Thursday, October 30, 2014

This is how you make the Ebola

I feel like I should probably start off this post with an apology, but then you might forget it by the time you read through so maybe I'll just end with one.

In news that will shock no one, I love the internet. I don't really see how anyone could resist loving something this awesome.

However, I have this habit of finding really random or disturbing stuff online and I don't just x out the screen and try to forget. It's like my brain sees it as some kind of challenge and I want to learn more about what I'm seeing. It's why I know so much about duck rape. If that phrase is new to you and you end up googling it and losing your day, I'm sorry...but also you're welcome.

Most of the time, I keep the really disturbing stuff to myself. Well, not really because I totally email it to select people (don't you want to be in that club??) but I wouldn't post images on the blog that aren't safe to look at when you're at work. But really, should be reading my blog when you're at work? I'm biting the hand that feeds me here, please forgive me and continue reading my blog instead of updating that spreadsheet.

Just yesterday I found myself falling down the rabbit hole of "cow blowing." When people ask what I do now that I can't run 10 miles a day anymore, now you know. Anyway, cow blowing is a process used in many countries in which a forceful blowing of air into a cow's vagina and/or anus is used to stimulate increased milk production.

Buckle up people because of course there is a GIF (but at least it's not the video with sound?)

I can't help but wonder how something like cow blowing gets started. Like, "Man, I wish I had more milk to give my hungry family. Let me try blowing air up this cow's butt..." It's making me really wonder about that slogan "Happy Cows come from California." What are they doing to make these Californian cows so happy??

Also, I know lots of woman who worry about their own milk supply and take all kinds of supplements for it. I wonder if Woman Blowing (Bitch Blowing?) is a thing that I just haven't discovered yet. I'm sure if I googled enough, I could find it mentioned on some Baby Center message board or La Leche League site.

What's the strangest or most random fact you've learned from something you found online? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy birthday and many unrelated notes

I realized after I published my race recap yesterday that I really shortchanged you readers. I was remiss in mentioning how I saw a woman collapse right in front of me and then refuse medical help and insist on continuing...only she was running sideways and almost hit a street lamp. I also forgot to include that I randomly got a high five from Bart Yasso who was standing on the sidelines of the race. Really, the shining example of how I neglected to include the joys of MCM was when I didn't mention seeing more than one person just full out popping a squat and taking a shit on the side of the road with no tree cover. For me, it takes longer than a couple of hours to reach the point of public shitting, but different strokes for different folks.

On a non-marathon related note,

Today is Cordelia's birthday! I don't even understand how this was just a year ago.

She wasn't even walking a year ago! Now she zips around and even talks like a (somewhat drunk and belligerent) person. Since I'm a lazy parent, she's not having a party this year. We figured the Frozen on Ice trip would be her birthday outing and it's not like she has friends we can invite over for a party. She is in a club with other toddlers, but she doesn't like to talk about it.

Instead of cake for her birthday, Cordelia will have low FODMAP cookies. I'll try to dress them up and make it less lame, but she can't have a ton of sugar in this testing phase of her diet so I can't just slather on buttercream and call it a day. It's OK because really she would just as be happy with just a bowl of olives and a jar of peanut butter with a spoon.

Hipster baby wants an olive themed party

On a completely unrelated note, I can't stop looking at this picture and laughing. This dog will tell you when he's had enough, dammit. He is tired of your shit.

Hipster dog likes his PBR

On an even more unrelated note, how much fun would you have with a light saber during a zombie apocalypse?  The more I think about it, the more I want to see a Star Wars/zombie themed movie or show.

Marine Corps Marathon 2014 Race Recap

Now that I've given away the spoiler that I actually finished and even told you my time (5:24), there isn't much incentive to read this recap. Fuck it, let's do it anyway.

To start, I drove to D.C. with a friend on Saturday and then we met up with other friends at the expo. It's easy to meet up at the expo because the mile long line to get inside wrapped all the way around the D.C. Armory building. So much time to chat and catch up!

The expo was a combination of harried Christmas Eve shopping with more nerves and a strong dose of runner body odor. The good news was that the MCM shirt was actually a tech material this year instead of the standard cotton mock turtleneck. Don't worry, they kept the mock turtleneck design.

After the expo, we drove to the hotel by Metro Center in D.C. It was easy to walk over to China Town to get some dinner and then there was a candy store stop, because carbs are important. The hotel was across the street from the metro, but we had heard horror stories about the crowds and getting through security so we set our alarms for 4am so we wouldn't start the day with stress. I was so excited and ready to get up when that alarm went off.

Leaving early was the way to go. We got seats on the metro and getting through security was a breeze. Unlike my previous MCM experience, I got the corrals with plenty of time and got to see the paratroopers and V-22 flyover.

Because I'm known for smart decisions, I decided to jog for a little while at the start. I hadn't run a step in over 10 months, but I felt like I could handle a little running. When I started to run, I paid attention to how I felt and I wasn't in any additional pain than I'm normally in when walking or standing. I knew it wouldn't be smart to run for long, so I just focused on enjoying my one high impact exercise cheat day.

By mile 8, I realized that running may not be bothering my back or nerve pain, but my leg muscles were not happy with my life choices. It's almost like training for an endurance event is actually important and maybe I shouldn't be fucking around during a marathon?

For a while I stuck with one of my friends who was having one of those character building race experiences. Actually, I saw a lot of people having real problems with muscle cramps during the race. With my injury and nerve pain, I get intense muscle cramping in my right thigh and calf all the time so it was interesting for me to see all of these people dealing with this foreign pain. I almost forgot how much it can stop you in your tracks when it's a rare occurrence.

Anyway, I walked and walked along and spectators constantly shouted at me to run which was fun. I saw a lot of signs but none topped my favorite of "If a marathon was easy then it would be called your mom." Food-wise I scored some peanut M&Ms and donut holes. I was offered a lot more food by spectators but I felt iffy about taking it. I'm fine taking food from strangers at aid stations, but I guess this is where I draw the line.

If MCM had a half marathon option, I would have dropped to that distance in a heartbeat, but since that wasn't an option I kept going. I've never been toward the back of the pack before in a big race and it was an interesting experience, especially in the last three miles.

Just imagine these guys in running clothes

I don't want to disparage my finish time of 5:24 because I know that some people work damn hard to finish in that time. It's more that I just don't feel anything about it, just apathy. I assume it's because I didn't train. I've always felt that good races are a victory lap for a successful training cycle so I felt detached from it all. Maybe it's because I feel guilty about sneaking in a forbidden run? I don't really know why I'm trying to justify my apathy here.

As far as how I feel after, it's pretty much how you would imagine someone would feel covering 26 miles on foot without proper training would feel. I decided to wear my hydration pack for the race instead of carrying a handheld because I swing my arms a lot when I'm walking quickly and holding a bottle irritates my shoulder. I thought I was being smart by taking the pack but I didn't consider the chafing. The worst of it was how the pack rubbed on my incision site (of course it hit at just the right spot) which made me strongly consider abandoning my pack along the course. If I could have held all of my keys and metro card and phone in my hands, I would have left the pack behind.

I know the muscle ad chafing pain will only last a few days so I'm not too concerned about it.

I learned three important lessons during the MCM:

1. If I want to speedwalk events, I either need to go all in and train for it or not do it. No more half measures.

2. I still hate big events. I was right that it was much more enjoyable when I had more time at the start area and got in the corral ahead of the start. I can't fault the MCM for anything organization-wise because it's well run, but I was elbowed and had people stepping on my feet and bumping into me for a large portion of the race. I also still don't like people yelling at me and shaking cow bells when I'm exercising. It really harshes my zen.

3. I'm awesome at making life decisions. No one made me do this, yet I still thought it sounded like a fun activity and paid money to do it.

Because no race recap is complete without screen caps of race photos that I would never buy, here are two gems:

1. I either had no fucks left to give or I didn't see this photographer. I look like I'm out for a stroll and got a little thirsty.

2. I'm pretty sure this was my facial expression for the last ten miles. Or else someone just let one rip right in front of me. I told you crowded races are fun.

If you're questioning my outfit choices, blame social media. I take crowd sourcing very literally when it comes to fashion decisions.

How do you feel about the crazy patterned workout pants fad? Clearly I'm on board, but only if I can find it on sale.

Do you love seeing your race pics? I always get a kick out them and it's one of the perks of a big race.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I came, I walked, I lived

After getting up at 4am and spending the day with 30,000 of my closest running buddies, I don't feel up to putting together an exhaustive recap of my every thought, broken down by mile markers.

Don't worry, it's coming later.

Yes, I really wore that outfit 

I finished in 5:24 according to the athlete tracking (I think that's the official time? I didn't remember my Garmin) and got a sweet sunburn as a souvenir. I also got this fun finish picture that makes it seem like I did the whole race alone.

Alll aloooooone

Now I'm slathered in aloe for my burn and Butt Paste for my chafing and really priding myself on my life choices.

What did you do this weekend? Hopefully something less painful than me.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weekend of Potential Misery

From the comment section of yesterday's post, it seems to be normal to decorate for Halloween in early October, not just the week before. I'm taking that as permission to order this beauty for my porch.

Can you believe it's only $39.99?? What a steal!

If you're wondering why I'm shopping for fake jumping spiders on the internet, it's because I'm trying to distract myself from my upcoming weekend of potential misery. I'm being optimistic by saying the misery isn't guaranteed, but I don't expect anyone to be inspired to recreate my experiences.

Day 1 (Friday): Take the kids to go see Frozen on Ice.

Four months ago, this seemed like such a fun idea for a birthday present for Cordelia (she turns 2 next week). Now that it's almost here, I'm less excited about it and more like "I wonder if I can buy an empty sno-cone cup for the toddler and pretend that's her treat? Why does everything have HFCS in it??"

First of all, my van is still in the shop. It was a whole thing with the insurance company accidentally towing it to the wrong shop at first and then having to correct the mistake and the new shop moves at glacial speeds, but the main takeaway here is that I've been driving the kids around in my husband's pickup truck. Do you know what's really uncomfortable? Driving little kids around in a cramped truck. On the bright side, my husband really likes his tiny rental car so he is considering trading in his gas guzzling truck for something small and fuel efficient.

Day 1 continued: Fall Festival at Faith's school. Since it's always a good idea to show up to social events with overtired and sugared up kids, we are going right from Frozen on Ice to the Fall Festival. I am looking forward to getting to know some of the other parents a little better and I'm only partially considering hanging a sign on Cordelia saying "Please don't feed me. I'm on a special diet" because I know she'll be cruising the party for forbidden food.

Day 2: Take the cat to the vet for the first time. We've had the cat for a few months but she had just gotten the full workup from the vet through the rescue so we didn't need to take her in when we adopted her. Now she has some sort of oozy hot spot on her leg that she won't stop licking, so I guess it's time to see if she likes the vet and how much of my blood will be required as a ritual sacrifice for the twice daily application of ointment on that wound.

I should have named the cat Illyria

Day 2 continued: Drive to D.C. and go to the Marine Corps Marathon expo. Yeah, yeah no one made me sign up for this but dammit I'm holding onto my right to bitch about the expo. I freaking hate race expos, especially big ones. Why don't they have an option to get your bib mailed to yourself? I'd pay extra for that. Anything to avoid standing in those long lines or being forced to wander through all the stands of useless running gear or cutesy shirts with sayings like "Does this running skirt made my butt look fast?"

Day 3: Walk the Marine Corps Marathon. At this point, the actual event has to be more fun that what I'm mentally envisioning. I was dreading the Endless Summer 6 Hour Race as well and ended up having a lot of fun doing it, so chances are that I'll enjoy myself on Sunday as well. What could possibly ruin my fun?

I'm bib #14281 if you'd like to stalk my status and/or scrutinize my splits. Is there anything more exciting than following along as someone walks a marathon?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stuff and Things

Since I'm always way behind the curve on current movies, I saw "Lone Survivor" last weekend because it was on TV. I read the book and had mixed feelings about that, but I was interested in watching the movie. We jumped in about 30 minutes into the movie, but having read the book meant that I was able to figure out what was going on. The thing I wasn't able to figure out was which of the four guys was the main character. Mostly it was because I didn't want to believe it was Mark Wahlberg.

Was this really the best they could do? Mr. I Could Have Stopped 9/11 himself? I'm surprised the movie didn't end with him killing bin Laden and riding bald eagles back to America while ushering in world peace.

This was not the kind of movie that should make you laugh, but it's really hard to take Marky Mark seriously.

Say hi to your mother for me

On the topic of things I can't take seriously, I've been taking boot camp style classes at the gym because they are helping to strengthen my core (which will hopefully help my back) and the instructor is good at what he does, except for his hilarious verbal diarrhea. Keep in mind that I've only done like four of his classes so this isn't even draw from a big sample. Things he has said, through a microphone, to a large group of women:

While doing a chest press: I want you to bring the bar down so it brushes your areolas! It should just be lightly brushing your areolas!

While doing ab work: Concentrate on clenching your umbilical cord!

While doing squats: Rotate your femur without moving your knee! See, just like this! (He rotates his leg by moving his knee)

While working with resistance bands: You should be clenching every muscle in your body. You should be doing kegels right now!

Obviously I'm not offended by these things (but I will swear under oath that I do not have an umbilical cord to clench), but I do really wish he was forced to listen to a recording of himself talking. I'm really happy for him that he's memorized all of his anatomical terms, but he really could vague it up a little bit and we'd still follow along.

Since this whole post is about how things I can't take seriously, let's end with an issue that I take seriously but my husband doesn't: Halloween decorations. He says that it's weird to put them out two weeks before Halloween but I say that he just hates fun. Is there actually etiquette about this?

Do you decorate for Halloween? I really want to be one of those houses that goes all out with the faux graveyard and the Buffy theme song softly playing in the garage.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Peaceful Family Dinners

I figured out the secret to making my kids get along: give them a common enemy. I know I should probably save this precious advice for a parenting book deal, but I'm a giver. I mentioned earlier about how Faith was rebelling against meal times, so her mini-me has decided to play along too. This means that I spend 1-2 hours preparing a FODMAP diet approved dinner and they spend 20 minutes just freaking playing with their food and acting up in general.

I've tried negotiations, I've tried threats, and I've tried ignoring them. So far the one that works the best for me is ignoring their behavior because it's a slippery slope from saying "Stop using your napkin as a pirate hat and eat your dinner" to "YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE TASTE OF DESSERT AGAIN IN YOUR LIFETIME!"

Since I control all the food sources in the house, I have a small advantage. I can limit their snacking and starve them into eating meals. You'd think that would be simple, but it's really not. It's hard because I'm a pushover, especially when they bring a jar of peanut butter and two spoons to me and bat their eyes while saying "Please? Please? Please?"

This applies more to my older child than the younger, but apparently it's a hot button issue for me when someone asks for a specific food item and then I prepare said food item and then they refuse to eat it because they changed their mind or it's "not the right color". Can you imagine if an adult acted this way? They wouldn't have people lining up to make them food, that's for sure.

I'm pretty sure that every kid goes through eating rebellion phases, the only thing that makes my particular case more difficult is that I can't fall back on their favorite foods like macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. Although sometimes, especially for lunches, I will just let them eat whatever they want, nutrition be damned. Like yesterday, Faith had 5 rice cakes and chocolate milk and Cordelia just ate 4oz of smoked salmon. That's all they wanted and they seemed full and happy so I went with it. I try harder for dinners, mostly because I've cooked specifically for them, but I should probably just have a lunch time attitude about that too. Meal times shouldn't be something you suffer through, right?

Do you have any kid eating tips to share? The key here is to get Faith to eat because Cordelia does whatever she does.

Is meal time behavior a hot button issue for you too, or do I have issues?