Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Produces Greatness Anyway?

Running tip: When taking a long run, don’t plan a route that goes by your house mid-run. That’s just asking to cut your run short. Plan your long runs so you’re very far away from your car and your home. That way, all you can do is run back (unless you want to humiliate yourself by calling someone for a ride home).

I was watching that documentary, “Running on the Sun” the other night about the Badwater 135 mile Ultra marathon. You know that race: the one where crazy people run in 120+ degree heat through the valley of death and up mountains. The one where there is a lot of puking and weaving from exhaustion. The one where you are DQ’d if you need to take an IV due to dehydration. The one where they run on the white line so their shoes don’t melt. The one where people get all their toenails removed beforehand so they don’t have to deal with the nuisance of black toenails that fall off in their beds at night and getting stuck in their sheets to be eaten later by the dog.

The one where you find yourself wondering how it is possible for human beings to go this distance, in this heat.

If it’s not enough that a healthy, 30 year old can do it, there is always the token 67 year old grandpa, or the guy with the prosthetic leg who crosses the finish line. It’s not necessarily the elite athlete who runs this race. It’s the teacher, the writer, the bagel delivery guy.

In light of the Olympics, this has gotten me thinking: what makes an endurance athlete? What are the common traits that these seemingly invincible souls possess? 'Cause I want them for myself. Can I get them at Walmart? I actually like Target better – can I get them there?

First off, we know it can’t be all about being in good physical shape. Certainly that’s a component, but it takes extreme brain power to reach these heights. Any of us who have run races know that in the hard times it’s the mind that tells the body what to do not the other way around. Without mental and spiritual strength, you can become dogshit really fast.

There are tons of lists out there about what characteristics these athletes have, but this is my blog and I know you’d rather hear what I think. So, in my humble opinion, these are some of the traits needed for greatness, Shut up and Run style:

  • Commitment: This means venturing out for a training run when it’s not convenient – when you have a runny nose, when the weather is windy, snowy or rainy, when you have work to do, when you just plain don’t feel like it. You have made a promise to yourself to achieve your goals. Don’t go letting yourself down.

  • Strategy: There has to be a plan in place. A goal, a training schedule. This will motivate you to keep your commitment to yourself. Make it manageable, yet challenging. Tailor it to you and your needs by mixing up various plans if need be.

  • Giving up your Fear of Failure: To do great things, you have to be willing to fail. It happens to all of us. “Failing” is different for everyone. To some it is DNF’ing or DNS’ing, to others it is not meeting a time goal. Whatever it is for you – don’t let that hold you back. We all have sucky training runs and disappointing races. If you run long enough, you will probably get injured at some point. Roll with it. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off. Move on. Strategize for your next race and commit to it.

  • The Willingness to Run Your Own Race: You’ve heard it and it’s true. There will always be someone stronger, faster, better. Don’t get caught up in what Suzy blogger or Jim runner is doing. Set your goals for yourself. Compete with yourself to exceed them.

  • The Ability to Sacrifice: We all know nothing great was ever achieved without great sacrifice. Understand from the get go that it will not be easy. That you will be in pain. That you will be tired. That you will feel burn out. That you will have self doubt. That doing long runs on Saturday means missing Friday night happy hours. That a run might replace a lunch date. Know that you will feel these things and that you will continue on regardless. Because that is the sacrifice you are willing to make. You committed to it and you are willing to sacrifice for it.

  • Being Hard On Yourself. I don’t mean this in a masochistic way, but I bet you that any Olympic or endurance athlete will tell you that in order to be great, in order to meet goals, you can’t let yourself off the hook. Naturally, there is a time and a place to back off, but as a general rule, when you are tired, you keep running. When you are in mile 20 of a race and you hate life a lot, you keep running. You do this because you made a promise to yourself and because sometimes you need make your ass do things it doesn’t want to do. Life is not meant to be a ride void of challenge.

Yeah, yeah we all can’t be at the level of athletism that these folks are, but we can give it our best effort. This is a list from one who is not too experienced, but from one who has had to push through distance and pain. I would venture to say that most of us have inklings of these traits. What would happen if they were in full force and guided us each day?

I wonder, what do you think it takes to go the distance? We can learn a lot from each other.

PS: Don't forget to see if you won the Yurbud giveaway!

Drinking: H20

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yurbud Giveaway Winners!

Running tip: Even if you are completely addicted to your music during runs, try to run every once in awhile without it. This puts you in touch with your breath, your body and the world around you. In fact, some races do not allow iPods for safety reasons, so don't get too dependant on it! has done its work, and here are the winners for the Yurbuds!

  1. #36: Allie @ that girl's a running fool
  2. #44: Trailmomma
  3. #174: Jenna Z @ corgi pants
  4. #227: Jill @ running2sanity
  5. #233: Annika @ a swede abroad
  6. #240: Heather @ heathersrunningramblings
  7. #267: Dana @ getting my words out
  8. #302: Missy @ southern girl running
  9. #353: Katye @ runninaround
  10. #372: The Neilsen's @ nellyandwoody

Please email me (see upper right corner of blog) as soon as possible and I will give you the details no how to claim your prize. If I don't hear back in five days, I'll select another winner, so don't delay!

Drinking: Kirkland coffee roasted by Starbucks

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Never Too Early for a Bikini

Running tip: Going on vacation doesn’t have to be an excuse to throw your training out the window. Pick a hotel with a fitness center, or better yet, run through the city you are visiting or along the beach. Many runners would agree - the best way to learn about a new place is to run through it!

I bought this yesterday:

I know, I know. The top looks a bit small. That is because my boobs are non-existent a bit small.

Yes, it’s from Target and I’m proud. For all the money I spend there I should probably have a permanent tattoo that reads Cherokee. Or maybe Mossimo, because that sounds kind of mysterious and/or expensive. People will ask me on the street what it means. Maybe I will find out how to write it in Chinese and that would really cause a ruckus. Really, I should just get the red bulls eye tattooed where the sun don’t shine, but that might be kind of awkward at the gyno.

Notice I am not modeling this bikini. If you want that, you will have to ask for it.

Why, you ask, are you buying a bikini in the middle of February? For starters, each piece was only $7.98, and I never turn down a bargain. Second, I am thinking ahead to a warmer and gentler time. A time when people actually expose their skin without fear of frostbite. A time when ice isn’t crusting over your favorite body of water. A time when a breezy day doesn’t mean the temp falls well below zero.

Let me tell you how I cope this time of year. I plan trips to warm places. I start this in November. It is an expensive past time and coping mechanism. Here’s what’s on tap:

March 28: Playa del Carmen, Mexico. All inclusive. Family trip. We went here last year. It did not disappoint. This picture is from last year, after a few drinks. This was part of my strength training:

May 22: Vegas. Wynn Hotel. The first two days I will take classes to get certified as an RCAA running coach. That way, when I give running tips I have some sort of leg to stand on (be it kind of wobbly). The next three days after training will be pool, blackjack and trouble with the girls.

June 8: Dade City & Amelia Island, FL. Visiting the in-laws and taking a side trip to AI. This is the Ritz Carlton and probably not where we will stay because I shop at Target not at Nordstrom.
. Make no mistake about it. These trips have everything to do with running. I will run in the fitness center in Mexico like I did last year. They have these treadmills that overlook the ocean and it is incredible. I will sweat and go replenish with a margarita and a bucket of guac. I will be five weeks out from my marathon at that time, so there can be no slacking. In Vegas, I will be going to a coach's training. There will be no running. In Florida, I fully plan on some beach runs and some routes from the in-laws home (so they can tell me how crazy I am and ask me if my knees hurt and why I run so far and why I put my body through this and why, why, why).

Any vacations planned for you yet this year?

PS: Don't forget my giveaway. It ends tomorrow.

PPS: Ran ten miles today with only one squirt at mile 9.8 (it just had to get in there, didn't it?)

Drinking: Oregon Chai

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best Gifts Ever and Then Some

Running tip (sort of): Don't wash your iPod in the washing machine after you forgot to take it out of your pocket, but if you do, immerse it in a bowl of dry rice. The rice will soak up the water and your device might just work again. Mine did!

I am spoiled. I'll admit it. Not the kind of spoiled where you ask daddy for a pony and he runs out and gets it for you and if he doesn't you make everyone's life miserable around you, but the kind of spoiled where you have the most amazing people in your life who show you they care about you all the time, in the coolest of ways. Maybe I should say I'm blessed instead of spoiled,but I don't use the word blessed like ever. I feel like that's saying that Jesus is involved and maybe he is, but he might have been dealing with other things like Haiti and Iraq and hospitals and car accidents instead of me.

Let me start this post off by saying you guys are amazing. 108 birthday wishes and 108 weird and unique facts about yourselves.

Everything from Jenn w/2 n's who said she has coulophobia, a fear of clowns, to Fit in the city who was held up at gunpoint at a bank and locked in the vault, to Runnernic who has a birthmark on her butt in the shape of the number 12. I could not have asked for more interesting and bizarre readers if I tried. The dog (see to the right ->) was even impressed. It's takes a lot to impress him since he has three legs and a chronically erect penis.

Okay, the gifts. Reading this, you just might get some gift ideas for that special person in your life who is female, turning 43, a pants crapper and a runner.

First, there were the books:

Don't know a thing about this, but want to give it a whirl? Anyone read it?

And this one from Joie, which I have read before, but LOVED about ultra marathoner, Pam Reed.

Then there was the jewelry:

This awesome one from J. Jill from my dear friend, Jenn:

And this agate bracelet that is supposed to attract miracles from best buddy and fellow blogger, Clair:

Next, Ken ordered these Chia sports drink mixes from some Native American, Wingfoot, in California (btw, if I were a Native American I would be called Wind Breaker or Turd Maker). Apparently, if I drink this I will be able to run barefoot over many mountains tomorrow. Flavors are orange, lemon and lime. I wonder what this will do to my colon?:

Of course you have to have entertainment, so Ken get us tickets to see Chelsea Handler in Denver. I just hope she brings her midget friend, Chuy, along. I've always had a secret crush on Chuy. I am wondering if everything including is penis is just shorter. I don't know how that works (don't even think about reserving seat 5 in row 1).
Anyone who knows me, knows I love my Dots. I eat them in bed at night. I know what you're thinking: she complains about turd issues when she eats Dots at night in bed? She deserves what she gets. Well, the Easter edition of Dots are out, so all is well with my world.These came from my kids, who longingly watch me eat them. I don't share. Mostly because the kids both have braces and Dots are on the shit list. The ortho would have my ass if I fed these to my kids.

Then there was the Fit Foam Roller from Carolyn. I know this will come in handy for my many post running aches and pains. I am 43, remember?

And, anyone who knows me knows I'm a coffee FREAK, so I got this ceramic/silicone to-go cup. Seriously, one of my most favorite gifts.

Then, the token Road ID (in purple) because I want people to know who to call when I am in the ditch. It even says, "Shut up and run." Notice I am not posting a photo because I do not want any modelling companies or talent searches to be contacting me.
Lastly, but not leastly, Ken who is the most thoughtful and creative dude, had this tech shirt made for me:

See what I mean about being spoiled??? To me, there is nothing better than receiving a gift that speaks to who you are as a person. This means the giver had to take time out to think about you, your likes, your passions, how you spend your time. This = love in my book. What's the best gift you've gotten this year?

Drinking: Kirkland coffee roasted by Starbucks

Monday, February 22, 2010

43 Things on My Birthday

Running tip: Don’t stretch too deeply before you run, or you’ll risk pulling or overstraining a muscle (like I'm doing in this picture ->). Wait until you are about a mile into the run, and stop to stretch. You’ll be nice and warmed up by this time. And, as always, don’t forget to stretch when you’re done!

Guess what? Today is my 43rd birthday. At the risk of being overindulgent, here are 43 things you might not know about me (in no particular order):

1. One time in 8th grade I got so mad at a boy that I peed in a cup and threw it at him

2. I went to high school with Greg Kinnear and Edward Norton

3. I’ve had two miscarriages

4. I used to deal black jack

5. I had Toxic Shock Syndrome when I was 17

6. I went to high school in Athens, Greece

7. I nearly drowned when I was 23 while swimming in the ocean at the Outer Banks of North Carolina

8. I worked at 7-11 for one week (no, I was not fired)

9. I hate it when people recite quotes from Monty Python

10. My favorite TV show in the 90s was Beverly Hills 90210

11. I was a French major in college, and spent a semester living in Paris (1988)

12. I had two friends in high school who were sisters. Their names were Cheddar and Swiss

13. My favorite movie is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

14. I met my husband in the back seat of a 1959 Ford. No we weren’t doing the deed

15. I don’t eat ice cream

16. I didn’t start running until 2008

17. My dog has three legs

18. Ken and I moved out to Colorado on a whim in 1993 from VA. We never left

19. I once competed in a gymnastics meet in Cairo, Egypt

20. My real name is Elizabeth, but I go by Beth

21. I was named after Beth in Little Women

22. I used to be 28 pounds heavier

23. I am bow legged (guess it was that extra 28 pounds)

24. Ken and I got married in my parents’ backyard in Columbia, Maryland

25. Two people killed themselves with a shotgun on the path behind my house when I was ten (I didn’t know them)

26. I’ve never seen the Sound of Music

27. I was almost on the Dr. Oz Show in September

28. I’ve never been to California

29. Both of my babies weighed about 8 ½ lbs.

30. I have a vomit phobia. It’s called emetophobia. I went to therapy for it.

31. My grandfather is still alive. He’s 95.

32. I almost had a mountain lion encounter in 2001

33. I don’t have a favorite color

34. I was accepted into the Peace Corps in 1992, but didn’t go

35. My first car was a Fiat Strada

36. I’ve never liked Pink Floyd

37. I’ve lived in 9 different cities (Chicago, Columbia (MD), Athens, Harrisonburg (VA), Paris, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Denver, Longmont

38. My two dogs were poisoned to death by the Greek police when I was 15

39. I’ve been in two earthquakes

40. My great uncle (once removed or something) was the oldest person to fly into space. He did this in 1972 at the age of 51

41. I didn’t get my period until I was 16

42. You can’t imagine how much I love my kids and how proud of them I am

43. I don’t mind getting older

As your birthday gift to me, tell me one unique thing about you!

Drinking: Kirkland coffee roasted by Starbucks

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Mess at Mile 7

Running Tip: Try to avoid eating fiber before a long run to minimize stomach upset. A sourdough cinnamon raisin English muffin with some peanut butter is a good bet. That's some carbs and protein minus too much fiber.

This will be a short post because I am tired and not feeling at all witty. I did my 14 miler today in this crap:

And now I feel like this (don't be jealous of my purple sweatshirt):

Here's me doing tree pose in my sleep. What form! :

I will tell you, it was surprisingly a good run. Ken agreed to go for the first four with me, but since he only had eight on tap for today, he planned to turn around and head home at the four mile mark. This left me ten to do on my own, but it turned out I ran by my friend Joie's house and she agreed to run the last 4.5 with me.

Here's how it went.

We got up to 25 degrees and snow coming down. I tried not to think about how this would feel over the course of 14 miles or over two hours of running. Ken just ordered some Chia seeds from nutsonline. (I love that name. I wonder if you can buy other nuts there. Big nuts, small nuts, nuts with hair, bald nuts, schweaty nuts). Anyway, these seeds have a whopping 11 grams of fiber per serving. He dumped them in his OJ with a vengeance. I commented that it seemed like a lot, and maybe he should find out how much to put in. He asked if I would like him to call the Tarahumara Indians to find out (If you've read "Born to Run" you know what the eff I'm talking about - the original barefoot runners). Smart ass. Anyway, I feared that all that fiber wouldn't bode well on the run, but no messes for him.

Me on the other hand, now that's another story. He left me alone and shivering on a country road at mile four. My water had leaked out of my hydration belt onto my ass, which had completely frozen over. So, I literally did freeze my ass off. The snow was coming down with some force and I was running into the wind. I ran with my head down, chin tucked into my neck. Fortunately, at mile five I headed east and the wind wasn't come right for me. I picked up the pace for awhile and was feeling great. Hadn't eaten anything, but was loving my bright green Accelerade. That stuff is awesome. I like that you get a substantial amount of carbs and even some protein. Here are the details:

Anyway, around mile 7 I had some mild stomach cramping. Nothing to write home about, nothing to search out a bush about. The gas moved through followed by an unexpected warmth that could only mean one thing. Shit! (that's right). Not a lot. Just a squirt. I still had 7 miles to go. I'm not proud of soiling myself, but shit happens (I just made that up). Thank god I passed on the Chia seeds.

At mile 8 I tried this Honey Stinger gel.

I thought the honey would sit better on my tummy than the typical gels and gus. I thought it was disgusting. As if they added tons of sugar to an already too sweet serving of honey. I dribbled it on the road for some sweet tooth squirrel to find later.

The rest of the run was quiet and actually quite beautiful (if you don't count the underwear).

Overall, it was 14 miles in 2:14 (9:35 avg). Not too bad given the snow and the turd. Okay, I lied, this post wasn't that short. And Ken still hasn't taken a dump.

PS: Don't forget my Yurbud giveaway!

Drinking: H2O

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Great Giveaway!

Running tip: Don't always rely on energy gels/gus during your runs for fuel. They contain a lot of sugar, can be hard on your stomach, and are not the healthiest. But, you still need 50 or so carbs per hour. So, mix it up by eating dried fruit, peanut butter and jelly squares, salted nuts, pretzels, or Fig Newtons.

Just like you, I get sick of iPod earbuds. They move around, fall out, or are just plain uncomfortable. I finally resorted to these, made by Sony, and have been fairly happy (although one pair stopped working after only six months).

However...a company called Yurtopia*, makers of Yurbuds, contacted me to try their custom fitted earbuds. I was a bit skeptical 'cause I've been pretty satisfied with my stylish wrap arounds, but I thought I'd give them a try. They ask you to take a picture of a regular ear bud in your ear so they can get an idea about fit. So, I spruced up my ear by cleaning it, shining it, plucking it and waxing it. I actually used to be an ear model. Please try not to focus on the elephant-like wrinkles by my ear, I AM almost 43 for God's sake:

I emailed the pic to Yurbuds and a day or two later got this:

I have now worn these for the past two weeks. They are the BEST. Once placed in your ear, they do not move. The sound quality is great. No wind gets in. They don't make your ears hurt like some buds do. I'm a convert, I'll never go back. Just like that time I had black.

Wanna try some? Yurbuds has given me 10 pairs to give away to 10 readers. You will get the yurphones, the yurbuds and the handy case. A $30 value! Once you are selected as a winner, you will be asked to submit a picture of your wrinkled and shiny ear and then the goods will come straight from Yurbuds to your door.

What are you waiting for? Here's the scoop (don't act like you don't know how this goes).

  1. Leave a comment on my blog (zzzzzzzzzzz........) about anything you please or maybe about why you might want some Yurbuds (1 entry)
  2. Link back to this giveaway from your blog (+ 1 entry)
  3. Become a follower if you're not already (+1 entry)
  4. Become a fan on FB if you're not already by clicking here (+ 1 entry)
  5. For a bonus entry: do something nice for someone today and leave a comment about it (+ 1 entry)

(Please leave a comment for each of the above so when I do the random generator to pick winners it will give you an entry for each comment).

As Steve Q so sweetly pointed out about my last giveaway: "Corporate sponsors, contests to up your follower and hit counter numbers, cheap laughs with poop and sex jokes... tsk tsk tsk. I expected so much less of you. " He cracks me up. Yep that's what I'm all about.

There will be 10 winners, so your chances are decent! This giveaway ends on February 26.

Good luck, friends and happy earbudding!

Drinking: Kirkland brand coffee made by Starbucks

*Yurtopia sent me the product for free to review on my blog. I did not pay for the item and am not paying for any of the stuff offered in the giveaway, including postage. Got that FTC?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Do You Have a Problem?

Running tip for the day: Always decide on and commit to your workout at least 24 hours in advance. Get specific about your route, your mileage, your pace. Review it in your head the night before or even write it down. This will make you more likely to meet your goal for that day. It's all about intention!

Do you ever get the sense that people think you are crazy for running and training as much as you do? Of course it's the non-runners I'm talking about here. They just don't get us, do they?

As in,
  • When you tell them you're training for a half marathon, marathon, or (god forbid) an ultra marathon, they give the token response, "Oh I haven't run that far since I was chased by (insert favorite bad thing here) a murderer, my mother in law, the tax man, my mom and her sweaty underwear." Or they'll make some crack about the furthest they ever go is to the fridge for a Hagen Daz bar.

  • You can never complain for a second to these people about something on your body hurting because they will just remark, "Well that's what you get, you stupid shit, for running so much."

I bring this up because I have started going for monthly sport's/deep massages. I love my massage therapist (I say this as if she is my personal massage therapist, only existing for me and my needs, at my beck and call day or night, she vacations with me, comes to all my races with me...if only), but she is not a runner. Yesterday she was rubbing me down (anyone getting aroused?), and started commenting about things on my body: Oh, I see you have a huge blister. Is that from running? Oh, I see you've lost a toenail. Is that from running? Oh, I see you have a scrape on your knee. Is that from running? (we all know where the scrape came from: not running, but falling off the treadmill). Oh, I see you have a huge bunion. Is that from running?

Plus, when I came in the door I was fresh off of my tempo run and per usual, my intestines were playing dodge ball with the fecal matter inside so I had to warn her that I might at any given moment have to jump off the massage table and sprint to the bathroom (maybe even naked) if one of those cramps turned into a full fledged crap emergency. So, (again) she asked, "Oh, is your stomach upset from running?"

Then she reminded me that running is "hard on my body" and, am I sure I really need to put my body through these things? She also told me later that she thought I was addicted to running. Better than being addicted to rubbing people's bodies with scented oil while listening to a CD of waves crashing, isn't it? My mom even said to me yesterday, "I don't know how you got this way. No one in our family is like this" (can you say black sheep?)

Obviously non-runners. All of them.

What non-runners don't get is that runners don't give a shit about bloody blisters, colon distress, pulled muscles, wind seared skin, intermittent puking, minor dehydration, or scrapes from falls. Hell, we keep Icy Hot, Ben Gay,, Dr. Scholls, Super Feet, and Advil in business. They count on us to keep running while we're hurt or uncomfortable just so we'll buy their products in bulk. Seriously, Costco should have a runner's section specializing in running care packages comprised of ointments, wet wipes, ibuprofen, band aides, Depends, gels, salt tablets, etc.

I should rephrase. It's not that we don't care about these maladies, it's that we don't let them stop us. A non-runner or someone who can give or take running will get a blister and decide, "Well, that's a sign. I'm out for the season." A more serious runner will train and race through all sorts of pain and discomfort, refusing to give up unless a doctor or God flat out says, "You must take a break from running or you will never run again." To a runner, only the threat of not being able to run in the future is enough to make him/her rest. I know this because I ran a half marathon with a stress fracture and despite the unbearable and ridiculous pain from miles one to thirteen, it never occurred to me to quit. I am just that stubborn. We all are.

So, is this stupid or is it just what it takes to run the miles that we do?

Do you ever feel judged by those around you because of your addiction to/love for running?

Guess what? I'm not even running today. In fact, I'm not even swimming, biking or going to yoga today. I am resting. See, here I am resting on the stairs. Usually at this time of day I am still in workout clothes and have smelly crotch syndrome. I even matched my pants to the dog.

Drinking: Vic's 12 oz. latte with 2%

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Champion Giveaway Winner & Jockstrap

Okay you giveaway and running clothing whores. It's the moment you've been waiting for. The winner of the ultimate Champion giveaway is:

Kelly @ Beginning Running! She was #331 out of 402 entries

Congrats Kelly! I know you are getting back to running after having surgery in 2009, so it's nice to have some new clothes. Also, I know your neighbors are tired of seeing you running around naked, so I'm glad we could help out. Email me with your size preferences (refer to the original giveaway post) and your address. Again, congrats to you!

And stay tuned. I've got another pretty cool giveaway coming this week where 10 of you will have the chance to win. Those are some good odds.

In other random yet exciting news:

*My toenail finally fell off from my half marathon in August. Here it is. I chased my kids around the house with it for good measure (I also do this with my sweaty shorts after Bikram yoga. I'm pretty sure my kids have nightmares about some psycho woman with gross toenails and sweaty shorts hunting them down. I never claimed to be mother of the year).

*Tempo run this a.m in 20 degrees:

  • Mile 1 (warm up): 8:44
  • Mile 2: 7:59
  • Mile 3: 7:57
  • Mile 4: 7:55
  • Mile 5: 7:46
  • Mile 6 (cool down): 8:54
  • Mile 6.01: puke, gasp, cuss
So, suck it winter! You're not going to get the best of me after all.

*Ever wonder what people google to find my blog? No? Well, I do. Here are some beauties (and no, I did not make these up).
  • ladies room poop
  • bear crap road
  • blueberry juice erection
  • co-worker putting laxative in my food
  • guy runs in poop pants
  • how long until my jockstrap smells
  • jockstrap farting
  • marathon poops in hand video

Wait! There is a marathon video where someone poops in there hand? Hold on while I visit youtube. I'm back. That is too gross for even me to post. Seriously. You can watch that one on your own time.

Aren't theses searches the best? I mean what kind of people sit around and google this stuff (sorry if it's you). My favorite might be jockstrap farting. But I am still wondering how that search got someone to my blog. I never talk about farting.

Drinking: H20

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Day I Hated Running

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I hate running (did I just hear the whole blog world gasp?). I find myself thinking unheard of thoughts like, "I hate this shit. Why do I do this? Who needs to train for a marathon anyway? Maybe I could take up pottery." Such was the case yesterday.

Here's the thing. When all the stars are aligned - the weather is a comfy 60 degrees, the sun is shining, your Garmin is fully charged, you have new songs on your iPod, your colon is clear of all poop and you got a good night's sleep, there is nothing on the face of the earth better than a long run. When the stars are all mixed up and jumbled, sometimes running is just not that fun. But, like anything, there are good and bad days. You can't make the bad days a time when you make your decisions about whether you like or dislike something. Basically you have to take an amnesia pill after a bad day so that it doesn't continue to discourage you.

I knew yesterday's run would be a longish run day - 12 miles, said my calendar. Bullshit, said I. I woke up to 20 degree temps and 3" of new snow (upon layers and layers of old snow). Reluctantly, I put on all the gear. I knew it would be a Yaktrax day, so I put on those as well.

Struggling to look excited:

Really struggling:

Being the pussy I am, I didn't want to run 12 miles outside. Being the pussy I am, I didn't want to run 12 miles on the treadmill. So, I came up with this genius idea to do a combination of both. Run three miles to the gym, run six on the treadmill at the gym and run three miles home. No matter how you slice it, it is still 12 miles, which pissed me off.

I headed out into the temps that made my eyes water. Immediately my Garmin gave me that "low battery" message. Crap. I put the Garmin back in the house. I don't need no device to tell me my pace anyway.

I ran and I ran and I ran. Making the first tracks of the day in the snow. I ran alongside a busy road and got pummelled and splashed with dirty slush. I was not having fun. I got to the gym and realized I was only 1/4 of the way done with my miles. I stripped off some layers and got on the treadmill. 2 miles in - turd alert. I paused the treadmill to take a dump. Then, back on the treadmill. Another two miles and stomach cramps. Paused the mill yet again for dump #2. One more mile and more cramps, but no way was I stopping. I cannot take three dumps in the span of six miles. Just couldn't do it. If I messed my pants, so be it.

I found myself annoyed by the dude on the bike behind me. He was pedalling as fast as he could with his keys in his pocket. This means that each time his leg came around, those keys would clang clang. He must have been a janitor because there was so much clanging it had to have been a huge set of keys. Dude, that's why we have lockers. Seriously.
Finished the treadmill portion. Put the layers back on over my sweating and gross body. Ate a raspberry cream gel (this was the highlight of the run - that stuff is good).

Headed back out into the cold. Only this time, much of the snow was already melted so I had to pound the bare pavement in my Yaktrax. If you've never done this, I don't recommend it. It kind of feels like nails on a chalkboard or grinding your teeth together. But it was either that or carry the Yaktrax and I didn't want to to that either. More cramping on the way home.

Made it home. Decided to just let the yuck feeling go. I know I love running. I know brighter days are ahead. You can't let one off day throw you off. Winter has felt really long this year. But the days are getting longer and the temps are raising slightly. Better days to come. I just know it.

Do you ever have days like this?

Drinking: H2O

Friday, February 12, 2010

Care for An After Dinner Mint?

Consider this my Valentine's Day post. Did you ever used to call it "VD" because you thought you were so cool slipping in the name of an STD? Or maybe it was just me.

Here is what I made for Emma's class party:

Just because I fart a lot and have accidents when I run does not mean I am not Martha Stewart. Make no mistake. I might not have spent much time in prison and I might not make my own underwear, but I can be crafty when the occasion calls for it.

I was thinking to myself how funny it would be to get some really off color conversation hearts. Then I realized I was just one google away from them. And voila!

But, you have to be careful what you're looking for online, because the same search gave me this:

After dinner nipple anyone? Seriously, if I ever own a restaurant everyone is getting these with their check.

For VD, we live it up over here. I make the kids heart-shaped waffles and yogurt parfaits. If I was really cool I'd say I put flax in waffle mix and use Greek yogurt for the parfaits, but this is a running blog not a healthy eating blog. We don't do that around here. After the waffle/parfait extravaganza, we ship the kids off to the garage somewhere else in the house and the real party begins. Typically it involves an overpriced bottle of wine and some sort of seafood. It might not seem much, but we love this little tradition. It's kept us together for 15 years.

What are you doing for VD?? Do you love it or hate it? Do you love or hate this large font and red lettering?

Drinking: Yogi Detox Tea

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bathroom Echo

Man, you guys are in serious need of some new running clothes. I say that because a butt-load of you entered my giveaway. Some of you are poor, some of you have running clothes that are down to their last threads (how can you go out in public like that?), some of you just like free things and would probably enter a giveaway if it was for a turd, and some of you are just running clothing whores who, like me, can never have enough. Never.

Keep posted, I'll select a winner on 2/16 (can anyone tell me how to do that random generator selection thing?)

Well, it's not just about the running gear over here. Yours truly went swimming today (and not in the Boulder Reservoir). I decided to swim with my bathing suit over my underwear to see if anyone would notice.

Do you think I'm that ridiculous? Really? I only do that if I don't have time to shave.

In actuality, it was a great workout. 2100 meters or 84 lengths. I did this swim workout. Even if you are a runner who thinks you are a stud and too cool for swimming pools, this workout will kick your butt if you do it right. Timed swim intervals are no joke. And tonight? More Bikram yoga.

Prior to swimming, however, I needed to use the facilities (what would any of my posts be without some bathroom-related disclosure?). I changed in the locker room and headed into the stall. Naturally, the stalls are in the middle of the locker room, as in there is no (soundproof) door leading to the stalls, just the stalls.

So, I sit on the pot to take an innocent piss. No number two was in the picture as far as I knew. As I pushed a tad bit to let the pee out, a rather loud and airy fart escaped. No biggie, I suppose. But here's my question: Why does the damn echo in the bathroom have to be so loud? I mean the fart in and of itself was no big deal, but that echo. I might as well have been farting into a microphone. The worst part is that after you let one fly of that magnitude, you have to walk out and mingle in the locker room with everyone who just heard you fart. You know they are stealing sideways glances at you wondering who owned that explosion. They are too polite to say anything, but they are judging you wildly in their minds. It's all they can do to get out into the parking lot where they can call their friends with the news. "OMG! This old lady with underwear on under her bathing suit just cut a really loud one!" If only anyone really cared that much.

After my workout, I did my usual 10 minutes of relaxation in the hot tub. Only today wasn't so relaxing because a bald, gold chain-wearing, Peruvian, 64 year old salsa dancer tried to pick me up. And not lift me up. But pick me up as in "Hey baby, want to get it on in the stall?" I said, "I would have except I just farted in there." That was my signal to get out of dodge.

Speaking of getting picked up, my husband sent me this picture today. Everyone who owns a pet should have one of these on hand especially if you are having a dinner party. Personally, I think that the baboons at the zoo with those pink assholes should be required to wear them:

Drinking: H20

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The GIVEAWAY You Don't Want to Miss

Okay, readers. Brace yourselves. I have one hell of a giveaway. That generous company called Champion not only sent me some great running gear to review* (see here), but wants to send you a box of goodies as well. How does that sound? The lucky winner of this giveaway will get ALL of the following, sent direct to you from Champion:

Black training jacket: size small, medium or large

Black semi-fit pants (to match training jacket): size small, medium or large

Purple Double Dry Long Sleeve Shirt: size medium or large

Pink Zip Up Fleece: size medium

No, I am not kidding. All of this could be yours. If you are homeless or just sitting around naked waiting to win something I hope you are reading this blog because you are going to outfitted like nobody's business.

If you are a man who reads my blog and you don't tend to wear pink fleeces, feel free to enter to win this stuff for the woman in your life. If you are a gay man with no "special" woman in your life feel free to enter to win for your mom or sister (or maybe you do wear pink fleeces). Note to self: tell Ken to enter the giveaway.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Champion gear is great because it's easy to find (Target anyone?), and is affordable. The best part is you don't sacrifice quality because it is inexpensive. It holds up really well even if you soil yourself and wash it often.

I wear my fleece all the time and it is as soft as my soul patch. It was finally warm enough the other day to run in my long sleeved tech shirt. That lemon yellow thing is a great piece of apparel. Soft, good fit (not too baggy, but not so tight you can see the outline of my large bosom), nice design. If you don't believe me, just look at me for god's sake. I am in heaven and I am clearly a more efficient and faster runner because I wear this shirt. Well, not really, but I do love the shirt.

So, what are you waiting for? Probably for me to tell you what to do to enter. First, reach around behind you touch your spine. Next stand up and lift one foot in the air. Then, sing any song you remember from your prom while simultaneously arching your back. Done? Okay now here's what to do.

I'm going to be original:

  1. Leave a comment on my blog about anything you want. Feel free to sing the praises of Champion running apparel if you've tried it before (1 entry)
  2. Follow me - not on the street at night or around the house, but on this blog (+1 entry)
  3. Mention this giveaway on your blog or at the mall (+ 1 entry)
  4. Become a fan of ShutupandRun on Facebook by clicking here. Thanks Julie for reminding me (+1 entry)
  5. Slip me a 20 spot in the mail

Good luck! You do not need to have a blog to enter. Just leave a comment anyway. Giveaway ends a week from today: February 16, 2010. Sorry, shipping is only to those within the United States.

PS: Hate the treadmill? Check out my latest Examiner article by clicking here.

Drinking: Starbucks Pike Place Blend

*Champion sent me all of this gear for free to review on my blog. I did not pay for this stuff and am not paying for any of the stuff offered in the giveaway, including postage. Got that FTC?

Monday, February 8, 2010

No Dumping Allowed

I like to break the law when I can:

That there squat was the only exercise I got all weekend.

Don't lie. You guys have missed me since Thursday. I have been MIA because I've been so busy I've barely had time to crap let alone blog. Here's where I've been (Breckenridge, CO):

Well, it didn't look like that this weekend (that picture is from the MLS listing), it looked more like this.

My friend Julie and her family live here. Julie and I went to grad school together 15 years ago. Since then we've both married and have kids. I feel so bad for Julie. She has to live in this humble shack. To make matters worse she lives right at the base of the ski mountain. It sucks for her.

In reality, going to their house from ours was a bit like going from the Holiday Express to the Four Seasons. Man they have the most killer power flushers too. Not that I needed it or anything.

We went to visit for the weekend, just to get out of dodge. We learned that Julie's husband, Wayne, (who built that house above if you can believe it - I hang out with some pretty talented folk) has grown a soul patch since we last saw him. I had no clue what this was because I am not a snowboarder, I am not hip and I do not know much about facial hair. According to the urban dictionary a soul patch is:

That little round bit of facial hair, under the lower lip that says you are hip.

It can also be referred to as a dork tuft, pubes or, my personal fave, a p$*sy tickler.

We all had soul patches for the weekend. But mine didn't tickle anything.

Here's Julie and the real soul patch guy:

Here are Ken and me - a couple of soul patch wannabes. Mine just looks like I have a big piece of brownie on my face:

We mostly hung out and drank margaritas and made fun of each other.

Oh, and for you Christmas Vacation fans, we drove by the actual Walmart where this scene was shot (shown at about 2:35 in):

I did get off of my ass this morning to complete my five mile tempo run on the treadmill. I did not fall off. I did not get on a moving treadmill. The guy next to me did, however, drop his water bottle while running and it shot across the room. I find these things amusing.

Did you work out today? If so, what'd ya do?

Drinking: H20