Tuesday, December 8, 2009

i think you have toes on your feet, not fingers


YES. mmmm wait, that wasn't loud enough. YES! i got the vibram five fingers for my birthday! naturally, i tried them out the next day, which was yesterday. (we had my family b-day celebration sunday night).

I was SOOOOOO excited to put them on before i drove out to the gym. I sat down. Got them out of the box. And put them on my feet. Oops. Scratch that. I worked and pulled and pushed and wiggled them onto my five for 15 minutes.

It took me fifteen minutes to get these puppies on. I was not expecting that at all. HOWEVER, the effort was well worth it, as i will explain below. Getting the shoes on works best if you start with the big toe and figure out some way to get each of the rest in. That description doesnt help much, because, well, i still have no idea how i got them on my feet.

My thoughts getting the VFFs on: after a little while, once they get broken in and form to my feet, it will be much easier to get my toes in. I will also eventually be able to wear my socks (yes the come with toe socks too) with them.

At the gym, I hopped onto the treadmill (looking all kinds of funny in my shoes- def got a few stares- and all kinds of cute in my new running skirt my aunt got me) and promptly turned the speed up to 6. AND within 30 seconds, my left foot cramped up. So much for listening to the directions and wearing the VFFs for an hour just walking around.

I had to stop, stretch out my feet and calves, then SLOWLY work up to 6.0. I ran half a mile in my VFF. By the end, uhnm,.etyjnmu (that last bit was typed by luna, thought i would leave it in for kicks) a few toes were a little numb, but otherwise the run felt great and super light.

I know that it will take a few weeks to really settle into the shoes, but my run number 1 made me super excited for when i can run in them all the time.

Then, when i put on my regular running shoes, i felt like i had bubble wrap on my feet. awk.

sorry that i hadnt posted in so long. ultra love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

memphis' best kept secret

The Tour D'Wolfe at Shelby Farms.

I had been craving a solid 10 mile run since this weekend. I didn't feel well on Sunday, and, since it is best to listen to your body, I opted out of a long run. I had the day off today, so it was the perfect day for a run. However, I really was not in the mood to run on the sidewalk today. Sidewalks are 30% more dense than asphalt and both are way worse for your body than good old dirt. Therefore, I went to the Memphis Runners Track Club website to find some good trail run.

I was directed to the Shelby Farms website, and looked up the Tour D'Wolfe. It is a six mile course (well actually 6.08 but who's counting?), and it is the greatest thing ever. Number one- it is super well marked. You know you are on the right path because there are little Tour D'Wolfe signs and these posts marking how far you have run. When I started on the run, I actually started at the finish because I couldn't find the start (it's a big loop anyway). After running the loop, I asked the lady (more on this convo to follow) and she pointed me to the start so that I could run my last four miles (I ran two miles into the course and then turned back for the last two).

Now I shall give you a run down (bahahahahah pun intended) of each mile.

Ugh Mile 1- I always hate you. It always takes me a good mile to start feeling my run. FOr the first mile my food sloshes around and my legs feel a bit heavy. That was true today. My Fino's sandwich was definitely coming up in burp form. But i trudged on. This first mile was actaully the end of the loop, which, in terms of scenery and terrain is the ugliest and least fun. Only good thing about this mile is that it isnt asphalt or concrete.

Wassup Mile 2- you might have started with a steep hill, but i liked you anyway. (remember i started from the finish, so my mile two started with this hill, but if you start at the REAL start, your mile two starts in the woods (see mile 7 and 8 later on)) This was when the pretty terrain began, and I remembered why I am training to be an ultra runner. There is nothing like settling into a run and really beginning to feel your body and the ground.

Hey there Mile 3- i really liked you. WOODS! At this point in the trail, you are running through the woods. The light coming through the trees is spectacular. The coolness of the shade makes you feel like you can run forever. This was the point where i thought to myself, "self, you can definitely do this whole 3 mile thing two more times. NO BIG." Mile three was almost effortless. I sprang across the mini mud puddles and tree roots with ease. Really enjoying the fresh air and the soft ground

Yeahhhhh Mile 4- you are very nice. Mile four was a continuum of Mile 3's feeling. Being in the woods on a tight trail makes all the different in the world. These two miles are really something special, and I recommend you try them. Right around the end of your 4th mile, there is the ONE part of the trail that isn't labeled well. When you come out of the woods, the trail splits- go right.

Okay Mile 5- I am not sure how I feel about you. This part of the trail is through a field, but you are winding all over the place. I am pretty sure i said out loud to myself and the birds and bugs, "where the hell am I going?"- never fear. You are doing the right direction. It is just weird. This point in the run I had to start encouraging myself because I started to feel a little tired.

Boo Mile 6- not a fan. This is the part of the trail that is on a gravel path alongside Walnut Grove. It is boring and not fun. Running into the finish is not as much fun as being in the woods. I was also getting pretty tired at this point, so perhaps that colored my opinion. My muscles were showing signs of lactic acid buildup, and my feet were a little stiff and tender.

BREAK- At this point (the finish) nature called- so I stopped for a break in the little girls room. Good call. I also found the real start line. Also good call. I asked the lady at the desk in the visitors' center (FYI park behind the visitors' center) where the start for Tour D'Wolfe was. She looked at me and said, "You do know that course is over 6 miles, right?" I said, "well i have already run it, but I just want to do more since i started at the finish." She said "You're ambitious" and pointed me on my way.

Shalom Mile 7- so glad i found you. I was happy to find the REAL start of the trail, and I was pleasantly surprised how GORGEOUS it was. At this point, I was tired but still felt pretty good. And then some young little cross country runner hustled past me. I laughed when i made the excuse to myself "well, I have already run 6 miles and he hasn't"- it's always a competition no matter what anyone says.

Meh Mile 8- you made me tired. Mile 8 allowed me to see how the trail is actually supposed to connect to the road along Walnut Grove mentioned above. Other than that, it was uneventful other than i turned around and ran SMACK into.....

Miles 9 and 10- Oh hey. Thanks for kicking my ass. I dont even remember anything about you other than that I was barely moving forward and my muscles ached and my feet were tired. It took a good amount of determination to make it these last 2 miles. But, my friends, that is the essence of running. You have to keep pushing yourself even when you are exhausted. It is a good lesson for life, that when things get tough and are bringing you down, there is only one way to move- forward. On trails in the middle of nowhere, you dont really have a choice. Keep going or die in the woods. You can't get to the finish if you don't make yourself get there.

So come on kids! Join me on the Tour D'Wolfe. It is the kind of run that makes you really feel the terrain. You can just settle into the run and let your feet respond to the rise and fall of the dirt. The hot and cold of the fields and woods. The energy and weakness of your own body. Get out there. Go run.

Ultra Love.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

guest blogger!

hellooooooo mommy's friends!
my name is luna the yellow lab puppy, and i currently am very angry at my mother. let me tell you why.

it all started back when i was a wee pup of about 40 pounds, and mommy took me to the vet. mostly, i like the guy. he is pretty nice, but that day he made a decision that snowballed into my current situation. he told my mother that my "little girl parts" were underdeveloped, so she should wait to have me spayed until RIGHT when i started my first heat. the reason, he said, was so that i would have to time "fully develop" and not have problems going to the bathroom later on.

frankly, i could care less what his
reasons were. they are dumb because this is not fun. on friday morning, mommy discovered that i had started my first heat. i wont go into the gorey details (bahahahahah), but the end result of this discovery was that my mother, my mean terrible evil mother, left me at the vet for the day.

THIS is the end result of that fateful day.

yes. you guessed it. they cut out my girly parts. and even worse, they cut off my waggle toe (also known as a dewclaw). please see the before and after below.

AFTER: see the red bandage?
SO you can understand that i do not feel very well. So much that my mommy has to make my food special for me- dog food with rice and water, warmed up in the microwave, with some peanut butter mixed in. Im spoiled.

And to top off feeling like crap and like someone yanked out my womanhood (oh wait, they did), my mother put me in this:
i am very angry. and someimes the cone of shame makes me sad. last night i wouldnt go to sleep with it on. but today, i have warmed up to the cone of shame a bit.
I have discovered that i like to store my favorite toys in the cone of shame.
Even though i am mad at my mother, i still like to hang out and watch tv with her.
Word of advice, do not be a girl dog and get spayed. do not have a waggle toe and get it removed. It is not fun, but the only good part is that your mother does feel bad that she did this evil thing to you. only 8 more days in this thing. i hope i can make it.


Thursday, November 19, 2009


i have racked up some mileage in the past 6 days.

saturday, i woke up early and ran 6 miles with my sweet angel puppy before having to be at work at 9 am. It felt really good to run in the morning- perfect temperature for a long-ish run. My body felt great, how
ever, i did have some knee pain on the last mile. I think that running on sidewalks and pavement is still a little wearing on the knees. I hope that in the next few weekends i can get luna out to shelby farms to run along some trails.

sunday, i got another great run in- 8 miles. woo hoo. this time, i ran out at my dad's house so that i could look really cool again running with two dogs. unfortunately, winston,
has alot of fur, and, since sunday was a little warmer than usual, he only made it three miles. SO, after 3 miles, i dropped off luna and winston, ran another 3, then picked luna up again for the las 2. I did not have knee pain for the 8 mile fun fest, fyi. perhaps running with two dogs makes my form better than running with just one and being lopsided. who knows.

following my run, i washed my car. this action is a workout in and of itself, but only because i am so anal about my car. it takes me about an hour to wash because i have to scrub every bit of dirt and bug guts off.

Monday, I opted for some solid weight lifting. I stairmastered for 10 minutes to warm my muscles up (very important that you so some warm up, whether cardio or LIGHT weights). Then i did squats, 72 leg presses, 60 leg curls, incline presses, flys, seated rows, back flys (not sure if thats the right name, oh well), bicep curls, tricep dips with 25 pound weight, lateral raises, and crunches on the ab ball.

Tuesday was
spinning (still, such a great work out. i really suggest you get into it) and then ellen and i did 124 crunches. I like it when ellen comes with me to spinning. makes it more fun having a friend to share the fun.

Thursday, i ran 3.5 miles and focused on my triceps (5 different exercises). I also did two types of bicep curls, shoulder presses and lateral raises, then 40 lunges.

Right now, my night looks like this:
i love my luna. she is the sweetest girl. and her head in my lap makes it hard to type. she also has been dreaming, and her nose has been twitching.

hopefully this weekend will hold some good runs. I am hoping to hit 9 or 10 miles on sunday and to make it through a 2 hour spin class on saturday. the quest for fitness never ends folks- to be in ultra marathon shape for next fall, i need to train hard. it takes endurance to make it 30 or 50 miles, and you have to build that up. onward.

ultra love.

Friday, November 13, 2009

you're gonna be jealy

wanna know what ellen and i have in store for this weekend? here's a hint... and it's awesome.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the best workout ever

I had been planning today's workout for a llloooooonnnnnggggg time.

1. I had the day off because it is a federal holiday- Veteran's Day. Shout out to my office spouse, Travis, who served our country in Iraq and continues to serve our country by keeping me sane everyday.
2. Since daylight savings time, it's been hard to get good long runs in. It gets dark so fast, and, even though Luna is big and ferocious, it still isn't safe to run in the dark.
3. Since I have Luna and Ellen waiting at home, its not fun to spend 3 hours in the gym after work when you have two lovely ladies who miss you.

THEREFORE, today's random wednesday off meant the planning of the best workout ever.

1. 7- 8 mile run with luna. brief pause in the middle for a little water, but otherwise smooooooth sailing.
2. full body lifting at my mom's gym. two chest, two back, two bicep, two tricep, two shoulder, 150 crunches and 40 lunges.
3. date with my dad at charles = the best pain there is.

I haven't mentioned charles before because it has been a while since i went back. I had to stop going post surgery because charles pretty much destroys you. the intensity of his workouts is unbelievable. Charles is a former amateur body builder. He is a beast. He doesn't yell and he doesn't get excited. He just doesn't let you stop or not give it your all. 10 minutes on jacob's ladder- a rotating ladder that is on a serious incline. 72 leg presses- 36 regular, 36 working the inner thigh. 1 min sprint on the weirdly intense elliptical slash stairstepper. push the sled back and forth 6 times. 1 min sprint. butt presses. 1 min sprint..... you get the idea. one hour of intense sweating and muscle burning. you wanna vom sometimes, you wanna pass out on the floor afterwards. you wanna rip your arms off.

it is the best kind of pain ever.

oh and now he has a new machine. you put your knees on this pad, then pull this rope so that it pulls your knees off the floor. and he makes you keep going. seeeeeeeeeee below and imagine.

thank you to this website for the picture.

V250 climber
The only bad thing about today's workout is that it didn't happen.

Yes you heard that right. It didn't happen.

This morning, in a series of unfortunate events, I burned the top layer of my eyeball. See diagram below. The night before I didn't have contact solution so i soaked my contacts in eye drops. Bad idea. DO NOT DO THAT EVER. when i put them is this morning, they burned, but i really had no alternative and needed to wear them for an hour. The rest of my morning was spent in pure BAD pain, not charles GOOD pain. My eyes watering and feeling like a blow torch was being held up to them. My nose running. I wanted to cut my eyes out.

Cornea - Illustration

Fortunately, i went to my eye doctor and this pain should go away in 36 hours since eyes heal pretty fast. thankfully there is no permanent damage. here's to no more pain, and the dream of another workout. ultra love.

Monday, November 9, 2009

instead of blowing up the post office, i went to a basketball game

after being ill for a while, i finally got back into the wild yonder this weekend- aka saturday and sunday, for those of you who don't know what weekend means. on saturday i got a solid 6 mile run in. I was out in the middle of nowhere TN at a church retreat center called Pinecrest.

It was an interesting run because I felt really good for most of it. The last time i ran 6 miles I felt tired by the end. This time i was less weary, but my feet were pretty sore. Not good. I should probably reground and figure out what is wrong with my stride.

On sunday, I went for a 5 mile run. THIS TIME, i had two of the most handsome/beautiful puppies with me.

ON THE RIGHT, weighing 75 pounds, with a killer jack rabbit run/leap and and ear piercing bark, LUNAAAAAAA!

ON THE LEFT, weighing 70 pounds, with the most luxurious blonde fur and a hatred for other dogs running past his two girls, WINSTONNNNNNNNNNN!

thats how the run was. Luna on the right, Winston on the left. they were perfect and loved every minute. well, except winston who doesnt like it when other dogs come close to luna or me. he growls and them and i have to say, NO WINSTON.

(side note- luna just simultaneously had her paw on ellen's breasticle and leaned her head back to give me kisses on my face/mouth. yeah. at the same time. what a girl.)

So the three of us felt really good on the run. Well, except winston who is out of shape because daddy doesn't run him like he should. so winnie got tired at the end, but he made it. what a sport.

Tonight, was a day off from running because i went to the tiger game (VICTORYYYYYYYY) instead of blowing up the post office like i wanted to do because they are the most ridiculous institution in the world. good thing, i have let my anger with USPS go, and instead took it out on the unsuspecting refs by letting them know that every foul CBU committed was, in fact, intentional. most def.

breakfast: oatmeal and juice
lunch: chicken and orzo
snack: brownie (whoops?!)
dinner: cupboard-- squash, turnip greens, cucumber and tomato salad, friend green tomatoes plus cornbreadddddddddd

Luna's favorite game: be inappropriate and then tear out the butt of my birdie toy.

tomorrow: SPINNING (yessssssssssssss) and some weights.

Monday, November 2, 2009

im sizzling

this past weekend, i got to see two really awesome things.
1. My handsome and health conscious boyfriend playing at the GRAND OLE OPRY
2. "This Is It" the Michael Jackson movie/documentary---- prompting my halloween costume....
The Grand Ole Opry is really quite an experience. Even though Keith Urban and Davil Nail were there reppin "new" country music, most of the others were more old school. The songs were so strikingly different than the current county you hear on the radio now. When I took my class on the blues back in school, I learned that modern country music has its roots in the blues. What are the blues about, kiddies? Yep, you got it. The Blues.

The blues are emotion and heartache and hard times. They rip your soul out, do something incredible to it, and the put it back in you. Country music has its roots in the blues and should have been sucking up good juices from the blues. BUT NOOOOOOO... current country music is about beer and tractors. How do you go from the mysterious and moving melodies of Robert Johnson to beer and tractors? Where is the emotion? Where is the little bit of you in the music? I refuse to believe that we as a people are limited to "Small Town USA" and "I like my Big Green Tractor" and "Beer on the Table."

Granted, the inspiration to my musings came from the mouth and mind of my handsome and health conscious boyfriend. I am sure that he thinks about this much better than i do/can, but the more we talk about it the more it bothers me.

I love to hear music that moves me. EX: Michael Jackson. He may have been nutty as squirrel poo, but he was a genius. He was music. He knew his songs in and out because he either wrote every single bit of it (think words, music, drums, bass, guitar etc, you get it) or was super hands on in the producing. He knew his music left and right, backwards and forwards, in and out. And he felt it. And when you see the movie, you will feel it. And it will sizzle and simmer. And it wont suck like songs about beer and tractors and small towns.

So people of the world, demand more of your music. The Robert Johnsons, the Michael Jacksons, and the Elvis Presleys don't come around that often, but that doesn't mean you have to listen to music that lacks depth, emotion, and thought beyond how much money it can make.

Ultra love.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

rag time cowboy joe

so today, a constituent called, and i heard my co-worker say, "how can i help you Mr. Tootin?" Aside from laughing out loud, a song popped into my head, and it took me a fair amount of time, googling, and dancing/singing/making gun noises around my office to remember where it was stored in my remembery.

The song goes as such: "He's a high fa-lutin, rootin tootin, son of a fun from arizone, he's some cowboy, talk about your cowboy, rag time cowboy joe." I finally figured out that it was on the Alvin and the Chipmunks tape (yes, tape- WAYYYY before CD's people) that my brother and i used to sing along to in my dad's car.

Let me tell you about my dads old car. It was an Audi that my grandparents gave my dad when he graduated from college (imagine my honda in 20-or-so years when im married and have kids who are in elementary school). It was black with this REALLY tall stick shift (i wold say about 2 feet tall, maybe more). It had the greatest smell- very hard to describe. I loved that car, but i did NOT love the fact that I had to ride in a car seat pretty much up until the 3rd or 4th grade. This wasn't a baby car seat, but more like a booster seat for the car. I had to keep riding in one because I was too small (aka under 60 pounds and very short) longer than most people. I remember always being embarrassed about this, as kids typically are. People have always been holding me back from my full potential. hmmmmpf.

Speaking of holding me back, i have been sick this week. I went to bed at 10 pm on Monday night, 9:30 on Tuesday night, and 11 on Wednesday night in an effort to fight this illness off. And thought i haven't had any fever, i have had plenty of snot, congestion, snot, coughing, and snot. Needless today, these conditions make running 1. not fun, 2. not fruitful, 3. painful.

Taking all this time off running and exercising really makes me antsy. I hate getting a week behind my running schedule, but i know that if i dont take this time off, it will end up hurting me in the long run. bahahaha no pun intended- get it? long run? yeah?

ultra love

Thursday, October 22, 2009

dead weight, cloud nine, and short hair

dear running,
i love you, but sometimes my body wonders why i spend time with you. when that happens, i have to remind myself that i was, in fact, born to run, and trudge on.
and you know what? luna loves you too. i am pretty sure that she was, in fact, born to run as well. perfect dog for a mother who is becoming an ultra runner.
so, running, thank you for being you. for challenging me. for bringing me closer to my 9 month old puppy. and for making me look goooooood.
love, elise

so i have still been running. I felt great on my friday run (5 miles). On saturday, i went to spin class and then decided to take luna on another 5 mile run. heads up to all you fools out there: running after spinning equals "dead weight legs" aka legs-that-dont-want-to-run-and-are-really-heavy. it was terrible. then sunday, my 3 mile run felt just the same.
needless to say, i was not pleased with those developments.
my run on monday was not much better- it was a short run, but still not great.

SO- on tuesday, i took the day off to spend some time on CLOUD NINE. my friend chandler and i got to eat dinner with the memphis basketball team and Coach "Hot" Paster. we took pictures with the coolest basketball players- will coleman and doneal mack. see below for proof.

Yes, be jealous. it's okay.

After that bit of heaven, i found another pocket of perfection in Cordova, TN. my handsome and health conscious boyfriend was in town for just a night because he had a show in Oxford, MS with Matt Wertz. Matt Wertz is good people, and his music is perty dern good too. therefore, tuesday was a good day slash night.

movingggggg onnnnnn......when i went for a 5 mile run on wednesday, my legs felt fabulous. luna was being very obedient on the run so that made it even better. i felt so good after the first 2 miles that i though, "self, let's run through overton park even though its 6:30 and almost dark." on we went..... but i think that it is a sign of a bad decision when you spend time imagining what you would do if a killer/attacker/robber leapt out at me from the bushes and started to assault me. THEREFORE, i will no longer run through overton park when it is dark- it is scary. it is creepy. and it is a bad idea.

but the run felt great. so thats the good bit of news.

after the run i went to the gym for a little bit of a chest and back work out. i added some shoulder exercises in too, finished off with some lunges, jumpies, and crunches. it was another good night.

THEN TONIGHT I CUT ALL MY HAIR OFF. i am donating my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and many thanks to the beautiful melissa for making my hair look just like the picture i gave her.

Happy times. Ultra Love.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"we're going to be rewarded"

how many of you have thought to yourself, "i totally deserve a reward for that run i did earlier today!"? and then you eat about 12 cookies? because i do that.... cookies, pizza, muddy's, fries, fried pickles, chips and dip, or rolls....

but really, is eating food that's bad for you, really a reward?

people complain about losing weight and working out all the time. how hard it is. how working out doesn't do anything. but here's the thing- working out isn't about losing weight. it is about a lifestyle change. running an ultra marathon is a lifestyle change too.

you can't just run around and expect a dramatic change in your body. you can't just run around and expect to be able to run 50 miles. you have to make a serious commitment to change the way you have been living. you have to make a commitment to giving your body the nutrients it needs to reap the benefits of your workout routine. you need to give your body the fuel it needs to make it 50 miles. that is why this "reward" system that i have been so very fond of (eek, dangling preposition- only reason i am leaving it is that it's a cliche and gets my point across), doesn't really fit a lifestyle change. Most of the time, the rewards i give myself actually just set me back. They are either high in calories, high in fat, high in sugar, or low in nutrients.

what good does it do me to be rewarded with crap? think of it as the difference in cerel box prizes from when i (we?) were little and now. when i was little, the cereal box gave you a teenage mutant ninja turtle bowl. aka THE COOLEST THING EVER. now, kids get weird shit like coloring books or plastic animal statues. giving your body good and nutrient rich food to eat = teenage mutant ninja turtle cereal bowl. giving your body gross (but oh so tasty) fatty calorie-y badness = coloring book and plastic animal statues.

i am just as guilty as the next person about eating crap. BUT that doesn't i don't get mad at myself when i do it. so friends, the next time you think about eating that second delicious muddy's cupcake, take a minute and decide what you want- TMNT bowl or lame-o coloring book.

but seriously, for me to make it 50 miles in the woods and mountains of some southern state, i need to learn what nutrients my body needs, particularly throughout a LOOOOONG run. I need to learn how MY body needs to be hydrated throughout the day and what foods will keep me healthy and happy.

so for all of you out there, take the time to make a commitment to a lifestyle change. take the time to say NO to the friend chicken fingers. NO to the second cupcake (i can't even do no sweets, so my call to action is just to not over-do it on the desserts). NO to that extra piece of pizza. and YES to all things awesome.

luna's favorite game of the day: walk over mom while shes blogging on the couch and put my butt in her face while i pretend like i fit in small spaces even though i am a 70+ pound puppy.

weekend update to come. highlights: surprise visit to nashville, 6 mile runs, Memphis Madness, spinning, and car cleaning. sooooooo exciting.

ultra love

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Are we human or are we dancers?

this is the age old question i ask myself everyday.... and that luna answers by barking at me. and then i remember- that the only reason i asked that question in the first place is that it's in the lyrics of a song in spin class.

(side note- in the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. in new york city, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the special victims unit. these are their stories.)

let me fill you in on spin class today. today was one of those days where i was in the ZONE. one of those days where all i want to do is turn the resistance on really high and power up an imaginary hill. so boy did i. those imaginary hills were destroyed by my overactive imagination. the last hill we scaled was particularly brutalized, partly because of a similar phenomenon to one i explained before- "this song would give me a panic attack in real life, but DAMN it's great to spin to." This time the song was "burn it to the ground," and unfortunately, it is by nickelback. go ahead, vom a little in your mouth. it's okay.

anyway- i will take this opportunity to educate all of you on the basics of spinning.
1. wear spandex shorts, or pants- otherwise, you will chaff.
2. bring a big water bottle. you will sweat and be very thirsty.
3. to set up your bike. measure how high you want your seat to be by standing next to it and bringing your knee up so your leg is parallel to the ground. thats about high you want it. make your when you pedal you do not fully extend your knee and that your butt is on the back of the seat. adjust the handle bars to your liking. i like mine a little lower because i like to stick my butt out. but thats just me. don't feel weird about moving your seating around during the workout. better to have good form than be in more pain the next day.
4. figure out what your levels are. every instructor is different- for our class 5 is flat road and ten is you wanna get off and push your bike.
5. don't go balls to the wall on your first spin class. ease into it.
6. your butt will hurt. it will get better after a while, i promise.

on to the update on life. my workout schedule has been lax because i took the GRE. (side note- luna's farts are even worse that another certain someone's. and that is saying something) i ran in a race with my friend Martha- it was the Pumpkin Run. Martha and i found it very hilly. i don't like hills and with good reason- they are hilly. anyway- we had lots of fun BEFORE the hills watching these old guys who were SUPER hype about the race. they did all these funny sprinting/starting exercises at the start line wearing their neon yellow shoes and running jerseys. allllll to win the hugely important pumpkin run. HOWEVER- they were doing the "new stride" so we were very impressed and entertained.

Monday, i took the GRE. I took luna on a run the morning of. she was an angel. so proud. Then we had people over monday night. it was really fun because:
1. i actually got to be social
2. there were LOTS of people. aka- ellen and i are really popular.
3. there was goooooood food. pizza, cupcakes, chips and dip, cookies.
4. luna was on her best behavior. unlike now when shes barking.

I am not going to post my menu for the last few days. it is embarrassing.

Luna's favorite game today is: eat the easter egg but don't actually chew it up like i do every other toy.

I need to buy my vibram five fingers. Half marathon training starts the 18th!

Ultra love.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And God Said, "Let there be right and left"

and the RIGHT was good.

today, Luna and I went on a 4 mile run today. We started to go down the trail run behind our house, but she started acting like a little turd. ERGO we turned back around and charged onto our normal route. She was still being terrible, when suddenly, I had, not a brain wave but more of a subconscious bodily impulse to pull her over to my right side. 

AND YA KNOW WHAT? she stayed by my side the rest of the run. really. I am not kidding. Apparently, somewhere in her dog-instinct, the dog on the right follows the dog on the left. I was so proud of my new discovery and how good I looked with such a well-trained and beautiful angel puppy. 

Therefore- Luna's favorite game of the day: be the best puppy in the world. 

Today's Menu:
Breakfast- same as everyday, pumpkin spice latte
Lunch: Lenny's turkey on wheat, no cheese, chips (bad, i know) 
Dinner: Boiled chicken with BBQ sauce, broccoli, and a spinach salad with craisins and walnuts.

Thanks to my friends Lauren and Martha- I have my race calendar pretty much set for the biggies. 

January 9, 2010
April 24, 2010
Ultra Marathon: three options
sometime next fall.... 

Ultra Love

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Precious and Few

I have been slacking on the blogging. Two whole days. Get ready for a long post, kids. 

Let me start with Saturday evening. I went to see my cousin's play. He was absolutely fantastic. The play was called the Diviner, and he was the main character, Buddy. Unfortunately, he had to cover himself in mud before the show. This made me highly uncomfortable. Mud. in hair. all over. real mud people. real mud. megggghhhh

The above picture is the family after the play. Please note the mud. really, it is mud.

So sunday was another day off from the gym because Grandmother, Aunt Marion, and I drove the 7 hours from Shreveport, LA. 

Before I post my gym experiences from Monday and Tuesday, I would like to fill you in on the many adventures of Luna Lovegood Puppy. SOOOOOOO LISTEN, sunday night, ellen pointed out that there was an area around Luna's mouth that looked kinda red and swollen....

I know this isnt the best picture. Get over it. Wanna know what this is? Acne, my friends, acne. Just like most of us got when we hit puberty. Apparently, dogs get it just like humans do. HOWEVER, the vet said it has nothing to do with dog puberty. They just get it whenever for no good reason. The way to get rid of it? Clearasil. Yeah, im serious.  

Ellen took luna to the vet to check on it Monday afternoon. We also found out that she has another hot spot

She got $100 bucks worth of shots. Oh and she has fleas. Therefore, I gave her a bath. She ended up clean. I ended up bruised by her trying to claw out of the bathtub. 
Thank you, Luna. You are certainly precious and few. Now each night I have to put medication on her hotspot, put clearasil on her acne, and check her belly for fleas. I also brushed her teeth last night. She likes her chicken flavored toothpaste.

Onto the gym. Monday night I went to the gym with my handsome and health conscious boyfriend. I ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill- new stride- still no knee pain. Running on the treadmill was pretty difficult. My form always falls at the end of my runs because my muscles are tired. BUT the big diff here is that it's not my joints that are tired- just muscles! yay! gym party! After the treadmill, I worked my chest and triceps. Incline chest press and flys. Tricep pull downs and dips. Then 40 lunges and some slow and deliberate crunches on the AB ball. 

Tuesday, Ellen and I went to spin class. GOOD workout. lots of sweat. Then we did some ab exercises. It was tons of fun. Ellen made loud noises while she was doing her "rocky crunches" and I told her she wasn't allowed to do that ever again. My handsome and health conscious BF and I spent much of yesterday evening making fun of the baboons who make weird noises in the weight section. NO MAS, boo. no mas. 

Monday's Menu: 
Breakfast- same as every day.
Lunch: Turkey wrap, pita hummus, strawberries
Dinner: Taco Ring, green beans, rice

Tuesday's menu: 
Breakfast: same as every day
Lunch: Turkey wrap, pita and hummus, little bit of taco ring
Dinner: Taco ring (leftover!), rice, strawberries, and a little bit of ice cream 

Today I am thankful for many things. Even though my puppy has dog herpes, acne, and fleas, I still couldn't imagine life without her (i type this as she walks into the den with one of my socks in her mouth. she is so proud). I am also thankful for my handsome and health conscious BF who loves to workout with me and helps me discipline Luna. He's a keeper. I am thankful for my roomie, Ellen/Boo- she makes me laugh and makes a MEAN taco ring. 

Ultra love to all of you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Every year I keep telling myself I should do my Christmas shopping at the Cracker Barrel

quote from my great Aunt Marion as we entered the CB for dinner yesterday. I love her. 

Yesterday, I drove 7 hours with my Grandmother and great Aunt Marion to Shreveport, LA to visit my Aunt Anita, Uncle Rob, and Cousin Jonathan. 
My Aunt Anita is a work-out-a-holic just like I am, so of course she and I HAD to get up early this morning for a workout. Aunt Anita is a spin and step instructor. She runs almost everyday and is a piano/voice teacher plus minister's wife who dominates the music at her church. Needless to say, she's da bomb. 

We went to spin class this morning at 8:30, and it is always fun to go to a different class because every instructor is different. This class my favorite "new" thing was focusing on my natural cadence and then maintaining that cadence as the tension built up. This really gives your legs a workout- cadence is one of the reasons Lance Armstrong is so good. He can maintain his natural cadence even on steep hills. Hard. To. Do. 

After an hour of spin class, Aunt Anita and I came back to her house for a 3 mile run. We used the "natural" stride and discussed how we felt like gazelles floating through fields of wild flowers. OBVI everyone should try to the new stride just to enjoy the aforementioned feeling of gazelle-ness. 

We are off to some craft fair type thing called "The Rebel," and later tonight the whole fam is going to see my cousin's play. (side note- just realized my calves hurt from the run. means i was doing it right. party) (side side note- snoring is funny. sneathing is what I like to call the combo between the outrageous snore and loud breathing. def requires open mouth breathing but there is a little snoring wheeze thrown in. BAhahaha)

Yesterday's Menu: 
Bfast: Nate eggs, kashi waffle, pumpkin spice latte (you. must. try. it. it will change your life)
Lunch: Little Tea Shop- turnip greens, fried okra, lima beans, cabbage
Snack: TRAIL MIX! addicted.
Dinner: Cracker Barrel: Hashbrown casserole, turnip greens, fried okra, dumplins
BAD ME: ate cornbread and biscuits. and when I say ate, I mean 4 sticks and 2 biscuits. 

...... worth it......

Today's Menu: 
Bfast: Banana, Apple, Kashi granola bar
Post work-out Snack: Single egg omelet with garden grown veggies, courtesy of Uncle Rob. YUM
Lunch: who knows plus some funnel cake (BIG SMILEY FACE)
Dinner: steaks, potatoes, some delicious guacamole on baguette bread recipe i found in the Southern Living Magazine.
Dessert: Bananas Foster, again courtesy of Uncle Rob.

Your Ultra Running Education for the day: 
This man is tha BIZnass. 
Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons
look at those little shorts... LOVE him. Check out his website too.

Ultra love.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Separation Anxiety

This weekend, I am going to see my cousin's play in Louisiana. Ellen will also be out of town, so Luna needs a baby sitter. Enter, my dear sweet mother and Luna's grandma.

I told my mommy that this weekend of puppy-sitting Luna is her one shot at proving she will be a good Grandma when I have babies many years from now. The pressure is on. Good luck, mamma. 

Moral of the story is that dropping the Lu off at Mom's house was a little difficult. I didn't want to leave. Mom had to tell me it would be okay a few times. I am not sure how I will sleep in an hour without putting her to bed. STRUGGLES.

Fortunately, I had a good day at the gym. Today was another cross training day- AKA spinning! I know this may sound slightly ridiculous, but even after only two runs using the new stride, the muscles in my legs are more awake (I don't know if that's even the best way to describe that but whatevs- deal) and the workout feels so much more intensified.  

In spin class today, we did hills. Laurie models this workout on an actual set of two hills she bikes on. One is slightly more steep than the other, and we go over the hills, then back, then over, then back. 4 sets of two hills. Each hill is two songs long, and there is a 2 minute sprint at the end of each hill (like you are going downhill, get it?). I love hills. They are my fav!

Also, there is a strange phenomenon that goes on in a spin class. I like to call it "I-hate-that-song-in-real-life-but-MAN-it's-great-to-spin-to." Some examples of this:
1. Pink- "So What"
2. Nickel Back (yes, I'm sorry)- "Gotta Be Somebody"
3. Zac Brown Band (sorry again)- "Chicken Fried" (side note- I find it a little bizarre when country songs mention beer, chicken fried (I don't even know what the hell that is. I know what fried chicken is. DUH) and our troops/veterans in the same verse/chorus combo. Just weird- ya know?)

At some point, I will do a full blog post on stuff you should know when entering a spin class for the first time. But that will be later.

After spinning, I went again for a semi-full body weight lifting workout to continue to ease back into lifting. If you are looking for two exercises to get almost every upper body muscle- do this.
ProForm Assisted Pull Up Dip Station Power Tower PFBE1716
the assisted pull-up/dip machine 
(please note, you will look like this girl if you do these. yes, you will even spontaneously bust out this pose in public. AWESOME)

1. pull-ups: they work your back and your biceps (your chest and shoulders are secondary muscles as well). do three sets of 12- making sure that you extend your arms all the way after you pull up. Most of the time with other exercises you do not want to fully extend your arms, but in this case, particularly on the assisted machine, the full extension will work more muscles in your back. Don't wimp out on these- if you don't maintain your form, you might as well not even do this stuff anyway.

2. dips: they work your chest and triceps (your shoulders and back are secondary muscles) again, three sets of 12. here you want to focus on the bend at your elbow. Bending too little means you aren't working an muscles. Bending too much means you can over extend and stress your shoulders slash elbows. Go for a solid 90 degree angle or a little more obtuse.  Pause with your elbows bent, and, when you push up, do not lock your elbows. This ensures that your muscles are fully engaged at all times. 

These two little exercises are great if you are limited on time or just want to do a simple addition to some cardio for great muscle tone and strength building.

Today's menu: 
Breakfast: (at the Federal Reserve Bank of Memphis) eggs, hashbrowns, biscuit, fruit, one small sausage link (couldn't resist... AHHHH)
Lunch: (courtesy of Calvary downtown table fellowship) salad, potato soup, baked catfish, YUMMY rolls, and pecan pie.
Dinner: Leftover whole wheat pasta and turkey meat sauce (again, still delicious though) 

Luna's favorite game of the day: Stare at the kitty.
When Luna met my Mom's cats, Abby and Abner (also known as Tiny and the Doo-- yes thats short for DooDoo). She didn't really know what to do, so she just stared at them. Funny Lu.

Tomorrow is my day off, but Saturday I will be running with my Aunt Anita, who is the coolest ever. Be jealy.

Ultra love.