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Monthly Archives: February 2012

I am doing a Tough Mudder. Unless one of you would like to stop me…

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That's not a joke. You actually sign one.

I am the type of person who is always up for a challenge. Especially after a few drinks, when everything seems like a great idea. Yoga moves? Right now? SURE! The next thing you know your nose is broken, but you have shown yourself to be a woman who is not afraid of anything, least of all looking like an idiot.

So clearly I was drinking when I signed up for this little ditty.

The Tough Mudder. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. A 13 mile endurance race, designed by British Special Forces. 24 obstacles, involving fire, ice water, and yes, 10,000 volts of electricity.

JUMP! For my love. JUMPING! You know this heart..can fill you up.. JUMP IN

There are 12 foot walls to climb, 15 foot drops to jump from, and underground tunnels to wiggle through. There is a DEATH WAIVER to sign before you start.

Sounds like the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Casey’s stepbrother is the person who started all of this. He signed up for one in Indiana. It was in the low 40s. He spent the entire race wet, as several obstacles involve water, and at least two involve ice. Multiple people had to drop out due to hypothermia.

Casey got interested and decided to run one, too. IN TAMPA. I don’t want to call him a wimp or anything, but it’s probably less jolting to get wet when it’s 80 degrees than getting wet at 41. Just saying.

I was very proud of my boo. He is the boo in the middle. The other guys are other people's boos.

They both loved it. Hot, cold, didn’t matter. Tough Mudders are fun. And they are not, as his step brother reminded me, races. They are CHALLENGES. And the only way to get through this particular challenge is team work.

Believe it or not, this could be the hardest part for me. I am super competitive. It’s not in my nature to not want to win. My brain is going to think I’m in a race, so right now the biggest part of my training is practicing helping people when I really want to elbow them the hell out of my way.

I also did a technical trail run the past weekend with some friends of mine. My friend Kelly is training for her first ultra, and since an ultra is also on my list of shit I want to do that when I tell people I am doing it they will all look at me and be like why in the hell do you want to do that, I decided to tag along on one of her training runs.

An actual picture from my run. You don't see that shit from a treadmill.

And I LOVED it. Technical trail running is super fun. It was cold and snowy, but that just made it better Tough Mudder training. I was slipping and sliding and dodging branches, but I loved every second of it. Also, there were DEER. Lots of them. At one point there were a group of deer that not only didn’t run from us, but actually stopped and gave us a look as if to say, ‘You know, if we had opposable thumbs instead if hooves, we would be in a nice warm house right now, eating people jerky.’

So ya. April 16th I will be in Ohio, getting ready to get wet, shocked and muddy.

This is from an obstacle called The Mud Mile. In which you run through...yes. You guessed it. A mile of mud.

I think I have a leg up on my male competitors, though. I have given birth. Twice. Once without drugs. I’m already a Tough Mother. I think I got this Tough Mudder thing in the bag.

Yours in a possible body cast,

Bethany

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The Strangest Contest

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for 45 minutes...

The strangest thing just happened to me. I went to the ladies room at work, and when I exited my stall, a woman was already there washing her hands. I soaped up and started to wash my own hands. So far, this is all very normal.

I was about done and ready to rinse and dry, when I noticed that SHE was still washing. I felt like if I stopped washing my hands before she did, after all, she had started before me, she would judge me and think me a subpar hand washer.

So I kept going past my normal point of clean handedness and continued to wash. Then I noticed she was eying me up in the mirror. Eye contact was made. She kept on washing. I believe she was challenging me to …. yes. Yes. A Hand Wash Off.

Who was going to rinse first? Who would be the first to cave? To admit publically to inferior hand washing skills? Who was going to break?

Turns out, it was me.

Listen, I have work to do, and to be honest, I’ve had some issues with dry and chapped hands, so washing them to the point of bleeding wasn’t going to help that one damn bit. I just found it all a bit strange. Has this happened to anyone else? What’s the strangest thing you’ve encountered in a public restroom? The stories have to be staggering.

Every Day is a Win(e)dy Road….

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Okay! You don't have to ask me twice!!

I am officially SIX weeks away from running my first half marathon, the Cooks Forest Half.

You would think I would be nervous, or worried, or sweating it, or furiously making plans to  be sick that weekend, but I’m not. I am totally stoked. I am EXCITED. I want it to be here. As of now, I am officially registered for three half marathons; the Cooks Forest Half, the Pittsburgh Half, and, the one that makes me actually straight up squee in excitement, the Healdsburg Wine Country Half.

That’s right. A half marathon that runs through Wine Country, on Halloween weekend. That is three of my favorite things in the world, together. Right there. Not only do you get to run and drink wine at the same time, you get to do it DRESSED UP!! Which reminds me of last Halloween, and how it went horribly, terribly, freakishly wrong.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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It’s hard to find people who feel indifferent to Valentine’s Day. They either really love it, or they really hate it. Right now, this very second, my Facebook feed is filled with people either wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day, or people posting pictures of Cupid meeting a violent end. Sigh. People. Can’t we all just get along?

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In Which I Pretend to be an Arctic Explorer Named Lars

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This is a beautiful sight. For a post card or painting. In real life? In person? It looks cold. Very, very cold.

A big part of training for a distance race is mental. You have to mentally prepare yourself to run when exhaustion has set in, when you’re in pain, and most importantly, when you plain old just don’t want to run. Like, say, 7:30 this morning when I looked outside to see a fairly impressive coating of snow on the ground.

It wasn’t just the snow, either.  I could see large drifts of snow blowing around, a sure sign that hey, it just may be windy out there, too. Snow + wind + dear god, is it only 24? = there is no way I am climbing out of my nice, warm bed.

And then I did.

I figured it was like going off the high dive, or doing a shot that smelled questionable – you just had to hurry up and do it before you stopped to think about it. I had made plans to go with my friend Megan, so I was also sort of hoping that while I was getting ready, she would text me telling me she was bailing. I kept checking my phone:

Me – Are we still on for this morning?

Megan – YEP! I will be leaving here in 15! See you soon!! Do you have any sandwich bags?

Me – Yes, I have sandwich bags. 15 minutes, huh? WOW! You sure you’re up for this?? LOL

Megan – Yep. I’m thinking we can bust out 8 miles. You in?

Me – OH HELL YA!

But really, I wasn’t in. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet. She wasn’t backing out. I was going, whether I liked it or not. Time to layer up.

I may or may not have mentioned that I have embraced running for its health benefits, because I truly get pleasure from it AND it’s a whole new reason to go shopping. And shop I have, folks. I the short time I’ve been running, I’ve amassed enough gear to outfit at least five of me. Six if the weather’s nice.

I take this all very seriously, and I read up on things, and I follow advice, and I care about my hydration. Leading me to sometimes look like a well-meaning idiot when I head out. Which is exactly what Megan thought I looked like. See, she is one of those people who has been running her whole life, and she just pops on whatever and makes it work and she hardly ever needs water and I think she’s part camel.

She is just so effortless. Not just in her preparation, but also in her running. She can run literal circles around me. She is the type of runner who will answer her phone in the middle of an uphill run. I’m panting behind her, staggering to keep up, and she’s talking to her boyfriend, “Oh, hi baby. Just running with Bethany. How’s your day?”

So I should consider myself lucky that she even wants to run with me. I have to hold her back. But she doesn’t care. She just gently pushes me to run faster, and also drags out me out to run in the snow and risk hypothermia. Thanks, MEG!

Here is Megan, in snow and running gear that she stole from her daughter for our run.

And here's me, in $1,200 worth of performance gear. Very well hydrated.

I’m glad I ran this morning. I’m glad Megan pushed me to do it, and that I let myself be pushed. We got to almost six miles. Not the 8 she had hoped, but running in a few inches of snow is no joke.

And now I can have a few extra glasses of wine tonight. And that’s no joke, either.

Your in about to get a drinkness,

Bethany

 

East Coast Wine Geeks Wine of the Year, 2011. AS JUDGED BY ME!! ME!!

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How do you pick just one....

For the second year in a row, I was lucky enough to be asked to judge the East Coast Wine Geek’s Wine of Year contest. And this is very smart of them. If there are two things I am really good at it’s drinking and being judgey.

If you aren’t familiar with the Geeks, it’s a group of five lovely people who like to drink wine and then tape themselves. I did this with somewhat disasterous results in previous blogs, but they seem to make it work. They all have different styles and favorites, so when they come together to judge a wine, hilarity and violence often ensue (just kidding. there is rarely violence).

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99 Problems and Most of Them Revolve Around Bags

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Just heading to work. Like any other normal human being.

One of the downsides I forgot to mention in my rant yesterday is that I have now turned into that annoying lady on the train with 87 bags. Purse? Check. Lunch bag? Check. Laptop bag? Check. Gym bag? Check. Super giant puffy coat that comes to your knees? Check! Yep. It’s official. I now have the radius of a minivan.

I feel bad for myself on the subway platform. I can see people eyeing me up. Stepping away from me. They don’t want to sit next to me. I don’t look like I’m heading to the office. I look like I’m heading to an Arctic excursion.

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