Daily Chatter

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A.M. Runs, Sleep Overs and Baking on Whole30

The birds were singing this morning and the sun was up long before I wanted to be.  Even though we have mere days to pack we found ourselves in the pool again until late last night.  The water temperature hovering just under 90 degrees the family was just enjoying the warm swim in the moon light and so was I until the effects of several late night swims began to add up.  But I was up and hit my a.m. miles again now I wait patiently for the rest of my family to begin to stir.  They won't linger in their beds too long because today...and tomorrow will be another sleep over. 
Sleeps overs mean baking and last night after the late night swim I was in front of the oven make chocolate chip cookies.  Not a healthy almond flour variation but real bad for you, full of sugar chocolate chip cookies.  As the end of my first round of the Whole30 draws near, I am thinking about how much differently I will handle my food choices when I am not on a Whole30 cycle.  At about day 5 I dreamed of day 31 when I could stuff my gob with well...gobs!  Then about day 17 I felt like I would never eat sugar again and who needs bread or dairy.  But today I know that I will eat some of the things I did before but I won't choose to eat them for the same reasons.  I made many food choices out of sheer convenience.  Simply because I was too lazy to cook or come up with something better to eat.  After these 30 days I seem to know myself a little bit better .  If resisting some gooey, chocolaty, warm, golden brown cookies after almost 30 days without sugar doesn't make this sugar addicted girl crack I doubt there is much two hormone filled tween aged girls - and one little energizer bunny of a 4 year old - can request I cook that will faze me. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No One Wants to See My Butt - Lime Ricki Review

The big family beach vacation is nearly here but I'm not in the barely-there-bikini stage of life anymore so I went looking for something a little more forgiving for my sun and sand time.  I found 
You might remember seeing them if you are a Survivor fan.
Dawn wore this one in the Caramoan.
I checked out their site and ended up purchasing several tops and bottoms and then anxiously waited for them to arrive. 
It would have been great if I got these long skinny legs with the skirt too.
I ordered this wrap ruffle skirt in lemon and pink. 
I also ordered this top and several others lots of yellow and an item or two from their sale page.
Within days my $5 only shipping had my order at the door. 
Everyone loves to get packages.
The items were nicely made.  No stray strings or cheap material feel to the suits.  I tried the items on.  Now this was per-Whole30 days and a few of the tops were more snug than I would have liked.  It seems some items ran a little smaller than others.  (This was noted on a few items I looked at but not on the tops that I had purchased)  With my up coming eating-overhaul I knew a bit of snugness would not be an issue for long so I was happy with all the tops I had purchased.
Then I tried on the bottoms.  This pair was reversible and held true to it's sizing.  Loved them!  This will give me a patterned bottom and a solid black bottom all in one.
Then I tried on the skirt.  I put the lemon skirt on first.  I was thrilled with it's fit and coverage.  That was until after I showed S'ghetti Girl.  As I walked out of her room she said, "Ah mom?  I think I can see you butt."  I thought she meant that the skirt was shorter in the back but when I got to a mirror I could indeed see straight through the fabric.  Don't get me wrong I work hard to get my backside in great shape but I don't really think there is a big audience for actually viewing it!
Fast forward through a few emails and a review of the product on their website (my review did not appear until after I talked with a sales associate and mentioned that it was not showing) and I was unhappy to find out that due to a missed email by my contact at Lime Ricki that they had gotten a black version in but had already sold it. 
A little background on Lime Ricki;  they get their styles in fresh each year and sell until they don't have any more.  No reordering stock.  No late season styles.  Just a kind of "you get what you get and you don't get upset".  I like the idea that there won't be dozens of other people wearing the same suit I have on and I like looking forward to the next season's styles.
So I was left a little disappointed in that one product and a little disappointed over the "missed" email as my contact and I had been exchanging mails and he was aware of my desire to get a black skirt and return the yellow one.  However, I resigned myself to the fact that the yellow skirt would just go back and I would use other bottoms.  Thinking of my review of Lime Ricki I was torn on the experience having had a bit of disappointment in bout product and customer service.  That was until my phone rang.
Yes, Lime Ricki called me.  My file had been noted that I was interested in the skirt if they got any in return and they had!  After a brief conversation with the sales associate I have a new black wrap ruffle skirt coming and I don't have to return the see through yellow one I can just get rid of it. 
So in the end I am a thrilled Lime Ricki customer.  I really appreciate a company that maybe not be perfect but works with customers to really make them happy.  I hope you check out their site and like their FaceBook page to get the heads up on frequent deals. 
DISCLAIMER:  This review is my own opinion.  You might actually like a see through bottom bathing suit, I don't judge.  I was not given anything for my opinion probably because very few people actually want to hear what my opinion is.  Either way your experience may vary but check LR out for yourself.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why I Want Massanutten

When I realized the date yesterday, and how could I miss it with the world celebrating the "longest" day of the year, it dawned on me that it has been a month since I left Massanutten unsuccessful in my attempt to return to the meadow and cross that famous finish line.

I spent some time in the days after the race checking out other options to still make 2013 my 100 mile debut year but with concerns for my knee those hours were merely a means to use the energy and excitement I still had for wanting to have "done it."  I found myself seriously considering a looped 100 in PA in the middle of July only to present myself with a dozen reasons why I couldn't do it.

All this left me with a question I had been asked ringing through my head,
"Why do you want Massanutten?"

Biking Sherpa had asked this question while we filled miles with endless chatter.  She didn't exactly want an answer when she asked it.  She had wanted an explanation for not only her but for, maybe everyone who clicked refresh dozens of times that beautiful Saturday in May.  She wanted to know why another 100, any 100, couldn't be worked into the fall schedule and I could have that buckle.

The reason to me is simple, I want the real deal.  I don't want to run around in circles to say that I can run 100 miles.  Honestly the distance isn't the attraction.  I'm drawn to those climbs.  I want to see what is on top, around the next corner, down the next trail.   I want to know those rocks just like I know my favorite country routes that I grew my running on.  Wanting Massanutten is a little like being able to get any boyfriend in your school but wanting to date the teacher. 

I think back to what drew me to wanting Massanutten when this 100 mile dream first started.  I want to be honest about my reasons so I will admit that in choosing MMT I was making a decision based a bit on a preconceived idea of just how far I could reach...and couldn't.  I was giving myself such a big challenge that if I failed, the mere attempt would be a success.  In that way, it felt safe to want such a lofty goal.  Another thing that drew me to MMT was my running club.  The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club.  This is a group of the best people I have ever met.  In my trail running world, they are the in crowd.  But in my case I felt like the kid always picked last and I wanted to show this amazing group of people that I did belong on their dodge ball team at recess.  But there was one other thing rattling around in my head as I was encouraged by my trail brethren to do MMT, it was the thought that I actually could do it.  I didn't need loops or a flat course to join the club.  I simply could complete Massanutten.  I believed I could.

As it turned out, I didn't quite make it.  MMT slipped through my fingers - this time.  But I still believe I can and I will.  Now MMT is to me like many of my double day runs when I run a certain number of miles plus a point five.  I've run this way for years to leave something to finish.  MMT is now for me that half mile I left undone this morning, I don't have a choice but to finish it.  And how could I start another 100 before I finish this one.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Running Streak - 10,000 Miles


In 10,000 miles I could have run to Fuji or to Paris and back again.
Or I could have run nearly half way to the moon.  In 10,000 miles I could have run to Washington to visit Tall Mom on the Run nearly 5 times.  But I end up about 100 miles shy of making it to Melbourne, Australia.

But in my 10,000 streak miles I did make it to many places.   In those 1136 days I ran 36 events with 23 ultras.  I've ran on the beautiful beaches, on trails under forest canopies.  I've ran on back country roads and along noisy highways.  I've shared my run with running brethren and I've run alone.  I've run through the snow and while it was falling.  I've witnessed Christmas through eliminated windows.  Through 10,000 miles I've shared secrets and kept them.  I have talked with and listened for God's guidance.  I've embraced the heat, the cold, the wind, the boredom.  And I've enjoyed the highs, the perfect days, the successes.  I've also learned to grow from the failures, the aches and pains and the disappointment of the limited length of my arm when reaching for a goal just beyond my grasp. 

Over 10,000 miles I have made friends and memories who have taught me about myself in those mere 1136 days.  These friends  rally to my support when I challenge my arm to grow, when I want to see what is just beyond my sight, when I push my body and mind into an adventure that leaves my body trembling. 

Through 10,000 miles my family has become some of my biggest supporters.  My husband joined me on an ultra trail to gain a better understanding of my love of trail running.  My children all encourage me to keep striving for my goals.  In 10,000 miles I've seen that my running is much more about the many than it is about me.  I've seen just how much I can influence others to believe in themselves even through my first DNF, friends shared with me how my perseverance and attitude helped them to keep striving though  when their goals were challenging. 

In 10,000 miles I have gone many place in my mind.  I have solved the world's problems and cured cancer.  I've written epic novels, composed tear-rendering songs and whispered eloquently crafted prayers.  During these 10,000 miles I have created a world within myself.  I love to visit it often; daily in fact.  However I've found that despite it's challenges and imperfections, this world is the real reason I run.  I run to create the best possible me I can become and in doing that I will be the best possible example to all those who choose to follow.  Or run along side me because the next 10,000 miles will be an adventure.  Who knows where it may take us?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When Bad Things Happen

There are moments when I feel a little guilty about sitting on the deck after the super secret spy goes off to work.  Times when I have my feet up watching the kids play in the pool when I think maybe my life is a little too carefree.  But then the universe reminds me that I'm OK with that because it throws a screw in the works.

Yesterday was one of those days.  We were all a bit tired from a hectic weekend of birthday parties and sleepovers so when the kids all lingered in bed a bit longer than usual I enjoyed a little extra quiet time in my often rambunctious house.   I found myself outside working on getting my plants transferred from their pots into our garden when LBM finally woke.  We enjoyed breakfast and a little play time before deciding that we would wake up S'ghetti Girl before she slept the entire day away.  We headed upstairs when LBM stopped to pick up a stuffed animal.  I waited on the third step as he started up. 

Then time slowed down.  He missed the first step and as luck would have it was the perfect height to execute a perfect face plant on the rounded edge of the step with his lower lip and front teeth.

Even with the seemingly slow elapse of time I couldn't catch him.  Then  there was that sound.  That terrible sound of my wonderful little boy's face meeting that unmoving step and then the sickening moment before the cries begin when you know that there won't be anything you can really do to keep it from happening. 

 An emergency visit to the dentist later and we are hopeful that LBM's teeth will survive the trauma and his busted lip will heal.  As often 4 year olds do, LBM is little worse for the wear this morning and enjoying his soft foods only diet thanks to his love of mashed potatoes.  His mom was made a little better thanks to a nice long run while LBM slept off his pain killers.

I look forward to feeling guilty again about how carefree and boring my days are again soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Routes, Partying and YMX

I finally broke in the VHTRC shirt.  I ran about 50 miles last week and most of them in my bright blue tech shirt.  Even though I am still feeling a little like a Popsicle trying to acclimate to life on the sidewalk, I have been running outside in the heat everyday.  I'm not sure I can say that my VHTRC shirt did anything exceptional considering it was soaked halfway through every run but it did seem to make cars beep at me more frequently than usual while I was on "the front road." 
Unlike in PA, when I am in VA I don't know that I have a "favorite" route.  Maybe my 8 something route is fairly enjoyable.  Or when I drive to the trails, that is always enjoyable except for the having to drive to the trails part.  I'm spoiled with my PA ability to run for hours and see 3 cars.  While running in VA this hour long run included easily 50 times that many cars since I ran my "front road" route.  But I did find wild raspberries that helped make the run a little more exciting and I am still in search of a couple front door friendly routes that will become my VA favorites.

Speaking of favorites, S'ghetti Girl turned 12 this month and we were again partying.  This time we were partying with her besties in VA. 

The weather cooperated and the kids spent their time swimming and splashing to their hearts content.  Even LBM was welcomed into the battle.  S'ghetti Girl is blessed with a wonderful group of friends both in PA and in VA. 

Surprisingly S'ghetti Girl's favorite "gift" was her cake.  She had requested cupcakes, even though the cup cakes from her PA party had gotten smashed she still wanted to try them again.  But after searching everywhere for anything Rise of the Guardians themed and finding nothing, I opted to have a caked printed with a ROTG photo. 
She loved it.  And of course ate Jack Frost's face because that's what tween girls do when they think a guy is cute.  I guess.  I'm still completely okay with her crushing on a fictional character, the alternative frightens me. 

I ended my weekend with a longish run in one of my YMX tops that I hadn't gotten to test yet.  It looked great and dried quickly even after it became wring-out-wet thanks to the humidity.  This shirt may actually be too pretty to run in.  When I put it on the super secret spy thought it was too nice to go get all sweaty.  I was concerned that the "lace" neckline would become itchy and bother me during my run but I never noticed it during the run.  With this VA heat this top will definitely be getting it's share of workouts.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day

I sat this morning as everyone else slept and wondered what photo I would attach to my Father's Day wishes but I was a little stumped.  I have so many fathers in my life but then I knew just the photo.  Some of you will know how this photo show many of my Father's. 
One took great effort to care for this place and taught me to work hard, one married me here and become the father of our children, one shared the word of God here and strengthened my faith and one I can feel closer to here than any other place I've ever been.

To all the fathers, how ever you define them in your life, Happy Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Familiar Things

This week brought the return of the Biking Sherpa.  Oh how I wish I could have her with me on all my runs.  She would make a great drill sergeant.  And I mean that in the most complimentary way.  She pulled me through some very hilly runs that I had forgotten I used to mindlessly cruise through on a daily basis.  I'm going to blame the energy dip on the Whole30 but I can't hide the fact that my hamstrings were both very sore after our first run of my favorite loop.  I can also use the excuse that she did pull us around at slightly over an 8 min pace which is fast for me these days.
It has been a week of hard runs but some of the most enjoyable I've had in quite awhile.  Everything is just so green and the flowers are everywhere. 
LBM and I have enjoyed our runs together after my run is over.  With my sore hamstrings he could actually out sprint me, a fact that made he giddy.  He told me that he was just so full of "energies" he had to run super fast.


We walked through the cemetery for our cool down.  LBM was interested in the old tombstones and how long people had lived and who they were to one another. 

Tonight will be another run, hopefully in the rain again, with Biking Sherpa around our favorite loop to complete another wonderful double day.  Nothing beats returning to familiar things to make everything seem to hold a kind of beauty that you overlooked before. 

I don't know about you but I'm off to run...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Only Drank Coffee for the Sugar....

In three short days I've discovered that black coffee sucks.  Okay, I actually figured that out on Day One but I now accept the fact that it won't get any better.  Black coffee just sucks and I was clearly only drinking it for the milk and sugar I put in it.
Not any more.  Thanks to the
I've survived to see Day 3. 
Survived is not to strong of a word. 
My kids did not like the threats that the only food allowed in the house would have to follow these rules:
  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.  Clearly I underestimated my addiction to sugar because this one has proven super hard.  Plus sugar is in every thing!
    • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.) Not an issue because I gave up alcohol a life time again but did you know it's in all the extracts you use for baking?!
    • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.  This is another temptation simply because bread makes meals especially for kids much easier.  So it's a lazy factor.
    • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).  This delayed my start day by a day because I bought hummus not thinking about chickpeas being a legume and ate some.  Duh!   And come on!  No PB.
    • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)  Butter isn't a big deal but cheese.  Cheese makes everything better, right? 
    • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.  Not a big deal here since I avoided this stuff before and already know which brands/items we buy that have or don't have it.  Read labels!
    • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.  Skipping the potatoes isn't an issue either.  Not a big challenge. 
    Luckily for my children I didn't throw out all the non-compliant food.  Their eating habits will have to be changed in a much more gradual way or they will revolt and you will find my floating face down in our swimming pool. 
    We celebrated S'ghetti girls 12th birthday this week and I did buy a cake.  I didn't risk baking one that early in the plan The kids enjoyed the sugary treat.  I couldn't have gotten my nose closer to that icing if I had tried...and I did.  It was really hard to not indulge but the kids have all been very supportive of mommy's new "eating plan."  S'ghetti girl reminded me that it's only 30 days and I will be so happy after I complete my 30 days that a simple piece of cake won't be such a temptation any more.
    These days I'm drinking my coffee iced with coconut milk and bonking on my most of my runs.  But hopefully that feeling will pass as my body gets used to the new fueling program.  With the super secret spy out on a mission, the kids filling the role of cheerleader and a healthy supply of healthy foods around I'm excited to see how I'm feeling in 27 more days.
    And in case you were wondering, while you will be seeing pictures of my yummy meals, you probably won't be seeing those "before" photos any time soon.