Tag Archives: Garmin 620

Running High

2 Jan

Hello friends!!! And Happpppppy New Year!!!

As I reflect on the blessings and tough luck that was 2014, I approach 2015 hopeful. There were moments in 2014 I found myself tongue-tied and twisted. It continues to be a trickery issue. The issue of ambition and happiness. Can you have both?

A friend of mine shared a thought-provoking article a few days back that touched on a similar subject. Replace ambition with love. No, no, no…I’m not saying, “Love and happiness…Can you have both”. Keep reading.

The article was about self-identity. Let me explain and circle it back to my endeavors and exhausting commitment to running. The article states that love is emotional and compatibility is logical.

Hmmm. Okay…[thinking oil and vinegar…]

I’m clearly emotionally involved with running but my commitment to run for hours upon hours and abuse my body to the point of dehydration renders me delusional, high and happy and is likely NOT logical. The question is, do the two really blend together, or are they like oil and vinegar? Can you have love without compatibility? Can you have compatibility without love?

I have evaluated this topic and I am left puzzled.

This whole time I have been preaching to you that running is where I have found myself. Running is my identity. I was wrong. (That tastes like vinegar but I’m fortunate that I have acquired the taste)

Running is my love and we are compatible. It is a graceful tango with emotion and logic! (I wish everything were so easy.)

Running leaves me empty at times but also fills me with euphoria. Running gives me a sense of happiness and thwarts any feelings I may have of dissatisfaction, anxiety and depression (temporarily). Running and I get along, pretty dang well. When we argue, we argue fair. We have a mutual understanding that when I’m being a pain in the ass (quite more often I’m sure than I would like to admit) it will call me out and drive me to dig deep and push harder until I break through the barriers I have created. It peels away at my layers exposing me to vulnerability. It allows me to be transparent in this forum in which I express my life between the miles. It is the ultimate relationship as it challenges me and keeps me striving for more. Our dance through emotions gets me intoxicatingly high. Who wouldn’t want this?

But as I said minutes ago, I was wrong when I exclaimed that I found my identity through running. Running is NOT my identity. Running supplements me. As should any relationship. Running makes me whole but does NOT define me. I say again, as should any relationship.

So here I am again reflecting on 2014 and trying to project 2015. I said project, not plan. I will NOT plan anything (we all know how that went in 2013); however, I will commit to goals.

I am told I cannot sit still and I don’t know how to relax. True. It is because I have been drugged by the arrival fallacy and honey, I am severely addicted. If you’re not familiar with the arrival fallacy it is the belief that when you attain your goal, you will be happy. The trouble with addicts, like myself, is that once you taste the sweet nectar of success, you want more. Attaining one goal often reveals another goal or peripheral goals that you want to aspire towards. My running endeavors are a fine example. I ran a half-marathon and immediately after crossing the finish line, I was as high as Seth Rogan and James Franco in Pineapple Express (but with adrenaline and endorphins). I thought it would be a good idea to commit to a training plan for a marathon. Someone should have puff puff passed ME but my lungs were burning with the euphoric shock of finishing a race and I was highly vulnerable to the vapors of the arrival fallacy. And now, with two marathons in the books, and several half-marathon training runs completed, my goals shifted from completing marathons to Boston Qualify. For real this time. I will BQ in 2015. I think I’m still high.

That is my runnerlution in 2015. I have no other resolutions. I have no plans. The trouble with the BQ is that the commitment to training is exhausting, oh but the inebriation…

I had a lot of failures in 2014. Some related to my marriage with running. What relationship isn’t flawed? Commitment to anything is exhausting. The give and the take. The difference in opinions. The way love and compatibility don’t line up as often as you would like.

Love and compatibility weren’t fully aligned during my first marathon in 2014. I ran it just to see how I would do. I had a lot of fuel left in my reserves when I finished and I carried some resentment about it. Nonetheless, I was on cloud 9 and couldn’t come down. I ran my second marathon high on Mucinex while trying to fight bronchitis. Love and compatibility were in line this round but my health wasn’t. I flirted with a BQ. I missed the mark by four minutes. My ego wasn’t bruised but my lungs were. I came up short but I was damn happy for even showing up and racing at all. That’s the perk of the post-marathon glow of high spirits.

I ask you this, what happens when you try and you give it your all and you come up short? Time and again (in life and all of your relationships and endeavors?). Do you keep moving towards the original end-goal? Or does your goal manifest into something else? Do you change your direction to meet new unanticipated peripheral goals? When do you realign your goals to meet your needs and desires? Does love and compatibility drive your ambitions?

I recognize that I am perpetually creating goals. It doesn’t make me unsettled. It makes me thirsty. I am the arrival fallacy. That is life! I am running my life (pun intended) with what I hope is the perfect blend of love (emotion) and compatibility (logic). So far it has been the secret to my healthy affair with running. It keeps me high, baby! Stay high!

Happy New Year Friends!!! May 2015 greet you with a healthy glow, love, happiness, success, and inspiration!!! Stay high on life…get high on the run. Commit to love and compatibility and allow yourself to have both!

What are your runnerlutions?

Thanks for stopping by!



Aka Valarina ***(Thanks, Dad! He has requested I remove Valgal and use the nickname he gave me since yay high…oh you don’t see me showing you yay high…newsflash, I haven’t grown. Be it 2 or 29, I’m still yay high but not “high” – if you read the blog)



Crash and Burn

20 Dec

Hello friends!

Good morning to you all! It’s been a quick minute, or should I say month since we’ve connected. I’m not going to bore you with the minute details of my life between the miles and those so-called miles…I want to update you on the NOW.

The NOW is…

I woke up hurting. It could have been because I had one too many pear martinis last night at my local sushi restaurant–nah.

I reevaluated how I was feeling. The pain by no means was in my head. There’s significant pain in my right hip still, an extraordinary dull pain in my core, and a slight pain, okay really just a soreness in my hammies that are pleading me to roll them out. [Insert me singing “Roll Out” with my own twist and gawd awful voice]. This means I am making progress with Operation Abs and Booty–I’m strengthening my core in hopes to get faster. I’ve cut back on long distances significantly to help heal my hip, with a strategic focus to get faster by incorporating more speed intervals! I figured because there are no races I’m participating in in the next month, there’s no need to crash and burn with distance training every day. My goal has given me the freedom to balance strength training with running and all things in between my miles. But no, the new regime and my aching muscles this morning isn’t the hurt I woke up with.

Ah-ha, I said it earlier but in the wrong context. Crash and burn. Yup! That’s it. It sounds awfully reminiscent of young and hopeful romances, but this isn’t a Nicholas Sparks blog. No, no, no…if it were, I’d be rich “rolling in twenties, with the top back, so much money, you can’t stop that…” my shoes would be custom-made, I’d be custom-paid , and everything I own would be custom-fitted [do you like what I just did there? Thanks Luda!]. But back to the pain, no more rolling around. The pain is because I literally did crash and burn last night. After returning home from eating sashimi and a yellowtail roll, the perfect complement to the pear martini(s), I took the pups for a walk. But you see, I can’t just walk them. I want them to get their pent up energy out so I got them riled up and gearing to go. We crossed the street at high velocity when I NOT so gracefully hit the ground running–skidding across the cross walk. My gray pants have holes where my knees crashed down, I have cuts all along my legs, and my left palm looks like I clenched jumping cholla cacti, you know, because that’s fun. My right hand was spared, slightly. The ring finger resembles a burn but fortunately I’m left-handed so it’s tolerable. That’s my story. I crashed and I burned.

So there you have it. That’s the pain. Crash and burn. The nostalgia of all things that crash and burn is that, just like relationships past, there’s an image that dances around the mind, a distant memory of affection, never affliction, until you look in the mirror and see its scars (not all scars are visible). That’s what makes it real. The satisfaction is picking yourself up, accepting the humility, and moving forward. Who cares that I had an audience! I’m sure they chuckled and hey, if I can provide free entertainment at my expense (I need new jeans), I’m all for it. They probably judged me but I’m not scathed by the opinions of others anymore, only my fall. This too will become a memory–another scar that makes ME unique. That’s the reminder. That’s the crash and that’s the burn. Ohhhh the duplicity.

Thanks for stopping by!

Enjoy your weekend and happy running!



Pain Is Insignificant: A Commitment to Honor

11 Nov

Hello friends!

First and foremost, let me begin this blog with a shout out to our veterans! My heart is full of love and admiration for those who wear or have worn the uniform in their unwavering efforts to protect us and our country. I want to take the time and honor those who served and are serving. Their bravery, courage, and service to our country is truly an act of selflessness—I am honored and privileged to write these words. I am humbled everyday by your sacrifice and feel overwhelmed with pride and honor serving you. May God bless over you, your families, and all of your loved ones. XO

It was inspirational to watch Vice President Biden speak today paying tribute to our nation’s veterans. He was speaking with charged passion and the crowd was listening in affected silence. He was literally an arm’s length away from me today, no joke. Okay, maybe ten. Regardless, he was close. And I was moved.

Talking about being moved, let’s get to running…

I completed my first run post-marathon on Monday. It was brutal. I took two weeks off after the Marine Corps Marathon hosted on October 26, 2014. I expected to kiss the asphalt with my feet with a light, easy, and relaxed feeling considering the tender, loving, care I gave to my body.

I only ran three miles. Three fast miles. The speed felt great. I ran light. My breathing was easy. But I felt nothing near relaxed. The ball-and-socket joint of my right hip felt as if with each movement there was a crushing sensation. It felt like every time the bones met each other they were sanding each other down. Then add the feeling as if my hip caught onto something. It would pop then pop again. Really?

I ran a solid three miles and called it quits. I didn’t want to welcome an injury, especially not post-marathon. I couldn’t help but think, what gives? How does one get an injury post-ANYTHING? I’m without a logical explanation.

I wrapped up my workout with an ab session. I felt defeated. I came up to the apartment and met my shower with affectionate arms—I mean hips. I hoped my hip would respond to the hot water therapy but it didn’t do much… other than leave my body temporarily stained a few shades of red.

I tended to my emotional disruption of a possible injury by indulging in a glass of wine and my master’s homework. Best thing to do at that point was ignore the pain. After all, pain happens. This pain was not significant. I told myself to get over it.

The following day I was walking around and I still noticed discomfort. I continued to try to ignore it. Discomfort is an enemy of my sheer will and determination to push through obstacles. An obstacle disguised as right hip pain paled in comparison to just having ran a marathon with acute bronchitis, while losing a contact, with my calf muscles on fire. Therein lies the truth that I can push through difficult things. Right hip pain didn’t have anything on me!

Naturally, I wanted to shake the feeling of discomfort by running seven miles. Wouldn’t you? I wanted to push through the “pain”. I was longing to be absorbed in a good, long run because I was tired of being so compulsively worried about my right hip and the reality of an injury. I didn’t want anything more than to focus on the moment and the mile I was in. I longed to be connected and fully vigilant of my breathing, turnover, cadence, pace, heartbeat, and movement because it had been so long.

But it was too difficult. Each mile my right hip felt like it snagged onto something. I grimaced one time or fifteen. I wear my emotions on my face plain as day. Anyone could have seen, with my squinted eyes, tight lips, and a raised eyebrow my silent vulgar cries. “OooOoow what the [bad word] was that? Did my hip just seriously [bad word*ing] pop? What the H.E. double hockey stick is going on? WHAT is going on!!!!?”

I was fretting because the pain was unfamiliar and a major nuisance. I forgot to mention I have another race this Sunday that I stand a chance in placing, thus supporting my deposition that this is a real and very major nuisance.

What do I do?

With that said, I decided to take today off from running. It makes me anxious with trepidation because I should be training for the race and a PR.

But what kind of anxiousness is mine in comparison if we circle back to our selfless service men and women, and veterans? The thought reminds me that running is privilege and I ought not to fuss over the insignificance of my “pain.” Pain presents itself in endless forms. And today, I was deeply moved by the Veterans Day Ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery honoring our veterans and the sacrifices they have made. I pay tribute to their unwavering commitment, bravery, and service while recognizing the myriad of emotions, to include pain, that is entwined within their creed.   God bless.

Thanks for reading!!!

Honoring Those Who Serve(d), Veterans Day 2014.

Happy Running.







Michael Kors versus Garmin

2 Feb

Today I joined my friends for a crossfit session and there after we partook in a shopping binge at Ft. Myer’s Class 6 and Commissary in our efforts to stock up our pantries for personal gain as well as to prep for the Super Bowl. What began as a quick trip to the Class 6 for some discounted alcohol (hello Tequila and Firefly) resulted in my grand idea to hit the exchange because I was jonesing for a Michael Kors purse…and what better place to purchase one? A Michael Kors purse at a discounted price and no tax? Yes Please!

So there we were, my girlfriend Kaisha and I, in a sea of colorful, gorgeous, we must own, purses, wallets, satchels, and clutches to name a few. We were in the middle of all this glam and we definitely belonged there. The men that we were with us saw our proclivities to stay put in the Michael Kors section. Having good taste and lusting for attractive things is innate in both Kaisha and I. We knew just how to adorn our shoulders with gorgeous bags and we loved every minute of it. Kaisha and I rationalized prices and relished in the idea that buyer’s remorse wouldn’t even seep in if we purchased a purse, a matching wallet and perhaps an additional accessory. We even went so far to say screw the accessories, let’s purchase two purses. We figured, heck, it’s discounted and there’s no tax, why not!? Ask yourself the same question. What would you think?




My heart was happy when I realized I could easily see myself with my new bag and wallet that I had in tote. The bag, the wallet, both stunning and affordable, and did I say elegant and striking? Yes, that’s right; I was ready to commit to the purchase. I was so happy. I was almost as happy as my heart is when I decorate my feet with new Newton running shoes. Yup, I went there-running! I thought of running the moment I thought of purchasing a Michael Kors purse and wallet. Then I thought of Crossfit.

Yup. Crossfit. My mind went from Michael Kors to running plus Crossfit. I thought of running and its costs and then I thought of my new addiction of Crossfit compliments of my friend, Kaisha’s husband, Jason. My mind spiraled down this cost analysis nonsense. I know I need to become a member of Crossfit because after today, I’m captivated by it. It is the perfect cross training for a runner like me. Oh no. Then I thought of Paul. Crossfit x 2 people. Cha-ching. Wait, wait, it doesn’t stop there. I need a new road bike so that I can start training for a tri…Cha-ching. We need 2. Cha-ching. Cha-ching. $$$ $$$. Where does Michael Kors fall in line here?

Here’s the trouble. I don’t blink twice when I purchase Newton running shoes. They typically cost $175.00. Add a discount code for 20% off and one pair is approximately $140.00 plus tax. And if you know me you know I don’t purchase just one pair at a time, I purchase two. So there you have it, I spend at least $280.00 plus tax on a given running shoe purchase without exercising any caution. But there I was about to commit to what would be a hugely discounted Michael Kors purchase of only $350.00. $350.00 compared to the normal price of $650.00 plus tax in a typical scenario if I hadn’t been at the exchange, and yet my stomach turned in knots. What gives!

Then this voice in my head said, you don’t buy purses. You buy atheletic gear and equipment.

My stomach was knotted and I had instant buyer’s remorse even though I didn’t swipe my MasterCard yet. I rationalized my purchase for a minute. I even sent a picture to Paul with me donning my so-called purchases with the tag line, “I saved SO much. No taxes and discounted!!!” Paul didn’t respond immediately to object the purchase which led me to rationalize a little more.

I figured that I shouldn’t purchase the purse or the wallet even though I wanted to. Again, if you know me, you know I’m not into name brands unless we are talking about running brands. #hellobetter. Newton! I am just not that girl. I barely get my nails done because it’s a pain in the ass and an expense I don’t care for. Compared to my running addiction getting my nails done is such a nominal cost (I’m so pathetic!). Don’t get me wrong, I love how my nails look when they are done but my gripe is that it takes too long and I’d rather save the money. I suppose I have no issue spending the money on my nails but it’s really just not worth my time. Time is money! I have better uses of my time —> TRAINING! I can’t believe I’m still blonde for the same reason. I despise getting my hair done because the time it takes and the stylist always wants to talk to me. Newsflash, I’m not interested in telling you my life story. Tell me yours and I’m happy to charge you for the therapy session I can provide you. How I see it I owe you nothing…my fee washes your fee…just kidding? (That’s at least how I feel in the D.C. area. I miss my stylist in Scottsdale)! Moving on… I don’t find any of the maintenance (nails and/or hair) to be leisurely. I am a low maintenance kind of gal behind the stilettos when I’m not running in Newton’s who also loves high class at the right price. I am sure I come across as a tough nut to crack sometimes but truly, I am not into name brands at full price and I scoff at those who think name brands brand their identity. I’m just not that girl. I like name brands but don’t need them to define me.

And this is when Paul responded to my text and gave me the green light to purchase the Kors. His text was, “If it’s a great deal go for it! It’s not like you have to ask for permission, Val.”

And then I shed a tear because I was no longer at the Exchange. I text back, “So you’re cool with the Kors and the Garmin? Rock on!”

Paul called me and responded, “Whatever you want, babe. Go for it.” Oh wait, I dreamt that. He didn’t call.

And that is how I separate myself from the masses of females out there. I didn’t swipe my MasterCard. Truth is, I could afford the Michael Kors purse and wallet no problem. The trouble is, I want a Garmin 620, too. That’s right. I turned down the gorgeous Michael Kors purchases for the promise to myself to buy a running gadget. I could buy both Kors products as well as the Garmin but then I’d feel selfish. I know, I know, I want so much!!! But truthfully, it’s all about the Garmin 620. Right?!? I’d get more use out of it. It retails for $399.99. That is approximately $50 plus tax more than my sought after Michael Kors. One would think I’d buy the Michael Kors because it’s a better and cheaper deal. I’d be getting two Kors items at a discounted price with no tax versus one thing, a Garmin, with tax.


I chose the promise of the Garmin 620 over the sensational, drool worthy Michael Kors. Why? I don’t know.

WHAT’S MY PROBLEM?!! Michael Kors versus Garmin. Seriously. Only I would find myself in this quandary.

Here’s my rationale… The Garmin 620 is an advance running watch with a recovery advisor. To name a few, the Garmin 620 overview is as follows:

• Touchscreen GPS running watch with high-resolution color display that tracks distance, pace and heart rate¹
• Calculates your recovery time and VO2 max estimate when used with heart rate
• HRM-Run™ monitor¹ adds data for cadence, ground contact time and vertical oscillation
• Connected features²: automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking, social media sharing
• Compatible with free training plans from Garmin Connect

garmin 620

The Michael Kors purse and wallet doesn’t confer those perks! What’s a girl to do?

Granted the Michael Kors might make people think I’m a class act (I am!) and add a little more esteem to my wardrobe but it really doesn’t matter. You see, you are more likely to see me adorned in running gear and Newton’s versus my going out, classy attire on any given day. And if you see me in my bright ass running tights by Nike, Lululemon, or Under Armour, and my Lululemon bangbuster headbands, you’d know I’ve got a colorful personality paired with style. You would also see that beauty of a watch I’ll be wearing on right wrist soon that would be none other than the Garmin 620. If you don’t recognize the Newton’s on my feet or the Garmin on my wrist, well then your judgment towards me not owning the Michael Kors (or any other fancy purse with an exorbitant price tag) doesn’t matter.

People judge all day long based on the things we wear and the labels we rock. But the labels I love more than Michael Kors are Garmin, Newton’s, Nike, Under Armour, and Lululemon. In the running world the aforementioned are considerably equivalent, if not have more prestige than Michael Kors and all that other bullshit that we love, all day long.

There you have it. You know me a little better now.

I am that girl. I put down the Michael Kors and promised myself the Garmin 620.

By the way, when Paul did call me I advised him the Kors could be a gift from him later in the year and the Garmin 620 is a go today, or in the near future. He laughed and said sure thing babe…I think he likes that I am nutty enough to choose running possessions over luxury ones. Ugh!


Valgal aka Runnergirl

Keep running. Love the run. Love the burn.

Make the pain a friend and you’ll never be alone.

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