Cool Treats

1750 m swim
Gliding Strides

If you’ve been around StridingMom long for about 2.2 days you probably know I have a little froyo addiction.  It actually manifests itself in anything cold and sweet addiction.  I justify this by saying I need to hydrate.

Let’s face it.  I’m a hydration freak.  I actually have a hand held water bottle, Nathan water belt, & Camelback and use combinations for any of those on any given workout.  (I’ve been known to down 45+ ounces of water on a 20 mile run and STILL want more).

In the spirit of things getting hot, I thought I’d highlight my favorite cool hydration treats for the summer (for the record these are mine, no samples, supplies, or endorsements of any kind…my straight up promotion on these).

#1 – Frozen blueberries:  I literally go to Costco and buy the big bag.  Pour into a cup, serve with a spoon.  Less sugar than sorbet, yet cool and sweet.  A fantastic and healthy dessert option.

My new fave – I eat this at least once a day. It makes for super attractive purple teeth.

#2 – Nuun – extra dirty on the rocks.  Some are Nuun lovers, some are Nuun-so-much.  I’m in the like category.  I have little tubes everywhere.  At the very moment I can tell you have one in my bathroom (what?! I don’t know), one in my car console, one in my gym bag, one in my kitchen, one in the purse I carry about 1 time a week, and one in my overnight bag (a girl’s gotta plan ahead).

Gym bag necessities – deodrant, conditioner, shampoo, lock, earplugs (weird swimming tick) and a pen (?!). Not sure what the pen is for, but it’s there.  Maybe temporary tattoos.

After a really intense workout, I put in 1.5 tabs (extra dirty) on ice.  If you remember, out of a moment of desperation I may have tinkered with Orange Nuun and Shocktop at a street festival after an 11-mile run to said street festival.  Not half bad.

#3 – TJ’s Coconut Water Fruit Floes.  These. are. amazing.  It’s my new fave sweet treat.  They’re made with coconut water so there’s potassium.  There’s coconut cream and natural cane sugar added so it’s not exactly the healthiest option out there, but they sure are yummy!

#4 – Zico Chocolate Coconut Water:  As a mom of busy babes I spend a lot of time at the pool at the summer- like literally every waking moment that I’m not working or working out.  It’s hot and if I’ve worked out, I’m usually drained and about 3 hours in I’m craving chocolate to stave off my crabbiness from refereeing the inevitable fights over goggles and diving sticks.  It hydrates, it refreshes, it does the trick!

#5 – Banana “Ice Cream”:  When my bananas are about to turn and my kids refuse to eat them “because they have freckles”.  Peel, freeze in Ziploc bag.  When you want your “ice cream” you simply put in the blender, wait 5 minutes to start thawing and blend.  It will turn to a fro you like consistency.  If you’re feeling sassy – toss some almonds or a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top.

Frozen bag of bananas currently in the freezer.

100% fruit, 100% natural, 100% good. My kids are none the wiser that it’s literally blended bananas

And when all else fails – I know that Yogurtland is only a quick bike ride away.  Or a margarita – on the rocks naturally.

What’s your favorite summer cool treat?

Any other healthy options out there?

Miss-tashing the Babes

I did a brisk 8 mile bike ride chasing a poor unsuspecting super professional looking biker  guy on the trail last night.

Total biking miles for the day:  22

It should have been fun.

He was in his super fun gear, on his super fancy bike.  I trailed behind on my flat bar bike with a Target $8.99 helmet for about 5 miles trying to mimic what he was doing (I’m trying to learn this road bike thing).

Good learning opportunity for me, creepy stalkerish night for the guy.  Don’t worry, he had about 50 pounds on me so he probably figured he could take me.  Little did he know that I had done some weight work with my 8 lb hand weights.  Watch out world.

But instead of having fun, I mostly missed these little buttheads (my children think that’s a term of endearment – seriously).

Maybe I should invest in some razors.  But then I couldn’t miss-tash them.

At least they’re having fun with their grandparents – memories they’ll always have.  Me, I’ll have that special 15 minutes with random biker guy.

Biting the Bullet

Bike:  14 miles
Swim:  900 meters
Spwimmy Strides

Can I just say I’m digging my new Spwim workouts (I’m going to trademark that)?  Hit the bike, then literally run out to the pool, rinse off, jump in and try to find Nemo. I end my workouts all cardio-ed out and cool and limber.

Skipped my normal post-workout chocolate milk for an iced chai latte and some compression time. Yes my socks are pink. The sky is clearly falling.

Confession:  I’ve been riding about 40-60 miles a week for the last 2-3 weeks but have not gone more than an inch forward.  And I’m doing my first triathlon in a month. 

Oopsies.

Yes, I’ve been spinning the crap out of the stationary bike and it’s about time I hit the open road.

Check ‘er out. 33% off MSRP – this mama’s happy.

I’ve had my ol’ Walmart Schwinn I got at a garage sale for years and it needed new tires & tubes.  I’d pay more than the bike was worth.  So after spending over a month complaining about how expensive bikes are and thinking about how many race entries and fro yo I could buy with that money, I finally relented hunted down a good deal.  So yes, I got myself some new wheels.

It’s a road bike with a flat bar which I know is not a typical tri-bike.  But let’s face it, I needed to be a little upright because I’ll spend far more time turned behind me yelling coaxing my children to “STAY TO THE RIGHT!” on the local bike paths.

Beyond actually being able to not ride a 20 inch boys BMX bike for the triathlon (which was seriously my best option until today), this is actually great because I miss bike rides with the boys.  So it gives us yet another active option for quality time spent.  Since we’re clearly the sedentary type of family.

The Good, The Bad and the Fugly

15 miles on the bike
1/2 mile swim
1:02 total
Serious Lack o’ Strides

So I had another nice little visit with Dr. Scott - Active Release Technique Artist & Saddist Extraordinaire.

We had a nice little chat during my appointment.  And by chat I mean, a somewhat normal conversation laced with yelps and me biting my hand using everything in my power to not drop the F-bomb like snowflakes in Chicago in winter.  Our conversation:

Dr. Scott:  Have I bruised you yet at any of your appointments?
Me:  Nope (through clenched teeth)
Dr. Scott:  Well today’s the day.

Here’s a little racing gem. True story, I remember finishing the race and thinking I had to look like a total bad ass in the pictures. Instead my pain shows. I probably made this face for most of my appointment with Dr. Scott.

Actually, as painful as it can be, I’m a HUGE Active Release Technique (ART) fan.  That stuff works.

The Good:  Contrary to those googling me, I am not naughty and have been really good for the last month.  I have stuck to the Dr’s orders to a tee (this is new for me!) and am definitely on the road to recovery.

We discussed that with SUPER warmups (like I should be dripping sweat before I’m running anything over a 8:30 min mile) and easing into things so I can gradually start increasing my distance.  Big win!

The Bad:  I’m still needing more time to recover.  We discussed my biggest problem right now:  Speed kills.  It’s not the long, slow runs that are aggravating my adductor insertion (or whatever the heck is making my crotch/groin hurt), but it’s the actual speed work, track running, etc. that’s doing the most damage.

The Fugly:  His words- “I think you can hit the track and do speed work again in August or September.”

SAYYYYYYYYYYYYY WHAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT?

The man’s got a point though.  I’d like to actually not face a major injury and squelch this killer inflammation in my adductor.  Speed work aggravates the crap out of it.

You see the woman to my left? She’s seen the best and worst in my for over 30 years and STILL calls me several times a day. And the dude on the left – my biggest cheerleader.

He seems to think an October half is reasonable – so we shall see.  I’m still eying the Zooma Great Lakes race so I can spend some time with Mumsie Dear (yes when my phone rings that’s what shows up with an angry face)…but it’s so hard to justify the cost of airfare from the Left Coast, travel from Chi-town, and race costs.

I love my family, I love running, and I love doing special things with my mom…but yeesh – a girl only has so much pocket change laying around.

Back to the topic at hand – injury recovery.  I’ve actually learned a few things during this hiatus.

-The bike is your friend.  I raced this weekend without any real training in a month – no traditional speed work, sprints, or even tempo runs.   But I have had an intimate relationship with whatever bike happens my way.  And I’m not talking all So Cal beach cruiser style either.  I’m talking straight up hills, high intensity, sweat beading on my wrist, crazy intense biking.  It’s actually kept my endurance up surprisingly better than I ever could have anticipated.

My race wasn’t stellar but it wasn’t abysmal either.

-Taking the plunge.  I wasn’t a huge fan of swimming (read here).  But it’s getting a little better.  Some days I’ll even accidentally say I like it.  Don’t worry, I correct myself really fast afterward.

-Readjusting goals is not failure.  I’m having to shift my goals and expectations a bit with this news.  The fact of the matter is, I don’t want to be entirely sidelined for months from doing anything.  Right now, I’ve got a pretty sweet (albeit it not perfect) workout thing going on.

So I’ve had to let go of some of the longer races I wanted to run this fall season.  I likely won’t be shaving any major time of my PR’s in the foreseeable future without speed work.   And I’ll be hanging out in the pool and on the bike longer than I want.  And that’s not a failure – it’s just my reality.

Funny, before kids I don’t think I would have handled that lesson quite as gracefully, but they’ve taught me to adapt.  Oh and to yell really loud.  But mostly adapt.

Naughty Mom

I was going to swim for a workout, but ended up moving furniture for 1.5 hours – about 30 pounds of dressers up and down stairs and all around my children’s bedroom.  Does Dailymile have a “lifting heavy furniture” category?  Methinks not.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good after the ol’ race, but my groin is a bit tweaky.  Not when I walk or run, of course, but when I’m bending and lifting things.

Speaking of bending and lifting.  I had been thinking about posting all of the search terms that lead people to my site the other day.  But then Monica from Run Eat Repeat beat me to it.  But today, my friends, was one I have to share.

Ms. Elle Woods bending and snapping. Why is this picture here? Because we have absolutely nothing in common.

“Mom being naughty.” – This google search actually led some poor, unfortunate fool to StridingMom.

Boy, I bet they were disappointed.

A clothed woman.

Who has no boobs.

Major bummer to the naughty mom seeker.  He/she found out the hard way that my being naughty includes things like:  eating dessert (okay, eating DESSERTS and Fro Yo doesn’t count), running 8:30+ minute miles, and cracking open a bottle of red before 8:00 at night.

Okay so maybe I did go a bit nuts tonight.  Or at least toasted my goat cheese with nuts before I put it on my spinach.  Clearly my naughtiness knows no bounds.

Dinner for one – check!

Speaking of being naughty, I have decided to actually be GOOD and give my groin/hip (whatever the PC way of saying my crotch hurts) some time to recover is to not run again this week but instead to swim and bike and will rest it some more until my 10K next weekend.

Which, BTW, if you live in SoCal- you should check out the Long Beach Pajama 5&10k.   They say to roll out of bed and come in your pj’s.  Well, that won’t be hard since I pretty much sleep in a sports bra and running shorts anyway – less work in the morning.

I got a Schwaggle deal making the race cost me about $22 bucks for a 10k- with race day packet pick up.  Sweet mother I’m so in.

Check out this motley crew.

And on the kid front – it’s uber creepy quiet here with the babes still off frollicking with the g-parents and my sisters.

And my sister is my superhero since she had this crew to tame today all while buying and selling her campers.

Kate, you’re a rock star.

Kate, if you read this- hug my babies tight for me.  Oh yeah, and then scream “Who peed on the toilet seat and didn’t wipe it off AGGGGGGGAIIIIN” from across the house – then they’ll think of me.

Coronado Low Tide Ride & Stride

Subtitle:  I hate losing.

8.2 Miles
1:01:39 (7:31)
Low Tide Strides

I was supposed to wake up at 4:40 this morning to get my booty out the door to head to San Diego for the Coronado Low Tide Ride & Stride.

Whoops.  I woke up at 5:02 thanks to some super strange dreams. I flew out the door pretty much forgetting most of what I needed but had the essentials:  shoes, clothes (no nekked running today) and a check to pay.

This race is one I’ve been wanting to do for a while – it’s running the length of the Silver Strand from just north of the border at Imperial Beach to Sunset Park in Coronado.  Parts of the beach are never open due to being part of the military base (which they kindly open for the race) and the need for a SUPER low tide to provide a firm, but bouncy running surface.

If you remember, I’m recovering from my groin injury.  And I’ve pretty much not run 8 miles in…oh…say a month.  The longest I’ve done is 6, slow interrupted miles two weeks ago.  I had very little expectations going into this 8.2 mile race except to finish.  I convinced myself that I didn’t care how things went as long as I ran close to 8 minute miles.

Getting prepped for the race. Bikers take off 10 minutes before the runners

Ha.

Rah ha ha ha ha haha.

Toeing the line

Some of the participants were a little crabby at the line.

I forgot one really important thing:  I HATE LOSING.

I started out running a 7:15 – whoops.

Around mile 2 Hank and I (my new running BFF) started running together and talked about how long the race felt and how we didn’t really have goals – except we did.  Around mile 5.5 I started really struggling and told Hank to go on.

Did I mention Hank is about 30 years my senior.   Spectacular way to feel super unawesome.

I took 1 mile to recover a bit (probably slowing down closer to 8 min/mile) then saw the finish line – which is a total optical illusion.  Since you’re running down a singular stretch of beach you see the finish line for about….oh 2 miles.

There were two women ahead of me (White Tankop Girl and Black Tanktop Woman), so with what I thought was the right amount of time to pass them I cranked it up to high gear.  Except that the finish line was much further away than I anticipated.

Whoops.

I kept ahead of BTW, but WTG gave me a run for my money with 100 yard left.

Did I mention I hate losing.

The two of us ridiculously sprinted to the finish.  Everyone was watching and I wasn’t going to let her beat me.

She got 9th place, I got 8th.

1:01:39. 8th in my division-  I hate this large division, since I was pretty much competing against a group of college runners.  As much as I may have the sense of humor of a teenage boy, my body is not the same as it was over a decade ago.  Whoops.

Post-race lounging

Overall – a pretty competitive race for such a small crowd (several hundred runners) but AMAZING views.  There were shells, sand dollars, crabs, dolphins and a well-organized crew.  They had everything down from the shuttle buses to food afterward.  I was impressed.

What to do? What to do?

On the way home from the big SD I remembered I had to hit up the Carlsbad outlet mall to grab some underwear at the Gap Outlet (priorities).

Anywho…I had a difficult decision to make.  I smell disgusting and am rocking my running clothes and compression sleeves.  Do I go in wearing my race bib so people realize that I am not normally this rancid (at least most of the time) or does that make me look like a freaky weirdo.

I took it off and opted to go with the smelly freak option and made minimal eye contact with people around me.

I’m really glad I have a lot of work to do this afternoon/evening to get ahead of the week so I have a great excuse to just ice and hang.

Any fun races this weekend? 
Would you wear your bib in or just go all smelly style on a post-race errand?

True Story

Thursday
1 mile running
9 miles biking
20 minutes swimming
Blitzy Strides

Friday
2 miles x 10 min/miles.
Sweetest.  Strides.  Ever

As a mom, I recognize that each and every move I  make results in a hash mark in either the Charlie Sheen “winning” or Clueless “Loser” column.  Each day I rack up a slew in each column and I just hope that by the end of the day the winning hashes outnumber the loser ones.

Charlie Sheen or Alicia Silverstone…you decide.

That, or my kids have really good insurance when they get older to account for all the therapy they’ll inevitably need from my parenting failures.  Either one is *mostly* okay by me.

This week I had a serious heart to heart with Strawberry.  He wasn’t feelin’ the love so much.  As any parent with several children recognizes, they’re completely different in how they demonstrate love- but also how they receive love.  Apparently lately I’ve not been filling his love o’meter very well lately.  Fail.

Handsome dude and I ate his award ceremony this spring. Could he be any cuter? Yep, if you knew he hand picked that outfit and made me spend HOURS at the mall finding the exact pieces to match his vision.

Let me sidetrack to say 2 things here:

A- I’m so glad I have a 7-year old who can communicate these things with me.

B- I’m ridiculous thrilled that all the investment in time to maintain a relationship where he feels he can safely share this with me is worth all the blood, sweat and tears (of which there are many!).

Carrying on….

In a harsh series of uncontrollable calendar misgivings I was gone from the boys last week for 7 days and then they left to see their grandparents for 11 days (Gasp!) this morning.

I’m pretty sure I’ve cried more about this than they have.

So yesterday I ensured some extra special lovin’ time with my bambinos.  Strawberry lucked out as it was the littles last day of school so we got some extra time together.

His request:  let’s go for a run and go to Starbucks.

Why yes I’ll spoil you with whipped cream today. Whatever you please m’dear.  PS Can you count the freckles in this picture?

Child after my heart, I have two words for you:  Yes, please.

The best part was the conversation at Starbucks after our run where he rearranged parts of the day to make his ideal adult day:

Mom, if I was an adult you want to know what my perfect day would be?  Wake up, eat breakfast, go on a run, and then go to Starbucks to get a latte (since he’s never had one, I’ll consider this a total reflection on my tastes).  Then I’d come home and watch some hockey.  Then if I was 24 I would have a glass of wine.  And then I would ride a bike and relax and play some dominoes. 

Oh mylanta you crack me up my sweet, sweet son.

So while I had to forego the wine (major bummer), we made sure to bust in some Mexican Train dominoes tonight before bed.

Domino victory will be mine!

Don’t think you can win? Just wear a beanie and slide your extra dominoes in it. Yep, he did just that.

*Sniff*  Missing my babies already.  I’m certain their return will necessitate some grandparent detox (with lots of helpings of the word “no” and a monstrous cuddle sesh).

In the meantime I’m cleaning out every square inch of their room.

Oh and I’ll probably race (and by race I mean finish since I’m still on the recovery side of this injury).  Thinkin’ of hitting the Low Tide Ride & Stride tomorrow down in San Diego and got me some Schwaggle to do the Long Beach Pajama 10k next weekend.

Check Her Out

Look who’s running 5k’s and taking names?

Congrats Mumsie Dear on completing your 2nd 5k this month and for doing it spontaneously.

Left – Jodi (my mom’s friend) and my Mom

She convinced her victim friend Jodi to run this uber humid morning and knock the Smiles for Bob 5k out of the park – and supported a great cause.

Next up - iTryathlon July 28th in the far less humid SoCal venue.

It’s About To Get Real

Miles:  4.2 (+1 bonus walking mile)
Minutes:  35:35
Starting Over Strides

Let’s just say you’ve been warned.  Today, we’re going to get real.

Last week, on vacay I got to meet some super awesome friends of my family.  Included in this was one Mrs. Cortney.  She’s a wicked awesome nurse hailing from Boston and had the cajones to actually invite me to her home for the marathon next year.  Bless her, she has no idea what she’s in for if I take her up on it!

Forgive the water drop blur, but this is the only pic I have of Cortney and I (plus my uncle) chillin’ like villains a la playa.

But I digress.  Cortney is an avid blog reader (*waves to her*), but ever so eloquently stated:

If I wrote a blog, it’d be all real.  Like, ‘Today I just want to rip my husbands balls off.  Or I felt really fat and lazy today.’

This was spoken with the most adorable slightly Boston accent.  Totally presh.

Anywho…which leads me to today’s post – Cort, this one’s for you.

Today was my first real-ish run post-injury.  I’ve run a few times but it’s been stop and go or in extreme conditions cutting it short.  I set out to do 4-5 miles.

I started out at a nice pace, or so I thought.  Until my MapMyRun app informed me I was running an 8:43 pace.   Sure I was on trails…but seriously…what?!

I wasn’t expecting to tear it up today, but it just deflated me.  Running that pace would have felt like walking a month ago.  So I ponied up and shaved it down to 8:15 for another 1.5 miles which still felt like slogging through Jello and was totally depressing.  Until….

An oldie but a goodie. Vanilla throws the BEST tantrums – always has. This is how I felt post-run. I may or may not have indulged.

Well, you see…my stomach pretty much still hates me from whatever parasitic, bacterial, I knew better than to eat raw veggies and salads but did it anyway and now regret it situation last week.  And about 2 miles in I got some oh too familiar cramping.  It started with a little twitch, then a rumble, then an all out futbol match in my large intestine.

People, you want to know when 2 miles feels like 8?  When you’re spending most of your time trying to figure out where to drop trou in the middle of a busy trail to unleash the wrath of my colon onto some unsuspecting bushes.

It was brutal.

The run ended badly, my attitude was bad, my stomach was bad, I was crabby despite the fact that my groin didn’t hurt – which means I should have been happy.

I have been toying with running the Low Tide Stride down in Coronado this weekend.  I’ll be luckily if I finish the darn race in 1 hour which might hurt my ego more than my groin.

Might be time to pony up and just be grateful eh?  I guess there’s always tomorrow.

Oh and for the record – no bushes were harmed in my run today.  I totally made it to a bathroom – barely.

I’ve Created A Monster….

(actually several) And I love it!

Workout:  10 miles on the bike & 20 minutes of 50M sprints in the pool

Remember my super awesome Mumsie Poo?  The one who got her behind in gear to run her first 5k since I was in high school and who I dragged into doing the iTryAthlon with me when she flies to Cali from Chi-Town in July?

My Momma’s so cool she doesn’t even smile for photographs. Say *cheese* to my sister too!

So I get a call from her that goes something like this:

Mom:  Hey, guess what I was out to eat and saw a flyer for this 5k so I grabbed a signup and am doing it this weekend.

Oh. my. stars.  She’s officially a runner now folks – spontaneously signing up for races since she’s trained up and doing them for fun, not for torture.

*wipes a tear*

My Mama’s all growed up. (at least as a runner, let’s not get too carried away)

*sniffle*

And thanks to SkinnyRunner and Tricia Minnick I keep reading about the Zooma Great Lakes race.  And I pine…and languish…and wish airfare from Cali to the Midwest was far cheaper.  Because, hello my mom and I have had some good times in Lake Geneva.

And by good I mean crappy teenage attitude and sulking by the beach because I didn’t see my friends, the time I decided it was a good idea to jump off a boat into the lake (while I had a cast on my foot), and her finding my underage sister pretty tipsy for the first time (sorry sis).  Place is jam packed full of memories people.

Over the last few days I realize I have created several other little monsters….

Yesterday I came upstairs to find my children had turned my living room into the gym.  As I type this, they’re back at it doing push ups on the ol’ yoga mat, lifting weights and rolling out their legs with The Stick.

I think I should call 24 Hour Fitness and cancel my membership with these studs to train with!

They grow up so fast these days….facial hair at 7!

And I also passed the snark onto Strawberry who engaged me in the following conversation yesterday.

I hear Strawberry getting bossy...
Me:  Stop bossing your brothers around, I waited my entire life to have kids so I could boss someone else around.  Stop doing my job.

Strawberry:  *deadpan* Go ahead mom, sprinkle my life with joy by bossing me around every minute of every day.  *turns out his heels and disappears*

Any races you’re wishing you could run? 

Pining for anything in your life these days?