Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yep, I’m Straddling You

On my trip back to Maryland this weekend I came to a conclusion. 90% of people on airplanes are in bad moods. Even the flight attendants. Well, especially the flight attendants. I don’t like to fly, but I’m usually not in a bad mood when I fly. I give a little smile to my seat mates and try to make this whole thing as pleasant as possible.

I like the window seat and for God’s sake people do not have to act so stinking irritated when I ask to get up once during a 4 hour flight to pee. I mean what else do they have to do but get up and let me get out? It’s not like they’re rushing to catch a cab or perform heart surgery.

Confession: I once tried to climb over the people in the middle and aisle seat so as to not wake them up. I really had to GO. I did this crazy straddling thing and just when I was almost to the aisle, the lady woke up to find me straddling her. True story.

Perhaps it is just that people don’t like me. Nah, I just think they don’t like being cooped up for hours on end smelling other people’s B.O. and farts and not being able to escape.

I had to laugh today when I ordered a drink on the flight (Yes, I drink and fly. It is like therapy for me). The flight attendant asked if I was old enough. Maybe she was trying to pick me up or something because no one would ever mistake me for under 21, or under 31 or under 41. Maybe not even under 51. Have you seen my neck lately? I think I’m going to start naming my tendons.


The weekend went well. My grandfather’s memorial was beautiful, and my favorite part was when people told stories about his life.  It really was a celebration of who he was.  As they played “What a Wonderful World” and showed photos of him from infancy on up to adulthood, including my wedding and when my kids were babies, I realized how he was (as my mom said) “Just always there.”

I also had a chance to drive by my childhood home and elementary school.  I rocked the heck out of fifth grade and everyone knew it.

I got a nice run in Saturday morning around Silver Spring, Maryland. I was majorly feeling the benefits of sea level running and did 5 miles in 20 minutes. Just kidding, but I did feel good. One of my favorite things about travelling is running where I am. Plus, since travelling is always somewhat stressful, it’s a great way to work out the kinks and get some perspective.

Thanks for all of your feedback on how to maintain running fitness while not specifically training for something. I am going to map out a weekly plan that will include 4 days of running, 1 day of yoga and another day of cross training/strength. This is the perfect time for me to continue with heart rate training as a means of boosting my endurance and performance.

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you on an airplane? Mine was last December on my way to Vegas. The dude beside me peed himself.

Do you get carded anymore? Me, hardly ever. Unless it’s by a flight attendant who has the hots for me.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

I was really glad to wake up to this:

Dense fog. I am a nervous flier so taking off in low visibility makes me ecstatic. Good thing I’ve got my friend, Xanax. By the way, did you hear about the guy who proposed to his girlfriend while they were flying an airplane?  He told her the plane was going to crash and gave her the emergency procedures to read. When she opened it up, it said “Will you marry me?” I think I would have punched him in the face. Or the nuts (better choice). He does get points for creativity, however.

Murphy's Law: It seems the unexpected happens quite often when I’m getting ready to go out of town. I spent four hours in urgent care and at the hospital yesterday with son Sam because he had had major stomach pain all day, in his lower right abdomen. It had been going on since the night before when he started feeling sick.  It just screamed possible appendicitis. So, after an exam, blood work, a urinalysis and an ultrasound, they found it was not appendicitis, but a swelling of the lymph nodes in the abdomen from a virus. Something called adenitis, which I never knew existed.

So, here’s a question for you and something I’ve been pondering. I don’t have any more big races on the calendar, and am moving more into maintenance and down mode for awhile. It seems I am always training for something, so not having a goal is a different feeling.

What does your maintenance plan look like during your non-training period? How much do you run and what other kinds of work outs do you do?

How did your marriage proposal go? We were backpacking up some mountain when Ken popped the question. Perfect!

Time to head to my home state of Maryland. Have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just When You Think You’ve Heard It All

I ran a lovely 7 miles this morning. Last night I made a new recipe for dinner –Tiny French Beans with Smoked Sausage. I could not find any tiny French beans (my grocery store is not that sophisticated and what is a tiny French bean anyway?), so I used regular white beans. It actually tasted really good going down, but I think the whole bean/sausage combo kind of wreaked havoc on everyone’s stomachs around here. My belly felt okay, but damn there was some gas. I’m glad I ran alone today because a running partner probably would have had to disown me or wear a special mask.

This brings me to a new item you can buy now – Deodorizer Fart Pads ($29.95 for a 10 pack).


Does anyone wear them? Well, yes they do. There are 19 reviews on the site including such testimonials as:

I farted several times today and no one even knew!!! I even tried to smell them by bending down where my rear was immediately after I ripped one, and to my surprise, nothing! The only down side is that it doesn't of muffle the sound of the farts, and isn't very absorbent.”

I am a regular farter, but I’d be hard pressed to wear a pad for this issue. I mean we all bottom burp, right? In fact, the average person farts 14 times per day. I, alone, probably bring up that average quite a bit, but I still don’t feel I need a Fart Pad. Maybe if you ate a really sulfur-rich diet of eggs and cauliflower and you worked in a 4 x 4 cubicle or spent a lot of time in elevators, the pad would be a good idea.

The Fart Pad definitely fits into the Just When You Think You Heard It All category. I think I’m a fairly informed person who is engaged with and aware of the world around me. Yet, just when I’m on the cusp of becoming complacent and bored, I learn some tid-bit that makes me realize that there will never be an end to the absurd crap that goes on in the world.

In today’s Just When You Think You’ve Heard It All news:

  • Vodka Soaked Tampons: Did anyone see the special on college-aged drinking on 20/20 last week? I found it incredibly disturbing to hear about the lengths kids are going to to get drunk as quickly as possible. This includes, for women, soaking tampons in vodka before inserting them. Really? Who even thought of that? Wouldn’t it burn? Makes me miss the days of innocent beer bongs and the occasional tequila shot.
  • Poop Transplants: Ken sent me a link to a CNN story yesterday. He is so kind to always keep me in mind for this sort of thing. In the subject line he wrote “Maybe you should be a donor.” Apparently, a young woman was in a car accident and almost died after getting a severe infection in her colon. Doctors transplanted her mother’s poop into her colon and voila!! She is cured. Something about introducing healthy bacteria found in her mother’s poop. Who knew? Obviously – poop saves the day.

In other news, the Chronic Runner wants to remind everyone that Monday October 1st is Take Your Daughter Running Day (more info HERE). Even if your daughter is not a runner herself, take a spin around the block. What a nice way to be together and to let her share in one of your passions!


Running the Bolder Boulder 10K with Emma (and Kathy) last year

Lastly, I am leaving in the morning for Maryland to attend a memorial for my grandfather who passed away at the end of July. I am so glad I could arrange things so that I can be there with my family. I’ll catch up with you all on Sunday or Monday.


What’s a “Just When You Think You Heard It All” moment you had recently?

Do you run with your daughter, or hope to? Emma doesn’t LOVE to run, but she loves the race environment. At the race this weekend I asked her if it made her excited to do a half marathon one day. “NO,” she said. Typically, she will not run much, but then do a 5K or 10K at her own pace. We have a great time doing races as a family.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dude, I Am So Sorry

First of all – stop the presses – if you were not aware, it is Dog Week. Which means you have to look at this gem that a reader, Laurissa, pointed out to me. Here is a teaser:


There is more hilarity to this comic strip and you seriously have to check it out HERE. I have spent a good part of this morning laughing and re-laughing at this thing, mostly because it is much more fun than reading about foster care. My only gripe is that the author is clearly male because he does not discuss how much dogs love used tampons. Big omission.

After passing out last night in unbearable fatigue from Sunday night’s festivities, I slept for a solid 7 hours and woke up refreshed and ready to go for a run.  This is my best attempt at a white woman’s dance move. My kids think I am stiff and rhythm-less. What do they know!


Yes, I realize my shoes look like I’ve taken this and colored them very carefully. These just might be the most loud and obnoxious shoes I’ve ever owned. I love them and next I will be getting these:

ugliest shoes in the world The Ugliest Shoes In the World

I am sharing this next picture with you from Saturday’s race so you can be jealous.


Not everyone has the talent and skill to run with one foot turned almost perpendicular to their body. The Chi Running folks would shit a brick. I don’t even know how I did that without dislocating my entire pelvis.

I am happy to see I do not do that on every stride. This one is much better.


I am also pleased to see that I am mostly hitting my mid foot strike, even if that strike is pointed in a different direction than the rest of my body is going.

I love running because there is always more work to do and race pictures are a wonderful way to learn how crappy you look. And, NO, these pictures are not PROOFS. What makes you think that?

Do you look differently in your race photos than you think you look? Yes. That’s why I love this:

Do you like bright shoes or prefer the subtler colors? I like bright all the way.

Does your dog do any of those things? Hell yes. My dog is a licker. All day long. He doesn’t eat a lot of poop but has been known to eat his own vomit and tampons. Humping young children is also a most favorite past time of his, so hold onto your babies.


Monday, September 24, 2012

The Post Where I Am Tired and a Dumb A$$

I am an absolute, no good mess today. I did something last night for the LAST time. No more staying out late on a school night. Body.Just.Cannot.Handle.It.

We had friends in from out of town and after spending the day with them watching the Broncos get schooled and eating dinner at my favorite restaurant, we went out to the Fox Theater in Boulder to see a show.

The show started at 8:00 p.m., which is usually the time I am in my PJs in front of the TV with popcorn and a glass of wine. The first act, James McMurtry (like watching paint dry), finished at 9:30 p.m. which is exactly the time I am in bed with lights out. At 10:49 p.m. the second act, the Gourds (hilarious, energetic, odd), was just getting revved up and I knew the next day would be very ugly.

We stumbled in at 12:30 a.m. I fitfully slept off and on until 6:00 a.m. This is not enough for me to function like a nice person.  I had to go to a home visit for work this morning and literally had to douse my eyes in Visine four times just to look a little less like a strung out criminal.


That is one tired, dried out eyeball.

Today is a rest day for me because my body just seems to want to rest and I’m not going to push it. Saturday’s race took a lot out of me, I won’t lie. I’m not sure why I was so beat up, but I was. Could be a whole slew of reasons or just that I had an off day. I cannot, however, WAIT to run tomorrow because I just got these beauties in the mail:


Brooke’s Pure Cadence

And, now I have a confession for you. Sometimes I am a dumb ass with a capital “D.” 

So, my son Sam took up football this year and is playing on the freshman high school team. They’ve been practicing everyday after school since mid-August and have had 4 games. Many of their practices have been in 90 degree heat.

Every time I watch a game, I think how nice it is that the school launders the boy’s uniforms. I just assumed this to be true because Sam has never once brought a pair of tights or a jersey home to wash. Yes, I really thought this. I really thought public school was doing my son’s laundry. What the eff is wrong with me? It wasn’t until yesterday that I learned the truth:

My friend, Kim: So, Sam you must have a ton of laundry from football.

Me: No, the school does it. Can you believe it? So nice of them!

Sam: What? No. I just keep wearing the dirty stuff and put it my locker. Man it really stinks in there.

Me (yelling, on the verge of hysteria): Wait, what? For the past 5 weeks you've been wearing the same gear without washing it? I thought the school was washing it?

Sam: Are you kidding? Like the school would do that. Everything just stinks, but it’s fine.

NO it is so NOT fine. I sent him off this morning with a kiss and reminder:


That’s all I got today. Going to try to sneak in a nap before the afternoon kid-rush begins. And, clearly I need to get ready to do some major laundry later. Hope I don’t have to burn his uniform.

As you get older do you find it harder to stay out late and function the next day? (especially if you have to get up early?) I seriously can’t do it. I don’t even like to do it anymore. 

What’s the last concert you’ve seen? Before last night it was Michael Franti.

Any confessions you’d like to make about a time you were a dumb ass?

Do you have a favorite restaurant?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon 2012 Race Report


I’m not sure why I was feeling so “off” the night before this race. I was tired, irritable, even nervous. If I were a guy I wouldn’t overanalyze. I’d say, “Hell, I’m tired, ” and go to bed. But, I am girl so I have to obsess and rationalize the possible reasons:

  1. Slept crappy all week
  2. On the verge of that womanly thing that happens every 28 days or so. (For some reason this time of the month makes me tired and achy and stupid – you?)
  3. Realized at the last minute I didn’t train much for this race. I only signed up a month ago and kind of ignored race specific training.
  4. Had no one to go to the race with

I actually think #4 was the main problem. While I knew a ton of people doing this race, I didn’t have a buddy to actually go to the race with at 5:00 a.m. I like the buddy system. I realized that I always have someone to navigate the driving, the parking, the nerves with. But, I was solo yesterday and it bothered me more than I expected. Wah. I’m such a baby.

So, I got stuck in major traffic at 5:30 a..m going into Denver. Then I forgot things like road closures and ended up totally stressing out as I scrambled to find parking, the minutes ticking down until the race start. Good news was I parked right by the Grand Hyatt and was able to use their sparkly and fancy bathrooms for a pre-race dump.

I was smiley and settled down by the time I hopped in my corral at 7:15 a.m. We were off and I forgot all sense about holding back a bit in the beginning and spit out some faster miles.

Mile 1: 7:37
Mile 2: 7:58
Mile 3: 8:07

By mile 3 I was already tired, which is a nasty feeling to have at mile 3 of a half marathon.

My heart rate was going crazy. It was up around 177. I kept telling myself that this was not the heart rate I was supposed to be at for this race. I was supposed to stick around 165-170, but my damn ego knew if I did that I would be way off my PR. It was a total head game and so stupid. I spent most of this race battling between what I should be doing (keeping heart rate lower) and what I wanted to do (push, be uncomfortable and see what I could do). My life story.

Turns out I felt like crap the entire race. My splits show the slow deterioration of SUAR as the miles piled on:

Mile 4: 8:27
Mile 5: 8:38
Mile 6: 8:18
Mile 7: 8:21
Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:35
Mile 10: 8:46
Mile 11: 9:02 (This is where that pleasant feeling of I might vomit settled upon me)
Mile 12: 8:37
Mile 13 (.1): 7:58

Final time: 1:50. 24th/417 in age group. <-Better than I thought!

I was bummed to be 3 minutes off my PR, but then Ken said, “Umm..did you even have a goal for this race? I thought you were just running for fun.” Oh yeah. Hate it when he’s right. That’s why I’m walking away from him.


By far the best part of the day was waiting for my best  friend Erika to finish. This was her first half marathon. I had been “coaching” her for a few months now. I knew how nervous she was about the race and how much she was underestimating herself. By the time she crossed the finish line, I was sobbing. I am not kidding you. In fact, I’m crying now jus thinking about it.


I’m an emotional wreck


Don’t be jealous of my hair. Birds love living in there.



Another awesome woman who I coached, Brooke, finished her first half marathon as well!


We headed over to the VIP tent, which was such a nice perk of running with Team Refuel. They were nice enough to give wrist bands to the whole family to get in. Private bathrooms, pre and post race buffet, coffee, chocolate milk (but, of course) and even an open bar so I did a beer bong (just kidding).



Mama loves her babies

Overall, I had a great morning and a reminder that:

  • Starting out too fast is for idiots
  • I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself – it makes me unhappy
  • Not every race is a PR
  • Sharing experiences with the people you love is the whole point of everything
  • Lots of people throw up during races
  • I love the Hyatt

Thanks so much to Team Refuel for the race entry (if you want to apply to be on Team Refuel, go HERE).

Did you race this weekend?

Ever go out too fast in a race and pay for it?

How emotional was your first marathon or half marathon for you? I did a marathon before a half marathon. I had never run more than a 10k race before that. The emotion for me at the end of that race was overwhelming. It made me know I could do anything I set my mind to. It actually changed who I was.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Couldn’t Bare It

It’s no secret that I love running and I love races.

But, there is one race I don’t think I’d ever consider. Please don’t call me a prude, because you know I’m not (hello! I once took a crap in a tree). I just wouldn’t be comfortable doing a…


Someone on my Shut Up and Run Facebook page asked if I’d ever done a post on nude races. Um, no. He said he had done a nude race last weekend. I told him to send me a mini race report of experiences that “stuck out” (hahaha!) during the race so I could share it and see what people thought. He never did that. He did tell me the race was called “Woodstock” (of course it was!) and that he would send me pictures but I couldn't use them on the blog because he was naked.

NO dude please don’t send me those pictures! No, no, no. Not okay.

Which brings up a point. Do you think these races have photographers? What a job that would be! “Wait, could you slow down??!! Stuff is giggling too much.” “Hold on! That’s 29 circumcised, 12 uncircumcised.” “Wow, Grandma’s had a boob job. Everything else is sagging but the breasts are standing at attention.”

And another point – how do you pin on race bibs? I guess that’s what Sharpies are for.

Here’s why I don’t think I could bare to run a nude race:

  • I’d be too distracted and giggly the whole time. When I was 16, I went to a nude beach in Greece and watched men playing volleyball. I’ve never gotten over it.
  • I don't want my stuff hanging out. I just don’t. I didn’t grow up in a culture where I walked around naked in front of strangers. It would be weird for me.
  • Let’s face it. There are so many cute running clothes these days, why go without?
  • Although I’m sure people espouse this type of race saying its really liberating and feels good to have the air rush by all of their body parts, this is not something I’ve ever craved.
  • And most of all – I simply do not want to see other’s private stuff. Getting back to that nude beach in Greece – what I realized is that 99% of people who were nude on that beach were not of the center fold Playboy model caliber. There is a reason we all wear clothes. Some stuff is just not that pretty.

Other things I won’t be doing nude:

Ever been on a nude run/beach/resort? Yes on the beach. But, I was not nude. I just gawked at others with my naked eye.

Would you ever consider running a race naked? Why or why not? No. See above.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whine Wednesday

This is a mom’s nightmare first thing in the morning:


When you see this, you know the freezer in your garage has been open all night because someone got a late night Drumstick and didn’t put the box away correctly.


Who puts a box away like that? I’ll tell you who. Hashtag: 14 year old in a hurry to lay on the couch and watch TV. That’s who.

While I am whining, I have another little beef to share. And, I’m not talking filet mignon. It’s about coffee shop etiquette. I bring this up because this has happened to me about three times over the past week and I want to know what you think.

The person in front of me in line at the coffee shop has several drink orders on sticky notes (probably from his/her office). No big deal. The problem for me becomes when each drink order is its own transaction. Yes, each is paid for separately with either cash or credit card, and there are usually 4-5 different drinks. This is the equivalent to four or five people ahead of me in line, when in fact, there is only one person ahead of me in line. I know this is petty, but I do think it’s kind of inconsiderate. Why not get cash from everyone and pay in one lump sum? I don’t think it’s fair to everyone else in line. Yes another FWP for sure.

The good news is that Joie and I got in an fabulous 6 mile trial run this morning out at one of our favorite ugly spots: Picture Rock.

This week is a taper-ish kind of week for the Denver Rock and Roll Half on Saturday. Today’s run was the perfect way to get in a good workout, but not kill myself. It was also the perfect way to take in some stunning views and forget about all of my defrosted food at home. I’m running with Team Refuel on Saturday, so I tried out my new Refuel shirt because you know the saying, “Nothing new on race day.”


I am just slightly excited that Refuel provides its runners with a VIP hospitality lounge with stuff like private bathrooms (WHAT? I’d have a boner if that was possible) and pre/post race food and hydration.

Just to be a rebel one time I might run a race with everything new. New shoes, socks, shorts, shirt, sports bra. And, I will also eat all new foods and drink. It will be my own little experiment. I will probably crash and burn with all sorts of chafing and sharting, but it will make for a good story!

Anything you’d like to whine about today?

Do your kids ever do asinine and clueless things? Tell me one. 

What do you think of multiple transactions on the coffee shop line?

Ever try something new on race day and have it backfire in your face?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boob Tube and Leather Trousers

I was reading this in Fitness Magazine today:


I thought, screw you pollsters! I agree with the Fitness Magazine people. If I want to wear a bikini past age 47, I’ll damn well do it. I am only 45, but in two years I’m hoping to still be doing the two piece thing. I mean, my body is far from perfect, but I work hard to stay in shape. If I want to flaunt it, I will.

In fact, I think 47+ women should be even more entitled to bikinis than 20-somethings. It is WAY harder to stay in shape when you are in your forties than when you are in your twenties. Trust me on this one. So, if you are 47+ and proud of your body, then go for it.

Glad I got that off my chest.

Apparently, 2,000 women ages 18 to 65 were polled. Here are some other findings:


Some don’t apply to me at all. Like I haven’t worn a “boob tube” since 6th grade and as for tight vests, well can’t say that’s a popular item in my closet. But as far as ponytails, Ugg boots and swimsuits go, I’ll be sporting those for awhile. What are trainers?

I’d like to know if there is a list for men. Here’s mine…

  • Speedos, never ever wear
  • Cut off jean shorts, 10 unless you are in the Village People
  • Long hair, 25 but only if you wash it regularly and don’t have lice
  • Swimsuit, forever
  • Turtleneck, 5 with Osh Gosh overalls
  • Belly button or ball piercing, never, ever
  • Button down shirt unbuttoned 5 buttons a la David Hasselhoff, 30
  • Tribal necklaces (conch shells, sharks teeth), never unless you are on Survivor or are 10 and on a beach trip with your family.
  • Thong, see “Speedo”

What are your thoughts? Should there be an age limit on certain items?  I think the belly button piercing is better under the age of 35.

What won’t you give up wearing as you get older?

Anything else men should never wear?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Makes Me Itch

One thing I do before most races is visit a place that doesn’t smell great, but provides entertainment and affordable options.

Longmont’s finest hang out

Thrift stores exist on a spectrum. There is the upscale consignment shop (like this one I go to in Boulder) that sells high end brand name stuff. The type of stuff I can barely afford to buy even second hand. 

Then there is the downhome, no holds barred, thrift store. This is the place where anything over $5 is considered premium and quite pricey. This is also the place where you can find used sheets and underwear. I am all about consignment, but I will not wear someone’s used and skid-marked undies. I do have my standards.

The reason I go to the downhome thrift store before races is to get warm clothes to wear while I wait around for ten hours in the dark and freezing cold for the race to start. Once the race starts, I toss them.  If you live in Colorado (or a similar climate) you know that our day and night temps vary hugely. It can be 30 degrees at 6:00 a.m. and 80 degrees at noon.  I’m telling you, I freeze my non-existent balls off waiting for the start line gun to go off. That’s why a pre-race thrift store visit is imperative.

My son has grown to love the thrift store and begs me to go there. My daughter thinks it’s gross and the place makes her itch.  Sam and I went this weekend so he could look for a blazer for the homecoming dance. I’m not kidding.  No one has to know his blazer was $2.99 with 10% off unless they read this blog.

We did not find a blazer, but we did find this jacket.


We decided not to get it because he might be mistaken for draperies.

I suggested he just wear these with a tie.


It is really possible there is a pair of used underwear bigger than my head and torso combined?

I found my dress for Ken’s holiday party. I've always wanted to be Cindy Loo Hoo.


Seriously, I did find a dress for $10.99 (probably the most expensive item in the store. Not kidding).  I think it’s sassy and the bottom reminds me of Peter Pan. I’ll sell it to you for $24.99 if you want.












Weird thing is, I got so wound up in all of this cool stuff I forgot to get my throwaway clothes for this weekend’s race. Sigh. Guess I’ll be heading back to itchy-ville for another visit.

Do you thrift store shop? If so, what for? Pre race stuff, Halloween costumes. And, apparently cocktail dresses.

What’s one item you would not buy from a second hand store? Sheets, underwear, pillows, tampons.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Drunk Goat

Believe it or not, I am really glad I did this yesterday. Tough mother eff’er!!


I won’t say it was easy, but I will say it was completely exhilarating. We could not have had a more gorgeous morning or a more gorgeous setting for the Sombero Trail Race.


The race is just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park and starts at about 7,500 feet.


It was freaking freezing when we got there. If you know me, you know how much I hate to be cold. In the end I ran in shorts, short sleeves and arm warmers. Turned out to be the perfect choice.


Yes, I need to dust my car, but who has time with so many races to do?

I had to register race morning as I wasn’t sure I was doing this race until Friday. We had tons of time to hang out in and around the porta potties. It’s always good to have one nearby.


They divided start times into three groups – sub 50 minutes, 50-70 minutes and 70+ minutes. With this type of climbing at elevation, I had no clue. Ken and I decided on the 2nd wave, but at the last minute jumped into the back of wave #1. This turned out to be a really good choice. A lot of the race is on single track, so it’s easy to get bottle necked and stuck. I felt like for my speed I was right where I should have been.

The first mile was all climbing – about 500 ft. gain. After that, it was up and down the whole way (see above) with some very, very steep and rocky climbs. I don’t know if it is the heart rate training or what, but I felt so strong the entire time. Sure I was tired on the climbs, but it was manageable. The air was so cool and the scenery so unbelievably amazing (when I took a second to look up from my feet – you really had to watch out for the rocks and roots). Ken had a fall somewhere along the way (we weren’t together or I would have administered CPR):


The thing I noticed for the whole race is that there were no women around me. Only men. I don’t know where all the ladies went.

I had no clue how to set a goal for this race with all of the climbing and tough terrain. My best guess was to shoot for under an hour. I finished in 49 minutes which was good enough for 2nd place in the 40-49 age group (out of 64) and 14th out of 210 women.


I was totally floored. Had no idea. The 1st place finisher in our age group was Katie, a friend of a friend. Pretty damn cool.

And, I will say the prize was the best of any race ever. A mountain goat bobble head. He looks drunk. Or like he’s having an orgasm. Or an orgasmic drunk.


At the end of the race Brian introduced himself to me saying he had read the blog for a few years. He was behind me on the trials and smelled manure. Or, smelled me. He wasn’t sure. At the very end Brian sprinted past me – turd! Nice to meet you out there, as well as the two ladies who introduced themselves at the start line (sorry, didn’t catch your names!! I was stressing about which wave to jump into).

I then stuffed my face with pancakes, sausage and eggs. Made another trip to the porta potty.

Major, major kudos to my friend Kathy. She has never run on a trail in her life and today she did this tough race. Just awesome. She’s turned into quite the runner. Isn’t it weird how she has two hands on the left side of her body?


Nothing like a shitty back drop

And, as always, so grateful I have this guy to share stuff like this with:


What’s one cool thing you did this weekend? (besides read this post)


Friday, September 14, 2012

Piss Hill

I like a good challenge, but I am also a wimp. I don’t like to feel pain, be tired or think I am on the verge of throwing up. I think that’s why I didn’t sign up for this race earlier. And, it’s tomorrow morning.



Yeah, that’s a hill or two. Too bad I won’t have time to stop and piss on Piss Hill. And, too bad there is not a Fart Hill.

I know this is only 4.5 miles. I should be shot for being a pussy. But, I also know it will be an uncomfortable 4.5 miles full of beauty and cussing. The thing is, I have no qualms about the climbing or going the distance. It’s just that I put all of this pressure on myself to push, push, push.

Ken signed up a couple of weeks ago and I was on the fence. My knee's been hurting, blah, blah, blah. I love trail running, but not sure I like trail sprinting. It’s the same reason I don’t like 5Ks that much. They hurt me. Weird that in some respects a half marathon feels more manageable to me than a 5K.  But, I am going to do the race because it’s cheap, in a gorgeous setting and there are pancakes at the end.

But, between you and me, why I really signed up was this quote I read earlier this week:

“The point is not to be afraid of doing what is hard. Embrace what does not come naturally. Only in this way will you stop limiting yourself and allow for the deepest part of you to express yourself in ways you might not have imagined yet.” (Swami Chetanananda)

This got me thinking about all areas of my life and how I want to shy away from things that I think I won’t be successful at. Let’s face it – it’s much, much easier to quit (or not start) something that is challenging for you than to risk not being good at it, not finishing it or failing in some way.

Yet, when you quit, you take absolutely no risk. You can safely return to your little world where all is familiar and comfy. But, when you quit (or worse yet don’t even try) you are missing the entire point of living. Living is about making yourself so uncomfortable that you come out the other side exhilarated.

So, I’ll let you know how exhilarated I am tomorrow.

Ever had a DNS or DNF in life that you’ve regretted? I’ve had several jobs that I think I gave up on too early. If they didn’t meet my expectations immediately, I bailed. I’m learning that good things do not happen overnight. They need to be worked for and patience is required.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

How Sick Is Too Sick?

It’s that time of the year again. If you listen closely, you can hear it everywhere. Coughs, sneezes, the occasional gag. I was at the high school the other day and some kid left the health office with his mom and proceeded to throw up all over the front of the school.  Welcome back germs!

We are moving into it: the sick season.  Flu shot clinics and warnings about the whooping cough epidemic surround us (26,000 cases just this year). Don’t even get me started on the number of people walking around with strep throat and stomach viruses. I’m just hoping to escape the measles this year.


Illness and running don’t always mix. But, we runners are a stubborn bunch and sometimes it takes nearly aspirating forty gallons of phlegm before we’ll back down from a planned training run. I’ve always heard that the guide for running or not running while sick is the “neck rule”:

“Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don't pose a risk to runners continuing workouts.” {source}

Makes sense to me. Apparently, if you run with a fever, you can actually make yourself much sicker because you elevate your body temperature even more. I would also add the obvious – no running until the vomiting and diarrhea have completely left the building. No one wants to see that.

One tough thing about getting sick while training is knowing where to pick up after you’ve taken off from running due to illness. A reader (who is one month out from her first marathon and has been suffering from pneumonia for the past 10 days) brought up this question:

“I wanted to ask about people's experience with time lost due to illness (vs. injury) and getting back into training.  I unfortunately can't even cross-train at this point.  Should I expect that it will be hard as hell when I get back out there?  I think that by the time I get back to running, it will be taper time, and I may need to defer my scheduled marathon and find another to run the next month.”

Yes, it will be hard as hell.

I am not a doctor and have no clue what I am really talking about, but some of this seems to be common sense. That said, probably a good idea to ask Meredith Grey or someone like that.

My two cents:

I think deferring a marathon due to illness depends on the severity of the illness, how much the sickness will set you back and where you are in your training plan. If you are in the middle to end of marathon training and are going to miss more than two long runs, maybe you should postpone your race.  I think with more severe illnesses, you have to be careful to not set yourself back even more by doing too much too soon. Certainly pneumonia affects breathing and that’s not to be messed with.

Ultimately, you have to decide what kind of a race you want. Know that if you run and are still recovering, you will likely be slower and weaker than you’d like. It may be a better idea to wait until you can run the way you really want to. It’s cliché, but there is always another race.

Bottom line: ask your doctor. Hopefully he/she is a runner and “gets” how much running means to you.

Have you ever had to take major time off or miss a race due to illness?

Would you advise this reader to run her race or to postpone?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Personal Running Questions

First of all, I have to apologize about the number of pictures of me in this post. It’s gross, over-indulgent and narcissistic. So, here’s a picture of someone else to balance it out:

Oh my God, do not even get me started on this Honey Boo Boo thing. Who is she and why is she on TV? The only redeeming thing about that show is that they all fart and farts are funny.

I was tagged by Dimity and Sarah at Another Mother Runner to answer the following questions. I love posts like this. Not so much writing them, but reading other people’s answers. We bloggers are all so fascinating and humble. We also hate talking about ourselves!

1. Best run ever - when I lost my marathon virginity on January 18, 2009, in Phoenix, Arizona. I was timid and scared and embarrassed to do it in front of so many people. Yes, it did hurt – much more than people told me it would. But, in the end I was just a little bit sore and felt much more grown up.


2. Three words that describe my running  gassy, consistent, purposeful.

3. My go-to running outfit is tight fitting stuff that shows off my A cups. Usually a running skirt and tank.IMAG0414

4. Quirky habit while running  - giving people the finger.


5. Morning, midday, evening – always morning unless I’m running a 30 hour relay or the Rock ‘n Roll Vegas.


At the end of RnR Las Vegas last year with HRG and Aron. If I look sick and depleted, I was.

6. I won’t run outside when it’s – dark. I will and have run in all sorts of weather, but I don’t run in the dark for safety reasons.

7.  Worst injury—and how I got over it: Stress fracture in my left hip in 2010. I got over it by running in the damn pool for 2 months. Bad memories, but it worked and I made friends with the ladies doing water aerobics (pussy posse).


8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when –I ran with Dean Karnazes as my partner for the first stage of the Trans Rockies Run (21 miles). Yes, this was three years ago and yes I am going to bring it up forever. Is there a statute of limitations on this type of thing? I’m sure he answers this question the same way because he fell in love with me that day and even though he never calls or writes, I know he is feeling it every moment.


Here is Dean admiring the vein in his arm.


Here is Dean cheering because I am running beside him and he has  a crush on me.

9. Next race is - The Denver Rock and Roll Half on September 22 with Team Refuel.

10. Potential running goal for 2013 – No clue. I have all sorts of crap swirling around in my brain.  Everything from another marathon, to an ultra to an Ironman to laying on the couch and eating pixie sticks. I don’t plan ahead that far.

Consider yourself tagged and steal these questions for your own post.

Or, answer one or more of the question in the comments section of this post.

Best run ever?
Three words that describe your running?
Your go-to running outfit?
Quirky habit while running?
Morning, midday, evening?
I won’t run outside when it’s ____________
Worst injury—and how you got over it.
I felt most like a badass mother runner when _________
Next race is __________
Potential running goal for 2013?