Will Run For Yoga

Running, Yoga, and Food

Its been awhile

Sorry I have been absent lately.  A little over two weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer and last week he underwent surgery to have his entire colon removed.  So life has gotten in the way of my blog.  The good news…he is recovering better than expected and they got all of the cancer!

In the meantime, I managed to get myself another PR!  I had signed up to run a 5K memorial day weekend in Knoxville.  I really didn’t have any intentions as far as time was concerned.  I decided to take it slow in the first mile and see how I felt.  The first mile went well so I pushed through the second and third and bested my previous PR by 8 seconds (and this was a hilly course while my previous time was on a flat course). This gives me hope since I will be running San Francisco in two weeks.

In other news, I have signed up for summer speed sessions with my local Fleet Feet store and my one mile time trial (which will be brutally slow compared to the other runners) is next week so wish me luck!

Has anyone else done training with their local running store?  (This one will be my first)

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The Farmer’s Market is Open!

I LOVE the farmer’s market!  I count down the days until it opens each year and today was the day!   I am lucky to have a market solely dedicated to local farmers.  The merchants have to have grown or made the product themselves in order to sell it.

I unexpectedly had the morning off so I took advantage of the opportunity and headed out the door with my Chico bags in tow ready to go buy lots of yummy produce.  (No compensation, I just really like their product).  The market was also offering a free class on container gardening this morning which was awesome!  The speaker was a certified master gardener who was entertaining and led a great class.  I can’t wait for my seeds to sprout so I can start growing.

Now for the good part, the produce.  I came home with two kinds of lettuce, Siberian kale, and Asian green of which I cannot remember the name, pea shoots, and strawberries.



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Relay Adventures

This past weekend I had the privilege to run Relay Rutherford and raise money for JDRF with Team Turtle Herders.  We were running as an ultra team of four and we each were supposed to run between 10 and 14 miles.  Due to circumstances beyond our control (mileage approximations and a last minute checkpoint change many runners did not know about) some of us (ahem…me) ran a little over 15 miles.  What is an extra mile? Right?

I was the team captain and I soon learned that a lot goes into planning for a relay, even if it is a short one.  I carefully considered the leg lengths and course elevation and assigned each runner accordingly.  I made a list of things we need and since all of us drive compact cars, I even managed to borrow my Mom’s sweet van!


Then, of course, the week before the race, one of our runners had to drop out due to an unavoidable medical reason.  All that planning out the window! I put out calls for help in my running club and to every other runner I knew, but most of them were already running…back to the drawing board.  Two days before the relay (right in the middle of exams at work) I frantically looked at the mileage and reassigned legs – unfortunately, I forgot to look at elevation.

The day before the race, work got crazy.  Once I finally finished at work and met another team mate for dinner and supply shopping it was around 7:30pm.  He wanted Red Robin and I wanted a beer!


We had dinner and then headed to Target for bottled water, ponchos (yes, another Saturday of rain), and food.  Of course, in the true spirit of my first relay, Target was sold out of ponchos.

We headed home to decorate the van…aka. turn it into a giant turtle.  We strapped a kiddie pool to the roof and covered it in green plastic table cloths and made a green plastic turtle head to strap to the front of the car.  Then we drew all over the windows with those window markers.  Unfortunately, I should have taken a picture that night at 11:00pm when we finished because the turtle shell blew off less than a block down our street, the turtle head exploded right before we got to the start line, and while we were in our safety briefing the rain washed the drawings and team name off the windows….FAIL!

We were definitely prepared as far a gear was concerned.  We had two disposable rain jackets that my friend and I had bought at a previous race (sheddable shells rock!) and they even had a turtle on them…WIN!  4 runners + 4 legs each + pouring rain all day = 20 changes of clothes!  The entire back of the van was packed!


Our first runner crossed the start line at 6:45am.  The team van drove a few miles and parked on the shoulder to cheer him on.  After we cheered our hearts out we headed to the checkpoint.  When I started seeing runners we had never seen before I realized we had passed it.  We did a huge u-turn in the van and headed back.  There was Adam, standing at the checkpoint with the volunteer waiting for us.  I jumped out of the van, took the slap bracelet and headed out.

 I can only tell you about my legs, which were pretty tough.  My first leg wasn’t so bad.  I was feeling good and ran the first 4 miles (which turned out to be 4.25) at a 12:12 pace.  My second leg was 4 miles of the greenway, which had flooded in several places.  I went slow as I ran through the water and I walked the bridges and muddy sections, because I knew a fall was the last thing I needed, and I finished the leg with a quarter mile up hill section.  I was relieved that my third leg was only 2 miles.  The directions said that there was a small section of grass the runners would have to go across to get to a sidewalk, NBD right?  Wrong!  They forgot to mention the new parking lot being installed along with all of the road construction!  We had to run about 50 feet on a very busy street with absolutely no shoulder.  Luckily, the cars were great and either slowed down or moved over.  1.5 miles of this leg were on an unfinished road and killed my legs.  This short 2 mile leg (which was really 2.25) was definitely my toughest.  My final leg was another 4 miles (well, 4ish).  This one was where I was cursing myself for not having looked at elevation.  Four miles of rolling hills along a major highway being sprayed by semis driving by in the rain at 55 mph.  I was so grateful to pass the slap bracelet off for the last time.


The rain stopped for the last two legs of the race, neither of which were mine.

Team Turtle Herders finished in 43rd place with a time of 9 hours 13 minutes!


We will definitely run this one again!  It was well organized and a lot of fun!  Next year though, Team Turtle Herders may change their name to Team U-Turn because we lost count of how many we did during the course of the race (no fault of the race itself, we are just directionally challenged!)

I know this makes me a little sadistic but after this race, I now REALLY want to run Ragnar!

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Relay Done!


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Country Music Marathon Recap

Lets face it, Rock n’ Roll puts on a huge Expo and Friday afternoon, myself and thousands of others headed down to the convention center knowing that the weather forecast was calling for temperatures in the mid 50s and 100% chance of rain.  Seriously,  I think it is the first time I have ever seen 100% chance of rain in TN! 

After we got our bibs and goodie bags, we headed into the Brooks section of the Expo for some shopping and after spending way too much money I had qualified for a “Pee like a Rockstar” VIP pass.  I’m not really sure why I let myself spend so much but when it is 50 degrees and pouring rain on race morning, suddenly $100 seems a small price to pay for heated, indoor toilets…and free travel size tubes of body glide!!!!!


The expo had a few boards set up that the runners could sign to send their best wishes to Boston.



And of course you have to get your Elvis on at every expo!


Apparently it takes a lot of stuff to get ready to run in the rain


My list:

Basic running clothes (capris, wicking underwear, jog bra, wicking socks, half fanatics top of course)

Arm sleeves, throw away gloves, road ID, body glide, garmin, hat, poncho, and shower cap!

The shower cap was brilliant!  For the first time ever, I was the one who looked like an idiot but had a fabulous idea!  It kept my head dry for most of the race and trapped body heat to keep me warm!  If you ever want people to cheer for you, run a race in the rain in tie-dyed pants, a blue poncho and a hot pink shower cap!  Every one cheered and commented on my outfit!

They had a moment of silence at the beginning to remember the tragedy in Boston and asked all of the runners to hold up a peace sign with the Run Boston bracelets they gave us at the expo.  It was pretty powerful.


This photo is from the Rock n’ Roll facebook page

The race itself was actually quite tough.  I set my watch for intervals but between the rain and the crazy loud spectators (Nashville rocks!) I couldn’t hear it and ended up running by feel.  I knew it was going to be mentally tough by the time we got to mile 3 so I decided to dedicate each mile to someone who has influenced my life.  The entire mile I would focus on all the reasons I was grateful for that person. Cheesy, I know, but it really helped the miles tick away.  By the last two miles I was mostly walking because 1.  I forgot to take my last gel, and 2. very wet shoes feel at least 5 pounds heavier, but all in all I had a great time with a finish of 3:11:08.


Don’t worry marathonfoto, I am totally ordering this pic!


This weekend is the big relay and it looks like we may have repeat weather (a high of 58 with a 70% chance of rain) but at least I have already done a test run.  Have shower cap…will run!

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The first time

The last few days, I have had lots of first time moments.

– I had my first wheatgrass shot

– I ran a major race for the first time in the rain (wearing a shower cap) – more on that later


– I will be running my first relay race this weekend

This relay is no Ragnar, but is a 53 mile relay to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I was originally running on a 5 person ultra team but I found out yesterday that one of our members has to drop out for medical reasons. Hopefully our team can find a replacement but if not, 2 or 3 of us will have to divide up the 11 miles (bringing my mileage to a possible 15-16).

Needless to say, I am nervous about the whole thing but it is for a great cause and we will finish even if I have to crawl through some of the miles (we are Team Turtle Herders after all!)

Any tips for a first time relay?

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Purity Moosic City Dairy Dash (aka the best race ever!)

This is the third year in a row that I have run the Dairy Dash.  It is a very flat course and they offer a 5k, 10k, or combo.  First of all, let me say I LOVE this race!  Then again, who doesn’t love a race that has ice cream at the finish line?

We arrived early to pick up our packets and when we got to the main area, we were delighted to see quite the spread.  They had juice, coffee, every kind of milk you could imagine, and donuts!  I caved and had a pre-race donut – which I am totally crediting for my PR…well either that or the fact that I knew there was ice cream at the finish!

I always hang out with my much faster friends until just before the race starts and then move back in the crowd to actually start the race – but not this time.  I was chatting with my friends when suddenly, the gun went off…no announcement, no prep, no National Anthem, nothing.  So I took off with my friends – what else could I do?  

I tried to stay to the right  because I knew I was going to need to slow down.  Unfortunately, being that far up in the pack I started off much too fast and was shocked when I realized I had run the first mile in 11:20 and was quickly slowing down so I tried to stay smart through mile 2 and stuck to run/walk intervals.  I hadn’t set my Garmin for intervals so my version of intervals went something like this – run to intersection walk past the cones, run to next intersection.  Mile 2 went by without much problem and I was still feeling good so I pushed through mile 3 and when I saw the finish line, I went for it! After I finally caught my breath I realized I had run my fastest 5K yet 37:52!

Post Race PR GlowImage

Now for the good part…post race food.  This is the only 5K I know of that has the following at the finish line:  Chocolate milk (whole and nonfat), juice, water, plain milk, ice cream sandwiches, nutty buddies, spaghetti, mac and cheese, and rolls!


And finally, the awesome shoes that made me super fast!


What is the best post race food you ever had?

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Taking it back to the mat

I haven’t said much about myself except that I used to be a few sizes bigger and I like to run so I might as well start now.  I am an adjunct music professor at a university – which pretty much means I am overworked, underpaid, and have to maintain a large private music studio in addition to my work at the university just to maintain a lower-middle class lifestyle.  Quite frankly, I could probably get a job at a popular coffee chain, work less, get paid more, and even get benefits!  Unfortunately, I love my job so no coffee shop for me just yet.

The last few weeks of classes are winding down and every year around this time, my work life gets overwhelming and I have to deal with a lot of stress.  For me, this means I rarely get a good night’s sleep and down lots of coffee just to get through the day.  Adding to the stress, they have not yet turned on the a/c in the building (even though it is in the 80s) and my office is boiling!  Yesterday, I was so exhausted that I canceled everything scheduled in the afternoon (including my training session and my run) and went home and tried to take a nap.  The napping was unsuccessful but I did get to rest a little.  

I kept going back and forth as to whether I should go to yoga class.  I knew my body was tired but I also knew it was very tense.  I decided that a yoga class certainly couldn’t hurt and decided to go.  The class was tough for me but as the sweat started to drip and I focused on my breath, everything else went away.  I focused only on the practice, let everything else go and by the end of class felt so much better!  

I still had a rough night’s sleep but It was better than the last few and my body is still not very happy with me.   I keep reminding myself that I only have to deal with this kind of stress for a couple more weeks and until then, I will try to remember to stop and breathe.

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Ok, so lately I have been in a funk and I’m really not sure why.  I had a nice quiet Easter weekend with a couple of days to totally relax and yet I just can’t seem to shake this roller coaster I’m on.  

I had last friday off and decided to catch a yoga class with one of my favorite teachers, but I had a really tough time getting through the class – I’m sure that it was in part due to the killer spin class I had the day before. Instead of taking it easy and backing off in some of the poses, I let my ego get in the way and ended up leaving the class frustrated.

Saturday I woke up and headed out for my long run.  I was hoping to get in between 9 and 11 miles but I realized after only 3 that my legs were not feeling that great.  I managed to finish 7.25 before I finally gave up and went home.  I knew I needed a rest day so I spent Sunday sitting around the house being completely unproductive – ok, I may have done some laundry but mostly unproductive.

Yesterday I got in a great 3 miles, did a strength circuit with my trainer, and had a great yoga class, but today, once again I just feel exhausted.  Maybe I am overtraining, but I love the workouts that I am doing.  I know I need to find balance between running, yoga, and a career but I’m just not sure how to do it.

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Recess Run and a New PR!

Last Thursday I unexpectedly had the afternoon off and decided to go for a short run at the battlefield.  Running in the middle of the afternoon on a school day was awesome!  It was 60 degrees outside and I felt like I was getting a recess!  I haven’t run the battlefield in a while so I was very surprised when I came up on this.


They have put up wooden cut out of civil war soldiers.  From a distance and through the trees they look very real!  I also saw a couple of deer crossing the path.  


One of them stayed around to watch me run.


And I did a little trail running

I was only planning on doing 2-3 miles but ended up running a little over 4.

Two days later was the special kids 15K.  It was my first 15K race so naturally it was a PR!  I was hoping to run at a 13:20 pace.  My average half marathon pace is between a 13:30 and 14:00 and I would really like to get to a 13 before the San Francisco Half.

I started out conservatively running with a 2:1 interval and was feeling good.  I noticed a couple of twinges in my foot but after the first couple of miles they went away.  I slowly started increasing my pace during the running intervals (making sure I was breathing comfortably) and keeping my walk intervals around a 15 minute mile.  I took a GU around 45 minutes in and kept going.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a second GU and my legs really noticed around mile 8.  The last mile was tough but I finished strong with a time of 2 hours 4 minutes, a 13:10 pace!  All in all it was a great run for a great cause!


What is Special Kids?

This is from their website:

Special Kids is a Christian, nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic rehabilitation and professional nursing services to children with special needs.  We opened our doors in 1998 in Murfreesboro, TN, and started with just one child. Since then, Special Kids has served over 2,000 children from 11 different counties in middle Tennessee.

We offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, feeding therapy, nursing services, recreational therapy, art therapy, and a summer day camp. We serve children with special needs ages birth to 21 years who have been referred to our organization by a physician.

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