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Back in May, I turned the ripe running age of 30. For my birthday, Mario gave me a beautiful necklace. That necklace has since done more to tell me about my posture than any doctor or yoga class ever has.

Maybe a few of these pictures will explain:

Birthday Festivities

Birthday Festivities


Celebrating my grandmother's 91st birthday

Celebrating my grandmother’s 91st birthday


With two of my fabulous students

With two of my fabulous students


My necklace is always to my right side. Mario was the first person to point it out to me and I told him it was gravity. He reminded me gravity pulled straight down. I added “and slightly to the right.”

Why does this even matter? Well what this little necklace tells me is that something is going on with the right side of my body. And as luck would have it, my right ankle has started to bother me. From my past medical experience, I say it’s tendonitis. At first I was pretty distraught and ran through the pain. Then I decided that was a bad idea.

After spending some time thinking about my body mechanics and my necklace always pulling to the right, I decided something was “wrong” with the right side of my body. My ankle was bothering me because my  hip was off, not because it was off. Therefore, I have been doing more painful hip opening exercises than I care to think about. In particular, staying in pigeon pose for a really, really long time. The end result: a straight necklace, a hip that feels like it’s moving correctly, and an ankle that is almost pain free. Two more days off and I think I’ll be ready for my 17 miler on Saturday.

My point is this… runners get injured. In my case, they get injured a lot. However, from my experience, I would say that the pain  in one area of the body is because another area in the body is off. Our bodies are incredibly amazing and if we listen closely enough, we might just understand what’s going on. I’m pretty sure Mario didn’t realize his gift was going to be so functional.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,



Running Update: Running has been going okay this past week and a half. I took one day off last week and still got in my 15 miler on Saturday. But thanks to the heat, humidity, and lack on fluids, I was pretty sure I might pass out on the side of the trail. This week is my low mileage week, thankfully. I ran 8 on Monday but have been cross-training  the other days. I’ve decided to take today and tomorrow off, to give my ankle enough time to fully heal. Thankfully I still have a little over two months to go before Chicago and I feel that I have a very solid base and fitness level.

The Best Advice I Ever Received

People, in general, are quick to offer advice and opinions. Sometimes we appreciate it and sometimes, not so much. I am fortunate enough to have a husband who always gives the right advice and precisely the right time. Last week he sent me an email with a little inspiration. It read as follows:

This is a good plan for life in general. If you have two choices, choose the harder. If you’re trying to decide whether to go out running or sit home and watch TV, go running. Probably the reason this trick works so well is that when you have two choices and one is harder, the only reason you’re even considering the other is laziness. You know in the back of your mind what’s the right thing to do, and this trick merely forces you to acknowledge it.

I’m not sure who originally said this, but what a powerful idea. That same day I listened to a podcast with Ben Greenfield and Mishka Shubaly, a recovering alcoholic/drug addict turned ultra runner. Shubaly’s description of running followed right along with Mario’s Tuesday morning inspiration. He said running is hard. For him, it’s not about getting a runner’s high, because he doesn’t. Instead, it’s because running is hard that he does it. He does it for the feeling he gets after the run, for that bliss and exhilaration. What stuck with me the most was when he said, in life, always do the hard things first. It makes the “high” that follows so much more. 

Now that I think about it, I think that is why I run. Running is not an easy sport, especially as you try to run faster and go farther. During these hot, humid summer days, I am realizing this more and more. My mileage is increasing, my workouts are getting longer and harder, my level of food consumption has increased exponentially, I can never seem to drink enough water, and thanks to the humidity, I’m getting chafed a lot more than normal. None of this is really fun or easy. (Well maybe the food part.) But I do it for that feeling I get the moment I hit stop on my Garmin.

A few days ago someone was telling me about a book called Cardio Kills. Then I was kindly reminded how running was ruining my joints. Honestly, those books and those comments will never phase me. I do what I do because it is hard. I do it because I feel pretty bad ass knowing I can run during a flash flood, or run a pretty fast 5K, or run 15 miles in 100% humidity and come back looking like I just jumped out of the pool. And one day, all that pain and suffering will be worth the awesomeness I’m going to feel when I run a 3:05 marathon. I just have to do the hard stuff first.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: So far this week I’m up to 33 miles. I’ve done two speed workouts, a midweek long run of 9 miles, and I have 15 miles on Saturday. Next week I have my first double workout, which is a new thing for me. Can’t wait!

Why I Ran During a Flash Flood Warning

Two nights ago Mario and I were discussing the importance of experiences. We are two people who do not own a lot of things but instead, choose to spend our time and money on experiences. After all, experiences help define who we are as individuals. Not a new pair of shoes. Well maybe if they’re running shoes.. 🙂

Yesterday was the official start of my marathon training. Until now, I’ve been focusing on consistency and (knock on wood), I’ve been running 5-6 days/week since April with no injury. My first “official” workout was an easy 8 miles and despite the fact that central North Carolina had flash flooding the day before and more heavy rain was expected in the morning, I went out anyway. I just made sure to wear a hat for a little protection.

Mile 1, perfect. Overcast and dry. Mile 2, slight sprinkle. No biggie, I wasn’t going to melt. Mile 2.5 – a complete downpour with stinging rain blowing in from the side, huge puddles starting to form and only 5.5 more miles to go. Great.

My initial thought was certainly this rain can’t last. It honestly can’t rain this hard for 40+ more minutes. My second thought was maybe I’ll take shelter somewhere and call Mario to come get me. Or better yet, maybe he’ll already be out looking for me since he knew where I was going. Well by this time, I was half way done and only needed to run the 4 miles back home. For a brief moment I considered hanging out under one of the tunnels on the greenway to “dry off” for a minute. But there was no point in stopping. It would only prolong the inevitable. The rain certainly wasn’t going to let up and I needed to get home. I asked myself what’s the worst that could happen? When I decided it was getting chafed from my soaking wet shorts and not dying, I embraced it and went for it. This would be an experience.

On the way home, I am not exaggerating when I say there were rivers running down the streets and sidewalks. Because everything was so wet from the day before, the water had nowhere else to go, other than in my path. I ran through puddles ankle deep, got even more drenched by cars passing by, and laughed out loud at myself. As far as I could tell, I was the only person crazy enough to be running during this weather. My iPod stopped working with about 2 miles to go and all I could think was well, if it’s raining during the Chicago Marathon, at least I know I can handle it. 

When I got home, I decided to take the freight elevator to our floor. I really didn’t want to see anyone I knew. As I walked to our condo, my shoes went squish, squish, with every step I took. I opened the door and Mario offered me a towel. Instead, I went straight to the shower and  thought to myself, Man, that was pretty bad ass. I just ran during a flash flood warning.  A new experience for sure. 

My sister and a few of my friends questioned my sanity yesterday. I get it. We were under a flash flood warning so maybe not the ideal time for a run. But sometimes there isn’t an ideal time and we just have to suck it up and do it anyway. And besides, it’s only rain.

By the way, the worst that I imagined did happen…. no fun 😦 !

When I say I got drenched by cars, I mean like this!  Photo Source: News and Observer

When I say I got drenched by cars, I mean like this!
Photo Source: News and Observer

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Here is my run from yesterday and here is my pyramid workout from today. When I got to the track this morning, I saw my local running hero there and was super excited. It gave me a little motivation for the intervals. 🙂

PS: If at anytime I thought I was in danger, I would have most certainly cut my run short. However, I was very familiar with the area and knew there were no rivers, lakes, etc. that would be flooding the roads or sidewalks. I may be a crazy runner but I know there are limits.