Category Archives: Fitness

Extreme Momming, Laird Hamilton, Wim Hof and Ironing


Laird Hamilton & Gabby Reece

So I opened my mid-morning Sunday with some yacht rock and a core workout, but I’ve been thinking about this Wim Hof method lately because I’m currently reading Scott Carney’s book What Doesn’t Kill Us about his adventures in pursuing Wim Hof, his breathing method, and his various disciples. I just finished the chapter on Laird Hamilton who I’ve admired for years because of his devotion to the water and his genuinely over the top approach to his own fitness. Dude does squat jumps from 12 feet under water with 50 pounds of dumbbells. Insane. But he also rides 40 foot waves. His XPT program is another post entirely. I digress.


Passing out

Wim Hof. Anyway. I’m doing my measly 40 minute core workout on dry land, in a climate controlled home, and I think, why not just see if the breathing/push-up thing is something? So, post measly workout, I get into the easiest position I can for falling into pushups. (NB: I tried this yesterday and I nearly blacked out. Of course, I was in a hot shower and had just finished running 10 miles.) At any rate, I’m taking precautions today. I breathe 1 second in and 1 second out for 40 breaths. I expel all the air I can and drop into pushups. I manage 15 before I need to breathe. I was hoping for 20. I check my heart rate – 122. That can’t be right, but I take my pulse at my carotid and it is. I start over and this time I hold my breath and manage 23 pushups. Pulse is 124, it rises slightly to 134 before dropping back again. I try again and get to 25 pushups. For real?


Wim Hof

Tip of the iceberg. Literally. Wim Hof’s method also includes extreme cold training – running shirtless in the snow, ice baths, meditating barely clothed on ice, and alternatively, spending time heating up in the sauna. All of this in an effort to tap into human abilities we have seemingly underutilized over the course of our relatively quick evolution. Our bodies are far more capable than we realize. Given time and the proper training Hof postulates that humans can essentially heal themselves.


XIT Extreme Iron Training

All of this leads me to this. My workout is done, my silly little test is complete for today and now I am ironing and it looks like this:


Norman Reedus, Prince George, Ice Breakers, & Sarah McLachlan or ‘News from My Week.’

I’m an hour late to swim laps this morning so why not take time to drop some completely ridiculous and unnecessary news and updates from my world? So here:
1. My grossly over pregnant self has worked up to 1200M in 30 min. Yay me!
2. At the beginning of this week I had a dream wherein MeNotMe/Beth won a huge walker fight and then made out with Norman Reedus. Despite my aversion to greasy hair, it was actually kind of hot.

3. I’ve eaten three pieces of grape ice breakers ice cubes this morning. Yum.

4. Prince George has affirmed my obsession with smocking and English sandals on adorable squishy baby boys.

5. Guess who gets to see Sarah McLachlan this summer at the Cville Pavilion? This girl. Very very excited. Would’ve flown to freezing ass Canada to see her if I had to.


Red Rubber Boots, Trader Joe’s & Running Dreams

So there are three things on my mind. Well, right, there are a million things on my mind at all times, but there are three that I feel like jotting down. 1. Every night when I lay down with my big kid to read stories (typically gathered from the library) there’s a little voice in my head that says I should document and share the really good ones. Tonight I’ll share Red Rubber Boot Day. 2. I love Trader Joe’s. I didn’t want to, but I do. I actually found myself saying out loud as I drove past it the other day on our way back into town, “Jeeze, I feel sorry for all those people that don’t have a Trader Joe’s.” 3. I REALLY REALLY MISS RUNNING. WTF. I never in a million years thought I’d miss something I used to dread doing, but I really miss it. So much so, I dreamed about it last night.

So, here’s number one:

Red Rubber Boot DayI apologize for the shiteous photo, but I was trying to squeeze in the author and illustrator. Author: Mary Lyn Ray and Illustrator: Lauren Stringer. My kid loves to jump in muddy puddles and we are so GD sick of snow and icky wintery-ness that we picked this book at the library Saturday to remind us that spring is on the way! Tonight was the first time I read it to him and it’s absolutely beautiful. I started to think that when I hit this page:

Boots and Bare FeetYou can literally feel the “green rain” squishing between your toes and under your arches. You can smell the muddy puddles and feel the cold drops. The drips from the leaves, and I swear it’s only the latter half of the book that takes place outside. The rest of it is just as beautiful but it was at this point that I started to feel it. I recommend this one. It’s very simple, so young kids (2-4 I guess).

Now, Trader Joe’s. The berries, the full fat creamy little tiny yogurts, almond milk, sunflower seed butter, coconut oil, lava cakes, salsa, pasta sauces especially the vodka sauce, olive oils, organic butter, whole chicken in brine, fresh flowers, belgian pancakes, dried fruits. Not the veggies, not the lunch meat. The veggies go bad quickly and my kids don’t like the lunch meat. Also, they have Kind bars at the best price in town. You can’t do all your grocery shopping there, but you can find some treasures. Lots of whole foody type stuff at regular people prices. I love you, Trader Joe’s.

Last night I dreamt that I was running in shorts on a hot day. My legs looked awesome – tan, long, lean. I had no belly. What pregnancy? I remember that my shorts were orange and pink and that I kept looking at my fit bit that was somehow also timing my run. I was absolutely besting any PR I have ever dreamed of for a mile. Like, for real, my time was something ridiculous – maybe 6:24. Only in my dreams. But it felt so damn good, running, taking in the road, the sights, the sounds, the people, the warmth, the sunshine and the day. I miss it. I miss it. I miss it. In fact, I hate running in the pool so much that I actually got out at the 30 minute mark today and swam 500M at speed, in the lap pool. MUHAHAHAHAHAHA. Take that, twin pregnancy! July 9. Get here.



Short Training Runs on Nantucket

We’re on Nantucket for a few weeks so I’ve been training out of the gym, mostly running. This week I put in over 16 miles. Pretty great for Mommy on vacation in foodie heaven. Jeeze, I love eating in this place. Lola, Juice Bar, Something Natural, American Seasons, Oran Mor, Town, Toppers, Provisions, The Nantucket, Brotherhood, and the list goes on and on and on.
Most importantly, this morning’s treasure:

The Nantucket Bake Shop (new location mid-island) donut. Krispy Kreme, eat your heart out. This baby melts in your mouth. Delicious sugary goodness. I’m not afraid to admit I had a Boston Cream and half a jelly. One pre-run and work-out, the other post.
I couldn’t decide to focus on running or food in this post. I was torn, so instead, I decided to show you a picture of my sin. You’re welcome.
More about great, beautiful, breezy, short runs on Nantucket to come.

Morning Lament: from the gym to filling up diesel cans.

In my notes, I called this post the Day of Buttheads, and while I still feel that way, I also felt as though that title wouldn’t convey the general idea quite the way it should. Because, really, who am I kidding? I’m just moaning here. My list this morning was simple: Swim, Go by kid’s school, Pick up library books for kid, Dollar Store for potty training prizes, Diesel for the farm. Home. This is the true story of how it actually went. Looking back, I’m slightly put off that my hunger seemed to really take the driver’s seat for a bit.

My day started off by getting run over in my lane while swimming at the gym. Now, I have been known to lane leap once in a while (generally while back stroking and usually when I get water up my nose), but not when freestyle lap swimming especially in the first 500M of a morning swim. I digress. This morning, some pasty, pudgy, slightly hairy douchebag totally swam right over me. And that was his way of letting me know he was joining my lane. No warning, no standing at the end so I’d see him while turning. Nope. He just got in, started swimming and ran right over me. Jackass. I’m still pissed just thinking about it. You know how much I loathe swim day anyway.

So, I shower and head off to the kid’s school to drop off his paperwork and another check. Activity fee. For a 2 year old. WTH. Whatever. I thought I picked the route with the least amount of construction, instead, the stoplight was out, two lanes were closed and the city’s finest were directing traffic. Yay.

On to the library for said kid’s books. Glance at clock. Nope. No time for library. Text from wife – “pick up bras for me please.” Hey that actually sounds fun! A. I get to shop for small bras – I never get to do that, and B. I get to shop for my wife’s lingerie. Fun.
Well. It was fun until A. I tried on bras, and B. I missed the free bra by one square on my ‘bra and panty club’ card. I’m not making this crap up.

Starving. Must check my calorie counting fitness app to see what I can eat because I’m low on time and getting crotchety and faint with hunger. It looks as though the grilled chx wrap at chikfila (which I don’t like doing because of the gay stuff and it’s still technically fast food) will suffice and it’s next to the dollar store so I can hit that after.

Left turn lane closed. Really? It’s 12:30 and the left turn lane into the Rio Hill Center is closed. Really great planning there. I keep going, do a uey at the next light, head back.

I’m totally distracting myself with my little fitness app, but I still manage to notice how effing slow this fast food line is. I’m not even supposed to be eating this crap. Shh. Check clock. I’m losing precious dollar store minutes. I watch the lady in front of me order for her entire apartment building.

Tick tock. (Or as Ke$Ha might say, “Tik Tok.” Jeeze she makes work outs fun.)

Dollar store window of time is gone.
Why, you may ask, did I need the dollar store. I’m attempting to potty train my oldest. Sort of. Anyway, someone recently told me they wrapped up individual little prizes and kept them by the toilet to help with potty training. Sounds like something the kid would go for – he loves prizes almost as much as his mommy. I thought the dollar store would have some nifty little crap toys to wrap up for such a thing. BUT IT WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR ANOTHER EFFING DAY.

I’ve got to get diesel and get home before the nanny leaves. Woe is me.

Just standing here pumping diesel into my 6 gallon can when older nosy professor type next to me glances over. He watches me place the can in my car. “Does that thing not have a cap on it?” He is incredulous. I respond, “No, it sure doesn’t. Bummer.” What I wanted to say was, “Yessir, that’s how we roll back in the hollar.” Looking back I wish I would’ve said that. He waits a minute, then leans over again, “You should at least get a plastic bag and a rubber band for it. Jeeze.” I say, “Uh huh,” as I pretend to rummage around for something to cover the damn thing with so he’ll shut up. He says, “I’d hate to think what might happen if you have an accident.” I grit my teeth, smile and say, “I know. I got it.” Just shut up already. We’re all tired of you. You’re ruining our good time. Go home. Everybody hates you.
Whoa. That one got away from me. Sorry.
Good thing I didn’t really say that because he followed me all the way to my turn off.
At which point I had to stop and wait for a leader car because one lane was closed. Seriously. I’m not embellishing. I swear.
I’m home. It’s only 1:40.
What a morning.

AYSO? Not in Cville.

We couldn’t just use AYSO for our kids’ soccer play. No, not in Cville. This has bothered me for years.
Cville had to create its own org.


Effing Braless AGAIN: At Least it Wasn’t Swim Day

So, yes, yours truly was without bra yet again this morning post shower at the gym. Thankfully, I had made it to kettlebells class, which means it’s Thursday, not Tuesday, which is always swim day. And, this old girl has to double bag her twins, so fortunately I could use the less sweaty (and therefore, less disgusting) sports bra that I’d worn on top. It’s bittersweet though. Am I right? Yay, I have a bra. Boo, I have a sports bra.
Especially since my top is a boatneck – hello, awkward wide jersey racer back straps.
And while we’re on the subject, no one, I mean no one in my BMI category looks good in a sports bra. Ever.
Here’s what I think I look like:

And here’s what I actually look like:

Hey it could be worse.
It could be a swim day.
Wink wink. Bounce bounce.

Churchy Church Churchersons

I just got back from church and by church, I mean I ran 4.5 miles in this ‘hotter than the hinges of hell’ weather. As Sarah Newlin told Jason last week: “this body is a fucking temple…”
Okay, maybe my body isn’t quite a temple, more of a shrine to the gods of butter and bacon I suppose, but nonetheless, I ran 4.5 miles today and sweated out half my body’s fluid I’m sure. Hallelujah!
Also, I should go ahead and admit that I have a bit of a fierce lady crush on Anna Camp. I love to hate her. Oh I do.

A Dress (or Skirt, rather) for Every Summer

DSC_8686There’s a definitive dress for for me for each summer. Is it that way for every woman? I assume that it is. This summer I have chosen a short dress because my legs are looking fantastic thanks to my training. It has a scoop neck and almost 3/4 length sleeves. It’s a bit of a mad men-ish design in that perfect green and turquoise that just begs for a dark tan to spike its look.

As I was looking at it in my closet this evening I was reminded of my dress, or rather, skirt of the summer when I was nineteen and worked at a drive through beer store at the beach (please, no judgement – I lived at the beach and it was a job – a really, really fun job). The skirt was yellow, sort of denim, and really, really ridiculously short – like guys could totally see my ass when I went for beers on the bottom shelf of the coolers short – and it buttoned up the front. Maybe five buttons. I remember this because I can recall counting the buttons as I peed in the tiny bathroom at Tortugas. Drunky wunkey and stoney bologna. I steadily borrowed my roommate’s cute off-white sweater to wear over it for nights at the bars.old skirt days

Other summers had other dresses. Summer camp at sixteen was a long tank dress with a very high slit up the side – again, with the legs. It was ashy brown and showed off a late summer (summer job = lifeguarding) tan really well.

Jill and LindsayLast summer (as a much older lady) it was a dressy number, sleeveless, high neck with some blingy glitter, some layers at the bottom, champagne and light tan in color. I wore it to a friend’s wedding in South Carolina and danced my drunk ass off with all my other college girlfriends. SO MUCH FUN!

A couple of polo summers – black straps, low twisty v-necks. Hit just at the knee. Easy, breezy, forgiving and a great traveler. Black is always flattering on a tan and it washed easy and I could dress it up with a pashmina or sweater (for dinner on Nantucket) or dress it down (for cocktails on my patio) with flops.Black dress

Then there was the summer of the black and white work appropriate maternity dress. Ugh – but necessary.

Other summers were mostly skirts. My body type is best suited for skirts, not dresses. Denim skirts, A-line skirts, short flouncy floral skirts. The skirts had to be cool, match a lot of tops, and make a dark tan the star of the show.

So I’ve moved from skirts that show my ass to dresses that can dance like an old lady. What in the hell does that say about me?

Does it really matter?

It’s summer, I’m tan and my legs still look pretty damn awesome. I’m happy with that.

Running and Drinking – My Parallel Universe

RUNNING: When you get to the point where you begin to fall into your stride around mile three and suddenly things you never really considered important suddenly mean more: time, shoes, stride, efficiency, cross-training efficacy on heart-rate recovery (OK, that’s a little over the top, even for super-nerd, but you get my drift).

VODKA: When you get to that point when you definitely realize that you strongly prefer a specific type of vodka (Belvedere) for your martinis.

Agnes & Friends

Agnes & Friends

Recently, during a training session with the amazing Magen at my gym I was bitching about how I’d somehow inadvertently put back on ten flipping pounds or thereabouts. What the eff? Magen started in on over-training and my body starting to betray me and potentially keeping extra fat available in case I suddenly up and decided to train during cocktail hour (please, that’s not possible). She suggested that I take a week off from strength and if I do anything at all, have it be a couple of 1500M swims or a 2-3 mile run. Quick cardio and only twice in the week off. Again, what the eff? I literally said, “Why can’t you tell me that I drink too much or that I eat too much frosting?” To which Magen just laughed in response while the lady on the old rickety nautilus machine said “You should walk – last summer, I walked and I still drank and I managed to lose 4 pounds on vacation.” OK, thanks for the pointers!! She later told me I should also get one of those beach cruisers and go everywhere on it, even to the store to get milk – “Get one with a big basket!” She came all the way down from the land of old people machines to the training floor to tell me this. I love that she recognized a fellow alcoholic. Cheers to you, Agnes, or whatever your name is.

I also asked Magen if it was time to admit that you have a drinking problem when you realize quite clearly that you strongly prefer a specific type of vodka (Belvedere) for your slightly dirty martinis. She laughed, but I went on to explain that I also have a preferred shaker, a set amount of ice and a definite number of times it should be shaken. A tiny aside: My dad believed very strongly in stirred martinis so I feel as though I’m betraying him by admitting to my shaken preference, but I’ve also betrayed him in using vodka instead of gin, so there’s that. martini olivesI like only a tiny bit of olive juice and while I enjoy small olives in the bottom of my highball glass (NOT a martini glass – wouldn’t want to spill a drop), I do not like to eat them. I’m often pleasantly surprised at the number of people in my life who know how to make a martini for me. Kudos to you!

My drinking habits have progressed nicely I think from those days of mountain dew and tequila in the can (way underage and boy, did that make me ill). Magen and I decided that it’s only a problem if you don’t have a preference – like what if you actually were fine chugging Papov in your martini? That’s a borderline vanilla-drinking problem.

While I continued to breathe heavily and bitch about my workout, I started thinking on a completely different plane, but parallel to the vodka conversation, that I’d also come to a bit of a nice place in my running. It was probably a month or so ago when I started working towards the 10k goal that I had a bit of an epiphany on a 5 mile run in the country. Actually the country is my neighborhood, mmmmm can’t you just smell the burnpiles and cow poop? At least there’s a nice view, but I digress.

I had just finished up my loop on the super view road (see photo at left). morning runI can only run to the cattle path at the end of this road because the local rumor is that the land past that point belongs to Ronde and Tiki Barber’s mother and she doesn’t like to have her place disturbed. I actually know she lives in DC, but I’m not trying to ruin a good rumor. After the loop, I’m close to three miles but I have a really curvy, shady fun run down to the river and the wooden bridge at this point. All of a sudden as I’m cruising past Tex’s new place (see previous post), I realize I’m totally getting into my stride – my legs are reaching, my arms are pumping nicely front to back and my back feels really strong. I’d love to say I was listening to the dulcet tones of the cicadas or something, but I’m pretty sure Katy Perry or Ke$ha was preaching to me about dancing on tables. That’s my dope ass running mix. Sorry. So, there I am, striding, feeling great and I don’t hurt at all, I’m not winded, I’m so in the moment. I get to the bottom, cross the river and I still have the kick in me to get up the other side and I mean all the way up – it’s a long, slow grind. And then I still have it in me to finish up and loop back to the farm (where my support team waits). Support TeamAmazing. I look at my time and I can’t believe I’ve covered a little over 5 miles in 51 minutes. I’m not even upset, I’m impressed!

Since then, I’ve been timing most all my runs, checking my time/mile and taking more measures to shore up he strength in my legs, my back and my feet. I went to the running store and had the peeps there put my dogs in some new shoes – I switched from Saucony to Asics for the first time in my life and I realized I need forward moving road runners and more laterally supportive (and less expensive I might add) trainers for my gym workouts. I’m hoping this will help some with shin splints. I’ve started to check my gate, my stride and my foot placement as I run, but not enough to distract me from the task.

I admit that I still hate running, but I’m looking at it as a challenge. How far can I really take this? Will I make the 10k? How about a ten miler? Now that I know my PR for a 5k (28:15) and what a good mile for me is 9:45, what’s the next step? Certainly, I’ll never be a runaholic (not a word, I know), hopefully the same way I’ll never be a true alcoholic, but I can hope to be pretty good at both pastimes. After all, I’m about to go on vacation and we must remember Agnes’ advice for losing weight while on vacation, “You need to walk and drink, oh and get a big basket.”  I think I can handle that.