Sunday, December 30, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things…

Although it is too late for any type of Christmas Shopping for me I thought I would take a few moments to share with all of you my top (tenish) list of things I love:
Yes, that really is me.

1.  I cannot believe I am including this one, but it’s true.  My favorite doctor….Dr. Cheryl Iglesia (and Medtronic rep Melissa Crowe) at Washington Hospital Center.  In the past ten years I have seen more doctors and specialists than almost any other person in the universe and my uro-gynecologist is my favorite.  She fixed a very broken bladder due to Clara’s birth and has the most amazing bedside manner of any surgeon I have EVER met and that is saying a lot.  She also got me hooked on Medtronic and Interstim which has impacted my life in a lot of positive ways.  Mostly in the way that I no longer have to empty my bladder with catheters.

2.     Lululemon Blows--please refer to this post.Lululemon…WAYYYY….super duper cute overpriced athletic clothes that are essentially ger-animals for workout freaks (for those of you in the correct age bracket).  On the flipside, they are incredibly functional (gel pockets, silver threads for stink, thumb holes for people who lose their thumbs easily and luxtreme running tights that do not chafe even after 30+ miles).  My favorite store for the ultimate in retail therapy (gift cards always gladly accepted).
A Lululemon Extravaganza...
Cycling Pants and Jacket on a Lilly Pulitzer Cruiser
Life is FUN.

3.      Wizbang Hats.  Again, super cute and a variety of styles.  They keep your head warm…not hot.  They have fleece lined ones for super cold days and basic spandex adorable print ones (with pony tail holes) for moderate running days.  What I love is that I forget I am wearing a hat because it keeps my head the right temperature, looks simply adorable and even fits under a ski or bike helmet. Win, win, win.  They have headbands too…FYI.

Wizbang with a fleece lining...super warm.
4.      Hoka One One…best trail run shoes EVER.  You can run trails for days with these shoes.  You literally do not feel any of the roots under your feet you simply glide over them.  They are super light and weigh about the same as your minimalist running shoe.  Mine currently have about 1600 miles on them (probably a low estimate) and are ready for more.  Every ultra that I have really done well in has been in my Hokas.  Plus side is that your legs do not have the calve/hamstring string strain brought on by most of the popular brands, BIG fan.

5.      Bota Box Redvolution…the best $18.99 ever spent on a box wine.  It compares nicely with a Layer Cake Primitivo or Red Blend Conundrum, just about ½ the price.  Plus, you can buy a few varieties of boxes and line your shelves and make your own favorite blend…kind of like the Sheetz soda fountain but with WINE, oh yesssss.

6.      Cowgirl Yoga…because horses and yoga together don’t need a lot of further explanation, throw Montana into the mix and you have nirvana in a weekend (not to mention a side trip to a good friends’ house and you may have found perfection).  MWAH!  Best week in a long time.

7.      Any and all ultra-marathons.  Even a bad ultra-marathon is better than a normal 26.2 miles.  On the upside my running skillzzzz (slow with lots of endurance) trend toward the super long distance racing rather than the normal manageable distances that most runners find to their liking…this gives me the luxury of earning lovely dust collecting tchotchkes that I will cherish until I purge my clutter.

8.      St. John's School.  My happy place.  While very clearly stating that my children were at a wonderful public school (Gracie is still there) St. John’s has been an amazing fit my sweet and overly shy Ella.  The children in the class and the teacher have reached out to her in ways that are simply not possible in the public school setting.  Grace continues to excel in the public school, Ella has made huge strides emotionally and educationally at St. John’s due to the help of a great education team and an amazing student body.

My Eastern Divide Ultra Overall Female Master Award
I think these babies totally helped!
9.     Electro DeLytes ---the most amazing electrolyte supplement for ultra distance runners.  Literally easier on the stomach than water with a sweet citrus flavor that is completely lacking in after taste.  They are infused with electrolytes and really help to keep you going without that heavy pukey feeling we so often get when running over 30 miles on a sunny Saturday morning.  Added energy without added GI distress.  Hollaaaaa!

10.     The Silver Maple...Very unique and well made custom "race/fitness" jewelry.  They have a lot of other types of custom jewelry as well but my favorite one is called "Inspiration" they cut a word out of a vintage dictionary to make a charm and then make a copper background with the distance stamped into it. I used the word indomitable or untamable.  Anyway, I get a ton of positive comments on it and wear it almost everyday.
My gorgeous Silver Maple necklace.  LOVE!

I know everyone is now chomping at the bit to get out there and get my birthday gift for me (July 1st...I'll send out personal reminders later) least you now have a starting point.  Periodically I plan to add my list of favorite things...check back.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The day the technology got flushed away….

It’s official; I am now an idiot because of my smart phone. 
Yesterday I had planned to go to Annapolis for the day with a friend for a doctor’s appointment, no problem.  By 8:45 a.m. I was organized, ready and all set to be away from the house straight through until about 9:00 p.m. since I was teaching at the gym in the evening.
Then it happened.  My calm, cool, collected and very smart world went right in the potty…that’s right, I had my iPhone (with all of my aerobics music on it) in my back pocket and when I went to sit I heard a loud splash.  Bye bye very smart phone and organized world.
PANIC….why you ask?
I grab my stuff, add a few extra Body Pump releases to my bag (knowing full well that the CD player at the gym is “iffy” at best) and fly out the door to drop my Clara at kindergarten (the parents there know just how quickly I sprint now).

Pretty much sums up my drive yesterday.
At least I was NOT on the phone.
From there I bolt to my friend’s house to tell her to meet me at the Verizon store next to Starbucks, why not call???  Since my phone is so smart I am NOT…I do not know her number and did not have it anywhere handy.  CRUD.
I get to the Verizon store and do you know the one thing they do not keep in stock at the Verizon store? 
 Seriously? No phones at the
Verizon Wireless Phone store????
I am not lying.  They seriously do not keep any phones in stock but the a$$hats will overnight them to you for free IF you are at home at the time of delivery…no signature release.  So my panic is now at EPIC proportions, I do not like to be 1 ½ hours from my children with no communication skills.  The only reason I did not walk to BJ’s where I very easily could have left the store with a nice, happy programmed phone is because I have the insurance.  ARGH.
When my friend walks in I am in a complete frenzy, I am on Verizon’s landline phone laying into the insurance lady, explaining to the two employees at the front of the Verizon store the complete asinine nature of their new “no phone in store” idea of customer service and shooting a comment to anyone who even remotely gives me the stink eye.  My friend very sweetly suggests that we go get a cup of coffee…my response: “Do you SERIOUSLY want to put caffeine in this????” pointing towards my very frantic looking face (I am pretty sure the Verizon employees are still laughing about it, I had really ticked them off).
Pretty much sums up my level of cool and calm.
Once we got in the car and on our way I was much calmer but it took a while and led to a very interesting conversation about how stupid we all are since we handed all of our brains over to our phones and computers.  Essentially we are so driven to have more information and more data that we no longer memorize anything on our own hard drive, we have simply taught ourselves how to access the information.
Remember the days of memorizing the states and their capitols, being able to recite a Robert Frost poem verbatim, or entire acts from Shakespeare?   I used to know the phone numbers of almost everyone in my class by heart, if you had asked me yesterday to rattle off my best friend’s numbers from 8th grade, no problem.  However, someone that I talk to or text almost daily?  Not a clue past the first 6 digits, I have never had to actually dial her number.
Today I knew I would not get a new phone until late in the day so I went for a nice long trail run after I taught my class and decided to do it technology free to see what it felt like.  I left my Garmin and heart rate monitor at home, all I carried was a really old cell phone in case I had to call 911 and water; it was AWESOME. 
Sometimes you have to tune out to tune in. 
Granted; I know this trail like the back of my hand and it has mile markers every ¼ mile so I know essentially how far I ran but I have no idea of my pace.  Today I walked a lot and simply enjoyed the lake and peacefulness of the trail.  I thought a lot about my friends and how I am going to learn their phone numbers, from now on I am not going to just access information, I am going to start really learning it again. 
That's right...I am going to get smart while doing yoga..
I'll be all calm the next time Verizon stops stocking their ONLY product!
No more keeping all of my smarts in the phone…I am setting my brain back in the “ON” position. 
Watch out…game on!

So where are you on the smarts scale?
Did you hand it all over to your phone like me?
What random piece of information do you remember from childhood?
(I still know all NINE verses to Maryland my Maryland, thanks Mrs. Payte.) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I think I just landed a snot rocket on your car...HA!

Running in a small town…

Following are a list of my rants, compliments and experiences of running in a small town.

Most of the roads in my area to run on do not have sidewalks or shoulders, it is one lane each way and usually edged by fairly tall grass (littered with empty liquor bottles) on the side of the road. 

Typically I run with headphones but they are on so low that I can hear everything going on around me including snide comments from pedestrians on the road.  I always run facing traffic and get as far to the edge of the road as humanly possible, I have even had to jump into the woods on several occasions when the idiots are out…which is essentially everyday.

My observations in no particular order:

1.       Older women drivers WILL NOT veer out of their lane to give me an extra inch of running space for any reason.  Apparently their driving instructors told them to stay in their lane no matter what, even if it means killing the mother of small children. 

Guess what lady????  I probably just spit or landed a massive snot rocket on your car. If your car is within spit range…I land it EVERYTIME!  Classy =)
That's right old lady...come a little closer!

2.      My friends like to honk at me…STOP!  I am in my quiet happy place.  When you honk I practically jump into oncoming traffic, I do not like it.  Wave or text me later.  I LOVE YOU ALL!

Me leaping when you beep your horn....
but with cars to run me over.
3.       Apparently I run with my fingers in the “I love you” sign for sign language.  This has been pointed out to me several times, I kind of like it.  Take is as a compliment my love.  I ran near a woman for about 8 miles of a race who I will swear was extending her middle finger the entire time, be happy I love you!

4.      People tend to notice you out running.  I often get called out on sightings….heard were you running at ________.  Word has it that you were cranking out miles yesterday with _____.  Keep the sightings up, it makes me feel like I am the mysterious running chick,sort of the female version of Caballo Blanco or Micah True for those of you familiar.
A rare sighting of the Mysterious Trail Runner

5.      Old men in pick-up trucks like to talk to the funny running lady.  Most of them are lacking teeth but are super nice and always tell me how pretty I am…it's one of my favorite parts of living in a small town.

6.      Texting and talking on the phone while driving are NOT dead regardless of the law and are NOT safe.  Eyes on the road people…I think I am about out of extra lives.

Keep texting and driving; go ahead, run me down I will keep trying
to catch up and land my snot rocket.
7.       I live in a nice quiet neighborhood with homes on 3 acre lots, we have a nice and easy 10 mile run built right in along with the pool and tot lot.  The problem is, everyone is finishing up their breakfast, checking their purse, and sending out last minute texts as they drive WAY TOO FAST through our quiet little streets.  Your drive begins when you pull out of the driveway my friends.

I am sure I will come up with some more of my love/hate relationship with running in a small town and will be sure to keep you posted.  So keep your eyes on the road and your hands off your phone and your horn.

Always finish happy =)


What have you noticed while running?
Are you a honker?
Is spitting on someone's car rude when they are about to rudely mow you down?