Sunday, March 30, 2014

10 Reasons Why Vacations Are Hard

Today I am going to Mexico. Don’t freak out and go through withdrawals if I am MIA for a few days. I’d hate to be responsible for your stress.

Going on vacation can be rough and is often full of First World Problems for me such as:

  1. Should I take my margarita with or without salt? I like salt, but it gets overwhelming sometimes. But then again, I need to replace my sodium! Ahhh…
  2. What if I have more clothes than hangars in the hotel room closet?
  3. Oftentimes, it is so warm on the beach that the ice in my drink melts and I have to wait 10 minutes before the drink person comes around again.
  4. I hate it when I order room service and then when the guy comes I have to put pants on.
  5. I am very pale from the Colorado winter, which means I will have to re-apply sunscreen diligently ever 2-3 hours.
  6. I need to work out everyday, but I only have 12 hours of free time after I sleep for 12 hours.
  7. I am afraid I will get to the pool, sunscreen myself, lay down with a drink and then have to poop.
  8. All of that fresh guacamole and salsa gives me bad breath.
  9. Sometimes the lime on the rim of my Corona is too large and I have trouble pushing it into the bottle.
  10. Too bad I’m not flying first class because then I could complain that there is too much leg room and it is hard to reach the touch screen on the TV.

Okay, don’t get your panties all in a wad. I’m joking. I’m really not that spoiled (although the room service problem is true). I just thoroughly enjoy having a few days when my problems are not really problems at all. Isn’t that what vacation is about?

Now if I get a nasty case of Montezuma’s Revenge and crap myself on the plane ride coming home because the seat belt sign is on, that truly will be a problem (and I will be sure to document each moment for you because that is what I do).

Got any spring break plans?

What’s your FWP for the week?


Friday, March 28, 2014

Let Me Tell You Why It’s a Good Day

I started the morning in the best way possible – on the trails.


For some reason I don't mind running hills so much when I’m on the trails. I think I am too distracted by bear poop and just trying to breathe and not die that I forget just how hard it is (okay, this shot below doesn’t make it look hard, but most of it is and I don’t care if you don’t believe me).

I was “supposed” to swim today (according to my training plan), but the thought of going inside to a chlorinated body of water with hair (some of it pubic, no doubt) and band aids in it didn’t really float my boat if you know what I mean. So, I opted for something that spoke to my spirit.

My spirit was further spoken to when I got home and somehow stumbled upon a Blog Topic Generator site. I love all generator sites, one my favorites being the stripper name generator (mine is Dementia Titties – what?- does that mean my breasts are confused and forgetful? That makes no sense unlike other stripper names that are completely sensical). Anyway, on the blog topic generator, you simply put in three nouns and it will generate titles for your upcoming blog posts.

For example, I entered “run”, “poop” and “shoes”. Here’s what I got:


I love the Internet for this very reason. It never occurred to me to write a post about what poop will be like in 100 years or to compare Miley Cyrus and running shoes. All I can think of is that both Miley and shoes have tongues.

And, one last thing that made my day. This email from reader Emily:

I read your blog almost every day, and “shut up and run” has become a regular part of my vocabulary when heading out the door for a hard/slow/fast/hilly/rainy/cold/hot workout.

I just broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years and have had trouble being motivated to keep running some days.  Today was one of those days, and I had a 4-mile interval on tap.  SO, long story short, I put you on my wrist, had several people ask what SUAR meant, crushed those intervals, and made it through the best run I have had in months! 


Of course I love this email because it gives me a big head, but I more love it because it is a PRIME example of why I chose to call this blog Shut Up and Run. It is the perfect kick in the ass that we all need sometimes.


You have to try the blog topic generator and tell me what the funniest one you got.

If you don’t want to do that, what is your stripper name?

If you don’t want to do that, tell me what you had for breakfast (boring, but I do like to know because I am struggling for breakfast ideas these days).


PS: Happy birthday to my beautiful mom who turns 75 today!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

9 Myths About Runners

Like any group, runners get stereotyped. Apparently, we are overly-healthy, obsessed, type-A, teetotaling  individuals with bad knees who never take a day’s rest. Or, something like that.

I’m here to dismantle some of these preconceived notions about us. Let’s set the record straight. Here are 9 misconceptions about runners.

1. Running’s easy for us. I can’t tell you how many people tell me they don’t run because it is “hard.” The funny part is, they also think running must be easy for me because I run all the time.  No. Running is stupid eff’ing hard. I think you just get used to being uncomfortable.

Truth is, it’s even hard for Deena Kastor and she sets records left and right. There is always someplace to go with your running. If it feels easy, then most runners will pick up the pace or run on hills. Then it just becomes hard again. For me, expecting running to be hard is the key. Then you are not so surprised or pissed off.

2. Our knees are trashed. This one always cracks me up. I’ve had my share of injuries that have resulted directly from running (hip stress fracture, foot stress fracture, high hamstring tendinopathy, hamstring tear), but my knees are just perfect! This isn’t to say that one day my knee cap won’t just fall off into the gutter while on a 20 mile run, but so far so good. In fact, there has been quite a bit of research done on why running is NOT bad for your knees. I won’t plagiarize it here – you should just go read the articles yourself.


3. We run everyday. Truth be told, I know there are those of you that run every day, but if I did that I would poke my eyes out (and my knee might fall into the gutter). The most I run at the height of marathon training is five days per week. When I am just maintaining my running, it is more like three to four times per week (same with Ironman training).

4. We love every minute that we run. See #1. I am a running freak and fanatic, but I still sometimes hate running. And, that is OKAY! The point is that even when I don’t feel like doing it or I am unhappy in the middle of a run because it is –40 degrees or I have to poop or some body part hurts, I still keep going. That’s why the blog is called Shut Up and Run. You do it even when you don't feel like it. But, I can promise you, you will love every minute that follows a run. Bask in the glory!


Okay, maybe my friend Julie loves every moment she runs,
but she is the only one.

5. Because we run, we are really healthy. While I do believe that running qualifies as a “healthy” activity, just because you run does not make you inherently healthy. Take me, for example. I run my face off, but then I eat plenty of Dots, Goldfish and chocolate chip cookies. I am not sure this qualifies me as healthy. I also drink wine every night and at least 16 ounces of coffee every morning (depending on what you believe, these might be healthily things to do). Like anything, running is part of healthy lifestyle, but does not make one automatically healthy since there are so many other factors involved (including sleep, hydration, stress relieving exercises, diet, etc.).

6. We’ve been running since childhood. I think if you run a lot of races, especially half or full marathons, people assume you have been running your entire life. No way! I spent a lot of times in my 20s and 30s drinking beer, sleeping and deliberately not exercising. Running and I did not become acquainted until I was 41 years old. I am kind of glad about that, because there has been some talk that runners wear out over time. I figure if I started late, maybe I can run until I’m 100, or at least until next year when I turn 48.

7. We run really fast. All the time. This one cracks me up. I will ask someone to run with me and they will say, “But you are so fast!” I wonder what could possibly make them think that. Yes, I am faster than some, but I am slower than many more. Just because you run a lot does not make you fast. And, anyway, fast is totally subjective. I am fast compared to Homer Simpson.

8. We don’t drink alcohol. Hahahahahaha! Lmfao! Clearly the person who thinks this hasn’t been at the finish line of a race where there is beer. The beer line is longer than the one for water, bagels or free money! That said, wine is very much a part of my diet (see #5 above). I know that alcohol dehydrates and is the cause of lots of other evil stuff (hangovers, the jitters, memory loss), but I happen to like it (well, not the hangovers, but you know what I mean). Would I be a stronger runner without my wine? Maybe. I guess I’ll never know.


9. We are obsessed with running. Well, this one just might be true.


Ever been stereotyped with any of these myths?

Have any to add to the list?


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ironman Training, Take 2

If you had told me a year ago that I would be doing two Ironmans (Ironmen) in a year’s time, I would have told you to STFU in the kindest way possible.


Yet, here I am – one Ironman under my belt (November 2013) and one coming up in 20 weeks (Ironman Boulder August 3rd). After the LA marathon, I gave myself 5 seconds to breathe and then jumped back into training. I am not sure I recommend this strategy, but I am usually my happiest when I am overloading myself and totally stressing myself out. Well, not really, but that’s just how the timing turned out on these races.

What does jumping back in look like? Let me show you in a sweet, little pie chart (am I the only one who gets hungry every time someone talks about pie charts? I know it’s a chart and not a baked good, but it makes me think of coconut cream pie, which is my personal favorite pie flavor).

Here is my coconut cream pie chart for the week:


The breakdown:

Swim: 5,000 yards or ~ 2.9 miles
Bike: 53.10 miles
Run: 16.45 miles

Total Miles: ~80
Total Workouts: 9
Total Workout Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

I think it is always very humbling to start training for something again. At the peak of my IM training last summer/fall, I was doing 18 hours per week. Now 8 hours is kicking my ass. It is a process, I know.

As I pointed out on Twitter this morning, I violated my comfort zone in more ways than one this morning (sounds dirty). I went to Boulder to swim. Not just swim, but swim with a master’s group. Not just swim with a master’s group, but swim outside. Not just swim with a master’s group outside , but in 24 degree weather. Not just swim with a master’s group outside in 24 degree weather, but at 6:44 a.m.

This was uncomfortable for me, but I did it. I am not sure the others in my lane liked me very much because I had no clue what I was doing. I am an okay swimmer, but I don’t really get all the terminology like “do eight 150s on 2:45 descending…” huh? But I just asked questions and did what I was told. Then I asked if they wanted to play Marco Polo and no one did.

So, I am back to chugging my X2 Performance every morning, logging my hours, eating billions of calories and sleeping like a baby.


What are you training for right now? IM Boulder is my big race, but hoping to do a 70.3 in June (Steamboat Springs probably) and a couple of other races as part of my training.

Favorite kind of pie? Coconut cream, followed by pumpkin.


Friday, March 21, 2014


I am sitting here all choked up by the stories you submitted in response to my giveaway question:

At what moment did your life change for the better?
What made that happen?

{If you haven’t had a chance to read some of the answers – go HERE because you will be inspired}


Yes my desk is messy. Stop judging.

I wish I had 209 pair of shoes to give away, because your stories were so heartfelt and genuine. I read each one. I love it that so many of you “get” that growth and bettering our lives often comes out of experiencing challenge, heartbreak, risk taking and maybe a certain amount of damn suffering (or AFOG as I like to call it).

It is exactly these types of stories that inspire people to know it is possible to rise above their own circumstances and to make their life as they want it to be. I don’t think happiness simply descends upon us without effort. Most of the time we have to actively seek it by making changes that are not always easy or comfortable. 

One of the most important things to note is that nothing in life is stagnant. Things are always changing. While we can’t control everything, we also don’t have to be victims of our circumstances. I think that is why I initially called this blog, Shut Up and Run. Because it is within our abilities to make a decision and to go for it without a lot of drama or excuses.

With that said, I think Stacy’s comment embodies a lot of what my blog is about – challenging oneself, moving out of one’s comfort zone, finding self discipline and consequently moving towards a better, healthier life. I love her “EveryDamnDay” motto:

 “I would have to say my life changed for the better on Jan 1, 2012....that is the day that I quit smoking, gave up soda pop, and started walking. I weighed in at 265lbs, I was about to turn 44 that year. I knew I needed to change my life style.

It used to take me about an hour to walk 1mile. Sad but true. On Sept 15, 2012 I began my everydamnday walking at first and eventually getting to the point that I was running/walking. I hit 365 days and kept going, I made it to 500days of every day walking/running. I choose to take a break mostly due to the extreme winter we have had. But I'm happy to say that as of today I'm 100 lbs down, still smoke free, diet soda has came back into my life but only occasionally.

I've started my everydamnday again and I'm currently on day 15. I bike, hike, run, & speed walk. I will be 46 the end of this year and I'm in the best shape of my life.”

Do you think it was easy or convenient for her? Do you think it was effortless to quit nicotine and soda? Do you think  it was fun to walk that first mile when it took an hour? Not likely. But she shut up and did it. Just because it’s hard does not mean you should stop.

Wow this post was a bit deep. PENIS! <-------- Just to lighten things up.

What used to be your excuse for not training/running/exercising/dieting? Mine was I was too busy to exercise and that running was too hellish and hard.


PS: Stacy – email me at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Best Bra Stuffer

I’m a believer in keeping life fresh by trying new things.  The special thing is, I do not have to TRY to try new things. They just happen when I am not paying attention (like falling down the stairs on my tailbone or farting in yoga). I do admit, some things I do on purpose, but many are just a result of spacieness.

New Things:

Thing #1: I now run with things stuffed in my sports bra. Many of my shorts and shirts don’t have pockets and I don’t always carry a fuel belt or pack. For my last marathon, I ran with 5 gels in my bra, which was nice because it actually looked like I had breasts. Other things I stuff in my bra these days? Heidi’s dog tag so I can let her off leash, Shot Bloks and sometimes keys or a tampon. You could put condoms in there too if you thought you might get lucky out on the run. I don’t do that.


Thing #2: I brushed Heidi’s teeth. I have never brushed a dog’s teeth before and it is weird. Like all dogs, she has breath that smells like a combination of turd and tuna fish, so I thought brushing her teeth might help. Thing is, the  toothpaste is beef flavor, so now her hot breath just smells like beef with undertones of turd and tuna.  Next I’m going to floss with salmon flavored Glide.


Thing #3: I left some clothes in the closet in my hotel in Los Angeles. This is a true indication that I have too much on my plate. I have never done that before. They are sending them to me with a note that says, “Here you go, dumb ass.”

Thing #4: Today I took my son’s car through the car wash (to be nice and because he does favors for me like get Frosties when I ask). As of late, he has been “mudding,” which apparently means driving one’s car through 3 feet of mud, doing donuts, getting stuck and having to be towed out by friends.


I am not a huge fan of this mudding thing, but as teens go you have to pick your battles, and I decided not to take this one on. I’ll save my energy and big lectures for upcoming subjects like how to not fail Spanish III, how to separate darks and colors and why he will not live in our basement until he’s 30.

Anyway, I chose a high powered car wash hoping to get all of the mud off of the under carriage. As I put the car in neutral and began the journey through the car wash tunnel, water started trickling in from above the windshield, almost like a soft stream of urine. Then suddenly, the stream became a river and water poured in all over me and  interior of the car. I was soaked. I had nowhere to go. I yelled a few choice words, most of them beginning with F and ending with UCK. When I got out, the car wash guy told me the sunroof was open about 3”.  I did not know this because the cover inside the car was closed. You can still learn new things at the ripe age of 47.

Thing #5: I went to see an old teen heart-throb. Are you old enough to remember Rick Springfield? I loved him back in the day. Jessie’s Girl, etc. I even wore Love’s Baby Soft perfume to the concert because I thought it might make him happy. Funny thing, he played this song called “Inside Sylvia” that I used to love when I was 13. I never knew then how sexual the lyrics really are (duh! just look at the title). Did you know he is 64 years old? He says he had “bad” plastic surgery when he was younger.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got in the way of new experiences for the week.


Anything new experiences for you this week? Give me one. Just one.

What’s the last concert you saw? Did you have a teen crush? I also really liked Andrew McCarthy.

Ever stuff your bra? Never with tissue, only with gels.


Monday, March 17, 2014

She Fought the Good Fight

My heart is heavy today, and I’m not sure I even feel like writing about this – but I feel drawn to jot down a few words.

Yesterday my dear friend, Clair’s, niece (16 years old) collapsed at the finish line of the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. She died soon thereafter. These incidents are rare enough that they are newsworthy, so you might have seen it online or on TV.

I know. There are no words.

I did not know my friend’s niece, Cameron. But, Clair is like a sister to me. When she hurts, I hurt. 


As a parent I have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The shock. The suddenness. The tragedy of a life ended so young. The milestones that will never be reached. The emptiness and sorrow those parents will feel for ever more. FOREVER. 

All I can think is that the sadness of life can be so overwhelming.

We know running is not deadly in and of itself. Life is deadly. It is going to happen to each of us one day. I go back to these stats:

  • 1/150,000 will die running a marathon (it is 40% of that for half marathoners) –most often linked to a congenital heart defect in younger runners and clogged arteries in older runners.
  • 1/88 will die in a car accident
  • 1/28 will die from a stroke
  • 1/6 will die from heart disease

Running, within moderation, has been shown to reduce heart disease and to promote overall better health. I think I’ll take my chances on running and doing what I love.

I am a broken record, but these tragedies should remind us to not waste time. To make sure we are loving and appreciating those around us. To make things right if they are not right. To learn to not take ourselves so seriously, and to open up to life. To truly understand that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

No regrets.

In Cameron’s obituary, the family asks everyone to reflect on II Timothy Chapter 4 verse 7:  "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish: I have kept the faith."

RIP beautiful girl.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Limited Edition ASICS Shoe Giveaway

When I arrived at my hotel in LA last weekend, I had a special treat waiting…


NICE! Usually I wear a full size larger in my running shoe than in my regular “street-walking” shoes. However, I find the Asics shoes run large for me. Therefore, the shoes given to me were too big and so I am passing the shoe onto you! (and Asics was nice enough to send me a smaller pair…)

I am giving away a  pair of these LAM GEL-Lyte33s, but you have to be a women’s size 9.

These are a gorgeous, light weight (5.5 ounce) shoe with a 10mm heel to toe drop. You will love these neutral shoes. They even have palm trees on them. They are the special edition shoes for the LA marathon, and will only be available for a limited time.

LAM GEL-Lyte33™ 3

LAM GEL-Lyte33™ 3

So…if you desire this pair of shoes, simply answer this question in the comments (it’s something I’d like to know about you – even if it doesn’t exactly relate to running). I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday:

At what moment did your life change for the better? What made that happen?

I have so many of these – when I first decided to marry Ken, when we moved to Colorado, when we had kids. But with regard to running (which has absolutely changed my life for the better), this happened when I got a postcard in the mail from Team in Training about running a marathon. I had never been a runner and made a decision at that moment to become one (September 2008). That changed my life immensely for the better.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

8 Raunchy Things Runners Do And Why

When I was running the LA Marathon on Sunday, I was trying to distract myself in any way possible (3 hours and 57 minutes is a long time to be running and semi-suffering). When I wasn’t on Rodeo Drive or concentrating on my aches and pains, I was observing my fellow runners (there were only a few).

I had the deep thought that despite the fact that we come in all different shapes and sizes, have unique fingerprints and share different preferences on whether we wear underwear or not while we run, we do have some commonalities.

Let’s face it. Running is one of the most rigorous activities you can put your body through. Just like you can only provoke a swan so much before it attacks (this is true – swans are MEAN), you can only run so much before your body responds with a hearty “screw you.”

If you are a newer runner and haven’t done much distance running before, you should get very comfortable with bodily functions and fluids before you partake in the journey. With that said, here are my favorite raunchy things runners do (in no particular order). And, as a special bonus, I’m going to tell you WHY these things occur. You’re welcome.

1. We spit. A lot. I can’t count the number of times I was almost spit on during the marathon. When you combine a crowd of 25,000 people, all of them runners who are producing a certain amount of phlegm, it can get wet and wild pretty fast.

Why does it happen? Using you lungs a lot causes an increase in mucus and saliva production. Also, as the body warms up, it produces more saliva.

2. We fart. I am going to be honest and state that I don’t think I farted once during the race. This is very, very unusual for me, and I missed the fun that a few good farts can provide. I did, however, enter into many a person’s fart zone on the marathon course and it was not pleasant – talk about hitting the wall!

Just for the record, I wish it was required that runners take a pill that would make their farts show a cloud of color (the color would be linked to the severity of the fart – i.e., red would be deadly, etc.).

Why does it happen? We all know gas builds up in the body when we swallow air while eating. Gas is also produced when our body is breaking down undigested foods (which produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane). The reason the gas comes out so abruptly and frequently while running is that running can speed up the digestion process. Combine that with the pounding of your feet and you get the fart frequency. Plus, it’s pretty tough to hold those babies in while running. Try it sometime!

3. We snot-rocket. This is kind of in line with spitting, but requires the runner to push one nostril closed while simultaneously blowing out of the other. This produces projectile snot, often referred to as a “rocket.”

Why does it happen? When running (especially in cooler temperatures), your nose  warms and moistens the air you breathe before it reaches your lungs. This produces mucus in your nose and throat.

4. We smell. Let’s face it. When you are out there for several hours in 80 degree heat, no deodorant is powerful enough. And, since we only put deodorant under our arms and not in other crevices, stuff starts to smell.


Why does it happen? Of course we sweat when we run- it is our body’s way of trying to keep us cool. But, sweat in and of itself does not smell. It is the glands that the sweat comes out of that cause the smell. Eccrine glands produce sweat full of water and electrolytes and doesn’t smell too bad. Apocrine glands, however, are found in the groin, hands, feet and underarms and can cause a real stink due to the proteins and bacteria found in the sweat. If you eat garlic, broccoli, red meat or onions, you might stink even worse.

5. We wipe fluids on our clothes. Snot, spit, whatever.

Why does it happen? It happens because we don’t know where else to put it.

6. We puke. Well, maybe you do, I don’t. However, if you have ever been to a race (especially the finish line) you know it’s not all that uncommon.

Why does it happen? It’s called exercise induced nausea. It can come from over exertion or from stopping activity too quickly. It can also be caused from lack of hydration. In some cases, over-hydration can cause this.

7. We pee ourselves. This has also not happened to me, but I hear this is very common, especially among women. A favorite trick is to dump water on your head to disguise the pee, much like when your water breaks in the grocery store, you can drop a jar of pickles on the floor to disguise it. Whatever you do, wearing dark clothing is always the better choice.

Why does it happen? Well, if you’ve given birth, your pelvic and sphincter muscles might have become stretched out and weak. Or, maybe you are old. Sometimes these same muscles can weaken with age. If you are overweight, extra body weight can put additional pressure on the bladder causing leaks. Lastly, if you are fatigued, muscles around the bladder can weaken when you run. You can find more info HERE.

8. We poop, or really, really want to. Although not everyone gets the runner’s trots, it is common. Believe me, your day will likely come.


Why does it happen? When we run, the blood goes to our muscles and neglects our digestive system. Also, the internal organs get all jostled while running. This leads to cramps, turtling, and severe panic about crapping one’s pants.  More info HERE about what to do about it.


Ever experience any of these?

Have any other “gross” things runners do to add to the list?


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LA Marathon 2014 Race Report

I’m back in Colorado just in time for a snowstorm. My body has weather confusion. It is not sure if I should be sweating and sitting by the pool or shivering and shoveling the driveway.

But, you are not here for a meteorological report. You are here for a 26.2 mile race report.

This was marathon #6 for me (if you include the marathon I did within the Ironman. Some people don’t “count” that, but in my mind if there is ever a time to “count” a marathon, it is the one you do after swimming 2.4 miles and riding a bike 112 miles).

What to say about this race? I broke a bunch of personal rules including:

  • Not eating dinner until 10 pm the night before (11 pm if you moved your clock forward)
  • Eating pizza for dinner (in the past this has not been a good pre-race dinner for me. Interpretation = CD - colon distress)
  • Wearing new shoes (Yes. Can you believe it? The story is that I had been training in shoes ASICS sent me. While I loved them, they were slightly big. So, at the expo I got pair that was a half size smaller and decided to chance it. Not sure it was the best move. Let me rephrase: I am positively sure it was not the right move).

But enough about me. Let’s talk more about me and what transpired over 26.2 miles.

First I will say, Asics was incredibly generous and good to us as bloggers. From covering flight/hotel to amazing gear, to running idol meet ups, to lots of support and good meals. My favorite thing, however, might have been the private club room we had at Dodger Stadium before the race. Typically on race morning I can be found huddled somewhere on a street trying to gag down a banana or in a port potty line 15 miles long. Not this morning. We had private bathrooms, food, coffee and a great view of the stadium.


Anne from FANNEtastic Food and I really bonded on this trip. Love that girl.

IMAG2775 doing a nice pre-race braid for her (4:30 a.m. at the hotel – thanks for the pic, Mark):

With Jamie, Brian, Jess, and Anne at the start. Loving the glow in the dark hats. You pay extra for that! (Thanks for the photo, Anne)


Another mistake I made - when I registered, I did not put in a past marathon time. This meant that I was not put into a corral. This meant that I was not with those of the same pace (I was way behind the 5:30 pacer, to give you an idea) . This meant that I spent the first three miles weaving in and out of people, which ultimately added .5 miles to my race. I really was not planning on running a 26.7 mile marathon. My fault, however. I have never run such a crowded or congested race at the beginning. I actually remember passing those big letters.

Here is Brian (Pavement Runner) and me at the start. I never saw him after that!


Here I am looking for spare change.


Abbreviated thought process throughout race:

Miles 1-8: It’s crowded. I am having the time of my life. I love running. Who knew there was so much downhill? I am flying. I love people. I love marathons. I love being in shorts. It’s nice and cool, and to think I worried about the heat. Wait. WTF with this hill (mile 3)?

Miles 9-13: My feet hurt. New shoes, bad idea. It’s still cool. I am not sweating. That GU tasted good. I think I like the plain flavor after all. I’m settling in. Just keep moving forward. Halfway is coming up. Stay hydrated. Why is it so fun to listen to Eye of the Tiger during a marathon? My feet really hurt. That couple in front of me is running holding hands. Really? Aren’t their hands sweaty and gross? Doesn’t that mess up their gait? Will they do that the whole race?

Miles 14-18: Good. Halfway in 1:53. I can do this. I might get a BQ after all. I see shadows. The sun is out. It is hot. Why didn’t I know about all these hills? That sign just said “Smile if you just peed a little.” I did not pee, but I am smiling anyway and now that sign holder thinks I peed. I am not sure why I do marathons. I am not having fun right now. I actually would really like to stop. Let me GU some more. I do think “GU” is a verb. ROCTANE might help. I hate this right now. My feet hurt. How do people run ultras? 

Miles 19-23: Coach Kastor said that there are hills around miles 20-22, then we head down for the rest of the race. I just have to get to mile 22. Great, now I am walking through aid stations. I am gulping water, pouring it on my head and I just put an ice pack between my boobs. Can this please be over? I am hot and everything hurts. I will stretch for a second. That did not help.  What else did Coach say? Oh yeah, imagine the ocean is pulling you to the finish. Let me try that. Why am I doing this? I am in Ironman! This should be nothing for me.

Miles 24-26.2: Okay, here we go. It’s all downhill from here. If I have any hope of breaking four hours I need to pick it up big time. Got to keep these last miles around 8:30-8:45 min/miles. Push it, push it, don’t stop. Do.not.stop. I have transcended my body and am not running completely with my spirit/heart/determination. This is what keeps me going.

I didn’t stop. I crossed the finish in 3:57:40. Actually this is my second to fastest marathon time, but slower than I expected to go for this race. I’ll take it.

Alysia Montano gave me my medal and off I went to the little VIP gathering at the Bungalows. Two words = open bar. I ran (well, hobbled) to my room first to get my slippers on. Then I joined the party. 2 beers and three pieces of pizza later I was a new woman.


That night we had an amazing dinner at the BOA Steakhouse. I got the “40 day” dry aged steak because it sounded exotic (although I don’t usually eat food that is 40 days old).


Here’s me with Jamie Walker (Fit Approach). Love this girl for how down to earth and real she is.


And now for my most lady-like, special moment. Group photo at the end of the night. How could I have not known how I was posing? What is wrong with me? (Thanks, Ryan, for the photo).

Just for the record, those are built in shorts for my skort, not underwear.
Like it matters.

Thanks again to Asics for a first class and amazing trip. I really enjoyed meeting the other bloggers and hearing their personal stories and goals. You can check out their race reports/blogs too:

Brian from Pavement Runner
Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat
Rachel from Running Rachel
Jess from Race Pace Jess
Ryan from I Tri Because I Can
Jamie from Fit Approach
Mark Newman
Anne from Fannetastic Food
Kristin from STUFT Mama
Michele from NYC Running Mama

You can see more about the whole team HERE.


Best race sign you’ve ever seen? I like “Run now, poop later”, “If a marathon was easy it would be called your mom”, “You could have chosen chess” and “Shut up legs.”

What’s the crowdest race you've ever run? Probably this one – but I do think it was because of being in the wrong pace group.

Do you have an embarrassing photo? I have a few good ones from when I gave birth. The nurse was nice enough to take pictures of Ken and me, but she didn’t do a very good cropping job.

Worst race mistake you’ve ever made?


Saturday, March 8, 2014


I’ve been really stressed since getting to LA.


Last night we took the party bus to a club all decked out in Asics LA Marathon VIP style. The bus was as big as my house.


The bar!


Today was packed with more good stuff…. First, an early morning run in Santa Monica with the Asics LA Blogger Challenge Team. This is like Where’s Waldo running style. Can you find Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, Andy Potts and Alysia Montano? Can you find me?


Next  a leisurely breakfast where the pros gave us some tips:

Andy Potts: cool yourself off by putting ice on your neck, your wrists and down your pants. Being nervous for a race is good. It means you care.


Ryan Hall: Remember, if it’s not fun, why do it? When it gets tough, look around and take in your surroundings.


Andrew Kastor: Let the Pacific Ocean be a magnet drawing you to the finish line (a favorite).

I feel like an awkward turd next to the gazelle that is Deena:


Nicest guys. I was so impressed by how down to earth everyone was.


Next up was some pool time and a trip to the expo for bibs.

Now it’s time to lay my stuff out and start visualizing and meditating for tomorrow. Or, drink a glass of wine and watch a trashy movie on Lifetime.

Race goals for me? I don’t know. I always like the idea of a PR (which would be less than 3:42), but I am not too optimistic given the heat facture. If not a PR, maybe a BQ, which is 3:55 I think. If not that, then I would like to break 4 hours and if not that then how about just finishing?

There you have it. My very well thought out and specific goals. I have been training as if I’m aiming for a 3:50, but so much good and not so good can happen over the course of 26.2 so I’m allowing what happens to happen.

Time to rest up, got a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. I love it here. And, having never been to LA, I can’t think of a better way to see the city than running through it.



PS: Ken just sent this. She is sad and missing her person-mama: