Friday, December 30, 2016

7 Reasons Why I Haven't Been Injured in Over 3 Years

As I sit here writing this post, I am knocking on wood in every direction. The superstitious part of me thinks that if I write a post on not being injured for so long, then I will have a running injury tomorrow. Guaranteed. Damn superstition. Oh, well. Here goes.

I actually don't know when my last running related injury was, but I think it was back in 2013. That means I'm coming up on 4 years of being clean.

I've thought a lot about this. Why did I have so many consecutive injuries over the years and then none at all? I've got some inklings about why this might be the case, although I think it is hard to truly know.  Maybe none of these are true. Maybe I just turned into an injury-free zone with no explanation at all. And - a disclaimer - this mixture of things has worked for me. Take away from it what works (or doesn't) for you.

1. My Body Finally Caught Up. When I first started running in 2008, I didn't do things like a normal person. Instead of trying moderation, my first race was a marathon. After that, I got the running bug and wanted to sign up for all the races. What a shocker that not too much later I got my first stress fracture, in my foot. After recovering from that, I thought I was being smart, but was plagued with other injuries such as a hip stress fracture, high hamstring tendinopathy (chronic) and a tear in my hamstring.

These days, I actually run more than I did then, but am injury free. I honestly think that in the beginning my body was like, "What the f&ck are you doing?" It took several years for me to build the stamina, muscles and endurance to truly train my body to withstand all the miles. Running can be hard on the body and there has to be sufficient time for the body to adjust.

2. I Quit Yoga. I've done yoga for many years - Ashtanga, Bikram, Restorative, Vinyasa.  I always thought it was a wonderful supplement to my running because it slowed me down, stretched my muscles and instilled strength and balance. But...I found that the moves stretched way too much on my hamstrings and irritated them so much when I ran. I guess we all have to make choices and I sacrificed yoga to keep running. I know many people would disagree and would tell me there are yoga moves I could do that would work for me, but for now I'm content with my choice.

3. I Changed My Form/Foot Strike. When I started running I was a major heel striker and wore pretty substantial shoes. No doubt there are many successful and accomplished runners with a heel strike. But for me, this led to injury. A simple change in my running form to strike on my mid foot and finding shoes that helped support this was a life saver for me. I've been running in the Brooks Pure Cadence for years now. They are a light weight shoe with a low heel to toe drop, which helps me land mid foot. Not for everyone, but works for me.

4. I Increased My Cadence. Somewhere along the line I had sports medicine doctors and coaches tell me to count my cadence. Research has shown that 180 strides per minute is optimal to help reduce injury and to help increase performance. A quicker and lighter cadence can help to adjust your form and prevents over-striding. Also, the load on the skeletal system is reduced per stride. These days, my watch tells me my cadence and I am usually around 170-175 strides per minute. I have to really focus to get to 180.

5. I Did Ironman Races. Like I said, I'm not much for moderation so I did two IMs only 9 months apart (Florida - Nov. 2013 and Boulder - August 2014) This forced me into consistent cross training (like MAJOR cross training) and also helped me to develop strength in areas that were previously weak. Overall, I think my body is happiest when I give it the variety and balance that swim/bike/run provides.

My bike makes me just a little happy.
6. I Hit the Trails. Hard. I think trail running has brought the greatest shift to my body and to staying healthy. I run on trails at least twice, if not more per week. This past year I did two trail marathons and one 6-day 120 mile race over the Colorado Rockies. All of the trails I run on are technical and involve steep climbing and descents. This is vastly different than road running and challenges your body to find balance, coordination and to use different muscles than you do when running on roads. Sure, my legs are bulkier than they used to be, but they are stronger and can carry me over mountains in a way they could not before.

A cougar in her habitat

7. I Practice What I Preached. These days, I take my recovery days very seriously. I always take two days off per week. I eat whole foods and am careful about getting enough carbs for fuel and enough protein for recovery. I hydrate well and eat very little sugar. I also try to sleep 8-9 hours per night. My Achilles heel is my wine intake - so I could work on that, but what is life without at least one vice, right?

Overlooking a shitty view in Vegas. But, I have wine.

Believe me, I'm not saying I'll never be injured again. But I do think I now have some strategies to decrease my chances.

I write all this simply for what it's worth. Everyone is different and the key really is to finding what works for you. But in order to do that, you have to try new things. And, it takes time. One thing I have definitely realized is that running takes patience. It takes time to build up your mileage and endurance. It takes time to recover from injury. It takes time to train for hard things. But, one thing is guaranteed - if you put in the time and you respect and listen to your body, great things can happen.

Are you injured now? With what?

Have you ever had a major running injury?

What keeps you injury free?


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

6 Lies Runners Will Tell You

Just like all parents lie to their kids ("Every time you flick the light switch on and off it costs 10 cents!", "If you swallow your gum it stays in your stomach for 95 years!", "This big fat guy in a red suit comes down the chimney and leaves you things!" <creepy), there are also lies that runners tell other runners. Hell, I've told some of them myself.

1. Lie: You will experience a runner's high.

Truth: I still don't even know what that is. The only high I get is when I am done running and laying down. I have had moments of actually liking running when I run, but to call it a "high," as in euphoric or orgasmic - well that's going too far. Now, a runner's LOW? I can get down with that.

2. Lie: If you run, you will lose weight!

Truth: While its true that running probably is the most bang for your buck in terms of burning calories, it doesn't always mean you'll lose weight. In fact, many people gain weight while training for a marathon (WTF???). And this isn't just because you are, as they say, increasing muscle mass. It is because you are eating your face off because you think if you run you can eat all the foods and drink all the beers, but newsflash: NO, you can't. More info on why you might gain weight while training found HERE.

3. Lie: Just fart while you run. Everyone does it.

Truth: While it is correct that everyone does it, it is in fact a great risk to fart while you run. Passing gas whilst running is is just plain dangerous, mostly because often farts have a chaser (if you know what I mean) causing you to experience the dreaded shart. Yes, go ahead and fart if you must, but be prepared to deal with the consequences.

4. Lie: The more you run, the easier it gets.

Truth: Wrong. It's always hard. Because you can always try to go faster or try to run up a bigger hill. It is endless. And, sometimes very, very cold.

5. Lie:  Running is simple and cheap.

Truth: Running can be fucking complicated and expensive. Sure, there are those people who slap on a pair of shoes and shorts and just go, but it seems the majority of us have insane amounts of running gear, keep track of our paces and distances, worry about what we eat or don't eat and think a lot about why we are injured or can't run faster or something like that. Complicated!

6. Lie: Running is a great activity to do with your spouse or significant other!

Truth: Running IS a great activity to do with your spouse and significant other until it's not. What if they run faster than you? That will make you frustrated and mad. What if they breathe really loud or pass gas or talk to much? That will make you frustrated and mad. What if you like running to get away from your spouse or significant partner? Disaster.

The truth about this post is that it makes running seem miserable. Not at all. It is, in fact, the love of our lives in many ways. But, the key to happy running is to know what you're in for. Then you can embrace the suck or the good and roll with it.

Any other lies runners tell?

What lie did your parents tell you when you were growing up? That my dog, Duncan, was better off going to live on a farm. But, you guessed it, they really put him to sleep.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Favorite Running Watch Ever - TomTom Spark 3

When I started my very average running career seven years ago I didn't even own a watch. I did my first marathon completely naked of a timing mechanism (I did wear pants). I was free and very zen-like.

But, then running got the best of me and I quickly jumped on the GPS bandwagon with this guy (Garmin Forerunner 205):

Image result for garmin forerunner 205

This was actually a decent and dependable watch, but the problem was it weighed 95 pounds and covered most of left arm.

Eventually, I graduated to this (Garmin 210):

Image result for garmin 210
Another great watch, but still kind of large and masculine (kind of like me before the sex change operation). The one thing missing from this watch was the ability to track elevation gain and loss. I really wanted this when I started doing a lot of trail running and races.

So...enter this watch, which was sent to me by Epson (yes, the guys who make printers). The SF-810.
Image result for epson gps
This watch and I developed a very close relationship this summer as I ran myself ragged over the Colorado mountains. I loved the fact it kept track of my elevation and it has a really nice display. I could also print documents directly from the watch (jk). However, eventually I realized that the tracking was not always so precise. And, again, it is a bigger and bulkier watch.

It was in September when TomTom sent me a GPS watch to review. I was still pretty happy with my Epson, but thought I'd try it out. I have no vested interest in going on and on about how much I love this watch. I'm going to gush about it simply because I love this watch THAT MUCH. Let me tell you why.

But, first - here he is. His real name might be TomTom, but I call him Tom for short because it is very clever.

I present to you the TomTom Spark 3 (cardio + music):

Related image

First, let's talk about the look/design/size. This watch is sleek and reasonably sized. Not bulky at all. In fact, I wear it now as my everyday watch as well as my running watch. It can hold a charge for up to 11 days depending on how much you use the GPS features, so no need to charge it much.

How it looks on my almost-50-year-old arm:

Next - this is going to blow your mind. This watch comes with Bluetooth headphones. You can load up to 500 songs directly onto the watch. You then sync the watch with the headphones and GO. No wires, no fussing, no need to carry your phone. It's genius. And, it's super easy to load your playlists onto the watch from iTunes, etc.

The watch has all the traditional and expected measurements - anything you could want. Pace, duration, distance, time, elevation loss/gain, cadence. There is a built in heart rate monitor that measures heart rate on your wrist, so no chest straps and other annoying crap.

Another cool thing? The watch can be in any mode you want - running, swimming, biking, even treadmill! And, for you triathlon folks, it is fully waterproof.

What else? Well if you are into the whole tracking thing, the watch doubles as kind of a fitness tracker in the sense that even when it's not in GPS mode, it is tracking your steps, calories, etc throughout the day. I am not big on counting my steps but it has been fun to see how far you actually walk in a day (especially in airports! And Vegas! Who knew?).

Lastly, after runs, I sync up the watch with the TomTom app on my phone to get all the fun details. the app is extremely user friendly:

So, basically this is the rock star running watch of the century. IMHO. I've worn and run with it non stop now for two months. Once you go Tom you realize it's the bomb. Or, something like that.

If you are looking for a last minute holiday gift for your running friend/partner - this is it. Trust me on this one. There are a few different models, but if you want the one with the headphones and all the bells and whistles, go for the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music. There are two sizes available for the watch band - small and large. The small works well for me (I have about a 6" wrist).

If you want a more professional and detailed review go HERE to DC Rainmaker's site. I don't do that here.

What kind of running watch do you use? Would you recommend it?


This watch was sent to me by TomTom. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cold Weather Running Motivation - How to Get Out the Damn Door

Yeah, it's cold outside. So what? Stop your bitching and just remember this little rhyme:

I run all year round, rain, snow, wind, sun. I'm not bragging, it's just what I do. I'd be lying if I said that on mornings like today when I woke up and it was 12 degrees, that a run was super appealing. For me, the absolute worst part about running in freezing temperatures is not the run itself - not at all - but the mental fortitude it takes to get out the damn door.

Last week I'm embarrassed to say that I procrastinated for so long going on my run that I could have gone and come back at least three times. I don't want to do that again. It is torture. Then I remembered a wonderful bit of advice that either I made up (not likely) or I read somewhere.

Get going before your brain knows what you are doing.

That is the absolute truth. If you give it too much thought, you will surely talk yourself out of a run or postpone it and agonize over it, thereby driving yourself fucking crazy.

I am not afraid to say fuck, btw. Sometimes it feels good.

Anyway, plain and simple - if you want to run outside in freezing weather, here are my tips:

  • Have the right gear at your fingertips. The longer you have to try to figure out what to wear, the more likely it is you might forfeit the run all together.
  • Bring lots of Fireball in a flask that you stuff in your tights.
  • Trust that you will warm up by the second mile. Just trust, dammit.
  • For God's sake if you don't feel like running, like not one molecule of your being feels like running, simply do it for the aftermath. You'll feel good all day.
  • Sign up for a spring race so you have a shit load of pressure on you to get out there.
  • Go with a friend so you are accountable and have someone to commiserate with.

People always comment on how I run with bare legs in the cold. I do run in tights, like today, but usually only when it's under 20 degrees. Quite simply, I don't like the constriction of tights and avoid them if I can. My legs honestly don't get cold (fun fact: the areas of your body with the most fat get the most cold - like the ass. That's because fat is inactive and doesn't generate heat!! Who knew?). The body parts for me that get the coldest are face, assicle, arms (at the beginning of a run) penis (<hah! just trying to see if you're paying attention) and hands.

Oh, and one more tip. If you don't want your water to freeze when you run, put anti-freeze in it. Just kidding. DO NOT do that. Instead, start with warm water or add a bit of electrolyte mix to it. To keep bars/gels from freezing keep them close to your body (or go all prison-like and hide them in some cavity - gross).

Here is the weather for the next couple of days.

Let's see if I can follow my own advice and go out tomorrow morning when it is snowing and hardly zero degrees. I'll let you know.

Do you run through the winter? Why or why not? Yes, because I hate the treadmill and love being outside. If it's icy, then I might sleep.

What body part gets the coldest when you run?

Best cold weather running gear? These Eddie Bauer tights and these Athleta gloves.


Monday, November 28, 2016


I haven't done one of these in a while. Or, maybe I never had. I don't know. I've been blogging for so long I sometimes have my head up my ass. Anyway, I love reading these when others do them, so here goes...

In the life of me - Beth - SUAR, here's what's up currently...

Eating: I cannot get enough of this chunky veg (veg not vag) soup from Jamie Oliver's wife, Jool. Jool and I go way back. Like back to last Tuesday when I first made this soup. You should watch the video of her making the soup because I love her English accent and how she says "lovely" and "tender" and "if you fancy." Seriously, this soup is delicious and feels really healthy and healing to put into your body. I leave out the bacon.

Enjoying: Laying in bed. These past four days have been really decadent for me and I feel guilty about just how unproductive I was. Well, I did get in some great trail runs and I did some cooking and cleaning but the rest of the time I was horizontal. Seriously, one night I got into bed at 7:30 and watched the Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix. I turned off the light at 8:30. I got out of bed at 8:00 the next morning. Do you think Amanda did it? I don't.

Watching: Don't even get me started. I have been in a TV coma lately. We've been loving the show Shameless (I think it was originally on Showtime, now streams on Netflix). It is wildly inappropriate, Inappropriate is my spirit animal so I am good with that. Seriously, it is hilarious. This weekend we also watched Obsessed (<Lifetime-ish movie), San Andreas (<Dwayne the ROCK). Oh, and then there was Amanda Knox. Foxy Knoxy!

Dreaming: It was just over a year go I was in in Nevis/St. Kitts for the Nevis Triathlon. The pictures keep coming up on my computer screen. That trip felt like I entered some crazy fantasy world that combined my love of warm weather, sandy beaches, seafood and swim/bike/run.

Nisbet Plantation. Nevis.

Nesbit Plantation. Nevis.

Charlestown Harbor, Nevis. 

Reading: I haven't read Jodi Piccoult in awhile, but I did pick up her latest book, Small Great Things. What I've loved about Piccoult's books in the past is how she usually presents a moral/ethical dilemma and builds the story around that. In many respects the book is disturbing as hell (it is highly steeped in discrimination and racial tensions), but it really draws you in.


Rediscovering: An un-met goal from the 8th grade. For real!

I used to be a gymnast. I was obsessed with gymnastics and would practice my skills for hours at a time in a grassy area outside my house. I would pretend that the 6" curb was my balance beam and would spend hours perfecting my walkovers, cartwheels, etc. One skill I could never master was the press handstand. This takes so much core strength I while I could do it when press up against a wall, I could never do it without the wall. For some reason I rediscovered this goal the other day and decided DAMMIT. I will master the press handstand in the year I turn 50 (2017). Here I am with the wall #proof

Welcoming: Sam home from college on Friday! He couldn't be here for Thanksgiving, but we found a way to bring him into the picture (see what I did there??):



I think most moms would agree that all is right with the world when the whole family is safe at home and sleeping under the same roof (but not the same comforter...ewww).

Relishing: Tons of miles and time on the trails with Ken. Over the weekend we did about 16 miles on trails with 3,000 feet of climbing.This shit just feeds my soul. I cannot explain it.

Shopping: I haven't done much shopping lately for myself. I don't know what my problem is, but as I've gotten older, I kind of hate to shop. Something about driving there, parking, browsing, waiting in line. I know!! When did I become such a cranky bitchy lady? I hate myself! 

Anyway, so I was excited to try out a couple items sent to me from prAna (<means "life force" in Sanskrit in case you want some trivia to drop at your holiday party). Do you know their clothes? I already own a few of their things - a couple of dresses and some accessories. I love their stuff because it is high quality, sustainable and fair trade items. Stylish for hiking, yoga or even work. 

I tried out the Mariette Dress in Gray Indigo. I paired it with black tights and boots and wore it to work. This is a soft, warm, cozy dress. It will be a new staple in my rotation (like I have a rotation, but whatever):

This is not me
I also ordered the Kara Jean (gray with charcoal dots). I usually have a tough time ordering pants online and getting them to fit right, but I followed the size chart to a tee and they fit perfectly.

If only my butt looked this good.
I did notice that some items on the prAna website are 30% off today with free shipping, but if what you like isn't on sale, use this code at checkout:  MHMF16BERS to get 15% off. !!

Tell me on thing going on with you currently...

What are you reading now?

Best new recipe you've made lately?

Best new show you've watched?


Disclaimer: prAna provided me the products to sample, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Phone Dump from the Weekend and a VLOG

If you want to know what your priorities are, look at the pictures you have on your phone.

Clearly, I like running. And, my pets. A lot.

I also am a big fan of my husband, my children and wine, but somehow pictures of them are scarce. Hmmm.

We started off our weekend with an early morning trail run. There was snow. And there was me deviating off of the trail to heed nature's call. I love being married to someone who just keeps watch for me and doesn't judge.Or, maybe he does inside his head, but he doesn't say it out loud. I still don't get why he always wants to run behind me. The farts are vicious.

Seriously. This is everything.

I just wish I understood why he likes to put his face in her ass so much.

Then there was some laying around with the brown eyed girl.

My highlight from Saturday night. Who needs to go leave the house when you can torment your pets?

Next, was another trail 8 mile run on Sunday morning. Selfies are not my style or my forte.

For awhile on Sunday I just watched these two mess around because they don't seem to be able to keep their paws off of each other. Get a room.

Oh, and one other weekend thing. I got my newest subscription box from PopSugar and am doing the unveiling here.  This is hands down the most exciting video you will see probably in your entire lifetime.

Since you asked about running (wait, did you ask?), right now I'm not really in routine training. Going to start marathon training (for PARIS) at the beginning of the year. Now I'm just keeping it at about 30 miles per week. Anyone have a great training plan they recommend that will get me a 30 minute PR?

Thanksgiving plans? Trail run in the morning, watching the parade with cinnamon rolls then going to my mom and dad's for dinner. Sam is not coming home :(. This will be our first Thanksgiving without him. Boo.

Last marathon training plan you used? I've done Run Less, Run Faster and other than that I've usually come up with my own. Once I did one that came from Andrew Kastor and that was great too.


POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try...#sponsored 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

16 Ways Running Is There for You

I'm not going to blog in depth about the election because I'm sure you are as eff'ing sick of the fall out as I am. But, I will say, I have been trying very hard to see both sides of things, which has involved educating myself as much as possible about the entire picture. Both sides. I feel it's my duty as a US citizen to be well informed and to realize the country has spoken. No matter what side I am on.

Bottom line, I tell my kids to be productive, to be kind and to fight for what they believe. I'm encouraged that they care as much as they do about the process and want what is just and what is right. I love that we have open and candid family discussions. I want them to be inclusive. I want them to not be apathetic. This was Sam's first year to vote and he took it seriously. And, Emma will follow in 2020.

Through all of this and through any tough time I am forever grateful for running. 

It's an escape as much as it is a therapy session and a means of getting perspective. I come back from runs a more balanced and better person overall. This weekend I was lucky enough to have my therapy session in Frisco, Colorado.

But, even if you can't run in the Colorado mountains or on a white sandy beach, all it takes is lacing up and getting out. And, remembering that...
  1. Running is there for you when your heart is broken.
  2. Running is there for you when you lose a loved one.
  3. Running is there for you when you feel like a failure as a parent and need some perspective.
  4. Running is there for you after a stupid argument with your spouse or best friend.
  5. Running is there for you when you are crying so hard you can hardly see.
  6. Running is there for you when you listen to the news and start to once again feel despondent about the state of things.
  7. Running is there for you when  you are fighting addiction.
  8. Running is there for you when you are bursting with happiness.
  9. Running is there for you when you need a mental boost.
  10. Running is there for you when nothing has turned out how you thought it would.
  11. Running is there for you to make you feel strong.
  12. Running is there for you when your pet dies.
  13. Running is there for you when you need a do-over.
  14. Running is there for you when you are recovering from illness.
  15. Running is there for you when your house is a mess, when bills need to be paid and when the toilet is overflowing. 
  16. Running is there for you when no one else is.
How has running rescued you or made you better?


Monday, November 7, 2016

Why I Never Go to the Gym. Plus, a $25 Dick's Gift Card Giveaway (Courtesy of XShadyside 24 hour gyms Pittsburgh)

Confession: I love to workout but I'm not a member of a gym or fitness place. I don't go to spin classes, yoga classes or anything else. I basically run outside year round, ride my bike when I can, occasionally swim at the local rec center with the geriatric crowd and do core work on the floor of my living room (as if I do core work, right).

The whole gym thing is just not for me, mostly because:
  • I'm cheap
  • I don't want to drive there
  • I like being outside even if it's a snowing/raining/gusting
  • Sometimes gyms, well, they smell (BO, too much perfume, farts)
  • I don't like grunting people lifting weights
  •  I tend to fall off the equipment
My gym

Not so say the gym is a bad idea. It's just not for me. I used to go to a gym - mostly to do yoga and simply for the company of people. Maybe I'm becoming anti social in my older age.

That said, I know that there are countless reasons people love to hang at the gym.
  • Accountabilty - Your gym rat friends are waiting for you. Don't let them down.
  • Bathrooms nearby - Yeah, if I did go to the gym this would be reason #1. I've had far too many emergencies with not place to go.
  • Protection from the weather - Because it's always about 70 degrees and dry in the gym.
  • Force you to cross train - If you are paying x number of dollars a month for a gym membership, maybe you will actually cross train.
  • Meet people - If you're into that sort of thing
  • People watching - From fake boobs to bulges to perfect and imperfect bodies, it's all there.
  • Child Care - Huge bonus if you've got little ones. 

So, want to win $25 to Dick's Sporting Goods to get some new fancy workout gear (to wear to the gym or not, you decide. Or you could just get a golf shirt). Enter here. Giveaway ends 11/14. Open to US residents. You must enter a comment to enter. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway is courtesy of 24 hours gyms Pittsburgh

Thursday, November 3, 2016

If We Were Having a Cocktail Together...

What's up? Let's get a drink.

If we were hanging out at happy hour having a glass of wine, a shot of Fireball, a frosty mug of beer or simply a sip of moonshine (<can you tell I just got back from Virginia?), I would tell you that I had a walk down memory lane this weekend visiting both Richmond (where I met Ken and lived for a bit) and James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA), where I got my undergrad.

It was homecoming weekend, but also a chance for Ken and his friends to show off being 50 years old:

This is clearly how 50 year olds act. I am 49 and I would never do that.

I would tell you that Ken dug up some JMU shirt I never even knew he had from 30 years ago. I would tell you he looked really sexy in it and that it's pretty easy for me to check his moles when he wears it.:

I'm going to borrow it and wear it with the hole in the front.

I would tell you that it's odd to go back so many years later and remember how you felt when you were 19, 20, 21. And when you lived in the top right corner of this building (which used to basically feel like a convent and now it's co-ed and God only knows the things that go on. STD-City!).

Attractive 60s/70s architecture

I would then try to show off for a minute and would tell you that when I was 19 I rappelled down the face of that very building with ROTC. No I was not in ROTC (can you even imagine that?) but they were doing a practice drill and they let me do it too. No one cared about liability shit in 1986). That is me:

Outstanding form for a scared shitless person
I would then show you this picture of Clair and I posing:

 And, this one of me with the best porta potty ever because it is in JMU colors and it stole my heart (and took a piece of me, if you know what I mean).

Red Solo Cup! Just like the college kids!

If we were having a cocktail or two I'd tell you that Ken and I tried to go on a trail run in the Shenandoah mountains and it was kind of a disaster. We had researched a run that people actually do, but found that the trail really wasn't that runnable at all. In fact, it took us almost 3 hours to go 9 miles. This was really the only stretch of trail you could run, which clearly I'm happy about.

I would tell you that I thought for sure I had poison ivy on every portion of my exposed skin and tics in every crevasse, but I didn't. Sure was pretty though!

If we were having a bottle of wine each, I would tell you that you really need to plan your travel plans around festive holidays because drinks were free on Southwest when we flew on Halloween.

Take me home you people with free drinks. I even dressed up as a tired traveler.

Then I would tell you that I applied to be on two triathlon teams (one local and one national) and did not get onto either one. I would lie and say rejection is good for the soul because it makes you tougher and is just a part of life, but I would really feel kind of crappy and wonder why they didn't take me. Ouch.

If we were drinking our asses off I would tell you that my runs this week have felt kind of blah and I've had a hard time getting out there. But, I have been getting out there. I don't know if it's age, too much wine or my attitude, but I rarely have a running moment that feels effortless. It just feels pretty hard most of the time. But I do it because I know how to Shut the Eff Up and Run.

And, on that note, I need to say goodbye so I can go to bed and wake up and hopefully not suffer too much on tomorrow's run.

If we were having a cocktail, what would YOU tell ME? Spill it.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

5 Things I Won't Be Doing and a VLOG!

What I won't be doing over the next few days:

1. A Race I Thought I Wanted to Do. Remember I told you Ken and I signed up for the lottery for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon? Well the good news is we both got in!! The bad news is I should have checked the cost beforehand. Do you know it costs $750 per person?? As in, you pay $750 to jump off of a ferryboat and swim 1.5 miles in freezing, shark infested waters with a current that can take you down to the depths of hell? Okay, I'm being dramatic. But, we won't be doing it. Which is a bummer cause I wanted to, but I kind of also want to buy groceries and pay my mortgage and go to Paris.

2. Voting on November 8th. Before you get all irritated that I am not doing my civic duty - in your face!! I already voted by mail! The only draw back is I won't get one of those I voted stickers, but I can live with that, because apparently there is a sticker for everything in this world.

Image result for i voted by mail sticker

3. Celebrating My Kid's Birthday. In 18 years I have never missed Sam's birthday and I have never missed the opportunity to remind him of the day he came out of my vagina, Well, now he's 900 miles, away, turning 19 and doing God knows what. His birthday is Thursday and he will be in Arizona. And, I will not. Boo. Unless I decide to surprise him (Sam, if you are reading, that is 100% a joke so don't start freaking out).

Because moms and babies should always have matching overalls

4. Running In Colorado This Weekend. That is because on Thursday I'm going to Virginia for JMU's homecoming! Ken and I have mapped out some stellar trail runs in the Shenandoah Valley, so follow along on Instagram or something.

5. Looking in Car Windows When I Run. I was severely traumatized yesterday on my run. Ken and I and were cruising along minding our own businesses on a street in our neighborhood. We came up to a parked car a with a guy sitting in it. I always am curious why people are sitting in parked cars, so I looked in. Ewww.......let's just say he was not the only person in the car. The other person was doing something that required them to be laying down, kind of in his lap. Get my drift? At 8:00 a.m. in broad daylight.


I had fun making this VLOG, although vlogs aren't exactly my thing. Anyway, sorry for the lack of audio quality. Just pretend I am sitting by a waterfall. I am just trying to figure this all out. But, if you care to watch, you will get the point. And, don't even ask why I am on the stairs. I really don't know. 

That's all I got.

Tell me one thing you will not be doing in the next few days.

Ever tried a subscription box service?


Disclosure: POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I Signed Up for the Paris Marathon!

It's weird how stuff goes down.

Just last week I was lamenting about how I was not sure where/what my next race would be. I was actually quite okay with that, as I'd like to have a break from structured running and training. Plus, training in Colorado through the dead of winter means all kinds of frozen snot, slipping on ice and nightmares for my Raynauds-affected feet.

Can you even tell which one is me?

Then my friend Sylvie tells me she is running the Paris Marathon. And I was like...Mon Dieu! OMG. I got a wild hair and decided to check flights knowing a trip like that would be way out of our price range and not at all feasible. You know because I have a kid in college and am a social worker. This combination means one thing: Ramen (or at least organic whole wheat spaghetti noodles with Prego sauce).

That is the moment it all fell into place.

Tickets were only $450 round trip. Yes. You can barely go from Denver to some field in northern Wyoming for that. (My brother said, "WTH? Are you flying Spirit?" Hah!) Then I realized the race fell the day before Emma's 16th birthday. What teenage girl doesn't want to spend her sweet 16 in Paris? I believe I spent mine eating tacos and listening to Foreigner. Then I remembered, holy shit - holy merde (<Google translate = holy shit) - I turn 50 in February and everyone keeps asking what we are doing and this is what we are DOING.

For me, an epic and ideal birthday includes travel/racing/family/friends/wine. Voila.

Sure, the race falls almost a solid two months after my actual birthday, but when you are turning a half century old, you kind of get to celebrate for the whole year or that is what I am going with. Plus, I'll be in the 50+ age group and might actually have a chance at a 2nd BQ!

So, the flights are booked, the apartment is rented through VRBO (and it's called Chateaux Monmartre...really?) and I'm registered for the race.

Probably doesn't exactly get any more real than that.

Fun fact. 57,000 people sign up for this race. Here they are:

Image result for paris marathon

And, there is apparently a real lack of potties along the way so public urination is a thing! Peeing at the Arc de Triomphe! A dream come true for this 50 year old American tourist.

I've probably told you this before, so I'm sorry if I'm boring you - but Paris holds a special place for me. I spent a semester there in college and was a French major. I never guessed that life would make full circle in this way and that I'd be bringing my 16 year old daughter and husband of 21 years back with me to show them the city. And, that I'd be able to actually run a a marathon. 

Here I am 28 years ago, when I was 21, in Paris looking as foxy as ever.

Don't be jealous of my loafers. I'd like to say they were in fashion, but probably not.

So there you have it. My first race on the calendar for 2017 and it's the dream of a lifetime for this girl. 

What is your ideal way to celebrate a birthday milestone?

Have you ever done an international marathon? I did the Jerusalem Marathon in 2015


Hey, don't forget about my $100 giveaway. Get yourself some running stuff.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What's Good and What Sucks. Plus a $100 Giveaway!

It's never ALL good, is it?

Although you'd never know that by looking at social media. Geez. It's either Trump vs. Hillary doing a smack down and talking about pussies or everyone showing me their podium finishes, fancy vacations and cute pets.

Yeah, I do that too. I know.

So, this past week has been filled with the usual good vs. not so good stuff. Seems there is usually a down side to everything good, or if you are an optimist, a silver lining to anything sucky.

What's Good:

Guess who just got certified as a therapy dog? Yes, this adorable rescue pup. And, her handler (me). I've never had a title like "handler" before. My first name should be Chelsea.

Taken this weekend at Rabbit Mountain. Also known as Rattlesnake
Mountain. See the rattler to my left. JK. It's a stick

Isn't she something? If you are old, sick, depressed, dying - Heidi is your panacea. Your lifeline. I promise.

I am not sure where we will volunteer. I'm thinking pediatrics, nursing home or even hospice. The reason I really felt strongly about doing this is that when Emma was 4 (now she's almost 16!!) fell off a stool and shattered her elbow, we were in the hospital for three days. She had to have emergency surgery. She was so inconsolable with the trauma and the pain. Literally the only time I saw her smile in 36 hours was when a therapy dog came in the room. It's amazing the effects animals can have on people.

What Sucks:

When we did our team evaluation (after taking an online class and getting her health screening, stool sample and a million other things), the evaluators had no problems with Heidi, just with ME. Apparently, I wasn't advocating for Heidi correctly - meaning that I wasn't making proper eye contact with her and giving her enough reassurance. Waaahhhh. In the end, we did pass.

What's Good:

Look who came home for a long weekend from ASU?? This guy.

He loved being met at the airport with a fathead the size of the plane he flew in on. Moms are the best.

What Sucks:

He left yesterday. See you at Christmas.

What's Good:

Got out for a couple amazing runs this weekend.

What Sucks:

I am now sick with a cold and running makes me feel gross. It's not a snot rocket. It's a snot nuclear bomb coming out of me.

What's Good:

I have the best giveaway for you all.

Have you heard of Expertly Chosen ? This is such a cool website to find gifts specific to people's interests. Like, running, for example. When you go to the site, you can select a person's individual interests, how much you'd like to spend and other conditions such as if you want the gift to be eco-friendly, organic, educational, hand made, etc. Then the site produces a list of products for you. In running items alone, there are so many things to choose from: cookbooks, socks, hydration stuff, etc. Even Garmins!

Want a $100 gift card? Enter here (US only):

$100 Expertly Chosen Giveaway

What Sucks:

I can't win my own giveaway. Shucks.

What's a running gear item you need right now? I need new Salomon shoes. I love my Speed Cross 3s (see above picture with Heidi), but they are a half size too small.