Saturday, January 31, 2015

What I learned by running 31 days in a row sober

Beginning January 1st I set out to run every day for the entire month. It didn't have to be far; it just had to be something. Actually, that's not right: I didn't even think it through that much. It sort of just happened alongside this other thing I was not doing for the entire month: drinking booze.

To be honest, I just wanted to do something active everyday for a month. It ended up being running, and I'm glad it did. Here's what I've learned over the past 31 days:

A body in motion tends to stay in motion.
Last year, Ryan started the year out running everyday. He ended up keeping it going for the entire year - probably only missing 4 days or so. It was really cool to see the impact it had on him. I'm happy to say that the more I run, the more I enjoy it and look forward to it. I also never got sore. I'd get aches and pains, but I never really felt beat up. I guess my body adapted to running everyday and began to repair itself rapidly.

When something becomes a priority, you almost always have time for it.
Because running everyday was important to me, I always found time for it. Going out with friends was scheduled around my run. Working late meant running with a headlamp. Bad air meant using the treadmill and learning to be OK with it. In the past it's felt like I wanted to run, but could never find the time to fit it in, or I'd be too tired. Now, my day isn't complete until I get a run in.

Wait, did you say something earlier about not drinking all month? Can we go back to that?
Sure. Yes, I participated in Dry January this year: no booze at all. Here's what that whole deal taught me and how it worked out:

Day 1 - 15
I'm less nice sober. I'm mean. Not that I think that's a bad thing. But I guess I have a lot less patience with bullshit. Booze mellows me out.

(Day 15: This is going well, starting to worry about January ending. What am I gonna do when it's over?)

TEST: We went out of town for the weekend. Could I enjoy my trip without a celebratory post-run beer?

ANSWER: Yes. I brought along a butter-beer. It was yummy.

Day 16 - 20
I'm still not a morning person. I did get much better sleep this whole month, but I still think there's something wrong with people who get up at 4 to run in the dark.

(Day 22: Why haven't I lost more weight? I'm tracking calories, running, not drinking...)

TEST: We had a HUMR party. Would I be able to make it through the party sober?

ANSWER: Yes. Although I was very nervous and got very tired. I realized booze tends to lubricate social situations...but it only delays the anxiety. I'll just feel it the next day if I drink it away during the event.

Day 21 - 29
OK, maybe 8-9 lbs in almost 4 weeks is pretty good. Still, I don't understand why it has to be so hard.

Day 31: I received this letter emailed to myself via At the time, I legitimately thought January had 30 days in it - ha!

It reads:
Dear FutureMe, 
It's January 2nd, 2015 and you're on day two of your 30 day sobriety challenge. It's gone well for the past day and a half and I hope you are still on track.
First, if you are - congrats. Well done. I'm sure it has sucked at times. Please try to focus on the good.
Second, if you have messed up, this is an official mulligan email. You have now been given a second chance and a clean slate. Brush it off, forgive yourself, and keep going. It's like trying to run up a big hill. Even if you stop, it doesn't mean you turn around and go back down. If you have to walk, you can walk. After you begin walking, it doesn't mean you can't run again in a second. It won't kill you.
Hang in there. This was a good idea. I promise. Red Hot s coming up. Remember how bad you felt this time last year? How heavy you were?
Remember how fucked up things got after the race at the after-party? Don't go again. Do your own thing. You don't have to drink to enjoy Moab. I love you.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


B-team 4 life, bitches

I've decided to embrace a new philosophy I'm calling "B-Team." Some of you have taken note and asked me what it's all about. I'm still working out the details in my head, but I'll try to make sense of it here. I believe it came about because, in reality, I'm just not a starter. I'm not not a contender. I'm doing things that I think are amazing, no doubt. But I'm not doing anything that anyone else couldn't do. So, when Ryan and I took a trip to play in the desert in Saint George last weekend, it suddenly hit me: B-Team had come to town. No one saw us coming and we didn't set any expectations. It was our turn to worship the sun, play in the dirt, and find ourselves on the trails.

We do what we want.
What follows is an explanation of the B-Team philosophy and why I've adopted the B-Team lifestyle.

What is B-Team?

B-Team isn't about celebrating mediocrity. It's about letting go of our puppy-dog obsession with perfection. B-Team might fly under the radar; we certainly don't win races. We probably don't look super sexy after a long day in the dirt. (We definitely don't give a shit either.) B-Team might not be perfect, but we're a helluva lot more interesting. In short, B-Team doesn't give a fuck. I think it's high-time we started celebrating B-Team culture.
I'm not on the actual trail, but that's OK.

Who is B-Team?

Chances are, if you're reading this, you are B-Team. We all are. We're all somebody's B-Team on some level. Trail runners are B-Teamers to road marathoners. Anyone who doesn't own their own company is probably on B-Team. We're doers. We get shit done. We trail blaze (most of the time it's because we are lost). We're still figuring shit out, and we'll never be complete. We think the idea of being content is bullshit and we've decided to stop chasing after an unattainable dream. Instead, we focus on reality around us, and - get this - we actually enjoy it. 

Mike Rowe is B-Team. Tyler Durden was B-Team. HUMRS are B-Team. 
Stopping on the trail to take in the view is standard B-Team culture.

Is B-Team anti-A-Team?

No. We're not. We support all our friends. No matter what. But, we're not going to dance around someone's shitty behavior just because they're especially gifted, sponsored, or talented. I have a great boss at work who defended me a few months ago when I stood up to someone higher up the ladder than me. He said, "I don't care if he/she is the VP of being an asshole - no one gets to push you around." I really loved that sentiment. Seriously. If you are some shiny celebrity, or you run across a finish line in first place and then proceed to kick a dog, I'm gonna beat your ass.  I really don't give a fuck how important you think you are, or how popular you were in high school. Treat people like shit, and I will judge you.

I'm not trying to be a rock star. I'm putting the band together.

I'm tired. I'm tired of bullshit. I'm tired of spinning my wheels, giving it all I've got, in the hopes that I will one day be hand-selected. To be adored from afar. To 'make it.' I see a lot of people doing it too. We all do it. We all want to be rock stars. We all want to be famous, adored, and cherished. There's no shame in it - we were taught from a young age to follow our dreams. We idolized seemingly 'perfect' people: celebrities, popular kids, poster-children. We aspired to be prom queens, football stars, head cheerleaders. We have all been waiting to be discovered - to make it onto the A-Team. I don't like the polarization or the dichotomy of chasing a dream versus losing your passion. I am passionate about everything I do. I can be micro-ambitious and devote the same amount of passion and energy into my work, my writing, taking a photo, playing with my puppy, etc etc. It's just as important and it isn't mundane or less exciting than everyone else.

I had a bunch of personal stuff written earlier that I'd planned to share, but have decided against it. This post isn't about me. The truth is: It's always been difficult for me to find people who 'get' me. So, I apologize if the whole B-Team came off as a negative. I truly didnt mean for it to. I meant for it to be a positive outlook on my own situation. A way for me to say, "So, what?".

So, what, then? So, I'm going to enjoy what I do when I do it. I'm going to take my own trips. I'm going to sign up for races and listen to my music as loud as I want when I run. I'm going to remind myself through B-Team - that I like running. I don't have to run 100 miles to be considered serious. I don't have to be 'considered' anything. I'm not here to prove anything. I'm just here. And, I get to enjoy that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sneak Peak: Outdoor Retailer Hydration and Clothing Guide! Part II

Welcome to Part II of my Outdoor Retailer Sneak Peak & Gear Guide! We've already covered the hottest trends in running shoes. Now, let's take a look at what your favorite brands have in store for hydration and apparel!


You can lead a horse to water, but you can't convince him to buy your hydration product unless it includes the latest in hydro-technology! That's what I keep hearing, anyway, from all the top brands and innovative designers at this year's Outdoor Retailer Show. Here are my three favorite hydration solutions at OR Show:

Salomon: The Crushinator™ hand-held water bottle
Retails: $59.99

What their rep had to say:
"We needed to develop a fast, light-weight, easy to manage drinking solution to meet the needs of today's ultra-marathoner. We spoke to several key runners for feedback and tapped (get it?) the top minds from The University of Utah to develop this handy, crushable™ bottle. As you can see, its minimal structure allows runners to crush™ and compact the bottle once it's empty. You can stick it in the back of your shorts and keep running - it's virtually weightless!"

What our reviewer had to say:
"Sixty dollars may sound like a lot for a plastic water bottle, but how can you put a price on safety and convenience? When I'm running in a race, I want to be as light-weight as possible between aid stations. Crushing™ my bottle and sticking it in the back of my shorts frees up my hands to collect berries along the trail and fight off wildlife. Bonus points for being easy to refill in a hurry."

Asics: The Thirst Bust-er
Retail: $149.99

What their rep had to say:
"The trend in hydration packs has been moving towards added support and enhancement of a woman's best assets. After all, women runners? (Laughs) I mean, what's next? Women presidents?! Anyhow - this hydration bra is designed to keep our female 'runners' hydrated and perky on the trail. I think the product speaks for itself."

What our reviewer had to say:
"I've already gotten 4 phone numbers from friendly runners I've met on the trail! Good thing I've never had to develop my personality!"

A running bra that also hydrates?! Shut up and take my money!  This segways perfectly into our next segment on top running clothes from the OR Show:

Under Armor: The Bro 2000™
Retail: Just slightly less than any product similarly marketed to women

What their rep had to say:
"There is absolutely No SHAME in a man wanting to keep his ample pectorals from drooping just because he's an active runner! NONE! (Slams fists into table, shaking visibly) I have hundreds of close male friends, married guys, totally hetero, that want to keep from chaffing their nipples and bouncing on the trail. I have a wife, dammit!"

What our reviewer said:
"I've got to say, I was a bit uneasy about debuting this baby at my local Crossfit gym. But, once I started jump roping, every guy in the gym was tots jelly. I've never realized how far a little support can go."

Gregory: The Transient™ Pack
Retails: $2,999.99

What their rep had to say:
"Most people running a trail race, or even - god help them - a 50K, think they have enough gear when they go out with their fanny packs, race belts, and hydro-packs. Well, guess what? They don't. Say you get lost on the trail, say you fall and break your big toe! You think you're going to survive in the wilderness with that tiny 5lb pack on your back? Do you realize how fast you can go through 1.5 liters of water?! Every - single - time I see someone 'fast-packing' it through the wilderness, I shudder. I take a mental picture of them so that I can immediately call SAR when I get back to the trail head and report their whereabouts and last visual."

What our reviewer had to say:
"I've been living under the bridge downtown with my Transient™Pack for 6 weeks now without any problems! Ever since my life fell apart, this thing has been my best friend. Wanna come inside and have some cra—I mean, beer?"

Nike: X-treme Singlet™
Retail: $79.89

What their rep had to say:
"This light-weight, cotton poly blend shirt is perfect for trail runners in any climate! The button up/button down feature allows the wearer to manage their level of cool-comfort, and the short sleeves help keep the sun off your shoulders. It even comes with a handy little front pocket, perfect for gels, business cards, pens..."

What our reviewer had to say:
"I've been wearing button up plaid shirts on the trail since before it was ever cool. You're probably just hearing about it now. Just like my favorite bands. Ask me again in 5 years when they finally sell-out and become popular, I don't even care. I've gotta go write in my journal..."

Pearl Izumi: Trail Pro™ Body Gear
Retail: $249.99

What their rep had to say:
"Trail runners without Trail Pro™ Body Gear are putting their health at risk. You wouldn't drive a car without wearing a seat-belt, why would you run on the trails without similar protection? It's just common sense."

What our reviewer had to say:
"At first, I was afraid the other runners would make fun of me. But, my mom assured me that all the cool kids were wearing knee pads these days. In fact, I even heard her say, 'I like my trails like I like my men: Rough, Rugged, and Hard on the Knees!' I just know I'm going to be the most popular kid on the trail team this season!"

That's it for today, kids. Join us next time for more goodies from the 2015 Winter Outdoor Retailer Show!

Again, this blog is satire. It's what I like to call a joke. Have you heard this one? 'Why did Sally fall off the swing? - Because she had no arms.' Followed by this one, 'Knock Knock. (Who's there?) Not Sally.' Yeah, it's kind of mean and probably hurt someone's feelings. But if you're the kind of person who gets their feelings hurt that easily, I'm really surprised you made it this far. If you do not have a sense of humor, please stop reading my shit, and go back to your business of talking badly about me behind my back until you run into me again awkwardly at some gathering where we all used to be friends until you got all butt-hurt and decided you hated all of us.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sneak Peak: The BotFriendly Gear Review at Outdoor Retailer Show 2015 - Part I

Sneak Peak: The BotFriendly Gear Review from the Outdoor Retailer Show 2015 - The Running Shoe Special!

The Outdoor Retailer Show is coming to Salt Lake City, Utah this week! I was lucky enough to score a press-pass from some poor sap I met at a bar (hope you enjoyed your rufie-colada) and went behind the scenes! Check out Part I of my gear review for a sneak peak of the hottest shoe trends for runners!

Altra: The Standard Examiner
Retail: $900
Features: Extra cushioning, like, OMG, feels like running on clouds, tracking device to warn you if you've left Weber County, foot-shaped.

What the Altra rep had to say about this shoe:
"Sure it may look a little unconventional, and maaaayybe a tiny bit exactly like Hoka's 2015 model, but we're confident this shoe is going to revolutionize the running market. It was designed with our Ogden running audience in mind; after all, we already have a shoe - The Lone Peak - which speaks directly to our Utah County demographic. We basically needed to develop a shoe that would allow runners to log insane mileage, all the while never leaving Weber County or Ogden Valley. We all know that the runner who logs the most mileage is guaranteed to win every race, and our shoes are designed to be 'foot-shaped' so they fit on your feet. Did you know that other shoe companies are making 'head-shaped' footwear?! No wonder so many runners aren't winning races and still coming home with injuries to boot!"

What our reviewer had to say:
"I really, really like this shoe. Now that Altra has released a Weber County specific shoe, I feel right at home on my very own trails without the added pressure to explore another canyon or ski resort to get my miles in. Why would anyone ever leave Ogden, anyway? I mean, that's just insane. That's like going to Starbucks, instead of Grounds for Coffee, or reading the Salt Lake Tribune, for heck's sake. No thank you!"

Hoka: The Hokie-Pokie
Retail: $1 Gazillion
Features: The tears of your enemies, 900 lbs of feather weight ™ cushioning technology so you never feel the ground beneath your feet, helium infusion to make you float over rocks and rivers.

What the Hoka rep had to say about this shoe:
"It has the most cushioning. What else is there to say? More cushioning means better shoe experience. Runners don't need to feel rocks, or sticks, or dirt on the trail. They have other things to worry about; like explaining their crushing debt to their spouse after buying our shoes. Sure, you might incur more ankle rolls and injuries—that's just the price our runners are willing to pay for running on 16 inches of added cushioning. Plus, studies have shown that once a runner passes a certain monetary threshold when paying this much for a shoe, it is psychologically impossible for them to attribute any injuries to our product (evil laughter)."

What our reviewer had to say:
"OMG! I can't feel the ground?!?!  I can't even feel my legs anymore! I hit my head on a tree branch and I'm feeling kinda dizzy, but I just know these are the best shoes on the market! STRAVA!!!!!"

Saucony: The Still-Minimal Invisi-Shoe
Retail: $400
Features: Invisible shoe technology, zero drop, no flashy colors (it's invisible, remember?)

What the rep had to say:
"I bet you can't even tell I'm wearing them, can you? Go ahead, look at my feet! You can't even see them! We bought into the 'Born to Run' theology 4 years ago, and by God, we're sticking to it!! We realize that Maximal shoes are really hot right now, but we don't care. Our elite athletes live in the woods, inside their own tents and shelters - just look at those beards! They will run 1400 miles a day if we tell them we have food waiting for them at the finish line! You just wait, in 2 years, I bet you a free pair of Invisi-Shoes that minimal running comes back in style!"

What our reviewer had to say:
"I'm not sure what's going on here, but the Saucony rep had me sit down, take of my shoes and socks, and the proceeded to 'pretend' to put invisible shoes on my feet. I must say, my feet do feel very relaxed with no cramping for a brand new pair of shoes. I did get a huge heel blister walking around the OR Show all day, but I'm sure they just take getting used to."

Don't miss my upcoming reviews where I'll show you the latest in Nutrition, New Gear and Hydration!

Disclaimer: This blog is satire, which means that nothing in this post is real. If you are offended, please remove the stick currently stuck inside of your asshole and move on. It's just a joke. If you have no sense of humor, you are either a faceless, evil corporation or an individual who hasn't gotten laid in a while. Any names of companies or any products in this post that appear realistic, or even plausible, are purely bad luck on their part. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

...Here are my actual resolutions

I know I made a post already about how I don't believe in resolutions, blah blah blah. But, I might not have been 100% honest. So, here are, in fact, my three actual resolutions that I wasn't ready to talk about yet.
Disappointed Dog is not surprised by my betrayal.

1. Stop buying good wine. 
This is a metaphor. It's not even original. I got it from a TED talk from one of the survivors of the Hudson River plane crash. As his plane was going down without a functioning engine into the river below, he had an epiphany. I guess the rule about expensive wine is that it gets better with age. So, he'd spent his time collecting and hoarding wine bottles that he could only enjoy at a later date. Now, I don't buy pricey wine or anything, but I am guilty of putting things off for the future. My resolution: Don't wait. Enjoy the present. Buy cheap wine (again, metaphor) so that you can share it today with your friends and loved ones. Celebrate life today.

2. Be more careful with the people who love me.
The people I love and who love me deserve more of my time. I need to remember to take care of my marriage the way I would take care of a small puppy. Ryan and I have a great relationship, but it will always take work. I never want him to feel neglected or unloved. Even great relationships can end. It's important to me and I sometimes forget about it because it kind of runs on its own with or without my attention. How often do I get caught up in myself without noticing if he is struggling? How much crazy do I throw at him every day? And yet, he still loves me.
Man and Dog, together in the wilderness.

3. Alcohol. 
OK, this is a big deal for me, and I'm not even sure how to start. I've decided to begin with 30 days of sobriety. The reality is, I'm having trouble with alcohol, and it isn't easy for me to talk about. Sure, I could argue (and have argued) that living in Utah, anyone who drinks can feel like an alcoholic. My doctors have told me I'm OK. But I don't feel OK. One beer a night can turn into three. I can drink a bottle of wine. Good beer isn't cheap and has lots of calories. Plus, there's all that annoying medical research suggesting women who drink more increase their risk for cancer. So there it is. Since I'm constantly wondering if I should quit, and failing to adhere to the idea of "cutting back", I'm taking a break. I want to be able to enjoy being with good people without needing booze to make me feel comfortable. Cami and Lori, I'm looking up to you ladies. You always have a good time and are a huge inspiration.

I'm taking 30 days to think. It's day 4. Day 3 was kind of hard. But I'm OK.

This photo has nothing to do with any of this. Here it is anyways.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year, Bitches! Yes, 2014 has come and gone. The new year starts tomorrow and there's plenty to look forward to. Since I was blessed with having the added burden of trying to have a good NYE celebration AND enjoying my birthday at the same time - I thought I'd do a quick post about my plans for my 34th year:

First, a look back at what I wrote this time last year.
1. Find a new hobby and spend time doing it. 
 - For legal reasons, I can't comment on this one here. Now, let's forget about it and move right along. 
2. Do a real pull up.
 - Saaaayyy What???? Oh, yeah. I did this. Boom. Next!
3. Be more honest.
 - You're a jerk. Sorry, not sorry. Just kidding. But seriously, this one feels SO GOOD.
4. Don't waste time on people that don't get me.
 - Sorry, I'm busy. 
5. Complete a 50 miler.
 - Meh. No body's perfect. I did manage to have some serious PRs.
6. Have human reactions.
 - Feelings....nothing more than...feeeeelings....
7. Get inked.

Next, Fuck Resolutions. Instead of resolving to make up for 2014 (and/or the past 33 years of my life) by changing in 2015, I like to set Goals for myself.

"But wait - isn't the term 'goals' just a synonym for 'resolutions'?"
Short answer, No. Maybe. Possibly. Shut up.
Anyways, here are my goals for 2015 and the reasons behind them.

1. Take better care of myself.
"Oh, real original," you say. Shut up again. I guess I mean to be less reckless with my health. I've been a bit fatalistic the past two years because I have been angry about a key aspect of life that hit me quite hard when my mom was diagnosed with cancer: namely, that we all die and it's not fucking fair. Well, guess what? I got a clean bill of health after a big health scare this year, and I aim to take advantage of it. I'm healthy, and that's a big fucking deal. Most of us are not so lucky, and - eventually - none of us will be. I know that's dark, but it's true. We all have to go sometime. In the meantime, take care of yourself. Plus, taking care of yourself does make a difference. My mom is fighting and doing well because she takes care of herself. It's a good lesson.

2. Be kind. To myself and others. 
Yes, I decided that I was no longer nice a while back. And, I still stand by that. I won't be wasting time on fake people or mean people. I will tell you if you're being a dick. But, I will try to be nicer, too. I guess I mean giving people the benefit of the doubt. Being nice to myself when I am upset or if I fail. It's taken me 34 years to realize that I don't care what people think about me - exactly. I actually want people to judge me, but I want to make sure they really know why first. I'm more worried about leaving a wrong first-impression than offending someone to their core.

3. Set my own expectations about happiness and fulfillment.
I truly believe that Ryan and I already do this. We've never subscribed to someone else's definition of enjoyment: you need to have kids; So and so beat you at the race?; you ran in together?; you didn't take that corporate job that paid better? So, this is mostly just a reminder to keep a healthy perspective. When I set a goal for myself at a race, and the day is obviously not shaping up the way I wanted it to, then I have the authority to say, "Fuck it - just enjoy the race anyways." It's actually kind of freeing in a Tyler Durden kind of way: it's only when we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

4. Become a race addict. Again.
I've decided that since I do not have a life-threatening tumor or illness that I should embrace my inner racing nerd again. Sign up for ALL the races!

5. Write more.
I went to see Chuck Palahniuk speak when he toured SLC this year. Ever since reading Stranger than Fiction, I've wanted to be a writer.

6. Do things that scare me.
Because I don't want to die without any scars.

7. (An oldie - but - goodie) Be pro stuff, not just anti stuff.
"Define yourself by what you love," said Mr. Minchin. OK, friend. Whatever you say. (Seriously, though, I'll do anything you ask me to .... anything.)

8. (More Minchin) Be micro ambitious.
Take pride in your work, be fascinated by the shape of your stepping-stone, work hard on whatever is in front of you. Become a master of your small universe.

9. Fill up my Happiness List. 
Take notice of the small things that make me happy. They add up. And, they get overlooked.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Part Two: Vunerability Remorse

If you've checked out Part One, you'll know that, recently, I had a big health scare. I'm OK, but I've never faced such a scary possibility in my life. Even when I've been standing on the ledge, it still felt like I was in control. So, I'm taking some time to think about things. Here is part two of that whole time period.

Part Two: Vulnerability Remorse
Saturday was our HUMR holiday party and I was stoked to go. The only problem is that big social interactions like that destroy me. In fact, the next four days after the party were filled with what Brene Brown refers to as "Vulnerability Remorse." I didn't overdo it on the alcohol, and I had a really good time. But, I felt like a complete asshole for hogging the microphone and singing karaoke all night. It wasn't all night, but it was enough. I'd had just enough to drink and felt just secure enough that I decided to put myself out there and sing. And, I ended up singing...a lot. (I'm sorry.)

I used to sing in front of people all the time. But my crushing anxiety and social phobia made me physically unable to sing for a long period in grade school. No, my parents didn't notice that I was going through a rough time, isolated from my friends, hiding beneath the same baggy sweater every day for a few years. No, no one reached out and tried to help me then, either. I was expected to snap out of it. I should save that for the book, probably. In any case, after the party, I couldn't socialize for a few days. I could barely make it into the gym for Bomber. I felt shame for everything I said at the party as if each person I talked to secretly hated me. It's the same thing that happens every time I interact with people.

It's hard to put yourself out there. Your shame usually holds you back before you even try, but wine and PBR counteracts that in the moment. Plus, I was two days away from finding out if I had a brain tumor or MS. What the fuck did I have to lose?

The thing is, there is and always has been a nagging impression that there is something wrong with me. I try to overcompensate and fit in by being the fun, wild girl at parties. But, it takes its toll. In any case, now that I have a clean bill of health, I have decided that it is time to start taking better care of myself.

I'll leave you with the advice of a much wiser internet sage than myself. He's been my surrogate therapist ever since my health insurance decided to stop covering mental health professionals. Thanks a lot, United Health Care.