Thursday, September 30, 2010

A First For Me

I discovered a new thing I love about running today. It is a sport of “firsts.” As in:

  • First time you crap your pants on a long run or in a race. It doesn’t have to be a full on explosion, even a squirt qualifies. If you keep running long enough, this is bound to happen. Oh, you think you’re better than that? Just you wait, crappy pants.
  • The first time you hit the wall in a race. Bye bye glycogen. Not a good feeling.
  • The first time you cross the finish line of a marathon. No words to describe that one.
  • The first time your iPod dies when you were really counting on it (Emz a couple weeks ago)
  • The first time you fart really loud in your running group (or at a bar – Jamoosh)
  • The first time you cry or sob either out of pain or because of the emotion of being almost to the finish line.
  • The first time you chafe in places the sun don’t shine

This was my first today.

I got my FIRE back today. I wanted to run seven miles fast. I had to get to the dentist and only had a certain amount of time after dropping off kids at school and my appointment (plus, I needed time to go home and floss prior so I could pretend that I floss regularly. I’m sure I pull nothing over on the dentist). I didn't have an exact pace in mind, but I wanted it to be significantly faster than marathon pace (dream MP = 8:20). 

I killed it. Overall pace was 8:02 for the seven miles (with miles 5 & 6 at 7:41 – oh yeah!).

However….when I got to the half way mark, I took a few swigs of Cytomax, as I had been doing for the first 3.5 miles. I felt fine. No tummy trouble. No queasiness. I was moderately tired, but nothing to write home about. Not one minute after I made the turn for home I threw up in my mouth! Significantly. No freaking joke. This has never happened to me on a run, even one involving intervals.

Totally in shock from the fluid coming up from my throat, I exclaimed “Shit!” (kind of garbled) and proceeded to gasp and choke and cough (but kept running, hard core I tell you). I swallowed it back down (hard core) because it never occurred to me to spit. I was in shock.

Guys, I told you yesterday, I have a vomit phobia. That means I NEVER throw up. I haven't had the stomach flu since 1988. I think the last time I legitimately threw up was in Vegas two years ago after a dirty martini the size of the Situation’s head.  I had to dissociate from my body because I cannot look at myself or stand myself if I’m vomiting. Good news is I could never be bulimic.

Anyway, this was a startling first for me. Exertion does the weirdest things to your body. I’ve adjusted to the poop thing on runs. But, this puke business better not become a habit. It would be like Phil smelling paint on Modern Family last night. Not attractive.

What’s a first for you while running? Don’t be embarrassed.

PS: I am edging towards 800 of you fancy followers…who are the 4 of you who are going to get me there???

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Want to Kick That Guy in the Teeth

Now that my feet are safely planted on the ground…

My head is still in the clouds.

You cannot imagine the high I am on after Sunday.

But, back to basics.

Biggest Loser:
Is it just me, or are things getting a bit extreme on the Biggest Loser? I can’t recall ever having seen the type of torturous or grueling workout that was on the show last night. Okay, okay the contestants always puke in week one and I know that. Having a vomit phobia (emetophobia), this episode is particularly stressful for me. They just spring the puking on you. One minute treadmill. Next minute puking in trash can. No warning. Us phobes need warning.

Ken: Oh, are you asleep?

Me: No, I close my eyes when they’re in the gym on week one. Puking episode.

I get the puking, crying, grunting, screaming thing. But last night seemed different. More trainers versus rather than with contestants. It was as if the trainers were looking down on the players like “we’re going to kick your ass and make shit come out of your eyeballs.” I get that this tough love mentality is what has worked for this show, but it seemed more mean spirited than ever before. Just sayin’. And losing 41 pounds in two weeks. Really?

Marathon Meanderings:
17 days and counting until the Denver Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. Let’s talk strategy. Let’s not. Do you always have to have a race strategy? For my second marathon in May, I had lots of parameters and structure because I was on a BQ quest and I got it. Not to be a pussy, but I’m not sure I can beat my time of 3:42. The BQ course provided a downhill advantage for the first 11 miles. The weather was perfect. Most of all, I was driven like no one’s business. Even after I spent the night with Lucky in the pet ER and only got 3 hours of sleep, I busted out that race.

This training cycle, I’ve put in my time and I think I’m at least as strong as I was back in May. Where I may be lacking is FIRE. Have you ever gotten closer and closer to a race and wondered if you have the spunk and fire to run your best race? I’m going to be honest. This go round I’m afraid of feeling pain and fatigue. After two marathons I know how you encounter spots of wanting to stop, to cry. Usually after about mile 18 for me.  What I am trying to remember is, so what? So what if you’re tired? So what if you hurt? So what if you want to stop? So what if you just squirted in your shorts?

Like we’ve all heard a million times, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

At this point in marathon training when the taper is looming, I’ve already done the physical work and put in the miles. What comes into play now is concentrating on mental preparedness. What will I do when the going gets tough? When no song on my iPod is giving me a boost? When I want to kick the band’s lead singer in the teeth at mile 21? When if one more kid steps out to high five me I’m going to backhand them right off the course? And I even like kids.

I say, I am strong. I’ve been this tired before. I can keep going.

I dissociate and focus away from my body. I literally imagine being separate from my legs as they continue to turn over.

I stop at every aid station and give myself permission to walk through. This gives me a mental boost.

I associate and check in with my body. Is my form breaking down? How is my stride? Am I breathing steadily?

I put it into time and distance into manageable chunks. Only 36 more minutes of running. I can do anything for 36 minutes. Only 2 more 5-Ks. That’s only twice around the lake.

But, here’s what I want to remember the most {source}:

Run from your heart! Do not get so caught up in trying to beat a certain time that you lose out on the truly amazing experience of running a marathon.”

We forget how blessed and privileged we are to be able to run at all. That our bodies cooperate and take us the distance.

What do you do to cope in a race when the going gets tough (besides quit)?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Skydiving – The Video!!

This is the last of the skydiving posts, I promise. Then back to that thing called running.

I’m free fallin’:


For the full, lengthy narrative on the experience, go HERE.

I think this video (below) should win an academy award. And not just because I love AC/DC. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, go right to:

2:40: Jumping out

4:10: Nice shot of my 43 year old neck ligaments. Shut Up and Run or a chicken?

5:31: Landing and cussing and kissing.

Have at it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Skydiving Experience

By now you know that I jumped out of a plane. Not only did I live, but I did not mess myself. Two major victories in the world of skydiving.

The video is not done yet. The minute I get it, I will post it here. I cannot wait to share it with you all. And better than sharing the video from labor and delivery, right? Awkward…

I slept like crap Saturday night. Tossing, turning, trying to wrap my head around jumping out of the open door of an airplane at about 17,500 feet and then free falling at 130 mph for one full minute. Forget about it. There is no preparation.

Sunday Ken and I were up early.

Me: “They said not to wear jewelry. So don’t wear any.” (Not that he does anyway, barring the wedding ring).

Ken: “Dammit. I was going to wear my gold chain.” (He still has the one he wore in high school buried in some drawer. It used to be cool. I don’t know why, but I find gold chains rather sexy).

He ate. I couldn’t.

Ken: “Better try again to get something out,” he said heading for the bathroom.” I don’t want to leave anything on the instructor.”

So thoughtful.

Me: (When he emerges from the bathroom), “I changed my mind. I want to go up together. The plane’s not going to crash. I want to be with you.” (You might remember that in an effort to not orphan my children I wanted Ken to go first and get safely onto the ground. What seemed more important that morning, however, was sharing the full experience and supporting each other through the terror and excitement).

We arrived at Mile Hi Skydiving around 8:30 a.m. Winds were calm. Sun was bright. Mountains were breathtaking. By all accounts, a perfect day to *gulp* jump. I was oddly comforted by how many people were there to skydive that day. Kind of like there was nothing out of the ordinary about doing this. It normalized it for me…slightly.

My mom, dad, kids and several friends were there. We signed 29,000 liabilities, none of which I read. I thought they would freak me out further with their “In the event of you plunging to your death we are not responsible,” clauses. They suited us up. Purple is def my color. I thought the jumpsuits would be mildewed and smelly, but these were quite nice. I might trade in my designer Snuggi for one.


Before we knew it, they called our names and we all got on the trailer to take us out to the take off/landing site. I hugged my friends and mom and dad and cried a bit. The kids ran out to the runway for one last hug as we boarded and that made me cry too. My mom, like me, is fearful of flying.  I know she both hated and loved watching me get on that plane. She felt so much fear for me, only as a mom could.

Here’s the thing. If I was so scared that it made me lose sleep and cry, why do it? Because my desire to jump exceeded the fear. Because in life, you have to keep living and sometimes that means doing things even when it makes your knees tremble and you think you can’t. Here’s where life really happens.

We buckled in, deafened by the roar of the engine.  We were put at the front of the plane, which meant we would jump last. There were about 7 jumpers in our plane. I had been told you should jump first to minimize the fear, but my fear was already so maximized, I didn’t think it would matter. Not that we had a choice anyway.


Half way up

8, 750 feet. I’m continuing to silently cry a bit. My instructor, Dave, told me to sit on his lap. Woah, guess he wants to cuddle me a bit, give me some comfort. Then Ken’s instructor tells him to do the same thing. As scared as I was, it was hilarious to see Ken sitting on another man’s lap and caressing his thigh. Dave pulled me so tightly to him that if he had a boner I would have felt it poke my back. He strapped me to him. Ken said, “Now things are starting to get really special.”

I kept telling myself that I needed to relinquish all doubt and put my total faith in this stranger named Dave who had me belted to him. There was simply no room for questioning if I was going to make the jump. My heart was beating out of my chest. The door opened. 17,500 feet. Go time. People started jumping out. One after another. We slowly moved towards the back of  the plane and the *dreaded* open door. Dave told me to take a deep breath. Then another. He said it would only be scary leaving the plane, (which did not end up being true for me). We stepped up to the open door.

Jumping Out

This was the moment. Three seconds that simultaneously flew by and lasted a lifetime. As I heard and felt the cold, strong wind and stood looking out into openness that was only sky, I took a second to look down. “Fuck” is the only word that came to mind.  Every molecule of my being felt it was wrong to jump from the safety of the plane. But, every part of me also knew I would do it. The photographer video-taping me climbed onto the outside of the plane (WTF?), waiting for us to jump. My instructor rocked us back and forth three times, then we dove out.

Tumbled was more like it.

The first five seconds were a sensation of falling. Think roller coaster or tower of doom. Plunging to the earth. Dave tapped me which was the signal to take my hands off of my harness at my chest and to put them up, kind of like making the “Y” in the YMCA song, only not quite so high. No I did not start singing our going through the moves. Although that would’ve been funny.

Suddenly, we were floating. Flying. Although we were moving at speeds faster than most cars are capable of going, there was no sense of falling. The wind noise was deafening as we fell. I remember looking at the photographer, just a few feet away and giving him the thumbs up. I remember looking down. I remember thinking that one minute felt like a very long time. I remember smiling. Wide. I remember being completely and totally present.

BAM! The chute opened and we were yanked upwards. Uncomfortably so. The photographer continued falling and I watched him disappear towards the earth. Dave maneuvered us in different directions so I could take in the view. Make no mistake. I continued to shake in fear at this point. As beautiful as these moments were, I wanted to be on the ground.


I could now see, like the size of a postage stamp, where everyone was waiting for us to land. It took 5 minutes from the time we jumped until we reached the ground. I looked to my right and saw Ken nearby parachuting. We waved. Here’s Ken’s soft landing. Like a pro:


The Verdict

Would I do it again? Probably not. Am I glad I did it? Absolutely. I would go so far as to say it was life changing in some ways. It was the most thrilling, exhilarating and exciting thing I have ever done. Sharing it with Ken was amazing. After 15 years of marriage, experiences can still bring you closer. I will never forget looking into his eyes and reaching for his hand as we climbed into the air on the plane. I know he was scared, but he didn’t let on because he wanted me to feel safe.  I will never forget kissing him after we both landed. It means so much to relive the moments and to know Ken “gets” exactly what I’m talking about.  He told a friend his scariest moment was watching me jump out (I went right before him). He wasn’t scared for himself. He wanted me to be safe.  I love you Ken. Thanks for it all.

My advice? If you have even the slightest inkling that you want to skydive or do anything else that fills you with some fear (be it running a race, joining the Peace Corps, whatever), do it. I promise it will only make your life richer and will instill within you a sense of “yes I can” about anything and everything in your life. Skydiving might not be for everyone, but what is your “thing?”

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” – Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, September 26, 2010

INSANE. No words.




I call this one Top Gun:





What’s the big deal?


Stay tuned for the video.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Holy Sh*t

16 and hours counting until:

  • One prop plane
  • 15 minutes of climbing
  • 15 minutes of praying
  • 17,500 feet
  • Me crying
  • Me trembling
  • 1 open airplane door
  • 1 instructor strapped to my back
  • 1 strong push light shove out the door
  • 1 minute of free falling at 130 mph
  • 4 minutes of serene and calm parachuting over the Rockies
  • 11 friends and family waiting on the ground
  • Me kissing the ground, or maybe making love to it
  • 1 very major fear – CONQUERED!

Will I chicken out? Stay tuned.

And…a big shout out to Devon and Outside PR. She kept Ken and the kids entertained while I ran with Dean Karnazes for over four hours last month. During that time, Sam mentioned how he wanted to try the new mandarin orange GU (hint, hint). Fast forward to this week when Sam received a large FedEx envelope overflowing with orange GU and various flavors of Chomps including the new watermelon! Also this note (sorry, it got ripped in all of his 12 year old boy excitement, but you can figure it out):


Outside PR rocks!

Pray for me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Surviving the Long Run

It’s Friday. Almost 5 o’clock. I won’t make some comment about it being 5 o’clock somewhere because I’m sick of hearing that. For me, it doesn't have to be 5 o’clock anywhere. If I want to drink that badly, I consume regardless if it’s 5 o’clock in Taiwan or not (that would be 5 a.m. Denver time, but perhaps I like to pour beer on my Cap’n Crunch. Don’t judge).  Wow, that made me sound like a drunk. I’m just bragging. I’m 110 lbs. of can’t-hold-my-liquor over here.

As soon as I am finished driving kids around, I will pop a cold one. It’s happy hour. Again! (Housemartins, circa 1986).

Here I sit like I do every week on the eve of my long run asking myself, “Where in the hell will I go this time?” (The fact is I’ve run the routes around here a bazillion times and it’s getting tough to be creative. I’m about ready to just run down the highway for a change. Me and the truckers could bond or talk about strip clubs at the very least).  “IPod or no iPod?” “Bring fuel or hide it in the bushes?” (Note to self: pick different bush to crap in). “What is the weather going to be at 7 a.m.?”  

Doing these long runs week after week takes mental fortitude. Here are some SUAR tips for getting through long solo runs.

  1. Think about the reward. I like incentives. On my run with Dean (name dropping) I  talked about imbibing in beer and baklava at the end. Oh yea, porta potty. Get ready. This was around mile 7 of 21 miles. He politely informed me that we couldn’t talk about B & B until we were through the last checkpoint and only had 3 miles to go. That’s crap. I need that B & B incentive the whole way. My reward? Usually a big coffee and fatty pastry.
  2. Do the Walkie Talkie. I learned about this from Runner’s World. The walkie talkie is when you fart every time your foot strikes the ground. This can be great fun and a nice distraction whether you are alone or in a group.
  3. Keep eyes off of the Garmin. I try to glance sparingly at the Garmin. Typically I only look at it when it beeps at a mile mark so I can gauge pace. Anymore than this and things seem to drag. Have a rule about how often: every song, every mile, at half way etc.
  4. Change up the numbers. Instead of saying, “Shit I have to run 18 miles! I’ll never make it!”  I tell myself I have to run six miles three times. It just sounds better. However, I wouldn’t advise telling yourself to do one mile 18 times or two miles 9 times. Ugh.
  5. Bring your phone. Yeah, yeah, for safety and all that, but I also bring it as a lifeline. I’ve never had to call for a mid-run pick up or therapy session, but I reserve the right to do so. I like to know that if I get sick or cold or depressed I’m not out there all by myself.
  6. Have something in your back pocket. I like to have a plan for when I get sick of running, am tired, am bored, am achy. What will I tell myself? How will I keep going? Visualizations and imagery work well too. Getting in the habit of relying on yourself for mental pick-me-ups is a good trick for race day as well.
  7. Do the half and half. I like to break up my long runs by taking the first half in peace and quiet. No music. Just my breathing and my feet on the pavement/trail. At the half way mark, I put in some music and it becomes a different run entirely.
  8. Talk to yourself. I love this tactic. I don’t do it continuously, that takes too much energy and would make me look insane. But sometimes I give myself a little verbal nudge: “Okay you can do this.” “F*ck this.” “One more mile and you can have a GU.” “Damn, I have to take a dump.”
  9. Change It Up. Every once in awhile I change up my form for a few minutes. I try a different foot strike or concentrate on pulling back my shoulders. I might move my arms more/less or unclench my fists. The point is to mix it up and let your body move differently for a few minutes. I also try varying my pace every now and then. Speeding up until the next stop sign. Slowing down for a half a mile.
  10. Visualize running the race. Usually at some point in the long run I’ll get super inspired for like five minutes. This usually happens after the half way mark when I know I’m closer to finishing than starting. I imagine myself running the marathon. I am strong and capable and well trained. This never fails to give me a boost.

    And the bonus survival tip:

  11. Bring toilet paper. It keeps you fresh. I wouldn’t advise packing it out, though.

What’s your best long run tip???

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Giveaway Winner and I’m a Dork

(Warning: this post does not contain much about running. Even though I hiked 2 miles today at 10,000 feet and then ran 5.5 miles, I won’t be talking about that here. I’ve got much more important gems to fill you in on).

Thanks for all of you who entered the giveaway from goheadband. The winner is #93:  Lisa from My Story Chapter 2 who said, “I LOVE the Dare To Become one - wow, how powerful! I'm new to longer distance running and training for my first half - that saying has sort of become my life motto for these new fitness goals.”

Please email me at and I’ll let you know how to proceed.

As for you other headband lovers, if you go to goheadband and enter the coupon code GLAD you will get free shipping in the US.  International shipping is just $2. 

Here’s why I’m a dork. Have you seen the new cargo pants that are more fitted? Kind of the skinny jean version for cargo pants?  Well, I bought some. Yesterday was the first real fall-like day we had around here, so I thought I’d sport my new pants. In all honesty, since I work from home, I don’t do a lot of showering or changing out of my running clothes. It was kind of a big deal for me to rinse off and put on an outfit that didn’t sport the words Nike or Champion.

You know when you buy something new and wear it for the first time? You tend to feel a little special. You’ve got a spring in your step. This is how I felt in my new pants. I strutted around for hours.  I ran errands. I picked up kids from school.  It wasn’t until I took Emma to piano lessons that something white caught my eye. My gaze followed the pants down the ankle where there hung the security tag. You know - the one that you can’t get off without the special tool from the store. The As Seen On TV people should really invent one of those gadgets for the general population so: 1) we can steal things easier, 2) we don’t keep having to go back to the store to get them removed, and/or 3) we don’t have to keep ripping our clothes trying to remove them ourselves. It’s funny how you always think you can get it off, but you can’t without mutilating something. You just can’t.

Yep. I’d been traipsing about sporting one of these sexy tags.



You may ask, “Didn’t the alarm go off when you left the store?” No because I stole them, dumb ass. Just kidding. Yes, in fact, the alarm did go off. Like a good shopper, I went back in and they searched my bag. They told me it was my cell phone that must have set it off. Cell phone my ass. It was the damn security tag that the check out dude overlooked.

By the way, the check out dude was sick as a dog. He sniffled and hacked his way through scanning my items, often wiping his snot on his shirt and probably on my new cargo pants. I think he was heavily under the influence of Nyquil and missed the tag. I could feel myself coming down with H1N1 or Ebola  just watching him.

Ever gone through your day dragging toilet paper from your pants or with a huge booger in your nose? Do tell.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It Doesn’t Get More Random Than This

I ran 9 miles today in 1:17 (8:36 average). I didn’t want to.  Probably because I’m on week 13 of my 16 week marathon training plan and I’m a little burned out.  Myself and I agreed that I wouldn’t think too much about it beforehand and how I didn’t want to go. I just went. “Git ‘er done,” my white trash self said. 

Post run, when the guy at Starbucks asked me how far I went, I said, “Only 9 miles.” I said "only” because this seems short in comparison to some training runs. His eyes bugged out. “ONLY NINE MILES?” Then it occurred to me that we runners are a rare breed. We lose sight of the fact that most of the population cannot run a mile (did you see the Biggest Loser last night? Lordy). We need to pat our selves on the back a bit more for getting it done (or gittering ‘er done).

Thoughts of skydiving and plunging to my death kept me up last night. I hope I can do it. I am terrified. Ken said I won’t die. He promised me, in fact. I hope he’s right. My children hope he’s right too.

The awesome Mr. Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life tagged me to write 10 random things about myself. I love this game! There is so much random about me. That’s what happens when you have no true career path or vision for your life.  When you are open to anything and everything. You end up having all sorts of weird things happen. Trifles you could say. I actually wrote a list of 43 random things about me on my 43rd birthday in February, so visit HERE if you want the full list. But for now…

  1. I put Ex-Lax in the muffins at a staff meeting in 1991
  2. I used to deal blackjack
  3. I once threw my own pee on a boy who made me mad (8th grade)
  4. I went to high school in Athens, Greece
  5. I've been swimming in the Dead Sea
  6. I went to high school with Greg Kinnear (in Greece)
  7. My great uncle was one of the first men on the moon
  8. I almost drowned when I was 23 years old
  9. I got kicked out of hula class in 7th grade for having a potty mouth
  10. My first boyfriend had the last name Hickenbottom

Don’t you wish you knew me in 8th grade and made me mad? Don’t you wish you were at that staff meeting?

Just think: I could Mrs. Beth Hickenbottom. How appropriate.

Aren’t you glad I didn’t drown? What would you be reading right now if I did? I’m convinced I won’t die from drowning or skydiving.

Okay folks. I am tagging the first five people who commented on my last post:

  1. Goose at the Whole Half Marathon
  2. Jill at Run with Jill
  3. Aimee at I Tri To Be Me
  4. Runner’s Fuel
  5. Andrew at Running Man Wannabe

Have fun with this. I did.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

(Wo)Man Vs. Dog

Do you ever watch something happen, knowing you should do something about it, but you’re either too lazy or apathetic? I’m not talking about watching a baby get kicked or an old lady get robbed, but something less dramatic. Like yesterday, I full on watched my cocker spaniel eating and swallowing a couple of used Kleenexes (he likes to pull the snot ridden tissues out of the trash – if you ever want to know the difference between humans and dogs just watch a dog eat another dog’s shit or suck on used Kleenexes). So, here’s Lucky, munching away on the Kleenex, and I have the passing thought of, “Oh, I should take those away from him.” But really, the sky wasn’t falling and what was the worst that could happen? Plus, I was eating the remaining half of my bloated Chipotle burrito and watching Oprah making someone’s wildest dream come true. I couldn’t be bothered.

Fast forward to an hour later. My daughter runs in panicked and yelling, “I think Lucky’s going to throw up!” Then, “Ewww..he’s throwing up!!!” Then, “Oh my god, he’s eating it!” (Again dog vs. human. That should be a show, kind of like Man vs. Food).

Definitely one of those mom moments where I realize I should have intervened and this whole mess could have been avoided.  Lesson learned.

And today…my stomach hurts. No, not from eating sugar alcohols. That’s so yesterday. The source is one of three things:

  1. Cleaning up Lucky’s puke.

  2. Running Yassos: Like a good and obedient runner, I visited my favorite middle school track as I do every Tuesday to do my speed work. On tap – 7 x 800 Yassos. I’m building up to 10 x 800. After assuring the gym teacher I was not packing heat, only a Garmin and a water bottle, I got started.

    I have a love/hate relationship with speed work. I hate how it feels while I’m doing it. All I want to do is stop and lie down and cry. It is so damn taxing. I tend to have a pussy vs. power thing going on:

    Pussy: This is hard. I want to stop
    Power: No shit. It’s supposed to be hard. Keep going. A little pain won’t hurt you. The worst that will happen is you’ll throw up. 
    Pussy: I don’t like this. I should be able to be comfortable at all times. I only do things I like.
    Power: Get over yourself. Life is not easy. Getting uncomfortable is how you get strong.

    And, so it goes. I love how I feel after doing speed (not the drug but I might feel good after that too). Strong. Competent. Like I really did something.  I also notice a remarkable change in my pace on my normal runs from doing these repeats. Going a few seconds faster seems effortless. 

    Today’s results, if you care: 3:31, 3:22, 3:24, 3:30, 3:30, 3:34, 3:33.  If I can do ten of these and keep up a 3:30 average, I should, according to Bart Yasso, be able to run a 3:30 marathon on October 17. Very funny Bart. Are you going to try to sell me a three legged dog who eats Kleenex next? Cause I’m not buyin’.

  3. Visiting Mile Hi Skydiving to Schedule our Jump: Ah yes, this is likely the source of my churning stomach. After the track, I went to the local tiny airport. Ken and I are set to jump at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. You might remember this was his anniversary gift to me (that and a bat in my crotch).

    Just talking and writing about this skydiving mess makes me queasy. 17,500 feet in the air. Jumping.

    Here's the thing: I love an adventure and am innately a risk taker (like when I let Lucky eat the Kleenex). I do not, however, enjoy the possibility of dying and orphaning my children. The people at the skydiving place think I am neurotic and I don't care. I told the tandem instructor I didn't want to die. He said he didn’t either. I asked if anyone had ever died. He said, “Yes, but that was a few years ago.” DAMMIT!! Not what I wanted to hear. I asked if he thought I would die. He said, “No.” Very good.

    The game plan, because I need some control, is that Ken will go up first and come down. If he makes it I will go. If he doesn’t, I will stay on the ground so my kids have one parent left. I know it’s silly, but I have this lingering and nagging feeling that I am being a “bad” parent by doing this. Yet, there is also this part of me that desperately believes in living fully and taking risks. I also want my kids to see me living fully and taking risks. Since 35,000 people jump per year at this place, I think my odds are PDG (pretty darn good).

    As a side note, the instructor said he is not in favor of pushing people out of the plane, but just giving them a little shove. I am slated to have this thing videotaped, so check back on Monday for some entertaining footage.

Enjoy your Tuesday. Season premiers of Glee and Biggest Loser tonight! Think that tough lesbian, Jillian, would jump out of a plane? (Or just yell at you to the get the f*ck out!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

No Ex-Lax Needed

Harold so eloquently summed up my last blog post with this picture:


I’m quite ready to move on from the anonymous Shut Up and Run hater. But first – a big thank you for letting me know you enjoy my incessant yapping and trifles. Funny how you can have positive comments and feedback out the ass, but you get one negative vibe and it pulls the rug out. For just a second.

Rug is back in place and I’m moving on.

Today was a rest day. Which means I’m restless. I saw the chiropractor. Still no resolution to my numb hand. Google diagnosing says for sure MS or a tumor. I’ve had a lot to time today while not running to think of the possibilities leading to my demise. But, on to happier subjects.

We eat bars around here. You know – those “energy” or “protein” or “health” bars that are really candy bars in disguise. Don’t ever ask me to eat a Hershey bar, but slap me with a Power Bar that has 300 calories, 20 grams of fat and 95 grams of sugar and I’m all over it. Ken, in particular loves the bars because he stopped eating dessert almost three years ago. I know. You heard me right. Dude has not had so much as a bite of birthday cake or pumpkin pie since February 2008. One of these days I’m going to hide a cupcake in his spinach. He says the lack of dessert makes him feel better. More energy. Vanilla yogurt and protein bars have become his occasional replacement for chocolate chip cookies.

So…I bought the giant pack of bars at my favorite store, Costco, the other day. Don’t get all high and mighty on me. I know this is not a healthful snack.


These things taste PDG (pretty darn good). Ken and I were reading over the label to better understand the amount of crap contained in one bar. Ken held the box. I asked questions.

Me: How much sugar is in a bar?

Ken: 2 grams

Me: How can that be? Where does all the sweetness come from? Don’t even tell me some crap artificial sweetener.

Ken: It says it comes from “sugar alcohols.”

Me: Perfect. I love alcohol. But what are sugar alcohols? (I grab the box and begin frantically searching for the term sugar alcohols. It has a fancy asterisk* beside it. My eyes scan the box for the corresponding asterisk. Aha. There it is. Bottom of the box).

Me: Holy shit! (Starting to feel the urge to use the bathroom)

Warning: This product contains sugar alcohols, which may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Excessive consumption may have a a laxative effect.

You’re kidding, right? I spend my entire life trying not to crap myself or soil someone’s white sofa. And yet, inadvertently, I’m eating products that may promote a surprise crap. Nice.

Don’t forget my headband giveaway. Ends Thursday.

*Until this very day, at the ripe age of 43 years and 208 days, I always thought the word was astericks. Only when that did not exist in the spell check did I discover it was asterisks. Warning: using the term astericks might cause bloating and diarrhea.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Trifle 18 Miler

I got the sweetest comment today on my blog:


Other trifles? That made me laugh. What is a trifle anyway? I thought it was a cake layered with fruit and cream in a pretty see-through dish. I am racking my brain, but I can’t recall ever writing about that kind of dessert. I guess I’m too busy yapping incessantly to remember. Oh, I get it. Trifle = trivial. Yup, that’s me.

I run almost everyday and at any given time am training for a marathon. I’m committed and I get it done. This blog could be a boring report of miles ran and paces. Or a blank screen if all I did was shut up. I like to mix it up.

Always remember: you have a choice to visit and read this blog or not. If it makes you miserable and annoyed, you’re just a mouse click away from freedom (although my response to him/her in my comments section wasn’t quite so nice).

The run:

Getting honest here, I was so not in the mood for today’s long run: 18 miles (actually ended up being 18.75, but who’s counting?). I woke up to dense fog and 40 degrees. In truth, the weather didn’t matter. I was simply in a tough spot mentally. “Mind over matter,” I thought as I munched on half a cinnamon bagel.  “It is irrelevant that you don't want to go. Get your ass out there.” Out the door I went and was greeted with this (pics from my phone, so not the best):


I literally could not see more than a quarter of mile ahead of me.  The only upside of this was that I knew if I had a toilet emergency I could pretty much squat in the road and no one would see me. I haven't run in this thick of fog before and what creeped me out was that I had no sense of distance and landmarks. I have run on this road too many times to count, but I felt totally discombobulated.

After about 5 miles the sun was trying desperately to make an appearance and things started to break up a bit:


It was extremely beautiful watching the fog intermix with the sun and the landscape. Finally, around the half way mark (9.4 miles) , I actually had a shadow!



At halfway, I stopped at my friend Joie’s house to refuel and pee. Her eight year old always asks, “What are we? A gas station?”

As a side note, last night I was pretty worried about how my colon would hold up on today’s run. We had dinner with friends and my intake was scary:

# of margaritas: 1
# of glasses of Pinot Grigio: 1.5
# of pieces of bread dipped in Swiss cheese fondue: 10
# of chips dipped in guacamole: too many to count
# of crackers with goat cheese: 2
# of cheeseburgers: .5 (that’s point five, not five)
# of fingerling potatoes: 5 or so
# of pieces of key lime cheesecake: 1

This list is a nightmare for my intestines. And I knew that. With every delicious bite I was imagining how crappy my long run would be. Literally CRAP-PEE. I would only have myself to blame. It was a risk I was willing to take.

But, guess, what? The turd gods were smiling upon me. I had absolutely no #2 issues on this run. None. Go figure. I don’t think I farted even once.

In fact, this was a pretty unremarkable run in all aspects.

18.75 miles in 2:45 (8:49 min/mile pace).

I stopped at the one and two hour marks to take a gel. With stops I was out there about three hours.

That makes 42 miles for the week.

I will give a big hug to the other anonymous person who write this in response to today’s post: “Sometimes our lives get foggy and discombobulated, but eventually we see that the road has been there all along—faithfully waiting for our return.”

Dammit, I should have thought of that. Such a great analogy and a beautiful summation of life’s peaks and valleys. Thank you.

I’m going to cease my incessant yapping now and go find something trifle to eat.

Don’t forget my headband giveaway. Hey anonymous! Have you entered yet? Maybe a new headband would make you less cranky.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Moisture Wicking Headband Giveaway!!!

{Quick note: Anyone else have problems publishing from Windows Live Writer today?}

Let me introduce you to Kat at goheadband. She makes moisture wicking headbands with inspirational sayings on them. There is a small plastic strip sewn into the front of the band so these babies never slip.

Currently, Kat’s getting ready for her 5th marathon and first ultra this fall. She started making these as a way to keep the sweat off her face, since her skin would break out after a long run. I love a woman who sees something lacking and works inventively and creatively to fill the void!

Kat was nice enough to make me my own personal Shut Up and Run headband. We love it around here:

It fits my mini-me perfectly (I think Kenny Chesney would like it too since he is bald now. The way I see it, it’s either this headband or a cowboy hat.):

It keeps the sweat and hair out of Lucky’s one eye:

Despite my best efforts, I believe the “right” way to wear it, according to Kat, is a bit higher on your head, off of the forehead.

There are some real bonuses about this headband:

  • As promised, it does not slip. I ran while wearing it today and it stayed in place nicely.
  • The headband might get soaked with sweat (that’s the point, right?), but you don’t have crap (well, sweat) running down your face and stinging your eyes or making you break out
  • It’s lightweight, personalized and stylish!
  • The band is machine washable for when that sweat really builds up and it starts to stink.
  • All you cyclists out there – wear it under your helmet while riding!
Would you like your own headband? To enter:

  1. Go to goheadband and leave a comment about which one you would get if you won - +1 entry
  2. Tell me why you NEED this headband. Or why you want it for your girlfriend, mom, lover, hooker, wife, mistress, sister, illegitimate child, boyfriend - + 1 entry
  3. Write about this giveaway on your blog, and let me know in a comment - +1 entry
  4. Follow and stalk me if you don’t already or let me know you do - +1 entry
I’ll pick a winner on September 23.

The fine print:

  • Goheadband provided this giveaway. I did not pay anything for it.
  • Contest only open to US
  • The winner will be chosen at random by
  • Check back September 23 to see if you won!
  • If I don’t hear back from the winner within 2 days after posting that they’ve won, I’ll another name
Good luck!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Downhill Treadmill and All Things Lazy

I don’t have a “Three Things Thursday” or a “Funny Foto Friday” theme on this blog. In fact, I don't have any themes at all, except the common thread of bodily functions (Fart Friday? Turd Tuesday?).

So, let’s just call today’s spotlight, Are You Kidding Me?


Why run uphill when it’s so much easier to run downhill? If you have a treadmill, you need a Downhill Treadmill Converter! Simply place the patented DTC blocks (made from recycled plastic) beneath the back of your treadmill. It’s easy! It’s fun! And with the patented ‘multi-angle’ blocks you can choose a gentle slope or a steeper slope, depending on how weak you’re feeling. It’s like two Downhill Treadmill Converters in one!


  • It doesn’t look safe. In fact I’m sure I’d run right into the front of the treadmill by .10 of a mile
  • Do you have to be an Albino to use this product?
  • Aren’t those just the blocks you use in yoga class? I could steal two of those and some red licorice from Target and make this for $1.00. $29.99 my ass.
  • Put a toilet on the end and it would be perfect.

If you haven't checked out the site where you buy this thing,  The Weak Shop, you really should. It’s all things for lazy ass people. Like the Food Lifter which brings food to your mouth for you. Or the Support Hat which holds your head up straight for you if you’re too tired. I might get that hat to wear after my next marathon. Or the next time I’m drunk.

Just ran 10 miles in 1:23 (8:20 avg). And it wasn’t on a downhill treadmill. Don’t call me a lazy ass.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Giveaway Winner and LOL’ing

The winner of the CSN $80 gift card is Lindsey from 70.3 or Bust. She was 97/240 on Congrats Lindsey! Email me at and I’ll see that you get your goods.

I read every single comment that is left on my blog. Most are encouraging, supportive and upbeat. Many are inspiring and motivating. Some make me scratch my head.  A very small percentage, usually of the anonymous sort, make me mad. Those few have a critical or angry tone that I just don’t understand. Then I have to remind myself (or Ken reminds me) that when you put yourself out there in a public forum, you open yourself up to that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind people disagreeing with me. That makes for good discussion and insight. What I don’t like is sarcasm and rudeness. I guess if you have to be sarcastic and rude in a blog comment, that’s probably how you go through life, and that's not an easy way to live. Like how I turn that around and make those rude people seem pathetic?

By far, some of my favorite comments are the funny and witty ones. You guys leave tons of those and I find myself laughing out loud (LOL).

As a side note, I don’t usually write “LOL” while texting or emailing because mostly it seems overdone. Like in those texts you get from people: “I’m getting my second cup of coffee today. LOL!” or “Someone drop a dollar on the ground. LOL!” I visually imagine those people laughing out loud while getting coffee, and it doesn't fit. Really? You order a cup of coffee and go into hysterics? That’s crazy making. Maybe I’m just too literal. Okay, I know it’s just an expression that means something struck someone funny. I get that. Again, it’s the literal thing.

In order for me to LOL for real it has to be outrageously funny. I think a more appropriate acronym for those semi-funny moments would be CTS (chuckling to self) or GUB (giggling under breath) or even LI (laughing inside).

Last week, I got one of the funniest comments ever. I’m not sure it was meant to be completely hilarious, which made it even more so. I can say, I LOL’d at this one (maybe even ROFLMAO) from Jennifer (no blog address available, but I’m pretty sure it’s Jennifer Aniston or Garner):

So I thought of you when I went for an open water swim in my wetsuit and desperately needed to take a crap in the middle of the swim. Wearing a wetsuit. There is absolutely NO ONE IN MY LIFE I can tell this story to... I was thinking, hmm, who could I tell (because it's really funny) and I thought of you. Not sure how you feel about that :-)

So anyway, thankfully I was by myself in the river (all my friends were upstream while a few drunkards had just floated downstream) and I took off my wetsuit in the middle of the river and popped one out. Yes, into the river. No way to get up on the banks. Put back on my wetsuit and merrily swam back to my group.
So I wondered -- I think you've done tris -- have you ever had to take a crap in a wetsuit? And if so, what did you do about it? Can't bring TP on a swim :-)

Are you LOL’ing?

I don’t know where to start.

  1. I continue to be honored that people think of when when they crap in the woods or poop in their wetsuits.
  2. Despite having done a couple of tris, I have never worn a wetsuit so I can’t speak to this issue. However..
  3. If I was in your position, Jennifer, I would have done the same thing. Let’s face it. There was very little choice involved. In the stream or in the suit, which translates to all over your body. Once when I was eight I took a crap in the ocean and it hit my brother in the leg. Does that count?
  4. Jennifer I am seriously not laughing at you, but with you. You know all too well that I’ve had similar moments of desperation.

Poop has gotten me into some tough situations in the past. The worst being THIS ONE. (BTW, recently the boyfriend who was the subject of this experience and who I haven’t spoken to in 22 years, found this blog and emailed me about “the incident.” Talk about full circle! Hi to Michael if you’re still out there reading).

I see no shame in the issue. Let’s face it. We all do it. And whether you want to admit to it or not, you’ve probably had some sort of crazy experience with a turd or a fart. Did you let one (fart, not turd) slip during an English final? (I did). Did you go in your yard because you didn’t want to freak out the babysitter by running into the house with a poop emergency? (my friend, Clair, did). Did you go in a stream after taking off your wetsuit? (Jennifer did). Were you on a run recently and had to squat in someone’s front  yard to avoid soiling yourself? (my friend, M, did). See, we all do it. Some of us make it to the special place with the porcelain throne and some of us have to make do with bushes and streams and front yards.

icrapped {Source}

What made you LOL today? Or even CTS?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Overtraining and You

Type A personalities will increase their training until something backfires.”

So says running coach Julie Finagar in an article posted by the Wall Street Journal on September 7.

The article contends that many runners, especially first time marathoners, train too hard prior to getting to the start line of their race. Many people fear failure on race day (whether it be a DNF or not getting their PR) and literally run themselves into the ground.

Roughly 10% of athletes preparing for an endurance event are training too hard, estimates Jack Raglin, director of graduate studies at the Indiana University's department of kinesiology.  In fact of the hundreds of thousands of people who register for marathons, as many as 25% never make it to the start due to injuries. The good news is, 95% of those who do make it there, FINISH!!

To offset injuries, coaches recommend rest days, cross training and trail running (because it offers a lower impact alternative to asphalt and concrete). According to the article, a true sign of over-training is an intensifying obsession with performance and a lack of improvement despite putting in high mileage weeks and increasing intensity.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a victim of overtraining.  And I’m pretty Type A. Shocking!  Right now I’m typing and cooking dinner and checking my stocks and worrying about my kids’ college funds. And running in place.

After my first marathon in January 2009 (during which I simply wanted to finish the race and had no care about time) I started to get competitive. I was craving the almighty BQ. I wanted to see constant improvement in my training runs (speed, endurance and frequency) and I sought a  PR at every race. Being a newer runner, I had the mentality that more was better.

I was plodding along at a decent clip feeling on top of the world when – BAM. A year ago I was stopped dead in my tracks with a stress fracture  - an overuse injury. It put me on my ass for several weeks and took me out of the running game for two months.

Let me tell you, there is nothing like being sidelined, having your feet stink from wearing that damn boot and driving the Target electric cart around the store to make you want to get smart about your training.

As I re-entered the world of running, I did so with caution and care. I religiously followed the ten percent rule and incorporated lots of cross training. I followed the Run Less, Run Faster plan, which had me running only three days per week (speed, tempo and long). Sure I wanted to stay healthy, but more than anything I wanted to keep running. It occurred to me that I wanted to continue to run for a very long time…I had visions of myself being one of five in my age group when I was 80 years old. Depends and all. You can’t get there if you’re beating up your body.  oldhagbethrisdon


And guess what? Only eight months after my stress fracture, I qualified for Boston!!

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know we runners can be pretty hard on ourselves. Did we run enough mileage this week? Are we meeting our pace goals? Why can’t we get that stench out of our running shorts? I definitely fall into this category. In all honesty, I sometimes push a bit hard. Running calculators and training plans tell me to do my long runs between a 9:00 and 10:00 min/mile pace. For some reason, I always try to beat it. In the back of my head is: you can’t run that slow or you’ll never meet your marathon pace goal. I also run when body parts are hurting because I figure if it doesn’t slow me down or mess with my gait, I’m good. Probably a gamble.

Every once in awhile I get really Zen and  remember that I am enough even if I didn’t meet my running goals for the week. I am not completely and totally defined by those goals and I will probably do okay at my next race anyway.

No doubt that the recipe for training for and running a strong race includes determination, motivation, and putting an element of pressure on yourself. Without being a tad hard on yourself you probably wouldn’t crawl out of your warm bed and into your running clothes on your way to a 20 mile training run. But for God’s sake, find the balance. Don’t let it run and ruin your life. I believe there is a way to push yourself hard enough to test your limits and to be prepared without sacrificing your health.

Be honest. Are you training too hard? Not enough? Or just right? (Goldilocks reference).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Not So Crappy 20 Miler

Damn 20 milers. We know we have to do at least one, if not more, of these during marathon training. Well, we don’t have to, but most training plans call for them.

I did one of my two 20 miles with my friend, Dean Karnazes (20.8 miles to be exact). I’m name dropping. Oh hell, let me do it. It’s the only name I’ve ever had to legitimately drop in my entire life. 

That 20 miler was three weeks ago, so it was time to amp up for another.

Thank you sir, may I have another? (Animal House: circa 1978. First “R” rated movie I ever saw. Do the math and you will realize I was 11. That’s right. Now you understand me just a bit better, don’t you?)

When planning my 20 milers, I try to get creative. Actually, I try to find a way to make it not feel like 20 miles. But, at the end of the day, 20 is 20 no matter how you slice it. Typically, I do an out and back or one big honking loop. This time I wanted to mix it up, so I came up with the brilliant idea to do loops around a local lake (obviously not taken today):


3.5 miles around to be exact.

20 divided by 3.5 is 5.71. Yes, I used a calculator. I didn’t have Steve Q’s phone number.

People warned me not to do it. Said I’d get bored. Said I’d cut the run short with the temptation of my car there. Guess you’ll have to read the end to find out if they were right.

Foreshadow: I love proving people wrong.

I am not a loop kind of girl.  My idea of hell would be to do one of those marathons or ultras where you do a million laps to get your mileage. So, I’m not sure why this sounded like a good idea. Wait, I do know why. Bathrooms. I’ve had some poop issues lately. Well, not lately, all the time. But, lately frequency has been an issue. I think it’s the penicillin, because that’s the only thing I’ve really changed in my diet.

In thinking about loops, I also liked the idea of having my car there with water, Accelerade, gels, sunscreen. I wouldn't, for once, have to carry the damn fuel belt that I am readjusting every 2.3 minutes. Also, about 75% of this loop is on a dirt trail – and we all know what that means for saving the legs.

I got to the lake at 7:00 a.m. Cheetah skirt came along:


Although I went at home, I immediately had to go again. Eff you penicillin! I visited the park bathroom and balked at the lack of TP. Dang it. That is NO way to start a run.

To get going on this long journey, I met up with a friend for the first loop. I have been helping  Kathy to train for her first 5K coming up in October. She just started running in July after having never run before in her life. I created a training plan for her that started out with lots of walk/run/walk scenarios and she built up her run time from there. She has done an amazing job. Kathy met me at the start of my run and I am proud and thrilled to tell you she did the 5K part in 33 minutes!! Huge accomplishment.

Right when we hit the 5K mark I had to crap again. Poor Kathy. I am not a good example of a runner. She probably thinks that if you train for marathons you crap every 33 minutes. Sometimes  you do.

I bid Kathy farewell and stopped at my car for a few quick sips of Accelerade. Started lap #2. Just so happens a 5K Fun Run was going on at the lake today. That meant 500 more people than usual would be sharing the path with me. I wasn’t sure what to think of this except that there were more porta potties available and they gave me water at the aid station even though I wasn’t wearing a bib.

Loop #2 went quickly. Some of the fast runners passed me and my competitive self kicked in. I was desperately trying to keep a long run pace today so I would let my body gain the true benefits of the run and so I wouldn't feel like crap for the rest of the day. But, when those guys zipped by, my pace quickened. I kept telling myself they were doing a 5K pace, not a 20 mile pace, but I still wanted to catch them. Of course, I didn’t, but I had some fast miles.

Stopped again at the car at 7 miles. Had a Hammer Gel and some water. Took an e-cap. Pranced on my way for loop #3. Again, went by without incident except for me catching up to all of the walkers on the race, which made for some clogged trail. I did my best to stomp and breathe hard so they would move over. Saying “on your left” would just be too easy. Sometimes they moved and sometimes they just let their dog’s leash meander right in front. I just LOVE it when people do that.

10.5 miles and heading into loop #4. Race is officially over but has now turned into a 500 people church service along the trail complete with a speakers. All 500 were praying and holding hands. It gave me goose bumps and actually made me tear up to see that many people completely still in prayer with the beautiful mountain backdrop. I pushed on.

14 miles. Took a second gel. Drank enough water that I felt sick once I started running again. Like with most aches, pains and ailments during long runs, they subside and/or get substituted by another ache, pain or ailment. If you run long enough you realize that stuff just goes away. Mostly.

17.5 miles. Ate half a banana, took in a bunch of water. Headed out for the last 2.5 miles.  Glad to be almost done.

20 miles in 3 hours! I stopped at 7-11 on the way home for a chile cheese dog 10 lb. bag of ice. You know what’s coming (Angel, this one’s for you):


Yes, I am using the ice packaging to cover things up. Kind of like the old olive leaf that Eve used way back when. Oh, calm down. Covers more than some bathing suits.

Ye Olde ice bath (I used to work at a Renaissance Festival so I know how to talk like that). I acclimated to some cold water, then had Ken pour in the ice. I guess he felt compelled to take a picture. I won’t tell you the caption he put on the picture. Take a wild guess. I managed to stay in for 10 minutes. Not a second longer.

So, what did I think about the loops? Not half bad. It’s like anything. If you mentally prepare, you can usually persevere. It’s all in your head. For me it’s about settling into the rhythm of the run and not buying into those moments when my body starts to hurt or when my head says, “you’re tired.” You’ve just got to keep moving. The great thing about long runs is there are highs and lows. That means sometimes you will feel incredible and other times you will feel like dog shit. Both will pass. The point is to stay in the game long enough to let the tough times pass and to move into the higher points. Then you learn that you can move through anything. At least that’s what works for me.

Don’t forget my $80 CSN Giveaway! Ends Wednesday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What Type Did You Have Today?

Obviously after my last post I need to change my blog name to Shut Up and Dump. Of all the things I wrote about, everyone zeroed in on the crap factor. Yes, I know three is overdoing it. You’re just jealous. No, that is not the norm for me. It is feast or famine over here with the GI system. I can go days. Then I’ll have a three shitter experience. Don’t you ever do that? It keeps you guessing.

Andrew turned me onto the Bristol Stool Scale. It classifies poop into categories for medical purposes. Not sure why you’d want to do this. Maybe doctors yell from room to room, “Hey! I’ve got a Type 1 stool in exam room 29. You gotta see this!”   I was a Type 5 the other day if anyone cares. There is even a picture chart for those of you who are especially visual (i.e., MEN). What type did you have today?

[For the record, my son thinks this blog should be called Shut Up and Son. Need much attention?]

Thanks to so many of you who opted to take on my invitation to write about a day in your life. I read each one.  You can learn so much about a person depending on how he/she spends her/his time. Here’s who played along:

Laurie at the {Mis}adventures of a Jogging Stroller Mom: This fitness and family focused mom seems to have it all together. Between nursing her baby and taking her daughter to school, she plops the little guys in a jogging stroller and goes out for daily runs. How she runs six miles and pushes all that weight I’ll never know.

Adrienne at The Life of a Non-Race Runner: This mom of four is a total crack up. Her daily escapades included locking her son out of the house, fitting in a 10K treadmill run at the gym between getting the kids where the need to go, and praying a few times to get through it all. In the midst of it she sees the humor in the craziness of life.

Andrea at The Andrea Chronicles: Mom and full time sales director, Andrea manages to fit in daily runs, cooking healthy meals and watching Kate Gosslein make a lot of money for doing nothing. This chick crams so much into her day it makes me tired, yet entertained!

Pahla at The Adventures of An Average Athlete: I can’t get over how she starts her day at 3:53 a.m.! She puts in a few hours as a personal trainer,  “which mostly involves listening to women bitch about how they can’t lose weight while they’re half-assing their way through a workout,” then makes it home in time to volunteer at her son’s’ school. Never a dull moment.

Melissa at My Running Journey for Better or Worse: This professional lady starts her day at 5:00 a.m. After putting in a full day at work, she hits the trails for a run. She then spends some down time with her boyfriend, Matt, and her two crazy dogs.

Ang at The Turtle’s Pace: After putting in a full day at work, this newlywed heads to the gym to bust it out on the treadmill. She arrives home happy to find her dog didn’t crap in his kennel.

Amber at Gym Class Dropout: Amber takes us through her day at the the Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon last weekend.

Jessica at Running and Raising Girls: She’s a mom of two young girls and still manages to fit in her running while watching Jersey Shore. She must be doing something right because her kids are actually eating quinoa for dinner!

Irene at Tales from the Back of the Pack: She’s an account rep living in Long Beach, CA who gets her runs in before work. Then she takes time to play some Barbies with her four year old before doing it all again the next day.

Last but not least was our friend Andrew from Running Man Wannabe who showed us all up with his fabulous and colorful charts and x-marks. This dude cracks me up with his pre-run ritual: wake, check training schedule, drink water, put on HR monitor, watch, put shoes on, stand on porch, go back inside take a micro-dump (half an O'Henry Bar and some Smarties). All that aside, he seems to be an amazing dad and father.

So…Ken and I were going to skydive tomorrow. Really, I agreed to it and I wasn’t even heavily sedated with wine or Ativan at the time. Problem is, and it’s not an excuse, these pesky gums of mine got peskier and became full blown infected. Suffice it to say the inside of my mouth looked like the Elephant Man’s face. Not pretty. If you’ve ever seen videos of people skydiving, one of you notice their mouths are always forced open by pressure and wind. Lips flapping in the breeze. I can only imagine how that would feel on my little gum issue.

So, perhaps we’ll go next weekend? For sure, in September. Or October. Or November. Then it’s Christmas. So January. Might as well wait until the Spring. Call me chicken shit. I don’t care.

Instead? 20 miles on tap for tomorrow. Trying to mentally gear up. Hoping I don’t have any Type 7’s.

Don’t forget my $80 CSN Giveaway!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Day in the Life

Many of you have asked, “What is a day in the life like for Shut Up and Run”?  That’s bullshit. No one asked. So bear with me.

No two days are the same. I work for myself. I have no set hours. That’s good and bad. That means I have lots of time to run my miles, sit with the kids while they have a snack after school and catch glimpses of the Real Housewives while I eat leftovers for lunch in the living room. It also means I work nights and weekends and can be reached most any time of day by clients (although I don’t always answer). I like the trade off.


6:00 a.m: Woke up. Out of bed by 6:30 a.m. I’ve been sleeping like crap since my gum surgery, so last night I took an Ativan. These precious pills are supposed to be for when I fly.  I hate to fly. I always think it will end in death. The little white pill plus a vodka tonic is just what the doctor ordered (well, not really, she said don’t mix, but WTH?). Threw on some running clothes, put in a pad, brushed teeth, checked the gums: swelling’s gone down! Score.

6:30 a.m.: Downstairs. Ken was already at the counter eating cereal. Kissed him, sleepily mumbled “Hi.” Started the coffee. Fed the dog. Fed the guinea pig. Listened for child #1 to start his shower. Check. Took multivitamin, calcium, penicillin (for post surgery infection) and a probiotic (to counter-act evil antibiotic).

7:00 a.m.: Woke up child #2. She’s not a morning girl. “Mom, I need to skip school. Mom I’m tired.” I gave her the proverbial, “Can’t skip school. It’s illegal. I’ll go to jail and so will you.”

7:15 a.m.: Ate some raisin bread with lots of butter and cinnamon sugar. First cup of coffee. Made the same for Sam minus the coffee. Briefly checked email. Made English muffin for Emma (again, butter and cinnamon sugar).

7:30 a.m.:  Dump #1

7:35 a.m.: (Yes, I’m a quick dumper) Sam and Emma are arguing. Sam didn’t put back Emma’s iPod. He uses hers because he lost his on our RV trip. He found it with his drum stuff downstairs. I tell him to put back stuff he borrows. He gives me that sassy, attitude-filled, insincere, “Sooorrreeee” which I hate so much. I yell at him to say sorry nicely. He tells me to stop yelling. I lecture for a bit then get tired. He begrudgingly tells me goodbye (no kiss) and leaves on his bike for school. Sigh. I hate goodbyes like that.

8:00 a.m.: Put Emma’s hair in ponytails (down low, in the back). Drove her to school and reminded her about choir practice. On the way home, listened to Gayle King talk about Muslim extremists.

8:20 a.m.: Dump #2!

8:25 a.m.: (Quick dumper!) Shoes on. iPod charged. Fuel belt loaded with Accelerade, water, orange GU, phone, TP, money. Strapped on Garmin. Low battery. Dang it.

Interjection: Damn! A lot happens before 8:30 a.m.!

8:30 a.m.: Started what I like to call my Chariots of Fire run. Headed out for a medium length run of 11 miles, planning to run comfortably so that I don’t deteriorate. Listened to all of my bathtub music that Ken and the kids hate like Elton John, Josh Groban, Jackson Brown, Norah Jones. My pace was averaging 8:30 and I was lost in the mellowness and peace of the music. I usually listen to much more upbeat stuff, but sometimes on these quiet morning runs I like to get introspective and to flow with the music. I’m so deep. 

The air was a perfect 50 degrees, the morning sparkling and clear with much of the smoke from the huge forest fire blown away. I was totally inside my head, but not thinking of much at all. At 5.5 miles my Garmin died. I stopped for an orange GU and took in the day. I had run east of town and was afforded an amazing panoramic view of the Rockies. Camera phone doesn’t quite catch it, but you get the idea.


9:15 a.m.: Made the turn around for home. Noticed aching in my hamstring, which has become commonplace. Swigged some Accelerade. Felt pretty achy for the rest of the run, but still kept up the pace.

10:10 a.m.: Arrived home. Rolled on the foam, stretched. Drank some more Accelerade. Showered. Headed to Starbucks for my reward: Grande bold coffee, extra cream. Gave the cashier at the drive thru a box of Junior Mints because I read in the employee profile binder (doesn’t your Starbucks have one?) that she liked them.  Noticed my mom called to check on me and my gums. Tried to call my brother. Not there.

11:10 a.m.: Checked emails. Read blogs.

11:15: a.m.: Dump #3!!!

11:50 a.m.: Chiropractor appointment. Trying to figure out why my hand is still numb. Loved this guy. I haven’t been to chiro in 12 years. Appreciated how he rubbed my shoulders, zipped me through some x-rays, educated me about my Ts and Ls. Found out some discs in my neck are quite compressed, causing the numbness. Going back for an adjustment tomorrow.

1:15 p.m. : Home and famished. Ate some rice/veggie casserole mixed with last night's pork. And cantaloupe. Watched 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray who looked like she had put on a few. Must be those relationship problems I’ve read about.

2:03 p.m.: That’s now. 57 minutes until kid pick up time. Then it will be the mad rush to the orthodontist and library. There will be dinner to cook (BLTs or bean/cheese quesadillas?), homework to supervise, instruments to be practiced.

Nothing spectacular, and yet it is all spectacular. All of the little things that make up our days and make us grateful. Kisses hello and goodbye. Home made and nourishing foods. Three dumps. Songs that make you cry while you run. Songs that make  you feel invincible while you run. Candy given to strangers (not in a creepy sense). Calls from people who love you. Nature displaying itself to you in its finest. You being alive and aware enough to appreciate it all.

Life is in the details. Don’t miss a thing.

Consider yourself “it.” What’s a day (or morning or night) in your life look like, you 740 followers? I’d love to know all the little stuff (workouts, food eaten/cooked, books read, things observed).  Blog about it and send me the link. I’ll share it on the blog. Ask others to do the same. We can learn a lot from each other by what our days contain.

And don’t miss my $80 CSN Giveaway. Ends September 15.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

$80 CSN Giveaway

First things first. Have you heard about this “little” fire outside of Boulder? It has now grown to over 7,000 acres, 3,000 people have been evacuated and 100 structures/homes have been burned. While we’re about ten miles away, we’re affected. Yesterday our kids were inside for recess and all outside after school stuff was cancelled. The air quality stunk (literally). It’s pretty eerie at night to see the foothills on fire. By day, the sun is covered by a thick band of smoke. Hopefully progress will be made today.

When I was 15 there was a forest fire that caused us to evacuate. My mom left uncooked ground beef in a pan and we grabbed the cat, the dog and the photo albums. We walked miles and spent the night in the American Embassy. Our house was spared with only a few bushes burned, but a house right across the street was charred to the ground. The smell of smoke in the air always reminds me of how scared I was back then. My thoughts go out to everyone affected by the Four Mile Canyon Fire. Here’s what it looked like on Monday:

Now – to the giveaway!!

Free money. That’s what it is. Money to dress up your home. Money to buy that new toaster. Money to spend on a new coffee table.

Those poor guys stuck underground in Chile* might not know about CSN Stores, but if you breeze in and out of the blog world, you certainly do. In fact, this is my second giveaway with these guys. CSN Stores has over 200 specialized online stores featuring a variety of home goods such as furniture, home decor, house wares, fitness equipment, shoes, bags and luggage. Plus, they provide free shipping and returns.

Want $80 in CSN bucks? Do this (a comment for each):

  1. Write about this giveaway on your blog - +1 entry
  2. Become a follower of my blog if you’re not already or if you are, tell me - +1 entry
  3. Tell me about the one thing you’d most like to improve about your house, apartment, condo, etc. – + 1 entry

Good luck! Giveaway ends Wednesday, September 15.

The fine print:

  • CSN Stores provided this giveaway. I did not pay anything for it.
  • Contest only open to US and Canadian residents
  • The winner will be chosen at random by
  • Check back September 15 to see if you won!
  • If I don’t hear back from the winner within 2 days after posting that they’ve won, I’ll another name

Thanks for playing and good luck!

*I’m not being glib or minimizing here. These guys are a complete testimony to how the human spirit can prevail. Stuck 2,300 feet underground until Christmas. I bet Oprah is trying to get a phone down there to set up their first interview.