Found My Running Stride

Well, I really started back to running in July, and it finally happened at the tail end of September: I found my stride. I got into that place where you kind of feel like you can run forever. I didn’t repeat my mistake from last week and try to go out too fast. I started with an easy pace, and I stayed there. It went so well, I didn’t have to slow for anything but traffic lights and to grab a drink of water twice.

I ran 6.6 miles, which is near what I would like to be doing regularly for long runs on the weekends. My goal is to do 4 miles on weekdays 2 times a week, do a speed-builder 2-3 miler 1 day a week, and do 8 on the weekend.  I am not where I am headed, but I am happy with where I am right now.  Continue reading

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Running: Going the Distance

I have been repeating in my head over and over that in order to become a stronger runner I need to add distance. Running every day won’t really matter if it’s a short run. I need to push myself. Today, I decided 4 miles would be enough to push myself and short enough that I wouldn’t risk more injury to my heel.

I bought KT Tape yesterday taped my ankle. It may have been the placebo effect, but my ankle felt better right away. Running on it was a slightly different story. Good thing distance runs can be as slow as you need them to be. Side note: I need to turn off the pacing information on these runs. It is dispiriting to hear how slow I’m going. Continue reading

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In Praise of Running Loops

Trexler Memorial Park is still among my favorite places I’ve ever gone running. It has been over a decade since I ran there, and I can still recall vividly what it was like. That is what parks should be: the place that stays with you.

I still recall the sight of a flock of grey-white birds lifting in unison from a broad, green treetop, swirling like flakes in a snowglobe in the sky before resting back onto the branches, hidden again among the thick foliage. I can still see the faces of park visitors with palms extended upwards as chickadees ate birdseed from their hands. People with blankets spread on the emerald green grass reading a book.

Trexler Memorial Park
Trexler Memorial Park. Photo from Lehigh Valley Health Network.

I have absolutely no memory of anyone there every being angry or upset. How could you be? It was lovely. Continue reading

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On the Run with Gear and Trails

Following my frustrating injury, I got back to running on August 16th. It felt so good to get back out there that I ended up running 6 days in a row. Even though it’s only 1.6 miles around Duke’s East Campus Wall (and I only did 1 lap), I accept it as an accomplishment that I ran more consecutive days than I think I have ever done. My average pace is about a minute faster per mile than it was on the beach, too.

Run by the Bronto statue at the side of the trail
Give the old bronto a salute while you run by on Ellerbe Creek Trail.

I am working on upping my distance now, and so I decided 3 miles today would work out. But I also thought that, while the East Campus Wall is great for short runs, the trail is sloped, which makes me worry about an uneven gait. So, today was Ellerbe Creek Trail, which is actually closer to my home anyway and more shaded, since I’m not an early riser.  It was great for me, and I did notice that I had a bit of a heel strike on my right foot, so my gait concerns were justified, I will keep running this trail for a while to straighten all that out. Continue reading

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Injury Report: Achilles Tendonitis

A few months ago, I pulled a muscle. I wasn’t doing anything when I pulled it. One moment, I was fine. The next, I was in terrible pain. This was in a time when I was less than half way through a 4-week boot camp. Because the injury prevented me from putting weight on or extending my left arm, I had to withdraw. Just as I was feeling so empowered.

Now, I have fit into clothes I haven’t been able to wear in over 7 years (yes, I still have clothes from 7 years ago I haven’t been able to fit into). Now, I am finally seeing some definition and getting some downward movement on the scale. Now, I have finally started running again. Continue reading

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Does Your Boss Control Your Health?

As I have been making many lifestyle changes to get back to a healthier version of myself, I have been thinking a lot about what sabotages health to begin with. I know that, for me, one of the barriers has been my work commitments.

Consider this:

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My 3-Day Juice Cleanse

So, I decided that I’m not crazy enough yet and wanted to try a juice cleanse – mostly because I’ve been feeling really drained lately and had read that juicing can increase your energy levels a bit – that all those micronutrients give you a boost. This past weekend, after doing what I normally do when trying something new: endlessly researching it, I bit the bullet and got started.

I went to Whole Foods where I knew I could get loads or organics, and stocked up on the ingredients for the equivalent of the BluePrint Evacuation Cleanse. I decided this was the right one for me because I already eat a plant-strong diet and don’t eat junk food with the exception of the occasional baked french fry binge. Mmmmm. French fries! Continue reading

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Giving Laziness the Boot

So, I have this great app on my phone. I love it. It’s Nike Training Club (NTC), and it features dozens of workouts (designed for women). Timed. With voice guidance that doesn’t sound like you’re trainer is a robot. It even has those encouraging bits thrown in. “Almost there.” “Finish strong.” You can use their music or pick an album or playlist on your device (This Modest Mouse album works great for me). I love using it, and it does offer a really good workout.

It also provides you with a summary so you can see how often you use it and what workouts you’ve been doing. Therein lies the problem with me. I used it once in February. Upon seeing that, I knew I had to do something to jumpstart my commitment to getting exercise, so I sighed up for a boot camp. Continue reading

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Turning Points

Ever had an epiphany? This is a term they throw around a lot in literature programs in college. I was in one such program. An epiphany is a sudden, striking realization. Usually it has tremendous consequences for the way the individual perceives circumstances or even the world. In other words, it makes a lasting impression.

My epiphany happened 20 years ago, and because it is probably close to that anniversary date, I would like to share the simple epiphany I had that changed who I was and how I lived my life. Continue reading

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What I’d Say at the Voter ID Hearing Tonight

I am not attending the public hearing on Voter ID tonight because of other obligations, but I do have something to say about it. If I were speaking tonight, this is what I would say on the matter.

Voting in NC - Photo by Brentin Mock.
Voting in NC – Photo by Brentin Mock.

Studies show that as many as 11 percent of United States citizens—mostly older, low-income, and minority citizens & including veterans who risked their lives for our freedoms—do not have government-issued photo IDs.  Furthermore, there are many requirements the state must meet to allow voters without photo IDs to obtain them. Continue reading

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