Road to Arizona 2017: Monday Recap 16

Ok, so this is now the Tuesday, no wait, it just passed into Wednesday, recap. But a recap nonetheless…


Bike – Short Intervals

My coach took away more of the rest and doubled the intervals at the beginning.  This workout continues to kick my ass and I continue to love the hell out of this workout.


Mid-Distance Run

This run went ok, not as fast as I wanted to go but I got it done.


Bike – Long Intervals

These intervals are getting looooooong and maybe a bigger challenge than going that hard for that long physically is the mental challenge of keeping the focus.  It’s easy to get distracted or let my mind wander and find out that I’ve slowed down a bit, vs looking at the watch every two seconds which keeps me focused but makes each interval seem three hours long.


Swim – Sprint

Sprints are less boring than long swims in the pool, but I’m still pretty excited about getting back into open water.

Mid-Distance Run

SO FUCKING FRUSTRATING.  The calf cramping was back, but this time it was accompanied by a really sharp, really intense pain in my right achilles.  I was afraid that I was going actually create an injury that would require a break in training so I ended it early.


Day Off


Long Run

I knew that I had two disastrous runs this week.  I wanted this run to go well.  I fueled carefully during the day, I got extra sleep, I made sure I was hydrated.  I set time goals for my run/walk intervals that would make me 12 seconds per mile faster than last week. I started off and my body felt really good.  My calves cramped at the beginning, but after about 30 minutes they finally let go. I checked my time and I was averaging  24 seconds per mile faster than last week.   know it may not  seem like a lot but for me it is – I’m pushing as hard as I can on these long runs and everyone is longer than the one before so any increase in speed is a positive thing.  I figured it wouldn’t hold, but was nice while it lasted, and moved back to my main watch screen to focus on my goal times… or maybe just a little faster?

In good news, I’ve found a food that I can tolerate while running (if you’ve been following for a while you know that gels, chews, and even sports drinks often upset my stomach.)  It turns out that salted roasted sweet potatoes work.  That’s kind of good news, but in bad news eating enough sweet potatoes to get the calories I would need would cause…other problems, so the search for additional nutrition continues.

Still I was eating bits of sweet potato, drinking water, and feeling great until I had about three miles left and then the wheels came off.  Pain cave. And my calf cramps came back.  Damn it. I tried to ignore the pain and instead hyper focus on the pace of each interval.

With about two miles left I stopped to stretch and quickly checked my pace.  I was still holding at 24 seconds per mile faster than last week. Holy shit! I told myself that I could do this – all I had to do was hold on to this pace for two miles.  Two miles is nothing, I lied to myself. I took off for my next run interval and a pain shot through the little toe on my right foot so bad that I thought I had broken it.  I stopped at a nearby bench but because of the sprinklers it was covered in water.  Blergh.  So I balanced on one foot as I removed my shoe and sock.  There had been a situation developing with my right little toe and it had just leveled up.

It started as a small blister on the bottom of my toe, but over all of my runs has grown until it was really more blister than toe – it now travels all the way up a toe and forms a little hat for my toe at the top. I’ve been trying different stuff to deal with it with limited success, but compared to the blisters I used to get on the balls of my feet this is so much better that I wasn’t super worried about it  For this run I had used anti-blister goo, then pre-wrap, then leukotape. The whole thing had started to dislodge and the pain was because some of the tape and pre-wrap had lodged themselves under the blister.  I had no choice but to pull it all off which meant a really uncomfortable final two miles.

I was pushing as hard as I could, I kept imagining myself celebrating in the parking lot for meeting this milestone time and that vision helped me keep pushing.  I finished having run one more mile than last week and averaging 24 seconds per mile faster than last week.  I celebrated in the parking lot.

Then the real pain hit.  I don’t know if this is everyone’s experience but, for me, as long as I’m moving the pain is bearable, but when I stop running all of it hits me.  I could barely make it to (and into) my car.  My legs were screaming in pain. I occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t have pushed so hard.  My legs hurt for hours, after pilates, resistance stretching, icing, a hot shower, Bengay, and a ton of tumeric, I was still hurting. I couldn’t even sleep because the pain kept waking me up. Maybe I could have been happy with just a 12 second per mile improvement over last week.

This seems like a good time to remind everyone – this is something I want to do for my personal reasons.  It has nothing to do with health.  I don’t recommend that anyone do this. Doing this doesn’t make me – or anyone else – better or worse than those who choose to do other things in their free time.


Bike – Recovery Ride

I was still hurting.  Usually I feel better after this ride but that was not the case today, I got off the bike and my legs started to buckle. Ugh. Another week closer to the IRONMAN and I am working as hard as I can.

This week’s selfies:

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A Tale of Two Long Runs

two long runs vlog 7This week’s vlogs are about my last two long runs.  Long runs are always my most difficult workout, no matter how far I’m supposed to bike or swim it’s not as difficult as the weekly long run. The last two have both been memorable – and educational – in very different ways. Below you’ll find the video and the transcript. You can subscribe to my video blogs here!




Welcome back to the vlog.  Today I want to talk about my last two long runs.  Which have both been really memorable, but for very different reasons.

Last week on my long run there were two big changes.  The first was that I was going to, no matter what, run through the calf cramping. We were going to see if that maybe helped the calves to release faster than stopping and stretching every few minutes which was taking about an hour to have any effect.

Second, I was changing my run plan.  So normally what I do is take it easy for about the first two miles to try to cut down on the cramping, and then I do shorter run intervals with longer walking, then about half way through the run I start doing my long run intervals.

For this run I decided that I was going to do the first mile easy and then I was just going to do the long run intervals the whole time.

This meant running more than I had run ever  in any long run. And I was not even close to sure that I could do it, but I figured I wanted to see what I could absolutely do and the only way to really do that was to push hard from the beginning. I figured could always walk, or you know, crawl to the finish if I had to.

On the first mile my calf felt pretty good.  But that easy mile was gone in an instant and it was time to start running. So I took a deep breath and I just took off.

The right calf started cramping up a bit, but per the game plan I just ran through it.  But since I wasn’t stopping and stretching I was constantly cramped, and being constantly cramped meant that for the next few miles both my runs and walks were slower than normal which was really frustrating, but I kept pushing.

Finally it felt like the muscle was going to pull or rip so I stopped and I just took a few seconds to stretch it out.  It worked!  The cramp faded and I was able to pick up the pace.

Then the miles actually started to go by pretty fast.  I looked down and realized that I had been doing the long run intervals for one mile more than I had ever done them in the past and I still felt pretty good.

That went on for a while and then, with about three miles left it started to get rough – I was hurting and tired, and I had started muttering to myself.  Now, don’t misunderstand –  it wasn’t that I was consciously talking to myself, it was more that I became aware that I was talking out loud.  Simple phrases like “You got this.” And “don’t stop.”  And “come on push.”  And then at one point I heard myself say “Really fucking hard!” I was momentarily confused and thought maybe I lost it, and then I realized that I was talking to the motivational speech that was playing on my ipod.

My run list is a mix of songs and workout motivational speeches –  it turns out  I run a little better when people scream problematic platitudes about wolves and sheep at me.  The motivational speech guy had asked ‘How hard do you work when the lights are off and noone is watching.”  Considering that’s when most of my work happens, my answer  of “really fucking hard” actually made sense. So I figured I was still ok and I kept running.

With a couple miles left though, things were not looking good for the home team. I was holding my long run intervals but I was deep in the pain cave.  I looked at my watch during a walk interval and I was walking a full minute per mile slower than I wanted to be.  I heard someone yell “Goddamn it Ragen hold the STANDARD!”  And I was like wait – I yelled that.  It surprised me almost as much as it surprised the couple having a make-out session on the bench near me.  I have no idea where it came from, thats’ not even something I normally say, but I seemed pretty serious about it so I picked up the pace.

One mile left and I’m making bad decisions.  I finish a run interval and I felt dizzy and looked at my heart rate and it was way too high. I also realized that I was not going to make my goal time (which was not in any way realistic,) but I wanted to come as close as possible so I didn’t want to slow down, but I was also aware somewhere in the back of my mind that was still making sense that passing out would not improve my speed. So I slowed down a little and my heart rate came down.  Mercifully, I finished the run.

I achieved my goal of holding the long run intervals the whole time.  That’s a significant victory not just for training, but psychologically because it reminds me that I can do more than I think I’m capable of.

I was 17 seconds faster per mile than last week. That’s not as fast as I wanted to be so initially I was a little bummed, but I consoled myself that that I wasn’t resting all through the run, and I was  slow during the miles that I was cramped, and that the run was a mile longer than last week, and decided that 17 seconds would do.

When I got home though, I looked at my past weeks of workouts. looking at the last 5 long runs I’ve gotten faster every week and I was actually one minute and 17 seconds per mile faster this week than I was five weeks ago when I only ran half this distance.  Suddenly, my time on this run seemed better.

Fast forward to last week’s long run.  After a rough week of training because I was sick, I once again found myself at the starting line for a long run.  My PT had done a thing where you scrape at muscles with a dull metal blade in order to break up any adhesions in the fascia and as I started off my calves felt really good.  I had decided to cut down the time I took it easy from 1 mile last week to a half mile this week.  This time though, that half mile dragged on as my head was pounding and my stomach ached.  But still, too soon it was time to run.  I momentarily forgot about being sick because my calf felt fricking great – it was like a festivus miracle out there.  The calf was healed, at least for this run.  But the rest of me…not so much.

This run was going comically slowly and I kept thinking that it would be completely reasonable to just quit given how shitty I felt.  But I had missed a short run earlier in the week and I really wanted to get this done.  Also, I checked my overall pace expecting the worst and somehow I was only, like, 10 seconds per mile off my pace.  I kept going.  In addition to hurting, my stomach’s rebellious streak meant I couldn’t take in any nutrition, or really more than a sip of water every couple miles.  That wasn’t causing a problem yet but I was pretty worried how it would feel, you know, miles from now. But there was nothing to do but keep running.

Finally almost exactly halfway through the run my stomach started to feel better.  I checked my pace.  I could still make my goal of being faster than last week, I would just have to be faster the second half of this run than I was the first half.  That seemed do-able.

The time was still going by incredibly slowly but at least I was past half way which gives me a big mental boost.  I think of the first half as every step gets me closer to the half, and then the second half every step gets me closer to the end.

I was making good time but I realized that when I had thought it would be no problem to do the second half faster than the first half, I somehow forgot that legs get tired the more you run.  Right, that is definitely a thing.

My heart rate was too high, my head was pounding, and my stubbornness kicked in, I did not want to do all this work only to be slower than last week.  I could do this.

I thought I had timed it so that when I’d get back to my car the run would be over.  Except on long runs I lose the ability to math – not just to math hard, to math at all.  So when I switched the screen of my watch to show the distance it said I had .2 miles left.  You might as well have told me that I had to run 20 more miles.  I was like 20 feet from my car, which was down an incline, so .2 more miles meant turning around and running up the incline. Now generally this incline wouldn’t even be noticeable but the way that I felt it seemed like I needed two sherpa and supplemental oxygen to get back up.  But I was not going to short this run, not even .2 miles.  Fuck it.  I turned around and headed up the incline deciding to forget the intervals and just run the rest of the way.

Gasping at my car with my hands on my knees I checked my watch. 14 seconds per mile faster than last week with an extra mile of running.  When I tried to smile in triumph for my selfie I started crying, the picture actually shows the transition between the two which I thought was perfect for this run.

That’s all for this week, remember that you can subscribe using this button right here so that you never miss a video, and you can follow my IRONMAN journey at


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Road to Arizona 2017 – Monday Recap 15


Mid-Distance Run

This run got longer again this week.  But, to my great delight, I no longer have to (try to) hit the run interval time exactly, I just have to be at, or faster than, the prescribed time.  This seemed like way less of a pain in the ass than trying to hit the pace dead on. And it was.  I did my 10 minute warmup, stretched and took off.  Fought through calf cramps for the first 30 minutes, then it finally loosened up. I was running as fast as I could, holding paces that I couldn’t even approach at this time last year.  I was gassed at the end of each run interval, which made it harder to keep the prescribed walking pace but I did a pretty good job – 30 seconds per mile faster than the last time I did this run, with an extra .75 miles.


Bike – Short Intervals

I did this ride, took a shower, cooked and ate dinner, and I was still on an endorphin high. This workout has traditionally been sets of short, super high-intensity intervals (variously described by my coach as “hard AF” “eye bulging” and “you should hate me during these”). In between the intervals I do rest sets at a target heart rate.  For today’s workout he took away a bunch of my rest and made some of the intervals twice as long. It kicked my ass and it was glorious.  At the end of my final interval I was breathing so hard that even my asshole dog (who usually just looks super annoyed that I’m making noise) looked concerned. This is the kind of workout that I prefer – and I’ll miss this when all the workouts get longer.


Bike – Long Intervals

I woke up with a pounding headache and a pretty bad stomach ache.  I waited all day for it to get better but it didn’t. I was scheduled to run but I didn’t feel like that was going to work out so I decided to do these intervals on the trainer instead and run tomorrow. The long intervals get longer every week and this week I was tired and it felt like each interval was roughly a million years long. I did not improve my headache or stomach ache, but I finished.


Woke up with an even worse headache and stomach ache. Went to physical therapy and they decided to try something different.  One of the PTs who is a really big, strong dude said “We’re going to try something different, and it’s going to be unpleasant.”  He pulled out this steel tool and proceeded to scrape my calf muscles with it.  The idea, he explained was to eliminate knots and fascia adhesions.  It felt weird and it sounded…crunchy. Unfortunately I didn’t get to test it because, along with the headache and stomach ache, trying to run made me dizzy so I ended up with an unplanned day off.


Planned day off


Long Run

Felt a little better, but not great. Still, I felt like I needed to get this long run in.  It was a difficult run, I felt sick the whole time, I wasn’t able to take in any nutrition but I was able to push through and I finished, even did it 14 seconds per mile faster than last week with an additional mile, and I felt really good because I fought for this run.  In other good news my calves felt really good – there was almost no cramping.  I will endure that scraping each and every day if it means that I can run without constant calf cramps! I wasn’t able to get the video blog about last week’s run finished in time, so this week with any luck at all you’ll get a vlog about last week’s long run and this week’s long run.


Long Bike

This is mainly a recovery ride, he added extra time this week. Still not feeling great but I got through it.

So this was a short but mighty week. Here are the selfies:






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Road to Arizona 2017 – Monday Recap 14



We tried adding a spin before this run to see if it would fix the cramps.  No dice. Still, this run went pretty ok.


Bike – Short Intervals

This went really well, I maxed out my gears last week so this week I focused on pedaling faster. I had to ask my coach how to make these more difficult moving forward, that was a difficult note to write.



I felt like crap at the beginning and realized why when this run got cut short because of a sudden, dramatic, unexpected onset of proof from my uterus that I am not pregnant, for which I was totally unprepared.  Ugh, I’m not even using this thing, and it’s fucking up my run.


Bike – Long Intervals

These felt pretty good – the long intervals were even longer than last week and I did them all one gear harder.

Swim – Speed Work

There was a slow down as I incorporated the new technical stuff into my stroke but as of this swim I seem to be back up to my previous speed. Yay!


Long Run

I think this might have been kind of a breakthrough run for me.  It went really well.  I’m going to do my video blog about it this week. I challenged myself to run far more than I have in any workout before (I always do run/walk intervals so I altered the workout to do more running and less walking.)  I ran far more even than I ran last week and, truth be told, far more than I was certain I could actually run when I started.  And I did it! It reminded me that I need to continuously re-examine what I think are my limitations, and I need to keep pushing.  I was absolutely destroyed at the end of this run, but as I used my arms to pull my left leg into the car, I was also genuinely happy to remember that I can do more than I think I can.

You may notice that my workouts were compressed this week, that would be because Julianne took me on a little overnight vacation – she told me we were going but didn’t tell me where to or what we were doing.  It turns out we went to San Diego to see the musical Kinky Boots – totally worth doing all of my workouts in a row!

Here come the selfies:


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Celebrating Slow – Personal Victories While Cycling Slow

celebrating-slow-200-x-200Slow athletes have some amazing stories – there’s a lot of inspiration to be found at the back of the pack.  Slow athletes deserve to have places to tell our stories, and to have (and be!) role models. The Celebrating Slow Series is a place to do just that. If you have a story that you would like featured here, e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org.

Today Madeline shares her story of personal victories while Cycling Slow

The cyclist who is cycling up a hill never looks glamorous. You are dripping sweat, grimacing, your legs and maybe your lungs are working harder than ever before to climb the hill as fast as you can (because the faster you climb, the sooner you get to stop climbing), but when you weigh three hundred pounds like I do, it feels like someone is holding onto your bike, digging their feet into the ground, pulling you backwards.

As a beginning cyclist, it only took me one attempt at going up the tallest hill in my city, situated in the exact center of my daily route, to make me contemplate going an extra two miles out of my way to avoid it. Climbing hills, among other challenges, made me wonder if I should accept defeat and stick to walking, not only because of the typical travails of taking up any new past time but because cycling as a sport is not meant for people with bodies like mine.

I first started cycling when I went to college and a bike proved necessary to make it across campus in time for class. I enjoyed it, but I did not ride enough to really appreciate it. When I started commuting by bike to work, however, I really discovered my love for cycling.

I took the plunge and first bought a hybrid, upgrading from my Huffy cruiser, and soon after purchased a road bike for a cool thousand dollars. That is when I realized I was not the person the bike was designed for. The saddle (seat) was narrow, and my bottom hung over on either side substantially. The resultant chafing was severely uncomfortable. The stem to which the handlebar is attached was angled down to the road, lower than the saddle, to give the cyclist an aerodynamic shape as well as to optimize leg power, but it did not take into account the possession of a gut. My first (and second and third) attempts to ride my road bike resulted in pain, as my stomach fat was pinched and squished by my thighs, and I could not breathe because every internal organ that previously resided in my abdomen was displaced to the interior of my rib cage.

After crying over it, I went back to the bike shop and talked to the owner (a kind man who never once made me feel uncomfortable or insecure) and we came up with a solution. Turning the stem so that it was angled up resulted in the handlebar being high enough that I could comfortably lean forward while riding. We replaced the saddle so that I had a more supportive seat and raised it some so that even at the top of a pedal rotation, my thighs were not pressing uncomfortably into my stomach. I also ended up, at a later date, replacing the standard plastic pedals with metal ones following an incident where the right pedal completely broke off in the middle of a ride because it was not built to support my weight. After these changes were made to accommodate my body (rather than changing my body to accommodate the bike), I was ready to ride.

Since then I have become even more committed to cycling. I taught myself how to do all sorts of maintenance on my bikes (using YouTube tutorials like a proper millennial), and I am in the process of upgrading all of my gear so that I can be a more efficient and safer cyclist when I’m sharing the road with cars. But for all my devotion, I am not fast. I average about fifteen or sixteen miles an hour in ideal conditions and can get up to twenty or twenty-one for a short amount of time when sprinting. Conditions are rarely ideal.

I live just outside the seventh windiest city in the nation, according to The Weather Channel, and my wide body acts as a parachute, while my weight makes it feel like I’m pedaling through wet concrete at times. But still I ride. Even if I am going only 8 miles per hour and dismounting my bike and walking would get me to my destination faster, I stay seated and pedal. I like to have music going while I ride, and it is especially helpful when climbing hills, because I can pedal to the rhythm of the music and steadily make my way to the top, even as cars zoom past, or, as in one memorable instance, I am passed by a group of runners on the sidewalk. By the time I make it to the top of the hill, I feel like I have not had a full lungful of air pass my lips in twenty minutes and my legs are simultaneously numb and on fire. If I were to dismount, I would be unable to stand or walk. But I never feel so good and successful as when I have slowly climbed to the top of a hill or biked home against 12 mph winds without taking my feet off the pedals.

Now, even though I have not entered (and likely will not ever enter) a public race against other cyclists, every day is a personal race. Some days I strive to beat my own record, some days I stick to the side and don’t push myself at all. Regardless, I am just about as happy as I can be whenever I am on my bike, moving forward at any speed. When I was first starting out, and had not yet built up strength in my legs, I would tell myself “You can’t go forward if you stop.”

That has become my mantra, not just in cycling but in life. No matter how slow it feels like you are going, the continued endeavor places you ever further ahead of where you were before.


If you can’t get enough of the awesome inspiration from slow athletes, check out the other entries in the series:

Ultra Slow Ultramarathoner

Swimming in the Slow Lane

Running Through Molasses

Swimming Slow in Open Water

Have your own story to tell?  I would love to feature it here. E-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org

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Road to Arizona 2017 – Monday Recap 13

monday-recap-300This was a light week on workouts, but I tried to make the most of each one:


Short Run

This is a time-based run.  It was the same amount of time as last week so I was hoping to go farther.  I ended up going the exact same distance, which, I guess, is better than going less far.


No workout – out of town


Disaster Run

The note I left to my coach said “I’m willing to forget this run happened if you are.” if you want to hear all of the (kind of hilarious now, less hilarious during) details, you can check it out here!


Bike – Long Intervals

This ride on the trainer has a series of “Hard as fuck” long intervals followed by a long stretch at my “all day” pace. It went really well, and I focused on doing the all day pace in a harder gear.


Day off!!!


Long Run

The first almost half was really rough –  the calf cramps were really bad, my legs felt tired, and I felt tired (like, sleepy tired) despite getting tons of sleep. Finally I started to feel better and I did the last half (plus an extra mile) using my longer run intervals.  It was the longest that I had ever gone using those intervals and I was really happy with how it went. The last couple miles got really hard, and every run interval was basically like:

Start of run interval:  feeling good, I got this

Halfway through run interval:  maybe I should sit down and wait for rescue?

3/4 through the run interval:  wherever she falls, there shall she be buried!

But I pushed all the way through it, one mile more than last week and a few seconds faster per mile so I’ll take it.


Bike – Recovery Ride

My legs were killing me from the long run and so I was actually looking forward to this spin to help loosen them back up.  I definitely felt better after.

Here are this week’s selfies:


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Mental Shifts and The Disaster Run

mental-shifts-and-the-disaster-runI’m definitely out of the dumps and feeling better about things since last we spoke, which was tested (but not broken) by my ridiculous disaster of a run on Wednesday, which included everything from drinking what I’m pretty sure was battery acid, to slipping socks, chaffing panties, and a security guard with a memory issues.  There’s a Marie Osmond quote that says “If you’re going to look back and laugh, you might as well laugh now” and that’s what we’ll be doing in today’s vlog… Enjoy!



When last we left our heroine… I was coming out of a really bad place – I had come as close as I have ever come to quitting the IRONMAN. Since then things have been a lot better.  And, to be sure this training has had its roller coaster ups and down and I’ve definitely talked about that, but this feels, I don’t know different somehow.  I feel like there’s been mental shift.

The runs are still hard and the cramping is still super frustrating but, for now at least,  it’s just something that I deal with rather than something that constantly tempts me to quit, and that feels much better.

There is another shift that’s happening and it’s kind of freaking me out – normally when I would wake up on run day – and even more so on LONG run day – I would wake up with a vague sense of dread that would get progressively more dread-y until I finally started on the run.

Now, I wake with that same sense of dread, but as the run gets closer, I feel less dread and more – dare I say – excitement about it?  Before this, I’ve never understood people who love to run – people who run because it somehow makes them feel less stressed – people who would run even if there were no shiny medal at the end – and I still don’t understand those people, but I am happy for the dread inversion I am experiencing.

That was tested mightily during last night’s, what I’m officially calling a, disaster run.  For context, there is a show I love called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  It’s an Aaron Sorkin show about life backstage at a Saturday Night Life type sketch show.  My favorite episode of the show is called “The Disaster Show” In it, there one major thing that goes wrong, and then a whole bunch of little things pile on. And I thought of a lot during my run last night.

Let’s start with the big thing that went wrong:

Because I’ve been talking about my calf cramp drama, a lot of people recommended stuff that helped them deal with their cramps. And one of them is this 2-ish ounce drink that you down 15-30 minutes before your workout.  I checked out their website and things looked good, lots of people swear by this stuff.  I was super excited, and honestly, a run without cramps right now sounds like a vacation to me.

I decided to take it right before leaving the house for my run since with the drive and the pre-run warmup it would be 15-30 minutes before.  As I was leaving the house I realized I hadn’t taken it yet so I grabbed it and brought it with me to the car.  I guess I thought it was going to smell bad but I opened it and it just smelled kind of vaguely citrusy.


So I drank it.

Mother BEEEEEPer!

What followed was a battle between my body – which wanted to correct the mistake of drinking it, and my mind, which wanted me to not vomit in my car.  My mind won, but by the narrowest of margins.   And it was at that point I remembered there’s a warning on the bottle to not to take dairy before or after you took this.  And I remember thinking  they should put that  warning bigger, because had there been a dairly product anywhere near me I would have consumed it.  It was like drinking vaguely citrus flavored battery acid.  Honestly, I’m not sure if it helps with cramps, or if people just don’t care about the cramps anymore because they are worried about the hole that’s burning through their esophagus.

When I googled later, which I should have done before,  I saw people who said that it reminded them of doing shots of Jagermeister, and I realized that the fact that I’ve never really done shots of alcohol probably bit me in the ass here. Sorry college friends who tried to get me to do shots, you really tried to help me out and I didn’t even know it and I squandered it so, apologies.


I got to the beach and it was cold. Luckily I had brought my long sleeve shirt so I geared up, I warmed up, and headed out.  It had been a long day and I was feeling pretty tired so I was ready to get this done.  My throat and mouth were still burning from the anti-cramping drink of doom. I did my walking warmup and then took off on my first run interval. Aaaaaand there were the calf dramps.  Sonofa It wasn’t even worth it.

But I wanted to get it done so I did my walk intervals, and run intervals and stretched when I needed to. And that’s when little stuff started to go wrong.  First my stomach started hurting, followed by vaguely citrus flavored battery acid burps, it was like the gift that keeps on giving.

Then my right sock started to slip down and bunch in my shoe.  I would pull it out and it would slip down and bunch again.  And this was really weird because .this was a new pair of the brand of socks I’ve been waring for over three years without ever having this issue. Then, my long sleeve shirt, which I’ve run in lots of times, started chaffing me, which it has never done.  Then my underwear (and I know some people go commando when they run but that does not work for me) started chaffing me.  Then my stomach started to get genuinely upset which is a problem since there’s only oen bathroom open this late on the trail and I was a half mile away from it. But I made it.

I finally finished, I took a less than enthusiastic post-workout selfie that you’ll see on Monday, and got in my car and I was just ready to go basicallyin search of some dairy products.

All of a sudden this super bright light was shining in my car, and I was just waiting for whoever was rocking their high beams in the parking lot to roll by, but it didn’t happen. it took me a minute to realize it was a police car.  I rolled down my window and said “Can I help you?”  A bodiless male voice (I couldn’t see anything with the spotlight shining in my face) asked “are you a guest of the hotel?” I was like  “No, I was just out for a run.”  So he turned off the spotlight, I saw that it was a private security SUV and not a police car, and that it was a guy I had met before.  He said “This is a private parking lot at night, you can’t park here.”  That is news to me, people park there all the time, every day.

So I finally said “I’ve been running down here for years and nobody has ever said anything.”  And he said “Well I’ve been working here for two years and I’ve never seen you.”

That was inaccurate because one time when a sympathetic marina boat owner let me into the locked bathroom, he had seen it happen and when I came out of the bathroom he was standing there to give me a hard time. But I felt like this was not the time to jog his memory, so I just let it go and I just said “Oh, well, maybe I’ll see you around.” He looked confused but he drove away.  To be clear I absolutely understand that my privileges were coming into play here, this could have gone much differently were I not a  as a white cisgender, hetero-passing, woman.

Nonetheless, it was the “perfect” ending to a highly imperfect run, so I took my burning throat, and my slipping socks, and chaffed everything home and drank some milk.

That’s it for this week, remember that you can subscribe using this button right here so you never miss a vlog and you can also always follow my journey at


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