Pretending to be on vacation just to get things done.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  We had planned on being at our cabin since we haven’t been there in almost a year but we didn’t go.  MacGyver worked all day Saturday and I worked around here and when he got home around 3 and asked me what I wanted to do I could tell he wanted me to make the decision.   I didn’t want that burden and so I shifted it back to him and then he shifted it back to me.  By the time we actually make it out to our cabin we’ll probably look like this:

fun old people

The baby peacocks are getting big.  Every morning momma peahen climbs up onto the car hauler and yells out, (that’s how she lets us know the babies would like to eat), and we go out and feed them.  I thought you might want to see them.

Baby Peacocks

Over the weekend I made a trip to the store to replenish our fruit supply but mainly I just wanted to buy more oranges because I hate running out of oranges.  Parking was ridiculous and when I did finally find a spot I was almost afraid to park in it.  Look at the car in front of me.

car

Who does that to a car?  I almost waited around to see who would actually get into it but I decided against it.

Let’s talk running shall we?

Last week I ran 33 miles, and I walked 3.35 miles.  I ran 21 miles over 4 days and I ran my long run on Saturday.

The long run

Twelve miles,

Done.

And I Nailed it!

My shoe

Literally!

Fortunately, it didn’t go through the shoe.  That would have been very bad.  The long run, however was very good.  It was my longest run since the migraines started last year and since I began taking the topiramate and stopped the gluten and the processed sugar and I’m still migraine free, (after long runs).  Y’all have no idea how happy I am about that.

I did do one thing after my run that I don’t usually do merely as a preventative measure to help with any inflammation.

ice bath

And for the record, this is not an easy thing to do for someone with Raynaud’s.  I had to keep my toes and fingers out of the water but it helped immensely.  I highly recommend it.

I wish I could say I was as good with my strength and weight workouts but unfortunately I wasn’t.  I only did one strength workout last week.  This week I will make more time for strength training and weights. I will, I will!

MacGyver and I took the day off today because we thought we were going to be at our cabin but since we aren’t he decided to work and I’m getting some work done as well.  Might as well get caught up a little.  Besides, MacGyver has a birthday this weekend and I might want to kidnap him and take him away for a few days so it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and get a few things squared away, right?  At least I can get things done with no distractions because everyone thinks I’m away.

How was your weekend?

Did you get the day off today?

Running, I’m working on speed…

Happy Monday! I trust y’all had a great weekend. We held our neighborhood garage sales on Friday and Saturday and by Sunday, Mom and I were completely exhausted but the weather here was so nice that I was determined to run as much as possible.

I did manage a few early miles on Friday, a little over six miles on Saturday and then on Sunday I got up prepared to run ten but after four I felt burnt. I was on my way home when I ran into my friend and neighbor, Lori. She was just heading out and I was sort of shocked myself when I heard myself say, ‘Want some company?’

So Lori and I ran another 3 miles and I finished with a total of 7 for the day. I had a great time and while it isn’t anywhere near the amount of miles I’d like to be running, I was grateful that Lori agreed to some company because otherwise I would have ended at 4 miles and beat myself up the rest of the day.

And that is something I’ve been working on because this year I’m more focused on being a better runner, getting faster, and remaining injury free rather than just running all the miles.

Genetically speaking, my muscle makeup is probably a bit different than Shalane Flanagan’s or Desi Linden’s and that’s okay. Some people are just speedier than others but that doesn’t mean I can’t get faster. I used to always say that I was a much better endurance athlete because what I lack in speed I make up for in distance and while that may be true it doesn’t mean I can’t boost my genetics a bit.

Your body includes 3 main muscle fibers, slow twitch, intermediate fast twitch, and fast twitch. Slow twitch muscles contract slower and it takes a long time to exhaust them. Adversely, fast twitch muscles contract quickly and fatigue much quicker. Generally speaking most people have an equal amount but there have been some reports that suggest some of the best sprinters have up to 85% of fast twitch muscles and some of the best marathoners have up to 85% of slow twitch. I used to think that I had a lot more slow twitch, but I’m not so sure that’s really the case.

While you may not be able to alter the balance some scientific studies have shown that with the proper training you may be able to convert slow twitch to fast twitch just by incorporating the following training.

Agility Dot Drills
I have to admit, I had no idea what these were but this video shows you exactly how to do them and now I love them.

Sprints
Sprints are an awesome way to develop speed. I like 400 repeats or fartleks and that’s how I do sprints but if you’ve never run sprints before, here is a good tutorial on how to start.

Squats
Y’all know I love my squats. Not only do they help with speed but the benefits for your butt are worth it alone!  Seriously, they are.

Isometric Hamstring Bridge
This one is great for speed but also if you suffer from weak hips like I do, this exercise is invaluable. I do this at least 5 days a week. Here’s a great video that shows you the proper form.

Hill Sprints
Now these are my Achilles heel or hill, haha. I hate hills. I really do. I think it’s because I seriously hurt my Achilles tendon running up a hill a few years back and ever since then, I’ve hated them.

I do my best to avoid all the hills in my neighborhood and when I’m running someplace new I look at the elevation before I choose my route. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid hills and if you want to get really fast hill sprints are one of the best exercises you can do. Hill sprints can also help you to avoid injury so you really need to incorporate them.

I read this article and it helped me to get over my fear and face those hills. I still don’t feel 100% comfortable with hill sprints but I’m working on it.

So, now I’d like to hear from you.
Do you think you’re better at speed or endurance?  (My jury is still out, I used to think endurance but I can run fast and I know it..)
Do you prefer running 5K’s or marathons?  (My heart has always leaned toward marathons but lately I’ve been looking forward to some 5K’s.)

Are most runners introverts?

I love Audrey Hepburn and I have for as long as I can remember. When I first saw her in the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s I just knew that one day I would move to New York and become a socialite. Of course I was only 7 so what did I know but something in Audrey Hepburn just resonated with me. I felt connected to her, I loved her style, her voice and her elegance.

audrey hepburn introvert
Most people are surprised to find out that she was introverted. Most people are surprised to find that I am as well. But I am. I most definitely am.

When I was younger I’m sure most people would have described me as outgoing or extroverted but that was never the case. Crowds and situations that might easily embarrass me gave me great anxiety. Although I may have seemed confident and happy being in the midst of crowds, I really wasn’t. It made me feel terribly insecure and uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone other than my mother knew how terribly tortured my soul was.

introverts unite
As time went on and with the help of self-evaluation, and maybe a therapist or three, I became much more comfortable in my own skin. I came to realize that while I like people and having friends, most days I prefer to be alone.

MacGyver thinks I should go work from Starbucks a few days a week just to get out and be around people but I don’t really want to. I like being at home with the dogs. I like being at home alone. I am not sad, I’m not depressed, and I’m not anti-social. I just don’t like to be around people a lot and that’s okay.  I’m okay.

introverts talking

It’s also probably one of the reasons that I run. It’s an exercise that I can do anywhere. I don’t like the anxiety that I feel walking into a gym or an exercise class. I prefer the solitude of running alone. I love the thoughts that go through my head when I’m running. I really do. As weird as it may sound, I enjoy it.

I really enjoy running alone and while I may run with others on occasion, I do prefer my solo runs. I don’t like the stress of wondering if I can match someone else’s pace or if they can match mine. I stress over whether they’ll expect me to talk the whole time or if they’re quiet like me. I wonder if they’ll need to take breaks or if they won’t need to take breaks and before I even meet someone to run with them, I’m already stressed out.  It wears me out.

introverts rules
I also tend to be habitual in the routes that I run and I’ve noticed over time that once I start to see the same people over and over again, if any of them stop to talk to me, shortly after I change my route.

Introverts avoid

I know, it sounds rude but honestly, it isn’t.   For a long time I wasn’t consciously aware that I was doing it but I realized it about a year ago. I tried not doing it once I realized it was a pattern but it only made the anxiety worse.

introvert conversations

I wondered if other runners were introverts as well or if they had some of the same behavioral patterns as me and since I’m a huge fan of reddit I did manage to find several discussions on the subject and what I found is that there seems to be a lot of introverted runners.  Holy shit!  I’m not alone.

introverted runners

Of course reddit is not scientific proof of anything and I didn’t find any official studies, (well one but I couldn’t access it so it doesn’t count)  but I would love to learn more.  So in the interest of science or just my natural curiosity, I need to hear from you.

Are you a runner and if so are you an introverted or extroverted runner?

If you know of any studies on the subject, please send me the link, You know I love me some scientific facts!