Category Archives: running

Naked runners and second place in-shape moms, unite!

I went to the gym today because I slipped on ice at the bottom of our driveway and was too sore to run. I got on an exercise machine and within minutes one of the guys who works at the gym was next to me, looking very sheepish.

“Hey,” I said, taking out an earbud. My politics podcast would have to wait.

“So… we are doing this photo shoot,” he mumbled. “And we’re looking for all kinds of people. I was wondering if you could help out because we are looking for (wait for it) … an in-shape mom.”

I smiled demurely (what, this old thing?) and acted as though this was the oddest thing I’d ever heard, which it kind of was.

Huffing and puffing on that damn stair thing, I thought about it for a minute. Surely, there were other moms around, more in-shape moms, moms who have to wear real bras and not the kind you slip over your head and can buy at Old Navy for 6.99, moms who did upper body work (I rarely do), moms with core muscles (nope). If I’m anything, I’m a runner, and as a character in my book says: Nobody really wants to see a runner naked.

And here’s another thing — an in-shape mom? What is that anyway and why does it sound so creepy? It may have been a case of not wanting to join a club that would have me as a member, but all I could think of were mom-jeans, soccer-moms, mom-hairdos, and the mother of all mom-items, the MINIVAN.

I spent a while protesting too much and then the gym guy interrupted. “We’re really stuck. The mom who was supposed to do it had to cancel.”

“The who?” I yelled over the podcast still playing in my left ear. “Really? There’s another, more in-shape mom than me??” I looked around the gym in an exaggerated manner, my hand over my eyes, as if looking off into the distance for another mother in better shape. Suddenly, I was Jane Fonda. (I have just dated myself in ways unimaginable. Who should I have said – Gal Gadot???)

“Um…” The poor guy. What was he to do?

“I can’t make it anyway,” I said. I was nobody’s sloppy seconds. (I wasn’t lying. It was smack in the middle of teaching.)

I finished huffing and puffing and went home to my eldest child, who is now old enough to have a man-cold. Feeling out of sorts about the whole encounter, I made myself something to eat. Please don’t judge, but this is what I ate:

My friend, R., thinks it’s revolting, but quinoa with ketchup is my favorite dish. Frankly, there are few meals that cannot be improved a squodge of ketchup, but this one is spectacular and cheers me up without fail.

Besides, It’s the official dinner of second place in-shape moms everywhere.

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Bronx is Beautiful

It’s (almost) wordless Wednesday, and I snapped this on my run through Van Cortlandt Park.

My goodness, how I love New York.

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M has been stalking the garbage men so he can give them a Christmas gift so they will stop harassing and fining us for our inability to learn a new set of garbage and recycling rules. (Took us five years to master the manifold rules in Seattle. One of the many things Seattle does not joke about: waste management.) M spends a lot of time worrying about our garbage, which, in accordance with the you-can’t-worry-more-than-100% rule, means that I don’t have to.

He ran out today to chase the paper guys down (it seems we have to bundle up cardboard, something we are still trying to master. Give us four years, please.) But it turned out they were the plastics guys (plastics, Benjamin). He gifted them anyway. Maybe they’re friends with the paper guys, and can put in a good word for us.


It also seems we also have to place garbage on one side and recycling on the other. Don’t ask me which.


He is reluctantly coming for a run with me now, which means that Bennett is in charge of stalking the paper guys and paying them off. If that money gets in the right hands, I’ll eat my sneakers.

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It turns out that I’m a lover of winter. It’s been years since I’ve had a proper one (London, 1995)… And I’m thrilled to be in the thick of it here in New York. (Okay, so it’s only December… I may be less thrilled in February. As far as I am concerned, there has never been anything thrilling about February.)

Still, winter has it’s challenges. I’m not emotionally ready to discuss the hazards of winter driving in my neighborhood. You should just know that I’ve grown used to the panic of being stuck up a hill with my wheels a-spinning. I’ve never loved the minivan, and currently, I’m loving it less. (Can you break up with something you’ve never loved?)

But running in winter is a marvel. I feel a bizarre mastery of the elements and for a few, brief moments a day, I feel tough.

Truthfully, there is nothing tough about me. I am especially un-tough when I am slipping on my ass while running down an icy hill. So, I did some research on snow proofing my shoes.

A friend sent me a video of a very fit man screwing nails into the soles of his shoes. I asked M if he could do it for me, but he only told me that someone who falls regularly without ice underfoot has no business running on ice.


Then I remembered that my Seattle running partner sent me a pair of these.. As a joke?


These are basically shoe condoms with nails on the bottom:


I slid my feet into them and was ready for the road. (Note: I am quite well endowed in the foot department and there are therefore a bevy of dirty comments I could make. But I’m too much of a lady to do so.)

My outfit now consists of running tights, shirt, jacket, neck warmer, gloves, baseball hat (if it’s snowing.. To keep the snow out of my eyes), warm hat (over baseball cap)… And now shoe condoms.

It’s an incredibly hot sight. I’m both tough and incredibly hot in my spectacular running getup.



Filed under New York City, parenting, running, sports, weather, winter

Snow Shoes

My clever running partner in Seattle just sent me these:

Apparently they will turn my sneakers into snow shoes once the abominable NY winter is upon me.

Not amused. The temp is already dropping, and while it’s still sunny and crisp, I know what’s coming is going to (in some sick, sick way) make me pine for the mild piss-fest that is a Seattle winter.

Or not.

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Filed under New York City, running, Seattle, Uncategorized, winter

Runners High

I am sure it’ll get old at some point. But instead of doing all the things I ought to be doing (unpacking, sorting, visiting Ikea), I’m ditching it all and running.

Because, in NYC, if you’re willing to put up with a little bit of this:

You get a whole lot of this:

And this:


And it really is nothing short of spectacular. At some point I’ll have to unpack the office and figure out my work situation. But for now I’m just running.

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Difficult run, but a beautiful rainbow.

Photo: Difficult run, but beautiful rainbow.

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