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Jan 02 2014

Throwing Away The Mold

cement_swim450And so it begins.

When the group workouts began in June, 2013 for my last (and first) Team in Training triathlon, I was unable to attend the entire first week due to a trip I was on with my bicycle and some friends. Two of the other people I was with were also interested in working out with the team and none of us wanted to come home only to find we had fallen behind in our training experience before even meeting the other members of our team.

So, the first chance we got, we decided to take a plunge into a motel pool. I had not been in a pool for too many years to count, and when I had been in one before, I wasn’t wearing goggles or a swim cap or any of the fancy ‘swimmer’s’ paraphernalia. I simply got in and romped.

While in the motel pool, I was sure I was going to glide through the water like a dolphin and touch the wall on the other end with plenty of energy and spirit for the return trip. And I was going to do that over and over again and still have energy enough to hop out of the pool and do some jumping jacks and some sprinting in place with the high knees directly after.

Oh, I was going to crush it!

Such grand plans I had for that first-time-since-I-was-a-kid full on pool swim. Why, I got in the water, donned my cool looking reflective goggles – just like the pros wear – and I set my feet to the wall and my face underwater and shoved off with all the force I could muster.

…Continue reading “Throwing Away The Mold” >>

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Oct 23 2013

Dare to Swear

pinky450

Honestly, I am simply NOT quite sure how this happened.

One second I was reveling in the glory of completing my very first Olympic distance triathlon while enjoying the company of my teammates around a table on a dimly lit and smoky patio. (I found out that night, smoking is allowed on restaurant patios in Pacific Grove, CA. Who knew?)

The next second I was pinky swearing and promising to trade away my precious winter hibernation months. In return, I would be allowed to get off the couch, out of bed, escape from the covers under which I’d surely be warm and sheltered from anything…cold and hurty.

I’d be given the privilege of heading out into the world of runners wearing headlamps on dark morning or evening jaunts, cyclists with ear warmers and visible breath and swimmers too silly to understand the winter months are simply not a time for swimming.

I looked down towards the glass that held my drink and noticed the liquid had barely been touched. I should have had my wits about me. Apparently, I did not.

…Continue reading “Dare to Swear” >>

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Sep 24 2013

Forward Motion

pg_team450So.

That happened.

A few months ago, I wondered if I was going to make it to the re-commitment date for Team in Training’s Triathlon at Pacific Grove event.

On the day of the event, (some would say ‘race’), as I stood on the beach after having dog paddled around a bit in a safe area of the ocean to get used to feeling the cold and salty water upon my face, I waited for the horn to go off and start the cluster of purple-capped participants. Of which, I was one.

I took that time to reflect on the most current leg of my journey. I thought back to when I quickly spewed out ‘Sure!’ when asked if I wanted to try this event with TNT. I don’t think I even considered to what extent the training would take me, physically; didn’t even take a moment to ponder the challenges I surely had ahead of me during the training season, as well as up to and including the event, itself.

I blindly tumbled forward into and throughout this new adventure – at times, quite literally.

…Continue reading “Forward Motion” >>

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Aug 01 2013

SLOW…it’s the new FAST!?

I_Ran450

I had to wait a week to write this entry. I needed to be sure it wasn’t a fluke or a one-time thing.

It has happened twice now, so it must be real.

I ran.

Without intervals. Without walking. Without so much as a curse word escaping my being.

I ran.

Slowly. Methodically. Deliberately. Constantly aware of aches, pains, inhaling, exhaling.

I ran.

To most people, it wasn’t far. To even more people, it most certainly wasn’t fast. But to me, it is leaps and bounds beyond what I’d ever hoped to accomplish. To such an extent I don’t even know that I can express the feelings here.

I ran.

 

 

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Jul 24 2013

Waiting to Exhale

oneStroke450

So, here’s something I’ve learned while strolling through the latest segment of my Journey:

“You must first unlearn everything you think you know. Only then will you learn everything you need to know.”

If you asked yourself “What Journey?” after the first sentence above, you can get all caught up on my rantings, ravings, whinings, musings and awakenings by clicking here.

Or not.

You know.

Whatever.

Anyway, in my last post I talked about swimming and how difficult I thought it was; far more difficult than I had imagined.

When I speak to people who, like me, only remember swimming in their younger years, (back when swimming meant frolicking around in a backyard pool where there may have been a volleyball net, beach balls, floaties, cool tunes emanating from the fancy square white 8-track player (possibly, the rock and roll duo playing on said device was Kristy and Jimmy McNichol, but, really…who knows?), youngsters carrying other youngsters on their shoulders in a dangerously dangerous game of “Chicken” where the loser on the top of the loser on the bottom stands a very good chance of cracking their head open on the metal siding of the above-ground Doughboy), they simply look at me in dismay – only slightly prior to their laughter breaking out.

To them, I say “Hey! Knock it off!”

…Continue reading “Waiting to Exhale” >>

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Jul 09 2013

S.W.I.M.

Kitty

(Note: To save you the time, I took the liberty of looking up the definition of “swim” in the Urban Dictionary.

Here’s what I found:

1. Swim

S - someone
W - who
I - isn’t
M - me

You’re welcome.)

When I registered for the Triathlon at Pacific Grove, I had to force myself to complete the form right when I thought I might want to take the chance and participate. Granted, I may have had a glass (or so) of wine beforehand, but I knew if I waited even a few minutes, I may have talked myself out of the whole thing and simply gone about my summer without really having to do much at all except maybe catch up on some sleep or television shows.

I do not envision myself an “athlete”, you see. In my head, this type of event is reserved for the athletes around me.

Somehow, some new “friends” I’ve met through my time with Team in Training (TNT) were able to convince me to give it a shot.

“If I could do it, anybody could.” they said.

“It’ll be SO FUN!” they said.

It is only a few weeks into training and I’m already wondering if ‘anybody’ can actually be me. I also have to assume the ‘fun’ begins once I figure out what I’m doing, should that happen at all.

…Continue reading “S.W.I.M.” >>

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Jun 18 2013

Try What?

Try What?

NOW look what I’ve gone and done.

You might wonder what the bleep I’m thinking, signing up to compete in the Triathlon at Pacific Grove in September.

To tell you the truth, I’m wondering the same thing.

It’s been a few years since I first opened the curtains to cautiously peek outside the window that kept me in my comfort zone and the rest of the world…out there. Since that time, I’ve come to learn a lot about myself.

I’ve learned it isn’t just about me. It is about the challenge – and not only the challenge of completing an endurance event. Sure, that’s all good and nice; but the most important reason to power down the TV and get off the couch is to help others in the battlle many are facing, and far too many more have lost.

In the last two years, I’ve completed training for America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride – a bicycle ride that took me 100 miles around Lake Tahoe in both 2012 and 2013. In order to complete the training, I worked with the Team in Training (TNT) group in my area.

I am once again joining forces with TNT. This time, with the help and support of the coaches, mentors, captains and friends, I will be working towards the goal of finishing my first triathlon, and I will do so in honor of all individuals who are now fighting or have ever fought blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team.

All of us with TNT are raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in order to help fund their research. That research will help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.

I believe we are close to finding a cure for blood cancers and, consequently, a cure for all forms of cancer. You can help make that belief a reality.

…Continue reading “Try What?” >>

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Feb 04 2013

The Unknown Known

bike_sunset_tntPage520bThe Team in Training (TNT) cycling season is now upon us!

It is difficult for me to believe only twelve short months ago I was in the middle of pondering whether or not I should venture into unknown and frightening territory by joining the TNT Cycle Team.

As the first team meeting of 2013 approaches, I find myself looking back on that time and I feel the same shiver of doubt course down my spine. I feel the same excitement. And, though I’ve already gone through one season of all of this, I feel the same anxiety and fear of the unknown.

After all, there is always ‘the unknown.’

What I took from the first go around has been invaluable, however. I am beginning this season with friends and acquaintances alike – all of whom completed the journey with me once. Some of whom were friends long before I signed on the dotted line with a shaking hand in January of last year.

This year, when it came time to sign my name again and vow to devote the next sixteen weekends and many week nights to training, I did not hesitate.

…Continue reading “The Unknown Known” >>

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Feb 01 2013

Redux

tnt_header_emBayIt’s true. I’m going to be a repeat offender – attacking the Lake for a second time in as many seasons. I am accomplishing the 100 mile ride around Lake Tahoe, once again, with the help of Team in Training (TNT).

It will be another series of months where my Saturdays and most weeknights will be spent atop my bicycle dealing with sore muscles, a challenged mental attitude and out in whatever elements the universe chooses to bestow upon me. Another season of straying outside my comfort zone.

Another season of riding for those who cannot.

Our TNT team is raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in order to help fund their research. That research will help stop leukemia, lymphoma,Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives.

I am completing this event in honor of all individuals who are now battling or have ever battled blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team.

One of my previous entries here was about the homestretch miles that had provided me with much frustration and increased self-doubt.

In reviewing the post, I thought it appropriate to take the homestretch miles and their drawbacks and turn them around in order to apply them in a positive manner to our team’s ultimate goal.

I am riding because I believe we are in the homestretch on the long road to finding a cure for cancer.


…Continue reading “Redux” >>

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May 21 2012

Homestretch Trials

For the last few weeks, our Team in Training (TNT) coaches have tossed together some beautiful rides. They were each pretty and all fun and games…until the last several miles.

Oh, those homestretch miles. How I dislike them.

Sure, we need them in order to get home. I mean, that’s only right. Right?

But why must I always expect them to be short, downhill and cool?

Why do I let myself anticipate the refreshing breeze rolling over my sleek, aerodynamic rig and self? Why do I continue to expect the road, scenery and anticipation of the finish to reinvigorate me and power my cadence over the last few miles? Why does my mind always have the vision of a yellow friggin’ brick road; the perfect way to end a long, hilly and hot ride?

When, instead and inevitably, those homestretch miles remain long, hilly and hot with absolutely no vision of the finish in sight. There’s nothing in those last few waning miles to reinvigorate me or help power my cadence. There is certainly nothing out there to accommodate my need and desire to just pedal easy and relax with my pals. My buddies. My fellow teammates.

Nothing.

Most of the time, I can let this go and just enjoy the ride as it was written.

That’s a lie.

…Continue reading “Homestretch Trials” >>

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May 14 2012

What’s in it for me?

Screaming Turtles with reason to Scream - Courtesy: Mollie CroonerIt’s hard for me to believe in three short weeks I will be reveling in the aftermath of something that had been barely an idea to me only three and a half months ago.

Whether they admit it or not, I believe many people who start with Team in Training (TNT) do so for purely – or mostly – selfish reasons.

Reason such as…

They are new to riding and want to start learning more about the skills required to have fun and be safe. They want to ride, but not alone. They want to be better cyclists and are looking to do so with some coaching. They are not new to riding, but want to learn more about nutrition and riding in a group atmosphere in order to be more comfortable on some upcoming endurance rides. They are better than most on the team and hope, maybe, they can show the team a thing or two and hope, maybe, they can also learn the one thing they may not already know.

Although it has only been a few months, I feel like this part of my journey started so long ago. I don’t exactly remember which of those reasons pertained to me. Maybe a bit of all of them, I guess. (Well, let’s face it, certainly not the last one!) But one thing is for sure, I was one of those folks who walked into that first TNT gathering for mostly selfish reasons. Courtesy: Hannah MylesI understood, of course, there was a cause behind the program. In my head, however, I had a “Yes. That is a great cause. But really, what’s in it for me, again?” attitude.

Yeah. I was ‘that’ girl.

I saw the minimum fundraising goal in the handouts and I wanted to know what I was going to gain for all of the (what I was certain would be) struggles and hardships I was going to have go through in order to reach that minimum. Surely my rewards would be plenty.

So I sat in the tiny group in the tiny lobby of the tiny gym. As shimmering and dripping and barely clad bodies wandered from the pools to the locker rooms and back; the steamed chlorine scent wafting over us as we sat off in a corner of the room. Nothing too distracting.

I sat in that group, but by myself. Taking it all in.

I’m a thinker like that.

…Continue reading “What’s in it for me?” >>

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Mar 28 2012

Dew Diligence

With some of the weather lately, my time cycling has dwindled. It is unfortunate this has come along just as our team has really started to ramp up the hill climbing, distance and time on the bike. I’m concerned by the time I get back out there I will have either not progressed or, worse, fallen a few steps back from where I was when I did my last training ride. I’ve been working hard at surpassing my personal status quo on a consistent basis.

Hopefully, we’ll get back to riding soon. We are now well into the journey around the lake, but there is still so far to go before we’re properly prepared. (By “we,” I’m not speaking of my selves, but of the Team in Training group.)

When last we rode together, it was not pleasant for me. About six miles into a breezy and damp..ish 46 mile ride, I found I had some mechanical issues with my bike and I was going to have to minimize my shifting. This meant all of the upcoming hills were going to be more of a challenge than normal. And, normally, hills are quite the challenge for me.

One of the coaches was kind enough to hang back with me as I slowly…slowly made my way around the curves and up and over the hills. The rest of the team was so far ahead of us I couldn’t even find their dots on the horizon. But coach and I kept putting one foot over the other. Diligently.

That’s one of the many great advantages of doing something like this with a group such as Team in Training.

…Continue reading “Dew Diligence” >>

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Mar 27 2012

Asleep at the Wheels

All rights reserved by dbmboise - Shanghai through my eyesAs you might imagine, it’s been a very busy few weeks for me.

I seems when I’m not at work, I’m cycling. When I’m not at work or cycling, I’m in the Running for Women class. When I’m not at work or cycling or in the RFW class, I’m playing softball. When I’m not at work or cycling or in the RFW class or playing softball, I’m pretty much asleep.

There just doesn’t seem to be time or brain power for me to keep this little blog updated on a consistent basis.

But, I imagine we’ll all survive this minor setback.

My most recent instance of the Beginning Running for Women class came to its conclusion last week. I waited until the very end of the very last interval to declare I had completed the entire course without the agonizing shin pain I had endured throughout the previous sessions.

I’ve yet to determine what, if anything, I did differently that allowed me to do the running portions without the lower leg pain. Don’t get me wrong – I still had some major issues. I had been so focused on the shin pain and when it may arise, I’d forgotten about the work the rest of me had to do.

All that breathing and stuff.

Not to mention the other muscles that had to take over and continue, where previously they’d been allowed to rest due to my stopping to relieve the pain.

I’m still a far from calling myself a “runner.”

…Continue reading “Asleep at the Wheels” >>

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Feb 22 2012

The Foe

courtesy: dcist.comIf you’ve been following along here on this site or if you know me outside of the WWW, then you probably know I’ve extended my journey’s reach to include a teensy tootle around a large lake. Sure, I could have stuck with simply doing the RFW thing or going to the gym or walking or cycling for leisure, but what kind of challenge would that be?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m determined to continue the Running for Women class and the gym and the walking, but I feel as if I need to do something…more. Since dieting is obviously not for me, I decided to turn my attentions back to the bike, as I had in my younger years.

I’ve long envied the narrow bodied folks that ride the narrower bodied bicycles. Especially those who refer to themselves as ‘cyclists’ and have the resume of miles to back that name up.

What a special little club that is.

I once signed up for an event that would allow me to ride around the lake with the club. I wanted to see what it would take to earn a place in the sea of chamois-bottomed beings. I did not get my answer, however, as I became ill and could not take my place in the ride. And by ‘I became ill,’ I mean ‘I chickened out.’

I mean, that lake is really high up there as far as elevation goes. And it is so large. What a daunting task I found that might be. So much so, I decided to drive the course after it was confirmed the last cyclist had finished.

Even the drive was frightening.

…Continue reading “The Foe” >>

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Jan 25 2012

The Belt of Boredom

BodyShapeShiftersOnline.com

Here’s something.

Something I figured out a while ago, but only recently accepted.

Now that I’m a three-time Veteran of the Beginning Running for Women’s class, I’ve come to realize…I’m spoiled.

It occurred to me while I was completing my honor run at the gym this week. On a treadmill. I was bored.

B. O. R. E. D.

Bored.

In the past year, I’ve noticed how bland life is on the treadmill at the gym. It takes everything I’ve got just to stay on long enough to complete my scheduled intervals. I keep wondering what has changed, as that is how I had previously completed my walking/running regimen and I don’t have any memories of practically falling asleep on the moving belt.

Then – the light went on in my head; competing with the overpowering fluorescents that illuminated the spacious gym.

…Continue reading “The Belt of Boredom” >>

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Jan 16 2012

Societal Tendencies

Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette
I’ve made a promise to myself.

Well, technically someone else heard said promise, so I guess I made a promise to her, as well.

Today marks the start of week two of my third go ‘round of a little flick in my life I’ve entitled “Running for Women – The Beginner. Still.”

The opening montage is quite spectacular. You really must see it.

I have to admit, this is actually week three of the class. In week one, I was still wavering in my decision to either take the course again or give in to what may just be my non-running destiny and find some other form of something to keep my lower half off the couch.

I let fate decide.

Usually the classes fill up fairly quickly. I pondered and waited then pondered some more before I finally called on the day the class was to begin to see if they had any open spots left. I told myself if there were any openings, then I would sign up to take the class again. But if it was full, I was not going to request a spot on the waiting list. At that point, to me, it just “wasn’t meant to be.”

…Continue reading “Societal Tendencies” >>

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Nov 22 2011

Fowl Play is Hard Work

Well. That was not a personal delight.

Sure, it was great seeing the folks from our RFW class all come together on an early Saturday morning for the Turkey Trot event. All of us bundled in our finest fall running gear. Mentally preparing ourselves, and each other, for the brisk task ahead.

Hot chocolate was consumed, salutations were made and pictures were taken. Then began the movement towards the starting line. Discussions about intervals and what everyone was going to strive to accomplish were had while we waited for the indistinct and muffled voice over the loudspeaker to make some final announcements before finally sounding the horn.

At which time, the entire mound of participants quickly took off like…a herd of turtles in mud. Thick mud.

The walk towards the starting pad was slow and easy, barring the occasional bump and wealth of colorful language coming from more ‘serious’ runners trying desperately to step on the rubber as far in front of the rest of the pack as possible. Since they inaudibly claimed race experience, I’m sure they knew their race time would be the same whether they crossed the start line twenty paces ahead of me or three paces back. That didn’t seem to prevent them from feverishly winding through the crowd, however. They obviously had far more important things to do later that day than I.

…Continue reading “Fowl Play is Hard Work” >>

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Nov 14 2011

The End Justifies the Meanies

Herein lies our last week of RFW’s fall session. We’ve increased our run time to an amount I didn’t recall having to complete in our last class.  I thought maybe I pushed the memory of the last two weeks of our previous session out of my mind because I despised it so. Upon further review, however, I remembered we didn’t do the scheduled amount of run time during the end of our spring session, as it was getting too hot. We ended up shortening our run times and increasing our intervals. I think I like that option better than this current week.

I’ll survive. I’ve determined I can whine my way through most things in life with which I have trouble accepting. My grating pleas may not create a party for everyone around me, but they seem to help me get by.

In the end, I am doing all of this for me, after all.

…Continue reading “The End Justifies the Meanies” >>

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Oct 31 2011

The Pressure Test?

Internet MedicineFor most of my life, I’ve been unable to run or do a lot of exercises comfortably. The main issues early on tended to be my knees. While in high school, I was diagnosed with chondromalacia. Now, I don’t recall if that was a diagnosis based purely on my explaining my symptoms to my doctors or if I had all of the necessary tests run that would prove this was what was causing my knees to hurt so badly. But, all of the symptoms added up and I’ve been addressing it as such since then. I’ve come to learn to live with it and have determined different things I can do to work around the pain.

Several years ago I was told – or perhaps I simply logged on to WebMD and diagnosed myself – the extreme burning sensation in my lower legs was due to shin splints. The shin splints, I was told/determined, were caused by overuse of the muscles surrounding the shin bone (tibia). It all made sense to me at the time. I discontinued whatever fantastic exercise I was attempting and told myself it just wasn’t meant to be. Between the knee pain and the shin pain, I had all but given up on exercising. And giving up was coming along quickly.

If you’ve followed this blog, you know the story already. But,

The switch finally went on in my head, enlightening me to the fact I needed to get off the couch. It didn’t really matter what I did, as long as it was off the couch and, preferably, outdoors.

I took the typical steps people in my position would normally take; joined a gym, started watching what I ate, paid attention to how much I sit/stand/walk, saw the doctor so she could confirm I wouldn’t break as I started to stretch and bend things. Just overall health awareness.

At some point, the yearning to run crept into my head and took hold. Not the unrealistic-for-now marathon run, but the simple-it-seemed 5k run, perhaps followed shortly by a 10k run. Then…who knew?

I found a Beginning Running for Women class nearby and signed up. Everything was jolly and I felt I was succeeding until about six weeks into the twelve week program. That’s when the shin splints reared their evil pain again. I’d almost forgotten about them.

After much whining, pushing, stretching, warming up, icing, ibuprofen, heating, massaging, frustration and a couple of tears, I managed to finish the course. I did have to change my pace and watch my footfalls at all times so I wouldn’t make the pain any worse than it had to be.

I always felt – based on my research and what I’d heard from others – I could push through the pain. I thought with continued workouts and continued use of the muscles, the pain would subside somewhat and I would be able to get through the worst and continue my journey on my own terms, rather than have my pain decide my fate.

I felt this wholeheartedly. That’s why I signed up for the Beginning Running for Women class again. I thought if I went back to the beginning and started over, the muscles would become less and less sore with the usage.

My beliefs were proven incorrect. The pain came right back at around six weeks into the twelve week running program. Just as we begin to step up the running times, my shins scream “Stop!”

I finally decided to see a doctor regarding my shin splints. X-rays were taken and my first stop was orthopedics. I understood quickly that orthopedics was not the place I needed to be. Their focus was more on bones and joint issues, it seemed. The x-rays showed there were no fractures – stress, hairline, or otherwise – in my lower legs, so the doctor made an appointment for me with a podiatrist.

After spending only moments with him, having explained my symptoms and after he confirmed there was no discomfort while palpating my lower legs, he suggested another explanation for the pain.

 

…Continue reading “The Pressure Test?” >>

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Oct 18 2011

Abide by the Stride

Our RFW class is smack dab in the middle of its eighth week.

I’m remembering the eighth week not-so-fondly from the last session. This is right around when things started to go awry for me and my ability, desire and self-confidence.

…mostly my self-confidence.

This was close to the time when I first began to realize I may not be able to simply “push through” the wall of pain. Around the time I came to terms with the fact I may never feel the infamous “Runner’s High,” about which I’d heard great things.

Thanks to the never-ending efforts of the coaches, I’ve been better able to prepare for this segment of the class. They’ve worked with me to create a set of intervals that would assist me on my forward journey and help me stay positive, while at the same time not risk the progress and morale of the rest of the class.

Mind you, I’m still the Whiner Winner here. There are few – actually none that I can see – who have as many colorful things to say during the intervals as I.

…Continue reading “Abide by the Stride” >>

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Oct 05 2011

Rain, Forest! Rain!

Although it hasn’t been more than a drizzle, there’s something do be said about running in the damp fall weather. In fact, there a several things I could say about it. Not all of them flattering, however.

On the first night of this session, I arrived to find a plethora of ladies standing circled around the coaches, anxiously awaiting explanation and instruction. I was surprised – as I had been when I took this course last spring – at the number of students that had signed up.

We did the requisite ‘Go around the group and tell us your name, weight, occupation, lifetime goals and reasons for wanting to put yourself on this treacherous and otherwise joyous and lighthearted path to healthy.’

The class was at the suggested-on-the-website capacity, so this process took a good chunk of time. Time we could’ve been intervalling.

I listened intently and asked questions I felt would require long and detailed answers. When it came my time to share, I made sure I started my story from the womb.

Soon, it was dark and I could feel the daggers shooting out of the coaches eyes as I watched the silhouettes of the rest of the group striving to stay upright; their heads bobbing sleepily while they tried to stay awake in the moonlit park.

…Continue reading “Rain, Forest! Rain!” >>

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Sep 22 2011

Sofa, So Good.

I’ve hung around me 24/7 for, what seems like, forever.

In all of that time, I haven’t noticed me complaining so much as I have since I started knowingly trying to get healthier.

Right now I’m looking back with mixed emotions over those days, months, years I spent on my beloved couch. And not just mine. I’ve spent quality time on other people’s couches, too. I’m not partial. Wherever I would fit – if it was facing a T.V. – is where I was most comfortable. Just wallowing the time away.

Note: I said “was” as if it is past tense. That is incorrect. Wherever I fit – if it is facing a T.V. – is where I am still most comfortable today. I feel close enough to you now. I think you deserve full disclosure. There are no lies between us.

Then computers came into my life. I discovered them when I saw their ads on T.V. While enjoying a snack on a couch.

I had to have one.

I didn’t know how consuming the electronic world would be. But once I dove in, I slowly started to drown in its suffocating and mesmerizing waves.

…Continue reading “Sofa, So Good.” >>

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Aug 30 2011

Light on my Feat

The Group is back, in part.

As I expected, several members of the previous Running for Women course have signed their Fall away in order to get out and take advantage of pack learning.

We met at a different location and everything seemed shiny and new. Actually, same location, opposite side of the man-made pond. Starting our class from there gave me the impression we were already halfway done with the trail, though we had yet to begin. I don’t think that was a good thing. I grew crankier as the intervals droned on. I quickly became impatient with having to break in all of the newbies. Having to repeat my stories as different women came and went by my side and insisted I converse. I spent our walking time bestowing upon them my wealth of knowledge having to do with one’s start to their own journey to greater and fitter things.

I spoke of my experience way back when I was but a young, aspiring racer. Just taking my first slightly-quicker-than-walking steps. Trying not to lose my balance and topple over onto the perfectly symmetrical runner trotting with ease alongside me. I spun tales of how I heel-toed myself across the many miles in order to become what I am today…a simple student who has a long way to go before feeling satisfied that she’s accomplished all she can in the beginner’s course. Still, I’m confident I can move on to something that is only a vague and blurry dream right now.

…Continue reading “Light on my Feat” >>

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Aug 08 2011

Preparation Ache

Odd.

I keep coming back to this place to read all new and exciting things that have been posted by the writers. But there’s nothing new. Just the same old stuff. What have the writers been doing since their last entry? How have they been spending time while they should have been keeping me entertained with their snappy written repartee?

Then, I look at the website header. Gottobeme. And I realize I’m the solitary contributor to this space. There’s nobody else. It’s got to be me. But why can’t I add  a subtitle – GOTTOBEME, butcouldbeu2? That’s not too forceful, right? Perhaps even inviting?

I didn’t think so.

Regardless, think about it, won’t you? I could use a fresh take on here. More times than not, I find my words quite insightful and entertaining. But there are those other times when there is only dead air. That’s radio/TV speak for the times when nothing is seen or heard, but it should be. It usually lasts just long enough to make one feel uncomfortable. Then it goes on a wee bit longer. Here, it is the term I use for a stagnant blog. When nothing has been updated or posted for an uncomfortable amount of time.

…Continue reading “Preparation Ache” >>

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Jul 07 2011

The Gathering

I recently got together with some friends from a past profession/life.

Every time we’re together, which is not nearly often enough for me, I pretty much just sit back and take it all in. It’s as if I’m an audience member and the studio is a busy barroom somewhere in the middle of where we all currently work and play. Adjacent to a book store, of course.

Most of the ladies have since moved on from the company where we learned more about family atmosphere, fun, consistency, punctuation, hierarchy and disappointment than we had known before.

On this night, in listening to the different conversations floating above the wine and the (diet) appetizers, I was able to somewhat catch up on who is doing what, where and how.

Some seem content with where they are. Some feel the need to move on to new endeavors. Others are relishing the fact that they can spend more time with their new families while trying to forget the years when work/life balance was little more than a terrible, terrible joke.

…Continue reading “The Gathering” >>

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Jun 13 2011

All’s Well That Ends.

copyright: Buck ForesterSo, the time has come for the RFW Spring session to officially ramp up, then wind down to completion. This marks the last week of the course and on Friday evening my running shoes will be asking me to put them out to pasture. They were far too expensive, however, and they will not be set free to frolic about in a muddy and otherwise filthy paddock. There is more work to be done.

Since a group of people that (oddly) does not include me decided it will be too hot to run in the evenings this summer, there will be no official RFW class during the heated months. But there is a group of us who are volunteering our well being in order to get out there and continue our journey. We’ve decided to do so to avoid taking the break that will likely set us back some when the regularly scheduled classes begin again in the fall.

Gluttons for punishment, I say. Now that I’m seeing the word ‘Glutton’ I’ve the craving for a turkey leg and baked potatoes, please. Gravy, if you’ve got it.

Just saying.

…Continue reading “All’s Well That Ends.” >>

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Jun 06 2011

Replete Offenders

The RFW Spring session’s goal run is in the books. We finished it in fine fashion, if I do say so myself – on behalf of us all. Some of the more experienced runners opted to run the entire 5K, while others decided to stick by the strictly timed intervals of their own choosing. Kind of like the beat of our own drummer, but with the splat, splat, splat of our footfalls upon the damp asphalt.

When I met this group for the first time, I discovered some things about them. Mostly from overhearing them speak with others in the group while taking part in the many random conversations that tend to arise during each outing. A fair number of the women had already taken this particular course before. A few had let some time pass and decided they needed a refresher to get back into their running regimen. Others, I heard, simply enjoyed the pace of the session and liked that it allowed them the time and place to get outdoors and join other like-minded women as all of us come together in a somewhat common goal.

I questioned why these women – especially those who were in the session that ended mere weeks prior to this one – would want to remain in the beginner’s course. I wondered what would prevent them from moving on to the intermediate or more advanced courses. Because that was the goal I had for myself. This course was just a stepping stone. Once complete, I knew I was destined to move on to intermediate and greater things. I just knew it.

…Continue reading “Replete Offenders” >>

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Jun 03 2011

Whiner Winner

Work has been hectic and I missed the Wednesday night run with The Group. I was very upset.

On the outside. Inside…evil grin.

This weekend will be our goal run. A 5k run for women. It is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, which is appropriate since many of us most certainly will be in need of medical attention during and/or after the run.

I had truly hoped to be much further along by now in this step by step journey. I’m still slapping one foot in front of the other, but the distance between the two has become shorter and the strides have increased in number just to cover the same distance.

I began this process believing I would have more difficulty with stamina and breathing. Both of which I felt would become easier over time and repetition. What I’ve found instead is I’ve had more issues with pain and heart.

I thought, at first, my knees might be an issue, as they have been for most of my life. But my shins have since become the major concern. I’ve studied and studied and done much research on shin splints. I’ve stretched, warmed up, rolled on the Biofreeze, rubbed on the Biofreeze lotion, worn the compression brace, all of the things I think I’m supposed to do in order to get relief.

…Continue reading “Whiner Winner” >>

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May 24 2011

Trigger Happy

Okay. I’m sold.

Our RFW group met at Fleet Feet again last night. I went in a little early to see if they’d stocked up on clothes in ‘real girl sizes,’ since my last several visits have not been productive. During those visits, I put one leg and/or arm into some of the on-the-rack items, just to see what it might feel like if I were to actually be able to comfortably fit into any of them during my lifespan. With that, I can imagine it would be nice to be able to be active in clothing designed for the active lifestyle. Currently, I’m active in clothing designed for a lifestyle of living room lounging.

I did find some items and came close to purchasing. But I’m holding out for something…better. I don’t know what it is, but I’m hoping I’ll know it when it fits. Like the famous glass slipper. Except, I guess they knew what that was. It was probably pretty obvious it was a slipper. Actually, not so much to me. Why was it called a “slipper?” Looked like a real shoe to me. Slippers are things in which you slop around the house. Why, I wouldn’t wear my slippers to Wal-Mart, much less an elegant ball. Not even my very best moccasins. And I have some fine moccasins.

Again, I digress.

While I was at Fleet Feet, I had a pre-session session with one of the physical therapy / sales people there. We went over some possible reasons and remedies for my annoying shin splints. He swapped out the inserts in my shoes, not promising they were the culprit, but thinking it may offer a bit of relief. Maybe.

He also had me go through a series of different motions and stretches to see where, if at all, one part of my body might be out of alignment with another. Being off-center  just sounds bad to me. After the stretches, we went to work with the Trigger Point products again. I stretched my legs over the roller thing and vigorously massaged my shins with the ball thing. I also added a healthy dose of Biofreeze to the shins, not wanting to leave anything to chance.

…Continue reading “Trigger Happy” >>

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May 17 2011

Weak Off

Grand Hyatt, San FranciscoBecause it is May, there are, of course, thunder and lightening storms throughout the area. When the RFW class began, we were warned we’d be expected to run in rain, sun, heat and cold.

Apparently, the powers that be felt it might actually be dangerous to frolic about in thunder and lightening storms. So, this week’s first run was cancelled. Upon hearing the news, I think I actually felt my shins exhale in a sigh of relief. Little did they know I still had plans for them. They would be forced to carry me for the scheduled workout, anyway. I simply hopped onto the treadmill when I got home from work and was able to complete the first session according to the coach’s guidelines for the week. I actually surprised myself by finishing the agreed upon number of intervals and increased run time since I’d basically skipped a week of any kind of exercise.

Due to an out-of-town training convention last week, I fell out of my routine and missed two of the three sessions. I swore I would get on the treadmill at the hotel and would be able to complete whatever was assigned to the class. I was determined so I headed to the elevator and on up to the fitness center on the 35th floor. Somehow, the 36 button got pressed instead and the elevator dumped me out right in the middle of the top story bar and grill with near 360 degree views of San Francisco. Some nice people who worked there raced over to greet me and my iPod so I felt bad about telling them someone had obviously made a mistake and I actually meant to end up one floor below. Besides, once I caught a peek at the view, I was hooked. I pulled my ear buds out, took my watch off of interval mode and planted my sneakered self at a table by the window.

…Continue reading “Weak Off” >>

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May 06 2011

Don’t Let Me Hear My Body Talk. My Body Talk.

Don't let me hear my body talk!I have to say, I’m feeling more than a little disappointed.

Since I began this process last year, it seems I have come across obstacle after obstacle. Whether they be physical, emotional, universal or Mother Nature….al. I feel like whenever my heart joyfully cheers “Go for it!” and my head cautiously agrees “Yes, go ahead and try it, if you want.” then my body responds with a bothered “What the EFF are you trying to do to me?!” Because I’m only human, my body usually wins the battle between positive thinking and repugnant pain.

I’ve apparently led more of a sedentary adult life than I thought. Maybe it wasn’t my metabolism that all but shut down at a certain age, maybe it was (gasp!) me! I admit, I haven’t been as active as I could have been, what with all the house maintenance, work and paying bills, but I didn’t realize my body had pretty much given up on keeping muscle around just in case it ever needed to call upon its strength. I thought we were a cohesive unit. Now that I’m trying to move about and do something to better my physical self, my body is giving me the “I told you so!” lecture ten-fold.

…Continue reading “Don’t Let Me Hear My Body Talk. My Body Talk.” >>

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Apr 21 2011

Anatomically Correct

Shin SpintsAnother week is in the book of trails. Or trials. It all depends on how you view the journey.

Each week, as expected, the intensity gets more and more difficult. With this week’s rotation, I became reacquainted with my shin splints (or “medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS)” if you’re anatomically in the know, as I am.) It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed each other’s company and I thought (hoped) they were gone for good. I even sent them a “Thank you for coming!” card last year. Guess it’s a testament to the fact that treadmills really are not the same as asphalt, concrete and trail running.

Before our outing Wednesday, the coaches had us meet up for a quick overview of some Trigger Point products, which are meant to “unlock the potential energy in your body and turn it into performance.” Most of my potential energy is still locked away, seemingly opposed to being turned into anything other than sleeping neurons. I hate to disturb them. They look so peaceful when they’re sleeping.

I digress.

…Continue reading “Anatomically Correct” >>

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Apr 04 2011

Inside the Chatterbox

image: www.mommyenterprises.comWith the first week under my loosely laced sneakers, I have this to report: I’m an out of shape wimp.

It seems regardless of how slowly and simply we start out the course, by the end I’m sore and, I admit, a little bitter. There are people older, wider, shorter, taller, younger than me and they seem to keep up the almost non-existent pace just fine. Carrying on delightful conversation all the while. At least I assume the conversation is delightful. I haven’t been able to really hear it over my wheezing and exhale cursing.

The coaches are what they promised to be in the introduction meeting; caring, experienced and communicative. I don’t know how much they get paid, if at all, but they deserve more. Sure, they probably love the running and camaraderie, but having to listen to a gaggle of complaining and slow women – or in this session’s case, me – hardly seems worth it. Plus, I don’t think the coaches are getting much of a workout. Must be frustrating.

…Continue reading “Inside the Chatterbox” >>

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Mar 22 2011

Dueling Banshees

The past twelve months have been a year in which I’ve ventured ever-so-gently outside my cozy comfort zone.

Running FeetIt all started when I joined a gym. That part wasn’t too frightening. Actually going to the gym is another story. I don’t even like to see myself in exercise mode; much less have other lookie loos staring in my general direction while I’m attempting (and, at times, succeeding) to throw one soggy foot over the other on the elliptical machine.

Still, I did it. I joined and I went. And I continue to go to this day. The results? Not exactly what I had hoped when I began my journey. But I’ve come to understand this is my journey. It will lead wherever it leads. It may take some dangerous or meandering back roads, but unless and until I hear a kid playing the banjo from his rocking chair on the porch, I will keep moving. If that time does come, I will still keep moving, albeit in the opposite direction and more quickly.

My latest uncomfortable venture came in the form of a women’s running group. For months I have been looking at the sign-up sheet for each of the different “Running For Women” sessions as they came and went. For some reason, the upcoming session drew me in and I finally bit the bullet and completed the form.

…Continue reading “Dueling Banshees” >>

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Mar 08 2011

Does This Metabolism Make Me Look Fat?

The folks at Buzzle.com have this to say:

As we get older our metabolism slows, leading to a slow loss of muscle and an increase in fat stores.

Does this make me look fat?According to their tag line, they fancy themselves to be “Intelligent Life on the Web,” so the previous statement must be true.

Much of the information available states metabolism slows down after the age of 30. I guess I should feel proud. It took me several years, but I believe I’ve finally reached my weight gain goal.

Now the challenge I’ve been determined to create for myself is on the table, (not literally, as that would affect my dinner placement), and I must find a way to battle the gifts given to me by my years of desk-bound jobs and complete lack of any strenuous movement.

WebMD, which contains a veritable wealth of information, is helping me by giving me “Tips for Success.” Their first exercise tip?

JUST DO IT. (Which I saw as plagiarism, but I read on, anyway.)

The supporting text for the J.D.I. step:

Don’t let brain chatter talk you out of exercise.

I don’t know about other people in my predicament, but when my brain chatters, exercise is not typically among the subject matter.

Babbling brain aside, I’ve decided to begin my journey as WebMD suggests. I’m Just Doing It.

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Feb 17 2011

The Mind’s Eye

Category: It's ALL About...,The Happy Place,The Ramblingslahddah @ 4:11 pm

My mind can be an interesting and bizarre place to vacation.

Nothing But The ColonyThe other day, I pulled some Greek Yogurt out of the refrigerator at the office and set it on my desk while I performed other tasks. Soon, I heard faint popping sounds coming from the direction of the unopened yogurt container. Remembering there are ‘live active cultures‘ in the yogurt, my mind took off on its own.

In seconds I had built a world in which an entire “Colony of Cultures” was becoming aware of themselves and getting more restless as the yogurt’s temperature began to slowly rise outside the fridge.

It didn’t stop there, however. Within those colonies, there were families and cliques and gangs. Complete neighborhoods containing both right and wrong track sides. I could literally imagine the outside of the container undulating as the colonies grew, (as colonies often do), and the space inside was quickly becoming too confined for the rapid growth of the population.

It was a pretty intense few minutes while this whole world took over my attention. Then, the phone rang and I snapped back to the real reality.

I ended up opening the container and eating the yogurt with gusto. If there were housing developments, red or blue yogurt-colony blood stained bandannas, guns, knives, smart cars, Air Jordans or high schools in the mix, I did not notice.

The yogurt ended up being quite tasty, indeed.

I was relaying this story to someone else later that day. She asked me what the Colony inhabitants looked like. What a silly question. As if I imagined them with faces and features and everything.

I mean, I’m not crazy.

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