A Case for Wearing Cute Running Clothes

If you knew me in the 8th grade, saw me walking the dog yesterday, or you are my mother, you may be surprised to learn that I strive to be fashionable.

I like to think I can put a stylish outfit together–not as well as someone like Rachel Zoe, but somewhere between her and Amanda Bynes.

So it makes sense that putting on cute workout clothes is one of the ways I motivate myself to go run.

howyoulook

Maybe other people’s motivation is something less superficial, like weight loss, sculpted calves or bragging on Facebook. But for me, it’s also those things and cute running clothes.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite running outfits with my totally real Internet friends (not you, Spammers, I hope you comment on a site that gives you a Trojan virus where the sun don’t shine–your parents’ basement. BOOM!):

Lululemon Ruffle Running Skirt

Lululemon ruffle skirt
At the 2013 Seattle Rock N Roll Half.

Behold! I feel sassy in my running skirt from Lululemon. This is a difficult feeling to achieve when you’re almost 36.

I’m not really sure of any other time in my life that I’ve felt sassy. Snippy, yes. Sassy, no.

Here’s a bit of advice: If you are in the Lululemon dressing room deciding between a $70 ruffle skirt and the $90 crops (Lululemon’s fancy word for capris), get them both.

Sure, you won’t be able to buy groceries for a week, but you’ve been wanting to use that six-year-old bag of dried porcinis anyway.

And now here’s a chunk of advice: If you are a person who enjoys getting honked at from sick people who think it’s funny to honk at runners, then definitely wear a Lululemon ruffle skirt during your run through an industrial area on your lunch hour.

Sparkle Athletic Skirt

Sparkle Athletic Skirt Christmas Rush 5K
At the Christmas Rush 5K.

If you want to look fabulous and glittery while running, you cannot go wrong with a Sparkle Athletic skirt (formerly Team Sparkle).

As my dad used to say, “It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you look.”

Except I did win something at the Christmas Rush 5k: 3rd in my age group.

All I got was a ribbon. I felt pretty special carrying it back to my car, although my friends had gone home by the time I collected my piece of shiny white fabric, so I was only able to show it off to two women who I corralled into taking my picture in front of the race sign, and who possibly talked about what a no-friend loser I was while they walked back to their vehicles.

Know this: One must be brave to wear a sparkle skirt on a training run. If I get honked at in my ruffle skirt, I don’t even want to know what drivers would do to me in a sparkly skirt.

Once, when I was running, someone (definitely a teenage boy who was in a hurry to restock his bathroom cabinet with acne cream) threw a Slurpee at me.

And I was wearing pants!

Slogans on Running Shirts

Nike running shirt
Mt. Si Relay 2012.

Sometimes you need to remind yourself of things while running. Like what your pace should be or that the Econoline with tinted windows and a camper that keeps stopping behind you is probably not following you.

That’s why I love my running shirt from Nike that says: “It’s All About Attitude.”

It’s also all about the sunglasses–my 3rd favorite accessory (after coats and shoes). I cracked the frames on the sunglasses in the picture above after I tried to shove them, my 1st backup, my 2nd backup and my 3rd backup pairs into my tiny cross-body purse that fashion magazines would describe as “on trend.”

I cried.

But it’s healthy to acknowledge your feelings.

And I think we all know that the best way to do that is by displaying those feelings on a t-shirt.

running sucks shirt
I don’t know this man, but I was in my ruffle skirt, so it’s cool.

It’s good to have a dose of both a good and a bad attitude when it comes to running. At least, that’s what I always say.

Running Skirts Socks, Yes, Socks

running skirts socks
Pretty pink socks and Whoville hair. See Jane Run Half 2011.

When I’m out running, I get all kinds of compliments…on my socks.

I have three pairs of compression socks from Running Skirts. I am not sure they’re actually, technically, compression socks. But I am sure that they are fabulous. And that they are a bitch to get on.

These socks accomplish two goals for me. They improve circulation in my calves. And they give my running outfit that special school-girl je ne sais quois (actually, I am pretty sure I know the quois).

If I wore the socks and the sparkly skirt while running through town, do you think someone might throw some liquor at me? It’s so expensive these days.

You know what else is expensive? Running clothes!

But who can really put a price on health and fitness?

Besides gyms…pretty much everyone at NBC…and husbands.

This Made Me Cry

A friend shared with me this article that features part of The Oatmeal’s “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances”. And I cried at the end.

Click the picture for the entire series at The Oatmeal.
Click the picture for the entire series at The Oatmeal.

And then I wondered if maybe I am missing those long, exhausting runs. Because why else would I cry?

And maybe my attitude toward running has been poor lately because my attitude about everything has been poor lately.

Maybe I have a bad attitude because my only child is going off to Kindergarten in a couple of weeks and I’m feeling a little left behind.

Or maybe it’s because I’m going to be 36 and I thought I’d be living my passion by now.

Or maybe it’s because I don’t know what my passion is.

Maybe, like The Oatmeal said (more brilliantly), running helps keep me a little bit dumb so I don’t over think things.

Maybe I need to go for a run right now…

Secrets and Misunderstandings

I have a secret.

Shocking, I know, coming from Her Highness of Over-Sharerdom.

(I really want to put a picture of myself with a crown on here, but I’ve currently reached a new high level of lazy and I don’t want to ruin what I worked so hard for.)

Okay, so back to the secret. I secretly (well, not anymore) wish that I could squeeze three runs into my week and build my base so I can run the marathon on Dec. 1 that I said I was not going to run because marathon training is not a priority right now.

I just checked and it’s still not a priority. But I want to run the race.

I don’t want to train for the race, though, so that’s sort of a problem.

On Saturday, I felt something familiar. I got dressed as fast as I could, but I must’ve mistook the desire to go run for something else because as soon as I stepped out the door, I was all: This is dumb; I’d rather be napping. 

Maybe I just misunderstood myself about the running. Maybe I just wanted to put on a pair of socks.

I ran anyway. First mile, a warm up, was about as exciting as that Eustace guy on Mountain Men. Miles 2-3, I did sprints of 20, 30, 40 and 40 seconds over and over resting as needed in between. Mile 4 was a cool down and it couldn’t have gone slower or been more dull (but not more dull than Eustace, just to be clear).

SERIOUSLY, HISTORY CHANNEL? SERIOUSLY?

Why can’t I get excited to run? I don’t know what happened, but just like every celebrity couple ever…there’s no love.

I don’t know. Maybe I need to change things up a bit.

Maybe next time I’ll bring the dog. Sure, he’s like holding the string of a 75-pound kite in a Category 5 hurricane and, yeah, I’ll need to bring six crap bags with me…

But at least it’ll be more interesting than Mountain Men. Jesus, History Channel. And WHAT is UP with that guy who all he does is look for his Beagles the entire time?!

A Big Decision

Today, I spent an hour writing down my marathon training plan in my planner and I spent another hour writing a blog post about it.

Then, I did some inspirational reading.

Afterward, I went back to my planner and erased my plan.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I’ve been doing some soul-searching. And what I’ve learned about myself is that I suck at prioritizing and sticking to what I truly want. I get sidetracked easily.

So, if my dream is to write a screenplay, then why am I prioritizing all this time in my planner for running a marathon? (Especially when I’ve learned that I don’t need to run and run for hours to get the body that I like having. In fact, I don’t need to run at all, but I like running—just not all day…getting sidetracked again.)

My son is going to be in Kindergarten in a few weeks (*heart stops*). My day-job schedule will change then and I will have a couple of hours to myself before my son gets home. Do I want to spend that precious time pounding away at the pavement? Or do I want to have some uninterrupted time to peck away on the keyboard?

Today, I read this: “If you have more than 3 priorities, then you don’t have any.” –Jim Collins

I totally agree with that. I cannot continue to juggle 100 priorities. I cannot continue to say “yes” to everything that comes my way. In the end, it only stresses me out and leaves me stagnant.

So, if I have to choose just a few things in my life that are priorities, then here they are:

  1. Be with my family. I would love to have more un-hurried time to just BE with my family. My son told me last night, “I always want to hang out with you, Mom.” How long will he feel this way? One of my favorite things to do is to go on new adventures. But they are so much more fun with my loved ones. I want to do this more. And I also want to have days where we just sloth around in our PJs.
  2. Write a finished screenplay. (Finding out what my passion is and figuring out a way to make a living doing it.) Last week, I had some time to think and write and think and write about this, and it helped me identify what I love to do: make people laugh. And then I had to think about how to do that, and how to do it in what sounds like the most fun way, which is how screenwriting came about. I need to work toward that goal or I will never know if “I coulda.”
  3. Work. Unfortunately, this is a necessity-priority. I don’t really want to make time for it, but I do like bringing home a paycheck. Since going to work takes up so much in my day, and since I don’t get paid if I don’t show up, it has to be a priority.

So why the hell am I not prioritizing the time for writing?

For one thing, running gives me instant gratification. I run, then enter the mileage in DailyMile. Wow. Look what I did today! Writing, on the other hand, is not instant. I’m constantly editing and rewriting, and so it feels like I’m just treading water. I need to practice patience.

And then, there’s this: For a long time, “losing weight,” “getting into shape,” “running that marathon,” those were taking up that Priority #2 spot. But I’m done with that now. Lost the weight. The marathon was a bucket-list item. And maybe life will change and I’ll have more time to run another 26.2, but right now it’s not something I want to prioritize into my schedule.

What I’m saying here is that I will not be running the fall marathon I signed up for. And I won’t be running the half I’d verbally agreed to run. I will be running, but only when and for how long I desire at that particular time.

I also think I will take some time away from this blog. If I feel I want to share a story in a public way, I may write more at my original blog, Sanity Department—which is a place where I can just brain dump on whatever.

This is a big decision. I started Mom vs. Marathon in 2009. I’ve built a little world around this blog, and on Facebook and Twitter. But MvM also takes time away from accomplishing my new priority. I have a bad habit of making it a priority when it shouldn’t be. Time is precious. It goes by fast. I have to focus my time on my top 3 priorities.

I haven’t decided completely what to do with the Mom vs. Marathon Facebook page. Right now, I am thinking I’ll keep it because I still plan to work out and run, and I like connecting with other people who love running and fitness.

Twitter. I love Twitter. My mind is random and I enjoy jotting down some of my random thoughts. I also like discovering interesting articles and seeing funny stuff on there. So, I still plan to Tweet. I suppose I should change my Twitter handle, though, to my name instead of @momvsmarathon. Thoughts/advice on this?

I feel as though a weight has been lifted off of me. I am excited to GET FOCUSED!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has come along on my journey and shared their experiences here. I have loved connecting with you on this blog. I hope you will find me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

And good luck to you on whatever your dreams may be!

(PS: Do you also struggle with focus and priorities? This is a great article on creating time and focusing on your goals. Reading insight from Jill Coleman at JillFit.com has really helped me, and in more ways than “getting lean.” Check it out.)

Okay. Peace.

It Was a Beautiful Day for Paddleboarding…

paddlebaordweather…if you’re an idiot.

Which luckily me and Chelsea are comfortable in our own idiocity because we totally rocked stand-up paddleboarding for the first time in rain and wind.

I was early to arrive at Marina Park in Kirkland. It is a small park with well-manicured grass behind the half-moon shaped pebble beach.

I parked across from it and stayed in my minivan, watching the rain pelt Lake Washington. A sleek, white Mercedes parked on my passenger side. A woman with magazine-cover makeup emerged, clutching her sun hat to her head to protect her silky blonde hair.

She and a man joined more beautiful people. I marveled at the women running on the toes of their wedges and spike heels down the pier to their cruise yacht. Okay, okay, I was waiting to see if anyone tripped.

The Northwest Paddle Surfers kid set up a tent for check in on the lawn finally. I made my way to the grass and stood under it in my flip flops, bike shorts, and a dry-fit jacket and hat.

“I was really hoping my boss would call and say I didn’t have to work today,” said the kid. He looked like he was probably on break from college.

“Sorry ’bout that,” I said.

“Looks like you guys are the only ones.”

By “ones,” he meant: Idiots who want to go stand-up paddleboarding in a rain storm.

Welcome to summer in the Northwest. Wait. No. Welcome to my luck. It hadn’t rained for 50 days before Friday.

I considered bailing on this adventure. I ran back to the van and checked my phone. “Be there in 5,” was the last text from Chels.

Damn. I guess we’re doing this thing then.

And we did. And we had fun…for a little bit.

Out in the choppy water of Lake Washington about 20 minutes into it, Chelsea says: “This would be a lot more fun if it was sunny.”

Really? Really, Chels? You think?! (She’s trying to steal my Captain Obvious title.)

Twenty-five minutes or so after that, we were seated inside The Slip with a couple of beers.

It was a beautiful day for fish and chips.

Running, Comedy and Vic the Rooster

Most people run marathons for good reasons. Like to get in shape. Accomplish a life goal. Or to show off.

I’m running mine for the comedy.

Yesterday’s post was sort of a “had to be there” post. As in, you had to be there in my head, which is a very eclectic place to be, but not a very cool place, so most people come and go very quickly.

My 36th birthday is coming up and things have gotten too comfortable for my…comfort. When I get comfortable, I drift. Not in an “air mattress on the lake with a beer” kind of way, but more “will work for beer.”

And then I wake up and wonder what hell am I doing on the corner with this flimsy cardboard sign?

So I decided I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Because I’m a grown up currently.

So, in deciding that decision, I realized that I don’t really know what actually interests me. I like a lot of things, but what do I absolutely love to do because I should totally do THAT.

Writing isn’t really one of those things. But, wait. The term “writing” is so non-specific. There’s copywriting (which is what pays for at least a quarter of our dog show costs) and card-writing. There’s letter writing and resume writing and content writing and blog writing and technical writing (kill me now) and novel writing and kid lit writing and script writing and about 66 more types of writing. Probably.

So, yesterday, I realized I like being funny. For about six scary seconds, I thought I might try stand-up. And maybe I will someday, but in crafting my chicken post I realized I really do love to write…comedy.

Chicken sex lives make me laugh. Partly because, in my head, it doesn’t stop at the end of that sentence. Nope. I see chickens on awkward first dates. Jealous chickens fighting over a rooster named Vic. And shy chicken virgins who stare at the ground when Vic struts by.

vic
Vic

(Sorry. Got carried away there by the all the chicken drama cooped up in my head.)

But my point is that I want to be a comedy writer. Right now, I’m practicing. On you. Muwahahahaha!

But maybe, just maybe, I’ll write a romantic comedy. Because I love them. Or a stupid romantic comedy. Because I also love stupid-funny stuff…like The Three Amigos. Maybe I could somehow combine the adventures of Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander and Dusty Bottoms with one of my favorite rom-coms, When Harry Met Sally.

Sure, I’m as clueless on how to craft something like this as I am on how chickens make eggs. But now that I know what I want to do when I’m 36, I can start cracking some books on the topic…of comedy writing, that is, not chickens. Or go to one of those creepy night schools classes on script writing.

I always thought I wasn’t weird enough to be a writer or a dog-show person, but…that’s what a weird person thinks.

I’ve spent enough time stealing quotes from movies and passing them off as mine. It’s time to quote my own quotes. MY writing. I mean, why NOT me? So now that I’ve decided what it is I want to do, I can get focused.

Remember when I decided to run a marathon? It took two years, but I kicked the crap outta that. Done. Did it. And then I decided to do it again this year, but I lost my focus. I lost my WHY. Why run another one?

Well, I’ve found my why! And it’s totally stupid and fitting with me and my weirdness. Writing material.

The stupidest crap happens to me when I’m out running. Stupid crap makes for funny stories. People LOVE funny stories!

I can’t wait to start training…