Tag Archives: running

A bumpy wagon ride

In college I made a mental rule for myself – once I put a sports bra on, a workout or run must take place before I can remove the sports bra.

It’s worked pretty well for me, forcing me into workouts when unmotivated, or perhaps I would have otherwise “opted out.”

Tuesday, I found myself climbing back on the running wagon after recently falling off. (I fall off that doggone wagon so often, you’d think they’d put a recall out for it.) Apparently it had been so long since I’d even put on a sports bra that I had forgotten how to get into it.

I found myself flaying about my room like a drunk octopus, sticking my head into holes that didn’t fit it, trying to find my arms and in general very confused about where everything was going to fit once the arms/head were free. It turns out, it was on backwards.

FYI, the back side of the sports bra does not cover much.

Lest this blog turn into the bra blog, I digress on this matter. But not the run I was suiting up for.

I have another pre-running ritual.

Gertie, my running partner, must do ALL her business prior to departing.

Because nothing will ruin a run faster than having to carry with you a swinging  bag of your dog’s poo.

That’s what home is for.

But this day, I didn’t monitor her goings outside, so I found myself having one of those really awkward moments.

My dog was doing her #2 and I didn’t have a bag.

I HATE that.

Gertie, no! Fumble. Party Foul. Running Fail.

So we did the only thing I could do in that moment.

Ran away. Faster.

And now I have blogged about bras and dog poo today. Do not fear. This blog is not going to turn into Dooce. (I mean, the book deal and popularity would be nice, but it’s not really my shtick.)

What I really wanted to share was, I ran. Despite a few fumbles. No more excuses for not running. At least not this week…. I’m hanging onto that stupid wagon for dear life.

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Treadmill fail

Out of Order

Last week I joined a new gym. There is nothing more motivating than new windows to stare out. I was eager to get a jump-start on my New Year’s work-out goals. Luckily I wore my workout clothes when I signed up.

While very inspiring, a new gym can be intimidating. You feel as if all eyes are on you, like you are the new, out-of-shape girl who will visit the gym 3-4 more times before forgetting all about her membership. You’ve probably never been on a piece of workout equipment in your entire life and you certainly know nothing about gym etiquette and will walk away from your sweaty machine without wiping it down. In a nutshell, you are an awful person who doesn’t deserve to use a gym…

Geeze. don’t these people know that I’ve been running on treadmills since I was 16. And I  freaking ran a marathon once? (I wore my marathon t-shirt to emphasize this point.)

Also, there was no one there other than the girl who signed me up. Minor details.

I sauntered over to the treadmills. Yup, I’ve been working out on these since 1994 back at the ‘ole YMCA. That’s like half my life. I’m a total pro. I can even tell the difference between treadmills. Like reading a fine bottle of wine. Oh yes, the Lifeline brand, vintage 2003…

These machines require you to put in a weight, so I guesstimated based on my physical two months ago, and set the machine for a manual workout with a speed of 6.0 to start with and a goal of 3 miles. Popped in my i-pod and started running.

It was so nice to have a new view. The treadmills at my old apartment complex faced a little grassy courtyard and there was never anything interesting going on out there, other than the occasional dog taking a dump.

Four minutes in, the machine came to an unexplained stop. “Workout paused” the screen read. Hmmm….this had never happened to me. I pushed the button to resume workout. “Workout was paused due to too much pressure on the belt” the machine read before starting back up.

Odd. Maybe I was pounding too hard in my excitement over a new environment. I tried to focus on lighter steps. (Which is hard because I run like I walk – like a duck. A 130ish pound duck wearing running shoes and spandex pants. Attractive, I know.)

Two minutes later the same thing happened again. “Pressing too hard on the belt.” Ok, now I was getting ticked. I hit resume workout and tried extremely hard not to press hard.

Light ducky steps. Light ducky steps.

Two minutes later the treadmill stopped again. The error message told me I was pushing too hard.

It might has well read, “You big duck-running fatty. Get off my belt.”

Ok, this is ridiculous. I marched up to the front desk. “Um, hi. The treadmill keeps stopping on me. Says I’m pressing too hard. But I swear I’m not. Maybe I’m too heavy? Or maybe I weigh way more than I entered, but I put in my weight from my last physical. And that was a doctor’s scale. They never lie. Oh crap, maybe I have gained a ton of weight from the holidays. Stupid yummy truffles from the fiance’s mom….”

The girl looked at me strange. (I have no idea why.)

Then she suggested I try another machine while she worked on a resolution.

“Oh, yeah. Good idea. Thanks so much. Obviously I need some good workouts. ha ha. Not a good sign when you join the gym and break the treadmill. ha ha.”

So I set up a new workout on a second treadmill. Meanwhile, the gal got on my old treadmill and tried to get the error message to come up.

She pounded really hard. Jumped even.

Nope. No message.

Embarrassed, I kept running.

Eight minutes into my second attempt at a 3-mile run, the second treadmill turned off. All together off. No error message. Just off.

Crap.

Staff lady (who was still tinkering with the other treadmill) looked at me like, “who are you and why have you joined this gym just to break it?”

“Wow, I can’t believe that just happened. Gosh, you’d think I’ve never used a treadmill before. Um, maybe I’ll just try again…”

Luckily, I finished my workout without any further malfunctions of machinery.

I left with two treadmills under staff review and my tail feathers between my legs.

The next day, I couldn’t help but notice the second treadmill had an “out of order” sign on it. Oddly, the first treadmill still appears to be operable. But not for me. I’m never using that treadmill again.

Not only do my 2010 workout resolutions include longer daily runs, they now also include “don’t break any treadmills.”

Keep it Quacky.


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Walk, no run away from middle winter weight gain…

Nobody puts gym bag in the corner!

It’s that time of year.

The cold, damp, dark evenings in Kansas City come early. And my spring/summer/fall routine of running with Gertie after work dies a slow death.

There is nothing more appealing on these chilly nights than my couch, a blanket, some pasta (with heavy cream somewhere in the sauce) and a glass of wine.  Preferably after I swing by our work break room and snag a few of the ever abundant treats that magically appear at this time of year for my drive home.

But wait folks. This is not the year for a five-pound winter weight gain. I have a wedding dress to wear in February. And regardless, I’m not getting any younger. The weight doesn’t come off as easily as it once did. I don’t want to be a short lady with a big middle and skinny bird legs. (Because that is exactly what happens when I gain weight.)

Last month I started pushing myself to go to the gym (aka, my old apartment complex where Roomie still lives and I have gym privileges from the management) to run on the treadmill at least three times a week. On top of my regular Saturday or Sunday long run, that seemed pretty good.

I’m not going to lie. It’s a hard turn to make.

The couch, pasta and glass of wine call my name.

But once the rickety old treadmill rumbles its regular start-up regime, I’m always glad I kicked myself to get there.

But then my newest bloggy friend posed an interesting challenge. Then Heather Said: Join the whittlers.

The whatlers?

Apparently it’s a new movement sweeping the blogosphere…or a few of us bloggers who want a fitness challenge.

So I said sure. I’m game.

And Monday evening, I found myself laying on a yoga mat in our office flailing my legs around, trying to hold my body in awkward poses and probably making a real mess of a respectable ab work out.

Gertie thought I was laying there for the sole purpose of getting licked on the face, mouth and nose. Not quite, sweet pea…

On Tuesday it hurt.

Bad.

But I got through 9 minutes of a routine. There were some serious uggggghs as I let down my legs and felt my hamburger meat abs contract.

And tonight there will be round three. (After a treadmill run)

So bring on that wedding dress in February. Maybe, just maybe they’ll have to synch that corset  just a little bit tighter come February.

Don’t worry – I won’t be posting before/during/after photos here. No one wants to see that… But I will keep you updated on my progress.

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Quirkyville: Kickin’ it Sunday Style

Have you ever woken up with absolutely no plan and suddenly you have a list a mile long of things you want to get done?

That was me today. I woke up at 9 because Gertie was pacing around the bed and putting her snout up on the bed in the most pathetic manner.

Suddenly I wanted to do it all. Drink a good cup of coffee, go for a run, make a football feast for the fiance and pick up some things from Wal-Mart. The Chiefs game began at noon, and I knew he’d be up by 11:45, so there was no time to waste…if I wanted to be ready in time to serve him some game food.

I could combine the run and coffee if I ran to get coffee.

I picked a route that would take me just far enough to feel like I had exerted myself, but not too far to be a lot of work. (It was lazy Sunday, after all.) Then, I hit up a local coffee house…one that I knew had a little patio so I could leave Gertie while I went in to grab a latte. As I approached the shop, I could see there was another dog on the patio.

Uh-oh. Last time there was a dog there, it didn’t work out so well considering the dog was barking and growling so much,  it scared Gertie to the point that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her for a few minutes to go inside. No coffee for me.

Awww man, that would put a damper in my plan.

But then I heard someone call out “Hey Stephanie and Gertie!”

The dog belonged to my good friend Jessie and her boyfriend. Oh fun! Not only did I have someone to hold Gertie when I went inside, we got to sit on the porch and catch up over coffee, an unexpected but pleasant diversion to my plan.

Once home, I decided to skip a shower and just run out to get the stuff I needed from Wal-Mart,  plus the ingredients to make the wings, rotel cheese dip and homemade ranch I was formulating in my head.

Only I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. So the fiance was recruited from bed to join my search party all over the house. Nope, no keys. (This is not an unusual occurrence for me. He wasn’t too thrilled about being co-captain of my search team either. Oh well, he’d get over it when I served him piping hot crispy, tangy hot wings.)

There was no time to lose though. I took the fiance’s car while he continued to scour the house for them. (They were in his coat pocket from an evening where I wore his coat outside. Who knew?)

I was back  in 45 minutes…kind of a record for me to go to the grocery and Wal-Mart. But wings were at stake.

I found this recipe for baked buffalo chicken wings. It was super tasty. The only thing I would modify is I would be sure to spray my baking pans with non-stick so that I didn’t lose any bits of the crispy chicken skin. Other than that – perfection. You won’t even miss the fryer.

Then, I “winged” some homemade ranch dressing. Here’s what I came up with:

8 oz of mayo

1 cup of buttermilk

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 large clove of garlic finely, finely diced

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons of finely diced green onion

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

1 tsp of onion powder

1/2 tsp of black pepper

salt to taste

I whisked it all together. The end.

It turned out pretty good, a little runny, but that’s how I like ranch.  You could probably thicken it up with more mayo or some sour cream. But I didn’t have any more mayo and I was out of sour cream.

Despite my feast, the Chiefs are losing and the fiance is downstairs yelling at the T.V.

My work here is done, folks. I’m hitting the bathtub with an army of bubbles.

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Time Out

I needed a time out.

Yesterday, I took a PTO day and didn’t check e-mail. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I have a Blackberry and a habit of responding to things at all hours. But yesterday, I said, no to e-mail and yes to:

  • New tags for my car. I am officially a Missourian now. Unfortunately, just an hour after I had my new tags, I ran home to use the restroom and let Gertie out before running some fun errands (read: shopping). I was maybe home for five minutes. I walked outside and at that moment, I was getting a ticket. I hadn’t put my new plates on because I didn’t have a wrench.  Fantastic.
  • Local Shopping. I love days where I can just wander around with no agenda. Browsing for vintage jewelry for my wedding dress, funky shoes to wear under my wedding dress,  candles for my jacuzzi bathtub, a couple of bottles of wine for Fire & Wine night and…
  • Ingredients to make Chicken & Dumplings.
  • A good run with Gertie.
  • Covering my entire kitchen in flour. Somehow whenever I use flour in a recipe, I seem to spread it everywhere. As we were slurping down our dinner, the fiance looked down and noticed that Gertie had bits of flour on her ears and back.

I would say it was time well spent.

By the way, check out my post about working at the Perfect Wedding Guide show with my artsy & quirky photographer Blue Rue Photography. I may or may not have lied to get a few pieces of wedding cake.

Shameless. Someone needs to go in time out…

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Marathon watchin’

Saturday morning, I woke up to what I thought was a Gospel revival outside. Groggy and confused, I couldn’t figure out why the Catholic church nearby had taken such a drastic change in worship style.

Then I remembered it was Saturday, not Sunday.

What is going on?

I couldn’t see anything out the window, so I threw on a hoodie and stepped outside. Down the road I saw it.

The Kansas City Marathon!

Oh boy! I had completely forgotten that was going on today. I ran back upstairs, eagerly grabbing my shoes and telling the fiance I was heading outside to cheer on the runners. He seemed confused by my excitement that this event was taking place so early on a Saturday morning, but at least me being outside cheering was a lot more quiet than me standing in the bedroom bubbling with early morning energy.

I grabbed Gertie and threw on a hat and we were out the door. Of course, Gertie was terrified of the whole scene. She sat there shaking. Party pooper.

Good job! I started yelling to the trickle of runners/walkers that were still passing. By this time most of the runners were either running the half, or were speed walkers. I didn’t see very many full marathon bibs.

I wasn’t satisfied. I needed to do some hard core cheering. Back inside with shaking dog, I ran upstairs to tell the fiance I was going for a jog to find a new cheering spot. Again, he was not terribly amused with my exuberance. I shut Gertie in the room and changed into running clothes myself. (Gertie cannot see me wearing running clothes or she freaks out because she thinks she’s going for a run.)

I took a quick peak at the course map online so I could figure out where to stand. I decided the 20 mile mark would be a good spot. I remembered 20 miles well – just two miles before I yacked during my own attempt to run a marathon back in 2005.

I ran down to Volker & Main where the 3 hour pace group was getting ready to pass. Dang. These people were fast. So impressive. I stood there  shouting words of encouragement and in a state of awe until I got too cold  from my own run-induced sweat – the 4:20 people were just passing.

I really wish I could have  stayed longer and cheered on the back of the packers (like myself), but my coldness won out.

During my run home, I tried to figure out why watching a marathon on a cold, wet Saturday morning was so exciting to me.  Why was I so obsessed with the marathon? I have been my whole life.

I kind of thought running one myself would make me less obsessed. But it hasn’t. Every year I tell myself I’m going to train for another marathon and every year, I let life interrupt my focus. It’s not just the 26.2 miles that overwhelms me; it’s the months and months of training I know it takes to get the job done. I tell myself I enjoy my little 3 mile runs several times a week. That I can be a real runner without running another marathon. That another 26.2 just isn’t in the cards for me.

But something tells me it is. Watching the runners of all sizes, ages and levels yesterday reminded me that anyone who puts their mind to it and devotes time to train, can run a marathon. I’m inspired by my bloggy friend, Barb at Running Jayhawk who has not only run several marathons, she’s now training for her first Iron Man.

So thanks to the hundreds of runners who inspired me on Saturday.  And special congratulations to friends Kirk and Andrew (Molly’s brother) who finished the marathon and Shelly who ran her first half. Maybe I’ll be among you sometime in the future.

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What do these two things have in common?

Drinking & running?

Not at the same time, of course. But believe me. There are strange similarities. Let’s discuss.

Badge of honor? Not really. Moving on.

  • Both have the potential to result in a nice “buzz.”
  • Both require endurance and training.
  • Both can cause me to get grumpy.

I have a tendency to get “runner’s rage.” Typically, this happens when I’m feeling really entitled to the sidewalk and I get ticked off by cars, bikes or other pedestrians who get in between me and my final destination. Justifiable? Not at all. It just happens. Tequilla has a similar effect…

And as of yesterday I discovered a new commonality. 

  • Both can cause me to stumble and fall. 

In the case of the great fall yesterday – hard. Sidewalk v. QoQ and trust me, the sidewalk won. I landed on my right knee mostly, although my left knee saw a bit of landage as did my left elbow and the palms of my hands. But the brunt of my weight landed on my right knee.

I was down. 

Gertie was terrified

A very nice man came to my aid. It was nice considering the fact that I was sprawled out in the automobile turn-in for a strip mall on a very busy street. Also, I didn’t think I could move. It wasn’t the scrapes on my knee. It was the knee itself. It didn’t want to bend. Automatic tears started flowing. I was shaking as hard as Gertie. 

After a few minutes of sitting down (after he helped me get up and hobble over to a stoop to sit on), I felt like I could walk home. And I was finally aware of my surroundings enough to be really, really embarrassed. 

At home, I doused my knees in peroxide. (Bubbly. Gross.) And retired to the couch with an ice pack. 

24 hours later, I’m feeling better. There is a yucky bruise on my right knee and I have obtained just enough sympathy from the fiance to merit a few extra back rubs. But I’ll be ok. 

That sidewalk better watch out because it’s ON. It just might be a few days.

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