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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Train for Fun

As you may know, my knee's been bugging me again, and as much as I hate to admit it, I know that running a bit less and strengthening my "core" will help me avoid this little overuse problem I deal with over and over again.

Because apparently, I just need to calm down and admit that I'm not built like a runner, and not everyone has to run a marathon and I should just enjoy exercising as a hobby.

As if. The idea of running 26 miles in.a.row. makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Just sayin'.

So anyway, I'm doing a little trade with my friend Luann Abrams, a personal trainer who just started her new blog: Training for Fun. She swore to me that I could get a good workout with her, that I'd see some real results in a few weeks, and that it would be fun.

It was like a dare, really, so I had to say yes.

So this morning I went to her lovely training studio, which is in a room in her lovely house, featuring cheerful lemon yellow walls, a few hand weights, a treadmill, a yoga mat and some big rubber balls. I saw a Kettlebell in the closet and I almost had an anxiety attack, but thank goodness, she didn't make me use it. She probably will next time, now that I said that.

Dang it.

She did make me use one of those Bosu Balance ball trainer thingys, which is like a big rubber ball cut in half that you have to balance on. She's demonstrating how to use it in this picture. I tried it, and my legs shook like Jello and I almost fell over. That thing is evil. Just sayin'. More on that later.

So we did our first workout. And it was actually fun. And I'm not just saying that.

The thing about Luann is, she's funny and cheerful and all positive and stuff, but she's also smart. In fact, she's so smart that she was actually an aeronautical engineer for a long time before she took some time off to have her little boy, who's a toddler now.

This means she knows about physics and things, which makes it very difficult for me to cheat on exercises. Trust me on this. She'll say stuff, when you're on your side, balancing on your elbow like, "Okay, now raise your arm up like this," and then I'll say "But, that's impossible!" and she'll say, "No, actually, it's not." And you can't really argue with her, because she's right.


I have to admit I went in to the session thinking it would probably be fun but, you know...light. As in, I'll do a few sit ups and stuff but I should go running afterwards. Turns out it was a full body workout, despite the lack of obvious jumping jacks or running in place, or those other obvious cardio things I've been known to dread at bootcamp type workouts.

Luann's all into "functional fitness" which means you do cardio while you're working on muscles. Translation? I was sweaty and tired at the end. But I laughed a lot.

And it was fun. I'm not kidding. And now I have to go back on Tuesday. Which is a good thing. Because I like Luann. But I'm going to pretend I'm allergic to the Kettlebell.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Please Pray for My Knee

Dear Roxanne,

Thank you for yet another delightful excuse that I will eventually work into my blogging efforts in order to generate more popularity, for myself, in order to further brand myself as a person who is clever enough to surround herself with smart, funny people who, like herself, can find 6 reasons not to run, even before breakfast (which is a lazy literary reference to the White Queen talking to Alice about doing 6 impossible things before breakfast, which I inserted to show you, and the world that my degree in English has not been wasted, but instead has made me a better writer. Although, to be truthful, I did not learn that quote in college, but instead actually delivered the line on stage my Jr. year in high school when I was, in fact cast as the White Queen in the school play. Also, that was the same year I won the outstanding "newcomer" award for the drama department, since it was the first play I'd auditioned for in high school, and the drama teacher thought I was brilliant. Unfortunately, he had a nervous breakdown the next year and was replaced by the English teacher who chose to cast me in smaller roles from then on, perhaps as a way to prove that he was not crazy, or that I should stick to writing, and maybe grow up to be like him. Also, I am not bitter.)

As you know, surrounding myself with clever people is my job, even though it's not a real job in the real world sense of "jobs" but it is, in fact, a made up job which I hope to some day to monetize, if only to justify it as a reason to get up in the morning.

And also, the actual funny people I hang out with are nice, and I like to have coffee with them, which is another reason to get up in the morning. Not that I have to look for reasons to get up, that's not what I'm saying. Because I am not now currently, nor have I ever had a real nervous breakdown even though I was a drama teacher a very long time ago. I haven't had a nervous breakdown yet, anyway. I did try once, but my husband wouldn't let me. He said I had to get out of bed since there was so much that had to be done that day.

Meanwhile, about the running: I did, truly, have to take 3 days off from all activities involving my knee, including running, walking, swimming, and of course, cleaning the house. Much too taxing, all. I mean, seriously, I was limping my way through loading the dishwasher, and laundry was just out of the question.

But today I woke up and my knee didn't hurt. At all. It's the weirdest thing. The pain was just gone. I don't know why, it's sort magic, actually, and the only thing I can think of is that somebody must have prayed for me while I was sleeping and then God, or maybe Jesus, just healed my knee. Which is just such a cool thing, if you think about it. So I walked about 5 miles to celebrate, and now, well my knee does hurt a bit, but I'm not worried, because I think Jesus will heal it again. I mean, why wouldn't he?

So, even though I forgot to ask you about your religious affiliation before, that one time when we ran, I was wondering if you could pray for my knee. Even if you're not into Jesus, I don't think it really matters. I think he's pretty good about taking all prayers, as long as you say his name first. Otherwise he won't know you're praying to him. It's like a metatag, I think. He probably has an RSS feed. Or something.

If my knee is healed again by Monday, would you like to run then? Please let me know.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Going to FitBloggin!

As strange as it may sound to some of my friends, I'm excited to get on a plane and fly to Baltimore next month. I'm going to FitBloggin-10, a conference by, for and about fitness bloggers. I'm going to meet my people.

I've been blogging about life, exercise and middle-aged angst since 2007 here at Chubby Mommy Running Club. In fact, here's my first post.

This has been a delightful place to share stories about all sorts of things. Turns out there are hundreds of other people doing the same thing, and now I get to meet them and swap ideas and stories, meet sponsors and talk to other writers and book publishers. It's all good.

There's a 5K "Fun Run" on Sunday, after the conference, which I suppose I should try. For fun. And I won't cry. I haven't done any sort of race in ages, so I will spend the next few weeks trying to see if I can run consistently without overdoing it and hurting myself. Trickier than it sounds for this type A over-achiever. I'll keep you posted.

Also there is a yoga party at this conference, apparently, but I might have to skip it since I'm a yoga dropout.

I'm going to spend the next few weeks reading a bunch of new fitness blogs, so I'll pass on some fun ones to you, dear readers. And please feel free to send me any links to other stuff you think I should read.



I Can't Go Running If I Have to Go Skiing

Dear Roxanne,

Can you run tomorrow, as we planned? You sort of promised, remember? I have a meeting at 7:30 in the morning, but we could go at 10:00. Except I might have coffee with my other running partner (instead of running with her, which happens a lot) so maybe we should say 11:30 or 12:00. I hope it isn't going to rain because I really hate that.



Dear Julie,

I would say MY day is all about the weather. Because I have sacrificed my LIFE for the school auction these past few weeks, with that DEMANDING Lori boss I had, and I'm afraid my ski pass is screaming for attention, and I simply MUST reply if the weather is good. If it is not so good, yes, Inga and I run in all wether, so a 'nooner' would be great. But I am afraid MY schedule in the next few weeks will be ALL ABOUT the weather and my 12 day SKI PASS. Do you like how I am using capital letters emphasize certain thoughts, as simple as they are?.

You are my funniest running partner as well. We cannot stop - ever. Untill we both move away of course!



Dear Roxanne,

First of all - I wish I had a ski pass but I haven't skied in forever and a day and up until 2 weeks ago I didn't want to spend the money. But now that some checks have come through maybe I can, but maybe it's too late in the season and I'm so bad at skiing since I haven't done it in so long that it could be a terrible, terrible waste of money.

Second - I'm going snow shoeing with my bookkeeper next Wednesday (the one featured in the blog post about the running vest that looks a bit like a suicide bomber vest, which isn't funny at all and I was not trying to make a joke about that, I was just trying to make a joke about how vain I am, but I fear perhaps just saying the word suicide bomber is not so good) and you're cordially invited. To the snow shoeing. And maybe Lori should come too since we still adore her despite her ability to organize us and raise money for good causes.

In fact, maybe I should get a Flip Video and we could film the snowshoeing adventure, because Lori's so adorable, she'd get us more hits to the blog. Oops, if I buy a flip camera, I’d use up the money for my non-existent ski pass. But still, you get the sacrifice I'm making, right? Good. Thought so. It's all about the blog, really.

So call me if you don't go skiing so we can run. Call, don't Facebook me, because I won't get it in time, since I'll be out and about at my meeting and my coffee, with only my phone, and the email doesn't always work on my phone and the Facebook doesn't hook up to the email, which doesn't work...even though I started a woman in tech group, that should not fool you into believing I can figure out these kinds of things. I could try but then I might cry or throw the phone on the ground.

So anyway just call me if you want to run at 12:00. Okay? Please?

Alrighty then. Thanks. See you tomorrow. Assuming you're not on the mountain.

Also, it will probably be really cold and windy and stuff if you ski, but don't let that stop you, since you love to ski. Super. Love it. For real. And it's good to do things you love.



Dear Roxanne,

Also, I wish you'd hurry up and stop sleeping already. It's 4:53 a.m. now on Wednesday and I'm eagerly awaiting your response so I can figure out my life today, for heavens sakes. I have stuff to do here, like write my blog post with your words and your pictures while you're wasting your life s.l.e.e.p.i.n.g.




Dear Roxanne,

Also do you have a picture of you and or Inga skiing? If so please send it so I can post to the blog. And I swear I will link to your site. Also please send me your link.



Dear Roxanne,

Also I would like to use parts of this conversation for today's post because I'm having breakfast with the guy from Mt. Bachelor today and he should know that he needs to get me a free ski pass so I can make a movie about the mountain, which we mentioned last time we saw each, and if I finish this post before breakfast I can show him and remind him. So this is all about me. As usual.



Dear Julie,

It turns out I've got a ton of 'too-real-life' stuff to deal with today. I've got to get Inga out this morning to free up my afternoon so I can’t go running at noon. And no, I don't have ANY shots of me skiing with him! Darn't! I'm never in any pictures, ‘cause I'm the one with the camera! I'm afraid you’re on your own with your blog today. Although now that I just said that, how about this for today's excuse, "I can't possibly run today as I have to pick up my 'bowel prep kit' for my upcoming colonoscopy" cocktails and reception following.....

Also Julie, I am busy next Wednesday, so no snowshoeing for me! I have to tell you, I don't snowshoe either, because I think to myself, why not put on skies and go faster! Let's run tomorrow, okay? I promise.



Dear Roxanne,

Fine. I went swimming instead.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Does This Weight Make Me Look Fat?

Today I went walking with my bookkeeper. That's like going to coffee with your running partner instead of running. I like my bookkeeper, I just don't really like sitting at a table going through stacks of bank statements and receipts. Which is why I hired her. But apparently I still have to make the stacks for her. Whatever.

So anyway, she wanted to come early today and I said fine, but I have to go running, so you can come with me. She said fine, except she doesn't like to run. So I said we could walk hills instead, and I'd wear my weight vest. Because the extra weight helps me get stronger and it keeps my heart rate up.

The only problem is, the vest looks weird. I hate to say this, but it sorta looks like a terrorist vest to me. Those little pockets are filled with sand, not explosives, but still, I do tend to get strange looks sometimes. I've thought about putting a sign on my vest that says "This is a weight vest. I'm not a suicide bomber" but I haven't done it yet.

I'd be in better shape if I wore this vest around all the time. But I think it makes me look fat.

I'd be in better shape if I weren't so vain.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Excuse #2

I cannot POSSIBLY go running until I finish this plate of donut holes. Will call later....


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Advantages of Having Multiple Partners

Hi – I’m excited to run with you! I need more than one running partner in case one of you bails out. Also, your dog is a big plus, and your bad running pants make me feel superior. Can I use your real name in the blog? Send me a picture of your dog.

Dear Julie - I prefer to go by Roxanne for unknown reasons even to myself, and I absolutely think you should write about 'superior running pants'! You've gotta write the truth, you know? Here is my dog Inga (not his real name) waiting to go running. We measured his nose - it is 7 inches long! I went for a short 2 mile run today, because I know we are gonna be balls-to-the-walls, uber runners tomorrow, Julie. Since I am nearly 50, it is easy for me to use my age as an excuse not to run as far.

Dear Roxanne - Oh, he is a beauuuuuutiful dog. Wait, don't you have a bunch of things to do for the school auction tomorrow? Or is that Lori? Also, my knee hurts, since I am close to 50 too, and I had to walk during my run today, so I might have to put off uber running until next time.

Dear Julie - Sounds good, except you are 44, and that’s not close to 50. But as you know, I LOVE excuses either to run shorter distances, walk during runs, or not run at all. So the fact we are really going is a big plus.Lori has some things for me to do but my morning is free. She is not the boss of me.

Dear Roxanne - Let's run at 9:00, along the dirt path behind Lori’s house so we can spy on her. We'll need binoculars. Do you have some? It's only fair, since she has that huge telescope she uses to spy on people. See you tomorrow.

Dear Julie - Listen I am up at 4am, having anxiety about my new dilemma: Lori says I have to go to Staples at 9:00. Can you run after school? And yes, I want to go the spy route and watch Lori. She will probably be getting her auction wardrobe out - I would think.

Dear Roxanne – Staples seems like a good excuse. Please send a picture of you stapling something, for the blog. I am sorry to say I am booked after school with some pretty good excuses like working, ice skating, chaperoning a 5th grade dance, and taking my mannequin to a rock concert.

Dear Julie – No worries about excuses, especially mannequin excuses. I won’t ask, you don’t have to tell.

Dear Roxanne – Also, the concert thing will end up on YouTube, so I should wash my hair, and wear something besides crotchless underwear and baggy running pants, right? They are crotchless due to the naughty puppy chewing them up, not because I bought naughty undies, by the way. Can you run tomorrow?

Dear Julie – Let’s talk about tomorrow and underwear later. I’ve gotta run. To Staples, I mean. I swear we’ll go running soon, maybe, okay?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The One About Swimming

I'm in a rut with my running routine. Same old routes, same old songs on the playlist, same old gray, cold rain daring me to come outside and run in it, same old ankle getting twisted from stepping off the curb and acting like I should take it I started swimming again. That'll show my running. It will miss me, I bet.

I've been swimming off and on since I was 4. I'd like to blame my mother. She signed me up for lessons at Jefferson Pool in Eugene, Oregon, which was one block from our house, at the end of our bike path, in the middle of a big field. We could see it from our driveway.

The lifeguard/swim teacher was my babysitter from two doors down, and the story is, she had to peel me off my mom for the first lesson, but once I got in the pool, I was hooked. I was a chubby girl, and a good floater. Day after day, I happily dove for pennies the teachers threw into the bottom of the pool.

So technically, I got paid to swim. Which is a good deal, and I think the lifegaurds at Juniper Pool in Bend, Oregon, should throw some pennies in the lap pool everyday for motivation.

Also, you need to know that I was, and still remain, a swimming pool handstand champion. I hereby challenge anyone, anywhere to a competition in the 3-4 feet. Be warned. I have excellent toe-pointing form, and above average lung capacity.

So swimming laps for exercise is pretty easy for me, and I'll get into it for a while, but it's not like I love it. Just like I don't really love running, but I appreciate it. Mostly, I appreciate my body for being able to run without falling and swim without drowning.It's the little things I don't want to take for granted.

Here's my new orange cap and my new orange goggles I got to keep me motivated. Also, they match my suit. And, I figure I'm easy to spot in the water, so if I start drowning while trying to get the pennies, the lifeguard can find me quickly easily and save me.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shoes in the Snow

My son's 5th grade class had a field trip today. We walked through the woods at the end to talk about healthy forests. I loved the way everyone's shoes looked in the snow:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Back in the Groove. Sort of.

After a lazy month of sporadic running due to "I can't go running today" excuses involving the snow and ice, the sun came out and I finally got back in the groove, and went four times last week.

Four days of running in a week is enough to make me feel like a runner again, because my body gets over the initial complaining, and internal yelling "Torture! I hate this! I was supposed to take a nap! Can't we just go out for coffee instead?"

After four days of running, my body starts giving in, and saying "This is a good song, turn it up. Sure, I can make that hill. No promises on the next one, but this one's fine. Nice view. Nice day. Damn, I feel good."

But today it snowed. And it's not the white, fluffy, fun snow that makes you wanna frolic and sled. It's the icky, icy, slushy miserable kind of snow. The kind that makes you worry about falling, and wondering if you should buy new YakTraxs or just sit on the couch and drink tea until spring.

I should probably join a gym. It'd be nice if someone would build a gym that looks like Maui. Like a biosphere, with running trails. Or at least a hologram-ish room where it just seems like you're running along the beach at sunrise.

How hard could it be?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The New Video

Just in case you didn't see this in all the usual places, here's Francine the Mannequin's newest video at Twist Pop Media. thanks for all your support!


Hey everyone,

Sorry to say I've had so much spam lately that I've switched to moderated comments for now. Feel free to email me directly at julieanderson at hotmail dot com if you're a real person.

Thanks for reading!



*photo credit, - some days it seems like spam wins. But we won't let it!