattered for me) — indeed they were cider donuts and plenty of them, although they were really cold so not terribly enticing to me. That half in the box is from me.

What I really wanted? Water! Again, I understand that everything had to be hauled up there. There was an empty gallon jug of water by the food. Had there been water somewhere else? I’d left the water bottle I brought with me in the car.

There were burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers (two, which Running Buddy J and I snagged), and chips for post race food. Not terribly exciting. This was not a potluck — too bad, I think a potluck would have been much more fun!

Positives:

  1. Another pretty park.
  2. Chip timing.
  3. Free lunch post race.
  4. Running with friends.
  5. A medal — I don’t need it for a simple 5k, but I’m sure others enjoyed it.
  6. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. A challenging course, especially with the deep carpet of leaves.
  2. More flags on the course, please!
  3. More water post race, too, please!
  4. Small parking lot.

What I learned
I’m really not sure I’d do this race again. Maybe I was just in a mood? My friends enjoyed it. It wasn’t expensive. Perhaps if I hadn’t been as anxious about getting lost I would have enjoyed it more. Or if I’d been running with a friend. I spent almost the entire second half of the race pretty much alone — worried that I’d missed a turn somewhere, and would never be found as there was no cell phone service out there. Although maybe Darlene wold have wondered where her ride was.
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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Modern Ayurveda (Book Review)

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Ayurveda is complicated, there’s no doubt about it. You need a guide. You also need a guide on how to navigate Ayurveda in the modern world, since it was developed in Ancient India, and most of us don’t even live in modern India.

Ali Cramer does a wonderful job demystifying Ayurveda so that it’s livable in our modern times.

Why should a runner even care about Ayurveda? Have you ever had digestive issues that effected your running? Following Ayurvedic principles can help you sort that out.

Fairytales and Fitness

Disclaimer: I received a pre-publication edition of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.

Ayurveda is about more than just how to eat

What’s in the book?
The first third of Modern Ayurveda (Amazon Affiliate link) explains the major principles of Ayurvedic eating, determining your dosha (remember my post on the doshas? Read it hereif you missed it), what sorts of foods are appropriate for which doshas, and the 6 tastes — and which of those tastes are most balancing for your dosha.

I’ve just thrown out a bit of Sanskrit and some terms you’re probably not familiar with — that’s okay, because Ali does a great job of explaining it all in easy to understand language.

Here’s a list of the chapters in the book:

  • Essential Ayurveda
  • Ayurveda and You
  • Modern Ayurveda Lifestyle
  • Recipes for Healing and Detox
  • The Healing Recipes
  • Remedies & Practices for Specific Ailments
  • Kickstart Plans
  • Ayurveda Every Day
  • Resources

Modern Ayurveda is about a lot more than just eating right, though. It’s about how to move (including yoga flows tailored to your Dosha), even when is the optimal time to move, destressing rituals, and more.

What drew me to this book
I’ve dabbled in Ayurveda, even before I learned more about it in my YTT. Learning more, as usual, is the key to igniting interest and yet leaves you with more questions. Here’s a snippet of the book description on Net Galley:

Ayurveda is an ancient South Asian system of holistic health and wisdom that’s been practiced throughout the world for thousands of years. It teaches us to live in harmony with the world around us by balancing our naturally-occurring physical and mental tendencies with the limitations of our lives. Modern Ayurveda introduces you to the basics of the Ayurvedic way of eating and lifestyle choices, with everything from recipes and morning meditations to daily routines, personalized yoga practices, and more.

Ali Cramer, the author of Modern Ayurveda, is the director of the Ayurveda program at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in New York City.

According to Ali, Ayurveda is:

A complete system of based on the elements of nature and  living life in accordance with the natural rhythms of our world.

Kichadi: Indian comfort food

So how does it taste?
There is a clickable index of recipes at the beginning of the recipe section, broken out by Dosha.

Recipes are clearly marked by Dosha icons

Some recipes are tridoshic (appropriate for all doshas), some are good for a couple of doshas, and the vast majority are aimed at your particular dosha. There are also suggestions for how to eat by season.

Recipes in the book, also clearly marked by Dosha

There are recipes for:

  • Kichadi (a rice and bean dish)
  • Breakfasts
  • Spice Mixes
  • Soups
  • “Burgers” (veggie burgers)
  • Sauces
  • Snacks
  • Tonics
These are what the Kapha Burgers look like — and they taste great!

All the recipes I tried from the book were simple, tasty, and didn’t require a long list of strange ingredients, although they most likely will require spices you may not have in your spice cabinet.

Who is this book for?
You don’t have to be into yoga to explore Ayurveda (although the two really do go together). If you’re interested in how to tailor your eating to your body type, not somebody else’s, Modern Ayurveda can help you get started. If you eat healthy and clean, but still struggle with digestive issues, this book is for you. If you just want some healthy tasty recipes, this book is also for you!

Does having a diet tailored to your individual needs — one that changes and adapts with you, the seasons, your age — sound good to you? Then learning a little more about Ayurveda could be helpful to you.

Baby stepping into doing the right things for your Dosha

The Kickstarts
There is a seven day kickstart program all laid out for you by your dosha. It’s not what you think, though — it’s not really about your food (although there are suggestions for a meal plan for each dosha and food lists with best foods for your dosha).

No, it’s about how you live your day. There are simple suggestions for what you should add to your day — and when. It starts out with small changes, and each day builds on the previous day with additional small changes.

I didn’t try the kickstart, but most of the small changes that are suggested are not time-consuming. Change is hard, though, and even the simplest changes require a willingness to change. We can’t feel better if we aren’t willing to change.

Chickpea pancakes. Super quick & simple — they’ve become a staple!

Final Thoughts
I love how simple Ali Cramer makes Ayurveda seem. A lot of information is packed into this book, in addition to the recipes. It’s about so much more than food, though. Because Ayurveda is about so much more than food — it’s really a lifestyle. Perhaps the original holistic lifestyle.

Ali gives you lots of suggestions, but realizes that baby steps are the way to go and most of all tells you to do the best you can.

The book itself is very visually appealing. All of the recipes are clearly marked by dosha. If I’ve piqued your interest in Ayurveda, then I highly recommend checking out Modern Ayurveda!

Have I managed to at least make you curious about Ayurveda?

Do you enjoy Indian food?

Are you curious about your Dosha? (I link to Dosha quizzes here)

Great Pumpkin 10k Race Recap 10/12/19

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Our group was slightly smaller than in past years, with Darlene @ Myfirst5kresting up for her 20 miler the next day (7 + a Half), and another running friend not able to make it. About evenly split between 5kers and 10kers.

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our packets the day of the race this year, with no issues. They changed the tee design (which we all like) just slightly, and we all still liked it. Warned that they are a men’s style, I got a small — it was still rather large on me but better large than small I say.

We got there early enough to park by the pavilion that the race is held at, so we were able to go back and forth to the car frequently. The real bathrooms are always a plus and oddly never super crowded.

Cool It Long Sleeve under the fleece (which I took off for the race); as you can see it was a bit cool before we started but warmed up quickly!

The weather & dressing
It was pretty much perfection this year, in the low to mid 50s, with almost no wind at all.

I wore my Skirt Sports Cool It Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris. It was cold when we left, but I knew it would be warming up. I have to say I wish I’d worn a skirt instead of the capris, but I actually like not having to reach underneath my skirt to get at my water bottles, too.

The Cool It Long Sleeve actually works great in the Fall transitional weather — keeping you mostly covered can keep you warm before you start, but also still help you stay somewhat cool as you warm up during the race. Go figure.

Even the course marshals get into the holiday spirit. They warned us not to lose our heads.

My Race Plan
Nope, no race plan. No expectations, either. Running has been squeezed in when I can lately, and speed work has been pretty much non existent. I have run a few times at my mom’s, though, which is super hilly — as is the second portion of this 10k.

I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm every mile, but I knew that between the stress the past six weeks and a few really restless nights recently that was a tall order and I also knew I’d be okay with whatever the race handed me — well, within reason, of course. I wouldn’t be happy with an injury!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:19. A fast start (quite a bit faster than last year) but nothing that would come back to haunt me.
  2. Mile 2: 10:48. Relatively flat. So just switch mile one and two and I’m right on track. <== that’s what I wrote last year. Still true. Faster than last year.
  3. Mile 3: 10:19. A slow decline and again faster than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:50. A long decline and a long incline. Slower than last year but not by a lot. I learned from Firecracker 4 this summer that with steep hills like these I’m better off doing run/walk, so I did. Just by feel.
  5. Mile 5: 11:09. Mostly a long hill. A bit faster than last year. Darn, that 11 at the front! Like last year, I got to see Running Buddy J here & shouted some encouragement. Definitely a tough mile. I also passed another running friend here who is generally faster than me so I was pleased.
  6. Mile 6: 10:56. Mostly downhill. A bit slower than last year.
  7. Last .16: 10:51. And a sprint to the slightly uphill finish with my friends cheering me in. Again just a bit slower than last year. Usually I can sprint in the last little bit but that darn small uphill before the finish gets me every time.

1:06:06 — Official Time
10:39 Average Pace
9 out of 19 in F55-59
233 out of 299 Runners

Previous Years:
2018: 1:07:14 — Official Time, 10:50 Average Pace
2017: 1:08:39 — Official Time, 11:03 Average Pace

Yes, like last year, it was both a 10k PR and a course PR. I mostly met my goal; that one mile was just barely over an 11 mm so I say that’s splitting hairs. Extremely pleased with such a strong race on so little training (and sleep). I’ve lowered my 10k time since my first, eight years ago, but about 5ish minutes.

Seriously, though, where were those 10:19s in my recent 5k? Oh yeah, that one wasn’t mostly downhill, as the first half of this 10k is.

I really do think those few hilly runs at my mom’s were good training. Or maybe the HR training has also been helping? My easy runs are a lot slower than they have been, but for this race, I completely ignored my HR and turned off HR alerts, too.

Running Buddy J was pleased with her stemless wineglass for her AG 3rd place

Was the race well run?
The race is extremely well marked and there are plenty of course marshals. There are a lot of refreshments after, but there’s a long line (even though the 5k was long finished!). Although mostly the baked goods are just okay. Some year I’ll remember to photograph the spread. Running buddy J placed in her AG. I was very pleased with my PR.

People get into the holiday spirit with costumes (there’s also a kid’s race), and there’s a fire at the pavilion — in addition to those real bathrooms

Positives:

  1. Such a pretty park to run through, especially in the Fall.
  2. Real bathrooms.
  3. A well marked and well directed course.
  4. Nice long sleeved tech shirt.
  5. The entry includes a free raffle ticket — unfortunately I didn’t win anything (again!).
  6. Running with friends.
  7. A PR is always sweet.
  8. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. Challenging hills.
  2. The paths, for the most part, are quite narrow, although this time I never really got too frustrated and felt I found my own space for much of the race.

What I learned
Using intervals on steep hills will probably always be the way to go for me. I didn’t use intervals on those hills at my moms for my last run there, but I also ran significantly slower. More than 2 minutes per mile slower.

Those little walk breaks are to help prevent fatigue from setting in, and they work. I won’t say you won’t get tired, you still do. But the break will help you have enough energy to power up the hill when you are back to running.

If none of my friends end up doing the November 15k, it will be a hard decision. Do I really want to do it by myself? Assuming that I am here, that is always up in the air the last 6 weeks. Maybe. Just to see what I can do. Fall really is my favorite time of year to race!
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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Pollyanna gets peeved

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I’m not Pollyanna, I freely admit that. I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I still seem to manage to collect a lot of things to get peeved about though.

Running out of ________ at the finish
There is nothing worse than giving a race your all, only to find volunteers breaking down the finish line before you’ve even crossed it. No food to replenish those calories you’ve burned.

Worst one ever: no medal! I don’t run for bling, but seriously, I earned that medal and I want it! Think it doesn’t happen? It sure does.

If there’s a time limit on a race and you don’t meet it, then it’s at least understandable. RDs have to pay to have roads open, cops available, and so forth.There are a lot of races with time limits that will still hold open that finish line, though.

These things happen even when runners come in within a time limit, and that is just inexcusable.

Weird food
Apparently a lot of runners complained about the clam chowder at the end of the Surftown Half recently, which was run on a warm day.

I can tell you from personal experience on a raw, cold, very nasty day, clam chowder after a half is the best thing ever. I can see how it might not seem appetizing if it’s a warm day.

ZOOM Annapolis had things like chicken salad in the lunch box they gave you at the finish. Talk about warm days! It was not at all appealing to me.

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Not enough portapotties
I don’t know what the equation is for portapotties, but oftentimes it seems broken. I almost always have to use one before a race. Some races are point to point, down a mountain, and the only way to get to the start is to be bussed.

Sometimes those buses get there really close to start time, and this is totally out of your control. Sure, most races are chip timed, so you can start whenever, but seriously, don’t you want to start when everyone else does?

I have definitely had races where I almost missed the start due to those sorts of circumstances, something I could not change. It was not a relaxed feeling. In one race, the RD actually encouraged runners to just go in the bushes. Thanks, but no thanks (same race they ran out of medals even though I wasn’t even BOTP).

Small wonder that race company is no longer in business.

Keeping with the potty theme . . .
I swear there is nothing worse than having real bathrooms right there — but not available for the runners to use. It just seems cruel.

And speaking of pet peeves
As much as I love my dogs, I’m beginning to think that races just aren’t the place for them. Even low key races.

I have been almost stepped on by dogs in races. I’ve had dogs suddenly swerve out in front of me. I’ve had dogs prevent me from being able to pass another runner. I’ve had dogs almost jump on me during a race.

Seriously, dogs in races are an accident waiting to happen, unless they’re service dogs.

What was the best post race food you ever had?

What was the worst post race food you ever had?

What peeves you — in running, or in life in general?

Want more running pet peeves? Check out these posts:

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Embrace the taper!

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Who wouldn’t love a taper? Only a crazy person! Of course there are a lot of crazy runners out there. Runners who run because it lets them run off the crazies. They’re typically the ones that go stir crazy during the taper.

Not me, nope. I’m an active person now, but it’s not really my nature to be active. I have gone against my nature so that I can age well, remain healthy, and remain at a healthy weight. That means forcing myself to be active.

I don’t have to force so much anymore; the funny thing about being active is that once you get over the initial resistance to it (which can take months, sometimes years, for some of us), it’s addictive. It becomes hard to be inactive.

I’m an active inactive person
That just means that being active doesn’t really come naturally to me. Even now, to some degree, after years of being active. When I come to the end of a training cycle, when I’ve been forced to be more active than usual, I am tired. I am ready to rest. And I love me a taper.

For all of you naturally active people, there’s good reason to embrace the taper, even if it goes against your nature. Because I think rest and recovery is important (or maybe because I like to rest so much), I’ve written about it a lot. Just take a look:

Apparently I’m kind of obsessed with resting, LOL!

Hiking, yoga, refueling: recovery can look like that for me

Why you taper
I may be a bit taper-obsessed, but there’s a reason the experts suggest you taper. Many, in fact, including:

  • To have fresh legs for your race
  • To help prevent burnout, mentally & physically
  • To help your immune system stay strong
  • To give you time to actually get ready for your race
  • To help you recover from all the training so that you’re excited for your race

Do you get the taper crazies?

Or do you embrace the taper?

Do you have any stories about tapers gone bad or particularly good?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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I’m not a get up and go girl

I admire the runners who get up, maybe drink some coffee and eat some toast, and boom! They’re ready to toe the line at a race.

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Getting ready for a long run or race is a process for me.

It’s amazing how much stuff I need to run a race

It starts the night before
I try to make sure everything is laid out the night before:

  • Race outfit
  • Race fuel
  • Breakfast
  • Teas/Nuun
  • Sunscreen
  • Anti chafe lotion
  • Rocktape (if necessary)

I also charge up my Garmin and my phone. I will load up my hydration vest, if I’m using it, with my sunglasses, pre-race snack (if there’s a long time between breakfast and the race), race fuel and Saltstick chews — but not water, yet, because I want it to be cold (I’ve only done a couple of halfs where it was cold and I didn’t want cold water to drink!).

I attach my bib to my race belt, and usually put sandals, post race snack, maybe a change of clothes in a bag that Mr. Judy can carry when he meets me after the race. I also put water into the refrigerator so it will be cold for race day.

I often eat overnight oats the morning of a long run/race, and if I have a mini crockpot with me, I put my breakfast in it so it will be warm when I get up. If I don’t have the crockpot, I just warm it up in the microwave the next morning.

Most of the time I’ll make a flat me so I can try to check and make sure that I’ve got everything laid out. Doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten something, but it makes it less likely.

Always Nuun before a long run/race (and after, too!)

First thing in the morning
Usually the very first thing I do in the morning, after getting some warm lemon water to drink, is tape my knees (because you want to do that before applying any lotion). Next I braid my hair (keeps it out of my mouth and eyes — mostly — and apply sunscreen; almost all my long distance races have been warm races in a skirt and a tank top.

Usually some green tea, too

If it’s a later race and I have time, I’ll probably meditate and do some yoga. Otherwise, I’ll eat my breakfast and drink some green tea.

It’s a process
I’ll put on my top first, because then the next thing I do is some foam rolling (helps warm up the muscles).

I foam roll, put on anti chafing lotion, then finish dressing, probably while drinking some Nuun or more tea (depends on how much time I have before the race).

The last thing I usually do is fill my hydration vest’s bladder with the cold water, and, of course, hit the bathroom, which I’ve probably already done multiple times and will do when we get to the race, unless we’re staying close enough that I can walk to the race and only have to use the bathroom in my own room — we’ve done that a few times and it’s heaven.

It’s all about the routine
Having a routine for long run/race day evening/mornings helps take out some of the stress. I know many runners to-do list before a race is a lot shorter than mine. What can I say, it seems to work for me!?

Do you have any sort of pre-race routine?

Are there things you do that I don’t?

Do you get up early just so you can digest your breakfast? I do!

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Do the loco-motion with me

Do I have a favorite running shoe? Bwahaha! You’ve read about my struggles with finding my Newton Motions, which yes, is my favorite running shoe. Why did I have to fall in love with a shoe made by a small company? Then why did said small company get even smaller, the shoes even more expensive — and more scarce? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

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Newton Motions new go for $175. That is just too ridiculous a price to pay for a running shoe that maybe lasts half a year if you’re lucky.

Problem? What problem?

So here I sit, or run, loco for Newton Motions. Why?

  • They’re light. Even Mr. Judy when he picked them up commented on how light they feel.
  • They have a minimal heel to toe drop. Minimalist shoes work for me — but I also use them for speed work and long runs, running in “normal” running shoes for easy runs (and those normal shoes always feel so heavy & clunky!). I think minimalist shoes are great — but not all the time.

Then there are those weird looking lugs. From the Newton Website:

The secret sauce powering the speed of Newton Running shoes is its proprietary Action/Reaction™ Technology. Generated by the active movement of the lugs, Action/Reaction Technology creates a responsive, trampoline-like cushioning system that provides quicker bounce-back and loses less energy than a traditional foam-core running shoe.

Although the Motions are considered a stability shoe (hence the name), I actually don’t need a stability shoe. They still lean more to the side of a neutral shoe, but they have a “firmer medial side post” (again, from the Website) to provide some stability.

They got me through 18 miles injury free

In the years I’ve been running in Newtons, I have stayed pretty injury free. I can’t completely point to the shoes; there are many factors that go into that. I can tell you that if Newton goes out of business I will be heart broken. I also know I should be trying out some more minimalist shoes from other, bigger companies.

Although they finally turned on me in my last half, where I got a large blood blister & lost my first toenail.

Newtons don’t come in the fun designs (for the most part; sometimes they do special edition designs like Boston or NYC); and the range of colors is pretty limited. I have several orange Newtons. They don’t really match my running clothes, but they match my running form and that is more important to me.

Newtons are not for everyone. No shoe is for everyone! I cringe inside when someone says “cute shoes! what are they?”. You’re better off asking “what type of foot do you have? Do you pronate? Are you a heel striker?

What’s your favorite running shoe?

Have you ever had to break up with a running shoe? Why?

Form or fun colors?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Why am I here?

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Or finding what I want to be when I grow up. I often tell people that I’m a sort of jack of all trades, master of none sort of person. I’ve dabbled in a lot hobbies, some coming and going regularly, so for just a very short time, others for the long haul.

I’ve spent time working in print shops, as a cashier, running my own graphic design business — which mostly involved writing about graphic design and running a busy online forum as an About.com Guide, as a WW leader, blogging about running (and cats, way back in the day), and now am hoping to add yoga teacher to that resume.

I told Mr. Judy at some point during this training that I feel as though every step of my strange and twisting journey has brought me to this point in time. Being a WW leader, working in a print shop, and even as a cashier put me in positions to train other people.

Blogging and being an About.com Guide helped me to understand the ins and outs (to some degree) of the online world. Being a graphic designer is a creative job, but running my own business made me familiar with what it’s like to run a business out of your own home — something I might end up doing as a yoga teacher.

Pardon this mostly off topic post, although I do touch on running briefly.

Everyone needs a purpose
I believe that. Whether you’re young or old, you’re here for a reason. That reason may change as you change. Just chillin’ and enjoying the fruits of your labor seems like the ultimate goal, and you know I’m all over rest and recovery, but ultimately we need to feel that what we do matters. That our life matters.

I think a lot of people, as they age, begin to question why they are here. Whether or not it truly matters. We get lost in being the support of everyone but ourselves; maybe our career feels stale and unsatisfying; often we turn to instant gratification to make ourselves feel better — often leading to weight gain.

At some point we realize that a change is necessary. I think that’s why there are so many “adult onset athletes” — and I am one of them! Exercise is so important as we age, for our bodies, for our mental health, and to help us feel connected to something greater than ourselves.

Running is something we do, though, it’s not our purpose in life. Even if you’re a running coach; it’s still something you do, not who you are — it says nothing about how you touch other people’s lives (usually), or how you use your gifts (we all have them), how you take care of the people in your life, or how you make a difference in this world.

Remember that, find your purpose, and if for some reason running is taken out of your life, you may be sad, but it won’t define you or be the worst thing that ever happens to you.

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Well, I can always teach yoga to Bandit . . . or maybe he can teach me; he does a good down dog!

Have I found what I want to be when I grow up?
Only time will tell. I loved having my own graphic design business when I started, but by the end, I was so ready to let it go. It’s taken me a long time to find the next chapter in my life. I may or may not love teaching yoga. I have definitely poured my heart and soul into learning more (and trying to retain what I’ve learned, and let’s just say that’s a definite struggle!), but I know that we are always meant to grow and learn in this life and for all I know this is just another stepping stone in my journey to my ultimate purpose.

There are other things I considered training in. Things I may still add in some day. For now I felt that yoga is a way I could possibly make a difference in this world.

Let’s all meet up for a coffee date on Friday (virtual) and then next Tuesday I’ll be wrapping up July.

Have you found your dream job?

Have you dreamed about doing something else?

What do you think is your purpose?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Flexibly Mentally Gearing Up

bmentallyflexible

We choose all the right gear for our runs: the right clothes, the right shoes, the right fuel, the right music, etc. Sometimes we have to gear up mentally, too. While we always need to be in the right mind set to have a good run, it becomes more difficult when life throws you a curveball. Even the little curveballs.

How often have you sweated the small stuff? How often did it matter?

Prepping
I usually run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday . . . unless I don’t. That schedule works for me because it allows for one or two harder runs (tempos, speed work) with rest between them, a long run, and one easy/recovery run.

I had every intention of running yesterday. I knew I might get home late due to Sunday’s concert, but it ended up being even later than I thought (half hour break between each of three artists!).

I woke up just a little later than normal, but went to bed much later than normal, even though we left before the concert ended. Could I run? Of course I could. Did I want to? Nope. Especially knowing I’d be up later Monday night too.

On top of that, the rain that was forecast to come in midday started while I was out walking the dogs around 7:30 am. That sealed the deal for me.

Folding Up
I am a person who likes prior notice when something hard or painful needs to be done. I remember back in college, I had a very deep, very painful plantar’s wart on the ball of my foot. When I finally got to a podiatrist, they were ready to do laser surgery on the spot . . . only I wasn’t mentally ready. I came back a week later.

My run Monday? I can run in the rain. I have done so many times. In summer it can actually feel quite nice. I just wasn’t mentally prepared for rain that morning, and wouldn’t have dressed for it either, since I wasn’t expecting it. The truth is I really needed a rest day, so I took it, but I know if the day had been dry, I would have at least entertained the idea of running.

It will be harder to juggle running the rest of the week between a few appointments and a visit from my brother and nephew.

bmentalflexible

Training Mental Flexibility
The first step is to recognize where you’re inflexible. Maybe you can’t relax until your kitchen is completely tidy — if so, please feel free to come to my house and tidy up mine, because I guarantee you it’s rarely tidy. Maybe you can’t go to sleep if there are clothes on the floor. Maybe you won’t run in certain weather or at certain temperatures.

The second stop is to let go of your inflexibility — maybe just one or two days a week. Go walk with the family even though there are dishes in the sink. Run in the rain. Leave your husband’s dirty socks wherever they are.

The third step is to notice how that felt. Did it really make you anxious? Were you able to do something fun you’ve been putting off doing, or spend more time with your friends and family? Did you really feel more stressed — or did you actually feel as though a weight was lifted from your shoulders? Did you melt in the rain?

Be brutally honest with yourself. You may tell yourself that you really can’t do _____ until ________ is done, and it might be true — or it might be something that was just ingrained in you as you were growing up, and you never stopped to question it or notice if it was really making you calmer or adding yet more stress to your already stressful life.

The more you practice anything, the better you get at it.

Do you consider yourself to be a mentally flexible person?

Have you ever even thought about the need to train mental flexibility?

What are your tips for maintaining a mentally flexible attitude?

 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

4 Favorite Summer Skirts

I have to admit, I have many favorite skirts. There’s a reason I’m a Skirt Sport Ambassador! There are so many different styles of skirts, it can be overwhelming for someone to choose when they look at the Website.

The End of Season sale may have just ended, but many of my favorite summer skirts can still be found as great deals in the Outlet Sale here. Sizing can be a little tricky, though, so be aware that all sales are final; there are no returns.

Love my Cool It for summer running

Cool It
I have run a lot of hot halfs. Ever since Skirt Sports introduced the Cool It Skirt, it’s been my uniform for all those halfs. There’s a pocket on each thigh of the shorties, and there are also two front pockets on the outside of the skirt. While I love my pockets, sometimes having to reach underneath the skirt can get old. It’s nice to have small pockets on the outside for smaller items that are reached for a lot.

Front pocket on Cool It

The real draw of the Skirt is that it’s made of cooling material. Do I feel like it makes me feel cooler? All I can tell you is that I’ve run a lot of strong races wearing Cool It in very challenging conditions. There are also side vents for ease of movement. And no chafing for the win!

blonghaul
Long Haul might not give me the best silhouette, but it keeps me hydrated

Long Haul
Speaking of pockets . . . the Long Haul has 7. Yes, you read that right, seven! The normal two pockets on the thighs. Then there are 2 pockets on the back each large enough for a 10 ounce water bottle, with a drawcord to keep the bottles in the pockets. And then there are three smaller pockets on the back for things like keys, gels, chews, etc.

Bottles in the back pockets; phone in the pocket on the shortie — so much storage space!

It’s like wearing a fuel belt that’s already built into your skirt. Yes, the weight on the items in the pockets can pull the skirt down at first. There are two solutions for that:

  1. There’s already a belt on front of the skirt that allows you to tighten it up so that it minimizes the bounce (until you’ve drained some of that water, then it naturally stays put).
  2. Many ambassadors suggest buying a size smaller than you normally would.

    Close up of 3 of the back pockets

I love wearing Long Haul for runs that are long enough to require more than one water bottle, but aren’t so long that I want to break out the hydration vest yet. I know runners who have worn Long Haul in marathons and loved all the extra storage.

“Hovering” in Hover

Hover
When Hover first came out a few years back, I wanted to love it like everyone else, but I just didn’t. It just didn’t seem to fit my body right. The shorties rode up. I got a wedgie.

Then they came out with the more comfortable grippers on the legs, and the shorties stayed put. Somehow it seems they also adjusted the fit so it was comfortable on my body. I love Hover because it’s extremely lightweight and great for hot runs.

Touring in Mod Quad (with poop bags in those front pockets)

Mod Quad
Sniff, sniff, Skirt Sports did not bring back the Mod Quad skirt this year. It’s still available in the Outlet Sale. I will admit: I’ve never actually run in Mod Quad. I love to hike in it, or just wear it around the house on hot days in the summer. Because as the name Mod Quad indicates, it has four pockets (somewhat similar to the Cool It skirt).

Front pocket detail on Mod Quad

You could almost say that it has 6 pockets: there are the normal two pockets on the shorties. Like Cool It there are also two outside pockets on the front. Those pockets are actually divided into two pockets — they’re perfect for unused poop bags when we hike with the dogs, as well as a small tin for dog treats. Also good for keys, snacks, water bottles. I love being hands free when I run or hike!

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner