Monthly Archives: June 2012

Deep, Cleansing Breath….

Wednesday.  4 kids at summer camp this week so only 4 at home.  I know you might not get that, but it’s SO much easier and I enjoy the more one on one time I get with the kids.  Chris took the day off (since it’s one of my days off) and we went to the lake.  No super early departure, no stress, no hassle.  Just a nice, fun trip to the lake.

Me chillin’!

Nicolas peeking





Kids tubing

Chris. You can see me in the mirror taking the pic

Kezia wake boarding

Yesterday (Thursday if I have my days in order) I decided to have the 4 kiddos bike while I ran.  I wanted 10 miles but decided to do a part of the bike path I haven’t done before.  Maybe a mistake but this is how we learn…. Some things just don’t go as planned.  I like to plan.  It makes me happy.  Over time, however, I think I’ve learned to let some things go.  Just breathe….  I’ll also readily admit that things NOT going as planned are sometimes even better.

The best four member crew team EVER!!!

We drove the path to get a feel for where we wanted to park.  Done.  I know the bike path goes about 9 miles from this point so ten with an out and back shouldn’t be an issue.  Right??  Just 5 miles.  Wrong.  We started.  Kezia’s chain fell off.  No biggie.  After 20 minutes of fighting it and wishing I had a sledge hammer a very nice man stopped to help.  In about 30 seconds it was done.  Really??  Yes, I’m thankful.  Yes, I was frustrated.  We were off again.  One of the water bottles was too small and kept falling out.  So I carried it.  I don’t like carrying things but oh well.  Right??  We were having a pretty good time even in 90* heat.

Best kids ever!! Stopping for a photo op

The biggest issue is that the bike path didn’t allow bikes on it.  I don’t understand either.  So we were on the path, down to the road back and forth.  That meant I was running with traffic so the kids could follow the bike rules, watching them and figuring out where they could be on the path….  It was just a little distracting.  The point for me to use the bike path is to NOT think.  NOT to be distracted and NOT to worry about vehicles.  The path winds with the river and goes through downtown which is fun – lots of energy, lots going on.  But for me it was just more to watch out for.

I had to pee at the start of the run and usually there are open buildings.  Couldn’t find anything.  Even detoured to see if we could find one.  Running is more fun when the bladder is empty….  When I ran I averaged 8:30 minute miles, but my overall time was 10:14 so that gives you an idea how much we had to reroute, stop, figure things out, etc…  Taylor was lead bike and main crew for me.  The great thing is how much we talked.  He runs quite a bit now and if anything happens to throw him off his groove, if he has to stop for any reason, the run is over for him.  So talking about how there are naturally going to be distractions, how your mileage and time isn’t always what you want, how much of running is a mental game, how great it is just to be out there doing something even if it doesn’t go as planned – it was a fantastic opportunity to hopefully teach them those lessons.  Just breathe.  Just roll with it.  Just be happy for everything you do have.  At 2 miles the path ended to pick up again after utilizing some downtown streets.  But we stopped.  It was hot, taking a long time and I didn’t know what the kids would be able to bike on.  So we turned around.

We went a slightly different way back because I thought we’d avoid more traffic and found this:

Every runner/bikers dream!!

I have to say I don’t usually have big expectations for porta-potties.   But this one was one of the most disgusting I’ve seen yet.  And still, this is how I felt:

YES!! Prayers really do get answered!!!

We got back to the van with just over 4 miles on the books.  Sure it wasn’t what I’d hoped for but we certainly did have a wonderful time.  Life is good….


My daughter is trying to kill me!!

My kids have grown up with exercise being paramount. I’ve run all of their lives (although there were “slower” times), had exercise equipment in my house, dvds, races, personal trainer, fitness competitions, etc… It doesn’t matter to me if running becomes their thing – I want them to have a healthy, active lifestyle.

Brianna (Bri) is 20, goes to college and works full time at Reno Running Company.  She’s an amazing young woman and has participated in several sports in her lifetime.  She’s running more seriously due to her job, training for a triathlon and hitting the gym regularly.  Working out alone isn’t always fun due to the lack of accountability so she and I get together sometimes so she can torture workout with me.  Yesterday she had it typed out and we went to the local track.  Typed out should have been a warning for me but NOOOOO……  I think she’s enjoying being the one in charge bossing me around…  Actually she did a fantastic job.  We cut it a little short due to 30+ mph winds but got most of the page done. We were planning on timing a mile and a cool down run that we scrapped.

Here’s what we did:  2 slow laps around track to warm up, 5 200 meter sprints with 2 minute break in between, 3 sets of 10 each:  Burpees, box squats, one-legged lunges. 3 sets of 20 toe taps on bleachers and 3 sets of 25 mountain climbers.  Then lots of stretching on the grass.  Bri is a great coach and we had a blast.  Laughed a lot, worked out hard, got buffeted by wind….  Thanks Bri!!  Having children who are adults and working out is new and I love it!!

This morning my legs and butt are feeling that workout, thank you very much!!  Here’s to next time (and maybe a picture that I’m in…??)

Reno 5000 5K and Fun Run

I so adore doing races with my kids. In the past if they run, I become the spectator and keep track of everyone – necessary with 8-12 kids participating, especially when they were younger.   We’ve done several races however Reno 5000 was immediately our favorite. Will – our fearless race director – does such an amazing job. I appreciate so many qualities about him- his organization, his drive, his foresight, his ability to listen to what the racers want, his enthusiasm to name just a few. I’m the runner who wants more local races but doesn’t want to actually manage one and I realize it’s an opportunity for the kids and me to volunteer for the races we’re not actually participating in.

My enthusiasm for packet pickup has worn off on the kids to the point that our day before the race revolves around going to collect our race bibs, chips, shirts and goodie bags.  This time around Chris and I decided to race at the same time as the kids instead of being spectators.  With our youngest at 9 years old and an event where we know several people we felt completely comfortable being able to do this which is so fantastic.

Nicolas and Samuel ran the 1 mile fun run first and the rest of us – Chris, myself and 7 kids ran the 5K.  We had a spot for the two boys to wait for us and they had a “job” to do for the race while they waited.  Nicolas finished in ten minutes and Samuel in eleven.  Regardless of their times what I liked most is that they both really enjoyed themselves.  I certainly can’t say thank you enough for that!!

The course was all trail, not super difficult but challenging.  The weather was perfect in temperature but the winds were pretty bad.  It didn’t stop the race from being a blast!  It’s so well organized that regardless of the wind everything went off without a hitch.  We all start together, but I think it’s important for the kids to learn to run their own race.  Some of them do stay together, but since it’s well marked with many participants I don’t worry about them being “alone”.  They’re very confident in their ability to finish the distance, the rest is just about what their time is compared to other 5K races they’ve completed.  This time around, Kezia ran her first 5K and her excitement was contagious.

Chris, Nicolas and Samuel didn’t place in the top three but all of them had a good run and loved the event.  Brianna stayed with three of the girls so her time was slower than normal but she still placed 4th as did Taylor.  It’s hard when you’re so close to the podium!!!  Olivia and I placed 3rd in our age divisions and Kezia placed 2nd in hers.  The other 3 girls are in the same age division, all 3 crossed the finish line together and all 3 placed!!  By the time my age division was announced, the announcer said our family had dominated the race!  How awesome!!!  I’ve always tried to express to the kids that it’s not about winning – it’s about running your own race and feeling good about what you’ve accomplished, but I’ll admit it is fun to win.

For me, being able to afford to do a couple family races a year, to train together and participate together is a blessing.  It’s time well spent with each other and teaches my kids a healthy lifestyle that will hopefully last throughout their lives.  The memories though, are priceless.

Uh, Define “Normal”

One of my besties – Kelly Dooley – whom I love and adore, respect and admire also happens to be the owner of BodyRock Sport a company that I also love, adore, respect, admire, etc… She lives and works out of New York City and my alter ego (which happens to be a huge part of me) actually wants to pack up and move there so I can beg a job off her and live in her world. Since that seems to not be on my agenda (Seriously??  I think my alter ego is smarter than I am!), I’m resigned to live over 3000 miles away but support her in any way I can.  Like shopping on her website as often as possible and wearing all of her designs.  Tough job.  I can handle it.  You’re welcome.

BodyRock is just phenomenal.  I hope everyone in my little blog circle goes to the site and, when you do, read Kelly’s Closet as well as how she names her sports bras and how some are approved for mastectomy and breast augmentation recovery.  Kelly gives back well even though her company is still technically young.

I found a recent comment on BodyRock’s Facebook interesting.  BodyRock posted a picture of a beautiful model in fantastic shape showing a new yoga bra and booty shorts.  Nothing unusual.  The comment was that she’d like to see “normal” women modeling the clothing.  What the heck is “normal”??  I commented that nearly every picture I’ve sent wearing BodyRock has been posted and BodyRock commented back that I was also BodyRocker of the Month in April.  True story and quite an honor and a privilege.

So again, define normal.  For those of you who haven’t read every detail about me, I’m 41 years young, I’ve been pregnant 7 times and for (and because of) those pregnancies I’ve endured 10 surgeries.  7 to become pregnant and 3 at the end of my baby making career including a hysterectomy at 33.  I breastfed for 11 years cumulatively and had 3 children in diapers for several years.  All that time I did foster care and adopted children as well making a big, fun family with 13 children.  So,no, I”m obviously not normal but what I’m trying to say is that if I can get in and stay in shape through all of that anyone can.  Not only do I firmly believe that but I also believe that as women and moms we may no longer (or ever) be cover model material but we’re no less beautiful.  So today on a 3 mile walk/run with my kids I asked them to take some pictures of me in BodyRock.  No makeup artist.  No hair dresser.  No special lighting.  No back drops.  No touch ups or airbrushing.  No trimming my thighs and enhancing my boobs.  Just me sporting shorts and a bra from BodyRock in my driveway.  Yes I deleted the ones where I look like I’m about to sneeze and I’m my own worst critic so I’ll let you know I didn’t like the lighting but I didn’t have time to move the sun and didn’t take the time to change location because honestly, it’s just me…. (Kelly I’m ready to be flown out for my photo shoot.  Just send the plane ticket and the limo!!)

Here’s to being normal!!

Bricks on Hump Day!!

My 20 year old daughter, Bri is training for a triathlon. I told her I would crew her for it since she’s always been my cheering crew as I dragged her to so many of my races. Plus it’s so exciting to watch her grow as a beautiful young woman and push herself athletically. Today we did a brick workout. 10 miles on bikes followed immediately by a 3 mile run. Utilizing my van and the bike path made this easy logistically however….. I’ve never done a brick workout. It was fascinating to jump off a bike and attempt to take off on a run!  Legs feel like lead, blood is pumping through all the wrong muscles…  The first 1/4 mile was weird feeling and we giggled a lot but it was fun and at the end we both felt like we got a great workout.  Thank you, Bri!  I think I’ll have another!!  Maybe once a week…


Run Amuck

It happened. 2.5 miles with 13 obstacles including a mud pit and a 3 story wet, inflatable slide. My team – “Down and Dirty” was the best EVER!!! Ten of us – 4 women and 6 men tackled the course like the beasts we are!!  The race didn’t start until 2 pm and it turned out to be in the 90’s but naturally, that didn’t stop us.  We met just after 1 pm, got everyone registered, shirts on and starting location scoped out.  We were in the second wave – one of our teammates making it to the start line with scant seconds to spare.  Then we were off!!  Sure like all races with obstacles we ran between and then waited in line.  We stuck together though and laughed the entire way.  One of our men as well as myself were pulled aside at the end to be interviewed by a news station.  By default I am now famous….  Here’s our day in pictures:

Time Flies

I don’t know where the week went! I don’t feel like I’ve been particularly busy but here it is – Friday already. Tomorrow is the Run Amuck race. 2.5 miles of obstacles and mud. My team’s has 8-10 people (we’ll see who shows up) and the name is Down and Dirty. Very excited!!

Here’s the week in review:

My 10 year old daughter Kezia got her braces off

Kezia after she got her braces off

I got MY hair done (sometimes hard when you’re a hairdresser!)

After getting my own hair done

I ran.  I love running….  And sometimes don’t love it…  No running pictures but here I am post run making dark chocolate chip pancakes because my 20 year old came over for a visit and said “MOM!!  Don’t you want to make us pancakes??  You’re the only one that knows how to make pancakes like I like… ”  Insert cute puppy eyes and sniffing and pouting…

Making pancakes post run. Nice fuzzy picture

I run a lot of errands…  Sometimes in my pj’s if I don’t have to really get out of the car.  Sometimes I actually attempt to look civil.

More errands

Going to the store

Yes, I brought my girls on errands in my pj’s…

I did a store run to make the shirts for the Run Amuck race.  I actually like being on a team.  Huh.  Go figure!

Picking out iron on letters for Run Amuck shirts! Taylor was a big help!

Womens shirt for Run Amuck

Mens shirt for Run Amuck

The family went to the lake yesterday.  We had a blast.  Didn’t take many pictures because I was apparently so happy to just be out in the sun without wind and got seriously sun drunk.

On the way to the lake – like my daughters sunglasses?? Trying so hard to be cool!!

Olivia jumping on me on our boat outing


Run Reno for Steve Good

This is me in a non-running moment June 2012

Steve Good of Grassroots Give and the Grassroots Give Blog as well as A Good Run who lives across the US from me in Florida, contacted me a couple months ago to write for him.  I was thrilled.  This is what I wrote for him:

Thirteen children call me “Mom” so your confusion is understandable when I tell you that, from the age of 15, I didn’t think I could have children. Short story… Seven infertility surgeries and LOTS of medication later I did have a child. It was enough of an experience that I knew if things didn’t happen on their own, I’d just adopt. I grew up surrounded by dysfunction, so adopting children within social services touched an empathetic chord within me. For nine years I was licensed as a foster parent and feel blessed my life was touched by the children that came through my home. Seven pregnancies and a hysterectomy later I felt contentedly done with that chapter in my life. In the end, the children I am Mommy to consist of 6 biological, 5 adopted, one foster that, lucky for me never left but couldn’t be adopted and one foreign exchange student from Germany who has never stopped being my daughter.  Many things have kept me in physical (and mental) shape.  Staying active during and in between pregnancies allowed me to keep up, keep sane and never get discouraged.  One thing that was always a part of my life to some extent or another was running. Inexpensive, portable and done in nearly any weather running not only keeps me in good physical shape, it gives me a chance for my head to clear. It’s time to think, problem solve and plan but mostly it’s time for me.

When I was contacted to do this post, I was in the midst of fundraising for Relay For Life.  The hair shop I worked at raised over $600 to donate to Relay.  It may not seem like a lot, but every dollar counts.  Anyone who’s suffered from cancer or has watched a loved one can agree with that.  Steve Good – choreographer of this running adventure told me that was a cause worth celebrating.

I’m highlighting ten different locations, most of which are small, privately owned and operated here in Reno.  I know the people personally in almost all cases and feel strongly in supporting smaller businesses.  My 20 year old daughter, Brianna crewed me for this running adventure and we had such a great time.  I appreciate her willingness to lend a hand, take pictures and have fun with me even when parking downtown.


First stop:  University of Nevada Reno.  GO WOLF PACK!!!

There is such an enormous amount of energy surrounding anything UNR.  Fantastic support from our city, fun events, sports, fundraisers (where I did Relay For Life).  I’ve spent quite a bit of time doing things UNR related and I appreciate having a university in our midst.

University of Nevada Reno! GO WOLF PACK!!  If you squint you can see me under there!!


I’ve known these 3 crazy men for years now.  They do all the T-shirt and banner printing for UNR as well as most of the ski resorts.  3 guys who graduated from UNR and decided to strike out on their own.  They were also landlords when I worked in the other half of their building so I know them well.  They have tirelessly been assisting me in designing and printing T-shirts for my blog.  (that, my friends, is a work in progress!)

Fuel Screen Printing. Dustin (one of the owners) posing for a shot with me!

STOP #3:  Fireside Deli

You know when you meet someone amazing – a capacity to help others, to work unselfishly, someone who’s always there, supportive, just all around great person that you appreciate knowing and spending time with??  That’s who John is.  He’ll remember your name, what’s going on in your life and always asks how your day is going.  On top of that, he owns and operates a tiny, hole-in-the-wall deli that you’d never know was there.  Once you do, though, you’ll always go back.  John makes everything from scratch and adds those little touches that tell you he cares.  Whether it’s his meatballs or chicken and dumplings, his patty melt or breakfast sandwiches I can guarantee it will be good.  Mostly because John made it!

Fireside Deli. Meet my friend John; owner and operator of this small but amazing deli here in downtown Reno

STOP #4:  Reno eNVy

Fuel Screen Printings 3 guys opened up a T-shirt shop of their own as well.  Scott, one of the 3 owners runs the store.  I have several of their funny shirts – all of which are my “favorites”.  They partnered up with Reno/Sparks visitors center for a one stop location that’s everything Reno. Check them HERE and HERE

Scott – all around great guy and one of the owners of Reno eNVy clothing store as well as Reno’s Visitors Center

STOP #5:  Downtown Reno bike path

Approximately 12 miles from end to end, the Truckee River Bike Path is consistently busy.  The well maintained, beautiful, tree lined 4 foot wide path winds through town following the river. I run on sections of this pretty much every week through every season.  It’s a nice way to run in a safe environment that feels as though you’re not running in a city.

Reno bike path downtown bridge.

Yes, I’m dangerously standing on the bridge fencing….

STOP # 6:  Arch of Reno

The arch lets you know you’re in the heart of downtown where all the action is.  It’s a famous landmark here in Reno.  It is the start and finish of the Reno Rock N River Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K that I ran in May.  (I did the half and PR’d with a time of 1:47!)  And yes, a bus almost hit me getting this shot but for the blog it was worth it….

Reno’s famous arch.

STOP # 7:  SUP Restaurant

A few years ago a young couple opened up this restaurant.  They wanted as much organic, homemade and healthy menu items as they could pack in.  They partnered with other local companies to supply bread and veggies as well as created their own enormous garden at their home to supply the restaurant with fresh produce.  They were such an enormous hit, shortly after opening, they moved a block north to occupy a larger building.  It’s always packed here but the food is beyond amazing and the staff is always on the ball so the wait is never long and always worthwhile.  This is my favorite lunch spot for friends, my older daughter or my husband.  It’s just SUP-erb!!

This restaurant never disappoints!! It’s a staple for lunch dates.

STOP #8:  1776 National Guard Way – Air Force

In my younger years, I was fortunate enough to spend 4 years as a military dependent so I can relate to the struggles and blessings of military life.  I honestly have no adequate words to thank the men and women of all the armed forces for their dedication.  Their hard work allows me to live a lifestyle where I can put on my shorts and sports bra and run through the streets of the city.  They defend my rights and freedoms that I unquestionably take for granted.  A close friend of mine is stationed here and gathered his troops for this photo opportunity.  My gratitude is boundless.

For most of my life I have had the privilege of knowing men and women in the military. These guys ROCK!!

How can we possibly thank them enough?

Bri and I both got in for a shot with our fantastic active duty here in Reno

STOP# 9:  The Celtic Knot

Kevin is a good friend of mine who, not so long ago, confided in me his dream to have his own bar.  A bartender for years, his dream was finally realized this year when he and two of his friends jumped on an opportunity.  I continue to tell him how courageous he is to have followed his dream – a dream that is now realized and doing well.  Cozy, homey atmosphere with some raging karaoke as well as bottle throwing bartenders to entertain you.  It’s reminiscent of Cheers where you just feel relaxed while enjoying the company of friends.

Kevin is a man I admire. He and two buddies followed through on a lifetime dream….

I’ll be bar-tending with Kevin soon….

STOP # 10:  Reno Running Company

Favorite.  Store.  Ever.  My daughter Bri works here now but prior to that I knew a few of the other amazing employees.  There isn’t a question this staff can’t answer for you!  Newly opened by a stunning, energetic young couple – Matt and Amy – the store has everything to satisfy your inner runner.  Many packet pick ups are held here, the store offers Thursday evening trail runs as well as Sunday morning runs through Reno.  All ages and abilities are welcome and upon returning from the runs they always provide drinks and snacks.  They’ve done free classes to the public on yoga for running and regularly have guest speakers.  Nirvana….

The conclusion to the Run Reno!!

Brianna and I were starving from our big adventure today so we headed back to SUP for lunch.

Bri and me were lucky to get lunch at SUP. Nice reward after our run through Reno!

Then Bri had her shift to work at Reno Running Company.  Good thing she fueled up first!!  Thank you, Brianna for being the best at crewing me for all my running adventures!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such amazing support!!

Sunday, Sunday…

Windy. It’s getting old fast. Actually it got old about 5 months ago, now it’s just irritating.  Thought with warmer weather the winds might die down or the temperatures would make it easier but no such luck….

Last night we celebrated my son’s 13th birthday party. Taylor is sarcastic and fun and so was his party.

This afternoon the wind tamed down to 11 mph so we grabbed the kids, went to the bike path and did some training. Chris and I did 5 miles, Taylor did 4 and everyone else did 3 for the 5K coming up in 2 weeks.  SWEET!!  It’s out and back so my first half was just over 8 minute miles.  I passed Chris, caught up with Taylor (who drank most of my water).  I like running with the kids because we have the best conversations.  Taylor decided I was right.  He shouldn’t have eaten so much for lunch before a run and should have worn a T-shirt instead of long sleeves.  I’m a genius basically.  He also let me know he didn’t want pictures of him taken today because everyone would be able to tell it was a bad run for him.  That meant no pictures of Nicolas who was riding his bike with him.

Caught up to the other 5 kids with one mile to go.  I ran/walked with them for 3/4 of the mile then told them I’d see them at the finish.  I had good talks with them as well and man do they have attitude!!  Sam doesn’t like riding his bike because they’re too slow…  Kezia is training for her first 5K so she “doesn’t need to push it like the other kids”, Gabrielle is a walk/runner.  Alana wants it her way, Ashlea just stays quiet and I believe takes over for me as mediator…  But they all did well.  Pictures of our evening last night and run today….

Holy Wind Tunnel Batman!!

Wind. 30+ mph winds for months really. We’ve had temperature drops and just relentless winds. Makes it difficult to log miles but oddly enough for race days the weather has been pretty good.  I’m trying not to think of all the places I could move with more temperate weather conditions….

I started a team for Run Amuck via the Reno River Festival. The race is next Saturday – YAY!!  2.5 miles with obstacles and (of course) mud. Our team’s name is Down and Dirty and I’m really looking forward to it. Until then, I’m logging as many miles as possible around the wind…. And trying to maintain all my obnoxious optimism…

Just keep going…