Sometimes it’s just about going the distance

I’ll save bandwidth for the nice people here at WordPress and simply give you a link if you’re interested in seeing the map/elevation/splits for tonight’s run.
The Stats:
Distance: 6.01 miles
Duration: 1h:16m:27s
Avg. Speed: 12:43 min/mile
Calories: 896 kcal (Again – ROBBED.  It’s the heat and the humidity people!)

As I run along I have this monologue that plays in my head.  I thought I would try to recapture some of it and share with you here.  You’ll thank me.

On Playlist Choices:
If you have adult life experience memories from the year a particular artist was born, you probably have no business using their music to set your running pace.
On the other hand, if you have high school sweetheart memories associated with a particular artist, their stuff is probably exactly what you need to be running to.
There’s no walking when Boom Boom Pow comes up on your playlist. The BEPs don’t play that.  (I call them “The BEPs” because we’re tight like that me and them.)
I don’t care how much you love any song off of David Bowie’s 1983 hit machine album Let’s Dance accidentally having them duplicated on your playlist makes them annoying.

On Running/Biking Trail Etiquette:
Dear Cyclists,
Two phrases: “On your left!” or “Behind you!” Pick one.  Familiarize yourself with it.  Practice it while you’re putting on those funky, colorful bodysuits, and USE THEM WHEN COMING UP BEHIND A RUNNER!!
Sincerely,
Pricing Tiny Little Stop-Sticks in Memphis

Dear Fellow Trail Users:
If you are fit enough to carry the Gu Packet in with you, open it up and suck out its contents, I’m pretty sure you have the strength to carry the empty packet out.
Sincerely,
You are an embarrassment to us all.

Dear People Who Live Along the Trail:
Do you have to fire up your grills and make food smells while people are running?!
Have you no decency?  No compassion?
Sincerely,
You’re just mean

On The Run Itself:
Is that a twinge?   No.  No, that’s just tightness.  Tightness is okay.  I can work through tightness.

WTW?!  Where did that cyclist come from?!  Dude!  Bell.  Get one!

Feelin’ pretty good now.  Wait.  Slow down!  You will pay for this if you don’t!

Later That Same Run: I told you to slow down back there!

Gotta get-get, gotta get-get
Gotta get-get, gotta g-g-g-get-get-get, get-get
That’s right!  I’m running with The BEPs!  It’s me and Fergie and Will-I-Am and . . .  Yeah me and them!  Let’s get that Boom Boom Pow!

I need to walk for a minute.  No.  Wait. I can totally pass those walkers up there first.  Okay, cool.
Passing the walkers…  Gotta look cool and Runnery and strong.
Keep it going, here we go . . . Have they no manners?!  Don’t they know The Rule: Slower movers to the right?  Yo!  Two abreast at most not six!  *sighs*
Okay got around them.  I need to walk a min . . .  No.  No.  I’m not going to pass walkers and then start walking.  Just keep running.
Got it.

How many times has the smiling-a-little-too-much dude on the bike turned around and passed and re-passed me?  This is suspicious.  What if he’s a serial killer?  HCRP is miles ahead of me and won’t know anything has happened until he gets back to the car and I’m not there.  Crap.  I could call him.  No, wait, that’s stupid.  Back-and-Forth Guy is probably lost and can’t remember which end of the Greenline he started at.  Yeah, that’s it.  There he is again.  Hmmm…  Okay here’s The Plan: IF Back-and-Forth Guy turns out to be a serial killer and forces me off the trail I’ll drop my sweat towel HCRP will totally see that and know something is amiss.  I can keep my Endomondo program running on my phone until we stop then quick end the program and it will upload and they’ll know exactly where I am.  See?  This is why I never miss an episode of Criminal Minds.  I would totally make a great FBI Profiler.

Who moved the mile markers?!  I would have sworn that 2.5 miles was just past this overpass.  It was here the last time I ran this far.  Maybe that’s why Back-and-Forth Guy keeps doing his back and forth thing.  He’s moving the dang mile markers!  Jerk!

There it is.  There’s the twinge.  Time to walk.  Dammit!
Great, I said a cuss.  I can’t blog a cuss.  If my mother is secretly reading my blog she’ll be so mad at me.
Okay.  We’re walking, we’re walking. We’re stopping to stretch.
Remember Julianne, it isn’t about the time it’s about finishing the distance.
Right?
Right.

Ya’ know what?  I am totally gonna be able to do this half-marathon in September!
And that 10K next month.  No matter how hot it is.  Or how many hills there are.
Wait.  Terri Lee says Mutherhill and Jr. Mutherhill are on that course.  Crap.  I’m gonna die.  The Mutherhills are gonna kill me.
Okay if I keep adding a mile every week between now and then by June 23rd I’ll be up to . . Wait what’s today?  The 19th?  The 20th?  Where’s a calendar when I need one?  When did figuring dates become like math?

Okay, I need to walk now.  No.  Wait.  Dangit!  There’s that wad of teenagers I am totally not going to be walking when I get to them.  I was running when I passed them going one way, I will not be the ‘old fat lady’ who had to stop running and walk.  Run past them.  Correction: Run around them since they clearly didn’t get the “Don’t Walk Six Abreast With Three Dogs” Memo!  *GAH*  Kids!
Okay, got around them.  Run a little further.  Good.  Good.  It’s cool to walk now. 

There’s the 0.0 mile marker we are Home Free now baybee! Just hush and keep running.  Finish.  Running.  Always finish running.

And so it goes inside my brain while I run.
It’s no wonder HCRP decided to reduce his time and run ahead of me.  He’s been treated to all of this leaking down through my sinuses from my brain into my mouth and out past my lips more than a few times.
Don’tcha wanna run with me?!

The truth is I went into this run filled with more than a little nervousness since the last time I ran six miles was The Last Time I Ran for two months.
I kept telling myself that it’s different this time.
I have fully rehabbed my injury (Runner’s Knee if this is your first time stumbling across me).
I have trained gradually and am pacing myself.
I’m not running for the first time in brand new, different brand/type shoes.
I even have on new, better socks!
And at The End of The Run it wasn’t The End of Me Running and I did six miles that I finished running rather than limping or sitting at a corner waiting for HCRP to come back with the car to pick me up.
Yes, there was a mile in there that I walked almost all of (mile 5 at a nearly 16:00 minute/mile pace).  And as much as I had wanted to come in at about four minutes less than I did, I kept telling myself that (for now) it isn’t about time – it’s about ever increasing distance and finishing running, vertical, and wanting to do it again!
And I did all of those things.
I really needed this! 

She said: Don’t give up

Okay, she didn’t “say” it, she wrote it.
More accurately, she blogged it.
Don’t give up written by my second favorite Running Blogger in the entire Blogosphere.

Go ahead.
Read her post.
You’ll thank me.
I’ll wait right here ’til you get back.

See?
I told you so.
You’re welcome. 

I needed to read what she wrote about keeping some piece of running.
I needed to read what she wrote about achieving a running goal.
I needed to read what she wrote about giving ourselves time and space.
I needed to read “DON’T GIVE UP” and “but don’t quit”.

I needed to read these words because after Sunday’s five mile run – out of town where there was every reason not to run that I didn’t use any of – my knee was screaming. Not the sharp, shooting, debilitating scream I’ve heard before (The Scream that is my deepest fear at the start of every run) but screaming nonetheless.

Monday the knee was still stiff and whiny and the thighs were whimpering in sympathy. For the record: Sitting in a bucket-seated vehicle for seven hours after a five mile run isn’t necessarily the best post-run plan.

Tuesday was supposed to be a run day. Monday night I couldn’t sleep. Tuesday the knee was still stiff and the thighs were only speaking to me in angry, sore-muscle tones.  Tuesday there was no running.  I pretended not to care.  I pretended I wasn’t relieved that I wasn’t going to have to worry about feeling The Scream.

And this morning I woke up thinking “Maybe running really isn’t your thing. Maybe you are ‘too old’ to have started this. Maybe it’s time to just go back to walking and forget about half-marathons and PRs and all the rest of it.” and I re-set my alarm and slept past The Time For Running. But in my head I was ticking through the weeks between now and September 15th – My Second First Half Marathon – figuring the smallest increments of distance I can add week to week and still be up to twelve miles by August 25th in time to get at least two runs in at that distance and still have a taper week before The Half.

Then I read these words: “I wanted 2011 to be the year I ran. No goals, just run.” and I flashed back to last summer when I started this whole crazy “I’m going to become a runner” adventure.
I didn’t set out to run a Half.
I didn’t set out to PR anything.
I just wanted to run. And enjoy running.
I didn’t care if “all” I ran in a given interval was one minute or one hundred minutes.
I wanted to, as Terri Lee so simply and eloquently put it, “just run”.
That was it.

Which is precisely what I intend to do tomorrow.
Just run.
At my comfortable, workable, enjoyable pace.
And I’ll walk when I need to walk to recover my breath and recenter my intention.
No pressure.
No guilt.
No worries about whether or how long it takes to finish that Half in September.
Just run.
Run until I hit that sweet spot. And then run a little further in it.

And my knee?
It’ll be just fine.
Like the run.

Wanted and Got

WordPress has decided you don’t get to see a picture of tonight’s run.
I have decided that you can click on this link and see it.

Stats:
Distance: 2.98 miles

Duration: 35m:46s
Avg Speed: 12:00 min/mi
Mile 1 – 11:27 min/mi
Mile 2 – 12:33 min/mi
Mile 3 – 11:48 min/mi
Calories: 454 kcal

Maintaining a consistent pace was the goal.  I achieved that.
Finishing the run without placing undue strain on Ye Olde Knee was important.  I did that.
It’s a fairly hilly course, and with the exception of one very steep, short hill that followed one very long, gradual hill I ran the ascent of every hill and did my walk intervals on the flats.  I ended up doing one more walk interval than I had intended because I developed a pretty hard stitch in my right lower back.  I wasn’t paying attention to my breathing.

There are a million little things to think about when you’re training for a particular purpose in running and not just running.
My purpose is to finish a half-marathon in September.  To do this I have to learn to hold a consistent pace.  I have to learn to know when to push and when to slow down for a recovery walk.
My goal is to get to the point that I don’t need a recovery walk but every three miles.  Right now I’m good for about a mile and a half unless I’ve pushed it too hard on a hill.  Then it’s closer to the one mile mark.
But I’m getting there.
After all, this time last year – I couldn’t run five minutes without gasping and gagging.  And probably not even that unless someone was chasing me!
Just look at me now!

Let’s just call it LessonS Learned

I sat here earlier today, icing my knee, and wrote an absolutely beautiful, funny, (dare I say?) epic post about this morning’s four mile run.
There were lessons along each and every mile.
There were lessons about pace.
There were lessons about pain.
There were lessons about the human experience. (Couldn’t make that start with a ‘p’.)
Then, at the very end, there was a lesson about the importance of writing blog post drafts in Wordpad, Notepad, or Word rather than directly in the browser window because one little mis-click and *poof* (which does start with ‘p’) it’s all gone!
*le sigh*
Yes I tried ctrl + z.
Yes I tried my browser’s Back Button.
Yes I tried seeing if it had saved as a “Draft”.
None of the above worked.
Nothing.
Zero.
Zip.
Zilch.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo: Nada!

So.
The RDCV (Reader’s Digest Condensed Version) is this:
Mile 0 – Mile 1: I ran along with HCRP (there’s no wikipedia page for him – he’s my little secret) and kept up!
Pace for Mile One: 10:44 min/mile

Mile 1 – Mile 2: I continued on my own after walking a couple dozen feet just after crossing the one mile mark. I made it to 1.5 miles, walked a few feet then continued to the 2 mile mark which was my turn-around point.
Pace for Mile Two: 11:11 min/mile

Mile 2 – Mile 3: I slowed to a walk, took a couple sips of water, and started back running. I got about a quarter of a mile when I felt It.
“It” being a major league, tears-in-your-eyes, panic-inducing twinge in Ye Olde Knee.
I slowed way down to a near crawl-paced walk, stopped to stretch, walked a bit further, resisted the urge to panic and text HCRP and say “I’m never gong to run again!” and as I went along tried to figure out exactly where the wheels fell off my run.
And then.
It hit me.
I hit the two mile mark at 21 minutes 54 seconds (I knew this because the nice Endomondo Lady told me so when I got there). Some quick math told me this was an average 11 minute mile with fairly little walking.
This.
Was.
Too.
Fast!
Entirely too fast a pace – which meant my feet were landing hard on that pavement – for my third week back running in two months.
Well Shazam Andy!
It is a previously proven fact that a twelve minute mile with built-in recovery walking intervals is a good, reasonable, doable pace for me to run a sustained distance. I have run as much as ten miles at that pace and with walking intervals.

We have identified The Problem.
We have identified The Solution.
We have identfied The ‘Nother Problem.
What’s a twelve minute per mile pace and how do I know when I’m running it?
I am great at following another person’s pace. I can – and will – follow it until I just can’t follow any longer. (Yes, I realize the pathology and recognize it as a lifelong pattern having nothing to do with running. Hush. That’s a whole ‘nother blog for a whole ‘nother day.)

So there I was, nearing the end of Mile Three and I hear coming up behind me this faster than a walk but not really a run sounding pace. Since I was schlumping along at a slow walk (and grateful that I was no longer semi-limping or feeling pain) it wasn’t long before I was passed and in that slow flash I saw My Pace moving away from me along the path.
Pace for Mile Three: 16m:27s
Endomondo put a turtle on this leg of my run. But I disagree with this assessment.  I would say this was the mile I got the most out of.

Mile 3 – Mile 4: Since My Pace had overtaken me right at the beginning of Mile 4 I had a good quarter mile to study it and ingrain it in my head. At the 3.25 mile point Ye Olde Knee was showing no signs of pain, and before it was too far ahead of me I wanted to try out my newfound pace.
And.
It worked!
I jog/ran the second quarter mile of Mile 4, walked the third 1/4, and finished running the last 1/4.
Pace for Mile Four: 14m:54s 

I stretched, waited for HCRP to finish his six miles and cool down then it was home to shower, put on fresh duds, and ice Ye Olde Knee.

And put together a playlist for my ipod that will keep me at that 12:00 minute per mile pace.

Today’s Stats:
Distance: 4.07 miles
Duration: 54m:07s
Avg. Speed: 13:17 min/mile
Calories: 596 kcal (I was robbed!)

19 weeks to 13.1 miles

I / We live in The South. Like the Really South South.
Our high temperatures this week are supposed to be in the upper 80s/lower 90s. And yes, there will be humidity. And to answer the age old question “Is it the heat or the humidity?” I have to go with “Yes, yes it is.”
Sunday’s after church, early afternoon run in the lower-80s-with-humidity weather convinced us both that it was time to dust off the early morning hours on our alarm clocks and return to our 5 am run schedule.

So there we were, HCRP and I, up and out the door before the sun was even considering making an appearance.
It was cool but humid.
Which beats hot and humid.

Today marks the first time I’ve run with truly sore leg muscles. And can I just say “Ouch!”?!
OUCH!
And did you know that sore muscles make your legs weigh more? It’s true. They do.
I blame my Incredible, Amazing, Brilliant Chiropractor’s partner for recommending that I do the Hamstring/Quad Roll on one of those Amazing Evil Foam Rollers which I did after Sunday’s run.
Please Note: I do not hold me in any shape, form, or fashion responsible for following this advice. Only him for giving it.
I will further hold HCRP responsible for tomorrow’s pain since he recommended I use The Amazing Evil Foam Roller every day. I could learn not to like the ‘C’ part of HCRP. I’m just sayin’ . . .

Endomondo says the run went like this:
2.06 miles
24 minutes, 13 seconds
Average Speed: 11:44 min/mile
Max Speed: 8.35 min/mile (I’m pretty sure that was going up a hill.)
Calories burned: 314 (I am absolutely certain they cheated me on that!)
And it looked like this:

The only walking intervals I did were because of lungs, not legs, and at the end of those 2.06 miles I felt great with Z-E-R-O twinges, tweaks, or any other ‘talk’ from Ye Olde Knee!

We got back home, stretched, sat on non-porous furniture surfaces drinking water, and pouring sweat (hence the non-porous seating choices) for a few minutes before getting on with business of getting ready for work.

Standing in the bathroom, it hit me: I am absolutely going to be able to complete The Air Force Half-Marathon in September! I have more than enough time to add the miles to my long runs, increase my cardio endurance, and be ready to do that half! Shoot, the courses we’ll be running in and around our subdivision on Tuesdays and Thursdays are a hill-training dream!

I will, now that I’m past it, admit that I was starting to think my running days were over, that the most I’d ever do was jog ‘part of’ a 5K, and that my dream of finishing a half as a runner was just that: a dream. Of the ‘unrealized’ variety.
Every time I would “try to get back out there” only to end up with searing pain shooting through my knee followed by yet another week(s) “off” from running, and having to wear that oh-so-sexy knee brace it did nothing but deepen that fear and make it harder and harder to “try it again” because it is incredibly difficult to run when you’re holding your breath waiting for The Pain to come out of nowhere with That One Step.
I have no words for my gratitude and relief to have finished this run twinge and pain free!

And so.
I’ve mapped out Thursday’s three mile run around (and up and down) the subdivision and on Saturday I’ll burn another four on The Greenline. And the Saturday after that that four will become five, and so on and so on until I cross that 13.1 mile Finish Line in Columbus Dayton, Ohio!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a great half-marathon to run c’mon down to Memphis in December and join us for The St. Jude Half Marathon! Registration opened today and it fills up quick so register early!

One more mile under the laces

Okay, technically 3.04 miles. And I ran (most of) them in 42 minutes and 47 seconds.
But it was one mile further than my last run.

I was insufficiently hydrated.
It was hot and fairly muggy.
Both of which combined to make it a not particularly pretty run.
But it was a run, and I did it.
And finished with only minor twinging in Ye Olde Knee which had me walking more of my three miles than I had originally intended.
Also, looking at the map from my Endomondo profile, I am apparently incapable of running a straight line.

HCRP and I have decided that it’s time for us to shift our schedule and begin getting up at Are You Serious o’clock ay em in order to beat (and by ‘beat’ I mean avoid) the heat. That starts tomorrow.

“If you really want to expand your passion for a thing – become a part of someone else embracing that passion.” Me
I posted that on Facebook last week after observing my best friend’s growing enthusiasm for running. And it’s true.
Yesterday as I was running I was listening (again) to Jillian Michaels’ Unlimited.
Say what you will about her style as a trainer – she gets results.
Say what you will about her as a person – again she gets results.
Say what you will about “self-help” books – I’ll probably agree – that isn’t really what this is.
Well it is.
But not in that touchy-feely, rainbows and bunny farts kinda way. She’s pretty direct (which I am inclined to like) and doesn’t pull a lot of punches.
I have the audiobook (much easier to listen to it while running that way) and the actual, hardcopy book. I’ve listened to the audiobook twice-and-a-half times and it’s time to stop listening and start actually working my way through it.

Anyway, I said all that to say this: I realized yesterday that if I could design My Perfect Day it would begin with a run and include working with other people to help them embrace their passion for wellness, fitness, and running in particular.
Of course – at least in my mind – to have any real credibility I need to have a few more miles under my laces. Specifically 13.1 of them run in succession on the same day.
And I need training.
And certification.

But for now I have A Dream.
I have to come up with The Plan to make it A Goal.
After that it becomes A Reality.
As Jillian so aptly puts it: A Dream is like saying “I’m going northeast on my vacation.” A goal is when you say “I’m going to see The Statue of Liberty on my vacation.”

For now, putting it Out There here is scary enough for a Monday.

Miles 2 – Pain 0 – No More Treadmills!

Ran two miles tonight.
Ran it in 1/4 mile intervals.
Finished with no knee pain.

Rewind to Saturday afternoon when there was substantial pain after not even a 1.5 mile run on a treadmill and I was afraid running any further wasn’t going to happen.  Again.  Ever.
Upon consultation with a runner friend who is also a trainer I learned that (often) when one has become accustomed to road running (ING not ER) switching back to treadmill running can exacerbate things like oh . . . say . . . RUNNER’S KNEE!

So I spent the weekend back with my friendly Mueller knee band, spent Monday and Tuesday laid out with some god-awful, streppish-stomach-bug-mutation virus that’s going around down here in Dixie, and after work today – and no twinges, pings, dings, or otherwise negative indicators from Ye Olde Knee – headed to our favorite running trail to do  two miles in quarter mile intervals at the end of which everything was A-Okay!

My reason for being on a treadmill Saturday morning was well-founded.  I’m working with my BFF in her desire to start running.  We’re following the same training program that got me started running last summer.  It’s slow, gradual, and fool-proof.
If starting out on a treadmill is what’s best for her I’ll just have to avoid the temptation to ‘bust a move’ and stick to walking beside her instead of running.  Then again, with her long-term goal being finishing a 5K she may want to go ahead and transition to road running sooner rather than later.  Heat/Temperature is a consideration for her, so we’ll have to see what works best.

Meanwhile back at the trail . . . I got my two in today!
Saturday’s goal is three and I might just expand one of those intervals to a full half mile.

It just feels so freakin’ good to be running again!
It feels good to think that my half-marathon in September is actually going to happen! 

P.S. To any of my co-workers who are wondering what happened to that “I’m going home after work and going straight to bed!”  Well . . . Running happened.  That’s what.  NOW I’m going to bed!

One Mile – No Pain – I’ll Take It

When last I laced up my trusty Asics (except they were Brooks which didn’t work out so well for me not that there’s anything wrong with Brooks) it was fifty-one days ago.  In those fifty-one days I learned a lot.
I learned that I really am A Runner because not running drove me crazy and made me cranky and somewhat resentful of HCRP when he ran.
I learned just how much running that half-marathon last month meant to me when I sat and cried for a few minutes after I heard the starting siren go off.
I learned that if you don’t listen to your body when it whispers, you will listen to it when it screams.  Repeatedly.
I learned to be so attuned to a single, non-reproductive part of my body that I could detect non-visible swelling.

Today I learned that starting slow and taking it easy really is the best way to get back into a thing.
I set out to run a mile.  Walk 1/4 mile, run 1/4 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 1/4 mile.  That was my plan.
HCRP and I got to our favorite running place, stretched, and away we went!  Okay, “away” he went.  Away I walked.  Chanting my mantra of “Healthy. Strong.  Resilient.” with every step.  I’m not gonna lie and say that there wasn’t an itty-bitty, teeny-weeny, nearly-audible voice in the back of my brain whispering “But what if it hurts when we start the running part?”  I shushed her with The Mantra and when I hit the 1/4 mile point of my intended course I took that first running step.
Then the second.
And the third.
And there was no pain.
So I stopped counting and kept running.
The spirit was ecstatic.
The legs were good with it.
The lungs were okay.
At the 1/2 mile it was turn, repeat.
And it felt gooooood!  So much so that there was the brief, fleeting thought of “Ya’ know, I could always turn around and go back and do this again!”
The legs were all about it.
The logical part of my brain objected.
The lungs had its back.
So we all stopped, stretched, and waited on HCRP to finish his three miles.
Day One Back In The Running!
Wednesday we expand to 1.5. 

And since we’re counting days and all . . . As of today I have 152 days to be ready, prepared, and trained for My First Half Marathon – The USAF Half Marathon.
Based on everything I’ve learned – I can totally do this!

Week One of The Cave People

In two words: Went. Well.
In two other words: Got. Results.

Neither of us did any running.
I had a reason.  See Previous Entry.
HCRP . . .  He can start his own blog.

We have different reasons for adopting this new eating style he and I.
Mine is to basically ‘clean up’ my vegetarian diet by eliminating grains, legumes, (limited) dairy, and (what few) sugars I consume. In reality the legumes and brown rice have been the biggest challenge since, like most vegetarians, I have replaced much of my meat consumption with the legume/grain combination as a protein source.
Oh, and I miss my Greek Yogurt.
And cheese. Not that I ate a lot of it, but I do miss my cheesy little boyfriend Colby Jack.
*le sigh*

HCRP’s is to kickstart his weight loss which seemed to have stalled out even during his half-marathon training regimen. That and I essentially told him “HCRP, we’re going to do this Paleo Diet thing. By the book for at least one month to see what kind of results we get.”
He weighed in Monday morning to establish his baseline weight. Tuesday is our Official Weigh-In Day and we each weighed in with visible results. (More on mine in a minute…)

This morning as I was showering I heard the telltale *beeep* of the scale firing up and thought it a tad odd for him to be weighing in between Tuesdays (he generally doesn’t) but didn’t say anything about it.
We’re taking part in a class at our church that meets on Saturday mornings. At the start of each class we go around the group and share the good that has gone on in our lives in the past week. We went around the group and when it came HCRP’s turn nobody was more surprised than me when he spoke. This past week, with zero running/working out (don’t judge him – I’ve kept him busy assisting me with final plans for My 5K) he lost four pounds!
I didn’t say much at the time, but a few minutes ago I sauntered into the living room and asked if he was convinced that this Paleo Diet was going to work. He agreed that yes, it was.

Score One for The Cave Woman!
And her Cave Man. 


The only – and I mean o-n-l-y – way to succeed on this particular Eating Plan is best summed up in the word “Plan”. As in Meal/Menu Planning. Which is how I’ve spent my afternoon.

Sunday Dinner is kind of a big deal around here, and with tomorrow being Easter Sunday I’m pulling out all the stops. Our menu for tomorrow is:
Grilled Lemon, Dill Salmon
Grilled Lemon Garlic Asparagus (brushed with coconut oil)
Roasted Orange Ginger Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Carrots with honey, paprika & a dash of cayenne
Strawberry, Walnut & Spinach Salad with Avocado Dressing
It should be yummy.
And as soon as I figure out how I’m doing all of it I am more than happy to share recipes. Actually the only thing to “figure out” is the Avocado Dressing. The rest if it is just sprinkling spices and drizzling either olive or coconut oil.


Le Knee has been Le Pain Free for a good couple Le Days, so I am hopeful that Monday after work I’ll get in a good, one mile run. My Plan Of Action is to walk 1/4 mile, run (slow and easy) 1/4 mile, walk 1/4 mile, run 1/4 mile.

My 5K is next Saturday.
This time next week it will be All Over but The Dust Settling and cutting the check to The Ronald McDonald House.
Until May 1st when we begin planning for next year’s event.
I’m already planning to expand the event to include a 10K.
Never rest on your laurels, especially when you don’t even have them yet.

Oh, speaking of Unrested On Laurels checthis out!

This is Your Intrepid Middle-Aged Woman Blogger wearing a Size 12 Dress that has languished in a box marked “Skinny Dresses” in the eight (that’s ‘8’ in number years) years since YIM-AWB was last able to fit into it.
YIM-AWB  loves This Dress.
YIM-AWB  has missed wearing This Dress.
YIM-AWB  is very happy to be back in this dress.
YIM-AWB, before actually seeing herself zipped into This Dress was just certain she was still “too fat for” one of the “Skinny Dresses”.  She was, apparently, quite inaccurate in her assessment of her own size and shape.
YIM-AWB is, in a break from long-held custom, quite happy to have been proven
wrong mistaken.

YIM-AWB would also like to point out to One And All the flat, well-cushioned, supportive footwear at the bottom of This Dress.
Yes, she has Learned Her Lesson. 

And so it comes to this

Alternate Title: How cute, harmless looking little flats kept me from getting back to running.

I got my first pair of Real Heels the Christmas I was fourteen years old.
These weren’t glorified Mary Jane Slingbacks with a minuscule wedge ‘heel’.
These were Heels.  Black, pointy-toed, nearly-stiletto slim, three inch Heels.
And I.  Was.  Smitten.
In the years that followed I became a connoisseur of Heels.  By my early forties I had a veritable reputation and had attained Consultant/Rockstar Heel Wearing status among my peers.  People asked my opinion about Heels.  People gave me Heels they “couldn’t” wear.  I accepted their gifts  but not – at times – without a touch of pity as I took possession of My New Babies.
When my best friend was diagnosed with MS and realized her Heel Wearing Days were behind her it was me she called to come over and go through her shoes with her, and it was to me that she entrusted many pair of beautiful, slender-heeled pumps and sandals.  I was to be her Proxy Heel Wearer.  And I did so.  But there was always a trace of guilt when I’d wear a pair from my Lisa Collection.

And then, I took up running.
At first I believed I could strike a balance between My Two Lovahs.  If I only wore Real Heels on Sundays to church when I wasn’t really on my feet much, and maybe out to dinner with HCRP when I wasn’t really on my feet much, I could totally satisfy both of them: Fitness and Vanity.
That lasted about two weeks.
Then the Calf Cramps came to town. (Awesome garage band name isn’t it?  “Ladies and Gentlemen – The Calf Cramps!)   And The Heels – even the Lisa collection – Had. To. Go.  I sent them to a good home.  A dear, sweet, heel-loving, and not mid-forty year old newbie runner friend at church.  And with that
 I resigned myself to a future filled with cute flats, and little (I’m talking less than 2″) kitten-heeled slides and what-passes-for pumps.

Spring springs and it’s time to unpack the Spring/Summer clothes and shoes.  And everything is peachie-keen.  After all, as I’m putting on all those clothes that have been stored since last October things are too big, too bigger, and too biggest.  I’m talkin’ fall off without being unbuttoned/unzipped too big.  It’s awesome!
Until this past weekend.
Saturday night HCRP and I went out to grab dinner and go see a friend play and sing at a Songwriter’s Night at a local coffee house.  It was a beautiful, summer-like night so I broke out my favorite pair of summer sandals.  They’re flats – like nearly barefooted flats – and all cute and hippie-strappy, and I’ve had them forever and they just make me happy to wear.
Sunday I broke out my cute, pink, kitten-heeled slides to wear to Church after which we had to run a couple errands.  And by 1:30 My Left Knee was screaming.
Yes, that Left Knee.
The one I’ve been rehabbing from Runner’s Knee since February!
The one I’ve been following Chiropractor’s Orders about the care and rehabbing of.
The one that had, after two weeks of aerobic pace walking and strength training, been pain free for the entire two weeks.
Until Sunday it was pain free.  Sunday it went back to being un-pain free.
Monday it was more un-pain free.  Which meant no getting back to running.
Tuesday it was even more un-pain free.
And early on in all of this un-pain free-ness I knew exactly what had happened.  Cute little flats and low, kitten-heeled slides with zero cushion, shock absorption, or support.  Apparently this little knee of mine requires cushion and shock absorption lest it decide to get all tweaked and un-pain free.
And on Wednesday when I saw The Incredible, Amazing, Super-Genius Chiro Doc he agreed with my assessment of the cause of the un-pain free-ness.

Which brings me to the title of this post.

Remember when I said I gave away “all my heels”?
Well maybe I lied just a tiny bit.
I did keep one pair.
I kept these.
These are my Red Bandolino Pumps.
These are fairly representative of My Heels. High, sleek, sexy, and very powerful feeling.
I love and adore these shoes.  Moreover, my husband loves and adores these shoes.
I haven’t worn them in months, but I do reserve the right to wear them for a special night out and most assuredly one where I don’t walk further than ten feet at a time.


These are the cute little kitten-heeled slides that were the undoing of my knee Sunday.

These are what I walked out of Payless wearing and was deeply grateful to have found in my size.

For contrast, here are the three side by side by side.
I’m going to need a moment of silence to grieve.
And to accept my heel-free, well-cushioned future.