Time to Get Back in to the Groove!

30 08 2016

Well, now, it has been a while since I was writing this blog.  Interestingly enough, there have been people who have quoted the older posts.

I took some time off because I graduated from college, dealt with a lot of injuries and made a few discoveries about myself and my racing.  When I was first putting together this blog, I was chronicling, for the most part, a “middle aged” beginning race walker who chose to walk in running races. This was all fine and good, but then I realized something.

I wasn’t living my dream.

I was skirting around the edges, but not really doing anything real about it.  I was working on motivating others to find their dreams and live them, but I wasn’t doing it.

So, I decided to do it.

Actually, it was after a particularly irritating half marathon where everything started out OK, but I was just getting frustrated. Why can’t people accept that I’m walking faster than they can run and that I am genuinely polite about it? I found myself getting more sour through the event because I realized it really didn’t mean anything to me.

I wanted to focus on race walk events.  Judged Race Walk Events.

Then, as life does, things just kept cropping up, however I decided I would chip away and start making those dreams happen. No amount of wishing  was going to do anything, it is action.

So, I decided to start the blog. Register for events and learn as much as I could while trying to keep four jobs going and a remote sense of sanity.

This is a musing file. Will have race walking, but if I learned anything along the way, those speed bumps and pot holes of life make observing the wonderful world around us easier to do. As I type this, the world feels like it wants to rip itself apart. There is a lot of anger and frustration; dissatisfaction and separation. I can only hope that this blog about race walk, change, growth, the dog, and the fact it isn’t currently snowing in Denver helps folks.

Here goes. Change happens and I’ll be changing over time.

Cheers – Lizzy


…At Least It’s Properly Parked

18 10 2011


Another chilly early morning at the Southmore train station.

A big part of athletics is time management … ok a big part of life is also. I have tried to get grips on time and where it is going only to find that I am swamped on the logging process followed with bumming big time about how much time I have wasted.  Since I am finally getting off my ass and taking my exercise seriously, I am feeling like I am in logging Hell,  but I know there is a reason for it.

Food Log: I am using My Fitness Pal for this.  I trialed several hand-held/web-based systems and this one is probably the most reliable. Also, since I have both an I-Touch (my several year old “I-Thingie) and an Android,  I can use either one and both will update the web page.  I am getting better with recipies because I am starting to cook again and break meals into servings. I don’t know exactly how much I trust the figures for calories expended, but it is a ballpark estimate. I also am leery of the calories for losing X or Y pounds. Where I am probably a bit silly is that I am only logging training calories expended, but that might change.  Also, my caloric intake will change when I finally get reliable metabolic information.

Time Log: This is strictly time and a reminder to eat 4x a day (my buddy Ryan laughed when he heard my sax alarm tone go off when we were studying). I am using Planner Pro 1.1 that I found on I-Tunes. I played with the free version, but the Pro one has repeat functions – for things like train travel, classes, eating reminders, homework and training days. There are two parts: planning & actual. Actually it is pretty interesting. Unless I am studying, however, any time after dinner is off the books! I haven’t found it for the Android, so that is a bummer but since I have the I-Thingie with me more, I am game.

Written Training Log & Calendar: About bloody time! I have started these in the past, but since I am actually doing things properly with respect to training – wow base building & warming up/cooling down … the things I learn in school!! – it is time to do this right also.

Train ending. School time. MORE LATER! Lizzy

Chilly Morning

8 09 2011


It is interesting how the seasons change quickly in Colorado. I walked in to class in jeans and flip-flops and came out to chilling rain.

This means that I have to plan more for what I want to do. Well weather and ramping up homework.

One of the things I noticed from the race was that the  outer edge of my left foot is sore. New shoes & new shoe company.

I packed up for school to take advantage of the school facilities. There is a small on campus gym, indoor pool, and a track that is really a 100 meter straightaway. There is a running cardio machine I can use as a filler when between classes. I like it better than the treadmill.

I saw the video when I got to 5K in Virginia Beach. It was straight on and I sweat I look like a goofy keystone cop! I also had to look around me because people were trying to run for photos and were jumping around. Maybe my turnover was good. Not sure.

I have a lot of homework to do and time to do in sneakers. I get my cholesterol results back tomorrow. I haven’t been particularly “good” so it is real. Learning things in Anatomy and Physiology that probably won’t be on a test but are making sense in other ways.

The photo is the sun shining through a rip in the clouds from the lightrail station. I think I am finally through the dark period of my fitness and training. It is all cyclical.

Wow – only half way on my trek to school and I am done with what is on my mind. Maybe it is because I am back early days of training.

Morning Ramble on Multi-Tasking

30 08 2011


On my way to campus after emails with Twin about events around the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon. This is usually my hardest event of the year because of the humidity in Virginia Beach. The last couple of years it has been made worse for me personally because of health complications.

The VBRNR was the first time I was literally carried across the finish line. In a very real sense, it was this race that my body was finally screaming at me to deal with injuries and prolonged stress issues. Last year, I was dealing with medication and unclear medical diagnoses and the injuries of the past. This year, I am off meds, healing from injuries, and completely starting at ground zero again figuring out what my muscles are doing.

I will, however, have fun because I have given myself a few things to work on through the 3 hours on course. Other than my feet, the biggest thing is focus – which is an adventure in itself when surrounded by tons of runners, music, and distractions.

Yesterday, I was riding the train home with Turtle-Kidlet (haven’t decided on her nickname). We were talking about how people her age (21) were always blamed for texting while driving accidents. Personally, I think they learned to multi-task by the adults around them.

I have been trying to simplify my life.  I have noticed that I will allow all the little things I need to do get in the way of good training sessions and races. I get irritated at my slow progress – which is how it is supposed to be – and think about what I could be using the time for.


So, I have actively been progressing on observing what I can do, packing days lighter so that unexpected things can happen including finishing more on my to-do list or a surprise lecture from an out of the country teacher, and taking the pressure off of myself when I am on the track.

I am taking a Hatha Yoga class on Monday nights. We had a great deal of reading to do, but the class was on being aware of what I am doing in the moment. When doing a yoga practice and thoughts from my to-do list etc float in, I am being taught not to get frustrated at the interruption, but to acknowledge it and get back to the task at hand.

I think of it this way – I count out my repeats, pay attention to the flow and when something interrupts like a loud child demanding attention,  I turn it into a piece of paper and place it on a mental table so I can get back to the task at hand. It worked last night, so I am going to try it in Virginia Beach.

Driving home, I thought about how exercising has truly become disrespected as people multi-task. I saw a woman running by a local park. She was pushing a stroller and dragging a dog. I pulled over to watch as she became frustrated as the dog stopped to sniff & pee, then the child tried to get out of the stroller. Mom pulled the dog (who barked) and yalped at the kid to get back in the stroller (who cried) telling him that “You are ruining Mommy’s run!” Great – we have enough problems getting kids to want to exercise without adding guilt!

No, lady, you are not only disrespecting the nature of your dog & kid, but of your workout too. Yeah, I am not a parent, so what do I know? I know a lot about the rammifications of shoving too much in and sacrificing real benefits for the ability to say I “accomplished” more in one day than others. There are no Accomplishment Olympics. There is no record taker keeping tally. The only “medals” for this come in little orange perscription bottles.

Really pathetic when people measure success by the meds they are on!

I use an I-pod when using the elliptical-runner, or other cardio machines mainly to focus (I am not a soap opera watcher and most gyms have those on).  I tried to use one in running races last year to try and focus on something other than self generated irritation. I found that I was more nervous and walked slower with worse form!  I am trying to find folks to practice with – gym and training – but I am very careful because I am not interested in workout time becoming a drama filled coffee klatch.

Sounds cruel? Nah. I am getting back to my exercising is something I get to do vs something I have to do. Just because I am studying to be a personal trainer doesn’t mean I have unlimited motivation. I live in the real world and empathetic.

I have to spend the next few days getting my levels straight and looking forward to hanging with one of my best buds.

Think about how many things you do at once and how many you are really able to do well. It surprised me!

First 2.69K in New Kicks

13 07 2011


So – after a pretty wrenching trip home, and sleeping through the test I flew home for, I needed a bit of a distraction and recentering.

I laughed because it truly is the get your tush back on the horse thing. Even funnier was knowing that I had to go back to Sacramento to collect my kicks, so I was given the chance to try my new New Balance MR1400BO kicks.

When I went Brooks shopping with The Team. I found two pairs of Brooks T5 that have to be returned and they had a pair of the New Balances that Tammy was crowing happily about. They are lower heeled, which is good for racewalking.  I have been slowly lowering the heel as I find shoes I like. Since Brooks changed my favorite kicks, I am being pushed into a still lower heel.

I lowered my heel when I dropped from Racers to the T series. I was pushed into the lower heels when I biffed with a little help from my luggage being left on the tarmac in Orlando. This time it is because my last clean pairs of T6′ are in Sacramento.

I had a morning of doing what I can to lower my stress so I can go back to Sacramento and play with my friends! I also wanted to suss out just where I am.

I have gotten frustrated and not gotten back out there after frustrating races. This last one would have thrown me for a loop if I didn’t have some pretty strong minded racers as friends. Like I can keep them going, they put energy into me because, as Tammy said when we first got to the race park, “See Lizzy! You belong here and we need you!” (Yeah – she is grand at making me tear up in a good way!”

I needed to do a lap around Bible park for me, then go home, ice, eat, stretch, go do a couple more. Right now,  I am between sets.

I got to the park and looked around. I feel strangely sore, but it isn’t unfamiliar because since I have been out of shape, every time I fly back to altitude, I have mild shin issues.

I stretched, avoiding monsoon created mud puddles, and started. Didn’t feel good so I mentally listened to Nyle when she said “walk this pace first” as we were walking to the car.

I “tourist walked” a little then picked up slightly. Still slow, 00:22:45 for 2.69 km, but I thought about how every race is one lap around the park.

I did my lap. Going to do another. Going back to Sacramento to do 12 more …. for me.

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Be Smart Enough To Stop

13 07 2011



I can’t honestly say that my foyer into the World’s Master’s Track and Field competition has been a complete disaster, but it has been at least a learning experience. I met some amazing people who I do look forward to seeing again.

I learned first and foremost that I have been attracting some amazing friends who, like amazing friends do, see the gems in me that I am struggling to dig out.

I have learned to open up and just let things float. My conversations with teammates Tammy, David & Nyle have given me a lot of things to chew on on a lot of levels.

In the area of training and competing, they piggy-back on Ian and both the Susans with helping me see a path through and past the injuries and insanely slow process of retraining both physically and motivationally. They are also kicking me in the head (sometimes I wait for Tammy to give me a playful NCIS style head slap to get my attention, but since she has never seen the show,  it is probably a no go.) to actually cut through my coaching scar tissue and let Jim do his job.

As a coach-in-training myself, I know how frustrating it can be when a client is in their own way.The thing is is that the client has to make the changes necessary to bring out the best that is inside or it isn’t their win.

To make those changes, lifestyle and what is put into it has to change. People, events, habits, past, and viewpoint have to change to make the truly externals of diet and exercise to take root.

We all pay lip service to things. There are those who want the magic bullet of a diet pill, hooking up with someone with a lot of money, or whatever. If you know me, I tend to do things the hard way – and over think.

I now get it what Tammy was talking about with the people. There is drama everywhere and cliquey nonsense, but how many people can walk into the medical tent unable to breathe then make friends with the Safety Judge and help him keep all the male athletes hydrated, to helping out people from Russia to Mexico to Hungary without understanding any language more than Gatorade with a smile and laugh, to becoming the “mascot” of the Austrian Male Racewalk Team over a discussion of the history of Gatorade? I am about it from what I hear, but my buddy Nyle would give me a run for my money – but she was off trying to recover from her hard fought for gold medal win.

As the gang would say, it all is a different kind of hard. Tammy chased down Nyle in the race and that was a huge hard. Chasing a friend and teammate; wanting them to do well, but wanting to get gold too! I had the hard of being smart enough to stop myself so I can walk another day. Right now, I am back in the beginner’s blocks but with some baggage to have lost by the nearest airport representative!!


It is important to know where your boundaries are so when you kick down the walls, your cheering friends know where to stand!

Thanks Lauri for shooting this photo that I would prefer not to have shot but it is a huge part of my learning process … and now I know what a Safety Judge is for!

Thoughts after sitting an hour in traffic

23 06 2011


Popped Susan Randall out to Denver International (and way out in the middle of a blasted field) Airport and camped out in traffic watching my oil temp marker peg at HOT. Wow – people do this daily?? No wonder there are so many accidents! I nearly got creamed twice!

I needed to look over my project for Weights. I didn’t like the skeletons Coach Tetro wanted us to color in, but you can’t have everything. I think I got general placement. I should have it perfect after my Anatomy lecture test on Monday and Lab test on Wednesday.

It has been cool to go home and about an hour later follow Susan to wherever she is training. I never really trained with anyone, mostly because I am so much slower than everyone I know. The thing is that we were on the same course, but doing our own thing.

I don’t mind checking in with other folks, but feeling like I have to carry on a conversation or coax through a workout separates me from focusing on what I need to be doing.

One of the many lessons I learned this week and a half is to make my workout work for me, even if those with me are boatloads faster – or slower. My workout is primary. Friends will understand and people who are drains will feel insulted. Fine. I am not trying to be mean, but it is time for me to put me first and what is important to me first.

Friends are there to support one another,  not act in some BS passive aggressive jealous sort of way. I know I don’t have time for the emotional vampires anymore and don’t want to be one.

Sorry – I don’t have time for endless loop drama …. I have training to do.