Frenetic Fitness

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

Archive for the category “Running”

Free My Sole

The subject line of the email read “Runner’s World Sweepstakes Finalist!”. I enter a lot of contests and I knew Runner’s World Magazine recently promoted a contest for a year’s worth of shoes.  The person who contacted me sent multiple avenues by which I could determine that she was indeed an employee of Runner’s World and she wasn’t spamming or phishing.  Intrigued, I followed the instructions and waited, impatiently. Soon I received a confirmation that I had indeed won a years worth of shoes, which in a runner’s world, means six pair of shoes. Six. I don’t know about you, but I find running shoes that I like are expensive and I would prefer to replace them only when absolutely necessary. To me, that necessity arises about twice a year. Six pair of shoes is a veritable gold mine! I was informed that the choice of shoes would be determined by the sponsors which I understood to mean “Tell us what size you wear and we’ll see what we have in the pile of stuff they send us to test.”  Within a few days a large box was on my doorstep. I brought it inside and got all giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. Inside the box was a sampling of athletic shoe makers. Right away I noticed the distinctive red and white bag on the Puma shoes, and then discovered I had two pair of Pumas. I continued unpacking: Reebok, Skechers, and Asics. Then I saw a plain white box. Opening it I found a pair of blue Mizuno Wave Prophecy 2. Now, I know that the Prophecy shoe recently released in version 3, but I was intrigued. My current road running shoe corral includes a pair of Mizuno Inspires so I thought I might like what Runner’s World randomly chose for me. It just so happened that I was running a 10K a couple of days after the package arrived and in front of me lay a mound of shoes to test.

 

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I guess now I have lots of shoes to write about and review,  although I admit, if anyone expects a technical review, this is the wrong place to look. I know what I like, I know what feels good, but when I read some shoe reviews I feel like the person writing them is a shoe designer and knows all the vocabulary that I don’t. What the heck is thermoplastic overlay?

Fit and technical components of the shoes played into my decision making process of which shoes to try first. Just kidding, the Mizunos were blue and orange and since I was running with a group of blind/visually impaired runners and guides wearing blue and orange shirts, I chose fashion over function. Don’t judge. In the first mile I knew I  made a good choice. The look of the Mizuno infinity wave sole reminds me of these wedge shoes I had in the early 80’s with a hole in the wedge like an oblong donut. I won’t concern myself with a weird aesthetic such as a sole that makes me think of pastries, because the shoes felt great. I am sometimes a neutral but more typically a stability shoe purchaser. These shoes feel solid, which people who like a truly neutral shoe probably won’t like. The cushion was good, but not overwhelming and the advertised “propulsion” of the wave sole doesn’t seem far off the mark. I was able to run a decent pace without feeling the nagging pain of a recent knee problem. In short, I can’t wait to try the rest of the shoes, but for now the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 2 just went to the front of the running shoe rotation.

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Wordless Wednesday

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Embrace the Crazy, Be a Marathon Maniac

This is a blog about fitness, the successes and the failures. I just ran my second marathon in less than 2 months. I could write about the course or the weather; I could write about my time, my training schedule, or my nutrition. But I won’t because training schedules and nutrition advice are not my strong suit. I’d rather write the story you won’t find in a Runner’s World article.

A little more than 3 years ago my husband introduced me to a blog written by the wife of one of his Arkansas State Parks colleagues. The Park Wife and I became blog buddies. Before I knew it she was inviting me to be a part of this cool collective she was orchestrating, the Arkansas Women Bloggers. At the time I thought it was an interesting idea, a way to search and share blogs that were local and written in a variety of women’s voices. Little did I know the impact it would have on my life. It took a couple of years but Stephanie, AKA The Park Wife, convinced me that I needed come face to face time with these women I’d come to know through words and the perfect forum was the  Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference. I needed a roommate so I asked Stephanie for help. She said, “I know the perfect person.” That is how I met Ashley and that weekend is the cornerstone upon which the madness has been built.

Vintage Ashley and Lisa Shenanigans #RunBloggerRun

Vintage Ashley and Lisa Shenanigans #RunBloggerRun

Ashley and I keep in touch but we don’t run or train together. She lives an hour away and she runs on the pavement, I prefer the dirt. The one time we tried running together on dirt it ended in disaster for Ashley. But this year something possessed me to register for a road marathon. I blame the Little Rock Marathon Chicks in Charge for coming up with such an epic theme that I had no choice. Then there was an email from Ashley, asking if I would consider running the inaugural 3Bridges Marathon with her. Peer pressure at its finest, I acquiesced. I went from saying I’d never run a road marathon to signing up for two just ten weeks apart. And then Ashley dropped the bomb on me, she said “Sign up for the Mississippi River Marathon, I want to be a Marathon Maniac and I want you do to it with me.” The requirement to be a Maniac is three marathons completed within 90 days, we would be doing it in 70 days, plus I would have a trail 25K in the middle and a 50K six weeks after marathon #3. “Are you insane?” I had to ask her. I think the answer was something like, “yes I am and so are you, embrace the crazy.”
Spiderman Lunchbox. Don't ask, just accept the crazy

Grown Woman with a Spiderman Lunchbox. Don’t judge, just accept the crazy

Luckily, the Arkansas Women Bloggers group has other members who have embraced the crazy or are at the very least, supportive of the crazy. During our second Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference, Ashley and I were race directors for a 5K run. Kellee Mayfield, the Delta Moxie, ran the whole thing holding her iPad to capture as much of the crazy as possible. Because you have to capture everything when you’re with a group of bloggers and social media hounds who tweet, instagram, facebook, vine, vlog and G+ the heck out everything, including our #RunBloggerRun 5k.  She’s also the beautiful creature who wore a hippopotamus swim ring to our canoe trip on the Mississippi River. Crazy has been wholly embraced y’all, and she wears skinny camo pants from JCrew, with pearls. She is perfectly Southern.
Camo Skinnies, pearls and a PFD. She's set.

Camo Skinnies, pearls and a PFD. She’s set.

Before we decided to run the Mississippi River Marathon, Kellee encouraged us to sign up and invited us to stay with her since her house is just a short distance from the starting line in Lake Village, Arkansas. It’s a  town known far and wide for the largest oxbow lake in North America, Lake Chicot, the decorating heaven that is Paul Michael Company, and Ms. Rhoda’s tamales.
Unfortunately, Kellee was unable to be home at the time we needed to arrive to pick up packets and get to bed. Instead she gave us access to her home stocked with kale and avocado salad, homemade marinara, pasta, and red wine for an incredible pre-race dinner. She made us a good luck #RunBLoggerRun banner and left little hot pink post-its all over the house for us.
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I wouldn’t expect Delta Moxie, the woman who makes triple strand pearls and statement necklaces not just a fashion Do, but a Must Do, to use anything other than hot pink post-its.
This is how we build a community. This is how Stephanie’s vision spread out in waves to touch hundreds of other women, and a few of us lucky ducks have embraced each other, crazy and all.
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Race day dawned with a sprinkle of leftover snow. Ashley and I had our usual issues with which one of us was going to say “I have to pee!” the most times within that 26.2 miles. The cold air only made it worse. Six stops during 3Bridges turned to eight stops and one “I might have to stop because I’m not sure if that’s gas or marathon poops.” I’ve never sugar coated anything, why start now? One beer stop turned to two and we were about three minutes slower at marathon #2 than we were our first marathon together. I wrote more about the race for Arkansas Outside. We had fun, all the fun, more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Except for mile 25. Mile 25 sucked.
New Skitch

Do Groundhogs Like Big Ass Beers?

Dear February,

You are THE month of love. Not that other months shouldn’t be for love too but you, you are special. You begin with the all important worship of the furry thing that predicts our future weather happiness or despair. Look, I don’t mind winter all that much, in fact I kind of appreciate our southern version of winter: the occasional snow day mixed with 60 degree days. I love that I went out for a run on February 1st wearing short sleeves and capris but could have even gone for shorts if I’d wanted to. Then the very next day I had to wear a heavy raincoat in the wintry mix of sleet and rain to run errands as I waited impatiently for the line of snow that blanketed areas just a few miles away with a beautiful layer of white. It never came. Damn you cold front line! All you gave me was scary thunder sleet. And to top it off, we skipped a chance to socialize over that ridiculous event others call a football match but we call the brand bowl, just because of the crappy weather forecast. The groundhog didn’t see his shadow, he was scared back into his hole by that freaky thunder sleet.

My consolation? The month began with a post River Trail 15K run Big Ass Beer with my girls and a burrito the size of my head, not to mention a pound of fresh chorizo from the market side of the restaurant my running crew lovingly refers to as Mexican Shithole.

Cerveza, por favor

Cerveza, por favor

Incredible food, great service, and big ass Corona Familiar, la cerveza mas fina. Mas fina indeed. If the groundhog is afraid of thunder sleet, I bet a big ass beer would get him to come out of his hole. So I appreciate what IRunToDrink has to say about runners and drinkers but what I want to know is, after we run, who wants to drink with me?

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3 Bridges, 26.8 Miles, 18 Potty Breaks

The day of the inaugural 3 Bridges Marathon arrived to find me under-trained. I had missed more than a few short runs in favor of lifting or spinning and the long runs were interrupted by weather, travels or trips to the urgent care to get Joe’s head stapled because while mountain biking, sometimes rocks happen. Life happens. My plan was to run a little, walk a little, repeat until the finish line even if it took all day because I didn’t want to be too sore to walk down the stairs the next day. But then the woman who talked me into doing 3Bridges after I said I would probably never do a road marathon, showed up next to me at the starting line and the plan changed.  Instead, we spent the next 5 hours and 40 minutes jogging at a relatively slow pace, singing, dancing, posing for pictures and stopping at almost every aid station and porta potty on the route.

The hardest earned suncatcher in history

The hardest earned suncatcher in history

It was a chilly morning, nerves and cold air were influencing a lot of people to shuffle between the portable heaters and the portable toilets. I practically stayed in line, making 3 visits within 25 minutes.  Ashley and I lined up toward the back of the 7 a.m. starters along with a few other friends, like my trail running buds Joshua, Skip and Bill who were all lined up with us. We made it over the first of the three bridges, the Big Dam Bridge at about 2 miles in and I was already prepared to sprint across the little parking lot to the bathrooms. This was not a good omen for the day, it was also one of the things that contributed to my Garmin reading 26.8 instead of 26.2 miles, I went for bonus points! We got back in to the pack of runners, really at the back now and set off to enjoy the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River Trail together. We managed to make it to the aid station at mile 4 before Ashley had to stop at the permanent bathhouse at Victory Lake, the site of the first of our many dance breaks. Why? Because Girls, Just Wanna Have Fu-un. I soon realized that my water bottle was unnecessary, there were so many volunteers we could get water almost every mile. At mile 7 we stopped to use the porta potty and at mile 8.6 we didn’t stop but did show off our dance moves for the Argenta Foundation volunteers. Once we passed over the second of the three bridges, the Clinton Bridge, we were met with mini snickers bars and tissues from the Black Girls Run cheerleaders and we stopped to pose for my husband Joe, a picture with the library behind us while Ashley wondered aloud what she was supposed to do with the tissue. “Wipe your nose with it!” the laughing volunteer said. “Oh” says Ash, “my nose isn’t running, what do I do with it now?”  Humor, it’s what keeps you going when things go wrong, like having to stop to pee every 2.36 miles. Seriously, we stopped again at mile 12 at the same stop we made at mile 7 so at least our intervals were getting longer.  I also  took advantage of the break to eat some Honey Stinger Chews and take a little anti-inflammatory Ash was smart enough to bring for us. We made it to mile 13, we were halfway there and I stopped to pose for photos with friends and to get a few hugs.

A hug and a great photo by Brenda Hansen

A hug and a great photo by Brenda Hansen

We managed to get all the way to mile 15 before I said, “um sorry, but I need to to” and then because it’s contagious, I had to wait while Ash went too.  I took advantage of the time to pull out a few more dance moves for the volunteers from the Hot Legs Running Club and to award their station the best music mix trophy.

Something clicked after that mile and we spent the next 4 miles jogging a fairly consistent pace and getting ready for the challenge we knew was coming: at mile 19.3 we would have to pass the finish line and KEEP GOING! The agony, the cruelty, the inhumanity!  Okay it wasn’t anything like that, we were actually feeling pretty great, I think our strategy of stopping every 15 minutes was not paying off in having a great finish time but was paying off in having a great time. I grabbed another mini snickers from a Black Girls Run volunteer and we just kept moving even though we could hear and see the finishers. With 7 miles to go, we lost our minds and really started singing. I would like to personally apologize to the man who passed us on his way back to the finish line while we attempted to sing the theme song from Fresh Prince. We also scared birds, a dog, and made a kid in a stroller cry with our rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Again, sorry! At mile 24 we ran into my HASH friends who provided a cup of restorative beer, a multitude of hugs and a few cheers. We were almost there, I was going to finish my first marathon, albeit slowly, with the best possible person for company. Five hours and forty minutes after we started, we skipped across the line. I can’t imagine what the day would have been like without Ashley by my side. Because as she said so many times during the last 7 miles, “this doesn’t suck.”

Winning!

Winning!

Within 45 minutes of finishing the race, we were sitting at a table at Homer’s West with meat and beer in front of us. It was possibly the best day ever.

Ashley handles a big ol burger with bacon

Ashley handles a big ol burger with bacon

Truths I learned during my first road marathon and longest road run to date:

Karaoke must become an integral part of training. While singing our best rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, we realized that we needed a deeper bench for our repertoire. Beats the heck out of an earful of iPod.

At 24 miles, a quarter cup of cheap beer and a grocery store mini cupcake are manna from  heaven. Seriously. As we walked/ran away from the aid station at mile 24, a hug from Katy and a smile from Elaine, the beer, the cupcake and for Ashley, the pretzels, were just what we needed to turn to each other and say “Let’s get this B@$%& done. I got beer and pretzels! Do you know how great this is? Wait, I have to pee.”

Even if like me, you have a bladder the size of a walnut, try not to stop at each and every bathroom/portapotty/hidden copse of bushes along the way. We figured we spent a good 30 minutes, possibly more, using the bathroom. This is unacceptable and I will become a spokesperson for Depends now.

Bra Chafing. Because God was so generous to me, I know this will forever be an issue. There is a certain amount of assistance to be had from products like Body Glide and a foundation garment that fits properly but seriously, if I could do away with the boob chafing I’d be super happy. But, it leads to great conversations about the invention of a sweat wicking lower back tattoo for women, preventing the all embarrassing “ass sweat angel” situation. I do believe Ashley is on to a million dollar idea here.

Also, I may never run again without Ashley beside me.

Crunching Snow

A few months ago, when it was desperately hot and humid, I was at a blogger conference where I was introduced to a few very cool people who just happen to work in the arena of visitors bureaus and city advertising and promotion type stuff. These folks, they do good work trying to get more people to find, try and love the gems they already know are in their towns. It just so happened that one of them was giving away a two night hotel stay with a few other goodies thrown in. It just so happened that it was in a town we frequently visit for races. I was covetous. My inner Gollum revealed himself “ME WANTSES IT, the precious.” My Gollum won and in my dirty little hands was laid an envelope full of promises for a great weekend in my future.

It is no longer hot and humid in Arkansas. We had snow and ice 2 weeks ago and the weather cooperated with the Snow Miser to keep a lot of that snow and ice on the ground with periods of freezing precipitation into the next weekend. This was no good. The final cyclocross race of the season, the state championship race, and our planned weekend of promise from the summer winnings was at hand. It was cold and blustery and we were on a mini vacation. And worse, I needed to run. NEEDED. Work, weather, family and side business duties have been hacking away at time for my long runs and I’m supposed to be training for two marathons and a 50K between Christmas and April. After a day and a half of site-seeing, shopping and shivering, I sucked it up, bundled up, tucked a map and my new yaktrax in my pocket, and set out to discover Rogers, Arkansas on foot.

Testing the grip

Testing the grip

I find maps helpful and I came to Rogers armed with a few. A street map and a trails map gave me a pretty good idea of areas I could easily get to without being on roads that might be dangerous on foot.

I wound my way from Veterans Park to the downtown area via the quaint neighborhood with porches and eves decorated with wreaths and lights, and sidewalks decorated with piles of leftover snow. I considered avoiding snow piles, ice patches and puddles as a bonus workout. Snow and ice patches crunched under the tread of my trail shoes as I zigzagged my way through the streets with only a few funny looks from residents. After a few miles of zigzags, I found the street that would lead me to the Lake Atalanta trails. The sun had come out to play and the temp was rising but the ice still coated the eastern side of the lake. This looked like a great place to test those yaktrax. Instead of slipping and sliding I was running full tilt, sure footed. I am so happy I bought these puppies, they might be the handiest gear I’ve purchased this year. Looping around the lake to get mileage in, I stopped to enjoy the light skipping on the water and to look for the eagle a walker told me liked to frequent a particular point on the lake.

Sunshine on the water

Sunshine on the water at Lake Atalanta

I never found the eagle but I still enjoyed the scenery as I toddled past all the fishermen. I was shedding layers while at least one of them was retreating to the warmth of a running vehicle. Maybe he should’ve taken a lap with me?

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Crossing Walnut Street I hit the still very icy trails at Diamond Springs Park that connect the lake to downtown Rogers where I halted my run long enough to read about the Frisco Spring. What better way to learn about a town than running through its history? The spring was a water source for the Frisco Railroad. The town of Rogers sprang up as a stop on the rail route and the rest…is history. To get back to downtown, I had to take the 3/4 mile trail section with 300 ft of elevation change. Those yaktrax came in handy again as I navigated the slick natural terrain.

I zig zagged through town again, fighting the urge to stop in at Iron Horse Coffee Company for a cup, finally deciding to head back to Veterans Park in time to see at least part of the cyclocross racing. The nice couple at the concession stand in the park stayed open to provide frosty spectators and racers who were done for the day with hot cocoa and other provisions. I took advantage of that option, twice. I have to throw in a kudos to them, it is unusual to have a concession open during these races and they were there for another reason when they realized an opportunity to warm up some cold folks.

Snow didn’t slow down the race at Veterans Park

When I asked if the day had been worth it to them, the response was “Yes, and we’ve really enjoyed talking to the people who’ve come in today. We’ll be sure we’re here next year.”  That’s what I’m talking about, community givers. And with Arkansas weather patterns, I hope they’re prepared with popsicles for the next one. One never knows what December weather will be in Arkansas.

This trip was sponsored by the Rogers Convention and Vistors Bureau, all opinions expressed are my own. We packed a lot more into the weekend and will be posting more about it. Thanks for a great visit Rogers!

Hulk RUN! Hulk SMASH!

I took a What’s Your Superhero Personality? Test.

Your results:
You are Hulk

Hulk
80%
Wonder Woman
77%
The Flash
70%
Catwoman
70%
Supergirl
67%
Spider-Man
65%
Superman
55%
Batman
55%
Green Lantern
55%
Iron Man
55%
Robin
42%
You are a wanderer with
amazing strength.


Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

I’m not usually one to indulge in these types of surveys, in fact I routinely ignore them but a couple of things happened last week that got me to thinking about Superheroes.

First, someone posted a photo of superhero socks on Facebook. I have a friend who is well known for her collection of tall socks which she proudly displays on her shapely calves throughout the Cyclocross and Mountain Bike racing seasons. Of course I had to share the info with her and we hatched plans about how to put superhero socks to good use.

Capes for your Calves

And then, the Little Rock Marathon announced the theme for the 2014 race. It’s going to be “EPIC”, calling all Superheroes.

I couldn’t count the number of times I have said “I have no interest in ever running a road marathon.” I’m not a fan of pavement running. I have knee issues with distance running on the road and I’ve narrowed the cause to running on banked angles and rhythmic pounding both of which are unavoidable in a big race when the crowd determines your path and to a degree, your pace. But. I want to be a Superhero. I want to wear a costume and feel like I can fly or smash things or look hot while piloting my invisible plane which I never understood since the invisible plane didn’t make her invisible, she just looked like she was squatting in the sky. Whatever. I want in. I’ll end up being the goober with no real power standing on the street corner yelling “SPOON!” But that’s okay, it’ll be a lot like real life that way.

Several of my friends who have also SWORN they would never marathon or never marathon again have caught the bug. I’d say the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Chicks in Charge have managed to pull off a miracle  with next year’s theme. Or maybe their super power is the Power of Persuasion. Registration opens tomorrow, August 1st, and the marathon is expected to sell out quickly. The next few days will show just how powerfully persuasive the CICs are.

Running with the Hash

The goals of the Hash House Harriers according to a 1950 club registration:

  • to promote physical fitness among our members
  • to get rid of weekend hangovers
  • to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
  • to persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

If you have ever heard your local “Hashers” described as a Drinking Club with a Running Problem, the description probably fits. What you might not realize is they are just as likely to be accomplished athletes: champion ultra-runners, triathletes and track record holders. They are also professionals: nurses, psychologists, statisticians and soldiers. And they like to drink beer. They like to drink a lot of beer. And they like to be naughty. They like to sing naughty songs and chastise other members for rule infractions by calling them naughty names and singing naughty songs about them. Fortunately these are things I can appreciate in a group of people I’d like to hang out with.

I’ve just returned from my third Hash run and I see many more in my future. One of my introductory runs was the Humpin’ Hash Run, a Wednesday night short run that could also be characterized as a pub run. I chronicled the event via Instagram in honor of my brand new Karhu shoes that I won in Rock City Running’s grand opening giveaway.

It starts with Chili's

It starts with Chili’s

It also involved running through a few residential yards and a Church playground where I stopped to play with a pony.

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and ended with you guessed it, a beer.

Post Run Beer

Post Run Beer


My “will run for beer” moments have been greatly enhanced by my friend Cassandra who convinced me that I really should give Hash a try. She was right. And as she said after her bucket list cross off of drinking from a plastic flamingo, known as the Flambongo, “you had no idea this was what was missing from your life!” Indeed, Cass, indeed.

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