29 July 2012

Just so this blog doesn't get SUPER boring and stagnant...

...here's a post...

It will lack cohesion. It will ramble. It might be boring...but it WON'T be stagnant.

Let's tackle the fitness end of things first...

Tonight I ran for the THIRD time this week. Watch the f*ck out. Getting serious, y'all. After my two pain-free runs on my flat, chill loopty-loops, both being 2.25 miles in length, I decided to challenge myself tonight...yep...Moeser...

This is how she looked tonight from the top at around ten minutes after 6.

I started OCD-style at the very bottom...right next to the Golden Gate Adult Superstore ('couples encouraged!'). Ugh. Why did I include that link? Now I will get alllllll sorts of interesting google searches in my analytics :P And I RAN all the way up that puppy. ALL. THE. WAY. UP. And in keeping with the OCD-ness of the workout, instead of stopping at the usual OCD turnaround telephone pole, I continued running until my Garmin showed me "1.5" so that I could ultimately claim a 'long' run of 3.0 miles even.

I felt GREAT. I didn't even want to stop at all. I even ran (sort of) down the hill, too. This proved to be fairly disastrous. No, it didn't hurt my hip...I went super slowly and carefully, with awesome form and a quick, light step. It was more the fact that by the time I got back to my car at the bottom of the hill, my had-4-kids-at-an-advanced-maternal-age bladder control had demonstrated how it is less than stellar. Yes, like a good blogger I took pictures of the enormous mess that was my shorts...I even texted it to a good friend. But given that she hasn't responded to that text, I'm thinking that pissed-in-pants pictures cross the line of not only good taste but perhaps friendship as well. So you are spared.

To keep the AwesomeBall rolling, I jumped into the car, changed my shorts and drove to the gym where I planned to spin out a quick turnover 30 minutes on the elliptical (a somewhat delusional prep plan for the downhill portions of my relay legs). Somehow that easy spin-out contained a new elliptical 5K PR (super meaningful...I know) without me even trying. 19:49 for a 5K...man, still wishing that this machine translated directly into road speed. *sigh*

Throw in a little climbing that is amazingly helping my core and overall strength ... dudes, I even have biceps now... and that was the fitness week that was. It was an easy week. Remember...life is kicking my a** right now and we're taking whatever we can get :)

Now on to kid stuff...

Lots going on.

Friday, no one had camp. We needed to do something fun to keep our minds off the fact that a DVD was jammed in the car's DVD player and was going to probably cost an absurd amount of money to extricate and repair. We started off with pancakes. My kids have pancakes a LOT. They are the norm here. So to make them seem more special, I made Mickey Mouse-head pancakes...

Yes, served up on a Jimmy Neutron plate. 

We then headed across the bay to Sausalito and the Bay Area Discovery Museum...located at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge in Fort Baker. It was foggy but not cold...

My charming sons attempted to steal the donation money...


And then we proceeded to this summer's main attraction...Clifford the BIG Red Dog...

He is ... BIG. And red.

Miss C really dug this set up.

While she tried to bring some order to the chaos of a children's museum by stacking the bones...
 I mused at how progressive things are on Birdwell Island...

And then she had to pee. But being 3 years old means that when you have to pee you don't have to pee. Instead, you just hop from one foot to the other, rub your knees together, remain in frenetic motion... God forbid I should scoop her up and simply carry her off to the bathroom...her screeching would summon protective services :(

Almost immediately after this picture of her trying desperately to not pee in her pants was taken, 
she begrudgingly agreed that a visit to the bathroom was a good idea. 

After playing on the outside exhibits for a little bit,
she spaced out.
This usually signals a meltdown is imminent and so we headed out...
and had lunch at In 'N' Out...much to everyone's delight!

Big G needed me to photo this very unusual french fry.
I said it looked like a fishbone. He said no.

On Saturday, we picked up the car. The DVD had been extricated, but there are no guarantees that it won't happen again...although the mechanic did observe the unit functioning properly several times post-extrication. If the unit is a goner, they tell me it'll be a grand. Which is not so grand.

And then my son became a cyborg...

Legos taped to the head = cyborg

Did you ever tape stuff to your head when you were a kid?

And no, he wasn't a mean or destructive cyborg. The little gizmo wouldn't stay taped to his head long enough to do any damage to anything but his own hair.

Hope everyone had an equally entertaining weekend! Now it's on to Monday!!!! Yay!!!!

26 July 2012

Two and a Quarter

That's how many consecutive, pain-free miles I ran on Tuesday.

Pretty awesome.

They were sssssssllllloooooooooowwwww but not painful. I cannot remember the last time that was the case. Yes, I experienced some tightnesses and some twinges...but nothing I'd classify honestly as "pain." And no pain the next day. I felt weird taking an epsom salts bath after a whompin', stompin', slow-ass two-measly-mile run, but I do think it helped. Taking care of my body feels foreign, but as I reap the benefits, it makes total sense. Why did I not understand this for freakin' almost 50 years? Well, now I do.

Can I get a "halleluja"?

Four weeks to get ready for the Hood to Coast Relay with Nuun...my PT and I are fully optimistic that I will be ready and able :) I surely won't be fast, but..well...when was I ever? But then again, Nuun didn't select me based on my speed to begin with. Am I right?

Speaking of Nuun and Hood to Coast, my Team Morning teammate, Tricia (who was also my Nuun Platuun teammate last year...and will again be our team's lead-off runner as I am, again, our team's anchor...probably in more ways than one :P), alerted me to some fun, new information and a chance to win some free stuff. Tricia works for the ZOOMA race series, and they are introducing a new race...

To enter a random drawing for a swag bag from ZOOMA, click here and submit your guess by Friday July 27, 2012!

And speaking of random drawings, today's random drawing right here on this blog once again proves that it pays to enter random drawings even if you're sure that you won't win.

The winner of a 60-capsule bottle of Everest Nutrition's Krill Oil is Michelle is Running with Attitude! The good ol' random number generator over at random.org spat out 38 when asked to provide a number at random between 1 and 39, inclusive. Michelle, are you just SOOOOO surprised?  :)

And stay tuned for info on the up-coming Ellimpics! You needn't be injured to participate (we do not discriminate)...but all events will take place on rehabbish equipment...elliptical trainer, stairmaster, recumbent bike, alter-G...what am I forgetting? It will be very loosely organized, but there will be killer prizes...probably one awarded for Event Most Likely to Induce Insanity (i.e. elliptical marathon, recumbent century...) and one that will be awarded by random drawing. I'll try to sort out some details...or perhaps make things more confusing...over the weekend, so look for an informational post early next week.

Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost here :)

Do you look forward to weekends?
– when I was in the throes of adrenal fatigue (which seemed like forever..because it kind of was) I actually dreaded weekends. The thought of being home alone with my kids was overwhelming and nearly incapacitating. Now that I am emerging from that fog/climbing out of that quicksand/whatever you want to call it, I look forward to them :) 

21 July 2012

How are YOU getting your Omega-3's?

If you're a whale, you're eating krill.

  • fight signs of aging
  • support heart health
  • support healthy liver function
  • increase joint comfort and support healthy joints
  • help with brain health...memory issues, dementia prevention, concentration, learning
  • bolster your immune system
  • work to support healthy mood balance

What is krill? Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans that feed on phytoplankton and are an important link in the oceanic food chain. They are present in great abundance. Small marine animals and the world's largest marine animals feed on krill. In fact, the bulk of the largest animal on the planet's diet is krill. The blue whale will consume upwards of 40 million krill a day. It would stand to reason that krill are a nutritional powerhouse if they, almost single-handedly, can sustain the massive blue whale.

Krill. Shiny. Kind of pretty! Maybe not.

Personally, I've taken a variety of oils to try and get a plentiful and healthful supply of Omega-3's. I even tried krill oil once upon a time a long, long time ago on the recommendation of my acupuncturist. I remembered liking it a lot...but not so much liking the price tag, and I returned to fish oil and flax oil.

Why would one consume krill? Or, rather, why would one take krill oil instead of regular fish oil? In fish oil, "the omega-3 fats are found in the triglyceride form. In krill oil, they are found in a double chain phospholipid structure. The fats in human cell walls are in the phospholipid form." This means that the fats in krill oil are far more easily absorbed by the human body. Additionally, krill oil contains some vitamins and anti-oxidant compounds that are not found in fish oil.

I felt content paying less and getting less. Then, back in March when I was at the nadir of my health issues, I was contacted by a very nice lady from Everest Nutrition asking if I'd like to try out some krill oil for free in exchange for a review. Whoa! How awesome would that be? Being given a product that I had wonderful prior experience with but could no longer afford, and being offered it while I was feeling like complete and utter sh*t. I think I scared her with how fast I jumped at the opportunity.

I was sent two bottles of 60 capsules. I finished them.

I ordered 6 more bottles. Clearly, as with just about everything in life, you get what you pay for with oils.

I definitely give krill oil some credit for helping me climb out of the crap-health hole. Helping to replenish my depleted and nutrition-starved body, it worked quickly and effectively. And not only does this particular company provide an excellent product, but dealing with Everest Nutrition has been so super easy. Thumbs up for product and customer service!

Because I love krill oil so much, I am giving away a bottle of 60 capsules of Everest Nutrition's Krill Oil. To enter the giveaway, please follow Taking It On on either GFC, Twitter or Facebook and leave a comment letting me know where you follow and that you want to WIN. Following this blog in some way is a requirement of entering. If you follow more than one way, again let me know in a comment what the additional ways are. Tweeting, blogging or Facebooking about the giveaway will each net you an additional entry.

To recap, there are a total of 6 ways to garner an entry:
  1. Following via GFC, Twitter or Facebook....each worth one entry...leave a separate comment for each.
  2. Tweet, blog or Facebook the giveaway...each worth an entry...leave a separate comment for each.
Entries will close on Wednesday, July 25th at midnight. 

To learn more about their Krill Oil and see why you WANT to WIN THIS giveaway, go check out Everest Nutrition's website by clicking on their name!

Disclaimer: though I was provided with free krill oil for review, the bottle I am giving away is from my personal paid-for stash. My opinions on this product are my own. Only U.S. residents are eligible for this giveaway.

18 July 2012

Musique pour Mercredi: ThePianoGuys...and more good news.

First, the big news...

I ran.

It had been a few weeks. I think the break was a really good thing, and the gym cardio has been super helpful in keeping me fit. The first mile felt great...so of course I had to keep going. Will I never learn that lesson? Okay...I think I learned it last night. I stopped at 2.3 miles and still felt good...not great but good. Five whopping weeks to get up to speed for Hood to Coast. If you're one of my Nuun teammates, don't get nervous...

I've freakin' got this.

Second, the medium news...

I'm still feeling like a real person...and getting better every day.

I will write more about adrenal fatigue and adrenal exhaustion soon, but right now I'm just enjoying the process of healing myself. Lots of meditation. Well, I lie down a few times and day and practice "wakeful rest." Or is it "resting wakefulness." Sh*t, I can't remember now... Anyway, I feel good :)

From a site called How to Meditate Properly...
thinking perhaps I should take a look :P

Third, some non-news...in fact, third is just some


This really wowed me. A friend posted it on Facebook with the caption "just to put a smile on your face"...which I needed...and it did :)


What is making you smile today?

16 July 2012

An Art Car and Adrenal Fatigue

As I was sitting in front of my new doctor's office the other day...uncharacteristically early... I took a call from a friend who suddenly started saying...

ohmygod! oh MY God! 

repeatedly, in a very excited voice.

She started to describe what she was seeing. I interrupted to ask where this was. Turns out, it was right around the corner from where I was sitting!

I hastened over...we exchanged awesome good friend hugs...and then we delighted in what we observed.

You may remember the Snail Car from last spring and the Flying Saucer Car last summer. While this latest sighting isn't quite on the same level of engineering ingenuity as those previous two, it still pretty much rocks...

You may be thinking...
Big whoop. It's a freakin Honda CRV. Pshhhh...no biggie.

But look!

It is entirely covered in DUCT TAPE!

So... a Duct Tape Car.

I'm guessing they aren't worried about the paint job.

And the answer to the $64,000 question...What the heck has been my problem since forever?

Looks like it's been 'Adrenal Fatigue.' This is not a medically recognized condition...which to some degree is a real shame. If you go to a 'regular' doctor, they most likely will not diagnose anything until it progresses (or you degenerate) to the point of you being seriously bedridden and incapacitated. I'll definitely write more about it, but if you want to do some digging around on your own, google searching 'adrenal fatigue' and 'adrenal insufficiency' is a great place to begin your education ;-) It is estimated that approximately 80% of the adult population suffers from this to some extent. There are 4 distinct stages and several sub-stages to this unrecognized-illness. I'm providing a link to a list of 18 symptoms. For me, it's been really helpful to know that it is real and, most importantly, it is treatable. While I'm not out of the woods yet, I am feeling like a real person for the first time since...well...forever.

Thanks, all of you, for the sweet emails and supportive comments. You make this journey so much more bearable :)

11 July 2012

Nothing new to report. Attention-grabbing, I know.

I like to blog when I have something to say.

I usually have a whole lot to say (yes, its value is debatable), but lately I really haven't. I can't attribute it to Blogger's Block. It's more of a "life sometimes rides you a whole lot harder than you planned" kind of thing.

I've recently come upon information that explains a sh*t-ton about my health issues. I'll be creating a post of some sort on that. It will be interesting and informative and some of you may be very helped by reading it. It will take thought and organization and time...all in short supply during summer vacation with four kids all up in my Kool-Aid.

I'm still climbing and loving it. It has been a great way to 'get out of myself' and focus on something very intently that holds no charge. It is strange to me how it 'feeds' me in that way. My friends are trying to convince me to enter our gym's 'competition' this Friday, but I think I want to keep climbing just about me and my journey. Did you just gag? Yeah. Well, I don't think I want the stress of competition to enter the Zen that is my climbing experience.

I'm still working out on the elliptical and the stairmaster and loving it. I have no plan with it...I just go in with a rough idea of what I feel like doing or have time for and sometimes I stick to the initial idea...and sometimes I don't. I tackle them between 2 and 5 times a week and spend from 33 minutes to two hours mindlessly grinding away. I feel remarkably fit and very strong. On the machines. Wishing it translated into running. I keep saying that...

This weekend I will start running again. It will be interesting to see what I come up with as far as a training plan. The only running-related thing on my horizon is Hood to Coast with Nuun...Team Morning :) My objective is to run as fast as I can without injuring myself enough to warrant hospitalization, crutches, or not being able to ambulate effectively once the swellings, cramping, and soreness calm down ;-) I figure that if I can get my road mileage up to a 7-8 mile 'long' run and start cranking on the Big Hill again, I should be able to achieve my objective.

My kids are being just awesome this summer. Except for some preteen attitude crap which is par for the course with preteens in the house. I've adopted a zero tolerance stance. They are responding...sort of.

I will leave you with this chunk of cuteness...because every post should have a picture, right? And want to thank all of you awesome readers who are still hanging in with me. I've been dealing with some massive stuff lately and haven't been as participatory as I would like. It's bugging me that our 'relationship' is lop-sided at the moment...please don't anyone take it personally :)

We keep trying to get rid of this pink princess talking mirror vanity thing.

My husband has hated it since the moment it entered our home seven and a half years ago...well, he hated it before he even knew it existed. Every time I hide it to take it to the consignment toy store, a kid finds it and drags it out into view. Miss C has rediscovered it and loves it. Even though the batteries are dead and it can't do the whole 'mirror, mirror on the wall...' spiel anymore...thank GOD.

So that's my boring-ass blogpost. I just wanted y'all to know I am still alive and kicking :)

07 July 2012

Some of the stuff I've been leaving out...

1. I've been rock climbing. No pictures. I need to figure out how to carry a camera (or phone) when I climb. Anyway...my instructor-turned-friend paid me a huge compliment the other day, and I am feeling so good about deciding to give climbing a try. And I climbed 2 routes rated 5.11a that evening :)  Meaningless to most of you awesome readers, but it's improvement and it's got me excited!

2. I have not been running much at all. And I am planning on organizing an Ellimpics for us injured athletes. Look for details coming soon, and submit suggestions for events. That said, I am increasing my running miles this week so my training for the EGames™ will be limited ;-)

3. I have been working out a good deal, though, and the other day set a completely pointless PR on the elliptical...speeding 3.1 elliptical miles (yes, that is 5K) in 20:03. It would be so amazing if elliptical speed translated into running speed...but it doesn't.

4. We went to the beach and everyone had fun...not just Miss C and her Squishy...

~soft frisbee necklaces, playing with sand crabs with cousins, getting buried alive!~

~boogie boarding and a wicked riptide...this was the first time in 15 years that I've gone in~
yes, it was very cold

~digging a trench...guess which picture shows the fight...hint: all four kids are in it~
they spent literally all day off and on digging this

~then they planted a really big stick~

~Big G and Miss C paid homage to the planted stick~
and that bottom left pic is what the beach looked like when we left

...and this is what we drove into. Northern California coastal summer weather at its finest! 

06 July 2012

The Vacation Post You've Been Waiting For...

Summer vacation has been going on for a whole THREE weeks. Everyone who has been reading this blog for the last 6 or more months knows what that means... school break = time to go to the zoo.

Yes, another ZOO post.

How many times can you go see the same zoo animals without wanting to poke out your eyeballs? Well, if you're three years old, there are no limits...

Happy!  :)

But if you're 12 going on 13, you've seen it all and done it all. And riding the stupid train is particularly boring...especially when your mom makes you leave your 500-page, hardcover library book in the car...

Not happy.  :(

Personally, I never get sick of the zoo. You never know when you will see something that makes your jaw drop...like an elephant penis...or something that makes you go "awwwwwwwwww"...like an adorable baby giraffe.

Baby is next to the tree on the left. See? It's the small one. ;-)

I let the kids take most of the pictures this zoo visit. I could have made several thumbnail collages of 'finger shots' but opted not to. Instead, I am sharing some very mundane animal pictures...sorry, no penises...

Left: the zoo now has 7 otters. They were frolicking wildly in the water and having a blast. It reminded me of my kids fighting, but the otters looked like they were having fun. 
Center: this is the first time EVER that I have seen the warthog. I actually used to think they were lying about having a warthog. Right: the emu was out of the corner.

We went to the Reptile Room. I try to stay out of that place because there are a bunch of 'quiet please' signs posted all over, and my kids have sign-blindness. This time, though, they begged. And were relatively quiet...and took lots of pictures. Thankfully, for the sake of the animals, without the flash...
Left: the frozen frog. Another visitor kept insisting that it was a fake...but I could see it breathing.
Center: Big G insisted this turtle is his 'spirit animal.' He launched into a 20-minute dissertation on what that means and why he believes this. I have no idea what the other 3 kids were doing during this time.
Right: super cool bright blue frog that was only photographed because I insisted it be.

Big G did eventually get with the Fun Program. He was the primary photographer and even played nicely with his little brother...

Pretending to surf on top of a swimming tortoise. 

Q-Man went on his first-ever roller coaster ride with his more-experienced sister...

...and loved it! 

And for some reason, there's this picture of dirt...

...not entirely sure what that's all about. 
And it isn't even in focus. 

Maybe I took that one...I've been having real 'focus' issues lately.

Happy weekend to all :)

04 July 2012

A City Ahead of the Times...

The City of Richmond...City of Pride and Purpose.

That is the actual city motto.

Before I lived here, I didn't even know cities had mottos.


Richmond sets trends. Rosie the Riveter was in Richmond. Which led to the innovation of daycare, as moms moved into the workforce during World War 2. It's a fascinating albeit crime-riddled, tense city with a very rich history. Where is she going with this? you are asking.

Richmond's forward-thinking ways extend to the celebration of the Fourth of July. It does its fireworks extravaganza before everyone else...on the Third. They put on the show over the water adjacent to the city's yacht harbor; the fireworks explode right over a waterfront promenade and large grassy knoll. Everyone feels like they have a front-row seat. Best fireworks-watching set-up ever...at least according to this fireworks junkie.

Yesterday was our first-ever fireworks outing with all four kids. Both of us parents really wanted to go this year, and so Miss C was decided to be old enough and we would just hope and pray she didn't get too totally freaked out...especially since she would be up way past her bedtime.

We live walking distance to the event, which meant no traffic...score! But it was super blustery, and the kids started complaining early on. Fortunately, the excitement of what was going to happen quieted them as we got closer to the viewing area. Maybe 'quieted' isn't the right word...perhaps I should say quelled the complaining.

None of these blanket shenanigans were, in any way, quiet. 
I was very grateful for all the open space...this would have been disastrous in a crowd!

It was crazy windy, but there is a playground right there which did a great job staving off the boredom and discomfort of waiting for the show to begin.

So windy, she had to hold her hood on.

We had a good hour to fill...lots of sliding and swinging... 

Mommy...I just peed. My whole pants.
(That means she emptied her bladder until her whole pants were wet)

I must say that her timing was impeccable. We had just enough time to clean her up and change her clothes before the fireworks really got going. 

One happy Third-of-July Girl!

Okay...so everyone knows what fireworks look like...but I promised Big G that I would put his photos in a post. I was most impressed by how well he has perfected the 'Finger Shot'...

These ones came out a bit better...I especially love the blurry one :)

He liked these ones because the first one resembles some sort of mystical something and the other two look like electrocuting jellyfishes...

We all agreed that it was a blast (ha ha ha) and can't wait to go again next year. If you are ever in the SF Bay Area on July 3rd and want to see a kick-ass and enjoyable (not a total zoo like most) fireworks display, definitely head over to the Richmond Marina.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Independence Day :)

03 July 2012

I shall call him 'Squishy,' and he shall be mine...

...and he will be my Squishy.
– Dory, Finding Nemo (2003)

Yes, that is a jellyfish...a fragment of a jellyfish, anyway.

Want to entertain a 3-year old for hours? 
Give the child a jellyfish and a 5-gallon bucket of sand!

The only thing I might do differently would be to put sunscreen on her sweet, little arms :(

Sometimes the jellyfish needs a spanking.

Mixing things up with teeny, tiny sandcrabs that cannot be seen in the photographs 
keeps the interest going all day long :)

She had so much fun.

Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? 
– Yes, and it stung like crazy!


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