Friday, January 31, 2014

And then.. The SIU part!!

28*. Windy... very windy... 4:15pm, with an expected sunset of 5:15pm. But it's cloudy, so it's getting dark fast.

Stephan says, "It'll be colder tomorrow. If you're going to get this done, you should do it now."

Sigh. I don't wanna.

But I do. I need 5 miles in the next two days to finish off my 40 for the month of January. Polar Vortex 2014 hasn't helped my new goals. But today (er, yesterday)... today I can't be stopped.

Cue Miley Cyrus.

(NO! Don't cue that. Never mind.)

The wind is really harsh. The slush-covered-ice is like running on a beach. But people haven't shoveled their sidewalks, so occasionally I chose to run through shin-deep snow. At 3 miles I'm back at the house chugging water out of a tiny kids' water bottle, and I decide to pull the last 2 out of my whiny self.

And I do! But seriously, at 13+ minutes per mile, it was definitely more of a slog than a run. But it happened! Yay me!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Putting the "P" in SIUP


I know it's cold all over the country right now (except, puzzlingly, for Anchorage and Florida). For some reason I can put on enough layers to keep my torso, arms, and hands warm (usually in the 4+ range), but my quads are always freezing! I've resorted to wearing three pairs of pants, and that keeps things tolerable.

But is it stopping me?

Uh, kinda. The run we left for in the picture above only netted us 2 miles. Sure it was cold, but having so many layers covering my mouth just doesn't work. And uncovering my mouth is definitely not an option. To make up the other 2 miles I drove 18 miles to my parents house to use their treadmill. Then 18 miles home. That's a little crazy.

It was my first treadmill run in over a year, and it was just as painful as I remember. That little panel is just so tempting! I can watch the seconds tick by. And the .01's of the mile. With that ability, who wouldn't watch every excruciating step. For 24ish minutes. It was a really long 24ish minutes.

The bad weather won't last forever. So I'm enjoying the badassary and photo ops while I can get them. Sweaty hot pictures in July aren't as fun.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Overheard: More Drama than Truth

Him: Whacha doing?

Me: [paging through Victoria's Secret catalogue] Planning my comeback.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Overheard: Lecture

I was doing my best wife lecture about the dangers of processed food at my husband last night. Specifically, that the Monster beverages he occasionally indulges in are GOING TO KILL HIM!!!! (I wish I could type more emphatically than just capitol letters)

So I said, "Don't even talk. I know what you're going to say. That you needed that cocktail to keep you safe while driving sleepy. But what if you'd said, "Honey, I just need this one sniff of cocaine?" do you think I would be ok with that?"

To which Sawyer (4 years old) began chanting: Sniff of cocaine!! Sniff of cocaine!!

Best. Parenting. Ever.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lucky 13

Hitting 2k lifetime miles at the turn of the year made it really easy to calculate what I wanted my goal mileage for this year to be...


[Nike+ isn't working tonight, so I just did a LOT of math by hand]

Here's what the last few years' totals have been:

2010       2011        2012       2013
283.7     697.43      559.0     349.74

That's not an upward trend. That's a downward trend. And what's even more upsetting is that the month-to-month comparisons are all over the place. So this year's goal is to establish a routine of running that evens out my year. I'm planning to average 10 miles a week. That's a pretty simple goal. So there it is.

This week was my best week in a few months- 13 miles! So far, here are what my Januaries look like:

January   2010       2011      2012      2013     2014
                 0.0         89.9       42.3       8.54      22.1 (so far)

I'm right on pace. Yay for me!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

I grew up on late 80's television. The Cosby Show, Who's the Boss?, Family Ties, etc. There were also after school specials and AIDS. But before AIDS really took hold of the media, dyslexia was a very popular topic on TV. It seemed like every network found a way to maneuver an episode about finding empathy for people who are different and have a harder time doing things we all take for granted... specifically with dyslexia as the focus.

According to a Google search, either a full 20%, or a more modest 10-15%, of Americans are affected by dyslexia. What I learned from watching television is that a dyslexic person sees printing on a page and their eyes make the letters or numbers jumble around so they have a harder time making sense of them.

Here's what I think today: I think mental illness is to emotions what dyslexia is to reading. A normal person looks at a calendar and sees this:

Granted, usually with a lot more stuff filled in.

With mental illness, a person looks at a calendar and sees this:

You can substitute whatever daily activity you want to.

Grocery shopping:

Can feel like:
I love the cow in this picture. It makes the same amount of sense to me as shopping.

These people are fake.
Can feel like:
I don't know what this is, but it's exactly as confused and terrifying as meeting strangers in a social setting can feel for me. 

See? It works.

Also, the answer, according to Carrol:
"Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar (sic) put with the wrong end in front!"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blogging the Truth

Running long runs with my husband rarely works. During marathon training we would get into at least one fight an hour. During the Soldier Field 10 Mile race we actually made runners around us feel uncomfortable with our bickering. By the time we get home everything is fine... however...

I've told him that he talks too much while running.

Case study: this week's 5 mile run in the slush and ice of a gently warming midwestern morning. Honestly, I wore 'cute pants' instead of 'smart pants' and was chafing only a mile into it. When I start to get miserable, I go inside my head for motivation. At the same time, Stephan begins practicing his stand-up routines. I lose my focus, start getting angry, and then just give up and walk.

Then he starts checking in with me every few minutes, requiring me to list out loud my various miseries... which brings them into sharp focus, and then... I just give up and walk.

The entire 5 miles he kept laughing at how frustrated I was getting by his constant bird-like chatter. He threatened to post the blog himself. He laughed, and acknowledged that I don't do well while he talks... and he kept talking!!

I'm still amazed we survived 6.5 hours (26.2 miles) of running straight together. Actually, I'm amazed I haven't learned my lesson by now!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


aka... Stephan and Anna do a cleanse

Me: So, Stephan... what should I tell the internet about our 30 hour "juice fast"?

Him: WE SUCK!!!! No. Don't type that.

Me: First of all, this was not a New Year's Resolution. We've been planning this for years. The first "cleansing" book we bought 6 years ago was about giving ourselves colonics. We might still have that book around here somewhere. I'm glad we didn't do that. Instead, we watched the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, last winter, bought a Vitamix in the spring, and downloaded the 3 day Reboot with Joe during the summer. We've always wanted to increase our vegetable intake, and figured this would be a good way to start.

Him: Tell them that after 30 hours we felt drunk and unsafe to drive our child anywhere, and we figured we needed some complex carbs and protein. Isn't the truth pretty much writing this post for you?

Me: Uh. Sure. It got pretty bad. And I'm glad we chose to break our blending/juicing reboot/fast with whole wheat toast and eggs, bananas and natural peanut butter, a cheese stick.... and Chicago hotdogs and ribs with fries and soda at Portillos Hotdogs.

[There was so much more to this post.... and somehow ate it. I'm SO SAD!]

To summarize, I'm glad we had this experience, we learned a lot about our snacking habits, we want to include more vegetable smoothies in our daily diet, and cops don't believe you when you tell them you're not drunk, you're just "on a diet."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Like a Thing that Taunts You

After nearly a week of constant snow here, we got a break. It was beautiful today... brightest sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, some wind, gorgeous.

Every time I looked out the giant front windows I swore under my breath. Because today, being outside could kill you. Windchill estimates ranged from 9-11 minutes outdoors until frost bite. School was cancelled for today and tomorrow. The dogs have resorted to peeing on the driveway. My friends are texting me with their emergency-wine-stock lists.

However, we used to live in Montana. We have a wardrobe for this weather. We learned a few lessons from the locals. And we survived an insane night with no power and no insulation (except dogs).

Stephan reminded me last night (as I was reviewing our own stocks of beans, rice, wheat flower, and tuna) that we've done a LOT more with a LOT less. So here's to being thankful for our wonderful, solid, house, our 2-year-old furnace, and the Home Depot 1/4 mile away if we need anything.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


No access to a treadmill means my 10 miles per week desires are not being met this week. However, I've been pretty busy, so I wanted to start figuring out what was going on...

For every hour of shoveling snow I burn a little over 400 calories.
That means that shoveling is the equivalent of running 4 miles per hour.
I've shoveled for 2.5 hours today already.... that's 10 miles today!!

So.... I win?
(This is stolen from This is also about 1/16 the amount of snow on the ground right now.)