Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It's Going to Be Okay

Yesterday I could not turn away. Every chance I got I was glued to the news trying, like the rest of the world, to make sense of what happened in Vegas. But, there is no sense to be made, unfortunately. Life can be like that.

Vegas. The adult playground.

Vegas. A place where I have spent countless nights with my best friends playing cards, drinking Grey Goose dirty martinis.

Vegas. The city of anniversaries, birthday, romantic getaways with my one and only.

Vegas. Where I go to escape reality in the best way possible.

None of the above changes for me. Even with the unspeakable shooting that happened on Sunday night. I'll still go there. I'll still love it. Only next time, I'll be visiting a memorial 500 yards from the Mandalay Bay Hotel to pay my respects to 59 people, hopefully not more.

This may sound sick and demented, but I've had this eerie feeling that Vegas would soon be a target. I always thought it would be a jackpot for terrorists - so many people in so small of a space. Huge, towering hotels full of thousands of souls. Right by the airport. The ultimate representation of debauchery, money and luxury. But, I envisioned it as an international terrorist attack. Not one perpetuated by a 64 American male. With 20+ guns in his suite. High above a crowd of 22,000 innocent and unsuspecting concert-goers.

Like you, this was one more nail in the coffin of all of the shit that is going on right now in the world. I don't have to name off all of the traumas that surround us. But, they range from the little kid being abused in his own home to an island country without food, water and power to an insane and disgusting individual who has no respect for human life. Who doesn't deserve the honor of even being called a human being. No, he's a monster.

So, what do I do? What do we do? Well, naturally I run. I think. I pay attention.

On my run today, this song spoke to me. I've long loved this tune, but today it took on a completely new meaning. Even if you don't listen to the whole thing (but you should - and the video is powerful and tells a touching story), listen to this line (at 3:08 of the video):

"All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other"

In the midst of so much terror and sadness yesterday and today, I found myself searching for some sort of meaning. Not so say there is meaning for ANY of it, but to say that I am a believer in hope and positivity.

I believed in it when my cousin, Sherry, was murdered while running almost 6 years ago. I believed in it because there were two evil men who did an evil thing and then there were hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who participated in a virtual run in her memory and who donated to a fund for her kids. Who emailed me hundreds of pictures of support, love and encouragement for her friends and family. And, through my tears I saw something deeply healing and beautiful. So much love. I believed there was more love than hate.

I believe in it because I have to. So do you. How can we continue to to live in this world and not hold onto something?

And, I saw love > hate yesterday. Now, after the dust has settled, we hear the stories of heroes. People who risked their own lives for strangers. And you know why? Because the vast majority of us are not monsters. The vast majority of us, even when we don't really feel it, know we are connected to others. The vast majority of us have innate goodness and care. I know it.

The ONE thing that comforted me yesterday, especially as I struggled to know how to talk to my own kids about this is this, was something good old Mr. Rogers told me along time ago:

mister rogers helpers quote

Yes. The bright spot. The helpers. There are always more helpers and allies than adversaries and enemies.

But, it's not enough to be the helper on that day. You have to the helper every day of your life. This means little acts of kindness and big acts of movement towards change. This means buying a stranger a cup of coffee when they look like they need a boost. This means taking the time to take that stray dog to a shelter even if you'll be late to work.

This also means that if you think we don't identify and treat mental illness adequately in this country, do something. This means if you think we need more gun control (especially for automatic weapons), do something. As Congresswoman Gabby Giffords says, "Your thoughts and prayers aren't going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that."

Call your elected officials and tell them how you feel and educate yourself about what is going on. We should not live in a place of giving up, laying down and surrendering.

So, yes, we are going to be okay. Not thrilled with what occurs, not always unafraid, but okay. We will rise up and do what it takes. I know I will.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Am I the "Mad Pooper"?

Thank you for your endless texts, messages and comments inquiring as to whether I was "that woman" running around Colorado Springs shitting on people's lawns.

I hate to tell you the answer is "no," although I am flattered.

Let's break this down. I can see why such an article would make you think of me.

1. She is a runner (so am I!)
2. She lives in Colorado (so do I!). But she lives about 2 hours south of where I do.
3. She takes craps outside (I have been known to do this, but I do have limits as to where and how this occurs. Read on).
4. She appears to be around my height. But I have blond hair, she does not (and I don't own any wigs). I also don't own a grey spandex running suit.

If I am understanding the article correctly, this anonymous "mad pooper" had "been defecating in front of houses for weeks." One victim in particular, the Budde family, states that she has been crapping in their yard for 7 weeks. SEVEN WEEKS. The family even resorted to putting a sign up asking her to stop - to no avail. They said she ran by it 15 times and still pooped.

In a bold statement made by Colorado Springs Sergeant Johnathan Sharketti, he states "It's abnormal, it's not something I've seen in my career. For someone to repeatedly do such a thing…it's uncharted territory for me."

Weird thing is - there are apparently plenty of public bathrooms nearby. 

Lest you think this story had just local coverage, think again. It has been covered by The Washington Post, the BBC, USA Today the Huffington Post and now the famous Shut Up and Run blog. Because certainly our country does not have bigger fish to fry (hello Rocket Man, Hurricane Maria that destroyed Puerto Rico and devastating earthquakes!) and has the luxury on focusing on a fecal mystery. Comic relief?

I'd very much like to discuss some curiosities/observations about this case. 

  • If someone was pooping in front of my house for seven weeks I would go back into my personal history to figure out who hates me. Who did I piss off in the second grade? What mom did I cut off in the drop zone at school? This has got to be intentional
  • The victimized family put up a sign asking her to stop crapping in front of their house. She ran by it 15 times. Who was counting? Why 15 times? It would take me weeks to run by the same sign 15 times. This seems odd.
  • The police sergeant has never seen anything like this in his career. Even though he has likely seen dead bodies, overdoses, drownings and every bodily fluid possible, this stands out to him as uncharted territory. Damn! I think it would be hard to shock a sergeant. WTG Mad Pooper!
  • It seems like the only explanation for this type of behavior is a severe medical condition or mental health issue. Because, who in their right mind and physical body would do this repeatedly? If you know running makes you poop in the same place every time you run, wouldn't you stop running or take a different route? How about the treadmill? 

Let me defend my own pooping for a minute. I, like many of you, have had emergencies while running. Sometimes I feel them coming and can prepare, other times I'm sweating and all I care about is finding a place to go NOW. That's meant that I've unfortunately gone under bridges, in a hollowed out tree, off of the trail and in a ditch. This isn't often, but it has happened. What I have NOT done is gone in someone's yard. Repeatedly. After they posted a sign asking me not too. In broad daylight. While there were other restroom options available.

Moral of the story:

Me          Mad Pooper (MP)

But, hey, MP - if you are reading - hit me up. I'd love to interview you. You could remain anonymous (probably a good idea).


Thursday, September 14, 2017

5 Things NOT To Do During Your Next Race

Last weekend Ken and I did a trail half marathon (Black Squirrel Half Marathon near Ft. Collins). If you do trails, you know they take much longer and are generally much more laid back than road races. Living in Colorado, we have our fair share of trail races, especially May through October. Even though I've done dozens of races over the past eight years, I am still always humbled and still always learning.

Start line. Ugly.
 Here's what this race taught me:

1. Do not under eat before the race even if your nerves are messing with you. I am the type of person who gets some pre-race anxiety. Really the only way this plays out is that I am slightly queasy and have the toughest time choking down food. I had a jelly and butter sandwich with me to eat along with coffee before the race. With each bite I felt like I might puke. What I should have done is made sure I had an alternative food source with me, just to get in some carbs and calories. Even a gel  or a boiled potato (potatoes always sound palatable) would probably have gone down better. The result was that I started the race on a calorie deficit without much in the way of glycogen stores and this definitely zapped my energy.

2. Do not bring a mocha, coffee or chocolate gel. Well, do bring it if you plan to eat it all and throw it away. But don't only eat half of it because it's disgusting and you didn't try it before the race (Clif Mocha shot) and then you don't finish it and then there is no trash can and then you put the unfinished gel in your back pocket. Because what happens (duh) is that he remaining gel leaks out and you 100% look like you crapped your pants. I wish I had a picture, but when I got home and realized how bad it looked, I was mortified and just threw the shorts in the shower with me as quickly as possible.

3. Do not think you know the course if you have not run the course. I studied the elevation profile and knew where the climbs were. I even read some past race reports and knew the general outline of the course. But I did not anticipate that the last five miles were going to be extremely exposed (no shade) and that the 80 degree heat would get to me like it did. Not anticipating the lack of shade, I got behind on my hydration and that caught up to me and slowed me down considerably. In past years, the race has been at least 10 degrees cooler, so the heat was not anticipated. But, be ready for anything!

4. Do not walk when you really can run. Walking during trail runs and ultras is perfectly acceptable and expected mostly because there are places where it is nearly impossible to run due to terrain or the grade of the hill (or mountain in this case). In this race, I walked the really steep sections, as expected (and so did everyone else). But once I hit the flatter and more rolling parts, my brain gave up a bit. I was hot and tired and surrendered to the desire to walk, even though I probably didn't need to. I know this is an area that I can really work on.

This is not a picture of me walking because you never walk when you see the camera.
5. Do not keep thinking about how you paid good money to engage in this type of suffering. In other words, keep your head up and your attitude positive. With every person who passed me towards the end I would mentally beat myself up (not physically, because that would be really weird). I kept having to re-frame my thinking to remind myself that it takes guts to be out there in the first place and that I am 50 years old and still chugging along at an okay clip. Races like this just make me want to get stronger (after the fact).

After all was said and done I finished in 2:43 - 8th/18 in my age group and 71st/153 females. I was disappointed for a second as I thought I could get closer to 2:30, but then I drank a beer (Fat Tire!) and didn't care anymore.

Happy trails!


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ragnar Relay Colorado Race Report (2017) aka Never Too Old!

It's 2:00 a.m and I once again ask myself, why the fuck do I do this?

I am 50 years old. I should be in my warm bed, not shivering in my sleeping bag in the middle of a baseball field in Somewhere, Colorado. I've run over 17 miles of mountains earlier and I'm not done yet.

But, see, that's the point! I (we) do these things because they take us out of our warm and safe beds and into the wildness of the world around us. That's exactly why I do all of these crazy races and adventures. It forces me to the side of discomfort, which means it forces me into growth. It prevents complacency and boredom. It rocks your little world - chews you up and spits you out and leaves you yearning for more (or, maybe it's just me?)

The Colorado Ragnar Relay on August 25/26 was my seventh relay. My first was accidental, back in 2009, before I even knew what a relay was. I won a contest and was rewarded (<that's subjective) with a spot on a fast-as-shit Hood to Coast Team, where I certainly did not belong in terms of running experience and skill. I was tentative to go it alone, so they also welcomed Ken onto the team.

Ken and I were by far the slowest. We never changed our clothes over the 21 hours. We smelled and looked disheveled. I cried a couple of times and we felt completely out of our element. And, it was awesome. You can read those race reports HERE and HERE (yes, I've been blogging that long).

We came in 8th in 21:47.
The infamous Mt. Hood

Fast forward to today. Over time, we've found a group of like minded friends who like to do this shit. If you really want to love or hate someone, spend 30 hours in a van with them. This group is like none other, and I adore them, sweaty balls and all.

From 2014 - Grand Tetons

In case you don't know how a running relay works - typically, you have 12 participants, 6 in each van. You take turns running and everyone has three different legs they run. Relays are usually about 200 miles long and take anywhere from 21 to 35 hours depending on the runners and the course.

We only had 10 runners instead of 12, so some of us took extra legs. I had four legs - my first one was at about 10 a.m. and was 10.4 miles. It was labeled as VERY HARD and I would agree with that given the distance, the elevation (10,000 feet) and the climbing (1,100 feet).

At mile 5 I almost crapped my pant and there was nowhere to hide. Somehow I controlled my colon and things stayed in tact. Thank you Jesus. After running up a mountain, I cruised along beautiful Lake Dillon and stopped to take some shots (pictures, not Fireball or tequila, although that would have been nice).

The run took me 1:40 - a 9:36 average pace.

After our van finished the first 6 legs, we drove to Edwards, CO, where we rested for about 5 hours until it was our turn to run again. By rested I mean drank a beer and took pictures of Ken and myself.

Don't be jealous of my pillow case. Or, my neck

Our van was on the move again at about 10 p.m, so we all ran in the dark with headlamps and safety vests. My run was 6 miles at 1:00 a.m. I forget how much I love to run in the dark with the cool air and peacefulness (except for all of those cars coming at me - could do without them).

We rested again in a baseball field from 2:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. when it was time to run again. These were some of the most beautiful runs of the race as they were on more remote roads and the sun began to rise.

I promise you that coffee NEVER tastes as good as it does during a relay
Right before Ken's run, we got this text. Always comforting.

My last run was two legs combined for a total of 7 miles. Basically I was running on (fart) fumes by this time and pretty exhausted. We all were. We then headed to Snowmass to wait for Van #2 at the finish line.

So, obviously we are a coed team and old-ish. Usually we will notice other masters teams (masters means all are 40+ years old) participating. But this year we were one of six masters teams. And we came in 1st in this category with a finish time of 31 hours. GO in shape, geriatric, menopausal, ED people!

Then the drinking and storytelling started - the best part of the whole thing, IMHO.

My advice to you - be sure doing a relay is on your bucket list. These days you can pretty much choose a destination (Napa, Rocky Mountains, Cape Cod, Hawaii, etc) and there is a relay waiting for you. You will hate moments of it, but you will love most of it, trust me.

Ever run a relay before? Which one? Love or hate?


Thursday, August 17, 2017

5 Nasty Ass Things Runners Do in Public

You may be asking yourself: "Self - why do runners do such odd, embarrassing and humiliating things in public?" I've been giving some thought to this because it is one of the wonders of the First World.

Think about it - as a runner you are often out in the middle of nowhere, dressed pretty scantily and in the process of utilizing many bodily functions because the pure movement of running riles up and excites the body. This is the perfect combination for unbelievable things to occur. Also, running can sometimes make us delirious in the same way that it can make us feel superhuman and invincible So, then we do epic shit. Or, take epic shits.

Here is just a mere sampling of some things that runners have been known to do in public (taken from real life stories - mine and others).

1. We let bodily functions fly. Although we may not try to do this in public, per se, sometimes there is an urgency that cannot be denied. In fact, I have a friend (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) who was once on a run in a very nice neighborhood. Suddenly, her intestines got the best of her and an emergency situation came about. If she could have found a bathroom, a large tree or even a ditch, she would have done so. But, none of these items were to be found, so she had to let loose in public. And, let loose she did. Right on somebody's lawn. In broad daylight.

I'm not positive, but I do believe that this is actually illegal. It probably falls under the category of indecent exposure with a mixture of  misdemeanor trespassing and a felony for grossness thrown in. But, what would you have done? Poop your pants and keep moving? Until you run in someone else's shoes, you really should not judge.

2. We get naked. Last year I did my first beer run.This was at the 6 day TransRockies Race. In case you aren't aware that is when you chug a beer ever quarter mile for a full mile. That is four beers. And, if you live in a state that loves its craft beers, you are probably chugging some hefty ale with 6% alcohol volume. In any case, I came in last (duh) but I did arrive in time to see the winner finish and spontaneously get naked. Like, all out naked. Here's the back view, but trust me the front view was even better.


3.We puke. Well, I don't, but you might. Ever been at the finish line of a race? It can be a vomit fest. I try to avoid finish lines for this reason as I have emetophobia (fear of vomit). Why does this happen, you may ask? When we run, our digestive systems can somewhat shut down as our blood goes to support our lungs and heart, not our digestion. Dehydration can also cause you to heave. Lastly, if you stop too quickly (such as at the finish of a race) your stomach might not be able to handle the sudden change in exertion and you blow chunks. Unfortunately, when it's coming up, it's happening whether you like it or not.

4. We fondle ourselves. The main reason that this happens, is we are ready to run and realize we've forgotten to apply lube to prevent chafing. A reader pointed out a scene she once witnessed, "I watched an 80+ year old man standing behind his car, which was parked near where everyone was gathering pre-race, pull his running shorts out by the waist band and proceed to lube up the dangly bits with Vaseline. Everyone within eye site had a lovely view of his family jewels."

5. We bleed. Nipple chafing (like Andy from the office). Periods (always showing up unwanted and at inappropriate times). Bloody knees (ever been part of at trail run? You'll see lots of these). 

Image result for nipple chafing images

All this to say - when you humiliate yourself in public, it's not just you. Many people have come before you and have survived. So, go forward and shit, pee, bleed and vomit with pride!

What's the most humiliating thing you've done while running? Tell me a story in the comments.


Friday, August 4, 2017

5 Favorites From the Week

I just came in from mowing the lawn. Does anyone else mow their lawn? I had to mow the lawn as a kid. We had a HUGE yard and if you could have seen me as a 10 year old girl pushing the mower in 95 degree Maryland humidity, you probably would have thought I was a bad ass. Or, thought you should call social services because...well, child labor.

Some of my favorite posts from other bloggers are about stuff they are finding/trying/noticing, because it gives me ideas. I get stuck in my ruts and love it when I can find my way out to experience something new. So, in case you like these posts too, here are some of my recent favorite things/experiences/thoughts of mine.

1. Books. I love to read. But, my job requires me to pretty much read and write all day, so I don't do as much "fun" reading as I would like. Instead I can often be found watching The Bachelorette and feeling bad about myself (Lee is a snake and a racist).  I did, however,  just finish a couple of books.

This was a fluffy beach read (any book with "beach" in the title means probably not going to be the most serious piece of literature, especially when the cover includes bare legs and loungers and drinks).

Same Beach, Next Year: A Novel by [Frank, Dorothea Benton]

I've got to say, I love books set in the South (one of my favorite authors was Pat Conroy - RIP). This one takes place in and around Charleston. There is also a part where the main character spends time in Corfu, Greece. As you know because I bring it up all the time, I lived in Greece for four years during high school, so I love EVERYTHING related to Greece, Greek food, etc.(this book made me want to go cook up some Mousaka and tzatziki - or just to go Greece and have someone cook it for me). If you're looking for a light read, pick this one up.

On a more serious note. I found this one on Amazon Kindle while looking for cheap Kindle books. This is the kind of book I love (basically a memoir about a ridiculously dysfunctional family). I think it's the social worker in me. Highly disturbing, but I dare you to try to put it down.

Spilled Milk: Based On A True Story by [Randis, K.L]

2. Races

I have raced a lot this summer. A few 5ks and 10ks and two half marathons. But, I still have some fun stuff coming up.

Colorado Ragnar Relay at the end of the month. This one starts in Copper Mountain, Colorado and goes to Snowmass (Aspen).

That is not me
It's 200 miles. You are supposed to have teams of 12, but we only have 9 (wanna come along? I'm serious. As long as you don't mind a co-ed team of 45 to 55 year olds - email me). So, with nine of us, we each will run about 22 miles.

Ken and I also signed up for the Black Squirrel Half Trail Marathon on September 9. A fair amount of climbing (2,200 feet - all in the first 4 miles), lots of single track and great views. I felt like I couldn't pass up one more race before it gets cold because September is my most favorite month of the year in Colorado.

3. Movies/Shows

The best movie that I watched this summer was Lion. I know many of you have seen it. I thought was very well done and well cast. Go watch it if you haven't. It's on Netflix now.
Ken and I just finished the one and only season of Friends from College (also on Netflix). There are only 8 episodes. It is hilarious and really inappropriate (my favorite kind of show). There may even be some frontal nudity.

Image result

4. Gear

I don't usually run with a handheld bottle. I prefer my Orange Mud Hydra Quiver or my Orange Mud hydration vest. But...this has been such a hot summer, so even on shorter runs I like to have a bottle with me. I also have been carrying my phone for safety but also for Spotify. And I LOVE this handheld because the pocket is large enough for my iPhone (7). I can't take a picture with my phone in it, because I have to use my phone for the picture (First World Probs), but here it is. The phone fits in the pocket and sticks out the top, but the foldover part fits over the phone, if that makes sense.

Orange Handheld - Orange Mud - Running Water Bottle

And..it comes with a 21 ounce bottle.

5. Recipes!

I am always and forever trying new recipes. We had my parents over the other night and I wanted to try a shrimp boil. I used a recipe based on Old Bay seasoning (yes I am a Maryland girl) and it turned out fantastic. Basically, you cook up corn on the cob, red potatoes, andouille sausage and shrimp then dump it all out on newspaper in the middle of the table and everyone goes to town. If you like to add a twist, then be sure the newspaper is the obituary page. Recipe HERE.

That's all I've got for now. But...your turn.

Tell me one favorite from the week.

Best book you're read recently?

Best new recipe?

Best show/movie you've watched?

Softest toilet paper? Charmin FTW

Favorite place you've pooped (but a bathroom or porta potty doesn't count) In a hollowed out tree.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

2017 Camp Hale Half Marathon Race Report

I decided to do this race pretty last minute. I haven't been running much and didn't feel in half marathon shape, but I knew I had the miles available in my legs even if I wouldn't be super fast. So, I signed up and was especially encouraged by this in the race description:

The half marathon course will utilize well-maintained dirt roads, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Colorado Trail surrounding beautiful and historic Camp Hale. This will be a rare opportunity to compete on the same terrain that the troops of the 10th Mountain Division used for training during World War II. The 13.1-mile course is situated at 9,200 feet above sea level and will have minimal elevation gains reaching peak heights of 9,500 feet.

Based on this description, one would assume about 300 feet of gain, which is basically nothing when you run in the Colorado mountains. Well, foreshadow. They lied!!

Backing up, this area of Colorado about ten miles outside of Leadville is a place I fell in love with when I did the TransRockies Run last year. We stayed here for two nights. There is no cell reception and it feels remote. Here is one of my all time favorite pictures - Sylvie and I chilling after running 24 miles. And, after I did my first beer mile (I didn't even throw up!)

I planned to stay with my friend, Julie in Breckenridge. She texted me that afternoon.

Friday afternoon I headed up. What is usually a 2 hour at most drive, turned into over 3 hours.

We fueled with pasta and. I wasn't stressed about the race at all, but decided to put on my worry face anyway because it nicely shows off my wrinkles.

Morning came. I forgot my deoderant so I put 5 ounces of body spray in my pits. The race didn't start until 9am, and we had an hour drive. We got there by 8:30 to pick up our packets and empty our colons.

There were only a couple hundred people doing the race, so it was pretty chill. They did a countdown from ten and we started running. Uphill. By mile .7 (that's point seven) I knew this would be a grunt race for me. I felt like I was running in quicksand. I blamed it on the 9,300 foot altitude, but it might just be because I'm old and like wine. We continued climbing up a dirt road until we peeled off onto some single track. And, kept climbing.

I hate those races where you feel like you are fighting for every.single.step. The climbing continued and I kept thinking "Why the eff is this so hard? Am I really that out of shape?" There were some steep parts that you could only walk and these two girls behind me yelled, "300 feet of elevation gain MY ASS!!". Which was exactly what I was thinking.

For a minute we had a nice downhill and I hauled ass and passed a bunch of people. But, then the climbing resumed. We were on a never ending dirt road to hell. Finally at around seven miles, most of the climbing was behind us and we sailed down this awesome and shaded single track. We spit back out on the dirt road with about three miles to go. The road rolled for a bit, and I didn't care for those hills right before the finish.

At this point I had stopped looking at my watch because it was pretty depressing. Julie had long ago dropped my ass (well, she pretty much did that in the first .2 miles, and it was fine - we had agreed to run separately and she is much faster than me). As I came into the finish, I saw the clock said 2:14. I was pretty happy with that as I expected to run a 2:10. My average pace was 10:28.

Julie's husband, Wayne, snapped this right after I finished.

Turns out Julie also had tough race. I think we both were not prepared for the conditions. It turned about to be 1,366 feet of gain according to my GPS. Still not a ton for Colorado running, but some decent climbing.

The good news was that being 50 has its perks and I was second in the 50-59 age group. Here I am on the fancy podium. I was only 1 minute behind the winner, and that always pisses me off. Had I not just taken that extra drink at the aid station or that extra walk break....

I got a great prize.
Image result for pep pod
I've never tried these. I'm thinking they're like Nuun, which I love
There were fresh donuts and burritos at the end. But, my stomach wasn't quite ready for that business. After all, we had a drive ahead of us and I didn't want to make any enemies in the car with my butt thunder.

Final thoughts. If you do this race (and you should. It is well run, only costs $45 and is gorgeous), just know there is some climbing.

I made the long drive home, eager to put my smelly self into a shower (and rinse off the body spray in my pits). Guess what? No hot water. Hot water heater was broken. That put me in a foul mood but nothing an eff'ing freezing shower and a few glasses of wine couldn't cure.

What race did you do this weekend?

Favorite pre-race meal? I love hearing about what other people eat. I can't usually eat much before a race. I try to do s 100 mg or so of carbs and some coffee, water and Nuun.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Like Them Dirty

My last post was about 3 weeks ago. That's the longest absence I've taken from blogging in 8 years. What? You didn't even know I was gone? Thanks a lot.

I could make up a bunch of reasons for not writing - like I was out of town (only four days) or that I'm too busy (not really) or that I've gotten my period twice in the past three weeks (at least I'm not pregnant x 2) or that I'm running so much (a whopping 20 miles per week), but the real reason is that I just haven't felt inspired.

I've thought about it and I don't know why.

And, it's not just blogging. It's my "real" job too. No, I don't at all feel depressed. I just feel blah. 

The good news is I am inspired to run and to cycle. And, to see friends and to be outside and to eat a lot and to travel.

Here's me traveling and feeling inspired.

Grey Goose dirty martinis definitely inspire as well (with blue cheese stuffed olives of course):

I'm not going to get all crazy and down on myself about not being motivated in certain areas. But, I am going to investigate what might need to change.

I have been spicing up things with:

Going to a Ninja Playground and realizing just how weak I am.

Image result for ninja playground longmont
This is not me, but I did make it up that wall!

Going to Vegas and winning $400 and realizing I really like winning money vs losing money like I've done on every single other trip. Here I am pondering my winnings while overlooking my empire.

Running on the Strip because it's Vegas and if you get out early enough you can see drunk people from the night before doing the walk of shame and trying to find their hotels.

Wait. Am I in Paris?
Having a July 4th Party and making my guests gamble because that is what we do in this house. Have you ever played Left, Right, Center? You have to. So fun. Guess who won? Can you spot me? (I am the one only one actively drinking and no, I didn't win. The guy in the black shirt on the right did. And I am the one who paid for him to play!) <he paid me back. Good person.

Making shrimp tostadas because I care about my family and I like shrimp

Going kayaking on a beautiful lake full of goose poop

Yea, lightening is about to strike. Livin on the edge.

One thing  I know about myself is that I get bored really easily. I don't like it when things are too routine. Maybe I should be a 911 dispatcher. Or a Navy Seal. Or a deep sea shark diver. Or a social worker...

Ever get in blah phases? 

What's the last meal you cooked? Tostadas

Vegas - love or hate it? We have a love affair

If you could choose - which show would you be on: Survivor, American Ninja Warrior, The Amazing Race, Naked and Afraid? I would do Survivor or TAR. Being naked and afraid sounds awful.

Last fun thing you did that didn't involve running? 


Monday, June 26, 2017

If We Were At Happy Hour Together....

I love these posts. We go to happy hour and I spill my guts to you and you look at me like I'm a freak, but pretend to be interested anyway. Thanks for that. Today I read something that gave tips if you don't know how to make conversation (loser!). Ask about FORD:


So, I'll tell you about some of these things tonight at happy hour and don't be offended if I don't ask you one f*cking thing about yourself. Because it's my blog, dammit.

If we were at happy hour together, I would tell you that running and I are having a true love affair lately. No, we don't make love in the middle of the trail, but we do connect and feel good together. Part of this is that I'm not forcing it - I'm just going with what feels good. It's not all perfect and it's not all fast, but it's working. This is me running. Because you've never seen a picture of me running before.

If we were on our second drink, I would tell you that I love doing hospice volunteer work, but this week it kind of got to me and I just didn't want to be with dying people. As much as it is uplifting to be with Heidi and to make someone feel better, the weight of everything kind of got me down. I know there will be weeks like this. Weeks where witnessing someone suffering in their last days and trying to comfort their loved ones who are watching them dying is just too much. This week was too much. I will take a break next week and come back ready to do the job and to move beyond my own discomfort. It truly is a privilege to be with people and their families in their last days, hours and moments. I hope the same grace will be given to me someday. Wow, that was heavy.

Speaking of taking a break...if we were at happy hour I would tell you I am going to Vegas tomorrow with my two dear friends, Clair and Erika, and there is no better therapy. Well, yes, running is therapy and so is wine -and then there is REAL therapy, but these two girls give me so much. We spoil ourselves staying in a nice suite at the Wynn, laying poolside drinking $20 gin coolers and losing way too much playing blackjack. And, it's one of my favorite times of the year.

On the High Roller above Vegas - 2015, Are my armpits hairy?

If we were ordering a third round I'd tell you that I'm trying to read books because I love books, but I always fall asleep. Maybe I am old. Or maybe I spend too much time at happy hour. Recent books I've read, you ask? You - captivating, somewhat disturbing, When Breath Becomes Air - such a must read - a memoir. Just read it. The Under Ground Railroad - you can guess what this is about. 

If we were finishing our third drink I would probably disclose to you that I've been reading through old journals of mine (like from 8th grade) and I am surprised I've turned out as well as I have. Sample (with my comments in red):

Jan. 18, 1980 (13 years old; almost 14)

"Hi! Have I got a lot to tell you! First - boys- I like Eugene (who names their kid Eugene?) and everyone was telling me he was gonna ask me (ask you what? Why you like him even though his name is Eugene?) which turned out o be a bunch of bullshit (wow, language) cause the next day he ignored me. But meanwhile Thad (we are Facebook friends now) has been giving me all these flattering comments like 'your hair looks good' (which it definitely did NOT look good - I've seen the pictures) which he never does to anyone. So I got the feeling he was gonna as me (ask me what? Where I get my hair cut?) The next day on the bus he came and sat by me and he told me once again my hair looked good (what's with the hair?) he said also he wasn't going to let me get off the bus but he did (I should have filed a restraining order). I know he's gonna ask me! Dammit! (language!)What the hell am I gonna say? I'm not at school today cause I have...ahem..diarrhea GROSS. (Some things definitely don't change)."

So basically when I was 13 going on 14 I was boy crazy, had great hair, had a trash mouth and had diarrhea. Hope that gives you some insight into a younger me.

Well, the bar is shutting down and I've got to go! Nice talking at you. Remember FORD.

Did you keep a journal when you were younger? Do you keep one now? I kept one diligently from the age of 8 (yes!) until about 35. I have volumes. But I don't keep one anymore

Favorite book you've read lately?

What's one thing you would tell me at happy hour?

Vegas - love or hate it? 


Friday, June 16, 2017

Utah Valley Half Marathon Race Report (2017) & My New Swimsuit

I ran a race last weekend, but something tells me it didn't really happen unless I blog about it.

Have you noticed I haven't been blogging as much? I didn't think so. Hard to imagine you don't live and breathe by my blog. Life gets in the way. Like work and teenagers and dogs and cats and running and cleaning up the soy sauce that spilled all over the fridge that no one else seems to want to clean up.

Then there is a part of me that wonders if I've jumped the shark here on this blog (< that's an old expression from Happy Days, which only old people like me know. Click on it if you need to know what it means you young shit).

I mean, I think I've written about every running angle possible on this blog from soiling oneself to Ironman reports to how one's period affects their running. And, I'm not paid to blog. Ad Sense stopped paying me a while ago. I think they thought I was too raunchy. Well, screw them. PENIS! BUTTHOLE! And, I don't love sponsored posts. So, there you have it. I'm blog poor.

But, I hang onto this little corner of the Internet because I like you all - my few readers who have stuck around. I like sharing with you. And I like your comments. And I love to write.

Back to the race report.

Pain you Enjoy. Brilliant.

The folks at the Utah Valley Marathon were kind enough to comp me an entry this year. The race is in Provo (about a half hour south of Salt Lake) and I've never been there, so I envisioned a family road trip (because yes everything has to revolve around my running and racing. Remember who cleaned up the soy sauce you spilled?). We spent a night and day in SLC. We learned a lot about Utah liquor laws. Such as, you can't sit at a bar and have a drink without ordering food.

The second night we stayed in Orem outside of Provo. I ate a grilled cheese and fries from Culver's in the hotel room, drank some wine, put in earplugs and a washcloth over my eyes and promptly went to bed at 8:30 pm while the rest of the family partied (by partied I mean watched The 40 Year Old Virgin and ate Goldfish).

My 3:15 a.m. wake up call sucked (duh) but I am tough and I managed. The way this race works is you get on a school bus in Provo that drives you 13.1 miles to the start line up the Provo Canyon. I love the bus ride because the whole time you get to think about how long it takes to just DRIVE 13.1 miles, let alone run it. I sat on the wheel well of the bus because...well, you know why, it's thrilling. And, the seat beside me was the only empty seat on the bus because I have no friends.

Got the start, in the dark, at 4:45 a.m. and found a spot by a fire. I loved that they had dozens of campfires going because in my mind there is nothing worse than being cold (or not being able to order a beer in a bar without ordering food).

I choked down half of a banana (very hard for me to eat before races), dropped some kids at the pool and seeded myself at the start around the 1:50 pace group. I didn't bring any fuel because the race info said there would be Clif Shot gels at mile 6 (tragic foreshadow) and I usually take in one gel during a half, so perfect. 6:00 a.m. sharp, and we were off.

There's me. Right side. I'm going so fast I'm barely in the picture.

The course was gorgeous as we ran down the canyon, alongside a river. The sun was just starting to come up and temps were in the 50's. I kept thinking what ideal running conditions these were. And downhill to boot!

I was clicking off 8:15 to 8:30 minute miles consistently and my effort felt totally manageable. I was looking forward to a gel at mile 6. But guess what? I got to mile 6 and no gels! I thought maybe they were at mile 8. But guess what? I got to mile 8 and no gels! That's when I knew I'd be running this race on the fueling of a half a banana and some water. Go me!

Proof in case you think I made it up.

The last 4 or so miles are out of the canyon, running on a main street into the center of Provo. I hit the finish in exactly 1:50. Not a PR, but a solid race for me and I felt great. And, hi to Mindy who introduced herself in the last mile as she whipped by me!

About a quarter mile before the finish, I passed an older man who was somewhat slumped over and running at an angle. Some people have odd running styles, so I assumed he was okay. ASS-U-ME. But as I watched my finish line video, I see him come up a few seconds after me and collapse at the finish (in the bright shirt to the right- can't miss him).If anyone knows if he is okay, let me know. I can't stop thinking about him. Look HERE.

Overall, I loved this race. It was very well organized, beautiful and fast. The swag was awesome - we got this running jacket in lieu of ONE MORE race shirt:

My only gripe is the gel thing. It was a good reminder to always have a back up plan when racing. 

Oh, and one last thing - I'm going to Vegas in a couple of weeks and think I might need this suit. Thoughts?

Ever had a race situation where they ran out of water or did not have the fuel stuff you expected?

How much would you have to be paid to wear this suit?