Archive for March, 2013

Bless your heart
March 29, 2013

If you’ve never lived in the South, you’ve never had the privilege of hearing some of the most  fantastic oratory in this country.  And no, I’m not just talking about the diversity of accents and dialects down here.  I’m talking about the way people speak.  In particular, if you ever get the chance to listen to a Southern woman talk (usually about other people), stop and listen.

There are amazing quips and phrases that are heard on a daily basis in the South.  Some are very often in the form of a simile or metaphors.  Some of my favorites:

  • Fixing to: which means you are about to do something.  
  • Fixens: All the special trimmings with a meal (not to be confused with the phrase above)
  • Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
  • More _____ than you can swing a dead cat at (Ok I actually don’t like this one much with the deceased animal reference)
  • Devil is beating his wife: It’s raining and the sun is shining simultaneously
  • You’re not from ’round here are ya?: We know you’re an outsider. We will keep an eye on you. (Usually said after you mispronounce one of our towns/streets/etc)
  • Rode hard and hung up to dry: looking pretty haggard
  • Sweating like a whore in church
  • He/She is dumber than a bag of hammers.
  • Gimme some sugar: Kiss/hug me.  Usually said to small children or cutesy to lovers.

But one of my favorite things about Southern oratory is the backhanded compliment.  If “you’re not from around here” you might confuse someone as complimenting you when really they’re pointing out your foibles.  I always tell people one of the best ways to spot it is to listen to the following phrase, it will usually precede or follow the aforementioned backhanded compliment or to soften the blow of a outright insult.

“Bless your heart.”

I adore this Southernism.  I like to use it whenever I can, and generally spread the gospel of “bless your heart” to my non-Southern friends.  How is it used?  Usually in conjunction with another Southernism.  For example: “He’s dumber than a bag of hammers, bless his heart.”  Now, see that doesn’t sound quite as bad as “he’s a dumbass” does it?  Throw in a nice drawl and I just want to sop it up with a biscuit.*

Another way to use “bless your heart” is when you see or hear someone doing something in an entirely wrong or bad way.  For example, when you see someone doing a terrible job of parking a giant car and then see it’s a little old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel and you say “bless her heart.”  Or recently when the woman at my gym was really trying to convince me that I needed to join their couch to 5k training group while I was wearing this shirt:

I almost never wear this shirt because it screams "I RAN A HALF MARATHON!"

I almost never wear this shirt because it screams “I RAN A HALF MARATHON!”

Or recently when I was getting my numbers checked at my gym and the employee helping me noticed my weight, BMI, body fat, and looked at me and said, “Wow…um…you must lift a lot of weights?”  Why thank you sweet Southern lady who was trying to think of the most polite way to say she was surprised by how healthy my numbers were.

* Gotta love this one.  Biscuits are a staple of Southern gastronomy.  They’re used to sop up the gravy, juices, chocolate, whatever is left on a plate.

So what are your favorite Southernisms?  Or do you have any that you need translating?

Thoughts on a long bike ride
March 22, 2013

Last weekend I went out on my longest bike ride ever. 45 miles.  For most Ironmen and ultra-cyclists, that’s a warm-up, but for me that’s 3+hrs of my life by myself and alone with my thoughts.  I thought I’d take you on that journey.

  • Alright let’s do this.  It’s so nice out, it’s going to be a great ride.
  • Ok, just get through these next couple intersections.  Please, nobody hit me.
  • Dammit missed the light,  stupid sensors don’t pick up bikes.  I’m turning anyway.
  • Wow my legs are feeling really good!
  • Ooh cows. (at this point you hear me audibly yell “MOO!” at the cows. Yes, I’m that person)


  • Ew cows, definitely smell them this time.
  • It’s really rural out here.  Wait did I just hear gun shots?
  • Ok, cue sheet says turn left here.  And that’s the direction of the gun shots.  Is it hunting season?
  • I have no idea where I am.  I really hope I don’t get a flat.
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • More cows.  MOO!
  • Oh goody a train.  Stopped on the road.  How am I supposed to finish my ride? I don’t even know where I am.
You shall not pass!

You shall not pass!

  • Train is still not moving.  Guess I can walk around it to get to the other side.
  • Dammit, it started moving again (as I’m halfway down the side of the train)
  • Ok, back on the road.
  • OMG what is that SMELL?!!!!  Don’t puke!
  • Ooh look goats! Hey buddy how’s it going?


  • What the? Chickens?
  • Time for a Gu break!
  • What was the name of that town?  I have no idea how to even get here in my car!
  • Hm, what am I going to destroy eat when I get back home. Maybe I should have another snack.
  • OMG.  STOP.  BRAKES.  That’s an alpaca farm! Shut up!


  • Ok, back to a part of the course I recognize.  Getting closer to civilization.
  • Legs are starting to get a little tired, but still feeling surprisingly good.
  • Ooh, a Dr. Pepper on the side of the road.  I could really go for a soda right now.
  • 39 miles? Man, am I ever ready to get out of this saddle.
  • Ugh, I still have to run 2.5 miles after this.

So yeah, all that “legs feel good” nonsense was no help on my 12 mile run the next day, especially not on the big hill 2/3 of the way through the run.

Showing my Nuun love
March 12, 2013

I have some fun news for this year’s racing season.  You may see me sporting a Nuun logo and you’ll see me drinking Nuun to hydrate (as I usually am).  I was selected as a Nuun Ambassador for 2013.



No doubt if you’ve been reading this blog (or gone for a run with me in person), you’ve heard me talk about Nuun as a great way to hydrate for training, but also just for daily life.

Here are some of my favorite things about Nuun:

  • It’s a great way to get electrolytes without adding a bunch of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or other unknown chemicals.
  • It’s travel/airline friendly.  No liquids and very compact packaging!
  • You can use it during the day, not just for athletes competing!
  • Lots of GREAT flavors.
  • The main part of the tube is recyclable!
  • Tablets are scored to easily break it up for smaller water bottles.
  • You can add it to any other liquids to give an added flavor and electrolyte boost, like iced tea.
  • In a pinch I’ve heard you can chew up a tablet to beat cramps/dehydration.
  • You can find it in every running/biking store and sometimes in other stores around town. Or you can easily purchase online.

So, if you haven’t had a chance to try Nuun, pick up a tube and give it a try.  I love it and have been using it for years now.

BiT month 2
March 5, 2013

Here’s the latest update on Body in Training. A little late to posting, but this is for February’s posting.  I’m up a little bit of weight and body fat, but nothing significant.  Also, it snowed the entire day I took this picture.  Brrrrr!  (hence the boots, hat, and mittens)  But unfortunately none of the snow really stuck to the ground.  And as you can see, Diva Kitty got a little bit of a romp outside.  Hopefully soon, I’ll also figure out how to get my resting heart rate and include that in the future BiT posts too.

Diva Kitty inspecting the snow covered grass.

Diva Kitty inspecting the snow covered grass.

Left shoulder blade starting to even out. And little bit of tricep action coming out.

Left shoulder blade starting to even out. And little bit of tricep action coming out.

Height: 63.5″
Weight: 135.6lbs
Blood Pressure: 129/81
BMI: 23.6
Body Fat: 20.8%
Fat weight: 28.2lbs
Lean (fat-free) weight: 107.4lbs
Total Body Water: 36.63 Liters, or 59.5%

Race Judicata report
March 1, 2013

I kicked off my racing season last weekend with the Race Judicata.  And because I like to be difficult, I didn’t just do one race, I did 2!  See this race is both a 5k and a 10k and you have the option to do both, back -to-back.  Also, it’s in one of the hilliest parks in the area.   Seriously, check out the elevation profiles!  It’s not for the faint-hearted or weak-quads.

5kCourse profile – 25:34 – 1st AG

I learned a good lesson, don’t take a caffeinated gel at the beginning of a race. I took off like a maniac and fortunately was able to recognize it early and slow my roll for the big hills (and second race) to come.  I think I managed the race well having trained the course for a couple months. At the start of the race, I was passed by this woman with a name on the back of her hooded sweatshirt.  I finally overtook her (and chicked a bunch of guys) on the long hill after 1 mile.  I guess she stayed pretty close behind me because at 1/2mi left, she passed me and we ran together for a while.  Finally on the last turn I decided to see if I could pull ahead of her and did.  I couldn’t tell what her age was, but didn’t want to lose a spot in a race I’ve trained hard for to someone wearing a hoodie.  I finished in 25:34.  Not a PR, but only 1 minute off my PR on a flat course.  And came in 1st in Age Group (thanks to overall winners, love them)!!  I’ve never come in 1st in running since I was a kid!!  I got a nice thermal lunch bag printed with the race logo on it for my AG win.  Oh and turns out hoodie girl was only 16.  So yeah, I’m more than twice her age and still took her out!!  Yeah!

Also, did I mention this is my first race of my new age group? (In running, I’ve been this age group in Triathlon already thanks to USAT rules).  Pretty sweet to get a podium finish in my first race in that age group.  Getting older pays off sometimes.

Then about 30 minutes or so later, after changing my shirt and switching my bib numbers, I lined up for the next race.

9.2kCourse Profile – 50:21 – 4th AG

This is traditionally a 10k, but the volunteers had the turnaround a little too soon.  Also, after training this course for 2 months, I still managed to miss the fact that there was a turnaround.  It threw me off when I saw people running back towards me after 3 miles, but apparently everyone else was thrown off that the turnaround was in the wrong place.  I think I managed the pace well on this one too.  Only took one regular gel at the beginning of the race (was too scared to take another caffeinated one after my near heart attack at the start of the 5k) and really wasn’t feeling really up to taking another during the run.  Fortunately since it was short, I wasn’t really ready for one yet.  At the very last couple tenths of a mile an older (60s+) guy caught up to me and started sprinting and yelling at me “don’t let me beat ya, c’mon” so we raced it in at the finish really hard and strong.  Sometimes you don’t think you have it in you until someone calls you on it.  Finished in 50:21, 4th Age Group.  Kinda wished I had gone about 20-30 seconds faster and gotten a double podium win.  But those who finished ahead of me only ran the 10k and weren’t coming right off of a FIRST PLACE win in a 5k!  So yeah, it was pretty awesome.

Pro: Overall not a bad day of racing and good kick off to the year.  Small.  Fairly quick turnover to the posting the times and presenting awards, so people aren’t waiting forever.  Long sleeve technical T swag.  Gorgeous course though a wonderful park.

Con: (Besides the course screw up on the 10k) I had heard that if you do both races you get cool arm warmers in addition to the t-shirt (something I actually need right now).  But this year it was just plain black gloves.  And they only had large man-hands sizes.  So I guess I’ll store those in my car for emergencies.