Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Moving to a New Address!

Okay, you guys, I've done it:  I've migrated over to WordPress!!  I'm the same ol' Average P, but I've got a new web address:


(as opposed to this address, which is simply anaverageathlete.com)  The move is far from complete, but I feel like I'm up and running enough to let you come over and hang out.  Pardon any glitches while I'm still figuring things out.  Specifically, I'm not entirely sure how to migrate over your subscriptions!  But, I think I've made it really easy to subscribe in a couple of ways - on the right side of the screen, you can choose to subscribe by email or with an RSS feed, and I'm working on updating my Bloglovin' profile to include the new address.  

So, PLEASE come see me!!

New WordPress Blog Adventures of an Average Athlete
My new home - isn't she pretty???  I'm so excited!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Well, That Wasn't the News I was Hoping For!

Though, to be honest, I don't think there was any news that I was actually hoping for.  No news is good news, right??  When I emailed my doctor the other day about not feeling 100%, she suggested that I do some more blood work to get a big picture view of what's going on.  In my mind, I was thinking that would be a great way to eliminate worrying about anemia.  Rule shit out.  Sounds good!

Until I got my numbers back today.

This sucks.
As it happens, I am even more anemic than I was last year.  What the ever-lovin' and actual fuck is that all about?!?

My first reaction was just pure rage.  I'm still sort of there, honestly, except that now I'm also just really, really sad.  I feel like my body is betraying me.  And I wonder what it is exactly that I'm doing wrong.  Besides that whole "not having enough iron" thing.  I eat right.  I don't feel like I train excessively.  I sleep enough.  I'm a good person.  Why me?

Okay, that was melodramatic.  But, as you may have noticed, I'm throwing myself a little pity party today.  Yay.  Everybody loves those.

So, the first thing on the To Do List is to get over myself and make a plan, because whining about things doesn't fix them!  I know full well that this is going to take some time to get over, so I might as well get my head straight and figure out something productive to do with all that time that I won't be running.

Wasn't I also just saying that I wanted to spend more time working on the blog??  Silver lining, baby!

Tell me some good news!  And since I have the time on my hands... what's the best book you've read lately??

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two Topic Tuesday

I was running with my client who is a doctor today, and among the many topics we covered over the course of three very windy miles was my continued struggle with allergies and asthma this spring.  It's been a rough couple of months, you guys.

I thought I was soldiering through pretty well, to be honest.  I started taking another medication a little over a month ago, and I absolutely felt like my symptoms were better.  I don't have any of the usual sneezing or watering eyes or anything - which is awesome! - but the crap with my lungs isn't getting any better.  And it's weird.  I don't really feel like I'm wheezing, exactly, but almost the minute I start to run, I feel drained.  Total muscle fatigue.  I mean, I'm barely across the street and I'm already wondering when I can take a walking break.  It sucks, but I've been pushing through it, because, really, what are my options here?  Not running?  Uhhh, that's a no.

And when I said to my client who is a doctor, that I was doing okay, and I was living with it, and it wasn't really that bad, she said something so powerful that it stopped me in my tracks:

"Pahla, you deserve to feel better than this."

It's sad/funny/ironic how often I've said those words to my clients, and yet somehow I didn't notice when it applied to me.  I mean, I help people feel better and eat better and move better for a freakin' living!  Of course I believe that everybody should feel awesome all the time!  So, how in the world did I not even notice that I was making excuses for myself and figuring out workarounds (Oh, I'll just run slower.  I just won't run as far.) to accommodate my diminished capacity?

I have no idea.  But now it's out there:  I need to raise my standards for myself.  I emailed my doctor as soon as I got home, and I'll let you know where we go from here.  It was strangely exhilarating and almost scary to think that I could get back to feeling 100%.  I've been hovering down around 85% for so long that I hadn't really let myself think about feeling better, but now I want it so bad I can taste it.

While I was driving home, I realized that her words hit me so hard for another reason, too.  I've been having an internal struggle lately with the work that I do.  (Not the clients that I see in person, they're awesome.)  I have a real passion and desire to succeed with the workout videos I make for YouTube (and the website I run in conjunction with that) as well as writing for this blog.  But somehow, I seem to have accepted...  I don't know what to call it.  Mediocrity?  I've never quite pushed myself to grow the blog the way I wanted to, even though I love writing, I love telling my stories and I love connecting with other runners.

I deserve to feel better than this.

So I made the decision that I've been hemming and hawing about for - oh, I wish I could say weeks or months, but it's actually been years.  I'm moving over to WordPress!  I know it's a better fit for bloggers who are serious about blogging, and that includes me.

I've done the research ad nauseam, so now it's just a matter of making it happen.  Fingers crossed I don't fuck it up somehow and lose five years of posts!  I truly have no idea if I'm technically savvy enough to migrate my own stuff, and I hope that if I manage to erase all my subscribers that you'll come and find me again.  Thanks in advance for that!

I want you to know that if there's something that's been bugging you lately or weighing on your mind, the answer is this:

You deserve to feel better.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Motivators

Looky there, it's Monday again already!  And that means it's time for Monday Motivators - the weekly check-in (and link-up with Laura, who would rather be on the couch) on our fitness goals.  Check out the link up and feel free to join in!

Foam Roller goal?  Met!
You may recall that last week's goals were not lofty.  Spoiler alert!  This week's goals won't be, either.  Here's how things shook down:

  • GOAL:  Get my ass on the foam roller twice.
  • RESULT:  Woo hoo!  My ass got on that foam roller FOUR times!  And that's not even including how I just now rolled out my calves for like two seconds taking the above photo.  I'm calling this a huge win.
  • GOAL:  Get up and walk around every hour while I'm on the computer
  • RESULT:  Uhhhhh, what?  I honestly forgot this goal less than three minutes after I wrote it down - it actually surprised me when I went back to read last week's post because I had put it that far out of mind.  But I would argue that I spent more time up and moving around this week, just in general.  So... I'm calling this a rollover goal, since I apparently didn't even try to meet it.
Alrighty then.

This week's goals:

  • Get up and walk around every hour while I'm on the computer.  I'm trying to decide on a practical way to actually implement this, and it seems like maybe I should set an alarm on my phone or something.  
  • Get on my bike.  It's been about a million years since I've ridden and the weather is so nice.  No goal for mileage or speed, because heaven only knows where my bike fitness is right now (except that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even use the phrase "fitness" to describe it).
 I've spent so many years thinking about my fitness goals in terms of miles run and races coming up - this is super refreshing to focus on other details!

What's your goal this week??

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Monday Motivators (on a Tuesday)

My girl Laura over at I'd rather sit on the couch (BTW, the lack of title case is directly from her blog.  You may or may not be surprised how much it's bugging me to leave it that way.) has a new link-up that I'm joining this week - Monday Motivators!  I, obviously, was not as motivated on a Monday as she might have hoped, but I'm still in!  Here's the premise:  you set yourself a fitness goal for the week and then check in each Monday (-ish) to stay accountable.  I can do that!

I didn't participate last week, so I don't have any triumphs to report, but here's what I'm planning to do this week:

  • Rest more
Strange goal, right?  Well, here's the thing.  I work out plenty.  I run six days a week and I cross-train three.  My mileage is fine, my strength training is fine, my core work is fine.  But right now I am really struggling and I can't quite put my finger on what's going on.  I don't feel anemic, exactly, but I do feel a lot more tired than I'd like to be.  I'm not taking naps, but I am sure thinking about them (I really try hard not to nap, since it screws up my nighttime rest, but that's sort of funky right now, too, so maybe I should just take a nap).  My legs are just tight all the time lately and don't seem to have the snap I'm looking for in my runs.  Weirdly, even though my mileage isn't high at all, I almost feel overtrained.

I'm going to do my best with that "listen to your body" thing.  Not my forte in general, especially when it comes to rest!  The real question here is how do I quantify this goal?  Because I do what I do, the likelihood of me taking more days of rest is pretty much zero, so I think what I really need to focus on is resting smarter, not harder.  For a person whose job it is to exercise, I actually spend a lot of time sitting - editing my videos, blogging and reading business-related stuff - so I'd like to rest more actively, if that makes sense.  And, since it's still on my Goals for 2015 list that is right here next to my computer even though I haven't followed through on it, I'd like to get my ass on the foam roller.

Ugh!  This officially makes me one of those Resolutionists.  These goals have moved waaaaaay down my list of priorities.  Meaning, they haven't been done.  Like.  At all.
So, here is my already-revised-from-two-paragraphs-ago list of fitness goals for this week:

  • Get my ass on the foam roller twice this week
  • Get up and walk around every hour while I'm on the computer
I was going to be more ambitious than this, but I know better than most that tackling too many things at once is the fastest way to fail at all of them.  So, cheers to baby steps!  I'll check in with these next week.

What are your fitness goals this week?  Wanna join in the link-up?  Go see Laura!!

Monday, April 6, 2015


When I got the email about being accepted as a Skirt Sports Ambassador, my first thought was "Omgomgomgomgomgomgomg, SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRTS!!!!" followed closely by, "I wish I could tell UltraIronHubs about this!" (It was 3 o'clock in the morning, not the nicest time to wake up your husband, even if you have really good and exciting news.)  And then a third thought hit me, "Oh, shit, I'm going to have to stop saying 'fuck' on the blog."

Because that's everybody's reaction, right?

If you've been reading my blog for more than two minutes, you are probably aware of the fact that I drop my share of F-bombs around here.  It's a thing.  I don't do it to be offensive or mean, it's just a really expressive word for me, and probably one of the most-used words in my exclamatory vocabulary - exceeded only by the word "dude," which has so many facets and layers of meanings it's unreal.

So, there was a moment of hesitation for me, where I was thinking about what it would feel like to censor myself because of, well, let's say "society's" expectations of how I should behave.  I mean, I know good and well that there's a time and a place for swearing, and when I'm in public or around other people's children I mostly keep it to myself.  Mostly.  And even though this blog is about as public as you can get - hellooooooo Internet! - I've always thought of it as being my own personal space, and therefore only subject to house rules.  Would that mean that I needed to be different (read:  cleaner and maybe a little more "Pinterest perfect") as an ambassador for a big sportswear company??  I drank my coffee, I went to work and put on a kick-ass boot camp, I went for a fabulous run, and when I was in the shower afterward, it suddenly hit me, "OMG, Kathrine Switzer!"

I know you've seen these iconic photos of her, nearly being shut down at Mile Two of the Boston Marathon, on her way to becoming the first registered woman to complete that race.

Kathrine Switzer is the reason that you and I can stand at the starting line of a marathon and be thinking, "Gee, I hope I don't crap my pants today," instead of, "Gee, I hope nobody notices I'm a girl."  In reading an interview with her (which I highly recommend you read in its entirety for yourself here), I think what struck me most was her account of that day and how she wasn't really setting out to break barriers or change the world - she was just a kid who wanted to run a marathon.  And yet, because of the way she was treated, she finished the race with a different vision of her future, one that included making the world of athletics better for all women.  Can you imagine having that kind of gumption at 20 years old?

Nowadays, Kathrine is still running (she has 39 marathons under her belt and one win at the NYC Marathon!), and is still making changes around the world for women who run.  She is at the head of the 261 Fearless movement, which organizes women's running events and spreads the message of being fearless in the face of adversity, and she has teamed up with Skirt Sports for their 261 Fearless line of running wear (check it out here - good stuff!).

So I was shampooing my hair and thinking about Kathrine Switzer, and I thought, "What if she had censored herself?  What if she let somebody else's ideas about how she 'should' behave dictate her actions?"  And then I thought about how Nicole DeBoom (the ridiculously badass owner of Skirt Sports) teamed up with Kathrine Switzer for the express purpose of empowering women to be their own badass selves and look good doing it.  I think if you run a company who "embraces the real lives of women with honesty, humor and empathy" that you probably already know that life is gonna throw some f-bombs your way.

I finished my shower - having veered off of these deep thoughts and into a nutty imaginary conversation with Kathrine and Nicole (because we're apparently on a first-name basis now), where we were all high-fiving and I thanked them for being fucking fearless - and felt really good about being asked to be a Skirt Sports Ambassador.

I'm certainly not making strides for women in sports on the world stage, but here in my corner of the world, I absolutely feel like I support and encourage women to live a kickass life by moving their bodies and pursuing athletic goals.  I know that running changed my life and I love to help other women feel that source of pride and confidence, too.  In my work as a running coach (and as a bootcamp babe and YouTube fitness star - I wear a lot of hats), it is my favorite thing in the world to witness and hear the stories of women who are learning to push themselves past their limits.

What do you do that makes you feel fearless??

Wanna celebrate Kathrine Switzer's fearless accomplishment and challenge your own limits?  Join the Fearless 261 Virtual Race on April 18th!  Check it out here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Freaky Friday Four-Miler

You know, I don't ordinarily walk in the door from a four mile run and think, "Damn, I should blog about that!"  Because, you know.  Four milers aren't usually all that exciting.  But today was definitely an exception to that rule.

Let me backtrack a few days first.  After Sunday's awesome half marathon, I was wiped out.  Like, surprisingly beat up - sore legs, sore butt, tired enough to take a nap, etc.  When I got up Monday, my lower back was all tweaky, too.  I have to say, I didn't expect to feel like that at all!  But, the show must go on, so I went about my normal Monday routine, running with a client and filming a YouTube workout.  It was a busy enough day that I didn't go back and check my Garmin or Strava until I was ready to head out for my run on Tuesday morning.  And there were Monday's stats still onscreen.  Okay.  That was odd, but not entirely out of the usual lately - my Garmin has been acting like a moody teenage girl for a while now and I've been staying in firm denial about it, so no need to change courses now.  But then Tuesday's run didn't upload.  And neither did Wednesday's.  Not cool bro.  When Strava still shows the number 0 on a Thursday morning, there is a big problem!


The silver lining here is that UltraIronHubs had ordered himself a late Christmas/early Birthday gift of the brand spankin' new Garmin fenix, which meant that I would inherit his old 620 (the watch I gave him for his last birthday and secretly coveted for myself - see how that worked out for me??).  So all I had to do was wait for UIH to get his new watch, which thankfully arrived yesterday afternoon.  *whew*

So, this morning, I was trying to figure out my new Garmin while I was doing my warm-ups.  It's a totally different everything from my old 310XT, and I didn't even know how to turn the darn thing on.  It's going to take some fiddling to get the screens right and learn how to read it quickly without tripping over myself.

As I was getting ready to head out the door, UIH and the boys and I were talking about the gigantic list of Shit That Needs to Get Done before we have guests for Easter and I was doling out jobs and deciding how many miles I had time for, when it occurred to me that as of yesterday, I have a new source of help for running errands:

That's Big Boy.  Driving.  I remember the day I got my license - I drove over to my friend Sarah's house without my mom's permission and got in trouble.  Big Boy got to drive to Walmart and pick up toilet paper.  I am the worst mom ever.
Needless to say, I was a liiiiiiiiiiiittle bit distracted while I was out on my run, picturing most of the worst case scenarios you can imagine and probably a few you can't.  He was fine, though my heart did stop in my chest around mile 1.3 when his name showed up on my caller I.D.  He just wanted to tell me that he didn't have enough money for everything on my list.  No biggie, and I was okay with taking a walking break just then anyway.

I also enjoy taking a walking break to take pictures of BABY DUCKLINGS!  You have to look really hard, they blend in really well with their environment.  I think there were six of them.  So stinking cute!!
There were a lot of people out and about today.  I saw a friend out on his bike (while I was on the phone - he's probably going to tease me later about being a slacker).  There were a few other runners and cyclists and several people who may or may not have been homeless.

Conquering the overpass.
And then there was the person lying down right in the middle of the nature trail.

At first, I was all "lone female on a path" looking for the nearest escape, and then I wondered if I was the jogger discovering a body.  I paused my electronics and approached carefully, trying to decide what exactly I was seeing - pile of clothes?  Actual person?  Random mannequin?  Threat?  Or medical emergency?

It was a kid, maybe 18 years old.  Lying on the ground.  He twitched a little as I got close, so I started thinking seizure, but no.  He was just really, really, really fucked up.  He never looked directly at me enough for me to decide if he was drunk or high, but I asked him if he was okay and he mumbled something about waiting until it was light outside (this was in broad daylight, by the way, around 9 am).  I asked him what he was doing and he said something about being okay, just hanging out.  He was clean, and there was no obvious sign of trauma, and his clothes and his phone were newer than mine, so I asked him again if he needed anything, and after he told me he was "all good" I continued on.

Needless to say, that bothered me.

I re-routed for the trip home, going out to the main road in search of a police officer I could flag down (the police station was less than half a mile away and I see black and whites on this street all the time).  As I got to the station, there happened to be two officers just getting out of their cars, so I raced across the street to tell them what I'd seen.

I don't imagine I looked like too much of an upstanding citizen myself right then, sweaty and out of breath, but I mentioned more than once that I had been out running.  At the very least, they took notes and thanked me for my concern, so I feel like I did what I could.

I can't stop thinking about that kid's mom.  I know that I'll never know the circumstances of his situation, so my mind is just filling in the blanks and sometimes that gets a little wild, you know?


What's the strangest thing you've seen on a run??  Ever run into a person having a medical or pharmaceutical issue??