Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

=Marathon a day

Could you do this? It sounds I don't know about you, but if I were these guys, I'd be awfully happy the morning I woke up and realized that I didn't have to run.

Oh, to be so young again. Of course, these guys seem to have the advantage of being mentally fit, a state of being unknown to me at their ages.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sounding Off

Okay, so I'm running this morning, with the jogger, on the left side of the street, against traffic when this guy in this little pick-up (that's Texan for truck, y'all) comes straight at me, not moving or anything. Of course, I didn't move either, by golly. So he stops. I keep going. Eventually he has to slowly roll to his left so I can get by, all the while he's shaking his head like I'm some sort of friggin' nutjob.

I wanted to say, "You know, buddy, you got a problem? Step on out and let's talk about it. Because I guarantee I'm not somebody you want to argue with. And if you're not willing to do that, well, then, let's race. Ya wuss."

But I went on my way and he went on his.

So what's the etiquette? Runningfor3? Crumbs? Andrea? Because my days of allowing of myself to be intimidated are so way far behind me.

P.S. Note to marketers: if a baby jogger cam were made available, I would purchase at least 3 in addition to recommending them to every running mommy I know. Just a hint.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Unusual motivator today

Today I was pushing the double stroller, which I avoid as much as possible.......HEAVY!!!......Anyways, as I was coming upon a hill ( we all know I HATE hills!!), I was starting to convince/ justify to myself to slow to a walk.......Just then, the running heavens opened up and had a semi-truck pass me........a semi-truck you wonder?.........Yup, the coolest one I've seen. It was a Corona truck with a bunch of bottle on the beach and it read "Beach Beer Buggy"!! That was the motivation I needed to keep my pace up that dang hill.....I had visions of bathing suits, limes, Coronas and since I am moving to the beach in less than 3 months I knew I had to keep this running thing up!! Weird, I know!!

P.S. LOVE S. Kimzey Daniels idea of a SMR retreat!! Think we could get Corona and Corazonas to sponsor us? Wouldn't those Jerseys be cool!?!?!

P.S.S. Crumbs, thanks for some travel hints, we just got back from a FL vacation and I bought some of that boxed/ no refrigerate milk for the was AWESOME!!! I found my own little trick too.....well I stole it from another (shout out to Jen!!) in my local SMR group.....I brought the training potty chair since my 3 year old just mastered the potty. It helped when he couldn't wait to get to a real restroom and it was also great when he vomited the first day of the trip. Those things can hold ALOT of puke!! ( we used plastic garbage can liners for cleaning ease).

I hope a cool semi passes you all too!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Along for the Ride

No jogging stroller running for me last week! I, along with at least half of America, was on vacation. My husband and I had the opportunity to travel to five of the National Parks in southern Utah: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches. All were amazing. None were truly stroller-friendly. That’s OK for a few reasons:

  1. My parents were watching my kids 2,000 miles away.
  2. Terrain that cannot accommodate a stroller may be dangerous for children in general, so perhaps this is a good filter. i.e. high cliffs, sudden drop-offs, etc.
  3. There are other options available because some of us are either crazy or very inspired to share the outdoors with our children.

So how else, besides a stroller, can one transport his or her child over distances and/or terrain that the child is unable to navigate him or herself?

  1. Put his/her car seat in the back of your off-roading Jeep! I thought I had seen it all, but this was pretty common to see in Moab, UT last week.
  2. Bicycle seat (front or back) or trailer. I can talk more about that another time.
  3. Carry him/her in a backpack. I have a Kelty child carrier which has traveled many miles both indoors (shopping) and out (trails). I have an older model, so I don’t remember what it is called, but, yes, it does match my single jogger. Works great for the mid-sized baby/toddler. NOT FOR NEWBORNS. Seems obvious, but I saw a lot of tourists last week… And I have jogged with the backpack as well.

I found that jogging with my 30 pound child in the pack was awkward since I felt compelled to lengthen my stride quite a bit to decrease the bouncing. He liked it, though he did burp quite a lot. It was the only way to run the particular trail I was on – having tried the same course unsuccessfully with the stroller in the past and it was a fantastic quad workout. I would try it again except that I can no longer buckle the waist strap comfortably around my waist.

Anyone else run with their child carrier backpack for longer than it takes to cross the street? Did it work for you?

You Bar

I stumbled upon my kind of nutrition bar while playing on the internet...I mean, really, my kind of bar, because I can put whatever I want into it. You Bar has an online list of bases & add-ins (much like a smoothie shop) and then you can order your customized box of 12.

It doesn't run cheap, but hey, doesn't an "Almond Butter Rice Protein bar with Pecans, Organic Sweetened Cherries, organic clover honey, coffee crystals, Organic Galaxy Granola and Spirulina Greens Infusion" sound like the kind of adventurous food I'll need for my upcoming Hash Run?

Best marathons to run in 2008?

(click dots above)

makes me wonder:

will pf changs give me food post-race? LETTUCE CUPS PLEASE!

has anyone ever been here: Whidbey Island, Washington?
Ive heard it is quite beautiful!

Apples in a seed

If you wish that a program like this had existed when you were a kid, give me an Amen and a Hallelujah! I think I've found my long last. I'll be checking into this--with the ambition of coaching--and will keep everybody updated...are there other groups like this in existence???

Wow...the possibilities are unfathomable.

Monday, March 24, 2008

To Channelmarker with love!

Brie Encroute

1 14 oz Brie round (not sliced)
1 Pepperidge Farm pastry puff
1/2 cup Seedless raspberry jam

Carefully unfold thawed puff pastry onto a sheet of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin slightly to diminish creases. Spoon raspberry jam into the center of the pastry. Place brie wheel on top of jam. Bring pastry around brie joining it on the bottom side. Remove any excess pastry. Flip brie so that the jam side is up. Use remaining dough to form a design of grapes or leaves on face of brie if desired. Using fork, make 4-6 pricks around the top of the brie. Place the brie on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 ro 8-12 minutes until the brie is browned. Serve immediately or freeze and warm in microwave before serving.


(from McKinney Woman. Article by Lorie Fangio)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why do I think Im the last one to find this?

(click the dots above)

So. Getting FASTER with my running is all about hauling my butt UPHILL?
for a mere ten seconds?

duly noted.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Race Season Has Officially Begun!

I got my '08 race season off to a great start on Saturday with the Van Metre 5 mile run for Children's Hospital. My husband and 2 boys came out with me to run the 1 mile "fun run" and having them there really made it a fun morning. The race was so much fun. The people were fantastic and everyone was having a great time. The 5 miles twisted through various streets in the Broadlands neighborhood and what made that so cool was the people who came out of their houses to watch and cheer us on. Lots of kids still in their feetie jammies standing in their driveways waving and cheering. One kid even had a huge cow bell! They were fantastic. It seriously made me want to move into that neighborhood! The race had a pretty big hill right in the beginning of it which proved to be a bit challenging but I managed to get behind two guys who seriously had the biggest calves I have ever seen. I think they were firemen or something. Whatever. Watching their calves is what got me up that hill! The weather was perfect - bright sunshine and just a bit of wind. I couldn't be happier with my finish, I came in 7th in my age group out of 53 of us with a time of 40:13. I was hoping to finish in 44 or 45 minutes so 40 was thrilling! My boys loved the 1 mile run. They got medals and t-shirts and thought it was the coolest thing ever! They even got lucky and won a couple of door prizes - a remote control plane for my 7 year old and a t-ball set for my 4-year old. How kid-friendly is that!? Oh, and nice picture right? It has become impossible to get 2 kids to smile (normally) at the same time!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

100 miles

Probably not a big deal for you 1k mile/ year runners------
But tomorrow I will hit 100 miles in my log since mid January. I can barely believe it!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not-So-Fast Food

The combined influences of having a number of friends who have just had their first – or fourth baby – and then finally passing the halfway point of my own pregnancy has led me to think back to some memorable stories about running with an infant.

I think that many people would agree that eating is a popular activity to keep the kids quiet in the stroller. Or, if you find yourself rushing everyone through breakfast to get out on your run, as I do, I’ve found it so much easier to just feed them in the stroller. This tactic, of course, is dependent on the kids being old enough to get 51% of their snack actually in their own mouth and not choke on it.

So, in the spirit of reminiscing, I’ll tell you what does NOT work:

Six months after my first daughter was born, my husband returned from a 7-month deployment and he started to train for the Honolulu Marathon. Along on a training run with him, I had to feed the baby during the 2 hour run. At about 7-months old, she was, maybe, old enough to hold the bottle in her own mouth, but as a primarily breastfed baby she just didn’t get a lot of practice with that. Here’s the problem: this is partially defrosted breast milk so it is cold, right. So there I am, running down Monserrat Ave. in Honolulu, pushing the jogging stroller, with a 4-oz Playtex bottle stuffed in my sports bra, trying to thaw it enough for consumption.

The short story is that it did not work and we had to hose off the stroller when we got home.

hello new leaf!!! once again Im turning you over.

sometimes I feel as though I (we?) are unlike many women.
I really do make the time to eat well.
I know that when I dont I feel tired, get sick, become crabby, become TIRED and Im no good to *anyone.*

that said, I need to be a smidge more encouraging? firm? nagging? (who can say) with my toddler and HER food selections.

I fear I give in too easily because Im often just happy she is eating SOMETHING.

Im going to try these.

Ill letcha know how it goes.

want something you should try for YOU?

check out this site.

one word: YUM.

Heel to Toe

When we used to run together, Dad would tell me, "Heel to toe." And I remember thinking, "Well, that's kind of silly. How else are you supposed to put your feet on the ground." Then I would sort of exxagerate the whole heel to toe thing, making my feet into two rocking chairs. I probably drove him crazy.

(He left us, you know. Got new families as the mood suited him. Writing about him is helping me to forgive him. Because I should. Because I want to be that kind of person.)

Now it's my turn to be the parent patiently coaching the tender runner.

"Heel to toe." I told her.

She's not like me, taking the words and assuming any confusion is her fault. Nope. She wants to KNOW.

"What do you mean?"

I showed her.

She tried it.

"Wow." She bounced along. "That is better."

Pace. Pace. Pace.

"But now I'm getting tired."

"That's your muscles. You're working new ones."


I love being the parent I always wished I'd had.

Heel to Toe.

Spring Gets My Mind Racing!

Ever since changing the clocks, I've been a bundle full of excitement over Spring! It's almost here! I don't know about you guys, but the idea of warmer weather always has me working double time on home projects. Cleaning, rearranging furniture, changing towels, adding accents with fun colors, you get it. There just isn't enough time in the day for all the things I'd love to be doing. My pre-running hobby was scrapbooking. Any time I had a free moment or two, you could find me at my scrapbook table working away on pages. Or just wandering around a scrapbook store. Well, every since I started running, scrapbooking has been shoved to the back burner. I just don't have the time. I'm sure some of you must have more than one hobby, how do you do it? If I sit down to try and scrap, I feel guilty because I really should be using that time to run! I'm desperate to get back into it though. Something about this warmer weather has me taking photos again (something else I shoved aside) and I'd love to scrap a few. I did find something to help save me some much needed time though. In the mail today, I received the latest flyer from Bed Bath and Beyond. In it, I found the perfect floor cleaning solution: Slipper Genie Micro Fiber Cleaning Slippers. Yup. You read that slippers. I think getting a pair for each of my boys would be the perfect time-saving solution!

Pain in the butt!

Baby #2 arrived 3 weeks ago today. I'd post pics, but since my husband is a computer geek (albeit a sexy one!) I've never bothered to learn how. If you are motivated, Miss Ainsley is available at She is as sweet as can be, and I can't wait to buy her her first pair of sneakers!
I've been anxious to get back into running, myself, but since I sat on my butt for 8 months, I've got to start slow. I'm walking about 2 miles a day and increasing my distance daily. I had a C-section, so even though my wonderful doctor has not exactly banned me from running, I'll probably wait 3 more weeks to step up the impact. I was lucky (from what I hear) to have experienced minimal pain from the start - in my abs at least! I can do a sit up almost effortlessly...but my butt hurts when I walk! It's partially discouraging...and somehow funny just the same! On the bright side, it doesn't take much to feel like I've gotten a work out in!
Any suggestions on why the glutes are burning? My husband suggested my posture has changed. Curious.

first race...

...of the (almost) spring season and since September. I used to race almost every weekend when I lived in New York City (where I grew up and lived until 1999) and was a member of the NYRR. I thought I was done enjoying the ritual of race morning. I thought I no longer cared (too much) about speed. Not that I was ever the fastest. But I had some ability.

But in the St. Patrick's Day 8K, I finished in 38:15. I was the 16th (out of over 300) in my age group (35-39), and the 100th woman overall (out of over 2,000). I am thrilled -- I had no idea I still had a little speed left. And it wasn't too hard, either. I was hoping for less than 45 minutes. I am pleasantly astounded.

Sunday was a cold one in Washington, DC -- 30 degrees with a wind chill of 19 degrees. Waiting in line for the Port-O-Potties, I overheard and joined in conversations on "Why do we do this?" I remain unsure.

I think part of it is the ritual: a ritual that is all mine, does not involve my children or spouse (but I liked it even before children and a spouse). It is a quiet ritual. I pull out my special race-day bag, my NYC Marathon 2000 backpack. I check the forecast and lay out my clothes for race morning. I set my alarm and plan when to leave so I will have enough time for two Port-O-Potty visits (yes, two). I often warm up. (On Sunday I did not. I was unwilling to give up my warm fleece to baggage check until the last minute.) I try to line up 5-10 minutes before gun time. After the race, I find the closest coffee shop -- usually a Starbucks -- and get myself the largest possible skim latte. This latter part of my ritual was particularly satisfying on Sunday -- a warm cup and tasty coffee for the walk back to the car.

My pacing is no longer what it used to be. I used to be pretty consistent. If I ran the first mile in 7:35, the subsequent miles would be within 5-10 seconds (no, not as consistent as an elite runner). On Sunday I ran a 7:50, a 7:12, an 8:00. A little wacky. But I don't care so much about pacing anymore -- I just check in, "Does this pace feel okay? Can I keep this up? Speed up? Slow down?"

Maybe I can do that half-marathon on March 29 in sub-8:00s...

Oh, and on race morning of the 8K, but unrelated to the race, see what I did at 6am (5am without the "spring forward") to save my car.


Update #1: I conquered red wine!! Well, sorta of.... I find if I mix it with Acai/ raspberry juice it is quite tasty. Now I can get a double shot of antioxidants.

Update #2: Trail running...........For me, it was like childbirth. The entire time I was wondering what the heck I got myself into and "swearing" ( in more ways than one) that I'd NEVER do this again ( I have 4 kids soooo obviously I forgot quickly!!). As soon as I crossed the finish line, just like seeing your brand new baby, I thought, Geez, that wasn't so bad and felt pretty good about the whole thing. Will I try it again? Probably, but a different trail for sure. This one advertised to be 5 miles but was actually 5.9 ( I know.....picky,picky me.....). The real clincher was that I have never seen such steep upward hills outside of a roller coaster. There were very few downhills and of course they were muddy with loose gravel. Top off my dismay with the temperature being a balmy 28 degrees F. I HATE THE COLD---------------I HATE HILLS-------------- But I do love a sense of accomplishment plus I wasn't the last to finish ( that is about as competitive I am) . One more "good" thing: I wasn't sore AT ALL!! Hmmm....was it because I went slow ( but still all those hills!!), was it my Astavita? Was it because I wasn't on concrete or blacktop. I don't know. I was pretty pleased though. That whole pole dancing thing left me sore for days!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Not-So-Obvious List of How to Pack for a Music Festival with a Small Child

Taking a small child to a festival can sound pretty scary. There's the heat**, expensive unhealthy food, the question of napping and all the freaky people (if it's a good one). But I think it's really rewarding to dance in a field with your child, if you are prepared. In fact, I substituted it for my long run on Sunday.

While looking online to see if I'd forgotten anything, I found no help in getting ready. So, in a change from my usual posting, I've decided to write down a few things I've learned in the last 3 years of parenting-at-festivals. In addition to the usual (sunblock, water, hat), these few items can fit into a backpack (except the final two, of course).

(random video from youtube, this cute boy isn't mine)

  • Food: I don't care that festivals don't allow food. I always pack a small lunch box, aim for the security queue with a woman who looks like a mother and hope she'll know there is no joy is spending 12 hours with a toddler living on corndogs & coke. Pack an apple, a banana, a PBJ, ziplock bag of raisins/nuts/dried fruit, an applesauce & mini spoon, a few boxes of Parmalat (boxed milk), water cup. Add a granola bar for you or whatever you need to keep you from your own melt down when you're tired and sick of waiting in the burrito line for 45 minutes. Bringing food for your kid is legit - they know you'll still spend money on beer and kettle corn.
  • Earplugs/Studio Headphones: It's so very loud, even in the back, so cover those ears so you have at least the option of heading up front with the wee one. Great for naps, too. If you don't have studio headphones or Bose sound canceling headphones, bring several pairs of the foam plugs since they are easy to lose (and oh so cheap, and I guarantee you'll be asked by another desperate-looking mother if you've got extra).
  • 2 changes of kids clothes in Gallon Ziplocks: tightly folded in large ziplock - put everything in it's own ziplock. When the chaos of the fest hits, individual see through bags make it easy to sift through. The ziplocks can be used to hold trash later.
  • Pajamas: tightly folded in large ziplock. Dress kid in PJ's as you leave venue & pray for sleep on ride home. Leave 'em in the car if the walk/ride back to your ride isn't too long.
  • Blinky Light: Put on kid when sun starts to go down and so (s)he won't beg you to buy a $12 glow toy.
  • Camera/Cell phone/Pen: Take photo of kid when you get to fest so if/when (s)he gets lost you say to staff (s)he looks exactly like this. I have a ribbon that has our info on it that I safety pin to the back of my kid's clothes and when I forget it, I just write my phone number on his arm.
  • Folding Beach Mat: I've recently discovered the absolute beauty of one of these folding mats. Not only is it totally compact & easy to fold, but you can sit in wet grass without getting wet. And if it rains or gets mud on it, it cleans up and dries quickly.
  • Small squirt Bottle: Because it's hot & water makes it tolerable. Besides, it's an activity.
  • One small imagination toy: like a truck, a couple matchbox cars, an inflatable ball, doll, or a shovel.
  • Jogging stroller: You need giant wheels to get you through the grass, mud and rugged terrain of a festival. You need a place for your child to nap. You need instant shade. If emptied of valuables, it can be left anywhere. No one is going to steal it (people leave tents, blankets and chairs near stages, your stoller is no different).
  • Prepped Car: Leave behind in the car a bottle of water (because you'll never be able to find water once you leave), bedtime stuff (blankie/animals/box of milk) and change of clothes for you . Keep an extra snack/sandwich/munchie for the ride home. You might want to have wipes (for a hippie bath) and a pillow.
Anyhow - If it sounds like a lot, it really isn't. I haven't ventured camping at a fest with my boy, yet, but that's more because I can't talk his dad into it. And of course, I only have one, so I'm sure it's easier than it would be with more children.

I'm curious to learn your "Big Event" packing strategies. Go on, share.

**I live in South Florida where the comment about heat makes sense.  For all you folks up North, this is your "In preparation for Spring/Summer" preview. 

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ask Dr. Meg - comment

Hi Ladies: I was reading the advice column regarding the Mom with the sore neck who thinks it is exercise related. It could be, but I found that it was nursing/feeding my baby that caused the painful neck. I always looked down at them and held them with my arms. A nursing pillow/feeding pillow works better and once I paid attention to my form with feeding/carrying the baby the neck pain disappeared. I've had 4 nine pound babies and they can do a job on your neck/back. I have been pain free with this 4th one and it took me that long to figure it out.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Geek and not afraid to admit it

I have a thing with words--always have. Ask my sister, my brother, my daughter, my husband, heck, just ask anybody who has ever experienced the extreme challenge of listening to me talk. On the plus side, I could talk my way out of steel trunk 200 miles under the sea. The downside is that my obsession with the expression of things--emotions, descriptions, human tendencies--causes me to miss out on quite a bit of the actual moments that, in coming together, comprise life.

Oh, sure, I can explain it all to you later but for now just ignore that glossy, vacant look in my eye.

If you think your obsession with words is as beautiful a thing as I think mine is, you'll want to check out this geek to the 100th power site.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I tried a new exercise!!

First off----Welcome back Carla!!!

Second off--- I have my first trail run this Sunday and I am SCARED!! I've never run a trail before?!?! What was I thinking??? How awful is my time gonna be?? I only pray I am not the last one to finish since IPODs are banned.......(nervous gulp...)

Now, last Saturday I celebrated the upcoming nuptials of my bestest friend ever. Being her "matron" of honor I planned an evening out to include some exercise. I put this lightly because I thought the "pole dancing" private party lessons would be a hoot for us girls before heading out on the town. It was a BLAST!! We all laughed and swung around that pole until we couldn't anymore. It was done very tastefully with nothing off colored. Our instructor was great and made us all feel at ease. Even the skeptical were having fun after a few minutes! It was definitely a workout though. We were all sore for days. I may run, even pushing a stroller with a 3 year old and 21 month old but......1 1/2 hours of limbering and total upper body strength training was challenging! During the class you just have a good time and don't realize how doing the fireman swing multiple times which entails supporting your entire weight with your arms makes your muscles scream for mercy the next day! I also thought I was pretty flexible until now too. The class had a lot of Pilates like moves made "prettier". I am certainly more flexible today than I was Saturday afternoon. If there was a studio closer to home I'd be a daily member. There is nothing like a workout that doesn't feel like a workout when you are participating......but you KNOW it the next day. The studio we went to is DIVAFIT, Check it out!! No----we didn't progress to the upside down pole position on the first visit, but I wouldn't mind getting to that level!
If you ever get a chance to try something out like this....DO IT!! You'll have a blast and work muscles you didn't know you had. If any of the locals want to try it, let me know, I'd tag along for round 2!!

"Fantasia" ( my "pole" name!!)

nothing big, newsworthy.

there wont be a crawl at the bottom of yer television screens about it.

but Im back.

a little bit.

just when I feared Id slothed off into the RUNS IF CHASED BY WILD BEASTS category.

Im back!

you may now return to your own day :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Humble Pie

Six months ago, I was fast! I was faster, stronger and lighter than I’d ever been as an adult. I was running 7 min/miles (8s with the stroller). I was psyched. THIS pregnancy (my third), I was going to be like Paula! Scaled down to human levels, of course, but there was no stopping me. I was going to run right into the delivery room this time.

Yes, well, then the “morning sickness” started. You know, the kind that actually lasts from the moment I opened my eyes in the morning until I fell asleep at night. That was a really awesome 4 weeks. Then my knee started making this really lovely crunching noise, so I scaled back even more on the miles.

Then, I got to the second trimester. Things were really looking up for about a week. I felt good; I ran; I lifted; I fixed some things around the house, and FULL STOP. When I say that “I hurt my back,” I mean I strained something, badly, where my legs attach to my lower back and could not even stand up for two days. I had to sleep in the basement because I could not get up the stairs. It took a third day of slowly shuffling sideways before I could even put one foot in front of another.

It has been almost two weeks now and things are holding together well. I jogged/walked 5 miles the other day, but it wasn’t pretty. My workouts are much reduced and as much as I aspire to run like Paula, this may be yet another walking pregnancy. C’est la vie!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Motivator

Last night, my three year old was a HERO.
He was applauded and cheered for.
He inspired dozens and dozens of people to push themselves harder than they thought they could.
He motivated a 30-something athletic man to run a bit faster than he planned on.
He helped shave 3 minutes off a young woman's Personal Record.
He sat patiently in his stroller as I raced an 8K.

Nothing motivates runners to pick up their pace like being passed by a stroller.

(thanks to Vancouver Dad for the photo)