Categories
Running Thoughts

Candy Corn and Redefined (and Unrefined) Writings

Tonight, on my way home from a quiet, comfortable dinner with a good friend at a sidewalk bistro table, we walked by the grocery store to get a few necessities for the work-week, and were caught off guard by the barrage of orange  and purple candy bags stacked throughout the entryway and along the aisles.  Could it be that Halloween has already arrived?  In mid-September?

Very quickly it was obvious Halloween is taking over the grocery store.  My inner five-year old’s eyes went wide, and a grin spread across her face…  She (and I) had to find candy corn!

I have had a personal allowance of one bag of candy corn pumpkins per year, for the last six years.  This has been my one vice and indulgence during the Halloween Holiday candy frenzy craze.  And I have been ok with that.  I’m not proud of this choice, but I figure this one divergence is not a terrible calamity to my state of health.  And to tell you the truth, tonight, I was so excited, my inner five-year old tore open the bag, and I was eating a pumpkin before I set foot outside the door to head home.  Just like being a kid again…  When I arrived home, after consuming a handful of candies, I tied the bag off with a twist-tie to enjoy at a later date.  Only moments passed, and suddenly, my heart was racing, I couldn’t sit still, I felt like crying, and taking a nap.

Holy cow!  THAT is what corn syrup does to me.  I completely forgot.  Over the past year, I have been making much more conscious decisions concerning which foods I eat and those I abstain from, and corn syrups and refined sugars live right at the top of the eliminated foods list, among other super-processed items.  I cannot say that my body has not had a similar response before, but wow… This may be the first time I truly experienced and acknowledged how strong the reaction is and how it affects me physically and mentally.

Have any of you noticed these types of reactions when you deviate from your health conscious diet choices?  Have you noted any specific foods that really get you crawling out of your skin?

Two years ago, when I started this blog, my intention was undefined.  I would simply post something, about anything, perhaps a poem, whenever I felt the need or desire (which was very infrequent).  Over the past few months “Living & Loving Life” has morphed into a running blog.  As much as I am a runner, and gain great joy from sharing my experiences, there are so many other things I would like to write about and share from my life’s experience.  Lately, I have found myself hesitating when I want to write about anything unrelated to running.  I feel that to deviate from this subject will mean breaking the unwritten contract I have with the community of people who have chosen to read my words when they relate to hitting the pavement.

My eternal optimist tells me that perhaps a change in topic will be an opening to reach others who may read this blog, but have not chosen running as their personal physical pursuit.  Maybe you, too, can relate to the tale of candy corn and the childlike response (the high and the crash).

Tonight, my conclusion is this: I will continue running and writing, but I will let my mind settle on the day’s notable topic, allowing my fingers lay a foundation of words wherever my thoughts may wander.

And I am not going to eat any more candy corn!

From the uphill morning run six-mile journey; the sun rising below the hill, beyond the bridge, behind the tree.
Categories
Running

Symptoms of Being a Runner

Sunday, September 9th, 2012 I ran my first race in two years.  It is hard to believe that much time had passed since my last personal running challenge.  Looking back, my last race was the Pints to Pasta in September of 2010, and to re-initiate myself in the world of (semi) competitive running, I gladly signed up to run the PtoP 2012 race.  It’s my tradition to run this race (like eating dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory on my birthday).  This time, I ran in my Vibram Fivefingers KomodoSport LS, taking them out for their first race!

Pints to Pasta 2012 Gear – laid out by the door so as not to forget any items.

This race had the usual challenges; the main one for me was a bus re-route (due to the very race I was trying to get to as a participant).  Fortunately, I met a very kind driver that morning who was willing to make a quick (if not entirely on her route … or legal) stop to let me and another racer out near our destination.  I quickly started up a conversation with my new-found running-mate, and made friends with this runner, Liz.  She was very sweet, had run the race before, has completed a marathon, and her stories of success inspired me.  I now have greater desire to sign up for more races.  And to wear the shirt to work the next day as bragging rights.  🙂

Liz and I, waiting for the race to start so we can warm up!

We were waiting with a crowd of 1585 runners.  And they all wanted coffee!

Mass of runner-bodies near the free coffee tent.

Our race started promptly at 8am, and we were off down the hill!  I love that technology has brought us the timing chip – there’s no mad rush to cross the start line when the race begins.  Everyone just shuffles slowly to the line and then picks up the pace.  Much less pushing and shoving takes place, and the event keeps a more relaxed feel, preventing unnecessary pre-race injuries from elbows and stumbling into others.

My intent for this run was to take is easy; my run pace of late has been comfortably in the 8’15” – 8’45″/mile pace, so I assumed I could probably keep in that range relatively easily.  I wanted to take pictures to document for myself, and for you, what this race looks like.  The first two miles are pretty much all downhill.

The line of runners extending farther than the eye can see.

Giggles burst out from behind me when I took this photo.  I loved it!  No one expects a runner to be photographing as they race!  I was having a blast, probably near the 1 mile mark, and at this point, I thought I’d take more pictures…  But as I continued down the hill on the course, I decided to run and look around, forgetting the camera in my belt, focusing more on the act of running and encouraging my running-mates instead.

I have a long history as a runner.  I ran cross-country in high school for only one season, for reasons I will need another blog post to explain, and loathed every moment of it.  I developed a ritual before practice: make sure lunch is consumed and digesting 3 hours before practice, stop drinking water 1 hour before practice… I was beyond nervous every day, and developed these neurotic habits that I honestly kept practicing half-way through my college years.  I had a love-hate relationship with running; it was mentally the most difficult thing I could do, but it gave me a great connection with the runners in my family.  It wasn’t until two years ago that I finally started feeling that metal block melt, and running ultimately became something I wanted to do – just for me and for joy.  (And I no longer have the limitations regarding food and liquid consumption pre-run.  Food is energy, and water is necessary!)

Now I have new “runner” symptoms or tendencies.  For example, when I see people running, out for their daily workout, and they’re really putting in effort, I find myself cheering and saying (or rather, yelling) “Go, Runner!”  …and I get emotional.  My sister was at the race on Sunday with her cross-country team; they were supporting the racers, handing out water to runners at the first aid-station, and when I heard their claps, cheers, and saw all the hands holding out cups of water… I admit it.  I giggled, choked up, and got teary-eyed.  At mile two. So you can imagine what I looked like crossing the finish line…

Biggest, goofiest smile, Ever.

I cannot say how wonderful it was to finish and have someone there cheering me on through the funnel at the Finish line.  My Gran-ma came to snap my photo, give me a hug, and say congratulations.  (And then we went to breakfast)!  She is so sweet, and I appreciate her so much for getting up early and being present to watch me grin like a fool at the end of this race.  I was the 542 racer to cross the finish line on Sunday.

Happy hug pics!

As it turns out, I finished with a 10K time of 55’06”, knocking four minutes off my last 10K race time.  Right on the money per my guess, and a new PR.  I’ll be setting a new goal for next year!

I am so grateful for the support of my friends and family, and for Run with Paula Events and Portland Running Company for putting on such a great race!  Come join me in 2013 for PtoP!  And check out the other Run with Paula events (I’m a big fan of the Go Girl Trail Run)!

Happy Running!
~A

Categories
Running

Motivation

For the past few months, I have been getting out on the road, doing the two to five-mile shuffle at least three times each week.  This for me is a great improvement in consistency over my last two years as a runner.  It’s not that I have put myself on a schedule, so much as I like to run.  So I get out and do it when my legs are itching.  (Tomorrow morning, it’s on!)

But I have no goal set.  No pace to hit, no mileage to train up to, no real structure to my workout regimen.  So, when I wake up, I base my distance on time available before life activities begin (work, family gatherings, appointments, etc.) … and on fear.  I haven’t run more than five miles in… Well, truthfully, I cannot remember the last time I ran more than five miles.  Running in my new shoes, I get nervous about injuries if I run farther.

But let’s be serious for a moment.  I can (and have) run five miles, no issues, in my Vibram Fivefingers KomodoSport LS.  Why should adding one mile cause fear to creep into my bones and tense my legs?

I admit, I have a running injury.  We all do, right?  We did something at some point, where maybe we weren’t really listening to our bodies and we pushed just a little too hard, for a little too long, and maybe it was while we were going downhill, and now our knee hurts when we “run more than five miles”.  Okay, MY knee hurts – more specifically, it has been painful in the past – when I increased my mileage.  What reason does this give me to refrain from at least trying a greater distance?  Every part of my leg is functioning without complaint right now, and I am smarter, more attentive, and running with a much better foot fall, stride, and pace than anytime in my past.  

So how do I push myself through the fear and past my five-mile mark?

I sign up for a race!  I will be running the Pints to Pasta 10K Race this weekend, truthfully one of my FAVORITE races in Portland.  I ran it in 2009, 2010, and due to a lack of consistency, skipped 2011.  It is certainly time to get out and do this race again.  The course is lovely; a great downhill to start us all out at a good clip, crossing the bridge into downtown, running along the waterfront (beautiful!), and finally ending at the Old Spaghetti Factory, my childhood favorite restaurant.  Wonderful memories flood my mind when visiting this family style restaurant of many birthdays and celebrations.  I still enjoy the Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter (A la Homer they called it, when I was a kid), on my adult birthdays.  I just no longer ask to sit in the Caboose.  😉

So, this Sunday, I will complete a 10K, in my favorite Five Fingers, and see what my pace is at the end.  If how I’ve been running recently is any indication, I will surely come out of this race with a significant PR.  Times to beat:  2009 – 59’17” overall time, 9’32” per mile, 83 out of 216 in my age division, 947/2032 overall.   2010 – 59’13” overall, 9’32” per mile, and finishing 119 of 304 in my age division, 1252/2528 all runners.  Until now, I wasn’t aware that I had achieved nearly the same time on both those races!  For this year’s race, I’m going to guess conservatively, say I run about 9 minute miles, I’ll be crossing the finish with about 55’48” chip time.  Should be fun to see how it turns out!

Please note, I will not be running this full-out as a race.  I do truly enjoy this run. It is stunning; I like to take the time to look around, breathe in, and just have fun.  My purpose of signing up for this race is to see where a good dose of fun and much improved technique get me on a fast, downhill 10K.  Are you up for a race?

Come join me!

Bridge view on the waterfront.
Categories
Running

Morning Run – New Shoes!

Previously, almost jokingly, I mentioned the possibility that I would end up getting one of the “Sportiest” looking pairs of Vibram shoes to continue on my journey of running.  To speak honestly on the appearance of shoes, when it comes to running, I don’t usually go for the wild, loud, bright sneakers; I prefer a more subdued, quiet, classic looking shoe.

… these shoes have Coral pops on them.  And a bright white stripe over the forefoot.

And I love them!  May I introduce you, dear readers, to the Vibram KomodoSport LS:

I pulled my brand-new shoes out of their box this morning, and took them for a short test run.  Conscious that there was more toe room, I was a little nervous about tripping myself with my shoe, and became cognizant of how much I was raising my toes before each foot hit the ground due to this fear.

Early morning light

Halfway through my run, I made myself push “reset” on my mind-set.  “These are no different from a traditional shoe,” I told myself when I paused to do push-ups at the park.  “You don’t need to run any differently.”

Early morning, empty park.

Once I got myself back on track, I began to notice how free the Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS feels, even though it has a lot more tread on the sole than the KSO.  I was able to run un-inhibited, quick as ever, and the shoes are very comfortable.  I did learn, for some reason unexpectedly, that since the material used in this shoe is more like a traditional running shoe, the foot had less breathability than the shoe I have favored over the past year.  And, to be completely honest, since I was barefoot (I always run barefoot in my KSO’s), there was more moisture held within the shoe (yes, my feet got sweaty).  But this should not have been a surprise!  I am used to the feel of wearing a water-sock with an incredibly breathable mesh upper, so this real shoe feel caught me off guard.  I can be content with the need to get some toe-socks to fit inside my shoes.  You can find yours made by injinji or SmartWool (both found at REI).  I look forward to trying those both out!  I have never owned a pair of toe-socks, and it appears my time has come.

Overall, if you are interested in a minimalist running shoe with toes, I would recommend this shoe.  The drawcord laces are great for getting a snug fit, and the sole is constructed in such a way that you are given the tiniest bit of arch support.  I’m pleased as punch that I bit the bullet, got the shoe, and now get to explore how we will work together.

Happy running adventures!

Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport LS in Black/Coral
Categories
Running

Slipper Located and Acquired

Last Thursday, post 20 minute nap after a long work-day , I made my way down the stairs and out into the advancing twilight of evening for a quick run.  I strapped down the velcro tab on my Vibram KSO, picked up my toes and took off!  Half a mile later, I stopped at my local REI.  I decided to make my shoe purchase errand a short run.  (Really short).  But after half an hour of conversation with a very helpful sales associate, I didn’t even know which shoe I wanted to try on my foot.  I decided to run home, the long way (a two-mile run still didn’t seem like much), and try another day.  I was pleased to see that I kept a rather swift pace up, this late in the evening, arriving home to see sub 8’10” average pace.

Saturday finally rolled around and my day was stacked with activities.  The morning run, a trip to the farmer’s market, go find a spiralizer (to make spiral zucchini “noodles” for a wheat and grain-free pasta dish.  I found Helen’s Spiral Slicer on sale at Kitchen Kaboodle), and do various other home-keeping tasks.  I had no time to get new shoes.  Therefore, after a wholesome breakfast of gluten-free granola, coconut milk, a banana, some frozen blackberries, and a cup of coffee (and time for the meal to settle), I once again strapped on the KSO’s and went for my morning run.  I ran my favorite loop, down around the waterfront.  It was such a beautiful day!

 

The cooler morning air, bright sunshine, swimming geese, and multitude of other runners kept me motivated and moving at a quick clip.  When I finished my route, hit the “End Workout” button on my Nike+ App, I was rewarded with the female voice letting me know I had completed four miles at an average pace of 8’15″/mile.  I cut 45 seconds per mile off my run wearing the KSO’s rather than a traditional tennis shoe.

That did it.  SOLD.

My next shoe will be a Vibram toe-shoe.  I am now a believer.  Evidence points to the fact that I move faster, and with more ease, wearing these shoes than any other conventional running shoe I have tried.  I decided to look into the shoes with some extra tread for the probability of rain soon to come, and the option of trail running and sparing my soles the pain they would otherwise endure on the small rocks and tree toes that are scattered across most of our trails.

Tonight, I went back to REI (they have quite an array of minimalist shoes), told the sales associate exactly what I was looking for, tried three different pairs, and came home with one. They have a little more room than the previous pair.  Admittedly, I went up a size. It was brought to my attention that I have been wearing one size, or possibly two sizes, too small in this shoe. With the intention of committing to longer runs, and possibly wearing wool toe-socks this winter to keep my feet warm, the extra space provided is rather logical.  We always go up a size for running shoes anyway, why not with a minimalist toe-shoe?  When I first purchased the Vibram KSO I was directed that it should really fit the foot snugly.  I now understand this instruction makes sense if you are boating, or possibly rock climbing, in these shoes, as the close fit will assist you.  But be advised, if you’re going to use your Vibrams to run, the feet swell, and buying a size up as you would for traditional running shoe purchases is smart. Your feet will thank you later.

Tomorrow morning, my new shoes and I are going to get acquainted.  I’ll let you know how the run goes, and whether the shoes pass muster!

Happy running!

Categories
Running

Cinderella & Shoe Choices

Evening run hilltop view.

Nearly two months into my journey of becoming a runner, I find myself in need of new shoes.  Not unlike Cinderella, I have an old pair of shoes I always wear: 2-year-old Vibram KSO‘s that I love and are perform reliably well every time I get outside.  In fact, tonight I was able to go out for a brisk run, concentrating on my form and turnover, and managed to run 1.75 miles with nearly an 8 minute/mile pace.  This is the fastest I have run… possibly ever.  These shoes have helped guide me to keep my bodyweight centered over my feet, avoid heel strike, and shorten my stride.  Needless to say, I am struggling with the idea of replacing them, yet I am well aware the rainy season is soon to come over the horizon in multitudes of clouds and torrential downpours, and these shoes have so little tread, I tend to slip on wet surfaces (especially running downhill – and I deal with hills on a daily basis). So, I’m wondering if you, my fellow runners, readers, and bloggers, might have some advice to give if you’ve been assimilated into the “minimalist” running movement, and are enjoying your new-found foot freedom, as I am.

The important attributes I’m looking for in a shoe include:

  • Super lightweight sole (I’m used to the Vibrams – and I really like that barefoot feeling).
  • Enough room in the toe-box for my foot to spread out (my feet are a little on the wide side).
  • A minimal sole, with good tread.

I’ve been encouraged toward the Brooks Pure Grit which looks amazing, but it might be a little narrow for my foot.  I’m really curious how the Vibram BIKILA runs; I was able to try one on today, but the fabric in the upper feels more restrictive than my KSO.  Again, I’m looking for more traction to reduce slippage on wet concrete as well as protect my feet when I run on more rough terrain (rocky trails).  As far as the Vibram brand goes, I may end up trying out the most sporty looking shoe they have, the KOMODOSPORT LS, but I am not particularly fond of the toggle and drawcord system for tightening.  I am surprised by the aesthetic of these barefoot shoes with toes; the tend to blend in with the traditional running shoes on the wall!

One last option I’m considering is Merrell.  After their line of barefoot shoes recently hit the market, a buzz started, and I’m curious to try them out.  Has anyone given the Barefoot Train Lithe Glove a try?

Now, I’m not half as barefoot as Cinderella was after her fancy ball, but I do feel unbalanced and wary considering whether to go back to the traditional tried and true running shoe of old (pre-minimal), or to move forward into the shiny new sporty shoe with toes, and see how my feet, legs, and body respond to distance running in such a bare-bones shoe.  I intend to increase my mileage throughout the rest of 2012, and keep on running through Winter snows and Spring showers of next year, so a shoe investment is definitely in order.

Do you have any other “barefoot” shoe suggestions for me?  What is your favorite shoe for distance running?

Thanks for your input in advance, and happy running!

Categories
Running Thoughts

Becoming Me

As I rose early this morning to meet my Aunt in another part of town to run, I found myself in doubt.  I had agreed to help her, as she is new to running, and coach her on the all-important form and stride; I really wanted to help my wonderful Aunt get out on the right foot and have those notes of wisdom from an experienced runner to help her prevent any possible injury she may incur solely from something simple like form.

But as I made my way out the door into the misty morning, I found myself asking critical questions of my ability:
– Do I really know what I am talking about?
– Am I really qualified to give this advice?
– What if I tell her something that is not true and causes her to develop bad habits?
… and finally,
– Why am I doubting myself?  What am I really afraid of?

I have been running for over fourteen years.  Until this year, it was not an habitual practice, and I think that is the focal point from which my doubt originates.  I have it in my mind that only those who run frequently and with some kind of schedule are “real” runners.  In contrast, I like to sing, and have performed in public, but do not have a band nor do I have any repeating gigs or schedule, yet I do call myself a singer.  Why do I have trouble claiming runner?

When I pushed the “Publish” button on my last post, I have to admit I was a little shy.  That may very well have been the first time I claimed the title and called myself a runner, really believing it to be true.  I’m sure coaching my Aunt and advising my friends will only help me to grow, and identify myself as a runner.

This year, my 30th in life, has led me through a great deal of self-exploration and change; learning about those things which are important to me, and making the choice to pursue activities that I am passionate about.  I love to run.  I love to sing.  This is who I am.

Thanks to all of you out there, my friends and family, who believe in me.  🙂

Categories
Running

I am a Runner

After two days of rest to prevent injury after possibly over-doing it, I decided I was ready to run again.  Last Saturday, I enthusiastically and joyfully went running in my barefoot shoe of choice, the Vibram KSO, and may have stressed my calves out a wee bit.  But this morning, it was a delightfully cool near 60 degrees and I decided I would go out for a run, and really go for speed.  For this, I wore a shoe with some sole.  🙂

For me, going for a morning run has always meant waking up 15 minutes before heading out the door.  I’ll drink some water, get dressed, grab my phone and keys, shoe-up, and head out the front door of my apartment complex at a steady jog.  Recently, I experienced some Achilles pain, and while lamenting my woes to a fellow (more experienced) runner, I was advised to allow my legs a warm-up.  Walk for five minutes, then start to run.  Since implementing this practice over my last two outings, and I have noticed a huge difference!  My legs do not get that tight, unhappy feeling when I first start out on the pavement.  This five-minute warm-up is now a part of the daily run routine.

Needless to say, when my five minutes of walking were up, I felt good.  I spontaneously decided to run a different route, and that I would run the first mile (which later became 10 minutes rather than a mile) as fast as I could, comfortably.  Pushing a little, but still breathing regularly and not needing to stop to recoup.  After the first half mile, I came to an intersection that was more congested with locals heading out to their jobs in their cars, and as I was slowing to stop for a car to cross in front of me, the driver kindly waved me across.  As he continued on his way, he rolled down his window and proclaimed “Nice stride!”  A broad smile crossed my face, and I turned to wave, hollering back, “Thank you!”

There is nothing so encouraging as having a stranger offer up a positive comment while running.  During this first leg of my run, I was concentrating on my gait: keeping my turnover quick, and stride shorter because I know this keeps my pace at a nice clip.  Before I encountered this gentleman, I had actually been pondering running, as we are like to do while practicing the sport, and noticing that I felt different.  I felt my legs moving in a way that until that moment, I had only observed seasoned runners with lean legs and an unfailing stride demonstrate.  I suddenly realized I felt like a runner.  During this revelation, a passerby noticed, and affirmed that what I felt was truly visible.

I have been running off and on for about thirteen years, and something has finally shifted within me to be able to claim “runner” for myself.  I am willing to push myself to the point of some discomfort, whereas in years past, I would only jog if it was easy; not daring to push myself past that invisible wall, afraid of encountering potential pain.  Perhaps, after a year of some pretty extreme ups and downs, and moments of leaps in personal growth, I am finally able to bear pain due to moderate stress because it no longer causes anxiety; I am finally comfortable breaching that line which leads to the unfamiliar.  I am, of course, still conscientious of the fact that there are limits to the body, and I will not knowingly do something that I think will hurt me (and make me unable to run for an extended period of time).

I am simply willing to test my limits and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  I want to work on improving my mile pace, my stride, increasing turnover, and to continue really feeling like a runner.

Because I am.

Barefoot running: Vibram KSO
Categories
Uncategorized

Summer Fun

Today I’m taking time away from running writing.  This blog is my avenue for expressing all the joys and interesting things I learn and do that make me happy (which often involves running).  But today, it’s about family, relaxing, and… Berries!

I have always been a fan of blackberries.  When I was growing up, my Dad’s family would all go to the coast and hang out together at “the Cabin”.  Not more than a quarter-mile down the main road, was a gravel side-road lined with a huge hedge of blackberry bushes.  My Grandma would send “the cousins” (my sister and I, and all the other four girl cousins) out on a walk with a few large Tupperware to get blackberries so she could make cobbler for dessert after dinner.  I always loved that cobbler…

So, this evening, I spent time with a different set of grandparents, and when G-ma said we were going to pick berries, those old memories came flooding back.  This time, we walked further, my cousins didn’t join us, and we weren’t at the salty-air beach, but it was a perfect evening.  Pleasantly nice and warm, and the breeze picked up making the journey quite enjoyable.  Quality time for girl talk with G-ma along our route, picking berries mindlessly, and laughing as cars drove by, the driver honking or cat-calling.  Thank you, gentleman.  Glad to know we’re a nice looking pair.

Aren’t we cute? 🙂

We’re not making cobbler tonight (turn the oven on when it’s 90 degrees out? No, thank you!), but I did learn from G-ma how to freeze berries properly!

If you want to have berries to munch, but like them frozen, and really don’t want to have them become a large clump-berry-cube, the trick is to lay them out on a cookie sheet, spread with space between each berry, so they freeze singularly.  This makes them much more easy to handle as a refreshing, frozen snack on these ninety-plus degree days.  You may layer the berries with a sheet of foil or wax paper in-between to keep each layer separate if you have a bucketful to freeze.  Once frozen, you can put them in a container of your choosing for more manageable storage.

Read to freeze!

My berries are washed and in the freezer… Can wait to pop one of those frozen beauties into my mouth tomorrow!  Happy Summer berry-picking!

Categories
Running

Habits

I have effectively given myself a reason to work out daily. Although this resolution is new, I intend to stick with my intent, and no coffee will be consumed until a workout is completed.

The past month, post 22 days of running, has been an interesting observation of how running consistently, and then allowing myself to back off, affects my body, my sleep patterns, and my thought processes. I have noticed that it takes longer to feel tired at night, but I also feel sleepy throughout the day when I do not get a run in the morning. My mind wanders more, I have less focus, and I feel a lack of rest overall.

The most surprising affect of lack of running has been an increase in leg cramping. I always attribute those mid-calf spasms that take my breath away to an increase in mileage, or lack of proper stretching. In recent days, it would seem that it is simply due to lack of activity because as soon as I got back out and gave my legs a shake, the charlie-horse stopped waking me up early in the morning.

From this experience, I gather my body likes being active. So, in an effort to prevent breath-taking pain, I will give it the exercise it craves.

Other positive side effects noted include:

Clear mind.
Tired by 10pm.
Feeling good.
Inability to stop smiling.

And I got to treat myself to coffee and brunch this morning. 🙂

20120811-105839.jpg

The weekend is off to a great start!