Tag Archives: running

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.

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.



The Texas Chronicles – “Howdy Neighbor” & “Pigs Gone Wild”

morning run

My morning run, pre-smoke and dead things.

Howdy Neighbor

Oh hey there, new Texan neighbor. Welcome to the hood boonies. Thanks for making the ultra-cool decision to burn massive debris piles of newly felled trees (from all your lovely meadow making) on this super dry and windy morning. As I looped back toward home and turned into the breeze, it made my morning run extra special. Even more so than the already ridiculous hotness and carcass-littered backroad already had.

Signed, Your coughing gagging snotty-nosed slow-running sissy pants neighbor.


Pigs Gone Wild

So the other day as Christie and I were en route to a luncheon at a friend’s house we passed by a field where some new owners had decided to create a pig wallow. They’ve ingeniously re-used old shipping containers (turned upside down with large openings cut through) as covered homes for the little piggies. I thought they were all adorable. Christie notices entirely different things than I do. Her reaction: “What a complete mess those pigs have made of that beautiful field. Note to self.” OK, so I guess a couple weeks ago when we asked Courtland if he wanted pigs and he was all “Yes, please,” and big grins – we can scratch that. Hopefully the two-year-old won’t remember whether we said pigs or chickens. We already have chickens, so we’re covered.

At any rate, this whole pig observation triggered my recall of an article I’d read a few weeks back in our recent issue of the Oxford American. So, this is my recap of the piece on wild boar hunting in Texas. And I want you to know that I’m doing this without even so much as glancing at the article before I write this because I didn’t have that luxury in the car during my recap for Christie and I want to see how ridiculous my memory truly is.

So, this guy, a hunter who has learned to hunt with Native American attitude (thank the Great Spirit, only kill when necessary, use everything), is invited to go to Texas and “hunt wild boar,” but basically the invitation is more like “Come on down, grab an automatic weapon and kill you some wild hogs, son.”  At first it sounds really off-putting, right? But he gets down there and the local yokel is talking about the crazy Russian Boars who were introduced to the area years ago and how they’ve intermingled with the local pig population to create some super-charged neo-hybrid freaky-deaky pigs. These said interbred pigs are apparently running amok, tearing up crops and fields, eating livestock and stealing small children in the night (OK, I made that bit up). Basically, they’re wreaking all sorts of havoc in this large rural area. All in a day’s boaring – hee hee.

So, after hearing all this and seeing some damage these psycho pigs are doing, this writer guy is all, “Lemme at ‘em!” So he takes this automatic assault gun thingy (though I do read Garden & Gun, I know very little about actual guns, but I’m quite certain that this one was big, scary, and should probably be used only by trained military) and hauls off with this local yokel in his truck into the woods. They do some hunting, but mainly they are shooting and killing – even taking out sows and piglets. I know we’re not supposed to feel sad about it because of all the aforementioned havoc, but here I am a month later still thinking about this little piglet running and squealing with delight one moment and then riddled with AK-47 bullets the next. Doesn’t seem fair.

Christie asks me what the point of my story is and I have to admit, other than it really sticking with me, I don’t have a clue where I was headed in vomiting my interpretation of the piece.

But I’ll share it with you. Here’s the link to the story because I am 100% sure that my recap is completely riddled with musings based on incorrect facts that my crap memory generated. And, the bottom line is, it was a good piece because I’m still thinking about it.