What are you wearing?

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This morning was a crisp 18 degrees, a little cooler with the wind chill. After loading up the car I headed to the beach to check out the waves. They were in rare form, nice size and not close outs. As I looked at the water and the surfers in the lineup I was not sure that I wanted to suit up. There was no other way to describe the weather except with words like frigid, freezing, Jack Frost’s backyard, or whoa why on earth am I outside today? While I was sitting in the car pondering I realized that much like in running, what you wear matters.

 

I’ve gone out running in some pretty brutal weather. My personal weather restrictions are lightening, ice, and wind- lots of wind. I do have a limit on air temperature, but that is subjective. My decision to run when it is cold depends most on how I feel that day.

 

Fashion is forgotten when you run in extreme weather. The goal is to put on enough clothes to stay warm while not wearing so much that you overheat. Finding the right balance is not easy especially if your running route takes you far from your start point. When find that perfect level of layering it makes running in cold weather tolerable.

 

Surfing isn’t much different. With the right equipment it isn’t so bad. So after a few minutes of debate I climbed into the back of the truck to get dressed. And layering doesn’t just work well in running, I use it in surfing too. Smartwool socks and gloves fit nicely under my wetsuit and they help to keep me toasty warm.

 

Although for me, it was a frustrating day of surfing I was really happy to be out in the water. And despite the cool temps I never really felt cold, until I got out of the water.

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Danielle’s Perspective

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My friend Danielle is training for the big race, 26.2 miles. Over the past few years she has run a few 10 milers and half marathons. Before we met she never considered herself a distance runner but now she has embraced the runner lifestyle.

 

After one of her training runs Danielle made a post on Facebook saying that she dedicated the run to me. Reading her words really moved me; she said that I had helped to encourage her to do her first half marathon. It never occurred to me that I helped to inspire anyone to run.

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As I read her post I was moved to the point of wanting to go out for a run. And that is when I had my other epiphany, running is hurting me.

 

One of the things an athlete has to learn is the difference between good pain and bad pain. Good pain is when muscles get sore and ache, the burn. Bad pain is when you risk agitating and re-injuring yourself.

 

When I read Danielle’s post it clicked, I would be running right now if my body would let me. I’ve battled with and overcome the mental issues associated with returning from an injury but now it is the physical issues that I need to deal with. My peroneal tendon gets aggravated every time I run and sometimes when I walk.

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With 2014 closing and a new year a few days away I realize it is time to rethink my relationship with running. I can’t say that I will never be able to run again, but I have to be realistic, running right now does more harm than good. It is time to focus on the things I can do and not the things I can’t do. So that means more yoga and surfing. Maybe one day I will be able to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, but today is not that day.

 

Thank you Danielle for your kind words. Even though I can’t be out there with you, I will gladly cheer you on and help you celebrate your running accomplishments.

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Shhhh………

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When Jim changed his diet and started logging his food I jumped on board. I find that when both people in a couple do something together both people are more successful. About a month ago I started logging my food.

 

Writing down everything I eat made me very aware both the good and bad things I eat. It was pretty eye opening.

 

One of the side affects of logging your food is losing weight. Over the past month I’ve dropped 2 pounds.

 

This is something that I should celebrate. There are television shows dedicated to people celebrating their weight loss. But instead of celebrating I’ve been rather quiet about it.

 

I am a pretty fit person. I surf and do yoga. I have run marathons and half marathons (something I can’t wait to do again.) Sharing these things is safe; people are okay with hearing about it.

 

But people are less receptive (and sometimes critical) when they hear about a thin person losing weight. My goal wasn’t to lose weight, it just happened. Shedding some extra pounds is good for my knees, back, and ankles. It also is a sign that I am making better choices with my food.

 

Unfortunately sharing this may come across as bragging, vanity, or showing off. So this is something that I’ve quietly done. (Yes I know the irony of sharing this now.) But it makes you wonder why some people are offended by seeing someone become healthier.

 

Shame on people involved in skinny shaming, what’s next healthy hating, thin threatening, fitness frowning?

 

Let’s celebrate each other’s accomplishments and encourage one another.

 

Stop tearing other’s down, instead let’s build each other up. Then we’ll all be better.

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Connected to pain

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My ankle pain connected to my knee pain

 

My knee pain connected to my hip pain

 

My hip pain connected to back pain

 

With all that pain I still somehow manage to walk, sort of run, and surf.

 

Until you get the creeping pain you don’t always realize just how connected your whole body really is. Injuries are a great reminder of the connection because once you get one boo boo it manages to knock everything else out of what.

 

It is pretty impressive how your body will compensate and use other parts as you heal. Unfortunately this compensation can mean problems down the line. The worst part is you don’t even know you are compensating. It just feels normal to you. You find out later when the pain in your ankle turns into pain into your knee which turns into something in your hip and finally it lands in your lower back.

 

In the end you have to answer a few questions. What is the price of playing? Is it just a little bit of pain or something more?

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Ebb and Flow

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When we moved up to Newport a few years ago Jim and I expanded our watersport activities when we bought some stand up paddleboards. We learned to surf our boards and on flat days we enjoy the water with a nice long paddle. Paddling is our recreational and leisurely activity.

 

 

Last Sunday I changed that by entering the Providence Paddle Battle. I opted for the 3-mile course along the scenic Providence skyline. There was a 9-mile course but I learned a lot from my first half marathon and decided to ease into paddle racing.

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Race day was a beautiful day in Providence. Before we started the wind was low and the temperature was cool. The start was delayed because the course needed to be set and Mother Nature decided to change the conditions. We did a paddle out and return. The way out was perfect, and easy, a little too easy.

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We paid the price on the return to the finish. The light wind turned into a constant head wind and it was low tide so we were going against the current. Not exactly ideal conditions.

 

What I discovered in running, a marathon and a half-marathon are two different beasts. I found out last Sunday a paddle race is a completely new species. After the race I discovered muscles that have never been documented in Gray’s Anatomy.

 

Paddling requires every body part. At the end of the race when I was exhausted I was ready to stop and walk but there is not walking and resting when you are paddling, especially when mother nature is pushing you away from the finish.

 

As I neared the finish and my body was spent, I had to find something to keep me going forward. My distance running instincts kicked in and I relied on sheer will power to get me to the finish. At some point I adopted a mantra and used it with each stroke. “Fuck you, fuck you.” Don’t ask me why I picked those words, but when the brain takes over because the body wants to quit you don’t argue with the one thing that motivates you to finish what you start.

 

I got smoked by most of the other racers. When you run your shoes don’t give you a major advantage or disadvantage. However, when you paddle your vessel is a major factor in how swiftly you cut through the water. I was on a board designed for surf and most everyone else was on a board designed for speed.

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It was discouraging seeing everyone’s backs but somehow I managed to keep the race in perspective. At the end of the day I say it was a success. I finished my first SUP race and even got second place in my division (there was a surfboard division.) I’m not convinced SUP racing is my thing but it was a great experience.

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See you in the water!

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The fit and fat of it

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Recently I had some friends tell me I looked fit. I am ashamed to say my response was no, I feel fat. While my response is disappointing it actually reflected how I’ve been feeling about my body. Since I am still not fully recovered from my injury I’ve added extra cargo onto my frame. However, I’ve failed to recognize not all of it is fat.

 

Since running is still out I’ve been walking, surfing, paddle boarding, and doing yoga. While these are not as heavy into fat burning as say running they are geared more towards strength and muscle. While I’ve been packing on pounds a lot of it is muscle in my core, upper body, and legs.

 

It’s time for me to redefine fit and fat. Fit means a lot more than being at my prime race weight. Next time someone complements me by saying I look fit I need to answer with a simple thank you.

 

I run like a girl

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Amica

I run like a girl.

 

I’ve always run like a girl.

 

When I was six years old learning to play soccer I ran like a girl.

 

When I played basketball in high school I played like a girl.

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When I was in college and practiced keeper with the men’s team, I defended the goal like a girl.

 

When I surf and charge head high waves, I surf like a girl.

 

Every marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k I’ve competed in, I’ve run like a girl.

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Everything I do, I do like a girl.

 

To me it’s never been a bad thing, I run like a girl because I am a girl.

 

I am proud to be a girl.

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I refuse to run like a boy, throw like a boy, surf like a boy, or do anything like a boy. In the same way I don’t think someone should try to do something like a girl.

 

Just be who you are, and if you are a girl, go out and run like one!

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