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.