Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Does Icing Your Shins Help?

In a word, yes.

In two words, hell yes.


The past few times I've run hills, including Five Mile Trail, I've come home and iced my shins. They felt great. No recovery pain.

Yesterday I ran Five Mile Trail and didn't ice my shins. Today, ouuuucccchhhh!!!

To be fair, I think there's some other stuff going on. Last week I returned to Woodland Mound and started my run downhill. Bad plan. I also didn't ice after that. Bad plan again.

Repetitive running on un-iced and potentially strained shins? Smart.

And I think I need new shoes. Apparently that's one of the leading causes of shin splints. I may be able to do that soon-ish. I'll let you know. :)

What should I do? Probably rest. But I don't wanna! It's perfect running weather and I want to feel good about the Run Like Hell at the end of October.

So I'm going to compromise. Flat trails only this week. And some ice and vigorous post-run shin-rubbing.

Goodness, you know they're bad when you wake up with them, amiright?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 26, 2011

Un-Skinny Bob Bop Bop Bop!

Really, this post has nothing to do with that amazing song by the boys of Poison, but it came on the radio on my drive home today and made me laugh. You bet your butt I cranked the volume and sang right along.

Here's the video, in case any of you want to listen and read at the same time:

It's amazing how a good commute home can put you in a good place for an evening run and how a bad commute does just the opposite. (That's what happened to me last week. AWFUL!) Today's ... pretty good.

This un-skinny bop ran a B210K Week 1 workout yesterday at Lunken and it went very well. (Here's an old blog about Lunken, including pics and a lot of complaining.) Aside from not being able to run up or down the super steep and super short hill (probably about 50 feet long but a serious altitude change), I completed the workout as it was written.

Since this evening's weather was so nice, and since I can't run tomorrow, I decided to go out again. I tackled the Five Mile Trail and turned on another B210K Week 1 workout, thinking ahead of time that I might not be able to finish it, but I'd try anyway. You've gotta know your body and your capabilities, right? I knew I was tired from yesterday and I knew that my shins have been a bit testy lately (more like pesky little bastards, actually).

Well, I was spot on. I did the first two sets fully (run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat), including my start up the top third of the monster hill. I was really hurting by the time I got through those sets. (My shins are hurting like they did when I first started this running business.) So I took a longer walk, then ran a little, then decided to take advantage of a handrail and stopped to stretch my legs and do a little limb shaking. It helped a bit!

I followed the plan for most of the third set, and only part of the fourth and final set. I feel totally fine about it though. I got a workout. I was sweaty. And surprisingly, according to the ever accurate (right...) GPS feature of my B210K app, I did it all at the same pace as my run yesterday. Must be the downhills.

Anyway, as you've been reading, the Run Like Hell is coming up. I'm flipping excited! My friend Sarah decided to join in the fun. I think she's more excited about the opportunity to re-use her amazing Halloween costume from a year or two ago. Here's a hint ...

Image from Amazon.

Regardless, I'm so happy to be running with my Flying Pig partner and with one of my biggest running supporters and former coworker. Oh yeah, and I'm excited about the party after. There are always festivities after runs, but I feel like I'm always rushed away for some reason, either by my own doing or otherwise.

Well, that's all I've got for the evening. Thanks for reading and thanks for hanging with me during this blog dry spell.  =)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Run Like Hell Fundraising

 Good evening, folks!

I promised you more information on the Cincinnati Run Like Hell 5K, and here it is!

I just officially registered for the race and am a part of team Marissa's Miracle. Marissa is Leslie's infant/toddler-ish daughter (I'm really good with babies and stuff, clearly). You can read all about them on Leslie's page here.

I've known Leslie since I was in 9th grade. We were in youth group together. She's a lovely person, so I know this is a great cause. 
One of the best parts of this race is that it's a Halloween run. That means COSTUMES! I had this fabulous costume all planned out based on one of the costume categories. But now they've changed the category a bit and my costume is just silly without a theme. So, unless there's a typo on the website this week and the category was unintentionally changed, it's back to the costume drawing board for me. I will DEFINITELY post pictures.

Another great part? I'm getting to run it with a two of my good friends! (And it's a first race for one of them.) Yay!

So, if you feel moved to donate to the cause, here's a link to my Run Like Hell (Cystic Fibrosis) fundraising page: click here 

Thanks so much! Check back for updates on the run!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back On A Program To Run Like Hell

Oh, I suppose I am long overdue for an update on actual running, huh? I was just sitting here thinking about how I desperately need to redesign my blog page, but feeling completely overwhelmed by the thought of committing to something. (If any of you have any interest in designing a layout for me, let's chat.)

So, what's been going on?

Well, I feel like I'm back on the horse and loving it, that's what. I rediscovered the joy of being back on a program instead of the "let's see how far I can go" plan. I decided to give Bridge to 10K (B210K) another go, and I friggin' love it. (Click here to read about my first foray into B210K.)

Here's a little refresher on B210K:

Table snapshot from Bridge to 10K site. Click on it to make it bigger.

I've completed Week 1 once, plus one abbreviated day (half of one of the days of W1). I attempted W2D1 earlier this week, but I'm not quite ready for it (I only got through 2 of the 3 rounds).

Despite realizing I couldn't complete W2, I feel great! It didn't phase me at all that I couldn't finish it; I just planned to get back to W1 next time. Ah, I've missed the joys of workout checklists! I just can't believe I went so long without using one of my handy "tell you what to do" apps. No wonder I was in a slump for so long. 

OK, so there's a slight chance the change in weather could have something to do with it. And I'm not obsessing over a book at the moment. And I have a bit of pressure to run at least two weeknights out of the week since I'm helping a coworker get on the running train. (BTW, said coworker even got her mom to join her for W2D1 of Couch to 5K yesterday. Woohoo!) 

The stars are just aligned at the moment.

Which leads me to my next update ...

I'll be running a race I've always wanted to do! One of my favorite newbie runners (I believe he started very shortly after me) has finally committed to running a 5K, and he's chosen the Cincinnati Run Like Hell! And I'm totally joining him. Yay for running at night through the ghetto and a cemetery, and yay for Halloween runs! 

Image from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation site.

I believe I'll be joining the "team" an old friend of mine created in her toddler daughter's name, just to raise awareness. (There will be a website involved with opportunities to donate how you see fit, but no pressure. More on that later.)

And I think I already have a costume idea, but I'm not committing to it until I find the supplies to make it happen. As if running in running clothes isn't difficult enough ...

So, there's that.

On an entirely different note, here's a funny-to-me story ...

I got into a little verbal kerfuffle at the gas station earlier this week because of a moron driver impolite driving behaviors. Wouldn't you know, the jerkface tailgater fella with whom I was kerfuffle-ing thought it would be a good idea to pick on my by way of a certain magnet on the back of my car.

The magnet on the back of my car. Image borrowed from here.

Big stupid dummy Silly boy shouted, "You're a little big to have a 13.1 sticker on your car, aren't you?"

Heh heh ...

I'm going to pretend the kerfuffle ended there. Let's just say I don't take insults as sheepishly as I did when I was a child. Or heck, as sheepishly as I did a few years ago.   (evil grin)

So yay for running! Get to it, folks! This is the BEST time of year to run and there's NO time like NOW to get started.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Since I'm failing epically at posting lately, I've decided to create a MoreToLoveRunning Twitter account! 

Do I know what to do with it? Not really, but I'm gonna try, darn it!

If you're viewing this entry from my site (instead of a reader), the Follow Me link/picture is over there --> 
below my bio and followers. Otherwise, go to to follow the exciting life of an overweight runner. 


Coming soon (assuming I figure out how to do it and what exactly to do with it): Facebook!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Special Post: 9/11 Tribute From The Past

This post has nothing to do with running. Apologies.

But I believe we're all united today in our remembrance of where we were 10 years ago when the U.S. experienced the terror of September 11, 2001. My Facebook friends are posting accounts of what they were doing and how they felt. I did this several years ago in a feature writing class at Xavier. To this day, it's one of my favorite pieces because it immediately takes me back to the day.
Today, I'm a much more emotional person that I was a few years ago when I wrote this. Funny how life does that. Anyway, I teared up several times this morning while watching the memorial and I'm currently glued to the "10 years later" special on CBS. Ten years ago, that wouldn't have happened, as you'll read in this story. Things are different now. Ten years of experience, joys and sorrows, loss, fear, elation and triumph. But -- while documentaries and other people's stories will help me remember the horror of the day -- thanks to this essay, I'll remember how I felt.

So, as usual, this written work is Copyright 2011 MoreToLoveRunning, so don't steal it.

Tuesday Morning Pigeons

I can honestly say that the strangest part of that day was waking up to the sound of bells wafting through the open window of my dorm room.  It was at that time of the morning—when your ears are awake before other parts of your body begins to come alive—when I knew that day was going to be exceptional.

The tragic events happening on the east coast were in no way reflected in the early morning hours on the small, rural campus of Wilmington College.  The bright blue sky and light breeze promised nothing more than a pleasant Tuesday.  However, September 11, 2001 was fated to be more than an ordinary day of the week.  Stranger than the bells that announced the beginning of that day was the difference between my response and the response of many others.

My morning of sleeping in had already been ruined by some errands I planned to run before my Marketing class that afternoon.  The alarm was set for 9 a.m. but the resounding campus carillon bells woke me before my buzzing alarm clock.  The eerie yet beautiful bells usually only played at Christmas, during graduation rituals, and as incoming freshman participated in a welcoming ceremony in August.  Any Wilmington veteran would have noticed the unbefitting September song.

As was suitable to the Quaker heritage of the school, the chiming hymn “Simple Gifts” lured me out from under the warm covers and into the chilly dorm room.    Before I could adjust to the change in temperature, my cell phone sounded for my attention.  “Hey Kiddo, did I wake you?  Have you had the TV on yet?”  My mother’s voice was almost excited, as if she had indeed already had the TV on and had heard extraordinary news.  After a stretch and a yawn, I informed her that although her call had preceded my alarm, she had in fact missed the opportunity to wake her only daughter due to the dissonant bells.

After some motherly coaxing, I shuffled to the television by way of the open window.  When I glimpsed toward the Carillon I had half expected to see a mass of students circled around the noisy bell tower for some unannounced prayer meeting.  I found no such thing.  Actually, besides the bells, the campus was as peaceful as would be expected at an hour when students were usually either in bed or in class.  With my mother still on the phone, I rubbed my heavy eyelids clean and turned on the TV.

“Something hit one of the buildings in New York and Washington too, I think,” she explained.  Still groggy, I fought to understand what she was telling me.  Her vague description produced mental pictures of an ill-fated pigeon bouncing off the window of a high rise building.  I thought such news was unworthy of a morning interruption.  “What channel?” I grumbled sleepily as I groped for the nearby remote control. However, my bitterness faded to curiosity when she replied, “Doesn’t matter—it’s everywhere.”  Now I knew it had to be more than a blindsided pigeon.

When I look back, I can’t believe my lack of surprise or awe in those first few moments.  I listened to the reports long enough to get the gist: airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  Even after my mom told me that officials expected terrorism as the cause, I felt no deep concern.  It wasn’t here.  It wasn’t me.  The bells perturbed me more.

That strange morning turned into a strange afternoon.  The bells eventually stopped and I eventually moved away from the television and said goodbye to my mother after promising to keep in touch throughout the day.  What now?  I imagine people throughout the United States were asking themselves that same question at that very moment.  After they watched minutes or even hours of riveting news coverage, others may have been frozen to their seats, wondering what would come next.  However, it wasn’t until days later, when I noticed that the news coverage had been ceaseless, that I was in doubt that the world would continue routinely.  Nevertheless, my Tuesday persisted as normal.  I needed to get ready, run my errands, go to class, eat lunch, call a friend, meet for dinner, do a little homework, watch some TV, go to bed, and do it all again tomorrow and the next day.

My disregard and lack of concern didn’t remain the same—nor did it go away.  Instead, it changed — evolved.  Morning bitterness changed to midday curiosity.  Curiosity changed to nostalgia.  Nostalgia changed to cynicism.  Finally, I ended up feeling sorry for those who were hurt and grateful it didn’t affect me.  I didn’t share the deep cuts and scars that were left on the hearts of many of those around me.

I remember having my picture taken that day by a friend who was finishing a photography project.  While I felt a little strange about having no problem smiling for the camera, I was not nearly as distressed as the other girl in the picture.  She had been deeply wounded and argued against posing because she had spent the whole morning crying.  I almost felt guilty because of my lack of hurt.  To this day when I see that black-and-white snapshot I can see the stark difference between us.  Our smiles are equally big, but while my eyes are cheery and squinted against the sun, hers are almost grimacing against the pain.  I didn’t share that with her.

I shared other things though.  I shared the urge to call everyone I know.  Worry followed if someone didn’t answer the phone.  I shared with other grown children away from home the desire to hang on the phone with my mom as long as possible.  For independent college students, those phone calls were a substitute for curling up in mommy’s lap.  I shared those moments where I found myself stopped completely.  I would simply get lost in thought and find myself pondering what had happened — puzzled — and imagining why everyone else was so torn up.  I shared the mixed emotions of relief, a little joy, and even more discomfort with my fellow students when we walked into my Marketing class to be greeted by a sorrowful-looking professor.  “Class is cancelled today—no quiz.”

I never did experience immense fear or deep sorrow for what had happened that fateful Tuesday morning.  I watched those around me fall apart similar to the besieged national landmarks while I felt like the only person in the nation who did not share those feelings.  As far as pigeons go, I was not the pigeon that hit the towering window.  Nor was I in the flock that dodged the window, turned to watch the collision, and landed painfully because of the distraction.  Instead, I was the pigeon that watched from a distant ringing bell tower that Tuesday morning.  I was sorry because so many were hurt by the incident, but I opened my unscathed wings, continued to fly, and was reminded by the chiming melody that this was my simple gift.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leave Your Tips On The Table, Please!

I'm hoping you all can help me out. Well, help me help someone else out, actually. And really, it'll help LOTS of people. Soooo ... help.

I know I've been slacking drastically when it comes to blogging, but I've actually been running! Up until this past weekend, I was only getting two runs in per week, but I'm back on the program, y'all, and training for a race (more on that at a later date), so I'm all good. 

I've been slacking because I got big-time hooked on the book I was reading and couldn't bring myself to put it down when I should be updating you all on my progress. (For you historical fiction fans out there, or just fans of a really good story, you must read Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. SO GOOD!)

Anyway, back on track ...

Tonight I helped a friend get started on the tried-and-true Couch to 5K (C25K) program. Mr. C25K -- my buddy, my pal, the reason I succeeded in becoming a runner. And I know the reason some of you have become sucked into this torture device we call running.

So, calling all runners! 

New runners, old runners, seasoned runners, expert runners, runners who still don't know what they're doing but know they're getting better at it. And also those of you who have started, stopped, started again or decided to move on to something else. 

I want to hear from everyone. This won't take too long, unless you want it to.

You've been reading this blog for a while now. Okay, so maybe just this one time. Or maybe since I started it last spring. You know I've been up and down and WAY down and everywhere in between. I've learned as I went, read advice, asked for your advice, and shared advice.

Well, now it's your friggin' turn! I want your tips.

Let's help new runners, like the friend I ran with tonight, together! No matter what you think of yourself and your level of expertise when it comes to running, you've got something to offer -- more than you think. So dish it up! Let's hear it!

What one thing, three things, ten things can you offer as advice, wisdom or even just a random musing?

Whether it's something you discovered on your own, read about in a book, magazine or website, saw on this blog, or whatever -- I want to know what helped you. Was it a goal? A mantra? How did you keep yourself going?

What about finding your stride? How did you figure out how fast to run or how slow to run? How big or small your steps should be? How did you conquer breathing issues, if you had them? Leg cramps? Overheating?

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome and how did you do it?

Why did you keep going? What made you want to throw in the towel -- all eight times it happened?

Do you find it helps to read books or magazines about running? Which ones?

I think you've probably heard my number one tip, and I think it's got multiple parts: 
Take it easy on yourself. Don't kill yourself because you think that's what you're supposed to do. Listen to your body and let it dictate how to proceed.

So, for the benefit of this beginner friend, and for the benefit of any other beginners or soon-to-be beginners out there, hit me with your best shot. Leave me one tip, or a list, or an essay. Whatever you like. First thing that comes to your mind.

I know you're all busy, so really, just leave one thing you can think of if you like.

And don't worry if someone else already wrote it. Write it again.

So, whaddaya say? Leave your tips on the table ...