Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How a Tampon Can Save Your Life + Other Uses For Everyday Items

When I was checking out at the grocery store today the cashier commented on my orange juice. “Did you know you can use this container to water your flowers with? It is like a little watering can!” Well, hot dang if she’s not right!


Pretend that there is a little parade of flower pots at my feet, not a carpet.
It is too cold to go outside and pretend to be watering in the snow.

This got me to thinking about all the everyday items (or bodily fluids) that have multiple uses we aren’t even aware of:

  • Getting ready to go for a swim, but need a pubic clean up? Olive oil can be used as a replacement for shaving cream. I have not tried this. You try first and tell me how it goes.
  • Have a smelly gym bag? Throw in a dyer sheet to freshen it up. Then your gym bag will smell like Downy with a hint of jock strap and sweat.
  • A banana (we runners have millions of those around) can be used to clean your CDs.
  • Use baking soda to settle an upset stomach. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a half cup of water and drink. Then throw up and you will stop thinking about your unsettled stomach.
  • Use a condom to waterproof your electronic device on a long run.
  • Why spend big bucks on Body Glide when Vaseline can be used to prevent chafing (duh)? It will also hopefully prevent you from getting in the shower and crying like a little girl when the water hits your chafed nether regions.
  • Washing your face with urine can keep you looking youthful and smooth. I have been doing this for years and I bet you didn’t know I am really 96 years old, not 46. Just kidding. I have not done this, so please let me know how it works out for you (find other creative uses for urine HERE).
  • Tampons (unused) make wonderful kindling for a fire. They can also be used to stop bleeding if you receive a gunshot wound, but hopefully you don’t run in those kinds of neighborhoods.
  • In a pinch, a runner (or hiker or cyclist) could use the cottony part of a tampon as additional insulation in their gloves. (I did not make this up. Someone else did).

What’s a clever/outrageous way you use an everyday household item? I did wash my hair with mayo once because it was supposed to make it silky smooth. Nope, it just made me smell like a sandwich.

Ever tried any of the above? Would you ever try any of the above? The condom thing is actually not a bad idea, but I’d more likely use a zip lock bag. I’ll probably stick with Oil of Olay instead of trying urine.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Why Those Who Start Running Don’t Stop

For some reason today I was trying to remember my earliest memory of running. I don’t mean running while playing freeze tag or Ghost in the Graveyard when I was six, but running when I actually “went out for a run.” I think my first “real” run was when I was 13. My dad would get up and run in the early mornings a few times per week, and one day I went with him. I can’t remember how far it was or what we talked about, but I can remember that I couldn’t believe anyone could just go out and run for miles at a time and not stop or throw up.

This got me to thinking about how runners get their start. It seems like there are four camps:

#1 - Those who ran track and/or cross country in high school and college and never stopped. These tend to be the ones who know a lot about form, pacing, from years of being coached and from years of racing.

#2 - Those who started running during college or just after as a way to manage their weight, get regular about exercising, socialize or simply try their first long distance race. Then they got hooked.

#3 - Those who got married, had kids, maybe got fat, were searching for their identity, wanted to get into shape, wanted focus (could be all or one of the above), and then decided to start running in their late thirties to fifties.

#4: Those who started running because they needed healing from trauma, loss or illness.

Today #4 really resonated with me.  I read a detailed story about Fauja Singh. If you’ve ever heard of him or seen his picture, you have not quickly forgotten him.



Fauja Singh is best known for being the oldest person to ever run a marathon. At the age of 100, he ran 26.2 miles at the 2011 Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 8 hours and 25 minutes. As always, there is a story behind the persona that we see in pictures and interviews. I guarantee you there is a lot about Singh that would surprise you.

  • He ran his first marathon at 89 years of age
  • He could not walk steadily until he was almost ten years old due to weakness in his legs
  • He showed up for his first marathon training session in a three piece suit (my favorite bit of trivia)
  • He trained for only 10 weeks for his first marathon (2000 London Marathon. He ran a 6:54)

So, what brought Singh to running at such an old age? Intense and insurmountable grief. In 1994 (at the age of 83) and while living in India, Singh watched his son be decapitated in a freak accident. A piece of sheet metal flew off of a building and hit his son, killing him immediately.

Running became Singh’s salvation, his distraction. “When running, Fauja realized he thought only of his next step.” He reports feeling connected to God as his anger subsided and his grief lessened.

I think no matter how we got our start, there is a reason we haven’t stopped. We are all looking for that escape into a life a bit outside of our cubicle or office walls, our homes, our relationships, our relentless negative thoughts – a way to boost ourselves mentally, a way to make our bodies stronger, a way to feel a sense of accomplishment we may not feel anywhere else in our lives.

We don’t have to experience the level of trauma that Singh did to feel the relief that running can bring. Some us start our runs with our demons, our anger, our sadness, our heavy thoughts, our insecurities bearing down on us like a hundred pound weight. With each step, with each mile, the burden gets lifted slightly. By the end of our run, the lightness takes hold and we find ourselves rejuvenated, relieved, new.

No matter how we got started running, I think this is why most of us have not stopped.



What motivated you to start running? I started because I needed a goal outside of parenting and a part time job. I had just turned 40 and had two young kids. I wanted something of my own. I found that running gave me back my confidence and made me feel alive.

What’s kept you running? I love how it lifts my spirits, how accomplished I feel afterwards. I love how strong I feel when I run. It’s hard for me to get this same “high”  anywhere else.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

WIRP: Week In Random Pictures

Please tell me I am not the only one who has random pictures on their phone. Just a bunch of boring stuff from the week. It’s a snow day here – I have nothing better to do than show you these pictures (kind of like SR’s phone dump). Then Ken and I are going to indulge and spend $1.30 at the Redbox to watch “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Snow days are the best.

Acupuncture Thursday. Yes, I do have underwear on. How many needles can you find? There are six – did you miss the ones in my toes?


On my birthday I got a hair cut and my stylist put “beach waves” in my hair. I am very proud that Emma perfected the act of photo bombing at such a young age.


Also, on my birthday – free car wash and detail. Check out my hot rod. Mid-life crisis at its best. It’s always good to do this right before it snows.


Here’s Emma hanging out with our guinea pig, Betty Sue. Yes, Betty Sue is the size of a small dog. Maybe I’ll cross breed her with a poodle and get a guinea pigoodle. Perfection.


I did a 12 mile run on Saturday. Freaking freezing at 14 degrees. No, I did not photoshop the color of the sky.


At least I didn’t choose to run on Sunday (today) as a huge storm move in. I spent the night with girlfriends in Denver and got up early to drive home in this. Thank goodness Howard Stern was interviewing someone interesting on talk radio (Brandy from the Real Housewives. Did you know she had her vagina re-done? Who does that?).


When I got home I made a veggie egg scramble followed by red velvet cake and it hurt my stomach. Another good reason it was not a long run day. That would have been ugly. LSR (long shart run).


Lastly, I got really excited because my new swim suit came in the mail yesterday from Victoria’s Secret. I’m not going to lie. It’s nice to dream of Mexico right now.


What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day? Reading by the fire, watching a movie, drinking hot tea or a hot toddy.

Did you have a long run or race this weekend? Where and how far?

Bikini or one-piece? I’m a fan of the bikini. I figure that even if I don’t have the best body out there or look like a 20 year old, I’m still proud of what I’ve got!


Friday, February 22, 2013

What I Won’t Be Doing On My 46th Birthday

Running 46 miles. Some bloggers run the number of miles that they turn on their birthday. Impressive for sure. But, if I did that I would run right into my grave and I’d rather not die today. Instead I might eat 46 Reese's or drink 46 ounces of something.

Writing a blog post containing 46 things about me. I did this on my 43rd birthday and I think that is enough (Dang. I’ve been blogging for over three years. Might be time to stop?). If you care what my phobia is, that I used to deal black jack, how much heavier I used to be and 40 more random things about me - go HERE.


Feeling bad about turning 46. A friend left me a message asking if I was “okay about my birthday.” I LOVE my birthday, even as I’m getting older. It never occurred to me to not feel okay about it even though I am not officially closer to 50 than 40.

Taking a rest day. One of the gifts I give to myself today is the gift of running. 7 mile tempo run coming up!

Doing laundry (well, I don’t do it anyway, hooray for husband and kids) or doing any other type of house cleaning, cooking, etc. Two words: Sushi HAPA!!

Working. I paid my dues this week cramming stuff in so I could be free. See? Here is proof (is my hair receding?):


Making my own cake. My mom already made me one on Sunday (banana with caramel icing) and I ate it all. Maybe I will buy another cake tomorrow. I love the cakes at Costco with the cheesecake icing/filling. But, I think they serve 2,098 people. Do you all want to come over?


Me enjoying cake on my 1 year birthday. February 22, 1968.


Do birthdays depress or excite you? I love my birthday no matter how old I am. I see it as the dawn of new possibilities!

What is your absolute favorite thing to do on your birthday? I love a massage or pedicure, a free car wash and dinner with family and friends. I’m easy (TWSS)


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Give Me Five (+ What NOT To Say To Flat Chested Women)

I’ve long been a card carrying (shirt carrying?) member of this club:

I wore this shirt proudly in middle school, and my mom even gave me a spin-off of this shirt when I turned 40, just for old time’s sake:


I know some women take it really personally that people consider them small breasted. I am not one of them. It really doesn’t bother me. The only – and I mean the only – time I wish my boobs were bigger is when I am getting in a bathing suit or party dress and would like cleavage for an hour or two. Maybe I will go on Shark Tank with an idea called “Rent-a-Cleavage” and make a million dollars. Or, get yelled at by Mark Cuban.

Yes, I remember being taunted by the boys in middle and high school for being so flat. Funny thing is, I found it kind of endearing. It made me feel like their kid sister or something. I was also a gymnast, so having little to no boobs was considered a bonus. Who wants to get hit in the face with fleshy melons when you’re trying to do a bar routine?

Now that I am older and athletic, call me crazy, but I still prefer the no-boob thing. Yes, every once in awhile I’d like to turn someone’s head and have them think I have a rockin’ body (based on cup size). But, I suppose I’ve made peace with that now that I’m almost 46. Ain’t gonna happen. The best I can do is make my body the best it can be given what I was given, right?

Why all this boob talk? Yesterday in the Huffington Post there was an article about what NOT to say to flat chested women.


Let’s see. How many of these have been said to me before? And, then some. Guess, what? I don’t care one bit. I work hard to take care of my body and to keep it healthy. I work hard to build muscle and endurance. I work hard to be getting older and to still wear a bikini (whether I should or not – according to this I should not).

I was really struck by Francelina this week when she got voted off The Biggest Loser. I LOVED how confident she was in herself. I loved how she made you feel like YOU would be lucky to know her. Somehow she did this without the slightest bit of ego or big-headedness. I like a girl who can get behind herself and say “I deserve that. I’m good at that. I’m worth it” without worrying that others will think she’s a bitch or entitled or conceited.

In my job I do interviews with people and gather their personal histories. I am trying to gauge how their experiences have affected them over the long term. I ask literally 5 million questions during these three hour sessions. Want to know what the most difficult question is for people? Not if they were abused or had an alcoholic parent or got pregnant when they were 15. The toughest question is “Can you please give me a few adjectives to describe yourself?” Everyone freezes. Most people literally cannot give me more than one or two words, and usually these are things with negative connotations like, “I am a worrier” or “I am controlling.”

I think it’s hard for people to describe themselves (although in one second they can give you 20 adjectives about their spouse or kids) because:

  1. We’re hardly ever asked to do it
  2. We think far more about the qualities we like in others than those we like in ourselves
  3. We don’t want  to appear full of ourselves.

Seems we’ve forgotten how to build ourselves up, to really like ourselves for all of the positive qualities we possess. We spend so much time focusing on self improvement and what we think we are lacking, we forget to pat ourselves on the back for all of what we are.

Go ahead ask me to describe myself. Today I’d say I’m:

Determined, smart, funny, a good mother, dependable, a decent writer, an athlete, organized and compassionate

So what if I’m flat chested?

Tell me five words that describe you. And, don’t say you don’t know.


Monday, February 18, 2013

10 Things I Learned The Hard Way As A Runner

When I started running four years ago I literally had no clue about anything related to running. Fueling, paces, gear, training were all unknowns to me. I’m not going to lie – there is something refreshing and pure about being so naïve. Yet, my ignorance definitely led me down some unfortunate roads. Here are a few things I’ve learned and I didn’t even die along the way.

1. Mucous Happens. A Lot. I had no clue when I started running that my nose would constantly be dripping while I ran. It never fails that the snot faucet gets turned on when you start to run. This has a name (who knew?)– Exercise Induced Rhinitis - and happens because of increased air flow through the nose. Cold weather can also make the problem worse. Thank goodness for snot rockets.

2. Food Will Hurt You. Pizza, chicken wings and two Bass Ales the night before your (my) first half marathon might pose a problem at mile 5…and mile 7…and mile 9.2…watch what you eat the night and morning before a race. Experiment beforehand. It matters.

3. Things Get Crowded. If you tell your family you will just “see them at the finish line” of a race that has more than five people in it, you will not find them for 29 hours. I crossed the finish line of my first marathon (Rock and Roll Phoenix) ready to fall into the arms of my adoring family while I cried tears of joy. Instead I spent the next hour trying to find them. By then all I wanted was a stretcher and a beer.

4. Unlocked Doors Are Trouble. If you forget to lock the porta potty door, someone will come in. I was once actually trying to clean myself up when someone barged in. I think he is still traumatized.

5. Clothes Are Not What They Seem. You should always test out a new piece of clothing before you wear it for a race. I bought a new running skirt for a marathon and never wore it the day before the race because I had worn that brand before and thought I knew how it fit. Nope. I spent 26.2 miles with my crack showing. Running clothing malfunction.

6. Injuries Lurk Everywhere. Racing with “kind of” an injury will leave you with a flown blown major injury. In my first year of running my foot hurt really badly (like I could not run ten feet without pain), but I ran the Boulder Back Roads Half Marathon anyway. What’s the worst that could happen, right? I did finish the race, but I didn’t walk back to my car. I had to be carried. Because I had a stress fracture in my foot. Bad, stupid runner.


7. People Leave Them On. If you forget to double check that the treadmill is actually not moving before you step on it, there is a chance it will be “on” and you will be flung across the gym. I was.

8. It’s Possible to Run Your Face Off. There is such a thing as Runner’s Face and I think I have it. It’s when you get actually lose fatty tissue in your face and start to look kind of wrinkled and gaunt. Here are some tips to prevent it.

9. Pee Happens. Again and Again. No matter how much you go before getting to the start line of a race you will always have to pee when you start. And, while you’re racing. This is because there is increased blood flow from the cardiovascular workout can speed up other body systems as well, including your kidneys’ production of urine {source}.

10. Water Does Stop Flowing. Sometimes races run out of water. I never believed this, but at one especially hot race in Boulder a couple years ago, there was not a drop left. Carrying a fuel belt may not be such a bad idea after all.

What’s something you’ve learned the hard way as a runner?


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tell Me About Your Dog

Dog shopping like any kind of shopping has become completely overwhelming.

I can hardly decide on shampoo (moisturizing, triple volume, infused with Moroccan camel urine), or Oreos (birthday cake, double stuff, mint, vodka crème <in my dreams), or even toilet paper (triple ply, strawberry scented, reusable), so how the hell am I supposed to decide on a dog?

These days the choices are ridiculous with all of these hybrid breeds like Puggles, every kind of Doodle and Chi-weenies. Not to mention purebreds and mutts. What’s a girl to do? Maybe get a ferret.

It’s not like we’re getting a dog today. We’re not.  I’m still coping with the loss of this guy a couple of months ago:


But, time does pass and your heart starts to open to the idea of another dog. I am still at the place where I don’t think I could love a dog like Lucky. But…maybe I could just love a dog in a different way. Maybe.

The kids update me everyday on all of the amazing dogs at the humane society. Today we visited and I found myself drawn to the “imperfect” dogs like Lucky. Those dogs missing something, like Lucky was missing a leg and an eye. This lab, Max, was missing one ear and half of another. I loved him. Don’t you?


But, it’s still a bit too soon, and with our spring break trip coming up, we need to wait a bit longer. And, I am just not quite ready.

I’ve done my research on breeds and was interested to see that Runner’s World actually posted a great resource on breeds of dogs and how they are suited for the type of runner you may be (this is just part of the chart, for all of it – go HERE):


I am not set on getting a dog to run with. Many trails I run on don’t allow dogs, and lots of times I run on roads that might be too busy for dogs. But, I still like to think about having a four legged buddy to run with. Sometimes.

So, my questions to you are -

Do you have a dog and if so, what breed? Would you get that same type of dog again?

Do you run with your dog?

Which is better – puppy or an older dog (2-4 years)? Since I work from home, I could do a puppy. Just not sure I’m up for it. At least I won’t have to breast feed.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Bet You Didn’t Know That Song Was On My iPod

I do not know why I was so psyched out about this.


I look happy here – at the gym at 5:30 a.m. this morning getting ready to do a tempo run. I am faking it. I was really not that excited.

In fact, I was kind of stressed. Which is totally and completely stupid because it’s just a dumb 6 mile tempo run done at a small gym in Longmont, Colorado at the wee hours of the morning for God’s sake. It’s not like it’s the Olympic Trials.

Why stressed? Let’s break it down.

  • I haven’t done structured speed work/tempo work in a long time
  • I haven’t trained for a marathon in a long time (2 years)
  • I have injury PTSD
  • Sometimes I am afraid to be too tired
  • Sometimes I am afraid to hurt

The good news is I knew my brain was messing with me and that I just needed to get out of my head to make this a really good, quality, kick ass run.

So, after a long warm up, I kicked in the tempo miles at 7.3 mph (8:12 pace). I realize this is a warm up, easy pace for some of you, but it is not easy for me.

I talked to myself the whole time:

  • Do not stop and rest. If you stop and rest, it is not a tempo run it is an interval run and that is not what you’re here for (got this reminder from this girl)
  • You are strong, steady, perfect, capable
  • You are not injured. Nothing hurts. Stop being scared.
  • Don’t be afraid to give it your all. Balls to the wall (oops, I don’t have balls – but nipples to the wall sounds stupid)
  • I thought of a quote in one of my favorite running books (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running): “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”


These two songs also helped.

AD/DC – Rock Your Heart Out
Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart

Yes, I am old school with my music sometimes. These songs will get even a limp, lazy and drunk person up and running. (Clearly I was going for a HEART theme for Valentine’s Day - not really, pure coincidence actually).

All of this ranting and raving in my brain worked. I got my head in the game and there was this almost immediate physical turn around.  It wasn’t that hard. Not at all. Even when my stomach started cramping at mile 5 and I let some (not so innocent) farts fly, I kept going. The feeling at the end? Exhilaration. Confidence to start my day. And, I wasn’t even faking it.

Moral of the story – your mind can be your own worst enemy. So, make friends with it and make it work for you.

Speed work: love it or hate it? I like to say we have a love/hate relationship

What’s one song people might be surprised to find on your iPod? Greased Lightening from Grease. I always skip it when it comes on, but somehow I still love that song – especially the part that goes, “You know I ain’t bragging, she’s a real pussy wagon!” DANG, that was kind of advanced for 1978. I used to run around as an 11 year old singing that with no clue about what it meant.

Happy VD! Hope you don’t have any STDs this year.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

“Hey Garmin, You Are Not the Boss Of Me”

Are you a slave to your Garmin? Do you let it boss you around? Do you believe everything it tells you?

Have you ever had the experience of feeling really good on a run, then looking down at your Garmin and thinking “No way can that be right. I am NOT going that slow,” then all of a sudden you are not liking your run anymore and you feel like a puddle of crap?

Then you need to read the article in this month’s Running Times called GPS Rules.


Basically, this is a no nonsense guide to using a GPS watch without letting it dictate your every step on the run.

My favorite rule is Don’t Look - A great reminder that we often start our runs too fast because we let the GPS force us into a starting speed we might not be up for yet.

Have you ever felt like the first couple of miles of a run are the toughest? That’s because your body is trying to acclimate, to settle into a pace for the run. It’s called warming up. If you are going out for a marathon pace run of an 9:00 min/mile average and you start off balls to the wall, your performance for the rest of the run might suffer.

A proper warm up increases heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to the muscles. It prepares the body for increasingly vigorous activity, allows it to work more efficiently, and reduces injury risk by loosening you up." {source}.

Sure, you can do other activities as your warm up (see here for a great pre-run warm up), but you might want to still start out slower than goal pace when you first start out.

And, if anyone tells you this you have my permission to kick them in the crotch:

Another helpful rule is Let the Pace Vary. None of us maintain exactly the same pace, step for step, throughout an entire run (well, if you're on the treadmill you might- but not outside). When you take into account hills, wind, terrain, and many other factors, you will find that your pace changes constantly. For this reason the author (Greg McMillan) advises, “Get comfortable with the pace variation and don’t worry so much about your exact speed at any given time during an easy run.”

Bottom line:  pay attention, but not too close of attention. Your GPS is a tool, not something to stress you out or jeopardize you.

Do you run with a GPS? If so, are you a frequent looker, or do you just check in every so often? I always run with a Garmin (this one). I’ve tried to get into the habit of checking only at every mile marker (to get the average for that mile), unless I’m doing speed work. For easy, shorter or less structured runs, I don’t look at it at all.


PS: Warning: If you hate everything related to vomit as much as I do, be careful reading the March edition of Running Times. There is a whole article (and images!) called “Puking Primer: Why Runners Suffer Race Day Nausea and What To Do About It.” I’m scarred. Not scared. SCARRED. Yes, I have a problem. Thank God I’m not a puker.

PPS: Fun Fact: Fred Zalokar (54 years old, runs a 2:34 marathon) does 40% of his mileage (he has done 182 miles in a week before) on the treadmill because he finds it easier on his body. Get this – he sets the treadmill on a 3% decline for faster turnover.

Monday, February 11, 2013

7 Time Management Tips to Survive Marathon Training

Marathon training starts today.


Yes, I look like an old hag because I just got out of the shower,
no make up, air dried hair. Au naturel baby!

What? Who says you can’t kick off training with a nice frosted toasted oat cereal with sugary marshmallows? There are six new spiral marshmallow moons, you know. My kids get mad when I pick out all the marshmallows while they are at school. Oh, well!

I am really excited about this training cycle (for the Denver Colfax Marathon on May 19).  At least it is not a menstrual cycle! Seriously, though, I have my plans laid out for a manageable training plan that hopefully will not beat me up and leave me injured and crying on the couch eating Lucky Charms with beer instead of milk.

Here’s what I know: marathon training is a huge time suck. I know tons of people who like running marathons, but have changed to running only half marathons only because the time commitment is so much less. It is obviously the long runs that are the real time stealers. Even if I go out and run for three hours first thing on a Sunday morning before the kids get up, I am usually toast for the rest of the day and not much good to anyone. Basically, I want to sleep and have people rub my feet and bring me donuts and stuff.

What I have found is that if you are going to work, be a mom, be a wife, be a friend, train for a marathon, blog, and have time left over to put on deodorant, get to the grocery store, wipe well and sleep a few hours per night, you need to be super organized (duh! Okay, I never said I was a rocket scientist) Fortunately, organization is my thing. The more I have to do, the more I get done. It’s just the way I am wired (like a frenetic freak).

Even with being organized, there are times when you simply cannot get it all done. There will be times when you are tired and cannot accomplish one more thing on the list. There are times when the list needs to be flushed down the toilet because your daughter wants to play Monopoly and that is more important than those last 50 crunches (except now that the iron playing piece is gone, I feel so lost.)

RIP Iron. Hello cat

That said, here are some time management ideas to help you survive marathon training:

1. Write It Down. All Of It. On Sunday, I create a list for the week.  In pencil. Nothing fancy, no charts, no timelines. Just jotting down the things I need to accomplish for each day of the week. This includes scheduling in workouts, appointments, times to write, errands, a nap, everything. At the end of the day, if those things are done, it is good enough and I can rest. When you work for yourself and when you are a mom, your work is never done, so it is up to YOU to clock out at the end of the day, to create those boundaries (okay, moms can’t clock out, but you know what I mean).

This step is really important because it lets you know how you have to get creative throughout the week in order to fit in your work outs. For me, I have a lot of early morning appointments this week, and since I mostly work out in the morning, I know I’m going to be getting up ultra early to fit in my workouts.


2.  Plan Your Meals. Also I Sunday, I create a list of meals for the week. The tip here is to not spend a ton of time on the planning. It should take about 15 minutes to think up the meals and to make a grocery list (and my list is always in order of how I walk through the store. Saves so many extra trips back to aisle #3 because you forgot the tomato paste).

The list does not have to be perfect and it does not have to include every single stinking healthy food on the planet. I pull out my book of recipe favorites, I look online and I think of what some of our staple meals are around here. I did this yesterday in no time flat, and here’s what’s on the menu (I just have four meals here – we will probably go out or have a make-it-yourself night once):


Tonight’s dinner – 3 Bean Chili (maybe should have cut up that onion smaller)

3. Lay It All Out. The night before –lay out your clothes. Set the coffee pot. Check the weather. This may sound stupid, but if you have to get up at 5am to fit your workouts, there is piece of mind in having your workout clothes laid out and ready for you to slap on. And, who doesn’t want coffee hot and ready when they come downstairs?


4. Make Everyone Pitch In. A lot.  (note: this doesn’t apply just during marathon training). My kids have a lot of chores. It doesn’t break any child labor laws (I don’t think). We believe our kids need to pull a lot of weight around here, because let’s face it – they live here rent free and their lives are pretty awesome. They do their own laundry (start to finish), change their sheets, clean their bathrooms, plus other stuff. I can’t tell you how much less work it is for us that they take care of these things. Every month I create a chore calendar HERE and hang it in their faces.  That way, there is no question who has to do what, or when.  They know the expectation and they make it happen (not that I don't have to nag sometimes, I do – but it’s worth it).

5. Cut It Out. Unless you are wonder woman (I am not), some stuff simply has to go during marathon training. I might say “no” to a few extra coffee dates or social things. I might say “no” to doing extra volunteering at my kid’s school or to taking on that ultra messy case at work (I can turn down work since I am a contractor – I know it’s a luxury).

6. Keep Them Informed. It’s only fair to keep your family and friends apprised of your plans. Let them know you might be a bit more tired, sometimes less available, maybe even a bit more stressed. Just clueing people in will remove a bit of pressure you have on yourself to be everything to everybody.

7. Remember - It’s Your Fault. You did this to yourself. It is your choice to train for a marathon, no one is forcing you. Keep some perspective and realize this is a privilege – something you get to do. Basically, suck it up buttercup and don’t waste time and energy bitching about how busy you are. Let the stuff go that you can and stay on top of the rest.

No matter what, there will be days that are completely overwhelming. But, my best advice is to stay on top of things and to PLAN AHEAD. You’re less likely to be thrown off that way.

What’s your best time management tip while training?

What was your favorite Monopoly piece growing up? The dog. I had to always be the dog.

Do you have a quick weekday night recipe to share? See above.

Do your kids have a lot of chores? Like what? Did you have a lot growing up? We had a fair amount of chores, but nothing drastic. I had to change my sheets and mow the lawn. I remember those chores the most because I hated them. Still do.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Running and Remembering

Thank you so much for everyone who got out and ran in memory of Sherry today. Although the Boulder run was really small, I know hundreds of you were running all across the nation (and world) today!! (here’s just a small snapshot)


Billings, MT ran the story HERE. And, looks like a good turnout as shown in this video.

A remarkable story I read today was about how two women, strangers at this time last year, met during the Run for Sherry and became the best of friends and running partners. The story is called, Runner’s Tragedy Had Silver Lining.

Unlike last year, today was sunny and amazingly gorgeous.


Yes, my dad is being rude and has his back to you but that is only because he wore the bib on his back like a bad ass. And, that is my mom on the right.

Moments after this picture was taken, that benign and gentle looking Golden Retriever (whose butt you see above) chased the hell out of a coyote and nearly got into a big fight. I guess he was protecting us from being mauled.

Some more pictures from the day:




I think Sherry would have loved this day and this run.

My uncle (and Sherry’s uncle) so eloquently summed things up this morning with these words:

I hope you have a good run out in that sunshine you love. I'll be thinking of you, and dedicating my shoveling (he’s in Boston) to this event that you have created.

You have done so much to keep Sherry and the memory of her connected to runners, and non-runners alike, all over the world, and to create a virtual community of people who are now more mindful than they might have been of our shared vulnerability, and our shared strength, out there in the world we share.”

Yes, I suppose that is the point – uniting in our shared vulnerability and our shared strength.

Were you able to run today? Tell me where.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Injured Runner’s Creed

No, I am not injured right now. Yes, many of you are. And, it sucks. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I get it. I’ve been there several times. I’d like to say I won’t be there again, but I probably will (how’s that for optimism?).

An injured runner is like a Smurf on the rag – blue, moody and mean. I know I was. So, I put together a guideline for the injured runner – just a gentle reminder of how to survive and cope without losing all of your friends and/or your sanity.

Injured Runner’s Creed

1. I will not punch, hit, slap, or otherwise injure people I see running because I am jealous of them.

2. I will do all of the stupid mind numbing exercises my physical therapist tells me to do.

3. I will not substitute whole grains, veggies and healthy proteins with Cheetos and Coors Light just because I cannot run right now.

4. I will find something – anything- that I can do that makes me feel athletic (swimming, water running, walking), so that I will not turn into a complete bitch.

5. I will not become so consumed by the fact that I cannot run that I lose all perspective. I will remember the things that are going right in my life, like that my heart is beating and my husband cleaned up the dog’s poop and my kids are not arguing for five minutes, and I will focus on those things.

6. I will not hole up in my house (with Cheetos and Coors Light) and isolate myself. I will reach out to people who care about me and let them support me. I will try not to be a snotty a-hole.

7. I will try as hard as I can to laugh at myself and to keep my sense of humor. Maybe I will watch Family Guy, or fart in the bathtub, put someone’s hand in warm water while they are sleeping, or read this story. Whatever it takes.

8. I will remain optimistic because I know that this condition is temporary and I will run again.

9. I will stop reading blogs where all of the healthy, invincible 25 year olds are running 10 marathons a month and complaining only about a single blister on their pinkie toe. It’s not that I don’t admire them or thing they’re amazing, it’s just that right now they make me feel like crap.

10. I will do one thing every day that I love to do. This will show me that  I love things other than running.

Are you injured right now? How are you coping?

Anything you’d add to “The Creed?”


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Run For a Purpose This Weekend

This weekend is the 2nd Annual Virtual Run for Sherry (Saturday at 9am MST).  Print your bib, put on your shoes and go. If you have a run or race already planned, just add the bib to your plans. Easy. Don’t want to run? So what? Put on the bib and skip, roller blade or do cartwheels.

A year has passed, and while some of the raw emotion around Sherry’s murder has faded, it should not. We should still be outraged that a 43 year old mother of two can not go out for a run one mile from her home and not come home alive. For those of us who knew Sherry (and many, many who did not), we feel her absence, we miss her and we want justice.

We should all think about our own safety and if we are doing all we can do to be secure. It’s our responsibility to ourselves and to those who care about us. For tips on staying safe while running, click HERE.

Jason from Cook Train Eat Race did an interview with me yesterday about the Run For Sherry. I think he did a great job of highlighting the pertinent areas of this story. So, if you have a few minutes and want to know more (or just want to see if my voice sounds like you think it should), grab some candy or wine or coffee or popcorn and settle in:

Details about the Boulder run:

If you are in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area and are going to run with me on Saturday, we will be meeting at the Eagle Trailhead by the Boulder Reservoir at 9:00 a.m. This is a pretty flat (just a few gentle risers) 3.75 mile trail run. If you want to run further, you can loop it twice, or just head out from the trailhead and go around the Reservoir (this is about 9 miles total). Dogs are allowed. Please come (map can be found HERE).

Here are some pictures from last year’s run. It was snowing and probably 10 degrees, but that kept no one away!



Then the sun came out. Of course it did.


Let’s do it again.

Can you run Saturday (or Sunday)?

What is one way Sherry’s story has affected you or changed your approach to running?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ways I Am “Bad” and So What?

Do you do things that are “bad” for you or are considered “not following the rules?”

“Bad” is a subjective term. To some people having a meth lab and being high all the time is not “bad.” Yet, to others, eating a non-gluten free cookie with real sugar versus cane sugar is a crime punishable by death (Hello Boulder Whole Foods shoppers!)<- that’s a joke. Don’t send hate mail.

These are the things I do that are “bad” for me according so some standards, and not so bad according to others.

  • I have a drawer in my nightstand that right now has three boxes in it: Dots, Mike ‘n Ikes and Hot Tamales (if you haven’t tried the 3 Alarm Hot Tamales, you must. They actually make your eyes water. Consider yourself Double Dog Dared). So what ? Pretending it is Halloween every night keeps you young.


  • I don’t always eat protein 30 minutes after a workout (gasp! But, I try to eat it within an hour). So what? All that candy from the night before should tide me over.
  • I drink 2 cups of coffee per day.  So what? It has antioxidants and might make me remember more when I get old. What did I just say?
  • I buy my second cup of coffee everyday (that totals $600 per year and I think I’m going to throw up) So what? I could be spending $1,200 per year if I drank fancy drinks (triple shot mocha cappuccino no whip 140 degrees in a recyclable cup with 90 karat gold flakes sprinkled on the top)
  • I drink wine. Even while training (well, I don’t mean while on a training run, but during a training cycle).  So what? I know wine has some health benefits, right? And, it makes you nicer to people.
  • I drink my wine in front of the TV. So what? Some TV is so bad these days you need wine to go with it
  • I drink my wine in front of the TV with either popcorn or pita chips or something else salty. So what? When you are watching the Biggest Loser and everyone is eating yogurt and drinking water I get hungry (for them)
  • I watch reality TV (Survivor, the Biggest Loser, the Bachelor, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) So what? I think it’s good to learn that there are people richer, braver, bigger, snottier, prettier and meaner than you are.
  • I rarely wash my yoga mat and when I was preparing for bow pose yesterday I was forced to smell my mat (forehead to mat and all that). Ick. You can put it in the washing machine. Did you know that? I’ve done it once. So what? It’s my sweat and stink, no one else's.
  • I do a quick bath with Huggies wipes after a run if I have to hurry and get to a doctor’s appointment, the PT, whatever. So what? They’re doctors for God’s sake. If they can’t handle a bit of stink they are in the wrong field.
  • I run with scissors (but I keep them in my fuel belt) <- that was just a bit of running humor.

Glad I got that off my chest!

Condemn me for the above if you must. But, I do a lot of things “right” too. Like eat my fruits and veggies, get sleep (whenever hot flashes aren’t in town), exercise, call my mom, read good books, cross train, shave my armpits, hug my kids, write trash on my blog and stare at the bobblehead of myself because it makes me feel important:


What do you do that might be “bad” for you? Do you care?


Monday, February 4, 2013

The Best Deal Ever and Mantras

The best deal in Colorado running history is happening today only – and I just signed up. You can run the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon (August 10, 2013) for only $15 instead of $50 (sign up HERE). I’ve done this race twice (both my fastest halfs). Amazing scenery, overall elevation loss – big time.


2010 at the start


2011 at the finish

This was the race in 2011 where I had my worst (and only chafing experience). I had to remove my running skirt and use my race shirt as shorts. Very awkward. The crowd at Starbucks stared and whispered like ruthless and rude middle schoolers. Good thing I didn’t care (I just came home and wrote in my journal and cried and ate donuts). I promise this will not happen to you at this race.


Anyway, go sign up. I just did. There are not even any processing fees. $15 flat. For that price you can afford to fly out here and die from the altitude. I was not asked to promote the race, I just think it’s a great deal.

Most of the time when I am running (usually when hills and/or speed and/or racing are involved) and I have to do all kinds of internal self talk just to keep going. The conversations in my head are astounding about why I should not quit, how I am not going to quit, why I am strong, why I can do this, how much I need a bathroom, etc. You know what I mean. The one mantra I have used since I first started racing is “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.” It just speaks to me.

As I get ready to start marathon training, I’ve been thinking a lot about the mental aspect of running and how to become mentally stronger.  Simple, easy to remember running mantras are an excellent tool to have in your back pocket (or running shorts) for the tough moments. I try to remember that the body gives out long before the mind.  Keep your mind in the game and your chance for success is huge. Here are some popular mantras runners use:

  • I can do this
  • Screw it, run through it
  • I love every terrible moment of this
  • You’re stronger than you think you are
  • Embrace the suck
  • I am a runner
  • Can’t stop, won’t stop
  • There are ________ (donuts, beers, waffles) at the end
  • I am strong
  • Strong. Energy. Relaxed
  • Race my pace
  • I run my own race
  • I will survive
  • Don’t stop
  • I am. I can. I will

Do you have a mantra? SHARE.


Friday, February 1, 2013

I Can’t Believe I Ate That

Yesterday I did a trail run with a friend who I’ve just started running with in the past few months. I knew the day would come when I’d have to break it to her that I needed to squat in the bushes. Yesterday was that day. Thankfully I’m not a self conscious or easily embarrassed person.  I thought she might be embarrassed for me, but quickly learned she was not when she started taking pictures:


Now that’s a good friend.

It is torture living around here where you have to decide which of the crappy, non-scenic trails you want to run everyday. I know when I start marathon training on February 11, I need to get back onto the roads quite a bit to simulate race conditions. 

After the run, my mom cooked me lunch  (how cool is it to live near your mom and have her still make you meals? Yes, I’m very lucky). She made a yummy spinach quiche using Bisquick. Bisquick! The staple of my childhood! This got me to thinking bout all of the crazy foods I used to eat as a kid. Stuff I would never eat now.

I pride myself on the fact that my parents were pretty progressive and experimental with food. Healthy and balanced meals were the norm. We did not have a lot of Spam (in fact, I’ve never even tried Spam – but Ken’s family ate quite a bit of it). But, I can remember some strange crap I ingested all the time as a kid (maybe this is why my colon is screwed up):

  • Raw hotdogs. Yep, by brother and I would take them right out of the refrigerator and eat like a banana.
  • Peanut butter and butter sandwiches. Trans fat heaven.
  • Creamed eggs. This was a specialty my grandfather always made (here is the actual recipe he gave me at my wedding shower):




  • Chipped beef (aka shit on a shingle). My mom used to buy it frozen and put it on toast. I used to love that stuff.

  • Uncooked Jell-O right out of the box. We would bring boxes of it to school. The way to eat it was to lick your finger and dip it into the Jell-O powder.
  • Marshmallow fluff sandwiches (Fluffernutter rules, man!)

  • Liverwurst. This used to (maybe still does) come in a tube and was made by Oscar Meyer. I loved liverwurst sandwiches. One time after I graduated from college, my room mate and I had a late night drinking fest and stopped on the way home to buy liverwurst. Needless to say, I haven't had it since.
  • Tang! If it was good enough for astronauts, it was good enough for me.

I think a few marathons should have Tang, liverwurst and marshmallow fluff at the aid stations just to see what happens.

What weird/odd/gross food did you eat as a kid?