Monday, December 30, 2013

50 Ways To Run Your Best In 2014


Let’s face it. While there are some people who could run the same distance over the same route everyday for the rest of their lives and never tire of it, most of us need something more to our running.

In my opinion, there are three elements to make sure running is fresh and alive in your life: running for a reason, seeing progress (whatever that looks like to you), and having variety. With that said, here are a few simple ways to be your best running self this upcoming year and for years to come:

  1. Stay injury free (find hints HERE)
  2. Run in honor of someone
  3. Run without a watch
  4. Make a new playlist
  5. Run with your dog (best running dogs HERE)
  6. Sign up for a race distance you’ve never done before
  7. Run on the trails
  8. Join a running club (find one HERE). Or start your own!
  9. Train with a heart rate monitor (more info HERE)
  10. Volunteer at a race
  11. Run for a charity (find yours HERE)
  12. Run your favorite route in reverse
  13. Create a running blog
  14. Sign up for a race in a state or country you’ve always wanted to travel to
  15. Volunteer for Girls on the Run
  16. Watch an inspiring movie like “Spirit of the Marathon
  17. Read Matt Long’s “The Long Run” and remember you have no excuses
  18. Go early, really early, before your brain realizes what you are doing
  19. Run with your kid
  20. Run with a friend beside you on his/her bike
  21. Get a friend or family member to run their first 5K
  22. Run an errand – literally!
  23. Run in the snow
  24. Run in the rain
  25. Run in the wind and know the resistance makes you stronger
  26. Do a triathlon
  27. Try a trail race (find some good ones HERE)
  28. Find a ruddy (a running buddy, get it?)
  29. Keep your goals attainable
  30. Use a training plan
  31. Run with good form
  32. Have a pre-run routine
  33. Start a streak
  34. Don’t obsess – life goes on if you miss a run.
  35. Sleep more (find out why and how HERE)
  36. Count your steps (180 per minute is optimal)
  37. Lose weight (if you need to) to get faster and run easier (good article HERE)
  38. Run without music
  39. Keep a running journal
  40. Run on vacation
  41. Run to work (someone can always drive you home)
  42. Try water running (more info HERE)
  43. Try a track workout (ideas HERE)
  44. Set a monthly mileage goal
  45. Keep your easy runs easy
  46. Run hills
  47. Run in a spot meaningful to you such as a cemetery or on the streets of the town where you grew up
  48. Never think you are too old
  49. Sign up for daily running motivation HERE
  50. Have fun with it or why do it?

Why ones are you going to try? I’m doing #1, #10, #23 , #27 and #45 for sure.

Now go run your best!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Why I Love Snow Pants

Over time I have discovered something very interesting about myself. I like to run in as few clothes as possible. I have yet to do a naked run (although I’m told these exist), mostly because the thought of seeing other people’s body parts flailing up and down and in circles would cause too much of a distraction. I once went to a nude beach in Greece (actually, it was a gay nude beach, even better) and watching the guys playing volleyball kind of scarred me for life.

Anyway, my new running outfit for when it is 25-40 degrees is this:


I used to wear capris when it was colder, but now I wear shorts and compression socks. Just more comfy and liberating. I have also started wearing a long sleeved shirt with arm warmers over it and fancy striped gloves from Target (Tarjay). I still like Target even though my personal identity was stolen from there over the holidays (not really, but it could have been).

So, just to prove life is not all about me and my training, we took a family day trip up to Fraser, Colorado (ice box of the nation) yesterday for our annual tubing trip. The two hour drive is totally worth it to experience the best sledding hill of your life.


Plus, having a lift to pull you and your tube back up is perfection:


However, what was to be a 2 hour trip quickly turned into a 3+ hour trip due to ski traffic and accidents. I got bored and took pictures in the car.

MFT (Mother Eff’ing Traffic):


Post-traffic (I’ve got to get out of this shit hole):


16 year olds need their sleep:




I was proud of myself for not throwing a tantrum when I saw the sign saying it would take us an hour to go the next ten miles. I did not scream and yell that I could almost run that far in an hour (well, not really, but some people do). Instead I ate mini Altoids and changed the radio station 95 times, which everyone loves.

Once we finally got to our destination, we were ready to roll. We’ve been to this tubing hill many times in the past and have always walked in, paid, and grabbed tubes. Not this time. A couple days after Christmas meant we had to wait two hours just to start sledding. WTF?

Once again, I did not throw a fit. I just watched the other sledders having fun. On a side note, I was wearing those bib-type snow pants. If you’ve ever worn those and farted, then you know how the smell wafts right up to your face (same with overalls). This is what I learned while waiting for 2 hours.

Finally it was our turn. This is what going downhill 50 miles an hour attached to your spouse’s tube looks and sounds like (you don’t want the smell part):


I call this picture Me With a Train.


Here is Sam lounging in the tube. He is wearing my snow pants because he doesn’t have any. It is fun to share clothes with your 16 year old son:


We stopped at Starbucks for hot beverages on the way out of town because that’s what you do when you’ve been playing in the snow. We were thrilled to find out that there was another major traffic jam heading down to Denver. I decided that today was a lesson in patience. Something I have very little of. I think that is why I started running. Because walking from one place to the next takes far too long. I hate walking.

Speaking of running, today was back to that. Enough family time. I ran 13 miles with the last 3 miles at race pace. Shouldn't have been hard, but it was. I do love my new pack, however.


What winter activities do you like? I used to ski, but fell and broke bones and had to be carried down the mountain, so I don’t do that anymore. Sometimes I snowshoe. I also like drinking Bailey’s.

Would you ever do a naked run? Maybe. I never say never.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

She’s Got Legs

I am off for an easy 8 miles… SHORTS (almost 50 degrees here this morning)…and new shoes.


And..with my new pack (review coming soon):


Clearly, everyday is Christmas for me.

It’s going to be an amazing day. And, I hope it is for you too.

From my home to yours…


(Ironman Florida-Beaver Creek, CO- Playa del Carmen, Mexico- Heidi- Betty Sue)

Have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate), friends!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

In 5 Words: Scenes From the Weekend

New flavor I must have:


Fun Friday family night out:


8 miles in 15 degrees:


Two bald eagles in trees:


Cooking lasagna in running gear:


Ugliest picture from the year:


Hiding baby to scare company:


Kissing freaky baby by toilet:


A kid stole my camera:


Heidi should be dog model:


I am a football widow:



Describe your weekend in 5 words


Friday, December 20, 2013

The 7 Deadly Sins of Running

Sure, you can read Runner’s World or some technical running blog and learn about the real running mistakes we make like over striding, doing too much too soon, not fueling well, and wearing the wrong shoes. But, on this here blog, I would like to outline the less known sins that runners commit.

The First Deadly Sin: Talking about how great your long run was to an injured runner. Not cool. And, you might get punched or shot.

The Second Deadly Sin: Wearing a race t-shirt of a race you haven’t done. This, of course, is personal preference…some people just like a good shirt and don’t care what it says or represents. I, however, think I have to earn the shirt before I wear it. 

The Third Deadly Sin: Not waving to other runners. When you are running and someone is running towards you, give a damn wave. Just do it. It seriously takes two seconds and no energy. It’s not like you have to strike up a conversation about Obamacare or your poop habits. Just acknowledge your fellow runner. We truly are a secret little club. Let’s support each other.


The Fourth Deadly Sin: Wearing white tights/shorts. Just don’t do it. It is far too risky. I am all about risk-taking, but even I would never trust a fart or a what could happen to a white pair of shorts/tights while running.

The Fifth Deadly Sin: Lying about your race time. Remember when Paul Ryan did this? He said he ran a sub three hour marathon, when in actuality it was a 4:01. Slight difference. The truth is, anyone can look up your race time. Don’t fudge it. Just be honest. If people only like you because you ran a certain time, they’re not worth hanging out with anyway.

The Sixth Deadly Sin: Getting on a moving treadmill or closing your eyes on a  treadmill.  Once I did get on a treadmill at the gym that someone had left on. I promptly got sling-shotted across the gym, bruising my ass and my ego. Some people tell me they wanted to try visualization or relaxation and closed their eyes while on the ‘mill. Yeah, that is not recommended either.

The Seventh Deadly Sin: Over discussing your running with non-runners. Yes, they politely ask how your training is going.  This does not mean they want a 30 minute run-down on your planned race pace, your zero drop shoes, your bodily functions on your 20 mile run, and how much Vaseline you need to put on to avoid chafing.  Know when to say when!


Ever done any of the above? Yes, the Third, Sixth and Seventh.

Any other “sins”/mistake you can think of?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Do a Flea and a Bachelor Have In Common?

I just found out where I am going to be on March 9:

I’m going there to do this (thanks to Asics and the Blogger Challenge Program):


I’ve never been to Los Angeles. I think the best way to see it will be to run 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. Sounds lovely. And, I am sure running would take far less time than trying to drive it. That is all I know about LA. Piss poor traffic situation.

I am hoping to do some celebrity sighting and stalking. In the past these people have run LA:

Alison Sweeney from Biggest Loser: 4:31
Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers: 3:41
Chef Gordon Ramsey: 3:48
Bachelor Andy Baldwin: 3:34

I only have one question: WID? (Where Is Dolvett?)

I am especially excited because rumor has it that Lindsay Lohan wants to run LA in 2014. Hmmm…there are a lot of things I could write about this, but let’s just say if she thinks running is going to cure her, who am I to argue? It cures everything, right?

Here are other things I know about this marathon:

  • Average high temperature: 69 (probably slightly warmer than Colorado)
  • Elevation of LA: 233 feet above sea level (yes! that means we must run downhill to the water, no?)
  • Number of runners: 25,000
  • Distance: 26.2 miles (I need to know this when people ask me how far the LA Marathon is. Yes, it happens)
  • Number of Porta Potties: No clue, but with 25,000 people, there better be a shit load (no pun intended).

My official training (under Coach Andrew Kastor – Deena’s husband!), started this week. I kicked it off with 11.5 miles today. It feels damn good to have a plan on the wall again. I love structure. I love goals.



Any one else running the LA Marathon? Or, have you run it before?

If not, do you have a spring half marathon/marathon planned? Right now, LA is all I have on my calendar except the Cache-Teton Epic Relay in August. I’m sure I’ll be adding lots more in the near future.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Spread Eagle

This was a very exciting weekend.

On Saturday night Ken and I went to the downtown thriving metropolis of Longmont, Colorado. We sat at a bar and had nachos and beer (well, I had wine because I am very sophisticated) and watched the Christmas parade. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve sat at a bar and had nachos. It was exhilarating. And, I’m glad I’m not back in the bar/dating scene anymore.

The woman beside us was going to the gas station across the street and offered to buy us a Mega Millions ticket (jackpot = $586 million if you are lounging under a rock). I only had a $1 (I never have cash on me). She bought us one ticket and said we owed her 10% if we won ($58.6 million – did I do that right?). She asked for my address and I told her I was homeless.

Ken and I started talking about what we would do with the money if we won. We both agreed we’d first take care of our families, college, etc. Then maybe travel, buy a house in Costa Rica, then figure out some massively amazing way to combine our love for running/fitness and charity work. Then maybe do another Ironman because those are expensive ass races.

On the way home we drove by this house up the street from us.

photo 2

Talk about overachievers.

At our house we are under-achieving. Charlie Brown would be proud.

photo 3

Sunday found us climbing thousands of feet on this trail.




Yes, my friends, that is the trail I just ran up.

It was at first icy, slick and windy. It then turned into muddy, slick and windy. We were hoping for 10 miles, but at the top of the mountain we could not find the trail under all the snow and I did not want to end up like that poor family in Nevada, so we headed down. We did a whopping 7.5 miles.

Post-Ironman, I am back to mostly running. It’s no secret that swimming is not my favorite (something about having to shave too often, then finding hair and pubes in the pool, then being cold and having to dress and undress. Not to mention all of the naked people in the locker room who try to give me advice). I love my bike, but I do not love my trainer, and it’s been way too icy and cold to be out on the roads on a bike. Running has therefore been the star of the show.

Monday: Ran 2 miles with Heidi
Tuesday: Swam 2,200 yards
Wednesday: Ran 9.5 miles on snowy trails (10F degrees)
Thursday: Off
Friday: Ran 6 miles with Heidi
Saturday: Ran 6 miles (road)
Sunday: Ran 7.5 miles (trail)

Total: 31 miles (+swimming)

I am not sure what is going on here, but Heidi really should be more discreet. Not very lady like to lay spread eagle on the ground. Especially during a run.


Today I got all excited because the Fed Ex guy actually parked in my drive way.


I figured this meant he had some tremendously large gift for me, but it was just this. My GU variety mix.


The most devastating part of the whole thing was there are no salted caramel GUs in the mix. WTF GU?

Time to stop procrastinating and go do some actual work.


What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery? Would you still work? Do you ever play? We never play, but decided to give it a shot this time. I mean we do have a 1/259 million chance of winning, which I think are very good odds.

Favorite GU flavor? Lemon Lime.

Do you decorate your house? Over or under achiever? You know my answer.


PS: One last thing. If you want to save 30% on X2 Performance products (I swear by them as a training supplement), go HERE and put in code XMAS30 at check out.

Friday, December 13, 2013

When Does Running Get Easier?

A reader (who just finished her first 5K) asked me a simple, yet extremely complicated question:

Does running get easier? More enjoyable? Did you like it from the start?”

As you know, I started running five years (age 41) ago when I impulsively signed up to do the Rock ‘n Roll Arizona Marathon with Team in Training (TIT, I mean TNT).


Up until that point I had been known to hate running. I know hate is not a nice word, but let’s just say running pissed me off. Anytime I had tried to run I thought I had to go balls out and sprint the whole time. Feeling like you want to throw up and can’t breathe for a few miles will make you hate the sport.


When I started training for the marathon and finally had the guidance of a coach, I realized that most runs (with the exception of speed workouts) were not meant to be done frantically and full speed ahead. Long runs were actually supposed to occur at paces where you could carry on a conversation! Imagine that. Once I started running with this in mind, I actually started to like it.

However, like I told you the other day, running is never easy for me. If I am running long, I start to tire. If I am doing a tempo run, I have to concentrate on holding the pace. And, God forbid, if I am doing intervals, I have to try to just stay up right and not crap myself. Sure, I have runs that feel better than others. But, I can’t say my runs are ever particularly effortless.

What has become easier is the mental part of running. After putting in thousands of miles, I no longer question my ability to go certain distances, or to be able to continue on when I am tired. I have more confidence, and that has made my running easier.

Has running become enjoyable? Hell yes. Sometimes the most enjoyable part of a run is when it is over and I am at home with a big cup of coffee. Sometimes the most enjoyable part of a run is literally feeling my body shedding all of my worries, concerns and stressors as the miles unfold before me. Sometimes the most enjoyable part of a run is that I am forced to stay in the moment and all I can hear is my breathing and my steps on the ground.


Every single run for me brings joy in one form or another, even if it isn’t easy and I’m miserable. Does that makes sense? In that regard, running is an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or butt head. A love/hate relationship.

Did I like it from the start? Yes. I fell hard for running after my first marathon. Since then I have done 5 more marathons, about 20 half marathons, relays and countless other races (there might have been an Ironman in there). I will say what I do not like: 5Ks. They simply hurt.

So, now it’s your turn.

Do you think running gets easier and/or more enjoyable?

Did you love running from the start?


PS: Heidi wanted me to tell you she had a personal best today. She ran further than she ever has before. 6 miles. She got tired and gassy, just like me, but she loved every minute of it.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

6 Reasons You’re Not The Runner You Want To Be

No matter who you are or what you do, there is always room for improvement. If I thought I was done growing (I am only 5’ 5” after all), I would probably shrivel up and die. For me, life has to be about continuing to improve, to learn, to experience, to risk, to GROW. But, even the best of us get stagnant sometimes.

Like any runner, I’ve had low points that have included injuries and illnesses. I’ve also had emotional/mental battles with running - times of feeling burned out, not good enough, unmotivated. I can usually connect these times to a few basic areas that are pulling me down and robbing me of my mojo. I wonder if you indulge in these problem areas too.

1. Comparing Too Much – Maybe you’ve read one too many posts on Facebook or tweets about other runners doing the most extraordinary things ever – qualifying for Boston! Coming in first in their age group! Doing a 15 mile training run and feeling GREAT!

You are happy for them, but you are also somewhat jealous. You think maybe those things are out of your reach. You think - what’s the point, I’ll never be able to do those things. Before you know it, your confidence is in the toilet along with your motivation and enthusiasm. When this downward spiral starts, you need to STOP. Stop your mind from telling you what you can and can’t do. Stop basing your running worth on what others are doing. Compare yourself only to yourself.


2. Getting Lazy – I’ve said this five million times on this blog: running, working out, training is a decision you make.  The trick to motivation is to not over think it. The minute you even contemplate not going and start making rationalizations for not going (I’m too…{fill in the blank} tired, constipated, menstrual, busy, cold, gassy) is the minute you are one step closer to not getting out the door. Shut up and stop being lazy and full of excuses. If you don’t go, you never know what you missed:


3. Talking Yourself Out of Being a Runner – If I had a potato chip for every time a runner told me they weren't sure they were a “real” runner, I’d be on the Biggest Loser (which might not be so bad considering you know who – Dolvett – is there). My point is - if you run, you are  a runner. No matter how fast or slow, how short or far. It doesn’t matter if you race every weekend or have never done a race. Don’t have all the fancy clothes, shoes and watches? Doesn’t matter.  The minute you break into a run/jog from a walk, you are running and you are a runner. Own it.

4. Listening To the Wrong People – It took me awhile, but in all of my infinite 46 year old wisdom, I finally learned that the company we keep and the messages that company gives us has a profound impact on not only our confidence, but our general outlook on life. Surround yourself with negative people and guess what? Your mood veers towards pessimism. Hang out with positive folks who boost you up? You are inspired, energized, courageous.

When I decided to do my Ironman, I had my doubts. If I had listened to the naysayers, I would probably would have still moved forward, but not with near the confidence. The people who believed in me never waivered. And, that made me never waiver too. Choose to be around people who are forward thinkers, dreamers, go-getters, risk takers. See what happens.


5. Letting a Setback Define You – Let’s face it. We’ve all had horrible runs and races. Most of us have been injured. Lots of us have set lofty goals that have not been reached. We’ve DNS’d, DNF’d and/or have been DFL. So what? Take adversity as a personal challenge to become stronger. I mean, if this girl can run a marathon a few months after this picture was taken, then you can bounce back too (my farts are so bad sometimes I have to wear a mask).


6. Losing Perspective – We runners can get obsessed. Tunnel vision is our diagnosis. We are so set on things going a certain way, that we’ve lost our flexibility and our ability to see the big picture. Running is important, it is a huge and important part of your life. However, if you over emphasize its importance, then you have also lost balance in your life. Cut yourself a break, do something else you love to do and remember to lighten up and to not take yourself so seriously. Maybe you’ll actually start to fall in love with running again.


Are you guilty of any of the above? I’ve done #1, #5 and #6 over and over again. I need to remind myself to not compare, to bounce back, and to keep perspective. These are my struggles.


Monday, December 9, 2013

4 Random Yet Thrilling Highlights From The Weekend

1. A picture  (Because I never post pictures of myself).

I know that me completing in Ironman is SO yesterday's news – after all, it was over a month ago. However, this weekend I received some new pictures that were taken by my nephew. Pictures I had not seen before.  Let me tell you why this one is an all time favorite:


I had just finished the first loop of the swim, and was headed out for the next 1.2 miles. Like everyone, my nerves at the start had been out of control (thank God I did not crap in my wetsuit). The first part of the swim was insane with 3,000 bodies and current and waves. By the time I rolled (literally –tossed by the waves) onto the beach after the first loop, I knew I was going to be okay….you know how you just know things?

It was a moment of triumph, even though I was still 12+ hours from the finish line. I scanned the huge crowds just hoping to find a glimpse of my family. This picture is the moment when I saw them and they saw me. My mom will tell you this was also the moment she knew her daughter was going to be fine (you can imagine a mom’s worry watching that freak show of a swim start). So that, my friends, is why I love this picture. That and the husky tattooed man to my left.

2. Cookies.

My mom, Joie, Erika and I got together for a cookie baking extravaganza. There were 10 different kinds of cookies in all. I find this very impressive.


Kinds and Recipes ( you are welcome):

S’Mores Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies
Cocoa Nut Balls (from my childhood, can’t find the recipe online)
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Magic Cookie Bars
Shortbread/Chocolate Chip Cookies
Saffron Snickerdoodles
Cinnamon Spiced Hot Chocolate Cookies
Mini Brownies (again, childhood)

3. Getting Dressed.

When you run or do something sweaty every day and work from home, you spend 99.5% of your life in a ponytail, running tights/shorts and a fleece jacket (on the good days I will wear a CYA ((Cover Your Ass)) skirt over my tights so as not to not scar the grocery store patrons. Guess I need one of these – great stocking stuffer!).

This weekend I traded in my stinky clothes for a dress and boots as we had a party to attend. I bet you didn’t even know I owned a brush (or was invited to parties). The dress was from Forever XXI (my personal mantra, yeah right) and was only $25 or so.


4. Mask.


I fit in a couple more sub zero runs. I really don’t want to talk about it because I am annoyed by how f&cking freezing it is, but I go anyway because there are 10 kinds of cookies in the house. The good thing about running in the extreme cold is that you can rob a store along the way.


What was one random highlight from your weekend? Another random thing was coping with the grumpy people at the grocery store, especially in the baking aisle. I even heard one mom mutter under her breath, “I have got to get the %&$ out of here.”

Favorite holiday cookie to make? There are so many. I’m still a fan of the basic sugar cookie cut outs that you decorate.