Monday, January 31, 2011

Gratitude Attitude

Today I was thinking a lot about gratitude and how it relates to attitude.

And, they both rhyme! Gratitude, attitude. Other words that rhyme:

vagina, china
Britney Spears, bring me beers
penis, hygienist
anus, gayness

A recurrent self-help theme over the past ten years or so has been to be thankful, to show gratitude. In doing so, one supposedly gets perspective on all that is good in his/her life and minimizes feelings of negativity about what’s not so great.  Keep a gratitude journal, they say. Write down five things every day that you are thankful for. Focus on the little stuff because it’s in those moments that life is truly lived.

Practicing being thankful actually dates way back to biblical times:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God. (Thessalonians 5:18), and numerous other verses that I don’t know because I don’t read the Bible very often.

The thing about gratitude is, it’s terribly easy to do when things are going great. Conversely, it’s a royal pain in the ass to do when things suck. That said, I think the true measure of someone's character is found in the dark times. It’s easy to be strong, upbeat and on top of your game when it’s all going swimmingly. It’s much tougher, however, to keep your wits about you and your attitude bright when you’re under that dark cloud of doom.

I don’t know about you but I want to kick someone in the head when they tell me to count my blessings when I’m feeling down. What f’ing blessings? Can’t I just wallow in self pity?

Truth be told, however, switching over to gratitude brings a change in attitude (more rhyming). Remember that the next time you’re feeling particularly crabby.

Here’s where I found gratitude today as I ran in snow and 8 degree temps (I look like I’ve been crying hysterically or smoking pot. I swear, I wasn’t doing either. I think my eyeballs froze):


  • I am thankful I am not any uglier today.
  • I am thankful I can run for 30 minutes today. Three months ago I could not run for one minute.
  • I am thankful I have the resources to go to PT, to see a doctor, to get massages. Not everyone can and does have this at their fingertips.
  • I am thankful I can swim, run with the pussy posse in the pool and do yoga. My body is asking me to be gentle with it and this is how I can respond.
  • I am thankful it’s cold because it is winter and it is supposed to be cold. Without cold there would be no feelings of orgasmic ecstasy when it got warm again
  • Most of all, (gritting me teeth here) I am thankful for this hip stress fracture. Bullshit.  NO. Not thankful for it. Can’t say that. But, I have learned some lessons from it. It has been a reminder that balance is needed in all things. If you forget that, you will be harshly reminded and it might be too late. This is an analogy for life as we know it. Get out of balance in any area: family, friends, food, alcohol, spirituality, work, exercise – and it will eventually bite you in the ass.

I got bit hard. And, it still hurts.

Sometimes we’re under the illusion that we can keep it all up. That we’ve got it all under control. However, we may be barely holding it together. Just by the skin of our teeth. On some level we know this, but we ignore it. Deep down it causes us anxiety. Maybe we don’t sleep or eat well. Maybe we lash out at those around us. We know the straw will break the camel’s back if we don’t find more balance.

We get caught up in the more is more cycle. It’s like we're so steeped in our fears of being incompetent, that we go crazy over- compensating. More training. More money. More activities. More square footage. More food. More dieting. More texting.

More has gotten the reputation for being better. But, in actuality and paradoxically, less is more. Trust me on this one.

You know how I like to bring out my favorite little book sometimes for inspiration. A Touch of Wonder by Arthur Gordon.

I love what he said about once meeting Margaret Mitchell who wrote “Gone with the Wind.” Ms. Mitchell reported that the writing of GWTW was going well until she read the manuscript of “John Brown’s Body,” another Civil War classic. Ms. Mitchell was so intimidated by the the depth and content of writing, that she was paralyzed. She said, “John Brown’s Body gave me such a  terrible case of the humbles that it was months before I could find the necessary faith in myself.”

Funny thing is, she wrote freaking Gone with the Wind, and I’ve never even heard of John Brown’s Body.

Moral of the story of all of this rambling: Never underestimate your abilities, your power. Keep life in balance and have faith. Find gratitude even when things feel hard, very hard.

Going to find some eye drops,


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Arm Wrestling at the Cafe

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning is to go out for breakfast. I especially love heading up to the mountains and finding some  log-cabinish, out of the way spot where the locals hang.

So, this morning we headed up to Allenspark, which along the Peak to Peak Highway on the road to Rocky Mountain National Park. Today was especially memorable because my brother and nephews are in town from D.C.

Saw this guy on the way. I named him bighorn because I am clever:


Ate at the Meadow Mountain Café, tucked away in the winding roads near Long’s Peak, one of Colorado’s highest moutains.


Might look dumpy, but it’s tasty.


Had myself the Meadow Mountain two egg omelet cause I like to order the entrée that is named after the restaurant. Yes, this means at Chilis I get the chili.


Sam and my dad did some arm wrestling because that’s what the locals do. You can tell that I get my incredible strength from my dad. He his clearly kicking Sam’s ass:


Nice signage in the bathroom. Guess you’re allowed to flush only when you blow it up SUAR-style:


We passed the place where Ken and I got engaged 17 years ago (St. Vrain Mountain). It may not look like much, but it’s 12,000 feet and with a 40 lb pack, not so easy.


He popped the question on top of the dumpster:


Only problem with these early morning breakfasts up in the hills is everyone feels really sick on the way down. I love kids, but one drawback is they throw up a lot. I am not a fan of vomit.

Hip update. After a tough elliptical session and yoga on Thursday, 30 minutes of running on Friday and hiking yesterday, my hip was pissed. Today I am discouraged and am drowning myself in omelets and pancakes and coffee. Oh, gods of healing, when will you fix me up just right? I’m on a schedule you know. 11 weeks and counting ‘til Boston. Will I be ready?

Today I found myself Googling, “training for marathons without running.” I think that is one of the sure signs you might be in trouble.

How was your Sunday morning? Are you a big fan of going out for b-fast?

From the land of snow and sun,


Friday, January 28, 2011

Play By Play

It’s a wine, Chipotle and movie kind of night. I took a hot bath, cut myself shaving and put on my short robe. That’s when the neighbor decided to come over to talk about his lost hearing aide. Did you know he dropped it somewhere near our backyard? Seems the minute you put on a robe and settle in for the night, there’s a knock at the door.

I’m not one to ignore a neighbor at the door, but I’m also not one not change my appearance for a neighbor at the door. So, I answered in my short robe and with blood dripping down my leg from the shaving incident. Hair in ponytail, glasses on. Hell yeah, it’s Friday night and I’m ready to rock and roll. It takes a very confident woman to post this photo:


The day? How did my day go?

6:30 a.m.: Put on running clothes, woke up kids. Woke up kids again. Fed dog. Fed guinea pig. Started coffee. Took fish oil, calcium, multi and my newest addition - Move Free. No, it is not a stool softener. It’s a joint helper. Glucosamine and all that.

7:00 a.m.: Waffles with cinnamon sugar and bananas for the kids. Cinnamon raisin bagel with almond butter and coffee for me.

7:30 a.m.: Checked emails. Blogs. Glanced at the Denver Post.

8:00 a.m.: Tried to finish up a report for work and organize a running clinic I’m hosting.

9:00 a.m: Met Joie at a local trail for a run. Did 5 x (walk 4 minutes, run 6). I had some pain, but my form was okay. Total of 4.5 miles with 30 minutes of running. Progress? I think so. I may just beat this damn hip stress fracture.  Love this timer shot that makes us look like giants since the camera was sitting on a low tree stump. Me on the left: today is not my photogenic day. But, really, no day is.


10:30 a.m.: Starbucks for coffee and girl conversation. Tits, ass, periods.

11:30 a.m.: Contemplated a family trip to Mexico or Costa Rica for a mid-winter sunshine and bikini break. Started researching options and immediately felt better about my life.

Noon: Lunched on spinach salad and zucchini rice casserole. Plus one chocolate chip/butterscotch chip cookie. Bad gas pain after. Wondered if I’m lactose intolerant.

12:30: PT exercises while watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion. Thought Camille seemed particularly psycho and I obsessed over Taylor’s lips.

1:00 p.m.: Peppermint tea. More vacay research. More report writing.

3:00 p.m. Picked up kids.

4:00 p.m. Almost ready to book Mexico. But, wondering of Costa Rica would be better.

5:00 p.m. Aforementioned bath and shaving incident. Discussion with neighbor about hearing aide. He will pay my son $100 if he finds it. His dog threw up in our yard. No problem, I’m sure Lucky will eat it for dessert later.

6:00 p.m. Placed Chipotle order online. Chicken burrito with pinto beans, cheese, rice, guac. About 96,000 calories. I don’t care. Poured a glass of wine and sent Ken out for food.

7:00 p.m. Blogging for your entertainment and boredom.

You don’t have to tell me. I know my life is fascinating. Every minute of every day.

Ever been to Mexico and/or Costa Rica? Recommendations?

We’re thinking about the west coast of CR in an area called Manuel Antonio. It’s a national park with all kinds of cool stuff to see and do. Before I die I want to watch monkeys and sloths swinging around while I eat fresh fruit and stare at the ocean.

Off to bite into my Chipotle,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

All About the Hair

This is a running/workout/fitness blog (well, maybe), so let’s get this out of the way. Today I had a date with the elliptical and I took advantage of him. I dripped sweat all over and panted heavily. I then moved onto yoga where I Downward Dogged and Warrior 2’d like no one’s business. It was sloppy and wet. And, it rocked.

Also, today as I made my way around the world, I thought about a couple of things.


I like to think I wake up, put my slippers on and drink my coffee expecting the best from the day. That I give people the benefit of the doubt and try to see the good qualities in all. I am convinced this is the best and only way to live. I hope people do the same for me because Lord knows I’ve got my share of faults.

Yet, sometimes, you just have to get cranky and bitchy with the general public. I don’t fight every battle, but some are worth the time.

Last night we had a traumatic experience around here. One that each one of you has probably gone through at least once. One you wish you could forget.

The haircut gone wrong.

I have been prohibited to divulge the name of the victim, but I will tell you it wasn’t me. Suffice it to say said-victim got butchered with a capital “B.” The problem was somewhat rectified with a

  • return to the dreaded hair place
  • a refund
  • a bitch-session with the manager
  • the promise of free haircuts to come
  • a fixing of the hair to a something that the victim could live with until some hair grew back.

Let me put it this way. The victim’s hair was so messed up, the manager actually took a picture of it. Wall of shame or something.

The tears kept flowing, however. A bad haircut is like 2012: the end of the world.

I’ve had my share of trauma in the salon. When I was ten my mom and I agreed to cut off my long locks to something that resembled a Dorothy Hamill style. I figured if I had Dorothy’s hair I could become an Olympic skater.


Let’s call a spade a spade. Total bowl cut.

The inches came off and I left looking like someone with a penis – a BOY! Everyone in my fifth grade class reminded me of this fact several times a day for weeks. Clearly, the memory of the taunting isn’t still painful. At all.

The worst hair disaster, however, occurred only five years ago. I went in for highlights with my favorite hair person. We were tight. I trusted her.  I asked if she could throw in some strawberry blond. I knew things had gone south when she rinsed my hair and saidbozo, “SHIT!”

My hair was clown orange. No joke. She tried to make it better by toning it down. It then became mahogany, just like the color of your favorite cabinets. Finally, she removed all the pigment from my hair and I walked out, six hours later, bright blond with one patch of clown orange, my battle scar.

What’s your worst hair disaster?

I am not giving you the finger and don’t you dare call me Bozo,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunshine Up the A$$?

Good things are happening around here today. Let’s bullet:

  • My first article just got posted on the Athleta site. Check it out HERE. It’s about a topic I have never spoken of on the blog: running with Dean Karnazes. The clean version.
  • 70 minutes of water running. Booyah! I’m kicking ass, taking names in my white underwear. Damn stress fracture.
  • This new confetti cake is the sh*t. Whoever said it has 8 servings is high. More like 2.


  • Your anagrams are killing me. Anytime someone’s comes up with the word anus or anal in it I laugh my ass off. For some reason, both of these words emerge a lot in the world of anagrams, so it’s been a day of non-stop guffawing over here. If you haven’t joined the party yet, click HERE. You could even win a sticker, which is at least as good as winning a ticket to Oprah’s Favorite Things Show or a trip to see U2 in concert.
  • Ken has been working a lot from home lately. It’s great to have him around. But, the thing that really catches me off guard is that I’m getting called out on stuff. “Hon, seriously, did you leave this skid mark in the toilet?” Or, walking into my office he says,  “Damn, Beth, just how many farts have you cut in the last five minutes?” It’s humbling. He’s such a little spy.
  • My cousin emailed me this morning. She lives in a remote part of east Montana and is a runner. She was out for a run yesterday and got hit by a car that had slipped on some ice. She fell to her knees, lost her shoe. The police were called. She was okay, just kind of sore. Then she got up and finished the last three miles of her run. I shit you not. We runners are a strange breed, no? The pussy posse would not approve.
  • Just saw this bumper sticker on the way home from the bank.


I don’t get it. I don’t recall asking this guy (who was a marine, by the way. I know this from another sticker on his powerful pickup) to blow anything up my ass. Please explain this expression to me.

  • Saw my doc. Turns out that he had a talk with the PT about her not supporting me running “the Boston.” He called her out on it. She actually agreed that this wasn’t appropriate and that she needed to be slapped around a bit. She admitted that she “put me into a box” and didn’t take into consideration my personal story or history. This makes me like her. A lot. Just goes to show how important it is to speak your mind when stuff comes up. Sometimes the outcome is really productive.

Ever done a hard-core running thing like get hit by a car and finish your run?

Ever seen stupid bumper sticker you don’t understand?

Ever leave a skid mark the size of Nebraska in your toilet?

What’s your day in bullets?

Tired from all the excitement,


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Robbing the Den

All this running and recovery talk is exhausting. If I had Dr. Drew here to help me rehab, it would be a lot easier. Especially because I have a slight crush on him.

So, I’m lightening the mood.

Do you know what an anagram is? It’s word play. You rearrange the letters of something like your name and come up with a new phrase. Kovas brought this up recently. I can’t remember what his anagram was, but probably “I love my thermajock.”


postmaster = stamp store.
slot machines = cash lost in ‘em.

Get it?

For some reason I love the anagram. I like to believe it reveals something very deep about ourselves.

For example, my name in anagram is many things, but my faves are:

  1. Inbred Host – this must have been from the days when I lived in West Virginia and was the product of my mother and uncle’s secret union in the barn out back. I liked to entertain at my house, so people called me a host. An inbred host.
  2. Rob Den Shit – this was when I snuck into the fox’s den in the middle of the night and stole some turds.
  3. Honest Bird – this is my favorite and I like to think it’s the best description of who I am.

I just wish my name was Polly Pool because then I would be Poop Yell Lo. Poop Yellow!! Don’t even ask how long it took me to figure that one out.

You try it HERE. Don’t be afraid. If you get something good, leave it in the comments and tell me why it describes you. Play along! I’ll send a SUAR sticker to the top five!

Always an honest bird,


Monday, January 24, 2011

Go Ahead, Make Mistakes

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” -Thomas J. Watson

I’d have to agree with Mr. Watson. The way I see it, when you “fail” you have two choices:

  1. Cry. Have a pity party. Give up. Give in. Be the victim. Stay down.
  2. Get back up. Know failing again is a possibility. Try anyway. Never lose sight of the goal, the prize. Keep the faith when you really don’t have a reason to do so. Be the exception. Never be the victim of your circumstances. Take charge.

Today I ran. You might recall I tried last week, but I had too much pain. I was so discouraged. I crawled back into the water with the pussy posse (for those new to the party, I have a hip stress fracture).painscale

Pain today? Yes, there was some pain. But, much less. I’d give it a “3” on the pain scale. It was the first time in 106 days I felt like myself again.  For 20 minutes. Walk 5, run 5, walk 5, run 5, walk 5, run 5, walk 5, run 5, walk 2. A total of 42 minutes and 3.5 miles.

Did I tell you I ran today? Tears sprang from my eyes as I felt like a runner again. I laughed/worried as I felt that familiar stirring in my gut that means stuff is moving (and I hoped I wouldn’t crap my pants). The icy wind stung my face. My legs turned over at 180 strides per minute (yes, I counted). My feet were light, my hips centered. YES! This is what it is all about.

Today I ran and it wasn’t in the water and it didn’t hurt like a mother f*cker.

You know how you have turning points? Those moments when you reap the rewards of all the shit you’ve been experiencing and all the trials you’ve been undergoing? I had that. I felt that.

I could not wipe the smirk off of my face. I stopped for coffee at a small corner store. I praised the coffee man for the warm, steamy cup he handed me. He said, “I live for smiles like yours. Go take that out in the world today and see who else’s day you can make better.” He waved and touched his heart as I drove away. I swear he did. You don’t get that at Starbucks. And, for just a moment in time it all felt perfect.

In the smallest of ways, I AM BACK. I felt that very subtle glimmer of hope. You know the one. You’ve had it too. P1040218

This wasn’t taken today (duh!) but you get the idea.

And, haven’t you missed my poop antics?

Shit yes, there have been many setbacks since October. And, there will be more to come. But, the point is, failure (setback) upon failure upon failure brought me to this day. To 20 minutes of “okay” running where my hip didn’t hurt and there wasn’t a grimace on my face from the pain.

20 minutes to Boston, right?

A reader emailed me today and said her kids had been slightly appalled when she got her SUAR sticker in the mail. After all, “shut up” is a bad word. They apparently have taken on the nasty habit of using “Shut Up and...(insert verb here)” throughout the day. They even drew a picture to symbolize the phrase:


Priceless. I like to think I am negatively influencing children, one kid at a time.

Shut up and shit! Shut up and masturbate! Shut up and pay a hooker!

Yeah, it’s true. We might be in last place if we don’t Shut Up and Run. But, last place or first place, the point is that we tried. That we did what we said we were going to do. That we weren’t afraid of failing. That fear never held us back.

On my way,


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Indoor Marathons and Pick Up Lines

Three more reasons I’m not sure I like swimming:

  1. What? Can’t hear you. My ears are still clogged with water. I’m sure it’ll come out in its own time, probably in the middle of dinner. I love that sensation. Warm pool water oozing out the earlobe and onto the neck (TWSS)
  2. People use the pool as a pick up joint. This dude in the next lane would wait for me to finish a lap then say things like, “Wow! Are you in the best shape of your life? What do you eat? You must work out everyday!” I don’t get hit on often, so I should bask in the glory. But really, it’s just annoying when you’re trying to get your workout on. He should have said, “I noticed you thrashing around. Would you like to hold onto my floaties?” cause at least then I would have been entertained.
  3. The band aid on the bottom of the pool that I saw 100 time as I swam 100 lengths. I was just bored enough that I wondered, “Whose band aid is that? What type of injury did they have? Why did they wear it in the water?”

Moving on. There’s a new craze in town and it has nothing to do with Justin Beiber or women peeing standing up.

The trend? Indoor marathons. If you don’t believe me, check out this January 20 article 600-02659826from the Wall St. Journal (Thanks, Bill!). Only five years ago, indoor marathons were almost non existent in North America. Now there are at least six.

In an effort to run marathons year round in the coldest of climates (think Milwaukee and Ontario), the indoor race is becoming an option. Runners circle a track. About 150 times. Before you stick your nose in the air and scream, “No eff’ing way, douchebag!” consider the benefits:

  • You get to know your aid station folks very well
  • You get to pay to run circles
  • Slower runners get continually lapped by the elites, so friendships naturally form
  • No spitting is allowed on the track. All spit goes into trashcans along the way
  • If you collapse, a medic is always close by
  • No hills, no wind, no rain, no snow, no fresh air
  • You’ll finally know how your pet hamster used to feel, running to nowhere
  • Runners change direction every 30 minutes to prevent injury (something about the corners?). You don’t get that at an outside marathon!
  • 150 opportunities to “chick,” “dude,” lap, or ridicule other runners. See Jamoosh for more info on this one.
  • Too hot, take off your jacket. Next lap, if you’re cold, pick it up. No more leaving Good Will clothes on the side of the road
  • You get to re-live your own farts, lap by lap
  • You can fine tune your counting skills

Of course there are pitfalls:

  • Duh! The smell alone will kill ya’
  • Running around a track 150 times
  • Finally knowing how your pet hamster used to feel
  • Getting to know the aid station volunteers very well
  • Not being able to spit on the ground
  • Passing other runners means you’ll use the outside lanes. You’ll go further than 26.2 miles for sure
  • Vertigo
  • Getting “chicked,”ridiculed, “duded” lapped of 150 times
  • Getting to re-live your own farts, lap by lap
  • Someone vomits, pees, craps – you get to revisit the pile with each lap

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could journey to Bad Salzungen, Germany and run 26.2 miles through salt mine tunnels. Now that would be something!

I would totally do it. Just to say I did. In fact, I might just swim a marathon in circles around the deep end to prove it. Mark my words. I will do an indoor marathon one of these days. Who’s in? I smell blogger meet up.

I think the solution is that every city that experiences winter temperatures should build a 26.2 mile indoor track.

Would you ever consider doing an indoor marathon?

What’s your best pick up line? Mine is: “How did you fit that big thing into that little ol’ Speedo?”

Getting dizzy,


PS: Just lost a follower. Down to 1162, boohoo for me. Someone doesn’t like indoor marathons or band aids.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Meant To Do That

Wow, all I can say about yesterday’s post is that you guys aren’t shy about nuts. In fact, you embrace them. Way to go ball-lovers!

Don’t get all fired up, but my hip is feeling so much better I might just attempt a run on Monday. 12 minutes. On land. It will not involve water or floatation devices or pussies. Just me and mother earth. I will not be texting while I run, because there is an inherent risk in doing such things. I mean, have you seen this video from earlier this week?

Apparently, this woman was texting while strolling in the mall and walked right into the fountain. Not an easy feat considering the fountain covers many square feet and has a short wall around it. I love how she gets right up and steps out of the fountain like nothing happened. As if to say, “Nothing to see here, I meant to do that.”

We have all had those I meant to do that moments. I had one last year when I fell of the treadmill. I also had one a couple years ago when my car got stuck underneath the arm that comes down when a train is coming. It kept smacking the top of my car and going back up. I couldn’t reverse because there was a car behind me. And, I couldn’t go forward because, well, duh, there was a train.

I actually have those I meant to do that moments every single day, sometimes more subtly than others. Just today I farted with my daughter’s piano partner in the car. It was silent, but horrific. (SBH). I couldn’t hide it, no matter how hard I tried. I’m sure this little pianist (best word ever because when you say it fast…well, you get it) will ask his mom to PU-LEEZ drive next time because Emma’s mom smells.

What’s your favorite I-meant-to-do-that moment? (IMTDTM)

Never going to run for public office,


P.S. Both Kovas and Chris K. have rallied for my cause to raise $25,000 so I can buy an Alter-G anti gravity treadmill. Why donate to starving kids in Africa when you can give to the SUAR recovery fund? Thanks guys.

Friday, January 21, 2011

All About the Nuts

I should probably change the title of this blog to Shut Up and Rehab, (thanks, Rick!), but whatever. Yesterday I was in the pool running for 53 minutes (not that I’m counting minutes). Today the bike trainer and I had a date for 62 minutes. I’ll top it off with 60 minutes of yoga tonight. After a village of massage therapists, physical therapists, yogis, doctors and blog encouragers, the hip is feeling a bit looser. Progress!

I also got a free Starbucks for waiting in line so long, a dollar off at the wine store for knowing the cashier and a boatload of Athleta stuff in the mail. Life could be worse. Way worse:


(the design to the right is what’s on the jacket)

Moving on. I noticed a theme going on around here. If you don’t remember what a theme is from high school English class you’re a moron - a theme in literary terms is, “an implicit or recurrent idea.”

The implicit or recurrent idea I am facing this week is nuts. If you prefer, you can say balls, but no teabags allowed here.

Nut #1:

I struggle with breakfast. Nothing ever seems to satisfy. Eggs give me the runs. I get looked down on if I eat donuts. Oatmeal is just that – oatmeal. And don’t get me started on toast. I finally found my new favorite breakfast, and it is this:


I know. They are so 70s. Grape Nuts have been around since I was a fetus. I’m pretty sure they were served on the Mayflower. That was the best joke ever.


I can’t eat just an ordinary bowl of Grape Nuts because it hurts my jaw. Way too much crunching going on, and certainly not a grab-and-go kind of thing. Ever tried to eat a bowl of Grape Nuts quickly? It’s impossible. My solution has been to warm up my nuts.

1/2 cup Grape Nuts
1/3 cup milk
1 t brown sugar

Put into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. You get nice, soft, warm nuts. That’s what she said.

Nut #2:

My brother is coming to town next weekend from D.C. My nephews are determined that we will all go out for Rocky Mountain Oysters. I have no problem with that. I love a good entrée of deep fried bull testicles. You could deep fry a dog wiener and it would taste good too.

Nut #3:

This week it was Ken’s birthday. He turned 21 (plus 24).

He doesn’t ask for much, so when he mentions an item he might want, I pay attention.

This month Runner’s World reviewed some classy underwear - the Men's O Series BoxerJock® 3" Bottoms by Under Armour.  Ken said he wanted some pairs. I know not why these are called the “O” series, but if the “O” refers to that kind of “O” then these should be selling like hotcakes. Guaranteed “O” with purchase. (Ken loves these by the way. That’s my review).


In trying to find these babies, I did the logical thing and went to the Under Armour website. That’s when things got a bit pornographic. Nuts/package galore:


Hello supersize! I mean, seriously? What crawled in there, a softball?  A rocky mountain oyster or two? And who modeled for this? (keep the Kovas jokes to yourself).

My questions for you. Please answer all or none:

  1. Ever had Rocky Mountain oysters? What types of testicles were they? Prairie dog, sheep, bull, Under Armour?
  2. Do you use a specific workout when you’re on the trainer?
  3. What’s your go-to favorite breakfast food?

Going nuts,


Thursday, January 20, 2011

There Are Only Nine

If I had $25,000 to spare, I wouldn't travel around the world, buy a new car,  pay for my kids’ college or put a roof over their heads. I’d buy one of these:


It’s the Alter-G Anti Gravity Treadmill. These babies used to go for upwards of $75,000, but recently a new $25K model has been introduced. The perfect addition to put beside my 13 year old bike trainer.

Earlier this week the Denver Post wrote an article about the Alter-G. I became obsessed by this NASA-inspired beauty created for people just like me (well, rich people just like me).

In essence, this machine uses a compression system on the lower half of the body that allows the injured athlete to run using only a portion of their body weight. That means that impact can be lessened by up to 80%, thus reducing the pounding on joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Experts state that the Alter-G is a more effective means of training than water running because it allows the user to correctly simulate  running form. This is more difficult to do in the water.

Using this device involves getting into a pair of neoprene shorts topped with a stiff reinforced fabric that encircles the waist. The lower half of the body is sealed in and air is pumped in. The athlete then runs, almost weightless and without impact. The idea is that over time, the amount of body weight is increased until the runner returns to full impact.

If you are like me and have not been able to run pain free for months on end (damn stress fracture), this treadmill symbolizes light in a time of darkness. Hope in a time of despair. Training possibilities in the time of Boston.

There are only nine of these machines in Colorado, typically at rehab centers and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (where I hang out a lot).  Perhaps I will put a pair of panty hose over my head and break into one of these facilities so I can get my late night treadmill fix. Maybe I would do the Vagina Dance on it.

Although these have typically been used for the injured or the aging, now some elite coaches are using them as a supplemental training tool for healthy athletes

Have you ever been blessed enough to try one of these things?

Do you have $25,000 I can borrow? (Plus tax)

Maybe one of you could stand behind me and hold me in the air so that my feet barely touch the ground. Then I could run almost weightless. I’ll pay you $5 an hour.

I am back off land and in the pool where running doesn’t hurt nearly as much (or at all). Sucks.

Wanting to be weightless,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vagina Dance

You may or may not have heard about the Vagina Dance. Probably not. I am glad you come to SUAR for your news, because this is one headline you might have missed.

I’ll start by saying, I did not make up this dance, although it seems like something I could have created. I am sure I would be very good at it, and certainly the pussy posse and I could organize a flash mob at the local food court or bowling alley.

This is not a joke. It happened earlier this week. For real.

Picture this. You are a sophomore in Prairie Ridge High School in suburban Chicago (hey, isn’t that where Kovas lives?) You meander your way into your health class expecting the usual onslaught of diagrams and textbook phrases to depict menstrual cycles, ovaries and gonads (balls, nuts, sacs). Instead, you are barraged by a teacher, Jacqueline Levin, who asks you to get out of your seat and prance around as if you were a vagina. diagram

Although I have a vagina, I can’t imagine how you dance like one. I couldn’t even stand still and imitate one no matter how hard I tried. But, apparently, this genius of a teacher masterminded a means of making her arms fallopian tubes, her hands ovaries, and piping in the “Hokey Pokey” song. She did this to help the students memorize the female reproductive parts.

Upon hearing this, one parent freaked out. Yep, it only takes one parent to spoil the fun. While the school district didn’t reprimand the teacher, the Illinois Family Institute sure did. They complained that,

“Her selection of this inappropriate instructional activity demonstrated a lack of empathy for those who may have a degree of modesty and self-respect that Levin does not possess. Did she consider that some students might feel uncomfortable participating in or even watching this dance and that they might fear being ridiculed if they chose to opt-out?”

I won’t even mention that the principal of this high school is Paul Humpa. Won’t go there.

I know it shocks you, but I’m not the most modest girl in the nudist colony. Therefore, I don’t take much issue with the dance itself. I can, however, see why some students and parents would balk at such a thing. If it were my class, I would have started with the anus dance and worked my way up from there. Like Laurie said, as long as you aren’t teaching the vagina and penis dancers to grind together, it’s okay.

Next time I go to the clubs in Vegas I am so bringing out that fallopian tube move.

By the way, Googling Vagina Dance images is a bit traumatizing. Just saying.

On a different note, PT was much improved today. My doc and PT had “a talk” and the attitude was vastly different. For the better.

I have decided to stop running until my pain lessens. I will keep water running, cycling, yoga and swimming for endurance. I will keep doing my PT exercises and building strength back up in my hip and glutes. I may be the first person ever to have run the Boston Marathon without training on land. Perhaps I will just run alongside in the Charles River and call it good.

Boston or bust.

How would you feel about your kids doing the vagina dance in high school health class?

Off to dance like a body part,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Big Time

Whatever you do, do not be jealous of how I looked this morning as I made my way to the bike trainer in my sassy Shut Up and Run headband from Goheadband. I know, I look a bit like a chemo patient and I can never decide if the ears go in or out. So they’re in:


If you look closely, you will see I even have a cold sore, so if you wanted to make out with me, I can’t do it today, I’m oozing:


That’s sick! And not sick like really cool, but sick like gross and wrong.

Something unexpected happened the other day. Between bouts of licking myself like a cat and hanging with the pussy posse I got a surprising email from a writer at Runner’s World. “I’d like to talk to you for a story.” 

That’s right. I said, Runner’s World. I have arrived.

I tried to act all cool and nonchalant while I fell over myself trying to respond. “Well, I’m kind of busy not running and baking cakes with phallic bananas, but maybe I can find the time.”

The story, more specifically, is the one being written about the Boston Marathon obsession. Why people care. Why it sold out in five hours. Why it’s become the holy grail amongst runners.

While I can only speak for myself and why Boston enticed and intrigued me with its stunning blue jacket and qualifying times (see HERE), it will be interesting to see why it draws in other people. Bucket list item? Just the experience? Proof that you have arrived as a runner?

The interview lasted an hour. I’ve been told I’m in the first draft of the story, but it’s quite possible I’ll be nixed in the editing process and won't be in the article at all. Still, it was an honor to be considered by the big RW.

The article is due to publish in the May edition, which means it will be out in early April, right before “the Boston.”  Look for a possible mention of SUAR in those glossy pages, but I can’t promise It’ll be there.

I’ve cleaned up, but am still in need of a good conditioner and moisturizer. I’m out to grab some coffee. Happy Tuesday.



Monday, January 17, 2011

Naked Girl in a Pen and Giveaway Winner

To start, I wanted to give a huge shout out and thank you to the anonymous commenter on my last post who told me:

“You nee to get some serious moisturizer and a good hair conditioner too! You look so OLD!!!!”

I wish this person left a name because they can’t spell the word “need” and I’d like to hook them up with a tutor or community college or something.

I can’t tell you how uplifting and constructive that comment was! Thank you for taking the time to add some positivity to the world. And, even better that you remained anonymous because that shows your true character and willingness to be accountable for the things that you say and write.

And, if it was a joke from one of my friends, you ROCK and ignore all of that crap above. Erika, was that you getting me back just because I stole your wedding ring? Lighten up.

Moving on. Yes, for those observant types, I removed the penis banana picture from my last post. Do you ever wake up in the night and think maybe you’ve crossed a line? I mean, seriously, I cross lines everyday on this blog and I’m not sure what a banana mimicking a penis would concern me, but at 2:00 a.m. it did. But, for some reason now at 11:10 a.m. it doesn’t, so here it is again. If it offends you, just think of it as a piece of fruit with some frosting:


I ran this morning. Let the angels sing. It hurt like a mother. But since I like to Run Like a Mother, I thinking Hurting Like a Mother might be okay too. Maybe not. I have been instructed to not run if it hurts where the fracture was. It does not. So, I kept running bits  at a time for a total of 12 minutes over 3 miles. My body is readjusting to this thing called running. Running’s hard on your body. Hasn’t your grandma or some random stranger or a physical therapist told you that?

12 minutes. I’ll take it.

The winner of the Healthy Living Giveaway Grace was who said:

♥ my resolution this year was not lose X amount of weight. it was to loose weight and be healthy by working out daily and eating right. this year i have been cooking most of my breakfast, lunch and dinners!
♥ to keep track i am keeping a calendar with my goals for the month and highlighting them once they've been accomplished. i will also be running at least one race each month for the rest of the year. i have list and am going to cross them off as completed!
♥ to start of the year, i joined John Bingham's 100 day challenge. Its 100 days of at least 30 minutes of movement. After i reach 100 days, I am going to do 100 more and then 156 more to complete a whole year! 356 days sounds like so much, but by breaking it up--it sounds so easy!

No, she did not win because she used cute little hearts. I love how she breaks her goals down into manageable pieces. Her aspirations for healthy living are admirable and will require tons of discipline, yet they are achievable and measurable. Grace, email me at and I’ll get you your prize.

I almost picked Chris K who said:

Just one more example of men being discriminated against on girly runner blog giveaways. No fair. How about giving away a whoopie cushion or one of those pens when you turn it upside down the ink flows down and the girl is naked.

Thanks Chris. Did you know I modeled for one of those pens?

Off to get some new hair conditioner,


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Synching Our Cycles

See that little cabin in the middle of the picture? That’s where I slept last night with eleven other women. It did not suck. Estrogen was in abundance. I could feel our menstrual cycles synching up with each passing moment.






The drive up was long and after a stop at Costco to sample a disgusting mix of protein bars, chicken noodle soup and Brie, I had the worst gas. Poor Erika had her head hanging out the window for the better part of the drive. And, she didn’t even yell at me. In fact she shared a bed with me last night and we spooned.

The group of 12 started out with a snowshoe/cross country skiing adventure. My hip was having a fit, but I smacked it around a bit.



Don’t be jealous of my blue ski pants. They are hand me downs from 1995. I like to save a buck where I can. I will run “the Boston” in them.


Me doing the famed ski shot. I am going to confess. The ski shots never really happened. We are all 40 something lame asses with no alcohol tolerances. By 10pm everyone was dehydrated and reaching for the Motrin. This is me in the morning drinking water. It was all for the photo op.


A bit windy when we left:


Getting out of town was good for me. This was a really upbeat and positive group of women. I have been in a funk since my less than stellar running week and my doomsday meeting with the PT on Tuesday. I tried to run my 8 minutes on Friday and couldn’t. It just hurt too bad. I stopped, and went home, head down, defeated.

The good news is it didn’t hurt where the fracture was. The pain was more in the outside of my hip. But, it was that type of pain where you knew you had to be smart and back off.

I think re-introducing running and my PT exercises got everything all flared up and irritated. I tend to be a very all or nothing person. I get easily discouraged. When something goes wrong or not as planned, I go to the worst place scenario. I keep reminding myself that my body is trying to heal and I need to be patient. And smart.

I got such a cool comment last week that said,

I have this Russian friend who is dying. Really- not going to make it.  Don’t let that bum you out; it’s just a fact. She is the strongest and most determined kicking-asses (not just one ass, many “asses”) person I will ever know. She is also trained in sports therapy, and has worked with everyone from the Chicago Bulls, Cirque du Soleil, and USSR cycling teams when she lived there. I read your post, and even though she’s feeling really really bad, I called her to see what she had to say about your healing--the call made her day! She said A LOT, but, in summary she said EAT FOR YOUR BONES. Eat for healing: plant-based proteins, food-based anti-inflammatory (berries, fresh basil, omega-3), vitamins & minerals. She also said to apply indirect “vibration” in the area of injury 3x per day with a back massager or something, for about 3-5 minutes. This, I can say from experience, totally helps!! You better listen to her advice, because if you don’t, this crazy Russian woman will haunt your ass. She also said red wine helps : )

Vibration! I love vibration. What girl doesn’t? And because I seriously do not want to be haunted by this crazy Russian, I bought a hand held massager at Walgreen’s yesterday for $4.99 (because I would never already have something that vibrated in a drawer somewhere). It is top of the line. 11 a.m. and I could be found, pants down, lying on the floor massaging my hip. Ken called in the neighbors and postman to take a look.

I also love the info on the plant based proteins (soy, beans, nuts, lentils) and food-based anti-inflammatories (spinach, broccoli, blueberries, chickpeas, buckwheat noodles, etc). I’ll post more on that later.

Not to mention that fact that when you are reminded that someone is dying, you tend to back off of your self-involvement. Really, my stress fracture is just not the significant in the grand scheme.

What’d you do this weekend?

Trying anything just to get better,


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hot List

I’m off to Breckenridge with the ladies. I’ll let you know how the Shot Ski goes. I’m bringing my snow shoes but will more likely be sitting by the fire talking some smack and drinking a cold one.

Yesterday I was excited to learn that an article I wrote, “The 5 Colorado marathons you don’t know about” ended up on Denver’s Hot List!


I got tagged for the Stylish Blogger award a few times, so I’ll leave you with these random things about me:

  1. I hate it when people quote from Monty Python movies. “Bring out yer dead…” and all that. They just don’t know when to stop.
  2. I was almost born with a cleft lip. But, I wasn’t. I guess it formed at the last minute. Lucky me. Or maybe my dad is lying.
  3. I was named after Beth from Little Women.  Too bad there wasn’t a character called “Shutupandrun.”
  4. Last night I danced with the Xbox Kinect to “I Got A Feelin” after too much fondue. I sucked. I have no rhythm. I embarrassed my children.
  5. I was accepted into the Peace Corps twice. Once in Mali and once in Slovakia. I never went.
  6. I threw my pee on someone in seventh grade. I was mad at him. And very mature.
  7. I’ve been swimming in the Dead Sea. It is salty. Like my pee.

I’m tagging the last five people who commented on my last post.

Days Run
Tortuga Runner
Chris K. (but I think he already did it. I’m sure he can come up with more random things like how his leg doesn’t hurt or why he’s jealous of Kovas).
Balls in the Air
Cynthia’s Adventures

Happy weekend,


Friday, January 14, 2011

Shot Ski

What would I do without you guys? Seriously. Not only did you laugh at me licking myself like a cat, but you wanted pictures. Sorry, I can’t lick myself and take pictures at the same time.

You also gave me amazing, heartfelt and honest advice about my injury and “the Boston.”  I read every single comment. The consensus seems to be that it is too soon to tell what the injury will bring in regards to training and running in Boston, but that I need to at least try.

After yesterday morning, I talked to my doc. His exact words were, “As long as you remember that Boston is not going to be a PR for you, you will finish.”

I love him.

Some of you have mentioned  the book, The Long Run by Matt Long. Yes, I read his book last month and think of him often. If he can be run over a bus and made into hamburger and come back to run an Ironman, than I can heal too. However, he did not heal overnight and had to give up some pretty major goals (Boston being one of them) in the meantime. I know I will eventually get better and run pain free again. It just might not be in my time frame.

Yesterday, between some bouts of crying, I did my PT exercises and went to 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga in 105 degree heat. I’m a bit sore today, but am heading out for my 8 minutes. Maybe today it will feel slightly better. And, the next time even better.

I will also wash the dog because last night everyone kept thinking someone farted until we realized it was just how the dog smelled. Imagine going through life smelling like one big fart. No wonder he doesn’t have any friends.

I will also vacuum out my car because I have this really disgusting habit of only sucking on half of an Altoid before I spit it out on the floor. They just get too intense. I have half sucked mints all over the floor of my Explorer. Do you like Altoids? Can you take it all at once? (That’s what she asked.)

Tomorrow is a girls’ road trip to Breckenridge to celebrate Julie’s 40th birthday. Apparently there is something called a Shot Ski that we have to do. This is new to me, but I guess it involves multiple people doing shots off of a ski at the same time. How old am I? I learned what it was from a site called Dorm Guru. Later on today I might rush a sorority or at least lose my virginity while drinking Keystone Light.

Finally, I leave you with this video. I am the ultimate prankster, if you haven't already gathered that. Remember how I spiked those muffins with Ex-Lax? Therefore, I really should be the one at Target pulling this prank. This seriously made me laugh out loud (LOL!) many times.

Hoping shots don’t kill me,


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Licking Myself Like a Cat

What a morning. I’ve got a special story for you. I know how you love my special stories.
I got up early to go to my first physical therapy appointment in Boulder. I have never been to a PT before. What should I wear? How should I smell? I chose yoga pants. Black ones. I grabbed some coffee and a Clif Mojo bar (love those things), and headed out by 7:00 a.m., kids and husband still snug in their beds.

I was excited! PT will help me heal, recover, meet my goals.
On the way into town I dropped a piece of the Mojo bar. I worried a bit because these bars haveclifmojo chocolate chips in them and we all know what happens when a stray chocolate chip gets lodged in a warm place, like a crotch. It melts.
I couldn’t find the fallen piece, so I forgot about it. I stopped to get gas and while waiting for my tank to fill, I noticed a huge skid mark of chocolate on the front seat. “Shit.” I thought. “If chocolate is smeared on the seat, I can only imagine what my ass looks like.”

Sure enough I had a giant smear of chocolate, looking very much like the outcome of a shart, all across the seat of my pants going into the crotch. I know enough about physical therapy to know that my body would probably be maneuvered in all directions and mostly likely my ass and crotch would be seen. I panicked. I didn’t want the PT to think I had crapped my pants. Seriously, I didn’t.

Aha! I thought. I always carry a small thing of Huggies wipes for emergencies. Yes, those kind of emergencies. I’d just clean up that way. I grabbed the small packet of wipes out of my console only to find they were empty. I remembered Emma had used the last one to clean her hands before piano after she ate a huge glazed donut.

Shit. So, I did what every person in my situation would do. I propped my leg up on the seat (I’mcatlicking quite flexible), leaned way over so I could see between my legs,  licked my fingers and tried to wipe off the mess that way. I made some progress. It was about then I realized that several people also pumping their gas were staring. It occurred to me I looked like a cat cleaning myself. If I could have licked my own pants, I would have.

This is the moment when you have to not care what people think.  You just have to get the job done.

I cleaned myself up pretty well and headed to the PT appointment.
Here’s where the story takes a turn from funny/weird to tragic.
After giving the PT the abbreviated version of my injury, she asked what future plans my doctor and I had more me. She knows my doc, they all work together at the same clinic.

Me: “I have started running this week and am going to run the Boston Marathon in April.”
PT: *crickets* silence
Me: Nervous laugh.
PT: “I don’t know about that. You probably don’t want to hear this. But, I don't think it’s a good idea.”
Me:Yeah, I don't want to hear it.” Nervous laugh again.

Bombshell. Dropped. On me.

Then we went on to test my strength and do some exercises.

I’ve already had my confidence blasted this week by how crappy my two 8 minute runs have felt. And, now I have a professional telling me I can’t run the BM (not bowel movement) in April. That I won’t be ready.

I left the clinic feeling somewhere between defeated and, “LET ME PROVE YOU WRONG!”
Mostly, her tentativeness only makes me that much more determined. More yoga! More strengthening! More exercises! More pussy posse time! 

But, I am slightly deflated and sad.

I am a realist and don’t live in a fantasy world. Of course there is a chance my body just can’t do it. However, I have made a decision. To not give up. I moving forward AS IF.

As if I can run 26.2 miles in April. As if my body will heal and strengthen. As if I can make leaps and bounds by having  strong mental fortitude. As if she was wrong.

Only time and hard work will tell.

Is she wrong? I really need you guys today. Not to tell me what I want to hear, but to give it to me straight.

Living as if,


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Horse Before the Cart

The Hood to Coast Movie did not disappoint. For those who don’t know, the Hood to Coast Relay takes place in Oregon and goes from the top of Mt. Hood (6,000 feet) to the Pacific Coast. It is 197 miles covered by teams of 12. Each person runs three legs for a total of 15-20 miles over a period of about 24 hours. Except if you’re Dean Karnazes, then you run the whole thing by yourself. No joke.

To go to the movie on Tuesday, I braved the cold temperatures (car thermometer, blurry because I was actually trying to avoid having several head- on collisions while taking this):


And, drove down the road to Boulder. I love that town. We live about 15 minutes away. Not 281 miles:



I was the star of the show in my H2C sweatshirt


And, tried to resist temptation. They really should serve wine at movie theaters then I wouldn’t have to eat all this eff’ing candy:


Like a dork I actually snuck in my own dinner consisting of sliced apples and a homemade jack cheese/avocado/salsa wrap, heavy on the avocado.

I loved the movie. And, being in a theater full of runners, I could openly talk of crapping myself and blowing snot rockets on my coat and no one blinked any eye.

For my full movie review, visit my Examiner article HERE.

Hood to Coast will always hold a special place in my heart. I ran it once in 2009. Like most things I do, my journey to Oregon was a cart-before-the-horse experience. Sometimes life is just meant to be lived in reverse. Leap of faith all the way.

Back in July ‘09 I read on some blog that Strands (the ultimate online digital training log site) was holding a contest. You had to write an essay about why you liked to run. “Hey!” I thought to myself. “I like to run!” If you won, they would put you on a H2C team and send you, all expenses paid, to run the relay.

I had just started running a few months before and had no clue what the hell Hood to Coast was. But, I love a good contest, so I applied by writing this poem:

And, I won.

About then I decided to Google H2C to see what I’d gotten myself  into. Holy Shit. Mother f*cker.

I got scared.

I emailed Strands and shyly questioned if Ken could come with me and pay his own way, just so I could have someone to cheer me on along the way. I’m just insecure like that I guess.

Turns out not only did they “let” Ken come, they put him on our team and paid for everything but his flight. We were put on a Puma sponsored team and given all kinds of stuff from new shoes to sleek running outfits.

About the time Ken and I arrived at our hotel in Portland, we knew we were out of our league. We met our other team mates, not one of them over 32 (we were 41 & 42 at the time). We over-heard them talking about their goals of sustaining 5 minute miles throughout the relay. One guy said he was going to the Olympic trials and he was serious. I farted in disbelief.

Ken and I chugged our beers, shrugged, and decided we were in for the long haul. If nothing else, it would be an experience.

You can read my full race report HERE. I just went back and re-read it. Fun to relive the adventure.

Here’s me trying to be a badass in front of my Olympian team mates. I did not steal this photo. I just like all those words in the middle of the frame. Clearly, you can see I’m winning the race.


Overall, our team did really well finishing in 21 hours and coming in 8th/250 in our division and 30th overall. No shit. 

Hoping I get to run it again someday,


PS: Don’t forget to enter my Healthy Living Giveaway! Ends 1/15.