Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sleeping In

I slept in. Seriously, my kids asked if I was sick because I never, never sleep past 7:30 and that’s a late morning. But today I must have needed it because I woke up at 7:30, went to the bathroom, figured I’d just lay and relax for a few minutes and wake up slowly and when I opened my eyes it was 10.  TEN!!!!  Holy cow!  I feel like a new person today and very, very relaxed……

Tomorrow I have a trail race that I’m pretty excited about.  7.5 miles and hard on trails I’ve trained on – not regularly but enough to be familiar with the area.  I keep thinking race season is over and then the team finds another one, or I realize there’s one more….  After this I believe there are only 2 more for the year but don’t hold your breath….  I feel very blessed this year as far as races go.  I used to enter races and then took two years off from entering any events although I still ran very consistently all by my lonesome.  I decided I missed the events so this year my goal was to enter a couple.  To my amazement I had gotten faster, was asked to join my team and I’ve entered many more events than I had anticipated.  For a hard year financially that’s even more of a blessing.

At any rate, today will be a lazy day spending a few hours at the lake with our boat.  Some kids are going, some are hanging out at home.  Every once in a while it’s just good to have a down day no matter how you end up spending it…..  My thoughts, in part, are focused on tomorrows race, as well as the blessings in my life – my family, my friends, our home, my team….

Red Bull Mile

Until recently, I was not aware of the speed mile with drinking involved.  NOW I’ve heard of the beer mile, whiskey mile and tequila mile in various forms.  Usually held on a track, the object is to run a lap, drink, run a lap, drink, etc…  until all four laps are completed and all the drinks are gone.  The person who crosses the finish line first wins.  Naturally there are rules.  You must finish every drop of the drink.  You must put the cup in garbage can.  Not completing either of these results in penalty seconds.  Also, if you throw up it’s an automatic DQ.

How many laps you run to get your mile

I’m not a drinker so the only appeal for me is watching other people run around a track stopping to slam a drink and continue running until they start throwing up or get drunk.  Possibly both.  Capturing it on camera is even better!!

Our teams summer long Wednesday night track workout is at an end.   Wednesday nights are the most busy with my kids, so I’ve only been able to attend once to be part of the team picture for our next year.  Until two days ago.  Last track workout??  Red Bull mile??  Well, alrighty then!!  I rearranged driving with the kids (yes, it’s nice when you have a couple kids that drive!), fed them early, brought Chris and the 3 remaining kids to the track with me and was ready to get my Red Bull drink on.  Red Bull due to the track being at a school with football season in swing (no alcohol) and to make it easier for the teammates who aren’t of age.

Gabrielle’s self portrait – she was camera girl


Kezia and Samuel looking thrilled to be there cheering!

Chris was my “timer”

Red Bull (and juice boxes for the faint of heart)

I’m second from left in my “I’m getting ready” stance!!

On right standing like I’m all casual when in reality I was a nervous wreck!! Coach on left being bossy as usual…

We got broken down into groups by how fast we are.  I was in the Winged Women group (because Red Bull gives you wings!) which was the faster group with (I think?? 7 of us).  Timers started and we were off!!!  Run two laps, drink a Red Bull and run two more laps.  I was nervous about throwing up after the Red Bull.  I had never had one before, but I don’t like energy drinks as a whole and since I don’t drink them I assumed my stomach would rebel during the second 2 laps.  What I didn’t anticipate was how hard it would be to drink 8 oz of liquid at a fast pace.  It was SO much harder to drink that can than I imagined!!  Chris said it took me 36 seconds to get it down.

NO clue….

On left going strong!!

I finished my last 2 laps.  Lap 3 felt pretty good, but that last one I felt like my stomach was a balloon, I really did think I’d puke and I know I slowed down.  I finished 3rd with a total time of 7:36 – Chris said without the stop to drink I would have run the mile in under 7 minutes which I think is pretty fast.  Overall in the entire team only two people actually threw up (out of about 30) and we all had a blast.  It was fun to push hard but do it for fun and compete against each other – just a bunch of teammates that genuinely like each other.  Now about that beer mile…..



My First DuAthlon Experience

I’m anti multi-sport races. Why?? Because I don’t really do other sports. Not necessarily because I can’t or I’m not OK at them, but as a working wife and mom there are limited hours in the week that I can dedicate to training. Half marathons are my favorite because I can do one 12 mile run and a couple shorter runs every week all year long. Basically, it’s easy for me to maintain that schedule. I haven’t done a marathon because it’s twice the training.  I know this because I trained for two that I didn’t end up running.  Doubling my training can be done for one or maybe two events per year but it would take some rearranging and, quite frankly, I’m not willing to do that.  Same with multi-sport races.  I can swim and bike but to actually train to do an event would take some serious effort and at least double my training time.  So when my amazing coach (aka race director) posts and talks about the DuAthlon’s he puts on I politely tune him out.  Not my thing.  Until last weekend when my teammate Olivia asked me to be her partner.  She’s taking a break from running due to injury but her biking skills are off the chart.  So I was in!!

Entering an event as a relay is a double edged sword.  I feel more pressure to perform well because it’s not just my race result that matters.  I care about the other person.  It’s more fun because you get to share the adventure with someone else.  Olivia was the consummate partner.  We got to know each other better, we had SO much fun (really, it was ridiculous how much fun we had!!) and despite her work schedule she was able to stay the entire race which was a very pleasant surprise.

I ran the first 5K (and our competition was ahead by nearly 5 minutes – Sara is incredibly fast) and was happy with my results.  We high fived and Olivia was off to bike her 18 miles.  Not only did she make up that five minute gap and come in faster than she had anticipated, she added a cushion that made it so it was possible for us to win if my second 5K went well.  Sara is my teammate and my friend and I absolutely adore her.  She’s also in my age category and in every race we run, I know she’ll beat me.  It’s not just a small gap, she’s freakishly fast.  I knew that this would be the only race I could possibly beat her at.  At the half way mark of the second 5K, another teammate and friend at the aid station yelled, “Don’t let Sara pass you!!”  Ahhh…  So everyone was in on this little game….  Lovely!  As I rounded the corner to come down the final leg, I heard Olivia SCREAMING my name and I was so happy she was still there to see the finish!!  I picked up the pace and also heard footfalls gaining on me.  So I picked up the pace more.  So did the person behind me.  So I did.  I knew, just KNEW it was Sara so I gave it all I had.  My watch read a 4:40 pace for that section of the run.  At the very end, I was passed.  Since Sara is not the 25 year old attractive black man who passed me, I knew I had actually beat her.  Olivia was screaming, “WE WON!!  WE WON FIRST PLACE!!!  YOU DID IT!!”  Less than 2 minutes later, Sara came screaming across the finish line.  Bent over and panting, she looked at me and said, “All I kept trying to do was catch you! But I never saw you”  I said, “All I tried to do is not let you catch me.  This is the only time I’ll ever  beat you and I”m going to do a happy dance!”  And I did!!  Being teammates who like and respect each other makes competing actually fun.  Not cut throat, just giggle and hug fun.

Alex was the person who passed me.  He came up to me and asked me why I kept speeding up and I told him because he kept speeding up.  Duh!!  The energy of a Duathlon and a relay is so much bigger, so much more everything and I hope I get to do one again.

Color Me Rad 5K

Color Me Rad 5K hosted at UNR here in Reno was on my “to do” list of races until last month. With a $55 entry and other races with higher priority and a lower price tag, I decided I just couldn’t swing it.

Yesterday I visited my daughter Bri where she works at Reno Running Company where the packet pickup for the race was being held.  I brought her lunch and a treat because I’m that kind of Mom.  She had texted me earlier “Mom!!  I have a surprise for you!” so I was even more excited to stop by.  When I arrived she pulled out two comp tickets for the race for the two of us.  SURPRISE!!!!!  Sweet!!  So she and I did packet pickup for ourselves, decided immediately what matching outfits we’d wear and did a little happy dance.  So. Much. Happiness.

It was fun to do a 5K with no chip timing, no garmin, no water, no headphones.  It took us about half an hour to run it (with 4000 of our best friends).  For many people this was the first 5K or event they’d ever done.  The atmosphere was electric, upbeat, casual and just crazy.  At every turn we were pegged with corn starch color powder or drenched with color from volunteers packing hoses.  We saw several people we knew, met new faces and had a blast.





Are You Crazy??!!

I love my coach. Seriously. He’s one of the best people. I trust him implicitly. I already feel my body changing and I feel stronger. I can’t imagine what I’ll feel like in a year if this is how I feel after 2 months. When the team meets to train, he tells us what he wants us to do. I know if he thinks I can do it, I can do it. If he believes in me, there’s no reason I should doubt it.

Last nights team training was no different – I was happy to see everyone, glad to be training, looking forward (sort of) to the torture evening.  Thursday night was hill repeats.  Pshaw!! I’ve done those.  No big deal.   No problem.  1 mile warm up and cool down.  Piece of cake.  Uh, coach??  That’s not a hill that’s a vertical torture chamber!!

Oh, the joys of training!!  I know a few things.  He believes in me.  I believe in me.  I would never push myself this hard if I were still doing things on my own.  Never.  I can finish everything he tells me to do.  I may not finish as fast as hard or as strong as I’d like, but I’ll finish.  I’m getting stronger and a little faster.  Hills aren’t AS dreadful as they used to be.  Hills still suck if I have to go up them.  I still love going down them.  I feel euphoric at the end of training no matter how hard it was or how much I struggled.  Last night was hard.  Super hard.  I struggled.  I did not throw up like I thought I was going to.  I finished – not as strongly as I would have liked, but I finished just the same.  I thought back to the hill repeats I’ve done on my own.  I thought I was doing hill training on my runs and hill repeats that were more than adequate.  I thought wrong.  Thankfully, now my coach thinks for me in that department and all my teammates can moan and groan right along with me.  It’s nice to not be alone.

My smile is totally fake. I was starving and exhausted

Raising Your Own Self-Esteem

Years ago in what seems like another life, I volunteered my time teaching classes to adults through the Head Start program which offered daycare and meals to low income families. I enjoyed my seminars and I firmly believe that making a difference in a small way in one persons life is worth putting in some time and effort. That small difference in how a woman feels about herself can begin a domino effect of life altering changes. My classes were on Reducing Stress or Raising Self Esteem.  If as parents we’re in a better space, our children will immediately and directly benefit from it.

I want my children’s inner voice to reflect how I feel about them internally.  “I am smart.  I am unique.  I am gifted.  I am loved.  I am appreciated.  I am treasured.  I am a child of God.  I am one of my Mommy’s most proud accomplishments.”

Bodyscapes photo shoot

I’m still stunned by the utter lack of self esteem in women as a whole.  We’re all so unique.  We’re all beautiful.  We all have different perspectives.  Why is it so difficult to embrace our differences, unite to help each other and take over the world. OK…  Maybe not take it over, but at the very least enhance it.  We carry and deliver the babies.  We nurse them and nurture them.  Many of us stay at home to parent – I was a stay at home Mommy for 12 years.  Others still are badass women in the workforce and have the capacity to come home and lovingly parent our children.  We teach our children compassion and empathy.  We teach them to love themselves.  How can we adequately fulfill that responsibility if we don’t love ourselves??

In what now seems like another life, I had a modeling contract.  I was 20 years old with the world at my feet.  I was blessed with confidence and self-esteem despite an extremely dysfunctional childhood.  Still, in the few short months I was with the company, with the exception of one photo shoot to get head shots, I was never drafted to do a paying photo shoot.  My breasts were too small, I was too tall, not tall enough, too thin, too heavy, etc….  Then I found out I was pregnant with Brianna and I never once looked back and wondered “what if”.  I just walked away from what “might have been” to “what will be”.  What I value from that period of time are some of the pictures that I have of myself.  To look back on.  To compare.

Me and Bri at a 5K we both did to raise money for breast cancer

My daughter, Brianna has grown to be an amazing woman who is breathtakingly beautiful.  Her body, very unlike my tall, curvy frame, is athletically built and compact.  I find her body type one of the most aesthetically stunning and in my younger years would have traded my tall curves for her streamlined physique.  She is dark in coloring where I look like I came right off the beaches of Southern California.  I’ve encouraged Bri, as I have all my children, to embrace who they are and what they look like.   Bri is now that 20 year old with the world at her feet and has done some amazing photo shoots for her own personal files – which I strongly encouraged her to do – so that she can look back as I’ve been able to.  So she can stand back objectively and realize her beauty, her uniqueness.  So she can watch the changes in herself and love them.

The photos in this post are of me less than a year ago.  I’ve held on to this post because posting them is personal – more so than telling you about a recent run or rating a running thong.  The photos represent a piece of my journey, my willingness to work on myself but also to embrace myself.  Do what you need to do to learn to love who you are.  Do a private lingerie photo shoot, book a makeover by a professional artist, try a new cut and color, wear lipstick in your sweats but dedicate yourself to becoming a better you.  Feel it, represent it and share it.  Do what you need to raise your own self-esteem.  After all, you can’t pour your light onto anyone else if there’s no oil in your lamp.

Yes, this shot makes me feel like a total badass….

Making Time

I still have 9 children at home ranging in age from 9 years to 20 years old. I work. I do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and kid stuff from cross country meets to parent/teacher conferences to helping with homework. I’m not a night person. I can’t run the vacuum in the morning when people sleep. I blog, I like to use the internet, I veg out to Netflix episodes of Gossip Girl. I read voraciously. I adore shoes and clothes…. Sometimes I make jewelry and sew. I use my living room to work out with free weights and resistance bands.  I enjoy doing experiments with the kids.  I hike our 3 dogs but not enough.  I think life is an adventure and nothing is ever gross – it’s scientific.  I’m married, I have extended family.  My sister is my best friend and when we get on the phone, we’re there for hours.

Journal Jog 2012

Ahhh… The beauty of a start line….

ME!!!! I was feeling hot pink!  Lulumon tank, Nike shorts and the Sophie Bra from BodyRock Sport

44th annual Reno Journal Jog happened Sunday. 8K (5 miles) through a pretty flat part of town and the only competitive stroller race locally. It was a beautiful, cool morning with 877 of my closest friends ready to run.  (OK, I seriously don’t have that many friends… but it felt pretty welcoming).  I did, however see several people I hadn’t seen in quite a while – a couple of years in some cases – and some I see so regularly they’re like family.  I wish I had gotten more pictures.

Charlie. We’re at so many races together I”m pretty convinced he’s stalking me. HAHA!!

David – one of my regular running companions who pushes me the first couple miles and lets me drag him the next couple. It’s a love/hate thing

Me with Ryan – assistant race director and pretty cool guy

Me with Cammie from CCF Cammie Cragg Fitness. Love this girl!!

In the 44 years of the Journal Jog’s existence and the 8 years I’ve lived in Reno, I had never run this.  It’s a shame I hadn’t done if before but fantastic that now I know it intimately.  It was well marked, well staffed and well organized.  Of the 877 entrants, I placed 116th overall, 6th for my age division with a total time of 38:20 averaging 7:43 minute miles.  Not absolutely off the charts stellar, but really good.  Speed is a relative thing.  From the ten minute miles I did a few years ago to now running with an elite group where I’m one of the slowest, I’m just proud of my accomplishments and OK being me.  The great news is – anything is possible if you work for it and believe.

Courtesy RGJ photographer.  I need to get a pic of me running looking like that happy dude in the marathon.  I look like I’m gonna die….

Crystal Peak

I did a race yesterday morning and I”ll do a blog on it but when I got home we loaded up 6 of the kids and headed to Crystal Peak.  In Verdi, NV it’s an old mine that’s now a popular spot for those of us willing to drive off the beaten path in the mountains.  Literally, the mountain is made of crystals as though they boil up from within.  Chris and I had gone a couple weeks ago and were waiting for a cooler, windy day when going to the lake wasn’t an option.  We armed ourselves with gloves and shovels, took the drive and scoured the mountain.  Pockets were full as were the empty water bottles we gave the kids to store their stash.