Hills, You’re Mine. Horse-Man, You’re Going Down, Sir!

Tan.Tan-tan-tan. Tan-tan-tan. Tan-tan-ta…n.

Oh yeah, I’m awesome. Uh-huh. I’m totally go-ing to B.Q.

Rising up, back on the street

Did my time, took my chances

Oh yeah… Who’s super fast?

Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet

Just a woman, and her will to survive….


A ton more was processed and sung, but who wants to read about all the kookooness going on in there, all the time… You got a tiny glimpse of my internal workings as I sprinted up and ran down one of many hills I plan to pester until they agree to pretend we’re siamese twins.

No More Playing Nice Gal-Game On!

Realizing a need for umph in training, I decided to add a tiny-bit of friendly competition. Up until a few days ago, my competition had no idea he was competing. But, I sent him a little message via one of my new favorite hobbies a few days ago. As always, he was super sweet and replied: “Outrun. Sure.” I’m guessing, based on what I have learned about you, awesome-marathon-runner friend, from all my constant tweets and DM’s bugging you with questions, you don’t need friendly competition as motivation to BQ, but if it’s ok with you, can I pretend you are competing with me, too?

Why Do You Need Competition, Lady?

I’m incredibly nice to most people in my everyday life. I can’t help it, I was born nice, I think. Believe it or not, eons and eons ago, I read the bible religiously. Those who know me and have never heard this before, how open is your mouth? Yep. I was born so nice, I wanted to be a nun. As much as my siblings love me, today,  back then,  I was the curse-and-wrongdoing- police to them.

Clearly, I realized I could continue being a mini-Mother Teresa  and still have a my-kind-of-fun-social life. That realization was a blessing. Can you imagine me as a nun? I have no problem with women who choose that path, we should all do what makes us happy, but if you know me, you know, I could never lead the life of a nun. Plus, hello, my cutie wouldn’t be in my life.

Why Are You Sharing This, Again?

Since I’m nice and easy going with most people, I have been doing the same with marathon training. I’m done with that. I can continue being nice, but I need friendly competition to get me pumped and serious about what really needs to happen in order to run Boston on merit. The company my husband works for is headquartered in Boston and sponsored THE BIG HONCHO of marathon running (although, I didn’t see their name on the list this year… hmmm). You know what that means, right?  If I really wanted to run Boston without BQing, I have connections... However, you all know, I REFUSE to take anything without working for it, so, that won’t happen.

Again, Answer… Why Do You Need Competition to BQ?

As some of you know, back in my younger years, I loved participating and competing in any sport team or park pick-up game I could. I thrived physically and mentally when in competition. Yes, I love running for all the positives to the mind and body, but I played best when I knew I was competing. Crazy? Maybe. But, if I continue training like I have been, skipping out on runs or switching my schedule, and not doing any of the extras (strength training, cross training, hill repeats, etc.) serious marathon runners include in their training, my goal to BQ before age 60 may be delayed. I need an attainable deadline to keep up with training. The mental reason for wanting to run Boston? There is no need to compete, there. Like most marathon runners, I’m doing it for much deeper reasons.

But in order to train like I mean it, a different approach is needed. And, since I really like our online friendship, awesome-marathon-running friend, and you are super down to earth and fun ( I’m assuming, maybe you are the complete opposite and if you are, stop presenting as nice, funny, fun, and down-to earth, oh, and super-knowledgeable, and I’ll stop bugging you with all my questions.). But, at the moment, you present as all of the above, so I chose you as my friendly competition. Lucky… guy, I mean, lucky… half horse-half man. So, what do you say, can you handle it? Huh, Mr. Horse-Man? Or, are you scared of my once-ultra-competitive-side? By the way, if you ever chat with my husband or siblings, they may share some basketball stories, but don’t listen to them, they are exaggerating I so was not fouled-out, a lot.

So, What Are You Doing to Up the Ante on Your Snail Pace?

A lot. I’m adding a lot. But, I’ll share in different posts or tweets. One tool I started using on Saturday, 4/1/2017 is hill repeats. Seriously. It’s not an April Fools joke. It may surprise you, but this was my first time, ever, doing “hill repeats”. Again, not joking. I’ve run and sprinted hills while on regular runs, but until, 4/1/2017, I had not officially sprinted up and ran down hills, repeatedly.


Yep. I know. As a sprinter on a track team, I never did it either or while playing any other sport I played. What was wrong with me?! I LOVED it! Uh Huh. I’m not joking. As much as I have hated hills, I loved almost every second of sprinting up and slowly running down. Who knew the scary combination of words : hill and repeats could be so fun?

I Think I Looked Like, Des, Too. Woop-Woop!

Again, no joke. People driving , walking, running, and cycling up and down the hill while I did my awesome first hill repeat session looked at me with awe. Seriously. I’m not joking, I even felt coordinated the entire time. No mishaps, no tripping, no spilling water on myself, nothing like my usual walking/running-accident-prone self. Everything looked and felt like I was a real athlete. It was be-au-ti-ful. A beautiful feeling, indeed. I ran back home to share the feeling and news with my husband. “You should have seen me, I so crushed that hill. I felt so cool, M!” I said a lot more dorky, goofy commentary related to the awesomeness I felt, along with singing “Eye of the Tiger”, but I’m embarrassed to share with you. You probably already think I’m really odd.

Anyway, soon after that, I sent you the Rocky Balboa tweet to let you know you were my competition. But, since you think I’m all sugar, lollipops, cotton candy clouds, rainbows, and everything nice, you thought I was telling you I wanted to run Philadelphia Marathon. And, that’s why I’m writing up this post for you, lovely friend/competition.

I’m standing at the bottom of the hill I crushed time after time x 4. I drive by it often, after last Saturday, it will probably tremble when it senses my presence. And, you will, too, horse-man… No action running shots because, well, honestly, I don’t know how other bloggers achieve those awesome running shots. They look like they belong on the cover of Runner’s World. I can barely snap a selfie without creating chaos. See…, as I was typing that sentence my husband just asked me while trying to figure out what happened to our backyard hose, “… what did you do?” See…  Maybe, instead of the half chica part, I’ll call myself half cheetah-half chaos when I start running marathons faster than you…

Whistle While You Work.

All those years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes, I spent reading, discussing, analyzing, learning, and practicing psychology not only helps others, in addition,  now, I’m implementing some of those tools and skills to help a helpless marathon runner. Don’t worry horse-man, it’s not you. You are not a helpless marathon runner, at all… In fact,  I pester you a lot because you are incredibly knowledgeable with marathon running. So, a plus for you if you want your Twitter notifications to decrease. I can’t go to my competition for help, competition is bound to give wrong information to keep an opponent’s speed and pace down, right?

How Did Psychology Help Me?

Among the plethora of excellent tools and skills I learned from many fantastic mental health professionals, clients, psychology professors and founders of the profession, one I used often and apply in my life is baby steps. Obviously, the scientific name is not baby-steps, but it’s what I term it. I do that a lot, especially, with parenting because it works.

Approaching Hills Like a Baby

While I’d like to start off by tackling the staircase Señor Rocky Balboa used in Rocky to up his ante in defeating Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, and Ivan Drago, (yes, right now, to me, you are like Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang (Mr. T), and Ivan Drago), I must start with small hills and then crush these:

hills image

Do you still think I’m mostly cotton candy clouds, lollipop dreams, rainbows, sunshine, and ocean breezes with palms swaying to the beat of their own drum?

So sorry, post is getting epic, again.

Hill Baby Steps:

Step 1: Ok, so first hill was not too steep, but steep enough to make it “hill repeat” worthy to a major “hill repeat” newbie.

Step 2: I did my awesome sprint up and slower run down 7 times. Are you laughing because that’s not really hill repeats? Ok, you better not because that’s like 7×4 for me, right now. I won’t do the multiplication for you because you’re really smart, so you can figure it out. I decided on 7 because it’s considered a lucky number by many. It’s not my lucky number, but my thoughts and approach haven’t been working, so I’m using other’s knowledge, now.

Step 3: Remember, the run-stop-write approach? Obviously, that must change. How-ever, baby steps says, in order to enjoy and make anything stick, it must include enjoyment while reaching the big goal with tiny bites (baby spoon size).

Step 4: To keep with baby steps and still find enjoyment in hills, I  allowed myself  two (that’s “dos” in Spanish, in case you want to learn a new language, too) stops while on run to hill and back home. Here is what I did with my stops. Both happened after I was glowing and beaming with joy for letting that hill know who’s it’s boss, now.

Get ready to sigh at the cliche I’m about to spew here:

Roly poly. Of course, you know that. I bet many runners have accidentally ended their already short lifespan  even sooner while on mental journeys. Not me, these cuties hold a special place in my heart… I think I’m still feeling guilty about the one my son ate when he was two,  “…what happened to the roly poly? I asked. “I a-te it!” he said. “… it’s O-K, meemerson (one of his nicknames for me at that time), its patein!” (protein)


IMG_4854 (1)

Ok, so, here is where I was going to add video to go with the above pictures, but apparently, this blog doesn’t support videos… Major bummer… However, when I showed my husband the video to tell him my cliche reason for videotaping the roly poly, he said it’s a good thing I can’t add video. See, sometimes, he’s not one of my favorite people. He can be rude-snooty, sometimes.

Like a Roly Poly…(sung to the tune of “Like a Rhinestone Cowboy”)

Anyway, now, I need to add more text to the post to explain what the roly poly was doing. As you saw in the pictures, the roly poly is symbolic of where I was before deciding to change training in order to run Boston (on merit, of course) in this lifetime. As I snapped pictures of the roly poly (my first joy stop), it appeared stuck in the gap filled with debris and clutter (mish-mash training), but  after turning off the camera, it started moving, quickly.

Immediately, I made the connection with my training and, you know what I did. I had to capture it to add to the thousands of pictures and videos I keep of all the inspiration and connections made with our immense world and people I love. As you know, the roly poly isn’t known for its speed, but what I captured represents what I will be doing as soon as I stick to a real training plan and add all the extras needed, along with competing with Señor Half Horse-Half Man,  to majorly up the ante on reaching one of many dreams.

The buzzing of the bees in the sycamore tree, the so-da wa-ter-fountain… Where the lemonade springs… In the b-ig r-ock candy mountain…

Here is where the second video was supposed to be, but, I can’t share with you.

It was taken about 5 minutes after the first video. I had to stop and observe that bee. As you know, bees are endangered and while I have a love-fear relationship with them (not because I’m sacred of bees, but if I tell you why I fear them, I’ll add another 1000 words), I’m mostly fascinated by them. It was such a pretty video, too. Bummer. Maybe, if you’d like, I’ll tweet them?

Ok, so, now the final big question….

pic with basketball 2
Are you up for the challenge, Mr. Horse-Man? Remember, I understand, you don’t need competition in training, it’s me competing with myself, really, but the mind is very interesting… Simply knowing someone is “competing” with me in sports makes me shoot better, dribble with pizzazz, swing harder, throw like Kershaw (ha, no, not this, I wish!), and possibly run like Des or even better than Des. But, Des, if you’re reading this, I wish I could run at your slow pace as my fast pace. This pic is from a long slew of selfies I texted my husband a few days ago. He’s not a fan of selfies, so I sent him several. It was so much fun hearing his phone go off several times in a row with his “favorite” type of pictures-selfies! Ha! Ha! Ha! Oh, and if you’re wondering about the basketball, I was playing with the cutie (behind me, but not in the picture) asking me to stop taking pictures and shoot the ball… I told him they were for his dad, so he waited while I went to town on the selfies…

I was on post-marathon rest and got the idea to send him several selfies in a row (with pauses in between to irk him further) because the last time I was down for the count (winter cold/cough) and couldn’t run, my son and I did the same thing… He. He. He. Mr. Stanley is a lot of fun…

hair pic 1

hair pic 3

hair pic 2
Notice my wild hair? No, I didn’t color it, but that’s what happens to it when the sun kisses it. Can’t wait for summer… I’ll let you know why it goes even more koo-koo than normal winter weather when in this setting, in a different post. It’s related to the new training plan.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! Quite a challenge! – Can’t say “No” to a girl 😉 So, once again, “Outrun. Sure!” 🙂

    I have to say here – please be mindful and respect the hills. “No Pain, No Gain” is one stupid idiom. The hill repeats are very dangerous and are not the most important runs of marathon training (IMHO). If you’re training for a hilly marathon, run your General Aerobic, Medium Long and Long runs in a hilly race-similar terrain.

    Another tip – set your mind on your “global” training plan. Those daily sessions are just small pieces of a large puzzle. It is hard to solve the puzzle if you don’t have the entire picture in your mind. The Advanced Marathoning book has helped me a lot. So you may want to revisit it.

    Good luck with the training, Karina! Hope to run Boston with you one day 😉

    PS> A few comments:
    – Yes, I can imagine you as a running nun 🙂
    – A video can be uploaded to youtube and embedded in a post after.
    – You got beautiful pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok, Horse-Man, this may be an epic, reply, so I’ll use an outline format:

      1. Wow!!!!! You tweeted this post. You used emogis. And, you wrote a lot for you (you know I love lengthy posts and replies). Those three are major wows!!! and must mean I’m doing something great within the running world. Or, you pity your nutty-odd-semi-athletic-mostly-uncoordinated friend. But, I’m optimist, so I’m going with the first thought.

      2. Are you saying “hill repeats” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be because:
      a. You truly believe that, or
      b. You’re sabotaging my training, already… because you’re trembling… Huh?

      3. Guess what? I majorly need to read Advanced Marathoning from “A to Z and ZaZb, etc.” I tried reading it after finding it (after thinking it was lost during our move), but because I was totally not following a plan like it for LA Marathon Part Deux, it scared me (made me anxious about my mish-mash plan), so I put it away for future reading. Future reading is now!

      4. You really need to start adding your knowledge to your HHHM website. It will be easier to steal your knowledge without you knowing your competition is using your techniques and skills to outrun you.

      5. EEK! No nun themed running outfits for me, one of the reasons I couldn’t follow that path. I LOVE fashion and stylish shoes!

      6. Hmmm. YouTube Channel… Hmmm… That may lead to a cooking/singing channel… Hmmm… Thanks for the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

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