Category Archives: running

On Starting Over…

Starting over sucks. SUCKS. Whether it’s getting back into running after a slump/pause/injury, or back into the dating scene after a divorce/break up, or beginning a new job/career path/position.

gold starBut it also *doesn’t* suck, right? It’s also a time of renewal. A time where micro improvements are measurable and hard earned. It’s gold star time, sore muscle time, butterflies in your stomach time and clean slate time.

I’m starting over. I squeezed into my running gear, tied up my New Balance, wiped the fine grey mist of dust off the toe box and plugged in my headphones. Walked out the door. Took a cleansing breath and… started running. Just like that. It was so much easier than it looked like it would be from my comfy seat on the couch, as the non-running days of winter ticked by.

It was easier than I expected and then suddenly it wasn’t. Suddenly it felt like I was running in someone else’s body. MY running body didn’t move like this, did it? Didn’t jiggle like that, or feel too tight there. When I used to run it would take MUCH longer for my face flush, my shins to burn, my feet to start slapping meanly at the ground instead of bouncing effortlessly, no matter how hard I willed them to quiet down. The wind blew at me from every direction with no relief. All pathways were uphill no matter how flat they appeared. My music was either too manic or too slow and I had to stop to fiddle with it; pause. Breathe.

But I did it. I did it for three miles on Saturday and FOUR miles on Sunday. And all weekend long my muscles ached mildly in that pleasing way that pushing yourself brings, and I floated around on much-missed running endorphins.
gold star

Gold star for me. Butterflies for me, in anticipation of the next time I can get back out there and rack up those micro successes, those tiny wins, those successfully sore muscles.

If you stopped or you’re thinking about starting, join me. I have gold stars for you.




So anyway…

I’m running again. And for the most part it’s making me happy, but by that I mean after I’m finished running, I’m SO happy it’s over.

While I’m running I am fairly grumpy. “Why did I stop running? Starting over sucks. I’m so much slower than I thought I’d be/used to be. Nothing is chasing me. I hate this. Look! I’m running farther/faster than last time! OK now can I quit? Ugh. This sucks…” ad nauseam until I finally reach my goal for the day. Which is typically 5 miles or less…

And I’ve noticed on tough days I do something that I’ve started calling “Goldilocks-ing”. I run a mile or two and then find some flaw with the treadmill I’m on. It’s tilted. It’s slightly inclined. It’s slipping or clicking or my footfalls are too loud. So I change to another one. And a couple miles in I find a new complaint. And I do it again. Until I settle on yet another treadmill that I run my last and most comfortable miles for the day on. THE ONE. The best treadmill.

The next run, I start on the one I ended on the last time. The good one. But a couple miles later… Goldilocks.

Do you know what I mean? Does this happen to you?

I’m running again, though. I’m running because of some empty space in my head that I haven’t been able to fill recently, and some combination of smoldering internal desire and fiery external competition, and because I’ve written about 26 blog posts in my mind about running that I need to be rid of. So I think I must need an outlet both physically and literarily. The more I run the more I remember why I loved running. The more I run the less I Goldilocks the treadmills.

So. Let’s run.


Everything and Nothing

My relationship with running over the past 18 months has kinda mirrored my relationships with EVERYONE in my life recently. Tenuous, hot and cold, starting and stopping, frustrating and then absolutely perfect… and then frustrating again. There are stretches where running and I are best buddies, and then there are times when we give each other the silent treatment.

If you’ve read this blog you probably know that I was pretty in love with running. I mean, who starts a running blog if they don’t really dig it? It was a perfect fit for me for awhile. It made me feel powerful and accomplished and healthy and it gave me escape and focus and goals. I got off the couch. I got fit and strong. Ten half-marathons and dozens and dozens of other races of varying distances made me feel like running was my “thing”. Running was what I had been missing all my life. But then… running stopped being “it”. I started dreading run o’clock. My blog went dark. And then running and I kinda drifted apart. In fact, I left running altogether – left it in the dust.  I was a runner, and then I simply wasn’t.

I was a weightlifter.

I hired a trainer and I immersed myself in my weight training.  I read books and magazines and blogs about it.  I picked the minds of friends and strangers who lived the gym life.  I considered competing (but I’m glad I didn’t) and admired those who had the fortitude and willpower and single-mindedness it took to do so. I spent hours in the gym picking things up and putting them down. I did this for about a year.

And here’s what happened: Nothing.

I stayed exactly as fit as I had been as a runner. I didn’t bulk up like a man even though I lifted more than some men in the gym. I didn’t turn into a fitness model either, much to my dismay. I sweat like mad but I shunned cardio for almost a year. I gained a couple of pounds of muscle, lost a couple of inches overall.  But the net effect was not noticeably different.

Then I added Boot Camp.

I ran and jumped and squatted and lunged.  I sat-up and pushed-up and pulled-up.  I swung ropes and pushed sleds and hurled medicine balls.

And here’s what happened: Nothing.

I stayed exactly as fit as I had been as a runner. I didn’t get super cut or super lean or super bulky.  My abs didn’t suddenly form a 6 pack and my ass didn’t perk back up (well maybe a little). But I was still wearing the same jeans I’ve had for years, and I was still solidly in the “athletic/fit” category and no closer to the “fitness/supermodel” category.

THEN I started cycling.

My first ride was about 40 miles and I was pretty impressed with myself. I did a few rides like that before the cold weather hit, and one after, when we had a nice warm day a few weeks ago. But mostly I rode bikes in the gym.  I’ve been riding 80-100+ miles a week for awhile (5 months?) and doing hills or speed sets or intervals. I’ve been BUSTING. MY. ASS. on that bike.  I’ve done a few spin classes too.

And here’s what has happened: Nothing.

I’m exactly as fit as I had been as a runner. I’m not featherlight like a “real cyclist” – nowhere close. Likewise my quads didn’t bulk up more than average nor my arms turn to mush. My lung capacity may be slightly improved but only slightly. My fear of clipless pedals is now well established but that’s another story…

And guess what? On January 1st 2015 I ran 15 miles. And on January 10th I couldn’t do two. And I did 8 miles two weeks ago and yesterday two was my max.

So here’s what has changed: Nothing.

I started this blog to track “the Evolution of a Runner” yet I failed you, my reader, by not documenting ALLLLLL the other things I did when I was NOT running. Those things are part of the evolution. Part of my journey. And what I have learned on this journey is that at 42 I am more fit than I’ve ever been in my life – fit enough to do ANY SPORT with skill.

Because being FIT *is* the end game, more than being a card-carrying-runner. Being healthy and fit are two of the most important advantages a person can have in life, and they are totally in our control to have or not have. Five years ago when I started this blog I had just learned that being fit was up to me, and running was my weapon of choice to wage the war against the sloth inside me. And over the past few years I’ve changed weapons and learned new skills but the battle goes on. Doing nothing is how I quickly lose the battle and fade into middle age and muffin tops.  I choose to fight like hell against that, and I now know that I can do it in many different ways with many different weapons.

And you know what that makes me want to do? Everything.

Running -  June 2013

Running – June 2013

Weight Training - March 2014

Weight Training – March 2014

Cycling September 2014

Cycling September 2014

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Don’t Doubt.

I’ve been a BAD blogger. And I’ve been a hit-or-miss runner. Either I run 30+ miles a week or ZERO. Which is why I turned into a big fat chicken last week. I had signed up for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Diego, which takes place today. But because of my intermittent training and my road-weariness (so, so much travel for work recently), I bailed. The idea of traveling cross country and risking a DNF (did not finish) was unbearable.

So yesterday, I decided to run 13.1 miles just to see if I could. And you know what? I could. I ran that shit faster than most of my previous races. AND I felt great! Which made me fuming mad at myself. So I ran a penalty mile at the end for doubting myself.

But when it was all said and done, I was proud of my ability and proud of my run, so instead of a penalty mile, I’m putting that mile in my Bikini Bank (see Bikini Bank 2.0 here) and feeling fantastic today. At 41, I am the best runner I’ve ever been.  

Don’t doubt yourself.  And I’ll try not to either.


Stay Lucy.

I know I’ve been quiet.  That’s another post.  But today on my run I had a thought I wanted to share:

“Don’t quit on the uphill.  Don’t commit on the downhill.  Stay Loose.”  

Or as my band of the moment “Clint LaPointe” says, stay “Loosie”.  Or Lucie.  Or Lucy.  Whatever makes you run farther.

: )

T.T.O.T.D. (Treadmill Thought of The Day)

Fitness tipping point:  When you have to stop your workouts because you’ve run out of time rather than energy, endurance or ability.

I love when I get back to this spot.  It makes me feel like a superhero.


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“ If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk.
If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means,
keep moving.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)
American civil rights leader
Nobel Peace Prize winner

“ If you can’t …

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Run The Year

Today I did my annual “Run The Year” run.  13 miles for 2013.  And I tell ya, I felt AWESOME!  I had a great run… really great…until 11.5.  Right at mile 11 and a half, my left knee went haywire.  Something deep inside either snapped or cracked or shifted, and all of a sudden I couldn’t run!  I had been just enjoying that spot my mind goes on long runs, where I can almost forget I’m running – perfect pace, comfortable cadence… then BLAM!  My knee wouldn’t hold me up anymore!  WHAT THE????

So I stopped (no choice).  I attempted to walk around for a minute.  There was shooting pain when I bent my knee, and kinda achy pain when I didn’t.  But DAMN IT I WAS GOING TO FINISH MY RUN.  My first run of the new year!  There was NO CHANCE I’d be starting off the running year with a DNF!

So I started running again.  Nope.  No chance.  The run was done.knee_pain

After icing it for more than an hour, I gave it another shot with the same results.  No go.

So… what’s a girl to do?

I’m opting to try to look at this with a ‘glass half full’ attitude today.  I’m glad I ran 11.5 miles after being sick with the plague flu for about two weeks.  I was able to run another 15 miles last week, and I did a Boot Camp group fitness class.  A few years ago, I doubt I could have put up numbers like that, so I’m proud of where I am today.  But seriously.  This crap better clear up QUICKLY or that half full glass is getting chucked at someone I’ll be really upset.

Any suggestions?  Sound familiar to anyone?



I have a couple of posts about my recent races in the works, but in the meantime, here’s one of my favorite quotes for running, and life in general:

“ Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
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I’ve read several articles recently about athletes fasting or cleansing in the off-season and finding huge benefits.  I’ve never really given much credence to cleanses, I’ve never fasted (not eat… anything??) and I eat very clean, but I wanted to ask you – my running friends – if you’ve ever tried either (fasting or cleansing) and what did you think?  Yay?  Nay?  Cray cray?  

Here’s the recent article that got me thinking.

I’d love to hear from you!

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