Run Smidge Run!

IMG_20160121_200920 Let’s get one thing straight from the onset; I am not a fan of pounding pavement (don’t let the smiles fool ya!). There are times when I’ve enjoyed it, such as running tank trails on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Then it was just me, the dusty road, the tall trees and birdsong. Peaceful. Most other times I used loathe running, especially the platoon or company death runs when the senior enlisted or the officer was being maniacal (which was often). I am a slow to start and a slow and steady runner, not made for Marine Corps, “lo right ah left right”, start fast and finish faster physical training (PT) sessions. I survived them, pulled hamstrings, countless turned ankles and an iliotibial (IT) band that thinks tightness is it’s de rigueur state.

IMG_20160124_150632 I didn’t start running until my mid twenties, when my recruiter disabused me of the notion that boot camp was going to get me in shape. I think he might have laughed at me when I shared that misguided idea with him. So the summer of 2003 saw me strapping on a pair of brand new running shoes, powered up my trusty old disc-man (y’all remember those), slipped in a Disturbed’s The Sickness CD and got to running. I didn’t like it then and still don’t like it now but running is now part of my life. I even tried to run away from running but the fact it, putting feet to road is good for me. It improves my fitness, gives me focus, heck I even am writing again because in the minutes I’m on the road I start crafting essays. In fact the beginnings of this post came to me while participating in my first 5K in a long time.

IMG_20160126_194549 As I was running, I started talking to myself (What? You don’t talk to yourself? How strange) saying, “You’ve been training for this, keep one foot in front the other, don’t stop, don’t walk, keep going, you got this. Run, girl, run.” Somewhere in that moment I thought it would be nice to get my friends and family involved in this particular journey (yes, a smaller journey within the larger journey of my life). I thought of how encouraging many of you have been in the past 2 very difficult years of my life on and off line. That’s when I thought to make my own words of encouragement a mantra for myself but also a hashtag which I can share it with you all to use online. As I continued to run, the aches started and my breathing got ragged, and I kept on, telling myself “Don’t stop, keep running, you got this. Run, girl, run.” I and especially liked the “run, girl, run” part and thought it would be a great hashtag. In the age of social media and the hashtag it was inevitable that I’d so there. I also use a few for various things, the main one being #littlefootsjourney. I thought #rungirlrun would be great, but figured it would already be in use (I checked it is) and I wanted something more specific to me.

Now while running, I flashed back to my first year on active duty and my peaceful runs under the trees, but I also remembered the Marines I served with. One Staff Sergeant (SSgt) in particular had his own nickname for me that nobody else was allowed to use. One day we were discussing something (I don’t recall what) but it led to us discussing about whether smidge or smidgen were correct words (the both are). Later, he rolled into our office and announced he was going to call me smidge. If you’ve ever stood next to me you’d understand why that was fitting. (not exactly like below but close enough).

I had a great rapport and working relationship with him so I was okay with HIM calling me that but that’s it. Part of the culture of the military is giving each other sobriquets, some good, some bad, many questionable (such as Mooseknuckle for a female Harrier pilot) so SSgt H having his own diminutive for me was no big, thing and this one I liked. It was unusual (smidge is not a word you hear often) and I thought it described me neatly, but back to running. With these reminisces I heard SSgt saying, “run, smidge, run” and thus the title of this post and the hashtag was brought to life.

So I kept running and made it across the finish line. I didn’t make my goal of 30 minutes but that was a bit ambitious considering I strapped on my sneakers on January 9th and the 5K was January 30th. I finished the race in the middle of the pack, with a time of 34:08. I was 45 out of 83 in my age group and 339 out of 638 women overall. I am proud of me. Of setting a goal and doing the work to accomplish said goal. I want to give a big thank you to my girl Yolande (sheblog on at for inspiring and encouraging me to get up off the ever widening ass and get moving. I may not like running, but as she pointed it out, it’s good for my health and it gets me out the house to meet others who’re about that fitness life as well.

Here’s us crossing the finish line at the Matanzas 5K, she came back and ran me in and having that support was awesome. download_20160130_174019

So when you see my posts about putting the miles in you can cheer me on and add #RunSmidgeRun to your comment(s). Tell me your fitness stories in the comments or shout out a friend who got you doing something to improve your health and fitness, whether it’s a simple as giving up soda (don’t tell me you still drink a teaspoon of sugar) or walking around your office building at lunch time.

See Littlefoot Run

One of the items on my bucket list is to run a 10K. Well a 10K (6 miles) outside of the military. I’d done 10Ks before. Usually under duress as part of a platoon or company where the crazies (aka Commander or Senior Enlisted Member) decided that it would be good for team building & camaraderie for us to get in a formation call cadence and all that good military stuff.

Let me show you have I felt about that

I despise group runs with all the passion in my 147 centimeter frame. My stride is short and it took me many years to learn how to breathe correctly to improve my running efficiency. Running in a formation or group with longed legged gazelles tried my patience and my ability. When I left the military I said I wasn’t doing it again. But then I decided I wanted to someday run a marathon or a triathlon (yes, I know I am a wee bit touched) and thought the best course of action was to work up towards that starting with a 10K. Now when I came up with this plan I had an idea of training for said races and tackling each one as I felt prepared enough. I felt I needed the preparation because I have had no structured consistent workout since I left he military. For that matter I haven’t had a structured life since I left the military but that is a different story for a different day.

In February of this year a fellow teacher said, hey let’s run La Cursa del Corte Inglés in the first week of April. It’s free! I was hesitant, as I haven’t run for anything but a bus in metro in a long while. She sealed the deal by telling me I could walk it. I was down for that. Plus I figured it was almost 2 months away I could do some training to prepare for the race. Well, Littlefoot did possible one day of real preparation to get ready for the race and come Sunday, 7 April I said I will run for as much as I can fully expecting not to make it to 2km (just under a mile) running. Instead of competing with anyone else (rather without the need to compete against other Marines to prove something) I ran at a slow yet steady pace. It felt great to just do it, one foot in from the other, no stress, no pressure. I had no goals except the complete the race and if that meant walking it that was what I was going to do. I had my music on and ran around the walkers, the families walking nearly arm in arm and just put one foot in front of the other. When we got to the hill, I put my head down and ran then decided walking was better. I took pictures and enjoyed the view and sang along to my music.

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At the halfway point I realized that I had made it in under an hour and that if I kept the pace I could complete the race in under two hours, maybe close to an hour and a half. I cranked up Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” (my go to running and lifting CD) and got moving. I dipped and dodged around the families with children and the walkers and when I wanted to walk I regulated my breathing and screamed (in my head) along with frontman David Draiman. It was exhilarating and exciting and when my watch showed the time as I crossed the finish line I felt doubly awesome yet thought in my head “I wonder if I had trained what would my time be then?” I shook the recriminations off and enjoyed the fact that I had completed my first post military 10K and crossed an item off my bucket list.

I wanted to tell you about this because despite my lack of preparation I did it, I ran that 10K. It is strange that it took committing to someone else to get me to complete the race. How often do we fulfil takes we commit to others to do but not ourselves? For me that is more often than I would like to admit. 2 years ago I stated to myself that I wanted to run a marathon within the next year before my birthday. I have yet to do it because I did not take my commitment to myself seriously enough. I don’t want it to be that I wait for someone else to challenge me or ask for moral support in order for me to accomplish my stated goals. I stated the month of April participating in the 30 Day Squat Challenge and this 10K give me the motivation to see it through. I was not consistent about doing my squats but I did them and I was easy on myself when I failed.

Going forward I will be running more often, taking it one day at a time. I will commit to doing some fitness everyday, whether that be squats, push-ups or just getting outside and pounding the pavement. I will do it. I must in order to be fit for life. Fitting into my purple string bikini without flashing others would be a nice but being about to run a marathon would be even better.

What will you commit to doing to be fit for life?

Lady Littlefoot

Let start at the beginning

I started off the month with some horrible knowledge. Well horrible for me. It shouldn’t have been horrible as the mirror had been telling me the truth over the past year or so. My clothes have been on the truth-telling by not fitting the way they used to. Some things fit better, others sort of fit but whichever it is they haven’t been lying. I have just refused to really look at a scale since I wasn’t working out anymore.

I got on a scale at the end of March and had a minor shock. 123 pounds

Whaaaa …

I know some of you are like so what? I weighed that in 10th grade but dearies I am 4’10” (1.42M). By all means it is not big but if I was still on Active Duty I would be on notice to lose 5 pounds immediately. I am not so that is not a concern but the more than an inch I can pinch in my waist is definitely not making me happy. The noticeable widening of my backside, thickening of my thighs and increase in my bust have me ambivalent. Curves yeah! Clothes that are tighter and not in a good way, nay!

To combat the inches on waist, bust, hip, thighs (you get the picture) I’m taking some small steps. For the month of April I am doing to following:

Participating in the 30 Day Squat Challenge to firm up and whittle my broad Indian backside and thighs.

30 Day Squat Challenge

30 Day Squat Challenge

Mixing in some Ab Workouts to address the expanding middle and weak back.

40 Abdominal Exercises

40 Abdominal Exercises

And I am making a concentrated effort to include more fruits and vegetables into my diet Daily.

Veggie Haul

Veggie Haul

Fruit Haul

Fruit Haul

My goal is my Thailand 2009 Body. Tight, taut and 112lbs.

Under Umbrella Thailand '06

Under Umbrella Thailand ’06

To help with these goals I am participating in a private Facebook group and collaborating with some of my Tweeples (Twitter Peoples) using the hashtags #projectfit4life and #projectbikinibody. I think there is also #gymtime for the gym bunnies. Hats off to my Tweeples and fellow adventures @JQAbroad @Mochaprincessqt @zambezi40 @AntoiAntz (if I missed you I am sorry!)

What was the moment of reckoning to get you back to or into fitness and wellness? The outward inches and pounds are representative of me not making the best choices for my body, namely not to exercise as my diet hasn’t changed a substantive amount. The moment on the scale was the kick in the pants I needed to start making an effort.

What is yours?

Lady Littlefoot