Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Day

We celebrated my birthday at one of my favorite Cleveland restaurants, Momocho. It's owned by Eric Williams and has the best mod mex cuisine, amazing guacamole, yummy maragaritas. But the best part is dessert - the Patron XO...Mmmmm. Now that's what I call a great way to end a meal. Last year, we celebrated at his other restaurant, Happy Dog, where we enjoy hot dogs, tater tots, and tall PBRs (classy, I know). Afterwards, we all shared some red velvet cupcakes to finish off a fun night of celebrating Robin hitting another race age bracket. And hopefully the new Garmin I received for my birthday will help me kick ass in this new age bracket!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Physical Therapy: Running Analysis

What a humbling experience to undergo a running analysis - to see yourself running in slow motion. On the one hand, I can still see some MILD quad definition left over from 2 marathons, 6 half marathons and a half dozen other races during 2010. On the other hand, I can also see 3 months of a dormant running life taking its cellulite toll! Sigh, not pretty.

Turns out I have a mild care of knock knees. I actually googled this because I didn't even know if it was nock or knock. Thank goodness Google always asks, "Did you mean..." to which I am always grateful that some wiseguy geek programmer didn't write the program message with "Hey dumbass, what you really meant to ask is..." So due to my knock knee alignment, hip strengthening exercises are even more important for me. No problem - I now have a vast library of exercises to pull from!

The running analysis also revealed that my ankles roll the right amount, my heel strike is good, my arm swing and torso alignment is good (the muffin top not so good) and that I'm in the right shoe "for me." Continued work is needed on my hips as my right hip really drops everytime my left knee strikes the ground. Good news overall and I've been cleared to start running again! For the next 2 weeks, I'll follow a run/walk program, but no complaining here. I had my first "run" today with no pain and I'm over-the-top happy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dress You Up in My Love

If Lady Gaga can rip off Madonna, then so can I! After another hour long ride on the bike, I've decided I have to get cycling-specific bottoms. My arse is shot. I came up with my own white trash version of a chamois by rolling up a pair of my 3-year-old daughter's old sweatpants and sitting on them while biking. But then she saw them wedged between by rear and the bike seat like a bad cookie and I could see the shock and disappointment in my new invention. It's time for another Amazon package to land on my doorstep.

It's a cycling skort with a removable chamois - perfect for biking to work or biking in my basement!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mind on My Money and Money on My Mind

My family makes fun of my inability to know song titles as well as my "creative" song lyrics.

For example, while we were in Denver a couple weeks ago, I saw a 7-11 Store across from our hotel. I turned to Greg and said there's a song with 7-11 in the lyrics. I could see the look on his face - the look of "crap, she's going to MAKE me guess this song." So I sang 7-11, 7-11 (as if that helped?!). Less than 5 minutes later, Greg shakes his head and says it's Ice Cube. Yes! Today was a good day!

So today, my daily Etsy email announcement arrived in the inbox. One of the featured artists has a sign Mind on My Money and Money on My mind. Damn. I know this. I. KNOW. THIS. but I could use Greg to confirm it, but he was in mid-air on a plane. Gotta be Dre. But knowing my history for screwing up lyrics (take me down to the bare ass city), I googled it just in case. And yes, I was right. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

Now I'm off to iTunes to add this one to my running mix!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Best News from PT

Physical therapy was awesome yesterday. I totally enjoy seeing my PT each week and love that she increases the intensity of my exercises. I tried one legged squats today and can actually see the difference in my form. Best news of all, though. She told me that next week I get to run! She told me to pull my hair up in a ponytail because I'm going to sweat!!! I am over-the-top with joy. During next week's session, I'll be on the treadmill having my form critiqued. Apparently, it will be taped from several different angles and then played back to show me where my form is weak and what I'm doing wrong. I can hardly wait. I just know Tuesday night will be like the night before the first day of school - you know, when you toss and turn and can't sleep a wink. I mean, come on, running...I might actually get to start running REGULARLY again!

Hope you're having the best week ever as well!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wonderful View from My Bike

While churning out an hour ride last night, this was my wonderful view :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Girls with Sole Spinathon

Girls with Sole, a wonderful, local non-profit organization, conducted a spinathon today at Euphoria Fitness Center. I was lucky enough to reserve a bike for the 2:00 p.m. spin class led by my friend and spin instructor extraordinaire, Karen. What a fanastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon! I sweated what felt like a gallon of water while enjoying new tunes. Best of all, I left with a CD of the music - so cool! Way to go Karen for donating your time for such a good cause!

And congratulations to my sister-in-law Kim who finished her first 10k post-baby! Woohoo - and a great one to choose - the Sedona 10k! Way to go, Kim!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lover's Dictionary

I just finished reading one of the most smartly written, witty, and enjoyable works of fiction. I'm not sure when I read a fictional story I enjoyed so much. The newly-released The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, the same author of Nick and Nora's Ultimate Playlist, winds through the alphabet weaving stories in way as to define the word being used. No chapters, just a word in bold followed by a story that illustrates the meaning of the word at a point in time in a relationship. If you're looking for a sappy love story, this is not for you, unless you enjoy dysfunction and messiness at its finest. A couple "definitions" I enjoyed are:

punctuate, v. The key to a successful relationship isn't just in the words, it's in the choice of punctuation. When you're in love with someone, a well-placed question mark can be the difference between bliss and disaster, and a deeply respected period or a cleverly inserted ellipsis can prevent all kinds of exclamations.

bolster, v. I am very careful whenever I know you're on the phone with your father. I know you'll come to me eventually, and we'll talk you through it. But I have to wait - you need your time. In the meantime, I'm careful what songs I play. I try to speak to you with my selections.

It's a quick read at 211 pages and I know I will want to revisit this book again.

Amazon recently interviewed David Levithan and asked him what inspired him to write The Lover's Dictionary. I not only loved his answer, but I would really like to be in his circle of friends for next year's Valentine's installment! Read the interview here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Here Fishy Fishy

Earlier in January I bought a new racing swimsuit. It was on clearance and my old one had gone through all the pallette combinations of a Sherwin Williams paint sample and now needed to be discarded. So this week, I figured I would break in my new Speedo suit. I love where I work out because I am ALWAYS the youngest person - including in the pool. It's me and the three old men. They pool walk back and forth and I wish like hell I could hear what they're saying. There's times I just want to join in and start walking and bobbing along. Even more fun than that, I get to see them underwater with their super baggy swim trunks wondering if they're changing into their Sansabelt Men's Comfort slacks when finished.

Before I got into the pool today, I saw an older lady gliding along in the pool. I thought, "Oh, she's not going fast. Just enjoying a nice swim." You guessed it. She blew me away. It had been the first time I suited up this year, but she totally chic'd me. I must work on this thing called swimming...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Race Travel

In the March 2011 issue of Running Times, Rachel Toor writes about Race Travel. The timing of this article couldn't be more perfect. A friend asked her if she could recommend a "picturesque" race like somewhere in Italy so he could bring his wife on the trip. Like a race-cation, if you will. But she goes on to write:

"Why is it that whenever I plan to travel anywhere, before I make hotel or plane reservations, I poke around to see if there are any races? Marathons are the best, especially if they're on trails, but gnarly, nasty ultras that will surely leave me bloody and bruised are good too. Even shorter distances, if they're boutique-y and unusual, will suffice. There's something in me that says that if I'm going to travel, I should race." She read my mind. I am guilty of doing this and my husband even calls me out on it. He'll ask if I want to join him on a work trip and I will actually search google first to see if there's a good race going on. If not, I generally pass.

Is anyone else guilty of turning a vacation into a race-cation? Or at least guilty of maybe googling a town just in case there's a race going on at the same time?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Denver Race Pictures

I tried to beat her, yet not slide into the finish like it was home plate!

New Friends at the Race

Had such a great time - as you can see I was all smiles. It was great, just great, being part of a race again! And thanks to Running Guru who finally gets the whole race picture thing right. They actually offer you the digital photo to be emailed for 99 cents! I actually ordered 4. I wish more races would catch on to the digital concept, not to mention the low 99 cent cost. Now that was the perfect schwag!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pulling An Audible

Audible: A play change at the line of scrimmage. The quarterback changes the play using spoken code.

According to Greg, I am the Peyton Manning of running. A play has been called, but I go up to the line and make a last minute radical change. And that my friends is how I checked off the state of Colorado.

I was originally scheduled to run a 7k snowshoe race in Frisco, Colorado Sunday morning, about 90 minutes from Denver and 7 miles from Breckenridge (my favorite ski town). However, an unanticipated snow storm moved in closing portions of 70 and making the Eisenhower Tunnel challenging at best with Loveland Pass closed. Since we're driving the Gerard Butler car (Chrysler 300) and it has less traction than my running shoes in an Alaskan blizzard, we opted to skip the race. On a whim, I checked to see if downtown Denver had a race and they did. Hot damn! The 30th state would get checked off afterall. So with my trail shoes and lots of shivering, not to mention a hope and a prayer that the altitude would not wear me down (hello super-thin air!), I toed the line at the incredibly icy start and finished the Super Bowl 5k run. Best of all, we met folks from CLE and ended up having a hell of a good time! We knew they were from Cleveland because he was totally decked out in a parka and gloves with Browns logo all over. So cool to see. He hadn't lived in Cleveland since the early 80s, yet would only root for the Browns no matter where he lived.

Runners gathering at the race start - check out the ice under the snow!

Proof positive that I was in Denver!

I wish I had a little Captain in me, but this pic was taken to show the snow Denver received!

The course was wicked icy because Denver had rain most of Saturday, followed by a snowstorm Saturday night into early Sunday morning. But the post-race shwag was kick-ass and the small race feel couldn't be beat! They served coffee and bagels. Sketchers passed out pedometers. Cascadian Farms, Larabar, Sport Beans, Pop Chips and Muscle Milk all passed out free samples. Nice, friendly, small race that may turn out to be one of the more fun races I've tackled!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I Ran

It.was.freaking.wonderful! Just 2 miles on the treadmill at a snail's pace, but it brought the biggest smile to my face all afternoon. Hope your weekend starts off as well as mine!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What I'm Loving: Tara Stiles

Women's Health magazine featured a 2-page yoga workout developed by Tara Stiles in their September 2010 issue. The workout consists of eight poses to "tone up and slim you down." Each pose must be held for 5 breaths cycling through the workout twice. You move through plank, down dog, down dog split, down dog knee to forehead, low lunge, high lunge, high lunge with twist, rotated triangle. It's geared toward building strength and I can't believe how exhausted my arms are! I'm hoping that the cycling, yoga and physical therapy exercises will keep me conditioned enough for a nice return to running!

I'm on the waiting list at our local library for her Slim Calm Sexy Yoga book. I like that she's no-nonsense and all about strength without the new age crap. Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The People at My Gym

After awhile of going to a gym at the same time everyday, you start to recognize "the regulars." Yesterday, as I'm on the dreadmill looking around (whining inside about not running), I couldn't help but make up little stories about my regular gym-mates. There's this older man, probably in his mid 60s with the fittest calves I've seen. He has to be a cyclist, I figure. Every day he is striding away on the Nordic Trak. My gym only has one of these, which sits directly in front of my treadmill. I have 7 TVs available to watch, but instead I watch him. He strides with such ease, whereas I would no doubt look clumsy. Then I catch a glance of his cut calves and I can't help but wonder how many hours a week he spends on that thing.

Then there's this guy in his 30s who wears a bandana on his head EVERY day...and get this, it's a different color each day. He runs super fast (you know, faster than me). I keep trying to catch a glance at his control board, but without my glasses, there's no chance in hell I could tell. He also wears different marathon shirts. But seriously, who can run an hour or more during their lunch? I can't figure out what job he has. And where does he do his bandana shopping?

There's also this younger female who stares down at us from the second floor. It's like she's the warden and is making sure we don't get all cardio crazy. She's got a body builder's physique and scares the crap out of me. I've decided to never mess with the warden.

So do you frequent a gym? Do you have "regulars" you watch, too?