February 22, 2013

Rainbows and Circle Jerks

So the good word from my doctor is no running for a while.

What's a while?

Who the fuck knows?

In the meantime, I'll need to amuse myself in other ways. I'll be exploring the many less-appealing-but-doctor-approved options that will lead to regularly and enjoyably raising my heart rate and breathing hard.

Additionally, I'll be doing more reading and social networking to keep myself from going INSANE help me through this difficult time. Learning new things (like how to be a good blogger), making new friends, and exploring new horizons will all help this nebulous "a while" pass more quickly – I hope.

However, it's already taken a questionable turn. A few weeks ago, I brought up the term "circle jerk" on Twitter. I had read about this over here. The term comes up there quite frequently, and they always make it sound like it's a bad thing! I don't know – a bunch of friends standing around giving each other strokes and making each other feel good – I can totally get behind that idea! So yeah, I invited several Twitter friends to a circle jerk –

Actually Sandra is now Christian and declined –
she felt it would be inappropriate to participate :(
I was bummed...I think secretly she was, too.

Mary F. Sunshine (AKA Marie)'s enthusiastic response stimulated my creative juices. And when we had a comment/reply exchange that included THIS:

I knew exactly what I needed to do.

Look at what I made!

Feel free to pin it. You know you want to.

I might need to start an Etsy shop.

February 20, 2013


*Where we continue with the blogging lessons, honing our skills by perfecting the guidelines as set forth in the book, Official Rules for the Healthy-Living Running Mommy Blogger

I'm getting back on the "good blogger" train after a brief diversion into the land of national team training schedules and mocking bloggy running coaches. At least I got my shopping cart running VLOG in. That should redeem me in the Land of the #FITSPIRATIONAL. I still haven't figured out why the video hasn't gone viral? The five people who realized it was THE BEST PART OF THE FUCKING POST and actually watched it loved it. Smart people.

*insert links to previous posts to increase pageviews and perceived popularity*

So here I'm giving you Triple Tangent Tuesday :) Not sure why in the hell I forgot last week. Wait. I remember now, but I can't tell you. It's a secret.

1. MORE OATMEAL!!!!  But this time it came out the way I imagined – creamy and gloppy. Appetizing – and not stringy like cervical mucus. I think it was the lack of flaxseed meal. But I ran into a huge problem. I couldn't find the stevia! Somebody stole my mutherfucking stevia! Can you believe it? So I looked in all the cupboards and everywhere


My husband, who is usually awesome at soothing the savage beast, said calmly, "Oh, it got used up yesterday. Just use the agave nectar."

AGAVE NECTAR???? Is he fucking KIDDING ME???? Agave nectar is one of the five worst choices when it comes to sweeteners, second only to Aspartame. It is not a natural sweetener; it is highly processed, concentrated fructose. Read more about it here.

*link informative articles and other blogs that are more informative than this one*

So – shit. My awesomely healthful oatmeal breakfast that was supposed to be sweetened with kick-ass stevia needed a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar and globs of butter to make it delicious. 

*oatmeal pic – extra bloggy points, please*

2. I WENT FOR ANOTHER WALK ON A TRAIL. Same deal. Still not supposed to run. Bleh. It was gorgeous out. Perfect running weather. To make sure I didn't run, not only did I not wear a sports bra but I wore flip flops and cut-offs. No running guaranteed.

Trail with pretty winter trees and bushes.

Shorts and flip flops in fucking February.
Climate SCORE.

*looking down shoe shot (flip flops count)*

*ASS SHOT!!!!*

3. MILF RUNNER SCORED ANOTHER BLOGGY MEET-UP!!!!! I like meeting people! I've been cooped up with a whole mess of kids for far too long! A blogger I admire and follow works nearby. A quick message suggesting a meet-up was well-received. While we did totally botch the bloggy meet-up etiquette by #failing to get froyo and photos, we vowed to do so soon. Pinky promise (that's a good blogger thing to say, right?).

*CARDINAL RULE: photos and froyo at all bloggy meet-ups!*

Let's see my score –
  • using a meme:  +1  
  • links to previous posts:    +4
  • links to informative shit:  +2
  • food pic + extra credit for oatmeal: 1+1= +2
  • trail pic:  +1
  • shoe shot looking down from waist:  +1
  • ASS SHOT:  +10
  • bloggy meet-up:  +1
  • link to another blogger:  +1
  • no photos of bloggy meet-up: -1  (no pics mean it didn't happen)
  • no froyo:   -10
  • use of term "pinky promise":  +50
  • exclamation points quota filled: +1
  • engagement-fostering questions at the end + extra credit for multi-colored: +2
Final tally =  +65

What would be YOUR score on your most recent post? If you need help calculating it, link the post in the comments and I'll pitch in :)

If you lived near me, would you be interested in a bloggy meet-up? Where do you live? What's your address? Can I see your house on GoogleMaps? What's your phone number?

Are you a rule-follower or one who tends to break all the rules?

February 19, 2013

Mailbag Monday #7

This week we have two legit questions...

MILF Runner,
Here's a mailbag Monday question, why are running blogger "coaching services" SO expensive?? More expensive than professional running coaches with years of experience and success... Is there something I'm missing? Do they know more than the pros???? Do they have magical powers?! I'm not sure I understand the price premium... Since you are the healthy living/running blogger expert, please explain this to me. 

–(Posting as anonymous b/c it seems to be an unforgivable, attack worthy sin to question their credentials.) 

Dear Anon,

Obviously, you are not aware of how fucking #FITSPIRATIONAL most of these running bloggers are or you wouldn't be asking this question. These people have trained for HOURS to be the best they can be. They've put in the miles while pushing heavy strollers, and they've read the coaching handouts. They've PRed in races and attended seminars. THEY'VE EVEN TAKEN A FUCKING TEST! When was the last time any of us took a goddamned test? The stress alone is worth charging the big bucks. Most of the pros just have hands-on experience instead of an official piece of paper indicating that they went through the god-awful ordeal of taking a test.

What's more, bloggy coaches tend to be RELATABLE and can RELATE. They are fresh off that sub 2 or sub 4 and KNOW what it feels like to hunger for it. It's so fresh in their minds that they remember exactly how it felt. Or they are still hungering for it and so can REALLY relate to what you are wanting to accomplish and the fervor that accompanies the undertaking. Pros are so far removed from the experience, really, what do they know? They are totally out of touch with the reality of the situation.

Or maybe they charge a lot because they have so few clients they need to recoup their coaching lessons expenditure somehow and pay for their sparkly skirts?

I'm so fucking glad I don't care. I can get by with a good training book, an online schedule and common sense. I think it's that third part that is so elusive to most.

Do you need a coach? I would be an excellent coach. And I would be FREE. To the first five interested parties. After that, it's going to cost you.


MILF Runner

MILF Runner,

TOENAILS. Let's talk about my franken-feet for a moment, can we? I now have fewer legit toenails than I do remnants of where toenails would look really nice. I relish the thought of going in for a pedicure, but I'm pretty sure they would not be willing to offer me a half off discount for the remaining toenails that need some serious help. {focus, sheesh!} Ok, so my big toe has (mostly) grown back. But it's no longer sits flush against my nail bed. At all. Short of sending you a picture... have you seen a toenail that looks lifted because it has a blister under it? Or a nail that you can lift off the nail bed a good 80% without completely pulling it off? Yeah, that's kinda how my toenail is, but it's neither blistered nor about to fall off. I think it may have blistered in the past, but then a callous just grew under the nail instead of the nail falling off. Are you with me? it's a bit problematic because A. It's freakin' ugly & B. when the sides grow out, they grow inward so I have ingrown nail issues. Crap, what exactly is my question... I guess, how do I "help" it grow back into a regular nail?



Dear Melissa,

Honestly, I haven't a clue. Maybe your shoes are too small? Or maybe your feet feel the disdain you express for them? Perhaps they don't like being referred to as "franken-feet"? Baby your feet. Show them some love. That might help. But it also might not.


MILF Runner

February 16, 2013

Pushing Speedwork

One of my Goals for 2013 was to do more stroller running. I've been kind of injured and so my running's been shit, but tonight I decided to get out and make up for lost time by pushing my kids around.

As I mentioned before, I have a lot of kids – and some of them are pretty big. I also mentioned that I probably wouldn't find a stroller big enough for them. I was right.

So I did what I said I was going to do. I headed to Target. That's right. Mutherfucking Target because Target has EVERYTHING.

I was hoping to get in a nice long slow run but the fucking carts cannot be taken out of the fucking parking lot. They do that wheel-locking bullshit if you cross the yellow line. The thought of doing 28 laps around the parking lot sickened me. And it was post-workday, Friday-evening-before-a-holiday-weekend crowded. I chose, instead, to do some speedwork off in a corner. It was great until they chased us out of the parking lot.

If you do not watch this video, 
you're missing the BEST part of the post.

They ended up kicking us out of the store, too.

February 11, 2013

Mailbag Monday #6

Got a really good one this time. I like it a lot because I get to talk about ME!!!!  And I had fun searching for old training schedules and remember the good, ol' days.

Dear MILF Runner

I was wonder if it was your running that turned you into a MILF, and if so what does a running week in the life of a MILF look like...

Coach Dion

Dear Coach,

Honestly, it's genetics.

Admittedly, I supplemented by laying some groundwork early on in life. I goofed around pathetically with a number of sports in high school and had done a stint as a (very lame) figure skater before that, but regular exercise is regular exercise. 

I found my athletic calling in college. I took that about as far as I could (exhibit A) before being felled by a drunk driver, tried to unsuccessfully stage a comeback (exhibit B), and then turned to running (exhibit C).

Subsequently, I had about a bunch of kids and took a whole lot of time off of all forms of exercise. I know some people work out with kids. More power to them. I knew myself. I didn't want to let my family ever lose out on anything because I was an obsessed maniacal athlete. Never did I want training to stand in the way of anything familial, and I knew I was not yet mature enough to figure out how to effectively juggle the two.

I got to that place a couple of years ago and started running again (exhibit D). Right now I'm on the DL and fervently trying to get back in the game intelligently and sanely (exhibit E). 


Here are some views into the training life that created MILF Runner...

Exhibit A (a random February...year to year, the monthly training cycles tended to follow a pattern)

Monday             20-30' warm up
                           4 x 10 min progression (4'+3'+2'+1' building)     HR max-10   6-7' rest

Tuesday            AM: 10-20' warm up
                                    45-60' w/ 40 sec. accelerations every 10 min HR 140-160
                           PM:  20'  warm up                                                  HR 140-150
                                     "back" weights 40-60% load/3-4 sets/60-80 reps aim for 30 reps/min

Wednesday        10-20' warm up
                            3 x 25' (pyramid intensity 1'/2'/3'/4'/5'/4'/3'/2'/1')   HR 140-160  5' rest

Thursday            AM:  20-30' warm up
                                       4 x 5 minutes                                               HR max-10     5' rest
                             PM:  20' warm up                                                  HR 140-150
                                      "legs" weights  same load/sets/reps as Tuesday, diff. exercises

Friday                  see Wednesday

Saturday              AM:  20-30' warm up
                                        3 x 20 minutes                                              HR 160-175     5' rest
                              PM:  20' warm up
                                        "arms" weights same as Tues and Thurs, diff. exercises

Sunday                See Wednesday

Exhibit B

Similar to but a little different than Exhibit A, and I remember adding in this killer weight circuit workout for 4 weeks:

Bench pull 5 reps
Leg press 10 reps
Bench press 5 reps
Squat 10 reps
Pull ups max
Military press 5 reps
Leg press 10 reps
Bench pull 5 reps
Leg extension 10 reps
Bench press 5 reps
Bench pull 5 reps
Leg press 10 reps
Bench press 5 reps
Squat 10 reps
Pull ups max
Military press 5 reps
Leg press 10 reps
Bench pull 5 reps
Leg curl 5 reps
Bench press 5 reps

Doesn't look all that challenging, you say? How about if I tell you that you're given 60 seconds per exercise? Still sounds kind of easy? How about if I tell you that you are supposed to do the reps in 45 seconds and then do negatives for the last 15 seconds? And then when I tell you that you are supposed to MAX OUT at that number of reps in 45 seconds and follow with negatives for the last 15 seconds you start to squirm a little. But when you realize that you are maxing out every exercise for 20 exercises straight you understand that this is a KILLER workout. If you can do more than 5 reps in 45 seconds, you up the weight until you can't. As soon as you can complete the specified number of reps in the 45 seconds, up it goes.

You get strong. Really strong.


Exhibit C    (4 wks out from marathon) 

Sunday          22 miles, mixed road and trails (3.5 hrs)

Monday          1 mile, easy + stretch followed by weights

Tuesday         5ish miles, 3 x 1 mile on/1 min off (6:11, 6:08, 6:10)

Wednesday    easy 10 min cardio followed by weights

Thursday        9 miles, hilly paved trail

Friday              2 miles, easy

Saturday          OFF


Exhibit D   (typical week from last fall) 

Sunday               8-10 miles, trails

Monday               cross-training, 45-60 minutes

Tuesday              3 miles, road

Wednesday        cross-training, 45-90 minutes

Thursday             3-4 miles, road (maybe hill repeats)

Friday                    OFF

Saturday              cross-training, 60-120 minutes

I might switch these around or miss one or two, depending family needs or body issues.


Exhibit E  (my current "training" regimen...and it makes me so, so, so sad)

Every fucking day is the same. Do some piddly shit PT exercises that DO help so I shouldn't speak of them disparagingly, I suppose. Walk around a little bit. Maybe ride my bike. Go crazy.


There you have it. The makings of MILF Runner. I hope this was easy enough to follow.

A little personal feedback on these – Exhibit A's Monday workout was my most reviled...I would always try to weasel out of this one. Try being the operative word. Exhibit B's weights workout was my FAVORITE workout EVAH! Exhibit C – mile repeats...YUM :)  So obviously, hill repeats in Exhibit D got the nod. And Exhibit E just sucks shit through a straw. 


MILF Runner

Was that super confusing? What would you find the hardest of all these workouts? What is your favorite workout? What is your most dreaded workout? Do you try to weasel out of it?

February 7, 2013

Is oatmeal supposed to be stringy like this?

My blog is still so new. I'm learning every day how to be a better blogger. It can't all be ranting and making fun of people, I know that. That would be BORING. So I am following the lead of some blogs I admire and studying the craft of blogging. It is a work in progress and I hope you all are willing to bear with me while I go on and on in a self-deprecating way about nothing that really matters to anyone. Shit. I'll stop now and get on with the post.

Three Things Thursday! brought to you by MILF Runner :)

1. I LOVE THE IDEA OF OATMEAL, but I thought oatmeal was supposed to be more creamy and gloppy than stringy and sinewy. At first it just looked runny, but then it all stringed up on me. Maybe it was the flaxseed meal? It reminded me of EWCM in a very unappetizing way (I don't suppose there could be an "appetizing way") – but I still ate it.


*Include food pictures as much as possible – extra points for oatmeal.*

2. I WENT FOR A LONG WALK IN THE WOODS YESTERDAY. It could have been called a hike, but I wore my running shoes because I was pretending that it might turn into a trail run except I had on my jeans and regular bra so there was no way running was going to happen. Which is good because I'm not supposed to be running right now. And not because I have a concussion. I took some bloggy iPhone pictures of the experience to share because that's what good bloggers do and I aim to be a good blogger – 

A tree.

A creek.

I got dressed!!!!

*Every workout blogged must include photo shot looking down at feet.

*And it helps to include an ass shot – unless you have a heinous ass.*

3. MILF RUNNER HAD HER FIRST-EVER BLOGGY-MEET UP! I did sort of have one with a friend who is a blogger a couple of weeks ago when I went over to her house. It could technically have been considered a bloggy meet-up – but she didn't know I had the blog at that point! The first official blogger-meet-blogger one was the other night when I found out this girl was in town and bored and game to come over to my house. We hung out and ate tamales and truffles. As is my MO, I couldn't follow all of the rules. No pictures and no froyo.

*Always photograph bloggy meet-ups – preferably with froyo."

How about you? Do you do bloggy meet-ups? With or without froyo?

Do you like oatmeal? How about nut butter? Chia?

Have you ever gone through a period where you were not supposed to run? Was it hard for you to take the time off?

*Ask your readers questions to foster engagement.*

*Excerpted from Official Rules for the Healthy-Living Running Mommy Blogger.

February 4, 2013

Mailbag Monday #5

*Disclaimer: this post is not satirical. It is serious.*

This week we have a BONA FIDE question from a REAL reader! It might not be as entertaining to some of you, but it's fucking informative beyond belief – so pay attention but you needn't put your coffee down as there will not likely be any choking or snorting. Ever wondered about heart rate training? Ever stupidly compared yourself to your DailyMile friends? Ever wanted an honest opinion on your time goal? Cyn did. And Cyn asked. Here is our brief exchange –

And THANK YOU, CYN!!!!!!!

(For those of you unfamiliar with these – HR = heart rate and PE = perceived effort.)


You seem like you are an experienced runner.   I'm a newish runner (been running for 1.5 years) and training for my first marathon - Eugene on April 28th.

My coach has me using a HR monitor and most of my runs are in a low heart rate.  I am running maybe ~1 hour in zone 3 (MP) each week and maybe ~20 - 30 minutes zone 4, 5 minutes at the most V02max, but that's it.  However; I see people on FB and dailymile with my same time goal and they are cranking out double the mileage I am and running their "slow runs" are 1 - 1.5 minutes faster per mile than me.  They SWEAR their slow runs are by PE and are very easy.   I feel like I'm getting left behind.  

People tell me I should be in tune with my body enough to not use my HR strap, but I think I'd end up lying to myself about my PE if I'm not using it. 

What are your thoughts about using a HR strap to keep your slow runs slow?


ps. I'm an engineer and love me some data and cold, hard facts(won't let me lie to myself) and don't mind using a HR strap.


Hi Cyn.

Thanks so much for the email. I'm honored that you are asking me for advice on this. I'm going to try to give you a serious answer  I hope that's okay with you. I know you want reassurance on your training NOW.

First of all, I am completely sold on HR training. 

Secondly, if you think you'll lie to yourself about PE then you will. I think you can commit to the strap. See what happens if you start out without looking at the watch and find out where PE puts you on the both the heart rate and pace scale.

Third, this is your first marathon...WTF are you doing having a time goal? Lose it.

Now some further questions so that I may better address your concerns:

What is this time goal?
What are your other race times...recent and PR (w/ dates)?
What is your weekly mileage right now? 
Are you cross-training?
What's your athletic background (if any) prior to running?
Why in the FUCK are you listening to anyone other than YOURSELF and your coach? 
Why are you comparing yourself to people on DM?

Here are some more random thoughts on this...

*Let's say, for instance, that your time goal is simply sub 4. And let's say that your z3 HR tends to regularly convert over to about 9:15-9:30/mile and your recent half time is about 1:55 and your 5K is about 24:30, then your coach is probably totally spot on with what you are doing. Ignore everyone else. They are training for THEIR race not yours. 

*We're still 12-ish weeks out from Eugene. Why are you stressing? 

*People are full of shit. AND most people overtrain. Sounds like your coach is building you up. You need a solid foundation that isn't injured or skirting injury in order to build a strong race.

Answer my questions and I'll see what other pearls of wisdom I can give you.

Again, thanks so much for the email.

MILF Runner


After getting her responses to my questions:

Time goal:  sub 4  (how did I guess that one?) which is a BQ for a woman of her age.

Recent race times:  5K 25:40 and half-marathon 1:57:17. Lives, trains, and races at altitude.
Running 4 days/week for between 17 and 25 miles – mostly Z2
Cross-training:  2 days/week biking and 2 days/week yoga

Previous athletic background and reason for setting time goal:  "I have a 9+ year history of mtn biking - specifically ultra endurance type of mtn biking and...I did a 6 day mtn bike stage race at high altitude to celebrate my 50th birthday, the cardio fitness from that race allowed me to ease into running." Bottom line – she is a VERY experienced endurance athlete with a very competitive nature and the ability to suffer massively.
But she's worried:  I see a specific friend on DM (we are close to the same pace at races and have the same marathon time goal) cranking out ALL her miles at 9:30s. And she's training slower than her friend.

Then she paid me some awesome compliments and concluded with this:

it's just running...I'm friggin' 51 years old - I'm not super fast and in the whole scheme of things - nobody really gives a shit - it's just a fun stretch goal for me to reach for. Smart.

So I'm hoping my previous experience(and painfully learned lessons) will carry me a long way in my 1st marathon.  Because after all you only get ONE shot at a 1st marathon and I am determined to make the most of it! And gutsy.


Okay, Cyn.

Here's what I think:

A sub 4 is a stretch goal for you. Doesn't mean unreachable. Like you say, you're tough and have a ton of endurance experience behind you. I recommend training as per your coach. You should be able to ask coach questions and coach should be able to answer them satisfactorily. Clearly you value your coach's opinion. At this stage in the training plan you don't need to be running more than 15-20 miles a week, IMO. Great if you're doing more and fine if less. And I definitely think a solid and successful marathon training plan can consist of only 3 days/week of running. 

Also, remember that different bodies respond to different training regimens, but eventually all bodies need rest. Your DailyMile friend may very well pay a price for how she is training. Is she working with a coach? or a piece of paper? 

Patience. Trust. And don't forget your sparkly skirt. 

There must be a Kung Fu Pandaquote that will fit in here somewhere –

And thanks for the compliments.

MILF Runner

February 2, 2013

Friday Five: things about me that seem to piss people off...

Some I could easily change – but I won't.

1. I set the lap chime on my Garmin to go off every quarter of a mile. When I use The Device, I like to know my splits. I like to know lots of splits. Even on long runs. And races.


"OMG! was that a mile already?"
"Uh, no. Sorry. Just a quarter."
"Mutherfucker! Get away from me with your irritating beep shit!"

Yeah, I run alone a lot.

2. In races I'll home in on someone ahead of me running my pace and use them as my unwitting pacer. Yes, a lot of people do that buttttttttttt –

Most people don't go up to the unofficial pacer at a water stop late in the race and say,


I'm not intending to sound like an asshole. In fact, I really am infinitely appreciative and would love to reciprocate a few minutes later when I blow past them. In fact, I usually voice this desire,

"C'mon!" I'll wheeze. "Let's go! We've got this! You got us this far – I'll take us in! Let's go, NOW!"

Yeah, the look of bewilderment on the pacer's face could almost be mistaken for fury.

3. If it's hot out, I might run in just my sports bra. And I'll be comfortable with it even if you're not. Shit. I might even run in just a sports bra when it's cold out.

4. I don't think you're cool if you run when you're hurting, and I don't think you're a badass if you run when you're sick. This is not to be confused with making a workout hurt or running until you puke, which are cool and badass.

5. I can go for a run pretty much whenever I want. As long as it's during the tiny window of time when my kids are all somehow being cared for by someone other than me. I'm a stay-at-home-mom blogger. It's such a cush fucking life. I'm sure all the other stay-at-home-mom bloggers will agree with that. The next time you see a woman out running at 9 or 10 or 11 in the morning and decide to hate her because you're jealous (or whatever), try to understand that you are seeing a 5-second snapshot of her life. You aren't seeing that she was awakened at 5:30 by a toddler screaming about nothing and then wanting to be in mommy's bed where she unintentionally kicked mommy for an hour until it was "time to get up." And you aren't watching her make 5 breakfasts and lunches and make sure that clothes are on and teeth are brushed and homework put into backpacks that make it into the car. And you aren't seeing her trying to take a shit by herself while her 3-year old pounds on the bathroom door so hard she swears it will break right out of its hinges as she realizes that she is way too tense now to take that shit and since this happens every fucking day she has a chronic constipation problem. You're not in the minivan with her as she deals with SCREAMING and BICKERING all the fucking way to school in heavy rush hour traffic where she finally unloads this enviable mess that creates the situation that allows her to run at a hate-able time of day.

The next time you see someone out running at a glorious and leisurely-seeming time of day, smile and be glad for them that they were able to get a run in.

The story is always, always, always bigger than that 5-second snapshot.

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