Friday, March 30, 2012

Goals for the Tough Mudder

Alright peeps, here's how it is, and how it's going to be.

Goal; Compete in and finish the Tough Mudder in Utah on October 13th (may be the 14th but 13th's what I'll go with until I know differently!)

Here's my checkpoints, I've signed up for a 5.5 mile mud run on June 2nd, and a 5k on August 31st. That way I can get used to running in mud, and have sub-goals to work for! (subgoals are important to overall goalage)

June 2nd: the Dirty Dash, a 5.5 mile mud run in Midway Utah
August 31st: Man vs. Mud, a 3.2 mile mud run in

I have 200 days or so until the BIG ONE, and I've got to be in shape by then!

Right now I have a little weight to lose (I won't share exactly how much, just enough to be in running shape!)

Here's my other goalage
-Run 3 days a week
-Walk 5 days a week
-Do muscle strengthening 3 days a week
If you added that up and came up with 11 days in a weeks, then you're correct, but I am going to combine workouts so yay me!

Big Goals! I look at what I just wrote and think, maybe I should aim a little lower...nah, I really really really really really REALLY want to finish the Tough Mudder, and I have plenty of time to train according to my nutritionist. I have about 32 weeks to the race.... gotta get busy!

Okay, now you all know the innermost workings of an adventure-oriented mind. Who else has a big goal they are working towards? Is it reachable? Unreachable? Weight oriented? How about in your job? School? Life? Family? If you don't dream big, you won't accomplish anything!

My gift to myself is that by my 24th birthday, if I stick with this I will be in the best shape I've been in since high school, and I will be on my way to a healthy life. Plus I may buy some new shoes...maybe those red high heels....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Curl your Eyelashes

This is some very important information that you will need the rest of your life. This is How to Curl your Eyelashes. Please pay attention, because what you read in the next two minutes will be used daily for years, but if you don't learn this, then you will just have to suffer.

To Curl Your Eyelashes
Get a good curler. Seriously, don't go for the most expensive one, but for heaven's sake your eyelashes sake, don't get the cheapo dollar store version. Get a nice one, like the Maybeline or Covergirl eyelash curler with soft rubber edging.

Before applying mascara: take the curler and carefully maneuver your eyelashes between the crimping ends. Go  about 0.1 inches out from your lid, and close the curler firmly. If you pinch your lid, you're too close to the skin and may be pulling out valuable eyelashes. Hold for 10 seconds, then move a little further out and do it again, and again until you have done the length of your upper lashes. Do the right side too (how did I know you did the left side first? Because I'm psychic, duh). You can curl the bottom lashes if you want, just flip the curler around and do the same. Most of us won't need to do this because A. Our lower lashes already lay down along the lid or B. The lower lashes are so short we probably won't be mascaraing them anyway

DON'T curl your lashes after applying mascara. This is popular to do, but it can break your lashes, and clump them together. Mostly it will break your lashes and get your curler all makeupy, and who wants a sticky black curler?

Now, take your mascara, and swiping from the bottom root of your lash to the top, apply the mascara in long, even strokes. Do the top of the lashes, now do the underside again for good measure. Dip the mascara brush once, without pumping, then do the other side. Touch up the outer corners and the bottom lashes for good measure. DONE! You look Fabulous! You can apply as much or as little mascara as you want for different looks, just be sure to Curl Before Mascara. If you remember that rule, then your life is changed forever, and you will be blessed by the Eyelash Fairy!

Enjoy those super-long beautiful lashes!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tough Mudder; the Pinnacle of Mud Races

When you hear the words 'Tough Mudder', what do you think? Tough mothers? Hard mud? A 12 mile race through mud and obstacles? If you thought the 3rd one then ding! You are correct, 5 kudo points to you!

The Tough Mudder, self described as 'Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet', is a 10-12 mile race that includes dozens of obstacles. I haven't counted them all, but there are at least 16. Here's what Tough Mudder has to say about itself:

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $2 million dollars raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.

And what did I do after overhearing that my workplace was putting together a team to compete in this event it 7 months? (think October 2012) I took 15 minutes to think, and then signed up for it!

Now I realize that a half-marathon full of mud and obstacles like the Boa Constrictor (belly crawl down a tub into a muddy puddle up to your chest, then worm your way back up) and the Electroshock Therapy (run through a bunch of electrified wires) isn't most people's idea of a good time. I saw this however, and I got more excited than I have been in a long time. Plus, who wouldn't like the mud? I've been trying forever to get into shape, but without a goal to work towards, I would only stay motivated for a few weeks before slacking off and making excuses about why I didn't need to work out. 

Now I have a goal! In retrospect, maybe I should have chosen an easier goal. On second thought to the retrospect, I used to run cross-country, track, perform in theatre, and do cheerleading, the 4 hardest sports on the planet (self described hardest sports anyway  :) I have revamped my workouts and started doing something I've never done before, working on a nutrition program!

So here's what I'm going to do. I have a goal, finish the Tough Mudder on October 13th (or 14th, we haven't gotten our race time/day yet). I am going to lay out the countdown on this blog, I'll post about my workouts, new methods, and more importantly, my goals that I reach along the way. I'll also post about other random topics that hit my brain, just to shake things up. The posts will keep me honest and on track, I mean, I can't very well post that I've done nothing but go to work, come home and laid on the couch all evening? That's boring, not to mention getting me nowhere close to my goals.

Goal: Compete in and finish the Tough Mudder
Timeline: October 13th or 14th, 200 or 201 days from now (depending on our start time)

Next blog will be about my sub-goals and my checkpoints. Also all the other stuff that goes into accomplishing a task as big as this one. After all, I can run 3-4 miles comfortably now, but I need to add 8-9 miles onto that plus another 3 miles of energy if I want to take into account all the obstacles. Good luck to all that have lofty goals and want to attain them, and see you next time!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Barefoot (or Minimalist) Running

I went for a run today, and when I got home I had to sit down and treat three quarter size blisters on my feet, OUCH! I was working on barefoot running, I though my feet were pretty tough, but apparently 3/4th's of a mile in bare feet on smooth pavement is too much friction for my winter-softened feet to stand. Let me explain what's happening here.

When you're running through mud, you need light shoes, not a lot of padding and lots of drainage. (I've signed up for a few mud runs this summer, I'll explain next blog) Something that dries quickly and won't give you blisters in the process. I started researching shoes and I found the New Balance Minimalists and the Vibram Five Fingers, and I also found a style of running called barefoot running. Barefoot running incorporates a slightly different step that makes you run faster, puts less stress on your knees, and is used by non-shoe wearers all over the globe. If you didn't wear shoes, this is the way you would be running.

To run barefoot, or in a minimalist shoe, you land mid-foot instead of striking heel-first. It's how all the awesomely fast Kenyan runners do it, and anyone who wants to run long term usually eventually switches over for the health benefits. It's also incredibly hard to do for anyone who's spent their life running heel-first and wearing super-padded shoes. They tell you to run 1/4th of a mile to 1 mile in this style every other day for 2 weeks while your feet slowly build up the strength and calluses to do this, and after that, only slowly increase the distance to protect your tendons and muscles. It takes about 2-3 months to really be able to run 5 miles in this new style. Good minimalist or barefoot running shoes cost between $80 to $150. Before I shelled out that much, I wanted to give barefoot running a try. (I couldn't use my regular shoes with the new technique because they are a super-padded pair of sketchers. Wonderfully comfortable, and impossible to move your foot it)

I'll spare you pictures of the blisters.

Here's my take on barefoot running. It's almost impossible to run slow, it feels great, and it's a very natural step, you don't even have to think about it after awhile. It also makes you incredibly tired, due to the fast running and added strength needed from your calf muscles to support yourself, and it can give you blisters.

I jogged down to the running trail so people wouldn't think I was too weird as I passed them in dirty bare feet. Once I got there, I slipped off my shoes and socks, hid them behind a tree, and took off. I'd practiced the steps  so I knew how my feet were supposed to work, land mid-foot and spring off the ground, I just needed a little distance to really give it a try. So, after 1/4th a mile I was beat, I mean, panting for breath, I must have been running faster than I thought. After a few more yards the balls of my feet and my big toes started a slow burn. I felt my Achilles tighten, so I took it slower after that. After just 3/4ths of a mile, arriving back at my shoes, I was panting as if I'd sprinted the 100 meter, and I knew I had a couple good blisters. I brushed my feet off and threw my shoes back on to finish the run. I did pretty good, but on arriving home I found the monster blisters.

To sum up, I grew up with my dad as a podiatrist, so all the propaganda you're going to read about how barefoot running so dangerous and awful is false. Barefoot running is only dangerous if you kick your heelbones into solid asphalt. You can step on something if you're not careful, get too much callusing without proper care, and hurt your tendons if you over-stress your feet. I think I'll invest in a good pair of minimalist running shoes, and continue to practice. After all, blisters only take a few days to heal, and the feeling of running barefoot (before exhaustion and blisters set in) was wonderfully freeing, I think I'll try it again tomorrow...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Good Friend/True Friend

A good friend is someone who listens to you. A true friend listens and understands.

 A good friend compares stories about awful days with you. A true friend shuts up so you can get your bad day off your chest.

 A good friend tries to give advice when you need help. A true friend doesn’t act like a therapist but jumps into the problem with you.

A good friend always has a fun story to share with you. A true friend doesn’t try to one-up your experiences.

A good friend listens to your secrets. A true friend trusts you with some of their own.

A good friend overlooks your flaws. A true friend cares enough to point them out.

A good friend is there when you need them to be. A true friend knows how to give you time alone.
A good friend also leaves you alone when you tell them to. A true friend keeps bugging you anyway.

A good friend helps you. A true friend lets you help them.

-A true friend lets you be a true friend back.