Running for Exercise?

I’ve been getting lots of chances to play my favorite game, “Running for Exercise?” lately. It’s a simple but fun game: try to figure out if people you see are running for exercise or not.

Yesterday: I saw a guy, but I was watching him through the windows of my own car and the car in front of me. At first I got a distinctive running-for-exercise vibe. And then I saw him once he reached the other side of the street and realized he was wearing skinny jeans and smoking a cigarette. Running to Cross the Street.

This morning: I saw a guy running who was wearing what looked like a fairly athletic looking jacket. But then he stopped at a parking garage, turned so I could see his name tag, and pulled out keys. Running Because He’s the Valet.

Last night I may have been a tricky case if someone was playing. I was on the running trail in Wash Park, wearing workout clothes, headphones in, Garmin on. But then I turned off the path and made a beeline for a portapotty. Running for Emergency.

(OMG, though, Wash Park has so! many! bathrooms! I was so happy I was not in Cheesman.)

Running in Wash Park was new for me, and very different from running in my own colorful neighborhood. I’ve heard this neighborhood described as Highlands Ranch (a pink houses suburb) but with older homes. I’ve heard it described as all strollers and golden retrievers. So to pass the time last night during my (nine miles takes a looong time at my pace), I counted the Golden Retrievers (seven) and lululemon logos (nine!). Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Five Points anymore…

Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (House)

A few months ago I had a little meltdown after spending a Saturday morning trying to clean our house. Long story short, I got overwhelmed, somehow ended up vacuuming out the drawers in the bathroom. And then feeling sad that our place didn’t really look any better.

I don’t know how to better explain that. Sorry!

Anyways. I was like, enough. I don’t know how to do this, I don’t like doing it, and it’s really easy to hire people who will do it 1,000 times better than I will.

So every once in a while, maybe quarterly? Usually when we’re having visitors, I email a very nice woman named Stacie and she dispatches one of her team of wizards to our house. It’s about $100, they get the tub cleaner than I could if my life depended on it, magically get every speck of pet hair off the furniture, and even change the sheets if I ask. They use all natural supplies, nothing has a weird smell, and it’s basically the best money you could ever spend.

Chris’s parents are in town this weekend, so the wizard came on Wednesday. When I got home, I realized I had left a bag of cat nip out, and it kind of looks like a little bag of pot, and I wondered if she raised an eyebrow. I’m sure if you clean homes you see crazier things, but I wondered what she thought of us and where we stood on the scale of weird. Looking around, what can you tell about us? Nothing super interesting as far as I can tell.

We like beer. And haven’t changed this clock to DST. (And never will!)

We look like this.

We shop at West Elm.

Are vegetarians.

And work out. And need to do laundry.

Like swimming! (And beer. The bottle opener and the pool schedule are the  only things that go on the front of the refrigerator and not the side.)

I got all thoughtful about it, like would you know someone better from cleaning their home or reading their blog? Being their friend or reading their mail?

But mostly I was glad I hadn’t left anything embarrassing out. (Aside from the cat nip “hash.”)

Half Marathon Training – Weeks Five and Six!

Week five – Did I seriously only run once this week?!

Monday – I had Monday off from my regular volunteer gig and I plowed through 60 minutes on my exercise bike!

Tuesday – Book club and watched the Bachelor with a friend.

Wednesday – I was going to make up my three miles today, but I desperately needed to catch up with my best friend so we could swap notes on people who suck.

Thursday – Meant to run four miles, but misjudged the distance and ended up back at my house after 3.7 without the motivation to run around the block for .3 miles.

Friday – Chris’s birthday! I faked him out and we ordered Thai food and I got him a lame card and a sweater off the clearance rack.

Saturday – Swam 1,000 meters, went to yoga. Pretended to go for a run in between but really went and got a cupcake for Chris’s real birthday, which was a surprise night out on the town, a cute card, and a real present.

Sunday – Madness! This day was way overbooked, breakfast with a friend stretched into two hours, it was the only day we could go mattress shopping, and we needed to clear out a part of our house where we’re starting a remodeling project because the contractor was supposed to start the next day. But of course he didn’t. A blog post for another day.

Week six – Seven miles! And I learn to rest.

Monday – Five hours of watching the Bachelor and talking smack. Team Courtney!

Tuesday – Couldn’t even eek out three miles. Tired and grumpy about dodging so many off leash dogs. I threw in the towel at 2.7.

Wednesday – Impromptu doggie play date/folks over for dinner!

Thursday – Seven effing miles! Without music after the first 20 minutes because my iPod batteries died. Hard! Freaking! Core! Followed by the fastest shower of my life and still showing up 20 minutes late to dinner at a friend’s.

Friday – Sat through a high school musical. Bless their hearts. The student I went to see was amazing!

Saturday – Ran 3.5 miles! Brag: that’s 16% more running than scheduled! Went to yoga with a friend. It was one of those classes with lots of “Om”s and talking about universal life vibrations. Sigh.

Lunch, a nap, and then I spent the evening on the patio at the Denver Bicycle Cafe drinking beers.

Sunday – Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Sunday I rested. Well, I actually convened a meeting of the Ladies Walking Club and we covered five miles. But I gave myself the day to catch up on work and eat a leisurely breakfast and take a bubble bath and not make the whole day about cramming in workouts and just happened to end up going for a long walk it was glorious.

I know there are people with like 9 kids and four jobs who run nonprofits and who are generally way more busy and important than I am, but I work hard and I rarely just give myself a full day off and it felt amazing.

Like, re-think my whole training plan amazing. As I remembered how completely burnt out I was at the end of last summer, I thought Sundays off might be the ticket to avoid that this year.

Tomorrow my long run is up to 8 miles. Yikes. Random thought: it is strange to run more miles than my round trip commute for two days. I rarely have any practical need to transport myself more than 3 miles from my home.

I’m the decider

I’ve been going without mascara lately and feeling very brave about it.


Though I really have been skipping mascara, which is interesting only because it’s a break in my routine of five or ten years. But even my trusty waterproof wants to migrate when I swim. So. 

Sort of not really related…

Sometimes I think to myself, “If I had my choice, I would only wear dresses. Every day.” or “If I had it my way, I would never have to blow dry my hair ever again!”

And then I remember I do have my choice and I do have it my way. In the tiny country of what goes on my face and on my body, I am the dictator. Viva la Mel! 


This is my yearly statement of support for the general philosophy behind Share The Road.  

That said: 
Hang up your phone.

Turn on your light.

Wear your helmet. (even if there’s no law saying you have to) 

Stop at the stop signs. 

Take out your earbuds.

Are any of these requests controversial? 

And respect the one way street.

Book #5: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wait, why wasn’t this the book I was reading on the beach?

I wasn’t really familiar with Mindy Kaling beyond some twitter notoriety. I thought this was pretty funny (the Bossypants comparisons are inevitable…) but I got lost at the ending with the weird murder revenge fantasies and the funeral plans. Ended on a strange note.

The funniest part by far is probably the back cover, which I almost want to frame and hang up in my home.

Gratuitous Picture of Yourself Wednesday: Giraffe Edition

This giraffe for sale in the airport made me laugh. In part because it matched my carry on bag and my travel pillow (and one of my bikinis, not pictured). Also, because it’s for sale in the airport. How would getting that home even work?

In other random news (and by news I mean something I’d like to gripe about…) the weather in Denver is perfect and gorgeous. It’s very warm and pretty but not too hot. As a result, everyone is outside. Everyone. And it’s making me so grumpy.

Why do we have such disdain for the fair weather fans? Why do I care if there are 100 people running in City Park when it’s 65 degrees? Why does it bother me that there are suddenly so many other cyclists on the road during my commute?

I mean, I know it’s in part because more people outside means more people are doing dumb things like letting their dogs run amok or embracing unsafe cycling, but I’m not sure that’s it.

I want to be a laid back, easy going kind of positive person who can just enjoy the damn sunshine, but sadly I think I have the curmudgeonly grump gene.