Tag Archives: running with friends

Mile Repeats and Cemetery Restroom Stops

21 Nov

This past Tuesday morning I was still a little stiff from Saturday’s long run. Despite my stiffness, I surprisingly hopped out of bed for that morning’s run. I was excited to run because I knew my pal Em would be able to stay for coffee afterwards (she always has to skip to get to work on time). This was cause for celebration.

As I was headed out the door I noticed I had gotten the following text from her:

Driving up to 7-11 to use restroom.

I shook my head, wondered if she had potato soup again the night before (WARNING: never have potato soup the night before a run), shot back a quick “Okay” and jumped in my car.

I was surprised when I pulled up to our meet-up spot to find her waiting for me. Girl took care of bidness fast. Mmhmmm.

The day before I had sent an email to the group suggesting we did mile repeats (run a mile, walk 2 minutes, repeat) for Tuesday’s run, rather than our usual group 5 and 1’s (run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat). I did this because of what had happened earlier that day:

The work potluck Thanksgiving lunch. This was just the dessert table.

You can see why I was feeling about 5 pounds heavier and was in the need of burning some extra calories. Plus, I have the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, which I plan to run through, walking only while I’m grabbing water.

Em was the only other runner to RSVP for our little mile repeat run, so we took off towards the golf course for a flatter route.

We ran the first two miles at a good pace and felt good. It was somewhere around mile 3 that Em got that look on her face and began walking.

The conversation that followed went something like this:

Em: I need to use the restroom.

Me: Did you not go at 7-Eleven?

Em: No, I did go at 7-Eleven. I need to go again.

Me: Did you have potato soup for dinner last night?

Em: Noooo. But I did make dessert. It was good.

Me: Hmm… I see. And no soup?

Em: Well, I did have some soup for lunch.

Me: You should never have any kind of soup the entire day before your run. Soup is not your friend.

Em: But I wanted soup!

Me: So you have soup… today. After your run.

Em: But I don’t want soup anymore.

Me: Because you had it yesterday.

Em: I can’t make it to 7-Eleven. We’re going to have to see if we can get into the cemetery bathroom.

Me: What if they changed the code?

Em: They didn’t change the code.

Me: Yeah, but what if they did. And you have to pop a squat on the golf course. Or the cemetery.

Em: We should run with toilet paper. This bush here is perfect to go behind.

Me: Sometimes I do during marathons. You could use a sock.

Em: Hopefully I can get into the bathroom.

Me: What will you do if something grabs your tush while you’re in there?

Em: Nothing is going to grab my tush.

Me: Yeah, but what if someone does?

Em: We’re almost there.

Me: Do you want to cut through the cemetery?

Em: NO.

Me: You would rather mess yourself then walk through the cemetery?

Em: We are not desecrating the cemetery.

Me: We don’t have to. There’s a path.

Em: NO.

Me: Fine.

Em: Are you going to blog about this?

Me: Nah, I wouldn’t do that to you… Unless you don’t mind.

Em: I don’t mind.

Me: It would be a better post if you actually popped a squat.

Em: The code worked!

Me: Is there a light in there?

Em: No, I have to go in the dark.

Me: Something’s going to grab you. But don’t worry. I’ll be right outside the door.

Shortly after that I saw a cat walk across the cemetery and decided to step closer to the road… you know, in case something was to chase me. I heard steps in the grass behind me and I turned around to ready to kick a zombie’s head off.

Me: Oh! It’s you.

Em: Yes. Who else would it be?

Me: That was fast.

Em: I’ve never had to go in complete darkness.

Me: Did anything grab you?

Em: No.

Me: Good, good. Though it would’ve made for a better blog post.

Not knowing if the prior day’s soup and dessert would come back up to haunt Em yet again, I suggested we cut the run short. But she was insistent on finishing what we had started. Thus we did… incident free!

Afterwards we had coffee. It was a lovely finish to a shitty run. 😉

Running Date

5 Sep

I’m a big fan of running dates. It allows you to catch up with a friend while burning calories and is typically much more economical than meeting your friends for dinner or happy hour drinks. And if you do decide to have a little indulgence afterwards, you can do so knowing you just worked for it!

On Saturday I met up with a friend I hadn’t seem in a while. We strategically parked our cars in between a French bakery and a coffee shop and said we would decide on where to get our post-run coffee afterwards. We like to have our options. 🙂

We ran just over three miles and there wasn’t a quiet moment in there. I guess you can say we had a lot to catch up on. When we got back to our cars, we decided on the French Bakery, Les Petits Pleasures.

I was super excited to try this place out. I’ve run by it several times on solo runs and it always looks yummy. Plus my foodie friend Rachelle has vouched for their “mmmm” factor.

We had so many options to choose from (fruit tarts, chocolate mousse, eclairs and more) but when I saw they had almond croissants, my mind was made up! My friend and I each got cappuccinos and settled down to split our almond croissant:

Almond croissant from Les Petits Pleasures… So. Good.

I’ve only recently discovered the joy that is the almond croissant and this one was absolutely amazing. And their cappuccino was perfectly made. I can’t wait to go back have another running date!

Afterwards we set off our separate ways, not feeling the least bit guilty about our indulgence and happy to have just spent some good ol’ sweaty time together.

Do you ever schedule running dates? Where are your favorite places to meet up?

Run, Yoga, Run, Run, Paint

27 Aug

This last week was super sweaty and busy and I spent so much time feeling thankful for the laughs along the way.

Here were my workouts:

  • Tues: Ran 4 miles
  • Wed: Hatha 1 Yoga
  • Thu: Ran 4 miles
  • Fri: Stretched
  • Sat: Ran 6 7 miles
  • Sun: Paint Party

Some of the thoughts I had along the way:

“I did not miss waking up at this ungodly hour.” – Waking up at 4:45 AM for my Tuesday and Thursday runs

“I missed this so much!” – After those same Tuesday and Thursday runs

“Oh, this is just what I needed.” – When I realized that my Hatha yoga class was focusing on hip openers

“Oh… ow… oh… oooh…” – During my stretch session Friday

“Hmm… this was supposed to be a six-mile run, but my Garmin says seven miles.” – Checking my watch after a special new 6-mile loop… that really is closer to seven 🙂

“Glad this yoga has my back and shoulders strong.” – two hours into the paint party at my little sister’s new place

I met up with an old friend yesterday that called me “the healthiest person she knows.” While laughing I tried to explain that working out was a social event for me. Running with my ladies gives me a chance to catch up on their lives, tell shark stories and drink coffee, and it’s much healthier for us than a Happy Hour. Though the coffee I ordered after Saturday’s six seven miles would beg to differ:

The big gulp of iced coffees …

I didn’t get as far on the iced coffee as I thought I would so I stuck it in the frig for later. I may or may not be sipping on it as I type.

Tropical Storm Isaac will likely complicate my runs this week.

Granted, Isaac will be skirting by the (not-so) Sunshine State, but we’ll be getting remnant rain from it regardless. I dislike this, but I am thankful we’ll be safe. In the meantime I will continue to drag my dogs outside in the rain for their potty breaks. Hmm… I should count that as another workout.

If the rain curtails my running this week (I don’t do treadmills), I will just improvise with extra yoga and strength training where I can.

How/will Tropical Storm Isaac curtail your workouts this week?

Moving Large Furniture Makes for a Great Workout

20 Aug

Last week I started my week eager to get back into the swing of things. And boy did I ever end up getting my sweat on:

  • MON: 30-minute Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD sesh (thought I much prefer calling it a Yoga Melt) in the AM
  • TUE: 3-mile run in the evening
  • WED: 1.5-hour walk (no clue how far we went… I was Garmin free) in the AM
  • THU: 3-mile run in the evening followed by furniture strength training

Yes, that’s right. I said ‘furniture strength training.’ It’s the new thing… everyone is doing it. At least Rox, Donnie and I were!

It all started when Rox and I both got held up working late on Thursday and had to miss my favorite yoga class. Instead we decided to go for a run in the new neighborhood (which really isn’t that new to us since it’s the neighborhood we both started to run in together). While we were running I asked Rox if she would mind following Donnie and I to a co-worker’s house after our run just in case we needed any help moving the armoire I had purchased. It was an IKEA piece, so I assumed that it would be made of lightweight particle board (as most IKEA pieces are), but was asking Rox as a precautionary measure. Rox, being the wonderful friend she is, agreed. A friend later declared that this was the classic old “bait and switch” though that wasn’t my intention. I really didn’t think we’d need her!  After our run, we set off for what would become our second workout of the night.

When we got to the house and saw the armoire, Donnie walked right up to it and gave it a little shove to measure it’s weight. The armoire didn’t move… it was solid. Doubting the strength that Rox and I possess, he said, “I don’t think we’ll be able to manage this.”

Insulted by this comment (does Donnie not realize how strong chaturangas have made us??) we immediately jumped in and said we could do it. However, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Oh crap. How are we going to do this??”

We set up with Donnie on one end and Rox and I on the other and proceeded to move through a series of lifts and turns. We soon started to erase all doubt from Donnie’s mind. With only the occasional help of a 4th person (helping steady us so we didn’t scratch up the walls) we got the piece out to my car.

We encountered a major obstacle when we tipped the armoire to slide it into my car and it wouldn’t fit. Until last Thursday, my Honda Element (nicknamed “Ele”) had never met a piece of furniture that wouldn’t fit. All we needed was one more inch!

We set the armoire down and stared at each other. The reality that we would have to move this back into the house and do this whole thing again another day was starting to set in and sending me into full panic mode when Rox spoke up. She knew who we could call.

I love Rox for many reasons, one being that she’s strong (mentally and physically) and two being that she thinks quick on her feet. While Donnie sat outside guarding our armoire, Rox and I set out to borrow an Expedition from incredibly graceful folks.

We came back with the Expedition and managed to slide the armoire right in. Perfect fit!

Back at the house we slid the armoire out and decided on a game plan: We would carry the piece straight into the house and to it’s new home without resting or stopping.

Donnie: Can you handle it?

Rox: Yes.

Me: Um. Yeah… I think so. Maybe. I mean, I don’t know. How far is it again? Do you think maybe that’s too far…

Before I could finish my verbal self-doubt, Rox and Donnie started lifting. I had no choice. And in no time at all, the armoire was in it’s new place:

Our new armoire, which is not made of thin particle board.

Rox high-tailed it out of there before we could ask her to mow our yard. Ha! If you’re reading this, thanks lady! You’re the strongest woman I know. Well, behind Killer T, of course. But who can compete with her? 🙂

After Thursday night’s excursion, I decided I would take it easy the next few days. My back was in full agreement.

Have you tried furniture strength training lately?

Back to Training

25 Oct

Time this AM as I was heading out the door

To say that I didn’t enjoy getting to sleep in while I was letting my tendonitis do some healing would be a lie. I LOVED it. But I did miss running with my group. I missed the quiet time in the mornings. And I missed beating the world to getting up and at ’em.

Rather than jumping right back into track workouts, tempo intervals, and hill combos, I’ve decided to join my group’s lovely morning runs through downtown Winter Park for the next couple of weeks. This morning we met bright and early for a 4.35 mile run. Most of my group is tapering for this weekend’s Marine Corps Marathon and next weekend’s New York City Marathon, and since I’m coming back from some time off I welcomed our leisurely pace. My foot didn’t hurt and I felt great. Plus, we ran by a cemetery which I felt was very appropriate with Halloween just around the corner.

Afterwards we had some coffee and laughs before heading off to start our days. As one of the ladies was swearing off swearing and the rest of us were begging her to reconsider this foolish move, I couldn’t help but think how much I enjoy the ladies I run with. They really make training for a marathon a fun experience.

Do you run alone, with a partner or in a group? Why?

How I Got Into This Mess

15 Oct

And by ‘this mess’ I mean running.

When I lived in NY, I went to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. My gym was only a block away from my Astoria, Queens apartment so it was really hard to talk myself out of going. I usually spent my time alternating between the bike, the stair climber, the elliptical and the weights. I stayed as far away from the treadmill as possible. To me running was the devil.

But when I moved back to Florida, I lived in Tampa for 10 months and money was tight. Plus my hours at the office were long and the thought of coming home and working out within more walls made me cringe. So I started to walk along Bayshore Blvd. And then I started running ‘until the next light post’ or ‘until I passed those people walking their dog.’

Not long after, I moved back to Orlando and continued setting short term running goals:

  • Run around the block
  • Run around Lake Eola one time
  • Run 2 miles
  • Run 3 miles
  • Run the Turkey Trot 5k

I met a lot of these first goals with the help of my boyfriend Donnie’s support. He would run to Lake Eola (I would drive there) and he would run laps with me. He would tell me to dig deeper and push harder when I needed to hear it (and sometimes when I didn’t care to hear it). And he bought me my first pair of running shoes. Up until that point I had been running in old cross-trainers and had started to feel some pain in my ankles. Without his help, I would’ve given up early on.

Shortly before that first 5k I started to run with some ladies from my job and after running a few 5k’s we started talking about running a longer distance. Our friend Tim, who was also a co-worker, got tired of hearing us ladies talk about it, but never actually do anything about it. So he picked a small half marathon held in Baldwin Park in November 2009 and told us we were training for it. From then on we called him “Coach.”

Running with this group of friends was an incredible motivator. Together we ran, we laughed, we got lost on runs and we commiserated. We dragged ourselves out of bed on weekend mornings, we struggled, we got injured and we learned the importance of listening to our bodies. We encouraged each other and we pushed each other. By the time the half marathon came around, two of our ladies were injured and had to run the 5k instead. But we all showed up that morning ready to run:

Before the Baldwin Park Half. I am the one feeling strong. Donnie is the one tying is shoe. Roxy is waving and Tim is trying not to look nervous. Both Roxy and Tim placed in their age groups!

Donnie, Me, Tim (aka “Coach”), Roxy (all Half Marathon) and our 5k runners Theresa and Amy. Both Donnie and Tim smell like sweaty boys, which is why I’m keeping my distance.

Because we all have different paces and jobs now, we no longer run together. But occasionally you’ll still see us at the finish line cheering on our old running buddies.