Monday, February 28, 2011

On To the Coast!

In the lobby of the hotel waiting for our driver to arrive so we can make the 5 hour trek south to the coast. Manuel Antonio beach awaits me and my bikini. Last night we took a hike of the volcano, but could not see much due to rain and clouds. On the hike our guide was pointing out wildlife like wild turkeys and toucans. Ken saw something in the tree, got excited and told the guide. The guide said, "why, yes, that is squirrel!" Just like the ones in Colorado. Ken did find a really cool leaf bug after that, so I cut him some slack.

After the hike and non-volcano viewing, we were driven in the dark and pouring rain on some crazy bumpy backroad. I thought maybe we were being taken to the back country to be killed. Finally, we entered a resort and it seemed familiar. Yep, it was the Springs where the Bachelor was filmed a couple months ago. So basically I hung out in the same water as Brad Womack and for just a moment I felt blessed and famous.

Okay, van his here. Dramamine in hand, we are on our way to the Pacific!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

From Costa Rica

I wasn't going to blog from Costa Rica, but the kids are still sleeping, the rain is falling in huge sheets and I have two bars of wifi, which is unusual. I am writing from my iPad so excuse any typos.

I love it here. I love the remoteness, simplicty, lush landscape, rich coffee, warm rain, and the mystery and intrigue of the jungle. Sometimes I think we don't know how caught up we are in our daily routines and to-do lists until we plop ourselves down in an environment that forces us to slow down and to do it all a bit differently. Now if I can just bottle this and bring it home...

From the moment I stepped off the plane in San Jose, I was utterly relaxed. Yesterday we ziplined through the canopy of the jungle, soaring over and through the thick forest. It was pouring rain and I was so in the moment of feeling the water on my face and taking it all in.

I have not run a step since being here, not even to take a quick crap, but that's okay. From our hotel there is nowhere to run but on the one busy road that goes into town. I'm pretty sure I would become part of someone's windshield if I tried to run on the road so I'm getting my exercise doing the breast stroke up to the swim up bar.

Tonight we tour the Arenal volcano which I would have an amazing view of right at this moment if it were not for the rain. Holy shit, I can only imagine what the rainy season is like if this is the dry season. Tomorrow we head to Manuel Antonio (the beach! Pacific side) where we should have warm temps and sunshine. I can work on my tan and try to find the one gay, nude beach for some true sightseeing. I never sausage a place!!

Sorry you all can't be here, but then this little bungalow would be mighty crowded.

It's good to be away,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Farewell to the Ladies

I am so glad I am not the only worrier out there. I really appreciate your comments on my worry post. You had some great insights. Mostly, to let it go and not waste energy on that which we cannot control.

Tonight we head 2,200 miles south to Costa Rica. I’ll be out of blog commission. Unplugged for days on end. Don’t miss me too much and just know that upon my return there will likely be at least one poop story. And, tales of running near the equator. The tropics might be just what the doctor ordered. Worry be damned.

At least prostitution is legal, so I can make some extra money.

I leave you this parting gift, courtesy of my son, Sam. Yes it is possible the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

I gave birth to Hugh Hefner Junior,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Bit About Worrying

"When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened." – Winston Churchill.

Some days I wonder how it all happened. How I started being afraid of things. How I became such a worrier. I’d like to say it’s the kid’s faults (easy to blame them and the dog), but really, I’ve been this way since my early twenties.

I used to be unprepared to a ridiculous degree. One time I went on a camping trip in college and didn’t even bring a sleeping bag. I slept on the hard floor of the tent, curled in a ball. And I wasn’t even passed out drunk. These days, I try to control my world by being overly prepared.

I used to be relatively irresponsible.  A few minutes late to work, no problem. Ran out of gas? Oh well. Accepting a ride from a stranger when I was stranded? Yeah, okay, stupid.  Now I ease my mind by being ultra in-charge and controlling. Hence my nickname, “TC” (Take Charge).

I never used to sit around thinking, “what if” as I jumped off of 100 foot cliffs in Greece or got on a plane during a snowstorm. Now, I habitually question, “what if” as a means of trying to prepare for the worst. It’s very depressing. And paralyzing.

None of this is fun. In fact, living with a worried mind down right sucks. Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and a place for worry. Like that time I was hiking and heard a mountain lion growl in the nearby trees. You bet I was worried. For my life. And, rightfully so. Once safe in the car I worried about my soiled pants too.

I miss the carefree days. I get that with jobs, kids and a mortgage comes a certain amount of planning and accountability. But, does the mind have to get so involved?  The mind needs a good whooping, really. The mind is the beast that reminds me that bad things can happen and prompts me to think that worrying about them will stave them off. Just not true. We’ve all heard that phrase that 90% of what we worry about never happens. So, why worry?

Fear. We are all afraid. Afraid of not being good enough. Afraid of dying. Afraid of losing someone we love. Afraid of shattering the ideal life we have created. Afraid of failing. Afraid of not being perfect.

My theory is that we use worry to cope. It makes us think we have control. Worry intensifies as we get older because we’ve lived long enough to know about all the bad and freaky stuff that can happen. Our thoughts get the best of us.

If you are a worrier, you probably have triggers where your worry sets in. Mine is travelling. Weird, because who doesn’t love vacations, right? I do, but I fret.  I know that every time I have plans to go out of town, I start to worry. About the unknown. About not being in a familiar setting. About everything. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to travel and do it a lot. But it can be uncomfortable for me. And I HATE flying. In snowstorms. On clear days. Again, loss of control.

So, if we’re to tackle this thing called worry, how do we beat it down and refuse to let damper our days?

I have a great book called “Worry - Hope and Help for a Common Condition.” I reference its highlighted pages when I need a swift kick in the butt. Here are my favorite worry busters:

  • Get the facts. Base worry on reality rather than a terrifying fantasy your imagination has concocted.
  • Reality-test your worry. Regain perspective. Ask someone who should know if what you’re worrying about makes sense or if you may have exaggerated it. Remember Freud’s advice: if you’re worried about lions in Africa, that’s okay. If you’re worried about lions in Venice, you’re stupid and wasting time (that’s verbatim Freud).
  • Learn how to talk to yourself in a calming, reassuring way. Most worriers do just the opposite. They are forever yelling, “FIRE” within their minds. Learn phrases you can repeat to yourself such as “it’s never as bad as you think.”
  • Listen to music. It’s scientifically proven to reduce tension and anxiety.
  • Pray or meditate to keep things in perspective. “Let go, let God.”
  • Develop connectedness in any way that you can. Social connectedness, familial connectedness, connections to your past.
  • Talk about it. Sometimes speaking your worry takes the power out of it and gives you outside perspective.

Are you a worrier? About what? How do you combat it?


An Interview and Surprise Dinner!!

If you’re not following Leslie Rubinkowski of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as she trains her way towards her first marathon (the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 15), you really should be. Leslie, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, is a gifted writer and soon-to-be marathoner. She chronicles her training in a blog column of the paper called “The Starting Line.”

A few weeks ago she interviewed me, and the interview was posted today HERE. You can read what I say verbatim. And, all with no f words or poop talk. Weird, I know.

Moving on…

Thank you from the bottom of my un-waxed eyebrows and white underwear for your birthday wishes yesterday. Totally made my day.



After (still a bit hairy, but cleaned up at least):


I got my toes painted and went with the sparkly birthday theme. I think it accentuates my long Morton’s toe, which was the look I was going for. That thing is a FINGER!


At PT, I shared my woes of my glutes screaming at me during runs. We’ve decided to start dry-needling. Basically, a “dry” needle (kind of like an acupuncture needle) is inserted into a trigger point, hoping to make the muscle spasm and release/relax it. Sounds painful. Yeah, it does. I will wear my Depends that day in case something involuntarily slips out. I’ll start this in a couple of weeks and do it about four times.

No one, and I mean no one, guessed correctly on my birthday dinner. Not even close. My mom went Spanish with Paella and Tortilla Espanola. Also home made bread and a vat of butter.Yeah, that’s right. My mama can COOK!




I did get my lemon cake and it got messy. And I lost an eye:




Me with my amazing parents.


Me with Ken and kids. Emma is at that stage where she likes to look as crazy/unusual/demented as possible in pictures.


By far, the best line of the night was when precocious son Sam said, “Well, we’ve heard a many stories about how mom was born in Chicago during a snow storm, but we’ve never heard the story of the night she was conceived.” To which my dad said, “It was a Friday night…” I started screaming NO NO NO. Never. Don’t want to hear.

Ever tried dry needling? Did you crap yourself?

What’s your favorite birthday dinner?

Do you know the story of how you were conceived?

Glad  I was conceived,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Today I turn 44 years old. You may be tired of hearing about my birthday. That’s life. I’ve got quite the day planned.

9:00 a.m. PT session

10: 00 a.m. Pedicure and eyebrow wax because of these. OMG that is sick:


11:15 a.m. Trip to Whole Food to buy my lemon dream cake and to have coffee with a friend

1:00 p.m. Free car wash (because it’s my birthday)

3:00 p.m. Take daughter to piano

5:00 p.m. Dinner with family and mom and dad. Mom’s making me a surprise birthday meal. Any guesses what it might be? She knows I love chicken/dumplings, homemade pizza and lamb with couscous. We’ll see what emerges out of her magical kitchen. Probably none of the usual favorites.

Notice there is no work on the agenda. Or anything not fun. Well, PT is debatable, but it’s getting me towards a goal, so that makes it okay.

This has been an amazing year, despite some setbacks. Here are 44 highlights (in no particular order):

  1. Went skydiving
  2. Pooped in a hallowed out tree
  3. Became a certified running coach
  4. Tried/loved/continued Bikram yoga
  5. Fell off the treadmill
  6. Had my period 12 times
  7. Became an Athleta-sponsored athlete
  8. Fractured my left hip
  9. Ran the Bolder Boulder in a grass skirt and sport’s bra
  10. Went to Vegas twice and lost money both times
  11. Taught a Webkinz class to third graders
  12. Ran a 10K with Sam
  13. Played Bunco once
  14. Had gum surgery
  15. Saw Taylor Swift in concert
  16. Had a bat jump in my lap (crotch) during my anniversary dinner
  17. Interviewed Jared from Subway
  18. Ran a 5K with Emma
  19. Qualified for Boston
  20. Became the parent of a teenager
  21. Did not buy any new underwear and should have
  22. Signed up for my first half Ironman (August 2011)
  23. Got Netflix On Demand
  24. Taught a yoga class to third graders
  25. Had one gyno exam with a cold speculum
  26. Was featured in the paper
  27. Did not throw up once except a little bit in my mouth on a run
  28. Had an allergic reaction while in Mexico that caused my face to swell up
  29. Had a panic attack in the MRI machine
  30. My dog lost an eye
  31. Did a triathlon
  32. Took my first RV trip and emptied sewage (mine and everyone else’s)
  33. Celebrated 15 years of marriage with the love my my life
  34. Went to a topless pool but did not go topless until my top fell off by mistake
  35. Started water running. Did not love it.
  36. Learned how to spell asterisk (thought it was asterix)
  37. Watched all seasons of Weeds
  38. Had one mammogram
  39. Played six games of Left, Right, Center and lost them all
  40. Got interviewed for a Runner’s World article
  41. Didn’t get a tattoo, but thought about it
  42. Did not switch to Geico
  43. Ran with Dean (did you know that?)
  44. Had 297 blog posts on SUAR

What do you think my surprise meal is? Whoever guesses it gets a sticker and a virtual pat on the back.

Happy day to me,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Personal Acknowledgements

  • To the lady in front of me at the grocery store: The lines were six people deep. You had a huge cart full of groceries. I’m not sure why you chose to split your groceries into four different purchases, using four different forms of payment. But, thanks for giving me the extra 25 minutes while in line to read about Justin Bieber in People magazine. I’m just glad I didn’t get Bieber fever.
  • To the Egyptian man who named his baby “Facebook.” Mean, just mean.
  • To Dean Karnazes: Thanks for the email letting me know about your new Run Across America.

From Him:




I liked having personal notice.  But, I did see it all over the news. Wish you’d come through Longmont so we could rendez-vous like old times. Don’t even pretend it wasn’t as good for you as it was for me.

  • To my hip: Thank you you bad ass mother f*cker for letting me run 6.2 miles today. But, left glute, WTF? Don’t you start acting up too just because hip is playing nice.
  • To son, Sam: Thank you for rubbing your sister’s head today right after I painstakingly fixed her hair into a style she could live with and not whine about for the next five hours. Also, thank you for wearing your robe and aviators around the house because it makes me love you even more if that is possible. Look out Hugh Heffner. Sam’s coming to take your girls.


So, here’s the big question. Do you ever use the 15 item express lane when you have more than 15 items? If I have up to 20 I use it, especially if no one is in line.

What’s the funniest/stupidest name you’ve ever heard, besides Facebook?

Also, ever had a celebrity meet up or sighting?



Today I turn 44 years old. You may be tired of hearing about my birthday. That’s life. I’ve got quite the day planned.

9:00 a.m. PT session

10: 00 a.m. Pedicure and eyebrow wax because of these. OMG that is sick:


11:15 a.m. Trip to Whole Food to buy my lemon dream cake and to have coffee with a friend

1:00 p.m. Free car wash (because it’s my birthday)

3:00 p.m. Take daughter to piano

5:00 p.m. Dinner with family and mom and dad. Mom’s making me a surprise birthday meal. Any guesses what it might be? She knows I love chicken/dumplings, homemade pizza and lamb with couscous. We’ll see what emerges out of her magical kitchen. Probably none of the usual favorites.

Notice there is no work on the agenda. Or anything not fun. Well, PT is debatable, but it’s getting me towards a goal, so that makes it okay.

This has been an amazing year, despite some setbacks. Here are 44 highlights (in no particular order):

  1. Went skydiving
  2. Pooped in a hallowed out tree
  3. Became a certified running coach
  4. Tried/loved/continued Bikram yoga
  5. Fell off the treadmill
  6. Had my period 12 times
  7. Became an Athleta-sponsored athlete
  8. Fractured my left hip
  9. Ran the Bolder Boulder in a grass skirt and sport’s bra
  10. Went to Vegas twice and lost money both times
  11. Taught a Webkinz class to third graders
  12. Ran a 10K with Sam
  13. Played Bunco once
  14. Had gum surgery
  15. Saw Taylor Swift in concert
  16. Had a bat jump in my lap (crotch) during my anniversary dinner
  17. Interviewed Jared from Subway
  18. Ran a 5K with Emma
  19. Qualified for Boston
  20. Became the parent of a teenager
  21. Did not buy any new underwear and should have
  22. Signed up for my first half Ironman (August 2011)
  23. Got Netflix On Demand
  24. Taught a yoga class to third graders
  25. Had one gyno exam with a cold speculum
  26. Was featured in the paper
  27. Did not throw up once except a little bit in my mouth on a run
  28. Had an allergic reaction while in Mexico that caused my faced swelled up
  29. Had a panic attack in the MRI machine
  30. My dog lost an eye
  31. Did a triathlon
  32. Took my first RV trip and emptied sewage (mine and everyone else’s)
  33. Celebrated 15 years of marriage with the love my my life
  34. Went to a topless pool but did not go topless until my top fell off by mistake
  35. Started water running. Did not love it.
  36. Learned how to spell asterisk (thought it was asterix)
  37. Watched all seasons of Weeds
  38. Had one mammogram
  39. Played six games of Left, Right, Center and lost them all
  40. Got interviewed for a Runner’s World article
  41. Didn’t get a tattoo, but thought about it
  42. Did not switch to Geico
  43. Ran with Dean (did you know that?)
  44. Had 297 blog posts on SUAR

What do you think my surprise meal is? Whoever guesses it gets a sticker and a virtual pat on the back.

Happy day to me,


Winners and Partay

57 measly entries for the Butt Shield Giveaway.

I feel let down. I thought you all liked all things ASS more than that. I also thought more of you would be invested in protecting your butts while you ran, biked, road tripped and sat on airplanes. Everyone needs a good Butt Shield. Don’t ever get so cocky so that you think your butt is exempt.

Just to show the importance of protection, I am going to wear Butt Shield on my five hour, red-eye trip to Costa Rica on Friday. They don’t call it a red-eye for nothing. I will emerge into the city of San Jose with a fresh, rash-less ass and the locals (“Ticos,” you call them) will turn their heads, noses in the air sniffing, wondering who has just entered their country and hoping she will never leave.

Funny thing I just learned. The unit of money in Costa Rica is the Colon, named after none other than Chris Columbus who discovered the country (guess he had a nice colon). No joke. I am going to keep my colons clean while I visit. My colons might be brown, but they will be shiny and hygienic. My colons will be exchanged for souvenirs of beauty.

The winners of the almighty Shield:

  1. Holly (She chafes right at the base of her tail bone, where her cheeks come together)
  2. Diana Tries-A-Tri (She has no ass, so chafe happens)
  3. Steve Q (He’s tried everything stop chafing during ultramarathons. Nothing's worked yet including K-Y he just “happened” to have on hand, wink, wink). 
  4. LaVonne (She had a chafing nightmare once and had to lay on the couch for 2 days with her legs spread apart. She then I had to wear skirts with no underwear for a week).
  5. Jamoosh (Who says, “I am a poster child for inner butt cheek chafing.” Nice image).

Congrats. Email me your address at

Thanks for asking, my birthday party was fun.

Me opening gifts. No one is paying attention. You should call that number on the screen. Laurie, I’m wearing the necklace you sent!!


Me with squinty eyes and holding my special birthday glass that got refilled with Buffalo Gold beer a few times. My sis-in-law in the back looks pissed.  She is talking to my mom. You can see her half-face.


You had to be blond to come to my party. Can you find me in the dark?


Three people went home sick and I ate a lot of Buffalo wings.  When we got in the car at the end of the night, I sat between my two friends in the backseat. I let one fly and my one friend started gagging and had to open the door for some air. I’m proud of that.  The Urban Dictionary would appropriately call this a fire fart (see link for amazing details).

You might be old when… the waiter asked if I wanted a birthday shot or a dessert. I did the inconceivable and went with dessert. God, I’m old. But, I wasn’t so hung-over I couldn't do my 20 mile ride Sunday and play video poker on my iPad for three hours. So, suck it, you young’uns.

My real birthday is tomorrow. I have lots of fun things planned for myself. I like having multiple-day birthdays.

Not too old to stink up the car like a sailor,


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Champion Let Down

I was happy to find a $14.99 white Champion running tank at Target yesterday. I am always in need of white tanks due to the frequent soiling of the underarm area which turns a putrid shade of yellow.

I like the tanks with the built-in bras. I find that support is enough for these small girls I call my boobs.

I got home and tried it on and thought…really? Seriously? WTF? WTH?  What’s wrong with this picture (besides the book)?


What you are seeing is through BOTH the tank and the built in bra. You didn’t think I’d show my nipples, did you? No, I don’t want to add another sport’s bra under this, so I’ll be taking it back.

Who knows what book this is?

Ever been let down by a piece of running clothing?


Friday, February 18, 2011

No Snooping

Things are definitely looking up. Even Lucky, the three legged, one eyed, ball-less dog knows it (at least he hasn’t yet lost his tongue). I am not a professional photographer, but clearly I should be.


My week:

Monday: Ran 5.35 miles (run 10 mins, walk 2 mins)
Tuesday: Rest  + 1 hour of PT
Wednesday: Ran 5.5 miles
Thursday: Swam 2100 yards
Friday: Ran 4.1 miles
Saturday: Will bike 90 minutes
Sunday: Will do 90 minutes hot yoga

What is a girl to do when she can finally run again? Get new shoes.


All you minimalist shoe lovers, I see you cringing. I’m not ready to go there yet. These are actually the shoes (Mizuno Wave Inspire 6) I have been in for awhile now, including running very successfully in them pre-injury (BQ). I was told during my gait analysis that they are a good fit for me. Since I have increased my cadence I am working on moving towards a more mid foot strike and I can do that in these babies.

Plus, they have a lime green color in them and that reminds me of margaritas and vodka tonics and that makes me happy. And, the shoes were reduced from $100 to $53 (Running Warehouse), so I have an extra $46 to spend on margaritas in Costa Rica next week.

Can you freaking believe I am running? I am still pinching myself. Four months from yesterday I was diagnosed with my hip stress fracture and could barely walk. This week I ran 14.95 miles and I’m going to round that up to 15 miles because I deserve to round things up after the hellish past four months.

I am here to tell you that if you are injured, it will get better, but you have to be very diligent about your recovery. Strength train. Stretch. Do any and all cross training that is safe for your injury. Eat well. Sleep a lot. Cry when you need to, but don’t stay there long. Persevere. Know it is temporary. Have goals and meet them.

I sent my Boston or Bust training plan to my exercise physiologist and doctor to review. I wanted to make sure of two things:

  1. This plan was conservative enough to not hurt me
  2. This plan would prepare me adequately so when I run in Boston I won’t be comatose on a stretcher with my hip in a plastic bag at aid station #6.

Basically, I max out at 24 miles/week with my longest run being 13 miles. And, then there is shit load of cross training. Feedback from the exercise physiologist was informative:

“I think this plan looks very good, I would encourage you to continue with walk breaks throughout your runs, especially your long runs. I think a 9 minute run, 1 minute walk or 14 minute run 1 minute walk would serve you best for your training and the Boston Marathon itself. I think 13 miles is adequate for a long run for you as well.

I’d encourage you to lengthen some of your non-running workouts in order to do some workouts in the 3-4 hour range.  The purpose of these longer workouts is to prepare your body to exercise for that duration. I think you’d be better served to add duration to your cross training than to add more running.

If it doesn’t bother you, you could also add in a longer walk or hike. The Japanese and Korean style marathon training programs typically include a lot of long walks to build up time on the feet with a low impact activity. I think some 45-90+ minute walks or relatively flat hikes could be a good addition so long as they don’t bother you. I would have you do any long walks on Mondays in place of or in addition to water running/swimming.”

I was especially interested in the Japanese/Korean style of marathon training. This was new information for me.

And, as if it couldn’t get any better, tonight is my birthday party, so if you could be there I’d appreciate it. Ken sent out an Evite saying, “Leave the kids at home and come celebrate all things Beth!” Guess that means we celebrate running and bodily functions and social work and Athleta and mothering and drinking coffee/wine and blogging and hot baths and Dean. But not hot baths with Dean, unfortunately.


Don’t get all carried away. Today is not my birthday. It’s Tuesday, 2/22. You can save your birthday wishes for then when I remind you again.

One final perk of the day. Got this email today from a reader. It was simple and to the point:

“I sneezed so hard I pooped a little. Would that be considered a snoop?”

Hoping I don’t snoop at my party,


PS: Don’t forget my Butt Shield Giveaway!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Butt Shield Giveaway

I know you think I’m going to talk about a fart-filter or something of that nature, but you are WRONG!

Having problems with your ass? It’s not uncommon (double negative) for us athletes. There are the bike seat blues. And, the running rubbings. The kayaking caking and the horseback riding hammering. All kinds of chafing, friction and irritation that gets up in there. Well, maybe not UP in there, but UP ON there. If you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean.

I do have a lot of problems with my booty, yet chafing has so far not been one of my issues. Although, with half ironman training kicking in, I could be singing and chafing a different tune.

If your butt is a sore spot, consider Butt Shield. Supposedly, this roll on product provides relief from your worst saddle sores, chafing and ass rashes. More importantly (as it says on the package):

  1. It lasts all day. If you don’t like to rinse or wash after your workouts, then it will continue to provide protection all day at your kids’ soccer games or during date night with your lady/stud. Chris K. might like this since he is manly now.
  2. It is non staining. Neat. As if you could stain your butt any more than it already is. Bleaching on the other hand…
  3. It is unscented. Well, thank God. We wouldn’t want to try to mask any existing smell on the buttocks.
  4. It is non-greasy. For those of you with greasy asses, this won’t add a second coat.
  5. Also good for the non-athlete. Think long hospital stays, road trips, airline travel, waiting at the motor vehicles hell hole.


If you would like to try Butt Shield (MSRP: $12.99), you’re in luck. I’ve got 5 bottles to give away!! Simply (comment for each):

  • Leave a comment as to why you want/need Butt Shield. What’s your butt-ass problem? 1 entry
  • Become a follower of this blog because I only have 1238. And, I lose one today, so have mercy. + 1 entry.
  • Write about this giveaway on your blog, FB, Twitter, bathroom wall. + 1 entry.
  • Visit the Butt Shield website and take a look at their other cool products (like Stink Free). + 1 entry.

Giveaway will end on February 21, and winners will be picked by on that day.

Fine print:

  • 2Toms provided the five giveaway Butt Shields. I did not pay anything for them.
  • The winners will be chosen by on 2/21

Good Luck!


Never Going to Be Suave

Seriously, do you ever look at pictures of yourself and want to go back to bed?

I try so hard to be cool and coordinated and smooth. But, I’m not. My dorkiness gets the best of me every single day no matter how deliberately I try to keep it at bay. Every day is like the day in college where I clipped into my pedals on my bike thinking I was looking pretty studly and right in front of a front porch full of frat house boys I fell over. They laughed and went back to their beer bongs.

So, I’m giving up. I'm’ almost 44 and I’m never going to be suave, no matter how much of that shampoo I use. I’m going to start playing the “I’m dorky, so laugh with/at me card.” As if people weren’t already laughing.

I’m writing this water running article for Athleta. It will come out in the March newsletter when they feature water activities. I needed some pictures to go with it, so I enlisted my professional photographer, Ken, to take pictures of me at the pool. He’s cheap and agreed to do it if I made him pork green chili for dinner. We got a couple of semi-okay pictures, but you’re lucky you get to see the outtakes:

“Is that a turd I see on the bottom of the pool?”


Clearly I should be in a marching band. What the hell kind of form is that?


I so know what Rapunzel is going through. These long locks are ridiculous.


Do you have any Twinkies? Or are you just happy to see me.


A ten on the dork scale:


“Hey pussy posse members – can’t you see I’m busy? Go rinse your teeth.”


Gumby leg that should not bend in that direction. No, those are not bubbles coming out of my ass.



The suit, if you care, is this one from Athleta. It is a performance suit for swimming, running, paddling. Reversible (other side is a multi colored print), very comfortable. And CUTE, right?

I did get some good news today in an email from Run Reviews:

I'm very happy to have the opportunity to send you this email. Some time ago your husband sent us a nomination to include you for the Run Reviews 101 Most Influential Runners section.

We took time to read about your story and we were definitely impressed. The nomination was accepted and it was published on this page (together with the text your husband wrote about you). You can view it HERE.

Awwww! I’m not sure what kind of favors Ken is hoping for by submitting this, but he would have probably gotten them if he hadn’t used the picture of me in my swim goggles.

Married a keeper,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

“The Boston”: Qualifying Changes for 2012 and On

Well, we knew it was coming. Maybe sooner than we thought.

Today’s headline in the Boston Globe:

“BAA announces new procedures for marathon registration, qualifying”

Surprised? Me neither. After selling out in 8 hours and 3 minutes this year, something had to be done, right?

“In 2012, the BAA will institute rolling admission for qualifiers with the fastest runners being allowed to enter first. The field will be filled with the fastest of all qualifiers. Then, in 2013, the BAA will make it more difficult to qualify by lowering time standards by five minutes across all age groups and both genders. The rolling admission process also will remain in place for 2013 and future marathons, continuing to allow the fastest runners to enter first.”

You can read the full article HERE.

What do you think? I agree something needed to shift, and a decrease of times by five minutes across the board is reasonable. I did not expect, however, this rolling admissions business, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Certainly, this will return Boston to its original purpose of being the marathon for the crème de la crème. My guess is that there will easily be enough “faster” runners to quickly fill the slots and those who just barely qualified under the new standards may never having a fighting chance.

Although I qualified with a nine minute cushion and would technically meet the new standard, I doubt I would ever be “fast” enough to be one of those who got a spot under these new guidelines. Because it is all about me. You should know that by now.

All the more reason to run this year on a broken hip. Or, a healing bad ass mother f*cker hip. Game on. At the end of the day I’m just sayin’ I’d train 24/7 irregardless (reference to yesterday’s post if that went over your head).

What do you think of the new standards? Does it change how you feel about trying to qualify in the future?

Want to run Boston this year? There are still two spots available with Team Reeve, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Yes, you will need to fundraise for this great cause, but because Boston is only two months away, you would have until August 2011 to reach your goals. Please contact:

Leigh Alspach
Team Manger, Team Reeve
800-225-0292 (x7229) 

Times, they are a changin’,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hell to the YES!

Hold your breath…wait for it…

Yesterday’s workout: 43 minutes of running (5.35 miles with intermittent 2 minute walks).

I know. I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records or at the very least in the hall of fame or the Olympics or on some bathroom wall (which I sure I am anyway for other reasons). I did not write this, but it just goes to show all dads should check the bathroom wall on occasion.


You have to remember that three weeks ago I could barely run for 15 minutes. Damn hip stress fracture.

I have tweaked my Boston training plan considerably since I was not ready to up my running as anticipated. Today I’ll send the new plan to the Boulder Center for Sport’s Medicine so they can make sure it’s safe, conservative, yet puts me in a position to run Boston without hurting myself. I also hope it is a plan to help me win the race. All $806,000 of it.  Because that is my goal. Sounds reasonable. I could take you all out to dinner.

Today I am wearing this shirt in celebration of running. I haven't been able to wear it for awhile, because I couldn’t run and therefore I couldn’t run for wine. Now I am back to running and wining. I am not good with the self timer. And yes, I am balancing on the bad hip, which I no longer call “bad.” I call it “badass mother f*cker.”


Mine is the most screwed up, untraditional, odd, wonky, training cycle on the face of the earth. It’s so ridiculous I think it’s funny.

This training cycle:

  • Longest run to date: 5 miles (would normally be 13)
  • Highest weekly mileage: 5 miles (would typically be around 35-40)
  • Longest anticipated long run for the marathon: 13 miles if I’m lucky (would usually be at least 2-20 milers)
  • Number of weeks taken off completely for trip to Costa Rica: 1 (7 weeks out from the marathon). (Normally, I would not have one of these complete rest weeks in my plan)

So, I’m here to tell you. If you are puking your guts out and miss a few days of running don’t sweat it. If you are behind on the Bachelor and want to take the day off, don’t sweat it. If it snowed 265” and you can’t run, don’t sweat it. Just think of me over here training for a marathon with very little actual running. Yet, I’m still hopeful I can do the race. Denial is not a river in Egypt, or something stupid people say that they think is clever.

Other (overused) things people say when they think they are clever (I apologize in advance if these phrases are in your daily vocabulary):

Game on!
At the end of the day…
Phone tag…
Hell to the yes..
Been there, done that
My bad
Just sayin’

What phrase do you find terribly annoying?

Today after a painful, yet glorious PT session, I headed over to Whole Foods to hit up the samples. Do you ever do this? I had a total score. Lemon Dream Cake. Huge slices for free. Or I think they were free. I ate a few and stuffed a couple of them down my pants for later. I think I could make a whole cake with them if I want. This is the very cake I will go and buy (not sample) for my birthday next week. Yes, it is my birthday on Tuesday, 2/22, one week from today. I will be 44 on 22. So, mark your calendars and remember how much I love lemon cake.  Hell to the yes!!!!!

That cake was for sure a cheer-up-quickie (urban dictionary slang),


PS: If you live in Boston or are familiar with the city and know of a good happy hour spot for our blogger meet up, please let me know!! I’ll send you a piece of cake from my pants.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Boston Marathon Entry Winners!!

I’ll start by saying I’m not my usual shawty farty self today. My heart is breaking for how quickly life can take a turn.

We got a call last night that my son’s favorite teacher, Mr. Cribby, was in the hospital in critical condition with a  bacterial infection. He had been at school last week, but not feeling so well. Today I learned that they had to amputate his arm to save his life. Mr. Cribby is not just any teacher. He is one of those rare souls who sees the best in everyone and takes genuine interest in those around him. He loves all things nature and science and his passion is contagious. I don’t think anyone was more excited to hear that Sam was going to Costa Rica than Mr. Cribby. He just has a way about him that is all at once comforting, embracing and educating. I believe he is 47 years old.

You just never know what can happen. Life turns on a dime. Live it. Eat it up. Love it. Take no thing and no one for granted. Realize it’s all so fragile.

The good part of my day is being able to hand out these two Boston Marathon entries. I’m going to pull a line from the Bachelor and say, “This was a very hard decision. Everyone was amazing.” There were about 90 entries in total. I enlisted a panel of nine people to help me out. I narrowed down the 90 to the top ten and the panel decided from there. The top ten were a mix of BQ’ers who weren’t able to register, people who thought they might never be able to BQ, and runners who simply loved the allure and spirit of the Boston.

If you are a winner, contact me immediately at Salonpas needs to know the winners TODAY. If I don’t hear from you, I will pick a runner up.  The winners are:

1. Stephanie from It’s All Happening.


2. Charlyn from Pain is Nothing.


I think it’s obvious from the depth and spirit of these entries why they won. Truly, though, all of the essays were incredible and inspiring. Wish Salonpas had given me 90 entries.

Off to love up my family,


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quite a Full Day

Some very interesting incidents having taken place today in the life of SUAR.

  1. During my 1.5 hours of hot yoga, something startling occurred. We were about 60 minutes in, dripping sweat, doing our Warrior poses. The person to my right started farting. Uncontrollably. Loud. Echoing throughout the quiet, music-less studio. One after another after another. Much like a motorcycle or an AK-47. Just when I thought they had ceased, yet another huge gaseous explosion would occur. It was like being in a torture chamber. I pursed my lips, trying not to laugh or wet myself. I thought, “Please, have mercy. Let this person stop their endless farting or I shall have to leave the room in hysterics and I will be banned from here for life.” I looked around. No one cracked a smile. No one fessed up. Who are these people? A bunch of mature adults? People who expect and accept gas with no reaction? Where I come from farts are acknowledged. Laughed at. Made a topic of conversation. Thankfully, at the very moment when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, it ended. Just like that. There is a God. And even he/she knows when enough is enough.
  2. After yoga I came home and I had lunch. Leftovers of shrimp/spinach salad and chicken enchiladas. I went to run some errands and my stomach was quite bubbly. I felt fine, but I had gas much like the person in the yoga class. Dammit, I thought, her gas was contagious after all. I went about my way, and when I got home I made some mint tea, which always settles things down. In the midst of the tea making, I passed a bit of gas. With a chaser that may or many not have been a shart. I bowed my head in shame. Don’t roll your eyes. You’ve done it too. And if you haven’t, your day is coming.
  3. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and needed some relaxation. In borrowing an idea from Amanda, I asked my daughter to draw a picture with gel pens on my back. It would be like a mini massage. Here’s the result – and I didn't even have to pay her to make the picture about running. I’m not sure why my left leg is so large compared to my right (maybe it has to do with the bad hip) or why I have an afro coming out from my head. I do have nice boobs, though:

  4. We went to some friends for dinner. My dear girlfriend made a  confession. She told me she blow dries her pubes after showers. Finds it to be a pleasant experience and likes that “dry feeling.” I’ve never heard of such a thing. This is entirely new territory for me. I found myself wondering if this is common. Maybe just with those who don’t trim regularly and have some extra length and volume.

I don’t know what to say. It was a day of firsts. I learned a lot. I experienced a lot. I grew a lot as a person.

Always up for new experiences,


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lets Go Deep

Today I’m thinking a bit. I know, weird. But, before I think too deep, I need to let you know I’m making cake balls. Ever had a cake ball? Or just a plain ball? Cake balls rock the universe. Cake with icing shaped into a ball and dipped in more icing. Could also be called cake testicles if you prefer.


Remember that post I did a few days ago about finding your fire and fighting your demons? That post got a lot of response and resulted in amazing emails. Some of you all candidly shared your personal challenges from relationship breakups to cancer diagnoses. I think the theme resonated with people because our pain gets so big and all encompassing that sometimes we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I guess we all need to be reminded that there is a light, there is hope, regardless of the circumstances.

That’s why I was surprised to get this comment on that post:


To which I kindly responded:


This brings up a good discussion point.

The intention of the post was not to minimize the chaos, trauma and pain in the world. The intention was not for me to focus on just me and to have a pity party. This post was initially about my experience that day, and the 120 preceding days  I have struggled with this injury. The post then became about the universal experience of suffering.

My question to you is this: Do you believe that because there are people much worse off than we are, that we are never allowed to talk about our pain? Does sharing our struggles mean that we don’t sympathize with dire and devastating challenges that so many people face? Why does one have to exclude the other?

Sometimes I talk with a friend who has lost both of her parents. While their deaths occurred years ago, her grief lives on and can be incredibly painful. She will inevitably apologize for feeling sad and say, “I know it could be so much worse. There are people who suffer so much more than I do.” True. There will always be greater suffering. But, I let her know that just because someone else might have it worse, doesn’t mean she has to feel guilty about sharing her pain.

I believe that if we are compassionate and kind, not overly self focused, and can reach out to one another with good intention, sharing our struggles builds beautiful connections and lasting bonds. I’m all over it. What do you think?

‘Nuff said,


P.S.: Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a free entry to this year’s Boston Marathon!! Ends tomorrow at 5pm Mountain.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Date with the Gait

***Important! Due to unforeseen logistical stuff, the Boston Marathon giveaway will end this Sunday, February 13, not February 17. The winners will be required to fill out their registrations and have them postmarked by February 18.


Was that the corner? Because I think I might have turned it. Again.

I have four words for you.


Walk, run for a total of five miles.

Tuesday found me crying on the PT table out of frustration. Today found me crying on the treadmill out of euphoria. I am such an emotional dork/mess. A dorky mess.

Yesterday I spent some the most valuable 90 minutes I have spent in a long time. I had a gait analysis at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. I’ve had those drive thru gait analyses before at the running shoe store. The ones where they video tape you, then tell you which shoe is going to make your dreams come true and correct your pronation or penis curvature or whatever.

This was different.

If you’ve never had one of these done, and you are going to continue running, you need to invest. It will help you decrease chance of injury and increase performance. I'm not sure of the actual cost because insurance covered some of mine, so I ended up paying $105. I’m guessing if you paid cash it would be $300-$500?

I was really dreading this thing. I hate it when people watch me run and critique me. I hate it when I do anything and people critique me. It makes me feel critiqued. And vulnerable. And sometimes stupid and awkward and uncoordinated. This is why whenever I competed on the balance beam in high school I was a shaking, farting, sweating mess who always got 2/10. Try being nervous then dancing and somersaulting on a 4” piece of suede-covered wood.  

I also knew that my form probably sucked due to the injury and I figured I’d walk out of there feeling even more defeated.

Surprise of surprises. My form was decent, with a few corrections to be made.

The good:

  1. I do not over stride, my feet land nicely under my hips when I run.
  2. My stance width is narrow, but this is because I’m bowlegged, so not something I need to work on changing.
  3. My hips are level with very little hip drop on either side.
  4. No pronation.
  5. Knees do not cave in
  6. Body is centered with the exception of some leaning to the left to compensate for the injury
  7. I have a decent hip tilt


Stuff to work on:

  1. Not leaning to the left (that’s what he said). They are not sure if I lean due to the injury or if it is related to scoliosis or a leg discrepancy.
  2. Increasing cadence. Mine is currently 166, and should increase to 176-180. This will apparently improve efficiency and performance and reduce overall impact. This is actually not too hard to do. On my run today, I checked in a couple of times each mile. My cadence was 180-200 (counting steps per 10 seconds and multiplying by 6).  My PT suggested using a metronome or downloading music that has 176 bpm to help keep on track. There are several websites that give you song ideas depending on what type of cadence you want to keep. There is a good one from Runner’s World HERE. I found that a quicker turnover felt much better on my body today and allowed for a softer foot strike and a lighter feeling overall. I do strike on my heel, and the increased cadence will hopefully help to make me more of a mid-foot striker.
  3. Arm placement. I punch my arms too far forward (see above) which can decrease performance and slow cadence thereby resulting in higher impact per stride. Fortunately, this is also a relatively easy thing to correct. I am working on driving my elbows back and stopping them near my ribs without crossing the midline.

I wish I could show you the before/after videos of me running. Below is a still shot. The left is before, the right is after. You can see how much further my arms come out behind me). They gave me the video to bring home with drill tips for improved form. Pretty cool. And, I didn’t even fall off the treadmill like the balance beam. I also didn’t fart like I did that one time when I was getting my gait analyzed at a shoe store.


Don’t forget my Boston Marathon giveaway. I have two entries to give. I’ve really enjoyed reading the “essays” so far. Just to be clear, the “panel” will be comprised of myself and some of your favorite bloggers (who have not entered). If you’re interested in being on the panel, email me.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Giveaway: Two Boston Marathon Entries!

You read that right.

Salonpas, makers of the famous pain patch and sponsor of the Boston Marathon,  is giving away two entries to the 2011 Boston Marathon on April 18. In case you didn’t know, the entry fee for Boston this year was $130 and it sold out in six hours. Ouch.

  • Did you qualify, but were unable to register before it sold out?
  • Have you always dreamed of running Boston, but feel that qualifying is out of the realm of possibility?
  • Have you run Boston before and want to do it again?
  • Do you live in the Boston area (or within driving distance) and are looking for something to do on April 18?
  • Or, do you just want to meet me so we can “pass gas” our way to the finish? (fingers crossed I will be there)

You do not have to have a qualifying time to be eligible. You just need to be able to finish in six hours.

The winners will also receive a Salonpas sponsorship pack including a t-shirt, patch samples, massager, said pin and backpack.

A little bit more about Salonpas: They are the makers of the first FDA-approved over tsalonpashe counter pain relief patch. The active ingredients in the approximately 3” x 4” patch are menthol and  methyl salicylate (an anti-inflammatory). You put the patch on a sore spot and wear it for 8-12 hours,  and should get some pain relief. The patch will begin working within an hour. Feel free to wear it while naked (they don’t say that, but I do).

These patches have only been in the US since 2008, but have been sold in Asia since the 1930s. “The patches also deliver their medicine directly to the site of a person's pain. This may eliminate some of the side effects that come with taking pills. For instance, some analgesics are likely to cause an upset stomach unless they're taken with food.” (source)

Feel free to visit: for more detailed information. You can also find Salonpas on Facebook ( or on Twitter (

Lord knows I’ve had my share of aches and pains, so I have tried Salonpas products and can testify that they work. I put mine on before bed and wear it all night. The ultra thin patch adheres effectively to the skin and will stay in tough areas such as knees, hips and asses.

To enter: Leave a comment about why you want to run Boston this year. Make it as long, short, dramatic, graphic, imaginative as you want. Please leave only one comment. Know that when you enter you are committing to the race (getting yourself to Boston, lodging, etc.). Please do not post an entry for someone else. The person entering MUST leave a comment themselves.

Giveaway will close at 5pm (MDT) on February 13. At that time, two winners will be chosen by a “panel of experts,” including me (not randomly, but according to your entry story) and highlighted on SUAR

Fine print:

  • Salonpas provided the two Boston entries and sent me with a Boston Marathon sponsorship pack (t-shirt, massager, pin, backpack, Salonpas samples). I did not pay anything for any of it.
  • Contest  open to US residents only.
  • The winners will be chosen by me and a “panel’ of runners who haven’t entered the giveaway.
  • Lodging, airfare, etc. not included

Best of luck friends,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creation #2

Thanks for indulging me yesterday with all of your encouraging and insightful comments. Yes, I read EVERY LAST ONE, Matty. I also appreciate the “private” emails with your own stories and sentiments. The truth is, we are all going through something, right? Be it injury, loss, relationship trouble, painful transition, rejection.

Head’s up! Be sure to visit tomorrow for one of the coolest giveaways ever (IMHO).

Joke courtesy of son, Sam: “If girls with big boobs work at Hooters, where do girls with one leg work?”  “IHOP!”  Go to your room!! You shouldn’t talk about one-legged people that way.

To lighten the mood, I’ve got the second video in my series, ready to share! If you missed the first, go  HERE. (And, crap, title of this has a typo. Thanks, Anne! It’s not martial problems as in martians. Should be marital. Although maybe next time I’ll talk about martians having sex).

Oh crap. Is Valentine’s Day coming up?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fight the Fight, Man

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn Hal Borland

I’m a believer that we learn from the hard stuff.

Yet, overcoming adversity still sucks the big one.

The input from friends, family, health professionals and my favorite bloggers to “keep your chin up” and, “see the silver lining,” is immensely helpful. No doubt about it. But, it’s my fire within that puts the exclamation point on it all.


What exactly is the fire within? This was my fire today:

  • Getting up up when it’s negative degrees outside and slip-sliding my way to the pool to run in the water for 60 minutes even though I’ve come to kind of hate it.
  • *Sniff* tearing up during my workout because a song reminded me:


  • Driving in that same snowstorm 12 miles to Boulder to go to physical therapy even though no one would question if I cancelled.
  • Laying on the PT table and crying, despite my best efforts to hold it inside. Crying because I want something so bad, yet are desperately afraid I might not get it.
  • Before the tears can even dry I am pushing and stretching and continuing to recover in baby steps.

The fire is an internal spark that doesn’t die out despite pain, self doubt, setbacks, inconvenience, discouragement.

The fire is about fighting, yet knowing when to pull back.

Here is what I think. You don’t have to agree with me if you don’t want to: If training is hard, recovery is harder. At least with training you feel somewhat in control of the amount of motivation and self discipline you bring to the table. With recovery, however, the body is limited and on its own time-line. I know this because I have been in active recovery for four months. I have done it all right. But, every time I run, it sets me back.

Tell me to train to run 50 miles and I am there. I will do what it takes to be successful.

Tell me to recover from a hip stress fracture and start running again and…well, shit…not much I can do to be in control of that goal except to cross train, do my exercises, stretch, rest, take my vitamins and eat well. My body gets to choose when I’m really ready to run. I have so far been unable to will my hip not to hurt. In fact, when I try to run on a hip that hurts and to pretend it doesn’t, I am only lengthening my recovery and setting myself back.

What does all this mean? I don’t know. I could come up with something really philosophical like what Winston Churchill (and Rodney Atkins) said: “When you’re going through hell, keep on going.” Because that’s what I will keep doing. The only thing I know for sure is that I won’t give up. And, you shouldn’t either.

Whatever demon you are fighting, and I know most demons are worse than a stress fracture, keep up the fight. Keep the fire within. Yet, don’t ever let the fight make you weaker. Always make sure it is building you up not tearing you down.

These lyrics always speak to me about moving forward, shaking it off and accepting what you can’t change. And having the grace to take the joys from the “little wonders.” If you need that message today, please watch:

Dammit. This post was serious. I’m going to throw in the words nipple and merkin for good measure.

Love the Urban Dictionary,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Balancing Act

This morning I went to swim and did this workout from 50 swim workouts.


I wore my grab bag suit and a bright pink swim cap. I felt slightly dorky like I was either in kindergarten or trying to be a highlighter.


Yeah, the eyebrows. I know. I’m hoping someone gives me a wax for my birthday. Which is February 22 so if you need an address to send gifts and cards and money to, let me know.

Today, I branched out and did something I’ve never done before. I took a shower at the pool. I mean I actually brought my clothes, blow-dryer, makeup and did a full-on routine I would do at home. Only difference was the shower had lots of stray pieces of hair that did not belong to me. Thankfully, they weren't short enough to be pubes. Or, maybe the people who swim at my pool have really long pubes in which case I’m very grossed out right now.

I did the pool/shower/hair thing because I had to go to Emma’s school to work with the fourth graders on their writing right after the swim. My daughter’s teacher asked me to set up a blog for the fourth graders. Every other week, I write a blog post for them (and try to leave out stuff to do with penises and bodily functions). I pose a question to the kids and they respond to me by writing an essay in the comments section. Today’s post was called, “Go to the Beach Any Day of the Week” and was about visualization your favorite place as a relaxation/escape technique.

A reader, Ginger, emailed to say, “I thought an idea for a blog post would be addressing how you juggle caring for your home, your work, your children, being involved with them, and training.” 

It’s a great question. Honestly, for me it’s not as hard as it could be because I have three HUGE things working in my favor:

  1. My kids, ages 9 and 13, are in all day school from 8:00am-3:00 p.m.
  2. I do not work full time. At best, I work 20 hours/week
  3. Ken helps a shitload. He does the laundry, drives the kids around, helps with homework, does the dishes, makes the bed. Maybe he could wax my eyebrows too.

When my kids were young and home all day, I didn’t work out nearly as much as I do now. You’ll remember I just started running 2 1/2 years ago. Before that, I did no training and did not even exercise consistently. I breast fed and watched Oprah. When I finally did start to work out I used the jogger a ton, as well as the bike “Burley.” I also put my kids in an hour or so of childcare at the gym and got up super early to workout before Ken left in the morning.

I know lots of you are taking care of little kids all day and fitting in training, so you are the ones people should be looking to for answers, not me.

My theory is to start early and don’t stop until the Bachelor comes on at 8:00 p.m.

Here are my tips for trying to get it all done and not losing your mind:

  • The List: Every Sunday I make a to-do list that breaks out the things I have planned for every single day. I create it on the computer then print out a hard copy so it’s always in front of me. As the week goes on, I am constantly adding to this list. I get great satisfaction in crossing stuff off each day. This is similar to the one I use.
  • Meal Planning: I plan weekly meals (at least five meals at time) and make a shopping list (in order of the way I walk around the store – anal, I know). Sometimes I even use a pre-generated template so I don’t forget anything. I rarely cook the same thing twice because I love experimenting with different recipes, makes cooking more fun. I read tons of magazines and recipe books and have a collection of stuff to try.  This week on tap:
  • Commit to the Workout: I have a training schedule and follow it to a “tee.” I know the night before exactly what I will do first think in the morning for a workout. I lay out my clothes, have my bag packed for the gym (if need be), have the coffee set on self timer and my breakfast ready to go. This helps motivate me to get out the door. I never skip it if it’s on the calendar.
  • Just Say, “No”: I used to say “yes” to it all. I was PTO president, made cupcakes for every party, managed my kids sport teams, darned the socks and milked the cows. And, to be completely honest, I didn’t love every minute of it (especially yanking on the cow teat). So, I cut back and removed the stuff I didn’t like and found a way to fit in the stuff I did.
  • Stay In: For some reason, having to leave home at night stresses me out and makes me feel overwhelmed. For that reason, I try not to schedule evening work meetings or workouts. Going out drinking with the girls, however, is still on the schedule – priorities.
  • One Activity at a Time. I know lots of families that have every moment scheduled with school, homework, sports, music lessons, play dates, art classes,etc. We don’t do that. For the most part, my kids are involved in one sport/activity/lesson at a time. This leaves time for hanging out with the family, doing homework, eating dinner together every night and reasonable bedtimes. This might get harder as they get older, but works for us now.
  • Don’t Get the Phone. Someone once told me that just because someone decides to call you doesn’t mean you have to talk. It’s not like I never pick up, but I don’t feel compelled to answer all calls every minute. Same goes for texts and emails.

Like I said, many of you are better and more hard-core balancers than I.  This is just the stuff that works for us. So, I’d like to know what’s your best tip for balancing/juggling training and home life?

Feeling the need to shower again,


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Skinny Jeans and the Spider

First, major congrats to Chris K. at BQ or Die who BQ’d today! Now, he’ll have to change his blog name.

I started doing yoga about eight years ago. I’ve never been especially hard  core, but I’ve been regular (like the guy on the Metamucil commercials). Yoga gives me a chance to put my sweat inducing, heart pumping cardio workouts to  rest for the day and to focus on balance, strength and flexibility. I used to be a gymnast, and with yoga, I can revisit the ways my body used to be able to fold, move and hold itself. Long before I started running, I realized the benefits of yoga and how it would keep me strong and stretched out as I got older. Once I became a runner, yoga was a necessity to counteract how stiff running makes me (that’s what he said).

Here is me trying to show you how I do Warrior II pose in my living room. For all you pros out there, don’t mind my form.


I go to two different yoga classes. One is a class taught at my gym. A typical Vinyasa (flow) style. The instructor is knowledgeable and brings many spiritual and contemplative elements to the class in addition to the physical challenges. She is comforting and approachable. Sometimes she gives us a treat during savasana (“corpse” or resting/meditative pose at the end of class) where she comes by with lavender lotion and rubs our necks. It’s heavenly and if she and I were lesbian lovers I would ask her to do this for me all the time and not just on my neck.

This class is predominately women. Walking into the studio there’s a lot of chit chat about kids, injuries, our cycles and the like.

The other class is taught at a hot studio with temps always kept between 100 and 107 degrees. People take themselves very seriously. Everyone is incredibly focused and intense. There is no talking, no smiling. The styles and instructors vary, but they’re all good. I usually attend Vinyasa or Bikram classes. I LOVE the hot room. The way my muscles can stretch and deepen into all sorts of contorted postures. How the sweat pools at my feet. How cleansed I feel afterwards.

Here I am trying to push Lucky away while Emma takes pictures.


Sometimes for me yoga is like being in church. Not because of the spiritual aspect (although there is that comparison) as much as the fact that you’re not supposed to laugh. Or fart. But, people do all the  time. I don’t expect you to believe this, but I have never farted during a yoga class. Not even by accident. I did, however, crap my pants once. Just kidding.

Today I went to the intense yoga studio and two interesting things happened.

First of all, the girl next to me in the 100 degree room was wearing skinny jeans. She did 1.5 hours of yoga in a HOT room in skinny jeans. That’s gotta be one stinky…. I’ve never seen anything like it. So, I did what any curious Yogi does and Googled, “yoga jeans” when I got home. And, they do exist. To be honest, her jeans looked like they were a standard skinny jean from Kohl’s, not pants meant to do yoga in, but what do I know?

Second of all, when the class started and I rolled out my mat, I noticed a spider crawling towards me. Oh, sweet spider who I now must kill. It went under my mat. I’m not a a pussy about spiders, but I don’t really like them crawling on me. So, when this guy went underneath, I smashed him with my mat. I pulled up my mat to find dead spider securely crammed into the material. All was well.

Fast forward to the end of class. I am in the changing room. A girl comes in and notices there are ants on the floor. She says, “I saw an ant near my yoga mat during class and thought about killing it, but then I realized there as no way I could kill a defenseless ant, especially during yoga.” The other women nearby all nodded their heads in agreement as if to silently say, “You go girl. A precious ant should never meet its demise at the hand for foot of a human being. Least of all in a peaceful environment such as yoga.”

I smirked to myself thinking of the smushed spider still on my mat. I’m a bully. A murderess. A killer. The peaceful and non violent lessons of yoga are clearly lost on me. But, I can do Triangle pose in my living room.


Ever heard of/tried yoga jeans? Do you kill bugs just for the hell of it? Do you fart in yoga?

Feeling scared for all the insects in Costa Rica,