• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Running.
    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 5 other followers

ready for adventure

Boulder, CO

I was already excited about my upcoming trip to Boulder next weekend to visit a BFF and then I pulled up the forecast.  Woot!  Perfect weather for our plan to:

hike
stroll
dine
shop
and shop
and shop

and rent bikes if the weather holds.

(fingers crossed that no more wild fires will threaten the area)

As usual before travel, I have started obsessing over what to take.  Do I have the right bag?  Do I need a NEW bag (any excuse)?  No, no I need new hiking shoes more than I need a new bag.  Do I have the right jacket?  And on and on.  Gah!

Anyway, just a few days before I’m due to leave, I have finally found a good pair of shoes and will be returning the cute, but unnecessary, bag I bought at Macy’s during my initial travel spin-up frenzy.   I’ll be needing that cash anyway to buy trinkets in Boulder, right?

So the shoes.  I don’t know if I’ve every mentioned how much I hate shopping for shoes.  The problem, as I see it, is that shoe manufacturers cater to people with average to wide feet.  So a girl with long skinny feet [raises hand] has to resort to all manner of trickery to get a shoe to stay on her foot.   I’m talking inserts, thick socks, special lacing techniques.  That also means I frequently end up trying every shoe in my size in the store to find something that will work.  Time consuming enough in terms of sheer quantity but even more so when you factor in the switching out of inserts, changing up the lacing, etc., etc.


I heart my new kicks

Despite all of that, and thanks to the lovely folks at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, I finally settled on a pair of Merrel Siren Sport hiking boots.  They are comfy, grippy, light-weight and not bad looking as hiking shoes go.  I’ll keep you posted on how they do on the rocky Boulder terrain.

OK, I’m off to start sorting through my gear and clothes.  And maybe take a shower since it’s already noon and I can’t seem to rustle up the energy to work out.    Sheesh.

Advertisements

back in the saddle

Daisy : Lead Slacker

Well, well, well.   I can’t believe it has already been a month since our fun run.  And nary a peep from the sisters.  What a bunch of slackniks.

I can’t speak for Cathlin and Colleen, but my motivation tanked when we started having 100+ degree / 80+ % humidity days on a regular basis.  Who can think under those conditions, much less string words together to create readable sentences?

Plus my training has been completely out of whack.  I decided to take another break from running (the old foot issue) and do some biking instead in a nice cool gym.  Then I took a week off of everything and sat around eating cupcakes and feeling sorry for myself because my foot still hurt.  Which, sadly,  didn’t help either.  So, I sought the help of a professional (podiatrist) and am (fingers crossed) back on track.

Anyhoo, back to my misadventures in biking.  My gym has a few expresso bikes that have virtual courses you can ride.  They’re cool – the handlebars move and there is a shifter with 20-something gears.  The settings vary from flat short race courses on a track on a bright sunny day to alpine trails in the early morning to coastal rides at dusk.    Other bikers are on the course and there is a pacer that you can stay or leave behind.

My first time out, I did a 3.5 mile coastal ride and gave the shifter a workout as I chugged up and down the hills.  And curves.  Did I mention the sharp curves on the hills and the steep drop off on either side of the path?  On the curvy hills?  Leading to certain catastrophe if you strayed from the path?  I had the handles in a death grip as I tried to work up the nerve to pass a couple of riders that were blocking me.  Every time I thought I had a shot, another curve would pop up.   Damn it!  I was starting to sweat profusely and I’m sure there were unsightly veins popping out of my neck due to the stress.

Finally, I made my move on a straight-away.  Whew!  What a relief.  I settled in and made it to the finish line.  Nerves still jangling, I staggered over to the water fountain, grabbed hold of the edge and took a big swig.   Thankfully no one noticed the not-so-virtual dork with the weak knees.  At least I hope not.

Well, you know what they say about getting back on the horse that threw you (or almost made you throw up).  So, I adjusted my saddle, hopped on and rode a flat course immediately afterward, purposefully trying to veer off the trail and run into other riders just to see what would happen.

Of course the program wouldn’t let me.  The tires refused to go outside the line and the offending riders vanished in a poof as I made contact.  All that worry for nothing, except maybe a few extra calories burned.  Confidence reinstalled, I recklessly rode the coastal trail again the following week,  careening down hills and plowing into anyone who got in my way.  Take that!

graduation

Graduation comes in all sorts of ways. This week, my daughter graduated from 8th grade. Next year, she’s in high school. I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday she was graduating from 5th grade, and she was  stressed about having to figure out how to use a locker with a combination when she got to middle school the next year. Now her concerns center around ensuring she maintains her unlimited text messaging privileges and if she can go on facebook. How she will change in high school — driving, dating, proms, college. I can’t wait.

I was hoping to have graduated from the C25K program this week, too. But, alas, I’m still in week 8, after repeating week 6 several times and delaying the uninterrupted running sessions I knew were coming. Though…Congratulations to Cathlin for graduating! And it sounds like you are finally truly enjoying your 30 minute runs. Look how far we’ve come! I’m still not to the enjoying running part yet. And this morning I felt like an elephant. But I trust that day will come and thanks for the inspiration, sisters. I want to graduate, too. And I need to do it before our cross-country roadtrip. I have until July 6.

I’ve also discovered that no new shoes, new song, new device, new route, time of day, energy drink can be as powerful a motivator as your Mind.  The mind-body connection is so purely connected when running. I can tell myself to quit (for so many reasons, I’m good at them) or I can tell myself to keep going. Despite tired legs, deer flies or humidity. I need to graduate from being controlled by my body and let go and love it.

“Strictly by accident, Scott stumbled upon the most advanced weapon in the ultrarunner’s aresenal: Instead of cringing from fatigue, you embrace it. You refuse to let it go. You get to know it so well you’re not afraid of it anymore.” Born to Run

Oh. And here are my new running shoes. Yeah, the mind is everything. But I’m really digging the new shoes. Mizuno Ronin 2.


do these shoes make me look fast?

30% smaller

So, I needed some new running shoes and decided to try something different this time around.    Something that might help me feel lighter on my feet.  I’ve been poking around the Newton Running website for weeks and finally decided to check their shoes out in person at Three Sports in Richmond.

I felt like such a jock just walking in there.  The store caters to triathletes (thus the name) and had all sorts of cool gear.  After a quick consultation and a run down the sidewalk I found out that I am indeed a heel striker.  Their regular shoes are geared toward midfoot / forefoot strikers.  But they also have a guidance trainer that offers more support in the heel.  It’s supposed to help with transitioning to more of the barefoot / midfoot / forefoot style.  They didn’t have the stability model in the guidance trainer  but I went ahead and bought it anyway.  I hope that decision doesn’t come back to bite me.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday was my first day in the new shoes.  Really light-weight.  I liked that a lot.  I tried to focus on what I was doing with my feet instead of mindlessly running.   It was Week 5, Day 2 so only 8 minute runs.  This morning my calves were a little sore – definitely should have stretched some more last night.  You’re supposed to ease into these shoes so I’m trying to decide if I want to go ahead with the 20 minute Day 3 run or do another set of 8 minute intervals and then recycle week 5 altogether next week to give me more break-in time.

What to do, what to do?

p.s. I love the green and orange.  Good wake-up colors.

color me happy

happy feet

Colleen and I were just talking the other day about needing to add more color to our lives.   I’ve done a good job with my house but somehow over the years my closet has turned from vibrant jewel-tones to brown, black and gray with a couple of semi-colorful tops thrown in.   Getting dressed in the morning has become less than inspiring.

So this weekend, to celebrate my final run of C25K Week 4, I went in search of a little special sauce for my wardrobe.  Ok, really I was just looking for some new sandals, preferably something beyond my normal neutrals.   After trying on many, many shoes (don’t get me started about my stupid skinny non-shoe-fitting feet), I finally found something that was both comfortable and contained my considerably long tootsies.  Also it had rhinestone bling!

But then, the dilemma – what color?  The red patent leather or a more practical beige?   A quick consultation with my sisters (I heart my blackberry) confirmed my instincts – RED!  Now I just need some warm weather and toenail polish and I’ll be set.

oh foam roller, how I love / hate thee

Over the years, I’ve unfortunately had reason to visit a handful of physical therapists for various ailments.  At one time or another pesky piriformis, IT band, knee and shoulder issues have all put me out of action or at least made action painful.

Whenever things start to get out of whack again, I get out my trusty foam roller for a little tough love.  And when I say tough I mean an unyielding,  make-you-cry-for-your-mother kind of bruiser.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of using a foam roller, let me just say you are in for a treat.  Basically, you use your body weight and the roller to apply direct pressure on muscle knots.  There’s a nice little summary about it over at Running Times.

Photo Credit - Running Times Magazine

This image looks so benign but, let me tell you, the IT Band Roll is a killer.  It works for me though so it’s worth the pain.  It just doesn’t seem like it in the moment while I’m muttering profanity and trying not to whimper like a baby.   I’m warning you, good people, in case you decide to try it for the first time at a gym in front of a bunch of folks.    Be strong.   The good thing is, if you keep at it regularly you start to release those knots pretty quickly.    I’m always surprised at how loosey goosey I feel after I’ve finished a session.

After two days of self-imposed rehab for my pilates overindulgence, the roller is ever so slowly starting to work its magic.   On my second Week 3 C25K workout yesterday I made it through the entire run/walk without incident.   Keeping my fingers crossed that my muscles remain unbunched for the rest of the program.  Wish me luck!

running on empty

What…again?  Again with the 5:30?  It’s still dark out. And it is cold.  Did you see the thermometer?  Let’s all just go back to bed and revisit this whole running thing at a more reasonable hour.

What? WHAT?  Quit shaking me.  Can you not understand me?  Eyes closed means I’m still sleeping.  Sigh.  Fine, I’ll go, just give me a minute to stretch…upward dog…downward dog…upward dog…downward dog…YAWN.  Ok. Let’s do this.

………………………………………………………….

Well I’m happy to report that Daisy is really coming along as a running partner.  She kept up with me most of the time.  Sadly, that’s not saying much because I am really slow.

Today I got to try out my new Griffin Aerosport iPod arm band and it worked great.  Way better than jury-rigging my leather case to a reflective belt.

I was feeling frisky so I tried Colleen’s sprint at the end technique – or as much as I dared given the uneven sidewalks.  It felt good to stretch out my legs.  When I got home I even threw in a few “get your bum fancy” squats for good measure.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling those tomorrow.

So far the workouts have been going well.  My only problem is that my usual morning bowl of cereal is just not cutting it.  I was dragging myself around all day.   I definitely need something more substantial on my training days.   Oh, and eating crap the day before is probably not such a great idea.  Next time I’m going to make some scrambled eggs and toast with a big glass of carrot juice for breakfast.  Or maybe a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  I could use some words of wisdom here.