TOLT: Twitching Hammy, Crappy Running, and “Awards”

Good morning and welcome to another OGB’s TOLT where we’ve joined with Amanda at RWS for some random thoughts. On the agenda today… runs.

  1. First I’ve been running a lot less than planned lately due to scheduling conflicts that I CHOOSE to let get in the way of pre-planned workouts. Remember that your schedule is always your choice and I stand by that statement. That’s why I have been choosing to get up at 7am instead of when my alarm goes off at 630am or even when I used to run at 530am…..
  2. But maybe I need to reconsider the time of day I’m running again. Because, lately I’m having this issues that many other runners have written about and that’s the “Crappy Run”. You know, that moment when you’re out for a run and getting in the groove of things only to discover you desperately need to use the bathroom! Well, I did a little more reading (check this one out too) yesterday morning and I think that 7am (and maybe even 630am) is too late in the game for me to run. When I was running at 530am I didn’t regularly have this problem, but lately it occurs around 20 minutes in. That doesn’t bode well for completing a 15K in September!
  3. Speaking of, I’ve still not registered for this race due to lack of funds to put toward it at this moment. Would you like to sponsor my entry back into the world of running outside of pushing my kids around the neighborhood? I know that $45 is not that huge of a deal in the big scheme of things, but I didn’t get a Summer II class and I have no workshops for all of August, most of July, and it’s also looking like June too. Plus, no July or August races to work….
  4. What will I be doing with all of that time off? Running of course! And biking more. Did I tell you that I broke out the bike for an awesome ride on Sunday? It was almost 20 miles on a mountain bike….that sounds amazing right? Not so much on the regular road. See, I don’t currently have a road bike, so this is what I’m working with. I didn’t do too terrible (almost 15mph average), but my knees were killing me the next day.
  5. That’s something new for me….knee pain. And yesterday, after my (shortened) run I have been suffering from the NEVER-ENDING twitching hamstring! What is that about? I have stretched and still nothing. Just going to hope to make it through yoga teaching today without looking silly.
  6. And finally, to end on an even number, what is the deal with medals for everyone? My son had his gymnastics spring show on Monday and everyone got a medal. They called it an awards ceremony. That is not “awards”. He did amazing, by the way! He completed at least two events on his own that almost all of the other kids had to be assisted through. I’m so proud. Look, I know that if I finish the race in September…, let’s try that again…..WHEN I finish the race in September I will get a finisher’s medal, but not everyone will finish, so not everyone will get the medal. Also, it’s not considered an “award”. More on this topic on Monday…..

Have a great weekend (if you celebrate the holiday), be safe, and come back tomorrow for some interesting reads!

What are your runs like lately?

Do you have any of these issues?

What are you training for?

Tone It Up Tuesday #24 – More Sets, Plyos, and Arms

Last week was terrible for me and my running….. I took too many days off and too many 1.5 hour naps. Something was keeping me down. So, Saturday I took to the road and pushed through the best that I could. The weather is getting warmer here and I realized that I’m not so much a hot weather exerciser as I once was. So, I’m going to have to go back to the early morning stuff of my winter runs. Saturday’s run was my 3.14 mile course which I still need one more try at under 9:00/mile before moving on. It was hot and my legs didn’t feel right. After 20 minutes I walked for 2 minutes and finished the rest with a 9:16/mile pace in total.

Monday I was back at it and did intervals which I had to talk myself through. Then, it was back to the exercises. Last week I had finished my first 6 weeks of glute work and this week I added more sets, plyos, and arms. Here’s the plan for the next 6 weeks of training:

Running: M, W, F, Sa runs progressing up to over 4 miles and hopefully beyond. Mondays will be interval days of which I am at total of 5 intervals (approx 1/5 mile) and a total distance of 2.2 mi. Wednesdays and Fridays will be the planned progressive runs trying to improve distance at under 9:00/mile. Saturdays will be a free for all. Sometimes it may be a short run, sometimes long and not for time, and other Saturdays will be cross training with a bike ride.

Body weight exercises: M, W, F continuing with the glute exercises from before, but more sets and added plyos.

bridgeOn the ground: Bridges x 15, Left leg bridges x 15, Right leg bridges x 15, Bridges x 15, Left leg clams x 15 (plus a set of lifting to the left leg), Right leg clams x 15 (plus a set of lifting to the right leg), Bridges x 15



squatStanding Up: Squats x 15, Right leg squats x 15, Left leg squats x 15, Wide squats x 15, Right leg step ups x 15, Left leg step ups x 15, Squat jumps x 15





Uppers: Modified push-ups x 15

mod push up
Note the alignment here. Ears, shoulders, hips, and knees at the starting position and holding the body all the way through.

Yoga: Teaching Tu, Th and later this summer I will be adding; a yoga flow to the mix

I haven’t gotten to the point where I can add in the swimming component that I’d like to, but it’s coming this summer.

What does your next 6 week training block entail?

Tone It Up Tuesday #23 – Back Up Plans

Last week I was hit with another illness. And over and over again I remind myself that this is something temporary and I will get through. I also remind myself not to run when the illness involves anything sinus, respiratory, or otherwise makes me feel weak. Well, I should probably just say that running when you’re sick of any sort will probably make you feel weak and your body needs time to heal.

So, earlier this year I talked about my rainy day back up plan because I hate (well dislike) running in the rain. I plan to use the jump rope in the garage. This also works for days when it’s too cold to run or when I just don’t have that much time. The problem with this back up plan for illness is that it would cause me to raise my heart rate so high that I would probably choke to death on phlegm or start a massive coughing fit that would only be remedied by death. Not liking either option, so jump rope has been out this week.

I also have used the method, in the past, of a HIIT workout. Again….not great for the participant currently suffering allergies and other upper respiratory symptoms. I feel like I’m hitting a wall here….

Last week I had additional scheduling conflicts which didn’t leave my usual training days as open as I would have liked, so while I snuck a run in on Wednesday morning (bad idea in the long run), I have only really run once in the last week and a half. Scheduling conflicts need their own set of back up plans. Like, what can I do at home if I can’t make it to the gym? Or can’t afford a gym? Or have my kids around?

I have tried to maintain the movement I crave during this time by continuing to teach yoga (although modified), but not overexert myself by practicing at home; still doing my glute exercises; and taking walks. My first one was last Thursday and the little guy and I are about to head out on one again today.

Walking doesn’t tax me as hard as running, HIIT, jumping, or even cycling does. It gives me a chance to work on my aerobic endurance at a lower level and stay safe in my healing. I fully realize that this is not the same for everyone and I encourage you to consider what your body needs when you are ill. We should never push ourselves into further illness or injury. (Check out this article on blood donation and performance.) Anytime you are health compromised, consider your options, back off a bit, and do what makes you feel like you’re getting well. Your training goals will still be there when you get back!

Is anyone else having the stellar year of allergies that we are?

That 3-4 Gear is a Sticky One!

Saturday I went for a 14 mile bike ride with the boys in the trailer. It was hot and humid and I ran into one of the women I teach yoga to on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Other than that, the ride was pretty uneventful. I was able to ride the entire first half of the ride in the big gear up front and somewhere around 4-5 on the little set. But it kept sticking and shifting was a constant necessity. I brought it back down to the middle gear up front on the ride home into the wind. You can see my ride here on MapMyRun.

However, the entire time I was riding I was thinking about my life with a bike and came up with this list of Things that Cycling has Taught Me and metaphors on life.


  • In life something is always spinning around.
  • When we bike, like in life, we either go forward or stay still. You can backpedal if you like, but it doesn’t change the forward progress.
  • There will always be uphills and downhills and even the flats aren’t as easy as you think.
  • Sometimes you’re locked into the pedals and sometimes you have freer movement.
  • You can always go home, but even after a short ride, you’re always a different person than when you left.
  • There are other riders around you on their own journey, some on the same path who are having a different experience, and then there are the people out there who aren’t paying any attention to you and might mow you down…..BE AWARE! not….beware.
  • Head protection is key….just like the right fit.
  • Even the same path looks different each day; enjoy the variety that life offers even if it seems mundane and repetitive.
  • Sometimes your bike is old, sometimes it is new, sometimes it’s borrowed from a friend who supports you…..sometimes it’s blue

I know that my thoughts aren’t very eloquent or unique, but one thing that cycling has given me over the years is a sense of empowerment. Who didn’t feel like they could conquer the world when they learned how to ride a bike?

In 2009 I rode my bike for 175 miles in 2 days to support fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis. It was a great cause and I enjoyed the challenge of the ride. However, after going through a divorce, a break up with my first serious boyfriend post-divorce, and quitting my job, the ride was much more to me. I went on this ride alone. I had no friends as a support team to meet me along the way. There wasn’t anyone to sit in my hotel room at night and watch tv as I ached and dreaded the second day. At the end of the event I packed up my bike myself and got in my car and drove the hours and hours back to my little house where my two Great Danes waited for me and we rested together. There wasn’t any fanfare over my completion….just me and a bike and the random people I met along the way. I took this picture of myself at the end of the event.

A selfie of self-assuredness. I had no real plan for my future that day and it would be 12 more days until I met my husband and almost 2 months more before I was accepted into grad school again. I had no job, no anything, just me. And I was so happy and sure that that was enough to make life good!

Now I ride with my boys behind me. The big guy will soon be riding beside me and I couldn’t be happier. But I know, that even if things hadn’t turned out the way they did, that I would have been okay on my own too. I think every person needs to have that lesson. You need to know that you can do it all by yourself. I’m curious….

What taught you that you’re okay on your own?
What has your experience with cycling been like?
For more of my posts on cycling:

Friday Fast Tips

As a Mommy/Woman/Fitness/Yoga/Food/Lifestyle Blogger (I don’t feel like I really fit into one category) I feel like it’s important to cover all of my bases. Mondays we’re dealing a lot with meditation practice, but really how to live a better you. Tuesdays is all about the fitness and yoga and I love sharing a little mini move or workout with you for the week. Wednesdays I am taking a break and doing work at the moment. Thursdays are my random rants and ravings from the past week. This is where my Mommy/Wife/Friend mind tends to spill out onto the page. Sundays we are back with some food stuffs and that will eventually include a little more nutrition info, but only within my scope of practice because I’m a stickler for that kind of thing. And that leaves Saturdays and Fridays.

Because I travel a lot on the weekend I tend to find those days consumed with work, travel, and more work. However, as many of you sit at your desk on this Friday, you’re probably on some kind of social media or blog site because Fridays wear on people. It’s the last day of the traditional work week and both our bodies and our minds are ready for a break. That is why I am now bringing you Fast Friday Tips. It will give you a little break from your Friday and it won’t be my usual ten page essay post (sorry, this one is a little long). Plus, taking that short interlude to read the tip will help improve your productivity for the rest of the day (see here) as well as possibly give you an idea for something for the upcoming weekend.

This week we’re focused on cycling! Why? Because it’s fall and that’s a perfect time to start riding your bike. The weather is cooler, but not too cold. The fall colors make the perfect time to go out for a scenic trail ride. If you’re a college student or live close to a campus, it’s a wonderful way to commute to the football game. And it can be a low cost family activity. I even stayed at a hotel recently that rents bikes for rides down to the local vineyard!

If you’re going to go out and ride be sure to wear a helmet and know your hand signals.

I cannot stress how important this is. Bikes are vehicles and you should be riding with traffic and signaling when you stop and turn just as you would expect someone in another car to do. Teach these signals to your children and if you have them in a bike seat or pull them in a trailer behind, have them practice with you. Call out the signal and show them as they copy your gesture……unless your kid looks like my big guy here:


Be safe this weekend and get a ride in. Let me know how it goes!

Visit Fit is a Feminist Issue for more on safe cycling.