Sunday, June 28, 2009

Secret No. 9: Gu Can Be Good Almost Anytime (AKA My Beef with Meijers and Their Funk)

So Meijers for those of you who are not from the near vicinity of Michigan, happens to be a grocery store. And not one of those grocery only types, it's a mini world where you can buy almost anything from a new toy Little Mermaid Castle for your daughter's bath to size d batteries for you baby's little birdie nightlight thing; from sippy cups to hanging flower baskets. All of which I happened to purchase today, (minus the baskets, I just can't justify spending one more dime on flowers this year, though I am so so tempted). Really, almost anything you need you can get at Meijers, which is why I shop there. I can do it all in one trip. THIS is important when you've got two little ones in tow. I have no time (or maybe patience is the better word choice) for hopping around from store to store and my children have no desire (or again, the word patience seems to aptly apply here as well) to do this either. So I'm a get in, get it all, get out kind of gal. And because I can do this at Meijers, I chose to shop there almost always. Almost.

You see there is one thing that I use on a somewhat frequent basis that I can not get at Meijers and that is gu. Gu is my choice of electrolyte replacement during my runs, well at least my long runs. It comes in a convenient little package in nine thousand different flavors (or maybe a half dozen or so, but really who's counting?). And I LOVE this stuff. Really I do. It tastes so good I swear for the love of all that's Holy one night in the heat of a desperate sweet tooth attack I almost ripped one of those puppies open and sucked it down. I swear it. The only thing stopping me was the sheer fear of what door that would open if I did. Can't you just see me now sitting on the couch with a box of vanilla gu packs watching tv? ("What? I'm gonna go run I swear. Just give me one more...") So I resisted. But it's a sweet little treat, that I look forward to about every 4 miles or so on my long runs.

But no, Meijers doesn't carry gu. So I have to drive all the way to Novi which is a 45 minute hike from my house to the nearest running store (on a very very good traffic day and anyone who's ever been in the I-275 & I-96 area knows you can get stuck there for a LOOOOOONG time for no apparent reason). Now let's pause here for just a sec so I can address all the Michiganders who are reading this and about to point out to me that there is a much closer running store. (Should you happen to know me and know the area that I live in) I don't like it. I would prefer the traffic gamble to that running store which shall remain nameless because EVERY time I walk into that store I feel like I've interrupted that lone employee's, oh I don't know, let's go with brain surgery that he happens to be performing in the back or some other very very serious task that I OF COURSE should have known better than to open the door and set foot in the store during. Seriously, every time I walk in there, though I am THE only person in the entire store (which makes me wonder how on earth it has survived for so long) I feel like I've done something wrong. So rather than patronize this store with quite possibly the worst customer service on the face of the earth, I would prefer to pack up the kiddos and head out for Running Fit where they seem to get it. Running is supposed to be fun dangit. At least when your prepping anyway, you know, before the actual running begins.

Ok so back to Meijers, it's not JUST that don't carry gu. If Meijers were void of all electrolyte replacement type products or perhaps ONLY carried electrolyte replacement beverages...well...ok then. I'd deal with it. But no, Meijers DOES carry other forms of electrolyte replacement products, cliff shot (too bulky, needs to fit in a pocket), those bean things (sorry can't chew when I run, tried it. I am not that coordinated plus I don't want to choke, knowing me I'd be the first person to ever have to have the Heimlich done while running), but the one that gets me is this: POWER GEL. GAG! I HATE THIS STUFF. Ugh, I've used it during races when I've been forced to, but now if I know that's what a race is handing out, I'll be sure to carry my own stuff. Power gel (to me at least, sorry if you're a fan, we just have very very different taste buds) has two major problems. First, it's too runny. Runny when sticky is no good. The only thing worse than power gel on a run is being sticky from power gel on a run. Second is the funky after taste. No matter which flavor you buy, it's only a cover for funk. Chocolate funk. Green Apple Funk. Strawberry Banana Funk. Tangerine Funk. Vanilla Funk. Really, I swear to you. It doesn't matter which kind of Power Gel you buy. I promise they all taste like funk. And running, at least in my book, is not the best time to be sucking down funk.

To further add injury to insult, every time I go to Meijers to get groceries I've got to walk down the funk aisle. There's no avoiding it. Right down the way from it is my favorite recovery drink (and morning meal replacement drink...slimfast optima chocolate, if anybody cares). So I've got to look at that funk and be reminded that I am forced to drive 45 minutes away because Meijers refuses to carry the good stuff, the oh so good stuff. (I growl under my breath every time, one day in a fit of rage, or rather a protest for runners everywhere I just might knock that junk off the shelf or NO even better I'm going to mix those little boxes of flavors all up! Because if all you people everywhere would just stop buying that garbage, they would be forced to find another product to stick on their shelf which could happily be my precious gu. So if you ever happen upon a disaster scene in the power gel aisle you'll know who to blame or thank if you are by chance a fellow gu supporter.)

Which leads me to the
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Are there people who LIKE Power Gel?

PS. Gonna need a do over on my long run tonight. Only got 4 of 14 miles in :-( I am now faced with an almost 9 month old who sits up and is working on pulling herself up. Not such a good thing in the crib, she gets up but can't quite get down without smacking her head. After taking two flights of stairs up from the basement multiple times during the first 4 miles, I figure tonight it's just not happening. Next option tomorrow AM with a backup last chance option of tomorrow PM although the chances are I'll be facing the same fiasco tomorrow night so looks like I ought to get to bed eh?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ok I'll Admit It...I'm a Whimp

Yep. You read that right. It's officially official tonight. After a day of being out in the 90 degree heat with my kids over at Nana and Papa's house, (that's right I take my kids out to play in 90 degree heat despite the fact that they are only 3 years and 8 months. I figure add water, sunscreen, and of course a popsicle and there's no day that's too hot, well at least not here in Michigan anyway. It's not like I live in the Mojave or some other desert like place with face melting temperatures.) I was pooped.

Luckily for me, so were the kiddos. They were both out only about five minutes after I pulled out of my parent's driveway (it's amazing btw how a little girl can go from talking 100 miles an hour to drooling in her sleep in the blink of an eye). I got them both from the car into their beds (or crib rather for the baby, no moms freak out on me here, my 8 month old's not in a bed just yet) without barely a sound from either of them. This was good because I had 5 miles to run. But it was only 7:30 and my newly planted flowers were looking a tad thirsty, so I went ahead and decided to give them a little drink first.

And it was about this time that the heat smacked me right in the face. Seriously. I mean it was even a little hard to breathe and then I realized how plain wiped out I was from being out in that sun all day (or most of the day anyway). Which got me to thinking, maybe I should skip the run? (Why is it that I almost never ever want to start a run? I love it when I do it...well, once I get to about mile 3 or 4 anyway. I love it when I finish. I love thinking about it. I love talking, or blogging anyway, about it. I just frequently am not excited about taking those first couple steps. )

Anyhow, I was actually already sweating from standing in the driveway holding a watering can. And as I went about my watering, I debated whether or not to run my 5 even with a peppermint patty on the line. NO! you say. Yes, yes it's true. Even the peppermint patty was not enticing enough because of the heat (just wait 'til you hear have no idea how stupid this is going to get. I promise I will not disappoint).

Then I look up...and you will never guess what I see. Never. (So I suppose I should just tell you then eh?) There is the sweet couple across the street with their two year old baby girl (who's adorable I might add) and what are they doing? Well, she is busy hooking up one of those little...oh man I don't know what they're know, the thing you can hook up to the back of your bike, that looks like a little tent on wheels, that you put your child in to pull them along on your bike ride. AND he is stretching because he is...that's right...going for a RUN in the sweltering 90 degree heat (ok maybe by then it was 88, but it was still friggin' hot), not to mention that she is about to pull what, like 30 or 40 pounds behind her on a bike.

Now, here's where it gets stupid. I am watching these preparations, as I stand pouring sweat, literally, drops are falling off of my forehead and I'm in a tank top and shorts I might add, debating whether or not to go run. OH WAIT! Did I forget to mention that I was going to be running INSIDE ON A TREADMILL. Oh and not only inside on a treadmill, it gets far better. I was going to be running inside on a treadmill in THE coolest room of a house that's air conditioned, on a treadmill with fans that happens to be strategically placed directly under an air conditioning vent. One which also happens to also have cup holders where I can conviently place my chilled to slightly this side of ice water. THIS my friends is why I am a whimp. Because I was the one debating whether or not to run while the neighbors just flat out went and got it done without all the fluff and frills that happens to accompany my running when my husband's not home to watch the kids and I've got to tackle the miles in my basement.

Now, I have no idea if my neighbors will ever read this. I have lost track of all the people my husband tells to go read my silly blog. But if they do, I have just got to give them mad props and say I am so not worthy to even cut the timing chip from your shoelaces.

So I'll give you one guess whether or not I ran tonight... Now I'm off to go fold three loads of laundry. Because I don't know why, but the laundry fairy refuses to visit my house. No matter how many times I leave that load in the dryer she never folds it or puts it away. I even stick it in a basket for her sometimes and throw another load in, but still she never ever comes. Why? Why won't she come?

These and more of life's great unanswerable questions next time...

P.S. Speaking of questions, we need another question of the week (that would be a random question on a random, but usually running related topic, randomly announced on random weeks for random discussion in the comments) hmmm....I'll have to think about it, only specifics are coming to mind right now ;-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cheating...for a Cause

So after much's the story about the race this past weekend, The Run for the Unborn on Grosse Ile MI. First off you should know that this event was the brain child or a 12 year old girl named Emily who organized the whole thing (with the help of her mother and church youth group of course). At an event they hoped would have 50 people, they ended up with far more and they raised over $5000 for a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Not to shabby for a 12 year old eh? That'll buy an awful lot of diapers.

This was the first of a hopefully annual event and although they did a stellar job in my opinion for a first time event, especially since they had no prior experience with races, there were a few kinks to be worked out.
The race got started a tad late, which can often times be expected at any number of races across the country regardless of the size. I was going to push Madelyn in my jogging stroller on the 5 mile course and things were supposed to get kicked off at 9AM, but we didn't get called to the start until around 9:15. At the start, Emily, the young lady who planned the race, did a fantastic job of thanking the participants and giving directions to the crowd of antsy runners/walkers. Part of which was an announcement that the 1 mile would start first and the 5 mile would start 20 minutes later. No big's all for charity. It's not like the race was advertised as a fast flat chip timed course with awards going 3 deep in 5 year ages groups and a prize money for breaking the course record or anything. We all knew when we signed up this wasn't the place to pr rather the place to have fun and raise money.

Just two least for me. I had gotten my 8 month old up pretty early to get the family up, packed and out the door to make it in time for the race at 9AM which meant that that same 8 month old would be needing a nap at about 9:30 and she was already beginning to show it. You see my Miss Madelyn is a very easy child. Lay her down in her crib and she goes to sleep. Take her for a car ride or out for a little jog in a jogging stroller and she'll go to sleep. She WILL NOT go to sleep in her stationary stroller waiting for me to run. That's problem number one. Twenty minutes of standing around was going to make for a very unhappy little baby.

Number two is it had already been sprinkling on and off and the skies were not showing any signs of clearing up. While happily there were probably close to 200 people in the event, only about 50 or so were in the 5 mile and knowing that I was going to be in the back of the pack, slowed down a tad with the weight of an 18 lb toddler, her stroller and a diaper bag (because, yes I am that good. I can even change a poopy diaper mid-race without even stopping no less, so I do take the diaper bag with me) I began to fear the worse...being stranded somewhere out on the island in the middle of a thunderstorm with my baby girl.

So I did the only thing I could think of...I cheated. And I forced others (my mom) to be complicit in my crime. We didn't wait the 20 minutes, we just went right ahead and got started. Ok I did ask for permission first, but still at each turn where there was a volunteer to help guide us (just a fantastic job marking the course btw!) we were ewwed and awed at because of our running prowress. In the eyes of the volunteers, we were just crushing the field and with a stroller no less (and sleeping baby, true to form, she was out by 1 mile). You should have heard the roars from the crowd as we came running up at the finish. We were 10th and 11th overall (yes that means we got passed even with a 20 minute head start by more than one person) and the first women to cross the finish line. People were astounded and it felt darn good. At least until my mom told every single one of them that we cheated and started early. Dang it mom and your conscience. So close to finally winning a race, but yet still so far away ;-)

Oh well at least Madelyn came in first in her age group. (She was the only 5 mile baby finisher)

Here's a few race pics. First my mom and Chloe, pre-race. Chloe ran the 1 mile, her specialty (as that's pretty much all her stamina will allow).

And this is Chloe and Daddy headed out to the start. Ollie ran the 1 mile with her, despite the fact that he's having knee surgery next Friday. He's pretty freakin' tough eh?

And this is me about to savor in my first victory even if it is only for a brief moment before my mom sells me out. I'm sure you can tell by my blazing speed how no one would have ever been the wiser.

And this is baby girl Madelyn, looking all rested and rarin' to go following her race nap:

'Til next time...

P.S. Tribal Running just posted a coloring page for kids. It's very cool and runner mommyish to boot. You can check it out here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I SO Get a Peppermint Patty

Maybe even two. First off there's this:

That's right. That would be the infamous light, sitting there looking all pretty in the corner of my flower bed. And who put you there my sweet little dear to shine your light for the world so bright and clear? That would be me! (I'm sorry. Did I just resort to rhyming?) I chiseled my way through apparently where the previous owners thought was a good place to lay down some concrete because, you know, everybody needs a good 1/4 - 1/2 inch of concrete about 4 or 5 inches deep in the dirt in the corner of their flowerbeds right? But no, even the concrete could not stop me today. That sucker's in there nice and tight.

Then there's this:

And This:

Now I probably should have taken some before photos for you to fully appreciate what you are looking at and the battle I waged with the help of my truly awesome parents (birthday present or no Mom and Dad, that was a ton of work today!). You see for the past 3 years I've lived here I've battled the weeds, but this year the roots on those ...(insert expletive of choice here...personally I'm going with fart lickers...just in case one day one of my daughters gets the urge to read this. I'd like them to know my creativity knows no bounds, and even under the most dire of circumstances I don't have to resort to cussing, at least not in print where there is evidence ;-) Anyway, back to the roots, they were so deep that a good majority of my weed jungle had to be dug out and not pulled. And while I was in the extract the splinter from my rear kind of mood, I went ahead and ripped out 5 gorgeous, yet fiercely annoying shrubs, prickly and prone to developing a ferocious carrot sort of weed that simply would embed itself so far into the middle of the shrubs' roots that really the poor bushes (as well as my hands, arms, and legs) didn't even have a fighting chance.

Then there was another half dead bush to remove, my annuals to finish planting, the landscaping paper, and mulch. All this in the hot hot sun, that was not supposed to be out today (I listen to the weather man, why doesn't the sun?) And really there's two other sections that had a little TLC today, but the pictures didn't turn out too good because of early evening shadows. And of course we can't forget Chloe's precious butterflies:

She is a big fan of butterflies. There ain't a one she won't try to catch and purple and green are her favorite colors. So when we stumbled across this lovely at the store it was a no brainer...the finishing touch for our renovated flowerbeds. They are now truly our own.

Yada yada yada, I know this is not the reason you're reading my blog so let's get onto the running. After finishing my nearly miraculous landscape transformation, and putting my girlie girlies to bed who for some odd reason were extra wound up tonight (they're like bloodhounds man...they sense a tired mamma and they attack.), I headed downstairs for a 3 mile tempo run on the treadmill.
Feeling extremely accomplished already with all that outdoorsy work in the bag, I decided to push it a bit. I remember reading somewhere in the wide running world that your tempo run ought to be about 2 minutes or so faster than your long run (actually, was the other way around, long slow run 2 minutes slower than tempo, but same thing). And slowly, but surely, my long slow distance runs have been creeping a bit faster. I'm down to about 11 minute miles or so. Now I'm no math genius or anything, but even I know I can't in good conscience keep hanging onto these tempo runs at 10 minute miles if my lsd's are going to be faster. Time to pick it up a touch. They ought to be at about 9 minute miles or so (Yikes! for me anyway...all you fasties out there keep your snickers to yourself. Eight months ago when I got the A Ok to run again after the birth of my 2nd daughter, I remember 12 minute miles being way too fast).

So here's the pat myself on the back I get two peppermint patties tonight moment:


8:57 minute mile pace to be exact, but still...sub 9. Yessssssss!!! This is big potatoes for me. Huge. Maybe in fact some other kind of root vegetable that's larger or at least a potato that's been genetically altered to grow say the size of a small cow (oh yes, didn't you know? NASA works on all these kinds of things secretly, so as not to cause panic. In fact, I may have said too much....back to running, nothing more to see here). And while the first two miles, bit the big one, by three I was in the zone. I was finished, but I was in the zone and could have gone on, at least a little bit. So I know it's only 3 miles and all, but let me tell you that a 4:30 Chicago marathon goal is looking a little less hazy for me now.

Oh and the peppermint patties...I started that way back when, sometime before my daughters but after college. You see, I luv luv luv peppermint patties. I needed some incentive to get back to running(it's always the getting back into it that's the hardest part for me), so I decided to reward myself with a mini peppermint patty after each run. I was into eating healthy then (as I am attempting to do now) and so I was not eating sweets except for that teeny little minty chocolate piece of Heaven. No matter how tired I was, I couldn't resist the peppermint patty. I'd always get up and go run, often begrudgingly, but still, I'd go run. I've used them on and off as motivation and since you all heard of my lack thereof following the Bayshore 1/2, I had to call in the big guns (big candy guns that is). I've re-instituted the peppermint patties. And every once in awhile, when I am especially deserving, I'll break protocol and award myself two. Tonight, was a two peppermint patty night.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of my weekend 5 mile race. It was a charity race that I...cough cough...cheated on (under breath vaguely audible), but it was mighty fun all the same.

'Til next time...

May you each have your own two peppermint patty run!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Problem With Runners

Generally speaking (which means look out I'm about to toss out a stereotype), runners are goal oriented kind of people. We run for a goal, a particular time, distance or speed. Now there are of course those few Zen guru runners, who just toss on the shoes and head out the door for no particular allotted amount of time or distance and the speed of the run depends on whatever happens to be ideal for that Utopian running moment. But I believe these runners are few and far between, hence the whole market for Garmin Forerunners (have you priced those puppies btw? YIKES! I'll be sticking with my $20 Target model and my dad following along behind me on his bike tracking the miles for as long as he will tolerate me. Thanks Dad!).

But here's the problem (at least for little OCD me): this same drive and determination that compels a runner to hit his/her goal begins to drift over into the rest of everyday life and sometimes the consequences are not too good.

Take me this evening for example. I wanted to get some flowers planted after the girls were in bed since I bought them about a month ago and the poor little things can not seem to stand the teeny tiny little black annual boxes restricting their roots any longer. Fortunately for me the last hold out fell asleep at 7:30 on her daddy's lap eating a popsicle while watching Charlie & Lola during her bedtime routine (I know...what kind of jacked up bedtime routine involves popsicles and cartoons? That would be mine. But hey, re-read that one more time. That was asleep at 7:30. Thinking about going to buy some popsicles? ;-)

So I set a goal. I just wanted to have this one section of my flower bed planted before I came in. But in the middle of all this I remembered, we had bought some solar lights last year that we're pretty dang frustrating to get into the ground straight AND stable, but figured since I'm a whole year older and wiser in my planting ways I'm sure NOW I will suddenly be able to get those bad boys in. So I start. La dee da. Hum. Hum. I love to plant flowers and lights. It's so fun. (really, I do like to plant for a little while at least). But the section I wanted to plant, was taking far longer than I expected and pretty soon I found myself cheering myself on, no scratch that, WILLING myself on the way I do during a run sometimes (ok almost all the time). Instead of I WILL finish this run. I WILL run 10 min miles. I WILL run to that stop sign. It was: I WILL finish planting this section. I WILL get these flowers planted. I WILL get these last two lights in the ground.

And like a crazy woman I couldn't stop. I had to keep planting, despite that fact that it was creeping up on 2 hours from the time I started, the street lights had come on, and the neighbors had all headed indoors (can't you just imagine what a freak they thought I was. "Look honey, she's STILL out there planting those stupid flowers. Can she even see?") And all the while I willed myself on. Until finally, I was on THE very last light, the last thing to do before going inside. And as I dug in the dark, matching every shovel full of dirt with a swat to the leg to end the life of a sorry mosquito who chose the wrong sucker while the devil ants that inhabit my flowerbeds (seriously, why do mine have teeth?) began their own charge inside my weeding gloves, I heard a CHINK as my shovel hit something solid. I tried to shovel around it. CHINK CHINK CHINK. Soon I ended up going from digging on my knees to a frustrated flop on my behind.

While the runner in me wanted to go get a flashlight and get that last stinkin' light in the ground to hit my self assigned goal, I realized something (picture light bulb over head here...ironic considering if I had a light bulb handy I would have been able to see all along and perhaps been able to avoid or remove the chinking culprit) I WAS NOT RUNNING and while running has taught me much about how to persevere in life, perhaps even more than anything else (at least that I can think of right now...I am kinda tired though so take that with a grain of salt...what does that even mean? Sorry, I digress...), SOMETIMES it is OK to throw in the towel, or put away the shovel and call it the big Q (dare I say it?), quits. We just have to know the difference between when quitting is the smart thing or the weenie thing to do and for mammas especially this can be a hard concept to grasp. Since we are always pretty sure we can do it all.

So here's my new philosophy...I quit when necessary and SOMETIMES it IS necessary. Because as of late, I've been doing far too many things for the whole world and spreading myself a wee bit too thin where it counts. But never fear I still promise NEVER to quit when it's NOT necessary.

And while I'd like to continue on and tell you all about my race Sunday, and where I've been the past week when I wasn't posting, it will have to wait for another day, because I QUIT! (at least for now besides this post is too long already anyway. Time for you to get on to other things and me to get to bed)

'Til next time...

Trim the fat...quit something unecessary!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Free Running Shirts...Will It Ever End?

So I've been twittering (think this should be another one of my dirty little secrets?). And before you start ranting about why you hate twitter, (some people seem to be very passionate about this I've discovered), just know this...I kinda like it AND more importantly I've found a little sumptum sumptum (or something something for those of you who are slangily chanllenged) for you all in the process.

It's a new little website called Racevine and by new I'm talking only about a month or so old. This website is all about races, right now marathons, half mary's, and triathalons, but soon to come other races including 5KS. And the best part is, the race reviews are all written by runners like me and you so it's the cold hard facts as brutally honest as they may be (you will no longer be able to hide your hills Bayshore! And as of tomorrow when I sit down and write my other reviews neither will Detroit or the Martian 1/2).

The reviews are pretty easy to do as the fellas over there at Racevine have done most of the hard work for you already, but you still get to make a few comments if you so desire.

Here's my Bayshore 1/2 Marathon Review on Racevine to give you an idea.

Now here's the thing: If you can write 10 quality reviews about marathons, 1/2 marathons or triathalons that you've done, Greg from over at Racevine is going to just give you a FREE TECHNICAL RUNNING SHIRT!

Now that sounded like a pretty good deal to me, which is why I thought I'd pass it on to some of my most favorite people to take advantage of. Feel free to thank me and lavish your praises in the comment section.

'Til next time...

May your laces stay tied :-)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Wait just a second. Let's think about this here for a moment and be smart. This blog is being fed in snippets to a number of locations out on the internet and if I just go straight ahead and announce the winner of our Follower's Contest right at the get go, what incentive will people have to click the link and come on over here. It would be like putting whether or not Jack Bauer dies in the previews for next season. Who would watch the show? So basically what you have here is me filibustering until I believe I've got enough typed that we've reached the click here for more length on Facebook, Squidoo, and various running sites around town. I think we're about there. Maybe not yet. Ok now...


That's right...The sneaky little diva with her crafty little plan is walking away with her very own runfastmommy shirt. Is she a mommy? Why yes! Of an almost two year old in fact. Does she run? Did I mention she has a two year old? So I think the answer to that question would be non-stop.

And while you all are just finding out, right now who the winner is, we actually had a private medal ceremony earlier in the day with the top three finishers. Don't worry I had a picture taken:

That would be Beth at the top of the podium shouting ecstaticly for joy at being the inagural contest winner. On her right is Cathy, she definitely wasn't thrilled at coming in second as you can see. For starters, she doesn't even like flowers and secondly, she's not too sure that medal is even real (oh it is Cathy, it is). On Beth's left is my mom, Kathymphelps, while in all actuality she tied for third, we decided to go ahead and give her the bronze since she by far makes the most comments on the site. But we did go ahead and invite Runsis and TeriLynn just for fun. That's Teri peeking out from behind Cathy in 2nd place, she's about to push Cathy right off the podium and make a big scene. I'm hoping that dude over there with the video camera caught it all on tape. I've got no idea who he was, but he was filming the whole time. I'm sure it'll surface on YouTube later. And Runsis is the really annoyed looking dark haired girl in the background. Yeah, she wasn't too thrilled about the whole not getting the medal thing either.

As for me, I'm the smiley one with the dress on holding the empty medal tray. I really wanted to look nice for the occasion and I'm fond of hats, so... Oh and pay no attention to the whole Athens 2004 in the background and on the podium. They were our contest sponsor. It's a vacuum.

So that's pretty much it. Now I'll just need Beth to go check out our zazzle shop, tell me via email which shirt and size. Then I'll just need her address to send her the shirt, her phone number in case there's a problem, her birthdate, mother's maiden name and of course her social security number and she'll have that shirt as fast as she can say (as long as she has a really slow stutter that causes her to take oh about 7-14 days to say it in). And now it's time to think of another contest, I'm thinking something to do with funny running stories. Hmm...........
Stay tuned.

'Til next time.

PS. In case you're wondering, I DID get the long run in today. SO TAKE THAT FAT PANTS! I believe that would be 1 point for the skinny jeans :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Secret No. 8: My Recovery Time is Far Too Long (AKA Sticker Face & Semi-Nap Vs Skinny Jeans)

I am having a problem, so pull up a seat with a notepad and lower your glasses to the bridge of your nose, while I lie down on the fairly uncomfortable leather couch and talk it out a bit.

I can not seem to get started again. I'm like that rusty old lawn mower you keep turning the key on thinking that magically THIS time it WILL start, but you just can't ever seem to get more than a little ni ni ni ni niing out of it (in case you are not familiar with mechanical terms, ni ni ni ni niing would be the sound in my head spelled out phonetically of said lawn mower not starting due to some unforeseen problem. Perhaps your lawn mower makes other sounds, but that is exactly how mine sounds. Exactly.)

I seem to recall this happening after the last 1/2 oh so long ago (March) too. I stalled making myself up a new running schedule and then once it was made I skipped a few runs at the beginning before really getting down to business. You see, I got a couple of meager 2 or 3 mile runs in last week. But this week, I was supposed to start on Tuesday my official Chicago Marathon training (official as in the little schedule I made up for myself officially documented on a pretty little Microsoft Word calendar where I can check off's the box checking that makes it "official." Runs without boxes for me do not count. I NEED boxes to check. I'm a freak. I know.)

But sadly this did not happen, I skipped Tuesday and instead opted for a little "quiet time" with my 3 year old. She watched a movie and played with stickers while I sat with her and took a semi-nap. And I know what you're thinking, semi-nap? So let me define. A semi-nap would be when you actually are, to steal a line from my daughter, "just resting your eyes." It goes a little something like this: you sit in your lazy boy with your 3 year old tucked in tightly beside you and close your eyes. You are still keenly aware with your mommy superhero powers of all that is happening around you, including the lastest escapades of Charlie & Lola (I really absolutely extemely must need glasses Charlie as they are my favorite and my best...any Charlie & Lola fans out there?), your 8 month old squirming in her crib as she decides whether or not to continue on with her nap, and your 3 year old's very serious attempt at a new Guiness World Record, to be the youngest and fastest person to cover another person's entire body with stickers, beginning with the face (hence my new name: Stickerface). Now mind you, she did ask for permission before starting on this quest, which I frankly was happy to give because I knew this would keep her fully occupied for at least a good 10 minutes. We're still waiting to hear back from Guiness. Not sure if the record will count because I called a halt to the attempt when she started putting stickers on my eyes.

That was Tuesday (oh and in the evening I opted for popcorn and I'm a celebrity get me out of here. See I told you I was a freak. What other insane person watches that show but me and Conan O'Brian? And he only watches it to make jokes about it). Wednesday I got in 3 miles and weights as scheduled. Go me! Thursday I was thwarted by a 3 year old with an allergic reaction to sunblock. Benadryl, by the way, may cause drowsiness OR excitability. Kind of a craps shoot eh? I'll give you one guess which one my little angel opted for until about 10PM or so no matter how many baseless threats I threw her way. Finally, I took off the running shoes as it seemed far too late for speedwork. I figured I'd get it in today.

So did I? NOPE. I even had a babysitter over here, but some work I had to do for a charity took far longer than expected, followed by dinner and tooling around downtown Monroe with the family. So tomorrow will I make it up?, an all day affair. Which leaves me only with my long run on Sunday. Ugh.

Here's the thing about me and the re-start...I know what's coming. I've trained for a marathon before. I know what lies ahead and once I get started, there's no skipping runs or workouts for me. I just don't do it. So I'm thinking the longer I stretch this recovery thing out from the Bayshore 1/2 the better. But how long is too long? How long can I actually seriously get away with convincing myself that I'm still "recovering from my race?" sometime last week that chicken flew the coup. Now I'm just getting dangerously close to that place. You know the one. The one where you reason yourself onto the couch night after night with some lame excuse (that is in all honesty never really good enough) which is immediately followed by the guilt, followed by more reasoning...then more guilt. Until suddenly and oh so sadly you find yourself having to drag out that rubbermaid container with your fat pants in them.

So here's what I am going to do. I am going to give you all my solemn oath. I WILL NOT be putting the fat pants back on. No in fact, I am going to give it a valiant effort to get back into my skinny jeans. And that means it begins with this long run on Sunday of 8 miles. I will check the boxes one by one on my way to Chicago. I will be adding in one day of cross training. And I will be giving up those seemingly irrestible sweets I love so dearly and going back to my teeny little miniature (I swear the little ones) peppermint patty rewards I give myself as a treat following a good run. "So it is written so it shall be done..."but not until Sunday. (I need a day to properly prepare for my healthiness).

'Til next time...

P.S. ONLY ONE MORE DAY TO WIN A FREE SHIRT! The followers contest comes to an end on Saturday, June 6th (tomorrow) at precisely 11:59:59PM. Will Beth walk away with the tech shirt in a virtual steal with only 3 followers? The clock's ticking...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It Would Be a Pure & Utter Shame If I Failed to Mention...

A Jogger's Life-I've been following Elisabeth along on her blogging journey since I first started mine and she was back on her old blog writing about culture clash cooking and a failed attempt at pierogi's. Being that I'm a runner and Polish this of course intrigued me. But since that time, she's moved on to bigger and better things and is now blogging about the likes of Rutabaga Fries, the funniness of Fartleks (good one to read if you'd like some running terminology explained by the way), and exposed Greek Honey Nut Spread for what it is despite how misleading it's clever packagers may have been in attempting to distract it's purchaser from the actual product (no offense to the makers of GHNS, nor to anyone who might enjoy said product, I have never tasted it and am simple taking Elisabeth's word on it here, but still...I'm thinking it's not worth the calories when there are much more chocolatey things I can ruin my daily diet with). This one most certainly falls into the category of best funny running blogs.

So how is it that I missed this little gem last night? Delirium. I can only describe it as sheer and utter delirium from hours and hours of staring at my computer screen and having to re-write after one foul swoop of the keys took out almost my whole post (why is there no back button on the Blogger compose text box for Pete's Sake?) So it was sheer and utter delirium that caused me to accidently leave off one of the very first blogs I began following on the awards list last night. And while officially, I have reached my limit of One Lovely Blog Awards to hand out, unofficially (but yet still in my capacity as RunMom) I am giving her my own award. Which I will be calling the This Blog Freakin' Rocks Award. So here's to you Elisabeth and your gnarly blog...

P.S. That is actually 14 karat hand crafted gold modeled in precisely your image on a base made of marble granite in case you were wondering... I spare no expense.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Higly Coveted OL Blog Awards

Perhaps you've noticed my recent absence in the wild internet west lately. While it may have appeared that I had quietly slipped back into anonymity, the truth is I was hard at work on two projects.

First, graduating from the Rocketmoms, a six week school on the ins and outs of Squidoo.

The deadline for my final project was June 1st (yesterday) and at 11PM in the midst of raging thunderstorms (ok maybe it was a fairly light rain, but there was lightning I swear) I finished and with an hour to spare no less, my final project, a lensography, called They Made Me Do It.

And the 2nd far more time consuming task than I had ever imagined has been a project for you all, the One Lovely Blog Awards. You see after finishing Bayshore, I was so graciously awarded perhaps the best prize of all by one of our dear followers, Sarah, a blog award which she posted prominently on her own blog. But upon receiving this award, I was also entrusted with a sacred duty. It is now my responsibility to carry the torch on and pass this award to some other deserving souls. Being that I take everything in life very seriously, (as no doubt you can tell from posts about port-a-potty wars, polarizing treadmill dots, and of course there's the Gatorade Conspiracy) I have been on an intensive hunt to find you only the best of the best of running blogs and mommy blogs and running mommy blogs for your reading pleasure (well the best in my book anyway). What I was somewhat shocked to find is just how many running mommy blogs there are in the world out there. I kid you not I looked at at least 50 without even hardly scratching the surface. In fact, there may have to be a yearly OL Awards if I am in fact ever going to make a real dent in giving all the little gems out there the awards they so rightfully deserve. But alas, for tonight, the rules of this ceremony limit us to just 15. So without further ado I present to a bevy of bodacious bloggers this award:

Get Off Your Butt Blogs (AKA The best of the motivational running blogs)

The Great Umbrella Heist - Yes, this is the very Sarah that handed me my blog award but before you cry nepotism, you should know she is a runner AND a mamma of three identical young ladies who happen to be toddlers. And did I mention she still finds time to run? On top of all this she takes amazing pictures (then again she does have three gorgeous subjects) and she posts them frequently.

Run Across Alabama For Elliot- This blog is a parent's love for their child poured out in words. You have to take a look. Elliot, who is absolutely a doll, was born with infantile Tay Sach's disease at 9 months. One of the things he likes to do is ride in the jogging stroller with his dad as he runs. So his dad is running 150 miles across the state of Alabama in 4 days (July 1-4) in order to raise money and awareness for Tay Sach's. This blog is their journey.

Run 4 Kelly- Ross was one of our early followers here and let me tell you he is one funny dude! But his blog, not so much. You see Ross has been running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since 1999. His blog, like his running is for a purpose, to honor those who's lives are a battle, one that oftentimes they know they will not win, but they go right ahead and fight anyway living every minute of the precious gift they've been given leaving us all better people in the process. Ross' latest journey is cycling 62.1 miles (3,500 feet of climbing) at the Metric Century Ride to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation in honor of his cousin's 11 year old daughter, Trista who has just been diagnosed with bone cancer.

Marathon Moms of Multiples- Meet Lani, runner mom of three, training for her first marathon and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the process. Oh wait, did I mention those would be three toddler twins? Training for a marathon is not easy. It takes commitment, dedication, and time something no mom ever seems to have an abundance of. Add a toddler to the mix and your "free time" is usually exhausted to the core time. Add two more toddlers and are some kind of stud and motivating to the rest of us. You go Lani!

Marathon Mommies - This blog is a virtual running mommy fountain of youth. A group of moms, all at a variety of stages of the game training for one marathon or another. Sometimes the posts are funny, somtimes not so much, but beware, if you follow along you may just find yourself considering taking on the big 26.2 one day.

Run Like A Girl- For starters, I've got to say this might be my most favorite title of the bunch. And she has learned probably one of the hardest things for all us running moms to learn, when to call it a day. Besides all that, this running mom, who works full time, planned an entire online virtual running event in order to raise money for the Arthritis Society's Joints in Motion in honor of her 3 year old daughter, Reese, who has been diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She's truly an inspiration!

Jet Setting With The Kilgores - I can not even begin to explain the debt of my gratitude to our men and women in the military. But it is the wives at home that I truly admire, raising their children at home alone while their husband is off in a distant land putting his life on the line for the whole country. That's Christy, author of this blog, devoted wife, mother and of course runner. If that's not enough for you, you should also know that she's started a Running moms group on facebook to help motivate and other running moms. Christy, I salute you!

Snort, Snuff, Cry, or Chuckle (The best of the funny running blogs)

Run Faster Mommy-She's broken up with Mountain Dew, run with Loco Legs, and recently had her first DNS mommystyle. At the very least, Heather will put a smile on your face, but there's a good chance you'll be leaving her a LMAO or ROFL comment. And then there's the fact that her blog title is almost exactly my web address. You know what they say...great minds!

Have Baby, Will Run- Besides the fact that the tittle of her blog make me smile, there is also the fact that she wrote this: Perhaps the most important lesson learned was this: do not bring a toddler with you to do a marathon, whereby pretty much guaranteeing that no matter how many people are with you, ultimately you are still the person responsible for said toddler after completing the 26.2 mile run, in the cold, pouring rain. And that my friends is this essence of mommyhood and a lesson we would all do well to learn. So for that reason and the fact that she too has an affinity for courses with hills on them ;-) I am giving her this award.

Tall Mom on the Run- She calls her husband muscle man and her boys little studs and I love that. She's lost 70lbs of that baby weight that we discussed earlier (clings to you like a leech on a hippo, jelly on a donut, monkey on it's mamma, just to refresh your memory) and is in training for her first marathon (perhaps I should have put her in the motivating category instead eh?). Oh by the way did I mention she outruns muscle man?

Mission to a(nother) Marathon- Marlene runs for things like firefighters and chocolate. And even better she also blogs about the one topic I can not seem to stop writing about potties! She makes costumes for her races and knows what Yasso 800s are (even if she has been a track virgin for far too long). And that makes her rock in my book.

Feet Meet Street - So for starters he's from the Mitten which automatically grants him a few bonus points in my book, but add to that fact that he makes up his own words in order to encourage (and also trash talk) wannabe runners seals the deals. Nitmos is a running dad and a freaking fast one at that. Although I will fight him to the finish on the fact that BAYSHORE IS NOT FLAT! Do not miss his Con Man post, especially for those of you who are just thinking about gearing up. You know who you are!

Frayed Laces- Besides the fact that she just finished a 1/2 ironman tri-athalon in Hawaii and has some excellent pictures posted, she made an entire blogpost about snot rockets. AN ENTIRE POST! Coming from the master of kid pooping blog posts, you know I've got to give props to that.

Tall Girl Running - Two tall mammas on one list! Who knew tall running moms could be so funny! (ok perhaps I am a touch bias since I too am a fairly tall running mom). I have only one word for you on this one...Yak. (and no I'm not referring to the what you do during your tempo run that was precluded by a pre-race meal of Nachos Bell Grande and a Grilled Stufft Burrito from Taco Bell sort of yak) You just have to go read it. Trust me. I can say no more.

See Mom Run - Bethany is a mom training for her first marathon (which she's been doing while planning and prepping for her wedding I might add). But she is being awarded this glamorous award not only for being a fun running mom blogger, but also as a congratulatory prize for winning her very first marital spat...involving towels. On behalf of wives everywhere, way to go missy! You have done us proud.

And there you have choice for OL awards (this time around). I need to give a sincere thanks to Sarah for getting me started on this hunt for running blogs because it's forced me to get out of my little cubicle and meet a whole lot of really interesting people out there in the wide wide running blog world. And if you'd like to see some more cool blogs, take a peek on the left hand side of my blog roll and you'll see a few more. Hope your all able to find one or two that you enjoy. We'll chat a bit more tomorrow, when I explain to you my new stage name "Stickerface" (that's copyrighted people. Don't touch it. It's all mine ;-)

'Til next time...