Tag Archives: #lovetorun

The Pressure

8 Apr

Hello friends!!!

I hope Monday greeted you with a warm hug and cup of piping hot coffee instead of my alternative…a 4:00a wake up call for a 4:30a boarding time, an empty stomach taunted by the fresh aroma of coffee, blueberry scones, toasted bagels, butter, and eggs all begging me to indulge in just one bite (I was fasting), and a cold MRI machine hours later…(blog to follow). The adventures of my Monday wrapped up with the disappointing loss for Wisconsin. Who wants Duke? Ever? Really? I gladly threw in the towel to meet my dreams. 

I woke up thinking Tuesday ought to be better, right? Until I looked at my phone displaying a number of text alerts. Some legit. Some ok. Some from my tribe of girls. Some casual hellos. Some of which had my mind spin in a tizzy. The pressure to remain calm overwhelmed me. I had to remember I can’t change anyone’s opinion of me. It is out of my control. 

Then I started thinking of other things out of my control. Things like death and taxes. But seriously, things like the health of my family members and friends and my being so far away. All the the things that break my heart. All the things I can’t control. I want to take everyone’s pain away. I don’t want anyone to suffer, ever. I feel I’m better equipped to handle pain, heartache, discomfort, grief, etc. I would gladly take it all from you because you don’t deserve it, whether we are strained friends, lovers, or what have you, I believe in forgiveness and acceptance and you still and always will matter to me. So let me handle your pressures and I’ll run it out (when this injury is healed).

Anyway, I became emotionally numb to my text messages this morning. Messages with twisted and contorted truths hijacking my happiness. It put me in an awkward state of frozen discomfort all day, emotionally and physically. I was drowning. Paralyzed. Then there’s my hip also paralyzed from the arthrogram yesterday. Ugh.

I was frozen in pain overthinking all my realities. 

I decided early on I needed tunes to warm my heart and my hip…

And there you have it, this song was the backdrop of my mood today.

 

Particularly:

 “…But it’s really out of my control. The way you feel is not my problem…”

“…Have you seen my f**ks to give? I have none, I cannot live with…”

“…The pressure. The pressure you know I feel. The pressure. The pressure to keep it real. Pay attention to the signs. Stay and listen, you will find. Everything, ain’t rocket science. Every gem is not a diamond.”

Sorry to be so forward about the lyrics, have you seen my f**ks to give; however, it was a very necessary line that helped me pull out from the undercurrent. Why do I care about people who are committed to misunderstanding me and who don’t care about me? I shouldn’t give a F!

The pressure to wear a smile when heartache and tears overtake me for what feels like an infinite number of reasons consumed me today. Tears were streaming down my face and I was drowning in the salty reality that things, all things, come to an end. 

My lips caught each tear and with each taste I gave it a breath of prayer. Prayers for so many things. Prayers for the strength to accept that your perspective of me is none of my business (small potatoes); prayers for my grandparents health; prayers that we find a cure for cancer (fuck cancer) (stand up to cancer!) (big potatoes); prayers that people learn how to forgive so they don’t grapple with grief when it’s too late; prayers for understanding, acceptance, compassion; prayers for the health and safety of my family-blood and those I choose as blood; and so much more. 

With each tear the integrity of my mascara was tested. I couldn’t let on that something was wrong-that and my vanity got the best of me, so I took refuge in the bathroom to ensure I had no raccoon eyes and tried to pull myself together.  

I looked in the mirror and with my mirror-face I gestured silently to myself, “Stay strong, woman! You got this.” I reminded myself everything is a fight and counted my blessings. I splashed cold water on my cheeks, twisted and secured my hair with the use of a pencil , painted my lips coral and put my big girl game face on. 

I couldn’t compromise my feelings today. I couldn’t negotiate and let them spill over. Ok, maybe I did for a minute but I handled it. The pressure pulled me under but I caught my breath soon after. Sure it was a doggy-paddle but I made it up for air. I am accepting the ebb and flow of life. 

Salty words camouflaged as sweet gave new meanings to my state of reality today. Recent other realities gave me other new meanings to life, love, friendships and the true meaning of wealth. It is in those realities I have found that life gets harder but only because we get stronger…

I’d like to give kudos to fate, too. Fate brings us together when we need each other the most. Fate has helped me to celebrate the change of seasons with those I love so deeply. Looking back, the best portions of my realities have been the small, nameless moments that will forever be memories imprinted on my soul. Memories spent smiling, crying and laughing, all of which are acts that leave me in tears, with those who have warmed my heart. If it weren’t for the pressures of life, I would be void of experience and therefore, without my salty elixir.

Therefore, I thank life for pressure-it doesn’t diminish my gratitude, it adds to it.

Thank you for stopping by and reading a blurb about my life between the miles!!!

I’m so grateful for you! 

How do you handle pressure?

XO

Valgal 

 

 

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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.

XO

Valgal

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Marine Corps Marathon Ooh Rah Recap: Hot Dammmm

6 Nov

Hi friends! Here I am with MARATHON NUMERO DOS under my belt!!! Hot dammmm.

I never knew that screaming hot dammmm could be both a good and bad thing! Let me explain.

Pre-race: good thing.

Mid-race: good thing.

Last 3.2 miles: bad thing x bad thing x bad thing. It was hot dammmm! Seriously! When is this isht going to be effing over? My Garmin was flashing 26.2 miles and I was NOT done. Where was the finish line? Was that the finish line? I couldn’t see. Hot dammmm[it]!!!

Let me define hot dammmm by breaking it down.

Hot [good]: I refined my training for this marathon. I got this! Feeling good! Feeling light. Feeling flight. Wind under my legs. I got this!

Hot [bad]: My calves were on fire. My calf muscles felt like they were falling off my bones with every strike on the pavement. Ouuuuuchhhiessssss. Then there was my anxiety. My anxiety was running hot. It had a fever. A bad one because I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see because I lost my left contact at mile 9, (my left eye requires the strongest prescription) lucky me.

So there I was with a fever of anxiousness and a crowd cheering “You’re almost there!” They were relentless with their excitement to include clapping, whistling, shouting, cowbelling…I might have had a fever but the only prescription was finding the finish line, not more cowbell!!!

Dammmm [good]:I got this! I trained. Hot diggity dog, I might BQ!!! Wooohooo I’m flying.

Dammmm [bad]: It felt like I was sprinting when the reality was I shifted into granny gear!!! Talk about a Sunday joy ride. It was Sunday and I belonged in a walker at that point to carry my weight.

The Real Recap

The morning of the marathon was unlike any other. I hopped on the metro and was greeted with a swarm of runners (civilians, Marines, and other service members), volunteers, bands, and spectators. We were all crammed on the blue line heading to the Pentagon. The metro ride was a concert of songs, Ooh Rahs, and praise. The acoustics were unlike the normal route into the city. The clamor was a stark contrast from the Monday-Friday commute when most are plugged in to their phones being disconnected from the very person who’s sharing their personal space. These people were all up in each other’s personal space and they were welcome there! It was really something.

Fast Forward.

It’s race time. Hot Dammmm [good]. There were no “real” corrals. If you think you’ll finish with a 3 hour time, 4 hour time, 5 hour time, etc., you were to go park your feet near the designated sign. Oh I hate that kind of pressure. I wanted a 3:35 time because that is a Boston Qualifier (BQ). But I hesitated because I was suffering from acute bronchitis and didn’t know whether or not I would run fast or if my breathing would be exhaustively labored. I took one look at the crowd, the 20,000+ people (talk about sharing personal space), and recalled how much effort it took to weave in and out of the crowds of runners in my last race. So I deliberately parked at the 3:35 sign until the gun went off.

Gun went off.

Welp, I was wrong. What’s new? I am wrong a lot. The 3:35 sign did me no favors. I was stuck behind crowds of runners. I was shuffling my feet.

Thank gosh I stand 5’2” tall because I darted through people and any open space given the right opportunity. It took a lot of effort but none from my legs or lungs. I had to watch the people in front of me to gauge the motion and timing of their stride and elbows. Who said you don’t use physics and math in real life? I had to strategically and deliberately plan my attack to squeeze through limbs, spit, and other runners like me trying to dart ahead, while not colliding with one another. I was gauging speed and velocity at 8am, with the intent to BQ, while maintaining steady breathing, with a focus on my stride, fuel intake, etc. Are you kidding me? This isht gets difficult. I managed not to collide with anyone other than a fellow shrimpette, who like me, was planning her breakaway and taking full advantage of her 62 inches or less. We barely touched but shared a chuckle. We exchanged an excited “Sorry!” and kept moving forward. If you know me, you know how I say this!!! [“Sa-weewww-thank you cab driver!]

Mile 3 people were stopping. I remember thinking “It’s mile 3. How are you going to line up at 3:35 and stop here!?!” I mean seriously, it’s kind of dangerous when you’ve got me and shrimpette number 2 darting around. I mean flying around. Especially dangerous because it was a decline. Declines are FREE SPEED and I was all about that high velocity. I wanted more!

The FREE SPEED lasted a while. I took full advantage of it. Hot dammmm [good]. I loved that I didn’t have to return any favors either. Each decline and incline over the course was a silent declaration of what was to come. I paid close attention to its subtle hints (how often do those get overlooked girls?) and adjusted my body to its forewarning.

I leaned into the road. I was one with the road.

I was one with the road until mile 9. I had a gnarly cough paired with its obligatory accessory-phlegm. It was radiant in shades of green. OooOoo green! My favorite color! And neon green to boot! Thanks acute bronchitis! I digress. Anyway, I had just ate a GU so everything in my mouth felt sticky. Plus my cough was deep and my phlegm was thick. That’s the time when my left contact developed a film so thick I could no longer see. I stopped to make an effort to clean it. I had no other choice. I had to. I had to because it was more uncomfortable not being able to see than hacking said lungs. I can’t see 2 feet in front of me without contacts but this was worse. So I took my contact out and planned to spit on it to clean it. (As if you haven’t before. Spare me!) But my spit was thick with Jetberry GU residue and phlegm. I couldn’t do it. Sanitary purposes. I had to draw a line.

I ended up putting my contact back in my eye. Unclean and all. And with one intentional blink to make it fall in place that sucker fell off my eye and was gone. Shit!

I glanced at my Garmin. No I didn’t. I squinted. I couldn’t see very well at all so I placed the Garmin right in front of my right eye. That’s when I realized I had lost approximately one to two minutes of precious BQ time. Hot dammmm[it] [bad].

I ran the rest of my race, 17.2 miles, with one contact. I was blind. I was uncomfortable. And I couldn’t see the spectacular air show above. I couldn’t read the funny marathon signs. It sucked. 😦

As sucky as I felt I found pleasure in how great my legs felt. I just crested the course. I relied on my other senses to elevate me. I breathed in the remarkable, and inspirational cries from the crowd. I maintained focus. I repeated the mantra, Pain Only Hurts. Flight. Glide. Fly. Easy. Light. Smooth. It worked. I was clocking 7:40 miles give or take a few seconds. I even clocked a 6 minute mile somewhere in the mix. HOT diggity DAMMMM [good]. I fell back to a mid-8 minute a few times. Even losing a contact! Insert Hot dammmm  [good] one more time! Yes!!! My potential to BQ was still real.

But the pain began to set in at mile 18. Hot dammmm [bad].

The pain got so bad in my chest that I had to stop and cough for thirty seconds at least. My BQ fell further from reality. Hot dammmm [bad].

My legs were still fresh and agile. But my chest hurt. I was hacking. I dug deep. Pain Only Hurts. Pain Only Hurts. Pain Only Hurts. Pain is Temporary. Pain is Temporary. Pain is Temporary. When, OWWWWwwwweeeeee happened. The discomfort of being blind coupled with my heavy chest was one thing. But by mile 23, with 3.2 left to go, my calves felt as if they were on fire. That was the other thing; the ugly thing.

Each time my foot touched the pavement my calves ached with excruciating pain. I tried to ignore it. I tried to ignore the ugly pain by telling myself that if the whole race goes to shit in a hand basket at this very moment, and I fall back to 10 minute mile pace, I would still, at the least, PR. So that was a good thing. 🙂

But I would resent myself if I did. I knew I was a tough runner and could endure pain. I knew I could endure even more pain. So pain, I taunted with, summoning it to BRING IT ON. I double dog dared it!!!

That was the pain I had been begging for during my last marathon. Pain is the telltale sign that you’ve pushed your limits. (For me at least.) There it was staring at me at mile marker 23. I was tickled with excitement that it finally came to meet me. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was that same feeling you get when you massage a bruise. (Right?)

I wanted nothing less than to be seduced by it. I wanted it to take all of me.

But I played hard to get. I wasn’t quite ready to give up. My effort was twinged but at I still had some.

For the last three miles pain and I danced around the course. It seduced me with water stops, orange slice stops, Gatorade, etc. I wanted to give in. The temptations were hydrating. The allure had me salivating.

However, I knew relief was only three short miles ahead. And in three miles I would be greeted with a medal and a beer!!! Mmm beer! Please! And it was only three short miles away. Three short miles away after having already covered 23.2 miles!!! Why do I do this to myself? I’m crazy!

I begged my body for merciful forgiveness as I repeated: Only Three More Miles. Only Three More Miles. You Got This. You Got This. Easy. Light. Smooth. Glide. Fly. Flight. Run For Those Who Can’t. Pain Is Temporary. Beer. Beer in Thirty Minutes or Less! Fly.

I convinced myself that not all pain is significant. I focused on the finish and not my legs.

I started to fly.

Or so I thought…

With less than a mile to go I started to focus on my will rather than my physical strength. I was running on empty and enveloped in pain. I wanted to walk so bad! I squinted at my Garmin to see how much more distance I had to cover before I would finish. I was p.o.’d. The Garmin told me I had already run the distance of a marathon. Ugh!

I recall thinking that I must be close. The trouble was I couldn’t see ahead. I saw two or three massive displays of orange balloons. One of them promised to be the finish but I could not decipher which one.

I had a fear of sprinting too early, granny sprints or not, so I maintained my pace.

When I could finally see the finish line I realized I should have started sprinting a quarter-mile before. Hot dammm [bad].

I dug deep, shifted gears, and I ran as hard as I could to the finish. Granny kicked ass! I think.

I crossed that finish line. Hot Dammmm [good].

I was in pain. I was exhausted. I couldn’t walk. Hot Dammmm [bad].

I was overwhelmed with emotion. I PR’d! Stopping to breathe, contact issues , and all! Hot Dammmm [good].

I finished in 3:39:35. An 8:22 pace per mile!!! Hot diggity Dammmm [good].

I missed Boston by 4 minutes and 35 seconds. Had I run 10 seconds faster per mile I would have BQ’d. But I accepted the circumstances. Had I been 100% healthy, I bet I could have celebrated a BQ. Regardless, I PR’d by 11 minutes. That’s something I’m proud of, sick and all!

This was the first race where I finally met pain. I finally met exhaustion. I finally met the wall. They all stink, literally: Pain. Exhaustion. Wall. = PEW. Hot Dammmm [bad]. But I can’t wait to meet them again and crush them. Hot Dammmm [good] J

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Happy Running!!! Happy BQ’ing. Happy Cowbelling, he he he. Happy whatever makes you happy! Just be true to you!

XO

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Blackberry Smoothie Recipe

13 Oct

Hello friends!

I woke up and I was ravenous! I looked to my dependable Blendtec to do the trick after rummaging through the fridge.

I gathered some random ingredients and hoped for the best. And WOW-WEEEE it was better than the best! It was delightful, hydrating, and nutritious.

First off, you must like blackberries. Blackberries have a high concentration of antioxidants, are low in calories, practically fat free but you ought not to worry about that because these are blackberries and not a palmier (double yummy) laden in butter (yummy), and a great fiber source to name a few benefits. So if you like blackberries, keep reading.

You should also like or be open to the idea of eating chia seeds. Chia is very versatile. It can be used in smoothies, sprinkled on salads and yogurt, and poured into your water. Chia seeds are one of the world’s oldest sources of nutrition, and has been documented to have been eaten by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. The Born to Run book, authored by Christopher McDougall, tells us that chia seeds are a staple for the Tarahumara Indian Tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. Chia seeds offer the highest combined plant source of omega-3, fiber and protein, alongside a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Chia offers essential wholefood nutrition that is often lacking in the modern diet. For more information, visit

http://thechiaco.com

And if you’re still intrigued, read on to get your blend on!

Blackberry Smoothie Recipe yields 2 Servings

2 cups of Trader Joe’s Green Plant Juice

1 cup of Tropicana 50 Orange Juice No Pulp (if you like pulp, go for it)

2 cups frozen blackberries

1 chia shot packet by The Chia Co.

Blend it up and enjoy! Nom Nom!!!

Nutrition Facts 1 Serving

284 Calories

2.5 grams of Fat

0 grams of Cholesterol

52.5 grams of Sodium (mg)

600 mg of Potassium

57.1 grams of Carbohydrates

9 grams of Fiber

42 grams of Sugar (all natural)

5 grams of Protein

32.5% Vitamin A

105% Vitamin C

28.4% Calcium

25.5% Iron

*Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

I hope you enjoy! For me, this was a perfect breakfast pre-run as it was hydrating and fueled me with all the essentials!

What are your favorite smoothie recipes? Do share!!! I can’t wait to give them a whirl!

Happy running and happy fueling!

XO

Valgal

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No, I’m Not A Vegan & Running Army Ten Miler

13 Oct

Hello friends!!!

And happy Monday!

I’m sitting here at my kitchen table going over the past few weeks in my mind. I’m thinking about quite a bit—relationships, to include family and friends, diet, exercise, lifestyle, and work. The list goes on but I’m not interested in boring you with my trivial quandaries. I’m interested in sharing with you the silly dilemmas that I encounter day-to-day, with my running shoes on or off.

New revelation…no, I’m not a vegan

Here’s my newest revelation. There are far more than one, but let’s keep this short. I recently picked up the running novel, Eat & Run, written by Scott Jurek and wow…I love his writing style. Jurek is a literary genius for both the everyday and serious elite runner. No chapter is exempt from his unconventional and idiosyncratic wit. The book evaluates Jurek’s life by virtue of circumstance and reveals the peculiar way that he fell into running—running and veganism. The book illustrates how both running, oh that’s too illusive…I mean ultramarathoning, while also being a vegan can be coupled together in a tale that is motivating, inspirational, and droll.

And there you have it. My big revelation. No. No, I am not a vegan nor would I ever consider it. I like butter, eggs, and cheese! However, I have always leaned more towards being a pescetarian. I like steak, don’t love it. I like chicken but I’m bored of it. I LOVE prosciutto. But if that’s all I LOVE (when it comes to meat), it’d be easy to give it up. I have always had my qualms with poultry and red meat but enjoyed it nonetheless. Now I’m beginning to understand my objection more clearly. First and foremost, (I’m getting a little honest here) it’s difficult for me to digest. It sits in my stomach like a brick. Talk about discomfort! Secondly, the factory farming and animal cruelty our main entrees are subject to is repulsive. When I look at my plate with the deliberately placed garnish and sauce drizzled over the meat and sides I have conflicting thoughts. First, is that the presentation looks delectable and on-point. Mmm. Mmm. Then my conscious seeps in and I question, is this meat from a factory farm? The factory farming industry strives to maximize output while minimizing costs and always at the animals’ expense. My moral conscious goes into a tailspin.

There you have it. I can’t digest the meat easily and I have a moral conscious. Animals shouldn’t be subject to the most unethical and inhumane of practices to assure that business profits remain high. Another truth that we place profits above doing what is right. Sounds like the insurance business…they provide drugs for treatment but drag their heels in the sand over the notion of investing in finding a cure. Why? Perhaps because they fear their profits would cripple. Seriously? Their motto is profits over life/quality of life..?What’s wrong with the world today? Riches shouldn’t be measured by monetary balances at the cost of health. Cancer is far too prominent these days. So riddle me this, why is there still no cure? F*CK Cancer! Find a cure! Could some of the cancers be linked to meat and dairy products? I won’t even get into the discussion of the injection of growth hormones and steroids into our meat and dairy products and its repercussions on our health…ahhhh shoot, to echo Bill Maher’s antics, I just stumbled upon a new new revelation, I love cheese and cheese is dairy. Dang it! How do I protect myself from said hormones and steroids?

Anywho, back to my original new revelation…I have been steering clear of chicken and I have been feeling a lot better and a lot healthier. I have only eaten red meat maybe twice in the past year therefore I don’t have to make a deliberate effort to avoid it…Any GI troubles I have had have been recently minimized. I am finding that I have always favored eating fruit and vegetables over chicken on any given night. My day-to-day staples are pretzels, oatmeal, Quest bars, vegan protein shakes, hummus, tomatoes, avocados, cheese (fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, ricotta, and Havarti), and salmon, salmon, salmon. I could live off salmon, sushi, and halibut.

How my new lifestyle harmonizes with my running…

I raced in the Army Ten Miler yesterday, October 12, 2014. I did freaking awesome! I credit my speed and endurance to my newly refined lifestyle. I felt like I was flying during my run. I had no brick in my stomach and I was light on my feet, gliding forward.

I got a bit tired at mile 7 but fought through it. I found my mojo, if you will, at mile 8 when I picked up my speed again. I didn’t dig deep enough when I needed to but like I mentioned above, I am happy with my end result! I fell in love with the participants and the energy of the crowd. I found myself running with an infectiously charismatic group of people that pushed me. I was running with several wounded warriors. Some were wearing one prosthetic leg while others were wearing two. It was reminiscent of Nike ads for Oscar Pistorius. But what was radically different to witness was their courage, discipline, and motivation to do hard things after having done hard things—serving to protect and defend our freedom. It was an inspiring site to see and reminded me to run hard and to run for those that can’t. Because of them, I am humbled.

Waves of exhaustion and excitement carried me across the finish line. I was overjoyed to have run with patrons of the service and been given the opportunity to thank them for serving. The Army Ten Miler, #atm2014, awarded its participants a commemorative coin symbolic of the Army Commemorative Coin Program. However, I was awarded so much more than the coin and a PR finish—I was awarded an opportunity to endure the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship between me and running. Let me rephrase, me and running this city. The streets and its affectionate solicitude made me fall more in love with each curve, straight away, incline, rolling hill, participant and spectator. I love the run. Yes. But I’m also addicted to the exquisite pain in my lungs and calves. My new diet/lifestyle helped to alleviate a lot of the pain I believe I would have felt otherwise, especially GI… not to mention, I believe it has also helped with my recovery post-race. (without much effort I ran a solid 7 miles todays without any aches or pains)

Scott Jurek says, pain only hurts. And pain, well pain through a means of running makes me feel alive. Living here also makes me feel alive—proof we can do hard things. I am blessed to call this place home for almost one year now.

Are you a #vegan, #vegetarian, #pescetarian? Do tell! How do you fuel your runs?

Thanks for reading!!!

Happy running!

XO

Valgal

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Paleo & Other Diet Schmiets

16 Aug

Hello there friends! Happy Saturday.

Here I am on this cool summer morning sipping my coffee after indulging in what was a delicious breakfast.

I got to thinking, when did indulgence become a euphemism for guilt? I harbor no guilt for what I just ate. It was healthy and it tasted good. Really good.

But why should really good equate to instaguilt? This shouldn’t be how we are programmed to think.

Geez-us!

My breakfast was a toasted slice of wheat bread layered with a thin spread of butter (less than a quarter teaspoon) and ricotta cheese (half a teaspoon), decorated with a little less than a quarter avocado, a pinch of arugula and an egg sunny side up. For taste I added a dash of pepper and sea salt. Nom. Nom.

It was delightful.

I don’t feel guilty for what I ate even though I know what I ate goes against every diet craze out there right now. Why would I feel guilty over something that is heart healthy, filling and will help fuel my run a little later? Where’s the guilt in consuming 300 calories of yummy goodness?

Here’s my point…

I used a little butter to add flavor—fat! I ate carbs/grains—oh no, gluten. All NO NOs on the Paleo diet.

Holy shyster.

I committed and abhorrent sin in name of the Paleo Gods. I would be banned from their community. (I’d gladly accept their judgment!)

Marketing has ingrained in us that if we don’t follow the diets advertised we are failures. I’m not going to buy in to their schemes. The truth is, they don’t give a flying regard about you. It’s all a ploy to get you to buy-in to their notion of what healthy is and what healthy looks like because they need your money. They have a bottom line and their bottom line is profit. Think about it.

I don’t eat gluten-free intentionally. But I like some gluten-free products.

I’m not a vegan. But I love eating vegan-friendly foods.

I’m will never NOT eat carbs. I’d fail at Atkins every day. In that respect, I’d wear failure as a badge of honor. Screw you, Atkins diet.

On that note screw Paleo, too!!!

I should have prefaced my true thoughts of Paleo…In my opinion it is an okay diet. But can you make Paleo a part of your lifestyle forever? Seriously, I’m asking you.

Drink Gluten-free Beer, forever? Seriously?

Gross.

I could not be on a diet that robs me of these luxurious and tasty delights—delights that I crave after a long run. A cold, refreshing, tasty beer. Yes, please!!!

Diet schmiets. Why do you even want to be on a diet? Make it a lifestyle about health and moderation!

Gluten-free, organic, Paleo, low-carb, vegan, no trans-fat are all buzzwords. Why not indulge in a bump of cocaine while you’re at it. It’s also gluten-free. I mean seriously friends, don’t get lost in the hype of these diet crazes.

Back to Paleo. Paleo is unique. It’s not for me but it could be for you. As a distance runner, I couldn’t fathom restricting my carbs to its model. The exclusion of grains and legumes from my diet, which are essential carb sources for runners, would have me running on empty and prone to injury and quick exhaustion. It would counter all of my training efforts.

The diet models that of the diet in the prehistoric days. In simple terms, if a caveman did not eat it, you shouldn’t. Put the gummy bears down (there are bags of Haribo in the freezer waiting for me to, dare I say, indulge in). I recognize that our society eats too much processed foods and sugary drinks. But I don’t agree that the agricultural revolution is to blame. Additives and refined sugars, maybe, but the agricultural revolution? That’s like saying death is a result of a birth. We can all see the association but the nexus is far off. It’s an ignoramus connection. Farming is the cornerstone of our diet. So what gives with the topic of grains? Haven’t we been eating them since the beginning of agriculture? Ugh.

Paleo Shmaleo…

Did you know you can eat bacon on Paleo?

You’re new to Paleo and you have two options on the breakfast menu.

Option 1: Eggs and tons of bacon.

Option 2: Oatmeal with a teaspoon of brown sugar and berries.

Option 1 is your only choice. A breakfast laden with fat. Paleo. Yes. Healthy? No.

I suppose I should have whisked up a heaping serving of eggs and fried bacon this morning and then proceeded to lick the plate of its bacon drippings. Too bad I would have had to succumb to using my tongue instead of a slice of bread. J/K

Anyways, try to find out if Chia seeds are paleo-friendly. It’s an interesting debate. I want to eat and be happy. I want to run and have the energy to do so. I do not like to eat a ton of meat and I don’t want to follow a diet that tells me I have to. It creates GI discomfort for me. I listen to my body. That’s my diet. I prefer to eat salmon, yellowtail, tuna and halibut. I love fish. But I’m not going to go to any extreme to satisfy the requirements of a diet craze.

I’m not putting you down if you follow a diet. If you’re a Paleonite or a gluten-free gal or guy. If you have Celiac, I encourage gluten-free. That makes your lifestyle more comfortable! Yay. I just beg of you to be cautious with buzzwords. Pay attention to your body and what your body is telling you. Again, Paleo’s premise is great, it encourages lean meats (bacon when other alternatives aren’t available), and fruits and vegetables. I could eat fruit and vegetables all day long. But it’s too strict with the eradication of dairy, legumes and other foods that support a healthy diet, especially for me and you other distance runners out there.

I know I didn’t write much about the science and nutrition surrounding the diets and that of my opinion. I don’t feel I need to drown you with facts and research. I encourage you to read up on the diets. Read the good. Read the bad. Form your own opinion.

As for me, I eat what I want. My staples are pretzels, gummy bears and chia seeds, as well as tons of fruit and vegetables. I indulge in an occasional beer or shot of tequila. I’m a fan of wine.

I don’t diet. I live a healthy lifestyle with moderation. About 80% of my diet is good. The other 20% is comprised of chocolate, gummy bears or cookies…I might run a little longer than the usual on those days. I don’t believe in depriving your body and I don’t think you should.

If you remember one thing from reading this, remember this—cocaine is gluten-free! But it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Happy running!

XO

Valgal

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Let’s Get Real

14 Jun

Hello friends!

I don’t know what happened here. I failed. Miserably. I blogged last night and when I hovered my mouse over publish, my post was gone. Fortunately this isn’t too tragic. I wrote a post about the ebb and flow of life. I wrote it because I wanted to write a little more about my life between the miles.

I’m thinking by the powers that be, that I was meant to write my emotions out but this one, this post wasn’t to be shared. It was a little too intimate. Not regarding me but regarding close friends and loved ones. It was about how grossly inappropriate some people are. It was a look at how some people can veer so far off from moral standards and still sleep at night.

That was last night. Now it’s Saturday morning! The pup pups are walked. There is no threat of rain and the sun is out. The trees are rich with colors of green I have not grown accustomed to seeing yet and they are bathing in the sun’s light. It’s a spectacular landscape. There is so much beauty in the most elementary of elements. This scene helps me maintain an attitude of gratitude. Perhaps this is why I find so much pleasure in what I love—running.

Running affords me the opportunity to revel in the luxury of nature and allows me to speak my mind without prejudice. It’s an intimate affair—running and me. There’s a give and a take. A comfort in knowing the familiar path and the incitement of the discovery of something new.

Today I turn to running to help me shake off (run off) the feelings of futility, anger, vengeance, and gloom. I am a happy person. I am a thankful person. I am a grateful person. I just happen to have these feelings because something happened to those I know very well that don’t deserve their current circumstance. The kicker is, it’s probably a miracle. It’s probably the man upstairs pillaging through their plans because their plans would never come to fruition. The miracle is that there is something better after the chaos settles.

I know every single one of you have experienced something that was undeserving. I don’t want to take away from you your experience by casually writing about my less than favorable situations or that of my loved ones. Your experience is authentic to you. I treasure that. That’s what makes us all unique.

I write in this forum about running and my life between the miles to share things—intentionally ambiguous at times to respect the privacy of others, because it makes me feel genuinely real. You and I may share common interests with running, Garmins, Ragnar Relays, and other relatable things. That’s why you read my blog. We share a camaraderie. I may sometimes appear as if I have it all together. I don’t. We seem to always be inclined to lie to each other—white lies. The polite, “I’m well, how are you?” kind of nonsense. Would we listen if someone replied with something other? We would think they were strange and socially awkward. That’s why I’m here. To tell you that sometimes the smiles in my pictures elude to this element of happiness that isn’t always there. I just want to get real with you. I want to be authentic.

So thanks for stopping by! I’m about to have a session with the road. This affair is still running hot! Wooooowwweeeee!

~Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it. —Robert Fulghum

Happy Running!!!

XO

Valgal

I’m All Jacked Up on Ragnar!!!

8 May

Hello friends!!! Good evening!

You read right. I am packing for Ragnar! This is the first time I’m participating in the Ragnar Relay series (Cape Cod) and I am
thrilled about it! I mean, I am really jacked up with adrenaline right now! Wohoo!!! I can’t stop reading about everything Ragnar.

Each day goes by with both co-workers and friends warning me to tread cautiously because I won’t get any sleep, delirium will overtake me, and that they hope I’m paired with a fun group of Ragnarians because if I’m not, I’m told it could threaten the experience and it just might suck!

I need all the advice I can get (good and bad) since I’m the rookie this go around. I’m the rookie of Ragnar! It is kind of exhilarating to go into something without having expectations. I am told I will love the experience as well as hate it during the running legs, but when we cross the finish, I’ll be so doped up on the experience I’ll be fixing for more.

I am guessing that the experience is euphoric. It plays on emotions and fatigue – enhancing said emotions! Ahhhh!

I am not too concerned about the balance between the love or the hate of the race. I recall training for my last marathon. The training was the part I hated (kind of); the racing was the part I loved – a representation of our duality!

Anyway, I’m trying to calm down to catch some shut eye so pardon my brevity. I need all the sleep I can get if I’m going to race for 48 hours with limited rest.

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned!!!

Happy running!!!

XO

Valgal

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Running: You Give Me Fever

6 Feb

I’ve been hitting it hard lately. Running. Running. Running. Did I mention aside from running all the things that take my time away from running? Things such as working, studying, not sleeping well, and a session of Crossfit (new addiction) to name a few.

Sometimes when fatigue hits me and boy when it does it hits hard, I question if I should rest. But resting is for woosies. Right?

Wrong.

But when I do give into rest days, I feel like a big baby and I’m guilt-ridden.

You see, when I am in desperate need of a rest day I battle my logic, my heart, and my training plan-the dreaded marathon training plan in which I do not follow, at all. But it’s there on my counter, glaring at me with tons of unspoken suggestions. When I finally make eye contact it tries to prescribe a 6-10 mile run. So what I do is a quick self-assessment to determine what my prescription ought to be amped up to because I have a fever and it’s running hot (You like that? You see what I did there? Pun intended!). I run 12,15, or 20 miles on my long runs because I can, not 10. A 10 mile run is sprinkled in somewhere during my Monday-Friday routine. Perhaps I’m delirious but that’s what fevers do. 10 miles just doesn’t cut it for a long run. After all, I have my base miles down and I really need to work off those gummy bears I devoured at lunch. But then again, I’m friggin tired.

It is during these moments when I realize I need to question my sanity. Delirium and fevers aside, why wouldn’t I rest when I feel like my breathing is labored from pure exhaustion, when my body aches, and when I’m showing tell-tale signs of a suppressed immune system that is trying to ward off the flu and other bugs I’m certain I caught from public transit? Why did I sign up for a full marathon, again? Holy shit! I am a nut. I signed up for a marathon! I need to be institutionalized. The reality of running 26.2 miles is finally setting in. I mean, can I really run 26.2 treacherous miles, consecutively? I’ve only managed 20.1 miles to date and didn’t know how on Earth another 6.1 miles could be feasible. But when I’m running, I develop this fever for running, this addiction, this euphoric feeling that anything is possible. You see, the fever eliminates any pain and gives me a false sense of security. I call this delirium. Because the moment I’m done with a run I become fully aware that I signed up for a marathon-thinking I could really do it. That’s what’s funny. When I’m running I think I can finish a marathon. But during rest days and moments when I’m not running, the notion of running 26.2 miles exhausts me and I question my abilities. I’m just not too sure anymore if I’m capable of this labor unless I’m in an altered state of mind- running.

This marathon commitment requires me to log miles, miles, and more miles while I simultaneously beg my mind to give in to a rest day so that I may curl up in my bed under all the covers and get some shut eye, promising to savor every second of it.

And as the reality of this marathon thing sets in, so do other things. Things like the exhaustion. The exhaustion of my day leaving my mind numb and my limbs tired, heavy and begging for mercy.

I took a day off from running recently. I wrestled with the idea for hours. To guarantee my half-ass (I lost my full-ass—long distance runner problems) didn’t hit the treadmill I poured myself a glass of Malbec. I sipped my tasty red wine, sat back with my feet propped on my coffee table, and relaxed (or tried to). I still had a hot fever for running but forced myself to enjoy the solitude. I acknowledged I could tame my fever the following day and resolved that my prescription would be doubled. (2 runs in one).

The following day arrived and guilt hit me hard. Not only guilt for not logging the necessary miles the day prior to prep for my marathon (only 5 weeks away), I felt GUILT because I felt as if I retained all the water, the wine, and light dinner from the night before. My waistline felt 5 inches thicker and I felt as if I was a whopping 5 pounds heavier. At that very moment my fever began to blister!!! Screw the double dose prescription, this would be cured only if I tripled the dose (thank gosh I’m not really talking about drugs here).

I realized I wasn’t be rational so I got over the triple dose methodology to cure my fever and settled on the double dose. I continued my morning and as I perused the March 2014 Runner’s World while sitting on the metro I couldn’t help but laugh. I recall laughing at my madness and the madness of other runners. It appears most of us runners run a little hot and we are all a little neurotic… or a lot a bit neurotic.

Here’s what got me laughing.
________________________

March 2014 Runner’s Word, Screw Up–Like a Pro!
With a little stubbornness and stupidity, you can injure yourself the way elites do. Written by: Lauren Fleshman
Rest days are for babies:

I like to run, and I want to get better, so why wouldn’t I take a day off? The hard-core don’t take days off, do they? I bet Shalane worked out twice today. What will I do on my day off, anyway? Think about working out while my mitochondria evaporate? In one day my jeans feel tighter. There is no way this is from being hydrated for the first time in a week. It is fatness as a direct result in laziness. It’s only 9:30 p.m….still time to get in a quick four-miler.
_______________

It appears we are all addicted to the run and we all experience guilt. This article and I experience guilt and feel it on our waistline… And as our fevers blister, the only lovely way to burn is to run…

Takeaways

A rest day doesn’t mean you’re a woose or a baby, it means you’re tired and you’re body is begging you to slow down.

You can’t gain 5 inches in a day.

You can’t gain 5 pounds in a day. If you did, I assure you it’s just hydration and you will be 5 pounds lighter in no time.

Your jeans aren’t tighter because you took a rest day. You’re delirious and those jeans are just as tight as they were after you ran your last long run.

It’s okay to rest.

It’s okay to rest. (Intentionally duplicated)

Stop being guilt-ridden and enjoy your rest days.

Do one thing that scares you every month. (For me, it’s running a marathon)

Love the run.

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

Stop feeling guilty for eating gummy bears (Okay, that’s me…it’s my blog I can write what I want) 🙂

Keep running your race.

Have faith.

Enjoy being neurotic.

Thanks for reading and stopping by!

XOXO

Valerie
Runnergirl

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?

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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.

But…

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!

XO

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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