Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Price I Pay for Speed

I ran hills yesterday with my antisocial running group. I'm not trying to be critical, but it's just the truth. They seem like nice enough people, yet pretty stuck in their own cliques and reluctant to talk to someone new. And, yes, I have made efforts. Usually I'm all, what's your name? what are you training for? been running long? Maybe I need some new questions like, are you on the rag? how long have you had that mole? do you have gas?

However, I have decided to be a grown up and not a high schooler and to make the best of it. It would be a bonus to meet some new running friends, but I am remaining focused on why I am there. I have noticed a huge benefit from all of the speed training. Boston here I come, right??

But back to yesterday: the coach, who I had never met before, but who I am paying to coach me, didn't care to ask my name, but called my "Saucony" for the first half of training and "Abs" for the second half (or maybe he was calling me "ass"). I guess these nicknames are better than "new girl," "slow poke," or the dreaded "shit for brains." Anyway, no speed work yesterday (unless you count sprinting up hills), so I felt compelled to go to the dreaded mother f'n track today.

My half marathon is next weekend. Smart Coach from (who by the way doesn't call me names, but just sits quietly on my bulletin board) insisted that I run 7 miles:

1 mile warm up
3x1600 @7:34 w/800 jogs
1 mile cool down

Yeah, yeah. 7:34 sucks for me. I knew I would hate it.

I got ready to leave and managed to drop the kids at the pool, if you know what I mean, before leaving. I ran the mile to the track at my son's middle-school-to-be. For some reason CO is experiencing very cool weather. It was 54 degrees. Perfection. With the cold weather has also come rain, so the track was soaked with many puddles. Crap, I thought. These will slow me down. I did the 800 jog, then started my first mile. All was going well until the familiar feeling crept over my. Are you kidding me? But I went before leaving the house! Why does this always happen to me no matter how far I'm running?

Mind over matter, I told myself. Hold it in. Keep going. Between my first and second 1600s, the urgency was indisputable. I would have killed for a bright blue porta potty. Even one that hadn't been cleaned in months and had no toilet paper. But alas, I had no choice but to visit the trees by the track and to do some fertilizing.

Mile 1: 7:21
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:33

I got home, cleaned up, and didn't have the heart to tell my son what had occurred at the track of his new school. Mostly because I could just see it: the sixth grade boys out for gym class. The usual bantering goes on. Someone farts. Someone else tries to do one louder. My son says, oh you think that's a good one! My mom once took a dump behind those trees.
The sacrifices I make for speed.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm In Serious Trouble

Tonight I am wondering what is wrong with those people in Oregon. You know - the ones who awarded me my trip to the Hood to Coast Relay.

Disclaimer: if any Strands folks are reading this (like they have the time and interest to read my little blog) I am THRILLED to be joining you. Cannot wait, in fact. So don't get the wrong idea.

Don't get me wrong - I love these folks for their generosity and willingness to take me, novice runner, on this adventure. But let me tell you why they are out of their f'n minds and why there is a very good chance they will be sorely disappointed in me:

  • I looked at the roster for the Team Strands/Puma Cats, the team I'll be running with. There are twelve of us. Nine men, three women. Okay, I can deal with that. I like being one of few women because I am pretty crude and might actually get along better in a van full of testosterone versus one full of estrogen. Men fart, burp and talk about body parts like nobody's business. I'm down with that.
  • Everyone with the exception of me and my husband (yes, the fabulous Strands guys found a spot for Ken on the team too!!) was born between 1975 and 1982, making them all 8 to 15 years younger than me (us). No big deal, I can hang with the young 'uns. I like Flor Rida and them apple bottom jeans (no clue what those are, but I sound cool don't I).
  • Ken and I are the only two from Colorado - the rest are from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Oregon. That's fine - I like cheese, Harvard and rainy weather so we'll have something to talk about.

But the true clincher is....these people are fast. And when I say fast, I mean their parents must have mated with gazelles and cheetahs to produce these kind of whippersnappers.

Every single one of my team members (minus Ken, sorry honey) runs between a 30 and 38 minute 10K. Did you hear me??? I did not say 30 minute 5K or even 30 minute 5 miler. I SAID 10K DAMMIT. I don't even know what that works out to: a two minute mile or something. Who does that? Who are these people and why the hell did they choose me to run with them??? Don't they know that I will single handedly destroy any chance they have of winning this thing?

Well, assuming they know what they are doing by choosing me, I have to hand it to them. They obviously are taking the high road. They would rather bring in some old, slow fart from Colorado and experience my presence than win this race. Maybe they're hoping for a boob shot. I will be forever eternally grateful they're taking me. But, I am mother-effing intimidated!!!

Quick - words of wisdom? Reasons I shouldn't be scared? Blogger friends, give it to me. Make me feel better.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Treadmill Lust

This is exciting. I've never had a guest post before. I think this one is worthwhile.

A little background: my good friend, Joie (jo.ey), is a runner like the rest of us. What differentiates her is that she likes to run on the treadmill and she likes to run inside. Freak of nature, I know. In fact, this is how and where she does 99.5% of her running. I give her a hard time: how can the fresh air, wildlife, mountain vistas and cool breezes of Colorado compare with wireless headphones, episodes of the Real Housewives and air conditioning?

The funny thing about Joie is she really is an outside girl. We camp every year. She goes elk hunting in the winter. She hikes and goes to the farmer's market. But her love of her treadmill and her TiVo cannot entice her to take her stride outdoors.

Well, friend Joie was faced with a challenge this week. Her father-in-law was staying with the family. He was sleeping on the couch beside the treadmill, thereby rendering the treadmill off limits in the early morning hours when Joie wanted to work out. So she felt forced, obligated to venture outdoors. The following is her experience:


What I Learned Today - By a Treadmill Runner

This little, one time blog is for Beth, my best (and amazing) blogging friend.

I always run on the treadmill. I do mean always. Because my father in law is sleeping on the couch, right beside my beautiful treadmill, today I ran outside. Since I have an obsession with knowing exactly how far I run, I picked an obvious spot, McIntosh Lake. One time around the lake is 3.08 miles. I went around twice. Not a long run by any means, but a decent run of 6.16 miles. Did I do the math correctly?

This is what I observed:

Most people on the path are women walking in pairs.
There was one woman “wogging” with her dog. Or is it a ”wog”?
A flock of geese flew just over my head and it was really cool.
I saw the cutest baby bunny; so tiny.
The lake really does sparkle in the sun.
They mow the grass with a big tractor which they haul in on a trailer. Why not just drive the tractor to where they are mowing?
A man was sitting at a picnic table writing on one sheet of notebook paper. Was he writing a love letter, apology note, to do list? He looked sad.
The mountains are so pretty.
I also like how the tall grass looks when the breeze blows.

Things I learned:

AJ likes Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Kiss, and James Taylor…A LOT.
Foreigner’s song, Hot Blooded, is still way cool.
Just listening to James Taylor makes me feel connected to AJ, even though he is at home.
There is no wind on the treadmill.
If you run through a pain it will go away.
My mom is a very strong woman. Go figure.
Life is always going to be good, no matter what is thrown at me.
I really can run without watching True Blood or the Closer.
Oh…I also learned that if I ran any further than 6.18 miles, I would most likely shit my pants. No kidding. I was really was worried.

In one outside run I learned a lot. Plus, I came up with the great idea of writing this for Beth. I do believe I will be heading outside again.


And she did run outside again. Just yesterday. I think she's getting hooked.

Here's a task for each and every one of us: go outside your comfort zone. Do something today that takes you beyond your normal routine, your safe limits. Something that is unexpected or "not typically you." I promise this is where the richness of life can be found.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hope Oregon Likes Me

Me, jumping for joy

I'll just shut up and say it (in caps so you get the gist):


I will be going on an all expense trip to Oregon (Aug 27-29) to run on a Strands sponsored team in the Hood to Coast Relay.

I'm not sure why Strands chose me. Maybe it was my boobs (but, oh so small - a handful at the most). Or the fact that sometimes I crap myself while running. Maybe my entry - my goofy poem - was just all that good. Or more likely, they didn't have that many entries. But you know what? I don't care because I get to go on this trip and to run in my first relay with strangers and beer. Check out for a pretty cool video view into the event.

I suppose I should be kind of concerned that it is 197 miles, starts at the top of Mt. Hood, runs through Portland and down to the coast. It requires me to run 3-4 legs of the race. Maybe it should bother me that we run all day and all night and that I will be in a van for vast amounts of time with 11 team mates who I don't know. Maybe I should worry that I'll be the slowest, the dorkiest, the smelliest and/or the weirdest.

But you know what? I don't give a shit!! I am going on an adventure into the unknown world of relays and Oregon-people. At my age (42) it's all about keeping the fire burning and the risk alive so that I don't settle into some mundane and apathetic suburban lifestyle where my world becomes smaller and smaller and where fear starts to rule over shutting up and running. How'd you dig that run on sentence?

So, THANK YOU, everyone who signed up on Strands to support me. You guys are the best and I'm convinced that you all helped me win this thing!!

Oh, and as promised, there will be some killer blog entries and hopefully some body shots (not body shots as in putting salt on my body parts and getting it licked off by some stranger chugging tequila), but photos. Those are for you Vanilla and Jamoosh.

Monday, July 20, 2009

PR Means What???

Don't look up my skirt
First off, you are all amazing! Thank you for support on They are making a decision tonight on who goes to Oregon, so I'll keep you posted. I have another possible surprise to share, but have to keep quiet for now on that one.

Remember when you used to just run for the hell of it?

I'm sitting here, 17 weeks out from my next marathon, contemplating how to train. I've got papers scattered everywhere - Hanson's, Higdon's, Smart Coach, Cool Running. What plan to use? Better to do higher mileage over more days or one long run per week? Better to take one rest day or three? How many hells, tempos, fartlickings?

I could devise my own plan, but it would probably include a lot of sleeping in, beer drinking and 1-2 mile runs, which will never get me to my goal of a 3:50 BQ time.

There was a simpler day when my running was basic and irresponsible.
  • A huge beef stroganoff lunch eaten 20 minutes before a run
  • Shoes bought clearance the day before a 10K at Kohl's because I liked the color. Couldn't walk for four days after. The kicker: they weren't even running shoes.
  • No compressions t's, body glide, ear buds, Garmins, gels, fuel belts, cell phones, training plans, mileage goals per week

It was a carefree type of running that had no structure. I was slow. I couldn't go far.

There has to be a middle ground between beef stroganoff and marathon plans scattered all over my desk. I think it's called moderation. It's also called: RELAX!!!

For the love of God! We spend so much time buying the right stuff, finding the right plan, reading the right books, eating the right foods, that we completely over-analyze ourselves. This can only lead to three things:

1. Extreme self absorption

2. Extreme race anxiety

3. Possible PRs.

Yes, we do it for #3!!

I think of my first marathon back in January. Having never run very far, my only goal was to run the whole thing and to finish. Despite pressure to have a time goal, I resisted. I just wanted to make it to the end in one piece. I was not focused on pace and time. Hell, I had no Garmin or fuel belt. I thought PR stood for pretty rectum (well, not really but you get the idea). And I ran a great race and I had a great time.

Fast forward to today. I've got a time goal. And with that comes a burden, an urgency, a requirement. Sure it is self imposed, but it is all those things nonetheless. The question is: can you relax and enjoy the ride during training and still get a PR?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Indulge Me

OK, yeah I'm groveling.
You know I'm really trying to win the contest to go to Oregon for the Hood to Coast relay with the a Strands sponsored team. I promise more boob shots if you will register at, go to my profile (shutupandrun) and list yourself as a follower. Apparently this will increase my chances of winning...that's not me or anyone I know below, but it COULD be.'s the clincher.....if I do get picked to go, you all will be privy to reading the most amazing blog entries by me EVER - and I know how you all wait on pins and needles for my updates. It would be pretty cool, though, to be part of this amazing relay with an amazing team. I'm sure I'll crap myself or expose myself or embarrass myself in some way that you all would find entertaining.
You guys are the best.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bloody Mess

There are some things I would like to tell you about this picture. Four things specifically. Go ahead, see if you can name them (this is kind of like "Highlights" magazine and having to find the hidden pictures).

1. Yes, I AM ALIVE after my blind running date. She did not abduct me and she did not even try to get to first base. In fact, she was quite pleasant and was exactly what she said she was. Not sure how often we'll run cause we are at different paces and places in our training, but I always enjoy meeting other runners.

2. Yes, that is a bloody sock I am wearing. I did not just come back from wearing these socks to the cafeteria and stepping in a heap of ketchup. Guess my last pedicure didn't get those nails short enough. The only good thing about doing such an f'n hard run this morning was that it took my mind off of the hemorrhaging from my toe.

3. Yes, that is my black cocker spaniel, Lucky, behind me. What you may or may not notice from this angle is that Lucky has three legs. We adopted him this way so I don't know where the other leg is. Sometimes he has phantom leg issues and pretends to be scratching his ear with his stump. It's kind of pathetic, yet at the same time funny. Another thing to know about Lucky is that he always has problems with his little penis sticking out and staying out. That is not clear from this picture, but is the truth. If you'd like more info on this, please visit my off color "other" blog. But please read at your own risk.

4. Yes that is a new running shirt I am wearing from my "Boulder Striders" running club. Here is a picture of my boobs my new shirt (just because I love it).

We had another training run today. People were nicer to me. In fact, I met some really cool folks.
The crappy part about today was running a four mile time trial. I probably would have liked to have sucked that blood out of my toe or looked at Lucky's lipstick all day than endure that. Not to mention that there was one runner who passed me who was grunting SO loudly like she was in SO much pain that I couldn't believe it. I have truly never heard anything like this. And this was at mile one. She wasn't even close to being done. And she did it the entire time. Some older guy walking on the path even commented to his wife that "if it's that hard, she really should stop." I asked one of the coaches if grunting girl was okay and the coach said, "Oh yeah, that's just how she runs."

As for me, I didn't go as fast as I might have wanted:

4 miles: 32:14

Mile 1: 8:12
Mile 2: 8:17
Mile 3: 8:09
Mile 4: 7:40

Avg pace: 8:09

I am proud of myself that I followed directions to "keep something for the end and to finish strong." At least I'm a good direction-follower.

And all this before 8:30 a.m.

How's your day?

Monday, July 13, 2009

"See Mommy Run" Killer?

I have a blind running date at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow and I just hope she isn't the Craig's List killer's imitator. I'm a trusting soul so it really didn't occur to me that it might be slightly stupid to meet a stranger, by myself, at a park at 6:30 in the morning. What would have been stupid is if I agreed to meet her at 9:00 p.m in a dark alley. That's just dumb. But 6:30 a.m. at the swings?

I mean, she said on-line she was trying to get back into shape post-baby. She said she just wanted to do a 3.5 mile loop. She said she was training for a half marathon. She did not say she was bringing a machete, plastic bag and duct tape. So I think I'm okay. But come to think of it, that erotic masseuse who posted her services on Craig's List probably thought she was okay too.

To answer your question, I did not post myself on Craig's List looking for running friends. I'm not that desperate. I did, however, post on a site called trying to start up a running group here in Longmont.

See Mommy Run is such an innocuous/corny sounding site that it just has to be legit. After all, it's not or

My first long term relationship ever started on a blind date when I was eighteen. One of my best friends I met on a blind date after I moved to a new town and posted a sign in the library to meet other moms.

Tomorrow could be the day I meet another best friend or lesbian lover (calm down, just kidding about that part Jamoosh).

Am I nuts? Would you do a running blind date? Comment away, my blog friends.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Didn't Even Mess Myself

I love progress! This is exciting. Today was the Roger's River Run 5K in the thriving metropolis of Longmont, CO. Our whole family ran it last year and we showed up again this year. It was a great day for a run in Colorado. Hot air balloons overhead, mountains as the backdrop.

Last year, prior to starting my marathon training, I ran it in 26:30. This year: a PR for me of 23:44 putting me in 4th out of 28th in my age group and 15th out of 257 females overall! You have to understand what an accomplishment this is for me. Prior to starting to train for my marathon in Sept. '08 I had never run further than a 10K. My best 10K time was 56:00. I am here to say that if you get off your ass and train and have a smidge of discipline, you really can meet your goals, whatever they may be. And I didn't even crap myself. Obviously I am disciplining my G.I. tract as well. Here we are, post race:

I will say that I started out fast and got progressively slower. Not the best strategy as I usually prefer to start slow and speed up at the end. But that's what I did:

Mile 1: 7:10
Mile 2: 7:33
Mile 3: 8:02

For an average pace of 7:39.
My first born and stud-son, Sam (age 11), ran it in 27:40, which was also a 5K PR for him. Emma and Ken finished in 40:00. Not bad for an eight year old and her 43 year old dad.

Now, something weird happened to me while running and I wonder if this has happened to any of you. This was a first for me. About mile two my right leg felt totally dead. Like all the energy was drained out of it and I couldn't make it work. It did however, keep working. It was almost like it was asleep without the pins and needles. A complete and overall feeling of fatigue in that leg. Then about a half mile later, it woke up. Very odd. Anyone had this happen before?

Kind of cool - I saw someone I know in the community who reads my blog after the race. He yelled out "Hey, there's Shut Up and Run!" Hi Eldon!
Best weekend to all of you out running races this weekend! I know there are tons of them around here. Congrats to Marlene at Mission to Another Marathon for her 5K PR of 22:40!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just A Little Drool

It's weird how you can have a really good, strong run and feel on top of the world. Yes! My training and hard work is paying off! I must have eaten the right thing for breakfast! I hydrated well! I am a stud!

Then the very next day, you have a humbling, shitty run that concerns you. I'll never make my time goal! I am a loser! How did I get so slow?

Today I ran with my running group. We warmed up for two miles, did some strides, then ran four-six minute intervals at what should be our half marathon pace. Once again, no one runs that pace. They all run as fast as they can. So that is what I do. Then I die.

I swear, on the last interval, it was about 80 degrees, blasting sun and I was done. I was probably only doing a 7:30 to 8:00 min/mile pace. Several runners were ahead of me. One girl had the most interesting stride. I found myself wondering how in the heck she could run like that. Feet almost touching her butt with each stride, arms flailing, but she was fast. She told me she was trying to meet the same marathon goal as me to BQ (3:50 marathon). She only missed it by four minutes during her last marathon. I was eating her dust.

And to top it one really talked to me. (except weird stride girl). I was the dreaded new girl with no friends. So here I was, huffing and puffing and sweating and wanting it to end. And it did and then I felt better, although I hate getting so blasted tired. Is this just the way with these damn intervals or am I out of my league??? I drank my post workout Gatorade alone.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

An Ode to Why I Run

Happy 5th of July!!

I am entering a contest at with hopes of winning an all-expense paid trip to Oregon to participate in The Hood To Coast Relay on one of two Strands Sponsored Relay Teams. A dream come true for me. Being a newer runner, I've never done a relay. I've also never been to Oregon. Word has it that the Hood To Coast Relay is the best relay in the nation. Thanks to the happyrunner for introducing me to this contest! Following is my entry. A poem about why I run. I am no poet, but this little rhyme sequence is from the heart.

An Ode to Why I Run

It’s an interesting question: why I run
Besides the fact it keeps me from weighing a ton
I haven’t always been a runner, no not at all
This madness started for me some time last fall

A card came in the mail from those Team in Training guys
I usually ignore these things, but this one caught my eyes
“Run a marathon!,” it screamed at me
“Do it for charity. Stop being so lazy!”

I went to the meeting: “Maybe I’ll do thirteen point one”
After all, a 10K was the furthest I’d ever run
Four months later, there I stood in the freezing cold
In a corral in Phoenix with a bib, a chip, and Vaseline in every fold

I won’t say it was easy, running all that way
Twenty six point two miles by the end of the day
Black toenails, blisters, an upset G.I. tract
But I had run every step and I was still intact

And surprise of surprises, I didn’t come in last
My time? Well, I wasn’t very fast
I ran it in four oh three, not too bad, I suppose
A good enough pace despite all those farmer’s blows

I raised some good money to pass onto those in need
But my success went beyond this good deed
Let’s face it, this running thing was turning me on
I wanted to keep going and going strong

So why do I run?, you ask like you care
I guess I have just a few things to share

I love how I feel after ten miles
When I have dried salt on my brow and bad hair styles
How the veins on my legs pop out and strain
How I am proud of myself for pushing through pain
How the farm smells, how the wind feels on my face
How I can solve the world’s problems in my head at my own pace
How I feel fit, how I feel strong
How I go further than I ever thought I could have gone
But the main reason I run, without a doubt
Is that running makes me a better person, inside and out

So I keep running, doing lots of races
Trying for new goals and meeting new faces
I’ve got my fingers crossed to visit Boston next spring
But until then I’ll just keep doing my thing.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

S&M in Your Eighties?

Yesterday was one of those "shut up and run" days. I woke up tired. I wanted to be out running by 7:30 a.m., before the heat set in, but at 8:30 a.m. I was still languishing on the couch with my coffee.

Ken: "Having trouble getting motivated?"

Me: "No shit. I'm tired. My stomach is bubbly."

Ken: "What did you have for breakfast?"

Me: "A pop tart."

Ken: "Well there's the problem. You deserve the bubbles."

Me: "But it's the new pop tart with 20% of your daily value of fiber! 10% vitamin A! 10% Thiamin! Your daily dose of corn syrup solids, glycerin and hydrogenated cottonseed oil!" (I do think it's really funny how the marketers try to make really unhealthy food seem healthy. Like Velveeta: Now with more calcium. Or Crisco: Smooth new taste! You can eat it by spoonfuls right from the can!).

Ken: "You're a freak. Shut up. Run."

And run I did. It was hot. I was tired. I pulled out some 8.0/mm pace miles. I wanted to be done. But in the last couple of miles, I saw the most amazing (or disturbing) thing.

Here come two runners towards me. One is probably in his forties, the other in his eighties. Yes, I said eighties. The forty-ish guy is slightly ahead of the eighty-ish guy. I look over to them as they pass to give my standard good morning wave. I notice that the eighty-ish guy is holding a rope pulled by the forty-ish guy. My immediate thought was, "Well, if some eighty year old is old, tired and dedicated enough to be pulled on a rope, there really are NO excuses to not be out here running." I mean really!

So I tell this story at dinner last night. I was relaying it as an inspirational anecdote. Everyone at the table thought the "geriatric rope pulling" was some sort of golden-ager abuse. Either that or there was some crazy S & M stuff involved. Did I mention the forty-ish guy had a whip? Just kidding.

I still think it is eff'ing awesome that eighty-ish guy was out there.

So as if my senior citizen encounter wasn't enough to brighten my day, I come home to see my 11 year old son, Sam, looking like this:

It just made me smile. Robe with no shirt on. Coffee. Morning paper. He's either going to be a professor or Hugh Hefner one day.
Happy Fourth!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Garmin City

I started with my new running group today. I am going to make a confession here: I actually lost sleep last night because I was anxious about the group. You know - will I be the slowest, will anyone be nice to me, blah blah. Kind of felt like the first day of school or starting a new job. I hate not knowing what to expect.

I pulled up to Coot Lake by the Boulder Reservoir at 7 a.m., coffee and Luna Bar in hand. I surveyed the scene. I know people in Boulder are generally and stereotypically in good shape, but this was ridiculous. I was greeted by Joanne who must have been pushing sixty. Her muscles and veins bulged (in a good way). She looked like she hadn't missed a day of exercise since she had the chicken pox in third grade. And the trainers? Don't even get me started on those people and their bods.

Funny thing, I didn't wear my Garmin because I didn't know if that was necessary. We have coaches after all, isn't someone timing us? Well we started with a 15 minute warm up run. At mile one everyone, and I mean every one's Garmins went off - bells and whistles all around. I think I was the only one without the big laptop on the wrist.

We did some stretches, then sets of 20 second sprints. Then it was onto four - five minute intervals at a 1/2 marathon pace with a minute slow jog in between. I did these at less than an eight minute mile pace, which is hilarious because there is NO WAY I could run a half at that pace. I just didn't want to get left in the dust so I pretended this was my pace. Stupid, I know. I need to grow up. Then it was more one minute intervals at a 5K pace. In total, it was a 10K run.

I decided I liked this group. They were all very friendly, all very middle aged like myself. I wasn't the first of the pack, but I certainly wasn't the last. Sometimes it sucks to stick your neck out and start new things, but usually you are glad you did.