top ten running things to think about

so we know starting running is hard. 

here’s 10 things to think about when you’re starting running, or even if you’re a seasoned runner, i guess, and need a refresher? 

  1. shoes: always always get good shoes. spend the cash. your feet will thank you. your ankles will thank you. your knees will thank you. your hips will thank you. your brain will thank you because it isn’t thinking about how awful all those things are feeling. 
  2. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: regarding shoes. i have flat feet. and heel spurs. and plantar fasciitis. three-ish years ago i decided to go see a podiatrist. until that point, i’d been wearing walk-fit inserts in my shoes, which were doing ok, but the foot wasn’t 100%. first the podiatrist gave me custom inserts, which had NO arch support. went back, and he gave me a cortisone shot, which lasted maybe 6 months when i started getting weird shooting pains down my foot that turned my second toe numb. went back, got a second cortisone shot, which helped for about 2 weeks, then my foot was just a mess. the shot had obliterated my heel’s fat pad. finally saw a podiatrist again up here in STC, who sent me to physical therapy. 11 sessions later, my foot is about 80% to capacity (and feeling sooo much better in the mornings). but i was still getting those shooting pains to the numb toe. WHAT THE HECK, FOOT. i tried different shoes, different lacing, different socks, etc. nothing. finally, i went back to the walk-fit insert. HALLELUJAH. no more shooting pains. we’re back to square one, but that’s ok.
  3. underwear: hefty in the ladies department? get a good bra. yes, you’ll spend more on it than you would on a $10 sports bra at walmart, but it will support the ladies, and you won’t have to worry about things bouncing around and causing pain. also, GET A FITTING.
  4. speed: this isn’t a land race! unless you’re training to win the boston marathon, there’s no reason to kill yourself. the only person you’re in a competition with is yourself, so take it slow and easy. you can add speed, but do so gradually. i feel like this is half the reason people quit: you try to run so fast right out of the gate, that there’s no way it can be enjoyable. really, slow down. you’ll be able to run farther distances, too, before you pass out.
  5. stretch!: stretch out a little bit before running, but not too much. then stretch a ton after running. i make the mistake of forgetting to stretch after races, and then i can’t move for the next three days. 
  6. your toes: you will get callouses, blisters, broken nails. keep your nails trimmed short. make sure your shoes’ toeboxes are wide enough. if you feel something rubbing your toe in your sock while you’re out on a run, stop and get it out of there! you’re just inviting a blister. one time i was out and felt a piece of dirt/sand between my toes and didn’t think it would be a big deal. i had to wear a huge bandaid on my toe for the next two weeks til the blister subsided.
  7. the suck: some days it will suck. huge suck. other days it will be fantabulous. persevere through the suck and enjoy the crap out of the awesome days. 
  8. the fat girl: if you were like me and 260 lbs. when you start running, there is a phobia of people watching you jiggle around the track. when i started, i went to the track at 10 p.m. to decrease the amount of people who saw me. now i don’t care who sees me, but i certainly don’t make eye contact with anyone driving past me. i haven’t gotten any catcalls, so i think i’m in a weird sweet spot where i’m not skinny enough for guys to yell things at me but not fat enough for the same guys to yell different things at me. 
  9. wave: while drivers are usually jerks, other runners, walkers, and bikers aren’t, for the most part. pass someone on the trail? wave! even if you see someone across the street puffing away like you are, do the runner’s wave: left hand up and a really breathy hi.
  10. for heaven’s sake, keep it up!: like i said before, the only person you are really in competition with is yourself. running is not a team sport (well, most of the time not a team sport). YOU have to want this. YOU are doing this for YOU. you’re gonna hate it sometimes and question why you keep dragging out those shoes. but then you’re plodding along and get to kick your way through a big pile of leaves in the fall. or you run past a giant lilac bush in the spring. or you see a fantastic sunset. or it’s the perfect temperature and humidity for a run. or you get a personal best time. (usually those last two happen on the same day.) but really the best part to keep it up is because you know you’re doing something halfway decent for yourself, and at the end of the day, sitting on your couch eating that slice of chocolate mousse pie, you know you’ve earned it.

it’s starting…

i’ve got sweet peppers popping up, some brussels sprouts, and i just put tomato seeds in my dirt the other day! i’m hoping to get a guy in here to dig up a piece of ground for me, otherwise i’ll be renting a sodcutter and ruining my shoulders for a couple day this spring. 

march is such a blah month for me. not as blah as february, but it’s such a swing month. last week it was -10 overnight, and then 60 on saturday. come on! and usually it’s muddy and slushy and gross, but we didn’t have a ton of snow this winter, so i feel like that bullet was dodged (though it will probably have an effect on my gardening this summer unless april showers get all up in this business). 

i’m really looking forward to my garden this summer. it’s gonna be huge, in the sun, sans black walnut trees, and right out my back door. AND with my fancy pants new shed, i’ll have plenty of space to put my gardening junk. 

OH. and here’s the best thing i found out a couple weeks ago when i perused the property: i think have RASPBERRIES. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 

it’s the little things.

a very caribou love story

dear caribou coffee,

in case i couldn’t admire you more, i received an email from you the other day pronouncing your “clean label” drinks, which i promptly opened. since going corn syrup-free in 2010, it’s been a mission to ferret out the places and items i can eat and drink. while i have been failing spectacularly lately, i now know that you are one place i can get a tasty beverage and know that i’ll at least be HFCS free, if not all corn free*.

*[the new clean label line declares no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or sweeteners. i see a very prominent no high fructose corn syrup, and while i am sitting here pleased as punch so far, i’d like to know if this includes regular corn syrup as well, but i’m guessing a clean label means no corn-related foodstuffs.]

12132483_10101582915606791_3539012098377519292_oit takes a long time to come clean. according to a recent startribune article, this has been years in the making. in 2006, you started with rainforest alliance coffee beans, moved to milk, chocolate chips, vanilla, caramel (GOOD TO KNOW – but is there regular corn syrup in it?), PUMPKIN (!!!!), and now here we sit with a menu of 5 drinks that are 100% clean label, 2 of which are my go-to drinks – the crafted press and mocha -, with the promise of the entire drink menu going clean by the end of the year. 

so while i was cursing the system of corn-heavy foods in 2010, you were already on your way to nixing artificial junk. while i wrote to companies about the perils of including corn  syrup in their ingredients, you were moving to chocolate chips versus chocolate syrup. while i blogged about big ag monopolies, you were working on becoming 100% rainforest certified. 

and i love your why: “we believe that real ingredients taste better. And we invite you to taste the difference for yourself.”

that’s really what this all comes down to: a better taste. have you tasted ice cream made with cream, eggs, and vanilla versus the junk you buy in a gallon bucket? it JUST TASTES BETTER.

so while i would like to see an actual ingredients list on those flavor syrups (it’s not that i don’t trust you; it’s just that i’ve seen GMO-free corn syrup, and that’s rather disingenuous), i know that i’ll choose the ‘bou over the bucks or dunn, and not just for taste (although that’s a big part of it).

and while i still have a beef with you because you don’t offer your pumpkin drinks through thanksgiving, i am very encouraged by the clean labels, and just when i thought i couldn’t love you more for letting me get a hot crafted press, you go and do something crazy like this**. 

<3

**the next big thing that would make me swoon would be a massive recyclable/reusable cup effort. i’d buy stock.

before

i’m always skeptical of these mlms that are all over – especially the skincare/healthcare ones. but i’ve been eyeing some sort of eyelash booster for a while, and i inquired about R+F lash boost. $150!!! omg. i may as well go to the doc and get a prescription for latisse. 

so i did some googling and found a list of top ten lash boosters out there. number two was a $10 tube of london rimmel lash serum. what the heck – may as well give it a go since it’s $140 less than the other stuff i was looking at. found a tube at walmart tonight, and it was actually $8, so i saved my pocketbook $142 over the other option i was looking at.

so i want to see if this stuff will actually make a difference, so i’m going to take some before pics and then followup once a week. or maybe once every couple weeks. we’ll see how ambitious i get.

fyi: it’s kind of hard to take a close-up of your own eyeball. 

IMG_1839

ode to a cat

i can’t believe i didn’t blog about chasey cat when i took her to the vet. 

a month ago, chasey was not doing well at all. she’d been not 100% for a while, but she seemed happy and was frisking around occasionally. what more could you ask for from a 16-year-old cat? but one day she was limping along a little bit more than usual, then the next her food bowl wasn’t getting much attention, and the third she was barely moving around and peed on the rug. the next morning i had to take her to the vet to put her down ๐Ÿ™

nate drove and i held her on the way there, and she was the most alert on that drive than probably the past three weeks. she hated car rides, so i’m not surprised. 

got to the vet and sat in a room where they put in a stint, then we said goodbye to the pretty kitty, then it was time for the meds. poor tiny cat.

nate wanted a private cremation, so now her ashes are sitting on the bookshelf waiting for summertimes so we can sprinkle her outside where she always wanted to be.

chasey2

in two weeks i’m getting a cattoo! little grey tabby sitting on a stack of books. 

(meanwhile, ralf has lost a couple pounds and sophie’s been eating all the food ralf hasn’t -_-)