Friday, January 31, 2014

Ironman Decisions. HELP.

So, look what (finally) came in the mail yesterday:


Is it not the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen? Okay, maybe the Grand Canyon or your newborn baby was the most gorgeous thing you’ve ever seen, but this has to be a close second. This was a gift from X2 Performance after the race. I don’t usually buy these things, but am really glad to have it.


About the same time this work of art came in the mail, so did this:


You probably don’t know what that is. It’s a contract where I sign my life away.

Last year I was sponsored by X2 Performance (supplements to maximize energy, performance and recovery) to do IM Florida as part of their triathlon team. I’m thrilled to have been invited back again for 2014. Last year we had the choice to do Florida or Arizona. This year we can pick any (non-sold-out) race. That does not leave a ton of options, but I’m not complaining.

Maybe you can help me with this decision. While I am not an Ironman virgin anymore (that hymen got popped in November), I still am an IM newbie. I don’t want to kill myself climbing mountains, I don’t want to die of heatstroke and I would prefer to not freeze my titties off (mostly because I am not starting with much to begin with).

I REALLY wish Boulder was not sold out, but it is. So…

The choices:

Ironman Cozumel (November)

  • Pros: Great family destination, flat, margaritas on the course, I love the beach
  • Cons: Montezuma’s Revenge (I have a hard enough time not crapping my pants in the United States), wind, heat, falls at Thanksgiving

Ironman Canada (July)

  • Pros: Scenic, would be nice in the summer, I like Canadian bacon
  • Cons: Crap load of climbing (4,200 feet alone on the bike)

Ironman Louisville (August)

  • Pros: Might meet Honey Boo Boo, cool finish line, pretty rolling hills
  • Cons: Humidity. I try to stay out of the South in August. not much of a vacation destination.

Ironman Lake Tahoe (September)

  • Pros: Scenic, never been there before, swim looks nice
  • Cons: Freezing (snowed last year and was in the 30s at the start), lots of climbing

Ironman Coeur d’Alene (June)

  • Pros: Scenic, could drive there, nice course from what I’ve heard
  • Cons: I can’t pronounce it, cold swim, challenging bike, I don’t think I’ll be ready by June

Ironman Greek Islands (Joke)

  • Pros: Swim topless, baklava and Ouzo at the aid stations, Dean Karnazes might make a guest appearance
  • Cons: I might get distracted by all of the back hair, I’ll never come home.

So, you see my dilemma. Or, I could scrap the whole thing and lay on the couch.


What would you do in my shoes? I was thinking Cozumel, but then I’d have to be gone on Thanksgiving. Leaning towards Louisville.

Do you have experience with any of these races? Of course not. That’s why I’m asking you.

Would you ever do an Ironman? I cannot believe I am about to sign up for another one. And I’m not even drunk.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 Reasons Why I Love the Damn Snow, Cold and Wind

Much of the U.S. is frozen right now, including Colorado. I am trying to have a  good attitude about peaking with my marathon training in the middle of January when the conditions suck balls. I have become very grateful for the freezing temperatures and horrid running conditions, and here’s why.

1. Torture devices like Yak Traks make my shoes look even cooler


2. Great photo ops for Heidi


3. When I run out of ice cream I can just go outside, grab a handful of the white stuff and whip up my own treat

4. I can worry even more about my 16 year old newly licensed son driving


5. I have saved $567 in sunscreen this winter since the only exposed skin is my face.

6. No need for blush because my face is always 95 shades redder than normal


7. The cold produces more mucus (FYI: this is because the nose tries its best to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider, helping to warm up that air. But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production. Don’t say I never taught you anything). Therefore, I have perfected the art of the snot rocket and plan on doing a tutorial on it and making a ton of money.

8. I can use up that huge box of hand warmers I got at Costco


9. No need to put ice in my water bottles

10. When cold, Shot Bloks, Sports Beans and GU Chomps get so hard they give my jaw much needed exercise

In all seriousness, I have run so much in this crap that it has really tested me mentally and physically. Snow running is incredibly challenging and uses different muscle groups because you are working to stabilize yourself. I swear that every step in snow requires twice the exertion of every step without snow. Resistance training at its best!

I had no idea how much stronger it was making me to run in the wind and snow until I got on the treadmill yesterday to do intervals. What was tough for me only a few short weeks ago, now feels almost easy. So, thank you mother f&cking snow, wind, ice and single digits.

I am a believer in not letting the cold and snow keep me inside. Unless it is icy, there is no need to head inside or to skip a workout. C’mon you pussies. Get out there. If I can, you can. For 10 tips on running in the cold, go HERE.


What’s the weather like where you are today? Here it was sunny with a high of 30. Not too bad, but more snow tomorrow.

Do you head indoors when it’s cold or do you tough it out? You know my answer.

Favorite piece of winter weather running gear? For really cold days, my favorite piece of gear is this jacket from Target. I wear it when it’s under 20 degrees.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Will You Regret It In The Morning?

Why is it that alcohol makes things seem like a good idea?

Photo: HUMOR | Beer is fine, in moderation... but too much can lead to poor decisions:

Very rarely do you find yourself drinking and someone mentions an outrageous idea like running a marathon (when you hate running and have never run a mile), and you say, “Well, to be honest, I just do not think this is the best, most well thought out decision. Let me check my calendar and process this with my therapist and I will get back to you.”

More likely your response is a very intellectual “HELL YEAH! Order another round and I will get out my credit card!”

I actually think deciding to sign up for races while under the influence is a great idea. Your inhibitions are lowered and you take a risk you might not otherwise take. You wake up in the morning and realize what you have done and you have to hold yourself accountable.  Because who wants to lose a race entry fee and wear a t-shirt forever from a race you never ran?

So, spill it….

Have you ever signed up for a race while drinking? Did you follow through with it? No, I haven’t. But, I have talked a bunch of crap about races I am planning to do (100 miles? Why is that such a big deal? I could do that right now if I wanted.)


Saturday, January 25, 2014

TMI: The Glove

On yesterday's 19 mile long run, I had a wardrobe malfunction.

On a side note: what I love about runners is that we know how to improvise when the going gets tough. We work with what we have. For example, no toilet paper? Perhaps the runner uses an old Kleenex, a GU wrapper (ouch) or even a soft leaf from a nearby maple tree.

First a confession. I do not wear underwear with my running tights. Not sure why. It’s not like I care that other runners will see my panty lines. I guess I am just a minimalist this way. Yesterday, I was trying a new pair of tights. Just like it’s not the best idea to do new things on race day, it is not the best idea to do new things on a 19 mile long run.

By mile 10 there was some major discomfort going on with the tights. Without getting too graphic, let’s just say it involved misplaced seams + constant movement + delicate skin.

I had reached just over half way and I knew there was no way I could run 9 more miles like this. I had to shut up and get creative and I had to do it quickly. I had to work with what I had, which was 2 water bottles, some GUs, a phone, lip balm, my jacket and…my gloves.

The glove saved the day. It provided the perfect buffer and padding to get me through the next 9 miles. While I would not normally want to run with a glove in my crotch, it was the lesser of two evils.


Call me gross, but you would have done the same thing. I just know it.

Do you wear underwear when you run? Not before yesterday. Never with shorts.

Ever had  an extremely bad chafing situation while running? Why, yes! At a half marathon a couple of years ago I had SUCH a bad situation going on. At the end I had to wear my race t-shirt as pants for the 2 hour ride home. The shower afterwards had me wailing like a toddler in Target.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Something Smells Like B.O.

Look what came in the mail today - it is the bigger, bad-asser sister to the Hydraquiver pack I did a review on not long ago. This is the DOUBLE BAREL (DB). Thanks to Orange Mud for sending it to me.


It just so happens I have a long (19 mile) run tomorrow (I usually do them on weekends, but will be out of town), so the DB will be coming along (I’ll let you know how I like it). The only complaint I have about this pack is that the part of the straps that go under my arms are getting a really, nice, strong scent of BO. Too bad this blog does not have a scratch ‘n sniff option. Someone should invent that. (Did you ever have those books when you were little? They were my favorites. I am glad my “Everyone Poops” book does not have a scratch ‘n sniff, however).

Mapping out long runs is tough. There are only so many routes and sometimes finding 20ish miles is not easy. I decided on an out and back for tomorrow’s run because that mentally sounded easier than one big 19 mile loop. That’s what I am tricking my brain to think anyway.


9.5 + 9.5 = 19, right? I am not thinking clearly. I was up much too late last night. Guess where I was?


Cry me a river. It was Justin Timberlake. With Erika.


It didn’t even START until 9:00 p.m. Usually, this is about the time that me and my 46 (almost 47) year old self are in bed, eating Dots/Hot Tamales/Mike ‘n Ikes and starting to doze off.

The concert wasn’t all that. I’m not a huge JT fan anyway, and for some reason the performance didn’t do much for me. I liked the dancing, but there was no huge screen, so even with good seats it was tough to see. Then I drove home in a snow storm and didn’t get into bed until 12:30 a.m.

Maybe lack of sleep is why I had a mishap today. I took Heidi out back where there is a creek that’s about 3 feet deep. It’s been frozen, but we’ve had some warm days (foreshadow). Heidi ran right across it and I…fell in. You can see where. It was up to my thighs and I couldn’t get out, I kept falling in. When I finally did get out (FMAO), I crossed over to get Heidi. I went down a bit and tried to cross back over. And yes. I fell in again. Brilliant. I still can’t feel my legs.


By the way, Heidi has a new best friend. They ran 5 miles this week:


Too bad this cute couple can’t make baby Heidis, but I think they are each missing some essential parts needed for puppy making.

One last thing – go HERE to Clair’s yoga/running-related blog where she does an interview with me about Ironman Florida (she was there!). She has some great questions.


When do you go to bed usually? I get in bed at about 9pm, usually asleep before 10pm. Unless it’s New Year’s Eve or a JT concert.

What’s the last concert you’ve seen? Before last night I think it was James Taylor at Red Rocks, which is probably one of the best places to see a concert in the world (here’s a picture from that concert):


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Swear It Was 3 Miles

I think it is funny how skewed our memories can be from childhood. I will have arguments with my brother or parents about details that we remember differently. Like how I KNOW my brother used to have friends over and check to see if I wet my pants right in front of them. I may have been only four, but that’ s mean. And, none of his business. And, maybe it wasn’t pee.

I don’t know if you saw the article a couple of months ago about how today’s kids apparently “run a mile a minute and a half slower than children three decades ago.” This is supposedly due to children being more sedentary these days.  Ugh. That is a whole ‘nother blog post.


I mentioned this article to my 12 year old daughter. She asked how fast I could run a mile when I was her age.  Uhh…obviously it was a 3:30 minute mile, my child!

I actually told her I have no clue because I was never in track or cross country and I never ran except when I played flashlight tag. In fact, in my entire life I have never run a timed mile (not to say I haven’t done 1600s, but I never just went out and ran a mile as fast as I could and made that my “mile time”). She’s like, “That’s weird mom. I thought you were a runner.”

This discussion led to me telling her that while I didn’t run, but I was really active. I went on to lecture about how I can’t believe how she complains about riding her bike or walking (downhill!) a mile to school. I told her, “You would not BELIEVE how far I walked to middle school every stinking day. It was at least 3 miles one way.” And, I was totally serious about this.

That’s when I got the idea to do a “mapmyrun” mileage check of the actual route I used to walk to school, back in Columbia, Maryland. I wanted to for once and for all prove to my kids how easy they have it.

The results? I’m embarrassed.


How is that even possible? I swear it took me 3 hours to walk to school each way. Maybe I walked a 3 hour mile?  I guess it falls into that category of the parent who tells their kid, “I had to run 9 miles to school in 7 feet of snow carrying a pre-schooler on my back and with no pants on.” Our memories get so warped over time!

A similar memory warp happened to me the last time I visited my childhood home. I SWEAR the boulder/rock in our backyard was at least six feet high. It took me years to be able to climb to the top of it. I kid you not, when I visited my old backyard, I found a medium-sized rock not even 2 feet high. I KNOW it shrunk. Do you think it’s because I was so little that the rock looked so big? NO! It’s because whoever lives there now obviously had the rock replaced with one a third of the size, but otherwise looks the same!

Now it’s your turn.

Do you have a distorted memory from childhood? I also used to think the hills I skateboarded down were HUGE. In reality, not so big.

Take the map my run challenge if you remember your walk/bike ride to school. Was it as far as you thought?

Do you think your kid can run a mile faster than you could at their age? I have no clue. But I could do a back handspring better. Or climb a tree.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

9 Things I Did Right On My Long Run Yesterday

The last two weeks of long runs have sucked. All I have done is complain. I am sorry. But, when conditions are miserable it turns you into a miserable person.

That all changed on yesterday's 17 mile run. Why did it go so well? First of all, it was about 50 degrees, which for me means shorts and a light long sleeved shirt.


Other things I did right:

1. Company. I had Ken with me for the first 8 miles, so when he peeled away I only (only?) had 9 more miles to do alone.  For me, during long runs and races, I have to have a way to break things up. Otherwise the distance is too daunting and I feel defeated before I’ve even started. Yesterday I did a loop with Ken then did a 9 mile out and back. Somehow it felt do-able (if 17 miles ever does).

2. Purpose. I thought of Meg throughout this run. I thought of Sherry throughout this run. I thought about their families. I thought about the unbearable sadness. I wondered why these things happen. I vowed to make every day I am here the best day possible.

3. Water Break. I stopped at 10 miles at my favorite country store for a water refill. I did not blow up the bathroom (or even use it) so I did not leave a tip so they could buy more Lysol and a plunger. Maybe next time. A girl can only hope. This is right across the street from where I had a bathroom emergency a few months ago. I think I am banned from there.


If you live in Boulder County (and if you especially are a cyclist), you know this place well.
It is the oasis/watering hole for runners and cyclists.


I won’t talk about the time in September while Ironman training that I had
my cycling jacket stolen here.  Is it dumb I still look for my jacket every time I am here
(even though it’s been 4 months?) I keep thinking someone’s conscience
will get to them and I will get my highlight yellow Pear Izumi jacket back).

4. Music. I brought music for the last 9 solo miles. I love doing long runs and races where I don’t do music for the first half then give myself a boost when I start listening. Favorite song to run to right now?  Overseer – Supermoves. There are really no lyrics, but it will get your ass moving I promise.

5. Nutrition. I had two GUs (one pomegranate blueberry Roctane and one triple berry) and lots of water (52 oz). I just realized there is a “plain” GU flavor. That would be like chewing plain gum or using plain toothpaste. No thanks.

6. Love and Hair. I came home and made out with Heidi. Some may find this gross, I find it romantic (I love how she even closes her eyes).


7. Rolling. Not on the foam roller, but on this torture device. My feet really started hurting during this run and it felt so good to roll on some balls. (TWSS?)


8. Stuffing My Face. I came home and made an egg/cheese/bagel panini the size of my head (sorry no picture) and a huge cup of coffee.

9, Bathing. I came home and took a bath (no ice involved. I know ice baths are good for recovery, but I don’t care.  Too frigid and I am not a damn polar bear). I read People magazine in the tub (sorry no picture).

With only 7 weeks to go until the LA Marathon, I’ll be ramping up my long runs over the next few weeks  per Coach Kastor – they will be 19, 21, 17, 22, and 14 miles before I start tapering down a bit.

A huge thanks to ASICS who sent me the Gel Noosa Tri 9 shoe this week.


How’s that for a trendy look?


This is a new shoe to me. I think it runs big (they are both size 9!) and is a bit wider than my Mizunos, but I do like the shoe and have had some comfortable runs this week breaking them in.



If you ran this weekend, what’s one thing that went right?

Favorite song on your iPod right now? I also like Timber (predictable, I know).


PS: Don’t forget all C9 stuff at Target is 40% off today (using coupon code GETFIT if you order online, more info HERE). I ordered this jacket online and it went from $34.99 to $20.99. Score! Also, if you haven’t entered my $200 Target gift card giveaway what the hell are you waiting for? It’s free money.

Friday, January 17, 2014

$200 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

I’ve always thought that Target’s line of workout clothes – C9 from Champion – was an inexpensive alternative to all the pricey brand names that I can’t afford (see my past reviews of C9 gear HERE, HERE  and HERE). The styles of C9  have mirrored the look of  the more high end brands so (poor) people like me can afford to look good.

About C9:

C9 by Champion is Target’s exclusive athletic apparel collection and offers quality apparel priced under $50. C9 by Champion also has variety of accessories including gym bags, weights, jump ropes and more. In addition to the stylish pieces, C9 by Champion incorporates technical features similar to those found in the high-end fitness brands, such as moisture wicking, ventilation, antimicrobial, and Duo-Dry™ technology, but without the high-end price tag.

Exactly! And, C9 is not just for women – there are kid’s and men’s styles as well.

I have to say, every time I go into Target I browse the running shirts, shorts, tights and bras and see things I like – it’s not just the styles but the colors are bright and inviting too.

Some of my favorite pieces:

C9 by Champion® Women's Cold Weather Run Pullover - Assorted Colors C9 by Champion® Women's Premium Tight - Assorted ColorsC9 by Champion® Women's Full Zip Quilted Front Jacket - Assorted ColorsC9 by Champion® Women's Premium 1/4 Zip Spacedye Pullover - Assorted ColorsC9 by Champion® Women's Seamless Cami Bra - Assorted ColorsC9 by Champion® Women's Woven Running Shorts with Knit Band - Assorted Colors

The good news is that on January 19 (Sunday), Target will have their entire C9 line on sale at 40% off. That means all the already low prices will be CRAZY low.  There are two ways to get the discount:

  • Save in-store using the Cartwheel, Target’s first-of-its-kind digital savings program (40% offer will post to Cartwheel on 1/19)
  • Save online at using the promo code GETFIT

To learn more about Cartwheel, use the link above. It’s just a matter of signing up for Cartwheel via desktop at or by downloading the Cartwheel app in iTunes using a mobile device. You will be given 10 spots to fill from hundreds of Cartwheel offers that are available and easy to search. Offers are redeemed at checkout in any U.S. Target store, all from the scan of a single barcode from your smartphone (or the barcode can be printed out from a desktop computer).

Want a $200 gift card to Target? Enter below! Giveaway ends January 22.
a Rafflecopter giveaway SUAR

Fine Print: I received the giveaway gift card as well as a second gift card for free from Target as coordinated by mfa ltd.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Running Tragedies - Remembering Sherry and Meg. How Can You Stay Safe?

Last Tuesday, January 7, 2014, was the two year anniversary of the death of my cousin, Sherry. Sherry lived in Sidney, Montana and had gone out for an early morning run when she was killed by two men. I won’t get into their story because it’s pathetic and not deserving of attention here. What is deserving is honoring and remembering Sherry.

Photo: Two years ago today my cousin Sherry was murdered while running. May we never forget and may 2014 bring Sherry and her family the justice and peace they deserve. Love always to you, Sherry.<br /><br />And to all of my fellow runners, be safe out there.

Sherry’s story was heard around the world and truly resonated with people. As a teacher, mother, wife, runner, friend, and daughter, Sherry’s tragedy became personal for many people.  Many of us thought, “That could have been me.” Some of us changed our approach to running safety. Every mother out there shivered at the thought of leaving their children behind in such a horrific manner.


Hundreds of thousands of people participated world wide in a beautiful Virtual Run for Sherry on February 11, 2012. I got emails from Thailand, Egypt, South Africa – every corner of the earth essentially. It was a day of brightness, hope and love.

And, then, sadly enough another running tragedy emerged this week. A story very different from Sherry’s yet with the same ultimate end result. Meg Menzies, a 34 year old mother of three children. was out for a morning run on January 13 in Richmond, Virginia, when she was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Meg, an avid runner, was training for the Boston Marathon in April. Again, I feel this could have been you or me.

In Meg’s memory, the Richmond Road Runner’s Club is sponsoring a virtual run for her.  Their encouragement of  people to run that day is heartfelt:

“This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg. Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it--for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything. Be grateful for that moment.”

A Facebook page called Meg’s Miles has been set up HERE. Please visit to get more information about this run and get out there if you can. Our hearts go out to Meg, her family, her friends and her community.

When these tragedies happen we get scared. We hurt. And then we hopefully remember that everything in life, every step we take, is about accepting risk. Many said that Meg died doing what she loved. We can’t let risk and fear stop us for doing what we love. We press on, regardless, with heavy hearts, but with courage.

Obviously, in no way did Sherry or Meg do anything wrong or have any fault in what occurred. Yet, these instances give us a chance to remember that we need to keep ourselves as safe as possible –to never truly let down our guard while we are running. I am re-posting parts of an article I wrote two years ago about this subject (which clearly applies to Sherry’s situation more than Meg’s):


Do you run alone? Why or why not? I do run alone. But never in the dark, on trails or in isolated places. Running alone is therapeutic for me. I’m not giving it up.

Any other safety tips to add?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

9 Confessions For Today

I have not done one of these “expose myself” posts in a long time. We all have secrets. Here are a few of mine.

1. I am jealous of people who have running groups. I don’t have a group. It is probably my fault that I don’t have a group, but I don’t.

2. I often fart on the treadmill, just out of habit. I never know how loud it is because I have my ear buds in. I hope everyone else does too.

3.  If I pick something out at the store and put it in my cart and decide I don’t want it, I never put it back. Never. I stick it somewhere it clearly doesn’t belong. If it was a refrigerated or frozen item I will make sure it is kept cold, but I never put it back where it goes.

4. Sometimes I feel like a super star when I run, and sometimes I feel like a turd. Yesterday I ran for 2 miles and was very, very tired. Did I mention I was going very, very slow? On days like this I think to myself – I am a fake. How do I run marathons? How in the hell did I ever pull out an Ironman?

5. On occasion when I’m feeding Heidi I want to taste her dog food. But, at the same time it grosses me out, so I don’t. Am I the only one who tried dog food when they were a kid? It was gross then, I’m guessing it hasn’t gotten a whole lot better.


6. Many mornings when I make the bed, I find candy in the sheets. That is because every night I eat candy in bed and I am a slob (that is a lonely Necco wafer, not a communion wafer):


7. I get hungry while watching the Biggest Loser and eat lots of junk food. And, drink wine. WDHM? (Would Dolvett Hate Me?)

8. I love my life but I always question if I’ve made the “right” professional choices. Did I major in the “right” thing? Did I take the “right” jobs? What if I had accepted my invitation into the Peace Corps?

9. Before I start every run I am not sure I can complete it. Then I do and I wonder why I questioned myself. Viscous cycle of running insecurity.

Now it’s your turn. One confession. BTW, I don’t floss either, but I always say I do.


PS: Have you ever been in a situation where you had a bottle of wine, but no corkscrew? This is the ultimate First World Problem. Well, never again. Running shoe + wine bottle = success. I have not tried this. You try it first and let me know if it works.