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?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This Word Can Change Your Life

Today I was listening to a podcast - Tim Ferriss (one of my most favorite authors and pod casters, and I dare say I would definitely love him in person) was interviewing Phil Keoghan, host of the Amazing Race. At first I was like...meh...not too exciting, but I knew if Tim had that guy on the show - well, he must be something. Because Tim only has people who are influencers - people who can change the way we think and act for the better.

And Phil is something. Damn. Go listen right now.

I haven't quite finished the episode, but one of my take-aways is in regard to optimism.

Optimism. Do you have it?

  1. 1.
    hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

Phil talks about how when raising his daughter, one rule was that one could never say, "I can't." One could re-frame it to something else like, "I might be challenged by..." but saying flat out "I can't" was a no-no.

He then goes on to say that his motto is, "Don't think about what you don't have and what you can't do. Think about what you DO have and what you CAN do." This is true optimism in my opinion. When faced with adversity, you problem solve and fight your way out instead of giving in to the negativity.

Needless to say, I was applying this to running in my mind the whole time. MIND and mentality and attitude are everything. When running the Paris Marathon, I simply gave up. That giving up was 100% my mind and not my body. Mind has power. And the focus on what we can do and what we have is everything.

So, as I head into a half marathon in Utah this weekend (Utah Valley Half, anyone?), I'll be remembering to stay optimistic. To train my mind to have confidence and hope for a successful outcome.

Because "can't" is not a word I want in my vocabulary. Or my daughter's.

Running the Bolder Boulder 10K last week. Shirt from Walmart.

My mini me. Also outfitted by Walmart

Are you a glass half full or half empty person?


Monday, June 5, 2017

6 Facts About Running That Will Make You Say, "You're Kidding Me, Right?"

Just like most of us don't want to know the ugly parts about having babies (what? You sometimes shit the table when you push?) or the gross things that can happen to your food in restaurants (wait - there's pubic hair in the deep fryer?), we probably don't want to know the less desirable facts about running. But, trust me, it's not all awful! Maybe it's just a few things that might have you raising your eyebrows because it's new information to you. And then, yes, maybe some of it is disgusting.

Read on.

1. If you are nursing your baby after you run, did you know running can make your breast milk taste sour? That's because that lactic acid stuff can be absorbed into the milk and make it taste down right icky. No wonder your baby cries so much. At least it's not cause he/she hates you - just your sour milk!

2. Scientifically speaking, running really does make you poop your pants. That's because when you run, the blood that normally goes towards digestion instead gets pumped to your muscles. Plus, running jostles your guts and then, well...GRAVITY. So, don't dismay if you soil yourself. It's not ideal, but it's also POL (Part Of Life).

Phew. I made it THIS time.

3. Apparently when you ladies run, your boobs just don't bounce up and down they move in a figure eight pattern. Think about that. I wouldn't know because I am still a member of the IBTC (Itty Bitty Titty Committee) so no figure 8s here.

4. When we run, the human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet. I am not sure how this was discovered, but I'm not going to try it at home.

5. Ever have a metallic taste in your mouth when you finish running? I do. And, it wasn't because I was sucking on keys while I ran. The true reason is that when you push yourself your blood cells can release iron, which tastes like metal. If this happens on occasion or during particularly hard workouts, it's nothing to worry about, but it shouldn't be happening on the regular (so see your doctor! I am not a doctor! I am a social worker! I'd be happy to provide talk therapy about that taste in your mouth, but that's it!)

6. You've just started a run and are feeling on top of the world. Then something happens. Your thighs start itching like hell. No, you don't have crabs/fleas/lice. The itching is related to the fact that when our bodies start to warm up, our arteries and capillaries expand and this causes the itching. Who knew?

Ever have any of these odd things happen to you?