Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A List Post: Things And Stuff

Blogging is difficult when it's nice out. It's clearly meant for evenings in the summer when it's overwhelmingly hot, the mosquitos are ravenous and the a/c is blasting.

So you're getting a half-a'd post, but with pictures!

Revelation: thinking about your arms getting smaller will not, in fact, make them smaller. You actually have to, you know, do stuff.

Chiropractors can be good guys. Mine are (there are now two sharing the pleasure of strategically cracking my back) are working wonders on me. My back is straight, which means my hips are straight, which means my legs are even, which means I'm not abusing my legs and my shins are happy. If you need a recommendation for one, I've got one.

I love spring. In case you didn't know.

I got a new job! Well, an old job back, but with new and multiplied appreciation.

We missed my Runniversary! As of March 1, I've been running for 2 years! 2 years?! How'd that happen? Happy Runniversary to me!

We also missed hitting 10,000 page views on that ticker over there on the right (look over and up a bit). Whee 10,000!

I did interval training to other for my running workout. Not Ye Olde 5:90 intervals of jogging and walking. Nope.

Here's the app-generated Facebook status update I posted tonight:
Just finished an interval training workout.
Walked for a few minutes.
10:00 jog/warmup
0:30: High
1:30: Low
Repeat 8 times
5:00 jog/cool down
Walked for a few minutes.
Total time: 46:00 + a few minutes

Ps, if you haven't added me on faceboook, please do! More to Love Running on Facebook.

Picture time!! From tonight's workout.

The pond at the TQL running path. Makes for a nice view every lap.

The interstate screaming by right next to the lake. Talk about having an audience while you're running.

Bonafide sweat drops in front of my bench after my workout. As in dripping from my face...rapidly. it's fun to be warm after running instead of freezing.

See? Sweaty face! Threatening nose-sweat drop, sweat 'stache and sweat eyebrows.


Obligatory shoe-and-fountain shot.

Sunset over Lake TQL

Good workout. Challenging and easy all at once. Definitely a repeat. Oh, and it cracks me up that a 10-minute jog is now my warmup. That shh cray.

And with that, this post is complete. So much for half-a'd. I'm such an overachiever.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Happy Daylight Saving Time, everyone!

I commemorates this momentous occasion with a fabulous 3-mile jaunt at Lunken this morning with Caitlin. It was her first time running there--and her first time running in 2 weeks--and she kicked my butt. Well, at least for miles 3 and 3. :)

I started at quite a speedy clip, but dragged at the end. I could feel the longer stride helping during that first mile.

I could also feel the 90-second walk breaks letting my leg muscles get cold. I'm starting to really believe that running straight through us less painful for the legs. Any thoughts in that? Seasoned and new runners alike...bring on the feedback.

Anyway, here are today's iMapMyRun screenshots:

There's a chance I'll get out for a walk later today. I just can't let this weather and extended daylight go to waste! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

It's official. The day Daylight Saving Time begins is now my favorite day of the year.

Found this lovely little poster on Wikipedia Commons this morning and, I have to say, I agree. Though I'm not sure what hoe I'm supposed to be getting ready. But the dancing clock is cuuuuute!

So, while I've found that several people disagree with me on this, I still believe Daylight Saving Time is the greatest thing ever. I can't wait until I can come home from work and not feel the pressure of beating the sunset. Running is easier during DST. The couch becomes less appealing and the park has more draw than ever before. 

I keep talking about how I'm ready to kick my running back into high gear, but I haven't done it yet. I think I've been unintentionally waiting for DST. And, you know, things have been busy during the week for me lately. 

But now...I'm READY! Bring it on!

Happy Spring Forward Day, everyone! And stop fretting about your "lost" hour of sleep. You only lose it for one day and your body will adjust in no time. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Speedy Revelation

Good run this evening!

I still don't fully trust the distance tracking on the iMapMyRun app, but I'll go with it just for fun. Why? Because it told me my first mile was completed in 12 minutes flat, that's why. Don't think I've done that before, accurately or not.

I did have a bit of a revelation, though. Sometimes--SOMETIMES--running faster makes for fewer leg cramps.

I started wondering about that while pounding away on the treadmill at the gym this winter. I noticed that my stride got longer as I got more comfortable on the machine. I also practiced the ever-so-slight forward lean I read about in Runner's World recently. (I think this is the article. Let me know if the link doesn't work; got it while I was on the iPhone.) The forward momentum seemed to help too.

Anyway...stride length. Something to think about.

Here are my stats and running path from this evening:

The weather was perfect tonight, which is wild considering I scraped snow from my car yesterday morning and frost from my windshield today. I love Cincinnati this winter. Love it.

I almost didn't finish before dark tonight, though. Good thing that's about to change! Why?


My favorite day of the year!

Okay, I'm done doing my back stretches...on my back on the floor. Typing on a phone while facing the ceiling is a little tough.

Nighty-night, y'all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quickie: Two Miles, Wish List, Time On My Back

I've been spending some extra time on my back lately. Yep. My chiropractor told me to. 

Looks like this. Only with a couch. And an iPhone for entertainment. And two cats circling your head for attention.

It helps my lower back issues, surprisingly, a lot. Just, you know, lying on the floor. It's shocking how difficult it is to remember to get low, get low, get low and get on the floor to stretch, though. And then to stay there, being still, for 10-15 minutes. But it works. I'm going to get low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low here shortly.

Oh, and it's the perfect opportunity to pick up my hand weights and do a little work on my arms. Whee multitasking!


I have a new wish list item. Shoes and extra "girly supports" are always on the list, but I've decided I want a Garmin GPS watch

Garmin Forerunner 405CX. Image from Amazon.

After reading some of my friend Anne's latest blog posts about her half-marathon training and running the Disney Princess Half Marathon this past weekend (GOOD JOB, GIRL!), I've decided I want to be cool like her and get one. The GPS in these is much more accurate than the cell tower GPS of an iPhone or other smart phone.


I totz just ran 2 miles tonight without stopping and kept my pace under 13 minutes/mile. Woohoo! Haven't done that in a long time! It felt really good. My legs didn't cramp up. My breathing was A-OK (probably because it was about 65 degrees and breezy...on February 29 in Cincinnati...no complaints). My back and hips felt fabulous (probably because of my fabulous adjustment just before the run...praise be to the chiropractor).

Good run. Fun run. Again, should have kept going. Here are the basic stats from MapMyRun.com:


Hey, go become a fan of my Facebook page, y'all! If you don't have a Facebook account (weirdos), you can still pop on and look at it at your leisure. 

Do it! All the cool kids are!

Oh, and in case you didn't know (because I didn't until recently), if you are a "fan" of a page like my More To Love Running page on Facebook, the owner of that page (me, in this case) can't see anything on your profile other than what is already public. 

For example, if you have Fort Knox-style security set up on your personal account (like yours truly), then if you go and "Like," oh, I don't know, New Kids on the Block, Danny, Donny, Joe-Jon-Jordan can't see your pictures from that NSYNC concert you went to.

So what I'm saying is, don't be scared of reverse stalking from More To Love Running's Facebook page.  =)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Back Outside And Data-Schmata

I ran outside tonight. I was so excited to get back outside to stretch the legs and feel the fresh air. Too bad it didn't feel as good as I wanted it to.


Heavy legs, heavy stomach (Chinese food for lunch), shin attack. Hmm...not fun. It was one of those runs where I was asking myself the whole time, "Why do I do this again? I think I'll give up this running business now."

Turns out I didn't actually do too terribly bad, at least according to my iMapMyRun app. Not good, but not as bad as it felt. I ran the whole first mile, aside from a brief stop to tie my shoe. Second mile, some walk breaks.

Anyway, as mediocre as it felt and as "meh" as the results were, I just had a little fun playing with the stats on MapMyRun.com. (The iPhone app stores your run info on their site. You should definitely sign up. It's FREE!)

Mark it in your record books, I'm about to say something earth-shattering.

I've lately been enjoying--wait for it--data. Analyzing data.

What what?

Analyzing data. Me. A writer. Creative-type person. Numbers frighten me.

Somehow, though, when numbers are about me, I can dig it. For example, playing with the analytics tools on Blogger to see how many visitors I get and where my visits come from...fun. Looking at the data about my workouts. FUN! Especially since the data on MapMyRun.com includes maps and graphs that move and stuff. Ooh, shiny! 

Data. I'm slightly ashamed of myself. I know a few of my friends who will be ashamed of me to. 

Bah, anyway, here are some screenshots from my latest run on MapMyRun.com. Exciting stuff!

Oh! And before I forget, I went ahead and set up a fancy-pants Facebook account dedicated to More To Love Running! So, you should definitely go to the page and click "Like." It's a work in progress, but it'll likely be updated more frequently than the blog. And you know, pictures and stuff. Wheee! www.facebook.com/moretoloverunning

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I have a little extra time this morning so I thought I'd post an update.

I quit twice last night. I'm a quitter. But I consider one of those quittings to be a positive.

First, I quit the gym. I've had this planned since I started back in October. The gym was away for me to bridge the time between fall and spring. To get through the dark and cold months. Turns out the dark and cold months weren't so dark and cold this year. I can honestly say this is the best February I've ever had. I know it's technically still February and I risk jinxing myself by saying it, but it's true.

I didn't make a whole lot of progress at the gym. I think I half expected to see some improvement. And I did, a little bit. I saw my weight fluctuate slightly, enough to notice that it went down on the weeks that I worked the hardest and went up when I slacked. What a novel idea.

Though I don't think I am proved my endurance while I worked out at the gym, I did see the drastic difference in my endurance from the last time I belonged to a gym until now. I was also reunited with Step Aerobics. So much fun!

But now it's time to move on. March and Daylight Saving Time are right around the corner and I am so excited to get back outside and run. I miss it so much. Thanks to such a mild winter, I've been able to get out inexperienced those runs of little bit here and there, but I can't wait to get back into some kind of outside running schedule.

Speaking of Step Aerobics, I quit that last night too.

That was not a positive quitting experience.

I just lost my breath somewhere around the 30-minute mark, and despite a few breathers, I couldn't get my lungs to start functioning properly again. I would take a break ,try again, lose my breath, take a break, try again... my lungs seemed unwilling to pull in air.

I'm okay with it though. I had a good 30 minutes. Oh and my friend Amy did an amazing job on her second attempt at Step Aerobics. She looked like a pro.

In with that, I am out of time. Probably a little late actually. Oops!

Later gators!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More Oatmeal And Step Aerobics

The main purpose of this evening's update is to share with you today's post from The Oatmeal. It's wonderful. You need to read it.

But I'll get to that later.

First, a workout update.

After my hip-hop incident on Thursday, I took it easy for a few days. Not that my workout schedule would have been any different, but I'll pretend I waited until Sunday because I was looking out for my body. Yes, that's it.

So, Sunday ... I ran outside! Yay! Not only did I run outside, but I ran at Woodland Mound, one of my favorite places to be, period, and one of the more challenging places to run as far as hills go. I purchased my fabulous 2012 Hamilton County Parks pass, so I'm set to go for the rest of the year.

Not sure how my still-achy hips would behave, I told myself that I wanted to do 6 sets of my 5-minute/90-second run/walk intervals, but that I'd forgive myself if I wimped out and only did 5. Well, I did 6. It felt good. Once my hips warmed up, they didn't fuss too much. And it was so nice to be back at the park, back outside, back in the sunshine ... at the beginning of February. (Best February on record by my calculations.)

I felt good, but still got really tired at the end. Without venturing too far into Being-too-hard-on-myself Land, I'd like to get 7 or 8 sets of those intervals under my belt a few times before The Pig relay in May. I suppose I still have a while to get there, right?

Patience. It's February. (lather, rinse, repeat)

The hilly run kicked my butt. As in my butt is sore. Along with my calves. No shin splints though! Yay!

Speaking of butt-kicking. I took Step Aerobics tonight at the gym, introducing my kindergarten-era friend, Amy, to my beloved group fitness class. It was challenging. I haven't been in a while--not since I introduced my bestie, Jeff, to it back in December. (Mr. Professional Dancer caught on in about a minute and put the rest of us veterans to shame.) 

But class was fun, and I kept my risers under the Step the whole time and didn't even consider taking them out. Had to take some rest breaks though. Amy also did very well. The first time was so incredibly intimidating when I started back in early spring of 2009. Heck, it stayed intimidating for a few months, I'd say. If you have the chance to try Step Aerobics, please do. And be prepared to stumble and bumble and feel like an ass. But do it anyway, and do it more than once. You won't regret it.

So, have I ever introduced you all to Step Aerobics? Lemme search my past posts...oh, not so much. Found one promise to talk about it later, though.

Well, welcome to later. Consider yourself introduced. Audience, Step. Step, audience.

And again, speaking of kicking butt, I'd like you to watch this video (or at least the first few minutes). Please please PUH-LEASE watch it!

"Make da ankle touch da butt!"

Ah, praise be to the aerobics revolution. 
And to very high-hipped bathing suit thingies. 
And to Spandex. On dudes. (Shivers)

So, do you feel educated about Step Aerobics? No? Well we'll talk about it more later. Or you can come take a class with me. It'd be freeeeee! 

Moving on. It's Oatmeal time! 

I hope Mr. The Oatmeal realizes how much I love him and doesn't punish me for snipping his header and giving him lots of credit. Borrowed from http://theoatmeal.com/  SOURCE
Wonderful post today, called At the Gym. Please go check it out. (Some language, but you're a grown up--read it.)

Courtesy of The Oatmeal
I do wish he did a frame about watching a fat girl run on a treadmill. Something like, "Go ahead, make fun of me. But I'm running, and I've been running for the last 10 minutes while your skinny a** sputters away on the recumbent stationary bike* with arm rests! Bam!"

*I am not dis-ing the recumbent bike. It's lovely. I used one tonight, actually. And those arm rests really are the bee's knees.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hip Hop: Runner's Delight

I said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.

In case you're not familiar with that prolific piece of prose, I'll let the Sugarhill Gang explain it to you:

And in case you still don't get it, here's the old lady from The Wedding Singer:

So what's the moral of this post?

My hip hurts. And I hip-hopped on the treadmill this evening during my third set of 5-minute/90-second run/walk intervals.

This is the second time this has happen in the middle of a run in the last, oh, 3 months? The other time was with Caitlin on the Little Miami Scenic Trail.

And it hurts. It makes me limp for a few days. If anyone has any insight on hippy-to-the-hippy-to-the-hip-hip-hop pain, let me know.

Okay now that I think of it, it might be above my hip joint but still within the hip-bone area that I allegedly have (I have never seen my hip bone; I'll believe it's there when I see it).

Oh, and I did some random arm-lifting-strengthening-slimming-whatevers when I got home from the gym. And some Just Dance yesterday. 

Sooooo...that's all. Enjoy "Rapper's Delight"!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strong-Arm It

I have determined something and I wanted to share it with you all. Oh, and brace yourself for some bicep pictures.

I've decided to try to accomplish something within a certain period of time. Some people might call that a "goal," but we all know how I feel about goals. Most people would also figure out a way to measure that "goal" to determine success. But since I'm not setting a goal, I will not measure anything, at least not in the technical sense.

See, for normal people, goals should be SMART. That's S-M-A-R-T:

Kindly borrowed from smart-goal-setting-tips.com.

 This thing I've determined won't be entirely specific. I'm not going to measure it, per se. It's attainable, for sure, or I wouldn't even try (because I'm just that driven). It's realistic (see last point). And it's going to happen before a specific date--May 12, 2012, to be exact.
If I did set goals, this one would probably sound something like this:

Decrease the circumference of my biceps by x inches by May 12, 2012.

But NO! No goals! No measuring! Otherwise it will not happen. I balk at goals--we know this.
So, what I've determined is this:
There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be able to make these lifeboat-sized arms of mine smaller before I have to don my beautiful navy blue bridesmaid dress for my friend Sarah's wedding this May. No reason at all. 

Let's look at some pictures of my bulging (for all the wrong reasons) biceps before moving on, shall we? (Ooh, something shiny...)

Flappy! This was taken after the first 5 days of my first boot camp.

Those wings could "lift us up where we belong."
Dude, that girl is pissed. Probably because her arms are so huge. Those ripples are not muscles, folks. And the answer to your question is, "Passionately singing along to 'Hold On' by Wilson Phillips at my friend Anne's wedding."

Same pic from another angle! Sarah, the bride in the upcoming wedding, observes my arms in horror from behind. "Those things are going to hurt someone!"

My arm has it's own boob.

One of these things is not like the other. Guess which arm is mine. And the answer to your question is, "Yes, I was wearing a zebra-print tank at a New Kids on the Block Concert."

And that, folks, is why I've determined what I've determined.

So, why should this work? Why should this non-goal be a non-failure? Because it's easy, that's why.

I have, in my possession, two sets of hand weights, a gym membership until the end of March (with rowing machine!), a newly purchased set of wrist weights and an also newly purchased set of resistance bands. Most arm-strengthening workouts do not require sweating, so the excuse of "I don't feel like getting sweaty today/tonight" is out the window. So is the "I don't have time" excuse. I don't need a full-blown workout to work my arms a little. Hell, I'd be content to do 3 sets of 10-15 for maybe 2 arm exercises a day. I also plan to play my Just Dance Wii game with my new wrist weights attached.

And another reason this is going to work: because I have low expectations. I don't expect Jillian Michaels arms. I just want mine to be smaller. To look better (as determined by me) in my sleeve-free dress.

My dress. Dessy.com

Three cheers for terrible Photoshopping (not by me, thank you)!

So, that's what I've got for you. A non-commitment to a non-goal. I will also give you promise to get pictures of my arms in the dress come May. Just pester me in case I forget.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Theory Confirmed

Second night in a row with the rowing machine = AMAZING!

I did 10 minutes and after watching the how-to video last night, it was much easier to get lost in the rhythm of each stroke.

I jumped on the treadmill right after and felt like I could've run for an hour. Too bad treadmills are boring. I only lasted for another 20 minutes.

But NO leg cramps and my back and knees felt wonderful.

I'm in love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cure For Shin Splints


I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Nay, nay...

I found the double pot of gold at the end of a double rainbow.

Even better than that, I have found the cure for shin splints! I still need to do some more tests to give my discovery a bit more weight, but I believe it. 

I hit the gym after work tonight and started my latest running workout regimen. (5 minute warm up, run 5 minutes, walk 90 seconds, repeat 5 or 6 times, cool down.) My shins were doing the usual cramping, but nothing huge. I got through 2 intervals and had to take a little break for...something.

When I came back, I decided to give the rowing machine a go. It's always intimidated me and it's right in the middle of everything and I don't like being watched while I'm doing something unfamiliar. (I've gotten over my aversion to being watched while running on the treadmill. I would prefer that someone not watch my fat flop all around, but I figure the "Wow, that fat girl is running...impressive" factor wins out over the "Look at all the jiggling!" factor.)

So, here's a rowing machine:

LifeSpan Fitness Rowing Machine. Image from Amazon.com.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the proper form is to start from all squished up (legs bent, arms forward), drive with your legs then pull back with your arms. Then you pull yourself back up into a ball and start over. 

Actually, here's a video showing proper movement:

So, when you pull yourself back up into the ball at the end, you use the straps around your feet to pull, thus using the shin muscles, along with others I'm sure. IT' TOTALLY STRETCHED MY SHINS OUT!! (Something I've found very difficult to do.)

After my little rowing experiment, I hopped back on the treadmill and felt like I had new legs. "New legs, Lieutenant Dan! New legs!"

From icanhascheezburger.com, of course.

No shin splits whatsoever. Too bad I had worn myself out on the rowing machine and doing a few arm thingies. And too bad I just wanted to go home. I could have run for ages after the miracle machine took away the shin splints! 

I'm a miracle worker. 
Oh, what did you do tonight?
Hmm...not much. Just did a little running and, you know, found the cure for shin splints!!!! OMGGGGGGS!!!

And that's all I've got. I'm freezing. Time to drink some tea and eat some cookies.  =)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Is This Thing On?

Hello world!

Yes, I am here.
Yes, I've missed you.
No, I haven't abandoned you.
No, I haven't fallen off the running train.
No, I haven't quit running.
No, I haven't quit working out.
No, I haven't given up on this blog.
Though I thought about it. Giving up on the blog, that is. 

Not because of you, though. In fact, you're the primary reason I'm going to try to get back into the swing of blogging. Some of you have told me that this blog helped you in some way, shape or form, and the idea that someone might miss out on something because I've become too lazy and maybe jaded is unacceptable to me.

At one time I needed this blog for me. I needed it to keep myself going, to hold myself accountable and to see that there's a big community of runners out there--however nontraditional those runners might be--who want to share what they know and who want others to feel the joy and feelings of accomplishment that come with running.

I need this blog less now. Running has become part of who I am. When I stop running for a period of time, I know something is off. When my knees hurt too much to pound the pavement or the treadmill belt, I have no doubt that I will be back on the pavement or treadmill belt as soon as my body lets me.

I do miss talking about running, though. At my previous workplace I had developed a small group of running mentors and buddies who I could turn to with questions or just thoughts. Those folks helped me be the runner I am today. For the most part, they're still in my life and I can still go to them when I need to, but they're just a little less accessible.

I miss talking about running so much that I find myself talking to perfect strangers about it. I was at the Apple store yesterday and had quite a conversation with the Genius (is that what they call the associates?) who helped me. She was just getting started with running and seemed eager to hear the tips I had to offer about arm bands and running apps and even about how to start slow, take it easy on yourself and do run/walk intervals. (BTW, if you're reading this, hello! Thanks for your help, and good luck!)

So, this has already turned into a longer post than I expected. Old habits, eh?

What I came here to say is that I didn't go anywhere. I also want to start writing here again, but I'm not going to make any promises about how often. That's a really grand idea, but I tend to balk away from goals and anything that feels like an obligation. Because I'm a responsible adult.

I will tell you, however, that me and three of my gal pals are on the cusp of signing up for the 4-person Flying Pig relay. I'm tickled pig-pink to get to be a part of this event again without having to do the half-marathon.

I also want to say thank you to an old friend, Amy (P)H., who recently signed up to run the Flying Pig half marathon, committed to some weight loss and fitness goals, and set up a blog to hold herself accountable. I thank you because you made me realize I need to get my butt back on here. Girlfriend has 2 young children and she's about to rock the running world. Watch out!  =)

So with that, see you soon!