Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Move over Michael Phelps!

There's a new kid in town...

Pretending to be shy...
Very "John Lennon" with the tinted goggles
Looking calm and cool before practice

At almost 5, he's the littlest dude at practice. He can hang though! He only complained once about the cold.

Here's a short video, which I realize is probably like watching paint dry to most of you... If you listen closely, however,  you can hear little brother cheering Tyler on.

Almost done! A few moves with Coach Emily, and we're outta here!

Success. Now let's get home to a hot shower!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bottoms Up: Part II

What do you drink during your runs?

I'm totally rethinking this one after talking to my running coach...

Before, it was straight up sports drink. I trained for my last marathon using:

Cytomax Tropical Fruit

Once I learned that the Derby Festival Marathon would be using Powerade, I switched over. I heard it's a good idea to train with the drink that your race is going to offer.

In discussing hydration during my runs, however, my coach had some interesting thoughts. He trains using only water. Crazy, right? He actually told me that he uses water during training and then drinks sports drinks during every stop during his marathon. He doesn't use GUs or anything like that.

As per his e-mail to me this am:

Part of the training effect of long runs is fat stores to glycogen conversion, hence eating and sport drink ingestion dilutes or eliminates this effect.
Best situation is if a person is so trained that their body converts the entire race, providing a constant drip of energy, sort of like a continuous IV.
I train on water alone, then in marathons drink one mouthful of the sports drink at every aid station and no water, feeling this gives me the advantage on both being trained to convert, plus getting extra energy from the sugar drink. I don't do the gels; too hard to open and messy to use.
People use all this stuff, then have stomach troubles and energy imbalance from their sugar levels rising and falling. The idea is drip, drip, drip with the fuel to maintain homeostasis.

I haven't gotten permission to mention my coach's name on my blog (and want to ask before I do...) but I will tell you that I trust him. His marathon PR is a 2:27:08. Wait, it doesn't stop there... He is 72 years old and just ran a 3:29:25 at Boston in April. Holy crap!!! The man clearly knows what he's doing. 

(I'll brag on him more in another post, after I ask him if it's ok.)

So, I'm totally rethinking my hydration and fueling needs during my long runs.

On my 10-miler this am, I used Nuun fruit punch tablets. Since it's getting hot here, I want to be careful and keep my electrolytes balanced. The Nuun tablets gave me the electrolytes without the massive amounts of sugar in the sports drink. It was a tasty option, and I downed almost 30 oz. in the hot AZ early am sun on my run.

I definitely felt the difference though in drinking (essentially) water vs. sports drink. It's going to take a while to re-train my body.

So what do you do during your runs?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bottoms Up: Part I

I thought I'd do a series of blog entries on hydration. As the temps pick up-especially here in the desert- it's essential for me to stay hydrated in order to survive my runs (literally).

In fact, I just checked the forecast. It's supposed to be 101 degrees on Friday. Boo. Glad that's a rest day for me!

So let's talk about hydrating before your run.

Ok, so this is a given.

More often than not, however, I feel like a need a little something more. 

I have three small children. I waved bye-bye to a solid 8-9 hours of sleep per night a long time ago. My 2-year old refuses to stay in his bed and usually rolls into our bedroom at some point between the hours of 11pm-3am. I'm too tired to care anymore, so into our bed he goes. And off to the computer room futon my husband goes after he gets punched/smacked in the face by Colin a couple of times.

It's such a clown show. 


Back to needing more than H2O. 

I posted a picture of my new love recently in another blog entry: Click Espresso Protein Drink. Really yummy. I discovered Click from SkinnyRunner.  She likes to use Click to refuel after her runs. I've found that it also works great before a run. Gives me a big boost seeing as how there's a double shot of espresso in each serving. Woo hoo!! I like to drink one of these before a mid-morning run. For example, when my husband is out of town, I can't get up at 0-dark-thirty for my run. It has to wait until after the kiddos get dropped off at school/preschool. So I'll have one of these bad boys enroute to Operation Drop-Off, then I'm good to go for my run. Full 'o Energy!

I have the Vanilla Latte Natural on order and it should be here soon. Yay! I had tried the regular Vanilla Latte but then noticed that it contained sucralose. Hmmm...I'm not big on the artificial sweeteners, so I thought I'd go for the Natural flavor.

For something a little heartier, I like this stuff that one of my online buddies sent me.

It's called Biogenesis UltraLean and you can order it on Amazon. This is probably more of a "meal replacement" shake or something that you'd like to refuel with post-run (although I did have one the other day before run/yoga). It's more calorie-dense, and I think it has about 6g of fat per serving. I just whipped up a shake after my five-miler. I added a small packet of:

And voila! A nice post-run coffee protein shake. Yum!

Some other lighter options for pre-run hydration that I've found that I really love include:

Arbonne NRG GO3! Fizzing Beverage Tablets. Delish. While they are part of Arbonne's Figure 8 weight loss line, I don't so much care about the weight loss factor. I just love the fizzy flavor and energy boost from the guarana in it. The tabs also contain chromium and green tea. I pop half of a "Pomegranate Splash" and half of a "Citrus Surge" in about 8 oz. of water, let it dissolved and then chug before a run. 

Please Note: You have to purchase these through an Arbonne distributor. I can hook you up with one if you're interested.  

I'm also a big fan of the Emergen-C vitamin drink mix. You can pick these up at any local supermarket. From what I understand, it's really easy to get sick during a marathon taper. When I was tapering for the Derby Festival Marathon in April, I bought Emergen-C and would drink one before a morning run and then one before I went to bed. Each packet provides 1000 mg of vitamin C, 24 nutrients, 7-B vitamins, antioxidants and electrolytes. Personally, I prefer the "Super Orange" (YUM!) over the "Raspberry" (kind of ick).  

So that's how I roll with my pre-run hydration needs! I'd love to know what others do because I'm always trying to mix it up. Next post, I'll talk about what I do during runs... which honestly, I think I need to improve. 

What do you like to drink before your runs?   

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

This Wacky Wednesday installment comes straight from one of the Johnson Johns.

"Mommy, I'm doooooooooooone!!!!"
(Translation: "Come wipe my ass." )

Yes, I am still wiping his hiney. However, he's doing it by himself maybe 30% of the time. It's a start.

"Ok, I'm coming... What the?"

"Oh dear God." 

Butt naked with Evan's IronKids swim cap on.

I swear... I did not do *any* drugs/alcohol while he was in utero.

Enjoy Wacky Wednesday!

PS-Does anyone else's kids get completely naked to poo? And insist on doing it with the seat up? No? Just mine???

Monday, May 23, 2011

IronKids San Diego and a few FAILS


Big fat FAIL in more ways than one.

For starters... I totally spaced on bringing Evan any underwear. Ooops. I brought some for Tyler though. And diapers for Colin. But then I forgot to take said (extra) diapers to the restaurant on Saturday night. 2 poops later = FAIL

He left the restaurant commando.

Oh, and Evan's bike helmet. Forgot that too. FAIL. But at least I remembered the bike, right?

So we show up to the race expo. on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Mission Bay. Mike's looking around at some of these kids and their parents, and they look like they mean business. He's all, "I hope Evan doesn't have the crappiest bike here tomorrow."

"What do you mean by that, honey? You think there will be bikes here that top the snazzy Schwinn Spitfire 3.0?"  (Retails for $89.99 at Toys R Us)

Um, yeah. Let's just say we saw quite a few of these on Sunday: 
Trek Kid's FX... Retails for $409.99
Anyway, we get the race number, the free goodies and a quick shot by the finish line: 

Sunday morning rolls around. We finally get to the race area and Evan watches a few of the Seniors race so he can understand the triathlon process a bit better. He's a ball of nerves. I go to take a picture of him with our "nice" camera with the big 'ole fancy zoom lens and then the camera displays..

No CF card.



I left that at home too.

Ok, at least I have the video camera and my iPhone. Phew. The video camera actually takes pretty decent pictures.

I love you, man. You're gonna do great!

Mike heads to the bike transition area to set Evan up and get his race number all pinned on... except there are no safety pins ANYWHERE. Yeah, see, most of the kids have race number belts. That's not how we roll. We have the Schwinn Spitfire, safety pins (or lack thereof) and these sophisticated, top of the line running shoes.

Skechers... Retail for $50

Who really needs a $148 pair of Newtons anyway? 
(Yes, I saw a pair on one of the older athletes...)

Mike and Evan get everything set up and head over to the swim start. Evan was SO nervous. He's kind of an anxious little guy. Lots of questions about the start... Still manages a smile for me though.

A few minutes later, we're off to the races....
How cute is this?

I then proceed to take the WORST video EVER.

That's because I've used the video camera about 4 times. Another FAIL. I thought I was filming the swim, but it turns out I just kept panning in and out (too fast) and pressing the button that takes pictures in "camera" mode. I didn't figure out how to operate the camera properly until the biking portion of the race. With that said, here is the video. Note: I was able to edit out the parts where I actually filmed the ground whilst running around screaming and cheering. It really had a Blair Witch vibe (minus the horror) to it, but I thought it took away from the event.

Also, is there no other cheer in the world other than, "Come on, Evan!"? Sorry about that. 

While we thought Evan finished 3rd in the 7-year old division (which he would have...), he was actually placed in the 8-year old division because your "tri" age is the age which you are on December 31st. I just found this out after looking at the IronKids webpage and the results, which were posted today.

Stiff competition.... He finished the 50-yard swim, 2 mile bike and 500 yard run in 18:42... 20th place. Looks like if we're gonna do this, we gotta get a better bike/shoes and not go crazy on the swim. It's hard to teach kids the concept of "pacing yourself." We'll get 'em next year!!

And not to worry... Sweet boy told me last night, "It's ok, mom. I do these races for fun. Not to win them." 

Keep having fun and working hard, Evan! Great job!!

Also, special thanks to our friends Bryan, Annie, Madison and baby Parker who came to cheer Evan on!! Bryan, I'm sorry that you got stuck babysitting my boys while I ran around the course like a crazy lady. Thank you!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Escape... Twice in one month!

It's always wonderful to find respite from Yuma in the form of a weekend trip to nearby San Diego.

We lived in San Diego for 8 years, and we miss it dearly. We pretty much miss everything about it. 

Except for the traffic. Don't much miss that.

Of course, a visit to sunny San D would not be complete without a trip here: 

Hash House a go go... The Best. Breakfast. EVER.

Where I will indulge in one of these: 

Smores Mocha... Better than sex (no offense, honey)

I'm also excited to RUN!! I'm still in "light mileage post-marathon" mode, so I'm only scheduled to do 4 miles on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. And since we have a very special event happening on Sunday morning, I will have to wait until late morning to get my run on.

What, pray tell, is this special event?

Disclaimer: I swear I'm not psycho sport/stage mom. This just happened to work out for us. A couple of months ago, Evan asked me if we could find him a road race. He's definitely interested in running. I farted around online and happened to stumble across this event in San Diego and thought it would be fun. Since Mike is already there on military orders, why not drive over to meet him with the boys and make a weekend of it? And since we've done Sea World, Legoland, the Wild Animal Park and the Zoo a MILLION times already, lets do this instead.

I just don't want anyone to think I spend all my time fantasizing about, oh, I dunno....

Seriously, the coolest part of the 2008 Olympics...

Alright, alright. Shut it. I daydream about it a little, but it's just that: a fun daydream. What's most important to me is that my kiddos are happy and that they are having fun.

Summer Sanders says it best... 

"I enjoyed every bit of my swimming career. I think that's the most important advice — to enjoy what you do."

Amen, sister.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Middle of "No Where?" Say what?

This was taken on our way back home from the Tempe swim meet this past weekend. While the spelling of "nowhere" makes this English teacher's BP spike, it is a truism. This particular stretch of I-10 interstate is barren.

Unless you count Dateland, AZ just a couple of miles up the road. Check out the link. My favorite line of text:


Gosh darnit.

I was hoping to take a dump somewhere really filthy. That is, after I drink my DISGUSTING date shake. World famous, huh?

Hope you're having a Wacky Wednesday too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Makes a Great Run?

Today-for me-it was: 

Some of this.....

A little bit of this...

Finish it off with this... 


5 miles at an 8:29 pace. Certainly not going to be toeing the line with Kara Goucher, but I'll take it!

What makes your runs great?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Breast Man

This past weekend we traveled to Tempe, AZ for the Rio Salado Long Course Opener. This was the first time Evan had competed in a long course meet. What's that, you may ask? Meters instead of yards. His eyes got a little wide when he saw the length of the pool (50 meters).

Evan did so great. It was really cool to see that "competitive spirit" because-believe me-it was there. And why wouldn't it be when you are competing for fabulous prizes such as:

This one of a kind gold top hat.
(for winning his heat in the 50m breaststroke)

Not only was it awesome to see Evan embrace/enjoy the competition, it was awesome to see how he could actually *compete* with quite a few of the 10 year-olds. Seeing as how he's only 7 years old and he's competing in a 10-under age group, you can imagine that the odds are against him finishing on the podium. That being said, Evan held his own in the 50 meter breaststroke. He finished 9th overall out of 25 competitors AND earned a qualifying time for the state meet. Just to give you an idea of how close he was to finishing better than 9th place...

6th place finished in 52.03
7th in 52.09
8th in 52.18
9th (Evan) in 52.36

.33 seconds away from 6th place

1st place-5th place were all 10-year olds. There were no other 7 year-olds in the event.

Here's some awesome action shots from the events this weekend. I really do think that I may have a future at Sports Illustrated. Check these out:

Wow. Look at that elbow. Amazing.

Evan's body, which appears to be headless.

Right before banging arm/head into wall during 50m backstroke. OUCH! 

This one might be my favorite. Heil Hitler!

I know what you're thinking, and I'm sorry. I'm just not available at the moment to give you photography lessons. You'll just have to find someone else with the same mad skills that I clearly posses.  

I did manage to get an endearing one, so I'll close with it.

Coach Dad talking to Evan about why he got DQ'd from his 100m backstroke. It was a bit of a bummer because he would have finished 1st in his heat. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

It's kind of late, and by the time you read this... Heck, it'll probably be Thursday.

At any rate, I've decided to do a Wacky Wednesday segment on my blog. Why, you ask? Simply because I live in one of the, um, oddest towns in the U.S. On any given day, I see things that make me go, "Huh?" Seriously. Yuma is WHACK.

Wacky Wednesday is inspired by Dr. Seuss's very annoying children's book, Wacky Wednesday. If you have a kid (or two or three), you are likely familiar with this book. Ugh. I can't tell you how many times I've had to read this. It's cute the first few times... After 347 times, not so much.

"Oh look. A flying shoe." (Pfffffffft!)

"There's the candy cane holding up the table. Ha ha. Ha. ha. ha."

"Yep. There's that door with two knobs. Crazy."

"What? He's in the shower with one sock?!? And it never gets old, does it?" (*insert fake laugh*)

"The damn fish is still in the shampoo bottle. Again. Just like he was last night... And last week... The week before that... Last month."

F!! GO TO BED!!!

So... back to Wacky Wednesday.

On Mother's Day, we're driving back from Cold Stone-where I consumed my body weight in:

Hello, Lover. Aka Mud Pie Mojo

OMG. It was so good. I even got it in a Heath Bar waffle bowl. Totally worth the 2,165,586 calories.

Anyway, my 7-year old starts screaming at me from the back seat,

"Mommy!!!! You have to turn around! You have to go back! Please! Please! You have to see this! Please!"

I tried to convince him that whatever it was he saw, it probably wasn't really that good. That's mommy code for "I-really-don't-feel-like-turning-around-hon."

He wouldn't take no for an answer though, so I u-turn the mom-mobile, and you know what?

It was totally worth it. Talk about a good old fashioned belly laugh, and a Mother's Day that my boys are sure to NEVER forget.

The Ectomobile from Ghostbusters? Say what? Where the hell do we live? 1984?!?!

Welcome to Wacky Wednesday, friends.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Ritual

In April, I started having some IT band issues in my R knee. It was pretty subtle yet definitely noticeable. With about 4 weeks left until my marathon, I decided to drop the weight training/plyometrics that I was doing and switch to yoga.

(Hmmm. I wonder if they have yoga here?)

Serenity Yoga is a fun little studio that makes me feel like I'm not in Yuma. I'll take it!

I began taking a class called "Piloga" (Pilates/Yoga) on Tuesdays (and Fridays) at 9 am. The class is a bit basic for me; nevertheless, it's a great total body stretching session. It actually forces me to stretch for a full hour instead of my usual 7.5 minute post-run stretch. Although the verdict is still out on stretching, I feel that it's a good choice for me, as I tend to have hip flexor/ITB issues.

After class, I had a one-hour Reflexology session with my instructor, Michael. He told me that he's worked with a lot of runners and that he thought I might find it beneficial.

Reflexology = a fancy foot rub

Yes, please!!

Ok, so I think it's more than just a fancy foot rub. You can read about the benefits here. There's like a million "reflex areas" in your foot, and I'm pretty sure Mike got them all today. I'm definitely a big fan now and will do this before/after my races. Is it quackery? Who knows?Better yet, who cares? It felt AWESOME.

After my fantabulous morning of yoga and reflexology, I felt like I should call Vicki, Tamra and Peggy to confirm the time for our afternoon wine tasting

So for all 4 of you that follow my blog... Do you stretch before/after your workouts? Do you yogacize? Have you ever had a fancy foot rub?