Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Freaky Tan Lines

Today I am not working out. There are two good reasons for this.

Reason #1 for no workout:  I am sore. The PT had his way with my yesterday. Not only did he make mince meat out of my hamstring, but he put ten needles in it (dry needling) and five more needles in my lower back. If I wasn’t so stinking tough I would have puked, fainted and cried like a baby. To keep from crying I actually did this really loud and awkward laughing thing. It was a coping mechanism I did not know I had. I hope I never do it again.


See I wasn’t kidding. Those are slight bruises on the back of my leg. I told him next time I came I would need to bring my own anesthesia (BYOA) or pot (BYOP). Maybe I can get a prescription for medical marijuana. All I can say is all this poking and prodding better help or there is a good chance I will give up running and start crocheting bathing suits.

There is exactly three people on the face of the earth that this would look good on. But even their tan lines would make them look like they had a scary disease.

Overall, I will say that since starting PT I am doing better. It is tough to single out one thing that is working because I have changed up several things. Kind of like when you get pregnant, but have been sleeping around and don’t know who the dad is (not that this has ever happened to me).

  • I am not running much on roads and sticking to trails and the treadmill. Softer surfaces = happier body.
  • I am doing very specific stretches and doing them diligently.
  • I’ve been strengthening my ass and other things (big toe, belly button tissue).
  • I’ve added a small lift à la George Costanza to my right shoe to help correct a leg length discrepancy.
  • I’ve been working on form issues – especially keeping my cadence at 180 steps per minute. This helps my feet to land under my center of gravity and hopefully on my mid foot. It also lessens overall impact.

Reason #2 for no workout:  Today I am going on an all day field trip with Emma’s 5th grade class. This is seriously the Cadillac of all field trips. There is a special mini- town called “Young AmeriTowne”  that has been created just for field trips. The kids each have jobs within the town (Emma is a DJ – she is so going to rule the town with Grease Lightening and Party Rock Anthem), and they are given debit cards to buy things with money they earn.

I interviewed the kids for the different jobs they applied for. It was the funnest (shut up, that is a word) thing I have done in a long time. I asked one kid why she thought she was qualified to be a doctor – “Because I have played doctor many times,” she said. Fair enough. Hired!

The whole thing is to teach kids about how to use money wisely. There will be lessons in free enterprise and the economy. It is genius. I wish someone would have taught me this crap. Then I would not have had thousands of dollars of credit card debt when I was about five years old. Should never have invested in that Barbie van with the hammock!

I am not sure what my role is today, but they did say (and I’m not kidding) chaperones have to “Refrain from any activity that might affect the AmeriTowne economy such as encouraging or instigating a bank robbery or labor strike or stealing or starting a boycott.”

Don’t even provoke me. I am SO going to rob a bank and start a riot. I’ll call it “Occupy AmeriTowne”! A couple years ago I went on a field trip with my son’s class and got yelled at by the bus driver for trying to make the trucks honk (remember that up/down motion you do with your bent arm??). Everyone is so serious these days. Lighten up, Francis!

I feel gypped. The best field trip I ever went on was to the Air and Space Museum in D.C.. We left some kid there by mistake. It was me. Just kidding. It wasn’t, but we really did leave someone there. I think he’s still waiting for a ride.

This is my best-mom-field-trip look:


What was your best or most nightmarish field trip growing up?

Have you been to PT before? If so, did it help or not?

Do you crotchet, knit, embroider, quilt or sew? My mom is a huge and very talented quilter and sewer. I am not. 

Ever have a pregnancy scare and not know who that dad was? You don’t have to answer that.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Laps Around the Mall

Ken has started getting up at 2:30 a.m. to go to a boot camp class (okay, he gets up at 5:00 a.m., but it feels like 2:30 a.m. and embellishment is my forté). If I haven’t told you this, Ken is one of the most disciplined people you will ever meet. In fact, four years ago he decided to stop eating dessert and literally hasn’t had a bite of it since. Who does that? Who can do that? Don’t get me wrong, he eats sugar in yogurt and protein bars, but the guy has not had ONE DESSERT (not cake on his birthday, not pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving) in four years.


Ken and Sam running the Longmont Turkey Trot 10K - 2010

So, when Ken says he is doing to do something, he does it. And, because we share the same bed and I can’t stay asleep for shit, I am also getting up at 5:00 a.m. This means I go to bed at 6:00 p.m. (okay, there is the embellishment again. Can’t help it. Really, I go to bed around 9:00 p.m.).

BTW (or “bee tee dubs” as my son says), there is nothing more gorgeous than me in the morning, so don’t even pretend you look better than I do right now.


I now understand how it happens – the gradual progression towards the senior/AARP lifestyle - the early bird buffet dinners and the ass-crack-of-dawn mornings spent walking laps around the shopping mall. When my time comes, however, I will not walk around the mall. I will sprint. I will zoom by the Gap, Cinnabon and Bath & Body Works. I will use a foot pod on my shoe to track mileage. I will wear a fuel belt and eat gels. I will talk only about zero drop shoes and Boston qualification times. I will be the coolest senior on the block.

The picture below is not me or anyone I know. This is what comes up when you Google “old person running.” This is Ed Whitlock (in Toronto, 2003), who at age 72 was he first person to run a sub 3 hour marathon. I don’t know if he is having fun at this point in the race.

Being up so early, I had time to read an insightful article, 12 Things to Start Caring About Today. This is found on a blog I just discovered and am loving called Marc and Angel Hack Life. This is not a running blog – gasp! It’s musings on everyday important stuff related to health, aspirations and self improvement.

I already care about a lot of things, so I don’t really want someone to tell me more things I need to care about, but this was a solid reminder to remove the head out of the ass. Here are some highlights (you can read the whole thing HERE – below are not the 12 things, but just some quotes from the article):

  • If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders. As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
  • Right now, someone on Earth is planning something for tomorrow without realizing they’re going to die today. Remember, what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile.
  • In your quiet moments, pay attention to your self-talk. Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more vitality, is your way of thinking.
  • You must love who you are or no one else will either. And when you are truly comfortable in your own skin, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care about it one bit.
  • Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
  • Exercise to be fit, not skinny. Eat to nourish your body. And always ignore the haters, doubters and unhealthy examples that were once feeding you. To truly be your best, you must give your body the fuel it needs
  • Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.
  • Wake up each day thankful for your life
  • This moment is your ‘life.’ Don’t miss it.

How many hours of sleep do you usually get? I aim to get at least 7, but preferably 9.

Find any new blogs you like lately? There are SO many good ones. My new reads are Marc and Angel and the No Meat Athlete.

Any signs you are getting older? Yes. Hair on my upper lip.

Off to grab breakfast, drop kids and RUN.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Nuts, Buds and Bags

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while – the ones where I talk about stuff that makes me happy, makes me drool, makes me on the edge of orgasmic. In the blog world this is called  “Favorite Things” post. Mostly I’ve not done these posts because I don’t know if anyone gives a crap what my favorite things are. But, I actually really like seeing what other people’s favorite things are, so screw it, here goes. And, no one even had to pay me or give me anything to say these nice things.

So, voila! (I am so multi-lingual). Below is a bunch of randomness that I’m into right now. You may love this stuff too or you may leave comments telling me I am wrong. So be it.

I love…

1. Not having my ear buds fall out. Yurbuds are my most favorite ear bud. I lost my two-year-old pair during the chaos of the Las Vegas Rock and Roll race. Got some new ones for my birthday:

2. Glowing in the dark and attracting moths while cycling. I got this Pearl Izumi jacket (also for my birthday):


3. Eating high fat, down home food. I mostly cook light, but I can appreciate throwing a few sticks of butter into my food on occasion. I like this book because it gives recipe for some basic favorites like cinnamon rolls, pot roast, and macaroni and cheese. This weekend I made the Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich (no cigarette butts included) and the Chicken Spaghetti. Both pretty good.  Photos in the book are gorgeous.

4. Using a ball as a chair. My lower back has been bugging me after sitting in my regularly cushy desk chair. I’m switching out for a bit to see if this helps. I told you I was old. Feel free to tell me how gorgeous I look in this picture:


5. Making a crumbly mess (these are worse than Nature Valley Granola Bars), If you haven’t tried these you should. Yes, they may be high in fat, but I love fat and the fat comes from good stuff like nuts, seeds and berries. Makes for interesting poops as well.



6. Reading a passage a day because it makes me really enlightened and wise:

7. Remembering what it was like to live in the 70s, although I don't think this swanky party mix existed then. Or maybe it did and I was too busy watching Charlie’s Angels to remember:

8. Donating crap to Goodwill because it’s the right thing to do, it clears out your closet and you get a deduction. Plus, I always feel like I can go shopping after I get rid of a bunch of stuff.


It would be nice to have ten things I love, but there aren’t and I don’t want to come up with two more things just for the hell of it. If I wanted, I could add in rainbows and rain drops on roses, but I won’t.

I’m off to boot camp and then a very full day of home visits that will take me to Denver, then back up north to Fort Collins. Lots of driving and only 20 minutes left of my cell phone minutes. See you tomorrow.

Any of these things resonate with you?

What’s one favorite thing going on for you this week?


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Can You Give Me a Lift?

It was a shut up + run morning. It’s a very good thing I love trail running as much as I do or today would have sucked. We headed up to the foothills (Lyons, CO) to get in a few miles. The wind was being ornery and obnoxious. He thought he was so cool blowing over fixtures at the trailhead:


The run up is about a 1,000 foot elevation gain over three miles or so. It feels like this:


Add running into the freezing wind and you might want to cry on occasion. It was 29° but with the wind it was  -47° or so. We were going to do 8 to 10 miles today, but decided 6 would be plenty because who needs to be an over achiever on a Sunday morning?  The trail conditions were also not good – lots of frozen mud shaped by footprints and mountain bike tires. Some ice and snow. Very tough to run on. 

I did try out my new trail shoes. Brooks Cascadia. I found them at Running Warehouse for $65, plus I found a 10% code on line. Final price was about $59 with free shipping. Not bad for a shoe that is usually $1,000 or something like that.


My latest discovery, told to my by my PT, is that my left leg is longer than my right. If you are smart, you call this a leg length discrepancy. I call it “one leg longer than another” and “running with a limp.” The PT thinks this is the root of many of my left side issues. I am now running with a lift in my shoe. And, in my slipper. Yes, I have secured it in there with scotch tape because I am classy. I think the lift costs more than the slippers.


It would be lovely if this lift makes all of my problems disappear. Maybe I will suddenly have no urges to crap on runs, maybe my bank account will triple, maybe my dog will stop licking himself. No doubt I will run a sub three hour marathon with my new lift.

It is almost time to create my training plan for my trail marathon in June. I have no idea how to make a plan for a trail race. Do you? Let me know if you have any insight or good resources.

Happy Sunday. I’m going to find a couch to nap on.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Title Change: The Biggest Bully

Something smells. The Biggest Loser house has gone sour. The way the social game is being played this season make me cringe, makes me sick. The dynamics perfectly exemplify what happens when people lose perspective, when people lose focus. This nonsense is being played out on a reality show, which is appropriate since the “reality” of what is going on is far too common.

While watching young and immature Conda talk behind people’s backs, play people against one another, encourage players to gang up on others, all the while waving her finger and moving her head with the utmost of attitude, I am reminded of being in fourth grade at recess. I had my own personal bully and she was oddly similar to Conda. She was physically big, larger than life. She was unpredictable. She was good at rallying her minions in her favor. She twisted people’s actions and told lies about them. She manipulated. She came to school to be the boss, to be in charge and to be mean. She never came to learn.

In hindsight, my bully (who later actually became a good friend and who I’m still in touch with thanks to Facebook), clearly had to dominate others because she needed control and power. Maybe she felt helpless at home, who knows. All I know is that I went to school each day afraid and distracted from other friendships and from learning.

The parallel between what happened to me at school (and what happens to millions of other kids at school)m and what is going on in the Biggest Loser house is evident. What makes it more shocking, however, is that this is being played out by adults. Adults who have been picked from hundreds of thousands of people to have the opportunity to be part of the transformative experience of losing weight and losing age-old poor habits. They have the chance to dig into issues of their past that might have caused them to gain weight. They have two of the best trainers in the world and all of the tools to be successful without the distractions of children, jobs, real life. Being on the Biggest Loser is and should be a gift.

How can it be, then, that so many of the contestants have lost perspective? Just like my personal bully did not come to school to learn but to dominate, these players seem to not be showing up to lose weight, but to seek revenge, to be at the top of the social hierarchy. The fact that the entire team was willing to actually gain weight (or lose such a small amount in was embarrassing) just to oust another player shows that complete perspective has been lost. They should all be ashamed on many levels, but mostly because each of those people committed the worst crime. Each of them let their own selves down. They have to live with that.

I am not getting into the fact that Daphne made some odd choices or that she might have stooped to a certain level as well. I simply wanted to point out what happens when people unite in negativity. A dark cloud descends, light gets pushed out and poor decisions are made. People’s feelings get hurt, the ultimate goal of healing is lost. Just in how we saw the power of coming together in goodness when we did the Virtual Run for Sherry, we now see the consequences of connecting based on fear and hate. It is ugly. It never ends well. I believe it’s not what we’re on this planet to do with one another.

By the way, Conda – you stated that you are setting a good example for your daughter while being on the show. You should be ashamed. All you have shown your daughter is how to manipulate others to get what you want. Not a skill to be proud of.

What have been your impressions of the Biggest Loser this season?


If you are not being bullied all I would say - cause I like to talk about the other side of it as well - is you know, be someone that nurtures, and if there's someone in your class that maybe doesn't have a lot of friends, be the person that sits with them in the cafeteria sometimes; be the bigger person – Lady Gaga

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parents Are a Bunch of Liars

I am off to run in the screaming wind and cold because this blog is not called Shut Up and Sit On Your Ass When the Weather Sucks. But, before I do that…

It was a birthday of perfection and I have not one picture to prove it (well, maybe ONE). A real and true blogger would have been taking pictures of every morsel of food, every gift unwrapped, every trip to the bathroom. Not me. I got one stinking picture, and it was this crappy one of the vast amounts of sushi we consumed last night (the best ones were the shrimp tempura rolls in the middle in case you were wondering):


I like photos on my blog as much as the next guy. I can’t help but feel, however, that when I spend time with people and my priority is getting pictures for the blog, I’m distracted. Or, maybe I’m just lazy and that’s my excuse. Plus, you can always steal pictures from other blogs or Google images and pretend they are yours. I’m sure it breaks a copyright law or two, but I like living on the edge. For example, here is the cake we ate, kind of. I did not take this picture, it is not my cake, and that is not my hand. But my cake looked exactly like this. If you click on the photo, you will see where I got the picture, so I am not stealing.


This was cute: Last night before bed Sam asked if I wanted him to tell me the story of the day I was born. On my kid’s birthdays I always lay with them at night and tell about all of the blood, screaming, sweating and cussing that led up to their graceful emergence from my body and other sordid and fabulous details about the days they were born. Sam has no clue about anything that happened on the day I was born (except that the angels SUNG), but it was a nice offer.

One of the deep family discussions that came up yesterday was this:

Sam: Mom, did you know if you eat candy right before bed, you have nightmares?
Me: That is so not true. I eat 56 Jelly Bellies every night, in bed, and never have nightmares.
Sam: Well, I read it somewhere. I’m sure it’s true.
MeI think that’s a lie made up by dentists or parents**.

I started thinking about lying to kids. We all do it. My parents did it. We tell white lies so that we can encourage better behavior, or to shut kids up. You can call them “myths,” I call them “lies.” Like my dad telling me it cost 5¢ every time I flicked the light switch on or off. I am guessing this annoyed the hell out of him, and for good reason. But, 5¢? Where did he get that number and how? Did he call the electric company and put in a formal request asking how much it cost to flick the lights at our address?

I lie to my kids too and not just about the tooth fairy and Santa. We have a county fair that comes to town every July. For the rest of the year my then-three-year-old would ask where the fair went. I tried explaining in my best grown up-to-child vernacular that the fair only comes once a year, then packs up and comes back the next year. This clearly wasn’t satisfying her, so the 125th time she asked, I told her that the fair went into a box and under the bed. I told her it would get opened in July and that is when we would go again. Slam dunk. No more questions. I don’t know what was wrong with her, but she never asked which bed the box was under and never asked to see the box. She never wondered how it was possible to have a box so big to fit the whole fair in it or how it was possible to wedge said box under the bed. Like I said, slam dunk. Kids are such easy targets.

I also told my kids that if they kicked the seat on the airplane the pilot would beat them up or throw them out the emergency exit door.

Other common “myths” told by parents that are bullsh!t (from HERE):

  • If you crack your knuckles, you’ll get arthritis
  • Coffee will stunt your growth
  • If you go out with wet hair, you’ll get sick.
  • If you sneeze with your eyes open, they will fall out (what? this is new to me)
  • Crossing your eyes will make you go cross-eyed
  • Carrots help you see in the dark

Do you tell little lies to your kids? Did your parents lie to you? If you are still waiting to 30 minutes to swim after you eat or are waiting for your gum to digest after 7 years, you’ve been had.


**Turns out there is some truth to this!! But it’s not just candy. It’s more that if you sleep on a full stomach of anything, particularly junk food, brain stimulation is increased thereby causing nightmares.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

45 and Counting

Today I turn 45 years old.  I am now mature. No more potty talk, no more pranks, no more dancing naked on the porch.













                               Me at 5                                                                                                                            Me at 45

Much cuter at 5 than 45. But, same long finger toes and same book!

45 is only a milestone because I move into a new age group when racing. Up until two years ago I would not have even known what it meant to “move into another age group.” Now it gets me all giddy. Running/racing nerd for sure.

We have lots of ages. How old we are chronologically. How old we are cognitively. How old we are emotionally. And, how old we feel. Oh, then there’s that age they give you on the Biggest Loser, but I don’t have Dr. H here to tell me that I am actually 95 inside my body.

I think I’m 45 in every way except how I “feel.”  Some would even (and have even) said I’m in about the fifth grade with how much I enjoy talking about farts. Hell, I just enjoy farting, period. I think it’s one of the joys of life. Don’t even get me started on sharts and other goodies like that.

Getting older is not sexy or glamorous, but it’s pretty funny. Weird shit goes down in your body and mind. If you can’t laugh, what can you do besides cry or call Dr. Kevorkian? (Although I did hear he died doing what he loved the most – dying! Ba da boom!).

Here’s what I’ve noticed about getting older:

  • I’m in a new age group (did I already say that?). In Boulder the 45-49 vagina age group is kick ass and bad ass and brutal. I’m glad to join these ladies just so they can massacre me at every race. They give me a standard to look up to.
  • My eyebrows are thinning and balding in places! I’ve never cared about my brows, but they are ridiculous. Being pretty low maintenance in regards to my hairs, I hate to admit it’s time for routine shaping and waxing. My “below” region might be next. My Betty is ready!
  • I care much less what people think. As I get older, I’m starting to shed the need to impress or entertain people. I’ve never had a very thick skin, but it is growing layers by the day. As I move into realizing that I am quite mortal and really will die someday, I am less and less concerned about what people think and more and more concerned about living my life the way I want to live it.
  • My friend’s parents are getting sick and dying. Not much to say about this one except that we are next in line.
  • My children are old. What the hell? I never, ever thought my son would be taller than me and kick my ass in pull ups (not hard to do, I assure you), or that my daughter and I would be discussing what it is like to have a period. You might not think your kids will ever get there, but they will, and it will be before you know it.
  • My body hurts. It aches when I get out of bed in the morning. I have to stretch, take Motrin and use heating pads. Bring on the Vicks Vapor Rub and the “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up” button in the shower.

This year, I’m wishing for the norm: to drink more water, to become more enlightened, to train/race without severe pain and/or injury and to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Piece of cake.

Speaking of cake, I’m taking charge today and going to Costco to get my cake. My mom made me an amazing home-made lemon cake on Sunday, but today I’m going for store-bought red velvet with cream cheese icing. Other stuff on tap for today? Free birthday car wash (show your ID and voila!). I’m living large!



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prepare Your Mind First

If you are training for a race and are scared/uncertain/psyched-out, if you’ve ever wanted to quit when the going gets tough, if you have a Wellington celebrates winning last year\'s Challenge Roth triathlon with a new long-distance world record.history of pushing yourself but find that your brain sometimes doesn’t work in your favor - YOU need to read an article posted on CNN Health today.  It was written by four-time World Ironman champ, Chrissie Wellington. She reminds us of the importance of training our minds, even ahead of training our bodies. She states, “All the physical strength in the world won't help you if your mind is not prepared.”

We’ve heard it before – train your brain. We know that mental strength is a huge component to meeting our goals. Yet, how much do we diligently and conscientiously work on developing the brain power that is so desperately needed when every cell of our being wants to stop, when every fiber of our muscles is screaming for mercy, when we just don’t feel like doing it anymore?

Mental strength is not only for racing. It is for every day training. It is what gets us out of the door in the morning to run ten miles. It is what gives us that extra push when it’s raining and cold and we’d prefer to walk to the nearest 7-11 for a pussy pick-up from our spouse or mother-in-law. It is what keeps us in the game for 16+ weeks of marathon or tri training.

Chrissie gives some excellent tips for improving mental strength:

Have a mantra and/or a special song to repeat  Chrissie says, “I write my mantra on my water bottle and on my race wristband. Seeing it gives me a boost and reminds me never to let my head or heart drop.”

For me, my favorite mantra is, “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.” This always brings me back to a place of knowing that I will not be this tired, uncomfortable, crampy, pukish for the rest of my life.

Keep a bank of positive mental images  Wellington tells us these images can be of family and friends, of previous races, of beautiful scenery, or a big greasy burger. She encourages us to draw on these images when we want to quit. and tells us to punch out the negative thinking before it manifests.

My mental image is often my couch, a book, a custard filled long john and a hot cup of coffee. Or a hot bath.


There is nothing to see under those bubbles

Practice visualization beforehand – Her advice? “Relax your mind and go through each stage of the race one step at a time -- mentally imagining yourself performing at your peak but also successfully overcoming potential problems.” She reminds us that Before Michael Phelps has even entered the water, he has already completed the race in his mind. And won.

Personally, I often drive the course before a race so that I can imagine myself on the course and how I will cope at certain sections (hills, etc.). If possible, training on the exact course where you will be racing is an amazing way to make your visualizing very specific. I did this with my 70.3 triathlon last year and it was immensely helpful. I am certain that is why I far exceeded my expectations on the bike portion.


Break the race up into smaller, more manageable segments – This has been one of the most important racing techniques for me, personally. For example, I break my marathon up into 4-five milers with a 10K at the end. I like to focus on getting to the next aid station and telling myself I can grab a cup of water and walk through if I’d like.

Chrissie reminds us, “Stay in the moment and don't think too far ahead. I also try to breathe deeply and rhythmically; if you calm your breath, you can help calm your mind.”

Remember that training is about learning to hurt – This is difficult if you can be a pussy like me. “Push your physical limits and overcome them in training sessions, so that when you race you know that you have successfully endured pain and discomfort. You will draw confidence and peace of mind from this knowledge," Chrissie tells us. It’s okay to cry if you need to.

Get people to support you – If it feels right for you, invite people to come out and support you. In the words of Will Ferrell, “More cowbell please!”


Little Emma waiting for her mama at the Phoenix Rock ‘n Roll Marathon 2009

Mentally recall inspirational people – When I ran Boston last year with very little training, this was one of the most important things that mentally got me through the race. At that time, my son’s teacher was fighting for his life after getting a serious bacterial infection. I wore a bracelet dedicated to this teacher and when the going got tough  (which it did for every second beyond mile ten), I felt the bracelet on my wrist, and remembered Mr. Cribby (he ended up winning the fight and is now back teaching full time!). In the future it will be Sherry who gets me through the tough parts of races.


I am fake smiling here. I was hurting. You can see the red Cribby bracelet on my right arm.

Consider racing for a cause that is bigger than yourself – YES! Taking your racing to a higher level in terms of meaning and purpose. Chrissie states so eloquently, “Champions come and go, but to me the real judge of my personal success will be whether I actually do something positive with the opportunities I have been given.”


How do you train your brain for races? Would you add anything to the list? For me, Chrissie covered the big ones. Sometimes it helps me to incorporate small rewards into my races – such as if music is allowed, I wait until mile 13 of a marathon before I “let” myself listen to it.  


Monday, February 20, 2012


This will be quick. I’ve only got a minute because I have spent the morning dicking around and now I need to make up for lost time. The kids are still asleep, it snowed a few inches last night and I can’t seem to get out of my PJs. But, in a half an hour I have a boot camp class I have to go to or else I will be in a bad mood all day. Something about this winter weather has really sucked my motivation.

Please tell me it is not just me.

The only reason I was going to drag myself to class was because a friend was joining me as my “guest” today. Secretly I hoped she would cancel because then I wouldn’t have to go. Do you ever do that? Well, she did cancel (sick dog, I hope he’s okay), and for just a moment I thought I was off the hook. It was the moment of truth. I need to go. Going to this class is my lifeline for the rest of the day. I need to move and to sweat in order to deal with the gray skies, bitter cold and doldrums of winter. I need this class to bump up my attitude a notch.

Here is my brilliant thought for the day - I am sure no one has ever come up with it before. 

At exactly the moment when you are feeling too tired, lazy, hung-over, uncoordinated to work out – this is the exact moment when you need to do it. Because you will be very hard pressed to find anything else that will kick your unmotivated self and bad attitude to the curb and give you a new outlook then an all out sweat fest.

Or, you could screw the workout and get your kicks by cutting the heel off of your running shoes like Ken did. No more heel to toe drop for this guy!


Here,” he says. “These are the poor-man’s-Newtons.” He is very creative and frugal. I appreciate he tries to save the family a buck or two, leaving more money for my Starbuck and chardonnay habits. I just hope he doesn’t mess up his gait for the rest of his life.

Okay, here I go. Here is proof. I swear I am going after I post this:


{Remind me to tell you about how I removed the top I am wearing from a mannequins at the store yesterday, because it was the only one left. I left the manikin half naked (those things actually have nipples), got in trouble from the store person and humiliated my daughter.  All in a day’s work.}

Are the winter blahs affecting your workouts? If not, you are much better than me.

Ever stripped a mannequins  and made love to it?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Really Happened to Sherry

Another tough post to write…

After last week’s extradition hearing, you may have read in the news today what happened to Sherry in greater detail.  The information is devastating.

Let me get it out. I hate them. HATE. I hate that evil exists and that horrendous, unimaginable, unconscionable things happen. I can be angry right now, that is fine. I will not stay there because they have already taken too much from my family, from the Sidney community, and from the world. They will not take my sense of well being and peace.

There is no way to sugar coat what happened or to make it less tragic, sad, and horrific. These men are evil, low-life, scum. I have tried very hard throughout this whole thing to not give attention to them, but to focus instead on what is good and right about people and about the world.

Here’s what I know:

As humans, we have a unique and difficult challenge. We are given the awareness and understanding that bad things happen to good people. That people get sick and die. That there is suffering. That there is endless and abounding uncertainty every minute of everyday.

We all know that Sherry was a cancer survivor. At one time maybe she thought she would die from cancer. I am willing to bet she never thought her life would end on January 7, 2012, when she went for her morning run.

You see, we just never know.

If we exist in a place of fear and anxiety about what is coming, then we are not living, we are paralyzed. Our challenge is to know what we know about the ways of the world, and to still live fully and fearlessly.

I’m not talking about taking everyday precautions like running with a group and not going out in the dark. That’s all fine, good and advisable. I’m talking about the bigger fearlessness with which we must approach life, knowing that it can be taken from us at any minute. Knowing that someone close to us might suffer and/or die. Knowing that today might be our last day.

Our unique challenge is to know about the “bad” stuff and to forge on anyway without breaking down into a puddle of anxiety and worry. We’ve got this one life and we can’t waste it away hiding, being scared, not living.

Being safe is important. We wear seatbelts. We wear Road IDs. We tell people where we are going. We take self defense classes. We park under large street lights at night. We tell our kids to not talk to strangers. We make sure there are batteries in our smoke detectors. We need to do those things and to teach our children to do those things. This is responsible, sensible behavior.

Sherry was not being unsafe. She was running in her home town where she knew everyone, where no one locked their doors. What happened to her was so random, it was as random being struck by lightening. She was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it was not her, it would have unfortunately been someone else.

Tens of thousands of you came out to run for Sherry last Saturday from all corners of the world. There were millions of prayers said in her name. Over $9,000 was donated to her children. Many of you reported “signs” of Sherry while you ran - beams of sunlight breaking through the clouds and snow showers in places where it never snows. The score is tens of thousands to two.

There is no way to “make sense” of what happened, yet we all joined hands on February 11 in the spirit of love, compassion and unity.


The loss of Sherry is monumental and leaves an aching void for so many. Comfort can be found in knowing she’s with us still – because the heart doesn’t forget. I truly believe she’s somehow nudging us to not be sad, to forge ahead. To laugh, to play, to remember. Every time I run, probably forever, she’ll be with me.

This is what I choose to take away from all of this:  Love wins.


Friday, February 17, 2012

That Grass is Brown

Someone reminded me last week that I needed to “let go of everything that I thought I knew.” I am not smart enough to know what this means, but I think it has something to do with not being so hell bent on living in some ideal universe that doesn’t even exist.

Have you ever realized that we spend most of our time judging? Not necessarily judging others, but judging whether our relationships, our jobs, our running, our eating, our houses, our flabby asses are good enough or what they are “supposed to be”?

I don’t even know what “supposed to be” is. Except that it is some far off ideal that probably doesn’t exist, so why torture ourselves?

I remember being in the ninth grade. I had a best friend, let’s call her Labia (her name began with an “L”, but in the spirit of confidentiality, we’ll go with Labia).  We lived overseas at the time. Labia’s parents were divorced, but I still thought she had it all.

Labia’s dad was a famous dude living in Beverly Hills. Labia lived in Europe with her mother, and her step father. Over Christmas and Spring breaks Labia would occupy a first class seat on United to see her dad and, from there, they would take lavish trips on yachts and to exotic spots like the Cayman Islands. All the while I stayed home and doused myself in Love’s Baby Soft while listening to the Police on my cassette player and writing in my diary.


This is my actual journal from ninth grade.
You would shit a brick of I read some of this stuff to you.
And, yes I do read on the steps.

Labia would come back from these trips with new hairstyles, gorgeous clothes and a tan. She lived in the penthouse of a 25 story apartment building overlooking the city. Her stepfather was a huge executive, and her family bled money. Labia was fluent in three languages. She was skinny, funny and athletic.

Bottom line: I thought Labia’s was the life I wanted. That is, until I lived it for a few days.

Once I had the chance to spend a long weekend with Labia’s family. Major letdown. Labia had to constantly watch her younger brother. There was no privacy. The home felt chaotic. People argued. I felt out of place. Their toothpaste was weird. Everyone talked while I was trying to watch “Dynasty” (major pet peeve – if we ever hang out, do not talk while I’m trying to watch one of my shows). I wanted to go home. Clearly, this lifestyle worked for Labia and her family and they were happy. It just didn’t jive with me.

Even at the ripe age of fifteen I realized that the grass was not greener. In fact, the lawn next door might be full of dog crap. All of the trips, money, and glamour really amounted to nothing when it came down to it. I liked my family – how we related to one another, the fact that a trip anywhere on an airplane was a big deal, the fact that we ate a home-cooked dinner together every night on the back porch. Things were simpler at my home than at Labia’s. I had once thought that was a disadvantage and not good enough. I quickly learned it was exactly what I needed.


Me and my dad hanging out. Me = 14 years old. Dad = bald.

Was there ever a time you found out the grass was NOT greener?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Over-Achieving Donut

I walked into one of my favorite coffee shops after a nipply run. Nestled amongst the gluten free banana bread and whole grain bagels was this specimen:

The bacon covered donut. I hate to admit how much I love these two things separately. Call me crazy, but marrying these items together doesn’t work for me. I would put this in the same category as the deep fried Twinkie. Or, better yet, the deep fried stick of butter.

The baristas were all singing the praises of this doughy piece of decadence. Just the thought of it made me gag. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good donut. But, I don’t need no pig on my donut.

This donut is a sign of the times. It is not enough to have a piece of fried dough filled with custard and topped with chocolate icing – one must grace it with some bacon. We’re a society of contradictions and extremes. School lunches need to be healthier, our nation is FAT! Hey – do you want an artery clogging donut?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately how nothing is good enough anymore. Can’t just have a kid’s birthday party at home – have to go to a fancy hotel in a limo. Can’t just run a marathon – have to qualify for Boston. Can’t just sit at your desk and work, have to do kegels while typing (that vagina NEEDS to be strong!). Can’t just get a B-cup boob job, have to go for double H’s. Can’t just have a glazed donut, have to add some bacon. Even the damn donut wants to be an over achiever!



PS: My email inbox is cleared, so if you’ve been trying to email me at, it should go through now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spare Change

Sometimes in the off season of training, I lose focus. So what?  Do we always have to be super focused and perfect in our workouts? No. Do we always have to be crazy overachievers with a flawless plan in place? Hell no.


But, I know myself and I do better with some structure, even when I am not following a strict training plan. I came up with this schedule until marathon and triathlon training begins in March:

Monday: Boot(y) Camp (1 hour) – I call it “Booty Camp” because it works the glutes, among other body parts. I will be picking up spare change on the street with my butt cheeks very soon. These classes are tough and leave me sore and sweaty (TWSS).  Booty camp has shown me where my weaknesses lie. I have no ass strength. I am in need of challenges for my upper body, and that is what 100-150 pushups will do for you. For one hour I never stop moving and get pretty anaerobic. It is intense.

Tuesday: Run 5-6 miles on treadmill (1 hour). Warm up for half mile, increase speed by .1 mph every half mile. Cool down for half mile at speed I started on. This usually looks like 6.6 mph->7.5 mph or something like that.

Wednesday: Spin on trainer for 1 hour in dark, cold basement while watching crap on TV or listening to Today’s Hottest Hits. I just downloaded Suffer Fest, so this should break up the monotony and increase the sweat factor.

Thursday: Run 6-8 miles, easy (1 hour)

Friday: Run 4-5 miles hills or Boot Camp (1 hour)

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Long run 8-12 miles depending on how I feel (1-2 hours)

I like to say I do it all, but if I miss a day, “toughski shitski,” as my dad used to say. Not like I’m training for the Olympics or anything.

I realize that this “schedule” pales in comparison to the 12 hours per week of training I was doing this summer in preparation for the half ironman. 12 hours! Of exercise! That is 12 hours I could spend reading the comics in the loo or twatting on the Twitter! bethsuit

This plan is devoid of any swimming, because I don’t like hairballs, band aids and mysterious floaters in the pool. And let’s face it, I don’t like to swim all that much. I do sort of miss my pussy posse, but I have moved on, despite how hot I look in my white underwear.

This schedule is also very light on the cycling. Both of these things will change in March when I start to ramp up my tri-training and when I can get outside with my bike.

Here are how my race plans are shaping up. It is  a work in progress.

June: Turkey Track Trail Marathon
June: Longmont Sprint Triathlon
June: Loveland Lake to Lake Olympic Triathlon
August: Wild West Relay
August: Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon
October: Marine Corps Marathon (this is not for sure, but likely)

Not sure what else I will add in there. I am thinking about a 25 mile trail race in April as well.

What kind of schedule do you keep in your off season? BTW, It’s okay if you are always in off season.

What race are you looking most forward to in 2012? I can’t wait for my first trail marathon. I hope I see this guy out there.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Love Muscle

Yesterday, ten-year-old Emma told me she thought Valentines Day was stupid because why do you just take one day to love people? SO perceptive, my child.

I thought about this for a quick moment. Because I am very wise, I told her it’s not just one day we love people, rather it’s one day we give them all kinds of shit to show our love. She seemed satisfied.

Okay, I didn’t say “shit” because I am mostly a good role model. In fact what I really said was that we love people all the time, but VD is a day to make sure we are letting them know just HOW much we love them.

I actually do love Valentines Day, but that is probably because I am married and have someone to give me stuff and love me back. Even when I did not have “someone,” I still liked the day. I never took it as a reason to wallow in loneliness, but rather a day to have fun with anyone I loved, be it a best friend, a dog or a stranger sitting at the bar in a nice hotel.

I remember one Valentine’s Day in particular, when I was ruthless and mean. I was in my twenties and in a sort of, kind of relationship with a guy named Russell. I lived with a group of girls at the time and behind his back everyone called him “Russell the Love Muscle” (RTLM). I still don’t know if he really had a love muscle, I never saw it.

The most redeeming thing about Russell was that he adored me. I wasn’t used to be adored. In fact, my boyfriend of seven years kept reminding me of that every time he broke up with me (okay I might have been two-timing just a bit). With Russell, I didn't even have to try. He just liked me for me. Problem was, I wasn’t that into him. I was into the “idea” of him. He took me out for nice dinners in his nice car and didn’t even try to get to second base.

On this particular Valentine’s Day, RTLM took me out for a nice dinner in Clyde’s in Georgetown, which is like the fanciest restaurant on the planet when you are in your twenties and poor.  He sat across from me, gazing into my eyes, and I could tell he wanted this time together to mean something. He wanted it to be the springboard for a deep and lasting relationship. I, on the other hand, was excited to have glass of expensive wine and some shrimp cocktail, give this dude a quick peck on the cheek, and get home before Beverly Hills 90210 started.

It was then that RTLM pulled it out. No, he did not pull out the love muscle, thank God. He pulled out the early nineties symbol of love and romance: the MIX TAPE. He had decorated the plastic case with red velvet hearts. I quickly glanced at the play list: Unforgettable, One by U2, Melt with You – all the classics. But then I saw it – the song that didn’t fit with the others. HOT SAUCE by Thomas Dolby.

Cover me in your sauce, baby
Bury me in your sauce
Smother me in all your hot sauce woman
‘Til smoke come from your thighs.

It was then I knew what  I had to do. The love muscle had to go. There would be no smoke coming from my thighs, no smothering of the love muscle with hot sauce.

And, just like that, over a white table cloth and chocolate mousse, I gave RTLM the “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” talk. I broke up with his ass. On Valentines Day. I went home and danced to “Hot Sauce” while watching Brandon and Kelly make out on 90210 and eating lasagna with my room-mate, Jenn. The perfect end to a non-romantic evening.

What’s your most memorable Valentine’s Day?

Any plans for tonight? We have a routine around here. I make the kids heart shaped waffles, bacon and yogurt parfaits. After they go to bed, Ken and I have a steak dinner and a nice bottle of wine in front of the Biggest Loser (thank God Valentines Day falls on Tuesday). How appropriate that Dolvett will be in his nice, tight, red Nike compression– HOT SAUCE. 

Happy Valentines Day to my real honey, Ken. Love you.


Monday, February 13, 2012

We Will Remember You–Slideshow

Thank you, thank you for sending me all of the pictures and blog posts from Saturday’s run. I really had no idea how many people would participate, and I am still in awe. I wanted to include every single picture, but it was impossible. Please know I viewed them all. Every single one.

I decided to put some photos of the day in a slideshow. Making this video brought me to tears a few times. It truly was a work of love! I go back and forth between such utter sadness about Sherry, and such complete amazement at the existence of such world-wide compassion.

Here you go.

Happy birthday, Sherry.


Saturday, February 11, 2012



Sent from Val in McAllen, TX

What a morning. How is it possible to have so many emotions all at once? Sorrow, hope, anger, peacefulness, gratitude.

I woke up with heavy heart. I had a vivid dream about Sherry last night. Do you ever have a dream that seems so real you believe it really happened? In the dream I was sitting between Sherry and her sister on the couch. Sherry leaned in and whispered, “goodnight,” which I meant to mean “goodbye.” When her sister asked if she was okay, she just nodded, “yes.”

I just spoke to a reporter in Billings, Montana who told me 500 people showed up for the run today in Sidney, Sherry’s hometown.

500 PEOPLE. Think about that.

Here are some photos from the Sidney Herald website:

As I know is the case where many of you are it was freaking freezing here today. 5 degrees and snowing. Those conditions might scare off some, but not us. We were bad asses on a mission.

We had a large group show up in Boulder:


We did a moment of silence, then took off into the gray landscape:



A news reporter for Fox 31/Channel 2 News showed up. He enjoyed some quality time by the dumpster.


My dad, mom and the kids:


A lovely outtake of me. I really was glad to be out there despite what my face says (thanks, Dad):


When the run got started, news guy wanted to talk to me, so I got left behind. I ran out to catch the crowd but never did. They were doing a loop, so I turned around and headed the other way and found them. This actually gave me some meditative time to run alone. The sun poked out and made the snow glimmer like a million diamonds. It was perfectly and incredibly beautiful.

As always, it stinks to live in this crap hole:


We love you Sherry. I hope you felt it today.

How was your run today??