Sweat Hope 5k

I have a very very special place in my heart for the 5k.  I think a lot of times, that runners, especially those of us who have a few marathons under our belts, tend to look down on the 5k.

Why would you put a 5k sticker on your car?  What’s hard about a 5k?  You’re proud of 3 miles?

But that’s not fair is it?  Because we all started somewhere, even if we’re running ultras right now.  And a 5k is exactly where I started.  The 5k was my gateway, when I knew that I could do some amazing things.  And I love to sign up for a 5k now and then to assess exactly where I am, and to reminisce about a time when I couldn’t even imagine running 3.1.  5 kilometers is an amazing distance.  And guess what?  Just because you’ve run a few marathons doesn’t mean that there isn’t a day that picking up your legs to run 3.1 doesn’t hurt like hell.  Cause it happened to me last week.

That said, I have something cool for you guys.

HoHThis is Jessica Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope, a really cool organization that has caught FIRE she she started it while she was a college student a few years ago.  For every headband/hat/buff purchased from her site, Jess donates one to a little girl being treated with cancer, and $1 is donated to cancer research.  It’s so cool, and I feel so lucky that I’ve known Jess with time to see her extraordinary business grow and grow and grow.

Seriously – here she is repping the company on the Today Show.

Here’s where you, and my love of 5ks comes in.

The Sweat Hope 5k is popping off on September 27th in Raleigh, NC, and I will be running it.  On September 27th, you’ve got a chance to run this race, meet the founder of a great org, and save on your registration!

For $5 off registration to the Sweat Hope 5k, use code overactiveblogger here, and come out to run, enjoy some amazing food from local vendors, and ring in the inaugural Sweat Hope 5k!

Running at Night.

So first things first (I’m the realest). I’m sorry, I had to.  Couldn’t help myself.  But I hope you all had a really great Labor Day.  I woke up at some point really early in the morning to my husband yelping that one of that cats was ricocheting his feline body off of our end tables.  It sounded sort of like a demon had been released in our room.  So we remedied that by putting the offender in question in the guest bedroom, where he proceeded to rocket around the room like a big cat, but we managed to get some sleep, at least for a little while, which I’m not sure we’ve enjoyed since we got married last week.

I was able to convince Austin to take me to the WaHo (the Waffle House, for those of you not well-versed in all things breakfast).  And for those of you who’ve known me ever, you know I love southern breakfast food, so it’s really nice to treat myself to that once in a while.  So I was able to convince the hubs to take me there with the promise that we would hit up the run club to run a few hours later.

Now if there’s something disgusting on the menu somewhere, there’s a good chance that my husband will order it.  With that in mind, look at this monstrosity that my husband ordered.

BreakfastI believe that is an ENTIRE plate dedicated to hash browns adorned with jalepeños, ham, cheese, tomatoes, hot sauce, and I believe onions.  And he ate ALL of them.  (He ran twice yesterday to make up for it.)

We topped off breakfast by going into my job for a little while for me to catch up on some emails and for me to move the cycling bikes back into the studio for the week after we got the floors refinished, and ended the day with a long, hot run through downtown Raleigh.

Running at Night

I was at the coffee shop writing, right by the windows, when I saw her.

She was tiny, gorgeous, and fast, and she was running.  Nothing wrong with that quite obviously – I run like I brush my teeth, I sort of feel like it’s necessary for me to function like a normal human being, but I was struck by the fact that this tiny girl was running at night.

My first instinct was to think, “She shouldn’t be doing that!? Is she dumb or something?!”

And then I had to pull it back.  I should be able to run out night – she should be able to run at night without me thinking about how stupid of a girl she must be.  And unfortunately, a few stupid, horrible, sick guys have made it so that we can’t even do what we do at night without fearing for our safety.

So me?  I don’t really run at night.  Sometimes, during the winter especially, it’s unavoidable, but running at night, while exhilarating, makes me nervous, and takes away from my run.

Ladies, what do you think?  Do you run at night?

Botched + Second Breakfast

First all, let me tell you about this app I discovered.

I registered me and the hubster for Fitbits for our wedding.  While we’re kinda like waitinnnng for one of our awesome friends to bestow upon us gifts so we don’t get “marriage fat” like a lot of folks say that you do when you get married, I’ve downloaded this app, called ‘Moves’ that I heard about in Shape Magazine last month.

It’s on your iPhone, and it tracks your movement throughout the day.  My goal is 10K steps, and I may up that to 20K once I get my Fitbit and can track when I’m not carrying my phone on me.  What is great about things like these is the fact that you never realize how sedentary you are until you have the numbers to back it up.  As a really active person, it’s pretty nuts that I sometimes have to hop up from my desk and do a lap to get my steps in.

Moves AppWhat I think is really cool, is the point in the day where I have run more steps than I’ve walked.  It always makes me think that my main mode of transport is my two legs, and that is really the coolest feeling – that I am really self-sufficient in a sense.

**

So part of the  other thing I’ve had to adopt doing is this concept of “second breakfast”. I used to have to do the second breakfast thing when I was working in the bakery at Whole Foods for a little while, post grad-school.  If you didn’t know, if you work in a bakery, you have to wake up at ungodly hours in order to have breads, coffees, and sweet things out.  So I used to eat something light and quick before work, and then during my break around 10 am or so, I would eat second breakfast, which was a more substantial meal.  Since I sometimes drop by my job super early or try to take an instructor’s class, I’m starting that second breakfast thing.  Usually my breakfasts are super healthy and involved a fruit and/or a smoothie.  But sometimes I go to Whole Foods and get one of these…

SconeWell, two things.  I ate one a few days later.  But yum to that breakfast!  I wish I could live off of breakfast foods and sweet things.  But alas, scones aren’t very good marathon fuel, so I have to eat other things sometimes.  Bummmmer!

***

I think you guys have me pretty well figured out by now.  I love love love reality television, and I will watch anything once.  Except the NFL.  So over 4th of July weekend, I started watching this show called ‘Botched’ which has changed my life for good.

The premise of ‘Botched’?

The premise involves two famous plastic surgeons, who we know as husbands of Real Housewives, Terry DuBrow and Paul Nassif, high skilled surgeons, who are consulted to do revisional surgeries, or basically, to fix surgeries once horrid surgeons have screwed it up.  It is so so frightening to know that there are doctors who run around screwing up people’s bodies, but they’re out there, hacking folks’ bodies left and right.

Now I’m pretty cool with my body, and I take good care of it, but once in a while, I think about getting my breasts reduced and lifted, or getting my nose fixed to look like my sister’s who I swear got the good nose.  But after watching hours of ‘Botched,’ I say HECK NO.  What a scary show!

What is your favorite breakfast food cuties?!

 

 

Wilmington, NC

I can’t tell you how incredibly just…happy I feel right now.

It kinda feels like all the pieces kinda are starting to fit together for the first time in a long time, and I feel happy, content, and incredibly grateful.

Let me backtrack, and this will explain, at least a little bit, what I’ve been up to for the past few days.

I told you guys a few days back that I’d gotten a new job, right?  Of course, the timing is pretty funny, what with our wedding being in a few weeks, but that’s life, right?  So on Thursday, I officially started my new job, and I totally hit the ground running helping out with a community wellness event.  I ended up spending the entire day teaching modified fitness classes to kids a variety of different ages, and of course, ended up sorer (is that a word?) than hell for the next few days.  When I came into work on Friday, I arrived to the sweetest sign, the sweetest basket full of goodies, and a day/schedule PACKED to the gills, but all with good stuff.  I know it might be early to call it, but I’m really thinking in my heart that this job is a really good fit.  I just want to do a great job and excel, and see where the health and wellness industry can take me.

photo 2

Body Pump Training Part One/My friends are the greatest

As if life weren’t crazy busy enough, I scheduled another wrinkle in time for this weekend, my Les Mills Body Pump training at UNCW.

First and foremost, my friends are incredible.  Realizing that the training was this weekend and that I had no place to stay, I group texted some friends, one of whom is a bridesmaid, asking frantically if we knew anyone in Wilmington.  Long story longer, bridesmaid did, and hooked me up a friend who opened his home up to me.  Added bonus?   There were no cats or poodles named Coco there to wake me up at regular intervals, and I had the best Friday night of sleep that I’ve almost ever had.

So I’m gonna totally recap the Body Pump training after all is said and done, but it’s a two-day training, and day one completely kicked my butt, but in the best way possible.  Today, we took the equivalent of like twoish 60 minute Body Pump classes, and we all presented a track that was assigned to us like two weeks ago.  I surprisingly don’t feel as bad as I thought I would – I think once your body shifts into that level of pain, it sort of resigns itself, and that’s what I’m feeling is happening here.  I’m also pretty sure I blacked out during my presentation because it was filmed, and I was like, who’s that tall chick clean and jerking?! Yeah, that was me so…

But my first day impressions are really cool.  The training is really really pushing me, the trainees are really already an active and well-prepped group, our trainer really knows what it is that she’s talking about , and I’m extremely impressed at the fact that rather than banging through exercises gratuitously, there is a ton of focus on form and technique, something I haven’t really experienced before in the many trainings I’ve attended.  And since I’m a total workout nerd, this has made me incredibly content as Saturday almost draws to a close.

This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!
This was pre-training, and pre-shoulder shredding workout!

So tonight, I’ll be reviewing more tracks, reading a book, missing my husband-to-be, and wondering what it is I’d do without these fantastic people in my life.

What are you up to for the rest of the weekend?

How long did it take you to fall in love with running?

I’m becoming a big fan of the Hungry Runner Girl, Janae, because she’s so freaking positive.  It’s funny, I’ve seen a few things written about her online, and the overwhelming “complaint” about her, if you even want to call it that is that she’s too positive or that she gets too excited about the littlest things.  I can relate to her – I actually had an associate at Barnes and Noble physically back away from me when I expressed my excitement that they had the Gavin DeGraw album in stock.  Okay lady, let me be happy, kay?

Anyhoo, so HRG posts yesterday and posed this question:

How long did it take you to fall in love with running?

The truth is, I don’t really know.

Sport Photo mailed me this blast from the past from my first race in 2011.  I’m not sure what possessed me to sign myself and my boyfriend (now almost-husband) for the race, except it sounded really really cool, and I think I saw in ad in one of the women’s fitnessy workout mags that I’d been reading like a Bible.

Mud Run

Austin so sweetly agreed to to the race with me, an obstacle 5k in Virginia, and we drove up there after a shift at the Whole Foods Bakery.   Yes, I know.  I’m a fitness director, and I worked at a bakery my first gig out of graduate school.  But I like my sweets, and I love Whole Foods so it worked.

I ran that race.  Finished in decent time.  Felt great afterwards, and within about a year’s time, I was running my first half-marathon.

There was never a moment where I was like “aughhh this is awesome,” but I guess I always just liked the way it made me feel.  I also loved the way you could kind of click into cruise control for a long run and just…run.  Like after a while it didn’t feel like death on a stick, but it just felt like a state of being, as natural as anything else did.  Sure, there were still some runs that made me feel like vomiting on on the side of the road, but the vast majority of the runs just felt…good!

So all that to say is, I just don’t know when I started to love running.  I’m not particularly fast or fancy, but it feels natural to me, and it feels like the kind of workout you can seriously do anywhere, and burn the most calories/stress off without killing yourself.

So my question on this wonderful Friday is….

When did you fall in love with running?

 

 

I couldn’t take it.

It’s super rare that I ditch a workout, but after a particularly hot trail run on Sunday night where I left completely drenched, a little nauseated, and with my achilles doing it’s own thing, I made the executive decision to meet a coworker at the pool, and pool run, instead of sacrificing my entire soul on a 95-degree trail run.

photo 1This was the trail run in question.  If you kinda look at my face, you can see my eyeliner is all runny.  I literally felt so sick after this run, and it was approximately 90ish degrees at the time of the run.

photo 2I took one feel at the humidity outside, grabbed my Kindle and bikini, and ran in the pool til I was over it.

And it was amazing.

I don’t think I’ve had the time (since the serious wedding planning started) to read a book, so it was nice to press the pause button while I tried to finish “Orange is the New Black”.

The deal is though, since I’m almost done with that book, and since I got a big fat $6 settlement in some Kindle class action lawsuit, I’m gonna need another book to read, and once we get married I’m gonna read the HELL out of some books.

Give me some books to read please!

Anyone else do this?

I woke up yesterday morning, and the left side, in the bottom of my back felt…crunchy.

I know that’s a really weird way to describe it, but it felt like I crunched something between lifting and between teaching a class the day before.  I played with the idea of still going out with some of the girls  from  Lululemon for our Wednesday workout, but by the time I went home and took two Advils, it was pretty clear that it was just not going to happen.  I was exhausted, and the slightest bit of tension on my lower back was killing.

And then the irrationally anxious part of me started to rear its rude, ugly head.

//What if I’m really injured?

//What if I never run again?

//What if I magically, in the time where I don’t work out today, start drinking Cokes, eating Twinkies, and generally stop caring about my health.

And then the rational (ish) side of me kicks in.  You pulled a muscle in your back lifting.  It happens.  Take a day off.  And reassess in the morning.

Am I the only one who gets weird like this? 

How I got into running. (National Running Day)

So, yesterday was National Running Day, which I celebrated by sneaking in a quick run after work, and then heading over to Fleet Feet to supplement the staff for one of our events, Ladies Night.

10338232_10100333307830413_5297024876603291970_nLiterally, this is one of the fastest runs that I’ve ever done in my life – I actually did it mostly in the rain, and since I live near Crabtree Creek, I also spent a good portion of it running in a puddle up to my mid-calf.  But running in the rain is the best, right?  Makes you feel like a badass.

It got me thinking about how running radically changed my life.  I mean, it partially helped me start this blog, and helped me to accomplish some of the wildest things I’ve ever accomplished in my life.  But I’m not sure where I would be or who I would be without it.

I got into running by just trying it.  I would run.  Run a little further.  Then run a little further.  Until finally, I signed me, and a newer boyfriend (now fiancé) up for a Warrior Dash in Virginia.  He drove, we ran, and had one of the best times ever.  And I realized that not only had I done it, I’d done it WELL.  About a year later, I ran my first half, and less than a few months after that, my first full.  And I wasn’t hooked necessarily to the misery that you feel at mile 17, but more to the elation of starting something, and finishing it.

Running brought me:

  • A new body.  My body was fine before.  Good even?  But I feel that my body looks it’s best when I’m in the throes of marathon training, and I’m craving good-for-you foods.  I love the confidence that running has given me in my body,
  • New friends.  Yesterday, when I worked at Fleet Feet, it was so amazing to be around my people.  Beautiful, nice, likeminded people, who just take care of themselves.
  • New experiences.  Ask me two years ago, would I do a 5k?  How about a half marathon?  How about SIX half marathons?  Two fulls?  Ever consider an Ultra or a tri?  I would have never guessed that for myself.  And it makes me wonder what other incredible things that my body can do.

After celebrating this wonderful day (National Running Day), what can some of you guys say running has brought you?  

 

Baby copperhead scare.

So I hope you guys got a chance to get out and run in the past few days.  At least, in my neck of the woods, the weather has been pretty beautiful, and the humidity has been bearable, which I need to hang onto, because eventually the heat and humidity here in Raleigh become wholly unbearable.  I can literally recount dozens of times that I’ve felt nauseous and drippy in the heat.

photo 1I managed to squeeze in a very quick 3 miles after a long day at work (can you make some noise if your Monday freakin BLEW) and check out that pace.  For exactly 1/100th of a miles, I ran a 5:27 pace.  I felt like I wanted to die approximately, so I won’t be breaking any world records anytime soon 🙂

photo 2I copped a squat on the sidewalk after, and let Coco run around and get a really good poop in because she told me she was lacking in good poop that day.

So, let’s chat about something really really terrible and awful I ran into her the other day.

SO I was taking a little walk on a rest day last week when I literally ran smack dab into a snake.

Copperhead Snake With Young
via http://piperbasenji.blogspot.com/2013/05/copperheads.html

I wasn’t at all interested in sticking around to see what he looked like or what he wanted to eat for dinner, but Austin, being a dude, was interested and made me look, with my poor eyes at him.  He was a little baby copperhead, just laying around, looking dangerous, and seemed to be getting more and more agitated at the fact that we were staring at him.

“Babe, we should move him so he doesn’t get run over!” <-Austin

Please guys, I love my animals, but I had no interest in helping a baby copperhead cross the street, but Austin, being the sweet pea that he is, let the baby climb up onto a stick, and then kindly escorted him into the grass where he wouldn’t get run over.  Blech, but I get it.

So my runner ladies and gents that do a good bit of running on trails, in grass, or on cool pavement where snakes may like to chill, please, keep your eyeballs open for these guys, because a bite can be an ugly ugly time.  I’m not a snake specialist, but from what I understood from Austin (through my hysterics), your best bet if you get bitten by one of these suckers is to remain really calm (don’t go doing anything to get your heart rate up), and call 911 because they’ll probably get you where you need to go a smidge faster that you can (with your now injured appendage).

Seriously guys, chime in.  Any other tips for beating dangerous critters on your summer runs?