Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catch Me If You Can! Skirt Chaser 5K


Last year I was the volunteer coordinator for the Skirt Chaser 5K in Denver. This year I am one of the race ambassadors, so I am trying to get the word out about this fun event. If you will be in and/or around Denver on Saturday, October 1st, about 3:00 pm, consider running and block partying with us at Invesco Field (where the Broncos play-name has recently been changed to the Sports Authority Field).

Why you should do it:

  • Ladies start first - 3 minutes ahead of the men! Can the testosterone catch the estrogen?
  • Singles are encouraged to wear a sticker to signify their "availability." Stickers are distributed in the expo before the race start. Maybe you will meet your future spouse on October 1. Or at least have a fun hook up.
  • The post-race Block Party includes live music, great food, free beer and stage entertainment.  Did someone say beer?
  • Race entry ($55) includes:
    • Kick Start Skirt by Skirt Sports (retails for $59.99)
    • Skirt Sports Backpack-style Sling Bag
    • Skirt Chaser 5k Race Entry
    • Block Party Entry - Live Music, 2 Drink Tickets, Free Food, and Post-Race Entertainment

(Note: there is also a skirtless option for $35, but you get all the other goodies)

Here is the Skirt Sports skirt you get with entry:


Cute built-in pink boy shorts underneath:


Keep in mind, this is not just a race, it’s a weekend social event!! I can attest to the fact that last year this was a blast. A rockin’ band played and the beer flowed (you may remember this video that I’m not so proud of, I never said I had rhythm).

Sign up online HERE.

Come join me! I’m pretty fun to be around when I am doing some of my favorite things, running, drinking beer and being chased by men.

Are you in???


PS: My Yellowman running shirt giveaway goes on until Friday, so go enter HERE!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

YMX by Yellowman Running Shirt Review & Giveaway

So many running apparel items look the same. The designs start to run together. YMX by Yellowman deviates from the norm and brings us some colorful, playful patterns that are lightweight and performance material.

I already own a couple of Yellowman things, like the one pictured here (purchased through the Athleta site – they sell several Yellowman items):


Jersey with arm warmers

YMX by Yellowman sent me a running shirt with arm warmers to review. It is the Tribal Sea Running Tee.

Without warmers:


With arm warmers:


I wore this shirt on a very early morning that started out cool (58 degrees) and climbed up in temps by the end. I wore the arm warmers for about half of the workout, then just tucked them into the pocket in the back of the shirt when it got hot.

Material/Performance: Very lightweight, comfortable and silky fabric. 88% Polyester 12% Spandex. The fabric is Madkool – a patented product that is supposed to help regulate your body temperature and provides 30+ SPF.  Lighter than typical running shirts, the fabric is thin, in a good way. It wicks the sweat just like a typical performance shirt, but I’ve never had a shirt with such thin and silky fabric.

The arm warmers are the same material as the shirt. While they provide some protection from the wind, they would not give you much protection from cold temps.

Design: Funky, unique, attention-getting. Arrow of paradise.

Price: $69.99 for shirt and an additional $32 for the arm warmers. Ouch. Great quality shirt, but this is steep for a running shirt and I don’t know many people who spend over $50 on a running shirt (but I could be wrong). As for the arm warmers, such a fun addition to the shirt, but with how thin they are, I personally do not think they are worth the price.

Overall: Very comfortable performance running shirt with a splash of style! While the thinness of the fabric is perfect for the summer months, it will likely not provide much warmth as it gets cooler. Would be a great layering piece, however.

Want one? YMX by Yellowman has one of these running shirts with arm warmers to give away.

To enter:

  • Check out the YMX by Yellowman site and tell me what you like +1 entry
  • Tell me what the top priority is for you when shopping for running apparel. Design? Performance? Price? Style? Brand name? +1 entry
  • FB, twat, blog about this giveaway + 1 entry

Giveaway ends Friday. Open to US only.


Fine Print
**YMX by Yellowman provided me with a running shirt as well as the one for the giveaway. I paid nothing for them.

**Winner will be chosen by on Friday September 5.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breaking the Barrier

I cannot stop laughing at this video. It is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. I mean, I could have STARRED in this video for fart’s sake.  Especially the  very last scene.

Do you remember when you “Broke the Barrier” in your relationship? It took Ken and I about six days. It was the best day of our lives outside of our wedding day and our kids’ births.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


The kids and I were watching a favorite movie of mine, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” last night.

It’s based on the true story of Chris Garnder who, hard on his luck, becomes homeless with his five year old son. I won’t spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it. While playing basketball with his son, Gardner says:

“Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something.  You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”

I turned up the volume to about 50 and asked the kids, “Did you hear that?”

Kids: “Uh, yeah. It was kind of loud.”
Me: “But, do you get it? Do you see what he means that you should never give up?
Kids: “Uh, yeah. Okay. Can we have some more chocolate chips in a bowl?”

Later, after the chocolate chips were put away, and the kids were snug in their beds, I contemplated the quote. When someone tells us we can’t/shouldn’t do something or that we are not good enough, we can have one of two responses:

  1. Believe them and prove them right. This is when you give up and think, “Yeah, they’re right. Who was I to even think I could do that anyway?” You see this all the time when a parent, coach or teacher tells a child that they are “bad”. The kid responds with “Let me show you just how bad a I can be,” and lives out the self-fulfilling prophecy.
  2. Believe in yourself and prove them wrong.

Guess which option I like better?

Most of the time we are told we can’t do things by people who love and care about us, but want to protect us. They do not intend to be discouraging, they intend to take care of us. I can think of two incidents in my life where I was told I couldn't/shouldn’t do something I really wanted to do.

The first time was when I was 23. After a long application process, I had been accepted into the Peace Corps to go to West Africa (Mali) to teach people about forestry: planting gardens and such. I had absolutely not one minute of experience in this field, but still wanted to go for the experience. My mom, doing the job of being a mother, let me know she questioned if I could and should do this. While I saw her as discouraging me from a dream, she saw it as being a mother bear and protecting her young from what could have been a stressful and miserable two year commitment. In the end, I didn’t go. I’ll never know if this was the “right” choice or not. It was just the road not taken. But, seriously, can you imagine me planting fields in Mali? At least I could do some serious fertilizing!

The second time this happened, was just a few months ago, and you will remember it well if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile. I got a stress fracture in my hip in October 2010. My doctor, a competitive runner, knew I had registered for the Boston Marathon for April of 2011. He supported me recovering and coming back to run the race. I started physical therapy in January with a therapist I had never met before. Within five minutes of meeting me, she told me “Running Boston is not a good idea, I don’t see it happening.”

I was devastated, pissed, destroyed (read HERE). Yet, I also knew she was doing her job, which was to protect her patients and to move them towards recovery in the best way possible. Running a marathon did not fit into her treatment plan. As I began to recover and regain my strength, I eventually got her blessing. Four months later, I ran the Boston Marathon in 4:08. Not my fastest showing, but the one I am most proud of.


Look, Ma! No crutches!

Another reason someone might tell you can’t do something is jealousy. A supposed good friend might feel threatened when you say you want to train for your first marathon, and therefore tell you “I don’t think you can do that. It’s too hard on your body, too much of a time investment, etc.” When she really means, “I couldn’t do that, and if you do I fear I will appear weaker or less than you.”

Then there are just mean people who say you can’t do it because they hate their own miserable lives and don’t want to see anyone else succeed. Or, they just plain like looking down on people and feeling superior.

For me, the lesson in all of this is to dream big, but keep your feet on the ground. Take feedback from people you love, and try to decipher their intentions. Remember people may be trying to protect you, but you need to protect your dream. Above all, “If you want something, go get it.” Don’t be talked out of it.

Have you ever been told you couldn’t/shouldn’t do something you dreamed of? How did you react?


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Iron Girl Boulder Race Report

I’m going to make this a sprint race report because this was a sprint triathlon. Okay, quick, GO!

Got up at 4:30 a.m. and did the usual minus a dump. Headed out the door by 5:10 a.m. then had to turn back for home because I was obsessed I left the coffee pot on. Do you do that? Thing is, it wouldn’t have mattered if I did because it has automatic shut off, but I turned back anyway. It was off.

Hit the road again. Turned around again because I wasn't sure if I closed the garage door. Do you do that? It was closed.  99 eff’ing percent of the times I check the iron, the stove, the whatever, it is off.  Zero risk. But, then I go jump out of a plane and go zip lining. It makes no sense.

I got to Boulder and it was pitch dark. I was way too early. I set up my transition and literally had 2 hours left to wait. So, I went home and checked the coffee pot again. Just kidding.

Scooby Doo towel rocks!



I visited the porta potties three times for a little pre-race cleansing:


Here’s the thing. This is a women’s only race, the first women’s only event I’ve ever done. For some reason I assumed the porta potties would smell better than at a coed race. But guess what? Big revelation. Everyone's shit smells. Women’s poop stinks as bad as men's (except for mine which smells like Chanel #5). I now know this. There is nothing feminine and pure about women’s poop. It is all the same.

I did enjoy, however, the short porta potty lines and the table with a linen cloth outside the johns that had a variety of yummy smelling antibacterial soaps. Nice touch, Iron Girl!

I caught up with Tara who was doing her first tri. It was great to see her out there. She had knee surgery this year and now is officially back in the game!!


Heading to the swim, no wetsuit:


Finally it was “go” time. This was an age group swim start. I decided to forgo the wetsuit since the swim was so short (1/4 mile) and the water was 72 degrees. It was a beach start, so you had to run in the water and dolphin dive in. I did more of a run in the water, get stuck in the mud and belly flop in, but that’s just me.

I don't know if it was nerves or the cool water, but I immediately lost my breath. I couldn’t catch it the whole swim. I swallowed mouthfuls of piss water and got off course a couple of times. It was short but not sweet.

Swim: 1/4 mile in 8:45

I thought I breezed through transition in like :02 seconds, but turns out it was over 2 minutes. What the hell? I seriously do not know what I was doing except for when I stopped to check the coffee pot. 

T1: 2:12

Hit the road on the bike and started passing people like crazy. Settled in my aero bars and cranked it out. I actually felt pretty out of breath and my heart rate didn’t calm down until mile six or so. I took a Clif Shot halfway and this helped.

Three women in my age group (you have your age marked on your calf) passed me, then I passed them, then they passed me. I never saw them again. I knew for sure I had at least three AG women ahead of me, so no podium for me unless I caught them on the run, which I doubted by the looks of these maniacs. Plus, I figured there were more girls out there who finished the swim before me. Who knew where I stood?

There was another AG’er (cute girl in braids, kind of had a crush on her) who I played cat and mouse with the whole bike. On the homestretch she passed me, but I decided I would get her on the run (foreshadow). Maybe ask her for a date?

Bike: 17.2 miles in 51:31. Average speed: 20 mph

Going into the transition two area, someone cut in front of me and almost knocked me over with her bike. I turned into my row and could not for the life of me find my Scooby Doo towel. I actually spent about a minute looking. Ridiculous. Another shitty transition time.

T2: 2:00

Set out for the run. It was *HOT* at this point with no shade. I kept a pretty good clip. By mile 1 I passed my crush, the girl with the braids. Never saw her again. The run was uneventful, but I could feel myself running out of steam by the last mile. I could tell since it was an out and back course that I was near the top for finishers. I kept up the pace. My ass only ached a tiny bit, even though I worried about butt pain a lot last week.

Run: 3.1 miles in 24:20. Average pace: 7:48

Total time: 1:28:45
6th/164 age group
29th/818 overall

Some of my favorite life moments have involved crossing finish lines over the past two years. This was no exception. As I came down the finish chute, there were no runners near me, so I had my own little moment. I had no family or friends at the finish (well, Tara, but she was racing), so I just smiled and tried to pat myself on the back without looking double jointed. Go me!

After thoughts: I know 1:28 is a good time and I know I gave it my all, but I am super disappointed in my transition times. The two girls ahead of me who got the 4th and 5th spots finished only seconds before me. Their swim/bike/run times weren’t faster than mine (actually slower!), but their transitions were. If I hadn’t dicked around so long in transition, I could have easily been 4th. Oh well. Lessons learned. Something to work on for next time.

For now I am an Iron Girl. Hoping someday to grow up to be an Iron MAN.



PS: So much for a sprint race report.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Job Slut

My kids don’t do, eat, or enjoy many of the things that I did as a kid. For some reason they don’t like getting up to change the channel on the TV, preferring these things called “remotes.” And, Emma has no desire to have a Dorothy Hamill haircut: WEIRD!

But, there is some common ground. In the same way I did, they like sugary cereal, cartoons, having a lemonade stand and acting like they didn’t hear their mom when she told them to not shove shit under their beds.


Taken today. One of Sam’s drawers.

Perhaps the hugest stand-out in the world of “what I liked as a child and my kids like too” is the infamous 7-11 Slurpee. I don’t know if it’s the allure of the frosty, corn syrupy, artificially colored mystery liquid, the plastic bubble lid, the spoon straw or the fact that they can mix and match all the fancy flavors like cherry-kiwi  and Mountain Dew mania. But, I loved those concoctions, and my kids do too. Man, I just crave that red food coloring #3. Causes thyroid tumors in rats.

Whatever the case, I took Sam, age 13, to the orthodontist the other day and he asked if we could grab a Slurpee afterwards. Sure. I’m a big spender. “Sure son, I’ll buy you a Slurpee if you pay for it out of your allowance!” (I’m not even kidding).

I waited in the car while he went into the 7-11. I observed the caliber of folks going in. My favorite was the overly tattooed guy with the shaved head, the half cigarette hanging from his pie hole and the wife beater tank top donning his skinny chest. Regardless of where it’s located, the “Sev” (as we used to call it in high school) manages to attract the colorful types. I mean “colorful” in the best possible way.

For a split second, because I watch too many movies, I had the image of the store being robbed and everyone inside being held hostage. I had visions of Sam hiding behind the tampons, shielding himself with a big box of pads or some Hostess Twinkies.

Sam came out safely.

Sam: “Did you see the guy with the tattoos?”
Me: “Yep, he was cute.”
Sam: “I always think the people who work at 7-11 are kind of…well…not that smart
Me: “Watch it, son. I used to work there.”
Sam: “That’s why I said it. I knew you’d get all worked up.”

Yes, it’s true. I worked at the “Sev” during the summer after college when I lived at the the beach (Ocean City, MD) and could not pay my rent from my waitressing income. So, I did the 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. shift at the “Sev” and then went to The Bonfire (it’s still there) to wait tables.

The thing I remember most about the Bonfire was that we were all so poor. The big deal was eating the leftovers off of the plates that came back to the kitchen from the dining room. So gross. If it was a particularly pricey item like a seafood combo, people would fight over it. The “Ultimate Seafood Nest” was the jackpot. I have worked in at least ten restaurants, but this is the only place where I saw this happen.

By the way, I lasted four shifts at the “Sev” before I quit. Despite any rumors you might have heard, I was not fired or laid off. Which is good because the severance package sucked.

Reminiscing  about the “Sev” got me to thinking about all the random jobs I have had in my life. I’ve never been a straight-line kind of girl. In fact, I’ve been all over the map, to just with jobs, but with college majors, places I’ve lived, etc. Some might call me indecisive and lost, but I like to think this has made me “colorful” like the guy in the wife beater shirt.

Random jobs I’ve had:

Cashier at 7-11
Dishwasher at the dining hall in college
Blackjack dealer
Event planner
Cashier at Roy Rogers
Retail worker at a fabric store (and I hate fabric stores, always have)
Waitress at a dinner theater
Office manager
French language translator
Caseworker – social services
Personal assistant to a crazy psychologist

Can you pick me out? This was when I worked at a country club, hence the bow ties and cummerbunds. It would be a lot harder if there were more than two girls. No, I’m not the one with the beard.


I think having multiple jobs is a sign of the times. I can only remember my dad having two jobs after college. He was a history teacher and then worked for the Social Security Administration. My father-in-law had only one job his entire life with the FBI. These days it seems people jump around a lot more. Or, maybe it’s just me.

What’s the most random job you’ve ever had?

Have you always known what you wanted to be when you grew up? I am still figuring this out. I know what I don’t want to be: cashier at 7-11, accountant, sewage worker.

Now that’s what I’m talking about


*Please don’t inundate me with comments about how unhealthy Slurpees are for my kids. I get it. I also get that the Allies tortured people too and many other things.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Random Stuff I Did

I had a great early morning bike ride and from now until 7:40 a.m. Saturday I will be resting up for my Iron Girl sprint tri (1/4 mile swim, 17 mile bike, 5K). I think I can do well in this tri (I can TRI! Ever hear that one?), except that I have not run in over a week due to an aching ass, and not sure if I will get to the run part and suffer and need to crawl and cry.

Time will tell, and you can read all about the gory details here once the job has been done.

With the kids back in school, I have been able to be productive with out yelling at anyone. This week, in addition to work, I did lots of things that were not only random, but boring and tiring:

  • Made these insane brownies (only they were a lighter version from September 2011 Cooking Light)
  • Swam 4,000 yards (not at once)
  • Painted my toenails after making Emma remove my polish
  • Identified which spider was in that web on the porch (Orb Weaver) and encouraged Emma to believe me when I said it was not poisonous and will not have babies that will invade her bed.
  • Had a long conversation with my mom while she took a bath
  • Watched “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”
  • Wasted two hours of my life that I will never get back watching “Bachelor Pad”
  • Read more of  “Unbroken” and decided that the Japanese in World War II were some of the nastiness most ruthless bastards this world has ever seen
  • Cooked in every night: grilled bruschetta turkey burgers, black bean tacos, chicken/bell pepper/onion hoagies, pasta with meatballs
  • Went to bed by 10pm every night
  • Had two gorgeous early morning rides with my cycling group
  • Missed yoga
  • Tried to figure out what I want to do with my life besides all of this
  • Decided I wanted to own a casual black skirt then returned it because I don’t wear skirts casually, only for work
  • Came up with some new SUAR shirt ideas
  • Dreamed about going to NYC in the fall
  • Shared a lane at the pool with some dude who, when I got out because I was done, asked me if he had “scared me off.” WTF? Do I look scared? My nipples are always that hard, btw.
  • Put a new shower curtain liner in the shower. This simple and inexpensive act makes me feel like a rock star

It’s the little things that reveal who we are and that add up to one big week. What’s something random and mundane you did this week?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whose Advice Do You Take?

An interesting topic came up recently, and it didn’t even have to do with bodily functions. Imagine that! You may believe that I am only drawn to crude cartoons, bad manners, off color comments and farts, but you would be wrong. Under this irreverent exterior is a thinker, a feeler!


PENIS! (I need to uphold my reputation)

I wish I could remember where I read it, but someone was dishing about advice given on blogs and whether it should be followed. Unless you have a life and don’t pay attention to this stuff, blogs have become very influential over the past few years.

BlogHer reports in their Social Media Matters Study (2011):

“Women who read blogs routinely trust implicitly the advice and recommendations they receive, especially if it is from a blogger that they follow on a regular basis. 88% of the active blog readers in the total U.S. general population trust the information they get from familiar blogs.”

This doesn’t have to mean that when SUAR says, “Don’t jeopardize that PR! Crap your pants while running!” you do it (although this guy did and he damn well better have won the race).

Maybe for you following advice is using a training plan someone else has used because it worked for them. Or, maybe you read a blogger’s “Favorite Things” list and decide you need to go shopping.

BlogHer’s study made me question how influenced I am by the blogs I read.

Let’s put it this way: if a blogger who I follow and trust recommends a product, a recovery tip, a book or a training tool, I’m probably pretty likely to give it a shot. This is much in the same way I would take the advice of a trusted and dependable friend. The source of the advice is everything!!

I always have a filter, however. I realize that what works for one person does not work for all people. When it comes to bigger issues such as weekly mileage, number of races, marital advice, disciplining children, I am careful to take input, but to always run it back through what I know to be true for myself.

I have gotten burned way too many times by blindly accepting advice or promises (I’ll pull out this one time!) At the end of the day (hate that expression, but it fits here), I am accountable to myself and my values. I won’t compromise just because it makes me the black sheep or the last kid picked in gym class.  I wore my wetsuit in the pool for god sake on a 95 degree day. I only care what people think/say to a point.

Do you take personal advice, product review recommendations, and/or training suggestions from the blogs that you read? Why or why not?


PS: The winner of the Subway gift card is Kicking MS One Mile at a Time. Please email me at with your address!

My New Favorite Game

Some spouses see a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates and think their partner would like it. Others sit down and pen a romantic and lovely poem to their loved one.

My husband? He sends me emails like this:

“This looks like something you would have played when you were little.  Or maybe you should make an SUAR version.”

With the link to this attached:


These emails make my day. My life. They make me feel like I am truly known and seen in my relationship.

The description says: Feed and walk your little pup, if he makes a mess you clean it up. When you squeeze his leash makes a gassy sound that it gets louder and louder until plop. The first to clean up after the dog three times wins.

For ages 4-15

My thoughts:

  • Ages 4-15? Are you shitting me? 4-99 is more like it. You are never too old to find humor and joy in farts and defecation.
  • This game is sweeping the nation in Germany, where it originated. Weird how German loves David Hasselhoff and the Doggie Doo game.
  • What do you clean the poop up with? You hands? A beer stein?
  • Why is the kid on the box holding his nose? Does the poop in the game really smell?
  • It says not for ages under 4 due to choking hazard. Fake poop choking hazard?
  • The reviews of the game were very positive including this one from Grant: Can't believe someone made this game, but it is awesome! I'm a guy, thus I like dogs and farts and this game has both. Great as a novelty gift or as a gift for your kids either way you are going to poop yourself laughing.
  • Those who gave it one star said the poop did not move through the dog’s body as promised.
  • Retails for $21.85 but I’d pay 5000 Deutsche Marks for it.
  • I wonder if I could make an SUAR version? I could be famous in Dusseldorf!

Watch out kids! He’s getting ready to drop a load.


If this wasn’t enough info for you, watch the video HERE.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Get a New Plan, Stan

The minute I finished my half ironman, my motivation went into the toilet. There is something about my Type-A, uptight, over-achieving personality that likes to have a plan. Give me a plan and a goal and watch the hell out. But, once I reach that goal and have checked off the last “to-do” on the plan, I’m like that show I never watched but a lot of people liked - “LOST.”

I’ve still been trying to do some sort of workout be it swimming, biking, running or yoga everyday. Running has taken a back seat because my ass hurts, but the other disciplines are alive and well.

Funny how when you get up everyday at 5:00 a.m. to workout you get very used to and it seems like no big deal. Funny how when you work out for 2+ hours per day you get used to it and it seems like no big deal. Funny how when you get out of this routine for just a week or two, suddenly getting up at 5:00 a.m. seems very painful, as do long workouts. Easy come, easy go.

The other issue with early waking is it is darker later in the morning. When it is dark my body likes to be where it should be: in bed.

So, when the alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. today for my cycling group, I was kind of pissed.

Tired? Why? Emma saw a spider in her bed two days ago and has been refusing to go to sleep. She has been sleeping on top of her covers and needing some reassurance. In the parenting world, a child needing reassurance means that the parent becomes sleep deprived.  When she first saw the spider and asked me to look for it, I did a Dumb Ass Parent Action (DAPA) and told her I could not find it. Ken looked at me like “WTF?” and reminded me I should have lied and said I found it so the drama could be put to rest. BAD, DUMB PARENT!

So, I was tired. So what? A workout is a workout and should NEVER be missed unless the worker-outer is vomiting or has profuse diarrhea or has a trache or something extreme going on.

I thought this would be a stinky morning and I would tire easily. Nope. My energy was off the charts. I felt so damn good. It might have been adrenaline, it might have been taking it easy for the week, it might have been thoughts of a spider in a bed somewhere, or it might have been my new, fancy jersey with matching arm warmers (review/giveaway coming soon). Funny thing is, I thought it was a jersey, but it is actually a running shirt. My bad. I never said I was smart:


Whatever the case, I was reminded that for me there is no better feeling than getting up early, sweating, working hard and getting it done. I was so jacked this morning it was a drug. So, when you debate your workout, remember that euphoric post workout feeling. Make a decision and follow through. Keep at it and who knows what can happen.

Iron Girl I’m coming for you sister!

After you complete a race you’ve been training for do you lose motivation? Do you need a plan/goal to keep your head in the game?

Would you have lied to your kid about the spider?

Do you like where the arrow on my “jersey” is pointing?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Don’t Want to Cry Into Your Pillow

Until I die it will be my credo: The hardest thing for a runner to do is rest. Be it to avoid injury, to recover, or to not appear obsessed.

Dammit, we runners want to run. Is that too much to ask? Yesterday, on a gorgeous Colorado Sunday morning, Ken laced his shoes up and went for a run on the mountain trails. I walked my three legged, one eyed dog around the neighborhood and watched while he pooped himself silly on the suburban lawns. I then leaned over and swiped up the poop into a grocery bag like a good little dog walker.

But, I wanted to be running.

I haven’t let on a lot about my injury fears. Suffice it to say, coming back from a nasty injury robs you of your confidence. Every twinge, ache, or pain signals: “Oh, shit. Here we go again.  I will be out for the next three months. I will be resigned to running in the pool with the pussy posse. I will cry into my pillow and make myself and everyone around me miserable.”

I have not had extreme injury warning signs, but it seems every time I amp up my mileage or push my speed, the left side of my body talks back to me. It seems it is telling me to tread lightly. That while the stress fracture is healed, the road is not clear. That it is a long and tedious road back, and I need to be patient.

Patient and careful I am. I do not want to be that Dumb As Shit Athlete (DASA) who jumps in too quick, ignores the body’s pleading and finds herself at the grocery store renting yet another set of crutches.

So, after last week’s run when things felt BAD, I stopped running. Altogether. I have not run in six days. I have biked, done yoga, and swam. I have a sprint tri this weekend and my hope is that when I hit that 5K I can fly and not hurt. Or reinjure.

The brain f%cks with you. You aren’t sure if the pain and fear is in your head or if it is real. You aren't sure if you need to toughen up or pull back. You question if you’ll ever, truly be back in the game with full self-assurance and gusto. You wonder if you are destined for a life of slow running, very low weekly mileages and too much cross training to bear. You try not to compare yourself to others, but you do.

I’m probably fine. This is mostly likely just my body’s response to high volume triathlon training and racing two weekends in a row. But, who knows?

Have you struggled (or are you struggling) to gain your confidence back after injury? How long did it take?


$10 Subway Giveaway & Parfait Review

I am a fan of Subway for the reasons most of you are: healthy choices, variety, a decent food for your money. I even interviewed the infamous Jared from Subway when he ran the NYC Marathon last year.

Recently I was sent a gift card to Subway to try their new Vanilla Yogurt Parfait. Prior to indulging in this treat, I did some research.

Description: Made fresh daily with sweet blueberries, juicy strawberries, crunchy granola and creamy yogurt:


Okay, I’m game, sounds harmless. Feeling like a big spender, I grabbed the kids and husband for a Sunday afternoon outing. Yes, we live the big time over here. Sunday afternoon at Subway. If we are lucky we fill up the gas tank on the way for some added excitement.

Once there, we got in line. I figured these were made-to-order parfaits. Until Sam pointed to refrigerated case and said, “Umm, Mom, there they are.”

First thing I noticed is the size: very small (5.8 oz). But, for 164 calories and $1.69, what do you expect?

There was a little granola pack on the top to mix in.





Ken doesn’t eat dessert anymore (WTF? Who does that? He stopped like three years ago, something about being addicted. Good for him. Me? I still am a dessert freak). He eats a lot of yogurt. I mean like wheelbarrows full. He gave it a thumbs up. Or a dirty look.


Sam liked it, but he is a thirteen year old bottomless pit and will eat dirt with whipped cream if you gave it to him.P1100732

Emma informed me she doesn’t like berries and she doesn’t like granola, so she opted for cookies, which are VERY good. Hasn’t your mama ever told you not to talk with your mouth full?P1100733

Impressions: Overall, very tasty. Fruit was slightly frozen, but that was okay. I liked it even better on top of a cookie.


Don’t mind my chlorine damaged, stringy hair. I never said I looked pretty on Sunday afternoons.


Conclusion: I don’t think I would make a special trip to Subway just for the parfait, but it is a low cal, low fat, inexpensive option to go with your sandwich.

Want to try one or get your favorite sandwich for free? I have a $10 Subway gift card to give away. To enter (comment for each):

  • Tell me your favorite “healthier dessert” + 1 entry
  • Follow this blog if you don’t already, or tell me if you do + 1 entry
  • Blog, twat or FB about this giveaway + 1 entry

I’ll pick a random winner on Wednesday.


Fine print:

  • Open only to US readers
  • Subway provided me with a giftcard and the giveaway giftcard. I paid nothing for them
  • Winner chosen by

Scratch ‘n Sniff

97% of the time I hate my race photos. Or, I think they’re really funny. I always look considerably dorkier than I feel. I’m just glad the photos aren’t scratch and sniff because…oh, lordy. Just because.

These are from my half marathon last weekend.

I like this picture because I am winning the race:


This picture reminds me that I should be running shirtless like the cool kids. Or, at the very least, be shielding myself from people who are running shirtless beside me and exuding buckets of sweat. I should have tweaked his nipple. Or least pulled out a chest hair with my teeth.


Oh, I’m sorry. Am I boring you? Or maybe you’re worried you won't beat the cheetah. Grrrwlll.


This picture proves that if only I was four seconds faster I would be beating the guy in the headband. For some reason, this makes me think of Bacon.


This is the start of the race and clearly I am distracted. What? Who farted? Nope, wasn’t me. Nope. Nope. It must have been that guy to my left wearing his race day t-shirt. Who does that? I do like the shirt the girl has on behind me though.


Stupid headband guy. Doesn't even look like he’s wearing pants. He should be disqualified.


This reminds me. The other day I got an email from my friend Clair aka Queen La Queefa. This was the subject line: “I love my hair and my face.” I opened the attachment to see this – Clair running a 10K:

17133 Course

Clair’s words: “I wish they’d stop trying to sell me this shit.”

I think the photographer captured perfectly the moment when Clair hated running.

Do you ever buy your race photos? Me? Never. Except my first marathon because you have to no matter how dorky you look.

Do you ever stalk people by looking at their race photos? Yes. I have done this once or twice. Or 90 times.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gaining Weight While Marathon Training: WTF?

Remember that episode of the Biggest Loser when Daris gained weight during marathon training and Jillian bit his head off? Runners worldwide gave Jillian the virtual finger, knowing that it’s in fact very common to pack on some pounds while training for the big “M.”

Daris ran his first marathon in an amazing 4:02!

I was reminded of this Friday night during a conversation with a friend who I am coaching towards her first marathon. She is about half-way into her 20 week training plan for the Marine Corps in October. I asked how training was going – she said she was plowing through with consistency and strength, and had remained injury free. She then added (while we stuffed guacamole and chips in our pie holes), “But, I’m totally shocked. I’ve gained like 7 pounds. I thought for sure I’d lose weight while training, and this sucks.”

Enough already. I decided I needed to get to the bottom of this weight gain conundrum. Seriously, if you burn on average 100 calories per mile (depending on age, weight, sex, etc.) and run about 30 miles per week, then technically you have 3,000 extra calories of eating to do just to maintain your weight. Right? Wrong.

Here are some reasons you may gain weight while training for a marathon (from HERE and HERE):

  • You're building more muscle mass, which is denser than fat. So while that may translate to an overall weight gain, your body fat percentage has decreased and you're more toned than you were before.
  • Your body is learning to store carbohydrates as fuel (glycogen) for your long runs. Those glycogen stores are important to completing your long runs and marathon without "hitting the wall", but you may see a couple extra pounds on the scale on certain days. Your body also requires additional water to break down and store the glycogen, so that will also add extra weight.
  • You may have been increasing your calorie intake. Running a lot should not be an invitation to eat gallons of ice cream and trays of Oreos. The basic principle for weight loss still applies: You must burn more calories than you consume. To lose a pound, you have to burn, through exercise or life functions, about 3600 calories.
  • You are drinking too many calories. Just because you're training for a marathon doesn't mean that you need to constantly drink sugary sports drinks. While it's important that you replace electrolytes during your long runs, you don't need to constantly have a sports drink at your fingertips the rest of the time. Plain water is fine for staying hydrated during the week.

Keep in mind too that if you go for a long run and then come home and sleep the rest of the day, you probably aren’t burning any more calories than if you were moderately active consistently for most of the day walking, hiking, cleaning the house, etc.

Also it’s important to eat enough food to keep you energized. Dieting while training for a marathon can be dangerous and lead to all sorts of issues like fatigue, illness, and injury. It is a slippery slope:  If you eat more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight. If you eat too few calories, you won't have the energy to train.

Do you gain weight while training for races?

During high volume training I am ravenous and eat much more than I would normally. Even with lots of pooping, that usually this means a weight gain of 2-5 pounds at the peak of training. The extra pounds are mostly muscle and help fuel me towards a better race. After the race, my training volume decreases and I tend to naturally go back to my pre-training weight.

Is one of your motives to train for a marathon or half marathon weight loss?

For me, NO. I am happy with my weight. Yes, you read that right. I am probably in the minority on that one. I train for marathons to challenge myself and to be in the best physical shape I can be. Weight does not figure into the equation for me.

Stay tuned for for scientific info from Dr. San Millan (who did my performance testing) on why, despite your best efforts, you may not be losing weight during exercise.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Born To Be Alive

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know one of my favorite themes is taking risks, challenging yourself, living outside of your comfort zone. I truly believe this is how we can live fully and make the most out of our days, hours and moments.

My most recent article on the Athleta Chi Blog this month focused on this very principal and is entitled, “Do Something That Scares You.” The comments alone are perfect example of why it is never too late to try new things or to live on your own personal edge. What are you waiting for? This is it. Right here, right now. Don’t ever let fear hold you back.

Check out the full article HERE, and learn what I’ve done lately that scared the shit out of me.


“Long May You Run” Book Review

When author, Chris Cooper, offered to send me his book to read and review, I was tentative. Although I’m an avid reader, sitting down with a book has become a luxury lately given time constraints. Plus, I have read so many running-related books in the past couple of years, I wondered what this one could have to offer that would be new and different.

Yet, this book, written in 2010, was new and different. It is a glossy-covered coffee-table-style book that is a compilation of about 100 one to two page essays. Beyond the typical headings as “Good Running Tunes” and “Good Books on Nutrition,” were the less expected subjects as “Donate Your Old Running Shoes, ” “Avoid Dog Bites,” and “You Can Finish last and Still Win This Race” (referring to a “prediction race” where the winner is not necessarily the first runner across the finish line but the one one whose actual finishing time comes closest to his or her predicted finishing time.).

What I like most about the book is it is easy to pick up and flip through. It’s not meant to be read start to finish. One of my favorite essays is entitled “You Know You’re a Runner When…” that includes such clever markers as:

  • You use “easy run” and “five miles” in the same sentence
  • Your calf muscles are bigger than your biceps

While I did learn some things from this book like how to run tangents and the best women-only races, this is not a book about paces, training and schedules. It is a broad look at running that speaks to both the experienced competitor and the recreational middle distance runner.

The hard cover book retails for $24.00, while the Kindle version is $10.99. If you want the book, I recommend the hard back version that you can pick up and look through. This would be the perfect gift for the newer runner in your life who is anxious to learn more about the ins and outs of the sport.

Brian Sell, U.S. Olympic marathoner, wrote the forward for this book and sums it up well: “This book is a great source of motivation, facts, tips and stories that can help in your quest for your next big marathon – or just get you out the door on your way to another memorable run.” 


Have you read/heard of “Long May You Run”?

What’s the best running book you’ve come across lately and why?

Happy reading!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Being Perfect Is Boring

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a sucker for inspiration. I’ll take it wherever I can get it: Hallmark Greeting cards, fortune cookies, Lifetime movies. I don’t think it matters if it’s delivered in a corny and cliché fashion, I am open to the greater messages underneath.

Okay, maybe not this one:

Here's where I found inspiration last night: Soul Surfer. You know the movie – the one based on a true story about teenage surfer, Bethany Hamilton, whose arm was chomped off by a shark. Against all odds, she came back to surf professionally.


I wanted to watch this movie with Emma, my ten year old daughter, to see what her take away would be. I knew she’d love the allure of Hawaii and the pretty teenage girls, but I wondered if she’d get the bigger message underneath.

With our big bowl of popcorn between us on my bed, we watched the story unfold. It was predictable to say the least. Girl is on top on top of the world destined to do great things. Girl experiences tragedy, almost dies, loses a limb. Girl wants to surf again, but can’t keep up. Girl goes on an eye opening trip to Thailand after the tsunami and realizes that “love is the answer.” Upon her return home, girl makes a huge surfing comeback because she has realized the meaning of life.

As Bethany crested that final huge wave that put her on the podium, I tried not to show Emma I was tearing up. She gets all wigged out when I cry, not understanding I cry out of emotion, not necessarily because I’m sad. But, she worries. As the credits rolled, I turned towards Emma.

Me: “So, what did you learn from that?”
Emma (without missing a beat): “To live your dreams no matter what.”


Later she came up to me and said, “It is easier to have  two arms. But, having two arms is perfect. And, it’s more exciting to not be perfect.”

Dang, she’s smart.

Funny thing is, none of us are perfect even if we have two arms. The way I see it our job is to know that we we have “imperfections,” but never be limited by them.  We’re often told we can do whatever we want to do if we just set our minds to it. If you accept this philosophy, keep in mind two things:

1. It’s okay and even ideal to dream big, but be prepared to fail many, many times. No one, and I mean no one, flies through life unscathed, especially while aiming for lofty goals. Remember this Nike commercial and what Michael Jordan said?

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career
I’ve lost almost 300 games
26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot…and missed
I've failed over and over and over again in my life
And that is why I succeed.

2. Understand that your success might look a bit different than you imagined it. We always have  vision in our minds of how things are going to go. I will run a 3:45 marathon. I will not walk. I will take a GU every hour and I will drink water at every aid station. I will not have to poop during the course of the race.

You will probably finish the marathon, but what happens between miles 1 and 26.2 might be very different than what you had planned. Remember when my husband Ken trained his ass off for his first marathon last spring? Remember how he was on track to run a 3:43? Remember how at the half way point his hip gave out and he had to walk many of the remaining miles? Remember how despite all of that he finished the marathon anyway?

Always be willing to see the small achievements in everything you do, even if all does not go your way.  Learn from the experience and set your sights for next time.

Ever have a race go differently than you’d planned? What did you learn from it? Two years ago and against my better judgment I ran a half marathon with a piercing pain in my foot. It hurt every step of the 13.1 miles. By the time I finished I had to be carried to the car. Diagnosis? Stress fracture. I learned that I was a dumb ass and that it’s okay to back out of a race even if you trained for it and paid for it. I also learned to never go to bed with an itchy bum, but that was a different race


Thursday, August 18, 2011

She Was a “Weener”

Emma starts school today.


Fifth grade. One of my favorites. I recall ruling the school, or maybe that was just in my mind. I had many nicknames, none of which were SUAR or “sewer.” Most kids called me “Button Nose” because the tip of my nose goes flat at the end.


I don't remember learning,  but I do know I was a safety crossing guard and that some friends and I had a secret club that met under a bridge. We were kind of like trolls.

I was a good student, but I went to school to see my friends foremost and learning anything was just a bonus. This is probably why I cannot remember the name of any of my teachers, except Ms. Weener. No kidding. If I were to become a teacher and my last name was Dick, Schlong or Weiner, I would change it. But, that’s just me.

I love this time of year. The return to school signifies a new start. Possibility.  Not just for my kids, but for me too. I still get teary watching her walk in that door.


I will never see my ten year old start fifth grade again. Next year, she will start middle school and with that will come its own set of challenges and growing pains. Funny thing is, when my kids were itty bitty, I kind of wished the time away. Changing their diapers, spoon feeding them, getting up in the night for the 19th time. I wondered, “When will they do some of this stuff themselves? When will this non-stop parenting madness ease up a bit?”

But, now that they are older, I realize how short those years were and how quickly these years are zooming by. This is not rocket science, but it’s a reminder to pay attention, to not miss anything. We’re so busy thinking about what’s next all the time, that we sometimes forget to cherish what is right in front of us. All we really have is this moment.


Probably does not get sweeter than dad and his little girl holding hands.

Ever have a teacher with a funny or profane last name? Just Weener. Funny enough.

What was your favorite grade in school? Mine were 5th & 8th, which is funny because these are the grades my kid will be in this year.

Did you/do you have any nicknames? Besides Button Nose,after college my friends called me “Betty” and “Booty.” I didn’t have a particularly large booty, but the name just stuck. Maybe it had something to do with the flatulence.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today, Chocolate Is the Answer

Today I went for a run, my first since Saturday's half marathon. I had been feeling some achiness in my left butt cheek since the race. Why always the left? Is it kind of like how a guy always hangs to the left that I always have issues on my left side? I’m sure it’s related to some imbalance or leg discrepancy. Maybe my left breast is bigger (it’s a full 34-A instead of a 34-barely-A like my right one). That big boob probably pulls me down and makes me lopsided. All .5 ounces of it.

Anyway, the plan was seven miles. I only did six. My ass hurt the whole stinking time. I was bummed. I will take a week off of running and see where that gets me. I will not spend another October/November/December injured like I have for the past two years. I am reminded that our bodies have feelings too and need to be stroked every once in awhile (TWSS).

Plain and simple, an achy ass and the thought of not running for a week depressed me enough to do what any ass-hurting runner would do: Head to the kitchen to make something with chocolate.

Mississippi Mud Pie. That’s right. Chocolaty cake/brownie goodness with marshmallows then more chocolate and fat drizzled on the top for good measure.




mississipp mud

I know you’re not supposed to use food as comfort (Oprah taught me that), but I think that’s stupid and should be re-evaluated. Sometimes food is meant to be used to make you feel better. It is better than crack or meth. The thing is, I don’t do it all the time. 98% of the time I am all about whole grains and broccoli and tofu. But, a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Hi, my name is Beth and I use cake, wine, cheese popcorn and Cinnamon Toast Crunch right out of the box to make me feel better. I am human and I burn about 90,000 calories a week. I am not apologizing. I am coping.

Just in case you are coping with something, here is the recipe. I did not take the short cut, just for the record. And, I used margarine (gasp!) because I love trans fats:


Do you ever use food to cope? What are your comfort foods?