I’m not gonna get all Sally Field here . . .

and title this “She likes me, she really likes me!” See? I totally didn’t title the post that!

I’m not gonna lie, I love getting comments.
The best thing about having a Smart Phone – other than being able to track my runs via GPS – is getting my emails right there in the palm of my hand 24 / 7 / 365 so that when a comment is left here on my little corner of the blogosphere I know instantly! And I can come bask in the glow of the love and adoration.

So you can imagine my shock, surprise, and yes I got all choked up when I read this comment not so very long ago:
Hi again, JFT aka Jules (or so I see)! I nominated you for (which means you receive) an Inspiring Blog Award. Your blog is one that immediately caught my attention and still holds it. I love your insights into the practice of running and the runner’s mind. I’ve provided a link on my blog to yours. Follow the rather flexible rules of the award (outlined on my blog) if you will. In any case, this gave me the opportunity to let you know of my continued support of your blog!
First that I was nominated at all, but also that I was nominated by a blogger who is what I consider A Real Blogger.

There are, of course, responsibilities that incumbent upon the recipient of such an honor. The rules of this award state (according to Holly’s exhaustive rules and possible rewrites) that I must:
1) Nominate fellow bloggers for this award and state why;
2) Give seven personal revelations about myself that would not ordinarily appear on my blog; and
3) publicly thank my nominator (I am still blown away, seriously), providing a link to that blog.  THANK YOU HOLLY!!!

First up my nominees for The Inspiring Blog Award

Pot of Manna is, in addition to being a very dear friend of mine, a blog written about faith from the perspective of someone who has had every reason to abandon hers but hasn’t. The genuine kindness and empathy of having had one’s life not necessarily be what was ‘planned’ shows through in every word. The never-ending hope and faith that sometimes comes naturally, but is also sometimes hard-fought is a a beacon to me when I need it most.

Run. Dog. Cat. Me. is a blog about running. And a dog. And a cat. And Me. Not ME “Me”. It’s about Terri Lee the “Me” of the blog title. Terri Lee is one of the people responsible for the Women’s Running Training Program that is responsible for my presence here in my little corner of The World Wide Web. Terri Lee is smart, funny, open, occasionally downright heartbreaking, and all of it is 100% Real. Just like Me. Her “Me”, not me “Me”.

rebuildingholly – my generous benefactor – is another of those Just Flat-Out Real bloggers. And that’s what makes her inspiring. I also have a huge amount of admiration for the results she got from the 5K she was part of putting together this year. 1,000+ participants and $25,000 raised?! Totally my hero! And. You have to ask her about The Poo Bag. (Sorry for the edit of the title Holly, but I can’t say “s**t” in my blog because my mom might actually be reading and then I’d have one in a tree of my own! I knew you’d understand.

Minimalist Living is just plain admirable for the way he lives his life.
HCRP and I occasionally joke about divesting ourselves of all the extraneous crap in our lives and moving into an RV to “simplify our lives”. And I’ve started to say “Here honey, read this blog and we’re going to start divesting of stuff!” In fact I may have actually uttered the words. But at the moment I am still too attached to the security of my ‘stuff’ despite the discomfort being weighed down by it all sometimes brings. Which is probably why this blog inspires me so much. And no, I don’t comment often, because there are in fact limits to even my hypocrisy and this is one of them.

A doctor which means she survived med school.
She lives, and therefore runs, in New England. In Winter. That’s just craziness right there. Inspiring and admirable craziness, but craziness nonetheless.
She is a Pace Per Mile Reporter. That requires some serious running and some serious blogging about running.
And she’s a doctor.

365 Days of Pure Vegetarian © I love cooking and I am a vegetarian (lacto-ovo-pescatarian variety) so what could be better than a vegetarian blog?
I’ll tell you what!
A vegetarian cooking blog that posts absolutely visually stunning pictures of food!
Even if you never make the recipes the images alone are a feast for the eyes.

And finally . . .
Brain Tomahawk is another blogger who I am honored to say is also a personal friend. He’s smart, funny, makes up some of the best ever made-up words, and our friendship disproves the myth that Yankees (he’s an actual New York City Yankee, not just someone who lives north of Nashville) and Southerners can’t get along. We have singlehandedly transcended The Mason Dixon Line.
And he cooks.
And loves cats.

Seven Random Facts
I am allergic to oatmeal, it breaks me out in hives. Yet it is one of my favorite foods. There are times when I absolutely crave it. To the point that I’ll eat an oatmeal raisin cookie (maybe six) with a Benadryl chaser and just nap through the hives.

I have no middle name. None. Never have had. It’s not like I had one and left it somewhere and it never showed up in the Lost and Found. I just don’t have one. My mother once offered to pay to legally change my name to add one, but I couldn’t think of one I liked to go with Julianne.

Artificial sweeteners make me violently ill. Even if I don’t know they’re an ingredient in something I end up nauseous and develop a near-migraine level piercing headache. I consider myself akin to a canary in a coal mine with them since I am firmly convinced they are one of the worst things we can put into our bodies. I refer to them as “rat poison”.

If I tell you “I have no opinion” or “I don’t care” I have no opinion and I don’t care. I’m not just dodging the question. When I do have an opinion or care one way or the other about something you’ll know. (See above for a perfect example.)

I have a very good nose for wine. This was HCRP’s contribution to this list when I asked him for another random fact about me.  I suppose it’s no coincidence that one of my favorite running headbands says “Will Run for WINE”.

I love NCAA Football! I am a Nebraska Cornhusker Fan.
I am not particularly thrilled with all this conference hopping that’s going on and the current configuration of The Big Twelve really having ten teams and The Big Ten really having twelve teams is like one of those “If a man gets on a train in Cleveland that’s traveling 500 mph and Mary has eleven apples then what does purple smell like?” math word problems to me.

Which leads us to the final random point about me that woudn’t otherwise be revealed on this blog:
I suck at math. Really, I do. I can do simple, single digit addition and subtraction in my head but past that if there isn’t a Schoolhouse Rock ditty to help me remember it – I’m toast.

There you have it.

Pick Your Own Title

I started writing this late Saturday night after we got home from the 5K we ran.

Blame Tonia
Why Run? / Why Running?
Julianne, you think too much
Or (my personal favorite)
What’s Run Got To Do With It?

I mostly like that last one because this happens to be one of my absolute, all-time favorite songs ever.
I digress. (Don’t play like that, you were warned long ago.)

Tonight I ran in my first 5K Race since December before The Decline and Fall of Ye Olde Knee which has seen me sitting out two 5Ks and one Half-Marathon. My personal performance and results of tonight’s race are (for purposes of this post) inconsequential; however, I promise a complete synopsis – and pictures – at a later date.

I also owe (really, seriously, I quite happily Owe this one) an entry as a result of having been nominated for an Inspiring Blog Award. I’m still fully digesting that one, as well as coming up with the requisite “seven personal revelations about myself that would not ordinarily appear on my blog” that actually gives me a fair amount of leeway given that I pretty much stay focued on my (arguably questionable and possibly insane) thoughts on and during runs. I mean there’s that Obscure Food Allergy, The Near Phobia, and Food Hoarding thing.
Again with the digressing.
There really is no stopping me.

Wait, why am I writing again?
Scrolls up . . .
Inspiring Blog . . .
First 5K in six months . . .
Tina Turner’s hit machine Private Dancer album . . . (I don’t link to everything – do your own Googling!)
I remember.

So tonight after the 5K HCRP and I get home and he proceeds to ice his knotted up calf muscle (again, another post for another time), following the icing with a soak in the tub with epsom salts to ease the pain and tightness. As he was finishing, I decided a soak wouldn’t hurt me and so I settled into my own soak and started reading my latest Kindle Borrow: Amby Burfoot‘s “The Runner’s Guide to The Meaning of Life” (I generally link to Amazon.com for books, but in this case you can get an autographed copy direct from the author and I would much rather promote that option.) This book was recommended to me by a dear friend and fellow runner who also happens to be one of my personal Running Mentors, the above-mentioned “Tonia” you can blame for this post.

As I was reading I came across the following: “Runners don’t quit. We fade, we ‘hit the wall’, we’re sometimes reduced to a walk. But we keep on.” and I was stopped in my reading tracks.
Since I took up, and got hooked on, running right about ten months ago I have been asked no small number of variations of the question “Why running?”. I started to follow that with several “Or” alternative takes on the stated question; but really they all come down to the same thing – whether the question had to do with my choice of this particular sport, my choosing a sport at all given that I have never been especially athletically inclined, my decision to embrace athleticism at this particular age (I was 46 when I started – I’m 47 now because really, that is so very much older and wiser), or whatever the mechanics of the question – it always comes down to “Why running?!” And until tonight my answer depended on how out of the blue the inquiry happened to have hit me.

The truth is there were several reasons I began the running training program I did a little over a year ago that started this whole little odyssey.

I wanted to learn to enjoy running.
Because my husband did.
Because I always envied runners I would see out there looking all zen and In The Zone.
But mostly because when I saw What Women Want and it got to the faux Nike ad I bawled like I did when ET died PLUS during the part after Shelby’s funeral in Steel Magnolias PLUS when Johnny Castle rescued Baby from The Corner all rolled into one.  Yeah, it was THAT kind of cry!

It was something I had done (by force) and failed miserably at (in gym class) and was (as we Southerners are wont to say) deadset and bygod determined to finally do and do well. Or at least do right. At least once.

And why lie
I wanted to lose weight
Yeah, I’ll admit it, I was seeking The Happy Side Effect. I think the consequence of that is that coming slower than I’d have liked and honestly becoming less and less The Point all the time. The Numbers I’m chasing now are on timing clocks more often than my bathroom scale.

But it was mostly that What Women Want faux Nike ad thing. At first.

Tonight when I read the quote from Amby Burfoot it suddenly came to me that running is the only sport that could ever have been a fit for me. Because I may hit walls, I may slow to a walk, but I never quit. And that’s what I love most about running. And why I love The Road.

Mary Chapin Carpenter sings lies

For many years Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song I Feel Lucky has been a favorite of mine. Well that came to a scuhreeching halt today! (Maybe not really, but at least for tonight.) The numbers did in fact, as we Southerners are wont to say, lie on me! And on HCRP, but I liked his lie better than mine.

We ran a course that I came up with last year when I was a fledgling runner that I just “knew” I could do “with not much problem”. Without rehashing the entire Newbie Runner Enthusiasm Fiasco let’s just say that particular course has come to be known as “Julianne’s Folly” or just “The Folly”. Sunday as we were driving home from San Antonio to Memphis we had a little time to plan our next few weeks’ runs taking into account the 5K we’re doing this Saturday night and the 10K we’re doing the 23rd and with an eye towards the longer long runs we have to do in preparation for our half-marathon in September.
We decided to run The Folly as Monday night’s short run, run the upcoming 10K course on Wednesday as our longER run, then pull another mid-distance run Friday night and then just have fun doing the 5K on Saturday.

I have to digress a second here to say how surprised I remain to hear myself talk about 5K distances as “Just a little over three miles!” and “Just a fun run”.
/End digression.

We didn’t run Monday night.
We were still fatigued and sorely dehydrated after Sunday’s thirteen hour drive.
I was wiped out from First Day On A New Job Syndrome.
Strike One.

We didn’t run Tuesday night.
Truth be told we used “too tired/too stressed” as a perfectly good excuse and went so far as to feed our tired/stressed state with cheesy-cheesy (but to our credit thin crust) pizza.
Strike Two.

And today I just flat didn’t drink enough water.
I had access to water all day long and simply wasn’t diligent about consuming it.
Strike Three.

But we came home, changed, and ran Anyway.
(It was nowhere near that philosophical or high-minded, I just love any excuse to share that quote.)

In short: My. Run. Sucked.
I was under-hydrated.
I was stiff and (yes, already) out of condition from skipping Monday’s run.
And in all honesty The Folly isn’t exactly an easy course. Lots and lots of long, long hills.
I walked, easily, as much as I ran.

And even Technology was against me!
As I was slogging along, walking up a hill I should have been running up, I decided to check my phone to see just how far I’d gone. Lo and freakin’ behold Good Old Endomondo had arbitrarily decided I had finished my run and had ended the program and was finishing the process of uploading itself at 1.72 miles!
What The What?!
So I finished the upload, restarted, and kept going.

Let me tell you what is annoying on an already bad run:

  1. Discovering that you have inadvertantly put not one but two different songs on your ipod playlist twice back-to-back with themselves.
  2. Realizing that NO amount of BodyGlide is going to make up for the bra strap pads you decided you didn’t need on a “short four mile run”.
  3. Helpful, encouraging people honking their horns as they pass you on the road when you know you are sucking at this run like you’ve never sucked at a run.
  4. Knowing with every lead-filled, failing-at-running, even-sucking-at-walking fiber of your being that you have absolutely no one to blame for this but your own dang, non-water drinking self.
  5. Resigning yourself to “Screw it, I’m just going to walk the rest of the way!” only to round a curve and see some intrepid soul running UP the hill you are walking down. This means only one thing: You simply must run. It’s run or risk looking like either the biggest slacker runner on the planet OR the most cocky, over-prepared walker on the same planet with your wicking headband, wicking running shirt (that has “RUNNER GIRL” of all things emblazoned on it), and water belt.

So you run.
And you keep running.
And you finish. Running.

And when you get to your Personal Finish Line (after shouting to your HCRP “Get out of my way!” because he has the nerve to stand on the sidewalk between you and the Driveway Finish Line) and consult your Benedict Arnold GPS program you find out it has given you credit for a combined total of only 3.58 miles which you know for certain is shorting you a good half mile.
And you wonder “If I’m so dang under-hydrated where did all this freakin’ sweat come from?!” when you realize your shorts are literally dripping down the backs of your legs.
Yes, I’m certain it was sweat.

And for the record, according to Google Pedometer the total distance I kinda-ran/halfway-walked: 4.56.
There was clearly some rip in the GPS space/time continuum since HCRP’s GPS program gave him credit for running over nine miles, many of them in four and five minutes per mile.  It was GPinSanity! 

Maybe eventually I’ll finish the post I have saved as a Draft about our Vacation Runs.
Now those? Those were some really good runs!