Not cool, body. Not cool.

Warning: If you're a male reader, you might want to skip this post.

I got my period on Monday. I knew it was coming because for the week or so prior my boobs felt like heavy bricks every time I'd unleash them from their sheath my bra. Once that painful heaviness sets in, I know the time is nearish. Sometimes it's a couple of weeks; sometimes it's a couple of days.

It's only in the past few years that I've starting experienced this.
And cramps.

I used to always feel so lucky not really ever having to deal with the pains of being a woman. My periods would come and go, and while I've always hated them, they would never cause me to DOUBLE OVER IN PAINFUL CRAMPS.

But, as I've gotten older, I've started to get ...
... the aforementioned painful boobs
... increased acne
... heavier flows
... painful cramps
Sometimes I joke with my husband about how I'm looking forward to menopause because it can't get much worse. He always assures me that it can. And probably will. Thanks, honey, you always know what to say.

So, last night, I awoke around 2 a.m. Now, it's not too unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night, but lately, I've had a lot of trouble getting back to sleep.

But last night, in addition to the INSOMNIA, I had PAINFUL GUT-WRENCHING CRAMPS.

I took some Midol, but I just couldn't fall asleep.
Then, my body decided that since I was having such fun with my cramps, why not add a bit of gas to the equation.


I may have dozed a little here and there, but basically I've been awake since roughly 2 a.m.

On my way into work, I stopped at Walgreens because well, I need some supplies. I prefer the non-applicator kind because they seem a bit more comfortable to me, and I like the small size, so I can just slip them into my pocket.

As I was browsing this section I don't know why I browse since I always get the same thing, I saw these non-applicator ones.

At first I thought, Those are kind of neat. They come in a cute little tin.
Then, Who would spend $6.99 for 16 when you could spend $7.49 for 40? That's a lot of money for a cute little tin.

I also contemplated these.
I like the idea of using cups - disposable or reusable. Less waste and all that, but I used to have a DivaCup, and I was less than impressed with its, um, performance.

I hate spending money on something I'm not sure will work for me, and I'm also all about cheap, so I opted for the Walgreens brand non-applicator tampons. Exactly what I went to Walgreens with the intention of buying.

Have you ever tried any alternative supplies? 
Do you find yourself dreading this time more as you get older or is it just me?


10 Photos From My Phone

For today's Monday Listicles, we had the option of two topics: 10 PHOTOS FROM OUR PHONE or 10 NAMES YOU CONSIDERED FOR YOUR KIDS.

Since I have no kids, I'll share with you ten photos.

Las Vegas 4th of July
4th of July from the parking lot of our new apartment in Vegas.
We'd moved in just a few days prior to this picture.

Sallie border terrier
Goofy girl at Yappy Hour at Rumor Boutique Hotel

Sallie border terrier
My cutie little girl!

Sallie dog toy border terrier
Crazy girl sleeping with her toy dog

Survivor Fremont Street Experience Vegas
Free SURVIVOR concert at Fremont Street Experience

Sallie border terrier
Her legs are all criss-crossed, but I guess she's comfortable.

blue moon
Blue Moon captured through my phone and our mono-scope

Vegas park
Tiny little nearby park where I once stopped after a run for a little yoga.

Sallie border terrier
My panting girl was SO HOT!

Vegas Strip NHRA
I won tickets from work to go to the NHRA. It was so much fun!
Wow! Flipping through my phone photos reminded me that I still have a few events I need to blog about. Oops!

Which of these in particular would you be most interested in reading a full post about?


Fitness Friday: The Much Anticipated RAGNAR RECAP

Two weeks ago today (has it really been that long?), I stumbled out of bed at 3 a.m. to don my brightest tights and awesomest 80s gear to head up Mt Charleston with Van 1 of The Fanny Pack.

We got off to a late start and ended up leaving my teammate's house way later than we should have. Plus, it turned out that we didn't have the required # of LED back lights, so we had to stop at the home of our team captain (in Van 2) to grab one of their extras. And then there was the stop for gas.

Finally we were on our way. 

Now, Van 1 is supposed to check it at least one hour prior to our start time. We were supposed to start at 6:30, and I think we arrived somewhere around 6:20. Parking was full, so we had to park down the mountain a tiny bit. Then there was checking in, the safety briefing, and picking up our flags, shirts, and goodie bag. Phew!

And I cannot neglect to mention the COLD!

Cold Start at Ragnar Las Vegas
We all look so damn cold!

By cold, I mean 30s with some slight snow flurries. Nothing compared to winters in MN, but very traumatic for unprepared Las Vegans. :-/

After completing all our pre-race duties, we sauntered up to the start line to find hear the announcer saying:

Get ready to start in 10 ... 9 ... 8 ...

Shit! Our first runner barely had his shoes on let alone a race number and the slap bracelet. We slapped that bracelet on his wrist and he was off for his first run. 7 miles down Mt Charleston in the cold and HAIL. Yes, the snow had turned to hail at that point.

He still didn't have a number because, well, I'd forgotten about that in the flurry of getting our runner to start with the 7 a.m. wave. We were only a half hour late. Woot!

About halfway through his run, we offered him support. Ok, actually, we mostly just handed him his race number, which he put in his pocket. He did not want to slow down to pin it on. :-)

Now, I was runner #4, so I still had a little time to relax and prepare before my first leg. The chatter in the van - despite the cold and early rising, was quite positive, relaxed, and fun. Prior to this morning, I had only met one other person very briefly. I was very relieved that we all got along so well!

There was no bickering or power struggles. Just lots of fun banter.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

I probably should have written this yesterday, as many of you are likely very busy with Thanksgiving festivities today. Still, I wanted to take a moment to wish each one of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

May you all enjoy great food, loving families, and fun times.

To all my running readers, good luck at your races today!
To all my non-running readers, I invite you to get outside today.

A couple years ago, I convinced my family to take a few minutes and go for a Thanksgiving Day walk together. It was supposed to be a time for us to share things we were grateful for, but it turned out to be just a time filled with fun and laughter. It was a relatively nice day in MN, and it is a memory I will always cherish.


Workout Wednesday

Normally, Wednesdays are my sleep-in days. And by sleep in, I mean still get up at 5am to feed Sallie and then go back to sleep until 6:30am.

Since I took a rest week last week, and then slept in Monday, and have the potential of sleeping in tomorrow, I decided that TODAY, I would still get up at 5 to get in a workout.

I started out with this humdigger, because the 45 pushups from yesterday didn't kill my shoulders enough.

Seriously, though, it was a great quick workout. I think it took me 8:25, and I. am. SLOW. about these strength types of workouts.

Since I was feeling a bit gluttonous, I decided to head to the tiny fitness center at my apartment complex to hit up the elliptical.

Back in the day, when I couldn't run (stupid shins!), I tried to learn to love the elliptical.

Years later, after my shins decided to love me again, and I've really embraced running, THE ELLIPTICAL STILL PROVES TO HATE ME! I spent 20 minutes on that devil yesterday....at a 25 min/mile pace. At the end of the 20 minutes, my toes were numb and I was sweating like a mother. I'll take it, but I figured I must be doing something wrong to make my toes/feet hurt so much from this machine.

So, I asked my friends on DailyMile what they thought. I got some great advice from a husband/wife team (Thanks, Donald and Irina!), which I'll bascially boil down to keep your feet planted, hips lower than what feels normal, and try not to be too bouncy.

I can tell that yesterday I didn't keep my feet planted because my calves are in a state of revolt today.

I tried to keep their advice in mind this morning, but my experience was pretty much the same. Ok. Ever so slightly faster, but still very slow.

Leaving the gym super sweaty, I'm still counting it a win!!

The question is ... should I continue to try to conquer the elliptical or just stick to running and biking?

How was your workout today?


Random Conversations with my Husband that You Don't Care About

Two random conversations from last night.

Him: Why are you still biking to work?
Me: Because it's healthier and saves gas money.
Him: But it's dark outside.
Me: Only at night.
Him: But you do bike home at night.

(yes, I did bike in today.)

Me: How many times a day do you pee?
Him: I don't know. Probably twice.
Me: Damn. Sometimes I have to pee twice an hour.
Me: You need to drink more water.

(maybe I need to drink less water...)

What randomly odd conversations have you had lately?


10 Things I've Learned in 2012

I know, I know. I owe you a couple posts.

1) RAGNAR recap. It will be a faded memory by the time I get around to writing it.
2) A follow-up to last week's Listicles.

But first...it's time for another round of Monday Listicles. You should totally join in the fun! It's a different topic each week, and for this week...

  1. I'll likely never be a teacher. I LOVED student teaching and interacting with high school students, but I was spoiled by doing it in a co-teaching setting. I think I would be successful as a solo teacher, but I don't think I'd like it as much.
  2. It gets COLD in Vegas. This is relative, of course, since it's nowhere near as cold as it gets in MN. Still, cold is cold.
  3. Job searching is hard work. It's no wonder people are hesitant to switch jobs/careers. I hope to stay at my current employer for a long time - just so I don't have to endure going through that again anytime soon.
  4. Biking 7+ miles in the Vegas summer heat & altitude is not recommended.
  5. I am much better at meeting new people in small groups. Ok. This isn't a new lesson, but rather a reminder.
  6. I can safely and confidently bike to and from work. Nearly every day I congratulate myself at how I've improved at riding a bike over the past couple of years.
  7. Russian and Chinese history is fascinating! History in general is fun to learn about. Now that I'm done with school, I really should continue to read/learn more about this stuff.
  8. It's a huge struggle for me to incorporate strength training into my daily life. It's the easiest thing for me to skip, and it's probably more important than my cardio.
  9. I don't really like routines. I love variety. If everyday could be different, I would love it.
  10. ^^ I am not very consistent. At blogging. At running and exercise. At cooking.
What have you learned so far this year?


Brain Dump

**WARNING** Lots of negativity in this post. Feel free to come back tomorrow...

After Monday's Ragnover, my week has continued in a downward spiral.

My left quad is still really bothering me. I don't feel like exercising. I've driven to work everyday this week (and plan to drive tomorrow and Fri as well). I don't feel strong or fit.

I've gotten a headcold. My head is throbbing. I feel like my nose is broken or it wants to explode plus it's really dry. Overall, just annoying and uncomfortable.

I want to write about Ragnar Las Vegas. I really do, but I don't feel like it. There is so much to say, but I'm having trouble finding the words or knowing where to begin. When I get home from work, I just feel like vegging and not blogging.

I need to do laundry and cook dinner and clean the apartment. I DON'T WANT TO DO ANY OF IT!!

I have a lot of downtime at work. I both love and hate this about my new job.

Getting back on our feet financially is proving more difficult than we'd hoped. I love being in Vegas, and I don't regret at all leaving MN, but I wish we had more money. Who doesn't?

We have no plans for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I feel like I should be sadder about it than I am.


10 Truths. Or Not.

Ok. It's time for MONDAY LISTICLES. Seriously, it's nearly past time, but it's still Monday, so as long as I get this posted soon...

Today's topic was 007 (or any other spy) OR a list of Lies, and one truth.

Since I'm not up on all my spy trivia, I'm going with option #2.


1. I once spent a summer traveling all over Europe. The French countryside was my favorite.
2. I am an only child.
3. I ran my first marathon when I was 25.
4. I have a bachelor's degree in Film/Video from Rochester Institute of Technology.
5. I am a trendsetter and always up on the hippest fashions.
6. I was born in Alexandria, MN.
7. I love to swim.
8. I am the world's worst speller.
9. I have scuba dived in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
10. I was frisked by at Mountie at the Canadian border.

Now, leave a comment with which you think is the truth!


Wordless Wednesday - You Guessed it! RBFHalf Pictures

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Nov 3, 2012


10 Memories from the Not So Distant Past

You can read the full recap from Saturday's Really Big Free Half Marathon here. Writing a race recap is difficult, because there is so much to say that it's hard to get it all down in a sensical manner. Some great memories always get left out.

Today's Monday Listicles topic is 10 Amazing Memories from a Not So Distant Past. Well, I don't know if these will exactly qualify as amazing or not, but here are...

Some new, some repeats from yesterday's recap
  1. Anxiously leaving my apartment at 5:25 to meet my ride out in the parking lot instead of waiting for his text.
  2. Stumbling to get to the late packet pick-up tent. It was SO DARK!
  3. Missing the long line of port-a-potties through the marathoners because it was SO DARK.
  4. Rubbing my arms like crazy to keep them semi-warm while waiting for the start.
  5. Talking to the girl who would become my Hare.
  6. Pushing myself to catch-up with the guy wearing the 2011 Ragnar shirt, just so I could ask if he was running Ragnar next weekend. He was not.
  7. Being mesmerized by the splendor of the course - the mountains, Lake Mead, the colorful runners dotting the course ahead of me.

  8. Mountains Lake Mead Really Big Free Half Marathon

  9. Encouragingly swearing to myself. Not at myself. Apparently I have quite the potty mouth while running.
  10. Convincing myself that I didn't need to walk after running 10 miles. Only a 5k left to go!
  11. Fighting back the tears after achieving an incredible 9 min PR.
BONUS: Coming home from a walk to McDonald's to find that Sallie had gotten into, and EATEN ALL of, my race day gummy bears. Now, I need to buy some more for Ragnar this weekend.
What are some of your amazing memories from the not-so-distant past?


The Really, Big, Free Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday, I got to be a part of history. The first ever FREE marathon (and half) was held just outside of Las Vegas at Lake Mead, and I got to be a part of it.

I registered for this race back in early July as soon as I'd heard about it. A free race? Sign. Me. Up. Even without running for most of July and August, my anticipation of this race grew and my excitement level escalated as the date approached.

Overall, I was not disappointed! This was a great race experience. I went in totally not expecting anything; I just wanted to, you know, enjoy the course. It was my first race with mountains as my backdrop, and I was mostly excited to simply take in the scenery and bask in the gloriousness of the mountains and Lake Mead.

I ended up pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible. I only walked very briefly through the first two water stops and to snap a few pictures, but ran up and down all the hills of the remainder of the course, and ended up scoring an 9 minute PR.


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