Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From Mexico

Running tip: Just run and stop making excuses (don't mind me, I'm a bit drunk and that's all I have to offer).

Oh, excuse me while I take a break to sip my margarita and admire my bronzed arms and legs.

It has been a day of paradise in Mexico - I got up early before the rest of my lazy family. 6am is a good wake up time on vacation, right? I headed for a short walk on the beach before finding some coffee. By 7:30am I was in the fitness center and glad that I had remembered to translate miles into kms for the treadmill. I did 10K at 11.1 kms/hour (8:40 pace) and I about died. Between the fact that they keep that place hot, I was slightly hungover (let's count what I drank yesterday - glass of wine on the plane, glass of champagne while we checked in, cerveza or two when we got to the room, glass of wine with dinner, glass of wine after dinner = way too many drinks for me).

I'm sure the run did me good to flush the toxins, but it kind of sucked. No bathroom issues until I finished. Major cramping on the beach, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was only a matter of farting a couple of times and I was good to go. The fitness center has water and chlorophyll water, something I've never heard of. It looks like water with algae. I tried some. Maybe that's why I had the cramps. After the run, we headed for a buffet breakfast. My plan of action at the buffet is to get one of everything and take a bite of each thing. So my plate was covered in fancy fruit, waffles, runny eggs, sausage links, fresh pastries, you name it. Repeat this at lunch. More cramping.

We did some sea kayaking, took a bike tour into the small town of Puerto Moreles, and did lots of laying around on the beach. No Montezuma's revenge. Yet. But, the night is still young.

I have tons of great pictures to share with you upon our return to CO.

Drinking: tequila, what else?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mexico Prep

Running tip: Protect your toes by using Body Glide or Vaseline. Those nubs do need some love and attention, especially on long runs.

Today I went to get a pedicure, since Mexico is right around the corner (2 days). Don’t hate. My feet have pretty much not seen the light of day since September. They are gnarly. Huge blister atop a huge bunion. Missing big toenail on my right foot. The toenail actually fell off a couple weeks ago and now there is just this pool of blood remaining under a new nail is trying to grow in. Hell, I am paying just as much as the next guy for a pedicure and I’m not going to be ashamed of how gross my feet are. In fact, I work hard to get these feet looking this bad.

So, I'm at the nail salon, in the throne chair, soaking my feet and reading Glamour. This sweet Asian woman was working on my feet. She didn’t speak much English. She took my right foot out of the sudsy tub to remove my nail polish. Only I didn’t have on any nail polish. She was scrubbing and scrubbing the place on my big toe where the blood is stuck under the nail. Apparently she thought it was purple nail polish (probably OPI’s Purple with a Purpose). I kept trying to tell her that it was a bruise and not to worry about it. But, being the hard worker she was, she kept on with the cotton ball and the nail polish remover. She was working that thing. Finally, she looked up at me and said, “This no paint?” I said, “No, it’s not going to come off.” She gave it one last try, as if it was her personal mission to remove this stubborn purple polish. I bet if she had surgical equipment she would have found a way to remove the old blood. Eventually, she gave up. I give her credit. I could tell giving up was not easy. But she did it.

Today I put in 15 miles (9:20 avg). That means I have run 45 miles in the past six days. I know some of you animals run 90+ miles a week, but I don’t. In fact this might be a PR for me. I knew I had to get in my long run today since come Sunday I will be lazing my ass under a palapa, passed out, with a tequila spiked umbrella drink glued to my hand and a smile on my face. For effect, this is the exact beach and palapa where I can be found. Don't hate again.

Being only 7 weeks out from the marathon, I can’t totally slack on this vacation, however. What sucks is I will have to run in this fitness room with this view. Yes that is the Caribbean right there:

Here's outside view of la gym. (Or should I say El gym. I was a French major not Spanish):

Running on a treadmill will be much safer for me than being outside. I plan on ingesting loads of beans, cheese and alcohol, so the inevitable Shut Up and Run poop will surely poke its ugly head out at some point during the run. Much easier to pause the treadmill and mosey on over to the toilet than to find a prickly pear cactus to hide my white ass behind.

What you got on tap for Spring break?

Drinking: Grande mild Starbucks coffee with extra cream

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back Off

Running tip: In the midst of a tough training schedule, give yourself a break. Every 4th or 5th week make sure you decrease workout by at least 30%. Your body needs a sigh of relief once in a while (source: Runreviews.com)

It’s a snow day here. Kids and Ken are home. Yes, I know. In the middle of dang March. I should not be surprised. March and April are huge snow months in Colorado. It cracks me up how people who have lived here forever act all shocked when it snows during the spring. Dude, it snows every single year like this.

What I was not prepared for was that the satellite went out. That does not happen every spring. I missed "The Biggest Loser" and "American Idol." It was a sad night. I found myself doing weird things like reading, paying attention to my family and going to bed early. I contemplated going to Sears and watching it on their showroom TVs with my designer Snuggi and glass of wine. Now that's white trash.

I am glad I got in my ten mile run yesterday before the white stuff hit. Let’s just say running a ten mile run at marathon pace (8:40, but I only managed 8:49) two days after a 20 mile run stunk. Literally. More bathrooms issues during that run, too, but I’ll spare you. I usually don’t spare you, but I will today because the blog world can only take so much poop talk. Suffice it to say it was a replay of Sunday’s run(s) minus 10 miles. Here's me heading out. I wore my Shut Up and Run shirt hoping it would give me inspiration. It didn't. I wore it backwards with the logo on the front. I figured no one would be slower than me and see the back.

Today was to be speed work, but I’m backing off. My body is telling me with every cell of its being that I should not run today. And I am listening. Even though my training schedule says get the hell out there, I am ignoring it. I am convinced what got me the stress fracture was pushing too hard. But this is what goes on in my head:

Soft/yoga/holistic/calm/accepting voice: Your legs hurt, your intestines are revolting, you are fatigued. Take some time off. If you don’t meet your mileage for the week, no biggie.

Hard ass/competitive/critical/fearful voice: You’ve got to get the mileage in or you won’t do well in the marathon. Your body is supposed to hurt. Push harder. Don’t be such a wimp. You’ll be in Mexico next week and you won’t train as hard.

Do you have two sides in your head telling you what to do? Who do you listen to? Do you ever back off from what your training schedule says, or do you plow ahead regardless?

Drinking: Kirkland coffee brewed by Starbucks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

20 Miler Report - Not So Pretty

Running tip: Frozen peas make a great ice pack for aching muscles after a long run or race. The best part is if you get hungry and don't want to get up, you can just grab a pea.

20 miles is a long eff’ing way to run, in case you didn’t know it. It’s actually a long way to bike, and even can be a long drive if you are in traffic, your kid is throwing up, has diarrhea or is crying. I tried to map out yesterday's 20 miler so it would be shorter or feel shorter, but when the day is done 20 miles is just 20 miles.

It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down (thanks Tom Petty), and even though the thermometer said 29*, I knew it would warm up soon. We got a big spring snow on Friday, so the mountains looked amazing in the bright sun and the roads were clear. We parked Ken’s truck at the ten mile mark (he was doing only ten), drove home and started from there.

Ken and I hardly talked for ten miles. Some runs are just like that. When you’re with people you don’t know that well, you feel obliged to make conversation. When you’re with your spouse you can ignore them and it’s all good.

Mile 2:
Me: Wow, that smells.
Ken: Yeah, they’re burning weeds.
Me: Oh.

Mile 5:
Me: I’m stopping take off my gloves
Ken: Okay. I’ll take a gel.

Mile 7:
Ken: Can you believe Kansas?
Me: They suck. Ruined my bracket.

Mile 8:
Me: I need to stop again for some Tums.
Ken: It’s getting hot.

Mile 10:
Ken: Do you have another ten miles in you?
Me: I hope so, love you. See you at home.

Back to the Tums. Yeah, I took one at mile 8 because my belly started talking to me a bit. Just some minor cramping that I thought would pass (foreshadow). Unfortunately, when I hit mile 12 the seizing up continued and I knew it was just going to be another Shut Up and Run poop story. Thank god I crap myself regularly so I have something to blog about.

Here’s a pic at mile 12, just to show you the beauty of the day. Not the beauty of my colon, which was now attempting to hold in last night’s sausage, onion, mushroom pizza, 2 buffalo wings, one Alaskan Amber and a glass of chardonnay. Oh, and some Jelly Bellies in bed. Could it be possible I deserve these problems? (Note to self: re-evaluate what you eat/drink the night before a long run).

Miles 12-15 went pretty well. I was cruising along trying not to become one with the many pelotons of cyclists that came whizzing by me. These cyclists always think you are annoying as a runner because you are running on their shoulder of their road and are in their way. Dicks.

I only had a near heart attack once when some guy in a 1980 VW Jetta proved how big his penis was and nearly side swiped me while honking his horn. Nice job. I hope that made you feel really good about yourself. You almost hit a 110 lb runner with your 2 ton car. You win. And, you managed to honk the horn while almost hitting that runner. Amazing way to multi-task. Your mother must be very proud.

At mile 16 I squirted in my tights. At mile 16.25 I stopped at the place with the bathroom tip jar and took a dump. I used the Glade air freshener to cover it up and felt good about myself for leaving an evergreen scent intermingled with the distinct smell of turd.

At mile 19 I had such bad cramps I wanted to walk. But being only a mile, less than 9 minutes, from home, I didn’t want to mess with my average per mile pace, so I kept running. It sucked.

Mile 20: I walked in the door and ran for the loo (I’m so sophisticated and British) to let it all out. Not pretty, but what shit is? Best part was, I went to flush and the toilet was clogged. By whom? My eight year old daughter. That apple not only didn’t fall far from the tree, it got stuck in its branches for good. So, I had to grab the plunger and deal with that whole disgusting business. No one, and I mean no one, likes plunging with turd in the toilet.

The rest of the afternoon was shot. I bet I hit the bathroom at least five times. I got a lot of reading done. Did you know celebs workout with pals and get parking tickets, just like me?? That is so freaking cool. Did you know you can use your Ugg boot as a potholder?

There you have it. A messy 20 miler done in 2 hours, 59 minutes (8:59 average per mile pace). I’m happy with that.

I’m signing off for now to go into my workshop to perfect my running shorts with the built in Depends. God knows I’ll need it for my marathon.

Drinking: Kirkland brand coffee brewed by Starbucks

Friday, March 19, 2010

Free Ball

Running tip: Avoid carrying loose change. It will annoy those running with you.

Well, shit. I just cannot pull one over on you guys. I apparently had two faux pas (pauses?) in my last post.

First of all, I told you about Devon from Outside PR who so graciously sent me the Ryders Eyewear to review. I eloquently described Devon as being a cute guy, but this was just in my imagination. Imagine my surprise when Devon emailed me to let me know she was a she. Vagina and all. Well, she didn’t say that, but I did. Sorry, Devon. Those names that could go either way really mess me up (Pat, Morgan, Drew, Yanni). I never should have assumed. Ass out of U and Me. Right?

Secondly, Paul from PB Down Under was kind enough to leave me this comment on my last post when I spoke of "wetting whetting your pallet":

What a giggle you have given me when you say something like "wet your pallet." ROTFL :-) Maybe you think we are all truckers and have piles of these things (pallets) lying around?? Methinks your fingers meant to type "palate!" Blame it on the finger with the cut who was probably just trying to get you back for attempting to chop her off!

Well, Paul, let me tell you something. I actually was talking about a trucker’s pallet. How did you know? I was hoping that we could all take a moment to rinse off and hose down those pallets we have laying around. Did you think I meant “palate?” (The roof of the mouth in vertebrates having a complete or partial separation of the oral and nasal cavities). As in a cleft palate? Oh no, my friend.

And if you believe that then you’ll believe I meant to say "Chopin was a concert penis" not a "concert pianist."

Seriously, though, thanks for the comment. You guys always make me laugh. I read each and everyone one of them.

Despite all of my shortcomings (and there are too many of them to ever confine to this blog), someone out there loved me yesterday.

Let me set the stage for you. I had just finished an 8.5 mile run, rinsed off, and decided to hit the Starbuck’s drive-thru before running a few mom-errands. I was not wearing mom jeans or listening to mom music (Kenny Rogers, Billy Joel) when I did this. The line at the drive thru was long, but I was in no hurry. I passed the time listening to Dr. Laura berate someone for the 201st time about the fact that they lived with their boyfriend (I think “whore” was the word she used). I finally ordered my grande mild coffee with extra cream (right to my colon), and inched my way to the pay window. I had my $2 out and ready to go. Rolling my window down as I approached the cashier I heard her say, “You’re all taken care of. The car in front of you paid for your drink.” Damn, I love this pay it forward stuff. And, damn, if I would have known I would have gotten a triple venti extra large mocha with gold shavings.

Seriously, thanks to that anonymous soul. I tried to chase him/her down flailing my money at their car so I wouldn’t feel so indebted to the universe, but he/she had disappeared into the mess of side streets and box stores.

This has been happening to me all over the place. First the guy at the Chelsea Handler show buying me drinks. Then my massage therapist gave me a free massage the other day because I lended an ear to listen to some of her personal problems. Now, the free coffee. What is this world coming to? Who do these generous people think they are? And, who of you, and I mean who of you is going to pay my mortgage this month?

Wish me luck on my 20 miler this weekend. I had it all mapped out on back dirt roads until we got major snow today. Now what’s a girl to do? Will she ice bath or won't she ice bath? Will she wear any clothes this time, or will she free ball? (What is the female equivalent of "free ball" anyway? Loose lip? Feel free to comment about that one).

Misszippy is doing a great giveaway on her blog for the new book Run Like a Mother that comes out 3/23. Also on her blog is an interview with the author.

Drinking: H20

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Review: Ryders Sunglasses

Running tip: Buy running clothes you like. This may sound obvious, but you're probably more likely to be motivated to run if you have something to put on that you feel good in. If this is a sparkly bright red thong, so be it. Your neighbors will love you for it.

A few weeks ago, this seemingly cute and very smart guy, Devon, contacted me from Outside PR wanting to know if I could review a couple of running products. I know he is smart because he used big words I didn't understand in the email. I know he is cute because he was witty and works for a cool company. Those people are always cute.

I hate getting stuff for free, especially running goods, but I said “yes” anyway. Outside PR is an agency that represents such favorite products as Road I.D., Sugoi, GU, Go-lite and Ryder’s Eyewear.

By the way, I’m kidding. Like any breathing human, I love free stuff. I will review a business card, a Frisbee or a plastic cup with your university logo on it if you send it to me. You can only imagine the goody bag I bring home from a marathon expo.

Last week I got these Ryder’s sunglasses* in the mail:

Yes, that's a cut on my finger. Wanna see it up close? Wanna see what a sucky camera I have? That could just be a smile I made with a red Sharpie, but it really is a wound from a knife. Cutting apples can be very dangerous.

Fortunately, because I am in the last two months of marathon training and I am running so much I almost despise it (oh, stop your gasping, you feel that way sometimes too), I had ample opportunity this week to give these shades a whirl. Also, fortunately, the sun had finally returned from its long hiatus to Tahiti or Hawaii or wherever the sun hangs out when it’s not around here (okay, calm down, I know the sun is just behind clouds or going down on Elton John – “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me…” which could very easily be “Don’t Let Your Son Go Down on Me”, but that’s another post).

Previously, I was sporting the Wal-Mart special aerodynamic glasses (I think Kara Goucher wears these too), and it was tough to think of parting with them, especially since they cost $4.99. Devon gave me some options to pick from on the Ryder website from the Adrenaline collection. It is not an easy thing to pick sunglasses without trying them on. That means you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and make faces and pull your hair back and in front of your face and pretend you are running by jogging in place. Or maybe I just do that.

In any case, I chose the Sprint model in black with a grey lens. I chose them because they will make me look hardcore and will make me a better runner. In reality, I thought they were a good looking pair of glasses, with that athletic vibe. I also liked the option for the grey lens as that’s my color of choice in sunglass lenses. I prefer to see the world in hues of grey because it is uplifting. Here’s the actual description on these glasses:

PRICE: $39.99

The lenses are shatterproof, scratch resistant and provide 100% UV protection. All glasses have anti slip and adjustable nose pads. The temple tips are also anti slip.

After a couple of runs in these glasses, I found I really liked them (and not just because they were free). I liked them because I did not notice them. To me, not noticing things on my body while running is a good thing. I hate having to mess with anything during my runs, especially if it’s because it’s uncomfortable, annoying, or not performing its function properly.

Essentially, the glasses did their job: stayed in place, provided protection from the bright Colorado sun, and were lightweight enough that I didn’t feel them on my face. They reduced the glare, but were not so dark that they distorted colors or kept me from knowing when the light was green at the crosswalk (this is important if you want to live during your run). The price isn't bad either ($39.99 or free if you're me).

Next up in a future post will be my review on the Race + Recovery Compression Tights from Sugoi. To wet your pallet, expect to see me in the tightest tights you’ve ever seen. As in, I could put on high heels, get a perm and be slutty Sandy at the end at the end of the movie, Grease (if only I could sing, was gorgeous, smoked and came from down unda').

Drinking: H20

*Outside PR sent me the product for free to review on my blog (courtesy of Ryders Eyewear). I did not pay for the item or exchange any favors for it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Is Running a Marathon a Health Risk?

Running tip: Always carry an ID with you when you run. Road I.D. is a great option, but a driver's license or any identification card will do. You just never know what might happen out there.

Did you guys hear about the report that came out today saying that marathoning is a health risk because it stiffens the arteries, thereby stressing the heart? Basically, the study contends that running is VERY good for you - to a point - then it can be dangerous. Despina Kardara, author of the report states, "The cardiovascular system is like a sports car engine. If you do not use it, it will decay, but if you run it too fast for too long, you might burn out."

Take a look at my Examiner article about this study and let me know what you think. Does it change your mind about running long distances, or do you think that this is just one random study that does not apply to you and that the odds are in your favor?

I'm of the opinion that the benefits of running far outweigh the risks. I tend to live my life doing what I love, rather than fretting about every little thing that could happen. This especially applies to something like running that is so advantageous both mentally and physically. I truly don't think I'll die running a marathon. But, I will always go for yearly physicals and blood work and continue to take care of myself in a responsible way. These days it seems you can find any statistic to support or undermine what you do, eat, or drink. Everyone has to find what works for them.

And, to those of you who asked if the paparazzi follows me around me house since I have so many pictures of myself doing odd things, the answer is "yes." I have a paparazzi comprised of my two children who have their own cameras and are bored. That's why I have tons of memories like this (yes, indeed that is me dancing in a French maid's costume. Go figure):

Random pool shot:

Doing what moms do:

Taken by my husband, 'nuf said:

Can't I get some privacy? I mean EVER?

Drinking: H2O

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My New Party Hat

Running tip: If you're having trouble getting motivated to run, sign up for a race and tell everyone. You'll be much less likely to drop your training plan if you've spent the money and blabbed that you're doing it. Then, if you don't show up, you're poor and a loser.

I’ve got some random thoughts for today. I didn’t want to devote an entire post to any one of these things, so let’s just do some bulleting:

  • Before I get all serious, I'll tell you this: son Sam came home from baseball yesterday and promptly put his crotch cup on Lucky’s head. Poor dog. It does make a great party hat! I might wear it to my next social gathering. PTA here I come.

  • Running is such a mental game. If you go out to run 18 miles and you are committed to the distance, that’s what you will do. If you go out to run 9 miles the next week you feel like that is only as far as you can go. I think that’s why when people run a half marathon they will sometimes say after the fact: "I could not have gone another 13.1." The point is, it’s about what you set your mind to before you started running. You run differently and think differently for different distances. This is not rocket science and yes, I am stating the obvious, but I thought about this today on my run (here I am getting ready to go. Ignore the mess that is my house ->).

  • People who yell at their kids and treat them like shit in public are evil. We all scream at our kids at some point and have moments that wouldn't win us a parent of the year award. But, I’m talking about those parents who are constantly all over their children using a tone that shouldn’t even be used on a disobedient dog. “Put that down! Come over here! Shut your mouth!” Poor kids can’t catch a break. I was in Walgreen’s today and some mom with three little girls was doing this. She ended her tirade by commanding them to “Get in the damn car.” As far as I could tell, the kids were being kids. They weren’t poorly behaved. They were little and acting like little kids act. My thought on this is that if people treat their kids like this in public for all the world to see, my God, what are they doing to these kids in their privacy of their own home? Granted, I don’t know what kind of shit this woman has going on in her life, but it was obvious she was taking it out on those girls. In those moments of treating her kids with absolutely no respect, she is molding their little minds and souls, and not for the better. Made me sick.

  • Chelsea Handler is entertaining. Chelsea Handler is funny. Chelsea Handler is also kind of a drunkard and seems pretty angry. The show last night was a decent one if you like the "f" word and making fun of minorities. I loved her poop references and appreciated all of her references to masturbating on the playground when she was eight. But, truthfully, she seemed tired. Almost like she didn’t want to be there. She did not wear this last night ->, nor did she looked this good. She dropped about 39 f-bombs in one minute, including constantly asking, “Can I get a f*cking drink???” I will say, the guy who opened for her, Josh Wolfe was hilarious (go see him if he comes to your town):

  • I find it curious and fascinating that some of the most generous people are those that have the least to give. Take for example last night. Some dude who had driven down from Gillette, WY sat by me at the Chelsea Handler show. He was probably in his 20s and a little rough around the edges. I think he worked at a coal mine in WY. At one point he got up to get a drink (you had to walk out of the large theater to do this). He asked if we wanted anything (something most people wouldn’t bother do ask a stranger). I gave him $6.50 for a glass of wine (total freaking rip off). He was gone a LONG time because the drink lines were crazy. When he finally got back he had brought me two glasses of wine and a beer for Ken. Just because it took him so long. Later, he got up again for drinks. Didn’t ask if we wanted anything, but came back with another glass of wine for me and another beer for Ken. In total, he spent $26 on us – just because. I have sat beside hundreds of thousands of people in my life at shows, movies, on airplanes, etc. No one has shown this generosity, least of all some of those wealthy types with the sticks up their asses. I take that back. Last year in Vegas some dude kept giving me $100 chips at the blackjack table if I would stay and gamble with him, but he probably thought I was a prostitute. I actually won a lot of money and he wouldn’t take any of it.

  • This made me think a lot about the spirit of giving and generosity. We hold on so tight to what we have sometimes because we are afraid. Afraid there won’t be enough for us. What would happen if we were less fearful and more big hearted?

Woah – me getting all serious on you guys today. Well, life can’t be one big hilarious fart all the time.

How was your weekend and what did you notice?

Drinking: H2O

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just Calm Yourself Down

Running tip: If you have tough running day, don't let it get the best of you. Don't let is psych you out. Be kind to yourself. Just know that you are strong, you can reach your goals. Just know that Lance Armstrong lost his nut, had a 40% chance of living, and could barely walk let alone ride a bike after his cancer diagnosis. He came back to win seven consecutive Tour de Frances. He also ran the NYC Marathon in 2:46. He may be a freak of nature, but he shows us the power of perseverance.

Here’s the thing. If your Garmin won’t turn on and you know it’s fully charged, don’t do what I did and throw it on the ground while cussing the Garmin gods and thinking, “How will I afford a new Garmin? I can’t afford a new Garmin! Shit, this Garmin is only a year old. How appropriate it would fall apart on its one year anniversary when the warranty just has expired. Motherf$cker ”

Especially don’t do this if you are at the track at your child’s middle school and you’re pretty sure the sixth grade class just watched you lose it in your black tights.

The reason you don’t have to do the above, is that you could just go home and Google, “Garmin 205 won’t turn on,” and you could find out that all you have to do is reset it by holding down the Mode and Reset buttons at the same time, then pressing the On button. I love the Internet. I would marry it if I could.

This is something I am working on. Not being so eff’ing reactive. Do you know what reactive means? It means that someone says something to you in a tone you don’t like or an old lady flips you off at a red light or you get a phone bill with charges that don’t belong to you and you LOSE your mind, immediately. Aren’t you supposed to count to ten or something before throwing a fit? I seem incapable of this. Some people like the Dalai Lama and yogis and Anderson Cooper seem to be able to hold their shit together at all possible moments. Maybe if Gloria Vanderbilt was my mom, I could too.

I am making a promise. A promise to work on being less reactive:

Re.ac.tive: Tending to be responsive or to react to a stimulus

I am going to stop reacting to stimuli. Stimuli that annoys me. Stimuli that I cannot control until I get home and Google things. Stimuli that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Stimuli that I won’t be able to recall tomorrow morning much less a year from now.

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” - Charles R. Swindoll

“Adversity is a fact of life. It can't be controlled. What we can control is how we react to it.”

“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.” - Anais Nin

I will let you know how it goes.

I guess am giving up reacting to stimuli for Lent. Yes, I’m late. No, I’m not Catholic. I’m just trying to fit in.

How are your Lent deprivations, New Year's resolutions, or promises to yourself going?

Drinking: Kirkland brand coffee brewed by Starbucks

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Foot in Crotch

Running tip: Feeling tired on lots of your runs these days? You might be eating too few calories, not getting enough sleep, or overtraining. Rebecca Scritchfield (Sports Nutritionist) says your low energy may be related to lack of iron. People who experience fatigue, weakness, pale skin, headache, and irritability may have low iron levels. Others may have severe iron depletion called anemia or "tired blood." If your fatigue persists, get it checked out.

Ever have crap runs? Not in the turd sense, but in the actual running sense. You start the run and wish it were over. The miles trudge along. You consider just stopping, but that's for wimps, so you carry on. You know you will love the run when it is over. I rarely have runs like this, but I did today. And here is where I ran, so what was my problem?

At mile 4, I got the worst ever cramps. Those of you in Longmont at McIntosh Lake could have found me curled in a ball on the path. It wasn't pretty. I made it the six miles without a mess and promptly carreid on with my day. Damn time of the month that men don't get.

Many of you asked if the ice bath helped with my recovery from the 18 mile run. I have no idea, because I only made it in there about five minutes (talk about wimps). I'm not sure that was enough time to do what it's supposed to do. Thank you for all of your input as to why I was doing it wrong: I seriously never thought of adjusting to the water before putting the ice in. Maybe that just speaks to my all or nothing personality. If (and that's a big eff'ing if) I ever do that again, I'll start by gradually getting in, letting my body adjust to the cold water, then dumping in the ice. You have to admit, it wouldn't have made for a very exciting video if I did it the right way. I did it all for you and your enjoyment!

I will say, that what helped the most with the recovery was doing some hot yoga. Going in I was hurting a bit. Just tight. After 90 minutes in 105 degree heat and some really intense stretches - (this one in particular called the head to knee pose) - my legs got a new lease on life.
Yes, that is me. I have become Asian and now wear blue underwear to yoga.

I love how the posture names are so literal (as in "head to knee"). I know they are translated from Sanskrit, but it the simplicity of the names in their unembroidered exactness (how you like that word choice? Mensa, here I come) crack me up. Or sometimes they are named after animals or farts (i.e., "wind relieving pose," my personal favorite).

Here I am again, only this time I have changed my underwear and my ethnicity.

If I were a yoga-pose-namer, I would call this one-foot-in-crotch-with-head-cut off -pose instead of Tree pose (do not look at my form. It is not good).

This one would be called I-have-to-pee-so-bad instead of Eagle pose. I also look nothing like an eagle with the exception of my pink and gray shirt, which I’m pretty sure eagles wear.

This one would be trying to create the letter T with your body or “Mrs. T” pose instead of Balancing Stick Pose (seriously, have you ever seen a stick that looks like this?)

And yes, before you ask, I LOVE to do yoga in my jeans. It allows for so much flexibility and I find that the denim breathes really well in the heat.

So, what was YOUR workout today?

PS: I usually don't link to giveways (so I have a better chance of winning), but this one by Anne Marie is awesome - some great Athleta running stuff. Check it out HERE.

Drinking: Nothing - headed for some tea

Sunday, March 7, 2010

18 Miles of Adventure (video)

Running tip: If you are brave and like torture, consider taking an ice bath after your next long run. It is supposed to help with muscle recovery. According to Dr. David Terry, ultra runner, "Ice baths don't only suppress inflammation, but help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles."

Today’s long run was 18 miles. This was the point in my last marathon training cycle when I got injured. I’m pretty sure the injury developed on that 18 mile run on a hot day last August. So, today, I was conscious of this, especially since many of the miles travelled were on the same route as “injury route.” Ken was due for 9 miles today, so we parked his car at the half way point and drove back to the start. The morning was foggy, gray and 33 degrees at the start. The mountains were barely visible. Here were the highlights:

Mile 2: Stopped to stretch –major highlight.

Mile 2-5: Pretty major rolling hills. Lots of climbing.

Mile 6: Ken proposed to me. Not really. He did that 15 years ago. But I don’t have any other highlights.

Mile 8: I got pregnant.

Mile 9: Halfway. Mentally difficult to watch Ken unstrap his fuel belt, let out a huge sigh of relief that his run was over, and settle into the comfy and warm seat of his truck. We had parked at a grange in a rural part of Boulder County. Do you know what a grange is? I just looked it up – it’s an association of farmers. So, I guess the grange is where these farmers hang out. I actually found a picture of the Boulder County Grange:

It looked nothing like this today. There was no celestial sunlight and no travelling minstrels strumming guitars in the parking lot. It was just me, Ken, the truck and some mud. I desperately had to pee. The grange was closed. Ken suggested I open both doors of his truck, making a little shelter, and try to pee in there. I did that, but problem was when I squatted down, my white ass hung below the truck doors. This is not Ken’s truck, but it gives you an idea about what I was doing with the doors.

Not three seconds after my pee commenced and I let out an audible, “aahhhhh,” someone from somewhere yelled, “WHY ARE YOU GOING PEE?” I stopped mid stream and hopped up, looking around for the source of the yell. No clue. So, I bid Ken goodbye, knowing I would find a more concealed pee spot on the way back.

Mile 11: There was nowhere to pee, and worse yet I was feeling #2. I climbed into sort of a ditch off of the dirt road and hid myself in a tree. I pulled down my capris and a dry stick poked me in a tender spot. I let it all out, felt much better and pulled up my tights. It wasn’t until my run was over that I found a 4" long stick in my tights. I am so hard core I can run with twigs nestled in my clothing.

Mile 12: Found out that PB&J and orange Accelerade go really well together.

Mile 13: Damn dog comes at me barking and snarling. Dick. I tried to remember what to do to fend off dogs. I think about going hiking and bears. The sign always says to make yourself look really big (or is that mountain lions?). So, I put my arms over my head like a scary monster and screamed, “Get back!” The dog fell on the ground laughing, got up and shook his head and meandered off. Note to self: buy pepper spray. Ask bloggers what to do if a dog attacks you.

Mile 15: Still feeling really good. Listening to Tom Petty, Black Eyed Peas and Bruce.

Mile 17: Ready to be done. Hamstrings are really tight. Feet hurt.

Mile 18: Sweet Jesus, I’ve made it. 18 miles, 2 hours 46 minutes, 9:14 avg pace.

I stopped on the way home to buy a 10 lb bag of ice for an ice bath. I have never taken an ice bath before because I am a wimp, and hate to be cold. I’d rather have a sucky recovery than be cold. But today, I was kind of feeling it. And I’d like to share the lovely experience with you:

I love this shot because it looks like I am giving birth:

What were your adventures on your long run this weekend?

Drinking: Vics Coffee

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Never Saw It

Running tip: If you wear tights, always wear black. They will camouflage almost anything you don't want people to know about.

One fellow blogger, Miss Brightside, made a very observant comment regarding my bikini picture in this post. Specifically, she said, "I am completely jealous of your bikini status, but I must ask you...are you at all concerned about the red stripe through the crotch of the bottoms...my eye kinda went straight there!?"

Funny, but I had not noticed this before. I think I love that girl for her attention to detail. I had to ponder this: Am I worried about the red strip in the crotch? The way I look at it is that unless I am straddling over your face, you probably wouldn't see it. I don't plan on doing this straddle move frequently on the beaches of Mexico, even with a bit of tequila under my belt.

Don't you love pictures where you were clueless and someone pointed out something outrageous to you about the picture? See if you can find what's funny about these:

Me, not trying to be profane, but wondering why my thighs look like this:

Hope your as observant as I think you are.

Drinking: Merlot

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Cross Train, Therefore I Am

Running tip: Cross training makes a difference. It helps prevent over-use injuries, gives you greater running fitness, and helps minimize running burnout. So, find something you like to do – cycling, skiing, swimming – and make it part of your routine. Just because you’re not running doesn’t mean you’re not training hard for your upcoming race.

Today I got on my bike. It’s 55* in my fair city. Here’s me getting ready to go. This is the stance I always take right before getting on my bike:

And this one, too:

Some of you may not know this about me (and may not care), but I was a cyclist long before I was a runner. I started cycling in college, then got into more distance riding in my twenties. I did a century ride while living in Richmond, VA. After moving to CO, I did the famous Ride the Rockies tour which covered 410 miles over six days, and took us over several major mountains. That ride was a trip because every night after riding 60-80 miles you would rinse off in group showers (not unlike jail) with lots of other naked people. You may think that because people are able to ride 60-80 miles a day they are in shape and have rock hard bodies. Such was not the case in the group showers. Lots of this (only, in color):

That ride was also crazy because every night you would pitch a tent in a high school football field with thousands of other people. Literally, tents were no more than three feet apart. Nothing like the great outdoors. Actual photo in Pagosa Springs. Look closely and you can see Ken in the middle holding two water bottles by our tent (the tent of love) :

Being inside your tent you have the illusion that you are in your own space, and that no one else can hear you. A head's up: Just because people can’t see you doesn’t mean they can’t hear you (got that those of you having loud sex and doing other things that should not be done in a tent city?). Try sleeping in that shit then getting up at 4am and riding all day. But, we did finish (Fred, Ken & I):
When I got pregnant and had kids, I stopped pretty much anything that resembled exercise. It’s hard to work out with a child hanging on your tit all the time. Plus, my motivation fell to the wayside as I was absorbed in the world of diapers, sleepless nights and little people with big demands (who I love very much). Between my two kids, I did one measly triathlon. That’s it. I really didn’t start working out again until I started running in 2008. I know. Lame.

Oh yeah, today I got on my bike. I got on my bike because I am supposed to cross train. I know this because my doctor and the FIRST ("Run Less Run Faster") book told me. I do not really like to cross train. I like to run. I only cross train so that I can run. And because I don’t want to get another stress fracture. These days I run 3x per week (about 30-35 miles total), do Bikram yoga 2x per week, and either swim, elliptical or bike one day. I don’t rest a lot. Maybe one day a week.

Here’s what I noticed on the bike:

  • No stomach upset. Nary a fart.

  • It’s much colder riding a bike than running.

  • Lots of people in Colorado like to cycle. At one point I’m spinning along and I hear this sound approaching from behind (not from my behind). All of a sudden, they were on me like flies on shit. This peloton of dudes whooshing past me. Millions of them. They all had a comment: “Good morning” (it was actually afternoon) “On your left” (no shit) “How’s it going?” “Nice ass,” “Kiss my ass,” “Kiss his ass” (I made up these last three. Any fans of Christmas Vacation?)

  • Miles go a lot faster when you ride vs. run (I’m genius)

  • Running is harder than cycling (okay, triathletes and cyclists if you read this blog please don’t rape and pillage me and my children. I know cycling is tough when you go really fast and when you climb mountains and when you have a headwind and when you ride 100 miles, I’m just saying that I find running much more intense. IMHO).

I finally programmed my Garmin to sync with my cycling. That made it a tad more interesting. Overall, it was nice to be outside. I guess it was nice to do something other than run. And it was definitely nice to not have to take my panties in the shower with me to clean them up for a change.

Do you cross train? Do you like it? What do you do and what benefits have you seen?

Drinking: Starbucks Pike Place Blend

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Friends DO Let Friends Fart

Running tip: Find a buddy or a running group to run with. The best way to not skip your workout is to have others who hold you accountable. You may be able to let yourself off the hook, but it’s tougher to not show up knowing everyone will be talking about what a wimp and loser you are during their 16 mile run.

I met up with fellow bloggers Jill and Tara for Sunday's long run (16 miles). I’ll tell you the best thing about running with people who you’ve never met in person, but who know you from your blog: they already know so much about you, that there is no “breaking in” period. As in, I could have pretty much shown up and taken a dump right in the REI parking lot and neither Tara nor Jill would have batted an eye. (That's me and Jill ->)

It was great to finally meet these girls. After all, I knew we had at least three things in common: running, blogging, geographics. How bad could it be? I was a bit nervous though, kind of like a blind date. What if I can’t keep up? What if they think I’m really weird? What if they try to get to second base (just kidding, that was blind date talk). What if they go to play on the jungle gym and leave me alone on the swings (oh, sorry, having a third grade flashback). At least I didn’t have to worry about farting and stuff, ‘cause like I said, that’s what would be expected of me.

All my fears were laid to rest when I met Jill and Tara. Both were so nice, friendly, easy to be with. We started uphill for a bit just to see if Tara, who had a pulmonary embolism back in the fall, was faking it. She wasn't, and I really felt badly for her. Indeed, she was having some lung issues (that’s a nice way of saying that she coughed up her lung and left it on the curb), so she stayed with us for four miles, then decided to call it a day. Here's me and Tara holding hands and becoming BFFs.

Before we said goodbye to Tara for a bit, the girls were nice enough to let me stop for a short crap:Can you see Tara's pit stain?:

After saying goodbye to Tara, Jill and I trekked our way through Denver on the Cherry Creek Path, through the county club neighborhood (those people with those amazing mansions and big trees – they are SO not happy), and Cheeseman park, or gay-central, of Denver. There’s this really cool platform thing with columns (I think it dates back to B.C.), so I needed a pic with our city in the background.

Jill was a great running partner. Unlike me, she is quite the experienced runner, having run many marathons and four in the past year alone. She BQ’d several times this past year, and is a certified running coach. I always enjoy talking to runners about their races, their training and what works for them. Nice that we had 16 miles to chat!

Jill and I wound our way back to downtown Denver and hit 16 miles right at the doorstep of the best little coffee shop, The Market ->. Tara was waiting for us there with her laptop and her spilled latte all over the table. Bad lungs and clumsy! But, we do love her regardless. Jill drooled over sweets:

I had some swigs of wine (this picture is so gross – I look like such a prepubescent boy. But like Tara said, if we weighed more we would have boobs but we wouldn’t run as fast. If an actor played me in a movie it would probably be Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone. Hello plastic surgery people: how about giving me a boob job to review?):

Tara had a beer and I love her for that:

I ate a croissant sandwich the size of my head (another unflattering picture I look like I need an IV or at least some makeup):

We said our goodbyes, but not before giving the Barista man favors to take our picture (you can fantasize about any favors you want. And no, I have no clue why this guy in the background is asleep):

Overall, a great day spent in great company. It's just great great great great. GREAT. Here's me saying great great.

Drinking: Starbucks Gold Coast coffee