Friday, July 29, 2011

Diet Coke Video is Up! Weekly Workout Recap

Thought y'all might get a kick out of the video Diet Coke made out of the refrigerator deliveries.  They are doing a twitter contest where you can win one for yourself!  (!/dietcokeus...although honestly I have no idea what Twitter even does )
If you were wondering, yes, I frequently meditate on top of a Refrigerator. 

Happy Friday!  I'm off to Sacramento tonight!  All flights and some play make Margot accumulate mad frequent flier miles.

Gonna rock the California state fair like there's no tomorrow.  Fried peaches, funnel cake, and scary clowns, here I come!

(Here's the weekly workout recap.  It was a great week, running wise. I felt fast.  And that feels great. )
Saturday:  2x2 mi @ 6:40.  2 Minute Rest.  1% Incline.  1 Mile Warmup, 1 Mile Cool Down
Sunday:  7 miles easy
Monday:  15 Mile Bike Ride (ends with glorious crash)
Tuesday:  4x800 @ 3:09, 4x400 @ 90 second.  2 minutes rest bt intervals.  1.5 miles warmup and cooldown
Wednesday:  4 miles easy
Thursday:  3x1 mile @ 6:25, 1 minute rest, 1% incline.  1 mile warmup, 1 mile cooldown
Friday:  4 miles easy

Running Mileage:  32
Biking Mileage:  15

Soo......What are you doing this weekend???  

Anyone going to fairs like me?  Anyone want to come eat crazy fried stuff in Sac with me and da better half??

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I wish there was less focus on weight and more on health

This is an Oscar The Grouch post.  It's been a tiring week of bike crashes, little sleep, and dental fillings so please forgive .  Also, I'm really interested what y'all think about please tell me if you agree or think I'm being a fool :).

Runners World:  I love what you do.  
Your magazine makes running accessible and interesting to so many people.  I love the pictures of beautiful runs.  But freaking stop telling me I need to drop 10 lbs and get my best body now.

Of the random emails I've received from Runners World in the past few days, here are some of the headlines:
"Yoga Moves that Blast Off Belly Fat"
"Discover the 5 Golden Rules to Weight Loss"
"Run off 10, 20, 30 or More the Healthy Way"

It's not just Runners World trying to get me to drop a few...the OC Half Marathon last spring had a tag that listed calories right next to course elevation (pic below).
" Distance 13.1, Calories: 1304".  
Good lord...seriously?

We are already bombarded by messages about weight loss in every possible channel.  Fitness magazines.  Fashion magazines.  Big headlines saying how Heidi Klum lost a billion lbs in three days after having a baby.  And I work in fashion marketing and live in Southern California, for crying out loud.  It's enough, yo.

I get that a large portion of runners run in at least in part for weight control.   I do too!  It's awesome to be able to burn 100 calories in a few minutes doing something I love.  In a world where women are expected to be thin to be conventionally attractive, I definitely want in.

Does losing weight help performance?  Hard to say.  Elite runners tend to be thin, but I only need to run a race to see the multitudes of shapes and sizes that kick my butt.  I think that for most people, following common sense nutrition and focusing on their workouts will by default, bring weight loss if it's needed for their bodies.

To me this focus on appearance seems to becoming more and more prevalent in running (running apparel fashion exploding as well).   Maybe it's because we can run with our cameras and Brightroom is there to take a picture?  So I gotta PR AND look smokin'?  Aw come on....

I just want us all to be happy with ourselves, work on getting faster / stronger / running in cooler places and leave the "best body now rock hard abs" crap to other people.  Running and body development go hand in hand, sure, but it's gone from a health to an image focus, and for me, that's not a good thing.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Surfer Dude's Guide to Training

Remember when this was a running blog?  Well surprise! ...for today it is again.  I wanna talk about training plans and fast shoes.

beautiful beautiful shoe
Today I tried out my new lightweight trainers (the mizuno elixir, aka the smurf shoe) on the track.  Yes, that's right.  I finally bucked up and did a non treadmill workout.  I've been scared to since Boston since I had a few bad workouts right after. went ok!  4x800 @ 3:09ish and 4x400 at 1:30ish with prolly an average of 2 minutes rest between each.  

These shoes are amazing.  I've always been a huge fan of Mizuno, but I felt like freaking Mercury with wings on my feet in them.  And I look like a Smurf.  Best purchase of the month.   

I was all excited that I can run on real ground and not a machine until I looked up some paces on RLRF for the 5k to see if I was where I wanted to be.  I'm not.  Gotta go faster on the 800s.  Or, God forbid, possibly actually follow a training plan with some consistancy???

(Dum dum dum....ominous music...)

I don't like training plans and I've always considered myself to be a little like the surfer dude of running. 

"You gotta go with what feels right, braaaa."

"Just listen to what your body wants to do, duddeee"

What I mean, is that I've felt like if I do a training plan with a rigid workout schedule, it stops being fun and play, and starts becoming a job.  

But like the surfer dude, we all have to grow up sometime, right?  Well....maybe....

After years of almost daily discussion with my friend Christina about running (and gossiping about runners), 50% of these talks have ended with her trying to lure me into a training plan with wild promises of PRs and age group trophies.  I haven't bought it.  I trained in high school, and I was mediocre-ish.  
AND if I really give it my all, I can't claim post race "hey...I wasn't even training...braaa".  

(I don't mean to say I don't try.  I run the crap outa hard workouts, there's just no rhyme or reason to them.)  

But I'm beginning to think Christina, my pro-training amiga, might be right. Or that at least, I should give one a try.  After watching the steady improvement of so many bloggers after dedicated sweat and tears, I think I want in.  

This fall, I am going to sign up for a Triathlon, and find some plan (possibly Run Less Run Faster) that allows me to train for my half marathon on October 30th while learning to not drown in the pool.  A hybrid plan I think will be a good place for me to start....

Unless I decide to take up surfing instead.  

So....what training plans have you tried?  Tell me about your PRs or awesome improvements!  Inspire me and make me jealous! you guys care what I run on a weekly (or daily) basis?  
I don't usually write it because I assume no one cares, but I can recap if anyone (God forbid) is looking to me for training ideas.  Or just wants to make sure they are running faster / more than me, that's cool too :). 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bar fights. Diet Coke + FB 4Eva

I've never been in a bar fight (surprise!), but how I feel right now is what I'd imagine a bar fight feels like the day after...

My entire left side of my body is tore up, but I can't even say "You think I look bad?  You should see the other guy".  

 Because the other guy is a rock.

And some asphalt.  

Margs, stop being cagey, what happened?

I crashed my bike this morning.  Sad face.  It was totally my fault too, I ran into a giant rock because I wasn't paying attention.  Of course this crash happened shortly after thoughts like "I feel so comfortable on the bike, maybe I will win the tour next year", were going through my head.  

A super nice couple helped me out post crash, put the chain back on, and made sure I was ok to get home.  An unlucky morning saved by the luck of having people who both are nice and know about bikes.  I'm now mostly peeved that my bike is a little banged up and I'm not sure how bad.   I'll be ok, but my poor bike can't heal itself ;).

.....From random bad stuff to random AWESOME stuff.....

When I started this blog, I hoped for this glorious moment.
Yes, the moment when a company thought I had enough pull to send me stuff.  Fa Freez!  
(Cue "We are the champions" music)

Well friends.  It happened.  Diet Coke sent me a refrigerator.  

What?  Why?  

Honestly I don't know.  I love the stuff, but I was a little shocked.  What I DO know, is that I've been beggin' for a fridge in my office for the past few months.  And apparently Diet Coke listens when no one else does:

Glorious cold drinks at all hours of the day!!!!

The funny part about this whole thing is that Diet Coke didn't just send a fridge, they sent a camera crew.  And I answered questions like "When was the last time you had a Diet Coke?".    And got super flustered because I am the worst public speaker ever.  

And then I signed a release form.  I'm kinda hoping they put me in a superbowl commercial.  

So....SUPER flattering and sweet of them.  Plus I think I gained a little street cred in the office.  

But, like everything, free awesome gifts are in the eye of the beholder. My brother was on the phone with my mom and told her that Diet Coke sent me a fridge and interviewed me.

Her reaction?

"I can't believe she is drinking so much soda!  Tell her to stop!"  

Nothin' like family to bring your ever expanding ego back to earth =).  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Delicious Day In LA

I know. I've been a bad blogger. And I've got a ton to tell all of you (teaser)! I want to talk about training plans. And how Diet Coke randomly sent me a free refrigerator. (awesome -  Life goal of getting free stuff from blog achieved).

But before all of this, I'll just tell ya why I haven't been writing this weekend. I've been par-taying up a storm with Anthony. My taste senses have gotten a workout even if my running legs haven't!

Rae's Diner in LA.
Why is this cool?
It's delicious old school diner food (rare in LA. biscuits from heaven.).  Also, it's the diner featured in the movie True Romance AND was on the album cover of an Elton John album (love him).

Next?  We wandered randomly around the Santa Monica pier.  This is where I ran my totally awful 5k a couple weeks back.  It's a lot more fun to go there when it's the afternoon and you're hanging out at the beach rather than wondering why the heck there are no mile markers in you race :).

It was a beautiful day.  Even for southern California, it was awesome.  We drank some beer and watched the crazy people on the pier impersonate Batman and Michael Jackson.

I was too hungry to wait until dinner so I went into Jamba Juice.  They now have frozen yogurt....they grind up fruit into it.  There is all sorts of new stuff on the menu now!  Honestly...I wasn't crazy about it.  And I've never met a frozen dairy desert I don't like.  It was $3.50 for a small.

And then we went to Jiraffe for dinner.  Yes, spelled with a "J".  More pretentious that way!  Pricey but omg omg delicious.  And this:

It's even got fruit in it.  Healthy, no?  

Despite what you might think from the blog, I swear I'm not a big drinker.  =)  Mostly because I'd rather eat or drink stuff that tastes good.  And IMO most alcohol tastes subpar when compared with normal food or orange juice.  How dudes drink scotch and stuff is beyond me.

Do you actually like the taste of beer / wine / moonshine ?  

Have you tried any of the new stuff from Jamba Juice?  (fro-yo, breakfast...random)

 Hope UR weekend was rockin'!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Introducing Nuun Platunn !

We'd like to introduce our Nuun Platuun team!
(Sorry my bio is boring, I didn't realize how funny everyone else would be...=) )


The information on this very select group of highly-trained individuals has been held classified ... until now. Running in the Hood to Coast Relay will be two hand-picked Nuun teams of female bloggers. One many people already know about... they are After-NUUN Delight.

Introducing their badass flipside...


free your mind and your feet will follow...

 Major Miles... aka Tricia...firmly believes "Endurance Isn't Only Physical". She
applies that doctrine by doing the majority of her training mentally.
Sure, she plans on putting in some "major miles" as part of training,
but just as importantly she is preparing for Hood to Coast by dreaming
about running down that mountain, talking about the upcoming relay to
anyone that will listen, and focusing her energy on tracking down the
perfect camo print in wicking material.

"Draft beer, not people"

Captain Cupcake  ...Average A who keeps the Diary of an Average Runner, has this to say:  My life has become amazing once I started believing in myself
and putting my mind and spirit into my dreams. This runs the gamut in
every aspect of life: from overcoming addictions; moving across the
country on my own; and becoming better, stronger, and faster in my own
body every single day.

I am really excited to not only have the chance to run this
historic race, but I am excited to team up with so many wonderful,
talented, and inspiring female bloggers -- some of whom I've admired for

Our third runner is the quiet brains behind 'Operation Hydration', Corporal Kim ...our Nuun Staffer

Captain Obvious of Seattle has a superpower-esque way of making
completely useless observations to her running buddies: “Look, there’s a
slug. Don’t want to step on that.” She has been distance running,
racing and blogging about it for two years, and recently completed her
first full marathon. Captain Obvious, who blogs at
Mom vs. Marathon, would like to point out that she is a mother, as well.

Running the "Bataan" leg... Captain Underpants ... aka the faster bunny whose notable accomplishments include but are not limited to having run three marathons, BQ-ed and NYC qualified.  She is incredibly good at never getting injured!  Hasn't been injured since age 16. Additionally, she's got a couple tech-y sounding degrees that she is proud of (Engineering and MBA). (The lack of any English classes probably explains the awful grammar in her blog). She can make some mean pancakes for breakfast and a great key lime pie. She is learning to bike so that one day she can do a triathlon. 

A lover of all things crazy and that push you to the limit, she is excited to be a member of this squad because Hood to Coast is just that. She feels that to be on a team with a ton of extremely nice and inspiring women is priceless.  

General Confusion.Lisa is a married mother of two wonderful children who blogs at Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge.  She took up running 3 1/2 years ago, at age forty.  While training for her first marathon, she discovered her love of running and fitness.  Since 2008, she has run five marathons, 16+ half marathons, six mud runs and oodles of other races.  She is a RRCA certified running coach as well as trained in pre- and post-natal fitness, teaching Stroller Strides and Body Back bootcamp classes.  Running is her escape, her fun and her “me” time.  She builds friendships around running, but also finds her “happy place” during solo runs.  

She loves spending time with her family, especially outdoors.  Hiking and biking are key activities that everyone in the family loves. Her son is following in her footsteps and recently ran his first 5K. 

In a previous life, Lisa was a casino executive (for 18 years!).  She worked long hours in a tough, people-focused industry which really gave her a thick skin. There isn’t much Lisa hasn’t seen or heard, and a bunch of women in a van during Hood to Coast will be tame compared to some of the high rollers in the casinos.

Hood to Coast has been a dream of Lisa’s for many years.  Her father ran it a few times in the 80’s and even before Lisa was a runner, she thought that HTC would be very cool. The course goes through her old stomping grounds of Mt. Hood, Sandy, Gresham, downtown Portland and the Oregon Coast.  She is thrilled and honored to have been chosen by NUUN to run on their team.

Private Chafe ... aka Jess Allen aka "THE" Blonde Ponytail ;)  Jess ran her first race ever, the Portland Marathon, last October 2010 and began her blog, Blonde Ponytail
shortly thereafter.  Jess is a recognized ninja. When she isn't
silently assassinating wrong-doers, she advises students at Washington
State University where her husband coaches baseball.  
Jess is a NSCA-CSCS and former Stanford University softball player. She is mom to one
fur-child, Cooper, a 3.5 yr old golden retriever. 

Cap'n Crunch  introduces herself:  Hi everyone! I’m Caitlin and unlike most of the lovely ladies on my team, I am not (currently J ) a blogger! I am a part of the Nuun Event Marketing team and I volunteered myself for a spot on the team! I graduated from Washington State University in 2010 where I played soccer for the Cougs, in addition to earning my degree in Comm. I grew up in a running family and have run two half marathons in the past year. My Hood to Coast legs will be the most I’ve ever run in 24 hours and I’m quite looking forward to the challenge. 

image source
Code name: Nightingale. This super secret agent is rumored to blog at Nurse on the Run. Her identity is closely guarded and all info is classified. When
sighted, she is usually in the vicinity of someone needing medical
assistance... or running really fast!

Major Pain  ...aka H Love... whose motto and blog are Keep On Keeping On.  She tells us:  I spent my time growing up between Florida and Washington State,
enjoying the beauty of both places!  I am a small town girl who loves to
compete (with myself) and try new things.  I have always loved sports,
but running was
never one of them.  I played basketball
at the community college level and then finished my schooling at
Washington State University!  Go Cougs!  In 2009 another mom asked me to
be on a 100K relay team to run the last leg....4.3 miles!  What? It was
a huge challenge.  After running those 4.3 miles I was HOOKED!  Those
4.3 miles , led to 13.1 and recently 26.2!  Being part of NUUN Platuun
is a huge gift and I still can't believe I am going to be part of HOOD
to COAST!  I am a mom of three amazng kids (10, 8 & 5) who inspire
me daily! I am blessed with a hard working hubby that makes me laugh and
supports me in all I do.

I "stay at home" (ha, ha, that's a joke) with the
kiddos and work part time as a Early Childhood Education consultant and
trainer.  I love to bust a move (no alcohol necessary) and enjoy hanging
with my fam and friends.  Love, love, love, white sand beaches,the
 gulf of mexico and warm sunshine!  I try to enjoy the moments I am
given and always looks for ways to inspire and connect with others! 
Can't wait to "bring it" with this amazing group of women!  Go NUUN
Platuun!  Hoo- Rah!!

Sergeant Style  ...aka Tonia.  Here's the short version: Mom. Runner. Wife. Triathlete. Friend. Pescatarian. Coach. Not necessarily in that order. 

the not so short version: As a former Division I Track and Field
athlete, I have always had an athletic side, but it wasn't until my
second child was born that running became my passion. I began running
in 2007 after I vowed to run a 10K by the end of the year. I finished
that 10K and have never looked back. Since then, I've run 4 marathons,
10 half marathons and a slew of shorter races. Right now, I am training
for the NYC Marathon with Team Grassroot Soccer.

Although, I am primarily a stay-at-home mom, I have been active in
the fitness industry for five years and is am a certified running coach
with the Road Runners Club of America. In 2010, I established, TMB
Endurance Training,
a coaching endeavor focused primarily on distance runners. I am
also certified as a
fitness instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America,
where much of my focus has been spent in the areas of Prenatal and
Postnatal Fitness.

On a personal
level, I am mother to three beautiful daughters, Dizzle, Doodle, and
Dilly, wife of 7 years to J and author of the blog,
Racing With Babes.

Notable accomplishments: 3 kids. 4 marathons. An Ivy League degree. An a appearance in the August 2011 Runner's World magazine.

I am so excited to be on Team Nuun for Hood to Coast: Well, isn't it
obvious? Hood to Coast is "the Mother of All Relays" and running it
with Team Nuun is a once in a lifetime experience. Who wouldn't be
excited? Seriously, though, I am so honored to be included in this
group of amazing blogging women from all over the country. I am looking
forward to being challenged and forming new friendships and bonds. I
know this is bound to be an experience I will never forget. 

Commando  ...aka XLMIC, blogger at Taking It On ... lurks in the shadows until the perfect moment to jump out and bust someone's cojones. She is relentless in everything she does. If she cannot out-and-out beat you running on the road, she will annoy you into the ground or make you laugh until you are immobilized... or you wet your pants. She appears unphased by almost any situation. She began running as a way of cross-training for her favorite sport, rowing. She rowed for Cornell University, at Vesper Boat Club, and was on the 1991 US PanAm team. After running two sub-4 hour marathons, she had four kids and took an injury-forced, 8-year hiatus from athletics. (She also has 6 grown stepkids). She resumed running less than a year ago and prefers to run at night... stealth-style... after everyone is asleep. Don't look for her because you won't find her that way. Just listen... she has a hard time keeping quiet for very long. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bachelorette Contest Leaderboard. Want Nuun?

I had a pretty good workout this morning and finished one I failed at last week (2x2 miles at 6:40, 1% incline, 5 minutes rest in between, woo hoo!).  Phil Collins on my ipod got me through it.  I love power ballads. 
"You're the only one who really knew me at allll...."

We've got two weeks left in one of the most heart wrenching and emotional experiences I've ever been through:  The Bachelorette.  
haircut, boys?

I've come to the following conclusions:  
1)  Ben F. must be taking sedatives.  

2)  JP and Ash wanna make out all day lonnggg.  

3)  Ben F and Constantine's next dates should be to go get haircuts! (Are they twins?)

the most dressed down pic I could find of Em

4)  I really want Ames to find a girl.  I liked his line about making everyday things romantic.  

5)  I wanna see Emily (Maynard from last show) run a marathon so we can see her sweaty and yelling for shot blocks at mile 20.   

I did a breakdown of the contest leader board and I gotta say, you guys were MUCH better at choosing the top guys than I was!  
4 people are tied for first and and 10 are in second!  

Got All Top Three

Have 1-2 of Top 3 (Possible Max 14 points!)
I loved how several of you mentioned your love for JP, but KP made me laugh the most with her comment:
"I hope she doesn't pick JP because then he can move back to New York and be available to date me!"

I am somewhat appalled that my boyfriend, who would rather shoot himself than watch the Bachelorette got 2 out of the top 3. He chose one dude who was already off the show and the others because he likes movies and hippies.  His comment: 
"I'm afraid you're all wrong ladies! This is how its going to shake out:
1. Constantine (I love that movie they made about him)
2. Ben F. (Hippies FTW)
3. Bentley (babes love the brawny man)"

Who do you think is going to win now?  
Do you think Constantine and Ben are long lost brothers?  
Do ya ever workout to power ballads (or any completely  non running appropriate music)?  :)

Also, I have a ton Nuun tabs here at my house in almost every flavor imaginable.  If you want some flavors, email me and I'll tell ya what I've got and can send it to you  (but it would be nice if you'd pay shipping if I mail it...)   

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lemon Cupcakes and Cycling Justice

Two quick orders of business:
1) I went to a farmers market this weekend with OUAL, 365 Days of Awesome, and Fat GirlTrappedInSkinnyBody.  We got Yogurtland.  It was awesome. Also, we took no pictures. already know what we look like eating Yogurtland, so I think it'll be ok :).

2)  I love all things citrus but it's hard to find recipes for orange / lemon deserts!  So I was pumped to make these LemonFilled Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting.  
from Eat, Run Read.  She posts a cake of the week, and they always look AMAZING.   Annndd...they were amazing.  And because they have filling and are thus fancier than the average cupcakes, your friends will be impressed.

On to the main post....

 By now, if you read my blog regularly (hi brother!), you know I have a terrible sense of direction.  I get lost on the regular and my iphone data plan with the map has probably saved me an entire week of my life.

I went on my second group bike ride today with the dudes and gals at Surf City Cyclery.   I got a legit bike jersey for my b-day so I was pumped to show off my new duds.

When I showed up at the bike shop at 8AM, there were a lot of pro looking cycling dudes there.  And one girl.  That's the funny thing about cycling I'm starting to discover....while running has become pretty much 50/50 gender, cycling is still majority dudes.  While this is wonderful for getting "lots-o-smiles-from-cycling-dudes" (single hobby??), it's a bit intimidating.

Turned out the other girl was even less experienced than I was, so soon after we took off, the group was pretty spread apart.  Still...I felt good!  Sometimes I was almost hanging with the fast dudes and the wind rushing past me felt great.  "Maybe I will be the world champion of biking one day", I thought to myself.

And then I got brought back to earth....

I took a wrong turn and got lost from the group....on a bustling road about 6 miles from the end.  After about 5 minutes of standing around waiting to be rescued, I pulled out the iphone and realized I could ride on the busy road and get back to the shop.   I told myself "Stop being a freaking wuss, ignore the cars, and ride back on this road".

So I bucked up and drove towards the Shop....except I didn't.

A few miles later, I noticed the road opening up and signs to get on I-405.  (Yeah...that road they closed this weekend for "Carmageddon!").  


Wrong way.

Somewhat heartbroken, I turned back around and went back over the freeway overpass.  Very appropriate place for an inexperienced biker.

30 minutes later and sweaty as all getout, I got back to the bike shop.  The guys were nice about it and one Starbucks Refresher and bagel later, it was all good.

The ride was still a blast.  Biking rules.

I'd like to offer a "moral of the story":
If you see a biker riding on a way too busy road (like near the entrance of a freeway), don't get too TO'd.  They might as dumb as I am and got separated from the cycling herd in a process of "dumb-cycler natural selection".

Lucky me, I'll live to see another day of glorious biking!   And that's somethin' to celebrate :).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Starbucks Latte For Voldemort

For many years, I've had a beef with my lover, Starbucks.  As good as Starbucks is at making the Latte, their selection of anything 'refreshing' is sad.  Especially with summer here and LA temperatures are a good 10 degrees hotter than they were in January (the horror!), I really need something to keep me going that isn't the normal coffee on steroids with milk stuff .

I know.  Tough life.  

Yesterday I walked in and a miracle happened:

I saw the Starbucks Refresher.  A green coffee based drink in Lime or Hibiscus.  Who knew green coffee could even be eaten?  Not this girl.

After bantering with the barista, she gave me samples of both to try.  I love both but ordered the Lime flavored one.
They are both pretty low cal (I think my 16 oz. Grande was like 60 or 70 calories) and tasted exactly like a Mojito.  Good stuff.

They've got a little caffeine but not enough to give me da twitchy eye.   I think the caff content is a little closer to Diet Coke or Iced Tea.
Of course, like any Starbucks drink, they are a bit of a ripoff ($2.50-$3.50), but I'm worth it...right?  ;).

Here's the pic of my heaven.  Like always, my name is spelled wrong, but I guess that's my fault for having a silent "T".  Someone's pretentious!    (moi).

That brings me to the next awesome thing I wanted to share.

Ever had someone misspell your name ridiculously? far from it's normal spelling, it's laughable?  

So did these Starbucks Baristas.

The website concept is simple:  Post your name along with your misspelled Starbucks cups.
The results?  Amazing. 

Here are a few of my favorites.  

Orderer's Name:  Winnie 

Nate wasn't expecting this compliment:
Latte for Molly:

And in the spirit of the last Harry Potter movie coming out...

Orderer's Name:  Voldemort


He-who-shall-not-be-named indeed....  =)

Have ya tried these Refresher drinks?  
Do people always get your name wrong?  Do tell....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From T.O.'d to Thankful. (Bday Post)

I try to avoid blogging all worked up and grinch-like.

There's no need to post how mad I am that I'm not ruling the world at age 29. (..think Pinky and the Brain).  

There's no real need for me to blog about little stuff that bugs me!  Unless it's funny...:)

Buuutttt....this week I've been TO'd to da max.  
Exhaustion from my weekend trip along with uncomfortable growing pains at work left me crying, bummed, and at the 7-11 at 11 PM buying Haagen Daaz Coffee Ice cream last night.   
(ok...the late night IC buying is not all that unusual for me, but ya get the idea).  

And then I turned 29.  

This morning when I went into work, I didn't care about my birthday.  I just wanted to get the day over with and get to the weekend.  

When I got in, there were balloons at my desk from my brother and later, a cake from my coworkers.  Throughout the day, I got happy birthday wishes on my facebook wall from the most rand-o lost touch with people.  (I know that they just get the notification via facebook that one of their 1000 friends has a birthday and they probably write on five people's walls each day, but just feelz good ).  

A billion other things happened today as well that made me feel appreciated and loved.  

So I felt better.  

Cakes, wall writes, and bad weeks aside, it's been a great year. 
This time last year, I had just graduated biz school.  I was unemployed with few prospects, in a (soon-to-end) romantic relationship that made me feel awful about myself, confused and still reeling from my dad's passing, and in the process of alienating my friends because of my complaining.  In July 2010, I was planning to move back in with my mom and had no idea what I would do about the crap-load of student loans I'd accumulated in the past 2 years.  
Running was the last of my worries.  

It was the most difficult time in my life I've experienced thus far.  

But then stuff got better....little by little...

A lot better.....

And here I am...a generally happy (and employed, thank god) girl with one more year left in her 20s.  Sure, there are issues, but things are pretty decent.  

"Margot, why are you writing this hell-a serious blog entry?  No one cares that you couldn't find a job last year. "  

I think I just wanted to express how thankful I am for this year.  And also I wanted to provide encouragement to anyone going through a bad time right now.  Nothing lasts forever.  
Sure, things might get worse first,  but life is uncertain, and there's almost always an unexpected bright spot around the corner.  

I'd like to close with this Winnie-the-Pooh graphic my bf sent to me today that pretty much illustrates what I'd like my new life philosophy to be (it has profanity in it, so be warned before ya click!).   


Or if ya didn't like that, here's something you're sure to like.

"Leaaan on meee....when you're not strongggg...I'll be your frieenndndddd"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Ode To My 13 Year Old Sports Bra

I've been "running" for 14 years with varying degrees of seriousness.  It all started my freshman year in high school when I joined our Winter Indoor Track Team.  For the first meet, I realized I needed a real sports bra.

"How were you working out with the team without one to begin with???"

Hey hey...I was a late bloomer, ok?  :)

So that I wasn't laughed out of the meet, my mom and I went to the local running store and bought a black size S Champion sports bra.  This was back in the dark ages of running when choices were simple:  Black, White, or Blue?  Champion or Nike?  There were none of these boob-separating, padded, underwire, fancy pants choices of today.

I ran that season alternating two black and one blue sports bras.  I always raced in the black one. It was good luck!

And guess what I'm wearing riiigghhhtt noooowww?  (just did a workout).

The black one?  Close.  The blue one.  Just did my repeat miles in my vintage 1998 bra.  (went ok...6:40, 6:35, 6:31, 6:25 TM 1% incline, 3 mins rest.  Sounds good, but it's all hearsay until I perform at a race). 

I've got other running items that I've had for several years too long as well.  I race 50% of the time in these baggy adidas shorts I bought in college when I was a few lbs heavier.  They aren't even running shorts I don't think.  But they get the job done.

I know my sports gear hoarding goes against all advice.  Especially the sports bra hoarding.  For example, this random article on RW says replace three of them for every one pair of running shoes?  Um no thanks.  That's like a billion dollars a year.

I feel like these pieces of clothing are still getting the job done, contrary to what seems logical.  The shorts are still staying on, and the sports bras are still uhh....strapping those puppies down.  And that's really all I want.  

And I love the history and memories associated with them.  Black sports bra was with me when I broke 6 in the mile, when I ran my first marathon, and when I qualified for Boston.  It was also there for every frustrating workout or bad run, and those are valuable memories too.

Is it time to say goodbye to some of this stuff?  Yeah sure.  But I'm not ready to, so as long as I'm feeling the are here to stay :).

Do you have any clothes or sports stuff you've had a billion years and still use?  

Do you think I'm cray-cray to still be wearing this stuff?

Monday, July 11, 2011

San Juan Islands Birthday Getaway

This weekend was awesome.  Anthony planned a 'surprise' trip to the San Juan Islands for my birthday.  (Note:  it's not my birthday yet!  I am 28 for two more days, playa!).

San Juan Islands?  Where diz islandz at?

Right on the upper corner of Washington!  Close enough to Canada to smuggle goods via kayak!

They are tiny, gorgeous, full of wildlife (although we didn't see much) and very cute.   (But way overpriced - bring your own food and wine!  And book stuff early!).    You can get there by taking a ferry from either Anacortes or Seattle unless you are Michael Phelps in a heated wetsuit and want to swim.

We played on da shore....

I decided I was a quarterback with an imaginary team.  We gotta get ready for football season, right?

We Kayaked....

I tried to race the guys in the kayak next to us.  After one of them puked from seasickness.   Sportsmanship is my specialty!   

This is the "Lime Kiln" lighthouse.  Wonndefffull.  
View from the Kayak.                       All in all 98% awesome.  We bought one bottle of terrible wine and on the ferry on the way back, we were passing the bottle back and forth.  The wine was terrible, but it was fun :).  
The island felt like it was a world away which was amazing because it's about 3 hours from Seattle.  Four and a half out of five stars!  Would visit again!  

What was the last or best escape you went on?  

If you've ever been to the Pacific Northwest Forests, do you feel like the Keebler Elves probably live there?  
Every time I visit the area, I feel like one is going to jump out and offer me an El Fudge or Grasshopper cookie.  

Or maybe that's just wishful thinking...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Interview: Dude on winning Hood To Coast Relay 2010. Also he runs 2:38 marathons.

Before I start the interview, I'd like to talk about a far more accomplished runner than Andrew, my interviewee: ME.  
(this is hyperbole to the max when you look at this guy's race times).  

This morning, I did the 'whatever the freak I want to do" workout and it was amazing.  Biked 15 miles, sat on the couch and ate several forkfulls (a fork was closer to reach than the spoon) of Haagen Daaz Mango Sorbet.  Then 1 mile slow, 1.3 mi. @ 6:40 and 1 mile slow again.  I was planning to just do one mile at 6:40, but Blake Shelton was singing "Honeybee" on the Today Show, and what can I say...he's 6:40 pace kind of dreamy.  So nice to not follow a plan and just do what feels right!

On to the Interview of Andrew Huston:  Ridiculously Good Runner and 2010 HTC Winner. 

A couple weeks back, my friend Anisa mentioned to her bf's friend Andrew that I was running Hood to Coast as part of the Nuun Blogger Team.  Turns out...this guy was on the winning team from last year!   That's just a little of course we pounced on him to get his take on HTC.  He's talented and pretty funny as well, so give him some love:

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself - both runningwise and life-wise?  Brag a little..
I'm from and lived in Baton Rouge, LA until 2008, when I moved to Portland, OR on a whim. I ran all through HS and college and the running scene in Portland did help push me out here (Along with the beer scene. I love beer).  My big claim to fame in college was placing 6th at the 2005 SEC Outdoor Track and Field championships in the 1500 with a 3:49.46.  In doing this I was the first male runner from LSU to place in the top 8 in that event since 1995.
After moving to Portland, I got hooked up with a group of post-collegiate runners, the Bowerman Athletic Club ( We're sponsored by Nike (as in we get some gear and some entry fees paid, but not a paycheck.  Since running with them I have set personal bests in the 5000m and 10000m on the track with a 15:24 and 31:29 and in the half marathon with a 1:09:24. I ran 2:38:57 in the Chicago marathon last year as well (I ran 2:38:25 in Eugene). I have a degree in Kinesiology, which is the study of human movement. Currently I'm in my 4th quarter (out of 12) at the University of Western States College of Chiropractic in Portland and still finding time train pretty hard.

How did you end up on a Hood To Coast Relay?  What made you want to do it?  
Last year the BAC coach sent around an email asking who was in for Hood To Coast and since most of us were gearing up for the Chicago Marathon, it seemed like a fun idea. We're all a bunch of FUPS (eff ups), so the opportunity to run hard and goof off was really, really appealing. Much like most of my life, I found myself on a team on a whim. Also, working specialty running retail for a few months upon moving to Portland really piqued my curiosity regarding this event. I absolutely could not pass up an opportunity to be a part of this. The timing was nice as well because I was on a break from school after finishing up my last pre-requisites for chiropractic school.

What was the coolest moment of the relay?   What was the toughest?   The most beautiful?
 Coolest moment was the finish on the beach (and the party!)! I ran legs 12, 24, 36 so I got to finish and have people yell for me. It was also really neat to have the whole team join in for the last bit. I would've liked a better prize for being part of the winning team, but the plaque is kinda neat.

Toughest moment was probably toward the end, just before the last leg. We were in the last start wave Friday, so by the time I was gearing up for the last leg I had probably been awake for over 24 hours. Before my first leg I had my usual cup of coffee, before my 2nd leg coffee and Red Bull, before my last leg 2 Red Bulls. Needless to say I was pretty tired. The last leg is mostly downhill and with the smell of the Pacific Ocean in my nostrils I just let it flow and tried to ignore the pain and fatigue. 

Mist, OR was the most beautiful. We were there around sunrise and there really was mist rising from the surrounding hills. The sun gradually creeping up over the Coast Range, runners finishing and starting, the light gradually getting more intense. The people from the town supporting the runners with coffee and donuts and burgers. It was just one of those moments only a runner experiences. And usually only runners doing something silly, like a 197 mile relay!

Be honest.  How tough was it to find bathrooms on the route?  
Bathrooms weren't too bad, when I needed them. Though I grew up camping and being a guy it was pretty easy to find places to pee. Though I think if you get caught you get penalized somehow, so I didn't tell you to pee in the woods/someone's front/back yard. Or rather what I am telling you is to make sure you're well hidden if you're at an exchange point and forgoing the Honey Bucket experience.

What advice do you have for our Hood To Coast Relay team? 
 The best advice I can offer is to get on a team with a corporate sponsor who will pay for everything. Seriously though, enjoy the process of it all. While you're planning and training and planning and training and icing and stretching and oh yeah.....doing the whole "life" thing it's easy to lose sight of just how much freaking fun running is and good it feels to be in shape! And it's even more fun with people. And EVEN more fun with friends. Will you be miserable? Yeah. Will you want to quit? Yeah. Will this be the most fun you've ever had running? Yeah. So when you feel overwhelmed with the enormity of this task, take a deep breath, take a drink of your proverbial beverage and realize that when you look back you will smile and most likely laugh out loud.

I'm on leg 5 (the most difficult rated legs).  Am I going to die?
Assuming you are running legs 5, 17, 29, then yes, you are going to die. But you will have time to recover and have a blast at the beach party! It's easier on the body to go up rather than go down - so just keep telling yourself that.
 If y'all (yeah, that's my southern side) pass a BAC van ask for WOLF or WOLFMAN and I'll stick my head out and give a howl. Assuming I'm on the van in question.