The medals blink!

The Least Surprising Experiment Results Ever

I’m not exactly sure how updated I’ve kept this blog on my running plans, as I tend to do those mundane updates on Facebook. But, in case I haven’t announced it here, I have a race on the calendar that I plan to be my attempt at doing 100 miles at one event. It’s called A Race For The Ages (ARFTA) and it’s a simple concept: You get as many hours to run a 1-mile course as you are old. Finish time is noon on Labor Day so you subtract your age and find your start time. I’ll be 41, so I get 41 hours to do 100 miles which I should be able to do no problem. EXCEPT: I have to start at 7pm on Saturday night. Which is basically my bedtime.

So…I sought out a night race to test my “start a race at night” capabilities. Because, what I hoped I could do with the ARFTA, is to start at 7pm and run until it started getting hot on Saturday and take ONE long sleep period during the hottest part of the day before running until the finish. That made everything seem doable, divides the 100 miles into 2 chunks divided by one good sleep occupying the hottest hours of the race. Perfect.

Except that I did my Test Night Race experiment this weekend and it went terrible. My dream hypothesis was: Kim Can Function Decently Enough On 24+ Hours Without Sleep To Support Getting In 50 Miles Before Sleeping At ARFTA.

But, of course, we all know that the RIGHT hypothesis would have been: Kim Falls Apart Without Sleep.

This was a Run Under The Stars event (there’s a bunch) outside Knoxville, TN and it started at 8pm and went to 6am. It was a 1.25 mile flat gravel loop and we had a tent set up and a canopy and chairs and – as far as night races go? It was GREAT. If you want to do a night race? I highly recommend it. I went with 4 of my girl running friends (We obviously misunderstand the idea of a Girls Night Out) and it was really a great experience. I laughed more on that trip than I have on any other trip. Mostly because we all lost our damn minds. My friend Chelsea lost her mind before the race even started as she realized APPROACHING THE START LINE that she was wearing her flip-flops instead of her running shoes. So, basically I almost wet my pants laughing hysterically at the start line. There is no better way to start a race.

Ready for my night race!

A photo posted by Kim Holmes (@misszoot) on

My goal was to knock out 20 miles before taking any significant breaks. And I did that FINE. So from 8pm to midnight? I functioned well enough. It was not ideal, I definitely prefer waking up and running to running at night, but I knocked out the 20 miles fine in about 4:10 which is a moderate ultra pace for me. Then I started allowing myself walk breaks and sit breaks and the further I got past midnight the more I deteriorated mentally and physically. I was losing the ability to care about anything other than how much I wanted to sleep. My stomach was also rejecting the idea that I was expecting it to take new food on during normal sleep hours.

I got to the marathon distance and opted for an extended (20 minutes or so) break and let my friends just run along without me. I sat there thinking about how I was getting that weird dizzy feeling I’ve gotten when I’ve tried to function as a human after a night up with sick kids. It’s like a motion sickness feeling. If you’ve suffered it you’ll know what I’m talking about, but it’s strictly related to sleep deprivation, has NOTHING to do with the running portion of the evening. Yet I still had a solid 3+ hours left of running to do. I decided I could walk and still reach the 50K point so I opted to make that my goal for the night. 50K and then I could tap out.

So I muscled through the next 5 miles walking a lot more and sitting a lot more and fighting the urge to puke from dizziness CONSTANTLY. It was like a bad car ride, it was terrible. So when I hit the 50K point I decided to try to lay down. I think I had 2+ hours to go so I wrapped up in a sheet in our tent and put on my comfy/dry clothes. The problem was I was so dizzy/motion sick that every time I moved I felt the urge to puke again. So, I gave Chelsea my mat (SIDENOTE: When it comes to sleep/schedules Chelsea and I are identical. We normally go to bed early and wake up early. WE ARE NOT NIGHT PEOPLE. She struggled as much as I did.) and I tried to wrap up in a sheet on a chair and sit perfect still for awhile to try to settle my dizziness.

It didn’t work and I still had an hour left so I thought, “Well…what the hell…” and I wrapped up in my sheet and put my race number on my pajamas and just walked one more lap for a total of 32.25 miles.

On of our friends that went that WAS just going to go as a spectator but signed up last minute knocked out 37 miles after…get this…having a long run of only 16 miles before that moment. SHE SET A 21 MILE PR. HA! She is also a night person, so she didn’t lose her shit like I did.

I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t realize HOW hard. One funny thing, I suspected when the sun came up I’d feel fine and I kinda did. I definitely didn’t feel GREAT but I actually helped drive home because I felt fine enough to drive once it became morning which is when my mind/body function best.

So now I’m questioning the ARFTA. If I could start at 6am, run 16 hours, sleep from 10pm-6am and run 16 hours again I’d be GOLDEN. I’d have to run in the heat of the day, but it would fit with my natural cycle of waking/sleeping. But this race is exactly opposite so now I either have to figure out how to adjust my sleep cycle the week before or I run for 3-4 hours, take a long nap, run for 20 hours, take a long nap, run for 5 hours or so. And that sucks. Because I’m still running in the heat of the day, but not in any fun schedule that’s good for mentally pushing through a long run.

I don’t know. It’s just frustrating to know my limiting factor in this adventure is how much I need/depend on sleep. I had really hoped I could function for 30 hours at a decent level but it turns out I can’t. Not even close.

So, long story short? The race was tons of fun. I highly recommend you do a night run with a group of fun girls where you can set up a camp and kinda hang out all night. It really was a great experience, and one I’d like to do again some day. Just for the fun of it. But this experiment kinda has me doubting my ability to schedule my running/sleeping during ARFTA in any sort of optimal way. If I knew I could get a refund? I’d withdraw today. I guess I’ll spend the next week or so talking to people about their experiences with running/dizziness/sleep deprivation because that’s not something you can really “treat” like you can digestive issues or muscle cramping. It’s my body’s response to exhaustion and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to run through.

All in all, great race. Great medal. Just making me wonder if the ARFTA is going to be as ideal as I had hoped for my first attempt at a 100-miler.

The medals blink!

The medals blink!

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The One Where I Introduce You To Something That’s 20 Years Old

You probably haven’t heard of this podcast, it’s pretty new and unfamiliar but it’s called “This American Life” and it’s hosted by this unknown guy: Ira Glass. Have you heard of it?

I know. I know. You’ve heard of it. I’m writing about something like it’s new when everyone in the world listens to it every week.

First: It’s not new to me either. I’ve caught it periodically on the radio using our NPR affiliate for the very long time it has been on. I also would try to catch it on my “podcast” app but I subscribe to a LOT of podcasts and I sometimes miss them and they don’t keep a good archive. I tried to listen to it on my NPR ONE app but they don’t have it at all. I didn’t realize there was actually a “This American Life” app with ALL of the shows until my husband told me about it. So I’m not really new to the show, but I’m new to a lot of the episodes now that I have the complete archive at my fingertips.

I think the reason I’m listening to it more is that I now have a 35-45 minute commute where the ONE thing I always listened to: NPR, is not longer an option. Y’all? I can’t handle election coverage any more. It’s making me crazy. I’m into politics, I really am, but our election cycle is A) Way too freakin’ long and B) A special kind of terrible this year.

(For example? How is it that the Republicans seem to be actually rallying around Trump to avoid a Clinton Presidency but the Left side of politics is holding their ground with their candidate NO MATTER WHAT. Is a Clinton Presidency scarier to Republicans than a Trump Presidency is to Democrats? It’s weird, y’all. I’m seeing more ugliness between liberals than I’ve ever seen and it’s embarrassing. How I’m embarrassed by my side on a year the other side has Trump is beyond me.)

ANYWAY! Sick of NPR, so I’m listening to old TAL shows and it’s been really great. I’m using the app to mark my “favorites” when I can, although it’s hard because sometimes I love Act 2 and the rest is just okay so when it’s over I forget to “favorite” it. I do mark them as “heard” though so I can sort by “Unheard” and find new ones easier. And I do periodically come across an act or even a whole show I heard when it aired “live” on our NPR station, but for the most part I’ve been surprised by how many are “new” to me. I thought I had listened to a lot of them but either I just don’t remember them or I’m just delusional.

It’s just been a nice little new addition to my life. Donnie’s totally addicted too and because my commute is longer, I’m now further back in time than he is and he’s kinda mad about it. Heh. But luckily, the show has been on for 20 years so I think I can make it through the entire election and not have to listen to the morning news on my commute ONCE.

Another Boring Post From A Girl In A Histamine Haze.

Okay guys, I’m still in a total allergy haze and my husband is going to divorce me if I don’t quit downplaying it. Truth be told: He and I are probably both wrong. My whole, “It’s just a few weeks a year! Why should I see an allergist for just a few weeks a year of misery!” is probably under reporting but his, “She’s miserable for months!” is probably being overly dramatic.

But – I do suffer early Spring. Never any other time of year really. I know people who suffer year-round and I always feel like THEY deserve to see the allergist, not me. But I’m miserable and maybe I don’t want to dread days outside next year. I spent Saturday and Sunday running and volunteering outside so I’ve just been swollen and sneezy and foggy due to the 14 different types of allergy medicines I’m taking.

Here’s what I’m trying to avoid: Taking anything (pills or shots) regularly just to avoid symptoms for this time of year. But, I would like to poll the crowd. What do you take for your allergies? I currently take Sudafed for the congestion headaches which works great but I can’t take too close to bed. I take cough medicine at bed because when I lay prone I start to cough. But that makes me hazy in the morning. Last night, I felt so terrible, I doubled up with cough medicine and Benadryl because I haven’t had a night of sleep lately where I didn’t get out of bed with sneezing fits.

Let me know your thoughts on Zyrtec, Claritin, Alegra. I thought previously that you had to take these every day for the entire season just to have them barely work but now I’m hearing differently. What kind of allergies do you have and how do you treat them?

Other than the allergies, I really had a great weekend. I volunteered as a split timer for a 5K on Saturday and then the Sunday morning No Runner Left Behind trail group I lead organized after our run to help replace signs and sign posts inside the park we run in. It was really nice and fun and I’m glad I’ve found a few times this season to give back to the trails I love to run on. The weather was great, I kept my eating healthy without counting even one calorie! I got caught up on some stuff for some volunteer gigs I do.

I just need to work out the allergy issues. Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

The Most Boring Entry In All Of The World. Seriously.

One thing I feel like I’m constantly on the search for is the perfect purse/bag. CONSTANTLY. And it’s this battle between wanting to carry everything with me that I might need, and wanting it to be unobtrusive and easy to retrieve stuff out of. So I want it big enough to hold everything, but small enough to be carried hands-free. Either on my back or across my body.

Oh. And of course I need to clarify. By “everything” I mean 2 books, 1 bullet journal in it’s case, 1 pen pouch, 1 bag of bullet journal supplies, 1 pouch with my checkbook and extra stuff like stamps, and my wallet.

Yes. I’m aware that 90% of the stuff in my worse relates to bullet journaling. For some women it makeup for touchups throughout the day. For me? It’s washi tape and pens.

I need space, but also with pockets/dividers so I don’t have to dig. My purse now has plenty of space but basically in just one giant pocket. I’d also like it to be firm enough on the “base” part so when I set it down, it stays upright. My bag now is more like a sack so it just flops wider and turns into a blob that bothers me for some reason.

Oh, and I don’t want to spend too much in case it doesn’t turn out to be perfect. this one seems a good fit. Can be a crossbody or a backpack, fun colors, plenty of pockets and space. But, $50. Ugh.

Then there’s the whole “ethical spending” thing I’m trying to do. The Sakroots things looks perfect but where was it made? What if I went on Etsy? I did and found this one which I’m worried might be too small, it just looks like it’s not big enough to hold all I need, and also SO EXPENSIVE.

But isn’t that the point? Spend more money because you know it was made ethically? And your money goes to a person involved with the making of the product instead of a big business supporting unethical work practices?

I DON’T KNOW. And I have no idea why I’m telling you guys all of this mainly because I feel like several of you will appreciate how obnoxious I’m being about trying to find the PERFECT PURSE which is something I’ve actually been trying (and failing) to do for years.

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What I’m Lovin’

Let’s start out April with a few things I’m loving right now. I want to stay as positive as humanly possible this month. Can I willfully shame the sadness and anxiety away? NO! But can I dampen it’s effects a little? MAYBE! But seriously. April is full of sunshine and flowers and this is just a GREAT month and I’m ready to try to shake off the shit from March – OH! And I have a new therapist I’m trying next week. I’m about 100% sure she’s the Mom of one of my kid’s friends (unusual last name, I could kinda see this woman as a therapist) and I’m not sure if that’s weird or not. We’ll see!

Without further ado – a few things I’m loving right now. I’d love to hear what you’re loving – especially if it relates to 1) Pens 2) Cruelty Free Cosmetics or 3) Joyful Television.

  • Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 4.14.52 AMMy two favorite types of pens Signo 307 retractable and Energel Metal Tip 0.7 are made by Uniball and Pentel respectively. SO! I’m always looking in those sections for sales and new colors and one day I noticed Uniball had a new pen: Uniball Air Rollerball and it’s not retractable (I hate having to keep up with pen lids) but I gave it a whirl anyway and while it feels MUCH bolder than a 0.7, and it’s DEFINITELY a lot “wetter” is the best way I can describe, I’m really kinda digging it. I find myself reaching for it more and more lately!
  • So, awhile ago my friend got a rabbit and while I’ve not met the rabbit in person, I’ve kinda fallen in love with her via pictures. Chelsea decided to start going cruelty-free on all cosmetics because she started thinking of her lovely rabbit being subjected to cruel tests and I was like, “OH MY GOD. NOT SPARKLE!” And I decided to do the same. I’ve been slowly but surely switching over based on how much of the cheap stuff I had and it’s so funny because one of the products seems to have cured the scalp psoriasis I had! I switched to this conditioner from Shea Moisture and within a couple of weeks it had basically vanished and it had been bothering me for MONTHS. The last time I got a bad case I chopped off my hair because when my hair gets past a certain length I get it and chopping off my hair seems like a good solution. I had already started considering chopping off my hair and I’m SO GLAD I DIDN’T! I hope this stuff continues to make me happy. I’m a little concerned about how this is going to affect our budget, I accidentally went over on “groceries” this month and I think that might be why. I might need to look into making my own stuff but the last time I tried I was SOOO messy and SUCH a pain in the ass.
  • I’ve always liked the show New Girl well enough, nothing I couldn’t miss, but it was fine. But lately y’all? It’s cracking my ass UP. And I honestly think it was the episodes without Jess, weirdly enough, that let the other characters shine. I’ve loved Max Greenfield since Veronica Mars (he was my favorite of all of the love interests) but he’s funny as HELL as Schmidt and I just can’t get enough. I can’t tell if I love Greenfield or Schmidt but either way – LOVE LOVE LOVE. Give him and Cece their own spinoff and make me the happiest woman in the world.

Your turn!