Friday, September 27, 2013

Mama's got something to say: Barilla is not ENTIRELY wrong

I'm not trying to be controversial, but there are MANY mixed messages wrapped up in this boycott and I just wanted to highlight one.

Let me start by saying I support gay rights, gay marriage, gay adoption, the whole kit and kaboodle. I remember taking a LGBT History course in college that had to be labeled X History just in case it 'tainted' our transcripts. This issue has come a long way in just two decades in terms of public acceptance, but more understanding and tolerance is always in need.

The heir of the Barilla group, who is aptly named Guido, was originally prompted on his response to a female member of Italy's legislature Laura Boldrini, who was attacking ads placing women as the center of the home. She was using this debate as a means to improve the stereotypical images of women. She was quoted as saying, "an advert in which the children and father are all sitting down and the mother is serving at the table cannot be accepted as normal." source


Barilla goes on to say that Boldrini knows nothing about advertising. And I tend to agree - demographics, people. Demographics are everything! 

You wouldn't sell vadge cream on Drag Race, would you?

What about Disney travel on The Walking Dead

Just sayin'. Advertising is not the appropriate target to change attitude perceptions. 

Although, with the recent controversy over a 'mixed family' advertising Cheerios, maybe we do still have a problem there...

I can't help feeling like the 'traditional' family is getting the shaft in all of this. Why are we wrong? If my kids see a commercial with two Daddies serving pasta to their twins are my kids going to ask where their second Daddy is? No. They are going to see a loving family, eating a meal. 

I agree that Barilla went on to put his foot in his mouth by saying that gays could take the pasta or leave it, which they aptly chose to do, but I'm not saying Barilla is wrong to target their marketing towards the many women who are their target demographic

What he should have said: 
"Gay couples/parents are not our target demographic because they all tend to make fresh pasta for their families. Our products are geared towards the lazy, strung-out, desperate mother who doesn't have the energy nor time to cook anything for her family that takes more than 30 minutes to prepare."

Then we wouldn't be talking about it.

My interview with Vanity Fair #funforFriday

Now that I'm back to being famous I thought I'd save the journalist the trip to my chalet in the South of France and the dirty sand between his/her toes and the horrible inconvenience of his/her ice melting in the inevitable gin & tonic my butler has prepared for him/her out by my 19th century converted-to-sea-salt pool and grounds and preempt the interview myself.

Because I'm a giver.

What advice do you have for young artists starting out? 
Write your own projects. Create your own world of art. No one's going to write the perfect role for you other than yourself or your friends. And even if you are a perfect Sandy from Grease, how many times can you travel around the world playing Sandy from Grease? Aren't you tired of the sweaty quick change into the pleather pants? And what are you going to do when you're 50? Write a sequel about Sandy and Danny's strung-out meth-head tattoo-ed daughter. Then you can still play Sandy.

You never did give up, did you?
Oh sure I did! Every day. And not every day. The problem is, it never gives up on me. I kept running away from music and performing and it kept finding me. And like a first love I could never resist giving into it and feeling like a 16-year-old girl every time he came back around again. That girl who thought she would marry music and that music would provide for her. But like any loose-and-fast-boyfriend, he'd ditch out on his responsibilities and I'd have to pay the rent and clean up after the messes he left all over my apartment. What can I say, I'm a sucker for an F# and dirty changing rooms.

What is the best part of becoming famous? 
I have to say it's the strawberries. There's nothing like the taste of these fair-trade strawberries from Cuba that I have flown in everyday on their own private tiny airplane. I got the tiny airplane when US F***ways stopped allowing the orphans to bring them over themselves.

When did you realize your career was finally secure? 
Probably yesterday, when Miley called to ask if I'd co-write an album of songs for her sixth daughter. I mean, that family could call anybody - they've had a string of hits - "Don't no one know chicken wings" ; "This is a fortune cup cuz my cookie don't hold it" ; "JT ain't callin' bitch" ; and "Wonderful Choo-choo trees" - but she is trusting ME with the songs for her sixth hitmaker. I mean, daughter.

What will be your legacy?
Oh definitely my children. I mean, my son is the first man to tame the great red hurricane of Jupiter and my daughter, being the first lady President... I have to give them credit. And "Little Pickles." That was freakin' gold, that song. Well actually it went quadruple platinum. It alone paid for my island in the Galapagos.

Why have you been so staunchly opposed to plastic surgery when asked about it in all of your press interviews?
Have you seen my tits? Have you seen my husband? Does he not look happy? Actually I just don't understand women who don't need a bra. That's where I keep all my vitamins. They keep me young.

What's the next project you'd like to do? 
I mean every time JT and I collaborate it's hawt. But how many 'baby-making-music' albums can one produce?! I have to try something new. I'd really love to work with cryo-Madonna. I heard they were able to stretch her vocal chords while she was on ice and she can hit a high C that only dogs can hear. The possibilities are endless.

What do you think of the new telepathic music station, that allows musicians to connect directly with their audience's brains? 
That sh** freaks me out.

If you could say something to yourself in the past, when you were struggling to make it, what would it be? 
Get down on your knees and thank God everyday for the beautiful life and mind your parents have given you, regardless of what's in store. Stop fighting with yourself. Make your demons your angels.

And give your husband more bluejays. He really, really likes them.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Duke University New Works Lab

I'm so excited to have begun some music work again! I've composed songs for this show:

So if you live in the Raleigh/Durham/Duke University/Chapel Hill triangle, go and see the staged reading of the show this Friday & Saturday nights at 8 pm in the Sheafer Lab Theatre. It's free!

So there are these songs of mine, and then there's like some text and characters and stuff...

and like I didn't even write most of the lyrics because my collaborator wanted them to 'go with the character's intentions' and all...whatevs....

Hahaha I kid. It's really coming together. I'm very proud of the work and it's very different from the work we used to do in our 20's when we were mostly trying to entertain ourselves.

It will hopefully have many different iterations and performances over the coming months, and possibly even years. The Duke University production is just the beginning in the creative process.

And how about my little unsuspecting actors-turned-musicians that saved the day and allowed mama to come back home to her twyns??

Very cool, dudes. You little smarty-pants, you....

Some of our personal dollies bringing our characters to life
Me and Sibyl, who never takes a normal picture
The superfreak on the left is just a neuroscience major by day and brilliant stage manager who can sight read music by night!

As Pee-Wee Herman would say: 
"La la la"

Happy Opening my loves! Have a great run!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

7 little ways I've primped my Blogger blog

I have my little piece of blog real estate. A small, humble piece, but I like to try and keep it tidy and manicured. So I'm no expert, but I'll share what I've learned.

I've started a Pinterest board for blog-related ideas and tips, and of course, the interwebs is FULL of tutorials like this, but I just wanted to list a couple of my favorites and give links to the sources, of course (cuz that's what you do in the blog world, you share endlessly but never anonymously, gasp!)

And I say "primp" because it's just a couple of little changes, I didn't really "pimp" it, because I don't know how to do more than I've done so far. So clearly, if I can do it, you can, too. And if you have a little personal blog that you enjoy 'touching up', then this list is where I'd start.

1. I added the matchy-matchy colored share buttons
This tutorial here at I Gotta Create was fantastic! You can choose your color to match the rest of your blog 'theme' and go step-by-step to add as many share buttons (I chose Facebook, Bloglovin', YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, email, ETSY, and Feedburner), or as little (maybe just twitter & facebook for you) as you want.

You could also just consider adding the bloglovin' button so as to encourage followers. Find the widgets here.

2. I widened the writing/reading portion and enlarged the font [because I'm blind] I played around with the "Simple template" and clicked on the 'customize' button to start trying different options. Maybe it's too much...but then again, I'm too much...

3. I made a 'grab this button' button. Although not for the blog, but for a specific post. Again, just to experiment. But it would be easy to create one for your blog using this tutorial at Code it Pretty and you put it on your sidebar and maybe other bloggers would want to 'grab it' and add it to their sidebar to show some love and/or admiration. I created it for my "Bikini Pledge" post, so other bloggers would show their support of the idea that we should all be showing body confidence for our children by sporting some bikini confidence.

Grab button for THE BIKINI PLEDGE
<div class="THE-BIKINI-PLEDGE-button" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="THE BIKINI PLEDGE" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>

4. I added a sponsorship/swap ad placement to share those buttons, or to sell ad space like a bigger blogger would. Just to experiment. This was a 'page' on my Simple Template's menu bar for awhile, which I'm constantly playing with. I see what people actually look at based on the number of 'hits' per page, and if something just doesn't fit, well, people don't actually look at it, so I took it off for now (honestly I don't get enough traffic to sell ads, but thought I could at least 'swap' buttons with other bloggers for free just to get started.) It was easy to create ad sizes and 'names' (like Octomom for the big one, Twynmom for the smaller one, chuckle chuckle) using a template by Passionfruit ads. So this got me thinking, and, I finally added an "about" page, thinking it was redundant based on my other self-identifying pages/roles, but it got a lot of hits right away so I see the functionality of having that quick rundown of who/what you are. Although I like to play around with the writing there, too.

5. In December I made a Facebook page, and now I have a Google + page. Facebook pages have different rules from your personal page; they want to get you to start buying ads and paying to promote your page, so in order for your audience who actually 'like' your page and want to follow it to actually see your posts, you need to keep them constantly engaged (I try to post once daily), and they, in turn, need to "like" a few posts to see more regularly. Google + is more like twitter, in that you can engage with a lot of people you don't know and who don't 'like' you, but I find it to be almost more International, or even more West-coast based, so it's better for me to connect with people on specific subject matter/posts (for instance, triathlon posts in the triathlon community, and quilting posts in the quilting community), rather than to build a following as a whole.

6. I finally got the [dot] com working!! Or, should I say, my Dad did. Although it was his idea to begin with, and then we got all in a wordpress tizzy, and now we're out of the tizz-woods, thankfully, and I can look a tad more professional again.

If you were to start from zero on this process, I believe Google/Blogger will make this real easy if you go into the 'settings' tab, type in a prospective domain name you are interested in, and it will offer you a purchase service for about $10/year. You could, alternatively, go through one of the other domain registrar sites like GoDaddy and BlueHost ... but if you are happy with your Blogger format I would advise against self-hosting through them...make your life easy: just buy the domain name and keep tending to your current blog before considering a major move to a different format. Unless you are starting from square one and are certain of your direction, html, and future success. Then I don't know why you are reading this. Live long and prosper to you.

7. I changed the favicon. Again, still working on what the favicon should photo? The twyns? An artistic rendering/image? It's hard to come up with something that will read in that tiny a space. Here's the first thing that came to mind:

Oh yeah, what's a favicon? It's the little box in your search bar that identifies your website. It's cute and super easy to change based on this tutorial from Blogger Sentral.

I've created a lot of the 'photo-work' and text-work like this on my blog via PhotoShop Elements (less expensive and complicated than Photoshop), but you could do a lot of editing with some new apps out there (to add text and tints to photos; I like Over), and even through the photo editer of Google Plus. Try adding a photo to Google Plus, and when you click on it to 'edit', it should give you a menu of all kinds of fun add-ons and texts. That's where I first found my TwynMawrMom font, and I heart it so.

By the way, ALL that I've learned and will learn from other tutorials, I've pinned and will continue to pin on my Pinterest page! See the "blog" board here.

If you need any help with any of this shoot me any type of communique you prefer. Homing pigeon, email, twit, message in a bottle...

Great, now I have that song in my head. 

You're welcome!

What's on your blog primp [have-done or wish] list?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Loaded with bullets #funforFriday

Now that I'm a mom/coffee addict, being on the road I find my habit debilitating.

I had words with the little coffee maker in my room yesterday and decided I would need to go on a hunt for my rations.
I quickly entered the word "coffee" in my GPS app, assuming 526 Starbucks would pop up on my screen, but not a one. 

The first "cafe" led me to a restaurant row of sorts, and the joint wasn't open until 1 pm. None of the joints were open for me to politely scream at them what nearby coffee holes there were. I needed a fix bad. And they were going to charge me for parking. And I was going to have a sh** fit about it until I saw that the barrier was unguarded and the lever up.
I rounded around some one-way streets and passed a gas station. Hm. I thought. There's a thought. I pull a u-ie and I quickly grab these babies in case I needs 'em. 

But I was not yet giving up on some type of tattooed hipster barista in my near future. 

My fellow traveler and I had spotted an interesting place the day before that looked quite popular in the morning so I decided to stop in and try to look appropriately curious and not so desperate. 
$12 and two gallettes later I was no more caffeinated but if you chat up a southerner long enough you just might get an answer to your question. Or three. None of which you can entirely trust, but I had something to go on. 

I finally reach one of three destinations that is not the "real sweet and cute if you'd like to stay awhile" but the "if you feel like taking a walk" place and I get a surly look for being on my phone when I'm up at the counter. This ain't the Northeast; you must appear to be engage-able at any one moment in time. 

I softly put the phone (the hubby, who has no sympathy for my habit because he is a cruel alien on this planet put here to make those of us who rely on others and coffee beans to make us whole feel irrelevant) on my chest and with every fiber of my soul try to steady my crazy eyes and not yell at the top of my lungs "I'LL TAKE THE LARGEST LATTE YOU HAVE EVER DEIGNED TO CREATE AND TO GO GO GO PLEASE!"


about forty-five minutes later...

I was able to breathe,

and ask my companion to take this shot of me and my backup stash.
You just don't feel right in the South without a loaded gun I s'pose.

Happy Friday everyone!!! 
Have you ever had a desperate fix-hunt??? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sibelius - Garage Band - Back to Sibelius

Just so you know I'm not just stuffing my face and laughing at everyone who ran a half-marathon this past weekend [not just doing that, but doing that, yes], here's what my days have been filled with.

It has been over 10 years since I've had to write something that could also be read by someone that I wasn't standing beside singing in their ear and rectifying every wrong notation I scribbled onto the page as they sing my songs wrong because, well, I wrote them wrong and let's just say I didn't ace Music Theory. Not 101, not 202, not 701.

And now there's all kinds of tools for the budding young composer out there, and I should really learn them.

"Always trying", right??

Sibelius was intimidating me - so I started with Garage Band. I heard it would produce scores from my playing but after a week of that nonsense, and trying to add an extra track onto the recording so that it would add an extra instrument to the score (duh, even just voice and piano is too much for it to score - it will only score one track at a time) -  I finally went for Sibelius - after 526 fellow musicians told me to over the course of the last 10+ years. It will put my songs onto sheet music, supposedly by me playing them and it interpreting what I write.

I started with their tutorials and "Project 1" and let me tell you, those Brits are some sarcastic f**ks. The first words are: 

"However much you may dislike manuals, you must read the whole of this introduction in order to get started with the program."

Well, I got about 2/3 through the first tutorial and I'm not the best pianist and it took me the first two days to discover that the reason Sibelius was reading my playing incorrectly, was because my keyboard was tuned to an entire key below what I was actually playing. hubby had to figure that out...and that was embarrassing, considering he cannot read music. And I've only had this keyboard for 15 years. But it has a tuning button...Cuz I'm...a genius...natch...

Also, in the lower registers, it wants to record a second [that's two notes] when I play only one. Someday I will upgrade this keyboard, but today. is not that day.

So anyways the little musician in me was also having fun playing with all the little instruments on Garage Band and making up sounds that I used to have to sample by recording [i.e., street noise] with my mini-Disc player years ago walking around Manhattan.

So now I've established a pattern of working through a song on Garage Band, and then getting comfortable enough with the rhythm and sequence to put it down on "paper" in Sibelius.

I know there's a way to produce a finished-sounding recording on Sibelius as well, but it's not reading my crappy [Wii Rock Band] usb microphone and I just don't have time for that now. I just need rough renditions.

Yes, I'm using the Wii Rock Band USB mic for my recordings. Cuz I'm classy and super prof.

And don't get me started on keeping both programs open at once on this computer...they start's not pretty!!

So I'm headed out of town to continue working on this project TOMORROW and the inspector is coming to help [mil] so I'm trying to keep the house clean [enough] as I run around like a composer-chicken-without-a-head person.

No amnesty for creative types???

Why am I a 'creative' 'type'? Ugh. Spare my children from this fate and make them like finance or organic chemistry. PLEASE.

Friday, September 13, 2013

In the Heights at Walnut Street Theatre #funforFriday

Oh I was so lucky this Wednesday night to be invited to see the opening of Walnut Street Theatre's production of In the Heights. It was truly phenomenal.

Now this post is not sponsored, but I am a little biased, as my fellow Motherhood: the Musical girl was letting her light shine through the whole production in the role of Daniela. And it was a little mini reunion for us as our other castmate took me to the show.  You know, that one who dances for her life and wrote a fabulous little guest post for me a few weeks back?
Donnie and her proud "mama's"
I really can't say enough good things about this production. As always, the Walnut does a fantastic job of bringing a huge Broadway feel to the sets, lighting, music, performances, and direction. You would never think of it as "Regional Theater." This is a FULL production. You don't know whether to focus left, right, up or down; there is so much going on. It is a Broadway house that is located in Center City Philadelphia. I remember when I first moved to NYC I already knew instinctively what an important gig it was to 'get the Walnut.' It is an institution.
Donnie Hammond (Daniela), Ceasar Barajas (Graffiti Pete), and Piragua Guy Carlos Lopez
What was surprising to me, however, was the beauty of the story and the music. I didn't know the show before going to see it, and all I had heard was that it was 'rap, hip-hop-based' music, and this does not quite do it justice at all.

The rapping is very sing-songy, almost like an Eminem song, and there is a lot of R & B and Latin flavors mixed in. You would almost feel like getting up and dancing along, like when going to see a show like Mamma Mia, even though you might not know these tunes. You feel like you know them.

There are two love stories and there is the over-arching story of life in Washington Heights for a Bodega owner, a Salon owner, and an owner of a taxi/limo service. There are some vignettes when you see the lives of these individuals, and then big-blow-up moments when the entire cast is 'out on the street' dancing and illustrating the vibrancy of the neighborhood life. It has some flavors of West Side Story mixed in with Rent. I was incredibly touched by the solo of the father (played by Danny Bolero) talking about wanting a better life for his daughter, who had a chance of getting 'out' of the neighborhood by getting into Stanford. And no one can resist loving the Abuela (grandmother, played by Rayanne Gonzales), who is the nurturing and loving caregiver for the entire neighborhood; so she is everyone's "Abuela." But the best, most fun, moments for me was when Daniela (played by Donnie Hammond), whom you could sense was coming into Center Stage before she even got there, brought out her larger-than-life portrayal of the neighborhood 'gossip' type and turned the party atmosphere up ten notches. Her number "Carnaval" had me wanting to rush the stage. It was pure celebration.

Ultimately what truly transported me was Usnavi (played by Perry Young.) He is the central character/Bodega owner and narrator of his own life who draws you into his insecurities and humble nature. I have to admit, half the time I was just wondering how he was able to hit all of his music cues and the Music Director follow his, because the intricacy of the beats and hip-hop nature of the singing was half recitative and half spoken word. And yet you hear every joke, detail, and emotional response. And then you pull yourself out of your musician head and realize that you are involved in this character and want him to 'win.' Great performance.

Well I won't babble at you anymore about it, go see it! And here is a highlight reel in case you need more convincing:

It runs until October 20.
Get tix here.

Happy Friday! 
Have you seen any shows lately that transported you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

I did it : Half-Iron Race Report

You know how you finish a race and you feel so elated and you just want to sign up for the next one?

Yea, I don't feel like that with this one.

I kinda had a feeling going into it that my training was not going to lead me down that 'elated' path.

In fact, part of my plan was having three months of single-specific focus/build cycles, culminating in a race in each discipline, and I kinda enjoyed that a little too much I think.

You could almost get me to sign up for a longer, single sport distance race at this point, but I digress.

Cuz I ain't signing up for any more of this sh** anytime soon. It's sewing season, y'all.

Quick & Dirty
  • Swim was normal, felt good [wetsuit legal but I still haven't tried one yet, heard it could shave 5 minutes off my time??]
  • Small race [about 200] so men started in 5 minute wave after women. They were not as grabby as usual; I think it was a bit older crowd.
  • Bike felt good; 2 loops and I had already biked the route in July so I knew what to expect; no hills but a lot of sun [and no bridge, yay!!]. 
  • Didn't expect the headwind though; felt like I was standing still at times. Might have to choose hills over headwinds next time?? 
  • Dropped my precious nutrition & extra water during bike!! Found an old protein bar in my bike pouch, thank goodness. Stomach was a growlin'.
  • So excited to start the Run at 4:20 and saw a sub-7 finish for a hot minute. It quickly fell out of my reach as I hit the sun. Too too hot. 
  • Bonked at mile 11 and didn't know how I was going to make it to my babies at the finish line. So disappointing. My heart was fine, my hydration was fine, and my heels were fine, but my thighs felt like tree trunks. I managed to drive it home [with maybe a few tears.]
Tri-ing and crying

Slow & Painful

Started my morning with a present from my father. He called it the 'Full' half because half doesn't describe it well ;)
Setting up my space

The Swim: 45:54

I keep saying I'm going to up my swim game one of these days and wear a wetsuit. When I heard the woman next to me say it shaved 6 minutes off her time it piqued my interest. There's always next time...

Last time I did an OWS I swam about 40 minute miles, but that was in a 5k so I was hoping for about 45 minutes total for this 1.2 mile distance. Ran out of the water at 45:55. It's not the fastest pace I could ever do but as you should know about me by now, I don't put enough hours in the pool. [Maybe I don't put enough hours into training at all, but I digress...] Swimming is something I can rely on and I take it for granted. But I run out of the pool/lake mostly feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. Today that day was going to include 56 miles of biking and a half marathon, so I was happy the swim went well.

It was not a crowded race (200 registered) so this was really advantageous on the swim. I could get out of people's way and they could get out of mine. The lake was fine, no reeds, 75-ish degrees and no current.  

Transition 1: 4:34

My plan was to wrap a towel around my waist and just change into the different pants I found myself wanting to wear during this thing. My husband/coach's attitude was, "It's going to be a long race. Why not take the extra time and be comfortable?" So I may have taken closer to 4 or 5 minutes each transition, but I definitely LOVED having my super comfy bike capris with the extra chamois and then my super light running capris. I just cannot stand a wet crotch. Yes, I actually put panties on. What can I say? Being a performer/quick-change artist actually helped me here.

I also slathered my sports bra in and out with Aquaphor ointment. Missed the back clasp, though. Ouch.

Bike: 3:28:11
And speaking of my bra, I usually stuff another Gu in there before or after the swim. I forgot. And I had already decided not to ride with my front mount pouch where I would have put another one. So, if you are better at math than me, I had one in my jersey, and one luna bar, and I prepared to grab another luna bar and an extra Gu. Ate a Gu at transition, one Luna bar on the way out of the park, and then I only had one of each for the remainder of the bike. Not enough. Especially considering I *dropped* my precious Luna bar after one bite! Wah. I managed to see it smashed up on the pavement later during the run.

I had to pee so bad during the first 20 miles I didn't care about anything else.  I kept looking for a spot in the bushes. When I finished the first loop we headed back into the small strip of a town and I spotted a port-a-potty next to an ice cream stand. I tried to bike through the gravel parking area and almost fell off my bike. I clipped out and ran in.
My precious port-a-potty [snapped pic on drive home.]
Now I could focus.

But my stomach was a growlin'. I was sooooo upset about my nutrition mishaps. I was cursing myself and kept feeling myself up for a hidden Gu in my bra. The headwind on the back half of the second loop was gonna be nasty. I may have to go for hillier rather than flat and windy on my next race.

Lesson learned: always have a backup!

Thank goodness I finally remembered I may have stashed something in my bike repair pouch, and I stopped at mile 44 at the last turn around to check and found a beautiful balance bar. I told the cop at that road barrier:
"Yesterday's lazy cures today's crazy!"
He did not laugh. He just asked if I was on my second loop. And I said yes with crazy eyes.

I *dropped* my second water bottle on the second loop. Wah wah. I was hoping they kept the water station open, which I opted out on the first half, but they didn't. My eyes darted around the water bottle graveyard for a half-drunk bottle, but I only had 8 more miles to go. I had to push through.

I was actually very excited to learn I had previously biked this entire course on my training ride [no bridge, yay!.] Although I didn't have my phone to take photos on race-day, you can see more photos of the course on my previous post here.

Transition 2: 5:24

Speaking of my phone, when setting up my transition area I took out my headphones and someone started hushing me like I had contraband. Apparently at the pre-race meeting they said iPods and the like were an automatic DQ. I assured them that USAT regulation states it is just a time penalty, which I am always more than willing to accept in exchange for my precious music, but they were adamant. So I gave it up. No love messages from my friends or Justin Timberlake. Wah Wah Wah. I texted my hubby and bestie at transition that I was 4:20 in and starting the run. I was just starting to fantasize about a sub-7 finish. Hubby was going to start the process of getting himself and the kiddos ready to meet me at the finish line. I downed a coconut water, another Gu, and changed into my running pants and shoes and was off.

The Run: 2:58:06

But it was not to be. It was hot hot HAWT hot. My best (and only) half marathon time was 2:18, so I really didn't expect better than 2:30 but I was not wishing for a three hour half marathon. Not good. This run course is an out-and-back starting with the trail, to the road, to the marina, down along the river between two bridges, then back to the marina, back down the road, and back on the trail to the finish line. The river and road areas were very exposed and, for my race, it was around high noon. I started out on the road piece after the trail and the competitive racers were coming back in walking. This was not going to be pretty.

I managed to set my sights on running 2 miles, walking a half mile, and repeat. I found some company along the way which helped. I shuffled my way through and saw my sub-7 finish drifting away. Then I started thinking about 7:20 for some reason, probably because it would mean less than a three hour half marathon. I really missed my music, so I started going through my playlist in my mind. I even played one of my new songs I've written for an upcoming project in my mind, oddly enough. I thought: 
"pain is temporary", one of the last things my bestie said.
"It doesn't have to be pretty", my hubby/coach's motto.
"The faster I get through this, the faster I will be done";
"Walking hurts just as bad as running right now", and
"every mile I run will be one less mile I walk."
I thought of my fave endurance bloggers & racing friends, and shuffled through some more.

When I got to mile 11, right before the trail running starts again, I bonked. I entered the trail and it first opens up onto a huge field of soft soft foliage that just begged for me to lay down on it and sleep. And then, of course, I started to cry. Because I knew my family was waiting for me and I just couldn't lift up my tree trunks of legs and will them to do the last two miles. Two more measly miles. There was someone about a tenth of a mile in front of me and another racer about a tenth of a mile behind me. We were not alone. But we felt alone. It was so hard to see everyone else walking and struggling with the heat. And I just wanted to be done. I wish that I could hear the finish line. I wish that I knew exactly how much longer there was to go. I had two more aid stations to go, but I didn't know it at the time. When I saw the 1 mile mark I started to run again. I knew I couldn't let my kids see me walking. Little did all us racers know, they had accidentally tacked on an extra .6 to the course. Seems so insignificant now...

Official Finish Time: 7:22:11 

I saw my sweet boy and ran to the finish line holding his hand. My sweet girl had waited since the 7-hour mark to go potty and couldn't wait so she missed it. So funny. I cried and laughed and started making bad decisions. I thought we should go out to eat but then realized as I almost stripped naked in the middle of everyone that I should probably get changed in the bathroom and drive home. I made my husband lead the way so I didn't have to make any decisions and as it was I still made a wrong turn and took an extra ten minutes to get home.

The Recovery

I requested nothing more than 'some type of burger' and hubby decided to try the new SmashBurger near us. It was completely delicious, of course, even though it took me an hour to eat. Some coconut water, iced tea, water, and half of an ice bath helped a lot. I say half because I was, of course, accompanied by children so I put on my bathing suit and as my daughter was dropping in ice cubes she was eating half of them. I also slept in my compression socks half of the night [I got hot] which made a good bit of difference too. Oh, also the roof of my mouth feels burnt? Like, I was breathing so hard through my mouth I dried it all out?? So I didn't manage to have a celebratory adult drink, yet, but I'm sure I'll make up for it some time this week ;).

Present from my bestie
And then I'm sure I'll sign up for something else stupid.

Thanks again for following this adventure with me, and for all of your advice and good thoughts along the way.  I really enjoyed sharing it with you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

You know you're a [twin mommy] triathlete when

You have replaced the powdered formula in your gym bag with coconut powder.

You put your husband on hold to log your workout on daily mile.

You drive home from the track still in race mode and try to pass as many cars as possible.

You hear your kids' teacher talk about 'transitioning' and you immediately picture them going from pool to bike.

You don't bother to wash your hair between the pool and spin so as to simulate race day conditions.

Your fave game to play with them is 'chase me' for speedwork.

All your "girlfriend time" seems to include a workout, or race.

Your primary concern on a Saturday night is chafing. The following day.

This kinda makes sense to you:
"Continue straight to repeat the loop and out and back segment for the second and final loop. After the second time of doing the above segment, see below. After two laps of the above segment, turn right."
[Or maybe it doesn't, but you just go with it.]

Let the carb loading and the coconut-water drinking begin!!

48 hours to the longest race I will ever do...


[And yes, they did change the bike course on me.]

If you're a triathlete, should I bother to put on my compression socks after the bike/before the run? This is the latest anxious thought running through my mind...


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The vault

We had a friend in college who was everyone's confessor. He was a transfer student, thus, a little late to the circle, and thus, the perfect 'outsider' to confess all your secrets to. He would joke with us about it all, and refer to himself as "the vault."

He happened to be a huge Seinfeld fan, so yes, I realize this is the origin.

One night we got our friend drunk and tried to hack into the vault.

He passed out before we got to the goods.

So why am I telling you this?

Oh, because lately, I feel like the vault.

I'm scared sh**less of my race on Sunday, but don't want to talk about it anymore.

I've got some drama between some people I love, and some other drama between other people I love, and it just makes my heart hurt and my stomach sick. But I can't talk about any of that.

One good thing is coming up! But I can't talk about that either. Well, it will involve music, and me taking a trip, but I have to keep it on the down low in case:
  • I completely fail
  • I get fired before I actually fail
  • the whole project gets re-directed
  • the whole project gets serious & needs to be kept private until debut'd
So for now I'll just be like every other mom in the blog-iverse and post pics of my kids on their first day of (pre-)school:

Want to tell my kids, as they prepare for their educational lives [and life in general] [and relationships] [and careers] [and friendships] [and material goods] [and accolades]:

"Anything worth having is worth working for."

What about you? What do you/would you tell your kids?

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