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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

FeetUp Trainer Review

Ever since I managed a headstand a couple of months ago, I have been wanting to do more. The problem is that I am not strong enough to really do a headstand correctly. You have 7 small vertebrae in your neck. Those bones are designed to hold the weight of your head, but the aren't meant to the hold the weight of your entire body. Your arms should be holding up all of your weight when you do a headstand. When I do a headstand, yes, my arms are doing the majority of the work, but my head is holding up some of me weight. I've got too many problems to add neck problems to my I figured, I would have to give up the headstand dream. Until....

I saw an ad for the FeetUp trainer, and immediately wanted it. I thought that I would have to wait until Christmas, but FeetUp agreed to let me try one out. This thing is incredible. I can try any inversion pose that I want without fear, because my neck is completely safe.

Let's start with the beginning. It only took a few minutes to put it together, and it is very sturdy. I am certain that it will be able to hold my weight for years to come.

The FeetUp support really delivers. It does exactly what it advertises. It allows you to do an inversion similar to a headstand without putting any weight on your neck. There is still an element of balance to the inversion, but the balance is easier. Since you can be in the inverted stance longer, you can spend more time exercising and perfecting the pose. You will be amazed at the incredible, functional ab workout that you can get.

The best thing about the FeetUp is that it is fun. I can do exercises that I never dreamed that I could even attempt. If you any interest in inversion, I highly recommend the FeetUp.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018 Downy or Hairy?

I love this tree. It isn't on our property, but it hangs over our fence. It attracts so many amazing birds. I think this is a Woodpecker. I've got it narrowed down to two different types, but I have no idea which it is. It could be a Downy Woodpecker or possible a Hairy Woodpecker.  The pics in google look exactly the same to me. Any ideas?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

Ventura Marathon 2018 Race Report

I wanted to run the Ventura Marathon 2018, because Mountains 2 the Beach was such a disaster. I insisted on running M2B despite being injured, and I ended up walking 13 miles. It was a miserable, and I didn’t want that to be my only 2018 marathon experience.

I decided to train in a completely different way. I hooked up with Run Better Academy and Coach Matt DeBole. I told Matt that my goal was to sub 3:30 and that I was injury prone. When I started training with Matt, my body was not 100%. I believe that it was Matt’s exercises that got me through the first month uninjured. Without those exercises, I would have blown it before I even got started.

Although, I have coaching experience (& I am a teacher by profession), I have actually never had a coach before Matt. I didn’t play any sports growing up, so I mean, really, I have never been coached. I’ve been running for almost ten years as a serious hobby, and I have coached myself. Clearly, I have my own ideas. Handing the reins over to someone else was hard. I knew that what I had been doing wasn’t working any more. I was ready to have a Coach, but I didn’t communicate as well as I should have with Matt. He offered to video-chat, and Run Better Academy has a great portal, but I was reluctant to discuss issues. My view of a Coach is that they tell you what to do and you do it. You don’t have conversations questioning them. When something wasn’t working, I didn’t say anything until I was really frustrated, and then I would just go off on my own and do my own thing. I hope to work with Matt in the future, so if I do, I’ll be more open with him about issues as they arise. I should have asked for help adapting the training plan to specific situations. Overall, I was very happy with Matt’s training plan. The exercises were a great add-on to running, and the portal worked perfectly.

The day before the marathon, the entire family drove to Ojail. We stopped at packet pick-up on the way to the hotel. Everything was easy, and there was a great band playing. The experience was short but enjoyable.

The race started at 6:40AM the next morning, so I set my alarm for 3:00AM so that I could eat. I had ½ bagel, a glass of water, a banana and a sweet potato (w/ sugar), orange juice and coffee. I ended up taking an imodium AD before I left the hotel. It was only about a 8 minute drive to the start. I went to the bathroom right before I left, but as soon as my husband dropped me off, I got back in line at the porta pottie. I made it to the corral with only a minute or two to spare.

I had a lot of fun for about 15 miles, because I felt strong and confident. My knees started hurting early on, but I knew that I could ignore it. My fueling strategy worked well. I took a Boom energy gel at mile 5, and I sipped on 8 oz. on Maurten from miles 10-15. My plan called for an energy gel at mile 15, but I felt so good that I didn’t want to risk stomach problems by switching back to a gel. I didn’t do the math, so I don’t know if I needed it or not. I took another gel at mile 20. My stomach felt great, not even a hint of nausea.

At almost exactly mile 20, the wheels fell off. I could have easily subbed 3:30 if I could have kept any kind of pace whatsoever for those last 6 miles. I just kept running slower and slower. I was probably running a ten minute mile by the time I hit the finish line. My feet hurt, my legs hurt, my abs hurt and my right shoulder hurt. My body would not obey my command. This young woman ran up right next to me. She was running about 8:15. I said to her that I was going to try and stay with her for one mile. I managed a ½ mile, and I squealed a profanity as I let her go. She turned around and tried to encourage me to stay with her, but I couldn’t.

As I got close to the finish, I saw my husband. He was excitedly taking pictures and motioning for me to speed up. I couldn’t. When I got past the finish but before I reached the gal handing out the medals, I stopped. I wasn’t confused, but I couldn’t propel myself the 4 steps it would take to reach the young woman. Someone said, “Are you OK?” I automatically said yes, but I felt something happening to me. I said that I have to sit down. A woman helped me to a chair, and I began to hyperventilate. I don’t know where the hyperventilating came from. Although I had pain shooting through every part of my body, before I started wheezing, I didn't think lack of air was a problem. I think it was just the emotion of being finished. I took a few moments to concentrate on my breathing and I was fine. When I hobbled out of the awards area, my family was waiting. My husband went to see if I had placed in my age group and my kids stayed with me. He called on the phone to tell me that I had won my age group, and I felt crying. My husband decided that I needed to ice my knees, so I went to the med tent and they wrapped them. I felt so much better wrapped in a cocoon of numbing ice.

I couldn’t eat, but I put my feet up on a chair and we all hung out for a while listening to the band. It was the perfect afterparty.

I loved the Ventura Marathon. I would highly recommend it. In case the race director wants my’ll give two suggestions. RaceJoy sucks. I don’t run with a phone, so my family had no tracking. Just let me pay the $2 or whatever so my husband can track me. Also, it was difficult negotiating the course with the people who walked the half.. Dodging and weaving in the last miles of a marathon is uncool.

The best things about the Ventura Marathon was that everything ran smoothly. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. The bands were great, and the course wasn’t too crowded.

I did not sub 3:30, but I did PR with a time of 3:32:59. I earned a -17 minute BQ, and I won my age group. It was definitely a fun and successful marathon! Thanks again to my Coach Matt DeBole for a great plan.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

My running club just passed this info to me and I am happy to pass it on.

On October 20th, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education will be hosting a "Meet and Run with Julius Achon" at 10:30 AM. Julius Achon's life is documented in the book The Boy Who Runs by John Brandt. It is a free community run. Registration for the event will begin at 9:30 AM. It is a rare opportunity to meet an Olympic runner and humanitarian champion.

Julius' story is an inspirational one. He was once a boy soldier who became a world-renowned runner. He found his calling as director of the Achon Uganda Children's Fund, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the children of Uganda. Julius Achon now serves as a member of the Ugandan Parliament.

All are welcome to enjoy a FREE three mile run/walk with Julius and experience the beauty of San Luis Obispo hills at Rancho El Chorro Conference Center, 2450 Pennington Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405. Immediately following the run there will be a BBQ hosted by local Rotary Clubs - Student/Kids $8, and Adults $12. BBQ proceeds will help support Achon Uganda Children's Fund.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Instagram Giveaway to Celebrate 10K Following

Here is the haul for the winner:
Prizes ⬇️
🔸October’s @clean.fit_box filled with healthy snacks. #cleanfitbox
🔸(1) bag of fresh roast @bold_groundscoffee #boldgroundscoffeeco
🔸(1) set of loop bands from @betterworkouts #limm
🔸(1) set of core sliders from @betterworkouts #teamlimm
🔸a charcoal deodorant product from @piperwai #naturaldeodorant
🔸 a box of blist-o-bands from @sawyerproducts #wekeepyououtdoors

You must ENTER THROUGH IG POST, but have no fear the entry will be painless. No tagging and you only need to follow is me. However, I do encourage you to visit and follow the sponsors.

Thanks for the promotion

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Today was my first day of exercises from runbetteracademy. There were (7) exercises related to general fitness. I did each for 45 seconds.

Overall Thoughts:  I was pretty familiar with all the exercises, and I do them sometimes, but I have no consistency in the way I approach them. I'm sure that having Matt to hold me accountable will motivate me to be consistent with whatever he gives me.

  • I'm no fan of jumping jacks and the jumping jacks hurt my knee. I've got a new knee brace.  Maybe I'll give it a try.
  • I learned a new exercise: bridge walkouts. I'll probably post a video of it tomorrow. I liked that one a lot.
  • Mountain climbers suck, but we all know that.
  • I love my slide disks, so I used them for the side lunges
I added a few exercises:
  • My usual five hip exercises,
  • (3) sets of 20 leg raises (10 fast/10 hold for three seconds), &
  • (1) 1-minute plank.
I was a little sore from yesterday's run, so I'm glad that today was a rest day. I'm scared of Tuesday. It is my first serious run. I haven't run fast in a looong time.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Saturday, June 30, 2018

It is time to stop feeling sorry for myself and start training again.  I am doing something different this time. I have an online coach through Run Better Academy. It is going to be really strange giving someone else control, but I am excited about working with Coach Matt DeBole.

Here is a snapshot from their webpage:

To begin with, I filled out a pretty detailed questionnaire that also had an open ended portion that allowed me to express any concerns. In just a couple of days, Matt contacted me and added me to a training portal. I can see my daily workouts, input what I actually did and communicate with Matt.  It will be great having someone hold me accountable when it comes to doing specific exercises. Matt is a physical therapist and an accomplished runner, so I am going to hand over the reigns.

Today was my first workout. It called for 80 minutes of running. I usually do a trail run on Saturdays and that would have worked out for the 80 minutes, but I just didn't have time to drive to the trail. I have a nine mile route where I run to a water fountain & back. I don't carry any water.  My first question for Matt is can I keep doing that route or should I concentrate on not stopping at all? I did a tabata at the end, so I guess that I will have to get approval for the that.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mountains 2 the Beach Marathon May 2018

Well, the marathon is said and done. I finished, but it really was agony. I had a great race until about mile ten.

The pain came on me pretty suddenly and just didn’t let up. I started walking around mile 12. I borrowed a phone and called my husband at an aid station to tell him that I was walking and that they could go back to the hotel. The desire to DNF was strong, but I just couldn’t DNF as long as I was capable of propelling myself forward, but the idea of walking for three more hours was overwhelming. I just put one foot in front of the other, but I was so disgusted that I couldn’t listen to music or an audiobook.I tried the run walk approach, but I couldn’t run even 20 feet. I started walking slower and slower.

Luckily another walker passed me and said something to me as he passed. He, too, was injured, and was on the long walk to the finish. We talked briefly, but when we passed a porta pottie, I had to stop. In addition to the pain in my leg, my guts were turning inside out. When I got out, I could see the guy in the distance. I figured that teaming up with this guy was my best hope, so I decided to run to catch up. The pain was immense, and I was practically holding my breath. Just as I was about to catch up, he started running. I figured that was it, but he stopped after about 20 feet. I did catch up, and we walked together the rest of the way. He was very tall with a long stride. I had to struggle to keep up, but left to my own devices I was truly walking a thirty minute mile. Three hours later with a 6:05 finish, it was all over.

I was so happy to be done that I got teary eyed. We went to the official after party restaurant so the kids could eat, but they band was packing up. We were too early for the night festivities and too late for the “after marathon” festivities. I really sort of fell apart at the restaurant. I couldn’t walk anymore. I couldn’t eat. I got dizzy. By the time we left, I was done.

I took an ice bath at the hotel, but after I got in the bed, I couldn’t get out.  I had dinner in bed and just slept off and on till morning.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Penetrex Anti-inflammatory Discount

For a limited time, I am partnering with Penetrex to offer a 15% discount on all Penetrex products. I am thrilled to be able to partner with Penetrex, because I use the anti-inflammatory cream, daily. It is a great product for pain relief and recovery.

For a discount, use code SIGNAL at 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday Skirt Sports Mother's Day Sale, 5/9/2018

What does a runner do that is injured? Obviously

Skirt Sports launched a Mother's Day sale with current season Holiday prints 30% off sitewide & up to 60% off other items. No additional discounts can be applied to the sale items.