Category Archives: Fit Family

Move more, eat well, or at least maintain appearances.

My pre-run whine session

Manicmumbling.com, running

Back when I thought this was fun. And my clothes fit better. Photo: Gary Green.

I admit I’m not feeling much into the running thing lately.

And here I just signed up for another half marathon. This one’s in April, and I have to tell you if the registration wasn’t almost as arduous as the actual event, I might not have.

That makes more sense the better you know me.

This particular run is a big deal around here. It sells out in a few minutes. And since I’m competitive about stupid stuff, I get kind of wound up around this time every year.

First thing that morning, I was online, watching the countdown clock and yelling at my family to stop streaming stuff so I wouldn’t have fight for bandwidth at noon when registration opened.

I’d signed up and forked over my money before I even thought about what I was doing. And then I thought “well crap. I should probably train now.” (more…)

The Ten Emotional Phases of a CSA Subscriber

The Ten Emotional Phases of a CSA Subscriber - ManicMumbling.com | One of the best kept CSA secrets is nobody knows what to do with broccoli rabe except sauté it in butter and hide it in a glob of mashed potatoes.It’s that time of year when our grass has turned brown and crinkly and I’m giving serious thought to xeriscaping, or maybe installing a Brady-family era AstroTurf lawn.

August is also known in the life of a CSA subscriber as “isn’t it about time we get some freaking tomatoes?”

About six years ago, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle, about the virtues of eating locally. Since then, I’ll admit I’ve been one of those moderately insufferable farmer’s market shoppers, paying exorbitant prices for grass-fed beef and organic beets. We’ve also been subscribers to one community supported agriculture (CSA) program or another each year, which means every spring we start picking up a weekly allotment of locally-grown seasonal vegetables, and I start combing the internet for new ways to make kale palatable, and for answers to what the hell one is supposed to do with kohlrabi. (more…)

Blood drives and bucket lists

Photo: Rotary Global Network for Blood Donation. Not sure why the vampire capes were necessary.

Photo: Rotary Global Network for Blood Donation. Not sure why the vampire capes were necessary.

About a month ago, Jack saw a blood drive van and told me he wanted to donate – had been wanting too for a while, in fact – and now that he was seventeen he could do so without parental permission, which makes two whole things I didn’t know.

What he actually said was it was on his “bucket list.” I told him he and I had different understandings of the term, but then he told me another list item was traveling to all seven continents. So maybe he does get it and is just a weirdo.

I’m not totally surprised he’d include something altruistic on his list of things to do before he dies, but why not digging wells in Africa or something? Building a house? Letting someone poke around trying to find a vein is on a list I keep too. A list of things that make me woozy if I think about them too much. Heights are on that list. Cleaning toilets. Ebola. (more…)

The half marathon taper and how I’m probably doing it wrong

Photo by Ryan McGuire at http://www.gratisography.com/Tomorrow, I’ll be running a half marathon, which means today is the last day of that period we call the taper.

If you’re not familiar with the taper, it’s the result of a whole bunch of running science that says it’s good to reduce your miles and intensity a few days before a big event. The length of taper can be as much as three weeks for a full marathon, two weeks for a half, and so on.

I’ve been running 6 to 8 half marathons annually for the past four years or so. Having an event on the calendar keeps me on a regular schedule. Otherwise, I really might just stop all together. BUT, if I’m doing what science says I should, I’m tapering about two weeks before every half marathon, which on my schedule, gives me a solid 14 to 16 weeks every year of taking it easy.

Yay science. (more…)

Running tip #378: Know how to cope with event photos

fit_one race photo manicmumbling

The one, halfway decent race photo ever.

I saw a post recently in a fitness-oriented social media group: a woman running, wearing a race bib. The photo was taken from a low angle, the watermark of an official race photographer in one corner.

I expected a “yay me!” message underneath instead of the anguish this woman poured out. She’d been proud of finishing her first 5k – until she opened the results email with the event photos. She hadn’t realized her thighs were that big. She didn’t remember feeling as awful as she looked. Heck, she appeared to barely be moving.

Rookie move, that: expecting too much from race pics. They’re bound to disappoint. I don’t know the woman, but I’m familiar with the feeling.

I always eagerly open the post race results email hoping to finally find a picture to commemorate all my hard work actually making it across the finish line. A memento. Particularly one that fits my running self-image: something of a cross between Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Cheetara from Thundercats. (more…)

A slacker parent’s guide to kids’ sports

umpire_2I talk a lot in this blog about running and skiing, but in the interest of complete disclosure, we’re not really a sporty family. Being a “meh” mom isn’t conducive to raising the next Carl Lewis or Shaun White.

Our experience with kid sports is miles wide and inches deep. This is because, while neither kid shows any phenomenal athletic ability, it feels like good parenting when whatever they’re doing doesn’t involve a screen and/or headphones. When someone shows half a mind to sign up for whatever’s in season, we’re supportive.

Track season just started again for our youngest, just as skiing season winds down. Before I tackle the three-page permission-slash-doctor’s-release-slash-fundraising-agreement Colin just handed me, I thought I’d share my parental perspective on various sports. (more…)

My sophisticated, super secret, pre-run procrastination ritual, revealed

run4luvAmong people who run, there are a few regular topics of conversation.

Like “so, what’s your next event?”

This isn’t usually meant to be a loaded question. But depending on the timing, it can certainly inspire a panicked mental comparison of the mileage runs you’ve yet to do with the weeks left before your next event.

Remember? That event you registered for months ago when the combination of an early bird rate and the time remaining to build back up to running 13 miles in one afternoon in the middle of winter made this whole idea sound a lot more reasonable?

My next event is in days. And yes, there’s a Valentines theme. It’d be cuter if Mike and I were running together, like last year. And when I say “together,” I mean in same event, starting at roughly the same time, with one of us (Mike) finishing first and left to hang out out afterward, shivering in sweaty clothes, waiting for the other (me) to finish.

Last year, in honor of the theme, and just to see what kind of face I’d make, Mike suggested running the whole thing holding hands.

I punched him in the sternum. (more…)

A Dog Day Run

penny_anxietyIt starts like this:
She’s back in there. Where the shoes are.
The sunscreen.
That hat.
That hat that’s for running.
Oh that hat. And the shoes.

And so I wait.
I whine very small to remind her I’m here.
I yawn.
And stretch.
And groan.
Why doesn’t the door open?

Finally, she’s in the shoes, the watch, the shirt.
Reaching for
OMYGODTHELEASH
THELEASH
I leap and leap at her and THELEASH
This helps I think. Helps her be faster. (more…)

2 Vans, 12 Runners, 30-Some Hours. A Grand Teton Relay Recap

sasquatch

Mike and I with Sasquatch … all the pictures I’ve seen of him have been so blurry, I never knew he had a ‘stash.

When the starting gun sounded on Friday, I was still messing with my Garmin. Everybody else took off like they were shot from a cannon.

It’s possible our venerable leader made a mistake assigning the first leg of our rely event to a chronic procrastinator. I had the honor of putting our whole team behind, first thing. (more…)

PiYo isn’t actually a dessert

I call this pose "sure, I'll take another slice."

I think this pose is “sure, I’ll take another slice.”

The biggest news I have for this week is Mike and I took a new class at the Y together.

I know. Living la vida loca. Right?

My standard thirty-second internet research showed that PiYo was developed by a trainer whose photos indicate she hasn’t discovered the joys of the meat-and-microbrew diet I’m currently on. That and the fact that PiYo is not named for a Rocky Balboa-inspired desert were kind of letdowns. (more…)