Pine Mountain 40 (12-8-13) … A First Time for Everything…

Pine Mountain 40 Mile

 So I came back from the TransRockies super geared up about running crazy races.  I was totally obsessed and wanted to find a 50 miler to do STAT.  However, I really couldn’t find one that was convenient (i.e., driving distance) and right away (because I must do everything immediately!).  Mostly because most people don’t want to run 50 miles in the August heat in the South.  There were plenty to be had in the fall and winter, but I was impatient and didn’t want to wait. (cue Paula Cole in the background…”I don’t wanna wait…” – on a side note, I went to see Paula Cole once in high school.  She played at the local water park.  She was a lovely singer, but didn’t shave her pits which kind of sullied the show.  Totally random… OK back to running…)

Screenshot 2014-01-19 18.37.30 And then I just didn’t end up signing up for anything at all.  But then my friend Alex talked me into signing up for the Pine Mountain 40.  I had always thought I would do it one day because 1) It’s put on by GUTS and GUTS is awesome!; 2) It’s close to home; and 3) 40 miles seems like a logical step before 50 miles, right???

OK so running 40 miles or 50 miles is not logical at all. I know. I know.

OK so running 40 miles or 50 miles is not logical at all. I know. I know.

However, I never signed up because I knew it was at FDR State Park and I knew that trail was pretty technical.  And in December, a rainy December, it was totally covered in wet leaves.  So rocks and roots hidden by slippery leaves.  That just seemed like it would be miserable to traipse about for 40 miles of slippery leaves which lay upon rocks and roots galore….particularly with clumsiness…

So anyways…yeah, when Alex said he was doing it, for some reason I decided I would do it too.  I never did find that suitable 50 miler and was itching to do something crazy – so this should be plenty crazy, right?

We haven't even reached my underground garage of crazy me!

We haven’t even reached my underground garage of crazy yet…trust me!

Leading up to the race, I didn’t quite get to train as I had planned… or much at all.  I ran the Darkside 50k in Peachtree City on November 10, 2013 – I was supposed to run Rock ‘n Roll Savannah, but we had so much going on at work…it was just bad timing to trek down there.  Darkside was run on pavement, and I ran it pretty quickly.  Afterwards work continued to be crazy.  We had so many mediations and depositions and other madness.  There was just no time.  So I did no running the next week.  Then in the next couple weeks I ran maybe three times.  I lifted here and there.  But surely no sort of 40 mile training.

Darkside was fun and had cookies!  Yay!

Darkside was fun and had cookies! Yay!

I checked in with Alex the week before the race.  Turns out post NYC Marathon he had taken on a similar training – or should I say non-training – schedule as me post Darkside.  He bailed.

Some other friends – Deborah and Brennan decided to sign up last minute, so I was still assured of some company.  I’m typically a loner when it comes to running, but 40 miles with no headphones is  a long way alone!  And you know what they say – misery loves company!

Screenshot 2014-01-19 21.11.23

The race was on Sunday.  The whole week I wrestled with whether to run or not.  I had to cancel the hotel by Friday so the decision had to be made by then.  The weather report looked crappy – rain…but 40s/50s.  So doable.  Debate some more, debate some more.

Friday came and I sat on the bed expressing my internal torment to my husband.  I told him, I didn’t train properly, it was going to rain, the whole thing was a bad idea and I thought I would just back out.  And, in true Pooky fashion, he looked at me and said, “Why wouldn’t you run it?  It’s only 40 miles.  You’ll do just fine.  You should definitely do it.”  So I decided I’d suck it up and do it.

Screenshot 2014-01-19 21.13.41

Later, when I said, “But what if I hurt myself and then I can’t run for a while…” And his face went white and panic set about. I could see him remembering a time when I hurt my back and didn’t run for months.  A time when I was a cranky, horrible monster.  Then he panicked.  And you could tell he regretted giving me his usual motivational speech…but it was too late.

Nuff said.

Nuff said.

Saturday came and I packed up my crap.  We headed down to Pine Mountain in the afternoon.  Stopped in the cute little downtown and discovered a cupcake shop that was simply amazing.  Best cupcakes I’ve bought from a bakery in a very long time.  Soft and wonderfully delicious.  If you’re down there, get you some.  You’ll thank me.  So we bought what she had left in cupcakes and cookies (it was closing time) and meandered on.  We went to Lodge and checked in.  They had a big Christmas lights display at Calloway Gardens (and I LOVE Christmas lights) but the only time left to see it was at 9-10pm.  I hemmed and hawed whether we should go or I should rest.  Finally I pissed around so much that it was sold out.  Problem solved.

Pooky got me some great pre-race goodies too!  My phone died so I didn't get any pics of the awesome sweet treats though.

Pooky got me some great pre-race goodies too! My phone died so I didn’t get any pics of the awesome sweet treats though.

We indulged in lots of free apple cider and cookies at the hotel.  The hotel was super nice, and I wish we had time to explore and hang out.  Dinner time came and we both decided we were exhausted and didn’t want to go out…I did my usual thorough googling of the area’s offered cuisine.  We found a pizza shop that got good enough reviews and ordered a feast of pizza and potato wedges.  Then I gorged on pizza, potatoes, cupcakes and cookies.  Suffice it to say that I was OVER carb loaded.

I tried to sleep but I was SO restless (…could it be the carbs…).  I thought about bringing some Benadryl, but  didn’t.  I had a headache and just didn’t feel good.  And the front desk had no sort of Tylenol, Advil or anything else.  Sigh.  And I basically didn’t sleep the whole night.  Come about 4AM I finally fell asleep for about an hour.  After that, I just gave up and got up.  I looked out the window.  Looked cold and rainy.  I decided to bail.  But I couldn’t.  It was too late. I could see everyone else Facebooking about getting ready.  It was go time.

I layered up, lubed up, and choked down some Purely Elizabeth granola with almond milk  and a banana.  I woke up the husband to give me a ride, and we were off into the misty, rainy darkness.  He dropped me off near the front since of course I was late…A quick trip to the bathroom was of course the priority.  And there was no line!  Woo hoo!

Obligatory pre-race hotel picture.

Obligatory pre-race hotel picture.

It was actually not that bad when I got out there.  Much warmer than expected and only lightly misting.  I saw Brennan and Deborah and Matthew and started to get excited.

We climbed the steps up to the road and I looked around for friends. I found Deborah and yelled and yelled for Brennan, but couldn’t find him…but low and behold Pooky suddenly popped up out of nowhere, and that was a very welcome site before take off!

It was pretty dark!

It was pretty dark!


Off into the darkness we want, headlamps a bobbing.  Into the woods and winding around the trail in the darkness was pretty awesome.  I tried to stay with Deborah and company but ended up alone for a bit.  I just super duper focused and tried not to trip in the dark.  However the sun came up quickly, and I got warmed up fast.  Shed some layers and just kept on keeping on.  I was really tired due to lack of sleep, but overall felt pretty good.

Deborah on the move!

Deborah on the move!

Not too far in, Brennan caught up to us, and we kept trucking on together.  We chit chatted about everything and the time passed pretty quick.  We kept a pretty leisurely pace (which would bite us in the ass later) and enjoyed the trail.

The aid stations were well stocked and full of awesome volunteers who were always a welcome site.  Early on I got an extreme craving for nachos.  When I expressed this at an aid station, one volunteer reached into her purse and pulled out some gluten free tortilla chips and gave them to me!  So sweet!

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Brennan and I had a great “coach” and cheering squad….an older gentleman that Brennan knew.  He was at each aid station and would tell us how on or off pace we were and offer encouragement.  Not to mention Snickers.  Yes he gave me a Snickers mid race 😉

Aid station still smiling ;)

Aid station still smiling 😉

I texted Pooky every now and again with my whereabouts.  He told me he would see me at Mile 22, at the TV Tower.  I texted him that I had a couple more hours – meaning a couple more hours to Mile 22.  However, next time I had a text from Pooky it read “until you finish?  Awesome, you’re doing great” lol.  Talk about an overconfident husband.  If only…

At some point it started raining pretty hard.  It was super slippery with all the leaves and there were lots of rocks and roots to keep us on our toes.  Somehow I did manage not to fall.  Amazing!

However, in our chit chat, Brennan noticed I had decided to wear my wedding band.  He was like, um, you better watch because your fingers will swell. I said, “nah, its fine.  I wear it all the time on long runs.”  Then I went to wiggle it to show him.  At this point I noticed my fingers were WAY swelled and the ring was VERY stuck.  We  tugged and tugged and I freaked out.  Eventually we got it off.  Aaaah that felt so much better.  Thanks for the wisdom running buddy.

Brennan - all smiles!

Brennan – all smiles!

Brennan and I pushed on.  When we got to Rocky Point which was like 17 miles in we realized we were meandering pretty slow and may not make the 6 hour cut off at Mile 22.  Eeeeeek!  I’ve never run this race before; I’ve never run 40 miles before; and I’ve never been so close to a cut off before.  Never!  So naturally, I started to freak out.  And then I told myself, there’s only one way to fix this….so I put my head down and pushed on.

Me and Brennan chugging it into Mile 22 cutoff!

Me and Brennan chugging it into Mile 22 cutoff!

I got to TV Tower, Mile 22, with minutes to spare.  They tried to feed me, and I wasn’t  feeling anything.  But then someone offered me a grilled cheese sandwich. I haven’t eaten a grilled cheese in eons.  Eons.  And this was on regular old white bread with regular old fake orange cheese.  For some reason it sounded good.  It was promised to be hot and salty.  And omg it was.  This grilled cheese sandwich was the most amazing thing I had ever eaten.  It was magical.  It was spiritual.  This grilled cheese sandwich was a religious experience.  And it was all I could think about for the next 10 or more miles.

Yay for the awesome aid stations!

Yay for the awesome aid stations! I guess this is the only pose I have.

At this point my only goal was to make it to mile 28.5.  That was when the sweepers were unleashed.  I knew Jason Rogers was sweeping, and I felt comfort in knowing that I could run with someone I knew.  I figured I could just keep telling myself that I just had to stay one foot in front of him, and I’d be ok.

Beautiful day to be in the woods!

Beautiful day to be in the woods!

I got to 28.5 aid station and Pooky was there!  Yay!  I was so happy to see a familiar face.  By this time I had lost Brennan (he had to drop out) and Deborah (little did I know she was right behind me).  However, Pooky was in full blown “Dance Mom” mode.  He was dead set on helping me finish.  When I got to the aid station my pack was finally empty and I needed to refill with water…which is an ordeal – getting it off, getting it open, filling it, etc… And Pooky was admonishing me, to hurry, that I didn’t have time…he kept me moving and he meant business!

Jason was there, preparing to sweep with a few others.  He told me that I had some time… so off I went!  I just kept thinking they were one step behind me and so I high tailed it best I could…

Trying to get my supplies as fast as fast can be!

Trying to get my supplies as fast as fast can be!

The aid stations were every three miles after this.  I was a little woozy and mostly just pissed at myself that I was going so slow and barely staying ahead of the cut off.  The race cut off was 10.5 hours.  And it looked like I wasn’t going to make it.  I have to admit, I thought I’d run the race in 8.5 or 9 or maybe even 9.5 hrs.  But 10.5, or not finishing, that never even crossed my mind…until now.  I spent a good 10 miles or so of the race, at various points, yelling at myself and scolding myself.  I don’t know why I trucked it so slow.  I was super tired, but my body felt fine.  I think I was just being overly cautious on the rocks and leaves and roots and such.  I guess.  Who knows.  I guess there is a first time for everything and this was my first time to be barely barely making it…and I sure didn’t like it.

Pooky met me at every aid station until the end.  Poor thing.  It was cold and rainy.  And it had to be so boring.  But he met me with great “Dance Mom” zeal at each spot.  Yelling at me and not letting me slack.  If this were a pageant of some sort, he would’ve been ready with the vaseline for my teeth, hairspray for my undo and lipstick for the touch up at each stop.

When I saw him at the Buzzard’s Roost road crossing (about 2 miles from the finish) …at this point I knew I was going to make it.  I passed two guys taking a picture with one of their wives (or sisters?) and kids.  It was so cute.  I started to get emotional thinking about the long day and the fact that I had done something that seemed kind of impossible earlier.

Almost there!

Almost there!

I rounded the corner and could hear the camp.  I knew I was getting close.  I looked at my watch.  It looked like I wasn’t going to make it under 10.5 hrs.  They were still letting people finish for some time afterwards, but I made a promise to myself that I would not accept one of the coveted fleeces unless I crossed the line in 10.5 hrs or under (not to say there is anything wrong with doing so – a finish is a finish – but I had already worked this out with myself and a promise is a promise).

photo 1

I could hear the camp for sometime.  Eventually I could faintly see it.  It was almost dark by now.  I sped up and ran in as fast as I could.  I spotted the clock in the distance.  10:27 !!!!  I made it in under the wire.  Pooky was there cheering me through.  Lots of people were there cheering me through.  I really have to hand it to all the volunteers and fast runners who stuck around for us slow pokes (to put it in perspective, the winning woman ran it in 6.5 hrs… FOUR hours faster than me!!!!).  I loved it!!!  And totally totally appreciated it! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Trail runners rock.  Supporters of trail runners rock.  They are just good people.

photo 3

Victory is mine!

It was SUCH a good feeling when I crossed that line.  Indescribable.


I headed inside and went to get my fleece.  Molly was handing them out, and I had met her at the Six Hours of Dauset Trail race.  She came in second behind me (not even sweating or tired) and then went out for an “extra” cool down loop of six miles afterwards.  But then again, she runs 100 milers.  What can I say, she’s a beast.

They were out of size small, but were sweet enough to order more and have it shipped right to me!  More awesomeness!

I changed my clothes and got my chocolate almond milk.  I went outside and saw that Deborah had finished too.  Yay!!!!  Was so glad to see her smiling face come through.

Deborah and MDD

Deborah and MDD.  MDD is a beast.  She finished, had time to take a nap, then see me and Deborah finish lol.

We chit chatted with a few people, I changed (OMG it felt good to get out of those cold wet clothes) and then we were on our way.

It was an epic, awesome day.  First, it was a humbling experience.  This was my first time at this race and at this distance, and I almost didn’t make it to either the starting line or the finish line.  However, I’m so lucky to have such an awesome supportive husband…and friends and family…who encourage me to do these crazy things I love to do.  Every time I want to give up on myself before I’ve even started, Pooky won’t let me.  And each time I run one of these crazy races, it reminds me how awesome and amazing my husband, friends and family are….and how ridiculously lucky I am to have them in this unreal life of mine.  What I learned is, that while it was disappointing at the time to be barely making the cut-offs, what would have been most disappointing was if I hadn’t even gone out there and tried today.  If I had quit before I even toed the line.  Luckily, my friends and hubby won’t let me get away with that 😉 You never know if you don’t try…so if I have anything to tell you from this – it’s go out and try!!!  A slow finish or a DNF (*did not finish) is way better than a DNS (*did not start) in my book!

We headed home and I racked my brain for what I wanted as a celebratory meal. Exhausted and worn out, we decided to eat in the house.  No sleep, 40 miles, 10.5 hrs by foot and 1.5 hrs by car later, I cooked us dinner.  Mac n cheese from a box and crossiants from a tube… with a can of green beans for good, healthy measure 😉

It was an amazing fake food meal, and I loved every artificial morsel.  Promptly thereafter, I fell dead asleep.  And what a glorious sleep it was.  Time to dream about the next crazy adventure to conquer….

Happy Trails until next time guys 😉

I’m a Blogging Idiot

So Pooky had this brilliant idea that we would start maintaining the Firm’s website ourselves since the website guy was really slow.  He found out that we had a WordPress website.  He said – hey – the Goat’s on WordPress, right?  So you can run the Firm’s website too.  Great.  Then he signed me up for a WordPress class at Emory.  And here I sit.

Goats are SO much better at running.  SO much.

Goats are SO much better at running. SO much.

Turns out the Goat is a site, and this class is applicable to that.  However, the Firm is a specially built out page on  Apparently these are two completely different things.  And said class is not so applicable to the Firm’s page.

Regardless, I have learned today that often I am making “Pages” instead of “Posts” on the blog.  This is apparently not the best use of the Blog and makes the posts less visible.  Sigh.  So now I’m going to start a great migration of some of the “Page” content to “Post” content.


So just a fair warning that you may see some old stuff popping up again while I try to remedy my mess.

The Goat. A work in progress.  What can I say?

…next step – figuring out categories and tags 😉

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The Results are In – and the Secret Goat Shake Recipe!

The Results are In!

So as I blogged on Wednesday, I decided to detox from the Easter disaster with a little juice detox.

I started on Wednesday.  I did my interval workout on an empty stomach, which is pretty typical for me.  Then I walked over to Ardens Garden which is a block from my condo (lucky me!).  I picked out a few blends that seemed tasty enough, yet healthful.  One called “PH,” which is simply distilled water, kale, celery, a touch of lemon, a green juice which is sweet, “Yoga I,” and a red beet & veggie juice, “Paradise.”  (Tip – if you mix the PH juice – which can be VERY vegetabley – with a half a tablet Nuun, it goes down very smooth!  Plus you get some electrolytes!)



Number one rule - read those nutrition facts!  Look for nothin' but veggies!  These juices are also not pasteurized so all the enzymes stay in tack!  But you also need to remember they don't have a very long shelf life!

Number one rule – read those nutrition facts! Look for nothin’ but veggies! These juices are also not pasteurized so all the enzymes stay in tack! But you also need to remember they don’t have a very long shelf life!

Each day I’ve had nothing but the pure (mostly) veggie juice supplemented by the occasional raw red, orange or yellow peppers or cucumber or carrot sticks.  Friday and Saturday after hard workouts, I had a quick protein shake consisting of 8 oz. Nuun (best sports drink ever!) and one scoop Sunwarrior Warrior Blend vegan raw protein powder (I mix it up post-workout in my Blender Bottle so I don’t have to wait until I get home).  I eat it with a GoGo Applesauce (so many good flavors!) or a small piece of fruit to get my carbs in.  Saturday pre-workout and Sunday pre-post workout I added in a sliced banana topped with a bit of homemade cranberry apple preserves and cashew butter (expensive, I know, but this brand is SO worth it.  Pure goodness, no crap).

Shake with 8 oz. of cold Nuun and you have an excellent electrolyte replacement/protein shake!  I like to have it with some applesauce or fruit for carbs.

Shake with 8 oz. of cold Nuun and you have an excellent electrolyte replacement/protein shake! I like to have it with some applesauce or fruit for carbs.

2013-04-07 22.30.54

Protein, Carbs, Fat!  Yum Yum!  Banana, apple/cranberry preserves, & cashew butter!  It's like a PB&J without the yucky empty calorie bread!

Protein, Carbs, Fat! Yum Yum! Banana, apple/cranberry preserves, & cashew butter! It’s like a PB&J without the yucky empty calorie bread!

Then I would have a simple sensible dinner and no snacks afterwards.  This part was SO hard for me.  But I made it through the first day.  I ignored the grumbles and rumbles and powered through.

I swear, it was my stomach this time!

I swear, it was my stomach this time!

And as the days went on, it got easier.  I also found that I have been filling up quicker.  In fact, the past two nights, I didn’t even finish my whole dinner!  A miracle!

 Although I must admit, I was quite a bit cranky those first couple days.

A Mountain Goat without her snacks is not a friendly companion...

A Mountain Goat without her snacks is not a friendly companion…

Best of all, on weekends I usually go hog wild.  But this weekend I got only one dessert, one snack – a raw, vegan, gluten free, no sugar added coconut cheesecake square (thank god for Cafe Sunflower!).  And I only ate half Saturday night and half Sunday night.  That was it.  Yay me!

I feel so much better after doing this.  I feel emptied out of all the leftover sugar and crap, and I lost about four pounds in the process.  Tomorrow I’m going to start upping the food intake again, but I think I’m going to leave the juice for at least one meal.

The only issue is on Friday I tried to do my workout (6 miles plus one hour weights) on an empty stomach.  I typically do it on an empty stomach no problem.  But what I forgot is typically the night before I’ve eaten a bajillion calories in snacks…not so much this time.  So it was pretty tough getting through my weights session on the juice fast.  But, I lived and learned, and now I know better.

I don't have a picture of me woozie and lifting weights, so I'll put this here instead.  It's random, and I'm not sure I get it, but I like it.

I don’t have a picture of me woozie and lifting weights, so I’ll put this here instead. It’s random, and I’m not sure I get it, but I like it.

Today I volunteered at the Southeastern Endurance and Multisports Expo which was held by a great guy Mike Lenhart who runs an amazing organization, the Getting2Tri Foundation, which helps those who have suffered traumatic injury participate in endurance sports.  Amazing organization, check them out sometime!

I saw old dear friend Swim Bike Mom today for the first time in a LONG time.  Yay!

I saw old dear friend Swim Bike Mom today for the first time in a LONG time. Yay!

Some pretty, but very sugary, drinks they had at the Expo today!  I didn't go there though...

Some pretty, but very sugary, drinks they had at the Expo today! I didn’t go there though…

2013-04-07 11.40.55

I went with the kale, celery, etc juice instead. Made for bad breath for greeting the visitors though 😦

Today I discovered some new juice – called Chuice – seems like some good stuff.  How did I discover it?  Well SBM friend Elizabeth came up to me and declared that there was some funky looking juice at one of the booths that looked right up my alley.  Come to think of it, I did remember seeing a guy carrying around a half gallon jug of some gross looking green substance with some crap floating in it.  And when I saw it, you can bet I said, ooooh I want some of that.  Nothing goats love more than gross looking concoctions!

Full of all sorts of raw foods – sweet potatoes, beets, brussell sprouts, ginger, honey, chia, herbs, the list goes on and on!  It also has a crunch to it – via nuts – hence the name Chuice – Juice you Chew!  It tasted great, so I’m excited to add it into my repertoire.  It is also heavier in calories, carbs, fiber, protein, fat, etc.

2013-04-07 22.27.502013-04-07 22.28.09

I probably should have posted a picture of the owner instead.  According to the ladies at the expo, he was hot.  He was a big dude with some Lenny Kravitz type hair.  Of course, goats thinking like we do, when I saw him, the first thing I thought was, oooh look at his arms.  I wonder what kind of exercises he does, and if they will make my arms look like that.  And so goes a goat’s brain.

Back to the matter at hand, the juice “detox.”

So what now?  Well first things first – an allstar Goat Breakfast – here’s the recipe:


Ingredients (serves one goat):

  • 1 cup liquid (I typically go with half water/half unsweetened vanilla almond milk…if you want more calories, go with some coconut water or fresh juice)
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (I typically go with berries; OR pineapple/mango/banana; OR cherries + a couple spoons cocoa powder; OR peaches/blueberries; OR peaches/banana/strawberries….bananas + PB2 powder…you get the idea!)
  • A good handful spinach
  • Optional things – vanilla extract; almond extract (good with the cherries + cocoa powder); coconut extract; unsweetened coconut flakes (good with the pineapple/mango/banana)
  • 1 spoon stevia in the raw (more or less depending on your taste for sweetness.  Also if you are using the natural flavor or if you are adding cocoa powder or PB2 powder, you may need an extra spoon)


Put everything in the blender and blend like crazy!  Best way to do it is liquid first, stevia + protein powder + any other type powder + extract + chia/flax next, spinach, then frozen fruit last.  Add more liquid if you need it.

Different shakes are good for different things.  Berries are good for everyday – they are lower sugar and lower carb/calorie.  The tropical – mango/banana/pineapple/coconut – good for a treat – or good for immunity boost…sometimes if I have an orange laying around, I add a little OJ too!  Need something anti-inflammatory?  I go with the cherries + dark chocolate cocoa.  Better than an advil!  (pineapples and tumeric are also great inflammation fighters!)

More recipes to come soon! (next time I’ll include photos too like a real blogger)

Happy eating!

I’m a Hot Mess

Hello, my name’s Mountain Goat, and I’m a hot mess.

Truth be told, I’ve always been a hot mess.  For a variety of reasons.  Right now, however, I’m, specifically a hot mess nutritionally.

Only a hot mess wears such an ensemble
Only a hot mess wears such an ensemble

You all know me as a veggie loving goat, always munching on some gross healthy concoction.  And that’s the way I’ve been for quite some time.

Like a green goat shake!
Like a green goat shake!

In 2007 I decided I would go vegetarian.  I didn’t know it would last, and I didn’t know if I would stick with it.  But here I am six years later and still going strong.

Stinky lentils and all!
Stinky lentils and all!

In 2010, Swim Bike Mom and I decided we would go vegan for a month.  I stuck with it longer.  Since then I’ve eaten vegan about 90% of the time.  I’ve recently added eggs back in to the mix but still try to avoid cheese and milk as much as possible.

Last year about this time, I was feeling really tired and icky, all the time.  So I went to see a holistic doctor – Taz Bhatia (who is awesome by the way).  She did some Alcat testing on me – which essentially tests you for allergies and sensitivities to foods and chemicals.  Surprisingly, the test showed that I had an allergy to rice and a sensitivity to gluten, wheat, rye, etc.  Blood tests also showed that I had super low levels of B12 and iron.

She recommended I go gluten free for a while and eliminate rice.  We added in some B12, iron and magnesium to help me sleep at night.

True.  Totally true.
True. Totally true.

When I do something, I am an all or nothing kind of person.  I am not very good at doing anything half way.  I never have been.  So I took the doctor’s orders to heart.  I went gluten free and cut out my beloved rice. I also was eating vegan.  I didn’t eat any processed crap.  And I felt great.

Me, sans gluten and dairy and processed for two months.  I think it looked pretty good on me...oh, what's that?  The champagne is processed and not gluten fee...opps....
Me, sans gluten and dairy and processed for two months. I think it looked pretty good on me…oh, what’s that? The champagne is processed and not gluten fee…opps….

Everyone got on my back and told me I wasn’t eating enough, that I was too skinny, blah blah.  However, I was eating plenty – I was just eating real food, which I think confused everyone.

This says it all.
This says it all.

I eventually fell off the wagon.  And when I’m off the wagon- I’m off the wagon.

The wreckage from me and the little brother hanging out and enjoying our favorite thing - candy and pizza!!!
The wreckage from me and the little brother hanging out and enjoying our favorite thing – candy and pizza!!!

And let me just say I’m off the wagon again.  Ever since the Marathon, I’ve been eating like a hoss.  Then Mama Goat came to visit last Tuesday with an entire full sized suitcase of goodies. And if you’ve ever had them, well then, you know…

A small smattering.  And I mean small.
A small smattering. And I mean small.

I started off with a few here and there… Then came some pizza, then came some Italian and then came some buffet action and….it was out of control.  I was eating butter, and bread and cheese and endless cookies.  Out. Of. Con. Trol.  Yikes.

I can't count how many times we've had this over the past's just. so. good.
I can’t count how many times we’ve had this over the past month…it’s just. so. good.

I thought I would detox and regroup on Monday.  Then Monday came and I ate a crap ton of cookies again!  And Tuesday came – and I ate pizza, fries, more cookies!

I woke up today feeling just awful.  Ridiculously awful and completely disgusted with myself.  So today, my friends, I decided I would start anew.  I spent some time googling juice detox diets and so forth.

junk body

I work so hard on my body so it can do all the things I force it to do.  All the things I GET to do.  So why am I abusing it so with all this crap?

So today after my workout I headed to the Ardens Garden near my house and loaded up on juices.

Shah Law Firm Fridge.  You can guess who's is who's
Shah Law Firm Fridge. You can guess who’s is who’s

And so today, I had fresh green juice, a raw red pepper, and an egg white/veggie omelet with salad and oven roasted potatoes (I’m sorry, I can’t do just juice all day).  I just had some Bija Tulsi Tea as my “after dinner treat.”  Pooky has locked the cabinets and snacks are off limits.  I’m dying here.  Dying.

Yes, this is really a bike lock on the snack cabinet.
Yes, this is really a bike lock on the snack cabinet.

What? Locked cabinets you think that’s odd?  Well, this isn’t the first time this has been.  You see, even when I’m eating perfectly clean, at night I tend to be a little Snack-a-saurus Rex….so on occasion I beg Pooky to help me help myself.  So he got the idea to lock the cabinets after a certain time each night.  And so the locking begins again.

I plan to do the same super strict (well super strict to me!) diet again through Friday.  Fresh juice during the day and one small healthy meal at night with nothing else to follow.

Devastating to find out....
Devastating to find out….

After three days of this, I’m then going to go back to normal living.  However, I plan to be really strict with my no gluten, no dairy and to stay away from processed crap and endless snacks.  I don’t know how long it will last, but thought it might give me a little more accountability if I blasted it on the blog.  So wish me luck and better yet – join me.  I will post some recipes along the way.  Let’s clean the crap out!

I Get to Do This!

I get to do this.

I get to do this.  I am one of the lucky ones. I get to do what I love.  I have two arms and two legs and everything works.  It may not always work great, but it works.  I get it done.  I get to do it.  And that’s amazing.

It really is sometimes, isn't it?

It really is sometimes, isn’t it?

 Charlie Birchem Ligtenberg, a FB friend I met through Swim Bike Mom coined the phrase, “I get to do this.”  It’s how she gets through her tough workouts…traipsing through freezing temps and snow to get her Minnesota runs in.  I loved it.  I borrowed it.  And it works wonders.  Just remind yourself, “I get to do this.”  Not only for workouts but just about everything.

The awesome Charlie racing away - getting to do it!

The awesome Charlie racing away – getting to do it!

Running the marathon today, I saw so many people with pained, miserable faces.  I understand that its tough, but as Parag reminded me last night, this is your hobby.  Stop stressing about it.  You shouldn’t be doing this if it’s stressing you out – if you’re not having fun.  You should be enjoying it!

homer beer running

And that’s the attitude I take with doing races.  I get to do them.  I love to do them.  I enjoy doing them.  And I show it.  I smile.  I wave.  I thank each and every volunteer and fan that I pass.  They are the ones toughing it out.  Getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to help us all get out there and achieve our goals.  And for what, a free t-shirt and wet cups being thrown at them?

Tell me that's not excitement!

Me, cheering for the crowd and volunteers and getting everyone riled up!  Good times!

And so, while it may take a little more energy, try it.  It will help your run immensely, I guarantee it.  Smile.  Enjoy yourself.  Wave at the spectators.  Thank them for coming out.  Cheer for the volunteers, thank them for giving their time.  Pay it back.  And in the meantime, you’ll benefit, I promise.  And you’ll have a whole heck of a lot more fun.

SO today was the Best. Race. Ever.  It was awesome.

Some more excitement.  This is just a ridiculous face.  You know, it know it.  But I was just loving it.

Tell me that’s not a “Best Race Ever” face!

I’ve run the Georgia Publix Marathon before.  I ran it last year.  My goal was to go sub-four hours…but I couldn’t find the pace team at the start.  Then I had to stop to go to the bathroom.  A number of factors later, and I finished at 4:09.  Ok but not great.

This year I went back with the same goal, to break four hours.  And that I did!  How, you ask?

Well, the stars aligned and things went perfectly.  It was just one of those days…

 But I think a few things helped.  And here they are:

  1. Since last year’s Marathon, I’ve added strength training.  In particular, I added an awesome class that the awesome Alana teaches at Urban Iron in Buckhead that involves old school exercises like deadlifts, clean and jerks, rows, squats, etc. and uses a bar instead of free weights.  Adding weights has made a world of difference.

 class with alana

  1. Since last year’s Marathon, I’ve added yoga.  I found a class and teacher I like and I go as often as I can fit it in.
OK so my yoga teacher SO looks like James Harden.  So I had to throw this in here ;)

OK so my yoga teacher SO looks like James Harden. So I had to throw this in here 😉

1.  Since last year’s Marathon, I’ve eliminated most gluten from my diet, added a B vitamin complex and Iron compound in the morning and calcium and magnesium at night.  Plus twice daily doses of turmeric during heavy training.  The B vitamins and Iron help with energy.  The calcium and magnesium at night help with muscle cramps and ease sleep.  The turmeric is an anti-viral, anit-fungal and anti-inflammatory.  Eliminating gluten also helps with inflammation and recovery.  This all helps with recovery…so I can train harder, recover faster, and train harder all over again!

2.  Attitude…its not that I had a bad attitude last year, but it’s better this year.  That comes from a place of leaving a less than ideal work situation, joining an ideal work situation, and working on following my dreams.  It also comes from a place of “I get to do this” and gratefulness for what I have and what my life has become.

This is the NEW attitude.  Try it out.  It's pretty awesome.

This is the NEW attitude. Try it out. It’s pretty awesome.

3.  The last two are the most important – GELS!!!! I finally got my fueling right! AND my pre-race activities … everything you shouldn’t do before a marathon…

But that’s for the race report!  Till we meet again!

A New Year, A New You?

I’ve been on hiatus for a while. I know, I know.  I’m a horrible blogger.  But bear with me.  I’ve got four brand spanking new posts which are just waiting to be published.  Here is number one from New Years 2013.  I’m just a month and a half late on the publishing…

So starting in 2008 when I started my crazy running rebirth of sorts, I’ve been on this long stretch of remaking myself. I remember one summer, almost a few years ago now, when I was first training for an ultra and feeling on top of the world, I told Pooky that I was “Liz 2.0.”

Me, glowing after having beaten all the high school girls in the Alumni Cross Country Race...and then running the race a second time with the and Uncle Joe striding it in.  Maybe I should've stuck with Version 2.0.  It looked pretty good ;)

Me and Uncle Joe striding it in.  Ran from my parents house, to the high school.  Then ran the girls’ alumni cross country meet.  Won and beat the little skinny high school girls.  Then ran the boys race with my Uncle Joe.  Oh, the Glory Days.  Maybe I should’ve kept the old model? It looked pretty good 😉

Well, I’m not sure what model I’m on now, but I’m still working on it.  Slowly, but surely.  I grew a pair and quit my soul sucking billable hours litigation job.  I went to work with Pooky on a temporary basis until I found a permanent gig. You all know the story.  Blah blah blah.

Well here we are six months later, and I really love working with Pooky. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate being a lawyer, but if I have to be a lawyer, being a lawyer with him is the only way to go.  I’ve surprised myself by really getting invested in the firm and the idea of growing our little “family business.”  Things have been good, and we haven’t gone bankrupt yet, so I think I’ll stay.

And who knows?  If I stick around long enough, I may end up on TV like the Boss ;)

And who knows? If I stick around long enough, I may end up on TV like the Boss 😉

I’ve seen my family more than I ever have before, I’ve apparently been a whole lot nicer and less cranky to deal with, and I’ve had time to pursue my real interests and develop myself.

Aren't they cute???

Aren’t they cute???

Just know this:  You are where you are, but it’s not where you have to be.  You have to accept where you are now in the present and you have to consider where you’ve been in the past before you can move on and get to where you want to be.    I have to keep reminding myself of this on my new journey.

Just remember that today is tomorrow's yesterday!

Just remember that today is tomorrow’s yesterday!

I know it’s New Years and everyone’s making their resolutions and starting a new.  It’s a great season.  You can be full of hope for the year in front of you and the chance to do it all over again.

However, the way I’ve been approaching things is to use everyday as a fresh start.  To try to work with the mindset that every new day is a new chance to start over, to do better, to get it right.

Today is First Day of Rest of Your Life

So it’s New Years – it’s the first day of the rest of your life.  What are your plans for this new year – this new life?

this is your life

What does the Goat have on tap?  I’ve got an ambitious line up for this year.

  1. Keep working with Pooky to grow the Shah Law Firm!
  2. Lobby for the ACLU during Legislative Session!
  3. Get my RRCA run coach certification!
  4. Blog regularly (i.e., don’t take two month hiatus)!
  5. Run Georgia Xterra Fort Yargo Marathon (2/23/13) – Just finish and have fun!
  6. Run Publix Georgia Marathon (3/17/13) – Break 4 hours!!!
  7. Run Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race (6/14/13-6/16/13) – Finish alive!!!
  8. Run TransRockies Stage Race (8/13/13-8/18/13) – Finish Alive!!!
  9. Cook more!  Eat less junk!

AND….Drumroll please…..

10. Beast mode.  All day.  Every day.


Who’s joining me?

Happy Trails in your New Year!

A Crappy Run

OK so I don’t have much to say or post tonight, but this one warrants a post.

I joined Urban Active in Buckhead when it first opened.  It was close to my new office, and I thought it’d be convenient.  Plus one of my old spin teachers from concourse was teaching there, so off I went.  Oh yeah, and I signed a two year contract.

 Fast forward to June, 2012 when I quit my job.  Now I have no need to fight traffic to Buckhead to workout. Sigh.  But I’ve already paid for it, so might as well use it.

Well, I realized that in traffic, it takes me nearly 35-40 minutes to get to Buckhead.  However, on foot, running the six miles, it only takes me 45 minutes to an hour.  So I figured I’d get a few extra miles in on my way to the gym, and take the Marta home when I was done.  I got myself a little daypack, and there was no stopping me.  But that’s a whole other story for another day.

So I often run the six miles straight down Peachtree Street from my house to the gym.  Today, I did just that on my way to spin and Triple Fit.

Triple Fit with Alana! Hopefully not the last class! LA Fitness bought out Urban Active, and I’m hoping my favorite classes don’t go out the window!

I get to the corner where there is a Walgreens on one side and a big strip mall on the other.  On the side I’m on, with the Walgreens, I see a fellow runner girl running towards me mouthing something frantically.  I have my earphones on and am in the zone, so I don’t notice.  Finally I do, I take down the headphones and see that she is motioning towards the corner.  And there is an old woman on the corner.

Here’s the intersection!

Upon closer look, the old woman has her dress hiked up all the way.  And she is wearing absolutely nothing underneath.  Nothing.

To top it all off, she is clearly taking a dump, right there on the street corner in fancy old Buckhead.

The fellow runner girl just keeps freaking out telling me she can’t believe we’re seeing this.  I motion to her to come on, and we run past.  As I look down at the sidewalk, there is – no lie – a gallon zip lock of human feces right there as well!!!!

Fellow runner girl continues to follow me down the road shaking her head in disbelief and telling me how she can’t believe it.

It was totally crazy!  I guess I wasn’t so phased because I used to work downtown and have seen similar if not worse.  But in Buckhead, really?

I was kind of sad I didn’t take a picture for the blog, but I just couldn’t bring myself too.  The woman was clearly homeless, and I felt bad.

But…what a crazy run today, right?

Here’s to hoping you don’t have a crappy run today!

The Goat Does Vegas

Nearly a decade ago, I first met Mex Tex, and this past weekend, I got to celebrate her marrying a totally awesome guy.  It almost brings a tear to this goat’s eyes.

And to think, just about 5 years ago, we were celebrating mine and Pooky ESQ’s wedding!

Mex Tex chose Vegas for the wedding.  Pooky ESQ and I loaded up and it was off to Vegas Thursday through Monday.  If you’re thinking that’s a long time to be in Vegas,  you thought right.

Pooky ESQ’s Code Release party had just been on Tuesday night.  Mo and I spent most of Wednesday cleaning up before I plopped her on the plane back to PA.  The rest of Wednesday was spent running around returning stuff, a quick workout .  Let’s just say I was completely exhausted.

Pooky ESQ and I at the Code Book Release Party

Yes, my Mom made miniature versions of the Code in cookie form. Too cool!

Mo showing off her wares. She made all the baked goods. Her cupcakes are legendary and on the left!

Thursday morning I got up and needed to pack, so no workout got done.  I threw in two sets of running gear in high hopes I would get to workout.  Got on the MARTA and we were off!

I was a bad wife and failed to make our usual breakfast smoothies, so Pooky was stuck with a lone beat up banana.

We arrived in Vegas and immediately spent money buying new flip flops as soon as we got off the plane.

These turned out to be an excellent purchase. Very comfy and worn all about Vegas.

To Planet Hollywood, our base hotel to settle in then it was go time for the Bachelorette and Bachelor parties.  Mex Tex’s little sister, Little Abalos, set up a super fancy dinner at the Mix at Mandalay Bay.  It was on the 65th floor and super fancy.  I had my first drink in over 90 days (I decided to partake in a 90 day no alcohol challenge at my gym 90 days ago), a champagne spritzer, and pathetically couldn’t even finish the whole thing.  So I gave up on trying to drink.  I do know how lame it is not to drink at a Bachelorette party.  You don’t need to tell me.

The view from the Mix! Awesome!

After our time at the Mix, we went for the polar opposite and were off to Gold Diggers in the Golden Nugget on Freemont Street.  The night had a slow start, but once we moved the party inside, where the DJ was playing lots of fun old school songs, lots of bad white girl dancing commenced.  Sorry, I don’t have a video of the goat’s horrible moves.

Time to get down on Freemont Street

Here’s the crew!

I made the grave mistake of wearing some brand new “girl shoes” I had purchased just for the occasion.  Sparkly peep toe pumps (with a very modest heel), but they tore my feet up! I ended up with a big blister and spent most of the time barefoot.  If you have ever been barefoot in any bar on Freemont Street, you can image how gross my feet were.  In fact, they still may be dirty five showers later.

You know there had to be a picture of the dirty foot in here.

They kept me out until nearly 6 AM.  Which would’ve made it over 24 hours.  UGH.  I had a blast, but that is entirely too late for me. Back to Planet Hollywood and the others went out more. I went back to the room.  I had never been so happy to see my PJs.  Into bed I went.

Friday morning I woke up late (understandably). I didn’t have to be anywhere until the rehearsal at 3pm and the rehearsal dinner at 6pm.  So off to the hotel gym I went. It was in the spa, and I started in.  They stopped me at the desk and informed me it was $25 a day!!!! WHAT?!  I immediately got super p.o’d and walked right out.  I stopped in the hallway and mulled it over. I was about to spend $80 to get my hair did the next day, so certainly I could spare the same to workout for a few days.

I marched back in, defeated and bought myself a 3 day $65 pass.  I walked into the fitness room and was totally underwhelmed.  If I was a good blogger, I would’ve taken a good picture of it to post, but I forgot.  Let’s just say it was far from stellar.

Friday I got in a 6 mile run on the dreadmill and some abs.  I felt much better.  Then it was off to undo the workout with my one true vice – candy!!!

The Sugar Factory – the name said it all!!!

The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were fun.  They had it at Hussong’s in Mandalay Bay.  They were SO sweet and accommodating, providing me with more than one vegan and gluten free option!!!!  I had some veggie fajitas that were great.

There were Mariachis! Yay!

The crew piled in for an after party at Pure Nightclub in Ceasars.  Someone had gotten us a VIP pass and we whizzed in.  Once inside, I could immediately tell this place was too cool for me and that nightclubs sure weren’t my thing.  Plus, I wasn’t dressed nearly skeezy enough.

Pimpin’ ain’t easy…me in the stretch limo on the way to Pure. I look a lot cooler than I am.

Copy Cat.

Luckily, no one else was feeling it and so we retreated to the small hotel bar.  Nothing much was going on, so I persuaded Pooky ESQ to leave with me around midnight.  Tonight I was smart enough to bring back up flip flops, so we hoofed it home down the strip.

Oh, did I mention that during the rehearsal dinner, on a bathroom break which passed by a sports memorabilia store, Pooky ESQ and I acquired this poster which features the pictures and signatures of the 60 greatest NBA players of all time??? Talk about an impulse buy 😉

Saturday, the wedding day, I got up earlier and headed to the gym again.  This time, trying to get my money’s worth, I used every weight and machine I could find – doing a lame remake of my Urban Iron class along with a short two mile warm up on the dreadmill.

Later was the wedding and it was amazing!  Mex Tex looked beautiful and it was a great wedding and after party.  Mex Tex, being sweet as she is, and knowing how weird I am, released me to go home to bed shortly after 1am.  I gave Pooky ESQ full reign to go meet some friends and play until the next morning.

World’s hottest bridesmaids? Or world’s weirdest?

The bride and groom!!!

We clean up good.

Sunday I got up and was getting ready to retreat to the hotel gym again.  Then I remembered! I had read about a free yoga class at the Lulu Lemon store in Fashion Show Mall.  I put it into my navigator and saw it was about 1.5 miles down the strip. I had about 10 min to get there.  I sprinted out the door.  Navigating the strip, was tricky and I went as fast as I could.  Around the Venetian it looked like I might just make it, but then I was foiled by a road closure and detoured.

Eventually, sweaty and breathless, I made it about 10 min late…but made it nonetheless.  They had free mats and it was just what I needed.  A little organized exercise, a little peace and quiet, and a little fresh air in the midst of all the action.

I forgot to take pictures inside the yoga class…Still getting the hang of this.

At the end of class, the teacher commented that us being there meant so much to her.  She got teary and said it was because about 5 years ago, she had been working in corporate America for 10 years.  She said she did yoga at night and eventually started teaching.  She said she was on the cusp of making 6 figures when one day her husband looked at her and said, “I like the woman who comes home from yoga a lot more than the woman who comes home from work.”  She said it was at that point she quit her job and taught yoga full time.  She said she made $3000 the first year, but never felt better.

I approached her after class and shared my story.  Although yoga isn’t my thing, and I can’t really get into its whole touchy feely peace and harmony vibe, I totally got what she said and could identify.  It got me reflecting on my decision to go out on a limb. I often question that decision, but her story reminded me of why I did it.

A little inspiration borrowed from a FB post.

During class, I looked up at the wall. They had a big sign with a bunch of quotes on it.  Who doesn’t love inspiration quotes?  One of them said something to the effect of, stop and look around and appreciate all the great friends you are surrounded by.  I loved this and held it with me.  It was a great reminder to me.  While Vegas certainly was no place for me – all the gambling, smoking, drinking, staying up late, yucky for you food – the whole time I was there, I was surrounded by awesome friends.  Mex Tex has been a great friend who has been there for me for years.  We’ve had a fun journey and adventure and she’s stuck by me even in this new, weird, totally different chapter in my life.  And not only that, but Mex Tex’s family is SO amazing. Usually you like your friend’s family well enough, but in this case I genuinely love everyone in her family. Her Mom, Dad, Brother and sister Little Abalos are all such great people. I never cease to have a great time with them and they’re all amazing people.  And now she’s found an amazing guy to join that group.  I’m so happy for them.

The family Abalos! How I love them all!!!

All and all it was a great trip with great people.  But I’m tired and ready to get back to my routine.  Its all workouts and raw vegan protein shakes for the rest of this week 😉

This is what I made Pooky ESQ eat for lunch today. He wasn’t thrilled. Back on the wagon!

Mountain Goat ESQ.

I had never planned on going to law school. I graduated college and set about getting a job. Despite my stellar credentials and grade point average, I could find nothing. I ended up back in my parents house and took a job waitressing at a small Italian restaurant, deli and specialty store in my hometown – Angelina’s. As with everything in life, I gave 110% to that job. In no time, I was practically running the place when the owners weren’t around and was cooking after the cook left. I loved everyone I worked with and we had a great time. I learned to cook too. Life was good.

I always had fun at that job. See my puppet/oven mitt?

About a year and a half after graduation, I was still at Angelina’s and still in my parents’ house. My little cousin was graduating college and said she was going to law school. She told me to come. My parents were antsy for me to do something with my life, and I didn’t have much else going on – so I went for it.

Not only did I join my little cousin for law school, but I also got to crash her Jamaican spring break trip. Hey, I was too broke to go during my own college spring break and how else was she going to convince me to go to something as horrid as law school?!

The decision to go to law school was a last minute one, and I just went wherever would take me and wherever would throw me some scholarship money. Enter Ohio Northern University.

So I went to law school in an extremely small town in rural Ohio. We had to drive 20 minutes just to get to the WalMart or McDonalds. There were a lot of corn and soy bean crops and not much else. I didn’t know anyone and couldn’t afford to get my own place, buy all the furniture, etc as I was already student loaned up to the hilt and mooching off my parents as much as possible. So I opted for some new student furnished apartment housing on campus. I’ve always had good luck with roommates, so I let them pair me up.

Enter: Ms. Feliz – the Mexican Texan. I don’t know how or why the admissions counselor paired us up – but they did. As we entered law school, the Mex Tex was extremely enthusiastic. Me, well, I tended to be a Debbie Downer. She called me before school started, so we could coordinate on who was brining what. We both remember that first phone call. She remembers being full of excitement and having the most uninterested voice ever respond on the other end (hey, I hate the phone. Always have!). I remember an overly happy and overly excited person on the other end. We both thought – oh god.

Who knew we’d become BFFs. And who knew I would think that haircut and cleavage was a good look?

But as fate would have it, we would get along swimmingly. We both had been cooped up at our parents post graduation and both had a couple years out of college before law school. We were ready for a new college experience and proceeded straight to the drive through beer store.

The two best friends that anyone could have! OK so this was years after law school, but I love the picture.

One of the first night’s we went to the gym to play two on two basketball. We needed one more, and there he was, 130 pounds of hotness, little Pooky ESQ running shirtless around the gym. He played on my team, and we had a great time. We invited him to our house to enjoy your new purchases from the drive through beer store, but he scurried off. The next day he would see me out of my gym clothes and into a skirt, and thought that he had two girls after him. Sorry kid, all you had was me.

He was so tiny and cute. Who could resist.

I was suspicious of his small size, but he could put down an XL pizza from Padrones like no one else, so it was love at first bite.

He still loves his pizza.

Mex Tex and I also assembled an all star crew of friends, gathering together the four or five minorities on campus. The Jamaican Sensation was part of the original crew as well as Pooky ESQ. So we had Mexico, Jamaica, and India covered. Add in Red Joe (he had red hair) and Black Joe (you can figure this one out) and we were complete!

The rainbow connection including the Mex Tex, Pookie ESQ, the Jamaican Sensation and Red Joe!

Me and Mex Tex had so many great adventures together. Many involved fighting with boys in bars, mostly at the Reagle Beagle (that was really its name!), singing LaBamba at Karaoke every Tuesday, studying at sports bars for Saturday and Sunday Football fundays, and lots of late night pizza (what up Columbine!).

I’d like to say we brought the house down, but really we got booed each week by a douche in penny loafers.

In those days we could, and did, go out for late nights and I could even be known to enjoy some of Winemaker Jon’s homemade wine, then go out and run my usual route around the Green Monster. We interned for legal aid and the public defender and I figured I’d graduate and save the world. It was good to be young.

This was a fun night where Feliz and I gave Steven Jenkins a good talking to and lesson on the Mexican Revolution.

Fast forward nine years, and well, the legal profession has not turned out to be all I thought. I am yet to save the world, and I can barely keep down a glass of wine let alone go for a run after several.

So now I’m running from the traditional practice of law, and hopefully y’all will chase after me on my blog-venture from ESQ. to running blogger extraordinaire!

Look out for the wedding episode tomorrow!

So What’s Up with this Blog Anyways?!

Well, I graduated college, and couldn’t find a job. I moved back home with good old Mom and Dad and chilled out in the basement. I spent my days cooking and helping to run a small Italian deli, restaurant and grocery.  Ran a little here and there and went out with my friends after work.  It was fun, but my parents grew weary of having an extra over educated house guest.  One day my younger cousin told me she was going to law school. I thought, well I might as well try it.  So I did.  I plodded through law school and interned at fun places like the public defender and legal aid. I graduated with high hopes of saving the world and running free.

What did I end up doing?  The opposite.  I fell into a job in bankruptcy, and soon learned you sure weren’t helping anyone there.  In no time, I had ascended the ranks and became a litigation attorney representing banks and mortgage companies.  I was working a million hours a week; didn’t have time to pee or eat lunch; and eventually didn’t even have time to run.  I absolutely hated my work – but hey, I did what I was supposed to do and became partner!  I was on the fast track to the life I was supposed to be living!

One day, not so long ago, I had one of those days where you wake up and think, “What am I doing? Is this really my life?”  After much agony, I left my job as a litigation attorney and the soul sucking life of billable hours and living your life in .2 increments.  Luckily my husband, Pooky, has his own firm and was kind enough to let me work with him and didn’t even blink an eye at the thought of losing a significant chunk of our income.

So – was I scared to death to just quit my job, seeming willy nilly?! YES!  But after about four months, the clouds have parted, the sun is out, and things are starting to line up.  The sky hasn’t fallen, and I am still standing…and, most importantly, I feel like I’m on the right track for the first time in years.

Since then, I’ve been working with my hubby/BFF and trying to find my way to the life I imagined myself to have at this point.  With the inspiration of my buddy Swim Bike Mom, my super awesome husband and little brother – I’ve started completely throwing caution to the wind.  Life is too short, so I’ve stopped settling and am going after all the things I love.  And one of the things I love the most is running – so I’ve signed myself up for a crazy six day 115 mile race across the Rocky Mountains, the TransRockies in August 2013…and a bunch of other little races along the way… so hence this little blog to document the journey – through races and training and, well, my journey to a new life…because life is all about the journey, right?

So what’s the blog about?  Well, imagine it like trail runner girl meets Sex and the City.  Scratch that, my life isn’t nearly that uninteresting…although my collection of running shoes might rival Carrie’s collection of Manolo whatever-o’s!

Just a sampling of the obsessive collection…

I guess it’s like Sex and the City meets trails – well without the sex. And with a lot more dirt – of the outdoor kind – not the gossip kind.  How about single track and city? But instead of cosmos we drink nuun and coconut water. Instead of heels we wear running shoes. Instead of a purse over the shoulder, we’ve got a hydration pack on our backs.  Instead of chasing men we conquer mountains, PRs and goal races!

So hopefully you’ll join me on my crazy little journey, cheer me along the way, and maybe even be inspired to go on a crazy little journey of your own!