Sunday, November 30, 2014

What Happened Today at Mile 4

I am a bit obsessive about the weather. I think when you run outside in the winter you kind of have to be.

However, unfair = when the weather does something that your iPhone or local meteorologist did not warn you about. If anyone lives in the Denver area and ran this morning you know what I mean.

I have lived in Colorado for 20 years. I know the weather changes quickly and drastically. We have a saying here that is so overused I roll my eyes every time I hear it: “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.”

I am usually pretty damn prepared. But, this morning? What the f&ck with the f&cking fast temperature drop? F&ck!

Ken and I started out on an innocent 6 mile trail run. The temperature was 58 degrees and sunny. Little wind. I wore shorts and a t-shirt, so did he.

I knew the weather was going to cool off later in the day – into the 30s by 3pm. NBD. By that time I’d be lying on the couch under a blanket.

We hit the turn around point at three miles of climbing. The wind was starting to pick up, but it was still sunny. I felt kind of cold, but nothing worth bitching about.

Mile 4. It all changed. I could feel the air turn from cool to freezing. I knew we only had a couple of miles to go, all downhill, which on trails can take a bit.  The wind picked up even more. The freezing air became arctic. My exposed head, arms and hands HURT. Like, really HURT.

We kept descending into the extreme wind. I am not a pussy when I run. I try not to complain. But by the time we had 1.5 miles to go I was on the verge of a breakdown.

I momentarily stopped to see if I could somehow shelter my arms and hands for a minute. Ken came up behind me and said, “Don’t stop. We have to keep moving. Just GO!”  By all the drama involved you would have thought we were caught in a burning building and only had 2 minutes to get out.

I swear that last mile we descended 800 feet in about 8 minutes. I was hopping over roots and rocks like my life depended on it. It was brutal.

We jumped in the car cussing, rocking back and forth, carrying on. These are the times that make you closer as a couple –> NOT. I looked at the temperature:


What the hell had happened in an hour? We went from 58 degrees to 22 degrees. Wind chill was probably –100.

Yes, today I learned some lessons.

1. Saying “f&ck” while you run does not make you any less cold.

2. This is not an outfit for 22 degree weather.


3. When it is that cold and you are that desperate you couldn’t give a crap if your nose is running.


4. It does not help to try to put your entire hands and arms into your shirt while running downhill. That, in fact, is a recipe for disaster.

5. Carry arm warmers and gloves and a down coat and a space heater and a stove and cup ‘0 noodles…just in case.

Ever been ULTRA unprepared for the weather on a run?


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy T’Giving…and You Might Learn Something New About Me!

Ken and I started our Thanksgiving the best way – by doing a double date 10 mile trail run with our friends, Tom and Joie (sorry, for whatever reason I have no pictures of them. Maybe they are my imaginary friends because I don’t have any friends).

It was windy and the trails were very icy and snow packed in places, but I couldn’t have been happier.

photo 1

Longs Peak.

photo 2

No-shave November and his woman who has a large as shit hamstring:

photo 3

Happiness is new trail shoes.

photo 4

So, I stole this off of HRG’s blog, but I thought it was  fun little survey. I love these because I always learn things about other people I didn't know.

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

1. Hon (Ken calls me this always. I hate it when he calls me “Beth.” I feel like I’m in trouble).

2. Mommy (my 17 year old calls me this when he needs something).

3. Bitch (other drivers on the road call me this)

4. Bethie (best friend Erika calls me this)

Four jobs I’ve had:

1.  Cashier – 7-11 (don’t be jealous. It’s really fun to come home smelling like a big bite)

2.  Black Jack dealer (perhaps the coolest job I’ve ever had)

3.  Waitress (too many times to count)

4. House cleaner

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

1.  Forrest Gump

2.  Airplane

3. Christmas Vacation

4.  Christmas Shoe

Four books I’d recommend:

1.  Gap Creek

2.  Finding Ultra

3.  The Tender Bar

4.  Power of Now

Four places I’ve lived:

1. Chicago, IL (I was born there. Lived there until I was 5)

2. Athens, Greece

3. Paris (France, not Texas)

4. Columbia, MD

Four places I’ve visited:

1. Costa Rica

2. Loch Ness (northern part of Scotland where the monster is)

3. Jerusalem

4. Istanbul 

Four things I prefer not to eat:

1. Dog food  

2. Dog poop

3. Jelly donuts

4.  Bleach

Four of my favorite foods:

1.  My mom’s chicken and dumplings

2.  Avocados

3.  Chipotle bowl

4. Eggs Benedict

Four TV shows I watch

1.  Biggest Loser

2.  True Detective

3.  Walking Dead

4.  Survivor

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

1.  Christmas with Antoni, our exchange student

2.  Doing my first ultra (maybe?)

3.  Teaching a parenting class at the YWCA

4.  Playing Cards Against Humanity because I never have

Four things I’m always saying:

1.  I farted

2.  I’m cold

3. At the end of the day…(just kidding, I hate that expression)

4.  Please put your damn dishes in the dishwasher


Your turn. Consider yourself tagged and let me know a bit more about you (in the comments or leave a link to your blog post).

Have an incredible Thanksgiving!

She clearly had too much turkey. Why can't dogs pace themselves?



Monday, November 24, 2014

My Favorite New Piece of Gear–Louva Arm Sleeves! Review and Giveaway.

This week I discovered a new favorite – Louva arm sleeves.


The reason I like arm warmers so much is that I like running in the least amount of clothing as possible. Arm sleeves mean I can wear a light shirt, but keep my arms warm. Or, if it is cooler, I can wear long sleeves with arm warmers over the sleeves for an extra bit of warmth. Once it warms up, it is easy to roll the sleeves down and they become really cool wrist bands.

So, what makes Louva different? Well, for one, they have a thumbhole!


Secondly, these are the softest sleeves you will ever wear. Yet, they are substantial enough (not like those flimsy thin ones) that they provide some insulation (yes I was a flamenco dancer in my other life).


Lastly (and very importantly), these sleeves do not slip and they are only $12.00!


As some back story – the Louva founders, Amy and Jodi, started their company because they had been unable to find an inexpensive pair of arm warmers with a thumbhole. Right now, the sleeves only come in white, but Louva is working on offering a black pair as well. The reason they started with white was because they thought it would be cool for people to write their splits or mantras on the white for their races. Genius!

If you’d like to try a pair of these babies, enter here. Giveaway open to US residents and will end on 11/28.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fine print: Louva sent me these sleeves and will provide the give away item. As always, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

That’s a Rough Way to Die

Since I’m not really training for anything my goal these days has to run about 30 miles per week. I don’t know why 30 is the magic number, it just is. It is more than 29 and less than 31, how’s that?

I did intervals on the treadmill on Tuesday overlooking the pool and the pussy posse (remember them from days gone by? If you have been reading this blog for forever, you know the posse is my favorite geriatric water aerobics group who I hung with when I had a hip stress fracture).

I like watching people swim while I run. I like to pretend I know things about swimming and I judge their technique. I like to label the regulars whose names I don’t know – like “tattoo guy”, “girl who likes the butterfly, ” “nice boob lady” and “treading water old man.”

photo (69)

Yes, I do think 3.1 miles an hour is the perfect treadmill speed.

On Thursday I ran trails and the snow made it at least 5x harder than normal. But, I am in my element on the trails and it is my favorite place to be. I’m going through a purple phase right now. Don’t ask why.


I like trails because:

You can make pit stops wherever
It is quiet
Farts dissolve into the abyss
There is always the danger of being eaten by a wild animal, so you feel alive
It makes me a stronger runner


Here I am doing my favorite hip/butt swing:


What the hell with that ham muscle? That looks like a thunder thigh right there.


Today I did the Panicking Poultry 5K in Boulder. At mile .3 I remembered that I hate 5Ks because they hurt like a mother f-er.

I knew immediately it would not be a PR day for me. I spent the rest of the race hanging on and trying to ignore my very strong desire to stop and perhaps throw up. I finished in 23:16, which is slower than I wanted, but I did get a beer pint glass for being 2nd in my AG.

Please ignore my son photo bombing the picture with his bad finger. And ignore the fact that this is my “lazy Saturday afternoon with no makeup on look.” This picture would be way more impressive if the glass was full of beer.


Here is the shirt I will never wear:

photo (72)

Poor turkeys. I hope they are not too stressed out. It would be rough to know you were going to be brutally murdered, then have your neck stuffed into your body cavity, then have it removed, then have it replaced by a bread/onion/celery mixture. Sounds like a rough way to leave this world.

What kind of mileage do you keep in your “off season”?

Do you wear and love all of your race shirts? No. They are not all created equal. Some sit in my closet.

Favorite race distance? Probably the half marathon or the half ironman. Long enough to get into a groove and pace yourself, but short enough to push a bit.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

6 Genius Running-Related Tips

Before we get to the tips…take a look at this view out my back door last night as the sun was going down. Doesn’t it just give you a sense of peace? I could sit on my couch all day and stare out onto this landscape (and sometimes I do – well, not all day but you know what I mean).


As I was running on the treadmill today (I wanted to so speed work and there is no way I can do that outside right now), I was thinking about some little tips that I use in my running that I wanted to share. Just a few things that can make life easier…and we call could stand to make life easier.

1. When doing intervals on the treadmill, keep count with jelly beans or something like that (gummy bears? gum drops?). For each interval completed, eat a bean. When they are all gone, you are done (and on a sugar high).


2.  When it’s cold and you’re doing a longer run outside, stash your GUs in your sports bra. They will keep warm and will have the consistency of honey, not tar. If you’re a guy, try your jock strap, but watch for errant hairs.

3. If you have problems with your water freezing in your bottles when you run (this means you are badass, btw) put in some electrolyte drink mix. The sodium will keep it from freezing. Or, you could just add a lot of salt and pretend you are drowning in the ocean.

4. If you are in need of arm warmers but either don’t want to spend the money or want to toss them once you warm up during a race, make your own from cheap socks (mine were $2.50) you buy at Wal-Mart (but watch out for this gal).



5. If you have trouble with your sunglasses fogging up outside when you run, try wiping them with a solution of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water before you head out. Let them dry (don’t wipe away).

6. Put screws in the bottom of an old pair of running shoes and use them for snow running (see tutorial HERE).

Let’s all share our tips. Give me one of yours!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Shut Up + Shop Already!

You all know how much I love the “Shut Up + Run” mantra. It’s gotten me out the door too many mornings to count and across the finish line of ridiculously hard races.

What you may not know is that the original name of my blog (when I started it in 2009) was “Run With Me.” It took about a week before I knew I needed something stronger, something bossier, something snarkier. “Shut Up + Run” seemed to suit my personality as well as my no-excuse philosophy.

Truthfully (and why I chose the blog name), I got sick of people complaining that they didn’t have the time, energy, motivation, etc. to run. SUAR is a nicer way of saying “shit or get off the pot!” or “stop your bitching and get on with it!”

For me, “shut up and run” has branched out from just running. It has become my approach to many things. It can mean:

Get out of your comfort zone!
Take a risk!
Doing something that terrifies you!
Dream big and go for it!
Live and live large!

I’ve had lots of people ask about Shut Up + Run shirts/merchandise. I used to sell shirts and visors, then got away from that. Honestly it was kind of a pain to take orders and send them out when I had a million other things going on. So…I’ve now found a way to provide the merchandise with none of the pain.

Enter my new shop page:


Basically, you pick your design, your size, your color, your shirt style and you order. The site is maintained by a third party (Family Fan Club), but all logo designs are mine.

By wearing an SUAR shirt you’re not saying you love and support me (although that’s cool) – you are saying you support the Shut Up and Run philosophy of no excuses. Or maybe you want to give one of these shirts as a gift to the person in your life who whines too much. They’ll love you for it!

Shut Up and Run Merchandise Page

So, happy shopping (and FREE first class shipping through Thanksgiving)!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

5 Random Things From My Week–Fascinating!

1. Almost every single pair of my socks looks like this because of my damn long Morton’s toe. That toe literally breaks through cotton, wool, metal, you name it. The toe has a mind of its own. It might kill you in your sleep.


2. Did I tell you I am coaching a running group out of Boulder? I trained with a group called Fast Forward Sports for Ironman Boulder. I am now one of the coaches for their holiday run program (you can still sign up!). I love this because I have only done individual run coaching, and most of it online. I really like the group interaction. We can fart in unison. And, I like I get to wear a jacket that says COACH.


Our group ran 7 miles this morning around the Boulder Reservoir. 12 degrees. Snow. I LOVE this cold. I so much prefer it to being in Mexico on the beach!


3. With our Spanish exchange student I am learning so much about how different teens can be in different cultures. Thing #47 I learned on Thursday while we were watching the Biggest Loser. Antoni wanted a snack, so he made this.


WHAT?? I would die and go to heaven if my kids chose to cut up a tomato and drizzle it with balsamic vinegar and oil instead of eating Fritos. Where have I gone wrong?

4. Ken is in the throes of  No-Shave November. He is getting so shaggy that the people at work thought he had been on a homeless drinking binge for several days. I am doing No-Shave November with my armpits. It’s going well. I will show you a picture on November 30. If you are lucky.


5. Everyone keeps asking me what my next big race will be. Between you and me, I have no clue. I just finished reading “Out There” by David Clark (I got it on Kindle for $5.99).

It’s a memoir (you know those are my favorites) about a former extremely overweight alcoholic (from Colorado!) who transformed himself completely. He now runs ultras and runs them FAST and furiously. I was so incredibly inspired by this man and you will be too. I know for a fact an ultra is in my future. Maybe a 50 miler in 2015? Who wants to join me? I’m not committing, just discussing.

Give me one random thing about your week. Make it good.


PS: Check back on Monday for a fun announcement…

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Guess Who Moved to Boulder? Plus, My Best Tips for Cold Weather Running

I’m not going to complain about the fact that it is colder in Colorado tonight than it has been in our state on this date for the past 100 years (-13 tonight).

I am not going to f-ing complain about the fact that I tried to run outside and had to turn around after one mile. I am not going to bitch about how my butt froze through my tights (really it did. It was like one big ass cube. Get it? ASS CUBE!). I lost feeling in my feet and my face became dangerously close to being frostbitten (for some reason I don’t really want to walk around with a face that is chronically black from frostbite, no matter how much I do love to run).

Our poor exchange student is from a warm island off the coast of Barcelona. He does not know what has hit him. Emma asked if he wanted to go sledding and he said “what is sledding?” It is fun to be part of all of these “firsts” for him although I do fear that despite 45 showers a day he will never warm up again.













On a different note, why didn’t anyone tell me Kara Goucher moved back to Boulder? I can’t believe she didn’t call to tell me. I had to read about it in Women’s Running magazine.  Here she is running one of my favorite routes today. Clearly she is tougher than I am, but we all knew that:

For those of you also experiencing this polar asshole vortex, here are some tips for running in the cold (from one of my 2012 posts):

1.  Be grateful: Stop your whining and remember that you can run. You get to run. There are many people too sick, disabled or injured to do what you are complaining about. Some people would kill to go just one mile in your frozen shoes. So, adjust your attitude fool!

2. Know that cold is easier than hot: Running in the cold can actually be less taxing on your body than running in the heat. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to cool down and this can increase performance and energy.

3. Sleep in your clothes: If you are really desperate, sleep in your running tights and base layer. That way you don’t have to go through the extra step of getting undressed and dressed in the morning. You might get up easier, but I’m not promising this will do wonders for your sex life.

4. Get the right gear: Not only should you make sure you’ve got the correct cold weather gear for your climate (see HERE for some guidelines), but treat yourself to a new, fun, sassy running item (thongs might be inadvisable). Maybe this will make getting dressed and hitting the road a bit easier.

5. Have someone waiting on you: I’ve said it before, but there is almost no better motivation than to know someone or a group is waiting for you to show up for a run. Do you really want to be the pussy of the group?

6. Have a warm reward: Know that after your cold run, you will treat yourself to something toasty and warm like a latte, a hot bath or a cup of tea by the fire.

7. Remember the bad-ass effect: Not everyone runs when it’s cold outside. It takes stamina, balls and determination. Tell yourself that every car that passes you is impressed by your fortitude. You may be lying to yourself, but at least it can provide temporary motivation.

8. Know you’ll be less SAD: Research has shown that running in the cold can actually reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Running can release feel good hormones that stave off depression, decrease anxiety and promote a general feeling of contentment.

9. Let your goal stare you in the face: If you are training for something, want to lose weight, or are simply just trying to stay in shape, write your goal down on a sticky note and put it on your alarm clock or bathroom mirror. Sometimes these little powers of suggestion can be the extra push you need.


10. Sign up: There are all kinds of short races throughout the winter time – Peppermint Schnapps 10Ks and Freeze Your Ass Off 5 Milers. Sign up for one just to keep your head in the game.

What are your tips cold weather running?

Who is the most famous person that lives in your town or close to you? I have no clue – Kara Goucher and I think Miranda Carfrae lives somewhere around here too.

Would you rather run in extreme hot or cold? I’ll take hot.

Now I’m off to watch Survivor because they are at the warm beach even if they are dehydrated, bitchy and starving.