31 May 2011

Try It Tuesday! ... with awesome hair-flip!

Last week I tried something new on Tuesday... remember the running barefoot... in a skirt video? That was on Tuesday. It was so much fun and felt so adventurous, I have decided that every Tuesday I will try something new and show you how it goes.

I'll do this until I get sick of it.

And if any of you have something you want me to try... hey, leave it in a comment :)

Keep your suggestions PG, please.

So here goes... my new thing on Try It Tuesday...

and Lightning Bug's Butt, the extra-special hair-flip is all for you

I know I need to figure out a way to do these demo videos before dark... I am still ironing out the wrinkles... you can't expect professionalism from an amateur, okay?

The pedals really hurt my barefeet. And the skirt was really awkward and provided NO comfort for my bony butt.

After this brief spin, I went for a run...

Can this count as a "brick"?!  she asked, excitedly.

Didn't think so... she said, dejectedly.

The run was okay... nothing to write home about. A little over three miles in I don't know how long...  I wasn't keeping track :)

But that giganto skunk was out roamin' again...

Granny's Gadgets #21... how to make a caipirinha


Not only is the tryout for varsity cheer squad AKA mommy runner blogger popularity/vote-grubber contest AKA Circle of Moms Top 25 Health & Fitness Mom Blogs contest almost OVER...can I get a "halle-bleepin-lujah"? but first go jab that pink button over there on the right, would you please? thanks ;-)...


Granny's Gadgets has come of age... she is legal... a rockin'-sockin' 21... and do you know what that means?

Drinks are on the house!

Even if you don't drink, you might be able to use this gadget for other purposes... watch and see... simply use this demonstration as a means of getting your creative culinary juices flowing...

Though I make fun of that contest, I am a hyper-competitive mommy runner blogger, and as such, I want to blow some doors off! Less than 48 hours are left... let's push that envelope... how high the sky? At press time, we are sitting in 5th... which is AWESOME!!!! But I'll bet we could hit Top 3... whaddya say?

Join the ranks of the people pimping themselves out for me by tweeting this link (http://circleofmoms.com/blogger/taking), sharing it on your FB, sending out a mass emailing to your entire contact list directing them all to vote for MEEEEEE, or you could even hire an airplane with one of those word things flapping behind it to fly over the entire U.S. or WORLD (this thing is GLOBAL)  for the next two days...

XL! XL! She's our gal!
Vote for her! Be a pal!

Oh, boy... I have LOTS of dorky cheers like that... if you were my FB friend, you would know ;-) They are all sooooooooooo sick of me!

I thought of a new reworking of a famous song... the Bay City Rollers "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!" but I sub in letters that encourage you to vote for me! Clever, right? I know!

And now you have that tune stuck in your head... probably not a good thing :P

29 May 2011

A Veritable Dumping Ground

When I run along the Bay Trail, I am usually going so fast... or am in so much discomfort... or am soooooo into my tunes... that I don't really pick up on many details of the surroundings that are below eye level.

The trail runs along the edge of the San Francisco Bay. It goes through some very lovely wetlands... that used to be major chemical factory dumping grounds. Evidently, there were huge clean-up projects that have rendered it safe (enough) for walking, running or biking through... and for walking dogs through. The plant-and animal-life are coming back... lots of egrets, herons, seagulls and squirrels. Lots of marshy plants that I don't know the names of... and weeds.

The past several days I have been taking Miss C for a stroller walk at nap time, hoping that the girl GOES TO SLEEP!!!  It has been working. Slowing down to stroller-pushing pace has allowed me to see what a dumping ground the area around the Trail still is.

Centuries ago... like 2, I think... native americans inhabited this region. Lots has been learned about their communities from their shellmounds... which were essentially their dumps.

What do you think will be learned 200 years from now about us?

That we are freakin' litterbugs!!!!
click on it if you want to see the trash up close and personal

So many people ignore the fairly liberally-placed trash receptacles, and  they "forget" they are supposed to pick up after their dogs (or maybe they are just grossed out by it like I am... which is why I will NEVER have a dog). Thus, there are frequent reminders designed to help keep the area safe and clear of dog-bombs for the people who use it (as well as the wild critters, I suppose).

I can't believe people need the graphic instructions for how to pick up after their dog...

But what tripped me out the most while on my walk today was the guy with NO DOG who grabbed one of these baggies from the dispenser and then high-tailed it into the bushes... did I mention he had NO DOG?

As far as today's workout... I didn't get to run along the Trail today. It will be 6 miles of loopty-loops in my development. I did my dynamic stretching but blew off the core stuff... I should do it after my run... we'll see... I may be tiiiiiiiiiiired....

What would you tell me if you were my coach?

This voting biz-nazz is getting just sooooo freakin annoying, isn't it? But I'm still going to ask you to vote for the awesomeness that IS Taking It On :) Treat it like Pantene shampoo... tell two friends... who will tell two friends .... who will tell two friends... and so on and so on and so on.... Make it easy for them... hook 'em up with the link:  http://circleofmoms.com/blogger/taking... copy/paste that sucker for ease of use. Tweet the heck out of it! Smack on THIS PINK ... go on... SMACK IT! and VOTE :)

28 May 2011

I even shaved my legs...

that's how into this whole cycling thing I am getting!

Well, actually... since the weather is getting warmer, my legs would be too hot with all that growth... so I grabbed the machete and took care of a little business. Niiiiiice and smooooooth now :)

And that way if I do fall off the bike, it's supposed to be better with shaved skin, right? What is the logic behind that please? I know it isn't like swimming where it makes you less friction-y... something about the hair and the gravel that embeds itself into your flesh...

Not only did I shave my legs last night, but we hosted my daughter's 9th birthday party... over a month after her actual birthday, but she was cool with that 'cuz we were in Paris, France on her birthday :)

She invited a whole mess of girls over for a slumber party...

There was lots of screaming. I got to see some "mean girl" crap in action... and squelch it as best I could. Swimming, scootering and bike-riding. Pizza and ice cream cake. Harry Potter and Grimm's Fairy Tales. All in all, they had a great time. 

I was even able to get things settled enough to go work out. I rode my bike again.

I did run the night before... 3 gentle miles that felt really great. But you don't get to call it a 'brick' if it's on different days, right? Can you call it a 'lego'?

I really didn't want to get attacked by a bat this time, so I opted for a non-spider helmet (thinking those are insectivorous bats... and yes, I know spiders are not insects and I know that they can't see... but not taking any chances). Instead, I chose the...

GuitarHero helmet.
 see guitar on either side... and the word "rock"?
you can click to biggify
It is so lucky I have such a small head... this one had that little fitted insert business to keep it from moving around... kind of hurt. Maybe I should get my own helmet...

Anyway, my plan worked ... no bat attacks.

I've shifted my thinking on this cycling thing... from now on, I will ride for a minimum of 30 minutes... anything less is a waste of laundry generated. Last night, I ended up doing 30 minutes of steady state around my awesome, seemingly-unpopulated development... a little over 10 laps that are 0.6 miles each... so a little over 6 miles... Math. Great stuff.

I had the gear thing on the biggest one in front and the biggest one in back the whole time. The street is super flat, and this felt like a good resistance-level for humming along. When I got off that bike, I was kind of surprised that my legs felt like jelly. I have missed that feeling.

Was not enjoying the sore butt though. I have a hard time believing that the padding in the shorts does jack... but I have been assured that it does. I might try some shorts without for the sake of comparison. Honestly, I think that the padding is just there to camouflage the appearance of camel-toe. But does it look better or worse?

Dynamic stretching and core work is on tap for tonight and a longish run for tomorrow. And I am seriously considering digging my rowing machine out of the garage. Trying to figure out if it will be worth the truly Herculean effort... that place is madness!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend thus far!


If you find yourself bored and in need of a really quick pick-me-up activity, consider doing a little extra mousework. That pink button is getting dusty and lonely. It wants you to push it. Just a little mousework can go a long way :) And the excitement your votes generate ... well, you have no idea... ;-)

27 May 2011

Vecchio Venerdì... better things to do...

Clearly, Big G has more important things to do than meet his brand-new baby brother...

who ended up following right in his big bro's footsteps... or finger-digs... as seen previously.

Unfortunately, kids learn by example. I keep telling that to my husband... who keeps forgetting that he isn't always in the car.

Voting is still possible! Don't worry... you haven't missed your chance to be a part of history! Let your voice be heard! Limber up those fingers and grease those mousewheels... clickclickclick... get a little warm-up going on ... and then head on up to that lovely pink button at the upper right :) She's just waiting to be pushed.

And how long must that bird sit up there before someone teaches me how the heck to use it? Anyone?

Friday's Must-List... courtesy of Henry Happened :)

Happy Friday! What are your plans for the weekend? Yay, it's a holiday! You have an extra day for a few things you must check out to wear, eat or simply be inspired by.
  • Always Just a Mom: Stephanie is hanging out with her besties in a 10-year mini-reunion. Friends + wine & cheese = fun times!
  • A Bit of Sunshine: Rebekah is being intentional about date nights with her hubby with this gorgeous Italian dinner at home.
  • Taking It On: XLMIC shares this hilarious video of the Houdini-esque Miss C.
  • Delighted Momma: Lindsay gets crafty with clay and makes this amazing bracelet for only $5.
  • I Am A Greedy Girl: Is showing off the amazing Ruche summer collection.
  • Cherished Handmade Treasures: Sandy makes amazing French Macaroons. So pretty!
  • Cool Kids: Betsy shares her 5 mommy must haves for summer - including this awesome bracelet!
  • Making It Lovely: Nicole created this colorful print for her daughter's bedroom - and you can download it for free.
  • henry happened: Stephanie turns ugly jeans into an easy DIY bell bottoms project.
The Must List is produced weekly by stephanie of henry happened - for information on how to be involved, email me at henryhappened@gmail.com


And another Friday MUST.... go whack on that big pink button up there on the right. WHACK it, I tell ya! And then give me the "thumbs UP" when you get where it takes you :)

Or click on this awesome PINK LINK HERE and be delivered right to the voting page without needing to drag that cursor allllllll the way up there ;-)

Thanks for all of your support!

26 May 2011

Reclaiming the bike...

The other day I asked for some cross-training ideas. One thing I specified was "no possibility of ever getting road rash." To me, that says "do not suggest cycling."

Of course some wise guys who don't know how to read (namely Patrick and Big Daddy Diesel... whose blog name is one of my favorites, right up there with Lightning Bug's Butt) all up and suggested cycling. "The enjoyment outweighs the risk," they said. When have I heard that before? They might as well have thrown in "Trust me."

Never one to back down from a challenge, I decided to take it on... get it?

My good friend Catey, who has done it before, told me that the wetter it is, the less likely it is to hurt  when you fall. No road rash if it's raining... and it rained all day the day I was planning to go for my ride. However, a wet ride was not in the cards for me. By the time I got out there, it was about 9:30 p.m. and dry dry dry. And dark.

But I like the dark.

So I put on my cycling shorts... yes, I actually do have some cycling shorts. They are from 1989 and I am not kidding about that. I did used to ride this bike a lot. The waist elastic in these ancient shorts is just about shot... they look like some sort of maternity cycling shorts, though not too many pregnant women get on a bike in cycling shorts.

See? real cycling shorts with the whole wad thing in the crotch that is supposed to keep it from hurting but doesn't really. I guess maybe it doesn't hurt as much as it would without.

I tied on my shoes ... ventilated mesh upper for breathability... lots of tread on the bottom so I don't slip off the pedals...

I grabbed the nearest helmet I could find... so glad for once that I have a tiny head so's I could fit it in my son's helmet...

Yes, that is a spider on it... you know you want one :)

I told my husband I was scared. He asked what I was scared of. Falling, I said. I haven't done this in forEVER. Well, he said. It's just like riding a bike. He is so funny.

I opened the garage and extricated my bike from the tangled bike-mess and tried to get on.
 yes, it has pink handlebars and a big hole on the seat. So? 

Remember that my hip was all kinds of messed up for a really long time and it just isn't as flexible as it used to be. So I did get on...only to realize that the back tire was low. So I got back off...here's where I almost fell. But didn't. :)  I did a lame job pumping up the tire with a little pump that looks like a pipe... I am sure there is some name for that kind of pump, but I don't know what it is. And I got back on the bike and rode off into the darkness.

It was awesome! No one was out in the streets and my low tire sounded like a swarm of angry hornets were chasing me... it was so cool! I even got hit in the head by a bat! At least I think it was a bat... I'll bet it was attracted to me because of the insect-swarm-like sound that low tire was making. I rode around the neighborhood 5 times which is 3 miles. Very short. But I had broken a sweat at that point and didn't want to get sweaty enough to need a shower.

While I was out there, I had time to think. I realized that I actually do like riding my bike. For fun. And that just maybe I'll make a triathlon for myself in my neighborhood... we have a dinky little pool that is just the right size for me to do dinky laps. Some dinky little swimming laps, a few trips around the neighborhood on the bike and a couple figure eighty-eights running... a tinman... or foilman... triathlon.

My point here is this... you don't need fancy gear. You don't need fancy clothes. You just need to get out there and MOVE YOUR BODY. Try something new... or something you haven't done in a while. It might be just the ticket to reinvigorate you. Of course, sometimes it doesn't work out all that great... for example, my barefoot skirt running experience. But hey! I tried it!

What are YOU going to try next?

If you are at a loss regarding what to try next, you can always VOTE!!!!  PINK link here... or pink button there... both're lookin' for a pushin'...  ;-)

It's YOUR turn to make a difference...

How often have you wanted to see that little guy... the small fry... take it all the way? When he was up against Goliath, weren't you rooting for David? The most exciting thing is a "Cinderella Story" where the most unlikely of competitors scrapes and claws his or her way, against seemingly-insurmountable odds, to reach a level of success that surprises all.

Through sheer doggedness and by irritating the heck out of all  of her Facebook friends, this Circle of Moms Top 25 Fitness Blogs Contest boasts such an individual. And that would be.....


No one else is showing you barefoot running in a skirt, naked runners AND boob scarves!

My awesome voters have helped me skyrocket from 32nd place all the way to the Top 10 at times :) ... sitting with some very heavy hitters! You all ROCK!

This battle for the Top 10 is proving to be super tough... eleventh, tenth and ninth have been going back and forth for a couple of days now. It is nerve-wracking!  We are currently in 11th... but just a few votes back.

This contest doesn't end until June 1st at 5 p.m. Pacific time... so we are not even close to the final sprint... but help keep Taking It On in the running!  Keep doing what you're doing, my good folks! And if you haven't been voting, well, there's no time like the present to start :)

There is no need to join anything and no info sharing is required... it really is as simple as clicking THIS LINK and then clicking the "vote" button :)

simple simon
easy peasy
piece of cake

25 May 2011

Musique pour Mercredi... ça c'est pour Caroline

With all the voting excitement today, I nearly forgot it was Wednesday!

This one goes out to Caroline, who is heading home to Québec to visit family. Bon voyage, chérie!

Did you miss the barefoot running in a skirt?...well, the video is HERE. I did keep my bra on, though, so perhaps not as exciting as one might think...


The voting frenzy continues through June 1st. The battle has really been heating up in that 11/10/9 zone, fighting it out for space in the Top 10... lots of back-and-forth... fortunately, no name-calling or mud-slinging ;-)  You can help us pull away from the fracas by clicking on THIS LINK!!!! Or smacking that pink circle up there on the right :)


And maybe some Twitter? I gave you the bird up there, too. Click that sucker and see what happens...

Barefoot running... in a skirt

Monday was my P90X stretching workout, so last night was a running night. Remember... I am alternating cross-training days and running days. Does anyone else do this?

Three casual miles around the neighborhood after I got the kids to bed, listening to some music from my husband's iTunes. Who runs to The Grateful Dead? O. My husband doesn't run.

Sheesh. The Dead, Janis Joplin, freakin' Hotel California (who did that one?), The Doors... okay, they work for me. And then the Hendrix started. Jimi Hendrix. And I was transported back to my hippie childhood. Somehow, Hendrix combined with The Doors and a little zoned-out-ness from The Dead liberated me from the confining constructs of my current thought processes... I felt a need to really just let my hair down and embrace the more natural and the more feminine running trends...

I contemplated also going bra-less... but following that discussion last week, I thought "with" was the smarter way to go ;-)
Unfortunately, my technoskills are lacking and I couldn't figure out how to splice these two cuts together... so you get two for the price of one. And I apologize for the poor quality and really bad lighting... but that's what you get when you must run at night... in the dark... you can't see crap... literally.

So what did I think of running barefoot and in a skirt?

  1. Barefoot... not for me. I did not feel free or liberated or comfortable. I felt like I had to run weird... all stiff and protective... scared that I would step in crap or glass. Glass would just bleed and hurt; crap would be worse. Have you ever stepped in crap in your bare feet? And the Hendrix on my iPod was just to hippie-twirlin' good ... barefoot, outside in the street at night... all I want to do is dance.
  2. The skirt... kinda breezy (see my ABC's) but that was kinda nice :)  I am worried that it would get all wadded up around my legs... I would probably trip and fall if I were running with a tailwind. Though it would look pretty sexy in a headwind... let-down hair all blowing behind me and billowy skirt swirling back there, too... Don't think I could do a short skirt (again referencing ABC's).
There you have it... my experience with the latest trends. Guess I am just pretty old-fashioned. Or maybe just old.

PINK button! PINK link! The contest is really heating up today! At press time, there are 15 votes separating 9th, 10th and 11th.... Taking It On staged an awesome rally, but we need more! Dig down deep and see what your made of! Find that 'go-to' place! You've been training for this for years... you can do it! Think of all those mouse-clicks leading up to these next few days... and click... just click! Click for all you're worth!

24 May 2011

Not getting "important" things done.

The drawers are empty.

This is what happens when you shift your priorities...

At least it's all clean!  And I've been here before, so I know how to take this one on!  Get it?

I'm not showing you the rest of the house on purpose. Now that Miss C is running amok, there are no mess-free zones at all. Staying on top of that biz is a full-time job, I tell ya! O. Right. That would be MY full-time job. I keep forgetting that part.

Enough campaigning for Top 10 in that Circle of Moms contest for the day... I need to fold this mess. And maybe pick up a little around here.

And get some exercise.

But that pink circle is just begging to be pushed! Or if you are too lazy tired to move the cursor allll the way up there, you can just click HERE to vote :)

23 May 2011

Granny's Gadgets #20

Can you believe it?  I still haven't run out of gadgets!

Like most of the others, this week's gadget was a complete mystery to me. That doesn't necessarily mean it is all that exotic... it just underlines the fact that I am fairly kitchen-ignorant.

This tool does seem rather useful... lemon curlies for a martini, lemon zest for a lemon meringue pie... but no way is it as useful as the awesome green shirt I am wearing in the video.

My green shirt is from 1996. I wear it a lot. It is perfect for the warm up portion of a run, for sleeping in and for making videos. I got it at a race back when I was a kind of decent runner. It reminds me of those days. The olden days. These gadgets are also from the olden days. I thought the two would go well together tonight... old green shirt and old gadget... both old and both useful. Is it working for you?

And only about a week left of the constant haranguing about voting in the Top 25 Blogs contest, so bear with me :) There's a couple of ways to play this thing... clicking HERE or popping that pink button at the top right. Simple simon... getting sooooo close to the top 10 that I can taste it like lemon zest!

Busting out the XT...

Now that I have decided I want to run a half-marathon in the fall...maybe even two...

I have also decided that I could probably benefit from some cross-training... other than chasing my crazy kids around town and going to Target.

To that end, today I thought I might try and get a little action with Tony. I know he totally has the hots for me... he's always big into the eye contact... and he says really stupid things that make me laugh because he's nervous around me... that means he likes me ;-)

After assessing my situation and coming to the conclusion that flexibility is my weakest link right now, Tony and I did some P90X stretching. Yes, the X-Stretch. Like the plyo, I think this one is for moms, even though Tony does not make reference to this possibility. My favorite part was the lying down part. Moms don't get to lie down enough.

The stretching was great, too. The program stretches the whole body, and I like how I can do my best and leave the rest. Right now, my best in the stretching department is pathetic... but I plan on working it... and bringing it as best I can :)  One day, I may even be able to lick myself like a cat... or like SUAR.

After we stretched, I did the Ab-Ripper X. HAHAHAHHAHAHA! Have I mentioned before that my core could use some work? I think I have. Holy moley! Does it ever! So I crunched and bicycled and scissored and twisted and pulsed like nobody's business... took LOTS of breaks... and loved the stretching at the end. Ab workouts should always include stretching at the end so that you lengthen out those crunch-shrunk muscles.

And I didn't get too sweaty, so I didn't need to take a shower when I was done... a good thing since Miss C is no longer containable, remember? I may not be showering for a long time... unless I can time it for when she is sleeping... which is nearly never.

My big training plan for the moment is to alternate cross-training and running... I'm innovative that way ;-) I only want to run 3 days a week... that is probably all my body can stand. And that's probably all my little tyrants will allow.

So people... give me some ideas for cross-training that are

  1. free, 
  2. do not involve a swimming suit, 
  3. will not ever give me road rash and 
  4. might allow for the possibility of conversation with others and/or listening to music. 
I have the P90X thing to play around with, but I don't really want to dive into the whole program... I just want to pick and choose. Looking at the Yoga X for Wednesday... more flexibility :)


remember the mantra for the next week... VOOOOOOOTE.... If you say it right, it's almost as centering as OOoooohhhhmmmmmm. HERE's that quick-clickin' link... or just nail that pink circle at the upper right :)


there is a little bird up there now, too. I am not so sure what to do with it... so if you have any great ideas, let me know!

22 May 2011

Whose kids are these? Where IS the parent?

In a house full of kids, life is never dull. This can be really fun ... always something going on, kids entertaining themselves and each other and me, rarely do I hear "I'm bored". And it can be not so fun... for the same reasons. But even when they do "the darndest things", sometimes you have to chuckle...

Like when they shove their heads through a training potty...
which I wrote about here.

Or decide to take a crap in a cupboard...
which was detailed in this post.

Or dress up in funny costumes...
like being a junior executive... or drug-dealer lookalike.

I have been witness to these sorts of things for 16 years... remember I have all those stepkids. I really enjoy the energy of a large family and the antics of the kids, but I have found that sometimes I am kind of jaded or detached ... and that freaks out other parents. 

When we are out in public and my kids start doing their thing, other adults get nervous. And I understand why. 

My kids have all been climbers, runners and jumpers as little ones. They have all experimented with the top of the playground climbing structure before they could walk. They climbed six-foot ladders by the age of 6 months. Walking along the back of the free-standing sofa has been a favorite activity (the sofa needed to be pulled into the center of the room because there was a picture-window that was being pounded on not just with fists but hard toys).

There is a sixth sense a parent can develop about his or her children. You really get to know their abilities, when they will probably be fine and when they might run into difficulty. I tend to hang back a bit, and let the kids find the point of "failure" on their own terms. This does NOT mean that I let them ride their bikes on the highway or try jumping off the roof with a towel-cape safety-pinned to their shoulders. 

It means that after spotting several trips up the slide-ladder, I know my little one can do it... most of the time... and I will walk away and let him or her do it on his or her own. It is when my 18-month old is at the top of the ladder and I am not obviously standing right there, another mom (usually) will be looking all around with that "who is the parent? where is this child's parent?" look of desperation/exasperation on her face. This sort of situation happened yesterday.

We were at swimming lessons. Miss C is impossible to contain in this setting. The parking lot and access road are of concern. The stairs are a concern. The cyclone fencing separating the viewing area from the pool is a concern. The 2-foot retaining wall is a concern. Not anymore.

I showed you her jumping skills a while back... in this post.  That was her practicing jumping off the back of the sofa down into the cushions. Well, lately, I have caught her jumping from a dining room chair down onto the floor... and sticking the landing! This kid is 2!

So when she started jumping off the 2-foot retaining wall, I just sat and watched. She had it ...

She did this 3 or 4 times and then fell. That woman sitting right there flipped out! Fortunately, I was able to smooth her ruffled feathers and CPS was not called. And Miss C was totally fine... got up, brushed herself off and tried again.

At home, however, safety is a major concern. 

She is no longer contained. Not really sure what to do about this.


I have been told that you can get boob shoes to go with the boob scarves... thanks for the heads up, Jill ;-)

And the voting is really heating up in this blog contest!  I have pulled up even with 12th place! So help keep the momentum... ride the wave.... they won't know what hit them... we're going to take this race like a tsunami.... is that a bad choice of metaphor?  You can pop the pink button at the upper right... or you can just click right HERE!

21 May 2011

Big Plans...

Now that the 2011 Zazzle San Francisco Bay to Breakers has happened, and I got to see the naked runners... and I got my medal, which I hadn't shown you yet...

I know you're all envious of my awesome pink carpet ;-)

I realized that I need a new running 'thing' on which to set my sights.

Sure, I could amuse myself running in the little 0.75-mile figure eighty-eights ( +  and overlap them) inside of my gated development. Do little time trials in here to liven things up. See how many long, slow laps I could do before I rip my eyeballs out of their sockets to alleviate the boredom. I could venture out to the Bay Trail from time to time, where the wind would whip my hair into its Einstein-esque froth and I might meet fast and friendly drunken bums with whom I could do the occasional pick-up race. I like those things... I like the low-key-ness of it.

But something's missing...

Camraderie. That's what I crave. When you do so much 'training' on your own, it is really nice to know that at some point you can count on you are going to run in the company of others. Even though no one would talk to me while I trekked up the Hayes Street Hill, we were all doing it together... except the salmon guys who were going the wrong way! But even they were with each other.

The race I am looking at isn't until October. The Long Beach Half Marathon. My PT approved me to go that distance... yay! I know a couple of other blog-buds (Chris K and Caroline) are thinking of doing it... doesn't that sound fun? Come play run with us! It sounds like a fabulous course.

And I also have a bug up my butt about the Ragnar Relay in Napa Valley. Hmmmm... would that conflict at all with being healthy and well for the Long Beach thing? Any ideas from you, wise and inspirational readers? Advise me... please! And if you think you want to do the relay on the same team as meeeeee (!) shoot me an email at:  xlmic.tio (at) gmail etc....

The next thing on my agenda... what to do with the kids for the summer break?

Road trip, baby!!!!!  Woooo  hooooo!!!!!  but not like the one they did in the movie Animal House. This one will be a psychotic exercise in stupidity and insanity that just very well may turn out to be the funnest thing EVER!!!!!  Imagine... a woman and her four kids in a van traveling east from California, making their way to Mount Rushmore (because Big G really, really, really wants to see it and it sounded like a doable distance... sort of) and hitting all the hot spots in between. Know of any hot spots?

My husband said he is blocking my calls while I undertake this endeavor. He said he just doesn't want to hear me 'in crisis' and will call me when he wants to talk. He said this sort of tongue-in-cheek.

It is still very up-in-the-air, but I am hoping to begin that bit of fun around June 12th. Seriously... know of any hot spots?


Forgot to mention yesterday, GCL had a building named after him. The college campus named the student union building after him at one point. Unfortunately, times change things ... he was just recently taken off star-billing... he has been relegated to the snack bar.


Reflect for a moment on how awesome it feels to watch an underdog rise up against seemingly-insurmountable odds and not necessarily win but do okay... you can be a part of something like that :)  Click HERE to vote for this blog in that blog contest. Or smack that pink button at the upper right.

20 May 2011

Vecchio Venerdì... the president of a college

This boy was the son of that itinerant butcher who like to drink. Remember him? The one who bled to death in his kitchen after a knife fight over a game of cards... yeah, that guy.

This boy was known as "GCL" ... really. It wasn't just his blogging name :P Those were his first three initials and didn't include his last name. Being saddled with all those names might be part of why none of his 6 kids or their kids had middle names. (A tradition that was eventually passed down to me) And his dad's drinking might have had something to do with why he never touched the stuff.

GCL was my great-grandfather. My father's grandfather. He was born in 1873 in Germany and came to America in 1882 with his family. He was a brilliant scholar and knew 8 languages. He held degrees from Bucknell University, Harvard University and the University of Leipzig. He was a professor of German and then the president of a college.

This photo was taken in 1889 when he was 16 years old.


It's voting time!  Every day...  click here for the easy way out. Or go that pink button up on the right!

You're doing it wrong!

I always double-knot my shoes when heading out for a run. I really don't want to have to stop in the middle of the run because they've come untied, bend down and get all dizzy when I stand back up... or even worse, trip on the dang laces and break my arm (this really happens... it happened to one of my stepdaughters... really).

I always double-knot my kids' shoes when called upon to tie them. Thankfully, there are only two left that cannot do it themselves since Big G finally got the hang of it. Double-knotting for the kids is because of the breaking-arm thing and so that their teachers don't have to spend the day re-tying shoes.

I don't use the "bunny ears" method. I use the other one... but I can't remember what it's called. Our shoe-tying book calls it "rocketship" method, but that's not what I called it when I called it something. Well, I just found out today that after all this time... I am doing it wrong!

Here is the video that shows you how to do it right...

So here's to properly-tied shoes from now on!

Now if I could just find some shoes that would match my boob-scarf...


And yes, I am going to remind you about the contest... pink button, top right, press it and vote for me :)
Or click HERE and make it super easy!

Even though I am currently 999 places out of first, 20 votes would skyrocket me up 5 places in the standings... what other fitness blog is going to show you naked runners and boob scarves?

19 May 2011

Running Bra Report

Watching naked people run a 7.46-mile race had me cringing in pain.

Too many jiggly bits jostling, jangling, bouncing and banging around. Damage was being done to tissues. Irreparable damage. Even if you have very small parts, it is wise to protect what you have :) And if things are more sizeable... well, do you really want to look like this....

because that's what's going to happen if you don't take precautions.

What everyone chooses for their support garments is purely individual. Some people focus on the comfort of the garment at the expense of how it performs. Soft and stretchy.... mmmmm... nice :) Until you are out there hurting yourself!

Personally, I prefer no movement whatsoever in the chest region while I am running. This is very challenging for me to achieve. I am not flat-chested. I have tried so many different types and configurations of running bras over the years. What I have found works the best for my skinny frame and "healthy girls" is a bra that has an absolute minimum of stretchy parts. NO stretchy straps. NO stretchy cups. A band with some give to it but not soft, loose and stretchy. There are so many bras out there that tout their functionality for D, DD and larger. Most of them are lying.

One place that has a HUGE selection of sports bras is Title Nine. They use a barbell ranking system... more barbells = more support. And like most online shops, they have reviews that are sometimes but not always helpful. Athleta also has a large selection, grouped according to impact level... high, medium or low.

I am getting a little worried, though. My running bras are 9 years old and will need to be replaced soon. Will I be able to find such a winning support-combo? I wear two different styles at the same time to achieve the feeling I need to be comfortable running.
the bluish-looking one on the right goes on first...

They are total granny bras. They have seams that show through my clothing. And I don't care. I would rather make my favorable fashion statement in a situation where functionality isn't as important to me!


18 May 2011

Musique pour Mercredi... is it hot in here?

Or is it just her?

I think she works out.


Remember to VOTE!  :)  click HERE to do it!  Or push the pink button at the top right...


Earlier today, the winners of the 5 gift cards were announced... is your name on the list?  Check here.

Tripping with Kids: Getting There! ... and winners announced!

Today I am guest-posting over at Tales of an Unlikely Mother. Parentwin is the funny and marvelously insightful mother of hilarious and adorable 2-1/2-year old twin girls. She has great toddler tips and tricks... and so do her girls :P

So pop on over there and say "hi" and check out my post on traveling abroad with kids... the nuts and bolts, the nitty-gritty of the first step... getting there! Why am I qualified to post on this? Because I just took 4 kids to freakin' FRANCE... and lived to tell about it! If you are new to Taking It On, please visit the tabbed page titled "Paris '11" to see how it all went down... complete with museum-vomiting and getting lost... along with the most wonderful family memories one can imagine.


Second point of order...

Use that dang pink button up on the right and vote for this blog! I'm slipping in the rankings... down 2 places to 32nd. And here's the super quick link... HERE.  Vote for this blog every day. Do it. It's a group effort thing.

And guys, if you are wondering why you should vote for my blog... you obviously missed the cleavage video. Don't all guys vote for the chick with the best boobs?

Third point of order...

Remember that Me+Celebrity photo contest we won? Right! I said I would split the winnings between 5 people who "like" my Facebook page. The way it worked out is as follows:  they would only give me two $50 gift cards ... so three other people will receive $10 iTunes gift cards. 

Using the Spitball Lottery method....

in which all "likers" names were written on little slips of paper and wadded up into little spitballs and then put into a bowl, whereupon the first two drawn names receive the big cards and the next three names receive the iTunes cards...

Winning a $50 gift card to Good Vibrations...
  1. Ohemaa Jo
  2. Sandra Charron
And winning a $10 iTunes gift card...
  1. Lisa Mayberry
  2. Riyssa Greene
  3. Kathy Brenner
Ladies, claim your prizes by emailing me at:  xlmic.tio (at) gmail.com.

If a prize goes unclaimed for a week following this announcement, I might just need to draw another name out of the bowl ;-)  


Final point of order...

I am getting dangerously close to 100 "likes" on my Facebook page and 300 followers on this fabulous blog. When I get to those numbers, something awesome is going to happen. I don't know what yet, but I have my thinking cap on. It will be some sort of meaningful tribute to all of my supporters :) Please know how very much I appreciate each and every one of you who reads this :)

17 May 2011

2011 Zazzle Bay to Breakers 100th Anniversary Race Recap... with nudie booties!

The rather long, much-anticipated recap... with a picture of naked runners. That special photo is about half-way into the post... so if you are not wanting to see it, you can get ready to go around it. And if that is the whole reason you opened this post... well, feel free to just scroll ahead! Note: many of the pics can be biggified by clicking on them.

The hardest part of this race was the 5 a.m. wake-up call. I am not our family's Morning Parent. I usually run at night, remember? But I did it! I leaped out of bed and started my preparations.

Most of them had been completed the night before (I am learning a little from reading these blogs :P like don't try to find safety pins when you are bleary-eyed and in a rush)... had pins on the number bib, made my little waterproof money and train ticket pouch out of ziploc baggie taped to the underside of the bib, tied the extra car key into my shoelaces (my friends with whom I ran had never seen this trick before and thought it was so rad... go figure), got my rain gear (Hefty bag) ready, set out the car key I would use first thing in the morning next to my wallet and clothes and shoes, and got my phone fully charged so that I could take awesome photos and videos for you all!

When I awoke, it was really just a matter of washing the face, putting the contacts in, brushing the teeth, ponytailing the hair and getting the clothes and shoes on. And grabbing a banana and a drink of water. One thing I need to remember is... that is not enough food and fluid.

I left the house and drove to the train station (our subway system is called BART). I met up with some friends, and we headed into San Francisco. There weren't very many people on the train... I thought. But when we go off, it was a zoo!

The scene on the streets was similar to Halloween on Frat Row or New Year's Eve... total party atmosphere. It was freezing... for here... and definitely for May.

Of course, the portapotty lines were insane... and of course, I had to pee. I had to wait a long time... I always wind up in the slowest-moving line. Here are some of the colorful characters I met while waiting:

an elephant and his flamingo...

a turtle without her shell, a duck, a tiger and a guy with bunny ears...

a freezing guy...

and Bonehead, a supremely entertaining homeless guy.

Then it was off to the corral, where I saw the homeless guy's namesake...

yes, that is his timing chip on his flip-flop... and I do believe he is wearing just boxers.

The corral was not as packed as I thought it would be...

Because I was in the wrong corral!  

I hopped the fence, risking getting ejected from the race, just in time for the start! Whew!

It was curb-to-curb people for quite a while. It was hard to run without tripping... and even harder to take pictures while running without tripping!  The Bare to Breakers people I saw at this point were pretty swift and kept disappearing in the crowd. Every picture I took at this point of these naked runners ended up completely obscured by other people in the mob. I did get a picture of this group of birds:

and I am convinced that the peacock visited my blog for the idea on how to make her costume! 

Lots of people in tutus... male and female. Lots of guys running topless and lots of women running in wildly-colored tights and feather boas... it seemed so boring, so no pics of those people. Then...

My chance!  They slipped right in front of me! (and I thought to myself, "am I that slow?")

Naked people running!

This was right before the Hayes Street Hill began, so the crowd was a little looser. They were right in  front of me, going just about the same pace... and not exactly the motivational view one might think ;-) I felt a little awkward taking a picture when they were so close, but I also knew that it would be the only way to get a clear shot... so I hung back a little. Yes, I sacrificed pace so that I could get the nudie booty picture for YOU :) And here it is:

And these were the most photogenic butts I saw all day!

Then we hit the Hayes Street Hill... 

and I gave you that piece of master cinematography yesterday ;-) Click here if you missed it or want to see it again. I ran up it, where I was seriously almost blinded by these chicks...

I never wanted to get around anyone so fast in my life... the reflection was killing me!

and over that honkin' hill...

and it was pretty much a downhill run from there on out. Here's where I started running... as best I could while still taking some pictures anyway!

I got to the hump in 27:37 (official chip time). My projected time was between 30 and 35... big spread because of the huge, 50,000-person crowd. The 3-mile mark was a little ways away... and I missed it. But right near it, Miss Centennial Bay to Breakers flew past me! That woman was booking in a ball gown, long gloves and a tiara!

The first marker I saw was for the 4-mile point in Golden Gate Park... right near the Conservatory of Flowers...

where I saw a businessman running in his suit...

and some Star Wars guys...

Luke Skywalker said he was getting tired, and Darth Vader said, "Just feel The Force, son. Feel The Force." I am not kidding. He said that.

Then Waldo ran past...

Where's Waldo?

Right around here, my friend caught up to me! It is really a miracle that she found me... and so cool :) We ran the rest of the race together.

We passed the bison... yes, bison... in San Francisco...

they are not dogs... they are buffalo... really

Got some official pictures taken at the 6-mile mark. Smiling :)

Rounded the bend and there was the Pacific Ocean... the BREAKERS. Almost done.

My friend and I were running side-by-side and decided to cross the finish line holding hands, arms thrown up in the air triumphantly. Big smiles. Gun time finish of 1:16:07 but chip time was 1:10:13.

The official Hayes Hill time of 27:37 gave me a pace of 10:16.
I hit the 4-mile mark at 40:08 on my watch.
Ran a 9:18 for the next mile
followed by an 8:55
and an 8:37
with the last 0.46 miles being completed in 3:45.

Overall pace was 9:29.

I finished in the top 12% of all finishers and in the top 5% of all women and in my age group.

I did a-okay :)  Very happy with this one! 

And it was a BLAST!!!!

As we stood waiting in the freezing cold with the Pacific wind blowing on us, I had the opportunity to see the naked finishers. From the front. Here is what I noticed...

The vast majority of Bare to Breakers runners I saw were not Sports Illustrated swimsuit models or Calvin Klein underwear models... they were just regular, middle-aged people.
though it was interesting to see what sorts of "personal grooming" these folks chose for the big race...

And cold weather shrinkage is real.
And I am sure having been rigorously jostled didn't help.

What really struck me was how they all finished proud... not a one of them looked at all self-conscious about his or her "imperfect" body. At that moment, the idea shifted from comical to inspiring.
Weird, I know.

Then there was the shuttle ride back to the BART station...

We won't go there today... except to let you know that I saw Elvis!

He was sitting across the aisle from me on the shuttle! He said he's now living in Fresno... shhhhh... don't tell anyone... it's a secret...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...