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Morning Mourning

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I hate morning. Screw you, sunrise. I should not get up before the sun gets up. No, I should not. But today I did. And I did not like it.

To all you morning runners out there: How the eff do you do it??? You are superhuman. I want to be superhuman. I am not. I cannot be. What do you have that I don’t??? I am so insanely jealous.
Or are you all just lying?? Trying to sound like running at 5:30a.m. is no big deal. “A great way to start the day!” (insert cheesy thumbs up). There are so many things I hear about running in the morning:
It’s sooo peaceful.
It’s such nice “me” time.
I feel wonderful afterwards.
I just love being able to watch the sunrise.
Conspiracy!! Rumors!! All of them!! Hearsay!! Blech. You are all just plotting against me. What peace? It’s just dark. Dark and peaceful are not the same things. 6 a.m. is CRAPPY “me” time! I am like a zombie!! Literally, I feel like there is no warm blood flowing through my body at 6 a.m. It does not want to move coherently. I miss my bed, my husband, my jammies.

Generally, when I run I feel good. I feel strong and capable. I feel like I have amazing, ripped calf muscles. I want the world to see them!!

But, in the morning it is dark. People are missing out on my calves. Instead their bright headlights are shining right onto my contorted, miserable looking face. Sorry morning commuters, I’m sure this is not a good way to start your drive. When I run at 2p.m., I imagine I look okay. Red-faced and sweaty, but passable. It is clear that what I am doing is running. When I run at 5:30 a.m., my legs and arms and head and neck and butt and toes are confused and unsure where to go. I look like I am trying to stir wet sand with all four limbs and sit down at the same time. Take a minute to picture that picture.

This is why I hate running in the morning. I miss the strong, capable feeling, and I have to mentally overcome the incompetent, slooooooow feeling.

I did not want to get out of bed at 5:30 today.
And yet. I did.
And I hated every second of it.

Biggest. Longest. Deepest SIGH ever.

I am trying to become a morning runner. It might kill me. I kind of want to die when I am cramming a bar into my mouth at 5:30, and again at 5:40 when I put my shoes on, and again at 5:45 when I turn on my headlamp.

But there seem to be some real benefits to running early.
Like, maybe we will have leftovers for dinner because I am too knackered to cook.
That’s a sweet deal.

BUT, I am doing this because it will be good for me. It really will. I want to run in the morning. I really do. I need some more run time, and morning run time is prime run time. I want this!! I want to run in the morning!! ARGH!! Why is it so hard!!? Also, last summer, my 4 a.m. Ragnar leg did me in. I have a conquest to conquer.

I can get better at this, right? I really hope I get used to it. Please, tell me it is possible. Because this is my Year of Speed. I am going to get faster. I vow to get faster. I can do it. I know I can. And if falling out of bed at 5:30a.m. will help it happen, I will fall hard!!

But first, I will Google.
“why run early in the morning?”

I only get one result.

This is not a good sign. And perhaps a Google first.

http://www.nomeatathlete.com/running-before-dawn/
But, I agree with everything he says. Except: Getting an early start extends your day and allows you to get more done. When you don’t have to deal with fitting in your workout later, you’ll find a lot more time on your hands to deal with your other responsibilities.

Sure, you may have to go to bed earlier, but for many, late night is the least productive time of day anyway, so what are you really losing?

Umm…I am losing sleep. I am often super productive at 10 p.m. Regularly until midnight! Getting an early start does not extend my day, I will just be awake for different hours. Hogwash, Greg! I am not buying what you are selling.

But I want to, so let’s try again. Come on Google….don’t let me down.

“benefits of running early in the morning.”

YEEESSSSS!!!!

“If you don’t consider yourself a morning person, the good news is that you can turn yourself into one, says Dr James Mojica, a sleep physician.”

Dr. James Mojica, I have never met you, but you are my new hero. I freaking love you!!!! I love what you are saying!! Say it again!! Say it loud!!!! I want to hear more!!! DO YOU WANNA BE MY NEW ROOMMATE!!!???

Oh this Dr. James Mojica, he is good. He is speaking my language. He even gives morning routine options. And they’re realistic.

http://www.runnersworld.co.za/training/training-know-how/running-in-the-morning/

This is what’s going to make this work:

1. I have support: My husband is on board. We picked out days that work for our family, and I know I can count on him to enable me to run.

2. I have good company: No way am I ready to run predawn by myself. I know that if I am supposed to meet someone, I won’t let them down. If someone besides me is depending on me, I’ll be there.

3. I have a plan. I am getting up the same days every week, and have routes ready to go. I know where they are, how far they are and how long they take me. I could probably close my eyes and let the dog lead.

Now, the all-knowing Dr. James Mojica says I need a mantra. Something to think as soon as I roll out of bed.

Let’s see….

Get up. Stand up. (too simple. i’ve gotta do more than just stand.)

This is fun! (snort!) (it’s gonna take more than that.)

I’ll sleep when I’m dead! (too morbid, can’t be thinking about death whilst half asleep.)

Get’er done. (forget it, this is not Cow Town.)

Okay. How about this. It’s not necessarily a mantra, but a memory, a familiarity, a comfort zone. For me, happiness is a state of activity. Happiness is moving and running, racing and flying. When running feels good, it feels really good. That feeling, knowing that feeling and seeking that feeling, that’s what keeps me running. Any time of the day. Or night.

O’dark-thirty, here I come.

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Verbal Gold

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Before the summer of 2012 I had never run with anyone. I’m talking never. I didn’t want to. I had issues with running with others. I even simultaneously trained for a marathon with my husband, but never once ran with him. It is true that I rarely run without my dog, but as wondrous as she is, she’s not human. And I have participated in sports that running was a part of, but I hated it. Even when I ran XC  in high school, I think I rarely enjoyed it.

But I’m a horse of a different color these days.

For 2 years now I have been running on Tuesday nights. With others. Other moms, other women who live nearby. At first I was totally anxious about this. For a few reasons, probably none of which are radically different from any other person’s. Here’s my reasons, and here’s how it played out:

Reason 1. Speed. I’m not always fast, (possibly never) and I wasn’t sure if my running friends would run at the same pace. Or be willing to change theirs. Or that I would be able to change mine.

BUT I really, really wanted to meet some like-minded mammas. So, I sought them out. I belong to a MOPs group and at the beginning of the 2012 summer I got in front of the whole group and invited anyone who was interested to workout and run with me. Anyone. (it was a big group, I thought there had to be someone!)

Celeste was the first one to show up. She looked all sleek and strong, like a greyhound. She talked of longer distances, and 9-minute-miles, and I was totally intimidated. It was not love at first sight. But it was loyalty at first step. She and I have been going strong now for almost 3 years. At first it was tricky. Celeste and I are quite different. I’m loud and sometimes pushy. I’m excited and jump around a lot. Celeste is zen. She’s calm and peace, gentle and kind.

If I were a thunderstorm she’d be a rain shower. If I were a lion she’d be an owl. If I were a Toyota Tacoma she’d be a Toyota Prius.

Could someone so full of grace and patience and good gas mileage like me???? And I assumed she would have to like me a little in order to want to run with me.

Reason 2 I was scared of running with others: Do people want to talk to each other when they run??? Would Celeste want to talk?  Should I talk?? Would I be able to talk? (I’m usually too busy gasping for breath) What the heck?? I didn’t know!!!! It was a little scary.

But after a summer of Red Rocks circuits and trail runs I was sold. I wanted to run with her. Always and forever. Sure, we weren’t totally settled on how much or how little to talk, but it was working itself out. And our pace was good. I still feel like she can indeed run faster than me, but she seems happy to tone it down a little, and I am happy for the challenge.

There are SO many nights in the winter I’d never set foot outside if it wasn’t for her. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve texted the following: “It’s snowing….should we go? I really don’t feel like going…..”

And she says, “I’ll go if you go!”

And there we go.

And it works both ways. There are nights I’m dying for a run, and she’s not, and because of me she goes. It’s beautiful.

And let’s talk about Gail. I’ve been running with Gail for almost a year now. She whooped me in our first half marathon together last summer. I was smitten 🙂

Here’s what Gail gave me. A little over a month ago, there were 3 of us out for a run. Gail told Celeste and I that we were good at hills. It was a simple statement. Nothing poetic, intuitive or expert about it. It was not even a sentence with a large number of words. I can’t even remember the exact words. Are you ready for it?

“You guys are good at hills. You keep the same pace.” ~Gail Monroe, 2014.

No, Gail is not a Certified Master Hill Runner. She’s not even an apprentice. Yes, she can run hills just fine, she’s a great runner, but her words technically don’t have anything special backing them. But I have been hanging onto this one statement like it is pure gold. I can’t forget it. I won’t forget it.

Pure verbal gold.

24k, baby.

Literally every time I have started a hill since hearing those words, I think of Gail. I think that if she thinks I can do this, if she thinks I am good at hills; then I must be. There is no gray here, there is no doubt, there is no questioning her words. They are solid. They are right. They are truth. Gail’s words are immutable, irrefutable, LAW.

And if I didn’t run with others, I’d never have been given this verbal gold.

Worth the anxiety? Yes. Emphatically YES.

I’m holding Gail partially responsible for my recent half-marathon PR of 2:09:22. More than 15 minutes faster than 2 of last year’s half-marathons! So, what did I do different? Well, I decided to “run.”
No. Really. I think that’s it.
My usual strategy for a race over 6 miles is slow and steady. I’m always afraid I’ll just blow all my energy in the beginning and then be crawling across the finish line, shamed for life. For this race, don’t ask me why, but I decided to set a pace, much faster than normal, and just see how long I could stick with it.

I set a goal of 2:10.

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*How cool is that temp tat!!!?*

Last fall I *think* I did a half around 2:10, but my timing chip was on my shoe wrong and my Garmin didn’t start at the start…and blah blah; I was only guestimating my time. Because there was no visual proof of the 2:10ish time, I truly doubted it ever happened. And all winter my pace has been MUCH closer to 11-min-miles, reenforcing my doubt.  So, aiming for 9:55 min miles was a little risky indeed.
But I was feeling frisky! Risky!! I decided just to go for it. And I nailed every. single. mile. Even the 2-mile-long Holy Hill. And I felt SO good the whole time!! There was no dying, no crying and no crawling anywhere! When my cousin met me at mile 10 and offered to jump in to keep me going, I told her to wait for my other cousin because, and I can’t believe I am quoting myself on this, I said….”I got this!! I am SO on it!!!!”

I really said that.
At mile 10.
Running a minute faster than normal.
Who was I that day???

Mentally Tough Girl, that’s who.

And…this is the nugget: I was able to be mentally tough because of my running friends. Yep. I said that.

Those girls, the ones who hold me accountable, the ones who give me verbal golds, the ones who push me and cheer me on, the ones who intimidate me and run faster than me, are why I do better.

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New? Different? Better?

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I don’t really do the whole resolution thing. Resolutions make me think of resolving, which makes me think of solving, which makes me think of problems; and generally, I enjoy a good problem solving session, but I do NOT like thinking of my life, or the past year, as a problem to be solved. That is Reason #1 Resolutions ARE Silly.
Think about it. Have you ever had a conversation with any living, awake human being in which he/she contributed his/her newly perfectly perfect, wondrously healthy life to a new year? Like such:

“Yes, thank you. It is true I look/smell/feel amazing.

I no longer drink/smoke/binge eat/steal-food-from-babies hide-food-from-my-husband/drive crazy/pick my nose, my butt or my zits.

I indeed now brush my hair regularly/exercise for 300 minutes daily/only eat kale, chia seeds and eucalyptus leaves/only drink water/remember to apply deodorant/and am in fact competing in the upcoming Sochi Olympics. It is true that I *finally* lost the baby weight, and smile constantly because I feel so damn good, but only blink once a day because, you know – eucalyptus isn’t exactly high in calories. Remember? Slow moving koala bears? Or is that the tree sloth? I don’t know!!!!!

So. Yeah. Life rocks!! Because of my awesome resolution.”

Said no one. EVER.

Nope. I don’t like them. I don’t think they’re a feasible plan of attack. What I do like are beginnings, attempts, trying, starting and challenges. I love a challenge. I love trying something new. Mostly. Some foods just shouldn’t be eaten.

I like new habits too, but let’s be realistic. I kind of have a lot of habits. I don’t have any more room in life for a new one, unless I give up an old one.

Reason #2 Resolutions ARE Silly:

Excuses. For some reason resolutions breed excuses. It’s a mental thing, it has to be. Mankind must inadvertently link the word resolution with the word excuse. Excuses are nasty little things. They’re like having a personal evil villain. An excuse never dies quietly in the night. An excuse must be bashed over the head with something cast iron, shot in the foot, kicked in the balls, smothered in molten Velveeta cheese and pushed into an abyss. Then you must toss a poopy diaper into the abyss for good measure, slam a lid on it and seal with Gorilla Glue. It’s not pretty, but to get rid of an excuse you must murder it.

And let’s differentiate between excuses and reasons. Reasons are reasonable. For example: I haven’t blogged in over a month because it was Christmas. I crazy-love Christmastime. I consider myself part elf. Not to be confused with garden gnome. I’m talking full-on North Pole Elf. Pass me the snow.

In the past 6 weeks I made 35 knock-off sweaty bands, 22 felt door hangings, 14 ornaments, 8 ornament-laden headbands, 7 dozen cookies, 3 infinity scarves, 1 knitted cowl, 2 batches of toffee roca, 3 fleece skirts, 1 very ugly sweater, 1 stocking, 1 table runner and 1 pair of elf shoes. I ran a 10k in the name of Santa and a 5k in the name of misled holiday fashion. I introduced my kids to eggnog, snow ice cream and all things peppermint. We ooohed and aaahed at all the local lights, went ice skating, and sang more carols than a 24-hour choir on meth. We cut down a tree too tall to be measured without special machinery and which I partially decorated while it was held horizontal by my Mountain Man Husband.

WHAT?!?!?

We don’t have a ladder tall enough!

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And that, my friends, is a reason. Sitting on your butt because it’s squishy is not a reason. It’s an excuse.

Enough with the definitions. It’s time for a challenge. I’d like to roll up on 2014 with a little something fun. A little something difficult. The Plank-Burpee Challenge. We’ve heard of the Burpee Challenge and the Plank Challenge. Well, this is both together. Burpees in the morning, planks in the evening. And yes, it will require donning your sports bra first thing in the a.m. But you don’t have to brush your teeth til after breakfast. Because we mothers might be crazy, but we are not illogical.

It goes a little something like this:

Day 1: 1 burpee, 20 seconds of plank (easy peasy!).

Day 2: 2 burpees, 20 sec of plank (piece of cake!!).

Day 3: 3 burpees, 30 seconds of plank (more cake please).

Day 4: 4 burpees, 30 seconds of plank (I’m sorry, I may have misused the word challenge….).

Day 5: 5 burpees, 40 seconds of plank (pish, this is nuthin’)

Burpees increase each day up to 100. Yes, 100 days of burpees. I would never misuse the world challenge! And you can do them with or without the push up – your choice. Planks increase for 30 days up to 300 seconds. Oh yeah, that’s 5 minutes. Aw heck, that’s 5 minutes!

Planks can be on elbows or hands, your choice again. I’m going with push-ups and on my elbows.

I did not come up with either of these challenges myself. The burpee one is a crossfit standard and the plank one comes from 30dayfitnesschallenges.com. Along with their chart:

30-day-plank-challenge-chart

I’m going to start my challenge on Monday morning. Just because I feel like starting that day. I don’t really have a special reason. In order for this challenge to work for me, and possibly you, we must commit to it. What I’m asking you to do is sign-up in the comments below. Join in OFFICIALLY. Let the world know you’re going to try. Otherwise what’s to keep any of us with it? I don’t call this Team Mama because its all about me. Its about helping, supporting and smack-talking one another 🙂

If you’re in, and you’re local to me, let’s start a text chain. You know – a nice little reminder to QUIT SLACKING and get planking/burpee-ing! Happy New Year!!!

Here’s to the Season

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This post is for a great season done and a wonderful winter season coming! This was the first year since having kids that I felt like I was able to run as much as a needed to; to be ready for anything. I raced in 4 half-marathons, one marathon relay, one very hilly 10-miler, one 4-miler, one 5k, one sprint triathlon, and one 15k. All were unique and fun, and I had the most amazing, inspiring group of mamas to run with me. Wouldn’t have changed one little mile of it.

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Thank you.

For the first time ever, I was one of the “cool kids” (if ever people in spandex can truly be cool), and had friends to hang out with post race. I have always looked at those people sitting on the lawn, snacking on their bananas, and been a wee bit envious; a wee bit lonely. I am typically the only person I know in a race. Not this year! This year I definitely became part of a group of runners. In fact, we created our own group, and I love us.

I love you ladies for a lot of reasons, but here are a few:

1. You make me smile and laugh, and not feel so bad about needing to pee (possibly more than once) before every race.

2. I run faster to catch you, to keep up with you and to be faster than you so you can do the same to me.

3. You are a great excuse for me to buy cute ribbon and make knock-off sweaty bands.

4. I take my responsibility to each of you as a running mate very seriously and it helps keep me going in the right direction.

5. I never had anyone to share pre-race pooping woes with. It’s weird, but in a nice way.

6. Swapping socks, headbands, shoelaces and baked goods at 6 a.m. really is fun.

7. It feels super cool to be part of a brigade of carpooling women in moisture wicking clothing cruising down Alameda (or up I-70) to some starting line at 6:30 a.m.

8. Sweaty finish line/post race sightings of friends are priceless! (Laura!)

9. Roving the expos and finish line areas for freebies is so much more productive with others. And it feels slightly less obsessive.

10. You’re fun. You’re funny. You’re awesome and amazing and fit and beautiful and I love spending time with you. Yes, you.

Cheers to you girls. Wanna do it all again next year?

So, after all that, I just plain felt done after the last half marathon. I knew I needed a break. I craved a break. So, what started as just an intended day or two off turned into a full two weeks of sloth-like living. It was fabulous, I won’t lie. But it’s over and I’m just as ready for it to be over as I was for it to start. Seriously; sedentary is so not my gig. And this is the best, really really the best, time of the year to run. It’s cool, it’s crisp, leaves crunch, sweat doesn’t drip in your eyes, it just feels good to be outside. And in a few weeks when the snow comes, things get really exciting.

This was my first real post-race season workout. It was fun. It was good. And it requires nothing but a space to move in.

4x4x4

Do each exercise for 30 sec. No rest between exercises. One minute rest between sets. Repeat 4x.

Set 1: Jumping jacks, Russian twists, push ups, sumo (wide leg) squat.

Set 2: Lunge jumps, bicycles, plank, 1-legged squat.

Set 3: Fast feet, matrix, burpees, wall sit.

Set 4: High knees, v-ups, superman (hold for 30 sec), jump squat.

Repeat. FOUR TIMES.

Today I am feeling lazy and my four-year-old is having a rough afternoon. I vacuumed up her Minnie Mouse sticker. No, I’m just kidding (that’s the next post). But she is having a rough afternoon, so I’m going to leave it up to Google and YouTube to define those exercises for you. Run on people.

Stinky things that happen to me

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so the other day I hosted a playground circuit workout.

and I think I smelled a little like a porta potty.

at first I thought it was the porta potty. there was one at the playground.

but then I left the playground and occasionally I still smelled the potty part.

I kept sniffing. Sniffing myself, my children, my hands, my keys, my clothes. And sometimes; there it was. porta potty.

How does one acquire such an odor? Confession:

I participate in what some would call questionable workout clothing treatment. I wash after every two workouts. What??? you scream!!! that’s gross!! Well, it saves me from doing laundry every day. I’m just going to sweat in those clothes again. It’s always my sweat, I don’t loan out my workout clothes. And its hard on clothes to wash them after every wear. Aannd, I just cannot get over washing something I’ve only been in for two hours, regardless of what transpired during those two hours. So shoot me. I wash after two workouts. You can’t change me, don’t try. Me and dirt, we’re down.

So, it is possible one of my pieces of clothing had worked through more than two workouts. maybe. my hook-in-the-closet system might not be full-proof. its possible.

Where am I going with this stinky business? Well, I just want to let you moms out there know that sometimes stink happens to good moms. Among other things. You’re not alone, and you didn’t mess up. Maybe you’ve whiffed porta potty on yourself once too. I know I’ve whiffed more than that. Some nice mom said to me last week – “I think you have some oatmeal on your collar.”

Oatmeal? Gosh that was tactful of her.

Really, it was a big, crusty clump of dried snot. Not even my own. Oatmeal would have been nice.

But seriously. We mammas need to stick together. Tell each other when we stink, when we have our shorts on backwards and our shirts on inside out. We’re women and we’re moms. We should love each other more. Spread that love, forgiveness and UNDERSTANDING. Yes, be understanding, be loving, be kind. Outwardly. Don’t just think your best-mom-friend looks great, tell her. Tell her its okay to be a mess in public. It’s okay to lose patience. It’s okay to get mad at her minions. And its okay if they cry or have temper tantrums or embarrass her. She’s doing a great job at creating wonderful little people who will undoubtedly grow up to be wonderful big people. Make a mom smile. Give her warm fuzzies. She will remember that feeling all day. I can promise you that.

Below is the picture of the workout I shared the day of the porta-potty-stink. It’s visual proof that moms are experts at rolling with it. So, roll on mammas, and give warm fuzzies. And, yes, I would like you to read the workout and do it 🙂

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Okay fiiiine: Here’s the readable version; with translation for Rachel, who now really has no excuse:

20 Pike jumps into squat jumps Get in push-up position with elbows extended and legs spread a bit wider than hips. Leave hands on the ground and push feet off the ground – legs open in the air. Let them fall back to the ground, landing on feet and spring up into squat position.

Side plank with 5 knee tucks (each side)Lie on your right side with your legs straight and the left leg stacked directly on top of the right. Bend the right elbow and place it directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips and knees, and hold. If you want to make this harder, go all the way up on an extended elbow. Bend and tuck your left leg up five times, fully bending and extending each time. Repeat on the opposite side.

20 v up roll ups Lie on your back on the floor with arms by your sides and your legs extended out.
 Lift the top half of your body up off the floor, keeping your abdominals tight by having your belly button pulled in towards your spine, and reach out with your hands towards your toes. To roll down, extend your arms above your head and let your legs lift off the floor. As soon as your back touches the floor, perform the v-up: keeping your bellybutton pulled in towards your spine, exhale as you simultaneously raise your legs, arms, and shoulder blades up off the floor, touching your hands to your toes, then inhale as you lower back down to starting position.

5 up down planks – Lie on your stomach with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down and fingers facing forward. Engage your abdominal/core muscles. Slowly lift your torso and thighs off the floor or mat. Keep your torso and legs stiff. Holding your body off the floor, place one palm on the floor extending your elbow on that side, follow through with the opposite side, finishing with both elbows extended and palms on the floor. Repeat 5 times on each side.

20 side lunge jumps with opposite touchFrom standing position place left leg out to side keeping it straight and bend right knee going down into a side lunge, touch ground with left fingers. From this position jump and switch doing a side lunge on the other side, so that right leg is straight and knee of left leg is bent and touch ground with fingers of right hand.

Side plank with 5 scissors (each side)Lie on your right side with your legs straight and the left leg stacked directly on top of the right. Bend the right elbow and place it directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips and knees, and hold. If you want to make this harder, go all the way up on an extended elbow. Scissor left forward and back keeping knee extended 5 times. Switch sides and repeat.

20 skiers and 20 tuck jumpsSkier: Stand with your feet together. Jump from side to side, landing with your knees bent. The wider you jump and the lower you squat, the harder you’ll work. Tuck jump: Start with the knees bent slightly, the elbows at 90 degrees at the waist, and bend the knees and sit the butt into a half squat. Jump up straight into the air, and tuck, tucking the knees, aiming for your elbows. Land softly.

5 planks with opposite raisesWith your feet out wider than your shoulders, start to get into a push up position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.  Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Keep your back straight and engage your core and glutes. Raise your left foot and your right arm off the floor, focusing on holding your hips and torso in place. Switch arms and legs and repeat. Do both sides 5 times.

REPEAT

What’s in my ear…

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Music has the ability to make my workout twice as long, three times as challenging, four times as fun and five times as soul-satisfying. On the flip-side, lack of music will shut me down like a dead battery. If my music quits on me, I will run home, grab my husband’s Nano or my iPod (I always run with a Shuffle) and start my run over.

I am not kidding. When my music dies mid-run, a big part of my motivation dies with it. Silence in my ears is my worst enemy. First, the music stops, then I turn my little device on and off again – disbelieving – as if it might be just teasing me; then I groan aloud, let my head fall back, and look at the sky miserably like my life is about to end. Its dramatic. I could probably work up some tears if it was a rough enough day.

I know lots of people judge those who run with music. But I can’t help it. I NEED it. I listen to music almost always. Yes, during races. Yes, when there are other people with me. It’s like my magic feather, I’m pretty sure I can’t fly without it. It makes me feel strong. Tough. Bad Ass. It makes me forget that I have snot stuck to my knee (not my own), that I smell like an onion, that I have a baby wipe hanging out of my shorts or that I earlier consumed a piece of partially chewed apple that one of my kids spit into my hand. Judge THAT. So, YES. Music.

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And a few of you have asked me what I’ve been listening to this summer. I go through all sorts of musical phases. Sometimes its 80s. Sometimes its hard core rap. I adore Eminem when I’m running. Any other time I might run from him. {Sorry Marshall} I have been known to punch the air, leap off an obstacle, wiggle my butt and sing really, really, REALLY loudly while running with music. And you don’t even wanna know the things I will do when I’m flying along on my in-line skates. I’m scary groovy.

And to me, all that extra adrenaline is well worth the judging, scoffing and whatever else anyone else dishes out. I love my music. Exercise keeps me sane, music keeps me exercising. That’s a no-brainer. So, without further thinking, here’s what’s in my ear this summer:

All the Right Moves        3:58    OneRepublic
Blown Away        4:00    Carrie Underwood
Bulletproof        3:26    La Roux
Call Me Maybe        3:13    Carly Rae Jepsen
Cosmic Love        4:16    Florence + The Machine
Crystallize        4:19    Lindsey Stirling
Dynamite        3:24    Taio Cruz
E.T.        3:26    Katy Perry
Grenade        3:42    Bruno Mars
Grounds for Divorce        3:39    Elbow
Hey Mama        2:58    Mat Kearney
Ho Hey        2:43    The Lumineers
Hotride        4:36    The Prodigy
I Knew You Were Trouble        3:40    Taylor Swift
Moves Like Jagger      3:21    Maroon 5
Poker Face        3:57    Lady GaGa
Radioactive        3:07    Imagine Dragons
Secrets        3:45    OneRepublic
Sober        4:12    P!nk    Funhouse
Stronger        5:13    Kanye West    Stronger
Sweet Nothing (feat. Florence Welch)        3:34    Calvin Harris
Telescope (feat. Hayden Panettiere)        3:13    Nashville Cast

And ooooh my does Florence Welch do it for me these days! That girl can make me sprint!

My, its been awhile.

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Well. Gosh. I don’t know where to start. Its not like I haven’t been doing stuff. In fact, that’s the problem. I’ve been doing way too much stuff!! Yes, activities are taking over my life. I am pretty sure this happens to me every summer. At least every summer since we’ve been here in CO, so yup, for 3 summers now I have been swallowed whole by the whale of activities that exist in CO. And there are so many things I’m doing that I’m forgetting to do other things that I love!! Like ride up Lookout Mountain with my Mountain Man once a week! Lookout Mountain Wednesday has disappeared! Aaack!! We lost it somewhere between Red Rocks circuit workouts and the pirate ship slide at the outdoor pool. And the pool! Crap! I haven’t swam any laps since I don’t know when!! And this IS outdoor swimming pool time. I haven’t swam a single lap outside. Has there ever been anything so sad? Probably. Yes. So I’ll shut up now.

And we’ve also only played in the creek twice. Wrong. So wrong.

But to right the wrongs, how about I share a Red Rocks workout? Its been awhile since we mamas have been to Red Rocks. For some reason Red Rocks goes and thinks its a concert venue or something. Sheesh. But thankfully last night there wasn’t one. So we got our stairs on.

Because what do you do at Red Rocks when you are parents instead of young, carefree concert-goers? You run. That’s sad and cool at the same time. I’m serious – think about it.

Here’s what we did instead of rock out:

What you see when you catch your breath.

Warm up: Run a row across, up two flights of outer stairs. Repeat to top.

Down: Run down two flights of outer stairs, run up on. Repeat to bottom.

Up: Planters. Run to the planter, scale it. Look like a drunken monkey. Wreck every nail on both hands. Repeat to top.

Down: Squatting duck walk. What? You don’t know what that means? You’re just in denial. It is exactly what is sounds like. Squat down low, let those knees flap out to your sides and walk down the stairs, one webbed foot at a time. Hold your wings in front of you for balance.

Up: One box jump onto the bleachers. Three push ups. Step up to next bleacher. One frog jump to next bleacher. Three dips. Repeat all the way up.

Down: Run to end of row, 5 Russian twists. Down two sets of inner stairs (two rows), run back across, 5 flutter kicks, down two sets of stairs. Repeat to bottom.

 

So go on, put in those earbuds and have your own party!