I’m hoping this will NOT be my last post of the day…

We’ve got a crazy day ahead and I wanted you all to keep me (and my patience) in your thoughts. I’m hoping to come back at the end of the day to report on it, but in case I don’t I didn’t want to fail NaBloPoMo on the LAST DAY. So – here’s a preface entry to the realentry if all goes according to plan.

Nikki is running her first 10K and Wes is running his first 5K. They’re going on at the same time, so I’ll run the first 5K with both kids and then Nikki and I will loop back. Wes needs to be able to listen to me (we’re doing intervals so no one wears out) and not sprint ahead like he tends to do. And Nikki needs to not get wrapped up in her own head. She’s fast and competitive and naturally athletic…but once those negative thoughts creep in? All of those natural abilities fly out the window and I find it VERY frustrating. She has the gifts to make it easy, she just gets in her own head and gets down on herself and focuses on the negative. Our goal today is to A) Listen to Mom (she will NOT take advice from me AT ALL, which is frustrating because running is the ONE thing I know something about) and B) Have fun/Stay Positive. If we can do that for 6 miles? CAKE. We’re doing 1/2 mile run, 1-2 minute walk/ intervals. I play it by ear with them because sometimes they’re doing great and can walk less/run more. Sometimes they need some nurturing. It’s going to be 36 at race start…so the cold weather may make everything THAT much harder.

Anyway — Wes doesn’t get in his head. He’ll do it however he feels like doing it. He’ll do it fine. Think of me and Nyoka as we brave this journey. I hope she’ll finish proud and excited for her next challenge. And I hope I don’t start drinking at mile 2.

See you on the flip side! Wish us luck!

New Running Skirts!

Once upon a time I loved a running skirt. Then, I decided to stop loving that running skirt. Partly because the owner was saying things I didn’t like, partly because the skirt was failing me on a functional level. (According to the owner, it’s because I’m the body type that maybe shouldn’t be wearing their gear.) So! I asked for suggestions and help! Here are reviews of the two skirts I tried. Spoiler Alert: I loved them both.

Brooks PR Mesh Skort II

(Pictures of me wearing the skirt at my 50K.)

Brooks Mesh – Several of the colors are on sale right now! – I tried this one because Fleet Feet had it in my size on the racks and 30% off, like 2 days before my 50K. I really needed something to wear to that race since my normal skirt (The lululemon one) had chaffed me so bad at my 13.1 the week before due to simple disintegration of the fabric. You’re NOT supposed to break in new gear on race day, especially not a race that last 7 hours. But since I knew my normal skirt would chafe after 2 hours, it couldn’t get much worse.

I wore the Mesh Skort for my 50K, didn’t even put any anti-chaffing means on my thighs at all and it stayed perfectly in place the entire 7 hours. No chafing. No wedgies. No readjustments needed. The shorts have the adhesive strip along the under side that worked beautifully and everything else fit well. It had the standard small back pocket (for a key, but that day for my chapstick) and an awesome light mesh pocket built on the top part of the shorts, under the skirt, where I carried a pack of Honey Stinger Chews the entire day. It was my backup pack for emergency fuel and it stayed in that pocket the whole run, never bothering me. I’ve never thought that I wish I had a pocket there before, but now that I do? I can’t imagine running without it!

My only tiny “complaint” is it’s not as flattering as my last skirt. It’s a straight line, no ruffles which I found really flattering on the Lulu skirt. It may be a little long for me, which makes me feel like I look short. It has a tiny little flair/bump at the seam on the waist that makes me feel like it adds bulk where I don’t need it. So, not as flattering as the Lulu skirt, but way more functional.

Functionality 10/10
Appearance 8/10

Oiselle Bum Wrap

Oiselle Bum Wrap

Oiselle Bum Wrap – It’s a solid blue/gray color but it caught the light weird in this photo to make it look two-tone. IT IS NOT TWO TONE.

Oiselle Bum Wrap – This skirt was recommended to me on that last post as well. However, it’s a brand I’m not familiar with and no one in this town sells the skirt. So, without being able to either see it in person on someone else (that’s how I discovered the Lulu one before) or without being able to try it on, I didn’t really want to deal with purchasing one online.

BUT THEN – They contacted me and offered to send me one for free to try. So, Keep that in mind while you read this. FREE STUFF! I still am giving a pragmatic, fully tested review. But still…FREE STUFF!

When I first tried the skirt on I put it on backwards. Because the pocket that is on the back of all my other skirts is on the front of this one. Threw me off a bit. At first this seemed like a bad idea, I thought that my key would annoy me in that pocket on my belly instead of at my back. But, I never noticed it after I put the key in. So, if that would steer you away too, know that I’ve run in it 3 times and never noticed my key at my waist.

The other thing I was worried about the first time I wore it is the fact that it does NOT have the sticky stuff on the underside of the shorts. In my head – that is what keeps all of the other shorts in place on the skirts I like. I bought two Nike skorts once, neither had the sticky stuff, and they both rode up HORRIBLY meaning I A) chaffed and B) was constantly readjusting. I was worried this skirt would have the same effect since it didn’t have the sticky stuff.

I wore it on a 3-mile run at the treadmill first. I didn’t want to be out in the open and find out A) the key irritated me or B) the shorts rode up constantly. I didn’t have either problem! So, I braved it on an hour-long run out in the wild. Again – the key didn’t bother me and the shorts stayed in place!

So! Time for a real test. A long run. Last weekend I wore it on my 23-mile long run. The run took about 4 hours (time worn is more important than distance) and it never needed readjusting and it didn’t cause chafing. SCORE! It passed the tests!

I really like the look of this skirt ON MY BODY. But – I don’t think it’s like the Lululemon which would be flattering on EVERYONE. It has that flare to the skirt which I love and I do think is flattering on everyone, but it’s called a “Bum Wrap” for a reason. The skirt part is nothing more than fabric wrapped around your butt. If you have a bigger butt (mine’s probably average?) then you may not feel like it covers well. OR – if you’re tall – I’m not sure how it would look that the shorts are longer than the skirt. So – if you are tall or have a bigger butt – you may want to test it on your own for appearance. I’d be curious if the style would be as flattering on those body types as it is on me.

Functionality 8/10 (I really wish it had a second pocket.)
Appearance 10/10 (For MY body type. Average height. Average butt.)

Final Notes On The Comparison

I’m torn as to which one I like the best, to be honest. I like the look of the Oiselle Bum Wrap better, I feel like it’s really flattering on my body. But – the Brooks Mesh has that extra pocket that really comes in handy. I think for my marathon in 2 weeks I’ll wear the Bum Wrap (assuming it’s warm enough for a skort) because there will be plenty of aid on the course and I shouldn’t need my own too much, but I may change my mind last minute because I really like the idea of having my own fuel in that extra pocket. (I can carry some in my water bottle but I like to keep my phone on me too, so I can’t carry much.) I’m very happy with them both – honestly…I’d like to have one more of each.

Addendum On Weather

Neither of these skirts have been worn yet in extreme heat. The thing I liked about the Lulu was the fabric was really light so it wasn’t bad in the summer. Both of theses skirts have thicker fabric. NOW – running gear fabric is very high-tech and thicker doesn’t necessarily mean hotter – but I did want to add that these have NOT been tested in sweaty weather. We’ll see how they do in a few months.

I’m Thankful For The Phrase “Me Too.”

When I turned off the comments here when newbies popped over and got a little too rough (My fave – the 14-page long comment that started “You are what’s wrong with this society…”. For the record? 90% of the stuff this person was yelling me at, I didn’t actually say or condone.) I was reminded why I love it here. Here on my blog. It’s because it’s my safe place. I know you guys, and I feel like you know me. None of you would ever read my words and hear me say, “Consumerism is what makes this country the wonderful place it is!”

There have been so many times in the last 10 years since I started this blog…that I have felt alone. A lot of those times were very serious alone times. When I started having miscarriages. When I had to put my dogs to sleep. When I lost my Dad. When I lost my job. When I sent my child off to college. When I had another child repeatedly kicking me and punching me and spitting in my face. All of these times I came here to unload. To dump my sadness and my frustrations and my anger into this place and leave it for you to comb through. And every. single. time. you came back with a resounding, “Me too.”

There’s something about knowing that someone else has been where you are, and has come out on the other side, that is so uplifting. Or – hell – even if they’re still wading in the trenches. Even that is uplifting. Knowing that you are not actually alone. Someone has felt the things you’re feeling, makes it feel a tad bit more survivable. And it made me feel a tad bit less crazy for feeling those things. When I was in the midst of my reproductive nightmare and found myself battling irrational anger over the pregnancies around me: You made me feel less evil. When I wouldn’t take my Dad’s super-ugly watch off for an entire year after he died: You made me feel less pitiful. When I crumbled in heartache sending my oldest child and one of my best friends off to college: You made me feel less insane.

This space? Has been my refuge. The place where I can come and tell you what I’m feeling and so many of you kindly wrap your arms around me and say, “I’ve been where you are…you will survive. I promise.” And those words, those virtual hugs, they have kept me from falling into the darkness time and time again.

And then there’s the silly things. The infatuation with Harry Potter. The addiction to writing utensils. The love of fiction written for those people 20 years younger. The weakness for sparkly Vampires. The geeky loves and the nerdy treasures. You have echoed your love for all of the things I thought made me a lone weirdo out in the universe. And those moments are just as important as the moments you’ve lifted me out of sadness. Because having people to share joy with is just as important as having people to love you when you feel unlovable.

So…on this Thanksgiving Day (when no one will even be online to read this) I want to thank YOU…my blog friends. Thank you for all of the “Me too!”s you’ve given me over the last decade. Thank you for making me feel less alone, less sad, less dorky. Writing here has rarely ever been a chore because it’s just like a phone call to friends. Or maybe more like time on the couch in my therapist’s office. Either way – Thank you. For everything.

The Trait I Hope I Pass

NaBloPoMo is almost over but I’m coming up on the day that has ruined my streak several years: THANKSGIVING. I forgot to post on Thanksgiving on a few years…BUT NOT THIS YEAR, DAMMIT. I WILL REMEMBER.

But I almost forgot this morning. YAY!

I’m still moderating comments because traffic is still escalated from this post. Sorry. People feel strongly about shopping on Thanksgiving.

photo(3)

Look at this note my daughter left me. Sometimes she’s very self-involved because all children are sociopaths, but then she does stuff like this and I pray it’s a glimpse of her future. I want her to be kind and considerate more than anything else in the world. I want her to see what the people need around her, the people she loves, and be the kind of person that tries to give that if she can’t. I have that trait, although I don’t always follow through because I’m also lazy. But it’s the trait I hope I pass on to my kids the most. (Not the laziness…the ability to sense what people need.) When she does stuff like this I have hope. I think the world needs people like us, and I wish I followed through more often so I could do my part to make the world better.

I’d much rather pass that along that my tendency to trip over invisible objects.

Scandal! (The show. Not my life. I promise.)

(TV Show Spoilers Will Be Relegated To The Comment Section. If you don’t want to read Scandal Spoilers don’t scroll past the Scandal Logo on this entry.)

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but over there <------- on my sidebar, if you scroll down, there's a section that says "Most Shared Posts". I put that little widget/tool on my blog ages ago when I first say someone's blog post go "viral" because - I thought - I don’t want that to ever happen to me. Mainly because the more traffic you get, the more likely you get mean comments. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I am a wee-bit sensitive. (Hence all of the: DON’T BE MEAN! blog posts.) I’ve been blogging for 10 years and have only gotten 3 really mean comments and THAT IS PLENTY. An online magazine wanted to republish something I did several years ago (Something about my Dad) and I was all Aww…that’s nice…but no. I don’t trust the people you send over not to be mean. Welp! Yesterday’s blog post got a little traffic and as soon as those <---- Facebook like/share number got amount of shares/likes this blog had ever seen? I immediately started moderating comments. I didn't want even one hint of nasty from new people to ruin the great vibe I have over hear. You are all my friends, I know most of you by comment handle, I'm not going to let some newbie who popped over from Facebook ruin that. Thank God I did. Because before that number hit 1000, I had THREE people leave mean/snarky comments. The funny thing is? They were all saying the same thing basically: Approving Of This Type Of Consumerism Is What Is Wrong With The World. But here's the thing - I didn't approve of it. I didn't approve of anything. I was just pointing out A) We don't all celebrate Thanksgiving the same way and B) Don't Judge. And the second I saw that some of the newbies popping over were TOTALLY missing that point? I turned off comments. Because I don't have time to argue with everyone and it BUGS ME when people get all argumentative for no reason. And one of the comments was directed at another commenter and Oooooh....Hell No!. So! I turned comments off. My point? Thank you for being awesome and if you had time to chime in yesterday before I closed comments? THANKS! I’ll be moderating comments today too, because the traffic hasn’t slowed yet, and that means comments on THIS post will be moderated too. Sorry! The traffic will fade and we can go back to talking about Bullet Journals in peace.

scandal

SO! Do you watch Scandal? Please tell me someone watches this show! I think a lot of people last year did, but maybe some people have stopped this year because it’s gotten a little far-reaching? And while I agree – it has – the insanity is still being performed by some amazing actors so I’m totally ALL IN and last week’s episode BLEW MY MIND. I won’t post spoilers here but I’m dying to talk about last week with SOMEONE…So! We’ll have to do it in the moderated comments (Sorry!). I’ll post my thoughts as the first comment and then we’ll talk! Just remember, I’ll have to moderate yours and I’ll try to do it quickly but forgive me if I delay. You should get emailed responses if I reply to it!