Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Half Throttle

What do you do when you cross a person who is usually wide open 90% of the time with a person trying to ease back into their normal routine?  Half Throttle.

Half Throttle is the title I have given myself this week.  I spend my days motivating others through  personal training or teaching classes.  I am a "wide open" kind of girl.  I usually do not know any other speed, except when I am teaching yoga.  I look the love on people's faces when they attend one of my yoga classes for the first time after being subjected to my "evil twin" in one of my BodyPump or Extreme Interval classes.  I still fondly recall a comment from a runner friend who came to my class and kept smirking throughout because they were waiting for my real voice to emerge.  When I finally figure out how to add videos and other sidebars to this blog site you will be able to experience it yourself with some quick health tips and some exercise ideas.

Back to half throttle.  I am good at digressing.  Well, some of my Sole Sisters call it my "squirrel moments".  I have been cutting back on my teaching schedule so I can slowly regain my speed, strength and endurance after being sick with the Flu and Bronchitis.  I have not been cutting back on my running.  I am running more days per week, but less mileage than I have been lately.  Now that I am completely recovered from my ultra and illness, it's time to get back my speed.  I want to compete in the Masters National Track Meet in 2014 which is being held in Winston-Salem, NC.  I want to go back to competing in the 1500 and 800.  I think adding more speed training will help me get back under 1:28:00 in the half marathon.  I want to accomplish all these things before the dreaded  5 0  ....I need to state my goals on paper so that I will hold myself accountable.

I love setting goals....do you?  Success or failure of goals give you a purpose.  My personality is too competitive to allow for failure to come too easily.  Navigating a way towards success is much more fun.  Are you going to set some goals for 2013?  Remember that a lofty goal needs smaller victories along the way to help motivate and dedicate yourself toward success.  The goals I want to achieve next year are still in the nebulous planning phase.  I still have 13 days left!

I am really enjoying my runs lately.  The weather has been bouncing around from 30-60's.  I am not complaining per se, but my sinuses are not as adaptive.  Catherine (Cac) has been a great addition to my running this year.  We have very compatible running styles; she runs and I try and keep up.  Literally.  She has one speed.  Some days I can handle the speed, other days I am searching for rope to tether me to her so she can drag me along the pavement.  I am not sure Greensboro motorists are ready for that visual.  I usually enjoy running hills, but when I run with Cac I search out the flattest possible routes so she doesn't hear me gasping for air.  Let me just state here that Greensboro has quite a few hills in it.  I am guessing that is why they call this the Piedmont Foothills. :)

Seeing as today signifies exactly one week before Christmas, I think I better get back to shopping, wrapping and baking.  Tomorrow my husband, Dan, goes under for a procedure to fix his hiatal hernia and scrape his ulcer scars.  Any prayers for him are welcome.

Exercise Log for the week:

5 BodyPump Classes
1 Yoga Class
Running (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)

Looking forward to adding more exercise next week!

In health and wellness,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rebirth of the Phoenix....I'm Back!

Like a phoenix, I've risen from the ashes.  Literally.  My lungs still feel like I've been a smoker (not that I would exactly know, but I have a good imagination) most of my life.

Exactly 2 weeks since my last run.  I dreamed about running but that is not the same.  I was too sick to even try to run and I am happy that I waited the full 2 weeks.  It could have been a freezing downpour this morning and I would have been jovial.  Luckily it was a perfect running morning.  Temperatures were in the high 40's and I had company to boot.
Christie (one of my Sole Sisters), Marty and Bill were there for my running debut, so to speak.  We ran into Charlie Engle in the parking lot and as famous as he is, he agreed to take our photo.  Thanks, Charlie! 

I giggled throughout the whole first mile.  It felt so good to be running again.  It felt so good to be among people again.  Running friends have the best conversations.  No judgements, no biases, no worries!  If you never run with other people, you do not know what you are missing.  Don't get me wrong, I cherish solo runs, but only sometimes.  Friends make the miles fly by fast.

We briefly stopped at mile 5 for 20-30 seconds to stretch and that was a big mistake for me.  The coughing commenced.  Starting to run while not being able to take a deep breath was tiring for me, but I kept feeling my friends' eyes bore through me.  I know they were just worried, but it was kind of funny.  I'm the rough 'em, tough 'em girl and they were treating me like a princess.

I finally got in a good groove around mile 8 and was itching to open up the legs a little.  We had been hovering right under a 9 minute per mile pace which was good for 'easing' back into running.  Around the 9 mile mark, Marty took off with me and I exercised my legs.  We finished with a 7:20 last mile.  Yes, it was slower than my marathon pace, but it felt like flying.  Baby steps.  Baby steps.  I keep telling myself it will take time to heal completely.

I joined the local running group at Panera for a bagel afterwards and even picked up a partner for track workouts starting in January.  Pat has no idea what I have planned...I think I should keep it that way. 

My 2013 race calendar is starting to take some shape.  I am not the best planner in the world, but here's what is on tap thus far:  Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in February, with my sole sisters.  Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon in March , with some tennis buddies.  Diva Half Marathon in April at Myrtle Beach with my sole sisters.  I plan on doing some track meets as I will starting preparing for the 2014 US Masters Track Meet in Winston-Salem, NC.

Do you map out your races a full year ahead of time or do you pick a race a day or two before?  I'm trying to become a better planner.  Speaking of planning, I must get back to the task of Christmas because it is coming whether I'm ready or not....I'm going to treat it like a race :)

In health and wellness,  Cindy

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How Far the Mighty Hath Fallen

When I started this blog after dragging my feet for years while my mind simultaneously addressing 15,000 health/running/tennis issues I wanted to discuss I NEVER in a million years thought I would succumb to being sick.  Sure I've had my share of allergy related inconveniences, but I haven't been sick, sick in YEARS.  I eat healthy, I exercise like a crazy person, and I am well balanced when it comes to work and fun.  I have always been the go-to person when someone is not feeling well or is a little down, etc.  I exude positivity.  I exude energy and willing to share it with whomever needs it.  This week I created my own EPIC FAIL.  I failed because I was feeling off my game and pushed past the warning signs.  I felt sluggish and attributed it to a 75 mile race, relatives coming to our house for Thanksgiving, multiple daily group exercise classes, etc.

Life came to a screeching halt on Wednesday.  I started my day with a client and we were both excited to be in New York City at the same time.  I didn't feel great, but I was feeling better than I did the previous day.  After Debby's house, I went to a fun indoor tennis clinic.  I could sense I wasn't as fast to the ball and I wasn't hitting the ball as hard and had to think to move my feet when usually I'm like a jitter bug on the court.  90 minutes later and a few coughing battles, I drove home.  I could barely get out the car.  I thought I was just tight from pounding my body on hard courts.  I made my way to the couch and that was all she wrote.

I felt feverish and every bone, hair, eyelash, etc. felt achy. Most importantly I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest.  I began to try and get off the couch and most of the muscles in my legs revolted with cramps.  I couldn't believe I possibly feel this bad this quickly.  I called my favorite doctor, who also happens to be a client of mine and he heard my pitiful voice and agreed to see me in his office ASAP.  Dan had to come home and drive me there because I was pretty out of it by then. Dr. Gene took one look at me and told me I needed to go to the hospital right now did I want an ambulance.  Even in my sickly stupor I barely said yes to Dan driving me to the hospital.  I think I felt compelled to go so I could get better so I could go see my Dad and Sandy in NYC to celebrate his 81st birthday.  You see, Hurricane Sandy decided to ruin our plans last month so this was the amended travel schedule.

By the time we got into the emergency room much that happened was a blur.  I remember going back very quickly, but I remember begging for them just to stick an IV bag in my arm so we could start this fluid thing so I could have my miraculous recovery.  What felt like 3 hours waiting for that bag was probably more like an hour and half.  2 1/2 bags of fluid, 6 prescriptions later and 7 hours later I can safely say I was finally allowed to go home.  I never got a room, just a hallway gurney, so I'm hoping that maybe they lower the price since (insert sarcastic laugh here) I had the first gurney position next to the cold door where the influx of ambulances seemed like a revolving door at a busy shopping center.  Dan was a trooper keeping me company while the doctor explained that I had a bad case of bronchitis and the flu.  I think at that point that I told the doctor that I've had the flu before when I was younger and it wasn't anything like this.  I also told him I had a very high threshold of pain and I felt like a helpless baby.  I had to clamp my mouth shut when they put the IV needle in my arm because usually I barely feel a needle and this felt like they used a butcher knife the whole length of my arm.  At this point my eye balls felt like they were falling out of my head.  I held my fingers over them for at least an hour to make sure I wouldn't go blind.  I didn't feel well.....at all.

I was starting to feel a little better in the hospital, so I had Dan take a photo that I titled:  Cocktail hour...Cheers!

I never thought I would be highlighting an illness on my blog because I am the  healthy girl.  But, please do not ignore the warning signs.  Listen to your body.  I can't wait to tell more stories about the 24 hour Crooked Road Ultra and the Richmond Half Marathon.  I had an amazing 10 mile recovery run last Saturday too.  All of that will have to wait.  Because I'm watching National Lampoon's Family Vacation and staring at our beautiful Christmas tree while I completely recuperate from this scary ordeal.
I need to report here that all was not well when I returned home from the hospital.  Turns out Tamiflu makes me throw up.  6 times in 48 hours that is.  I didn't realize it till the 3rd day because I hadn't been able to read or listen/watch tv because my eyes were hurting so much.  Saw a commercial during the Dr. Oz show yesterday for Tamiflu and rashes and vomiting were the most frequent side effects.  I have kept liquids and some solids down ever since.  Thanks to Melissa, Trish and Christie for checking in on me everyday and keeping me well.  I kept thinking I was looking better and better each day and every day their faces summed it up:  You look very sick.  It's a good thing I have great friends because I'd probably be trying to start exercising today because I feel more human.  But I'm NOT.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  It is days like these that make us sit back and take stock of our lives.  I am thankful that I am healthy and happy.  It was nine years ago on Thanksgiving that I met my husband, Dan.  We have been married 7 years now and I am still completely smitten with him.  I am thankful he is patient and tolerant of my chaotic, frenetic life.  Do you have a special someone that inspires and keeps you young?  There are usually people in your life you keep around for a reason.  I like to call them, "The necessary ingredients".  These people add to your life in more ways than you can count.

I am also thankful for my kids.  Even though we are missing 2 of them today, I know my love for them transcends all distance and time.  I cherish their independent spirits and relish in their zest for life.  The world is their oyster and all of them are on great paths.

I am thankful I can run.  Running has been my best friend and my worst enemy.  It's finding the balance in the two that makes lacing up my shoelaces all the more worth it.  There is rarely a first mile of a run I enjoy.  There is rarely the last mile of a run I enjoy.  It's the comfortable middle where you are enpowered and feel like you are on top of the world.  It's finding that homeostatic space (yeah, pace would have probably been a better word) where you are feeling joy in the purest sense of the word. 

I am thankful for a bounty of fantastic friends.  I adore all of them.  I am lucky to be able to feel vulnerable with them. There is something so magical about being real and raw.  I hope everyone is fortunate to be able to connect with their friends today and tell them how much they mean to them.

Today is a lazy day for me.  I'm still recovering from the 75 mile adventure and I have probably taught too many BodyPump classes this week.  I'm going to walk the dogs after feasting from our Thanksgiving table.

From my home to yours....Happy Thanksgiving!
Hugs, Cindy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra

I was afraid to tell anyone my goal.  I didn't want to disappoint anyone, most of all myself.  I envisioned me accomplishing my goal but I had reservation because I wasn't sure if I would be recovered enough from racing in a half marathon the weekend before.  I finished in 1:30:42 and won my 45-49 age group at the Richmond American Family Fitness Half.  It wasn't a PR, but I felt like I ran pretty hard. After the half I had a full week with classes and clients and continually thought about my goal:  75 miles.  Seemed incredibly lofty since I quit after 56 laps last year.  Only a few friends knew the details because I was experiencing some fear of failure issues.  The more the week progressed the more I decided I was being silly and needed to articulate my race intentions.  I announced it to my noon class at the Yafter a vigorous BodyPump class on Thursday.  There...I said it, even explained how I was going to accomplish it.  I was going to walk more than I did the previous year.  My nervousness began to kick in.  I hate to disappoint people, especially myself.  To make matters worse, I intentionally started this blogsite the night before the event so I would have my intentions immortalized on the internet.  After writing the first entry I tried to go to sleep.  Sleep eluded me until almost midnight.  I woke up before my alarm at 6 and nervously gathered my belongings and got into my car.

I arrived and unloaded all my bags I thought I would need for the 24 hours.  Dena, my friend, and I brought way too much stuff last year when we participated in this race.  I am sheepishly admitting I brought just as much stuff, if not more.  This year I brought in addition to 2 big bags of clothes 2 yoga mats, sleeping bag, pillow etc.  I also brought tons of food that I did not eat because the organizers had a bountiful table filled with  pretzels, M&M's, grapes, raisins, bananas, cookies, burgers, soup, etc.  I was able to make it to the starting line with 10 seconds to spare and we all took off.

It was great running into several runners that I competed with last year.  Runners in ultra events are extremely friendly. There is nothing like a small loop and 24 hours to really get to know some of the people around you.  I was known as the smiling lady because even in the cold of night, I was thrilled to be where I was.

I'm sure I will blog about specific memories from this race, but for now...here are some photos taken by the race director, Ricky Scott.  Who, may I add, was very inspirational to me and helpful when I started doubting myself.  Here are some photos
This is the one and only hill on the course.  This is early in the race....although I smile throughout the rest of the photos, I can assure you I truly  f e l t  the smile in this photo.  I felt great.  I felt great until about mile 31.  More on that later.
The temperatures were in the 30's to begin with and warmed up to 50 something and then got very, very cold at night.

It warmed up nicely in the afternoon, so I was able to take off layers.  Yes, I'm still smiling.  Let me leave you with 2 more photos.  First one is taken around 1am and I was freezing, shivering and trying to keep warm by the fire with help from Johnny and Gloria who bundled me up and brought me soup.  They thought I was done. 
I'm smiling, but this was because I was finally getting warm.  I had 4 layers of clothes on, 2 scarves, hat, and gloves with hot hands in them and I was still cold!  Here is the end of today's story:
The photo says 23 hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds.  I can now say I'm an ultra runner, but I still feel like a miler :)

In health and wellness,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Starting at the very beginning

Well..hi there.  Welcome to health and wellness on the run.  Literally.  On the Run.  I'm a runner.  We are a diverse, interesting bunch of people.  I hope you will sit down and read a little, laugh a little and want to share some of your experiences here on this blog.
I am going to start by saying tomorrow I'm embarking on a physically grueling challenge.  I am participating in the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra.  I cannot say this is my first because I attempted this last year and when it got cold and dark I left after 10 hours and 53 miles.  I am excited about this endeavor because this year I am going solo.  Yup.  My incredibly patient and understanding husband, Dan, is away on a golf outing with some fraternity brothers in Pinehurst, NC.  Last year he never uttered any complaints, but I felt guilty about him sitting (freezing) there watching me go around and around (did I mention around) a .95 mile loop in a park in Rocky Mount, VA.  With him gone I am excited to push myself farther than I thought possible last year. 
Last year I did not use my Ipod at all.  This year I have charged up 3 Ipods and even downloaded an audiobook.  I packed my sleeping bag, pillow, foam roller, marathon stick and more simple carbs than you can imagine. 
Running has been my life since 7th grade when we had to do a mile for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.  I knew I was an athletic soccer and basketball player but didn't know the world of running till I finished my first mile in 6:02.  I still don't know if running was an instantaneous love, or if beating the boys was more compelling.  30+ years later and I'm still running. 
Well...I am going to stop rambling and try to rest for my big event tomorrow.  I am lucky enough to have a great friend allow me to stay at her lakehouse to shorten my drive to the starting line.  I will definitely keep you posted!
In health and wellness,  Cindy