30 September 2011

No nap and how bedtimes worked for the Waltons...

I did not nap today.

I ran.

And I changed the bedsheets.

That nap yesterday really did a number on me. It was even worse than I first thought. My single-parent coping skills were nil. I was tottering around like one of the undead all afternoon. When I finally started to get a little energy back, the kids effective sucked that right outta me during the bedtime routine. Why is bedtime so sucky? It is never like that on The Waltons.

Mama:  You children go on up to bed now, y'he-ah? Yo' daddy n' I need to talk some things o-vuh.

All seven of the children, in unison:  Okay, Mama!

There is almost never any backtalk. No one says, "I don't want to!" and runs away like it is some awesome game. Jason never demands to know, "How come I have to go bed at the same time as Jim Bob? I'm 15...and he's SIX!" There is no door-slamming, no screaming, and no 'hmph, hmph, hmph'-ing. They simply go to bed.

And once they are in bed, no one is running around upstairs, opening and closing doors or sneaking playing with legos. They say the good night deal... "good night, mama," "good night, Mary Ellen." "good night, daddy," "good night John Boy." And they are done.

Who here has that? Anyone? C'mon... anyone?

I know why it worked for Mama and Daddy Walton. A woodshed and a belt. They never had to use them or even threaten to use them, but they were there... the looming and omnipresent enforcers. Or maybe kids back then were just more respectful by nature.


By the time my kids were all finally in bed, I was collapsed in a heap again... but this time on the living room floor. No way was I going out to do a tempo run. Instead I did important sedentary things like played on Twitter and Facebook and read some blogs and tried to drum up votes for yet another contest I had entered. After that disastrous nap, sleep was kind of scary to me.

All that led to my run this morning. Since I'm getting ready for this race, running was kind of important. I was set to do a 3-mile tempo run at a little faster than my half-marathon base pace... so looking at about 8:50 per mile. It was hot and sunny. I planned to do the run on a flat, straight road... next to the Bay with no shade and no protection. Water on one side, freeway on the other.

My 2-mile warm-up stunk. I considered just going home after it. But no, I needed to get this run in. Ugh, I was so cranky about it. So I set off... and just could not control my pace. And the heat was really hot so I took off my shirt... which added a whole new voyeuristic element to the run. The volume of vehicles because I was next to the freeway meant a vast number of hecklers/oglers. I am so not used to this! I run at night in my little development. No one sees me. No one says anything to me. I got a lot of "Go, baby! Go!" and truck honks. Okay... a little ego-feeding but I recognized that they were traveling at a high rate of speed and were some distance away, so it was mostly distracting. Whatever.

The tempo pace... not 8:50 at all... 3 miles @ 8:24/8:25/8:22.

At least I was consistent.

And I got it done.

29 September 2011

When bad naps happen to good people...

I am not a napper.

Sleeping when it's light out and there are things do, places to go, people to see just goes against my grain. Sure, I may loll about doing nothing, going nowhere, seeing no one during my day, but I would rather be awake just in case.

Today I napped.

What a disaster.

My husband is out of town through the weekend. Yes, that guy does go away a lot. And little Miss C is in preschool today while all the older kids are in regular school. My plan was to use this opportunity to run during the day.... oooooo.... and on terrain that is similar to my upcoming race in Long Beach, California. I was to run for around an hour on a flat, straight road.

This morning, I got home from school drop-offs after performing lice duty and busied myself with busywork of no real consequence. Then I decided to get ready to run. It was a little before noon.

I saw this...

I thought..."hmmmm... I should change the sheets and make the bed." So of course I lay down on top of the comforters and pillows... I don't know... so I could see if they were really dirty? 

I closed my eyes and thought... "hmmmmm... this is nice..." I glanced at one of the two clocks and told myself, "Just 5 minutes."

Fifteen minutes later, at 12:10, I looked at the clock again and said to myself, "Ooooo... I should probably get going if I'm going to fit in a run and lunch and a shower before I go get those kids." And I relaxed back into the pile of softness... that wasn't too smelly.

At five minutes before 1 o'clock, I looked at the clock again. "Wow," I thought. "I really should get going!" 

I rolled over. And next thing I knew...

Ummmm... yeah!

And they both said 2:20... so I know it wasn't some weird time warp deal.

My whole day, spent lying on top of a wad of comforters and pillows. I do not feel relaxed and/or rested. I didn't do my run. I need to race off to pick up my kids to take them to soccer and swimming and listen to the oldest one complain about how he has to be dragged around to all of this when he really has wayyyyyyyyy more important things to do. 


I hate naps.


And hey, if you want to check out what kind of food I eat, go see Jason at Cook Train Eat Race. I am probably the only athlete to admit dining at In N Out Burger :P

28 September 2011

Celebratory Music... or something like that.

All of the great comments I've gotten on this and simply the act of getting it out of myself so I could see it really helped me get centered and feel solid. Thanks, everyone!

I ran last night. It was hot, as in temperature hot. For the first time in 19 years, I ran in just my sports bra...my killer Moving Comfort Juno, of course. It was awesome :) It was also dark and no one was around to witness the event...both huge contributing factors to the awesomeness :P Seeing my shadow on the street, two words jumped out at me: Core. Work.

I haven't really been keeping up with my music-sharing. I have 'interesting' preferences that are all over the map. Some of my readers have expressed vexation that I was wasting valuable bytes with my mess... or wasting their time with it, but last night a song came on while I was running and it made me think of how awesome it is that I can run. It reminded me of what Dorothy over at Mile-Posts said... "Running is a gift. We don't have to run; we get to run!"

So today you get my musical choice. Of course, you don't have to listen if you don't want to! This video cracked me up... and when I read about it, it cracked me up even more. But the song got me into a great groove last night with fantastic focus and self-belief. Go, me! And thanks, Fatboy :)

My hip has given me bad times and good.

We're in a 'good' phase right now... and I want to praise that.

Take nothing for granted. Nothing.

27 September 2011

Don't tell me I can't.

This video has been circulating the cyberworld for a while now, most often in its dramatized-with-music version which you can see here if you prefer that sort of perspective. And if you want to see a not-so-remarkable interview with this remarkable young woman, go here.

I needed to look at this today.

I'm feeling shaky... and I know that I am my own worst enemy.

I'm staring down the barrel of my first long race in over a decade, and injury is still fresh in my mind.

I've been setting some goals... pretty lofty ones. I don't set my goals cavalierly...a lot of thought goes into their creation. I am generally hesitant to share them because I tend to perceive anything other than..."Awesome! Go, XL! You CAN do it! I'm right here with you!" as naysaying. And at first, I whole-heartedly believe those naysayings... or perceived naysayings. I always climb out of that abyss. And I pretty much always hit my goals... sometimes it just takes me a little longer than I thought :)

I need to remember this.

Don't tell me I can't...  go to college. I'll just prove you wrong and do it on my own... and get two degrees.

Don't tell me I can't...  be good at rowing. I'll just prove you wrong and win a couple of national championships and medal in international competition.

Don't tell me I can't...  have kids because I am too old. I'll just prove you wrong and have babies at the age of 36, 39, almost 42, and almost 46.

Don't tell me I can't...  be strong because I'm weak right now. I'll just have to prove you wrong and show you that immeasurable strength lies beneath this seemingly-physically weak exterior.

Don't tell me I can't...  be fast because I'm slow right now. I'll just have to prove you wrong and show you how far and how fast I can go on determination, experience, and heart.

Don't tell me I can't... I won't listen.

Ultimately, it isn't about showing you or anyone other than me what I can do. And even though that sounds incredibly self-absorbed, it's actually quite the opposite.

making a blog post about it is awfully narcissistic, though! 


Want to win ad space on The Bloggess? Link up your best post at lovelinks on free fringes like I did!

26 September 2011


Where is she?

Ever since I actually lost her over the summer, when Miss C disappears from view I get a little freaked.

It used to be she would just be in the bathroom cupboard... if you missed that post, which you probably did because it was written about a year ago when I first started this blog and had 10 followers, then click this. It is super cute. I promise.

Now she has graduated...

I seriously have no idea how she closes the doors without pinching her fingers. And when I open up the cabinet, she yells at me...


In a large family, I guess she needs to find her privacy somehow.


If this was annoying and boring to you and you really want to know about my running...

here is my long run from yesterday, with discourse on ice baths.

here is my 5K PR last week.

here is a link to the Nuun Hood to Coast video. It's awesome and I am surprisingly in it.

here is my sports bra review with demonstration video... the Moving Comfort Juno bra is awesome!

25 September 2011

Water + Ice + Naked = AWESOME!

Well, not entirely naked...
Long-sleeved t-shirt rolled up and tucked in... kept me just warm enough to sit up to my waist in a cold-water-and-ice-cube-filled bathtub for 20 minutes. When was this a style? Wasn't it eight grade?

On my long run two weeks ago, SarahLouWou and ReneighRuns and I were discussing ice baths. One of them had engaged in a 'conversation' with someone who said that ice baths were inconsequential and a waste... having no benefit to the ice bather. All three of us vehemently disagreed with this point of view. I checked and there are just too many results in an "ice reducing inflammation" google search for me to pick one, but most indicate that ice will help. And our personal experiences support that claim. I'm thinking that guy just wanted to stir the pot.

My ice bath today came after my 11.1-mile run. It was rainy. It was hilly. It got muddy. But...

I did it :)

I wanted needed a 'no pressure' run. I needed to not think about pace and just make the miles happen. No Garmin. No iPod. Just a watch, and I only brought the watch because I needed to be home by a certain time and was prepared to turn around early if I needed to. Of course, I am compulsive, so I did keep track of my times... but I was also relaxed enough to not stress about being not fast :)

I returned to the scene of my post-Apocalyptic preparation run... brutal hills. Rolling, 'gentle' hills on a dirt trail with a net gain and lots of tree roots for the first 0.78-mi followed by The Widowmaker ... 0.75-mi up up up. 

It was overcast and misty when I started. By the time I was a mile and a half in and at the paved road at the top of the hilly dirt trail, it was truly raining. I did the 4-out-and-4-back, taking my first-ever caffeinated* GU somewhere along the return. HOLY CRAP! That thing sent me flying! Whoa! My pace uncontrollably quickened by about a minute per mile. I was really excited as I neared the end of the paved road because the last 1.56 miles is all downhill! 

What I wasn't banking on was the mud :P

This was not your 'slogging through the mud' kind of mud... it was 'stick to the bottom of your shoes and collect in a gigantic lump the size and shape of half a football' kind of mud! Stability was a real issue. I spent a few minutes trying to scrape it off and then another few trying to shuffle it off... and even though I have only taken two soil science classes and didn't have my sample test kit with me, I would venture the guess that it had a very high clay content because it kept balling up and sticking like mad. Sure signs of clay.
This is after the run and after I have walked some of it off.
Very camouflaged ... looks just like the muddy, gravelly ground.

It was seriously about 3X thicker than this at some points in the run.

But I made it without falling... even though I was laughing so hard at how awkward the mud was that I could hardly see! I finally hit a weird groove about a half mile from the end and felt like I was really motoring... but who knows? 

What did I learn today?
  1. Mud and rain are absolutely not the enemy!
  2. No-goal, pressure-less runs are useful and can be fun!
  3. I really and truly LOVE ice baths!
  4. Caffeine in my system is freaky stuff...remind me not to take it when I need to talk to people!

Second-to-last long run before Long Beach Half...
done and logged :)

*I can't normally do caffeine. It turns me into a freak. Like Hammy in Over the Hedge. I guess a long run/race is an okay time to be like a coked-up squirrel.

How do YOU feel about immersing your body in cold water? 
I am only in it for the therapeutic effects... my husband and my daughter like swimming in it!

What has been your experience with caffeine?
It is seriously like speed for me. It is scary stuff :P

Remember to give some love to my friend Catey from Random Thoughts from the Zoo! She is the super gorgeous and amazingly nice mom of 8 kids :)

Not only will she be running her first marathon this coming weekend (St. George in Utah) but she needs your votes! She is a finalist in the Hapari swimwear contest and you can vote for her in her zebra swimsuit by going HERE and "liking" her picture. And she is looking to maintain a top 10 place in the Top 25 Big Family Blog Contest at Circle of Moms...vote for that one HERE

23 September 2011

I wish I had a cox...

Days like today, I wish I had a coxswain... the little person who sits in the stern of a boat and tells you what you need to do to make it all work. I was a really good coxswain...

That's me in the dark blue. Look at how hard I am making those guys work. We won that race. I wish I had me telling me what to do.



I do.

Vecchio Venerdì 
Head of the Schyulkill in 1990 or 1991... I can't remember.


A huge favor... I know I ask a lot of these... but this one would be so awesome if you would do it :)

My friend Catey who writes Random Thoughts from the Zoo is a swimwear contest finalist! Please go to the Hapari Swimwear Facebook page and "LIKE" Catey's photos... she is in the zebra top in one photo and a white short-sleeved t-shirt in the other.

Thanks :)

22 September 2011

Toes, Underpants, and a PR

I don't know why I feel a need to share these things... but I do. Really... a need. They are inconsequential... like most of my blog. But the compulsion to dump it here... well, it is a compulsion and there's no stopping it.

This evening's ramblings... some people call this sort of deal "Three Things Thursday", but I don't really care for alliteration... anyway, this evenings ramblings are just that... ramblings. And of no real importance whatsoever.

Numero Uno

It's a first for me...

I'm going to lose it, aren't I? Will it hurt? Can you believe I'm a toenail-falling-off virgin?

Numero Dos

I am not a potty-training virgin, but this fourth time around is just ... I don't know... I guess I'm just not into it. My middle two kids were done with diapers before they turned two. Miss C is now 2 and a half. We have potties. We have a seat adapter. We have the undies. We casually talk about peeing and pooping in the little potty or the big toilet. She even tells me when she goes whatever in her diaper. We make mention of wearing the undies.

But she finds them to be infinitely more entertaining than wearable.

Numero Tres

Last night I ran a 5K "return-to-running" PR.

The workout was supposed to be 2 X 2 miles @ 8:30ish pace with a quarter-mile rest-jog in between. I started late (as usual). I just wasn't into it. As I was doing my warm up, I was complaining in my mind...

"stupid night running"
"darn kids... why won't they just go the *bleep* to bed?"
"i am sooooo tired"
"i think my hip hurts"
"i'm hungry... i don't think i've eaten enough today... maybe i should just go in"
"i wish we had real t.v."

I finished my 1.5-mile warm-up trot and stretched a bit. I toed the line at my mailbox and set off.

When my first lap was 10 seconds "too fast", and I just didn't feel like trying to slow down, I realized that if I held the pace, I could 5K PR. So I made a deal with myself... if I did it, I would be done for the night.

I could give you the blow-by-blow, but does anyone really care? It was dark. No skunks. Negative splits :) except that I was totally sucking it in the last 0.1 mile... no sprint for me... I was lucky to make it out alive!

Time:  25:20  (8:10 pace)

Three and a half minutes faster than my first 5K back in November.

Nearly a minute faster than my 5K 6 months ago in March.

Of course, I immediately plugged it into the McMillan Running Calculator.  *dork*

Looking at that Long Beach Half Marathon...

...and wondering how long it's going to take for me to really and for real run a new 5K PR... not just a "return-to-running" one.

Getting ready to shoot the moon :)

Have you ever lost a toenail? Did it hurt?

21 September 2011

Now that everyone's seen it...

In case you've been asleep or offline for the past 24 hours... or don't follow the blogs of any other Team Nuun Hood to Coasters (you can find them all in my sidebar)... you may be seeing this news for the first time....

the official Nuun 2011 Hood to Coast Relay with blogging badass babes is available for viewing!!!!

Click HERE to go see it... it's on the Nuun blog.

I am in it.

Sadly, Nuun Platuun's finish is not in it :(

I think Megan must have a nicer butt than I do, and I think the sparkly skirts made for a flashier team-crossing-the-finish-line shot. Must've been the camouflage... we were just too stealth to be captured on film :P

No matter... we were there. And we did it in less than 28 hours :)

This video brings up tons of feelings... all over the map. I know all my fellow Platuuners are right there with me on this :)

Can we have another huggle?


Click here to see a cute picture of Miss C that reminds me of how I often feel...

Click here to see my video of how awesomely my Moving Comfort Juno bra controls bouncing!

Click here to see the action of an exciting Monopoly game underway.... oooo... drama... intrigue....

And here is where you should click to learn how to make Nuun cocktails :)

On the outside looking in...

20 September 2011

Moving Comfort Juno Bra Review and Demonstration...because seeing is believing!

Did you know that the sports bra is just a little over 30 years old? I am old enough to remember this... as in, I was old enough to need one when they were invented. I found this great article about the history of the sports bra... I especially liked it because they use the expression shooting for the moon :)

Back in the olden days, I hated running. Hated. I think my newly-sprouted D's were part of the problem. And as that article says, the newly-invented Jogbra wasn't doing the trick for more voluptuous women... or adolescents. By the time I was a freshman in college, Lily of France had a great sports bra on the market... but I still needed to double up to get it to work. Thus began what I thought would be a life-long necessity... double-bra-ing for runs.

I have always been protective of my breasts. Adequate support is imperative if you don't want to end up looking like those scary boobscarves as seen in my first Running Bra Report. I thought I had found the perfect bra combo... those two different granny bras pictured in that same report. They served me well in the past but were getting tired and needed to be replaced.

Over the summer I purchased my new bra. It came with the saleswoman's reassurance and insistence that I would only need ONE. People always say that... but they don't really know what it's like.

I scoffed...even though she looked like she might know.

She was right.

The Juno bra by Moving Comfort is IT.

I am so excited to show you THE bra...

if you are tired of seeing and hearing perfect fitness models and small-breasted women touting what they are calling 'the best' sports bras (nothing against these ladies but they have different needs),
if you are looking for a substantial yet comfortable and attractive sports bra,
if you want a sports bra that isn't scary-looking but WORKS for C, D and DD all by its lonesome...

Inside-out, you can see the seamless, chafe-resistant construction. 
It has molded cups to prevent uniboob.
The chest band is soft for comfort, wide and minimally stretchy for stability.

Close-up of the waffle-y wicking fabric that lines the cups...
super comfy!

The straps are NOT STRETCHY! 
Awesome bonus for us more busty women because...
stretchy straps = bouncing boobs
But they are adjustable because they pass through loops
and then velcro where you need them!

I found that I get the best control when I tighten these up as far as they will go. This velcro feature would also be pretty fantastic if you are a nursing mom who works out. I remember the contortions I went through trying to get my babe to the boob when it was trapped beneath two old-school sports bras :P

It is not scary to look at! It looks like a normal sports bra!
And it comes in a bunch of colors...they even have bigger sizes in pretty colors :)

I can talk and write all I want about this thing... but we all know

seeing is believing.

So, to that end, here is the Juno in action...

yeah, yeah... shot kind of close... that's so you can't see my lack of core work :P

Isn't it true? Look through the pictures of sportsbras... how many of us are fitness models? Ummmm... maybe just Sandra. We want to know how these things are going to work on our 'normal' everyday bodies. Are my D's or her DD's really going to be adequately contained?

With the awesome Juno, the answer is...


Double-bra wearers of the workout world unite! 
You have nothing to lose but that stupid extra bra! 
You have a race to win!


Note: these do run true to size in my personal experience...if you know your real bra size and aren't just guessing or going by habit. I was lucky enough to try my first one on at a Title Nine store.

** I bought my first Juno bra and was so in love with it that I bought two more so that I would have one for each leg of my Hood to Coast experience (I know you were wondering how I'd work that in). I then received one as a gift from Moving Comfort as a member of Nuun Platuun! How stoked was I to get my most very favoritest piece of running equipment as a gift? SO stoked! This review is solely based on my personal experience with the Juno bra and other sports bras, and I have not been compensated for it in any way.

***And definitely... definitely click on this link to vote for my insanity... I really really really want to win free ad space on another incredibly awesome blog. Please click the link here and then find my Einstein-hair picture or my Maxfield Parrish sky photo or both and then click the little yellow stars under them :) It ends Thursday at midnight... like, as in today!

19 September 2011

Boring vs. NOT boring...

Running 10.5 miles worth of 0.75-mile loops in the dark is boring. 
That's 14 laps. 
In the dark. 
I now know the sequencing of all the neighborhood sprinkler systems. 
And I know where the skunk lives.
10.5 miles in 1 hour 44 minutes... the middle 7.5 miles were at 9:20 pace. It was harder than I had hoped it would be. But I did it. And finished at 10:26 p.m.

Monopoly is NOT boring... especially when you're winning.

These guys were in cahoots trying to outfox me...which was totally unfair because I seriously spent 12 of my first 15 turns landing on Chance and Community Chest. They, conversely, landed on properties and bought everything. As I was biding my time, waiting for my ship to come in... waiting for that Big Roll...

Big G took control of the game, and Daddy knew his rolls were numbered.
When he couldn't pay a rent, he offered Big G a trade...
Yep, you see that correctly...
Daddy gave Big G Boardwalk in exchange for Mediterranean!
Look how happy he is!
He has a monopoly now!
And a smokin' wad o' cash...
just look at all those fives and ones ;-)
Big G felt like the cat's meow...
Boardwalk and Park Place, the reds, the utilities and...
Look at all that $$$$$$!!!!!
 He had so much he was throwing it around!

A few lucky rolls, and I had been able to amass my own little empire.

Once I started ringing the board with hotels...


With daddy out, it was up to Big G and me to finish the game. Has anyone ever actually finished a game of Monopoly in one sitting? Well, we did it...undeterred by Miss C's board-clearing skills even. She was super interested in all things Monopoly, from the little houses and hotels, to the neat-o tokens you move around the board, to the dice... not so much the money, interestingly. 

Big G hung in there until the bitter end. Offering trades when he was cash-poor, selling, mortgaging, doing all he could to stay in the game. I was blown away. I have never seen him work like this. Historically, he has gotten pissy and had a fit when things have not gone his way... there was none of that. I tell ya, it was definitely a proud mom moment. 

Was your Sunday boring or not boring? Did you play Monopoly? When you do, are you cutthroat? Did you exercise? If you did, what did you do?

How's the weather over there?

17 September 2011

Why today doesn't suck...

Aside from my kids' incessant bickering and my husband being gone, I am pretty excited about today... and here's why...

new shoes!
just came in the mail, and I can't wait to test 'em out :)


this mess...

which turned into these...
showing you my pile of dirty pans to dispel any concerns that I am becoming Martha Stewart
which you might think if you only saw this picture...
or this one...

gluten-free chocolate chip scones!
just came out of the oven, and I can't wait to test 'em out :)

and this...

a beautiful day in the neighborhood!
blue sky, perfect temp... and I can't wait to test it out :)

Wishing for all of you a day that doesn't suck :)

What's on your agenda?

16 September 2011

Are cocktails appropriate at Back-to-School Night?

School has started!

Some of us parents (like me) celebrate this while others (like Catey) lament it. Granted, it isn't the total freedom from responsibility I always imagine it will be by Week 8 of summer vacation. There are no languid days. Return to school means a return to concrete routine of bedtimes and wake-up times and leave-the-house times, tardy slips if you're late (we fill out a lot of those), lunches to be made 5 days a week, grocery shopping regularly to supply those lunches nutritiously, really being on top of laundry cuz the kids can't just live in swimsuits 24/7, homework... the list goes on... sadly.

It also means Back-to-School Night. Or Back-to-School NightS... plural... if you're lucky like me :P

I get to attend three Back-to-School Nights this year! Don't go getting all jealous now...

I've got two down and one to go. The first was on Tuesday... three hours. And because that child tends to space out and think he doesn't need to pay attention, I felt extra obligated to go. I wanted to know what I should be yelling at him about. I wanted to know what he's blowing off when it's happening instead of when his grades are irretrievably in the toilet. So yeah... three hours. Even missed my run :(

Last night was the second one. I went prepared. No... I didn't bring my iPod...

Okay... fine. I'm a dork. But that stuff is good! I always used to bring a bottle of water... but that's boring. The fruity splash in my mouth made me smile every single time. All that talk about curriculum and homework and field trips... no problem-o. I was so excited about my Nuun-assisted Back-to-School Night that I posted this pic on Facebook. 

One of my kids' teachers replied...

"What, you didn't resort to the high school "bad girl" trick of hiding vodka in a water bottle?

And another teacher "liked" that!

I think I know how I will be surviving the third Back-to-School Night...

Rum Punch # 2*
1½ ounces light rum (molasses based not agricole)
1 ounce pineapple juice
½ ounce freshly squeezed Lime Juice
¾ ounce Fruit Punch Nuun Simple Syrup (see below)
1 pineapple wedge, for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add large, cold ice and shake briefly but with conviction. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Nuun Simple Syrup Preparation
Yields ½ quart
Dissolve 1 pill of any Nuun flavor into 8 ounces of Water. When completely dissolved mix the Nuun water with 2 cups of sugar. Stir until all sugar is dissolved.

*These recipes excerpted from gorp.com's Nuun Hydration Cocktail Recipes page.

And perhaps I should bring one for the teachers? 

Uhhhhhh... probably not.

**I should mention that at my kids' school there used to be wine at Back-to-School Night (it's a french school, what can I say?)... so the notion of a cocktail isn't entirely far-fetched. Note, I said "used to be".

15 September 2011

Trying to believe in oneself...

I've written about shooting the moon... the "go big or go home"... going all in or not going at all... and set myself a lofty goal for my next race.

That's great.

I probably should get ready to run it :P  And maybe find a hotel for that overnight so's I don't need to sleep on a bench! I took my first step in the right direction in terms of training last Sunday with my solid 12-mile run. And today I bought my plane tickets so I can actually get there!

I had been dragging my feet on these preparations because I am having a hard time believing in myself.


Don't be.

When I am prepped, I am solid with myself. When my prep work has been even somewhat sketchy, I begin to falter. Or rather when I am not seeing evidence of prep work my confidence plummets.

Last night I was just going to try to run 5 or maybe 6, if I felt okay out there. The whole lead-up was beyond annoying. The kids were just on my very last nerve from about the middle of dinner on. My tension had skyrocketed and I was thoroughly pissed that they had ruined my night and now I couldn't run and so I wouldn't even be remotely ready for this stupid half-marathon that I didn't even have a way to get to or a place to stay which was totally fine because I wasn't really going to be able to run in it anyway since I just suck so bad.

Whew... that was quite the run-on sentence... and that is exactly how I felt. Out of control and going down.

I finally headed out to run at quarter to 9. Pissed off. Tense. Utterly defeated.

And I rocked my run.

When I started off, all the whiny voices in my head were messing with me... so I turned up the iPod. I somehow got into a nice, easy groove, and halfway through my first 0.75-mile lap, I decided it was Progression Run Night :) I wanted to try to hit the paces that I set up for my race plan. I had no Garmin on... so it had to be by feel and just the watch.

As close to the money as I think I can get....

Lap 1.....................9:43 pace........................  9:43 elapsed time.................0.75 mi
Lap 2.....................9:20 pace........................ 14:16  e.t...............................1.5   mi
Lap 3.....................9:20 pace........................ 21:15  e.t...............................2.25 mi
Lap 4.....................9:06 pace.........................28:05  e.t...............................3.0   mi
Lap 5.....................9:06 pace.........................34:53  e.t...............................3.75 mi
Lap 6.....................8:29 pace.........................41:15  e.t...............................4.5   mi
Lap 7.....................7:45 pace.........................47:04  e.t...............................5.25 mi
Last wanderings...~10:00 pace avg................1:00.20 e.t..............................6.5   mi

Average pace for 6.5 miles = 9:17

Belief-in-self Level..... big jump :)

What's hard for me to acknowledge is that it could have very easily gone the other way. And I am so glad it didn't.

What are some things that you do to keep believing in yourself? 

What are some of your 'go-to' techniques for pulling yourself up out of an abyss, if you find yourself in one?

magic moments...

Life is full of magic moments.

I was super excited to see this link-up over at Shell's Things I Can't Say.
She always has the best link-ups... she did the Rockin' the Bump and Rockin' the Baby ones.
I loved participating in those!

I enjoy looking through old photos when I am feeling scattered... it really grounds me.
I've been having a tough time lately getting back into the swing of momming...
school starting hasn't helped as I thought it would.

It was hard to narrow down my choices so I picked several... some you've seen before.

The process of going through these has helped me to see...

to know...

that my life as a mom has been full of magic moments.

I've chosen to share the magic of traveling with my children...

A window seat and a good book...
with Sicilian citrus orchards in the background... hard to get more magical :)
Baby X, Villa Praiola 2006
Sharing a sweet moment with a two-year old...
in a crowded line to go up the Eiffel Tower.
with Miss C, Paris 2011
On the way to an old castle...
Big G, Varenna 2002
The magic of gravel in a cemetery...

Big G, St.-Paul-de-Vence 2002
Big G, Florence 2003
Loving the feel of the wind in his hair :)
Big G, Lago di Como 2001
The magic of motherhood...
with my children, Villefranche-sur-mer 2002

Link up your magic moments :)

My husband is an amazing photographer. He took all of these pictures except the first one (I got super lucky with my crappy point-n-shoot). If you would like to see more of his work, there is a link in the sidebar to his photoblog... Seeing In 4D. Check it out :)

14 September 2011

How AM I going to make a sub-2?

How in the heck should I know?

I am still not entirely convinced it's in the cards for me... I'm not really sure I deserve it. Guess we'll see come October 9 :P

For my non-running readers, I am referring to running a half-marathon (13.1 miles) in under 2 hours. This works out to just about 9 minutes 9 seconds per mile for the whole thing.

Being unprepared makes me nervous. I haven't followed a training program. I had a good one that was a composite of Run Less, Run Faster and Galloway's... with some tweaks from both awesome Jill and Patrick from The Road thrown in. It was going great until all those blasted monkey-wrenches.

Then my summer became a quest to just make it to the Hood to Coast Relay (ha! there! I said it!) with Team Nuun, healthy and in a good mental place. While I accomplished that, I was not ready for the post-relay feelings of depression and listlessness that were strangely accompanied by intense euphoria and a 'can-do' motivated desire to dive back into serious training. Weird...but not entirely out of character.

As a result, my running has been haphazard since Hood to Coast. What am I saying? It was pretty haphazard in the weeks immediately prior to Hood to Coast! Anyway... moving on....

When I am in the Long Beach Half Marathon on October 9, I want to look and feel like this...

Instead of like this...

After my post the other day stating my 'stretch' goal as being a sub-2, I received this super cool, encouraging tweet from one of my new running buddies...

@xlmic I believe that w/ a good taper, hydration, and careful pacing that you'll go sub 1:59 for the half.....

I love it when people believe in me! So I looked at this carefully.
  • "good taper" – I kind of am living in a tapering place; I think this will work in my favor :)
  • "hydration" – I am so well-stocked with Nuun for before the race and there are TEN water stations on the course... one nearly every mile... and I am not opposed to carrying my Amphipod handheld (though I'd rather not... suggestions or advice?)
  • "careful pacing" – ut-oh. This is where I am concerned. I have trust issues... even trusting-myself-issues. While my new racing mentor Kim, Nuun staff runner from our Nuun Platuun team, told me she had her best times when she did it all by feel... no watch, ignoring mile markers, etc...I am not sure I have that faith in my body or racing brain... yet. Sure, I have my Garmin (which looks like a VW Beetle parked on my super-skinny wrist), but picking the numbers I want it to be showing... that's another story.

So I made a race plan.

When I made a plan and followed it for Bay to Breakers back in May, it worked for me perfectly. It was set up to be realistic but a push. I ended up a little ahead of schedule... which can't help but feel good, right? 

Presenting my Long Beach Sub-2 Plan... I hope think am fairly certain it's realistic :P

Mile                Pace                                               Elapsed Time

1                      9:15   (adrenaline boost)                     9.25 minutes
2 & 3                9:40   (settling in and warming up)    28.59 minutes
4, 5, 6 & 7       9:24   (solid base)                              66.19 minutes
8, 9 & 10         9:10   (pick it up to prep for push)       93.69 minutes
11 & 12            8:40   (the push starts...)                  111.09 minutes
13 - 13.1          8:06   (the digging down deep part)  119.89 minutes
                                                                               = 1:59:55 ... which is sub-2!

On Sunday, I participated in a Run 11 on 9/11/11 memorial run. I lengthened it out to 12... because I felt so good. It was somewhat hilly, and my average pace was 10:05. The last two miles were both sub-9 minutes. And I felt GREAT when it was over. Maybe it had something to do with running for a greater purpose? And I was not sore the next day.

I think I'm ready to take this sucker on.

Any other advice or words of encouragement? Throw them my way... please!!!!!


And on the to-do list for today...

vote for Catey... awesome mom of 8 little kids who will be running in the St. George Marathon... her blog is entered in the Top 25 Big Family blog contest! Go to her personal voting page by clicking HERE.

13 September 2011

Funny S*** Tuesday...

... literally and figuratively.

So I sometimes get a little uncomfortable with showing my deeper side. I am a reallyoverly sensitive, insightful, deeply-feeling person. Don't laugh. It's true. I have a weird habit of trying to cover upbalance out the inspirational, meaningful "me" with crassness and stupid jokes. Ask my husband, and he'll tell you how good I am at wrecking a mood with inappropriate laughter.

What this means is that I can't just go with yesterday's post about shooting the moon and my running goals.


Today I have to destroy the image of me being some kind of super together grown up. This is sure to leave some of you broken and disillusioned. Others will laugh at me. Still others will laugh with me.

Yesterday I had physical therapy. That was were my PT told me that she fully supported me training for a marathon. I even told her my time goal and she didn't laugh :) But... before I went into the treatment room I had to change into my shorts.

I had been wearing these yoga pants for two days (this is not the gross part). The day before I had felt some weird crumbly something going on around my backside (okay, that's kind of gross). I couldn't figure it out and so just ignored it, thinking maybe it would just go away.

When I took my pants off in the dressing room at PT, this was what I saw...

That's gross.

All I could think of was... what the heck? though the words in my head were a little stronger.

Then I realized what this mess was. And no... it wasn't s***. 

It was chocolate.

The first day I wore these pants I had gone grocery shopping with two of my kids. I needed a little pick-me-up in the form of chocolate. I put a fistful of chocolate chips into a little ziploc baggie and stuffed it into the waistband at the back of the pants. The baggie had a hole in it. The heat and pressure of my back against the seat of the car, squishing the chocolate chips, caused this mess.

I had to share this with someone who would understand, so I messaged Beth at Shut Up and Run! It had made me think of a post she did about licking herself like a cat after sitting in melted chocolate in her car. 

Of course she asked if had eaten it.

The answer is NO. Even though I know it's chocolate, it really looks too gross.


Next funny thing...

My kids have been on my case something fierce about playing on the computer. What is up with that? What happened to kick-the-can and paper dolls? I was trying to get stuff done and so I caved.

The three older kids were clustered around the screen, laughing hilariously...

What words do you love to say? 

What words always make you giggle?


And now serious biz...although the fact that I am plugging anything with a pink voting circle badge could be construed as exceptionally funny :P

The woman who inspired me to start running again and to also start a blog is in one of those frightening Circle of Moms Top 25 contests. She is in it because I told her to enter. Was that mean?

Anyway, she is beyond amazing... drop-dead gorgeous mom of 8 little kids, about to run her first marathon (St. George...most likely sub-4), gracious, funny, smart. It's the Top 25 Big Families blog contest. She is up against some super heavy-hitters. But Catey is the real deal, folks. Please go vote for her! Remember... you can vote once every 24 hours :)

Here's her direct voting link... right HERE.


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