About Me

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Louisville, KY, United States
I am a geek, foodie, family girl, business owner, exposer of bad and good customer service through guerrilla tactics, and barefoot runner. Lover of social media, pinot grigio, barefooting, and bugs. Aspiring tech geek. Spice queen. Star Wars (original) junkie. Kind of a dork.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mommy, I wanna run with you!

Every morning, my husband takes the kids to school, and every morning I leave for my pre-work run when he leaves. They drive past me, windows rolled down, and wave.

My daughter's 3rd birthday was Friday (2 days after my son's first tooth arrived, in case you were wondering..). On Friday night, she said, "Mommy, why you run?"

"Mommy runs because it's fun, and so she can be around a long time for you, your brother, and daddy."

And then, can you guess what she said, in true 3 year old fashion? "Why?" (and not just why, but a long drawn out Whyiiiii)

So, then I asked her if she wanted to run with me on Saturday. She said she did.

Saturday morning, I got up and ran my long run before she was awake. I was excited at the fact that she wanted to run with me later, and that kept a proverbial bounce in my step and a psuedo spring in my Vibrams. We went about our day; errands, nap, snack.

At 4, the sun was shining and the temperature had risen. "Honey, do you want to go running with mommy?" My response was a heartfelt, excited YES! Daddy offered to change her clothes. She wouldn't have it. Daddy wanted to put shoes on her; she wouldn't have it. (If he was going to shod my child, they were going to be her Converse shoes). She wanted to run, as she was, just like mommy-except with her pink leopard footie pajamas.

So, out the door we went. She held my hand. We ran down the sidewalk, up the sidewalk, and back to the house. A total of .5 miles (which I have to believe is a pretty good distance for a 3 year old's first foray into running). She laughed the whole way, glowing like a mussed up angel. I asked her if she liked it. "Yes, Mommy!" Do you want to do it again tomorrow? "Yes, Mommy!"

So, on Sunday, out we went again. Same half mile (this time her daddy won the shod argument). She laughed, and bounced, and had a great time all over again. She told me that she wanted to do it again the next weekend. Who am I to stop her?

My only comment? She tired out a bit quicker on the second run. I blame the shoes :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It was a dark and stormy morning

Well, that's not exactly true. It wasn't dark or stormy when I got up to get the kids out the door. However, it was insanely windy and 60 degrees. And it was rainy, off and on. So, I didn't run this morning, even though the temperature was perfect But I have two very good excuses!!
1. I am recovering from an ear infection. The thought of wind blowing through my ear fuzzy made me cringe.
2. I am less than thrilled about running barefoot when the ground is wet. I don't know why. (I am a delicate flower upon occasion).
That being said, I did not let the rain derail my daily fitness fix (that I had missed out on for 2 days). I packed myself up and headed to Fitness19, and got my 55 minutes on the elliptical in. And, even though my love affair is over with my aqua socks for running purposes, they do fine on said elliptical trainer.
Did I want to get out and run? Yes. Did I make the right choice? Probably, because had I waited, I wouldn't be going anywhere right now because of the tornado warning. In fact, I probably should wrap this up and head to the basement and play Words With Friends before I end up in Oz, the ER or the morgue.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Extra! Extra! Ear Infection Derails Runner's Sunday Run

Am I two years old again?  A friend asked me that on facebook this morning.  I responded in the negative. However, being that I have a near 3 year old and a 7 month old, I might as well be.  I live in a household that really is a living, breathing petri dish.

I was awoken by my 7 month old on Thursday at midnight.  His screams and demeanor pointed to an ear infection that was confirmed by the doc the next morning.  Mind you, this is one day after he woke up one time during the night for the first time ever. I was so excited the next morning that I told everyone, thereby creating the jinx that caused his ear infection.  I didn't run that day, as I held and cuddled said 7 month old the way a good mommy is supposed to.

I did run on Friday. And Saturday.  I was looking forward to my first "long run" in my training for my first mini (5 miles).  Then, 4am hit my ear like an ice pick wielded by Sharon Stone.
With 3 Advil, and a hope that the Immediate Care Center opened at 7am on Sunday, I went back to sleep.  I woke up at 7:30, and found that the ICC didn't open until 9.  So, I played Words With Friends in the bed until 8:30 while my little ones slept (I am lucky that I have sleepers).  

Got up, went to the ICC.  Doc confirms said ear infection, and sends my on my way with a scrip for antibiotic ear drops.  On his way out the door, I asked if I could run (because the new-found "runnerd" in me must run, lest I be relegated to grouch status).  Doctor looks at me and says (video footage captured courtesy of me, and my hidden camera, which is another story relating to my professional life of capturing snippets of good and bad customer customer service through guerrilla tactics):




So, I came home. Got the fam, went to Whole Foods and the necessary evil that is Babies R Us, and then returned home for lunch, naps, and running.  At that point, it hit me.  My ear was throbbing, even post motrin.  Run through it my brain says. Wait my spouse says.  A minute of jogging in place indicated that I'd be fine....Until I stopped. And it felt like a herd of moose stomping on my ear drum.  Damn.  

So, here I sit.  Wanting to run, but also wanting to order a pizza and wings.  Fortunately, the adage garbage in, garbage out is becoming my mantra; I know that my run tomorrow (or Tuesday) won't be as good.  I am also fortunate that  my husband made some mozzarella and the tomatoes at Whole Foods looked like red rock stars.  

Sigh. Wonder if they will put tubes in my 37 year old ears.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The love affair is over...

I've had a three month love affair with my aqua socks.  Love them.  Easy to get on and off.  Perfect for the gym, especially since my gym requires shoes.  I also love the fact that they are great for cold weather.  At least Kentucky cold.  I throw them on, and out the door I go.  When the ground is cold, they keep my feet a nice comfy temperature.  The neoprene surrounds my foot, and the non-sole allows for a lot of feedback from the ground.  Again, they've worked great-until this week.  


I went out for a run in the rain.  My feet were warm and dry.  About halfway through my 4.5 mile run, I noticed they were slipping.  And the slipping was a grating distraction.  What was interesting to me, is that the distraction actually caused my stride to change. Dramatically.  I could feel my right foot turning slightly out, and my forefoot and toes were bending in such a way to keep the sock from slipping.  And the worse part was that I couldn't get my mind off it. No matter how hard I tried to keep my mind focused on the right stride, my feet had a mind of their own.  Like the annoying autocorrect on my phone.  


Me thinks that it is either time for a new pair.  More than likely, I am going to opt for the full length sock, rather than the bootie.  Kyle Kranz indicated that the shoes can hit the wall around 100 miles.  I guess he is right.  Anyone else have experience with the aqua shoes hitting the wall quickly?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Holy S*** It's Cold (It's Been A Long Time...)

Once upon a time (in my early 20's, post college), I lived here:
The place is called Charit Creek Lodge.  It's in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in TN.  It is a hikers (and horseback riders) lodge. Only way in is by foot (unless you work there, but the road is only nominally accessible).  No electricity.  Gravity fed spring water.  Wood burning stove.  Kerosene lamp and kitchen.  No cell phone signal (1996-1998) Anyway, for 2.5 years, I had thousands and thousands of acres to run to my heart's content.  Long trails, short trails, made my own trails.  It resides in the heart of the Cumberland Plateau, so every run started by going up.

While I wasn't running barefoot back then, I was a hardcore runner.  Daily. Sometimes twice daily. Sometimes in my Tevas.  Always at least a mile uphill before you'd hit "flats."  Anyway, aside from the tourists, some of whom could be a bit high maintenance (Wow!  Who put all of the rocks along the trail? Who did the landscaping?  Do you think my Samsonite luggage will roll out of here?), it was an amazing experience.  (To be fair, I met some amazing people as well.)  With the nearest town (tiny town) 45 minutes away, the air was clean, the night sky was bright (or dark, depending on moon phase), and my body moved in sync with the seasons.  It really was a lovely experience to strip away the sites and sounds and  "vibration" of the modern world and let evolutionary instinct take over.

Since I left in 1998, I have missed the runs.  The feeling of ever season moving through my body. The instinct (Aren't you afraid you'll step on a snake?  No.  But what if you don't see it until it's too late.  I don't need to see it. I can sense it. In fact, I can smell it.  It's when you only trust your eyes that you might not know they are there).

When I moved back to Louisville in 1998, I was excited.  Indian food, middle eastern food, a grocery with more spices than just salt and pepper.  Things to do, like hang out a book store or coffee shop.  Lord knows, Jamestown, TN. didn't have that.  Plus, there were jobs for people with college degrees.  Jamestown definitely didn't have that.  So, I got my job at the local public radio station and fell into city life. With that life, came the undercurrent of noise that life moving quickly and without periods of "quiet" brings.

The years passed. I was on the running wagon. I fell off the running wagon. I smoked. I quit. I started again. Married. Started a company. Divorced.  Remarried. Sold a company. Started a new one. Had a winter baby. Stressed. Had fun.  Had a summer baby.  Still in love.

Right before I got pregnant with baby number two, I discovered the Vibrams.   While I didn't run in them, I did walk.  Then, I got pregnant. Lost 3 months to morning sickness.  Then woke up one day in the 2nd trimester, I had so much energy, that I could have run a marathon every day.  I channeled that energy into gym time.  I wore my VFFs everywhere.  I worked out until I couldn't go anywhere because of my back in the last trimester. I vowed that when number two arrived, I would find that energy. And I did.

He came in June, and he saved my life. Or, I should say, my mindset saved my life.  I realized that with two, and being a wife, mom, business owner and daughter, that I needed me time.  I had to have me time.  If I couldn't find me time with one, how could I find me time with two.  Three words:  Get. Up. Early.  The baby was up at 5 anyway.  So, I strapped him to my chest at two weeks post-partum, and out we went.  That first walk was slow.  1.8mph., .3 of a mile.  Next day. Same thing.  I plodded along that first week.  Then second.  Soon, it didn't feel like my hips were going to fall apart.  Then the speed kicked in.  And the distance.  Goals were set:  Break 18 minute miles, then 15, then 14 while walking in my VFFs.

The morning of my 6 week check up, I got up, handed the baby off to my husband and I ran.  The run was slow, but it was a run.  In fact, my walks were faster.  But I ran, and it felt good.  From that point, I took off.  I picked up speed, added distance.  Threw in some hills.  Running in my VFFs gave me that feeling I had way back down in TN.  I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to feel every day of every season move through me.  I wanted to run in the sun, rain, and snow.  Run when its hot and humid, or cloudy and cold.  No weather would deter me.  I ran every day. No break.  And did TMTS.  So, I had to back off.

At that time, after lurking on the Runners World barefoot forums, I picked up Barefoot Ken Bob's book, Barefoot Running Step by Step.  I read it. Drank it. Digested it.  Practiced it. I took my shoes off, and let my feet tell me when to go, and when to slow, and when to no and know.  I then picked up Born to Run and read it too.  Read Jason Robillard's book.  Everything I read kept stating the same thing.  Take your shoes off.  Listen to your body (Use the Force!).  I did.  And its paid off in spades.

I remember down in TN thinking in the summer time, Oh, will I be able to run when its cold or snowing?  And in the winter, will I run when its hot or rainy (or cold and rainy)?  As I ran every day, my body adapted and moved into each season.  This year, I found that feeling again.  And it has been a long time.  I ran in the hot and humid yuck of the summer.  Kept my stride in the fall and all its crazy weather.  And this week, crossed the last two obstacles off my list. Running outside in the Cold Rain. Running outside in the Cold Snow. (Cue in Grateful Dead song)

My feet are strong.  They know what to do. My body listens.  It knows.  My mind trusts my body.  Will it be a VFF day?  Do I need more feedback, so kick off the shoes?  Is it cold? If so, put on the aqua socks.  This morning, I crossed the 4 mile mark and saw that my house was 6 mailboxes away, I kicked of my minimalist shoes.  19 degrees.  I ran those last 6 mailboxes barefoot.  But I knew in my heart, I had found that runner in me I thought I lost all of those years ago.

Small feat, cold feet, but so sweet.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sick child derails today's attempt at fitness

Ok, so its not quite like that.  However, the lack of sleep from my darling crying all night from an ear infection did make me feel like I was hung over and sore all day.  So, this morning, instead of doing my Thursday walk (my break from running), I sat, infant cozied up on my chest, and I tried to calm him.  While not the morning fit break that I am used to having, it was one of those moments where you know you child needs you, and that you need to put aside some things and be there.

My husband came home at around noon thirty to relieve me, so I could get to work and get some things done.  By that point, my head was full on splitting, and I needed to hunker down for a couple of hours at the office.  At this point, I've been up for nearly 24 hours.  While I could go out and run-at this point, I'm tired, worn out, and got nothing left.  I'm only writing this so that I can exercise my brain a bit before I shut it down.

On the bright side, the ear infection seems to be dissipating a bit.  Now, if we could just get the toddler to quit hollering, we may get some peace tonight!