Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Wednesday 27 February 2013

The history of the glof

Did you ever wonder where the glove came from? No? Me either. Or me neither? Moi non plus.
I mean, come on, even Bill Murray circa 1510 found a way to keep his hands warm.

But, I have been given a pair of great gloves crafted by the Danish company of three brothers, GripGrab. And it got me thinking about well, gloves.

First of all, glove comes from the old Norse glofi and Middle English glof ,of course. Which fails to explain why they are called handsker in Danish.
Pretty much all purpose glofi, again from 1510 (a cold year)
British infant glof from the 1500's bearing a bit too much resemblance to my infant's glofi.
A pretty old glof from around 1200 reminds me of...

The most expensive glof, made famous in 1984
 But running gloves. Let's be honest. I have been known to wear some bad ones.

But having nice running gloves in the winter makes running a much more enjoyable experience. Just ask Alicia whether or not having warm hands in these personally made glofi made a difference at Tuscobia.
Kind of reminiscent of Bill Murray's glofi in the above photo?

So I was really excited when new gloves arrived in the mail (along with an energy bar!) from Jens at Run Forest.

So here is my review. They are warmer than they look and very comfortable. They are perfect for running fast on winter days. Biking didn't go so well. My hands froze.

But here is the cool thing about these GripGrab UltraLight. There are tiny holes on the palmar side of the thumb and index finger. When I saw these holes I thought they would irritate me, but they did not make my fingers colder and it was easy to slip my fingers out to tie my shoes and zip my jacket. It is amazing how often I lose gloves when I take them off. It is so nice to have gloves you don't actually have to take off to do anything.

Plus they are fashionable and go really nicely with my Afton T-shirt and SR's GripGrab hat. 

As for running in them, here were my 1.5km interval times yesterday (this time only 2 minute breaks... last time, Piccola Pinecone will be interested to know, I took 5 minute breaks...):

5:44, 5:43, 5:53, 5:51

They might have been more impressive had I worn these.
knights gloves

Running song of the day: Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware

Sunday 24 February 2013

Parkrun 5k

There is absolutely no reason to write about my race on Saturday when one considers the monumental occassion it was for Natali. The truth is, she didn't really want to run 5k. She had never run this far at once. And we kind of forced her into it. I knew that she would enjoy it and be proud of herself. But I had no idea she could run 5k on icy terain in terrible wind in 30:32?! She didn't stop once and had this beautiful, relaxed running style. I was 25 years old the first time I ran a 5k race and wish I would have started at 12. Doesn't she look great?!

I love the fact they didn't believe she was in the race because she wasn't wearing technical running clothing. It is very telling that her biggest fear in life right now is "seeming Danish".

Now for the disappointer.

When I started warming up, I knew I didn't "feel it". I always used to think this was some lame excuse bloggers had when things didn't go well, but I have come to realize that there is at least some truth in it. Some  days you feel it and some days you don't. I had a terrible cold and my stomach was still bothering me from the EGD. But I would of course still give it a go. In paddle gloves.

Thanks to Peter Agis Larsen for all of the photos below...

And I came through the first 1k in the lead, even for the men. But this was a mistake.
This is just one of  those pictures you do not post of yourself.  

And then where did this relaxed-looking heel striker come from? (He started out running with Natali and then sprinted ahead)

Grrr. Not happy with my time and feeling like crap. Garmin said I came through 5k in 19:37, official time was 19:47 - course made long due to having to run around ice patches. Bleh. I'll be back. We'll be back.

Friday 22 February 2013

Meeting my coach and my gastric mucosa

I finally made a trip to Odense to meet coach Ole. I guess I had seen him before at a couple races, but I didn't actually remember what he looked like. Anyway, we spent a little over 2 hours working on running technique (by a trash can). We actually spent about in hour in a gym where I worked on things like falling and tramping like a horse. You tell me which looks better:

I haven't found it as hard as I thought to work the new technique into my runs.

 5k Prediction contest, anyone?
So on Tuesday I ran 4x 1.5km repeats outside (-4 C, very windy)
5.47 (strong headwind here)

 So let's just say (hypothetically) I felt like running a 5k... what time would these predict?

Gastric mucosa

In all of my hypochondriacism, I got myself an appointment to get an EGD (upper GI scope) and OH MY GOD it was terrible. I mean, the result was normal. But the experience was - I can't believe I'm saying this - but that same sort of panic feeling as giving birth. I actually started wrestling with the doc trying to get him to take the garden hose out of my throat. I swear it lasted an eternity, but they would probably say it lasted 5 minutes. I have a hiatal hernia. I knew that. But otherwise it looked normal and I can go on NOT taking my PPI meds. So that is great!

Monday 18 February 2013

A writing opportunity for running moms & writing rules established

But first, do the characters of ultra running ever make you laugh?

On a scale from 1-10 where 1 is "I look really sexy in these sunglasses" and 10 is "of course we are joking", where does this fall? And are they naked?
Tony, I will get you to comment on my blog one day!

But that aside...

 Parents are just good people, aren't they? I mean, being a parent is so hard. I am sitting here blogging with 4 kids going wild around me. And I'm supposed to be trying to find a job/residency spot in the US in my time off, you know when I'm not working on my PhD and not running or cleaning or cooking or comforting a sick child. Blah, blah blah. Seriously - every parent must feel like they work harder than every other parent and their spouse, don't they? But they don't. We all just work really hard and then sometimes we're lazy.

Are people who fall in love seriously meant to have kids together?

Sometimes SR and I get glimpses of the way life used to be. For those who don't know, I was dating him for 3 months before I got pregnant. We went out on a 9km run together on Saturday, at 4.40 min per km speed (had to get a training run in) while we discussed the history of the Republican Party in the US. It was great. We even added some fartleks as a sort of race. (okay, not like we can ever really race each other)

The next day we tried a 15km at this same pace and I started screaming at him when he told me to stop looking at my Garmin. I was probably just "hangry" as Danni would say. I wish I had more time to just tell him he's a good dad and that I am thankful for his help. And that we could go on a running vacation together, just the two of us. But people make choices and we chose to have kids. And we love them.

Writing Opportunity

I was contacted about writing for a website called "Über Mother Runner" It's about mothers who take on ultimate running/exercise challenges and write about it. I applied to be a writer and I thought it would be awesome if some of my favorite bloggers  would write for this site, too. Only 1 article every 3 months. That's doable, right? It would be fun to have a resource for likeminded running moms.

As long as we're talking about writing, I've been meaning to establish some
Blogging Rules:

1. Do not write like an expert trainer, dietician or coach if you are not (or if you are). ie. skip the posts where you try to give advice and please just tell your story. Humor is encouraged.

2. If necessary, look up the word "random" and realize it can never be used before the word "thoughts" as nothing we imagine could be random. Please only use random when referring to coin flipping or the numbers specifically generated by a computer program in a random fashion.

3. Please do not! overuse! the exclamation point! ie. blog title "Today I went on a run!" or "Friends!"

4. Please do not be beautiful or look professional or have sponsors. I realize this may be hard for some of you...
I am talking to you Candice Burt who gets 3rd at HURT
Do you seriously go hiking in this, Candice?

And please do not be from Sweden and win races like the Pikes Peak Marathon and look this good while doing it. And don't you dare get sponsored by Salomon.

Do we have a deal?

Monday 11 February 2013

Please accept my apologies. I am on fire.

My body is changing in oh so many ways. (I love writing sentences that could be from a musical about puberty).

I was at my step/core class this morning and I noticed how different my legs looked. More defined quads. I should probably take a picture, but 
Some women can burn over 500 calories running 5 miles.
you'll have to take my word for it when I say my quads look like this. photo credit: San Francisco Chronicle

After class, I did a warm-up run in preparation for my 6km + 4km tempo effort. Ole wanted 4:10/km pace - and I was thinking - right a 41 minute 10k in -6 C, all alone!? Not too likely. Yet my body was yearning to run a tempo.

It went well and I ended up running the first 6km in 24:14 (came through 5k in 20:11) and the 4km in 16:14. Faster than I had ever imagined!! 40:28 for the whole 10k. (That's just under 4.03 min/km pace for those not so keen on maths. Do you ever just love writing math in plural like those crazy Brits?) Outside! In the winter!

I think you can see the proof here: 
(I highly recommend Endomondo as a way of tracking workouts. I absolutely love it.)

Please feel free to follow all of my non-treadmill workouts at Endomondo: (

What did my training look like this past week?

Mon.: step+core, 1.5 km x 3 in 5.45, 5.43 and 5.38 (0,5% treadmill)
Tues: 10km in 44.27 outside (supposed to be 4:45 pace, was 4:27)
Wed: spinning 45 min.
Thurs: 18 km in 1.21.48 outside (supposed to be 4:45 pace, was 4:33)
Fri: 5 x 1 km in 3.45, 3.45, 3.43, 3.42, 3.40 (supposed to be 3:54, was 3:42!!) (0.5% treadmill)
Sat: core + spinning
Sun: swimming with HG tri club 1 hour (pool, of course), run 10k in 43:51 outside (supposed to be 4:45, was  4:23)
Today: step + core, warm up, 6km in 24:14 (4:02 pace), 4km in 16:14 (4:03 pace) outside.

As you can see, the longest run was 18km. But nothing is slow.

There are a couple of great things about a training plan like this

- More time (it was Natali's 12th and Christian's 5th birthday this week + a very busy work week and I was able to fit it all in)
- I wake up ready to run. That feeling that I had from overtraining syndrome is gone. Perhaps I just had overreaching? (althgough it did last from late October to mid/late January)
- Ole just told me to write sub 1:25 as expected finish time on a half marathon I will be running this spring!! (nope, not telling)

Running song of the day: Diamonds by Rihanna (oh my, my, my, how I LOVE the way she says "Bright") Does Rihanna ever disappoint for running songs?

Oh, my childs. I love them. I went a little wild with the camera this past weekend.

Monday 4 February 2013

A little less mindfulness, please

Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver "The Summer Day"

A remarkable thing about women who run is that they are very good at noticing when something in their body is off. I used to be amazed by this in the Urgent Care. So many people go around for YEARS not noticing their health problems, whereas women who run tended to come in with the smallest, must subtle complaints.

Noticing what is going on at the time - and being aware of it - acknowledging it. That is mindfulness. And I'm tired of it. I have become way too mindful. And it is time for me to let go of these buddhist tendencies (no matter how much street cred they give me).

Getting really sick last week only highlighted for me how much I dwell and stress and stare in the mirror looking for things that are ever so slightly off.

I had my thyroid tested and it was normal. Hemoglobin - normal. White blood cell count - normal. Gluten intolerant - well, I hadn' eaten gluten and my antibody level was borderline - so maybe.

Spending an adulthood getting tests taken that are normal is no way to live.

Especially when some (5%, inevitably) come back abnormal : my calcium, AST and albumin were slightly high (likely because I was dehydrated) and now I need to go back to get them retested. And I worry - IS there something wrong. Humans have not evolved to deal with the stress of lab tests that come back abnormally when nothing is wrong.

And I can't figure out why my left eye has been swollen for 2 years. I have had entire departments of ophthalmology looking at is and no one can figure it out. Maybe it is just time to let it go. Or stop sleeping with that turniquet of a night mask ... ???

(please don't make me meditate for 5 minutes in a yoga class and listen to my body - be mindful, be "present" - I WILL find something else wrong with me)

Today - I literally exercised my decrease in mindfulness. Run intervals. It is SUPPOSED to hurt. Ignore it.

1.5 km x 3 in 5:45, 5:43 and 5:38!

Here are some pictures from Christian's (The Lorax's) race yesterday:

Every time we saw SR, he took a drink. It didn't take long before he got a cramp. It is good to learn these things while you're young!

Which way?

3.3 km in 32:32 (4 ½ minute improvement from last race in November!)
Answer to my shampoo question:

I shampoo every 4 days. Anything more and you strip the natural beauty from your hair and waste money and shampoo. Anything less and I'd probably start to smell, but I'm trying to increase to every 5 days.

Today's question:

Which Danish rock band has a new album out and a lead singer who Mattias was named after??


:-) ah, yes