The only bad run is the one that didn’t happen. When you’re having a crappy run, it’s difficult to believe that. Continue reading
I write about balance quite a bit. It’s not because I’m some expert on how to balance my life. Being asked to write on the subject has helped me become better, though and writing helps me to process how to continue that trend. Continue reading
October 2nd was Kalley’s one year birthday. I celebrated by remembering a few days later and saying, “Holy cow! She’s one!!” I knew when I got her that I don’t like puppies. Sure, they’re cute. Like babies. I just don’t want them. Honestly it’s a great milestone for me. We’re past some of the worst puppy behavior that drives me nuts. I think I’ve done a good job with her. She’s got a great personality and I’ve done a decent job training her. Still, although it’s all pretty good, I expected, well…… MORE….. I thought she’d be leash and heel trained – so engrossed in our runs together that she would be oblivious to everything except our symbiotic relationship. Not so. Sure, after a mile-ish of pulling and dragging she gets into a rhythm. I continuously praise her when she does well, remind her when she’s not. I have the training tools and knowledge. But not enough. On our runs together, all I think about is how blissful it would be to bring her to a trainer that wrapped up the last of her training the right way. Wave a magic wand and give her back to me perfect. As of now, that’s not a priority so I’m plugging along. One thing that’s exciting is when I have running shoes on and my Garmin she does this.
When the Garmin gets turned on and she hears the beep, she goes crazy. SO excited!!! Then the work starts for me. It’s most definitely some of the most exhausting training I do. Worth it? Yes, I think it will be. Pain in my butt?? Most definitely!
No matter your goals with exercise – shedding pounds, tightening up, getting off medication, looking better in a bikini, (unless you’re a dude. Please say no to the bikini. Thank you). It feels good when you look good. Like my bra and panty opinion. No one has to know what you have on (if anything) underneath your clothes. It’s about it making YOU feel pretty. Exercise is a sweaty, snot rocketing, spitting, often sticky mess. It may make us feel good to have done it, to complete a race or a training workout, but it’s not the sexiest thing to accomplish. With weather getting colder – if you’re in the Reno area, it went from 90* to 30* pretty much overnight – your clothing needs change. For me – being vain and shallow – I want to LOOK as good as exercise makes me FEEL. Here’s a little demo of how to accomplish this.
The foundation is the most important. As is the shot of your armpit. For this day I could get away with capris – I knew my legs wouldn’t be super cold and I’d warm up. Always – ladies….. – a good, supportive sports bra. Please. Even though no one may see it, it’s important to have it.
This is the layer that you’ll most likely finish the race in. I generally assume I’ll warm up and the temps will go up so my top layer will come off at some point. It should say something about you. Like my shirt obviously does in this example. Yes, I run things…… Another good thing about this short sleeved layer is that my armpit doesn’t show in the selfies.
Depending on starting temperatures, this is the layer you’ll have on to get you going. I like my glove color to pop, but also it depends on how cold the temps are. I have big gloves that I put hand warmers in when the temps drop down. The hat is also dependent on how cold it is. This is one of my favorite hats. It’s a middle weight so it’s the one I wear most in winter and it just screams “I’m a running gangster so don’t even try to mess with me. I’ll kick your butt!”
Remember. Layer. Give yourself room to start chilly, warm up and peel off layers. Figure out ahead of time where you’ll put things if you peel them off. Gloves, hats, earwarmers, etc… need to go somewhere when you don’t need to wear them. Pockets or eliciting the help of other peoples cars, bike baskets, etc… is something to take into consideration. Colder temperatures make running challenging but if you layer things right, you’ll still look good doing it.
That’s the phrase I teach my dogs when I want them to go lie down. “Find your spot”. I enjoy refinishing furniture and the kids help me out. I like having areas in my house where you can find your spot. A place where you’re involved in what’s going on, yet separate. A cuddle up and read a book spot. Aside from the living room and bedrooms, there are a few areas of the house where we can grab a soft blanket, a book, a cup of tea and find our spot.
Reno has been blanketed in smoke for the last couple of weeks. The Rim fire is burning with no sign of being able to be put out. Unless the jet stream changes direction, we’ll continue to be a hazy, unhealthy mess. It’s been said that the fire – due to it’s remote location – can’t be put out and will probably still be smoldering when snow flies. It’s also been said that Reno will have smoke up to a month after it’s out. So I’m doing the math…… That’s a long time without being able to go outside and run. The truth is, though, that we’re only dealing with smoke. Others are dealing with the actual fire.
The smoke doesn’t bother me like it does other people. Having said that, I won’t run outside in it when it’s hazardous. I’ve been studying the numbers to determine what numbers it has to be at for me to run. The second it drops into a safe zone, I’m gone. Tell my boss…. I might wear running gear under my work clothes. I need some velcro clothes so I can pull a SuperWoman move and just rip them off and go!!
100 is the number. Maybe a little higher. I know, I know…. It’s still not a good idea. Neither is not running. Lots of teammates have traveled a couple hours to a town that’s not so smoky. Some are running indoors on the dreadmill.
I’m breaking down…. I need a fix…. I can do an hour on the belt, right?? It’s not so bad. I’ve wanted one at home so I can get in extra running and mileage while still hanging with the kids…. Yes, I can do this!!
I ran a half marathon recently. My favorite distance, my favorite race. Running With The Bears in Greenville,CA is the race I look forward to every year. The race I planned on hitting my shiny, new PR. Not only did my kids come, they were running an aid station. I was even more ecstatic that I’d be passing them around mile 8. That enthusiasm and energy and their bright, happy, smiling faces were helping me with my mental push to drive myself harder and faster. I had goals based on last year when I came in as the 5th woman. Last year I ran slowly on purpose since it wasn’t my goal race. Last year it was a comfortable race. This year I wanted to be in the top 3 women overall and get my best time ever.
In my experience we race for a cause dear to our hearts. This race gives 100% to Mountain Circle benefiting foster kids and adoption. After over a decade of being a foster parent and adopting several children, the cause makes the race that much sweeter. I’ve also gotten to know these amazing people over the years and I genuinely adore them all. This year we stayed the weekend (thanks to their expert help), stayed for the after race Luau and they even asked me to be the guest speaker. Truly an honor.
The morning of the race I knew my stomach was off. I rarely have an issue with my stomach so I chalked it up to the anxiety of the race. Also not usually an issue but what else could it be?? I ate my normal breakfast, drank my normal drink but I had to gag it down and didn’t finish it. The kids got dropped at their aid station, I got to the start/finish line and the staff informed me the kids were in the wrong place. It took some juggling around, but we got them to their correct aid station spot, helped them set up and I started on time with the gun looking forward to seeing them soon.
By mile 2 I was hurting. Not intestinal need a port-a-potty hurting, not breathing hurting. Vice grip around my stomach, double over, want to throw up hurting. I was cold, I was hot. I watched a teammate of mine from Reno who’s goal was the same as mine pass me and I knew there was nothing I could do about it. By mile 4.5 I was really hot, still hurting, wishing I would throw up, not able to eat or drink anything (which only adds to bonking in a race). All I thought about was seeing my kids at their aid station. I knew where they were on the map and I couldn’t wait. I was going to ditch my shirt, ditch my electrolyte bottle (since I couldn’t drink it). I was going to have some watermelon and get my motivation to continue. Everything in that first 8 miles was geared to get to their aid station and see them. They run a couple aid stations every year and they’re amazing at it. I’m so proud of them. After years of crewing me, they could seriously teach a class on how to run an aid station. I knew they were looking forward to seeing me too. Showing off the sign they made that says “My Mommy is faster than your Mommy”. I love that we do this together.
At mile 9 I realized I wasn’t going to see my kids. I was replaying the race map in my head and somehow none of us realized when we moved them, they were on the marathon course after the half marathon turn around. I took off my shirt, tied it around my incredibly tender stomach and walked for a minute. I was so dejected in that moment. I looked at my watch and knew I wouldn’t hit a single goal. Not one. Lemons. I felt like I was getting lemons. All my training. The year long countdown to run this race. The planning, the time, the money. Lemons. I wanted my kids desperately so I thought about them out there on the course realizing the same thing that I was realizing. I wasn’t running past them. I thought about how they are the accomplishment in my life I am most proud of. I knew even though I wouldn’t hit a single goal, I could still make them proud. I was finishing this damn race.
It was the most difficult race I’ve run to date. I’ve finished faster on some, had a tough go of it, but nothing like this. I finished the race and met none of my goals, watching a teammate that crushed hers. I crossed the finish line, found a quiet place and sobbed. Just gut wrenching, body shuddering sobs. I’m not the crying type generally and I think I’m generally very grateful, but in this moment I just crumbled. I had a pity party for Jenn. Then I got up, brushed myself off, told my teammate congratulations and checked the board.
Jennifer Adams; Reno NV; Bib # 101; Age 42; F; 25th overall; 12th female; 1st age group; Age division 40-49; Total time 1:56:41.6; 8:54 minute miles. Even though it was my toughest race, I still pulled off 1st in my age division. I still finished. I reminded myself that I GET to run. I didn’t DNF. I’m already signed up for this race next year. My day will come.
My daughter Olivia came to the finish line to pick me up so I could finish the aid station with the kids. She suggested I get out of the car ahead of time and run so I could actually pass the kids aid station. Even though my race was over, I’d still get to see them. I’d get to experience it. She told me to get out and wait a minute so she could get there and park….. So I did.
It’s a couple days later as I sit and write this retrospectively. My stomach is still rebelling. No thank you coffee and eggs I usually have. How about water and popcorn. A friend and teammate told me once that running is either physical or mental. This race was physically challenging for me and because of that it also became mental. Could I have pushed harder? Probably not much. That was my biggest limitation. Mentally?? Well, I finished but not in the greatest frame of mind. Running past the kids aid station – off the clock – was most certainly the best part of my run. Finishing feeling so horrid was another challenge I conquered. The change in my attitude after feeling so dejected?? Well, it’s easier to sit and have a pity party but that’s a big, fat waste of time. There are thank you’s that should be made.
My biggest half marathon of the year is this coming Saturday. Of course I have approximately 4 goals. Naturally I want to kick butt. Certainly I’m not really telling anyone honestly what those goals are. Indeed I’d tell you it’s no big deal, it’s all about the experience….. Well, that IS true. I just want the experience AND the goal.
Running With The Bears in California is my favorite race to date. All profits go to kids in foster care and those ready to be adopted. Having done foster care for approximately12 years and having adopted several children, this is dear to my heart. It’s a family affair this year and the amazing staff at RWTB’s asked the kids to run an aid station. Sweet fun!!! They will be at mile 8.5 for the half marathon (ME!!!) and mile 20 for the marathon. There are 3 categories the runners vote on. Of course we can run and vote!!! Best Spirit, Best Snack and Best Theme. My kids have already assumed they’ll win at least one category. They are awesome. I was also asked to be the guest speaker at the Luau that night. No matter what my time is, speaking about my experience to increase awareness, the number of foster homes available as well as increase adoptions will be worth the trip. The staff found lodging for us for 2 nights and this is a mini vacation we’re really excited about.
When I first signed up for this race, I thought the kids would be waiting at the finish line. I’m more excited that they’re involved with the actual event. We have signs, clappers, bells, etc… and they will basically KILL it.
Setting goals and pushing to achieve them is one of the things that keeps me coming back time after time. Still, my favorite parts of an event are the people, the time and effort put into it, the goody bags, the energy. The overall experience. Here’s to an amazing race worthy of looking forward to for an entire year.
I think I’m back. In more ways than one. I’m not entirely sure what my “normal” is, but I think I’m getting there. The end of July/beginning of August have been a time of change. I started a new job that I love, love, love. 3 days a week I still do hair which I also love. Another 3 days I work at the best office ever. It’s been an adjustment to go from 4 days to 6 days of work per week. Worth it, but an adjustment none the less. I think I’m almost there.
I also increased my training. After a 17 mile bike ride, my silly,wonderful, beautiful, amazing friend and teammate Olivia said to me, “You just rode further than IronGirl!! You should sign up!!”. Her contagious optimism seeped into my very pores and she signed me up for the triathlon. I think post ride/run/swim/race is kind of like being drunk or a happy drug trip. You just shouldn’t make decisions. Now that I’m locked in and signed up, my training has moved up a notch. My “Oh, swim and bike would be FUN ways to cross train for my real love – running!” has become “Holy crap, I need to up my game!”. Man, I love that woman!! So I’m also getting used to a new training schedule. ON PAPER, it looks like a good idea to add more morning workouts. “My jobs are near the workout, I’m a morning person, it’s a perfect way to get in more training without taking time away from my family”, blah, blah, blah….. Even as a morning person, 4:45 am alarm clock settings seem – well – early.
Another adjustment has been moving. An occasional necessary evil, regardless of how “good” an idea it is, moving just sucks. I have the old house for the month of August which means it can go slowly. I’m not sure which is worse – packing and moving everything at once or dragging it out. I’ve been in the new house for a while now, but the moving started July 24th. For 12 days I moved a load every morning before work and at least one every night after work. Then there was the Saturday I took off and moved where a bulk of it happened and the several trips back and forth on Sundays. I hit day 12 and shut down. What I really need is one really good, full day with lots of guys who lift stuff I can’t to just wrap it up. And to fork out the money for a cleaning service because the thought of going back to clean fills me with dread.
The new house is coming along nicely. The kids said it didn’t smell like our home which was an interesting comment to me. So before the moving commenced, I brought over a few of my candles and my Air Wick plug ins. By the time we were moving, it smelled like home. It’s a good house. All houses have inadequate closet space – especially for a woman with 100+ shoes – and the bedrooms are tight, but it’s good. Comfy. Homey. The furniture I needed to replace has been refinished and looks great. Every day I look forward to being here. It’s comforting to have your own space. A retreat. A place to be that feels good.
My internet got hooked up last night. It was the final step to moving in (well except the stuff that still needs to be moved…..). I’m exhausted. I’ve been staying up until midnight unpacking, which stinks since I’m really not a night person, and I’m up by 5. I NEED to sleep. Not just a nap (which would be lovely) but really sleep. Like, take unisom at 8pm and shut down until 7am kind of sleep. I’m also the type of person who not only sleeps – takes care of herself. I shave from my feet to my collarbone every other day, I use lotion after every shower, I super condition my hair, I don’t wear makeup or use the blow dryer on the weekends, I soak in the tub….. I like to feel good. It’s not about impressing anyone else, it’s about doing little things to make myself better. Hasn’t happened. Today, however, I left the salon earlier than normal. I got a gift from a client and although I very, very rarely drink, I was thankful.
I came home, poured the glass, put on Norah Jones and ran the shower. Hot. I took that long shower I’d been craving. I shaved, I conditioned, I exfoliated, I used my Citrus Grapefruit body wash, I pumiced my feet. I got out and lotioned, I left my hair alone, I put on zero makeup and I got my comfort clothes on. My BodyRock Sport shorts and my Ann Taylor silk tank top in one of my favorite colors – eggplant. I’ve cut out so many things the last couple of weeks – answering emails, reading other blogs, writing, Facebook, picture downloading, sleep, training, invitations, etc… I got caught up on some, I’m in the process with others. I opened the WordPress tab and clicked the button that says “My Blog” and I realized how much I’ve missed being here nearly daily for the past couple of years. I have a list written of posts I’m going to write, my pictures are organized and I’m ready to be back. Right after that nap….
I’m moving. It’s everything I remembered it was and more!! Although moving isn’t necessarily a negative, it’s still a change. It will take a couple weeks total, but even after only 3 days of bringing loads back and forth I can attest to the fact that I’m not entirely certain which house my things are at. I’m camping out (not as much fun as my kids make it out to be!) and had to scrounge a pillow last night. When bringing loads back and forth I realized that putting items in that fit instead of having a plan of action might not have been the best decision. I have no light in the bedroom, workout clothes but no shoes, dress shoes but not all of my clothes, running socks (not the best match for dress shoes FYI), no bras or underwear, no shampoo but conditioner, a washing machine without soap, etc…. Can you say adventure??? Sure, I’m only moving about 7 miles away, however my helpers for today didn’t show (who doesn’t like to help move??!!) so I wasn’t able to get as much done hence things all over the place….. Now for 6 days of work doing loads at night and (hopefully) being mostly moved by the weekend.
In other news…. My computers letter “O” wasn’t working but I rigged it up just in time for the space bar not to respond unless I used brute force which isn’t a big deal since the charger stopped working….. That’s no longer an issue since I won’t have internet at the new house for a couple weeks, right??????? Except that I can use the internet at the salon and catch up on the computer. If only my charger would work…. Ah, the blessings of technology!! At any rate, I don’t have access to pictures right now and internet use is dependent on
hacking into my sons using my sons computer. So with all my huffing and puffing on Sunday night, be patient.