Tag Archives: weight lifting

Lost Puppy

17 Feb

Hi friends!!!

Oh wow. The thing with puppies is they are so darn cute. Well at least most of the time. They have these big eyes that have the ability to melt your heart. They are always begging for attention and they are extremely needy of your time. If they are not given proper love and attention, they lash out. They may pee on your favorite pair of Newtons (that has never happened) or they may develop a unique taste for baseboards.

Sometimes these puppies are people. Granted I would abstain from those who freely chose to pee on my Newtons or have an appetite for baseboards, but sometimes they show up at your doorstep and you’re left to counsel. What I am saying is some people lash out when their opinions are uninvited. Some people are like lost puppies because they are looking for a cage to rattle.

I have had the fine encounter of meeting a lost puppy recently. I checked my Facebook account to notice I had a few messages pending in the ‘other’ inbox. I read them out.

I was flattered that someone I don’t know reads my blog but I was momentarily put off by his raucous comment, or should I say bark?

It reads as follows:

I read your Blog. You write well albeit a remarkable number of I’s which gives hints of being a kind of loving Narcissist… -bad puppy

The ellipsis … ending the note staring at me, trying to razz me.

Dot. Dot. Dot.

I thought to myself…

It took me a few moments to realize that this lost, bad puppy is half blind by the potent obvious…this blog is about my Running [Affair] and My Life Between the Miles. I am the main character. Who else? Of course there will be the use of I!

Albeit his comment struck me, I’m pleased he reads my blog or at least read one of my posts. His bark is an attention seeking behavior similar to that of a lost, bad puppy. The common reasons for barking are due to lack of physical activity, boredom, and/or nervousness.

This puppy is bored!

My apologies that my physical activity makes you feel inferior. l recognize your behavior as a plea for attention and some love. Perhaps a little training and some obedience will serve you well. Go take a walk around the block, smell the fresh-cut grass, and mark your territory without engaging in poor behavior. In my experience we can correct bad behavior by replacing the action of reviling others with praise. If you find that these techniques don’t work, I recommend you contact a professional dog trainer…they work wonders on lost puppies and bad puppies alike, given age and maturity, and provide tons of cages to rattle until pure exhaustion. What are you waiting for? Woof woof!

Thanks for stopping by!

By the way, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What you see from me is only the half of it! Next time, if you have the cajones, I implore you to bark on this forum, not a private Facebook message…just saying! Unless of course you’ve been neutered…makes sense. 😉

It’s time for a run!

Happy running! XO

Valgal

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Silence is a Gift

8 Feb

Hello friends,

It’s February! I’m one for stating the obvious…

So what…it’s February you must be thinking…Well it means I’m one month away from new digs and one month away from my third marathon. I’m one month away from a lot of other details in my life that are bittersweet. March 6th is going to greet me with a warm welcome and tell me that I gained entry into the NYC Marathon (I’m hopeful) hosted in the cold month of November! The date will also register imminent details that I will protect with silence.

Silence is a good thing. I’ve said this a time or two but I prefer silence over noise. I’m very connected with being me and enjoy my company. I have a healthy relationship with a treadmill. He accepts my silence while I run all over him. I don’t get barraged with questions to explain my state of few words. He gets me.

I’m amazed to discover that some people don’t get me. I’m not complicated. I’m quite the contrary. I am very easy-going if you took a minute to stop judging.

Some assume l’m high-maintenance because I look “high-maintenance.” Oh boy! I’ve got them fooled! My stilettos and attire are like veneers—they enhance how I feel about myself! I feel good more often than not and I want to exude that via my veneers! That is NOT high-maintenance. It just means that I always want to be on! But being on doesn’t mean I need a face full of makeup while I sashay the streets or my small city apartment in stilettos. Being on is a state of confidence. I get my confidence from sweating, running, reading, learning, mascara, red lips, dresses, athletic attire, and stilettos to name a few.

People see my “veneers” and tell me it makes me unapproachable…unapproachable!? REALLY? Why? Even when I’m a sweaty monster with my checks (not my ass) bouncing around? Yeah, okay. Lay off that crack-pipe, will you? I suppose it’s a compliment but not really. I’m unapproachable because I like to be on? Is being on having a coordinated outfit on while I sweat? Oh gee! We have different perspectives! I suppose your opinion of me is okay…especially if it means I don’t have to converse with you and listen to your first-world problems. It means more time for me…more silence! More time for me to be on.

I’m type-A? Yeah, you got that right! Can’t dispute this one. People know this right off the shoot. Judge all you want baby!!!

Other than being labeled type-A, I’m tired of being labeled and generalized. I am not complicated. If you think of me as complicated it is because you chose not to understand me. You try, maybe, but can’t quite put me in a box and wrap a ribbon around it.

I’m not focused on understanding others. I accept people for who they are, adoring and loving them for being real and honest. So why do others try to figure me out? There’s nothing to figure!

I’m living my life. I have some wounds but I wear them proudly! My name is Valerie. Valgal. Valarina. Valeria. Val. V. Shortay. JD. HB. Whiz Bang. Junior Mouth. The list goes on. (If you happen to be super close with me or you’re my family you know what each name means *winkwink*) I have big hands for my short stature but an even bigger heart. I feel the weight of the world. A commercial could put me in tears. I want: to go to Rwanda and nurture kiddos, take time and volunteer more like I used to, work hard, be well-respected for my ambitions and talents, seek not to be well-known but worth knowing, breathe in life-mistakes and all, exhale love, have inconvenient and all-consuming love, butterflies, and passion for life. I will challenge the status quo every chance I can. I do not want to be limited by the judgements of others or believe in the lie of limitation. I will exercise silence when you need me to listen and will not judge.

God has given me divine beauty. He chose me and created me in His likeness and image.

And it is that very fact that helps me hold my head high and beg of you to stop judging. Stop judging me. Stop judging others. Allow for people that are different from you to teach you from their life lessons.

In a world so big, as sacred as silence is, listening without an air of criticism is uncommon. Sometimes silence from your own voice is all we ALL need.

I’m fascinated by other people and chose not to categorize and stereotype them.

We are all made up of experiences and quirks. That is what makes us uniquely unique.

Shouldn’t we love each other and accept each other for our individuality? YES!

Who we are is based on our life experiences. Experience is a stamp of authenticity. It gives substance to our spirit! There isn’t a person you wouldn’t love or judge if you could read their story.

I have a story! But my story is mine. Some chapters are public while others are private. Who gives you permission to judge?

There’s nothing wrong with me other than wanting more from myself. So I ask you politely, stop judging and accept! Accept that I am not a fan of gambling but recognize that I will always bet on myself, especially this year. I will Boston Qualify. I will laugh. I will travel. I will cry. I will sashay in my stilettos across some fancy resort while its view eludes that the sky kisses the salty elixir of the water. I will have two or more new stamps in my passport. I will race on different continents! The countdown is on. Therefore, 2015 promises to be lucrative!!! Emotional but lucrative. I am so on!!!

It’s February. I have ten months to make sure 2015 is a dream. Ten months to get them stamps in my passport!!! I want to succeed with my goals as a bad as I want to breathe. I have confidence! I WILL be successful (with setbacks, heartache, and all). Running gave me the grit to press on through the pain, and baby, I’m on!!! I might not talk about my struggles but silence is a gift (that sometimes surprises you with stilettos and Newtons). Don’t cast judgement because you are committed to misunderstanding me. Just accept me.

Thanks for stopping by!

XO

Valgal

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!

XO

Valgal

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)

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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!

XO

Valgal

Running Thoughts…and More

8 May

I find myself enthralled in all things running. Obviously – I mean I blog about it!

The other day I was captivated by an article in Runner’s World. I couldn’t help but smirk and laugh at the author’s hilarious one-liners. If anyone on the metro was paying attention to me, they would have thought I had a screw loose. Who laughs out loud while reading in public? Me. A few minutes later I rolled up the magazine, placed it in my ginormous purse (which also serves as my lunch bag, shoe storage for my stilettos that I wear in the office once I am done commuting via foot), and I exited the train.

Hmmm. I glanced up and realized that I was standing in the McPherson Square metro. Oops. This wasn’t right. I missed my exit because I was reading and marveling over my magazine! Dang it!!!

The point of the story is that I find that I am easily distracted by anything running…and I love it! Even if it throws a wrench in my commute.

My distraction got me thinking about why I love running so emphatically. My addiction for running grows each time I speak, think, and write about running. Each training run and race feeds my addiction. I can’t help but to speak of it with spirited ardor!

So here it is, here is why I love running. It’s so elementary as well as equally perplexing.

I LOVE running because…

1) I love the challenge.
2) I love the burn in my legs.
3) I love the burn in my lungs.
4) I want to see how far my spirit will carry me when my legs want to quit – mental fortitude.
5) I love the caloric deficit.
6) I love feeling completely empty after a long run.
7) I love to sweat.
8) I love my beast-mode.
9) I love wearing bright-ass running gear.
10) I love wearing matching bright-ass headbands, ankle socks, compression socks, and Newton running shoes.
11) I love running for fun.
12) I love running to compete against myself.
13) I love running when I’m sad, mad, upset, and angry (I get angry sometimes) because when I’m done with the run, I’m happy!
14) I love discovering what I’m made of and who I am.
15) I love running because it clears my mind.
16) …I get to eat gummy bears.
17) I have no guilt when I drink a beer or two.
18) It alleviates some of the guilt I have from eating that cookie from Au Bon Pain.
19) I make friends with fellow runners.
20) I get to participate in Ragnar Relays with other nutty runners!
21) I like to eat and drink (I already said that).
22) I love the pain and the pleasure of the run.
23) I love pushing through it when the run gets tough.
24) after the first mile, the miles get easier.
25) I love the spectators
26) I love feeling that if you want something bad enough you can make it happen.
27) running is not for pansies.
28) I love the adrenaline.
29) the feeling of accomplishment!
30) running gives me joy.
31) it forces me to hold myself accountable.
32) I love to challenge my limits. I will not be limited by the challenge.
33) I love the euphoric feeling of crossing the finish line!
34) I run for those who can’t.
35) the experience gives me a stamp of authenticity.

36-1000 and so on…because I love the self-discovery running gives me. It’s me versus me.

Every runner has their reason.

Sometimes I don’t run. Sometimes I don’t run despite the reasons I love to run because of my work schedule, because of my master’s program, because I’m just plain tired, or because I just don’t want to. Yes, I have days I just don’t want to. The days I don’t run, I find myself famished with an insatiable appetite. How is it that I could be so dang hungry when I didn’t partake in any aerobic activity? These are the days I am cranky because I want to eat everything but I decline everything being offered up. I crave the carbonation of a beer, a Stella Artois, but won’t give in. Or maybe I do. Yea, I typically do. I take the beer.

Then this likely happens: I sip it while I am burdened with the irrational guilt from drinking the beer plus that cookie from Au Bon Pain I probably ravenously devoured at lunch. Then I would count the calories. Oh no!!!! I didn’t “run” it off. I probably become illogical and think the yummy goodness will go straight to my hips! I would then plead that the sugar, butter, and carbs go to my arse. Ugh! I could seriously cry. Not alligator tears, just guilt tears.
#runnerproblems

And this my friends, this is why I love to run. Because runners, we are all a little irrational, nutty, and idiosyncratic.

We love to torture ourselves by racing absurd miles until our body is beat into submission. When we cross that finish line we feel victorious. Yet, in opposition, the reality of drinking a beer, or two, and a cookie on a day without a run renders us in catatonic state – or at least me. I told you we are irrational!

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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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Hustle

17 Feb

Just a reminder to believe in your hustle. In both life (professional and personal) and running, always move forward. Look past the pain and overcome it by moving forward and envisioning your success. Savor the journey.

You’re one step closer.

Happy running!

XO

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Pain In the Ass, Literally

14 Feb

After having been in the air all day, dealing with layovers and trying to avert the winter storm, I made it to Phoenix, successfully. Fatigued. Dehydrated. Pained. My legs were cramped. I had an uncomfortable pain in my left leg. Perhaps due to inactivity. The only way to cure the pain was to run through it. I needed to run. But when?

I was greeted with errands upon my arrival to Phoenix. No big deal. I had to meet the movers, tie up loose ends to ensure the house is ready to be put on the market, etc.

When I was done I found my #newtons and laced up. I reveled in the very fact that my attire was shorts and a tank when back “home” my friends were shoveling snow and wearing what appears to be their weight in heavy coats. I took one step outside and stood there. I let my skin soak up the warmth of the AZ sun. I couldn’t help but think, “Gosh, I miss this place.” Moments later I hit the pavement running. A nice and steady, 8:08 pace for 14.33 miles. I basked in the familiarity of being back home, seeing family, and running on the streets I know in the city that I love.

The next day all I wanted was for my newtons to kiss the asphalt one more time in AZ before my husband, puppies and myself would venture across the country, in a car, for three days. Emphasis on husband, (boxer) puppies, and a car for 3 days. Do you know what kind of gas my husband has, paired with boxers (me, too-he made me add that) I’m destined to be gassed! Lord save me. This trip is bound to be a pain in the ass! And that’s why I wanted one more run…That’s not asking for much!

But I couldn’t. I had assignments for my master’s program to complete, family plans to make, and I had to finalize the details of our move with varying parties. Oh and Paul got me a 90-minute massage, how lucky am I!? I couldn’t miss that appointment. But I really wanted to so that it could free up 1-2 hours for a run. That’s when I resolved I would cancel my massage. That’s right. Cancel it! I didn’t need the pampering. I needed to run. As I was about to cancel the massage my parents caught wind of my plot and ultimately knocked sense into me. I went to the massage.

As the woman was kneading my back, shoulders, and legs I realized just how tense and sore I was. Then suddenly she struck a nerve, literally. I couldn’t believe the pain that radiated from behind my left knee to my glutes.

She asked me, “Do you feel that?”

I shrieked in acknowledgement. I inquired, “What is that?”

“It’s a tendon…it appears you pulled it.”

I was speechless and thinking, oh okay, this is no big thing…Then she rolled over it again. HOLY CRAP!!! The pain shot upwards through the back of my leg to the left side of my rear. I asked her, “Could this be why at random I get shooting pains in the glutes? Like literally, I get a pain and it cripples me for a few seconds to a minute? Oh my gosh, I literally have a pain in the ass, this is too funny!”

Her response, “Yes. You need to make sure you have rest days for your recovery. Your body needs time to heal. You also need to stretch.”

Here we go again with more lectures about the importance of “rest”. I let her words fall on my deaf ears and soaked in the pleasure of my muscles being touched to get past the small talk.

As I laid there on the massage table in my own quiet solitude, I began to think again of the upcoming road trip with my husband and dogs. I giggled as I considered the agenda of the coming days. A husband and two large dogs in one car traveling 2,336 miles. I was excited for the adventure but also acknowledged what a pain it would be stopping for the pup pups every few hours.

I originally thought the trip (or them) might be a “pain in the ass” … The stop. The go. The growling. The barking. Inclement weather. Well, the trip is half over and the only pain in the ass I’m experiencing is none other than my tendon. The irony renders me catatonic.

Wishing you all a happy weekend!

We are 1,000 miles away from our destination so please go run a few miles for me as I’m long overdue!

XO

Happy Running

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