Frenetic Fitness

fre·net·ic /frəˈnetɪk/ done very fast and with a lot of energy, often by someone who is in a hurry.

5 Great Things in My Kitchen

1. Quinoa- Hello protein packed grain! You’re my hero. I still miss rice sometimes but you’re doing a great job as healthier alternative.

20140412-185107.jpg

2.  Almond Milk – It seems like a good idea to try something other than pasteurized cow milk. Almond milk is a good low fat source of iron, calcium, vitamin E and potassium without the vitamin A palmitate that is added to low fat cow milk that is added to replace vitamins lost during fat removal.

3. My garlic press- I love garlic and always try to keep a head or two in the kitchen.

20140412-185134.jpg

4. Ezekial Sprouted Bread- Sprouted grains that spoil versus over processed wheat product that in some cases has so many additives and preservatives, it doesn’t even mold.

5. The Feed Zone Cookbook- This book is filled with easy recipes meant for athletes who want to eat whole nutritious foods and not rely on prepackaged bars or gels for fuel during training and races. Another plus, no crazy ingredients that kids or picky eaters won’t like.

20140412-185143.jpg

Grounded

I’m sitting in the lobby of an Asheville hotel in the middle of the afternoon sipping red wine that’s been chilled a little too long out of a coffee mug so as not to alarm the hotel staff. The small one is upstairs in our room taking a nap. She was up late last night, spending a good part of it watching the birth of a litter of 11 piglets. How did it come to this?

A couple of years back our family chose Asheville, North Carolina as a vacation destination hoping to take advantage of the hiking and mountain biking opportunities. At the time, the young one was just beginning high school and we took a couple of hours to check out the local college campus to continue giving her ideas about what options she should be looking for in a college home. She didn’t fall in love or even in like with the  UNC-Asheville branch, but she did fall in love with Asheville. A year ago we happened to invite a friend of mine along for a trip to a music festival. The subject of college came up and my friend asked if we had heard of Warren Wilson College near Asheville. I didn’t give it much more thought but the small one started researching and soon, we had a request from her to make a visit back to Asheville in the autumn so she could see the campus in person. Long story short, we’re back in Asheville for our 3rd visit because in 143 days, we will be returning with the small one and her luggage to help her start the next phase of her life, making a home and getting an education in one of the most beautiful settings in the south.

20140327-163226.jpg

We’re back for a second visit to the school now that they have committed to each other. While she was hanging out, making a few new friends and learning a little more about her future home, I took to the trails. With 25 miles of trail around the 900 acre campus, I had plenty to choose from. I thought I’d go for a run. I felt like I should run. I needed to run. But as my shoes hit the dirt I realized that my head and/or my heart was not in it. My thoughts were racing and I suppose my heart was much heavier than my feet. I found myself watching the flow of the Swannanoa River beside me, trying to find the peace that should be there.

20140327-163210.jpg

Isn’t that why I love being outside? Normally, that’s where I find my peace. I watched my feet on the dirt and I had to wonder if she would be here in my steps a few months from now, searching for that peace. When classes are overwhelming, when there are roommate issues, when there is boy trouble,  when her heart feels like mine does right now, will she ground herself in this beautiful creation and find what I have often found there? Will she quench her thirst at the spring of mother nature?

20140327-163157.jpg

 

I hope she does. I dream she does. And that hope lightens my load. So I start running…

Smells Like Trail Spirit

Somewhere in a discussion thread about 100k runs, trail karma, and borrowed socks, the phrase “smells like trail spirit” was uttered. Rather it was typed as the discussion was via social media, the avenue of choice for most discussions these days. Borrowed socks, especially socks that were borrowed during a trail ultra-marathon, should probably be washed before being returned to their original owner lest they return with the smell of trail spirit lingering like the cloud that surrounds the Peanuts character, Pig-Pen.

89067_ORIG-pig_pen_smelly_kid_peanuts_charlie_brown

I have been on the receiving end of the -returned socks- equation several times lately. I loaned a spare pair of  dry socks to my friend Cassandra during the Sylamore 25K when she got blisters. She washed the trail spirit out of them and promptly returned them to me, fresh and bundled with a “thank you very much for saving some of my skin from rubbing off and leaving me lame a week before my first marathon.” Socks are an important component in the arsenal.

 

20140326-183356.jpg

 

I was standing amidst a few of my fellow Arkansas Women Bloggers who were manning the social media booth for the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show when Ashley sauntered up beside me and handed me a plastic water bottle and a pair of socks. I stood there for a moment, trying to puzzle out the best way to store my returned goodies. In my head it made perfect sense to store the socks inside the water bottle to conserve space. Then I realized the company I was in. Now out on the trail, post long-run or long-ride, if someone hands me a pair of socks I’m going to store them in the most space efficient way possible, no matter what. But I figured not one of my blogger buds, save Ashley who would probably do the same, wanted to see me put my socks in my water bottle. Why? Because socks smell like trail spirit, water bottles do not, and no one wants a water bottle that smells like trail spirit.

 

 

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

20140318-184049.jpg

My own attachment to Red Ryder began long before Ralphie’s mom responded to his Christmas wish, “I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!” with “No, you’ll shoot your eye out.”  When I was a little girl, my dad collected films from the 1940′s and 1950′s. He owned an extensive collection of serial Westerns, like Red Ryder and Little Beaver, Gene Autry, Zorro and Lash LaRue.

IMG_5233

During a trip to Rogers, Arkansas last year, we visited the Daisy Airgun Museum which houses decades of Daisy memorabilia. Displays chronicle the company’s early days of  manufacturing windmill blades in Plymouth, Michigan at the end of the 19th century before switching to making air rifles in 1886. The company enjoyed the success of manufacturing BBs and selling promotional novelties as the age of Hollywood gave them a national audience not to mention their part in  manufacturing for the war effort in the 1940s.  The small museum is located in the lovely downtown square at 114 South First Street, the address the museum has called home since 2000.  The company’s ties to Northwest Arkansas began in 1958 when manufacturing moved from Michigan to a Rogers plant.

IMG_5232

Times, they do not change, even in the 1930′s when movies like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century were popular, kids and adults bought up toys, lunchboxes, books and novelty items based on the movie. That included the Atomic Pistol, made by Daisy. The company continued its close relationship with Hollywood producing the Red Ryder BB gun during the 1940′s, except for the three years when Daisy used their metal and manufacturing expertise for the war effort. In 1949 the company sold more than a million Red Ryder BB guns, a phenomenal sales record for the time. As I walked through the museum’s display of movie posters and models, I was transported back to my own childhood. Ralphie wanted to be like his hero from the big screen. I watched the movies with my dad, wanting to be like his hero from the big screen.

DSC_0015

I went for a run through town the day after we visited the museum. I couldn’t help but stop to snap a photo of the Red Ryder window mural, one more moment of nostalgia, reliving those Saturday nights when we’d set up the retractable projector screen and pop the corn.

IMG_5257

Spring Break is coming up. If you’re planning to be in Northwest Arkansas, perhaps visiting Crystal Bridges, take a couple of hours to visit the historic downtown square in Rogers and the Daisy Airgun Museum. Find more to do on the Visit Rogers Blog. Share your memories with the young ones and build a few new ones.

Wordless Wednesday

20140312-161015.jpg

Wordless Wednesday

20140305-150941.jpg

My Everything Hurts

My friend Stephanie turned her head as we ran down the trail during the Sylamore 25K and said, “My everything hurts.” I knew exactly what she meant. Some days there are those runs when there is not a specific pain, no calf cramp or side stitch, not a burning hamstring or a blister. There are days when so much hurts that the pain can not be specified.

I have claimed in the past that I would never run a road marathon yet found myself attempting a third road marathon within 65 days this past weekend. For marathon #1, the starting temp was right at freezing but the day warmed up to the 50s and partly cloudy. For #2 the weather was slightly colder and stayed cold but we did have a little sunshine. On the morning of #3, the temperature was 56 degrees when we arrived in the parking lot about 45 minutes before start time. By start time the temperature had started to fall. By the time our corral made it to the starting line 45 minutes after start time, the temps had fallen about 15 degrees, there was a cold spitting rain, the winds had picked up, and we had stood shoulder to shoulder for nearly an hour. We were cold, our muscles were tight and we couldn’t wait to get moving. Ashley and I had looked forward to the day, our 3rd of 3 marathons we needed to become Marathon Maniacs, a goal she set for herself and I agreed to join to share the joy of her journey. Rain, cold, sleet or wind would not stop us from reaching the goal. We set off at a pace that was a bit ahead of our earlier finish time paces. We agreed that we would also try to limit our stops and not stop to take photos or chat with friends as we had been prone to do in our previous races. This was the race we’d been looking forward to, this was to be the crown.

We're off!

We’re off!

Every few miles we would see my sweet hubby who was riding his bike around the course taking photos and checking on us. We also ran into our friend Christine who was out cheering her spouse and his pace group, the one we meant to be in but got in front of at the start.

Hi! Can I stop for a kiss?

Hi! Can I stop for a kiss?

By mile 12 the temperature had dropped 20 degrees, the wind was gusting up to 20mph, and we were wet. I’m not going to say we were all happy happy joy joy, but we were still determined to finish and told each other that we could take it easier in the hills of the Heights neighborhood that were coming up. Then as we rounded a corner, we saw a policeman jump out of his car so quickly he left the door open and he began yelling at us to stop. We were right at a point where the half marathon was heading down for their last mile to the finish line. The policeman told us the course was closing due to severe weather and we were to immediately go to the finish line. We only got to complete 14+ miles. We went to the finish, collected our unearned medals, and in our disappointed and unbelieving state, wandered past all the people celebrating their finishes with photos and cheers and sat huddled under the only protection we could find from the wind and rain for 30 minutes while waiting on a ride. We had nowhere to go since we were forced to  finish in less than half the time we projected. I could not think of how to comfort Ashley. We sat shivering in the cold, our fingers frozen, still in a bit  of denial of the day’s events. My everything hurt, including my heart.

Upon reflection, though that moment of being handed the giant medal was undeserved and unearned,  it was also unimportant.  I have  a wonderful experience of my very first road marathon to hold on to. I have a great weekend of travel that included a big batch of off-site cheerleading from my sweet blogger friend Delta Moxie and a wonderful finish to my second marathon with Ashley. And this weekend, I got to spend an afternoon with my friend, shopping and talking at the marathon expo where we met the badass  mother runners who were so funny and encouraging.

20140303-163437.jpg

We heard Bart Yasso share some stories, inspiring us to continue seeking adventure, not just finish lines and had our moments of “ohmygod Bart Yasso just retweeeted us!”. We had a beautiful dinner at one of my favorite restaurants before crawling into bed. I spent the next morning running with my favorite running partner and fellow porta potty enthusiast. It may not have ended the way we planned but that doesn’t diminish the journey.

The Trifecta

The Trifecta

Amen.

Wordless Wednesday

20140226-154954.jpg

My Valentine Had Icicles

There were no roses wrapped in tissue or lilies in a vase, there were no reservations for a fancy meal. There were no packages with fancy ribbon to open, there were no chocolates unless you count the fun size Snicker bar I put in my race pack just in case. This year my Valentine drove me 2 1/2 hours to Mountain View, Arkansas, spent the evening picking up my race packet and perusing the local WalMarts for items I’d forgotten, got up before dawn and stood out in the freezing cold for hours while I played in the woods with my friends. Again. But I did get a sweet valentine magnet on bark.

20140221-160730.jpg

I’ve wanted to do the  Sylamore trail run. With choices of 25 or 50K, I could have gone either way IF I hadn’t agreed to do three marathons in 65 days with my runnin bud Ashley. Of course, I may not have been able to do it at all since this year the race sold out  400 slots within 20 minutes. But I wanted the race hoodie. Some folks are medal hoarders and I like tech shirts, but a hoodie? Yeah I want that.

The coveted hoodie

The coveted hoodie

So for Valentine’s Day I got a night at the Ozark Folk Center where we were able to relax and enjoy a couple of night before the race beers while watching TV and foam rolling my hips. Sitting in the car for long periods always makes my hips hurt. It was a quiet night and I couldn’t help but think of our friends, many of whom were sharing houses with 8 to 12 people. I always question if by missing out on the “party” in favor of peace, quiet and a good night’s sleep, I’m not missing out on figuring out how to make the best of a rough race day. Because making the best out of race day, having all the fun and none of the pain, that’s just how we like to do it. So when we came to the cold as icicles down your pants creek, we danced through it. Do-do-do-humming a tango as we went. There was even a twirl or two in there. My partner, Cassandra, my Sunday afternoon running buddy, is a great dancer. Her birthday was the day after the race so this turned in to a bit of a celebration run/jog for her birthday and her very first 25K.

1958082_10151974284772817_2060936148_n

After the toe numbing stream, we spent a couple of singletrack miles held captive by a long line of women who were going just fast enough to keep our group from passing but not quite as fast as we would have liked. We finally got ahead of that pack just in time to spend a couple of miles on steep trail completely covered in snow and ice, singletrack with two-way traffic made for some interesting contortions. We picked and danced our way through that section too. When we reached the turnaround, we met a four person group from Memphis and we exchanged the favor of taking photos of each other. My friend Skip spent the race surrounded by women. We started calling ourselves Skip’s Harem.

Skip with part of his running harem

Skip with part of his running harem

With the crowd thinning out on the return trip of our out and back, we could spend a little more time enjoying each muddy stretch, each cold creek, and took a minute to enjoy the waterfall and icicles at Roper Hollow.

Stephanie takes a minute to showcase the ice

Stephanie takes a minute to showcase the ice

I had my phone out snapping photos of the huge icicles when I heard a voice say “Or you could just turn around and let me take your picture.” My Valentine was standing on the trail taking photos of runners under the icicles and I didn’t even see him until he spoke.  Steph and I posed for this great photo in which the jacket tied around my waist needs its own zip code.

1800327_10151974367082817_894026519_np

And what’s the best thing about finishing a race? Recovery. Not only did we collect the hoodies to keep us warm, we got a glass to fill with our favorite recovery beverages.

20140222-081556.jpg

I’m already looking forward to next year. If this year was any indication, I’ll need to be signed in and at the ready 5 minutes before race registration opens.

Wordless Wednesday

20140219-083202.jpg

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers