Frenetic Fitness

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

Wordless Wednesday

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National Running Day

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Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday

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The Beat of the Universe

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
Joseph Campbell

Last night on the way home from work ( I carpool and my sweetheart picks me up from the meeting spot every day) I said, “look, I didn’t get you anything for Valentine’s Day. If you want to stop at Dunkin on the way home, I’ll buy you those heart shaped donuts.”

Runnin on Dunkin

Runnin on Dunkin

I realize this is a totally inappropriate photo, purchase, admission, confession, whatever, for a blog about fitness but hey, we aren’t perfect. I run to eat and drink, I admit it. Often. It’s almost like a creed now. Or excuse. However you wish to see it.
For tonight I tried make something healthier than donuts.I saw it on that vortex of time suckage known as Pinterest. It’s a combination of two things really: yogurt covered strawberries and strawberry heart kabobs. But it didn’t work out so well. My attempt at covering the back of the strawberries became something of an experiment in dolloping. It was a globular mess. I had Kablobs.
Strawberry Heart Kablobs

Strawberry Heart Kablobs

This is kitchen double speak. I give them donuts, I give them fruit kabobs. I give them transfat, I give them no fat. I want them to be happy, I want them to be healthy. It’s a delicate balance isn’t it?

My husband has learned the art of balance well. For years, every special occasion was marked by a gift of athletic equipment. North Face jackets, new bike tires, running gear, and the like. I commented once that it would be nice to get something pretty every once in a while. So then it went the other way and I got jewelry for the next umpteen special days. He finally figured out how to balance the romantic with the practical and now tends to switch back and forth on the gear versus earrings giving. This year he figured out a way to give me something totally practical with a totally romantic twist. Years ago I gave him my heart. Every day since he finds ways to help me keep it strong and getting stronger. Apparently the man loves punishment and wants me to stick around a long time so he gave me a new Garmin Forerunner 210 with Heart Rate Monitor. Thump Thump. Thump Thump. I love you too. Thank you for understanding my need to match my nature with Nature and for needing the same.

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Why I Love Calvin

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Wine is Not a Pre-Race Drink

Memorial Day Weekend: for some it’s the kickoff to summer vacation, for others the end of another school year, time to get out to the lake or to enjoy the long weekend relaxing. For many it is the time they remember and honor those who gave all.

This year we had planned to camp with a group of friends and go mountain biking but a busy schedule that has left many a household project unfinished (or un-started as the case may be) convinced us that we should stay home. And I got the bright idea to enter the Rock Run 8K scheduled for early Saturday morning as the way to begin my weekend before we started those chores. But I was disappointed to miss out on fun times on the trails.  Because there would be friends and food and for sure there would be beer. Because beer is a great recovery drink. This is an established fact. Someone told me once that a glass of red wine the night before a race actually aids oxygenation of the blood. I personally called shenanigans and formed the opinion that this person was looking for excuses to drink red wine. My issues would begin when I decided to test the theory.

I won’t hold you in suspense,wine is not a good pre-race drink. After a long, seemingly endless week of work, night-time meetings, events, and commitments, I felt justified in my desire to share a bottle of  wine with J during our Friday night dinner. Normally a glass or two of wine is no problem but this morning I woke to find myself not with a headache, but with terrible heartburn. Like I had a tiny little muppet Beaker in there flaming a bunsen burner and setting the lining of my esophagus on fire every few minutes. But I had pre-registered and I wasn’t going to pull out at the last minute. I took a couple of pepcid, double tied my shoes and lined up toward the back of the pack to start. Suck it up.

The race begins on Rebsamen Park Road in front of the area of pavilions 1 and 2, it then heads West for a bit before turning back on to the trail heading East. Close to the 1 mile marker I see Joe crouched in position to take photos. I don’t remember what I said to him, I do remember feeling like the alien inside was trying desperately to escape. My greatest fear was that it would escape. All over the road or the grass and in front of all these people. Soldier on! Just 4 more to go. I settled into a pace that my stomach could deal with, though it was a bit slow and my legs kept screaming “Go Faster!” As I near what I figured was close to the halfway point I start to see the lead runners coming back on the trail toward the finish. Twenty plus shirtless men in tiny shorts running 5-6 minute mile pace. So in spite of my churning belly, there was good scenery. Along the way I chatted here and there with women around me. Not too much though, I was concentrating on not hurling. Legs felt great, lungs were good, but each time I sped up I got a reminder from the Three Mile Island reactor thing in my gut. I finished without stopping or walking. Or shaming myself with a side trip to the grass.

Thanks to Timex who apparently sponsored the race and had an employee team running in the event and Little Rock Road Runners for helping with all the race administration stuff. Thanks Easter Seals Arkansas and all the work they do. And especially to the folks who live at the Butler Adult Living Center, for being great cheerleaders.

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