Monthly Archives: January 2011

Warmth In Running

I lacked the enthusiasm needed to embark upon my mid-afternoon winter jaunt.  I had just woken up from my standard Sunday post-lunch 30 minute nap.  My body, remembering the toasty warmth of the six (three) (no, really, six) blankets employed during the nap, shivered every time I considered changing into my running clothes.  Imagine the violent reaction I got from my body when I began to think about actually venturing out into the winter air.  I paced back and forth in the family room in front of the wood burning stove waiting until I had fooled my core into giving up some of its life saving warmth to my extremities. For goodness sake, this all occurred inside of a 70 degree house!  Had I lost my true runner’s edge? Of course not.

Although… there was some doubt as I rounded the first half mile with the winds whipping around my bare face.  I recalled that many of the previous days had been well below reasonable wind-chills.  So be it, one mile would suffice. 

Mid-way through the second mile, I had forgotten all about returning home early.  My toes encased in nasty Adidas shoes and wool socks were now sweating as though they were still lodged under the three (no, six) blankets at home.  My muscles were loose and I was beginning to think that running through the island park during the Bears vs. Packers game provided the best way to watch the game by not watching it at all.

While rounding the corners of downtown during the fourth mile, little signs started popping up to remind me of my foolish choice.  I didn’t feel any pain but I could feel a tightening of the tendons in my ankle.  At this point, I had no choice as I was already on course for the shortest path home.  I would pay for wearing shoes, there was no doubt.

A few stomps into the side yard of snow marked the completion of the fifth mile.  I was warmer than I had been before climbing out from under three layers (six) of faux Florida.  My hair underneath the wool hat was drenched with perspiration and perseverance.  At the moment, everything felt good.

That night though, I couldn’t walk.  I hate those shoes.  That may very well have been my last run outside until it is warm enough to wear my VFFs.  (which should be just above freezing if the snow has melted away)  Next year, I’m getting the right equipment.  I can’t keep wishing for snow while simultaneously wishing it would warm up so that I can ditch the shoes.

Next year, I want Santa to bring me these


Leave a comment

Filed under running, Vibram Five Fingers

Never Say Never… and Maybe Not Likely

I once said, “I’ll never get married.”  Then I said, “I’ll never have kids.”

My husband actually signed a piece of paper that his friends brought to our wedding that said, “I will never get married.”

I ran my first half marathon in 2007 in Chicago.  It sucked but I loved it.  Plus, I beat Paul Hunt by about 17 minutes. He was a former colleague that I saw passed on the course.  I was proud of my accomplishment and was tempted to get a T-shirt stating that I beat him.    

It wasn’t long before I craved another long race so I went to the Borgess Run for the Health of It Half Marathon.  Borgess was also the location of my first 5K race where I finished 3rd place! The next year I went for the half ending with a PR and finishing pretty strong.  I decided to run the half  again in 2010 but family circumstances kept me from going to the race, so I raced it anyway

I know lots of runners who are out doing fulls.  I heard once that if you do a half before a full, you’ll never want to do a full.  I have to agree.  After completing three* half marathons, I have no interest in doing a full.

It’s time to decide if I am going to return to The Borgess Half to claim another PR. 

Imagine my thoughts though when I see this.

 Building On A Legacy

It may be Kalamazoo’s First Marathon, but it will be conducted by the region’s most experienced race managers, a savvy advisory council and hundreds of volunteers. Read More 

Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo…marathon.

Suddenly, I feel tempted.  This is where I did my first 5K.  This is where I broke my first PR for the Half marathon.  Should I overturn my adversion to running a full marathon just to run my first full at the first Kalamazoo marathon?

I don’t think I said I’d never run a marathon but I’m pretty sure I said I’m not likely to ever run a marathon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Barefoot, Michigan, running, Vibram Five Fingers


I am a Cub Scout leader. One night last fall we were working on their Building Muscles achievement. Being a big fan of everything a push-up can do for you, I made them do push-ups. Then I saw the gleam in their eyes when they decided to challenge me. I asked them how many push-ups did they think I could do? A father in back bet me ice cream if I could do 20.
So I did 21.

What’s pathetic is that these days I’m struggling to do 5 in a row. My mini-goal is to work on my strength so that I can beat 21 push-ups in a row. (Plus, I really want to be of help in the spring when the Hubs unloads the sleds from the truck)

1/11/11- 5 push-ups

Check out the view from my window. You can’t tell where the wall ends and the snow starts. FINALLY!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A New Treadmill

Today’s early morning run was both completely dreadful and completely delightful.

Last week during my attempt at heeling, (pun intended) the hubs got ahold of the treadmill and tore it apart to tune it up.  Turns out that all that cold weather bucking was actually a completely demolished motor drive belt. 

Part ordered. Treadmill fixed and aligned.  Thanks, hubs and neighbor.

Wise advice says if the cold is in your head, run.  If the cold is in your chest, don’t run.


One week away from running and I’m dying on the treadmill.  Maybe it’s the belt.  Maybe it’s the chest cold.  Maybe it’s just cold.

But, man… that baby runs so smooth now.  It’s like having a brand new treadmill (the magazine holder is still broken though).

A pitiful 1.8 miles with bare feet and lots of phlegm. 

Tomorrow is day one of a Biggest Loser challenge at work.  yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m organizing it and trying to take the idea to the next level.  Those ladies have no idea what they are getting themselves into.  Cuz, seriously, I’d rather do that than my actual job. 

BLC, January Challenge – 4 pounds

Leave a comment

Filed under Barefoot, running, Weight loss

The Motivation For Today (And Yesterday and Tomorrow)

As a result of a serious eye injury that my son suffered on New Year’s Day 2010, I have experienced a variety of phases and emotions over the past year. I was sad, angry, relieved, and felt guilty.

Why guilt, you ask? Why would I feel guilt when my son has become blind in his eye and now wears a prosthetic shell?

I termed my feelings as Survivor Guilt. I was so pleased with how my son’s life will turn out. He will do anything he wants, no restrictions. Do you know how many children we saw on New Year’s Day 2010 in the University of Michigan hospital that might not ever get to live a normal childhood let alone… leave the hospital? As crushed as I was about what happened to my son, I felt equally blessed that his situation was so MINOR.

I beat my feelings of sadness then I beat my feelings of anger at the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. It was about mid-year when the survivor’s guilt really began to kick in. I thought I was feeling guilty that our lives had come out nearly unchanged.

In December, I wrote a post when I was feeling very overwhelmed with the world, my binges, and my survivor’s guilt. I was doing everything I could to pay back the present that my son… that I was given but it just didn’t seem to help me with the guilt. As good as it is to help others and give what I could it was not helping me to come to terms with my guilt. I spent the year eating for emotional comfort, eating to relieve my anger and as a crutch toward my guilt. It didn’t seem like I could go more than 5 days without binging on something. As positively as I started December, I found myself deep in depression by the middle of the month. It was as if it got worse the closer we came to the one year anniversary of the accident.

Just before Christmas, I struggled on a long run. It was hard to run and I just wasn’t feeling it. I took walking breaks as a compromise. As with most runs, my mind sifted back and forth through a variety of topics. The most popular topic was my survivor’s guilt and what could do to pay it back to the universe. I thought about how lucky we were that our son wasn’t one of those kids who were so sick they had to be kept inside of sterile rooms, even had sterile tents around their beds. We were lucky to have a child with a healthy body.

That was it. A healthy body. I was feeling guilty because I have a fully functional, capable and healthy body and yet I was not appreciating it the way that I should. I wasn’t exercising right, eating junk food, pouring in the sugar and over indulging on alcohol. Not only is my kid lucky, I’M lucky. I’m lucky to have a body that is strong, disease free, functional, and capable of doing more than I’ve imagined.

What I realized in that struggling run is that in order for me to pay it back to the universe I have to care for and appreciate the gift I was given, my own healthy body. I have no diseases and I’m damn lucky I don’t.


Filed under Eye Injury, personality flaws, running, Weight loss

What Is Fast Food?

In keeping with my Y39 mission statement, I set a few goals for the month of January.  One goal was to not eat any fast food lunches in the month of January.

So, today, I find myself… defining what fast food means…

After all, have you ever had FAST food from Arby’s?

If you hit McDonald’s during the peak of rush hour you won’t drive further than 6 feet every 5 minutes.

Come on, Jimmy Johns and Subway are sandwiches.  That isn’t fast food.

Even a regular restaurant will warn you about how long it takes to make, bake and serve you a pizza.  That’s slower than regular food!

How about fried chicken?  That’s picnic food.  I’ve never seen anyone rush through a picnic.

Besides, what is faster than microwaving last night’s leftovers?  Clearly, I should NOT eat my leftovers!

Leave a comment

Filed under Weight loss

Last Run

I admit it, I hadn’t wanted to run. It looked chilly and damp outside the window and laziness and a warm cozy blanket were lounging around on the couch beckoning me to join them. However, it was important to put in this effort on the last day of the year. A real runner, never die, just keep swimming… all that stuff.

 I negotiate my mileage goal with the kid. He commands I run 4 miles after I refuse to run 150 miles.

Pft, I think as I leave the house. In the rain and chill, it’ll be a lot shorter than 4 miles.

The hundreds of trees that line my in-law’s quarter mile driveway protect me from the rain but dispense water bombs ten times the size at regular intervals.

I reach the end of the driveway and it’s no longer raining. It’s a sign. I think, maybe I’ll go all the way around the lake. (6 miles)

I am delighted at running on the soft, soggy shoulder until I realize my VFFs are soaking up freezing water from the ground. I wouldn’t even run in ice water in the height of July let alone December. I retreat to running on the asphalt which is what I normally do anyway.

A mile later I marvel at how difficult it had been the previous week to do this route but today is easy peasy. I might even stretch the run to 9 miles after going around the lake.

Road sign says go left but I go right to the lake

Two miles into the run, Mother Nature calls me on the gut phone. She says it’s not urgent but I might want to plan on being in a strategic location (outhouse) in a reasonable time. Going around the lake will not be possible.

Five minutes after turning around so that I can loop the outhouse until my mileage is complete or Mother Nature calls (whichever is first), I notice that the sky is extremely dark for ten in the morning.  Even the streetlights are on.

I was one mile from the house and running in a torrential downpour. It’s a sign. The raindrops are as big as the water bombs from the drive way. I abandon all thoughts of running around the lake or trying to get those year-long goal miles completed. My clothes are hanging from an extra twenty pounds of water. I have to zig-zag across the street to avoid running through the water streams.

It's a street light and a sign

I heard thunder when I was walking up the driveway to the house. I decided that I should run the rest of the way and cool down in the house.

December 31st = 4.6 miles, Visits to the outhouse = 0, Hits by water bombs = 3,000,000

Month total = 57 miles, Year total = 495 + whatever from September

Leave a comment

Filed under Michigan, running, Vibram Five Fingers