Let’s Get Physical

Back in the 80’s, I was an exercise fanatic. I worked out and I particularly loved aerobics. Step aerobics was my favorite.

I was always fond of a particular step that I used back then and last week I found it on Ebay and ordered it! I was like a 20-year-old again wearing a leotard, headband and leg warmers. 🙂

It was called the “Super Step.” The person instructing on the video was Brenda Dygraf. I recently watched the video on YouTube and I remember every step! And it is so 80s. 🙂

Eli and the Super Step
Eli and Superstep

I am a runner training for a half marathon in April but I really need to incorporate other types of exercise in my routine.

I hate yoga….there I said it! I’ve tried them, pilates, PiYo and I just can’t or won’t stay committed to it. I was thinking that maybe I need to take a yoga class and that might teach me but I’m shy and very uncoordinated.

I can run for 5 hours but I can’t bend down and tie my shoes so I need to do other things for overall fitness.

I kept to my training schedule this week despite not being able to run outside. I have become treadmill soft and that worries me because I have a St. Patrick’s Day 5 miler in St. Louis in a couple of weeks and that might be a challenge!

And after my “Super Step” arrived yesterday, of course I had to try it out. And I burned 150 calories in 20 minutes so not bad….but I guess I strained a ligament in my ankle and had pain all night! I guess I forgot that I wasn’t in my 20’s anymore when I was doing the step aerobics.

After some sleep and an ice pack, my ankle seems fine. I ran 47 minutes on my treadmill doing intervals and fartleks and then I did a 30 minute routine on the Super Step.

There are great step aerobic workouts on youtube so I found a more modern one and “got physical.”

Kevin and I got grocery and went downtown and ate Thai food…one of my favorites.

Phad Thai - Bangkok Gardens
Phad Thai from Bangkok Gardens

I came home, got in pajamas and have been laying around with my puppies all afternoon and night. That’s always a good place for me.

Lazy, Spoiled Asses (Peyton and Eli)

 

 ~RIP Leonard Nimoy ~ Live Long and Prosper~

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Sometimes I Fartlek, Sometimes I Just Fart

I’m approaching this winter funk with a different attitude as of this morning.

I’m going to stop whining and using excuses and do what I can to beat these winter blues.

Below is a great article to help with those long runs on the treadmill.

 “7 Tips for Running Long on the Treadmill

Yesterday was a 45 minute fartlek run. That totally wears me out to the point of exhaustion! 🙂 That word still makes me laugh a little.

Fartleks are a bit harder on the treadmill because you have to take time to change speeds up and down but it’s doable. I got as high as 6.8 mph.

I heard an instructor on Kevin’s spinning video say “You can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds.” She’s right so I went 60 seconds at a time. 🙂 I’d drop it down, drop the heart rate…back up. Then repeat at varying speeds and times.

My husband does laugh at me because it does seem I pass gas quiet a bit while running on that treadmill. He spins and sweats, I run and fart. Did I mention I am a bean and fruit eater!

Today was week 9, day 7 of Half Marathon training and I spent 93.22 minutes on that treadmill! The first 70 minutes was spent in Zone 2 running. Which is my favorite..of course! haha  And then the last 20 minutes spend in Z4 threshold. That was hard after 70 minutes in the top of Z2.

I burned 821 calories.

Tomorrow is Pilates and rest.

I walked the dogs. I ran. I cleaned house. I did 2 loads of laundry.

Kevin is making glazed salmon, asparagus and sweet potatoes for dinner.

I miss Daniel and Sadie terribly. I haven’t seen them in a few weeks. Daniel is sick today with a fever. I really miss being in Daniel’s life day-to-day like the old days when he lived right up the street.

If the weather gets a little better, I’ll go see them next weekend.

It did feel good to stay home in Columbia with Kevin and my dogs this weekend.

Now, back at those long days at work. It comes too soon.

Time/life flies….

I’m re-charged…..bring it on!

On Such a Winter’s Day

I’m in a rut and having a hard time getting out of it.

Work has been crazy. I am working more hours. Up at 4:45 am and getting home at 6:00 pm is getting old. Ice and snow all around making everything more depressing.

My only option is treadmill running and I hate it. I don’t get the same satisfaction out of a treadmill run as a road run.

I went 7 days without running and I didn’t even go that long after the marathon.

My eating habits are fairly good with the exception of donut day at work! 🙂

Last week, I got home late. Fed the dogs. Showered and in bed by 8:30pm so it seems like the past week was a waste.

I did get in a good run Friday and a long run this morning but still on the treadmill because of all the ice and snow on the ground. I don’t mind running in snow and in fact like it but I won’t do ice. At 55 years old, I do have to worry about falling.

I’ve been running since 2010 and haven’t had a real serious injury (knock wood) and hope to keep it that way until I can’t run anymore.

For the first time in the last 5 years, I am starting to feel my age. I see more wrinkles and gray hair by the day. I think it’s the weather putting me in this funk but I did wake up this morning with the realization of just how close I am to 60.

My health is good. I’m physically fit and happy with my life but I am thinking much more about my mortality. Maybe it’s the dreariness of the weather. Maybe it’s because I am facing the early death of my brother. I dunno.

Last Saturday, Kevin and I celebrated Mardi Gras in a big way in St. Louis! I ate and drank too much. I actually tied one on! I can’t do that again. I felt bad for a couple of days!

 

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I guess everyone has to let loose every now and then.

I have a few upcoming runs that I am looking forward to. March 14 – St. Patrick’s Day 5 Mile run. March 28 is the Boots and Badges 5k to benefit families of fallen police and firemen.

Then April 12 is the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon.

I plan on finding a marathon to run in the fall. If I am lucky, my name may be drawn to run in the NYC Marathon. That would be incredible!

I will get back on track. I’ve had this happen before.

Hurry up Spring!

Kevin and I had date night tonight. We went to see “American Sniper” and went to dinner.

I’m laid up now on my sofa with 2 sweet dogs surrounding me.

That’s my happy place…….

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Because I Could Not Stop….

I don’t feel this way often but I am exhausted…both my body and my mind.

I could say that I have been so busy lately, that I haven’t had a chance to blog or read blogs. Maybe busy is just an excuse I use….I am sad so I don’t read much anymore. My heart is not in it at the moment.

My brother’s health is worsening and he never complains so I feel very guilty for the petty shit that I gripe about.

Jimmy’s cancer has spread to his lungs so he is not a candidate for a liver transplant. Further, his liver cancer has worsened. There is nothing more the doctors can do but prescribe him morphine to make him comfortable. Anytime the word “hospice” is mentioned, I cry. But they (hospice) have been called in to help care for him. In addition, a few weeks ago, he fell and broke his arm while taking his puppy out for a potty.

When I talk to him, he seems so strong and does what he can do to comfort me. I don’t even know what to say to him. He compliments me on my running, my beauty, my intelligence…all I can do is cry. He says I’m such a good, older sister. But I feel like I am failing him by letting this happen to him. I have always been the fixer in my family. I try to be strong but despite what everyone thinks of me, I am very weak emotionally many times.

Ask Peyton and Eli (my dogs). I’ve cried on their furry shoulders many times! I’m sure if they could talk, they would tell Mama to get a grip!

I run 5 days a week and it’s beginning to tire me out. Even running is not giving me the joy that I used to get from it. I am using my runs now for emotional and stress relief…so maybe it is helping me cope in some ways.

I feel guilty for living to be honest, while he is dying. I don’t know if that is normal or not.


Kevin and I did run a fun 5k this past Saturday “Run for Your Beads” in Soulard, St. Louis. This particular 5k is special to me because this was my very first official 5k back in 2011. That was also its first year so I’ve run it every year since. 🙂

It was a beautiful, lively and fun atmosphere. I struggled a bit with my first mile and half. There were many inclines and turns. The hardest part of the 5k goes through Anheuser Busch Brewery complex. I love and hate that place! haha My last mile was under 9 minutes which is very good for me.

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My Baby and Me

 

Beer Thirty
Beer Thirty

 

 


After the run, Kevin and I met up with the kids and did the “Taste of Soulard” in which you use coupons to sample the foods at the various restaurants in Soulard. I love Soulard! It is my favorite place in St. Louis. We ate lunch at “Chava’s Mexican.”  It was 60 degrees and sunny on Saturday!

We then went home to check on Peyton and Eli. I gave him a nice walk while Kevin napped. I was exhausted!

We met up with the kids again and went to an incredible place in St. Louis called the “City Museum” and it wore me out even further!

Daniel and Sadie – My Kiddies!

 

We were celebrating little Sadie’s number 2 birthday at the City Museum.

City Museum in St. Louis
Daniel and I Climbed up into this plane

Daniel spent the night with us. That always makes my heart feel better. The next morning, I ran my 8 mile run while he and Popeye (Kevin) watched cartoons. We then went to the park to play. I cried when I dropped him off. (See….a big bag of emotions!).

Kevin and I are planning to go to Mardi Gras in St. Louis this coming Saturday to participate in the debauchery but I don’t know if I am up to it. Kevin loves going. I guess he likes beads for boobs! 🙂 The high on Saturday is supposed to be 19 degrees compared to 60 the previous Saturday.

Last night was my rest day so I just laid on our new leather sectional couch and watched “Criminal Minds” with Peyton and Eli curled up around me.

Tonight on tap: 30 minute threshold interval run, pilates, hot shower and bed!

I still resolve to live more in the moment and enjoy life without reservation but lately, that has been more of a challenge.

I remember a quote from one of my favorite movies “Braveheart.” ~ “All Men Die, Not Every Man Lives” 

The below poem is my all time favorite. I learned it as a kid and it is still very poignant to me.


Because I Could Not Stop for DeathEmily Dickinson, 18301886

Because I could not stop for Death – 
He kindly stopped for me –  
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility – 

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –  
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –  
We passed the Setting Sun – 

Or rather – He passed us – 
The Dews drew quivering and chill – 
For only Gossamer, my Gown – 
My Tippet – only Tulle – 

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground – 
The Roof was scarcely visible – 
The Cornice – in the Ground – 

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads 
Were toward Eternity – 

How to Piss Off a Runner

If you want to piss off a runner, publish a stupid-assed article that explains how running may be bad for you.

From WebMD ~ “Too Much Running Tied to Shorter Life Span

From UK Telegraph ~ “Fast running is as deadly as sitting on couch, scientists find

From Active.comWhy Too Much Running is Bad for Your Health”

From New York Daily News ~ “Running More Than 4 Miles a Day Could Be Bad for You

From Runner’s World  ~ ” Will Too Much Running Kill You?”

Now, honestly, these articles are not that bad. Most are just making the titles seem bad for shock value but the articles are not so wrong in my opinion. Of course running CAN hurt your health. So can other sports if done to a level that exceeds what your body can handle. Also, that level is a different bar with each runner.

“Too much exercise really can kill you, scientists have discovered, after finding runners who speed along at 7 mph or more are doing themselves more harm than good.” ~UK Telegraph

Now first off, 7 mph or more?? WTF? I better slow down 🙂

Or

” However, the health benefits of exercise seemed to diminish among people who ran more than 20 miles a week, more than six days a week, or faster than eight miles an hour. The sweet spot appears to be five to 19 miles per week at a pace of six to seven miles per hour, spread throughout three or four sessions per week.” ~ Active.com

I’m in that sweet spot (5-19 miles) except during the marathon training where I reached 44 miles in one week near the taper period.


There are thousands of legitimate articles that explain how running is great for your health but those few published that are slamming running is pissing us off!

Each runner knows their own facts and their body’s limit. (hopefully)

But for me, running saved my life literally. And on a daily basis, it calms me down and helps de-stress me. I feel alive while I’m running in a way that I can’t explain to anyone.  I am aware of my entire body. Runner’s know what I mean.

I can’t even properly explain how running a hard 1 or 2 hour-long run makes me feel once I’m finished and showered. I actually glow. My skin looks better. My husband makes that comment to me all the time. I’m happier. I laugh more. I feel amazing. I can’t explain…it just does.

I run 5 days a week. A couple of those days are very hard and long. I am not any different from others. I try each day to find a really good reason not to do my run. And I have a busy life also. I leave for work at 5:45am and get home at 5:45pm. Just because I don’t have kids at home doesn’t mean that I am not busy. I could easily not do that threshold run for 45 minutes. There can always be an excuse. I don’t have time to run, I make time to run.

But, those type negative running articles give other’s the excuse they need to sit on their asses watching American Idol. I can’t tell you how many people who I didn’t even know read shit, quote some article to me about how running will hurt me.

I want to say…are you fucking kidding me? Running makes me a good and healthy person. I want to say why don’t you get your ass out and do some exercise and you won’t be calling in sick so much on workdays…or weigh so much you can barely walk.

One of my current fears is that my grandchildren will not grow up learning just how good running is for you. It will open doors! Not just running but all exercise.

Daniel is at an age now that he would prefer to sit and play video games than get outside. I can’t even express how down that makes me feel. I want Daniel to run marathons, swim, bike, play sports, climbs mountains, ski, dive, marry an athletic woman and raise athletic kids. I want Daniel to feel invincible.

And for Sadie (who turns 2 today). I want that little girl to burn this world up. I want her to run in the Chicago, London or Boston Marathon. I want her to be lean, healthy and self-confident. I want her to marry a man who runs with her. Who is proud of her. I want her kids to look up to her.

So for anyone who believes that exercise or running in particular is bad for you….go ahead and sit on your ass and getting fatter and fatter…resting heart-rate at 90 or more.  Make yourself feel good that you are doing something healthy by not running. You can almost assure that your kids will be the same way.

I’m on Week 7, Day 3 of Half Marathon training. I’ll be ready for Go! St. Louis Half Marathon on April 12. 🙂

I even made an application to the NYC Marathon for November 01. I applied to be in the lottery. I’ll know in March if I am lucky enough to get in. It’s a long shot…but who knows. 🙂

I still have to pinch myself ….. I ran a marathon!

Sadie (2 years ago today) and Daniel. :-)
Sadie (2 years ago today) and Daniel. 🙂

♥~Happy Birthday, Sadie~♥