Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun Friday!

My uncle is an ultramarathoner, and I have a lot of respect for him. He lives in Washington so most of our communication is via email, and he sent me this lovely snippet once when we were talking about racing (and training hard) versus running slow and smart. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Running or Racing—a comparative analysis

stop to look at the trees as they pass by.
ricochet off trees as they zoom across the landscape.
worry about their flashlight batteries lasting.
get to the finish line before dark.
enjoy the aid stations
sometimes pass through before the aid stations are set up.
take naps in tents at aid stations.
take naps as they wait at the finish line.
watch flowers opening in the morning sun.
pass through in the predawn darkness.
worry about cut-off times.
worry about course or age-group records.
write next-of-kin information on their wrist bands
write split times on their wrist bands
wonder if there will be any beer at the aid stations.
wonder what kind of electrolyte replacement drinks will be at the aid stations
get a hamburger as they pass through towns
slap down one more bit of tofu enriched yoghurt, whey, and scampi granola
talk to local farmers as they pass by
scare chickens, cows, and small children
are relieved to hear someone approaching from behind
feel the pressure of someone approaching from behind
seldom get lost as they follow those hundreds of sets of footprints
worry about course markings (color, context, intent, malcontent, bent…)
admire the view as they amble on across the landscape
are vaguely aware of something off to the right—or was it left?
know the names of the “sweep” at 17 different events in 8 counties and 3 states.
drop if more than 17 minutes behind predicted time for the day.
say “Thank you.  Yes, I do believe I’ll have another brownie” just before being pushed out of the aid station.
smile and say “Thank you” over her shoulder as she heads for home.
have been seen grabbing trees, cactus, and other runners to keep from careening off the course on a switchback.
make it look so easy, seldom stirring up dust or even disturbing the llamas.
have out-of-body experiences as the day goes by and the finish line recedes in the afternoon sun.
have been heard to wonder admiringly about how the rest of us cope with being out there so long.
sometimes curse day of race registration.
follow a plan conceived months ago.
have long involved conversations with others as they pass or get passed.
surface long enough for a smile and an often monosyllabic response.
have teddy bears, dragons, and other karma caretakers of the foray jangling from their fannypacks, Camel Baks,…
have a hand-bottle.
have been seen in cotton t-shirts.
have all that super-neato logo stuff.
slay inner dragons on good days.
slay inner dragons on good days.
compete in their time, in their style, on their terms…
compete in their time, in their style, on their terms…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

House, Diagnosis, Desperate Housewives... Who am I kidding? Just Random...

First off, I haven't gotten to talk about it on here, but I have had a couple of related injuries that have kept me from running for the past 8 weeks now. Prior to this, I was actually training for my first half-marathon. It has not been fun, and it's been a House episode trying to get it figured out. The latest diagnosis (and this one might actually stick) is... *drum roll*.....

Celiac Disease... Otherwise known as a gluten intolerance. Otherwise known as the end of life as we know it.

You see, dairy and starch? Are my lifelines. If I'm having a rough day, screw alcohol. Screw chocolate. Give me a bowl of cereal or a glass of chocolate and leave me the hell alone while I catch up on Desperate Housewives (Yes, that's right, I watch Desperate Housewives... Bite me.)

So now I'm being told the only way to know for sure is to go gluten free or better yet, take up the Paleo Diet for 30 days and see what kind of a difference it makes for me.

So now I need to ask you a favor... Do any of you have any input or insight about any of the above? Celiac, gluten-free, Paleo Diet, any of it? I just really need some insight as right now I'm thinking "How do you go without breads for 30 days, much less for a lifetime?!?"

Your random moment for the day... Last night my muscle man found out I have a Desperate Housewives obsession interest. We have now been together 3 months, and he has yet to discover this mainly because I've been in the process of moving and have not had access to television much. *Side note: I don't watch much television outside of 1 or 2 shows* You can imagine the joy  gnashing of teeth  looks I got when he found this out. I assured him that I would watch them on my own time when he wasn't around. He thanked me profusely.

My little thing that I'm thankful for today... Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. Yes, a little cliche as everyone is all about all things pumpkin and/or Starbucks right now, but I can't help it. There is just something marvelous about starting a day with something that is both pumpkin and coffee in a cup. BUT, I did manage to break my "Starbucks-a-day" habit from last year, and I assure you I will not be going back. That is rough on both the waistline and the wallet.

Giveaway Notice... If you have not discovered the glorious world that is compression gear... Now is the time! Check out this awesome giveaway being done by Blonde Ponytail. Pretty much awesome! She always has great training advice, and not to mention some awesome giveaways. :-)

It's rainy here, but I hope it's sunny where you are! Soak in the fall for all it's worth, and enjoy it for me! Ciao!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Runner's 90/10 Rule...

After a lot of research into "dieting" vs eating healthy, the eating lifestyles of athletes, reading several blogs, and other such time killers, I decided the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle versus dieting would be to maintain a 90/10 rule... That is, healthy eating 90% of the time, and indulge 10% of the time. I suppose that rule is going to by my excuse for last night's dinner........

I decided to make an awesome salad for me and my muscle man. It turned out amazing, and we both were full afterwards. It had:
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic & Herb Feta Cheese (Amazing by the way!)
  • Sliced Almonds (Never had these on a salad, and now I don't think I'll have one without them!)
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Grilled Chicken
It didn't turn out as colorful as I would've liked, but ta daa!! Still packed with healthy stuff. :-)

So, great dinner, right? Score one for Beth, she succeeded at making an awesome salad. Well, then the dessert that was supposed to be a baked apple or a pumpkin smoothie... You know, something equally healthy? Well, instead became this....

Yes, I know, bad Beth... But I'm slowly learning. The salad was a start! Besides, I have to learn to find a healthy affordable medium between organic and regular groceries... I don't know how some people sleep at night buy organic everything, knowing how much they're sinking into it. So far I've been going by the "Dirty Dozen" rule for buying fruits and vegetables, and looking at the ingredients list on things I normally buy and comparing it to the organic version. If the regular version has 542365426 ingredients in it, I'm more prone to buy the organic version as long as it's not too outrageously priced. I bought organic apple butter yesterday after seeing that regular had 30-letter-long ingredients in it, and I also buy organic almond butter and peanut butter.

By the way, random thought... Have you ever tried to buy saffron?? OMGSWEETMOTHEROFJOSEPH it was $15 for a sprig of saffron. Say what?!? I think I'll find an alternative spice thank you...

Oh, and another random thought... If you ever shop at Kroger (or heck, maybe other grocery stores have it, I don't know...), I would suggest checking out this cheese...

It's pretty much amazing. Just take my word for it.

So, does anyone else have a suggestion on finding a healthy and affordable medium between organic and regular foods?

That is all for today... Ciao!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Running for Boobies, and a Giveaway or Two

This weekend was Race for the Cure in Little Rock. Part of me was dreading the crowds (There were over 50,000 people registered for the race in Little Rock... That's a lot of people filling up downtown!), but I was excited about getting to walk in honor of my friend Jess. She is one of my best friends, and was diagnosed with breast cancer in April. It has been a long road with a lot of tears, laughs, prayers, and revelations, but she is here, and that is what counts. The doctor had told her last week that her white blood cell counts were so low that the only way she could attend Race for the Cure was if she wore a full face mask, so the AWESOME ladies at Hello Ladies blinged out her face mask! It turned out awesome...
 Our team was called "Jessica's Walkers for Knockers". Admit it, you love the name! By the way, the starbucks? Is permanently attached to my hand. Especially during the winter. Yes, I have a problem. I'm working on it. Maybe... *cough*

Me and Jess. Oh, and her AWESOME blinged-out face mask! I'm just excited she got to go. She is one of the strongest people I know. She has been such an inspiration.

 I was right in the middle of the crowd. This is what 50,000 looks like from the front view...

... And this is what it looks like when you turn around. Yes, I am extremely talented for being able to do this while walking and avoiding tripping over people. THAT is talent. (Or it could be because of a loving mother who was spotting for me while I walked backwards... But I digress...)

In one day on Saturday, I had Race for the Cure, lunch with a cousin who I haven't seen in 16 years, and a wedding. The whole time I was thinking about a few key things:

1) How incredibly blessed I am. I have my health, I'm able to support others, I have done something with my life, and I am continually moving forward. This seems so basic, but I think we all tend to take the small things forgranted. Maybe you have kids you can be thankful for, or maybe you've recovered from a serious illness... And the list goes on. Everyone struggles in life because unfortunately that's just life. But life is not about what happens to us; It is about how we pick ourselves up, learn from it, and move forward. You can moan and complain about how things suck, bills are never-ending, the economy sucks, and the US is going to hell in a handbasket... But is that really getting you anywhere? If something is bothering you, change it. If you can't change it, then why are you worrying yourself with it?

2) Never underestimate or forget the power and importance of relationships. Whether with your spouse, kids, family, friends, even coworkers, relationships are what get us through life. Humans are social by nature. Where would you be if you didn't have support for all the endeavours you set out on? Or if you didn't have someone to vent to when you were having a rough day? Or (my personal favorite) if you did not have someone to share great news or a beautiful sunset with? Keep close those you trust. Never take them forgranted. And always remember to show your love and appreciation, because they might need to know they're loved just as much as you do.

Those were just a few thoughts that carried over from the weekend. Onto my next random topic...


Ok, I'm not giving anything away, but I know a few people that are. :-) Check out SUAR's new FFC Giveaway. And if you don't keep up with Beth over at Shut Up and Run, you should. She's pretty much awesome. Hilarious, sometimes insightful, and I sure hope you don't mind talking about/reading about bodily functions. That is all I shall say on that. :-)

Also, do not forget... If you are interested in losing weight, if you have a fitness plan in place, or if you are wanting to stay on track during the holiday season... The Holiday Booty Buster Challenge with RunToTheFinish is coming up soon to provide you with a little extra holiday fitness motivation. As long as she doesn't take points off for eating a little extra dressing and banana pudding, I think I'll be okay...

So that is all for now... Until next time!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Barefoot Running... To Be or Not To Be?

I excel at corny one liners, have you noticed?

.... Moving on....

I have had a fascination with barefoot running for awhile now. Ok, awhile for me is about 8 months, but in my short 24 year old life, that's a long time!


When I first discovered Vibram FiveFingers, I asked for them for Christmas (yes, that's right, I still have a Christmas list I give to my parents... say what you want) for the purpose of canoeing mainly. You see, I give (or used to give before I discovered running) instructions in canoeing, and I needed something that would stay on my foot, but wasn't clunky like tennis shoes. Ta Daa!! Vibrams!! 
^ These are the Vibrams I wanted ^
^ These are the Vibrams I got ^

I was completely beside myself that I had gotten a pair of Vibrams. My family's first reaction: "You wanted gorilla feet for Christmas???" My dad swears they were the only ones the store had. I think he just thought it would be really funny to buy me gorilla feet. Thanks dad. Much love.

So after having these for a few months and getting more into running, I came to a research revelation: You can run in Vibrams. Go ahead and have your "Well, duh..." moment, but this was news to me. And I was excited. And it only added fuel to the fire when I read Born to Run. Power of suggestion, anyone?

But if someone is interested in barefoot running, I would suggest doing your research first. Barefoot running isn't simply getting the idea in your head to go outside and start trucking it down the pavement with no shoes... (Wait, go ahead and do that, just make sure you get it on film for me... We could add it to the list of Awkward Runner types I discovered thanks to Adam... Kthx :-) No... It is something your feet have to work up to, but in the long run is beneficial to most runners.

That being said, when I look at my overall goals, I would like to start working toward barefoot running. SUAR is doing an awesome giveaway for Saucony that looks at just that. Saucony has done a great job researching the proper balance between the cushioned running shoe and barefoot running. Even if I do not win the giveaway, it's great to know that shoe company are finally starting to do the research and work toward a more natural fitting, flexible shoe that allows our feet to do what they were made to do.

So for now, my lovely Vibrams get to stay a canoeing tool (trust me, it works!), but someday I hope to be able to say that I run barefoot. Or at do some training barefoot. Meh, tomato tomahto.

This weekend I will be doing Race for the Cure in honor of my best friend Jessica. I will post pictures, but in the meantime boys and girls, remember how special the little things in life are. You don't realize how precious they are until they're gone. Breathe in the fall air, enjoy the autumn colors, hug your kids one extra time, or thank God that you get to hit the pavement one more time. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

An Introduction of Sorts... Is This Thing On?

Alright stop, collaborate and listen...

Ok, I promise the crazy lyric references will be few and far between... Ten points to the first person who knows what song that is from. Twenty points if you admit that you now have that song stuck in your head!

So anyway... I'm Beth, and while I've been stalking following several different blogs for awhile now, I thought it would be a good idea to create my own, however inconsequential it might be. Another motivator for me creating this is the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge by RunToTheFinish. Mention free stuff, you might have my attention. Mention free running gear, and I'm all over that.

I was raised in a small town, which I will clarify because for some, small means 100,000 or so. I came from a town of 1,300... The kind of town where if I did something wrong, my mom knew about it within thirty minutes. But we all know that never happened, right? *Crickets Chirping* I digress...

I am now living in Little Rock, AR starting into a new "big girl" career after college, and I have realized a few things:
1) It's no wonder people are thrown off when they enter "the real world." I went from classes, part time job, and 6 different clubs, to nothing but an 8-5 job with a god-awful commute. So how is it I am more tired from that at the end of the day than I was in college? I think I'm getting old already...
2) I can't eat like I could in high school and college. Blame it on the metabolism, the desk job, whatever... Fact is, I have started to discover the ups, downs, ins and outs of healthy eating. Through this blog, you will meet my arch nemesis, the monthly company potluck. And I will also be taking advice from several of the blogs I keep up with, and learning to enjoy the healthy side of food rather than focus on the limits and restrictions of dieting.
3) Along with my change in perspective on eating, I have discovered my true love: Running. I love all things to do with running. I do it, research it, read about it, and go through withdrawals without it. I joined my local running club because my friends and family were sick of hearing me go on and on about it. As I said before, you will get to go along for the journey through HBBC and hopefully afterwards as well.
4) In the "real world", time flies. The whole point to this blog (and also the name) is that I do not want to be one of those people that joins a company and then 10 years and 30 pounds later, I'm wondering where time went and I'm looking back at "the good ole days." *Sidenote: Is that saying a southern thing? Hmm...*

A few random facts about me...

I reached a point in June 2010 that I decided I had enough. I decided to work on improving my life, and I knew one of the biggest aspects would be fitness. I missed being active, so I got back in the gym. I did a lot of cross training, but it wasn't until around November 2010 that I discovered how much I actually enjoyed running. Long story short, in March 2011, I ran my first 5K. It was cold, it was rainy, and yet I loved every minute of it. I could not shut up about the people, the excitement, the race itself, pushing myself through the cold and soreness... Blah blah blah is all my family heard I'm pretty sure.

Moving forward, I got sucked deeper and deeper into the world of running. I started finding out that 5K distances were just the beginning. I started upping my mileage little by little, trying different sports and classes for cross training, and learning as much as I could about everything fitness and health. August 2011 I decided that March 2012 would be my first half marathon, until I suffered an injury that put me out for six weeks. Monday will be my first day back to running, and I'm a mixture of emotions. I've lost so much training and probably will not be able to run the half marathon in March. But if there is anything I have learned, it is that I need to be happy with the little things.

First of all, the joy of running is that I still have plenty of time. I'm only 24, and considering I will never go pro at anything, my athletic career will not abruptly end at 30. My uncle is an ultra marathoner that is still running ultras in his 70s (YES I have the running gene in my family!! *cough* *clear throat* so I have plenty of time to run right. Also, I instead of being upset about the injury, I need to celebrate how far I have come. In a year I have lost 45 pounds, and gained a whole new perspective on listening to and taking care of my body. The changes have been astounding, and I do not need to undermind that. If there is something I have learned from looking at other running blogs, it is that I am not the only person injuries happen to, and you just have to take care of it and then get back up when you're ready.

A few obligatory pictures because that's how I roll for a little glimpse into my life...

My first 5K in March 2011- I have lost about 30 lbs since this. 

Me and the love of my life- my muscle man :-) 

I have an 18 year old cockatiel named Sweetie.
He is an opinionated old man, who is just as quirky as I am.

So this is all for now... Enjoy the rest of your week!