Archive for February, 2013

If you saw my post on twitter last week, the one that said:

“Yes, you run faster on an unlit trail nxt to a 200yr old cemetery all alone when zombies come to mind”

First, let me say – no, I wasn’t making that shit up just to be funny.

At group run on Wednesday night, I kind of found myself in one of those runner predicaments with no right answer.

First, and as I mentioned, I’d packed my bag badly. I had 45-degree dry clothes with me on a day that had ended up being 30-degrees and snowy. The air itself was still pretty heavy with the dampness even though the flakes had stopped coming down.

Next, the group picked a route that (in my opinion) isn’t in the best area to run at night. It’s the combination of two trails with an ugly strip of road between them. While fine in the daytime, nighttime is another story. Neither trail is lit – at all – and they’re somewhat secluded. One is part park, the other a strangely designed connector between a well-known 5-mile loop and the park. Some desolate looking houses on the outskirts of the trail, but nowhere you’d knock to borrow sugar (or ask for help). But it would be okay because I’d be with the group, right?

Wrong.

Oh, I started out with the group, but then that thing happened where the groups began to segregate by pace – and me, in my odd changeup of paces right now, pulled ahead of a slower group while simultaneously falling behind a faster group. Not so bad when both were still in sight – but as the route progressed, the distance between grew. I could not see the blinking lights of the pack behind me any more, and the lights of the pack in front of me disappeared around a bend, then the bend after that until they were just gone.

I was on my own.

On a path where I did not feel safe. In utter darkness.

Three choices: (1) Slow down until the slower group catches me. Keep pace with them until we are finished. This also means freezing. Now I am sweating, underdressed, and it has gotten colder out. (2) Speed up to catch the faster group, then try and hold them. Catch them, I probably can – but if I could hold their pace, I wouldn’t be in the predicament. I would’ve just stayed with them to begin with. Catching them is just going to leave me worn out to fall behind again. And (3) – well, we’ll get to three.

I write about this because I think these things happen sometimes with runners, and in other exercise as well. A plan goes awry. We set out on a course and the unexpected happens – we run out of water, we take a wrong turn to a bad place, a curb reaches up and twists our ankle. We find ourselves in predicaments where we have to weigh our health against our safety as if there was a winner on the scales.  Our common sense and self-preservation scream WHAT THE FUCK?! are you doing?

What are you doing? What DO YOU DO? You have to make choices. Which do you risk – your health or your safety?

For myself, and in this situation, I chose to risk safety – not that I’d recommend it, but if I were to risk health in such a situation – slowing down and possibly risking hypothermia – then my safety would also be at risk. In bad health, I am less able to defend myself should the need arise. For me, there was only choice (3): Stay alert and keep moving forward. With the sense of hearing being critical on a dark path, I became loathe of the swishing of my reflective vest and the sloshing of my water bottle, but I stayed the course and reminded myself that a water bottle is also a weapon. I reminded myself that I am not helpless or weak. I am strong. I am healthy. I can be fast. I know how to throw a punch and think quickly.

And I kept reminding myself of all of that over and over again as I made my way back towards the starting point –

until the point that I realized I was running along trail points between a 200-year old, waterlogged cemetary and the sewage treatment plant. It had been sunset when we’d passed through on the way out for the run. But now it was pitch black, I knew there was a cemetary there and the disgusting smell of rotting sewage permeated the air. It was at that point I thought to myself

ZOMBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and I started to haul ass! Because I’m nothing if not rational.

Blog peeps – have you ever had that happen? I don’t mean scared out of your wits by zombie thoughts. I mean caught in a predicament on pavement where you aren’t sure of the best course to take? Where none of your options seem all that great? Do share if you will.

So, earlier this week, I tried to tell Eric I was 37. 

Mind you, Eric is the man I’ve celebrated quite a few of my 38 birthdays with. Yep, babe, I’m 37. Um…no.

For the past two weeks, any time someone has asked me my age, I have immediately answered ’37’ THEN corrected myself to say ’38’.  I have no idea why. As far as I know, I’ve been perfectly happy being 38. Then BLAMMO, as of 2 weeks ago, I started being 37 again.

I have confused myself.

What will be even more confusing – when I start being 38 again. I’ll be all, when did *that* happen?

Oh yeah, a long time ago. Like months & months ago. Jeez.

WAIT? DID I TURN 39 WHEN I WASN’T LOOKING? WHAT DAY IS THIS?

In other news, it is snowing out. And my running bag is packed for 45-degree dry weather, not 30-degree wet weather. How does that happen? Oh, and I forgot my water belt for 6-7 miles of intervals.  But also, I feel pretty good since I switched resistance training to last night instead of crazy-early-thirty this morning. Hmmm.

Should be an interesting night. It’s okay. I’m 37, I can handle it.

 

There was a King & Queen of Mardi Gras wandering about the Market, but I don’t think they could compete with this lovely lady.

Indoor market or not, if you are willing to get into a glittery purple Mardi Gras bikini & head dress, in early February, you may have bigger cajones than me.

She gets my vote for Queen of Mardi Gras!

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After breakfast at Tuckers, we met Maine’s happy family of three over at Findlay Market.  The Market was having a family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration – encouraging costumes & decorations. A crawfish boil and a line-up of cajun bands scheduled to play. And color, lots of color smattered about to photograph!

One of the things that always strikes me about Findlay is that people tend to come in groups – you meet a friend there for coffee & errands, you bring the kids down to teach about vegetables, your husband comes with you to help carry the groceries. Almost no one goes alone.

The market bustles with community, relationships, connections.  Hands being held. Lessons being shared.

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Dogs of all kinds. This woman and dog took up a post in front of Krause’s right as we were first walking through the market.  They were still there when we left and in all of the passing-by we did, I never once saw them alone. It seems another friend had stopped to say hello every time I noticed. For what it’s worth, I fell head over heels with the turquoise porch at Krause’s.

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An ode to the vintage American diner.

Tuckers is about a block and a half from Findlay Market, on a *rough* block. The kind of *rough* block where you don’t have your purse in sight and you wonder how much damage the graphite handle on your umbrella can do if you start swinging it like a bat. The renovations going on in Over The Rhine haven’t quite reached Tuckers yet, and it is not the kind of place you would fantasize about.

Except that as soon as Maine asked if Eric & I wanted to meet her supercute family down at Findlay Market for an afternoon Mardi Gras celebration, my thoughts immediately went to the Greek Omelete at Tuckers.

Maybe, if we head down early, we can make time for breakfast at Tuckers…then go to the market…right, hon?

We do not go to Tuckers nearly often enough.

The Greek Omelete is fantastic. It is just the right amount of omelete, paired with home fries and fruit, and pretty good coffee.  Tucker’s ambience – a throwback to the old fashioned diner. There is a counter lined with stools with a single row of booths directly across from it. All walks of life fill every single seat. Over Eric’s shoulder there is a foursome of older folks, a bit of affluence exuding from them though they’ve attempted to mute it. Two college girls with the scent of old party on them walk in. We are the middle class couple in the booth by the door – I have my camera out & Eric is checking his cell phone while we wait on our food. Behind me, speakers alternate between big band and bluegrass.  A big neon clock hangs on a bright purple wall at the back, adjacent to the open kitchen behind the bar.

They’re out of the Greek omelete, but it doesn’t really matter because whatever I get is going to be good. I opt for the huevos rancheros, and have chosen wisely. The perfect amount of heat in the chorizo. Both sour cream & guacamole served on the side. The large tortilla underneath the whole affair is still crispy. Yum!

 

Welcome to Monday Blog People!

I’m in a bit of a weird headspace today, although, if I’m being honest, is it ever really normal up there in the skullcap? Hmmm…is it? Oh. I like you all so much!

I’m feeling focused and happy. Getting quite a bit done so far and it’s only 10:30.

First off, I’m finally starting to feel like a real girl again. Had a little boxing match with the flu and I lost the round. Four solid days on my butt with chills and NASTY muscle/joint pain. Luckily, I side-stepped anything digestion related – just had no appetite, but as an athlete, I think the aches and twinges and cramps in my muscles were almost worse. I’ve now got 3 bootcamps and 2 runs under my belt since I started to perk up – so far, so good. Appetite is slowly coming back. Can probably start ramping the running back up again. YAY!!! 

Especially YAY!!! since Run the Bluegrass is officially 6 training weeks (+ 1 taper week) away. Blogpeeps – I am SO NOT PREPARED.  Trying to do too much between Yoga Teacher Training, and switching over to the marathon training group, and bootcamp…you know what they say…try to do everything well and you end up doing nothing well. Well. Yeah. That’s about how it’s going. Not well.  I am way off my training plan, with my furthest distance in the past 6 weeks a pidly 6.3 miles. BUT…BUTBUTBUT…here’s where I think there’s a silver-lining in the flu. It gave me a chance to sit my ass down, get some rest, and re-focus my run thinking. Get happy again. I’d kind of watched the happy slide off into the ditch, but I think I’ve found it again. I train better when I’m happy. This is what I learned last Summer.  The fact that I am newly happy to be well, and be running, does convince me that I still have plenty of time to get some quality training in and have a good run at the end of March.

Sidebar: I want to mention, Runnerpeeps, Run the Bluegrass has had an AWESOME ramp up to their run. AWESOME! I’ve not seen anything like it before. They’ve set up tours of thoroughbred horse farms & bourbon distillery tours – all just there for the signing up! Some complimentary, some with a cost – but none of them expensive. Their social media campaign has me incredibly excited about the run and the weekend. Consider taking a look at it if 13.1’s interest you.

The other thing that is changing up is the morning bootcamp in my routine. I wrote back in October that there had been some changes made to the program and I’m just not happy with how things are now (part of the reason happy slid off into a ditch). After a little bit of drama on Friday between me and the trainer (we didn’t even speak to each other this morning), it’s time to let that go. He’s a really good-hearted person, but I am a piss-poor training match for his style. A thing that makes me intensely sad because it’s the perfect time slot, literally 3 minutes from my house, and for more than a year I had great results with it. But I haven’t really progressed since October, and nothing in the foreseeable future is going to change with that class, which means it’s time for a new plan. *sigh*

On the up-side – the upheaval in routine will create some space for new things. I’m still paid into bootcamp for a month, so I have some time to get a new schedule in place & play around a bit. I’ve scheduled a training session with the trainer that I really liked (& had mass progress with (the prior bootcamp instructor)) for tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes. I have some options for other resistance training classes already in place. Probably the reason for the happy factor. I like having part of a plan formulated already. Moving the resistance training around a bit might open up more space for yoga, and get my legs some quality recovery time between runs. 6 weeks out to 13.1 probably isn’t the ideal time to craft a new training schedule, but it may actually be helpful. Ya never know. I know if I’m happier, that is definitely helpful. So, focus on the happy.

If my trainer asks what I want to do tomorrow, would it be weird if I just said “I want to have fun. Now please kill me.”?

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I know this photo is awful, but c’mon, cell phone & supermarket lighting. Cut me some slack.

Just wondering if anyone else sees what I see here…so please…chime in in the comments.

I’ll add – the cover of “Psychology Today” on the far left reads “What Your Desires Reveal”.

The “Law of Attraction” cover (I’m not sure if that’s the name of the magazine.) reads “Love Yourself More“.

Both of which, I find highly ironic in the given context.