Tag Archives: Exercise

You know you are an “insert thing you might not really be” when…

If you only stop by to hear me get weepy about my kids, skip ahead.  But if you enjoy my triathlon related rambling with a dash of bodily fluids – this one’s for you!

Observations Pre Race:

The day before my first Olympic length triathlon I had a couple of goals –   get on and off my bike a bazillion times and try not to panic about riding clipped in and get back in the water in my wetsuit and see if I hyperventilate.   Note the trend – don’t freak out.  I was dreaming big, guys.

I took Lucy into the kid room and managed to push my bike, hold her hand and hold my helmet and my shoes.  I even successfully pushed my bike from the seat for a bit, which if you don’t know, totally makes you look like a Cyclist.  It is the Grown Up equivalent of riding downhill with no hands. Not NO HANDS when you have your hands up over your head, but just the casual Big Kid in the Neighborhood hands hanging straight down and zipping down the hill with a slightly bored expression on your face kind of Cyclist.

Shoes on.  Helmet on.  Onto my bike. Rode around about ten miles, switched gears, went up and down some hills.  Came to a dead stop in an empty parking lot and decided it was do or die time. Picked a line in the parking lot and pretended that was the Mount/Dismount line. (In a triathlon there is a Transition Area where you switch from one activity to the next, you can’t ride your bike in there. Just outside of there is a line where you mount your bike on the way out and dismount on the way in.  Side note: If you have the pleasure of knowing the delightful Laura M from high school then you know that I love this line on my way out.  She is a bad mofo that supports my triathlon endeavors and I love seeing her name as I start out on the bike leg of a race!)

I told myself that I would ride to the line and dismount 25 times.  That seemed like a reasonable number.  I did it 21 times and thought “oh hell, I got this.”  And then I decided that was lame to cut it short and did it 4 more times.  And then I felt so damn good about riding clipped in that I stopped and took a picture of myself to send to my mom with the caption “Look, I might not die in my race this weekend!” And then I prepared to ride back to my car and rack my bike.

And I fell down.  Of course I did.  I should know better than to get cocky.  Falling actually thrilled me, I no longer had to fear tipping over! Bloody knee?  Check!


I hobbled into the pool.

IMG_3214 copyWetsuits are tricky.  Getting in a wetsuit on a cool, crisp morning in the out of doors looks pretty silly but you’re doing it because you’d freeze if you just hopped in the water.  Wriggling into a wetsuit poolside at an indoor community pool warrants weird looks from the pool joggers and the AquaBikers.  And when you can get pool joggers to look at YOU funny… well, that’s a win.  Swam 1000 yards before I was so warm I had to get out.  Wetsuit Success.

Into the showers at the gym.  Rumor has it chlorine is dreadful on a wetsuit so I just hopped in with it on to rinse off.  As I pulled my neckline out from my throat to let the lukewarm water run down the length of my body I immediately set a new goal.  I wanted to pee in my wetsuit.  Not now in the shower, I save that for the summertime.  But I wanted to pee in my wetsuit during the swim portion of the race.  If lukewarm water from the gym shower felt this good some 98.6 degree pee would be glorious!  (As I said above, I dream big.)

That just left packing up my tri bag and getting a good night’s sleep. Heh. Sleep eludes me on a good night.

But I did get packed.  And I did get out the door at 0’dark thirty. Did I Swim 1500 meters, bike 27 Miles and run a 10K?  Well, you will just have to stay tuned! I have to get to the gym because… well, because I am obsessed.  Determined.  Obstermined? Detessed?  Your call.

IMG_8538 copy

On the road to find out…

I did not want to run today. That happens to me if I take a day off. In my heart of hearts I am not an Exerciser. I am a creature of Habit. I like to do whatever I have been doing.  Yesterday I slept in and skipped a workout.  Hence, I wanted to do the same today.

I peeled myself out of bed and poured myself into running clothes, anyway.

For the first two miles I was only going to run four.  During the third and fourth mile I thought maybe I might run seven.  Somewhere in there my headphones died and I found myself in this weird, inexplicably flat neighborhood that I have never seen before.  And I ran and smiled and ran and smiled and marvelled at the flatness.  And then I checked the map and realized that in order to get home from there I would be running nearly nine and a half miles.

So, I settled on ten and and for the second time this weekend I just looked at the leaves and thought about what a ridiculous phrase “fall foliage” is if you say it a bunch of times in a row.

And I ran.  And I smiled some more and I sang to myself.

The seconds tick the time out.  There’s so much left to know and I’m on the road to find out.  Then I found my head one day when I wasn’t even trying and here I have to say ’cause there is no use in lying, lying.  Yes, the answer lies within.  So why not take a look now? ~ Cat Stevens

I didn’t have anything on my mind when I left the house.  Sometimes I will use a long run to tease some Truth out of whatever mess I have in my head.  But today, I was smiling when I left the house. And I just ran.  And smiled.  I stopped twice and took two pictures.



When I turned down my street to head home I had the runner’s high smile.  I felt good.  Really good.  I was still singing.

Oh I’m on my way, I know I am, somewhere not so far from here.  All I know is all I feel right now, I feel the power growing in my hair.  ~Cat Stevens

Sometimes I have to work hard to make sense of my day. Today was an easy day. I run to find my Truth.  I am now and hope to always be “on the road to find out.”  Right now the road is a literal road and my feet carry me mile after mile, sometimes closer to the Truth and sometimes not.   My Truth, whatever it is that I cling to in order to stay sane, “it lies within.”  And when I feel like I am drifting above my life and not really feeling it or participating all I need to do is Locate Love and before I know it I will be almost home.

I feel pretty lucky today.  I feel pretty lucky most days.

The Scene of the Crime

I told a man yesterday that I consider him my unofficial Pusherman.  Roughly a year ago it was him that said “And Go.”  (Pool swim triathlons have a staggered swim.  Each swimmer begins roughly ten seconds after the last swimmer.  This is an effort to avoid a total pile up as you snake up and back through the lanes.  It doesn’t always work.  More on that later.)

Last spring I pushed off the wall and started the swim leg of my first triathlon. And an addict was born.

This weekend I returned to the scene of the crime, Girls Run the World Sprint Triathlon put on by FS Series. I was excited, eager to see my own improvement over the last year.  It is hard to really compare race times to one another because the conditions are always different.  This race was hilly, that race was congested.  But I had a neat opportunity to compare the progress I have made in the last year by doing the exact same race again almost a year to the date.

So, how was the race? Well, they say a picture says a thousand words.  I think this picture below says “Holy shit, guys, third place in my age group? So, it was a small race and there were only 26 people in my age group, but holy shit, guys!” Well, to be a thousand words it would say that 35 times.

TRiathlon mama

If you are simply humoring my obsession or you have already asked me “So, how was the race?” and gotten my long-winded reply you can feel free to skip the rest of this post.  My feelings won’t be hurt at all.  Really.  I filled up my wine glass trophy enough times last night that I barely have any feelings today.

Swim: The swim is my strong sport.  It is the one that seems to come naturally to me and I have the advantage of having been a life-long swimmer. I knew as soon as we lined up that maybe it was going to be a rocky swim.  “I am not a very good swimmer, I haven’t been in the pool since I don’t remember when!” Several women around me echoed similar thoughts.  Umm.  Maybe I should have entered a different swim time?  We are lined up by our 100 yard swim times and I was conservative.  Lesson learned.  By the end of the first 100 yards there were four women ahead of me piled up on one another and it is impossible to pass that many people. I did a little breast stroke so I could see what was going on, passed a few folks when I had the chance and reminded myself of the truth I have heard numerous sprint triathletes utter –   “Tris aren’t won or lost in the swim leg.”  In the greater scheme of things being a fast swimmer gets you an early swim start and you waste less adrenalin waiting in line, but that’s it as far as it goes with respect to any kind of huge advantage.

The lap lane traffic jam was evidenced in my times.  5:47.  Last year was better with 5:24 but there was a fair amount of traffic in that race, too.  I am still too chicken to put in an ambitious pace time (sub 2 min/100 yard) for my swim for fear of getting in the way of the “real triathletes.”  Someday.

Bike:  The bike is my weakest leg. I live in fear of my chain popping off.  In spite of the great strides I have made in bicycle maintenance I am still nervous on a bike. I brake when I go downhill.  That does not a competitive cyclist make. But it’s fucking scary, guys. Gone are the days when I would fly down a hill all “Look, no hands, Mom!” I rode my hybrid at this race last year so I knew I would shave some time off of last year’s pace just by virtue of being on a road bike.  Who cares if it is a 30 year old lever shifted road bike (a sweet sparkly blue Sekai 1000, a Japanese bike circa 1980)?  It’s mine and I didn’t need a second mortgage to buy it! I am still too scared to clip in but I didn’t brake on the down hills! Progress, folks!  And my time reflects that!  Shaved just about five minutes off my bike leg.

A girl and her ten speed


This picture says “I just changed my clothes in the parking lot because since I have had two babies I no longer believe in things like privacy” or something very similar.

Run: I came into the transition area to rack my bike a little winded.  I pushed myself on the bike and I was a little nervous about the run.  I forgot my Garmin and I have never run without something telling me my pace.  I was terrified that I would burn out quickly or end up running super slowly in an attempt to make sure I could finish.  I slugged some water and racked my bike and figured “Here I go.  Fuck it, I am just gonna get behind someone that “looks faster” than me and go.”  I exited transition and as I ran past the DJ I heard the best sound I could have imagined – shitty synth drums.  I can’t figure out how to spell it out – but you know the drum lead… “Miss her, kiss her, love her…. That girl is POISON! Never trust a big butt and a smiiiile…” I was smiling alright.  Two more miles and I was done.

This race is a pain in the ass, like most in and around Raleigh.  The first mile has lots of downhills and lulls you into a false sense of security.  Grabbed water at the turn around and wrapped my mind around the fact that I had to run back up all of those hills.  My run was… okay.  I should have pushed harder. Live and learn.  And don’t run behind someone that “looks fast.”  What does that even mean?  And don’t forget your Garmin, asshole.  You are technologically dependent, accept it and move on.  Shaved just about a minute off of my run time.  Not impressive for a year’s worth of training, but I will take it.

Summary: I shaved ten minutes off of my time.  My swim was slower, my bike was a good bit faster and my run was a little faster.  My transition times showed huge improvement because I didn’t stand there doing that thing that I do at the airport where I check my pockets compulsively 800 times.  I just put my shoes on and I left.  I did the whole race in my tri-suit.  Last year the idea of riding my bike and running in what amounts to a bathing suit made me want to die.  This year (after a year in a gym locker room and a year working hard to accept and nourish the body that I have) I decided to just go for it.  And guess what – nobody gave a shit.  Not a single person shouted “Go #48!  Go, right back and put a shirt on over that mess!” Go figure.

I don’t usually talk numbers because I think the message gets lost in the details  but if you really wanted to know you could see them on the internet and the idea of you creeping around the internet freaks me out. If you are dying to see the side by side comparison – here you go –   2013 and 2014.

Am I still riding high?  No such luck.  In case you were wondering I figured out the fastest way to knock a girl down a peg or two.  I was standing around waiting for the awards ceremony (having figured out via the wonders of live tracking and smart phones that I had actually placed in my age group.) I’d eaten a bagel.  I’d changed into dry clothes.  I had called my mother.  I had a little time to kill. I walked up to the DJ booth to thank the DJ I Could Have Given Birth To Without Having Been a Child Bride. “Thanks for Bel Biv Devoe, it was right on time!”

He smiled.  It was a smile similar to the teenage checker at the grocery store.  It was the “I am humoring you because I need this job and you seem nice enough” smile.  And then he did this terribly confusing thing.  He stuck his fist out.  Slowly (thank goodness or I’d have thought he was going to punch me.) I stood there looking perplexed for what seemed like an eternity and then I realized he was, as the kids say, fist bumping with me.  I swallowed a guffaw and stuck my fist out.  And then I turned on my heel (not easy to do in flip-flops) and ran.  Because I was in hysterics.  Whatever level of cool is afforded to those that place in their age group at an all-womens popular with first-timer’s sprint triathlon is instantly stripped when a twenty something tries to fist bump you.

So, how was the race?  It was awesome.  Do I have any advice?  Train hard.  Have fun.  Get there early and you will be the first person to use your chosen porta-potty.  And stay the hell away from the DJ.

Cheers!  What do you have planned for the summer?  Fitness goals or otherwise?


And don’t even talk to me about the Diet Coke in the background. Change is hard. I don’t drink it as often as I used to.  Lame excuse, I know.  Just gaze in to my “I have had three glasses of wine” eyes and tell me how you plan to kick your own ass this summer.  It feels so good.  All the cool kids are doing it.

An Exercise in Letting Go

I am a creature of habit.  Wake up. Eat.  Do stuff.  Sweat.  Do more stuff.  Eat. Shower.  Do more stuff. Eat.  Repeat.  Last week was tough on me.  There was a lot of Eat and plenty of Do stuff but not enough Sweat.  The plan was to taper my running back in order to feel fresh and strong for Saturday’s 25K.  It didn’t work out exactly as I had planned.

I went to yoga. Twice.  The first time I went I boogied out of there before savasana.  The idea of just chilling, flat on my back for ten minutes was making me crazy.  I had a routine to maintain.  I wasn’t Sweating.  And now I wasn’t evening Doing stuff. I ran a few miles and called that my savasana.  Savasana is your Happy Place, right?  Running is my happy place.

The second time I walked in to class hell-bent on staying.  It is not uncommon to focus on an intention at the beginning of class.  “Stay until the end…. Stay until the end….” I sat, cross-legged and eyes closed, and focused on what was surely the lamest intention for a yoga class ever.  Don’t leave.  Quiet the mind? Forget it.  I just wanted to stay physically present in the room.

We were still in seated meditation when I noticed the clock was missing.  Surely it had been hung up elsewhere in the room.  I’d find it.

Standing.  We were finishing a set of sun salutations and I had managed to inconspicuously look all over the room. There was no clock.

It is hard enough for me to unplug.  My cell phone was on the other side of the room.  And now there was no clock. I had no idea what time it was.  This laid-back yoga class might just have me sweating yet.

We were in triangle pose when I started to freak the fuck out.  How long had we been here?  And I was freezing.  The class before ours had turned the air conditioning on evidently because even our teacher finally remarked on how cold it was in there.  She kicked the thermostat up and we carried on.

Through pigeon and into some seated twists.  We had to be half-way through, right?  An hour class, we’d have balance poses last in all likelihood and that would leave time for ten minutes in savasana.  I was really struggling in this absence of Time. Was it tomorrow?  Had we been here for an entire day?  Was it yesterday?  Oh my god, what in the fuck time is it?  And now I was sweating.  Like, really sweating. I took my jacket off and I could feel warm air all around me and I almost felt feverish.

In the moment that I was convinced I had eaten some kind of LSD with breakfast someone remarked that the air conditioning was definitely off but that it seemed the heat had turned on in its place.   Ahh. I was not alone in this imaginary hot flash.

Up on our feet.  Tree pose.  Dancer’s pose.  Half Moon.  Warrior III. We were almost done. And down on the floor.  Savasana, corpse pose, reflect on your intention for the class.  I made it.

We were seated and smiling.  Namaste.

I waited until our teacher had turned the lights on.  People were talking.  I opened my mouth and without any control of the words spilling out, I spoke. “So, the clock is gone.  That was kind of crazy.  It was like I was eating acid and I was all “Oh man, whoknowswhattimeitis, Ifeelsofree.” and five seconds later I was freaking out because “Holy moly, isittodayortomorroworyesterday!? Add in the whole Iamfreezing, no, waitnowIamsweating factor and wow.  That was some yoga class.”  It is common that following these bouts of verbal vomit there is a strange silence.

My teacher smiled.  “Yeah.  We are going to need a new clock.”


My desperate attempt to take a few days off paid off.  The Merge Records 25K was a smashing success, finished strong, had fun and I am not crippled! Took a short run this morning and I feel super (thanks for asking!)


Do Your Boobs Hang Low?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a serious affliction wherein a person is obsessed with some perceived flaw in their body.  The most difficult part to understand is that the flaw someone is consumed with might not even be visible to anyone else. It might not even be real.

I have the opposite of that. I am not under the false impression that I am runway thin or bodybuilder strong or movie star pretty but I pretty much stopped really looking very hard in the mirror without my clothes on when I was about 24.  By that point I had a pretty good idea what I looked like, I had a long-term boyfriend that I’d eventually marry and I had already been “the naked girl” in a play in college once, it was unlikely to happen again.  So, I just stopped obsessing over my body.  So I stopped really looking,

And then I had a baby and I was all “Holy fuck, what happened to me?” and then I got over that.  And I had another baby and aside from that one day that I took a long look at the road map that is my stomach I really haven’t done much looking since.  I stare at myself in the mirror at the gym just as much as the next person but since the invention of the wide-band yoga/running pant it’s not so bad a sight.  And really when you’re dumping sweat and lifting weights it’s hard to be too hard on yourself.

Where was I? That’s right, I have the opposite of body dysmorphia.  Instead of believing that there is something horribly wrong with my physical appearance I have this notion that I pretty much look like I did when I was about 23.  Most of the time this serves me well.  I am confident.  I am sassy.  I am not bogged down  with worrying about my aging body.  But then these horrifying moments of reality happen.  I accidentally catch a peek at the back of my thigh and think “holy shit, when did that start to look like THAT?” Or I chat up a kid in line at the grocery store and he looks right through me and I remember that I am not a spring chicken as I catch a look at myself all decked out mom-style.

Ordinarily, I let these moments roll off me and I settle back into being blissfully unaware of aging.

I was at the gym the other day feeling strong. Busted out a two minute plank and dropped to the mat.  I grabbed my phone and my water and I leaned back and looked back down to the mat and GASPED.  My tits were inches, almost half a foot, lower than my elbows.  IN A SPORTS BRA.  I almost ran to the weight room where I could get a better look in a mirror because HOLY HELL I know I have been pregnant twice and breastfeeding for eleventy billion years but come the fuck on when did this happen???


But I couldn’t move. For one thing I was afraid I might trip over my knockers.  It was dangerous to run.  Things were sliding south and fast.

I took a deep breath.  And I began to laugh.  Look closely at the picture and you can see a second set of handprints.  Look at the bottom of that picture.  My knees.  AHA!  The wet marks were my knees!! I had pulled them up to the mat as I sat back to catch my breath.

And I got hysterical.  That kind of belly laugh, I might pee my pants, holy shit do you guys see what I see laughter that you have to share.  I looked around and there was not a single woman in sight.  Now I wasn’t picky.  I was ready to shout out “Oh my god, I thought those were boob sweat marks and it is only my KNEES!  Hallelujah, it’s just my knees!!!” to anyone that looked even remotely female.  Not a one.  Somehow I didn’t think that the fellas that work out with me daily were going to be impressed.  Or understand why this was such a reason to rejoice.

So, I snapped a picture and I strutted, yeah, strutted, my fine ass right out of the gym.  Because my boobs are nowhere near that low.  In a sports bra. So there.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

So, it’s been a while since I was totally disgusting.

You don’t come here to listen to me talk about running.  Or triathlon training.  Here is not the place for me to do some deep thinking and journaling about how I am going to get enough swim workouts done and also get a new tattoo this winter. It just isn’t.

Writing.  Write what you know.  A million people smarter than me have told me that before.  Blogging?  It’s not much different.  I suppose the only difference is that because you get live, human feedback you get to know your audience.   And I don’t think you guys want to listen to me talk about running and endurance training and the relative merits of Shot Bloks vs G1,  Gatorade’s energy chews.

You want me to show you pictures ofmy ass in mom jeans, my stretchmarks and my boob milk stains.

Guys.  Today I need to talk about running.  And there won’t be a picture.

I ran twelve miles today.  Twelve.  I have never run that far in my whole entire life. I have also never shit on the side of the road.  And I did that, too.  Oh.  Did you miss that?  Was I not clear?  I pooped.  Outside.  In the middle of running. I ran about six and a half miles and realized I was not going to make it five and a half more.  I wasn’t even going to make it the half mile to the coffee shop in town.  I scanned the immediate area and I POOPED OUTSIDE.  Two yards from the sidewalk.  It was an emergency.

And then I kept running.  And before you get all up on your “I have never, ever shit near a sidewalk” high horse let me tell you that I had baby wipes.  Two of them.  In a ziplock bag. Because (and here is where I consider if this is crossing a line to tell what my regular poop schedule looks like and realize there is no line, the line has been obliterated) I have not pooped in two days and I am an every other day pooper and I knew it could ugly and I thought being prepared would prevent it from happening.  Wrong.

So, after doing my business and with two used baby wipes in a ziplock bag I ran off towards the closest trash can.  Because while I will (apparently) poop in what is technically a person’s yard I will not litter.

I ran and ran.  I changed musical playlists.  I had this twelve mile run in the bag!  Not unlike a dirty baby wipe. And I ate a few more energy chews and I ran some more and then…. then my stomach started to clench and I started to feel nauseous and I realized I had crossed in to new territory.  I was now a person that shit on the side of the road.  There was no reason to contemplate trying to run three, almost four, more miles with my ass cheeks clenched.   AND I DID IT AGAIN. I made it in to the woods.  Should that make me feel better?

And I kept running again.

I am not sure what the takeaway is here.  I am a person that is just about ready to run a half-marathon.  That’s exciting.  I am also a person that pooped.  On the run.  I think that makes me a runner?  It might even make me a long distance runner?  Because this is a thing – other people have done this.  Really.  I’m not trying to go all Billy Madison on you and tell you that “it’s cool.” But I am not alone.  And that’s comforting.

So.  Yeah.  I’ve been quiet.  Because all I think about lately is training and which race should I sign up for and what am I going to do now that I own the last pair of hot pink New Balance 870v2 in a ladies size 10.5???

So, I told you a poop story so you wouldn’t leave me.  But I really can’t figure out how to get the carbohydrates in without making the poop come out.  Runners, can you help me?  Will my body eventually be able to tolerate a long run without revolting against me?  This morning I told MQD that maybe I need to try a different kind of “evacuation blocks.”  He looked at me sideways.  “I mean energy blocks, but yeah…” I can’t seem to not feel totally thrashed after about an hour and a half without a little something.

Trial and error is the answer, I suppose. And route my runs closer to a bathroom, huh?  We live and learn in this life. And this morning I ran twelve miles, pooped outside twice, lost my car key and locked myself out of my house.  That’s a whole lot of living.


I can’t do it.  A post without a picture seems wrong.  Here I am.  In the bathroom at the gym.  Why?  Because Karen at Uncomfortably Honest and Honestly Uncomfortable takes adorable post-run pics in the bathroom at her gym and I wanted to test her theory about lighting.  She also tells a mean poop story in case that’s your thing.

Happy Sunday, guys!

Running Skirts: They Hide the Pee

Let’s talk about crotch sweat, baby…. Did I lose you? It was a better hook when Salt-n-Pepa invited you to talk about sex, baby, in 1990.  But I don’t want to talk about sex.  I want to talk crotch sweat.

Yesterday morning I posted to Facebook about catching hell from the wee one about my running skirt.  “Your running skirt is too short when your 21 month old stops you at the door with a grimace and says “Mama, go?? Go?? Pants!!! Pants ON!” Evidently she thought I needed pants. It was funny.  Not hilarious.  But a momentary “Ha!” so I quickly posted it as I hopped in the car on my way to the gym.  By the time I got to the gym the post had several comments.  Most of them of the “running skirt, huh?” variety.

20131010-113558.jpgAs the day wore on I got a few more questions.  I contemplated a “Running Skirts: Not Just for the Stepford Wives at the Tennis Club” kind of post.  But then I realized I had a civic duty to break it down.  There were gals out there (and dudes, I suppose.  Hello, dudes, that do not run the opposite direction at the mention of crotch sweat.  Umm.  Yeah.) I owed it to these folks not to write a tongue-in-cheek answer.

So.  Here we are.

Where do I start? The running skirt rules.  Let me tell you why.

  1. Chub Rub.  Nobody wants it.  Unless you are a young gal or a lucky gal your thighs probably touch.  This is not a huge problem when you are just casually walking down the street in a skirt.  But start hustling?  Yowza.  You’ve got chub rub in no time.  And once you’ve got it –  it’s harder to get rid of than poison ivy.  You think it’s gone and Boom! It’s back.  You feel the burn.
  2. Compression shorts.  They prevent the chub rub but they are not actually a fashion statement.  Compressing the chub is not really … attractive.  Unless your compression pants go down to your ankles they have to stop somewhere, right?  And where they stop your body comes shooting out as if to shout “You can’t restrain me!!  Here I am, I am your chub!!” The running skirt allows for compression shorts that no one has to see!
  3. Conceal the sweat.  I sweat. Kind of a lot.  I sweat on my face and my back and my head.  I have been known to throw my hat at Emily after a long run just to hear her shriek “It’s soaking wet!!!”  What I do not throw at anyone after a long run is my crotch.  Sweat has a tendency to roll down the body, right?  No matter where the moisture starts, whether it is from my head or my face or ample bazooms it seems to follow a path straight for my crotch.  Have you ever seen one of those women that looks like she might have peed in her pants?  Yeah.  She is probably just sweaty.  But it’s not all that cute.  Because it looks like pee.  And like crotch sweat.  (I am going to say that a million more times to guarantee that when you google “crotch sweat” I come up.  Because, really, we all have to have a goal, right?) So, the running skirt provides a perfect way to hide the sweat.
  4. Pee.  Have you ever had a baby? I have had two.  I am in a lucky minority.  I can jump rope without peeing my pants.  In fact ,just yesterday afternoon I exploded a jump rope at the gym. I like to do a tabata cycle of alternating jumping rope and burpees.  It pretty much sucks but it is a good way to crank up your heart rate in four minutes. The whole time I jump rope I think “Don’tpeeDon’tpeeDon’tpee” and I contract my pelvic floor.  (The entire time I do burpees I think “ThisfuckingsucksThisfuckingsucksThisfuckingsucks” but that has nothing to do with peeing my pants or babies.  So, ladies, if you think you might pee a little – the running skirt is your friend.  In fact, if I ever develop a post-partum exercise gear fashion line that will be my running skirt sales pitch – Running Skirts: They Hide the Pee.
  5. Lastly, I promise it really is the last reason – The Cute.

20131010-113621.jpgI mean c’mon.  This is my all time favorite running skirt.  The compression shorts are a little longer than most and it makes me feel like I have a little extra spring in my step.


Yep.  Like I need extra pep.

What’s up Crotch Sweat?  Oh hey, Chub, how you doin? I barely noticed you there underneath that adorable running skirt.

Running skirts deliver.  They work.  They just do.  I resisted for a while. I thought they’d made me look like I was heading to the tennis club with Fifi and Mimsy for an afternoon smoothie and maybe we’d make it out to the tennis court.  “Match point, Heather!”

I’m not a girl that wants to look cute at the gym.  I’m not strong enough or fast enough to mingle with the hardcore gym rats, the least I can do is not look like I have no intention of sweating.

So, now you know my secret.  The running skirt is my secret weapon.  Because I sweat like … a whore in church. (When you’ve already said “crotch sweat” nine million times you don’t have to search for a simile that is not offensive. )



There’s the sweat.  And yesterday’s eyeliner because I am not old enough to wash my face before I go to bed yet.  I quit smoking and I exercise and I stopped drinking Bud Light all the live long day. One day I will moisturize and regularly wash my face.

And stop saying things like “crotch sweat” on the internet. One day.  I promise.



How Athleticism in your 30’s is just like Getting Loaded in your 20’s

In my early twenties I wasn’t much of an athlete. If I went for a jog after class it wasn’t unheard of for me to have a ziploc bag with a lighter and a couple of Marlboros stuffed in my sports bra. This way I could have a smoke after I left the cafeteria, a dinner full of botttomless bowls of cereal and pudding from the salad bar.

Now just because I wasn’t big on athletics didn’t mean that I wasn’t a competitor. “Shall we get another round?” Umm, yeah. And it better be pitchers not pints. “Can I get you a drink?” You bet. Jack neat with a Bud back. (For those among us that are not nor have they ever been a bit of a drinker, that is a Jack Daniels shot straight up with a Budweiser chaser.)

The order smacks of youth. Jack Daniels is the Crystal Light of whiskey. It’s almost water and sweet as candy. And Budweiser? No Bud Light for this girl with the metabolism of a 16-year-old boy, and nothing that tastes too much like beer.

But I was giving it my all. If one drink was good, two was better.

I was going for the gold. I frequently ignored that warm feeling that would rise in the back of my throat. You know that feeling. Eventually the warmth would travel up my spine and collide with my tonsils creating a burst of saliva. And then I knew. I was going to throw up. It was inevitable. I’d order a shot of Jaegermeister and head over to the bathroom. No big deal, hurl really quickly, knock back a cold shot of Jaeger and I was ready to Go, go, go!

Checking in, blissfully unaware of my fate.

Checking in, blissfully unaware of my fate.

What does this have to do with anything? You might have wondered how the sprint-triathlon turned out on Sunday. I went in with a little limp. TENS unit in the morning, lots of Advil. But I was determined that I wasn’t going to quit. The swim and and the bike would be fine, the run might be ugly. But I was going to finish strong.

The swim and the bike were uneventful. I got off my bike and took a few steps out of the transition area and as I started to run nowhere in my mind was I thinking of my early twenties and my penchant for boozing it up. But by the end of the first mile I could think of nothing else. My mouth was filled with spit. I wasn’t nauseous. Not really. But I was definitely going to puke, only I wasn’t ready to pay my tab.

At the second mile marker I was keeping pace with a gentleman that looked like he was hating it, too. “C’mon. One more mile. Let’s go, I might puke.” He laughed, but he steered clear of me. We traded off leading the way over the next ten minutes. I rounded the corner and could see the finish line and my mouth filled in that way where you know you have less than twenty seconds. Had I been 21 years old and in my favorite bar on the way to the bathroom I’d have been afraid I’d run in to someone that I knew. I had twenty seconds and max three words before I was going to let my Gatorade soaked puke fly freely.

I crossed the finish line. I wasn’t walking or limping. I was smiling and sweating. “I’m gonna puke,” I told the volunteer waiting to collect the time chips.

And puke I did.

With my hands on my knees I had three more words in my head. “Oh. Hell. Yes.” I did it. I finished. Injury, be damned. Who knew that the boozing of my twenties would have prepared me for this strange surge of athleticism in my thirties? As soon as the heaving stopped I thought “That wasn’t bad.  Let’s run it back again!”

Tri season is over for me. Love the new physical therapist. And I will keep training through the winter. Maybe even do a little of that old-school training of my twenties just to keep things interesting.


The Happiest Girl That Just Puked Ever

The Birthday Week in Review: Or All the Shit I Learned in One Week of Being 37

I have been 37 years old all week. So far so good.  For the record – you can teach an old dog new tricks. I present to you a recap in pictures of all of the things I have learned this week.

20130508-204258.jpgThis old dog has learned to love running.  I have spent the winter and early spring on a treadmill, running only two days a week and trying to be kind to my body but it was time to get outside before the summer sun prevented me from hitting the streets.   Wanna see me in all my spectacularly slow glory?  Hillsborough Running Club.  Good people, good routes, meeting right near a little street with particularly good beer, bbq and coffee for sale.  Wednesday nights, be there or be square.  I make dinner for the family and roll out.  Solo.  In the evening.  I might not make it inside a bar, but I park right near one and that is good enough for me.  It feels good to be out, to have plans that do not involve the kids or a meeting or a chiropractor appointment.  I have never been such a joiner before but stay at home motherhood has me signing up left and right.  Give me a schedule, give me somewhere to be and I am on it.

I am learning to love running.  So much so that I got a tshirt and a bumper sticker.   Running might be my new favorite band.

I have learned that I can clean my entire kitchen floor and run my vacuum in less than three minutes.  I have fallen in love with the steam mop.  It does nothing on the dog hair front but it steams the dried up yogurt right off of the floor.  (Sidenote: Fisher eats everything that hits the floor and some things before they even land.  But he’s not a fan of yogurt, hence the dried up yogurt.) How do I clean my entire downstairs while the human wrecking ball that is Lucy is tearing around the house? Simple.

The kid can climb.  Up.  And up only.  She climbs up on to the table and she stands there in stunned silence.  I have approximately three minutes to pick up all the tupperware from the cabinets she has emptied, return the board books and the stuffed animals to their cubbies and sweep, mop and vacuum before she gets bored and begins to bellow, begging to be returned to the floor so that she can climb up again.  She stands and watches.  The faster I move the more rapt her attention.  Three minutes.  I learned it only takes three minutes to get “company clean.”



I am a bit of a neat freak in the house.  Note that I said “in the house.”  When I was a teenager a perfect punishment would be the afternoon my father said “C’mon, we’re gonna clean your car.”  Not only was I not going anywhere in said car, but I would be standing in the driveway with my father while my secrets were revealed.  Coca-cola cans and fast food trash, overdue library books and too short skirts were pulled from under the seats.  In spite of the fact that I ended up with a clean car (my father can make a 1981 Dodge Aries station wagon sparkle, y’all!) this was not enough to make me enjoy this ritual.

I am still not a huge fan of cleaning my car. I am better than I was.  I try to pull the trash out of the side door cubbies while I pump gas.  I don’t let the kids eat in the car  often. My car is no longer the trash can on wheels it once was, but it isn’t pretty.  For years my car has been a collection of Diet Coke bottles, peanut M&M trash and outerwear that I brought along to make me feel like a better mother.  No one ever wears the sweatshirt, but dammit you had better bring one.

I have learned to love water.  No more Diet Coke cans for me.  I cleaned my car out this week.  I might have had a few water bottles in there.



I have made peace with the fact that my car is messy.  I am what I am, I guess.  Speaking of making peace with who I am and where I am in my life – I am Sporty Spice, guys. I wish I was Scary, I would love to be Posh and the red hair dye of my early twenties reveals my deep-seated desire to be Ginger.  But I am Sporty Spice and there is no denying it. This week I learned I can put my jogging stroller on my bike rack!  I can take Lucy running on the downtown route I love without cleaning out my trunk to make room for the stroller!


I might have been outrageously excited.  I just might have run four miles only to find that Lucy was passed out and I had no choice but to keep cruising around downtown. Lucy napped through the library, the post office and the co-op grocery store.  And I learned that even when you are winded and you’d like to sit on your ass you will keep walking if it means your kid will keep sleeping.

20130508-204323.jpgI had a good week.

I learned that I can clean my shed with help from Lucy.  I can keep her from drinking from the gas can while organizing bungee cords and rakes.  I learned that eating clean is swell in theory but that it is totally possible to eat an entire red velvet cake almost by yourself and not feel bad about yourself at all.  I learned that sucking it up and committing to a nap schedule really will make for an easier bedtime routine. I learned that oven baked chicken is fine and dandy but pan fried in Panko is really where it’s at. I learned how to use two of the thingamajigs on my bicycle multi-tool.  I re-learned the finger tip drag freestyle drill and how to maximize the efficiency of my stroke (say that with a straight face, I dare you.)

IMG_4985 copy And perhaps the most shallow but the biggest immediate change – I learned that cutting off all of my fingernails did not make my typing any better. But it will mean that Sporty Spice won’t spend two hours a week fixing her damn nails anymore.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  Not when there is so much more to learn.  Happy Birthday week to me.  May the learning continue…



Junkie: Adrenalin & Mr. Brownstone

Is there anything in life that can not be summed up best by Guns ‘n Roses?

I used to do a little but a little wouldn’t do,  so the little got more and more.
I just keep tryin’ to get a little better, said a little better than before….

I don’t think I was three feet beyond the finish line when I had the fully formed thought “I want to do this again.  And I want to go faster.  And farther.”

I am a junkie, an addict, a lover of a rush.  And the sprint triathlon delivers.

On the website where I signed up the race promised this thrill – “On this day, you will accomplish more than you thought possible. You will overcome doubt, fear and adversity. And you will beam with pride, strength and joy while doing it.”  I didn’t think they were blowing smoke.  But I had no idea I’d be beaming with pride and overwhelmed with a feeling of success mere moments after our arrival.

4:30 am wake up.  Nurse Goose.  Get out of bed.  Make coffee.  Nurse Goose.  Get dressed.  Nurse Goose.  Sneak out of the house at 5:10.  Arrive at race shortly after 6 am.  Coffee is gone.  Set up bike and transition area.  Eye port-a-potty.  Run to port-a-potty.  Prepare to enter port-a-potty barefoot.  Contemplate which is more horrendous – pooping in port-a-potty or in pants.

photo 26:17 am.  Leave port-a-potty and hear “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from race speakers.  I was already a winner.  (If you thought you were getting a race recap, think again.  It’s me, remember!)

This girl poops at home.

She takes short vacations.  She gave herself an enema while she was in labor to avoid pooping while having a baby.  She chose a birthing center largely because they let you go home without pooping first.  She comes home from overnight trips bloated.

She poops at home.

But not today.  Today I “accomplished more than [I] thought possible” as the race website promised.  And I did it all before we even left the starting line.

Poop.  Swim.  Bike. Run.   I did it.  I am pleased to report that I am a much faster swimmer than I realized.  I was nervous about running out of gas (heh) so I took my time in both the swim and the bike and now I know I can push harder.

I knew I’d be nervous.  I knew I’d pull through.  I knew I’d scream “newbie” with my every step but I was wholly ill-prepared for how hard I would laugh.  When you are trying to look serious about racing on a Comfort Cruiser (even if it is a smoking hot Canondale) you can get the giggles. If I lean down towards my handlebars my elbows are above my ears.  At one point my workout sidekick (on her shiny red Schwinn) remarked that we would most certainly be voted Cutest Couple.  We were sweaty, sure, but we still looked like we were out for a Sunday ride.  We needed baskets.  Or ice cream cones. But we finished!  And we finished pretty “average!”

photo 3
photo 1I got to see my Official Cheer team at our second transition.  Em’s sign that read “Go, Kelly, you can do it! I mean it!!” made me giggle.  Lucy maintained her somewhat stunned expression when she saw me.  She sported this face much of the day, can’t blame her.  She was plucked from her bed at an ungodly hour.  MQD and my father-in-law gave me a hearty balance of supportive “Good for you!”s and “Go that ways!!” while I looked around confused at the start of the run.

All in all, today was a win.  Moments after Lucy was born I said “That wasn’t that bad.”  I can recall thinking I kind of wanted to do it again.  But once the adrenalin wore off and I was showered and at home I thought better of that plan.  This time?  The adrenalin is gone and I have four other tabs open in my browser right now – each one another sprint triathlon to be done this summer.

But like Axl said about hanging out with Mr. Brownstone – “a little got more and more.”  I know I can go faster.  But I think I can go farther, y’all.  I think I can.  I think I can.

photo 2