Friday, June 25, 2010

"If I lived here, I would be in the best shape!"

So I'm down in St. George, again. I spent the first week of June here, took a week off and then headed back down south. (Sometimes I feel like every other week of my life I'm on vacation... and then I realize it's pretty much true. But I'm a Mom, and Holden is always en tote: so -- like Claire from Modern Family would say -- it's more like a "business trip.")

We're in town this week for the Utah Summer Games - Volleyball. I've been getting some nice runs in, and we've been boating almost every day.

A couple of weekends ago, Danny and I were doing our long runs (just over 7 miles each) in this brilliant little patch of God's Country. I was running down Snow Canyon, looking at the bright orange red rock juxtaposed with a perfect blue sky thinking "If I lived here, I would be in the BEST shape!"

Funny how the same mindset occurred to me when I was jogging on the beachfront sidewalks of Maui barefoot.... convinced I would be in the best shape if I were an island dweller.

So I'm thinking about how blessed the people that live in St. George are, wondering how anyone could be overweight or lead a sedentary lifestyle here, when it dawned on me that I did in fact live here for more than 5 years, and I was super fat... and flabby... pretty much in the worst shape of my life for a nice chunk of that time.

So it just goes to show you that when it comes to lifestyle changes, unlike realestate it's not all about location, location, location.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

5:30 Wake up Call

I woke up at 5:18.
This is not normal.

I wouldn't consider myself a morning person. When I hear Holden moan for a drink anytime after 6 am, I stumble into the kitchen to pour him some milk and then crawl into bed with him (a twin mattress on the floor in the nursery) praying he'll sleep for another hour or two.

I have a hard time facing the world if I get less than than 7 hours of sleep. (I really prefer 9). :)

So why was I up at 5 am; before the sunrise... when the sky was a eerie steel blue and the birds were a cacophony of splendor outside the windows?

I was up to run.

I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I couldn't sleep.

My training schedule called for a five-miler this morning; and nine miles next Saturday -- but I'm playing volleyball in the (Utah) Summer Games next weekend so I swapped training weeks.

So today was the "niner."

I had mapped out the run. A half mile down the hill to Wasatch Boulevard, curving around and winding up to East Mill Creek Canyon. Just over four miles up the canyon - past Camp Tracy, Milcreek Inn and then a about a half mile past the overly pretentious Log Haven. (I remember being served Quail Eggs once on a press junket ditty years ago - ugh.) Round trip - 10 miles. But who wants to end a run on an uphill? Double Ugh!

My plan was a 7 am start time. But like I said, I couldn't sleep.

So I creeped out of the house at 5:30 and got to work.

I've mentioned I'm slow. And I am.

I think I used to be decent at one time. After college, coming off the high of collegiate athletics (volleyball) and suffering from a minor (or not so minor) case of exercise addiction. I'd run five miles holding 8:30s (unfathomable at this point in my life)... But I was plagued with injuries and my head had the sanity quotient of a lead character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. (I wasn't practicing yoga at this time... or on Paxil.) ;)

But somehow through a lot of soul searching, therapy, western medicine, Eastern philosophy, prayer and getting by with a little help from my friends (and family); I can now run slow. Isn;t that ironic?

Letting go to just try and enjoy every time I'm out there.

And today, for the majority of 10 miles...I did just that.

Sure the first 2 miles or so, I started thinking about the crazies out there who were sitting in the trees just waiting to ambush something horrid and leave me for dead.

I wasn't running with a cell phone (stupid), or ID... (stupider)...and I was running alone (stupidest).

Danny wasn't expecting me to leave for 90 minutes.. he was fast asleep and so there was no chance he could hear my telepathic message and come and save me like Edward in his Volvo (though come to think of it, Danny doesn't own a Volvo so there's more than one issue with that.)

But some how, I settled in, got to work, prayed a bit and eventually stopped thinking about it and was taken by the smell of pancakes and bacon from a nearby Scout Camp. A couple of bikers whooshed past me (yes, on the uphill) and that gave me comfort.

A saw a couple of ducks, and the other varieties of birds were quite animated.

By the time I reached the turn around (after nearly bursting into tears from excitement at seeing Log Haven "Holy Balls! Did I really just do that?!?!?") the downhill had me greeted by two long boarders flying well over the 30 mph speed limit, hoards more of bikers mostly coming up, though some coming down at this point, and even a few runners...

Turns out I was out here with the crazies after all. And I was happy to be part of the pack.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vibram Kicks times two

Photo Courtesy of Allison's Phone: Good luck on your race this weekend!

This morning I had a delightful jog with a fellow "barefoot" enthusiast, Allison Davis. Well, she said the jury's still officially out officially on her Vibrams, but she ran in them this morning nonetheless...yes, we're pictured above in the Vibram Classics!

We did just over 3 miles; and I've taken the Vibrams as far as 6 1/2 (last Saturday's long run). They have never had company before today.

I like to run alone.

Well, I suppose it would be more truthful to say that I am always nervous to run with people. OK, it actually terrifies me. Because I know almost everyone says "I'm slow"... but their slow is always pacing at under 10 minute miles. To me, that's not slow... that's a painful 3 miles (or more!).

I think I mentioned (maybe tweeted?) that in the Law Day 5k I broke the 10 min-mile pacing barrier for my race. But that was a's completely different than just a morning run, right?

That's amped up on adrenaline.
That's against the clock.
That's with an official start and finish line (not just the general vicinity of your block.)
That's with aid stations every mile or so....
That's without a 25lb child in your jogging stroller.

But to get to the point -- I loved my time with Allison this morning. Whether she was holding back because I had jogging stroller en tote; or she was playing it safe being outdoors instead of on a treadmill; I may never know. Maybe the pace seemed just fine for both of us. Or maybe like they used to say about Michale Jordan "It's gotta be the shoes." :)

Some of you have been asking about how the Vibrams are working out. And I've been intending to write a few posts about them:
  • The first time I took them out for a spin
  • The first time I made it 3 miles in them
  • The first time I ran 6 miles in them
But they're all just part of the process. The reality is that I love them. Both Alison and I came to the Vibrams/the barefoot philosophy hoping it could be the answer to pain free running (me foot and knee; Al from a foot injury).

The shoes are not a miracle; really they're just a shoe (well, a covering if you will; and they sure beat socks and duct tape!).

But as far as I can tell they keep about every promise I've heard about them...
  • no air-injection extra shock absorption
  • no calibrated adjustments for over pronation/supination
  • no extra thick sole for padding
Nope, these are minimalists. Everything I've heard says the Vibrams are the closest thing to running barefoot without actually being barefoot...

So I guess you could say they kind of do nothing. Which means EVERYTHING to me when I run.

****Epilogue: Al, I just mapquested it... turns out we did closer to 4.25 than 3 miles! Thought you'd appreciate that!****

Thursday, June 3, 2010

California Dreamin'

If you've seen these on Facebook, forgive the repetition; but for the rest of you --and the Mangum online family Journal-- a little recap of our trip last month to The OC (no Adam Brody sightings though.)

I love Disneyworld (though I prefer it when I'm not pregnant).
I love Disneyland.
I love how attentive the "cast members" are and the blissful level of customer service they provide...I love their roller coasters, and free falls, and pineapple freezes from next door Tiki Lounge. I love the parades and how much my husband loves churros. (I tweeted about him giving one to Holden saying it was 'organic.'

Where's Jasmin?
Holden could not figure out who this Genie character is...
whole new world for the little guy I guess, eh?

The boys in front of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

"There can be only one..." Oh wait, wrong show.

Life's a Beach...
Holden gets in deep with the cousins

Just for the record, I love this next picture:
Little Bits soaking up the sun...burn.
(Just kidding, he was not shirtless for long.)
Also, please note his awesome SWIM DIAPER!
It's from Little For Now, the online store we buy our cloth diapers & training pants from.
This little Summer accoutrement is better for the environment AND your wallet!

Lego Land...
(yawn) crossed of the list (yawn again).

So I know people love this place, but I will stick with Disney. There were only four rides Holden could actually go on, their parent "ride-share/swap" system is far inferior to The Happiest Place on Earth's, and the rides seemed geared to the 4 - 7 yr old crowd (which may be what some are looking for?), I found the roller coasters a step above 'Puff' at Lagoon and really not much for the adults. But we still had a great time, I'm just glad to have checked it out when Holden was FREE and we weren't wasting two adults admission (Danny had already headed back to Salt Lake for work). The high point of this place is Miniland: entire cities built out of legos, and the decor throughout the place is naturally exhibits of... well Legos, of course.

Some of the highlights:

Grandpa TOM (The Old Man) having a very important conference call

Like I mentioned, Little Bits wasn't big enough for most of the rides...
so he settled for this stationary lego car.

Holden and Mama Suite

Posing with Bob the Builder

Giant Dino, Me & Little Bits (we survived his wrath)

There was this small 'hill' of concrete that Holden liked
to play on outside our favorite ride...
but then he decided he just wanted to lay on it.

The cousins

Plastic strollers make the best beds...
just like Ergo Baby Carriers make the best blankets, apparently.