Monthly Archives: January 2011

>All Logo-ed Up!!!

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Just as I say “I don’t do giveaways anymore”….what do ya know, the opportunity presents itself to give stuff away….go figure. But I am super psyched about this one and this will not be like your regular giveaway. No rules or hoops to jump through. Megan from Buildasign.com contacted me about designing a sticker for my blog. When I explained to her that I am also gearing up for fund raising mode for Jog 4 Joubert Syndrome and would like to design a sticker to promote that, she agreed to let me design TWO stickers. SCORE!!!!! Here are my designs.

This one for the blog:

runforareasonsticker

And this one for Jog 4 Joubert Syndrome

j4jssticker

I have reserved a lot of these to use during races and to give to foundation members, so I have a limited quantity of both stickers to giveaway here. If you are interested in either one of them, email me at jogforjoubertsyndrome@yahoo.com with your name and address and i will happily send you one. First come, first serve.

Happy Running!!!!

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>Miss Independent

>This is totally unrelated to running in general. But this IS THE REASON I RUN.

For those who don’t know my story………..my daughter, who will be turning 3 at the end of February has Joubert Syndrome. She has significant gross motor and speech delays as well as a few other obstacles. She did not crawl until she was almost 2 years old. She only began taking a few independent steps in September. So, needless to say this has been a LONG time coming!!!! She has had to use a walker, furniture, or our fingers to walk…..until tonight. Today she has become an INDEPENDENT walker!!!! Here is a short video of our independent girl:

>Shhhhhh……Can You Hear the Silence???

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I finally decided on my next running shoes. I purchased the Brooks Green Silences last weekend. It was a close battle between those and the Saucony Kinvaras. I actually bought the Kinvaras first but exchanged them the following day for the Silences. I went to Fleet Feet and the salesperson was taken aback by how much research I had done and practically did his job for him. Not to be ungrateful, but he was really pretty pointless other than going to fetch the shoes from the back room for me to try on. He couldn’t tell me much about which shoe to pick, but he must have been more familiar with the Kinvaras, because he somehow convinced me subconsciously to buy those instead. I also initially bought the Kinvara because they felt “familiar” to me. I ran in both on their treadmill. Other than the light weighted-ness of the Kinvaras, they didn’t feel much different from your everyday trainer. I took them home and wore them around the house for a while and realized that the Kinvaras seemed to defeat the whole purpose of my minimal shoe journey. I could not feel the surface beneath me any better than I could in my previous shoes. Luckily one of the girls that was with us on the “girls gone NOT SO wild” Columbia girls weekend, had a pair that she let me test out also. My decision was made shortly thereafter…..return the Kinvaras and get the Green Silence. I do worry about their durability, and the fact they are classified as a “racing flat” makes me feel a little silly to train in them. But its all about experimentation, see what works and what doesn’t

Too bad I have yet to actually run in them. Earlier that day we went on that short trail run and I tweaked my knee……again. Although this time I quit running the VERY moment I felt pain. Stopped. dead. in. my. tracks. Haven’t run a step since and don’t plan on it until later this week. Hopefully I will be able to report back with a glowing review of the Brooks Green Silences later this week.

I am also happy to see that my follower count has been inching up this week ever since I was listed as one of 2011 Best Running Bloggers on The Broken Hearted Runner’s blog. Thanks again for thinking enough of my blog to put me on your “best of” list. I’ve been around in the running blogosphere for little over a year now, and I am finally about to break 200 followers! Now granted, I know a LOT of those followers don’t really follow me. Back when I was doing a lot of giveaways, I gained a lot of followers. But I would rather not have a gajillion followers just because I host a gajillion giveaways. Giveaways are a lot of work for little payoff. I want real followers, who really read my blog and don’t hang around to see what I’m going to hand out next. I may still hold a random giveaway once in a blue moon if a company approaches me to do one, but I’m not going to actively solicit companies for free product just to giveaway anymore. So thank you to how ever many of you actually read my blog and didn’t jump ship when I stopped hosting giveaways. And to my new followers, I hope you decide to sit and stay awhile!!!! Thanks for following my journey!!!!

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>Really??!! I’m on a “Best of 2011 List”??!!

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First off, I want to give a shout out to my Columbia SC girls…… “HOLLA!!!!” I know you girls never read my blog, but I’m giving you a shout out anyway. I just got back from a relaxing girls weekend in Columbia, SC……a bustling metropolis of never ending fun HAHAHHA!. But I had a great time!!! Between consuming mounds of sushi and stuffing our face full of Krispy Kreme donuts, we did manage to get a short trail run in. And I do mean SHORT, as my knee crapped out on me at 2.57 miles ARGHHHHH, I HATE my knee!!!!

But, so now down to business. After I got back from my girls weekend, I checked the “jogforjoubertsyndrome” mailbox and found this surprising email.

“Hey Laura,

I just wrote a post about the best running blogs of 2011 and included yours. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: http://brokenheartedrunner.com/?p=443”

Honestly, at first I thought it was spam. But I reluctantly clicked the link and found a legit page with my blog at the #3 spot! Wow!!! I read down the list, and there are some pretty good blogs on his list, how did I make it on this list???

I feel kind of silly and honored all at the same time to think that anyone would consider my little ol’ blog worthy enough to be on any kind of list. So thank you Jake Rosen for thinking my blog is one of the “Best of 2011”!!

I finally did get my first article written for Examiner.com: Charlotte. Its not published yet, but its titled “Running Resolutions: How to Keep Them. I know, its kind of a lame and uncreative subject, but I had to crank out something quick and once I get the ball rolling I will get better….its a start. I think they have to approve my first article before they give me free reign to spew my running knowledge (or lack thereof) all over the Charlotte area interwebs. But in the meantime, PLEASE PLEASE subscribe to my Examiner page {HERE}.

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>Now What????

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I got this crazy idea to apply for the “Running Examiner” position at examiner.com in the Charlotte area. I thought, “hey, I like to write, I like to run, why not get paid a couple bucks for it???” Its not like you can get rich or famous doing it, I just thought it would be a fun way to work on my half-arse writing skills (or lack thereof!) So I half heartedly applied, not thinking I would really be qualified to write FOR REALS!!! Apparently they will let any yahoo write for Examiner.com, because two days later I got an email saying….”hey, you can be the Charlotte area running Examiner!” HUH??? Say what???? Cool!!!! I don’t know much about Examiner.com, probably not as big a deal as I think it it.

Um, but now what??? Three days ago, I had tons of ideas to write about, now……crickets are chirping in my head. I know a couple of you other bloggers write for your local Examiner….what did you first write about??? I know once I get started, I can just roll with it….but like anything in life, its the getting started part that is the hardest. I also feel kind of dumb. I mean, who am I to be an official word on anything, much less running???? I LOVE running, I read about, obsess about, eat, breath, live running…..but I clearly am not very good at it, so how can I write articles about it???? This ought to be interesting. I will let you know what happens next. YIKES!!!!

In other news, I swam again today. This is my third swim and I am happy to say that I am getting more and more comfortable in the pool. I’m not really swimming with much of a plan or “workout”, still just getting back into the swing of swimming. I still hate that pervy teenage lifeguard watching me the whole time though….….like its his job…..GEEZ!!!!

Oh, and check out this giveaway for a Garmin 310XT. I’ve given up on giveaways for the most part, but I really really want one of these, and winning it in a giveaway will probably be the only way I ever get one!

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>Minimalist Shoes????

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It is that time again…..time for new shoes.  I have traditionally been fitted for “neutral” shoes and am currently wearing Brooks Gylcerin 8s.  While I don’t have complaints about them, I’m not in love with them either.  I am also not convinced that the old school thinking in running shoe development is right for me.  Yes…..I drank the barefoot/minimalist kool-aid…..sort of.

Back when all my injuries started piling up on me like a heaping pile of poo, I began to wonder if barefoot running might help cure what ails me.  I read “Born to Run”, read up on some other barefoot runners blogs, and they all made some very valid points.  I made a couple of attempts at true barefoot running.  Then I got scared I was doing the wrong thing, it got too cold to keep trying to go sans shoes and I hung the idea up on the shelf. 

About a month ago, I borrowed “The Barefoot Running Book” from my BRB “trail girl Ashley” and began to give it a second thought, and realized I needed to start from scratch.  I should really try to go without shoes at home as much as possible and doing some of the exercises before tackling running barefoot.  But some of the things I have discovered with my knee injury is when I DON’T MASSIVELY heel strike (which most shod runners tend to do) my knee does not hurt.  But it is difficult to remember to maintain form in traditional shoes when you can’t feel yourself heel striking.  Hence my experiment to go with minimalist shoes.  

While the author of “The Barefoot Running Book”, suggests to master true barefoot running before trying minimalist shoes, I’m not sure that this is the most feasible thing for me right now.  Its the dead of winter and its just not practical to traipse trough my neighborhood or the trails without shoes.  And I’m not quite sure I want to invest in Vibrams right now either when I already need another pair of “real’ shoes. 

So now my debate as to what shoe to get.  Right now, I am looking at the Brooks Green Silence, or the Saucony Kinvara.  I have heard great reviews about both shoes, but just can’t decide which is right for me.  I have yet to try either on, I’m not even sure our local running stores carry them, but I will check on that (if/when I can find the time to travel 45 minutes into the big city LOL)  Then I have to think about do I want to carry this over to trail shoes?  My current Salomon XT Wings have PLENTY of miles left in them, I just hate to retire them early ya know.   

Virtually the same look….weird

Saucony

Brooks

I guess now is as good a time as any to transition to a different style of shoe since I am building mileage back basically from scratch.  Its not like I am in the middle of a high mileage cycle where I would have to get used to them.  Heck, I only ran 2.5 TOTAL last week. 

Do any of you have any experience with minimalist shoes?  Advice, suggestions, am I crazy????

>How Much is Too Much?

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I hate competition….. so why the HECK am I all of a sudden obsessed by my race schedule, and interested in competing in so many races???? 

I have all these triathlons I want to do, in addition to some running only races.  My spring and summer weekends are quickly being filled up.  But, now I am beginning to ask, “how much is too much?”  I hear that racing too much is bad for you, burns you out, puts you at risk for injury, and all the while, drains your piggy bank. 

Here is a peek at ALL of the races I am considering….YIKES!!!!!

  • March:
    • Cool Breeze (indoor swim)Sprint Tri 3/27
  • April
    • Cooper River Bridge Run 10K 4/2
    • UNC 10 miler 4/9
    • Valdese (indoor swim) Sprint Tri 4/12
    • Race for the Land (trail) 1/2 marathon 4/30
  • May
    • Run Like a Girl (trail) 8k 5/7
    • LMC Biathlon 5/21
  • June
    • Tri Latta Sprint (open water) Tri 6/11
    • Tri the Midlands Sprint (open water) Tri 6/25
  • July
    • NONE!!!!  too freakin’ HOT anyway!
  • August
    • Lake Norman (open water) Sprint Tri 8/27
  • September
    • Ramblin Rose (indoor swim) Sprint Tri 9/25
  • October
    • Rev 3 (open water) Olympic Tri 10/8

Clearly April is an out of control month and some trimming WILL BE DONE.  I’m thinking I need to narrow it down to one a month….at most.  What are your race plans like, how do you narrow down your schedule, and how much is too much????

>Got My Swim On! (without barfing!)

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Every fiber of my being was screaming at me today: “I don’t want to swim!!!! Please don’t make me swim!!!!” I was on the verge of nausea all. day. LONG! I was seriously about a millisecond from chickening out and not going. But my stronger inner self took over told that wimp to “SHUT UP!!! You’re getting in the damn pool…..now go put on that sexy bathing suit!!!!” Sorry SUAR, no green bikini, but a quasi-green one piece. This is me and my “I’m scared, I don’t wanna” face…..I also look like I need to take a dump. IMG00212-20110113-1411So, I walk out of the locker room and there is not a SOUL in the pool. It was going to be just me and the poor ol’ lifegaurd. I hopped in, and proceeded with a very, slllloooooowwww, BORING workout. 100m breaststroke alternating with 100m freestyle for 1000m. I didn’t want to bother myself with some crazy complicated workout with drills etc. I didn’t even fool with flip turns today either…..making for a very inefficient workout. I forgot how freestyle KICKS. MY. BUTT!!!!! And I HAVE to figure out bilateral breathing. I have always been a left side breather, and my neck is killing me from all the left side breaths. 1000m down, in 30ish minutes, without barfing. YAY me!!!!

This swim and getting my courage up today gets a big thumbs up!!!!!……and some nice goggle prints around my eyes as a bonus!!!!

IMG00216-20110113-1459

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>Cabin FEVER

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I have been held captive in my house for 3 days.  If I didn’t get out today, I was going to go absolutely completely MAD.  NC (and most of the deep south) was paralyzed early this week by a snow storm, which I hear is now wreaking havoc on the north east.  We got about 5 inches of snow, topped off with another .25 inch of ice.  Snow, not so bad……ice, me no likey.  It really messes things up for us Southerners, who clearly loose the ability to operate a motor vehicle at the first sighting of flurries, and greedily gobble up all the milk and bread and the first mention of a snow storm.  But that’s another story.  Go ahead and laugh all you people more accustomed to the snow….har, de, har!!!

IMG_4684

I wanted, so BADLY, to do like my other running friends and go for a short run out in the snow, but the hubs (and my inner more sensible self) urged me not to.  Slippery surface + questionable knee = possible disaster.  So while everyone else was strapping on their YakTrax (and one resourceful friend installing screws into an old pair of shoes!) and enjoying the fresh fallen snow…….I was spinning into oblivion on my trainer.  I’m not bitter (um maybe), the trainer beats the heck out of a treadmill!

But, alas, today I busted out of my house in desperation…….dead set on getting out and RUNNING.  I was a tad nervous, I hadn’t run since my last knee flare up on Christmas Eve.  What if this flare up was as bad as the last and put me out for another 12 weeks?????  But I made it 1 mile…..PAIN FREE.  I went out, sans Garmin and music.  Just me, my new running attire I got for Christmas (thanks Mom!), the road, and my thoughts.  As much as I adore my bike and cycling, I heart running a bajillion times more……even on the boring roads.  What is it about running?????  I can’t even explain it, but I know you all know what I am talking about.  It is a question I will probably never be able to answer.  I just love it, and love being reminded of it after a long layoff. 

So now, IT. IS. ON.  Triathlon……I am coming for you!!!!!  I was doubting my ability to do my first tri in March because of my knee.  But now I am (carefully) going to dive full force into training.  Speaking of diving……I still haven’t gotten in the pool.  I blame that solely on the weather.  But now that damn “Shut up and Run Girl” has told me to put on my green bikini and get in the pool, so now I kind of have to, thanks a lot Beth!   I hope to manage a swim tomorrow afternoon.  Its sink or swim time BABY!!!!

>No Excuses……

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I have officially ran out of excuses to get back in the pool. I have swim anxiety, and I have been avoiding it like the plague. I don’t have swim anxiety for the normal reasons though. Well, my last excuse ran out today. I contacted my local Y and asked if they offered a pool access only membership…..secretly hoping they would say NO, and I would be unable to justify paying $58/month just to have access to a pool. The pool director called me back today and cheerfully told me that yes, indeed, they do offer a swim only option for a most reasonable price of $4/visit. Great…….

It all started back when I was just a tyke in either elementary or middle school. I was on our local swim team and I was pretty good, for little kid standards anyway. I enjoyed the heck out of it, until my very first swim meet. My first event came up, backstroke. I kicked ASS!!! I won my first heat beating out some of the bigger (better) swim teams, I’m not sure the final results of that event, but I do remember winning that first heat!!!! My next event came up…..freestyle. I wasn’t nervous…..for some reason there were only 3 of us in this heat and both were crappy swimmers. I dove off the block….and my freakin goggles came off my face and I bumped into the lane marker while struggling to keep my vision. I was disqualified, and the other crappy swimmers beat me. I was devastated. I don’t think I ever went back to swim practice after that meet.

Fast forward a couple years, my BFF convinced me to join the high school swim team with her. I reluctantly agreed. The love I had for swimming quickly returned, and my skill started to come back shortly thereafter. I kept myself in the slow lane, although the coach urged me to move up, I didn’t want that pressure. I continued with the swim team for awhile, then came time for a mock swim meet. I froze, I didn’t want to do it. I stood on the block shaking remembering the devastation I experienced so many years before. I dove in, pretended to get a leg cramp, jumped out of the pool, ran to the bathroom and puked. That was the end of my short lived swimming career.

Funny how things from 20 something years ago still make you just as nervous and sick as they did the day they happened. Just thinking about getting in the pool with the chance of others watching me makes me cringe. That picture is about to send me into a full blown panic attack. Its stupid though. I’m a decent swimmer…..as in, I know the basic strokes, not in eminent danger of drowning. Its not like I will be competing, so what’s the big deal? I know I’m not fast, I know my stroke will need work, I know I’m not efficient, I know I will struggle. But now, at $4/visit…..I can’t really put it off any longer.

Next week I will (somehow) get my ass in the pool and swim. Hopefully I won’t barf……I’m sure the life guard would appreciate that.

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