Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why You Might Be Tired and 6 Steps To The Best Salad

Confession: My runs have been horrible this week.

I have run three times (so far). The first was a 6.5 miles with 4-one mile repeats It sucked balls because I had nothing to give and it was miserable. The second run was a 6 mile trail run. Every step felt rough. The only good part was the scenery.


Today’s run was 8 miles. I had stomach cramps almost the whole time and took 2 pits stops (my polite way of saying “craps”).

I feel exhausted this week. Like the kind of tired that you feel in every cell of your body. The kind of tired where you are certain you have some disease and you Web MD “fatigue” and learn that indeed you do have either diabetes, a thyroid condition, heart disease or the big one – Ebola . Or, maybe you have just been trying to pack too much into your life (I don’t think I told you this, but I now have SIX jobs and a new exchange student – who loves to make Rice Crispy Treats!).


Today I came home from the run suck-fest and made a super salad because this is what you are supposed to do to be healthy. I am not a recipe inventor or food photographer, but  I did create this today.


You may be wondering how you too can have such an amazing salad.

1. Take a chipped bowl that you have had for 15 years.
2. Layer bottom of bowl with leftover spinach salad.
3. Top with roasted vegetables from yesterday’s lunch and chicken orzo from last night’s dinner.
4. Throw on some feta cheese and avocado.
5. Top with ranch dressing.
6. Make sure a spinach leaf is trying to escape from the bowl.

I am still tired after the salad and think it is because I need some chocolate cake to balance out the healthy salad. I just happen to have some around. Costco rules.


One of my points of this post (and I just realized it) is that when we have an “off” week where we are more tired, irritable, bitchy than normal it doesn't necessarily mean we are physically tired. Mental fatigue can actually cause significant perceived physical fatigue.

Research shows that a while our hearts and muscles may not perform differently when we are psychologically fatigued, we feel as though we are more tired when we physical exert ourselves.

“Researchers found performance of a mentally fatiguing task prior to a difficult exercise test caused participants to reach exhaustion more quickly than when they did the same exercise when mentally rested.” {source}

Two other fascinating things to note about how mental fatigue can affect our running:

  • Mental fatigue causes us to want to quit more quickly
  • Mental fatigue affects dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a role in motivation and effort

So, if you are feeling especially and unusually tired during your runs, do an inventory of your mental state. Then just shut up and run anyway.

How have your runs felt this week?

What ingredients are in your favorite salad? I love spinach, blue cheese, edamame, avocado, sunflower seeds. To name a few.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Don’t Hibernate! 5 Ways To Remain Active This Winter

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know weather does not stop me from running outside. I will take snow, sleet, rain and wind over the treadmill most days. The only element I avoid is ice because I dislike broken hips (and everyone knows ice is for gin and tonics and hockey players).

Just in time for the plummeting temperatures, I’m reviewing some new winter products from Columbia Sportswear. I’ve worn Columbia outerwear since moving to Colorado 20 years ago – mostly their fleece jackets. I find their stuff to be quality, yet affordable.

First up, I’m reviewing the Turbo Down Jacket. I chose the hyper purple color (because I am spastic and I am sick of wearing all black and looking like a ninja all of the time. Plus, I think it’s pretty).


This coat has 800-fill goose down along with 60 grams of Omni-Heat™ synthetic insulation (cozy!). It is lightweight, non bulky and retains heat even when it gets wet. Perfect for your outdoor adventures. While I find it runs a bit big (I got the small and probably should have gone extra small), it is form fitting, comfortable and most importantly – warm! One of the main things I love about this jacket - it is not so crazy puffy it makes me look like the Michelin Man.


Secondly, the Minx Boots in winter white color.




Columbia calls these boots “a jacket for your feet.” They are waterproof and have 200 grams of insulation and a thermal reflective lining. Supposedly they will insulate you to –25F! This is very good news for my Raynaud’s Disease. I like these boots because they are functional yet attractive! I typically wear a more masculine looking boot for my cold/wet outdoor activities, so I love the look of something more feminine. I feel like a snow bunny (or old rabbit). The faux fur lining is like stepping into your favorite slipper.


Yes, I realize there is no snow on the ground. Ever heard of props?

Far too often winter comes and people think they need to hibernate inside. SO not the case. Here are a few ways to stay active outside in the cold months:

1.  Sign up for a winter running race. There are tons of them these days from hot chocolate runs to turkey trots. Registering will hold you accountable and will motivate you to get out there even when the temps drop.

2. Go Canine. Trust me when I say there is no better way to get psyched to get outside than when you have a dog threatening to pee or poop on your rug. Dogs need to be walked even when it is ridiculously cold outside.

3. Experiment. Promise yourself at the start of the winter months that you will try a new winter activity JUST ONCE. Experiment with ice skating, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Get really adventurous and go ice climbing or ice fishing (like I said, you will not see me up there, but have fun).

4. Do outside chores. Did you know the average person burns 200 calories per 30 minutes of shoveling snow? Kill two birds with one stone by getting your exercise and checking something off your to-do list.

5. Play! Remember as a kid how you loved nothing more than a huge neighborhood snowball fight or sledding down that monstrous hill at the end of the street? Just because you’re over twenty years old and so mature doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun.


 How else do you stay active in the winter months?


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Columbia through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Columbia outerwear, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How I Got Rebellious

Today I did something I have not done since I was a teenager (okay, maybe I did it on my honeymoon). No, I did not lose my virginity. I slept in. Until 10:13 a.m.

It was nice. No, it was amazing.

I kind of felt like I was breaking some kind of rule by staying in bed. Surely there was something productive I had to do. Certainly I needed to be running or biking or training for something. I am sure there was a skid mark that needed to be scrubbed out of the toilet or some pancakes I needed to make for my kids’ friends who spent the night.

I didn’t care. Every damn day I get up early. I love my bed. I love sleep. I indulged.

Not like the world was going to end because I slept four hours longer than I usually do. I also got rebellious with some other things this week. Confession time:

1. Heidi pooped twice on a walk. She knows there is a rule where she can only poop once because I only bring one bag. She broke the rule and I had to leave a steamy pile.


2.  Emma, my 13 year old,  is a vegetarian now. I’ve talked about this before. Last night we had some egg rolls and I told her they were veggie when they were actually veggie chicken. I hope she doesn’t read my blog (in my defense, I couldn’t even find the chicken in them).

3. Every run is hard for me.

4. I blamed some farts on Heidi when we had company.

5. I ran 8 miles in brand new shoes I had never worn before. Judge me all you want. I know that is not advisable but they were shouting my name and they were so damn pretty and they reminded me of grape jam. So I did it (and check it out! I found these at DSW for $49 and free shipping!)


6. I hid in the freezer section when I saw someone I knew in the grocery store because I didn’t feel like talking.

7. I bought really expensive sunglasses (something I never do because I just break them and I can never justify the price). I wore them for a few runs and I returned them. I have also returned used sheets and coffee makers, bathing suits, even spoiled clementines.  

8. My son turns 17 tomorrow. I never thought I would have a child that old. The teenage years are so much harder than I ever expected. Give me potty training and 2 year old tantrums any day over the shit that teens do.

Your turn. Tell me one way you broke the rules this week, or a confession.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

11 Things to Remember During a Horrible Run

It happens to the best of us. We head out for a run and it sucks. Heavy legs. Bad attitude. Shortness of breath. Heart beating out of chest. The impulse is to stop, turn around 180 degrees and head for home. Why put yourself through the torture?

Just like we have bad hair days, we have bad run days. Without the shitty days, how can we truly appreciate the amazing days?


In the midst of our most horrible run, what should we remember? That’s simple.

1. No matter how crappy you feel, you made it out the door today, i.e., you are doing more than those people sitting in the McDonald’s drive thru waiting for their Egg McMuffin (Mmmm….eggs).

2. Sucky runs are building your mental toughness. Sometimes the runs that feel the most amazing after the fact are the ones that are the most hard won. The next time you are challenged on a run you can draw on this experience.

3. 99.9% of the time a bad run is followed by an amazing run. This is a documented fact since 400 B.C.

4. This nightmare will be over soon and you have the rest of the day to not be running.

5. One bad run does not define you as a runner. Get over it and move on.

6. A horrific run is better than no run at all.

7.  There might be a donut available to you later in the day.

8. It’s either your thoughts or your body giving you grief. If your brain is psyching you out, simply tell it to shut up and ignore it. If your body is tired or achy, slow your pace a bit, stretch for a second and know that as your warm up you will loosen up. Every step forward is a step closer to the end of this agony.

9. If you are suffering because you are hung-over from food or drink, don’t stop. Often times running cleanses out some of the toxins and you will feel better afterwards.

10. Think (but don’t obsess) about why you feel the way you do. Are you overtraining? Are you sleep deprived? Does your diet suck? If you can pinpoint something specific, then address it. If not, then just know bad runs happen and this too shall pass.

11. Remember that even a bad run is giving you some sort of stress relief and is burning a decent number of calories.


When was your last crappy run? Last week. I felt like I didn’t have time to be running that day. My gut hurt. I was starting my period. But then I found a parakeet and felt better.

What helps you get through a horrible run?


Monday, October 20, 2014

Runner’s World 2014 Hat Trick Recap

It’s hard to wrap my weekend up into a neat blog package, so let me break it down into categories - what surprised me, what I liked best and what sucked. Simple enough.

What surprised me:

  • Deciding to race all three races. I trained for this weekend like I was training only for a half marathon. On Saturday when we had the 5K and 10K spaced an hour apart, I decided to run hard but manageable. I might have been slightly regretting that when I woke up on Sunday to do the half. I made a choice to ignore my aches, pains and internal bitching.


33/428 for women, 2nd in AG!

  • The whole BYOB thing. We went out to dinner in Bethlehem. You know me - by the time I get to dinner I have been planning all day what type of alcohol I am going to consume (yes, even when I am racing). How surprised was I when we got the restaurant to find it was all BYOB? I learned this is because they don’t want to renovate/expand the historic Bethlehem buildings to put in bars, etc. Note to self for any future visits to this place.
  • The Mushroom Tacos. I love the Runners World Cookbook, but I have to admit the mushroom taco recipe was not something I was going to make. We were served a couple of meals that came completely out of the cookbook and the tacos were on the menu. They were incredibly outstanding. Make them now. But only if you like mushrooms. If you don’t, you will hate these with a passion.

Ravenous Runner Mushroom Tacos

  • That I finally made it to the cover of a magazine. Yes, I’m farting. Sorry Katie.


  • That it would be so easy to bond with my room-mate Katie. In my late teens and 20s I thought nothing about sleeping with whomever (don’t take that the wrong way) – I mean I had no hesitation about staying in rooms with people I didn’t know that well (like in a youth hostel – I’m not a slut). But at 47, it feels a bit awkward. Katie was the coolest (and not just because she just got her Olympic trial qualifier with a 2:41 marathon). She was incredibly nice and easy to be with. She didn’t smell or  try to spoon me at night either.


  • Free skirt during the race. At mile 9 of the half marathon, Running Skirts was giving away free skirts. All you had to do was put it on over what you were wearing and wear it to the finish. SCORE. I never turn down free.


What I liked best:

  • Bethlehem itself. I had no clue how gorgeous and history-rich this town would be.






  • Happy girls after the half! (From left to right: Kristen, Lauren, Katie, Beth, Legwarmers)
  • Meeting lots of the RW Staff.


The iconic Bart Yasso


The hilarious Mark Remy

Embedded image permalink

The witty and adorable Chief Editor David Willey


  • Meeting my first comedian in real life –Liz Miele (with my empty beer cup). Stinking hilarious.


  • Running into online friends I’d never met before (and the fluorescent hair made Lonnie even cooler – and the fact that Bart photo bombed)


What sucked:

  • Hills – I may be overly dramatic, but there was a lot of up and down going on, especially in the half. Repeatedly.
  • Constipation –Yeah I know what you are thinking. For a girl who talks about poop so much, constipation is ironic. Yet, when I travel, stuff doesn’t move as well. There is no First World Problem worse than not being able to poop on race morning.
  • Delayed flight out of Philly. I was delayed leaving on Sunday night and got back to Denver LATE. It wasn’t all bad because I ate this sucker. When in Philly…


  • Non-working escalators in the airport. I think this is a joke the airport was playing on those of us who ran 23 hilly miles over the weekend.


All in all an amazing weekend. Thanks to Runners World for sponsoring my involvement in this event!


What’s the hilliest race you’ve ever done?

Does your “schedule” get thrown off when you travel?

Tell me one thing that sucked and one thing you liked about your weekend.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

9 Necessities In My Gym Bag

The title of this post is actually a lie because while I have a gym bag, I don’t have a gym to go to.  Right now, I have a car bag, which is basically a gym bag I keep in my car (duh) for those times when I drive to take long runs or go to the pool. Here’s what’s in it:

1. Puffs SoftPack – This is a brand spanking new item on the market and I love it. Instead of carrying around those big and bulky hard boxes of tissues or those tiny little packs, you can now use this full sized SoftPack to cram in between your car seats or in your gym bag. The package is even water resistant in case you want to take a run in the rain (if you want, go to the Puffs FB page and tell them, as a runner, how you will use these.PuffsSoftPackImage
2. Orbit Spearmint Gum – I don’t chew gum when I’m running, but I like it most other times. I happen to enjoy Orbit gum because for some reason I can pop that gum better than other brands. I like to pop gum on airplanes, in church, in movie theaters – anywhere that I can annoy people.

3. Wild Poppy Body Spray from Bodycology – A good rule of thumb is to do your best to not smell like ass and sweat during the time between the end of your workout and your shower. Body spray, and this one in particular, can cover up a multitude of unpleasant odors until you are able to wash correctly. The travel size is only $1.99 at Target.
4. SPF 30 Sunscreen and Lip Balm – As I have matured I have foregone the baby oil and replaced it with actual sun protection. I also always wear lip balm with SPF because I get those damn icky cold sores if I don’t.

5. CYA Skirt – Often times I will run in my tights or short shorts, then head to the grocery store. In lieu of scarring other customers with my tight, short or revealing clothing, I throw on my CYA (Cover Your Ass) skirt.

6. Playtex Sport Tampons – These are the best. If you’ve ever had the experience of a tampon annoyingly descending down the canal while you are running, you know it is a very unpleasant experience. These tampons stay in place and “fit” with your body. Great for swimming too.

7. Clif Bars, Lara Bars, Jolly Ranchers, Charms Blow Pops – I can get very irritable and mean when I am hungry. I ALWAYS have  a snack nearby in case of an emergency. I also love to have Jolly Ranchers and lollipops in my car for when I am driving and bored.

8. Change of Shorts – This is a no brainer. I have had far too many occasions where I needed a clean pair of shorts. I will not go into detail, but suffice it to say that running brings out the worst in some of us.

9. Beach Towel – At some point in my life I realized that it is always a good idea to have a towel with you.  If you are sweaty and gross, you can use it as a liner on your car seat. If you go to an impromptu concert, you can lay down on it in the grass. If you fall into a lake you can dry yourself off. If you are dripping 45 ounces of sweat, you can sop it all up with the towel.

What other stuff do you carry in your gym bag? Any unique/odd items?


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Puffs through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Puffs, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What I Found On Today’s Run

Today on my run I found a parakeet.  It looked exactly like this, but I didn’t have my camera so Google images had to do. Cute little feller, no?

It was on the sidewalk and I almost smashed it with my Asics. It flew into a tree. I spent more time than I care to mention trying to coax it out of the tree. I am not sure what I would done if it came to me because I really don’t like birds. Maybe I could have had it for dinner with a side or orzo.

After all was said and done, I left it there. I came home and wondered if I was supposed to call the humane society or animal control in these instances. I mean it is a bird and by the time anyone showed up it would be in Atlanta. So, I did nothing. Pointless story.

This did get me to thinking about all of the weird shit I see when I run. When you drive and bike you miss a lot – but running? You see it all up close, especially if you don’t run that fast. And, I usually don’t.

Some of my best finds (I swear I don’t live on the wrong side of the tracks):

  • Used condom
  • Deer carcass eaten by coyotes
  • Ten million empty airplane sized liquor bottles (must be teens getting rid of evidence. Or a pilot getting rid of evidence)
  • A moose
  • Syringe
  • Starbucks gift card (empty)
  • Lottery ticket (not a winner)
  • Half smoked joint (this is Colorado)
  • Human feces (okay, well it looked like it. Guess it could have been a St. Bernard)
  • Bear feces (I know this because it had berries in it)
  • Underwear (this always confuses me. I am unsure how under garments get left on the side of the road unless someone is again getting rid of evidence? Ewww).
  • Vomit

I am leaving for the Runner’s World Half (Hat Trick) in the morning – flying Denver to Philly. I was thrilled to watch CNN today and learn that a health care worker with Ebola flew on a Frontier flight this week. I am once again reminded to not lick my tray table or make out with strangers sitting beside me.


What’s the most random thing you’ve ever found on a run? Parakeet.

Is Ebola freaking you out? I’m not panicking, but everyday I get a bit more uneasy.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Now THAT Was Creepy (and gross! beware!)

Before I get into what was creepy and why I want to point out something that I learned today. This is the most important thing in the news after Ebola and ISIS (not really, I’m just making light of our dire world situation).

Remember in a post I wrote a couple weeks ago (8 Pet Peeves You May Have About Runners) where I talked about how I hate it when people don’t put the seat down in the porta potty?  There is actually scientific evidence behind why this is a good idea:


Tip: Don’t touch the seat. Put it down with your foot.

Now onto creepy. What you are all waiting for. If you get easily pukish and queasy from graphic things you might want to skip the rest of this post.

On Sunday Ken and I went for an 8 mile trail run at one of our favorite spots (Heil Ranch). It was about 8:30 a.m. It’s no secret that there are wild things on these trails (duh, it is the wilderness after all), but at this trail all we’ve ever seen are wild turkeys, deer and mountain bikers that smell like Axe (not ass).

We started running (and I started looking goofy):


About a half mile in, we encountered this.


Yeah. And, this 10 feet away (stomach and intestines – oh and a leg).


Clearly Dateline needs to get in here and do a show:

It was early morning when they set out on the trail. A couple in their mid-forties just looking for some recreation.

All of a sudden they came upon a grisly scene. The couple felt they had no reason to fear…OR DID THEY???”

Ken promised me we had nothing to fear, but I did fear. Wouldn’t you?

We kept going and every chipmunk and leaf that fell from the tree almost made me shart myself. I kept trying to remember what I was supposed to do if I got attacked by a lion. Let the lion eat Ken? Scream and yell like a school girl? Offer it ribbon to play with? I relaxed the further into the run I got (mostly because I was too tired to keep worrying about some little kitty that might want to eat me).

As we came back down the trail there was a ranger taking pictures of the lovely carcass. All of this time I thought this was the work of a mountain lion. NO, the ranger said. It was a pack of coyotes. He knew this because apparently mountain lions drag their prey out of the open and bury/cover them so they can feast on them for several days. Coyotes just go to town where ever the hell they want.

Mean little suckers.

Anyone want to go on a trail run with me?


Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Top 5 Best-Ever Marathon Tips

In the past five years, I’ve done five stand-alone marathons – seven if you count the marathon that is within the Ironman. It’s not like I’m an expert or anything, but I have been around the block a few times (and not just marathoning…I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination).

Over the years I’ve gotten a crap load of advice (both solicited and unwanted) from millions of sources. What to eat. How and where to poop. How to avoid excessive gas. How to be mentally strong. What to wear. What not to wear. How to pace. How to avoid chaffing. How to pose at the finish line (don’t look at your watch). How to avoid hitting the wall.

Yet within the plethora of advice that has been offered to me via books, blogs, articles and experienced runners, I’ve come up with my own list. These tips are mental, not physical in nature. That’s because by the time you get to the start line of a marathon, you should have trained enough that your body can go the distance. What is left is how you cope with your mind. Believe me when I say it is your best friend or your worst enemy.

1. Know pain is temporary. Before my first marathon I had no clue if I could go the distance. I was terrified. I had never even done a half marathon. I searched everywhere for inspiration. One quote that stuck with me was “Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.” We are miserable in a marathon because we are pushing beyond our limits.  We have all been at that point of agony where we are DONE and SICK of doing what we are doing. We want nothing more in the world than to stop. We wonder if it is worth it. We wonder why we are doing this.  This is the exact time when I bring the above quote to mind.

I think about the miles and minutes I have left in the race. I tell myself that I can do anything for an hour. I tell myself that I have only  two 5Ks to go. I visualize myself at the end of the race, medal around my neck, hugging my family. I remember how I want to feel in that moment. Proud. I push on.


The end of the Colorado Marathon when I got my BQ. Hugging my mom.

2. Change it up.  When you are really struggling - to the point where you are not sure you can push on, do something –ANYTHING - differently. Change up something in your form such as increasing or decreasing cadence. Try an orange slice from a spectator. Walk for a few seconds. Put in your music. Notice the scenery. Grunt hello to a fellow runner. I use this “change it up” technique all of the time. It works because it distracts you from the pain and the many miles you have ahead. It also alters your physical and mental statuses ever so slightly, but enough to give a boost.

3. Embrace the Suck. Expect to be uncomfortable and don’t let it psyche you out. It must be something inherent in the human condition that when we feel discomfort, we think we need to quit. We think something is wrong. I would argue that the opposite is true. Discomfort is a signal to us that we are pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and that can be a beautiful thing. That push is the reason that our sense of accomplishment is what it is after a race. My guess is that the most successful runners have learned how to accept suffering. They expect it. When the agony comes, and it will, acknowledge it but don’t let it break you – “Yep, here you are you mother f&cker. I knew you’d show up. Let’s finish this thing.”

4. Don’t get ahead of yourself. One of the worst things we can do at the start of a marathon is think about the 26.1 miles we have left to go. The brain simply cannot accept that kind of distance and it will want to tell you that you cannot do it. It will play tricks on you such as “Dude, you are only at mile 3 and you are already breathing hard. You’ll never finish this race.” When I am in a long distance race like a marathon or an Ironman I have to stay in the moment in order to survive. I’ve got my strategy in place for the race, but every mile is its own mile, its own set of successes and challenges.

5. Be grateful. I know I say this all the time, but I believe gratitude is the emotion that can change your attitude and perspective in a split second. Take in your day. You have worked hard to be here. Know that you are in the top .17% who has completed a marathon in the U.S.  (541,000 out of 316 million people in 2013). Your body is letting you do this. Your family and friends support you. Your mind is strong. Be thankful for all of it. In that moment when you are suffering and you think you might not make it to the finish, quietly whisper (or scream) “Thank you”.


The end of Ironman Boulder. My form sucks. Who cares.
I’m grateful I can still move.


What’s your best marathon tip?


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Love Toilet Paper, But Not Like This

I am not a scrooge, but I don’t like going into a store, gazing beyond the fun-sized Halloween candy and seeing this:


Rumor has it that these trees have been up since August. AUGUST!! Hobby Lobby needs to calm down. I love Christmas, but not in October. And, I don’t like my trees decorated with toilet paper.

So, I’ve been gearing up for the Runner’s World Hat Trick (5K & 10K on Saturday, then half marathon on Sunday), which is the weekend of October 17. No big deal when you get a message from this guy.


Does Bart even know how his Yasso 800s have killed me over the years? (they are HARD, but they work – TWSS).

I have no clue what my race goals are because I don't typically do things called Hat Tricks. I always thought a hat trick was something from Alice in Wonderland. Am I supposed to race all races? Go slow for the 5K & 10K and save myself for the 13.1 or just save myself for marriage (too late)? All I know is I get three medals. And, my time is ONE time for all three races.

I’m glad to be heading east for some nice fall weather and I’ve never been to Bethlehem, PA (well, I’ve been to the one near Jerusalem < for real, but never the one where Jesus wasn’t born).

Speaking of which, there is still time to sign up for the races at the Runner’s World Festival. Use these codes for an extra 10% off. Come along and keep me company.

5k: blogshutuprun5K
10k: blogshutuprun10K
Half: blogshutuprunHalf
5 & Dime: blogshutuprun5&10
Hat Trick: blogshutuprunHat

Register for any of the races HERE.


Do early Christmas decorations annoy you?

How would you strategize if you were doing the hat trick?

Pennsylvania/East Coast people >>> What’s Pennsylvania like in mid-October?


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Time I Saw Bullwinkle

This weekend I headed up the Colorado hills for some high altitude training in Frisco, Colorado (elevation: 9,092 feet).


This person ^^^ is my dear friend, Erika. Do you think we look like sisters? At all?

I think it’s good to leave your husband, dog, kids, and dirty toilets for some girl time.

If you have never been there, Frisco is very ugly. Who needs quaint buildings surrounded by snow capped mountains?

You know how there are those runs that are a ridiculous suckfest of aches, pains, gas and fatigue? Then you know how there are those magical runs where everything falls into place? My Saturday morning run in Frisco was the magical kind.


My friend Julie is recovering from a stress fracture in her foot and can’t run, but she rode her mountain bike beside me. I had an 8 mile run to do with 2 x 2.5 mile intervals. Running intervals up hill at 9,000 feet hurts. In the best way possible.


I ran from Frisco towards Copper Mountain. Julie was ahead of me and would turn back to yell at me to go faster. Screw that.


One time she came to tell me that there was a big moose on the path ahead. I was immediately excited followed by being immediately scared because moose (meese?) are supposed to be kind of big and mean. They apparently like to charge people, especially runners wearing purple. Which is weird because I grew up thinking they smiled, wore tuxes, sipped martinis and answered to “Bullwinkle”:


When we did the Epic Relay in the Tetons in August, we did some research on what to do if you confront a moose. Usually they will not attack unless provoked or unless they are protecting their young.

Here’s what to do (from HERE):

  • Back away with your palms facing the moose – Yo Moose! Talk to the hand!
  • Speak softly and reassuringly, like you would to a little child – Well hello, would you like some warm milk and a diaper change?
  • If the moose charges, get behind a large tree or rock in order to separate your body from the moose. Most moose charges, like grizzly bear charges, are bluffs
  • If the moose attacks you, feign death by curling up in a little ball. Protect your head and neck with your arms. If you are wearing a backpack, your pack will protect your back

We crept up the path, but the moose had headed down towards the river. However, as we turned around to come down, there was Bullwinkle in the middle of the path walking towards us. He veered off and into the woods. Probably for another cosmo. Here are moose tracks (also the name of my favorite ice cream):


All in all, an amazing run even if I couldn’t keep my interval pace AT ALL.


I got back to find my sister still asleep so I gave her a hickey.


When’s the last time you went on a girl’s weekend? Where to?

Ever encountered a wild animal while running or seen a moose in the wild?


PS: I’ve got a new post up at RunHaven you might like, “5 Things Successful Runners Never Do.”