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Running For Life

NO MORE Marathon Training

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April 2011

LR’s List of Running Dos and Don’ts


Greetings my little Fox Trots!

For the past week or so I’ve been perusing the Internet searching for some advice and/or tips on how to get over this whole hamstring debacle. And, as with any kinda search on the Internet, on any subject …such as “how do I know if I have gout” there are always a few sites that offer some helpful information but for everyone one good site, there are a gazillion ridiculous sites offering nothing but useless information.

Case in point, I came across this one site, it was actually About.com, and the title of the article was, “Race Day Tips for Your First Road Race.” I know About.com is just a generic site that tries to do its best at giving readers basic information about a very broad range of topics…but come on About.com, the information in that article was trifling. They listed “tips” in like a top 10 kind of way and no fool’n, number 4 was “Pin Your Bib.” Really??? I mean if you couldn’t figure that one out on your own, I think you might have bigger issues than knowing how to get ready for a road race. I’m just say’n. I think About.com should just give up on trying to be legit and go full blown stupid and offer a list that is, at the very least, entertaining. If I was the content manager for About.com here’s how my running tips list would go :

Running Dos and Don’ts by LR.

10. Don’t go to happy hour and smoke a pack of Marlboro Reds the Friday before a Sunday morning Marathon (you laugh but I actually did that…and then I wondered why I didn’t finish the MCM in 2000).
9. Don’t show up late for the race…it puts way too much pressure on you. Again, you laugh but I also did this one. My very first race ever I ran, I showed up several minutes after the gun went off. The race director shook his head in disgust and said, “You better hurry up or you’ll be the last one to cross the finish line as well.”
8. Don’t run a marathon in new shoes. Needless to say, I learned this one the hard way….I have a pointy baby toe to this day!
7. Don’t run a race hammered; it’s just a bad idea all the way around.
6. Do, ALWAYS remember to use body glide if you have chubby legs.
5. Do try NOT to have bronchitis or dysentery on the day of any race.
4. Don’t try GU for the first time on a long run.
3. Don’t, under any circumstance, EVER sit down on the seat in a port a john. This lesson learned was so damaging I think I still suffer from PTSD. Don’t judge…I had just run 23 miles and my legs were tired.
2. Don’t run a race with a coworker you don’t know very well – the competition can be damaging to an otherwise friendly working relationship.
1. Do learn how to snot rocket. It is prolly the single most important tip for any new runner.

So there ya have it…the beginning runner’s dos and don’ts list as proclaimed by LR.
Tell next time my little Cha Chas….keep on runn’n!

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Turns Out, No. I Should Not Run Before a 5K


Hey there kitty cats.  Happy Monday. 

Wish I could say happy Monday and actually mean it.  I’m in a blue funk for multiple reasons but most especially because I got hurt running the Pacers 5K last Friday night.   I’M SO PISSED I can’t think straight.  I was finally starting to see some real improvements with my running and then *BHAM!* I’m outta commission.  OOOOOOOOOOO, I’m so mad.   I pulled my hamstring right after mile 2 during the race.  To be fair, it wasn’t just the 5K.  I started to feel a little pain toward the end of the 10K I ran the Sunday before…then, the Tuesday night track workout made it a little worse…then, the 5K on Friday just pushed me over the edge.  I had to walk over the finish line I was in so much pain.  Only bright side of that story was I did finally get under 10 minute miles…just under but I did it and if I hadn’t been maimed before the end I would have done a lot better.  And, the race itself was really fun.  Next year I’m gonna have to try to do the whole series which is every Friday night in the month of April.  It was a great atmosphere for a race…people were so into it even in the pouring rain and 40 degree weather. 

Here’s a picture of a guy who showed up in a women’s red dress.

 It was American Heart Association night and all the runners were encouraged to wear a red dress…I was amazed by how many people showed up wearing full on evening gowns and what not….with no sleeves, standing in the freezing cold. Talk about commitment to the theme!  There was this one tool who was dressed up in an old lady red dress, wearing a wig and Chuck Taylors.  I say he’s a tool not because of his attire (cuz his attire goes without saying) but because he felt the need to jump both feet into every single puddle no matter how deep.  “Really Jackass?  How old are you??” Yeah, you could say who cares we were already wet from the rain but dude, my feet were pretty dry until that puddle jump’n Ahole got me 100% wet.  I shouldah given him the forearm shiver!

So now, in the aftermath of my injury, I’m having a little pitty party for myself hoping that I can get back to my training soon.  For every day I don’t run, the chances of me giving up on my training all together increases 10 fold.  I’m such an all or nothing kinda gal.  I really hate that about myself.  And yet, as much as I hate it, I still continue to do it.  Acceptance without change has always been my motto. 

My plan of action (POA) for now is to lay off any sort of exercise tonight and see how I do tomorrow night at the track workout.  Fingers Crossed!!!  If this doesn’t work, I already see the whole downward spiral starting to happen….no more gym, no more diet!  Egad!!!!  HELP!

If any of you guys have any advice as to how I can get over this sooner rather than later, let me know.  I’m pretty willing to try anything at this point….within reason that is. I need to be ready for the 8k on Sunday….I’m running as part of a team so I can’t have some bum leg holding everyone up….How’s that for some added pressure??? 

Till next time panda bears….keep on running, even though I can’t. 

Should I Run the Day Before a 5K Race?


Happy Friday my little buttercups. I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.

An interesting thing has happened with regard to my blog. For some reason, when I started writing this thing, I never, for the life of me thought that anyone outside of those that I guilted into reading it would ever actually read it. Therefore, the thought of getting comments (either negative or positive) from people I didn’t know obviously didn’t occur to me either. So when I did get a comment yesterday, from someone outside of my circle of trust, I found myself forced to make a decision that I was not prepared to make. Do I censor the comments made on this site???…particularly if I think they are stupid and uncalled for and completely unfounded or do I post/approve them in the spirit of the freedom of information; a concept that is the very cornerstone of the Internet.

Hmmmmm, Vhat to do, Vhat to do, Vhat to do.

As those you who know me with any sort of familiarity, you know that I vehemently oppose any sort of censorship. I could go on for DAYS on this subject because I feel so strongly about how import an person’s right is to have access to all information available to them, but I will spare you the gory details and just let you know that I will NEVER not approve a comment unless it is something clearly SPAM in nature or might get me in trouble with WordPress. This is a promise I make to you all (cross my heart hope to die stick a needle in my eye). However, I must caveat that by saying the following: “Dear Reader, take heed and comment to, on or about my postings at your own risk.” Because once you open yourself up to feeling confident enough to challenge me on anything I write, you are fair game for any sort of response/retort that I might feel evoked to write in response to your stupidity…I mean comment.

And since we are on the subject of my site’s “policies,” another sort of dilemma has surfaced and that relates to the subject of advice. Again…this is the sort of thing I did not prepare myself for cuz I never thought I’d have any willing readers…maybe after this post I won’t have to worry about it ever again, but the idea of someone asking my running advice never occurred to me either. Just for the record, that still hasn’t’ happened (though stupid me thought it did) but I thought I’d get ahead of the game on this one and make an official statement on it. So here goes: I will respond to anyone’s questions about running with absolute sincerity, but unfortunately I’m just a cut rate “runner” who can only provide responses based on my limited experiences and/or success …but I vow to provide advice to anyone who asks that will be as helpful as I found it to be.

There…I feel much better. We all know where we stand now.

Okay but wait…one more thing….I have to comment on the question that was posted as a Trackback on my site (side note, I had to look up what a Trackback was today cuz I’m such a newbe to all this). Dumbass me actually thought someone was asking my advice but that’s neither here nor there, the question was…., “Should I run the day before a 5K race.” To which my response is….it depends.

All right petunias…I’m off. Got to get ready for my 5K tonight in Crystal City.  It looks like a pretty fun event…check out how much fun these ladies are having

Till next time, keep on running!!!!

First Race of the Season


Hola my little egg noodles….

Sorry my posts have been few and far between these days but seeing that I don’t get paid for writing this blog (though it would be cooler if I did), I have to fit time to write it in between work (where I actually do get paid), runs, running workouts, kids, sleep….etc. Man, life would be so awesome if all I had to do was run and write about running…well; maybe if I had to do it in order to get paid it might suck all the fun out of it… and then I’d have to be all good at it and stuff…yeah, no. I’ll just keep it like it is.

Yesterday, I ran my first “official” race of the year. I say “official” because last weekend I did, in fact, run a 5k with Bella, but that was Bella’s race. I was just there to make sure she didn’t get hit by a car or something tragic like that. She was the star of that show and star she was!!! I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two before but I’m so proud of my little wooodahboodah!


Anyway…I ran my first official race of the year/running season. I wish I could say it was great…or that it was awesome and I kicked ass but the fact of the matter is…it was *meh*. In the car on the way there, I was all kinds of jacked up…I had a lot of stuff on my mind other than the race itself and I felt more anxiety than excitement. I was do’n the whole heavy sighs and was trying like hell to get myself psyched and ready to run. When we got to Shady Grove Metro, I jumped out of the car, headed over to the starting line where I waited for like 1,000 hours for the race to start and then another 1,000 hours for my pace group to be able to cross the starting line. Yeah, I’m in the back of the pack with the 10 min + runners, and yes, it normally does take a little longer to start, cuz I know all the elite runners don’t want us slow pokes in the way, but common it took over 10 minutes from when the initial gun went off till the time when I crossed the start line!!!!! There weren’t that many runners for chrissake.

With that, I have to have a little side bar here to the race organizers of the Pikes Peek 10K….dudes, you need to get your shit in order. I’ve been running this race consecutively for the past 4 years, and before that I have been running it since it was the Frtizbee’s 10k back in 1991 and every year I run it, it gets a little more disorganized and a little less fun. I understand it’s a huge under taking to plan and put on a race (I was the chair of a 5K race in Frederick once…long story, don’t want to ever talk about it however must mention….for water cups, to be used at the water station, I was given those pointy ended cups that you get in the dentist chair…

seriously?????

How are you gonna put them on a flat surfaced table for cry’n outloud?!?! And, that was one of the minor things that went wrong. WHAT A FREAK’n nightmare!!!), and I know there is always something that comes out of left field that will screw things up but this race has been on a downward trajectory for the past several years. Standing at the starting line for 20 minutes waiting for race to start 10 mins past its posted time…listening to some clown on a 200 year old PA system making announcements that were not recognizable as any form of human speech, freezing one’s ass off is not the way to get psyched for a race. I’m just say’n.

So anyway…I was standing on the starting line…totally not in my head at all and from the second I crossed the starting line till the last ¼ mile of that run I was not in that race at all. I don’t know if it was me, or if it was the lack of enthusiasm around me or the fact that I was there by myself, or that I was stress’n myself out over an unrealistic goal I set for myself, but I just wasn’t into it. I wasn’t busy checking out fellow runners and what type of gear they had, or paying attention to course and the things I was passing along the way. I didn’t even say thank you to the volunteers on the course…that’s really not like me at all…normally, I’m 100% so thankful for them being there I go out of my way to thank them for their support…I didn’t even look them in their eyes when I took the water (boy I’m a douche sometimes).
My time was meh. It was the best I’ve done over the past four race. Here’s sort of a quick look at my most recent times for this race:

2008 clock time 1:11:48 personal time 1:07:28 average pace 10:52
2009 clock time 78:11 personal time 69:22 average pace 11:10 * it was like 150 degrees that day.
2010 clock time 1:14:51 personal time 1:07:13 average pace 10:50
2010 clock time 1:15:44 personal time 1:03:08 average pace 10:10

I wish I could have done better…I was really hoping for an even 60 minutes, but that’s the beauty of running..there is always next time.

I wish I knew why I felt so disconnected during this race…maybe it was personal shit and it had nothing to do with the race itself. I don’t know…but I do know, I hope I never run another race with the same sort of mindset or lack of enthusiasm again.

Till next time my little bow tie pastas, keep on running!!!!

5k From Hell


Hi my little tootsie rolls! I was told by one of my readers not to use any nicknames that relate to some sort of confection, but since I gave up alcohol for Lent the only vice I’m able to indulge in is sweets so that’s all I can think of right now…so the reader who made that comment…just deal with it!!!

The other night my husband and I were watching the Biggest Loser. Now wait, before any of you start hate’n on me for watching such a stupid show, I want you to think about the list of TV shows you watch and I’m sure somewhere in your garbage TV repertoire you are addicted to some show that’s worse than the Biggest Loser (and yes, Dr. Phil and Oprah are garbage). Anyway..we were watching TBL as we like to call it, and on the show this week the contestants were faced with having to run a 5K. As is the norm for any “reality” TV show, the producers interview the contestants on the show and get their personal input on some issue that’s happening on show…for example; on TBL they had these video clips of the contestants giving their personal testimony about how hard a “5K Challenge” is for them. I leaned over to my husband and commented with absolute disgust ….”are you kidding me??? A 5K???? What are these fatties moaning about???? Geeze, grow a pair and just do it.”  To which my husband quickly responded in defense of the fatties “they’re all out of shape loads” ( I might have paraphrased here) to which then, I responded, “they’ve been working out all day long for the past several months being trained by some of the best trainers in the world…I don’t care how fat they are, a 5K is so easy even a 7 year old can do it.” Like that…little plug for my Bella there???

Well, my little reeses peanut butter cups, after last night, I have to eat my words and offer my apologies to TBL contestants because the workout my coach put me through last night made me realize just how hard a 5K can be. Our running workout usually goes well beyond 5k in running so when our coach told us we probably wouldn’t even reach the 5k mark last night I was like awesome this is gonna be a breeze…yeah, not so much. He had us doing this workout circuit that went something like this:

Run 600 meters then at the end of 600 meters run at full sprint between these three cones at one and one half repeats then run back 600 meters, stop, hop on one foot for 50 meters then back on your opposite foot, run 200 meters doing a weaving out in back between 10 cones stop and do some sort of strength training like 20 pushups at the end, then do it all over again with a different strength exercise at the end of each set 5 times.

I seriously thought I was going to die…this is what I felt like at the end of that workout

 

I lost 2.5 pounds yesterday as a result of that workout and I even had Uno’s Pizza for dinner….man, that was a workout!!! But looking back on it, it was kinda fun. I haven’t hopped on one leg since I was like 8. Well, time to fly…my little Mike and Ike’s! Till next time, keep on running!!!

Oh wait..one more thing…I”m running the Pikes Peek 10K on Sunday…wish me luck!!!  My goal is to beat any previous time by 2 minutes.

My Wooddahboodah’s First 5K!


Greetings my little muffins!

Yesterday was a big day for my little woodahboodah. It was her first 5K race. Dude(s), she was so awesome! I could not have been any prouder. She stuck with it like a trooper the whole way. I wish I had brought my camera along while I was running with her…I’m the worst when it comes to the whole picture thing. My poor kids are gonna be forced to recall their whole childhood with their own personal memories and some random photos taken whenever I got my act together enough to not only lug a camera around with me but to also get the photos developed. This is pre-digital; now they just sit in my camera or on random memory cards.

James did get some photos of her…we got one of her waiting in line to get her packet.

Here she is on race day getting her number pinned on her….she was so excited she couldn’t stand still hence the reason why the photo has this weird double image effect. From the second we got her number on and started walking over to the start line she was ready to bolt; like a greyhound looking for the rabbit. I had to talk her down to a mild mania just to try to conserve energy.

It was so funny. On the way to the race she was asking all kinds of questions. She just couldn’t seem to get the whole concept down in her head. She was like, “are we gonna be running in the REI (where we got the packets)?” I can only imagine how she was visualizing this whole thing…trying to make sense of it all.

We got up to the start line, I was coaching her about how she needed to pace herself but when the “gun” went off all my coaching went in one ear and right out the other. She saw all the runners at the starting line take off and she was NOT going to be the last one standing. She took off like a bat out of hell and I had to put it into third just to keep up with her. Everyone within a 50 meter radius knew her name “Isabella Margarita Rivera!!!” because I was screaming it every five seconds trying to get her to take it down about 5 notches. At about the 2k mark, fatigue and reality started to set in and she decided she needed a break. She started walking (I made sure she got the race etiquette down about moving to the right; she was a pro by the end of the race) and looked up at me asking, “How many miles was that?” “Oh honey…we are barely past the one mile marker” I replied to her and she looked so deflated. But every time someone would pass her she would get a little spark under her to go again. She took several walk breaks…especially after she got the hiccups at the water station, but she never gave up. She pushed on through and at the very end I said “you ready to pour it on??” And she looked back at me and said, “Can I run as fast as I can” and I said “absolutely!” And with that, she took off like she was born and raised in Kenya. She crossed the finish line in full stride and I was welled up with nothing but a mother’s pride. Yep, “that’s my girl!!” Whooohoo Bella!!! Way to go!!! Hopefully this will be the first of many races and one day they will be putting a gold medal on her that didn’t come from party city! But we shall see.

Time for me to fly. Happy running my little…????

Put it in the Bank


Greetings my little…cupcakes? How’s that one sound?? I’m kinda partial to it seeing that I own Georgetown Cupcakes. Not really…but that’s what my 7 year old told her entire kindergarten class last year and everyone at St. Bernadette’s thought that Bella’s mommy was a pathological liar. Saddest part is…I really did have the idea to open a cupcakery waaaay before those two clowns did AND it hurts me to my soul that Bella has to make up what mommy does for a living cuz she has no interest in what mommy really does. Oh well what’s a girl to do. But side note; I am bitter about the Georgetown Cupcake thing. My cupcakes are 1,000 times better than theirs!!!! So, now that I think about it, cupcakes is not gonna work. I’ve gotta keep on searching.

Nuff of that…so I went for my Sunday long run today. I got up..got to our meeting place by 8 am. That in and of itself is a huge feat…you know, cuz it’s Sunday for chrissake. I know why you have to get up that early in the summer cuz it gets all hot and nasty by 8 am but it’s 35 degrees outside. Why in the hell do we have to run so early when it’s cold? Whatever, I’m sure there’s a reason for it and I just need to trust the powers of the coaches and stop whining. But damn, I hate getting up early on Sunday..

When I got to the parking lot of Panera Bread I saw my group all bright eyed and bushy tailed, revved and ready to run. I got out of my truck (Starbucks in hand) walked over to everyone and the coach was there sorting out who was running what distance. When I headed out this morning I thought it would be an ambitious run if I did 8k today and that was what was in my head, 8k…but as everyone in my group was spouting out “9 miles, 11 miles, 13 miles” the peer pressure got the best of me and I was all like, “I can do whatever you guys are up for.” I am such a sofa king sometimes! Thank gawd the coach brought it back to reality a bit and suggested we all do the loop around the lake which is just over 7 miles. I was still a bit apprehensive, but 7 miles was doable. Even if I just did the 8k, I could easily walk the last two…no problem. Fortunately, there was a girl there (Mary is her name) who was feeling the pre run apprehension as much as I was so we decided to stick together and push our way through it as a team. “Thank you Mary.”

It’s funny, and I’m not sure this happens to everyone, but at the beginning of almost every run, I have this moment where I am just riddled with anxiety and I fear that I can’t do this run. I get myself so psyched out that I fail before I even start. I have to talk myself off the ledge and say to myself, “self, you can do this…you can always walk if you have to.” For once, I would love to be able to start a run and fell like frigg’n Atalanta and be all like “let’s do this!” She is so badass by the way..she was taught how to hunt by a bear!!!! How awesome is that??  Here’s a picture of her racing Hippoblablabla.  She lost the race to him so she had to marry him or whatnot…i’m sure he cheated because she was pretty hard core.

Well, Mary and I took our time..we did about 11 minute miles the whole way, stopping to walk when we needed to, but we finished and I went two miles beyond what I was gonna do so that’s a plus. Along the way, I shared a story with Mary that I got from my daughter Katie.  

Here’s a picture of Katie and I incase you’ve never met her.

When Katie was running high school track she had this awesome coach who used to push the kids on Katie’s track team. Every time the team would run a little harder or a little longer than the time before, he used to say, “You’re putting that one in the bank.” That expression has always stuck with me…and as Mary and I were trying to decided if we were gonna run or walk up the very last hill before quitting she looked at me and said, “let’s put this one in the bank.”

No More Little Nuggets


I called my husband out yesterday for not reading my blog. Come to find out, he does in fact read it and he called me a Chelsea Handler wannabe cuz I call you all my nuggets. Here’s a picture of Chelsea in case you don’t know who she is….

And if you don’t, might I suggest you checking her out. She’s on E at 11:00 EST or on stage somewhere in the world. She’s a standup comic who seems to be well liked all over the place. Now don’t get me wrong, I loves me some Chelsea, and I would love to be as witty and rich as she is, but there’s nothing worse than being a wannabe anything so I need to change my salutation. Vhat to do, Vhat to do….I really am at a loss here. I mean I could say, “greetings my little woodahboodahs” but that just doesn’t have the same sort of ring to it as Nuggets. I mean come on, Nuggets is great…it’s got a wonderful guttural sound to it when you say it out loud and that translates well to reading. DAMN YOU CHELSEA! Well, I’m not gonna spend too much time it today. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let them rip. Just don’t get all pissy when I reject them.

Last night I was suppose to run with my running group but I bagged it. It was supposed to be rainy here in the Nation’s Capital so the coaches planned an indoor strength training workout with no running…..hmmm, a running workout with no running. Just didn’t seem Kosher to me so I passed on last night’s session and went running here in the city on my own. I would show you photos but I know I’ve already posted like a 1,000 photos of how beautiful it is here in DC in the springtime..even when it is rainy and cold. Okay, you talked me into it, here one photo.

Back to my run. I started out a little shaky, it was cold and I was wicked tired. I’ve been tired a lot lately; I guess it’s from staying up so late to watch Chelsea. But, after a couple of minutes I got into a groove. I didn’t use my iPod thingy last night. I finally got my Garmin thingy fixed so I opted to use that instead. I set the view so I could only see my distance not my time. I’m really trying not to focus on my time right now…just on my form. So I’m in a groove…ran down on the mall, past the White House, “Hi President Obama, “ ran down the path to the Lincoln Memorial and went around it toward the Memorial Bridge (oh dear gawd, it just now dawned on me why they call it the Memorial Bridge; I’m an idiot), back down to the Washington Monument. When I got to the top of the hill, just at the base of the Monument, I stopped and looked at my watch; 5k, 27 minutes and 43 seconds!!!!!! DUDES!!!! I haven’t done that in such a long time it was nuts. I felt so good. There I was standing on the hill looking down on the Capitol feeling like the biggest badass. I literally shaved 4 minutes off my last official 5K time. Those track work outs are the BEST. As much as I hate them when I’m doing them…they really produce results.

After my little narcissistic love fest that lasted about 2 minutes (I was looking around to see if there were some tourists who would like to join me but no joy, they all just looked pissed cuz it was so cold out) I headed back to the office to finish out my run. In the end, I did 7.79K which is just less than 5 miles. Not bad for a Thursday night tune up. I have to say, I was pretty pleased with me. Don’t hate.

Okay my little…..Erudites….how’s that one..you like that?? Nawww, it’s too nerdy. I’ll come up with something. Until then, good bye and happy running!!!!

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