Showing posts from February, 2020

Nine Mondays: Stretch

In the fourth grade, we went as a class to gymnastics at the YMCA once a week. There were people finding life one day at a time at the Y. It was a busy place. I remember the smell of the cafeteria. Food  smells, books, pools, gymnasiums, couches, chairs, beds -- all of this at the YMCA. We were a tiny class from a tiny school and it must have been part of our P.E. requirement. The girls in my class surely took gymnastics outside of our P.E. requirement because they were bending and jumping and flipping and balancing all over the place. I was pretty excited about the foam pit and the trampoline, but not the split, not the flip, and definitely not the balance. At ten, this was not natural. This was hard.                                            Fast forward thirty plus years. Stretching and bending is a regular part of my life. I set the alarm early enough for space and time to drink coffee, pray and stretch. Maintaining core strength is crucial. Muscle care is a mus

Ten Mondays: Labor

It was the Kiawah Marathon. Mile 22. Everything hurt. My stomach was in shreds. It took all my focus to take the next step. Move. That was all there was left to do. There was no crowd. It was silent and still and cold. There were no women anywhere near me. There were several men running the same pace through the empty streets. We were plodding. It was silent. We were in pain. I had an idea. They might be interested to know -- this feels like labor! So, the very one sided conversation began..."He guys, if you were ever wondering what labor feels like, this is it!!" For some reason, I was sure they would say, "No way. Tell me more." They didn't. So, I just shared a little bit about the pain that we were all sure to be experiencing at this point in the race. Now they could tell people they understood labor! I don't think that was important to them at mile 22.  It was my first marathon after birthing two children and comparing the two, was of course, a great way

Eleven Mondays: Out And Back

Most every run these days is an out and back. There are not that many loops around here -- or side roads for that matter; therefore, running involves heading out for a certain number of miles and turning around and coming back. This might seem like an excruciatingly long boring way to log miles, but it is also the way to guarantee miles. Because, not matter what, I can't quit or I'm stuck. I can't cut corners, I can't give up. The choice is made in the first part of the run. The choice is made at mile three to go six, at mile six to go twelve.  And every up hill guarantees a down hill and every down hill -- up you go on the way back. On my last long run, by the time I made it to mile seven, I knew I'd made it -- 14 miles was in the bag. Because there was no sitting down. There was no quitting - there was only moving. To get back home, to be done, I had to move and run those seven miles!                                           I didn't start by runni

Twelve Mondays: Resistance Training

Twelve Mondays: Resistance Training. A week ago, I ran 12 miles with an average pace of 8:28 minute miles. This wasn’t bad, especially for the giant hills around us, but I know I'm at the cusp of taking it to the next level. There is one way I know for sure to improve my time. Resistance. The elliptical is my go to for cross training. It gets the job done and its easy on these old knees. The settings usually stay put. Resistance -- 5. Incline -- 3. I did one little thing this week -- moved the resistance to six. This simple change meant big burn believe it or not. Burning lungs, burning legs, burning arms. But, it is the resistance that pushes the body -- that takes the body further than it thinks it can go. The push gives power. One week later, I ran 14 miles at an 8:03 pace. Twenty five seconds off each mile! This is crucial. This took the entire training process to the next level. And the only change was resistance. Recently, a very wise woman explained t