My First Rounds

On Tuesday, April 14th I was heading to my gym, Touch Em Up, like it was any normal day and expecting the normal workout.  What I got was SO much more.

TouchEmUpLogoAs I’m pulling up to the gym, my trainer, Jameson Bostic, calls wondering when I’d arrive.  He never calls so I knew something was up. When I arrived, he asked me about getting in the ring with fellow trainee/general badass/model hot, Jesse.  My first instinct was to laugh.  Was he serious? “She’s just going to work defense so try to get her good.  She won’t punch back.” He says.  So wait.  I have a chance to get in the ring with someone I totally admire and I can only punch her? Yes please!

So we all hop on treadmills to get our blood flowing.  One by one he suits us up for the ring.  Wow.  I really had no idea.  Not only are there special gloves for the ring, there’s special padding to wear.  You wear something called a cup to protect your sides and organs.  Also a helmet that is surprisingly uncomfortable.  Oh and this protective gear that you wear only makes you sweat about 17 gallons.

While we are suiting up, the rules changed.  Jesse’s coach didn’t see much point in her only working defense.  So I actually agreed to take punches.  We did agree to no faces however.  I simply can’t go to school looking like a thug even for fitness reasons.  Also, Jesse had a photo shoot (?!?) the next day.  So before I knew it, here I am standing in the ring with a girl who actually does competition fights, whose ready to hit me.


PAUSE. I, Kimberly Galbreath, have never been in a fight.  My sister and I just weren’t fighters.  We just didn’t really get into physical fights.  Through middle school and high school, other than using my mouth, I never got in a fight.  Even as an adult, I’ve never had to physically hurt someone.  The closest I’ve ever come was shoving a homeless guy trying to get into our building. I’ve never thrown a real punch with the intention of hurting the other person. In some ways, (although very few) I really am just a white Midwestern girl.

So we are all suited up for the ring.  And I’m not even nervous.  I can’t explain it but somehow I knew I’d be fine.  I trust my coaches and know they only have my best interest at heart.  This is absolutely key within a relationship with your trainer.  Jameson explains the round time (2 minute fight with 30 second rest) and gives me a quick minute of advice and what to throw.  And then the bell rings.

When the bell rings, you forget about everything else.  This person is about to punch you and it’s your job to punch back and try not to get hit.  Well, turns out I’m not very good at either of those things.  While I felt confident that I could survive the rounds alive, I knew I wasn’t experienced enough to win.  After 5 or 6 rounds, I survived.  I was able to get some good throws in but I freeze.  Whenever Jesse would get a good combo in, I would just stand and brace the punches instead of using my punches to get her away from me.  My footwork is slow so she was able to outpace me for sure.  But, even though I definitely lost, I got in the ring and fought  several rounds with an amateur Colorado Golden Gloves competitor and it was awesome.


During the rounds, I took several good hits from her.  I expected every punch to leave a mark and wake up the next day with bruises everywhere. I took one to the chest and right hip that hit HARD and even one accidental to the face.  But, I only ended up with one injury. All the other hits went away within minutes.  The injury I got, was because of my own defense and I know in the future I’ll be much better at defending!

I ended up with a cracked rib/bruised rub/tweaked ligament or something.  The left side of my chest hurt immediately after getting hit and continued to bother me through the remainder of the rounds.  My breathing was shallow and it hurt to take deep breaths.  But it didn’t seem so bad.  Later that night I even ran 4 miles.  By the time I got back from my run, I knew it wasn’t good. My chest bothered me all through the run and when I got back I had to take ibruprofen and ice it.  This continued for several days.  I asked advice from my coaches and alerted them to what was hurting so they could help adjust my workouts for the rest of the week.  They also told me it was best to work through it instead of taking time off.

Now, 5 days out, they were right.  Now I know what I can do with an injury.  My chest continues to get better even though I haven’t rested a single day since.  I’ve even already gotten back in the ring to work offense.  However, I’ve grounded myself from any more real sparring.  Since my goal and focus right now is the marathon, I can’t risk doing activities at the gym that might risk my training.  So, 5 weeks from now, you bet you’ll see me back in the ring!mH6tuH11G2Q8YB8hDarkIS4mEToN46RfF7kLywAJy39a4oZSueTcw_evJQg_Lit3iVXXNhYWo6sH0oP09zgyCr3FAgAJznt-TC1Y6VKyC5ERAc6xlzc59Jc8aGQNy3pS3dv6ta69PIA11S657qDA8lQcXMZ9OAIWTD5VGCYyIrSnq9CylAKjWc3ipGWkndoOz4NAq3PAOqirsx5CAvmL1HRXMS

Things I’ve Learned about Being a Runner #3

This week I logged 16 miles!  Today I went for my long run of 9 whole miles!  I still can’t believe my endurance can carry me that far.  Even with an injury this week, (more on that later and my first ROUNDS IN THE RING!) I managed to follow my running schedule and improve my times.  On today’s run, I had personal bests across the board!  Here’s what I learned about being a runner this week:


Mother Nature sucks – I only like to run outside.  If I have to run on a treadmill for over an hour, I’ll kill somebody.  This week, mother nature forgot to check my running schedule before sending us several inches of wet slushy snow.  My usual running days are Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday and sometimes Saturday.  On Thursday, I was planning a ‘quick’ hour at the gym and then 4 miles.  BUT instead it snowed all day.  I was unable to run so I just put extra time in at the gym.  On Friday, it was still raining and snowing.  I have started a Friday Fun Run club at work and we had to cancel our run.  Around 4 or 5 it FINALLY cleared up so I could put in 3 miles before meeting friends.  The weather really messed up my whole plan this week.  But still better than running on a treadmill!

Temperature Matters – I’m still following the Jeff Galloway method and in his book he discusses temperature for running.  I have to admit I thought this was total crap.  I mean the difference between 40 degrees and 90 degrees would obviously change your running.  But the difference in just 10? Give me a break.  But I think there’s some truth behind it!  I’ve been recording my runs in a journal and how they felt along with the temperatures.  Galloway claims that when the temp is below 60 degrees, you can run nearly 30 seconds faster per mile.  While I haven’t looked into my stats that closely, my times are definitely better when the weather is below 60.


Weird Runners – As much as I hardly see the other runners when I’m out, there are always a few that I can’t help but notice.  Today was long sleeve weather but I still saw a guy running in what appeared to be a speedo and carrying the rest of his clothes.   And I’m thinking, “Dude.  I’m on mile 7 and still wearing all my clothes. Did you lose a bet or something?” There are people that breathe weird.  People that run weird. (Pretty sure that you’re boobs shouldn’t be hitting you in the face, pretty sure) All you can hope for, is that you’re not one of them.

Stupid After – I become completely stupid after a long run.  Twice now, I’ve met a friend for coffee at the end of my run.  Both times, I can’t even order my coffee correctly.  My brain has been in the zone for so long that it’s hard for it to crawl back out.  It usually lasts about a half hour.  Keep this in mind when scheduling things close to a run.  I also find that I don’t have the concentration and reaction time to drive for a while afterwards.  Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m completely stupid after a run.  My body needs carbs and hydration pronto and then I usually feel much better!


Injury – Both the hubby and I suffered an injury this week.  Dan has a broken foot from our run last week so he isn’t running at all right now.  I’m encouraging him to go for walks to keep his foot moving but I’ve grounded him from running until it heels a little more.  I also suffered a non-running injury this week.  I have a chest injury that you can read all about later this week.  I think it’s a cracked rib or torn something or tweaked ligament.  Either way it hurts and has been affecting my breathing all week.  The day it happened, I didn’t realize it’s degree of pain and ran anyway.  This was not smart.  I ran 4 miles and felt like total crap.  My time sucked and my chest hurt worse.  Each day, I continued to exercise per my trainer’s recommendation but adjusted exercises as much as possible.  I would then decide if my body could handle the next day based on if it felt better.  Each day I feel better and stronger even while working out.  My point here – some injuries can be worked through, some can not.  Listen to your body!

Things I’ve Learned about being a Runner #2

Well here I am 5 weeks out from the big race.  Each day I get closer to feeling like a real runner and that I’ll be able to not only finish the race, but actually run it.  I logged 18 miles on my sore legs this week and made it to boxing four times, with a full time job.  I’d say my body and mind are holding up pretty well!

Things I learned this week about running

I see No One – While I am running the course, whatever course that may be, I don’t see hardly anyone.  I probably pass nearly 30 people and countless cars when I run.  I probably only notice 10% of what is around me.   With that being said I ALWAYS notice the hot, fit men with their shirts off! 🙂 The beauty of this point is that I know hardly anyone is noticing me.  If they are, it’s about a 5 second interaction and then I’m gone forever.  I have yet to notice the same person on more than one of my runs.


Real Runners Walk – I have yet to have a discussion with a distance runner that doesn’t walk a least a little.  I always thought people that could run over 5 miles run the entire distance.  This is just not true.  A lot of runners that I envy have admitted to a run/walk/run method.  Every runner plays mind games like, I’ll run to that sign or I’ll run to end of the song.  It’s ok to walk! You’ll notice as you are running that your recovery time should get better each time you run.  I’m down to needing less than 30 seconds to recover my breathing.

There’s a Million Best Methods – Like with dieting, there are a million ways to get the job done.  There are all sorts of running methods to achieve your ideal time and health injury free.  There are a million different ways to fuel your body.  I think the important lesson here is that you find something that works for you.  If you don’t like the method you have chosen, pick something else!  It’s ok to switch even mid training season.  I’m still doing the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk/Run method and loving it.

I Might Always Be Nervous – To this day, before every workout or run, I still get nervous that I can’t do it.  But what’s the worse that could happen? I’m two miles from the house and have to walk home? My body has yet to break down and refuse to go any further.  As long as I can keep moving my legs, I’ll always make it back. I don’t know if this nervous feeling will ever go away.  It leaves within the first few minutes of working out but I think it will always be there.  Maybe it’s my inner fat girl still? Who knows, but I’m ok with this feeling.

I’m Always Disappointed in My Time – I try to consider my time while I run, but not let it change much of what I’m doing.  By the time I get through the first mile, I’ve already settled into a speed and stride that is comfortable on that day.  There are so many things that can effect your time.  People on the course, temperature outside, hydration level and mental fatigue are all going to effect your run.  Also, as I increase my distance, I often find it’s hard to pace myself correctly.  How far is 10 miles really? If I’m in mile 5 now, how should I feel?  The more I run the more my body knows the distance and how fast it can go.  I know I’ll get the hang of this but for now, I’ll always be disappointed with my time and thought I could have gone a little faster.  Maybe it’s just part of my personality too!

Weird Things Happen on Runs – Each run, something bizarre happens.  I have run through an Easter egg hunt.  I’ve been cat-called from the street and honked at.  Yesterday I saw a full set of silverware on the side of the rode.  Today we found a free frosty key tag and saw someone following a runner on a scooter while shouting “Faster!”.  It just happens.  It’s the beauty of life!  Each day I try to take a picture of my run just to remember what I saw that day.


Runner’s Code – I’m really considering starting a Runner’s Code on my course.  Sometimes when I pass people I want to put up my hand to high five them; just to say “I’m doing something sucky and so are you!  High Five!” But……no one seems to want to do that!  I could end up being the total weirdo of City Park, but it would be so nice to have support of fellow runners while you’re out.  Who knows, maybe it will catch on?

The Need for Speed

This last week, several different situations hit me really hard emotionally. All three things were totally outside my control.  My first reaction to each situation was to RUN.


In the past, when I was hit hard by life or dealt a bad hand, I would want to go home.  I would want to hole myself up in my house and watch endless hours of crap TV.  And of course with watching TV comes eating loads of crap.  Crappy situation= Crap TV + Crap food. But this week, I was able to react much differently.

Thursday morning, I got some devastating news about a student.  The first thing I wanted to do was run.  Later that day, I found out I didn’t get a job position I wanted. Now my feet were practically dancing to get out of there.  All day I knew I had boxing class ahead of me and a 4 mile run.  So I was able to compartmentalize (well….not totally but much better than in the past) and make my body and mind wait until the appropriate time for an outlet. Not that it was easy but I was really proud of my response.

This is how I know I’m becoming a legit runner.  Running now allows me to zone out, be at peace and move! So when life is too noisy, I find the quiet in running.  Boxing and Running are now my happy place, instead of in front of a TV, shoveling cheese doodles into my face.  I’m now realizing, in the past, to feel like I got control, I would just be more out of control.  To deal with a huge amount of stress or grief, I would let my eating get out of control and my laziness.  That doesn’t even make any sense! But I thought it made me feel better.   I didn’t ever realize that I was just creating a never ending cycle.

Now, my instinct is to better myself by controlling my body and mind and it feels SO much better. After I got back from my run, I got the news that my second hometown had been hit by a tornado, leaving several of my past students homeless.  Instead of the news ramping me back up to where I felt out of control, I was able to absorb the news a lot better, make phone calls and really look at the situation objectively.  While I was hurting from three sources of devastating news, I was able to keep going and not crawl into a hole like I usually would because I had already had that meditation time. just-go-run

I feel like this last few of my posts have been total DUH moments.  These are all reasons that I’ve heard why other people run.  There has been nothing I’ve written lately that I haven’t heard before.  But the difference is now I’m actually experiencing it.  I hear runners say “the zone”, “I can’t wait to run”, “I love to run” all the time but I never actually believed it was true.  I guess it’s just one of those things you have to figure out for yourself.

Today: 5-6 Mile run.

Tomorrow: 7+ Miles, Post: Things I’ve Learned Running #2

Things I’ve Learned About Being A Runner #1

Well I’m one week in to being what I consider an actual runner.  I’m running long distances on a schedule now and have found my inner running happiness.  Today was “rest” day.  Since it was spring break last week, I worked out like a crazy person. Not a day went by without at least an hour of activity, usually much more.  So I had prescheduled my rest day for today to rest up to get back in my normal routine for work.  But………that didn’t happen. Today I woke up and actually WANTED to run.

Things I’ve Learned About Being A Runner Week One

It’s addicting.  I have heard people talk about how running is addictive before of course.  There are runners out there that practice it like a religion. But I would always find myself thinking, yeah right.  NO ONE actually likes running.  But it’s true.  Once you go a distance you never thought you could, you just want to do it again.  When you break a new barrier or finally find your zone (as I did this week) you just can’t wait to do it again.  Running is so measurable that it’s really easy to set goals to motivate yourself.


Over an hour, you must eat. This week I had an appointment with a nutritionist about how to eat to be a runner.  I know that running 4-5 miles is no big deal.  But I’m going to be running 10+ miles soon.  She suggested that after 60 minutes of ANY exercise activity, the body needs 30-60 grams of quick carbs.  That was shocking to me.  That seemed like a lot. So I went to Boulder Running Company and bought a bunch of those runner’s snacks. She said I could have whatever I wanted and didn’t upset my stomach for the remainder of the run.  Did you know they sell JELLY BEANS for running? You know I bought those! So I’ll be trying different snacks to see what I like over my next weeks of training.

Train the same, remain the same. This is something I had been doing but I heard it from several different people this week.  Every time I run, I should run how I’m going to run the race.  Whether that means water, food, headphones or shoes.  Every run should be the same.  Right now I’m not carrying water when I run.  I’m not sure if I’m going to continue this or not.  For today’s run, it was pretty warm and I really could have used water. I don’t want to change anything the day of the race.  I know they will have water every 2 miles and gel shots at mile 7.  I have to decide whether this is what I want to do or not.  I don’t want to be distracted by anything when I run, so anything I find to be a distraction now, I’m trying to fix.

Different Shoes for different distances. When I set out for 6 miles yesterday, I wore my favorite shoes ever.  The run before I’d worn my Brooks and they drove me crazy!  I’ve decided I simply just don’t like those shoes and will save them for an emergency pair in the back of the closet.  So I wore my Nike Flyknit Lunar 2s. IMG_1528I’ve posted about running shoes before here.But I never considered that they couldn’t go long distances.  During mile 5, my toes started to hurt.  It felt like my toenails were going to rub right off! While it wasn’t so bad that I had to stop, my toes continued to hurt the rest of the day.  I was almost in tears thinking that I wouldn’t be able to wear my beloved Nikes in the race.  I know it’s stupid.  I just love them!  So I headed to the running store to figure out what was the deal.  After finding a VERY knowledgeable staff member, I told him I didn’t know if it was my socks, shoes or stride that was hurting my toes.  He said the most common reason is that your shoes are the wrong size.  I was thinking, “Yeah. Right. I’ve been wearing these shoes for a year and a half. Don’t you think I would have noticed that they don’t actually fit?” But since these people know their stuff, I let him humor me anyway.  Then he brought out these beauties.Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Casa purple smudge men women


I was currently wearing a 10.5 so he put the exact shoe on that I have at home and looked at my foot and my stride.  He automatically said, “This shoe is too small. You need and 11.” I was again thinking there’s no way!  I wear a 10 or 9.5 in everything. So I explained how that shoe had never bothered me until today when I ran 6 miles.  He then went on to explain that the size was fine, for short distances.  He also explained that the farther you run, the more your foot expands.  So this explains why they had never bothered me before or until mile 5.  So I tried on the 11 in the new edition.  I had been dying to see the new Nike Flyknit Lunar 3’s but knew I didn’t have an excuse to buy them.  Well now I did!  I bought them on the spot because of BRC’s excellent return policy.

Running makes you feel like a superhero. Maybe it’s just me because I’ve envied runners my whole life but during a run and after I finish, I feel like a super hero.  You’re passing people eating junk food.  You’re passing other people just out for a stroll.  You’re passing people out to run errands.  And you’re thinking about how much more awesome you are than all of them.  And it’s kinda true. The runner’s high lasts for a while and all day I think about how I just did something that I never thought I could do.  All day I just want to tell people, “I ran 6 miles today.” Running makes me feel awesome because I can measure it.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to measure if I’m getting better at pull ups or tire flips or hula-hooping (yes you read that correctly) but knowing I can go an extra mile or two is exhilarating.  So many people will say to you, “I could never run that far.” but the truth is they could, if they just tried. 2012+Run+Superhero+Run+02

My Running Zone

This week I started my running training.  It has been both disheartening and exhilarating!

Firstly, I’ve decided not to go with the running schedule that I posted.  I talked to a few runners I know and they all didn’t agree with it.  John, a trainer at the gym, suggested the Jeff Galloway method to me.  So I dove in to see what it is all about.  Jeff Galloway believes in a Run-Walk-Run method to get to your target running pace.  You pick how fast you want to run your miles and then follow his plan.  You can read about it here.

I gotta say, I was sold when I found out I could walk!  I’ve never envisioned being able to run the whole half marathon without walking.  My goal is to cross the finish line knowing I gave everything I had.  I don’t even really care about my time as long as I’m true to myself.  So on Thursday, I set out for a run.  I had just read about the Galloway method that morning and decided I would just run and see what happens.  Maybe I can run longer intervals than I think?


Training Day 1 – 4 miles

When I woke up, it was cold and raining.  I had already told myself that I didn’t HAVE to go while still laying in bed.  However, I gathered my will power and put my shoes on.  I headed down the 5K course and actually stayed on the right path this time!  I ran 10:30 minute miles and stopped a lot.  Took pictures…..looked around…..lollygagged.  I couldn’t get myself to fall into the runner’s zone for more than a minute or two.  I noticed every person that ran by me and every car that passed. After 3 miles, I ended up at the light across from my apartment building.  The sun came out!  As I was standing and waiting for the walk light to turn, I said to myself, “You’re not dead. You can go for another.” So I did.  I ended up running 4 miles even though I only planned to run for 3.

After I got back, I felt strong and not totally dead.  But when I thought back on HOW I ran, I was disappointed.  I felt like I walked a lot even though I really didn’t know how much of it.  I was ok with my times but devastated with my focus.

What Goes Through My Head While I Run:

“Is that goose looking at me?”

“My (blank) hurts.” (Insert ANY part of the body)

“Where did she get those shoes?”

“That guy was hot.”

“Oooo.  A cloud.”

“I think that dog was giving me the stink eye.”

“Holy wedgie.”

“I hate this song.”

“God I hate running.”

“Why am I doing this to myself?”

So my first day running without the Galloway method was ok but not great. I got a good feel for how I naturally run……..which is very distracted.

Training Day 2 – 6 miles

Because I had run the course two days before, I knew exactly what to expect on today’s run.  I set out knowing that I would have to run the 5K course…….twice.  Today, I was going at it with a little different approach.  After reading more about the Galloway method, I figured I would give it a try.  It makes a lot of sense.  Also, in boxing, everything is timed.  I usually work at 2 minute rounds with 30 second rest.  While looking at the Galloway chart, I adjusted the times a little and chose my own interval.  I wanted to do 3 minute runs with 30 second rests.  Why? Because if I’m consistently running for 3 minutes with rest, boxing intervals will seem shorter being only two minutes.  And I know I can recover my breathing in 30 seconds and don’t need a full minute.  IT WAS MAGIC.

My brain is already programmed to working at intervals from boxing.  I never thought to use it for running.  DUH.  Today was the first day I ever visited THE RUNNER’S ZONE.  I have been struggling with this for some time.  I’ve even begun to think I’ll never be able to run the marathon like I want to.  I want to run it focused and determined and not be thinking about geese or pedestrians or self doubt.  So today I ran three apps during my run:

MapMyRun – For distance GPS tracking

Pandora – Who knew I’d love Eminem when I run?

RoundTimer – Totally customizable to how long you want your intervals

AND IT TOTALLY WORKED.  Instead of worrying about how much farther I should run before I walk, instead of thinking about how bad I want to walk, instead of thinking about how long I’ve already run, I just ran.  I set my timer to three minute runs with a 30 second warning and then a 30 second rest.  I was able to zone out so much better just because I didn’t have to worry about when to walk.  My music just told me.  A knock for the warning, buzzer to walk, and a ding to start. For my brain, this was a magic cure.  I’m already used to strict focus, activity and expectations for short intervals.  It was like the timer gave me permission to walk.  I wasn’t even strict about it.  Once or twice I ran through the rest.  Once or twice I rested an extra 15-20 seconds.  After the first lap, I was more than ready for the second. I knew I could do it even though I’ve never run 6 miles before.


It was also easier for me to understand how much work I had left to do.  I started to struggle at mile 5 because my feet were hurting (More on that tomorrow!) but then I started thinking…….3 rounds to a mile…..2 miles left…..that’s only 6 rounds! How many times have I gone 6 rounds with Jameson and didn’t die? How many times did I think I didn’t have another round in me, but I did? How many times have I been much more worn out than this and kept fighting? 6 rounds? I got this.

Today was the first day that I know I can do the marathon.  Not just cross the finish line.  Not just hope for the best.  Today is the first day that I know I’ll be proud of how I ran.  6 weeks to go!

Favorite New Running Anthem: Eminem – Till I Collapse



Please advise: This entire post is about underwear!

Last weekend, we cleaned out our bedroom closet.  By clean I mean, emptied the entire thing and put everything back in.  In the mean time we also swapped our winter clothes for summer, since spring has sprung here in Colorado.  After moving a shelf out of the way, I found a very old pair of underwear.  Don’t worry, they were clean!


When I checked the size, they were 18/20.  They didn’t seem that big really.  So I tried them on.  Even over my jeans, they were hilarious.  I’m now wearing a size 6 or 8 regularly.  One of the things I had the hardest time with when losing weight was underwear.  Here’s my advice: Most places have a buy 5 for 25 deal or something similar.  Buy 5 different cuts in the size that you think you are.  Decide later which ones you actually like. Wear them around the house before getting stuck in uncomfortable drawers the whole work day.  I have a problem buying pairs I think are fine and then I hate them when I wear them in real life.  Some are great for working out but not for work. Others are awesome for running but not cross training.  Buy lots of different kinds and narrow it from there.

One of the joys of wearing a smaller size underwear is that I can buy the cute pairs now that say things on them!  Before if I tried, you could never actually read what the said.  Or the cute pattern all stretched out, didn’t look the same.  Now when my hubby sees me sans drawers, he often chuckles and I forget it’s because my butt says something! (Yes this pic is a repost, but they are hilarious!)