Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happiness Starts With You


I sit here typing away with another back injury and rearranging my marathon training schedule yet again. Yup, that's right. I'm injured again. I am doing what I can to not let it get me down. I'm tired of being sad about situations that keep happening. I'm just going to let it be and I'm certainly tired of fearing what may or may not happen. When I started my marathon program, I constantly fretted over whether I was going to get injured. People often made jokes about it (and rightfully so since this was the fifth or sixth marathon that I have tried to run, but couldn't due to an injury). Well, I got injured anyways and all that worrying did for me was make me a stress ball.


 
But I'm DONE with that...just like at the end of the movie clip above (btw, if you have never seen Kindergarten Cop, then I feel so very sorry for you). Solve the problem and move on to something better or just get a ferret.

On a side note, I went to a new doctor, because I didn't feel like my other back doctor did anything for me. New one says that I have a herniated disc. I can only do swimming, walking, and running if it doesn't hurt my back. I can't do any biking, rowing, upright cardio, exercises where I bend over, or core work for the next five weeks. OH JOY!

JL and I officially canceled the half marathon for this weekend (Ray is still running it), because we both just weren't ready. I could run for sure and definitely walk it, but I haven't ran over seven miles since the week before Quadraman. It just wouldn't be smart. I found a much more exciting half marathon at the end of the month that would work even better. Plus, it involves wine. Therefore, JL, Ray, and I will be running through Messina Hof Winery during a wonderful time of year at the Texas Wine Half Marathon and 5K Series on March 30, 2014. I'm looking so much more forward to this event than the other one.

I'm happy to finally have the problem diagnosed and a fix for it unlike last summer. So, my  marathon training for the next five weeks will be 2-3 days of running (if my back allows), walking, and lots of SWIMMING the rest of the time. I did run and walk 3ish miles last Sunday and I did okay. I had to make a stop in the middle, which through me off the rest of the way and I couldn't get into the running zone again. Then, I made another stop to talk to an old friend (great seeing you Billy).


But you know what, I'm excited about my new training program. Swimming will be excellent cross training for me, while I prepare for the big marathon in May. I even bought me some new goggles (lost mine), a kick board, and a pair of booties for aqua jogging. That's right, I've been running a few laps in the water after I finished swimming some laps. However, that pool floor cuts up my toes.

I was reading an article called Look and Feel Younger in Yoga Journal about the four things you need to do in order to make you feel young again, which in turn, will make you happy.
  1. Be Social. Talk about what's bothering you. Thankfully, I have Jim to listen to my constant woe is me complaints about my running or lack thereof. But it also suggests joining a book club, organizing a potluck dinner, or joining a charity softball team. I joined the Karbach Running Club...does that count?
  2. Go For A Run. Get outdoors for at least 30 minutes and walking counts, too. BOOM! Done. Although, I haven't been able to do any this week. Thank you weather Gods for making it rain heavily the only free day I had this week.
  3. Practice Yoga And Meditation Daily. Since I'm not allowed to do any yoga right now, with the exception of a few moves and yoga was one of the reasons amongst many for my back being out, I'm looking at meditation only. I spend about 5-10 minutes during my lunch break lying on my back to ease it after sitting all morning and meditate. It's really helped.
  4. Eat A Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet. I may not totally agree with this since I still love red meat and will never give that up...like at all...oh and girl scout cookies. In fact, I feel young eating me some Samoa's. But I do know that eating less processed food has really helped my energy levels a great deal.
Also, check out this awesome post about the 10 simple truths you shouldn't ignore anymore, but we as humans always do. It was an amazing read and really hit home, especially with what I'm dealing with now. #10 talks about how everything changes, every second. My life changed again and will change in the next couple of months. It's scary, but I choose to embrace the change so I can ultimately be happy.

However, if I don't make this marathon happen, I may have to concede that it's not in my cards. And I'm okay with it. I got other activities and adventures that I can do in the meantime. Look out world! Here I come.

On another side note, some of these pictures were just posted on Faceworld and I had to use them in this post. So, thanks random people.

 
 
Are there any other "make you feel young again" tips to add? I may have to add act like a kid, because nothing makes you feel young like screaming with pure joy and excitement after going high on a swing. Hmmmm...I need to get back to trapeze soon. 
 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Found Me a Headband

Once (maybe twice) a year, I get a haircut...very short. I swear this is important. Needless to say, my bangs and overall hair is short. This makes it hard to exercise, but I usually just throw a hat on when I run...problem solved...VIOLA! However, I started yoga and personal training. My hair was all in my face and when you are doing hot yoga, that's a hot sweaty mess sticking to your cheek. Nobody likes that and nobody wants to see that look.

So, I was on Facebook strolling through the newsfeed when I saw one of my friends like BolderBands. Hmmm....so, I clicked away and watched the video and looked at stuff. I initially liked the width and style and then I liked their page as a bookmark to maybe purchase later.

But I finally had enough with my hair and decided to purchase a pair. They were more than what I usually would pay for a headband ($15), especially one I didn't try on first. However, I had to bite the bullet and get them. I immediately saw G.I. Jill and knew I found my match. Jim thought they were just me.

Yeah, it's perfect.
I got them relatively quickly and tried G.I. Jill on a three mile run at Hermann Park. It was a colder run, which meant I could use them as ear protection, as well as a get em out of my face holder band.




Right away, I noticed that the band didn't move at all like my other small, thin head bands. It just stayed on my forehead. And as a bonus, it kept the sweat from dripping down in my eyes. My only issue was as I got warm from the run, the headband was hot against my head. It wasn't an issue now, but it could be in the Texas summer months. I'm pretty sure that it won't be a big deal. 

I then took my new head band to the gym to see how it worked in a different setting. I'm not one to take selfies at the gym, but this was for the post. I only did it during my warmups where I had my arms free to work. 

I may look like I'm lying down at the gym, but I'm actually doing a warmup with my legs.
Getting ready to do a bird dog. 
My last test was at hot yoga. G.I. Jill worked like a champ. I didn't have any sweat stinging my eyes. I look forward to purchasing some more later, because I need to wash them.

Mary mentioned that she could wear these skydiving. I believe these would perfect to wear underneath my helmet. I will test this out during the summer and give an update.

And since this is a product post, I thought I would mention my new Brooks Pure Cadence. I just wished they weren't pink, but this is the only color in my size. UGH!

They still look nice. 

You can use me as a shoe stand, but soon, I want to run with you.

I took this picture of Remington on our walk the other day. If you look closely, you can see the moon. 

Right now, I'm dealing with some back issues and took a break from everything. I did do a light swim yesterday and today, but that's it. So, here's hoping I get through this quickly, because I have a half marathon in two weeks. EEK!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quadraman Fun Run Recap


The Quadraman Fun Run was a 2.02 (one loop) asphalt run and walk held on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at Bear Creek Park benefiting David Hartsock. This was the first run that I have organized (with the help of some other ladies). I will have another post later on how to organize your first fun run, but for now, this is about the Quadraman.

As a quick synopsis, David Hartsock was a tandem instructor at Skydive Houston. While on a routine tandem skydive with his passenger, both parachutes malfunctioned on opening. In order to save his passenger's life, he threw his body underneath her body so that he could take the full impact of the ground when they crashed. He is now quadriplegic. Due to recent trips to the hospital, we decided to organize this run to help him out with medical expenses. For more details, read this post

We got to the park early to set up and I immediately noticed how full the parking lot looked. I saw all of the boot camp military groups doing their exercises. We set up and one soldier came to talk to us about what we were doing since we were all in the same area. They were doing physical tests and we wouldn't overlap; however, didn't know that more groups would show up later. Oh well. 

There were 21 people there to run, walk, or volunteer. I was so happy to see Kris and his family, because it's been far too long. We also had about 9 virtual runners doing their own 2 miles away from Houston. I'm still waiting on pictures...ehhh hemmm.

We gave everyone their bibs, put on super cool super hero capes that Jenn made, took the mandatory starting photos (oh come on, this is my first organized run), and got ready on the start line. Jenn blew the horn on her phone, but Dave was already off and going. So, we started. Thankfully, the military guys who were crowding around us waited until we took off to start their test. I also want to note that they parted like the red sea for us to run by them.

Our table ready for runners and walkers.

Remington, my superhero...well, I think that's what he tells himself.
Kate showing off her cape.

                         





Becca getting ready to run.

 The group minus Jenn.



Thumbs up for Brokeback. 

Remi and I in a rare photo of us running together. 

This is a sequence of Caroline and Patricia in their hopping fun run.





And now back to normal runners.

Kate's husband, Chris took this picture where he was stationed. He was supposed to go to the mile marker to set up photos and a water station. He didn't make it there even though he drove. Yes, I had to mention this!

This is my favorite photo of the day. 


Look! One leg.







It was so amazing to see Kris out here walking.

Evan, Keith, Tanya, myself, and Remington were leading the pack. Most people were walking, but that's okay. Evan was an immediate front runner. He even stopped at the bathroom and still came in first place. Showoff! I ran with Tanya to keeping her going until the mile marker. After awhile, I left her to finish off the run since she wanted to walk the rest of the way (she ended up not and I was so proud of her). Keith finished second and I finished third (I think that's the first time I ever finished third and I will take it). Maybe it's the start of the winter olympics and that I got third, but I may have a goal to at least get on the podium for one race. 

All in all, it was a nice run (or walk if that was your preference) for a Saturday afternoon. We raised $3,050 total for Dave and we couldn't be happier. We plan to do even more next year. If you missed the cutoff time to donate, you can make a payment to his paypal account at quadraman@comcast.net. Every donation helps him out! Please also visit his journal webpage about his experiences at Caring Bridge.

I now what to thank everyone that came out (or Virtual Runner) to run or walk the Quadraman Fun and everyone that donated and/or signed up (but couldn't make it). Without you, this day wouldn't have been possible. Thank you to Elizabeth Svoboda for providing autographed copies of her book, What Makes a Hero? featuring Dave (see review here).

Congratulations to Evan Pollino for being the first to cross the finish line. 
Congratulations to Patricia Gore for being the top fundraiser. 
Again, I have to thank Griff's Irish Pub for letting us host our raffle night the week before and thanks to all of the people who donated prizes for that night, including Syraya Horton, Kandace Heimer, Kirsten Hardmant, and many more.
From the raffle night...it's no wonder some guy thought we were twins. 

Thanks to Extremetix for helping with the webpage and selling our tickets. And of course, thanks to those three other lovely ladies who helped put this together. Love you girls. 

And because I didn't want to bore you nice readers with countless pictures of the fun run, I decided to make a photo video. I chose Foo Fighters February Stars, because we all felt like stars out there running on a Saturday. Enjoy!


video


I leave you with a picture of my precious Remington tired after a lot of running that morning.

Poor guy only moved at the end of the night to go to the bathroom. 


Friday, February 7, 2014

Cycling Across the Pond, Part Deux


Sorry, this post is so late, but I have had a lot going on with planning the Quadraman Fun Run and starting my marathon training. My weeks have been filled with running, running, and more running. Plus, I started yoga again at the Yoga House Houston (falling in love with Kemetic Yoga) and four weeks of personal training from Suzanne at Workout Nirvana (see my review here). I had to make out a schedule for everything and force a rest day.

But anyway back to the post at hand.

Once again, I found myself cycling in England. I mean I have a bike if you recall just waiting there...calling my name from across the pond, "Kristi...I miss you...Kristi." So, Jim and I waited for a day when the parentals weren't with us and the day wasn't filled with rain and cold and wind.

And Saturday was the day. Jim had to get some glasses in Wetherby and the weather was actually kind of nice outside. Plus, we needed to stop by Sykes House Farm and buy some meat for the English Sunday dinner (which was on Monday, but who really cares). It was just the perfect opportunity and we couldn't pass it up. I didn't even care that I ran earlier that morning.

I had to get used to biking again. I've only done a few bike rides here and there since my surgery, but I was on my own bike. I also had to get used to the hills again. UGH! I forgot about the hills.

We decided to head down the old train tracks again that were turned into a bike and walk and run path. It's a total of seven miles roundtrip. I'm not going to lie, it was chilly, but at least it wasn't raining...yet. The sheep looked at us like we were crazy. It's almost like they knew something we didn't know.

I guess we should have checked the trail report for wind damage to trees. 

This is how you get through the obstacles on a bike ride.

You people are nuts.
We got to Wetherby, ordered his glasses, and stopped by a pub for a drink. I was happy to know they had some good craft beer and even Cask beers. I then turned my happiness to annoyed, because Jim has NEVER taken me here before. WHY? WHY OH WHY? Damn him. He now knows.

Drinking a delicious winter cask beer called the Winter Goat or something.

After our nice beer, we headed to Sykes House Farm for the meat.


Had to get a picture of me, my bike, and Wetherby.

Right after this picture was taken, that old lady said something to me. To this day, I have no idea what she was saying. Neither did Jim. It was a harsh Yorkshire accent and she was kindof incoherent. 

Slowly but surely, the rain started, but we couldn't feel it covered underneath the trees. It wasn't so bad until we got out of the farm with our purchased meat. It was sideways. If you recall from my last post, I didn't get introduced to running in the rain until really New Years Eve. Saturday was clear, but cold...oh so cold. So, I was hoping that the day would continue to stay rain free. Well, we should have watched the weather report. Would it have deterred us from going? Probably not. But still. We should have been more prepared.

Then, we got back to the big hill in town. Last time, I had to walk up it, because it was too steep and too many cars. But there wasn't any cars this time around and I decided to go for it. I ran up, so I can bike up it, too. I was so happy I survived it without stopping or dying.

All in all, it was a great Saturday ride with a great guy. And I'm now thinking about triathlons. I mean, I did running earlier that day, then biking, and then biking in the rain (that should count for swimming, shouldn't it?). Yup, I'm ready.


The Quadraman Fun Run is tomorrow at 8 a.m. Tonight is the last time you can register online. If you haven't registered or donated for the Quadraman, you still have time. Don't miss out in this inexpensive run for a good cause. And don't forget, we have a virtual run option, as well. Register at https://tix.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=3627&eventID=44905 or donate at https://tix.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=3627&eventID=47038. If you are donating to help a registered runner raise funds, then place their name in the Ticket Holder Name field.