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.